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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Cameron rallies the troops

Not much time to blog today, but I have just been looking at the news and heard David Cameron urging Gordon Brown to call a snap election. He believes this is an election we can win.

Well, all leaders have to say that at their party conference. It goes with the territory. It is expected. If Cameron was saying 'bring him on' in a year's time, after the party had articulated new policies with the electorate, then I might believe him. To say bring him on when we are so far behind in the polls and only the most optimistic - or misguided - member of the Conservative Party could possibly think we have a chance, seems to me like turkeys voting for Christmas.

I do hope the party can get some of our messages across this week. I don't want the party to get a complete drubbing if an early election is called, but all I can see is another five years of a Labour government.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Wise words from Sir Winston

'But we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their I most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.'

The above is an extract from a speech given by Churchill in Fulton, Missouri, in 1946. It is when he refers to the Iron Curtain that is descending on Europe. Mr Brown take note.

No, you can't march to Parliament

“One moment the Prime Minister is supporting the right of Burmese monks to demonstrate in Rangoon, and yet here in London we’re being stopped from marching on Parliament. It’s hypocrisy,” Lindsey German, convener of the Stop the War Coalition, said.

Very well said. There are many in this country who want the withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether you agree with those views or not is immaterial. We have a right to demonstrate and as the decision to send our troops to those countries was voted on in parliament, parliament is the place to go to demonstrate. When this one-mile exclusion zone around parliament was set up I thought this has more to do with Blair and Co taking away more of our liberties than the safety of Members' of Parliament. Of course we have to be on the alert to the terrorist threats that try to instill fear in to our citizens. Yes; Westminster is a natural target, but this should not take away basic rights and liberties.

Why - as Lindsey German said - does Brown encourage monks in Burma to demonstrate and prevent it here? The control freakery of Brown, and of Blair before him, extend in to meddling in every part of our lives. I have said this before and I will not apologise for saying it again; Britain wake up! Our ancient rights, liberties and freedoms are being eroded by this Labour government. If we do nothing, more will go. If one thousand people defy the police and insist on marching to Parliament Square, are the police going to arrest everyone? They couldn't manage it in Leipzig just before the Berlin Wall fell. Not that I am encouraging illegal activities you understand.


Quote from The TimesOnline

Friday, September 28, 2007

John Bercow re-adopted for Buckingham

ConservativeHome reports John Bercow has been re-adopted as Conservative candidate for Buckingham. Iain Dale hopes this will now be the end of speculation that he will defect.

I too hope he doesn't defect, however, if you are undecided, you would not stand down when a snap election may be just around the corner. I don't know what is going on in his mind, but I do know politicians. Oink, oink!

Harriet Harman thinks I'm nasty and we have never met!

Are you a nasty person? If so - according to Labour's Deputy Leader, Harriet Harman - you should join the Conservative Party. She didn't phrase it quite like that, but the inference was there.

Most people get involved in politics to make things better. We have differing ways of doing things, but we still don't start out trying to make things worse. I have friends who are LibDems and Labour. Anyone involved in politics will talk to people from other parties. What devalues politics are speeches like Harman's yesterday. To infer that I am nasty, just because I am a Conservative, is below the belt, and really belongs to the school yard. It is not constructive. It does not engage the brain in political debate. It does not get those who never vote in to a habit of voting.

The Conservative Party has refused to comment on her remarks and that is how it should stay. I would not like to lower myself in to the cesspit she inhabits. I hope she showers regularly.

More bloodshed in Rangoon

Click HERE to see footage of the Japanese journalist shot in Rangoon. If there is a bloodbath, what will our response be?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Quentin Davies

According to 'The Times' Gordon Brown has authorised a covert operation to find Quentin Davies a safe Labour seat.

All I can say is the good people of Grantham and Stamford elected a Tory and have now got a Labour MP. Why didn't he have the good grace to resign as a MP, join the Labour Party and then look for a safe Labour seat? I would have had at least some respect for him under those circumstances. Pigs and troughs spring to mind.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Brown and the election

I have blogged quite a bit about on this 'will he or won't he' story. I just wish he would put us all out of our misery and just call an election or say he will not. When I say put us out of our misery, I am of course referring to the Conservative Party who are going to have an election drubbing. I think the Labour majority will be over 100; maybe even as high as 120.

