Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I Want A Referendum! Any Referendum!

I am getting a bit confused by this Treaty of Lisbon debate in the Commons.

On the one hand, Labour say we don't need a referendum because its not a new constitution so they don't have to honour their manifesto pledge.

On the other hand, the Conservatives (who also promised a referendum on a new constitution) say the Treaty is, by any other name, the same as the former proposed Constitution that was abandoned by the EU after it was rejected in referenda by France and Holland.

On the other other (sic) hand, the LibDems, who had also promised a referendum on a new constitution, came up with the wheeze (under Ming Campbell's leadership) to offer one on whether the UK should remain a member of the EU.

I am running out of hands at this point! But it was very amusing to see the LibDems feigning mock outrage in the Commons today because they were not allowed to raise the issue of holding a referendum on our continuing membership of the EU. What a bunch of wallies! What a bunch of disingenuous obsessive EU-ophiles they are! And they can't even get that right, according to Iain Dale's blog: "The Pre-Planned LibDem Stunt That Went Wrong".

The real issue is that this Treaty makes fundamental and far-reaching changes to the UK's relationship with the EU and it needs to be properly debated in Parliament and then put to a referendum as all the three main parties promised in their manifestoes before the 2005 General Election.

The only party that has kept it's promise? The Conservatives, of course.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Give Mick A Glasgow Kiss From Me!

Mike Granatt, spokesman for Gorbals Mick (aka Michael Martin, the Speaker of the House of Commons) has resigned because he misled the Mail on Sunday when refuting claims that Mrs Mick had spent £4,000 since 2004 on taxi fares to do her weekly grocery shopping at Waitrose or wherever she gets her petit fois - the details aren't that important. But his reason for resigning is very significant.

"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

Diablo Brand Re-Launched

When I first started this blog in February 2005 I was exercised about fox hunting (go on, have a read - it's quite good, if I say so myself!) and very encouraged that the Michael Howard-led Conservative Party had a good chance of knocking the Blair government off its pedestal. Alas, it wasn't to be and my enthusiasm for blogging waned.

But by June 2007 I was getting so angry about the damage that the Blair/Brown hegemony had done that I resurrected the Diablo "brand". Hah! you might say - some brand!

Don't laugh but today I have reached a milestone. My profile has received five hundred hits! Wow! That means at least one person has looked at it five hundred times! Or, possibly, five hundred individuals have bothered to look at the Diablo profile. Either way, I've been noticed!

Not really..... I haven't counted but I reckon that I have received maybe 10 or so comments on the 75 posts I have made spanning the last three years. Not really on a par with Iain Dale, Guido or Political Betting is it? (OK, I know it's not as bad as Chris Paul who has posted 47,609 times and received 321 comments - at least half of which he wrote himself - but I'm not really making much headway, am I?)

So, what to do? Well, my loyal reader (sic) I am pleased to announce here that the Diablo site will be re-launched in the very near future: there will be more bells and whistles, more perzazz, more in-depth analysis and a greater emphasis on you - the reader - and what you want to read. It will be your site with the added attraction of some new guest bloggers, some of whom you know already.

Keep your eye on the Diablo blog - it's where it's happening!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

What A 'Orrible Little Man You Are, Private Ainsworth!

Bob Ainsworth, Labour MP for Coventry North East since 1992 and Minister for the Armed Forces, was on the BBC's "The Daily Politics" programme today being interviewed by Andrew Neil. (About 10 minutes in - watch it because it's a classic.)

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

Time For The Real Tory Launch?

Is it just me or do others think that David Cameron and his team should be further ahead in the polls at this stage in the political cycle?

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."

The Hole in The Government's Finances Gets Deeper

The old adage that "if you are digging yourself into a hole you should stop digging" seems to have passed by Messrs Brown and Darling (and, I dare say, Balls too).

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

Another Breach of Trust?

Should we be surprised that HM Coroner has delivered a devasting blow to Gordon Brown's government?

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

The Taliban's Trojan Horse?

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.

Read this article by Martin Parsons on the Conservative Home blog to understand how we are already walking into pre-planned trap that has been laid by this weak and incompetent Labour government.
Not only are they selling us out to the EUSSR but they are actively preparing us to accept a major and tragic change to our centuries old and hard fought rights. Osama bin Laden must be laughing in his cave or wherever he is..... hopefully with his 72 virgins in tow!
We must get rid of this Labour shower - they have done enough damage - let's stop it now.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Born in the EUSSR!

Do you want yourself, your children and grandchildren to be citizens of the United States of Europe?
If not, then read this blog by John Redwood MP to understand why you have no choice in the matter.
Your Government is about to give away your centuries old right to be British. There is nothing you can do about it. Gordon Brown and his despicable, devious and mendacious administration have reneged on Blair's promise to hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon (aka The European Constitution).
Don't it make you feel proud to be, well, er....a European?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

What's Wrong With GB's GB?

Like the many tens of thousands of parents who support their children's sporting activities, I spent about four hours this morning being frozen to the bone whilst my rugby-mad son and his chums were competing in a "festival" (hah, where did they get that word from?).

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.

What's happening? This is the sort of thing that was said in the Thatcher era, not when Gordon Brown (may God forever bless him) is our glorious leader. So, is this the way that "ordinary" people see Brown's Britain?

Well, the Coffee House blog links here to an article by John Rentoul in the Independent on Sunday which asks "What does Brown stand for?"

I don't know about you but he gives me the "heebeegeebees"!

And if he and his ilk are re-elected I'll be joining my school teacher friend in advising my son to emigrate. I will probably go with him.

Friday, February 01, 2008

No More Rubbish Taxes!

We have weekly collections in my North Midlands town. One week it is non-recycleable waste (grey wheelie bin) and the next it is recyceable items (garden waste and cardboard in a green wheelie bin).

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.
Let's get all this "green" stuff in proportion. There are limits to what responsible individuals can do to save the planet.