Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A14 Again...

A14 closed after lorry sheds load
Published: 29/09/2010 13:47 - Updated: 29/09/2010 15:50

Friday, September 24, 2010

Needles for Shoplifters

The News tells us “Trouble is in Store for City Shoplifters” because of the team of store detectives hired by local businesses. This is a few days after it was reported that the local druggies are asking for smaller needle bins because the current ones - handed out for free with the support of our local constabulary and Lib Dem MP - are "too unwieldy to carry around – while they are out shoplifting."

So if we change the size of the bin, we get more shoplifters; if we don't change the size then we get dirty needles discarded in play areas.

So do we lock them up for the drug offences or for the shoplifting ones? Your choice...

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bower is the Best Choice

Andrew Bower is the Coleridge by-election candidate to replace Chris Howell on November 4th.

Good luck,


More A14 Chaos

A14 van fire triggers gridlock
Published: 21/09/2010 09:37 - Updated: 21/09/2010 10:52

Monday, September 20, 2010

Have Another Meatball

The BBC reports through gritted teeth: "the first time a conservative government has won re-election in Sweden for about a century."

Well done to my friends in the Moderate Party.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

More A14 Chaos...

Queues after four crashes on A14
Published: 18/09/2010 15:02 - Updated: 19/09/2010 14:29

Some things happen so often that they almost don't count as news, like crashes on the A14. However, it is also a chance to remind people that the A14 upgrade is opposed by the Cambridge Lib Dems.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

I Agree With Colin...

It's fun to read the comments in Liberal Conspiracy about a meeting a of the group Republic, including:

"It’s good that a professor of pharmacology is addressing the Republic conference because he may be able to identify the substance the participants have been consuming in order to convince themselves that the monarchy could be abolished."


"My personal position is that sure, there are problems with monarchy, just as there are problems with any and every constitutional order. But I’d rather have the Lucky Sperm Club deciding who gets to pin the VC on people than the best scumsucking voteseeker doing it."

Friday, September 17, 2010

East Chesterton... Ouch

By Election - 16 September 2010

Ian Manning (LDm) 832
Geraldine Bird (Lab) 663
Matthew Bradney (Con) 334

Peter Pope (Gre) 117
Anna Gordon (Soc) 53

Peter Burkinshaw(UKIP) 37

"The operation was a success but the patient died?"

As usual, the figures are courtesy of the Cambridge Election Results page.

FBI Over-reacts

Luke Angel, 17, sent an angry email to the White House after watching a documentary about the September 11 attacks while drunk. The FBI intercepted the email and contacted police in his home town of Silsoe, Bedfordshire. Mr Angel has now been placed on a list of people banned from entering the US.

Somehow I suspect George W Bush received emails that were much ruder than Master Angel’s.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Howell Throws in Towel

Conservative councillor Chris Howell has published his resignation blog. Chris took his council work seriously and did his best for local residents. He was easily more than a match for the other councillors in Coleridge and at times seemed to be the only opposition voice in the city. However, there is a time when one has to look beyond the narrow agenda of the Guildhall and Chris has decided it is now. I am sorry, but I wish him well and want to say a, "Thank you" for everything he has done.

Good PR, Bad Geography

PR Week is a Mecca for job adverts for the sector. This one caught my eye...

PR Jobs in North America
Found 1 Public Relations jobs

Group Account Director, Dubai
Based in Dubai this is a rare opportunity to join a very well established consultancy in a senior post

True, Dubai is in the Gulf - - but it's not the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blog of Hate

After the generous points about political opponents made by a local Lib Dem here is the kind of rant that makes you despair... it's from Tax Research UK's author who states without caveat about Tories and government:

They hate the fact that it supplies education and health for all.

They hate the fact that it provides a safety net in society – a safety net they want to remove.

They hate the fact that the state can provide some dignity in old age.

They hate the fact that the state could provide homes – good homes – for all who want them in our society.

They hate the fact that the state can provide the things most people seem to value so highly in our communities – safety, training, health, roads and public transport, the arts, vast ranges of entertainment and sports activity, and most of all – the freedom from fear of destitution if something goes seriously wrong with the best laid plans that all of us have.

After some further foam the rant concludes:

No wonder they’re frightened

No. Disappointed in the level of debate.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Public Sector Cuts are Needed

The government has, "radical plans to lay off huge numbers of state employees, to help revive the country's struggling economy. More than a million workers would lose their jobs - half of them by March next year. Those laid off will be encouraged to become self-employed or join new private enterprises, on which some of the current restrictions will be eased.

"Our state cannot and should not continue maintaining companies, productive entities, services and budgeted sectors with bloated payrolls and losses that hurt the economy. Job options will be increased and broadened with new forms of non-state employment, among them leasing land, co-operatives, and self-employment, absorbing hundreds of thousands of workers in the coming years," the statement added.

