Saturday, September 15, 2007

Libdemologists: How Do They Print Quite So Much?

Ellee Seymour, aside from running loads and loads of tech product placement in recent posts has commented on yet another Lib Dem leaflet snowstorm.

Apparently there were 17 distinct leaflets delivered through one sample letterbox during Nigel Ayre's campaign period. He's this one >>>>

Let's keep it simple. Say all were A4 double sided, though that will be an underestimate, times say 6000 doors equals 204,000 sides of print. If we allow 1.5 pence per side on a two-colour Risograph that is £3.060 just for the printing.

It may be possible to produce more cheaply. However most Lib Dem leaflets make strong environmental claims about the paper and inks used and this greenery can only be had at a slight premium from rock bottom prices.

In any case it is very hard indeed to come up with a feasible multiplication that doesn't have them overspending massively.

If any of the leaflets were A3 or folded A2 newspaper or four colour or on card or in anyway more costly than the double sided 2-colour A4 budgeted then the scale of the overspend beggars' belief.

My information is that the Lib Dem council in York has been demic. Unable to face decisions. Highly inexperienced as group numbers inflated rapidly in 2003. That may be a tad biased as they gave Labour a post-war kicking in an authority that only does all outs. But they were chopped down to minority administration this year.

In a Tory ward it is understandable that they should win in a by-election. Even without taking the Mick of the spending limits and any pretence of green credentials.

Cllr Nigel Ayre's political interests "cover the environment, youth issues and wider political engagement". Here we have the first and third of these clashing.

Perhaps someone from York Lib Dems could send their budget and an explanation of how they stuck to it with such a snowstorm of leaflets? It should be a requirement to submit print with expenses returns.

UPDATE: The population figures in comments suggest the ward in question is just 30% of the national standard although even the basic 2-colour Riso leaflets for that come out spending the whole budget. Nothing for 'phones. post, envelopes, fuel, posters, committee rooms.

Park Life: Marie Louise Gardens Fact File 11 to 15

Fact 11: Marie Louise Gardens is not listed in any way.

Fact 12: The Lodge is not listed in any way.

Fact 13. This is not a conservation area.

Fact 14: There are no Tree Preservations Orders in place.

Fact 15: Under Tory planning rules, which have sadly not been repealled or changed, the Lodge could be demolished and the site cleared for development.

Park Life: Marie Louise Gardens Fact File 6 to 10

Fact 6: The piece of land which is to be sold to the owner of the Lodge measures about 20 metres by 19 metres.

Opinion: The continued statements and claims that parkland is being sold off and implications for example in the EDM title that the whole park was threatened are deliberately misleading and arrant nonsense.

Fact 7: This land housed greenhouses and tool sheds and maintenance equipment and the garage for the Lodge and was NEVER part of public circulation in Marie Louise Gardens.

Fact 8: The area has no park/forest trees within it, has tarmac and other footings in it, and would represent a further cost to the Council to reclaim it rather than a receipt if its sale did not go ahead.

Fact 9: The rest of the land passed from Council ownership under the original Right to Buy transaction under irresistable Tory laws. Or it was swapped to tidy up the two plots. For example the area of the garage was exchanged.

Fact 10: The owner - repeatedly described as a Property Developer by the press, by Lib Dem politicians and by campaigners - puts on club nights in Manchester and is not a Developer.

Aside: Cllr Mark Clayton is also not a developer but as anon said in a comment on the last MLG post he is thick as thieves with developers.

Mini-Me Monkey: Ming Makes it Up as he Goes Along

Links to much Lib Blog confusion on Ming not backing referendum on the treaty but calling for one on membership. Very strange. Image tip: Mr GuF.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Park Life: Marie Louise Gardens Fact File 1 to 5

Here are five facts about the proposals for Marie Louise Gardens which the Lib Dems and the out of area West Didsbury Residents Association don't want anyone to know about:

1. Proposals for the site, including the detailed design, have the approval of the Didsbury Civic Society and have been subject of close scrutiny and amendment following input from their expert panel.

2. Proposals have the approval of the local Residents Association which is Holme Road RA. They live adjacent to the site.

3. Proposals have the approval of Manchester City Council's planning panel and Cllr Mark Clayton made written representations with suggestions for minor alterations and accepting the proposal because of the huge benefit of the receipts on the Gardens.

