11 May 2010

A Dog's Life - Progress Report

For those of you who may be interested, I am pleased to report that Max is still in good form and generally interested in doggie activities like eating, going for walks, playing with squeaky toys, rolling around the carpet and barking at passers-by. 

We took him to see the vet a couple of weeks ago, and she was very impressed with him.  He was in perfect working order apart from the leg; he even had to have his annual jabs because it looks like he will be going into kennels for our holiday after all.  She thought he had a good few months to go yet so we are confident he will still be waiting for us on our return.

He has the odd day when he's a bit quieter, and he stops for a rest every so often on walks, but he's quite comfortable.  Sometimes he only wants to do a short walk.  Then he amazes us by taking us for really long ones.  Last Wednesday, for instance, he took me a good mile-and-a-half from home and still didn't want to stop - except for a brief rest.  I had to remonstrate with him to get him to turn back, using the magic word 'Dinner'.  He was good for another two-miler on Friday!  Not easy on three legs.

He also shows great interest in my current excavations in the garden (I am building a patio).  Digging a knee-deep hole with a large dog trying to help you find whatever it is he thinks I've lost is not easy!  He did go and lie down when I told him but lying down between the hole and the pile onto which I'm throwing the soil is unhelpful.

Good old Max!

10 May 2010

Electoral Chaos

Well, here we are with a hung, or balanced, parliament.  As they wheel and deal to decide who should form a government, how to unravel the tangled mess we have given them, let's hope they got and remember the message: we aren't all that happy with any of them.

Mr Brown has decided to go; do we have Mr Clegg to thank for that?  Despite comments in my previous postings, I do wish him well; I believe him to be a decent and genuine human being.  We still have no idea of who we are likely to get in place of him.  It won't be Mr Clegg.  It could still be Mr Cameron.  If the Lib-Dems ally themselves with Labour, who will lead the country while Labour elects its new leader?  I guess Mr Brown...

There is always the danger, of course, that the Lib-Dems will hang themselves out to dry by whatever decision they make.  If they go with the Tories it will give a genuine majority in the house but I can't see either party tolerating the alliance for long.  The Lib-Dems could be accused of compromising their principles.  The Tories will complain that they are being restrained from implementing their more radical policies (no bad thing, from my point of view).  If they go with Labour, there will still be no clear majority in the House.  Government will be reliant on the good will of smaller parties such as the SNP and Plaid Cwmru who will be in a position to manipulate Parliament to suit their causes (a good position for them).  They will be seen to have pushed the losing Labour party back into power. 

Chances are we will have another election in October.  By then, if we get another Lib-Lab Pact, we may have a form of Proportional Representation in place.  It will be interesting to see how politicians sort out the ensuing hung parliament.  Still, it works in Europe and New Zealand.  At least they will have a mechanism for sorting out who is in charge and the horse-trading won't be necessary.  Labour may be left wondering how they would have faired in a First Past the Post election with a new leader.  Of course, they could wait and see how their new leader inspires the public and, if favourably, call an election before they have chance for a referendum on electoral reform, thus stabbing the Lib-Dems in the back...

Interesting, isn't it?

03 May 2010

Prime Ministerial Debate No. 3

Well, that's it.  We've seen them all.  Now, at least, we have something to help us make up our minds.

I thought the last debate was interesting for as much as was not said as for what was.  We had a nice demonstration of adversarial politics, of which we are all well and truly sick, with Mr Brown and Mr Cameron slagging off each other and having a dig at Mr Clegg.  Mr Clegg seemed very quiet, apart from attempting to correct statements made by the other two about Lib-Dem policies.  Perhaps he was content to let them show us that they would only give us more of the same.

Mr Brown

Actually, I thought this was a better performance from him.  More commanding.  He seemed to identify the Conservatives as his primary target, presumably believing them to be the only genuine challenge to Labour.  Perhaps he sees the need not to come last in the popular vote so that he might get enough support to form the next government.  I believe he has a good grasp of the problems we face and genuinely wants the best for the UK.

Mr Cameron

The polls seem to indicate he won this debate.  I can't think how.  What were people judging by?  Not policies, if Mr Brown is to be believed.  Mr C. indulged in quite a bit of scaremongering.  For goodness sake, grow up.  I believe he wants to be in power and hopes we are sick enough of Labour to give it to him.  I think he is out of touch.

Mr Clegg

As I've said, he was relatively quiet.  I think he talks sense.  The other two seemed to want to make his immigration policy out to be something it is not but he held is own.

Whatever you may think of them,

  1. it is important to use your vote
  2. it is imperative that you vote according to conscience, not because of the way your grandfather and father before you always voted
  3. it is better to vote for something rather than against something else
  4. it is essential to remember that it is your vote to cast as you believe best for the United Kingdom
  5. do not be manipulated by one party into casting your vote to their advantage on the grounds that to do otherwise would let the other lot in.
  6. if you don't vote, don't complain afterwards.
I said in my last post who I intend to vote for, and nothing in the last debate changed my opinion.  Like many in the country, I am looking for genuine change.  I want to see a pragmatic approach that makes a difference. I am not impressed by idealogical twaddle and adversarial bickering.  I only see one party offering real difference.

In the last few days, there will be a lot of 'baby-kissing'.  Don't be impressed by that.  It doesn't at all mean they are in touch with the electorate - it just means they want your vote.  Give your vote to the candidate who best demonstrates he or she deserves it by their service for you in your constituency and for our country.

Please use your vote on Thursday. It Matters.