Category Archives: Politics

Dear Mark Harper: scrutinise the deal

Yet another letter to my MP, as the country comes apart around me.

Dear Mark,

Boris Johnson returns from Brussels with a deal that, according to the best economic assessments, will wipe 6.4% off GDP, with particularly painful effects on economically depressed areas like our own Forest of Dean.

For no compelling reason, this is being done in a tearing hurry, such that the deal is not able to undergo the scrutiny that any ordinary piece of policy would be subjected to. Clearly 48 hours is nowhere near enough to properly scrutinise documents that will profoundly affect the national identity and economy for the next 50 years.

Whatever your feelings may be about just “getting Brexit done”, you must know that this is no way to do it. I beg you at least to vote to provide Parliament with proper time to analyse the deal documents, to scrutinise an OBR report on the economic implications, and to debate them properly both in the House and in select committees.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Mike Taylor


Dear Mark Harper …

Dear Mark Harper,

Whatever your, my or anyone else’s views on Brexit, it is surely obvious to all of us that no one man should be able or allowed, in a Parliamentary democracy, to shut down Parliament for fear that it will disagree with his own personally favoured policy. It makes me ashamed of my country.

I know it is difficult for a Conservative MP to take any action against the Conservative Party. But if you have any respect for our democratic system, any concern for those you represent in the Forest of Dean, or any political integrity, you will stand — with members of other parties if necessary — against Boris Johnson’s move to prorogue Parliament for his own personal short-term advantage.

The Conservative Party has been stolen from conservatives by demogogues and would-be dictators. Take it back.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Mike Taylor
Oakleigh Farm House #F
Crooked End
Gloucestershire GL17 9XF

I just sent this letter to my MP using It is quick and easy. I encourage you to write to your own MP.


Writing to my MP about no-deal Brexit and suspending Parliament

Dear Mark Harper,

I have written to you more times than either of us probably cares to remember about Brexit, which I believe is a bad deal for Britain and particularly for under-privileged areas like the Forest of Dean. But let us assume for the moment that we both accept Conservative Party policy is to press on with Brexit because of a mandate from the 2016 referendum.

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What Skyrim taught me about wealth

A few years ago, I got into playing Skyrim on our XBox 360. There are many wonderful things about Skyrim, including its immersive sense of place, its vast and varying geography, its brooding landscapes and complementary atmospheric music, its epic scope, its interesting NPCs, its endless range of ways to power up, and so on.

Early in the game, when cash was scarce, I got into a routine that each dungeon I entered, I would carefully loot every vase and chest, and strip every monster I killed of its weapons, armour and valuables; then when I was done I’d return to civilisation and sell off the spare armour, weapons, etc. Continue reading

Labour must dump Jeremy Corbyn or lose all their Remainers

I get mailings from the optimistic Labour For a Public Vote group. Today, I wrote back. Here’s what I wrote.

Hi, Mike. Thanks for somehow finding the energy to push on with this very dispiriting task.

I have come reluctantly to the conclusion that nothing is going to change in Labour while Jeremy Corbyn is leader — that your party’s position will remain vague and spineless even while it haemhorrages support to the Lib Dems. (They look stronger now, not only due to the good local-election and Euro-election results, but because the potential remain-vote splitting of Change UK has not materialised.)

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The two big things we learned from the European election

Almost all of the UK’s European Election results are in! We don’t quite have all the results yet, but there’s enough for us to see the trends. Let’s look at the numbers and see what they tell us. Here’s the Guardian’s summary (from here):

I see two big trends here.

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Who should you vote for in the European elections?

With the European elections nearly upon us, it’s nearly time to decide how to cast our votes. Unfortunately, the choices are very complicated. A friend has asked me to lay out the options, and this post is my attempt to do so.

Hold on to your hats. This is going to get difficult.

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