Friday, June 29, 2007

New Terror Alert

(Press Association)
At this moment it seems like a drunken or drugged up suicide bomber lost his nerve, but it could be anything at this stage. It just goes to show though how we cannot relax our guard, especially when there is a change of Premiership and a cabinet reshuffle

Stephen Timms

I've been asked why Stephen Timms is not in the new cabinet and whether I have heard anything (given that both Stephen Timms and I are CSM members).
Aside from the fact that I am being flattered into thinking I have more of a finger on the political pulse than most other people, the fact is I have no idea* I am a bit disappointed as I think he is rather capable and was actually hoping he would be promoted. That said I am broadly happy with the reshuffle.

* Kerron is the best person to ask as he is a Vice Chair of CSM

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Reshuffle

Well it was as expected, bar one or two surprises and that is how all such reshuffles should be. Am pleased with most of it. Beckett out of the cabinet, Miliband replacing her, Benn at Environment (which is a vital post at this time), Jowell demoted and Hoon given another demotion.
Lets hope that Hodge goes in tomorrows ministerial reshuffle!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I am a Family Friendly Blog apparently

Hat tip to Rachel from North London

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

Missing Anniversaries

Kerron has inadvertently reminded me that I have just passed my second anniversary as a blogger! (In blog terms I am three days older than him)
And Mars Hill seems to have got quite popular within that time and grown and developed. By how much I can't say as I am a bit too close to the project as it were.
I also missed mentioning Macca's 65th birthday, although I didn't seem to have that problem with Lennon's posthumous anniversary, and I am more of a McCartney fan as well :(
Always missing things, time always running by. Even this fob watch doesn't seem to work...
Hang on? ;)

Brown and Queen

Headline just now on Sky News "Brown Meeting Queen", well I am sure it will be interesting to see Brian May and Roger Taylor in Gordon's Ministry of All the Talents! ;)

Blair's Last PMQ's

(BBC Online)
It was dignified, emotional at times, and gracious tributes all round to a man who, at this moment of writing has just stopped being Prime Minister. (In fact at this moment of writing we are in that brief period where Britain has no PM)
It was fitting the House gave him a standing ovation as he is about to also retire as an MP, although am a bit saddened that this is unprecedented( Churchill and Attlee should have been given that sort of farewell for one thing) and whatever my mixed feelings politically towards the former Prime Minister (feels strange writing that), I wish him and his family well for the future.

And here's to Gordon! It will be a happy CLP meeting tonight :)

Quentin Davies

(BBC Online)
Not much to say really, but am pleasntly surprised and pleased that it's the MP for Grantham (is there any Thatcher stomping ground that is still Tory?), and it's a nice start to Gordon Brown's premiership :)
Things Can Only Get Better ;)

Brown Meme

Prague Tory has tagged me on this some while ago, and I kept remembering at the most inconvenient times. However I have a chance to do it today and let's face it, today is a good a day as ever ;)

2 things Gordon Brown should be proud of.-

Bringing in those economic policies, such as the National Minimum Wage which help those on the lower rungs of the poverty ladder. Also helping greatly to relieve Third World Debt

2 things he should apologise for.

Not supporting Leicester City
Not giving his Profiles book wider publicity (although he is a busy man)

2 things that he should do immediately when he becomes PM.-

Sack Margaret Hodge
Continue to run things effectively as he has done at the Treasury in the past decade
(Oh and check out that flat at No 11!)

2 things he should do while he is PM.-

Continue to help aid Africa and to do more to help the environment. These are policies which need to be dealt with now

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Predictions! Well hopes for Tomorrow

I would like to speculate about who Gordon will have in his cabinet, but I fear about the amount of egg on my face and in any case those exercises can be affected by who the person speculating would want to see in the cabinet!
But I will mention who I think/hope will be promoted and who I think/hope will be out.


