In the year 2015

3 December
Oxford vigil        

Just back from the Oxford vigil against the bombing of Syria. It was a wet and blustery evening and no amount of coaxing could get the candles to stay alight. Sadly prophetic of our misguided mission creep into Syria with no stategy, no authority and no hope of an honourable outcome.

demo_0295.JPG  Setting up




When I got back I wrote this email in reply to an email from the labour party team, Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson to me:

Re: A message from Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson
cleadbeater to theteam

Like you, I abhor intimidation and bullying.
Especially so when 'mr' Cameron treats you like his Eton fag Jeremy. There are times when one should bite back and Eton fags have subtle ways of doing this.

Tom, I can't imagine what you are thinking, voting as you did for mission creep into Syria. I hope you feel good about yourself, were you as 'pumped up', to use a tory phrase, as michael hammond was this morning on the radio??? Testosterone fuelled macho posturing as real people suffer from our 'precision' bombing. 'No animals were harmed in the production of this email' btw.

Now is the time to hold this government to account for all the nasty things it has done, and proposes to do, in the future. Jeremy, YOU are the man to do this!!! Bite their ankles, worry their supercilious assumptions and comfortable complacency and superiority.

Stay with it Jeremy!!!! But realise that you are the one being bullied and intimidated by the bullington boys and the squalid media.

Yours sincerely,
chris leadbeater

Check out my website updated 29 November

-----Original Message-----
From: The Labour Party
To: chris leadbeater
Sent: Thu, 3 Dec 2015 18:42
Subject: A message from Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson

Dear chris,

Last night MPs voted in Parliament on the issue of airstrikes in Syria. It has inevitably led to a big debate.

Labour MPs voted by a clear majority against the airstrikes in the end. But we agreed a free vote because of the sincerely-held differing views in the parliamentary Labour Party.

We will now hold the Government to account over its actions in Syria in the interests of Britain's national security.

And the British people also need our united action in support of social justice more than ever.

In the coming days our duty is to redouble our efforts to achieve a fairer Britain.

In the past few weeks, Labour has successfully pushed the Government to change tack on tax-credits, police cuts and the Saudi prison deal.

Yet despite that, Cameron and Osborne are still cutting billions. Osborne has not reversed his welfare cuts: he's delayed them, and over two million families will still be on average £1600 worse off.

The Conservatives have no answer to the challenge of climate change.

They are failing to build the homes our country needs and causing immense harm to our NHS.

This is the slowest recovery in living memory, yet the Tories have failed to recognise the fact that our economy is facing severe challenges.

Their failure to plan the infrastructure we need is a threat to future prosperity and their claim to have overseen a Northern powerhouse is a sham.

The Conservatives cannot be let off the hook. Britain needs Labour now more than ever.

When the Prime Minister described opponents of military action in Syria as terrorist sympathisers he demeaned his office and undermined his own case.

That is why, as leader and deputy leader, our guiding principle is that Labour must never make Cameron's mistake.

Politics must be conducted in a better way - more civil and more respectful.

We all support and defend the democratic right to protest and lobby. And all MPs must be open to hearing the views of their constituents and others on matters of public importance.

But, as we have both said many times, abuse and intimidation have no place in politics. And the party as a whole will not accept such behaviour, from whatever quarter it comes.

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson
@jeremycorbyn |@tom_watson

To manage your email preferences or unsubscribe from Labour party emails please click here. We won't pass on your email address to anyone else: see our privacy policy. Reproduced from an email sent by the Labour Party, promoted by Iain McNicol on behalf of the Labour Party both at One Brewer's Green, London SW1H 0RH.

andemo.JPG-pwrt3.jpg  From the Oxford Times. That old bloke is back in this pic too

  From the Oxford Mail. Syrian civilians will suffer from our bombing.

28 November
Don't Bomb Syria!        

To-day i joined the demonstration in Oxford opposed to Britain bombing Syria. I fear that this is already a lost cause but none the worse for that. I think the arguments against bombing are overwhelming and I'll link to a few that I am aware of. However, I have a personal view on this too which I have not seen articulated elsewhere. This is that it is wrong to kill, [END OF as they say] It is wrong to kill though because we only have ONE life and that is precious.

0282.JPG  In front of the peace plaque, Bonn Square Oxford

There has been lots of crying in the media about the cost to the British taxpayer, and it will not be unconsiderable, but what about the poor people on the receiving end? Especially so as we have buttoned up our borders and are repelling those that we have caused to flee from their homes directly as a result of our actions.

0283.JPGBonn Square Oxford

0284.JPG  Listening to the speakers

syriaprotest.JPG-pwrt3.jpgLook out for the bloke in the purple jacket and black hat in this pic from the The Oxford Mail

0285.JPG CU5zllgWIAQxu7l.jpg
At the London stopwar demonstration

Some Links

stopwar website
The Guardian/Observer editorial
The Socialist Worker
The Oxford Mail account of the demonstration
Just itching to pull the trigger
What it might cost How credible is the zero civilian casualty claim?

