Tue 29th Jul 14 - 08:49

The record of Labour politicians and twitter is not good but at least Ed Balls has a sense of humour and the ability to laugh at himself. Nevertheless, the Independent has a bit of fun at his expense due to this self-tweeted picture of the Shadow Chancellor fondling a pigeon. They point out that less than a week since Ed Miliband took a stand against "photo-op politics", here is Ed Balls, doing precisely that. It could be argued of course that no politician is going to abandon a decent photograph just to appease their leader's misguided sancitmony and so it ...

Tue 29th Jul 14 - 00:30

One of the anniversaries I missed in July last year was the passing of the Doctrine of the Trinity Act 1813 (also known as the Unitarian Toleration Act - there is a pdf briefing by today's Unitarian Church here). Until that date, British citizens who subscribed even to most of the tenets of the Established Church except for the three-personed God were liable to prosecution for blasphemy and in danger from the mob. Joseph Priestley, the independent discoverer of oxygen, was one such - though his support for the principles of the French Revolution did not help. I'm grateful to ...

Mon 28th Jul 14 - 08:45

The Telegraph reports that new planning guidance to be issued by UK Ministers will provide some protection from fracking for National parks and other areas of important countryside. Although they will stop short of a total ban short the Government's new planning guidance will make it harder to drill fracking wells in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. The new rules will state that fracking should only be allowed in the most precious areas of British countryside in "exceptional circumstances". Ministers will only approve applications if the gas and oil reserves are so large that they are deemed ...

Mon 28th Jul 14 - 01:00

Recent developments locally on the Labour parliamentary candidate selection front (Aberavon constituency after pressure from above by a narrow vote adopted the husband of the current Danish prime minister and Neath is to have an all-woman shortlist - implication: another outsider favoured by the top brass) caused me to look up a post on Peter Black's blog last year. Simon Danczuk represents a constituency not far from the constituency he was brought up in and had to work for a living in a menial job in order to finance his academic studies before gaining a place at Lancaster University where ...