Reevesey's recommended reading

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Swine Flu - a pandemic or a man-made phenomenon?

As the recession takes hold all over the world what better way to take your mind off it than by having a swine flu pandemic?

We all spend more, whether on unnecessary antibiotics or completely useless face masks or millions of Government leaflets taking us out of recession, but hundreds of people die instead.

I know this is a simplistic cynical view.

Seriously though I am really concerned how the media are leading the swine flu story.

They are over hyping it on a major scale and I'm worried about that. Yesterday in a supermarket I heard 2 women talking about whether they should start buying bottled water because of swine flu?

Oh my god, be serious. Let's take it seriously but let's not over react on this as we have a habit of doing here in the UK!

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Joseph Nicolosi - I am gay and proud of it so bog off!

Well, do I start with the Gurkhas and the Governments decision or the fact that next week the Interception Modernisation Programme goes to the House of Commons?

Not now, I will blog later about those.

I'm going to talk (rant) about Joseph Nicolosi, a psychologist who claims he can "cure homosexuality".

He's in London to address a religous conference held by the the Anglican Mainstream group.

My message to Joseph Nicolosi is I'm gay, and very proud of it so bog off.

Being gay is not a disease, I think realistically I knew when I was about 9 or 10. I came out when I was 16 and I know my Mum struggled with it for a while but we overcame that and are now great friends as well as Mum and Son.

I'm in a strong and happy relationship, and have been for a long time. Its our 16th anniversary this year.

So Joseph Nicolosi instead of causing hatred and stirring up resentment why don't you turn your attention and channel your energy into fighting real diseases like cancer? A disease that rips families apart - gay or straight - a disease that is a killer?

Go on, you might then make a difference in this world.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Lib Dems romp to victory (again)

What a great day in Scotland.

Mrs. Rosemary Bruce has won the by-election in Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside with a majority of 98 in round five.

Gordon Brown's Labour party - well, they didn't even stand a candidate!

A great day in Scotland for the Liberal Democrats, while Labour, the SNP and the Conservatives are all a little bruised this afternoon and hurting.

This morning the SNP were gloating over a poll, as we in the Liberal Democrats keep saying, it's not about polls it is about real votes in real ballot boxes and the votes between the two by-elections were as follows;

Scottish Liberal Democrats - 3,069
Conservatives - 1,579
SNP - 1,192
Independents 1,022
Labour - 210
Christian People's Alliance - 115
BNP - 44
Solidarity - 27

Lib Dems romp to victory

I have just heard news from the Inverness West count.

The first preference votes cast in Inverness West yesterday were as follows:
Alasdair Christie (Lib Dem) 1503 - 60%
Brian o'hEadhra (SNP) 556 - 22%
Andrew Mackintosh (Lab) 210 - 8%
Sheila MacLaughlin (Christian Party) 115 - 5%
Donald Gunn Macdonald (Con) 111 - 4%
George Macdonald (Solidarity) 27 - 1%
Turnout 2540 (38.35%)
The quota in the first round (50% of the vote plus 1) was 1262, and since Alasdair had exceeded the quota, he was elected without any transfers taking place.
In a ward which the SNP won by 125 votes 2 years ago, that represents a remarkable change of direction. That's a 22% swing from the SNP to the Scottish Liberal Democrats.
The people of West Inverness have chosen a first class councillor in Alasdair, and endorsed the all-year-round work of the Focus Team led by existing Lib Dem councillor Alex Graham. They've also sent a very clear message to the SNP over their broken promise to fund the city bypass.

The Conservatives came a poor 5th place - never mind David Cameron!
Thank you to everyone who helped make this result possible. It shows that energetic, positive campaigning can pay big dividends.

Let's keep the momentum going and make sure we get George Lyon elected to Europe on 4th June too!

Apples and Ryanair

For those that have never met me, I'm 41 with a 32inch waistline and I'm obviously a toned gym bunny - for those that know me - damn!

I'm appalled by Ryanair and will never, ever fly with them.

They are proposing to introduce what can only be described as a "fat tax" - its discriminatory and bloody stupid.

How do they measure it, if you're a woman and over 15stone and if you're a man and over 20stone (I'm not, by the way), but they won't install scales nor get you on the suitcase scale, so how will the know?

Apparently, once on the plane is one option! Another is to make you buy two seats and refund one if the plane isn't busy!

For gods sake Ryanair get a grip, what a load of crap, you already screw enough money out of your passengers - get a life!

