29 December, 2005
I have just come across this little gem. Tom Brake MP has sent out a number of press releases recently and the last few are classics, I always thought that it was meant to be the politicians that changed the world, Tom seems to think that TV presenters are the people who make a difference. He may be right.
24 December, 2005
Other than loosing the election I don't think that the Conservatives came out too badly from this. Which is nice.
If you have any others, please send them in. I have a few local ones which I will be putting together in the new year.
23 December, 2005
Also what on earth makes her think that anyone would vote for her?
Perhaps I am being unfair, perhaps I am letting my own party political feelings get in the way of a clearly intelligent and talented woman.
Or perhaps not.
They must be the least effective team in political history, they seem to struggle keeping ministers, understanding the difference between security and fascism or thinking of any policies that they can actually implement.
I don't want to drift into traditional Tory paranoia area but this whole plan just screams regional government by the back door. Prescott tried to push regional government on the very Labour friendly North West and he was told in no uncertain terms to get stuffed. Now Charles Clarke has tried to push regional police forces, luckily the cops are just as hard to bully as the good people of the North East. Good on 'um.
21 December, 2005
The problem is that Bliar, Brown et al don't want anyone to think that the Conservatives can win the next election. It seems that Jack thinks that we can, thank you Jack.
I think that the most important point to take from this is that David Cameron is serious about working across part boundaries, it seems that Tony Blair and Charles Kennedy are really uncomfortable with this.
Their problem not ours.
He still has to answer to the people of Lewisham next spring and I am sure that they will call him to account. This is not just about this swimming pool but about his whole attitude to local government and local accountability.
Transport for London have provided a webcam, how useful. I have just been looking at it.
The two areas which are covered are Deptford and Catfrod.
Literally minutes of fun.
I realise that I haven't given much detail as to the goings on surrounding the closure of the pool, rather than run through everything here I will just direct you to the Campaigns own website here.
There is so much wrong with the whole decision it is quite beyond belief, from the financial mismanagement, lack of consultation, arrogance and incompetence of the Mayor's office. It would be funny if it wasn't true.
20 December, 2005
The Ladywell pool team aren't too impressed.
John Prescott has let the cat well and truly out of the bag. His toff bashing really does show that despite all the warm words there is good old fashioned prejudice at the heart of his political philosophy. Blair may have been the future once, Prescott is stuck well in the past.
19 December, 2005
That is not good negotiation.
Must try harder next time. If there is a next time.
Until recently had one of them been injured or become seriously ill the other would not have had automatic visiting rights at hospital or any say in resuscitation decision. I cannot imagine how I would feel if Susie were in that situation and I was not allowed to be involved. For me this argument is the plainest and simplest reason for supporting civil partnerships.
I like marriage and I think that in most cases if is a force for good, I also strongly believe in the family, I don't feel that the two are incompatible. Gay "marriage" takes nothing away from heterosexual marriage and while there will be some civil partnerships which are done for the wrong reasons the same can be said of straight marriage.
Best of luck I say.
I had a quick look on Wikipedia (an addictive habit) and found out the low-down on my sore throat, or Pharyngitis as it is also known, and it made me feel worse. Too little knowledge is dangerous, too much is worse.
I have to confess that the usual round of Christmas parties hasn't helped much and perhaps I should go to the doctor to get something for it. Susie went and got some antibiotics which she says has done wonders.
It is clear that even this most loyal of lieutenants is setting out his stall in preparation for the new Labour leader. Attacking the Conservatives for being "public schoolboys" has always been held back because Tony is a public schoolboy himself. This line of attack says to me that Labour's management team no longer worry about alienating Blair or making him seem wee.
Is it too late to put a bet on both labour and the Lib Dems having a new leader before the local government elections in May?
17 December, 2005
I have had a quick look at the site and there is a lot more cross over than I thought that there would be. On civil liberties, the rule of law, green issues, decentralisation, localism, open markets, fair trade we all agree.
Thinking about it, most of the Lib Dems that I meet locally are easy to get on with and nice enough to talk to. It is the rather aggressive and nasty campaigning techniques instigated by Lib Dem HQ that I really take issue with.
Lets see how we all get on.
What worries me is not how cynical this move is but that we have so much bad news, when I started reading the piece I thought that there might have been six or seven bad news stories, there were 21. You have to be pretty rubbish to generate that much trash.
16 December, 2005
I have put this entry in mainly because I find this picture amusing.
