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When it comes to the Libyan prisoner release, people are missing the elephant in the room.

Suppose a plane exploded over Texas and the perpetrator was serving jail  in Texas.

Does anybody really think it would be down to the governor and government of Texas to be able to release him to please Libya?

No.

Because it would be down to the Federal government; it would be a federal offence. And a federal jail.

The problem of having to facilitate for Scotland to do the national bidding (good or bad) is down to the cock up that is devolution.  But we do not have a Federal govt in the UK despite devolution.  Its probable that Texas has more devolved powers than Scotland but it is part of a complete federal system.

There is no English govt nor a corresponding true federal system.  If there were Brown and his govt would have been in complete control instead of tipping winks and nods and slipping odd legislative presents to Salmond.

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Nobody likes a tax increase and nobody likes a 20% tax on anything.  But a perceptive shopper interviewed by SKY on the day of the VAT increase  did not quite give the answer that the reporter was fishing for.  ‘If they did not put it on VAT they would have to make cuts elsewhere’, she said.

It seems to me this lady would make a better shadow chancellor than Alan Johnson.  He favours a direct tax on jobs (NICs) rather than an indirect tax on goods (most of which are imported anyway), but he still claims VAT will cause job losses but NICs will not.

When it come to economics Johnson does not know which day of the week it is – he even does not know what Labour Policy of the week it is.  But in doing this he is simply playing to the wishful thinking of his party supporters,  ‘deficit what deficit?’ they cry. No need for cuts, well not serious ones.  A bit of a growth pill will cure us – dissolved in a beaker of inflation.

The reality is that even with the cuts our debt will be costing us £60 billion a year in interest payments alone by 2015.  £60 billion we cannot spend one way or another on ourselves – but must give away to foreigners.  All simply because Gordon Brown could  not live within our means.

And given half a chance Labour would do it all over again.  Spending is a disease, and with them it is incurable.

A number of suggestions are surfacing about what Gordon Brown would do if he had to build a snowman …

It’s simple.

If Brown were to build a snownman it would only be if everyone possible could benefit from the snowman; no part of the nation could be without snowmen; snowmen should be part of the community. Africa would have to have snowmen.

He would visit his friends in New Hampshire to tell them that building snowmen was a global issue and demanded global falls of snow.

He would spend considerable sums of money not just building snowmen but also transporting them in refrigerated trucks (driven by Polish drivers) to those parts of the country not currently benefiting from snowmen.

The costs of all this would be such that Brown would have to max out his credit card and due to the high repayments he could not afford to spend as much on Christmas presents and could only afford a smaller turkey.  But we would all have snowmen – until they melted.

Merry Christmas

Poor ‘Saint’ Vince Cable – his halo has slipped.  But there are other possibly more important issues than Cable’s indiscretions in this story; it is riddled with ironies and contradictions.

The Telegraph go out of their way to have a pop at Cable and other libdems – why?  Because its leadership are anti coalition/ Cameron and pro right wing loopy.  This may be something to do with their ‘secretive’ owners.  Either way their honey trap was blatantly political.

BUT

Not so long ago the Telegraph Group (including the Spectator), The Mail Group and The Guardian Group ALL wrote to Saint Vince demanding he do what he has admitted he was minded to do; ie not approve the take over.

But Lo … The Telegraph for its own perverse political reasons stitches up the very man they are pleading with to sustain their own economic future!  Clever or what?

But easy peasy – they censor that!  Great thing this freedom of the press.  One wonders what Vince (whose anti Murdoch bias would have been well known at the Telegraph) would have made of his entrapment  – even if his Murdoch comments had not come to light. Does anybody seriously expect him to do the Telegraph a commercial favour knowing they had set him up? He would really have to be a saint  to do that.

So which ever way this may have panned out, to pursue its own political bias The Telegraph set out on a process which was going to scupper its commercial interests.
Clever?  Wherever the resignations come from – there should be shedloads at The Telegraph.

Has anybody seen The Daily Telegraph lately?  Where has it gone?

There seems to be an imposter pretending to be a great national newspaper but I cannot imagine its fooling anybody.

So the question remains – where is the real Daily Telegraph?  Has it been taken hostage?  Can we have it back please?

Before you can blink another G20 Summit is upon us.  We must presume that British students and their associated agitprop followers are indeed too impoverished to get there  (or do not fancy ” ‘avin some” it with the South Korean National Police Agency-Combat Police Division) so they have decided to  burn London instead.

There is much agonising over the next way forward.  You know, the Chinese exchange rate;  external imbalances; how to rebalance the World economy; currency wars; financial regulation; IMF reform.  Then there is the Global Safety Net, the Doha Round trade negotiations, international development and, as we shiver into winter, yes you guessed it Climate Change.

