Archive for April, 2010

Which Party for The Economy

April 28, 2010

Am I missing something or are all the partys pretty much ignoring telling us how they are going to sort out the economy. There is a bit about the short term and how much cutting there will be, but no substance, and nothing about what will be done to actually achieve growth.

Mr Brown, who has driven the ecomomy into the biggest hole ever, has told us that he is the man for the job. No doubt he feels that breaking the monopoly rules so that profitable Lloyds became unprofitable and he could nationalise it was a good move, rather like what he did to Railtrack, and will bode well for the future.

Graph showing that incresing tax rates reduces government income

Laffer curve shows that lower tax rate makes for bigger revenues

We are even seeing talk of tax cutting, Shock! Horror! Why don’t the Conservatives capitalise on their consistent track record while in Government of reducing tax rates = improved economy = bigger tax take. This is the only way the economy will survive. Say it! Don’t be ashamed Mr. Cameron.

Suzie x

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French Impressionist Photography

April 26, 2010
A barn and irrigation viewed through heat haze

Summer is here I think

April winds and May showers bring forth June flowers. I think that proverb used to be a bit different, but the first rain of April fell on Sunday 25th.

I was trying to take a picture of the recently constructed off-shore wind farm that is now visible from the end of the garden, but the heat haze spoiled the view a bit. I took this picture on Saturday showing the parched ground, the irrigation that is now required, and the heat haze has made a nice effect of the picture.

Suzie x

What’s so good about democracy

April 15, 2010

Ballot paper

The hustings are under way, we have had three manifestos that say nothing, and now we have the indignity of the party leaders grinning at us for an hour and a half as they say nothing.

gordon brown with Tony Blair

With that we have had people being encouraged to vote. What is the point when the average (and below average) person has little idea what they are voting for.

David Cameron

David Cameron

Vast areas of Britain are disenfranchised because none of the parties likely to win have any interest in them. Why should any party have a policy on rural areas when all parties know that a Conservative candidate will be returned because there is no effective right wing opposition (and no left wing support). Why should any party care about the people of Norfolk. What does it matter that infrastructure is so bad that no industry will go there, What does it matter that transport choice for most is private car or walk – they can walk if their cars are taxed off the road. For the few with access to public transport what does it matter that capacity is so limited that punitive train fares have to be applied to limit the numbers travelling, and the money taken not to improve capacity but to subsidise a government supporting constituency elsewhere.

Norwich to London train

We have even seen the spectacle of the government blatantly shunning the South-west by specifically taxing cider out of spite because it is not drunk in quantity anywhere that Labour is likely to win a seat, except perhaps by a few inner city children in bus shelters who are too young to vote.

Small terraced house in hampstead

What is the point of taxing a house move for someone who lives in Hampstead at £50 000.00 just because they own their own house? This is just spite. How can it be possible to justify taxing someone five years average net income just because they don’t live in a rented house and want to move! It is spiteful and vindictive behaviour, not in the least bit civilised.

Interior of the house of lords with lords sitting

The way democracy has worked in the UK is because it has been checked by the lords. A party may have got to power by having the widest grin, but to change the law they would have to get assent from the lords. The big benefit the lords bring is that they are not democratically accountable, they do not have to enter a grinning competition and be popular, they – like you and me – can take a look at what is before them and apply common sense. It is the lords that represent the ordinary person, not the commons. The commons is made up of people who are there just because they are popular. They should be there because they have popular policies, but the media has ensured that celebrity is important and not policy. There is no need to tell the truth to get into the commons, the voters do not know when a candidate is telling the truth. The lords  was (not any more) made up of those that are hereditary lords (people with as much interest as you or I to see the country safe and prosper), those that are there because of their job (retired judges, bishops, prime ministers) who’s experience can be valuable in making judgement, and those that have been appointed because of their outstanding achievements.

If you have given the choice offered to you some thought, on polling day go into the booth and make your choice. If you have not been offered a reasonable choice, and the deposit system means there are fewer candidates than there should be, don’t be bullied into voting. Nothing says more about what you think of the political system, or upsets the grinners more, than voters staying at home.

Suzie x

My Wollemi Pine is Intersex

April 13, 2010
Wollemi Pine

Wollemi Pine with its first cones

My Wollemi Pine is quite exciting as it is a very new discovery, thought extinct until discovered just over a decade ago. Since it has not been cultivated for very long there are not many large specimens about and very little is known about its habit in cultivation, so it is a learning experience for all of us who have one.

From the first winter when it produced cute little wax balls to protect the ends of its branches (sorry I don’t have a picture and can’t find one on the web – doh!) to now when it has produced its first cones has been a non stop voyage of discovery. Even trying to find out why it makes different coloured needles each year has been a challenge, I think it is hungry and needs a lot of fertiliser to keep it green.

It is known that like its closest relative the Monkey Puzzle tree, some are male, some are female, and others like mine are both.

Male cone

Male cone on Wollemi Pine

Female cone

Female cone on Wollemi Pine

Now I just need to find out if it is self fertile and I can get some seeds. I have no idea where the nearest one is, it will just have to get along with my Monkey Puzzle!

Small Monkey Puzzle tree

Monkey Puzzle tree (small!)

Another relative is the Norfolk island pine, but it is far too cold to grow one of those north of the Scilly Isles and my greenhouse is not big enough