Thursday, 30 April 2009

Labour & Education

12 years of this Government and their initial mantra of Education, Education, Education and this is the result? 12 years of fiddling about and we still have to show teachers how to wash their hands?

Even allowing for the shortcomings of the present administration, this must rank as the biggest 'Load of Balls' yet!

Then in the print edition of the same newspaper we have a report that Old Buckenham Hall School, a mixed-sex prep school attended by Benjamin Britten, has been censured for disciplining pupils who misbehave by making them stand facing a wall and for reading students' personal letters as violating the pupil's right to privacy. The report also notes that a joint police and social services investigation has since ruled no charges should be faced. The school had been criticised in an Ofsted report for its 'punitive and excessive' punishments!

A police investigation - WTF!

A little more discipline instilled at school might just reduce the problems society experiences at the moment!

Socialists? May the Good Lord preserve us from them - for ever!

Brown Requests Humility

In the print edition of the Telegraph today Andrew Porter reports on Gordon Brown's statement during PMQs 'that they should have some humility'.

Bit rich coming from someone, one of whose character deficiencies is, oddly enough, humility!

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Government Fatally 'Out Of Touch'?

According to the Shadow Secretary for Defence - who is, it can be said, being a tad 'foxy' with the facts - the Government is guilty.

Quoted as saying "......We may have to tighten immigration policy......" he fails to acknowledge that he cannot alter our immigration policy per se, as this is controlled by our masters in Brussels. Therefore a "more restrictive immigration policy" could only be aimed at limiting the entry of non-EU individuals. If he wishes to instigate a fair policy then this, by definition, should be applicable to all individuals, regardless from whence they come.

It can also be argued that if the Government are on the "wrong side of public opinion" and "fatally out of touch", then so is the Conservative Party on the question of Britain's membership of the European Union.

Back to the drawing board, Fox old chap!

In company with a number of politicians, including Dr Fox, it is noted that Keith Vaz has jumped on the 'bandwagon of public mood.'

Government Trotting Out Swine Flu To Save Their Bacon?

One wonders whether the present Government pronouncements (porkies?) and activity (troughing?) on swine flu is but a cunning plan to distract the attention of the populace from other news.

As E-Sure had an effect, one may be forgiven for paraphrasing Michael Winner:

Calm down - snout to worry about!

And The Aim Of The Policy Is?

Interesting, in a perverse sort of way, is this story in the Telegraph.

If quite legal methods of avoiding the tax include working less, moving abroad or paying more money into pension funds results in the Treasury raising less than 40 per cent of the total revenue originally estimated, it does call into question the decision-making ability of ministers - prime or otherwise.

Just a thought.

Trouble On The Cypriot Horizon?

Interesting article in the Telegraph regarding the legal position of Britons living in Northern Cyprus in respect of the title to their properties.

The facts present a dilemma, on many fronts, for the European Union and their apparent desire to have Turkey as a member. Having been to Northern Cyprus it was soon obvious from talks with ex-pats and Turkish politicians that Turkey's stated position is they will not cede Northern Cyprus and in fact have a large garrison permanently stationed there for its defence. Even today there is a 'hatred' by Greek for Turk and vice-versa.

Much has been written about the separation and divide of Cyprus but one has to ask how many people have read a book called The Genocide Files by Harry Scott Gibbons which was republished in October 2003. Gibbons was, of his time, a distinguished foreign correspondent of the Daily Express and his book is based on his presence in the country at the time of the 'troubles', reporting for that newspaper. This book shows that there is always 'two sides to a story'.

There is more to come on this story in the Telegraph and also the entire question of Turkey and EU membership. It should be quite interesting!

Conservative Policy - Indecision Or Electioneering?

Greatly intrigued by this, just a few months ago, compared to this on the subject of membership of the European Union and a referendum.

Perhaps CCHQ, or even David Cameron and William Hague, would like to reply?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Prime Ministerial Dictatorship Is Here!

Gordon Brown is 'adamant' that MPs WILL decide on reform of their expenses on Thursday, according to Sky News. This despite a motion put down by the Standards & Privileges Committee, calling on him to await the findings of the independent review.

Our Dear Leader has spoken! Never mind the views of others, the Leader has spoken!

It had been intended to use the expression 'tilting at windmills' as an anology, but one has no real desire to upset our environmentalist brethren unnecessarily!

Thought - Do the 'laws of the land' include 'delusions of grandeur' as a means to remove a Prime Minister from Office?

Where's Cranmer when you need him?

Monkey Business In The EU

Courtesy of we are brought news of a proposal for the Directive on Apple Pie Enhancement (APE).

Has this odious organisation finally resorted to 'gorilla' warfare to ensure they can control every aspect of our lives?

Seriously - note the date of the proposal. Someone has a sense of humour - thank the Lord!

Don't Let Brown Press The Button

Guido Fawkes has been running stories about the bad luck those people who have met Gordon Brown subsequently suffer, the latest example of which was his meeting with the President of Mexico.

Please, dear God, can we keep Brown away from Silverstone on 19-21 June? If he has to go there please dear God, keep him away from Ross Brawn and Jenson Button!

Well Mr. Cameron?

At the unveiling of the new Conservative poster/campaign for the European Elections, David Cameron said "Where you stand on the referendum says a lot about your politics."

So Mr. Cameron - where do you stand on the referendum? Is it a case that, were you to be elected to form the next government, if not ratified you will grant a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty and, if ratified you would not?

What does "We will not let matters rest there" actually mean?

At present it is obvious no-one has any idea where you stand as you are 'sitting on the European fence' and it is time to come clean methinks. As you said: "Where you stand on the referendum says a lot about your politics."

Brown's Self-Delusion

Gordon Brown, at the press conference with the Polish Prime Minister, when questioned about Swine Flu said, amongst other things, ".....Britain is one of the best prepared countries in the world”.

Like he told us Britain was one of the best prepared countries in the world to weather the economic down-turn?

The man should have learnt by now that he should keep his mouth shut, as what comes out is utter drivel!