It all seems as usual very complicated and worrying, but look – this is in fact all really very easy.  Gordon Brown sets up some rules (very complex ones admittedly) and EVERYBODY says how wonderful he is and naturally follows them to the letter.  Problem solved.

Of course, what’s really important about this policy is that EVERYBODY says how wonderful he is.
Lets be clear this IS a very important part of the policy because it is the price we pay for making sure that Brown never never ever ever comes anywhere near being given a serious ‘international’ job.

Some might think it would be OK to give him Africa, but what have the Africans done to deserve that?

Whew, the Large Hadron Collider has recreated the conditions of the big bang – only much smaller.  Well its a start.  I did not notice the light flickering  or feel the ground shake so we must presume as the experiments continue the world will not disappear into its own fundamental firmament.

Apparently our international band of mad scientists hope to prove the existence of a whole new state of matter known as the Quark Gluon Plasma.  But what to do with the stuff?  Well, The Telegraph breathlessly tell us this discovery  could lead in turn to the uncovering of one of the fundamental forces that bind everything together.  Out of self interest and personal political bigotry I hope the first available tin of Gluon Plasma is picked up by Dave and Nick.  Maybe they could use it in Oldham and Saddleworth.

The return of Labour from its Twilight Zone into real space-time is not something I fancy.

The Archbishop of Canterbury is getting very exercised over the government’s  benefits policy.  Its good, as usual, of The Telegraph to run this anti-coalition story.

He particularly disliked the idea of people being forced to do unpaid work for their benefits.  We can expect the Labour Party to complain likewise.

Unfortunately for those thinking this policy is some sort of uniquely unjust penalty – it was also Labour’s own policy back in 2007 under Blair and Hain

Single parents are to be forced to look for work once their youngest child reaches seven.   Those who refuse to try to find a job will lose some of their benefits.  The controversial plan, set out by the Government, is among a raft of ambitious welfare reforms designed to get more of the longterm unemployed back to work.   Other proposals include forcing the jobless to do unpaid work experience if they claim benefits for more than a year.

and again in 2008 under Brown and Purnell.

Benefit claimants could be forced to sign on every day and join mandatory out-of-work programmes, James Purnell said today … the Tories, promised opposition support for the proposals…

Who will rid us of this turbulent priest?  Anyone who thinks God does not work in mysterious ways has clearly not seen the Archbishop of Canterbury.  I would prefer Rowan Atkinson in the job.

Still meantime we could have even more Labour hypocrisy to look forward to.  Every cloud has a silver lining.

‘Coffee House’ , the web presence of that august journal of The Spectator runs a post agonising over the new housing benefit limits.  It prophesies Armageddon.  Well that sort of thing sells papers (it even parodies that arch inventor of news, The Sun, by claiming an ‘exclusive’).

Where do I begin?  It is a post full of a load of preposterous rubbish.  It totally totally misses the point.  It also champions a report sponsored by Shelter, hardly a a disinterested pressure group.

I am very (very very) sorry for ‘genuine’ out-of-work in the midst of being retrained etc.  But it is not the state’s duty to keep people in a comfortable existence if they are unemployed.
The state’s duty is to alleviate the worst excesses and suffering of people whilst they are unemployed.
I submit that limiting housing benefit to £400 a week is far and away above and beyond what the minimum duty of the state is – not least when it has absolutely NO MONEY to start with.
Just for the record – one just 1 website I found 7,500 houses available at £400pw OR LESS for rent within 5 miles of central London. A similar search found 18,500 flats.

The Spectator’s  Mr Howker should stop insulting my intelligence – it is absurdly easy for a govt minister to answer any noisy questioner on ‘Question Time’; he/she says we are limiting housing benefit to £20,800 per annum, which is probably (I’m guessing) equivalent to a pre-tax income of c£30k, and thats just for housing benefit!

Oh and lets not forget shall we …?
IF the state limits its wasteful spending on housing benefits (which solely actually benefits landlords and props up property prices), THEN it could actually spend more on retraining/education of people and creating some real benefit to workers and the economy.

It makes me smile sometimes (it really does)  – after 13 years of Labour their idea of success is to have put millions more onto benefits.  Such is the brilliance of socialism. Well socialism has been very good to Fred Goodwin I suppose.

Doom and gloom emanates from the Opposition benches on a regular basis.  Anything to try to forget that they landed us in our current mess

Sadly for Labour there is to be a massive money and job injection by Jaguar/LR saving and creating thousands of jobs. No sign of a double dip there – oh how they must pray for bad news to keep them optimistic, but in this case we see realistic union negotiating; no sacrifice for the sake of a Labour headline.

In doing this though the workers and their negotiators  are ensuring that new workers, their fellow ‘brothers’  do not have the same benefits as they do.  Double standards not double dip.

I’ve just had a good laugh …  no really its a hoot.

