Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


April 10, 2015

Just a short posting to record my current estimate of what will happen in the UK general election next month.

This will probably change but the best guess I have (most based on bookie quotes) is the following:
Conservative 285 seats.
Labour 270.
Scottish Nationalist 44.
Liberal Democrat 26.
Democratic Unionist 8.
Sinn Fein 5.
Party of Wales 3.
Social Democratic and Labour 3.
UK Independence 2.
Green 1.
Alliance 1.
Independent Unionist 1.
The Speaker 1.

The most obvious coalition would be Labour, SNP, Liberal Democrat (340 seats, a majority of 31).

But the one that actually works best would be the most devious. A Conservative-SNP coalition would have a 9 seat majority and could only have one agenda: Scottish independence, taking away a dozen Labour and three Tory seats.

Devious because Labour would point out that the SNP promised not to let the Tories back in. To which the answer would be “not in Scotland, we haven’t”. Devious also because the Tory party, which most benefits from Scottish independence, sees itself as defender of the Union.

Who wants the power, and how badly?

How likely would you be to recommend a friend or relative to visit the emergency ward of an NHS hospital?

October 28, 2014

Had to get an X-Ray today for an injured toe at the ***** ****┬áHospital in London. I wouldn’t have written about it, except I got a call asking for my satisfaction rating.

I scored 4 out of 5. Where “1” was “highly likely to recommend” and “5” was “highly unlikely to recommend” that hospital to friends and family.

BTW, what kind of a rating is that? In the National Health Service we don’t “recommend” a hospital for an emergency, it gets decided for us. Good luck Americans and French people, this is the future you’ve now voted for.

It was not as bad as my last visit (that time the staff tried to give a relative two doses of the same intravenous drug, didn’t want to know when I pointed out the duplication, and don’t seem to have bothered keeping a record of the incident), but shockingly poor organisation, as usual.

One staff (I don’t think health care professional titles are appropriate) was calling out patient names incorrectly: middle names instead of surnames (I’m not sure if she could understand when someone pointed this out to her). Three staff were trying to call the same person. A woman who was bleeding and afraid of losing her baby was essentially told to go in a corner and miscarry quietly, because the computer said “No”.

The “cleaner” would have been sacked by McDonalds. In fact, I’d rather eat of the floor in a McDonalds than walk barefoot in some NHS hospitals I could name.

Two staff had colds or the flu and were coughing on patients in the ER. I thought hospital staff with throat infections were supposed to stay away from patients. Silly me.

With all this in mind, I told the caller that in a life-threatening situation I would look for any alternative hospital if possible.

Anyhow, I was asked what I thought and gave it, with both barrels. I must say, the aftercare HAS improved a lot… I completely forgot all about my toe. Maybe I’m wrong, I should give the place a “1”.

One for Brian Micklethwait

August 15, 2013

I took this in Paris. One of the trio is 3,200 years older than the other two.

trio paris

Baffled by technology

July 4, 2011

The main reason blogging’s been light is that I’m shuttling between France and the UK with pay as you go SIM cards. I’m having trouble working out how to use wifi and my French SIM (SFR) won’t work at all outside France.

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

The Phene(ix)

December 23, 2010

Delivering my last Christmas cards by hand tonight, I came across a welcome sight. The Phene, former drinking hole of George Best [video], has reopened after three and a half years.

The place closed down because people moved into the area and then tried to turn this corner of Chelsea into a mausoleum (estate agent-speak for a morgue).

I like the refurbishment. Much better seats quite busy on a Thursday evening. The London Pride’s ok, there is a deli counter and free wifi.

Liveblogging Iowa

January 4, 2008

Over at the Election Watch, I’m covering the Iowa caucus.

I think there’s a market for this

February 7, 2007

The nearly always superb Lifehacker has a health round-up.

Given the delay (and lack of privacy if the government can just take your medical records, sell them to election fund donors legitimate commercial interests, corrupt or lose them) of visits to the doctor’s surgery, is it surprising that there is a demand for this?

Politicians adverts target bloggers and blog readers

January 13, 2007

Two U.S. presidential candidates for 2008 have started advertising on blogs.

One of them, John Edwards, was the 2004 Democratic Party Vice-Presidential candidate. He is using a video broadcast hosted on YouTube to launch his campaign for his Party’s presidential nomination. The other, Mitt Romney, is a medium chance to be the Republican Party’s candidate for President. His adverts point blog readers to

It’s worth noting that the ads are both cheaper than television and will be better targeted.

[cross posted from Antoine Clarke’s Election Watch]