Apologies for the woefully light bloggage in the last couple of weeks - a heavy workload and a problem with my ISP which left me without a connection for three days account for most of it but I still find myself feeling like I’ve been slacking…
I’m going to ease my way with a few brief notes on things which caught my attention.
1. Watching Question Time last night, was I alone in wondering, on noticing the shabby and unshaven Stephen Green, the director of wingnut pressure group Christian Voice, before his was introduced, whether this a was some sort of ‘Mental Health Week’ special edition with an actual patient on the panel..?
… and did anyone else become even more convinced of that as soon as he opened his mouth?
And while we’re on the subject of Green on QT, why was it that,when laying into him over his group’s tactics on “Jerry Springer: The Opera” did everyone seem to feel the need to establish their credentials as a ‘believer’ before having a go?
Why could someone not have just said, “I’m an atheist, so what the hell gives you the right to try to dictate to me what I can and can’t see at the theatre”.
2. Walter Wolfgang’s article in today’s Independent speaks for itself - like the sight of Michael Foot out on the stump during the last election campaign in support of a candidate fighting a seat where the BNP had put up, Walter provides a salutory reminder that Labour members still have principles even if such things are lacking in certain members of the government.
Ought to point out to Tony and the others who’ve been effusively apologising to Walter, after they realised the TV cameras had caught the whole disgusting incident, that had been ejected by some overzealous hired help from a private security firm that might have provided some small mitigation of the incident; the fact that the stewards were volunteers and fellow party members makes things worse not better.
3. Even by the normal overblown standards of conference rhetoric, the Safety Elephant’s announcement that he intended to eradicate anti-social behaviour and disrespect by the next election are staggeringly over the top, unless there’s a plan in the offing to cull difficult teenagers.
Aside from noting that if he’s going to crackdown on disrepect then there’s a couple of conference stewards he can start with straight away, Clarke’s statement begs the obvious question of whether, should he fail to eradicate anti-social behaviour and disrespect by then, he’ll do the honourable thing and resign… (breath-holding not recommended)
4. Apparently there was interesting exchange during debate at the conference fringe on the decline in party membership between Douglas Alexander and David Blunkett, in which Alexander advocated that Labour should learn from the US Republicans about how to reinvent yourselves while in power.
He’s right in one sense, the Republican’s have successfully reinvented themselves while in power on several occasions…
Nixon reinvented himself as a crook and had to resign rather than be impeached.
Ford reinvented himself as a loser.
Reagan reinvented himself as a senile old sock puppet - well perhaps that wasn’t so much of reinvention.
Bush (Snr) reinvented himself as a Republian president who raised taxes… and then a loser.
Bush (Jr) is still trying to figure out whether he knows any other words with four syllables and, most recently of all…
Tom Delay, former senate majority leader is about to reinvent himself as Bubba’s ‘prison bitch’.
Blunkett’s retort was, if anything, even more amusing as he pointedly remarked that the Republicans had entered in coalitions with some very nasty people…
He couldn’t mean like this guy here, could he..?
And finally a bit of proper politics…
Blair has admitted that he’s powerless…
… to do anything about the current shortage of NHS dentists.
Now, ok, in the short-term that’s true; it takes time to train them, after all, so it’s not something that TB will be around long enough to deal with, but that doesn’t mean that its something we can’t tackle if only we think ahead.
There seems an obvious, and dare I say it, socialist solution to this problem. It take a long time to qualify as a dentist (6-7 years IIRC) which means that would-be dentists are going to rack up a fair bit of student debt in top-up fees before they even tackle their first root canal.
So why not cut them a deal - you sign a contract to work for the NHS for a set period of time after having qualified and the government writes off your fees at the end - finish your contract and you can forget your debt.
Seems a nice, simple and mutually beneficial arrangement to me.
This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 England & Wales License.
4 Comments so far
Leave a comment
Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>