Some of the likely consequences of David Cameron's nasty little idea to abolish housing benefit for under-25s are bad in general. For instance, people with abusive parents will find it hard to get away from them for much longer.Also, if it was removed for everybody, including people with children, it could lead to some unfortunate kids being raised in extremely...
I'm sure I've often enough been bemoaning the fact that I've never succeeded in baking a cheesecake like the ones you can buy in Scottish supermarkets.However, I've now found the real thing on YouTube:The base is too thin, and the cake itself is enormous, so next time I'll probably halve the amounts for the filling.Here's the recipe converted to metric:...
The Tories and the LibDems are reducing the number of seats in the House of Commons from 646 to 600. As part of this, the four nations’ representations will be equalised to the same number of voters per seat (until now, the smaller nations have had smaller seats than England); for instance, Wales will see its number of MPs drop from 40 to 30.
Most people seem to think this is fair, and many English MPs are even calling for a further reduction in the number of Scottish MPs to cancel out the effect of Scottish devolution.
However, according to the Penrose method, also sometimes described as the square root formula, each nation should get allocated seats according the square root of the population to achieve equal voting powers for all people represented.
Here’s a table showing the figures for actual and calculated numbers of MPs:
||Actual 2015 seats
||Square root seats
The square root method has been suggested for allocating seats in the European Parliament (although the current method used there results in similar results).
I guess it all depends on the status of the four nations of the UK. If they’re just seen as electoral regions of a single country, the CoLD coalition’s proposal makes perfect sense (but then devolution should probably be abolished); on the other hand, if the Westminster Parliament is seen as a supranational parliament for the union of the four sovereign nations of the UK, the Penrose method should be used.
If Penrose isn’t used, I presume it means Scotland will have more influence as an independent country, so unless the No parties put Penrose on the table as an alternative, I would strongly suggest voting Yes to independence.
Scotland hasn't had a foreign policy since the Act of Union in 1707, and to some extent not since the Unions of the Crowns in 1603. It is therefore interesting to have a look at what kind of international outlook an independent Scotland is likely to have.First of all, every country is to a large extent focused on its neighbours. Whereas from London the neighbours listed by a combination of closeness and size are France, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Spain,...
Until about a year ago, my beloved wife and I used to watch Andrew Marr every Sunday morning, and as any regular reader of this blog can witness, I have often blogged about UK affairs.However, I've noticed I've been gradually withdrawing over the past year, as it has become clear that there will be a referendum on Scottish independence soon.Basically,...
I bottled my third brew -- Buchwider Bräu γ₁ -- a few weeks ago.It's a German Maibock. At least, that's the theory, but it's not really strong enough to warrant that label (4.6%).However, it's really nice. I definitely think it's...
In connexion with my recent posting about the languages used on this blog, I also had a look at the topics used:I'm not entirely sure what to conclude. Politics (top, red) has obviously been my favourite topic ever since the...
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