I was discussing this with a friend a couple of days ago and we both thought that if the Conservative Party could turn back the clock nearly two years ago, they would elect David Davis as leader. I think my party has gone too far away from its roots. My friend told me about the literature sent out to him for the freshers fair at Hull University. All about green issues and social issues. Nothing about what Conservatism is all about. Personal choices, less state intervention, lower taxes, letting people get on with their lives. I am sorry to say this, but I was duped by David Cameron. I think he could be very at home in the Labour Party. He is trying to model himself on Tony Blair, and as we all know, the last thing the electorate wants is another Blair. The main reason for the fantastic council election results in May was that the electorate wanted to give Tony one final bloody nose before he left office.

I agree with Lord Tebbit. He said today Mr Cameron and his fellow Old Etonian colleagues were "intellectually clever but they have no experience of the world whatsoever".
"He has spent much of his time in the Conservative Party and as a public relations guy. Well it's not the experience of most people in the streets.

And the trouble is that is what most people in the streets think. Like him or loathe him, you have to admire Gordon Brown for his political 'nous'. He has this next election sewn up if he takes the plunge and he will take down yet another leader of the Conservative Party. It would not surprise me if we were still in opposition in ten years from now. But where are the thrusting heavyweights? I don't see any on the horizon, other than William Hague. I always likened Hague to Churchill. I know his day will come again and with the experiences he has gained since stepping down as leader, he will - hopefully - bring the Tory Party back to government. If anyone else can think of someone else and another way, then please comment and tell me.

Link: BBC News

Kinnock meets demonstrators

Neil Kinnock must long for the old days. Those halcyon days when he took on militant and won. Those days when people in the Labour Party loved him. Ah, those were the days my friend!

Today he wanders down on to Bournemouth beach to meet with 'semi-clad' pensioners as he felt he was misquoted at a fringe meeting of the party conference. One pensioner - John Benson from Cardiff - called the right honourable and noble lord a bloody traitor, a bloody disgrace and then told him to bugger off. Well, what else can he expect?

Do you remember when he campaigned against our membership of the common market? Do you also remember the reason he gave up his seat in the House of Commons? That's right, it was to become a European Commissioner. He went on to be the Vice-President of the European Commission. His wife is still an MEP and if my memory serves me correctly, more of the Kinnock clan were given cushy jobs in the Brussels gravy train.

Whilst we are still in a reminiscing mood, do you also recall what Kinnock wanted to do with the House of Lords? Yes, you've remembered, he wanted to abolish it and said he would never take up a peerage himself. As he is now called Lord Kinnock, I think we all know what he eventually decided on.

There's nothing like having principals; is there?!

Shots are fired in Burma

Shots have been fired and tear gas has been used in an attempt to stop the 10,000 protesters in Burma calling for democracy. The only thing that surprises me is that it has taken the military junta this long to use force.

The Security Council of the United Nations are discussing the problem; so nothing will be done there. Pres. Bush is going to step up economic sanctions and Russia and China already have stated what they think when they vetoed a previous UN resolution last January. They regard this as a purely internal matter. So, where do we go from here?

Experience tells us we will not be going anywhere. I welcome the strengthening of sanctions, however they will probably hit the poorest first as do all sanctions. It will not have any short term effect on Burma's rulers, but in the long term they might work. I do not believe in military action. We cannot invade every country in the world who has a dictatorship.

What we have done is missed our time. When any despotic regime takes over a democracy, tough measures should be taken immediately. We should not wait for decades and make useless, meaningless, toothless UN resolutions. If we are serious about the human rights of all people around the world, we have to demonstrate we are serious; not just when it about oil or our strategic interests. We need to show any would be dictator right from the beginning we take democracy seriously and right from day one we will make their life as unbearable as possible. It is a long term approach and make take decades to achieve its goals and even then it will not work 100% of the time; but, it is the only way and far better than the 'too little, too late' approach we have now.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Brown refuses to rule out a general election

Gordon Brown today has not ruled out a snap general election. He told BBC 1's 'Sunday AM' programme there was speculation all the time and that his focus is entirely on the issues affecting the country.

Once again it is what he doesn't say, rather than what he does say. This party conference is most certainly an election rally. Let's hope us Tories can come up with some policies in Blackpool, or has the leadership got everything under control and already written the manifesto? We'll have to wait and see.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Madeleine was abducted by a stranger, say the McCann's

A source close to Gerry and Kate McCann has attempted to piece together the final hours of Madeleine before her disappearance on May 3rd. It is suggested Gerry McCann may have seen his daughter's abductor that day.

