Tag Archives: politics


I had my first piece of election info/propaganda yesterday in the form of a letter from my (Tory) MP, welcoming me to the constituency (I moved 10 months ago). Very helpful it was too.

My MP is apparently in favour of faster broadband and roads (to the point of receiving an award for his campaigning about a road that is a good 20 miles from where I live), and against wheel clamping. Are these really the major political issues of the day? Not in my life. Not to worry – there is another policy mentioned that is really very important to me.

He is happy to support Cameron in his campaign to opt out of the Human Rights Act. What? Did I read that right? Apparently I did. My MP ‘welcomes plans from David Cameron to consider getting rid of the Human Rights Act and replacing it with a British Bill of Rights’. This is in response to the European Court of Human Rights questioning the validity of an election where those in prison are banned from voting. Well, I’ve thought for a while that prisoners should vote – part of being a member of society despite what you have done to hurt that society. There is no conceivable way that a British Bill of Rights would do a better job of protecting vulnerable people than the Human Rights Act. Besides, what example would it set to other countries? Oh, just opt out of the bits you don’t like…

My mind is made up – despite the fact that he will win anyway (this is rather a blue area) it will not be with my support. I am writing to him to let him know.

Peculiar Old Cake

I took a cursory glance into my baking cupboard before sending Mr F out to the supermarket this morning, but discovered later there were some key ingredients missing for making Nigella’s Chocolate Guinness Cake (very easy cake – from Feast). No Guinness and very little cocoa powder. Not to worry, I have improvised. Half a bottle of Old Peculiar replaced the Guinness then I replaced the dry weight of cocoa powder that was missing with extra flour, then grated in some dark Divine chocolate to add extra chocolate flavour. The cake is now cooling and I am drinking the other half of the OP to avoid wastage. It seems to be OK. I’ll keep you posted.

I’ve been tinkering with a post on the Roman Catholic announcement this week, but I think I’ve decided some things are better left unsaid. I will just have a quick link: Dave Walker (@davewalker) drew my attention to this article by Frank Skinner in the Times. Very interesting point of view. Go have a quick peruse.

The other thing going around the web today is the whole BNP – Question Time thing. I’m sure most things have been said but, having stayed up to watch it last night, I was left wondering at the use (overuse?) of one particular word: elite. The “politcal elite” was mentioned by the BNP leader more than a few times, meant in a derogatory way. What does it mean? Presumably those in the main political parties. Do you know what? I think I want the country to be run by the political elite – those who are best at it, those with the skill, experience and talent to sort things out. Inverse political snobbery perhaps on his part. There are of course many other reasons for not voting for them.

The political animal

I wasn’t going to blog again today, but Mr F is busy watching League of Gentlemen downstairs. LoG gives me the creeps, so I prefer not to be in the same room as it. And so it came to pass that I was sitting in front of the keyboard again, wondering what to type.

I was called ‘politically aware’ today by a perfect stranger. Up until this year, I would have laughed if anyone had suggested this, but I have been trying to develop and maintain a broader range of sources of information.

I was in the middle of making a stirfry when the doorknocker went (any visitors to chez Farli must remember to compliment Mr Farli on the shiny-blackness of the doorknocker). It was a student asking for donations to Free Tibet. I didn’t donate, because I generally only give to doorstep collectors I have researched thoroughly beforehand. I was, however, impressed with the amount of knowledge she could pass on and promised to visit the website.

The collector was, in her turn, impressed that I had heard of Free Tibet and questioned me further on how I knew and what I knew. I thought it was probably from New Internationalist, but Mr Farli reckons it was from The West Wing, since he had heard of it too.

Now there is a clue to my rising interest in politics: The West Wing. Quite the most brilliant TV series ever. It is tightly written, with glorious dialogue, sympathetic characters and an ability to make political process interesting. As a result, I know far more about US politics than I know about UK politics. It made politics sound like we should be interested in it and take a part in democracy, not just to vote.

So I had been reading New Internationalist and watching the West Wing when I discovered Bloglines. A whole new vista of information opened up, aggregated and delivered to me at my convenience. Marvellous, but what to subscribe to? I don’t want to end up too biased, nor do I want (or rather, have time)to spend every waking hour surfing.

So here is a taste of what I generally look at.
Dilbert, because it is practically compulsory and the Dilbert Blog because Scott Adams is entertaining in his lambasting of government and his provocative thought experiments.

Nick Robinson (from the BBC) and Tim Worstall (expat in Portugal, likes economics and pointing out typos) for UK political happenings. Tim does a weekly round up of Brit blogs, which is the real reason for subscribing. A lot of the economics is way over my head and he writes so much that I rarely have time to read it all.

Slashdot so I hear about Linux related matters and cool nerdy things (sometimes in the same post, often not). This is a real timestealer. Also various other techy blogs.

Where religion is concerned, the most important one is, of course, The Cartoon Church. I also read Ruth Gledhill (Times Religion Correspondent – don’t always agree with her viewpoint, but she often flags up stuff that is going on). For a Jewish view on things, I have been reading Irene Lancaster, who often comments in Ruth’s blog. Irene, however, is now living in Israel, so I might look round for another UK Jewish blog. From the emerging church I have TallSkinnyKiwi (currently on a blog fast, but very interesting), and Scot McKnight for an American point of view.

I think that is enough linkage for now.

It goes without saying that there are all you wonderful Wibloggers too, although I don’t have you on bloglines because I like to come and read on the wibsite.

Are there aspects missing? Definitely. I could do with some gen-yoo-wine politicians, someone Islamic, someone from Palestine, someone vociferously atheist, some environmental discussion. Preferably all amusing, well written and concise. *Thinks* Does Boris Johnson have a blog? He does. Entertaining as he undoubtedly is on HIGNFY, I’m not sure I can take it. Well I will give it a go for a bit. That is the joy of bloglines – the ‘delete feed’ button.

So, what should I be reading? Yes, I know – books for college. Apart from that?