E.J.Wilkins

21 Jan 2009 724 views
 
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photoblog image At the Allotment - January

At the Allotment - January


Green shoots

This not too brilliant picture was intended to be tucked somewhere in the middle of a series of pictures about Allotments - which are strips of land that people can rent to grow fruit and vegetables.

This picture shows some Broad Bean seedlings growing in neat rows - it was taken last week, 16th January.

Information about growing broad beans is - here -

In the background are glass cloches, which are used as portable mini-greenhouses. Most people now use some form of polycarbonate, which is less dangerous and can offer more insulation.

.....

I do not have an allotment. I am grateful for the tenants who didn't mind me taking a few pictures.

.....

An allotment also has a financial meaning and can be related to wages - for example an "allotment" was taken out of military pay to cover insurance. That rather tenuous link lets me change tack completely and turn slightly political (which doesn't really have a place on a photographic blog - I apologise, especially to non-UK people).

First of all I thought the title was a bit of a visual pun that matched a comment made by an economist last week, who reckoned she could see the "green shoots" of economic recovery. I wish it were true, but I think it was over-optimistic.

.....

There's something else though, also political, that I spotted this earlier today on -theyworkforyou- which is where you can find your MP's contact details.

On 16th May 2008 the High Court ruled that MPs' expenses must be published under the Freedom of Information Act.

This Thursday, [TOMORROW - 22nd January 2008] MPs are voting to change the law to keep their expenses secret after all, just before publication was due and after spending nearly a million of your pounds and seven months compiling the data.

Your MP may not even know about this proposal (it was sneaked out under the Heathrow Runway announcement). Please take a few minutes to alert them to this attack on Parliamentary transparency and ask them to vote on this measure.

This is also mentioned on 'Iain Dale's Diary', a political blog -"How you can help persuade MPs to do the right thing"-

Both sites are suggesting you (we) should write to our respective MP to ask them to vote against this suppression of information - if that's what we want.

I'm not particularly politically minded, but I am getting a bit irritated by some things that are happening just now. The one thing I want is for our politicians to remember that they work for us and are accountable to us - the electorate.

Each and every person pays tax in some way or other - even non-earners, including children, buy things that have VAT added. This money goes to the exchequer and is used in part to pay our MPs wages and expenses. I don't fully understand why they think they have the right to keep these details private, more especially when they have introduced so many rules and laws that force ordinary people to give all our personal details to whoever asks - and if we don't we can be fined or even put in prison.

So that's why I've mentioned it on here today - and, if you feel the same way I do, there isn't much time to contact your MP. I have contacted ours, he has told me he will be voting against the proposed changes.

edit
It is reported in  - The Times - and - The Mail -    that "Gordon Brown has imposed a three-line whip to force a move to block full publication of MPs' expenses through the Commons" - this means that Labour MPs who vote against the amendment could face sanctions.

update
(21/01/2009. 21:16hrs)
According to various news website and television broadcasts "Brown backs down on expenses row" (from BBC News), but he blames opposition parties for withdrawing their support.
.

At the Allotment - January


Green shoots

This not too brilliant picture was intended to be tucked somewhere in the middle of a series of pictures about Allotments - which are strips of land that people can rent to grow fruit and vegetables.

This picture shows some Broad Bean seedlings growing in neat rows - it was taken last week, 16th January.

Information about growing broad beans is - here -

In the background are glass cloches, which are used as portable mini-greenhouses. Most people now use some form of polycarbonate, which is less dangerous and can offer more insulation.

.....

I do not have an allotment. I am grateful for the tenants who didn't mind me taking a few pictures.

.....

An allotment also has a financial meaning and can be related to wages - for example an "allotment" was taken out of military pay to cover insurance. That rather tenuous link lets me change tack completely and turn slightly political (which doesn't really have a place on a photographic blog - I apologise, especially to non-UK people).

First of all I thought the title was a bit of a visual pun that matched a comment made by an economist last week, who reckoned she could see the "green shoots" of economic recovery. I wish it were true, but I think it was over-optimistic.

.....

There's something else though, also political, that I spotted this earlier today on -theyworkforyou- which is where you can find your MP's contact details.

On 16th May 2008 the High Court ruled that MPs' expenses must be published under the Freedom of Information Act.

