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Mahatma Gandhi once said:

"A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history."

Friday, February 27, 2009

A Paris!

Mon petit chou, Polly....

A Paris. J'aimerais que tu sois ici avec moi! Mais, tant pis!

Laissez le rugissement de dragon rouge. Allez le Pay de Galles!!

Gros bisous
Ivor XXX

PS Attendez, ecouter......les mots de 'Baguettes du Ciel'! Ici nous allons.......



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Diversion ahead!

Dear Ivor

I apologise for the keyboard silence at my end! Have been frantically searching for my sandals, and Satyagraha hoping to find inner peace! Having located the sandals, more of an espadrille really, have been wearing them around the house hoping that Gandhi’s mantra would seep into my soul. However to no avail, perhaps I should’ve taken off my socks first?

I have been thwarted by mental torpor this week. The very sad death of Ivan Cameron provoked a rarely observed sense of unity in the House of Commons and differences were rightly put aside, replaced by heartfelt condolences. The things that really matter are the same for everyone, but unfortunately the minutiae of life so often clouds the view.

The juxtaposition of this grief and the subsequent debate concerning Sir Fred Goodwin’s pension pot seems surreal. On reflection I do have to wonder if we should be wasting so many column widths to the banker’s story.

It certainly is obscene, it doesn’t seem fair and how many others have negotiated similar benefits, I wonder? However it also reflects badly on those who brokered the deal, why did nobody notice the discretionary nature of the decision to award this huge sum of money?

However finding a scapegoat in Lord Myners may be a beneficial political diversion at the moment, taking other players out of the spotlight. Let’s not be manipulated into believing that Sir Fred Goodwin or Lord Myners acted in a bubble, just as with the bankers, the man at the very top is finally accountable.

Poll x

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

From Zeros to Heroes!

Polly,

Read this, then forward it to Gordon Brown.

I believe James Bruges (my own personal hero) has been looking at your spreadsheet! Here is a man with moral integrity that also understands zeros. If only he were a politician. Surely if Jefferson, Madison and Wilson were able to grasp the nettle and govern their country (and their financiers) there might be a glimmer of hope that our political leaders might follow suit?

A little suggestion from Jefferson:

The issuing power should be taken from the banks.


I wholeheartedly agree that the privilege of managing our money should be withdrawn from the bankers. Anyone else of the same mind? Mmmmm, thought so.

Now here's another thought. I'm trying to visualise a political leader with a enough moral integrity and courage of their conviction to motivate them to oust the bankers. Sorry...struggling.


What will it take for Gordon Brown to do the honourable thing? Perhaps you could mention in your email, that in taking the bankers by the balls he might win the hearts and minds of his people. A big chunk of credibility is up for grabs. I can even throw in a soundbite....but I won't.


Ivor X

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

By the Strings....

Polly,

Just peeling myself back up off the floor. Please don't let me meet a banker today...I might stuff my Happiness Index where the sun don't shine....

It's clear for all to see that the government are simply puppets who have lost their stuffing. It is the bankers that are pulling the strings and it seems the politicians can dance no more. The power rests with the puppeteers....who have the government by the short and curlies.

The only solution is a political party that has the steel to cut the strings and disempower the city bankers. Is this likely? It is only laughable if you have a job and can cover your bills....for the rest it is being abandonned to the wolves.

Seriously disenchanted,

Ivor

PS I can't blog today as I've gone in search of my final salary pension scheme which has disappeared...anyone seen it?

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Back Door Bonuses

Dear Ivor

Do you think that the bankers have missed the point? What seems to have been overlooked by them is that, not only do the British public think that they should not be rewarded for failure with bonuses, they should also not receive such high basic salaries.

A suggested estimated salary of £300,000, with bonuses of two or three times this, is not an entitlement it is a travesty!!

When will the bankers wake up and realise that the gravy train has stopped! If they won’t do the job for less there are others that would, and, let’s face it, perhaps given the opportunity, they might even do it better.

We have an opportunity here to address the balance of pay awarded to this self-inflated, overrated sector . Threatening that we will lose all the best people elsewhere is self-justifying scaremongering, anyway it was the best people that got us into this crisis. Perhaps their professed expertise is just another case of the Emperor’s New Clothes?

Poll x

Ps Friday sounds good.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Going Dutch!

Well Polly...

I see the weekend left your feathers ruffled. In an effort to bring calm and alignment to your lop-sided chakras....I have leapt enthusiastically into the abyss of sexual morality which has laid bare many interesting revelations. Some of these I will happily divulge...but only when Aunty Gladys leaves the room.

I have risen enthusiastically to the challenge and am off to Amsterdam in search of 'lurve'! Where better to challenge moral inclinations. In all seriousness, exploring this notion of a 'values-free' approach to sex education confused me at the outset. Only a few weeks back the very Jack Grimston told me what we all need to be bestowing upon our children are lessons in love. Forgive my romantic idealism but isn't love and sex meant to be interlinked.....or 'inextricable entwined' as any good bodice-ripper will tell you?

Well it seems I may need to whip off my rose-tinted spectacles in wild abandon. Sorry...slipping into Mills and Boon again....and get a grip on some reality. Who better to paint a stark picture of 'the muck and litter' of today's classrooms, than Kate Sawyer, head of PSHE at a comprehensive school in Britain. She gives a revealing insight into the true stories behind our top ranking status in under-age pregnancies. She cautions us to consider that not all young teenagers are sexually active. This is borne out in research that illustrates that poverty and deprivation play their part with around half of all under 18 UK pregnancies occurring within the 30% most deprived sector of the population. There is a direct correlation between teenage birth rates and poverty rates, and Kate Sawyer's piece is a chilling expose of the plight of the sexually active.

It is her words, which cut to the heart of the issue...'is it perfectly alright to shag?' Is this the respectful status we attribute to the sexual act? I think Kate presents the state of sex education in the UK in a nutshell. Our refusal to tackle moral reponsibility, to embue self-respect and mutual understanding, to communicate and convey family values is doing a disservice to our children. Why is the government hell bent on avoiding the morality question but so eager to prescribe on practical advice. Horse, door, bolted? Of course lessons in contraception will bring down under age pregnancy rates...but it avoids the greater issue of why the b***dy h**l are they having sex in the first place?

No I'm not puritanical or prudish, as well you know Polly, but even the kids feel under pressure....63% of teens believe waiting to have sex is a good idea, but very few do? Why?
24% said they had done something they really didn't want to do. Why?
Peer pressure, drugs, alcohol...can all encourage unintended sexual activity.
But the government says keep it 'light' and don't talk about right and wrong?
Let's face it...moral reponsibility is not the strong point in the present day political arena.

In an effort to seek a better understanding of what works in sex education I found a few answers, somewhat ironically, in Amsterdam. The Dutch have the lowest rates for under age pregnancies in the Western world yet they are acutely sexually aware. Eureka!

We don't have formal sex education.....the children talk about sex when they feel like it and when they want an explanation. We treat sex as a healthy physical activity between two adults who are in love.


Let me get this right, didn't Heutzepeter use the 'L' word? The Dutch positively encourage openess about what adults do when they love each other. Boys and girls in the Netherlands gave 'love and commitment' as the main reason for losing their virginity. Whereas here in the UK, kids cited peer pressure and physical attraction?


To ram home the morality lecture further....Dutch children are five times less likely to be living in a lone parent family, divorce rates are much lower, and fewer mothers are in full-time employment. Get the picture? Family stability seems to matter and effectively, Dutch children are more interested in the emotional than the physical side of sex.


