Archives for category: The News

The Great British Media have been pushing the poll results as showing that all Leave Voters are backing the Tories whereas Only two thirds of Remainers are backing Labour as those it’s positive to the Tories. That’s one interpretation, but it ignores the possibility that to stop a Tory majority it may be necessary to vote Lib Dem in certain seats (I identified 40 – see below)  which if that’s where the Lib Dem remain vote is being polled is a cause for extremely cautious optimism. Or maybe I need to lay off the wine.

My suggestions are shamelessly based on numbers but more so than any other election this is a numbers game. It’s also clear what we stand to lose. If you voted Remain – the ONLY chance to have a People’s Vote and stop this country self-harming and becoming more divisive, selfish and idiotic is to use your vote to stop Boris Johnson walking back into Number 10 on 13th December. If you are Green and panicking about the climate emergency – the ONLY way to have any sort of chance of policies addressing this is to vote to keep the Tories out. If you care deeply about the NHS, the homelessness and social care crises, the rise in child poverty – the ONLY way to address these is to use your vote to oust a Tory, even if you are not voting for your favourite party but for the best placed one to stop Boris in your area. You are not selling out your principles by doing this – you are reinforcing them as you are acting for the good of the country. In my opinion the best solution would be a coalition between Labour and other progressive parties as it may bring positives to government from all (plus perhaps a better shot at proportional representation that doesn’t get screwed up this time). That’s just me mind. But if you care deeply about the dark place we seem to be heading we have to be cold and bloody minded and stop Tories winning seats. Hold your nose and visualise Boris Johnson making his resignation speech, a broken man. We can all bicker afterwards.

So if you don’t want the Tories or a No Deal Brexit and live in any of these places vote Lib Dem:
Bath; Brecon and Radnorshire; Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross; Carshalton and Wallington; Cheadle; Cheltenham; Chippenham; East Dunbartonshire;Eastbourne; Eastleigh; Edinburgh West; Guildford; Harrogate and Knaresborough; Hazel Grove;Kingston and Surbiton; Lewes; Mid Dorset and North Poole; Mole Valley; Montgomeryshire; Newbury; North Cornwall; North Devon; North Norfolk; Orkney and Shetland; Oxford West and Abingdon; Richmond Park; Romsey and Southampton North; Somerton and Frome; St Albans; St Ives; Sutton and Cheam; Taunton Deane; Thornbury and Yate; Torbay; Twickenham; Wells; West Dorset; Westmorland and Lonsdale; Winchester; Yeovil

Who do I vote for Election 2019-20

And finally a quick guide to 60 key marginals and how to vote there

North East Fife 2017 Election: SNP hold                Majority: 2          Suggestion: Vote SNP

As the teeniest marginal seat last time, this one’s a bit close to call and there’s suggestions the Lib Dems who were 2nd last time are making a bit of a surge. You may as well vote as you did last time and definitely switch from Labour to either SNP or Lib Dem as that should edge out the Tories.

Kensington         2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 20    Suggestion: Vote Labour
Definitely switch from Lib Dem or Green to Labour. Here’s the figures.

Perth and North Perthshire        2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 21      Suggestion: Vote SNP

Dudley North     2017 Election: Lab hold Majority: 22       Suggestion: Vote Labour

That UKIP vote will likely go to the Tories so a few none voters are needed as well as Libs and Greens switching to Labour so get active and encourage people to vote! Melanie Dudley is the Labour candidate so come on Dudley – vote Dudley!

Newcastle-Under-Lyme 2017 Election: Lab hold Majority: 30       Suggestion: Vote Labour

Should just take Lib Dems switching to Labour to hold off the Tory challenge here.

Southampton, Itchen     2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 31      Suggestion: Vote Labour

Over 1000 UKIP votes will probably move to the Tories so much of the combined nearly 2000 Lib Dem and Green vote needs to shore up Labour’s hold.

Richmond Park 2017 Election: Con hold                 Majority: 45       Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

I personally know a few Labour voters who will be doing the decent thing and switching to Lib Dem in this constituency to challenge that small Tory majority. There’s only 426 UKIP votes to be added to the Tory lead so this is do-able.

Crewe and Nantwich      2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 48    Suggestion: Vote Labour
Add over 1800 UKIP voters to the Tories and you need a few non voters to sign up and a switch to Labour from Lib Dems to keep the Tories out.

Glasgow South West      2017 Election: SNP hold                Majority: 60      Suggestion: Vote SNP

Glasgow East     2017 Election: SNP hold                                Majority: 75       Suggestion: Vote SNP

Arfon    2017 Election: PC hold   Majority:92        Suggestion: Vote Plaid Cymru
To be honest whatever happens here the Tories aren’t getting in – being around 7000 votes behind either Labour or Plaid Cymru. My attitude is if it ain’t broke don’t fix it – but don’t get complacent and do make sure you vote.