Independence Home

Note the UK Independence Party have unveiled Independence Home, modelled on the successful Conservative Home website. Independent, but supportive of UKIP, the site aims to provide coverage of the British political landscape from a libertarian eurorealist perspective.

As Conservative Home is a daily read in political circles, so it is intended to build Independence Home into a site that is read daily in political circles. Eurosceptic opinion is in the majority among the British public, and particularly online, and moderate libertarian ideals are also gaining traction, but there is no active online hub for such views of this kind .The blogosphere is a natural home of libertarian and eurosceptic supporters, and Independence Home will harness this activity.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Straight Talking - Nigel Farage

An opportunity to view an interview with Nigel Farage by Andrew Neil on the BBC programme Straight Talk.

Demonstrating a confident yet levelled-headed attitude, it is also important to note, given the political climate, the strength of depth of knowledge Farage possess on fiscal matters.

Byers Is A Hypocrite

They say an owner resembles his dog, yet the reverse is also true.

Stephen Byers has said that the 50p increase in the Budget is a broken manifesto promise and described the move as 'cynical'.

And this defense of the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is not a broken manifesto promise and therefore not 'cynical' on his part? (scroll down)

As I said - Hyprocrite!

UKIP 'Upsets' Nicholas Soames - Oh Dear!

So when did Nicholas Soames register Winston Churchill as a 'trademark'?

Will he now be complaining about Daniel Hannan and his joke a few minutes into the video?

Labour Not Listened To

Politics Home is reporting that at least half of the political establishment are now more interested in what George Osborne and the Conservative Party are saying than Alastair Darling and Labour.

Conservative Home are also linking to the Politics Home report and one of the comments on their post reads:

"Well probably true, but this is a bit like saying people trust Jonathan King more with their kids than Gary Glitter."

Says a lot - does it not?

New Conservative Poster For EU Elections

Conservative Home has a post on the new billboard poster launched by David Cameron.

To say the comments, even from what are obviously Conservative supporters, are far from complimentary would be an understatement.

Hey ho!

Acronym Sought For Gordon's Attendance Allowance

John Redwood is seeking acronyms for Gordon's Attendance Allowance.

Instead of ASBO I have suggested:

Arrive, Report, Swipe, Exit

More relevant it is felt.

A Local Condemnation Of The EU

Philip Vander Elst, resident of Witney and No 4 Candidate for the UK Independence Party in the South East, delivers a coherent argument against Britain's membership of the European Union.

His views can be seen and heard here.

Misuse Of Our Money, His Time & Effort?

What pray is the point of this?*

At a time when this country is in turmoil, both financially and socially, how does the expense of an 'away-day' for our reviled Prime Minister help? What does he hope to achieve by this trip other than a tad of publicity, hopefully good in stark contrast to the latest, dismal offerings?

Apparently we are promising £15million of support for the organisation of the Afghan elections. In view of our parlous state, would that money not be better spent at home? By what right does some self-opinionated politician, who cannot even govern his own country properly and to the benefit of its people, presume to tell another country how to govern theirs?

* Perhaps he is doing a Michael Martin - increasing his Air Miles before he loses the perk?

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Words - Just Words

Readers of this blog may be forgiven for believing that I am 'gunning' for David Cameron and the Conservative Party on the subject of our membership of the European Union. Both Labour and the Liberal Democrats make no secret of their 'love of the EU', which is probably the only topic on which they have been utterly truthful about with the electorate. David Cameron and the Conservative Party however have presented themselves as a Eurosceptic party and, realising there is a European election in just over a month have broken the practice, adopted since David Cameron's election to the leadership, of never discussing the subject.

Yesterday we had William Hague, in a speech, castigating the present government over their refusal to hold a referendum, contrary to their manifesto promise of 2005. Discussing the election he said "The message we will take to the doorsteps in the coming weeks is that if you vote Conservative it is not too late to have the referendum you were promised." and he also repeated the Tory promise to only hold a referendum on the Treaty if it remains unratified by any of the EU's 27 states if the party is elected to government. He continued "It is a matter of trust; it is a matter of faith in politics; and our commitment rests on the truth that, in a democracy, lasting political institutions cannot be built without the people's consent,......." He also accused the government of debasing the 'coinage of politics'.

Today, this was followed by a speech from David Cameron in which he said "We don’t believe in top-down central control: we believe in local control. We don't believe in taking power, we believe in giving it away." Discussing 'responsible politics' he said "Getting through those difficult decisions will mean sticking together as a country – government and people. That relationship, just like any other, is strengthened by honesty; undermined by dishonesty."

The statement by William Hague that by voting Conservative it is not too late to have the referendum you were promised and in the same breath reiterating the Conservative pledge to only hold such a referendum if the Treaty has not been ratified; is nothing but a contradiction as the first part of his statement is negated by the second. It could also be held to be asking for votes in a most disingenuous and deceitful manner. If "it is a matter of trust; it is a matter of faith in politics; and our commitment rests on the truth that, in a democracy, lasting political institutions cannot be built without the people's consent,......." then it is breaking that trust and faith by imposing conditions on when the people's consent will be sought. Is this not a case, Mr. Hague, of 'debasing the coinage of politics'?

David Cameron, for once, has spoken the truth with his words "We don't believe in taking power, we believe in giving it away", bearing in mind his stated wish to remain a member of the European Union, membership of which means giving away our power to govern ourselves. His statement that the relationship between people and government can only be strengthened by honesty rings a tad hollow, when considering exhortations that by voting Conservative means a better chance of having a referendum when events may well dictate it would not then happen.

If, by June 2010, the Treaty has been ratified and the Conservative Party wins the general election one has to ask: Well, Mr. Cameron, what you going to do now?

Methinks it is about time that the Conservative Party, prior to talking to us about trust, faith and honesty in politics, began to talk to us about our membership of the European Union, its costs, its future political aims and how they propose to justify membership of a political institution that has not been built with the people's consent.

Well, Mr. Cameron?

Returning Democracy To Britain

Dan Hannan plugs The Plan at a fringe meeting of The Freedom Association.

A copy of his book can be downloaded from the link on this blog and believe me, it is worth every penny!

