Posts by Ben Austin

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  • Hard News: The flagging referendum,

    I don't see that the new flag would help or hinder global perception of our country in order to sell food or produce. That being said I don't claim to have a sophisticated knowledge of foreign consumers (despite living overseas). So far as I can see from the NZ products and brands in London they trade at best on the name not on flag.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Yeah nah, but what *do* we…,

    Growing up as I did on a farm surrounded by rural National Party types I seem to have absorbed their general anti flag change view despite having not lived on a farm for a decade or more and so have not been on board with the current process at all.

    As a republican I'm more interested in a fundamental change first, then we deal with minor issues like the flag, coat of arms and all that.

    I've assumed that republicans like Holden are as much interested in the current campaign as a door opener to a wider debate as they are interested in the flag changing. Which seems like a valid strategy as at least it has made us all think and talk about flag change and other wider issues.

    Maybe in a decade, once Turnbull tries his luck, once Charles is on the throne (or not as it were - I think he'll be fine as king in our hands off remote constitutional monarchy) and time passes we'll be ready to vote for a new flag and republic.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bowie,

    Just saw on the NYT site a Bowie story with Iggy Pop, on all the help the former gave Iggy. Interesting stuff and there is a 12 minute video from a 1970s (i think) tv show where the two are interviewed together. Quite neat.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/arts/music/david-bowie-iggy-pop.html?ref=topics

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny, in reply to TracyMac,

    It isn't clear that the UK can cope with the current set up, in any event, devolution has come to Scotland, Wales, London and returned to Northern Ireland a decade ago, leaving only England running under the old model. In England this last year or so a lot of city conurbations have started to negotiate or obtain some form of local devolution - Manchester for example will apparently soon take over a lot of powers from London and other deals are being discussed.

    No one really seems to have a coherent plan or logic for devolution in the UK, so it isn't the best model to look to right now.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Footpaths, not manifest destiny,

    Agreed that UKIP should have got a seat. I'm not really quite sure what the point of the London Assembly is sometimes, it seems equal parts Parish Council and Mayoral Review thingy. Which perhaps does it a disservice. Ordinary voters don't seem to worry about it too much, they/we tend to focus on the ordinary local government, if at all. But that makes sense as the latter deal with the kind of stuff that people use - schools, social services, local planning, libraries etc.

    These councils also tend to be largely party dominated parliamentary systems, where any given council might have 65 or so councillors. Very few seem competitive (I'd guess under half a dozen out of 32), with one particular party, usually Labour, dominating. FPP of course.

    I'm still not sure which system I prefer, party or independent.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incoming: Summer, in reply to Alfie,

    So Buchan is Doric? Or a variant?

    My grandmother and her mother could speak some form of Scots Gaelic, although I suspect the former not so much. Although she was able to teach us numbers and some nursery rhymes. Her mother was apparently fluent and she would have been 2nd or 3rd generation Otago.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incoming: Summer, in reply to Farmer Green,

    I wasn't aware anyone spoke Norn. That being said, when I was up in Orkney and the Shetlands last Summer, looking at the ancestral graves (around Tingwall), I did find that when the older locals spoke to each other it was basically impossible to understand. Although apparently younger locals /long term residents find the same.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Incoming: Summer, in reply to Farmer Green,

    That Norn is it?

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Making a list ...,

    I've really enjoyed Barnett, got to see her twice this last year or so.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The Police Ten 7 State,

    How awful. It this something that the police has form for?

    In terms of support, might I suggest everyone buy his Gangs book? I shall do so now

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 950 posts Report Reply

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