Tuesday, 30 June 2009
David Miliband and his 'colleagues' in the EU would not know 'common sense' if 'it stood up and slapped them in the face' - and as for 'subsidiarity', he and they can take that and file it where, as our American cousins say, 'the sun don't shine!'
I have never understood socialists and their desire to 'regulate' - whatever man does, whether that be speaking, thinking or, in this case producing misshapen vegetables and fruit, it has to be 'regulated'.
Why can these idiots not realise that the 'market' will decide whether, in the example our ForSec discusses, it will accept 'curvy' cucumbers. If the public don't buy them the producers will take the necessary action, without some bloody bureaucrat deciding it for them!
Oh, and by the way Mili-idiot, that would also save this country one hell of a lot of money too!
"What is the definition of enclosed public places?
The precise definitions of "enclosed (or "indoor") public places" differ between the Member States. However, it is important that these terms are defined as clearly and inclusively as possible. The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control guidelines recommend that the definition of "public places" should cover all places accessible to the general public or places for collective use, regardless of ownership or right to access. It is further recommended that “indoor” (or “enclosed”) areas be defined to include any space covered by a roof or enclosed by one or more walls or sides, regardless of the type of material used for the roof, wall or sides, and regardless of whether the structure is permanent or temporary."
Notice the definition of 'public places' and 'indoor' or 'enclosed'?
Ok, Dick Puddlecote - over to you...........
Yet local authorities have had this option, according to the BBC. which also states: "The DCLG spokeswoman did not reply to requests to name any councils which do not already award extra points to applicants with a local connection, or who have been on the waiting list for a long time.Neither did she outline any specific changes to existing council guidance on prioritising local people." A spokesman for the Local Government Association has also confirmed that it is already the case that most local councils favour people who live in the area. They already award more points to local people."
Bearing in mind the Human Rights Act and our subservience to the European Court of Human Rights rulings, plus the fact that any European citizen, resident in Britain, has the same right to access the 'services' provided by Britain as does a British national; might one not see the odd court case or two?
Just a thought........
According to Statewatch: "The 'Stockholm Programme', the next 5-year
plan for Justice and Home Affairs, is expected to be adopted in autumn
2009". Tony Bunyan, Statewatch editor, points out that the Stockholm
programme contains: "An 'information system architecture' to bring about
the sharing of all data across the EU. The use of 'security
technologies' to harness the 'digital tsunami' to gather through mass
surveillance personal data on peoples' everyday activities through
public-private partnerships." Bunyan goes on to warn that: "What is new
is the clear aim of creating the surveillance society and the database
As the Lisbon Treaty reaffirms that the EU can assume responsibility for any area of legislation it chooses, does it really matter what our provisional government decides?
Nigel Farage has said: "Anyhow, make no mistake. If the Lisbon Treaty is ever in force the day will come when as citizens of a country called Europe we will all be forced to carry an ID card."
Can we leave now, please?
Osborne alleges that access to the Combined Online Information System (COINS) is being denied them and claims:
"Gordon Brown is denying to the opposition the information on individual spending items in the government Budget that would help us plan for government, help us plan for dealing with the debt crisis. He has denied us access to that information. That makes our life as an opposition more difficult, but more to the point for the country, it means the country doesn't know the truth about where their money is going."
Never mind that the Opposition are denied this information, it would seem that we the public are also denied access, thus unable to see where our money has been spent.
So Gordon, where does this leave your 'trans-pair-ency' then? Appreciating the fact you are being 'left' behind in the popularity stakes, surely, even with only one eye, you can see that your attitude is not 'right'?
Yet the Witney Conservatives website, at the time of writing, does not appear to contain any mention of this 'constituency event', either on the front page or in 'news' or 'events'.
Wonder why, as surely they have 'pride' in the Member of Parliament?
Besides not following Commons Conventions and Courtesies, having an employee from a minister's office informing the MP that he is 'not invited' and also dissuading the Leader of the Local Council that he too was not welcome, it is the effrontery of suggesting that the visit should not be have a 'political' overtone that is the height of duplicity.
If arranging for an ITN camera crew to attend what is an event in the launch process of a government initiative does not make said event 'political', then what does?
'Izzet' not a case that a 'Labour Fixer' is presumably being employed as a civil servant, at taxpayer's expense, to arrange a political event?
Besides not demonstrating the ability to organise a 'celebration at a brewery', this PR exercise by Brown and Balls is but another example of governmental error in presentation and, it may well be argued, contains an overtone of 'Stalinism'.
Taking the subject of 'twisting' statistics to its logical conclusion, one does have to wonder how long the first commenter's remarks will take to become fact.
John Rentoul of the Independent has weighed in suggesting that the use of the word 'lie' is uncalled for.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary definition of the word 'lie' states: 'an intentionally false statement'.
