31 March, 2008
30 March, 2008
My condolences go to the families and friends of those who lost their lives.
29 March, 2008
28 March, 2008
27 March, 2008
25 March, 2008
But not any more!!!!!
Livingstone has a new best friend. Someone who has already promised him her second preference votes, Sian Berry. Poor old Brian Paddick, he's not flavour of the month any more.
And just in case you thought the relationship would just fizzle out without any public spat, think again. Paddicks ex-best mate sticks the knife in, Paddick responds and then Berry gets stuck in too. They are all at it over on the Guardian's Comment is Free blog.
Their supporters must be so proud.
23 March, 2008
One of the highlights was when a group of girls from Bullers Wood school (in nearby Chislehurst) came screaming up to Boris saying "Oh my god it's Boris!!!! Please can we have a photo?" It turned out that they were the campaign team for Boris camp in their school's London Mayoral election, when we asked how they were getting on the said that they had about 90% of the vote.
We aren't quite on that level of support yet but things are looking good. It will be interesting to see just how nasty and personal the Livingstone team get now that they have woken up to the fact that Boris is a serious candidate and a real threat to Livingstones stranglehold on London.
22 March, 2008
This was part of the bizarre outburst that Berry used to justify jumping into bed with Ken Livingstone, metaphorically of course.
I quite understand that there are differences in policy between the candidates but does anybody really believe that Boris wants to destroy Londoners? I thought that we were doing grown up politics, seemingly not.
20 March, 2008
Also, by doing this Sian is basically saying "I'm not going to be in the final two", I think she is probably right but it is hardly the most positive start to a campaign. That the best way for the Green Party to improve green politics in London is to work alongside whoever becomes Mayor.
18 March, 2008
One commentator on that post seemed to equate Livingstone's systematic hiding of donations with a couple of late declarations from the Boris team.
They are a world apart
Livingstone's opening pitch for re-election was "If you like what I have done, vote for me". No plan for the future, no vision, just the promise of more road taxation and a shrug of the shoulders when asked about crime.
It's just not good enough!
Boris has presented a range of policies tackling crime and the fear of crime, transport, the cost of living and housing. Those who were expecting an string of gaffs and mistakes have been left disappointed.
I will be campaigning for a better deal for Bexley and Bromley. More police, better transport links, less interference from City Hall and better value for money from the London Precept.
I will try to keep the blog updated regularly but this election campaign is already busy looks like it will only get busier.
Wish me luck and don't forget to vote on the 1st of May.
16 March, 2008
The handling of donations to the mayoral campaigns is a strong indication of how the candidates might deal with accountability in office. Boris' campaign has been open from the start and has declared all backers who have given over £1,000. And this quote from the donations page of the BackBoris.com website should provide a degree of reassurance to people worried about party funding.
"We'd rather not take money from a small group of wealthy individuals or all-powerful unions. We're hoping to build a broad base of individual donors, so all Londoners feel included."
In the original version of the post I said that both Livingstone and Brian Paddick channeled money through their respective parties. It has been brought to my attention that the Lib Dems are collecting donations at at regional level rather than at national level so the £1,000 threshold applies to them too. I have amended the original post.
This puts Livingstone's actions into even sharper contrast to both the Conservatives and the Lib Dems.
On Friday evening I addressed Bexleyheath & Crayford Conservative Association, Old Bexley & Sidcup Conservative Association and then finished the evening at the Orpington Conservative Association.
We had a full day of canvassing and delivering in Beckenham, and after picking my father up from the airport this morning I finished off the delivering that I had planned to do on Saturday.
Is it all worth it? Absolutely!
The feedback that we have been getting on the doorstep has been fantastic. People are fed up with Livingstone and excited by Boris and what is increasingly being seen as a well structured and sensible set of policies.
I have no doubt that I will be tired and moaning about my sore feet before this is over, but the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter and closer.
15 March, 2008
11 March, 2008
The Green Badge Taxi School based in south London received about £170,000 from the LDA to train ethnic minority cab drivers, yet only ever had a handful of students.
Could this be the first card to topple, bringing the rest of house of cards with it?
