Yesterday we marked 11/11/10 with a minute’s silence./ Some anarchists (rioting in London the day before) chose not to for ideological reasons./ With our Russian brothers, we beat Hitler. / It is time still to remember , whatever our views on Iraq, Afghanistan etc. / And it too is time for GLOBAL PEACE…
A Tory councillor in Brum has come a cropper:
“Birmingham councillor Gareth Compton has been suspended from the Conservative Party after making a ridiculous and offensive comment on Twitter. Coun Compton made his remark after journalist Yasmin Alibhai-Brown appeared on Radio 5 and appeared to question whether Western politicians had the right to take the moral high ground over human rights abuses in other countries.
He said: “Can someone please stone Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to death? I shan’t tell Amnesty if you don’t. It would be a blessing, really.”
“This wasn’t enough to placate Conservative headquarters. I also understand the police are taking a complaint they received from Ms Alibhai-Brown seriously.”
Although I sometimes don’t agree with her, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown is one of the most thoughtful, compassionate commentators out there and deserves freedom of speech to air her views.
The Twitter response was not free speech, but may be a crime (allegedly), as the Sky News story suggests.
To celebrate the rescue of the Chilean miners, here’s something from Los Jaivas. Enjoy.
And more recently, they’re still on form:
New Labour 1994-2010.
The Wilted Rose 2007-2010.
Alas, there is no further need for this blog . It is superfluous . Labour is rightly in opposition, where it belongs, and we shall leave it to tear itself apart which it no doubt is exceptionally capable of . Its cackhanded approach to the possible progressive coalition, which it sabotaged, demonstrated the terror to come within Labour. Goodbye.
It appears that we may have a coalition between one of the main parties and the Liberal Democrats. Gordon Brown has resigned, the New Labour era is over, and David Cameron has been invited to the palace to see the Queen to be asked to form a Government.
Douglas Alexander has said that a coalition which includes the SNP would not be acceptable or tenable. Brown is resigning as Labour leader to enable succession of another leader as Prime Minister. Nick Clegg has negotiated, but it is not clear what the outcome of their discussions were.
It seems, ridiculously and perversely, that Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has blocked the Lab-LibDem Coalition. For what reason? With Labour and the LibDems both left-of-centre, a coalition between them would be incredibly sensible. Yes, they would be a disaster for Britain, but it is coherent. It would be a realignment of the left.
A progressive coalition would be hard to stomach, but it is at least ideologically combatible. Would it split the LibDems? Would it split Labour ? Yes, clearly, in both cases, but that would be worth this goal being achieved.
And yet, such a coalition would have no mandate in England where the Conservatives polled 9,911,062 (39.6%), Labour 7,037,229 (28.1%), the Lib Dems 6,067,303 (24.2%). In terms of seats, C 297, L 191 and LD 43, giving the Tories a big majority of 63 in England.
But now that Brown has resigned, it is the end of New Labour . The end of Labour for now.
David Cameron ‘modernised’ his party, which meant – like Blair – ceded some of its ideological ground and sought to appease the left. Notting Hill Cameronism is not what Conservative voters thought they were voting for, but they voted for it nonetheless – but that may be what they get – indeed, many voters did not vote because they could not stomach Cameronism.
Labour has 26 seats in Wales (on 36.2% of the vote), Conservatives 8 (on 26.1%), Plaid 3 (on 11.3%) and Lib Dems 3 (on 20.1%),while in Scotland Labour won 1,035,528 (42.1%) and 41 seats, Conservatives 412,855 (16.7%) but only 1 seat on just under half the votes in Scotland than Labour got, with the Lib Dems on 465,471 (18.9%) and 11 seats, and the SNP on 491,386 (19.9%) and 6 seats.
Across the UK, in fourth and fifth places respectively, UKIP polled 917,832 (thanks Mr Clarke) and the BNP 563,743 (thanks Labour for nothing) – predominantly in England – but no seats, which they would have got under Proportional Representation, as favoured by the Liberal Democrats. Both UKIP and the BNP got more votes than SNP or Plaid but do not figure in any negotiations.
