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the hits keep coming.

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also as well as wishing my cohorts good luck in the exam tomorrow, I just wanted to thank all of you who have taken the time to visit my blog, it is much appreciated. The hit counter now stands at 3600 views, which is amazing. I hope everyone who has visited my blog has found something of interest in it, I wonder if I will get to 4000 views before the end of June. I imagine the blogs slow down quite a bit during the summer recess.

Thank you.

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Here is the link to my latest specialistgeneralist.net blog:


The blog deals with the current general election and a fledgling political party in the U.K which hopes to offer a Centrist alternative to the political agenda in the U.K

I hope you follow the links to the Centrist UK page and have a look through their materials.

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getting on with revision

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So I bundled all my flashcards up by block and published them on my blog:


I included some other musing about the relationship between states and globalisation and Weber theory on the 'legitimate use of violence'

Now I really must motivate to revise from the module books...

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Thank you for viewing.

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While i did not use this blog during April, the view counter kept on ticking along.

So this blog is about to hit 3000 views, which i am very proud off.

So thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read my blog and thank you to all the people who have left comments.

I am going to try to add video material on here as well at some point, once my exam is done and we enter the study free summer months.

Thanks again 


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no blog for April

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 7 May 2017, 16:05

I did not do any blogging here in April.

After a long illness, caused by industrial illness, asbestos, my father passed away on the 5th of April. So many things to think about and do during the month of April.

We were fortunate to be supported by some wonderful NHS staff during my fathers final days, I thank them for that.

so I did not climb mount Snowdon on the 19th of April, my fathers cremation was on the 20th in Portsmouth, so I did not fancy the 5 hour drive each way under the circumstances.

Thank you to everyone who has sponsored me, I will still be abseiling down the Spinaker Tower on the 28th of May. So I hope every one who has sponsored me is happy for the money to carry forward tot he abseil.

My final TMA was very difficult to write, the deadline was the 18th of April. So I did not score well, the essay was written under very difficult circumstances and to be honest, I really did not care much about the sure, under the circumstances.

So now I have done the ICMA and will finally finish with the exam on the 6th of June.

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Still more hits

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I want to thank you all for taking the time to visit my blog,

My views have just passed 1250, which is fantastic, and I appreciated you all taking the time to read my blog.

At the moment my audience grows by 45 people a day, I think that is amazing, I only took to using this blog properly a couple of months ago, before that I had put up 3 posts in 18 months, so it was a choice on my part to get more involved and use my blog to it's full potential.

I am enjoying the experience very much, I have partnered this blog with my blog site and set up a partnership page on Facebook to try and pull it all together.

So once again thank you all for taking the time to read my blog, and thank you very much to all the people who have taken the time to comment and challenge some of the things I have written.

Here are my other links, they have less posts than this blog, but some are a little different and contain a different set of comments....

Thank you




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Interconnectedness, is not a made up word, it appears in my module, it alludes to the collectivist perception of international relations.

so I thought I would try a little interconnectedness, so as well as my blog website:


I also created a Facebook page to run along side it for extra digital presence and enhanced interconnectedness.


I urge you all to like my page on Facebook, please.

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Scottish Independance

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 26 Mar 2017, 11:36

From the www.thespecialistgeneralist.net

The Second Scottish referendum.


You can supranational away our sovereignty, but you’ll never take our ‘freedom’.


So the Scottish had a independence referendum, 3 years ago. The result was a NO to independence by a wide 10% majority. Job done, message sent, VHS copies of Braveheart put away and a continuation of the continuum by the UK.

Described at the time by the lead Yes to independence campaigner and head of the Scottish nationalist party, Alex Salmond, as a ‘once in a generation’ vote. Well generations move very quickly in Scotland, 3 years later the generations who voted to remain in the union (baby boomers, generation X and millennials) look set to vote again. This time we might have a second ‘once in a generation’ vote in a second generation (baby boomers+3,  Generation X+3, millennials+3 and generation Y-those born in the first 18 months of generation Y only though, these 3 year generation gaps really do stop a real divergence of generational voting demographics!).

