Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Mash On Cable

Enjoyed this one from the superlatively non prisoner-taking Daily Mash:

IF THE ANSWER IS VINCE CABLE THEN I'M MOVING TO FRANCE, SAYS EVERYONE

IF the answer to Britain's economic problems is Vince Cable then what are the schools like in the Dordogne, it was claimed last night.

Image
You could grow your own vegetables while Vince is in the Treasury turning out to be shit
As the Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman once again made it perfectly clear that he thinks he is much, much better than you, people across the country were surprised at how much house you can get for your money south of the Loire.

Mr Cable lined up alongside rivals George Osborne and Alistair Darling in a Channel Four debate on Britain's economic future while millions of viewers stressed that French social security contributions are comparatively high but you do get what you pay for.

Julian Cook, from Finsbury Park, said: "Give him his credit, he did correctly predict that Ricky Martin is a gay man, but apart from that all he seems to do is tell people what's in the Financial Times."

He added: "Four bedrooms, an acre of land and a pool for £250,000. And it's near a village with a twice weekly open air market and a bistro. Yeah... sure... Vince Campbell would be a terrific thingumy of the whatever..."

Joanna Kramer, from Grantham, said: "Bearing in mind that politicians are the unfunniest bastards in the history of the universe then I suppose Vince Cable is relatively amusing when compared to, say Anne Widdecombe or Adolf Hitler. Unfortunately I don't think there is a huge export market for pithy metaphors and self-satisfied put-downs."

She added: "Did you know that the TGV travels at an average speed of 174mph and has a 98% punctuality rate? But I'm sure Vic Claypole will be super at whatever it is you would like him to do."

Meanwhile, in the aftermath of the debate the Tories said that expectations on George Osborne were so low that he had won simply by not boasting about how rich he is, using the word 'piccaninny' or urinating in his underpants.

It is not known how chancellor Alistair Darling performed as everyone had made sure they had something else to do while he was speaking.

Lol.

Cameron's Grammar

Small point: I've just managed to have a glance at Cameron's response to Gordon Brown's ridiculously dishonest speech on immigration, coming on the back of another ridiculously dishonest podcast in which he used fake immigration figures to make him sound tough, laughably.

The Conservative leader made some pretty reasonable points, but he still doesn't sound like he's ready for power, or is prepared to tackle the issue head on. Why? Because he keeps using the wrong modal verb. He insists on saying that a government 'should' do this and 'should' do that, like some glorified special advisor, instead of a PM in waiting.

He's got to start using the far more assertive modal of firm intent, 'will', as in 'we will correct Labour's dishonest, disastrous immigration policies' and 'we will enact laws that will reverse the evils of the divisive socialist dogma of multiculturalism, and place the age-old British traditions of pluralism and tolerance right back at the heart of British culture, where they belong'.

Plain English, innit.

The London Squiggle

Hard to believe this thing is actually going to be built. Talk about the emperor's new clothes. And I think it's in pretty bloody bad taste, too, in the sense that Lakshmi Mittal is donating 1400 tonnes of foreign steel to build the damn thing. A further kick in the teeth for what's left of the Tata owned British steel industry, following the closure of Redcar. Oh, right, I'd almost forgotten: no one cares about that.
The "ArcelorMittal Orbit": foreign, £3 million quid and truly hideous.

Nice idea, crap choice, Boris. If it's going to be built, it should not be built in London. Bombay can have it - but they probably wouldn't want it. I very much doubt anybody would. Mittal, on the other hand, will be thrilled. All that publicity, just for a bit of cheap steel made by underpaid workers in India. Good for him (not for Britain).

Poster Handbags

The Tory campaigners fight back in the dumbest exchange possibly of all time.
Well, Labour started it!

Hat tip: Iain Dale.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Ghosts

He's come back to haunt support his old cabinet sparring partner, Brown, but Tony Blair can't run away from the by now well-worn ghosts that will follow him to the grave. One such ghost, however, could be a surprisingly fresh one. It's the eponymous novel written by Robert Harris a few years ago - and it's coming out as a movie, just in time for the general election, and Blair's return. What larks!



If you don't know the book, then you should have a little dip in before watching the film, otherwise, it'll be pretty baffling. Suffice it to say, it sails pretty close to the wind most of the time, in terms of its verisimilitude. As the Guardian review of the day said, Harris was out to get Blair, and get him good:
Most such references are almost dangerously obvious; a firm called Hallington, for instance, gets up to tricks just as sinister as those laid at the door of Haliburton. Others are designed to give Harris wriggle-room. Lang is having an affair with his personal assistant, the comely Amelia Bly, who would otherwise be a dead ringer for Blair's Downing Street aide Anji Hunter. The long-suffering ghostwriter even gets to bed the ex-PM's wife.

These few fantasies are all that save Harris from the charge that he is out for revenge on Blair, if not for the second sacking of his closer friend Peter Mandelson, then for Bush-dictated foreign policy that saw the author 'give up on' a government whose election he initially welcomed. Last year's Middle East debacle was apparently 'the last straw' for the already anti-war author; but he resists milking the irony that Blair is now a Middle East envoy, preferring a bleaker end for Lang.
Well, I thought the book was brilliant, fiction or not. And it had that delicious twist that all good thrillers should have at the end. Some aspects of the real Tony Blair's life are, in fact, stranger than the fiction, though. For instance, who would have thought that this former Labour prime minister would be worth £20 million+ after earning about 1/130th of that sum as prime minister? How did he manage that? Speaking tours?? Of course not. His rich friends in America showed him how to exploit business loopholes, while his chancellor here fuelled the property boom for as long as he could get away with it - or as long as it took for half the cabinet to become property multi-millionaires, just like Blair (and Mandelson, of course). Just these facts alone stink more than anything Harris dreamt up in his book about Blair facing charges as a war criminal.

But great book it is, and certainly worth the read. You really won't be able to put it down. As for the film, well, judging by the trailer, it's very faithful to the text - and Pierce Brosnan, judging by the glimpses we get, has judged the character of Tony Blair Adam Lang to perfection. Add to that the fact that it's a Polanski flick, and you would be forgiven for thinking that it's unmissable.

I wonder if Blair will be going to see it. I'm damn sure Brown will be - on the sly, naturally.

National Care Service? Not In My Lifetime

Listening to Andy Burnham on the way to work this rainy Tuesday morning was one of the less pleasant experiences of my life. What a load of tosh that idiot spouts, and in that ridiculous yob voice of his. I've never heard such a giant stream of steaming waffle, hissing piffle and stalling widdle in my entire life!
Life! Ah, life. Yes, indeed - life. As in 'long life' - and getting longer. My five year-old nephew, so we are told, can reasonably expect to live to the age of 100+. However, I think that figure could be even higher. The generation of my family born at the turn of the last century almost all died in their 80s. What is more, we read today that a horny old goat (who is 75) has just impregnated a woman.

It wouldn't be unfair to imagine, therefore, that with medical technology advancing at the rate it is, my nephew, who will hit the royal telegram age in the year 2104, can 'reasonably expect' artificial organ replacements, bionic limbs and eyes, anti-aging gene therapy and, above all, a cure for cancer. And every bit of it will be available on the NHS (honest). With all that intervention, he can 'reasonably expect' to live until he's 200 - and actively, too. He could be the first centurion daddy.

So what, I hear you scream, is the point of all this? I will tell you. The point is that the problem of care for the elderly is a problem we are facing now. It's my parents who very soon will need the kind of care that only children and expensive professional 'carers' can provide. There are elderly people now who are on their own and struggling to cope, or have lost their life savings and equity to pay for the privilege of being neglected in some dump of a care home. (This was the result of one of the most iniquitous laws ever passed, in my view. But that's another story).

It seems to me that all I heard from Burnham was a piece of pisspoor procrastination on a social issue that he doesn't seem to get (well, he's only young himself). Let's set up a commission and see what they say in five year's time, he suggested. Thank the Lord for the Big Ideas, eh readers? So, after his Death Tax suggestion was rightly rubbished, and ruled out by Darling, this whole thing appears to have been kicked into the very long grass by Labour, simply because it's too big a challenge for them to confront.

The Conservatives, by contrast, have a plan that can be implemented now. Lansley was excellent on Radio 4. Sure, the insurance plan might not help people who are already in old people's homes today, but it would certainly help my parents, who are heading in the same direction; give it a decade. By the time they need it, the system would be well-established - mature, even - and well-funded. The Labour grand plan for a National Care Service would, by that time, you can guarantee it, have been delayed, would be billions over-budget and just about to be scrapped. The Conservatives are telling us what's do-able, and how to do it.

Labour just gives us pie-in-the-sky pipe dreams that wouldn't work anyway. 'Twas ever thus.

So the Tories had better win the next election - if nothing else, then for my parents' sake! As for my nephew, well, he won't be needing a National Care Service. He'll be taking part in the Olympics when he's 150 (in 2154 - I believe they're being held in Kandahar that year).

Don't get me wrong, care where care is needed is a decent idea. But it should be the duty of children to provide that care. That's the real sign of a healthy society. I would expect, however - demand, even - that that sense of duty finally be recognised, and financially rewarded, by a Tory government. As for the State, well, its duty is clear: where there is no alternative, i.e., where there are no close family members who can provide support for their elderly or infirm loved one(s), or where that family, motivated by some form of perverse selfishness, has abrogated their duty and abandoned the needy member, the State intervenes.

Where the care becomes too difficult for the dutiful family, however, that's when the Conservatives' insurance scheme really will come into its own. It is not merely a step in the right direction - and Labour and Liberal Democrats won't even admit that, remember - it is an excellent solution to a problem confronting Britain now. The Lib Dem spokes-idiot said that a similar scheme in France only had a "20% uptake". What the Lib Dem spokes-idiot probably doesn't know (or would care about if he did) is that the other 80% in France look after their own families. Always have, always will. So the problem of how we mend Britain's broken society, where grown-up children turn their backs on sick or elderly relatives, is a separate, massive problem, you see, and one that no fantasy 'National Care Service' is going to fix.

The National Care Service is, therefore, a red herring (surprise surprise). Rather than opposing it with the expression "over my dead body", however, (which seems to be tempting fate), I'll just make a prediction: "National Care Service", laugh out loud. Not in my lifetime. Not in anyone's lifetime, for that matter. Certainly not my nephew's. He won't need the stupid thing.

And neither do we.

Monday, 29 March 2010

Barely Alive Chancellor's Debate Blogging

Two things: First: Why has Vince "Preparing for Government" Cable been given the role of pointless avuncular arbitrator.

Oh, and second, Darling is being absolutely annihilated by Osborne, and far more devastatingly than I expected. Well done George.

The third thing is (three, three things): What the hell is Vince Cable for already? I do wish he'd shut the hell up and let the grown-ups (politically) get on with the show.

Update

And lo, Saint Vince of Cables gets the serious clap dose from certain members of the audience at the end. Well, that might have something to do with the fact that he's a complete policy whore, being the Lib Dem who will never see office that he is, who will say anything to "pull". But that fact will make no difference to tomorrow's dumb mainstream media. Hey ho.

The fact that Osborne petered out more-than-somewhat towards the end concerns and irritates me in equal measure, however. Darling, and this saves Osborne to a vast extent, was, by contrast (sort of) a feeble, washed-out non-entity virtually all the way through.

So, forgetting the infinitely forgettable 'Vince Factor' forever, what we have seen here, overall, is a clear win for Osborne. But not, annoyingly, the decisive one it could and should have been.

Game (still) on.

Darling-Osborne Debate Limber-Up



If Osborne sticks to these home truths, and really nails Darling for his own, rather softer brand of mendacious tribalism, then he really could move the Tory argument and campaign forward tonight. Let's hope he's up to it. I think he is - but not everyone does. He's still got a lot to prove to a lot of people, unfairly I feel, especially after his tour de force showing with his plans to scrap Labour's economically suicidal tax-on-jobs NI hike.

Plenty of things to make it decent viewing, then.

Hat tip: the increasingly substantial, Guy News roving reporter and top blue blogger,Tory Bear - who delivered a pretty solid performance of his own on Sky a few moments ago ;)

Blogger Bugs

If you're wondering why all the piccies have disappeared from this blog, and, if you use blogger, possibly from your own, too, it's because of this:

Monday, March 29, 2010

Our image backend is experiencing problems which may affect the display and/or uploading of photos. We are working to resolve this and will update this post when we have more information.

More info can be found here in the Picasa Help Forum. Posted by at 09:49 PDT
I certainly can't upload any images, and none already posted is appearing on my blog. It's been like this for about two hours now. Annoying.

==Update==
Bloody annoying.

Lumley Savages Another Labour Pit Bull

Joanna Lumley, so the Telegraph, among other sources, is reporting, has forced the maniac Labourist smear-monkey who durst sully her angelic countenance with his slimeball innuendoes, Kevan Jones, to "apologise unreservedly" for his crimes. Reading her withering statement, it never ceases to amaze me that these Labourist twits keep on trying to have a go at her, just because she was right all along about the Gurkhas, and proved them embarrassingly wrong. But they never learn:
Speaking after his apology, Ms Lumley rounded on Mr Jones and accused him of smearing her.
"We have come here with a sense of regret that we have had to come to this, which is really to clear our names in public," she said at a news conference in London.
She said that over the past month or so, articles have appeared "which must have put doubts in the hearts of" supporters of the Gurkhas campaign.
She went on: "Today we want to call on the Prime Minister to confirm that the policy is one that he completely supports, that the Ministry of Defence is behind everything they said they would be behind.
"I want to say to the people of this country, what you did was to back a just cause and we have not stopped working solidly for the Gurkhas in the quiet, as we promised the Prime Minister we would. "It has been suggested that I somehow was parachuted in, took the headlines and ran. I feel that is a smear.
"It has been suggested that I somehow spread falsehoods amongst the Gurkha communities both here and in Nepal about what they could expect. That is a lie and therefore a smear. The people who made those accusations must know them to be untrue."
Peter Carroll, of the Gurkha Justice Campaign, said that since their victory in winning settlement rights last year, there had been "a steady drip of negativity - almost like a dripping toxin - being put into this story by what we presume to be vested interests at the MoD".
I don't know about that, but I do reckon that these Labour clowns must be winding up Lumley for some reason. Perhaps they just can't get enough of the lash of her sophisticated, elegant, finishing school tongue.

Whatever, the fact remains that this particular one has made a total fool of himself in trying to play politics with someone who is, quite simply, above it all - and she's far too intelligent not to be able to wipe the floor with a low-grade Labourist bullyboy nonentity like him with one, sharp smack of her class.

It's Politics One-Oh-One, Labour hoons: never mess with a Lumley. Especially when she's backed by some super-tough, mean little soldier dudes - and 90% of the country.

'Nn-duh!

==Lumley Latest==

David Blackburn on his Spectator blog has just made these first class comments about Gurkhagate:
Then, with her airy cut-glass voice, Lumley added: “Gordon Brown is man of integrity who has kept his word.” It was a subtle but clear challenge to Brown's moral integrity.
Brown came off a bloodied second against the Gurkhas. The memory of that defeat should
press him into acquiescence because Brown cannot afford to dither now. It's as much a question of instinct as it is one of integrity.
Spot on. And Brown. Oh dear, him again. I'd missed that (uncharacteristically, you might say, given the pretty narrow scope of this blog). He's like a sort of Rome, only after it was sacked in 410AD by Aleric the Headcase, or something. Rome was ruined and abandoned and smelt faintly of dung, but all roads still led there. Brown is like that insofar as if roads were immense (and immensely stupid) political cock-ups, you could trace them all back to him.

Comment Isn't Free

I kind of wondered what the Grauniad's online moderators would do to all those who dared criticise the railway engineer crook running the IPCC's pisspoor article in their unquestioning organ on why he isn't a crook, why he should keep his job - and why the world really is about to end (no, really, it is). Well, Bishop Hill has had a look for us and has found the predictable, depressing censorship by the zealots continues unchecked:

Not a comprehensive survey, but of the first 50 comments on Pachauri's article in the Guardian, 18 were deleted.
Criticism is forbidden.

When it comes to the left and the climate change scam, comment isn't free, and, as Bishop Hill says, criticism is forbidden. I find that sinister, don't you? No scrutiny, no dissent, just the word of the IPCC and its tame propaganda outlets, such as, of course, the Grauniad.

Neat.

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Scrapping Labour's Tax On Jobs: All Good

So this evening we learn that the penny has finally dropped with George Osborne and he's announced that he'll be immediately scrapping Labour's crazy plan to hammer national insurance if they win a fourth term. Whatever the economic impact of this - and it will only be good in the sense that businesses will be able to breathe a sigh of relief and Joe Public will have a little bit more to spend next year, at a time when the standard of living is falling in real terms - Osborne's promise has just won the Conservative Party another million votes-plus. Don't believe me? Remember the '92 Tories? It was the campaign against Labour's tax bombshell that turned that election.

All Osborne has to do now is keep his promises on becoming Chancellor, unlike Norman Lamont, regardless of the economic situation. The only way government overspending can be brought under control is by cutting that spending, not by shafting middle (and low) earners and squeezing small businesses all in the name of propping up bloated, inefficient, poorly managed and often appallingly wasteful public services, which is all half Brown's laughable pledges meant anyway.

Whichever way you look at it, this seems like a firm, confident change of direction for the Tories - a change in the right direction, therefore. It's clear, blue water they're putting between themselves and Labour, and it speaks directly to the electorate. It says that they value aspiration and enterprise over punitive taxation and out-of-control spending. It says productive jobs, not non-jobs. It also says to people "we want to win", something I, at least had begun to wonder about. People back a team that wants the prize.

Many will think that all this has come if not in the nick of time, then not a moment too soon. To me, though, as they bring their policies further into focus, and as their message becomes clearer and voters' attitudes crystalise as they gain more confidence in that message, the Tories will absolutely annihilate Brown in the general election. Yahoo!

So, bye bye gold-selling, fake-boom-and-giant-bust, giant dithering weirdo Brown. You're going down, buster, and my God you damn well deserve all you get, and then some!

PS: Iain Dale's latest 7 Days Show podcast covers some of this policy ground, among many other things. It's well worth the listen (if you like that sort of thing). You can get to it via his blog here.

Carbon Junk Bonds

Carbon is universally ubiquitous. It is the fourth most abundant element in the cosmos and the fifteenth most common on this planet. It's the basis of all life as we know it. Yet it seems that this elegant combination of abundance and vital significance will not stop human beings, in their endless pursuit of ever greater levels of folly, from basing an entire new economic model on "trading" the stuff. It reminds me of the Golgafrinchans in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, where, having crash-landed on a primeval Planet Earth, decide to use tree leaves as currency, only to discover soon afterwards that they had a serious inflation problem. Their solution? Why, burn down the trees, of course.

So you would think that this comedy science fiction is just that, comedy science fiction. It could never happen in real life, could it? Well, yes, it could. Anthropogenic climate change hysteria (it was anthropogenic global warming, but since the warming abruptly ground to a halt a decade ago, the goalposts were conveniently moved) drummed-up by discredited, numbskull scientists and then exploited mercilessly by leftwing misanthropists and 'financial engineers' alike in pursut of their own agendas, is producing its own version of leaf-trading. Both groups have something in common: while their ultimate goals might be different, they both really don't give a toss about the environment. All the traders really care about is money and all the loony Trots really care about is power. About people in general, they both care nothing.

Leaving the Trots to their own devices for a moment, in Private Eye's latest edition is an interesting article on the father of derivatives trading (junk bonds to you and me), Richard Sander. For those that don't know, derivatives, in their many various forms, are the things that brought the global economy crashing down a couple of years ago, (beginning, interestingly, with Northern Rock in Britain (it didn't 'start in America', as such, you see)). Just to put things in some kind of perspective, the entire market, if memory serves, was worth an wapping $500Tn in 2007, while the real villain of the piece, the CDS (Credit Default Swap), which was a trading invention that effectively rewarded the trader who held them with a payout should there be a default over a set period of time on a 'bundle' of mortgages, which were sold as a package, was $50Tn dollars before the sub-prime crisis went off like a nuclear bomb and plunged half the world into depression.

Well, Sander's at it again. This expert in magicking money out of thin air by trading in worthless assets is the main mover behind all the new bit of 'financial engineering' currently known as 'carbon trading'. Private Eye has done what passes in that magazine for an expose on him, though its typically MSM-style, schizoid editorial stance on all-things climate change means that it doesn't seem to be able to reach any solid conclusions about where this latest global financial scam will take us. Anyway, click on the image to read the article, or on the link above:

Whatever the ins and outs of how this thing's mechanisms are expected to work, a few things stand out in particular. First, the usual suspects are involved (RBS etc). Second, it stinks. What CNBC's Federal Reserve expert, Steve Leisman, called in late 2008, at the height of the crisis, a decade of 'fake growth' amounting to $40Tn, is about to happen all over again. A worthless commodity, in this case a commodity that doesn't actually exist - these are bets designed to offset the 'production' of carbon, or, more accurately, carbon dioxide - (at least with sub-prime, there was a real house lying somewhere at the bottom of it all), will be traded furiously in a market that some are saying will be worth $100Tn (Christopher Booker for instance) before this decade is out. And they are not wrong: one decade was all it took in the case of sub-prime junk bonds, once Alan Greenspan and Bill Clinton (and Gordon Brown in Britain, of course) had created the CDS bonanza for their banking buddies. Lehman et al over there; Royal Bank of Scotland, Bank of Scotland, Northern Rock et al over here. So long as the tax rolled in, no one in government cared. They certainly did not have clue-one about the forces they had unleashed with their vandalism of carefully created regulatory systems. Brown certainly didn't, hence the biggest exposure was in Britain. Within a decade, that market had jumped from a few hundred million in the mid-nineties to trillions by the time of what I consequently like to call 'Brown's bust'.

It's happening all over again, beginning this year. And there is nothing anyone with any political power will do to stop it. Why? Because of the propaganda that is fuelling the scheme's growth and the amount of egg on collective faces there would be should someone decide to hold his hand up and simply say, "Hang on a minute, do we really want to go down this road again?" So it isn't carbon capture we should be worrying about, it's media capture. It isn't money men like Sander we should be worrying about - he's just doing what he does best. It's the crooks in our own government.

