Follow by Email

There was an error in this gadget
There was an error in this gadget

Monday, 29 June 2009

Powerful gay people, the 'Pink List'

The Independent ran a little thing on the most powerful gay people here.

One idiot responded with:
"We have the Pink List. We have any number of Black Lists. We have Female lists so what's wrong with being White, Male and Straight? Why can't we have an exclusive list showing our achievements?"

to which my response was "because we rule the world already". Seems obvious enough to me

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Pole Dancing

This video of a pole dancing bear led me on to another video outlining the various poledancing moves. Fair play to the girl, that is tough stuff




Paul Halsall is a legend

Just trawling around, found the following quote from a bloke whose blog i follow, top stuff:
Blogger Paul Halsall said...

@Oliver

I accept Brown is too complicit in the PFI scandal to do anything about it, but then I am not one of his fans.

But I am old enough to have lived through and remember two periods of Tory rule - under Heath and under Thatcher/Major. Although Heath was, in retrospect, more moderate than Thatcher, the whole attitude of Tory governments is to oppose organized power among the working class (i.e Trade Unions) while to support organized power among elites (e.g. Public and Private companies).

While I think some respects Blair and Brown did do some good things - raise NHS spending, actively conciliate in Northern Ireland, enact partial legal equality for gay people (none of which would have been done under the Tories) - I also think New Labour loved business and markets far to much. This has lead to the refusal to renationalize rail, an obsession with false "internal" markets, and a completely catastrophic growth in unjustified administrative bodies devoted to naff business jargon ("stakeholders"/"evidence based"/"branding") and non-transparent "public consultations".

I detest New Labour.

But even New Labour's command and control administrative centralism has had a basically beneficent view of the poor and dispossessed, even if its solutions ("aspiration") are nonsense.

Tories will just attack, because it is they, much more than the modern Labour Party which wages class warfare.

The basic think about class war is that the working class have never been very good at it. The financial elite have proved repeatedly they are very good at in indeed.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Nadine Dorries

Do I hate Nadine Dorries? Oh yes I do!
Why? Because she's one of these people who thinks that anyone who disagrees with her is 'unfair'. Example of John Bercow. Reading about how she was allegedly given an easy ride on Today, I looked up her blog. Her opposition to Bercow is due to his wife being a lefty, and him disagreeing with her over abortion, means that she has "grave concerns regarding his neutrality on certain issues."
All that means is that she disagrees with her. Typical.

Later in her attack on him, for it is nothing more than an attack, she states that her attempts to stop abortions "was widely reported in both the media and reflected in various polls, the majority of doctors and the general public were right behind us." Lies. Not true. I worked for an MP when this was being debated, and many scientific and medical groups were begging and pleading that the limit not be changed. it was ONLY regilious groups who wanted the limit reduced.

She considers Mr Bercow to have "strident zealot views" on abortion. I think she has. The difference is, she's an MP and people read her blog. And i'm right, of course.

A doctor, who may know a thing or two about abortion, although he's probably a zealot for criticising Dorries, attacks her here for her views on sex education and abortion.

If nothing else, I hope Labour wins the next election to keep the likes of her out of government. SHE IS MENTAL

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Quote of the day

"I'm a woman: we're not designed to shut up" - Michelle Larcher de Brito

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

PFI

I've never had a problem with the idea of PFI. If the private sector can get the tax-payer a better deal, then i'm all in favour.

The main reason behind PFI is to get borrowing 'off balance sheet', which is a shame. According to File On 4 on radio 4, many contracts are not open to public scrutiny and I don't like that.

While media should not take the place of the Parliament in holding Government to account, something like this should be addressed by a minister. I don't know whether this topic and detail has been covered in Parliament, but I certainly hope so. The BBC programme should have looked into this, but I suppose that doesn't make such a good story.

