Saturday, 29 April 2017

Minnie the Mix and Leo Baxendale

On Thursday it was announced that Leo Baxendale, cartoonist at the Beano comic creator of Minnie The Minnie had died.
The Beano was something of institution, a handed down traditional rite of Britishers and for some from British families overseas too for its mixture of comics whose situations were truly only in your imaginations and some such as The Bash Street Kids and my heroine Minnie The Minx based upon our times at school and at home capturing just what it was our lives more more like as school children especially in the pre-internet era.
Minnie was very much the tomboy, not one for endless playing with toys and dolls but at the centre of all physical activities being very much the equal of any boy when it came to her strength, resourcefulness and daring-do being the Tam-o shantered and skirted equivalent of Dennis the Menace and just like him, running rings around Mom and Dad.
Here's a more recent strip, showing just how she plays pranks on girls the equal of what any boy would do.
Of course as in real life her pranks and at times outright naughtiness would catch up with her especially in pre 1990's editions as the authority figures in her life would discipline her.
This was something we'd all empathize with in an era would we'd get the same in our own lives and this interconnection between the lives we led and its portrayal in books, comics and other media was very strong which is why the death of the creator of big chunk of childhood leisure time is so keenly missed.
R.I.P Leo.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Going to the polls

I had a schedule for publishing  that I like to keep very much with but as ever real life events just have this habit of forcing a change and this one is pretty big.
This if you were to believe the press and many of the politicians was a unexpected announcement, that Great Britain's Prime Minister, Theresa May, was to call for a snap Election June 8th on Tuesday at 11AM British time.
To me it's always been on the cards, something I expected sooner rather than later as much as I and evidently the PM herself would much sooner of had a period of stability prior to the negotiations on the way to leave the European Union.
There a number of reasons, one being to draw a line under the Cameron chummy governance  period she took over from making it very much hers in her own image, all ghosts duly dispatched, with an election held with the policies she supports uppermost on a manifesto.
There is as she said on Tuesday a mismatch between the mood of the people over leaving Europe and that of members of parliament voted on on a manifesto that pledged support to it. Moreover some conservatives saw it as their duty to fight it tooth and nail not just in the Commons but the Unelected lords.
Being able to say people voted her party in with the leading issue  getting on with leaving the E.U clearly signals even to the lords the government has the mandate to act and so their role is therefore to advise and revise not to obstruct it.
It also challenges the Scottish Parliaments assertion it alone has a mandate from that part of the UK and offers the opportunity to campaign against the idea of a second referendum on leave as the leading UK wide Unionist party which there seems rather less of a majority in Scotland for.
It also sends out a clear signal to the E.U itself that the country is behind leaving and the Government can't be bought off even if some compromises may be necessary in the short term.
To me this step simply stacks up and is what I would of taken if in a similar situation.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Talking warfare blues

"In the event of an air attack, the warning will sound and you are to make you way to the air raid shelter underground".
Well after last weeks attack on Syria by the United States  following the use of chemical weapons that killed  and injured children and babies, the sending of ships of the Korean Peninsular and last nights bombing of underground caves in Afghanistan strongly believed by us to be used by those masters of inhumanity, Isis,  you could say the world's very much on the edge.
It isn't that any one of these measures isn't justifiable - I was darn well angry as most of us were over what happened in Syria, that the North Korean leader is a threat to anyone who the Chinese ought to deal with and as far as I'm concerned Isis specialisms in gross inhumanity, approval of child sex abuse and destruction of world cultural artifacts would justify its removal from the planet - it's just the three at once that has me concerned.
This doesn't feel like the 70's and 80's where we lived with the so-called Cold War or even the Prague Spring, it's more reminiscent of the early 60's on the edge of real  warfare with China and Russia and the World-wide gorilla army of Isis rolling out destruction on a street near you as you enter McDonalds.
These times are scary, particularly for the young and we need to talk with them about what's on their minds.

Saturday, 1 April 2017

The UK and the EU: Article 50 signed

First off thanks for the increased viewing of posts recently on this blog which is appreciated as with the changing nature of my life it's not always easy to slot in a post here although perhaps inspiration is more at hand in national life.
Wednesday was a very important in the history of our Country here in Great Britain because it was the day a letter was delivered by hand to the President of the European Commission both signalling our intention to leave it and the European Union as well setting out our intentions and expectations regarding negotiation around leaving terms and expectations.
These cover things such as trading arrangements, the rights of each others citizens in the UK and the EU, any monies owed upon leaving or rebates and security which in view of last Wednesdays events are extremely important.
That Associated Press picture  is our Prime Minister signing it at No.10 Downing Street where I did spend and afternoon and evening at by request of a serving Prime Minister so is something I do recognize!
However the negotiations go, we are past the point of the question of leave or stay raised at and shortly after last June's referendum  however some might like to believe otherwise because we are actually leaving.
This does not mean we've ceased to be a member subject to its rules and laws because until a date is agreed for leaving and following any 'implementation period' where old arrangements expire, new ones come into affect and any 'ad hoc' temporary measures introduced as needed, we are still legally in membership.
The 'Great Repeal Bill' so-called is just a rolling up of exclusively EU law formally into British law to avoid a legal black hole whereupon afterwards Parliament (both Houses of) can alter, revise, revoke or replace as a Sovereign body as it can any other Law (and is in part its purpose) but not before leaving.