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Newspeak – for emotional populists

Some people seem to get extremely upset when faced with some rather pedestrian ideas. And no wonder, because they are speaking a different language, literally!

Here is how I understand some of the expressions being used (after referencing the dictionary), compared with how emotional populists actually interpret their meaning…
(Entries are in alphabetical order)

Term/Expression What I understand: What emotional populists understand:
“I disagree”
I don’t think that’s entirely correct. You oppose everything I stand for. Maybe you even hate my very being.
Authoritarian
Wanting to centralise power and control in government. Anyone who dares to take a strong position/statement on controversial issues.
Capitalism
Advocating free trade and private ownership of the means of production (capital); so that they who work hard and takes risks will be the one to reap the rewards.

Opposite of Socialism.

Greedy rich people who want to get rid of rules that protect society, so that they do not have to contribute to society.
Centrism/Centrists
Being unconcerned with the ideologies pertaining to the political left or right, and only concerned with producing results. Pragmatism. A compromise between the goals of Conservatives and the Labour party.
Communism
Imposed equality of outcome. State ownership of all capital. Socialism taken to its logical conclusion. Evil dictators. Or idealistic good lefties corrupted by power.
Conservatives
People who want to retain tradition, either out of habit/comfort, or out of caution of the danger of changing society too quickly, or even out of recognition the strengths and benefits of inherited wisdom. Backward bigots/greedy Tories/Republican gun freaks.
Cost
The downsides of carrying out a decision, whether in monetary payment, in expended effort, in amount of time taken, or in lost opportunity.
The opposite of benefit.
How much money do we have to pay? Life isn’t all about money, you know.
Crony capitalism
The antithesis of free market capitalism, aka Kleptocracy: The abuse of government influence to gain wealth, such as state-sponsored monopolies. The bigger the government, the greater the abuse and wealth gained – a particular vulnerability of socialism. The inevitable consequence of capitalism.
Democratic / Democratised Socialism
Exactly the same as socialism – because the state control does not become benign and efficient just because it was democratically supported. The idea that socialism can be rendered benign by virtue of its popular support.
Discrimination
Distinguishing between different things. Hate against those who are different.
Diversity
Being different, or having different backgrounds. Anyone that is not white, heterosexual, or male
Emigrant
Someone who has migrated out of the country. An “outward migrant”. Is that a misspelling of “immigrant”?
Equality
Giving everyone equal rights, and equal treatment. Ensuring everyone has the same outcome in life.
Establishment
People or organisations who have gained widespread recognition and long-term endurance – such as multinational corporations, labour unions, or entrenched political parties. Anyone with substantial wealth. Usually conspiring to oppress the poor.
European Union
An ambitious project of political power play, seeking to consolidate control of European nation states into a massive global superpower (that rivals the USA, Russia, and China), to achieve through politics what the instigators of WW2 failed to achieve through military might. Trading with Europeans, travelling in Europe, and European countries. Anti-war.
Ex-pat
Someone who lives outside the country they were born in. Short for ‘Ex-patriate’, meaning “outside the land of the father”. Rich white people from the west who move to poorer countries, who benefit from the glamour of being a foreigner and increased spending power due to advantageous exchange rate.
Exchange rate
How much a currency is valued compared to a different currency. A figure that is caused by the interaction of supply and demand, with no direct meaning in absolute terms. A measure of personal wealth relative to foreign wealth; ipso facto – the direct representation of a nation’s wealth.
Extremism/Extremists
The taking of an ideological principle to its extreme conclusion without moderation. E.g. totalitarian communists, anarchists, or religious fundamentalists. Extremely bad people with a penchant for aggressive behaviour. Usually right-wingers. Fascism manifested in violence.
Far left
Totalitarian communists. Idealists.
Far right
Libertarian capitalists. Totalitarians/Nazis/Fascists. The epitome of evil.
Fascists
Authoritarian nationalists. Anyone who disagrees with a liberal.
Free speech
The right to say anything you want, no matter how controversial, for the sake of facilitating public debate, challenging social mores, and protecting individual freedoms. The right to slander people based on limited understanding of their views, to say only socially acceptable things, and the legal obligation to stop people saying or writing things that hurt your feelings.
Free trade
Trade that arises naturally when buyers and sellers make decisions free from government intervention, as opposed to trade that is distorted by policies such as subsidies (eg green energy), purchasing mandates (eg motor insurance), protectionist import bans/tariffs/quotas (eg common external tariff), unbalanced taxation (eg sugar tax).
Not opposed to appropriate trading standards and regulation.
Trade that completely disregards quality or safety standards.
Evil Capitalism at work.
GDP
Gross Domestic Product – essentially how much monetary value is being added by a country’s economic activity, whether by business, consumers, or government. An indicator of economic activity, which correlates with a nation’s economic health. The cumulative wealth of a nation.
Going on strike
Industrial action of last resort, the last course when conventional negotiation fails, designed to hit the profits of the employer by killing productivity. Political action designed to raise awareness to the plight of the ‘working class’, by hurting the middle class public who rely on public transport to earn a living, and whose jobs are not protected by trade unions.
Health tourism
The deliberate travel to a country to make use of, and pay for, the superior health service available in that country. The deliberate travel to a country to abuse its state-funded health provision.
Immigrant
Someone who has migrated into the country. Literally an “inward migrant”. Someone who is poor and undoubtedly skilled and hard-working, who thus deserves a resident visa because this country wouldn’t survive if there are no hard-working immigrants.
Invest
Putting money into an endeavour to give it capital for growth and building up productivity, in the hope of redeeming the investment at a material profit or otherwise gain in value. Spending money on government provision of services, regardless of whether or not the funds are available, and with no regard for economic sustainability or return on investment.
Left-wing
Advocating increasing the reach of government, centralisation of control, and state control of industry.
Liberal attitude to social values/traditions.
Ideas by people who care about improving the country. Everyone else is either narrow-minded, backward, or selfish.
Left of centre
A lean toward government provision of services at the cost of higher taxes. The idea that the government should pay for everything that I think the public needs, and to always intervene to prevent people from making poor choices.