4. The Charity Commission have given the scheme their blessing confirming that there is no restrictive covenant preventing the proposal going ahead.

5. All prior transactions and proposed transactions have already had full legal approval from Susan Orrell, the City Solicitor after a robust and rigorous process.

At least four or five further lists of relevants facts will follow.

Instructables: Spare the Chair and Spoil the Child

Speaking of bringing up our children to see the barbarity and futility of using violence when we're pissed off Dizzy Thinks has struck education gold with this middle school science project via this lead.

Sadly while sister Jessy Ratfink clearly was a bad mother she stopped short of the incendiary charges to provide melted stumps, blazing hair, filling nappy, and need for repeated charges to kill Barbie.

Like in Florida, before they switched to poisoning, before that too went horribly wrong.

Mini-Me Monkey: Backing Bilgey "BBC Bias" Barnpots

Under the throroughly appropriate blog title "Bias" Iain Dale's Mini-Me Monkey Shane Greer has had the nod from the Organ Grinder and fallen for some Biased-BBC bilge which claims that a simple account of something on the BBC Newsround website is an example of BBC bias.

Several anonymous but righteous dudes have told Shane, Iain and the Biased BBC bilgers that they are wrong. Fair enough. But I'm prepared to say "where's the bias" and sign my own name. In a personal capacity. And I will go further.

Newsround might also add:

"The USA and allies also continue to pursue the Might Makes Right meme under which - if you cannot get your own way, reasonable or otherwise, by negotiation and non-violence - then it is OK to use massive military force preemptively."

"The USA taught Osama Bin Laden everything he knows in a war of "resistance" and "liberation" against Russia who were then their cold war love rivals and had tried to occupy and pacify a strategic buffer state rich in natural resources."

"That was in Afghanistan where this way of solving problems is as old as the hills and has been proven time after time to be utterly unsuccessful and morally bankrupt. The servant turning on the master in international affairs is a fairly regular and predictable outcome and is sometimes termed Blow Back."

"When a bully uses Might Makes Right in the playground we stop them and tell them to play nice. When a Mom or Pop uses it at home we call it child abuse or domestic violence."

"All they are teaching their kids is that when they are bigger they too can hit people to get their way."

"Whoever throws or drops or carries the bombs peoples bodies are ripped up in exactly the same way. People all round the world use violence far too much to try to get their way. It usually ends in tears and just makes things worse."

"There was no connection between 9-11 and Iraq in 2001 but now sadly there is."

"Children - do try not to grow up like the Twin Terrors [(c) New Internationalist] Osama Bin Laden and George Dubya Bush."

"Both are insane."

Lib Dem blogger Gavin Whenman aka The Whiskey Priest has also done the decent thing, pointing out that the BBC explanation is a precis of something on a United States Government website.

Public Service Announcement: Adbrite Banner

As alert readers will have noticed I've been playing around with advertising banners ahead of a bit of a rejig. Particularly due to add and populate a right hand side bar and to fix the padding on the left hand one. Hardly rocket science but bear with me. I have also reduced the number of posts visible on the main page to a couple of days rather than five.

Finally, I've been toying with picture captions and more cut around pictures to create more space. Comments are very welcome.

Meanwhile, though Adbrite were a pleasure to deal with setting up their panel the VERY FIRST ADVERT they pushed to it was against my advertising preferences which are for family friendly. This rules out dating and gambling adverts.

I'm going to leave it live for now while they sort it out. But please remember bookies and casinos often have loads of places to place bets and buy chips but only one that pays out. This is for a reason.

Park Life: South Manchester Distorter at it Again

TOGETHER in protest: Barry Aelion, front, with members of West Didsbury Residents’ Association and Councillor Mark Clayton (centre back) when they presented their petition to the Lord Mayor three months ago
The South Manchester Reporter (SMR) has historically been a big L liberal paper - owned and edited for many years by party activists including Cllr Audrey Wise (Liberal, SDP, Lib Dem, recent mayor), and maintaining a yellow streak now within the Guardian Group - but it is reactionary and often journalistically feeble with it. It is a bit of a dumping ground for mavericks. What a combination!

This story is a classic piece of low grade "journalism" and rank political spin. The SMR's poodling to the Withington Lib Dems and West Didsbury Residents Association on Marie Louise Gardens is absolutely disgraceful.

