mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
"Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London.
No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life;
for there is in London all that life can afford."

~ Samuel Johnson ~

On Thursday morning I fly to DC, drawing to a close over nine years in the UK. It seems fitting for such an occasion to delve into the memory bank and recollect how things have changed since I first moved here on a sunny May morning in 2007...

  • Tony Blair was still PM, Ming Campbell was Lib Dem leader and Ken Livingstone Mayor of London.
  • A woman had yet to serve as Britain's Home Secretary.
  • It was legal to smoke in pubs.
  • £1 was worth nearly $2.
  • Kate and Wills had just broken up.
  • Waterloo Station was still the Eurostar terminus.
  • Free newspapers thelondonpaper and London Lite were still in production and you had to pay for The Evening Standard.
  • Steve McClaren was England's football manager and the national team had yet to play at the new Wembley.
  • Portsmouth FC, now in the fourth tier, had just finished 9th in the Premier League.
  • Mourinho was Abramovich's only managerial appointment.
  • There was no equal prize money at Wimbledon between men and women.
  • The Digital Switchover had yet to begin.
  • Britain's Got Talent, Outnumbered, Would I Lie To You & Only Connect hadn't aired; Parkinson & Grange Hill were still on.
  • The iPhone hadn't been released yet.
  • Spain hadn't won a football World Cup or European Championships since 1964.
  • Pep Guardiola had yet to manage Barcelona and therefore hadn't won any of his 15 major trophies to date.
  • Djokovic had not won a Grand Slam yet, Nadal just 3 and there was only one British appearance in a final since 1977.
  • Myspace was the most popular social network, Twitter was just a year old (with fewer than 700,000 users) & Facebook had 20 million active users (it's now over a billion).
  • Justin Bieber hadn't been 'discovered' yet, Lady Gaga hadn't released her first album and Taylor Swift was still unheard of despite having released her first album.
  • Jennifer Lawrence had not acted in a film yet.
  • And finally, a little-known African American senator from Illinois had just announced his candidacy to the US presidency.

I hope I return to Blighty 21 months from now. I'm sure the time will fly. But my life has not quite gone according to plan until now, so who knows what the future holds. What I do know is that my lifelong love affair with The Great Wen and all things British will never diminish. So long Great Britain and its great people, thank you for all the wonderful memories.

Signing out for the last time on this side of the pond (for now), this is That Bloke in the Big Smoke.
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
Here's a scenario: let's assume Britain votes to remain within the EU, but only by the narrowest of margins. Following the lead of their members, several Brexit Tories cross the floor to UKIP, throwing the government into chaos. A group of moderate Labour MPs frustrated at their inability to oust Jeremy Corbyn as leader, form an alliance with David Cameron, George Osborne and their rump Tories to try and prop up a minority administration. The Orange Book Lib Dems (all three of them?), after much soul-searching and fearing their continued irrelevance also decide to reluctantly join the alliance. At the next general election, the alliance merges into The Centrist Party and competes with UKIP, Labour, SNP, Greens and rump Lib Dems. Imagine that.
mcgillianaire: (Changing Guard London)
I voted for Caroline Pidgeon (Lib Dems) and Sadiq Khan (Labour) respectively in the London Mayoral election. In the London Assembly, I voted for Nick da Costa (Lib Dem) in my Enfield and Haringey seat and allocated my List vote to the Greens.

Another year, another #ToryFreeZone at the ballot box. A unique year as we return to the polls next month for the EU referendum. I've yet to make up my mind on that. It all boils down to whether the sovereignty gained is worth the inevitable economic uncertainty in the immediate and medium-term post-plebiscite. As a weak social democrat, one cannot easily dismiss Lord Owen's support for Brexit, nor that of the Green Party's Jenny Jones. They are very reasonable people with whom I don't always agree, but they are of the firm belief that the EU cannot be reformed in its present state and I am inclined to concur.

