Back in Bolivia…someone turn the heat on, it’s bloody freezing

Notes from Camelid Country

I’m not kidding. After three months lounging around warmer climates next the the ocean, returning to the Bolivian highlands in winter is a shock to the system. We arrived in Copacabana, Bolivia after four days of fairly relentless travel, tired but happy to be back. The sky was bright blue, the sun shining and the air temperature barely above zero. When the sun went down the temperature plunged and we had to put all our clothes on.

Don’t even get me started on the effect of suddenly being back at 3850 metres in altitude again. Let’s just say that viewed from the other side of a splitting head the following day, those two celebratory pisco sours were a serious mistake.

Rewinding a few days…we left Cartagena, Colombia at midnight and the temperature was hot and humid. An hour or so later we arrived in Bogota airport where we were going…

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Another capital offence at the BBC?

BBC Watch

Less than a year after the BBC website’s sports section wiped Israel’s capital city off the map in its Olympics coverage  (whilst simultaneously channelling its inner Sykes-Picot and allocating “East Jerusalem” to “Palestine”) and almost seven months since the operator of the BBC News Twitter account relocated Israel’s capital to the Mediterranean coast, it seems that the BBC is at it again. 

Tweet TA

The programme concerned is BBC Radio 5’s ‘Five Live Sport on Saturday, June 8th 2013. Readers with access to BBC iPlayer can hear the broadcast here

5 live sport 8 6

So here’s a reminder to Darren Fletcher and the rest of the Five Live Sport team from the Mayor of Tel Aviv:

And here’s another from the UK’s Press Complaints Commission:


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Oracle at Delphi predicts early Greek exit from euro-zone

Charles Rowley's Blog

The International Monetary Fund has now poured cold water on Greece’s bailout focusing attention on excessive optimism about economic growth. This fundamental error caused other serious misjudgments – about deficit reduction, financial sector stress, the speed of reforms, and debt sustainability. The fundamental error was not the result of bad luck. It was the result of crass stupidity and gross wishful thinking on the part of all actors in the saga.

The IMF now concludes that more debt relief is required than was originally countenanced – some 7 per cent of gross domestic product – to meet the debt sustainability target of 124 per cent GDP in 2020 and of 110 per cent in 2022. This is in addition to the hole of 4 per cent acknowledged in the 2012 agreement, a hole which has yet to be plugged.

In reality, the target of 124 per cent of GDP is…

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Ten Things I Learned Between Richmond and Los Angeles

I'm 25 and my boobs are trying to kill me.

You guys.


I knew road trips were cool and American and sort of a rite of passage for adventurous, creative types like myself, or at least like I imagine myself to be. But I had no idea they were SO INCREDIBLY AWESOME.

First of all, America is amazing so I’m going to include some tunage here to get you in the right mood to read this post. As a general rule I keep this blog pretty PG in terms of language but I simply cannot pass up this opportunity. Press play (make sure no kids and/or people who don’t like swearing are around) and come with me on a magical journey. U-S-A, U-S-A!!!!!!!!

I wanted to tell you all about my experience on the road, but there’s simply too much – and too much that’s just inexpressible – to relate in a linear, chronological way. So instead, I…

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More voices from GFCA 2013

BBC Watch

The video below – filmed at the Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism which was recently held in Jerusalem –  features  interviews with Kasim Hafeez from the UK and Rev. Majed El Shafie who now lives in Canada after having been forced to leave his native Egypt in 1998 due to religious persecution. 

Related posts:

2013 Global Forum on Antisemitism – NGO Monitor report

Global Forum for Combating Antisemitism 2013

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IDS is the heir to Beveridge

Manchester Liberal

A jolly nice chap

“Iain Duncan Smith is scum” announced a former friend of mine on her Facebook wall recently. Actually, as anyone who has met him will attest, IDS is a perfectly affable chap. But he is sceptical of the present size and nature of Britain’s welfare state. This, apparently, makes him “scum”.

Between 2001 and 2007 British government spending increased by 54 percent in real terms. In nominal terms the coalition is actually raising spending even further, from £661 billion in 2010 to a projected £729 billion in 2015. What cutting is being done is coming from above target inflation so that, in real terms, spending will fall by 2.7 percent. And remember, that’s a real terms cut of 2.7 percent after a real terms increase of 54 percent.

But the reaction from sections of the left to this bare snipping has, as with my former…

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