Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Cut your fuel bills by one third

With all the talk of recession and high fuel prices, my dad's just done a very useful post on how to cut your fuel bill by one third. We've all probably heard that reducing your speed can help, but certainly for my part I wasn't aware as to quite how dramatic the effect can be. See Rob the Rubbish. For more on my dad's activities cleaning up Britain's beautiful mountains, visit: Wikipedia, The Telegraph and The Independent.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Review of 'Why Lawyers Should Surf' in Drift Magazine

Review in Drift Magazine, issue 5

Why Lawyers Should Surf

Practically written and laid out, this is not a novel but a simple set of rules about how to live your life, using surfing as a metaphor with which to spell out the basics.

Whether you live the high life or the slow life, you'll find plenty of information jammed into this comprehensive read. Chicken Soup it isn't; easy to understand guidance in a world of fast-paced technical wizadry it is. Subjects range from how to visualise your goals to tips to building rapport and improving your communcation skills. If you want to get excited about life, discover your own power and find peace of mind, then give this a go. Oh, and it's not one of those books about blaming your mother.

Why Lawyers Should Surf is available on http://www.amazon.co.uk/ or direct from XPL Publishing on 0870 079 8897.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

New Labour New Danger

Having a lame duck prime minister determined to see out the rest of his term is one thing. Not good for the country but it's happened before. Poor old John Major in fact had to suffer that exact indignity as power tangibly drained from his government. But having a desperate lame duck prime minister, seemingly oblivious to what the rest of the country can see is a real and serious disaster waiting to happen. If Gordon Brown was prepared to spend £2.7 billion in a failed attempt to bribe the electorate over a measly bye-election, just think what he might try in the next two years with a general election pending and his leadership continually under question. This man is simply not safe to have his mits on the country's purse strings.

Being ahead of the times is not something the Tories have been able to claim very often in recent years but I'm starting to think that the much derided 'New Labour New danger' poster from the '97 election has finally come into its own.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Wipeout for Gordon

Gordon Brown is heading for a wipeout on Thursday at the Crewe and Nantwich by-election and everyone except him will know that it is all his own doing. There are so many things which people don't like about his character and here's a list of just a few:

1. Delusional
As Matthew Parris points out in The Times today, Brown has become so out of touch with reality that he seems to be believing his own lies and refuses to admit even to himself that he has ever made a mistake. Compare this to the anecdote by Michael White in The Guardian about David Cameron this week. When he told journalists he was happy to be in Nuneaton and then realised it was in fact Nantwich, he didn't try and wriggle out of it Brown-style but instead went and buried his head in a nearby bush, Monty-Python style.

2. Coward
An indecisive coward, Brown was prepared to knife Tony Blair in private at every opportunity but never to come out of the shadows for a public showdown. With the public glare finally on him, we all saw this in the way he flipped and flopped over his decision to hold an early election. Even John Major called a risky 'put up or shut up' leadership election in 2005, something Brown would never dare.

3. Bully
Like many cowards, he is also a bully and worse even, a sulky bully. Though politicians have been saying it for years, it's only now that the self-indulgent memoirs are doing the rounds that his brooding sulkiness has come to the fore.

4. Undemocratic
Then there's his disdain for democracy, seen first when he cut a deal with Blair for the Labour leadership rather than face him down. Then in 2005 he was perfectly happy to get in on the coat-tails of Blair promising to serve a full term only to completely disregard that mandate and stage a coup which ousted him within two years.

5. Unscrupulous
Okay, not much different from many politicians, but whether it's his 'British jobs for British workers' line or the old-style class warfare we're seeing in Crewe it seems there are very few limits on the lines he is prepared to peddle.

6. Tinkerer
Like a hyper-active child who's taken too many additives, Gordon Brown hasn't been able to help himself tinkering with the British economy ever since taking office as Chancellor. A bit here, a bit there, he's made the whole taxation system so complicated that even the accountants struggle to understand it. So, he takes the lower tax bracket to 10p. Then he takes it back again. Oh, and then he brings in a compensation package for those affected.

7. Sneaky
But perhaps what offends people most is the sneaky, snidey way he's gone about it all. Take the raid on the pension funds he made back in 1997. He snook it away in the details, just like he did with the increase in stamp duty and any number of other stealth taxes meaning that it's taken years for people to realise what he's been up to.

It's no wonder then that within the space of a year, the Labour Party has finally taken on the mantle of the nasty party from the Tories. In 1969 they teetered on the brink of getting rid of Harold Wilson and then backed off, only to lose the election a year later. The difference between then and now was that Harold Wilson had himself been voted in by the people. Gordon Brown has not.