Monday 31 May 2010

Blunkett Wants To Sue

I see that David "civil-liberties-just-get-in-the-way-of-me-locking-everyone-up" Blunkett, wants to sue over the scrapped ID card scheme. Aside from the fact he clearly doesn't understand the concept of democracy and that changes of Government can do this, this quote was amusing:

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I have got a card and it's very useful and I don't believe anyone has surveilled anything about me."

He either has a short memory or is very complacent, this from 2003:
A BBC reporter has "stolen" Home Secretary David Blunkett's identity as part of an investigation into Britain's fastest growing crime - ID fraud.

Paul Kenyon, of BBC One's Kenyon Confronts programme, set out to prove how easy it is to snatch other people's identities and shows that basic checks are not made when official documents are issued.
Good riddance to both him and the ID card scheme.

Sunday 30 May 2010

Not Long Now...

...until prisoners will be granted the right to vote. As predicted here and here, the government was always likely to cave in rather quickly after the election, the question as ever is timing. My bet of it happening around the time of the emergency budget, which is on June 22nd, still looks good.

Completely unrelated, the nation will be distracted from the gloomy economic news certain to be in the budget, because England are playing Slovenia in the World Cup the day after, on the 23rd.

Shurley some coincidence. Jo Moore would be proud.

Friday 28 May 2010


Politics will be taking a back seat until Monday as I will be at the 'value-for-money-built-on-the-cheap' stadium, otherwise know as Wembley, tomorrow.

Thursday 27 May 2010

Bugger Off

Just caught a quick listen to BBC Radio 2 just now - The Jeremy Vine show - discussing the proposed hike in Capital Gains Tax to 40% which is being hotly debated within the coalition. All well reasoned arguments on both sides, then there's a voice that sounds all too familiar to me putting the case forward for the Lib Dems: Evan Harris!

Erm how do I put this? You lost your seat (with not much dignity I hasten to add), you're now no longer a MP, why oh why have you been clogging up the tv and radio airwaves since?

Still at least he's in good company.

Saturday 22 May 2010

Masters And Servants

The Evening Standard has a quote from David Cameron:
"In everything we do...............we must remember that we are not masters but servants."
Hmm now that seems strangely familiar. Here's what Tony Blair had to say in 1997 just after the Labour landslide:
"We are not the masters. The people are the masters. We are the servants of the people. We will never forget that."
He was also overheard saying to Cameron recently:

"You have learned well my young Padawan..."

(Note: I might have made that last bit up).

hattip: Witterings From Witney

Friday 21 May 2010


I promise I won't keep harping on about the lack of clear water between the three main UK parties on the EU, but I've stumbled across this article in the Economist by Charlemagne. Titled; "Are Nick Clegg's Liberal Democrats really so Europhile? Are the Tories so Eurosceptic?", here are some choice quotes:

"NUANCES". That is the word that William Hague, Britain's new foreign secretary and a supposedly ferocious Eurosceptic, uses to describe foreign policy differences between the Conservatives and their new coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats (and, for that matter, the outgoing Labour government).

"Quite easy": that is another Hague phrase, to describe the work of forging a common policy on the EU with the LibDems, supposedly the one true Europhile party in Britain.

I must admit that as a foreign hack myself, out of Britain for some 13 years now, the central message that Mr Hague had to send strikes me as accurate: that the differences between the big three British political parties on foreign policy are not very big, and that what counts most of all is the fact that they are British.
Mr Hague basically sounded like a Democrat: ie, like every other European politician who comes to Washington. In fact, scepticism towards the euro was about the only area where Mr Hague showed some teeth, it seems, appearing to have said of the euro crisis that his party had always thought the single currency a foolish idea.
The article is well worth reading in full. It's very clear that nothing has changed in terms of policy detail on the EU, and on other issues as well, by the election apart from the colour of the shirts.

Quote Of The Day

"In a few years, I wonder if [Lord Mandelson] will be firmly established as a national treasure, a faintly menacing version of Stephen Fry."

James Kirkup in the Telegraph on what lies in store for Lord Mandelson now he's resigned from the Labour front bench.

Wednesday 19 May 2010

More Of The Same

Iain Dale reports tonight that:
No one likes to be bounced. But that's exactly how Conservative MPs are feeling this evening. At a hastily arranged meeting of the 1922 Committee this afternoon, David Cameron suggested that the 1992 Committee should in future be made up of the whole parliamentary party, and not just backbenchers. This is interpreted as being a power grab by the party leadership. MPs are currently voting on whether to make the change or not.
Not content with making fundamental changes to our constitution on a whim, reneging on a crucial manifesto promise within 2 weeks of taking office, Cameron is now trying to make an audacious assault on the power of his own backbenches; one which would hugely limit the power of Conservative backbenches to hold the government to account.

