28 June, 2007
Every time a Conservative MP crosses the floor to join Labour there is a small
but measurable increase in the average IQ of both parliamentary parties.
27 June, 2007
People want to see what Brown will do differently to Blair and they also want to see how Cameron will react. Is Brown a leftly at heart? What will Blair do next? Who will be in the cabinet? Will David Cameron shine or sink? Will there be a Shadow Cabinet reshuffle? etc. etc. etc.
What no one cares much about at the moment is the Lib Dems. They are increasingly coming across as an irrelevance, at a time when a snap election and a hung parliament are both real possibilities people should be paying a great deal of attention. They are not.
This is the tipping point for the Lib Dems, they can either establish themselves as a real force in British politics or they can gently slip under the surface. Drowning, not waving!
26 June, 2007
Well he used to be a Conservative (a long time ago from what I hear) and now he has crossed the floor to join Labour. Good work on behalf of the Labour party backroom boys, the timing couldn't be better and it goes to show that Gordon Brown has just a good an eye for the media stunt as Blair ever did.
Funnily enough Quentin's resignation letter is pretty damning, pointing out all the perceived deficiencies in David Cameron's leadership. It bears a striking similarity to the script of the cycling chameleon advert. Rootless PR man, etc. etc. Labour haven't changed the record but they have wired up a bigger set of speakers to the record player.
I don't know Quentin Davies and I am not going to start slagging him off on this blog but from what I understand he has been only loosely attached to the Conservative party for some time and was clearly not going to get anything more than a backbench role under David Cameron. I wonder what Brown has promised him to make him jump ship? A peerage perhaps?
Will this hurt us? Of course it will, defections always do but I doubt the fall out will last for long. Still on the good side it does open up a seat in a lovely part of the country for someone who actually believes in what the Conservatives believe in.
Conservative home makes an interesting point:
I knew he was unhappy with Project Cameron. He has felt shabbily treated by the leadership. A lifelong Europhile he wrote for ConservativeHome only two weeks ago - disagreeing with the party's alleged politicking on Iraq. I bumped into him during the grammar schools row and he told me that he was unhappy with the leadership's line. But he was in favour of grammar schools! Why is he joining a party that hates selection? Mr Davies has opposed ID cards and the Government's anti-terror measures. He has opposed the ban on foxhunting. He opposed Labour on tuition fees. He opposes state funding of political parties. Mr Davies cannot easily accuse David Cameron of having no bedrock and then defect to a party with a worldview that stands in contradiction to his own twenty year parliamentary record.
25 June, 2007
24 June, 2007
Guess what! It turns out that, not only did he give away the family silver in return for these issues, he also managed not to stand his ground on at least one of those issues. Even by his own rules a referendum should now be unavoidable.
I have one question for Gordon Brown. "Where's my bloody referendum?"
Some Conservatives feel that Harman will herald a lurch to the left for the Labour party or that there will be a battle of ideals between her and Brown. There may well be the former there will not be the later.
Brown is a good old fashioned left winger, while he may drape himself in the colours of free markets and individual freedom, his heart is still wedded to centralised command and control government. It mattered not what any of the deputy leadership candidates said in the hustings they were always going to end up doing exactly what Brown told them to. There should have been a challenge and a vote for the leadership, the one they had for deputy was irrelevant.
In the next few weeks the highest profile "unknown" in British politics will come out of the shadow of Tony Blair. Will David Miliband be right? Will we all want Tony back?
22 June, 2007
The EU no longer believes in "free and undistorted competition", it is no longer a free trade area! I shouldn't be surprised, Blair has form when it comes to talking up his prowess in taking on the other European leaders and then failing to do so, as you can see here and here.
Our relationship with the EU is increasingly becoming a farce. I'm off to lie down with a cold towel over my head before I lose my temper.
21 June, 2007
20 June, 2007
Just to jog your memories it was the Lib Dems tactical voting at constituency level and non aggression pact at leadership level that gave Labour the thumping majorities that they have enjoyed over the last few parliaments. The same majority which has let them push through some of the most illiberal legalisation in this country's history.
It seems that the Lib Dems have failed to learn the lessons of the recent past and could once again sell out their principles for a few seats at the top table.
Although we have no seen eye to eye over many things I am genuinely pleased to see that he has been given this honour. If only so that I can call him Sir Steve at every possible occasion, I'm sure he'll love that!
Well done Sir Steve.
18 June, 2007
17 June, 2007
Let us just put this into perspective. The TA are busier and more heavily committed than at any point in the last 40 years. They have provided front line and support troops to all of the major conflicts and have done so against the backdrop of an unsupportive government and an, at best, apathetic employment market.
The TA are soldiers on the cheap, they don't need accommodation, they don't need feeding 365 days a year, they don't get the same medical and dental support, they don't get paid while they are on leave and they don't get military pensions. Yet they are being put into the same situations as their regular counterparts with only a fraction of the training.