Tessa Jowell: The embarrasments involving her and her husband (and that includes the Bernie Ecclestone affair some years back), mean that she is damaged goods

Hilary Armstrong: Thats a given, but she let her temperemant and her emotions get the better of her and that caused problems at crucial moments

Peter Hain: He's not bad, and has been helpful over N.Ireland, but coming as low as he did in the Deputy leadership polls says something. For that reason I think Hazel Blears might have to go

John Reid: He is going anyway, but I can't see him in this forthcoming cabinet if he wasn't!

Margaret Beckett: Has not done anything outstanding, is oppurtunist (She was a Bennite until it was inconvenient, was unhelpful in the original push against Millitant, and helped kick Dick Taverne into the wilderness), and is too cold and aloof for my liking. I confess I have never taken to her personally or politically and in any case she should move aside for some fresh blood. Eighteen years at the top without doing anything spectacular is long enough

Margaret Hodge: I hope I don't have to spell out why! I think we should also look at her future as an MP!

The role of Attorney General will also have to be looked at. Perhaps chosen by an independent body?


Hilary Benn: Has done a superb job at DFiD

David Milliband: Likewise good at his brief and is popular amongst some within the Party

Yvette Cooper/Ed Balls: Have been helpful and unstintingly loyal

Douglas Alexander: Likewise

Stephen Timms: Is heavily involved with Faithgroups and has had a good Treasury record

Caroline Flint: Another long serving talent who deserves promotion

Looking forward to finding an edible hat to eat tomorrow! ;)

Deputy leadership discussion on 18 Doughty Street

Click here to watch last night's Blogger TV on 18 Doughty Street. The main discussion was about the results of the Deputy leadership election and it was fairly relaxed (the very time you should be careful ;) )
It was also good to meet Rachel from North London at last, and also to meet Rupa Huq who from what I know of her is a kind and thoughtful person and utterly deserves to be MP. Have now added both of them to my blogroll

Monday, June 25, 2007

It's a New Dawn, It's a New Day...

As the song goes
Yes I didn't vote for Harriet, but she is now our Deputy and two things need to be borne in mind. 1) That her criticism of the Iraq War definetly helped her win votes and 2) She clearly struck a chord with the various strands of the Party and appeals to various strands of the electorate, which is why I think Gordon was wise to make her Party Chair and not give her a Departmental Job. This way she can be a conduit to the voice of Labour members and also use her talents to the full
Tonight, I shall once again be on 18 Doughty Street, so you can hear more of my views on this then.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Harriet the Deputy

(BBC Online)
" - it showed how scared they were of what he stood for. When his ascension was confirmed in the second ballot a week later, my fellow students and I drank a happy toast to this victory for socialism. I looked across to the Tory students on the other side of the University bar and they seemed to be celebrating something too. Perhaps it was someone's birthday I thought."

Thus spoke John O'Farrell in his book "Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter" on Michael Foot's election as Labour leader

Okay, Harriet Harman's election as Deputy leader wasn't nearly as catastrophic, but can any reader who voted for her explain why, when the result was declared, one of my Tory relatives has been making smug comments to me in the past half hour, and why some Tory bloggers have reacted like this ? Perhaps if she had put her main reasons for being Deputy other than simply being a woman, I wouldn't feel so concerned.

Iain Dale is right in one sense though. Gordon is a formidable opponent for the Tories (His speech was utterly fantastic and it's a real boost to have him in the helm). Just a pity we didn't give them a "Double Whammy". Plus the latest opinion polls were a good start to the day :)
And at the end of the day Harriet is now Deputy leader :/, so we now need to pull around her.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Doctor Who - The Sound of Drums

Well that was definetly one of the best episodes yet! John Simm is certainly bringing a slightly different style to The Master, but you still get the danger, the sociopathic qualities, as well as the occasional sly nods to the series in the early 1970s.

