Friday, April 30, 2010
I have just watched the BBC 10 o'clock news, and it discussed immigration, and specifically how much was immigration from the EU and how much was from outside of the EU.
They then picked 2008, when the economy was beginning to suffer and based there report on that.
That was disingenuous in the extreme. The fact is that between 1997 and 2007 three quarters of of net inward migration has been from outside of the EU, not, as the BBC said from inside. The BBC simply cherry picked the year.
Burning our money has this.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Gordon Brown called Labour voter Gillian Duffy a bigot after a very smiley type of conversation, because one of the subjects she raised was immigration.
What gets me about this is that he did not disagree with her on camera but insulted her behind her back.
You can see the original video here, her response here, and Gordon's apology here, though what I suspect he is apologising for is not calling her a bigot but being caught.
A lot of people are worried about immigration, and whilst Labour talk tough on immigration they clearly think people who are concerned about it are bigots. It is not bigoted to be concerned about immigration.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
The main news, and rightly so, is that the well respected Institute of Fiscal Studies has produced a report that says that all the main parties are not telling the truth about spending cuts. The BBC has this.
At best we have the worst spending cuts since the 1970's (worse than Thatcher) and at worst, since the Second World War (It is not clear how much worse the latter is than the former however).
In defence of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, the IFS does point out that they have no numbers to work from in terms of detail because there has been no spending review. Labour have said that this is because public finances are uncertain. True. However as the IFS point out, that will continue.
What is the biggest lesson of this?
Well there are two.
One is that we need more honesty in political debate, without the "they want to murder babies" sort of debate that we get especially with Ed Balls talking.
The "They want to murder your babies" style of debate really hinders honesty, and is currently best exemplified by the cancer scare Labour party political broadcast ripped apart here. In essence it is a very narrow pointless scare story over a stupid target which achieves nothing.
The other thing it really does say is that the increases in public spending by Labour over the last 13 years have been unsustainable and irresponsible.
Labour started in government with doctors who were well paid by OECD standards, and finish it with doctors being the best paid in the OECD. I never thought doctors were on the poverty line.
Lastly though, there is thankfully for you, the main three political parties and I, a "hole" in the IFS's figures, and that is the dividend payments from our shares in Lloyds TSB and indeed RBS as well as the potential profits from the sale of those shares. That could be worth a few billion a year. After all Lloyds TSB expects a profit this year.
Monday, April 26, 2010
At the time of the incident where Peter Harvey attacked **** ********** I wrote this.
Well, his trial has started, for Attempted murder. The BBC has this.
Firstly I am surprised he is not claiming diminished responsibility. He is merely pleading guilty to GBH.
From the trial it really does appear as if his class was a living hell for him. Given that he had been off sick because he feared he might hurt someone, you do really have to ask what support he was given. Many of these points I made in the original article.
One thing this does draw in to sharp relief though is school discipline. Clearly this needs fixing.
I feel very sorry for all those involved.
Update 14th of May 2010 to reflect a section 39 order I have been made aware off.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Prominent Mid Sussex Liberal Democrat district, West Sussex County and East Grinstead town councillor. you can read the full details here.
In a statement she said:
I have become increasingly disillusioned with the Liberal Democrats who have little positive to offer people in East Grinstead and locally are running a campaign full of negativity and personal abuse.
Interestingly many Liberal Democrat activists get fed up with their relentlessly nasty campaigning and leave. You can read about another former Liberal Democrat here, who went left for the same reason and then got smeared when he stood as a Green candidate.
There have been many defections of activists from the Liberal Democrats to the Conservatives in Mid Sussex since Serena Tierney arrived a few months before the 2005 general election. I expect many more.
So the next time you hear Liberal Democrats claiming to be nice, you will know they are not. They are by far and away the worst of the 3 main parties.
Misconstrued, misunderstood, distorted and twisted beyond credibility.. and then used against you.
In this case I am talking about what David Cameron said in the Paxman interview for Panorama today, what Michael Crick said about it, and indeed what the press in the North East and Northern Ireland have said about it.
What David Cameron actually said was that the public sector was too large a part of the economies of several parts of the UK (In Northern Ireland the public sector accounts for 68% of GDP and in the North East 63%) and so the solution is to increase the size of the private sector. Obvious really.
However this has been turned on its head into swinging cuts in both areas. This is not what he said, meant or intended. It is a clear distortion.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Something most people don't realise about the Liberal Democrats is that they are the truly nasty party. Their campaign tactics are very unpleasant. Well, Serena Tierney's tactics have made it into the Daily Mail (Yes I know, not a paragon of any kind of virtue, but then what news paper actually is?)
The story leads with one of her local campaign tactics, which is to accuse Conservative councillors of deserting a sinking ship, because there is going to be 4 local by elections.
Well, one died, (Brenda Binge), one's husband's Parkinson’s disease has taken a turn for the worse so she has less time available to be a councillor, one has moved away and the other is about to.
Perhaps Serena thinks they should stay in post pocketing their allowances for doing little. Perhaps it is what Liberal Democrat councillors would do. Here in Mid Sussex, the Conservatives on the other hand do not.