Ceredigion 2017 Election: PC gain from LD           Majority: 104     Suggestion: Vote Plaid Cymru
Again Plaid Cymru and Lib Dems are both 4000 ahead of the Tories so pick one and vote for them.

Stirling 2017 Election: Con gain from SNP            Majority: 148     Suggestion: Vote SNP

Canterbury         2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 187 Suggestion: Vote Labour
No Kipper vote from last time to worry about so switch to Labour to keep the Tories out.

Airdrie and Shotts           2017 Election: SNP hold  Majority: 195   Suggestion: Vote SNP

Barrow and Furness       2017 Election: Lab hold Majority: 209    Suggestion: Vote Labour
There’s nearly 1000 UKIP votes from last time round to add to the Tories vote so you have to avoid splitting the vote and getting behind Labour to stop the Tories getting in.

Keighley 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 239 Suggestion: Vote Labour
If Greens and Lib Dems switch to Labour you keep out the Tories bolstered by UKIP voters. Just.

Glasgow North East 2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 242        Suggestion: Vote Labour

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath
2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 259 Suggestion: Vote Labour
Not least as the SNP candidate was suspended recently for anti-semitism.

Rutherglen and Hamilton West
2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 265 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Lanark and Hamilton East 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 266 Suggestion: Vote SNP

St Ives   2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 312    Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem
The South West used to be happy hunting grounds for the Lib Dems so it would be nice to see a map of the UK with some yellow on its socks again. There’s no UKIP vote from last time – so a swing from Labour to the Lib Dems would be enough to unseat the Tories.


Preseli Pembrokeshire 2017 Election: Con hold  Majority: 314   Suggestion: Vote Labour
Add 850 UKIP votes to that Tory lead and you need a switch from Lib Dems and Plaid Cymru to boost Labour – the next best placed party here. Hold your nose and vote.

Motherwell and Wishaw 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 318 Suggestion: Vote SNP

Pudsey 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 331    Suggestion: Vote Labour
Last election Labour were second with 25,219 votes whereas Lib Dem only had 1761 votes. There wasn’t a UKIP vote but this will still take an organised swing from the Lib Dems to steal this seat from the Tories. Think of Children in Need Pudsey and get swinging.

Hastings and Rye 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 346 Suggestion: Vote Labour
As a Lib Dem voter you have to switch for best placed Labour (on over 20k more votes) to knock out the Tories.


Chipping Barnet               2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 353   Suggestion: Vote Labour

Inverclyde 2017 Election: SNP hold         Majority: 384    Suggestion: Vote SNP

Ashfield 2017 Election: Lab hold               Majority: 441     Suggestion: Vote Labour

Bishop Auckland 2017 Election: Lab hold              Majority: 502     Suggestion: Vote Labour

Norwich North  2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 507    Suggestion: Vote Labour
It don’t mean a thing if the Lib Dems don’t swing.

Peterborough   2019 By Election: Lab hold Majority: 683 Suggestion: Vote Labour
There will be a big Brexit surge for the Tories here – and their combined votes along with UKIP in 2019 were 6960 ahead of Labour’s vote. To save the seat everyone vaguely progressive has to switch to Labour.

Peterborough 2019

Calder Valley     2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 609    Suggestion: Vote Labour

Aberconwy         2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 635    Suggestion: Vote Labour

Stroud  2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 687 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Telford 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 720    Suggestion: Vote Labour
It would be pleasing to Telford, chosen as the launch location for the Tory Manifesto, fall and it’s do-able just courtesy of Green voters going for the Labour Green deal here as there were almost 1000 Green voters last time round.


Westmorland and Lonsdale        LD hold Majority: 777    Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Bedford               2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 789 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Oxford West and Abingdon        LD gain from Con Majority: 816 Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Ipswich 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 836 Suggestion: Vote Labour
It’s going to take Greens and Lib Dems backing Labour to resist the Tory challenge here, backed by 1372 UKIP votes.


Dunfermline and West Fife 2017 Election: SNP hold  Majority: 844           Suggestion: Vote SNP

Midlothian         2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 885 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Stockton South 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 888 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Colne Valley      2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 915 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Na h-Eileanan An Iar 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1007       Suggestion: Vote SNP

Glasgow North  2017 Election: SNP hold Majority 1060   Suggestion: Vote SNP

Edinburgh South West  2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1097  Suggestion: Vote SNP

Warwick and Leamington
2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 1206 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Wowzers! Not only am I impressed Labour managed to win back this seat in 2017 (pre-1997 it was staunchly Tory) but also I think Labour can probably hold this seat without swing voting as the UKIP vote is pleasingly small – although every little helps.