The thing is state, private sector and media all come out of this (programme) looking both good and bad. I think a pragmatic, evidence-based and more open and transparent process is what's needed

PMQ Reform

Top stuff is this:
"June 23, 2009 at 11:27 am

Quite right. What we really need is for the PM v. LoO weekly theatre to be cut down and PMQs to be opened up to backbenchers. While David Cameron leaning over the dispatch box and mocking Brown over something more to do with style than substance looks good for the cameras it does not effectively hold the executive to account. Neither does Brown’s theatrical reply serve any useful purpose. The parts of PMQs that should actually matter are when individual MPs get up and ask pressing questions that hold the government to account and represent the worries of their constituents. The Speaker needs to allow more time for this and make sure that the PM (or whatever cabinet minister) answers the question. Less of the theatre, more of the substance."

Speaker

Does this sum up the REAL reason why Bercow is so unpopular with the Tories?

"That little twerp has betrayed us, no two ways about it. When he believed in hanging and flogging and keeping Mandela in jail, he could have had my vote and lived in my house! Now he's gone soft, he'll never have my support. Left-wing turd."

Posh and rich old Etonian Tory leader David Cameron was apparently outraged that posh and rich old Etonian Sir George was defeated on the final ballot. A source close to Mr Cameron said: "This little oik went to a fucking comprehensive school for Christ's sake, and he never made it to Oxbridge. No silver spoon in any orifice. David wanted one of us in the chair, not someone who had made it on his own.""

Britain's Finances

Larry Elliot does his usual good work here, stating that Britian's finances are not as great as Gordy says.
Which we all know.
I personally thought Darling had come up with a plan to get some of the debt back, banks paying back their loans I believe is about half the debt. I may be wrong.
I think there are some things i think can be cut from the public service budget, such as funding for new NHS drugs. I would like to see some tax rises for the middle and richest.

Maybe now would be a good time to legalise cannabis and tax that?

Quote of the day

"Why am I sticky and naked? Did I miss something fun? "
Fry from Futurama.
Honey, lead me to Futurama quotes

The Left

From this interview with Mark Steel:

#

The left certainly does hate success. In my experience, those on the far left like the SWP can only define themselves in opposition. Due to the need to be ideologically pure and further left than anyone else, the splits come too easily. I liken it to fundamentalist religion, where if anyone achieves the nirvana they are not to be trusted.
Most of the left, like SWP and Respect, are too busy arguing amoungst themselves over who is the most left-wing and nothing else matters to them. Pragmatism doesn’t get a look in.

Nye Bevan knew the way, but these so-called lefties know nothing of his work

Comment by Bearded Socialist — 23 June, 2009 @ 10:52 am
#

Most of the Greens are know are good, proper lefties. Derek Wall is a genuine socialist and a legend in our times. The left should feel very comfortable supporting the Greens

The Problem with foreigners...

...is that they pay their rent and do their job's, apparently:
"This is especially so as i have seen a landlord tell me "I prefer Polish people over Irish/British as they pay rent without fail" (which means they got all their rent paid by the council, getting benefits any other Brit/Irishman could only dream of) and a building site that showed no remorse for saying he preferred foreigners as they didn't complain and "took risks Irish/British wouldn't to get the job done.""

Very interesting and lively discussion on the Sun's message board, believe it or not

Benefit claimants

Claimants are still seen as 'scroungers', the public are happy for people to be very rich, people still believe in 'deserving' and 'undeserving' poor, "Despite negative perceptions of poorer people, however, there was strong underlying support for a progressive tax system. The research identified a public appetite for "more radical action on pay and taxation at the top of the spectrum"."
"most people on middle incomes complained that the system was less generous to them than other groups."

interesting, mixed results. It seems there is some appitite for greater distribution, too much belief in scroungers, still a belief in meritocracy, and a desire for everyone ELSE to pay more tax.
We're an odd lot.
I'm not sure these findings actually tell us anything really

Factcheck

To me, this is the best thing in politics: Factcheck.

why can't this be a central part of British politics?

same old tories

"Ah, bliss. The face of Cameron's new enlightened Tories. Posted this evening on Conservativehome:

"If John Bercow wins things will just go from bad to worst. It will be a disaster for Parliament and the future of politics in the UK. This is spiteful Labour MPs having their final bad joke as they sink with their ship. I hope after the next election there is a new vote for Speaker as John Bercow's liberal leftie views are not shared by more than 90% of Conservative MPs. How will he ever be fair or impartial when moral issues are discussed like the protection of unborn children? If John Bercow gets his way there will be abortion on demand right up to term. The militant left wing feminist will be celebrating tonight if he is the winner. For real traditional conservatives it will be a very sad day and they will be shaking their head in dispair. Just watch the smirking faces on the labour benches if he is declared the winner. But let's hope David Cameron and the Conservative Government have the last laugh when they vote for a new speaker after the next General Election..""

