Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
"I have stepped down from my post for ethical reasons, because I misled a journalist unwittingly," he said. "I learned on Friday that I had been led to mislead journalists over material facts in a story concerning the Speaker's household and the use of taxis."
Ethical reasons? A reason to resign? Since when has "ethical reasons" caused anybody associated with the Labour Party been a reason to resign? He was not pushed, he did not jump - he just left gracefully with his own integrity intact.
But Mr Granatt is not, in fact, a Labour Party apparatchik - he is a career civil servant with a very sound reputation earned over several decades. I smell a rat!
Apart from the fact that Michael Martin is one of the most ineffective Speakers in history (witness his obvious bias towards Brown's regular habit of asking the Leader of the Opposition questions instead of answering Prime Ministers Questions) he is woefully equipped to take even the most simple decision on how the business of our Parliament is conducted. Calls for him to step down are long overdue.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
Boy, oh boy, did he get a pasting! He really needed his body armour today as he struggled to fend off serious criticism of the Ministry of Defence's failings over the many unnecessary deaths of our troops in Afghanistan. Everybody in the Armed Forces (and at least one HM Coroner) thinks this Government has criminally underfunded the provision of adequate levels of equipment to allow our personnel to defend themselves. Andrew Neil was at the top of his form and refused to let Ainsworth off the hook - well done, Andrew.
If any squaddie currently in Afghanistan today or any of the seriously injured and their families were able to watch Ainsworth's abject performance they must despair at the prospects of this shower of failing politicians who have done so much damage continuing in power for another week, let alone another year. Let's get them kicked out!
Sunday, February 17, 2008
It appears that they have consistently held a 9% lead over Labour (with the LibDems static) over the last couple of polls - see the latest results here.
We are getting very close to a tipping point in the way this Labour Government is perceived by the public, the mainstream media and the wider world. The Conservatives must be ready to light the blue touch paper and blast off!
They should not delay the countdown but take the opportunity of this window in the "political weather" to launch themselves into the wild blue yonder. "It's space, Dave, but not as we know it now! It's much bigger."
Once again I urge you to turn to John Redwood for a clear appreciation of what this means for the taxpayer and every family in the country. When will we be rid of this bunch of cretins?
Let's hope George Osborne's promise not to support the nationalisation of Northern Rock starts the clock ticking on the final and complete demise of this discredited Labour Government.
Friday, February 15, 2008
Questions must now be asked about Gordon Brown's culpability in the death of Captain James Philippson in June 2006 - a Britain who displayed the very highest standard of courage and leadership that we have come to expect from our armed services.
His father has described the current Prime Minister (and former Chancellor of the Exchequer) as that "miserable, parsimonious Mr Brown". I suspect that Mr Philippson senior is not usually given to overstatement even when talking about the death of his son. Once again Gordon Brown's armour-plated reputation for "prudence" has been exposed for what it is: a complete sham.
Apart from the very great tragedy of Captain Philippson's death, it is another indicator of the depths that Gordon Brown's government have sunk when the part-time Secretary of State for Defence has to put up a Minister of State to field the media questions.
"Defence minister Bob Ainsworth said that provision of kit to troops in Afghanistan had been dramatically improved since Capt Philippson's death. But he acknowledged that he could not promise no British soldier would ever again die as a result of equipment shortages. This is not the first time delays in the supply chain have caused casualties in theatre. I can't promise you that it will be the last. We are operating in very difficult, very complicated circumstances. Getting supplies to the frontline in a difficult theatre will always be difficult. But I have to say to you that there has been a huge improvement, recognised by everybody, in the kit, equipment and supplies to our people both in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last couple of years."
So that's alright then?
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
If you have been bemused why the Archbishop of Canterbury has raised the possibility of sharia law being an "optional" way for Muslims to deal with their disputes in Britain then you will be even more horrified by the potential consequences.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
But I am a bit of a rugby nut myself so it's not really such a chore to support these events where a couple of hundred youngsters have fun and, hopefully, improve their skills and develop their love of the game. All the people involved - the administrators, the referees, the coaches, the parents, the people who serve up the bacon butties, everyone - are volunteers and give up their time willingly to create experiences like this for their kids. Experiences that they will remember for a very long time.
It's also a good opportunity for the adults to interact and strengthen their bonds in this endeavour. (We always need volunteers to help out in organising raffles and cooking the bacon butties!) In between games there is always a chance for "administrators" like me to chat with other parents to persuade them to become even more involved.
Today I was dumbstruck by a conversation with one parent. She's a 50 year-old school teacher who doesn't see a future for her children in this country because of the high levels of immigration to Great Britain. She doesn't work in an inner city area but in a primary school on the outskirts of a small provincial town in the North Midlands - so no major influx of east Europeans (yet!) - and she's not what could be described as typical "middle class". She also sees this country as being dominated by people only interested in money.
Friday, February 01, 2008
But we also have a fortnightly "blue box" collection of glass, metal and batteries (in a separate recyclable bag) as well as a "blue bag" for (news)paper - but not envelopes because of the glue!
However, we have to take all our plastic packaging to a recycling point. For us this is not really a problem as we can drop it off (about once a week) when we visit our favourite supermarket.
We also compost all the vegetable waste, tea bags, egg cartons, egg shells, etc that we can. It is all added to our garden soil which we use to grow flowers, shrubs and a few vegetables and herbs.
As far as I am concerned my family can do no more to recycle. The system in place in our town seems to work reasonably well. If we were to be charged extra by our local council for the quantity of waste they take away from our house I would regard this as just another attempt to apply a stealth tax.