Turner was a master of landscapes and seascapes, and many of his works can be seen at the National Gallery, England’s premier art gallery.
I was browsing through Kindle e-books and I came across the complete works of Charles Dickens for a mere 99p. At that price, I snapped it up. To get the entire output from one of England’s greatest writers is an absolute Bargain.
Most of us are aware of some of Dickens’ characters, such as Oliver Twist and Scrooge, but having read several of his books over the years, as well as film adaptations, one of the things that really struck me was his ability to create extremely memorable characters, and the way Dickens made those characters come to life. He had an extraordinary ability in characterisation and for me, that makes him one of England’s finest writers because of this, not to mention his wonderful talent for story-telling.
I’ve just finished reading ‘Hard Times’, and I’m just about to start ‘Bleak House’. I’m looking forward to spending some considerable time working my way through the collection.
News International Chief Executive Rebekah Brooks is to appear before the Commons Media Committee next Tuesday. The former wife of EastEnders actor Ross Kemp will be asked to explain her role in the phone hacking scandal that swamped and ultimately closed the News of the World newspaper.
Here’s a funny letter someone sent me today. I’ve copied it because I think it’s hilarious and ironic.
Dear Mr. Cameron,
Please find below my suggestion for fixing the UK ‘s economy.
Instead of giving billions of pounds to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.
You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:
There are about 10 million people over 50 in the work force.
Pay them £1 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:
1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings – unemployment fixed
2) They MUST buy a new British car.
Ten million cars ordered – Car Industry fixed
3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed
4) They MUST send their children and grandchildren to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed
5) They MUST buy £100 WORTH of alcohol and tobacco a week …..
And there’s your money back in duty/tax etc
It can’t get any easier than that!
P.S. If more money is needed, have all members of parliament pay back their falsely claimed expenses and second home allowances
If you think this would work, please tell George Osborne to implement it immediately.
Put pensioners like me in jail and the criminals in nursing homes or geriatric hospital wards.
This way the pensioners would have…………….
Access to showers, hobbies and companionship.
They’d receive unlimited free dental and medical treatment, wheelchairs etc. and they’d receive money instead of paying it out.
They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.
Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.
A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring meals and snacks to their cell.
They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.
They would have access to a library, gym, spiritual counselling, swimming pool and adult education.
Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ’s and legal aid would be free, on request.
Private, secure rooms, with an outdoor exercise yard, and gardens.
Each OAP would have a PC, a TV, radio and daily phone calls.
There would be a ‘board of directors’ to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.
On the other hand………………………………..
The criminals would get cold food, be left alone and unsupervised for most of the time. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room in a nursing home and pay £600.00 per week, and have no hope of ever getting out.
Isn’t that fair exchange?
Think about this (another point of contention):
Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that, during the mad cow epidemic, our brilliant Civil Service could track a single cow, born in Appleby almost three years previously, right to the stall where she slept in the county of Cumbria? – they even tracked her calves to their stalls!
But they are apparently unable to locate any of the (estimated) 430,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.
That’s all for now, Mr. Cameron.
I will be really glad if you can spare the time to comment on my suggestions.
I’ve just written to my local Tory MP, Stephen McPartland, asking for a public debate on the issues of the West Lothian Question, the Barnett Formula, and an English independence referendum. I have also written to my local newspaper’s letters pages to issue the challenge publicly. Here’s what I wrote:
Through your letters page, I wish to issue an invitation to Stevenage MP Stephen McPartland to take part in a public debate on the issues of the West Lothian Question, the Barnett Formula, and a referendum for England on independence. I have already written to Mr. McPartland inviting him to a debate.
These issues have profound consequences for the people of Stevenage. For example, the rises in tuition fees up to £9,000 will affect residents wishing to attend university, and the recent rises in prescription fees to £7.40, while both of these items are free in Scotland, thanks to the English taxpayer.
The consequences of the West Lothian Question affects people because the votes of Scottish MPs allowed tuition fees and foundation hospitals to be imposed on England, but didn’t affect Scotland. Mr. McPartland is aware that, while Scottish MPs can vote on English-only business, he himself has no rights to vote on Scottish business. MPs from Scotland are allowed to vote on affairs that affect people in Stevenage, and we have no way of stopping that.
The recent victory of the SNP in Scotland will mean that within the next 5 years, Scotland will be given an independence vote. If there is any change in the status of the union, then England should also have her own referendum too, so we can have a say as well as Scotland. There are less than 4 million registered voters in Scotland, and is it right that they should alone decide whether or not the union stays together or breaks up?
I would like Mr. McPartland to attend a public meeting to explain to the people of Stevenage why we are funded to a far lesser extent than the people of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, why MPs from those countries can vote on issues which do not affect them, and whether or not we will be given a say on the future of the UK union.
His party has kicked the WLQ into the long grass, and have so far refused to address the Barnett Formula. In recent correspondence, he also fails to tell me if he will back an independence referendum for England or not.
Mr. McPartland has been an MP for just a year, and may not be familiar with the injustices England suffers, but over the course of the next few years or so, I intend to educate him!