Monday, 22 June 2009

Speaker

Now, my choice for the chair was Richard Shepherd. Bercow was some way off, but it's madness the way the Tories are coming out aginst him. Let's hope he does well, but I'm not sure if it's a sense of entitlement from the Tories as exemplified by Michael Lord MP or they just like complaining, but either way they should do more than complain that the speaker was popular with parties other than themselves

Young Politicians

Just listen to three PPCs debating on Richard Bacon and i was not impressed with the three of them. They all sounded 20 at the oldest, in voice and manner. They sounded like these flat-pack MFI-mass-produced types who lack personality and charisma because they might be mavericks then.
One (Labour) pointed out one crucial thing the others missed: Bacon criticised them for attacking each other and squabbling. The Labour guy then pointed out that he told them to attack each other before the show, then let it go. Shows sharp thinking but perhaps a weakness of personality to not emphasise it. Also, they seemed to lack the understanding to articulate that each of them have very strong beliefs which cause them to disagree, loudly. Lastly, they couldn't explain that politics can be very boring, and add some details about what is important to people e.g. poor roads, overgrown hedges etc.

I know i've got an ego, but surely I could do better than that?!

Pay, Banker's, public sector and the rich in general

Peston makes an very interesting point:
how much should people be paid?
As a lefty, i'm pretty much against big pay packets or bonuses for anyone. Hester may be an exception. His contract states that failure will not be rewarded (finally!), and his big cheque is dependent on his meeting certain targets which include getting a big profit on tax-payer investment and therefore significantly improving the public finances.
Surely all these things are the right things to do, and should have been done ages ago. It's been obvious to me that there has been a problem in bankers' pay for a long time, so others should have been able to see it if i could.
On top of that, a bloke taking home millions while millions are unemployed is an issue that hasn't been to the front in the current crisis, but that's no surprise

Words from the Blogosphere

The blogosphere is an interesting place. Due to my work I have to keep my blog anonymous, which is a shame. And these are cautionary words for anyone writing overt or covert blogs.

The George Galloway Vs Chatham House piece shows some potentially very interesting and important statistics. According to Georgous George, the poll was free and fair and all should abide by it's ruling. According to Chatham House, in some places turnout was over 100% (no Gordon Brown jokes please). In other places, the numbers are dubious at best, like all SWP supporters suddenly voting Tory in huge droves.

Also, I've now heard Mark Steele do the same Galloway joke four times. FOUR TIMES! Get a new joke, you SWP, erm, joke?

MPs' Second Jobs

Apparently, the Tories fear that information of their other jobs could be as damaging as the expenses, or worse.
And I say good, and bad. Whilst it will be great to see all these who are too busy lining their own pockets to look after their constituents as they should called to account, it will be a shame to see the political system dragged through the mud again.
Maybe some of the conflicts of interest will come to light. I don't see how anyone can be a parliamentary advisory AND MP without a clear conflict of interest.
It will also be interesting to see how it plays out in the media, compared to the expenses leak. My feeling is that this will not be as big a storm.


The comments are typical Daily Mail crap, as is to be expected.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Public spending

So, public spending then eh?
Martin Wolf has never been my favourite academic, but this piece is interesting.
I've always quite liked Ed Balls. But his going on about keeping high spending on education strikes me as a bit misguided at best. I know he's not (yet) chancellor, but he does know a thing or two about money and that.
I know the public finances are tight and there may be some very tough decisions to make after the election/recovery, and i'm no economist. So why is Balls going on like he's just struck oil? Well, it's politics i suppose. It would certainly be nice to raise spending left, right and centre. But the problem is that there is not enough to go round. Ever. That's the nature of politics, economics, life etc. etc. So unless he can pay for it, he shouldn't spend it.

