Thursday, July 20, 2006
Hat tip to Adele

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said ‘I love you’ and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip on a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Got drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb (Well bits of a lamb - as in a kekbab or my mum's homecooking)
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking (Several times, always under the influence of copious amounts of alcohol!)
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was shit faced
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken for longer than when you were in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cds (No this is very anal indeed)
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke (
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days (not likely)
77. Made cookies from scratch (And I have a cub scout cooking badge whooooooo!)
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage (only at school though)
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived. (Well that is a matter of opinion)
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone (I keep trying on this, just a few weeks ago I was in A&E for a X - ray
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon Well an aged neighbour of my parents has been and i've seen the video
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi (For lunch today from sainsbury's it was rather nice)
128. Had your picture in the newspaper (Ummm media whore)
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school (I did manage to attend more than a single day)
131. Parasailed (If this is American for paragliding then yes)
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions Don't think we've had any yet
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language (I used to take bookings for Celtic)
139. Been elected to public office (No but all my opponents have been less handsome than myself)
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair (Kirkham Market as part of my valiant if unsuccessful attempt to enter Parliament)
146: Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head(Somtimes I have a No 4.)
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone’s life

Soz for not posting for a bit. Those 2 hour all expenses lunches won't take themselves you know and of course the random bit of work.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
  Child's Play

As some of you know I have moved to Reading. Though I haven't actually found anywhere to live yet. So I am taking advantage of the absence of students at this time of year to reside at Childs Hall of Residence at Reading University.

Apparently this is a photo of the place taken in 1969. It really hasn't changed a bit since. Although the man in the photo has since moved.

Reading is looking lovely in the sunshine and I don't start work till Monday.
Friday, July 14, 2006
  Greening the Reds
I am so annoyed with the Government's energy review that I am going to join SERA the Labour Environment Campaign. Don't get angry get even.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
  Make Child Poverty History No2

The government should institute a regular annual Life Chances Audit which details progress on improving and equalising life chances for children and young people in the UK. It would bring together evidence on all the main strands of work across government that address inequalities in life chances, and would inform the media and public debate about the key facts and trends in inequalities in the UK.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
  Competition Time !

Ever thought we're being taken over by the beastly hun? Concerned you can't buy a sandwich that's not a bagette? Want to share your brain power to protect the nation? Then cheer up it's competition time!!!

Which political party of these people a member of ? 1 point

What are there names from top to bottom? 1 point for each name.

Who is the odd one out and why? 1 point and 1 bonus point for being dead brainy

What are the other four trying to become? 1 point

What by election did one of these men just fight? 1 point

Rules: Parburypolitica's decision is final. If you can't get a full name you can have half for a surname and nothing for just a first name. I want the full constituency name for the last question. No biting or blows below the belt.The first person to post the full 10 correct answers in the comment section will win the title of

The Parburypolitica Master of the Political Universe 2006 - 2007 Grand Champion!

Anything above five and you win The Parburypolitica Master of the Political Universe Highly Commended award .

Anything below 5 try a GCSE multiple choice paper.

  Make Child Poverty History No1
The Government's child poverty commitments must be identified as a central national proirity in framing the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review, reaffirming the commitment to halving child poverty by 2010 relative to it's 1999 baseline and eradicating it by 2020. The government should during 2006, conduct a cross-cutting and cross-department Review of Life Chances in the UK, and of the government activity necessary to narrow the gaps in life chances.

Over the next couple of weeks I will be featuring on this blog the recommendations of The Fabian Commission on Life Chances and Child Poverty. Sometimes as a Labour supporter you need need to be reminded what the party is about.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006
  Will Darling meet his Beauty Queen?
Miss Chernobyl 2004 is ready at any time to give Mr Darling a demonstration of the practical benefits of nuclear power.
  Darling I told you no, you cant do that!
It must be difficult being Alistair Darling. He'd just got his feet under the Department of Trade and Industry table and the nuclear industry do and bowl him a googly that he has to be stupid enough to let hit is wicket. See what the BBC is reporting here

This was the same Alistair Darling that told Manchester we couldn't have our Metro extension. Not my favourite member of the cabinet. Alistair you are a bad, bad, boy. Go and sit in the corner till we can get Kitty to sort you out.

Perhaps she will decide to send him to Chernobyl.
  Respec stylee to the Huqster

My mate Rupa Huq has a book out.

Here's some of the Blurb

"Taking an innovative approach this fascinating book draws on past research into musically-based youth cultures to re-examine the notion of subculture that has been such a staple of sociology and leisure syllabi since the CCCS (Clearly Cocain Concocted Spurious?) accounts of it in the 1970s." Rupa will know what CCCS means as she has a PhD in this stuff. Clever girl that she is.