Perhaps Mr Salmond, meant something different when he spoke of generations. Perhaps it was a threat, do it now or you will never get to do it again. Perhaps that was the motivation behind his evaluating the referendum as a generational defining moment. This is a historic vote everyone, best do your best, and bring home the result us nationalists have been longing for. The hopes of the nationalist Salmond were dashed, but his replacement, Mrs Sturgeon (that fishy surname confluence might come back to haunt these two, later in this article-when I am looking at the economic claims made by them both and the SNP).

So what changed?

We had a Uk wide referendum about our membership of the European Union. In which we voted, by a 4% margin, to leave. Scotland voted by a 24% margin to remain- now that is a big margin-if the population of your slice of the Uk was bigger than 8.5%. This disparity of a 24% margin of 8.5 million Scottish voters is the basis for the calls for a second referendum. If the entire population of Scotland had voted remain, 100%, the result would have been the same, Leave, instead of a 4% margin, it would have been a 1% margin for the Leave campaign. So Scotland might not liked the result, but they could not have changed it, even with 100% return. So was that demographics over democracy or just the social contract in operation? Either way it is enough to warrant the new SNP calls for a second-once in a generation-independence referendum, because Scotland does not want the result of the EU referendum to stand for them.


So the whole UK voted to leave the EU, if you consider the whole UK to be a democratic union. Scotland does not seem to feel this way, they are unhappy with the democratic result of the union they are in, so wish to leave the union to restore their democratic membership of the E.U. So rather than leave the EU as part of the world’s 5th largest economy ( and forecasted to become 4th, over taking Germany, in the next 10 years) the Scottish would aim to leave the Union and re-join the E.U as an independent economy, an economy that is 43rd largest in the world and 12th largest in the E.U. and about the same size as Chile in a global perspective or Ireland in an E.U perspective.


Lots of claims were made by Nationalist’s in the first, once-in-a-generation independence referendum. Three years having passed some of the claims made the firs- time round can be viewed with better perspective if a second referendum comes about. Mr Salmond had claimed that the revenue from oil production would be, in the first year of independence, £ 8 billion pounds (UK pounds), where as the actual figure as audited by the national Audit office was £ 600 million (still in UK pounds). Mr Salmond was wrong by a factor of 1300%, or to put it another way 3% of the total Scottish GDP!. This is staggering, but then if you are going to tell a lie, try to make it a whooper. If a second referendum goes around then Ms Sturgeon will not be able to be quite so ‘liberal’ with the projected oil revenue’s. So if granted a second referendum, the SNP will not be asking to leave the union so it can be an independent country, it will need to leave the union so it can join the E.U asap because it will need the euro, the European central Bank and the subsidies that the E.U provides to survive as an independent economy, I do appreciate the this is an oxymoron, to be an independent economy whilst being locked to a currency union, central bank loans and a group wide economic policy, does not sound very independent at all. It all sounds a bit fishy really, not that Mr Salmond or Ms Sturgeon would recognise the pun.

So we will see, Mrs May has already refused a second referendum, the Scottish parliament is still discussing if they should even ask for one, and the SNP are still curtailing generations to 3 year spans and declaring everything that is not to their liking as ‘undemocratic’. So while the world turns, liberalism in western societies continues to spin, the SNP are sounding like a broken record (we have to presume a Rod Stewart record).


‘you will never take our freedom’ *

* Terms + Condition’s apply, the word freedom may be substituted for currency union, economic union, ECB debt and IMF influence over internal political policy or supranational influence of a state’s sovereignty by the E.U at any given time.

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more hits.

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That is a lovely surprise, only a week ago i was thanking everyone for getting my blog views up to 750.

Here i am a week later and it is on 1000.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my blog. i know it can be a bit generalist in content, but that is part of the fun, right?

I feel very blessed now.

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weddings and tutorials

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so i have a tutorial this Saturday, all booked are ready to go,

I might be hanging at the tutorial,because my sister in law is getting married on Friday, so that is a busy day and evening for me.

