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Friday, May 25, 2007

The NHS

Sorry for the lack of blogging in the past two weeks. I have been busy - of course - and now I am looking forward to four days off work. I also have a new girlfriend and quite naturally that has diverted me away from the computer screen!

Something has caught my eye in the news today though. I have been out collecting signatures for the Conservative 'NHYes' campaign. I have spoken to members of the public who are simply amazed at the cut backs all around the country. But this story is truly shocking.

Penny Campbell - a journalist - died at the age of 41 years. She developed septicaemia after a minor operation to treat haemorrhoids and died less than a week later. That is tragic enough, however eight doctors failed to diagnose the septicaemia. I have talked to many people in recent months who are frightened to go in to hospital for minor operations, even though it will give them a much better quality of life. Stories such as this make us panic more, even over the most minor of operations. My Dad caught MRSA after a prostate operation three years ago. His quality of life is better now than it was, but he did go through agony, when he should not have done.

There are no quick fixes for the NHS, and we are certainly better off with it than without it, however I cannot be the only one who thinks there is something dreadfully wrong.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Sana Ali Comments

Well, I have been unavailable to blog for the last two days, but I have been noticing what is happening in the comments section on Sana Ali. When I wrote that post I did not expect it to be a speculation forum on Islam, was it an honour killing or not, and the treatment of Muslim women. I wrote it to highlight a tragic event. A young life cut short. I will not put on comment moderation, however it would be good to remember a person has been murdered and stop throwing around punches at each other.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sana Ali



This is the picture of Sana Ali. She was just seventeen years old and expecting her first child. Sana was repeatedly stabbed in her home in Bury, Greater Manchester two days ago. Her sister-in-law found her body in a pool of blood. What motivates someone to do something like? It beats all of us, but the police have released pictures today to help with the case. To read the latest developments click here.

Photo: Sky News

This is funny

I got this one from Guthrum. You'll laugh.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nojWJ6-XmeQ

News from Iceland

I wasn't aware there had been a general election in Iceland, and with the wall-to-wall coverage from Portugal and Tony Blair announcing his resignation, you could be forgiven for thinking nothing else has been happening in the news.

Well, there was an election in Iceland and it has been a cliffhanger. According to this report from Reuters, the pro-business government coalition has fought off the environmentalists, but by a majority of one.

May has so far been a good month for those of us on the right.

A Prime Minister with guts


No, I'm not talking about Tony Blair, or his imminent successor. I'm talking about the Australian Prime Minister, John Howard. He has intervened and banned Australian cricketers from touring Zimbabwe in September as this would be a propaganda coup to this grubby dictator.

Contrast John Howard with Tony Blair.
Mr Blair refused to do the same for English cricketers. He said the taxpayer could not pay any fine levied by the International Cricket Council (ICC). Considering the fine would have been around £2 million, and when you think of the money the government wastes each year, two million quid is a drop in the ocean. Robert Mugabe is a grubby and brutal dictator. He does - as John Howard says - behave like the gestapo towards his political opponents. Playing cricket in Zimbabwe legitimises the Mugabe regime. All we need now is for the ICC top-brass to accept this and suspend Zimbabwe from cricket's top-flight.

Read an article from 'The Age' here.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Farewell Two Jags

A pollster stops you in the street and asks, "Who, in the past ten years, has done more for this country: The Queen or John Prescott?" I think I know your reply. If anyone can think of a single achievement of good old 'two jags' then please tell me. And the shame if it all is that he costs more than Her Majesty.

Click here and you can watch him outside the East Hull Labour HQ on Holderness Road. Notice how he never mentions anything he has done. Well if you can't think of anything John, I can't be bothered to do the research.

Macavity wasn't there

Do you remember Gordon Brown on television on May 4? Do you remember him trying to spin out the Labour losses? Of course you don't, as Macavity was at home watching the results on his television. This video, put together by 18DoughtyStreet in March, shows Gordon for what he is. When he does become Prime Minister, do you think his old habits will die hard? Do you think he will continue to blame his own failings on those around him? Are you thinking what I'm thinking?