Basically the same as socialism.

Liberal
Being unfettered by social mores and traditions. Good people.
Libertarian
Desiring to protect individual liberties over state control. Right-wingers pretending to be good.
Migrant
Someone who moves from one place to settle in another place. Refugee.
Moderates
The opposite of extremism – someone who might hold to a particular ideology or principle, but is willing temper to those principles against other concerns, or to accept pragmatic concessions. Someone who used to be militant about their beliefs, but is now not so violent about it, albeit not necessarily any less invective at it.

“I find your opinions completely reprehensible, but I’m willing to tolerate them.”

Nationalism
The concept of prioritising the country’s needs over that of foreign interests. Racism and fascism.
Over-regulation
The excessive application of rules and regulations, in such a way as to be counter-productive, because implementing it harms society more than it benefits society. Right-wingers dog-whistling in favour of complete deregulation for the sake of profits.
Clearly these people don’t care about peoples’ well-being.
President / Prime Minister
The head of government, elected to represent the desires of the people in setting policy and driving legislation. Supreme ruler, without which a nation and its citizens will fall into disorder and chaos.
Populism
Appealing to the desires of the populace, regardless of ideological principles or political loyalties. Appealing to right-wing bigots.
Progressives
People who want to change society to what they THINK would be better. People who want to change society to what they are absolutely CERTAIN would be better.
Racism
Prejudice based on a person’s skin colour, race, or ethnicity.

Somewhat related to xenophobia (the prejudiced dislike of a person based on their nationality).

Any signs of negativity toward a person with a darker skin tone.

Giving foreigners a lower priority when it comes to national interests.

Criticism of Islam (other religions don’t count).

Someone seeking refuge in another country due to persecution they face in their own country. Someone seeking to move from a poor country to a rich country.
Right-wing
Advocating reducing the reach of government, devolution of control to the most localised level possible, and private control of industry, as typified by the free market.

Conservative attitude to social values/traditions.

Selfish ideas, by people who only care about themselves. Populists. Anyone who doesn’t agree with the Left.
Right of centre
A lean toward lower taxes and less government intervention. People who still believe that the government should intervene to prevent bad choices, but who do not mind some form of capitalism.

In other words, socialists with a desire for lower taxes.

Socialism
Advocating state ownership and control over capital and the means of production, so that government bureaucracy rather than private enterprise controls and monopolises the industry. This means that nobody involved in industry is motivated by a reward, whilst the public purse takes the risk.

Opposite of Capitalism.