Not sure I will have time free to write a blog this Sunday, which is a shame because we have the SNP demands for a second referendum and the Dutch elections this week, plus we might see article 50 triggered in the next 7 days.

I will try and find time to cover the Dutch election, I mentioned it in my 'summer of brexit' article, so it will be interesting to see the results.

For the SNP independence blog, I fancied having  look at that from an economic perspective, did you know that the IMF has predicted that the UK economy will grow to larger than Germany's  in the next 10 years, so Scotland might have to think very carefully from an economic perspective, after all, when isolated, Scotland's GDP is the same as Slovakia or Estonia. Is Scotland's economy big enough to survive in a globalised world? In the first independence referendum, the SNP made much of the income from oil, they estimated in to be 12 billion in the first 3 years, where as the actual figure was 800,000 million! Can the new predictions from the SNP be taken seriously when they got it wrong last time by 1400% ?, also it is very interesting because if there is a second referendum, Scotland and the SNP will be talking a lot about 'freedom' and from a philosophical perspective, is seeking independence from England and staying on board with the super international aspirations of the E.U more 'Free' than remaining in a union with the U.K that is removed from the E.U? something to write about there, for sure.

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Formula 1 a new season

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Here is another post from my personal wordpress blog


The new F1 season


‘oh lord won’t you buy me a Ferrari’

I may not have mentioned this before, but I do really like formula 1. When I say really like I actually mean, I love it and have an insatiable desire for all the technical details and little tweaks that the engineers spent hundreds of millions of pounds, euro’s or dollars in developing.

Last season was a bit of a frustration for the scarlet Ferrari’s. They really under performed, Vettell had his car treated like a bumper car at the fair by some of the other drivers, and results did not go the way of the team.

But that is behind them now, a new season is dawning and rule changes and technical rule changes have served to bring hope back that the new season will not be another season of Scalextric style ‘follow the Mercedes’ races.

Pre-season testing has gone well for the Ferrari team, hundreds of laps under their, presumably Gucci, belts and both drivers producing the fastest laps of the session. So before a wheel gets turned in anger at Melbourne in the opening race of the season, I took a little look at how each team has developed the aero package on their cars in the face of technical changes.

One of the biggest changes of the new season, the biggest technical change, has brought about the smallest rear wings ever seen on F1 cars. The rear wings this year a tiny, low slung and will produce much less down force than in previous years. Couple this with the huge increase in the permitted size of rear tyre’s, it is going to be harder to stick the back end of the cars down onto the track. Traction provided by the larger tyre’s is traded off by the tiny little rear wings. That is a big problem when you have 900 horse power to transmit through the rear wheels.

I noticed with all the new cars, the aero package through the centre point of the car has changed a great deal, side pods and air intakes have changed shape dramatically and the air flow is managed to a much greater degree around the cockpit of the car. Getting the air into the correct shape now seems to be crucial, getting the air into the right flow, before it flows over the engine cover and hits the tiny rear wing is key. I had a look at all the new designs, from all the teams, and I noticed Ferrari has a tweak that no-one else has.

So does the Ferrari speed in testing involve their difference in design to the other teams? Both Vettell and Kimi are well known for wanting cars with stiff and very direct performing front ends. Both drivers like to be able to hurl their cars into the apex of a corner and the last possible moment, neither driver is going to be ever accused of a smooth style, of flattening out bends and coaxing the car through a difficult apex. Both drivers love to spring the shift in momentum in at the last possible moment, to hurl the front end into the apex. I wondered if the new Ferrari design has been done to enable it’s drivers to do this, and has the extra benefit of producing better air flow around the side pods and cockpit surfaces.

So rather than tease, I should go public with my observations, if you have followed this article to this point, then you must be interested in Formula 1 and all the tiny little changes that can make such an impact.

So I noticed the front end wish bones:

Here is the new Mercedes and if you look you can see the back-raking body after the snub drop enforced by crash regulations. But you can still see the bulbous protrusions where the front suspension springs are bolted to the monocot containing the driver. It is shaped like a wave, from the tip of the nose, raking-up sharply to the bulbous spring mounting points and then gently curving back to the tiny bit of plastic the drivers consider a wind shield.



