Thursday, 27 June 2013

Thanks, but no thanks, Osborne

So we've had a budget in the UK.

There wasn't really going to be any good news coming out of the budget.

The government are settled on, what seems to me, to be a slash and burn mentality.

Cut public services that will work, not

The increments offered to the public sector are going.

No disrespect meant, but I was once a Civil Servant many years ago and they were hardly huge yearly hikes, it was equal to being bought one glass of house wine when paying for a £60 meal.

It pretty much kept pace with inflation and not much more.

Educate them in poverty

They are attacking education budgets.

Politicians love to put emphasis on education, rightly, it is the keystone that we build nearly everything on.

So, how do you square that with slashing the money going into education, exactly?

Is this do as I say but not as I do?

Really, I'm confused.

Foreign aid and spying is fine though

They are sending more money on projects abroad, I'm not sure how that helps our deficit; I'm using their logic here.

While continuing to make sure we're spying effectively on where all the money is going...


Not impressed

So far all the government appears to have achieved of any value is legalising gay marriage, well done, I guess, but it could have been done years ago, it just required everyone to grow up a bit.

So, get married, but don't expect much money left for a decent wedding.

Registrars are Civil Servants too I believe.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

A rusting Iron Man

After two very successful adaptations, the third Iron Man film comes up a bit short.

In this incarnation Tony Stark's world is threatened by the terrorist called the Mandarin, who in no way mirrors Bin Laden (oh no).
It has all the action that was packed into the previous two films, but wth a bit less of the plot.

Wham, bam, no thank you mam
If anything this time around it seems a little too slap-stick.

So although the audience is successfully whirl-winded to the end of the story, I am left at a bit of a loss of what happened along the way.

The previous balance of a thoughtful tale that packs a punch is rather lost in a film that seems to have contented itself purely to punch wildly at its audience.

Girl Power...

The high point for me was seeing Pepper Potts, and indeed the actress Gwynth Paltrow, take a more action inspired role.

I secretly hope to see more of Gwynth P charging round and shooting things.

Last word

It's a bit of a giggle, but don't expect an gravitas, or even to really know what is going on.

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Badgers and the BNP

An anti-fascist demonstration against a march by the BNP began today at 12 noon.

Two groups of protesters assembled outside parliament and near the cenotaph in anticipation of a march by the British National Party.

These two groups then moved to make a line across the road at the cenotaph.

The line progressed slowly to the Oliver Cromwell statue where the protestors were met by a police line preventing them for progressing closer to the BNP demonstration, which was estimated at that time to number 200 in opposition to what appeared to be over a thousand anti-fascist protestors.

The protestors numbered among them representatives from UNISON, the PCS and Unite Against Fascism.

A changing mood

The mood of the demonstration was initially jovial with a festival like atmosphere.

It became more confrontational upon reaching the police line and closer to the BNP demonstration.

Events took a more worrying edge approaching 4 pm when both marches were due to be disbanded.

At this point it was reported by ambulance members and some legal observers in attendance from the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers that there had been some arrests under the public disorder act, though I saw no visual evidence for this.

Police a little heavy handed

From this point police behaviour developed a more threatening tone and at two point the police charged forward on the line of anti-fascist protestors seemingly with no provocation.

This was a line closely backed by families with small children, though there was no apparent injury.

This could be seen as a defeat for the BNP in that they numbered so few and did not progress to Downing Street.

There number had reportedly dropped to 20 by the latter point of the demonstration, but it is hard to tell given the large number of opposing protestors and the police cordon.

The police numbers were disturbingly high, there were thirteen odd police vans in attendance.

They also seemed to do little to charge the BNP with incitement to racial hatred.

And the badgers

A demonstration against badger culls were also at Westminster today, some of whom came to rather confusingly mingle with the anti-fascists at around 4 pm.

It was an interesting mix.