Wednesday, December 27, 2006
He was briefly VP after the resignation of Spiro Agnew in 1973, who resigned after charges of tax evasion. He was eventually given three years' probation.
After Nixon resigned, it only took Ford a month to grant the former president a pardon. He announced his decision on a Sunday morning, vainly hoping it would not cause too much of a stirr. That undoubtedly made sure he would never be elected president himself, although after two scandals in a year, it was unlikely anyway the republicans were going to stay in the White House.
The current president has paid tribute to Ford, praising his integrity and common sense. I can't see where he gets that from. Those days from 1973 - 1980 are days the republican party would rather forget. Good things do come out adversity, however, and if the '76 election had not gone the way of the Democrats, Ronald Reagan may never have become president.
Having said all of that, I do send his widow, Betty, and his family my condolences.
I will be back to blogging in a week's time and a Happy New Year to everyone.
Tuesday, December 26, 2006
1. I started my blog. (I hope you all agree it was a good thing)
2. I got actively involved in political campaigning again.
3. I became a school governor
4. I renewed and strengthened friendships.
5. I visited a friend in the US, twice.
6. I helped my parents move from a large house in to a smaller, warden controlled, flat. This is more for them, as it was the best move they could ever have made. They love it.
7. I can't think of anything else. Quite frankly, 2006 is a year I would rather forget, for personal reasons. 2007 is going to be much better and I can't wait!
I know I am duty bound to pass this tag to others, however, I will not compel anyone to do it. If you want to, then post it on your blog and send me a message, and I will read with interest.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I briefly return home on Boxing Day and the next day - unless there is fog - I will be flying out to France for a week to stay with some friends.
The Conservative Party is ending the year with a decent lead over Labour, although as we all know, it will have to increase much more. However, a decent lead is a positive and I would rather be David Cameron right now than Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.
May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Lord Elis-Thomas said: "In England I detect there is a strong feeling that the consequences of devolution for England must now be addressed. I think it is important for those of us who campaigned for devolution in Scotland and Wales to support that. There should be a proper English Parliament, and that could be arranged very easily if the Commons sat on a Tuesday or Wednesday as an English parliament."
Frank Field said: "I think the danger is that the English voters will see that we are against the English, and as they make up the vast majority of voters and return the vast majority of MPs, it's not a position to get into if you're only worried about the politics of it." He said English voters had to see Labour represented their views adding: "There's going to be another big sweeping issue that the electorate in England has got a clear view on, and the Labour Party is opposed to it."
The support is growing every day.
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
The government has a non-intervention policy when it comes to coastal erosion and therefore the council is not allowed to intervene. So, if you are someone whose home is about to fall in to the sea and of course lose your money in that property, what will the government do for you? Make you pay for its demolition! Yes that's right, the government who will not allow councils to intervene and try to halt the erosion will make you pay to demolish your own home. And on top of that will not give you a penny in compensation. In East Yorkshire only a few properties are at risk during the next five years, so it hardly going to cost the Treasury a fortune.
This government's answer to all problems is throw money at it. And if that doesn't work, throw even more money at it, yet it cannot help people who are about to lose their homes in this way. Call me cynical, but if this was happening in Labour constituencies, do you think there may be a different response?
The special relationship initially referred to the friendship between Churchill and FDR and has at times been weak and strong. It was particulary strong between Thatcher and Reagan, where there was a meeting of minds and the two of them regarded themselves as equals. That did not mean the UK supported the US blindly, and vice-versa.
Blair is regarded as Bush's poodle and for very good reasons. The 'Yo Blair' incident earlier this year only reaffirmed what we thought. Having said that, shortly there will be a new president and a new prime minister. How strong the special relationship will be then, will utimately depend on the new incumbents.
Monday, December 18, 2006
hat-tip: UK Daily Pundit
I was reading the Hull Daily Mail today and on the front page was the excellent news that the police have seized two dairies containing the names and contact details of dozens of suspected drug dealers and users in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. Read it here.
Drug users need help; it is the drug dealers we have to drive off the streets. So good to see inroads in my part of the world.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
So a spokesman for Blair says the leaked memo has not come from No. 10. Well they would, wouldn't they? Read it here.Whether it has or it hasn't, makes no difference to me. They are a shambles; they know they are a shambles and they know the electorate have the same opinion.
Bring on Gordon. The dour Scot, who will try to distance himself from Blair, even though he was Chancellor for 10 years, will be no match for a revitalised Conservative Party under Cameron.
Shambolic, tired, sleaze ridden. What ever you call it, this government is on the way out.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Why is it then, that other European countries who have a high rate of smoking in their population, don't have the same levels of smoking related diseases as we do? Is it because of diet? Why are there people who have smoked all their lives and still live to a grand old age? How many people can you name who have died from passive smoking? Roy Castle? Is that it? It probably is. If you walk down a busy high street with stationary cars around you belching out fumes, you can't tell me that is less of a health risk than smoking?