It isn't climate change we should be worried about, it's the vast scale of the next bust, which will be inevitable if (or when) these immoral, undemocratic and economically retarded transnational carbon trading schemes are permitted to gain a grip on the world.

We do need alternative energy production systems, of course, and we must work harder to conserve and preserve the planet's ecosystem and protect it from humanity's impact (some would say that that is a human duty). What we certainly don't need is, first, insane, pseudo-scientific thought diseases that will result in real envoronmental damage (as has been seen already), and second, to pour hundreds of billions of pounds of wealth into the stratosphere based on that lie, wealth that could and should be used to modernise the world's infrastructure today.

It is time for people the world over, the vast majority of whom don't believe the climate lies any more in any case, to start shouting out loud: not in my name!

Friday, 26 March 2010

UK For Sale: Labour's Betrayal of Britain's Industry

This comprehensive, enormous post from excellent libertarian US economist (my favourite kind), J. Ricardo Valenzuala, on the subject of the vulnaribility of vast swathes of UK corporate assets to foreign takeover, is fascinating and an absolute must-read. In my view, however, and partially in contrast to Valenzuala's, the massive shift over the past decade to the foreign control of British manufacturers - large, medium and small - while certainly providing some temporary benefits in terms of stability and new investment (or, in Rover's case, a stay of execution), overall amounts to no more and no less than a deeply damning indictment of Labour's 13 disastrous years in charge of policy for the UK's manufacturing base, humiliation for the nation, and relegation to economic dependency.

The huge decline in UK manufacturing over the past decade or so simply cannot be hidden, no matter how much Labour's many liars and spinners lie and spin. Even before Brown's bust, his useless policies ensured that the manufacturing sector was either actually shrinking, or that corporations became too weak to defend themselves and stay in British hands, Cadbury being the latest case in point.

History shows that when foreign companies feel the pinch, they do not cut at home, and, if they must, then only as a last resort. They begin abroad. That, to them, means us. Remember Tata Steel and Redcar Corus? No one else seems to. The point is that if and when there is another downturn (though there must remain some uncertainty as to whether we're out of this one yet), Britain will be shockingly exposed because it will be the first country in the firing line for investment cuts by foreign companies. For instance, if Kraft begins to feel the pinch at some point in the fiture, it won't be American factories it will be closing first, it will be British ones. Cadbury, a healthy, profitable, productive and well-managed company, is now vulnerable.

For this reason, we simply must follow the examples of Germany, France and Italy and protect what remains of our homegrown, home-owned manufacturing base from easy foreign takeover. This can be achieved through German-style takeover legislation (remember Vodafone and Mannesman? Vodafone won in the end, but not without one hell of a fight with the German government, who secured enormous, locked-in investment commitments as a consequence, something the current British government has never even bothered to do) wherever such a takeover is deemed to be not in the national interest, the latter measure being transformed into a far sterner test of commitment. This country's highly productive manufacturing workforce deserves nothing less.

Sure, there will be extreme cases where loss-makers can be given a second chance with foreign money, but it's a long-term view for the country as a whole that should shape economic policy in this area from now on, not more of Labour's short-termism, which has always been about the cheap politics of making corporate headaches go away in an election year (ala Rover, 2005) that has doomed far more British industry either to ruin or to second class status than it has ever saved in the long term.

What's therefore crystal clear is that such a paradigm shift, from inept political pragmatism, sold to the British electorate under a false banner of 'globalisation', to an aggressive British enterprise culture which actually creates secure British manufacturing jobs, can't happen under Gordon Brown, but might happen under David Cameron. And that's the chance we can't afford not to take.

We have to take a chance on the Tories, because more of the same under Labour means game over for British industry, and that means game over for Britain.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Giant Redwood

Thanks to Iain Dale's heads-up, I've just seen what I think should and could be a politically game changing post by John Redwood on his blog. I say that because it made me realise, to my shame, that I've been as taken in by the Labour revisionist narrative on the economics of the Thatcher years as virtually everyone else has (and I dare "everyone else" to say otherwise). It's potentially game-changing because, for one, rather important thing, it's all evidentially true.
One of the myths perpretrated by Labour and the BBC is that Margaret Thatcher came in and cut public spending. She did not – spending on the main services grew rapidly under her control. She did cut plans in 1981 to help the recovery, but the overall figures for total public spending including capital, current and debt interest were:

1978-9 (last Labour year) £71.2 billion
1980-81 (first full Cons year) £120.2 billion
1981-82 £130 billion
1983-4 £137.5 billion

(These are all cash figures taken from the Red Books of the day – they also represent rises in real terms, though on a much smaller scale than the cash increases)

She tackled the deficit and the need to fuel growth by asset sales in the middle and later years, and by better control providing better value for money. She also got the high rate of inflation down which she inherited, and put through crucial trade union and nationalised industry reforms.

Margaret Thatcher had no need to cut public spending by the £39 billion Labour now say they need to reduce it by,(or by the then equivalent) because she ran things more prudently and did not borrow so much.

I do wish the commentators and interviewers wouold look at the numbers and the published facts, instead of all this misleading spin. They could also point out that say a 10% per cent overall cut over 4 years is a very modest cut by private sector standards, and has been delivered by many private sector companies with no dimunution in quality of service.

There are several simple truths – it is possible to cut public spending by substantial amounts without sacking a single nurse, teacher, doctor, soldier. It is possible to cut some public spending and make things better by doing so. It is possible to greatly increase efficiency throughout the public sector, if only someone started to run it with the taxpayers interests at heart.

It is also an immutable law of public sector reform in the UK that Labour spin doctors and some BBC journalists will wish to keep alive the myth of the massive “cuts” of Margaret Thatcher, and the myth that all cuts are damaging if not politically impossible.

It's so obviously time for a new Conservative government because it's so obviously time to get on with reversing the dire consequences of the devastating new Labour decline. Watching that little weasel Liam Byrne on Question Time just now, the first part of whose incoherent outgas was to whine incongruously that it's time "to front up" to the economic disaster confronting Britain (that his party designed, facilitated and delivered), simply reinforces the fact that, astonishing though it might seem, his own second point was entirely correct, though not quite in the way that he intended (surprise surprise): we are faced with a "clear choice" between Labour and the Conservative Party in the general election. That choice amounts either to more of the same under Brown, or an honest attack on Brown's economic crisis under the Tories.

Not an especially tough choice, then, is it, actually?

Finally, Some Real Perspective On Darling's Larceny Budget

Jeff Randall, as usual, has said precisely what needed to be said (ie: the truth) about the implications of Labour's latest act of political violence against the country we somehow collectively permitted it to ruin once again. Now don't get me wrong. I'm a grown-up (sort of) so I can take a bunch of socialist tax rises and spending lunacy on the chin. I'd expect nothing less from these power-hungry economic illiterates.

What I will not tolerate, at all, however, is the prospect of future generations having to pick up the bill for their rank electioneering and amoral, scorched earth economic blitz. Randall explains how and why this is precisely what will happen if the current voting generation really is stupid enough to allow the Labour fraud to work come the general election.

I'm no longer in the habit of lifting whole pieces from other sites (it breaks one of the ten blogging commandments that I take pretty seriously these days), but there are exceptions. This is most certainly one of them, because it's too important to ignore:
If you want to know what would become of Britain were Labour to win another five years in power, turn to page 189 of the Treasury's Budget book. Before you do so, however, slip into a straitjacket and gulp down an elephant tranquilliser. Prepare to feel like Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest as he was administered huge electric shocks.

