Winning Back The People

Winning Back The People

Five days after the narrow vote for Brexit, the alternatives seem to be: General Election, palace revolution, or both. Outraged globalizers, champagne Leftists, the bourgeois bohème, the young: all are frothing with demands for a second referendum. This last, in the unlikely event it took place, would be felt as a direct insult by the millions of Brexiteers who have just voted to leave the European Union. It would confirm their worst fears, if confirmation were needed, that they are the objects of contempt in the minds of their betters. No; it would be preferable for Parliament to deliver the same insult, but in its own more sophisticated way, by taking any one of the legal paths open to it. A do-nothing-dominated Westminster could simply ignore the referendum result, or cost the exchequer millions by calling an irrelevant General Election. Either way, the jilted Brexiteers would be left fuming and impotent; their only recourse the spray-can and the remaining blank walls. A General Election, for which all major parties would campaign to stay inside the European Union, would leave the incandescent Brexiteers with nobody to vote for except UKIP. The turn-out for such an election would be hard to predict: high on one assumption, low-to-vanishing on another.

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Adventures in Space-Time

Adventures in Space-Time

Albert Einstein’s predicted gravitational waves were first detected experimentally by the American LIGO team earlier this year. LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) comprises two huge ground installations in the United States, in which hydraulic rams are used to stabilize the four-kilometer-long arms of the interferometers against terrestrial perturbations. A prodigious feat of engineering in itself.

In a news release, 7th June, 2016, the LIGO team congratulated the European Space Agency on the proof-of-principle of its space-based interferometer, Lisa Pathfinder (Laser Interferometer Space Antenna). Le Figaro’s senior science reporter, Tristan Vey, explains.

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