The government’s own declared target is to build 300 000 new homes a year – but instead of building more, the number of new housing starts is down on last year. The number of new homes registered by housebuilders with the National House Building Council (NHBC), representing 80% of the national total, was just 159 617: not much more than half the annual target.
Brexit jitters hit London housing market as newbuilds decline sharply
Housebuilding declined sharply in London and the Midlands last year as political and economic uncertainty around the shape of Brexit hit the housing market, according to industry figures.
The number of new homes in London registered by housebuilders with the National House Building Council (NHBC) in 2018 fell 10% from the previous year to 16,069, the biggest annual drop since 2016. In the east Midlands and West Midlands, registrations were also down 10%, to 13,447 and 13,087 respectively following two strong years.
Big fleas have little fleas
upon their backs to bite ’em.
And little fleas have littler fleas
… and so, ad infinitum
This is not to suggest that “cancer” does not exist – obviously it does, as I know very well from personal experience. However, it is a myth that “cancer” exists as a single syndrome. A few weeks ago, I read a newspaper opinion piece by Simon Jenkins, arguing precisely this point: we should stop talking about “cancer” as a generic, and instead speak of a particular cancer.
The more I learn about cancer, with particular reference to my own variant, a GIST (GastroIintestinal Stromal Tumour), the more I am reminded of the above verse by Ogden Nash. Just as “big fleas” have “little fleas”, so “cancer” is an umbrella term for a range of sub-types: carcinomas, lymphomas, and more. Then just as “little fleas” have “littler fleas”, so these divisions in turn have smaller sub-divisions: sarcomas for instance, which I know best, include GISTs, but also bone sarcomas and other soft-tissue sarcomas. As for “ad infinitum”, GISTs too have a range of variants, based on the specific mutations, such as the c-kit mutations Exon 11 (mine), Exon 9, Exon 13, Exon 17. In addition, there are a range of mutations to the PDGFRA gene, collectively known as “wild type”, because they are not so easily classified, But this term is itself misleading, because “wild type” is not a single GIST type, but an umbrella term of its own.
“…… and so, ad infinitum”.
Can we now stop thinking in terms of “cancer”, and be more specific with our language?
Cancer growth in the body could originate from a single cell – target it to revolutionise treatment
Cancer remains a frightening and largely incurable disease. The toxic side effects of chemotherapy and radiation make the cure often seem as bad as the ailment, and there is also the threat of recurrence and tumour spread.Cancer treatment still follows a practically medieval method of cut, burn or poison. If the growth can’t be cut out through surgery, it may be burnt away with radiation or poisoned by chemotherapy. As a result, cancer therapy remains a daunting diagnosis for patients and treatment option
How wealth taxes can raise billions more without scaring any horses
Raising taxes is never easy. Raising taxes with the government’s slim parliamentary majority is harder still. Raising taxes on wealth in those circumstances, given our diverging senses of fairness is… not a walk in the park. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need doing, and the good news is that significant progress can be made despite these constraints.
Labour members are significantly more opposed to Brexit than Jeremy Corbyn is, with 72% of them thinking their leader should fully support a second referendum, according to a study of attitudes in the party.
The polling, part of an ongoing wider academic study into attitudes in various parties, found that only 18% opposed Labour campaigning for a second referendum, while 88% would then opt for remain if such a vote was held.
Labour’s refusal to oppose Brexit is becoming a historic error
There are some in the FBPE (Follow Back, Pro-EU) community who claim that Brexit could have been stopped if the Labour leadership had abandoned Brexit. This is either arguable if applied to 2016 or just simply wrong since 2016. But in the turmoil that is likely to follow the vote on the Withdrawal Agreement in January, the Labour leadership will play a crucial role. This post is about what happens if Labour enable Brexit in any way. I am not suggesting they will (and hope they do not), but right now this is a significant enough possibility to be worth writing about
HASLEMERE and Hindhead-based protesters joined Saturday’s Save Our Services in Surrey ‘Austerity Kills’ march and rally in Woking.
Objectors to Surrey County Council (SCC) proposals to close 31 children’s centres included Claire Matthes, who works at Haslemere’s Tennyson’s children’s centre, which supports 880 families but has been earmarked for closure.
Claire said: “Haslemere, like much of Surrey, is a beautiful, leafy area of the country, which belies the fact many families and individuals struggle with the issues of daily life.
Most activists who focus on elections can remember their first campaign training seminar, the time and place they first learned the rules for success in electoral politics. No matter the organization, the basic messages are almost always the same: maintain strict message discipline. Speak in general terms about values. Stay silent on issues about which you don’t know all the details. When in doubt, redirect the conversation to your own talking points.Don’t make unforced mistakes, because a single error can doom your whole campaign. Whenever possible, speak in media-friendly soundbites using the 27-9-3 rule: 27 words, 9 seconds to say, 3 main ideas. Be cautious and circumspect.This is fine advice under normal circumstances. But after an entire generation of candidates got elected following these rules designed for 20th century media, a strange thing happened: no matter which party they belonged to, every politician started to sound oddly the same regardless of party or ideology. Like a restaurant with a menu dozens of items long but where every dish has the same distinctly bland flavor and texture, Washington started to sound less like a debating ground for the people’s representatives and more like an endless parade of obfuscators speaking a language foreign to the public and playing by arcane rules none recognize. If you didn’t play the game, you weren’t taken seriously because you didn’t “know how Washington works.”
The phenomenal rise to stardom of newly elected representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez must be understood in this light.
The shadow chancellor – one of Jeremy Corbyn’s closest allies in Westminster – said a Labour-commissioned review into the policy, which aims to transform the welfare state, is expected to be published in the autumn.