If Livingstone cared about the transport needs of Bexley and Bromley residents he would have done something about suburban rail and bus services. He hasn't. This is just another way for him to take more money from outer London to squander on his own pet political projects. (see Boris' speech on The Cost of Livingstone)
09 March, 2008
It looks as though some high profile artists may have learned a thing or two from Labour's playbook. The Telegraph reports that a number of the artists who donated work to Livingstone's fund raising art auction are in line to receive around £300,000 if their work gets to be on Trafalgar Square's fourth plinth.
Guess where the decision about the winner is made. That's right, the office of the Mayor of London.
07 March, 2008
I have long been an advocate of a much higher profile for the armed forces. The wearing of uniform in public would go a long way to normalising the image of the forces, some people have a negative view of soldiers because the only images that they see of them is at war.
War fighting is a unique and unpleasant activity and does not reflect the wide range of work that the forces do. Soldiers are real people too and should be allowed to be seen as such.
I have to disagree with Liam Fox on this, he said:
“Of course the commander on the ground must make the final decision but I regret that the circumstances exist where a decision like this had to be made. I think the majority of our public would be appalled to hear there are no-go areas for our Armed Forces, even in their own country.”
In the armed forces commanders follow orders and the only way to ensure that "no go areas" do not exist is to go there and be seen to be going there.
06 March, 2008
People shouldn't need to be reminded of this simple courtesy, I would like to believe that this was a natural as breathing but I'm not surprised that it isn't.
On an unrelated note, army officers stand up when a woman enters the room. Just thought you might like to know.
05 March, 2008
This is, of course, all rubbish.
There is a trail of mismanagement and possible misconduct following Jasper, his bluff and bullying tactics have not scared off either the press of the Assembly Members who have demanded answers.
His cynical use of the term "racist" was designed to scare away anyone who might investigate his actions. When this failed, he tried to hide from any accountability, first by a spurious suspension and now by resigning. Throughout this sorry episode, Ken Livingstone has echoed Jasper's accusations of racism and has been complicit in keeping him away from any real scrutiny.
I saw the 900 pages of documents that were given to the Assembly yesterday morning, 900 pages that they were meant to read and analyse in preparation for the scrutiny meeting this morning. Can you read 900 A4 pages in less than 24 hours? Not only has Livingstone made it impossible for the Assembly to do their job properly he has even said that he wants to reinstate Jasper after the election.
What this all shows is a Mayor who treats the London Assembly and Londoners as a whole, with complete contempt.
03 March, 2008
Let's just look at that figure for a second. Even if the proposed 337 new buses ran 24 hours a day, every day of the year, they could be conducted by 1416 conductors working an 8 hour shift 5 days a week. Divide the £108,000,000 by 1416 and you get a spend per conductor per year of over £76,000.
Let's look at more realistic numbers. Let's say each bus is on the road for about half of the time (still very optimistic from what I have seen of vehicle fleets) each conductor would cost over £152,00 per year. Even with holiday pay, sick pay, pension contributions, NI etc. it is still a ridiculously high figure.
When is Livingstone going to stop talking rubbish and when are we going to hear some policies from the other candidates?
I know it has been done to death but here are my thoughts:
Well done to Harry for pushing to get over there.
Well done to the Royal family and the army for letting him go.
Well done to the British media for recognising the difference between something which is "of interest" to the public and something which is "in the public interest".
Boos and jeers to the foreign media who were happy to increase the risk to him and the other troops out there by breaking the story.
A call to "grow up" to those who feel this is proof of a media/establishment conspiracy.
As Harry seems to have a talent for aviation/air/indirect fire planning, coordination and deconfliction he should leave the donkey wallopers and join the Gunners.Don't worry if you don't understand that last bit.
01 March, 2008
15 minutes later there were hundreds of people, Boris Johnson was there to support the local Conservatives who had organised the march but there were representatives from the Lib Dems (including the very tall Brian Paddick), the Greens, Respect, the Pensioners' Forum, Unison and the band of the Bexley Boys Brigade.
Not everyone was keen to embrace political diversity but as far as I am concerned the more the merrier. Labour were conspicuous by their absence, although at least they weren't being hypocritical like the Labour ministers that vote for hospital and post office closures and then campaign to save their local facilities.