Stories have been repeated over and over again which have insufficient honest information for anyone to make their minds up on whether this really is something to get hung about.

There are at least 25 pertinent points that could be made about this and in the interests of fairness SMR probably owe the owner an eight-page pull out by way of balancing off some very very tipsy coverage.

It may be that local residents still want to protest when they have the facts. But it is obvious from their letters that many of the 6,000 who have signed a misleading petition have not the faintest idea of the true dimensions of the problem.

And have no doubt that this new hoax is being led by the Lib Dems who perpetrated the Christie Hospital Hoax in 2005. They say it is not "party political", and it is true that members of several parties have signed up, but this has sadly been an outrageous example of exaggeration, spin and deceit. Pushed or pulled by Lib Dems? Who cares which it is. They are pulling the strings here.

Blogging will be light today. But 25 points that are MISSING from the paper's nth report on the subject and in most cases all previous coverage will follow later on.

Two clues: the piece of land which is to be sold is 20 yards by 20 yards and has never been within the public domain of these Gardens.

And, the Councillor at the centre of the above picture SUPPORTED the planning application IN WRITING. Bah, humbug.

DISCLAIMER: The above comment and all that precede it and may follow are IN A PERSONAL CAPACITY. This music video, not tagged with the address, was shot in the Gardens about 25 years ago. Nothing seen in it will be harmed by the proposed work. In fact it could be restored or enhanced.

UPDATE: Immediately after claiming this was not party political the Manchester Lib Dems have - hot on the heels of orchestrating this hostile press - published a hugely party political diatribe in their Hocus Focus. Other parties cannot afford to sit on their hands as they did over the Christie Hospital Hoax in 2005.

Smear-arama: Half Way There, We're Amost Done

The veritable smearathon nay smear-aggeddon is half way to being thrown out completely with two charges dramatically dropped and adjournment to Friday 21 September. Jon Worth has more.

UPDATE: Blink has another balanced report here.

Taxi!!: Had that Gordon Brown in the Back Once

Poor Nationalist? Actually £75 a month richer. But not happy.

Tory Toff Innovations: Still Cutting the Mustard

David Cameron and the Conservatives launch new internet advertising campaign. (Either JavaScript is not active or you are using an old version of Adobe Flash Player.) Please install the newest Flash Player.)

The author of this scurrilous banner advert has caught some Tory at CCHQ - NOT Mr Cameron in this case despite a passing resemblance - powdering his nose.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Blueprint for Greenwash: Tory Fans Ready to Hit the Shit?

Fair Deal Phil has a great summary here of early Tory reaction to Kak's Blueprint for a Greenwash.

As you can imagine the Tories at large are "absolutely delighted darling", and "can't wait", and "tax me some more you blue-green bastards you". Much of the humungous report is just page after page of Tory Toff head emptying of pretty workaday possibilities for leverage on environmental behaviour.

The plan to tax out of town shopping parking spaces will go down particularly well with out of town shopping magnate and Tory supporter John Whittaker and his friend in parliament Graham Brady MP.

Former Organ Grinder: Returns to Scene of Crimes

The Organ Grinder Iain Dale has made a guest appearance on his monkey's blogsite to facetiously speculate that a Number 10 treat for a poorly pensioner who was dying to meet GB's best Prime Minister for yonks was organised as a spoiler for Zac's green kites today.

"Political tactics are all very well" says the Transport and General Workers' Union boss Tony Woodley to the Press Association. He then goes on to rubbish Gordon's tactics. He says his members won't understand. Surely it's his job to help them?

Maggie is a harmless grannie now and there is no reason to confuse her worst political moments and the hate in which she was held when she was in charge with her being a legitimate guest of the PM at No 10 now she is a fading memory.

Maggie's bouffant hairstyle deflected the exocet missile

Never thought I'd be writing that. And it won't stop the lot of us dancing in the streets when she's left the building as it were. No offence.

As Sting said, and I paraphrase: "The Maggie Loves Her Children Too". Well, apart that is from naughty terrorist Mark and ridiculously liberal Carol.