Unfortunately, the fact Brexit is also supported by the likes of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson (among other odious creatures) makes it extremely difficult to convince oneself that this is indeed the right choice, made worse by the prospect of accepting a post-Brexit negotiation on their terms rather than the Owens and Joneses of the world, who would have very little say on it.
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
[ Originally posted 21 October 2013. Last updated 16 July 2016. ]

In the hagiography that greeted Mrs T's death, other politicians of her era emerged out of the woodwork. I was intrigued. How many of these old fogeys were still knocking about? The oldest I was certain of was Tony Benn (88). I also knew
Peter Tapsell, Douglas Hurd, Shirley Williams, Norman Tebbit (all 83), Dennis Skinner, Nigel Lawson (both 81),
Roy Hattersley and Michael Heseltine (80), were still alive. But who else? My findings threw up some interesting names...

Read more... )
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
The problem with British politics is that there are two centre-left parties competing against each other in a first-past-the-post voting system, rather than forming an electoral alliance to defeat the Tories at any cost. Ideally, the Liberal Democrats would not even exist under present circumstances, and I say that as someone who has almost always voted for them and whose political philosophy most closely matches mine. But it cannot be denied, a vote for the Lib Dems in Labour-Tory marginals is an indirect vote for the Tories. And who suffers? The people who want and need a centre-left government.

Given the extreme unlikelihood of the Lib Dems dissolving anytime soon and despite their recent electoral woes, anyone who seeks an alternative to a Tory government should encourage an electoral pact. The pact needn't cover the entire country, simply the constituencies where either party can defeat the Tories. A similar pact could be struck with Plaid in Wales and SNP north of Hadrian's Wall. The idea of a pact is nothing new, even in Britain, but it gained traction in my mind after the recent French elections. The Front National were resoundingly defeated in the second round after the Socialist Party withdrew some of its candidates. This enabled Sarkozy's centre-right party to win instead: the lesser of two evils. Such emergency measures can be viewed as the political equivalent of gamesmanship, going against or rubbing disturbingly close to the boundaries of fair democratic play. But in politics as with life, one must constantly make choices and in this instance, the choice was between explicit racist extremists and a more preferable, though not entirely tolerable lot. We should learn from them.
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
"But my father summed it up pretty well by saying, "Nobody in our family has ever voted Conservative, without a stiff drink before, and afterwards."" ~David Owen

If a week is a long time in politics1, what about a lifetime? Tasked with the challenge of teasing out salient introspections from the life and times of some of Britain's grandees, is the contemporary political historian, Peter Hennessy. He delivers an insightful programme, as it launches its third series with the enigmatic David Owen. Having listened to several episodes, Owen's is among the best. I also recommend the one with John Major from last year. In all, Hennessy has talked to:

01. Shirley Williams
02. Jack Straw
03. Norman Tebbit
04. Neil Kinnock
05. John Major
06. Roy Hattersley
07. David Steel
08. Margaret Beckett
09. David Owen

And by the end of this series he will have interviewed Norman Lamont and Clare Short too. Each episode is either 28 or 43 minutes (depending on the series), with the latter forming the perfect length to explore a lifetime without inducing boredom and avoid glossing over multiple events or issues. But there are a few peripheral shortcomings. For instance, by the end of this series the uneven ratio of guests by political party will have been exacerbated to comprise: 5 Labour, 3 Tories, 2 SDP/Lib Dems and 1 Liberal. Given that Williams and Owen were also cabinet secretaries with Labour, you could question whether the breakdown was a matter of design, bad timing or lack of Conservative enthusiasm (I find this doubtful). This only matters because it's produced by the BBC. There's also the issue of gender ratio with three women out of eleven by the end of this series. And one other minor criticism about Hennessy's interview technique. When teasing out their reflections, he sometimes comes across as presumptuous, but it may have been an intended tactic or perhaps more likely, my imaginative nitpicking. Those minor quibbles apart, it is an absolutely fantastic programme and essential listening for the anorak.

