Thursday, April 30, 2009

London MP's To Lose Second House Allowance

Story from here.

Axing second home allowance:
For - 355
Against - 39

Registering all outside financial interests:
For - 305
Against - 31

All staff employed by The Commons:
For - 280
Against - 100

Publish all receipts:
For - 348
Against - 22

Harriet Harman did try to get an amendment postponing any amendment on the second home allowance but failed. This is being talked up by the Opposition Parties as and David Cameron has reported said that authority is "ebbing away" from Gordon Brown.

Now that you have read this, let me nudge you gently in this direction... Alex Hilton, the main man on LabourHome today says that there is a "Stalking Horse" waiting in the wings to challenge Gordon Brown should the government be defeated - he says he made a call and is waiting to hear back. I wonder if Alex's is on the phone to his horse now?

Personally I don't think Browns authority is ebbing away I think it is long gone, all that remains is some smoke and a few shards of mirror. I know no-one, who is prepared to back Brown - even die hard Labour supporters that I know want him gone, the sooner the better.

Of course, I do not live in Westminster, but, I bet there are a lot of other people reading this that live no where near Westminster who think the same. There is an under current, an unspoken knowledge shared by most throughout England (the South at least)... We are all looking around and wondering who it will be that will pull the trigger and end browns malaised stewardship; answer the question of "who", and the question of "when" will simply be a demand for expediency.

The most popular man in the Labour Party will be the first one to throw their hat into the ring - calling time on Mr Browns shambolic time as PM. According to Iain Dale, even Brown seems to want it now.

The Best SNP Leader Is...

The poll has closed and the clear winner is Alex Salmond.

Having now posted the poll I am interested to see if this is because of Mr Salmond's current popularity in Scotland and perhaps a generational vote or it indeed Mr Salmond is though of so highly across all age ranges. And I am also interested in hearing from any Scottish Bloggers if they have any feedback.

I hope Subrosa, who suggested the poll is happy with the outcome.

Results:

Alex Salmond - 57% (16)
William Wolfe - 14% (4)
John Swinney - 7% (2)
Robert McIntyre - 7% (2)
Gordon Wilson - 7% (2)
Bruce Watson - 3% (1)
Andrew Dewar Gibb - 3% (1)
Alexander MacEwan, William Power, Douglas Young, James Halliday & Arthur Donaldson did not register a single vote between them on this poll.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Justice For Gurka's

I am happy to see that the Government was defeated in the Commons today and that the Gurkha's will likely now be allowed to settle in the UK.

My position on this is clear-cut. If you are prepared to defend, potentially with your life the UK, through membership of our armed forces there should be no question, at all, that that risk and sacrifice should be met at a minimum, with residency for in this land you are fighting to protect.

If the Government is worried about the cost and numbers of these people settling here then they should get on the phone to the EU and tell them we are shutting the borders. If we can allow the huddled masses and the poverty class workers from all over Eastern Europe and welcome them with open arms into the most generous benefit system from most warm and accepting people in Europe; then these brave Gurkha's and their families should be allowed to live here - and there should be no question of this.

Why is it that preachers of hate and criminals from abroad automatically have less chance of being thrown out of the UK, than brave individuals who are prepared to train hard, and put their bodies between us and danger? Is this right?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

An Experement In Blogging

There will be a cover it live blog session tomorrow night on Football Banter blog, for the Man Utd vs Arsenal game.

It is something of an experiment, if Football and/or live-blogging is your thing(s), then hope to see you there tomorrow night.

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Ranting Stan tells us how you know, the Liberals know, that they have got it all wrong, here.

Not a Sheep points out that France, Spain, Ireland & Greece have been ordered to reduce their budget deficits, here.

Tim Roll-Pickering asks what is the point of town twinning, here.

Centuarean2 Blog talks about the Regulatory Reform Act 2006, here.

And finally, Martin on the Jury Team Blog with re-interpreting the notion of hegemony, here.

Enjoy!

People I Knew Growing Up - Part 1

Warning. Do not click this link if you are easily shaken, or in a fragile state of mind.

Despicable. This is why life in prison should mean exactly that.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Why You Should Not Panic

Why You Should not Panic

Sky News have taken a case of flu and have turned over their entire news agenda for the evening.

Whilst influenza strains have the capacity to mutate, the current strain is easily treatable by a selection of medicines according to Wikipedia. So the news headlines should really be, a treatable strain of flu arrives in UK [go about your business as normal].

Hmmm, Then Again Maybe We Should Panic?

I was going to have a moan about News Channels creating a panic sometimes, rather than preventing one, but then I flipped over to BBC Parliament and saw just 13 MP's sitting and discussing the Budget. Seriously, the prospect of having to borrow more money then ever before is nigh, and just 13 MP's are debating it right now in Parliament.

50p Tax Rate Reaction #1

"To pick on a small group of people is not the basis of a tax policy," the former Transport Secretary said. Why was it timed to come in before the election next year, "when this is clearly political positioning rather than a principled or strategic approach to taxation."

"It was an elephant trap so large that even the most myopic old tusker could see it," he said, and should be opposed because "it is damaging to the Labour party in Government. It breaks a key manifesto pledge which the party will regret for many years to come." If it was so important, it should have been introduced after the election to avoid breaching a manifesto pledge. Instead it was done for "cynical political reasons". He finished: "Is it a short term or a permanent measure? The Chancellor had implied it was short term. Others in the Cabinet disagreed."

Quotes attributed to former Cabinet minister Stephen Byers, and was lifted from Brogans Blog.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daniel Hannan Speech

I see that Daniel Hannan has delivered another blistering speech, you can view it on the Tory Bear blog.

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.


Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:


Things must be bad if the BBC's EU loving Brussels correspondent Mark Mardell finds something bonkers, but he tells us why he not a fan of the monthly trips to Strasbourg, here.


John Redwood with a letter to shareholders from the Finance Director from UK PLC, here.


Daniel Hannan talks about his annoyance of the BNP being referred to as a "Far Right" party when they are a "Far Left" Party, and he says the New Statesman agrees with him, here.


Andrew Grimson asks if the Mayor of London is the Prime Minister in waiting, here.


And finally, on Ron Paul's blog, Tax Propaganda from WW2, co-starting Donald Duck, here.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Observation

Listening to a clip of Gordon Browns speech on the news last night where he cried out about how the Conservatives will:

"cut, cut and cut again"

I was struck how I immediately associated this line and it's venom with that of a crook crying out innocently:

"But M'Lud, the less I rob people, the less money I have feed myself and my habits"

IT'S NOT YOUR MONEY GORDON!

The Labour Party have successfully linked tax levels in the mind of the electorate with public sector performance. But tax revenues a phenomenally higher than they were in 1997, and have with just a few blips steadily grown in real terms since the end of the Second World War. It is not Public Sector performance that has increased, it is it's size. When Labour, as it is doing is shutting regional hospitals, military facilities and post offices it becomes hard anyway to win an argument that people can hear you shouting for your cause, but see you killing services yourself.