In other words, if something is said that is not true, or not entirely true and it is done to deceive then the person so doing has told a lie.
So what is the problem, JR?
Monday, 29 June 2009
Yet again it is a rehash of ideas previously announced, ideas 'nicked from the Tories, or even UKIP on previous occassions, and is remoniscent of the Communist regimes who used to use exactly the same ploy - repackage old ideas as new policy.
Carbon capture and storage 'demonstrations' - nicked of the Tories from their Conference in 2007. Mind you, green jobs are costs, not benefits as this report shows. It also shows studies are based on arbitrary assumptions and use faulty methodologies to create an unreliable forecast fo tht e future of green jobs.
Simplification of immigration rules (which only appy to non-EU nationals) - announced originally last year.
One-to-one tuition - NHS 'check-ups' - announced last year.
The Constitutional Renewal Bill - how many times has this been 'announced' - two/three?
Parenting Orders - was that not first announced in September 2004?
Gordon Brown's speech ended by also re-cycling one of his 'slogans' - 'We will not walk away from the British people'.
Go on Gordon, try - its dead easy! In fact the country is praying that you will, to put it politely, just sod off!
As an initial aside, Britain may well have a future - and not a rosy one at that - but it is obvious that this government's only future will be forming the Opposition! But then I digress - again!
FT.com has picked up on the fate of Margaret Hodge when she suggested, back in May 2007, that there was a need for social housing policy to take account of length of residence, citizenship and national insurance contributions.
Besides the usual condemnation from the 'left' Crudas, Hain and Livingstone - one other person also condemned Hodge's remarks - Alan Johnson who made the accusation that talk of that nature was the language of the BNP.
So BNP policy is now official Labour government policy?
Well I never!
First we are banned from smoking in the pub, now they want to ban us smoking in the gardens - do these bastards never stop?
Methinks that further encroachment on smoker's 'rights' (assuming they still have some rights) may well light a 'fire of revolution'?
Sunday, 28 June 2009
Leaving aside the gist of the post, one of the commenters states:
"Ban it - I thought they just made it Speaker"
It would seem, from this article, David Davis has decided he has no hope of a Cabinet position anyway!
"In both my offices I employ permanent and part-time staff. Since 1994, I have always had one full-time constituency assistant in Rotherham as well as other part-time employees.
I also have interns and researchers in my offices, and most of the equipment purchased has been for their use..........."
So if 'most of the equipment purchased has been for their use' - where has the remainder gone, Mr. MacShane?
Besides running two offices and helping his brother to 'earn a crust', Denis MacShane would seem to be going into competition with PC World!
He makes the telling point that what created the BNP's success at the European elections is the failure of the mainstream parties to discuss the issue and that unless this issue is discussed the BNP’s success story may well have a good bit left to run.
And what can politicians do about immigration from Europe..........
Update: Fraser Nelson has a further post on this topic which includes the figures obtained from his FOI request.
Leaving aside the obvious questions that Rawnsley raises on the question of redress when things go wrong, a far more important point is that of 'granting entitlements', one which exposes the failure of this government and, at the present time of writing that of the Opposition, due to the latter's silence on the details involved in the devolution of power.
Who do politicians think they are by deciding to 'allow' us a few crumbs from the table of power? As stated in the previous post, if politicians wishing to devolve power to the people, instead of mouthing platitudes, cannot realise and accept that only by enacting what Hannan & Carswell call 'true localism', then platitudes is all that they will be able to achieve.
They just do not 'get it' - do they?
Saturday, 27 June 2009
Commenting on the inefficiency and impracticality of allowing politicians and bureaucrats to spend other peoples money - highlighting MP's expenses and the BBC in particular - Daley ponders whether this may be the catalyst to harnessing the public's anger, as Thatcher did against trades unions and 'Loony Left' local authorities.
She makes a telling point, encapsulating a hidden 'dig' against the Conservative Party, when she states:
"For public outrage must present an opportunity – if not an obligation – to an Opposition. If popular anger can't be channelled through mainstream politics, then democracy is useless."
If politicians are truly wishing to devolve power to the people, instead of mouthing platitudes, then it can only be enacted by a belief in what Hannan & Carswell call 'true localism'.
Under the present system local government is but a sham and it is for this reason that turnout at local elections is so low as people now seem to be aware that their vote counts for nought.
The allocation of monies to local authorities by the Treasury is made purely on assessing spending needs against the level of local services. Therefore a good local authority, able to produce a high standard of local services does not qualify for as large a Treasury 'handout' as one that is inefficient. Consequently voters are unable to reward, or punish, the behaviour of their local council as it is far from clear who is actually responsible, on top of which a local council has only limited control over its budget. Couple this with the situation that where councils employ the 'Cabinet System' of local authority government to implement central government dictats, a council of say 50 councillors incorporating a Cabinet of say 7, means that the remaining 43 councillors are, in effect, disenfranchised.