As posted previously, his views are those encapsulated in the policy of the UK Independence Party, a party that campaigns to put you, your local community and the country first!

View part of his talk here.

Bra Boss Let Down

According to the BBC and this report, Michelle Mone who is head of Ultimo bra empire has publicly renounced her support of the present government.

I suppose one could say, as a result of her frustration as expressed in the story, to coin a phrase:

'Her Cup Runneth Over'?

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Recession Dwarfed By Cost Of EU

So said Nigel Farage today, making the point that there was a general consensus among studies examining the cost of EU membership, including regulatory costs, that the true figure amounted to over £133 bn per year for the UK, equivalent to 7.1% of GDP based on figures announced this morning.
In comparison, government borrowing over the past 12 months to ease the current recession currently stands at £ 90bn, or just under 5% of GDP.

Mr Farage said that while these costs were scandalous and amounted to a sum sufficient to build more than 1,300 new, fully-equipped hospitals every year in the UK, they also wasted a huge opportunity. A report by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York showed that a removal of the EU’s regulatory burden from the UK would produce a boost of between 10 and 12% of GDP to the UK economy, potentially reversing the effects of the credit crunch.

Nigel Farage continued: “It is quite clear from these figures that the government is caught in a trap of its own making.......Reducing the regulatory burden on the UK economy would accelerate the UK’s recovery from the current recession, and yet the government’s hands are tied by its EU membership.......If you asked pretty much anyone outside of our parliament at Westminster whether they’d prefer new hospitals or more regulation, it’s pretty clear which they’d choose.”

Trouble is that no-one inside Parliament will ask those of us outside Parliament anything on anything 'cause all three political parties are all 'wedded' to EU membership!

Topical Headline?

Different to the on-line version in the Telegraph as in the print edition the story is more topically headlined 'Fleeing pigs try to save their bacon'.

Whilst David Cameron is reportedly on record as saying that he wished to cull the number of MPs, its a bit early for a mass escape attempt, surely?

Unless of course - to paraphrase - it is a case of 'Snout who you know, but what you know'

An Economic Fix?

Just seen an idea which has a certain amount of kudos and benefit for our economic woes, and presented as a tad 'tongue-in-cheek'.

Unemployment: Rising
Quangos: Proliferating
Banks: Broke
Car Industry: On its knees
House Building: Non-existent.
Government Emascuated: Due 75% of laws coming from the EU

Pay everyone aged 50 and over, still working, £1million to retire on condition (a) they buy a house and (b) they buy a new car. Balance of monies to be invested in banks and used to provide a self-financing pension.
Disband all quangos and cease employment by local authorities of such positions as Diversity Advisers and other similar 'non-jobs'.
Withdraw from membership of the European Union.

At a stroke the above solves (a) unemployment, (b) reduces bureaucracy, (c) injects much needed capital into the banks, (d) rejuvenates the car and house-building industries and (e) returns government of the British people to the British people.

Got to be cheaper than £1.4trillion - no?

Friday, 24 April 2009

Vacuous Manifestos

A report of a statement by David Cameron highlights exactly what is wrong with political party statements, whether in government or opposition.

Lets get down to specifics:

"Big projects such as ID cards and the ContactPoint child database among the first things to be scrapped..."

If we are to scrap useless, financially costly, 'big projects' - how about we scrap the biggest of them all, the 'excrement hole' that is the European Union?

He said he could also promise that the "vast growth of the quangocracy" would be cut back

So how about Regional Government and Regional Development Agencies? How about Blears' Multi Area Agreements, all of which actually take local democracy even further away from the voter? More importantly - and this is specifically for the benefit of Dick Puddlecote - how about the dissolution of ASH, because our Dick most definitely does not like them!

"There is going to have to be a massive culture change in Britain and it needs a new bunch of politicians to come in and actually deliver it."

What is this 'massive culture change' and how is it to be implemented?

When heading this post 'Vacuous Manifestos', this was not a criticism of David Cameron or the Conservatives, but political parties in general. For too long we have had 'bland' manifestos from all political parties, encompassing 'general' statements of intent in regard to policy and only later do we actually find out what these 'bland' statements of intent mean. Even when categorical promises are given in manifestos, too often they are broken - witness the smoking promise in this government's last manifesto that publicans would be able to decide for themselves whether to have their establishments 'smoking' or 'non-smoking'; witness the promise not to raise income tax.

Can we please have a 'little meat on the bones' chaps? Either that, or anytime you want to 'do something' you come back to us, your paymasters, and ask us in a referendum! Now that would be democracy!

Tough On Crime, Tough Etc - Education (x3)

Abbreviating two of Blair's famous sound bites, this story from the Metro - via the Tax Payers Alliance - just shows the benefits of 12 years of Labour policy:

"Others are being given instructions on how to claim as many benefits as possible, book doctor's appointments and even tell the time on a wristwatch."*


Mind you, when considering the 'social-engineering air-heads/dick-heads' we have had filling ministerial posts - is it any wonder?

And I'll bet the bloody wristwatch is digital too!

So What Do MPs Do?

Richard North, over at EUReferendum, has a very good post with some important points. He mainly details the fact that the day after a defence procurement debate the MOD announced orders amounting to £1billion - none of which had actually been debated by MPs.

Couple the above with a briefing paper by Open Europe, entitled Out of Control (a title 'nicked' from UKIP? - but we will let that pass). From their report, bear the following in mind:

Meanwhile, the estimated cumulative cost of regulations introduced in the UK between 1998
and 2008 is £148.2 billion. This is the equivalent of 10% of GDP.

Taking the cumulative cost estimates, EU legislation since 1998 has cost the UK 23% more
than the UK’s total gross contributions to the EU budget over the period 1998-2008

If the current flow of regulation continues, by 2018, the cost of EU legislation introduced since
1998 will have risen to more than £356 billion. This is around £14,300 per British household. For the same amount, the UK Government could pay off almost 60% of the national debt, or abolish income tax for 2 years and still leave the Treasury with a surplus.

