Sunday, 31 May 2009
Friday, 29 May 2009
I have absolutely no doubt that she was exhausted (she didn't come on until 9pm and at 10 that is a late night) plus standing in front of that huge audience it must have been very daunting, but to be reduced to tears not once or twice but a number of times just made me think that this is wrong/borderline cruel. When young Aidan won tonight he cried tears, albeit of joy, but earlier this week another young girl was reduced to tears when she didn't win the judges vote. Nobody likes to see other people cry, especially children, and therefore I am beginning to think that some of these kids need better protection from the producers of the programme: it feels that the duty of care towards children that you'd expect from such a high profile programme has been totally forgotten.
I am sure there will be plenty of tears tomorrow but I just hope they are caused by the emotion of the event not the agony of the young performers, as was demonstrated so publicly tonight.
Saturday, 23 May 2009
"The boyfriend was given 12 years over Peter's death and life for raping a
two-year-old girl. He must serve a minimum of 10 years".
What?!?! He gets 12 years for systematically abusing a helpless toddler who eventually died as a consequence, and he gets life for raping a girl of two, but after ten years he may be considered for parole! This is an absolute disgrace. No wonder people have lost faith in our justice system.
The Chief Executive of the NSPCC got it absolutely spot on when he said: "We are disappointed that the minimum tariff was so low. It raises the question of how bad the abuse has to be before offenders get a longer minimum time in prison. Baby Peter suffered sustained abuse leaving him with horrendous injuries. Two of his abusers could walk free at a time when Peter should be a schoolboy with a new world in front of him. Despicable cruelty has denied him that opportunity.
These three caused or allowed the torture and death of a defenceless baby."
I spoke to David Davis this afternoon and he is going to wrote to the Attorney General in disgust. Good on him. I think we should all write!
Friday, 22 May 2009
Wednesday, 20 May 2009
Monday, 18 May 2009
You can sign the petition HERE - who knows, it might be the first time Gordon Brown listens to what we the Great British public is saying!
Saturday, 16 May 2009
Monday, 11 May 2009
23rd April 2009
CELEBRATING ENGLISH WINES – ENGLISH WINE WEEK
English Wine Week 2009 (Saturday 23rd – Sunday 31st May) is officially launched today (St George’s Day) at the English Wine Producers Annual Trade & Press Tasting.
This countrywide campaign to promote English wines and vineyards is organised by English Wine Producers (EWP) and supported by the United Kingdom Vineyards Association. Over the course of the Week vineyards across the country will be opening their doors to welcome visitors and offer a variety of activities, including tours, tastings and sales or hosting special events. English Wine Week will also be supported by wine merchants, farm shops, delicatessens, hotels, pubs and restaurants with their own promotions of English wines. “This week-long campaign enables outlets to highlight the English wines that they stock, or provides the opportunity to work with vineyards,” comments Julia Trustram Eve, Marketing Director of English Wine Producers. “We want to show everyone that English wines are much more available than they might presume. And there are some great activities taking place this year, which provide the wine enthusiast every opportunity to get to know their local wines better.” Alongside English Wine Week, there is now Welsh Wine Week and Devon Wine Week which highlight specific regional activities.
All events and participating outlets are listed by region and date on http://www.englishwineweek.co.uk/, which is constantly updated along with news items that are relevant to the week.
Enthusiasm for and interest in English wines continues to grow within all sectors of the trade, and with wine buying consumers. Retailers in particular continue to respond positively, with listings in major chains as well as independent wine merchants and more English wines are available through the on trade from top London restaurants to local eateries in the wine regions.
With the summer season just around the corner, English Wine Week provides the perfect opportunity to celebrate the wines that are produced on our doorstep.
Sunday, 10 May 2009
Next season they go up from 7-a-side to 11-a-side and start to play more regular rules - eg offside and 3 subs. I am looking forward to the new challenge of both coaching and managing them next season but the only ambition I have is that they still enjoy the game at the end of the day. At their age, the whole point is about having fun, doing a bit of exercise and being part of a team. They can win, lose or draw for all I care but as long as they come off with a smile then I'll be happy.
Saturday, 9 May 2009
Firstly, the MP expenses story has now penetrated the mind of the average person on the street. People who are more politically interested have mentioned MP expenses to me before - but I must say, not for some time. Whereas today one in every 3 people spoke about it, which is hardly a surprise since this has now been a headline/front page story for 2 days and it clearly has some way to run. It is not a single party issue and the voters are genuinely angry about what is being revealed. The net impact seems to have pushed people into the "won't vote" category which will be devastating for politics if that sentiment is transferred into reality at the next General Election.
The second thing that happened today, which is obviously more satisfying, is that previous Labour voters are now making a definite decision to switch their vote to the Conservatives. Over the past 2 and half years I have spoken to previous Labour voters who were not going to vote Labour again but were undecided about who they were going to vote for, or if they had decided it was to one of the more extreme parties rather than the mainstream. Whilst I had personally engaged support from previous Labour voters by sitting down and talking to them about their concerns, I was quite taken aback by the strength of people's dislike towards Gordon Brown on the doorstep this morning. In fact, whilst this is not new, I do think that the loathing is getting even stronger than before - and that there is no way they would vote for "that man" or "his party" and so will "definitely be voting Conservative to get him out". I was also surprised with how well David Cameron's call for an election now had resonated - it did not go unnoticed how many people repeated the message back to me.
When we stopped at lunchtime, we felt quite positive about this morning's canvass results. I just hope that the continuous stories about current sitting politicians don't drive people away from the polling stations and into their armchairs. We all have a responsibility to clear up politics, rebuild confidence and trust in the system and get people out voting again.
Thursday, 7 May 2009
Sunday, 3 May 2009
Their comment is in italics and my response is in blue:
What porkies tracey. You only invited Labour councillors at the last minute (they invited themselves and I saw no reason why they couldn't come so rang Cllr Maple and said they would be very welcome) after you were rumbled (Maria is under obligation to tell the local (Labour) MP so it was hardly a secret) using council premises for party political purposes during an election period (it was a Shadow Cabinet visit and there are no local elections in Medway). And unlike you they also have real jobs during the day (do your homework - I work full-time and took a day's annual leave to be in the constituency for Maria's visit; being a candidate is not something you get paid for unlike being a local councillor).