Plus lots of barge boards and wings to sculpt the air around the side of the car. Very pretty and very much like last year.

Ferrari on the other hand as clearly gone down a different path. The cockpit in front of the car is like a slab, flat enough to play cards on. A complete ironing board look. Some the suspension spring mounting points have been moved, shifted into the crash structure of the nose, producing a flat plane of body work in front of the driver. We also see that Ferrari have produced a double entrance to the air pods on the side of the car. The air flow directly in front and around the driver is managed in a very different way to the Mercedes.



So does this very different new design offer the Ferrari drivers a better front end experience? And is this why both the Ferrari drivers topped the lap times in the test sessions in Barcelona? We will have to wait and see, only the first few races of the season will reveal if Ferrari have beaten their rivals to the aerodynamic punch and produced a car that can break the dominance of Mercedes for the last three years.

I am a Mclaren fan by the way, but for the obvious reasons they did not leave me much to talk about in pre-season testing, again……

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all about the hits

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I just wanted to say a quick thank you to all of you.

This blog has received 750 views now, I think I am very happy with that. When you considered I posted 3 times in 18 months, and then decided to use the blog space more in the last 3 months.

So thank you all who have taken the time to view my ramblings, and thank you to the people who left comments, your input is really appreciated.

I think I am pleased with how 'blogging' has gone for me so far, I even committed to owning a word press blog,


and I am enjoying sharing my thoughts and articles with people.

So thank you all for your support, with 3 years still left to go with the OU, I am hopeful that lots more material will make its way up here.


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cultural short fall

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This is a short blog to celebrate the governance in my home town of Portsmouth.

Just a little story that I would commend to some satire.


Portsmouth used to have a community hub arts centre in a local park.

Run by volunteers it was a hub for people to learn and enjoy creating art in a peaceful environment.

The hub got a little bit behind with its rent, so they decided to have a fundraising fair on a Saturday afternoon to raise the funds required to continue their 10 year tenure.

Portsmouth City Council approved and gave a license for the fundraising fair for the Saturday afternoon.

All well and good so far, very heart warming, except for the fact that,

Despite giving a license for the Saturday fundraising fair, the council decided to foreclose and evict the Arts Centre on the Monday before hand. Portsmouth City Council were wary of the trouble this might cause so, rather than use their own officers to foreclose the building, they decided to send the police in to do the job. Which the police did, with great effect, arrests were made and the building shut down, locks changed and the community arts hub discontinued.


4 short weeks later, Portsmouth City Council have decided to bid to be the 2018 European City of Culture.

Very cultured indeed of the Council, or is that too soon?

I might encourage Portsmouth city Council to ‘stay classy’ but that would assume they had any class to retain.

So I made this satirical infographic, it is too late for the community arts hub in Portsmouth now, but hopefully the officers of Portsmouth City Council will feel a little twinge of guilt at their own actions.

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binary language a blog post

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still based around brexit, here is an article from my blog that deals with the polarisation of language. One of my blog post about satirical infographics on this site was the inspiration.

If you look at the Trump/ fart infographic I posted in February, on the comments is a fellow student who felt the need to quote Hitler and be very ill judged in her comments.

This lack of foresight or inability on her part to not resort to binary language prompted me to write this article:

as ever these articles are available to read, like and comment on at:


Binary: relating to, using, or denoting a system of numerical notation that has 2 rather than 10 as a base.


Binary. The language of a modern computer driven world. Instead of a range of value across a scale of 1 to10, a spectrum or continuum, binary uses a system of a value of 2 options. 1 or 0. On or off. Is or is not.

We live in an increasingly globalised world, driven by computers and software all using binary numbers as its language. We are often told that computers are making the world a smaller place, that we are becoming ‘global’ and that computers bring us together. I often wonder if this is a good thing? I can use a computer and its binary system to talk to someone on the other side of the world, instantly. But if I want to see that person and talk to them with all the subtleties of body language, vocal inflection and personal interaction, I have to fly for 22 hours, stopping once to refuel, and travelling 11,000 miles to achieve this.

