Friday, 30 November 2007

Some Very Cynical Thoughts

Wouldn't it have been a simpler and easier career choice for Ronnie Biggs and his infamous colleagues to have established a political party instead of doing The Great Train Robbery ?
Using a basic £ unlawfully obtained per year in chokey formula, it is clear that the sentence tariffs set out in the Theft Act are a lot stiffer on armed robbers than the The Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 is on our innocent overworked and underpaid MPs.

Regarding underpaid MPs, I am puzzled that Harriet Harman, on a salary of c£135,000 as Leader of the House and MP, needed a loan and mortgage extension to fund her deputy leadership campaign. Did she not learn any prudence from Gordo and save some of her earnings or consult her husband the Labour party Treasurer about budgetting? Oh, I forgot: nobody tells Jack Dromey anything.

And won't DWP Minister Peter Hain's excuse of an administrative error for taking a couple of months to register a £5,000 gift with the Electoral Commission play well with Jobseeker Allowance customers who forget to mention all their part-time earnings?

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

Only Connect

A key phrase in EM Forster's Howard's End.

What is the connection between the late Brantislav Kostic and David Abrahams the shy Labour donor?


Mr Kostic, founder-owner of a pharmaceuticals and precious metals company, was born in Serbia and wished to leave £8.3 million to the Conservative Party because Lady Thatcher was the free world's greatest ever leader and would save the world from satanic monsters and freaks.

Mr Abrahams is a property developer from the North East who donated almost £600,000 via proxies to the Labour Party because he believed in Gordon Brown's vision for Britain.

An Excellent Choice of DVD Rental

I must admit I found this film very interesting. The neutral tone brought out the seedy sub-gangsterish banality of the Nazi regime. An excellent version of Trevor-Roper's book. The clip of Traudl Junge at the end when she said that she knew nothing of the atrocities yet later felt guilt when she saw the plaque to Sophie Scholl, born the same year as Junge and judicially murdered in 1943 when Junge began working as one of Hitler's secretaries, in her home town of Munich, and realised she could have discovered the awful truth if she had looked was brilliant.

And please watch Sophie Scholl. It's an excellent film about this German heroine (and her brother and friend) of WW2 who formed the White Rose group which published and distributed anti-Nazi pamphlets in 1942-43. That was courage.
Isn't amazing how an interest kindled 25 years ago because C20th Germany was on the history A Level syllabus has, thanks to the love of learning per se gifted by some brilliant teachers, endured so long? I bet the Gradgrindian non-stop testing of our target-driven micro-meddling government has taken what little fun there was out of school.
And if our besieged government choose to end things as in Downfall would they please ensure the petrol is carbon offset. Gute nacht Berlin.

Monday, 26 November 2007

To All Shy Labour Donors

If you want to give the Labour Party the odd £200,000 but don't want anyone to know, you can give me the money and I will write out a cheque on your behalf. No publicity, hush-hush. You can trust me: I'm a pretty straight kind of guy.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Conservative Party Education Policy: Literacy

Third item up from the page bottom caught my eye:

I know it's pedantic but doesn't public funding of political parties stretch to the provision of a spell checker.

Update 24 November It's now Separate. This party is fit to govern.

Friday, 16 November 2007

Oh Laura - Release Me Live in Stockholm

Try to watch and listen to this without smiling. It's not possible. Happy Music or what!

Thursday, 15 November 2007

Paddle Steamer Waverley

If you've not tried a trip by paddle steamer yet, book an excursion on the Waverley next year.

Above is a photo of the charming lady in Swanage Bay a couple of years ago:

Like Mother, Like Son

I was deeply touched by the quiet dignity and maturity beyond his years displayed by Steven Tomlinson today as he received from HRH the Prince of Wales the CBE conferred on his late mother, Jane for her charity work. See picture and report here. Definitely a credit to Jane and his father, Mike.
You can still make a donation at this site.

What's Lacking in the Middle East?

Bacon sandwiches. Yes, Bacon sandwiches. What can compare with a hot bacon sandwich, slightly softened by bacon fat and sharpened with a dollop of freshly made English Mustard? The bacon should ideally be dry-cured and cooked in a frying pan to the stage before crispness and the bread has to be half-inch thick slices from a cottage or bloomer loaf. Some say Mother's Pride but let's be diplomatic and reserve the Chorleywood slices for bread and butter pudding. Mmmm...
So just imagine the Israelis and Arabs starting the next round of negotiations with a few rounds of bacon sandwiches and steaming hot tea. How can there not be a positive spirit around unless Cook has committed the golden error of not making enough. So there you are Tony, try a breakfast meeting with wads and cha. Problem solved. You know how important the Ulster Fry was in the Northern Ireland Peace Process. Next post Sudan, Dharfur and Birds Custard.

The Links in the Right Hand Column

They may be a bit sparse but bear with me it's the start of an ongoing project. Click on them and visit the sites as they need every ounce of webtraffic for their statistics. Let them know about this site. Share your disappointment and garner sympathy for me.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Not another blogger! Not another blog!

Good point. I have been reading weblogs for several years now and I am amazed by the number of them in cyberspace. Probably somewhere between 10,000 and an awful lot more than the number you were thinking of.
There is a whole spectrum of quality from must read twice a day to well that's thirty seconds of my life gone for nothing. And they are about anything that one can think of and much more besides. And they are about the bloggers own opinions and thoughts. Which is nice as they say but a bit egocentric. That's ok because I'm following the herd in that respect and will write what I want. Will anyone read this blog? In the words of Linda Smith, "Don't know, don't care."