Friday, 16 May 2008

Broadening my horizons

I haven't been anywhere for fun this year except Berlin, at Easter. Unusually, I've had two trips away with work, to York and Preston, and it was nice to get a brief change of scene. I'm looking forward to a trip to London at the end of this month, though. Of course, there are lots of things to do indoors there, but it would be nice to get out and have lunch in a riverside pub, or see the wildlife at Richmond Park - that kind of thing. I can put up with cold and dull weather for another week or so, but I hope it improves by then, both there and here.

Joys of Spring

It's a bit irritating to hear BBC weather people saying on two or three days this week "The temperature at the weekend will be a good ten degrees cooler" and "weather getting much colder" when it hasn't been above 14 celsius here all week. This assessment is purely because the London area has had some nice warm weather. However, it's been about par for the course here for five days, with grey skies and a chilly north east wind. Admittedly the weekend was nice and warm, but we were plunged back into cold again on Monday. Meteorologists shouldn't need to be told that the south east of England is not the same as the entire country!

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Dreadful Result in London

I'm seriously disappointed at the result of the London mayoral election. To me, it seemed obvious that Ken Livingstone was the best man for the job in terms of skills, experience and commitment to what was right for London. He's followed sensible economic policies, fought for social justice and improved public transport; and the congestion charge must be the way of the future for cities like London.

My opinion of Ken has nothing to do with him representing the Labour Party once again. I admit I found myself unable to vote Labour for the first time in my life during Blair's latter years, on account of his unforgivable behaviour over the Iraq War. Although he seems to be an inferior politician, I see Gordon Brown as more sincere and certainly preferable to Blair in that respect and voted Labour again in the recent local elections. I concede that Labour probably did deserve to do badly in these elections. Regardless of that - to me, the battle to be Mayor of London was (or should have been) much more about the individuals, and Boris Johnson seemed so obviously clueless that even Brian Paddick would have been preferable as the winner.

There seem to be some parallels with the USA. Sadly, it seems the electorate of London (as in the USA) were stupid – or self-interested – enough to vote in a right wing buffoon as their leader. It’s also said that, just as Dubya is the figurehead for some cleverer (but extreme) men to get their far right policies enforced, Boris might be steered behind the scenes by Tory right wing extremists. I hope that idea isn’t true.