Where’s the evidence that Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for Brexit?

Where’s the evidence that Jeremy Corbyn is to blame for Brexit?


The Tories in a world of economic spin…

A great comment on this article about Cameron’s party conference speech…



So many false promises, so many brazen lies. But the biggest lie of all?

“The total mess left by Labour. Labour always bankrupt the Exchequer. They spend more, borrow more and destroy our future by increasing our national debt. Only we Tories can be trusted with the economy.”

Oh really?? Lets put this load of bollocks to rest once and for all.

Between the years 2004 and 2008, Labour borrowed a total of £148.8 billion. In 2008/9, the year of the banking crash, Labour borrowed £97.5 billion. 

Since being elected in 2010, the Tories have borrowed a staggering £600 billion. George Osborne borrowed more in his first 3 years than Labour borrowed in their entire 13. 

This has seen the National debt rise from £0.62 trillion in 2009 to £1.26 trillion in 2014. Labour bankrupted our future? Hmmm.

Between 2004 and 2008, before the banking crisis, the average deficit under Labour was £43 billion. Since 2010, the average Tory deficit has been 3 times this, at £108 billion. And they tell you with a straight face they have slashed the deficit!

Between 2004 and 2009, average growth in GDP was 2.4%. Since 2010, the average growth has been 1.4%. Even if growth reaches 2.5% per year between now and 2018, GDP will be a miserable 11% higher than it was in 2007. To put this in context, between 1996 and 2007 GDP grew by 43%. 

But this doesn’t paint the whole picture of their incompetence.

In the last two years, 4.8 million different people have claimed Jobseeker’s Allowance. This fact tells you how secure peoples jobs are. If unemployment was counted in the same way as it was in 1970, there would be over 6 million people classed as unemployed. To keep these figures down, the number of sanctioned jobseekers with a reduced entitlement to JSA is now running at around 800,000 per annum. In addition, there are now 4.6 million people self employed , 15% of the total workforce. Self-employed people have on average experienced a 22% fall in real pay since 2008-09, with average earnings of £207 a week according to the ONS. 

20% of the population, 13 million people, are now classed as living in poverty, of which over 8 million come from families who are IN WORK. Close to eighty per cent of net job creation since June 2010 has taken place in industries where the average wage is less than £7.95 an hour. In 2004, the median wage was £462 a week. Today, it is £427. In addition, in 10 years, inflation has meant that the cost of living has risen by 34%, so that the average disposable income per household is now almost £1,200 a year lower than it was in 2004. Millions are now on zero hour contracts, working part time or on low pay. 913,138 people used food-banks in 2013/14, compared to 346,992 in 2012/13 and 26,000 in 2008/09. There has been a 74% increase in the number of malnutrition-related hospital admissions since 2009, with public health experts warning that the rise of malnutrition in the UK “has all the signs of a public health emergency.”

All this, in one of the richest countries on earth. 

Listening to the Tories this week has been like living in the twilight zone. And yet, we still have people who come on here and try to defend these bastards. You know, the ones telling us that the Tories had to fix Labour’s mess, Labour always destroy the economy, Labour always spend other peoples money. And that old favourite ‘There is no magic money tree.’ Well, guess what? By every one of these standards, the Tories have been an unmitigated disaster. 

And its about time people knew the truth.


Elderberry and Blackberry wine…

Having spectacularly failed in my first elderberry wine-making attempt a few years ago (mouldy corks, exploded bottles, carnage everywhere), i’ve recovered enough to try again. This time i’m planning things a bit better and making sure everything is properly sterilised each time.

So, i’ve been inspired by the River Cottage Handbook No.12 Booze, by John Wright! Lots of interesting booze-related information in there and he recommends elderberry wine as the most popular grape alternative wine and the easiest to make.

Elderberry wine 26.09.14 - 03 Elderberry wine 26.09.14 - 04

So, after a trip to Wilkos to stock up on essential items and the previous trips up Robinswood Hill to collect the elderberries and blackberries, i’m ready to start!

1.5kg of elderberries

200g of blackberries

1.2kg sugar

4.5L of boiling water

1 tsp yeast nutrient

5g red wine yeast

So, i’m using Campden tablets (Sodium metabisulphite) to sterilise all of the equipment. I used two of these with boiling water to sterilise the various items. We had frozen the elderberries and blackberries and these were thawed out over a day and tipped into the barrel, then boiling water poured in, to add the liquid and kill most of the unwanted bacteria etc. The sugar was added at this point and mixed in well with the long handled spoon.

This was left to cool for maybe 6 hours, then the yeast and nutrient powder added. This starts the fermentation process and the bubbles! At this point, i’m 1 day in and lots of bubbles so far. I should get 6 full bottles from the recipe and a bit left over to check in maybe 2 months – maybe around Christmas ; )

More to follow…


Crucible 2 proper tour…

Not as good as 2 years before but still some interesting pieces and a massive event for Gloucester.


Robinswood Hill + a happy tomato…

A steep dog walk up Robinswood Hill and a great view from the top!

Robinswood Hill walk 13.09.14

Robinswood walk 12.09.14 - 03 Robinswood walk 12.09.14 - 08 Robinswood walk 12.09.14 - 20 Robinswood walk 12.09.14 - 21 Robinswood walk 12.09.14 - 24 Robinswood walk 12.09.14 - 25 Robinswood walk 12.09.14 - 26


Grow your own watermelon…

I’m always on the look out for slightly unusual or interesting plants which I can grow, normally which are fairly inappropriate to the weather conditions in England! I haven’t got a greenhouse yet so growing anything vaguely exotic is sometimes a problem. Tomatoes just about work but at the mercy of the weather and the famous British summer.

This year, I randomly tried planting 6 watermelon seeds. I didn’t think they would germinate but 1 of them did! It took 2 weeks for the shoot to appear above the soil and was fairly slow to start, but so far it has grown well. I planted the seeds around mid-May and now, at 20th July, it has already developed maybe 7 flowers and what look like a couple of fruits!

There has also been an interesting leaf shape change from the first dicotyledon leaves, through various stages of increasing complexity. The newest leaves are quite rough and spiky with longish white hairs. The edges are crinkly and variegated and there are loads of tendrils which the plant uses to support itself.

I have just planted it out so we’ll see what happens. I’m hoping slugs and snails stay clear of it as it is only the very thin stem which is in contact with the soil, with the rest of the long plant supported above the soil using its tendrils which have wrapped around garden sticks.


Image from: http://kidstimepass.com/2-uncategorised

Who knows where this will lead…?