Tuesday, October 24, 2006

[blogfocus wednesday] grouped by theme

Blogger of the week for his NHS commentary

This evening’s Bumper Issue Blogfocus loosely groups bloggers according to themes and the problem is now acute of how to get round everyone and adequately represent them. Old hands will nod and mutter, ‘Wondered how long it would take him to wake up to that,’ and yet ... and yet. So, to the first topic, National politics and Tom Paine kicks off here: Link: Guardian Unlimited The Guardian Cameron's approval ratings slide. This is sad, but not surprising. The British people just don't need another Tony Blair. More bloggers here.

[heart attack] moderate drinking reduces men's risk

I have to post this in its original form: Even as studies have consistently found an association between moderate alcohol consumption and reduced heart attack risk in men, an important question has persisted: What if the men who drank in moderation were the same individuals who maintained good eating habits, didn't smoke, exercised and watched their weight? How would you know that their reduced risk of myocardial infarction wasn't the result of one or more of these other healthy habits? Full report here.

[foreigners] £1000 fines for illegal workers

Romanians and Bulgarians caught working illegally in Britain after their countries join the European Union will face a £1,000 on-the-spot fine, it was revealed today. The Home Office's threat of tough penalties was part of a package designed to reassure the public that a vast new wave of immigration will not be triggered by January 1's EU expansion. Naturally, those two countries have threatened reprisals. Exact details of the new laws here.

[olly north] the 80s make a comeback

Good to see Oliver North back in Nicaragua to give the Liberal Party's Jose Rizo a bunk up. The issue is that Daniel Ortega, of Sandinista fame, could be returned to power in November, if the opinion polls can be relied on. Keep your eye now on Iran in the 80s roadshow which won't go away. [Photo courtesy The Age]

[highway patrol] curbing speeding or making money

Colin Campbell has a piece which might just make you chuckle, on how four young men in Australia had a scam going, causing the traffic police to send speeding fines to themselves. Now the law-abiding amongst you will see this as outrageous, as you will no doubt feel about radar detectors and the like, almost mandatory over here where we live. The question which seriously needs answering is whether the efforts of the police are for the curbing of speeding and thereby saving lives or whether it’s all about creating revenue.

[faith schools] minette marrin misses the point

Minette Marrin, whom I greatly respect, is not right here: Even those who would much prefer a secular system, as I would, still feel they owe a lot to the great ethical and aesthetic traditions of faith schools. And there’s some evidence that religious state schools are better than others, both academically and pastorally. But faith schools are a British anomaly. It should be possible to agree that for various reasons, many of which are politically embarrassing, the time of state-funded faith schools is past. Why? The state-sanctioned religion is Christianity and in particular the C of E. Any religions outside of this with attendant schools, of whatever hue, are faith schools. The C of E schools are the state and therefore, of course, they must remain.

[edinburgh] war on dog doos

You all know the sterling Freedom and Whisky of course but I only discovered it yesterday and immediately was referred to Ewan Aitkens who had written this: I cannot understand why people let their dog’s foul not just pavements but football pitches, parks, verges, playgrounds and all the rest of it. It is a despicable, disgusting disrespectful action and I despise it and those who don’t clean up after their dogs. It’s like letting some one defecate in their front room. Public space is shared space and to ruin it like that is simply unacceptable. It’s about the most anti-social act I come across…It is individualism in the extreme. You’d have to agree with him, wouldn’t you think?

[house of lords] your time is coming once again

How would you like to have a name like: Thomas Galloway Dunlop du Roy de Blicquy Galbraith, 2nd Baron Strathclyde? The man in the photo does and it gives one a warm feeling of solidity, of safety somehow. He’s the Lord Chancellor [I refuse to use the altered terminology] and should be one of the chief advisers to the Sovereign in this fair land.

[aging] the dilemma of the elderly

Reported by Conservative Home some days ago: "David Cameron will today promise to end the 'national disgrace' of the elderly being separated from their families and sent to die in care homes he calls grey ghettoes. The Tory leader will pledge that a Conservative government would shake up the housing laws to make it easier for old people to live with their loved ones." - Daily Mail One hopes it really will amount to more than pre-election words but I can’t see how he’ll change the practice. The problem stems from how the middle-aged view the elderly and how far they deal with the ‘burden’ they see old people as being. I really hope against hope that Cameron can make a difference.

Monday, October 23, 2006

[house of lords] modest proposals for the restoration of same

Edward III would turn in his grave at the Lords Destruction Bill intended to be presented shortly. The US has a grand system, suitable for the US but Britain still has the vestiges of its own time honoured system. Thus I present a small selection of the Lords Preservation Proposals for your perusal: Firstly, the House of Lords is to be known, in perpetuity, as the House of Lords and the Woolsack remains untouched by grubby comm--- sorry. Next, a selection of proposals on Composition, Law Lords and Bills here.