Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Is it just me but isn't the constant repetition by Gordon Brown of his pronounciation of the word 'values' as 'varl-yoos' beginning to grate? I've just seen that little section on Newsnight where he is shown to have used the soundbite "Markets should be free but not varl-yoos free" in at least five major speeches over the last few weeks.
But, of course, he has been banging on about his moral compass and his 'varl-yoos' ever since he slipped in under the radar of the "Court of Public Opinion" and somehow usurped the role of Prime Minister without a shot being fired.
It would be good if he actually had any decency and morals and he 'varl-yooed' the opinion of the British people and stepped down.
Friday, March 27, 2009
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Poor old Eric. Uncharacteristically, he got a bit tongue-tied on Question Time tonight when trying to explain why he claims about 55% (or was it 60%?) of the allowance he is entitled to claim for his second home even though his main house is "only" 37 miles away from Westminster.
Personally, I think he has a good case - it's just that he didn't explain it very well. Charles Clarke came to his help but as Eric said: "This is my contribution to Hang an MP Week"!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
After what most commentators are expecting to be the final death knell of Gordon Brown's ill-fated government it is widely reported that HM the Queen has decided to exercise her right to appoint the next Prime Minister to take control of the country until a General Election can be arranged.
Mervyn King will take control in a calm and efficient manner for a few weeks until the country decides which party it wants to lead it for the next five years.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
It appears that Gordon Brown is going to be nominated by the Pope for a Nobel prize for Economics. (No, it's not April Fool's day yet!) Well, you might well ask why would that be? Could it be that the Holy Father has recognised that Gordon Brown is the real representative of God on Earth?
Not everyone would agree with this as the Pope has a bit of a dodgy record on picking winners - ie he gets most things wrong - for example, he thinks the use of condoms actually causes AIDS! But I'm sure he has good reasons for his support of our glorious leader. (But see THIS just to be sure!)
This might not be a view shared by more worldly folk. According to this article in the Guardian which reports that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, has said: "We need to send good psychological signals from (the G20 meeting in) London and not engage in a competition for unrealisable growth packages. We have already done our part."
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
I liked this quote from Ken Livingstone in his interview in tomorrow's Total Politics:
"...97 per cent of all tax collected in Britain is collected by Gordon Brown. When I told the Mayor of Moscow that he said: "That’s worse than Russia under Stalin”."
Says it all really.
Do you realise that fuel duty is about to rise by 2p/litre? Have a look at this and add your comments.
You can also vote on whether you think that this rise is being pushed through very quietly ahead of an exceptionally late Budget.
You can also vote on whether you think that this rise is being pushed through very quietly ahead of an exceptionally late Budget.
I have been known to write comments on other people's blogs when the opinion polls have swung against the Conservatives to the effect that we need to hold our nerve and wait until we can see the whites of the enemy's eyes. It seems to me that the time has arrived for 'General' Cameron to order his forces to launch a full-scale attack.
I say this because it appears, according to the Press Association, that there are some rather naive folk who are so shallow and mis-informed that they would be willing to vote Labour if they thought the economy was recovering before Brown calls the next general election.
PA reports that: "The ICM poll for The Guardian suggests 8% of voters currently planning to vote Conservative or Liberal Democrat would consider backing Labour if the economy turned a corner. While the Tories are still 12 points clear, such a swing could be enough to return Labour as the largest party in the House of Commons."
We are now into the total-war phase of this campaign. It is the time to start slashing with those sabres and cut down all the lies, half-truths and spin that has characterised Labour for the last 12 years. And now is the time to implement the real strategy that will show the waverers that they are backing the wrong army.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
The French President is sitting in his office when his telephone rings. 'Hello, Mr. Sarkozy!' a heavily accented voice said. 'This is Paddy down at the Harp Pub in County Clare , Ireland. I am ringing to inform you that we are officially declaring war on you! We voted to reject the Lisbon treaty!'
'Well, Paddy,' Sarkozy replied, 'This is indeed important news! How big is your army?' 'Right now,' says Paddy, after a moment's calculation, 'there is myself, me Cousin Sean, me next door neighbor Seamus, and the entire darts team from the pub. That makes eleven!'