Without, in turn, sounding patronising one does wonder how many of the electorate fully appreciate the source of funding for local authorities and whether it is believed that Council Tax is the sole provider of that funding.
For 'true localism' - and local government - to work for the benefit of local people, the following needs to happen:
* Abolish regional development agencies, regional government offices, MAAs (Multi-Area Agreements) and transfer all their powers to local authorities.
* Abolish the Department of Communities & Local Government and pass their powers to local authorities also.
* Grant to all local authorities responsibility for all areas of policy which have been devolved to the Scottish Parliament, under the 1998 Scotland Act.
* Replace VAT with a Local Sales Tax or, to keep young Wadsworth happy, a land value tax.
* Make all local authorities self-financing.
Without central government grants and making local authorities self-financing, local councillors would have to stand on their record, thus allowing voters to judge them accordingly. As one of the aids to making local authorities self-financing, let us consider a local sales tax, which would be a charged just once at the point of retail. Local councils would be free to vary the rate levied, dependent on their spending needs. To take a local example, were Wiltshire to set a lower rate than West Oxfordshire, then West Oxfordshire may well find shoppers crossing county lines to spend their money, to the gain of Wiltshire and the loss to West Oxfordshire. It would, as a result, introduce something to this country that we have never previously experienced, namely tax competition which, in turn, must lead to a downward pressure on taxes. Tax competition would also force local authorities to accept what is known as the 'Laffer Curve'; that is, that setting lower tax rates might well net them greater revenue with the added advantage that business and trade may well be attracted to low-tax areas, thus broadening the tax base.
By the abolition of the Department of Communities & Local Government one immediately returns to local people control over what may be described as quality-of-life issues such as siting of mobile phone masts, siting of incinerators and local planning.
But why stop there?
All three main political parties, when discussing the NHS, treat this subject as if it were a 'sacred cow' - it is not. The NHS is a service provider and as such should be subjected to a review of, and the implementation of, an acceptable level of service and efficiency. Why not, for example:
* Allow patients to opt out of the NHS and instead pay their contributions into individual private health accounts, a proportion to be allocated to everyday healthcare and the remainder set aside for insurance against serious illness.
* Allow those who choose to remain in the system, or cannot afford to contribute to a private healthcare system, to remain within the NHS.
* Incentivisation for prevention of illness, rather than cure.
The last point may well introduce an effort by people to avoid developing habits and conditions that require expensive remedies.
How about social security?
For far too long governments have seen their social security budgets balloon with little effect on relative or absolute poverty. Millions of people have become trapped in a world of relative squalor and low expectation. In their publication, The Plan, Hannan and Carswell state: "....as long as you pay people to be poor, you will never run out of poor people."
* Return responsibility for the relief of poverty to local authorities.
* Allow local authorities to determine eligibility for benefits
* Provide local authorities a bloc grant for social security and give local authorities discretion over the allocation of those funds
Consider: Person A may be a widow or pensioner who has fallen on hard times whilst person B may be a local 'layabout'. Would not a 'local' caseworker be more able to discern the difference than a government controlled 'service'?
Local authorities would be free to innovate and devise ideas and pilot schemes - those that work will soon be copied by other local authorities, thus benefiting the country as a whole. Many benefit cheats see their activities as 'cheating the system' rather than 'cheating their neighbours' - introduce localism and local accountability and benefit cheats really will soon seen to be 'cheating their neighbours'.
What about education? It is generally accepted that schools and the education system is failing and the reason is simple - too much government!
Government decides how many schools there are in any area.
Government decides the rules which dictate where your children go to school.
Government decides what they learn and how they are taught.
Government decides who can teach and how teachers are trained.
Government decides the hours your children spend in school, how many hours are spent on different subjects, what they eat and how they behave.
So the Government has created a monopoly, as in the health service, thus giving parents little choice. A state monopoly means uniformity and that, in turn, creates mediocrity, hence the lowering of standards - and the government is surprised when parents opt for home education. Even then parents are not 'left alone', but subjected to 'innuendo', in the argument against parents providing home education; this being done by hints of the opportunity for 'child abuse'.
So why not introduce 'true localism' by providing parents with a form of 'credit account' - ie the amount of money that the education of their child, or children, would cost and allow the parents to spend that sum at whatever school they chose, being one that provided the type and level of education that the parents wanted?
Why not consider the question of law & order?
Contained within our Council Tax demands is a 'precept', which is passed to the local police authority. This is another example of public money being spent by unaccountable and unelected individuals who then decide, under Home Office 'guidance', their policing priorities. As this is 'your' money, should you not have a voice in how it is spent? Should not those spending it be accountable to those providing said funding.