There are very few people who want more taxes, and probably even fewer who think the public sector should continue to grow unabated. This weeks budget will I suspect survive the test of time... in that it will be held up to future economic & politics students as what not to do when your economy is in decline. Everybody can see it was targeted to hurt the Conservative Party, not designed to help people. When this happens, as it has, and the levers of power are being set against opponents instead set to help people and do what is best for the country and the people that live there you have tyranny. The fact that the Treasury apparently views the IMF as an acceptable route to borrow more money to continue growing the state is a sorry example of just how poorly we are being governed.

So for once I think the Conservatives are on to a winner by keeping quiet for a bit. As I say, the link in the electorates mind was there previously between tax and performance, but as people look around at the country today, I do not think that link is recognised now. Additionally there is no way they can forecast or plan to do anything until the damage can be analysed for a position of Government. If Labour try to define this as an electoral battleground, they will be soundly beaten. And if a future Labour opposition can not face up to this, they could well be in turmoil for quite some time, and the party that prided itself on solidarity will need to make some key ideological decisions quickly, or this could be their fault line.

I am 29, I earn an OK salary, I am not in the current higher tax band. I will be saddled for at least the rest of my working life with the burdens being imposed by this government. These burdens and state expansions have not been decided in Parliament; they were decided in Whitehall and in Brussels. As I have been dragooned into working until retirement to help pay this off, I will spend the rest of my whole life writing and arguing against socialism in the UK and Europe.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Petition For Brown To Resign

Do you want Gordon Brown to resign?

If so, please click here and go to the latest Downing Street petition to request exactly that. There seems to be a bit of a buzz about this one on the Blogosphere, and maybe this one will lead somewhere if it picks up a head of steam.

Update 27-Apr-09: Signatures up to 18,261
Update 28-Apr-09: Signatures now up to 27,835, and I see the server crashed at one point.
Update 03-May-09: Signatures now at 47,064. Not bad for about a week, but no fast or big enough to be a story on its own.

Jury Team - A Reminder

The Primary closes at Midnight tonight so if you haven't voted yet please have a look today and get your vote cast.

If you have not idea what I am referring to, please see here.

My vote eventually went to Lyn Tofari, who is now up to second place in the South East Primary - Someone called Nick Trew entered the race in this region this week and has shot into the lead.

I have written quite a bit about Jury Team candidates, to see all my Jury Team posts, click here and scroll down.

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

The Telegraph today has it's first post Budget poll which projects a 150 seat majority to the Conservatives, here.

Gawain Towler on why national governments do not acknowledge the EU's influence when campaigning, here.

Ed West asks if Britain is the worlds first politically correct totalitarian state, here.

Frasier Nelson talks about Gordon Browns deformed Laffer Curve, here.

And finally, Devils Kitchen (in a non-sweary piece) on the Libertarian Party growing up, here.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thank You

Thank you for you comments of concern yesterday and today and also for the emails.

I will be back blogging here from tomorrow.  I want to write a piece about what happened but that will not be possible just now for a legal reason.... but I will eventually tell all about what happened, and the really quite ridiculous situation that my wife and I are currently in.

My wife was hurt yesterday, though thankfully not seriously and is feeling better today - it is a matter that is being pursued.  Needless to say, I am furious about what happened and the reaction time.   I can;t say too much now, and the coppers that did arrive were courteous and professional, however until I can say more I will leave it there on them.  It is however truly blood-curdlingly infuriating to know that in the UK you can get a Pizza to your house quicker than an Ambulance or Police car.

I will be catching up on work this evening with a quick look over the blogs to catch up.  My budget reading will have to wait until Saturday as I am too tired for the long winded analysis.  If there was a piece that caught anybodies eye, please let me know in the comments and I will take a look.  (I will instinctively be seeking out Frasier Nelson and John Redwood on Saturday)

Also, I am intending to indulge tonight in what was becoming a weekly treat before a four week break, and that is the live blog on Biased BBC during Question Time tonight.  Though, with an earlier than normal work start tomorrow it is unlikely I will be stopping on for This Week with Brillo afterwards.  If you have not been before, get yourself over there for the start of Question Time and join in with the banter, there will be much to discuss tonight.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Police Response

My wife needed to call 999 this morning as a serious incident had occured.

Police reponse time, 1 hour 45 minutes.
Ambulance response time - did not arrive.

No more blogging today as dealing with the aftermath.... More will follow.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Plan E

Let me ask a question…

When did we stop being a nation of shop keepers?

The famous quote “L’Angleterre est une nation de boutiquiers” was uttered by Napoleon and was intended to disparage, I guess in the same way De Gaulle was actually quite apt when he described the British relationship with Europe. However, (thanks Wikipedia…) Napoleons’ was not an original quote, as Adam Smith wrote in the Wealth of Nations…

"To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers may at first sight appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is, however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers."

And therein lies part of the problem. It is my contention that The UK is suffering from not having a strong base of local, independent and entrepreneurial business activity. Part of our problem is that we no longer have shopkeepers influencing government, that role is now filled by multinationals and lobbyists. Don’t get me wrong, we need multinationals but there are weaknesses in other areas of our economy and these need to be addressed.

There are two things that we need to target to turn our economy around, firstly we should target help in this week’s budget to entrepreneurs and small businesses, for there lies the holes in our economy. The problems at the root are that apprenticeships and training are at an all time low, as we target too high a rate of higher education and university placement. There are aspects of apprenticeships that cannot be taught in a classroom, the tricks of the trade as such. We risk losing much.

Secondly, we need people with trade skills, and we need people who can innovate in engineering and sciences. We need to be manufacturing items here that can be sold abroad for a profit, this bringing into this country much needed cash. We will not be able to compete with Asia and possibly in the future Africa on mass production techniques as we will never be able to produce volume products as cheaply. But there is an abundance of opportunity for manufacturing jobs still.

We do not seem able to hold together big manufacturing works in the UK, but I bet if we supported our smaller engineering and manufacturing firms that target solutions, and can offer multiple products and/or seek to further technological advancements we could nurture new industries and thus new jobs. Most of all, we know that in the UK large manufacturing is on life support. Where a though leader is needed we can prevail.

We need products to export to bring some cash into the country, we can’t just magic up a profitable car factory or reinvent an aerospace industry. We require skilled jobs to manufacture things that are demanded in the emerging markets AND in the developed markets of the EU and the USA. Eventually, some of these small businesses will grow and that can in the long run help replace industries that have already been lost.

So I hope that either in this budget, or perhaps more likely with an upcoming Conservative Government we can move the discussion along to how we can help entrepreneurs and raise the number skills based and manufacturing jobs. It is they who will seek out new markets and new opportunities, it is also they, that if supported will be best placed and most willing to hire workers at varying skills levels and help our economy back on track.

Here is where and how I think Government can help.

1. We need to kill the idea of 50% university placement. We do not want people leaving school without education or skills (or ambition), but we should allow apprenticeships and vocational training to those who at 13 and 14 know what they want to do. I am not advocating we neglect core education like Maths and English, but will (I feel) help target ambition and by doing that can help them to understand what they need to do to achieve their goals. We have to accept that the individuals choice will be better than providing the same for all.

2. We need to cut red-tape and taxes to the productive part of the economy, so as to let them trade and innovate. It is they who will then pick up and place our skilled workers with jobs in technology and science. (Those businesses will also need clerical and manual workers and with success with require the financial services to help manage their profits.) Business rates should be reduced on small companies and traders, and employment legislation needs to be drastically simplified. In some industries, Health & Safety is unnecessarily strangling industry. We need to have parliament debate on all legislation that concerns business, not just enact all directives sent over from Brussels.

3. We need Government recognise that Small business and Entrepreneurialism is as important to our economic success as the large corporations are. Small businesses sometimes have a shorter lifecycle than larger companies but sometimes that is a result of success. What we need is to always help new businesses get started, and recognise and reward those who are prepared to take calculated risk to get started. We should recognise more entrepreneurs who have excelled more often. The achievements of so called “Fat Cats” who were schooled up to Director level, then spend a few years in the board room do not compare to those of Richard Branson or James Dyson.

4. It is entrepreneurial spirit that can help innovate. If like individuals cannot afford in cost of money or time to get started we will lose a generation of invention. Though some ideas can be realised via selling onto established corporations it is fresh intellectual property and ideas that will be the cornerstone of a rejuvenated market. As the so called bail-outs have shown, corporations are too risk averse. Give 50 local Joe Bloggs the freedom to start a business, and to make personal wealth then they can eventually hire more additional people than all the local bank branches that were supposed to have benefitted from a costly bail-out.

5. Forget bank bail-outs. Business needs to be reminded that if it fails it will fold. Target grants instead at small UK businesses that are trying to get a foothold in Asia, if they succeed those companies will be bringing home much needed foreign cash and will be paying taxes at home. It needs to be a grant system, rather than a subsidy system. Accept that not all companies will be successful, but hold up as an example those which excel.

6. Support the business we have now. We have tough trading now, but Government should not extend it's reach beyond what is required. When it choses to reach or regulate, it is the level of type and effectivity which is important, not the volume of legislation.

As a nation we have very quickly moved away from a culture which encourages an independent entrepreneurial spirit to one where the cost of failed risks is so high we are no longer prepared to take them. We have in short moved from being a nation of shop keepers to being a nation of shop workers, as can be evidenced now on most High Streets.

I say we cannot borrow our way out of debt and recession, we need to trade our way out. And Government can help by encouraging training and education in the right areas and by reducing the reach of Government in others.

The next Google could very likely be conceived in the bedroom of a teenager, and the next online media craze could be conceived in the free time of an inspired software programmer. The next great mechanical invention, like so many before could be put together in a shed in Scotland. But it will count for nothing if the potential for those great idea’s and inventions cannot or will not be harnessed.

In targeting our sectors and people, we also need to target our markets. Our focus today should be on where the cash is now (China, India and the Tiger nations). The UK cannot do this alone as it has now no control over external trade agreements. Personally I would like out of the EU, but that being unlikely (for now), trade at EU level needs to be completely re-thought and a whole new decision making process implemented. (That is perhaps another, longer blog post)

In effect, we need to a budget and a long-term direction that will actually help White Van Man and also help a new generation of Branson’s and Dyson’s get going. If we can help them target their ambitions, our economy can get going again. If we cannot do this, or if a corporatist/Statist outlook prevails then I fear we will not be seeing any green shoots for a long time.

Gordon's Grin & Tonic

Seriously why do you keep smiling in the all wrong places?



Perhaps Darling and Mandleson of out of shot pulling faces?

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

The All Seeing Eye recalls Oliver Cromwells ascension speech, here.

Ambush Predator laments the lost art of letter writing, here.

James Kirkup says that the 45p tax rate will actually cost the treasury money, here.

Oliver says that there is nothing left for Alistair Darling to say in the budget, here.

And finally, Raedwald says is it any wonder Labour are scared of the BNP, here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

OMG - Gordon Brown In South Park!

As per the Daily Telegraph

In the episode to be aired later this year, Mr Brown becomes part of an international plot to steal money from aliens in a bid to solve the global recession.

He and other world leaders agree to claim the "space cash" found on a fugitive spaceship.

However, the Prime Minister orders a nuclear attack on Finland after he discovers that it plans to tip off intergalactic police about the ploy.


Hat Tip: Tory Bear

If you missed it before, reaction to the President Obama election was captured superbly by the South park Creators.



Another little tip, you can create your own South park characters at this online studio.... Here is one I did earlier of me.


New Poll - Who Is The Best SNP Leader?

At the request of Subrosa my new poll is to find out who readers think is the best SNP leader of all time.

Please vote using the poll on the right of this blog, however please feel free to elaborate in the comments field of this post.

Troughing Tory

I have only just seen this over at the Sunday Times Francis Maude of the Shadow Cabinet and close ally of Conservative leader David Cameron is using his parliamentary second home allowance to pay for a £345,000 flat just 70 YARDS from a house he already owns in London.

This, is undoubtedly part of the reason why the Conservatives have not come out all guns blazing on the expenses issue and demonstrated yet further how MP's feel it is the position of the tax payer to furnish them with expensive life styles.

This culture of greed is clearly not an exclusive competence of the Socialist left, and when MP's set their own rules and police their own behaviour there is nothing that you or me can do about it. Do you think this is acceptable behaviour?

I think Francis Maude is going to find the upcoming General Election a lot more difficult now, and I hope a full disclosure is forth coming.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Margaret Thatcher Best PM Of Last 100 Years

The votes are in and the poll has closed.

You voted David Lloyd George the best Left Wing PM of the last 100 years.

Then you voted Margaret Thatcher the best Conservative PM of the last 100 years.

Finally, in a choice between the two, you voted Margaret Thatcher the best PM of the last 100 years.

The scores on the doors:
Margaret Thatcher - 83% (30)
David Lloyd George - 16% (6)

Well done to the Iron Lady, with yet another election victory!

Gordons New Message


GCSE Physics Question

Courtesy of Christopher Booker

Question 1.

A. Acid Rain

B. Global Warming

C. Noise Pollution

D. Radioactive Waste

Now Complete the below questions using each of the above once.

1. Nuclear power stations produce.....

2. Wind farms produce.....

3. Coal-fired power stations produce sulphur dioxide which causes.....

4. All fossil fuel power stations produce carbon dioxide which causes.....

As Christopher Booker states, if you agree with the government on these matters you will score 100%. The link between CO2 and Global Warming has not yet been proved, and there is an increasing number of scientists prepared to say openly that they do not concur. The Climate Science Blog recently linked to this article claiming that it kills the CO2 argument.

You may not agree with that, and feel that all scientists agree, but that is not the case. Now, I am a little old fashioned but I think we should teach and assess our children in Science, and I think we should teach scientific theories, along side scientific fact, but I think we should be explicitly teaching the difference between the two. No. 4 on the above exam seems like a not so subtle indicator that this is not happening.

If and when the link between CO2 and man made global warming can be linked to actual science, which can be demonstrated in a laboratory and using scientific models then at that point it should be taught as such. Right now it is Politics masquerading as science, and that is never a good thing.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

TV Burp - The Apprentice

... and of course, Mrs Thatchers pants.


How Do You Tell A Friend They Are Drinking Too Much?

Here is one way....

18-Apr-09 Update: Of course, they could always take this test.


























As I Was Going To St Ives.....

I have just seen this on Bloggers 4 UKIP.

As a fan of parties seeking their finances from voters rather than from corporations I thought this was worth a referral. So I wish Mr Timmis good luck with his efforts and I hope there is a big bowl of water and a huge bone at the finish for Jake.

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Steve Green says it is time to go, to Anti-Citizen Smith, here.

Dizzy bemoans the failures and complicity of the Fourth Estate, here.

John Ward offers some observations on Smeargate, here.

Guthram on Old Holborn says that a legal principle has been established in Sweden that will all online publishers and bloggers, here.

Subrosa mentions that the UK Cabinet met in Scotland for the first time since 1921, and wonders if anybody at all noticed, here.

And finally, an unlikely source offers a compelling argument in Defence of Derek Draper, here.

Jury Team Profile - Alan Wallace

Here is the latest responses to my invitation to Jury Team candidates, this time from Alan Wallace who is running in the Scotland Primary.

Alan's full Jury Team profile can be viewed, here.

If you would like to vote for Alan in the Primary, text ALAWAL01 to 86837 (25p + Standard Rate).

If you would like to comment or ask Alan any questions you can do so in the comments field or via the contact details on Alan's Jury Team profile.








Please answer True or False to these statements:

1. The EU should have even more control over the governing of member states including the UK.
False

2. The EU is the future of Continental Europe; the UK should be less resistant to this and more willing to be engaged with EU partners.
True

3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions.
True

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.
True

5. Countries like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU.
False

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
False

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories.
True

8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions.
False

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible.
False

10. The UK Parliament should be sovereign. No laws made by the EU should be above the law making decisions of the UK Parliament.
True

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative.
False

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU.
False

13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years.
False

14. If the UK left the EU, it’s economy would never recover.
False

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament
Don’t know

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command.
False

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses.
False

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong.
False - Remember Kosovo?

19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU
False

20. The UK should be allowed a referendum whether it accepts the EU Lisbon Constitutional Treaty before it comes into force.
True

21. I am prepared to give up some small freedoms so that the UK and/or the EU governments can better protect us from terrorists.
False

22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence.
False

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.
True

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished.
False

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged.
False

In no more than 200 words for each question, please tell us about the following:

Q. If you are elected to the EU Parliament, by what method and frequency will your expenses be made public?
I intend to be totally open in how I conduct myself. Not only my expenses but my schedule will be published on a monthly basis, allowing constituents to have an input directly into meetings.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
No

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
I'm not all seriousness and levity. For a while I ran a blog about my wife's funny experiences in a cinema. Unfortunately, I ran out of material as my wife's illness took hold. http://strugglingwithlife.wordpress.com/

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
I try to get a balanced picture of events and so dip into all the main broadsheets online. To be honest, I rarely check the bye-line.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
The Parties seem to exist mainly for their own furtherance and benefit. Oh they make all the right noises about working for the people, but in the end the needs of the Party always comes first. I've never been a Party man, choosing to vote for the candidate who has their own voice. Increasingly, central office control has stifled local politicians and I no longer really know what they stand for. Being a Jury Team Independent means I'm not a single-issue type like other independents.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Set up a clear multi-discipline method for people to contact me. To my face, online, by text and by phone. I can't represent people if they can't tell me their needs and wants.

Q. And, as you have been good enough to answer the above, in no more than 1,000 of your own words, tell us why we should vote for you.
I'm not a politician. I'm not practiced in the black arts of evading questions and avoiding the issue. I haven't spent so long ascending the greasy pole that I've forgotten what it's like to work for a living. I don't have any great ideological standpoints, I just recognise good ideas when I see them and I don't care if they come from the political "Left" or "Right". I'm your neighbour, the bloke you were at school with, your colleague at work or the fellow fan on the terraces. Like you, I just want the system to be fair and to work.

Labour / Lib-Dem Coalition?

Is this a harmless poll or the grass roots being sounded out?

Previous Lib/Lab coalitions are, in my opinion the main reason why the Lib Dems are still the third party in British politics, as when things get bad for Labour the Lib Dems jump in. By accepting coalitions in the past they have sewn themselves into the position of the Third Party.

Should the possibility arise, I hope the Lib Dems take their chances and try to overtake Labour in the polls instead. Thing is, I really do not anticipate there being a hung Parliament now, the time and opportunity to fight for that has now passed Gordon Brown by. In my opinion, it is damage limitation from here on.

Also, In a hypothetical situation I suspect Vince Cable and Ming Campbell would be in favour of joining a national coalition, but I do not see Nick Clegg coming on board, so such a move could split, possibly terminally the Liberal Democrats.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Democracy 2.0

I am not really one for self promotion, but I see I have been included in Jury Teams email news letter called Democracy 2.0. It is sent out every week to registered email addresses and is my second mention since it started.

Here is what they had to say today:

We at the Jury Team are big fans of using the New Media to spread our message, so we were delighted to assist when an enterprising blogger asked to conduct a survey of our candidates.

Daniel1979, who blogs at www.daniel1979blog.blogspot.com, sent us a questionnaire to distribute to the candidates, with the promise of publishing their responses.


Over 20 candidates took him up on the offer, and Daniel has published their responses online without editing them down - another reason that we like the transparency of the blogosphere in contrast to the manipulation that goes on in the traditional press.

Daniel finally decided to cast his vote for Lyn Tofari (LYNTOF01) in the South East, but will continue to publish all candidate responses until the end of the primary.

This sort of interrogation of candidates' views by the public is precisely what doesn't happen in the main parties. We think that if people are casting their vote for a party list, they should know who the people are on that list, and what they stand for - and we think that publishing all answers is a healthy move for democratic engagement as well.

We'd like to thank Daniel for running the survey - and we are currently summarising all the responses and they will be presented on the blog very soon.

Well I have certainly been happy to help. As a result, I feel I have had a hand in selecting a candidate who best represents my views, and I hope I have encouraged a few people to take a look at an Independent alternative. Anyone who will be holding their nose whilst voting in the EU elections would be well served by giving the Jury Team site a visit and having a read. The candidates offer a wide spectrum of opinions and want to represent their respective regions with a direct relationship with the voters, not the Party Whip.

I did indeed as a result cast my vote for Lyn Tofari, and further down the mail shot I also saw that Lyn got a mention in the Buckinghamshire Advertiser.

There is only a week to go until the Primary closes so if you were leaving it late, now is the time.

Gordon Says Sorry (2)

Personally I think this sounds like regret, not an apology - Am I wrong?

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list. (Lots of good stuff this week on the Blogosphere, so I am cramming an extra one in.)

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

I start with the breaking news that the future of the Letters From A Tory Blog hangs delicately in the balance, full story, here.

Roger Helmer MEP says there has been an extra 100,000 pages of EU rules and legislation imposed during Labour period in power, here.

Morus on Jury Team's blog asks if we are all Europeans now, here.

Frasier Nelson says our economic and political collapse can be traced back to the same gang, here.

