Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
"Health Secretary Andy Burnham says Labour hopes to scrap hospital parking charges for in-patients in England if the party wins the next election. He said patients would get a permit to cover the length of their stay which visitors could use to park for free."
A story from today:
"Andy Burnham has outlined proposals to phase out hospital parking charges for inpatients and some outpatients which he says have caused 'great resentment'.
The health secretary pledged a 'fairer' system for relatives and friends of people admitted to hospital in England. He said an eight-week consultation would ensure plans were affordable at a time of pressure on NHS finances.
The consultation is looking at whether to abolish fees for all inpatients' visitors - or just those admitted for a long stay."
It's as clear a flip-flop as you're likely to see. First, the plan is for visitors to have passes allowing them to park for free. But now that particular aspect of plan needs to be consulted on. I also love the way the word 'fairness' is creeping in to every single Labour announcement, in an attempt to draw Brown's famous dividing lines with the Tories. Quite how it's fair to charge anyone for parking when they visit a hospital is beyond me, but I'm sure Burnham knows what he's talking about.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
"Ministers have been accused of planning to seize control of £2billion in assets managed by hospital charities.
Critics called the move a secret plan to slash NHS spending. More than £300million handed over every year in donations to children's hospitals and cancer charities could be 'nationalised'.
Under new rules coming into force in April, hospitals will have to list the income and assets from their charitable arms on their main balance sheet.
There are fears that this will see donations to health charities subsumed into the general health budget, which already faces huge strains due to Britain's soaring budget deficit."
What I find interesting about this is that I've already seen it happen. When an old lady in my village passed away a couple of years ago, leaving no family members - she bequeathed her entire estate to the local cottage hospital that had cared for her during her final months. However, because of a technicality - she had left the money to the hospital, rather than the hospital's charitable fund - the Department of Health swooped in and claimed the money for itself, to incorporate into the central NHS budget. It took over a year to rectify the situation, even with the support of a local Conservative MP and the media.
The fact that the Department of Health now looks to be making this sort of money grab a more commonplace occurrence is very worrying indeed.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Thursday, December 24, 2009
"I will go on hunger strike and throw myself in front of the next horse at Ascot if he wins. Failing that I was going to say I'll sleep with him, but he'd probably say yes. So instead I'll chain myself to the railings of his house. And then I'll move out of London. How do we trust a guy who says he knows about London, when he's just taken three of his kids out of state school and put them into private schools? That's a man in touch with the people. He's loathsome. He's everything that's wrong with the upper classes at their worst. Limited, pompous, without any breadth of vision or sense of inclusion. But I don't even think he thinks he's up to the job. He said it for a laugh, is my guess, and now he's got to go through with it."
As far as I am aware, she is still to move out of London. I certainly haven't seen a self-important press release stating as such and, as she's a self-important leftie, you could bet your house on one being forthcoming if she were actually to do it.
But it's also very interesting to see her prattle on about the 'upper classes', especially in the light of her latest TV appearance. She featured as one of the guests on three-Michelin-starred chef Heston Blumenthal's Christmas Feast programme.
That's right; Ms. Arabella 'I'm in touch with the common folk, would never send my kids to private school, and aren't rich people awful' Weir, agreed to be a series known for producing extravagant and luxurious dishes cooked by one of the best chefs in the world. I presume that had, say, Boris Johnson, gone on this programme, that would have been absolutely ghastly? But of course it's absolutely okay for a champagne socialist to gorge themselves on caviar, ambergris, silver-dusted chocolate and loin of venison.
A very merry and absolutely non-lefty Christmas to you all.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Brown has form in this regard. I remember last year - and if someone finds it for me I'll give them an online pat on the back - Guido had a story about a photo of Brown used in a new policy document about health and fitness, or something along those lines. The photo was from 1995 or thereabouts, and captured Brown looking far more appropriate for the paper's subject.
From the Mail:
"The Queen is to be forced to go through an identity check every time she flies into and out of Britain.
For the first time, Her Majesty will be compelled to give her full name, age, address, nationality, gender and place of birth to immigration officials, who will then check that she is not on a list of wanted terrorists."
And from the Guardian:
"Harriet Harman was facing the prospect of acute political embarrassment today after a decision to prosecute her for allegedly driving without due care and attention and driving while using a mobile phone.
A witness was reported to have said that after the accident Harman wound down the window of her red Fiesta and allegedly said: "I'm Harriet Harman. You know where you can get hold of me."
So the Queen, who is on our money and stamps, and who is one of the most recognisable people in the world, has to confirm who she is every time she enters her own country? But Harriet Harman, known principally for hating men and being a thorn in the side of common sense, appears able to leave the scene of an accident with a cursory snifter of information?
Sunday, November 29, 2009
On Friday, we had Ed Balls telling English schools to cut back on their heating bills and stop cleaning themselves to save the somewhat paltry sum - in terms of overall Government spending - of £750 million.
And today Gordon Brown, alongside telling Pakistan that they really, really should have caught Bin Laden by now - never doubt Brown's ability to state something that is both populist and obvious - has apparently pledged some £665 million to rebuild Pakistan's education system and weaken extremism.
It really is like someone is hiding in the core of Government, purposely feeding really stupid ideas to the PM and Ministers to regurgitate.
Anyway... I see that Otolose Loloahi Tapui, the former cleaner of Attorney General Baroness Scotland, has been charged with immigration offences. It's interesting, isn't it, that the cleaner is charged with criminal offences, but the learned Baroness can get away with a fine and calling the whole thing a 'technical' and 'administrative' breach?
I look forward to the day when, after stabbing four disenchanted voters to death, some expenses-fiddling Labour MP turns around to claim it was only 'technical killing', any not something more serious.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
"...absolutely anything with a bit of chocolate on it, but trying v hard to cut down."
So that's half an answer at least. Tune in on Wednesday to see if he can chose between a digestive or a cookie.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
"Gordon Brown celebrate[d] the Hindu and Sikh festival Diwali at No10 with cakes yesterday - after refusing to name his favourite biscuit. Mums in a live webchat begged the PM to name it - but he would not crumble."