Now were Chief Constables forced to stand for election by their local community - and this is another argument for each local authority having their own police force - then, each candidate could present their 'manifesto' for law enforcement. For example, should the voters in a local authority vote for a candidate that promises zero tolerance to crime, then that is what they will be given and if the elected Chief Constable fails to deliver what the voters require - they elected him and so can 'un-elect him' - would result in true local democracy in action!
It is worth reminding readers that all 'local' services are provided with your money, whether this is by payment of Council Tax or taxation in general and consequently you have a 'right' to decide how it is spent.
On the question of 'rights', whether this is in regard to 'local' democracy or democracy 'per se', bearing in mind the three main political parties wish to devolve power - power which they have 'assumed' in most cases - it is worth recalling the words of Aldous Huxley;
"Liberties are not given, they are taken."
Friday, 26 June 2009
Whilst the sum involved is not 'astronomical', in all fairness one cannot accuse him of having Saturn furniture he bought with our money, whilst searching for a Mars bar or thinking, by Jupiter, what a lovely Uranus Venus has, while his dog Pluto sat obediently at his feet, with the occasional howl at the Moon!
I am sure the electorate would form an orderly queue to climb the tree!
Having been taken out to the Gold Coast - now known as Ghana - in 1945, aged three, and staying there until I was sent home to boarding school eight years later, having taken holidays in Spain, Menorca, Ibiza and Northern Cyprus - where the temperature was over 40F - I hardly think 2/3 days is going to kill me!
Update: Sorry, just noticed we even have a 'Heatwave Plan'! Doesn't this government think of everything?
EUReferendum says it all really!
Now whether due to a typographical error or editorial/printing omission, there would appear to be one name missing.
Clue: think initials DC.
According to the BBC, it appears that Dr Malcolm Jack, the House Clerk, has said a bill to reform Parliament raises profound issues about the relationship between MPs and the courts.
So we have the situation possibly arising whereby, whilst an MP cannot be held legally liable for anything he says in the House of Commons, his words could be used in a court case and subsequently have a bearing on any ruling/decision given.
As this 'reforming bill' is being rushed through Parliament it will no doubt end up as being a 'dog's dinner', the result of which will be on par for just about every other decision this government has taken.
Not content with that, leaflets and pamphlets are also placed before us with a view to 'involving' us in their latest 'idea'. The most recent being a pamphlet on saving CO2 emissions and suggests ways this can be accomplished; by, for example, walking to work, putting less water in the kettle and having showers instead of baths.
Ed Miliband, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, is quoted as saying "I think it is essential we engage the British public in what we are trying to sign up to and what we are discussing in the coming months......."
It is a great pity that Ed Miliband and his colleagues did not bother to 'engage the British public' when they started out on this idiotic and foolhardy idea of combating climate change, or global warming. Oops, sorry, just realised they couldn't as it was dictated by our masters in Brussels! Oh and Ed - what is the cost of 20,000 pamphlets issued to every library, Citizens Advice Bureau, health centre and school? And the CO2 emissions as a result of printing and delivering them?
Far be it that one should think that this debate about climate change/global warming and the 'catastrophic' effects are but an attempt to divert the public's attention from the Labour government's mishandling of the economy, coupled with the dismantling of our democracy.
The result of these committees would be yet another layer of regional government bureaucracy and supervision between parliament and the people - which can hardly be termed 'devolving power'. And I won't even raise the subject of cost and the bureaucracy involved in setting up and maintaining such bodies, which will obviously mean yet more public expense.
On John Redwood's blog he provides the voting figures for each regional committee and it would seem that only about 200 MPs, out of 646, were present for each vote - which, whilst allowing for 'paired' absence and possible select committee sittings, does beg the question of where were the remainder, especially when MPs in general have been 'prattling on' about 'looking after their constituents interests'.
In this article he quotes David Cameron saying "I want to make very clear that the fact that MPs have chosen to make repayments does not indicate guilt or a breach of the rules." Whilst his actions showed a touch of leadership, the central complaint remains that some of his colleagues would appear to have been more lightly 'punished' than others.
Unfortunately his remark, in my opinion, shows that Cameron, to use a now popular phrase, 'still does not get it'. If expenses are to be incurred 'wholly and exclusively' to enable an MP to carry out his duties, then any - and I repeat any - claim in connection with his second home other than rent/mortgage/utility bills is not acceptable, whether this be for food, furniture, furnishings or gardening. As such I consider that most MPs have abused the present system and are, therefore, guilty of mis-use of public funds.
If Cameron can be held 'not to get it' then so can Gordon Brown as, in the same article, he is quoted as having said that the expenses scandal had left the public image of politicians as badly tarnished as that of bankers. No, Gordon - the expenses scandal is but a minor cause of the anger, expressed by the public, toward politicians. Far more important is politicians disregard for the views of the public, witness the majority wanting a referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union and being denied, as but one example.