It is not clear that a Labour-LibDem coalition would stand in much favour in Scotland or Wales. In Northern Ireland, where I come from, I will not list the vote shares of the parties, but the DUP got 8 seats, Sinn Fein 5, SDLP 3, Independent 1, and Alliance 1, and the Conservatives and Unionists none.
How would such a coalition govern the non-devolved aspects of Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland? Surely, a Con-LD coalition would encourage greater devolution – including the all-important tax-raising powers – for the ‘Celtic fringe’? This would stave off the secessionist talk in Scotland, and unrest in Wales and Ulster, especially after what the UKIP-vote-stoking Ken Clarke said that, “In the end you can always do a deal with an Ulsterman, but it’s not the way to run a modern, sophisticated society.”
Cameron could not win the unwinnable election, which says a lot about the modernisation project. Brown has lost the election, and yet (despite the phenomenal gains), Cameron did not win it either, and Clegg’s party lost seats.
Frankly, we did not stomp the streets to support our excellent Conservative candidates, to end up with a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. But that is what we have.
The alternative, a Labour-LibDem coalition, would be a disaster, but a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition is as yet unproven. Perhaps on this occasion, if not on others, Mr Cameron should have listened to the advice of that great sage from the true heart of our Party Lord Tebbit on not to form a coalition with the LibDems as it would cost them the next General Election, and on avoiding becoming the victim of a winner-takes-all auction led by Mr Clegg.
Our thoughts are with our Polish brothers and sisters at this terrible time.
Magyárország van szépén ország > Hungary is a fine country > excuse my rusty Magyár, it’s been a long time since I’ve been there, 6 years, and my Finnish is much better now than my Hungarian ever was.
I’ve emerged from my purdah to give a hat tip to Political Betting (I’m not a punter, but it’s interesting to follow the opinion polls) for the following information> It’s from Angus Reid originally:
The former Comomies, the MSZP, Magyar Szocialiszt Partie, is being clobbered by the next PM, Viktor Orbán’s, wonderful Fidesz party, by 61 per cent to 22 per cent – that’s X3 the support and a 39 point lead.
The Socialists in Hungary are finished because of the mess they’ve made of the economy, jobs etc and because their awful former pm, Gyurcsány, (now it’s Gordon Bajnai, believe it or not!!!) admitted he lied and lied to win the previous election. Sounds a bit like Labour, and we all know they lie.
I only ask what is the wrong with the UK electorate, that the polls are so close? The Conservatives should be polling this much of a lead over Labour. Maybe it’s because much of the electorate remember years and years of State Socialism and their kids don’t wish to go back to the horror stories they’ve heard. In the UK, many electors seem not to realise that they’re standing on the edge of a precipice just as in 1979.
We have become accustomed to regular bad news ever since ‘Age of Austerity’ style conference speeches. We need hope, not accountancy speak about cuts, pain, and deficit reduction.
But, while John Redwood has highlighted the need to cut tax on enterprise (I would add to that the working people who need to be incentivised to keep working, or to survive financially in the current climate), Iain Martin has demonstrated how the Conservative leadership doesn’t seem to know what its policies are on tax and is in a ‘tangle’.
I’ve thought long and hard about how to respond to Cameron’s new year speech and statements such as “tax rises may be necessary” from the Abominable Yes-Man* himself, Ken Clarke. Such sentiments are simply an inauspicious start to the new year and it is not what many people like me have been campaigning for when we have been delivering Conservative leaflets.
Since I am not a Tory myself, but a unionist, (the word ‘Tory’ has Irish baggage related to brigands, outlaws and the like), I am befuddled by the fuzzy logic that leads Clarke and the Nothing Hill set to come to the conclusion that tax rises will somehow bring the economy back to its glory days.