Sarkozy paused. 'I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100,000 men in my army waiting to move on my command.' 'Begoora!' says Paddy. 'I'll have to ring you back.'
Sure enough, the next day, Paddy calls again. 'Mr. Sarkozy, the war is still on. We have managed to get us some infantry equipment!' 'And what equipment would that be Paddy?' Sarkozy asks. 'Well, we have two combines, a bulldozer, and Murphy's farm tractor.'
Sarkozy sighs amused. 'I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 6,000 tanks and 5,000 armored personnel carriers. Also, I have increased my army to 150,000 since we last spoke.'
'Saints preserve us!' says Paddy. 'I'll have to get back to you.' Sure enough, Paddy rings again the next day. 'Mr. Sarkozy, the war is still on! We have managed to get ourselves airborne! We have modified Jackie McLaughlin's ultra-light with a couple of shotguns in the cockpit, and four boys from the Shamrock Bar have joined us as well!'
Sarkozy was silent for a minute and then cleared his throat. 'I must tell you, Paddy, that I have 100 bombers and 200 fighter planes. My military bases are surrounded by laser-guided, surface-to-air missile sites. And since we last spoke, I have increased my army to 200,000!'
'Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!' says Paddy, 'I will have to ring you back.'
Sure enough, Paddy calls again the next day. 'Top o' the mornin', Mr. Sarkozy! I am sorry to inform you that we have had to call off the war.'
'Really? I am sorry to hear that,' says Sarkozy. 'Why the sudden change of heart?'
'Well,' says Paddy, 'we had a long chat over a few pints of Guinness and packets of crisps, and we decided there is no fookin' way we can feed 200,000 prisoners.
NB: I copied this direct from Donal Blaney's blog! Well, why not? He pinched it from someone else, to be sure, to be sure....
Sunday, March 15, 2009
I don't know about you but I have had at least two letters from Barclays Bank offering me a "guaranteed" £11,000 personal loan in the last few weeks. (A few years back I had these kind of offers at least twice week from a whole range of financial institutions and I still get letters from good old Ocean Finance!)
But now, as someone who has been able to retire early albeit with a much reduced income and no interest in (or need of a hefty loan, I hope!) I wonder why this bank wants to offer me such a large loan without understanding my personal circumstances. OK, I am simply a joint account holder with my wife because that entitles us to various things such as travel and car breakdown insurance. But I put none of my money into Barclays.
It reminds me of applying on-line to Northern Rock for a personal loan about five years ago and finding they were prepared to lend me an unsecured £25,000 without any details of my personal circumstances. (I didn't touch it - even with Gordon Brown's barge pole!)
But the serious question here is why are the banks prepared to lend me money but find it so hard to fund small businesses when they need it?
Perhaps the G20 meeting will explain?
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Here's a little vignette to warm the cockles of your heart - or not, as the case may be!
This concerns my wife's younger sister's daughter, my niece I suppose, although I do not know much about her as she is a very morose teenager with little or no communications skills. She hardly ever (actually, never) interacts with me on the few occasions I have met her. Apparently, she is a strongly committed vegetarian who wants to work with animals. Fair enough. However, she has had an undistinguished academic experience at school and consequently only has a few GCSEs at A to C level - in fact, mostly at 'C' or below. But she was sufficiently motivated to stay on at school in the sixth-form. Good for her you might say.
But, by last Christmas she became de-motivated and dropped out of school. Now, I am not sure what happened to cause this, other than it appears the workload she and her fellow students were given was so minimal that they spent more time on "home study" than in actual lessons. (Amazing! When I was in the sixth-form we were expected to spend all day in school attending classes or studying in the library.)
So, how does she spend her time these days? Well, she has signed on at the local Job Centre Plus so she can claim job seekers allowance. (Whether she passes on any of these payments to her parents who are still funding her I do not know.) She says she is going to apply for a further education course in September which will help her gain the basic qualifications she needs if she wants to work with animals in the future.
Her aunt (Mrs Ted - who is of the old school, like me) suggested to her the other day that she might consider looking around for a job instead of sitting around on her (thin) arse all day and sponging off her parents. (Pulls no punches, does Mrs T!)
We heard today that she was called in for her fortnightly interview with Job Centre Plus and they had found her the ideal job. Two hours office cleaning on Sundays paying £5.00 per hour which would be deducted from her JSA!
So there we have it. This is Brown's Britain. A 17 year-old girl, not particularly academically inclined or interested, encouraged to stay on in an education system that is unable to deliver what she is capable of achieving; a Government-run job placement service that doesn't have any real jobs to offer; and a generation of under-educated and under-achieving young people who are not equipped with the skills and aptitudes that they will need to create a brighter future for themselves.
And then we have Ed Balls saying it's nonsense to say GCSEs are not sufficiently rigorous. Not only is he and Brown deluded but they will stand accused "in the court of public opinion" of perpetuating the underclass generation.
Shame on them!
All I seem to post at the moment is YouTube clips that other people have discovered and/or 'modified! I'm sorry for this but they have been too good to miss - like this latest one from The Crown Blogspot.
Friday, March 13, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
If, like me, you rely on the MSM to provide you with a balanced summary of what politicians have said in a particular speech and assume their synopses are an accurate and fair reflection of what they actually said then, like me, you are probably only reading the headlines they want you to read.
So, take a few minutes to read THIS speech that George Osborne made to the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce last Friday.
Osborne has a lot of critics among Conservative Party supporters who see him as lightweight and lacking in the sort of experience that is required to become a successful Chancellor of the Exchequer. Whilst you shouldn't judge a politician's ability on the strength of one speech I believe that the clarity of his analysis and his vision for the way that the country can come out of this economic disaster created by Gordon Brown's mismanagement over the last 12 years makes him well-qualified to be the next Conservative government's Chancellor.
Sunday, March 08, 2009
At the risk of giving you Harrisitis, I would refer you to Fraser Nelson's post on the Coffee House blog where he makes some interesting connections with the aforementioned Labour MP's article in the Mail on Sunday.
"Why is it Left wing to allow millions to live on benefits, and let children get each other pregnant? Tom Harris asks this question in an excellent article in the Mail on Sunday today." says Fraser
If I am going to "big up" anybody I think it has to be Fraser as he is continually emphasising the problems that Labour's dependency culture has created. He concludes by saying:
"I hope that Tom keeps going on at this. Unlike many other Labour MPs it does bother him. It is, in my view, the most important topic in Britain right now and it is horribly under-debated. If left and right really clash with each other on how best to solve this problem, how best to make work pay, then so much the better. We must grasp that we are paving a road from school to welfare dependency and we should not be so surprised when so many millions choose to take this road."
And, yes, I know the picture is of Horatio Nelson!
Those of you that follow Glasgow South MP, Tom Harris' blog, will know that he can be an acquired taste but recently he has shown signs that he has a "sensible head" and is prepared to debate in a relatively non-party political way on a number of fundamental issues that he has himself dubbed as 'important to Daily Mail readers'.
So his article in the Mail on Sunday today comes as no surprise. I applaud him for having the guts to write it and I commend you to read it too.
You can also link to his blog HERE - but I warn you that you won't agree with everything he pontificates upon - and he does pontificate at times! The comments are usually entertaining, though.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
I was absolutely gobsmacked to read THIS load of palpable tosh on the Telegraph's Three Line Whip blog. Bring back Peter Hain to the Cabinet? I'd rather have a red hot poker pushed up my bottom than see that man in any sort of position of power ever again. And I don't think I am the only one.
Patrick Hennessy, who wrote this canard, even says that Hain "is just the sort of sensible, grown-up politician the (Labour) party needs if it is to have any hope of reconnecting with voters."
It's not April Fool's Day already, is it?
Picked THIS up via ConservativeHome. My eldest son lives in New Zealand and helped out on John Key's election campaign last year and has told me that he is typical of the "No. 8 wire"* attitude that characterises the Kiwis as a nation.
"We don't tell New Zealanders we can stop the global recession, because we can't...what we do tell them is we can use this time to transform the economy to make us stronger so that when the world starts growing again we can be running faster than other countries we compete with."
That idea - growing a nation out of recession by improving productivity - puts Mr. Key and his conservative National Party at odds with Washington, Tokyo and Canberra (and I would add London, too). Those capitals are rolling out billions of dollars in stimulus packages - with taxpayers' money - to try to prop up growth. That's "risky.... you've saddled future generations with an enormous amount of debt that then they have to repay....there is actually a limit to what governments can do."
