Robert Hampton

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16th March 2012

Power of 2
Posted by at 9.24pm | Gay, In the News | 2 responses

When David Cameron told the Tory Conference in October 2011 that he supported marriage rights for same-sex couples, I wonder if he expected the reaction to be as vociferous as it has been? He didn’t just open a can of worms; he put the can in a microwave, programmed it for full power, and watched the sparks fly.

I will admit that – while I wasn’t surprised by the reaction of certain religious leaders – I was surprised that their views were allowed to dominate the debate, especially on TV and radio (that politically correct liberal media at work again, I guess). I was also surprised – shocked, in fact – at how vicious some of the anti-marriage commentary has been. Some comments have been reminiscent of the nonsense that comes out of the mouths of the religious right in America. I naively hoped that Britain would be above this kind of thing.

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22nd April 2010

Smear Cam(eron)paign
Posted by at 11.38pm | Politics | No responses

A little nugget buried in a blog post by Nick Robinson:

I now learn that political reporters from the Tory-backing papers were called in one by one to discuss how Team Cameron would deal with “Cleggmania” and to be offered Tory HQ’s favourite titbits about the Lib Dems – much of which appears in today’s papers.

The same post also confirms that the Telegraph’s front page splash (about Nick Clegg accepting donations into his personal bank account) is completely without substance — the LibDem leader did not pocket any cash for himself, he declared the donations to the Electoral Commission and he actually paid a further £700 of his own money out on top of this.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail did what it does best: taking quotes from an eight-year-old Guardian article completely out-of-context in a half-arsed attempt to question Clegg’s patriotism.

As the Guardian reports, there is widespread panic in the right-wing press at the prospect of the Liberal Democrats denying the Conservative party the win they supposedly “deserve”.

When people are asking questions like “could Murdoch lose Britain?” you can see why they’re worried.

20th April 2009

Frinton and on and on and on…
Posted by at 8.29pm | Trains | No responses

Oh no! Network Rail have carried out an atrocious act of… perfectly reasonable upgrading and renewal of signalling equipment.

A manually-operated wooden railway crossing which marked the gateway to the genteel Essex seaside resort of Frinton-on-Sea has been ripped out under cover of darkness by railway authorities.

In a move branded “cowardly” by campaigners who wanted to keep them, the 19th-century railway gates were demolished at about 2am on Saturday following a three-year battle with residents keen to preserve their town’s spirit of independence and history.

I watched the BBC documentary about Frinton last year (bits remain on YouTube if you’re interested), which portrayed the elderly residents of Frinton, and the gate campaigners in particular, as a bunch of confused old people who are befuddled by the modern world. I’m sure that is a completely unfair portrayal. It was funny, though.

Honestly I can’t understand what the fuss is about. Despite what the protesters claim, there is no safety issue with remotely-monitored level crossings (there are hundreds of them working safely all over the country) and the signalling equipment on the line was in need of upgrading (the line through Frinton was, until this week, the only electrified railway line in Britain still controlled by semaphore signals, trivia fans).

It’s all worth it, though, for this wonderfully over-the-top Telegraph editorial. I can imagine retired Colonels up and down the country choking on their toast and marmalade as they read it.