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Archive for May 9th, 2009

9-10th May: Postcard from John Lewis

I woke at dawn on Saturday, full of the joys of Spring –  reborn from my new Smokedo regime and enjoyed a most amusing hour on The Telegraph website – taking in the detail of the claims being made by our representatives in Parliament.  What an excellent hour or so I had.  The ‘Best of the begging letters’, the detail behind expenses being claimed by Cabinet Ministers from Friday’s edition and… today, lesser beings.  The sound of MPs saying, almost in unison, that ‘it was all within the rules’ and ‘The Commons Fees office approved my expenses’ was like music to my ears. I was moved to do some Charon after a glass captions (below or here and here)

I know it has been done by the BBC and others, but I rather like the ‘On this day’ concept – so I am going to have one of my own – occasionally.

On this 10th May day…

1291Scottish nobles recognize the authority of Edward I of England.

As a Scot, Edward ‘Hammer of The Scots’ is not perhaps of great interest compared to Wallace but he did the business.  I am reading this excellent book by Marc Morris on the recommendation of John Bolch of Family Lore.  I don’t do book reviews, simply because I can’t drink a book. John did a rather good review some weeks back.  It is a fascinating book, well written and full of detail – great holiday reading?

1893 – The Supreme Court of the United States rules in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit, under the Tariff Act of 1883.

Every schoolboy knows that botanically a tomato is a fruit, but is often percieved to be a vegetable… and the Suprme Court justices so held… so it is…. in the USA at least.

And so to Cricket…

Well… in the year we hope to win The Ashes, a good start with Mr Onions doing the business and giving hyperventilating punsters the time of their lives… my favourite, after we won…… from a fellow Twitterer was … “That Shallot for now…..” We won in some style… but nothing can compare with this picture from a Panamanian cricket match.  These girls spent much of the match prancing around in spandex whacking each other’s arses with cricket bats.  Used to happen at my public school all the time… but I shall draw a veil over that as former Lord Chancellor, Lord Falconer,  was at the school at the same time.  I don’t believe that he played cricket and it is unlikely he whacked anyone’s arse with a cricket bat.   A full match report for the Panama cricket match is available here.

Hat Tip to @colinsamuels for pointing out this important cricket event to me.

Charon hits Top 20 UK Twitterers?  Ridiculous… but I have done 18071 tweets or updates since June last year – I find this rather astonishing.  I may have to see my doctor.

Amused to be in the list at Number 10 (appropriate in these political times)  Twitter Queen @infobunny shows us only where we can go and comes in with 30,000 + tweets!  Curiously Geeklawyer (who has, in fact, done more tweets than me – albeit over a much longer period) has been OVERLOOKED in this Top Twenty list.  What.. with being unfollowed by @Scottgreenfield on a daily basis and now this – no wonder he is entering into eating competitions with his mates at a Chinese restaurant.  I suspect his non inclusion in this list may have something to do with the fact that he is, in fact, The Prince of Darkness himself.  On the subject of Twitter… I appear, now, to be following Queen Rania of Jordon who is on Twitter…. well… makes a change from all the other Queens on twitter.  I shall probably *Unfollow* Queen Rania soon.. there is only so much Royalty nonsense I can take in this country, let alone other countries… would it be Twitter Lèse majesté?


As I plan to do a long post tomorrow and also do a podcast with Scott Greenfield – I shall bid you goodnight… I have a catalogue to pore over and just re-read all those wonderfully absurd details about the greedy ‘all within the rules’ porkers in The Cabinet and The Labour Party.  Tomorrow… The Telegraph promises further revelations.  I can’t wait to see what the Tories get up to.  I suspect that the Lib-Dems will be vaguely sensible… but we shall soon find out.  I leave you with this from The Telegraph….

MPs’ expenses: minister Kitty Ussher used allowances for £20,000 house make-over

Kitty Ussher, a junior minister, wrote a letter asking if she could put a full re-fit of her run-down Victorian house on her House of Commons expenses.


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The Telegraph continues to entertain the nation with the embarrassing revelations about MP expenses.  Today there is a priceless page of the ‘Best begging letters’ from MPs to the Commons Fees Office asking them to hurry the payments up or approve them. I particularly liked this one from a  ‘socialist’ Labour MP in 2006 on why he should be allowed to claim for a £3,100 Sony 40 inch TV

“From a natural justice perspective I feel a justifiable exception would be the fairest manner to deal with the current situation”

Tomorrow… the Tories and their expenses claims? … That should be a laugh… possibly…  After all, Labour MPs are supposed to be socialists, not as well heeled as their brothers iand sisters from the Opposition benches.  It will be interesting (and hopefully, amusing) to see if The Tories are still as greedy and self serving as they were in the Thatcher era.

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