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About CaptainSwing

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  1. OK but there's always more than one way of looking at things. Of the 96 times (4 per season) that English clubs have appeared in the Champions League, 88 of those (92%) have been by the Big Six. Of the 964 games that English teams have played, 899 of them (93%) have been by Big Six teams. Since 2005-6, only one non-Big Six team has appeared (Leicester of course, in 2016-17). [That's assuming I've got my sums right, and I haven't corrected for English teams playing each other in the match count.] But it's a fair point about Man City, and whether 92% counts as dominance possibly depends on whether you're a glass half full kind of person.
  2. Yes, that's a fair point. Though I suppose there's still the possibility of a Leicester City emerging once every decade or two. The thing that seems to have stuck in people's throats more than anything about the Super League proposal is that it would have made the quasi-permanent dominance of the top few teams de jure, rather than de facto as at present. That plus the devaluation of the domestic competitions, which the big teams still have to take seriously at the moment, even if they do perhaps see them mainly as the qualifying round for the Champions' League.
  3. Fair enough, but T20/IPL might be a closer comparison - traditional game potentially ruined in the interests of moving into a mass market that doesn't particularly know or care about the traditions. Even so, there are some big differences. Firstly, by no stretch of anybody's imagination can football be said to be short of money, so that it's easier to represent the ESL move as being motivated purely by greed. Cricket's financial situation was arguably not as dire as it was painted (e.g. , according to Wikipedia, Michael Vaughan was able to afford houses in Baslow, Barbados and Venezuela without, as far as I'm aware, any significant involvement in the IPL*), but it was obviously not in the same league as football. [This raises a whole raft of questions about what is sport for? To what extent is it 'wealth creation'?] Secondly, as we've already seen, the 'traditional' fans have much more clout in football. There are a lot more of them, and they're a lot less docile. The main market for football may be TV viewers around the world, but the 'traditional' domestic market is still significant. Thirdly, the non-traditional mass market has already been tapped in football. The typical customer is already pretty happy with their Champions' League and their EPL 'soccer', and it's doubtful how much more of an attraction the Super League would have been. Whereas I think the IPL taps into a genuinely new market of young middle class Indian people who are in some ways rejecting the mores of the fuddy duddy older generation. The list could probably go on. *Correct me if I'm wrong about that.
  4. I didn't find it particularly interesting. Neither.
  5. Your understanding is jejune. A more accurate bite-sized characterization is as a demand-side rather than supply-side theory. Keynes was certainly a die-hard capitalist, but his argument is essentially that capitalism only functions efficiently in the context of a mixed economy. He also saw unemployment (or as we would now say underemployment) as an evil in itself, as well as being inefficient for the economy. To that extent, he was also in some sense a socialist, though he certainly despised Socialism with a capital S.
  6. As in elections always being run-offs between rival groups of billionaires, with alternative viewpoints ruthlessly suppressed? Isn't that where we are already? If anything, alternative viewpoints get more of an airing in the USA than they do in the UK. Even Fox News let Bernie Sanders have his say for an hour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLOUtddw4ZQ Very true, but it's not logically impossible for some of the propaganda sometimes to be in favour of policies that benefit the impoverished. Up to a point, that did happen in the post-war years, or in FDR's America.
  7. Tories or 'New' Labour, if you're a neoliberal 'Orange Book' Lib Dem. Greens if you're more of an old-fashioned Social Liberal. A two-party state would be better than the current one-party version.
  8. Well that's one of the biggest questions in ethics, which I don't really propose to delve into on the Forum. But here is a cartoon that makes the point that most theories, other than right-libertarianism, do come up with the same answer a lot of the time: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/258 It does seem to me that the utilitarian/consequentialist approach that you prefer is the one that stands the best chance of being able to answer this kind of question. Even then you've got the problem of defining what the utility is that you want to maximize, or the disutility that you want to minimize.
  9. Reminds me of the old Mark Radcliffe anecdote. He once met someone who had been in a latter day line-up of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich: "I naturally enquired, 'So, which one were you then?' to which he replied 'Dunno. I never asked.' He later admitted that he was pretty sure he wasn't Dave Dee." https://www.theguardian.com/books/2011/jul/01/reelin-in-the-years-mark-radcliffe-review
  10. Not aware, but not surprised as it slots right into my narrative. Thanks! For a bit of light relief, here is a comic strip about the nice kind of anarchists: https://existentialcomics.com/comic/247 All I can say is I hope you're wrong, but it's not looking promising, with a majority of Republicans (voters and legislators) believing (or affecting to believe) that the election was 'stolen'. Once you've been lured down that rabbit hole, it's almost impossible to find your way out again.
  11. The insurrectionists (or at least the people who are pulling their strings) are anarchists. They're the nasty type of anarchists - broadly anarcho-capitalist (think Rand, Rothbard, Nozick) - rather than the cuddly broadly anarcho-syndicalist type (Godwin, Proudhon, Bakunin), but they're still anarchists. This has been a long time coming. In the popular mind I think it goes back at least as far as Reagan's infamous comment "government is not the solution to our problem, government is the problem". If government is the problem, then logically the solution is not to have a government. This idea has been relentlessly pushed by dark money, billionaire media moguls, 'conservative think tanks', silicon valley libertarians etc. etc. The kind of people who think William Rees Mogg's 'sovereign individual' is a great idea, as opposed to a dystopian nightmare. Be afraid, folks, be very afraid.
  12. Are you implying that the EHRC is politically neutral? How's that investigation into Tory Islamophobia coming along?
  13. Maybe that's where all those anti-semites came from. After all, racial stereotyping of Jewish people does seem to be somewhat more prevalent among Tory voters at least: https://docs.cdn.yougov.com/c6bfihz919/CAAResults_180907_Antisemitism_website.pdf And if, as is sometimes implied, a lot of Tories were joining to act as agents provocateurs, what better way would there have been to undermine the party?
  14. Some interesting stats about Premium Bonds here. At current rates, an individual £1 bond pays out on average roughly once every 2,000 years, so Padders still has a bit of a wait I'm afraid. Though of course there's always the infinitesimal chance of a bigger win. The monthly rate is once every 24,500 months (according to that site), which ties in with RiffRaff's acquaintance winning most months. Odds would have been better in the past too. They're always reviewing the payouts in the direction of a smaller number of bigger wins - the average payout might (or might not) stay the same, but the chances of winning anything get smaller.
  15. It's already the bus for many of us. 22% of households (that's about 6 million of them) currently don't have a car or van, including 52% of households consisting of single retirees, and 45% of single-parent families: https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/personalandhouseholdfinances/expenditure/datasets/percentageofhouseholdswithcarsbyincomegrouptenureandhouseholdcompositionuktablea47 As you'd expect, non-ownership is concentrated in lower income households (55% of households in the bottom quintile for gross income).
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