Read this link in The Times newspaper.

Burma

Protests continue in Burma against the military junta. Thousands of monks take to the streets and the temples in protest. Very good news. What does the British and American governments say about this? Are they pleased that oppressed people are standing up for democracy? Do they think regime change should be welcomed and if necessary forced through?

This is the hypocrisy of the Bush and Brown administrations. When we invaded Iraq it was about weapons of mass destruction. When that was proved to be a lie, it was all about regime change for the good of the Iraqi people. Nothing to do with oil, the fact Osama bin-Laden couldn't be found or that Saddam Hussein tried to kill junior's Dad. No; the Iraqi people deserve better. They want democracy and if we have to force it down their throats, that's what we'll do. And that's what we did.

So what about Burma? What about the oppression there? What about the appalling human rights record? David Milliband - the British Foreign Secretary - is going to raise this matter with the United Nations. No doubt they will talk about it, issue another pointless and toothless resolution, and then sit back and monitor the situation. Then as usual, nothing will be done until the whole ridiculous process is carried out again at some set date in the future. If a few more thousand people are killed; so what? It is hardly the most salubrious part of the world. Most people couldn't point to Burma on a map. Out of sight and out of mind. If a huge supply of oil is found there, then let's start bombing, but until then - let's do as little as we possibly can without sounding like the complete hypocrites we are.

I do not advocate military action in Burma. I do not advocate forced regime change. I think it is up to the people of Burma to rise up as they are doing and forge a democratic state they want. I am consistent in that. I just wish the politicians were too.

Brown - will he or won't he?

Back to politics. Two weeks ago I thought Gordon Brown was about to call an early election. I was wrong when I thought he might do it before the party conferences, however I still think an election is in the air.

Much has been made of how the government handled the Northern Rock affair. Brown was his usual quiet self - much as he was when he was Chancellor of the Exchequer, however we don't need opinion polls to tell us that after ten years as chancellor he is trusted more on the economy than David Cameron and George Osborne. There may be economic problems looming, but in the eyes of the electorate Labour haven't done a bad job at running the economy. We know they have been storing up debt that future generations will have to pick up the tab for. We know they have increased the state dependency culture more than any other government. We know these things are - in the long term - bad for Britain, but the electorate is never really bothered about the long term. They are interested in whether they can pay their bills today and whether they think they will be better off in a year's time. Problems that may arise in ten years as a result of actions taken today are of no interest.

If there is a significant downturn in economic fortunes in - say - the next year, this will limit Brown's options of going to the polls. Some commentators think he will announce a general election next week at the Labour Party Conference. He may well do that - or he may not. What he will do though is announce an election shortly. Autumn is never a good time to get your vote out. The weather is not very good and with darkness at around 5.00pm, voters tend to stay indoors rather than go out to vote. This will benefit Labour. The Tories' have an uphill task of getting the vote out and attracting new votes. David Cameron is not seen - as yet - as a prime minister in waiting and with some clever advertising and manipulation of the media, Labour will show Gordon Brown as the statesman, with years of experience. The steady hand to steer the ship, with bold and imaginative ideas to make Britain a more prosperous and fairer society.

There are too many people in the Conservative Party unsure about the current leadership and they are making it known. Everyone in Labour - in public at least - is behind the Brown premiership, and with good reason. Considering my previous predictions have been wrong, please don't go down to the bookies on my say so, but I think we will be casting our votes on October 25 or November 1. Everything is in place for Brown and us Tories will be consigned to a total of at least 14 years in opposition. God help us.