1 Possibly misattributed to former British prime minister and Labour leader, Harold Wilson.
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
2015 - 24.4% - T
2010 - 38.5%1 - T+LD
2005 - 21.6% - L
2001 - 24.2% - L
1997 - 30.1% - L
1992 - 32.5% - T
1987 - 31.8% - T
1983 - 30.1% - T
1979 - 33.4% - T
1974 - 28.6% - L
1974 - 29.3%2 - L
1970 - 33.1%3 - T
1966 - 36.2% - L
1964 - 34.0% - L
1959 - 38.8% - T
1955 - 38.1% - T
1951 - 39.3%4 - T
1950 - 38.6% - L
1945 - 34.9% - L

Although one shouldn't compare apples and pears, it is worth noting that this government intends to impose a 40% win threshold on balloted strikes affecting essential public services. In addition to this, a majority of the union's members would have to participate in such an action, unlike the present situation in which there are no participation thresholds and a simple majority of balloted members is sufficient to carry out a strike. Such proposals have form on both sides of the political divide, as the then Labour government under Jim Callaghan imposed a 40% win threshold on the Scottish referendum of 1979. Even though a majority voted in favour of implementing the provisions of the Scotland Act 1978, they fell 7.1% short of the threshold. Soon afterwards the Scottish National Party withdrew its support to the government, resulting in a vote of no confidence, a general election and eighteen years in the wilderness for the Labour Party. And by how many votes did the government lose the no confidence motion to trigger the general election? Just the one (311-310).

1 This is a combined figure for the Tories (23.5%) and Lib Dems (15.0%).
2 Labour secured the most seats and formed the government, but the Tories won the popular vote.
3 The voting age was lowered from 21 to 18.
4 The Tories secured the most seats and formed the government, but Labour won the popular vote.
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
This is what I wrote on Facebook yesterday afternoon:

"Gutted about the result but congratulations to the Tories for an extraordinary victory. Did not see that coming at all. An absolute bloodbath in political terms for the opposition. A country divided unlike ever before. A broken electoral system. And an impending escalation to the austerity programme. I do hope the vanquished dust themselves off quickly and work together in every way possible to fight for the cause of social democracy. Unfortunately, the voices of liberalism are all but dead in this Parliament and worse still, perhaps for another generation."

Douglas Alexander, Danny Alexander, Jim Murphy, Charles Kennedy, Vince Cable, Simon Hughes, David Laws, Ed Balls, Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband. It felt like the political equivalent of that climactic scene in The Godfather when Michael Corleone ordered all those assassinations while attending his nephew's christening. Lynton Crosby, like Clemenza before him, had carried out all the dirty work, leaving Don David Cameron to take all the credit and assume absolute control.

Five years ago I voted for the Lib Dems and I did the same again on Thursday night. We've gone from our first stint in government since the War to the edge of obscurity. There will be a lot of soul-searching in the years ahead. The legacy of Jo Grimond, Jeremy Thorpe, David Steel, Paddy Ashdown and Charles Kennedy lies in tatters. The rise and fall of Nick Clegg feels like a modern adaptation of an ancient Greek tragic hero. Yet, the optimist in me believes our day will come again. I sincerely hope so, particularly for the cause of British liberalism.
mcgillianaire: (Union Jack)
You may remember this entry from about a year ago. I've updated it with today's news of Jeremy Thorpe's passing and added a couple other names that were missing from the original list: Peter Lilley, the Tory MP, and Winnie Ewing, the SNP MP who shot to prominence in the 1967 Hamilton by-election. I've also bumped it to the top of my journal by post-dating it. Hopefully that should make it easier to find and edit.
mcgillianaire: (BBC Logo)
Here's an excerpt from the speech of a most fascinating politician, that eventually paved the way for the formation of the Social Democratic Party in 1981, and eventually, New Labour in the 1990s. At the time, Jenkins had been out of Parliament for three years and was working in Brussels as Britain's first and only (to date) President of the European Commission. Charles Kennedy later said of the lecture: "Every so often in life, you hear someone articulate your own thoughts - and they do so with an elegance and eloquence which make you wish you had been able to say it yourself. Roy Jenkins's Dimbleby Lecture of 1979 had that effect on me." Even today, this particular passage rings true as much as it did back then:

