Friday, 16 April 2010

Leaders Debate

I don't think that this event was ever going to live up to the media hype that preceded it, and in the end it was something of a disappointment.

Many, myself included were looking for a clear and decisive winner, but it simply didn’t happen. The event also failed to deliver the kind of political ‘cut and thrust’ of PMQ’s that many members of the public might have expected.

The format was so rigidly restricted that it effectively stifled spontaneity and the debate limped along at a pedestrian pace that made for very dull television, even for the most dedicated political anoraks.

This debate did very little to change the perception of many that there is not much to choose between the parties, and the amount of time spent on issues that were devolved to Scotland, and therefore irrelevant to us only made things worse.

Gordon Brown was predictably clumsy at times, and his ‘witty asides’ to Cameron were clearly well rehearsed and thrown in at the first available opportunity.

Having heard David Cameron address a relatively hostile audience once before, I’m surprised that he didn’t come across better than he did.

Of the three participants, I’d have to say that Nick Clegg came across as fairly open and sincere, and the polls seem to agree with this.

For all the great sense of anticipation, the idea that history was in the making and that whoever won the debate would win the election, this debate failed to engage with the audience, and more will have changed channels, than were persuaded to change their voting intention.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Alex Salmond & The Crazies

Hats off to the photographer who got this gem.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Threatening Behaviour II

A while ago I posted on an incident at my home. You can read about it here.

The incident, where some character came to my house and effectively threatened me over the intercom, did not bother me for my own sake, but I was concerned that an individual might behave this way towards my fiancee if she was staying at my house and I wasn't there. It is worth noting that not only did the 'man' concerned decline to be named in his original letter to the press, he declined to name himself over the intercom, and indeed effectively ran away.

Now technically, there is little to connect the letter in the press with the incident at my home. The only way that it could be proved if the person actually admitted that it was him.

Now, nobody would be that stupid surely? Au contraire. Helpfully, the fellow concerned wrote another letter to the press condemning me for living behind a high wall with electric gates. I understand that the letter pointed out that I should be aware that 'anyone can get to me'.

The local paper passed the letter to the police, who now intend to charge him with breach of the peace when he next enters the country.

There are times when you really couldn't make things up, and this is one of those times. I'll say again what I said in the paper, everyone is entitled to a view, but when an individual chooses to expound views that are arguably narrow minded or verging on the offensive, then they should not be allowed to voice such views in the paper whilst cowering behind the shield of anonymity.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Shakespeare in Govt Consultation

The Scottish Govt has really got into the way of dishing out consultations. Personally, I think it's a good thing, although some weighty tomes have sallied forth from the ivory towers recently.

As is my wont, I do tend to take an interest in these things, although they can make for rather dull reading. I was a tad surprised, when reading the 'Consultation Paper on Long Leases (Scotland) Bill' (I need to get out more I think) to see a quote from Shakespeare thrown in at the end.

Just under the heading 'Chapter 8 - Conclusion' someone wag has put "Parting is such sweet sorrow. Juliet, in Romeo and Juliet." I can't help but wonder if the Civil Servant responsible takes his or her audience for being profoundly ill read and felt obliged to state the source of the quote.

I also can't help but wonder if someone will get their backside metaphorically kicked over this. Not for putting a literary quote in a consultation paper, but given the nature of the Scottish Government, for using Shakespeare instead of Burns...........