Saturday, 3 April 2010

Election Posters

The election still hasn't been announced, but the posters are appearing all over the place, especially the Internet ...

This is an unofficial poster - but I like it. I have been saying this for a long time.

This is the official Labour Government's poster

... and this is a Tory spoof on the above.

Another unofficial poster

Would going back to the 80s be such a bad thing? What do I remember of the eighties?

In the 80s, an offender would be arrested. Now, the victim stands a good chance of being arrested for protecting him/herself.

In the eighties, nobody was arrested, fined, tagged and curfewed for selling a goldfish to anyone.

In the eighties, you could sit in the park on a sunny day with one bottle of beer and nobody minded. You could even sit there and drink until your eyes melted and as long as you did it without bothering anyone else, nobody minded. (Thanks, Leg Iron)

In the eighties, you could sit in a pub and smoke and nobody minded. Nobody died from it either. You could also sit in the beer garden of pubs that had them, have a beer and a smoke and nobody quivered in terror if a little bit of smoke drifted their way once in a while. Back then it was not actually illegal to smoke in a laboratory but it was rarely tolerated, because it just wasn't a sensible thing to do. It didn't need to be illegal. (Thanks again, Leg Iron)

There are so many things that were better in the 80s. So, Mr Brown, let Dave take us back there!

Plans Afoot ... or Just Dreams?

What am I going to do when I next get out to Kenya? What dreams and plans are buzzing through my head?

With difficulty, I have to sort all that I want to do into an order of importance, so I suppose the top of the list (and potentially the most expensive) project is to complete and improve (or improve and complete?) the anaerobic digester so that we have a storage tank of methane that can be used for cooking. As the present anaerobic digester works well enough, it only needs a pressure regulated, safe storage tank to complete it.

When it works well, we can go commercial. I am sure that hotels and restaurants would welcome free cooking gas.

Next, I am in the process of designing a see-saw that will also act as a water pump. Why shouldn't kids have fun while they are pumping water up from the borehole?

I would like to build a barbecue at the Twiga Centre - I can smell the nyama choma already!

Other projects? Well, I want to try making a clay food cooler and a clay oven. All I need is a source for the clay.

Then, large scale organic waste recycling is on the list. The idea is to make compost from all the waste found at the markets and along the roadside where hawkers sell their wares. This can be sold to raise funds for other projects - well, that's the idea, anyway. The logistics are a little more complicated than with other projects, but it can be done, with a little help from my friends.

I think a month in Kenya is not going to be long enough ...

Friday, 2 April 2010

Election Fever

We in the UK are due a General Election sometime before the end of June, and it seems that the pundits are backing 6th May for the date when the great British unwashed choose a new Government (or not).

However, reading the various political blogs, as I do, you would think that the campaign is already under way. The bloggers that I follow (from the three major parties and a few from the smaller parties) are at fever pitch, selling their various wares as to how they would repair the damage done by Gordon Brown and his allies.

But there are some, the more cynical, who are looking for reasons why Gordon Brown could put off calling an election at all. He has already stated that, even if Labour do not gain an absolute majority, he will continue as Prime Minister, so taking that a step further, if he could find a reason, some catastrophe, real or imagined, he would refuse to stand for election (he cannot stand for re-election as Prime Minister as he was never elected to the post in the first place).

Personally, I would not be unhappy if Labour suffered a resounding defeat and Gordon Brown failed to retain his seat in Glasgow, casting him to political oblivion - but that's just me.

The problem faced by the electorate is not how to get rid of Gordon, that's easy, but with whom do we replace him? There is only one real choice, by default, as there is only one other party that is likely to win enough seats. Or we could vote so that no one is a clear winner, forcing a coalition between one major party and one or two smaller ones, which would presumably include The Liberal Democrats. Fine, as long as Vince Cable is not allowed to become Chancellor.

I am in the happy position of living in a rural constituency, where the smaller parties do not or cannot place a candidate, so I only have to choose from the three, and maybe some loony independent. It is a Conservative stronghold with a Member of Parliament, Sir George Young, who seems to do his job well enough, with no scandal, no skeletons.

So, come on Gordon, announce a date, dissolve Parliament and let's get the event over and done with, because as far as I am concerned, the lead up to an election is about as interesting as watching paint dry.

Monday, 29 March 2010

A Message From Gordon Brown, MP

Treatment for HIV Being Missed?

From the BBC website
The opportunity to save tens of thousands of HIV patients with a simple, cheap, drug treatment is being missed, say researchers.
According to this article on the BBC website, administering a certain antibiotic would significantly reduce the death toll in the early stages of the disease, possibly halving the mortality rate.

This treatment is endorsed by the WHO, but people are not being given the drug, co-trimoxazole. The pharmaceutical battle against HIV has been on antiretroviral drugs, which can greatly extend life and probably earn the pharmaceutical companies a lot more money, but that's just cynical old me.

The addition of co-trimoxazole, an inexpensive antibiotic, to the long-term treatment plan of those with the worst affected immune systems appears to prevent many deaths.

A study carried out among 3,179 Ugandan patients, suggested a fall of 59% over the first 12 weeks, and 44% between 12 and 72 weeks.

Dr Alvaro Bermejo, the executive director of the International HIV/AIDS Alliance, said, "We need to remember that there are still millions of people in Africa who need antiretrovirals and can't access them.

"In Uganda the Alliance is seeing people turned away from clinics because they don't have the treatment available.

"As the study confirms, antiretroviral treatment cuts the risk of death by more than 90% - with co-trimoxazole reducing the risk still further.

"We have the knowledge available to save lives but we need to increase efforts to make sure that everyone who needs treatment can actually access it."

Read the full BBC article HERE