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Showing posts from July, 2013

Early in the morning

It's unlikely that you've noticed, but this blog is into its tenth year now, I imagine I'll post more about that nearer the time, but I was reflecting this morning that the guy who started writing it back in the heady pre-crash days of 2003 would be slightly bemused by the one who writes it now. The "morning" part of that sentence is key. 25 year old me did not get up early. 25 year old me went to bed very late indeed. 35 year old me, however was out running at ten to six this morning. What started out of necessity (I was too tired of an evening and too busy a crucial half hour later in the morning) has become one of my favourite parts of the day. There is a stillness to the world at the crack of dawn, those few cars that are about seem to move silently, you are aware of how quiet the world is once human noise is removed. There no dog walkers in the park yet, the playground's deserted, as I run up the path beside the church there's an explosion of song,

Perception, eh?

Sometimes you don't need to rant (actually most of the time you don't need to rant, but hey, it's fun!), sometimes it's simply best to let the numbers do the talking. So the social research institute at IPSOS MORI conducted some studies into the public's perception of social ills, then contrasted them with the actual figures. My favourites: Public perception of pounds in every hundred of benefit claimed fraudulently? 25 Actual amount of benefit claimed fraudulently per hundred pounds? 70p Public perception of percentage of the population that are immigrants? 31% And the actual percentage? 14% Public perception of the percentage of the population that's Muslim? 25% (One in FOUR? REALLY?) Actual percentage at last census? 5% Course this is only a representative sample indicative of my left wing bias, but that's statistics for you! The question of course is WHY these are the perceived figures, but frankly it's too hot to think, so I'll l

Not on my green belt

I've sent a piece off to the seemingly tireless Lindsey Holland in response to her call for submissions for a pamphlet of protest, entitled "Not on my green belt". The reason that she's put it together is a proposed housing development in Aughton, earmarked for land previously designated Green Belt. The breathtaking insouciance with which our council has brushed off a 98% vote against the proposed development calls in to play fundamental questions about the whole point of the democratic process. Public opposition to these moves is easy to dismiss as nimbyism (though in my case it's nowhere near my own back yard). For my own part I'm astonished at the unthinking destruction of countryside when so many brownfield sites in Ormskirk lie empty and undeveloped. With developers sitting on them until the cost of land rises. For that matter I never cease to be astonished by the planning processes lack of flexibility, unit after unit lies empty in Ormskirk, why not allo