Friday, 24 July 2009

Government by perception

Last night on Question Time the question of MPs holidays was raised, namely, 'why are such a bunch of thieving wasters getting 3 months holidays' - that's not me speaking that was the tone of the discussion.

The politicians protested that just because they weren't in parliament doesn't mean to say they are not working, indeed they are in their constituencies doing stuff, kissing babies and wotnot.

Anyway, an audience member said the point is how it looks seems as if they get long holidays.

Well actually that's not the point, no. Surely, policymaking and the like should be based on the facts of the matter not what people think is the case.

Clive James on the panel said we are verging on dangerous populism on the whole matter with the media thinking they run the country.

On swine flu another audience member said something about reading a proper newspaper for proper information.

Chris Dillow has a weighty discussion of 'preferences' in politics here.

Well, if we think of the newspaper reading habits of the public and we have government by perception, imagine that!


Sunday, 5 July 2009

Blogger/Tweeter points camera at MSM shocker!

Its Stuart Flinders off of the BBC NW telly!

I snapped Stuart covering Manchester International Festival today.

More photos of the actual Sunday event to follow.


Saturday, 4 July 2009

4th July - Revolution & Conservatism

Just still time to wish my American friends well in their 4th July celebrations.

The later French Revolution followed hot on the heels of the American Revolution (1776-83 American, 1789-99 French, this timescale was pretty quick in them days) and historians have debated equally hotly about the similarities and differences of these events. However, the timing and connection was not lost on some contemporaries.

Here's Richard Price:

'Behold all ye friends of freedom... behold the light you have struck out, after setting America free, reflected to France and there kindled into a blaze that lays despotism in ashes and warms and illuminates Europe. I see the ardour for liberty catching and spreading; ...the dominion of kings changed for the dominion of laws, and the dominion of priests giving way to the dominion of reason and conscience.'

But while some hailed the spirit of the French Revolution, others did not want this kindling to spread to Britain and thus the Grand-daddy of modern British conservatism, Edmund Burke, penned his Reflections on the Revolution in France, seen as an important conservative manifesto.

So this period of history was a bit of a mixed bag really.


Friday, 3 July 2009


Have been too busy to blog. Have though discovered the delights of twitter -ideal as a snack you can eat between meals without ruining your appetite.

Been patching up my kitchen. Removed some tiles and accidentally a layer of plaster. Had to repair it myself. In this heat! All made so much harder when you are time and money poor. Am currently sporting a hole in the sole of my shoe. Money spent on plaster and paint. While the cooler weather is welcome, rain does tend to seep through the hole a bit.

Anyway, enough of the sob story. There's been loads of good stuff in the papers, around the blogs and in the twitterverse or whatever neologism has been invented for it. Lots of catching up to do.