Sunday, December 15, 2019

How many prime minsters?

First in the first two decades of a century
1700s - 7
1800s - 6
1900s - 5
2000s - 5
And in the century
17th - 22
18th - 21
19th - 21
Our Queen has had 14 prime ministers, Victoria had 10.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Three needed electoral reforms.

1. MPs representing the parts of the UK with devolved government should not be voting at Westminster on matters which affect England but have no relevance for their constituencies e.g The NHS in England.
2. MPs who leave the party for which they were elected should automatically have to face a by-election.
3. Electors in Sinn Fein constituencies who did not vote SF so have no representative at Westminster should be able to adopt another MP to represent them in parliament.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Books read and reviewed Dec 2019

1. Margaret Thatcher: The Authorized Biography, Volume Three: Herself Alone by Charles Moore  (Author)

This large and very detailed volume goes from Lady Thatcher's third general election victory as premier up to her death. It was proves Enoch Powell's maxim the all political careers end in tragedy. Here was a leader more honoured outside her country than within her own party at home. We read of her huge contribution to the end of the Cold War and the transformation of South Africa. But by two votes of her MPs she failed to be confirmed in office. Ironically her successor, Major similarly failed on his first ballot bu was elected with fewer votes ha Thatcher had received. She was betrayed primarily by the Cabinet and MP's concerned for their own electoral survival.  Moore tellingly observed that she was loved and respected by those who worked for her but failed to take along with respect for her, those who served alongside her. 
   The final years, the decline into dementia are very sympathetically portrayed. We will not see her like again.

2. The Sacred Anointing: Preaching and the Spirit's Anointing in the Life and Thought of Martyn Lloyd Jones by Tony Sargent (Author)

A fine study of Lloyd-Jones as preacher. A heart warming and challenging book for any who aspire to preach. I attended Westminster Chapel, 1964 to 67 and his brings back many memories. Pneumatology, the power of te Holy Spirit is rightly a major emphasis but the author gives no biblical critique of the Doctor's doctrine of the baptism of he Spirit as something that can be repeated in a believer's life. Surely this is a filling with the Spirit? John Stott gives a better exposition of this biblical terminology than does the Doctor.
   I believe the Doctor was the greatest preacher of the last century but this study does not consider his failing as a pastor in a local church where you could attend for years and never be so much as offered a cup of tea by way of fellowship, much less any challenge as to joining the local church. Preaching is primary but it is not everything in church life.

3. 2000 Years of Christ's Power Volume 3 by Nick Needham (Author)

This is the best contemporary series on Church history. The areas I found most helpful were the where my own reading was weak, the radical reformation and the evangelical Catholic response to the reformation. 

4.Dominion: A History of England Volume V by Peter Ackroyd  (Author)

From Waterloo to he death of Victoria, the fourth excellent volume in the series so I look forward o the final episode. Some significant omissions - the children of Victoria, the Brontes and the downfall of Wilde. One piece of political correctness. No way was the Mutiny a first Indian war of indendence!

5. Suspect by Robert Crais 

Delightful whodunit where the hero is a dog and sometimes the dog narrates too. A good page turner.

6.Resurrectionist by James McGee  (Author)

Sex and violence in early 19th century London. The level of violence in nauseatingly oppressive. The plot combines unrealistic science fiction with well narrated historical fiction. But too gory for me.