Central Ayrshire 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1267                Suggestion: Vote SNP

Pendle 2017 Election: Con hold Majority: 1279   Suggestion: Vote Labour

Penistone and Stocksbridge 2017 Election: Lab hold        Majority:1322    Suggestion: Vote Labour

Argyll and Bute 2017 Election: SNP hold                Majority: 1328  Suggestion: Vote SNP

Carshalton and Wallington 2017 Election: LD hold Majority: 1369 Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Lincoln 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con  Majority: 1538 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Portsmouth South 2017 Election: Lab gain from Con Majority: 1554 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Putney 2017 Election: Con hold  Majority: 1554 Suggestion: Vote Labour
Lib Dems and Greens can’t win this seat. Labour can – with their help.


Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill
2017 Election: Lab gain from SNP Majority: 1586 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Eastbourne 2017 Election: LD gain from Con Majority: 1609         Suggestion: Vote Lib Dem

Edinburgh North and Leith 2017 Election: SNP hold Majority: 1625 Suggestion: Vote SNP

Wrexham 2017 Election: Lab hold  Majority: 1832 Suggestion: Vote Labour

Seeing as it’s looking more and more likely that we will be taking up our little pencils (or MASSIVE PENS if you are THE PEOPLE WHOSE WILL MUST BE OBEYED) and picking the least shitty option.

I’ve heard a lot of people talking about “tactical voting” or not being able to vote Labour. The bad news for them is you kind of have to vote for the best placed progressive party from the last election – and Labour at least have commited to a people’s vote. Let’s get the chance of leaving the EU out the way first, hope for a progressive coalition and pick the bones out of what’s wrong with it afterwards. I’m serious.

So I’ve channeled my inner nerd, downloaded all the 2017 election results from and have built a good old fashioned spreadsheet which gives the last election results and my recommendations for who to vote for (and whether that tactic has any possibility of success).

Ta Daaa! Click on this to open the spreadsheet. Use the Constituencies tab to select your constituency using the drop down list from the grey cell at the top and the info should appear below for your constituency. (You may need to press Enable Editing if you have security settings like what I do – no trust).

Who do I vote for Election 2019-20

It’s far from perfect (and apologies for my NI buddies but I have a very poor understanding of who has skin in the game in Norn, and lump the DUP in with the baddies because they’ve backed up the Tories and seem to hate the gays and the women). I have no idea how unpleasant all the other parties might be. Again this is going to a vote and hold your nose exercise – it’s not about who wins as much as who you want to keep out – and my fear is The Tories, Brexit Party and UKIP getting in – more austerity fucking over the poor and vulnerable, more restrictions on our freedoms and more bigotry and small-mindedness.

I also think I may have erred on the side of optimism – looking again at my comments for Bernard Jenkin (my MPs) constituency – I’m hoping to somehow mobilise over 12,000 people and hope they don’t vote far right/Tory (same thing innit?). And some of those people will be dead! And although some will be young people voting for the first time – some of those young people might have been influenced by Brexity family and friends. Who knows! My attitude is at least have a go – even if a long shot it’s better than doing nothing! I just do sums me.

Bernard Jenkin Constituency

The Brexit Party will be interesting – will they nick back all those UKIP votes that went to the Tories last time? I think their voters will be more savvy now and back whatever is most likely to get them out of the EU asap – even if it’s a compromise or not ideal (i.e. Boris). So anyone who genuinely wants progressive politics in the UK should do the same.

Have fun with the attached – I knocked it up in a hour so there will be mistakes and the formatting sucks. But some people might find it interesting – even if they disagree.

Finally – I’m actually dreading an election followed by another referendum (even though personally it seems the only way potentially out from self harming the country for the sake of it) – but nerding out on stats has been oddly therapeutic. Hurrah!




It’s been ages since I’ve blogged about anything and I’m partially inspired by the temporary retirement of Mr FunnyFarm alias SortItAht who has handed in his political swearing gloves for the time being, that and suffering from hormonally induced depression I watched the Leadership Debate on ITV tonight and realised that it’s all insufferably meaningless and this person will be our next Prime Minister.


I didn’t vote for him, nor did most of you apart from those who have restricted access to sharp objects and sponge. So, it matters not one jot that he came across as a blustering, bullying fool and actually made Jeremy “I screwed the NHS and I am made of a neck” Hunt look positively almost acceptable. This is our brave new world. This guy. You can tell people by their mates.