Don't recall these little 'tit bits' (not sure if that is one word or two, but hey - they tend to come in twos, normally) of information being aired by anyone during the Budget debate? Is this not a subject our MPs should be concerned about? Why not?

When one considers the leaked e-mail from Laurence Robertson (Conservative) it only serves to increase my personal incandescence with MPs of his thinking. Whilst I cannot be bothered to pull the content of his e-mail to shreds, his words at the end are enough to make anyone see red!

Quote: "I certainly do not intend to become personally poorer at this stage of my career." Unquote. If that is how he feels, then votes willing, perhaps he may have the opportunity of ensuring this does not happen by trying another occupation!

It is obvious that it is not just the question of MPs salaries/allowances/expenses that needs reform but the entire workings of Parliament and the calibre of those within it!

And to do that properly - We need to get out of the European Union!

Tell Gordon To Go!

Please sign this petition on the Number 10 website.

Please Please Please!

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Banning Smoking In The Home

Dick Puddlecote has a great post about how some numpties are trying to work out how they can bring in a smoking ban in the home! Needless to say, on reading the linked pdf, it is for the children.

Anyway where I live, whilst you can smoke in your own flat it is obligatory to keep your front door shut as the corridors are 'public places' and therefore considered smoke-free. I always have windows open, my front door open and the window, in the corridor, opposite my front door open.
Some numpty from the managing agents told me that I had to have my door shut and on asking why she replied that smoke could come out of my flat into the corridor. When I pointed out that none of the other residents had complained, so her point was.......(?), the reply she gave: well I can breathe it in. Simple answer I replied - stop breathing when you go past, ergo you are happy and so am I! Never seen her since!!

Stupid cow!

Cameron On Expenses

David Cameron has spoken on 'transparency of an expenses system' according to Politics Home.

Some caveats Mr. Cameron:

Mortgage interest up to a certain level - any MP wanting a 'nicer' house in maybe a 'nicer' street/area, then they fund it!

Not certain bills - NO Bills! No Council Tax, no electricity, no gas, no water - telephone calls made on parliamentary business can be claimed as expenses on production of the bill from BT or whoever.

No MP within an hours train journey of Westminster - actual train travelling time, not total travelling time - gets any additional allowance. The present Inner London Allowance to be scrapped!

And the above is on condition that MPs actually 'put in a days work'!

The Scales Fall From The EU's Eyes

It has only taken that unwanted, unelected and undemocratic monolith, aka the European Union, 25 years to realise that their fisheries policy is a 'bass-ket' case! Richard North, at EUreferendum has a few choice words.

25 bloody years we have suffered, resulting in the decimation of what was a perfectly good industry, thanks to Grocer Heath - the prat!

To any politician, EU bureaucrat or other numpty who might stumble across this blog - before you start to dream up some other scam; we have realised that we would be Better Off Out!

One Elderly Widow's Story

For the past week I have been out every day delivering newspapers and leaflets. This morning something happened that underlined what an utter pile of shite* this Government really is and the distress that they are causing.

One elderly lady stopped me to talk and she was in an extremely distressed state. This lady, a widow it transpired, with no family left alive - never having had any children - whose husband had fought through the second world war whilst she had worked in a munitions factory, both of whom had paid their taxes all their lives, had never borrowed other than for the mortgage on their marital home, something which she no longer had due to old age and being unable to cope with a house and its upkeep. She now rented from a housing association and was deeply troubled.

She had read in the Telegraph that as the Government planned to borrow another £700million, taking the national debt to £1.4trillion - equivalent to £16,500 for every man, woman and child in the country - what would happen to her when the government came to collect the £16,500 from her as she only had about £2,000 savings left and that money was for her funeral expenses. I managed to allay her fears and left her with the promise I would call again to see her.

The point of all this is how can any government get the country into such a position that the elderly - who were responsible for maintaining our democracy, whereby the 'present day' collection of our 'political elite' are able to 'ply their trade' - have been reduced to the state of distress I found this elderly widow?

I just hope that members of this government have difficulty in sleeping at night!

* My apologies for the use of the word - I do try to avoid bad language however this has made me incandescent with rage!

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Change Of Conservative Policy? I Don't Think So

Open Europe, in their press summary yesterday, reported on an interview given by Mark Francois to Der Spiegel. The first part of Francois' quoted statement does not contain anything new, but the second part of his statement is, one can suggest, nothing but 'double-speak'.

His words: “We do not exclude that. We will talk about the details, when the time has come....." means absolutely nothing. Either the Conservative Party will hold a retrospective referendum or they will not as there is no other option, unless of course they fall back on their previous line of 'trying to change Europe from within'. This statement can only be seen as a cynical attempt to garner votes from those Eurosceptics who may be considering voting for the only party (UKIP) that advocates political withdrawal and reversion to that which those who voted for the Common Market thought they were getting, namely a trading relationship.

Returning to the first part of the report, Francois' statement:
“...if Lisbon enters into force before we are in Government, we will not just let it rest. The Treaty does not have democratic legitimacy in Great Britain, and we will not accept it as a fait accompli.” is another example of vacuousness on the part of his party. If Francois is saying that the Conservative Party "....will not just let it rest." and that "we will not accept it as a fait accompli" then they must have a clear plan in mind, otherwise the statement is meaningless - which won't be the first time that has happened!

Today in Parliament, David Cameron made great play on the fact that Gordon Brown would not give a simple yes/no answer to his questions. So come on, Mr Cameron - let us have a straight answer, yes or no on the following questions:

1. Will the Conservative Party hold a post ratification referendum, were the Treaty of Lisbon in force and you and your party form the next government?

2. If holding a referendum, will the questions be (a) complete withdrawal or (b) a trading relationship with the EU, in other words no political interference?

3. If, as your Shadow Spokesman Mark Francois says,
"The Treaty does not have democratic legitimacy in Great Britain" how can you not hold a referendum, regardless of whether the Treaty of Lisbon has been ratified or not?

4. If you concur with the statement of Mark Francois, is not this a complete repudiation of your own view - as you have put in writing - that you believe it would be wrong for Britain to leave the EU?

