Saturday, 26 July 2008

Good old Mirror!

Great to see the Sunday Mirror playing its part in tackling crime, by tracking down David Cameron's stolen bicycle. It is a bit of a double whammy for the Mirror, considering that they had a photographer on hand to snap David Cameron as soon as he realised the bike was missing on Wednesday.

A more cynical blogger than me would be tempted to juxtaposition some facts here:

1. Old bicycles like Cameron's are rarely targets for thieves.

2. Stolen bicycles are almost never recovered.

3. A Labour-supporting tabloid had a photographer on the spot.

4. Its sister paper recovered the bike.

That cynical blogger would question whether the whole thing was a stunt, and whether the bike was ever stolen at all. Luckily, I am no cynic.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Catastrophe for Labour: Tory vote holds up well

It's official, then. John Mason has won the Glasgow East by-election for the SNP: the only candidate to actually live in the constituency, who seems a thoroughly decent man and will be an excellent MP.

Commiserations to the Lib Dem candidate, Ian Robertson. I know him through my day job and have a huge amount of respect for him. His vote was horrendously squeezed and confirms two things: (1) the Lib Dems are no more than a receptacle for protest votes, and the support they do have is as soft as butter and is liable to switch to a more likely candidate and (2) more fundamentally, the Lib Dems are imploding in Scotland. No longer part of the Scottish Government; leaderless, a national leader who has made zero impact; lingering resentment against the last national leader for the way in which his own predecessor was treated. The SNP are hoovering up all the protest votes which the Lib Dems used to have.

Congratulations to Davena Rankin, the Conservative candidate. From a very low position, the Tory vote held up well, falling by just 0.6%, and moving the party from fourth place to third. Davena Rankin was an excellent candidate, who will make an excellent MP in the future. She is still young, and is highly likely to be selected for a winnable seat in due course. The Conservative vote in Scotland is rising and we can realistically challenge both Labour and the Lib Dems in several constituencies next time.

As for Margaret Curran, the Labour candidate, I lost all sympathy for her when we had the debacle of her 'slip of the tongue' concerning where she lives. Risibly, an unnamed aide was quoted as explaining that Ms Curran was speaking 'without notes': it would seem bizarre that an elected MSP could apparently require a prepared script in order to communicate correctly which constituency she lives in.

SNP win Glasgow East

The result has not been declared yet, but I switched on my television about 10 minutes ago to see a very happy looking John Mason, the SNP candidate, at the count surrounded by very happy looking SNP activists and some very glum looking Labour people. The Blogosphere was buzzing before I went to bed about a rumour that the SNP had won, and it is looking increasingly likely.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Hold the Darwin Award

We have a new winner. An absolutely tragic story, which is appalling for the victim's wife, but...

Step forward an unnamed Polish teacher, who was electrocuted while urinating on a live rail. There are terrible ways for a man to die, but 750 volts up your private parts is just about the worst.

Up the creek without a paddle

It was the inevitable ending to John and Anne Darwin's charade.6 years' imprisonment each: apparently Anne wants nothing more to do with her husband, and their sons want nothing more to do with either of them.

The greatest sympathy has to be towards the couple's sons, of course. They have been put through hell by their mother pretending their father was dead: even after he turned up at the police station, she maintained the pretence.

And the biggest question of all, of course, has to be why?. If they had the money to repay the insurance company and felt obliged to do so, why not offer to transfer the cash from the safety of Panama? The extradition treaty between Panama and the UK is more than a century old, and has never been used successfully. An extradition would have been virtually impossible; the insurance company would have been forced to accept the cash and the Darwins could have got away scot-free. If the father wanted to see the sons, then again, why not invite them both to the safety of Panama? Why take the risk of coming back to Blighty? And having come back, why go to a police station rather than contacting his sons directly?

The Darwin Awards celebrate people who remove themselves from the gene pool by stupid methods. This particular pair of Darwins have not done that, but they must be entitled to some kind of 'award' for stupidity.

I'm back again

Didactophobe has returned from visiting Didactodaddy. Having tracked him down after 38 years has been amazing, and it is wonderful that Didactodaddy has been so pleased to see him. However, it is damned expensive travelling a couple of hundred miles to see him, especially since Dad is keen for me to visit as often as possible. Ho hum.