Smoking is not good for you, but neither is eating a large amount of fatty foods, lack of exercise, etc. It is not the biggest evil in the world. If you don't like the smell of cigarette smoke, then that is an honest answer and I have sympathy with you. But if you think you are going to die if you smell cigarette smoke and it is the greatest evil known to man, then you are deluded and believe the health fascists. The same health fascists change their minds on such a regular basis; so why should we believe anything they say? The government should spend our money wisely, instead of trying to create fear.
Thursday, December 14, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Although at heart I have always been a Tory, David Cameron brought me back as a member of the party. I back him and I fully expect him to be the next prime minister. Although Gordon Brown will try and set himself apart from Blair, he cannot get away from the fact he was the Chancellor of the Exchequer during the Blair years. Cameron offers something different. He offers a fresh approach and when middle England comes to make a decision, they will back him.
There are many constituencies - like Brigg and Goole which has a small Labour majority - that can easily become Tory and do not underestimate the British electorate. People in those constituencies will know how important they are and will vote the Conservatives back in again. This is not going to happen without any work - far from it. It will mean all activists will have to get out and deliver leaflets, knock on doors and canvess on the streets. We have to show the electorate that the Conservative Party is back in business. If we do, we will be back in government.
Monday, December 11, 2006
Sunday, December 10, 2006
What the article doesn't say is the type of questions you may be asked at an interview in the passport office. That is the bit that concerns me. The record of this government on civil liberties is shocking, so I am not filled with any hope here. I can imagine the questioning being very intrusive. I cannot think of anything else they need to know about me. In previous employment I have signed the Official Secrets' Act twice. As a driving instructor I am on an official register. As we speak, a CRB check is being done on me so I can become a school governor. Perhaps they are going to get me to sign a declaration to say I have never been involved with espionage and have never tried to overthrow the government by non-legitimate means. As if I would admit to it if I had done. No, I can see yet more liberties that we have taken for granted going down the swanny river, all in the cause of Blair's costly, beaurocratic folly.
Friday, December 08, 2006
Sir Mike is correct to criticise the MoD for the poor pay of our armed forces and the lack of basic equipment. This is - as he says - causing a bad recruitment problem, even though the MoD - quite naturally - will not admit to the scale of the problem. I was told by some soldiers recently that when Tony Blair went on a visit to Afghanistan a few weeks ago, he was 'booed' by the soldiers there and the army found it very difficult to get anyone to pose in a picture with the PM. That is what the troops on the ground think of Blair and I'm pleased Sir Mike has spoken out.
So why is he awarded £50K? Because he should have been released on bail, even though he would have absconded and there wouldn't have been a cat in hell's chance of finding him again. Have our judges gone mad? Here is a man who should no longer be in this country, who would have most likely have offended again and we are giving him fifty grand for his trouble.
On a very serious note, does this ruling open the floodgates for others in the same position. Everyone has human rights, yes; but if you should longer be here, are dangerous, have been convicted of a crime and are awaiting deportation, you should not be realeased.
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
This is simply an excuse to raise more revenue for the Treasury under the guise of being green. I have been looking up some figures to see just how much of an impact all forms of transport in the UK have on the enviroment. If you include domestic car use, haulage, sea travel, air travel (not including international air travel) and trains you may be surprised by the figure. The total amount of CO2 created is around 13%. Air travel is responsible for just 2% of CO2 emissions, although scientists tell us it is nitrous oxide that is more dangerous to the ozone layer than the CO2. Even so, 87% of CO2 is created by means other than us going about our daily business.
A 1.25p increase in fuel duty is not going to stop me driving and charging me an extra fiver to fly out of the country is not going to stop me flying. And I don't feel guilty at all, not while China and India start polluting our atmosphere more each day. These tax rises are what they are; tax rises and I am sure as we speak the Treasury will be thinking up all sorts of new ways to tax us under the guise of being 'green.'
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
I don't about you, but I think there are more than just traces of nuts in the council there. One of the local residents said the rules had made the small party as difficult to arrange as the Great Yorkshire Show! I'm with him on that one. I do have one thing to add, and pardon me for any ignorance shown. If you had an allergy to nuts, would you eat a sweet mince pie? I thought you wouldn't!
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Well, what a surprise there! Under Putin's presidency, many critics of him have died under mysterious circumstances, including twenty-one journalists. Once a KGB man; always a KGB man.
Yesterday I had an excellent day in Goole. As part of the NHYes campaign, I accompanied Andy Percy, our candidate for Brigg and Goole, Martine Martin and Neil Cropper from Hull University CF and other activists and helped collect signatures for a petition against NHS cuts. I also met Timothy Kirkhope MEP, leader of the Conervatives' in the European Parliament. Timothy joined us for the morning.
The response was great and many people we approached had no idea just how many cuts were happening to THEIR services. Goole is a Labour town, which made the response we got even more fantastic. When you talk to people, everyone has a tale about the NHS. Unfortunately today, many of the stories are not positive and that is largely due to the cuts Gordon Brown is making. I look forward to many more vists helping Andy win this seat for the Conservatives.