Naturally this will probably mean it will be harder for the more EU sceptical Tory MPs to hold Cameron to account over his pro-EU policies.

Nevermind, at least most Tories were happy to get rid of Labour whatever the cost.

Well That Didn't Last Long. called Tory Euro-scepticism. Of course we all knew that the Tories were never truly sceptical of the EU project but the revealing of their true colours since the election has happened sooner than I thought.

EUReferendum points me to an article by Mary Ellen Synon in the Daily Mail regarding the case of Abid Naseer:
The leader of a terrorist cell planning an attack on Easter shoppers in Manchester cannot be deported back to Pakistan in case he is tortured, a tribunal has ruled.
Why not? Because of the European Convention on Human Rights. So what do the Tories propose to do about it? Scrap the Act as per their manifesto commitment on page 90?
....we will replace the Human Rights Act with a UK Bill of Rights.
Of course not, they will 'review' it instead. Mary Ellen Synon is not impressed:
The most revolting thing about the way Cameron and Hague have sold out the British to the European Union isn't that they've done it; though that is revolting enough.

No, the thing which is really sick-making is the eagerness, the enthusiasm with which they've done it. What has been revolting is the speed with which they have grabbed any excuse to dump every Conservative policy of resistance to ever-greater control of Britain by the EU institutions.

It has become clear that every word of scepticism ever uttered by Cameron and Hague about the dangers posed to Britain by the EU was fake. They never meant any of it. The coalition negotiations with the loser-Lib-Dems didn't force them to surrender any of these policies -- it is clear now the Tory leadership couldn't hand them over fast enough.

One policy they've dumped with shameless speed is the commitment that a new Tory-led government would repatriate the powers that were handed over to Brussels by Labour in the areas of social and employment laws, and criminal justice.

Now all Cameron and Hague say they will do is 'examine the balance' of such powers Brussels now holds in these crucial areas. Which means nothing. Or rather, what it means is that they will fight to repatriate nothing.

The fact that the Cameron promises on the EU were just complete bollocks comes as no surprise, what does come as a surprise is that many Tory activists appear to have been taken in by them. See the anger and frustration here, here, here and here as they claim that the Tories are the only party to win power who will fight the EU, and that a vote for UKIP is indirectly a vote for more Brussels by keeping Brown in.

But it was perfectly obvious that Cameron loves the EU project as much as Clegg and now we have real proof.

Sunday 16 May 2010

Short Break

Now that the election is over, I'm busy getting back to work, I took just over 3 weeks off for my campaign so I've a lot to catch up on. So this blog will be quiet for a bit, but it will return.

In the meantime it seems, despite Operation Ostrich (the Tory strategy on Europe) that the EU will give Cameron a few headaches this year. The Lisbon Treaty is due up for re-ratification this year, only 'a technical adjustment' according to the Foreign Office. Enough leeway for Cameron to renege once again on his cast-iron promise.

There are plenty of reasons why I think the coalition will be short-lived, primarily amongst them with be differences on the EU between the Lib Dems and Tory backbenches. It cannot be ignored forever, however hard they try.

Thursday 13 May 2010


Ian Cowie from the Telegragh reports that the useless, bureaucratic and expensive Home Information Packs are to be abolished:
So, farewell then, Home Information Packs (HIPs). You were about as much use to homebuyers and sellers as a chocolate teapot. You were even worse value for people who spent time and money training to become HIP inspectors.
At least though he acknowledges that they are the result of EU law:
but experts point out this part of HIPs is compulsory under European Union law. So much for voting for change.
Indeed. My neighbour moved yesterday, and to their credit the local estate agent put the EU directive on the details.

'My Government'

When Cameron stood outside Number 10, he said this:
I want to make sure that my Government always looks after the elderly, the frail, the poorest in our country.
It's not your Government Dave, it's the Queen's (well the EU's if we're to be pedantic). This was the kind of thing Blair and Brown used to say all the time, it's a basic error. No surprise Dave is carrying on New Labour's traditional of making fundamental constitutional changes written on the back of an envelope without any idea of the consequences:
Plans for fixed-term Parliaments "not credible" and "dangerous" - says law expert. The plans in the Lib-Con agreement for fixed term Parliaments are already raising legal eyebrows. Scott Styles, a senior lecturer in the school of law at Aberdeen University, has described them as "truly astounding."
Is it any wonder that Dave proposes undeliverable policies regarding the EU when he struggles to understand our own constitution?