"The paradox is that we need more change accompanied by more stability of direction. It is a paradox but not a contradiction. Too often we have superficial and quickly reversed political change without much purpose or underlying effect. This is not the only paradox. We need the innovating stimulus of the free market economy without either the unacceptable brutality of its untrammelled distribution of rewards or its indifference to unemployment. This is by no means an impossible combination. It works well in a number of countries. It means that you accept the broad line of division between the public and the private sectors and don't constantly threaten those in the private sector with nationalisation or expropriation.

You also make sure that the state knows its place, not only in relation to the economy, but in relation to the citizen. You are in favour of the right of dissent and the liberty of private conduct. You are against unnecessary centralisation and bureaucracy. You want to devolve decision-making wherever you sensibly can. You want parents in the school system, patients in the health service, residents in the neighbourhood, customers in both nationalised and private industry, to have as much say as possible. You want the nation to be self-confident and outward-looking, rather than insular, xenophobic and suspicious. You want the class system to fade without being replaced either by an aggressive and intolerant proletarianism or by the dominance of the brash and selfish values of a "get rich quick" society. You want the nation, without eschewing necessary controversy, to achieve a renewed sense of cohesion and common purpose."

You can read other extracts of the speech here and here, but I'm not sure if the latter link is a copy of the whole lecture. If anyone knows of a better link or has access to the full speech, I would much appreciate it.
mcgillianaire: (Portcullis Logo)
For those of you who don't follow British politics closely, a significant by-election was held in the northern English constituency of Oldham East and Saddleworth on Thursday. The election was triggered by the decision of a specially-convened Election Court in November to declare void the result in the constituency during last year's general election in May. The winner on that occasion had been Phil Woolas, the immigration minister in the outgoing Labour government, by a margin of just 103 votes over his Liberal Democrat rival, Elwyn Watkins.

Following two recounts, Mr Watkins challenged the result as an alleged Section 106 breach of the Representation of the People Act 1983, by claiming Mr Woolas had issued Labour campaign literature containing misleading claims about his reputation and campaign. The complaints centred on claims that Mr Watkins did not live in the constituency, stories about Mr Watkins "wooing" Muslim extremists and an article about his campaign financing. Two High Court judges found Mr Woolas guilty of deliberately making false statements about Mr Watkins because he knew all three statements were untrue. Mr Woolas was ordered to pay £5000 in damages plus costs to Mr Watkins, while barring him from holding public office for three years. The Labour Party wasted no time and suspended his membership with immediate effect.

Mr Woolas applied for a judicial review into the ruling but the High Court rejected his request. He then launched a second application for permission seeking a judicial review. The High Court decision took longer than expected due to "difficult questions to resolve" but on 16 November, the court granted Woolas permission to bring judicial review. The review on 3 Dec overturned one of the three breaches found by the Election Court. However, the other two breaches stood and upon leaving court, Mr Woolas said, "It is the end of the road - I am out."

This meant a by-election would have to be held to elect a new MP for his seat of Oldham East and Saddleworth. Interestingly, despite becoming embroiled in the court proceedings immediately after last May's general election, Ed Miliband, the newly-elected leader of the Labour Party reappointed Mr Woolas to the immigration brief on the shadow front bench team in September. Even the left-wing New Statesman described this as a "bizarre decision" as Mr Woolas had "run one of the most disgraceful election campaigns in recent history".

