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October 22, 2005

Cuppa Charlie

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Thanks Advertising/Design Goodness and Ad Agency Ruf Lanz Werbeagentur, Zurich

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Posted by Iain Stewart at 7:34 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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Tory Sudoku: the Winter Ashes

The Tory leadership contest is making the usually gloomy transition from autumn to winter almost as enjoyable as the English cricket team made the summer: when somebody said the Tory contest provided a welcome break from Sudoku, they hit the nail on the head.

One might have expected the fun to have worn a little thin after the innumerable contests that have lit up the years since the bleak gloom of the egregious Thatcher eighties, but those old battles of bruised egos and blessed fools have established an entertaining syndrome that gains through repetition. We now know what’s coming, and we love it.

It was just soooo great when the only person who might have caused a ripple of concern among the New Labour politburo - bloated, unreconstructed, compromised, corrupted good ol’ (very ol’) Ken Clarke – got voted out at the first fence, just like he always had before, along with any other threats to the New Labour hegemony like poofy Portuguese Portillo or the magnificent chest-thumping Heseltine before him. Ken provided a louche winter echo to the brilliant but beaten Shane Warne of the summer.

Things got better yet as – half Flintoff and half Petersen - the altogether more cherce nowhere boy Cameron, D. came galloping into the lead on the wings of a conference speech made (gasp) without notes, succulently drizzled by a week of knockabout hard drugs denial. Blair, Brown et al, secretly ecstatic at being confronted by such a toffed-up, policy-bereft, back-story burdened, old Etonian hooray Charlie rich brat iconette of the Notting Hill Tory yardie set, played along famously by hamming up this classic Tory bullet in the foot as being a greater regime threat than the mountainous form of the abandoned Clarke.

Meanwhile emulating the summer catharsis of Australian hubris has been the spectacular reverse momentum downward plunge demonstrated by initial party darling David Davies – who no-one outside the ranks of the faithful had ever heard of before and has learnt nothing about since, except he’s got a broken nose and supposedly lived on a council estate. Being such an obvious loser at this stage should in the scheme of things qualify him as eventual winner, especially as the polls begin to show that – glittered up in manic media attention – the pre-pubescent Cameron might conceivably make some ground against the dour boredom of a Gordon Brown Old Labour non-revival. Anything like that and the young chap’s days will be over as quickly as you can say Iain Duncan Smith.

Unhampered by anything like a Goliath, we look forward to these two tussling Davids brightening the dismal days ahead as we segue into winter time. As for a viable opposition – who needs it?

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Posted by Iain Stewart at 4:48 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack
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Digest::MD5 Problems

Out of the blue (it seemed) I started to have problems with my Movable Type installation, with the error messages appearing in connection with the marvellous Markdown plugin and when trying to update a template or rebuild the site all indicating the MT application was not able to access the Digest::MD5 Perl module.

Via support consultation with our great hosting company Openhosting, it turned out that the server on which brokenenglish is hosted was recently upgraded, and some problems connected with Perl module compatibility were being experienced.

Trawling the Movable Type Support Forums and googling around, I eventually located a Digest::MD5 package put together back in 2001 by Ben Trott of Ben and Mena, Movable Type’s illustrious founders and owners. After unpacking this, I uploaded just the Perl directory inside it into my MT > extlib > Digest directory within the MT installation, which (obviously) already existed inside extlib, and only contained a single MD5.pm file. After uploading the Perl dir from Ben Trott’s archive, this was added inside the Digest dir, and itself contained a second md5.pm file. Once done, eveything returned to normal with my Movable Type installation.

This rather garbled report may help others experiencing a similar error, which appears to be fairly widespread.

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Posted by Iain Stewart at 1:53 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack
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