Monday, June 07, 2010

Labour's Leadership Contest a Damp Squib

The Labour Leadership contest is hardly inspiring. Five of the candidates (the Milibands, Balls, Burnham and Abbott) are Oxbridge educated. The three front-runners plus Burnham have only ever worked as policy advisors or political researchers (although Balls was a journalist at the FT) before entering Parliament. All four are apparachiks who - whatever they say now - never, at the time, uttered a syllable of dissent about the war in Iraq or New Labour's knee-bending adulation of the City. David Miliband seems to have spent a lot of his time as Foreign Secretary trying to make sure that the truth abour British complicity in out-sourced torture never came to light. Balls was Brown's consigliere for years. This is not so much Next Labour as "old" New Labour.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

Another lunatic on the road: Y844 OEN

There are roadworks on Oxford Road (Manchester) currently so the road is narrowed. At several points there is no room for a cycle and car to safely travel side-by-side. So if you are on a cycle, and in front, a car should really wait behind until reaching the stretch of road where it widens again before overtaking. By law a car is supposed to give a cyclist ample room when overtaking. But that would have meant waiting behind for a whole couple of seconds. So what does this lunatic do? He overtakes - at speed - leaving no more width that a sheet of paper between my bicycle and his car. As it happened he parked his car a hundred yards or so up the road - to go to the hole-in-the-wall, I think. I caught up and remonstrated. This was one thuggish, loutish individual. "I don't care. It's you whose going to die", he said. Politaholic is not a young man (he had 20 years on me and I have one arm that doesn't work properly) and, frankly, I am not of a pugilistic disposition, but there are times when I wish I were (this being one of them). The thug even took my photo on his mobile, when he saw me take down his licence number. I phoned the police - they log such incidents (but to make an official complaint I would have to go to the police station and there is little point since, for one thing, it is a fairly everyday incident to be nearly killed by some nutter overdosed on Jerry Clarkeson, and, second, it is my word against his. I'm not sure what the purpose of logging the incident is; perhaps if the nutter succeeds in killing someone the police can look at these logs, and see a pattern. Do they help in a future prosecution? Anyway, watch out for a thug driving Y844 OEN.