Sunday, July 29, 2007

BritBlog Roundup 128

A warm Liberal England welcome to this week’s collection of all that is best in the British blogosphere.

The Story of the Week

It is not the death of Shambo, which inspired an Audenesque effort on

It is not the release of the last Harry Potter book, despite a pungent satire from The Daily Mash.

It is not Oscar the cat who can predict death, of whom Norfolk Blogger makes satirical use.

It is not even the admirable campaign by Dan Hardie to have Iraqi interpreters who have helped our forces to be given asylum in Britain. Do read his posting.

No, it’s…

The Floods

Ruscombe Green reports from the frontline in Gloucestershire:
Promises made by Severn Trent about providing bowsers and replenishing them have not materialised. Severn Trent clearly have lessons to learn from this - as probably we all do - of 59 bowsers promised for the affected area in Stroud District, less than 50% have been provided and around half of those provided have no water now.
And Blood & Treasure reminds us that natural disasters always get more media attention when they occur in the South of England. A familiar point, but one that cannot be made too often.
Why were these floods so bad?
Mr Eugenides (author of the ode to Shambo mentioned above) has little patience with a claim by Jackie Ashley that it is all down to man-made climate change. And Bishop Hill thinks he has found something odd about the statistics used to demonstrate that change.
MKNE Political Information emphasises the importance of soil conditions and changing farming practices. (He links to a post by me, so who is to say he is wrong?) While Paul Kingsnorth thinks we have briefly been shown man’s true place in nature.
There is one place is the Cotswolds that escaped the floods. Peter Black notes a letter in the Daily Telegraph asking why farming in Ambridge has not been affected. But I did detect one of the famous Archers “topical inserts” in this morning’s omnibus.

Sexual poltics

Suz Blog notes the conviction of two people for the “honour killing” of Surjit Athwal, whose brother she knows:
Over the years what happened to her has haunted me. Every time another so called 'honour killing' was mentioned on the news it made me think about her.
Philobiblon gives us a fascinating history of the air hostess and the sexual and even racial poiltics behind the role as we used to know it. Cheap air travel may not have done much for the environment but it has stopped airlines using the looks and docility of their female staff as their major selling point.
Mind the Gap! does not like Beth Ditto’s Guardian columns. (Well, it’s a change from people slagging off Polly Toynbee.) And Tim Worstall is pleased to see the back of the Equal Opportunities Commission.


Doctor Vee thinks the decision not to punish McLaren for just happening to have copies of the plans of their major rival’s car is good new for Formula One racing. Well, it’s certainly good news for McLaren.
Meanwhile in Yorkshire, Ballots, Balls and Bikes poses 20 questions to Ken Bates over the way he won back control of Leeds United. And Chris and Glynis Abbot record that a West Riding man has won a North Riding duck race. I foresee trouble.

Stuffed animals

Always a popular section, this one. Two entries this week: an exhibition in Paris (My Paris, Your Paris) and an incident in a London toy shop (The Purple Pen…).

The naughty bits

And this is the section that this Roundup will always fall open at.
“If you don’t leave that alone, Master Onan,” said Nanny, “one of these days it will drop off.”
But it turns out that history has libelled poor Onan and that he was not a devotee of Madam Palm and her five lovely daughters. The Daily (Maybe) has the evidence.
Madam Arcati looks at George Galloway’s assault on Richard Desmond in the Commons. Even reciting the names of some of Desmond’s magazines turned out to involve unparliamentary language. But then, as Right for Scotland points out looking at Galloway’s record, there are worse things to be than a pornographer.
Conservative Party Reptile takes exception to an article by Peter Singer on the Guardian’s Comment is Free blog. Singer disapproves of Second Life because people may use it to express sexual fantasies of which he does not approve.
And Matt Wardman finds he shares a name with the Mr Gay UK 2002 Leeds heat winner.
We’ve done sex, as it were, so it’s time for drugs: Ministry of Truth is not impressed by the new clamour against cannabis.
There’s no rock’n’roll, though.

World tour

It’s time for those sturdy individualist postings that resist any system of classification.
We start in Greece, where On an Overgrown Path looks at the career of Mikis Theodorakis. Then on to Ramsgate with Drawing Breath.
In London we take in the travails of house sharing in Cricklewood, with My Thoughts Exactly, and then look at the fortunes of two children with Random Acts of Reality. And then on to Oxford, A Liberal Goes a Long Way and some sunflowers.
Finally we visit the Western Front (quiet, isn’t it?) where Investigations of a Dog is using Google Maps to find World War I trenches.


It can’t be put off any longer, I am afraid.
Skipper sees no swift end to David Cameron’s current problems and Strange Stuff explains why his jaunt to Africa came to no good end. Apparently it’s all the fault of the EU.
But then bloggers tend to blame a lot of things on the EU. The Devil’s Kitchen has chapter and verse on what the Unholy One thinks is wrong out in Brussels, and An Englishman’s Castle wants a referendum on the Consti… sorry, Reform Treaty.
Paul Flynn, one of the better blogging MPs, offers character sketches of two recent Welsh Secretaries.
Burning Our Money argues that the process of “teaching to the test” is becoming ever more firmly embedded in state education. Nation of Shopkeepers marks the 21st birthday of Inheritance Tax.
Picking Losers tells the Tories how they can stop Gordon Brown stealing their clothes (wear loon pants, perhaps?) and Liberal Burblings thinks there will be no snap election.


And so to our final section, where the Roundup threatens to disappear up its own HTML code.
Matt Wardman has some good ideas for promoting your blog through the local press. He has also compiled a very useful catalogue of recent BritBlog Roundups and where they can be found.
Look for details of the new BBC podcasts too.
Meanwhile, Iain Dale is compiling a new Top 100 Blogs list and invites your votes.


So there you have it. Another week in British blogland.
Next week’s Roundup will be at Philobiblon.
Don’t forget to nominate your favourite postings before next Sunday afternoon. Just send an e-mail to britblog [at] gmail [dot] com giving the link.

1 comment:

Laban said...

I'm deeply distressed. While Ruscombe Green is always interesting (for a pointy-headed hippie) there can be little doubt that the flood-related travails of yours truly made a more compelling tale. But I suppose I would say that :

and in case the URL is truncated