Welcome to Delta Pavonis

Dom Mooney's Website

May 2009

They Work for You!

In my heart, I believe deeply in the parliamentary processes that we have in the UK. So, whilst part of me feels a visceral thrill as MPs left, right and centre are outed as having lost their moral compasses, another part of me winces at the hurt that it is doing to the processes and the reputation of our representatives.

Trust is a difficult thing to recover once it is lost, and I have yet to see a proposal that gives a route to regain it anytime quickly. It’s clear the stables need a good clean, but the stench will last for a long time. Those that weren’t at the trough have been stained by those who were. As our society has increasingly moved to one which seeks divorce rather than reconciliation, I don’t think the reputation of our elected representatives will recover any time soon, as people will be hungry for them to go rather than make amends.

Anyway, if you are interested in what is actually happening in parliament, rather than what the media feels is important about what is happening, then I commend TheyWorkForYou.com to you. It is a website run by a charity – mysociety.org – which seeks to promote democracy. You may be aware of the petition system at the Number 10 website; this was one of their projects. Anyway, TheyWorkForYou.com allows you to find your local MP, examine their voting record, see the speeches that they’ve made, and generally be more informed about what they do against what they say they do.

As an example, I know that my local MP (Colin Burgon, to retire at next election) asked questions on Cuba and other topics most recently. I also know his voting record:

How Colin Burgon voted on key issues since 2001:
  • Voted moderately against a transparent Parliament. votes, speeches
  • Voted moderately for introducing a smoking ban. votes, speeches
  • Voted strongly for introducing ID cards. votes, speeches
  • Voted moderately against introducing foundation hospitals. votes, speeches
  • Voted moderately against introducing student top-up fees. votes, speeches
  • Voted strongly for Labour's anti-terrorism laws. votes, speeches
  • Voted very strongly for the Iraq war. votes, speeches
  • Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war. votes, speeches
  • Voted very strongly against replacing Trident. votes, speeches
  • Voted very strongly for the hunting ban. votes, speeches
  • Voted very strongly for qual gay rights. votes, speeches
  • Voted moderately for laws to stop climate change. votes, speeches
  • Sometimes rebels against their party in this parliament.

The actual figures are there as well. And the summary of their expenses, albeit not as detailed as the Telegraph has been presenting.

Visit this site and understand what your representative is doing!

A final note; earlier this week, I heard a government minister doing something that I feel is unforgivable on Today, Radio 4’s news programme. When challenged on whether the UK Parliament should dissolve itself and hold a general election as members across all sides of the house had been dishonourable, she replied that this wasn’t necessary, as there was an election at the start of June.

But that election has nothing to do with MP’s expenses; it is about our local services and about how we are represented in Europe. Nothing you do at that election will change Westminster or punish those who have their snouts in the trough. Bear that in mind when you chose who to vote for; what is the best for you and your family? This isn’t the time to punish the MPs who have erred; that will come sometime in the next 12 months. Don’t let them divert the blame!

Highs and Lows

Ivor Day: On the Train 3
Jill and Nathan chilling on the train ride to see Ivor.

It’s been a funny old weekend, as some plans fell apart, but all in all it was good fun. On Saturday, we took Nathan to his Waterbabies classes for the first time in 6 weeks due to holiday and his Chicken Pox, and it went well. He didn’t seem to be phased at all by the return to the pool and diving in etc. except for swimming on his back, which is one of those things that he’s never really liked. Good fun really.

In the afternoon, we went to the National Model Engineering Show at the Yorkshire Showground. This was a bit more machine tool and component driven than we expected, but – sure enough – there were a number of displays of trains and boats which Nathan loved. Suffice it to say that the Flip Ultra was used, and we now have a variety of train videos for him to watch rather than the two that he has had since the last show Jill took him to. I may post one to YouTube to give a feel if I have a moment.

One of the funniest things that happened involved ice cream. Now, Nathan is fond of ice cream, but he’s even more fond of the wafers used to make a cone. We usually get him a small tub rather than a cone, as the first thing he does with one of those is to invert it and eat the wafer. Well, we did this, and he was eating the ice cream well until he decided to blag his mothers (or should that be swipe it?) and the resulting chocolate ice cream face and grin were quite something to behold.

There was a cool little stall there selling candle powered tin boats. Wax, string and a flame was used to make a boat that is self propelled, apparently something that dates back to Victorian days. I can imagine it giving some people health and safety palpitations, but I think that’s an over reaction.

Sunday saw a trip to the Farmer’s Market – unplanned in my case as I was originally going to be at TomCon, the missing of which was the low I mention in the title – and Nathan swiping a chunk of a buffalo burger I’d bought. There was a cool cupcake stall and all the usuals. Mmm. Cake...

Also went to work to get some stuff sorted for the busy week which is about to hit...

Finally, I watched the recent film of “Beowulf”, co-scripted by Neil Gaiman, today and wasn’t disappointed. It was certainly above average, even with the CGI. It does take some liberties with the story, but it makes a more coherent narrative for the movie. And there are definitely things there to steal for RPGs. Hopefully I’ll finally ready the Beckett version this summer, something I keep on putting off.

Ivor Day: Ivor the Engine
Ivor the Engine at Embsay Station.

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before, but we had a fun time last weekend as Nathan was finally back to normal, and we went to see Ivor the Engine, which was great fun! It was cold and blowy, but far less crowded than the Thomas day, and a good return to normality for the tiny tinker. Although I’m not allowed to call him “Tinker” anymore. To quote; “No Daddy, I’m Nathan, not Tinker”.

Currently feeling: Content .
Currently listening to: Humphrey Lyttelton (Jazz, Nice...)
Currently reading: Hellfrost (Savage Worlds),
The White People and other stories (Arthur Machen/Chaosium horror collection)

"Our Small World"

I came across this via an astronomy website, and just can’t stop returning to it. I posted it on my Facebook account a while ago, but thought I’d link it here as well.

The sense of scale just leaves me in awe; and this is small! Once you start to consider the scale of the galaxy itself, and then the clusters of galaxies you realise just how small we are...

Not to mention the music from “The Black Hole” which is pretty much perfect for this.

The Invasion has Started!

... and Leeds City Council are collaborating!

The Tripods have arrived

There’s a relamping programme underway, and the new, taller, lamps look very intimidating in a HG Wells-ian way! This a quick picture taken of the one outside our front garden the other night.