Until the 'political elite' realise that a complete overhaul of our democracy is necessary they will always be regarded as a class apart and 'distant' from the electorate, the latter who after all are not only their paymaster but also their 'board of directors'.
Thursday, 25 June 2009
This is the man who, according to the Telegraph's supplement published last weekend, is quoted as:
"After the move he charged £3,996 for legal fees, then bought household goods including a leatherette shoebox for £14,99, a vacuum cleaner for £89.99, a wine rack for £14,99, an ironing board for £39.99 and an oven glove for £6.99 and also a Dell computer for £571."
No, Mr. Knight, the only one being 'opportunistic' is you for having 'stuck to the rules' and used taxpayer's money to 'feather your own nest'.
The words 'stones', 'glass-houses' and 'throw' immediately spring to mind, you hypocritical b*****d!
"Good schools will be expected to federate with lower-performing schools to help them improve."
So straight away the good schools will be dragged down to the level of the lower-performing schools - brilliant! If this idiotic government truly wished to give head teachers power they would hand the funds and complete autonomy to those head teachers and let them choose how they spent it and what curriculum they wished to follow.
Digressing, can we expect the little man in the big chair to now haul the man who is all balls in name and deed in front of him to explain why this has been 'leaked' prior to an announcement in the House?
And another thing - it must be difficult for those MPs, sitting a distance from Speaker's chair and whose view of him is obscured by the Clerks and their table, to ascertain whether Bercow is actually sitting or standing. Perhaps Bercow could get a stool to stand on?
Now this blog has nothing against MPs using their expertise to enlighten the public about any event, to analyze the reasons and suggest ways in which the same outcome can be avoided. This, it is considered, is good use of their time as an MP and shows that they have actually been taking an interest in what happens in government and parliament.
This act of writing a book, for which no doubt the author receives a payment, does beg the question of whether such an activity is considered 'a second job', which means if it is it then has to be shown as 'outside income' and declared.
So, thanks to another of our Dear Leader's half-baked and ill-thought ideas, an activity which serves a purpose may well be considered too much trouble by another MP and thus the country is denied what could well be considered a 'learning manual' and thus a public service.
Thanks Gordon - you idiot!
So Bill Cash is still an MP - having claimed the £15,000 to pay his daughter rent for her London Flat, despite owing a home which was closer to Westminster?
Julie Kirkbridge, having been put in a situation where she had to state she would not stand again for Parliament over false claims, only has £701.04 to repay?
This is 'Conservative Justice'?
Anyway it is academic really as, like the Labour Party, the Conservative Party may find that the electorate will mete out their own 'justice', come the General election, resulting in a hung parliament with some new MPs from what LibLabCon like to call 'minor' parties, except they won't be 'minor parties' any longer - will they?
Update: Cameron tries to cover up the variance in 'punishments'
Update 2: Maybe Cameron is relying on the apathy of the electorate if this poll is anything to go by. He should however take note of the percentage who have said repayment does not absolve blame and will influence future voting intentions.
Ah, but this one is different that it promises something that is already in place, such as holding surgeries, publishing expenses on-line, communicating with ones constituents. It is surely doomed to failure - especially as 'prudence' has put in an appearance again and we all know what happened last time she was in the frame!
On the basis that Gordon wants a quango to monitor MPs expenses etc, does one spy another quango on the horizon to ensure that the pledge is adhered to?
On the basis that Gordon wants a quango to monitor MPs expenses etc, does one spy another quango on the horizon to ensure that the pledge is adhered to?
Other than repeating old promises - such as repealing ID cards, changing the law to stop councils 'snooping' on individuals, amongst others - there is nothing in the speech of note.
If David Cameron truly wishes to 'enhance personal freedom' and 'advance political accountability' he would be talking about introducing true local democracy - repealing the present system of cabinet administration by local authorities, locally elected police chiefs, providing school heads with the funds and letting them spend to provide what parents want, allow local authorities to become self-financing by introducing a local sales tax, or (to keep one certain blogger happy) a land value tax - to name but a few.
The speech is no more than a 're-jigging' of central government control that we suffer now, something that Cameron does not appear to wish to relinquish.
If he really believes in devolving power to the people then all he has to do is introduce Hannan/Carswell's The Plan.
So Brown's homeland can have a referendum on their independence, but we can't have one on our independence, namely a referendum on our membership of the European Union?
If anything was needed to confirm that Brown was an unprincipled, two-faced bigot, then surely this idea for a referendum for Scotland is it!
H/T: Coffee House
Wednesday, 24 June 2009
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
For all the talk of 'trans-pair-ency' - as our Dear Leader will persist in pronouncing the word - and promises to redact fewer details made by Harriet Harman, another self-deluded idiot, it seems that MP's second home addresses will not be released. To his credit, David Cameron has agreed to publish those details of the Shadow Cabinet and will no doubt ensure his MPs follow suit in due course.