Budget Day Thought

Not financial - I leave all that to experts, the likes of Burning Our Money and Mark Wadsworth - but political.

Did anyone switch on BBC Parliament this afternoon? If not, contrast the 'full house' at 12.30 with the attendance at about 15.30 - two pairs of hands would have provided sufficient fingers on which to count those attendees.

And this constitutes a days work?

Perhaps the Attendance Allowance that is sought to replace the Assisted Costs Allowance should be paid on a pro-rata basis, ie on how many minutes is actually spent in the Chamber or in a Committee Room?

Oh Dear - Premonition Time

We are informed by Lee Rotherham of the TPA that today is reportedly the 350th anniversary of the writing of the first cheque for £10 - so Lee is saying although this fact has yet to be 'chequed'.

It is with some trepidation therefore that I wait to hear how much the Chancellor intends filling in on the blank cheques that he has taken from every one of us.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Brown's Expenses Proposals

Leaving aside the propaganda video put out on the Downing Street website - a statement which surely should have been made in Parliament and which no doubt was 'rushed out' to possibly deflect attention from the Budget Speech and other current 'problems' besetting the Labour Party - let us concentrate instead on the written statement from the Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman.

A. Why should an MP, or any MP come to that, be paid an additional allowance, on top of their salary, for attending their place of work? Do those members of the public, commuting in many instances for more than an hour, receive an additional payment for attending their place of work?

The proposal that "There will now be no second home allowance or claims for food, furniture and fittings, fuel, mortgage interest, rent or council tax." is an acceptable proposal, however it does not address the question of MPs who have - and are - making substantial financial gains having already purchased 'London homes'. It can be argued that any gain made at the point of sale is therefore public money and should be returned to the public. Conversely, any loss incurred should be borne by the MP.

B. Parliamentary Sittings rarely continue past 9pm and therefore no MP living within an accepted commutable distance should receive any overnight accommodation allowance. Why, if Additional Costs Allowance (ACA) is to be discontinued, should an MP within the 'accepted' commuting distance receive any additional payment such as the present Inner London Allowance. It would seem, in any case, that this was a 'sop' to those Inner London MPs who were unable to claim ACA and thus build up a profitable property portfolio. If any MP, outside the 'commutable distance' does require to remain in London then the minimum standard of accommodation should be used, ie a cheap hotel or even bed & breakfast.

C. Accepted.

D. Why do MPs require staff, other than a secretary? One can but repeat an earlier assertion that if one of their number (Hollobone) can manage without staff or employing family members, then so can the rest. MPs have access to what is probably one of the world's best equipped and generously staffed reference sources, namely the House of Commons Library. They also have access to all government departments from which information can be requested.

E. Of course MPs should have to furnish receipts for anything, regardless of cost. The Communications Allowance should be abolished - it has so obviously been abused - any travel should be second class and if an MP wished to avail him/herself of first class facilities, then the difference should be funded by them.

F. Second Incomes: An MP's position, has by nature, to be a full-time occupation if he/she is to fulfill his/her obligations to his/her constituents; therefore secondary occupations, of whatever nature, should be prohibited.

Additional matters arising have not been entered into as the primary objective of this post is to rebut the statement and the points contained therein by Harriet Harman.

It is obvious that this 'intervention' by Gordon Brown and the accompanying statement by Harriet Harman is (a) nothing but a diversionary tactic, as mentioned above and (b) is, in effect, just a 're-arrangement of the deckchairs on the Titanic'.

When will Parliamentarians realize one simple fact - He who pays the piper calls the tune. In plain, simple English that translates into the requirement that the only people who should decide an MP's remuneration and conditions of work is their employers, ie the electorate!

Monday, 20 April 2009

Curious and Curiouser

I don't recall hearing about this, or reading this and then searching google I find this. What is even odder is that an acquaintance of mine received exactly the same e-mail, unasked for in that he is not on any mailing list - to his knowledge - of the MOD and has never contacted the MOD. Has someone hit the wrong button?

Via EUreferendum a number of interesting posts can be read here.

The reasons given in both the BBC and Telegraph stories seem spurious, to say the least and why two years later are these jamming tests still being carried out?

Also bear in mind that China, which was a partner in the Galileo project, has pulled out - taking its technology and all that it has learned about the project and is now developing its own system, the development of which is now far more advanced than Galileo.

Does this have anything to do with the fact that whilst GPS is 'free to use' it is the intention of the EU to make its citizens use Galileo and pay for the privilege and the only way they will be able to accomplish that is to jam the GPS signal? And what will be the reaction of the US - if they know - that someone is playing 'fast and loose' with their satellite signals?

Methinks there is a touch of the 'Billingsgate Aroma' about this! So much so it calls for an e-mail to my Member of Parliament, who EU-Lover that he professes to be, may or may not elicit the truth. In anycase the EU has a track-record of denying something which later comes to pass, which it is believed is a process much beloved of politicians and bureaucrats.

More Of Our Money - Part 2

Further to Part 1 earlier today an interesting statistic has appeared on John Redwoods blog.

And they want shorter hours and more money!

David Cameron 'On The Run'

One suspects that this will not be the only time we see David Cameron 'on the run', especially with his colours so firmly nailed to the 'European' fence on which he sits

More Of Our Money P'd Up Against The Wall!

Whilst acknowledging that posting was going to be light to non-existent, I could not let this pass without comment.

At a time when the country is broke, that Darling is supposed to be announcing a drive to save a further £10 billion across Whitehall by 2015, we get an announcement like the above.

Then to cap it all, we learn that MPs have awarded themselves a three months 'summer holiday' and then, previously, had the cheek to suggest they should be paid more!

Do I detect yet another 'gathering storm' for our Parliamentary representatives regardless of political hue?
If not perhaps we bloggers should start one!

Monday 20th April 2009

Little posting today unfortunately, occasioned by two election meetings and my AGM this evening.

Back tomorrow!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Prescott Did Ashdown Out Of Government Post

Have just come across this story reported in Politics Home.

I don't know about the Brown and 1997 aspect but as far as 'later' - well, Prescott would not have wanted any competition at the Temple of Pants Down - would he?