This Thursday, [TOMORROW - 22nd January 2008] MPs are voting to change the law to keep their expenses secret after all, just before publication was due and after spending nearly a million of your pounds and seven months compiling the data.

Your MP may not even know about this proposal (it was sneaked out under the Heathrow Runway announcement). Please take a few minutes to alert them to this attack on Parliamentary transparency and ask them to vote on this measure.

This is also mentioned on 'Iain Dale's Diary', a political blog -"How you can help persuade MPs to do the right thing"-

Both sites are suggesting you (we) should write to our respective MP to ask them to vote against this suppression of information - if that's what we want.

I'm not particularly politically minded, but I am getting a bit irritated by some things that are happening just now. The one thing I want is for our politicians to remember that they work for us and are accountable to us - the electorate.

Each and every person pays tax in some way or other - even non-earners, including children, buy things that have VAT added. This money goes to the exchequer and is used in part to pay our MPs wages and expenses. I don't fully understand why they think they have the right to keep these details private, more especially when they have introduced so many rules and laws that force ordinary people to give all our personal details to whoever asks - and if we don't we can be fined or even put in prison.

So that's why I've mentioned it on here today - and, if you feel the same way I do, there isn't much time to contact your MP. I have contacted ours, he has told me he will be voting against the proposed changes.

edit
It is reported in  - The Times - and - The Mail -    that "Gordon Brown has imposed a three-line whip to force a move to block full publication of MPs' expenses through the Commons" - this means that Labour MPs who vote against the amendment could face sanctions.

update
(21/01/2009. 21:16hrs)
According to various news website and television broadcasts "Brown backs down on expenses row" (from BBC News), but he blames opposition parties for withdrawing their support.
.

comments (18)

  • martie
  • United States
  • 21 Jan 2009, 01:46
What a gorgeous find i the middle of January. Is it typical for this time of year? I love the promise of spring it holds.

The other issue - that is just plain awful. Spending tax money and yet not really being accountable.
EJWilkins: Broad beans can be sown in the autumn, it gives an early crop, so it isn't as unusual as it might seem
(Can't manage to get your site to load, have tried several times)
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 21 Jan 2009, 01:48
The picture works for me, Ellie, but doesn't cause me to veer off into the fertilizer labelled "Politics". [grin]
EJWilkins: No, I don't usually veer off like this, but I was so annoyed.
good for you for doing something to follow up your beliefs! I'm not in the UK so can't help, but I hope it goes the way you want.
EJWilkins: Looks like this little effort might have helped a bit towards a good result, see tomorrow wink
I like your righteous indignation about MPs expenses Ellie. It sounds to me as if they have a lot to hide.

Nice to have you back: happy 2009!
EJWilkins: I was so cross when I found out, I'd seen evidence of other people 'blogging' it, didn't think this was the right place, but felt I had to try to do something. Good result though wink
Happy 2009 to you too
  • Laurie
  • United States
  • 21 Jan 2009, 06:12
I like the orderly lines in this.
EJWilkins: When the allotments are in full swing, in a few weeks, they'll be full of straight lines of seedlings like this. smile
  • Tracy
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 21 Jan 2009, 07:51
Thanks for bringing this to our attention Ellie.
Love the sight of new growth on allotments, all neat and tidy.
WELCOME BACK ELLIE smile
EJWilkins: Thank you Tracy smile
(edited in info both today and tomorrow - a good result smile )
I agree with you totally Ellie. There are too many people with their snouts in the trough and trying to hide it just brings all politicians into disrepute
EJWilkins: It sounds as if you and I could have a good long talk, and end up putting the world to rights Bill wink
Nice to have you back by the way smile
EJWilkins: Thanks smile
Lol smile When I see that, I understand that I'll never have a real, clean garden smile
EJWilkins: Nor me Zeb! wink
There was a time when being a politician was not so well paid. At one time, people entered politics because of their beliefs, and a desire to make improvements, right wrongs, etc.

I see too many politicians who appear to be doing no more than feathering their own nests, and securing pensions way beyond the realms of us mere mortals.

To justify their existence they `tinker` with the frayed edges of problems and studiously ignore the root causes.

Politics seems to have turned into a war of words. Clever `soundbites` are valued more than true compassion, understanding and insight.

