A little local difficulty

Local politics round my way is getting more interesting daily. An exciting and incendiary public meeting in the village tonight was about the nastiest and noisiest assembly I’ve seen since Heseltine swung the mace. The County Council is using a risk-based statistical method (provided by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister) to trim fire… Continue reading A little local difficulty

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You can call me guv

Democracy is alive and well, if uneven as to outcome. The Iraqis have – heroically – produced something approaching a viable constitutional basis for the next round of elections. Morgan Tsvangiri has succeeded in splitting and thus crippling Mugabe’s only opposition in Zimbabwe. In Britain, Labour’s proposed changes to electoral law look like a win… Continue reading You can call me guv

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The Tories’ Messiah?

The Tory leadership fight is the best political entertainment for a decade – and I don’t like saying that because it suggests they’re closer to a come-back than they’ve been for all of that decade. I’m hardly an insider but it’s obvious to me that the party must elect Cameron. They must elect him for… Continue reading The Tories’ Messiah?

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Harry Potter: the verdict is in (in case you’ve been waiting)

I know I’m late to this discussion but I’ve managed, somehow, to fail to connect with the Harry Potter phenomenon entirely. Until now. I’d never read the books nor seen the movies (although the house seems to be half-filled with Potter merchandise). So, this week, I’ve been reading the kids (well, the older two) the… Continue reading Harry Potter: the verdict is in (in case you’ve been waiting)

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Cameron’s drug hell

I honestly wouldn’t have dreamt of getting my oar in here (private grief and all that…) if the Tory Party leadership contest hadn’t become so God-damn entertaining. Cameron’s refusal to confirm or deny is the only politically acceptable response to the drugs question. Everyone (I mean everyone – we are all, after all, sophisticated political… Continue reading Cameron’s drug hell

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Dodgy country reports send refugees back to their doom

Important journalism from Dominic Arkwright on the BBC’s Broadcasting House Sunday Morning news show. It turns out that the ‘country reports’ produced by the Home Office on which immigration service deportation decisions are based are partial and inaccurate. Arkwright says: “Some of the so-called Country Reports are so flawed, it’s said, that they’re virtually useless… Continue reading Dodgy country reports send refugees back to their doom

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Saving Radlett Fire Station

Radlett, the nice Hertfordshire suburb in which I live, is famous for many things – swinging, prostitution and credit card theft, for instance – but it also has a fire station and rather wonderful one too. It was built in 1907, paid for by a local subscription, and it’s staffed, to this day, by a… Continue reading Saving Radlett Fire Station

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Piece of cake, this futurology

I feel obliged to draw your attention to September’s disastrous fall in sales of SUVs (4x4s as we call them here) in the US, not least because, back in May, I told you it was going to happen. (picture from HybridCars.com).

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Real Cowboys & Indians

I bookmarked the National Cowboy Museum’s amazing rodeo history archive at del.icio.us but the site has many other amazing assets, including an excellent library of photographs of native Americans by late Nineteenth Century Western photographers.