Friday, April 10, 2015

Why the SNP will not hold the balance of power after this election.

According to analysis based on the latest Times/YouGov opinion poll the parties will have the following number of seats after the election:

49   SNP
290 Labour
265 Conservative
20   Liberal Democrat
2     UKIP
24   Others

With 650 seats, an outright majority requires 325.

Based on these figures the Conservatives will not be able to form a government. Even if they could form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats again and bring in all the "others" plus UKIP it would not be enough:

Conservative (265) + LibDem (20) + UKIP (2) + Others (24) = 295

Labour, on the other hand, would have a far easier job:

Labour (290) + Others (24) + LibDem (20) = 334

So even if all the 24 "others" did not support them they would still have a majority without having to talk to the SNP at all.

Given the historical enmity between Labour and the SNP and the fall out from the referendum it seems fanciful to me that they would make any sort of agreement after the general election. The SNP might choose to vote for policies put up by Labour, but Labour will not need to do anything to keep the SNP on-side as they will not need them to have a majority and get Ed Miliband into No 10.

What makes this even less likely is that the level of support for the SNP suggested in this poll is unprecedented. The likely outcome will be far fewer SNP MP's and more Labour ones, meaning even less of a need for anyone to do a deal. A figure of 35-40 SNP MP's seems far more likely given that younger people are less likely to vote than older.

We can be sure that the Liberal Democrats will want to stay in power, even with a vastly reduced number of MP's. Labour has been careful not to single them out in their national campaign. One of the reasons for this will be their potential as coalition partners on May 8th.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Moody Blues - I Really Haven’t Got The Time

I Really Haven’t Got the Time, written by Mike Pinder, has the distinction of being the only song recorded by both versions of the Moody Blues. That is the original line up with Denny Laine (sometimes referred to as the Mk 1 Moodies) and the second lineup which included Justin Hayward and John Lodge. This was Justin and John’s first recording session as members of the Moody Blues. 

Clint Warwick had left the band in late June 1966 and was replaced by Rod Clark (Bass and vocals) who debuted on 14th July. He stayed with the Moody Blues until Denny Laine Left on September 24th. It was this line up which made the first recording of this song.

Here are the details of the two recordings:

  1. Recorded 8th September 1966 at Decca Studios West Hampstead. Personnel: Denny Laine, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, Rod Clark, Graeme Edge. Produced by Denny Cordell. Available on two disc 50th Anniversary edition of The Magnificent Moodies
  2. Recorded 30th March 1967 at Decca Studios West Hampstead. Personnel: Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Mike Pinder, Ray Thomas, Graeme Edge. Produced by Tony Clarke. Available on the CD Prelude and as a bonus track on some versions of Days of Future Passed.


Here is a live recording of the same song from the programme Beat Club, featuring Denny Laine and Rod Clark, broadcast on 27th August 1966 (11 days before the first studio recording):




And a live recording from French TV featuring Justin Hayward and John Lodge which must have been recorded at some point between October 1966 and March 1967:


Saturday, March 28, 2015

Linux mint battery not detected

Sometimes the battery in a laptop is not detected by Linux mint. This is indicated by the battery monitor icon having an X in the corner and the battery charging light not coming on. Querying the hardware in shell will show the battery as not being installed.

Usually this is caused by the battery having gone flat when the laptop was put on standby rather than being fully shut down. To fix this do the following:


  • Plug in laptop and boot up.
  • Log in with username and password.
  • Shut the laptop down and leave power supply pugged in.
  • After a couple of minutes the battery charge light should come on.
  • Now switch on laptop.
  • Battery indicator should be working and show a percentage.


Sometimes no icons will be displayed on the desktop.
This is also caused by the battery going flat on standby or by the shut down after standby not working correctly. Usually rebooting will fix this.