Friday, January 23, 2009

Calling all budding actors...

I have been asked by e-mail to advertise the following event which may be of interest to any West Midlands-based budding actors who read this blog. Please note that event has nothing to do with this blog and you should always take the appropriate precautions when submitting any details over the internet.

The Rage Ensemble present their next production

Our Country's Good

May 14th - 16th 2009 @ a Birmingham theatre

Now casting !! - Casting day Saturday Jan 31st - Open Workshop
audition 11am - 5pm, Birmingham, contact for further details.

YOU MUST BE 16+ (older than school leaving age)

The Rage Ensemble is Back!!!!!!! - an amateur arts organisation run by
Rage giving people of all ages the opportunity to work with
professionals to create productions using film, theatre, music....

We are putting on a production of 'Our Country's Good' and we need YOU!!!!!!!

A professional director will work with the cast to create a fantastic
show in one of Birmingham's premier theatres. The play will be
rehearsed at a central location, three evenings a week, culminating in
a fantastic opportunity to perform at one of the city's finest venues.

All 22 parts are to be cast, and that's where we need your help. If
you are based in Birmingham, and are an amateur actor, or are looking
to gain some on-stage experience, or are just looking to make new
friends and have some fun, come along to the open audition.

Register your interest by contacting us via our website with a picture of yourself (it can be any picture,
it's just for reference purposes) your name and age and we'll get back
to you with more details.

This is going to be a fantastic experience for all involved. If you
are interested in volunteering 'behind the scenes,' contact us with
your interests.

Contact us via

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Dawn

For a man renowned for his use of words, Barry did not half bungle the Oath of office.

Highlight of the inauguration speech:

"we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Headline from Blair's victory speech; let's hope this "one" is the real deal

Update 21/10:
It seems I have been a bit harsh on Barack

Monday, January 19, 2009

Bloody Useless State-Head

Tomorrow will be George W Bush's final day as President and this is my tribute. The defining moment of the Bush presidency was of course September 11 2001. I will never forget that after Bush was told a second plane had hit the World Trade Centre, he sat aound for five minutes reading "The Pet Goat" because nobody had told him what he was supposed to be doing.

Conservative leadership at its best.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The decision to build a third runway at Heathrow is another example of bad London-centric government. There are arguments a lot wider than the simplistic environmentalism vs the economy dichotomy perpetuated by the government and the green lobby; there are some specific issues about the very positioning and nature of Heathrow as well.

Heathrow is based on a Hub and Spoke model, which is fine if you are flying packages around the world, but goes against the trends of passenger flights over the years. For example, when I used to fly to India in the 80s I used to have to take a coach to London, a plane to Bombay International, a taxi from Bombay International to Bombay Domestic and finally a plane from Bombay Domestic to Goa. The whole journey used to take around two days. The last time I did this journey in 1999, I flew direct from Birmingham International to Goa and it took eight hours on a charter flight (only double the time it once took me to get home from work on the infamous day the gritters of Birmingham went missing). I have not flown from Heathrow since 1990 and from London since 1994. Now that I have got the option, I want to fly from Birmingham (or somewhere else relatively closer). For example, in 2006 I flew to Munich and it took around an hour. It would have taken me four times as as long to get into London to make that flight.

Ignore the Airbus A380, Boeing (who actually make money rather than being subsidised by the European governments) have been concentrating on smaller planes for more tailored flying and the budget airlines tend to be the most successful at the moment, flying full planes to smaller airports.

Heathrow also lies in an awful position to the West of London meaning flights come in and go out over Greater London to the continent which is far from ideal. A new airport (as some have suggested) on an artificial island at the mouth of the Thames Estuary would in my mind be a better solution.

A new runway at Heathrow is set in the old business mentality. An alternative would be to develop the smaller regional airports to take more of flights and/ or a high speed rail link as the Conservatives have suggested. I would like to see Heathrow closed or scaled down with a new purpose built airport replacing it. Yet again the rest of the country is being ignored while the government defends the one-trick wonder British economy that is the financial sector in London. A new airport would be a brave decision, whereas a third runway is just the easiest one.

As for the governments argument that they want to defend British jobs during the current economic crisis, given that it will take around five or possibly more likely ten years for the new runway to be built, one wonders how long they expect the credit crunch to continue.

Adapted from my comments on the Stirrer Heathrow new runway and terminal approval thread.