Brokeback coalition, BP progress held by storm and 'Hurricane' Higgins passes

Posted on: 26 July 2010 by Gareth Hargreaves

Cameron and Clegg's honeymoon period is over as the Tory right begins making waves for the coalition government.

This is my 100th blog! When I started in February I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to keep it up (so to speak!). Five days a week at 500 words a day is the equivalent of a small novel written over five months. Wow, I think I’ll become an author.

In those months we’ve seen a change of government to the new coalition format, which for the time being, seems to be working. We have entered a period of enforced austerity, the likes of which has not been experienced since the War years and we appear to be climbing out of the worst global recession since records began.

The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which appears finally to be capped, has heaped embarrassment on BP. Storm 'Bonnie' is currently delaying the finally drilling of the two bore holes that will enable the leaking hole being sealed permanently. The current CEO, Tony Hayward (yes, I did say current!), will then see whether he is to keep his job or be laid at the alter of Barak Obama.

Lesson learned? Not likely. News that BP will begin deep water drilling off Libya in a matter of weeks illustrates again that when there is money and oil involved all other considerations are sidelined – until the cleanup operation.

The return of 'old-school' Tory ignorance

Clegg and Cameron seem to be getting on reasonably well but the old Tory rear guard are snapping at their heels with typically small-minded and ignorant comments about the Brokeback Coalition – reference to the gay Western film ‘Brokeback Mountain’. My feeling is that the coalition will work and will survive. Labour is consumed with it own leadership election while the publication of Peter Mandelson’s memoirs has added to the sense of disarray! Still you got to give it to Mandy, he has the gall of the devil to do it so close to the leadership election in September.

In my own little world things have been going well. 50connect, which we bought a year ago this month, goes from strength to strength; visitors and new member registrations are rising, so we must be doing something right. Keep your eyes open in the forums on 50connect – our new site Olderiswiser.com will be testing in ‘beta’ version in early August and 50connect regulars are invited to take a sneak peak and play around with some of the new features.

This weekend marked the passing of Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins the rumbustious and wild champion snooker player of the 1970s and 80s. Tragically he was only 61 when he succumbed to throat cancer. Recent footage of him brought home starkly the horror of this disease – let’s pray that the scientists maintain their progress in research so that one day cancer is not such a killer.

I’ve reached and passed 66 – never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d make it but I did! To celebrate I’ve gone on a diet and have lost 13lbs. Not bad going for one month. The next 15lbs will be the challenge, but I’ve given myself until the end of September to do this. At this rate I will be living to a 100 and no doubt will pass my 10,000 blog – I hope you will all still be reading it!

On your bike for only £233,000 ... each!

Londoners are about to be offered the pleasure of cycling to work! Well, 600 of us will as that’s the number of bikes Mayor Boris Johnson has started with for his ‘rent a bike’ scheme. While this initiative has all the hallmarks of a madcap Labour money pit – the intellectual property (or lack thereof) belongs exclusively to mop topped Mayor Johnson. The scheme includes miles and miles of blue cycle lanes coming into the heart of the City.

In total the scheme has cost £140 million and even when you take away the £25 million that Barclays bank has paid to the sponsor the scheme (will their shareholders view this as value for money?) each bike has cost London council tax payers a staggering £233,333!

Now this doesn’t seem to fit the current logic among Tories in London and I think the tax payers will see it as a stupid waste of money. Come clean Boris – you really are a fully paid up member of the Labour Party aren’t you? Either this or you are a stark raving lunatic!

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