Neuroma updates

The neuroma state is: it’s probably improving but very slowly. I ran 5k last weekend for the first time in, I don’t know, 3 months? Maybe 4. Then 4k this weekend (I was aiming for 5, but I’ve lost a lot of endurance, there’s a heat wave and my pacing was bad).

There was some post-run pain last week, but it wasn’t too bad. In general it is currently better than it has been at any point in the last six months, and that includes the zero running months, so that’s good, but as it’s such a slow process I am always wondering if it’s stalled and this is as good as it gets, in which case it’s not good enough and I need to get it sorted out, but…

…At the moment I’m stuck in limbo in that it’s bad enough that I don’t want to run on it much, but it’s not bad enough that I want to pursue actual professional treatment (which will be invasive). Hopefully it will continue to improve and in a few months it won’t bother me much.

As it has been stable for the last few weeks, the next test will be to run twice a week consistently, which I’m intending to start next week. I did run twice a week in the week of the end-of-May bank holiday, but wasn’t sure it was really up to it so the past 2 or 3 weeks have been one-run-only weeks.

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The nasty party is back

The summary of the election seems to be that, defying all expectations of pollsters, the youth actually voted. The difference this election is that the youth had a very positive politician representing them who actually connected with them. Corbyn’s optimism is infectious, and the youth tend to get their information more close to the source than older people, so the hyperbolic tabloid attacks on Corbyn seemed so unbelievable as to fall flat.

The Tories have a growing problem here in that they are appealing mainly to socially regressive older people, who are a diminishing population. They underestimated just how much the youth distrusts them.

The ‘youth’ is a growing population. Conservatism is popular among people who are parents, home-owners and fairly settled in their career, who have established themselves into a safe position and don’t want to see the boat rocked. Thanks to the lethargic economic recovery of the last ten years, young people are delaying marriage, having children, and home ownership due to poor financial prospects. The Conservatives aren’t just alienating 18-25 year olds, they’re alienating 18-45 year olds.

Instead of addressing this, Theresa May has doubled down on a losing strategy by allying herself with the DUP, a set of extremely backwards fringe Christian fundamentalists. The values the DUP holds are from another century. They are completely alien to anyone to anyone who grew up in the Blair era or later.

Cameron spent a lot of effort detoxifying the ‘nasty’ image of the Conservative party and adding a strong liberal streak to what was previously a very condescending party. Theresa May has undone all of that hard work in the last 24 hours.

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The general election result is absolutely hilarious.

Many of us knew we were never going to win this, which we accepted. What we didn’t know was that everybody else was going to lose too.

The aftermath is even more hilarious: Theresa May asks for a bigger mandate, loses her existing mandate instead, then carries on and hopes nobody notices. I think you might be on borrowed time, Theresa…

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Final election thoughts/predictions

I’ll be blunt: both options are terrible.

Under the Tories the economy has floundered, and thanks to brexit it will continue to flounder for the foreseeable future. The main losers will be as in the financial crash: recent graduates who end up in unemployment and underemployment for years after graduation, and people who do end up on the career ladder but end up with stagnant or falling wages because of the extra competition. We are already at a net loss from 2008 in terms of pay, from which we haven’t recovered, so continuing to devalue people’s wages should be interesting in all the wrong ways. With Theresa May having already burnt through her satisfaction ratings she won’t have a long shelf-life when brexit begins to take a real form. Far be it from a strong and stable government, we’ll probably see an internal power struggle in 2019 with key people setting out their positions and undermining each other before that.

I have a slight preference for a Labour victory because they have the advantage of being an unknown, i.e. they might surprise us and govern the country well and in such a way that encourages prosperity. There’s no risk of surprise competence with a Conservative government; Conservative performance is well known and understood to represent a slow downward trend. The slim possibility of being surprised is really the only positive I feel towards Labour. However, it would be unfair to thrust Labour into the brexit negotiations, which I fully expect to be a disaster, and let them take all the flack. I’d prefer that the Tories suffered the reputation hit from that, since it is a mess of their making.

Overall I am very pessimistic whichever way it goes. Whatever the outcome, the country took a very significant step onto a backwards path last June and this election offers no change of direction. The source of our problems is that we have a combination of weak politicians who are afraid to explain to voters why they are wrong, and unintelligent voters who refuse to entertain the possibility that they might be wrong.

Prediction: Cons 360 seats/42% of the vote, Labour 210/35%, other parties no large difference versus their current seat count. The interesting thing will be Labour significantly increasing their vote share while also losing seats, which will hopefully prompt them to start backing electoral reform.

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The party of contradictions.

On the economy: Austerity was necessary in 2010 because the previous Labour government mishandled the economy to such a degree that there wasn’t enough cash. In 2017 we are continuing with austerity which implies at least one of two things: 1. It doesn’t work, or 2. The previous Conservative government has mishandled the economy to such a degree that there isn’t enough cash. Perhaps someone who thinks it’s OK to spend £1000 on leather trousers isn’t the best person to be in charge of the nation’s finances.

On brexit: Only Theresa May is strong enough to negotiate with Europe, but only Theresa May is weak enough that she has to duck public appearances. A bad deal would be worse than no deal, but if no deal isn’t a big deal then negotiations aren’t important so why does it matter who isn’t doing them? If negotiations are important after all and no deal would indeed be a big deal then why is Theresa May wasting valuable months on a general election while the two-year brexit clock ticks, after which we are booted out with no deal?

On stability: If Theresa May returns a small majority, as is looking possible, then she’s made herself look rather a fool and will lose confidence of her party. She has already annoyed them over the bungled national insurance rise, the bungled manifesto and her tendency to hide behind a very select set of close advisors. How long before a leadership challenge? The real winner from this general election campaign is, as ever, Boris Johnson.

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Last week I ran 3.5km on the Saturday and then, surprisingly, had the most pain-free week I can remember in a long time, even including the many non-running weeks.

Emboldened by this, I did 4km this Saturday, went for a walk Sunday, went for a walk Monday… and since it felt OK, I then did another 4km after the walk.

I definitely had some twinges in the evening, but so far it’s been OK since then. My foot didn’t feel like it was working correctly for the first few minutes so the twinges don’t surprise me. Not sure what I can do about this other than general warm ups to try to make sure everything is soft when I start.

Overall, though, this is an improvement over the last few months.

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Horse, stable.

If you had asked me a few weeks ago I’d have said that the UK needs a strong and professional PM to take us through the EU negotiations, but in absence of that Theresa May is probably the best of the available options. I am beginning to think I might have got that a bit wrong.

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