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...

4 February 2015

So who is the one person certain to vote Lib Dem in Motherwell?

Lord Ashcroft has been busy north of the border polling some Labour heartlands (along with two Lib Dem seats).  And the headlines make grim reading for Labour and the Lib Dems with the SNP apparently on the rampage.  But hidden among the detail is the fact that just one person in Motherwell and Wishaw told Ashcroft's pollsters they were certain to vote Lib Dem in May.

We know from page three they are; male, 35-44, social class AB and voted Lib Dem in 2010.  So who is this brave/foolhardy soul? 

22 January 2015

Greg Mulholland in North Kingston

Chair of the Parliamentary Save the Pub Group, Leeds NW Lib Dem, Greg Mulholland, visited Kingston earlier this week.

Greg visitied the Willoughby Arms in North Kingston where he met local residents and publicans and talked about the next stage of the campaign to Save Our Pubs - ending permitted development rights that can see pubs change use to a supermarket or estate agent without any public say so.

Greg and the all party group have tabled and amendment to the Infrastructure Bill on Monday to remove permitted development rights for pubs.

More here.

Richmond Park candidate, Robin Meltzer and landlord, Rick Robinson, welcome Greg to the Willoughby Arms in North Kingston.

13 January 2015

How the cult of celebrity has taken over Britain

Was in Derby today for work and visited the Intu Centre and came across a small exhibition of the history of the shopping centre.  In 1975 when the centre was orginally built this man formally opened it:

When it was revamped and enlarged in 2007 this woman opened it:

31 December 2014

Only pizzas are delivered

Only pizzas are delivered is sound advice contained in a jargon busting document issued by the coalition government in the summer of 2013.

It's advice those around Clegg should have taken when launching the party's summer campaign earlier this year which I criticised in similar terms at the time.

And it wasn't just the jargon strewn language of the summer campaign that was a problem - it was its poverty of ambition.

Sadly, this poverty of ambition (along with some more Whitehall speak) is apparent in the party's pre manifesto - which is a collection of timid technocratic proposals - designed to keep the wheels of Whitehall turning slowly under another coalition government.

However, the public have had four and a half years of timid coalition government and so far have taken every opportunity they can of punishing the Liberal Democrats for their role in it - something those around Clegg fail to understand while continuing with their busted strategy.

They have just a few short months to change tack if 2015 is not to go down as an historic and wholly unneccessary rout.

Happy New Year!