Lord Tebbit: Unemployed youngsters should pull up roadside weeds for benefits

Unemployed youngsters should pull roadside weeds in exchange for benefits, a former Conservative cabinet minister has said.

Lord Tebbit said East Anglian landowners were plagued by ragwort and suggested Neets – people not in education, employment, or training – should help tackle the problem.

The controversial proposal came in a letter to Buglife, an environmental charity which has raised concerns about ragwort, and has been branded “Victorian” by one Labour MP.

More…

UK: Political Earthquake Next May?

The United Kingdom Independence Party [UKIP] not only managed to halve the Conservative vote, but also the Labour Vote and the Liberal Democrat vote.

UKIP stands for small government, low taxes, and preservation of Britain’s identity and sovereignty, values that appeal to Conservative voters; and it wants to pull the United Kingdom out of the European Union. UKIP also stands for strong policies on law and order and immigration, which appeal to the traditional old Labour heartlands.

Strategically, to pick up Labour votes, UKIP would need to move to the left, but examples in France, Switzerland, Denmark and Geert Wilders’s PVV in the Netherlands, show that it is possible to attract voters from both the left and the right.

More…

What China Sees in Hong Kong

Democratic evolution in China was being seriously considered. The failures of U.S. support for democracy in Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt and Libya gave new food for thought to those opposed to democracy. Lastly, the United States did not strongly oppose the anti-democratic coup d’état that overthrew a democratically elected government in Thailand.

On the other hand, Russia — dominated by Vladimir Putin, a new autocrat determined to stifle democracy in Russia — provided a new model.

The whole of Eastern Europe and most of Latin America, formerly in the clutches of dictatorships, are now efficient democracies. This seems to indicate that while democracy cannot be parachuted into a country, there is a broader, longer-term global trend toward democracy and that its growth depends on local conditions.

As economic development needed careful planning, political reforms need even greater planning. The question remains: is China preparing for these political reforms?

More…

BBC Complaints: ‘it was hard for journalists in Gaza to see rockets being fired’

BBC Watch

A few days ago we discussed part of a response received by a reader from the BBC Complaints department.Blindfold

Another section of that same response reads as follows:

“…we did raise your concerns with the relevant editorial staff at BBC News who covered the recent conflict in Gaza. They explained that there are number of reasons why BBC News has not shown images or footage of Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants firing rockets. The main reason is that militant groups keep the location of launch sites secret. It was very hard for journalists in Gaza to get to see rockets being fired out, however, during Orla Guerin’s report for the News at Ten on 12 August we reported on allegations that Hamas and other militants put Palestinian civilian lives at risk by operating from residential areas, as well as launching rockets near schools and hospitals. During the aforementioned report Orla…

View original post 839 more words

Italy & A Bicycle…Finally

Edith Levy Photography

Some of you that have followed me and this blog for awhile know that I love to photograph vintage bicycles with character leaning against walls in classic cities or villages. When I was in Italy a few years ago I came back with lots of those images…you can see one here and here and even here 🙂

You might have been thinking…“why hasn’t she posted any bicycle pictures?” I honestly didn’t see has many this time around. Maybe because we didn’t spend as much time in big cities. Our trip to Italy this summer was mostly to small towns and villages with lots of steep hills and stairways (not very practical to get around by bike).

You can imagine how excited I was to come across this little scene while walking through Cortona.

Click on the image to view a higher resolution version (it really does look better) or…

View original post 4 more words