Monthly Archives: May 2014
Can we please have a Beppe Grillo in UK politics?
Not that I actually like Signor Grillo (Mr Cricket), but he serves a useful purpose, and one of which we’re evidently in need. A genuine protest vote that is not actively harmful. A “none of the above” for an electoral system that doesn’t accommodate any such thing.
In UK politics now we’re faced with two three-headed monsters. The LibLabCon establishment, parties of government, of Osbrownomics, of the advancing police state, and numerous other common themes. Three parties that have all betrayed their roots and their supporters and lost public support and trust. A triple-headed dog wagged by the common tail of some real or imagined swing voters in marginal constituencies.
Yes, faced with those three we need a credible none-of-the-above protest option.
What we have is the fringe: parties with just a few elected representatives, whose rhetoric has been spared exposure to the harsh realities of government. A “Green” party that alas embodies far too much loony left to take seriously. A pair of nationalist parties, one of them working-class and left-wing in the manner of old-Labour, the other well-heeled and economically right wing, but with common goals of withdrawing from the EU and strong racist and xenophobic tendencies.
Except there seem to be more than just the two “nationalist” parties. The crap coming through my front door tells me it’s not just the [B|UK][N|I]P, but another group calling itself English Democrats with an agenda detached from the UK superstate on the very reasonable grounds of England’s indefensibly asymmetric relationship with Scotland, Wales and NI. Alas, their agenda as printed on the junkmail looks a lot more like BUKNIP than Scotland’s altogether more credible nationalist party. Is this another triple-headed monster? Actually there might be yet another malign growth on this monster, as there’s yet another bit of election junkmail from someone previously elected on a UKIP ticket but now standing separately after (presumably) a falling out amongst thieves.
The sad thing is, one of those three heads appears to be picking up a lot of none-of-the-above protest vote support. UKIP with its strong Establishment credentials and favourable media coverage (including a leader who gets more BBC airtime than any other single UK politician) has done the country a favour by driving a juggernaut through some of the taboos of Political Correctness that have long defeated the working-class outsider BNP (and previously National Front). But they’ve brought all the nastiness, and very likely now a chunk of the support base, with them.
Where’s our harmless protest vote? Who will be our Beppe Grillo and see off this second three-headed monster?
(For the avoidance of doubt, there are things to support in all the parties’ programmes: LibLabCon, Green, and BUKNIP. Alas, much more in their words than their deeds).
 though far too socialist for me.
Walking at work
OK, I have finally bitten the bullet and got myself a treadmill desk. So now I can walk as I work, and see how much it helps my back, neck and shoulders. Indeed, I am walking as I blog, and apart from work I can equally walk as I read, browse the ‘net, or play 🙂 Though in practice I expect I’ll alternate walking with all my traditional postures: sitting at a desk, sitting on a sofa, lying down. The treadmill is good for six hours a day, which I’m sure is ample!
First impression: walking indoors is a lot harder than walking the streets, let alone the green spaces. The first things I felt were the need to open a lot more window than the small top-windows I always open for ventilation, and a desire to go and get myself a glass of water. The motor is also a bit noisy, and rather negates having an ultra-quiet ‘puter 😦 I expect I’ll adjust to it with time, and learn how best to use it.
I’m also thinking: this is just the excuse I need to buy a shiny new 24″ desk-mounted monitor, with HDMI input I can use with a laptop. That’ll also enable me to use the wifi-less macbook as a desktop box with wired connection! Wondering if I can get a monitor with a mounting frame instead of a stand? I tried both our local superstores (PC World and Currys) on the retail park, but neither of them has any such thing.
Also, glad to report myself back in the land of the living. I was originally due to take delivery last week, but had to cancel because I was down with a nasty lurgy, incorporating fever and ague alongside lots of coughing and wheezing. It was as much as I could do to get myself up the steps to the house, let alone a huge heavy package!