By parliamentary convention, the party who last held the seat (ie, Labour) normally moved the writ for the by-election, and apparently Labour planned to call the election for 3 February 2011. However the Lib Dems broke the convention and pre-empted Labour by moving the writ for an election on Thursday (13 January). Five weeks of frenetic electioneering ensued and although ten candidates contested the constituency election, it was largely a two-horse race between Labour and the Lib Dems. Even the Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, appeared to offer his tacit support to the Lib Dems by toning down the Tory campaign led by their candidate, Kashif Ali.

More than eighty Labour Party members applied to be their candidate, but in the end the initial frontrunner, Afzal Khan was not even in the final shortlist of three from whom Debbie Abrahams was selected. It has been suggested that Ms Abrahams, who had unsuccessfully fought to retain the neighbouring Colne Valley seat at last May's election, had been hand picked by the party high command to contest the election. Indeed she had finished third (behind the Tories and Lib Dems) in a seat Labour had held since 1997. Ultimately it didn't matter as Ms Abrahams overcame her opponents comfortably, including Mr Watkins of the Lib Dems, by increasing Labour's overall majority to 3558.

mcgillianaire: (BBC Logo)
16 DEC - The rights and wrongs of hacktivism (Economist)
16 DEC - Art imitating life: Funky new ad puts a spin on personal hygiene and politics (The Express Tribune, Pakistan)
14 DEC - Why I'm Posting Bail Money for Julian Assange: Michael Moore (Huffington Post)
10 DEC - Ron Paul’s Passionate Defense Of Julian Assange And WikiLeaks On House Floor (MEDIAite)
09 DEC - Pakistani media publish fake WikiLeaks cables attacking India (Guardian)

16 DEC - Top judge complains about 'sex with corpses' rules (Daily Telegraph)
16 DEC - Court backs tourist ban for Dutch cannabis coffee shops (BBC News)
15 DEC - Tweeting in court: why reporters must be given guidelines (Guardian)
14 DEC - Qatar: A centre for 'quality' international dispute resolution? (Guardian)

14 DEC - Let’s get London’s riots into the right perspective: Simon Jenkins (London Evening Standard)
14 DEC - An attack on the royal carriage by angry protesters. Sound familiar? (Guardian)

14 DEC - 'We the people' deserve something better than a high-class villain's charter (Guardian)
13 DEC - Toby Ord: Why I'm giving £1 million to charity (BBC News)
06 DEC - Medieval Britons were richer than modern poor people, study finds (Guardian)
03 DEC - Woman dials 999 to report snowman theft in Kent (BBC News)
03 DEC - Christmas with a German accent – the PR ploy taking Britain's towns by storm (Guardian)

03 DEC - India's third richest man gives £1.27bn to children's education charity (Guardian)
19 OCT - Indian man of 100 goes back to university for PhD (BBC News)

12 DEC - German man castrates teenage daughter's 57-year-old boyfriend (Daily Telegraph)

18 DEC - Liverpool fans outraged after Paul Konchesky's mum launches Facebook blast (Daily Mail)
16 DEC - India enter Formula One limelight (
09 DEC - The top 10 worst misses in football history: your votes are in (Guardian: Sports Blog)
17 SEP - Blackburn's Sam Allardyce 'more suited to Inter or Real Madrid' (Guardian)
mcgillianaire: (Portcullis Logo)
A delightful exchange between two Lib Dem peers in the House of Lords from Tuesday:

Lord Wallace of Tankerness (Lord-Advocate of Scotland): ... However, I think that those who are suggesting that, somehow or other, people in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of England cannot cope with dealing with two issues on the one day are totally underestimating them. It is an insult for them to suggest that it is not possible to vote on both matters on the same day.

Lord Tyler: Will my noble friend confirm whether there is a precedent for holding a referendum on the same day as local elections? I have been informed that the voters of London were able to vote in a referendum about the future governance of the city at the same time as local elections were taking place. Will he confirm that the people of Scotland are quite as intelligent as the people of London?

