Monday, July 26, 2010
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Sunday, July 11, 2010
"Now the Lib Dem deputy leader has been on the Politics Show raising questions about the drastic cuts to the Building Schools for the Future programme.
I’m saying that it would be a nonsense to be taking money that could be used for improving existing schools, to create new schools where, on the ground, the will of the local community is for the existing schools to continue. So that’s a debate that’s going to continue.
It takes the smoggy Los Angeles region less than two days to match the pollution the Deepwater Horizon blowout produces in one, if you count the 4,740 tons per day of various emissions from combusted fossil fuel such as carbon monoxide, microscopic particles, nitrogen oxides and volatile organic compounds.
Worst-case estimates place the total oil spilled in the gulf at about 126 million gallons over two months. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates the country disgorges that much hydrocarbon pollution to the air in 10 days.
No jokes about U2 please....
"PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Hundreds of displaced families live perilously in a single file of flimsy shanties planted along the median strip of a heavily congested coastal road here called the Route des Rails."
"In a rebuff to David Cameron's avowed intention to start repairing the public finances as soon as this spring's election is over, the Washington-based IMF said the fragility of the global economy meant stimulus packages should be left in place well into 2010."
The way this government are intent on dismantling the country's infrastructure reminds me of the behaviour of certain equity companies and their asset stripping style of management. In the way that we reaped the reward for thatcherism in the 90s and 2000s - out of control banks, no control of utlilities companies, ongoing housing crisis, millions on the employment scrap heap, and entreched permanent under-class, high urban crime, huge difference in life expectations of rich and poor, a no-hope attitude among the young, not at all fit for purpose education system, etc etc. then we will reap the reward for this in the next 20/ 30 years as our infrastructure continues to crumble and rot while large mega corporations run away with public money, and US investors suck the life out of the few remaining British companies. We're fucked. With this govermnent, doubly so.
The Tories will blame New Labour for this - and while I hate New Labour for their refusal to challenge the status quo set by the tories - I can't see that they are the root cause of any of this. If anything their policy was to make the wealthy, mega-wealthy, having attracted them into the UK, and syphoning off a teeny tiny amount of this wealth to funnel to those not quite at the bottom, - for them it made living in a shit broken country with no opportunity just about tolerable, that and the ballooning consumer and celebrity culture. but there was nothing for the very poor, and nothing for the talented and bright who didn't just want money as a reward.
US bombing will be Al Qaida's most powerful recruiting tool.
"The missile had struck in one of the most remote and inaccessible valleys on earth, in a place where Al Qaeda has been trying to establish a foothold. Quso was the local cell leader and had been recruiting young men for years. Ahmed knew him well.
I met Ahmed several weeks later in Sana, the Yemeni capital, where he works part time as a bodyguard. By that time, Al Qaeda's Yemeni branch had claimed credit for a failed effort to detonate a bomb in a Detroit-bound jetliner on Christmas Day, igniting a global debate about whether Yemen was the next front in the war on terror. Yemen's once-obscure vital statistics were flashing across TV screens everywhere: it is the Arab world's poorest country, with a fast-growing and deeply conservative Muslim population of 23 million. It is running out of oil and may soon be the first country in the world to run out of water. The central government is weak and corrupt, hemmed in by rebellions and powerful tribes. Many fear that Al Qaeda is gaining a sanctuary in the remote provinces east of Sana, similar to the one it already has in Afghanistan and Pakistan."
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Some really good news - at least for now - BBC6Music appears to have been saved. So I can listen now without that nagging feeling of depression in the back of my mind, wondering how long I have before this, one of my last great pleasures in life, finally disappears for ever. If the BBC is serious about making it's legacy of unmatched archive material public, then it will need 6Music as one of its outlest - BBC4 on tv and 6Music on the radio.