Brexit: Donald Tusk says EU must not ‘betray’ Remain voters

He (Guy Verhofstadt) compared Mr Farage to Earl Haig, the First World War British Expeditionary Force commander who was lampooned in the comedy Blackadder Goes Forth as having a callous disregard for the men he sent into battle.

“I thought he was marching somewhere in Britain,” Mr Verhofstadt said to laughter. “You remind me more and more of Field Marshal Haig in Blackadder. He was sitting in the First World War in London, while you are sitting in Strasbourg, when his own people are marching in the wind and cold.”

Source: Brexit: Donald Tusk says EU must not ‘betray’ Remain voters


May’s party-first policy could come back to haunt her

As trust evaporates in Whitehall, Lord Kerr of Kinlochard, the former head of the Foreign Office, insists officials are not trying to undermine the government. “They do what their political masters tell them but morale is low because most people fear that what they are doing is going to be hostile to the economic wellbeing of the country. The prime minister looks as if trying to hold the party together is her primary concern.”

Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, says officials are increasingly torn. “The civil service have a loyalty to the government of the day but they are also servants of the crown and the country. Normally there isn’t a conflict because you expect the government to act on behalf of the country but in the situation we are now in, where the interests of the Conservative Party are not necessarily the same as the interests of the country and the consequences are so grave, I do feel that their responsibility to crown and country needs to play in.”

Yesterday, Sir Nicholas Soames tweeted a photograph of the Parliament Square statue of his grandfather Winston Churchill, with the words “What on earth should we do in the national interest?” It is the only question that matters but Mrs May seems more interested in the unity of the Tory Party and her own political survival than the fate of the country.

Source: May’s party-first policy could come back to haunt her

This underlines what has been pretty obvious for some time.

Scaling the Petitions service following the EU Referendum

On Friday 24 June, following the vote to leave the European Union, the Petitions service had to scale fast to accommodate unprecedented traffic levels.

Source: Scaling the Petitions service following the EU Referendum

Interesting explanation. The petition in question is approaching 5,600,000 signatures.

Shots Heard: When the antivaccine movement swarms and harasses on social media, what can we do?

Antivaxers can be a nasty bunch. I (and others) have documented this time and time and time again, whether it be their violent rhetoric, their doxing and harassment of a 14-year-old boy for the “crime” of publishing pro-vaccine videos on Facebook, their encouraging attacks on pro-vaccine journalists, or their attacks on anyone who attempts to refute their misinformation.

Source: Shots Heard: When the antivaccine movement swarms and harasses on social media, what can we do?

There are some shitheads in the world… and I don’t mean the author of this piece.

Revoke A50 Petition Live Breakdown

View the Revoke A50 Petition, broken down by constituency

Source: Revoke A50 Petition Live Breakdown

If you haven’t signed…

Petition: Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.

The government repeatedly claims exiting the EU is ‘the will of the people’. We need to put a stop to this claim by proving the strength of public support now, for remaining in the EU. A People’s Vote may not happen – so vote now.

Source: Petition: Revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.

Britain is being held hostage to Theresa May’s Brexit vanity

Britain is now being held hostage to Mrs May’s vanity. The departure date, we must believe, is the work of divine providence. The prime minister has been heard say it is her “sacred duty” to meet the deadline. Kamikaze Brexiters, who want to see the country crash out of the union, agree. The schedule set out by Article 50 of the Lisbon treaty, they intone, is also inscribed in British law. The country cannot change its mind.

The damage is piling up. Brexit was always going to weaken the economy. A decision to throw up protectionist barriers to trade and investment with Britain’s most important markets could do nothing else. Mrs May’s determination to run down the clock, leaving open the possibility of Britain tumbling out without succour or safety net, has multiplied the costs and dangers.

Source: Financial Times

This is behind a paywall, but you get the idea.

What would Joe Root do?

Jesus and Mo

Laughed out loud at this.

Are you being manipulated?

Pundits, politicians, hustlers, unethical marketers, hucksters and grifters seek to manipulate people every day.

Manipulation is pushing for a change that benefits the manipulator, not us. It’s often based on misinformation. Mostly, the test for manipulation is: “if you knew what they know, would you be happy to do what they’re asking?”

Source: Are you being manipulated?


Data is expensive

The metaphor is pretty clear: more data isn’t always better. In fact, in many cases, it’s a costly distraction or even a chance to get the important stuff wrong.

Here are the three principles:

First, don’t collect data unless it has a non-zero chance of changing your actions.

Second, before you seek to collect data, consider the costs of processing that data.

Third, acknowledge that data collected isn’t always accurate, and consider the costs of acting on data that’s incorrect.

Strip away all insignificant digits.

Source: Data is expensive