Derek Tipp on Climate Science says the CO2 theory is dead, here.

And finally, Stuart Sharpe recalls the horror of when the Grammar Nazi's came, here. (OMG, you have to read this !!1!!one!!eleven!;0)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Gordon Says Sorry

Just saw Gordon's apology... From the snippet, did he actually apologise to those who were targeted?

Why now, and not in the letters he sent?

It's late, but that sounded to me like an accidental apology, I mean like he was going to skirt around the issue again but split in a "sorry" by accident. And doesn't an apology traditionally require an acceptance?

Oh well, I am now too tired to care too much.

Night x.

Daniel1979 Comes Out For............ Lyn Tofari

Firstly, thanks to every one of the Jury Team candidates who emailed me with their responses to my invitation. When I posted that original post I was hoping to hear from some of the candidates in the South East as I wanted to participate in the Primary and help by keeping Jury Team talked about.

I have written this a few times, but, we all recognise that both Democracy and Politics are failing; there are a number of reasons why this is. We lament politicians because they are not like us, we do not feel they represent us. Many people vote on party loyalty and through gritted teeth... It doesn't always have to be like this.

Any moves towards open Primaries, and and moves that make politicians more accountable to electors and less to party loyalties and the Whips should be highlighted and encouraged. These irksome issues lie at the centre of many gripes about politics today.

I will continue to put up any further responses Jury Team candidates send to me until the Primary closes.

As I live in the South East region this regions candidates are where I have been looking and I cast my vote this morning in the Primary for Lyn Tofari. When I first read Lyn's responses I knew I would probably vote for her then, but I held back to allow myself the option to consider any new candidates entering the race.

In the True/False section on Lyn's responses, it is fair to say I agreed 25 times out of 25, and Lyn was the only person who responded where that was the case. Other responses included a pledge to publish expenses monthly and to set up systems where by constituents could contact her with issues of Concern. Additionally it is clear from Lyn's responses and from her Jury team Profile, that she has worked long and hard as an independent in local politics and seems to have earned the respect of her council colleagues. This is exactly the type of candidate I was looking for.

I am happy to have voted for Lyn, and I would encourage anybody in the South East region who has not yet voted to have a good look at Lyn's profile and to give your vote to her. If you would like to vote for Lyn, text LYNTOF01 to 86837. Lyn is running third currently in the South East Primary and I would like to see her get to the front of that race.

Jury Team - Second Recap

After my first recap on replies from Jury Team candidates, here is a recap of the candidates who have responded recently.

If you would like to participate in the Jury Team Primary, there are 8 days left to vote. Text votes cost 25p + Standard Rate.

1. Debbie Seepersad, who is running in the London Primary.

2. Bob Sampson, who is running in the South East Primary.

3. Bill Barnett, who is running in the South West Primary.

4. Steve Partridge, who is running in the Wales Primary.

5. John Tinley, who is running in the East Midland Primary.

6. William Brotherston, who is running on the North West Primary.

7. John Wallace, who is running in the Scotland Primary.

8. Andrew Parker, who is running in the East of England Primary.

I have cast my vote this morning in the South East Primary, I shall reveal who I voted for and why shortly.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Subrosa captures my frustration at the misapplication of a particular word, here.

Behind Blue Eyes says that Gordon Brown does not understand this country, here.

Kit, on LabourHome says Derek Draper should be fired... out of a cannon...into the heart of the sun, here.

Ranting Stan offers support for protectionism from an unlikely source, here.

And finally, Ross on Unenlightened Commentary in an act of altruistic public service has kindly rounded up various bloggers responses to L'Affaire Smeargate, here.

Jury Team Profile (Belated) - Andrew Parker

Here are the responses to my invitation to Jury Team candidates from Andrew Parker who is running in the East of England Primary.

Andrew had actually sent me his responses on 30th March, however they somehow ended up in my junk mail folder, and I have only just discovered them today (Sorry Andrew!)

You can view Andrew's full Jury Team profile, here.

If you would like to vote for Andrew in the Primary, text ANDPAR01 to 86837.





Please answer True or False to these statements:

1. The EU should have even more control over the governing of member states including the UK.
FALSE

2. The EU is the future of Continental Europe; the UK should be less resistant to this and more willing to be engaged with EU partners.
TRUE

3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions.
FALSE

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.
TRUE

5. Countries like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU.
FALSE

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
FALSE

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories.
TRUE

8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions.
TRUE

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible.
FALSE

10. The UK Parliament should be sovereign. No laws made by the EU should be above the law making decisions of the UK Parliament.
TRUE

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative.
FALSE

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU.
FALSE

13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years.
TRUE

14. If the UK left the EU, it’s economy would never recover.
FALSE

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament.
FALSE

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command.
FALSE

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses.
FALSE

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong.
TRUE

19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU.
FALSE

20. The UK should be allowed a referendum whether it accepts the EU Lisbon Constitutional Treaty before it comes into force.
TRUE

21. I am prepared to give up some small freedoms so that the UK and/or the EU governments can better protect us from terrorists.
FALSE

22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence.
FALSE

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.
TRUE

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished.
FALSE

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged.
TRUE! Of course!

In no more than 200 words for each question, please tell us about the following:

Q. If you are elected to the EU Parliament, by what method and frequency will your expenses be made public?
Personally, I’d be happy for expenses to be published annually or every six months via the web (or cheapest equivalent to avoid wasting paper or cutting down trees). I certainly won’t be making claims for watching, er, ‘relaxing’ movies!

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Yes – many years ago I stood as an independent for the presidency of my student union. I was beaten by the Labour Party candidate. Even back then I was not keen on party politics.

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
I am in the process of developing these to support my campaign.

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
I try to read material from different sides of the political divide – so I’ll look at both the Telegraph and The Guardian, for example. Same with the tabloids – the Mail versus the Mirror. My favourite writers aren’t necessarily those whose politics I favour. I just want real debate, rather than party flag-waving.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I want to be able to pick and choose those items of proposed legislation that it’s right to support or reject. I don’t want to be told that I’ll be upsetting other politicians if I don’t vote the same way as they do. A prominent ex-Labour MP said in an interview that on one occasion she voted against the government. Thereafter, she was suddenly excluded from a lot of party business – effectively ‘cold-shouldered’ because she hadn’t done what the Cabinet told her to do. Presumably, she had voted according to the wishes of her constituents. So, I want to be totally free to vote according to the people I hope to represent, without any hindrance from anyone else. Similarly, I have no connections to big industry or business, so again my vote will not be influenced by unrepresentative interests.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Find out exactly what powers I really have to support people in my region – I’ll want to know what I can do to get started with helping people live their lives as they wish.

Q. And, as you have been good enough to answer the above, in no more than 1,000 of your own words, tell us why we should vote for you.
I’m asking people to vote for me because I am prepared to put the work in to find out how we can benefit from membership of the EU. Also because I am a decent, honest person who believes in democracy. I’m proud of being a British citizen, and I want to promote and defend my country in its dealings with its European neighbours. Even if I’m a lone voice, I want to ask for increased accountability from the EU in terms of what it is providing our region in return for our taxes.

I like to think that I am a reasonable, approachable individual with the necessary skills to listen to people and then take their views forward to the European Parliament. Likewise, I know I am capable of getting up to speed quickly with the administrative set-up of the EP, and so will be able to make the most of my time there.

Mainly I’m asking people to vote for me because I will take my responsibilities extremely seriously, and do everything possible to be the very best representative for our region.

Hmmmmm..... Where Has Guido Gone?














15-Apr-09 14:22 Update: He's back online.

Frank Fields Comments

I have stolen this from Frank Fields Blog, but here is the link (and I have added his blog to my blogroll)

Harold Wilson asserted that the Labour party was a moral crusade or it was nothing. The McBride affair has left Labour members looking at nothing. That is the reality check that McBride has wrought on the party.

The whole of the government's energy should be spent on governing now and building a programme from which, within and year, we will be seeking permission to rule for another five years.

Far from helping sketch out a new roadmap, the McBride activities shine a searchlight on the paucity of the government's programme.

Week after week MPs have been turning up but with almost no serious work to do. There is the odd bill to be sure. But there is no legislative programme to speak of. Even the debates that are put on to fill in time are ones that deny MPs a vote. The whole exercise is vacuous.

Labour MPs are left staring into the abyss - that nothingness of Harold Wilson's statement. There is a wish amongst all sections of the PLP for the government to start governing. We wouldn't care too much whether the ideas were Blairite or non-Blairite, as long as we could give the impression of supporting a government that was using the next year to mark out why we should stay in office.

We have lived through an age of record public expenditure provision, but are now entering one of increasing cuts. There have been some beneficial results from this huge tax-payer largesse, but they in no way match up to what radicals predicted would be the outcome.

Have we been on the wrong track, and if so, what should now be our approach? Or is the task to look much more carefully how each pound of tax-payers' money is spent so we get a much bigger bang for our buck? Instead of this debate, we see the energy at the heart of Number 10 going into trying to smear the opposition.

It is this contrast between how we should be behaving, and what has been exposed, that is the real killer. A necessary government information machine has been corrupted by a spin that seeks not to inform but control and, if needs be destroy. And it has been in existence for over a decade.

McBride sat on the Prime Minister's political War Cabinet. If this is the war the Prime Minister thinks the country wants he is in for a very rude awakening. In the meantime, Labour supporters are left bewildered and wondering what happened to the moral crusading side of our mission.

Poor old Labour party.

I agree with Mr Fields sentiments whole-heartedly, the Government has been shown up as poor, and it is incredibly that in Gordon Brown we have an individual who has craved power for year, and yet in less than two years he his legislative agenda has run dry.

The exercise of Government in the absence of such a programme is indeed vacuous, however the searchlight may have revealed this to be the state of affairs, but it is not the cause.

I acknowledge that Gordon Brown had failed; his ambition is shown up as exactly what it was, the pursuit personal glorification and power with a staggering lack of a substantive intellectual capacity. It is entirely possibly that if Gordon brown was PM 150 years ago he would have been dragged across the street from Parliament and shot in front of a cheering crowd. It is a sad fact that there are reality TV contestants that have in one show received more votes than the PM has in his entire political life.

However, this is not the whole story.

It was, and remains part of the European plan to seize the power of European States whilst leaving in place the existing and historical structures so as not to raise concerns from us sheeple that control was being taken from our hard-fought institutions, which embodied the Democratic authority of those nations; and is being transferred to our new post-democratic structures. This is obviously now in evidence as control has been sucked away from Parliament as Mr Field points out. Mostly this has moved to the EU, but Downing Street has also overused its prerogative, as evidenced with the Bank-Bailouts.

If the Palaces of Westminster are still there, and when tourist and Journalists can still take photo’s it is harder for people to accept the transfer in controls that are taking place. It is, and has been evidenced as easier for those who support the EU project to do so with the historic structures in place. (Much like the frog in the boiling pot, if we were thrown into the shackles of Euro-federalism we too would have jumped out of the proverbial boiling pot.)

In a time when the UK faces more debt than ever before, with our economy crumbling around us and with no clear, sensible plan for recovery can there really be nothing for Parliament to vote on? How about falling school standards, or our dirty hospitals? The reason is because our Democracy has been hollowed out, and MP’s know it, and admit that they have little control now over the affairs of this country. Most seem content with drawing their salaries, racking up expenses and re-assuring their constituents that things will all be fine. If we stay silent on the transfer of controls to the EU, things will get worse, because our leaders become more removed from those that they serve and because of reduced accountability.

The system is broke, and the ONLY way to fix it is to return all decision making lost to the EU back to the UK, either through Parliament, or to local councils and devolved assemblies. I firmly believe this, but I know that many do not. But please look at the way things are today, and ask yourself if you would be as frustrated as you are if you had a greater degree of control over the key decisions that affect us all.

The transfer of control to the point where it may never be recovered is nigh. Though Lisbon contains the illusionary decoy of offering an exit to those willing, the reality is no such. An exit would require a Qualified Majority Vote from within the EU, and a long delay before exit can be completed.

15-Apr-09 Update: Wow, as soon as I posted the above I saw Daniel Hannan has this piece that 85% of all legistlation passed in Germany since 1998 came from the EU - that 4 in every 5 pieces of legislation envisioned and enforced form the non-democratic centre.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Blogs And Blogging - My Take On It

There has been much written over the weekend about blogs and blogging in general, especially in comparison with the established print media. I have a little piece about why I started blogging to come later, (It was a therapeutic exercise for me to write). But I wanted to have a bit of a say as well on where I see blogs and blogging in general.

So leaving aside the “Why did I start a blog” question, which I am sure literally some, perhaps even a dozen of you would like to know about, let me answer another point that has been raised. The Character of all bloggers seems to be defined by some in the MSM as pretty seedy. The assertion by some is that blogs, and by extension bloggers are somewhat ego-maniacal, and that we are not good enough to be Journalist or Politicians so we sit on the sidelines spreading spurious gossip and murmuring out loud. Well, maybe some bloggers are, but I think the overall assertion has been unfair. They say bloggers claim Guido’s story is being heralded as the rise of the blogosphere in place of the established media.

Well not by me.

The way I see it is that the use of the NotW Guido to break the Smeargate story means this is not some grand transition whereby newspaper subscriptions are cancelled, paperboys rounded up and nationalised as we all switch on to blogs. It was not the Drudge style scoop that the MSM is both projecting and rejecting in the same assertion. The blog itself has not replaced the newspaper. But it is claimed that certain journalists were already aware of the emails and the allegations yet did not break the story themselves, indeed Guido even names Kevin McGuire and asks aloud why he didn’t break the story? Thus, the blogger has outdone the Journalist by breaking the story, albeit, through conventional media.

That’s the point; a blogger and his or her blog are not the same. Nor is a Journalist the same as a newspaper. Certainly Blogs are more personal and are often individual, but in this point scoring exercise it is a draw. Blogger, not Journalist using MSM not blog.

Disagree with this? Fine, put it in the comments field.