The dialogue between the Doctor and the Master was also good, especially the back story which explained a) How the Master got a new cycle of regenerations and b) why he is a complete and utter nutcase
Definetly one of the best stories yet!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Smoking Ban - July 1st

(BBC Online)

Why? Well I am one of those non smokers (and before the accusations start, I was never a heavy or addicted smoker in the first place) who dislikes being near people smoking when I am at work, when I am in a pub or bar, when I am eating out. As far as I am concerned the smoking, no smoking barriers do not work as sometimes there is only a strip of space between the two areas. What's worse is that many of those who do smoke in view of the discomfort of others are the ones who get obnoxious when challenged, bleating on about "their rights!", which seems to be shorthand for "I am being selfish doing what I want and I don't care about anyone else in consequence!" If there is any type of individual that deserves to be rapped on the knuckles by society, it's people like that!

But the classic was last Sunday when David Hockney was interviewed by Andrew Marr on the Sunday AM programme. He called the new laws "Mean Spirited" which was interesting, as first of all the vote in the Commons which made this law was a free vote and many of the MP's who voted for the ban voted with the advice of various constituents ringing in their ears. Furthermore what would be "mean spirited" would be if the NHS forbade treatment of those who have smoking-related illnesses as it was "their fault", an argument that I have actually heard some advocate. Hockney just doesn't know when he has it good.

There, glad I got that rant off my chest!

Sir Alan Sugar - Cabinet Tsar!

In spite of what Iain says (and don't forget that he is a Tory with an agenda), I am sure this is a spoof. But I do like the idea and if Gordon keeps Margaret Hodge, which hopefully he won't (if I had my way she wouldn't even be an MP), wouldn't it be interesting if Sir Alan is made her boss! ;)
Seriously though, I am looking forward to the reshuffle next week. A chance to get rid of the small coterie of embarrassments, the obnoxious and superior ministers in government, and the promotion of some of the real talent that have been languishing slightly in the past few years

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Last Day helping Team Benn

Well last day actively helping. I will encourage anyone in the Labour Party who hasn't voted to do so through to tomorrow.
It was a bit quiet at the HQ today, but I helped with phoning Party members, and like my comrade and rival, Miranda Grell, it's a shock to find that a no of people have yet to vote. Please do so a.s.a.p if you haven't and are involved with the Labour Party, because this is one of the best chances to get your voice heard and if you are unsure, may I recommend that you vote for Hilary Benn as someone who has many years experience in the Party grassroots, who has had a good record as a government minister and who has a reputation for broadmindedness and decency that is needed in this day and age.
And whether Hilary wins or loses I have to say I am proud to have been involved in his campaign. He also has had a good team with him. The two Alex's (Hilton and Baker) have worked unstintingly hard on his behalf, giving time and effort beyond the call of duty and that deserves special mention!
So here's to this coming Sunday

Piara Khabra

The oldest MP in the House of Commons has died aged 82.
Piara Khabra was a gentle and decent man who began his Parliamentary career just a decade ago. I saw him once or twice in Portcullis House and it seemed difficult to believe that he wasn't a decade younger than he was.
He was an inspiration to many elderly people who aim to lead active lives and a man who will be much missed

Monday, June 18, 2007

First Joint Interview of Hilary and Tony Benn Part V

Courtesy of Nicholas Watt of The Observer and Alex Hilton

The Falklands - Twenty-Five Years On

(BBC Online)
I caught some of the ceremony on TV yesterday, but it was a no of documentaries on the actual liberation of the Islands which caught my attention.

Every so often we read or hear about the abuses that go on in the Army and it is true that they exist and that such things need to be rooted out and dealt with. But what impressed me was the sheer courage and tenacity of the British men who fought in the Falklands conflict. These men endured the brutal attacks on RFA Sir Galahad, where the Welsh Guards suffered heavy losses and yet the survivors were more concerned about their wounded colleagues than their own welfare! You had the the bravery of Lt Colonel H. Jones, which led to his tragic death, as well as the tenacity and bravery of the Islanders themselves, who were subjected to appalling treatment by some of the Argentine Forces.

