Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Blair to advise on climate change; King Herod to set up day nursery

I almost choked on my breakfast this morning when I read that Tony Blair is being a paid a six-figure-salary to advise Zurich Insurance, the Swiss financial firm, on climate change. I had to check that it wasn't 1st April.

Presumably his advice will be mainly how to spend ten years pretending you are doing something about it while actually doing little or nothing. Perhaps Zurich are going to be insuring those new nuclear power stations - that are going to cost us the earth (double meaning there). (Which are just a very expensive and unsafe way to boil water, as Nick Barlow explains.)

The Guardian has the full story: Insurance job takes Blair's earnings above £7m

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Committed volunteers making the difference in Chelmsford

Largely unnoticed, a few hundred people in Chelmsford and communities across the country keep the local voluntary organisations going - doing so much good for their area. I attended the AGM of Chelmsford CVS today and met some of those people. These crucial voluntary groups do so much good work but suffer for lack of (relatively modest) extra funding - and nearly all of them would welcome additional volunteers in a wide range of settings.

Yesterday I attended the Mid Essex Area Forum (covering Chelmsford, Braintree and Maldon districts), where we had a presentation on the 2012 Olympics and the impact on Essex; the short-term developments in the local NHS; and supporting older people to make their own decisions about day care/support. You can see the Agenda in the county council meetings directory (agenda on the left hand side). Another quick overview of where an awful lot is going on, largely removed from the public gaze.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The difference you can make - Earth Hour 2008

In 2007, Sydney (Australia) turned off lights for an hour right across the city, to highlight climate change. This year there are moves to make it a global event. You can sign up at the website Earth Hour 2008 and there is a Facebook group too (which already has 164,670 commitments to take part).

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Serious Organised Crime & Police Act 2005 is stupid

Great short film that explains why the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 is stupid. The Act has actually made it illegal for MPs to do fairly normal things. For instance, Gordon Brown broke the law when he met Nelson Mandela in Trafalgar Square.

As Lib Dem Voice explains: Blogger Tim Ireland has submitted his response to the Labour Government’s consultation document on Sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 via YouTube. He suggests: "Grab yourself a coffee or a nice hot cup of tea and settle in for a little over 7 minutes of me sharing a few things the Home Office - and you - should be aware of"

Friday, January 18, 2008

Competition to find Chelmsford's worst pothole

Chelmsford Lib Dems are inviting YOU to help them find the worst pothole in Chelmsford. Full story:
Competition to find Chelmsford's worst pothole

Liberal Democrat Friends of The Armed Forces

By way of an update to my previous post about Honour the Covenant, just heard about Help for Heroes - and the Lib Dem Friends of the Armed Forces founded by, amongst others, Linda Jack. Linda could be the second Lib Dem MEP for this area after next year's Euro elections. She writes about her time in the army on her blog:- "As a disaffected 17 year old, desperate to get away from home [more] (Thanks to Chris Black's onlineFOCUS for the details.)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Brian Paddick - Serious about London

The thousands of Chelmsford residents who commute to London every day may be interested to know about the campaign to be Mayor from former top policeman, Lib Dem Brian Paddick. He stands a good chance of winning through.

Monday, January 07, 2008

US Presidential Candidate Quiz

A number of my friends including Will Howells and Peter Black have taken a quiz to see which US Presidential Candidate most closely matches their own views. Of course, viewing the issues from a British perspective, rather than American, undermines it a little. Nevertheless "just for a bit for a fun let's see what the figures would be" (as Peter Snow might say on Newsnight).

This is who I should support, according to the questions asked. Just as well: I always find Hillary Clinton just a little bit scary!

87% Barack Obama
86% Chris Dodd
86% Joe Biden
82% John Edwards
82% Dennis Kucinich
82% Hillary Clinton
81% Bill Richardson
78% Mike Gravel
43% Rudy Giuliani
38% John McCain
29% Ron Paul
29% Mitt Romney
25% Mike Huckabee
16% Tom Tancredo
15% Fred Thompson

You can take the quiz yourself:
2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz