Wednesday, September 30, 2009

He's A Medical Marvel!

At an international medical conference, four doctors were discussing the state of medicine in their respective countries.

The Israeli doctor said, 'Medicine in my country is so advanced, we can take a kidney out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in six weeks.'

The German doctor said, 'That's nothing! In Germany, we can take a lung out of one person, put it in another, and have him looking for work in four weeks.'

The Russian doctor said, 'In my country medicine is so advanced, we can take half a heart from one person, put it in another, and have them both looking for work in two weeks.'


The English doctor, not to be outdone, said 'Hah!. We can take an arsehole out of Scotland, put him in 10 Downing Street and have half the country looking for work within twenty-four hours!

Plenty more HERE where I found this.
 
Could it be that Gordon Browns only possible legacy now will be to be the most ridiculed PM of all time?

Mandy Headroom

Gordons Communications Chief Revealed

What Took You Guys So Long?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Last Minute Advice To Gordon Brown Before The Speech

1.  Empty bladder before you go on stage.

2. Blow nose, ensure you have tissues.... just in case.

3. add a line about you immediate resignation.

4....  erm, That's all I have got.

++ Gordons Conference Speech Leaked to Daniel1979 Blog++

I have exclusively obtained a copy of Gordon Browns speech to the Labour conference, which I publish below. It is the copy sent from Gordons script team, but has yet to be signed off on by Peter Mandelson, so small changes may occur when delivered at the conference and Mandy's discretion.

Stage and personal directions for Gordon are marked in [brackets].

--

[walk to podium, smile]

Welcome

[If standing ovation persists, throw both arms in the air and scream “YEAH, YEAH” like a rockstar would; if standing ovation does not persist look into camera with a serious look on your face]

I am here today as leader of our party and as Prime Minister to set out where I think we are and what we will do in this next year running up to the General Election. But before I do, I would like to take this opportunity to some new faces to my cabinet team.

Lilly Allen is immediately appointed as Youth Liaison Minister, who will speak Labours message to the youth’s of Briatin. Liilly will also help oversee the introduction of our new Broadband Tax initiatives which will put broadband in every house by 2015. Lilly has always been vocal on matters that are important to her and to young people and I believe she will make an excellent addition to the GOATs. [smile] Lilly will be ennobled today so that she can take her well earned place in the House of Lords. [pause for applause]

Joining Lilly is Sir Terry Wogan who is heading up a new government body I am today creating called the department for whimsy. [smile] Sir Terry is a beloved national figure and will be instrumental in helping create a real and dynamic dialogue with our country. People have been saying that Labour has forgotten middle England, [serious look] that is simply not true. [lick lips]. Sir Terry will be ennobled as of tonight and will begin his good work tomorrow morning. [pause for applause]. Terry’s opinions and insight on Europe will be sought in the meetings of the cabinet.

When I was a little boy I believe in two things, God, The Labour Party and courage. [pause for applause]

[Look serious] We have face great challenges together as a party and we have faced a number of challenges in government [pause] but we should be proud; indeed I am proud of the great strives we have made in making society fairer [pause for applause, smile]. This labour Government introduced the minimum wage [pause for applause, smile], this Labour Government has lifted 25 million children out of poverty [pause for applause], we are now printing wealth at an unprecedented rate not seen before [ pause for applause, look serious]. None of this would have happened under the dirty Tories.

I have always said that Education is our biggest priority, and ahead of our next election I have asked Ed Balls to build 30 new schools, every week for the next 4 years. [pause for applause]. Tories, [pause] Tories never build schools. [pause for applause]. It is real initiatives like this that you can take to the country and will help us secure a historic fourth term in office. [bob head].

Labours no. 1 priority in this last parliament has of course been the economy. Don’t forget, that the Tories opposed every initiative we took [look stern, don’t growl] Quantitative easing, [pause], nationalising our failed banks, borrowing for sustained investment and to keep the government running. My initiatives have saved 30 million jobs [pause, smile] British Jobs, for our British Workers. [pause for applause, wink at Sarah] The Tories would have cut the NHS to pay for more butlers, they would have cut teachers to pay for their lavish garden parties and would have cut police to keep billionaires in mansions. [pause for applause]. The Tory Party is the Party of the failed bankers, the Labour Party is the Party of those whose banks we saved by taking immediate action.

Our top priority is in the health service. I have always been very clear about that. [stern look] It has always been Labours top priority. [smile] Under this Labour Government there are millions of new doctors and nurses and hospitals. [pause for applause] In fact, we are the responsible government; investment has gone up every year under this Labour Government, but, we have also done away with the inefficiencies inflicted upon us from the previous Tory administration. [pause for applause] Creaking local hospitals and outdated GP practices are now routinely shut to make way for centralised super-hospitals. [pause for applause]… Labour invented super hospitals [pause for applause, point to random person in audience and smile]. Under a conservative government there would be no doctors and no nurses in NHS hospitals as they would sell the NHS to the highest American bidder! [pause for standing ovation].

I am also prepared to [serious look] announce today a number of initiatives [smile] that will show we are still the Party that cares for Britain. [smile]

After the official opening of Parliament by the Queen [pause for applause], I will introduce legislation to shorten winter. I have listened to people in their doorways and they tell me that they cannot afford heating bills, so I am going to take lead with socially responsible action and banish extended cold periods of weather. This will also ease the burden on our now outdated flu vaccination programme and allow more choice for parents looking at summer holidays. [hop twice]

The billions of pounds spent on the national ID card scheme will be utilised by Alan Johnson and will be put to use cataloguing the pets of this country onto one database. Every house and farm animal will be recorded. Pet owners and Farmers can either take a photo id card for their animals at £65 each, or thanks to phase 2 of the plan go straight to micro-chip monitoring at £20 each. It is only our forward-thinking that would allow this scheme to be possible; do you want to go back to the days when dogs roamed wildly on our streets like they did under the previous Tory governments?

This government has always believed that Climate change is the most serious concern facing the planet, and indeed the world today. I have already saved the world, financially,[grin] now I want to save it ecologically [smile, great joke!]. Along with President Obama, [pause for applause] with whom I speak frequently and at length at many international events [pause for ovation] we will together introduce legislation to allow greater powers to the UN and to the EU to punish offenders. Unthinking capitalists and global corporations can moan all they like, but we will take tough action against those who would seek climate change, and those who pretend and deny it does not exist. Former President Gore and former Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott meet together at before Copenhagen and will discuss ways to reintroduce polar bears to our towns and cities. [smile]. The Tories will no doubt oppose my plans [pause] that is typical of David Cameron, he wants you to think they have changed and that they care about you and the planet, but if he opposes my environmental schemes then you should all see him for what he truly is, [serious tone, stern look, check tie is straight] a mad man who is dangerous for the planet. I don’t think you want to go back to Tories bickering over Europe and struggling to introduce green legislation. [smile, wink, fingergun]

Harriet Harman [pause for applause, do not glare if she stands and bows!], Harriet Harman is leading the world in equality. We only have a few months left, but I have asked Harriet [smile] to champion new legislation through parliament that will guarantee equality in Britain. [smile] Harriet is leading the way in women’s rights [keep smiling], and is the right person to spearhead our positive legislative agenda [smile, wave to Harriet]. From next year it will be illegal for a man to have a job if a women is better suited to that role, and will ensure that boards of directors and that councils are equally balanced with the right kinds of people, whether it is merited or not. Because we seek justice for the oppressed where they see it, unlike the Tories and the Liberal Democrats who say and do nothing on these important matters [pause for applause].