We are in Trumpland UK and nobody I know will have voted for this. This overgrown toddler will go prancing over everything, sending what’s left of our economy spiralling and for what? Because a cowardly, rumoured pigs head molester wimped out and assuaged the far right of his party a few years ago, and other demons, including our new glorious leader, helped to guide people with genuine grievances towards blaming foreigners. The people who fell for this will remain skint. They will suffer from cuts and further privatisation of the NHS that Boris’s bus promised to save. And the people who lied and rode the tide of dissent, steering it happily towards intolerance will make money out of it. As if they needed any more. (The Express very coyly suggests Boris is worth 1.5million, but if you do the maths & include other interests – his income should be much more).


So what to do? Well protest as much as possible obviously. But also vote wisely. Voting is a numbers game. And here’s the sticky issue. The Labour party is under attack for some relevant and some politically motivated reasons (including “surprisingly” almost constantly from the right wing press who seem to have jam-making flaky cake baker Corbyn cast as an odd cross between Fidel Castro and Hitler – although the actual policies they’ve bothered to put forward look vaguely OK (privatising trains, energy companies, increasing welfare aid etc) – well apart from the very thorny issue of Brexit). In a perfect world a rainbow progressive coalition would be the best option and I’m pissed off Labour didn’t choose this last election (the very worthy Caroline Lucas (what a PM she could have made) did make an offer) cos we need all hands on decks here to beat the threat of either the Tories continuing with their sorting their mates out whilst making cuts elsewhere killing vulnerable people, or whatever guise the further right of Farage and Banks materialises in next just fucking us all up completely. If there isn’t a better option I would urge you to vote the best placed progressive party in your constituancy. If it’s Labour and you have to hold your nose do it as unfortunately we screwed up our chance at changing the voting system in 2011. Ideally I’d like the Labour, Lib Dems, Greens and Scottish Democrats to sort out a credible progressive opposition and genuinely change our politics (as opposed to Labour saying they’re trying to and not) as soon as possible – because Thatcher helped screw my childhood prospects up and I don’t want Boris to do this to other people (or let’s face it to mess up my dotage).

So, a chortling buffoon who also happens to be a dodgy geezer who has discussed journalist beating and who has aggressive screaming matches with his missus is going to be our glorious leader. Please don’t let this last a long time. Actually even if Hunt gets in, lets sort it out.

Hello and welcome to the first #NewsFromTheFunnyFarm where I will attempt to find out what is happening at the moment whilst making up composite swearwords like a proper flapthrusting pisshack.

So 2016 eh? What a barrel of laughs! That’s the topical stuff done. Anyhow never mind the endless death, mayhem and rise of far right bigotry. The thing that’s pissed me off the most about this anus horrible is how trolls have somehow managed to breed despite being defined as “Ugly cave dwelling creatures”.

Seconds after this photo was taken Terry the Troll called Gary Linekar a “Pooey panted Remoaner” on Twitter.

I mean of course social trolls (they don’t just live on the internet (they also shout abuse out of the windows of moving cars), although lets face it the conditions online are ideal for them as they also enable a speedy getaway) who will say whatever they want in order to poke, provoke and gleefully spread lies and slurs for shits and giggles. They especially like to bully minorities or the vulnerable as they’re less likely to get called out, risen above or found out and twatted.

Trolling is nothing new, as any connoisseur of teenage graffiti from any decade will attest. They very quickly came to play on internet forums (anywhere where you can create anonymous usernames and create or edit content) and social networking is a trolls dream. Some proper old school trolls made lairs on sites where they could compare their exploits writing abusive messages on facebook RIP groups or targeting liberal talkboards. We all kind of accepted their existence and fundamental patheticness and became adept at spotting even the more subtle attempts to troll. That’s why “Don’t Feed The Troll” is such an old meme.

Sticks and Stones may break our bones but someone calling us a libtard will just make us sigh and roll our eyes.dont-feed-the-trolls

In 2016 these trolls have crawled out from their bridges and gone mainstream and legit. They have voted in troll politicians or for troll agendas. Oh come on, Trump is clearly a troll with his 3am Twitter badmouthing sessions and apparently ability to get away with saying stuff that most nice sensible people would at the least get a verbal warning and a trip to a diversity training course if they did it either in their workplace or public. Trump’s even got the stupid troll hair going on. Likewise Nigel Farage (with his tobacco stained troll-like face) trolled the British public with his xenophobic dog whistle “Breaking Point” posters showing swarms of (curiously brown skinned) migrants lining up to invade Britain should people vote to remain in the EU (the poster was actually taken of Syrian refugees fleeing war but a good Troll never minds about the truth).