The regular army is stretched to breaking point and the TA have provided the support that has prevented the whole system falling apart. Despite this the government is seriously considering cutting the funding to one of the most financially efficient parts of the armed forces.
Every time that I think that this Labour cannot show any more contempt for our armed forces they pull another stunt like this.
You can read more about these campaigns on the Bexley and Bromley Conservatives campaign site.
15 June, 2007
I am telling the world (well the half dozen or so people who read this blog) that I am going to do a triathlon, ideally before the end of this season. There, I've said it.
I am now open for ridicule if:
1. I don't enter one.
2. I enter one and don't finish it.
3. I finish one in a really poor time.
I will be more than happy with result number 3. I'll keep you all informed as to how I get on.
I'm talking about a Sprint Triathlon 400m swim, 20k on the bike and a 5k run, not the comedy distances involved in an Ironman event.
13 June, 2007
It is a lot like Big Brother but with more intelligent conversation!
12 June, 2007
As far as I am concerned you shouldn't need a law telling you that you are allowed to do something, the assumption should be that it is legal unless the law says that it is not.
Susie, my wife, breastfed both the boys while getting on with the daily business of living and she had no trouble fitting breastfeeding into that schedule. That meant breastfeeding in public where and when necessary.
It is perfectly possible to feed a baby discretely in public, the choice whether to or not is very much dependant on how confident the mother is with the whole process. While I am completely in support of women who want to breastfeed in public I can't help but feel that this is rather unnecessary legislation.
That said I have never actually had to do it myself. Obviously!
Well, as they say "live by the sword die by the sword".
Blair has done more to damage the reputation of politics and politicians than any PM I can think of. The fact that the media have turned on him should come as no surprise and in my mind justified. That politicians at all levels and in all parties have been tarred with the same brush is unfortunate but inevitable.
It's too late to say you're sorry now.
11 June, 2007
It also says that he remains in the "Grace and favour" Belgravia home that comes with the job. Two questions spring to mind.
1. How the hell can Livingstone justify the huge amount of public money being given to Bob Kiley?
2. Why on earth is the head of TFL given a city centre pad, why not make him commute to work like the rest of us?
I cannot wait to get a Conservative Mayor into City Hall, I suspect the level of waste will give us a lot of financial options over the next few years.
I suspect that this will become one of those issues where reason goes out of the window and anyone who opposes these plans gets branded as some out of touch reactionary. Well I'm sticking my head about the parapet now and await the abuse.
I shall declare and interest: I am married.
10 June, 2007
That would make some kind of sense if the criticism wasn't loudest from within his own party. I feel really sorry for Ming, he got in as the candidate "least likely to have skeletons in his closet" and now he has to spend most of his press time claiming there is no threat to his leadership.
This is very much the situation that IDS found himself in, it is debilitating. IDS has shone since the burden of leadership was lifted from him. Ming was a good foreign affairs spokesman but a hopeless leader. I suspect that most Lib Dems would agree with this but don't want to risk another damaging and divisive leadership election.
Go and have a look.
He is unrepentant. He seems happy to smash the cross party consensus that is working to keep the county safe in favour of short term political advantage. This has come as a genuine shock to me, there are some issues that are bigger than party politics and security is one of them.
If this is how he is going to act as Prime Minister the country will be baying for his blood before long.
07 June, 2007
I haven't watched this series and I don't know any of the people involved so I can't really make any serious comment. I wonder how many people in the same boat as me will come out with defence or condemnations?
06 June, 2007
04 June, 2007
Still, enough about me what is going on in the world? Here is the whistle stop tour as seen from my sick bed.
Putin says he will point nuclear weapons at Europe if the US builds a missile defence screen in Poland. I don't think so. Who would buy all Russia's gas if they nuked the west? International trade is a great vehicle for peace.
Olympic logo. Rubbish and expensive, I'm sure we'll get used to it. Here are some alternatives (I like James Wren's).
Mandelson's Westminster return. In his dreams, I would laugh myself stupid if Labour bring him back. It would tell us everything we need to know.
And from one sicky to another, get well soon Mr P.
01 June, 2007
I do not condone the abuse of prisoners but I can't quite shake the feeling that this was more about show than justice.
The story has been well covered in the media so I don't intend to go through it all again now but there is an aspect that I think is worth considering.
Mr Pun has done everything by the book, he fought in defence of our way of life, he applied to come here through the proper channels and didn't try to abuse the system in any way. Yet he was initially turned down and had he not been a decorated hero, would probably still be looking at a Home Office rejection letter.
Compare this with the case of the Afghan hijackers who seemed to have little difficulty in getting permission to stay. Any casual observer would take from this the lesson that truth and honesty don't pay.