Saturday, May 30, 2009

Diversity wins Britain's got talent!

With Susan Boyle second and Julian Smith 3rd!

You could see what a strain it was on Susan Boyle, and I can also say that is not the last we will have heard of many of the acts in tonight's final.

I though Susan was a fantastic singer, and Diversity a fantastic dance troop. Spectacular!

Britain's got Talent!

Just watching Britain's got talent, and all I can say is that it has.

There are so many good acts, including Susan Boyle, Diversity, Julian Smith, Hollie Steel, Shaun Smith. The rest were pretty good as well.

Well done.

Geoff Hoon has paid all the tax he is liable for!

Geoff Hoon has made yet another statement (that I heard on Newsnight) that he has paid all the tax he is liable to pay.

As far as I know this is correct.

I would just point out that the same was true of Hazel Blears, who has now paid over £13,000 more than she was liable for, and according to Gordon Brown, her behaviour was unacceptable.

So what of Geoff Hoon? Is his behaviour acceptable?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Julie Kirkbride to stand down!

Julie Kirkbride is to stand down as an MP at the next election.

She was a good MP, but alas her position became untenable. It seems the expenses scandal is taking out both good and bad MP's. That said it is never good to over claim expenses and abuse the system. Blaming the system is no excuse either.

Apparently so is Margret Moran, the MP for Luton South.

The BBC has this.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Andrew MacKay to stand down

Andrew MacKay is to stand down.This is a shame as apparently he was a good MP.

On the other hand he had to go. There was simply no other way.

It is interesting though that the only party to actually get MP's to stand down so far is the Conservative party.

The BBC has this.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Speaker Michael Martin to stand down!

According to the BBC the Speaker of the House of commons Michael Martin is to stand down probably this summer.


Also Douglass Hogg is to stand down as a Conservative MP at the next election as well. We do need a clear out of those so arrogant they think they are worth so much more than their basic pay of £63,000 which is 2.5 times mean average earnings and 4 times the modal average earnings.

The BBC has this.

Update 15:26

The Speaker, Michael Martin has said he will stand down as speaker on the 21st of June 2009, with a new speaker to be elected the following day. It is unclear when and of he will stand down as an MP though convention has it that he will stand down soon after causing a by election.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Gordon Brown Acts on Elliot Morley's Mortgage

Or at least the Labour party have.

He has been suspended pending an investigation.

Well done.

The BBC has this.

Elliot Morley claimed £16,000 for mortgage that did not exist

That is the headline story in the Daily Telegraph today.

It is a staggering story.

Labour MP and former minister Elliot Morley claimed for a mortgage he (and us) had paid off!

I mean, you get a letter from your lender saying the mortgage is done and dusted. They ask you what you want to do with the deeds. How did he miss that?

He discovered his apparently last week going through his receipts..

From the story it appears he stopped claiming it after the fees office insisted on seeing the mortgage paperwork. On top of that he claimed his main home was a house in London on which he charged another MP rent.

This looks like a prima facie case of obtaining pecuniary advantage by deceit which is an offence under the 1968 theft act.

The BBC also has this, though initially forgot to mention he is a Labour MP, and claims he is paying his mortgage expense error. Just how biased can the BBC get?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Scientific Research center opens in Barnsley!

I bring you news, via Man Widdicombe, that a new research center into smoking, its affects and how often people smoke has opened in Barnsley.

Rather usefully this facility is co located in the Cutting Edge public house run by Kerry Fenton. So whilst you are assisting with research you can have a pint, and a cigarette obviously.

Man Widdicombe has the details, but basically the The Smoke-free (Exemptions and Vehicles) Regulations 2007 part 2 paragraph 9 provides as follows:

9.—(1) A designated room in a research or testing facility is not smoke-free whilst it is being used for any research or tests specified in paragraph (2).

(2) The research or tests that are specified are those that relate to—

(a) emissions from tobacco and other products used for smoking;

(b) development of products for smoking with lower fire hazards;

(c) the fire safety testing of materials involving products for smoking;

(d) development of smoking or pharmaceutical products that could result in the manufacture of less dangerous products for smoking; or

(e) smoking cessation programmes.