The reported course of action will just increase public anger and one can but wonder at the thought processes of a government that is terminally ill, knows it, continues to deny the fact, yet refuses to face the electorate and be humanely put out of its misery.
Good words, however what he did not say is if he will return any profit from a sale, a difference made possible by having used public funds, in the first place?
Just a thought................
What is more surprising is that UKIP, previously polling nationally around 2/3%, have a 'voting intention' percentage of 10%.
Might this suggest that rather than a 'one trick pony' the party is beginning to be taken seriously by the electorate and that, also possibly, their policies are more in tune with the public than is generally considered?
"It's usually a good idea to respect election results except when, as in Zimbabwe or today's Iran, the maths suggest a fix."
Exactly dear chap, which is why respect would appear to be noticeable by its absence!
"John Bercow, the new Speaker, convinced MPs that he was the man to oversee reform of the expenses system despite controversy over his own claims."
Hardly surprising when one considers that 'like have chosen like'!
Rayner also writes:
"Mr. Bercow, a former merchant banker, flipped the designation of his second home between London and his constituency so that each house was designated as his main home at the time he sold it, meaning he did not have to pay CGT."
Although stating he would repay £6,508, plus VAT, to cover the tax he also employed accountants to fill in tax returns, an expense not normally allowable to an ordinary member of the public. Avoidance of tax is an offense, one which is usually punished by HMRC even if monies have eventually been paid.
So might one expect Mr. Plod knocking on the doors of Parliament yet again? Hardly likely - in fact I was tempted to use the 'pigs might fly' analogy, except in the case of this individual and his election it would have been totally out of place.
To paraphrase, I believe it was John Bright, Bercow is a self-made man who worships his creator!
One can but hope that he does well in his new role, but it galls that one who is far from blameless in 'Expensegate' should consider it necessary, in his 'acceptance/victory' speech, to waffle on about MPs being elected to serve the country, rather than 'line their pockets'.
One also wonders whether he will immediately stamp his authority on the House by ensuring that PMQs does mean Gordon Brown actually answering questions, rather than delivering a speech totally unconnected with the question; and whether he hauls the first minister to 'leak' an announcement to the press into the Commons for a 'ticking-off'.
It also seems that, if Nadine Dorries has her way, Bercow only has the job till June 2010!
Time will tell - either way I still consider him an odious little man!
Monday, 22 June 2009
One does wonder sometimes............................
Brown says that EU powers had been restrained and that the British taxpayer was protected, Sarkozy says a European system with binding powers has been agreed. As to who is telling 'porkies' is very much in doubt, when bearing in mind the two people concerned.
So, Mr. Brown - who is telling 'porkies'?
For a government that has been promising to crack down on immigration, no doubt they will be spinning the line that they have cut the number of illegal immigrants!
Talk about 'tractor stats'!
He seems fixated with 'getting on with the job', but seems to forget the old adage: when in a hole...................
In this report is one point that Brown probably can be credited with being correct - he maintains that Labour was 'not just a party' but a 'cause',
Too right Gordon - Cause for concern!
The longer this man continues in Parliament and holds an Office of State, the longer the poor status continues for Parliament, democracy and Britain.
On the basis that the only expenses which should have been claimed, under the present system, are for rent/mortgage and utility bills all candidates, bar one, are guilty of abuse; the one exception being Ann Widdecombe.
Whilst acknowledging that she has stated she would stand down at the next election - and who knows, she may change her mind - the position of Speaker should be one that is reviewed at the beginning of each Parliament. It is acknowledged that this would leave the choice virtually in the hands of any majority party, however this can be overcome if the Speaker were chosen by the public - democracy?
Sunday, 21 June 2009
If one could believe that Gordon Brown was doing this for purely religious reasons, then that would be totally acceptable, but cynic that I am I suspect ulterior motives - that this is but a PR exercise in an attempt to upgrade his image in the eyes of the public. If this is the case, it is a dispicable act and shows a total lack of judgement - nothing new there then!
Mind you, like all politicians, I presume Gordon Brown will do anything for a bit of free publicity!
I want a floating duck house,
I want to clear my moat,
I need to mend my tennis court,
That’s why I need your vote.
I have to build a portico,
My swimming pool needs mending,
My lovely plants need horse manure,
And the Aga needs much tending.
A chandelier is vital,
Mock Tudor boards are great,
My hanging baskets won awards,
And I’ve earned a tax rebate.
I need a glitter toilet seat,
My piano so needs tuning,
Maltesers help me stay awake,
And my orchard must need pruning.
I could have said the rules were wrong,
And often thought I should,
But somehow it was easier,
To profit all I could.