The whole thing at the moment is very interesting regarding the finances because the debt draws the question of how to pay it off. The usual arguements about tax and spend tend towards the moral, whether the rich should pay more etc. Now we have the situation where the priority is to shrink the debt so i'm a lot more willing to listen to (note not agree with) those who would argue about lower taxes funding growth. I certainly think the rich should pay higher taxes and leave quietly if they wish to. I would like to see big, high, HUGE taxes for the rich. If they leave then we have a more equal society if not world (hopefully world too). But because of the (possible) need for their money, it may be more important to rake the money in than to string up the rich

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Kitty Usher leaves

What interests me most about all of this is the following statement, that Usher's actions were "in line with HM Revenue and Customs guidance and based on the advice of a reputable firm of accountants who in turn were recommended to me by the House of Commons fees office".

I mean, she should have noticed that it all sounded a bit dodge, but she has clearly followed the advice given to her by experts. Will the Fees Office or the accountants face any charges?
I'm sure Usher won't, and doubt anyone else will either, but should they?

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Public service and hope

I'm never one to put too much into polls' findings, but needs must at the moment and this is very interesting:
"Ipsos Mori is bemused to find ­voters still say they would prefer tax rises to public service cuts. Not believing it, the pollster tightened the question to ask if they would rather see their own taxes rise – and they got the same answer"

Speaker

I watched last night's Speaker hustings on Newsnight and the two that impressed me were Sir Alan Beith and Richard Shepherd. The former for his thoughtful balance, and the latter for his passion. Especially after I thought he was dead and just propped up to make the numbers. In the end, it turned out he had some real fire in his belly for what he believes is right.
The other three were awful

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Kevin Maguire

Kevin Maguire is a legend.
To me the Mirror is a pile of crap, but saved by the brilliant Kevin Maguire.

He's really got the focus and skills to point Labour in the right direction, and Brown could do a lot worse than take more heed of a bloke like Maggie who knows what he's going on about

BNP

Just read an interesting piece from the Sun about BNP support, then looked at the discussion bit below and came across this gem:

Come on...let's be honest with ourselves...for the most part immigrants aren't 'stealing' anyone's job who actually wants or can get one. To the bloke in this story who says that he isn't prepared to work for the minimum wage...well, guess what, mate...no-one wants to work for the minimum wage whether you are British, Polish, African or Martian...BUT if you haven't got a job then, maybe, just maybe you should consider it instead of sitting around on your back-side and crying about other people taking 'our jobs'. A pathetic attitide. Stop crying and do something constructive to help yourself for a change.

And to anyone foolish enough to vote for the BNP - please realise that they are manipulating you. If they ever got into power once they had finished 'dealing' with the immigrants then, as sure as night follows day, they would start 'dealing' with everyone who's left - this is how fascism works - and make no mistake, a BNP government would be a fascist government. Think about it.


The bit about not wanting to work and blaming the immigrants for it is disgusting, how stupid can you be?

Friday, 5 June 2009

Kevin Maguire on the leadership

Kevin Maguire writes a very good piece on the whole leadership fuck up. Noting:
Cameron needs a swing bigger than Thatcher's in 1979 to win a massive 130 seats to secure a majority of just one.

Brown's policies might by the end of the year hasten an end in Britain to the global recession.

But Labour will enjoy not a single vote of credit if its MPs are killing each other instead of fighting the Tories.

How the media works

Now this is interesting.
It seems that the Telegraph have been easier on one of their own than on others.
Funny that.

Some MPs have claimed for wreaths, most of them got attacked, but not Boris Johnson who is a Tory and writes for the Telegraph.