People who care about protecting human rights, in particular being generous toward the poor and vulnerable.
Sovereignty
The right of a country to determine its own legislation and policy without being subject to foreign control or interference. The right for a country’s politicians to make decisions for the plebeian electorate.
Terrorist
Political activists who resort to force of violence, targeting civilians indiscriminately, in order to gain widespread media and political attention for their cause. Anyone who resorts to deadly violence regardless of justification or cause (such as disgruntled employees). Definition of violence may include threat of violence or verbal aggression.
Tolerance
The acceptance of differences, whether in background or opinions. The normalisation of liberal values, where differences of opinion are not acceptable or tolerated.
Trade union
Industrial collective designed to be a balance of power against unscrupulous employers. Political activists who are protectors of the poor and vulnerable.
Violence
The deliberate application of harmful physical force on another creature or human being. Any action that can cause physical or emotional pain, such as signs of anger, threat of aggression, or verbal abuse.
World Trade Organisation (WTO)
An international organisation set up to facilitate global trade and ensure fair practices through internationally-agreed regulation. A set of rules representing the worst-case scenario imaginable for international trade, which would destroy the United Kingdom’s economy.

Lastly, a few personal bugbears not related to politics…

Term/Expression What I understand: What emotional populists understand:
Engineer
Someone who engineers/designs solutions as a professional discipline. Technician/ mechanic/ grease monkey.
Technician
Someone who works on fixing and maintaining technical or mechanical equipment. Someone with good technique.
Asian
Anyone from the continent of Asia (including Chinese, Koreans, Mongolians, Siberians, Japanese, Filipinos, Arabs, Israelis, Indians, Turks…etc) Anyone Muslim or brown-skinned, such as Indians and Pakistanis.
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State capitalism vs socialism vs communism

On an online exchange, a lefty illustrated the distinctions between those three concepts as such:
State capitalism – private ownership with significant govt intervention.
Socialism – democratic ownership of production.
Communism – stateless, moneyless, classless society.

Boiling it down to fundamentals, here are the distinctions according to their definitions:
State capitalism – state? yes; private ownership? yes
Socialism – state? yes; private ownership? no
Communism – state? no; private ownership? no

But those are just the theoretical differences. The question that I think is important to voters is… HOW does it work out in practice?

Because money always plays a role in politics, here’s how it works out…
State capitalism – the rich buys favour with politicians
Socialism – politicians’ cronies become rich and politicians receive kickbacks
Communism – politicians already control the wealth, so they don’t even need to become rich

All the above: control of wealth by the few.

NB: “State capitalism” is also known as “Crony capitalism”.


Compare the three above systems with free-market capitalism – private ownership without state intervention in the market.

State? no; Private ownership? yes

Result:

Politicians don’t get wealthy because the state does not control or influence the market.
The rich can only get wealthy by increasing the quality of life of consumers, or by improving the cost efficiency of businesses. That’s what wealth creation means.
If the rich do not produce a product which doesn’t improve anything for anyone, they don’t get customers.

In other words: control of the wealth by the many.


Which of the above systems are left-wing, and which are right-wing?

Of the four systems described above, which would you prefer?

Condemnation by medical experts

Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans were condemned by the both the medical experts and the UK courts. So their lives were taken away, by force of the court order.

In Australia, Noah Wall was similarly condemned by medical experts for not having a brain. But his parents went with their heart. And thankfully the courts did not condemn him, nor did the medical experts take their parents to court. This boy is now 6 years old with a brain that is 80% of normal human size.

The fundamental problem is that experts should not overreach. Experts are only experts in what they know, but there is plenty they do not know. This means that there is always a possibility that they are wrong, and so they should never force their choices onto others, especially if it involves the matter of life and death.

Except the UK has a culture that reveres the NHS and its high priests. The experts say it, so it must be so. In many ancient cultures, the “experts” commanded human sacrifice. By not valuing the principle of individual liberty, we are repeating the same morally vile mistake.

To the Left, everything disagreeable is far right

When are self-identifying lefties going to acknowledge the evils of far-left ideology?

They will not.

To the modern Left, every form of extremism is far right…

Authoritarianism (more rules)? Far right.
Anarchism (no rules)? Also far right.

Plutocracy (rule by the few)? Far right.
Populism (appealing to the masses)? Also far right.

Pro-religion (Christianity)? Far right.
Anti-religion (Islam)? Also far right.

Pro-life? Religious far right.
Anti-life? Inhumane far right.

