Thursday, April 28, 2005

New Polls
Two new polls to be recently published put the Liberal Democrats top among students and universities lecturers.
THES/Opinionpanel surveys of student voting intentions:
Labour 23%
Conservative 22%
(THES/Opinionpanel Feb 05 results: Lib Dem 39%, Labour 29%, Tory 23%.)
ICM Survey of academics' voting intentions:
Labour 41%
Conservative 10%
Other 5%
(Pre-2001 election survey Labour 65%, Conservative 7%, Lib Dem 22%)
Academics were also asked, irrespective of their own voting preference, which party has the best higher education policy:
Labour 21%
Conservative 4%
Don't know 23%

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Who's backing whom at the election?

Brian Eno, Greg Dyke, Claire Rayner, Richard Dawkins, Germaine Greer, rabbi Julia Neuberger, Fran Healy, Nicholas Parsons, Barry Norman, Sir Richard Doll and Lalla Ward are all backing the Liberal Democrats this election.

I am pleased to see that the Liberal Democrats have the support of Greg Dyke, Claire Rayner and Fran Healy but after her performance on Big Brother not too sure about Germaine Greer and if I'm absolutely honest I must say I don’t know who any of the others are.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

UKIP candidate up for EIGHT seats
UKIP's impressive number of candidates is being given a somewhat unusual boost by North-West MEP John Whittaker, who is standing in eight constituencies across the North-West of England. Should he win in more than one of them he will cause a by-election for the second choice seat, and although not forced to (as Iain Paisley MP MEP demonstrates) he says that if he wins a seat in Westminster he shall resign his seat in the European Parliament, bumping up the next UKIP candidate on the list from last year's election.

Dr Whittaker is standing in Ashton-under-Lyne, Crosby, Heywood and Middleton, Hyndburn, Manchester Central, Rochdale, Stalybridge and Hyde, and Wigan.

Monday, April 25, 2005

To find out what the political parties are saying on development, Oxfam highlight the main sections of the manifestos so you can read about the pledges on aid, trade, debt , arms controls and other issues Oxfam are campaigning on.
The jubilee debt campaign also have a What do the three main parties say about debt and development? section along with Jubilee Debt Campaign. The report makes urgent recommendations on debt cancellation for a strong and prosperous Africa.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Space Invaders

the best Space Invaders game you will ever play.

Friday, April 22, 2005

HILLWALKERS around the country are being asked to take part in one of the country’s biggest challenges to help raise £1 million for WaterAid.
The 2005 WaterAid Munro Challenge aims to raise cash this summer by roping in teams to climb every mountain over 3000 feet in the UK and Ireland.
Everyone witnessed the devastating effects of the Boxing Day earthquake and the resulting tsunami which wiped out tens of thousands of people in parts of Asia. In the months following the quake, one of the biggest problems has been the provision of clean and safe drinking water for the survivors.
WaterAid is working all year round to provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene education projects for some of the world’s poorest people in Asia and Africa. Across the world a child dies every 15 seconds from a water-related illness.
WaterAid wants to stop this where it can.
This year’s Munro Challenge could see the total raised from the event since 1995 top £1 million. Teams of between four and six people are needed on the summits of all the Munros in Scotland and the 3000ft peaks in England, Ireland and Wales.
The event, backed by the UK water industry, takes place on Saturday, June 11, 2005 when teams need to be at the top of their chosen peak between 12 noon and 2pm.
Whether you can rally a team of friends, or colleagues from work, YOUR help is needed to reach the target. Companies and groups can also sponsor a mountain for as little as £250.
All you have to do is get a team together, with a minimum sponsorship of £50 per person and then register your team by going to the Munro Challenge website or calling our hotline on 0141 355 5730.
Even if you do not wish to climb, you can help get involved in another way. WaterAid is also looking for people to help as a Glen Manager on the day of the challenge and in many areas teams round off their day at one of the many social events or ceilidhs which are organised to celebrate the achievement.
To register your team visit or contact the WaterAid office on 0141 355 5730

Thursday, April 21, 2005

Liberal Democrats Field Most BME Candidates

The Liberal Democrats will field more Black and Minority Ethnic candidates in the coming general election than either of the other main parties.

