Posts Tagged ‘fun’

Betting on politics: Rick Perry

Written by Mike on . Posted in Articles, Blog


If on 16 May this year, you thought Rick Perry had a chance at being selected as the Republican nominee for President in next year’s election, you’d only need to have bet £3 to make over £1,000. The Texas lodestar has built a momentum that is hard to justify – he’s neither centrist enough to win the election (even in these partisan times), nor does he have the sort of business experience that could be used as a Republican trump card against Obama – who is looking increasingly tired in office.

Yet, with Betfair the ability to back as well as lay means you can back an outsider and then lay them as their odds come in. I’m now in the nice position of winning £90 regardless of which candidate is selected as the Republican nominee.

But these changing odds cause a seperate dynamic – as the bookies reduce the odds of Perry winning – it becomes a story in itself. Momentum is essential in any primary race. The underdog has a tactical advantage, especially in the US, where presenting yourself as outside the Washington establishment is now necessary. Perry is probably over-valued. But he has momentum – and that in politics counts for a lot.

Image (c) Gage Skidmore

Going out in Lewisham Centre – what to do, what to eat, where to shop

Written by Mike on . Posted in Lewisham Council, Uncategorized

As a Councillor, people often entirely forget to ask for advice on where to eat, how to dress, what to do. So I’ve written a list of what to do in Lewisham Centre & Hither Green (this is all strictly within my ward) regardless of demand:-

Pubs in Lewisham / Eating in Lewisham / Entertainment in Lewisham / Shopping in Lewisham Centre / Things for young people to do in Lewisham

Pubs in Lewisham

  • The Jolly Farmer’s
    354, Lewisham High St, London, SE13 6LE
    Top pub. Great selection of ales. Friendly. Opposite The Ravensbourne Arms (pub crawl?)
  • The Ravensbourne Arms
    323 Lewisham High Street, Lewisham, SE13 6NR
    Once had a “vote Lib Dem” poster outside – then it shut. Luckily, it changed management and re-opened as Lewisham’s very own gastropub. Lovely selection of wines and real ales, excellent food, and seating outside for smokers.
  • The Hansburys
    117 Courthill Road, Lewisham, SE13 6DW
    A proper local pub. Sport on TV, friendly atmosphere, small patio at back – very comfy.
  • The Watch House
    198 High Street, Lewisham, SE13 6JP
    A large JD Wetherspoons, a little dark inside, but nice coffee and reasonably priced food (mediocre toilets) which is a popular locally.
  • The Fox and Firkin
    316 High St, Lewisham, SE13 6JZ
    Young crowd – open till 2am later in the week – with pizzas, lagers, and live music. Not for a quiet pint of real ale.
  • Eating in Lewisham

  • Levante Pide
    187 High Street, Lewisham, SE13 6AA
    Preferable, in my eyes, to its sister restaurant “Levante” on Lewis Grove. Once an Aberdeen Steak House, it now has a warm decor with delicious food. Try the lentil soup, with a touch of lemon, followed by the İskender. I’d rate this as one of the best Turkish restaurants in London – but I am slightly biased…
  • Cafe of Good Hope
    218 Hither Green Lane, Hither Green, SE13 6
    The Café of Good Hope is a community coffee shop owned and managed by the Jimmy Mizen foundation. It’s now a community hub in Hither Green, with excellent coffee, sandwiches and cakes. Better still, the profits go to the Jimmy Mizen foundation and it employs local young people. A local gem.
  • Maggie’s Cafe
    322 Lewisham Road, Lewisham, SE13 7NH
    A Lewisham institution. £4.95 for the biggest breakfast you have ever seen. Refillable tea / coffee with every meal with Maggie roaming the tables topping you (and the cup) to the brim with liquid.
  • Cafe Panorama
    7-9 Belmont Hill, Lewisham, SE13 5AU
    Often overlooked, Panorama does a very fine breakfast indeed with wonderful lunch variations including a delightful Turkish variant of Spaghetti Bolognese. Builders tea, with plenty of newspapers. I used to spend a lot of time there.
  • The Sausage Man
    98 High Street, Lewisham, SE13 5JH
    The Sausage Man may hail from Germany, live in Lee, but his heart is in Lewisham Town Centre. A truly terrific range and quality of sausages, the tea is good to match. You won’t find this in lesser boroughs.
  • Wimpy’s
    183 High Street, Lewisham, SE13 6AA
    There is no reason whatsoever to eat at the McDonald’s across the street, and may I venture whilst Wimpy’s is open, few true Lewisham folk do. A staggering range of burgers – egg on top, sausage on top, even hash browns on top. Also does a good breakfast. Milkshakes a treat.
  • Entertainment in Lewisham

