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January 05, 2011

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Alex

See also this turdfest.

Ms Eagle, believes that they could be used to promote road safety in a more positive manner. "The speed cameras are capturing the data, the speed and number plates of the cars that go through,” she said. "I have seen lately this idea actually if you were to use the information you get from them to have a lottery, have a draw of those who drive under the speed limit,” she said.
Charlie

In my own south London constituency community action days are seeing Labour party members with local residents planting bulbs for spring, clearing unsightly ground, helping to set up a homework club, engaging young people and much more. The bigger political argument is more convincing when it is born of deeds, not just words. We need to recognise that the raucous politics of Westminster is a distant noise to most people.

I find I can't easily square this with the fact of the BBC yesterday carrying a front page story which tackled the progressivity (or not) of the VAT increase. Just a distant noise to which voters pay no attention, according to Tessa.

Cian

You could apply the same thing for other crimes, such as murder, fraud, etc. Or alternatively given the Telegraph is going to hate anything that "persecutes" drivers who break the law, they might as well start a proper war. Kneecapping for the first offense. Shotgun to the face for the second. They're going to complain whatever you do, so you might as well have some fun while you're at it.

ajay

The bigger political argument is more convincing when it is born of deeds, not just words. We need to recognise that the raucous politics of Westminster is a distant noise to most people.

Good grief, it's like Demos meets the SWP. Power grows from the barrel of a book group.

Richard J

Speaking of New Labour apparatchiks, my College's Annual Record arrived in the post today. I think some here will find plenty of room for irritation at Kitty Ussher's annual update.

"After a frenetic decade or so as a special adviser, constituency MP for Burnley, and government minister, I have retired, age 39. I hope to spend the next little while writing for the think tank, Demos, nattering at the school gate and touring in a pink VW campervan with George (2), Lizzie (5) and Peter (also 39)."

(Full disclosure: the one update I sent into the thing referred to 'pleasantly liquidating my soul'.)

ejh

I stopped getting my Annual Record a number of years ago. I only liked it for the obituaries.

Phil

Some people I've never met have died.
He was twenty-five: he had a fit in the bath
And drowned. He was thirty-five: he was on a train
At Clapham, when it crashed. He was forty-three:
As he left Windhoek to meet the Khoi-San people
A bomb killed him. She was twenty-two:
No cause given.

Ex-fellow students,
Give or take the odd ten years. Dead strangers:
No loss to me. Two breathing lungs the fewer,
A pulse dried, a mind stopped: what should it matter,
One, out of so many? Why make a fuss?

Better to stand well back, let it go,
Accept it as given. The whim of death
Will bring harder pains to bear soon enough.
Better to watch the decades and the lives
Pass like smoke, like snow: cold-eyed, silent.

ejh

That's very good. Where is it from?

Alex

Or has Phil just done a Mike Ford on us? (Not the Castleford and Great Britain one, the other one.)

ajay

I stopped getting my Annual Record a number of years ago. I only liked it for the obituaries.

My grandparents had the endearing habit of reading the obituaries in the Scotsman and occasionally remarking to each other "Such-and-such is dead."
(in a tone of disbelief) "No. Really? But he was just our age!"

The age, at that time, being about 85.

ejh

Or has Phil just done a Mike Ford on us? (Not the Castleford and Great Britain one, the other one.)

This one?

Phil

Yes, it's one of mine, from back when I used to write the stuff (the Clapham reference dates it). In my case it was the "Jesus College Cambridge Society" annual report - I only ever read the one-liners saying what people had been doing (in case there was someone I knew, which there never was) and the obits (ditto, thankfully). That particular year there were some particularly striking obits. (The JCCS, as its name didn't immediately imply at the time but perhaps should have done, is about 600 years younger than the college, having been founded by a ghastly Edwardian don.)

As for the poem, thanks - I quite like it. Enormously indebted to a well-known poem by Emily Dickinson & an obscure one by Philip Larkin, mind you.

Solomon Hughes

I wish it was the "twilight of Blairism" , but it is more like the dawn of the dead - Jowell's intervention is part of a fightback by the New Labour hardcore against "Red" Ed 's pale pink gestures - see recent ejaculations from Wee Dougie Alexander,Peter Watt. In a sane world they would be laughed out of the public square: Dougie Alexander ran the Scottish Elections of 2007 and the last General Election for Labour, so not a man you could rely on for winning advice. Peter Watt said relying on the unions was "elitist" and must be stopped - in a piece for "Progress", New Labour's pressure group funded by £2.5 million of Lord Sainsbury money. However, in the sad world of Labour MP's , this will all be taken as a serious warning and will make Ed M trim a bit more to the right.

Nice poem, by the way - sort of not-Jim-Carroll

ajay

Dougie Alexander ran the Scottish Elections of 2007 and the last General Election for Labour, so not a man you could rely on for winning advice.

I still think that Labour did extraordinarily well in the last elections (or the Tories just did very badly). The biggest depression since the 1930s and two very unpopular wars, and the Conservatives still didn't manage to get a majority of seats. You have to ask "when are circumstances ever going to be better for the opposition party?"

ejh

In about a year, har har

Alex

Yes - despite everything, and a near total lack of money (how many Labour ads did you see?), they came close to pulling it around. I recall plotting a trend line back in spring and concluding they were on course to take the lead, just a couple of weeks too late. Wasn't a bad prediction as it happened.

ajay

I wish I'd said that, ejh.

(You will, ajay, you will.)

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