Saturday, September 05, 2015

West Midlands Liberal Democrats - Refugee Appeal -Test Post

The West Midlands Liberal Democrats will be participating in an appeal to assist refugees in Europe. The scheme is still being planned and so this post is purely to test whether the Donate button works. Test post to see whether my donate button works

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Not all UKIP Policies are Mad - when it comes to Trains and Beer they have played a blinder.

In the interest of Political Balance – I have found a few UKIP policies I actually like. They are mostly related to Trains and Beer – but none the less, Imagine being able to go all the way round the Circle Line to catch a Great Western Pullman Train, sitting in the Buffet Car supping a good old British Pint whilst pulling out of Paddington Station – Glorious.

"Ukip will return London's Circle line to a circle

"Ukip will encourage a return to the glamour, grace and style of the railway companies of the past through its railway policies. Ukip seeks a return to 'Pullman' trains, with appropriate branding such as 'Great Western Railway', one of the most successful British brands ever."

“the government should insist on a modernised form of traditional branding – chocolate and cream for Great Western, scarlet red for Midland, apple green for the east coast. These are icons of Britishness."
"Ukip would restore imperial measures for all weights and measures, restoring the crown symbol on pint glasses 

"Ukip would cut duty and taxes on traditional draught beers such as real ale, ciders and some lagers. Ukip would also allow landlords to write off against tax promotional costs for traditional beers through pub posters, beer mats and giveaways.

Questions we need UKIP to clarify about their policies before the General Election

The General Election is only months away – and with UKIP are claiming to be a contender.  Given some of the statements made by UKIP in recent months I feel the British Public must have the following clarifications on their policies.

If UKIP won the General Election and Nigel Farage became Prime Minister….

  1. Would non British people living in the UK, or British People living in Mainland Europe need to be repatriated?
  2. If so would this also apply for children born in the UK to non British Parents and how many generations would this go back?
  3. How would this affect other people living in this country descended from people from our former colonies, Afro-Caribbean or the Indian Subcontinent for example? Would UKIP allow them to stay, deport them or move towards an apartheid style system once tried in South Africa?
  4. Will this apply to people from other former colonies such as Australia, Canada, New Zealand etc?
  5. Will UKIP tackle the growing threat of flooding in coastal or flood plains by;a.     Increasing Funding to flood defences,b.     Abolishing Gay Marriage, rounding up Homosexuals and sending them to internment Camps?
  6. Will our armed forces continue to work in Partnership with our former European neighbours to protect our common interests, or will our forces be used to form a defensive shield around Britain to guard against the French, Spanish or Germans as we used to in the old days.
  7. As UKIP believes Climate Change is a myth, will UKIP re-establish the Glory of the British coal mining communities of South Wales and the North of England so we can be self-sufficient in coal powered energy? Will children as young as nine be allowed to go down the pits again?
  8. What will be the penalty for Women caught breast feeding in Public?
  9. As the unemployed will no longer be able to vote, how long must they be in employment before they can register?
  10. Can UKIP be more specific about which disabilities will require compulsory abortions if detected in Foetuses.  

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Ukraine another perspective - [Putin might be right]

This may be quite a controversial perspective on the situation in the Ukraine. There is one thing I read the other day that has made me consider a different perspective.

On the 23rd February, only days after the former Ukrainian president Yanukovych fled the capitol the Ukrainian Parliament voted to repeal a law passed in 2012 that allowed the use of "regional languages" – including Russian, Romainian, Hungarian, and Tatar - see  The International Business Times .

Now that seems a bit odd - why would this be the first thing the new government sought to do. Faced with a country that was falling into disunity, why pass such a divisive law guaranteed to alienate the Russian speaking people in the East and in Crimea. We haven't heard a lot about the repeal of this law in the mainstream media, nor have we heard anything from the ordinary Ukrainian people who were protesting only just over a week ago. The news has been dominated by the events in Crimea.

From the Russian perspective, Crimea had been part of Russia since 1783 and had only been granted to Ukraine in 1954 during a reorganisation of Soviet provinces. When the Soviet Union collapsed the former Soviet Black Sea fleet was divided with the Russian portion of the fleet granted a lease to remain in its port in Sevastopol.   

