Apr. 19th, 2010

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From being warm enough to go out in a t-shirt at the weekend to four degrees and raining this morning, hmmm. I wonder if it's something to do with the volcano - perhaps we should be chucking in the odd virgin or two to see if that helps at all? Somebody book Anne Widdicombe a one way boat trip to Iceland, asap ... :-)

On the plus side, the shutdown of the air space must have had an effect on carbon emissions - it did shock me (although I suppose it shouldn't have) to learn that we import flowers from Kenya via air freight. How can that possibly be sensible use of scare resources? I suspect that it is only viable because of the ludicrous tax free status of aviation fuel. It really is time to call a halt to the age of cheap air travel, but nobody apart from the greens is ready to grasp that particular nettle and deprive Joe Voter of his ten quid EasyJet flights half way round the world so he can sit in the sun for a fortnight and drink the same lager that he can get in his local pub.

In election news, it must be a sign that the Lib Dems have got the big two parties rattled by the amount of vitriol that is now being directed at Nick Clegg, particularly from the Murdoch press. I can't see why the Tories are still holding out against electoral reform when they are fighting a ten point disadvantage against Labour before they can even start thinking about a parliamentary majority. We've had governments with honking great majorities, able to shove through any legislation they like, for the last thirty years and I suspect that has caused much of the current disconnection that people feel from the political process. What's the point in voting when the government always gets in?

In contrast, a dose of coalition politics where debates in the house actually matter and have a chance of shaping policies might get people involved again. It was interesting to see the involvement of people on Twitter and Facebook in the Digital Economy debate. Kicking sand in the faces of the nerd army may yet turn out to be Mandelson's biggest mistake ...

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thermalsatsuma

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