Labour leadership

Bloody hell.
Last night was grim, that's for damn sure.
Up until i read the news about 'twat Purnell' as my mate put it, I was all in favour of Gordy staying. I've been pretty undecided about the whole thing, as have most of the party I think.
I would rather he stayed on and got on with the job of sorting the economy, which he's doing pretty well actually.
What with Purnell and that, I fear the tide may be against Brown. And It could be that once the zeitgeist is against him, there's no coming back.
If he goes, there will be a new leader, maybe with an election, then soon after that a General Election then that twat Cameron will be in charge cutting taxes for the rich paid for by the poorest 96%.
The state will shrink so that people are left behind, whole areas of the country will be starved of investment again, and many who criticise Brown will hopefully realise that the grass ain't always greener on the other side

Thursday, 4 June 2009

Mad Mel Phillips

Has uncovered Barack Obama's secret plot to turn America into a muslim nation.
Sounds too stupid to be true?
That's what I thought, but not Mad Mel.

Reasons to be cheerful

Very interesting testimony as to why to support Labour:
"Here's one reason I still just about support Labour, or at least what Labour can be. I come from South Yorkshire, which was devastated in the 80s and early 90s, and ended up as one of the four poorest areas in the UK. The Conservatives chucked half hearted enterprise schemes in by way of "regeneration", but they didn't work. The young talent left, the area went into a downward spiral. It wasn't until the Labour Party won power in 97 and brought in good policies and funding that anything began to improve. Now the area is much, much better. It wouldn't have happened under a Conservative government.

Alas the party then lost all its support because of the immigration of the early-mid 2000s, which, whether you like it or not, drove down wages and weakened the work force ability to bargain. LP activists didn't have an answer for that, and tried to shut down the debate by calling anyone who mentioned it racist."

(Quote of the day) UKIP voters struggle with folded paper

From Labourlist:

"UKIP is being inundated with calls from voters complaining that UKIP is not on the ballot paper.

Voting has only been going on for three hours and already hundreds are calling the UK Independence Party to complain that they were not able to vote for the party.

The problem is that Returning Officers have been folding the ballot papers. They have been folding them so that the last two, three or four parties in alphabetical order are hidden when the first fold of the paper is opened. It thus appears that UKIP is not on the ballot paper.

UKIP has already contacted both the Electoral Commission and the Returning Officers on this matter.

But it is important that the news gets out: that voters must make sure they completely unfold the ballot paper. And that Returning Officers and electoral officials must stop folding the ballot papers.

We have had reports from Carlisle, from York, from Hampshire, Dartford and other places, showing that the problem is nationwide, not just an isolated incident.

UKIP is collecting the names and addresses of those complaining and will be preparing the grounds for a legal challenge to the election result.

Might I suggest that if you can't unfold a piece of paper that has been folded in front of you (I know I just voted) then perhaps you shouldn't be voting at all. I fear the big issues of the day may be beyond you."

Chuka Umunna

Interesting piece on Chuka Umunna, Labour's Obama and all that.
Says all the right things, and my only criticism is his language. Far too academic to me. He says the right things and appears to have the right motivation, but he doesn't strike me as getting his message across well (simply) enough.
Gordy suffers from stumbling over his words and lacking communication and personal skills, Umunna seems simular.
Having said all that, if Labour's future is candidates concentrating on equality, education, poverty at home and abroad, living wage, Green New Deal and housing, we're well set.

I like this: "I simply could not understand why some had so much, whilst others had so little. From there sprung a desire to do something about it and the other challenges we face."

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Labour leadership part 2/19823743654

Even the Guardian doesn't know what to do.
Should we back Gordy or sack him?
I personally don't think that getting rid of him would do much good, but then he's doing a crap job. call an election and get it over with? hell no.
the country needs some stability, esp with the economy as it is, and a governing party tearing itself apart won't do much good.
bloody hell

Labour leadership

Penny for a thought. Or rather, penny for a good idea. I have a horrible feeling i'm quite representative of the party at large because I have no idea. We're all pretty demoralised and undecided.
Should we ditch Gordy?
If we do, who do we want to replace him?
Would we need an election straight away?
can it get any worse?
will it get any better?

gah, no idea

Quote of the day

From here
[Brown’s] failure has allowed Cameron, a millionaire who paid off one mortgage so that the taxpayer could pay off another, to pose as the white knight of the expenses affair.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Reasons to be cheerful

