Monday, January 31, 2011

Why I won't become a Tory

I am a big fan of reducing the budget deficit, live within your means and keeping the markets on your side. This applies to a country or an individual in my book. So I am broadly in line with the need to cut the structural deficit over the next n years. What I don't quite get is why the Conservatives need to go the ideological next step in an effort to hack moderate sections of the population off

  • Tuition fees. The may make sense as a party policy as few students vote Tory
  • Sell the national forests. I can't get my head round how this is anything other than an attempt to get rid of voters. Lots of people will feel strongly about this.
  • Modernization of the NHS. Talking to people who work in the NHS and I know a few, the big problems they face is poor management and struggling to keep up with change. Radical structure change is the last thing they need and most view it as privatization by the back door. Claire Rayner will be coming back to haunt you Mr Cameron.
  • High speed Rail through the Chilterns. So we have a huge deficit, lets spend lots of money on a railway we don't need though countryside that our votes live in. It makes no sense to me either.
It really feels like as a party, the Conservatives think they may only have 5 years and are going for bust in the hope that 'the Ed's' will make such a mess of their economic policy that voters will have to vote Tory because Laboura are unelctable. Lib Dem's will be easy opposition in the post tuition fee's world in most seats with opponents playing the "Lib Dem's go back on their word" card.

There is no doubt they are bright people and have well thought out their strategy, but with so much broken you would think they would focus on fixing the very broken parts of the economy and society and leave the sub-optimal bits alone for now in case they upset yet more votes. Balls of steel I guess as they are willing to go places even Thatcher judged it unsafe to tread. However, I expect David will have to work very hard to be hated more Tony and Maggie.

How bloody sad must people think I am, don't answer

So article number 2 now up on the Wales@home comment site. Trains and pensions don't really give the sense of someone you want to strike a conversation u with. Article 3 in the brewing is about Fell running in Wales. Better or worse who knows.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Trainspotting and pensions

I have been a reader of the Wales@Home comment site for some time. I don't agree with the viewpoint of all the articles, but that is part of the joy of reading it. It draws articles on a very wide variety of subjects, usually with a Welsh flavor, from politics to pub and now pensions.

Not getting out enough

Nothing has annoyed me of late (at least nothing I can talk about here). Little interesting I could write about which has not been covered better elsewhere has happened in the last few weeks.

Little travel(work or running wise) since before xmas and head down at home, with kids and work has lead to little out of the ordinary that is worth writing about. I am part way through a few books and nothing in the economist has sparked great thoughts. This may be Twitter time, where anything you want to say can be condensed into 140 characters. A blog for me is a medium to organize your thoughts, set out ideas in a concrete form so at least you can question them and maybe someone else will chip in with their thoughts.

I have also written an article for a comment web site which took some time and writing a 2nd at the moment. One thing I did not grasp is how important the visuals were and a photo of yourself. I am now just about healed from my pre-xmas rock in face episode, so probably about as photogenic as I can get.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year : No Change

2010 was the year I failed to get round the Bob Graham Round. This was significant and a few hours of feeling a bit sorry for myself, a lot to eat and a good sleep, it has been nothing but a positive event. Many things changed as a result, I changed jobs and have a slightly altered outlook on life. I still get angry by people or organisations being class stupid (e.g. tuition fees, Ceredigion council failing to empty bins for 6 weeks, #twitterjoketrail, I could go on), but if you don't get angry, then indifference is the only other real option and that is far worse.

A couple of people have asked me about new year resolutions. I don't have any. My 3 main projects of home, work and BGR leave precious little time for other projects. Maybe I am learning that the important thing is to work out what to stop doing, rather than focus on new challenges. Maybe even more important for someone like me who is very goal focused and driven to achieve them, trying to do too many things at once means you don't enjoy any of them.