Via J.S. Mill in HC Deb 31 May 1866 vol 183 cc1554-666:
What I stated was, that the Conservative party was, by the law of its constitution, necessarily the stupidest party. Now, I do not retract this assertion; but I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it.
Filed under: London
Can you solve this problem?
If I give the sum £1,330 17s. 6d., and tell the Members of this House to divide it by £2 13s. 8d., I want to know how many would do it? – Chancellor of the Exchequer, William Gladstone
Answer, so willingly provided by Mr. Hunt (MP): 658
Another good way to study for a Campaigns and Elections exam – read coverage of the British elections.
Via Andrew (the sources for all things British politics, especially as far as Stephen Colbert is concerned):
This just about sums up the state of play right now:
A hung parliament is virtually inevitable. With more than 500 seats counted, the BBC is predicting that the Conservatives will end up with 306 seats, Labour 262 seats and the Lib Dems 55 seats. The Conservatives are currently on 37% of the vote, Labour on 28% and the Lib Dems on 23%.
• Gordon Brown has said that it is his “duty” to try to form a stable government. Constitutionally, he is right. Given that the Tories do not have a majority, he is entitled to form a government and to try to get a Queen’s speech through the Commons. He only has to resign if the Queen’s speech is voted down. (Effectively it’s a confidence vote.) Although some reporters travelling with him think he seems gloomy about his long-term prospects, he claims to be “energised” by the result and Labour have started semi-public negotiations with the Lib Dems about a coalition. Ministers such as Lord Mandelson and Alan Johnson have indicated that they would like to do a deal over PR.
I can’t imagine Brown taking this as a mandate to carry on. But the intrigue is just beginning. Latest results here.
And from the CNN of Britain (given that title because of their impressive use of interactive features) – we have the Guardian’s results map.
Kensington, the constituency that I lived in while abroad has reelected a Conservative MP again in Malcolm Rifkind. Again, the Guardian tops all with it’s electoral coverage at the constituency-level. While yes, Britain is a much smaller country than the US, American news media should take note of the information the Guardian has included on the constituency pages: constituency profile, results for 2010, turnout for 2010, results from 1992 (a comparable election), national marginality, notional results from 2005 (what 2005 would have looked like if it had incorporated the redistricting changes that have affected the 2010 results), and party literature. Impressive.
Filed under: London
The British class fixation did not end in the 1990s. Like Iraqi sectarianism, it is baked deep in the pie. So we get this from the Sun:
The son of a rich banker, [Clegg] had a posh upbringing and an expensive private education. He went to elite Westminster school and Cambridge University. Friends say he is attracted to a Euro superstate because he is only a quarter English, with a Dutch mother, a half-Russian father and a Spanish wife.
A toff and a Euro-weeny! And then there’s the acronym: MPSIA. It means “minor public school, I’m afraid”. And public means private. The Guardian’s Sholto Byrnes puts the boot in to Cameron:
The metropolitan Westminster School, where Clegg went, is just not as grand as Cameron’s alma mater, Eton – which, as Dominic Lawson pointed out on Sunday, has truly become a four letter word. At Oxford, Cameron was a member of the aristocratic, moneyed Bullingdon Club, and his college, Brasenose, was founded in 1509. One imagines that tail coats were, in general, less in evidence at Clegg’s Cambridge college, Robinson (founded 1977); nor that many of his fellow undergraduates were as familiar as Cameron no doubt was with “the sound of English county families baying for broken glass”, as Evelyn Waugh put it.
So basically, David Cameron (leader of the Conservative Party) is more high class than Nick Clegg (leader of the Liberal Democrats). And this should negatively impact the Conservative Party’s ability to connect with everyday Britons. British politicians, like American politicians are as a rule more educated and more wealthy than the average citizen. But in Britain, these class distinctions are a lot more visible than in the U.S. Horatio Algerism did not exist in England until the class structure began to fall in the 1990s, whereas it has existed in colonial days here in America.
And on a personal note. I know Westminster School. I know some lovely English chaps that attended that school. Pretty amazing that they went to the same school as Nick Clegg.