[Loosen tie, unbutton top shirt button, look straight into camera] I look forward to leading this party into the next general election, as this is what I have wanted to do since I was a little boy. Yes, we will be underdogs, because of what the Tories are saying and doing, but if we really, really really, believe we can do it, then I can do it. [pause for applause] If not, we can introduce legislation to allow for a new voting system that is fairer to the struggling parties on the left of British Politics, who are marginalised by the bourgeoisie elite that still occupy the top ranks of the Tory party.

I believe in fairness [fairness, not fairies!] And in justice for the afflicted. I believe in courage. [Pause for applause] We will draw up a new contract with Britain, a partnership of purpose, one which all my predecessors failed to do, and one which will see the minorities and those who cannot succeed catapulted to the front of the queue, where their voices will not just be heard, but they will be heard the loudest. Only Gordon Brown and Labour can bring about such promises for change to Britain.

Thank you


[smile, standing ovation, raise both arms and waive, keep smiling, point at audience, smile, walk to Sarah for cuddle, take arms down, waive and exit stage left]

Monday, September 28, 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:

The Irish Times says that Guy Verhofstadt is heading to Ireland to campaign for a YES vote, but he has some media demands.

Steve Green on The Daily Referendum Blog tells you as an ex-Labour voter why Labour will not win the next election.

Fraser Nelson says debt either goes up or down. It really is that simple.

Team Europe Blog says that The EU Commission is breaking its own laws and has illegally commissioned pro-Lisbon literature distributed in the Irish Sunday Newspapers.

And finally, EU News From Blog says that the 61.5% of people polled would be prepared to vote NO in a referendum of Icelandic people should such a vote be called.

Enjoy!

Browns Britain 2

From the Daily Telegraph:


Claire and Scott David claim Carol Hill, 60, was made a scapegoat for telling them what happened to their daughter Chloe, seven.



She is alleged to have had her hands and feet bound with skipping rope before being whipped by four boys at her school in June.


Her parents claim that Great Tey Primary School near Colchester in Essex tried to cover up what happened because one of the boys was the son of a prominent parent.


They have removed both Chloe and her brother from the school and are consulting lawyers about what action they can take.


Mrs Hill, who was told not to return to her job after a disciplinary hearing on Monday, has already launched legal action.


"The only thing I can think of is that the school wanted to cover up what had happened and they were furious that Carol blew the whistle," Chloe’s father Scott David said.


"But if it’s happened with my daughter, how many others has it happened to?


"We were part of the Parent Teacher Association. We’ve supported everything the school has done.


"We were disgusted at Mrs Hill’s dismissal. It’s affecting her health quite significantly. Her whole life was the school and making the children happy. I feel she’s been made a scapegoat."
It continues:



The entry in the school accident book about the incident reads: "Chloe has been tied up and then hit with a skipping rope – red marks on right leg and right wrist".


The notice sent to her parents reads: "She was hurt on the right leg and right wrist with a skipping rope"

Browns Britain

From the BBC.

The Children's Minister has ordered a review of the case of two police officers told they had broken the law by caring for each other's children.

Ofsted said the arrangement contravened the Childcare Act because it lasted for longer than two hours a day, and constituted receiving "a reward".

It said the women would have to be registered as childminders.


It continues….

Ms Shepherd, who serves with Thames Valley Police, recalled: "A lady came to the front door and she identified herself as being from Ofsted. She said a complaint had been made that I was illegally childminding.

"I was just shocked - I thought they were a bit confused about the arrangement between us.

"So I invited her in and told her situation - the arrangement between Lucy and I - and I was shocked when she told me I was breaking the law."

Ms Jarrett added: "Our children were never in any harm, they were never in any danger.

To think that they would waste their time and effort on innocent people who are trying to provide for their families by returning to the workplace... Surely their time and effort would be better placed elsewhere."

"They've been threatened with prosecution by Ofsted if they continue doing this."

Friday, September 25, 2009

New Jury Team Candidate

Here is a message from John Smeaton who is running in the Glasgow North East by-election for The Jury Team


If you are a little unfamiliar with John, have a watch of the below video which will tell you a lot about the man, a long time before he decided to run for Parliament.

Friday Fight

In the red corner, Coldplay and Richard Ashcroft performing at Live 8...




Versus their opponent in the blue corner, Hugh Laurie with song for America...






Fight!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What Is Going On In Doncaster?

With a duff of the cap to JuliaM who has already written about this and linked back to the Express article I see that it is now being reported that the police have given up chasing criminals and are now proactively turning their attentions to broad surveillance activities.

To what do I refer?

South Yorkshire Police have issued warning letters that action may be taken against drivers if they leave anything visible in their vehicles. The force has set up a “safer neighbourhood team” that will go around looking into vehicles in the crime hotspots of Doncaster. If this crack unit of crime fighters should spot anything in open site on display in the car, such as a coat, a CD or a chocolate bar they are going to do the following.

1. Make a note of your car, by recording the number plate

2. Use the DVLA’s MOT database to find out yours and your insurers details –
           i. Presumably, they will check that you have an MOT and insurance and if not, expect some action.

3. They will then contact your insurer, to inform them that you have left items on view, which the Express concludes will lead to premiums skyrocketing and the invalidation of some people’s premiums.

What totalitarian tactics! What on earth would possess the police to set their resources towards a scheme of police survailance of innocent people. 


Words very nearly fail me…. or at least they nearly did.  Interestingly, there is a twist.


Doncaster has a Mayor, in fact a recently elected Mayor. His name is Peter Davies and he is an English Democrat, and he has sent shockwaves through the local community (and some national news outlets) when he was elected he immediately cut the Mayors salary from £73,000 to £30,000 and closed the Council’s own newspaper for peddling propaganda courtesy of the taxpayer. He pressed on and is seeking to cut the number of councillors from 63 to 21 in an effort to save a further £800,000. He has axed many of the Mayor’s other perks, including the chauffeur.

He has withdrawn Doncaster from the Local Government Association and the Local Government Information unit saving a further £200,000 and then made the following, almost legendary comment:

"Doncaster is in for some serious untwinning. We are twinned with probably nine other cities around the world and they are just for people to fly off and have a binge at the council’s expense".

With the savings, the Mayor wishes to pass on savings to the taxpayer, and improve local children’s services.

Like most of you, I am not overly familiar with the English Democrats, but, do the new Mayor’s actions indicate to you that he would be the architect of the plan to target and hurt law abiding car owners?  No, this scheme has the hall marks of an entirely different brand of politics.

I think it is clear that think the political drama in Doncaster that has unfurled in recent months has made the Mayor immediately unpopular with the established political classes locally and a few games are being played in retaliation; it is my guess this initiative did not come from the Mayor, but is politically aimed at him.  It will be interesting to see how this plays out – though I am glad I am not a car owning resident of Doncaster today.  As usual it is the law abiding person on the street and in their homes and cars that are the cheif vicims of others pursing political agenda's.

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 Times says that India's first mission to the moon has yielded evidence of water that might allow for a permanent base to be built within 2 decades.

The Mail yesterday had the claim that President Klaus has been told by David Cameron that if he can delay the Lisbon Treaty past the UK General Election date, he will hold the referendum right away.

RantinRab says that Strathclyde Police are asking for domestic travellers passports.

Gerald Warner thinks the UK and US should leave the UN.

And finally, guess what is for breakfast on the Red Rag?

Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Voting = Bad, Terrorism = OK... Got That?

In August, The Foreign Secretary was speaking on BBC Radio 4 Great Lives programme about South Africa and the ANC when he said this in regards to terrorism:


“Yes, there are circumstances in which it is justifiable, and yes, there are circumstances in which it is effective.”