It seems to me that Putin may have a point. The government in Kiev may have been taken over by people with a right wing tendency. (the Washington Post has an interesting article on the background of some of the groups involved) Indeed the repeal of the Language Law may be considered a nationalist act.

Although undoubtedly a popular move among Russian people at home and in the Ukraine - Putin acting to protect the Black Sea Fleet - Russian assets may be a pragmatic action faced with the risk of the country descending into chaos.

If this had been an issue on the doorstep of the West, we may acted in a similar manner. It is not long ago that the West got involved in the revolution in Libya. What would the US have done if one of their naval bases faced a similar situation? The West has a record of intervening in similar cases and this issue is squarely in the Russian doorstep.

Putin's position globally is fairly secure - he may face rhetoric from the West and some mild sabre rattling. He knows that so far at least he can hang onto Crimea and his fleet and the West is unlikely to do much. The West, Europe especially is also heavily reliant on Russian oil flowing almost entirely through Ukraine.

 I think we should worry less about what the Russians are doing turn our attention to what is actually happening in Kiev. 

So come on Western Media - I would like to understand a little more from the people in the Ukraine and a little more about the new Government and its intentions as it is this that is likely to shape how this will play out and how the Russians may be forced to act in the days to come.

The BBC has an alternative analysis here

Monday, September 19, 2011

Conference Security Lockdown

Security at the conference this Autumn has crossed the line from reasonable to plain daft. On the way in this morning I had a small padlock confiscated. I carry it on my laptop bag so I can lock my bag when on the tube. The conference organisers had instructed security not to allow locks (even small ones like mine) in case I chained myself to anything.

I wouldn't mind, but I have already been screened by the Police and sent in a note from my mom, so you would have thought any delegates finally allowed in would be considered safe.

Following the confiscation a few of us were then held in the security tent due to another security lock down. The police won't say what the issue was, but I suspect it was something to do with the gentleman I was earlier with a shoelace undone.

Its always dangerous trying to kettle Liberals and after a few minutes we had formed a Liberation committee and had already got around to agreeing the agenda for the first meeting to decide the wording of a strongly worded letter, when the doors opened and they let us go about our business.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Baked Sweet Potato with spring onion, cabbage and bacon

Just invented this great dish - very quick, delicious and healthy.

One Sweet Potato (or a normal one)
1 glove garlic thinly sliced
2 spring onions sliced
1 rasher of bacon, with the rind removed sliced into small squares - (or you can use Lardons, sliced meats, pancetta, bresola, anything really)
A few cabbage leaves finely shredded (chiffonade) you should end up with a large handful.
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
A spoonful of wholegrain mustard
A dollop of creme fraiche
A little Parmesan
Ground black pepper

Bake the potato - microwave or the traditional way in the oven. If you are using an oven wait till the potato is about 10 minutes to completion. If microwaving start the next bit straight away.

Meanwhile in a frying pan or wok, heat some olive oil and fry up the sliced garlic till just starting to turn golden, then add the spring onions.

Add the chopped bacon (or whatever you are using) and fry till the fat has started to render out

Add the Cumin seeds and fry till they start to pop. Add the cabbage and fry till the colour turns deeper and it starts to soften.

The baked potato should now be ready. Put it on a plate and open it out, mash the inside a little.

Turn off the heat on the pan or wok. Add the mustard and the creme fraiche and give it a good stir - but not too much, you don't want the creme fraiche to melt and go watery.

Pour into the potato, grate on a little parmesan and a black pepper.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

‘God Particle’ Supercollider Experiment may open doors to other dimensions

‘God Particle’ Supercollider Experiment may open doors to other dimensions Top CERN Boffin admits.

IT news site - The Register reported this afternoon that Scientists believe there is a serious chance that dimension portal events will soon be generated by the Large Hadron Collider.

CERN’s Dr Bertolucci previously briefed the Register on the Theory of Supersymmetry, which suggests that space-time actually has up to ten dimension. Bertolucci explained that the LHC might cause a "door" to "an extra dimension" to open up admitting "Out of this door might come something, or we might send something through it".

The Register did admit in a footnote that until the planned upgrade of the CERN LHC planned after its regular shutdown at Christmas 2012 such inter-dimensional doors were unlikely to be large enough to allow through any ‘Dark Deities’.