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBqVYiJTY4Y

Going down with Gordon Brown

This lighthearted peice appears on Conservative Home. Lighthearted it may be, but it gets the point accross what a Brown government will be like.


Friday, May 11, 2007

Madeleine McCann

Unless you have not read a newspaper, checked a news website, watched television news, or heard the radio news, you will have heard about Madeleine McCann. The image of this little girl has been printed and broadcast all over the world. Naturally, I like everyone else hope for the safe return of Maddie to her parents. I am not a parent and cannot really imagine what they are going through. There are, however, some points on this story I wish to make.

The media are obsessed with this story. All the news channels have their reporters there on the scene and perhaps I am being cynical, but it always seems to be a female reporter, just to add - perhaps - the female/motherly angle. Although I welcome any positive news, any new development in the case, there hardly ever seems to be any. The news station anchor will go live to their reporter, who , most of the time informs us that there hasn't been any new developments. Instead they will show endless pictures of Maddie's parents going off to church each day. They will show their tears and sorrow. This is manipulation. I know the parents are distraught. Which parent wouldn't be? Do we have to see this endlessly, 24 hours a day? The media are constantly badgering the police for information. The police will give out any new developments - if they can and if it will not hamper the case - as and when the need arises.

Isn't this the way it should be reported on the news bulletins?

Portuguese police are continuing to search for the abductors of the little girl, Madeleine McCann. The police in a news conference said they have no new leads, however they are continuing to question three British people and are looking for two other suspects. Meanwhile, Madeleine's parents attended Mass today at the local church, where prayers were said for her safe return.

This is all that needs to be said. Nothing more. Instead, as I said earlier, we are fed a diet of non-news and images of a distraught mother and father. When Sky News, for example, go live to Portugal, if there aren't any new developments, I simply switch off. The time I will watch, is when Maddie is safely in the arms of her parents. Now that will be a good news story and something the whole world will want to see. However, if there aren't any new developments in - say - the next week, we all know the news channels will be off somewhere else, taking advantage of grief and pain elsewhere in the world.

Finally, and perhaps even more controversial, isn't this a lesson that you should look after your children more carefully? Yes the McCanns went to check on them at regular intervals, but this isn't really good enough. With children as young as this, you should be there or have someone you know and trust there, to look after them. If one good thing does come out of this sad case, perhaps it is that other parents will not make the same mistake as the McCanns.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

An alternative to the BBC

As I am sick and tired of the BBC, I have been looking around for alternative news websites. The one I recommend is YahooNews. It contains reports from leading news agencies such as Reuters and Sky News and it is very easy to navigate. If anyone else has some suggestions, then please get back to me.

My response to the BBC

Dear Mr Sullivan

Thank you for your response, although reading the e-mail hardly gives me cause for rejoicing.

I asked a specific question and did not receive a reply. Can you please tell me why - on election night, May 3-4 - when news of Conservative gains were pouring in to your studio, did your reporters constantly play down those successes? Why - when your reporters prior to the election would have said that over 900 gains would be fantastic for the Conservative Party - did they decide they were not that amazing after all?

Could you please answer those specific points.

Yours sincerely

Andrew Allison

A response from the BBC

I mentioned yesterday that I had filed an online complaint to the BBC over its bias during the local election results. I didn't hope for much, but the reply was worse than I had thought:

Dear Mr Allison

Thank you for your e-mail.I understand you feel BBC News is biased, with particular reference to the recent local elections.

We are always delighted to receive feedback, both positive and negative, from our viewers. Your comments will be fully registered on a daily log, which is made available to our programme makers and senior management. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC programmes and services and your comment will play a part in this process.

Thank you once again for contacting the BBC with your comments.