I was a bit shocked when I read this quote as were many others, but there was no furore, it didn’t make the really make the papers or TV news, and another of Miliband’s student politic moments passed largely unnoticed to the wider population.

So, it’s lunch time today and I thought I would pop over to the DT blogs, as I usually do when I saw this post from Ed West, which linked to an interview from David Miliband with the DT where David Miliband has criticised David Cameron and the Conservatives for surrendering to:

“Euro-Extremism”
And goes on to quote more fully that:
“I honestly believe that the Conservative Europe policy is a massive strategic weakness for them as they try to persuade sensible, moderate ordinary people that they are a serious party of government”
[my emphasis]

So let’s get this straight; it is, in the Foreign Secretary’s mind sensible, moderate and ordinary to think that
“Yes, there are circumstances in which it is justifiable, and yes, there are circumstances in which it is effective.”
But it is Extremist to want a referendum on a treaty that his own political manifesto offered?? Seriously, WTF?

The interview and the Foreign Secretary’s position is specific to the Conservative position on Europe, which to be quite frank in not a strong enough position for most people tastes – So if the Foreign Minister actually saying he thinks that more than half of the people in Britain are extremists for being against the current Governments position on the EU, whilst accepting that Terrorist Acts are acceptable to him, as long as he agrees with the perpetrators politics? … That’s what it sounds like to me.

Follow Up On Liberal Ramblings

Having written what I did about the Liberal Democrats yesterday, it seems I was not alone in pausing for a moment and thinking aloud with some ideas of just where their party is and what it should do in future to turn things around.  Danny Finkelstein has a piece where in parts he seems to agree with me on the state of the Lib Dems and that they have a small window of opportunity approaching which they are ill prepared for, though Danny seems to take a much different view on their potential direction.

I also see in the Guardian that there is a massive split in the "leadership" whereby 18 of the 29 federal policy committee [who write the Liberal Democrat Manifesto] have written to the Guardian to state that they will be including a pledge to scrap tuition fees in the election manifesto, no matter how the leadership of the party feels about it.  There seems to now be an active attempt from within the Liberal Democrat party to seperate out what Liberal Democrats stand for and what the Liberal Democrat Leadership stands for - and it is all very unattractive to floating voters.  It is hard to imagine a more ideological split occurring, and it damning that it is so public; the party is deeply split. 

Today's closing will no doubt include vein calls to lend support to the Liberal Democrats.  Their greatest tragedy, which I missed but Danny did pick up on is that there is a 7 point swing from Con/Lab at the last election to the "others" column, in the polls - support from the disaffected is passing from the main two parties and is bypassing the Liberal Democrats and going to smaller and newer parties.  The Liberal Deomcrats are in danger of being relegated to that "others" column if their support shrinks further.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Problem(s) With The Liberal Democrat Party

It is easy to summise what has come from the Lib Dem conference, because as somebody who has had no inclination of following it, every incidental contact via the media has shown this particular conference has shown them to be the loony party that has no good ideas or innovative thinkers. They are the third rail of British Politics. They have not put forward one original proposal to capture the imagination, and their conference seems to have been arraigned to inflate the egos of its leaders rather than to set out a convincing alternative vision.

I don’t spend much time blogging on the Lib Dems, so I had better pack it in tight here as I might not again until the election.

The fact that they have not had a good conference at all, whilst the rest of us are battering Labour into an unprecedented oblivion is politically disgraceful; especially considering that they are not going to be picking up Tory seats at the next election, it is the Labour seats and voters that will head their way. But what have they done this week? Have they provided a channel in which to ease Labour voters across to their brand of left wing politics? No. Have they set out a convincing alternative to current Government overspending? No. Have they identified with the guy on the street, Mondeo Man and White Van Man? No. Have they abandoned their ridiculous context of being serious contenders for Government and offered a vision of a Liberal official opposition party to the Conservatives? No.

So what have they done? Cocked up their flagship tax plan, taken pot-shots at the party to their right, rather than the parties to their left, reversed announcements on cuts immediately after making them , been incoherent on many things including Child Tax Credits and convinced their best blogger (by their own estimation) that perhaps it is not worth carrying on after all. Their failure was punctuated by two other events. Firstly their chief economic spokesman spokesperson, Mr Cable and his economic record got thoroughly spanked by Andrew Neil on TV just before the conference and secondly all polls I have seen this week reveal that their leader Nick Clegg is not very popular at all.

Nick Clegg whenever he opens his mouth reveals himself to be more and more nasty. He strikes me, and I am sure I am not alone here, as an amateur politician who is unsure of his principles, and as such compensates by talking about making things fairer whilst not really understanding why our society and our laws are designed and were made the way they are. Victim politics. When Nick Clegg speaks, I feel like he dislikes the people he would purport to like to govern, including me.

His record is even poorer than his personality, his first act as Liberal Democrat leader was to reverse their only widely popular manifesto pledge from the last election, that of a holding a referendum on the Lisbon Constitutional Treaty; then he forced his parliamentary minions to see it through a safe passage. There is not one truly Liberal thing the Liberal Democrats stand for. They are definitely not the party of William Gladstone.

The party itself has no good ideas, because they have spent the last 12 years pretending that Tony Blair and New Labour were not rolling out plenty of “progressive” social policies of exactly the same ilk as they would have been. New Labour have socially engineered Britain into a crouching embryo position, quivering with fear that we are about to be branded racist, fascist, tory loving, criminal terrorists, who are also a big bunch of paedophiles, climate change deniers, dangerous, overtly ambitious, greedy, capitalist, baby-eating frog marching, fox hunting car driving despots who could not possibly function in the world without an ever extending over-reach of nanny government. If by some amazing fluke Paddy Ashdown had of won in 1997, he would have been talking to the same think tanks, lobbyists, journalists and money men that New Labour have been for the last 12 years, there would not be too much different today following 12 years of Liberal Democratic government as there has been of 12 Years of New labour ‘progressive’ government… And people not involved in politics do understand this. Worse still, people have now had many years and many experience of Liberal Democrats at local government, and seen exactly how fluidic the Liberal Democrat message is, depending on your postcode.

Efforts to consult and adopt a broad-church approach have led to incoherence, and inconsistent messages – even this week. The only week in the year when the Liberal Democrats have a hope of setting and controlling a news agenda is their conference week and they blew it, spectacularly.

I am not a fan of Vince Cable, but he is the only Senior Lib Dem left who can speak (occasionally) without condescending. Nobody votes for those kinds of politicians. The Liberal Democrats or at least their current leadership have turned their backs on any strain of Libertarianism and are nothing more now like Labour-lite… more EU, more statism, more taxes, more regulations, more politicians, more, more, more. This is the inescapable abode of the failed, disaffected and student politicians – the only place they can be heard.

I repeat, that in my humble opinion the fact that the Liberal Democrats have not found a way around the Labour Party with such a discredited Government at the helm is very, very bad and should be sounding alarm bells and sirens sounding with Lib Dem grass roots. If you are truly content on Nick Clegg and Chris Hunhe’s visions then do nothing, vote Liberal Democrat, and get your 14 or 15% at the General Election.

But surely there are some people out there still, who want a centre-left party that will challenge the EU and statism? Where are the people that recognise that the smaller the state the smaller the infringement on freedom, and the people that want to stand up for people’s rights if only so that peoples freedoms are safe guarded if not enhanced. Where are the people on the left that will challenge corporate criminality without attacking capitalism in the same breath? Where are the people that will champion the plight of the poor for no other reason than to help them?

I don’t know where they are, but I know they are not heading for an application form to the Liberal Democrat party.

The best thing for the Conservatives, Labour, SNP and UKIP is if the Lib Dems stay the third party of UK politics after GE day. I should not care, and though I do, it is not much concern, but if I may be so bold as to offer some advice as Lib Dem people head home from the conference early. Advice from an outsider may be the best way to put it.

Firstly, as you are the Liberal Democrats, get the brightest young people in your party to come up with some policies that are Liberal and that if you were in Government would preserve, protect and/or enhance Liberty in the UK.

Secondly, as you are the Liberal Democrats, get the brightest young people in your party to come up with some policies that would preserve, protest and or enhance democracy in this country. PR voting doesn’t count, because that requires moving away from majority rule, and the strongest and most fair democracies that provide the greatest Liberties to their people are built upon the projection of majority rule.

Thirdly, after your election drubbing next year change your leadership. Not just Nick Clegg, I mean the whole lot… and keep Shirley off of question time, nobody outside of a BBC studio agrees with anything she has to say.

Whatever policies you come up with, make sure that they are realistic, achievable and aimed at doing something other than filling your time, and spending our money. Do not ever announce another policy that is designed solely at embarrassing the Conservatives or Labour. Be consistent with your messages and making policies that your grass root supporters can be consistent with in their newsletters and their conversations on the doorsteps.

Forget Governing and Tory bashing for at least one Parliament. Aim realistic – for second spot – from there you could potentially aim for Government. The Labour party will be reeling for some time – but are exceptional when on the up about being staunchly supportive and consistent with a message [even when it is the wrong message or a lie]. It will not take more than one Parliament for Labour begin to regaining some ground and find some consistency – so you will only have a small window to leapfrog them. Tell the kids you think the internet is cool and see if you can’t get a few more Charlotte Gore types blogging and see if your new ideas spread.

Sounds simple to me, but I have a feeling my ideas for the Liberal Democrats my ideas will not meet with their approval. Never mind, there are more important things going on than the Liberal Democrats. But then, isn’t there always?

Yet Another Fine Mess Gordon

The Attorney General Baroness Scotland has today been fined £5,000 for her employment of an illegal immigrant who overstayed on a student visa by five years.

The fine was for failing to keep copies of documents that The Baroness claims she checked to validate that the worker was legally entitled to work in the UK. No further action from the UK Border Agency or from The Prime Minister will follow.

The law that has been broken was advised upon by the Attorney General during its conception, as the AG acts as lawyer to the Government. In it, specific provisions were worded to ensure that employers keep copies of documents as failure to produce any documentation would not be a defence against the specific law. It is a long held standing in English Law that Ignorance of the law is not a defence against it, and all judges are held to apply this principle. There is no specific need to word such a provision really unless specific onus is required – so entrenched is the notion to law.

As such, to have an Attorney General now who advised and helped frame a law which included a provision that the onus of proof falls to the accused and that only the production of evidence showing pro-forma checks were made (in this case, photocopies of documents) to then fall foul of that law is breathtakingly incompetent for somebody of the Attorney Generals position. It is the Attorney General equivalent of wile e coyote strapping himself to an Acme missile in the pursuit of a blue feathered dinner only to go and blow himself up – Perhaps even more incompetent than that.

The whole situation has all of the hallmarks of a whitewash about it.

I say Whitewash because a £5,000 fine does not begin to resolve this little problem and yet again I think Gordon Brown has staggeringly underestimated the knock on effect this is going to have; yet seems to be a player in getting into the rush to investigation, fine, slap on the wrist, move along now, la la la we don’t care, we’re not listening chain of events that has come to pass in under a week.

I am upset, and I think you are too.

Firstly, The Attorney Generals position is just the latest of high offices in our Kingdom that has been besmirched by the appointment to that office of somebody capable of causing exceptional embarrassment to that post. It is just however the latest in a long line of appointments under this Labour Government; the frequency of scandals seems to have increased two-fold since Gordon Browns coronation. By simply flying off to the US to play World Statesman and by failing to sack Baroness Scotland, Brown has again, for the umpteenth time shown himself to be indecisive and completely unable to provide a Government of any talents, let alone of “all talents”. With crystal clarity the public gaze upon a man who yet again put his own and his party’s perceptions ahead of doing the right thing and acting in the best interests of this country. The moment the fine was issued the Prime Minister should have implemented the change, to which he would have already had lined up – that is what a leader would have done.

Secondly, the hiring of illegal immigrants is a known and frequently used tactic of employers to avoid paying minimum wage to employees. The minimum wage is the crown jewel in 12 years of Labour government, perhaps the only initative left that retains broad popularity and reminds all of us of the promise that we all felt of what was to come. There has been no word however if the Baroness was avoiding paying her worker minimum wage, which would be another offence, both under the law and in terms of holding a grand position within a government, no matter how discredited, to whom not only brought in the legislation for that minimum wage, but have and will rely upon its fair introduction as a campaigning point. Could Labour even mention minimum wage if their own AG was found to have ignored it?

It adds to the feeling over cover up that we are not informed one way or the other; could the Baroness still find herself in an embarrassing position on this?

Thirdly, when will it all end? I seem to repeat myself on this point over and over here on my blog but for every single scandal, even today, Labour follows the same instincts, the same alienating formula of self preservation. Try to change the story, deny, attack others… get found out, try to hold on to high paying, high powered position… blame the Tories, stuff the voters, stuff doing “the right thing”, quick, get Rosa, Kevin and Polly to write about how nice we are and how the Tories will starve your babies to feed their butlers…. Anyone remember what the story was, no? Great, pass the expense forms.

This brings us onto the next point. Brown is trying to draw a line under this, but the Sunday Times has already revealed that Wile e coyote, er sorry, Baroness Scotland, has claimed £170,000 for an allowance paid to Lords who love outside of London, whilst living in Chiswick, which is in, er, London. I am guessing the Baroness did not photocopy those claim forms either before submitting them. Again, ignorance cannot be a defence against fraudulent claims. The Government should either swiftly investigate and publish the relevant paperwork or call the Serious Fraud Squad – which conveniently Baroness Scotland should have the phone number for given that in her role as Attorney General she has supervisory power over it. And of course, nobody bats an eyelid that someone with supervisory powers over the Serious Fraud Squad could be involved in a massive fraud themselves... that is just modern Britain.

Perhaps Gordon Brown could clear up whether he thinks this series of events have come about because the Attorney General is a crook, or because she is grossly incompetent, or is ita bit of both? If he could elaborate on that, whilst explaining why she still has a job I think a lot of people would be much clearer.

With Brown in charge there is no one to push these lunatics over, because he’s one of them. They will cling on, and he will until next year as clearly too many of Labour Parliamentary presence have too much to lose if Brown goes. They are fighting to save each other and their own jobs now. They’re alright, but what about the rest of us who live here?

When Labour polls in the mid twenty percent range I find it hard to believe there are still people in this country that can abide by such loose and questionable behaviour in our governing officials.

If Brown had of sacked the Baroness he would have legitimately got a bump in the polls for doing the right thing, and more than that for being seen to act decisively. This would have sent a warning to rebels ahead of the Conference, and may have wiped away some of the questions about a change of leadership. With a conference platform and feeling bold, Gordon Brown could have used the conference to spell out difference in Labour and Conservative policy and cuts – he could have regained at least some of the agenda and perhaps even put dents in Conservative plans for their conference. He would have acted positive and perhaps got a positive result.

Instead… well, you know the rest.

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:

It Don’t Make Sense with a post from Rhod about Why Blogs Matter.

Charles Clover in the Sunday Times on the importance of The Magna Carta

Stuart Sharpe tells us about his trip to the Lib Dem Conference with fellow blogger Charlotte Gore.

Political Betting has a post about a complaint from a Conservative candidate regarding a recent Open Primary.

And finally, Henry North London with a short and funny video called The Elephant In The Room.

Enjoy!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Nick Clegg

Everything there is to know about Nick Clegg and his "leadership" of the Liberal Democrats is summed up in this one photo.







Lifted without permission from Damian Thompson's DT blog.

EU Prez Poll Closes

After a couple of extensions, my poll asking who you would want to be UK nominee for President of Europe (if you actually got a vote, which you don’t) has closed.

The following candidates could not convince even the passing trolls to vote for them. They are Ken Livingstone, Lord Mandelson, Robert Kilroy-Silk and surprisingly for me Sir Richard Branson who I thought would likely secure a good place amongst the independents I listed.

Sir Paul Judge of the Jury Team managed 1%, and then the following candidates managed 2% George Galloway, Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon, Sir Alex Ferguson and the likely #1 candidate, Tony Blair.

In fifth Place was former PM Sir John Major with 5% and in fourth was current BNP leader Nick Griffin with 6%.

Third, and beating the rest of the pack except for the two run away candidates was the blogger North Northwester, who nominated himself in the comments of the initial post. A career in European politics may beckon.

The two candidates that ran away with the vote, and I admit it would be interesting if there was a run-off vote between them are Nigel Farage in second with 28% and the winner was Daniel Hannan with 31%.

Daniel Hannan popularity within the centre-right blogosphere is still rising, and I think that will start to filter through to people who are less inclined to the web the more we approach the General Election. I will take one last opportunity as well of highlighting this petition over on VOTR set up to seek to get some momentum behind urging Mr Hannan to run for the UK Parliament in Westminster.

My initial point was that Mr Farage is prepared to stick up for the UK in the EU, and that is something I appreciate. I am sure Daniel Hannan would be the same and the two run away candidates represent a similar outlook on the EU and shows perhaps that the core of people that visit this blog approve of an EU-sceptic viewpoint.

The poll will self-destruct tomorrow morning and will then vanish into the ether forever.

Ireland Beginning To Look Set To Vote No

I have never believed the people of Ireland were about to drastically reverse their positions in such a short time on Lisbon, and having spent some time in Ireland last year I got a sense that voters in Ireland feel very removed from politicians and from politics, though not apathetic towards political subjects and discussion. Discussion on Lisbon was not dismissed, and was widely in-depth and considered. This was never appreciated by the EU who seemed to openly assume Ireland could not have understood the treaty, that's the only reason they could fathom for its rejection.

So I am excited tonight to see that England Expects has said that word has reached him that a Gael Poll with a sample of 1,500 shows a massive surge in support for the NO camp, with a potential 59%/41% split in favour of rejection.

I hope I am not putting the cart before the horse but this is potentially positive news and comes much earlier than the last minute swing that occurred for the first referendum. It would make the Czech, German and Polish ratifications moot, and throw the EU in chaos. So assured were they of their project, that huge swathes of Lisbon has already been implemented prior to acceptance.

Things could be about to get very interesting.

Update: Slugger O'Toole says the same HERE.

Update 2 22-Sep-09 12:08:: UK Polling Report says the Poll should not be taken seriously HERE.

Local Councils Should Be Funded Locally

Update 4:12pm: Daniel1979 humbly requests that you please disregard this post.  I would press delete, but that is not really very fair - I am pretty certain now that the assumptions I based part of the below on are wrong (i.e. proportions of council tax retained locally).  I am not happy with myself for being wrong, I usually reference when possible; however I had something in my head that I had read previously that I either must have mis-interpreted, or would now have proven discredited.  To go into much more detail would be an even more non-sensical and unwarranted ramble. 

But as I got it wrong here I will leave this up, with this acknowledgement that, again "I was wrong"... 

Thanks to Man in a Shed on Twitter I have just seen this article.

Thereis a £2.5bn blackhole in local authority finances, i.e. the difference between predicted costs and expected revenues so taxes.  Council Tax will have to rise so as to pay for this shortfall.

Except, the Scottish Executive has intervened, and with the co-operation of Alistair Darling Scottish Council Tax will be frozen in Scotland, whilst Council Tax in England, and presumably Wales and Northern Ireland will increase on average by £50 per house.

This is unfair, but is legal under the devolution that Labour has imposed upon us all. Scottish councils will have contributed to that shortfall, and under the present system of collection, Scottish Taxpayers should be included in the revenue collection.  If councils are projecting a £2.5bn blackhole then could always cut their budgets, not ask for more cash. This will not happen, and here's why. 

When Council Tax is collected by your local council, nearly all of it then goes up to Westminster, when it is then doled back out to local authorities according to their budgets, and local iniatives. In my opinion, Council Tax should be set by local authorities and kept and spent by local authorities. If a council cuts its costs, and becomes more efficient, it still needs to raise as much revenue in Tax, because about 75%... (Not sure on the current number... I will try to find out and link later)... has to go to Westminster to go into the national pot. There is no real incentive for Councils to be efficient.

If Council Tax and spending was decided locally, Councillors would become accountable for it in local elections, smaller councils could tax less and a "fairer" system would develop because the effects of council tax raises and cuts could be felt and reflected locally, and there would be greater motivation for efficiencies and local people to keep spending in check.  Areas which would favour a higher tax and higher spend policy can have it, where as areas favouring smaller state and taxes could also have that and everybody could be happy.  Some national Government assistance would be needed for grander projects imposed from above, and concerning select councils, but the ratio of tax collected and sent to Westminster could be reversed, at least.

Add to this Conservative proposals to publish Public Expenditure and Top Earners salaries and I believe a situation could develop where by Council Tax could be slashed as wastage and extravagance could be tracked and eliminated. 
 
By placing decision making on Council Tax closer to the Scottish voter, the Scottish voter will receive a benefit that they will be happy for.  Everyone in the UK should be able to take these decisions, but at an even more local level which is fair to all people of the UK.

Czech Republic May Refer Lisbon Treaty To Courts


It is being widely reported that President Klaus is preparing to refer the Lisbon Treaty back to the courts for another Constitutional Review causing a delay on ratification of at least 6 months, regardless of whether Ireland ratifies or not.

For me, this is great news.  It puts a very tight and narrow window of opportunity in front of David Cameron for holding true to his pledge to give the UK a referendum after a Conservative election victory.  But it also helps aid the argument that the people of Ireland are not alone in their doubts about this treaty.  President Klaus is made of stern stuff, and he knows what an EU with expanded powers will do, and he like the majority of us does not like that prospect.  But at least he has the backbone to stand up to the EU elite.

If Lisbon is no longer a possibility, maybe Labour will get on with an election anyway - or at least boot out that incompetent oaf that is in charge now.

This is not the end of it, EU leaders like Barroso and Sarkozy will huff and puff; but if Ireland does vote yes, and I hope they will not, our fate will only be kept alive by the Czech Republic and Poland. 

And don't forget, Lisbon hands a lot of defence initiative to the EU, and weakens NATO's role in European defence - after last week's announcements regarding the end of the Missile Shield in these countries, a further resolve can be established in not wishing this horrific treaty to be ratified.  Which would you trust more for your security if you lived so close to Russia, NATO or the EU? 

Just to say thanks, may I encourage people to have a quick look through the Czech Export guide and see if we can help Czech export trade.  Personally, I am going to go out and buy a few pints of Staropramen which is sold in my local pub.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Daniel Hannan's Message To The People Of Ireland

Please add to your blog or social network.




If you want to see Daniel in Westminster, please sign and spread the word of this petition.

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:

Iain Martin asks if the Tories will axe the RAF?

The Croydonian has uncovered proof that Polly Toynbee is in the pay of the government.

Steve Green Daily Referendum caught The New Statesmans blogpost where James Macintyre brands Daniel Hannan and The Conservative Party as Racist.

The Telegraph has photos from the amateur space photograper of the year, Britains Martin Pugh.

And finally, Dulwich Mum has uncovered a scam that all Mum's should be aware of!

Enjoy!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Daniel Hannan Petition

I have just started a petition over on The Voice Of The Resistance Blog regarding Daniel Hannan.

If that sounds interesting, please go take a look.

Nigel Farage On Barroso Re-Election



Hat Tip: Sue

Curse Of Jonah - Caught On Camera

For those with a fast forward compulsion, hurry to 1:44

Update 4.48pm: Original video removed, second version uploaded




Poor boy, he never had a chance!

Wednesday, September 16, 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:

Lord Elvis has an interesting quote in light of the Governments proposed vetting procedures of the public.

An audio link; Ron Paul talks to the CATO institute about the Fed.

Rantin Rab thinks Dave is not Thatcher-like enough to fix the country.

David Blackburn on Coffee House thinks the Tory mole has exposed Gordon Brown as a liar.

And finally, David Forward with the latest big name snapped playing the lying down game.

Enjoy!

Did David Cameron Do Wrong, Or Did He Act Just Like The Rest Of Us?

One of my blog readers emailed me with a link to an interesting, and slightly embarrassing story in the Oxford Mail.

It seems that in his annual constituency newsletter, the MP for Witney (David Cameron MP) has urged the members of his constituency to "keep trade local",  however a recipient of that newsletter has noticed that the very newsletter in which this plea is made was not printed locally, but was actually printed in Surrey. This is obviously a little embarrassing.

David Cameron’s spokesperson Caroline Preston replies

“In this instance, the printing of the newsletter was organised and paid for by Conservative Party headquarters and I understand it was necessary to use their contracted printers to ensure costs were kept down and because of timescale constraints.


“With all printing requirements which are commissioned locally, it is our policy to use local printers wherever possible.


“This newsletter was paid for by local party funds and not from any Parliamentary allowance.”


“David uses local printers for things like his Christmas cards, 18th birthday cards and surgery posters and will continue do so.


“For all local authority elections each year the Conservative Party in west Oxfordshire also uses local printers on every possible occasion to print its election leaflets, posters, calling cards, etc.”

The Oxford Mail then links in the closing of a local press in Witney which led to 106 redundancies for force of effect.

The Oxford Mail however fails to obtain or discolse competitive quotes for comparison or disclose if the disgruntled complainer is affiliated to a competing political party.

It is an interesting story, because not only could you take either point of view as correct, it reflects the choice many of us have to make in our own lives. Just about everybody will proclaim the need for strong local businesses, it is unquestionably important to our economy and society; but we are, naturally enough often influenced by price.

As regular readers will know, I am in my first year of marriage, and it is not easy getting by. The deciding factor on nearly everything in the past few years has been the price. Today’s lunch was Tesco Value bread, Value Ham, Value Chicken and Value Mayo, this would be a consistent representation of my lunch box. We could not and probably will not anytime soon be able to afford to shop at a local butcher / baker / green grocer / local store. I am trying to do right by my family by putting food on the table, but conversely local tradespersons suffer when I have to go to the nearest supermarket. Yet, Supermarkets also employ at lot of people too, many of them locally; I am sure it is not as nice as working in a local store, or learning a trade but it is people in jobs.

So what is the answer? At what point does a person, family, MP or business morally need to stop looking at price, and put other concerns first, and how can that trade off be measured, so that it can be effective? Should my social conscience really be troubled by such decisions and if so, could I or any person ever be in a situation where by that conscience is completely untroubled? If so, why?

Are we not expecting too much of others?  If not, what is the rule?

I don’t have answers but I think it is an interesting subject. I do think it is a matter to be decided as individuals (people, families, MP's or company decision makers) as they alone have to weigh up what to do; and every single decision is weighted by different factors. I think it would be very hard to take a consistently local theme, [unless one were completely loaded]. As good as it would be to print locally, if David Cameron was overpaying for a local printer the opposition could claim he is using constituency funds to buy votes, or they could claim to not be in sufficient control of the local finances. It's a lose/lose.  Though, it is clearly a double standard to espouse the notion of supporting local trade in a publication then made elsewhere.

I guess it is the response and the attitude that is more interesting than the predicament itself. There is no formula that can decide when paying too much locally demands it be reasonable to seek price further away [or is there??]. I am sure there are people who are seldom price sensitive and are able to help local trade more, it does not mean that they do.

I know there are lots of people that need to take price as first or primary concern, because that more accurately describes more people that I know and interact with. Personally I would like to shop more locally, but the cost is noticeable higher. I am in a lose/lose situation as well.

Does anybody have a rule for themselves or their business that they follow and would be prepared to share on such matters? And how would your rules have effected David Cameron’s decision to print in Surrey on this occasion?

A Party Politicial Broadcast

On behalf of Conservative Home



At least Mrs Brown knows what to buy Gordon now for Christmas.

Some new flip-flops.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Iain's New Home

I was sad to learn in July that Iain Martin was leaving the Telegraph as his was one of the more entertaining blogs on offer there.

Anyway, for those who shared that disappointment, I have good news.  Iain has a new home on the WSJ Europe blog pages. 

Monday, September 14, 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:

EU Referendum Blog has a lesson in fact-checking for the newspapers.

James Delingpole says Barrack Obama has lost the healthcare debate thanks to sinister right-wing blogs, just like his.

Mary Ellon Synon wants to connect some dots for you between The Lisbon Treaty and Libya.

Norfolk Blogger asks where is the Swine Flu vaccine?

And finally, Alan Wallace with news of a popular cartoon character who is running as a councillor in County Tyrone.

Enjoy!

Predictions:

Prediction 1.

This Friday night Derren Brown will amaze and entertain a watching nation as he demonstrates how he has the ability to manipulate the subconscious minds of millions of people through a television broadcast.

Prediction 2.

On Saturday morning, Gordon Brown will invite Derren Brown into his "Government Of All Talents"

Friday, September 11, 2009

We Are Not Paedophiles!

This immediately caught my eye lunchtime today, and I am quick as I suspect will others be to protest the latest over-reach from Mother-Labour.

National press are today reporting that ordinary people will have to start getting CRB checked if they visit schools, contribute to the school run, volunteer with the cubs and scouts... etc.

We reached the point when Labour went too far a long time back, but this piece of proposed legislation is absolute trite and an exercise which highlights how vacuous this Government is. More jobs for the boys, and empty legislation designed to make the Idiots in Government look tough whilst being downright insulting and intrusive on the people in the real world. England was once the land where the people were free and happy; the land where nobody would ever be forced to turn over evidence regarding themselves in the absence of criminal charges.

The absence of a check will lead to fines and the check will allow for local authorities to be given legal access to enter homes and establish private interviews with children. Upon announcement Baroness Morgan said the legislation was designed to “avoid another Soham,” sewing immediately an image in the minds if those who are unthinking and stupidly willing that ANYONE who would not welcome such an intrusion must be like Ian Huntley.

Look where we are today. Your rights are just something that gets in their way, an obstacle that can be got around.

Fining parents £5,000 for dropping the neighbour’s kids at school in the absence of a CRB check could turn out to be the poster image and abiding memory that will haunt Labour for decades.

Faustie has already set up a facebook group entitled “I am not a Paedophile” - I hope if you too are outraged that you will go join as well.

I have a suspicion.

My suspicion is; and it is outrageously low, even for Labour is that this is a political ploy… It is the announcement of a huge database and super-sized QUANGO, increased snooping powers for councils all rolled up in an action that increasing diminishes individual rights. This, just months before an election, and right as their chief opposition are arguing that the state needs to be rolled back.. Labour then counter and use their interpretation of the protection of children in their argument to carry on with the uber-Marxist project.

… Or am I being just overly cynical of an already despised and disreputable Government??

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Calling Blogger

Dear Blogger,

I am still very happy with the platform and service [especially the fact that it is free].  I was delighted to see when playing around with the settings recently that there was a new publish platform available which I duly used... However, as a child of the UK national curriculum and state schooling I am not sure if this blog will survive without a Spell Check function. 

I ain't kidding.



Please install ASAP

Ta
Daniel

A Reminder

Just 267 days to go until the most dour and disappointing 5 years of British Political history comes to an end.

Roll on 03-Jun-2010 - I am looking forward to that more than Christmas!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

No Rest For The Wicked

From the BBC
Seven hospital staff have been suspended for their part in the game, played in mid August.
The game involves being pictured lying down with arms by your side and toes pointing towards the floor.

A hospital official said: "Disciplinary hearings are yet to take place and we cannot predict the outcome."

The images, since removed, were posted on the social networking site Facebook under the title Secret Swindon Emergency Department Group.
Great Western Hospital medical director Dr Alf Troughton said: "A number of staff were suspended following allegations of unprofessional conduct while on night shift duty in the hospital during a weekend in August.


"This did not involve patients and we are satisfied that at no time was patient care compromised.

"The Great Western Hospital sets high standards for staff behaviour at all times and therefore takes any such breaches extremely seriously.

"The allegations have been thoroughly investigated and seven members of staff remain suspended pending formal disciplinary hearings."



A little harsh wouldn't you say?

Ireland - Please Say No To Lisbon, (Erm, Again)



Get Widget


Ireland, it's your vote and your choice (again), this blogger was very happy that you made the right decision last time and I hope you will do so again.

It is my hope that you say "no", and then upon a change of Government here in the UK we can help kill Lisbon and set the EU into a different direction, whereby at the very least we can all control our seperate destiny's and keep control of the matters that we care most deeply about. 

h/t for the widget - VOTR

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

David Cameron Speech On Reducing The Cost Of Government

ConHome give a roundup of David Cameron's speech today on cutting the cost of Government. To be honest, I have not seen or heard the speech so I am basing my reactions on what I read on ConHome – so I will try not to be too harsh where I disagree. - I will certianly correct myself if I am laterly convinced I am wrong with the below.

As a floating voter on the centre-right, such a speech would seem to be aimed at securing the votes of people of a similar mind-set as mine, so here are my thoughts.

Each and every QUANGO having to justify its existence –

The sentiment is right, but I would need to know more about what is planned. If the idea is to set up a governing QUANGO or enacting lots more job creation without bringing down costs then the above is a pointless statement.

However, if the link between QUANGO’s and Ministerial accountability (and ergo Parliament) is to be tightened, and if unneeded QUANGOs, and government funded Charities can be culled then this will be positive.

We have moved too much of the public sector away from ministerial control and accountability, and as such the costs have spiralled, and the link to the voters has been diluted. Any substantial efforts to reverse this will be welcomed.

Every item of Government spending over £25,000 to be published online –

This is a good initiative. Firstly it increases accountability to the public and should ensure that all taxpayer know where money is being spent. Secondly, it is not overly ambitious, and it should is at a realistic level that should ensure it is possible to put a consistent system in place. Once it is, it is a matter of debate where to set the publishing threshold moving forward.

I am concerned though as there will inevitable by some areas where by certain expenditure will not be published, or at least not in any great detail; I am thinking for example national defence. It needs to be as widely encompassing as possible and though the details for certain expenditure will not be disclosed, everybody should be clear on what is, and what is not, being reported.

It might be a bit much to wish for, but if we could also catalogue any expenditure which is being made because of implementation of EU Law or UK law following EU Directives so that a real analysis of the cost of EU membership could be made, it would only serve the interests of open and honest debate.

All Public Sector salaries over £150,000 to be published online –

Like with the expenses above, it is at about the right level so as to be achievable.

The threshold is also important; and would seem to be set so as to include the top earners of national government. It will be interesting as I suspect there will be a great number of regional and local councils included in such a list, and this would almost instantly ignite public anger because I think the sums involved will be massive.

My mind though turns to questions on the details. For example, will the payroll of QUANGOs be included? And if not, why not? How about the BBC which is collected via enforced licence fee? Also, how about those individuals who drawn money from both the EU and the UK Government such as Lord Mandelson, will their full earnings be made public, and to what level of detail? The next question is the same, but with, but with members of devolved governments and assemblies.
Will expenses and/or allowances count towards earnings? Certainly an allowance is definitely supplementing income and I would feel should be included.

Will people drawing gold-plated public sector pensions above the threshold be included?

What also of people who are drawing a salary from the public purse and privately – will their incomes be included and how will it be monitored?

I guess the sentiment of the gesture is welcomed, but its effectiveness could be limited.

Opposing new MP’s getting a final pension salary scheme -

I think that given the better than average salary and Perks that MP’s do not need a publically funded pension scheme, and any MP’s who are genuinely not so well of will have to make do with the ordinary state pension, or privately funded pension which is the same as their constituents will. It is an abuse of the state for the decision makers to award themselves better Pensions than those of the lower earning civil service and also of the taxpaying public.

Abolishing Regional Assemblies -

This is an interesting one because I suspect most people will skip past it. Regional Assemblies should never have been set up in the first place, are costly, unpopular and ineffective.

However, they were implemented as the wish of the EU which wants to regionalise England so as to weaken our voice of opposition within the EU. I sometimes read articles which describe this effort as the Balkanisation of England.

This could quietly be a useful litmus test for observers of a Cameron government measuring their influence with the EU; the EU will certainly oppose it. I suspect this one will later be scrapped or seriously modified.

Scrapping the Standards Board for England -

I do not know too much about this body but my instinct after 4 second on their website is that this is another QUANGOesque non-entity that serves as a barrier between Government and people. Its entire function seems to be so as to remove accountability and responsibility from the councils and in more serious cases from National Government and act as a middleman.
I feel a little too undereducated on this particular body to form a strong opinion, but the first instinct is that this is probably a positive move. Accountability from local councils to individuals should be improved upon by making the link more direct, so this would fit with my general opinion anyway.

Reducing the number of MP’s by 10% -

I have written about what I see as the need for an elected upper house before, which includes the need to reduce the number of MP’s; I will be writing more in the future, so broadly I agree.

I cannot remember where I read it to be able to link to it, or the exact number, but I recall seeing that there is room for in the region of 430 MP’s to sit in the existing benches in the House of Commons, so why not simply reduce the number to a level that can be comfortably accommodated for a full house?

This will also raise post-devolution questions, and open up the West Lothian question further. I am not sure that I have seen a compelling argument that would suit most people in this respect anyway, but at least would concentrate the brain.

Ministerial salaries to be cut by 5% immediately and frozen for the lifetime of the next Parliament –

In my gut, I actually don’t think ministers are over paid in terms of their salary, or at least if their salary was the extent of their earning. But when you look at the bigger picture of allowances and expenses, they scarcely need a salary. So I would welcome this whilst the Conservative address the wider picture.
As I mention above, with bigger salary’s being published, there is going to be a lot of public attention, I foresee this 5% reduction will play well in the mix with a cull of the Council luvvies.