There will be 40 BME Liberal Democrat candidates compared with 39 for the Conservatives and just 29 for Labour.

BME Liberal Democrat candidates will be standing in seats across the country from leafy Conservative held Mole Valley (Nasser Butt) to inner city seats such as Vauxhall (Charles Anglin).

Commenting, Fiyaz Mughal, Chairman of Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, said:

“I am very pleased we have so many excellent Black and Minority Ethnic candidates standing in this general election. It shows our commitment to ensuring political representation and participation by BME communities is coming to fruition.

“We now have the highest number of BME candidates in the election and are also seeing a surge in support among BME voters. There is currently a recognisable shift in the support of BME communities from Labour and the Conservatives to the Liberal Democrats."
Zip-line and Abseil at the Birmingham Mailbox

A fantastic chance to have a one off experience

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?

You scored as Democrat. <'Imunimaginative's Deviantart Page'>

















What Political Party Do Your Beliefs Put You In?
created with
How Will You Die???

You scored as Suicide. Your death will be suicide. What more can I say? Fact: Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.



















Natural Causes






Cut Throat


How Will You Die??
created with
Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?

You scored as Cinderella. Your alter ego is Cinderella! You often find yourself doing a lot of housework, but if you are patient, your hard work usually pays off. You are prone to losing things, so dont rush through everything.



Donald Duck






Peter Pan


Sleeping Beauty


The Beast


Snow White




Cruella De Ville


Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with

Monday, April 18, 2005

British Youth Council

Are you tired of politicians talking about what young people want, without actually asking you what you think? Are you tired of politicians going on about young people being apathetic? If yes, join our X-Appeal campaign to tell politicians and the media that they shouldn't ignore the views of young people.

In the run up to the general election on May 5, X-Appeal will find out the issues of concern to young people and how they want politicians to act on those issues.

BYC want to know your views on what the major issues are for young people during the general election.

If you want to get more involved, contact BYC’s X-Appeal campaign team for a resource pack on 0845 458 1489.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

It wasn’t me

Tony Blair says "It wasn't me"

Crime and punishment, internationalism:
Your position on this axis is -3.8
You are likely to be fairly internationalist and rehabilitationist.

Economics, etc:
Your position on this axis is 2.2
You are likely to be fairly free-market and pro-war.

You can refer to my full results: Adam Nazir Ahmed Teladia

Thursday, April 14, 2005

NUS NEC elections
All the results from the NUS NEC elections that took place at national conference last week are now in. As we found out last the results for the fulltime posts were:
President - Kat Fletcher (IND)
Nat Sec - Gemma Tumelty (OI)
Nat Treasurer - Joe Rukin (IND)
VP Education - Julian Nicholds (OI)
VP Welfare - Veronica King (IND/OI)
VP FE - Ellie Russel (IND)
The count for the Block of 12 was held today and those elected are:
Wes Streeting (NOLS)
Peter Leary (SBL)
Jess Kosmin (UJS)
Flick Cox (OI)
Judith Niven (NOLS)
Will Page (IND)
Derfel Owen (IND)
Stephen Brown (OI)
Jamal El-Shayal (FOSIS)
Susie Wylie (SWSS)
Danial Randal (AWL)
Dan Chilcott (IND)
So I got two wrong I didn’t expect Susie Wylie and Danial Randal getting elected but I got ten right, which is not bad. Congratulations one and all. I hope that the future of NUS is safe with you at the top of the organisation.
Other who have already been elected include:
Womens Officer - Jo Salmon (IND)
SWD Officer- Sian Davies (IND)
NUS Scotland - Mel Ward (NOLS)
NUS Wales - James Knight (NOLS)
Those still to be elected are:
Black Students Officer
International Students Officer
LGBT Officers

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

I think Dan Chilcott (IND), Darryl Ley (IND), Derfel Owen (IND), Flick Cox (OI), Jamal El-Shayyal (FOSIS), Jessica Kosmin (UJS), Judith Niven (NOLS), Peter Leary (SBL), Stephen Brown (OI), Wan Mohd Firdaus Wan Mihd Fuaad (FOSIS), Wes Streeting (NOLS) and Will Page (IND) will be elected as the part-time Executive Officers on the NUS NEC.