What sort of man can't do this? Chocolate Bourbon; easy, just name the biscuit you like most. But for a man who dithers, who can't make up his mind without opinion polls, and who doesn't like issues where he can't create his precious dividing lines, such a task is near impossible.
Maybe he's waiting for David Cameron to be asked the same question, and is hoping his answer will be a shade on the posh side. Then, no doubt, we'll have Brown pledging £100 million to the Presbyterian Shortbread Foundation.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
However, the pay freeze is a facade they are hiding behind. The pay freeze will of course affect the income of many of their members, as it will for everyone who works in the public sector. But you only need to spend 30 seconds on the Internet to find out why the PCSU in particular is having a hissy fit. Even Wikipedia notes that "most of its members work in government departments and other public bodies". So the bulk of its members work in the very Whitehall that Osborne has said needs to cut costs by a third, and I'd bet money that a good number work in the Quangos that Ken Clarke said would need to prove their worth or be scrapped.
I am sympathetic to anyone who is feeling the crunch at the moment - and both myself and friends and family are in the same boat. But unions need to grow up about this, and recognise that as the private sector is suffering heavy losses, public sector employees - the number of which continues to grow - cannot be immune from the consequences of the recession.
Downing Street has said: "Any suggestion that the prime minister has been unwilling to deploy more troops or provide the necessary resources is simply wrong."
Now, either General Dannatt - a man who has fought for better troop conditions, equipment, and pay - is lying. Or our habitual liar of a Prime Minister - whose party tried to smear Dannant - is lying through his spokesman. It's difficult to know who to believe in such circumstances...
"They want to hit low paid workers in their late fifties, but they're still backing tax cuts on millionaires' estates. This shows how out of touch David Cameron and George Osborne are."
Listen, you stupid woman. The inheritance tax cut is designed to help everyone who has an estate valued at less than a million pounds. It's not a 'tax cut on millionaires' estates', because it means that the only people paying inheritance tax will be millionaires. Is that really so difficult for you to understand, you Jimmy Clitheroe impersonator from hell?
Update: Prize twat Liam Byrne has also got in on the act, this time also accusing George Osborne of 'talking Britain down'. Byrne is - believe it or not - the chief secretary to the Treasury, so should probably have an even better understanding of how full of bollocks this lie is than Cooper.
Monday, October 05, 2009
My hope is that the British people see this for what it is - as indeed they did with Brown's Iraq trip. This is Osborne announcing a NI freeze, and the bunker getting into a panic.
Two things; why can Ainsworth make surprise trips to Afghanistan on the first day of the Tory conference, but just has to go on holiday during the bloodiest month our troops have seen there since the war began?
And secondly, watch the BBC clip in the first linked article. You'll see that during a conversation with a solider who questioned him about troop numbers, Ainsworth tries to squeeze out of the solider a suggestion that they don't need anymore equipment.
Thursday, October 01, 2009
Which of these things is most likely to damage the morale of our armed forces?
A. Asking questions about kit provision and the number of helicopters.
B. Having a Defence Secretary with a Cabinet ranking of 21 out of 23 when we're fighting two wars.
C. Not providing troops with bomb-proof vehicles in a country covered with road bombs.
D. Having a Defence Secretary who is generally seen as the biggest joke since 'Knock Knock...'
Answers to be scribbled in poorly spelled English on the back of a moustache comb, please.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
And yet, when Brown gave his speech yesterday, there was no mention of debates at all. It had suddenly been removed, and no challenge to David Cameron was forthcoming.
However, a funny thing seems to have happened. Click on the BBC link from Monday - the one that originally began with the line "Gordon Brown is ready..." And what you'll see is that the article has been completely altered to one titled 'We're not done yet, insists Brown', which is effectively a summary of his speech yesterday. I have not changed the link; it's the same page but with completely different content.
So why didn't the BBC leave the original story up? There are literally dozens of stories relating to the Labour conference, so it's not like they just had to get rid of the original content of the article or they'd run out of space. And keeping it up wouldn't have been factually inaccurate since, at the time, it was believed to be true. The fact that what was reported did not become a reality is actually a news story in itself, rather than something that should be swept under the rug. In fact, the only mention you'll now find about debates is in this new article, titled 'PM has made debate decision' - but he's not telling, apparently.
Monday, September 28, 2009
"We're not talking about an election at the moment, we're talking about how we deal with the policy issues. I've always been prepared to debate people... always prepared to join in a debate. I've given more statements to the House of Commons than any Prime Minister I think in the time I've been there, about the public issues of the day. Well, we'll deal with election issues when we come to discussing elections; but for the moment the most important thing is we have a public debate about the big issues."
But now the BBC reports that:
"Gordon Brown is ready to debate with David Cameron on TV not just during the general election campaign but before it, the BBC understands. The prime minister is said to be deciding overnight whether to include in his speech to the Labour conference a call for a series of debates."
So now he doesn't just want debates, he wants loads of them - even before an election? This is Brown trying to come into the game at half-time, change the size of the goals, and take the ball away if nobody wants to carry on playing. In other words, he's now trying to pretend that debates were his idea and that he has wanted them all along. The man has no shame.
Update - Wed 29th September: I'm too exhausted to blog about Brown's speech today. For must read articles check out the various contributors at the Spectator, as well as Guido - who has an excellent scoop on Brown's 21st century Dickensian workhouses. And did you notice how the speech - in the end - contained nothing about debates at all?
