Do you remember your first kiss?

Do you remember your first kiss?
Do you remember your first kiss?

Friday, 11 July 2014

Commonwealth Games - Why?

Ok, what I don't get is this. The Commonwealth Games start this month in Glasgow. According to Stephen Fry, of the 42 countries that have anti-homosexual laws on their statute books, 21 of them are members of the Commonwealth. We (Britain) are supposed to be opposed to countries that have anti- homosexual laws on their statute books (Uganda and Kenya are examples). Yet we are not boycotting the Commonwealth Games. Why not? We should be! I personally am boycotting the Commonwealth Games and will not be watching any of it on TV. Can others join me in boycotting the Commonwealth Games, to show those countries that are opposed to homosexuality what we think of them?

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Scottish Devolution

Scottish independence raises some really practical difficulties.
For example
I listen to Radio 2 a lot, and every hour they give a traffic report. These reports include things like - "The M74 is very busy this morning, due to a crash at junction 2. Drivers should seek an alternative route where possible."
If independence takes place, I don't think Radio 2 will be broadcasting information about Scottish motorways. After all, they don't broadcast problems with Southern Ireland's motorways. Therefore if Scottish folk are listening to Radio 2, they will have to re-tune to another radio station to get traffic reports.
On "Steve Wright's Sunday Love Songs" (on at 9am on Sundays, and a regular listen-to in our household) they often play requests from Scottish people, from Scottish towns. Again, I don't think they'll be doing this if Scotland becomes independent. Therefore those Scottish people who listen to this programme (and others like it - let's call them "British" programmes) will no longer be able to get their requests read out.

More importantly, I'm guessing that postage rates to Scotland from England would go up, as Scotland would, in future be classed by the Royal Mail, as "abroad". I sell a lot of stuff on ebay, and have to specify more expensive postage rates for potential buyers living in Southern Ireland. In future, I'll have to do the same for purchasers from Scotland. This affects Scotland much more than it does England, simply because of relative populations. Scottish buyers will be deterred from purchasing things from English sellers, and English people will be deterred from purchasing things from Scottish sellers. A lot of my sales currently go to Scottish buyers. Also, I'm guessing that the cost of phone calls between the two countries would go up.

What will we call the BBC? It stands for British Broadcasting Corporation, but if "Britain" ceases to exist, it may have to find a new name.

Has anyone in Scotland considered these practical difficulties?

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Could June 1st 1967 be the most significant date in Rock history?

Why, I hear you ask. 

Well, as I’m sure you all know, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” was released on this date. No surprise there – probably the most significant album release since the long playing record was invented.

But did you also know that “Piper At The Gates of Dawn” by Pink Floyd was released on the same day? Also recorded at the Abbey Road studios, and at the same time as Sgt Pepper was being recorded, it was the first ever real incidence of proper, real progressive rock being issued by a mainstream label (EMI).  Even today, “Piper” with its beautiful Syd Barrett lyrics and inspired introduction to “Interstellar Overdrive” is a beautiful thing to listen to.  Even today, I still hear new things, things that I’d never heard before in the recording (digital rendition of the tracks helps!)

But – on top of all that – and released on the very same day on the Decca label, was David Bowie’s very first LP, entitled simply “David Bowie”.   At first glance this had nothing to do with rock music – Bowie’s first LP was a whimsical piece - Bowie himself sounding something like a cross between Ray Davies and Anthony Newley. The tracks themselves were little nursery rhyme like stories, sung with skill and panache, but containing little of ‘rock’ emphasis that would be evidenced in later albums.  However this first release – and the young Bowie was only 20 years old on the album’s release date – was to be the forerunner of, among other things, “The Man Who Sold The World” released three years later and possibly one of the all-time great prog rock classics.

The incidence of three of the greatest rock icons of all time releasing their albums (two of them being debut albums) makes June 1st 1967, for me, possibly the most important and influential day in rock history.


Thursday, 15 May 2014

Why is David Cameron opposed to a 'yes' vote in the independence for Scotland vote?

The Tories currently have just 1 MP elected in Scotland. Labour have 41 MPs elected in Scotland, the LibDems have 11 MPs and the Scottish National Party, 6 MPs.

Scotland therefore currently sends 59 MPs to Westminster.

Therefore if Scotland ceased to be part of the United Kingdom, the number of MPs at Westminster would drop from 650, as it is currently, to 591. However the Tories would lose only 1 seat, as they have only 1 MP. Labour would lose 41 MPs. The Libs would lose 11 MPs.

To win a majority in the new (excluding Scotland) House of Commons a party would only need to win 296 seats. The Conservatives currently have 303 seats in the Commons, so if they held on to these seats, they would win the next election. Labour currently have 255 seats in the House of Commons, but the loss of Scotland would mean that they only would have 214 seats. Therefore they would need to win 82 seats to win a majority (or is this only 41, as each seat they win, means a loss for the Tories). Therefore it would be much easier for the Tories to win the next election, if they didn't have Scotland as part of the picture. Therefore, why does Cameron not support Scottish devolution? Chances are, we'd have a Tory government forever, if Scotland disappeared from the scene.