In Table C3 – Current and Capital Budgets – there's a line showing Public Sector Net Debt, ie how much we, as a country, will owe our creditors (not including personal borrowings). Now, cast your eyes over the column
"2014-15". Pow! I bet that hurt. Have another go: it's not a printing error.

Yes, according to the Treasury's forecasts, the United Kingdom will nearly double its indebtedness from £776 billion (in 2009-10) to £1.4 trillion. Even in Gordon Brown's devalued, debased and degraded system of accounting, that is still a poleaxing sum, equal to about one year's national output.

It gets worse, because this unprecedented and unimaginable debt projection is based on Alistair Darling's optimistic assumption that, from 2010-11, the UK's economic growth will bounce back to 3-3.5 per cent, well above long-term trend. If you are feeling confused, don't worry, you are meant to be.

Listen to the assurances of Mr Brown – that his ministers are acting to "halve the deficit" – and you might be forgiven for thinking that there's a credible plan to reduce our national debt. In fact, the very opposite is true.

Labour's plan, if one can so dignify it, involves a viral proliferation of state borrowing. In effect, the Government has turned the country into a home-owner whose mortgage is too onerous. Interest obligations are increasing faster than our ability to repay. Money goes out of the national account every month, but the capital owed is ballooning.

Consider this: the UK's deficit (annual shortfall) is scheduled to drop over the course of the next five years to £163 billion, £131 billion, £110 billion, £89 billion and £74 billion. But total state debt in the same period will rise to £952 billion, £1,095 billion, £1,218 billion, £1,320 billion and £1,406 billion. At that point, the Treasury's Debt Management Office will be humming like a Guangdong sweatshop.

In his Budget speech, the Chancellor was reserved, cautioning that there is nothing "pre-ordained" about our exit from recession and "there are still uncertainties". But when it comes to inventing numbers to suit his political agenda, the calculations are sexed up with a Panglossian twist.

It makes no sense to warn that Britain's fragile recovery could not possibly withstand the rigours of the Conservatives' tough love, while at the same time attaching to it an assumption of turbo-boosted expansion for next year and the one after. As Ed Balls would not say, this a non-sequitur.

Never mind, let's for argument's sake accept that Mr Darling's wonderland becomes reality and everything in the Treasury's crystal ball turns out to be true. How much will we, Britain's taxpaying classes, have to fork out annually for the pleasure of holding £1.4 trillion of debt? Go on, have a guess.

Well, next year the bill will be £43 billion on £952 billion of debt, an implied interest rate of 4.5 per cent. Apply that to £1.4 trillion and by 2014-5 those who contribute to the Chancellor's coffers will be forking out £63 billion a year in interest. That's 150 per cent of our current defence budget and three times what we will spend next year on industry, agriculture and employment.

Time for another happy pill, because the real outcome will almost certainly be more painful than that. For a start, the OECD rejects Mr Darling's growth prediction, insisting that Britain's economy will expand next year by only 2.2 per cent. Without a drastic slowing of Labour's spending binge, weaker growth will inevitably necessitate even higher levels of state borrowing.

Then there's the cost of servicing that debt mountain. Today's rock-bottom interest rates are unlikely to be on offer come 2014-5. Add these factors together and it is not unreasonable to conclude that Britain's annual interest bill could be approaching £100 billion five years hence.

This is legalised theft, a national disgrace. Under the bogus banner of "fairness", the Government is stealing from our children's tomorrow in order to buy votes today. It's bad enough that the current generation of university students – including those at third-rate former technical colleges – will emerge with an average debt of £23,500 (see last year's survey on push.co.uk), but they will also have to compensate for their forefathers' profligacy.

When he was in opposition, Mr Brown lambasted John Major's government for "the costs of failure", by which he meant the bills for unemployment and debt interest. He was right to do so. Unfortunately, on this Prime Minister's watch, those very same costs are rocketing out of control. His steadfast refusal to contemplate affordable spending has created an island of debt junkies: economic vandalism.

And for what? Clearly much of that extra funding for education – lots of nice teaching assistants – isn't working, otherwise Mr Brown's little helper, Mr Balls, would not be so angered by the success of grammar and private schools. Next year, the Government will spend £89 billion on education (an 80 per cent increase in 10 years) and yet our best universities are being strong-armed into accepting comprehensive-school pupils with sub-standard A-levels, in order to make up for a state system that is failing the poor.

If we are to extricate ourselves from this dung hill of Labour's making, Britain has three choices. We can default, an option not even Mr Darling favours. We can raise taxes, and that is already happening. But to knock a hole in that £1.4 trillion, punitive taxation would need to extend so far down the food chain that even dinner ladies would be heading for Zurich.

That leaves fiscal responsibility. We can stop pretending that the state is a machine for ever-increasing mass entitlement and, instead, align public-sector spending with our ability to pay.

The trouble is, while Mr Brown remains in charge – and the latest poll in the marginal constituencies suggests he may yet survive – this will never happen. He will always use the public purse as a tool for his party's advantage.

Professor Philip Booth of Cass Business School sums up the problem: "Almost every Budget measure [on Wednesday] involved a spending favour for some small group or other, or some tax relief for a group that the Government hopes to sway behind the Labour Party at the election."

Thanks to Channel 4's Dispatches, we learned this week that the daily rate for former Labour ministers "on the make" is £5,000. Perhaps we should pay the entire Cabinet that rate to clear off for good and save ourselves a fortune.

Five more years of Labour? Over my dead body.

Gunning For Balls



I've donated. You should too. As Guido says:
Antony Calvert is the Tory PPC fighting to win in Morley and Outwood. He is aiming to give Labour a “Balls moment” to match the 1997 “Portillo Moment”. Ed Balls has a notional majority of 9,000, Portillo had a 15,000 majority, the symbolism would be perfect.
The neutering of Balls would be a sweet moment indeed. I can't think of any Labourist liar more deserving of total electoral humiliation (apart from Brown himself). Can you?

Hat tip: Iain Dale

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

So When's The Real Budget?

From what I've read so far, 'trivial tinkering' is about as generous a term I could think of to describe what is, beyond all question, the most inept and irresponsible response to Britain's debt crisis that Labour could have managed, desperate as they are not to confront the consequences of Gordon Brown's economic car crash before the general election. We got the usual cowardly hammering of harmless drinkers and smokers, the usual mindless fuel duty increases (staggered, as if that matters during a devaluation) and the usual (from Labour, especially under Brown, but now under Darling) stealth tax increases, which are being deciphered from the small print by various sifters and sleuth bloggers as we speak.

The giveaways were pathetic too. Raising the stamp duty threshold to encourage first time buyers will have no such effect. It is, when put into perspective, a tiny tax break. Not being able to get a mortgage on decent terms, or a mortgage that any first time buyer with half a brain will know would become an unaffordable millstone with the first interest rate hike are the real problems. So, no help there. As for the attempt to woo the grey vote once more, well, it's nice for my folks to look forward to a winter fuel allowance again. But now that the worst of this winter is just about over, I can't see them being overly impressed with this straightforward bribe. They'll still have to stump up £2000+ a year for gas and electricity, a constant struggle for pensioners - who are hardly excessive users. See? Pathetic. And where were the cuts? Inadequate and slipped in under the radar.