I am a simple man, and for me it is most certainly a matter of morality. We are social beings afterall and it is our moral understanding that distinguishes us apart from the animal kingdom. If our schools focus on only the biological act and practical methods of contraception surely we are missing the point? We are then denying our children the skills required to develop respectful, loving relationships based on mutual understanding that will equip them for a wonderful journey into adulthood. Only in love will they find a satisfying sex life and it is the responsibility of parents to imbue this moral code as their children grow.


I could make a flippant comment about Amsterdam...but I won't. I spent Sunday with my 11 year old niece who still plays 'fairies' with her younger sister. Next week she will be subjected to a full-on lesson on the birds and the bees. When the school schedules it's sex education it is for the benefit of the masses. I'd better tell her Father Christmas doesn't exist too. Yes...some kids are still innocents. But not if our sex educationalists have free reign.

Now I'm grumpy too, Polly!

Ivor X
PS How about Happy Hour at the Ship and Shovel on Friday? We could always go Dutch?

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Is there anybody listening?

Dear Ivor

I see you jettisoned your plans this weekend to infiltrate the French rugby training camp masquerading as a rooster, in favour of the bright lights (literally) of London. In this age of, not exactly high tech movement sensitive lighting and even old fashioned timers, you would think that at least one of these would be utilised in all office buildings, but then I suppose that would be expecting that someone gives a damn!

You may have guessed by my tone that I am a little truculent today, perhaps no more than usual. I have trawled through the papers, lurked around political blogs and generally wasted more time than I care to mention seeking enlightenment.

Perhaps Confucius has the answers, well Jim Knight seems to think so (I have my suspicions that he just fancied an all expenses paid trip to China)! Where, oh where is Professor Adrian Smith when we need him, probably busy writing his lines; I must not criticise government policy even when it is ludicrously wrong! Perhaps he has been reclassified as a domestic terrorist and is being interrogated in the dungeons of Westminster as we blog.

Of course when pupils are leaving school unable to read and write you need to rectify this by, hmmmm, teaching them Mandarin!

Let’s just carry on with more of the same, constantly meddling with the school curriculum and introducing new initiatives, because that definitely seems to be working!

What is it about government that they seem unable to learn from the past? We are currently going through the worst economic crisis for decades based in part on an inflated housing market, excessive borrowing and not inconsiderable risky banking practices, for which disproportionate rewards were received and yet we are seeing bonuses allocated to employees of Northern Rock, when it still owes the taxpayer £9bn and this is likely to increase with Alistair Darling’s announcement of measures to revive the housing market.

What the hell, let’s just build our way out of the recession and forget about the hundreds of thousands of empty houses that exist in England, which are more often than not in established communities that could easily absorb a few extra inhabitants. This would also help disperse the population across a wider area and would avoid the strain that a huge new housing development puts on local infrastructure and God forbid the environment. Is that too sensible as well? And could even provide local jobs for local trades, spreading wealth throughout the whole of the UK economy rather than a huge chunk going to property developers, who probably put their money off shore! Perhaps David Abrahams is offering some advice in this area.

Whilst we might be considering environmental impact let’s shore up the car industry and why not throw in the odd oligarch who needs a bit of cash, we wouldn’t want him to have to trade down his yacht to support his business! Perhaps Mr Abrahams might be in the market to purchase it?

If I seem a little annoyed it's because I am, and not as Gordon Brown seems to think solely with the bankers, its you the government who continue to act as masters and not as servants of the people. If you really want to put us first you have to start with listening to us.

Poll x

Ps Am leaving this moral dilemma for you to sort out!

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lights Out!

Polly,

Spent Saturday up in The Big Smoke....just a small observation. Please could the last one out of the office on Friday, turn off the lights? A quick win for the environment. Are you listening Ed Miliband? In the Meantime ....just chillin'!

Ivor X
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Friday, February 20, 2009

Warren Rocks!

Polly,

Don't ask me how I made the cerebral leap from Warren Gatland to Mother Teresa....but there is a tenuous link with leadership and inspiration. I googled 'what makes a good leader' in the hope we might learn a few tricks of the trade. Desmond Tutu suggests that a good leader is a servant for the people and not into ego and self-glorification. No, I won't even start a tirade about politicians....I rise above such pettiness. He refers to the aspirational qualities demonstrated by the likes of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Mother Theresa.

I had intended to blog verbose on integrity, moral codes, Jacqui Smith, democracy, distribution of wealth, integrity, social conscience, bankers, bonuses, atonement, integrity, poverty, repossessions, unemployment, media manipulation, spin, soundbites, integrity, fossil fuels, manufacturing, teenage pregnancy, benefits, integrity, family breakdown.......and then you threw in education! Lucky for all of you, I've been diverted. You know my thoughts on education and whilst I have a firm grasp of my chakras by the short and curlies, I am still really struggling to 'love' Ed Balls and his bureaucratic army. In the spirit of sandals and satyagraha I'm turning the other cheek.

I read Mother Teresa's inspirational words:

Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.
Enough blog and blame...it's the weekend.
Love, Peace and Harmony,
Ivor X
PS Warren Rocks!

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Learning without walls

Dear Ivor

Please tell me I’m not dreaming! Last time a sensible observation concerning the current state of our education system was published, it was withdrawn quicker than Labour MPs’ objections to the third runway at Heathrow.

The Cambridge Primary School Review has reported that the existing regime is “compromising” children’s “natural curiosity, imagination and love of learning” and is suffering from the over micro-management of schools.

We have ourselves had many discussions on the deficiencies of our education system, including the multiple choice style of learning over reliant on the regurgitation of facts. This report only goes to reaffirm already widely held views that schools must have more autonomy.

However over regulation by government, like a runaway train, is extremely difficult to stop. The addiction to initiatives is an increasingly pervasive and corrosive issue in our society and not only with regard to education. Excessive government intervention shifts responsibility from the individual to the state and leads to public disempowerment, resulting in a vicious circle of blame and counter blame culminating in resentment.

Ministers impatient to put their stamp on policy decisions need to take a step back. Allow us to take some accountability for our own lives, our schools and our wider communities.

A certain amount of regulation has its place but when it constricts the very thing it is designed to protect it must be time to loosen the chains and make way for a degree of common sense and spontaneity.

Poll xx

Ps Not that you could be accused of suffering from a lack of spontaneity! Thank goodness Aunty Gladys has taken the leek costume back to the Oxfam shop. Good luck in France!


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Soundbite?

Polly,

Trying to work out a soundbite based on ''satyagraha''.... I may be some time?
How did it go in London today?

Very sleepy now,

Ivor X
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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Where did I put my chakras?

Dear Polly,

You are once again my inspiration and my friend. Thank you for rescuing me from the brink of revolution and self-loathing.

Whilst the government goes in search of much needed social glue.....I am delighted to admit that I have rediscovered my 'love-force'....just in the nick of time! Blow the dust off your chakras...all you need is love, love, love.

It's true, I have recently had problems reconciling my feeble, armchair 'blogitics' with the bold actions of men of steel, like our Graham of Greenpeace, who fear nothing and are out there manfully campaigning whilst I cowardly blog from the safety of my shed. All my blogging talk of riot and revolution laying bare my impotency. Or so I believed....

