More than a million people under the age of 25 applied for a vote in the general election in the five weeks after the snap poll was called. With the Corbyn free goodies bag and many of the youth against Brexit one wonders again whether Theresa May’s political gamble will backfire. The total number of UK parliamentary electors in December 2016 was 45,766,000, an increase of 2.3%, around 1 million, from December 2015. The gap of 12.2% would still still seem comfortable enough and the tragic Manchester terrorist suicide bombing will shift focus away from May’s muddled manifesto. This race maybe much closer than markets are betting especially as UKIP, The Greens and the LibDems slide into the abyss.
Sir Roger Moore was the James Bond I grew up with as a kid. Where Sean Connery was suave, Moore was typecast as the toff deviant Casanova who always met up with Jaws. Sir Roger’s Bond films seemed more comedy than action. I was such a petrol head even then that I think I wore out the magnetic tape listening to Moore drive a stolen Alfa Romeo GTV6 to the US Air Force base in Octopussy. Who could forget him saying to the UK Minister of Defence ‘just keeping the British end up‘ as he was caught cavorting with Triple X in Stromberg’s escape pod when it landed on the back of a navy ship. Or ‘attempting re-entry’ in Moonraker or being ‘taken care of personally’ by MayDay (Grace Jones) in A View to a Kill. He made the safari suit look cool.
After Moore followed Timothy Dalton who was more of a wound up type. The kind of person that would tailgate you on a highway. Then came the dapper Brosnan and then the mysterious tough guy, Daniel Craig, we have today. Moore certainly typified the times. In a sense he was the least politically correct of the Bonds which is perhaps why he was one of my favourites, It would be nice to think the world would get off its hypersensitive victim culture and laugh at itself much like rolling the eyes at Moore’s corny one liners. Thank you for the memories Sir Roger.
Six years after the Great East Japan Disaster we visited the devastated towns that were all but wiped out by the tsunami that followed the M9.0 earthquake. Some 16,000 lives were lost and another 2,600 missing due to the events of March 11, 2011 according the Reconstruction Agency. More than 60% of casualties were over 60 years old. Over 400,000 homes were heavily damaged or destroyed. 726,000 homes were partially damaged. 470,000 people were evacuated from their homes. As of July 2016, the number of evacuees has decreased to less than 150,000 people, among 50,000 are still in temporary housing. We look at the changes in 2017. Report here Tohoku Recovery – Analogica KK
The average age of motorcyclists in Japan is 53 years old and continuing to climb as younger riders looking to obtain new licenses continues to drift. Between 2010 and 2016 the Japanese National Police Agency (JNPA) noted that large capacity motorcycle license holders (ogata – classified as 400cc+) have fallen by nearly 1,500,000. While mid-size (chugata – classified as below 400cc) have risen around 715,000. Female riders have shown a similar pattern of 178,000 fall in ogata licenses and 147,000 increase in chugata respectively. While there are still 9.175mn men and 625,000 women willing to get out on the highway with large capacity bikes, the trend is alarming. More frighteningly, new graduates aren’t lining up either. 30,000 fewer students lined up to get a mid or large size bike license between 2014 and 2016 representing a 12.3% dip. Latest report found here Motorcycles in Japan – Analogica KK
44%. This is actually an improvement on the 2015 survey that said 47% of Americans can’t raise $400 in an emergency without selling something. The consistency is the frightening part. The survey in 2013 showed 50% were under the $400 pressure line. Of the group that could not raise the cash, 45% said they would go further in debt and use a credit card to pay It off over time. while 25% would borrow from friends or family, 27% would forgo the emergency while the balance would turn to selling items or using a payday loan to get by. The report also noted just under a quarter of adults are not able to pay all of their current month’s bills in full while 25% reported skipping medical treatments due to the high cost in the prior year. Additionally, 28% of adults who haven’t retired yet reported to being largely unprepared, indicating no retirement savings or pension whatsoever. Welcome to a gigantic problem ahead. Not to mention the massive unfunded liabilities in the public pension system which in certain cases has seen staff retire early so they can get a lump sum before it folds.
2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden aka the Kentucky Kid has passed away at the age of 35 after suffering a cycling accident last week in Rimini, Italy. The support for him from the motorsport community was huge. Even Aussie supercars had #gonicky hashtag stickers on their cars. Hayden was universally liked on and off the track.
Hayden’s death comes a month after Michele Scarponi, a veteran Italian professional cyclist, was killed after being hit by a van while out on a training ride.
Tommy Hayden issued the following message following the death of his brother,
“On behalf of the whole Hayden family and Nicky’s fiancée Jackie I would like to thank everyone for their messages of support – it has been a great comfort to us all knowing that Nicky has touched so many people’s lives in such a positive way.
“Although this is obviously a sad time, we would like everyone to remember Nicky at his happiest – riding a motorcycle. He dreamed as a kid of being a pro rider and not only achieved that but also managed to reach the pinnacle of his chosen sport in becoming World Champion. We are all so proud of that.
“Apart from these ‘public’ memories, we will also have many great and happy memories of Nicky at home in Kentucky, in the heart of the family. We will all miss him terribly.”
This letter reads more like a statement of regret for having called an early election. I could never really understand what the point of taking such a gamble was. She had 3 or so years left in the tank so plenty of time. Had she managed to make a smashing success of Brexit then her mandate would be there in three years time. The massive lead she supposedly had over the Corbynite Labour Party is shrinking (still 9 but was 20 but how much faith do you put in polls?) and objectivity looking at her discussing her manifesto yesterday didn’t smack of home run or someone that was glad she called a snap election.
Now a letter like this suggesting that if The Tories lose 6 seats Corbyn is PM looks a trite condescending. If she has a sound party platform she doesn’t need need to beg like this. Corbyn, to give him his due has done a decent job in deflecting his Robin Hood give away policy platform by using Theresa May’s poor performance against her.
This election seems to be following a pattern of many politicians of late – turn up the hand outs to eleven. He/she who makes unrealistic promises wins?
Prime Minister Corbyn is not an impossibility. Letters like this show a chill is running up the spine of the Tories. This may turn out to be Theresa May’s darkest hour and hubris for thinking Corbyn was finished. Voters are pissed off. Three visits to the polling booth in 18 months is not a chore British voters want but the scare stories being dragged out of the Tory manifesto is not being countered well enough and changes to it before the election smacks of poor planning.
The first thought to come across my head when Theresa May called this election was “bad idea.” This hubris she’d romp home may prove yet again how out of touch many politicians are with their constituents and how one must never believe in polls. I think she scrapes home but for now wants the nightmare over.