What do you do if you disagree with a newspaper? Usually nothing, but maybe go home, write a letter or an email, you won’t know what others have thought because they are not there to tell you but none the less write it, post it, wait a few days to see if it will be published or ignored.
Most blogs are not there to break stories, and write journalistic analysis. If I want to write about a story, I can, and I do not need to go off on a tangent to explain details and back-story, I simple use a hyperlink to the source (which I can’t then misquote). If I want to garner opinion I simply ask question. If I make an assertion, there is a comments field whereby my arguments can be immediately dissected and trashed.

Blogs will not replace the Print media, but they will transform it. Already most of the major publications have some form of blog platform for their writers. The line between Journalist and Blogger is blurring; is Frasier Nelson to you a Journalist or a blogger? Ditto Iain Martin, Melanie Phillips, Daniel Finkelstein, et al. Let me ask further, would you read a blog written by Richard Littlejohn? Matthew Parris? Christopher Booker? [Who I consider to be good writers, who are to my knowledge sans-blog] - Do you seriously think that Young Journalists are being told not to worry about blogging? Of course not, now it is the little Brother to online Journalism, but as we all get more and more online, it is increasingly becoming a more important part of media. There may have been a point when blogging for Journalists was seen as extra work, but I am not sure that is the case anymore.

There is a talent to writing a piece for a blog in a few minutes that will accessible to the entire world at a click of a button. That piece needs to be clear, concise, accurate whilst telling the story and/or expressing the opinion, and in a competitive global age, it needs to be written quickly so as to be on the Internet before the competition. With this there comes disintermediation or at least reduced editorial control from a central Editor. It is a consequence of the technological age. This is the element in which so many in the established media are afraid, it is not just jobs it is that those who previously set an agenda on many topics were the news chiefs, and that is simply no longer the case.

The line between Politician and Blogger also offers a blurred distinction. Is Daniel Hannan a politician or a blogger? How about Doug Carswell? How about Tom Harris? – Again, blogs are allowing people to get closer to politicians and to be heard. This is an enhancement; it is progress in line with technological advances and social demands.

People’s opinions should count, and if people did not want to have their opinions heard, there would be no Speakers Corner, there would be no letters to the editor, and there would be no democracy. Thanks to satellite TV and the Internet people have become more individual in their opinions than they were 10, 25 or 50 years ago. Where there were once maybe 4 or 5 broadsheets, 4 or 5 tabloids, and 4 or 5 news magazines in which a person could choose from before, there are now literally hundreds of thousands of blogs that exist to educate, to inform, to entertain, and all do so allowing the reader to participate, to allow their opinions to be heard. There is nothing scurrilous about it. If I was to draw a parallel with TV, there is more quality programmes on TV today than there was in the 4 channel set-up in 1980’s, it might not feel like it always because you have to wade through so many channels on Satellite to find them.

And that is how I see things going, blogging creep into and enhancing news. We look at politics where blogs are now established, but I think there is a big scope for an explosion in other areas, such as sports (like football, rugby, and golf), TV Programmes, health and lots of areas. The blogs are there, and readership is slowly growing. What people like is the interaction, the choice and the chance to participate and have their views heard.

Monday, April 13, 2009

BigDog

Here's BigDog, great news if you're stuck in the aftermath of a natural disaster, but I wouldn't want to be on the wrong side of any law enforcement that is using one of these in tracking convicts. (Not that I ever expect I will be, of course)



I know you want to, so I will save you the trouble of opening a new page to Google. See here for Boston Dynamics webpage.

JFK & Lincoln

I am back at work tomorrow after a lazy week at home, and I have just gone through my emails and this one has been sent to me, again. I first saw this at least 6 years ago, but I though it to be eerily interesting on first view so I though I would put it up just in case there is anyone who hasn't seen it before.

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F. Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F. Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both of their wives lost their children while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

Both were shot in the head.

Both were shot with one bullet.

Both were rumored to be killed in a conspiracy. Neither was confirmed to be a conspiracy.

Lincoln was shot in the Ford Theater.
Kennedy was shot in a card made by the Ford Motor Company (a Ford "Lincoln")

Both were assassinated by Southerners.
Both were succeeded by Southerners.
Both successors were named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.
Both names comprise fifteen letters.

Both assassins were assassinated before their trials.

The only complete filming of Kennedy's assassination was shot by Abraham Zapruder.
The only complete account of Lincoln's assassination was written by John Zelfindorfer.

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was with friends in Monroe, Maryland.
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was with his friend Marilyn Monroe.

Lincoln's last child, Tad, had his funeral held on July 16, 1871. Later he was exhumed and moved to a different grave site.

Kennedy's son JFK Jr. was lost at sea on July 16, 1999. Later he was found, brought up, and then re-buried at sea.

But two years after his death, Booth's body was temporarily moved to a warehouse. Also, after the assassination, the government closed the Ford Theatre and turned it into a warehouse.

WWTD?

Earlier today I am guessing Gordon Brown asked, What Would Tony Do?

Answer: Issue a non-apology, apology.

Job done, line drawn, move on.

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

David Vance says the BBC in Northern Ireland has ceased being a reporter of the news and instead has become a participant in the political game, here.

A Tory writes to Gordon Brown and tells him why he is ultimately to blame for the "Smeargate" saga, here.

The Venerable 1st Earl of Cromer says that Spain is being asked to apologise for it's history, here.

Trevor Kavanagh refers to Damian McBride as 'Mad Dog' and says he was trained to kill, in The Current Bun, here.

Pol-e-tics asks if there is a link between Brown and Hitler, here.

And finally, from Boultons Blog, Cheryl Smith has a photo that has Obama and Sarkozy looking more like Morecambe and Wise, here.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

A Little Humour

I was sent this video on an email entitled, this is why you should never trust a woman. It is a little juvenile, but I think it is funny.



video

Jury Team Profile - John Wallace

Here are the responses to my invitation to Jury Team Candidates, these are from John Wallace who is running in the Scotland Primary.

John's full Jury Team profile can be seen, here.

If you would like to vote for John in the Primary, text JOHWAL01 to 86837 (25p + Standard Rate)

Feel free to leave questions and comments in the comments field.

Please answer True or False to these statements:

1. The EU should have even more control over the governing of member states including the UK.
False

2. The EU is the future of Continental Europe; the UK should be less resistant to this and more willing to be engaged with EU partners.
False

3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions.
True

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.
True

5. Countries like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU.
False

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
False

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories.
Don’t know

8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions.
False

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible.
False

10. The UK Parliament should be sovereign. No laws made by the EU should be above the law making decisions of the UK Parliament.
True

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative.
False

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU.
False

13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years.
False

14. If the UK left the EU, it’s economy would never recover.
False

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament
Don’t know

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command.
False

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses.
False

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong.
True

19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU
False

20. The UK should be allowed a referendum whether it accepts the EU Lisbon Constitutional Treaty before it comes into force.
True

21. I am prepared to give up some small freedoms so that the UK and/or the EU governments can better protect us from terrorists.
Don’t know

22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence.
False

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.
Yes

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished.
False

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged.
False

In no more than 200 words for each question, please tell us about the following:

Q. If you are elected to the EU Parliament, by what method and frequency will your expenses be made public?
My expenses would be made public at least monthly. Hopefully weekly. This is already on my website as part of my Contract with Constituents

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
No

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
Yes – http://www.johnwallace.me.uk/

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
I regularly read lots of newspapers, magazines and blogs. I don’t have any favourite writers/journalists but I have some that are definitely not favourite

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
Independent and Anti-Sleaze automatically means no political party.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Finalise my “Contract with Constituents” within 24 hours.