It seems that I'm braver than I thought. The nonviolent pursuit of truth is a potent weapon and a compelling force. I feel liberated in the knowledge that like Gandhi, Martin Luther King was also into satyagraha. Indeed, MLK argued that although nonviolence may be perceived as cowardly, a nonviolent protester was as passionate as a violent protester. Satyagraha is my new mantra, thanks to you Polly.

I am embarking on a pilgrimage to gain friendship and understanding in order to awaken a sense of moral shame. I figure that redemption and reconciliation are worth a shot in the battle for democracy. No more vindictive origami...I'll grind Geoff Hoon down with sweetness and honey. Have I got the gist, Polly?

I'm with Gandhi:

I believe that nonviolence is infinitely superior to violence, forgiveness is more manly than punishment.
In this new spirit of harmony, I blogged Mandy today on Labourlist.Org and spookily, our new tack seems to be making inroads...or is it simple coincidence? Incidently, did Gandhi explore the concept of sneaking cynicism? I know, I know, my mantra slipped momentarily.
One other small reservation.....in devoting myself to rediscovering my 'love-force', Gandhi throws the principle of 'chastity' into the mix....now I'm a little anxious again.
No matter, one thing's for sure:
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
Martin Luther King Jr
Happily on the blog again,
Yours lovingly,
Ivor XXX
PS In pursuit of understanding....which exactly IS the party that we can vote for that advocates a different way of living? Are these people rational extremists or voters with no democracy? Is LabourList(ening)?

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Social Capital Deficit

Dear Ivor

Phew! Your previous post was enlightening to say the least, however knowing you as I do, the most extreme action you will probably take is to shackle yourself to your armchair in the company of some home brew!

You have however given me a veritable banquet of food for thought. Firstly I would like to confirm that you are undoubtedly classified as DOB (Daft Old Bugger) on the domestic extremist database with a secondary categorisation of OLM (Occasional Lucid Moments).

I have carefully waded through and given due consideration to all your links, which were not inconsiderable and did require a certain degree of concentration. I have concluded that if extremism is holding strong beliefs which others disagree with, then we must all be entered on the database for domestic extremists (unfortunately this provokes an image of Anthea Turner wafting around with a feather duster)

Perhaps the need for this database is not new and there has always been a certain amount of paranoia in governments, seeing nihilism where actually there is only debate.

Personally I am more on the side of sandals, and Satyagraha than steel toe caps and revolution.

Not sure that Gandhi had blogging in mind when he advocated non-violent resistance however it does fit with some of the principles and I am definitely for the pursuit of truth, although aligning my chakras may prove more tricky!

Politicians could argue that blogging, especially under a pseudonym, is politics without accountability. I would like to take them back a step or two. What draws a society to feel the need to express their views in the form of a blog when democracy provides representation in the form of an MP, through which views can be expressed and promoted?

Perhaps it is when we can no longer identify with these representatives or feel confident that our interests will be protected in preference to the blind towing of the party line. There appears to be a hole in our society through which social capital , which “represents the active connections between people; including trust, mutual understanding, shared values, and behaviours that bind together the members of groups, networks, and communities and make cooperation possible” has most definitely fallen. Benjamin Barber’s observations are far more succinct than my own.

Personally I would like nothing more than to restore trust in our political system, however whilst I observe politicians more interested in point scoring against their opponents than discussion and cooperation, displaying egoism as opposed to altruism and mistaking government for power, we will have no alternative but to blog on regardless, because regrettably at the moment it feels like the only constructive thing we can do.

Poll xx

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Why is the Sky Blue?

Hello Polly,

That bit at the end about 'willing to accept responsibility for (our) actions'....was that a dig? I must admit 'going out to play on my own' in Cardiff was indeed a big learning curve....not least in life skills. It wasn't my intention to part company with the rest of you....but after a few too many celebratory ales everyone started to look like Max Boyce....even you! My apologies are sincere and to make appropriate reparation I have not been idle. I donated the small contribution I made from my antics to Aunty Gladys' knitting charity...and they were so overwhelmed that they've offered us a little favour in return.

Back to more serious matters...I am not hiding in my shed. I've been deep in research at my old stomping ground of C.A.T. Whilst getting on the train at Machynlleth Station I'm sure I spotted George Monbiot on the platform, and was overzealous in conveying my impromptu appreciation of his recent article on domestic extremism. In demonstrating my fervant adulation I think I may have trespassed into subversive behaviour yet again? George took it in good spirits luckily...and I don't think this would have been the case had I asked him to accompany me to 'The Kissing Zone'!!

Paranoia is setting in. Am I an extremist Polly? Are we subversive? I'm all for free speech, expressing ideologies on society, exploring differences in political views, making paper aeroplanes for Geoff Hoon's garden, membership of Greenpeace, morris dancing on village greens, leek growing/wearing, running naked through the streets of Cardiff in jubilant patriotism....does that mean I've qualified for entry onto a database for A.peaceful protest, B.violent extremism or C. simply dappy? What exactly are the credentials required to be categorized as a fully-fledged extremist? Now there's a question....

I have been drowning deep in academia well beyond my grasp so I had better give credit to the great minds whose work I have stolen and no doubt misrepresented in my own simple way. Extremism involves dissent and demonstration against the existing situation. Cass R. Sunstein from Harvard University (now I've got your attention Polly) claims that societies need dissent:
''nations are far more likely to prosper if they welcome dissent and promote openness''
''presidents are likely to blunder if they do not cultivate a culture of candor and disclosure''
''understanding the need for dissent illuminates countless social debates....because diversity is indispensable to learning''
''dissenters.... perform valuable social functions, often at their own expense.''
From this, I am left wondering, that if you and I blog our disapproval of accepted government policy might we be accused of tinkering on the brink of extremism? Yet, if Gordon Brown encouraged open discussion he might learn something...hmmmmm? Interesting.
Further reading of ''Political Extremism and Rationality'' written by...well, lots of people, (including Ronald Wintrobe, professor of Economics at The University of Western Ontario) lead me on a voyage of discovery. One premise of the book review proposes that:
''Extremism may be viewed as a rational reaction of the individuals when they face...a 'social hole'....''
Enlightened after hours digesting Ron's illuminating paper, I have amateurishly cobbled together the following ten point simpleton's guide to extremism:
1. Rational Extremism involves dissent against the existing situation.
2. Extremist movements are seen as the vehicle for excluded people to gain access to influence within our established political system.
3. Extremists are rational. They try to achieve their goals as much as possible by choosing the best method to achieve them.
4. Solidarity in belonging to a likeminded group brings satisfaction.
5. One should look at the goals of extremists to understand their actions.
6. Collective 'rationality' can provide an incentive for revolution.
7. The basic condition under which revolution can occur is if the state has been weakened.
8. Group action is necessary to secure human rights.
9. If one regime is overthrown, the replacement regime will only be more successful if it results in more democracy.
10.In dealing with extremism, it is crucial that we understand where it comes from, how it works and how a rational person might also be 'extreme'.
Now that I've bored the pants off myself...I am even more confused. Are we promoting open discussion thereby performing a valuable social function, or are we indeed rational 'extremists' when we dissent about bankers bonuses, third runway agreements, climate change inaction, state education, and numerous other incomprehensibles. But when it emerges that half the thinking public shares that view are we all extremists? And how do we collectively hammer home our dissent in a politically acceptable way? We know Hazel Blears thinks bloggers are subversive. Yet, there is little doubt that the blogospere presents a vehicle for venting political voice and a chance to gain access and influence. When normal political channels such as writing to your MP or signing a petition fall on deaf ears, those who have strong beliefs in their goals are driven to other actions out of sheer frustration and moral conviction.
Extremism in Action?
We are vehemently against the building of a third runway at Heathrow.
We believe the war on climate change should be the singular most important issue for our government.
We have written to Ed Milliband and several other 'VIPoliticians', we have blogged to death environmental journalists, we are members of Greenpeace, we've made paper aeroplanes to launch into Geoff Hoon's garden, we have campaigned in support of NoTRAG and Plane Stupid....is there any surprise that since it MAKES NO BLOODY DIFFERENCE, everyday rational people like you, me, Elvis, Robin, even Aunty Gladys consider resorting to revolution?
What is the powerless individual to do Gordon...if you don't listen and learn? These are important issues that matter to us all, yet democracy is not working. Putting names on databases will achieve nothing except create more resentment. Time to create a platform for open discourse, even if the views are not to your liking. (There's a lesson there for Professor Smith too. Why has this all gone quiet?) Time to show a real understanding of dissenting views and and re-establish an all embracing democractic system that actually works effectively. Quashing unpopular opinion is not the way forward...unless of course you want to incite riot and revolution.
I'm too knackered to check this over Polly.....this rational extremism is exhausting. Don't forget Thursday....extremists unite! Is Emma Thompson one too? Is she on a database?
Ivor X

