8 November 2012 (Thursday) - Democracy, Space....

A relatively late start today being on a late shift. I came down and set the washing machine to do a spin cycle and it set itself off on a wash cycle. I checked what I'd done and it wasn't operator error. I do hope that machine isn't on the blink. I don't need that. Thank heavens for service plans.
I then spent a few moments sitting on the sofa with Fudge sprawled across me. The silly pup made himself comfortable and dozed off. It seemed a shame to wake him really. For someone who doesn't in any way claim to be a dog-lover, I've become quite attached to that little dog. Which is why I never wanted a dog in the first place...

And so to work. I like the early starts - it means I get to miss the rush hour. However the late start has me facing busier roads than I usually do. In reality not that busy, but certainly more traffic than I've got used to seeing. I stopped off at the farm shop for an apple whilst I was on the way - they are closed when I go past on the early start. Their fruit's cheap, but some of the other stuff they do (like the cakes and cheeses) go for silly money. But they seem to keep knocking them out to the punters. I expect there are those who like paying over the odds. In retrospect I suppose that I used to do that. Still, I don't want cake and cheese any more -there are calories in those.
The other day I ranted about the farce that we call "democracy". The radio had more on the subject today. A week or so I ranted about the upcoming elections for the role of police commissioners, and how the idea wasn't anywhere near as democratic as it claimed to be. This morning's radio programme proved my point entirely. It featured an interview with a candidate for one of the police commissioner roles that are soon to be up for grabs. This lady was standing as an independent candidate. Independent of any political party; and she was griping about how unfair it was that candidates of political parties had the political parties to help them. Financially as well as practically. Apparently this woman had shelled out seventy two thousand pounds of her own cash on election costs so far. I would like to have half that amount to squander on something so irrelevant to my daily life. Another of the pundits being interviewed admitted that funding such an election campaign was expensive, and he said that he felt that (somehow) the costs of such campaigns should be capped in such a way that they did not exceed one hundred thousand pounds (!)
How can democracy claim to give the people a voice when the average bloke in the street can't afford to stand, and is dependent on someone else to foot the bill. And how can politicians claim to be impartial and independent when they are so clearly beholden to their backers?
Mind you, as usual important news doesn't get mentioned. The first potentially habitable super-Earth planet has been discovered. And it's only forty two light years away. I say "only" - it's considerably further than the nearest chip shop and is certainly beyond the reach of any current technology. However at the rate that this planet is getting stuffed up it's useful to know that such places exist. Humanity needs a fall-back option. All we need now is the technology to get there. I'm sure it can be done if only we were to try hard enough. Which reminds me that I once wrote a short story on this very subject. I wonder how long it will be until the copyright on that yarn reverts back to me?
And there's no denying that I had a sly snigger at this article about windy Uranus !
The sponsorship for my chops has doubled, for which I am grateful. If any of my loyal readers would like to give a bit, there is still time. As always, please click here and give whatever you can spare.
In three weeks I can shave the thing off. Those three weeks can't go quick enough...

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