The Only Way is Down

The Only Way is Down. Some gentle wisdom and kindness and post-UK-General-Election rational thinking here


Here’s the real reason the Tories are allowing the destruction of robin eggs and nests

This is what is fundamentally wrong with a conservative government, they are blind to the bigger picture and have no thought to the future consequence of their questionable actions! Unbelievably short-sighted behaviour yet again!

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the Tories!)

I must admit to having been more than a little puzzled at first as to why Natural England are proposing that nests and eggs of bird species such as robins and starlings will be allowed to be destroyed without the granting of special licences.

This would mean members of the public would be allowed to destroy any nests or eggs they came across – more or less at will.

Natural England’s consultation paper on the subject doesn’t shed much light on the reasons for these quite shocking proposals either – other than stating that these birds can present a “public health and safety” hazard.

There is no explanation of what exactly the public health and safety hazards of robins’ and starlings’ eggs are.

However, after a little investigation into the murky waters of party donations all has now become clear.

Last year government ministers chose Andrew Sells…

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via 38degrees – a chance for a better media culture? )

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My eldest, has been knitting furiously since she decided to make a Harry Potteresque scarf for a friend last summer, she even knitted a band member one in the time it took to queue to get in to a gig at Cardiff Student Union. I’m proud to say she’s moved on elephant with a tache anyone? I think 2011 is going to be all about elephants one way or another….

European Parliament – slow wheels of bureaucracy

Strasbourg, 01 June 2010        

Complaint: 0810/2010/EMT

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing in reply to your letter of 22 March 2010 in which you
alleged that the British National Party misused European Union funds in
order to fund staff running general and local election campaigns. 

The Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and the Statute of
the European Ombudsman set certain conditions as to the opening of an
inquiry by the Ombudsman. 

One of these conditions is that the Ombudsman shall help to uncover
maladministration in the activities of the Union institutions, bodies,
offices and agencies. No action by any other authority or person may be
the subject of a complaint to the Ombudsman.

After a careful examination of your complaint, it appears that this
condition is not met, because your complaint is against a political
party and it is therefore not related to an act of a Union institution,
body, office or agency.

I regret to have to inform you, therefore, that I am not entitled to
deal with your complaint.

However, the subject matter of your complaint could fall within the
scope of the European Parliament’s competence as it appears to concern
the use made of European Parliament funds. I have, therefore,
transferred your email to the President of the European Parliament and
have asked that Parliament deal with the complaints and respond to you
as it considers appropriate, in the light of its rules concerning use of
European Parliament funds. 

Please contact Parliament for any queries regarding its handling of the
matter. The address of the Parliament is: 

Prof. Dr. Jerzy Buzek
European Parliament
Rue Wiertz
1047 Brussels

Yours sincerely,


Listen today: our debate, our questions

38 Degrees

At 1pm today, the Guardian website will be hosting our live election debate between the three manifesto-writers for Labour, Liberal Democrat and the Conservative parties.

Over 10,000 of us voted on the questions we should ask . 38 Degrees members will be putting our questions directly to Ed Miliband (Labour), Danny Alexander (Liberal Democrats) and Jeremy Hunt (Conservative). The rest of us will be able to commment and discuss their answers live through the Guardian website.

Join in and have your say during the Guardian debate at 1pm today, by clicking here:

Our debate today won’t follow the same rules as the television debates. The questions have been written and chosen by us. Throughout the debate, you can have your say on Twitter by using the #g38live hashtag, or through the comments feed on Guardian website.

We’ve chosen these questions together. Today we’ll be working together to make sure the politicians answer them. That should help us make informed choices about who to vote for. It will also mean that whoever wins this election, they’ll know that there are thousands and thousands of us, we won’t settle for spin, and we’ll work together to hold them to their promises.

Join the debate today and hear politicians answer the questions we’ve chosen together:

Thanks for being involved,

Hannah, David, Johnny, Nina, and the 38 Degrees Team

P.S. you can see the results of the vote on the questions here:

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It’s not over til the fat lady sings…

“It’s the day when no-one must flinch”

  1. James Naughtie

    In my waking consciousness yesterday I heard James Naughtie talking to Carter Wren, Republican consultant on Radio 4s Today Programme:

    “This is a story about Obama”…”The otherness of Obama, not just a matter of colour”…”this man has made history just by him participating in the election”, “…this man has generated such thunder, certainly… it has made so many Americans think”

    What leapt out at me was Carter Wrens comment in response to James Naughties question “it is often said in this country [America] the generation of under 35 of white americans are largely colour blind, do you think that’s true?”

    “Nah. Race like original sin, it’s just with us and when we start telling ourselves we’ve cured it, or gotten beyond it or healed it, it’s probably an illusion.”

    “When I look at John McCain, I understand John McCain, I understand his background, I identify with him. When someone my age [53] looks at Barack Obama, whether we like him or not, and I found a lot to like but I don’t understand his story. I don’t understand his background so there’s a natural tendency for me to vote for the man I’m more comfortable with. I think that’s how race plays into this”. Carter Wren

    then later, again on Obama – “he suits the moment, his articulateness, his unflappability”.

    and finally JN notes how for Ray Nelson of Florida that ‘this is the break with the past that he thought might never come’.

    I don’t know what tomorrow may bring, history for most people has already been made. Will America welcome in Barack Obama as the new President of the United States? I can’t pretend it doesn’t matter to me, because it does. The ripples from across ‘the atlantic pond’ will effect us little ‘ole UK islanders as profoundly as the result of the US presidential elections will effect Americans. So here I am, listening out for the Fat Lady to see if I recognise the song because it’s time for change.