But, after all, it was the Europhile wing of the Conservatives that caused Black Wednesday by forcing Maggie to enter the ERM at the wrong rate. It was Lord Lamont, however, who famously sang in the bath that we had extricated ourselves from decades of economic collapse under the ERM and eventually the ECU/Euro that followed.
Never mind the historical precedents about what happens when you listen to Clarke and his ilk, it seems that the leadershipis taking advice from experts such as wealthy bankers and Ken Clarke. They say that accountants would slash and burn, whilst also raising taxes on already hard-pressed electors.
Is that the manifesto that is going to be offered to the country? Surely it is a recipe for a Hung Parliament – and, as much as we would like to see certain MPs with fraudulent expenses hanged, it would not be good for the country.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance had already won the debate on taxes. But along comes a bunch of idiots advising the Conservatives and those lessons are forgotten.
Why prioritise inheritance tax cuts for the wealthy, whilst raising taxes for middle- and lower-income people? Has the 50p tax rate made it acceptable to raise taxes?
What about the Laffer Curve? What about the economic fact that lower taxes stimulate economic growth, entrepreneurship, innovation, job creation and so on?
I do not know why they think tax rises and the age of austerity is going to appeal to the voter who has a difficult time paying the mortgage, raising kids, maybe health worries etc, and that there is no hope? Just more money out of yer pocket to pay the increasing social security and welfare budget?
In these tough economic times, taxes should be slashed – not raised – the lessons of Crewe & Nantwich were that lower taxes appeals to the voter. It is morally and ethically right and it makes life better for everyone.
And, as for the “class war”, well let me just say this. Had David Davis or someone else from a working-class background been Tory leader, he would not have even contemplated raising taxes on working people, while reducing inheritance tax. That says a lot about the state of society, the class divide, and the “Tories.”
We need Labour out, that’s for certain, but the alternative Government needs to get its act together for the sake of our country. Sorry to be so harsh but this needs to be said, and I say this as a warm friend, although one who thinks that a dear ally has somewhat lost its way.
* Clarke is a Yes-Man in the sense of “Yes to Europe”. I could live with it if he was a No-Man.
Happy New Year to all readers. And good riddance to the Noughties, a disgusting decade of decadence, greed, and political deception – whilst many folks have had the misfortune to lose jobs, homes, and in many cases their mental health. Families have had a tough time under new Labour. The third way was a trick with smoke and mirrors, with some Mandelsonian spin and a few unjustifiable, immoral, innocent-killing wars thrown in.
I, like many, have various resolutions. Campaigning for a ban on fireworks, after the terror the new Year celebrations caused our terrier, would be one.
But campaigning against Labour would be another. Not that I’m inspired by the Nothing Hill hooray Henries with their support for private schooling and Foxhunting. But, despite Osborne’s economic illiteracy (read the Telegraph’s Simon Heffer, who has exposed Osborne), I think the Conservatives are a better option for this country.
After the election, I resolve to dedicating myself a lot more to supporting my various charities, such as the NSPCC, and PETA, as well as a little political campaigning. It’s time to do some good to help the community, the kids, and the animals. That would be a different start to a new decade.
We should all see what we can do to help others and not ourselves. Maybe we’d all be a lot happier then?
A lessons for politicians too, methinks.
That’s “Happy New Year everyone!!!” to those of you who don’t understand Finnish…
I’ve done quite a bit of work leafleting for Conservative candidates in marginal seats. Also, I have delivered leaflets for someone I have known for over 25 years, who goes to my family church and who belongs to my Orange Lodge, Gregory Campbell MP (DUP, East Londonderry), to defend his seat against the highly discredited ‘Trimbleite’ (and now ‘Empeyite’) Ulster Unionist Party. Though, as an excellent MP and without much serious opposition, Gregory will be okay and will hold his seat, particularly with an 8,000 majority. In Northern Ireland the only party for unionists to vote for is the DUP, who I warmly endorse, and I’ve certainly enjoyed tramping the streets of Castlerock and the working-class housing estates of Coleraine delivering leaflets.