Fibdemologists: "Thriving cultural scene in Liverpool"

In a strange opinion piece on the Lib Dems and Tourism the maverick Norman Foster MP bigs up what he calls "the thriving cultural scene in Liverpool". He also namechecks Lib Dem interests in the Brecon Beacons and Norfolk Broads in a toothsome tourism trilogy.

But back to Liverpool. Ha ha ha ha. LOL. That's where leading philistine Cllr Warren Bradley (right) is calling for the head of the culture company's head Jason Harborow (left) on a platter? Ha! The Liverpool Daily Post has the story.

Basically fire fighting Warren is trying to fight a fire over the Lib Dem council's abject track record on culture - cancelling (almost) and reinstating The Pops at 10%, running a public consultation on the Fourth Grace and picking the fourth most popular of four, and - the source of this barney - pulling (almost) and then putting indoors the intrinsically outdoors Matthew Street festival.

The "thriving cultural scene in Liverpool"? Ha ha ha ha. Where leader Bradley is calling for the head of the culture company's head on a platter? Ha!

Worth repeating that bit. Insofar as Liverpool has a thriving cultural scene - it does, though it could be much better - this is no thanks to the Council's Lib Dem majority group. Many in the culture field are praying that Labour's surge in the polls is accelerated so that 8/12s of the Capital of Culture 08 are also a celebration of liberation from Liberals.

Jason has a glittering career both behind and ahead of him, whereas for the Lib Dem's incompetent and threatened by competence Warren it is, sadly for the great city of Liverpool, ashes to ashes.

This is "The Leaked email" published by The Post:

Dear Colin,
Having been mandated by the ruling group on the city council, I am requesting that prior to your departure on leave today, that Jason Harborow is relieved of his duties as both CEX [chief executive] of Liverpool Culture Company, but also as ED CMS [executive director of culture, media and sport].
This will remove the stress that Jason must be feeling at this time, whilst allowing for an unfettered independent investigation.

Fourth Grace - chosen despite popular disdain, then shelved

As agreed yesterday, Ben Dolan should be installed as the interim manager to oversee the full operation of Liverpool Culture Company.
Whilst Chris Briggs should be appointed to lead on CMS [culture, media and sport], with Stuart Smith regaining the ED [executive director] responsibility.
This cannot be seen as a rash decision in the press, and must be handled carefully, but with the public swell of opinion and the fact that Lee Forde has been placed on “gardening leave”, I believe this mandate from the ruling group would be seen as a levelled sensible response, until the independent investigation has been concluded.
I take absolutely no satisfaction in requesting this, but as leader of the council, I have a responsibility to be seen to be strong, whilst being fair and honest.
I have taken, extremely unfairly, the brunt of the criticism, and am now requesting this decisive move prior to your leave.
In conclusion, nothing short of my request will be deemed acceptable.

So, that's right, in what Norman Foster calls "the thriving cultural scene of Liverpool" we actually have a thriving Machievellean* scene where a response that Lib Dem fire lighter Warren knows will be seen "as a rash decision in the press" and would look like a very expensive case of employment law malfeasance, must in fact be promoted as a "levelled sensible response" (sic).

More anon as they say. *Clearly whereas Bradley is a very poor fire fighter scandal wise Machievelli himself knew what he was doing. He wrote the book after all.

Waltham Forest Smearathon: Knocking Grell Gate

On and on it goes. Three of the four characters name checked in the following passage from this report are Labourites:

Nicholas Russell, another Labour candidate who stood in Leyton, told the court he overheard Ms Grell telling two young men that Mr Smith was gay and was offended when she made "homophobic kissing noises" towards Mr Wright when he received a call from his boyfriend. The prosecution accused him of making up the claim because he was out for revenge for an official complaint Cllr Grell made against him to the Labour Party over his performance early on in the campaign. Mr Russell denied this but admitted his relationship with Cllr Grell was tense.

HETEROPHOBIA: Shilpa Shetty and Richard Gere in Kissy Kissy Moment

How would Mr Russell term "kissing noises" banter directed at heteros?

Loves them, wants to kiss them etc etc. Sounds like it might be healthy friendly teasing rather than otherwise.

Tory Bloggers: Cut & Paste Press Release = Blogpost

The banner that got away from Tim at Bloggerheads who also noticed how lazy or reverend some bloggers can be when the press release is from CCHQ. Unless one of them wrote the thing? Beau Bo D'Or here. That Johan reference explained.