And we must remember it was for their sake the British liberated the Islands and the fact that they had lived there their whole lives and were content to remain British. It certainly wasn't a war about oil!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Peep Show on the Problems of Hunting

(Channel 4)

All I can say is that I hope I don't one day have a father-in-law like this, otherwise this post might come back to haunt me. Very funny though!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Doctor Who - Utopia Part II

No spoilers for now but...

Watch it if you get the chance. It's frightening, it's fantastic, it's almost a pleasure to see someone return (and no, I don't mean Captain Jack, although it's good he is back), and it's enough for you to want to return for the next fortnight

Friday, June 15, 2007

The Apprentice Final!

I know this comes across as arrogant but I am not surprised. First year, Sir Alan picks Tim over the more outspoken Saira. The second year he picks Michelle over the more outspoken Ruth, I just knew that, in spite of Kristina's abilities and talent, it would be Simon who would be picked out of the two of them!

First Joint Interview of Hilary and Tony Benn Part IV

Courtesy of Nicholas Watt of The Observer and Alex Hilton

Thursday, June 14, 2007

First Joint Interview of Hilary and Tony Benn Part III

Courtesy of Nicholas Watt of The Observer and Alex Hilton

Labour History Group Meeting

Last night I attended a meeting of the Labour History Group (my first) at one of the committee rooms in the House of Lords. The speaker at this event was the former Labour Deputy leader and cabinet minister, Lord Healey.

Just two months away from his 90th birthday, he spoke for nearly an hour and then took questions from us, without seeming to flag at all. Mentioning being at Oxford in the 1930's, being an officer during the War, his years as a cabinet minister and his thoughts on Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. I took some fifty minutes worth of film of the event, with a vague idea of using some of it for 18 Doughty Street, that said, the LHG are very interested in it and want to use some of it themselves. In any case it was quite a privilege to do this and to meet Denis Healey who still has a childlike sense of humour at the appropriate moments (he pulled a silly face at Alex and myself when he found we were going to film him).

All in all, an enjoyable evening

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Things I Do Today

It's one of those days off which are very busy. I have already been at Team Benn HQ and did some more phoning-in, and having looked at the evidence so far, it looks positive so long as we keep our eyes on the ball and work like thunder.
This evening is also rather exciting in that Denis Healey will be speaking to the Labour History Group. Denis will be 90 in August and is still fairly active. As someone who was on the Labour front bench in the days of Hugh Gaitskell, held high office under Wilson and Callaghan, was Deputy leader of the Labour Party under Michael Foot, and who retired from frontline politics when Neil Kinnock was leader, his comments on today's political situations will be worth hearing.
In the meantime I have to do a little errand for my old friend Kerron, asI have a suspicion that if I don't, I will be hung by my shoelaces on the Clock Tower of Big Ben. Don't ask why! ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

What Katie Did Next!

I think my response is "Saddened but not surprised!" Some people just never seem to learn that simply being ruthless and backstabbing your colleagues is not going to get you very far. She wanted success and I think she wanted fame and now, at a cost, she has it!
A period of silence and reflection on her part (not only on her actions, but also her behaviour and the way she has made many enemies) would perhaps be welcome. The sad thing is that she has talent and ability, it's just sad that Katie seems to use too much energy going about things the wrong way and possibly with the wrong motives!


A warm welcome to another new blogger. Enthusiastic but Tory :(. Has a sparky honesty about him though and will shortly be another blogger on my blogroll on the sidebar

Doctor Who, Utopia

According to David Tennant, this is a crucial episode in the whole series, so I am looking forward to watching this on Saturday. It's also the episode where Captain Jack makes his return (complete with unorthodox entry). Definetly worth watching, and click below if you want to see a brief clip of Captain Jack's return


