January 10th, 2012

breaking bad

Gravity and Waggery

I went to a lovely restaurant with some good friends yesterday. It was a restaurant in Cambridge that does modern cooking, you know with pastel foam and concentrated tastes and so on. It was very fascinating, an experience I was very glad to have, and I saw many livejournal friends there. I see nobody else has posted about it yet, but I think it is OK to mention it. It was a taster menu, so we had a lot of small courses, and I had to leave before everyone was finished, and even so I didn't get to bed until after 1 am, so I am very sleepy today. I don't want to make a big post about it ahead of the person whose party it was.

On a completely different subject, someone is selling an art poster illustrating Christopher Smart's wonderful mad poem 'For I will consider my cat Jeoffry'. See the whole thing here.
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breaking bad

Scottish referendum

I think there are some journeys which politicians like to draw out forever, because it is the journey that gives them their cause. Leaving the EU is an example, and abolishing abortion is another, capital punishment. Yes, there is a hard core who actually want that thing to happen, but there is a mushier larger group who mainly want to complain that it hasn't happened, but probably not face all the tougher implications of gaining their ends.

Alex Salmond wants to drag out the movement to Scottish independence as long as possible, always moving towards it, never reaching it. Because if he reaches it, then his job is done, and his role is obsolete. Conversely Cameron won't lose much if he loses Scotland - the Scottish electorate aren't ever going to vote for his government anyway, so as far as he is concerned they might as well flake off. So it's not surprising to see Cameron pushing for an early referendum, which would trigger complete breakup of the UK, and Salmond manoeuvring to reframe the referendum so it does not mandate full independence.
Michael Moore, the Scottish secretary, confirmed that the UK government's legal advice was that the Scottish parliament currently had no legal authority to stage the referendum in any form... And, in a deliberate move to prevent Salmond staging a multi-option referendum, Moore said the UK government would temporarily give Holyrood the legal authority to stage that referendum but only if it was a single "yes" or "no" question about independence, and only if the referendum was run by the UK Electoral Commission.

FWIW I would hate to see the breakup of the UK. I think the workers are stronger united, and the people of Scotland would be better off joining their forces with the rest of us to restore the country. But I guess it's their business in the end.