In reality, therefore, this was a white noise budget with no clear purpose and no clear goal. I note with great pleasure that Cameron was especially thorough in his demolition of it, of Labour's latest ruin of Britain and of the man responsible for it all, James Gordon Brown. Five more years of this? You need your head examined if you seriously want that.

But if you really are as determined as I am to see the end of Brown and his ultra-corrupt government, but can't vote for Cameron for whatever petty reason, then just remember: If you do that then you will split the vote and you will get five more years of Brown. And you'll only have yourself to blame. Putting prejudice before country is as sure a way of letting these useless wreckers back in by default as actually voting for them.

I would have thought this burnt-out budget of a burnt-out government would have provided reason enough to wake up, smell the coffee, vote Tory and finally get them out.

Then, fifty days after that happy day, we'll have the real budget. You know, a Conservative budget that will begin the process of reversing the catastrophic damage long years of a Labour government has caused to the United Kingdom. Again.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Budget Bluster



What a load of laughable lightweight rhetoric. "I believe that government can make a difference," whimpers Darling. Yes, mate. But not this one. Not your bust government.

The whole tone of the thing makes me think that he's decided to vote Tory himself, actually (on the sly), because then, in his confused mind, at least he could guarantee the "big changes" he thinks we so desperately need - without Gordon there to wreck them, that is. Well, at least that's two things we can agree on then: the need for big changes and the necessity to vote Conservative to get them.

Peter Hoskin was a little less (a very little less) scathing about this pre-budget manure. He also thinks it's a signal that Darling's nicked another Tory policy and is going to cut business tax. I doubt it will be handled competently even if he does, however, given this nightmare government's record when it comes to the private, productive heart of the British economy. What's more, you can guarantee that it will be paid for not with vital cuts in government debt and overspending, but with tax hikes everywhere. Prepare to become a lot poorer after tomorrow, everyone.

Epic, unravelling fail, 24 hours before it's even happened.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Named In Dispatches

Courtesy: Department of International Development (the irony)

I can't say much about this hideous thing because I'm sort of still trying to process what I've just seen. But I will say this.

I find it utterly soul-destroying that these people, all of them Labour ministers either interviewed in the sting or fingering ministers still in power in one position or another (including that sickening, unblinking crook Mandelson yet again), are so much worse as people than so many people I've met in my lifetime and career so far. I simply cannot imagine what my father thinks of it all.

The point is that these people are so corrupt, they would sooner burn this country to the ground than be forced into a position where they must confront the twin characteristics that define them all, to a man and to a woman: vanity and greed. Vanity and greed is what defines this entire government, and this government's vanity and greed is what has brought this country to the brink of ruin. We were safer in the Cold War than we are with these.

Just remember, prior to this devastating Blair/Brown era, governments were brought down for far, far less than this, and rightly so.

I can't think of anything else to say just now. I'm just too depressed by the level of venality and decay this country has been brought to thanks to a desperately serious, though perhaps innocent in the case of a fair few million voters, false step that we took in 1997.

A lot of people were conned by Labour, but all are punished.

To me, though, there is some kind of hope. The Conservative Party, under Cameron, I believe has genuinely sensed the mood of the people (the people that count, that is - the vast majority of people - and not that small minority of dumb, insolent, loudmouth Labour activists who just don't care because their obsessive political prejudices always take precedence over truth, justice and common decency).

The Conservative Party, under Cameron, really will mend our broken politics, mainly because they had bloody well better! So thank God for that, because, as this terrifying Dispatches programme shows, our politics is just about as broken as it could possibly be.

And Labour broke it.

Congratulations

Will Heaven in the Telegraph blogs says Samantha Cameron is expecting a baby. Sincere congratulations to her and Mr Cameron and my very best wishes to them and their whole family.

(Now, that's the kind of jolly news I actually like to hear!)

==Update==
I didn't really want to say anything about the political implications of this because I thought, wrongly it seems, that to do so would be in some kind of bad taste, and, of course, that I'd probably be wrong. Happily, Cristina Odone has just done it all for us in the Telegraph. Here's the gist:
She was described as the Tories’ secret weapon. But Samantha Cameron is proving a nuclear weapon, the kind that could well blow Labour out of the water and the Browns out of Downing Street. She’s not only a down-to-earth working mother, industrious, clever and attractive; she’s pregnant.
I couldn't agree more. Very, very good news, then.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Where's Gordon?

It looks like becoming what The Scotsman is now calling Gordon Brown's "Spring of Discontent", and the strikes and the latest sleaze scandals look to have produced the classic reaction from Macavity. "I wasn't there" Brown has vanished again. Where is he? Safely tucked up in the bunker, I would think, furiously scribbling apparently disconnected notes in his thick, black, felt-tip pen, but which have, in fact, one, recurring theme: how can he screw up the country even more. We know this how? Because it's happened before, several times.

We've always known that he really is bloody hopeless, and clearly a bit of a depressive as well - that's what all the hiding is about - but what's becoming crystal clear also is how powerless he's become. His is an empty shell of a premiership, hollowed out by coup attempts from the sensible-ish right of his party and now held to ransom by the militant tendency of the loony left.

So what's he done? Disappeared, just like he always does when the pressure really is on.

Well, you can't hide forever, Gordon. You'll have to face us sooner or later. It's the law.

Byers' Song

Loving the National Express as Stephen Byers clearly does - after all, he saved that company £300million by putting the fix in with "Lord" Andreas Adonis, who obligingly let it off the hook precisely in the way Byers describes he'd arranged with him in the undercover Channel 4 tapes, by nationalising the rail franchise they were contracted to run, but had comprehensively ruined (at a cost to you and me of, you guessed it, £300million) - I thought he might appreciate this bit of Divine Comedy brilliance (sort of). The video is set, appropriately, in a nuthouse.



What's emerging here is the sheer scale of these crooked, Labourist, overpromoted socioeconomic demolition experts' blatant, abject, systematic, chronic corruption. You would be forgiven for receiving this information with a sense of total disbelief. Well, if you are tempted to do that, don't. It's all true, and, what's more, all we're really glimpsing now is the tip of a very big iceberg.

Ever wondered where all the money went? Well, now you have some idea.

Jail really is too good for them.

Gordon's Song

Been digging through my old albums and found one called "Spooky" by Lush. I think it's from 1991 or around then. I remember I absolutely loved it at the time. Can't think why listening to it now. Mind you, I've always had a pretty varied - if not random - taste in music. And it changes more quickly than the West Wales weather.

But from this album I particularly recall this song, called 'Untogether' (listen below). It then struck me that the lyrics, which seem to represent a pretty emotionally intelligent reflection on romantic discord, could provide the very kind of honest words Gordon Brown desperately needs to have put in his gawping mouth: "I'm not offended by the things that you say/But it's such a predictable way to behave/Talk round in circles till we're blue in the face/You were right I was wrong now does that make you happy?"

Er, no. On balance. No.

Anyway, cool song.

The Battle For Labour

The resurgent confidence of the militant tendency among the leadership of Labour's giant union financial backers is a clear sign that a vicious civil war has started in the Labour movement. Charles Moore's article for Saturday's Telegraph on this disturbing development, in which he provides bullet proof evidence that the far left, who long ago infiltrated and took control of the unions, are planning to seize power, is dynamite. He says, for instance:
Unite is led by Tony Woodley. From today, he is pitting his union against hundreds of thousands of holidaymakers in a strike designed to break the will of British Airways, which could go bust. And yesterday Unite's traditional allies in the rail union RMT promised an Easter strike of signal workers.