So, breathe and now apples, yes apples.

Many British varieties are disappearing, that's because the supermarkets are screwing the producers at every turn and they decide what sells.

I ran a fruit and veg shop, Dysons (and I did have a 32inch waist then) for three years on the Roundhay Road in Leeds and we sold what was in season (remember seasons?), so therefore sold loads of different varieties.

Supermarkets aren't interested, they want shiny perfect apples (category 1), anything with a blemish, bruise or small hole is called a category 2, there's absolutely nothing wrong with them but supermarkets won't touch them.

So I'm afraid the death of the British varieties of apples is down to Tesco, ASDA, Sainsburys, Co-op, Waitrose, Somerfield, Aldi, Lidl etc etc and partyl YOU! Because you won't stretch your legs and shop local or at farm shops!

Shame on them all.

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Budget and me

I haven't blogged for a while, mainly because I'm busy with the preparation for the European elections on 4th June.

I liked the headline in the METRO today - "Till debt us do part", and it's true. The Labour Government have got us into debt a total of around the equivalent of £23,000 for each person in the UK.

The current economic crisis is global so the blame can't all be dumped on the doorstep of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and the Labour Party.

However, the mis-management of it can.

I was listening to George Osborne yesterday and today, he's awful. He avoided every specific question put to him about what the Conservatives would do if they won the General Election.

Whereas, the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable gave specifics, including our changes to the tax allowances meaning £700 in the pocket.

There were a few good points in the Budget from my perspective;

• £1billion towards fighting climate change

• Car scrappage scheme

We got slammed on so many points though so I expect my salary to go down and not go so far - thanks to Labour.

Just remember on the 4th June all the last 12 years!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Great weekend in Cardiff

I've been away in Cardiff this weekend at the Welsh Liberal Democrats conference and have had a great time.

I stayed at the brand new Sleeperz hotel by the railway station - on the whole very good, great wet room styled bathrooms but inconsistent on cooking bacon - Friday crispy, Saturday fatty and undercooked and Sunday okay.

Lots of Celtic liaison and training which was why I was there and its always good to see how other conferences work!

I managed a bit of sightseeing as well including a run out from the Bay to the City on the boat taxi - bargain at £3 (£5 return).

Had a good meeting with their new Leader, Kirsty Williams on Thursday in the Assembly and very impressed with the new team - and Kirsty - great speech on Saturday and a good Q&A with Nick Clegg on the Friday.

Cardiff is a Lib Dem run council and my goodness they're working hard.

Great weekend!

Friday, 17 April 2009

Prince's Trust gave money to the Conservatives

So, the Charity Commission has said the Prince's Trust broke the law by donating £10,050 to Conservative Party group women2win!

This is reported in The Times today.

You would assume this would be a big story, but no, it is buried on page 14 in todays edition.

"It added (the Charity Commission) that the charity (Prince's Trust) had been wrong to hold a fundraising lunch involving Baroness Thatcher with the organisation, which has been set up to get more Tory women candidates elected to Parliament."

The Commission went on to say;

"The Prince's Trust had risked its reputation and independence."

What the story fails to mention is whether the Conservatives have been asked to pay the money back?

They definitely should do, and the Prince's Trust have broken the law so they should demand it back!

Monday, 13 April 2009

A message for Nigel Griffiths MP and the Labour Party

Well, I am bemused by Nigel Griffiths MP. Not his extra marital business, I will leave that well alone - eugh.

I am talking about his latest leaflet where he blames Lib Dem led Edinburgh City Council for the closure of Post Offices - Nigel, what a load of crap. Your Labour Government has withdrawn business away from the Post Office so that things like DVLA and paying bills are a thing of the past. Your Government has taken bonds away from the Post Office as well.

That's nothing to do with the Council (this one or any other) so when you write these leaflets be honest, oh, of course you can't be on this can you becuse in your previous leaflet you claimed that YOU saved 11 of the Post Offices in Edinburgh South? - again, what a load of crap.

You had nothing to do with saving any Post Offices anywhere but you and your Labour Government have closed thousands across the UK, in fact your Labour Government have closed more Post Office branches in the UK since 1997 than the Tories did in 18 years - you and your party should be ashamed of themselves.

You claim the Labour Government created the Post Office Card Account to help Post Offices, you then forget to mention that it was your Party that was going to scrap it - but in the Glenrothes by-election you changed your minds..........