Regards

Gary Sullivan
BBC Information


Well that hardly answered my complaint, did it? The e-mail then goes on:

Dear Mr Allison

Thank you for your recent E-mail to the BBC. It is our aim to provide you with the highest standard of service. To help us do this, I am writing to ask you to complete an Internet-based survey which is being conducted by MORI (the independent market research company).

Your response is important. It will enable us to judge how well we handled your most recent E-mail, and to gain a better understanding of any areas of our service in which we may need to improve.

We may use your individual responses as part of staff training and performance management.

The questionnaire is very straightforward to complete and should take no longer than 5-10 minutes. You can log onto it in two ways, depending upon the email system you are using. You can either click onto the following website address, or paste it into your address bar (where you normally type in a website address). You will be guided through the questionnaire automatically once you have logged into it.

Website Address: http://survey.infocorp.co.uk/resources/mor001/bbcinfo/violet.html

Thank you very much for taking the time to assist us.

Steve Pollock
Head of BBC Information

I did go on to fill in the questionnaire tell them I was completely dissatisfied with the response. I will also contact the BBC again and tell them what I think of their response. I am not one to use expletives on my blog, but I have to say if the BBC think this is answering customer complaints in a full and proper manner, they are talking out of their arse. I will keep you updated on further communications.

Things are better? Pull the other one

I am just watching Tony Blair's departure from Trimdon Labour Club. If I had returned to Britain from a desert island and happened to watch these scenes and listen to Mr Blair's speech, I would be excited. Britain must be a fantastic place to live in these days. Unfortunately, I have not been on that desert island and we all know the realities of the previous ten years.

What Labour forgets, as it dismisses the Thatcher years, is that if it was not for her, things far from being better, would be a hell of a lot worse. I am proud to be British and I know the people of these islands are special. It is where my heart it. So why are so many of our citizens escaping this country in their droves? Why do I know so many people who cannot face retirement in Britain and are moving to France? Britain is less British now than it was ten years ago. Our freedoms are being constantly eroded. Thousands of new offences on the statute book. The Home Office in an utter mess. Our young people being put in to crippling debt if they want a university education. The NHS in crisis. Nurses qualifying and then being told there isn't a job for them. Junior doctor's revolting in their masses.

This has been a sleazy, corrupt government. They have wasted every mandate they received and things will only get worse under Gordon Brown, not better.

Tony's announcement

It's all happening in Trimdon Labour Club. Apparently the prime minister is going to make an announcement. I wonder what he is going to say?

UPDATE: This really is sick making stuff. All the party faithful are singing, 'Things can only get better.' With Gordon Brown replacing him, I hardly think so.

UPDATE: Now they're reaching for the stars! 11.53 and still waiting.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The BBC

I am sure many of you, like me, have finally just about had enough of BBC news. The so blatantly biased coverage of the local elections last week was the 'straw that broke the camel's back.'

Also - thanks to the UK Daily Pundit - I read about a third night of rioting in France. I clicked on to YahooNews and found a report. If there is a report on the BBC News website is must be very well hidden. I get the feeling that if those of a right-wing persuasion were rioting, the BBC would have the news wallpapered over their news website, but as it is Socialists rioting - and the BBC don't like Sarkozy - their policy decision is to keep quiet about it. Last night I filed an online complaint to the BBC. If you want to follow suit, click here. Although the left-wing bias will never leave the BBC, if they receive constant complaints, perhaps they might tone it down a little. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

The British Pint is safe

Click here and read the story for yourself. Metric measures will not replace our imperial measures in 2009. Very good news indeed. Too many of our traditions have been eroded over the past ten years. I also didn't fancy asking for 567 ml of Old Peculiar. Too much of a mouthful!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Over 900 new councillors!

The Conservatives have broken through the 900 barrier. We have 905 new councillors now, having gained seven seats in Warwick and we have taken control of Warwick District Council. No doubt the BBC will say we haven't done that well!

Counting is still under way in Breckland, Norfolk.

UPDATE: We have gained six new councillors in Breckland. I make it 911 new councillors in total.