The public really have to see,
That the rules are there to test
And by defrauding taxpayers,
We were just doing our best.
The Speaker of the House has gone,
Our sacrificial beast,
But the public are still praying,
For our corpses at the feast.
What do the public want from us,
Those vote-wielding ingrates?
They really should be grateful
To be financing our estates.
The message is so very clear,
(we’re merely learning late)
That the British way of living well
Is to screw the bloody state.
"We live in an old cottage – not the beautiful, strong, stone-built type, but the kind of thing you throw together for the farmworkers from the bricks you had when you knocked down the pigsty – and it requires a good deal of maintenance and repair."
Listen you supercilious, socialist apology for an MP, firstly what the hell has the materials from which your cottage is built have to do with upkeep of the garden? Secondly, who the hell are you - the equivalent of a farmworker, within the political field - to complain about inferior construction for what is obviously, in your opinion, someone from the inferior 'people'.
Thirdly, Madam, for someone who has failed dismally in every ministerial position you have held, what makes you believe you have the qualities, experience, or even nous to hold the position of Speaker?
Saturday, 20 June 2009
"At 8am on Tuesday June 23 2009, the Expenses Files - The Daily Telegraph's investigation into MPs' expenses - will be published in full on telegraph.co.uk. Users will be able to search detailed versions of the files, providing chapter and verse of all expenditure by each MP since 2001-02. For the first time, The Telegraph will publish the documentary evidence behind the expenses claims of every MP. visit www.telegraph.co.uk/mpsexpenses on the day of launch."
Friday, 19 June 2009
"How much worse does it need to get before Governments - and their peoples - take the drastic action necessary to avert and mitigate by far the most dangerous threat the world faces?"
The answer, Michael, is: Hopefully not too much longer before we, the people, can 'take the drastic action necessary to avert and mitigate by far the most dangerous threat the word faces' by voting out of office the most mendacious, incompetent, vacuous and authoritarian government it has been Britain's misfortune to have experienced in decades!
"The European Council today agreed a legally binding decision confirming legal guarantees in respect of abortion, defence and tax that the Irish government said were at the heart of Irish voters' concerns about the Lisbon Treaty. The decision does not change the Lisbon Treaty as it affects Britain. It confirms rather than changes what was said in parliament during the passage of the Lisbon Treaty. The decision of today will be annexed to the treaties of the EU as a protocol during the next accession treaty. The events today give the Irish voters clarity as they move towards a referendum in the autumn."
Not quite how EUReferendum sees the situation; nor Open Europe's blog and briefing note.
This 'government' - and the word 'government' is used in the loosest possible sense - has taken George Orwell's 'Newspeak' to a new level!
Do watch the eyebrows - obviously taken lessons from Gordon Brown on 'pulling faces'!
H/T: Liberal Democrat Voice
Recalling Alistair Darling's address to the Mansion House audience on Wednesday night he wondered how many remembered the words of Darling's predecessor, in 2002:
"What you as the City of London have done for financial services, we as a Government intend to do for the economy as a whole."
As Rory Bremner says: He can say that again!
As has been posted previously, to allow the present collection of MPs, who have been guilty of 'abuse' of their system of remuneration, to elect one of their number to the position of Speaker is ludicrous. It also begs the question that if the electorate are entitled to choose their MP, should they not also choose the Speaker - in which event it can be argued that Frank Field would be a 'shoe-in'.
Presently, all the 'ideas' being suggested to 'revive our democracy', 'clean up parliament', etc lend themselves to accusations of 'tinkering at the edges' and what is needed is a debate on the entire subject of our democracy - a 'democracy' which has been totally ruined by the actions of the present government.
It is also a ludicrous situation whereby Parliament attempts to 'cleanse itself', 'promote transparency', and 'revive our 'democracy' when it does not really 'govern' this country, due to our membership of the European Union.
If claiming for 'phantom mortgages' is to be considered a crime, then surely so is this and this. Claiming for more than the sum total is false accounting, is it not? Presumably also payment to a tanning centre, whether a subscription or a donation, can hardly be called an expense 'necessary to perform one's duty as an MP'.
The statement that "Officers believe there is only a realistic chance of prosecution in cases where it can be proved individuals misled Parliament's Fees Office." also, it is felt, covers cases where MPs have 'flipped' for financial gain.
"Lord Mandelson said it was "inevitable" that the police would become involved, adding: "If there is wrongdoing it needs to be investigated. That's how we do things in Britain."
In which case we can expect Mandelson's 'obtaining a mortgage under false pretences' will also be investigated?
This truly has opened a 'Pandora's Box' - has it not?
Any belief in democracy must be build on the basic principle of the right of a people to determine their own future.