A Sailor's Blog

For the first time a commanding officer of a Royal Navy Ship has written a blog about life on board. Warts and all. Commander Rob Wilson is the CO of HMS Somerset and was given full permission from the MOD to write his blog. Click here to find out more.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

More news on my house

Last Sunday I said that normal blogging would resume tomorrow. Well, it is now Thursday and I am only just getting around to sitting at my laptop. I have been busier with my house than I thought I would be and I have found out the downstairs will have to be gutted and the floor replaced. Everything will need to be replaced in fact and it looks definite I will be out until around next March. When my mind gets back on to politics, I will let you know my thoughts.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Flooding update

I am sorry for the lack of posts over the last couple of days. Finally the loss adjuster contacted me during the week and we have managed to get things rolling after the flood - which was nearly three months ago. This weekend we have been clearing the house out completely downstairs. The upstairs looks like a bomb has hit it! An 8 tonne skip was delivered on Friday and during the course of the weekend we have managed to fill it. It has been hard work, but we all feel a sense of achievement. I have a surveyor visiting me on Tuesday and then I will have to appoint some builders. It looks certain the floor will have to be taken up and then replaced and all the furniture and kitchen appliances will have to be replaced also. It's still a long way off before we will be able to move in - probably next year - however we feel like things are at least starting to get sorted and we have done everything we can this weekend. We've just eaten and now we are settling down for the evening. More blogging tomorrow.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Madeleine McCann - further developments

According to 'The Times' newspaper this morning, the Portuguese authorities wish to seize the personal diary of Kate McCann and the laptop computer of Gerry McCann to search for further evidence of their complicity in the murder of Madeleine McCann. Quite what they will find, heaven only knows, however I hardly think they would have written something down saying they had killed her accidentally or otherwise. 'The Times' says they are looking for any discrepancies in any of their statements and trying to get a glimpse in to the personal relationship between the McCann's and other members of the party who went with them to Portugal. I think the police and prosecutors in Portugal are grasping at straws, but I suppose they have to be thorough in their investigation, although it is interesting to note that Scotland Yard offered to review the case weeks ago and their offer for help was not taken up. Considering the Metropolitan Police have an enviable international record in solving murder cases, it is surprising the offer of help was not taken up. In Britain, other police forces routinely review the evidence to see of anything is being missed. It is always useful to have a fresh pair of eyes looking over what you have done. Some murder cases are solved due to this process.

Some senior British detectives are worried there will be a miscarriage of justice if the McCann's are extradited to Portugal. I can understand why they think like that. If this case had not been shrouded in such secrecy and the Portuguese police had taken up offers of help, the investigation would have looked more transparent. Lessons need to be learned. Did the McCann's suddenly return to the UK because they are guilty or because they thought they were about to be stitched up? I have a feeling it is the latter reason. If formal extradition papers are filed I hope the British Home Secretary will make sure the case against the McCann's is solid and not send British citizens to face trail in another country because they want to maintain 'good relations with our European Union partners.' With this government, I am not entirely filled with optimism.

On a final note, 'The Star' newspaper in Britain has started a telephone poll with the question, 'Do you think the McCann's are guilty?' Considering those on the scene are struggling to get information about the case, the gut reaction of 'Star' readers is hardly going to help. Tabloid journalism at its worst again, but just what we are used to. As if this story hasn't sold enough newspapers for them already.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Madeleine McCann

I have not blogged about the disappearance of Madeleine McCann since May, and I have always kept an open mind as to whether the parents could possibly have been involved. I know it sounds incredible that they could have something to do with her abduction - or perhaps murder - but how many times have we seen a grieving spouse or partner making heartfelt pleas in front of the world's media and then discover they were the culprits?

The fact that the prosecutor has passed the file to a judge has to mean there is reasonable evidence to suggest they did have some involvement, although why they would is baffling in the extreme. Are they being set-up by lazy police, as some have suggested?

According to reports I have read, the judge has ten days to make a decision and if he agrees with the prosecutor that there may be a case, he can then impose tougher bail conditions and can order further interviews. The prosecutor will then have to have a detailed case to present before the judge.

I sincerely hope the McCann's do not have any involvement and we can only wait while the scales of justice weigh up the evidence.

9/11

It doesn't seem like six years ago since the terrorist attacks in the USA. The images that we all saw will stick in our minds forever. To all my American readers, please be aware that here in Britain our thoughts are with you.

Imperial is here to stay

When all you seem to hear in the news is bad news, I was pleased to read this little piece. We can continue to buy a pound of bananas, and we won't be forced to ask for 567ml of the landlord's finest ale.

