Friday, August 19, 2005

Mo Mowlam dies

The news came through this morning that former minster Mo Mowlam has died. As I've said before, Ms Mowlam is one of the few politicians that I really respected, for what she achieved in Northern Ireland, and the circumstances under which she achieved it. My best wishes go to her family. She will be missed.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Mo Mowlam's illness

Mo Mowlam has been transferred from hospital to a hospice near her home. Ms Mowlam is one of the few politicians that I have just about unconditional respect for. She did a fantastic job in Northern Ireland and I wish her all the best and hope that she recovers soon.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Protester back at Parliament

A couple of months ago I ranted about the Serious and Organised Crime Act being used to remove Brian Haw from protesting as he has been doing for the past four years from Parliament Square. It seems that he took them to court the other week (I was on holiday, hence I didn't see it until now) and the judges decided that the Act (which was written especially for him) doesn't apply to him because his action pre-dates it. I find that absolutely wonderful. Parliament tried to stick its fingers up to us, but got them stuck up its nose. Gods bless the incompetence (or sabotage, if you're into conspiracy theories) of the writers of the Act.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Good news in Ulster

Typical. I'm away from the Internet for a few days and loads of stuff happens... The most important is obviously the IRA statement that the war is over. This is something that I'm actually rather excited about. I've had my expectations raised and dashed so many times that you'd think that I've learned, but this feels different. I've not felt this positive since the heady days of the Good Friday Agreement and I really hope that the full potential comes out of it. It relies very much on the co-operation of the unionists, and that isn't going to come easy, especially not from the DUP. If this statement had come immediately after the Agreement, when there was a greater mood for give-and-take from the unionists (and the UUP were still the largest party) it would have had a much better chance of being accepted, I think. However, I'm still hopeful that this will lead to something major.

In other news, I've been away on holiday in Cornwall (and had a fantastic time) but I travelled down on Thursday. The police presence at Exeter train station was huge and a lot of them were armed. Being of dark skin and carrying a rucksack, I was expecting to be noticed and I did, indeed, get stopped. They asked to take a look in my rucksack and I decided that under current circumstances, it would be expedient to be as polite, helpful and non-threatening as possible. Thanks to this strategy, I didn't get shot in the head. Another bunch of police officers took an interest in me as well as I was standing outside the station wondering how best to spend the hour and a half before my train arrived, but they were most polite, if not helpful, since they weren't local. Anyway, that was the sum total of excitement on that holiday, although I did see a very picturesque fishing village, the supposed birthplace of King Arthur and the Eden Project. It was a wonderful holiday.

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