Friday, 18 April 2008

Life on an Ocean Wave

Blogging has almost stopped for the past couple of weeks. First it was getting everything sorted for the local elections, then it was helping out down in London on the Mayoral Campaign, followed by a bout of "man flu" that I'm still struggling with. Unfortunately blogging will be out of the question next week as well as I will be spending the week before the mast as a crew member on a Tall Ships Challenger. It even makes a special note in the crew handbook that there are no facilities for charging Mobile phones available on board......wonderfull......I'll even be away for my birthday on April 28th so no cake and presents for me.

I'll blog my adventures upon my return on 1st May. Until then here's hoping for a fair wind and sea room!

Tuesday, 15 April 2008

Brown to go?

According to The Spectator Labour Back Bench MP's are giving Gordon Bron until May 2009 to improve or they will force a Leadership Election. Obviously they don't expect a General Election in 2009 if they are going to wait that long, unless they think a bounce in the polls from a new Leader might just be the thing to galvanise the NuLabour faithful (if there are any lefty?) to go out and vote in the June Euro-Elections and so they could get both humiliations (oh please I do hope so.....) over with on the same day?

A Political Betting Website is tipping Andy Burnham as a possible Labour Leader at 14/1. No mention in the betting (apart from 100/1 bar) of the MP for Hartlepool? However apart from both being 30 something I don't think there are any other common characteristics between the two MP's.

Burnham is a Cambridge graduate who has risen quite fast since becoming an MP only seven years ago. He’s articulate, self-deprecating and quite convincing.

Wright isn't (
a Cambridge graduate), hasn't (risen quite fast since becoming an MP), isn't (articulate), definitely isn't (self-deprecating) and is in no way convincing! Although I suppose he convinced enough people that the Hospital was safe so maybe I'll have to admit he's convincing enough to fool some of the people, some of the time.

blogger downside

All is not always rosie here in blogersville. A post that I thought appeared quite innocent has recently cost me a good friend. Just shows you always need to be careful what you release into cyberspace. I thought I'd learned my lesson over a certain tongue in cheek post about common purpose but obviously not. Ah well, chalk it up to experience!

Monday, 14 April 2008


The Tory Party has once again shown how it is completely
committed to political correctness by reportedly insisting
that in the event a man gets the most votes in the ballot
of members for places on the MEP Candidate list in any
region then the second place must be given to a woman.

This has resulted in several male candidates being placed
third on their regional lists behind a female candidate who
finished several places below them in the ballot.
An alternative selection procedure has been suggested and
I have managed to get hold of a copy.

All potential candidates will be invited to attend a
selection event which will result in the first draft
List. The list will be split by region. The list is
subject to ratification by Call Me Dave and by a full
ballot of the members. All potential candidates will be
required to sign a legally release indemnifying the
party from any injury damages or loss however so
arising from attendance at the selection event.
To obtain a place on the list every candidate will be
issued with a 15cm (6 inch in real measurements!)
steel dagger, honed to a razor sharp point and with
a slashing edge. All Candidates will then be placed in
a large room and the lights turned off.
On the signal to commence all candidates will attempt
to stab all other candidates in the back. Candidates
attempting to plunge their knives into a rival’s chest or
straight between the eyes will be disqualified. The only
permitted alternative to a stab in the back will be a
single slash to the throat.
Candidates forming groups for mutual protection will
immediately be disqualified unless the group is
registered in advance with Call Me Dave and is approved
by him.
Some candidates may, at the discretion of Call Me Dave,
be issued with either two knives, a stab proof vests or
a set of low light vision goggles. Some candidates may
receive all three. The decision of Call Me Dave to
award additional equipment will be final. No discussion
will be entered into.
Candidates who are selected for early elimination by
Call Me Dave, or who question any aspect of the
selection process, will have their knife replaced by a
small cod or other suitable fish (as an illustration of
how Tory support for the Common Fisheries Policy has
been a disaster for the UK). In exceptional circumstances
some candidates may also be fitted with illuminated
bulls-eye targets on their back with an LED message
“STAB ME” running around the target.