It seems that the folks in Brussels have finally realised that we British are different and we value our traditions just as much as any other country in the world. Hopefully when I go to the supermarket and buy some steak I will see the weight in ounces. I have never been able to work out in an instant exactly what 0.347 kg is and very few people can, so why we continue to sell meat in this way baffles me. Perhaps we should take a lead from the French. Anything that comes out of the European Commission that we don't like; just ignore it.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Comment Moderation

Just a little peice of housekeeping. Unfortunately I have been getting some spam messages on my comments. I recieved one today on a post I did on the death of cricket coach Bob Woolmer back in March and the link was for some pills. So to prevent me being a third party link to some sort of diet pills or viagra, I have put on comment moderation again. I have stopped short of that awful word verification that I have problems with on other peoples' blogs. I have never deleted a comment I have disagreed with. Blogging is not about that, so please comment as freely as you like.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Luciano Pavarotti. R.I.P.

Today was the funeral of Luciano Pavarotti and as I was looking through some news stories and pictures on the Internet I came across this one on the BBC News website. It is from the U2 singer, Bono. This rather sums up the man that was Luciano Pavarotti; the maestro.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Cars and buses

I remember a few years ago, John Prescott boarding a train at Scarborough Railway Station and telling everyone that this was the way to travel. Leave your cars at home. The train tootled along the line for a few miles and came to a halt at Seamer. 'Two Jags' then got off the train and was driven off in his government jaguar.
I also remember the Mr Prescott cycling along Holderness Road in Hull. He was extolling the virtues of cycling - whilst looking rather ridiculous - not telling us watching on television that the police had cleared the aforementioned road of traffic to allow Mr Prescott to stage his publicity stunt.
I know it is not just Mr Prescott who is guilty of this type of hypocrisy, although he is a very easy target, and the next time I see a politician telling me I should leave my car at home and catch a bus, I'll remember what happened to me this morning.
I had to go to the garage this morning as my car was leaking engine coolant. After waiting for an hour and a half, I decided to go back home. It was either walk or catch the bus. I checked the timetable on the bus stop and discovered there was a bus due any moment. I waited for around five minutes and decided to walk instead, and it was a good job I did. By the time I had walked to the bus stop where I would have alighted, there was still people waiting for this bus that was by then over 20 minutes late. Whether it turned up or not, I don't know, however, I was lucky. I could walk the distance. There are plenty of people who cannot. That is why I will never leave my car at home and rely on public transport. It is fine if you live in a city or a large town. There are some bus routes in Hull that run services every 12 minutes, but the bus I was waiting for was an hourly service from Scarborough.
So my message to cabinet ministers, running around in their chauffeur driven cars, is; try relying on a bus out in the sticks for a week, and then tell us to leave our cars at home. You never know, it may just shut them up.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Citizen Service

David Cameron's proposal of 'citizen service' today is to be welcomed. It's not compulsory, but every 16 year old would be asked to give up their six weeks holiday and put something in to the community; something back in to Britain. I know many of the people who need to do this probably won't, however many will relish the idea of broadening their horizons and seeing what life is like outside their own bubble. Anything that is trying to restore pride back in to our communities gets the thumbs up with me and if 'The Sun' is anything to go by, seems to be getting the thumbs up across Britain too.

Luciano Pavarotti 1935-2007

When someone hugely talented and influential dies, it is almost impossible to say something different to anyone else; therefore I will not even try.

Luciano Pavarotti did more to bring opera to the masses than anyone else of his generation. The music snobs would carp and criticise him and Placido Domingo and Jose Carreras for their 'Three Tenors' concerts. No doubt those music snobs simply wanted opera for the elite. They of course were forgetting that many operas were written for the masses to enjoy. Composers such as Puccini were out-and-out showmen, just like Pavarotti.

I remember as a teenager watching the end of an opera on television and being blown away by the tenor singing in front of me. I looked at the credits and found out the name of the tenor was Luciano Pavarotti. That was the first time I heard his voice, and I was immediately hooked. Just listening to his voice now as I write, I can feel the hairs standing up on the back of my neck. He was a true genius, a wonderful ambassador for music, and a warm and generous man. Without him millions of people around the world would never have heard operatic arias and appreciated classical music. His influence cannot be underestimated. He will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Hitting the wall

We went out for a meal tonight, and both Becky and I had a mixed grill. Combining that with the fact I didn't sleep very well last night, I feel so tired that although there was a couple of things I wanted to blog on tonight, I really can't concentrate long enough to put down some logical sentences that anyone would want to read. Normal service will be resumed tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Patrick Mercer

Six months ago Patrick Mercer - according to Labour - was the unacceptable face of the Conservative Party. He was a racist. They said David Cameron was right to fire him from his front bench job. There was no place in politics for the likes of Mercer.