Not sure I agree with all of these but check them out:
1. Don't imagine you can change a man - unless he's in nappies.

2. What do you do if your boyfriend walks out? You shut the door.

3. If they put a man on the moon - they should be able to put them all up there. #

4. Never let your man's mind wander - it's too little to be out alone.

5. Go for the younger man. You might as well, they never mature anyway.

6. Men are all the same - they just have different faces, so that you can tell them apart.

7. Definition of a bachelor: a man who has missed the opportunity to make some woman miserable.

8. Women don't make fools of men - most of them are the do-it-yourself types.

9. Best way to get a man to do something is to suggest he is too old for it.

10. Love is blind, but marriage is a real eye-opener.

11. If you want a committed man, look in a mental hospital.

12. The children of Israel wandered around the desert for 40 years.
Even in Biblical times, men wouldn't ask for directions.

13. If he asks what sort of books you're interested in, tell him chequebooks.

14. Remember a sense of humour does not mean that you tell him jokes; it means that you laugh at his.
15. Sadly, all men are created equal.

Monday, April 11, 2005

Run the Country: World Asthma Day

Join Asthma UK in taking 5.2 million steps across 10 cities to put asthma on the map and raise vital funds to help the 5.2 million people in the UK with asthma.

For many people with asthma, climbing the stairs or running for a bus is a marathon.

Asthma UK are not asking you to run a marathon – just to run, walk or cycle what you can to raise vital funds to help them understand the causes of asthma and free people from its effects.

Run the Country begins on World Asthma Day on 3 May 2005 in Edinburgh, visiting a different UK city each day until 12 May, when it will finish in London.

Events kick off at 1pm in:

Edinburgh on Tuesday 3 May
Newcastle on Wednesday 4 May
Leeds on Thursday 5 May
Manchester on Friday 6 May
Belfast on Saturday 7 May
Birmingham on Sunday 8 May
Cardiff on Monday 9 May
Bristol on Tuesday 10 May
Southampton on Wednesday 11 May
London on Thursday 12 May

Everyone! Individuals and groups of people will be walking, running or cycling a distance of their choice.

Why not gather a group of friends, family or colleagues to take part together? Schools, community groups and workplaces are all joining forces to Run the Country.

For more information contact Asthma UK.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Global Week of Action for Trade Justice

On Monday 11th April at 12:30pm a bride and groom representing developing countries with struggling rice industries will allow guests, representing America, to throw rice at them to highlight the issue of dumping.

The stunt being organised by Oxfam will take place at Birmingham Cathedral. The intention behind the stunt is really to attract media interest but since the area is fairly public this will be an opportunity to engage with members of the public and hand out leaflets explaining what is happening. If you are interested and would like more detail please contact Ruth Thompson {}

'Leicester West Wake Up'

On Friday 15 April at the Church of the Martyrs Hall on Westcotes Drive, 8.15 - 9.45am. Patricia Hewitt and other Leicester West prospective parliamentary candidates have been invited to attend the event at 8.45am for an hour of discussion and debate around issues of trade justice.

Don’t hesitate to get in touch with Ruth Stockdale (0121 609 4102/07786 660 377/ ) if you have any questions.
On Friday 15th April join stars from stage, screen and the music world and thousands of people like you for a MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY mass moment organised by the Trade Justice Movement as part of a unique overnight event.

For the opening event you are invited to a very special gathering at Westminster Abbey for a Trade Justice programme of songs, readings, guest speakers and the kindling of the vigil light.

Some famous faces like Ronan Keating and Beverley Knight will be performing. And lots and lots of people who want to make poverty history will be in one place together!

At 11.15pm people will set off from Westminster Abbey around Parliament Square to form a Human White Band, the symbol of MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY, before walking up Whitehall to start an all night candlelit vigil.

