Archive for May, 2010

Electoral reform

May 26, 2010

So we are going to get a referendum on the alternative vote. Will it make any difference? Probably not. I guess that someone could go through the figures and see what would have happened if the votes for the smaller parties had been redistributed to the larger parties.

I suppose that it does have a couple of things going for it, there will be no more tactical voting (if such a thing actually exists) and a vote for a small party will not necessarily be wasted. I suspect that the Liberal Democrats will go a bit quieter on PR when they realise that they will be picking up a good few second choice Labour votes under AV where Labour is increasingly coming third.

Will anyone be brave enough to tackle the real inequalities? Why do the people of the Isle of Wight get to return a single conservative MP, when the same number of voters in the north of Scotland get to return three Liberal Democrats and a Scottish Nationalist to the house of commons. I think it is a little unfair that Scotland gets an extra nine MPs compared to other areas with the same electorate. Correcting that anomaly alone would have made a significant difference to the new government.

Map showing England and wales as Conservative and Scotland as Labour

The UK with fewer MPs

There is also talk of reducing the number of MPs. I guess that logistically that will help if they can all fit into the house of commons at once, but the real advantage will be to see more even representation. Small populations of niche voters will no longer be able to swing the vote and the political map will be much more evenly coloured if adjacent constituencies are merged. Take the Eastern region where if Hemel Hempstead is merged with Luton South, Bedfordshire with Luton North, Norwich South with Central Norfolk, Colchester with Witham, Cambridge with Cambridgeshire South and Norfolk North with Great Yarmouth the colour of the map would represent the majority. We must never forget that democracy is a compromise between everyone having their say and no one.

Is a constituency of 150,000 voters too big? I don’t think so. The savings in having fewer MPs will enable the purchase of a couple of helicopters for those with the trickier constituencies, I can’t see that Charles kennedy would be complaining about that.

Charles Kennedy MP banging his head on tghe door of a Helicopter as he gets out.

Charles Kennedy better get used to getting in and out of his Helicopter

Suzie x

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The economy at last

May 6, 2010

So at last the Prime Minister candidates have mentioned the ‘E’ word.

Mr. Brown who has damaged the economy so badly that it is worse than Greece where there is rioting in the streets says that he knows what he is doing with the economy and will carry on as usual. As a former chancellor with a reputation as a bully we know it is all his own work and there will be no scope for any chancellor to make amends under Brown’s rule.

Mr. Cameron says the economy is a priority that needs sorting out.

At least someone appears to be aware of the real world and knows what he is talking about.

Suzie x

A hair dryer tip

May 1, 2010
Clairol twelve hundred hair dryer with five metre cable and green plug

Clairol 1200 hair dryer with long cable

Hair drying for those of us lucky enough to have our own hair, and those of us especially lucky like me to have enough for Suzie as well as Bob, can be a serious business.

I received the Clairol 1200 as a gift in the ’80s, huge power like 1.2KW at the time was unheard of for a hair dryer, it was awsome. Perhaps it is a bit tame by today’s standards when you can get a 2KW monster from Argos for a fiver – but it has endured and is still in regular use.

The biggest shortcoming of most hair dryers is the length of the cord. My head is very rarely within two metres of a socket, unless I am sorting out the wiring behind the telly. A long time a go Mrs. Suzie decided that she wanted an extension lead for the hair dryer.

“What is wrong with this one?” I asked picking up the four metre extension that was useful for most applications.

“It’s too long.” was the inevitable response.

Don’t ask for an explanation, there will never be one.

Mrs Suzie held the dryer where she wanted to use it, waved it around a bit, and I measured the distance from the plug to the wall socket. I duly constructed a new extension lead two metres long.

It may surprise you to find that a two metre extension lead can be so incredibly useful. Hardly a day went by without the special extension lead being used for something other than hair drying and was therefore unavailable.

“Why do I have to use an extension lead, can’t I have a longer lead on it?”

There followed plan ‘B’. So now, as ¬†you see illustrated, the Clairol 1200 as well as it’s coordinated green ’80s plug, has a five metre cable.

Oh yes, the tip. If your hair dryer has a long cable, it is quite liable to get a bit twisted with all the rolling up and unrolling that goes on. the trick to avoiding this is when packing it away fold the cable in half so that the plug and dryer are in the same place, and then roll up the cable double. When you get it out, because the cable is double, there will be equal amounts of twist both ways that will cancel out.

Suzie x