As a Conservative I now feel able to hold the branch of peace out to Lib Dems everywhere, so if Champagne Charlie wants to become a member of the Lewisham Conservatives he is welcome.
No private jets here I'm afraid.
The standards Board for England wield to powerful a weapon. The deeply insensitive, insulting and vitriolic remarks made by Livingstone to Oliver Feingold are completely inappropriate to his position. Despite this it looks as though he might get off because the punishment (being bared from office) is too great a sanction, I think the standards board should hit Ken where it hurts, his ego.
How about some nice big posters financed out of his own pocket with his smug face saying "I am sorry for acting in the same way as the fascists that I purport to hate."
Just in case you missed the original exchange outside Chris Smith's party, here is a transcript:
Not very nice really. Calling Feingold a fascist just because he works for the Evening Standard, just like Ken Livingstone did when he was their restaurant critic. Arrogant and hypocritical.
Feingold: Mr Livingstone, Evening Standard. How did tonight go?
Livingstone: How awful for you. Have you thought of having treatment?
Feingold: How did tonight go?
Mr Livingstone: Have you thought of having treatment?
Feingold: Was it a good party? What does it mean for you?
Mr Livingstone: What did you do before? Were you a German war criminal?
Feingold: No, I'm Jewish, I wasn't a German war criminal and I'm actually quite offended by that. So, how did tonight go?
Mr Livingstone: Arr right, well you might be, but actually you are just like a concentration camp guard, you are just doing it because you are paid to, aren't you?
Feingold: Great, I have you on record for that. So, how was tonight?
Mr Livingstone: It's nothing to do with you because your paper is a load of scumbags and reactionary bigots.
Feingold: I'm a journalist and I'm doing my job. I'm only asking for a comment.
Mr Livingstone: Well, work for a paper that doesn't have a record of supporting fascism.
15 December, 2005
The recent report from the Audit commission highlighted the fact that Conservative councils dominated the best performing category. Year on year comparisons were made difficult because the old grading system has been scrapped and replaced with a scale of improvement, despite this the general trend show the councils that have been doing well in the last few years continue to thrive.
It is very interesting to see that no Lib-Dem councils were in the top flight despite their claims to be party of local government. Perhaps they are too busy sticking their knives into Charlie.
14 December, 2005
The left wingers are getting increasingly desperate and personal in their attacks, which I think is a good thing. It shows that they are scared and it shows what a Nasty bunch some of them are, if you don't believe me have a quick look at this quote from Brian Reade in the Mirror a few day ago:
What a pleasant chap. Also as a professional writer I would have thought that he would know a few things about grammar, like when to use a paragraph and the it should be "Soames' gut" rather than "Soames's gut".
David Cameron is Tory leader, an Old Etonian, ferociously ambitious, married to
aristocracy and, thanks to the illegitimate sperm of a dead, mad king, the Queen's distant cousin.
Yet I'm still not sure which element of that CV defines him as a genuine bastard. One thing's clearer than Nicholas Soames's gut though. Throw all those elements together and you get one of the most dangerous bastards on Earth.
13 December, 2005
I would have thought that this would be a good time to pull together and show a bit of unity, I know that this is difficult when the policies vary from one seat to the next but they could at least pretend.
I am not too upset that they are pulling themselves apart, clearly, the timing couldn't be better for the Conservatives. I do feel that they owe the people that voted for them a little bit more professionalism.
11 December, 2005
New website, new attitude from the media and now a new position in the polls, the lead. David Cameron's changes have come thick and fast, faster than I expected and having been an active Conservative since the latter half of the 1990's it is a position I am unused to. I might just get to like it.
When, unprompted, someone says that they are not worried about losing their job you can guarantee that they a worried about losing their job. When, unprompted, the Chairman of the Labour Party sends out an email saying that they are not worried about a resurgent Conservative party you can guess what I read into it.
When a few days later Jo Brand (a self confessed Labour supporter, poor gal) sends out a begging letter taking another opportunity to stick one on Cameron I know that we are hitting the spot. I wait with bated breath for the email from Tony Robinson.
08 December, 2005
That is on top the salaries of a number of highly paid and experienced council officers. It would just about be tolerablele if the council didn't make so many truly appauling decisions. It takes a special kind of cluelessness to buy in expert advice and still screw up.
