30 July, 2008
It's not just the hammy acting and the dodgy camera work (who am I to talk) it is what he is saying that is worth watching. As far as I can make out he admits that the Lib Dems have no hope of forming a government, that they cannot beat the Conservatives and that they have no money.
How did I draw those conclusions? Here's how.
No hope of forming a government: He said that the Lib Dems would target 50 seats where they are second place to Labour. They have 62 MPs at the moment 62+50=not enough MPs to form a government.
They cannot beat the Conservatives: He said that he was going to move resources to fight these 50 seats, where from? The logical place to move resources from is from Conservative/Lib Dem marginals.
They have no money: He asked for viewers to did into they pockets to help him make these changes. That doesn't sound like a reallocation of financial resources to me, it sounds like a plea for new money.
What a compelling message to give to the troops after weeks of near silence.
Compare that to this year's "denials". Hardly in the same league are they.
I wonder if David has the guts to actually wield the knife? I suspect not.
28 July, 2008
The discussion focused on the role that Sir Ian Blair played in the procurement process and his longstanding friendship with Andy Miller, a director at Impact Plus. Clearly it would be inappropriate for me to write about the information that we looked through and the discussions we had but in the end we agreed to call for a formal investigation into Sir Ian's role.
The Home Secretary will now have to select someone to act as an Investigating Officer. I don't expect that Sir Ian will have a particularly relaxing summer.
27 July, 2008
26 July, 2008
I'm pretty sure it won't happen. Brown genuinely believes that he is the best person to steer the country out of the difficulties we are now in. This is why he has a cabinet of minnows, this is why he doesn't get enough sleep, this is why he will hang on to the last possible moment before going to the country.
25 July, 2008
Glasgow East is about as bad a result for Labour as it is possible to get, a safe seat in their electoral heartland, it should have hung on.
It is possible to recover from a near miss, just look at the fortunes of the Conservatives nationally and locally since the Bromley & Chislehurst by-election. But losing a seat like this will mean a huge increase in the desire to get rid of Gordon Brown.
Although Brown is the worst Prime Minister I have ever seen (and a grossly overrated Chancellor too) Labour have thus far been unwilling to accept the reality that they and the country are being led by lame duck. That will now change.
I am sure that almost anyone else could do better than Brown. He is clearly paralysed by indecision and this is having an effect on the economy, amplifying the global factors here in the UK. Brown's incompetence is a large contributor to our current poll position. I don't think that a change of leadership will save Labour but it might help the economy.
The best thing that Labour could do would be to ditch Brown, get a new leader and then call a General Election to give that person a mandate. They won't do that. They don't have the balls.
23 July, 2008
This is where you, dear reader, can help. If you vote for me in huge numbers I will get recognition and a crown made of solid gold. Although the crown may take a while to arrive. In return you will have the chance to win £100 worth of political books.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org listing your top 10 favourite political blogs, there must be 10 and please put me at number 1.
Just in case you can't remember anything that I have written that is worth a vote here are some of the most popular posts of the last year.
Ray Lewis resigns
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown writes insulting, racist drivel
And what is your concern about Boris?
Spot the difference
Is this Gordon Brown's Clause 4 moment?
Do you want PR or not?
Choices in education
How many Lib Dems in London?
A black US president
Livingstone’s response to the Lee Jasper allegations shows why he is not fit to govern London
22 July, 2008
QMS (Bexley) – The existing Urgent Care Centre to be expanded to provide a
stand alone service. The A&E department to close with medical, surgical and paediatric emergencies diverted to PRUH, QEH, UHL or Darent Valley Hospital.
There is to be no obstetric inpatients or children’s inpatients service. Routine planned surgery and its base for a range of community, diagnostic and specialist ambulatory care services including cancer, cardiology, neurology and renal dialysis will remain.
It will be recommended that the decision on the development of a stand-alone MLBU (Midwifery-led Birth Unit) at QMS should be made following consideration of the Healthcare for London report.
The PRU will get a small increase in A&E capacity but I'm far from convinced it will be enough to make up for the reduction in QMH.
The whole consultancy process was opaque and the waves of public protest have been ignored. I am meeting with local councillors and MPs to decide what to do next, I will also be briefing Boris on this as he has had a keen interest in QMH for some time.
20 July, 2008
My boroughs did particularly well with Bromley getting 1st place and Bexley getting 5th, Lewisham also did well getting 2nd place overall and top place "Inner London borough". I hope that all the young people involved feel justly proud of themselves.
It was a great pity that all the Labour councillors on Bexley council couldn't have supported their team. Councillors from both sides of the chamber were horrified when Labour Councillor Harbans Buttar criticised their "failure". I don't know about you but 5th out of 31 boroughs is good going and Cllr Buttar's comments deserved the derision they received.