Mr Woodley is backed by the faction in his union called United Left, which declares that it wants "a socialist economic, social and political system", and wishes to "regain" the Labour Party. It has a motion down for the union's policy conference after the election that calls for the union to "give no support" to any Labour MPs who do not seek to abolish the "anti-trade union laws". This threat could be powerful: Labour campaigns in 148 constituencies are funded by Unite, and 167 Labour MPs and candidates are members of the union. Unite produces a quarter of Labour's money.

This is just a taste. The rest of the article is so powerful, I would hazard it could turn the election. That is if, as Moore says, Cameron starts to move with a bit more political athleticism in taking advantage of it. The stakes are so high, it's difficult to frame them. We are now faced with the real possibility, if Cameron gets it badly wrong (and he would have to get it very badly wrong, admittedly), not just of five more years of Gordon Brown (hideous though that thought is) but of a hard left Labour regime in Westminster.

Whatever the speculation about policy and the intricacies of poll variations, one thing is now clear: the real fight, the fight for the nation's soul, has now begun. And it's a fight we, and the Conservative Party, have to win. Or we all lose.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Troughers To The Bitter End

In tomorrow's Mail on Sunday and Sunday Times, two stories reveal just how venal former Labour ministers are. It simply beggars belief that these four, Geoff Hoon, Patricia Hewitt, Margaret Moron (sic) and Stephen Byers will almost certainly escape at the very least some form of criminal investigation for corruption.

One other thing is certain, unless the Tories get tough on this issue and threaten to seek prosecutions for what amounts to the worst sleaze probably in modern British history, we, the long-suffering public, will simply never know to what extent we have been comprehensively fleeced by the most corrupt and disastrous regime we've ever experienced in Britain.

Cameron, if and when he wins, had better be genuinely 'whiter than white' or I guarantee that this time around there will be bloody hell to pay. He needs to be concentrating on making sure any government he leads is unimpeachable by reviving the principles of collective and ministerial responsibility which have withered and died under Blair/Brown; that any future parliament is beyond reproach by making sure any pocket-lining MPs forfeit their office; and that the sins of the past, especially by these Labour criminals, are not simply forgotten, by resisting any pressure for an amnesty. I'm sure Gordon Brown would be pleased to return the favour given half the chance - but that's not the point.

This should be one of the major focuses of a new Cameron government, and definitely not woolly headed, watermelon carbon taxes that will severely damage the economy, justified on the basis of a now pretty thoroughly discredited scientific theory, itself a trojan horse for a socialist agenda.

Nothing less will do.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Fawkes On Whelan



Enjoyed the McBride fact or fiction thing. Not sure what that 'Eric Tickles' thing was all about, though.

But Whelan. Sheesh, what a real piece of work that scumbag is. In terms of being a total stranger to the truth, and being as corrupt as a gambling copper with a serious drinking habit, he's second only to Brown himself. Well, the Labour wheels have come flying right off this time. There's one thing people never, ever forgive and that's being taken for mugs.

Unite's funding of Labour with public money, and 100+ Labour MPs, again with public money, and its subsequent war on BA (which does not serve the interests of its members) makes Brown's - and Labour's - position untenable. Unless Brown gives the £11 million back - not to Unite, but to the taxpayer - people will rightly feel robbed. But he can't do that because first it would be an admission of guilt, and second, it would bankrupt an insolvent party.

Checkmate.

Just Thoughts Really

Funny thing. When I was in my early twenties, a long time ago, I used to write the odd poem. Well, not poems as such. Just thoughts really. Anyhoo, after a recent clearout of some old floppy disks, a few of them have turned up - and almost all of them are absolutely awful. Almost. Here's one that I think is actually not that bad.

If memory serves, I was challenged to write it when I was a young schoolteacher by a classroom full of cocky 13 year-olds in about, oh, 1994. Can't remember what they thought about it. I would imagine they reckoned it was 'cheesy'.
War Breaks Out in the Playground

Who hit first? Well I don't know.
It was Mick or Alan or Danny or Joe

All we could tell was all hell broke loose.
We did try to stop it but what was the use?

Well Stevie got bashed on the back of the head.
He went down so we left him for dead.

Mick hit Micky on the end of his nose
And Danny stamped on Kevin's toes.

Micky was all bloody and Kevin got mad;
He elbowed Alan, now that was bad,

Cos Alan really went for him - full blast
Punching and hitting - but that didn't last

Cos then Joe (who'd started it) (he's really tough)
Went straight for Micky and then it got rough.

Kevin went for Danny and Micky bit Joe -
(We all thought that was really really low)

But Mick kneed Danny, you know, below the belt
And Danny sort of went green and yelped.

Then Mick noticed he was in his own gang -
But as he tried to apologise something went Bang!

Well we all were amazed cos we thought it was a gun.
If somebody was shooting then we'd all get done!

Anyway, everybody stopped (I think they were tired)
And as it turned out a car had backfired.

So they looked at each other and started-up again
Arms and legs flailing in a huge sweaty mass, but then

Mr Smith ran over looking really mad,
What the hell's going on! he screamed, but we were quite glad

Because it was getting pretty ugly there
And we couldn't really stop it - like I said, who'd dare?

Besides it didn't really matter in the end
They all stopped anyway when the bell went.

All of them got up, one by one,
Bruised and battered and quite shaken.

But they shook hands and smiled and dusted off the dirt,
Some were bleeding but nobody was hurt.

Mr Smith stared at them in disbelief
But he just stormed off to everyone's relief.

They headed off to lessons looking cheerful and bright,
Cheers Joe, they said, that was a bloody good fight!

So you see Miss, it's not my fault at all.
I wanted to take part in it but I'm too small.

Look, Miss, I’ve got to go or I'll be late for history
And we're watching a great video on World War Three.
Hmm. Maybe they were right :)

Policy Pyramid A House of Cards?

Brainbox Oli Letwin's much-maligned 'Policy Pyramid' has been criticised pretty heavily for its content, not least by some campaigners (it omits, among other things, to mention word- one about immigration, for example). For what it's worth, I think that what it does say is, in the main, pretty worthwhile. So on balance perhaps the criticism has been a tad over the top. (Who could argue with the aim to reignite aspiration in a Brown-wrecked economy, for instance?)

I would add one thing, however. The image below, which is, so we were told by Peter Hoskin earlier today, The Times' Sam Coates' accurate visual interpretation of the concept, doesn't half look like a house of cards. I just hope that that's nothing more than a meaningless coincidence, and that Letwin really does know what he's doing. As they say, we shall see.

Letwin's Policy Pyramid

House of Cards

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Brenda "SOGAT '82" Dean Shock

Brenda Dean (you know, her of SOGAT '82 fame), now Baroness Dean of somewhere or other, has claimed that she was 'shocked' to find out that Lord Ashcroft was a non-dom, (or maybe it was she was 'shocked' she hadn't been asked by her party to be 'shocked' sooner. Who knows? Who bloody cares?). She's a dyed-in-the-wool Big Union Labourist who's been recruited to try to keep the Ashcroft non-story bubbling along, so she would utter all this disingenuous claptrap wouldn't she.

The surprising thing, therefore, (possibly), is that The Times and, briefly, The Daily Telegraph, thought this to be front page news. The MSM's dodgy, increasingly naff judgment strikes again, then.

There was, however, one MSM source who was having none of it - namely Paul Waugh of the Standard. He joins the historical dots and sifts through Dean's place in the genealogy of the biggest union in Britain:
Baroness Dean gave evidence today on Lord Ashcroft failed to uphold his undertakings on becoming a peer.

