Friday, 20 April 2007

Bye Bye Blair?

Breaking news from the BBC:

Might Blair want to leave the scene of crime a little earlier than the anticipated May date perhaps?

Surely that'll be the case if the CPS starts to make noises... imagine charges being brought against senior Labour government figures just before an election!

Not so Great

I have the great misfortune to have to use First Great Western (what a misnomer! neither first nor great... just a miserable excuse mainly) on my daily commute to the big smoke.

Never mind that it costs me (well my company, but that's hardly the point here) £33.30 per day (or £91.00 per week depending on the demands of the week) but I have to stand on every single journey. I last had a seat in February and before that? I can't remember such is the infrequency.

Truth be told, what really smarts, as a paying customer, is the amount of passengers they insist on cramming on to the cattle trucks*. Hence I have got to know many strangers much better than either if us would have probably prefered. My favourite part of the whole experience though is the poor customer service that only ever entails apologising to those poor souls in first class who are denied the drinks trolley because the rest of us are blocking the way.

I was therefore particularly amused to read the following letter of complaint via Devil's Kitchen.

*Sorry, carriages. OK so at least the older HST trains have windows that open - yesterday I made the mistake of getting on one of those three carriage jobs in which you can't open the windows. I think I now have an insight into how dogs die in hot cars.

Thursday, 19 April 2007

Coalitions of the unwilling

Despite yesterday's post, given devolution is here to stay and I am a pragmatist (some might say opportunist...) I have to (relunctantly) agree with what the short, fat, follically challenged one has to say, summarised succinctly, as ever, by CH on devolution and power sharing.

Accepting devolution also means accepting the bastard-love-child that is STV and embracing the nature of a PR system which includes the quirk of government power brokers being the smaller parties.

And the Scottish Tories are now one of those smaller parties and could be one of those power brokers, if it so chose.

With PR at local government level in Scotland too, power sharing is here to stay and we have to participate in that process or face alienating supporters at all levels.

Surely it's preferable to swallow some pride and see policy enacted compared to the long wait in the political wilderness that is the alternative?

P.S. But I should make it clear that the rest of the article, where he bangs on about an independant party in Scotland, is total crap. He is a trouble maker and in the minoirty.
Of course there are others who share his sentiment. However, firstly, they would never be seen dead on the same platform as Monteith and secondly, they are largely in the background, unwilliing to take a larger role in the day-to-day runnig of the party.

Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Lib Dem Inconsistency on Greg Dyke vs. Devolution

The idea of a coalition of Tories and Lib Dems to beat Red Ken isn't the worst idea I've heard to unseat someone who manages to appeal to an uunfeasibly broad cross section of London Society. Wrong choice of candidate however in Greg Dyke!

But really, you've got to love the Lib Dems:

Lib Dem chief of staff Ed Davey said the Tory proposal had been "very odd", and may have been against the party's rules.

He said Mr Cameron had proposed the idea of a joint candidate to face Labour incumbent Ken Livingstone in a meeting with Lib Dem leader Sir Menzies Campbell.

Mr Davey said: "The people of London should have a full democratic choice on next year's mayoral elections. David Cameron's proposal would have denied that.

What grand hypocrites!

Coalition with Labour at Westminister in the case of a hung parliament wouldn't then?

Or as in Scotland, is it fair that a minority can impose their policies on the majority? Isn't that a a denial of the majority's will?

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Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Independance all round? No thanks.

This is unbelievable!

An independant Scottish Tory party would collapse.

Monday, 12 March 2007

The Deep Malaise

ConservativeHome is categorically wrong to demand David Mundell's resignation. The prolific Iain Dale is right to say the party in Scotland needs to get it's act together but like most commentators looking in he doesn't quite realise how deeply moribund the party is.

And key to the above point is, it is no one person's fault. Scotland has been marginalised by the party as an area of importance since devolution arrived and the exodus from the party post-'97.

Scotland will never be the most conservative region in the UK, but if it was possible to hold 21 seats in '83 why none now? The party north of the border has stagnated for lack of three key strengths:

1. Party management;
2. Policy initiative; and
3. Pool of talent.

Devolution affects all three and has been the catalyst for the growth of most of the problems.

More to follow...


I have been struck down with a fairly violent bout of food poisoning which has given me the opportunity to redesign the layout a bit and play around with some ideas...

As in the natural world, things which are bright colours (such as pink) are often warnings that they are poisonous and shouldn't be consumed. Why then, didn't I realise this before my first (or second, for that matter) mouthful of Pepto-Bismol???

Thursday, 8 March 2007


Courtesy of Finklestein's Comment Central, another interesting piece from Robbie Millen on what is essentially the widening gap between fundamentalists and the mainstream.

Conservapedia is, frankly, astonishing. I don't think it's unfair to suggest that Wikipedia suffers from certain problems, but to suggest that it is over run by anti-Christian, American hating communists is frankly risible. Conservapedia attacks Wikipedia for clouding facts with liberal propaganda and unsurprisingly, all the US hot potatoes are cited: abortion, homosexuality and evolution theory/the big bang.

By virtue of the sheer number of people who moderate at Wikipedia, articles (on the whole) tend to the factual and avoid any one bias. That's not to say they don't outline various criticisms, etc. but the main article itself is usually factually based.

Not so in Conservapedia... take abortion. Wikipedia's entry is the description of medical procedure (which abortion is) where as Conservapedia's entry is a list of the horrors associated with abortion.

Why squeal about bias, only to replace it with bias of a different flavour*?

At least CreationWiki does what it says in the tin - it is open and honest about it's objectives. Conservapedia seeks to squash inconvenient facts that contradict theological beliefs and present the results as fact. It's not about the religiosity or beliefs, it's the deliberate deception and promotion of ignorance.

Give people the facts and let them make up their own minds. Wikipedia, for all it's faults, is still the better proposition because it shares and expands the store of human knowledge.

*That's flavour with a u. Hilariously they think this is ungodly. The patronising and ignorant mindset could possibly explain the phenomena.

Monday, 20 November 2006

the Times they are a changin' (mk2)

I picked up my copy of The Times today and thought, hmmmm.......

So sitting at my desk, past the front page, thinking "silly Ruskies, this is all smacks of poison darts and umbrellas" and then, hmmmmm.....

Wait a minute - Something's changed! New font and format.

The new format looks more like a cross between the Indy and the Guardian... oh dear!

Why this continous tweaking?

... and when will they stop tweaking the format at the Telegrpah too, and concentrate on content? Broadsheets in their desperate rush to attract yoof readers are loosing their reason d'etre - quality writting and not just in the comment section.

Wednesday, 10 May 2006

west wing - wow!

OK, I know I'm probably the only one who is getting excited and slightly emotional but it's here.....

Series 7 box set. Which means it's arriving but it's departing (after 7 years).

I know I have a problem with box sets (buy, buy, buy!!!) but this one is a mixed feeling.

A great series having seen better days ending. Not that its that bad - if you haven't seen any yet you should. The writing is very sharp, especially in the first four series.

Pre-order now!