PS In case you were wondering about the loose connection of the title....I was being covert....you know MI5 and all that...no one will ever find us now!

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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Over protective parent

Dear Ivor

So you’re back! As if the igloo incident wasn’t enough, the mere whiff of smoke from the Welsh dragon and you’re on extended leave. Not only have you been behaving in a manner unbecoming of a future major public figure you have also been spotted lurking around Wales online. Poor Aunty Gladys has had to publish an open letter apologising for your antics and I doubt that SirSpiffing will ever recover his composure!

If George’s article is anything to go by, you have probably now been listed on the partying extremist database for excessive entertainment in public areas. You seriously must take yourself in hand.

Civil liberties are not what they used to be. If you don’t believe me read this article by Stella Rimington, who always reminds me a little of Helen Mirren.

The government has become obsessed with storing personal data and knowing what we are doing at all hours of the day and night. Unfortunately they’re not very good on the retention side, dossiers and trains spring to mind, as do dongles and car parks! No doubt they believe that they are doing this for the greater good and that our protection is upper most in their minds. That and the unquenchable thirst for another failed IT project.

However they are simply acting like an over protective parent obsessed with "stranger danger". It is difficult to let go of your offspring, as I know only too well. However if you want to bring up a well balanced, independent society, willing to accept responsibility for its own actions, you have to know when to stand back and let us go outside to play on our own.

Poll x

Ps Don't think you can skulk around in the shed for the week!

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

CARDIFF.....

YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA.............AAAH!
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CALON LAN

Polly,
Quick...do your techno whizzy bit:
(Done - Poll x)



I can't look.
Ivor X
PS Happy Valentine's Day
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How Sorry?

Polly,

You had to pull me down off my paper-thin pedestal didn't you...but so harshly? You know Prof Smith pressed all my buttons with his succinct summation of the plight of state education in Britain...I opened a bottle of 'Proper Job' in celebration of his astute analysis. From hero to coward before I'd even wet my lips. He has now declared deep regret...for what? Stating truths that tear at the heart of every state school parent? Common sense observations in fact. Missed two critical factors though...expectations and aspirations.

Clearly this media 'explosion' was too hot to handle. What really did drive him to writing letters of apology to two secretaries of state? I hope his status/salary/loyalty/good name is not being used as leverage. What about integrity? God forbid that his position is at stake as I can't see him in sports science...all those whistles to blow. I can hear the apologies already. Too much to expect the government to embrace his constructive criticism and run with the ball? That would take courage, humility and strong leadership. Sorry! Oops another apology. Sorry. Damn.

Whistle-blowing, running with the ball, truth and loyalty.....are you thinking what I'm thinking?

Pleased to know you are 'Welsh by Proxy'. Aunty Gladys and the boys from the allotment are in fine voice....and Elvis has printed the hymnsheet on recycled Murrayfield programmes. Big Dylan (landlord at 'The Prince of Wales'...your memories may be hazy) has donated his refurbed, secondhand campervan (runs on veggie oil) and Purple Moose are bringing along ample supplies of Calon Lan. Max Boyce is meeting us there so bring your scarf. The English are coming.....Let the Dragon Roar!

I'm too excited to sleep Polly...see you in a few hours!!

Big kisses,
Ivor XX

Welsh and Proud. No apology needed.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Gagging order, order....

Dear Ivor

Some sense at last on education from Professor Adrian Smith.

Shame that it was short lived as he is now reported to have retracted the comments. Perhaps they threatened to switch his final salary pension scheme to money purchase, perish the thought!

Is this another case of gagging the boy who spotted the emperor had no clothes?

Perhaps he should’ve started a campaign on Labourvacuum.com, oops I mean space.com!

Poll xx
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All a flutter

Dear Ivor

Am a bit worried about our mate Barack he seems to have inadvertently lost another cabinet member. Can’t help thinking it’s the sight of all those zeros that sends them into a flutter. Should I offer my spreadsheet, have kept it up-to-date and could insert another column for “If you think you can do better items”?

Perhaps he needs a helping hand; a quick jaunt across the pond might be in order, is the lifeboat finished? With our Carbon PAW print never far from my mind perhaps we could avail of Ivor’s Freecycling prototype for the remainder of the journey? Let’s hope he’s not in too much of a hurry we could be some time!

Poll x

Ps Have you got my pink cycling shorts?
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LabourList_less

Dear Ivor

Back with a vengeance I see, and delving un-moderated in to Labour List.

Wish you would manage to get a grip of your keyboard, your trailing unconscious stream of thoughts have been tacked onto the end of your comment, but despite this think he should get the gist:

Ed,
You are Secretary of State for Climate Change. It is the singular, most important issue of our lifetime.
The above issues are really of no consequence unless you wholeheartedly commit to the battle of global warming.
Define your role with passion, authority, integrity and a real understanding of your singular task....then you may earn your following. Just where exactly are we in saving the planet? Together we can make change happen. Really? Convince us.
Ivor Dunmoanin
http//wannabepm.blogspot.com/2009/02/in-search-of-puff-and-magic.html
PS Immediacy is key...still waiting for a reply to my email.


short and long term goals are being met......then let us know, openly, honestly just what is going on.

Ivor Dunmoanin @ 10:22 pm, Thu 12th Feb 2009

Let’s face it if doesn’t really have a handle on the task in hand there are some that would, where’s George and our Graham from Greenpeace?

As regards your lack of mail, Ed has obviously been busy launching LabourSpace.com yet again:.

Ever wanted to change your world? Labourspace offers you an open platform so that you can tell the Labourspace community and Labour politicians about the issues that really matters to you.”

–Too many issues and matters for my liking!

There’s more:

Labourspace is all about people power so the more friends you get involved the more chance your campaign has of winning!

- Unfortunately it isn’t clear what the prize is - another Labour term?

Can’t help but feel Labourlist, Labourspace and Labourwhatthehellcanwedonow are a desperate attempt to subdue the blogosphere. Do you think there will be hundreds of new jobs created for shadow bloggers at Westminster? Don’t suppose Guido will get a look in?

Poll x

Ps Can't believe you’ve slipped through moderation yet again.

