Archive for the ‘Out and About’ Category.

Musical Interlude: Country to Country 2015 (Saturday)

On this blog we got both kinds of music. We got country *and* western.

From the main stage on Saturday…

Brandy Clark – Stripes:

Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance:

Florida Georgia Line – Dirt:

Luke Bryan – Play It Again:

The Causes of the Cost of Living Crisis

MG shall be in attendance at this debate organised by Libertarian Home:

Date: 23rd October
Time: 1900 – 2200
Location: The Drama Studio, Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

The left has sought to make the Cost of Living a part of its intellectual territory. Market liberals have thus far failed to claim it, but not for the want of trying.

While it is the lower and middle classes that feel the pinch of inflation and stagnant wages, all classes have to pay prices for essentials that sometimes seem unjustifiable. What makes the Cost of Living so high in the first place?

Libertarian Home is assembling a balanced panel of speakers who will consider each of several causes in turn. Expert witnesses will bring their perspectives and answer questions from the panel and the audience.

Is the Cost of Living rightfully and exclusively an issue for the left? Do free market reformers really care? Who is to blame and what can be done about it?

Confirmed Speakers
Kristian Niemietz – Institute of Economic Affairs
Yaron Brook – Ayn Rand Institute
James Bloodworth – Editor of Left Foot Forward
Christopher Snowdon – Institute of Economic Affairs
Chris Mounsey – Libertarian blogger and activist
Duncan Stott – Liberal Democrat and activist for Priced Out
Lee Rotherham – EU expert and TPA research fellow
Ben Etheridge – Assistant professor at the University of Essex

Brief profiles of all speakers are available at Libertarian Home.

Further details and tickets

A visit to the Cornershop

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that I am a cultural philistine. I can look at the works of the great artists such as Constanble, Turner et al and appreciate that they have something but they do nothing for me. On the other hand something like Tracey Emin’s unmade bed just makes me think WTF? In short I don’t bother going to art galleries because I’d be bored senseless and just want to leave very quickly.

As anyone who follows Mark Sparrow on twitter (or read this post by Anna – or any of the other publicity) will know by now, his daughter, Lucy, has, for the month of August, been manning a cornershop in East London stuffed full of things you might find in any other cornershop. But with one small difference: all the items on display are made of felt and put together by Lucy herself.

I first found about this when, having asked Mark if he’d like to meet for lunch on my way back from the West Country on August 1st, he blew me off having realised it co-incided with the grand opening. (No, Mark, I won’t tell Lucy you initially agreed and then had to back out once you’d remembered. :D)

My curisoity peaked, I finally found some time to walk over there after work one day nd have a nose around. As you do, I took some pictures as well.

All the news that is fit to felt

If you looked at the pictures, I expect you can realise that Lucy has certainly put in a lot of effort to produce this. Something like 6 months or so I believe and the end result is certainly a testiment to this. Philistine that I am, I can appreciate this even if I’m baffled as to why. :)

Musical Interlude: IoW Festival 2013 (Sunday)

I’m down at the Isle of Wight Festival (I’m not camping though) so I thought I’d post videos from some of the acts I see each day.

Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel – “Here Comes the Sun”:

Newton Faulkner – “Dream Catch Me”:

Boomtown Rats – “I Don’t Like Mondays”:

Paloma Faith – “Just Be”:

The Script – “Hall of Fame”:

Bon Jovi – “Always”:

Blondie – “Heart of Glass”:

Musical Interlude: IoW Festival 2013 (Saturday)

I’m down at the Isle of Wight Festival (I’m not camping though) so I thought I’d post videos from some of the acts I see each day.

Laura Mvula – “That’s Alright”:

Bonnie Raitt – “I Can’t Make You Love Me”:

Billie Arnold – “Valerie” (Cover):

Ben Howard – “Esmerelda”:

The Maccabees – “About Your Dress”:

Bloc Party – “One More Chance”:

The Killers – “Miss Atomic Bomb”:

Musical Interlude: IoW Festival 2013 (Friday)

I’m down at the Isle of Wight Festival (I’m not camping though) so I thought I’d post videos from some of the acts I see each day.

First up, it’s T’Pau with “Heart and Soul” (although I considered “China in Your Hand”):

The Levellers – “Another Man’s Cause”:

Jake Bugg – “Country Song”:

Fun. – “Some Nights”:

Paul Weller – “A Town Called Malice” (yes, I know that it’s actually from The Jam but the crowd didn’t get going until he wheeled out the old stuff):

I’d finish with something from The Stone Roses but, quite frankly, they were so damn boring I’m not going to inflict them on anyone else.


The revelry is over, the new year finally under way, the hangovers dealt with and the time to reel in the drinking has arrived (although, obviously not, if you have a public holiday on Jan 2nd to get over the 1st).

But wait, what horror this way comes? Ah, I see it now… it is a cash-strapped fake-charity frantically tying to hitch themselves to the bandwagon of the post-festive drying out period in an attempt to raising money to keep themselves on the hamster-wheel of puritanical lobbying.

For those who are, about now, wondering if I wrote this whilst slowly pickling myself in a large vat of Christmas sherry I shall explain.