Now Patrick Mercer is to advice HM Government on matters of national security. How things change in just a few, short months. What a hypocritical bunch this government is. They knew Patrick Mercer wasn't a racist. They knew he was simply describing - albeit rather clumsily - what life was like in the army when he was a serving officer. They knew they were simply trying to exploit the story for their gain, at the Tories expense. Well that's politics, but it hardly makes those who feel disaffected from the electoral and political process any more likely to get involved, does it?

Smokers' rights

This is a story from today's Hull Daily Mail. Us smokers have rights too and this lady raises some interesting points about the safety and security of women, disabled people and the elderly as they venture in to the great outdoors to light up a cigarette. What do you think?

Michael Ancram

I have been critical of David Cameron recently. I don't agree with his views on 'green issues.' I think he wrong; plain and simple; and I don't enjoy feeling like I am some sort of criminal if I dare to question the received wisdom on climate change.

I think he should have led in a stronger way. We elected a leader to lead. I welcome more consultation, but that consultation process has gone on too long. We should have has firm policies in place by now, if for no other reason than Brown holding a snap election.

There are people like George Osbourne who I have never liked and I have been vocal about that too. I am, however, a local activist in the party. I am one of the foot soldiers. One of the rank and file and the readership of my blog hardly rivals 'The Sun.'

This is why I am so damned annoyed with Michael Ancram. He may not be in the front line anymore, but he is a former cabinet minister and chairman of the party. When someone like him speaks out the media listens; especially the BBC, who decided today this would be their lead story on teletext and their news website. When I criticise our leader, I do it on certain issues, not on the direction of his leadership. Cameron has in recent days done well to get the Tory message across and has responded well to Labour attacks. Things were starting to go well for us again after a disastrous summer. What the hell was Ancram thinking about? Iain Dale is coming up with 10 reasons why he should be shot. My reason is that he is a pompous, old patrician who should be put out of his misery. Any more suggestions?

Brown and Thatcher

Perhaps the reason Gordon Brown didn't call a snap election today was revealed in the Populus/Times opinion poll today. It put Labour on 37%, Conservatives on 36% and the Lib-Dems on a very poor 18%. That, however, is not the end of the story. In the 120 most marginal constituencies, the Tories are faring much better than Labour, so it looks like good news for us. Our message seems to be getting across.

I heard Gordon on the radio today and heard him mention himself and Lady Thatcher in the same breath. He even said that she saw what was needed to be done and did it, although some of her methods he did not agree with. He admired her because she was a conviction politician, just like him. He sees what needs to be done too. Perhaps our Gordon needs to remember history just a wee bit better.

In 1979, Britain was at a crisis point. The economy was in a disastrous state, the unions were firmly in charge. Indeed the way we ran our economy needed to be radically altered. The tax system needed to overhauled. The 'Great' needed to be put back in to Great Britain again. This was after a Labour government whom Gordon Brown campaigned for. At the time he thought a few more years of Prime Minister Callaghan was just what the doctor ordered.

Let us now come back to the present. Gordon says he sees what needs to be done to change Britain. Is this the same Gordon Brown who was Chancellor of the Exchequer for the past ten years? Didn't he support the policies of the government he was a senior member of? If he knew what was needed to be done, why didn't he speak up? What utter rubbish Gordon. You are not worthy to kiss the feet of Margaret Thatcher. You are simply a slick, seasoned politician. You are an opportunist. You are not a statesman. Who else is he going to compare himself to? As a control freak who has got more British families dependent on the state than ever before with his tax credits, perhaps we should compare him to Lenin.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Should we be able to reprimand errant children?

Here is a post from Boris Johnson's blog. After reading it, I'm sure you will agree with me this rather sums up the state of British society today. Children can harass adults in the street as much as they like and you can't do anything about it. If you try and reprimand them and get a mouth full of abuse, you simply have to stand there and take it. If you try and restrain them and then call the police, you are 'ticked off' by the old bill for intervening yourself.

Can society sink to anymore new lows? Can previously accepted rules, customs and laws be thrown out of the window anymore then they are now? Unfortunately, I think they can and they probably will. As I have said in a previous post we all have a duty of care to children, but when they misbehave and are abusive to you in public you do have a right to defend yourself and the law should firmly be on your side.

