Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Franklin says that his application to join the Knitlist has been rejected without explanation three times. This is shocking news: roughly equivalent to Monet’s rejection at the Salon. I am embarrassed, in retrospect, ever to have been a member (let alone a ListMom). The excitement of those early Knitlist years is not to be recaptured, though.

The Lace Festival of the Knitting Beyond the Hebrides group has started – you don’t have to be a member. I think I will figure as a contributor, although I’m not absolutely sure. I’m looking forward to hovering towards the back of the adoring circle around Dolores in the late-night bar, if so.

All quiet here. There are still six more rows to do before I finish the second pattern-repeat in the centre of my sister’s shawl, and get the camera out again. Tonight should see it done – it’s definitely getting faster. But that first ball of yarn obstinately refuses to come to an end. Since Ketki’s gansey in the country is being knit from cones, and two will probably suffice – as with the shawl, I’ve got three – my chances of ever diminishing stash by even one item seem very slim at the moment.

Politics

That’s all I’ve got to say about knitting, and I haven’t got a picture, so I will write about current affairs.

Our government is in trouble, and the newspapers are having a lot of fun on the subject of their incompetence. Alas this is having the effect of concealing a major instance of incompetence, relating to the change in the rules for farm subsidies which I mentioned yesterday. I’m on shaky ground here, because I don’t understand the new rules any more than Margaret Beckett does, the incompetent cabinet member involved.

The rules emanate from the EU, and in Scotland, Wales, and I believe Northern Ireland, a simple formula was adopted and farmers were paid long ago. Not so in England. Most of them still haven’t been paid what they were due early in the year, and many are in serious trouble with their banks as a result. The EU will soon impose a large fine on the UK – which will have to be paid by the taxpayers of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, as well as English ones -- if it doesn’t get done, as it clearly won’t. Furthermore, English farmers have to submit their application for next year’s payment by May 15, without knowing how their previous application fared.

Margaret Beckett would be history if the Home Secretary and the odious Deputy Prime Minister hadn’t got her off the hook by furnishing the journalists with more entertaining and comprehensible material.

1 comment:

  1. Mhairi8:32 PM

    Hi Jean,
    Read your entry to the lace symposium - i think every child in our family has been christenend in a patons pattern shawl!
    I have to add how disgusted I am with our present (and past) governments and their treatment of the British farmer. It has destroyed the countryside and turned in into one big housing estate.
    The boys I went to school with their family had to sell their land, and went into heavy machinery business. That land now has 1000 houses on it.
    This was the land where we all got our milk, meat, veg - now I have to go to Tesco.

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