It goes on to say "It uses bhangra, hip-hop and dance music styles in particular to argue that new models (Kate Moss being past it) are needed to explain the relationship between young people, creative and cultural industries, expressive arts and wider social processes in the twentyfirst century." Genius i'm sure you will agree. Not only does she master the theorectical she also spins the wheels of steel as a DJ once in a while.

Respec stylee to the Huqster or whatever young people says these days. Also if any of you lot are looking for a candidate for a safe Labour seat at the next election Dr Huq has already been a candidate in 2 unwinnables and is on the look out for a seat in the Commons to be the first asian women ever to get elected to parliament. Double respec stylee. Now you can all rush out to your nearest good bookshop for a copy.
  Usshering in a New Generation
I'm not happy with the way the Govenment's energy review is going. Malcolm Wicks, the energy minister, is a waste of a ministerial salary if ever there was one. We need some new blood in Government. I think Kitty Ussher's recent article in Tribune is the best application to be the Government's energy minister ever. As you can see, with the english translation from politican, her article in the Guardian she wants a job in Government. Dammit we should start a campaign to make Kitty Minister of State for Energy. Perhaps the slogan could be "Move over Malcolm"

Vigour in energy policy need not mean nuclear

Kitty Ussher says the Government must be wary of handing a propaganda victory to its opponents as it works out a way to keep the lights on.

If I was David Cameron, I would come out against nuclear power when the government publishes its energy review. It would give him the opportunity he needs to show he cares about the environment and is capable of taking on a well-organised big business lobby. It would put some murky green water between him and the Prime minister, and take most of middle England with him.

Thankfully I’m not the Tory leader. But this is an issue that can be argued either way. Yes, nuclear is carbon free but it cannot be described as sustainable. If the Romans had had nuclear power we would still be dealing with the waste.

Neither is nuclear necessary to meet our carbon targets. We’re already set to overshoot our Kyoto greenhouse gas target, with plenty of room to spare. The latest Government pronouncement - the climate change programme published in March - show that even with current plans we’ll be able to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to between 15 per cent and 18 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010. If implemented properly the decisions this Government has already made to encourage renewable energy and energy conservation will compensate for the planned decommissioning of existing nuclear power stations by around 2020.

Research by the respected consultancy Ilex shows that it is possible by 2020 to keep overall demand for power roughly the same , despite a growing economy, at a reasonable cost and reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power stations by 60 percent without nuclear.

But our carbon commitments don’t end in 2020 . We’ve excepted the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution recommendation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 60 per cent by 2050. Can that be done without recourse to nuclear power? Both the Department of Trade and Industry and the independent Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research says we can.

The Government’s interdepartmental analysts group for the 2003 White Paper says renewables could contribute around 68 per cent of our electricity needs. The Prime Minister’s strategy unit and the government’s energy efficiency innovation review have said that energy efficient could reduce demand by 30 per cent. So why not legislate for a clear, irrevocable deadline for the public sector to be powered by renewable energy, either through the grid or generated locally? It’ll make Britain a global leader in green technologies, creating manufacturing jobs of the future.

There’s nothing scary about importing gas and oil when the north sea runs dry. In fact it’s not being dependant on imports that should have us worried, but dependant on imports from the same place. With a balanced portfolio of suppliers, a variety of contracts through pipelines, that risk can be virtually eliminated.

Moreover if we move to a so called “distributed model” of electricity generation where buildings, offices and estates generate their own, topping up their requirements from the grid at times and selling surplus back at others., we’ll have far greater reliability overall, and reduce our economy’s vulnerability to things happening on the other side of other world, and the risk of home grown terrorist attack on a nuclear power station.

Micro generation could contribute 30-40 per cent of our electricity needs while cutting carbon emissions by 15 per cent.

And then there’s the economics. When the young Queen Elizabeth flicked the switch for the first nuclear power station back in the 1950s, she said it would produce electricity “too cheap to meter”. Fifty years on, British Energy went bust and the tax paper picked up an enormous bill.

So nuclear energy is not the only option. Policy-makers face a choice: they need to decide what they want to do, and the follow up the appropriate path to meet our commitments and keep the lights on. But we must be aware of the implications of our actions: we could hand our political opponents the opportunity to be seen to be doing the right thing.

