22 May 2015

First test train on Borders railway

The reopening of the Waverley route proceeds apace with the first test run along the entire length of the line. Borders Rail has some footage.

An interesting question for any railway anoraks out there.  The locomotive is number 37 604 and a quick check on Wikipedia  says they were built between 1960 and 65 and were frequently used in Scotland.  Therefore the question is - had 37 604 ever run over the Waverley route before this journey?
 

12 May 2015

After the rout...

Last week's results weren't a complete surprise to everyone - as far back as May 2012 I postulated that without a change of srategy the party faced an existential crisis.

The result on Thursday and the hole the party now finds itself in is a direct result of the strategy pursued by those at the very top of the party - both at Westminster and at HQ.

Nick Clegg to his credit (and in some style) has done the decent thing; taken responsibility and resigned. Now is the time for his coterie of incompetents to do the same. Tim Gordon, Hilary Stephenson, Ryan Coetzee, Tom Smithard et al should now resign too – taking responsibility for the disaster they caused and preventing any more of our membership fees going to waste on over inflated salaries. Doing this will also make sure the junior staff and volunteers – who were not responsible for the strategic decisions – aren’t blamed for their bosses failings.

And with more than 10,000 new members since Thursday - they if no-one else - deserve to have their subscriptions spent on a clean slate.

5 April 2015

RFK announces the news of the assassination of Martin Luther King

On 4th April 1968 Martin Luther King was shot dead.  It was an age before twitter, social media or even rolling news.  Robert Kennedy announced the news from a back of a flat bed truck in Indianapollis...



With thanks to an old university mate (and Lib Dem Cllr for Clitheroe), Alan Knox, for the tip off.






18 March 2015

Exclusive: leaked footage of George Osborne's budget speech rehearsal


Chancellor George Osborne made much of choices in his budget speech this afternoon.  In one short passge he used the phrase 'we choose' nine times.

But winging it's way to LOWA towers was this leaked footage of his private rehearsals.  As you can see some of his language was quite fruity then...

12 March 2015

Kingston Council leader proves David Cameron's maxim about too much tweeting...

The Surrey Comet has more.

Interestingly, despite twice being Leader of the Council, Kevin Davis has never won a borough wide election in Kingston.

7 March 2015

Electoral Commission oversteps remit

Mark Pack reports that the name Beer, Baccy and Crumpet Party has been banned by the Electoral Commission.  This is a sadly inevitable consequence of bureaucratic creep that was always going to result in  the Commission overstepping its remit. 

The Commission is there to register parties, their donations and investigate any dodgy funding - not to decide matters of taste.  If voters think 'crumpet' is demeaning to women, then they will vote accordingly.  It's not for some unelected bureaucrat to take that decision out of their hands.


20 February 2015

So farewell George Mackie...

Although coming somewhat late to the tributes to George Mackie who died aged 95 earlier this week I thought I should put on record my one anecdote about him.  It comes from the 1980s when Mackie was the Liberal candidate for NE Scotland for the European Parliament (I was a student in Aberdeen at the time).

He was on a walk about in the city centre and was approached by a local punter who greeted him warmly...

'You're George Mackie'.

'Yes' replied Mackie.

'Your brother owns the dairy?' says punter.

'Yes' replied Mackie.

'Sold it to the fucking pakis' says punter

'Why don't you go and boil your head' replied Mackie and walks off.

14 February 2015

Borders track laying complete

Tweedbank (the for now terminus of Borders Rail) finally got its track laid earlier this week.  There has been a variety of videos celebrating this feat - but none so far (as I'm aware) involving drone footage and a cheesy soundtrack...