Friday, January 30, 2009
So this address may be of use to you:
Disaster Emergency Committee
PO BOX 999
London EC3A 3AA
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Well Recess Monkey adds an interesting twist to the tale.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
And yes I do think there is snobbery here, not the straightforward class snobbery, but more of a tribal snobbery and possibly old vs new money in some quarters. Put it this way, it would be interesting how Activities Abroad would define their policy, or even places of destination if chavs not only start calling their children Cordelia, Alice, Michael, or erm.. Paul, but also start going on holiday in places like Norway, the South of France, or anywhere else that appeals to the "established middle classes"!
Kiff is a professional Engineer who lives in Bristol UK with his wife and they are expecting their first child in 2009.
Kiff is heavily involved with scouting, filling the roles of Assistant County Commissioner for the Scout section in Avon and Scout Leader with a local scout group. On top of that he plays cricket and badminton when he can and he support Scotland in the Rugby(it is a birth right thing).
Kiff has in one form or another been trying to write a successful blog for a number of years and so far this is the longest running project :). His blog is Jabbering All Day Long
How did you get involved in blogging?
I have always liked the idea of keeping a journal, something that someday someone will find and read over, in the way major figures do like HRH the Prince of Wales. However I have tried to start a journal on a number of occasions and failed. The option of writing an online journal came about in the form a blog so I decided to try that.
What is your best blogging experience?
I don’t believe I have had my best blogging experience yet.
And your worst?
The worst blogging experience is an odd one, if it's more of a fear than an experience. The fear that there is no one reading my blog and therefore what is the point! I would like to have readers and followers.
What do you regard as your best blog entry?
I am not sure I have made it! I am sure that after baby meadows is born I will make my best blog entry.
It has got to be Stephen Fry’s blog, the man is a true legend
You mention your love of Twitter on your blog. What would you say to encourage Mars Hill's readers to join?
I am not sure what you are trying to get people to Join! My blog or Twitter? I will base my answer on the fact that you are looking for people to Join Twitter.
Twitter is a micro blogging function it allows , in a kind of stalker way, to follow the every move of a person. It could be your best friend your mum or it could be someone famous. Posts can be made by text as well as from a number of mobile applications that can be downloaded to smartphones or Iphones etc. It is also posible to obtain a number of web apps that can be used. When you start out you will feel more like an observer than a contributor because you will read what others are doing but will not have people reading what you are doing.
Some famous twitters include
Stephen Fry – last message at time of writing (lmatow) – One scene down. Five to go. Morale high. Too many cakes available. Mustn't weaken. Mustn't weaken. Mustn't weaken. Mustn't wea....gaaaaargh)
Robert Llewleyn – lmatow - Having been tweeting since June last year, I can really say it's catching on. I'm such an early adopter saddo, so it's nice when it grows
Abby Lee (blog girl with a one track mind) – lmatow - Barclays Bank just hung up on me, after promising to connect me to Customer Complaints. I'm on the verge of tears and am going into hiding.
Also known to be on twitter are John Cleese, Jonathan Ross, Barack Obama (in the form of White House press office) etc.
If you have a little bit of Fame, stalkering in you this can be very interesting seeing what people are up to.
Do we know if Baby Meadows will be a boy or a girl?
Your job seems to involve a lot of stays in hotels. Is there anyone you particually recommend?
Hotels are difficult items, peoples interpretations of what makes a good hotel change, I am also bound by company policy to stay in hotels which fall within the Project budget and agreed rates with clients. I tend to use Premier inn because they fall within budget measures and you know what you are getting. I have been to a very nice hotel called the March Bank at Scotch Dyke in Cumbria and it is a wonderful family run restaurant (http://www.marchbankhotel.co.uk/)
Is there anywhere abroad which you haven't been to, that you would like to visit?
The list is long and varied but I think number 1 on the list would have to be New Zealand.
Is there anywhere abroad you have visited, that you would love to revisit?
When I was young we lived in the far east so we visited, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Brunei. This is a whole area which I would like to revisit so I can relive the memory from when I was young.
Do you have a favourite political figure in history?
I guess I would have to say Nelson Mandela – recently watched Goodbye Bafana it is a wonderful insight into Nelson Mandela's life in prison.
Which figure has been your greatest inspiration?
Favourite Bond movie?
I don’t have a favourite Bond movie, they are all my favourite you can pick between them they are just Bond movies. I have not seen the latest one which moves from the mould but we shall see.
Favorite Doctor Who?
