"You may say that I am a dreamer/But I am not the only one" John Lennon: "Imagine"

"So come brothers and sisters/For the struggle carries on" Billy Bragg: "The Internationale"

Elizannie has a reading room at 'Clarice's Book Page' http://www.villiersroad.blogspot.com/

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Kitchen Sink electioneering

So it seems that the main thrust of electioneering for 2015 is turning into a kitchen sink drama. First of all the Milibands have their pictures taken in what turns out to be their second, smaller, more basic kitchen:

                                                                                    and this gives plenty of other politicians something to attack including Sara Vine, Michael Gove's wife, has a 'go' at the Milibands and unable to resist a further taunt mentions the old age and poor status of her own kitchen in her Daily Mail column. As in any school playground fight, friends gather to take sides [Quoting Harry Hill: Fiiiiiiiiiggggghhhhhhtttttt]  and the Gruniad has the whole story of what happened next when the chef Jay Rayner [beloved of the One Show] decided to point out that the Goves had had two homes refurbished at taxpayers expense:

and the resulting twitter row is quite entertaining. Especially as poverty campaigner and austerity cook Jack Monroe got involved too. [I have a soft spot for her as she hails from my neck of the woods]

Then Dave the Cameron makes a salad:

So I am wondering about getting Kitchen Sink Blogs trending on twitter and devoting a blog to cooking and kitchens. But then I would have to admit that actually - despite all previous claims to the contrary - I can cook quite well. And actually like a nice tidy kitchen and the odd gadget or two. But the thing is this, I can too often find something else to do. And if I tell people I can cook [so just keep this between you and I for now] they might expect a meal when they come here. And then I would have to shake off my airy-fairy, hippy-dippy attitude and stop serving digestive biscuits and a bottle of elderflower water. This would mean time in the kitchen before serving and time clearing up after a meal. Time when others are talking about interesting things like politics, or organising demonstrations or just talking etc. Or I could be reading a book or something...... anything!

And then I would have to shop and put stuff away. And worry about running out of things. And get organised about menus [had to look up how to spell that]

So can you see where I am going with this? Who really cares about politicians kitchens?  I need to know about their party policies and work-in-progress and record if they are serving politicians and their beliefs. I want to know that they find the state of the country and its citizens more important than their opponents. I want to receive election addresses which will tell me all about how all our fellow citizens will have enough to eat and somewhere to live - I don't want pictures of prospective parliamentary candidates shaking hands with other politicians or stroking dogs or kissing babies.

I want to think that after May 7th we will not have the need for food banks because everyone - working or not - will be able to afford to buy food. Think benefits will not be taken away from anyone even if there is a doubt over entitlement, it will be realised that it is far better to overpay than to leave someone to starve.

I don't want sick people to have to worry that the necessary, expensive drugs will not be availble for the poorer people in our communities, or that the best treatment will only be available for those able to afford private healthcare. I want all our schools to be places of excellence with well paid teachers, all the equipment and accomadation they need and no worries about future funding.

The social services should be praised rather than constantly blamed and again be provided with sufficient funds. Public sector workers should be valued and not pilloried. Nurses who haven't seen a pay rise for years should be valued and rewarded with money and not just empty words.

Where would these funds coming from. Easy. If we can find monies for wars and defence we can find monies for peace. No point in defending a sick and ailing society after all...... and that's just the start. Rather than read about the kitchen sinks dramas, can we read about the real dramas that constitute living in this decade and what the politicians want to do about it instead of scoring cookery points off each other?

Takeaway anyone?

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Jeremy Clarkson? A role model for the nation .......

So there is an online petition to reinstate Jeremy Clarkson, who has been suspended by the BBC for allegedly assaulting a co-worker and future 'Top Gear' shows have been 'pulled'. No surprise that the instigator of the petition is that guardian of public morals [please note that my tongue was firmly in my cheek as I typed that, not an easy feat] the blogger Guido Fawkes.

Without prejudging the facts of this case, let us just reflect on the things we do know about Jeremy Clarkson. A very few of the things we do know that he has said/done:

  • He called Gordon Brown 'A one-eyed idiot'. He later apologised for this.
  • He has made several remarks that are more than bordering on the racist side. For the controversy over his 'slope' remark look here. This is possibly one of his milder comments which I feel I can display only because I am Welsh!: 'I'm not a racist. I am currently sitting in a bar with a man who lives quite near Wales.'
  • There was a furore over the programme filmed in Argentina over whether the number plate on the Top Gear car was a set up or not.

I suppose its pretty obvious that I don't like Clarkson and I don't watch the show. But why am I bovvered [to quote Lauren] enough to write a blog on him? Well because I am so flabbergasted that 
  • There is a petition to reinstate a man who has allegedly assaulted a co-worker, or indeed anyone.
  • Over 200,000 have already signed it, a little over 15 hours after news of the incident broke. 
  • The whole incident is still at the 'allegedly' stage anyway, so the time for petitions and comments really is not yet.
  • Are we to think it is permissible to assault a co-worker if - as allegedly is the case here - s/he has somehow made a mistake/not done the job properly?
  • And also because I can't help feeling that Jeremy Clarkson is now reaching super hero/iconic status - and is this the sort of role model we want for our youth?

Why is the photo at the top of this blog of baby lambs? Well to be honest, I prefer it to a photo of Jeremy Clarkson. Fair enough?