March 01, 2007

McCain standing in Republican Primaries

Writing about web page

According to the article linked above, John McCain is standing for the Republican nomination for President. Although apparently Rudolph Giuliani is currently ahead in the polls. This conjures the very interesting (and satisfying for a European lefty such as myself) image of conservative southerners in 2008 having to choose between Hillary Clinton (who is anathema to them) and Rudi Giuliani, a liberal Roman Catholic from the North-East. There’ll be some very interesting expressions on the faces of people going in to vote in some places, I’ll bet. :D

February 16, 2007

David Cameron

Why is it that everyone seems to think that David Cameron is the greatest thing to happen to British politics since the conception of Winston Churchill? for most of the past eighteen months we’ve been hearing about how he’s wonderful, how he’s the great white hope not just for the Tory Party, but for the nation as a whole. Surely his pronouncements today on the subject of family values are a perfect example of his general modus operandi. A slew of vacuous jeremiads about how dreadful it is that there are all these broken families combined with some vague policies, the upshot of which is that parents should be encouraged by means of tax breaks to stay together for the sake of the money. One of the worst aspects of New Labour has been its belief that no one is truly capable of taking care of themself and their family without the benign supervision of the state, and now we have Cameron effectively saying the same thing.

I know that many people have made the comparison, but Cameron really does remind me of Tony Blair before the Messiah complex really took hold; all the same elements are there: the careful management of appearance and publicity, the even more careful tendency to avoid actually making any policy decision beyond a token sigh about global warming, chocolate oranges, and children’s clothes, and the general hubbub about how Cameron is the Promised One who will lead the Tories out of the wilderness and back to their rightful place in government. Even if I were disposed to do anything other than despise the Tory party, it would still be insupportable to me to think that just as we were about finally to get rid of the Rev. Blair, we might see his heir and imitator in his place come the next election. So in my view Cameron can take his fatuous rhetoric and his pathetic inability to duck questions about his pharmaceutical past and follow Blair into oblivion.

December 02, 2006

Paul Collingwood, what a player!

206 runs and a 310 partnership with Kevin Pietersen. Brilliant. Makes me glad I stayed up to watch. What an innings!

November 10, 2006

These scammers get everywhere

Follow-up to Oxfam East Africa Food Crisis Appeal from Luke's blog

I checked my e-mail this afternoon and discovered that someone had actually left a 419 scam in the comment section of a blog entry I wrote in April plugging an Oxfam appeal. I’m amazed someone actually took the time to bother. Still, what they don’t know is that I know the ISP number they were posting from.

November 08, 2006

That's 50

According to the BBC, the Democrats have won a Senate seat in Montana. If it’s accurate (and I presume it is because the Beeb must be wary of getting egg on their faces), that means the Democrats are up to 50 seats. One more and things get even worse for Bush.

Edit: again according to PM, Rumsfeld is going to resign. Unconfirmed as yet but I really hope it’s true.

Edit 2: Rummy’s departure now confirmed. Here’s wishing him a long and unhappy retirement.

November 04, 2006

Killjoy post of the week

Am I the only person who thinks that Guy Fawks Night is hardly a cause for celebration? I mean, I’m not sorry per se that a load of religious fanatics and mercenaries were thwarted in an attempt to take over England but I do draw the line at celebrating the preservation of the son of a woman who was executed after a series of events involving the mis-use of power and the father of a son who was executed as a tyrant (and who was, let’s face it, hardly a wishy-washy liberal himself). The pruning of the aristocracy which the plot could well have initiated would probably also have served a socially useful function as well as allowing the inbreds to get a bit of fresh blood into the gene pool. Still, maybe it’s just me taking things too seriously.

July 03, 2006

It's official – History is more interesting than Football

Writing about web page

According to a survey conducted on behalf of the History Matters - Pass it on Campaign, 73% of the population said they valued History, compared to only 48% for Football. Astonishingly, 69% of the respondants said that History is cool. As a (soon to be ex–) History student, I'm delighted by this. Not only is my choice of degree vindicated by such a large proportion of respondants to this survey, but I also finally have some kind of claim on coolness (if only a very distant one). I always knew people in this country had taste, and any remarks I may have made to the contrary on previous occasions (or may make in the future) are hereby disclaimed for the purposes of this entry.

June 27, 2006

The rats are deserting the ship

Writing about web page

So Charles Clarke thinks Blair has 'lost his sense of purpose and direction' and Jim Knight (Labour minister) thinks Clarke is 'bitching' and bitter at being sacked. With such a hitherto sycophantic… err… loyal supporter as Charles Clarke deserting Blair so publically, can the end be far away for the Dear Leader now?

June 26, 2006

The dullest match ever?

I've just watched the last hour or so of the Switzerland vs. Ukaraine match, and it has to be the dullest I've ever seen. No goals after 120 minutes, and then the Swiss failed to score on penalties. Dire dire dire.

May 09, 2006

10 ways you can get the union to help you

Writing about web page /cdoidge/entry/a_students_union/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

With a nod to John who in comment 147 suggested a list of "10 ways you can get the union to help you," here are some suggestions:

1. If you want to know what policies are up for discussion, the papers are always on the Democracy section of the Union website. If you click 'Browse Council papers' at the bottom, you then have a list of folders.

  • If you want to know about a General Meeting, click the 'AGM/UGM' folder.
  • 'Committees' has papers relating to the Union's various committees starting in the previous academic year and working back.
  • 'Executive' contains previous years' Executive Committee papers.
  • 'Executive (papers)' contains this year's Executive Committee papers.
  • 'Information' contains various bits and pieces which may be useful.
  • 'Media Codes of Conduct' shows the rules the Boar, RaW, and WTV have to abide by.
  • 'Photos' is a bit out of date.
  • 'Policy' has a list of our current policies plus an archive of all the policies which have been passed, modified, or lapsed since 1995.
  • 'Referendum' contains a record of all referendum motions since Spring 2000.
  • 'Union Constitution' contains our current Constitution, Appendices, and Regulations.
  • 'Union Council' contains all Council papers for previous years.
  • 'Union Council (Papers)' contains this years papers. Papers will appear just under a week in advance of meetings, which are in weeks 3, 6, and 9 of terms 1 and 2, and weeks 3 and 9 of term 3.

2. If you need an advice service, go to Advice and Welfare Services in Union North, the advice section of the website, ring them on 024 7657 2824 (internal 72824), or e–mail
3. If you want to comment on something specific, e–mail or use the form.
4. If you want to get hold of one of your officers, look for their e–mail here.
5. If you want to know about the Union's position on the lecturers' strike go here.
6. If you want to join a society go here.
7. If you want to join a sports club go here.
8. If you want information on Union outlets go here.
9. If you're having problems with accommodation, the Union has a housing website.
10. And most importantly of all, if you want to influence the way your Union works, go to meetings, speak to officers, write policies, stand for election, join Elections Group, etc.

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