In October 2011, Alcohol Concern (the aforementioned fake-charity), lost a lot of their funding after the government decided not to give them any more money stolen from the taxpayer. Whilst for many of us this is a cause for celebration and much merriment, Alcohol Concern weren’t too amused.

Desperate to raise some cash in order to continue to pump out dodgy statistics and lobby ministers and civil serpents in the Department of Health, our penniless puritans came up with what they must have thought was a great wheeze: a sponsored Dry January. What could be more fun than staying off of the sauce and raising money for an organisation which exists simply to hector you about your drinking? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously.

The forces of light are not, thankfully, letting this pass uncontested and by the good offices of Anonymong we have a more useful January idea: Drinkuary.

Drinkuary is a quiet counter argument to Alcohol Concern’s “Dry January”. Alcohol Concern want you to not have a drink for the whole month and raise money for them whilst you do so, I don’t care one way or another if you drink or not. I do care that tax funded charities and health organisations feel compelled to tell us how to live our lives.

Although the whole shebang is now under way there is an “official” launch party this coming Sunday (January 6th) at The Silver Cross, 33 Whitehall, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2BX from 1400.

MG will be in attendance and no doubt a number of fellow bloggers will be there for a lemonade or two.

MG on the loose in June

Events to consider avoiding in June include:

Lost Causes: The Retreat from Classical Liberalism

Society is cracking. Lurching from economic disaster to social decay, our modern day is plagued by sickness. Deepak Lal, world-renowned economist, tackles the hidden roots of our problems in his visionary book Lost Causes.

Date: 12th June
Time: 1830 – 2000
Location: IEA, 2 Lord North Street, London, SW1 3LB
Further details

The Ayn Rand Lecture: The Long-term Consequences of the Financial Crisis

Speaker: John A. Allison, former CEO of BB&T

Mr Allison is a strong proponent of Ayn Rand’s Objectivist philosophy, and his lecture will also explore the profound philosophic causes of and cures for the economic problems we face today.

Date: 21st June
Time: 1845 – 2000
Location: Drapers’ Hall, Throgmorton Street, London, EC2N 2AN
Further details

An Occasional Lecture: Crony Capitalism vs. Entrepreneurial Capitalism

Speaker: Fred L Smith Jr, President and Founder, Competitive Enterprise Institute, Washington, DC

Why does Crony Capitalism (a societal negative sum game) wax while Entrepreneurial Capitalism (a very positive sum game) wanes? “Even the most rational commentators,” a recent book noted, “believe that companies bribe, lie and cheat as a matter of routine.” Of course, some do but is that really a good (or even profitable) business plan? As Schumpeter noted long ago, if crony capitalists are the only face of business, entrepreneurial capitalism is unlikely to survive.

Date: 26th June
Time: 1830 – 2000
Location: IEA, 2 Lord North Street, London, SW1 3LB
Further details

Drinking will, of course, be in moderation…

Potential sights of MG in May

For those who are interested in either say ‘Hi’ – or simply knowing where is best avoided at certain times – I shall be at the following events in May:

The End of Online Free Speech?

The Manifesto Club’s Josie Appleton will be discussing the threats to free speech online at this month’s meeting of The Next Generation. With one person recently jailed for making racist comments on Twitter and increasing government crackdowns on offensive speech online, this topic is more important to discuss than ever.

Date: 8th May
Time: 1800 – 2000
Location: Adam Smith Institute, 23 Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3BL
Further details

Drugs: The War We Never Fought

The Institute of Economic Affairs invites you to attend an exclusive head-to-head debate on Drugs: The War We Never Fought.

Date: 16th May
Time: 1830 – 2000
Location: IEA, 2 Lord North Street, London, SW1 3LB
Further details

I shall no doubt be drinking for several hours after the official part of the evening has concluded…

However I won’t, no doubt to Simon’s dismay, be attending the Libertarian Home drinks on the 3rd. This is not because I’m at the ASI’s Free Market Fairness event but because the early May bank holiday weekend is when the annual Sci-Fi London event is held and consequentially I shall be indulging my inner geek for a few days, as well as sticking my head around the door at the ‘first Thursday’ drinks of the London sci-fi crowd on the 3rd for the first time since December.

No doubt I shall see some of you at some – or all – of the aforementioned.

MG in the wild

On Tuesday I’ll be here:

Free Spirits with James Delingpole

In conjunction with Biteback Publishing, [the TFA] are pleased to welcome James to speak about his recent book ‘Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colours.’

Date: 13th March
Time: 1900 – 2200
Location: The Barley Mow, 104 Horseferry Road, SW1P 2EE

Further details

And on Thursday I might be here:

Rally for Libel Reform


  • Lord McNally
  • Sir Stephen Sedley
  • Simon Singh (science author)
  • Nick Cohen (Observer)
  • David Allen Green (New Statesman)
  • Charmian Gooch (Global Witness)
  • Tracey Brown (Sense About Science)
  • Jonathan Heawood (English PEN)
  • Jo Glanville (Index on Censorship)

Date: 15th March
Time: 1830 – 2030
Location: Great Hall, Inner Temple, London EC4Y 7HL

Further details