David Cameron has clearly utilised the talent and experience of the senior members of the shadow cabinet and I am very pleased to hear elements of their leadership manifestos working their way into David's agenda.
Liam Fox's desire to fix our "broken society" has now become a fundamental element of the party's plans and hearing that the test of our policies will be how they effect the poorest is straight from Davis' pitch. Although Cameron is a charismatic leader these little things indicate that he will not be cliquey and autocratic like Blair.
Heir to Blair? Not in all things.
The Onyx Environmental Trust provided funding, a manufacturing company called Taylor provided the bins and the newly formed art and design company Tonic Wonder Remedies made them look like cows.
Lewisham isn't great a re-cycling and it is an area which I feel that we should be taking much more seriously, steps like this are definitely in the right direction.
07 December, 2005
They're having an internal election and half killing each other. Whatever David Cameron has or hasn't done, he's sketching out his views of a future Conservative party. David Davis is playing the man not the ball and who will be the loser in that? The Conservative party of course. Will they ever learn?Now, I don't claim to be an impartial observer but it seems to me that the Conservative party have come out of this rather well.
06 December, 2005
Spending on the NHS has increased yet wards are being closed, jobs are being lost and Trusts up and down the country are facing financial problems. The problem isn't that the hospitals don't have enough money to provide a first class service, they do, the problem is that they are forced to spend too much of their money meeting the arbitrary targets that Blair and Brown set them.
Here's a message to you Mr Blair, if you trust the people in the health service set them free.
Doesn't have to be in red, although I do like red (bikes, not politics), they come in blue, black and yellow.
I'm going to have to re-do my site now to keep up with the new theme. Or perhaps not .
I wrote not so long ago that for the first time I wasn't too worried about which of the two candidates became leader, both were strong parliamentarians, both wanted to create an effective credible party. Both Davids put across a strong picture of what they wanted the party to become and how the country could be improved, to be fair, David Cameron had less firm detail in his picture but painted it more vividly.
The size of David Cameron's win sends out a very clear message to the Westminster village, the media and the country as a whole. We are not dyed in the wool, reactionary, past our best, has-beens. We are passionate, caring and keen to put right what Blair and Brown have screwed up. Cameron's clear mandate, both from MPs and from members, means that he will not need to listen to the voices from the sidelines urging the party to swerve to the right.
We have four years to put across an agenda, properly explained and costed, which will show to the country that there is a real alternative to Labour.
As for David Davis, I think he has come out of this whole process very well. There were plenty of people who tried to portray him as a mad, hard line right winger, what came across was someone who had given a lot of though to how the party could improve, how society could support the least able and how the education could lift the poorest.
Now for the first time in a long time it is exciting to be a Conservative. I was at a debate between the Bow Group and the Young Fabians and while chatting to one of the other Bow Group members it became clear that there was a mood amongst our young left-wing opponents. It was clear that they felt that the best years of their party were behind them.
David Cameron, Carol Thatcher, Derek Laud, could it be that Conservatives are becoming popular again?
- Think "win - win". This means that both parties in the negotiation come away with a deal that suits them and are happy to continue doing business.
- Never give anything away. Give-aways are easy, negotiating is difficult.
While reading through the Times article above it struck me that Blair, Straw and their team could do with a negotiation course. I don't know about you but £8 Billion sounds like a lot of money to hand over in return for a very loose promise from the EU to look at their budget at some point in the future.
The rebate is to offset the hugely iniquitous Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) which is so deeply flawed it is beyond belief. The CAP along with the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) are evil and need to be scrapped. Using your and my tax money to subsidise inefficient European farmerss (mainly in France b.t.w.) while dumping the excess production on the developing world is just plain wrong.
05 December, 2005
Gordon Brown has committed some money to help offset this pressure but not nearly enough. It will be very interesting to see what the current Mayor of Lewisham promises to do with council tax in the 2006/7 financial year. I suspect that he will be very quite about this particular issue.
There was a lot of criticism of both William Hague and IDS because they didn't have much hair, well there is a bloke with no hair at all who seems to have been very effective. Duncan Goodhew has given his support to the Save Ladywell Pool campaign. Read more here.
Running my own BLOG on my own website has proved too difficult and time consuming, writing the page manually in the evening was taking too much time away from my family, also I am not good enough at web design to put in the comments, links and track-backs etc.
This now means that I can put stuff up on the site as I see it and while my initial thoughts are still in my head.
I hope you don’t mind. I hope that at least someone notices.