Web Analytics Trust People (once an Englishman in Philly): 04/01/2004 - 05/01/2004

Friday, April 30, 2004

Galloway boshing with Anderson

Went to the Union last night, supposedly for a debate on US Foreign Policy, but ended up seeing something far more entertaining.

On arrival Bruce Anderson wouldn't shake hands with George Galloway because he couldn't be sure, he later explained, whether there were tarnished by dealings with Saddam Hussein. Cue Galloway explosion. Even with a sizey entourage, as large as I've seen at the Union he'd refused to eat dinner with Anderson and there was no way he'd share a platform speaking with such a f*#king c%@t and pernicious neo-colonial b&*tard.

I think there was then an extended period of 'negotiation' to get him into the chamber, but my friend and I decided the local tavern was a more appealing option at 8.30, when it was meant to start at 8 and nothing was happening!

I'm assured that Mr Galloway later won.

I'd agree with some criticism of Bush's foreign policy, not all of it, but was looking forward to baiting Mr Galloway the moment he mentioned the war 'being all about oil'.

Oh well.

Nonetheless, I thought his new 'party' was RESPECT...

Thursday, April 29, 2004

While Howard does this, Blair's doing this.

Hopefully this will play with the electorate.

I went to a very interesting talk last night with Geoffrey Howe...he had some interesting remarks to make about how politics has changed and how people no longer respect 'politicians'. Much of what he said was right and very insightful. I think it is down to the media. Not that I am blaming them - I'm not - but just that the way they have been used by politicians and tried to allow themselves to be used in that way (before criticising it) has lead to much of the problem. People involved in politics need to show more public respect for the electorate, need to engage with them directly and need to be prepared to genuinely engage at length.

The sound-bite for the twenty-first century will be no sound-bites.


...well worth a watch.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

The Thought Police are here

I despise the BNP but this is a disgusting restriction on free speech and free thought.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004


Is this a joke?!

Monday, April 26, 2004

Bloody Hell

What price free speech...Pollard makes a good point linking it in to Europe though. There is a clear un-democratic establishment which is entrenching limitations on views, expression and the power of countries to ever differ from them even if everyone in that country wants to. That's why it needs reconfiguring.

Good news from Folkestone

So, the LibDems in Folkestone & Hyth are "winning here" at the next election and will 'decapitate' the Tory leader Michael Howard. Indeed

"The clear trend in the polls since the last election is that people are turning to the Lib Dems when they are unhappy with the Government - not the Conservative party regardless of who is leader. Our messages on Iraq, tuition fees and on Council tax are striking a real chord with voters."

Not that great a chord unfortunately since the results are just in of the first by-election in the area since the Michael Howard took over. East Ward in Folkestone had a sitting LibDem councillor. The LibDems weer obviously confident they would hold it as their policies are striking such a 'resonance with the voters'.

So...the results:

MAKINS Steve (LAB): 169
NORTH Alan (CON): 575
SANGER Emily Jane (LIBDEM): 352


I hope they'll be updating this website soon too!

Say hello Michael Howard....

PS - with such hot potatoes as this though, they really are a force to be reckoned with!

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Reason #4 against ID Cards

Compulsory by stealth

So the plan becomes clear....they reckon we will all (well, 80%) have some form of biometric identity data by 2008 anyway. It will end up being more convenient to pay the Government for their identity card because otherwise it will be a nightmare trying to do anything. Big businesses, banks and government will make it so hard for us to go about our lives without them that we'll see them as a great blessing.

And then, of course, why should it matter if they're compulsory as everyone's got them....

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Reason #3 not to have ID cards

Le Pen

Oh dear. This happens exactly one year after he spoke at the Cambridge Union...the man is just a distasteful fascist and this shoots up any of his pretence of being any different from the vile BNP. I do think the best thing we can do with stunts like these is ignore them while ensuring we out-campaign and crush them at the ballot box.

Good idea?!?! I'm not so sure.

This LibDem PPC welcomes an attempt to ban night-flights at all EU airports. Now I have great sympathy for people who live near airports but we also need to remain an accessible country and I'm not at all convinced that this is needed or very sensible.

ID cards won't stop terrorism...

Friday, April 23, 2004

Mature political argument

So this is 'hohnest pohlitics'? Desmond is pretty despicable and it's embarrassing for the Tories that this has come so close to the Express' support for them but does it really merit a press release from the 'common sense' party?