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Chasing the Dragon

Dear Ivor

So you have returned and slightly less hirsute from chasing the dragon! You should have learned not to nap surrounded by the valley boys, they can be quick with those razors!

I had hoped you might return with a little more humility, magnanimous in victory over the boys in blue, but I can see that your altruistic behaviour has been diluted by running with the pack!

Your comment referring to my ancestral heritage has been moderated before a lynch mob was formed and you were up for a public blogging.

Gatland’s boys are in the ascendancy, there’s a man that believes in trust and loyalty, and, despite a quick delve into my genealogy, I am disappointed that my only filial link with the boys in red is you! Regardless of this I will be cheering them on tomorrow in the hope that we will be treated to some more dynamic running rugby instead of the flat lack lustre attempt from Twickenham. Wonder what schools the Welsh boys went to?

See you tomorrow.

Poll x

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Igniting the Dragon

Hello Polly...I'm back!

Alright, I admit I may have been a little economical with some truths. I did go in search of my moral conscience and had to go back for my misplaced sense of humour. But when the igloo melted I was a little disorientated. In the interest of my research into effective leadership and in order to quench a thirst for knowledge...and real ale, I found myself in The Caledonian Ale House and on for some Golden Promise. A ticket to Murrayfield no less....and what a day. I stumbled upon some old friends from the valleys. None of them were Boyos of course, but Aunty Gladys had knitted enough scarves for all of us so we did indulge in a bit of melodic male bonding. Not sure I suit a mac, but my guitar playing is coming along.

Well, I could dwell on every shimmering act of tactical supremacy but I will not stoop so low when there is so much yet to play for. Having been the 'whipping boys' for too long, just exactly how did Wales turn around it's performance? This miraculous resurrection of Welsh rugby is attributed to the kiwi Warren Gatland. In just five easy steps he has located the 'puff and magic' of the red dragon and turned on the switch. The secret of this red revolution is solely attributed to the finely tuned leadership skills of a bl**dy good coach. The inherent talent has always been there, it was simply a case of finding the on button.

This is the essence of my investigative foray. There are clear parallels to be drawn between Gatland's strong leadership strategy and the gaping chasm in the political direction of our government. Set out clear expectations, blunt honesty, no bull s**t, weed out the rubbish, egos removed, consequences for mistakes. This is indeed back to basics. Professionalism, style, confidence, and conviction about everything they are doing. Perhaps if our British politicians opened their eyes to the mechanism behind change then they may earn some much needed credibility.

Labour has entered the blogosphere with...wait for it....a strategy for repeated slogans and soundbites! Thank goodness Labour are still the changemakers. Ouch! That soundbite just came up and bit me. Changemakers? Changemakers? Spare me. What about leading us through the new global challenge that is climate change? In the newly launched 'Labourlist.Org' not one mention of saving the world. Do you think we should tell them? Perhaps I'll ask Obama to blog them. Perhaps give them a few pointers about true leadership. Incidentally, I have dabbled on the new blog and am waiting to see if Mandy and Ed are moderating me in or out. Why is Ed Miliband so far down Rogues Gallery? He is the Secretary of State for......oh what's it called? Direct democracy in action because 'Together we can make change happen'....damn another soundbite, they're everywhere. Watch this space.

Ivor X

PS What are you up to next Thursday? Aunty Gladys is ironing Graham's costume...cool iron for lycra.

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In search of puff and magic...

I am so very sorry Polly,

I have been on retreat from the turmoil of political B**LOGS! Seeking refuge in a small place. I am man enough to admit that I have been cavorting with the 'dragons in caves' phenomenon...and am mindful that you have been abandoned with solitary ownership of our mission to be PM. I wonder, have you resorted to leaning on the support system of internet conferencing in my absence? A little coven with Lobbydog or Finkelstein perhaps? No Polly...I draw the line at group hugs, even with Monbiot. Well, OK then...he did write a belter to Blears...couldn't resist a little blog from the brink! Anyway, I humbly accept that I may need to hone down some of my sharp edges. It would seem that my salvation in this instance is nothing more than a traditional strop!

Images of blizzards conditions of -18 degrees in Scotland, raging fires and exploding gum trees in Melbourne, freak floods swallowing the south coast of England....and the article by James Lovelock sent me running for the hills. From the safe haven of my (rapidly constructed) igloo I set about designing my lifeboat made for two....OK and the damn dog! My frantic forestry skills came to the fore with feverish felling, cutting, sawing, whittling and sanding as I perfected my own invincible vessel that would outdo any erratic change in the weather that might descend overnight. (May have based some design features on sound advice from our Graham of Greenpeace).

As the whittling waned, I sought solice in beer and sport (more of that later). In a more reflective state....commonly referred to as 'hangover'....the guilt set in. My boatbuilding frenzy was motivated by reckless, self-preservation. No room on my boat for Elvis, Aunty Gladys, Robin, George, Kylie....and Gary Grimble (no chance)! All that blogging morality gone in one defiant swish of my paddle and a swift purchase of the 'Food for Free' book. Paranoia had set in...why have British Army Ration Packs sold out? Maybe my letter to Ed Miliband had actually stirred the government into action after all....and they were all buying up the last remaining stocks from their expense monies. Lovelock's words plagued me 'Not only must we survive, we must stay civilised....' Not so easy when disaster hits. Human behaviour does not naturally lean towards selflessness. (I won't make a cheap remark about bankers, that would be peevish.)

Research illustrates some interesting human tendencies. Altruistic behaviour is likely to be diluted the larger the number of players. This supports the 'run with the pack' philosophy you mentioned. Also, if risk is high, people work together towards a common goal...but if risk is perceived to be 50:50, then selfishness rules. So with regard to the small matter of climate change, we simply need to convince people that risk is high. It's that easy.

Here we go then:

Climate Change is fact.
Giant strides must be met to win the war with global warming.
If tackling climate change is made second order, we have lost the battle.
There are only four years to save the planet.
Everyone clear?

What next? Recognition and strong leadership. Yup! Our man across the pond is on the job. The
science is beyond dispute and the facts are clear.....time for a new chapter.

And back here, in zero-carbon Britain....let's seek some reassurance from Paul Allen at the Centre of Alternative Technology that the fight is in the capable hands of our experts. Well, blow me down with a feather, Paul revealed utter disbelief that in Poznan, even leading experts, scientists NGO's and political leaders hadn't really grasped the severity of the global climate predicament. The Poznan talks lacked urgency and what was required was a push from the top. We need visionary action. No, you don't say. (I am now banging my head against the side of my igloo....again.) Lucky for us we have cultured politicians leading us into battle with a firm grip on priority. God help us all.

So that's why I am stuck in my cave exploring the notion of effective leadership. I think I may have found an answer...more on puff and magic to follow. Don't wish to blog you to death.

Will soon be revolting again,

Ivor X

PS Tried a free sample today....impending disaster has it's upside.

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Wiki proof!

Dear Ivor

It’s no good you adopting the strong and silent type approach. The outside temperature has increased and I am assured by Aunty Gladys that the igloo is now no more than a memory, I know that you are hiding out in the shed!

Although I do appreciate your extended absence from the media spotlight, the news over the past few weeks is enough to make a child of the 70’s look back with nostalgia at a three day week, power cuts, rotting rubbish and the mere whiff of global warming. What halcyon days!