Electronic counting

I am all for using new technology. I have more gadgets around my house than I can care to mention, but when it comes to elections can we now please say, counting by hand is better. It's a system that works; it's fun to watch when you are at the count and it allows candidates to find out the result within hours, unlike the candidates in Breckland and Warwick who still don't know their results. Just like the ballot box itself, sometimes the old-fashioned ways work better.

More backing for an English Parliament

The Adam Smith Institute have now put their weight behind an English Parliament, very much along the same lines as others were suggesting last year. Unfortunately I cannot see the legislation getting any parliamentary time. Control freak Brown will not want to give up any of his powers, even though his fellow Scots have devolution.

The next general election will be three years away as Brown desperately clings on to power. Hopefully a future Conservative government will address this problem and give to England what has been given to Scotland.

Reminiscing

As we all know, Tony Blair and John Prescott will announce their resignations this week. I therefore cannot resist having another look at 'Two Jags' (or should it be 'Two Jabs') on the election trail in 2001. Just watch his reflexes!


The way the left responds to democracy



Looking at these scenes, you can see why Sarkozy is desperately needed in France. If the left thinks this is the way to respond to democratic elections, then they need to be tackled head-on.

Monday, May 07, 2007

The French have seen the light

Good on the French! At last they have voted in their masses to ditch the status quo and try and bring France in to the 21st Century. I love visiting France, but you do feel the country is economically backward compared to other western countries. Hopefully this is now going to change.

Our revolution started in 1979; hopefully they will remember 2007 as their turning point. To all of you who have left-leaning views, please remember this: If it was not for the Thatcher economic reforms, we would not have the same standard of living we do now. Mrs Thatcher was told she wouldn't be able to govern unless she sought the co-operation of the trades' unions. Well, we know the outcome of that one. I just hope M. Sarkozy is as strong as the 'Iron Lady.'

The Queen in the US

Watching the reception Her Majesty has received in the US proves that she is still the best ambassador this country has. Looking at the excitement on peoples faces - young and old - as she passed by them proves that she is still very much loved all over the world.

Even when you are Queen, there are still some unfulfilled ambitions, and attending the Kentucky Derby, was one of them. To see her face beaming with excitement was a joy to behold. Well done Ma'am. Watching you go about your work makes me very proud to be British.

Former Commons' Speaker Lord Weatherill dies

I remember seeing Lord Weatherill many times from Strangers' Gallery in the House of Commons. I always thought he was the perfect chairman. I'm sure many of us have been to a committee meeting where the 'usual suspects' go on and on, the chairman never takes charge and you feel you will never make it to the pub before closing time. 'Jack' Weatherill was not one of those chairmen. Business was conducted in a brisk manner and he was liked and respected by members of all shades and opinions.

There are too many career politicians in parliament today. People who have no real experience of life. Lord Weatherill came from a humble background and above all loved parliament. I wish there were more like him.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Election Day Blues

On election day, some of those candidates who stood a good chance of winning, were getting rather nervous. Those of us who knew we were going to lose, were - as you would expect - in a more jocular mood.

Shirley Bowes knew she was going to be defeated in the New Trimdon and Trimdon Grange ward on Sedgefield Borough Council. This ward contains Tony Blair's house and the Trimdon Labour Club that has featured in the three previous general elections. As Mrs Bowes does not live in the ward she was standing in, she could not vote for herself. It's a pity really, as she managed to go down in history as the candidate who polled zero votes. At least I managed 150. Well, 149, if you take my vote out of the equation. Click here for the full story.

On a more personal note, it was strange voting for myself. I took quite a long time looking at the ballot paper before I put the 'X' next to my name. Even though I knew I wasn't going to win, I felt proud of myself for putting my head above the parapet and having a go. I will certainly do the same next year. I have gotten the bug now, and I don't think I will be able to rest until I am elected.