Of course other Liberal Democrat nastiness is also covered in the article, and none of it surprises me.
If you have a story about Lib Dem campaign tactics, leave them in the comments or email them in.
Much is made of the sage powers of Vince Cable. However as the Liberal Democrats are up in the polls, there record, or rather what they have said over the last few years have come under scrutiny.
Here is the result:
Monday, April 19, 2010
There is much discussion of what the dangers or benefits of a hung parliament would be. Apparently many people would like a hung parliament.
Well, today the DUP issued their manifesto, relishing the prospect of a hung parliament. The SNP and Plaid Cymru (The part of Wales) also relish this, as their small number of seats will give them much influence in Westminster.
This is, in the United States of America, called Pork barrel politics, and results in those with disproportionate influence getting disproportionate funding for their area. In fact both the SNP and Plaid Cymru are insisting that there need be no public service cuts.
The bottom line is this. We have had a Labour government, therefore we have not only run out of money, but run up obscene debts, and not only that, but will continue to run up these debts for years to come. Times are going to be tough, and frankly a hung parliament means that while most pay for Labour's mistakes, Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland will get of Scot free.
Personally I think we are all in this together, we will all need to tighten our belts, and no one should be hit so much harder because some hold disproportionate influence.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
- ask what you can do for your country.
So said John F Kennedy in his inaugural speech on Friday the 20th of January 1961.
Fundamentally that is what the Conservative manifesto is about.
What you can do, and how you can get involved in running your country.
Labour's manifesto is entitled "A Future fair for all".
Apart from the fact that is a vacuous motherhood and apple pie sort of statement*, you do have to ask what is meant by "fair".
Is it fair for example, that a family where no one works that has 5 children can get as much on state benefits as one where only one adult works full time on average pay**?
Is it fair that the education of a whole class can be put in jeopardy by one or two disruptive pupils whom the teachers can't deal with?
Is it fair that after 114 years of universal primary education, so many people leave school with out the ability to read, write or do arithmetic?
Is it fair that someone who works 100 hours a week only may only earn 4 times the before tax equivalent of someone who has never had a job?
Is it fair that you can pay a professional*** good money to do vital work for you, only to find out that they may be working 100 hours a week, and frankly are no good to anybody after 70 hours a week?
So what does fair mean exactly?
*Who wants an unfair future after all?
**That is mean average, not modal average.
***That means lawyers, accountants, tax advisers and of course doctors. Who would want to be operated on by a surgeon who had not had enough sleep?
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Iain Dale and Dizzy cover an article in the Sunday Times about Labour's very very dirty tricks in the campaign as far as cancer is concerned.
Basically they have sent out personalised cards 250,000 people who have had cancer treatment. (At least one of whom had died). These cards were very specifically addressed it seems.
Apart from the fact that they misrepresent the Conservative policy on cancer and its effects, preying on the very ill and vulnerable is a very low tactic.
From the Sunday Times article Labour deny using confidential information:
"Labour sources deny that the party has used any confidential information. However, the sources admit that, in line with other political parties, it uses socio-demographic research that is commercially and publicly available."
The question has to be how did they get the data that Mr Bob Smith has had some cancer treatment, and not his next door neighbour or his brother down the street?
Many months ago now I had an accident. I tripped up over something in the kitchen and seriously banged my knee. A few days later I had a checkup with my GP so mentioned it to him. He looked at it and said it was nothing to worry about. Shortly afterwards I received a marketing text from a claims handling agency saying that I could claim (from me presumably, so I did not take up the offer).
This all begs the question, is our confidential medical information being sold to the highest bidder and is therefore commercially available because this Labour government sold it, or are Labour just misusing special access to it? Either way it is wrong.
Could you imagine what would have happened if someone had had a cancer scare and decided not to mention it to their family? Their confidential medical information is then posted through the door on a postcard every one from the postman to partner picking up the card.
I do hope the Main stream media press on this issue. What goes on between a patient and doctor is supposed to be confidential, not sold to the highest bidder or used for political purposes.
Monday, April 05, 2010
There is so much in the press and indeed on the airwaves about Gordon Brown calling an election for May the 6th, which means going to the Palace to see the Queen.
The thinking is as there are elections on May the 6th, Gordon must go then as to have two elections in consecutive months would be expensive and would annoy the electorate.
Whilst all that is true, and there is an encouraging poll from ICM*, Gordon still will not do it, as he does not possess the required courage. There will be a reason to dither, and he will take it.
The actual election is in June**, the last possible date being the 3rd apparently though I always thought it would be the 10th.
*According to Politicalbetting.com there is an ICM poll in tomorrows Guardian putting the Conservatives on 37% and Labour on 33%. This could even give Labour more seats. The only down side to this poll from Labour's point of view is that it was conducted over a Bank holiday weekend, (worse still a double!) so you may as well ignore it. There is another poll with the Conservatives 10% ahead, though for the same reasons that is dubious.
**I am preparing to eat my hat in the morning. If you disagree, prepare to eat yours :)
Update 23:00 BST.
Well it has been announced that Gordon will go to the Palace in the morning and the election will be on May the 6th.
I don't actually own a hat.. so I will make one out of rice paper :)