Friday, April 30, 2010

Murdoch's Tory Machine

You know that Murdoch's Tory Machine were getting desperate about the impending elections close call. After all, when Murdoch first decided to back Cameron and co they were much further ahead in the polls; Murdoch's call marked the beginning of a fall in support for his chosen runner.

An obviously impartial decision was made to broadcast what should have been an off-air remark by Gordon Brown, thus transforming a private off-the cuff remark into a nationally broadcast insult. So now the truth was out, Brown is merely human, unlike their airbrushed Etonian hero; ha-ha the gleeful Murdoch giggled, we've got him now.

I'll let you in to a little secret, I have no time for the Tories, and Cameron is no different to the socially divisive Thatcher. Regardless of the state of the economy, their policy has always been to protect privilege and, I have no doubt that will continue to be their policy. The bankers and the stock-market gamblers, responsible for the economic collapse, will continue to cast their votes for the Tories as they impose increasing hardship upon the real working people.

Mal's Picturebox

I have recently posted more photos on 'Mal's Picturebox'.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Asocial Democracy

As the prospect of a Cameron government, ably supported by Nick Clegg's LibDems, looms ever larger - my sense of despondency grows deeper.

The anarchy of the banks and stockmarkets, gambling with peoples lives, this is the moving force behind our whole political system. The Tories, defenders of inherited wealth and tax avoidance, are their front-line supporters. The press, undemocratically supported by their advertisers, attempt to persuade you to support their propietors political interest. When, as a consumer or productive employee, were you ever asked whether the profits derived from your endeavours, and purchases, should be utilized to uphold the Tory press and indeed the self-same party by more direct, and even occasionally dubious means? The politicians are merely the mouthpiece, and innefective monitors, of the City's abusers. The true wealth creators, the working class, are overlooked by these fearless defenders of the pin-striped parasites.

In my younger (political) activist days the greatest scorn we could pour upon any prospective candidate was that they were "careerist"; these days the word careerist seems to be umbilically linked with the title politician. All the major parties vie to see who can do the most to maintain the status quo. Yes they'll offer a minor tweak here a deceptive twist there but all they can do is proffer a band-aid to their victims when what the whole system needs is major surgery. The prospect looms of a VAT increase whoever attains power, as if they don't realize that this will hit the most impoverished members of society the hardest!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Of Gardens Tweets and Banana Curry

A marked improvement in the weather has resulted in me spending much more time in the garden; a lot of necessary tidying up alongside new plantings and transplantings have been a component part of these open-air hours. Gardening aside, even more of the time has been spent simply observing avian, piscine and amphibian activity as well as watching flowers (both cultivated and natural varieties) grow. The gardening activity has in no small part been encouraged by the presence of ma belle amoureuse who has taken a few days leave (from her employment).These prolonged escapes, from the more cloistered hearth and home, account in part for the recent paucity of blog postings.

On top of these modest exertions I've even managed a few moderately brisk strolls around the neighbourhood; so far, much to my delight, I've even managed to avoid any relapse! After my familiar 10 - 11 hours of bedrest, having taken painkillers to deal with the routine painful spasms in the lower limbs whilst still abed, the days have passed quite smoothly.

I've always managed to squeeze in some time on the PC, on at least a daily basis, primarily to check e-mails and, follow through any links from those people that I follow on Twitter. Amazing how time consuming this latter activity can be but, I even manage to do a bit of tweeting of my own.

As ma belle has not been at work, it has made a pleasant change to do some cooking at lunchtime rather than in the evening. I even managed to devise a Banana & Green Pepper Curry on one of these occasions which turned out much better than I could have imagined.

The recipe (two servings) was roughly as follows:

3 large bananas, 1 medium sized onion, 1 medium sized green pepper, coriander powder (3 heaped teaspoons), cumin powder (1 level teaspoon), turmeric (l heaped teaspoon), tikka spices (1 heaped teaspoon), mixed herbs (1 level teaspoon), West Indian hot pepper sauce & extra virgin olive oil ( 2 tablespoons). Penne Pasta (7 oz)

Having peeled and sliced the bananas I added a generous dollop of hot pepper sauce (a kind of lazy marinade), left it to stand for ten minutes.

I preheated the spices in a frying pan, to release the aromas, before adding the olive oil and swiftly sauteed the onion (sliced into rings). After a couple of minutes throw in the sliced green pepper stirring all the time. Finally threw in the sliced banana and simmered for about seven minutes.

This unusual curry was served on a bed of wholegrain penne pasta.

Following that experimental cook, which we both thoroughly enjoyed, today we settled for a simple meal of yellowfin tuna steaks, served with new potatoes, broccoli, leeks and french beans.

As time is so pressing for us OAPs - I must apologize for this abrupt conclusion!


Friday, April 09, 2010

Avian Spectacular

As I stroll up the garden, the hedgerows vibrate with chatter from the thronging sparrows; I inadvertently disturb the starlings squabble as they take flight from their feeding station. And suddenly, I'm on alert, a coarse croaking crow cawed duet greets my ears. One can't fail to note a hint of aggression in their strident guttural call.

The lure of the ear swiftly draws the eyes attention to an impressive aerial display; my pulse races as I observe the avian activity. The corvines frantically pursue and dive-bomb an inquisitive red kite; the kite responds to their somewhat frenetic activity with a couple of (almost relaxed) beats of its wings as it seeks and rides an appropriate thermal, gaining altitude in an apparently effortless glide. I almost hear it mutter, "you had enough then!" to the exhausted crows.

Minutes later, my pulse continues to race with the excitement of the display. I feel truly blessed to have been an observer, on my own doorstep, of such a breathtaking spectacle.

This morning, I posted some photos, Garden Flora - Up Close, on Mal's Picturebox.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Pessimism & Despondency - The Cameron Prospect

No matter what the polls say, promises of a hung parliament etc., I approach the forthcoming election with an intense sense of foreboding. Cameron in power is the essence of nightmares, a period of social divisiveness that will make the evils of the Thatcher years seem like a picnic. It was the Tories who destroyed our industrial base,  who doubled VAT thus penalizing the poorest in society, and who started the whole process of demutualizing and deregulation that led to the current economic crisis. It is the Tories who are most eager to cut back public spending whilst at the same time pumping more resources into our Offence Forces.

Sadly, elements of Thatcherite philosophy seem to run deep in the veins of Labour, Liberal Democrat and Conservative leaders. All represent the interests of the middle and, in the case of the Tories, upper-middle classes. All pretend to proffer freedom of choice yet none of them offer to repeal Thatcher's anti Trade Union legislation, which denies a meaningful voice to the working class. In the end, my primary consideration before casting a vote is, who will best protect the interests of the weakest in society, both at home and overseas? All of them uphold a disreputable capitalist system, whilst attempting to ignore it's inherent contradictions, but perhaps a few of their representatives sincerely believe it is possible to redeem it!

At least the Lib Dems didn't support the Iraq war, which to me is the strongest point in their favour and, they even have the best potential Chancellor in Vince Cable, unlikely as the prospect of that coming to fruition is! Ultimately, my vote has to be cast whatever way helps to keep the Tories out of office. Fortunately our constituency has been very well represented by Phil Willis (Lib Dem), who is standing down this time, and whose successor as parliamentary candidate, Claire Kelley, has worked closely alongside Phil for a number of years. Until Phil took office a couple of elections ago, our constituency had always been solidly Tory and was noticeably unrepresented / underrepresented by our elected Tory poodle in parliament.

P.S. the recovery, albeit fragile, is on it's way - don't let the Tories wreck it:
The UK economy is forecast to outstrip its G7 peers in the second quarter of this year, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.