So binary allows me to connect with someone on the other side of the world, but it does not allow me to interact with them in a truly personal way?

Inside my computer a series of 1 or 0’s define how it operates. So it takes me, a person with a schema, a life time of experience, a range of complex emotions and the ability to conceptualise my surroundings from a philosophical, political, artistic and emotional level to input my words into something that turns it all binary.

Now I wonder if the computer if being guided by my input and converting that into binary or is the computer and its binary language actually inputting into me? That might sound strange, but does it?

Like this. Thumbs up or thumbs down. Swipe left or right. Hot or Not. Share or don’t Share.

It sometimes seems that in the global world of social media, that the computer and global world it enables, is driving the people who use it, to settle into binary positions. It seems to me that people are starting to use binary language to interact with the world around them.

It is very disheartening to see this conversion of human interaction reduced to binary language and positions. I look at the Brexit vote. A binary choice, in or out, that led to a binary choice, hard or soft Brexit. It saddens me even further to see the interaction of people, when dealing with the results of binary choices, being reduced to binary language.

Remoaners, liberal elites, Lefties, out of touch, stupid.

Just some of the choice binary words I have seen leveled at people disappointed by the result.

Brexiteers, Fascist, Nazi, thick, out of touch, racist.

Binary words again.

I would point out to the people using binary words about remoaners, you cannot just be a leftie and a liberal elite. It would require a complex ideological position with a nuanced understanding of the philosophical concept of freedom to define a socialist and liberal perspective of the equality of outcome that both positions could represent.

But that’s not very binary is it. To look at the position of the people on the other side of the debate requires more than just insults that are binary in nature.

The same applies to the Brexiteers. How can you be a fascist and a Nazi. One position was born out of National Socialism, the other is a far right wing position. Why is a desire to restore national sovereignty to your state a racist endeavor? To seek restoration of your sovereign state might be considered to go against the globalist trend and favor more international anarchistic perspective of international relations.

Again none of these positions are easy to express without the complex understanding of the world around us and how we interact with it. They are far more subtle and nuanced than a binary position and binary language allows.

Do any of us exist in isolation, are we not bound by are social contracts, our relationship with our local and wider communities? We live complex and political world. All politics, philosophy’s, ideologies and political communities exist across a spectrum. None of them are binary, especially socialist perspectives, which produce a wide a broad church of different ideological positions. None of the complex, subtle and nuanced nature of the world we live in seems best served by trying to distill all of its complexities into binary positions and binary language.

Does that black mirror we stare into every day, at our computer, on our tablet or through our phone, reflect our face back at us or is it shaping us a new, binary, reflection?

There you have it, I have used 900 words to express, in not very binary terms, my concern at my perceived rise in the use of binary language in our society. That binary language will harm debate, degrade our interactions with each other and isolate us all into binary positions. We might be able to Ctrl+Alt+Dlete a computer, but we cannot do that to ourselves and our society.

Or to borrow the words of the recently departed, once vilified, and at the sad time of his passing, much respected former England manager Graham Taylor…

‘do I not like that’


‘This article was written by a cybetech 87765 laptop using a cortex 100100100 processor, assisted by the malleable human, Mike Gumbrell’

‘this article was then processed into a blog format by a defknel101101101 processor’ and the authors identity remodeled to be a www.thespecialistgeneralist.net virtual identity’.

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RSS Feeds

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Edited by Michael Gumbrell, Sunday, 12 Feb 2017, 11:43

I am happy to blog away on here, and i wondered what the RRS feeds are?

I had never heard of them before.

So i have had a little google and found out what they do.

I did not blog much on here for my first 18 months, but i have picked up the pace a great deal recently.

Having had articles published with the www.starandcrescent.org.uk before, i find myself feeling very much more secure with writing articles and essays.

So having done my research i think i might well subscribe to word press and start my own domain named blog page, then i can incorporate the blog feeds into my blog page.

That seems like a plan.

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