Obama has been given four years to turn the rising tide of climate change. Good news, he is surrounded by the best scientific brains, however another one can’t hurt. So I have been applying my extensive Google knowledge to good use, with the odd bit of Wiki (if it’s good enough for David Cameron) thrown in, and have come up with a foolproof proposal. Every commercial decision must comply with an environmental checklist, easy multiple choice questions with a score rating, not taking any chances with essay style answers. At the end you add up your scores and this determines whether the proposed venture should go ahead.

All right it may be based on “your guide to…….” questionnaires in teen magazines of my youth, but it is a starting point and I bet none of those scientists will come up with it? And if the Tories have got time to fiddle about on the internet looking up inane trivia so have I! The state of the environment and the economy is obviously not that pressing.

Poll x

Ps I’ll bring you some soup later.


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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

School's Out

Dear Ivor

What is it about education that makes normally level headed people appear like headless chickens scratching about for initiatives that are complete and utter drivel? For goodness sake, money would be put to better use improving the existing state education system than providing state supported boarding school places.

This will ensure that vulnerable children are supported within real communities and not in a privileged and constructed society that disappears when school's out and does nothing to prepare them for life in the real world!!

We should be worrying about Sir Cyril Taylor who believes removing children from problems will resolve them. If he’s been at the heart of government education thinking for two decades no wonder we have the education system we do. His time would be better spent dealing with the issues that make children vulnerable in the first place!

Poll x

PS Is there room in the igloo for one woman and her dog (adopted Edwina, papers in post)?

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Looking for my conscience…

Dear Ivor

Where are you, am extremely concerned? Need your calming influence or failing that a swift one at the Old Bull, do you think Lobbydog might be free?

Are all our actions governed by hard coded behavioural determinants? Daniel Finkelstein seems to attribute banker’s decisions to following the pack instinct. Does this assuage their guilt?

Despite Finkelstein’s closing plea, nobody really wants to notice the little boy who has the courage to question the transparency of the Emperor’s new clothes. The late Tony Dye’s voice was drowned out by the masses gaily jumping on the band wagon.

Whose ears at the time did Paul Moore’s whistle blowing reach? Perhaps that was silenced by a desire to settle for substantial personal damages.

Honestly, faced with the same set of circumstances as the bankers with the lure of such excessive financial reward, how many people would have said No?

And despite mounting criticism the band wagon rolls on. Andy Hornby appears to have few scruples in accepting more taxpayers’ money to shore up his own personal bank account. Bankers still seem to want to be rewarded for failure. But are they to be blamed, why should individuals display altruism when all around them are losing theirs?

We no longer appear to display any collective responsibility towards the improvement of society in general and then wonder why that same society has no cohesion. We have gone down a road of individual acquisition and in doing so have misplaced our conscience.

Perhaps we all ought to start looking for it again? I'll start now....

Poll x

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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Last Man Standing!

Dear Ivor

Just had to let you know that George (aka G to you) has given Hazel a severe reprimand in an open letter in the Guardian. Currently 553 comments and counting! The overall majority of which (ok I only read up until 300 odd and then had a strange feeling of floating over my keyboard and being drawn towards a bright light!) agree totally with his erudite submission. I tried to study the article with as much objectivity as I could muster; she is after all the bloggers' arch nemesis!

Read and enjoy.

Poll x
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Mathematical Dilemma

Dear Ivor

It’s time to come out of the igloo and face up to your responsibilities, I can’t do it alone! And besides who am I going to blame if things go pear shape? To say nothing of Edwina, who has almost given up all hope of returning to the family home and is consoling herself on the sofa with the squeaky beer can, a small but not inconsequential reminder of you!

If you need a little sobriety read James Lovelock’s article on global warming. Although I usually look forward to the day after tomorrow; I am beginning to have doubts as to the reliability of our plans to slowdown climate change. A little dramatic I know, however you can blame Mr Lovelock for that!

I was cheered by Barack Obama’s recognition that the US needs to drastically improve its environmental credentials, even if this may have economic roots, any advances must be applauded, compared to the systemic avoidance of the previous administration, and where America leads others tend to follow, GB are you listening?

Making the most of the world’s diminishing resources is imperative; you’ll be pleased to know that allotments are the way forward. Perhaps it’s time for a rerun of the Good Life for some self sufficiency tips?

We do need to get to the bottom of this issue. “The Experts” seem torn between sustainable energy supplies, should we go for wind, water, solar, or perhaps nuclear is the only answer? There are plausible arguments on both sides, as there are for GM crops, apparently we need them to tackle food security and reduce the use of pesticides, but on the other hand we are advised that their use has been a disaster. With more reports on both sides of the fence, penned by authors with more letters after their names than Slumdog Millionaire nominations, opinions still remain hugely divided. In fact at opposite ends of the spectrum! Is it any wonder that the man and woman on the street dissolves into a vat of apathy faced with this dilemma?

Are we looking for transparency where there is none? Or are we being manipulated by bias and vested interest?

In an attempt to apply a little critical thinking of my own to this quandary I have tried to formulate an opinion based on nothing else but my own subjective observations. The weather is definitely changing; I only had to look outside for this. Our energy requirements are far higher now than when I was younger; I only had to look around me to confirm that. The world's population is increasing; did have to Google this, hope they haven’t been fiddling the figures! Then applied my inconsequential mathematical brain; one finite world + climate changes + increased energy requirements + lots more people = action required. There, it wasn’t that hard!

Missing you, come home soon.

Poll xx


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Political Suicide? Yes please.

Hi Polly,

Thought this article might cheer you up a little....Gordon Brown thinks:

'it would be electoral suicide to appear so socialist'
by nationalising the banks. Hmmm. Does he?
Why do I find myself throwing myself violently around my igloo, fitfully screaming ''yes, yes do it. Be brave, Gordon...throw yourself into the abyss!'' Too often I uncover my own disconcerting support for the very act that is deemed to be Political Suicide. Why is that? Is it because it shows a strength of character? A willingness to risk unpopularity? A desire to implement much desired change perhaps? I wandered through the blogosphere looking for the answer to my conundrum.
I discovered this slightly depressing but thought-provoking angle that suggests that political suicide may be considered 'voting by other means'.....interesting if a little uncomfortable to digest? Less depressing and more illuminating is our friend Obama on climate change:
Your advisers will tell you its political suicide. Well, here's the clever bit....
Change is indeed what we need....I need only have looked to 'Mr Wiki' for enlightenment. I quote:
''Political Suicide is the concept that a politician or political party would lose widespread support and confidence from the voting public by proposing actions that are seen as
unfavourable or that might threaten the status quo.''
And yet Cynics (that's you and me Polly) may blame this as a lack of progress in society. Acts considered to be 'politically suicidal' are often sound intentions vehemently dismissed by reactionism and fear of change.
Does Gordon strike you as a dynamic and progressive leader? Don't even look for an answer. Fear of change....from what? What widespread support is he risking? Is there a blessed morsel of British society that we have pride in at this particular moment in history. I'm really struggling now. Here's a real man of honour. We could all do with a little humility.
It takes fortitude to drive through unpopular but necessary change. Reactionary or cynic? Frankly, I'm rather proud to be a cynic...Hazel Blears should look it up on Wikipedia...then blog Jacqui Smith with the definition. Life of virtue....reject conventions such as wealth and power.....anyone for mass political suicide?
Ivor X
PS Feeling better now Poll? Thought that would lift the spirits...! Oh...and the ice-caps are melting. My wind-up torch is a godsend.

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Monday, February 09, 2009

MPs go to pot?

Dear Ivor

Outside temperatures are plunging and my euphoric mood provoked by the meteoric rise of Robert Peston to planet saving superhero is also I am afraid on the wane.