I enjoy Dr Who, but I never really had a favourite but if I had to chose one it would be Sylvester McCoy, as he was Dr Who when I watched it.
Chocolate, vanilla, or mint?
Mint Choc Chip
Which Band, past or present, would you most like to see in concert?
In terms of visiting for the weekend, Oxford, Cambridge, or Barsby, Leics..?
Not really sure what you are asking! If I was having a weekend away I would go to the South West somewhere like Woolacomb or Bude, or I would go to the Lake District.
Favourite national newspaper?
Depends on my mood, I get the Times because I like the puzzles and on Sundays I like the supplements, other times I get the Independent or the Guardian.
What would you say your hobbies were?
Hobbies – well Scouts, but there is also badminton, cricket and the outdoors, I used to play Rugby.
And what would you say were your favourite song and favourite book (Bar the Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare)?
Favourite song at the moment is Barenaked Ladies – Take it Back, and book wise, well I am not really a proflic reader but I am really enjoying Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Monday, January 26, 2009
But if what Iain has said is true about his comments last night, esp given that The Sun and the Daily Mail are gunning for him in a big way, then he has not done himself any favours and should go.
There are ways of facing down your opponents, and taking a superior V sign waving attitude is perhaps not the best option when those said opponents, whether bullies or not, are rather powerful. Unless you have a good plan of attack up your sleeve it is best to leave well alone and keep one's head down.
It's especially needed after several years of unethical acts during conflicts and causes of conflict, and it's even more needed during this time of economic recession. So whilst many many knock such comments, I think Gordon Brown is making a valuable point here.
Pessimism works more as a virus on the economy than anything else if you think about it, and whilst it is right to acknowledge the mess we are in and not to devalue the long and arduous journey it will take to recover, likewise we should say that the fightback begins here and now and that we must all work together to bring about recovery.
Friday, January 23, 2009
But all eyes go to the Best Supporting Actor catergory, where Heath Ledger has been nominated posthumously for his role as the Joker in Batman: The Dark Knight. Given the brilliance he showed in that role, that it is his penultimate film role, that he has even been nominated, I think it is likely that he will get it.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
"But know this America - they will be met." "
One of the defining comments that Barack Obama made in his inagural speech as 44th President of the United States
And he is right to not only point out where the US has lost it's way, it's sense of moral compass where their government is concerned over the previous eight years, but also that the challenges we all face will take time, effort, sweat, and tears. That said there is so much goodwill for him right now, so much of a desire to see him succeed, and so much awareness of what a mountain we all have to climb, that I don't think the warning will go unheeded. I hope not anyway.
But hope always triumphs over cynicism, even if it takes a long while. Recently the BBC have unearthed some footage of an interview they gave to Martin Luther King in 1964, where he mentioned his belief that America would one day have a black President. Apparently Robert Kennedy was almost bang on in accuracy when he stated around that time that he expected to see a black President within forty years. I hope that if it is possible, they are seeing todays events and smiling that some of what they have dreamt has come to pass.
But today also has its sadness. Senator Edward Kennedy is ill in hospital. Many of us will pray for his recovery and in the midst of all the joys of today, our thoughts must also go to him and his family.
Monday, January 19, 2009
But he is beatable, he was on the Conservative front bench in 1997, and he does have a less than perfect record.
Plus he is someone who a no of right-wing Tories do not think highly of, as Gordon Brown pointed out today when he stated:
"It's good to have someone in the shadow cabinet who has supported our policy on Europe, supported our policy on VAT and is probably quietly supportive of many of our other policies."
Lets see how long the honeymoon will last!
President Carter on the Success of the Egypt/Israel Talks and President Reagan on the Cold War Situation
Footage courtesy of the Miller Center of Public Affairs
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Next is Gerald Ford's opening speech as President. Humbling, and yet sincere. Ford might not have been the sharpest President, but he was gentle and straightforward. Two essential qualities needed in the post. Footage courtesy of the Miller Center of Public Affairs
Friday, January 16, 2009
But this is only a tiny fraction of part of the problem at looking at the Israeli/Palestinian situation. Namely that whilst the Israelis are behaving in a vicious and appalling manner towards the Palestinian people, equally they have suffered great provocation and do have a right to exist, something that some in the Arab community find hard to take in.