Tuesday 11 May 2010


Our real government carries on regardless (my emphasis):

An England football fan convicted for his role in a riot in Portugal during Euro 2004 is to be extradited on Wednesday to serve a two-year sentence.

"I have been let down by the politicians that agreed to the UK's rigid extradition laws and the European arrest warrant and by the judges who no longer seem willing to stand up for justice," he said.

Brown Set To Resign Tonight As PM

According to Sky News, please please let's hope it's true. I can't wait - I have cans of Stella in the fridge to mark the moment.

Monday 10 May 2010

Brown Resigns As Party Leader

Thank God for that, although it's not over yet.

Notice Anything Missing?

Between this report from the BBC on the Eurozone bail-out:

EU finance ministers have agreed on emergency measures worth 500bn euros (£430bn) to prevent the Greek debt crisis from affecting other countries.

The 16 members of the single currency bloc will have access to 440bn euros of loan guarantees and 60bn euros of emergency European Commission funding.

The UK has a very limited exposure to this package, and has not participated in the bulk of the deal.
BBC impartiality at its best.

Thursday 6 May 2010

Nigel Farage In Plane Crash

It's being reported that Nigel Farage has been involved in a plane crash. No reports of deaths thankfully, I hope he and his fellow passengers and pilot are ok.

Election Day

Well at last after what has seemed like forever, watching the disintegration of our parliament and the country under Brown, us little people can have our say...and then be ignored again for another 5 years (unless it's a hung parliament and it may only be for a year. Lucky us).

Aside from going down to the polling station this morning to vote, though not for myself unfortunately as I don't live in the constituency I'm standing in, I will be taking it easy for the rest of the day, waiting for the mayhem to begin tonight. I will try to twitter any updates as and when I can, though not before checking the rules since I don't want to get caught out.

As for the general election result, I don't care that much, a vote for any of the three main parties is a vote for more of the same. My only hope is that whoever wins forms a government that won't contain Gordon Brown.

I will blog in detail in a few days on my thoughts of this campaign, after I have caught up on sleep and my team (hopefully) wins promotion on Saturday away at Millwall. For now I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in every way, from leafleting, advice, canvassing, to putting up posters. I won't name names here, though I can mention the help from Opinionated and Vocal, whose leafleting around where he lives was particularly productive in terms of responses.

Once again thanks, and hopefully here's good riddance to this idiot.

Tuesday 4 May 2010


It was one of those days today where you rush around lots but don't seem to achieve much, so unfortunately not much leafleting done today. My counting agents' form for Thursday evening was sent in on time - just!

So just a quick observation which has cropped up with quite a number of people. There seem to be fewer posters outside people's gardens, in windows etc this election from all parties. There are the usual ones in farmers' fields, but other than that the constituency I'm standing in and the one I live in seem to be generally bereft of them. One road in Abingdon is nearly always covered in Tory posters at election time - all the way down the street; this year there's only 2.

I don't know specifically the reason why, I can only speculate but it just adds to the enormous gulf, that I have experienced on the doorstep, between the political system and the people it is supposed to represent.

Monday 3 May 2010

I'm In Kidlington Today

Canvassing in England's second largest village. On the home strait now towards Thursday. In some ways I can't wait until Friday, whilst I've enjoyed every moment, boy am I knackered.

Sunday 2 May 2010

Voting Changes Nothing

This video is doing the rounds across the blogs - a popular sentiment:

hattip: opinionated and vocal

It reminds me of this song (F***The Right To Vote by 25th of May) from 1992, nothing indeed changes it seems:

Saturday 1 May 2010

A Day Off

No campaigning today, I'm having the day off, the first for quite some weeks. The reason? Well it's quite simple - football. Now normally the end of the season is not much to get excited about, so missing the odd game here and there is not a problem. But this has been the most exciting season for about 15 years and I don't want to miss a bit of it - it makes up for all dross that I've had to put up with in between times, both on and off the pitch (If there's any Portsmouth fans reading this who want the lowdown our once administrator Andronikou I'll be happy to oblige, as I'm sure they're finding out he's not as good at his job as he thinks he is. Trust me it will only get worse).

So all will be quiet until my campaign resumes again in anger tomorrow morning, hangover permitting.

Letter In Today's Telegraph

Not from me, but I couldn't agree with its sentiments more, so I thought would reproduce it in full:

SIR – During the debate, Mr Clegg said that we cannot control our immigration because of our membership of the EU.

Naturally, no one else grabbed this point because they are both pro-EU, too.

Is this what the Conservatives mean by "being in Europe, but not ruled by Europe"?