The Day Today: Three Hacks in a Tight Spot

Press ticketed trilby tip to Tom Watson.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Tory Bloggers: The Rot Spreads to the Provinces

Our most proficient local Tory blogger has a link to the Union "laundering" story which I find exceedingly disingenuous.

Union members choose whether to join a union, whether that will be a LP affiliated one, and whether they pay levies, and if they do whether they have political funds and how they are disposed of. Lots of people putting in 10p a week. Like the Sunday Hospital Club. Insurance against Tory government.

The funding referred to is largely to finance meeting the extra requirements of newer laws and capacity building for modern industrial relations practice. I think that is fair enough and most bosses would agree. Particularly as ...

The other side of the social partnership - the employers and the CBI for example - are also entitled to apply for vast rafts of government funding.

Some of it for rather similar capacity building activities to the funds for the unions. If they're private why don't they pay for their own training?

That's the Tory argument. Now they should answer it on behalf of British commerce and industry. And if they cannot they should calm down about Unions getting grants at several orders of magnitude lower.

Cllr Lindley also bemoans the fact he can't raise any cash for Tory activities in Salford.

Of course there are parts of the country where Tory Associations are collecting plenty of support from businesses, individuals who are not members, and social club members who double up.

So I'm not sure what Iain's point is really. If his local association cannot raise funds very well compared to others that is not something to shout about. Is it?

Girlcott: Recoined, Now as the Opposite of Boycott

Dizzy is advertising a nice idea on his site. Not by choice. Google did it. A complete Girlcott of Palestinian goods. But NOT in any sense synonymous with boycott (wiki). Quite the opposite.

Freedom Clothing, who source from Turkey and Palestine, have created the link which is a collective jump page for any and all products from Palestine, to encourage the opposite of a boycott.

Direct link to the scarf modelled by Dizzy in younger, slimmer days is just here.

Smear-aggeddon: The Very Sourest of Sour Grapes?

Blink's Lester Holloway has an even handed court report of the tribulations of Cllr Miranda Greer. Rather better than this partisan coverage I'd say. The latter gratuitously uses a picture of Ms Greer with Cherie Booth QC.

Bad, bad journalism.

We'll see how the case pans out. Accusers are it seems Lib Dem supporters even if one hilariously claims to have voted Labour. Where have I heard that before? Local poli blogger Andy Mayer (LD) is septical while rival Jon Worth (L) is sceptical.

Obviously the smearing experts at London Evening Standard (on the far right) are magnanimous and lovely.

Immediately transferring all those valuable derogatory headline rights to one of their favoured daughters.

Meanwhile another investigation may be on the horizon:

This thin blog (sorry Miranda, perhaps it's in a lull?) is revealed to be at 37 in Iain Dale's top-100.

64 bloggers are now demanding a recount and, in the case of the Lib Dems, considering legal action.

Bottled Water: Can This Product Ever be Ethical?

Stephen Newton has a story about the possibility of ethical bottled water.

"Hear! hear!" we say. Our local wholefood megastore has so far been able to offer little coherent argument as to why they sell bottled water. “Because people want to buy it”. Why’s that? “Because they've been traumatised by bad science over tap water and/or grown used to continental indulgence of d’eau! en bouteille”. Doh!

That store is also a bit stumped when asked to explain sensibly why the possible replacement of an Exxon/Esso garage shop with a Tesco garage shop is quite such a disaster as they make out. People want that too. But that's another story.

[wind up]Just wait until Mancs finally get fluoride and save the manky teeth of all future generations. [/wind up]

For any Lib Dems reading: This is a joke. Don’t pretend I’m advocating fluoridation. I’m not. Though I did enjoy the benefits myself and so far no disbenefits. Ga ga ga. (Foams at mouth.)

Stephen's story relates to claims by the Co-op (of which I am a member) for another ethical first. The Co-op's Fairtrade and ethical stance is far ahead of others and you can tell them what you think of that, and their ethical water, by clicking on the box. They have backed "One" and now introduce an ethical own brand made by One and with the same ethical tit for tat.

One was the official water brand for Live8 and Make Poverty History, and is supported by a number of UK celebrities, including David Tennant, the new Dr Who, and the actress Claire Goose.

