Tag: government

Those changing ways of communicating.

Regular followers of Learning from Dogs will recall that on Monday 24th September, Alexa Russell published a guest post under the title of The changing ways in which humans communicate.

Thus it seemed entirely appropriate to continue the theme of communications change with this story sent to me by a very good friend, who asked to remain anonymous!

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as “Euro-English”.

In the first year, “s” will replace the soft “c”. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard “c” will be dropped in favour of “k”. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter. There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced with “f”. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where! more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent “e” in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” with “z” and “w” with “v”.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vordskontaining “ou” and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl.

Zer vil b e no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

No offence meant and apologies if any caused!

Unintended consequences!

Europe’s fishing quotas turning a seemingly good idea into apparent madness.

The European Union formally came into being in 1993 although co-operation in the form of the European Coal and Steel Community and then the European Economic Community went well back before then, back to the 1950’s.

As far back as 1957 when the Treaty of Rome was established, an Article stated that there should be a common policy for fisheries.  That became known as the Common Fisheries Policy.  Fish catches in many European waters were reducing stocks of many species to the point of extinction, so something had to be done.

Now watch this.

If you feel sufficiently perplexed to want to learn more, then Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall,  a food and cookery writer and broadcaster, as well as a campaigner for real food, has a Campaign Website here.  There is a Facebook page here.

How on earth would one explain such actions to, say, these two kids?


Ready for a fish meal!




The Dust Settles

Who dares, Wins!

The new British Conservative & Liberal-Democrat Cabinet

I can’t remember a more momentous week in British politics. It seemed silly to comment as events unfolded so swiftly – one would have risked being out of date before finishing the article – but it is perhaps time to summarize what has happened:

  • The outcome was in retrospect the best possible, even if none of the parties might think of it that way.
  • We have a stable government locked into a coalition that commands a large majority in the House of Commons and a considerable majority of the popular vote. Nobody can deny this coalition “the right to govern”, whichever way you regard the statistics.
  • The country’s finances are in a terrible mess and a stable government was essential to put things right and recover confidence.
  • Yes, there will be strains and stresses in each party, but both have now invested so much in this that  neither can afford to rock the  boat and risk another general election to let Labour back in under a new and more charismatic leader.
  • Both parties have shown a spirit of compromise and both have had to ditch some of their cherished (and more wacky) policies.
  • “First Past the Post” has taken a lot of stick and it seems the time of electoral reform has arrived. The Lib-Dems have a firm commitment to a referendum on the Alternative Vote (not optimal, but an improvement) plus other essential elements – long-delayed by the previous Labour dinosaur – such as fixed term parliaments, a redistribution of votes per constituency and a reduced number of MPs.
  • The country has seemed fragmented and divided in recent years, with much bitterness and a sense of drift and failure. The coalition has brought fresh hope, though it is born in very difficult times. But as a coalition it is perhaps better-placed than one single party to make the very difficult decisions needed. A single party would have had to make the same decisions but with the risk of losing a vote in the HOC and a lurch to the other side to start all over again.
  • The wretched previous government is gone. The most pleasing aspect of this is that those architects of spin and PR, the unelected Lord Mandelson and the unelectable Alistair Campbell, have seen their stars not only wane but disappear into a black hole. Their last-ditch attempt to stagger on in a Lib-Lab coalition was effectively torpedoed by their own back-benchers and party Grandees, who found the whole process undignified. It is indeed the end of Noo Labour, and few will regret its passing.
  • Last but not least, the Labour Party survives, whereas there was a time when it seemed it might be humiliated and destroyed. The extent of the defeat could not be spun – even if Mandelson et al had a go at it – but it survives as an essential part of the British political scene. Moreover, though Brown rightly had to go, he was not humiliated either and was able to depart with grace and dignity. One is far from sad to see him retire to the back benches, but the bad feeling that anything worse might have produced has been avoided.

The change has been momentous. Politics is unpredictable, so who can tell if this bold experiment will work. But “Who dares, Wins”, and they should have the best wishes of all who love their country.

By Chris Snuggs

Difficult Choices ….

Our doughty mole has unearthed more secret transcriptions from the Ministry ….

The Ministry

Hello Perkins! Let’s get to it!

Get to what, Sir?

Perkins – there’s a mini-crisis …..

There usually is, Sir …..

We have a stark, difficult choice ahead of us.

Oh, Dear, Sir – not again.

Yes, Perkins. I know that choice is not something we prefer to face, but there it is.

But why has it come to this, Sir?

Cuts, Perkins – The IMF are about to be called in so the PM – I mean the Chancellor – has been forced to make some cuts.

Oh Dear, Sir. But how does this affect us?

Well, you know those consultants that were called in?

You mean those on £100,000 a day plus bonus, Sir?

Yes, that’s them! By Jove don’t you admire this dynamic synergy between public and private, Perkins!!

Well ….

Anyway, after weeks of in-depth research they’ve narrowed it down for us to a clear choice, which certainly saves us some head-banging, I must say.

And this choice is ……?

Well, we either buy more flak jackets for the men on front-line duty in Iraq or we pay the MOD mandarins a bonus.

Oh Dear so – but surely it’s a no-brainer?

What do you mean, Perkins?

Well, we must protect our men, Sir!

Perkins, sometimes I worry about you …….

By Chris Snuggs