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Katie and Diana

So the weeks news has been dominated by the antics of Katie Hopkins. Was this all a game plan of hers to knife her way through The Apprentice, only to jump ship at the crucial moment? How she seems to have a penchant for married men and leave a trail of devastation in her wake. Was that photo contrived? (I suspect it was. It looked too neat!)
It all leaves you wondering who the real Katie Hopkins is! Caring mother? Fun person who brings a bubbly ray of sunshine? Homewrecker? game player? B***h extraordinaire? And for that reason alone, because of her seeming lack of ethics and trustworthiness, I am not sure I would hire her if I were Sir Alan. I also wonder what has motivated her, what has made her like this. Yes she might have been bullied when younger, but so was I, so were many people, but many people don't behave like she did! Feel sorry for her though!
And yes this is "a game" in some respects and I will concede with gritted teeth that Katie has played it well, but what has it done for her reputation and long term chances and ability to move onwards and upwards in the media and business world? Even the best gamblers suffer heavy loses!
And talking of "The Media", I am disapointed that not surprised that Channel 4 decided to show that documentary. After all sensationalism sells. It's just a pity that they don't properly consider the feelings of those loved ones left behind and demean the memory of those who have died.

UPDATE: Katie Hopkins wants to become a Conservative MP. I had better leave it at that, or else a) I am in danger of doing a Katie and b) will get a whole load of unpleasant comments from Tory trolls! Suffice to say that if she does get accepted by the Conservatives, I wonder if they will give her a Northern constituency to fight ;)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Big Train on what Jesus has had to put up with!


One of my all-time favourite comedy sketches. A bit near the knuckle, butjust brilliant down to a tee!

Friday, June 08, 2007

Big Brother and Bloggers Social

I know it's the trendy thing to say but it's true. I have not watched this year's Big Brother at all, as my sister says, once you start you get sucked in. So I have to say that Emily Parr's mere existence is news to me, but why am I not surprised! I think BB did the right thing though, Emily may have intended it as a joke but it wasn't funny and was highly offensive.
Onto another piece of news which leaves less of a bad taste in the mouth, those who are on Facebook will know I am organising the bi annual Bloggers Social this year. It will be at The Coal Hole, which is in The Strand in London on Saturday 7th July at 5PM. Those bloggers, blogger groupies, and former bloggers invited who are coming, might be coming, or who have yet to reply are , James Cleverly, Cally's Kitchen, Kris Brown, Adele Reynolds,, The Wonderful World of Lola, Union Futures, Bloggers4Labour , Furberworld, Radioleaflet , Someday I Will Treat You Good , My Rambling Thoughts , rose's random ramblings , Tim Roll-Pickering , Antonia's blog , Kerron Cross-The Voice of the Delectable Left , Sarah Jocelyn Weston, PooterGeek , Living Ghosts Endurance Challenege , Labourhome , all the lads at Fisking Central , Jonathan Chilvers , Conservative Mind, , Jonathan Shipley, One Small Voice , Peculiar Times , Tonguefire , BrightonRegencyLabourSupporter, NormBlog , Don Paskini , Rullsenberg Rules , Skuds' Sister's Brother , Three Score Years and Ten , Lizzie Fision , Prague Tory , Ellee Seymour , BaldockBaldrick , Paul Linford , Normal Mouth , and The Done Thing

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Team Benn, Kerron, and last night's Apprentice

What a lot of you may not know is that not only have I been endorsing Hilary Benn on my blog, but I have been actively campaigning for him as well. So yesterday I turned up at Team Benn HQ in Central London and put in my share of the day's work.
It was my first day there so I didn't know quite what to expect, but before long I was putting info into the computer network and getting in touch with various local councillors up and down the country. Now that might not seem much, but to any seasoned campaigner such jobs are very useful because it gives you a first hand idea of what many voters are thinking. It was also helpful because the omens seem rather good at the moment, plus working with Team Benn is great fun, because not only are you supporting a candidate who is like a breath of fresh air, but also you are working alongside such a talented and decent minded team.
I left at about Four, as I needed to get home fairly early and also cram some shopping in, but I also had enough time to pop into Westminster and meet up with Kerron, who was working hard, although happy to give a few minutes of his time. I tell you this now, not only do I think Linsay is a good girlfriend for Kerron, she would make a good PA for him as well. Keeping order the moment Kerron's back is turned, and believe me that's vital.
Then home and last night I was watching that penultimate episode of The Apprentice. Was pleased Tre and Katie didn't make it to the final, because although both are very talented they have their flaws. Tre being unable to take criticism, Katie for being a bit of a bulldozer and for her unpleasant personal comments on other contestants. Was also pleased Kristina and Simon made it to the final and I would be happy to see either of them win. Simon for his hard work and gentle enthusiasm, Kristina for her grit and determination against the odds and managing not to be as unpleasant as Katie during their feud.
Incidentally I totally agree with Kerron in his assesment on Katie walking out of The Apprentice