Taxpayer's money will no longer subsidise politician's food & drink –

Predicted to save £5.5m.

A conservative government should practice what they preach and allow a little free enterprise into Parliaments restaurants & bars. There is no reason for MPs to charge for food or receive subsidy. I recall seeing a number of MPs arguing that they need a food allowance to sit alongside their second home subsidy, this is of course nonsense, people only eat in one location, and expecting MPs to dip into their already handsome salaries for a extra pint of milk and/or loaf of bread is not an unreasonable expectation from the public.

I would like to also see steps taken to ensure that when hotel bills are charged that food and newspapers not be reimbursed as well.

The budget for official government cars to be cut by a third –

ConHome quote David Cameron as saying "There are times when having a car to hand which gets a minister to a certain place on time is absolutely vital to our democratic process – for example, to make a vote in the House of Commons, or to meet a foreign dignitary or open a school. But there is no need for 171 of these cars to be on hand for every government minister, whip – and indeed, myself."

I absolutely agree with the point, but looking at the number of cars – 171 versus the number of ministers – 169, versus the current number of members of Cabinet – 31.

I would think there is scope for a deeper cut here. Surely not every minister across all portfolios should be entitled to a car.

Perhaps the point is that David Cameron will be reducing the number of MPs and the size of his cabinet so there will naturally be less need for the cars anyway.

Public sector bodies will be stopped from hiring consultants and lobby politicians –

It is an absolutely corrupt scandal that the taxpayer has to pay for the public sector to convince itself to do what it already wants to do. Fake Charities should also be looked at post haste.

Similar practices are also employed by the EU which have helped swell the size and scope of its remit, (I would argue illegitimately) – so the debate around this will be interesting.

Electoral Commission must be run more efficiently –

ConHome again quote David Cameron "with advertising campaigns and wasteful marketing initiatives" and that under the proposed QUANGO review, "we will identify all the unnecessary functions it has assumed and see what savings we can make for the taxpayer".

My opinion is that The Electoral Commission needs have some independence from Central Government to allow for fairness and to avoid being too easily influenced from the Government of the day or even by the politics of the day; however that does not and should not absolve them from criticism, and does not mean they too can be profligate with taxpayer’s cash. So yes their spending should be reviewed openly and if there is extravagance it should be reined in.

Parliamentary authorities must cut costs by 10% -

Again, I would need more details before I jump on board and say that it is a good idea, but at a high level it would appear that most areas of Parliamentary spending is in excess of what is needed, so I expect that this will be a popular and prudent move.

My conclusions:

I will wait until I see the speech and have been able to read into the details a little more before I form any solid opinions and conclusions but I generally supportive of all of the announced policies.  Government can be much, much cheaper and we have scope to demand greater efficiencies for less money.

The present Government has failed to rein in spending, and it is the public that are showing the way by paying down personal debt. It is to Gordon Browns shame that hardworking poor families are feeling the pinch of his expensive social experimentations and to David Cameron's credit that it would appear he is ready to steer a Conservative Government in the right direction and set the right examples on tax and spend issues. Devaluing our currency to decrease the pinch and give a pass to the cost of the last decade of a progressive agenda I think could see the UK struggle for as long as a decade economically.

I suspect these proposals will receive wide backing and broad popular support. It will be difficult for Labour to argue for more borrowing to keep the leviathan afloat – but then again they did not ask permission to indebt us to present levels. The debt will keep on rising until they are booted out of power. The next election will be won or lost by the coping classes; Labour is unwilling to ease the burdens but David Cameron is, and in the fight between two not very popular leaders I think this time voters will follow their wallets.

However, there is little detail, which is trademark Cameron. This is somewhat clever, as it halts Labours ability to overly scrutinise, but also because few people think that the books are clean, and I think there is broad acceptance that until the Conservative get into power, budgeting will have to be more strategic rather than specific. All spending plans could fall apart on day 1 if Labour has been cooking the books, or heavens forbid a little economical with the truth.

It is a shame David Cameron could not go further as I am sure there will be calls to do so. Labour are predictable when wounded and the “Tory Cuts” line will already have been deployed. The reality is that these spending cuts represent the tip of the iceberg of what could be cut without affecting vital services or continuity of Government, and past battles between Tories and Labour are influencing the shape of the debate more than the numbers and concerns of voters.

Floating voters will associate with the direction and some may be won over. My floating vote has not, but then I have been quite open about the reasons for that in the past. But it is a good and sensible move by David Cameron as Gordon Brown squandered more than billions of pounds of our money, he has squandered his economic reputation in under 12 months.  By keeping the conversation public spending and the cost of Government David Cameron will win more and more votes the closer we get to decision time.

My final contribution would be to add that it is nice to be able to comment on stated Conservative policy on the economy that has been announced in advance of the elcetion, rather than as a reaction to the demands of politics.  I hope there is more to come, and I am sure the Blogosphere has plenty to say and offer as a better picture of a future Conservative government becomes clearer.

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:

Boris Johnson says Westminster is pitiful in comparison to the cosmopolitan Brussels.

The Daily Telegraph has a list of 50 things being killed by the internet.

The All Seeing Eye says that the UN has declared Fidel Castro the "World Leader of Solidarity".

Burning our Money with the news of a small business initiative that may well catch on.

The Voice of the Resistance with the latest on Town Hall surveillance.

And finally, Tory Bear has a game you can play.

Enjoy!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Charlie Starmer Smith Mauled By A Lion

Just saw this over at the Daily Telegraph, what an amazing video! He is certainly braver than I am! The full accompanying article is HERE.

Wednesday, September 02, 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:

Brits at their Best have a recommendation after hearing that £6.6bn worth of military is missing.

Calling England with a little bit about the mayor who is drawing a lot of attention, for the right reasons.

LabourHome wants to know why people have stopped whistling.

Subrosa says that the Scottish Parliament is to introduce an Independence Bill.

And finally, The Irish Examiner says the main parties are ready to put politics aside and will jointly campaign for a yes vote on Lisbon II.

Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Too Much Info!


August Top Referrals

It’s that time of the month again folks, when I give THANKS and recognition to those who sent traffic this way.

August has been my quietest month of the year so far, which I am attributing to both a lengthy absence from myself and it being the silly season.

Here is my top ten referrals list for August, with the change from July’s position in brackets.

1. (+19) The All Seeing Eye

2. (+6) The Daily Referendum

3. (-1) Unenlightened Commentary

4. (-3) The Voice of the Resistance*

5. (+12) Scunnert Nation

6. (-2) Cato Says

7. (New) RantinRab

8. (RE) Advanced Media Watch

9. (New) Calling England

=10. (-5) Subrosa

=10. (-7) The Barking Spider

=12. (+5) My Own Doubts, =12. (New) Prats In Power =12. (New) The Voice of the Resistance* =15. (-5) Other Blogger Stuff =15. (-10) SNP Tactical Voting =15. (+2) John Ward 18. (New) Football Banter 19. (New) Fausty’s Blog 20. (-6) Events Dear Boy, Events.

So Thanks to everybody who links here, I always appreciate the traffic, and hope that I can reciprocate with some traffic back your way.

I will also re-iterate here my thanks also to those of you who took the trouble to vote for me on the Total Politics Poll, which placed me much, much higher than I had contemplated possible. As I said before, I have no idea based on my position how many votes that translates to, but I appreciate that those of you who did vote did so.


*There are 2 blogs called Voice of the Resistance, both of which I am fortunate enough to be linked on.