The candlelit vigil will run all night in Whitehall with a dawn procession as the sun comes up. Throughout the night there is an incredible programme of free films and comedy as well as a club night and other entertainment. You can also find out more about Trade Justice and see how to get more involved in making poverty history this year at workshops and talks, and much, much more. For more information and a full programme contact the Trade Justice Movement.
What factors account for the Conservative’s electoral defeat in 2001?

As with many events and occurrences in British political history the Conservative’s electoral defeat of 2001 was dependant on many factors. These factors were economical, political and social. Some of them such as a split party were down to the Conservatives themselves, others were down to the leader William Hague while some where out of their control such as the electorate wanting to give Labour another chance and economic stability and the belief that the Labour Party would win any way.

At the 2001 General Election the Conservatives gained 31.7% of the vote an increase of 1% from the 1997 election. This gave them 166 (~25.2%) seats in the House Commons an increase of 1 seat from the previous Parliament.

At the 2001 General Election the Conservative party seem to be campaigning on a single issue “Save the Pound”. In UK it is believed that very few people if anybody actually votes for a party at a General Election on a single issue. This was a strategic mistake by the Conservative party. This problem was exacerbated by the fact the party was split on the issue of Europe. The Europhiles included big names such as Kenneth Clarke, David Curry, Quentin Davies, Lord Brittan, Chris Patten, Lord Howe, Ian Taylor were opposed to the Conservative Party’s position and wanted Britain to be more involved with Europe. This also created the impression that the Leader William Hague could not manage his own. This left many people wondering could a man who can not manage his party run the country. The “split over Europe” had also been a factor in the demise of Margaret Thatcher and the Major government. This again made people wonder could a party who cannot solve its own problems solve the countries problems. While the Labour Party may have been split over certain issues their divisions were not as open and bitter as those of the Conservative’s. this is not to say that the Conservatives had no other policies or manifesto commitments. While their scepticism of Europe and position on crime stuck a chord with certain sections of the electorate, the conservatives did not seem interested enough in what one may call the “bread and butter issues” such as health and education. There was a large section of the electorate who were disappointed with Labour’s record since 1997 but the they did not see an alternative from the Conservatives.

The Conservative party of 2001 had not lived down the association with “sleaze” that had influenced its performance at the 1997 General Election. While there may not have been many cases of “sleaze” since the 1997 election there was an association which is only being lived down now that the Labour party is embroiled in its own scandals. William Hague’s endorsement of Lord Archer as the candidate for the election of London Mayor in 2004 did not help when Lord Archer withdrew in a cloud of controversy.

Unfortunately for the conservatives their leader at the General Election William Hague was seen as a flip flopper a bit like Senator Kerry during the 2004 US Presidential Elections. Examples of William Hague’s flipflopping can be seen in his definition of what Conservativism was. At the 1997 Conservative Party conference made a speech which called for a more “pluralistic” and “inclusive” Conservativism that would “reach out” to society’s minorities. In the same speech Hague also said that the Conservatives should destroy forever the notion that Conservativism was “stuffy” or “intolerant”. However by June 2000 (12 months prior to the General Election) Hague said Conservativism was now about “traditional, common sense values, as opposed to the “trendy ideals of a liberal elite”. In 2000 Hague values included tightening abortion laws, clamping down on illegal immigrants, banning pro-homosexual literature in schools, restoring pro-family and pro-marriage tax system and the introduction of “sin bins” for disorderly schoolchildren.

To many commentators and members of the public the Labour Party had stolen the Conservative Party’s agenda and appeal under the name of “New Labour” adopting market economics, privatisation, property ownership and by using all the Conservative rhetoric in relation to Law and order. This played a part in the 1997 General Election when in some areas Labour came from third to beat the Tories. In the four years since the 1997 election the Labour government was seen to be fixed on an agenda while the Conservative party was trying to redefine itself and was split on some major issues such as Britain’s role in the European Union, the single currency, social reform, position on multiculturalism, homosexuality etc.