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
"Has nothing happened in the world today? [The Prime Minister of the UK reversed over 10 years of economic policy, that's what] In between bits and pieces for this week's Ken Livingstone edit, [You poor man, having to deal with such dross] I've been checking the news online: this morning we were told by the BBC that Gordon Brown is likely to say the word "cuts" in his speech to the TUC this afternoon. This was hardened slightly to a firm prediction that he would say "cuts", to -- finally -- reports of the speech itself, in which he, um, said the word "cuts". Amazingly, each time I have clicked on "Google News" this "story" has led the international bulletins too. [Again, that's because it's quite important news. A story isn't unimportant just because James Macintyre doesn't understand its significance]
Like a clamouring drum, the media pack and Tory party -- increasingly working together -- [How dare they! In Labour's glorious Britain the press must support Labour and all its glorious achievements, gloriously!] have built up to this moment for days [Which wouldn't have been necessary had Brown not been in economic denial for the best part of forever] (never mind the difference between cuts now and cuts later). Now, like a baited bear, [Baited trout, more like] Brown has been forced to utter the word, after weeks of resistance. [What, and he should be applauded for not saying the bleeding obvious for weeks and months?] And the end result, the icing on the cake? George Osborne, the shadow chancellor, declares -- right on cue -- that the Tories have "won" the "biggest economic argument" and forced Brown into "complete capitulation". [Have they not, then? Has the Labour man who is actually quoted as saying "Tory cuts verses Labour investment", not just admitted that he's going to make cuts? Because that's pretty significant]
So, another day another dollar for the most media-supported Opposition in modern history." [Just where are you going with this? First of all, it isn't actually true. The Mirror is still Labour's spin-machine, and the Guardian is quite a distance from the Tories. Labour, on the other hand, enjoyed near total media support when they were elected in 1997, and have had the BBC doing their dirty work for more than a decade. And secondly, is it not okay for the media to recognise that the Tories are right? Must they always swing behind Labour, despite the damage Labour are doing to this country? Take your thumb out of your mouth, drop that pathetic sense of entitlement, learn something about economics, and grow a pair of testicles...]
A Conservative Home video on today's historic news, just for Jimmy M:
Friday, September 11, 2009
"The Children's Minister claimed today that millions of Britons must be placed on a new Big Brother-style child protection database to stop a repeat of the Soham murders.
Under the plan parents could face a £5,000 fine for driving their children's friends to a sports event or Cub Scout meeting if they have not been vetted first by the massive new government agency.
An astonishing 11.3million people - one adult in four - are likely to come under the watchful eye of the Independent Safeguarding Authority.
Millions of Britons will be placed on a new database to prevent a repeat of the Soham murders in 2002, where Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were killed. Launched next month, it will be the biggest vetting and clearing system in the world.
Every person who comes into regular contact with children or the elderly, through work or volunteering, must be approved by ISA officials checking for criminal convictions, disciplinary action and even unproven allegations."
So what I want to know is if Gordon Brown is going to volunteer himself for this piece of shit Orwellian database. Because I don't think these are all his kids:
Saying he abolished boom and bust.
Labour's role in the expenses scandal.
Not giving our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq sufficient equipment to keep them safe.
Building up the largest budget deficit of all time.
Absolutely anything he has done since he got his hands on the reins of power.
But he can apologise for things that happened when he was a year old.
Saturday, September 05, 2009
Two things strike me about this story; the first one being that if you take a job knowing in advance what the salary will be - which Davies no doubt did in this case - you don't then get to bitch about how much you're being paid.
And secondly, if the BBC can make programmes - apparently just as 'well' - while cutting anything from 25-50% from their budgets, why can't they also cut the licence fee by 25-50% and give us some of our money back?
Thursday, September 03, 2009
"We're not talking about an election at the moment, we're talking about how we deal with the policy issues. I've always been prepared to debate people... always prepared to join in a debate. I've given more statements to the House of Commons than any Prime Minister I think in the time I've been there, about the public issues of the day. Well, we'll deal with election issues when we come to discussing elections; but for the moment the most important thing is we have a public debate about the big issues."
But we are talking about an election - a pre-election debate. And if you've always been prepared to debate people, why do you limit your debating to election time? Giving statements to the House of Commons is not debating, either - it's giving statements. And a public debate is okay, presumably because that won't involve anyone asking you any questions?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
"Labour's fragile summer truce over Gordon Brown's leadership was at breaking point last night after Alistair Darling was accused of launching a scathing attack on the Prime Minister.
According to sources present, the Chancellor declared: 'I am trying to talk sense into that man. He just doesn't get it --going on about "Tory cuts" is not going to make an impact on the electorate.
The Mail on Sunday has been told the Chancellor privately vowed to 'talk sense into that man' as he condemned him for losing the battle with David Cameron over public finances."
Darling's spokesman is quoted as saying: "I simply do not believe that Alistair has spoken in those terms." This is not a denial, and either suggests that the spokesman doesn't talk to Darling - if he did, he'd know what Darling actually said - or he does not believe Darling said it in a Victor Meldrew sense.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The BBC are now reporting that Jones has issued a denial, saying it is "a silly season story", and that:
"General Dannatt and I have worked very closely on a number of personnel related issues, because we both care deeply about service men and women.
"I look forward to continuing our working relationship with Gen Dannatt, both now as Chief of the General Staff and beyond into his retirement."
Except that's not really a denial. If he wanted to deny it he would say something about it not being 'true', or it being a 'lie'. The way his statement has been worded does not actually indicate that what has been said is false - simply that Jones considers the story silly.
Perhaps the real treat of the BBC article though is this section:
"But the BBC has established that Labour peer Lord Foulkes has submitted parliamentary questions about Gen Dannatt's expenses which he wants the MoD to answer during the summer recess.
In particular, he wants information on how often the general has used a helicopter for travel within the UK."
This effectively confirms that someone in the Government is actively trying to dig up dirt on Dannatt. And it makes Jones's denial look even weaker - which is certainly saying something.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
"We simply don't recognise the labels 'soft' or 'hard' A-levels - all subjects are rigorously measured against each other to maintain standards, overseen by Ofqual."
The rather unfortunate thing being that the BBC article itself contains the following:
"Critics say practical qualifications, such as cake decoration, pottery and flower arranging are being given equivalent value to traditional A-levels.
One example given included a course in tanning treatments which was worth 45 points in school league table scores - the same as an A grade in one of the four units that make up an A-level."
So you can either chomp your way through Great Expectations and half of Henry V, or learn how to turn on a sunbed and how long you should toast each side. No soft subjects here, no sir.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Not much to add to that - just let in sink in yourselves. And be sure to check out the video of Dr. 'Eyelashes' Burnham; I particularly like the bit towards the end when he says that many people with depression just need to do exercise to make themselves feel better.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
"This sense of purpose and momentum has not translated to the home front in the way that it might have."
