The final countdown

THE LATEST version of this blog will be launched at 7.00 am on Friday, less than two days from now.

Do try to keep calm, people.



Filed under Blogging

Bin your PC, save the planet

EVERYONE* knows that buying a plane ticket is the moral equivalent of actually, personally strangling an entire Inuit village.

So it has come as something of a surprise to discover that the IT industry is as big a producer of carbon emissions as the aviation industry.

Apparently carrying out two Google searches uses up the same amount of electricity as boiling a kettle, according to The Sunday Times.

So expect a shrill student or an indignant comedy actor to Superglue his hand to your computer screen next time you’re thinking of typing “water-sliding doberman” into the Google search engine.


* Alistair McGowan


Filed under Environment, Whimsy

Beware the economy bullies

THERE’S almost a bullying tone to some of the voices raised in criticism of the government’s economic policies. Anyone who dares to suggest that the current crisis is not of our making gets the proverbial Chinese burn behind the bike shed and has his dinner money stolen.

So Sir Alan Budd, former adviser to Tory chancellors Norman Lamont and Ken Clarke, might want to get his mum to pick him up from school for the next couple of days. According to Paul Waugh of The Evening Standard, Sir Alan told Radio 4:

On the issue of whether the nation is on the edge of “bankruptcy”, he said:

“Expressions like the country going bankrupt aren’t really suitable to be used in these circumstances. There are problems out there but they’re not to do with bankruptcy.”

This contrasts slightly with D Cameron (who worked alongside Sir Alan when he was with Lamont) just a week ago, declaring “We’ve got to stop this Government before they bankrupt our economy and bankrupt our children’s future”.

Here’s Sir Alan on the fall in sterling:

“I don’t think a fall in the currency in itself is a serious matter, this is a price that is determined in free markets. Let people take their views of the future value of Sterling, some will get it right and some will get it wrong. This doesn’t prevent the Government from being able to finance its deficit and it is able to do that at the moment at very low interest rates”

And on the public finances in general:

“I don’t think public finances are a problem at the moment. They are not nearly as healthy as one would wish but I don’t think we need worry about the public finances, what we do need to worry about are the commercial finances and the operation of the banking system.”

I don’t deny that recent polls suggest Labour is losing the economic argument. That doesn’t mean the critics are right or that the public won’t give us the benefit of the doubt when polling day comes around.

I remain firmly of the view that, had we been inflicted with a Conservative government in the last decade, not only would we be facing exactly the same economic difficulties as today, but that we would be doing so without the new hospitals and schools which were so needed in 1997 and which Do-Nothing still insists were not.


Filed under Blogging, David Cameron, Economy

Gap in the market, maybe?

car sign


Filed under Whimsy

All hail, Alex the Great Seer!

HAT-TIP to Alan (Cockers) Cochrane of The Daily Telegraph for highlighting a quote from the Richt Honourable Alex Salmond MP, MSP, First Minister of Scotland which, at the time, held none of the significance or irony it now does:

The Scottish banks are amongst the most stable financial institutions in the world.

He’s an economist, you know…


Filed under Alex Salmond, Economy, Scottish Government

An Obama-free zone

DON’T take the headline the wrong way: most readers know I prayed for an Obama victory in November and was overjoyed when he won.

But it’s the only thing everyone else is talking about and you can’t escape it – it’s all over every newspaper, radio station and TV channel. So today, consider this site a little island of calm, untouched by the frenzy and jubilation of this historic inauguration day, free from the screeds of analysis and reportage, speculation and vox pops.

And another thing… where real life needn’t intrude.


Filed under Barack Obama, Blogging, Media, United States

Pollwatch: Huge swing to Tories

POLITICAL Betting has details of a new Ipsos/Mori poll giving the Tories a 14-point lead over Labour – up ten points since the previous survey.

The numbers are:

  • Conservatives 44 (+5)
  • Labour 30 (-5)
  • LibDems 17 (+2)



Filed under Polls