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Identity Cards

I hate the idea: I don't see why I should have to prove and justify who I am to walk the streets of this country. If one does, then it pretty rapidly stops being a 'free country'.

Of course, it may well be that this is vital to crack down on illegal immigration and terrorist groups. But I have no idea at all how exactly this will help.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Positive discrimination is even more negative

Laban Tall is, of course, right. Positive discrimination and all discrimination is wrong if it is based on anything other than merit. At least one is only the product of incorrect bigotry, rather than calculated menace.

Hurrah again

The decision to keep the voting age at 18 is a triumph for good sense against vain attempts to appear populist, inclusive and progressive. A victory for common sense.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Back in Cambridge...and it's raining

Back for my final term in Cambridge, exams and all, and it's raining.

Not only that but over the vacation someone has broken one of the tabs of a shelf in the kitchen and when placing my favourite Guinness glass on it it goes and collapses, shattering my glass everywhere.

And to cap it all, Bromsgrove Rovers go and draw 2-2 at home to bottom of the table Cinderford Town. There is now no way we are going to get into the Dr Martens Premier next year...and that will effectively be the standard we are at now. Truly inept defending and falling over gifted them two goals in the first seven minutes when they looked truly nervy. I thought we could have got seven or eight given how shaky Cinderford looked. Then they packed the defence and despite camping out in their half we could only manage a draw.

A win and we could really have kept the pressure on Sutton and Solihull... despite capitulating against Solihull and Halesowen over Easter.

Then again, with the Chairman saying in the programme notes how everyone couldn't wait for the season to end what do you expect....disgusting attitude when he expects us to keep paying to see it!

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Let people vote and stand at eighteen

At last one of the major parties has woken up to what I've been saying for ages. Ignore the question of lowering the voting age to 16, but standardise the age at which you can stand for election and the age at which you can vote.

I think it is scandalous that you can vote at 18 but you cannot actually stand to change things until you're 21. If you are old enough to make important decisions about voting yourself then surely you are old enough to put yourself to the electorate. People may not want young representatives: but surely in a purported democracy that should be for the electorate to decide by not voting for them. At last the Tories want to do something about it. Hurrah!

Monday, April 05, 2004

Bromsgrove go down again

We lost 2-0 at Cirencester: the wind played a big part though. It was with us in the first half and we didn't take advantage of the chances we had. Then they nicked one from slack defending from a corner in the second half before we were again forced to hack it away in our box. Pope, captain and caretaker player-manager, I think, handled it on the floor on the line to stop it going in and received a second yellow card (the first was for stupid dissent - the sort he has unnecessarily picked up all year) and walked. Lowe then pulled off two masterful saves - one from the resulting penalty and one from the rebound before they nicked a second right at the death. We showed a bit of fight after the first but playing with ten men into the wind we never really had a chance. Very disappointing as we had seemed fairly bright. Saturday against Solihull is now a must-win!

Trust the people

I couldn't help but blog on the launch of this referendum campaign by Michael Howard. Do you think he reads the blog?!? ;o)

Tony Blair: Trust me
Michael Howard: Trust the people

If only he'd drop 'the' though! I think it would be quite an effective election slogan.

Friday, April 02, 2004

More resigning thoughts...

"I knew in my own mind that I had no personal case to answer, because it is what is in my head and on my conscience that matters to me. I would never compromise my integrity or my honesty, and I am not resigning because my conscience is clear. I believe that, working with my right hon. Friend the Home Secretary, I have made systematic and significant progress in implementing our policy and delivering real change and improvements. I am neither incompetent nor dishonest and I intend to carry on doing my job as long as the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary want me to do so." - Beverley Hughes three days ago in Parliament.

So what changed?

There is no gloating - it is always tragic when someone loses their job - but this does raise serious questions not only about how we process immigration applications but also about just what this government's values are. While it is just conceivable that this slipped her mind, what is not conceivable is that her memory was never jogged once by all the furore, that she had to be 'reminded' by another Minister (who clearly had nothing to do and so could remember). It is, however unfortunately, entirely conceivable that when concerns were raised about this a year ago absolutely nothing was done!

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Good riddance

How much more graceful would it have been just to resign when this first reared its head or when it was clear she'd misled.

Typical of Blair's government...hang on, even if wrong, until it's so clear you've lied it starts to hurt you...


Madsen Pirie agrees with me... there's a brilliant letter in the Times.