First of all, don't you dare try to suggest that people don't support the troops themselves. That is not what is happening. What people are seeing is coffins coming back on an almost daily basis, filled with men often barely out of their teens. People are lining the streets in their thousands to pay tribute to these men. What so many object to is the reason why those men are in coffins; because you've given them vehicles that don't protect them against bombs, in a country where pretty much all the roads are covered in bombs.
"Some in the UK believe the fight is not worth it."
Maybe so, but they're entitled to an opinion. Not everyone has to agree with what intellectual titan Bob Ainsworth thinks. I myself think it probably is worth the fight. But it would help if our troops were properly equipped. There's a difference between something being worth a fight and something not being worth a slaughter.
"This defeatism has been exacerbated by political arguments about British troop levels, vehicles and helicopters that often misunderstand the nature of coalition warfare."
Don't you tell us we don't understand warfare when it's blatantly obvious that you barely understand tying shoelaces. Here's a reminder of you not knowing where our troops are, or indeed where they are going - so don't lecture us. Asking legitimate questions about our troop-to-helicopter ratio, our lack of bomb-proof vehicles, and our general equipment is not 'political argument'; it's a matter of major national importance.
We can support the troops without supporting the Government. We can question how well the Government provides for our troops without being against the mission goals. And we can take pride in our armed forces without moustachioed gits with double-digit IQs telling us to do so.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Sunday, August 09, 2009
Also, this policy is further proof - as if we needed any more - that Labour has failed to level the educational playing field as they said they would. If there weren't still shithole areas with awful schools then this policy wouldn't be necessary. As sorry as I am for pupils with little choice but to attend those schools, and as unacceptable as it is for such schools to still exist, an additional wrong of fiddling the system in this fashion is just not acceptable. It's unfair to those it disadvantages, and patronising to those it is supposed to benefit. Furthermore, aren't Oxford and Cambridge going to be delighted to have students who have just scraped Cs trying to get to grips with their incredibly challenging courses? They'd have to lower their academic standards, which would then bring down the reputation of said universities - and others.
The BBC - in Pravda mode - boasts that: "Campaigners have welcomed an idea to give poorer students a two grade 'head start' to help them get places at the leading universities". The campaign group in question is Million+ which, as you can see, is a think tank/pressure group with a membership comprised of former polytechnics and new universities. In other words, a hotbed of trendy lefty thinking agrees with a policy right out of the Soviet playbook.
This policy is an absolute disaster waiting to happen. It shows how spectacularly Labour's educational reforms have failed, and that they're now resorting to desperate tactics to further their social engineering goals. It will undermine the educational standards of our best universities, cheapen their degrees, and will piss off an awful lot of people in the process.
Update - some excellent thoughts on this from Constantly Furious.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
If you were so worried about it being seen as a publicity stunt, why did you allow the information to seep out, and then confirm it? When Johnny Depp gave £1 million to Great Ormond Street and dressed up as Jack Sparrow for he sick kids he just did it, and the information slowly came out. He didn't issue press releases or whinge about it being seen as a publicity stunt. He did something nice, and eventually we heard about it. You're telling us you're doing something nice in advance, while expressing disappointment that we know about it.
If you are doing anything involving children or vulnerable adults, I trust you have had a CRB check and that everything is in order? I also trust that you waited your turn, and weren't branded with anything nasty like these poor people.
Are you doing anything involving phones? Because if you are, I'd advise that you try not to smash any of them against walls, that you don't call up random members of the public in the wee hours, and that you don't start regurgitating tractor statistics when people in need of help start telling you how difficult it is to find a job and make ends meet.
Since this is going to be done in private, I assume there will be absolutely no more information released, and that you won't be referring to it in the future as part of another tragic attempt to look normal?
If you do start to release such information, can you assure us that you're working for a legitimate organisation or group, and that some Labour activists haven't just been rounded up and told to play volunteers for a week to make you look good?
Monday, August 03, 2009
I should also stress that a points-based immigration system (designed to stop people before they actually got into the country) was proposed by the Conservatives in their 2005 manifesto - Labour said it was 'racist'.
But in a show of uselessness that will come as no surprise, it turns out that some of the things migrants will have to do to earn points are just taking the piss. As this article from the Telegraph states, they will be able to earn points by learning how to make benefit claims. Yes, the plan is honestly to reward them for doing one of the key things that people against unlimited migration complain about. That's not to say every migrant is a scrounger and only here for benefits - of course that isn't true. But how does it help the public perception of migrants if they can actually solidify their claim to stay here by taking our money? So, on their day of toughness, Labour have ended up looking ridiculous - no doubt content in their Socialist world where benefits are an important part of citizenship.
Saturday, August 01, 2009
But, how will eight weeks building huts and trekking in South America, Africa or Asia actually help these people get jobs? At their best, these sort of trips encourage people to work as part of a team, but they very rarely teach people new skills and things that would significantly improve their chances of getting a job. And at a job interview, there are any number of things you could mention as examples of working as part of a team, so I doubt these trips will be much use on that front either.
I can't help wondering if it's just another way of stopping 500 more people signing on and making the unemployment statistics look even worse. But hey, it's only a million quid.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
"It's a tragedy that some people go out to work and then never return home to their families. I want to look at what the UK can do to remember the thousands of workers who have lost their lives. I know there are many ideas including a lasting memorial."
You have to question the intelligence of anyone who thinks this is a legitimate ground for the creation of a new bank holiday. And you certainly have to ask whether Cooper really is as much of a moronic shit as she seems for suggesting this in a month where 22 British servicemen have died in Afghanistan - including two more today. Does she not think that maybe, just maybe, a bank holiday to commemorate those - hundreds of thousands - who have lost their lives defending and protecting this country might be more appropriate?
"If all the people who liked them voted for them you could change politics overnight and we could have a proper three-party system."
Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't an election the time of the political cycle where people who do actually like parties go and vote for them? If someone is motivated enough to support or even like a political party to a reasonable extent, you can bet money they'll be voting for them when a general election rolls round. Could it be that young Mr. Radcliffe believes the Lib Dems to be more popular than they actually are? It certainly fits in with the acting profession's political mentality of thinking that something must be important for us simple common folk because it's important for them - the great, lofty thespians that they are.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Today, we read that India has just launched a nuclear submarine. Out of all the countries with nuclear capabilities that some might consider to be a bit iffy, I still probably trust India the most. But why are we giving them £275 million a year when they have enough money - or perhaps even use the money we give them - to buy advanced nuclear weaponry instead of investing in their dilapidated national infrastructure?
We're either giving money to a country which is spending it on nuclear submarines, or we're giving money to a country which already has enough in the bank to buy nuclear submarines. Does anyone want to work out how many Chinooks for our own troops we could buy with that money?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant will tell tourists and travel companies about the risks of falling foul of the law or becoming victims of crime. He said many Britons go "go a little bit wild" on holiday but he wanted to ensure they "have a safe one". Mr Bryant added: "We want to make sure that people have a great holiday".
It must be nice to be a Minster; free trips to Greek islands to do some useless nannying, and then spend a week in the sun. I wonder how much this little jolly cost the taxpayer?
Friday, July 03, 2009
I like Iain Dale, [A qualifier, before saying something patronising] but I’m afraid he has got it wrong this time and at the same time has exposed one of the problems of blogging. [You being the big blogging expert all of a sudden?]
In his open letter to me and Chris Bryant MP, he bases his assertions on a BBC article which focused on one or two things that Chris and I said – from a two hour debate, at which I don’t think Iain was present. [Your point being? If I had a two-hour conversation with you which was perfectly pleasant, except for the 15 seconds where I mentioned that Gordon Brown might be a kiddy-fiddler, which bit do you think you'd remember?]
In fact the Pride Political Debate, held to launch Pride celebrations in London, was a good-natured affair [Until you started smearing, that is] in which Chris and I debated with the Conservatives Nick Boles and Nick Herbert MP, and with Stephen Williams MP of the Liberal Democrats.
In Iain’s open letter, he comments that "We should try to find common cause rather than constantly to seek cheap political advantage". I understand why the Tories would want to remove the politics from the debate, [That's not actually what Iain said; what he said was that you should stop using Streicher-esque language to scare gay people away from the Tories] since their politics have not exactly measured up to the equality agenda [No, they haven't measured up to your party's equality agenda, which isn't a surprise seeing as how they're a different party] recently or in the further past. [In the further past, Alistair Darling was a member of a political party which glorified mass-murderer and gay-hater Joseph Stalin. How far back do you want to go?] As a Labour Minister I am proud to explain and communicate Labour’s policies and to show that Labour has a strong track record of achievement in ending discrimination. [No human being writes sentences like that - this must have come from a piece of literature produced by Labour HQ]
During the debate, I recognised and welcomed moves from some Conservative Party members such as John Bercow [Had to mention Bercow, didn't you, like he's some sort of pariah on these issues? He's just a toadie who cuddled up to you lot to get elected. Why not mention Cameron himself, or the fact that the Shadow Cabinet has gay members for the first time ever?] to drag their party [Kicking and screaming, no doubt; since we're all a bunch of gay-haters] into the 21st Century and sign up to the equalities agenda, but warm words from some of the more progressive Tories can’t hide the poor record of many Conservative MPs [Again, the Chancellor of the Exchequer loved someone who murdered 50 million people] and activists. [Activists have records now? A Labour activist once spat on me as I handed out leaflets outside Embankment tube station, so I guess that makes all Labour activists hate-filled fuck-faces?]
I also welcomed David Cameron’s recent change of language on equality and expressed a hope that the day will come soon when we do not have to debate this at all. [And yet you keep going on about the past voting record of Tory MPs]
In turn, Nick Boles and Nick Herbert MP made staunch defences of their party, acknowledged their mistakes [How modest of them. I'd like to see a Labour MP admit they have ever made a mistake about anything. Why don't you start and apologise for telling people to go to their GP for dental treatment, or saying that the NHS computer system isn't a useless piece of crap?] and talked about their advances, and were very gracious in their praise for what the Labour Government has achieved. [All praise Labour! We are not worthy!]
However, I commented that "there is still a deep strain of homophobia that still exists on the Tory benches". [There's a deep strain of Stalin-loving on the Labour benches] I do believe that many Tory backbenchers remain unreconstructed, [Fine, they disagree with you, and that upsets you. But don't use words like 'unreconstructed', as though human thought can just be broken down and put back together in a 'better' way. No wonder I'm hearing the words 'thought police' more since Labour came to power] as even a cursory glance at their voting and Hansard records will confirm. [A cursory glance at Gordon Brown's record says he doesn't give two shits about having an Iraq war enquiry, but we still appear to be having one - albeit a half-arsed one]
The Tory reaction to the debate, seeking to shout loudly in order to stifle discussion [Actually, I think they're shouting loudly because yourself and Chris Bryant just called them bigots] about their current stance on equality and gay rights, shows they still aren’t in the right place on this and have missed the point yet again. [More 'reconstruction' afoot, I think...]