19 July, 2008
Laptops and USB keys get lost all the time, it is the unfortunate byproduct of their portability, the answer is to ensure that sensitive data is not held on these devices. I feel that the lack of technical savi at the top of Government and the civil service is a large part of the problem, they clearly don't "get it" and they need to spend a bit more time listening to people who do.
17 July, 2008
I decided not to even though I am a passionate advocate that the forces should wear their uniform s in public more. The reason for this was we had the Mayor's Questions yesterday and didn't want to overshadow his report on the work of the Forensic Audit Panel headed by Patience Wheatcroft.
The report identified serious "failings in the London Development Agency’s (LDA) leadership, governance and basic controls". There were also criticisms of Mayoral Advisers micro managing elements of the LDA's work. I noticed Lee Jasper in the public gallery looking intently while Boris spoke about the report.
There will need to be some serious changes at the LDA, watch this space.
I was unwell over the weekend and this blog has been quiet since then but it is only that I'm catching up on all the stuff, both political and personal, that I didn't do over the weekend.
Here is a quick synopsis.
Horrified by the inflation rates. It looks as though I was right to think that Brown was a crap Chancellor all along, now it looks as though we are all paying for the corporate unwillingness to point out that the then "Emperor" had no clothes.
I spent Monday conducting interviews for independent members of the MPA. I thought that being part of a cross party selection panel would be a real "challenge" but I was pleased and surprised by the consistency of our views on the candidates we saw. Clearly I can't go into details here because we are still in the middle of the process but it is good to see that politics can be grown up and effective when it needs to be.
13 July, 2008
11 July, 2008
The turnout was only 34% which is not unusual for a by-election but less than I was hoping for considering the argument. That said there has been a significant reduction in the public support for 42 days detention without charge.
David said: "We have fired a shot across the bows of Gordon Brown's arrogant, arbitrary and authoritarian government." He also said he now had a mandate "to fight Gordon Brown's vision of Big Brother Britain tooth and nail, to stop 42 days in its tracks, to prevent the disaster of ID cards before it happens, to protect our personal privacy from being ransacked by the ever-intrusive state".
10 July, 2008
Anyone who has read this blog for more while will know that I have written about sad state of our forces on many occasions.
The Government has asked too much and given too little in return. The forces, as they tend to do, have grumbled under their breaths and then got on with it.
Listening to the report on Radio4 this morning I thought "is that all?".
I don't think that Labour have any idea how much damage they have done and I'm not sure that even the Conservatives quite grasp how long and how expensive it will be to put this right.
07 July, 2008
06 July, 2008
The point that he makes is a good one. We have seen some significant successes in stopping potential killers carrying knives, over 1,200 arrests and hundreds of knives taken out of circulation. What we have been doing differently, and will continue to do, is look at what leads young people to violence and deal with that too.
Unfortunately this was overshadowed by the events of the weekend. But just because the media is writing about these activities doesn't mean they're not happening.
04 July, 2008
Just like in Henley the Labour vote collapsed and the slipped to fourth place.
Boris said "When pressed with a string of unsubstantiated allegations my instinct was to fight and fight hard for Ray. I still hope that he can clear his name. I cannot deny however that my confidence in Ray was shaken by the discovery today that he is not a fully fledged Justice of the Peace and I cannot deny that to be misled on this issue made it harder for me to give Ray the backing necessary to continue in his role as Deputy Mayor."
This is a very sad thing to have happened. Ray has transformed the lives of many young people for the better, his record is self evident, however in the goldfish bowl of British politics it isn't worth trying to pull the wool.
03 July, 2008
The Mayor needs to act quickly and decisively, there needs to be an investigation into the allegations and the appropriate action taken once the investigation is completed.
Livingstone failed to do any of those things, preferring to brand any and all of Lee Jasper's critics as racists. I wonder if there will be howls from the ethnic media over these allegations like there was with Lee Jasper's?
02 July, 2008
OB&S selected James Brokenshire, the well respected MP for Hornchurch, whose current constituency is being dissolved. He will work hard, I am sure and I look forward to campaigning along side him.
Well done James and well done Old Bexley and Sidcup.
01 July, 2008
I chaired the Health & Public Services Committee yesterday and the state of London's measles vaccinations levels became clear. Not good news, on average we have only got 70% coverage of the under twos, against a national average of 84%, to properly protect against an epidemic we need over 90%.
This could translate onto 10,000 people contracting measles. While measles is not the most dangerous of infections it shouldn't be ignored, it can cause hospitalisation and is entirely preventable.
The MMR and autism scare story did immunisation levels a lot of harm, it was at this point that politicians should have shown some guts, Tony Blair was particularly weak. Reinforcing the irrational fear of science by refusing to say if he had chosen the triple MMR jab or not undoubtedly reduced the take up rate.