Having woken up to the ongoing debacle of bankers’ bonuses on the Today programme (was hoping to catch up with Evan). MPs are publically tut-tutting at the overt avarice of banking executives, whilst concealing their own creative accounting with regard to expenses. Their defence may be that they have abided fully with Parliamentary rules and therefore have done nothing untoward, but couldn’t bankers argue that they have done exactly the same thing. The fact that the rules are flawed seems to provide defence for one and disgrace for the other. Going on to state that bankers have a moral obligation not to accept rewards for failure is to say the least somewhat hypocritical.

Do you think that MPs would protest if part of their salary was withheld when botched policies floundered costing taxpayers millions. MPs shouldn’t peddle accountability for others whilst selling taxpayers short!

How can we expect financiers, or anyone else for that matter, to have a fully functioning moral compass if our leaders continue to operate within a framework of personal interest? Pot and kettle spring to mind!

Speak later.

Poll x

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

BRRRRRR!

BRRRRRRRR! Chilly.
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Saturday, February 07, 2009

Eureka!

Polly,

Eureka!
An article on climate change in the TimesOnLine .....nay two. A maverick with a thirst for direct democracy. Do you think the powers of Peston are afoot already. I feel a paradigm shift coming on...surely not. Go Zac go!

Blogging off to the country to build an igloo. Coming?

Big Kisses
Ivor X
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Friday, February 06, 2009

Peston Power

Polly,

The thought of Peston in spandex distracted me momentarily from the magnificence of your brainwave. Many excitable images sprang to mind....'current affairs totty', 'crash pash'...but it is 'the picking bobbles off a cardigan' that gets my bid should he ever seriously consider floating on the SSEx. The Indiana Dow Jones persona is perfect for his forthcoming venture into the harsh environment of melting ice caps, raging tsunamis and erratic climates. Have you asked him yet?

He has already, it seems, bravely embarked upon a daring mission of his own to establish exactly who is in charge of this sceptred isle. Clearly he hasn't blogged on to us recently.

This, according to Peter at The Observer, is unfinished business that requires fresh passion. That is where you come in Polly. Can the man with immense power who single-handedly sent the dow plunging be persuaded to head off global warming? It strikes me that indeed he might be up to flexing his environmental muscle. Afterall, surely there are only so many credit crunches a journalist can do before the survival instinct kicks in.

Time he turned his journalistic endeavours to saving the world. Forget Sankara, dump the snakes....this is the crusade of your lifetime. Come with us Indi!

TO BE CONTINUED....if Powerful Pash Peston Picks Pressing Planet Plans Promptly.

With big kisses
Ivor X

PS You've asked him already haven't you Polly....and I do believe he's giving it some real thought?
The paint's not even dry on Graham's telephone box. So fickle.

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Plotting Peston Planet Plans!

Dearest Ivor

I think you may have hit on an idea to save the planet. We need "Peston Power", sorry move over our Graham!

If we believe MPs, his powerful ergonomic keyboard has caused economic chaos, in what would have otherwise been a completely smooth transition between the banks having lots of money and then having none.

Can we harness these immense powers for the greater good and stop global warming in its tracks. Compared to halting financial meltdown saving the environment should be as easy as obtaining a scoop on the Treasury. Let’s face it Peston clad in a spandex bodysuit (Graham could do a quick change master class) would be a formidable force even on Greenpeace standards.

The odd throwaway comment on Peston’s Picks about toxic carbon debt with a bit of alliteration thrown in for good measure and job done. Bound to cause a run on energy efficient light bulbs, solar panels, wind turbines and all things green, resulting in an all time low in emission rates in an attempt to stimulate environmental recovery and thus avoid an ecological disaster.

Can’t imagine why we didn’t think of this before?

Poll xx


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Talking sense?

Dear Ivor

Your entreaty to Lobbydog has not fallen on deaf ears.

Ivor said…

Lobbydog,

Some advice please. Can Mandelson and Vince Cable both be speaking sense at the same time?

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/banking_and_finance/article5667185.ece

It makes me nervous when politicians reveal some integrity. Which MPs can we trust? Names in the frames please...we want to believe that some went into politics for the right reasons. There must be a few left on the benches with a properly functioning moral compass.

Cheers
Ivor X
Ivor Dunmoanin of www.wannabepm.blogspot.com

PS Polly says I can't be a follower until I've had my beard trimmed. Are you a real ale drinker?

05 FEBRUARY 2009 14:01

Lobbydog said...
Ivor,
How's the beard? Lobbydog is known to appreciate the odd pint or two. When there's a bar at the end of the corridor it's difficult not to.
As for moral compasses, they work just like real compasses which get all muddled when you introduce different magnets.
The higher one climbs up the political ladder the more magnets seem to pop up in life, pulling compasses this way and that.
In terms of Mandy talking sense - note that he doesn't say excessive bonuses are wrong, only that they will look bad.
Generally MPs talk sense when it suits them, as it does in this case. It would obviously be political suicide to say bankers deserve more money.
But if you want to find one that talks sense, has an intact moral compass and doesn’t play sneaky games, you have to look further than the front benches.
How much an MP rebels can be a sign of integrity – it means they won’t change their own views for good favour with the leadership.

Ps You know you and Polly want to be lobbydoggers.


Do you think he's got room for us in the anteroom?

Poll x


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All Carboned Out!

Polly,

I'm tuckered out. The frustration with a government who lacks real engagement with action against climate change has brought me to my knees. That, and the chain's come of my bike. Think it was the superman stunt Graham pulled on the back of the tandem. Good night though!

What is it with our politicians? Your trailer needs to be put on big screen at Westminster and all MPs made to watch whilst looking at the photos of their children tucked safely in their wallets. What about a Quiz Night? Or even a debate? Perhaps chew over the politics over a few beers in the bar? Consider the economy? Have another beer Ed :

Oooooh! Did I mention our mate Machnig in Germany seems to think that
'the consequences of climate change are greater than those of the economic crisis....'
Really?
Tipping factor? Paradigm Shift?
What's happening at the moment in the UK?
I haven't the bl***y foggiest. Shall we ask someone? Perhaps reassure the common people? Nah....that's Miliband's area.
Back to the day job then.

So just pop that photo of your kids safely away between your crisp £50.00 notes and ask yourself....what is top of your agenda today in parliament? And could you give your good people an update. We'd quite like to know that you have it all in hand. Funny though.....not a mention in the news. Even Google gave up.

Forgive the cynicism....but this is all I found!

And as for you journalists....if the media is able to play such a formidable role in the banking crisis, just imagine what you can do to save the planet. I'm all for all powerful characters...if they could just redirect their energies to the small matter of climate change. Bring it on Peston....it's about what the individual thinks. Environment and the economy united in the battle to combat global warming? Have you got a photo in your wallet of someone who would like a future?

Seriously disgruntled,

Ivor

PS No Polly, I'm blogged off!

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Thursday, February 05, 2009

Brain Freeze!

Dear Ivor and Graham

Hoping to pick up some PAW tips have just been listening to Radio 4 Costing The Earth's chilling report on the impact HFCs, used as refrigerants, are having on global warming, listen again here.

The programme featured Asda’s green flagship store in Bootle which has installed environmentally friendly refrigeration units complete with doors and running on CO2, well done to them. However the spokesperson for the company voiced concerns that these were having a financial impact, as customers were struggling with the concept of a barrier between themselves and the chilled food items.