Q. And, as you have been good enough to answer the above, in no more than 1,000 of your own words, tell us why we should vote for you.
Please read my website at www.johnwallace.me.uk and also read www.edinburghsucks.com (some saucy language) which I set up and supported since 2005.

Guido Ticks Off Labourgraph

Not sure if this is the real "Guido Fawkes" or not, but this piece has appeared on MyTelegraph.

Hat Tip: Prodicus.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Four Things Gordon Brown Should Do Now To Help Revive The UK Economy And The Labour Party

1. Call a General Election

2. Dissolve Parliament

3. Resign as Leader of The Labour Party

4. Retire from politics

The Voice Of The Prime Minister

Well done Guido, Iain Dale, et al for usurping Damian McPoison from Downing Street.

The NOTW will carry the story with the emails tomorrow. The fact that McBride has resigned should not stop us questioning Gordon Brown.

Was Gordon Brown aware of a plot, implicitly or otherwise from his Communications Team to smear senior Tories on these following points:

1. David Cameron had an embarrassing illness
2. Shadow Chancellor George Osborne's wife was "emotionally fragile" because she appeared upset at parties
3. A Tory MP used his position to get publicity for lover’s business
4. Allegations about female Tory MP Nadine Dorries and another named MP.

Gordon Brown needs to come clean whether he had any knowledge on these points.

Whether under his instructions or not The prime Minister has had at least one member of his payroll (as in tax payer funded payroll)... spending time on smearing political opponents. Gordon Brown, or at least his office, needs to make clear that McBride will not be entitled to any bonus payments and reveal the extent of any severance payments.

Damian McBride was a senior member of the Downing Street Staff, and of the Communications Team that is the voice and the words of the Government and of Gordon Brown as Prime Minister. Whilst his salary was being paid, by you and me, his talents and function were turned to the black arts of spin and smear.

The public at large have lost all confidence in Gordon Brown and his team, and the country needs a change. I will repeat my call, David Cameron should make it known that he will bring about a motion of no confidence when Parliament reconvenes; potentially dissenting Labour MP's should be reminded of the shameful actions of the Downing Street Spin Team and encouraged to vote against the Prime Minister. Support for Gordon Brown was never really there, and tomorrow thanks to the NOTW will forever be in the minds of the public intertwined with the behaviour and intent of McBride.

Jury Team Profile - William Brotherston

Here is the latest set of responses from a Jury Team candidate, these are from William Brotherston who is running in the North West Primary.

William's full Jury Team Profile can be viewed, here.

If you would like to vote for William in the Jury Team primary, text WILBRO01 to 86837 (25p + Standard Rate)




Please answer True or False to these statements:

1. The EU should have even more control over the governing of member states including the UK.
False

2. The EU is the future of Continental Europe; the UK should be less resistant to this and more willing to be engaged with EU partners.
False

3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions.
True

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.
True

5. Countries like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU.
False

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
False

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories.
False

8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions.
False

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible.
True

10. The UK Parliament should be sovereign. No laws made by the EU should be above the law making decisions of the UK Parliament.
True

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative.
False

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU.
False

13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years.
False

14. If the UK left the EU, it’s economy would never recover.
False

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament.
False

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command.
False

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses.
False

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong.
False

19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU
False

20. The UK should be allowed a referendum whether it accepts the EU Lisbon Constitutional Treaty before it comes into force.
True

21. I am prepared to give up some small freedoms so that the UK and/or the EU governments can better protect us from terrorists.
False

22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence.
False

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.
True

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished.
False

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged.
False

In no more than 200 words for each question, please tell us about the following:

Q. If you are elected to the EU Parliament, by what method and frequency will your expenses be made public?
My expenses would be made public on my website as soon as possible once they are claimed and paid. There is a practice that claimants can claim set amounts for certain things which may be more that is spent. If I am in that position I shall take what I have spent and use any excess for the good of the people of my constituency. Details of this will also be published on my website.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Not in public life. I have been elected to charity trustee positions in the Scout movement.

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
I have a personal website but it is inactive at the moment. I also have a website dedicated to exposing the damage done by and the corruption surrounding Speed Cameras. It is not yet complete.

I have no blog. No problem in running one as an MEP where there would be matters of wider interest.

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
No regular newspaper reading. I use the internet and a variety of TV current affairs programmes to keep up with what is going on. I have no particular favourite Writer/Journalist but listen to many and make up my own mind.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I am fed up with the existing situation where the MPs and MEPs do not represent me. When votes are called in parliament, MPs are obliged to vote the way the party leaders say. They are representing the party chief, not me. The only people who should be able to tell me how to vote are the people of the North West of England whom I represent. As a Jury Team MEP I will be able to and will vote always with my conscience in the interests of my constituents. The way it should be.

With existing parties you get a collection of policies that you must accept as a package. None of the available options satisfy my requirements.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Set up a cost effective constituency organisation to respond to the people of the North West. If they cannot contact me or I them easily and effectively how can I tell if I am properly representing them.

Q. And, as you have been good enough to answer the above, in no more than 1,000 of your own words, tell us why we should vote for you.
Why vote for me? Because I am not in it for personal gain.

One of the biggest problems with politics today is honesty and integrity, or rather the lack of it. As we see MP after MP, European or UK, embroiled in latest bit of double dealing, this time on expenses, the people’s opinion of them takes yet another dive. They may not be breaking the rules but they seem to have an attitude of the common rules not applying to them, that they are somehow special.

Why vote for me? Because I follow my conscience not a career in politics.

The “Party” politicians have to vote the way the Party leaders tell them or see their careers stop dead. I am obdurately independent. I say what I think and act on it.

Why vote for me? Because I WILL be open and honest with constituents, even if it hurts a bit.

You will see from my profile that I am involved with Scouting. Of the 10 Scout laws 1 & 2 are about being trusted and being loyal. Outdated? Not in my book they are every bit as relevant today as ever they were. How often can you say that about most of the MPs and MEPs? Very rarely is the answer you are looking for.

Why vote for me? Because I look at the realities of issues and make a logical decision on the right course of action.

Will I always get it right? Probably not but if I get it wrong, like Mr B Obama, I will say so and try to make it right.

Why vote for me? ………..

Actually don’t vote for me – vote for what I stand for.

Vote for Honesty – Integrity – Fairness – Openness –

Vote for Policies that work for you not for policies that protect the people already on the MP’s gravy train.

Vote for a change because what we have now clearly isn’t working for you.

If you want “more of the same” – that’s easy – just do nothing.

If you like what I stand for – If you want an improvement –
get out there and do something about it. Give me your vote to get me to where I can help you.

If there are any specific questions about what I stand for please ask me Aitken.brotherston@virgin.net