Direct Democracy

October 29, 2014

The impressive turnout in the Scottish Independence Referendum was the most outstanding feature of the whole affair. Voter registration to take part in the referendum was very high leading to expectations that the turnout would be 90%+. In the event the turnout was a credible 84.6%, so a great number of voters (enough to make the difference) could still not make up their mind even though the pros and cons of independence had been spelt out. It would be reasonable to conclude that the importance of the once in a lifetime decision was the motivation behind the high turnout, but there was another important factor – every vote counted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Egg Ceptions

October 26, 2014

We are coming up to ‘trick or treat night’ when children will hope to get chocolates and sweets from the neighbours or carry out a harmless prank on those adults who do not join in the fun. Some older teenagers are more interested in the tricking and go to extreme lengths in what might be described as anti-social behaviour. In between are various levels of behaviour with egg throwing seeming to gain in popularity. Where this has become a problem some shops and supermarkets have volunteered to curb the practice. In the week prior to the night, signs will be displayed saying that eggs will not be sold to anyone under the age of 18. I am sure that some university students indulge in the practice but they appear to be exempt, by virtue of age, from the restriction. The age of 18 has no legal force but is consistent with other legal curbs that stop under 18s from purchasing alcohol, cigarettes, knives or gold-fish. This is because of an acknowledged perception that people are not responsible until their 18th birthday. Read the rest of this entry »


Power to the People

October 13, 2014

Well what do you think about the rise of £ UKIP – formerly known as the United Kingdom Independence Party – and their recent electoral successes? Is it a bad or a good development? Read the rest of this entry »


Unity, Peace and Concord

October 2, 2014

This was a common sentiment expressed on banners on the occasion of the celebrations for the August 1902 Coronation of King Edward VII.  It was a statement of ‘hope for the future’ at a time of uncertainty following the death, the previous year after the longest reign and era, of Queen Victoria.  The second Boer War had come to an end in May, much to everyone’s relief.  It had been a modern war with many elements, which were to be replicated in future conflicts and copied by other nations.  The conduct of the war and the actions used had been subject to criticism, especially concentration camps and starvation by way of farm destruction and crop denial through burning and salting.  There was apprehension caused by German naval expansion and competition, but there was a sense of relief. Read the rest of this entry »


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