Thursday, April 19, 2007

Serious withdrawal symptoms........FPC and men in white tights

I have to say I am suffering from the same kind of feeling I had when I moved to Disley (in Cheshire) from the great metropolis that is with one's PC still lying on its back in its box..........what's the point of getting it out with no internet access?.........Feeling detached, what is going on out there in the big bad blogging world that I don't know about? I have to confess, I have always been far too nosy to be content with a reclusive life. I've even taken to watching the odd bit of telly???! Anyway, a few lunchtime minutes courtesy of work to catch up.

I am now kinda moved into my ready made old people's home (who said I was no good at planning ahead?) - trying to fit in work et al is proving a challenge.

I have spent a couple of evenings in Westminster this week. Monday was to meet with Patrick Hall, (Bedford MP) Eve Burt (wife of Alistair MP for North East Beds) and Simon Hughes to discuss the event they are sponsoring for Elijah Trust in June. Patrick kindly took Gill (Director of Elijah Trust) and myself for dinner in the Adjournment restaurant in Portcullis. We had a lovely meal and on the way out bumped into one of my Tory boys - Bedford Councillor Peter Hand (who is a researcher). Didn't think anything of it until we were on the way home and my phone rang. It was that other Tory boy, rascal Andrew McConnell (who has now blogged about it here) - what's all this I hear about you having dinner and pink champagne with Patrick? says he. He also kindly informs me that he is in the Crown with editor of our local rag Steve Lowe...........hmmm. Anyway Andrew all I have to say is that at least Lib Dem bloggers are an egalitarian lot, unlike you Tories who keep your blogging site for MPs only!

Tuesday night, being the martyr that I am, I forgo the chance for a slap up dinner with McKinsey to go to FPC.....actually its more to do with my innate nosiness! Although I was fashionably late and missed part of the debate on Immigration. Whilst we already have recent policy on Immigration, it is clearly a huge issue for the electorate. I am encouraged that on this issue we are prepared to be bold, it is something we cannot afford to ignore. The likelihood is that there will be a Spokes paper coming to Autumn conference on it. Then on to Climate Change and Health. More about that later. ..........and the men in white to a meeting.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

A Night in the Life of Lindyloo - my vist to Bedford's Premier Gay and Lesbian Venue....the Crown

Well, tonight I was invited to visit Bedford's new premier gay and lesbian venue the Crown on Brittania Road (by Bedford Hospital). They are offering discounts for County Council, Borough Council, NHS and police staff, is it something about uniforms??? Sadly, I no longer qualify, having left Beds CC last year and stood down as Borough Councillor 2 weeks ago. But exhausted as I was, having just moved, it was an offer I couldn't refuse.

The pub (which in a former life it has to be said was a bit of a dive) has had a makeover. The slightly art decoish lighting was great............although it has to be said, the curtains.......did leave a little to be desired. Having just moved into a former care home, which still bears the signs of such .....flowery furniture, flowery curtains, flowery everything...........(plus glass windows in every door, just to make sure they know what you are up to).......the curtains in the Crown, er, sort of reminded me. I did make my views clear to Landlords Chris and Bradleigh, they reckoned that the vote was 50/50 of those what loved them and those what hated them!

It has to be said whether you are gay, lesbian or straight this is a place which immediately makes you feel welcome and safe and is somewhere I will certainly visit again soon.

There are already plans afoot to have the biggest TV screen in Bedfordshire for the Eurovision Song Contest in May..........sadly I will be off gallivanting in Barrow with my army chums for a reunion and "bonding session" that weekend, what a pity!

So now I have popped in to pal Andrew's, who recognising my chronic blogging withdrawal symptoms kindly offered me the use of his laptop....also providing me with his customary late night supper, which it has to be said sometimes go on to the wee small hours!

Friday, April 06, 2007

Women..........what are they good for...certainly not the front line?

The storm engendered in the press this morning about women in combat raises many issues. Their deaths, coming as they do hard on the heels of the Iran incident where, heaven forbid a bloody woman complicated the situation, has sadly unearthed the sexism still lurking just beneath the surface in some quarters

As someone who, like one of the women killed yesterday, served with the Intelligence Corps, it made me think long and hard about the issues.