Just a few issues really. This Wiki entry has all the links:

Plastic recycling only 10% here, worse elsewhere
Tremendous amount of energy/oil used to make bottles
Water is heavy, consider the water miles driving it along roads past reservoirs already piping water to us
Negative effect on ground and surface water
Draining our aquiifers, bringing salt water in, changing ecosystems
Economic status just behind oil and gold.
Privatization (or further privatization) of natural resources
Instances of poisonous products and frauds
Lacking goodness, natural or added
Water with sell by dates because of leaching from plastics
Organic contents may continue to fester

Here's one outstanding paradox:

It also takes water to make a bottle, if a container holds 1 liter it requires 5 liters of water in its manufacturing process (this includes power plant cooling water). The total amount of water used to produce and deliver one bottle of imported water is has been calculated to be 6.74kg
Bottled water? Just say no! Homer says it better:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

New Dale Banner: Emergency Broadband from Como

Iain Dale's Monkey: "Money Laundering Unions"?

While the organ-grinder is away, Iain Dale's monkey Shane Greer has been quite busy. Including with some tosh about Trade Unions, settlements, donations, and social partners' funding. Posted 17 minutes after the same story at Conservativehome incidentally. Three main "indictments".

1. Gordon is playing hard ball with the Public Sector unions. Way too hard ball in my opinion. Not hard enough for Shane. Like Dale he cannot seem to get things in proportion. But never mind.

2. A fairly large sum of money, made up of a few pounds each, coming from the members within the TUs who pay (a) affiliations and (b) into political funds, being given to Labour by the workers united. At less than £5 all told per capita per affiliated member per year. 10p a week.

3. Some social partners' funding going to Trade Unions to help them modernise. Including for example running ballots in rather expensive ways they didn't use to have to do. And training. That kind of thing.

Meanwhile Tories are doing all sorts of dodgy property deals, borrowing just as much money as Labour from wealthy individuals, taking donations from arms dealers (Saudi) and gun and knife makers (Austrian), as well as rank and file memberships including from social snookerists. Generally not in a position to throw stones.

We've had some fun with this.

[fun]Last month we reported Iain's blowing the gaffe on Dave-eeed's overall failures Mr Iain Dale today called for one man to be taken out and shot and calls on another band of assassins to knife another prominent figure. In the second case, unbelievably, he is encouraged by a Times journalist. THIS is the Tory message on violent crime. Shoot 'em, knife 'em or scare them to death.[/fun]

But back to today's story. It's serious. Tories haven't a leg to stand on. The other main players in the social partners - like the CBI and larger employers are, rather like the Trade Unions, able to apply for funds for all sorts. For training and compliance and research and land reclamation and gap funding and trade missions and all sorts.

Iain Dale - come back all is forgiven. Shane surely must take down this absurd story with the highly defamatory line about "laundering" as soon as he can get his hands back onto his borrowed blogger account.

Mr Greer will surely not want to be remembered as the man who took down the top Tory Boy Blogger under a shower of writs from the angry workers, government departments and political organisations that he has libelled. And him a law student and all.

Leaders are Readers: Chomsky or Carle, All Good

There has been a good deal of speculation in USA intelligence circles about Osama Bin Laden's tonsorial colouration. Nothing else to go on really. Dizzy may have stumbled on what has put a spring in his step. OBL has it seems just perhaps been reading Chomsky and lefty bloggers too.

Well, leaders are readers after all. The Very Hungry Caterpillar for some, World Orders, Old and New for others. Turning some day into a beatific butterfly. Or perhaps setting sights a bit higher and aiming to be a thinker not a drinker.

OBL is sitting in his shrouded luxury penthouse. Living the Life of Riley. Using the latest or most ancient organic hair products. Black Henna anyone? (Dangerous in the wrong hands. Take care.) Albeit with a price on his head. Rather like Salman Rushdie come to think of it.

In fact they could even be roomies? We can dream. Well anyway, old OBL will have plenty of time to read and surf in his retirement.

Probably have caught a re-run of Farenheit 911 last night as well. And the fisking thereof, natch. Seen the original hungry worm joshing with Saudi royals 36 hours after the jets hit the tower. Wondered at the Saudis owning 7% of the USA. And at the $1.4 Bn Bush's friends and families have pocketed from that direction. Been amazed at the Secret Service men guarding the old Embassy. Perhaps OBL and Sir SR are holed up in there?

