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Well, I have to say, I don't often get presents from banks - but there they are, one bottle of 2005 Ruitersvlei Chardonnay/Chenin Blanc and one 2006 Georges Dubœuf Beaujolais Villages. I think this should happen more often. And they're not even my bank. ^_^

As brigus asked about food porn pics, here's a simple example (high res) from Friday evening. Basil papardelle with wild mushroom, caper, and artichoke sauce, asparagus, baby corn, and fillet steak (aka filet mignon). Photo courtesy of the very cool coworker and his amazing dancing Minolta A200, which I may take on a trip this weekend, if I can decide on where.

Poll #1192854 It's Eurovision Time!

Will you be watching?

With friends! And blackjack!
0(0.0%)
Probably. Cheesemas comes but once a year.
4(21.1%)
Going to a gathering, but mostly for the company.
0(0.0%)
Maybe, in the background.
1(5.3%)
Other plans!
5(26.3%)
I'll be busy pushing matchsticks under my nails.
1(5.3%)
The whosian whatsit now?
8(42.1%)

The Baltics will give douze points to:

whomever they consider the most worthy entrant
2(12.5%)
Russia
14(87.5%)


Like many others watching the British electoral scene, I was quite pleased with the recently Crewe & Nantwich result - whilst giving the Conservatives a leg up, it's sent a clear message to "New" Labour that attempting to eradicate the 10% tax rate for the lowest earners was one step too far, atop a litany of discontent with Blair, and Brown's utter failure to stand for any positive change away from those mistakes, so far removed from the promises that swept them into power. It's unfortunate the LibDems fared so poorly, but Clegg still doesn't seem to have stood for much inspiration either, seemingly also swallowing the line that the party must, for reasons unknown (and not voted for!), echo Labour's lazy - but lucrative, for those sufficiently connected - drift to the right.

Sorry about my slow replying to comments sometimes, especially those inviting a more detailed reply; they aren't forgotten.

Dalek Diary, part 1. Not a heavy-handed attempt, either.. a bit more Charlie Brooker meets mild-mannered Chris Morris. ^_^
 
 
 
 
 
 
I'm not advocating Conservative rule, no. ^_^ But if the protest votes continued to pile up in their corner, rather than the LibDems, that's what would come about. Worryingly, there's probably a great deal of a "not Labour" sentiment, for all the reasons we're familiar with, but if the LDs don't present a more inspiring alternative, they may continue to fare poorly against the other not-Labour party.

That said, I doubt a new Conservative administration would be a repeat of the Thatcher years, let alone anything the Democrats or Republicans might dream up. It was, however, rather telling that during the 10% debacle, the Conservative leadership line was much more one of "What, they're letting their party members dissent like that? Where's their respect for their leadership?" rather than the newly respun support of lower taxation rates for low earners.
It wouldn't have to be a repeat of Thatcher... it was gentle, mild-mannered, John Major who privatised the railways. Sadly I think we are almost certain to have a Tory government with a working majority in 2010, on the "not Labour" grounds you outlined. I am not looking forward to it, so will have to take any crumbs of comfort I can find.

One of those crumbs is that the absurd ID card scheme may be obliterated - but only "may"; if you look very carefully at Tory policy, they've only promised to review it, not necessarily to stop it if it's already been implemented. Rather like Labour and the railways in 1997, actually...