Gordon Brown obviously believes in this when, discussing the situation in Iran, he says "It is for the Iranian people to decide their future in elections. "
If this is the case then surely what is 'right' for the Iranian people must also be 'right' for the British people. Perhaps Gordon Brown would then like to explain how his decision not to allow a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty - and on the question of our continued membership of the European Union - can be equated with the right of 'people to decide their own futures'.
If Gordon Brown believes, on the subject of transparency in regard to MP's expenses, that "...our first principle must be maximum transparency. The public must be able to hold us properly to account.", how then does he equate this with the creation of what will, in effect, be another unelected and unaccountable quango which will review each and every member's receipts?
Pontificating on the question of the continued imprisonment of Aung San Suu Kyi, Gordon Brown believes that "to continue to suspend the democracy that the Burmese people are entitled to is a gross abuse of human rights." In which case is not the refusal to debate our membership of the European Union and thus allowing a choice on said membership thereby suspending the democracy to which the British people are entitled, likewise not a 'gross abuse of our human rights'?
No doubt Messrs Cameron and Clegg would also like the opportunity to explain the contradictions
Never mind foreign policy the internet has changed politics for ever, you idiot - witness the additional 'tidbits' that bloggers have unearthed from the redacted expenses as but one example . As for his having a 'common purpose' with Mandelson - tad unfortunate choice of two words there, Old Bean! (memo to self: cable ack to Vince re use of 'Bean').
As for the Labour party appreciating Mandelson's talents and having great affection for him......well, all one can say is that as a right-wing libertarian it has always been thought that socialists had queer ideas....
Just a few thoughts.........
Update: If one wants to read a serious review of the Brown/Mandelson relationship, then try this.
Every parliamentary candidate at the next election should be asked to give a guarantee that any proposal for a salary increase will be voted against. It would be a bonus were they to also guarantee their willingness to support a Private Members Bill to implement The Plan!
One can view here the list of 146 MPs who voted against recommendations to reduce the £25 threshold for receipted expenses to £0, voted against changes in the Green Book, voted against not being able to claim for furniture, household goods and capital improvements and voted against outer London MPs only being able to claim half of any overnight expense.
Candidates for Speaker have all vowed to 'clean up Parliament' and expressed a 'desire for transparency'.
How come then two names on the list of 'Speaker Candidates', namely Ann Widdicombe and Margaret Beckett, are also on the list of 146 above? Truly a Damascene Conversion!
What is also interesting is to note the names which are included in the 146 and who have featured as amongst the biggest 'troughers', or are on the list of 'refunders', the latter done often without any publicity.
Thursday, 18 June 2009
Looking at the amounts and the number of times repayments have been made, one wonders whether a bank loan or two has not been negotiated!
Sorry, Guys and Gals - too late.
Most of the views expressed against his candidature have been that he would not be an exceptional Speaker - just 'bog' standard!
It would seem that the charge of 'obtaining money under false pretences' can be levied with regard to the claim for council tax at least.
One wonders whether we will see repayment for an 'oversight' or a knock on his door from the boys in blue. Neither, one suspects!
When one views the pathetic situation wherein those guilty of 'malpractice' wish to be allowed to elect one of their own to the position of Speaker - words fail!
From his 'blog':
"The fact is that many Iranians have severe doubts about the outcome announced on Friday. They deserve to have their doubts addressed."
"A proud people wants to decide its own future. We should defend that."
It is a great pity Mr. Miliband that you cannot apply the same principle to the fact that many Britons have great doubts about this country's membership of the European Union and wish to have their doubts addressed!
It is a great pity Mr. Miliband that you cannot apply the same principle to the fact that, again with regard to our membership of the European Union, Britons, who are also a proud people, wish to decide their own future and yes - you should defend that!
Principles are a wonderful attribute Mr. Miliband - especially when applied selectively!
One feels sure that the Race Relations Act and the Human Rights Act etc, etc, probably also have something to say on discrimination.
So how come this edict from NHS Primary Care Service Framework? Is this not discrimination against anyone who is not a Gypsy or Traveller? Why should I have to book and wait for an appointment with my GP? Why cannot I find a local NHS dentist who will accept me as a patient?
And politicians - the selfsame politicians who consider that only they have the intellect to draft laws and decide matters of state - wonder why the public get a tad 'upset' whenever race or ethnicity is discussed?
On the question of the European Union proposals for hedge funds and private equity and a point raised by Bill Cash on the primacy of the Commons, David Miliband stated:
"I can assure the hon. Gentleman, however, that there will be no majority voting at the European Council this week......... and that we will be able to exercise our own democratic rights in a way that I think he would approve of."
According to bloomberg.com:
Buyout firms and hedge funds, “Read my lips: You’re going to have regulation.” So says Poul Nyrup Rasmussen as he thumped a desk in an interview at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
So that has cleared up who governs Britain!