Sunday, July 25, 2010

Edna and The death of Labour Plus Ealing Festival

A couple of things (particularly) bring into focus the demise of the British left..

the first is the death of Edna Healey at the age of 92, are there any Labour women who will be remembered as Edna Healey was (by Harriet Harman) as
"a remarkable woman and a true friend to the Labour Party." - I an afraid not for the current list includes women like Hazel Blears and Jaclyn Smith who appear only care to be friends to themselves.
Is it worth asking why this is the case, what has happened that means that so little value is given to the pillars of what was once the Labour Party's ambitions for the UK?

The other topic which has reviled me is Mandelson's book 'The third man' described by many as self seeking it hits a further nail into the coffin of principled Labour - what is the benefit away from the man's vanity and his bank balance?

Will this be rectified by any of the candidates for leadership - I hope it does, but I'm not sure that any have the zeal or principle of Brown (or even Wilson or Blair).
Ealing Festival
Couple of events we've managed to enjoy this year:
1) Tosca - quite impressive that you can have Opera in a tent but the problem with this one is that for Debbie and I no memorable tunes, we'd done some homework and knew roughly what was happening. Despite it being in Italian and with limited orchestral support the show was fun and I stayed awake. Well done to the Opera A La Carte compay.
2) Ealing Comedy festival
Wednesday night we went and sampled a comedy night which featured Emo Phillips, Ardal O’Hanlon and Jo Caufield amongst others.
Emo was well received, part of his act seemed to be taking off items of clothing and putting them in his pockets and then later putting them back on again.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Remotes and small world ..

Navigating the multi channel world

I was particularly pleased to see that there is consideration being given to connecting smart phones to home entertainment - seems like an evolution that makes sense - I've just got a replacement phone this week I use hardly any minutes but my phone was looking like it had been in a war zone - for about £15.00 a month I now have a Samsung Tocco and 100 minutes call time - seems incredible I used to have (my first use of mobile phone) one of these Motorola jobs and goodness knows what it cost my employers.

What a small world.

We had a great time in Leicester,this week I was recieving the MBA degree which seems to have taken forever to complete.

And if I'd been atFriday's ceremony I would have seen Sir Terry Wogan get his honorary degree!

At the department reception after the ceremony Debbie and I were busy enjoying the hospitality and I heard this voice from another table (directed at me)
"Have you ever been to Antigua?"

It was the father of another student, a policeman there who recognised me from our holiday (Jolly Beach Resort) about 6 or so years ago! They were over to see graduation and have a bit of a holiday - seems incredible that he should remeber me (I had been on my best behaviour I'm sure).
As they say small world..

Here's an un official photo of me (in Miami not in my robes).

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Getting Stoned In Iran...

Take a long hard look at this picture

And here's an admission -another instance where I've been shown to be undoubtedly wrong (it's hardly the first) - protests and petitions do make a difference if you agree with something sign up - it might have a marginal effect but do it.

We (UK and other modern democracies) might moan - life's tough, we work hard, the cost of living is crazy etc etc...
What about the case of Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani the women who had been expected to be stoned to death for committing adultery? Please look at this picture and have a think.

Iran is run by a bunch of crazy buggers who would have been out of step with modernity in the Middle Ages - not sure how reform will come but charities like Amnesty UK are worth considering.

BT – a bright future?

The fact that BT has decided to actively push for new subscribers to its BT Vision service via a loss making (for BT) deal that provides its customers with Sky Sports might on the face of it look worrying. And if you are a shareholder who is worried that it’s made a too generous (three year) deal with its workforce then you might not decide to rush in and increase your holding.

But I think BT is a good long term bet with its new C21N (network) rolling out fast chances are that Virgin and Sky are the ones who are worried - if it could sort out a mobile strategy I’d be even more pleased but as it stands I definitely wouldn’t write them off.

Tribute bands

Having seen Macca a few weeks back it was interesting to compare and contrast the Bootleg Beatles and UK Beach Boys with an original act/acts (albeit one somewhat locked into his past and another I've not seen for 25 years plus). Kew Gardens on a lovely July evening is a great place for a picnic and nostalgic music – the crowd of course were well behaved and there were numerous freebies in form of drinks, fruit and for us 11 tubes of Sensodyne toothpaste (at least it wasn’t Fixodent). The Bootleg Beatles (still going strong after more than 25 years together) had the advantage of a story and humour – the UK Beach Boys the advantage of perfect summer music - neither band could give the shiver down the spine of the originals.
I suppose the grey pound and nostalgia have a place to play here as is the case for Vintage TV due to start September 1st

Sunday, July 04, 2010

The month of June

Ah Ha - I was so busy in June that I didn't blog..

Trip to Miami was fun - it was both further away and more foreign than I'd expected
suppose that the Little Havana was linked to the residents rather than the locale which was somewwaht lacking in charm and character.

Also saw Macca in Hyde Park - have seen him a coupe of times before but was somewhat blown away by his band and the fact that it was a lovely hot day in London - nice to find out that there were some recipients of largess that hadn't been forced down anyone's throat too.

Less impressed by CS&N but thought Crowded House and Elvis C both gave good perfomances.