  • Hither Green Hall Cinema
    Lewisham is allegedly the only London borough without a cinema. However, we do have the wonderful Hither Green Hall folks who run a pop-up cinema at St. Swinthun’s Church off Hither Green Lane.
  • Hither Green Week
    Amongst other events organised by the high-energy Hither Green Community Association, Hither Green Week stands out as the biggest community event on the calendar, except perhaps Lewisham People’s Day.
  • Dirty South
    162 Lee High Road, Lewisham, SE13 5PR
    Breaking my own rules, this is technically not in Lewisham Central, but it is according to legend owned by the Alabama 3 who most famously wrote the theme tune to The Sopranos. Being who they are, they can tempt a lot of bands to grace their venue. Lots of shabby sofas too.
  • The Rivoli
    350 Brockley Road, Crofton Park, SE4 2BY
    Err, again not in Central, but if you get the chance to go to the Rivoli – you simply must. In fact, sit in front of your computer 24/7/365 in till you see an event at the Rivoli you want to go to, and go. It’s unbelievable.
  • Shopping in Lewisham Centre

  • Lewisham Shopping Centre
    Molesworth Street Lewisham, SE13 7HB
    Good car parking and directly opposite Lewisham station, Lewisham Shopping Centre is Westfield Stratford – for the sane. I particularly like “Tiger”. It’s a lot of fun for a shop, and nothing exceeds £30. Fact.
  • Gennaro’s
    23 Lewis Grove, Lewisham, SE13 6BG
    An Aladdin’s den of Italian food. Gennaro’s does the most delicious hot Italian flat bread with cheese. The lunch of kings.
  • Records – Collections
    70 Lee high Road, Lewisham, SE13
    Records – Collections describes itself as an “old-school shop specialising in singles, albums and rare vinyl.” By old school, they mean Eton. If this shop doesn’t have the record you are after, in any format you choose, then you are Stuart Maconie. That is who you are.

    Very good indeed.

  • Things for young people to do in Lewisham

  • Lewisham Council’s summer activities across the borough
    To get a weekly highlight of summer holiday activities, sign up to Lewisham’s new SMS service by texting ‘alive’ to 63333. You can also keep up to date with what’s happening for young people by following @summersalive on Twitter.

    The full list of summer activities available for young people in Lewisham is available here.

  • The Albany Theatre
    Douglas Way, London SE8 4AG
    The fantastic Albany Theatre in Deptford has a huge range of activities on for young people across the year.

Election 2010

Written by Mike on . Posted in Articles, Blog

From SpoonFed Comedy:

Finally, the election campaign is nearly over. No more sleazy headlines, billboards, slogans, television debate analysis or hysteria over the word ‘bigot’. No more Peppa Pig (seriously, whose idea was it to involve a cartoon pig in the election?).

You’ve registered, you’ve cast your vote and now all that’s left is the waiting game. And what a slow, dull waiting game it is. Pie charts, swingometers, David Dimbleby in high def. It’s not really worth staying up to the crack of dawn is it? It’s lucky then that political campaigner and events organiser Becky Luff has come up with a much better alternative.

Teaming up with climate activist and musician Deborah Grayson and human rights lobbyist Mike Harris, Becky is organising a special election night comedy marathon at the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club. The nine hour gig will featuring live performances from some of the best comics on the circuit, video link-ups with parties across the country, an all-night bar, DJs, dancing and full TV coverage of the results.

“The first few hours will be stand-up and music and then at around midnight when the results start to come in we’ll be focusing more on coverage”, said Becky. “We’ve got Robin Ince and Martin White coming down with Thom Tuck (The Penny Dreadfuls) and Terry Saunders hosting. Sara Pascoe, Tom Allen and Guardian columnist Ben Goldacre will also be there and at about 4am we’ll be linking up to Josie Long who’s currently in New Zealand for their comedy festival. We’re also using Skype to chat to mind-reading comic Chris Cox in Australia. Hopefully he’ll be using some of his powers to predict the results.”

As well as hearing amusing commentaries from comedians across the world, there will be live links to politicians waiting for the results and apperances from campaign pundits giving their take on the elelction so far. Downstairs, DJs will be playing a special election-themed playlist and there will even be an ‘Outrage Rooom’ where people can watch Sky news results as they come in and get appropriately hot and bothered.

The Working Men’s Club doors open at 8pm and the performances are due to start at 10pm. There’s plenty of entertainment organised to fuel the party too (apart from the all-night bar) with scavenger hunts, competitions and tasks for the audience to keep everyone going till the early hours.

You can also order in your own takeaway, make some electoral bets with the BGWMC’s very own Tic Tac man and get some issues off your chest in Speaker’s Corner. For any troopers still there at 6am, Becky will be taking a team down to Westminster to welcome in the new government.

So hung parliament, schmung parliament. Whatever happens, at least you can have a bloody good laugh at the outcome.

Tickets are £8 in advance and £5 after 2am.