The Hegemon has just fiddled with the website. XKCD could have been viewing it as he drew this. Larger version here.
Gagging law: Member meet up in Edinburgh
23 hours ago
Dear Mr Pickles and Mr. Gove,
I listened with fascination to Mr. Pickles on Radio 4's Today programme (30th July 2010), extolling the joys of local democracy and referenda, with specific reference to 'The Big Society' and Council Tax.
Mr Pickles also stated on a video (http://www.communities.gov.uk/newsstories/newsroom/1658293) that
"This is a radical extension of direct democracy, as part of a wider programme of decentralising power to local communities. Power should not just be given to councils, but be devolved further down to neighbourhoods and citizens."Given the new government's enthusiasm for local democracy, could you please explain to me why your government and its parliamentary supporters (including my MP, Mr Paul Uppal) voted against the amendments in the Academies Bill calling for (respectively) referenda or 'consultation' with parents and other interested parties prior to an application?
Mr Pickles was very persuasive on the reasons why ministers in London should surrender authority: why is it therefore the government's policy that a headteacher can decide alone whether to apply for Academy status, and the Secretary of State for Education's decision alone on whether to accept the application?
Is this a case of democracy when it's convenient and autocracy when it isn't? I notice, too, that there's no provision for Council Tax referenda when reductions are proposed.
You go to UC Berkeley, you go to Stanford, you go to these various campuses and these students are out there protesting, "We need more money for our schools!" And standing next to them are the professors. "We need more money for our schools!" Hey, have you ever asked that professor how much money they're making every year? These professors are all millionaires. They're millionaires with big, big salaries and big, big retirement packages. And yet they dress like little schmoes, you know, with their crummy jackets [Officer Vic: Patches on the elbow.] that are twenty years old, yeah, and patches on the elbow. And their ties are askew and their hair's kinda crappy and they drive crummy little cars and they're millionaires. They're all millionaires! And they actually have the gall to stand next to the kids who are protesting because their fees are too high. "We need more money for our schools!" So you can pay these millionaires!I've never met one. I have a good, middle-class wage - not enough to raise a mortgage yet, a temporary contract, and years of no savings thanks to the extra degrees we have to do.
Energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, said: "Electric and low-carbon cars are fun to drive and essential to meet our climate targets. That's why we'll need a massive increase in the number of electric and clean green cars on our roads. Because this is new technology the government needs to step in to kick-start the market, which is why today's initiative is vital."
What measures is the Deputy Prime Minister taking to tackle postal voting fraud, which particularly affected me during the last general election?Er… no evidence that he's reported anything to the police or that there was any fraud. Certainly nothing in the local paper.
Dear Paul Uppal,
I notice that you asked the Deputy Prime Minister to take action on voting fraud, claiming that your vote in the general election suffered as a result of fraud. You also raised this matter in your maiden speech.
Can you make your evidence public? What makes you think you have suffered from voting fraud? Have you reported this to the police? If not, why not?
A search of local newspapers and the web reveals no indication of concerns from other sources, no statement from you on this matter, and no report that the police are investigating fraud in Wolverhampton South West.
The nearest instance of voting fraud I can find is the conviction of 2 Conservatives in Walsall.
I'm sure you'll understand that making unsupported statements while not taking concrete steps undermines your credibility.
Yours sincerely, [Plashing Vole]
I think BP's response to this tragedy has been a model of good social corporate responsibility.
His exit was in the best interests of BP because he had been demonised by the Gulf accident, he explained, adding that he might be "too busy" to attend future US hearings into the disastrous Gulf oil spill.
McGee, however, said she was happy to continue to show people around the court. She said: "I find this extremely boring. It is up to the other guides to decide what they want to do. We are all individuals."How ironic, too, that McGee has signally failed to understand the Martyrs' point, despite explaining it to visitors day in, day out. Shame on her.
"Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."and
When I think about what Turkey has done to defend Europe as a Nato ally ... I believe it's just wrong to say Turkey can guard the camp but not be allowed to sit inside the tent."
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These findings published in the Advanced Access online edition of the journal Brain on July 26 confirm a decade of past studies that have also concluded more schooling equals a decreased risk of suffering from dementia, defined as the "loss of intellectual functions" including memory, orientation, calculation, language, attention and thinking.
According to a July 24 University of Cambridge announcement, "each additional year of education" decreases your risk of developing dementia by 11 percent.
"Some areas around here are pretty primitive, people holding up their trousers with bits of twine and that sort of thing.
"I was in one village where a local kid was run over by a tractor. They took him to Carlisle but they couldn't be bothered to wait at the hospital. So they put him in a darkened room for two weeks then said he was fine. But I'm not so sure he was."