New Link…

30 07 2009

Just a quick note to point you in the direction of a new link added tonight. The blog is called Extravagant Nonsense, and is co-written by by Mark Watson, now of Magners fame. It is football based, but it’s a pretty good read. Have a look.


Televise This…

30 07 2009

Apparently, according to Lord Mandelson, our esteemed leader is considering the idea of a presidential style television debate with David Cameron in the build up to the  forthcoming general election. Of course, when this news broke yesterday, Number 10 were quick to distance themselves from the reports. The consequences of such a debate could be disastrous for Gordon Brown and the Labour party.

Don’t get me wrong, I for one would love to see such a debate. It would be, if nothing else, pretty good political tv. The opportunity to see Cameron against Brown in a one-on-one debate is intriguing. Free from the heckles of party backbenchers, this would be more interesting than PMQ’s, with the men on the spot having to think fast, answer convincingly, and remain cool. Obviously the Lib Dems wouldn’t get a say in this, nor would any other political party. This obviously would create the idea that Britain is aspiring towards a two-party state, much like America, which would create a large amount of unrest amongst the smaller political parties.

Nor should it be entertained by members of the Labour party. Brown would, in all honesty, struggle to maintain his composure in such an environment. It has long been rumoured that he has a short fuse, and by being placed, alone, in such an environment, it is possible that this would be exposed. He is not the most engaging public speaker as it is, and the more charismatic Cameron would, I believe, score big points with the voting public in such a debate.

The idea perhaps raises a bigger question though. The issue of how to re-engage the public who feel let down, angered and uninterested in politics is one which will dog all politicians (as well as Esther Rantzen) in the forthcoming months as we build up to the general election. Such a consideration by Brown is an attempt to re-engage the public. Expect more ideas such as this over the rest of the year.

In Memory…

25 07 2009

In the course of the past two weeks the last two British survivors of the First World War have both died. The oldest, Henry Allingham died last week, and today Harry Patch has, so we are told, peacefully passed away. It is truly the end of an era.

I read somewhere after the death of Mr Allingham, that these men were not the bravest, not the best, not the most decorated, but simply the ones who had the misfortune of celebrity through being the last. Whilst I understood what the writer was driving towards, I also felt that he was being a touch unconsidered. These men deserved our respect, both in life and death. For someone to be so casually dismissive of them as simply the ‘last’ was somehow wrong. Yes, they were the last. But they still served on the front line. Mr Patch witnessed first hand the horror of Passchendaele. Mr Allingham was also involved in the Ypres offensives of 1917, but as part of the RFC.  They still had the memories, the atrocities, the pain of the experience, and I’m sure that would have gone with them to the grave.

I wish to say nothing more about them, except simply to express my own appreciation for these men, who were, of course part of a bigger picture, but were for a period, the last parts of this picture.