Sunday, April 01, 2007

Whatever Happened to Thingamee?

Right now, I could really hammer a full English Fry-up!

What the weekend is all about.

Well, my slightly-yielding yeomen, There I was looking for a very particular picture to open up my blog when I came across that one. My mouth watered and I have to admit that I dribbled a little bit. Such was the way that my expression glazed over and I drooled into my keyboard, I thought that I was turning into Homer Simpson.

When I saw the URL of the link, I went an explored and I must admit that I got sidetracked. Here I am nearly an hour later, absolutely ravenous after exploring the site and recommending all of my sturdy yeomen who enjoy the odd bite to eat to visit the Food Pornographer. Don’t you just love the ring of that name?

Well, I have wandered off from my chosen path again. (Note 1) What I meant to do was open up with a nice punchy bit of prose to offer a kind of catch up to all the various bits and pieces that have appeared in my blog recently. If this were a TV show, this would be described as another chance to see – or more realistically a repeat.

For those of you who had a particularly heavy night and have yet to fully clear the fog clinging to your synapses’, I should warn you that I am going to be talking about Vulture Funds again – but if you are good, I might talk about other stuff as well. If I do forget though, I better say sorry in advance.

One of the most amazing things about my little foray into campaigning has been how little things happen that make nonsense of my cynicism. One major factor has been the reaction of so many of my 360 friends who have carried the story of Vulture Funds in their own blogs. There really are too many to mention individually, but one stood out both in terms of the research and the writing; that was Fabienne. Of course, I was going to post a link there, but somehow I managed to have misplaced it. (Note 2) Thankfully, I got some help and that got me to Fabienne’s wrap up on the subject.

You may also remember that I have been urging you all to sign petitions to register you displeasure at the way companies can use the law and put personal profit over matters of life and death in the developing world.

Then, you are a British resident (citizenship is not required), you can add your name to the petitions on the Number 10 website. Such is the delight of technology, there has ended up with more than one petition and you can find them here and here.

IMPORTANT : The number 10 website sends you an email to confirm your email address. Some junk mail filters treat this email as spam. If you don’t get a confirmation email with a link to confirm your signature – please check in your junk mail folder!

Anyone can sign the petition on has set up a petition on ipetitions.

At the time of writing, one of the petitions on the number 10 website had reached 115 signatures – enough to get a response from the government (eventually), while the ipetitions had reached 103.

A picture of a protestor taken during the G8 summit in Edinburgh. I wonder how many other countries would have allowed such fancy dress?

Like others, I wrote to my (UK) elected representatives using the Write to Them website. (Note 3)

Unlike Ian, I haven’t yet had a response from my MP. I kope that my MP, Phil Hope, will join with Helen Southworth in supporting an Early Day Motion on the topic. Although as Phil Hope is currently undergoing treatment for Hodgkins Disease, I would think he has other things on his mind.

Hopefully, Phil Hope will make a full and speedy recovery and be pickling up the cudgel against Vulture Funds soon.

Where reality and fiction meet in the night, exchange hasty fumbles and a perception is born.

The exchanges I had with my MEPs didn’t start off all that well. Although it must be said that since that blog, I have exchanged a number of emails with Roger Helmer and these could constitute a dialogue or even a debate. I wouldn’t say that we have reached a meeting of minds, but he’s come out top in terms of engaging with his constituent.

My other MEPs have been a bit like the Curate’s egg.

It came as no surprise to learn that Derek Clark liked to go on holiday with his caravan.

Bill Newton Dunn Liberal Democrat), took the line that it was somebody else’s problem and didn’t respond to any follow up emails. Derek Clark (UKIP), took the view that this was all the fault of the EU. (Note 4)

A minor surprise came in the form of Robert Kilroy-Silk. Given his rather chequered career and recent falling out with UKIP, I hadn’t expected as much as a reply, but he has raised a written question in the European Parliament.

As yet, neither Chris Heaton-Harris (Conservative Party) and Glenis Willmott (Labour Party) have yet to reply.

Some of my oak-hearted yeomen might be sat there scratching their heads at this point. At first glance, this doesn’t look like a rip-roaring success. The thing is that we are talking politics hear. Getting anything at all done is a bit like mating elephants. You need to create a lot of noise and kerfuffle then, if you are really lucky, many, many months later you will see results! So, I’m sticking with this and I shall keep plugging away and eventually something will be done! The fact that politicians know about the problem is a start!

From 14th June, the industry standard Crozzy Standard has been applied to footnotes.

NOTE 1: I’m easily sidetracked by food. This time I found that I was totally unable to think about what I had intended to write until I had plied my growling stomach with something to keep the noise down. Even then, I began to wonder if I should have a little bowl of something next to the keyboard – just in case. Click to return

NOTE 2 : I’m sorry, I’ve had a cold. Click to return

NOTE 3: For any Merkins who wish to write to their elected representatives, you can write to your Senators and Representatives by following the links. If anyone still has outstanding urges to write, you can do no worse than write to different news organisations asking why thay aren’t giving the story more of a profile. Click to return

NOTE 4: Sadly, I’m forced to write Derek Clark off as a totally lost cause. Not only is he a retired Science Teacher, but he actually boasts that he goes on holiday around Western Europe by caravan. I should point out that I swing to the liberal view on caravan. I believe they should be banned from the roads in hours of daylight and that owners should pay exorbitant taxes on these hutches on wheels. Sadly, this hasn’t come about. Instead, when driving with the family, we do tend to boo and hiss any caravan we see on the road during daylight. Click to return

On one of the satellite channels I caught a re-run of ‘Yes Minister’. Sadly as true today as it was when it was first broadcast.

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