Can MPs be ranked?

Can MPs be ranked?

I look at, with help, ranking MPs, by work effort and incomes. Change.org have produced a an index claiming to illustrate the assiduousness of the MPs in the last parliament. They document their methodology on one of the site pages. and publish their data file. It claims to measure, constituency presence, parliamentary activity and constituency campaigning including their use of … err … change.org. They state that they have reviewed Hansard to get some of the results and such research will be valuable.

They present the results as an index which exacerbates the difference between MPs results. I have presented the results as frequency distribution which shows a clustering around the mean average of 25 and reverses the effect of the index which equalises the gap between a pair of data points when the difference can be exceedingly small.

Another tool of interest, is http://richest.mp, by SetReset which they describe as a data essay. The fact is that Boris Johnson has overtaken Jeremy Hunt and trousered £1.7m, and except for Hunt, the top 5 are all cabinet members. Some books generate a lot of money, sadly mine, didn’t but being a cabinet member is full time, and financial assets should be in a blind trust

There are some strange results in the change.org study, for instance the Sinn Fein MPs vary from 60th to 280th which since they don’t attend Parliament is interesting. This is caused by the category weighting where they weight constituency presence at 60%, and the other two categories, including Parliamentary activity at 20% each; voting records earns up to 8% of their total score. They also normalise this behaviour and that of ministers but there remain some further unlikely results. ( I am sure that many MPs would argue that their score on social media, which emphasises twitter and email and the web site “writetothem” is also unfair, or of limited relevance.  Many MPs devalue writetothem and similar tools inc. Change.Org because they belive, often with justification that correspondence is as a result of 3rd party campaigns. )

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Life continues

Life continues

The noise about Ubuntu Linux has increased over the last couple of days, much of it critical. I have been aware that the Open Source militants have for a long time had a down on it and Canonical for bundling proprietary software with the distro (coadecs and now graphic card drivers) and they have taken some odd diversions in their path to today ( Amazon Search Bar, I am talking about you), but it has a a commitment to a usable free desktop and server operating system and it’s not owned by a proprietary software company and is not a competitive weapon in the systems market, unlike say Red Hat who “own” Fedora, RHEL and Centos. The industrialisation of Red Hat was funded by IBM as a competitive weapon against Solaris and HP/UX and who now own it and offer it as their O/S of choice for their Intel servers.  At a meeting I attended, Richard Stallman expressed his tests as: does it do surveillance, doe it have restrictions (against the four freedoms) and does it have backdoors and documents his then use of GNewSense, a Debian derivative. He also argued, correctly, that one can’t know if the software is free of these defects unless one can read the code. I wonder how many of these Linux distributions meet these tests today?

My review of the meeting might be worth having another look at, unlike some of what I write, it has aged well. …

A glimmer at the end of a tunnel

A glimmer at the end of a tunnel

The Guardian reports a change of leadership in the SPD. The winners are Norbert Walter-Borjans and Saskia Esken, from the left of the SPD. They have called for major policy concessions from Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), and say they are prepared to pull the plug on the partnership. We should remember that the decision by the SPD to re-enter the coalition for a 2nd time in 2017 was controversial within the Party and followed the decision in 2013 not to attempt a coalition albeit with a tiny majority with Die Linke & Die Grüne. When discussing the proposal of “Remain & Reform” with respect to Brexit, it has become clear to me that European Socialists in the European Parliament need to end their commitment to the Grand Coalition and look to their left for a majority, athough we’d need to avoid the fuck-ups that led to Labou halving it’s EU Parliamentary Group earlier this year. This is most unlikely to happen while the SPD is wedded to an alternative. (They should learn from the sectarianism of Merkel and the CDU in her imposition of Von der Leyen as President of the Commission.)  There’s a glimmer of hope that the German SPD is changing it’s mind.

Image rightsfrom DW, (c) picture-alliance/dpa . This picture is cropped, and stored and processed for reasons of addressability, longevity and performance. This has not been made available. …

Back me or …

Back me or …

A couple of days ago, the Guardian brought to my attention that a major political candidate for Prime Minister gave a Conference speech, where they demanded their party back them or sack them. They got a standing ovation, I assume for their courage and clarity. The Leader is Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, the Leader of Germany’s CDU, the major party in the country’s coalition government. Can you imagine how the press would report such an event in the Labour Party? …

Asymmetric Games

Asymmetric Games

Dungeons & Dragons is undergoing a renaissance, possibly most visibly by the podcast postings of the team at “Critical Role”. While their youtube hosted podcasts are not necessarily particularly accessible, partly because they are not scripted, because there’s too much talking at the same time and the episodes are extremely long, they are easy to find and their DM, Matt Mercer, is a great story teller, who seemingly never forgets that the story comes first. I first followed the story of Force Grey. …

It’s not a double whammy!

And it’s back to tax! WTF.  😵  Labour’s income tax proposals will not affect anyone earning under £80K, contrary to the bollocks on Question Time earlier this week. This increase represents the top 5% income earners in the country. Labour propose to tax those on over £80,000 at 45% rather than 40% and increase the rate for those earning over £150K to 50%. (These are marginal rates i.e. they are only paid on that income earned over the threshold. See http://calculate.forlabour.com.

Currently one pay’s zero on the first ~£12,000, 20% in the next ~£35,000, 40% on £46K to 150K and 45% on whatever’s left if you lucky enough to earn that much.

While issues remain about the zero rate claw back, as it impacts benefits package design i.e. encourages tax avoidance by transferring benefits from money to NPBs and particularly in London, this is not unfair; it might be better if another layer was introduced at £¼ million p.a. so that the newly burdened feel that those better off then them are carrying their share of the burden. (We should also work out how to forgive the student debt, since one of things this tax payment will generate is free (higher) education for tax payers and their children.) …  …