Filed under: London
Hey everyone. I’m back in Boston right now, but to update you on my last week in London, here we go…
When I last left off we were starting Sunday off. Sunday I studied in Starbucks and Hyde Park. That night, after Markey had finished her paper – we went off to Nandos to celebrate.
Monday it was back to paper editing and studying in the morning. In the afternoon we had our last class of the semester. And then we chilled the rest of the night. Tuesday and Wednesday all we did was study (and do laundry). Let’s just say that my hand really hurt when it came around for me to take my exam on Thursday. Markey was up all Wednesday night (she went to be at 6am) working on her paper for her Shakespeare class. Thursday was finals day and at 2pm, I was officially done with my second year of college.
After exams on Thursday, we all went off to Hyde Park to celebrate. Tulsi and I were charged with picking out the wine – who would have ever thought that the 19 year old would be teaching the 21 year old how to pick up wine. We got some lovely rose for ourselves (it’s a favorite) and then two bottles of white wine for Markey and Mal (and us). Mal and Markey went to Waitrose to get snacks. And we all sat down for our celebration by the circle fountain in Kensington Gardens. After polishing off three bottles of wine and all of our food (we were joined by Mike, Andrew, Mark, and Bekka), it was off to play frisbee, take pictures, and talk. Mike ended up hitting Mal in the face with the frisbee – and her nose got all swollen and black and blue. And of course, Mike being Mike, he didn’t apologize. So it was back to the Crofton to take an evening nap. Tulsi and I ended up getting Nandos take away for dinner as Mark came over for Mal’s dinner and Markey went out with Katherine from her work. The night ended by listening and singing along to The Lonely Island with Markey, Mal, and Mark, it was off to bed.
Friday was errands day. We took an adventure to the Toy Soldier museum, stopped by H&M to get Mal some clothes, and Harrods to pick up souveniers. Then it was off to High Street for some more shopping. Friday night, we all packed and then it was time to make our famous chicken parm for the whole floor. Mal, Markey, and I cooked chicken parm and everyone ate (and then didn’t help clean up). Mal, Markey, and I exchanged music- Mal’s DJ and London-type music certainly hit the spot in my iPod and took up another 800 spots on my iTunes. Then we spent a couple hours cleaning down the kitchen. And after, Mal, Markey, and I enjoyed fmylife.com, passiveagressivenotes.com, sorry-mom.com, and asleep on the subway before saying goodbye to Mal and heading off to bed at 3 am.
At 5am on Saturday, I woke up to get ready to go to the airport. I saw Markey off on the dot2dot at 6 and then Marnie and I left for Heathrow at 7. After checking bags and getting through security, Marnie and I had some breakfast at EAT (a place that I will certainly miss). Tulsi met us at the airport – she and Marnie are off to Milan, Florence, Venice, and Rome. I got on my flight at 11:25, aisle seat – LOVE – and sat on the plane for 7 hours heading back to Boston. We had three hours of turbulance throughout the flight – fun times! But I finally landed, got my bags, got through customs, and met Ciara at the airport.
Now I’m back in Boston through Thursday and then it’s back home for 4 months of summer vacation.
Filed under: London
From Susan Boyle to Shaheen Jafargholi, your BU-London crew as seen it all – first.
Filed under: London
T-minus 6 days before I’m home in Boston. My next update may just be a wrap up from the lovely shores of Boston.
Monday night, it was off to work – schoolwork that is. I ended up finishing my research on my Multiculturalism paper and completing a final edit of my Tutorial paper.
Tuesday it was back to work. I mostly was wrapping up my loose ends – sending final emails, updating the church database, and prepping for our newsletter. Tuesday night I worked on my paper – getting about halfway done. Wednesday it was prepping for the mailing, all 400 letters and copies. Wednesday night I finished my paper- a very rough version though. Wednesday night I finally got a chance to talk for a while with my parents – very very good.