Kitty Ussher is Labour MP for Burnley and was special advisor to Patricia Hewitt at the Department of Trade and Industry from 2001-2004

And here are some gems from her Guardian article entitled Let us have a go

There's something changing within the internal dynamic of the Labour party at the moment.
“Those of us with the marginal seats are beginning to shit ourselves”

It’s natural for leaders at the top to begin to look - and perhaps even feel - a bit tired and jaded after a decade of hard and important work.
“God, the last Government minister I saw had bags under there eyes so big they could fit a red box inside”

But as time goes on it is also becoming increasingly clear that there are bright and capable people
“Like me”

waiting on the fringes
“Tony, you still haven’t given me a job yet”

who are ready to refresh and renew the policy-making process.
“Sort out the mess caused by a host of duffer Parliamentary under Secretaries. At this rate even Sven could pick a better team”

For starters, there are the 40 Labour MPs elected for the first time to parliament only a year ago - three-quarters of whom are women - but it goes beyond that. There are some new junior ministers, “Like Ed, Pat and the other Ed but not Kitty“

and some others well capable of being them,
“like Kitty, Prime Minister!”

bursting with ideas,
“Like you Tony, I went to Oxford so the papers can’t make me look thick like Prescott”

and with loads of experience
“I did work experience with that Patricia woman you know the one you put in charge of the doctors and nurses”

and capacity.
“Unlike you Tony I’ve got a Masters in Economics so give me a job and I’ll sort out world poverty as well in my spare time, just for fun.”

And it's a network of people that certainly doesn't want to be in opposition.
“If you don’t give me a job ASAP I shall go and have dinner with Gordon and then you can be in opposition”

We're in politics to change things, not sit around for decades talking till the cows come home about the theoretical possibility of putting a grand vision into practice while someone else gets on with running the country.
“Tony you know I like you but really I should be prime minister now. I know that’s what Gordon says to you as well but he‘s Scottish and old and Cherie doesn‘t like him”

So here's the message for the bosses: if you're tired, run out of steam, had enough, we'll have a go.
Monday, July 10, 2006
  Keep in touch

I'm going to set up an email list for this blog. If you want to get a weeklyish email of the highlights from my part of the blogosphere send us an email to

just take out the no spam bit and put subscribe in the subject line. Promise I want sell your email or pass it on to Chechen terrorists who will kidnap your kids.
  Critical Mass
Alas I cannot go on this Critical Mass as i'm moving but looks like fun and pisses off that Clarkson petrol head. So get off your arse and get down there!!!

Friday 14th July
Meet at Central Library at 6pm
Bring Flags, climate change/bike banners, music, noisemakers, bicycles, skateboards (any human powered
transport), friends ...

come- in fancy dress, in your pants, in a suit, in your birthday suit, in
your jeans..whatever!

14th July has been declared a global day of action against the G8 so
protests against the G8 will be taking place all over the world.

The G8's announced agenda shows power and climate change as being at the top. In Manchester we want to protest the G8 whilst showing that we
already have one solution: bikes not pollution!

Last years G8 critical mass in manchester had over 160 riders..come along and make this one even bigger!

After the ride we are having a fundraising gig at Fuel in Withington to
raise money for the manchester neighbourhood at the camp for climate
action this summer.

Friday 14th July
7.30pm at Fuel, Wilmslow Road, Withington M16

An evening of musical delights with a variety of local performers. Swing, folk and folk-punk- and people playing bicycles (whatever genre that fits into!)

also showing short independent films about climate change

£3 suggested donation

The manchester neighbourhood are running a bicycle library at the camp and some of the money raised will go to help this. If you have a spare bike or spare time please get in touch:
  Peter and Ann
The NEC has been done to death but I'm going to throw my 2p worth in anyway. I think that the standard of candidates in the constituency section is not that high at the moment. I only used 3 of my six votes.

But there are 2 candidates that I think are worthy of sitting on the NEC and of a mention on here 1) Peter Wheeler 2) Ann Black

Ann Black also does an email news letter which general has something interesting in it.

Hello again

Below is a report from the National Policy Forum meeting on 30
June / 1 July 2006 – as usual, please feel free to circulate, and
comments are welcome.

At the next NEC meeting on 19 July, Pete Willsman and I will be
proposing a motion which would restore reasonable rates for
visitors to conference. In 2005 the visitor fee was £59 waged / £29
unwaged. For 2006 it has been set at £82.25 with no concessions,
an increase of nearly 40% for waged members and 184% for
unwaged, This was done without consulting or even informing the

I still believe that we should be a party for the many, not the few,
which is why I opposed the 50% increase in membership
subscriptions last year, along with Pete Willsman, Christine
Shawcroft, Mark Seddon, Angela Eagle, Dennis Skinner and John
Holmes, but we were outvoted.