David Cameron has apologised for his support of Section 28, but the argument has moved on. [Again, you keep bringing up age old Tory voting records, so it clearly hasn't moved on]
Why are the Conservatives rejecting important equality legislation for LGBT people in the shape of the Equality Bill? [This is a classic Tony Blair trick - find the most 'positive' thing an otherwise piece of shit bill does, and say that's why the Tories are against it. Just think of all the times Blair went on about the Tories being 'soft on crime' for voting against numerous ghastly bills which contained one or two things about making sentences tougher. I don't know precise individual thoughts on the LGBT content. What I do know is that this is the bill that reduces the male sex to something just above a paper bag full of semen on the employability ladder, and that's a good enough reason alone to vote against it]
Why did Cameron and his frontbenchers oppose fertility rights for lesbians? [Because they have a different opinion from you? Because they think that priority should go to people who can't conceive because of medical reasons and not because basic human biology won't let them? Because they think fathers are important figures? Any number of reasons, but the fact that they disagree with you on this doesn't make them wrong]
Why are they, right now, opposing laws to prevent incitement to homophobic hatred? [Because, knowing how rubbish your laws like this tend to be, and how the police are so keen to enforce your 'agenda'; they're worried about swathes of people being arrested simply for going lip-wristed and saying "Oooo, get you" in a comical fashion etc]
And why are they forming alliances with far-right, nasty homophobic parties in Europe and why aren’t gay Tories like Iain speaking out about this? [In the European Parliament, Labour MEPs currently sit (in the Party of European Socialists) with a former IRA member, a Polish anti-Semite, and an Italian Communist who thinks 9/11 was a conspiracy and Russia was right to invade Georgia. The PES is also invited a Turkish party which supports a terrorist group to join as a sort of 'associate member', and expelled an Austrian MEP for daring to raise the issue of expenses abuse. Speak out, Bradshaw - speak out...]
Despite some Tories’ slightly hysterical reaction, [Considering that Chris Bryant essentially said that the Tories were going to do devious things to gay people if they ever got back into power, I think the restrained anger - rather than hysteria - on display is entirely justified] they cannot deny that over the years [You said we had moved on...] and even up to the present day they have voted against nearly all of the equality legislation that this Labour Government has introduced. [My goodness, where to start? They don't always have to agree with your viewpoint. Your approach to 'equalities' isn't necessarily better. They are the Opposition. Some of the legislation was really fucking horrible] Although the mood music has changed from Cameron, I’m afraid I remain to be convinced that the Tory backbenches have really changed. [Funny, because that Jake poll which had the Tories getting 38% and Labour on a piss-poor 20% of the gay vote suggests most gays aren't nearly as blind, stubborn and spiteful as you. And where the hell have you exposed one of the problems with blogging?]
Thursday, July 02, 2009
"One thing always keep in view, Once a Jew, always a Jew!!"
"Don’t trust a fox on the greensward, And never a Jew on his plighted word!”
And two quotations from today, from Ben Bradshaw and Chris Bryant:
"A deep strain of homophobia still exists on the Conservative benches."
"If gays vote Tory they will rue the day very soon."
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
My favourite bit? The look on Tessa Jowell's face. She clearly wasn't paying attention, but is suddenly grabbed by the stupidity of what Brown said. She then looks over at the Tories, almost resigned to the fact that they going to take the piss.
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Maybe so, but doesn't this comment rather suggest this was some sort of rumour that the Government failed to stop - rather than it being the Government's fault? Here's Jacqui in May: "ID cards will deliver real benefits to everyone, including increased protection against criminals, illegal immigrants and terrorists."
Pretty unequivocal, I think.
I should also point out that their stupid little 'fine you £1,000 if your eye colour is wrong on it' database is very much going ahead.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
"When times are tough you need to tighten your belt... If I look at my department's budget, it is going to go down a bit and therefore we will have to prioritise."
Monday, June 22, 2009
It is one of the worst kept secrets in politics that Bercow has long desired to be the Speaker. As early as 2005, there were rumours of him cosying up to Labour MPs - safe in the knowledge that with enough Labour votes he could frustrate the Conservatives as much as he liked. Watching him nodding along to Tony Blair in the Commons was just one of many attempts to get in Labour's good books, as were the cards and supportive letters known to have been sent. And all this was done while simultaneously speaking out against the line of his own party, and sitting on the biggest Conservative majority in the country.
And this is why he was elected today. Talk of him being a reformer comes only from his words and not his actions, and is also based largely on his age and various phantom reasons Labour MPs have created in order to justify voting for him. Bercow was elected today because Labour MPs wanted to stick it to the Tories - to give them one of their own as Speaker, but also the one they wanted least. Do not let any journalist or Labour MP get away with the lie that this was Labour putting aside party politics; this was party politics at its most gruesome and petty.
However, this does not mean Bercow cannot be a good Speaker. In his speech of thanks he made a promise to be impartial, and has already warmed up the language of reform. In fact, he may well prove to be an excellent Speaker, and genuinely capable of being nonpartisan, professional and respected. But those things are part of a reputation he now has to earn; they are not perks that come automatically with the position. He takes the role in the knowledge that he has been used as a political stick with which to beat his own party, and in more ways than one he is responsible for that. But with his election now confirmed, the fact is that Bercow now has to do the job to his utmost and make the reasons for his election an irrelevance. Because if he doesn't, his election will just be another sad episode in this current series of Parliamentary tragedies.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
Tuesday, June 09, 2009
Just a reminder that the RMT members striking for the next 48 hours are doing so because they want a 5% wage increase and guaranteed job security in the middle of the recession, and because they want two LU employees reinstated who were fired for endangering passenger safety and alleged theft.
Saturday, June 06, 2009
As you can see on the Public Whip website, Brown has voted just twice in 16 votes on the subject of an Iraq enquiry, and on both those occasions it was to prevent an enquiry from taking place. Some MPs have lower vote percentages on that site - as a result of voting against an enquiry on several occasions - but Brown's record typifies him. It shows he utterly indifferent to this issue, and when he is around to vote he does so in a way which will protect himself from criticism or investigation.
The man is a snivelling, two-faced coward, and don't let any journalist - or normal person, for that matter - be impressed if Gordon goes ahead and does the right thing.
I have learned a lot from the experiences they have relayed to me, and I still find myself overwhelmed when contemplating the sheer loss of life. Maybe I'm a wimp, but I just cannot picture myself dealing with the perils of war. The bravery involved in simply being part of such a conflict is something that I often feel is beyond me.
All those relatives are now deceased, though they all survived the war and lived to old age. But I have often pondered the fact that, knowing them as I did, they appear to have felt exactly the same way as I did before they were involved in the war. Those who served spent most of their time terrified, exhausted and surrounded by horrors few of us can contemplate. So as we honour and pay tribute the courage, the bravery and the sacrifices made by those who fought and died, I also think it is vital to remember them as people - as fellow human beings and not as simplified archetypes. In many ways that makes what they did even more astonishing, and is also why they must never be forgotten.