Do I sound bitter? You bet I am! As I am on the verge of a full-blown rant, I think I had better stop.

I will say this, though, about expenses - my daughter`s job in local government is under threat because of a directive from central government to `tighten belts`. Far better to lose a few `foot soldiers`, than curb the `fringe` benefits of MP`s.

No wonder they would prefer to draw a veil over such things as `second home allowances`.

The allowance given to just one MP to furnish their London property would keep my daughter employed for three years, or give her a substantial deposit on a home of her own.

Have I writtent to my MP? Hell yes! (:o!
EJWilkins: I think we have the same MP wink His expenses are published both on his own site and theyworkforyou.
I get the feeling you'r every bit as angry as I am, and we aren't the only ones either.
Now Brown's pulled out of the vote I think the media, and MPs too, will have to keep a close lookout in case they try to slip through an amendment without anybody noticing, it's something they seem to be quite good at.
Welcome back Ellie. I do understand your anger.
Quite a clean shot!
EJWilkins: Yes, and I'm not the only one either, over 7,000 people joined the facebook group to oppose the legislation and goodness only knows how many people will have contacted their own MP.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 21 Jan 2009, 10:13
Good idea to grow your own veggies.very intersting reading,here in Australia the pollie are calling for wage restant but they don't seem to be on the same page as us commoners.
EJWilkins: Sounds like your lot have got the same sort of self-seeking ideas. Isn't it sad.

Not my vegetables, although we might try to grow some again this year, just need to get digging! wink
  • graham pickett
  • SOUTHSEA (G.B) ENGLAND
  • 21 Jan 2009, 11:23
New season Broad Beans a real delight.Your soil looks very good Ellie,and not a Blackfly in sight yet.So pleased you are back,not sure how you manage to fit it all in,at least the daylight hours are getting longer.Hope you get bumper crops this year,and post a few more shots of your handy work.
EJWilkins: I wish it was my handiwork Graham, but we don't have an allotment, only a slightly scruffy garden. This year though I think we'll be back to growing some of our own vegetables, we used to and once started they take less time than you imagine. We're going to put some potatoes into tubs for example, dead easy to harvest them that way. wink
It is amazing that you can grow beans in UK in January.
EJWilkins: These will have been sown in the autumn Mary, it gives an early crop. A second sowing will be early spring.
and to think I have voted labour all my life.... thanks for bringing us right up to date on this ... it's an important issue.

People go into politics to get rid of the swill and mire that is used to conceal things and then end up getting their big feet stuck in the stuff.
richard
EJWilkins: More up to date now than it was, I expect you will have seen the news - Brown gave up the idea, even managed to blame it on the Tories although some Labour MPs had signed an Early Day Motion, so were clearly ready to ignore the Whips!
Keep an eye out, they're sure to try again.
First of all welcome back Ellie, happy new year and a good picture to announce your return.
On the other matter, I'm spitting bullets on this. Also I signed the 10, Downing Street petition recently on the police stopping phographers in the street and the official reply is so non specific they might just as well not have said anything at all.
EJWilkins: Thanks smile
I saw the Downing street petition but I once signed one about something else and received a condescending reply when it closed so I didn't see the point. I did check the EDM, started by Frank Field (I think), and our MP had signed it so I might write to him again - poor chap, he's very nice.
Sometimes I think this lot deliberately go against public opinion, they'll make the laws they want to make, irrespective of whether we think they're reasonable or not, and even better if they make money!
  • johnnyg
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 21 Jan 2009, 20:02
god i've missed reading your blog. how ya doing El.

j
EJWilkins: Where the devil have you been? Me - fine. How are you? email me!
  • blackdog
  • the 3rd Stone From the Sun
  • 21 Jan 2009, 23:16
I think it will be a while before we see these in the economy Ellie ;o) A long hard winter to come I'm afraid.

Nice photograph and good blogging ;o)
EJWilkins: I agree with you on the first point, but would you believe it - while I've been online this evening I've heard some person say they can "see the light at the end of the tunnel". They must be living in a different country from most people! How on earth can they say that with the financial and employment news from today?
Aargh!
No, I must try to keep things separate, this is a photographic blog, not a political one! (unless I get even more irritated!)

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