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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Hull City Council leader opposes outdoor smoking ban

There have been some voices in the NHS in Hull who have been urging Hull City Council to ban outdoor smoking. The leader of the council, Carl Minns, has refused to countenance such a move, saying it would erode people’s civil liberties.

Click here to read the story as reported in the Hull Daily Mail and click here to read Cllr Minns’ blog post on this subject and the wider intolerance in public discourse.  

Monday, December 28, 2009

How many council snoopers can enter your home?

Big Brother Watch has sent out Freedom of Information requests to every council in the country, and the results are alarming. To find out more click HERE.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Happy Christmas!

I’ve been rather busy of late preparing for Christmas and have therefore rather neglected this blog. I could comment on various issues, but to be honest, who the hell is interested in my opinions on politics on Christmas Eve? Deafening silence. I thought so.

Therefore, I wish everyone a very Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. Enjoy yourselves.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas No. 1s ain’t what they used to be

‘Rage Against the Machine’ has got the once coveted Christmas No.1 spot.  I was wondering if this is the first time in the history of the charts that an artist/group has got to No.1 not because of its popularity, but because the public were trying to stop someone else?

Call me sentimental, but I like a song with a festive feel to be Christmas No. 1. As I am not going to get my wish, listen to the First Lady of Song, Ella Fitzgerald, singing a Christmas classic. In my humble opinion, better than most of the today’s singers put together. This is an upbeat version of the song made famous by Judy Garland in the film, ‘Meet me in St Louis.’ The words are also on the screen for you to sing along. Go on. You know you want to.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Near-record levels of snow in the US

It’s not just the UK suffering from icy conditions. The Eastern seaboard of the US is suffering from near record levels of snow. Look at this video from Washington DC this morning. I’m grateful we don’t have it as bad.

Friday, December 18, 2009

#KerryOut Campaign is childish politics

Most people will not have heard of Kerry McCarthy, the MP for Bristol East. She is Labour’s Twitter Tsar, charged with the difficult job of getting Labour’s message across on Twitter. I have had the odd discussion with her, as have many other conservative tweeters. Unsurprisingly, I don’t agree with her very much and she seems to have attracted a hate following from bloggers like Tory Bear.

None of that bothers me in the slightest. Adults using their right to freedom of speech is to be encouraged. What I cannot see the point of  is the latest campaign called #KerryOut. In a nutshell, this campaign is trying to raise funds for the Conservative candidate in Bristol East, in a bid to oust Kerry McCarthy at the next general election. I think this campaign is childish. I want a change of government. I want Britain to move away from failed Labour policies and the only other party that can form a government is the Conservative Party. Britain cannot afford another five years of Labour. It cannot afford another five years of economic mismanagement and the bully state. As a Labour MP, Kerry thinks differently, but whether she remains an MP at the next election is up to the voters of Bristol East. It is up to them to decide if they agree with what she stands for and if she has been a good constituency MP. On the latter, I haven’t a clue how hard she works on behalf of her constituents. A big negative campaign to oust her will backfire. The campaign organisers are trying to present this as an independent campaign. This is simply untrue and the electorate in Bristol East will see through it. The British people do not like this sort of politics and voters may well come out and give her a sympathy vote.

To those conservatives backing this campaign, my advice is go out and get your local Conservative candidates elected and leave Bristol to local Conservatives there. This is the way we do it in Britain. An organised, national campaign against individual MPs is something I do not want to be involved with. 

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

British Airways employees are turkeys voting for Christmas

Here we are at the fag end of another Labour government. Just like 1978-79 - when the unions took control – we are now seeing the unions flexing their muscles once again.

I don’t know enough of the details to comment on the current British Airways dispute, but I do know that one great way to put BA out of business is for its employees to go on strike for twelve days over the Christmas period. Twelve days is so appropriate, and I’m sure the irony has not been lost on BA management.

What has amazed me is the way BA staff are so jubilant. This is truly a case of turkeys voting for Christmas. All I can say is if they want to be in gainful employment next year, they should encourage their negotiators to get a settlement before any of this foolishness begins. I also hope a settlement can be reached for the sake of those who are planning ‘once in a lifetime’ holidays and want to visit family in far off places. Many of those affected will not be able to afford to travel by other carriers and also lose thousands of pounds in the process.

If this is what the union and its members want, then so be it.  All I can wish them is a very Happy Christmas and the least prosperous New Year they could wish for, as they are going to get it.

A disappointing day for Hull

A very disappointing day. The awful weather and darkness at this time of year never puts me into a good mood, but the news Hull has lost out in its bid to be a host city for the England 2018 football World Cup bid is unfortunate to say the least.

I know there is a long way to go and there is every chance England will not be the host nation, but it would have been great to have the highest level of football on our doorsteps. We have a fantastic stadium, which would have been expanded. West Park, next door to the KC Stadium, would have made a great area for fans who do not have a ticket to watch the action on big screens. It would have been great for the city’s economy too and Hull has proved it can host major events, such as the Freedom Festival and the launch of the Round the World Clipper Race three months ago.

Hull gets a very bad press, but people who I talk to who are visiting the city for the first time, are pleasantly surprised by what they find. I now hope Hull and the East Riding can win its bid to be the city of culture. National and international exposure is vital for the area’s economic success.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Len Goodman on the Andrew Marr Show

Len Goodman, the Strictly Come Dancing judge, admitted on the Andrew Marr Show he knows nothing about politics. He said he was uneducated and left school at 15.

He may well lack a formal education, but he will have struck a chord with many this morning.  Len mentioned Gordon Brown said Britain was best placed to weather the economic storm, yet it has been proved we are not. Len is right when he says we need more honesty in politics. He said we should say when we get back on our feet again, we will be able to give Africa money to help fight climate change, but not now as we can’t afford to dole out £1.5 billion.

It will not be the intelligentsia who will be electing a new government next year. It will be people like Len Goodman, who do not complicate politics, but look at politics in a practical common sense way. Politicians take heed.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Darling in Wonderland again (with an eye to the next election)

Alistair Darling did nothing today to reduce the budget deficit. He is overly optimistic about the recovery of the British economy. In many ways it is exactly the same opinion he had last year when I described him as ‘Darling in Wonderland.’ My opinion has not changed, therefore here’s what I wrote after his PBR in 2008:

 

Tinker here and there; fiddle here and there; lower some taxes now and raise them in 2010 and make sure the tax increases announced today are permanent.

This rather sums up today's Pre-Budget Report. Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic is another way to describe a speech that was peppered with the words global, worldwide and America. It's not our fault, folks, this is all America's fault. We are just the victim of the crime, but we are in a strong position to recover, which indeed we will in about 12 months. This was Darling in Wonderland! How does he expect us to believe his forecasts for the coming years, when he couldn't get his forecasts right for the last seven months?

George Osborne gave a much better reply than I thought he would, however, the Conservatives are going to have to be truthful with the electorate. There must be a substantial reduction in the public sector. A Samurai sword needs to be wielded throughout Whitehall and we can start with disposing with all the thousands of non-jobs and QUANGOs duplicating the work of other QUANGOs. We have to reduce the size of the client state. We have to reassess the role government plays in our lives. I suppose these questions are for another day, but if Brown opts for a snap election next spring, time is running out. 

Do you think Labour is going to get us out of this crisis? I leave up to you.