Boris for London Mayor


Boris Johnson opened up his bid to become London's next mayor. He was very witty - as usual. In a nutshell he was very Boris and I wish him all the luck in the world. Here is a link to his campaign website.

Brown does nothing to quell election speculation

There has been more speculation today that Gordon Brown will call an election for October and the PM hardly cooled things down today by refusing to rule out an early poll. As I said here on Saturday, I have come to the opinion in recent weeks that he may well go to the polls early on in his premiership as this would suit him down to the ground.

I am sure he already has his manifesto written. He has policies. What do the Conservatives have? We are still in the review stage which I said months ago was going on too long. We should have had policies in place now. If Gordon does announce an election tomorrow, what are we going to do? It will go down as the biggest wrong footing of the main opposition party in modern political history.

He also knows he can win if he goes early. The opposition parties can't complain if he does go early after calling for an election when Brown became PM. Everything is unravelling for David Cameron at the moment and without a party conference for him to give a keynote speech and for the party to decide on policies, things are only going to get worse.

The Conservative Party elected a leader to lead and make decisions. If there is a general election next month, it may not be long before we are writing David Cameron's political obituary.

More trouble with tax credits

In this post I wrote on 18 August I said what I would do with tax credits. Today again we see how unworkable the tax credits system is. According to 'The Times' today Labour in the 1960s and Mrs Thatcher both considered this scheme but rejected it on the grounds that it was unworkable and prone to fraud. Once again this government seems to think it can ignore the lessons of history and with disastrous results. HMRC ( Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) seem to think they will have to repay £20 million, rather than the Conservative Party's estimate of £500 million, but either way it proves what a farcical situation the government finds itself in with our money.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

A day out

Today we all went to Knowsley Safari Park. I can highly recommend it, especially a drive through the baboon enclosure. Yes, they did sit on the bonnet, windscreen and the roof. They didn't, however, try and rip my wing mirrors off, so we escaped unharmed.

If you're in the area, go and visit.

Two Jags is now down to one

John Prescott has lost his government Jag and his police protection and after his announcement that he will be standing down at the next general election, he can enter obscurity with the full knowledge he will never be remembered for making any positive contribution in his ten years as Deputy PM. Meow I hear you say; maybe, but if anyone can think of a single success he's had, please feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Mike Jackson speaks out

Yet another former member of the military 'top brass' has come out and openly criticised the government's handling of the situation in Iraq. General Sir Mike Jackson has described the US post-war handling of Iraq as 'intellectually bankrupt.'

It does make you wonder if the politicians on both sides of the pond ever listen to their generals. Mike Jackson is the latest in a long list of former generals who have been vocal in their criticism and I can't believe all of them kept quiet at the decision making times and simply cow-towed to their political masters. Politicians should heed the advice of experienced men who know what they are talking about. We are talking about the lives of our servicemen and women here and the future of a nation state. Rumsfeld, Bush, Blair and Co should hang their heads in shame.

Read about the story here.

Flooding update

A quick update on the flooding situation. After almost two and a half months away from my home, I am no closer to moving back in again. The loss adjusters, Cunningham Lindsay, have been dragging their heels and despite me trying to push them and assurances given to me by them that they are sorting things out, nothing is happening.

Surveyors have not seen my property yet. I know there is damp coming from my walls in to my neighbours' property and I also suspect the floor downstairs will have to be ripped up too. So there it is then. Fat chance of me returning home this side of Christmas. I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy

Will it be October?

According to 'The Times' today, there are rumours flying around that Gordon Brown is planning a snap Autumn election. Iain Dale thinks if he does, October 4 or 11 will be the likely dates.

I've always said that Brown would never call an early, snap election, but I am starting to think differently now. He knows if his popularity falls and he is forced to hold an election in the spring of 2010, he will lose. What would you do? Secure five more years now, under your own terms with a mandate from the electorate or face a John Major like drubbing at the polls when your party is in panic mode?

If he calls an election for next month he will win. Gordon Brown is a very experienced and seasoned politician. An election next month will see off David Cameron and he knows that and will no obvious successor to Cameron, Brown can push his agenda through and still remain high in the polls.

I know there are always rumours flying around Whitehall and Westminster, but don't be surprised if this one has more substance.

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