Welcome to Britblog Roundup, the weekly instalment of all that’s best in British blogging.
Recently tanker drivers struck because they were not given a 13% rise on their sub-£40k salary. Yes, tanker drivers in the UK are being paid almost $100k a year. They held large parts of the UK to ransom while they got this deal out of their employees. This sets a very bad precedent for the rest of these sort of negotiations.
Other unions, including that for refuse collection, have voted to strike this summer. And other unions are threatening a summer/autumn of “action.” Those of us old enough to remember the UK at its nadir in the 70s remember piles of rubbish in Leicester Square, London, because of the strike by council refuse workers. They are threatening a repeat performance unless they get a proper pay deal. In fact over 800,000 council workers are set to strike.
Natalie Bennett looks at local government:
when I saw a copy of Modern Local Government by Janice Morphet (Sage, 2008), I thought I should pick it up – and I have even now managed to read it, even if I admit to having skimmed bits where the forest of acronyms just became impenetrable.
Elizabeth Chadwick visits historic Norfolk.
Zohra Moosa looks at the abortion law amendments proposed for the HFE Bill
Matt Selwood shedas light on the Green Party’s first ever leadership election — up til now they’ve been run by a committee.
Diamond Geezer visits the Fairlop Fair:
They headed to Fairlop, near Hainault, to feast and be merry under a great tree – the Fairlop Oak. Its branches were said to cast a midday shadow 300 feet in circumference, covering roughly an acre of land, and a seething mass of booths and stalls were laid out beneath its mighty span. This was Fairlop Fair, and over the decades it grew from a simple annual picnic into a tumultuous alcoholic riot. I’m not going to tell you the fair’s full fascinating story, because you can read about that elsewhere. But it all began with a man buying bacon and beans for his friends.
Susanne Lamido thinks Bridget Fox has lost the plot regarding Waitrose buying a Woolwoth shop:
In a previous post I was praising Bridget Fox –Waitrose moving in to Angel but now she seems to have lost the plot.
How can any right minded person think they can tell Woolies management/shareholders to keep a building and a branch open when they want to sell up. They have the right to sell to whom they want. It is already a done deal signed and sealed.
Sally B at Londonist notes that a Brit won at Wimbledon:
Laura Robson, at 14, is the youngest winner for 14 years, and her victory will surely fill diehard British tennis fans with hope for years to come.
Appropriately, she’s from Wimbledon, too.
Ian Andrew Dodge muses on whether it’s better to be stabbed or shot:
I was having a chat with a few friends Saturday night about the spate of knife violence in London as compared to “shootings” in several American cities. I pointed out to them that is probably better to be shot at if you don’t want to die. Its bloody hard to hit a moving target especially if you are moving as well. (That is why innocents get a hit a lot of the time.)
While being knifed is a much more intimate affair and one is more likely to meet a dire end like <the poor chap in Islington Saturday night.
Personally, I’d rather be neither!
Charles Crowford dislikes the new mawkish tone at the Foreign Office:
As part of a trite urge to make the FCO look ‘relevant’, FCO Ministers issued new instructions to the global network of Ambassadors.
If more than a handful of British citizens look to have been involved in a ‘serious incident’ (Note: defined at a very low level, eg a motorway car pile-up with say five deaths) the Ambassador personally is expected to drop everything (CAP reform, Climate Change, Terrorism) and go straight to the scene.
Once there he/she is expressly instructed to deploy the 3 Ps:
What the public expects to hear from you/your spokesman/Minister/official after a major incident:
Pity: sympathy for the victims and their families
Praise: praise for/thanks to the emergency services etc
Pledge: a promise/pledge to get to the bottom of what has happened – and learn any lessons
I agree. Pass the sick bucket, please.
Feminist Avatar writes that Feminism is Good for Men:
I don’t think we shall ever go back to previous age. Why? Because feminism is good for men.
In patriarchal societies, women’s behaviour was a reflection of their husbands or fathers. In many cases, this meant that women could impact on a man’s career, reputation, and social standing.
Before feminism, men had to marry a woman to have sex with her.Feminism reduced male responsibility, by recognising women’s humanity. And this wasn’t a bad thing. Men no longer had to shoulder the burden of power, the stress and responsibility, alone.
When they married (or didn’t!), men could choose to do so for love, knowing they could share intimacy and responsibility for the household with a partner, rather than worrying whether their choice could land them in jail or destroy their social standing. They could have conversations with an educated and informed equal.
They had the choice of divorce when things didn’t work out.
A backlash against feminism sucks as much for men as it does for women.
Phil BC writes about the disconnect between left wing and feminist blogging.
Chriss Dillow says experience is useless.
Female Science Professor says scientists are like rock stars.
Miss Maz Hardey writes about blogging and social life:
One of the major sources of confusion is ignorance over the functionality of blogging lifestyle and a connected social immersion. Misplaced concerns about the lack of quality contact and content in the context of social networking still lacks a clear and workable theorisation. I’ll be speaking on the Thursday and hope to engage with not only the ‘problems’ of such lifestyle, but to offer some solutions too.
Theo Blackwell is against Da Vinci Code politics.
Neil D notes that the authorities are keen to stop people taking photographs — unless they are Google, of course.
NHS Blog Doctor discusses the Center for Nursing Advocacy.
Dr Rant taslks about the good side and the bad side of the NHS, on its 60th birthday:
1. The NHS is such a good system that no other advanced industrial economy has one.
In the old days we were taught to see the irony in “They’re all out of step except my little Johnnie!” It seems we have a blind spot about the merits of American and European systems. Must be the great education we all get under Commissar Balls-Up.
Liberal England talks about Ray Lewis and the weakness of the mayoral system.
Shan Oakes says he’s the real civil liberties candidate in the Haltemprice and Howden by-election.
Gwyn Griffiths wonders whether the “localness” of a candidate isn’t treated as more important that it ought to be.
Craig Murray recalls that Andrew Mackinley once asked Tony Blair during Prime Minister’s Questions:
“Does the Prime Minister recall that, when we were in opposition, we used to groan at the fawning, obsequious, soft-ball, well-rehearsed and planted questions asked by Conservative members?”
Blair’s reply can be imagined. There should be a special award for deflating pompous shits.
The Ministry of Truth writes that Harry’s Place has been threatened with legal action by Anas Altikriti of the British Muslim Initiative. I don’t like it when bullies threaten to gag bloggers, so I’m going tob repeat the initial allegation:
Here’s Mohammad Sawalha, President of the British Muslim Initiative, speaking to Al Jazeera in Arabic about his demonstration against last Sunday’s celebration of the foundation of the State of Israel:
The President of the British Muslim Initiative – Mohammad Sawalha – said in a speech to Al Jazeera:
“We, the Arab and Islamic community, gather here today to express our resentment at the celebrations by the Jewish community and the [evil Jew/Jewish evil] in Britain”
[والوبيل اليهودي في بريطانيا]
Translation by DaveM
Philip Wilkinson looks at the beautiful town of Rye.
Louise Whittle reviews the BBC drama Criminal Justice.
A man mistakes the moon for a UFO. An easy mistake that anyone could make!
Betty discusses the advantages men have over women, when dating younger partners.
Norfolk Blogger gives us the news that the SATS tests for 11 and 14 year olds are being marked by a company that “seem incapable of organising a piss up in a brewery”. Oh well, that’s only £31 million pissed down the drain.
That’s all for this week, folks. Next week’s Britblog Roundup will be hosted by Jackart. You should send nominations to the usual place, britblog [at] gmail [dot] com.