Of course OBL reads!

And of course it is Chomsky, not the very beatific Carle.

Which GWB can read so well that the kids just relax, watch paint dry, take a snooze.

GM Fabians: Parties & Democratic Renewal

Greater Manchester
Fabian Society
are presenting a discussion with Tim Horton (Research Director of the Fabian Society, not the late great Canuck Ice Hockey star and Donut gazillionaire left).

Tim is in fact co author of the recent pamphlet Facing Out – How party politics must change to build a progressive society.

Facing out not facing off.

At Methodist Central Hall map Oldham Street in the heart of the bohemian Northern Quarter of Manchester City Centre 8pm on Thursday 13th September

More details or to confirm attendance: Graham Whitham at Manchesterfabians at googlemail dot com.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Suz Blog: Calling on Lib Dem Whingers to Grow Up

What is Suz up to? Being rather kinder to Emily Thornbury MP than many of her miserable colleagues. ET's hubby has bought a house in a public auction. This was owned by a very successful Housing Association called Ujima who have 4,500 London homes.

This one may not have a great fit with their portfolio, or make more contribution sold. If you have a bit of land in the bank £572,000 can build a good few starter homes - perhaps replacing the other one 500% - and can upgrade even more.

Blogsclusive: Environmental Believers Summit

PICTURE SPECIAL: Top - Air Greenland Boeing 757 built to carry between 243 and 289 passengers. Middle - Greenland aka Erik the Red's Land parts of which were farmed between around 900 and 1500 AD being Green and warm thanks to the Medieval Warm Period. Bottom - Radio Five Live Drive's intrepid reporter Peter Allen who claims he was innocent of making arrangements for ten people (4% of capacity) to enjoy this means of travel from the global warming for faith leaders do reported by him here.

You Gotta Have Faith: Top 10 Religious Blogs

Iain Dale Top Ten Religious Blogs is a real eye-opener for this infidel. A mixture of spoofs and serious sites. Ummah Pulse seems a particularly useful discovery. Added to blogroll. If you link to me and want a link here please let me know in comments or by email.

Fascist Nutjob: Cowardly BNP Wanker "Roger" Calls for Killing of PM, ex-PM and DPM ... Using a Cross Bow

Roger shows how reasonable and legitimate the British National Party are in nutjob Off Topic comments right here. I would not want anyone to miss them. Hence the link. They have been archived in case "Roger" gets "Frit".

Sunday, September 09, 2007

McJobs: At Least One McMistake Per Order Please

McJob: "An unstimulating low-paid job with few prospects, especially one created by the expansion of the service sector".

Above is the current track record at a local McDonalds emporium. I'm sure it was rather better when Liam Byrne and/or John Leech were working there. Current staff all have A Levels if not Honours Degrees but have NOT ONE star on their badges. Those would show they could do the job at hand.

Today there was someone "back stage" food handling in civvies, with a dangling silver handbag, bare feet and flip flops. Mercifully she is not smoking or drinking, not in sight anyway.

The one and only substantial vegetarian sandwich on the healthy eating menu - the Spicy Veggie Melt from the McDeli range - is not available after 8 PM. Company policy. In fact this particular outlet never has supplied LOL one at all. But at 8:02 PM when my order came they had a pat excuse.

Remember EDM Fifteen Forty Two?. Clive Betts and John Leech lead the signataries. Both involved in McSoccerGate of course.

The EDM was published at least a couple of weeks after McDonalds launched their McFauxRage range, which in turn was sometime after their own recruitment campaigns were full of "McJobs" and "McOpportunities". In the UK, though not in the USA where it is more a case of Macy Gray and Carl Lewis. Keeping McPo-faced even describing Hamburger University.

Perhaps Clive and John could tell us how it feels to have signed an EDM as part of a McDonalds propaganda campaign? Having also unwisely fallen into a trap and accepted McSoccer Cup tickets? And in John's case having sanitized his start up MP CV by removing one McJob and massaging another. Both he found embarrassing. Why ever did he do that?

Boris Balls: Iain is Interviewing Boris

Tomorrow (Monday) lunchtime. Do you have any questions? Post them here for fun. Or if you expect them to be asked, at Iain's.