Hillsboro' Files Open 10 Years Early?

So our Second Home Secretary is backing Andy Burnham's suggestion that the files on Hillsborough be opened early?

Nothing to do with trying to divert attention and avoid being the one who 'Kops' the blame for all the bad publicity she and the Government have been getting recently?

Byrne Backs Balls

So the above headline, from an item on the Coffee House, says.

Well of course Byrne backs Balls - he has to as a member of the Government and therefore 'signed-up' to 'collective responsibility'!

And we all know that the Government's policies are just that - Balls!

How To Get The Country Going - Mandelson

The 'Foy Boy' has uttered again and in so doing used five words when three were all that were needed!

In the report he is quoted as saying "We are going for growth." when discussing getting the economy moving again.

If only he had stopped after three it would have resulted in the 'kick-start' the country's economy needed!

Conservative Economics

Forgive me for asking what to the accountants and mathmeticians may well be a stupid question but what on earth is this policy about?

If one is after a 'spending restraint', would not this be achieved far quicker - and with virtually immediate effect and benefit - by a 'quango/fake charity' cull involving P45s? By telling the European Union we no longer wished to belong to their club and thus not have to abide by their 'costly' directives and regulations? By telling MPs that any Member of Parliament living within commutable distance of Westminster no longer qualified for a second home allowance? By reminding MPs that if one of their number (Hollobone) can manage without staff and research assistants, then so can they all? By reminding MPs that being a Member of Parliament is a 'full-time' job and perhaps their hours would be better spent doing just that and therefore they should dispense with their second, third and fourth etc etc jobs and 'speaking tours'?

The second commentator seems to have a point?

Mandelson Says 'Smears' Row Is Over

So an unelected member of Gordon Brown's 'cabal' has decided that the 'smears e-mail' row is 'done and dusted'?

In the same way as his lying on a mortgage application form - something for which the likes of us would have resulted in prosecution for fraud? - is 'done and dusted'? Like the misuse of public office when, as a Minister, he used undue influence to obtain a British Passport for Srichand Hinduja - is 'done and dusted'?

Whether one is a 'Foy Boy' or not, a 'back-stabber' or not - physical or metaphorical - no-one of any principle is going to accept the opinion of someone who is considered - in the Court of Public Opinion - a crook, or 'bent'!

Harman On Message?

In what must rank as the quote of the week Harriet Harman, in an intervention in the e-mail fiasco, is reported to have said:

"Labour stands for principles and values. Whatever anyone else does, we will not fight in the gutter."

Some principles and some values!

Never mind not obviously being 'on message', she hasn't done her homework (yet again). She has failed to notice our gutters aren't big enough for her - let alone the rest of her party!

Climate Change

Why oh why is Wogan's World comment in the Sunday Telegraph so difficult to link to? Probably because his 'tongue-in-cheek' views are not 'a-la-government', which is what the ToryGraph (or should that read LabourGraph?) appears to have become. Writing today he says:

"A huge wind turbine stands proudly next to a brewery, at Junction 11 of the M4. Have a look next time you're passing, without taking your eyes off the road. And what's it doing there? Providing power to the brewery and adjoining enterprises, its mighty blades whirring in the favouring zephyers?

Well no, actually, the passing breeze is only strong enough to turn the blades 40 per cent of the time. For the remaining 60 per cent, the blades have to be powered by electricity, to prevent them from rusting and seizing up.....

Now, it appears that someone else has blundered with the figures. Digging up cereal crops that do irreparable damage to the environment by causing cattle to break wind and replacing them with trees may not be the best idea in the world, as burning wood will do the environment more harm than good.

Could it be that the calculations for the efficiency of wind turbines were done by the same numpty who worked out the benefit of wood-burning stoves? Surely the answer is solar power, with the blistering summers we're enjoying through global warming?"

Coupled with this is Christopher Booker's column today which includes some well-aimed 'barbs', as usual!

Mandelson Deceived By Brown

So the Mail On Sunday reports, the article having a photograph of both with the caption 'Deception: Lord Mandelson accused PM of going behind his back.'

And there was I thinking that is what Mandelson - he of the queer title - liked.

Geert Wilders - The Sequel

Cranmer posts on Geert Wilders and a speech he gave in Beverly Hills, California, at the behest of the David Horowitz Freedom Centre.

Do go read - please.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Saturday 18th April 2009

Regret am still feeling 'grot' - will try tomorrow, failing which Monday.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Finish For Today

As suffering heavy cold and cough and am therefore retiring in the hope of feeling better tomorrow.

Self-Inflicted Wound?

'Twoud appear that the Conservative Party may have shot themselves in the proverbial foot with this report.

Their own members don't appear to like it much! Not such a good idea then and hardly one to make everyone 'green with envy'!

Tomlinson - Abdominal Haemorrhage

According to the BBC Tomlinson did not die of a heart attack so a second post-mortem has found. Having been out all day one has no idea whether others have covered this story, however the matter of 'police brutality' is not the concern here.

Reference is made back to an earlier post on Friday 10th April, in which I asked:

Er - when a post-mortem is carried out does/should not a pathologist investigate all possible causes of a death - especially one in such circumstances as this? Is not an inspection of the body carried out prior to any surgical investigation begun?"

One matter for which apologies are due and that is in the original story it was assumed Dr Carey had carried out the original post-mortem, which now seems to be not the case. I therefore unreservedly withdraw the 'assinuation' made.

The original question, above, still remains. Was Dr. Freddy Patel the original pathologist - asked just to look heart attack as a possible cause of death? If so, who by?

Friday 17th April 2009

No more posting until late afternoon.

A Non-Apology

Contrary to what the media is reporting, Gordon Brown did not apologise! Although the Telegraph is the link provided, look at any newspaper, listen to any radio station or watch any television channel.

Consider what the man said: "I am sorry about what happened.........."

Call me a pedant, but to say one is sorry about something is not the same as saying sorry for something. It is also worth noting that were an 'honourable' man to "take full responsibility" it would result in his resignation - remember Lord Carrington over Falklands?