Finally I hope you have received your ballot papers for the NEC
constituency places (if not, you should contact party headquarters
before 17 July). You may be receiving advice from various
organisations and tendencies and I will not add to it, except to ask
you to read what we say, maybe check your constituency’s
nominations at the back of the booklet, and vote.

Best wishes


National Policy Forum, 30 June / 1 July 2006

The National Policy Forum met in positive mood in the East London
docklands, now transformed into a stunning Thames-side riviera,
with rallying calls from Ian McCartney, Hazel Blears, Gordon
Brown, John Prescott and Tony Blair. Hazel pointed out that the
Tories nearly lost the by-election in Bromley and Chislehurst, their
18th safest seat, hardly suggesting a party on its way back to
power. The prime minister highlighted David Cameron’s
inconsistencies: praising work-life balance while voting against
paternity leave, putting security at risk by opposing 90-day
detention, talking liberal but asking his MEPs to leave the European
People’s Party and sit with fascists. Gordon Brown spoke of the
challenges of globalisation: development aid was not only morally
right, but strategically wise. If people had prosperous lives in their
own countries, mass migration would decline and terrorist groups
(more than half of all Al-Qaeda cells were in Africa) would lose their

The main topic raised by members was energy policy, also covered
in a separate presentation by Malcolm Wicks, with nuclear power a
particular concern. Scottish Labour supported replacing existing
nuclear stations and maintaining our skilled engineering base, but
others worried about short-term decisions which would leave a
10,000-year legacy of radioactive waste, the true economic costs,
sourcing and transporting uranium, and whether focusing on
nuclear power would crowd out spending on renewables, clean coal
and conservation. I was unhappy that electricity and energy are
used interchangeably and misleadingly in policy documents -
though 17% of electricity is nuclear-generated, it contributes only
about 5% of total energy. Ministers responded with the need to
reduce carbon emissions by 60% by 2050 and to secure energy
supplies through a balanced mix, rather than depending on
unstable or hostile regimes.

Other concerns included more help for the unemployed, building
confidence in the police among ethnic minorities, the fourth option
in council housing and whether local government should provide
services directly or just act as commissioners, better school meals,
ensuring that the Olympics benefited the whole community, House
of Lords reform, vocational and further education, health service
cuts, and acknowledging money sent back home by workers from
abroad as part of aid.

What Price Democracy?

Jack Straw introduced a discussion of party funding, and several
common themes emerged in the whole Forum and later in smaller
workshops. First, this was not just about money but about restoring
trust and confidence in the political process. Second, Jack and
others emphasised the importance of individual members. Since
1980 the membership of political parties had halved while spending
trebled, and though new campaigning techniques had a role, there
was no substitute for face-to-face engagement. Charlie Falconer
added that the focus on a few major donors meant that parties did
not pay enough attention to small donations and ordinary members,
prompting George McManus to recall the days when selling weekly
raffle tickets raised thousands of pounds and kept local parties in
touch with voters. Third, there was agreement in principle that total
expenditure should be capped, to end the arms race and prevent
Tory millionaires from pouring shedloads of cash into marginal
seats before an election was called. However there were concerns
about the extra work for already overburdened local treasurers in
exercising additional controls all year round.

Fourth, speakers reiterated at length the importance of the trade
unions as an integral part of the Labour party, with financial support
coming mainly through thousands of individual members choosing
to give a few pounds a year as an affiliation fee. Outrage at the
idea that a future Tory government might try to rewrite the
constitution of our party was tempered by fear that they could get
away with it. I stressed that the union link needed rebuilding on the
ground, where too few branches can find anyone willing to act as
delegate to their local party and as a consequence, grassroots
members do not value the link.

This led on to whether there should be a cap on individual or
corporate donations. The arguments are superficially persuasive,
but other countries, notably the United States, find that it merely
encourages evasion. The Tories favour a limit of £50,000, because
many of their core supporters can afford it. (According to the press,
auction prizes at their summer party included a trip by private jet to
France for Sunday lunch, donated by David Cameron – so much for
his green credentials – and a place on a game shoot, which raised
£14,000.) There was little backing for tax relief on donations.

