Saturday, October 24, 2009

The hypocrisy of the tabloids

Excellent post over at The Enemies of Reason about the utter twaddle being spouted by the right wing tabloids about the BBC's decision to allow Griffin on Question Time.

Hat Tip: Mark Reckons

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Chris cleared

Delighted to hear that Lord Rennard, or Chris, as I know him, has been cleared by the Parliamentary authorities over his expenses.

I didn't blog about the allegations much at the time because, as a friend, I knew I was biased.

I did know, however, that he had moved his home base down to Eastbourne, and am delighted that the evidence backing this up has been properly taken into account.

It was good to see Chris looking so well at conference, and to hear the rousing reception he got at the rally.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Fancy a pint of freedom this evening?

A few weeks ago I bought a batch of beer from our local farm shop, one of which was a bottle of William Wilberforce Freedom Ale from those nice people at the Westerham Brewery in Kent.

On reading the label I discovered that the beer had been brewed to commemorate the 200 anniversary of the abolition of slavery, and that profits from the beer were being given to the Stop The Traffik campaign.

Now this sparked my interest because I had just been talking to our new Lib Dem MEP for the South East, Catherine Bearder, about this very issue.

Following a chat with her staff we then arranged for Catherine to visit the brewery, which she did on Friday with Lib Dem blogger Antony Hook.

This evening we will be meeting at the Royal Blenheim pub in Oxford to drink a few pints of Freedom Ale (and quite possibly some of the excellent White Horse beers they have on tap there) in support of the European Union's Anti-Trafficking Day.

Do feel free to join us.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Good beer round here

Today's Independent features a guide to the top 50 beers.

Oxfordshire breweries have done rather well with four of the fifty being brewed in the county.

Hook Norton Brewery does particularly well with both their bitter, Old Hooky, and their Double Stout both featured.

Brakspear Triple, which is nowadays brewed by the Wychwood Brewery, and Ridgeway IPA, from the brewery set up by Brakspears former head brewer, also feature.

This is great news for local brewers and the top 50 as a whole, which is mainly made up of UK beers, demonstrates the strength of the growing UK small brewery sector.

The list also featured several other of my favourite tipples including Badger Golden Champion from Hall and Woodhouse in Dorset (for any Westminster based readers you can enjoy it at St Stephens Tavern next to Westminster tube station), St Austell Brewery's Admiral Ale and Hop Back Brewery's Summer Lightning.

Unfortunately Wychwood's cult brew, Hobgoblin, didn't feature.

There are several other excellent small breweries in this area including the Appleford Brewery based at Brightwell-cum-Sotwell near Wallingford, Best Mates Brewery, based at Ardington near Wantage and the White Horse Brewery based at Stanford-in-the-Vale.

See my next post for more about beer.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Well done Dave!

A brilliant result for my good friend Dave Hodgson in the Bedford Mayoral election.

Dave is a great guy and has worked solidly hard over the years both for his Bedford constituents and the party.

He joins another good friend of mine, and very fine Mayor of Watford, Dorothy Thornhill, in that very exclusice club of Lib Dem Mayors.