Want another go Gordon?

Thursday, 16 April 2009

At Last, Brown Says Something True!

Politics Home reports that Gordon Brown this morning said:

"Gordon Brown has said that Britain will come through the recession showing compassion and decency to people facing difficulties."

Britain sure will and it is all due to the decency of this Labour government having dug themselves and the country into such a deep economic and social hole that the electorate will have the opportunity of voting them into 'opposition mode'.

Mind you - I doubt whether the electorate will show much compassion for Labour MPs facing the difficulty of seeking alternative employment!

Keith Vaz - Hypocrite

For this Labour MP to begin to pass comment on bad judgement must rank as one that takes a person's breath away!

Which explains the deliberate omission of the words Rt. Honourable in this post!

Osborne In Cloud Cuckoo Land?

Politics Home has the text of George Osborne's speech at Green Building Council this morning and the content can but make one weep.

If Osborne can afford to spend time on this type of empty rhetoric, and can assure us that it won't increase debt, that must mean that the Tory Party now has a fully-costed economic policy, has worked out how to end the recession in double-quick time, and has drawn up a list of other spending cuts to pay for this green eco-friendly mantra. But wouldn't it have been a more useful speech if instead he'd told us what the economic policy, recession-recovery plan and spending cuts were?

Some of the ideas are semi-practicable and most are pie-in-the-sky. Not one of these ideas addresses the current energy problems we face. It is just 'politicking' with one eye on the next general election and does not mention that it is all driven by their subservience to the EU dictats they have to obey, membership of which is an avowed aim of David Cameron.

Have any of these 'schemes' been costed and are they firm manifesto commitments? Are they yet more PFI 'schemes'? Does not a £17billion high speed rail network not add to government debt? Who is going to pay for these 'charging points' for electric cars? You can bet your last euro on the fact that like wind farms, it won't be the government or the electricity companies - it will be the taxpayer yet again!

Most agree that our politicians are 'air-heads' but this - WTFF?

Afterthought: £6,500 for each home and how many homes in the country - more government debt!

Update: Richard North, over at EU Referendum makes a good point!

Puerile Journalism

At last, Europe has become interesting - so says Adrian Hamilton in an article in today's Independent. Opining that:

"The one thing this June's European elections will not be about is Europe. The EU indeed will barely get a mention. Even the LibDems in areas such as the South-west where they fear to lose seats to the Tories will tread gingerly on the subject. The strongest voice on the subject will once again come from the anti-Europeans. What the vote will really be about, however, is whether people want to use the opportunity to express anger at the Government or whether they're too turned off politics to bother to vote at all." and "But it is also true that the country [United Kingdom] cannot afford the Union to collapse under the weight of this recession. Nor can it be in our interest to join an alliance of the big against the small when we have so much interest in allying with them on most issues."

seems to miss the point - but what the hell, this is a piece written by a supposedly 'professional journalist'.

God only knows what the Labour Party will campaign on; the Liberal Democrats will no doubt campaign for 'more of the same' and the Conservative Party intend campaigning for a referendum, something their leader definitely does not want.

Membership of the European Union boils down to one basic question - who governs our country. None of the main political parties want to discuss it and it seems the media do not want to raise it.

A pox on all their houses!

An Independent Civil Service?

Douglas Carswell has posted on whether our Civil Service really is impartial and states "state officials made exaggerated claims........", something which one would have to agree is a characteristic of all authoritarian regimes.

Picking up on this question of impartiality one has to question the position of Sir Gus O'Donnell, presently Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Civil Service. Back in 2004, when
Permanent Secretary of the Treasury, he co-authored a book with Ed Balls, presently Schools Secretary, who at the time was chief economic adviser to the Treasury, in which position he was considered the 'most powerful unelected person in Britain'.

Accepting that, as private individuals, civil servants will hold political opinions, to promote that air of impartiality such views cannot and must not be made public. Remember also that Gus O'Donnell is to 'regulate' the further activities of Special Advisors.

The question has to be asked - how can someone who holds views so in tune with that of the ruling political party and having made those views known publicly, remain 'impartial'?

UK BorderAgency

Picking up on a post by Raedwald and linking this to a report in the Telegraph confirms that Raedwald's suggestion has some merit.

Perhaps French fisherman strategically placed around the Palace of Westminster, ready for the end of the next PMQ's session might concentrate a few minds? While the MPs are waiting their release they could always organise a game of football - or netball, just to show no sex discrimination - after all they will have a couple of Balls available!

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

A GCSE In Parenting?

Apparently so, if this report in the print edition of the Telegraph is to be believed. It relates that pregnant schoolgirls could get the equivalent of a GCSE in parenting skills. Two courses will be offered at charities (fake no doubt), pupil referral units and community centres.

What stupid bastard (pun intended) thought this one up? And the cost?

Despite a 10-year strategy costing £280million which has been spent on contraception and sex education, the number of conceptions among the under-18s has risen from 41,800 in 2006 to 42,918 in 2007, the paper reports.

Yet another example of a Labour programme delivering value for money! But wait, it is working!

"Doing this course has improved my parenting skills and my knowledge of being a parent" - so says one schoolgirl taking an early version of the course.


Steer Well Away

A story in the Telegraph reports that to assist teachers, who it is said lose 50 minutes lesson time every day trying to get pupils to behave, games should be introduced into the classroom.

Why on earth is the taxpayer funding the employment of a 'behaviour expert' - recent events would suggest that instead coming up with crackpot schemes like those reported for schools, his 'behavioural expertise' should be directed at those in the government!

If a 'teacher', who is presumably an adult, cannot control and in so doing command respect then it has to be said there is something wrong with the adult.

True to form, a Labour administration presented with a problem believes the answer is yet more bureaucracy, as reported here.

And which incompetents have messed around with our society and education system to such an extent it is difficult to think they can get any lower? All Balls can do is pontificate and say that parents have a duty to "share the responsibility of maintaining discipline". So parents, who have no choice in school for their children, who have no choice of curriculum to be taught, have no choice in teachers employed, may well be financially 'punished' as a result of deficits over which they have no control.