Pro-police? Totalitarian far right.
Anti-police? Anti-society far right.

Not enough government spending? Selfish far right.
Too much government spending? Crony far right.

Socially conservative? Racist far right.
Socially progressive? Neo-liberal far right.

Economic nationalism? Reactionary far right.
Economic globalist? Neo-liberal far right.

Even though they are opposed to extremism, Lefties who hold to these positions cannot really be identified as “moderates” either, because there is no consistency on which the modern Left apply their principles: Anything that suits their preferences is “moderate left” or “left of centre”; and anything which they oppose is “right-wing”. Some more examples…

On liberty:
When people oppose criminalisation of psychoactive substance abuse? Left-wing.
When people oppose criminalisation of hate speech? Right-wing.

On government intervention:
When government intervenes and things go well? Left-wing.
When government intervenes and things go badly? Right-wing.

On philanthropy:
When rich people/organisations give to a cause that they support? Left-wing social responsibility.
When rich people/organisations give to a cause that they oppose? Right-wing subversion of democracy.

On wealth:
Rich philanderers who portray themselves as “hip”? Progressive man of the people. (think Elon Musk, Richard Branson, or just about any Hollywood heart-throb)
Rich philanderers who don’t pretend to be “hip”? Slimey old men embodying the patriarchy. (think Donald Trump, Bernie Ecclestone, or any ugly but successful businessman)

The Left imagine themselves as the “good guys”. Most of the Left consider themselves “compassionate liberals”, but they are far from compassionate, nor are they liberal toward those who disagree with them. They have plenty of compassion toward those they perceive to be victims, but they express very little compassion or empathy toward those who do not openly express their suffering, who instead choose to bear their burden in silence.

I cover in another article how the modern Left are far from liberal: If they could get their way, self-identifying Lefties would prevent those whom they disagree with from having their way. As a true liberal once expressed: “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it”. The principle was expressed by Voltaire, a true progressive liberal. Unfortunately, modern lefties would rather promote anti-hate speech legislation, in order to protect sensitivities from being offended.

The Left is no longer guided by principles or by ideology. They are guided by impulsive feelings. Thus they are not even able to identify their own ideologies when they are taken to their logical extremes. To the modern emotionally driven Left, all perpetrators of evil deeds are far right by definition. They cannot conceive of the idea of a right-winger who means well.

To answer my opening question: The modern emotionally-driven left will never be able to condemn far-left extremism. This is because they believe such an idea to be logically impossible, an oxymoron.

This is what it means to the emotionally-driven modern Left:

Left-wing = GOOD
and
BAD = Right-wing

I deliberately expressed those definitions assymetrically. If a modern lefty thinks something is left-wing, they will think it is good. But if they see something is bad, they will automatically identify it as right-wing. And never the twain shall meet.

Modern lefties have, in their own heads and hearts, fundamentally redefined the left-right spectrum of political principles. If they see something good coming out of the right, it will be identified as right-wingers practicing left-wing ideas; If they see something bad coming out of the left, they will identify it as a lefty practicing right-wing ideas.

Many lefties who read this article would have already condemned me as a far right apologist. They will not realise that I am socially liberal and economically progressive, the principles of which are evidenced in what I write. Traditionally, that would have placed me on the Left of the political spectrum. Unfortunately, modern lefties are driven by emotion – they are not able to receive criticism of their own position without taking offense and retaliating in anger.

Let me be clear on one more issue. I am not defending the Right as beyond reproach. There are undoubtedly many right-wingers who are driven by self-interest, but all the activists who give up their time and money to promote right-wing causes by and large do it because they genuinely believe it will benefit society, whether or not you and I agree with them.

The EU, not Brexit, drove Nissan’s decision to produce its new car in Japan.

Predictably, Remainers blamed Brexit for Nissan’s decision not to produce its new X-Trail vehicle in its Sunderland plant: Nissan chooses Japan over UK to build new X-Trail car

But scrutinise this allegation just a little, and you’ll find that it doesn’t hold water.

Given that Japan and EU has just concluded a trade deal, Nissan does not need to produce its vehicles within the EU to avoid the EU’s protectionist external tariffs. Thus there is now no benefit for Nissan to manufacture the same vehicle in two different sites. This would save in enormous capital costs of investing in the duplicate machinery and personnel.

