Britblog Roundup No 228

Welcome to this week’s Britblog roundup, which comes to you with a Gallic flavour, courtesy of the very patient Cafe des Tilleuls in Autun, Burgundy, where I’ve been clogging up their tables and using their electricity for far too much of past week, unsuccessfully trying to escape from various forms of work on what is officially a holiday, hogging their WiFi signal. (Unfortunately French dongles are horribly unreliable, at least in the hamlet where I’ve been trying to use one – they only work when it is cloudy, and using the British one is horrendously expensive and only slightly more reliable.) The plus side is that the cafe does a fine line in enormous fancy ice-creams…

So Salut and pass the chocolate sprinkles!

I haven’t been reading the English-language news all week – so this is a roundup untainted by any influence of the MSM beyond Le Monde and La Journal Saone-et-Loire – it’s just the British blog view of the world, as nominated by you: see what you think of it! (And if you want to bypass all the politics, just skip down to the entertainment section – look for the bold paragraph…)

I couldn’t help knowing the Michael Jackson had died – mostly because every French radio station I could find seemed to be playing one of his songs that even I recognised: can’t say I actually have an opinion on the death, however, and, suggests Dave Osler, politicians shouldn’t either. But Marxists should, says A Very Public Sociologist.

And since I’m in France, I should also highlight Jessica Reed’s discussion on The F Word of the French burqa ban, an issue also discussed on Heresy Corner.

Staying Continental, on Amused Cynicism there’s a consideration of who votes for the Pirate Party across Europe – it’s the internet generation. (Although I don’t think Cabalamat is right about them using Facebook, that’s so last month – Twitter’s IT now, I think).

And on Pajamas Media, there’s an interview with MEP Dan Hannan, who is apparently a political star in the US.

Getting into British parliamentary politics, LibDem Darryl Goodliffe is worried about the Green Party’s impact on its vote, and Peter Cranie says the fear is making them fight even dirtier than usual.

Another Lib Dem is taking a realistic look at her political prospects: Charlotte Gore says her blog has pretty much killed her chances – which raises an interesting question for future generations of politicians.

Also on the politics side, Green Socialist is applauding the closure of private schools,

Turning more “social”, on Next Left, Rachel Jolley is worrying about pensions. (Although I do think that when you look at the ageing society, that also means fewer kids – and what really matters is the dependency ratio, not the number of aged – and also the old are going to be working longer – the French papers were full last week of plans to raise the retirement age in France, which is in practice among the lowest in Europe).

And, one of the scandals of Britain – women in prison. On the F Word Abby O’reilly reports on the massive rise in the number of women prisoners self-harming. And a salutory fact – more women are sent to prison for shoplifting than for any other offence…

On, one might say, the other side of women’s issues, Jackart on A Very British Dude, is defending Rebekah Wade and attacking Michel Hanson on the issue of women taking their husband’s names when they marry. (As regular Britblog readers will know, the rule for hosts is that all posts nominated must be posted, unless there’s a really good reason not to.)

And The Filthy Smoker on The Devil’s Kitchen has strong views on the price of alcohol (which comes with a language warning).

The issue on Himmelgarten Cafe is weight, and a new study confirming that being “moderately overweight” under current classifications will see you live longest. On The Ministry of Truth we’re also going sort–of-medical, looking at the regulation of psychotherapy and counselling.

Stumbling and Mumbling is wondering how the banks should be structured – pay isn’t the only issue, he suggests.

While Peter Ashley on Unmitigated England, to judge by his comments, has clearly hit a nerve with his complaint about English distances being given in miles, and so has Victoria on Feminnazery, with a strong view on Burger King’s new “sexual” burger.

But that’s enough misery – let’s have some cheer and entertainment, and more chocolate sprinkles!

I couldn’t do better than start with Philip Wilkinson’s visit to St Botolph’s, Slapton, Northamptonshire, which sounds absolutely stunning.

And staying on the history trail, on Liberal England, Jonathan Calder has been visiting the school where William Gladstone didn’t go, and Dr Roy has been following the trail of some really religious bees.

Missy M is establishing which cigarettes and alcohol don’t count at all – you’ll be pleased to know, with summer holiday season approaching, that none do in foreign countries.

But Trixy is demanding that the eggs in her egg roll come runny, health and safety be damned!

Also in the contest for most entertaining read is Juliette’s exploration of her local video shop – time for a good book, I’d say!

And if this isn’t been too self-referential, I’m going to round up this roundup with reference to another roundup – Jim Jepps on The Daily (Maybe) this week hosted the enormous international Carnival of the Green. (If you’re interested in hosting, be warned, you have to book several years in advance.)

The next edition will be on Mr Eugenides on July 5 – don’t forget to send your nominations to britblog AT gmail DOT com.

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