Lord Wallace of Tankerness: I am certainly happy to give that confirmation. I think-I will need to check, but I think-that my noble friend is right that the referendum on the mayoral system for London was on the same day as the London local elections. I think that I was registered in London at that time, when I was a Member of the other place [House of Commons]. I remember going to the same polling station as my noble friend Lord Ashdown and, as we entered it, the then leader of my party asked, "Which way do we vote?".
mcgillianaire: (Default)
A major study by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (Hefce) has found that black students are more than 3-times less likely to be awarded a 1st-class university degree than white students. Can somebody please hide its contents from Nick Griffin and his ilk!

Britain's oldest cinema, the 100-year-old Phoenix in North London is getting a £1 million makeover and will reopen in September.

Sticking with London, the UK-based chain Selfridges has been named the world's best department store, fighting off competition from NYC's Bloomingdales and Hong Kong's Lane Crawford, by the International Group of Department Stores and the International Association of Department Stores. Less known is that it was founded by a Wisconsin-born American-magnate unimpressed with British stores in 1909!

Sources close to Inayat Bunglawala, the founder and chair of Muslims4UK (a group to celebrate the UK's democratic traditions and promote active Muslim engagement), tell him that the Home Office is considering issuing two exclusion orders; one against Jamaican-born Muslim preacher Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips and the other against Mumbai-based Zakir Naik. Bunglawala argues that if we really care about freedom of speech, we should let these Muslim speakers in and let the law take its course. He includes a good quote from a spokesman for Nick Clegg from a couple years ago over the controversial proposed visit of Qatar-based Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi:
    "Many of Yusuf al-Qaradawi's views are repugnant; the job of a truly liberal society is to defeat such abhorrent ideas by arguing forcefully and persuasively against them. Giving al-Qaradawi the publicity that a ban would create would ultimately serve only to legitimise his views in the eyes of extremists. If he is allowed into this country he is of course subject to our laws; and if he were to break the law in any way including inciting or glorifying terrorism he should obviously be prosecuted."
I couldn't have put it better myself. I hope the Lib Dems put their foot down on this issue and ensure the two men are not excluded.

Meanwhile viewing figures from both sides of the Atlantic during last weekend's World Cup fixture between England and USA appear fairly similar. 17 million people watched the game in American homes, more than the number who watched the first four games of the NBA Finals! It's all the more impressive given that the NBA viewing figures itself were up on previous years. Game 5 of the NBA Finals drew in an audience of 18.2 million. And though we don't know what the total viewing figures were because of those who watched it in pubs and bars, it's worth pointing out that over 100 million Americans watched this year's Super Bowl. Closer to home, it appears a similar number of people watched it on the telly. There was a maximum of nearly 20 million as full-time approached, but the real talking point was felt by the 1.5 million watching it on HD, who missed Gerrard's goal as ITV broke into an ad-break. Plebs like myself who were watching it on Freeview were not affected. ITVs coverage of the World Cup has generally been poor and this major blunder has not won them any friends. And from what I gather about their coverage of Formula One events in the past, this isn't entirely surprising either! Thank goodness for the BBC!!

Finally, Jeffrey Archer has been approached by Bollywood producers intent on making blockbusters of his short stories. Not a rupee more...
mcgillianaire: (Lib Dems)

We've got a new Prime Minister and first coalition government in seventy years. It's also the first-ever coalition between these two parties but only time will tell whether we are ConDem-nd or not. Five cabinet posts and a dozen or more junior ministerial roles. Exciting times plebs!
mcgillianaire: (Lib Dems)
A couple months ago, I spent some time compiling a database of the undergrad universities attended by Brown's Cabinet, Cameron's Shadow Cabinet and Clegg's Shadow Cabinet. It produced some interesting results though there are quite a few discrepancies. I couldn't find a single authoritative compilation of all the members making up the Cabinet or Shadow Cabinets. I've tried my best to reconcile these differences to produce a fair set of results. It was easier getting information about Commons MPs than members of the other House. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable exercise and one that nearly slipped my mind in sharing with you before polling day tomorrow, when it could all change again!

