Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The real Watership Down

As you will see from my profile I'm a bit of a fan of Richard Adams' Watership Down. When I was younger and living in the South I often planned to go walking there but somehow never got round to it. Now a guy called called Chris Boyce has put together an amazing site which takes you through the real locations in the book. You can find it here

My own contribution to the mass of web stuff surrounding Watership Down, originally published on the thisis sites in April, will be back online shortly.

Monday, May 16, 2005

England needs a voice

The Campaign for an English Parliament has picked up on some stuff I wrote in the Newcastle Journal about the "democratic deficit" in England compared to Scotland and Wales. For years I supported the idea of regional assemblies as a means of addressing this, but the referendum in the North-East last November sort of blew this out of the water somewhat. Meanwhile, Scottish and Welsh MPs continue to have a big say over how public services are funded and managed in England, while English MPs have no such say over how they are delivered in Scotland and Wales. This is not really politically sustainable in the long term. The recent election result narrowly missed landing us in a situation where Labour's entire Parliamentary majority was dependent on the votes of Welsh and Scottish Labour MPs - but this is bound to happen at some future point unless the problem is addressed.

You can access the CEP newsblog here.

Worst Band Names Ever?

My good friend David Gladwin and I had a long email debate the other day about the worst band names of all time. He reckoned Prefab Sprout deserved the accolade, arguing that the negative vibes associated with these two words actually inhibited their chart success. My own nomination went to Hear'Say - what on earth was that apostrophe all about?

The best online discussion I have read about this vital issue can be found here

Thursday, May 12, 2005

6 May 2005 - Election Verdict

This year's General Election was the first since 1992 that I have not covered from Westminster but I continued to comment on the campaign through a daily commentary on the thisis sites and also through my newspaper columns. You can read my verdict on Mr Blair's underwhelming victory here, on the Newcastle Journal site.