What John Reid really said

John Reid told The Politics Show: "That is a natural break period because if I stay a year and leave then that will be misrepresented.
"Now I've done nine jobs in 10 years and I think from my point of view I think it's a good thing to be able to go out to listen, to learn, to discuss, to get back to the grass roots.
"But also from the point of view of an incoming prime minister. I think the new prime minister should have the maximum flexibility. He needs space."

Okay, I think now is time for the translation. What Mr Reid really said was this:
"I don't stand a cat in hell's chance of becoming prime minister, and I hate my Rt Hon 'Friend' with a passion. I would rather swim the Atlantic Ocean than serve in a Brown government."

That sounds better, doesn't it? It is so very important to clear these issues up.

Friday, May 04, 2007

The East Riding turns blue

It is nearly 2.00pm and I just got up around half an hour ago. Nearly 24 active hours in politics takes its toll and my whole body was crying for a rest.

As I was just a paper candidate in the KingsPark ward of Hull City Council, I didn't go to my count, instead concentrating on the East Riding where I knew we could make gains. I managed to get the princely sum of 150 votes. Although that is not very many, I am pleased to say I nearly tripled the Conservative vote from four years ago. You can see what such a low base I am working from, so at least I have a start. The KingsPark ward should be natural Tory territory, however when the new housing estates were being built a few years ago the LibDems rushed in and hijacked the place. The electorate are now fooled in to thinking their LibDem councillors are are a hive of activity and are doing wonderful things for them. Well this next year I have a plan, which naturally I am not going to reveal, however there will be quite a few of us working on it.

Back to the East Riding. There was an electric feeling to the count. The Dale ward which always has had our councillor Rita Hudson topping the poll with two LibDems following, became completely blue. Willerby and Kirk Ella had three LibDem councillors who all lost. Snaith, Airmyn and Rawcliffe had two Labour councillors, who both lost their seats to Conservatives. I know of many gains elsewhere and the net result is the Tories sweeping to power in County Hall. In one night both the Liberal and Labour leaders lost their seats and by some considerable margin.

You simply couldn't take the smile off any of our faces last night and it was a smile and not a smirk. Andrew Percy led a strong campaign to get our victories in Willerby and Kirk Ella, and we worked the ward more strongly than ever. We deserve our success. I am still waiting for all of the figures for the East Riding and I will be interested to see exactly what the percentage turnout was.

On a sadder note, I was disappointed Helen Green was not elected in Cottingham South. She run a fantastic campaign, and no-one could have worked harder than her to get elected. If she had been elected, it would have been the icing on the cake.

I am now looking forward to a rest. I don't want to see another driveway or letterbox for quite some time, although I think after a few days I will miss it.

UPDATE: I have just seen the whole results for the East Riding. At total of 18 Conservative gains, to put us on 47 seats, LibDems 12, Labour 3, Independent 4, Social Democratic Party 1.
A Conservative majority of 27. Click here for the full results.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Election Day is here.

Well, the polls open in just over six hours and it is up to the Great British Public to decide. We have done everything we can to get our opinions across. Polling day is a very strange day. You can do things - yes. I will be telling at a polling station tomorrow morning for an hour and I will inputting data in to a computer. I will be knocking on doors and telephoning voters, doing my bit to get the vote out, but there really is very little I can do to shape the way people are going to vote.

The fun is going to start at 10.00pm when the count starts. I think we are going to be in for a long night. The votes in East Yorkshire are going to be close and I think the word 'recount' is something I am going to hear time and time again. I am going to record a video diary and hopefully post some highlights and inform everyone what goes on. It may take me a while to get all of this done, as exhaustion is setting in at the moment, but it will get done.

Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages of good luck. I do appreciate them. It keeps me going!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Elections and the NHS

The election campaign is going very well and I will be very happy come Friday when I will be able to put my feet up for a few days. Last Friday I was walking with a limp!

I have just been reading this article by Boris Johnson on the NHS. Please read it and the comments after it. This is the shambles of the NHS under Labour.

I will be back to normal blogging sometime next week when I get my breath back.

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