In the end I decided to go with the following twenty-six ministerial positions: Leader/PM; Chancellor of the Exchequer; Foreign & Commonwealth Affairs; Home Affairs; Defence; Justice; Leader of the House of Commons; Energy & Climate Change; Health; Work & Pensions; Environment, Food & Rural Affairs; Children, Schools & Families; Transport; Culture, Media & Sport; Communities & Local Government; Business, Innovation & Skills; Duchy Chancellor; International Development; Wales; Scotland; Northern Ireland; Chief Secretary to Treasury; Chief Whip; Olympics/London; Attorney General and finally the Private Parliamentary Secretary to the Leader. Yesterday we saw that it is seventy-five years since we had a PM who didn't go to Oxford. Is there a similar trend with the rest of the Cabinet(s)?
LABOUR:   6       2       16     2     -
TORY:     10      7       8      -     -
LIB DEM:  4       7       11*    -     3

(* Alistair Carmichael is the Lib Dem Spokesperson for Scotland and Northern Ireland).
Oxford is the choice for Tories, Cambridge for Lib Dems, while most Labour members went elsewhere or to none at all! It would be interesting to repeat this exercise with the schools attended by Cabinet members. I've also got results for Cabinet members in the Lords but there are too many gaps for it to be of any comparative use. But it's a base to work upon for the next Parliament. I suspect this is going to be my last post until tomorrow's election, so if you haven't already: "Go back to your constituencies, and prepare for government!" VOTE LIB DEM!
mcgillianaire: (Default)
Election  Prime Minister     University
1945	  Clement Atlee	     Oxford
1950	  Clement Atlee	     Oxford
1951	  Winston Churchill  no university
1955	  Antony Eden	     Oxford
1959	  Harold Macmillan   Oxford
1964	  Harold Wilson	     Oxford
1966	  Harold Wilson	     Oxford
1970	  Edward Heath	     Oxford
1974	  Harold Wilson	     Oxford
1974	  Harold Wilson	     Oxford
1979	  Margaret Thatcher  Oxford
1982	  Margaret Thatcher  Oxford
1987	  Margaret Thatcher  Oxford
1992	  John Major	     no university
1997	  Tony Blair	     Oxford
2001	  Tony Blair	     Oxford
2005	  Tony Blair	     Oxford
Cameron went to Oxford, Gordon to Edinburgh and Clegg to Cambridge. Sorry chaps! It's just not cricket but what can ye do? [SOURCE]
mcgillianaire: (Lib Dems)

Gordon Brown enjoys Glee, Dave Cameron admits to watching Shameless but his favourite sitcom is Porridge. And Nick Clegg? Well his telly appetite is fed by Come Dine With Me. Gordon also likes The Beatles, Frank Sinatra and Motown, but denies he is a fan of the Arctic Monkeys. They just happen to make good alarm clock-like music. Meanwhile, Cameron prefers The Killers, Radiohead and has a soft spot for Lily Allen. So much so he included her album in a gift to Obama. And Nick Clegg? He's partial to a "rip-roaring piece of Rachmaninov or a 'soulful Johnny Cash' number", but admits to growing out of an 80s obsession with Prince. Gordon's favourite film is Hotel Rwanda and I must admit I didn't see that one coming. Cameron's into his classics like Lawrence of Arabia and Guns of Navarone. Good taste. And Nick Clegg? The Class, a 2006 Oscar-nominated French flick. Probably best to leave that out of the Daily Mail interview. Food-wise, Gordo likes rumbledethumps, a traditional Scottish dish made with "potatoes, cabbage, cheese, butter and herbs". Ah, bubble and squeak. Eurosceptic Cameron's recipe of choice is a rich Italian sausage meat pasta with half a pint of double-cream. Yum. And Nick Clegg? Deep-fried croquetas made from flour. Spanish croquettes. Another miss for the Daily Mail. And there's more. They're just like us, who knew? [READ MORE]


mcgillianaire: (Default)

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