Take the the BBC’s tough Sci-fi Fan Quiz

BBC TV has a new series on science fiction - Tomorrow’s Worlds: The Unearthly History of Science Fiction.

Sci-Fi QiuzThe series is supported by an online quiz. The Sci-fi Fan Quiz is tough [click on the image to take the quiz].

My dear wife is an avid reader of science fiction books, and scored just 8 out of 15, and judged by the quiz as – Replicant – You know some things but wouldn’t pass the Voight-Kampff test.

I prefer to read other genres than science fiction, such as factual or crime fiction. Though the dystopian sci-fi adventure Blade Runner is one of my favourite films. I knew just four of the answers – not good at all.

MP’s being in touch with voters, it’s all a matter of balance

How some politicians exhibit being in touch with the lives of their electors, while others do not, is all a matter of balance between being in or out of touch. Perception is all here particularly by the electorate.

I don’t believe that, generally, electors expect politicians to be completely in touch with every aspect of their lives. It’s more a matter of being in touch with the values of the common man. Being ‘in touch’ is a phrase heavily used by Ed Miliband against David Cameron. Probably not for much longer, methinks.

Out of touchness is perfectly exemplified by the Emily Thornberry views of the ordinary elector, as revealed by her ill considered tweet, and expressed view about seeing a house with numerous St George flags, ‘I’ve never seen anything like it before’.

I’ve seen Emily Thornberry on TV political programmes, like Question Time, and not known anything more about her. Trust the press to investigate. Properly known as Lady Nugee, wife of barrister Sir Christopher Nugee, she lives in £3million mansion in Islington. You can read more about her HERE.

As Hazel Blears has said, “People right across the spectrum do feel that politicians who have never done a different job [other than as a career politician] somehow cannot be in touch with their lives.” She is further reported in the Daily Telegraph saying,

Mrs Blears said the public wanted MPs to live in their constituencies, and be seen to use the same shops and buses to show they are in touch with reality and not locked in the Westminster “bubble”.

While this isn’t entirely practical for every constituency, I agree that an MP should have a residence in their constituency. An example of an in touch politician would be Simon Danczuk, he of the councillor wife given to amusing ‘selfies’, who said in the MailOnline:

“Everyone will know exactly what she meant by that comment. I think she was being derogatory and dismissive of the people. We all know what she was trying to imply.

I’ve talked about this previously. It’s like the Labour party has been hijacked by the north London liberal elite and it’s comments like that which reinforce that view. I want to see more people flying the British flag.”

As I say, it’s all a matter of balance. Get it wrong and damnation follows.

Oh, the damage that a tweet can do

It’s always been the case that when writing or saying things to a public audience one should always exercise caution. Before posting a letter, or pressing the send key on an email, there’s an opportunity to pause and reflect before taking such action.

It’s the immediacy of social media websites, such as Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, and so many more, that attracts. The penalty is removal of the necessary moment of reflection.

No better advert of this is with Labour MP Emily Thornberry’s tweet during her canvassing in the Rochester & Strood by-election. Whatever interpretation you put on her tweet [see below], most people, and the media, seem to have taken the most negative. It’s the fact that her ill considered thought was given immediate expression through Twitter and the consequent widespread public attention that became her undoing.  Just look at the Sun newspaper front page today [again below] to see the damage one ill considered tweet can do.

Emily Thornberry Twitter The Sun

Bob Paton talks about his business career to Lightwater Business Association

At Lightwater Business Association’s business networking evening this week, the guest speaker was the Mayor of Surrey Heath Cllr Bob Paton.

Bob PatonBob is a successful businessman, and was happy to relate his business history. In the podcast below he tells that his career has had successes and failures. In America they see overcoming a business failure as a right of passage to future business success, so it was good to hear from Bob that a failure of his business spurred him on. In the photo, Bob Paton in the centre, LBA member David Yu on left, Mike Loughton LBA secretary on right, and Surinder Gandhum behind.

Bob’s talk is entertaining, and some of nuggets of business wisdom he described are,

  • Find talented people and invest in them
  • Don’t be afraid to change senior management
  • Add assets to your balance sheet, but make sure they generate revenue
  • Trust your intuition, and take a risk or two
  • Organise yourself out of the business prior to selling it

Whoopee, I’ve helped Camberley Historian find a memorial statue

The Camberley Historian noted, rather pleasingly and surprisingly, my blog post about the repair of the long case clock in our Council Chamber.

Army Ordnance Corps - South African War MemorialA good reason then to take a virtual wander around the Camberley Historian blog. Guess what, I found a request for information on the blog that I could help with. It’s about – The Case of the Wandering Statue…, and a request to find out where it resides in Camberley.

Well, whoopee. I know the answer. The war memorial is to the fallen of the Army Ordnance Corps South African Campaign. It’s not located in Camberley as such, as it sits at the edge of the parade ground at Princess Royal Barracks in Deepcut. The statue was erected by the officers, warrant officers, NCO’s, and men of the Army Ordnance Corps in memory of their comrades who lost their lives in the South African Campaign, 1899-1902.

Here’s my photo of the statue – click on image to enlarge.

The Roll of Honour website has the complete story and an image of the unveiling of the statue in 1905.

The South African Memorial to the Army Ordnance Corps is to be found at the Princess Royal Barracks, Camberley, Surrey, on the edge of the parade ground. It was moved there in 1950 when the Red Barracks in Frances Street, Woolwich closed. The memorial takes the form of the figure of a soldier, standing at ease, in uniform with pith helmet and rifle in right hand mounted on a large stone plinth of granite and marble. There are four columns, one at each corner of central plinth and the names of the fallen are on two sides in incised black lettering, on the third side is the inscription and the fourth side bears a metal shield and an emblem in relief. It was unveiled on 7th December 1905 by HRH Prince Arthur Duke of Connaught having been designed by Mr C M Jordan and sculpted by F Coomans, the soldier being modelled on Private James Barry. There are 85 names listed which have yet to be transcribed.

Hatip: Roll of Honour for details of the memorial