Friday, December 30, 2005

Ben Rammisatosser

As Jonathan Calder and Stephen Tall have already pointed out the online petition organised by The Liberal calling for Charles Kennedy to resign appears to have no way of checking whether the people signing are actually Liberal Democrat members at all.

For example I was able to sign it with the entirely ficticious name of Ben Rammisatosser giving the email address as

Any news reort quoting the number of people signing it should be ignored as a result and any journalist reporting such figures as fact - without finding out first how The Liberal has verified the membership of each person signing - should be ashamed of themselves.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Doctor Who Digital Episode Disappointment

Apparantly there was an interactive digital episode of Doctor Who following the Christmas Special.

We pressed our red button when told to by David Tennant but the best that was on offer was Coldplay live.

It appears that the episdoe was not available to those of us on NTL, Telewest or quite a lot of Freeview boxes. The only reliable way to get it seems to have been Sky Satelite which I for one refuse to subscribe to.

The BBC trailed this episode widely and should have made it clear that access to it was so restricted. They should now make amends by showing the episdoe online.

Tennant Triumphs

Well after sitting round waiting all day for it I thought David Tennant's debut as the Doctor was 'fantastic'. He appeared to pick up the role and run with it from the off. Billie Piper was as good as ever and I thought the storyline in this episode was good and fitted the one hour spcial well.

There were just enough Christmassy elements to make it festive without getting in the way of the plot. And there was plenty of humour too - pulling out Tennant's Casanova costume in the wardrobe, the 'very Arthur Dent' comment and the Star Wars references all raised a chuckle with me.

And the final twist in the story was brilliant too, and could lead to some very interesting developments along with the forthcoming Torchwood series. Seemed to me to be quite a big hit at Thatcher's attack on the Belgrano and Blair's weakening as PM in one short scene.

And then the trailer ... Sarah Jane Smith, Cyberman and K9! What more could a small boy want for Christmas?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Cabinet Ministers to be asked to pay back profits from their diaries

Although this article doesn't specifically mention Cabinet Ministers ...

... I am sure they wouldn't be so hypocritical as to apply one rule to their servants but another to themselves ...

... would they?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Surely a christmas charity carol service isn't illegal?

I am more than happy to promote this christmas carol service which is being held to raise money for medical aid for Iraqi children. And after the bombing they've had by the british and american invasion forces, by golly they need the help.

There seem to be some concern that such a service might be illegal. Personally I think such such a suggestion is so utterly ludicrous that it can't possibly be true.

Not in a country that is so keen on defending our 'traditional freedoms' that we are willing to slaughter thousands of innocent people just to prove the point:

You are cordially invited to a public carol service in Parliament Square at 6pm on Wednesday the 21st of December 2005.

This inclusive service will contain both Christian and secular verse, and is expected to last no more than an hour.

Candles and song sheets will be made available, with donations going to Medical Aid for Iraqi Children.

Please note that if you attend this carol service, it will classify as a spontaneous demonstration (of faith, hope, joy and/or religious tolerance) and there is a possibility that you will be cautioned or arrested under Section 132 of the Serious and Organised Crimes and Police Act 2005.

Click here for more information.

And merry christmas Tim Ireland and well done for consistently challenging Blair and showing him up for what he is.

Picard for me

I'm not unhappy with the result of this one:

Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Something's coming ...

Something's coming ...

... and this little boy is getting very excited!

Gig frenzy

I am very pleased to have been able to go to a load of brilliant gigs recently.

I saw Fish in Cirencester a couple of weeks ago on his 'Return to Childhood' tour, it being 20 years (where did they go) since Marillion's Misplaced Childhood album was released. The first half of the show was a variety of his solo material and the second was a full run through of the album. This is one of my all time favourite albums and it was a delight to hear it played in full.

I then went to see Opeth in Oxford. Opeth are a sort of progressive death metal outfit and certainly the loudest band I have seen for a while. They are from Stockholm in Sweden and the frontman was very amusing, playing on his limited english vocabulary to great effect. Incredible musicians.

Next it was Marillion at the Kentish Town Forum on the finla date of their Not Quite Christmas Tour. I was in the balcony due to the downstairs tickets having sold out. This was one of the best gigs I have ever been to. Two and a half hours including thre encores, finishing with a hilarious Pogues style parody of their most rcent album title track. This album 'Marbles' was a real return to form for the band and they looked and sounded like a band at the top of their game.

On Thursday I went to see Magnum at the Astoria. They are also celebrating a 20th anniversary - of their most successful album On A Storytellers Night. Again the first half of the set was a mix of material from their ecellent back catalogue with the second half being the album in full. Magnum were one of the first bands i ever saw and they are still a terrific live act.

And on Friday I am off to see KINO - a prog rock 'supergroup' which includes Pete Trewavas from Marillion and John Mitchell from Arena. I am hoping to meet up for a pre-gig drink or two with other Marillion fans before heading for what will be a good and christmassy final gig of the year.

Rock on!

Christmas is coming

I had fun playing a certain rotund white-bearded gentleman yesterday evening at Jimmy's school kids' club christmas party.

It probably sounds a bit trite but it really is amazing to see the children's reaction. It is also interesting how the older ones know that they are in on the secret and don't let slip to the little ones.

Get F**ked at Woolworths

Woolworths have withdrawn the Jerry Springer - The Opera DVD because some of their customers might be offended. This is despite the fact that there is nothing on the packaging that could offend anyone.

Yet at their website you can buy several far more offensive products (hint - enter the f-word in the search bar).

At least they could be honest about the fact that they are a bunch of spinelss, hypocritical halfwits who gave in to an extremist pressure group.

More comment here and here.

Restricting free speech is not a restriction on free speech

Lord Falconer says it is "ridiculously overdone" to claim free speech is being undermined after the arrest of a woman for listing the UK's Iraq war dead.

So it's not a restriction of free specch to arrest someone for, er, speaking, then?

Sunday, December 04, 2005

A true people's politician

A very touching article in the Observer by Mo Mowlam's stepdaughter,9236,1657073,00.html

Mo Mowlam was my MP at home and I met her onec in redcar and once a few years later when I was running what used to be called 'Youth & Student Day' for the Lib Dem Youth & Students.

Apart from the fact that she impressed me by knowing who I was have met my parents a few times at local functions in Redcar, I was struck by he down to earth approach and what was clearly a very genuine humanity.

That she managed to achieve so much in politics, particularly in the peace process, whilst remaining a warm human being, perhaps shows how politics could be so much better if we would let it.