Day: 20/05/2014

UKIP would cripple Southend Airport


london southend airport

Whenever I have conversations in which I am defending Britain’s membership of the EU, I am always put in mind of the “What have the Romans done ever done for us?” scene from Life of Brian.

“All right, but apart from access to the world’s largest common market, mechanisms to prevent governments breaching citizen’s rights, environmental protections to defend against the effects of climate change, and the longest period of uninterrupted peace in European history, what has the European Union ever done for us?

It is, granted, a lot easier to be against the EU than for it, and it is an organisation that still needs considerable reform to make it fit for the 21st century — and I’d start with the European Parliament, the very body in which UKIP have set up their money-grubbing shop. But I maintain that a) the advantages of being in the club still outweigh the disadvantages, and b) such reform is better pursued from inside.

But in looking at what the EU does do for us, it is perhaps worth looking locally. What has the EU done for Southend?

Read on…

Take independent nonsense out of Southend local politics


southend civic centre

The Southend Echo finally published my letter about the Shoebury hustings yesterday. It’s a touch truncated, but I’m going to presume that is down to space-saving rather than any sort of censorship. If you want to read the entire letter, including the part where I ponder on whether I was deliberately cut out of the debate, then luckily you can read it here.

What did catch my eye, however, was a letter from Cllr Anne Chalk (who organised the farcical hustings in question) entitled “Take party politics out of locals”.

Anyone who reads my blog regularly knows just how little I think of the Independent Party Group and that I have pointed out many, many times that if it looks like a party, acts like a party, quacks like a party, it’s probably a party — no matter how many times it calls itself “independent”.

So maybe this is just rehashing the same old round, but call me the patron saint of pointless exercises, because I’m going in.

Read on…

07 “Mockingbird” (Game of Thrones season 4) [SPOILERS]


GoT - snow winterfell

Despite being known for unexpected plot twists and dramatically surprising developments, Game of Thrones follows a very predictable pattern. The seasons are ten episodes long. The first two or three introduce the stakes for that season. We reach the climax at episode nine (that execution; the Battle of the Blackwater; the Red Wedding). And then the final episode ties up the loose ends, to end on a dramatic, game-changing note in the final scene (dragons; the white walker army; Daenerys liberates Yunkai.

This being episode seven, we are rapidly heading towards the climax, and so what has already been an action-packed plot is set to accelerate.

Read on…(and mind the spoilers!)