Thursday was the final day of the mailout and my final day of internship. I met up with Mal for lunch at Pret – in the rain. And then finally posted all of the letters. Thursdsay night, I came home, changed quick, and headed out to Islington to go to G’s for dinner. G made meatballs and pasta, along with salad and this cobbler-like dessert with custard. We had wine (red and rose) and champagne. It was a feast. I had the opportunity to meet Chris (and his friend Robbert) who were both really nice. It was interesting to view the middle class English family (this is the US-equivalent of upper class) in their home environment. Pete and G gave me gifts and kisses as I left. I got two books, a dishtowel of the Tube, and an Ethiopian cross necklace.
Friday I had off (because Pete was going on a trip). So I headed off to Oxford to hit up Primark and the souvenir stores. Then it was back home to get money out of the bank and stop at Tesco / Partridges to pick up food for what we thought was going to be a quesadilla dinner cooked by Mal. Instead it turned into just cheese quesadillas with Corona and Vodka Tonics. Then it was off to the Portobello Gold to initiate Tulsi and bring back some good memories of last quarter. Our favorite dog was there and the bartender with crazy hair was there too. Further – only the girl barmaid carded us – which is fine, we’re legal in England anyway – but still weird to be carded. After endulging in Freedom and Thatcher’s Gold it was back home – and off to bed.
Saturday Mal and I were up early to head to Hampton Court – Henry VIII’s favorite palace. We had lunch at Pizza Express – one food place that I will surely miss back in the US. Hampton Court was amazing and so beautiful. We saw William’s apartment, Mary II’s apartments, the King’s apartments, the Chapel, the kitchen, and the young Henry exhibit. We came on the day when Henry and Katharyn Parr were getting married – so we saw all of the people dressed up. We also came on the day of a real wedding – so we saw the bride and groom and their whole wedding party. The gardens at Hampton Court were extremely beautiful. My camera died taking all the pictures. We went though the old maze – getting lost of course – and nearly poking our eyes out because of the annoying music. When we got back, after unsuccessful attempts to go to High Street Ken and the laundromat, Mal made quesadilla. Then the whole flat engaged in a major beer pong tournament – while I just relaxed after a busy day in my room.
This morning, Markey and I were awoken by Mal, “knocking on your door at 10am?” (said Mark) – um, no, not quite. Today it’s off to Hyde Park to enjoy in the warm weather, then reading, and editing papers. Fun times.
Tomorrow’s our last class, Thursday papers are due and we have exams, and Saturday I leave London for Boston. See you soon!
This is completely random and possibly coming from out of no where but it needs to be said (and it’s going to be vague – sorry).
My two teams as many of you know are Arsenal and the Red Sox.
While these teams play two different sports, they are remarkably (or ironically) close in my mind because of what, whom, and where they relate to in my life.
Try to play along here…
Arsenal is the preppy crew of rich footballers born into privilege. Attending some of the best universities that England has to offer. They are mamas boys who love to drink. They are smart – more than they would appear to be. They can talk endlessly about any topic. They want to protect you and make you feel safe. They have funny sets of friends. They care about how they look – but only since uni. They are London / Islington based at Emirates. Their games are unavailable in the US – except on rare occasions- so seeing them means taking a trip to London and staying for a while.
The Red Sox are a rag-tag crew of Americans. They play to their roots – staying close to home, enjoying the hometown pride that comes with Beantown. They might be shy at sometimes. They are smart – but sometimes don’t show it. They can be open. They care about their fans – all of Red Sox Nation. They want to make you happy – although sometimes it feels like they often lead you on and then let you down. Their games are unavailable in the UK – except through online writing.
And the problem is – I have the worst timing. I have perfected the art of just missing an opportunity or being in the wrong place when the time’s right. And in the end – I worry that nothing with happen between Arsenal and the Sox. Will they both lose in their next games – leaving me heartbroken and not knowing where to turn?
I guess sometimes you just need to live in the moment. And hope that everything works itself out in the end.
Filed under: London
A: This (Southwark) is what I was talking about, see how it’s more diverse?
J: Yeah, it’s a lot different than South Ken. A lot more diverse.
J: I don’t think I could live here. I feel inferior walking around. All of these British girls walking around the Tower of London in their stilettos, it’s just not me. I know how you feel.