31 August 2006

Coming up in "Don't Know Much About This" September

10- Montenegro has its first post-independence election. Wiki has next to nothing on it.
17- Sweden. Close race likely between the two blocs. I'll say narrow centre-right victory.
22- Gambia- Probable APRC victory, but I don't really know any of the candidates.
26- Yemen. Probably going to be a rigathon for Ali Abdullah Saleh.
28- Zambia. Was close last time between the Movement for Multiparty Democracy and the United Party for National Development. Have no idea what it'll be like this time.

Ramble 4- Insert Quip Here

Watched the three-parter Murphy's Law this week. Not much to write home about. There's Dalizel and Pascoe (I think I've spelt that right) starting on Sunday.

Still not a huge amount going on the world. Iran's 'President' challenged America's President to a debate. It would have been an interesting spectacle, but the White House was right to refuse. It would given Ahmadinejad more legitimacy than he deserves.

I've applied to be an MAD Councillor at The Meritocracy. Should get in.

Tomorrow, I make my return to the forum at US Election Atlas as I said I would. With mid-terms coming up, it should be an interesting place to be.

I still haven't done my House and Governor Predictions. I'll get going on those starting tomorrow.

25 August 2006

Ramble 3- Slow news week

It's a bit of a slow news week. Top story on the BBC is about the obesity report. That's not to say nothing is happening- Iraq is still plagued with problems, there's the usual crime stories- but there's nothing that's really got the news agenda buzzing. Everyone's on holiday and we can relax a little.

I've been busy this week having a go at a game I got in Smith's a while back- Lock On. As you may have guessed, it's a flight sim game. I've now spent several attempts trying to drop a bomb on a tank. It's not easy, especially when said bomb is not guided.

Stargate SG-1 has been cancelled. Having not yet seen any of Season 10 (it won't be on Sky for a while), I can't say whether it's got bad or not. It's been cancelled due to falling ratings (although Sci-Fi wouldn't admit that). Let's hope it gets picked up by another channel.

Tried and failed (thanks to a lot of abstentions) to get back into the Meritocratic Senate. I'll stick around, RP a bit, run for the City Council and apply again in a few months.

Back in the RRA and the ADN in NS as well. Not much going on there either.

Soon we'll be back into the maelstrom of the Conference season. But that can wait a couple of weeks.

Your thoughts?

22 August 2006


I got a UKIP leaflet through my letterbox this morning. On it, it states that "UKIP would reduce net immigration to zero".

This has a potential problem. As Britain's population ages, there are less people able to contribute to society through work. Reducing immigration would only worsen the dependency problem we are soon going to have.

Some other points. It's often claimed that immigrants are taking British jobs. In fact, they tend to do the jobs that British people don't want to do. And all of them contribute to a society in some way.

People come to Britain because we speak English as a national language. It's not like German or French is taught in schools in Romania, par exemple.

There's a nasty racist undertone to the whole anti-immigration business. UKIP, consciously or not, are playing on people's fears of their jobs being taken by foreign workers, who will (they claim) drive down wages. That's not an argument for reducing immigration, that's an argument for increasing the minimum wage.

As regards to multicultralism, what's wrong with it? We should celebrate diversity, not force people to give up their culture. If their practices are too far off mainstream or violate human rights, then there's an argument for banning them, but not for the sake of it. By the way, I do think that some anti-offensive measures are a bit silly.

Just out of curiousity, how would all those planning to retire to Spain react if Spain banned immigration from Britain?

I'll disable comments on this one.

15 August 2006

Ramble 2

The ninth (or is it tenth?) series of Silent Witness concluded last night. It's been a decidingly mixed season and definitely not one of the show's best. Best episode was probably the downright weird "Supernova", with a very clever solution. None of the main characters (Leo, Harry and Nikki) really stand out.

After reading about it on UkGameshows.com, I watched the French version of Fort Boyard on TV5 Monde (I don't get France 2). It's a slightly different format from the UK one- being longer for a start (1 hour 50 minutes, with no ad-breaks). The most noticeable thing in this version was, unlike the UK version, Boyard is a nice guy. According to Wikipedia, he's only nasty in the UK versions. My French is only at GCSE Level though and it's poor in the speech department, so I can't say much else on what's said.

Watched March of the Penguins the other night. Good documentary, but I can't say it deserved an Oscar. I rarely agree with the Academy on pretty much anything (I throughly disliked Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, which won three Oscars).

What else have I been watching? CSI:Miami (the "most popular show on the planet") and The Bill, which has got distinctly better in recent months- it's also been ages since they killed any officers off, which has to be a good thing.

New Premiership season starts on Saturday. As a West Ham supporter, I'm hoping we do well (and we're predicted to do well, but predictions are just that- predictions). We've also got some UEFA Cup action to look forward to.

Middle East conflict is hopefully over. Both sides are claiming victory. It can't really honestly be said that either side have won on this. We all know who's lost- the Lebanese people.

10 August 2006

Ramble 1

It's time for the start of what will be a fairly regular (i.e. whenever I feel like doing it) feature on this blog.

I'm going to take you on a gentle meander through a variety of topics of current interest. Please take your litter home with you.

There's an oldish saying- "500 channels and nothing to watch". It's distinctly true. Have you seen how much junk there is on satellite TV? I'm not going to name the channels in question (that would just give them free advertising), but it says something when the only thing remotely worth watching is Basil Brush on the CBBC Channel. Boom Boom indeed.

Speaking of the CBBC Channel, I watched the first episode of Raven: The Island, spin-off from, er, Raven. I'm not going to spoil it for you (I understand people don't like having it spoilt for them), save to say that there was a little too much exposition in it.

This leads me onto two more topics: monarchy and CGI. I'll start with monarchy. As some of you may know, the central character, the host per se, in Raven: The Island is a princess. Which got me thinking about monarchy in general. I'm mixed on monarchy. I don't like the idea of someone having a political position solely by virtue of who their parents were. However, I don't want to abolish the monarchy in the UK (mainly because I like the Queen. Charles on the other hand...). So I was distinctly mixed about this Princess character. She probably is a decent person, who just happens to be a princess. Then again I thought: just ignore, it's a TV programme.

Now onto CGI. Is it me, or is CGI really obvious these days, especially on TV? It was the case with R:TI. It's the same with Stargate. It doesn't look 'real' and the illusion is lost. Then again, I know a bit about TV production. By the way, I think model work on spaceships is better than CGI.

Joe Lieberman, as you know, narrowly lost the CT primary on Tuesday, over the Iraq War. I've taken the decision on my US Election prediction table to label this seat as an Independent seat, because Lieberman has effectively resigned as a Democrat by announcing his intention to run as an independent. I'm currently projecting an Independent Hold for Connecticut. My overall prediction for the Senate is:

Republicans 51
Democrats 47
Independents 2 (Saunders and Lieberman)

I haven't done the House or Governors yet. They'll be done gradually.

News today has been dominated by the terror arrests and the alert today. I'm not going to comment further until after any possible trials, save to say: Good job.

03 August 2006

NEC Results


So Walter Wolfgang is on the NEC. Not too surprising, I suppose. The Beeb are leading with that in their Politics section.

Perhaps we're moving to the left again. Let's hope we don't actually elect McDonnell as Leader.