@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar



Retired Professor of Political Economy
(Lancaster University, UK - retired 2021)
(also #ProfDJ across the Lune Valley)
Contributor: North West Bylines #NoBridge

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ChrisMayLA6, to random
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Chris Grey, brilliant on why the Tories cannot/will not mention Brexit this year:

The Tory leadership 'can’t claim Brexit to be a success, because those who do not have a foundational belief in its rightness can clearly see it has failed, whilst those for whom its rightness is a foundational belief also believe that it has been betrayed. But it can’t denounce Brexit as a failure or a betrayal, since it is the Brexit the Tory leadership actually delivered'!



ChrisMayLA6, to random
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Child poverty is not an intractable problem; policy has been key in both its expansion & is how we can tackle it.

Again, the last fifteen years may not have been the only cause of a social problem but have compounded it & in many cases have seen policy choices intended to make things worse for the vulnerable.

After the election we need to see a sea change in socio-political attitudes & actions... whether we will is another issue altogether!

#childpoverty #inequality


ChrisMayLA6, to random
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

What could possibly go wrong?

Next year, if you have leave remain in the UK the only way you will be able to prove to anyone that you 'enjoy' that status is by accessing you e-Visa account via your UK Visa & Immigration digital account with the Home Office.

Its a new IT 'solution'
Its the Home Office
Its directly impacting migrants

Of course its going to work seamlessly...

All the elements look in pace for a new set of victims to have their lives ruined


ChrisMayLA6, to Economics
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Patrick Grant (of the Sewing Bee) is angry about (what Cory Doctorow) call 'enshitification' in consumer & other goods:

'This is what’s happened in clothing, in footwear, in the homes that we live in. Our homes are built with shit, because people can make more money.

Does that make our lives any ­better? Does it bollocks. Clothes haven’t got cheaper, they’ve just got worse'!


#enshittification #economics


ChrisMayLA6, to random
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Here's Victoria Repa's take on the job market:

'There's no such thing as a bad job; there are bad managers'!

While I might differ with her on the absolute statement - I think there are plenty of 'bad jobs' - her focus on managers as being the driving force behind workers dissatisfaction with their jobs & the need/desire to quite them, I think is right on the button.

So here's her guide to the reasons that 72% of people quitting leave due to a toxic work environment

h/t LinkedIn

ChrisMayLA6, to DadBin
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Take a few minutes to read the heart-wrenching story of Becky, a 14 year old child chewed up by a social career system that is by turns cruel, ineffective & run for the profit of investors.

The callousness of the state has become ever more obvious recently (although the problem is not new, of course).

How has it come to this?
In a word: austerity.

There are other factors but in the end the corrosion of system has been wrought by Tory defunding!


ChrisMayLA6, to conservative
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Culture is a mono-culture of the white middle-class & who can be surprised after the cuts in arts education, the prevalence of early career unpaid internships & the normal operations of day-to-day prejudice of commissioning from people who look like you.

In the 1960s, there was a glorious moment when the culture industries seemed to be opening up to the working class... but over recent decades that door has been forced close by policy wrought by the rich(er)!


ChrisMayLA6, to politics
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

What connects the following:

DWP carer's prosecutions;

Windrush deportations;

Infected blood scandal victims;

The Post Office Horizon IT injustice.

... The complete disregard for how an institution's actions & inactions impact on those at the bottom of the 'pyramid' & the subsequent attempt to evade responsibility for the harm caused when publicised.

(you'll have other you'd like to add to the list, I'm sure)

A damning picture of misused power & disregard for others.

#politics #justice

ChrisMayLA6, to cycling
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

It increasingly clear, as the media furore around Iain Duncan Smith's proposed law on cyclists causing injury & death grows, that this has been intended a s divide & roll measure in favour of car drivers.

Its clear from the data that both pedestrians & cyclists are more at denser from cars than from each other on the roads.... so Smith's attempt to shift the narrative to see pedestrians fume about cyclists, looks like a political help to dangerous drivers, not endangered pedestrians!

ChrisMayLA6, to DadBin
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

George Monbiot on the role of profit in (children's) social care:

'two Northamptonshire councils revealed they are paying an average of £281,000 a year for each residential placement, or £5,400 a week. A direct comparison cannot be made, because many children in care have complex needs, but just by way of reference Eton’s eye-watering fees are £46,000 a year'!

So, much of tax payers money is supporting investors not those needing care!