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Mars Hill Blog Stats (May 2007)

Better late than never

Top Ten Cities listed (from where people visit Mars Hill)

London, Bury St. Edmunds, Liverpool, Corunna, Chelmsford, Letchworth, Luxembourg, Stevenage, Plano, Milton Keynes

Top Ten Countries listed (In order of most visits to my blog)

United Kingdom

United States









For those who have started reading my blog in the last month, or who have returned after an absence, a warm welcome to you all

Top Ten Blog/Web Visitors

1) BaldockBaldrick (+8)

2) Kerron Cross - The Voice of the Delectable Left (+8)

3) The Done Thing (+1)

4) Cally's Kitchen (NEW-ish)

5) Jonathan Chilvers (NEW-ish)

6) Daily Referendum (NEW)

7) Paul Linford (-)

8) Iain Dale (-4)

9) Freemania (NEW-ish)

10) Bloggers4Labour (-4)

Out of the Top Ten are Conservative Mind , My, Tim Roll-Pickering , and Brighton Regency Labour Party

Top Ten Searchwords that lead people to my blog

mars hill

chavs on mars

mars hill blog

david walliams labour party

vote saxon

miranda grell

life on mars final

paul mellor guitar

questionare for a coffee shop

luton labour blog election result

First Joint Interview of Hilary and Tony Benn Part I

Courtesy of Nicholas Watt of The Observer and Alex Hilton

A Short Statement

Yesterday I made a small syntax error on my blog (now corrected) which made it appear that I was now a member of the Conservative Party. In context of the blog entry that would be counted as absured, but Kerron wisely pointed out the error to me. Unfortunatley, due to being at work and then attending a Hilary Benn supporters social in London I couldn't amend my post before copies appeared in Facebook, B4L daily e-mail etc..
May I therefore point out now that, however much I like some individual Conservatives and respect them, I am not a Conservative, I have never been a Conservative, and quite frankly would rather do about ten disgusting and horrible things to myself best not mentioned on a blog such as this before I would consider joining them, and that I have a deep and abiding love for the Labour Party that I never thought would be called into question.

Twenty Questions to a Fellow Blogger Part XXX: BaldockBaldrick

BaldockBaldrick is 27, just. He was born in Lancashire , went to university in the midlands and moved down south to be with his girlfriend.
He supports Manchester United and is one of only a handful who have actually been to watch them play live at Old Trafford. Though the last time was seven years ago when he lived near Manchester .
He writes. He would say for a living but it doesn’t pay much. To supplement his earnings he spends as little money as possible.
He passed his driving test last year and have not got any points on his license…yet.
He has a pet hamster, likes to whistle along to Radiohead songs (which kind of defeats the object of listening to them) and is a vegetarian. His blog is
The World According to BaldockBaldrick

What made you decide to start blogging?

I kept finding myself reading more and more blogs on newspaper websites and on and I thought “what the hell, I’ll give it a go myself”. It’s proved to be very therapeutic so far.

What is your best blogging experience?

I’ve only been blogging about a month so I haven’t had that many. However the highlight would be working out how to find out how many people were looking at my blog each day. It’s important for two reasons. The first is to see if people are coming back to your site (which, thank God, they are). The second is an ego boost. We’re all vain.