What I want to know is this? Does this mean that Number 10 has only subscribed to BERR, or that BERR is the only user to subscribe to Number 10? I suspect the latter, and confess I'm not really a YouTube person. But by not putting my weird face all over it like Gordon Brown, it's not like I'm pretending to 'get it' either.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Prime Minister - Gordon Brown
The psychotic, hateful, one-eyed, delusional son of the manse himself. Often talks of his Presbyterian upbringing, which is actually an anagram of 'betray sniper' - something I hope he'll do in the very near future.
Chancellor of the Exchequer - Alistair Darling
Once thought to be a decent man in a tough job, now exposed as a dick making a hash of it. Flipped his second home more times than a McDonalds employee does burgers, and charged the public to do his tax return. Also got to pick his own Cabinet position, which is nice. Oh, and he's a tax dodger.
Foreign Secretary - David Miliband
Also got to pick his own job. Achievements to date include looking like an idiot while holding a piece of fruit and pissing off the leaders of India. He also appears to cut his own hair and seems incapable of growing a proper moustache.
Home Secretary - Alan Johnson
A man who once admitted he was not capable of being Prime Minister is rewarded for his honesty with one of the four Great Offices of State. Is too stupid to realise that taking this job taints him during the leadership campaign that will occur once Gordon has betrayed the sniper.
Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary - Lord Mandelson
The first of seven Lords in Gordon 'Power to the People' Brown's new Cabinet. Twice resigned from Government for being a sleazy bag of shit, and known throughout the world for being a sleazy bag of shit. Now also holds about three other titles as well - despite not being elected by anyone - and is believed to have convinced Adam and Eve that God's fruit is delicious.
Health Secretary - Andy Burnham
Only point of note during his time at the Culture, Media and Sport department was his desire to control the Internet like some sort of Socialist puppet master. Is believed to employ the same make-up techniques as Barbara Cartland, and is married to a woman with a ridiculous name.
Defence Secretary - Bob Ainsworth
Rumoured not to understand the difference between things that are really small and other things that are really far away, Ainsworth is famous for being the first Armed Forces Minister not to have a clue where our troops are or where they might be going. Is David Miliband's moustache coach, and was once mistaken for the cartoon man from the Inland Revenue adverts.
Leader of the House of Commons - Harriet Harman
Lunatic feminist who believes herself worthy of being Prime Minister solely on the grounds that she's a woman. Her career of ministerial ineptness behind her, Harman is laying low and waiting for Brown to set himself on fire. She will then piss the flames out with her mighty lady wee and take his place.
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Secretary - Hilary Benn
Has enjoyed a relatively good life, despite being burdened with an insane father who he happens to share speech patterns with. Was appointed by mistake after Gordon Brown, taking Caroline Flint's criticisms to heart, believed he was a woman.
International Development Secretary - Douglas Alexander
Has kept his job by virtue of being Scottish, despite sucking spectacularly at everything he has ever attempted. Was blamed by Gordon Brown for the botched 'election that never was' in 2007 after the Prime Minister realised that he was a lot easier to bitch-slap than Ed Balls.
Communities and Local Government Secretary - John Denham
Moved from the now defunct Innovation, Universities and Skills Department, Denham made a name for himself by making a retarded decision over second degrees. Is believed to have absolutely no personality whatsoever.
Transport Secretary - Lord Adonis
Known to be hated by Gordon Brown for coming up with the Academy system for schools and for being a mate of Tony Blair, Adonis does not live up to his name when seen in the nude. Is ideally suited for the Transport brief as he travelled on a bus once.
Children, Schools and Families Secretary - Ed Balls
Finishing second to Joseph Goebbels in a competition to find the nastiest little shit ever to walk the face of the earth stung Balls at an early age. As odious and repulsive as he is obsequious, Balls remained in this job because the rest of the Cabinet hate him so fucking much they couldn't bare to see him promoted. Has been known to insert himself entirely up Gordon Brown's arsehole as a party trick.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary - Ed Miliband
Not content with copying Tony Blair's annoying speech patterns and smug tone of voice, the younger Miliband has also gone the extra mile and shortened his not particularly posh name to something folksy and charming. Used to wrestle his brother for the opportunity to take girls to the Fabian Society. The loser had to cut his own hair.
Northern Ireland Secretary - Shaun Woodward
Quite possibly the richest MP, Woodward is entirely responsible for David Cameron being elected to Parliament. Because of this, and because he has a butler, Gordon Brown keeps him locked in a small box under his desk, feeding him sliced pieces of Jacqui Smith's bottom. Once visited his constituency but didn't like it very much.
Work and Pensions Secretary - Yvette Cooper
Known as much for her marriage to Ed Balls as for her famous Jimmy Clitheroe impression, Cooper is a classic example of someone who is clever in theory but not in actuality. Despite being loaded with degrees from prestigious universities, Cooper generally fails to give the impression that she actually understands anything she talks about. She and her husband surprised the medical establishment when the combination of their DNA didn't result in offspring that looked like the baby in Eraserhead.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury - Liam Byrne
Spurned on by a chance meeting with two individuals who didn't think he was a noxious little twat, Byrne first became an MP in 2004. Over the following five years he has established himself as one of those people who we'd prefer never to have come into politics. Is known for his dangerous driving habits, as well as the ability to invert his body in such a way as to enable him to kiss his own anus. In 2007 he stabbed an intern to death for bringing him an espresso instead of a cappuccino.
Minister for the Cabinet Office - Tessa Jowell
Is still around despite having been useless at every job she's had since Labour came to power. For that reason is believed to possess photos depicting Brown and Blair with their nipples chained together while hitting each other with toilet plungers. Tried to outrun Sebastian Coe when working on the Olympics bid, but fell over and broke her brain. Few people noticed.
Minister for Europe - Glenys Kinnock
Found at the bottom of the barrel, Kinnock is ideally suited to this role thanks to her years of experience selling Britain out as an MEP. The most memorable event in her life is believed to have been when she was dragged into the sea by a gigantic ginger tosser.
