How Parliament would have looked if the Progressive Alliance had happened (and how it would look if it happened again)

So, I’ve been managing my anxiety about the world with some therapeutic spreadsheeting, and, in the apparent absence of anyone else having attempted this particular “what if?” yet, I thought I’d have a go my self. Here’s what I came up with.


Some caveats:

  1. This is based on every single vote from Labour, Lib Dems, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Greens going to the most popular candidate from that group in each constituency.
  2. “2015 Rules” is what would happen if the choice of who would stand aside in each constituency was based on which party ranked first in the 2015 General Election results.
  3. “2017 Rules” is what would happen if the same decisions to stand aside were made based on the 2017 election results, in some hypothetical near-future election where neither side gained or lost votes.
  4. “Left Alliance” excludes the Lib Dems, in line with Farron’s most recent “No Deals” tweet and debates over whether they would be eligible as “Progressive”.
  5. I have used the Britain Elects data, so Northern Ireland is ignored for the purposes of the calculation but added to the total. I have done the same with the Speaker’s seat in Buckingham.
  6. I have excluded UKIP for simplicity, since (to my knowledge), there is nowhere where their vote would exceed the Conservative, Alliance and Lib Dem one.
  7. I have no specialist expertise in this and may have made many glaring mistakes. You can see the spreadsheet I used here. If anyone wants to use / improve / make a cool map out of or inspired by my work then please do, just ping me a credit.Initial thoughts: this is quite astonishing in terms of the opportunity that’s been missed, and could be taken again in the event of another election. The Progressive Alliance would have left the tories with 50 less seats than they have now, and Labour WOULD STILL HAVE GAINED EVEN MORE SEATS. Going forward, the “Left Alliance” could form a working majority even without a single Lib Dem vote. Any votes lost due to voter dissatisfaction or rogue local parties standing would surely be massively outweighed by combined campaigning, resources, etc, and likely extra downward slide in vote share for the tories.

Let’s make this happen – if you’re a Labour / Lib Dem member, talk to your MPs / local branch and show your support for this. Never has there been a clearer case for working together.



Millennials deemed “the worst generation” by 10th Century people

[Pictured: a group of Millennials engaged in the popular activity of “Feast Hall and Chill”]

New research from Ramsey Abbey has shown that attitudes to the generation born between 980 and 1000 AD, often dubbed “Millennials” or “Generation ð” are perceived to be the worst generation yet in popular opinion. Common conceptions of the age group include narcissism, sexual infidelity and a woeful inability to repel Viking raids along the Devon and Sussex coastlines.

“I just can’t understand them” said Thane Simon of Sinek, speaking in last week’s Witenaġemot “they just spent all day looking at their tapestries. How are you supposed to get on with real work, like aiding the parsnip harvest and digging holes to shit in, with an attitude like that?”

Others point to a strong sense of entitlement, set up by poor parenting. The Venerable Stein wrote in Time Chronicle, “a lot of these kids grew up expecting to live in walled towns, and won’t even sleep in a pile with their entire family on top of a pig for warmth. They’ve gotten used to abacuses doing maths for them, so can’t even calculate their share of the Danegeld levy in their head.”

Statistically, Millennials are 10% less likely to take up their father’s profession (not counting slaves), 20% less likely to know how to yoke an ox, and 3% more likely to contract leprosy.

There is also concern about a lack of commitment among Millennials. “My 18-year-old son still hasn’t taken a wife, and wants to travel to the next town over to look for one”, says Ælfheah, a churl from Old Sarum. “Who’s going to pay for that? There’s Wyrms and Giants out there!”

The Abbot of Ramsey was unavailable for comment, possibly due to dysentery.




Globe Theatre Seeks to Fire William Shakespeare In Row Over Staging

The governing trustees of Southwark’s Globe Theatre have demanded the resignation of their Artistic Director, William Shakespeare, after disagreements over his unconventional artistic choices. In an official statement nailed outside its door today, the Globe said that, while they were impressed by Shakespeare’s innovative staging, including the integration of characterisation into the plot, the reinvention of soliloquy and the pioneering of the romantic tragedy genre, they felt the Globe should return to what Elizabethan Theatre has always been about: staging endless waffle written by posh twatt mates of the King.

Richard Burbage, one of the main shareholders in the theatre, said “Forsooth, this fellow cannotte be allowed to keepe on symply makeing up wordes all the tyme. The Englyshe Language is perfecte as it standes, with a hey nonny no and a fiddle-di-sirrah!”

While Shakespeare’s plays have brought increased audiences to the Globe, many feel that his use of artificial lighting, most likely imported from the more experimental Blackfriars Theatre where he briefly worked, is too dynamic, and would like to see the novel usage of torches in the evening to be replaced with the more traditional approach of running away home whenever it gets dark so that witches can’t get you.

John Heminges, another trustee, wrote an excoriating letter to the Southwark Poste today, declaring. “We must honour the hallowed traditions that this building stands on. I mean, sure, we made it by stealing a whole theatre whose landlord had evicted us, rebuilding it piece by piece in a random field, and putting on plays as a side hustle to its main function as a brothel-cum-bear-fight-arena, but…yeah, traditions.”

