It is a less than satisfactory feature of the UK political system that individuals who donate large amounts of money to political parties tend to be rewarded, in due course, with a peerage. Some of these individuals, such as Lord McAlpine, are largely unexceptionable and others, such as Lord Ashcroft are less admirable.

youngDCIn return for his donations, it seems that Lord Ashcroft expected first to be made treasurer of the Conservative party, which happened, and then when the Conservative party regained power, to be given ministerial appointment, which did not happen. Lord Ashcroft was evidently less than pleased, and in revenge has written a book about the present Prime Minister, David Cameron, accusing him among other things of having, whilst at university, put his private parts into the mouth of the dead pig as part of an initiation ritual for the Piers Galveston Society. Presumably, this supposed to have been at the dinner table.

It is an unlikely story, but the interesting thing is that it appears to have rather rebounded on Lord Ashcroft. A recent survey suggests that the vast majority of people in the United Kingdom do not think any the worse of David Cameron for the story – whether they believe it or not – and I suspect that a number of people find the notion improbable but nevertheless rather cheering, as suggesting a feisty side to David Cameron’s character which might otherwise thought to be a little lacklustre. And so Continue reading

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PM Tension

It looks like Australia might well have a new Prime Minister within the next few hours.

As I have remarked before, Tony Abbott is not quite so mad as he looks. And his challenger Malcolm Turnbull is a bit of a climate change nutter. Which is why he got deposed by Tony Abbott as Liberal Party leader a while ago.

Nevertheless, Malcolm is the chap. He can utter a complete sentence without hesitation, deviation or repetition. And he is capable of consigning the Labor Party to many years of electoral oblivion. Which would have a sort of symmetry, Continue reading

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Vicarious rugby

AwardWent to school rugby dinner last night – Jamie picked up the Best Team Man Award.

Vicarious satisfaction is great. Particularly in the case of rugby – it saves a great deal of running about. Which is all very well for a teenager. But Continue reading

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Ipod-classic-6th-genThe real estate agents did warn me, when I put the house on the market, to try to hide as much as possible, but with repeated inspections, it is hard if not impossible to hide everything that is valuable all the time.

Anyway, immediately following one particular inspection by a potential buyer and his family, my iPod classic went missing.

This is a pain in the neck, because Apple do not make them any more, and the current crop do not have enough capacity for my music, which is largely in Apple Lossless format. To some extent, I can play some things, at lower quality, on my telephone, but it is really not the same at all, and does not work all that well with podcasts.

I think the latest versions have some sort of tracking system, so that it is easier to catch the little toerags Continue reading

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Still cold…

It has been particularly cold in Adelaide this winter. I like seasons, but it is high time for spring to come now, I reckon.

Despite all the hysterical hype from the climate alarmists, it is quite a bit colder these days that it was during the medieval warm period, which was quite a bit colder than the Roman warm period, which in turn was quite a bit colder than the Minoan warm period. That, at any rate, is the evidence of the Greenland Ice Sheet as reconstructed by Alley (2000) from GISP2 ice core data, shown here in blue:

GISP2 TemperatureSince10700 BP with CO2 from EPICA DomeC

None of this a surprise; these were periods when civilisation was particularly thriving – we all do better in nice weather.  Interestingly, the red line shows Continue reading

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All I want is a house somewhere…

I have bought a number of houses in my life, generally the process has been quite fun. This time – much less so.
What I want is a house on an acre or so that is not hemmed in by other houses, and which is not unspeakably ugly. It would not matter if it was a bit too small provided that there is some available space around it to extend it. I’m not been too fussy about where it is, as long as it is within striking distance of Adelaide.
Can I find it? Not so far, at any rate. And time is running out, with the settlement date Continue reading

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Daytime Song

LearThe French are not all bad, of course. I have still much affection for poor Hector Berlioz. Who in turn was something of an Anglophile. He added a manuscript quote from King Lear on the title page of The Symphonie fantastique:

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods

They kill us for their sport.

We know what you mean, Hector, we know what you mean.

Unusually for an orchestral composer, Hector’s personal instrument was not the piano, but the guitar. My beloved Bosendorfer, which I bought with the money I inherited from my mother when she died, is gone now: I had given it to my wife, never imagining that she would one day leave. But I still have my lute and my guitars.

Sometimes, I tune my guitars sometimes to lute tuning, such that the great mean (what is normally the G string of a guitar), is tuned down a semitone. Hence the song I wrote the other day, Daytime Song, which could not readily played in guitar tuning. Continue reading

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Goodbye to all that

Facebook-Down-ThumbFacebook has started sending me photographs of my wife’s lover cosying up to my wife. Ex wife.

No, I do not want that.

So I have deactivated my Facebook account.

Goodbye, Continue reading

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Some Blasted Heath (others will doubtless do likewise)

ted-heathThere has been a good deal in the news this week about allegations of child molestation by Sir Edward Heath.

It is impossible to know for sure if these allegations have any substance. There is an element of improbability about the whole thing; he was self-evidently such a prig and a prude that it is difficult to imagine him getting up to anything particularly salacious.And anyway, at the relevant time, the entourage around him would have made it virtually impossible for him to engage in anything particularly nefarious.

Since he is dead, Sir Edward is entirely unable to defend himself. Since the police have Continue reading

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