Rather than doing a big long rant about how crap the Tories are, temping though it is, I like to occasionally look to the brighter side of things.
Steve Richards has spoken of the moment of calm between expenses and the election outcome, and how the economic measures (fiscal stimulus etc.) might just have done the job.
House prices are rising, Labour's hit bottom, the economy is steadying as a result of government action, government bonds are flying off the shelves like hot cakes, Cameron is still largely singing from Labour's hymn sheet,

On the Tories: "So far only a few Conservatives MPs have expressed in private their anger that Cameron claimed the maximum allowance to help pay for his country home while he has told others who claimed less that they had acted in ways that were unacceptable"

The Tories economic plans would mean serious disaster for some people, often those least likely to vote Tory, with their opposition to Northern Rock being taken over, fiscal stimulus, borrowing.... Sorry, Tory-bashing again.

He he

Cameron and his houses. He doesn't know how many he has.

D-Day lest we forget

A survivor has written about doing his bit to fight fascism twice in one life-time.

Can't argue with that

Fabian lecture with David Miliband

I went along to another Fabian event last night.
I was not happy by just how posh they all were. I felt, and sounded, like the only one there who hadn't been privately educated then through the usual Oxbridge channels.
This is what I mean aboiut glory hunters, people who want power but don't really know why they want it.
No wonder people are pissed off and alienated. Those people have their own agenda, which tends to be their own fulfilment, while anyone else can go hang.
These are LABOUR people, and yet because of the entrencement of the political class, even someone like me who is university educated, has a masters, is too common to get a response from them.
This is also my problem with having too many administrators and too few politicians - people who are moved by their own career more than by any great sense of politics. Too few who are scared to loose power because that's all they're interested in

Rant

Bloody hell.
First, Alistair Darling. I'm a fan. I think he's a level-headed, chilled and dependable minister. I've got great faith in Darling, despite Brown's meddling in the treasury.
To see him being hounded out is pretty sad, as he's doing a pretty good job all told.

I'm a fan of Ed Balls, so I wouldn't really mind him taking over. But not when Darling is doing ok, and he's a bit young.
On Today this morning they reported the Daily Mail calling him a 'a middle-class-hating Socialist zealot'. What a load of bollocks.

Then Cameron was on Today talking about expenses. He was asked what he plans for 'reasonable' expenses were, how he would define them. He said that it was what a reasonable person would believe reasonable, and would be no more committal than that. What bollocks, talk about having no conviction. He is talking some good talk about reform and some good things, but then he goes and lets himself down by not backing up his grand words, typical of the man

Monday, 1 June 2009

English Democrats Party

I'm all for free speech, even when the following is said.
Should this guy ever be elected?
No, but he's standing. Let's hope the public do the right thing.

"ENGLISH DRINKING RULE

A Polish guy drinks his beer then suddenly throws his glass in the air, pulls out a pistol and shoots the glass to pieces. He says, 'In Poland our glasses are so cheap that we don't need to drink from the same glass twice'

A Pakistani, obviously impressed by this, drinks his beer, throws the glass into the air, pulls out his AK-47 and shoots the glass to pieces.

He says, 'In Pakistan we have so much sand to make glasses that we don't need to drink out of the same glass twice either.'

A English chap, cool as a cucumber, picks up his beer and drinks it, throws the glass into the air, pulls out his gun and shoots the Pole and the Pakistani and catches his glass.

He says, 'In England we now have that many Pakistanis and Poles that we don't have to drink with the same ones twice.

God Bless England!"

Good work

Tax avoiding/evading bastards

Right, not too sure which is the legal one and which the illegal one, but I accidently ran into a story on the Daily Mail site about footballers looking at ways they can get around paying tax.
Now, I don't believe the vast majority of what's in the Mail, but it's about tax so let's go with it.
If it's true, big if, then it's disgusting and I hope the treasury is looking into to many of the ways that people get around paying tax. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, you pay your taxes. Now I'm all for higher marginal rates, and if someone does something illegal punish them in the proper way. If it means some people move abroad to escape, let them go. BUT DON'T then put them in the Lords and put them in charge of Tory Party policy like Lord Bastard Ashcroft. No representation without taxation.