When approached for comment, Shakespeare said “Fuck’em, I own 12.5% of this mutha and I’m not going anywhere. I spent seven years on the run for poaching, they can come at me.”

King James was too busy burning Catholics for comment.

Nuke town Villages #10: “Derbados”

[These blogs describe and document the villages made by audiences as part of my new project Nuketown.]

Name: “Derbados”

Made by: Audience at performance at Derby Theatre 14  people)

When: 30/09/2016

Buildings featured:  the Death Cage, the Glass House, the Castle, the Minarets, the Train House, the Communal Staircase , the Euphoric Emporium, the Beehive

Jack’s Thoughts: This build shows the full range of people’s responses to the building challenge: the artistic types who semi-ignore the brief and  build based on the lego thats available (the Train House), the socially conscious who go with the brief and build something community spirited  (Euphoric Emporium, Beehive) and the guys who couldn’t care less about the brief and just try and build the most fuckoff massive thing they can in 30 minutes (the Castle). But at the end of the day, that’s kind of the point of the show. People are rad, even when they don’t do what you want, and they should be free to make whatever world they want to be in. And the people I’ve worked with over this show, by and large, have proved my point. Score 1 for Jack. And for people.

Quote of the build: “I am supporting your creativity. I did not just break it!”


Nuketown Villages #9: “Twocastles”

[These blogs describe and document the villages made by audiences as part of my new project Nuketown.]

Name: “Twocastles”

Made by: Audience at performance at ARC, Stockton (24  people)

When: 28/09/2016

Buildings featured (from left to right, ):  Castle 1, Castle 2, the Communal Kitchen, the Chill Supermarket, the House Catamaran, the House, the Art Deco Building, the Mortuary, the House of Escher.

Jack’s Thoughts: This was the most competitive build so far, with an intense rivalry between Castle 1 and Castle 2’s builders. But all were ambitious in their own way. One of my favourite parts of the show is when I tell people they have 15 minutes left and there’s a collective groan of despair.

Quote of the build: “You could live in my castle. You couldn’t live in theirs”

Nuketown Villages #8: “Stockton Garden City”


[These blogs describe and document the villages made by audiences as part of my new project Nuketown.]

Name: “Stockton Garden City” (Again my own, forgot to ask audience due to extensive cold-brain)

Made by: Audience at performance at ARC, Stockton (14  people)

When: 27/09/2016

Buildings featured (from left to right, ): The House, The Other House, The Eco-House, The Ice Rink, The Garden, The Government Building, the Portable Lido.

Themes discussed: Housing, Public Spaces, Lidos

Jack’s Thoughts: A humble but pleasant village from this build. Why do portable swimming pools keep coming up?

Quote of the build: “He didn’t say what type of government goes on there, just government. It could be shady”

Nuke town Villages #7: “Kidderminster”

[These blogs describe and document the villages made by audiences as part of my new project Nuketown.]

Name: “Kidderminster”

Made by: Audience at performance at Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter (35 people)

When: 24/09/2016

Buildings featured: The Skyscraper, the Slide, The Theatre, The Trolley Station.

Jack’s Thoughts: A hasty pack-down at the end of the show means a lot of details of this town are lost to time (and I guess the people who built it). Why the tall thin spires in the building on the far right? What’s that one guy doing on the roof? Is a skyscraper with no doors still a skyscraper? The name is by far my favourite so far though.

Quote of the build: “I have to build the tallest thing!”

Nuketown Villages #6: “Nietzcheville”

[These blogs describe and document the villages made by audiences as part of my new project Nuketown.]

Name: “Nietzcheville”

Made by: Audience at performance at Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter (35 people)

When: 23/09/2016

Buildings featured (from left to right, non Exhaustive List): DJ-Tron 5000 the Mech DJ, the Gateway, the Community Centre, the Anti-Bungalow, the Market, the Ziggurat of Ugliness, the Custard Pool, the House, the Tiny Nuclear Submarine (thanks dad), the Castle.

Themes discussed: “Beauty and the Beast libraries”, markets, freedom.

Jack’s Thoughts: The audience really blew us away with this one. There was also a handsome Tardis that didn’t make it into the pics.

Quote of the build: “We have art in order not to die from the truth” – Nietzsche (by way of my mum).


Nuke town Villages #4: “Boomtown”

[These blogs describe and document the villages made by audiences as part of my new project Nuketown.]

Name: “Boomtown”

Made by: Audience at performance at Bike Shed Theatre, Exeter (18 people)

When: 22/09/2016

Buildings featured (from left to right): The Giant Radioactive Duck, The Helipad, The Gathering Place, The Dog Playground, The Crane, The Hot Tub Car, The Monolith, The Solar Powered Flying Sauna, The Swimming Pool Hovercraft, The Government Surveillance Unit, The Cloisters.

Themes discussed: Puppy Libraries, open spaces, Passivhaus buildings.

Jack’s Thoughts: This is the most impressively scaled build so far, with lots of imposing structures. I think being at lots of separate small tables might have spurred the audience on to compete with each other a bit.

Quote of the build: “There’s a slightly creepy fascist vibe to this village” – Josh