Not everyone who voted for Trump or Brexit was a racist, but a fair proportion of them appear to have been trolling – and getting away with it. (I actually know people who voted Brexit “just to see what happened” – Trolls! ).What’s getting scary is just how much the news and search engines have been laced with fake troll news for trolls to share and wind up “Liberal Snowflakes” (Troll language rather sweetly tends towards the fantastic and fairystory – with swears thrown in).

The other day browsing the BBC Twitter feed, I saw a horrifying piece of news about a young woman kicked down the stairs in a subway station in Berlin. The video accompanying it is disturbing from the unaware victim to the apparent glee of the assailant and the lack of any concern from his cronies who watch the whole thing.

You’re damn right it contains “upsetting scenes” BBC

One thing it does not contain however is a clue to the origin of the assailant. The victim has her back to us and is wearing a hood (at first I wondered if it was mistaken for a hijab – then I realised it doesn’t matter – whatever the motive – this crime shows violent bullying misogyny in action and the people who took part in it are terrifying sociopaths.)

So I was curious as to why the BBC Tweet containing this article was jumped on by so many people insisting that the perpetrators were “Muslims” or “Immigrants”. I could find no reference to this on the news and many who claimed to have seen news sources did not cite them.


And more


And more (if you really want to click on the BBC Tweet).

So why this proliferation of unsubstantiated claims? Some of the responders almost look like they could be spambots set up to blame immigrants and Muslims – but someone’s clearly made the effort to write out the allegations in response to this story and tweet it ad infinitum. Obviously for some proper racists it might be worth retweeting something that fits in with their world view. But it’s starting to look like a lot of people don’t really care whether something is true or not. Whether Trump is a saviour or a nightmare, whether Brexit is the answer or the path to doom. These people don’t give a flying monkey bollock, they just want an outraged response and they will keep posting to get it.

The problem is whereas the best way to troll a Troll or at least deal with them on a personal level was to block and ignore them, depriving them of the validation they crave; nowadays letting bullshit go unchallenged also supports the views of genuine hateful lunatics with Nazi agendas and doesn’t stop these lies causing genuine harm to minorities. And the trolls are even helping these people win the search engines when it comes to spreading false news.

I googled “Kicked Stairs Berlin ” this morning and even on the first page (last item) I found a piece blaming immigrants.


I searched again two hours later (yes I do need to get a life too) and the first page had even more links blaming migrants – those stories are getting higher up in the search results too.


If you share something enough it starts fitting Googles search algorithms more. Most people only look at the front page of google results, so the higher an article rises on the first page, the more likely it is to be consumed as “reality”. Even seeing the title could convince some searchers that there was a shred of truth. There must be – it’s page one on Google!

The first article blaming Migrants to appear in my search from “South Front” – which regardless of its agenda (and I am sure they are a lovely bunch of lads really) is known for publishing unvetted conspiracy theory articles.

The next Immigrant blaming result to appear comes from The Gateway pundit, a blog which appears to present people’s tweets as genuine evidence. Although at least it has the grace to use a question mark in brackets after the word “migrants” in its headline (“Horrifying Video! One of Merkel’s Migrants(?) Kicks Unsuspecting Woman Down Stairs at Metro”).

I wish I hadn’t clicked on either link now to be honest for fear of even further skewing the search results, but other than sighing and clutching at pearls what can one do to stop the Troll articles taking over? How can we balance media perceptions of outsiders in a post truth world when there’s often reason not to even trust everyday press sources?

We are all “journalists” (some less worth following than others) nowadays so maybe the only way to now out-troll the trolls is through spreading accurate stories. For every negative story attacking the vulnerable, for every lie blaming those who are thought of as “different” share accurate positive stories. For every lie without any evidence spread truth with evidence. And call out bullshit without getting stroppy or defensive (“there is absolutely no evidence for this so I call #bullshit”).

So when I see things like this

Or this

Or this

Or this

If there’s a credible enough source and quotes, I’m sharing it. It’s not enough as it needs to keep being shared (and that’s why the source has to at least be credible) and shared again to keep the story trending on Twitter and appearing on the first page of news sites or Google. If these sites won’t police the hatemongering crap people are using them to spread, then maybe we need to mix some love and positivity into the equation when we find it?

If 2016 was the year of the emerging Troll maybe 2017 could do with some Peace Spamming?

Anyhow must go off and Macrame a Yurt in my Metropolitan elite dreamland!*


*drink a can of lager in my terraced house in Essex. Us liberals are all the same!