Mark's Musings

A miscellany of opinions, thoughts, rants and comments

3 April 2015
by Mark
2 Comments

Zero Thought

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One of the subjects that cropped up in the Leaders’ debate yesterday evening was zero hours contracts. Ed Miliband wants to effectively abolish them. David Cameron’s response was that Labour have a “zero jobs” approach. In the double-header interview previously, … Continue reading

2 April 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Knee-jerk reaction….

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Well, I’ve just watched the leaders’ debate. Here are a few random impressions of how it went. The questions weren’t particularly well distributed. Two on education. Nothing on tax, the economy only addressed in passing. Everyone knows that the SNP … Continue reading

23 March 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Why you can’t just vote for policies

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As we approach the general election in May, a number of websites have sprung up (and more will probably follow) where you can compare the various policies of the parties competing for your vote. The idea is that you can … Continue reading

8 March 2015
by Mark
1 Comment

Soft soap – a lessen on misreading statistics from the BBC

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If you take the BBC’s website at face value, you might think that hardly anyone – or, at least, a minority – uses soap in solid bars any more. As the article puts it: How do you like to scrub … Continue reading

7 March 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Fighting Yesterday’s Battles

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I recently got involved in an argument on the Internet with a small group of people who think that the web design standards of the 1990s are still valid today. In support of this, one of them pointed me at … Continue reading

25 February 2015
by Mark
0 comments

MPs to be banned from taking jobs that Ed doesn’t approve of (if he gets in, of course)

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Ed Miliband has just sent me[1] an email in which he said It’s time to stop MPs taking second jobs once and for all. Your MP should be working solely in the interests of you and your community. and then … Continue reading

18 February 2015
by Mark
0 comments

Does quality journalism have a future?

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I don’t normally read the Daily Telegraph in print, except when I’m visiting my parents and I try to do the crossword before my mum gets a chance. But I’ve been reading it a lot more online recently, ever since … Continue reading

20 January 2015
by Mark
1 Comment

Judge David Cameron on his record

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The Huffington Post published a graphic attacking David Cameron which has become something of an Internet meme. So, let’s look at what Cameron’s record actually is on the things it mentions… “One million people using food banks” – because the … Continue reading

9 November 2014
by Mark
0 comments

Putting it into perspective

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They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them. It felt ever so … Continue reading

2 November 2014
by Mark
0 comments

No, Ed, we still don’t need English Regions.

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Regional devolution is back in the news following the Scottish referendum. The latest proposal to give more power to the regions comes from Ed Miliband, who wants to replace the House of Lords with an elected senate representing the “regions … Continue reading

27 October 2014
by Mark
0 comments

Noel Wilkes, a true Evesham hero

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On the way to Tesco on Saturday evening, I passed what appeared to be the immediate aftermath of a road accident just outside St Ecgwins Club in Evesham High Street. A man was lying in the road, being attended to … Continue reading

21 October 2014
by Mark
4 Comments

Auf Wiedersehen, Ukip

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Economic migrants leaving their homes in a poorer country to find work in a richer one. If, like me, your musical memories consist of the likes of Duran Duran, Blondie, The Human League, The Sex Pistols and Bon Jovi, then … Continue reading

16 October 2014
by Mark
2 Comments

A brief history of local government in Evesham

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When considering Evesham’s history, the things that come to mind tend to be the obvious ones: the founding of the Abbey as a result of Eof’s vision, the battle of Evesham, the ongoing dispute between the Abbey town of Evesham … Continue reading

16 October 2014
by Mark
0 comments

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Right! now
Oh oh oh oh oh oh…

I am an alarmist
I am a pessimist
Don’t ’bout a lot
But I know what I’m scared of
I wanna destroy confidence

‘Cause I think we’ll be all diseased
In the city

Ebola in the UK
It’s coming sometime, maybe
Into Heathrow on a dodgy airline
Your future dream is a manic scream

‘Cause I think we’ll be all diseased
You’re gonna have to flee

How many ways
To infect you and spread?
Some of the best, some of the rest
Outsiders are the enemy, outsiders are anarchy

‘Cause I think we’ll be all diseased
So run away from me

Is this the IFPI?
Or is this the BPI?
Or is this the NHS?
It’s epidemic in the US
And very soon in our country
Another council committee

I think we’ll be all diseased
And I think we’ll be all diseased
With EBOV
And I think we’ll be all deceased
No rest in peace

Just in case there are any irony-challenged individuals reading, the above is a parody of the tin-foil hat brigade’s response to Ebola, and not a reflection of my own views.

12 September 2014
by Mark
0 comments

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September 2014. Boris Johnson selected as Conservative candidate for Uxbridge in 2015 general election.

September 2014. Scotland votes for independence.

May 2015. UK general election returns a Labour majority. Ed Miliband takes up residence in Number 10. David Cameron resigns as Conservative leader.

July 2015. Conservative party elects Boris Johnson as new leader.

March 2016. Scottish independence day. All Scottish MPs cease to be MPs.

April 2016. Labour government, now a minority administration due to the loss of Scottish MPs, loses confidence vote. Ed Miliband resigns as Prime Minister and calls general election.

May 2016. UK (minus Scotland) general election returns a Conservative majority. Boris Johnson takes up residence in number 10. Ed Miliband resigns as Labour leader.

September 2016. Everyone wakes up from a bad dream.

Or do they?

2 September 2014
by Mark
0 comments

When did the word “cash” stop meaning cash?

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I have long been irritated by the Coinstar scam machines in supermarkets, which proudly proclaim “Coins in. Cash out” on the front. Their website gives the impression that they have even registered the phrase “Coins to Cash” as a trademark, … Continue reading

19 July 2014
by Mark
0 comments

Evesham town centre retail – a few thoughts

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At last Monday’s town council meeting, we were given a brief report by Shawn Riley, of the Evesham Market Town Partnership, about the town centre retail areas. The MTP has recently gone to the effort and expense of obtaining a … Continue reading

10 July 2014
by Mark
0 comments

Don’t spoil my enjoyment

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I’ve just finished reading the script from the first episode in the new Doctor Who series. It’s pretty good, actually, apart from a rather large and pointless MacGuffin that initially threatens to derail the plot and a tendency (which, frankly, … Continue reading

23 June 2014
by Mark
0 comments

British Values: Robert Raikes and Education for All

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Mention the phrase “Sunday school” to most people, and if they grew up in a church-going family then the chances are it brings back memories of rather dry and dusty (in more ways than one) Bible stories read from faded, … Continue reading

18 June 2014
by Mark
0 comments

British Values: Ebenezer Cobb Morley and the Laws of the Game

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Most people, other than the historically uneducated, will have heard of the first two names in my series, even if they don’t necessarily associate them with the same topics that I have. But today’s source of British values is far … Continue reading