Corbyn Takes Biscuit Question

Jeremy Corbyn is said to have contradicted himself this week, saying he is anti-sugar answering ‘mumsnet’s biscuit question’, despite listing jam-making among his hobbies. This human-like contradiction has thrown media types into a spin. It is part of a bold media-strategy to seem honest and genuine? Doesn’t he have people to prevent such straight forward answers? Gordon Brown famously took 24 hours to answer the same question when asked by mumsnet, but forewarned can be forearmed… we can therefore speculate on the layers of hidden meaning in Jeremy’s answer.

Mathew Norman at the Independent same up with some plausibly explanations

Michael Deacon at the telegraph thought readers wouldn’t be impressed with the answer

Russia today reported ‘internet loses it’

Melanie McDonagh in the spectator said that his biscuit answer made her like him

The Times reported that “Corbyn crumbles in face of Mumsnet cookie quiz”, and the Sun’s headline was “THAT TAKES THE BISCUIT Jeremy Corbyn slated by Mumsnet users after saying he was ‘anti-sugar’ when asked what his favourite biscuit was”.



By User:Dave souzaOwn work, CC BY-SA 2.5,

His answer was Shortbread biscuits, for US readers, in the UK a biscuit is like a cookie, not a scone. Was this simply an appeal to Scottish voters?

Exxon Climate Change Denial

The guardian is carrying a story about Exxon emails that reportedly reveal that people in the company knew about the effects of anthropomorphic global warming in 1981, and funded groups denying the existence of climate change to the total of 31 million dollars over 30 years.

The evidence is that the large fraction (70%) of CO2 in an Indonesian oilfield was a factor in not developing the field. Development of the oilfield would have made it the largest single contributor to release of CO2 into the atmosphere.

According to Wikipedia Svante Arrhenius proposed the existence of the greenhouse effect to explain the existence of ice ages, and in 1896 he was the first scientist to attempt to calculate how changes in the levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere could alter the surface temperature through the greenhouse effect. The magnitude of the effect of CO2 in absorbing radiation was disputed by by Knut Ångström who made experimental measurements of the absorption.

According to Wikipedia past ice ages can be explained by changes in the earths orbit (orbital forcing), with atmospheric CO2 having an amplifying effect. The next ice age is predicted to occur in 50,000 years with out intervention, but it has been reported that this may be delayed for 500,000 years by predicted CO2 emissions.

Some references (it’s a blog)

Svante Arrhenius, 1901a, Ueber die Wärmeabsorption durch Kohlensäure, Annalen der Physik, Vol 4, 1901, pages 690–705.
Svante Arrhenius, 1901b, Über Die Wärmeabsorption Durch Kohlensäure Und Ihren Einfluss Auf Die Temperatur Der Erdoberfläche. Abstract of the proceedings of the Royal Academy of Science, 58, 25–58.

Hays, J. D.; Imbrie, John; Shackleton, N. J. (1976). “Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages”. Science 194 (4270): 1121–1132. doi:10.1126/science.194.4270.1121. PMID 17790893.

Hays, James D. (1996). Schneider, Stephen H., ed. Encyclopedia of Weather and Climate. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 507–508. ISBN 0-19-509485-9.

Tour De Cambridge

The Tour De France will visit Cambridge, the council has put a marker on the road to show the start position. It looks like they will start on the cycle path, maybe this is to avoid Cambridge pot-holes?

Tour De Cambridge Start, Tour De France

Tour De Cambridge Start, Tour De France, Photograph Courtesy of Rose Yan.

Le Grande Depart pour Le Tour will kick off in Yorkshire.

Is the UK a small island which no one pays attention to?

This week the Russians had to deny saying that the UK is a small island which no one pays attention to. After it was said that it was said by a Russian government official during negotiations about Western plans to illegally attack Syria.

When asked by reporters, Prime Minister David Cameron explained why this is not true, “The UK is a group of islands”.

The United Kingdom is a country of countries. CPG Grey has made a video which explains all about the UK and the remnants of the British empire (crown colonies).

Weather prediction for first day of the large sporting event currently based in capital city of UK in this 12th year of 21st Century

UK Met office prediction for this Saturday says it will only rain in France.

I don’t want to mention London 2012 Olympics because it is copyrighted. I am in not way associated with the London 2012 Olympics I am just a British tax payer.

Proposal for electoral reform.

I have a proposal which I think it better than introducing alternative voting system. My proposal is easier to understand and implement, and makes it easier for voters to make their wishes clear.

All three major parties in the UK encourage tactical voting to try and get your vote. Rather than voting for the candidate which best represents your views, you should vote `tactically’ to prevent the party you like the least from gaining the seat.

Graph showing previous election results and encoraging tactical voting [Actually any candidate can win if they get the most votes].

Typical tactics used by the three major parties.

This problem can be removed by allowing us each to choose, either to vote for, or against one of the candidates. (+1 or -1).

Expected outcome
This proposal will allow those who want to prevent a candidate from winning simply to vote against them, rather than to vote for a party they don’t particularly like.

All parties would immediately stop negative campaigning because it would help all of the other parties. The lazy campaigning of saying vote for us because we are not the other guys would be removed.

If all the parties are unpopular in an area it would be easier for new parties to win the seat, this would more genuinely match the opinion of the electorate. If all the parties are unpopular the least unpopular would receive the least negative votes, he would take the seat but is likely to be more humble than if he had received a majority of thousands, not really be able to claim he had a popular mandate for his decisions – he would argue they are the least worst policies.