Thursday 1st February 2007

11:35 pm

Football and terracing - I blame Iain Dale !

Gravatar Well, what an evening. I've had some vitriolic comments from politicians before, but take my advice, don't upset a football fan, or at least not a group of them. I posted a few days ago on Mike Hancock MP's attempt to get a debate on having terracing at football grounds again. I personally am not supportive. It's a personal point of view, one I still have, but people have the right to disagree if they wish. A nice lady called Amanda from Sit Down, Stand up (an organisation who campaign for a return to terracing) wrote lucidly and ...
11:13 pm

£5Bn wasted in Iraq black hole

Gravatar     The Liberal Democrats have released research, based on Parliamentary Answers, showing the true cost to the Ministry of Defence of the Iraq occupation. The figures show that the amount - excluding the costs of reconstruction - is estimated to hit almost £5bn by the end of the current financial year. Commenting, Mark Young Welsh Assembly Candidate for the Vale Of Clwyd, said: “Not with standing the human cost of the Iraq war, the continuing and open-ended occupation of Iraq has cost the taxpayer nearly £5bn. “Many British troops have to make ...
11:01 pm

Upcoming Events!

Gravatar With thanks to Sheena Wellington, here's news of a couple of upcoming events: 7TH FEBRUARY On Wednesday, 7th February, Barbara Dymock one of Scotland’s most respected singers is the guest at the Friends of Wighton Lunchtime Recital. The recital in the Central Library’s Wighton Heritage Centre starts at 1.15pm and admission is free. A doctor to trade, a fly-Fifer by birth, singing is Barbara’s main hobby, passion and interest. She literally learnt Scottish and Irish songs at her grandparents’ knees, but until joining Dundee University Folk Club in the 70s, didn’t realize anyone would want to listen to ...
10:57 pm

I'm Hobbes. Which famous feline are you?

Gravatar I don't normally go in for this sort of thing, but this one is rather appealing. Found via Beep! Beep! It's Me. Which famous feline are you? You're Hobbes. First of all, the makers of this quiz would like to congratulate you. You have our seal of approval. You are kind, intelligent, loving, and good-humoredly practical. You're proud of who you are. At the same time, you're tolerant of those who lack your clearsightedness. You're always playful, but never annoying. For these traits, you are well-loved, and with good ...
10:55 pm

Mid Term Blues Turn Yellow

Gravatar Happy days for the Liberal Democrats.
10:50 pm

Return of the bureaucrat

Gravatar As you might have guessed from the sidebar, I have been re-elected as Regional Secretary - just... Given that all but three of the twenty-three potential electors cast their vote, a margin of 11 to 9 is slightly discomforting. However, the agony of waiting is over, and my work resumes apace. The job of Regional Secretary is, if the Regional Constitution is to be believed, a very simple one. 8.
10:36 pm

When will Blair go?

Gravatar Paul Linford writes on his blog: It's not that often I take issue with Guido Fawkes but I was surprised to see him advising punters today to back a July departure, admittedly before news of the second interview broke. I honestly think the very best he can hope for now is a March announcement on a formal departure just after the local elections in May. That way he still gets to do his 10 years, while at the same time lancing the boil ahead of those elections to limit the damage to Labour. Of course, Blair himself remains in denial ...
10:32 pm

Running for a good cause

Gravatar One of my third-floor colleagues, Andrew, is doing the Great North Run this year and raising money for charity: I have decided to do this run to help one of my best friends, Belinda.  I need to say no more, for those of you who know her, she is fab, cuddly and just the best friend [...]
10:23 pm

Morning Melissa!

Gravatar Another busy day then a bit of casework and out for dinner with one of my former work colleagues Melissa, who has now moved on to work for a consultancy. Went to Ping Pong, pretty awful name, but a really good dim sum place. Actually there are at least two, I've been to the other one before. Great food and entertaining jasmine tea. Great to see Melissa again and also nice to be back home before 11pm for the first time in weeks...
9:31 pm

The man who invented Aero bars

Gravatar Yesterday's revelation that Veronica Watkins was the woman who put the bubbles into Wispa, reminded me of another trivial fact. The process for getting the bubbles into Aero bars was invented by the novelist Nigel Balchin. This fact is referred to in passing by Gilbert Adair and you learn all about Balchin's work for Rowntree's in an article from The Psychologist (.pdf file). Balchin is probably best remembered today as the author of the novel The Small Back Room, which was filmed by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger.
9:11 pm

Just what an MP needs, a celebrity connection

Gravatar MPs attempts at trying to look cool by being associated with popular bands are usually doomed to failure. Fortunately in this case it is the Sheffield Star rather than Nick Clegg himself that is trying it, in perhaps one of the most tenuous ways ever of linking together two news stories: SHEFFIELD may be famous [...]
9:08 pm