And your worst?

I’ve not had any bad experiences. I get annoyed with Nadine Dorries’s blog. I’ve left a couple of comments on there but they never appear in the comments section. My comments are critical but not offensive. I’ve no idea why they don’t appear. Maybe she doesn’t like criticism.

What do you regard as your best blog entry?

This is my best blog -
I think journalists should report the news. They should not become the news. I think the desperation to find new angles on the disappearance of Madeleine McCann led some journalists to go over the top. This was the worst of them. It was an awful piece of journalism and an awful decision by the editor to go with it.

Favourite blogs?

The ones I read regularly include Guido and Iain Dale. I take both with a big pinch of salt, as you should when reading any blog including my own. I also like Daniel Finkelstein’s blog for The Times. I’m not a Murdoch fan but Finkelstein is the best of his writers.

Why Baldock Baldrick as a title?

I was watching Blackadder when I was starting up my blog – and I live in Baldock. I think it sounds quite funny. Can you imagine Baldrick writing a blog?

What started your interest in politics?

Oh, crikey. Not sure about that one. I studied politics at college and it certainly wasn’t that.
I’ve always thought of myself as a pragmatist when it comes to politics but the more I blog the more I am discovering what kind of political animal I am.
Next question…

How do you rate Kid A as an album?

A friend of mine thinks that if you take the best five songs from Kid A and the best five from Amnesiac then you would have the perfect album. I think he’s got a point. Kid A is a very good album..

Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?

I would like to take a journey on the Trans-Australian Railway, stopping off at various desert towns on the way. The thought of being on a train going through a scorching hot desert while watching kangaroos bounce alongside sounds like fun.

Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?

Barcelona – the greatest city on Earth (well, the best city I’ve been to so far).

Do you have a favourite political figure in history?

Alastair Campbell. Though not for the right reasons.

Which political figure has been your greatest inspiration?

I don’t have one.

Favourite Bond movie?

Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig.

Favorite Doctor Who?

Christopher Ecclestone. I was never a big fan growing up.

Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?

What a strange questions. Urm, I prefer vanilla ice cream.

Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?

I guess it would be The Ramones. I’ve seen plenty of good bands play live but would have loved to been around in New York in the mid to late 70s.

In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford , Cambridge , or Barsby, Leics..?

Cambridge – I go there quite often.

Favourite national newspaper?

The Grauniad. Followed by The Independent.
As a youngster I liked the Sunday Sport. What a silly newspaper that is.

What would you say your hobbies were?

Eating and Sleeping. I can’t say I’ve tried both at the same time.
I also read a lot, both fiction and non fiction.

And what would you say were your three favourite songs and three favourite books (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?

What’s wrong with Shakespeare?
The Three Musketeers – Alexandre Dumas
Carter Beats The Devil – Glen David Gold
The Inimitable Jeeves – PG Wodehouse

Lover, You Should’ve Come Over – Jeff Buckley
Helter Skelter – The Beatles
How to Disappear Completely – Radiohead

Monday, June 04, 2007

Iain Dale on David Mellor

It's quite rare that I will totally agree from beginning to end with Iain about a fellow Conservative of his*, but with David Mellor there is an exception (apart from the bit about David Cameron, although I think those of us who are anti-Conservative should be dignified in our attacks on him). I sometimes feel sorry for Mellor because I think he is his own worst enemy, but he is also an example of why many of my generation have a personal, as well as a political dislike of the Conservative Party. And in case people think I am being unfair, remember how he treated his family all those years ago, and his bad grace in losing at Putney in 1997.
It's also because of him that I started to have a low opinion of Chelsea.

*Although I noticed I say that in a no of posts where I mention Iain, before going on to agree with him over something :/

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Alan Partridge Over Britain

Hat tip to Kris Brown. I almost forgot about this comedy gem from 1994. A lesson from beginning to end in how not to Chair a political debate ;)