Thoughts on politics and life from a liberal perspective

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Right, I'm back off holiday

I have just returned from my nearly 2 weeks of camping in Ireland (beautiful country which I had only really seen when out there on business previously and would highly recommend it as a holiday destination).

Although UK newspapers were readily available I tried my best to steer clear of them as much as possible. So what have I missed?

In no particular order, here are a few random things I need to download from my brain at the moment. I may blog on some of them in more detail later.

  1. Gerry Ryan is a fantastic radio host (he does the 9:00am - 12:00noon show on RTE 2FM) and I will probably still try to listen to him when I can online now I am back. I cannot think of a parallel UK FM radio show that has such time for its callers (some were given 10 minutes or more to talk on air) and the depth and breadth of subjects covered was remarkable. Are any readers familiar with his work?
  2. I read Douglas Carswell and Daniel Hannan's "The Plan" (in a 4 hour session whilst in Connemara) and was taken with some (not all!) of the ideas contained within. I will post a fuller review of this (possibly broken down into parts) soon. It seems all the more relevant now given Mr Hannan's recent comments about the NHS and one of the chapters in the book is devoted to this.
  3. Wimpy have a bizarre policy of not allowing you to specify water as the drink as part of a children's meal.
  4. I have finally found something on prescription called Scopoderm that for me, completely stops the symptoms of travel sickness that have plagued me since childhood (even on a choppy ferry bouncing around) although it is not without its side effects.
  5. I have been contacted by someone from Bill Wiggin's constituency who was very pleased to see my post on him and his behaviour in May and is astonished that no action has been taken against him by the Conservative Party. He also has some interesting details about his meeting that I was not aware of.
  6. The V Festival is on next weekend, not the weekend after as I had originally thought (we have tickets) which has led to all kinds of fun and frolics today trying to rearrange various things!

I will be back to blogging normality imminently!


Anonymous said...

Welcome back :)

What a couple of weeks you've missed though!!

Mark Wadsworth said...

I'm assuming that you took time out of camping to do your post pointing out that you'd moved up the Wikio rankings? Or was you holiday slightly less than two weeks?

PS, "The Plan" is all good stuff, the only bit that they f***ed up was to support "Local Sales Tax". The least bad tax is "Land Value Tax", whether local or national.

Unknown said...

Good to see you back, Mark, and I am glad that you had a good holiday. We went to Ireland a few years ago on holiday and also had a great time.

Have you seen that the "Brown resign" petition now has over 70,000 signatures?

Mark Thompson said...

Charlotte - Thanks! What did I miss specifically then?

Mark - That was done during a brief stop-over with the parents in law. Well spotted though! As for the plan, LST was one of the things that I thought was quite good. What's your problem with it?

Judy - Thanks and congratulations to you and Kalvis for passing the 70,000 mark!

Mark Wadsworth said...

"What's your problem with [LST]?"

Because turnover taxes, sales taxes or 'value added' taxes (all much the same thing really) are the most economically damaging taxes* while being the sneakiest as well - there is a myth that 'the consumer pays' merely because the till receipt shows the VAT as a separate amount.

The till receipt could just as well show corporation tax or any other tax paid by the business as a separate amount, that does not change the economic incidence.

* Unless you deliberately want to reduce the amount of something - like taxes on fags, booze, petrol. But a blanket VAT or Sales Tax on everything (except land and finance) is awful.

Kalvis Jansons said...

It is good to see you back again!

What are your thoughts on:

Mark Thompson said...

Mark - I know you have written at length in lots of posts about LVT. Would you be happy to see what "The Plan" proposes for LST being devolved to a local tax instead applied to LVT?

Kalvis - I think TPP is a very interesting movement. The rules and laws surrounding copyright are now hopelessly outdated - the technology has moved so fast - and their arguments need to be listened to. I do not agree with their extreme position but we cannot remain where we are, a new model will have to be found. You might be interested to read "Here Comes Everybody" by Clay Shirky (one of my holiday reads) which covers some of this ground and also much more about the new communications technology.