(3) In this regulation a “designated room” means a room which—

(a) has been designated in writing by the person in charge of the research or testing facility in which the room is situated as being a room in which smoking is permitted for research or tests specified in paragraph (2) and is a room for the use only of the persons who are required to supervise or participate in the research or tests;

(b) has a ceiling and, except for doors and windows, is completely enclosed on all sides by solid, floor-to-ceiling walls;

(c) does not have a ventilation system that ventilates into any other part of the premises or other premises (except any other designated rooms);

(d) does not have any door that opens onto smoke-free premises which is not mechanically closed immediately after use; and

(e) is clearly marked as a room in which smoking is permitted.

Now, I can see some trouble with this, but it is still good that someone is trying to get around this silly ban.

The Yorkshire post has this, The Sun has this and the Daily Mail has this.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Cameron takes decisive action on expenses

It has to be said that I have had my head buried in my hands over expenses. At least David Cameron has decisive action on the expenses issue by demanding that several shadow cabinet members pay money back whilst instituting a review of Conservative MP's expenses with the promise that those who have claimed excessively will have to pay it back or have the whip withdrawn. This will mean that they can't stand as Conservative MP's at the next election.

Contrast that With Gordon Brown, who promises to have a review of all MP's expenses and possible claw backs which is not his to promise as that is a matter for the commons! David Cameron can do what he has promised because his party rules allow him to discipline his MP's.

Any way, more on expenses later. The BBC has this.

Tory Expenses

No excuses, no defence.

Where they are wrong they are wrong.

The second home allowance is to pay for what is necessary for conducting parliamentary business.

You do not require a tennis court either in London or your constituency to do that, nor a moat or any other aggrandisement's.

You just need a home. Mind you, you definitely do not need one in Southampton, if you are the MP for Luton South, even if you claim your partner lives their, as records show he "lives" in Luton.

Politicians need to get in touch.

Raising their pay is no answer either. I would be happy to raise MP's pay, but alas looking at the legislation that has come out of the house of Commons in the last 12 years, there is no justification for that.

The Telegraph has this

Still, looking on the bright side, the Liberal Democrats are apparently next!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Speaker Martin shoots the messengers!

I am absolutely astounded at the way the Speaker of the cesspit Michael Martin has sought to have a go at MP's who have been expressing concern at the orgy of ramping expenses.

This is utterly bizarre. Members of the Houses of Parliament are there to represent the people, and I can tell you they (the people) are very angry about MP's expenses. That the Speaker, Michael Martin should seek to criticize the critics and stick his fingers in his ears singing "la la la, I can't hear you" shows just how out of touch he is.

Parliament can't be reformed while he is still speaker.

The BBC has this.

James Gray should not have the whip withdrawn!

Iain Dale suggests here that James Gray, a well known complete and utter **** should have the whip withdrawn for trying to claim back the costs of remembrance day wreaths. (See the News of the World here).

I say Iain is wrong. He should not have the whip withdrawn, but applied on a regular basis until he has lost all of the skin from his miserable back.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Petition to get rid of Gordon Brown: An Update

You may remember that I posted about the petition to get rid of Gordon Brown here, well here is an update.

The petition asking Gordon Brown to resign, which is here, has so far had 56, 278 signatures.

I must admit I am a bit disappointed as I would have hoped it would have more. Still, it is the most popular petition up on Number 10's petition website!

Hazel Blears: Expense system is wrong!

Apparently Hazel Blears thinks the expense system is wrong.

Well it is the one parliament voted for.

We have Hazel Blears claiming a second home is a second home to get hold of taxpayers money, whilst calling it a primary residence when it is time to pay the tax.

We have Jack Straw claiming his full council tax on a second home which he was claiming council tax relief on. Were he an ordinary voter he would be charged, and in all likely hood convicted.

There is nothing wrong with the expenses system other than it assumes members of parliament are honourable.

Clearly some are and clearly some are not.

The only reform the system needs is that the expenses are published in full with address details. Any other reform is likely to be at the expense of the sort of transparency we need to ensure that MP's are behaving honourably.

The BBC has this and this.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Heather Brook is a hero!

As indeed many bloggers say, for example politicalbetting has this, Guido has this.

Well done Heather, and thank you very much.

I don't actually think the system of MP's expenses needs reform at all, as long as all the claims are published. It is not the rules that will make them clean but the light shone upon them.

Friday, May 08, 2009

Gordon Brown's cleaner and other expenses.

It appears that one mystery over data gone missing has been solved! Hooray!

At least we know where that disk with all MP's expenses claims has ended up. It is with the Daily Telegraph, unlike rather a lot of our personal data which the government and others have lost, to whom we do not know.

I would like to concentrate on Gordon Brown's cleaner, shared with his brother, who is of course a lowly paid senior executive of the French government owned (mostly) company EDF. This arrangement occurred apparently between 2004 and 2006, when it must be said that Gordon Brown's living arrangements were unclear. He obviously felt he should be living in Number 10 downing street (well actually he was, Tony bagged the bigger apartment at Number 11 as he had a bigger family), rather than number 11.

Hold on, this is some kind of joke isn't it? Gordon Brown has had a grace an favour house since 1997. He still has one.

How many jobs come with a tied cottage and the ability to claim half your brothers cleaning expenses? What is more, as Gordon Brown's brother Andrew Brown is a senior executive how come he isn't paying his own bills?

The BBC has this.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

A Party Political Broadcast by the Conservative Party

Impressive stuff. John Major won the 1992 general election by getting out and talking to real people on his soap box and arguably limited the defeat in 1997 the same way, and it appears that David Cameron will be doing the same.

As you will note from the broadcast, it is always easy to promise the impossible, like ending boom and bust, but people respond better to honesty.

Michael Savage and the banned list

Apparently Jacqui Smith, the alleged Home Secretary has published a list of people who are banned from coming to this country, including Michael Savage, the American "shock jock".

It has to be said that under the provisions of the 1971 Immigration act as originally passed into law does allow the Home Secretary to ban people from this country (though it makes no comment on one so hopeless as Jacqui Smith) on the basis that the Home Secretary feels their presence is not conducive to the public good.

So all's well then?


Firstly its a publicity stunt by the government because it can't get hold of the news agenda, though to be fair it has backfired in spectacular fashion.

Secondly, we have never before felt the need to ban people from coming here who do not appear to have any current plans to come here.

Thirdly, this is not exactly an exhaustive list is it? It does not include, by way of glaring example, Osama Bin Laden, nor Sheik Hassan Nassralla. Nor indeed Avigdor Lieberman.

In short, it is a pointless publicity stunt by the person who wishes she could be Home Secretary, but alas is not now, nor ever was up to the job, Jacqui Smith.

The BBC has this and this on Michael Savage suing.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Former MI6 deputy chief says we were dragged into Iraq war!

There is an interesting article on the Telegraph website here that reports a speech by Nigel Inkster.

It really does suggest that we only went to war because the evidence was manipulated.

Harriet Harman, Alan Johnson and Gordon Brown's leadership

I have to say it is fascinating watching the machinations of a party on self destruct, with a leader as Stalinesque as Gordon Brown.

On Sunday the Sunday Telegraph published a story claiming Harriet Harman would contest the Labour leadership, if it became available, as it were. The theme being a stop Alan Johnson candidate, but without suggesting that Alan Johnson wanted to be a candidate.

This led to a fairly unequivocal like ruling out of leadership ambitions by Harriet Harman on Monday morning.

This is followed in today's Telegraph that the way is now clear for Alan Johnson, whose leadership ambitions appear to be not unequivocal enough.

Bearing in mind Guido's suspicions that the Telegraph is morphing into the Labourgraph, taking copy from Number 10's spin machine, you do have to wonder who is feeding the Telegraph the briefings, and why.

Are they Brown insiders looking to get a clearly unequivocal ruling out by Alan Johnson so that he could not stand for the leadership? Or is it Ed Balls using the same machine to clear his way.

The only thing you can be certain of is that nothing is what it seems.