Sunday, 2 August 2015

Corbyn - the losers' choice?


It is never easy to stir up much interest in the Labour party leadership contest, but Jeremy Corbyn has certainly managed to confound the expectations of the chattering classes. Perhaps they ought to raise their game or mute the chattering.

A short but interesting piece in by Keiran Pedley has this to say about the Corbyn phenomenon.

This week, a Labour supporting colleague that had seen my clip cornered me at work and said something that I thought was interesting:

“The thing you have to understand Keiran is that none of them can win anyway, so we might as well vote for Jeremy Corbyn”.

The Labour party has always seemed torn between the need to win elections and the sheer pleasure of letting its middle class malice and totalitarian silliness out of the bag. The days are long gone when it saw its role as promoting the interests of ordinary people. It never liked us much anyway.

Corbyn may not become leader of course, but the current situation is interesting and worth watching. Pedley goes on to make the point anyone with a modicum of foresight might make.

Labour cannot assume that because it got 30% of the vote in 2015 that the only way is up. Labour can lose votes too and the leader it chooses will be vital to whether things get better or worse.

Along with Pedley's colleague and no doubt quite a few others, I suspect the Labour leadership choice really is so dire that the party is past caring. Not so very different from the general election then.

Friday, 31 July 2015

Passaford Lane

Here’s an environment. 

Passaford Lane leading from the Devon hamlet of Passaford to Mutters Moor named after Abraham Mutter, one of  smuggler Jack Rattenbury's accomplices. 

Passaford Lane is one of those sunken lanes or hollow ways often encountered in Devon. We have a few in Derbyshire too. It is a steady climb up to Mutters Moor. Rough and stony underfoot and quite gloomy in places with all the overhanging trees, but pleasant enough in summer. Jack and his band of smugglers may well have used it on their way to Otterton.

A rabbit hops into the path, spots us immediately and hops back. So I think of rabbits and Peter Rabbit one of Granddaughter’s favourite stories which I must know by heart.

The lane is strewn with flints of all shapes and sizes so now I'm reminded of Neolithic times. Flint tools and those ancient, mysterious folk who scratched a living in these hills, using those same flints to make their axes, arrowheads and scrapers. I wonder if I’ll find one?

It's sweaty work climbing, the sheltered ground still damp, the air humid. I think of water and if it is better to stop for a quick drink or wait until we reach the moor where a welcome breeze probably awaits. 

A wren flits through the bushes lining the lane. Was it a wren? Might have been a wren but gone now. May have been a robin after sandwich crumbs. Human = sandwich crumbs - is that how it goes in the robin’s brain?

The lane is an environment. It stimulates thoughts, sweat, muscles, digestion, memories, impressions, ideas, emotions and the imagination. Environments do that.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Not an issue

The Ipsos MORI July 2015 Issues Index is mildly interesting.

Ipsos MORI's Issues Index is conducted monthly and provides an overview of the key issues concerning the country. Ipsos MORI interviewed a representative quota sample of 989 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain. The questions are spontaneous - i.e. respondents are not prompted with any answers.

Immigration seems to be high on the worry list but climate change isn't even mentioned. No mention in the data table either. Perhaps Pollution/environment is supposed to cover it these days, but where's the catastrophe? Moved over to immigration as far as one can see, Where next though?

H/T politicalbetting.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Seldom the first

When a man is appointed to a place, it is natural that he should accept the income allotted to that place without much inquiry. It is seldom that he will be the first to find out that his services are overpaid.
Anthony Trollope - Autobiography (1883)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Oh I do like to be beside the seaside

A view of the Lyme Regis promenade from the bus stop shelter - taken around noon today. The sea was quite inviting but we didn't venture in.

According to climate scientists the weather should improve if we pump more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As our Chinese chums have been doing their best in this respect, I'm not so sure the climate boffins are on the right track. Unfortunately official figures suggest 97% of them are bonkers, but surely they'll get something right eventually? 

Come on chaps -  pull your socks up!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

A version

We're on holiday and today we spent a few idle hours strolling through the sunshine which isn't as fiercely tropical as promised twenty years ago but never mind. An elderly couple walked ahead of us and we'll be elderly soon enough but never mind that either.

Anyhow, the lady half of said couple who seemed sprightly enough, momentarily stepped off the kerb behind a car which was just completing a parking manoeuvre. As she was now on the road the car was reversing very slowly towards her. She saw it and promptly skipped back onto the pavement although the car was just about to stop anyway and an accident seemed unlikely.

Through the open car window she indignantly informed the driver that she'd been behind his car before bustling on, giving him no chance to reply. Her husband briefly repeated the accusation as he tagged along behind.

Even though the lady had stepped into the road behind a moving if slowly moving car, her version of events had been satisfactorily adjusted in her favour inside a second or two. She barely slowed as she lobbed an entirely unjust accusation through that open window. Maybe she spent some time in politics.