Donal Blaney's view (and those who share it) will not help and encourage those who are rightfully angry with Israel to see the full picture (in fact I wonder if that was the intention). Equally, Tim and others should perhaps consider more about the history of Israel, what the Israelis have gone through, and the treatment they have recieved at the hands of terrorists like Hamas. I refuse to apologise or condone the actions of either, but we must forgive and we must work hard to bring about lasting peace on both sides and listen to the anger and concerns from both sides. However frustrating or long it takes
Sir John Mortimer was a fine author. Indeed he had a way of getting inside the skin of the anti-heroes in his books with a certain degree of empathy, but still with sharp criticism (see Leslie Titmuss) , which makes it easy to see how he made a good barrister.
But it was for his creation of Horace Rumpole that he will be most remembered. The barrister who always stood for the defence, who calmly stood for justice and faced down many opponents, but lived in some trepidation of his beloved wife Hilda (otherwise known affectionatley as "She Who Must Be Obeyed!").
Both men much missed, and who made life a little more exciting.
Thursday, January 15, 2009
It's basically a no brainer!
As for John McDonnell, one cannot help but wonder if this was pre-orchestrated and therefore an act of indulgence and not helpful at all. It won't help his cause and only put up the backs of MP's of varying opinions on this matter.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I also know of at least one Labour MP who is dyslexic as well, so this assertion will go down well in the corridors of Westminster today
Monday, January 12, 2009
Sunday, January 11, 2009
'Young Tories need to understand that Conservative Future is not some merry drinking club for a bunch of idiots.'
And to be fair, I know of one or two Young Conservatives who are very decent people, such as Tim Roll-Pickering, plus no Party is immune from its problem members, but it does look like the Conservatives might need to look at what sort of people they are attracting amongst the young, esp girls like Flick Cox who said:
'I am quite glad about that, I would hate to have to end our friendship when I become an MP because you had pulled a Prince Harry!!!.'
How cynical, crass, stupid, and arrogant. One things for sure, she will never be an MP as a result of this! No Party would want her and this would always be dragged up somewhere if she even tried!
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Put basically, Isreal attack Gaza because Hamas have been attacking Israel, firing rockets daily across the border. By invading Gaza, Israel has put themselves in danger of driving international opinion against them and yet a response is needed from them given the intense bullying and provocation they have recieved.
In turn the attacks on Hamas can bring sympathy, but of course it doesn't help when they make it clear that they are not interested in peace with Israel, and then there is the fact that this is the sort of situation that is food and drink for the extremists.
We need a ceasefire and we need international mediation and fast. Hopefully the French/Egyptian plan will secure that!
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Tis true, and therefore a bit of a shcok, I blogged about it last year, when Matt Smith played the intrepid young Commons Research Assistant in Party Animals who seems to have been based on Kerron.
Small world indeed :-)
Friday, January 02, 2009
Thursday, January 01, 2009
Coventry, London, Manchester, Nice, Kuala Lumpur, Regina, Canberra, Madison, Seoul, Prague
Top Ten Countries listed (In order of most visits to my blog)
United Kingdom, United States, Switzerland, Austria, South Korea, Malaysia, France, Canada, Australia, Czech Republic.
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) Politigg (NEW)
2) Chris Paul: Labour of Love (+8)
3) Daily Telegraph (NEW)
4) Rupa Huq (Returned)
5) Kerron Cross - The Voice of the Delectable Left (+4)
6) Bloggers4Labour (-1)
7) British Blogs (-)
8) Cally's Kitchen (-7)
9) Tim Roll-Pickering (-3)
10) Wikipedia (-7)
Out of the Top Ten are Rullsenberg Rules, Paul Linford, and Shaw
Apologies by the way for the non appearance last month. Was rather busy and had a lot on my mind, that said I am not sure if it is worth my while publishing such lists
We the undersigned, have been watching with mounting concern over the political situation in Zimbabwe for a no of years now. We have come to the conclusion that not only has Mugabe remained President by increasing illegitimate means, but that his past record means that he is not a man to be trusted and that he needs to be told, rather than advised of his position.
Many of us are ordinary everyday people, not just westerners, but many from various parts of the World, including Africa. We are not motivated by colonialism, or racism, or deference to the West, but out of a sense of common decency, compassion for one's fellow human being, and anger at the lack of regard and respect which Mugabe and his cronies have for those who try to live a day-by-day existence in Zimbabwe
If the situation in Zimbabwe continues unchecked, then we fear the consequences and we want to see that averted now. We see you, an influential neighbour of Zimbabwe, to have the authority and ability to help bring in a change of government to one that is more democratic and one that does not involve Robert Mugabe whom many of us would like to see tried in a Court of Law for his actions.
I don't know what the response will be, but doing something is better than doing nothing