The noble baroness was not asked why Lord A should be treated differently from Lord Paul.

But something that many Tories would have wanted her to mention is this:

Brenda Dean made her name as the gen sec of print union Sogat 82.

Sogat 82 later merged with another union to become part of Amicus....which is these days part of...you guessed it....Unite.

Given that tomorrow's DT has evidence that Unite were given £18 million of taxpayer's money, of which £11 million went straight back to the Labour party in what looks increasingly like a really special kind of money laundering, you'd think these tossers, with their ennobled thicko mouthpieces like Dean, would have learned when to shut the hell up.

But they haven't - and I, for one, am counting on that! I'm pretty certain David Cameron and the Conservatives are too. Play it straight, like Hague did today, and let these spinning, lying, corrupt wreckers condemn themselves out of their own mouths, just like Brown did at PMQs yesterday, and ex-Communist Charlie Whelan, who's taken over the Labour party through Unite, too in his laughable interview.

If nothing else, the next few weeks will occasionally make for compulsive viewing.

Mann vs Mannisms

Iain Dale (I 've been well impressed with his work lately) has highlighted this latest hilarious example of A-Labourist-Typically-Taking-Himself-Way-Too-Seriously. I've tried to join the blogospheric dots and apparently, as far as I can tell, Mr Dale has taken up the cause of a decent minor blogger who goes by the gently self-deprecating nom de plume of "Fat Councillor".

He himself has highlighted the plight of an even more minor blogger currently being threatened by the very minor Labour demon with libel action, if I get that right - it could be Fat Councillor himself who's getting the treatment. Matters not. Anyway, the future defendant (I think) in this deliciously paranoid action, distinctly lacking in class, calls himself, rather pithily, Mannisms, and whose wonderfully focused work is dedicated to scrutinising, among few other things, the various troughing activities of one John Mann, MP (Labour - prospective plaintive, soon to be out of a job). Mann is suing Mannisms for libel, as Fat Councillor highlights in a post I've copied verbatim below, for the post I've copied, again verbatim, even further below.

John Mann MP - Hypocritical Idiot, And General Gob Shite

Dear Readers

Every so often, your Fat Councillor needs a rest from Indy Alliance nepotism, assault cases, councillors getting the sack for failing to attend meetings, and provincial reporters calling black white. At times like these I cast around for a hypocritical national politician to laugh at. Tonight it is the turn of 'whiter than white' idiot and gob shite, John Mann MP.
Bandwagon jumping twat

Whilst sipping ice cold lager and watching the sun go down, your Fat Councillor came across www.mannisms.com. This site catalogues the trials of poor old Mann MP as he desperately tries to cling to his seat.

His latest wheeze would appear to be to use House of Commons headed paper to threaten to sue the author of the site for allegedly calling him a wanker, whilst at the same time, signing an early day motion calling for a change in Libel laws because "English libel law is stifling of free expression".

If that is not the sign of an idiotic, hypocritical wanker of a politician, I don't know what is.

So, Mr Mann, if you ever fancy chancing your arm in the Spanish libel courts, fill your boots.
According to Dale, Mann is "the most humourless MP I have ever come across". Well, yes. But even given that, what, I wondered, had caused him such a very deep sense of humour failure (or should that be skin failure, as in thickness of) that he's decided to go completely postal using taxpayers' money to try to nail a harmless minor blogger, even going so far as to try to get libel laws changed just to protect his own worthless reputation? Perhaps the answer lay not in Fat Councillor's funny hatchet job (I've read - and written - far worse, mind), I thought, (I'm really sharp, see), but the post to which Fat Councillor was referring, by Mannism:
In his recent letter to Retford residents (see previous post), John Mann’s loyalty to the Labour Party seems to have evaporated.

Mann_letter_Retford

Click graphic to enlarge

I am asking you and your family and friends to support me in being re-elected as your MP because of my commitment to keep fighting hard for the people of Bassetlaw no matter who forms the next Government

Not a word about Labour Party national policies or a few words of encouragement for his boss. In fact, the only mention of Labour is in the letter’s address.

I’m sure Gordon Broon will be delighted to read this.

Every Mann for himself, eh?

Solidarity brothers!

Nope, can't see it myself. Just what, precisely, is libellous about this blogpost? Well, I really don't care. I want a piece of the Mann-baiting action so I've happily followed Fat Councillor's superb, spirited example and republished everything here, 'libellous' blogpost and all (it's definitely one of the two - possibly). Um. Anyway, I wait with very little anticipation to see what this self-important Labourist w*nker does next. Is he going to sue everyone? Oh, I do hope so. That would be marvellous.

As Iain Dale says, mainly about the jolly witty song Fat Councillor uploaded by way of a response to Mann's pathetic posturing (see below), though the comment resonates far more widely:
I doubt he will see the funny side of this, but it's another sign of how the internet allows the man in the street to fight back


Sometimes (occasionally) I really do love blogs - and blogging. It almost feels like democracy.

Vague Hague Kills Ashcroft Story Stone Dead

Peter Hoskin has covered very well Hague's interview on "Today" this morning about the Ashcroft non-story, which I listened to while driving to work (which is where I am now - so this won't be a long post!). Suffice to say that Hague, while slightly vague at times, did nail down this stupid story once and for all, and successfully lobbed the ball straight back into Brown's court. Lord Paul, anyone? Hoskin's conclusions are rather cleverer than mine, (no surprise there), but sort of amount to the same thing.

Any road, it seems this is now a non-runner for Labour, but that does not mean they won't continue to push it, no matter how stupid they will increasingly look for doing so now that Hague has, in my view, successfully killed the story off once and for all. However, if, for instance, this latest piece of Charlie Whelan delusion is anything to go on, then truly anything is possible (so thanks to Daniel Finkelstein for reporting it):

In yesterday's interview with Will Straw, Charlie Whelan appears
to have given up being a spin doctor and a political organiser and become,
instead, a pollster.
He claims that it is not true that a third of Unite
members are planning to vote Conservative because his own survey showed it was
only about 8 per cent. It never occurs to him to wonder if their might be an
interviewer bias in answers to a survey conducted by his own
officials. He describes the contrary evidence as:
Some Tory paper did a bogus poll of Unite members
But the poll was actually a
balanced and representative survey of 1,023 members of the union conducted by Populus last year.


This Whelan man is extremely sinister, not least because he is as big a self-deceiver and figure-fiddler as Brown himself. Moreover, in the name of a union membership the majority of whom clearly doesn't support him or his party, he is trying to shut down British Airways internationally by unleashing the forces of militant trade unionism abroad. Sort of sympathy strikes for the global era. But care not one jot do these people for democracy, or the massive job losses that would result from the collapse of a business as big as British Airways.

A Matthew Parris anecdote in his column in this morning's Times is quite disturbing on that score:

It was before he was even a Cabinet minister that, in a private
conversation, Mr Mandelson was asked who he thought would be in the running for
the leadership of the Labour Party if the present Government were turfed out of
office at the coming general election.

He paused thoughtfully, then, with no hint of a smile, and peering over his spectacles in apparent incredulity, observed: “You don’t think a little thing like losing a general election is going to stop Gordon Brown, do you?” Whether, by “stop”, Mr Mandelson meant stop
Mr Brown from carrying on as Labour leader, or stop him from carrying on as
Prime Minister, he did not say.

Getting rid of this particular crop of corrupt, anti-democratic, arrogant socialists might take a bit more than a general election victory for the Conservative Party!

Brown won't take electoral defeat - or "No!" - for an answer.