During the period of 1997 to 2001 opinion polls ratings were continuously disappointing for the Conservatives. At times they even suggested that the Conservatives were more unpopular in opposition then they had been in government. While opinion polls do not win elections or correctly reflect the opinions of the nation as a whole what they can do is create the impression that party is a winner or looser, so the continuously disappointing polls for the Conservatives meant that people did not believe they would win the election this could have led to swing voters switching their vote to an opposition or fringe party in order to “make their vote count”. This could also be blamed for the fall in the turnout from 71.5% in 1997 to 59.4%. the fall in the fall in the turnout could be a factor in the Conservative Party’s defeat because as polls had suggested for sometime that the Labour Party would win the election with a landslide Conservative Party voters felt that their would not make a difference and did not vote.

In UK there is the assumption that if the economy is doing well and the future looks bright people tend to vote for the party in power because they assume that their management of the economy will continue. The performance of the Labour government from 1997 to 2001 showed that the economy was in a safe pair of hands on inflation, jobs and interest rates. Labour overcame the electorate’s fears that they were economically incompetent.

Political opinions change over generations and parties respond to these. During the 1997 and 2001 general election it was believed that the Labour Party moved to capture the middle ground and became the party of middle England, the Liberal Democrats moved to the left and the Conservative Party moved to the far-right under Hague’s leadership when it was thought to have been in the centre during the Major years.

In conclusion I think that the General Elections campaign being dominated by a “fringe single issue” such as the Euro and not concentrating on the reform and deliverance of public services such as education and health was the main factor which accounted for the Conservative’s electoral defeat in 2001 however the weaknesses of William Hague as leader, the splits in the party over Europe and the popularity of the incumbent Labour government are also factors which can be used to explain the Conservative’s electoral defeat in 2001.

Reference List:

KEELY, R. (2004) ‘Tough times for the Tories’ Political Review, 13(3), pp. 2-5

NORRIS, P. (2001) ‘Apathetic Landslide: The 2001 British General Election’ Parliamentary Affairs, 54 (4), pp. 565-589

COLLINGS, D & SELDON, A (2001) ‘Conservatives in Opposition’ Parliamentary Affairs, 54 (4), pp. 624-637

CREWE, I (2001) ‘The Opinion Polls: Still Biased to Labour’ Parliamentary Affairs, 54 (4), pp. 650-665

Saturday, April 09, 2005

What does Love mean?

A group of professional people posed this question to a group of 4 to 8 year-olds, "What does love mean?"

The answers they got were broader and deeper than anyone could have imagined. See what you think:

"When my grandmother got arthritis, she couldn't bend over and paint hertoenails anymore. So my grandfather does it for her all the time, even when his hands got arthritis too. That's love."
Rebecca- age 8

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4

"Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other."
Karl - age 5

"Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French fries without making them give you any of theirs."
Chrissy -age 6

"Love is what makes you smile when you're tired."
Terri - age 4

"Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is OK."
Danny - age 7

"Love is when you kiss all the time. Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more. My Mommy and Daddy are like that. They look gross when they kiss"
Emily - age 8

"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby – age 7

"If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend who you hate,"
Nikka - age 6 (we need a few million more Nikka's on this planet)

"Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it everyday."
Noelle - age 7

"Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well."
Tommy - age 6

"During my piano recital, I was on a stage and I was scared. I looked at all the people watching me and saw my daddy waving and smiling. He was the only one doing that. I wasn't scared anymore."
Cindy - age 8

"My mommy loves me more than anybody . You don't see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night."
Clare - age 6

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken"
Elaine - age 5

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Robert Redford."
Chris - age 7

"Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day."
Mary Ann - age 4

"I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones."
Lauren - age 4

"When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you."
(what an imagination)
Karen - age 7

"Love is when Mommy sees Daddy on the toilet and she doesn't think it's gross."
Mark - age 6

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8

And the final one -- Author and lecturer Leo Buscaglia once talked about a contest he was asked to judge. The purpose of the contest was to find the most caring child. The winner was a four year old child whose next door neighbour was an elderly gentleman who had recently lost his wife. Upon seeing the man cry, the little boy went into the old gentleman's yard, climbed onto his lap, and just sat there. When his Mother asked what he had said to the neighbour, the little boy said, "Nothing, I just helped him cry"

When there is nothing left but love, that is when you find out that love Is all you need.