Sunday, November 26, 2006

[blogfocus saturday] back to the roots

Well hung blogger and his big gun

[Note before we start: all links are in yellow; red, blue and brown will take you nowhere, sorry.]

From the title, you’ll see that this Blogfocus goes back to my blog-beginnings and in a sort of Genesis of the Daleks manner, I’d like to present, this evening, eleven of the original bloggers who gave support to an arrogantly na├»ve blogger newbie who took some time getting set up and settled down.

While I can’t claim [with one possible exception] deep personal friendships with the individuals here presented, I do claim and I think it is apparent in the writing, that each holds a special place in my blogworld [Oliver Kamm would cringe at this word]. Like you, I can easily forget slights and insults – they’re just the collateral of good debate – but a good deed and kind word is never forgotten.

1] The Pedant-General-in-Ordinary has an alter-ego who can be found at the Select Society but this sort of thing:
We’re doomed and only the EU can save us… is a dead giveaway. Bit of a pointer, one would think.

I was thinking of a doing a “blimmin’ EU” post, but had not raised sufficient bile to do it justice. DK, however, lists us today - not entirely incorrectly - as being broadly anti-EU, so perhaps we should devote some time to the topic.Bring your pitchforks: It’s time to lynch the manufacturers of Mercury Barometers! I mean - look at it: if ever there were an instrument more finely calibrated as a vicious killing machine, I’m struggling to find a better example. I can see the stout jaw of Mr Free Market going all wobbly at the sight of it. Oh, OK, I’m still being facetious, but only just. Listen to this Today Programme interview: The key quote from Philip Collins (MD of restoration company in Devon that deals with Mercury Barometers):

It’s incorrect information that’s bandied around. 30 tons of mercury end up in the atmosphere every year. 0.1% of which is the TOTAL amount used in barometers each year. Average lifetime of a mercury barometer? Well, let’s just say that there is a decent antique market. So we have 0.1% of the total emissions being used in the manufacture and, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that each barometer lasts 100 years - these are expensive items which are handled carefully then hung on a wall where they are then not touched - so the mercury barometer trade could be contributing as much as 0.001% of emissions.

Seriously, this is the level of intellectual rigour applied in favour of a directive which will most likely shut down a craft industry for approaching zero benefit. The governments wanted to ban it immediately, but MEPs have put down an amendment to give a two year phase out to give the companies more time to adjust.

I still have two small issues: 1] Why does action have to been taken at the EU level? Why cannot our government act? 2] If the EU is so concerned about exposure to mercury - so concerned indeed that it must shut down a trade that will have to all intents and purposes exactly zero effect on the risks of exposure to mercury - why does it then INSIST that mercury be injected directly into the bloodstream of small children? Answers on a postcard, preferably addressed to Ms McAvan.

Another 10 bloggers here

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