What really gets my goat is the sort of comments that are being made about this. There is concern (expressed by Colonel Bob Stewart) that what is really wrong about having women serve on the front line is that it "has a debilitating effect on the men". The argument to my feeble female mind is rather reminiscent of that used against women in skimpy clothing, that they shouldn't do it because they invite rape. Also that the role of men is to protect women and they can't do that if women want to be treated as equals. SORRY! Actually I think the stronger, whether that be physically, emotionally, intellectually, should always protect the weaker, regardless of gender, race or political persuasion! If I can't lift something because I am 5 feet nothing and have a dodgy back, I have no qualms about asking anyone physically stronger than me to help and I get fed up with the snide comments of the "ah you need a man now" variety. Yes, sometimes I need a man, sometimes a woman, sometimes a child, to help me........and sometimes they need me to help them, that is the nature of an interdependent society and ought to be the nature of an interdependent world.

There was an excellent discussion on the Today programme this morning between Kate Adey and Bea Campbell, Bea rightly drawing attention to the fact that in modern urban warfare it is women and children who are disproportionately killed and maimed. So, yes, let's be shocked and horrified that we have lost two of our brave service women, but let's also hope it draws attention to the fact that we have lost far more women through the very act of war itself.

OK, that's me done ranting for now..........back to the packing!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Loos Muze Bluze

I am already suffering withdrawal symptoms as I am likely to be offline for a few days or more (depends if I can organise myself really).

On the move.....again.....but at least just round the corner so hopefully won't be that traumatic. But apparently I can't get my broadband set up for about 10 will I cope???!

Anyway, planning the house warming for after the elections.....all fellow bloggers and readers invited, (well I can easily squeeze in another 3!) let's hope we have some results worth celebrating.......

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Big Brother - aka - Dr (I can do anything except run the Home Office) Reid

I couldn't help giggling at the government's latest edition.......or should that be addition.......of Big Brother. It frankly beggars belief. That nice little Dr(Strangelove) Reid thinks it will send a clear message "act anti-socially and you will face the shame of being publicly embarrassed" if some ethereal voice bellows out at you if you are seen doing anything "anti-social". This displays a complete lack of understanding of personal motivation. I can see it many groups of young people are going to deliberately challenge "Big Brother" just to be able to have a giggle when he, or she, bellows out at them? I have to admit to being a little tempted myself.......

Dr've been watching too much TV.......heaven's next we will have mobile Diary Rooms, broadcast live as litter droppers, spitters, drunken singers et al, are asked to explain themselves to the nation........hmmmmm, maybe not such a bad idea, perhaps we could all take turns at being Big Brother and start with you, or your boss?????

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Young Scot Awards, and Men in Kilts.........

Oh dear me blog has bitten back, can't change size or colour or insert links anymore.........what did I do to deserve this?

Anyway, I had waited until today to write about my trip to Glasgow last week for the Young Scot Awards, since I figured I would be able to put a link to the Sunday Mail (who were sponsoring) sure enough the Sunday Mail is full of articles, though no pix on line. There is a great article by Elaine C Smith who compared here:

It was an awe inspiring evening, captured by Elaine far more eloquently than I could manage. I did get one pic though of the amazingly talented Raj Joshi - chair of the Scottish Youth Parliament and an inspiration for all young people if ever I met one. He deservedly won the Democracy and Citizenship award.

The event was attended by over 500 people, including first minister Jack McConnell. What a pity we don't have something similar UK wide to recognise the huge contribution so many of our young people make.

So yet again huge congratulations to everyone at Young Scot, the young people of Scotland owe you an incalcuable debt.

Oh.........and as for the kilts, I have to say I was well impressed with the number of kilts on display, particularly loved the combination with the "Culloden" shirt...........hmmmm, should have got my camera out earlier!

Haley's Pix

Just got these pix from niece Haley who is on a round the world tour with her partner Lawrence......they have now reached Australia. Posting here to make it easier for friends and family to view.....and to make myself jealous!