Note the word used three times in the preceeding paragraph - choice. The government talk about choice, as they talk about - for example - democracy, fairness, transparency, power to the people, government without spin, values and British jobs for British workers. They are just words, dear reader, and the government have no intention of implementing any of those fine ideals - ever!

It is noted that opposition leaders are now chanting the word 'change'. If only they meant it! Politics today just is not working and what we need is radical change, albeit this would mean 600 odd P45s for a start. Remember there is no 'change' if the only 'change' that is being offered is one from red to blue!

Just For A Change - A Local Story

From my local newspaper, the Witney Gazette, comes a story about a man arrested and questioned for 7 hours in regard to the fact he had an ornamental pig in his garden.

The complainant was his next door neighbour, who just happens to be a policeman!

Admittedly the story is short on detail, but one wonders whether the arrest on suspicion of harassment was to do with the dispute over the garden path and the pig was an excuse.

What is troubling is that the police removed someone from the presence of an 86 year old woman without apparently considering it wise to alert social services. If John Ablett did in fact inform the police, at the time of his arrest, he was his mother's carer then their action is doubly troubling.

Snout so queer as folk, is there?

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

It Is Just Not Good Enough, You Hyprocrites!

Now that Gordon Brown has not said sorry - only regretted - the actions of Damian McBride, I see we now have the 'loyal troops' trying to spin the matter closed.

We now have Hazel (Poisoned Dwarf) Blears, Liam (come the next election you surely will) Byrne and Alan (Postman Pat) Johnson all pleading that McBride's action was 'disgusting' and 'had no place in politics', etc etc etc.

Yet, as Rachel Sylvester in the Times comments, this 'skull-duggery' has been prevalent for some time, years in fact, but no 'condemnation' has been heard from the above three before now. It can therefore be argued that they have benefited from the 'political misinformation' process and, contrary to what they may say, must have known of its operations.

If ever anything demonstrated a discredited, lying, manipulating Labour administration 'spinning' to its demise; then this latest 'whitewash' PR stunt is it!

Fake Charities

I feel sure that like so many others in this country today I am totally fed up with being told how we are to speak, act and think by this government and 'fake charities', the latter being no more than government funded bodies which are used to pre-condition us to impending government/EU laws.

Via EUReferendum, who links to the Devil's Kitchen, we learn of the latest example of this. Dr. Richard Dixon, Director of WWF-Scotland who opines that Homeowners who do not to take action to improve the energy efficiency of their properties should be treated as criminals. He also considers that failing to put in energy efficiency measures was as antisocial as drink driving. Devil's Kitchen also links to a website he set up on which you can search for these fake charities.

Mark Wadsworth also highlights another example of this 'fake charity' culture that has sprung up under this government.

The degree to which the people of this country are being 'conditioned' to adopt a life dictated by the state has alarming similarities to past regimes such as that existed - and still do exist - in communist states such as USSR, East Germany (as was) China and North Korea.

One has to ask - when will the people of this country wake up to what is happening under their noses? One of the comments, by Neil Craig, to Mark Wadsworth's post neatly summarises the situation by saying this:

"Government employees lobbying for more money & government employees to counteract the artificial fears produced by government employees using government money to lie to us to create such false worries."

How true!

Do go read both the Devil's Kitchen post and that of Mark Wadsworth, although be warned that of the Devil's Kitchen does use some basic Anglo-Saxon words!

Tuesday 14th April 2009

Light posting today - Apologies

Monday, 13 April 2009

Gordon Brown: Letter to Head Of Civil Service

Gordon Brown has written a letter to the Head of the Civil Service, reproduced by the Telegraph, which can be read here.

David Jones, Conservative MP for Clwyd, seems to have 'picked it to pieces' quite nicely here.

Classic Gordon (not me Guv, I wasn't there) Brown!

Update: 2330 - just appeared on the Telegraph website. Throws a new light on his letter to Sir Gus O'Donnell?

The Liberal Left

This has to be read to be believed!

So those of us who blog are "frustrated writers bitter about their inability to land jobs at real newspapers, sitting in their mother’s basement, stabbing endlessly away at their computer keyboards in the middle of the night writing cretinous, infantile forums of abuse dressed up as an argument in the hope that people will read their inconsequential, misinformed diatribe."

What planet are the authors of Liberal Conspiracy from
? Perhaps when they keyed those words, they were looking in a mirror?


Tom Harris, Labour MP, is quoted in a Guardian piece authored by Matthew Taylor, on the subject of why right-wing blogs are more successful then left-wing blogs and that Labour supporters need to start blogs.

" It can't be a party initiative because blogging is from the bottom up not the top down."

How ironic a member of the party which believes in 'top down' government, a government which is trying to ensure we act, speak and behave as they dictate, is forced to admit their system is flawed!


Journalists? Pah!

A so-called 'journalist' exhibits his 'professional expertise' in the Guardian. Unfortunately this example of 'writing' is, in recent months, replicated also in the Telegraph and the BBC.

Commenting on the Damian McBride affair, Michael White(wash) tries to pin the blame on the blogosphere in attempting to have the " ..... media print damaging claims (in this instance via Guido Fawkes) against the political class – whether they are true or false." He then continues " He shouldn't have been dabbling in what sounds like squalid stuff but it helps to understand why people like him do what they do. They do it to protect their boss and undermine opponents whom they think enjoy an unfair advantage in a corrupted media environment."

That last remark sounds more like an excuse for McBride's actions, wishing to lay the blame at the door of someone in the 'media environment' who dares to say something that is critical, someone who McBride and his ilk cannot 'control'.

The corrupted media, Mr. White - of which you are one, along with the likes of Nick Robinson - are the ones who have omitted to hold politicians to account and in so doing continue to write and air your sycophantic articles thus promulgating politician's lies and half-truths. Let us consider the phrase 'what sounds like squalid stuff' - you mean, Mr. White, you have not read copies of the e-mails? So how come you can write a critique on the subject? Thats an example of 'professional journalism'?

And the newspaper industry wonders why sales of their products are falling?