#socialcare #children #politics


ChrisMayLA6, to books
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

I sometimes thought my father thought he could't die while he still had books on his pending pile (a stab at immortality I seem to be replicating)... so, it was strangely touching to see Tom Gauld has had similar thoughts.

#reading #immortality


@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

@davidpnice @bookstodon

When my father dies his pending pile was a testament to exactly this frustration...

@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

@ericatty @davidpnice @bookstodon

Ha ha, well access is good, but what we/you really need is infinite time for reading to digest & enjoy them all... or the (large?) portion that you might actually want to read

@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

@jrbee @bookstodon

Yes, I like that simile - its exactly that, putting down books for future enjoyment

@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

@christineburns @jrbee @bookstodon

Oh yes, not an infrequent occurrence - something rises to the top of the pending pile only to be revealed to have really had no place there at all....

@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

@ScottStarkey @bookstodon

It was printed in the Guardian this morning, but is also viewable at Tom Gauld's website:



ChrisMayLA6, to scifi
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

This week I've been mainly reading, no. 153.

Each of Emma Newman's Planetfall quartet explores a different aspect of the same overarching story of religious driven intergalactic migration. In Atlas Alone (2019), the fourth story centres on an elite gamer & their attempt to uncover & then take revenge for a crime against humanity. To say much more would ruin the plot for you, but as with the others, this is great, fascinating sci-fi, which has a great payoff at the end.


ChrisMayLA6, to Economics
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

The model of 'flexible' labour markets with few(er) protections for workers & curtailed unions was (mainstream economists predicted) going to delver innovation, spur entrepreneurship & lead to better-paid jobs... but we actually have got from it is an economy patterned by low-wage labour, inequality, falling real wages & labour exploitation (via precarious working).

As Larry Elliot suggests, its time to follow unions urging to try a different way!


ChrisMayLA6, to Futurology
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Having learnt nothing from the previous disasters around PFI projects in the health service, OFWAT is pushing the model for getting investment in water infrastructure restarted....

So, the model to shift us from being exploited by renter firms who have taken our money & used it pay dividends rather than maintain the system, is to replicate that model in special purpose vehicles, running infrastructure projects on contract...

It will not go well, as history has already shown!

h/t FT

ChrisMayLA6, to random
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Britain's record on homelessness is world beating, just not in a good way.

We've the highest recorded levels of homelessness in the developed world; while other counties have seen (albeit slow) declines in homelessness, since 2010 the UK's rate has been accelerating away.

The housing crisis has many dimensions, but here there's a direct correlation between the arrival of the current Tory govt. & massive increases!

The party of landlords is working for them & doing nothing for us!


Chart: Britain has by far the highest rate of homelessness in the developed world. Rate of homelessness per 10,000 people (2023 or latest). UK - 52/10,000 Belgium & France (next ranked) 32/10,00 then all over states listed (in descending order), below 30/10,000: Czechia (27), Germany (26), USA (19), NZ (13), Australia (12), Canada (10), Portugal (10), Denmark (6), Poland (5), Sweden (5), Spain (5), Norway (3), Finland (1)

@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar


Yes, the golden arhincpeligo ....

ChrisMayLA6, to Health
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

The world is undergoing a major health pivot as the majority of premature deaths swing from being caused by disease to being the result of 'metabolism-related risk factors' (high blood sugar & fat levels) which cause illnesses like heart disease, diabetes & cancer.

As health systems are already dealing with the results of ageing populations, this re-emphasises the urgent need for investment in public health & preventative policies.

data: Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation/FT

ChrisMayLA6, to Health
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Not only are the DWP causing pain & crisis in the lives of unpaid carers, three years ago they were told the approach they had adopted was doing this....

So even if it had been accidental (I 'm not sure it was) in 2020, for the last three years they have known the distress & problems their actions were causing but carried on blithely.

We should be cherishing & rewarding carers at home, not penalising them for minor infractions of unjust rules!

#DWP #health

ChrisMayLA6, to climate
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

interestingly, Alan Beattie (FT) points out, the headline subsidies quoted as flowing to fossil fuel firms around the world include both explicit & implicit subsidies (calculated by the IMF & World Bank).

I'm not saying all is therefore fine, but the implicit subsidies include future taxes not levied... as well as other regulatory issues (rather than cold hard cash payments).

This makes the figures look less 'fact' & more political rhetorical which is worth knowing!

#fossilfuels #climate

ChrisMayLA6, to politics
@ChrisMayLA6@zirk.us avatar

Ben Jennings on Keir Starmer's 'first steps for change'....

h/t Guardian

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