Scotland Secretary - Jim Murphy
Has the job by virtue of being Scottish. Is known for doing charity runs to disguise the fact that he's a smug little turd. One described the Conservative Party as 'irrelevant' in the House of Commons. Is hotly tipped for the new position of Minister for Things That Come Back to Bite You on the Arse.
Culture, Media and Sport Secretary - Ben Bradshaw
Is one of the few Cabinet members who you won't be able to picture in your mind, even if you close your eyes and think really hard. Was a particularly disastrous Health Minister, having told people needing dental work to visit their GPs, spoken in favour of parking charges at hospitals, and being the only person on the planet who thought the NHS computer system worked really well.
Wales Secretary - Peter Hain
Epitomising the total lack of options available to Gordon Brown, Hain returns to the Cabinet after spending four months in an oven, covered in a honey glaze. Has been given the Welsh Office to run because it doesn't involve any money, and is therefore perfect for a man who doesn't seem to understand where it comes from or where it goes.
Thursday, June 04, 2009
"Don't please, through your actions, make it any worse for the Labour Party than for the other parties who have all got to come to grips with this crisis affecting British politics."
Obviously he's talking about expenses. The problem, however, is that all the polls - with the exception of a rather fruity ComRes - have said that the Tories are actually doing okay on this issue - largely thanks to Cameron's leadership.
And the other, wider, problem is that this isn't really about expenses at all. It's about Labour picking the wrong man as their leader; it's about that man quite possibly being the worst Prime Minister in history; and it's about the public coming to realise that this government - whoever leads it - is morally, intellectually and politically bankrupt.
So Purnell has gone - sideburns and all. While some, such as Danny Finkelstein are focusing on the comments he made about Gordon Brown's position in his resignation letter, I've noticed another very telling section. Depending on how you read it, it's either extraordinarily defeatist, or arrogant in the extreme:
"We therefore owe it to our country to give it a real choice. We need to show that we are prepared to fight to be a credible government and have the courage to offer an alternative future."
On one hand, you can read this as election talk. That he sees the party as needing to take a new direction and ask the people to chose whether they want New Old New Labour, or the Conservatives. Or, he is honestly of the opinion that it is the job of a sitting government to fight to be a 'credible' government, and to offer an 'alternative'. Just think what that sounds like for a moment. Am I the only person who hears shades of 'there will be no election because I want to set out my vision for Britain'?
Saturday, May 30, 2009
I came into politics because I wanted to change the world. [Modesty at its best] I love this country and, like most British people, I’m proud of the way that we decide things democratically. [Like picking our Prime Minister?]
We've got no big history ['We've got no big history' - what sort of fucking grammar is that?] of extremism [I seem to recall an organisation called the IRA, but what the hell] in this country because our Parliament - the oldest in the world - has always been a symbol of how we decide things fairly together.
But our democracy has been discredited by the scandals of recent weeks — revelations that have made me furious because it seems some people have been serving themselves and not the public. [Like spending £6,000 of our money on a cleaner when you earn nearly £200,000 a year, and claiming the Additional Costs Allowance every year, despite having at least one grace and favour home since 1997?] So I’m determined to do whatever it takes to clean up politics. [Good - sack the Cabinet, resign and call an election]
I’ve moved quickly to take action, and there is no way that those who have defied the rules will be standing as Labour candidates at the next election. [No, you waited to see what the Conservatives would do, and then copied them, only not as well. Hence your stupid 'star chamber' idea which only looks at whether the rules were broken - a far narrower remit than the Conservative version. Since the rules were so vague and useless, the majority of Labour MPs will be let off the hook - despite the tough talk] But every single MP needs to reflect on what recent weeks have taught us — that the public feel bitterly let down by politics and they want politicians to be showing what we are doing to help them. [Actually, I think we'd much prefer to not see you stealing our money] The first thing is to clean up the system and for MPs to get back to their constituencies and face the public. [Go on then, lead by example]
But equally important is for my Labour MPs to explain to families and businesses what we are doing to fight back against the global recession. [Ahh, a subject change to your favourite hobby horse] I was pleased to be able to meet yesterday owners [Seriously, syntax?] of brand new cars who have been able to take advantage of the Labour Government’s new scrappage scheme for vehicles over ten years old. [The most important policy in a generation, surely?] Thirty-five thousand have taken up the offer in just a few weeks. [Yes, because Labour trailed it for ages before actually introducing it. What we have seen is an accumulation of people - come back to me in 6 months and tell me the numbers are just as high] The scrappage scheme is just one example of the things Government can do to give people a helping hand when times are tough. [People who find things so tough they still have money to buy a new car?] New help to give homeowners reassurance against the threat of repossession is another. [Do you mean this scheme? The one that precisely two households have taken up?]
That is the kind of thing that I and all Labour MPs came into politics for [You came into politics to earmark £285 million for two households and help people with mortgages? I thought you came into politics to change the world...] — and we need to make sure that every one of our constituents know what is on offer to help people through these difficult times. [But Tory constituents can go hang - right?]
But to restore lasting trust in politics we also need to change the House of Commons so we put the public in control and ensure MPs are closer to the people they represent. [I don't know whether this is another call for PR or what, but it's rather rich for you to suddenly notice the gulf between the public and politicians when you've spent the last 12 years trying everything within your power to widen it]
We need new powers at local level, like giving people powers to call to account their local councillors [And all this has precisely what to do with MPs? Nothing - it's just another gimmick to make people feel like they have power over their lives] or giving young people more influence on local budgets and services. [Why the hell do you think this would be a good idea?] Above all, we need changes that will allow Sun readers [Just Sun readers?] to better hold us to account as we focus on the big issues that matter to their lives — saving their jobs and houses [Unemployment is rising at record rates. Also, two households...] from the impact of the downturn, investing in good public services [And smothering them with red tape] and cracking down on crime. [Does anyone actually believe you are doing this anymore?]
Those are your priorities [Don't tell me what to think, please] and my priorities [No changing the world anymore, then?] , and this Government’s focus as we build Britain’s future. [Hopefully one which won't involve you at all]