Archive for the ‘short thoughts’ Category

Years ago, I wrote for an amateur press association named Comicopia. It was fun and, despite the fairly rigid structure and deadlines, it never felt like a chore.

I usually ended my submission with some fiction, but occasionally I’d run out of time and ideas, and throw in 300 words of a story. They weren’t stories; they were excerpts of non-existent stories. A bit of fun. And I called them ‘offcuts’.

For this blog, I occasionally do something called “Odds and sods”, where I don’t have enough to write 800 or more words on a specific subject, so I’ll write a few hundred words on three different subjects.

They’re more formal than the offcuts ever were, but the ‘odds and sods’ title never quite seemed as accurate or as appropriate. Because they weren’t random, not really.

And I’ve wanted for some time to find a different way to describe them. Offcuts? No, because they’re not excerpted from anything else, nor are they entirely disposable.

And for this post, while I’m easing myself back into the daily blogging, I want to do another one of the ‘here’s some thoughts on different things’.

Hmm. So I came up with the title Short Thoughts: I’m not wholly convinced. But if the title of this post is “Short Thoughts”, then you know I didn’t come up with anything better.

OK, so on with the post…


While it can mean any number of things, and indeed the dictionary has almost two dozen different definitions, today, the House of Commons is voting (indeed, they’re voting while I type this) on one specific meaning: those morals, ethics, habits, etc., established by authority, custom, or an individual as acceptable.

Now there can be lost of different standards and indeed, the House has had various standards at various times, and various ways of judging whether or when members have breached those standards.

Currently, there is a process where an independent arbiter makes a decision upon evidence and interview and passes a memorandum of their decision to a select committee. The committee then reviews the evidence and passes a judgement upon which the House of Commons votes.

Occasionally, very very rarely, the House doesn’t accept the committee’s decision. However, what’s happening today is that the House is voting whether, at the last moment, to change the very process in order to excuse a member of the governing party.

And they’ll likely – the result of the vote is expected momentarily – vote to do exactly that.

Oh, and the person moving the vote is, of course, the same person who – as leader of the House of Commons in 2019 – introduced the current system. So there’s that.

As others have pointed out, even if you grant the argument. Of “everyone else gets a chance to appeal” (I don’t – I think it’s bullshit.) The committee stage is the appeal bit. But anyways, MPs are not employees, and they don’t get employee protection.

BUT the “my defence witnesses wanted to give oral evidence to explain stuff but they were limited to written evidence only and could not answer questions or give further information” from Paterson has, y’know, some weight.

But that’s a discussion that should be held in a calm time and in circumstances which do not, do not, effect a specific member’s sanctions right bloody now.

For the House to approve this amendment would give every member permission to be corrupt.

And, since the vote result was just announced, that’s just what they’ve done.

There used to be a graphic that did the rounds about the Treasury’s preferred tax return:

How much did you earn?
Send it to us.

Today’s vote in parliament shows MPs’ standards decisions should and probably will now be:

What did you do wrong?
Oh, nothing at all?
Oh, OK, then. Carry on.

Often, the House of Commons disappoints me. Quite often it angers me. Rarely, as in today’s proceedings, do they upset and disgust me.

Technological Convenience

Just a quick other thought, since I’m currently typing this outside a coffee shop, near home, and opposite my local pharmacy.

Not entirely due to covid, but certainly it’s not hurt, I’ve been getting repeat prescriptions for the medications I take automagically for the past couple for years.

If I need a repeat prescription, it genuinely couldn’t be more convenient and easy. I open one of three different apps on my phone or iPad. Each of them – each has functionality specific to themselves, but they share this specific option – with a half dozen clicks… allow me to select a medication, and order a resupply. And once I click on ‘ send request’, I get a notification telling me that the medication will be available for pickup in two days.

I can’t remember the last time it took two days. By the end of that day, I can wander down to the pharmacy and know that it’ll be waiting for me.

Today’s? I ordered it at 8pm last night. It was ready for pickup by noon today.

I’ve mentioned before that I both like seeing my GP when necessary and not having to see them unless I need to. The ability to do so much – I can schedule tests, I can review read results, I can order medications, and I can send them messages – without actually ‘bothering’ the doctor.

I remember having to go to the doctor to be examined before a repeat prescription. While I’m pleased at the convenience now, I do worry that it will remove the personal relationship. I do worry about that. A lot.

See you tomorrow, with… something else.



Sixty-one days. Sixty-one posts. One 2022 slowly approaching.

I’ve signed up to, so if you fancy throwing me a couple of quid every so often, to keep me in a caffeine-fuelled typing mood, feel free. I’m on

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to the new year. You can see the other posts in the run by clicking here.