Peter Hitchens has recently called for a hung parliament. I don’t agree – I think we need a decisive result, one way or the other, a Conservative or Labour Government. Though I’m not a Tory, but am a unionist, (as I’m fond of saying, it’s the Conservative and Unionist Party), I would rather see a government of the blue persuasion.
But I can understand why many voters are yet unconvinced by the Tories and why the polls are narrowing ever so slightly in Labour’s favour.
But in these tough socio-economic times it would not be right to have a lily-livered, gutless hung parliament, minority government, or coalition-of-convenience delivered by a lily-livered, gutless electorate.
They just can’t make up their mind, being so zombified by the X Factor. Why not have a 90% tax levy on the proceeds that have been accrued by the likes of Cowell et al? Why stop at the bankers? But, in cases of mindnumbing TV, the electorate is as much zombies as the bankers, mortgagers, and mortgagees that caused the economic crisis. Or the equally morally bankrupt people who are destroying society.
So let’s have a clear result. But if you apply game theory to this situation, i.e. the election, people don’t know what way to vote. So it might be chaos, ending in a complete mess, with a BNP gain here and there, Lib Dems holding seats they should lose, etc.
In conclusion, the last thing we need is a hung parliament. Let’s get real, people, and kick Labour out once and for all.
It is devastating to hear the news that the Corus plant in Redcar is going to be ‘mothballed’, perhaps signalling the death knell to the area’s steel industry and highlighting what a sorry state the economy, and industry in general, is in in this country.
A Labour Government has overseen a far greater decline of industry than there was under Margaret Thatcher. Isn’t that a grim indictment of this dreadful Brownite government?
The Corus crisis has been going on for some time now. The British Steel works, at their peak, employed tens of thousands of people. Now the last 1,700 have been given their marching orders, as owner Tata has decided to close the plant, complaining about the failure of the consortium to come to a solution.
Declining demand is only part of the problem. We have a Government that is more interested in keeping its pals in the City of London banks happy by having uncompetitive exchange rates that’s good for speculators and those who dabble in foreign exchanges, derivatives, and so on.
The London fat cat has got fatter at the expense of the worker in places like Redcar and elsewhere.
There are 1,700 workers, and many families with their kids facing a bleak future this Christmas thanks to this dreadful news.
It’s not just the jobs, it’s the symbolism of the closure of the steelworks, that has cast a further shadow over a once great industrial area.
People lining their pockets elsewhere have colluded in the dire state of our economy that’s led to this situation. We need a mindset change from government in terms of how it handles industry.
After all, if we don’t make anything that adds any value, and keeps decent working people in jobs, and all we do is shuffle money around the world and get paid commission and bonuses (and many of those involved in that profession are far from decent, we must admit), then what as a country are we for?
It’s no use saying “oh, let them take benefits”. Jobs and economic renewal is what places like Teesside and other parts of the North, and of the Midlands, need.
This Government, despite being Labour and formed for the people, isn’t going to deliver that; all they will deliver is more expenses wheezes and other ways of making as much money for themselves as possible.
It’s an absolute disgrace.
John McCain just admitted on BBC newsnight that during the Obama Afghan surge ‘casualties will rise.’
This is just not acceptable. Enough of our young kids who are serving in the army have returned in coffins.
No, it’s time to withdraw British troops from Afghanistan rather than spilling more blood for a doomed mission.
Even Des Brown, defence minister, is stepping down from parliament; perhaps he can’t stomach the stench of blood.
It’s quite simply time to withdraw.
- Alistair Darling
- animal welfare
- Bank of England buffoons
- Child A
- general election
- Gordon Brown
- gun crime
- intellectual idiocy
- Jacqui Smith
- Labour Party
- Northern Ireland
- older people
- opinion polls
- public sector
- Reg Empty
- Rhys Jones
- Royal Mail
- Shannon Matthews
- social breakdown
- social services