8 November
Really wild life

/imagestheblog15/janeand camera.jpegJane

My niece Jane has always had an abiding interest in living things. her obsession [errr I mean interest] in 'chucky' hens began before she could walk and then once she could she had a short period when only the inducement of 'choccy' cake could motivate her little legs to negotiate the Mendip hills or the Somerset levels in the mist and gloom.

That early interest still abides but now its boundaries have expanded from domestic fowl and the chicken run to Madagascar, Africa and beyond to the high veldt.

janeWith chucky hen Willow

f1729b_da76568b90454da78a25609fef62825e.jpgWith cheetah Tarbo

This link will take you to her new website and intimate encounters with the natural world through photographs, videos and clips.

23 June
Manor Farm meadow

There never seems to be much to report on from the nether regions of Oakley although to the cognescetti it must be a hive of intrigue and calumny. However, we have a new[ish] devlopment at Manor Farm and its outbuildings and I'm hoping that this is a managed meadow in front of it. It looked wonderful in the sunlight.

145122.JPG  Manor Farm, Oakley




12 April - but really 15 February 2015
Birdwatching in the Wash at dawn

Catching up on a few posts that I should have done when they were current.

Back in February, Margaret and Terry took me to the
RSPB reserve at Snettisham. This involved the minor inconvenience to us of having to get up well before dawn at 0430 to get there in time to see the activities of the birds. Our inconvenience was as nothing compared to theirs though as what made this particularly good for us was that high tide and dawn were coincident. This meant that all the wading and mud grubbing birds were forced off the beaches at the same time as the pink-footed geese were leaving their night-time roost at dawn.

blog1520150124_065003.JPG  In the dawn's early light

That they were indeed pink-footed geese had to be taken on trust, by me at least, as the birds were but multiple black dots against the lightening sky. The same had to be said of the golden-eye duck, vigerously pursued by Terry across the shingle. It also gave me some satisfaction to find that included in the flying multitude were some of the most oddly-named species to be found anywhere. I presume the naming conventions are such that frozen birders at dawn can be roused by incanting their names as they pass by. Likely to have been there but hardly likely to have been identified by me, were: bar-tailed godwits [a friend of mine used to use a similar expression about people she held in low regard], avocets [what is there not to like about a bird named after an alcholic beverage?], knot [what a good idea to name a bird hardly ever seen on its own in the singular?], shelduck [here I am about to sound a bit like Gilbert White, whose descriptions of species often included an appraisal of their eating qualities, well for the record one of the nicest duck roasts I have ever had was a shelduck shot, though not by me, in the Conwy estuary, a very toothsome duck, one might almost say that 'twas almost a goose. (thanks a-m you did it proud)], finally, oyster catchers [The opitome to me of our family summer holidays in Norfolk, but do oysters take a lot of catching? btw the birds live mostly on cockles, oh I can't tell you how much I wish they had been called after their true prey. (cockcatchers)]

blog1520150124_073356.JPG  Here be gathered both the observed and the observers

blog1502.JPG  The sun comes up

blog1501.JPG  Pink-legged geese [just believe it]

blog15001.JPG  As indeed do we all

blog1520150124_082356.JPG  When gorse is in season, kissing is in fashion....

There are lots of variations to the saying about gorse, my mother inclined towards the positive version and I agree. Can't contemplate a time when kissing might be out of fashiom.

26 March 2015
LHC on its way back

I am a great fan of the LHC and I have really missed the daily machine reports that have not been made while the machine has been being upgraded and which I have followed since it was first turned on in April 2010. Can't say that I have much idea about what is going on but I like the view they give of the complexities and problems involved in running a very complicated piece of kit. Previous issues have described the problems caused by a malfunctioning sensor on a security door. The sensor cost 69 pence but caused days of mayhem. One week rain was found to be a problem, this in an underground cavern. This week a recalcitrant magnet has been reluctant to be trained to higher energy operation and a sliver of metal has been causing shorts to ground.

Below are two screen captures from the LHC latest news and Morning meeting notes and a link to a rather good BBC article about restarting the machine after its upgrade. All images are clickable.

Screenshot1.png  LHC Latest news

screen2.png  Morning meeting notes

_81287290_img_0110.jpg  CMS experiment BBC news

lhc1.png  Machine status report

9 March 2015
End of hibernation

I went up to the allotment the other day and Frank said: 'Oh, so you've come out of hibernation at last then Chris'. Well I hope he is right although I have done a few things since my last post to back in October last year. This is the longest I have ever left updating and hibernation is not the only reason. I have changed operationg systems from Windows to Xubuntu which I like very much but there is a long learning curve and I am still some way from reaching a level of competance. I've also been moving Cribbit, the plan had been to go back to my permanent moorings in London and we were all set for a lengthy Thames passage when I caught the flu and by the time I had recovered enough to move, the river had deteriorated enough to make the planned Thames passage a bit dodgy.

This post is by way of a catch up and I will put links below to updates from the hibernation period as I upload them.
  My new operating system Xubuntu
  It's those Gnomes again
  The allotment in March 2015

Website links