No doubt desperate to avoid the claim that he is responsible for a further  miscarriage Guido Fawkes brags about his Hague smear being all about job adverts.  As if SpAds ever were sifted and interviewed.  He seeks further props to keep him afloat in a sea of slime.

You have to laugh – really you do.  Who does he chose?  Why the New Statesman and Channel 4 News!  2 of Guido’s most implacable lefty hate figures.

Laurie Penny of the new Statesman pens as ugly a post as you would expect and  grotesquely blames Hague for bringing up the issue of Ffion’s miscarriages.  She conveniently forgets the earlier smears about his marriage, rumours no doubt fanned by various absences by Ffion (due of course to her miscarriages).  we doubt that this will bother Guido – the only wife he has apologised to is his own.

Then we have Jon Snow popping up on Guido’s blogroll ever anxious to misrepresent the story by saying its all about Mr Myers suitability for the job.  A helpful prop this to Guido.  Unfortunately we also have Tony Blairs book to remind us of his former girlfriend from his university days .  What happened to her – why Anjie Hunter became one of Blairs most trusted aids.  Did the smarmy Mr Snow bother about this?  Not when Blair was his closet hero.  And of course its best not to raise the issue of Ms Hunter in this context since it reminds the plebs that an important quality about SpAds is their friendship and trust.

Hypocrites don’t ya just love ’em.  They certainly love each other; strange bedfellows desperation and hypocrisy makes.

The  Spectators Coffee House has a brave statement from William Hague following  a series of rumours about his marriage and his private life.  In the course of this he has had to disclose that his wife Ffion has suffered numerous miscarriages.

It seems that because Hague had the temerity to wear a cap and a T-shirt and sunglasses in August then in the world of Paul Staines,aka Guido Fawkes, this makes him gay and because he and  a male assistant whilst on tour chose to mimic Morecambe and Wise he must also be cheating on his wife.

I find it staggering that in this day and age there can be such snide unprincipled public sniggering and groundless rumourmongering.  Indeed it leaves one speechless.  Almost.

Staines made something of a name for himself by uncovering the plans by Damien McBride (a man too closely associated with Brown and Balls for subsequent comfort) to smear leading Tories. Ironic really because it’s now increasingly clear that Staines and McBride were made for each other.  Perhaps they should go in for a trial civil partnership.

But no matter how nasty a personality one thinks Mr Staines is, hiding behind his mask of  ‘libertarian’  – there  really is something far worse he has done …
He has demonstrated in the last few days all that is reprehensible about blogging.
“Power without responsibility — the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.”

There are rumours – self serving self publicising rumours admittedly – that Gordon Brown fancies a return to the shadow cabinet as International Development Secretary.  Well it would allow Brown to do what he does best – sermonise.

It’s being asked if either of the likely winners of Labour’s leadership contest would welcome this …

Only if they are clinically insane.

The corpse seems intent on trying to claw its way out of its coffin. The first thing the new leader should do is ask for a bag of nails.

There was an eponymous Charles Bronson film once where he played a character called St Ives.  I don’t think the character was meant to have been born in Cornwall.

With David Cameron’s new baby now receiving a name coming from a Cornish village – and fashion being what it is – can we expect more children sporting a middle name with a Cornish connection?

Can we expect a James Saltash etc …

or Elizabeth Tregatta …?

There seems little to worry about growing up as Isaac Quin … And Rock Padstow could expect a career in films but I hope we don’t get a Hubert Rupert Cubert … or a Johnny Twelveheads … or Mabel Mabyn …

I was brought up in Wigan, so perhaps I should have a middle name like ‘Pemberton’ or ‘ Standish’ – all suitably upstanding.  Fortunately my dear mother did not want to complicate my school-days and kept things simple with just  plain Trevor – otherwise I might have been lumbered with say ‘Parbold’.

But as our title suggests, I’m sure a Rose by any other name will look just as pretty.

I am a liberal.   Well a libertarian.

I am a democrat.  But not, note, a Democrat.

Its just that I am not a juxtaposition of the two.  I am a Tory.

So why should I worry about the Liberal Democrats?  Or offer them advice.

Well they are part of a Tory led Coalition, a Coalition their activists unanimously voted to join. So I do feel a small sense of self imposed responsibility.  We also find journalists, typified by the absurd Mary Riddell who hardly deserves her platform in that parody of a once great newspaper – The Telegraph, seemingly intent on speculatively nit-picking the Coalition unto death.

All manner of horrors are being foretold upon the LibDem’s Conference.  Apparently getting ones fingers smudged on the oily levers of power will be all too much for the delicate sensibilities of the party faithful.

Without a doubt the LibDem Conference will be interesting and who knows the electorate may (for the first time ever) be watching it like hawks.

What might they be looking for so intently?   Well, just perhaps for signs of the Liberal Democrats growing up.