Not the UK, but Cuba!

Monday, September 13, 2010

No, Minister

The BBC reports, “Government accused of 'abuse of power' after cancelling 2011 Queen's speech. Change to tie in with introduction of fixed-term parliaments means next Queen's speech will not take place until the spring of 2012.”

Not happy with either constitutional innovation, especially politicians ‘fixing’ their own terms. Will the House of Lords do its duty and tell the Commons to rethink such a major constitutional change?

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Thoughtful Lib Dem Blog

This blog called Thoughts of a Cambridge based Lib Dem County Councillor and twentysomething has an excellent post on what party politics can be like. She is quite right. The old Voltaire quote, is, "I disagree with what you say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it." Our variant is that our opponents may be wrong, but they are not malign.

Oh, and the photo on her blog includes a ticket stub to the Jason Mraz event at The Junction... which my wife and I went to too.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Friday, September 10, 2010

Journalistic Accuracy

Amidst the kerfuffle of the Djanogly case there are the usual journalistic howlers...

The Guardian is in its finest form with, "Derek Colley, the Conservative former leader of Huntingdon council"... That would be Derek Holley

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Top Rank Cambridge (and good for UCL too)

The World University rankings for 2010 brings news of the university in Cambridge (England)overtaking its rival university in Cambridge(Mass. USA).

2010 Rank

1. University of Cambridge, United Kingdom

2. Harvard University, United States

3. Yale University, United States

4. University College London, United Kingdom

5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States

Latin American Despots

The reality behind the Che Guevara T-shirt fantasy is usually a nasty, intolerant regime. Ecuador, Venezuela and Bolivia have all caught the sickness. This news item is about one of my former colleagues who is set to be imprisoned... for being rude about the state-run bank.

Bolivia: Evo Morales using the judiciary to silence critics

Former Bolivian president Jorge Quiroga has been handed a two-year, eight-month sentence in prison for "defamation and slander" against a state-run Bolivian bank.

Mr Quiroga, formerly president also of IDU’s regional organisation in the hemisphere, the Union of Latin American Parties (UPLA), was sued by the state entity in 2009. The lawsuit against him was brought forward upon his alleging that the bank had become corrupted after being seized by the state and that it was being used to launder Venezuelan funds for leftwing political causes.

The lawyer for the Morales controlled bank has stated that they will seek an even harsher judgement. If the current jail time is ratified, Quiroga would be eligible for a "conditional suspended" sentence and may not be required to serve the time in prison. But if the judge upon the state bank’s appeal boosts the sentence to at least three years and one day, former president Quiroga, Bolivia’s leader from 2001-2002, could be required to serve the sentence in the main La Paz prison.

The ruling by the Morales loyalists in the Bolivian courts also has an impact on the former president’s civic rights. After the sentencing, Quiroga is disqualified from running for the presidency again, unless enabled to do so by the national Senate.

This clearly is a state-sponsored vendetta against a political opponent, aimed at silencing critics and limiting the opposition against the increasingly autocratic regime of Evo Morales.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

FSA Regulation

Outperforming socks: My socks are long and black. Any cash stored in them on 1 January 2008 would have retained its value on 31 December 2008, and so they outperformed most fund managers in 2008, particularly equity funds, and every major equity index, although their fee basis is eminently reasonable. My socks are not currently regulated by the FSA. Go here for more.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Jamie O gets a "thumbs up"

I may detest the Jamie Oliver commercials, shopping at the supermarket he champions on its merits and not its wasted advertising budget, but was surprised by how much I enjoyed his Cambridge Italian restaurant. The draw for the Cambridge Normingtons was the promise of "CRUNCHY STUFFED ASCOLANA OLIVES". We had these olives in Venice on our honeymoon... and have wondered why the ascolana olive dish is not seen more often on these shores (or the continental United States for that matter).

The meal was delicious.

We finished the evening at the convivial St Radegund pub.

Special thanks to the baby-sitting service that made the whole evening possible.

Photo credit here

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Candidate's Debate

The Conservative Home site has a good piece here on our East Chesterton candidate with quite a debate in the comment section.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Mill Road - Mid October

The sewage work in Mill Road should be completed by mid-October, we are now promised. It was supposed to be only a six week project but Anglian Water discovered a further collapse which extended it by nine weeks.

Well, as with the Guided Bus, we are used to projects over-running...

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Agree With Blair...

"If governments don't tackle deficits, the bill is footed by taxpayers, who fear that big deficits mean big taxes, both of which reduce confidence, investment and purchasing power...We should have taken a New Labour way out of the economic crisis: kept direct taxes competitive, had a gradual rise in VAT and other indirect taxes to close the deficit, and used the crisis to push further and faster on reform."

Other fun quotes found on ConHome.