When the total number of candidates still capable of
stabbing a rival has been reduced to the number required
for the list then the first round selection procedure
will be deemed complete.
Unsuccessful candidates who have survived the process
will be given first aid and returned home after signing
a total confidentiality agreement. Candidates receiving
fatal wounds will be buried with full Party Honours and
nominated for an “Unsung Heroes” Award at the next Party
Conference. Prior to the lights going out all candidates
will have been required to sign a new "Last Will and
Testament" bequeathing their total estate to the Party
to be used as Call Me Dave thinks best.
Call Me Dave and his Old Etonian and Oxbridge Chums will
retire to a behind closed doors session to place the
survivors into a ranked list split by region. The criteria
for sorting the list will be confidential. At this point
additional "wildcard" candidates who have been allowed to
bypass the initial elimination process may be added at the
discretion of Call Me Dave. Any candidates that become
surplus at this point due to additional candidates being
inserted above them in the list will become "reserve
candidates" Call me Dave’s decision will be final.
The full ranked list will then be published and a Ballot
of members will be necessary to approve the list. The
members will be asked to approve the full list as it is
published, no discussion of individuals on the list or
rankings will be possible due to the unavoidable
complexity of the selection procedure.
Ballot papers will be returned to Party Headquarters.
Votes unreservedly approving the list will be placed into
a box for counting. Votes that do not approve the list
will be shredded immediately after opening.

The Complete list will be published on the Party Website as
soon as final approval by the membership ballot is verified.
Due to the fluid nature of British Politics the list will
need to be subject to continual review and upgrading as
circumstances change (for example a C List Celebrity or one
of Call Me Dave’s Mates requiring first or second place
on a winnable list). Call Me Dave’s decision is at all
times final. No discussion will be entered into.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Actions Not Words

Received my St.Hilda Ward Labour Party Candidate's Election Address this week.

He is promising to "assist in the forming of steering groups to make The Central and The Headland a better place for all to live in." A couple of comments come to mind. Firstly I am sure the residents of St.Hilda Ward who reside in Bakers Mead, West View and Powlet Road are pleased to note that they don't need any special consideration. (Grammatically of course that promise should be plural as Central and Headland are two places). I'm sure existing bodies such as Resident's Associations, The Conservation Area Advisory Committee, the TMO on Central, the Parish Council on the Headland and the NAP Group will all be pleased to know another group is going to be set up to talk about things. Maybe the Labour Candidate has his slogan the wrong way round, it should be "Words not actions"

He is also promising to hold regular surgeries in both the Central and the Headland Area. Wonderful stuff! All three existing Councilors already do that so I'm not sure why he needs to promise it? Maybe his surgeries will be bigger and better? Most surgeries actually have very few people turn up, I think this is a good thing as it shows resident's can easily access their Councillors without the need of a pre-arranged time or place to go and see them. His final promise is a quarterly newsletter. Well I have been producing a Ward Newsletter for several years and I'd be happy to let him have some back copies should he like to look through them. I'd be a little bit more impressed if he had been producing and distributing a Newsletter before he was elected rather than promising to do one if he is elected.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

family sunday

As I'm going to be in London all next week I decided we would have a family Sunday. I dragged my daughter out of bed, my son away from the TV and even convinced Sandra that the ironing could wait (not that she needed much convincing). I offered RISK, Monopoly or Mah Jong. The decision was RISK which is always dodgy in my family.

Edward's tactical strength is basically zero, he just wanders round the world without any attempt to disguise his mission. As I held Australia with a gatekeeper army on Siam he just kept bashing away at me and so drained me of strength without achieving his mission. Rosie sat in North America getting 8 army re-enforcements every go until she had overwhelming strength on the board. Sandra ramped straight through South America, Africa and most of Europe before I managed to retain enough strength from Ed's bashing at me to allow me to take out some of Sandra's entrenched positions. Sandra reacted by attacking me at every opportunity. The result was Ed attacking me, me attacking Sandra and Sandra attacking me as well, but luckily she had to go through Edward to get at me. All this time Rosie sat in North America getting stronger and stronger until she burst across Europe and won the game by destroying her mother completely. Just shows that keeping your head down, provoking no one to attack you and doing nothing is not just the best policy for being a local councilor but it also works as a wining strategy in RISK.

We then had a family tennis tournament on the Wii at which the kids destroyed the parents. Followed by Wii boxing where Edward pummelled me into submission as i flailed about failing to land many punches. Apparently the Hospital A & E departments are filled on a Sunday by middle aged men with Wii Injuries brought about by being weekend Dads. I can quite believe it!