"...while the U.S. and Australia broadly continued their economic liberalization programs under both right- and left-wing governments, New Zealand didn't -- until now. Over the past nine years, Helen Clark's left-wing Labour government rode the global economic expansion and used the revenue surge to expand government welfare programs...and embrace causes like global warming. As a result, the economy stagnated....".
New Zealand is a relatively small country so direct comparisons with the UK are not always relevant but the general thrust of John Key's approach is not a bad model for our Conservative Party to follow. Read the whole article and see what you think.
*The old settlers always seemed to be able to fix any bit of broken machinery with a piece of No. 8 fencing wire!
Friday, March 06, 2009
That swivel-eyed Labour luvvie, Steve Richards, who calls himself a journalist but is in a fact a paid-up member of the "Gordon Brown for World President" movement was on Newsnight earlier spouting his own particular brand of gibberish.
According to him what this country needs is for Gordon Brown to remain as Prime Minister after the next election! Where the heck has he been living for the last 12 years? He has also had the gall to write this tosh in the Independent today where he says that Gordon Brown has "authenticity"!
WTF? Yes, he's an authentic bloody disaster who has been responsible for leading this country into the current disaster that befalls us. Just read the comments on Richards' article to get a flavour of how authentic people think Brown really is.
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Douglas Alexander who is a cabinet minister (and brother of Wendy - that other Labour gargoyle) has just said on Question Time that "quantatitive easing" took 8 years to have any effect when Japan tried it in the early 1990s. (Not sure it had all the desired effects in the end, though.)
It'll be interesting to see how the Brown/Darling spin machine will deal with this in the morning.
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Alice Miles has written a perceptive article in the The Times today which confirms that the downgrading of Britain's influence in the world to a third-rate power is now complete.
".... the White House was irritated by No 10's attempts to make it sound in advance as though Mr Brown and Mr Obama were somehow equals - worse, as if the British Prime Minister was en route to give Mr Obama instruction in how to handle the economic crisis.
The shenanigans yesterday dredged up unpleasant memories for Labour of another trip to Washington by a party leader, Neil Kinnock, in 1987. Then, in the run-up to the election, the Labour leader was humiliated by Ronald Reagan's failure to spend even the full allotted half-hour with him.
But the Obama snub yesterday was arguably worse: Mr Brown is Prime Minister, not just leader of the Labour Party. And in 1987, the White House snub, including a briefing that undermined Mr Kinnock further, was intentional: the President wanted to support Margaret Thatcher by making the Labour leader look like a twit. More embarrassingly the humiliation of Mr Brown yesterday appeared to be simple carelessness. I think unplanned insult is worse."
As one of the commenters on this article has already said:
"It is like watching the Titanic go down. The government is holed below the waterline through lies and incompetence and as a result have totally lost the public trust. The government know what their fate is and how long they have left, but they can do nothing to stop it. Their death is inevitable."
And so say all of us.
Tuesday, March 03, 2009
Dizzy has a brilliant take HERE on Darling's supposed admission that the Labour Government has got things wrong. He rightly points out that what he actually did was to subtly blame the Tories and the Civil Service.
I had the same impression after reading the original interview in the Daily Telegraph too. But we shouldn't really be surprised by this. All these failed Labour cabinet ministers have left in their armoury is to imply that all the problems they have had during the last 12 years in office have been caused by the Conservatives.
Expect to hear more of this spin over the next year or so.
Monday, March 02, 2009
My Twitter friend Steve Green, who runs the excellent Daily Referendum blog, has pointed me to this lovely little spoof on The Crown Blog.
I do hope that Brown's visit to Washington will be little more than a damp squib but at the same time I hope he doesn't embarrass us either.
My sources in Washington have assured me that President Obama will treat Gordon Brown with the same respect that the British Prime Minister showed to his predecessor. I understand that is code for "humour him for a couple of days and then get him back on the first plane available to the UK".
They regard him as little more than an irritant at the White House. He is seen as yesterday's man and they are just waiting for the chance to deal with a David Cameron government.
So get those postal votes in early - and often! (Well, if it can work for Labour in Glenrothes, it can work for the Conservatives!)