So, this all started when Chris Brooke decided he wanted to know which side of the ‘cat person/dog person’ the Labour leader candidates fell on:

He then tweeted all five Labour candidates to find out their position on this, but is yet to get an answer.

Deciding that this was an issue that had importance across parties, I decided to ask our candidates their stance on this:

And answers came back very quickly:

(Sympathy to Norman, as I know how sad it is when a cat dies)

But there we have it – very quick answers from our candidates, while Chris is still waiting for the Labour ones to respond. Speculation about hastily convened focus groups attempting to work out which pet is more aspirational is probably not misplaced.

However, the last word should go to YouGov, whose profiler (thanks to Matt Sanders for the link) tells us that people who like Norman Lamb are more likely to be cat people, while those who like Tim Farron are more likely to have a dog. For once, it seems polling may have accurately captured public opinion.

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Worth Reading 89: When the walls came tumbling down

Here’s 2013’s first set of links:

In an EU referendum, what does NO mean? – Jon Worth looks at Cameron’s latest European strategy and wonders where it might lead.
Behaving in politics as if we were normal people – “prefigurative action” – Jon Worth again, this time on the disconnect between politics and real life.
20 obsolete English words that should make a comeback – It might jargogle at first, and using them could make you seem ludibrious, but ignore those who brabble about the perissology and think how illecebrous it could make you. You might kench at least.
Happy New Year – Jim Bliss explains the lifecycle of a typical blog in a few paragraphs.
Crazy Cat Person – Just a nice story of adopting rescued cats. See? I can share non-cynical heart-warming stuff too.

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The best laid plans of mice and men are both usually ruined by cats

As a lot of my Council work at the moment is dealing with issues relating to waste and recycling, I was naturally going to find this site interesting (discovered via It’s the website of an American couple who are attempting to live for a year without throwing anything away to landfill – within reason, anyway, they have various common-sense exceptions from their rules.

Of course, given that they’re planning to write a book about their experience – and is there some law that when someone says ‘I shall write a book about the time I did X for Y’, Y must equal one year? – there’s an interesting discussion to be had about how much more waste might be produced in the making of a book than they might avoid creating in a year.

But, their project does raise interesting issues about how much avoidable waste we do create in a year, and just how much of what we put out as rubbish could either be recycled or not wasted in the first place. One thing I’ve noticed since making a real effort to avoid creating waste in the last few years is that many weeks the most weighty thing in the black sack we put out on a Monday morning (no, we don’t have wheelie bins here in Colchester) is discarded cat litter, so maybe there’ll come a time in the future when that’s all that landfills contain. Ah, I can dream.

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