Europe’s biggest markets have just implemented policies to discourage the sale and ownership of diesel vehicles:

Commenting on its decision, Nissan also said that since 2016 “the environment for the car industry in Europe has changed dramatically”, including “changing emissions regulations”.

In the UK, diesel cars that fail to meet the latest emissions standards now face a levy and a number of European countries, including the UK, have announced bans on both new diesel and petrol vehicles in the future.

This means that it makes sense for Nissan to shift the focus of its new diesel vehicle away from the European market.

Strategically, Japan is also better-placed to reach both of the world’s largest economies: the USA and China. The EU’s trade agreement with Japan took away any reservations Nissan had to retain production in the EU. Brexit was just an offhand mention.

In all fairness, Nissan’s Europe chairman said only that Brexit was “not helping” them plan for the future.

In other words, even if the UK was to remain a member of the EU, there would be no advantage to Nissan producing its new X-trail in the UK.

What does this mean? Politicians are lying again, quelle surprise. And all those Remainers who back this argument are propagating a lie, whether or not they do so knowingly.

Why are the former Barclays executives being prosecuted?

So some former Barclays executives are being prosecuted for their actions during the financial crisis…
https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/news/articles/2019-01-23/barclays-s-secret-payments-to-qataris-were-dishonest-sfo-says

Why? They took money from Qatari investors to bail out Barclays during the financial crisis, but compensated the Qatari investors above standard rate for it. As a result of their actions, they protected their bonuses, and prevented Barclays from being bought out by the government.

I’m not sure why these former Barclays executives are being prosecuted.

Had these executives not acted as they did, one of two things would happen:
1) the government bails out Barclays at great cost to taxpayers.
2) Barclays goes bust.
Would the government and taxpaying public genuinely prefer either of these outcomes?

Instead of relying on the government to bail them out at a loss to the taxpayer, they sought funding from private equity, and compensated their funders generously for it. Too generous maybe? If so, who are the ones losing out? Barclays shareholders and investors. Not the taxpaying general public. So any problems of unfair compensation is a matter of internal governance. Why should the government get involved in an internal governance issue?

Yes, they managed to award themselves eye-wateringly hefty bonuses through their actions. And prevented the government from being involved in Barclays governance. But neither of those is a crime, nor are they immoral.

Of course, to those of us on mortal salaries and lifestyles, the outcome of such actions *feel* unsconscionable. Not because they saved Barclays from being taken into public ownership via foreign funding. But because it feels unfair that *anyone* should be awarded such ludicrous sums of money.

What are they actually being prosecuted for? Fraud. By the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). The accusation is that the Qatari investors were being compensated for their investment illegally: “prosecutors from the Serious Fraud Office said top officials, including then Chief Executive Officer John Varley, went too far, agreeing to pay secret commissions that amounted to fraud.”

As Barclays executives, it is entirely in their right what they choose to pay their investors. Barclays was in a time of need. Other investors did not bail them out. The Qatari investors came to their rescue. Why are they being prosecuted for compensating these investors more than others, those who invested when Barclays was not in a time of need?

What does the government and the Serious Fraud Office hope to achieve here…
…are they being prosecuted because of public hostility to banking executives?
…or are they being prosecuted because they thwarted the government from taking control of private equity?
…or is the SFO trying to justify their existence?

Absent any other evidence or lines of reasoning, I don’t know what other inference we can draw.

Obama’s wall

Trump claimed Obama built a 10ft high wall around his own house. The Washington Post refuted Trump. It was an 8ft fence.

On 09.59pm 30 December 2018, Donald Trump tweeted that the Obama household had a 10-foot wall built around their home in Washington D.C.

The following day, The Washington Post wrote an article refuting Donald Trump’s tweet:
Trump claims there’s a 10-foot wall around the Obamas’ D.C. home. He is wrong.

The article quoted Obama’s neighbours as saying…

“there is no such wall”

“The 8,200-square-foot structure, despite several security features, is completely visible from the street.”

“There’s a fence that goes along the front of the house, but it’s the same as the other neighbors have. It’s tastefully done.”

The Washington Post was right. There is no 10-foot wall. However, there is a raised fence (8-feet tall by my estimation) that wasn’t there before. They also built a hut for a dedicated security detail. See photos below of these security features…

Photos of Obama’s mansion in 2018 (courtesy of Washington Post):
JA3BMDWZZAI6NIHG2UBNM5I3ZA (1) - Copy.jpg

What it looked like in 2016:
2450 Belmont Road NW - Copy.PNG

Oh, and the comment about the house being “completely visible” from the street? That’s because it’s such an enormous 4-storey mansion that you can see it even if it was behind a 20-foot wall.