Monday, December 07, 2009

New footbridge opens in Workington

Once again the British Army has proved why it is the best in the world. At 8.00am today a new footbridge will open in Workington. It has been built over the last ten days and will link the people of the town once again. Drivers still face an 18 mile journey, but if you can make it on foot, our soldiers  have made your life easier. Well done to our boys.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

More Brussels Interference

I am not a scientist, but my understanding of a black hole is it acts like a vacuum cleaner, sucking in all types of matter. Perhaps this analogy best describes the EU. I don’t often publish a full post from another blogger/writer, but the following post from Mark Wallace of the Taxpayers’ Alliance highlights just how much Brussels controls our lives and how much money it sucks in to its bottomless pit.

The Evening Standard reports that Boris Johnson is faced with the possibility of having to ban cars entirely from London for several days or be slapped with a £300 million fine from the EU.

There is a wider debate to be had over why London is failing to hit its air quality targets, and how the capital ended up in this situation. However, in this pressing crisis, three things are clear:

1) Neither the people nor the elected representatives of London were ever asked about this target or these rules.

2) Taxpayers cannot afford to pay £300m more into the bottomless pit of Brussels. Nor would doing so improve the air quality of London in any way.

3) It would be devastating to the economy, not to mention the public transport system, if cars were banned even for a few days.

There is one straightforward and practical answer: we should refuse to pay the fine if we don't hit the target. It has no democratic legitimacy and as Tim Montgomerie points out on ConservativeHome there are certainly plenty of other European cities with far poorer air quality that do not penitently cough up a fortune to the EU for it.

As our polling found back in May, the public are up for a fight with Brussels - with 69% supporting a policy of disobeying EU rules, and 60% agreeing that we should refuse to pay EU fines.

The best way to cut back on hot air would be for Boris to tell the Eurocrats to get on their bikes.

Class Warfare is not what the voters want

During the Crewe and Nantwich by-election, Labour rolled out its ‘Tory Toffs’ campaign. It was nasty and Gordon Brown distanced himself from it, although I did not believe the prime minister was out of the loop on this. I was called a toff too, which made me laugh. Being the son of a former railwayman from Co Durham, I am the last person you could accuse of being a toff. Labour’s campaign failed spectacularly and Edward Timpson was elected the Conservative MP for the constituency.

I thought Labour would abandon this approach. If it had any sense it would have done, but lately Brown and his henchmen have gone on the offensive and brought  class warfare back on the political agenda. David Cameron had described this approach as ‘petty, spiteful and stupid.’ He is correct. Martin Luther King Jnr spoke of his hope of a society where ‘men are judged by the content of their character, not the colour of their skin.’ Gordon Brown should take heed of these words, and bring them up-to-date, because I don’t think for one moment the British people judge David Cameron on where he went to school or the size of his bank account. They judge him on his character and whether or not he has the right policies to move this country forward.

I am sure Gordon Brown wants a class war in the run-up to the next general election. It is in his interests to distract the voters from Labour’s record and its future plans to spend, spend, spend, without having the money available. If he pursues with this campaign tactic, it will backfire on him nationally in the same way it did in Crewe and Nantwich.

Link: Telegraph

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Cameron strikes the right chord in Afghanistan

David Cameron has struck the right chord during his visit to Afghanistan. He said on Today this morning that withdrawal is not an option, nor is the status quo. He is correct. President Obama’s announcement of more US troops is very welcome, although my only criticism of him on this matter is that he has taken too long to make the decision. There needs to be an increase in troop numbers so we can get the job done and get out. Those who think we should pull out now will give the Taliban a victory. I’m sure those advocating immediate withdrawal do not want terrorist training camps set-up again in Afghanistan, but this would be the result of a hasty exit.

Gordon Brown announced more British deployments this week, and now it is his job to explain to the British public why winning the war in Afghanistan is so important. This is something his government has singularly failed to do. He should also replace his hopeless Defence Secretary, Bob Ainsworth, with someone who is up to the job.

To listen to David Cameron’s interview, click here, and scroll down to 8.10.

Photo: AFP/GETTY

Friday, December 04, 2009

Edward McMillan Scott says ‘give up meat for a day’

Edward McMillan-Scott, the (former Conservative) MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, came out with a gem of a quote on Radio Humberside this morning. The subject was climate change. The enviro-fascists are now giving up on cars and planes. A few months ago transport was the biggest evil the planet knew. Now the line is ‘transport is only responsible for 13% of greenhouse gas emissions.’ The real culprit now is the farming industry, which is responsible for 18% of emissions. Paul McCartney has entered the fray saying for the sake of the environment, we should all eat less meat, and Mr McMillan-Scott thinks this is a campaign he should get behind.

He is a Catholic and as Catholics give up meat on a Friday and eat fish, he thinks this is a very good way of giving up meat for just one day. He also thought this would be very good for the fishing industry in the Humber region. He even had the temerity to say this would not upset farmers! What an out of touch prat this man is. What would be great for the fishing industry in the Humber region is the scrapping of the Common Fisheries Policy. This has ruined the fishing industry in this region. Of course, Edward wouldn’t want that, as this would upset his EU chums and he would lose his job and perks in the European Commission.

I have no desire to give up meat. I enjoy it, just like human beings have for countless centuries. I also enjoy fish and seafood. I enjoy vegetables too and eat what I want to without being made to feel guilty, no matter what the fascists say.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Diana Johnson looks finished as an MP

‘Don’t panic, Mr Mainwaring’, said the eccentric Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army. Of course he always panicked himself and he wanted reassurance from those around him. Diana Johnson, the Member of Parliament for Hull North is just like Jones, although perhaps not as funny.

She is known for making the most extraordinary statements. She was the one who campaigned for post offices in her constituency to be kept open, and then after the campaign was lost, voted for post offices to be closed elsewhere. Her rationale? Well, the post offices closing elsewhere were not in Hull North. Hardly a woman of principal, me thinks, and hardly a woman who has any political nous either.

As a result of the lack of talent on the government backbenches, she has managed to get herself appointed as an Under Secretary of State under Ed Balls. Being under Ed Balls is something I wouldn’t relish, but if you are climbing up the greasy pole, I guess any port in a storm will do.

Last night on the BBC she tried to frighten voters of Hull North  into thinking a vote for the LibDems in the next general election will really be a vote for the Conservative Party. Her thinking is based on what experts say. These experts say the next general election may produce a hung parliament. If you want to predict the next general election at this stage you are a fool. No-one in their right mind would try to work out how the electorate will vote next spring, but the ineffectual Ms Johnson is clutching at straws, hoping the votes that are ebbing away from her will slow down at worst and come back to her at best. This is a vain hope. Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will make the decisions he has to make as to which main party to support  if and when a hung parliament is a reality.Until then voting Liberal Democrat will mean electing an opposition MP, as I can safely say the LibDems will not be forming a government.

I think Ms Johnson or some of her team read this blog. Let me give her a piece of advice.

You have taken this constituency for granted. You thought you had a safe seat for life. You thought all your Christmases had come at once when you won the Labour Party nomination for the Hull North seat. Politics has changed over the past four years. You have never worked this seat and tried to work out what the voters really want. There are many voters in this constituency who would normally vote Conservative, but are frightened to vote for the party in case they let Labour in. Getting a Conservative government is exactly what they want. There are many of your constituents who vote Labour in general elections, but feel let down and will turn to the LibDems who they normally vote for in council elections. They want rid of you and the government in which you serve. Going on television looking like a rabbit caught in the headlights will not reassure them you are the best person to represent their interests. Far from it. They will see a desperate person loosing the last vestiges of their dignity in order to remain an MP.

Whatever happens at the next general election, their is one thing for certain. For the majority of your constituents, if you do lose the seat, you will not be missed. For me personally, the sooner you are back in chambers in London, the better.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

The Lisbon Treaty came into force today

The Lisbon Treaty came into force today. Daniel Hannan MEP sums up the reality of what this means for Britain:

We woke up in a different country today. Alright, it doesn’t look very different. The trees still seem black against the winter sun; the motorways continue to jam inexplicably; commuters carry on avoiding eye contact. But Britain is no longer a sovereign nation. At midnight last night, we ceased to be an independent state, bound by international treaties to other independent states, and became instead a subordinate unit within a European state.

Yes, a European state. Take a quick dekko at the definition set out in Article One of the1933 Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States: “The state as a person of international law should possess the following qualifications: (a) a permanent population; (b) a defined territory; (c) government; and (d) capacity to enter into relations with the other states.”

Until yesterday, the EU qualified on grounds (a), (b) and (c). Now it has ticked the final box. Under the Lisbon Treaty, which came into force today, it acquires “legal personality”, which gives it the right to sign accords and treat with other states. Nor is this right simply theoretical: the EU now has a foreign minister, a diplomatic corps (the European External Action Service) and 160 overseas embassies.

Until yesterday, the EU could not annex additional policy areas without a new treaty, which needed to be ratified by all its constituent nations. Now, it has the so-called “passerelle” clause, or self-amending mechanism. Parliament, in other words, no longer has the final say on extensions of EU jurisdiction. The EU derives its authority, not from its 27 members, but from its own foundational texts.

Until yesterday, Britain could simply walk out of the EU by abrogating the Treaty of Rome and repealing the 1972 European Communities Act. Henceforth, it will have to go through the secession procedure laid down in Lisbon. In other words – in the minds of Euro-lawyers, at any rate, if not of British constitutionalists – the EU gets to settle the terms on which its members are allowed to leave. Formal sovereignty has been shifted from the national capitals to Brussels.

It is appalling, demeaning, disgraceful that such a thing should have been done without popular consent, and in the absence of the referendum that all three parties had promised. “There’s no point in crying over spilt milk,” you might say. True. But there is every point in mopping it up.

If you want to be part of this European state, then all you have to do is nothing. Not a thing. Just lie back and enjoy life. If you are disgusted, then there’s plenty of hard work ahead of you. Firstly, become part of the Freedom Association’s ‘Better Off Out Campaign.’ Join the Taxpayers’ Alliance and help publicise Dr Lee Rotherham’s book ‘Ten Years On – Britain without the European Union.’ Join ‘The Albion Alliance.’ Write to the press and help keep this issue in the public eye. If you are a blogger, I don’t have to tell you what to do.

It is now up to us, the people. We have to put pressure on our politicians. I believe the fight to get Britain out of the EU is one we can win. Come and join us. 

Monday, November 30, 2009

A damning critique of New Labour

If you want to read a damning critique of New Labour’s social policies and a verdict on the awful Family and Parenting Institute (which is incidentally 90% funded by the taxpayer) then read this by George Pitcher. Brilliant, incisive commentary.

The Price of Photography

Back in August, Hull City Council Leader, Cllr Carl Minns, had his collar felt by the police for the crime of trying out his new camera and taking a photograph of the St Stephen’s Centre in Hull. He was initially stopped by a security guard and his details were passed in to the police. Click here to read the story.

Just like Cllr Minns, BBC photographer Jeff Overs, had his collar felt under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act. His crime was to take pictures of the London Skyline. Read about the story here.

I am certain these two cases are not isolated incidents. This will be going on every day of the week; innocent people going about their business and recording a few memories along the way are being treated as criminals. Will this change? We can only hope.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

More NHS Hospitals are branded as ‘dirty’

When Daniel Hannan described the NHS as a sixty year mistake, he did something unforgivable; he dared to criticise a national institution. For over half a century we have been indoctrinated into thinking the NHS is the envy of the world. We have been indoctrinated into thinking if we take ill overseas, the standard of care will not be a high as it is in the UK. We have also been indoctrinated into thinking the only option there is to the NHS is the US system of healthcare provision. This perhaps has been the most sinister lie of those on the left, and it is this argument that is wheeled out every time some of us try and discuss the future of healthcare in this country.

The indoctrination worked very well for decades, until we decided to holiday in other countries, rather than Blackpool or Clacton. We found out the standard of healthcare was high in many other countries and people were not dying on the streets because they couldn’t pay their medical bills. Even though in our hearts we know this, the left still put the fear factor into play when we dare to criticise the NHS. We have become accustomed to the state doing everything for us, we no longer regard healthcare as our responsibility. The left knows this and they have been very successful in ensuring healthcare remains the biggest nationalised industry in Britain.

Occasionally, something happens to rock our faith in the NHS. If you want an elderly relative to meet their maker, so you can pick up your inheritance sooner rather than later, then all you have to do is encourage them to have an operation in Basildon. This is far cheaper than going to Switzerland and there are no legal ramifications  for you either. The icing on the cake could be the compensation you receive after your dear great aunt dies from a hospital acquired infection. Not that Basildon should be singled out unfairly. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital will also put your child’s health at risk thanks to its poor infection control, even though they regarded themselves as doing everything they could to offer the cleanest and safest wards of any Children’s Hospital in the country. The list goes on and on.

Millions of people around the country are frightened to go into hospital for operations, fearing what happened in Basildon may happen to them. Yet we love the NHS. The twitter campaign a few months’ ago proved that; didn’t it? I don’t believe we love the NHS at all. What we appreciate is the notion of universal healthcare. We find ourselves reassured our credit card will not be hit if we fall ill. The Germans are also reassured by the that fact, but they don’t have socialised medicine. They have a cost-effective system that offers universal healthcare to its citizens and you don’t hear of wards being closed down all over Germany thanks to MRSA and other bugs. To find out how the Germans manage to do it, click HERE.

The Dr Foster Hospital Guide has highlighted what bad shape some of our hospitals are in. This would not be tolerated in most countries. Hospitals would go out of business. You would use your right to choose a hospital with a good record, and give other hospitals a wide berth. The market would ensure the patient came first and can do this without the need to have expensive medical bills or unaffordable insurance premiums. We have to move away from the notion it is the state’s responsibility to pay for everything and become more responsible for our healthcare provision, and this does not mean the most vulnerable in society are left dying on the streets. A safety net must always be there in any civilised society. It means a mixture of private and public money and resources should be used to deliver a healthcare service that it fit for purpose and could easily become the envy of the world.

This is the challenge politicians will never rise to. Gradually dismantling the NHS is a vote loser. Until it is possible to have a rational debate on the NHS, nothing will change and Britain will be poorer as a result. 

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gary McKinnon is let down by Alan Johnson

Alan Johnson seems to fit the title: Jack of all trades, master on none. His time as Home Secretary has hardly been one of unmitigated success. It appears the Home Office is Labour’s equivalent of Northern Ireland. Prime Minister’s send ministers there when they want to end their careers in a very final way. If Alan Johnson does have hopes of being Labour leader, he has now found himself between the devil and the deep blue sea or more pertinently, between a hard place of his own making and Plymouth Rock, buckling under the pressure of a US government deeply embarrassed by the actions of a Brit.

Gary McKinnon (photographed above) has Asperger’s Syndrome. He is a UFO nut. Using his technological knowledge he managed to penetrate the seemingly impenetrable walls of the Pentagon. The Americans don’t like this. They want blood. They have already made clear they are going to jump over every legal hurdle to get their man. The only thing that stands in the way is British justice. We are now supposed to sleep well in our beds. The big bad wolf is not going to win. In fairy tales this is true, but we don’t live in a fairy tale and enter stage right, the Right Honourable Member for Hull West and Hessle. The High Court has refused Mr McKinnon the right to appeal to our Supreme Court. Alan Johnson, the postie done good, is now the star player. Is he going to do the right thing or is he going to blow the house down? Is he going to be the hero of the piece? No. Instead he is going to send Mr McKinnon to the US to face a prison sentence.

If I was a boffin in the Pentagon, I would want to get Mr McKinnon to explain how he did it. I would want to use his knowledge to make the computer systems secure. I would understand this man has a mental illness that makes him withdraw from the world we live in and live in a fantasy world.

Alan Johnson was the last roadblock to this extradition folly. He is the man who could have driven this runaway train into the buffers. He could have stopped this dead in its tracks. Instead he is the man who is so far out of his depth, he doesn’t realise the responsibility of a holder of one of the great offices of state. It is now up to us to remind him. Write to him and tell him how disgusted you are with this decision. Write to the press. Express your outrage. The only court that matters now is the court of public opinion. Even Alan Johnson has to bow to that court if enough of us nudge him into a corner. 

The end for the ‘Big Screen’ in Hull

It looks like it’s about to bite the dust. Gone. Out of our sight forever. As quickly as it came into our lives, it seems as if it is going to depart as speedily. The ‘Big Screen’  in Hull has been a source of debate since it was installed in 2004. I have always thought it looked like an enormous version of a television set people all over the country were throwing out to upgrade to a newer model. Aesthetically it is a carbuncle on the face of Queen Victoria Square. It could have been placed in a better location and it could have looked better, but alas our former Labour masters thought differently, if indeed they ever thought about it at all. The decision was made in haste in the Guildhall equivalent of smoke filled rooms. 

Now we are told it is going to cost £250,000 to run over the next three years and this – according to our Liberal Democrat masters – is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. True, it has always been an expensive folly. Labour councillors  seemed to be drawn into thinking Hull could somehow become Manchester with this monstrosity blasting out Look North around Queen Victoria Square, but I do have a problem.

Where is this television set, set for? Is it about to go to the technological graveyard in the sky, or is it going to be looked after in a benevolent council warehouse? Can it be resurrected at a future date, or has it already passed its use-by date? So much taxpayers’ money has been wasted thus far. It is a thorn in the side for the LibDems. A problem inherited from the former ruling Labour group’s profligacy. One can only hope that in the future Hull can move technologically forward in a planned and constructive way. As the UK faces bankruptcy thanks to national Labour profligacy, hope is all we have. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Hull’s Christmas Market

Over the years I have enjoyed visiting Christmas Markets the length and breadth of Germany. These type of markets have become popular in the UK too, and I am pleased to report this year Hull is also holding a Christmas Market. This is where we are off to this evening.

It is hoped the market will increase the footfall in the city and judging by how popular they are elsewhere – including Germany – this should be a welcome addition for visitors to the city.

So come to Hull and experience Christmas in a different and peaceful way and pick up some unusual gifts. There will be plenty of German food and drink to keep you warm too!

 

UPDATE: Well, I suppose there is still over four weeks to go until Christmas Day. We got there just after 6.00pm. The majority of the stalls were food and sweets and most were unmanned. The place felt like the ‘Marie Celeste’ with only a handful of people there. For it to have the feel of  a German market, it should have fewer food and drink stalls and more selling Christmas gifts and decorations. I hope it gets better, otherwise it will be a damp squib. I was disappointed tonight.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tories back in a comfortable double-digit lead

Yesterday we had the rogue poll cutting the Tory lead to 6%. Now, yet another poll is released which will make Conservatives sleep a little easier in their beds tonight; Tories on 39%, Labour 22% and the Lib Dems on 21%. Others on 18%.

Two things worthy of note. Firstly, I have said for a quite some time that Labour and the Lib Dems are neck and neck on around 23%. This poll – taking into account the margin of error – suggests the same.

Secondly, the amount of people saying they will vote for other parties is increasing. This backs up my assertion the next election will be the biggest anti-government vote in a century. Once again, nothing in the polls – apart from the odd rogue poll – makes me think any differently.

Margaret Thatcher comes home

Margaret Thatcher went back home today – to No. 10 Downing Street. She was there for the unveiling of an official portrait of her by the artist, Richard Stone.

Click here to see a video report from BBC News.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The net financial cost of Britain’s membership of the EU

Judging by some of the messages I have received about my last post, there appears to be some confusion, which I will now clear up.

During the next financial  year – 2010/11 – Britain’s net contribution to the EU will be £6.4 billion. This is how much the British taxpayer will stump up after our rebate and receipts are taken into account. For more information, please read this article written by the renowned and respected economist, Ruth Lea. 

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Speaking to East Yorkshire Conservatives

Last night I was the speaker at a supper club meeting of East Yorkshire Conservatives in Bridlington, on the subject of Quangos.   Most people there were genuinely shocked at the amount of money being spent by Quangos and how much our membership of the European Union costs us each year. I quoted the following from Dr Lee Rotherham’s book, Ten Years On: Britain without the European Union.

While you were watching the last Harry Potter, £1,891,998 was transferred to Brussels.

During the England footy match, £1,113,000 left the British bank account for good.

In the time that it took you to boil an egg, £37,098 was surrendered to the EU.

£12,366 in one minute.

£206.11 in the heart pump of a second.

Another £206.11.

And then another.

It made no sense at all. It was like forming a human chain to pass gold bullion down Blackpool pier and to dump a brick off the end every hundred seconds.

Every hour was a new Angel of the North being built by British taxpayers in another country.

The bill for just two days paid for the whole Royal Family.

Three days would have kept your local community hospital running for a year.

Five days of EU membership would have covered all the repairs needed to every cathedral in England, or paid for a new Kew Gardens.

Ten days would have bought a new Belmarsh prison.

Why not just cut out the middle man? Instead of handing over three and a half weeks of net payments, you could have simulated the financial loss by cutting down all the trees in England looked after by the Forestry Commission and ploughing salt into the soil.

For the equivalent value effect of five months of fees, you could have just burned every picture and every painting in the National Gallery. Or the Treasury could have taken revenge on international bankers, and paid the annual deficit by just handing over all the revenue of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Food for thought? The statistics are breathtaking when stated in a way we can all relate to. I would like to thank East Yorkshire Conservatives for their very warm welcome and excellent hospitality. I had a very enjoyable time in Bridlington and look forward to returning.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Flooding in Cockermouth

Looking at the pictures from Cockermouth brought back the unhappy memories of when we were flooded in June 2007. So many people have had their lives turned upside down and judging by the scale of the flooding, they will be out of their homes much longer than the six and a half months we were out for.

My thoughts also go out to the family, friends and colleagues of PC Bill Barker, whose body was found earlier today. His widow has said the died doing the job the loved. According to Sky News

,  he had been diverting traffic off Northside Bridge near Workington when it collapsed, throwing him into the River Derwent. It shows the courage, bravery and sense of duty of all members of the emergency services. The magnificent job they do should make us all proud.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sir Stuart Bell in the Queen’s Speech Debate

Sir Stuart Bell, the MP for Middlesbrough since 1983, has had a long career as an author, journalist, barrister and parliamentarian. I know he is gripped by a love affair with the EU, no doubt brought about during his time practicing law in France. Listening to him in the Queen’s Speech debate though, I began to wonder if like the prime minister he has become divorced from reality,

The big story about the Queen’s Speech today is what is not in it. After the turbulent year MPs have had, one would have thought Gordon Brown would grasp the nettle and include some form of reform bill. This was not to be. Sir Stuart – quite rightly – said in the House of Commons this afternoon, the voters are not talking about MPs’ expenses and allowances. They are talking about other issues affecting them. He thinks the Commons will once again become a great institution without reforming it. At least not undergoing any major reforms. What he is forgetting is if it was not for the recession, the public would be taking MPs to task. Just because we in the grips of a recession does not mean politicians should sweep these matters under the carpet and hope they will go away.

Sir Stuart then went on to make the most nonsensical remark I have heard a politician make in a long time. To paraphrase him, he believes during this economic downturn, Britain needs the EU more than it has done in the past. How? Why? Do British businesses need more red tape; more bureaucracy; more rules and regulation? Do fishermen need the Common Fisheries Policy? Do we really need more decisions taken away from us; important decisions affecting our democracy and our economy?

Britain needs the EU like a hole in the head. To help us get out of this recession we need to  throw off the shackles of the EU. British businesses need to freed from the red tape. If Sir Stuart Bell cannot see this, perhaps it is time he hung up his boots. 

Quote of the Day

Cast iron promises from the Conservative Party aren’t what they used to be

Gordon Brown – House of Commons – 18/11/09

Britain is best placed to weather the economic storm. No more boom and bust. British jobs for British workers, to name just three. The prime minister seems to have a poor memory as well as a poor grasp of reality.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Cost of the Common Fisheries Policy

Tonight, I have been reading a report on the Common Fisheries Policy. With the latest TPA campaign highlighting how life would be very  different outside the EU, I have been looking at a policy that has had such a detrimental effect on the British fishing industry. Living in Hull, this is something important to the people of Hull and the Humber Region in general.

Once again, the Taxpayers’ Alliance is at the forefront of research into the economic impact the EU has on the UK economy. The UK fishing fleet, and associated industries have been crippled on three occasions in the past century: by the Kaiser, Hitler and the Common Fisheries Policy. On the first two occasions, the North Sea was a war zone.

To read the report I have been reading tonight. click HERE

Recipe for EU Agriculture Fudge

Following on from the cinema advertisement I posted yesterday, I realised I hadn’t posted the following video on EU Agriculture Fudge. Another great way to the message across of how just how much the EU costs us each year.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Archbishop of Canterbury speaks on the economy and taxation

I don’t agree with him, but if you want to know what all the fuss is about, here is Rowan Williams’ full speech to the TUC today. Apparently taxation should not be regarded as an unreasonable burden and “tax is about corporate insurance … and is the essence of the democratic process.”

Just when you think you have heard it all, someone comes along with something new.

What if Britain left the EU?

When I was growing up, the UK was part of the European Economic Community – the ‘Common Market.’ The EEC then transformed itself into the European Community. As part of this ongoing process, the transformation continued and the UK became part of the European Union. At no point during this were we the voters given the opportunity to have our say. Instead, those whom we elect to serve our interests, wilfully gave away huge chunks of our sovereignty to an unelected superquango in Brussels.

The advertisement at the top of this blog will be rolling out in cinemas nationally later this week. It gives you a glimpse of how much the EU costs taxpayers and businesses. It also promotes Dr Lee Rotherham’s new book, ‘Ten Years On: Britain without the European Union.’ It’s not just the financial cost though. Our right to govern ourselves as a free nation state has gone. We need to get this right back. This is just the start of a long campaign for democracy and freedom, but it is a fight we must win to rid ourselves of the meddling Brussels bureaucracy.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Family members working for MPs

Watching the Andrew Marr show this morning a rare occurrence happened: I found myself agreeing with John Bercow. I still regard him as an arrogant little shit; my opinion of him has not changed, but what he was correct on was the subject of spouses, partners and other family members working for MPs.

I feel sorry for those family members who have worked in the Commons for years, doing a great job and who have not abused the system. The problem is too many have abused the system and brought it into disrepute. The public perception is that everyone is on the fiddle, so I find myself agreeing with the Kelly Report and John Bercow. This practice must end.

As for the practice of agreeing with John Bercow? I'm sure this won't continue either.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

X Factor Live Blog - Week 6

There won't be one. I watch the programme to see some of our young people with potential develop into great singers. I happen to think there is a hell of a lot talent out there, but this programme has become - even more than it has in the past - a battle of egos between the judges. Last week, Simon Cowell - despite what he says - decided to push out a singer who was a genuine threat to his acts and who could have easily gone on to win the contest.

I won't be watching tonight, although my prediction is one of Simon's acts will leave the competition tomorrow, as the public seeks revenge on him. This rather goes to prove my point. Another singer will leave, not because of their talent, but because of the battle of the egos going on with the judges.

John & Edward will live to fight another day. They are being primed for a short, novelty pop career and then jobs presenting on TV. Either way, Simon Cowell's bank balance is set to rise, unless people switch-off their sets, which I know will not happen in the numbers required to worry him.

Glasgow North-East proves Labour is on the slide


I'm down with the flu and not at my best, however, I do want to comment on the result of the Glasgow North-East by-election.

If you look at ukpollingreport, you will see since 1997, Labour has polled fewer votes at each subsequent election, although during this time Michael Martin was standing as Speaker. In 1997 Labour polled 22534 votes. In 2001, 16053 votes. In 2005, 15153 votes. In the by-election, Labour polled 12231 votes. There has been a boundary change, but in a solid Labour area, this has not made any difference.

What we see here, is election after election, Labour voters are not voting for other parties, instead they are staying at home. If you look into data in other constituencies you will see the same trend. This is why Labour MPs with majorities under around 8000 are getting the jitters. They know with a big anti-government vote on the way, they are vulnerable.

The Glasgow North-East by-election does not prove Labour is on the march. Far from it. It proves it is on the slide. Labour's best hope for the next election is its core vote stays at home. This is the only way it can retain many seats it would normally regard as safe.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

March election 'unlikely'

Forget a March election. At least that's what Iain Dale thinks, along with the BBC's Nick Robinson and George Osborne's advisers.

I was out with some friends tonight and the this subject came up. I have thought for some time the most likely month for a general election is April. The turnout at a general election is always higher than at local elections. With this in mind, Labour would get a bigger drubbing at the hands of the voters across town and county halls. Although Labour is bankrupt and hasn't got the cash to fight a general election, never mind the local elections, I still think Brown will steer clear of May 6 and he won't let this parliament run until June. I predict the general election will be on April 15. April 8 is unlikely as it is just after Easter.

If I am right, remember you read it here. If I'm wrong, just forget you ever read it!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Gordon Brown and 'The Sun'

If you make an enemy out of 'The Sun' newspaper, it certainly knows
how to twist the knife. If its latest attacks on the prime minister
are anything to go by, the Conservative Party can do without its
'help.'

Most fair minded people feel the prime minister is doing the right
thing sending handwritten letters to the next of kin of our troops
killed in action. He has very poor eyesight and writes using a
felt-tip pen because of this. He probably wrote the letter to Jacqui
Janes when he was very tired and seals the envelope himself. He
regards this as personal correspondence.

'The Sun' is trying to score cheap political points and is using a
mother's grief in the process. Publishing a transcript of a private
telephone conversation between her and the prime minister is
reprehensible. I'm sure Gordon Brown feels awful about this. His
sincere condolences have been twisted. This is not what politics ought
to be about.

--
Sent from my mobile device

Monday, November 09, 2009

Will Cameron's announcement last week pave the way for a referendum on Britain's membership of the EU?


At a fringe event during the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester, David Trimble urged us not to give up hope with David Cameron. He said if Cameron does become prime minister, a list of demands will be presented to the EU and if those demands are not met, this will pave the way for a referendum asking the electorate if we want to be in or out.

