27 February, 2009
Yesterday I hosted a visit from the Darwin youth panel (who you may remember I wrote about before). They came to see the MPA meeting and discuss improving the public image of young people.
They also had a chance to meet and chat to Sir Paul Stephenson in the chamber before the meeting, I would like to thank him for being so generous with his time.
That evening I was a guest of the Priory School in Orpington at their boxing tournament and joined Frank Bruno and Olympic Bronze medal boxer Darren Sutherland in presenting the trophies.
Today I am at the Bromley Youth Conference, being grilled.
26 February, 2009
If you have an hour free some time between the 6th July and 14th October 2009 you could stand on the plinth. My advice is to go for the earlier dates as it might get a bit cold and wet towards the Autumn.
25 February, 2009
24 February, 2009
At the meeting that John Biggs and Len Duval dropped in their implications I asked Boris directly if he had passed any information to Damian. He said unequivocally that he had not.
It is therefore of little surprise to me that today the report by solicitor Jonathan Goolden (who investigated Boris' actions) states that Boris "did not fail to comply which the Code of Conduct of the Metropolitan Police Authority" and "did not disclose confidential information, improperly confer and advantage or disadvantage or bring his office or authority into disrepute".
I know its stating the obvious but Baroness Thatcher, or Mrs T as she was widely known, generated very strong opinions both for and against. I'm far from convinced the BBC were ever in the for camp.
It will be interesting to see the tone of the coverage, whether the intervening years have softened some people's views of her or whether the caricature of her becomes dominant.
Hopefully the season will show at least some of the events leading up to her election, as these very much explain why she did what she did and was the way she was.
23 February, 2009
Chris has made it very clear that under a Conservative government the police will focus on policing and other agencies will have to up their game when it comes to helping prevent people drifting towards criminality. Proper enforcement needs to go hand in hand with preventative work done from home, to school, to local community, to council etc.
This very much reflects what we have been pushing for here in London and based on his tone this morning I'm confident the Chris will push through the delivery rather than just pump out fine words.
21 February, 2009
20 February, 2009
With both the Lib Dem and the Labour votes falling it's clear that the Conservatives are going to take on Labour in the council elections next year.
I also notice that in Sevenoaks the BNP came from no-where to win, they seemed to have been the main beneficiary of ex Labour votes.
18 February, 2009
17 February, 2009
There was too much good stuff to go through in detail now but I will single out the Romford Drum and Trumpet Corps for special mention.
16 February, 2009
At last week's budget meeting in City Hall Mike Tuffrey (leader of the Lib Dem group) said that although no evidence had been presented to the Assembly on the effectiveness of the Low Emissions Zone in improving air quality, Boris should proceed with plans to introduce the third phase of the scheme.
He just doesn't get it does he? Had the third phase of the LEZ been imposed on small vans, the firms that use them would have been faced with bills running into the thousands either to modify their vehicles or replace them with new ones. For many of them it would have been enough to put them out of business.
I find Mike Tuffrey’s blasé stance on the impact of the LEZ on small businesses staggering. He knows there is, as yet, no evidence proving that the LEZ has had any impact on improvements in air quality. And yet, for some doctrinaire reasons best known to himself, he insists that Boris should have pressed ahead with its introduction regardless – regardless of the impact the costs of compliance on the businesses affected by the measure.
Boris has taken the right decision to hold off with LEZ phase three. Its effectiveness is not known and the costs to small businesses would have sent many of them to the wall.
13 February, 2009
Firstly, the government has little real regard for freedom of speech. I have been criticised in the past for my views on freedom of speech and I have little doubt I will be criticised again now. But if we allow this freedom to be eroded our children will pay the price, we are sleepwalking towards totalitarianism.
Secondly it shows me just how stuck in the past the government is. If the ban on Geert Wilder was designed to stop people in the UK from watching his film it failed dramatically. Any Labour minister reading thins blog, I have some news for you. There is this thing called the internet, it's got loads of things on it, including videos, some from overseas, some from Holland.
It took me about 10 seconds to find "Fitna", so much for protecting me from nasty ideas!
If you're thinking of watching this "shocking" film I wouldn't bother. Almost all the images are old news clippings that we've seen before and the argument has all the sophistication of bull elephant. It would be just as easy to take selected quotes from the bible and overlay them on images of Christians killing people.
The lesson learned is that ancient books have some very bloody advice in them and some people murder others in the name of religion. I think I knew that already.
12 February, 2009
Here is a quick update.
On Tuesday evening I addressed a meeting of the Crystal Palace and Norwood Chamber of Commerce. There was a great atmosphere even though many of the business were feeling the pinch from the recession. We spoke about transport links, business taxes, regional development and of course the park.
Wednesday was the final debate on the Mayor's 2009/2010 budget. There was a bit of discussion but little meaningful input from the Labour group which was surprising and disappointing.
Last night I had a meeting with James Degale, his father, manager and members of his local Safer Neighbourhood Team and Jeremy Hunt MP. This meeting was hosted by Baroness Warsi because James had contacted Cllr Bertha Joseph (Brent Council) about giving something back to his local area and was thinking of launching a community boxing gym.
I can't go into too much detail now but it looks very exciting.
I'll try to keep on top of the blogging again now. Cheers
09 February, 2009
Here is the set up:
TFL seemed to have said that people who couldn't get to work last week would lose a day's pay (I don't have details, so can't confirm if this was the case), the unions are calling Boris a hypocrite because clearly he didn't lose a day's pay.
But! Boris had never called for staff to lose a day's pay. I thought that part of the skill of being a reporter was being able (or willing) to check your facts before you publish a story. Apparently not.
06 February, 2009
I think the organisation is fantastic, but just in case you need convincing here is a video that's worth a watch.
Happy birthday and more of the same please.
04 February, 2009
Looking at the bloggesphere recently, you might be forgiven for thinking that the two biggest issues facing British politics at the moment are the BNP and Derek Draper. They're not!
DD and the BNP have a lot in common. Both think that they are right, and they're not. Both generate a lot of heat but very little light. Both are from the authoritarian left and neither deserve anything like the amount of coverage that they get.
I feel that both have the right to have a voice on the Internet, and I have the right to completely ignore what they say there.
Think of it like a scab on your knee (remember when you were small?), the more you pick it the worse it gets, ignore it, get on with something more positive and it goes away quicker than you would ever have imagined.
03 February, 2009
To be fair to the pub they weren't stopping the guys coming in because they were in the forces like some establishments have done. But if the MOD form 90 (the military ID card) can get you into a nuclear submarine establishment, it should be good enough to get you into a boozer.
02 February, 2009
So I will be reading the Children's Society's report into childhood in Britain. I'll give you my thoughts a little later.