Let’s not forget another significant detail. The entire road is blocked off from public access. See photo evidence below…
2541 Belmont Road NW - Copy.PNG

So, was The Washington Post’s rebuttal correct?
Yes, it absolutely was. There is no 10-foot wall. Trump was wrong. Technically.

However, Trump’s point stands. The fact remains that Obama’s home is secured to the hilt, to keep out the unwanteds.

Do I support Trump?
Heck no.

Do I think Trump’s rhetoric is overblown?
Absolutely.

Was Trump’s point about safety and security wrong?
No.

I notice that when people lose an argument, if they don’t resort to ad hominems, they fall back on to the tactic of nitpicking insignificant details. This just goes to show how The Washington Post and its ilk are still not engaging with the issues, and still disconnected from the public. This is one of the reasons Donald Trump became President of the United States of America.

For the sake of democracy, please DON’T vote

When I became old enough to vote, I held to the belief that voting was a civic duty. The vote was a hard-earned right by our predecessors, and we would be neglect in our responsibility as citizens if we do not participate in the democratic process by going out to vote.

But voting is just a token gesture toward democracy. It is meaningless unless your vote is backed by proper engagement with ideas and policies at stake. By voting without being sufficiently aware of what policies and personalities you are supporting, you only contribute to the electoral noise.

But you may ask: “Why is this a problem? Surely that represents the current electoral mood of the constituency”.

This would be a valid belief to hold if the voting mechanism was Proportional Representation. But in the UK, and in most countries with elected representatives, you vote for a local representative – your vote does not directly translate into support for the party you voted for. If your elected representative loses by only 1 vote, they would still lose the election. Extrapolate this behaviour across the country, and you will find that a party might come second place in many constituencies throughout

Imagine you live in a strongly Conservative area. You might think – my parents and my grandparents is voting Conservative, as is everyone I know who are into politics. They seem to know what they’re doing, so I guess I’ll vote for the Conservatives also . What this accomplishes is that the constituency becomes even more strongly Conservative, thanks to the follow-the-herd vote of you and others who think like you, making this a ‘safe’ Conservative seat. In case this comes across as an attack on the Conservative party, this same principle also applies to the Labour party (I’ve literally heard a Labour voter say this).

This means that your representative will not have to work hard to earn and maintain your vote. In a safe seat, your representative does not actually have any incentive to represent your best interests. After all, since they are ‘safe’, what do they risk if they don’t actually do their job? Political representatives are only accountable to the people who put them there. In safe seats, this means the political party who selected and nominated them for the candidacy of that constituency. In safe seats, politicians are loyal only to their political party, not to you, the voter.

Granted, the above scenario is a worst case scenario of voters simply following the herd. But picture a more balanced scenario: Imagine you live in a constituency in which 20% of the voters are supporters of the Conservative party, and 10% support the Labour party, and 10% support one of the smaller parties. But the rest of the constituency don’t really care which party gets into power. If these voters don’t vote, the Labour party might realise that there is a huge 60% of the uncommitted electorate for them to engage with, in order to wrest control from the Conservative party. And the conservative party would realise how disengaged the voting public really was.

But if these remaining unengaged voters vote randomly, the remaining 60% of votes gets distributed evenly between the Conservatives, Labour, and the smaller political parties. Thus we might get a total vote of 40% for Conservatives, 30% for Labour, and 30% for other parties. This gives an inaccurate picture of 40% support for Conservatives, when in fact only 20% of the electorate actually support them. More significantly, if support for the Conservative party was to drop by 10%, it would appear as if there was still 30% support for the Conservatives, rather than a more significant halving of their actual support.

This makes it difficult for parties to accurately gauge the popular impact of their policies. The amount of noise contributed by non-engaged voters dilutes the swing patterns of actual electoral support. It also motivates political parties to only engage with the minority whom they believe will swing the vote, rather than appealing to the full electorate.

Such distortions are unfortunately rife in the UK’s political landscape. It allows the large political parties to remain entrenched in power, and contributes to political disengagement amongst the voters, who feel as if their vote makes no difference to the political establishment or their own lives.

So I now urge my fellow voters: If you are unsure who to vote for, please do NOT vote.