The list of demands has just be announced. I don't believe for one moment he will get his way. I can only hope Lord Trimble is correct in his belief a referendum on our membership of the EU will be called. If this is Cameron's plan, I fully support him. Those of us who know Britain will be better off out also know we will only have one chance to win a referendum. Unlike referenda in other EU countries, we will not have the option of asking for another vote. Nor should we.

If Cameron does not plan a future referendum and is instead fudging the issue, he will face the wrath of the rank and file of the Conservative Party and the country. Time will tell, but in the meantime I and many others will be presenting our case and explaining why Britain has everything to gain from no longer being a member of the European Union.

The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989

Twenty years ago today, the biggest symbol of communism and oppression - the Berlin Wall - was being dismantled. Those of us who watched it happen on our televisions will never forget the images of joy and hope. I would have loved to have been there to share in that euphoric moment.

I have visited Eastern Germany many times over the last few years and the change has been breathtaking. People no longer have to worry their friends and neighbours may be spying on them for the Stasi. Gone are the ruins from the Second World War. Gone is the despair of having your life completely run by the state.

Tonight is a night for celebration. A new generation has grown up not experiencing first hand the horrors of communism. If you have no other reason to celebrate today, celebrate that.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

X Factor Live Blog - Week 5 Results

Who is going tonight? I would love it be John & Edward, but I know I'm not going to get my wish. I think it will be Lloyd Daniels. He was poor last week, but allowances were made by the judges due to his sore throat. This week he has apparently recovered, but was still very poor.

UPDATE: 20:29 I didn't reckon much to the last offering from the Black Eyed Peas, but Leona Lewis is showing how much of a star she is. This girl has a very long career ahead of her.

UPDATE: 20:37 The waiting is almost over. The results are in. The contestants saved in order of announcement are:

Joe McElderry, Olly Murs, Stacey Solomon, Lloyd Daniels, Danyl Johnson, Jamie Archer.

I am shocked. Lucie is in the bottom two! The up-side to this should mean John & Edward will be sent packing by the judges, otherwise another great talent will be lost from the show.

UPDATE: 20:45 Lucie is up first singing One Moment in Time. She is shaky, but I guess it's to be expected. Now she is getting into her stride. Much better and a great ending.

Now John & Edward are about to start and are being booed on stage. They are singing 'Rock DJ.' Surprisingly they are not doing that bad a job of it, although as this song has a lot of talking in it, perhaps is not that surprising after all.

It's all down to Simon now and he is taking it down to the public vote. The act going is: Lucie Jones. Simon is protecting his acts by eliminating a possible threat. He said she couldn't win the competition. She could have won and it is one of those weeks where the public thought she was safe and didn't vote. This show really is becoming a joke. What's the point of having judges?



Saturday, November 07, 2009

X Factor Live Blog - Week 5

It's that time again, folks. Who will go out after tonight's performance? Is it too much to hope it will be John and Edward?

1. Stacey Solomon - She looks good, but she doesn't sound good. I think Stacey is going to be a victim of the public vote in the next 2-3 weeks. Her performances are going downhill. 5/10

2. Olly Murs - He has a retro Beatles look. You have to hand it to Simon Cowell, he really does know the right songs to pick for his acts. Olly is good tonight. He has the style and stage presence. 8/10

3. Lloyd Daniels - Bad start. Cheryl says he has recovered from his bad throat. So what's the excuse for tonight? Poor singer. 3/10

4. Jamie Archer - Simon's look says it all. Poor start, but it's getting better. It was emotional towards the end and Louis really is looking like a petty council official. 6/10

5. Lucie Jones - A strong start, which not all can say tonight. She seems very comfortable on stage and this shines through her performances. 9/10

6. Danyl Johnson - The pressure is on him tonight. He's not great, but he's not bad either and based on the performance tonight, he should stay in. 7/10

7. John & Edward - Here we go. How bad can this be? There is something strange on the television. Rubbish. 1/10

8. Joe McElderry - It's time for little Geordie Joe. Not my words. Thank Cheryl for that. One of the things I cannot understand in this competition is the put-down of musical theatre. Perhaps it has something to do with the amount of musical theatre I have done. Well done, Joe. 8/10

Friday, November 06, 2009

Reflections on the last 48 hours

Firstly, I must apologise for the radio silence during the last two days. I have been deep in thought, considering where my political future lies. I have decided my future lies in the Conservative Party. I will explain why.

I have received many messages over the last 48 hours, but one person has stood out. Man in a Shed - who I found out tonight, whilst talking to him on the telephone - does not really live in a shed, convinced me to stay in the party. He understands where I am coming from and is sympathetic to my viewpoint. Others - and I still thank them for their messages - do not understand where I am coming from, and at times I could have easily resigned from the party after hearing from them, even though that was not their intention.

I am playing the long game. It may take many years to convince our political leaders there should be a referendum on our membership of the EU and it will take time to ensure the British people are convinced too, but when that time happens I will make sure I am at the forefront of a referendum campaign to say 'YES' we want Britain out of the European Union.

In the meantime, Britain will be much better off under a Conservative government. It is the Conservative Party that will have to sort out the mess 13 years of a Labour government has given us. I have been on a journey these past two days. I have not changed my mind about the EU, but I know the only chance of ever having change is under a Conservative government.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

David Cameron's Speech

I will be writing about Cameron's speech, but I think it is better if I write it once I have been scraped from the ceiling. Needless to say, I am fuming and actively considering my position within the Conservative Party. I want the best for Britain, and although I believe Britain will be better off under a Tory government, rather than the shower we have at the moment, I still feel David Cameron is fudging the issue of Europe, rather than dealing with the problem head-on.

More tomorrow.

Monday, November 02, 2009

David Wiltshire disgraces himself (again)

As a keen observer of all things political, I must confess that until recently I had never heard of David Wiltshire. He has been an MP since 1987 and seems to have enjoyed a life of relative anonymity until the past few weeks. He is the man who paid his own company over £100,000 of taxpayers' money from his MP's expenses account. Not a great way to become famous. Now he links the treatment of MPs to the treatment of Jews in Nazi Germany.

There are and have been some great parliamentarians of all political colours. Mr Wiltshire is definitely not one of them. The House of Commons will be richer for him going, rather than poorer. In other words; good riddance to bad rubbish

Has Alan Johnson shown himself to be a bully?

Alan Johnson is one of the few members of this government I like. I have said before he passes the pint test. He is someone who would be very good company in one of the many hostelries of Hull. This weekend though, I can't quite get my head around his thinking.

Professor David Nutt gave his expert opinion. Alan Johnson disagrees. As the Home Secretary is the man who has to make a final decision, I have no problem with him saying he is not going to go along with Prof. Nutt's advice, but I do have a problem with him not saying why, otherwise what is the point of having advisers?

Mr Johnson has shown himself as a man who doesn't know what he is talking about; has to stick to the party line and does what any bully would do; get rid of the person who is challenging him. Not that the Conservatives have been any better. Chris Grayling merely trotted out the party line. No doubt he and Mr Johnson will get a good write-up in the Daily Mail, but it does nothing for those of us who would like to know more. I would like to see a long interview with Prof. Nutt and hear his views. Then I would like the Home Secretary to counter his argument.

Just because Alan Johnson can fire his adviser is not a good enough reason for doing so. Bullies tend to be weak. Perhaps we are seeing the true side of Alan Johnson. I hope not.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

X Factor Live Blog - Week 4 Results

Here's hoping John & Edward are going home tonight, but I don't think they will. I'm not going to predict who it's going to be. We'll just have to wait and see.