The leaflet that you and your Party have been delivering for months now is just negative acid rubbish. What you fail to mention is that the Lib Dem/SNP Council have had just 2 years to undo decades of damage done by your Labour Party here in Edinburgh - so shut up or at least put forward positive suggestions - oh, and get your own house in order first!

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Our day out at Edinburgh Zoo part 2

Our day out at Edinburgh Zoo

A non political day today (well, as near as I can manage). Here is a selection of our day out, we are going to become Members of the Zoo as it is a great way to keep conservation going.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Crown Prosecution Service and the £250 bonus

I really cannot believe I've just heard on BBC Breakfast that Crown Prosecution staff in London are getting a £250 bonus.

Why, I hear you ask?

Because the staff in London made it into work in February in the heavy snow.

Come on, this is outrageous.

I'm sorry it snowed heavy but these people already get paid to go to work why do the CPS staff deserve a bonus because they got to work in the snow?

What about the nurses, teachers, shop workers, office workers, police staff, fire fighters, ambulance staff etc etc

Some of these are essential people to be at work - I think the Crown Prosecution Service are out of order and should cancel these bonuses!

Friday, 10 April 2009

My blog makes it onto another stat chart

I never really thought my blog would get read by quite as many people as it does, not just politically but just the every day stuff.

So, I get quite excited when it makes it onto things like Iain Dale's top 40 Scottish blogs (in at number 36), and then when it gets a mention in the Scottish round up, but today I finally made it, when I made it onto Will Howells blog - No Geek is an Island - because if it wasn't for Will I wouldn't be blogging.

Will set my blog up - so Will, thank you and I can take my little bit of credit for those folk who go to Will's blog from mine.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Royal Bank of Scotland and the 9,000 job losses

Although they say there will be no compulsory redundancies, it doesn't alter the fact that 4,500 people mainly in Edinburgh and London are soon to be joining the ranks of the unemployed.

Gordon Brown should be ashamed of himself and his Government.

His Government claim that just in Edinburgh 10 people apply for every vacancy - 160 just applied for a job we have advertised, not 10.

My partner hasn't worked since November, and applies for jobs day in, day out and usually the companies he applies to don't even have the common courtesy to reply.

So Gordon, I don't believe only 10 people apply for each job at all and now you're adding another few thousand to the list chasing every job.

Sir Fred Goodwin isn't ever going to pay his pension back, Labour Ministers approved it and he has no remorse that he's just put 9,000 people out of work, if that is indeed the true figure, and I'm sure as usual within the banking world they won't feature any senior management.

Its time the banks, now allegedly under public ownership again started giving something back and stop sponsoring airports and the like.

Its time for change Gordon!

Saturday, 4 April 2009

The Gym and I

Well, finally got off my fat backside and went back to the gym today, thank goodness.

I did 20 minutes on the bike and a few leg weight machines.

Am back there at 10am tomorrow for a meeting with Siobhan Mathers as we are both members, so we kill 2 birds with one stone.

So, Stephen Gilbert the challenge is on my friend.....

Friday, 3 April 2009

RBS and the Edinburgh AGM

I've been stood outside the EICC watching the Police in action as the students were protesting about the bad environmental record of the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Mainly the students have been well behaved bar on odd one or two trying their luck, but the Police have always been sharper.

What's amused me is the Police photographer who has taken everyones picture unless they're a journalist (of which there are loads) or a shareholder.

I waved and smiled when he took mine, I did ask why he was taking my picture when the new legislation prevented me taking his - he wasn't amused! So, I took his picture anyhow.

I will blog about this further later with more photos but here's a fun one for now!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

April Fool

Despite being fooled twice today, I still think this was the best!

MPs Expenses and me

Every year the row over MPs expenses blows up as the figures are published.

And without fail, every year I get angry, for two reasons;

1. The amount of MPs who try and find the loopholes and exploit the expenses; they should be found out and shamed!

2. When a journalist lambasts an MP for spending say £150,000 a year on expenses but doesn't explain that £84,000 of that is for staff salaries, and that there are other set amounts for set items.

I'm not here to defend their expenses and certainly not how the system is operated but I do think MPs should be sensible and use the allownaces for exactly what they're for.

The scandal of the second homes claims is outrageous and Eric Pickles should be ashamed of himself for saying its too far to commute!

I used to live in Dartford (further out than Eric Pickles house) and I used to commute to Westminster and had to pay for my own travel.

It also depends on where they live, if they've chosen not to live in the constituency they represent should they also be able to claim a second home in the one they represent if they are London MPs?

I don't think so.
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