So what does the name tee2i mean?
Well it's shorthand for the independence index. This blog takes independence seriously. There's no problem, in principle, with a country being part of a confederation or partnership, the UK is part of NATO. But the EU is a failing confederation and our independence is threatened by continued membership. But there's more to politics than the EU. Neither is politics all about leaning left or rightward on any issue, it's far more subtle than that. It's all down to the quality of life so let's aim high. It's our right to do so.
Who would know the thinking behind the recent decision taken by General Musharraf to allow the state even more powers in Pakistan?
'If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
'That they could get it clear?'
'I doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
I gather from Hansard that John Mann MP has found that there have been but two deaths in 28 years from falling gravestones. Indeed it was Mr Mann who had to put this on record, in fact answering his own question in the House of Commons,as there are no centrally and officially collected figures. Mr Mann is annoyed that, in view of this number, the responsible authorities continue to act irrationally and lay the stones flat, despite the low risk of their falling. Is this another example of the rampant health and safety mindset that has done so much to skew decision-making in the UK? As I type, our neighbourhood is in the third week of what sounds like an artillery battle, but is really the run up to Guy Fawkes' night. I'm grateful to Mr Mann for shedding light on this gravestone matter, and had Guy Fawkes got his way I imagine many more than 2 people would have died as a result of the explosion he planned. I've no idea how many people die each year as a result of fireworks, perhaps Mr Mann could ask? My point being that the 'authorities' always seem to concentrate on the most bizarre things, while leaving other matters untouched. I wonder if Guy Fawkes had an opinion on this? History does not record if he did, ah well.
The EU's 1999 Land Directive is part of the green credentials of the EU. On the positive side the aim is admirable, namely to force governments to recycle waste, save energy, reduce emissions and protect the environment. However, as with many of such edicts there are unintended consequences and things are rarely as simple as green campaigners would have us wish. It is as if anyone who criticises such simple solutions is an 'environmental denier' and wants to ruin the environment. However, there is always another side of the coin and this side may be equally important. There have been protests and pages of newsprint regarding the great bin debate. Should they be collected fortnightly or weekly? Should there be charges? Only now is the mainstream media mentioning that this is a result of the landfill Directive and Britain's belated awareness of this.
The report on the elections held in May this year for the Scottish Parliament and local councils has just been published. On the one hand 49% of those eligible to vote in these elections did so, which may be regarded as a good turnout. On the other hand, about 140,000 ballot papers were 'lost', for a variety of reasons, and this number is high enough to reduce the value of the results for all parties. Also, the report's author, Bryan Gould, suggested that all the Scottish political parties have to shoulder the blame for the outcome, he says that they treated the voters as, "an afterthought", and were too "partisan". As a Labour MP under the former Labour Leader John Smith, who, as a Scot, was very sympathetic towards more power for Scotland, we may conclude that Gould would know about these things. The report makes many suggestion for the future, so what of the future?