UPDATE: Rachel was fantastic last night. For me, her best performance so far. For her to go was wrong. Lloyd was poor last night and it didn't surprise me he was in the bottom two. Once again the twins keep on going like a knackered old banger that really should have been consigned to the scrap heap. The British public seems to like mediocrity when it comes to the way they vote on the X Factor.

The Conservative Blog

For more centre-right analysis, check-out The Conservative Blog. I was asked if I would like to contribute, and looking at the high standard or writing thus far, I was more than happy to accept.

Help Iain Lindley fight for change in Worsley & Eccles South

Councillor and blogger, Iain Lindley, will be contesting the Worsley and Eccles South seat for the Conservatives at the next general election. He is hard working man who is doing everything he can to fight this seat. Here is an extract from his campaign page on myconservatives.com.

Worsley & Eccles South includes the wards of Worsley, Boothstown & Ellenbrook, Walkden North, Walkden South, Little Hulton, Winton, Barton, Irlam and Cadishead.


Worsley & Eccles South is a notionally Labour-held seat, but at the last local elections, Conservative candidates outpolled Labour across the new seat by 12%. The Liberal Democrats are a poor third and have no Councillors in the constituency.


Recent polls suggest a close contest between Conservatives and Labour - it's a two-horse race between Gordon Brown’s Labour candidate and local Conservative Iain Lindley.


If you can give him some time to help him in his campaign, then get over to myconservatives.com. He can also be contacted on Twitter @cllrilindley.

Lord Heseltine's Prediction

Read some analysis from Lord Heseltine, which to a certain extent backs up my previous post on what is going to happen at the next general election.

Labour is in a worse position than the Tories were in 1996

Just over a month ago, I wrote saying why I believed a ComRes poll was correct. It had the Tories on 38% and both Labour and the Liberal Democrats on 23%.

Today, another poll puts the Tories on 42%, Labour on 25% and the Liberal Democrats on 21%. When you take into account the margin of error, nothing much has changed. Labour is still in the twenty-something doldrums and as Political Betting point out today, this is a far worse place than the Tories were in the same stage of a parliament in 1996.

My prediction is still the same. The voters want Labour out and will do it in any way they can. Although governments invariably lose elections, rather than oppositions winning them, expect the biggest anti-government vote for a century. It's coming.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

X Factor Live Blog - Week 4

I'm not quite sure what Cheryl was thinking about tonight, but she should have looked in the mirror before she wore that outfit. Never mind, the X Factor is about to start. Here's hoping the acts perform better than last week.

1. Joe McElderry - A solid start to this week's show. He doesn't quite have a rock voice. A little too much 'boy band' for me. He'll be safe tonight. 7/10

2. Lucie Jones - I was worrying about Lucie tonight, especially at the start, but she has an edge to her voice when its needed and she is showing this tonight. She is the one to beat. A great performance. 9/10

3. Danyl Johnson - His confidence has taken a knock from last week and this is very evident. A boring performance from a singer I usually like. The big notes don't sound that big on the television. Maybe they sound better in the studio. 6/10

4. Lloyd Daniels - I think Cheryl is deliberately trying to get her acts kicked out. Terrible song choice and a dreadful performance. Absolutely awful. 3/10 (and I'm being generous.)

5. Stacey Solomon - For someone who usually has an opinion on just about everything, I'm finding it difficult what to make of this performance. As my late father would say, it was like the curate's egg; good in parts. 6/10

6. Jamie Archer - I'm sure I heard him at the pub the other week. Nothing special. 5/10

7. Rachel Adedeji - She keeps on getting better as her confidence grows. I like this girl. A great performance. 9/10

8. John & Edward - I know it's Halloween, but come on. Not only do they look frightening (which I suppose is understandable on October 31), but they sound frightening too. They will never rock me. This really is awful in the extreme. Will the great British public please put them out of their misery? 1/10

9. Olly Murs - A great 'Beatles' song. He doesn't rock my boat. This is a pop performance of a rock and roll classic. 5/10

The standard was not very high tonight. John & Edward deserve to go, as they were easily the worst of all the acts. Here's hoping they go.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Iain Dale & Anne Atkins 'in conversation'

I've just listened to a very heated exchange between Iain Dale and Anne Atkins on the Jeremy Vine Show.

It seems Anne Atkins believes Christian forgiveness does not extend to those who have had an extra-marital affair. I know affairs wreck lives and I am not for one moment condoning Elizabeth Truss' actions, but the affair was in the public domain, it ended four years ago and if her husband forgave her, what problem should we have? Having an affair does not mean you cannot discharge your duties as an MP. It means you are a flawed human being, just like the rest of us.

Scroll in 33 minutes and listen to the exchange.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Parents banned from their kids playground in Watford

There are times when I wonder what sort of a country I am living in. Common sense goes out of the window and is replaced by an excessive need to regulate and protect.

Watford Council has decided to ban parents from entering the playground their child is playing in unless they have been CRB checked. Instead they must leave them in the care of play rangers. I kid you not. Play rangers? This sounds like another non-job to add to a growing list of non-jobs created under Labour.

Although it is amazing no-one spoke out against this nonsense when it was proposed, I am not amazed Watford Council thought it may be necessary to adopt this approach. This is a result of the last twelve years of a Labour government who finds it necessary to control and micro-manage every aspect of our lives. In his leader's speech in Manchester, David Cameron spoke of how we need to stop treating children as adults and adults as children. Roll on that day, but this culture seems embedded in officialdom in this country and it will not disappear overnight.


Hat Tip: Dizzy

UPDATE: It seems as this story is not true. Click HERE to find out the real story.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Liz Truss - selection referred back to the full association

Anyone who has any sense in South West Norfolk Conservative Association would have looked up Liz Truss on the Internet. They would very easily have found out she had an affair with Mark Field. For the association now to show they have no confidence in her, is nothing short of disgraceful.

Liz Truss has my backing. What she did or what she does in her private life has nothing to do with me or anyone else. She is a hugely talented woman and will be an asset to Parliament. As the stone age relics from Norfolk don't realise this, the party must intervene, although at the moment I wouldn't blame her if she resigned. How can she have any confidence in the people who selected her a few days ago when they don't seem to have any confidence in her?

Brown to campaign for Blair

The breaking news tonight is that Gordon Brown is going to actively campaign for Tony Blair to become President of the EU.

The EU is a socialist superstate and I am sure Blair will fit in well. He will continue to grab more powers from nation states. He will continue to interfere in our lives, in very much the same way as he did when he was prime minister. The EU is a hopelessly inefficient organisation, very much in the same way as Blair's government was hopelessly inefficient.

I am certain Blair will feel at home, as would Brown if he was free to run for the job.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bridlington Renaissance Partnership

On the Politics Show today in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, one of the topics for discussion were Quangos. I recorded a piece on Wednesday and had a 30 second slot on the programme.

In the studio, one of the guests was Martyn Coltman, from the Bridlington Renaissance Partnership. If only I can have a ten-minute slot with him on either television or radio. If you want a prime example of how not to use public money, then take a look at Bridlington.

Grandiose schemes abound such as planting trees that won't grow. Spending £100K on welcome signs. Spending £6.5 million on paving around the Spa Complex with an amazing half a million pounds being swallowed up in consultants fees. They are just three of a catalogue of examples of how public money is being wasted by a largely unaccountable body supposedly regenerating the seaside town.

I'm not saying public money should not be spent in Bridlington, but it should be given to the council who can then allocate it to projects it feels are worthy. If the public disagrees then they can always show their dissatisfaction at the ballot box. This way there is accountability.

