Sunday, 20 January 2008

RESULTS OF PARISH POLLS ON THE EU REFERENDUM

This week sees the start of the Parliamentary debate on the EU reform treaty, it seems that Gordon Brown is going to try and divide the Conservatives to distract attention from his own perfidy.

Even the Labour dominated foreign affairs committee has accused ministers of deliberately playing down the consequences of the treaty. Their report concludes there is no difference between the foreign policy provisions in the rejected European constitution and those in the new EU Reform Treaty (Sunday Telegraph). The I Want A Referendum campaign are planning to poll half a million people in marginal constituencies, the results will make interesting reading.

Friday, 18 January 2008

GOOD QUESTION NON-COMMITAL ANSWER

I receive an email from Theyworkforyou.com every time my MP asks a question or speaks in the house. This one amused me today.

QUESTION

David Heathcoat-Amory (Wells, Conservative) Hansard source
On Members' pay, does the Leader of the House agree that if the proposed Lisbon treaty is ratified more powers would be transferred away from this House, and it would therefore be right for our pay to be reduced? Will she ask the Senior Salaries Review Body to recalculate its proposals in view of that reduction of powers? It would obviously be wrong for us to be paid more when our control over legislation and policy is reduced. The same thing should apply to ministerial salaries, particularly those of the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister.

ANSWER

Harriet Harman (Lord Privy Seal, House of Commons) Hansard source
The right hon. Gentleman will have a chance to raise those points in debate either on Monday, on Second Reading of the European Union (Amendment) Bill, or on Thursday, when we debate the SSRB's recommendations, or he can again synthesise the two points on Monday or Thursday.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

QUESTION TIME

Is the failure of politicians to understand and follow the law relating to political funding symptomatic of a wider problem faced by the whole population relating to the massive increase in new criminal offences introduced since New Labour came to power?

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

CHARLIE DOG TO STAND FOR PRIME MINISTER

Charlie dog has today announced that he is prepared to take on the role of Prime Minister after successfully recruiting a suitable double.



Sunday, 13 January 2008

DAVID CAMERON FOR EU REFERENDUM

David Cameron gave an assured performance on this morning's Andrew Marr programme. He said the Conservatives will continue to press for the referendum promised by Gordon Brown but shamefully withdrawn.

GORDON WANTS YOUR BODY

Not content with running every aspect of our lives Gordon Brown believes the state should control our death as well. We should not have to opt out of the organ donor register, our bodies belong to us not the state. If the state believes it is desirable to increase the number of individuals who are prepared to donate their organs then they must persuade them that it is the right thing to do.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

SARKOZY, VIVE LE DIFFERENCE!

The French is seems are rather scandalized by their Presidents behaviour, not because he is cavorting with a beautiful woman (that is of course to be expected and encouraged) but because he didn't stay decently married and have an affair (openly behind closed doors). It is strange but true that if the same situation arose in this country the opposite would be true.

Monday, 7 January 2008

DECISION FIRST CONSULTATION SECOND

I arrived home from work today to find one of Somerset County Council's delightful self congratulatory news letters waiting for me. Now in my capacity as the official household small print reader I thought I'd better cast a beady eye over it. Under the heading "Are you throwing hard cash away" I read such gems as "When cooking for a family, get the right portion per person" and "Check what's in your cupboard or freezer before you shop for more".

Now as you can imagine this sort of inane rubbish was hardly what I needed when tired and hungry , the last thing on my mind was wasting food, I just wanted to be tasting food. So I read on big mistake!

It seems my local council want my views on "THE POWER OF NATURE" a fun survey about "The Somerset wind Energy Initiative". Hmmm....... me thinks, Somerset doesn't seem the most obvious place for wind farms. Anyway I read on and here are the first few questions (answers - yes/no/don't know).

Do you believe the UK should develop its renewable energy potential?
Do you believe that Somerset should be developing its renewable energy potential?

Do you believe the UK should be developing its wind power potential?
Do you believe Somerset should be developing its wind power potential?

And so on.

Anyway this made me curious as to why they were really asking, so I did a quick search and lo and behold they are planning to stick some big beasties up on the County owned farms and of course get a share of the action. More details below in the Western Mercury.

This really is the worst form of pretend consultation, I will however send it back and it won't have the answers on they are hoping for.

http://www.thewestonmercury.co.uk/content/twm/news/story.aspx?brand=Westonmercury&category=news&tBrand=westonmercury&tCategory=znews&itemid=WeED18%20Apr%202007%2011%3A54%3A09%3A890

Quote

"One large turbine would be able to provide power for the whole of Wedmore. It's a small price to pay to help the planet and we all need take responsibility at a local level."

According to the 2001 census the population of Wedmore is 3145. Mind you it's not very windy below sea level either.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

A BILLION - THE SCALE OF THE THING

We hear the word billion mentioned casually by politicians every day, but how often do we really stop to think about what it actually means?

Here are a few pointers.

1 Billion = 1,000,000,000
1 Billion seconds is about 31years.
1 Billion minutes ago the roman empire was in full swing, about 1900 years.
1 Billion hours ago humans were living in the stone age, about 114,000 years.
1 Billion days ago, Australopithecus an ape-like creature related to an ancestor of modern humans, roamed the African savannas, about 2.7 million years.
1 Billion months ago dinosaurs roamed the earth, about 82 millions years.
1 Billion years ago the first multi cellular organisms formed on the earth.

Okay so you've got the idea that a billion is a big number.

So here are a couple more numbers to chew on.

Northern Rock loan guarantees so far 25 to 100 billion or 25,000,000,000 to 100,000,000,000.

The EU budget for 2007 is €115 billion or 115,000,000,000 euros.
The UK contribution to the above is 8.3 billion or 8,294,200,000 euros.

So as usual New Labour is doing a grand job of spending our money, these are some very impressive numbers Gordon.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

MY NEW YEAR TRADITION

I'm not sure when the tradition started but I always go out into the garden on New year's day for the first weeding session of the year. I tell myself that for every weed I pull out now there's a further ten I won't have to pull out later in the year (and that's a conservative estimate). Some years it has been a real struggle, cold weather head throbbing, today however was a joy, not too cold, no hangover (we stayed in and ate roast chicken and shared a bottle of champagne).

I love the turn of the year it fills me with optimism, the days getting longer and the warmth of summer to look forward to. The winter garden is naked waiting for its spring outfit so I like to look out for the gaps that need filling (if I don't fill them with something I like then mother nature will certainly choose something for me which may or may not fit my somewhat disorganised design).
The transformation by June is quite startling all that life waiting to spring up, my roll is one of minimal interference, if plants don't like my garden then I don't try and grow them again I just stick with the many plants that do.
I hope this year that our country can achieve a similar renewal with a change in our political landscape.



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