Healthy Debate

A brief question-and-answer session with Patricia Hewitt, Alan
Johnson and Kevin Barron, who chairs the health select committee,
concentrated on financial problems in the NHS. Though the total
deficit was less than 1% of turnover – equivalent to a £180
overdraft on a salary of £20,000 – concentration in particular areas
was producing damaging headlines about sacked nurses, delayed
operations and closing dental surgeries and hospitals. Speakers
from trusts which balanced their books supported Patricia Hewitt’s
argument that leafy Surrey and Sussex should not continue being
bailed out by the under-privileged inner cities. However there are
pockets of deprivation in every constituency, and punishing poor
individuals because they have rich neighbours should be
unacceptable. Further, local people have no control over health
trust management, and can only blame the government.

Looking Forward

The Forum then discussed the first-year policy document before it
goes out for consultation later this summer, though the number of
speeches and question-and-answer sessions meant that we could
only attend workshops on half the six policy areas. At more than
100 pages, some felt that instead of a Big Conversation-style
overview the document was simply six individual papers stapled
together, though many then went on to ask for more bits to be
added. There was also confusion about how far it should cover
current issues, such as Lords reform or trust schools. These are
already in the policy commission workplans, while this paper will
form the basis of the next manifesto and needs to look beyond
current arguments. But my advice is to talk about whatever you are
interested in and send the conclusions to the policy commissions,
rather than being constrained by specific Forum documents.

Education in particular had its hands full with work in progress. On
crime, justice, citizenship and equalities, I remain concerned about
emphasising more prison places and ASBOs as performance
indicators, instead of the desired outcomes of less crime and safer
neighbourhoods. On prosperity and work, paid bank holidays on
top of 20 days’ annual leave would be phased in by 2009, with CBI
support, and pension changes were sketched out to 2046, when we
should be into our 14th term in office. Foreign policy rightly put aid
and development up front, though it still envisaged tackling the
threats of the future with the weapons of the past. Sustainable
communities included housing and transport, where the
government must decide whether it really wants to price people off
trains. And health omitted reference to growing private sector
involvement and the impact of media campaigns, for instance for
herceptin, on less high-profile services. A final general point was
that where policies differ in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland,
they should be compared within the main documents.


In closing, the Forum congratulated itself on its maturity, and wound
up by 4 p.m. to watch what members hoped would be an equally
fruitful world cup performance. But success will be judged on the
ground. A regional forum scheduled for the following weekend was
cancelled because only eight people registered, out of 500 invited,
so there is no room at all for complacency.

Questions and comments are welcome, and I am happy for this to
be circulated to members – and supporters - as a personal account,
not an official record. Past reports are at
Sunday, July 09, 2006
  5 Times in One Night

John Prescott? No Tony Blair? No. It's just how many times I hauled myself around
Birchfield Park with out stopping and is the furthest I've got without resorting to walking. Hat tip to Aidan for the photo.

Random Fact: Birchfield Park is 32 acres in size.
  The Homer Simpson Energy Option
Recently Peter Hain put his head above the parapet to go on Newsnight to say he wasn't massively convinced by Tony's conversion to the joys of the Homer Simpson energy option: nuclear. Personally I remain to be convinced as well as we simply haven't put enough effort in to the alternatives. I think that a lot more ambition is required. Otherwise we risk losing some important electoral ground not only to the Greens / Fib dems but to the Torys for crying out loud. We will also be left with radioactive waste for thousends of years and some brilliant targets for terrorists.

Thers is also the question of the massive financial cost. Whatever is said about government not picking up the bill now. Remember the claim of "electricity to cheap to meter!" when nuclear was first proposed. The government will always get lumbered with the waste. The generating company's will eventually go bust and it will be muggins tax payer that take it in the wallet.

So I sent Peter a little email congratulating him on his actions and got this one back.

Dear Will

I am a strong personal advocate of renewable energy and, as I stated on Newsnight, I believe it is significantly preferable to the widely advocated option of new nuclear power stations. Should it be unquestionably proven that additional nuclear energy is necessary to keep Britain's lights on, I will endorse it, but believe it must be coupled with a commitment of equal significance to renewable energy sources. To develop the sustainable answer to our energy requirements that I believe we need, we must set ambitious targets, with investment to match, in the development and use of technologies such as solar energy, photovoltaic panels, wave and tidal power, geothermal heat pumps, biomass; as well as clean coal with carbon sequestration. I am seeking to do this in Northern Ireland and promote this approach in Wales.

Our government has a proud environmental record and we must ensure this continues. Our opponents are trying to jump on the environmental agenda and it is important that as a government we respond to this by continuing to show real leadership, not least in tackling climate change.

Best wishes

Peter Hain
Saturday, July 08, 2006
  The one at the start
I think that it's time for me to stake out my own small holding in the blogosphere. Some of it will be politics related, some of it not. Hopefully it will all be fun.

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