What Quangocrats like Mr Coltman fail to realise is the only way to get business booming is to lower taxes and reduce regulation. High taxes and increased regulation are the main drivers against economic success. Their disincentivising effects can been seen throughout the country.

Meanwhile Quangos continue to dole out public money in the hope trade will be increased by grandiose projects. They may have some effect, but they will never be the solution. Successful economies are low tax and low regulation economies and when public money is being spent, the public have a right to hold those responsible to account. It's called democracy. In Quango-run Britain, this is something sorely lacking.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

X Factor Live Blog

1. Olly Murs: A solid performance with a song that's not well known. I think I've only heard a couple of times before. He seems to having fun with the dancing girls. Well, who wouldn't? 7/10

2. Lloyd Daniels: An obvious choice as Simon said. Weak. He really doesn't have the voice to power over the band. He doesn't understand the genre either. Not surprising really. Better at the end. 4/10

3. Miss Frank: Well 'That's Life.' There's only one member of this group who can really sing and that's the one in the middle. Another performance that gets better towards the end, although why the hell she decided to rap in the middle is anyone's guess. Like the curate's egg; good in parts. They looked better this week though. They looked like a group, although I think they could be in trouble again. They haven't connected with the public yet. 6/10

4. Rachel Adedeji: Someone else who has not connected with the public yet. This is not big band and although her legs aren't too bad, her outfit looks rather 80s. This is a much stronger performance than the last two weeks though. She should be safe tonight. 6/10

5. Jamie 'Afro' Archer: Not big band. He does know how to strut around the stage though. I've been told he doesn't have his good luck charm on him, however, I think he doesn't need it. It was a good performance and will secure him a slot next week. 6/10

6. Stacey Solomon: At last, someone who has the look for Big Band Night. Unfortunately, she is not connecting. I don't know what's wrong with Stacey, who I like very much. Sorry to have to do this but she gets 4/10.

7. Danyl Johnson: He has the look and he has the sound. The best performance tonight by far. I can't say much else. 9/10

8. Joe McElderry: He doesn't look like he wants anyone to hold him and squeeze him. It's an okay performance, with drama at times, although I think he will get the votes from the teenagers. There's nothing wrong with his performance as such, but there's something about him that says no to me. I can't put my finger on it. 7/10

9. Lucie Jones: A beautiful Rodgers and Hart Song. Absolutely beautiful song and an absolutely beautiful performance. She is the one to watch. 10/10

10. 'cough cough', John and Edward: Okay, they have something about them. May be they can become the new Ant and Dec. Otherwise they are dreadful. If they don't go tonight, then there's no justice at all. My message to the British public is vote them out. 2/10 (and I'm being generous)

John and Edward have to go tonight. They are entertaining, but they don't have the X Factor. Lucie and Danyl were the best. Unfortunately, Stacey may be in trouble, as she really didn't shine, but having said that, I think the public are on her side. The bottom two tonight will probably be Miss Frank and Lloyd. I wish it was the twins, but I think they will survive.

Nick Griffin's response to Question Time

Below is Nick Griffin's response to his appearance on Question Time. He thinks the programme was a lynch mob. Well he would, although my response to him would be when you try and defend the indefensible, you end up looking shifty and nervous. This is exactly how Mr Griffin looked.

Having said that, the Question Time format should have remained the same and there should have been questions about issues of the day affecting all of us, such as the postal strike. The BBC made the right decision to allow Mr Griffin on Question Time and expose him for what he is, however, it was wrong to change the format and give him the opportunity to claim he is a martyr.

A repeat performance for him? Perhaps.




Friday, October 23, 2009

Labour's real immigration policy

After Nick Griffin's performance on Question Time last night, I am hoping his performance will have succeeded in turning voters away from the BNP. There is a chance, as I wrote yesterday, many working class people who feel they have been failed by politicians will feel sympathy for Griffin. Did anyone on the panel last night address their concerns about immigration?

Tonight I found out Labour deliberately allowed uncontrolled immigration. If this story is true - and I don't have a cause to doubt its veracity - then this could easily be the final nail in the coffin for Labour in its traditional heartlands.

Hat Tip: Man in a Shed


Thursday, October 22, 2009

The trial of Nick Griffin

Nick Griffin is struggling and wriggling tonight on Question Time, but it's hardly surprising. Everyone is against him and this worries me. There is a real and present danger those who are tempted to vote BNP will see this as a stitch up and it may garner support for him. I hope not. Any thoughts?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Watch me on the Politics Show this Sunday

I recorded an interview for the Politics Show this afternoon on behalf of the Taxpayers' Alliance, which will be broadcast on Sunday, but my bit will only be available in the Yorkshire region, which is on Sky Channel 976. We discussed QUANGOs and Regional Development Agencies.

Monday, October 19, 2009

More garbage from the SNP

I've just found out through my Twitter feed the SNP want to build an
'Arc of Recovery' with Iceland. I know Alex Salmond & Co are
difficult to take seriously at the best of times, but this policy is
incredible even for those who have a very fertile imagination.

Face the facts, Alex. Scotland is not in a position to go it alone. It
gets a great deal from the English taxpayer through the Barnett
formula. Your future for Scotland is based on more handouts from the
socialist superstate commonly referred to as the EU. A deal with
Iceland is as likely as getting Sir Fred Goodwin to waive his pension
rights. You would lead Scotland out of the Union on narrow ideological
grounds, rather than what is best for Scotland. Isn't it about time
you came clean with the Scottish people, instead of feeding them your
usual garbage?

--
Sent from my mobile device

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The truth about European Socialists

Labour attacks the new Conservative grouping in the European Parliament with lies and innuendo. If you want to know the truth about the some members of the socialist group, Tory Bear has more information for you. It's well worth a read and for those of you who will be knocking on doors in the run-up to the next general election, there are a few points worth remembering.

Conservative Party Political Broadcast - 1955

I've been looking through some old party political broadcasts. Below is one from 1955, introduced by Harold Macmillan, who was Foreign Secretary at the time. How the broadcast media has changed, but politics hasn't. Look at some of the things to go in the bin and you can bring it up-to-date for life in Britain in 2009.

Dr Phillip Lee chosen to represent Bracknell for the Conservatives

As many will be aware, Iain Dale was unsuccessful in his bid to become the Conservative candidate for Bracknell. I'm sure Iain will go on and win a nomination for another seat and Bracknell's loss will be another constituency's gain. Dr Phillip Lee was chosen to represent the party at the next general election

Iain has briefly blogged about his experience and the Bracknell Blog gives an excellent report of the open primary.

Frank Field fights to clear his name

Last week I wrote how I felt Sir Thomas Legg had done Parliament and the country a disservice. Here are two more examples explaining why my view has not changed.

The Liberal Democrat MP, Julia Goldsworthy, received her letter from Sir Thomas. Read it here. She has been asked for mortgage details before she became an MP.

Frank Field, the former Labour minister, who was not branded a cheat when the Telegraph revelations came to light, has been told to hand over £7,000. He is fighting against this, and so he should. Legg should have been rooting out the fiddlers and cheats, rather than branding all MPs as fiddlers and cheats.

Frank Field is fighting to clear his name. He feels - quite rightly in my opinion - he has done nothing wrong. You cannot legislate in retrospect. What's happened has happened. Those accused of fraud should be dealt with by the courts. Tighter rules need to be put in place, so every MP knows what can and cannot be claimed. Transparency is needed and an entirely independent body should regulate MPs' pay, allowances and expenses. This is the way forward. Tarnishing the reputations of honest people is not.

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