by Paul on 8 Jun, 2008
Penknives were originally used to sharpen quill pens. In 1810, the Bank of England bought a year's supply of 1.5 million quill pens - five pens per clerk per day.This also suggest that in 1810 the Bank of England had 822 clerks probably doing the job of one computer.
The reason I was thinking about penknives is that a few days ago Benedict Brogan blogged, Not pen-knives, surely in which he comments on Ken Jones of the Association of Chief Police Officers apparently saying, "what good reason would young people have to carry even a penknife?" What's it all coming to?
by Paul on 28 May, 2008
Refreshing common sense article in the Telegraph from Dennis McShane - "The answer's obvious: cut taxes and spending". He advocates reduced taxes and to fund it he proposes reduced spending!
A Labour government that got serious about weaning its bureaucracy and clients off dependency on the citizen's money would find itself popular again.
In Moray public administration, education & health account for the employment of 1 in 3 [PDF] of all economically active people. What on earth are they doing all day?
by Paul on 25 May, 2008
An interesting background article at Inc.com about Threadless, the t-shirt company, whose business model revolves around a social network; users submit and rate t-shirt designs, the well regarded get printed and the users lap them up. I have a few and the quality is pretty good too.
by Paul on 25 May, 2008
On my most recent visit to Edinburgh I had the pleasure to again visit the Number One restaurant at the Balmoral Hotel :-) This place is far and away my favourite restaurant anywhere in the world with amazing food, good atmosphere and friendly unpretencious staff.
· Sautéed Foie Gras with Buttered Poached Guinea Fowl, Celeriac Mousse, Apple and Tarragon Salad
· Fillet of Halibut with Lemon Pomme Mousseline, Brown Shrimps and Asparagus
· Apple Tart Tatin with Spiced Apple Jelly and Vanilla Ice Cream
and my dining companions and I shared a cheese plate.
It was really a lovely evening; nice ambience, great cuisine and the best company. It makes me smile to think of it. I love that place! The Palm Court bar upstairs does a wicked 'Mojito Royale' as well.
by Paul on 24 May, 2008
I've just watched a couple of videos of David Miliband on his recent trip to the US which he mentioned on his blog. It is refreshing to hear a politician not talk in soundbites and seem willing, even eager, to answer questions. This ties in, in my head at least, with a couple of posts on Lords of the Blog which address sincerity in politics; from Lord Tyler in Don't know?
what would happen if a Minister, faced with the demand for an immediate comment on the Today programme, replied “I don’t know, I’ll think about that”. Would John Humphrys explode ?and Baroness Murphy in When Ministers don’t know
We applaud government show-offs who can demonstrate their rapid and witty responses whereas in real life I want Ministers with sound judgement, personal integrity and sense of good purpose.
I find myself often disengaged from politics because it is impossible to understand what reasoning lies beneath a menacing line, e.g. "the threat of seperation".
Anyway, the Miliband vids follow. Watch them.Continue reading "David Miliband"