Duh!! For crying out loud how are we going to get the British public to save the planet if they have a problem opening fridge doors?

PAWs for thought; make it compulsory, if all refrigeration units had doors I am sure we would be surprised at how soon the concept of opening them would catch on. And whilst considering legislation perhaps the government could immediately introduce a substantial tax on leakage of HFCs as most companies seem to struggle with the concept of fixing leaks in their cooling systems and let's face it we could do with the cash!

Lest we forget; “In the valley of the stupid the one enlightened man is not always king!”


The Age of Stupid: final trailer Feb 2009 from Age of Stupid on Vimeo.

Poll x

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Carbon PAW Print

Polly,

Perturbed by anxiety. I find myself agreeing with both Mandelson and Vince Cable. This has catapulted me out of my comfort zone so have blogged Lobbydog for advice.

You have once again called me to much needed order. I will happily refocus on mine (and Edwina's) Carbon PAW Print. Feel better already.

From wit's end to Worlds End. Hurray.

Blogging off,
Ivor X

PS Is Graham coming? He can assume one of his many secret identities. Prefer it if he came in by the front door this time. Still repairing the artex.
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PAW Launch

Dear Ivor

Your previous proposals on practical parenting were to say the least a little radical and, from an excessively individualistic point of view, an administrative nightmare, however I see that the political animal in you has once again emerged from your misshapen woolly jumper and you are back on the campaign trail.

I too was encouraged by Obama’s announcement of the capping of US top executive pay packages for companies receiving taxpayers’ money, although a little confused by the word extraordinary, call it the cynic in me!

As part of the reforms we are announcing today, top executives at firms receiving extraordinary help from U.S. taxpayers will have their compensation capped at $500,000

No loopholes please Mr President they let in the drafts!

We however do not seem to be able to adopt similar principles towards our own bankers’ bonkers bonus schemes despite giving exceedingly “extraordinary” help to the banks. An unnamed source was reported to have said:

The numbers will be very large and very difficult for the general public to understand."

Too right, I am struggling with the ambiguity of the £185bn we’ve lent to the banks and what contractual terms oblige the payment of rewards to employees for what is an unmitigated disaster, can someone read the small print please, there must be a get-out clause somewhere?

Speaking of disasters, Graham’s candid environmental three point plan has given us a deadline of two days before “Planet Action Wannabe” (PAW) is to be launched; any ideas? “A colossus bestriding the globe” we are not, more of a Lilliputian tiptoeing across a muddy field and having trouble finding the gate!

Still, Graham appears to have some misguided faith in our ability to release megalomania on the unsuspecting British public, as if we needed an excuse; thank goodness he’s given us absolution in advance.

Perhaps a swift one at the World’s End might be in order, tonight 8pm? Bring your reading glasses.

Poll xx

PS Have also had an idea about what to do with all the spare cars at Avonmouth docks

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Cap in hand.

Polly,

Newsflash from across the pond....Obama's dared to tread where Gordon fears...he's capped top executive salaries. I got so excited I blogged on to The Huffington Post in a frenzy of adulation. I have calmed down now after a nice cup of camomile tea. Way to go Obama....

Big Kisses,
Ivor XX

PS I've been moderated out of The Huffington Post three times.....should I be proud? Oh...and don't forget to let Edwina out before lights out. Night Polly!

PPS Can you believe THIS.....outrageous!
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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Definition of a Superhero

Graham,

What can I say? I didn't dare believe the good news. Having toasted your green credentials with too many East Green's , I've been rifling through my old Marvel comics to find out more about the common traits of superheroes.There are some spooky parallels:
Unprecedented physical prowess......dedicated to the act of derring-do in the public interest...tick.
Brief episodic adventures and years long sagas....tick.
A distinctive costume to protect your secret identity....so many!
Extraordinary powers and advanced equipment...eager to find out more.
A strong moral code....tick.
A sense of responsibility....tick.
A number of enemies.....Chuck and Chubby are just for starters. Look out Gordo.
Independent wealth....who cares?
Headquarters....The Shed.
A backstory of tragic elements or freak accidents.....what the hell, we can make those up as we go.
A supporting cast of hero's friends....me, Poll, and the fellowship at Greenpeace.
Love interests...Aunty Gladys?!!
A complicated dual life....saving the planet and....blogging the planet.
Now that just leaves the ultimate definition of a superhero......our GRAHAM.
May the force be with you.

Can't say more as I've taken on board your words and am now advancing in a vigilante manner. Ssssssh! Watch this space.

Welcome.

Ivor XX

PS Fellow Bloggers NEVER FORGET. Are you in or out? Be brave....unleash your inner superhero.....

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A Word on the Environment from Our Super Hero!

Hi Polly & Ivor,

I’ve let you both down horribly, and am deeply, deeply ashamed. Still, never mind eh?

How to combat global warming in three easy steps.

Greenpeace’s official version –

http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/blog/climate/your-personal-guide-to-helping-save-the-climate

Graham from Greenpeace’s entirely unofficial version -

1. Get rid of that retarded cowboy fella. OK, he is funny, but it’s not really working out, and I don’t like the look of his chubby friend. (Done! This is so easy! Thank you Polly & Ivor for unleashing my super powers.)

2. Forget about that whole ‘clean coal’ thing. There is no CCS fairy. Fall for this and they’ll be back with ‘safe nuclear’ and ‘sustainable growth’ before you can say ‘sucker!’

3. Do something. We’ve got about six years left to get things moving in the right direction. If you’ve already spent a couple fretting over the right target, the right strategy and the right tactics, perhaps it’s time to forget about the theory and start getting practical. Trapped by your own indecision? Set yourself a time limit. Two more days of mulling it over, then DO something. Still not sure what to do? There are a million websites telling you how to cut your own carbon footprint and how to influence governments and corporations. Read one, do it. Worried it might be the wrong one? Don’t be. You are pre-emptively forgiven for any errors you might make. Just go for it. Wait much longer and your perfect solution will no longer be relevant. Concerned that you don’t have the power to make a difference? While the rest of the world are stuck in the same disempowered state, breaking out of it will bring you far more power than you could possibly deserve. You naughty megalomaniac, you. Compared to the average apathetic worker/voter/consumer, you’ll be a colossus bestriding the globe, bending humanity to your implacable will, shaping the future for a thousand generations and stamping your image onto our collective memory. Only while apathy stocks last, mind you. Wait until everyone’s doing something and you’ll just be another cog in the machine. Do something now and stay ahead of the curve. Fate has given you the chance to save the world. ‘Stenders will still be there when you get back, and it only takes an episode or two to catch up.

Umm, that’s it.

Graham from Greenpeace


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Vive la Revolution!

Polly,

Call me fickle but I have another hero in my sights. A postman, Olivier Besancenot.....he wants to re-package politics for the disaffected, he wants a coalition of disparate parties, he wants to depoliticise public life and....he rides a bike. I have a kindred spirit!

OK....there is a downside. He has an aversion to shapeless jumpers and beards and I'm now wondering if I'm a closet Trotsky. Better just pop out and check.

Worldwide revolution...yup...that's us. But let's just call it 'Political Entryism' by an entire party...so as not to scare any real politicians! Why don't we go wild and ask if he fancies joining our convoy? I'm now having thoughts of going continental. Oh! And I forgot to mention that he's 34 and French, Polly!
Wonder if he salsas?

Ivor X

PS Couldn't resist a quick blog on The Independent.....well, it was their article afterall.

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