Avoiding the rush hour in the best possible way

Gravatar I’ve just got back in from the first of this year’s Southbank Sinfonia Rush Hour concerts, at St. John’s Church, opposite Waterloo station. These hour-long concerts are free, including a free glass of wine / orange juice, and it is an excellent way for people interested in dabbling in classical music to hear some great [...]
8:55 pm

Budget joys

Gravatar Oxford city’s Lib Dems have now published our budget (such a labour of love, believe me). The headlines are: £4m savings identified: no cuts to front-line servicesBelow-inflation Council Tax rises for next THREE years£575,000 new spending proposals in next 12 months to improve public servicesFor those who find council budgets just toooo exciting, full details are here. The Lib Dems are a
8:43 pm

A Date For Harry Potter

Gravatar No, not an opportunity opening up for all those who suddenly claim to be disturbed and titillated by Daniel Radcliffe having grown up (find your own link to the pictures all over the net advertising his play)… JK Rowling has announced that the seventh and final book in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is to be published on Saturday the 21st of July. For many of us, that will no doubt mean midnight on the night of Friday the 20th – expect more big queues at bookshops and supermarkets, and more sudden back trouble for post deliverers. ...
8:40 pm

Back from London and back to backlog!

Gravatar The theory of course was that I'd do a post on the blog yesterday but only two and a bit days away in London and there was a massive amount to catch up on yesterday (and today!) London consisted of meetings and one nice Dinner really but I did take a short walk from the hotel in Bloomsbury and, as you can see (right) it was awfully near the Post Office Tower! OK, then, back in Dundee, and spent much of the last two days catching up on phone calls to constituents and responding to e-mails. I have had ...
8:11 pm

Labour seeks to reform House of Lords - Episode 948

Gravatar Jack Straw is having another go at getting some form of Lords reform through the Commons. Thrill of all thrills, he is doing via a sort of PR-type preference vote. How many stabs do Labour need at this? Already, the late Robin Cook worked long enough on this escapade to fill half a book of his memoirs. If you believe in democracy, the answer is simple: have a fully elected second chamber. It is
7:42 pm

Labour sleaze, comes in threes

Gravatar Today’s bulletins have been dominated by the revelation that the Prime Minister has, once again, been helping the police with their inquiries in the ‘cash for peerages’ scandal. Understandably so: it’s a big story. The reason it will get attention is that it’s sensational, and easy-to-comprehend. But Tony allegedly dishing out ’Ks and Ps’ to Labour donors pales into insignificance besides the
7:11 pm

What a Start

Gravatar Following on from yesterday's post about prospective candidates in the RUSU elections, Sen. Joe Biden gives a masterclass in how not to kick off a campaign. During an interview with The New York Observer, he remarked on Sen. Barack Obama: “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”Presumably that means Jesse Jackson and
6:58 pm

Hard to argue with

Gravatar The Economist's verdict on Gordon Brown: ... Mr Brown's larger difficulty is that he has failed to make the most of a long stint as chancellor in which he has been blessed with generally favourable economic conditions. For a politician with a reputation for thinking far ahead, his conduct of policy has made little strategic sense. Sharp tightening followed by excessive expansion is a bad way to
6:52 pm

Get Well Soon, Helen

Gravatar My friend Helen has been in hospital for the last 3.5 weeks but, I'm delighted to say, is finally well enough to go home. There was no earthly point in posting this before because they don't tend to have internet connections on hospital wards, so I just want to say that she's a star, and I hope she is soon back to full strength. Any suggestions of suitable websites to make her laugh during her recovery will be greatly appreciated.
6:47 pm

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows release date announced

Gravatar After getting lots of questions from Harry Potter fans in the far east last time I posted something about Harry Potter, I am pleased to tell them that the launch date is 21st July 2007. For some reason when I posted about Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows before, people all ovber the world thought I was some sort of expert on the subject, even asking me what the Deathly Hallows are. If anyone does know, please leave a message. More on the Harry Potter final book release HERE.
6:42 pm

170 Days to Go

Gravatar So what will you be doing in 170 days' time? I will be switching off the phone, sending the family out somewhere, and curling up on the settee with the final Harry Potter. I will be desperate to read it and desperate not to finish it because then the whole journey will be over. Being of a fairly cowardly disposition, I will have to finish it in daylight. I came to the climax of the last one lying in bed with all around me asleep at around 2 in the morning and I was absolutely petrified. ...
6:39 pm

Some people have no stamina

Gravatar So Iain Dale's (our's not the Tory's) blog seems to have been a bit of a one day wonder. Some people just haven't got the stamina:-) I do hope I'm wrong because I was quite looking forward to his ruminations on a fairly regular basis - and to the other one getting a bit upset at his thunder being stolen.
6:15 pm

Young British Muslims and national identity

Gravatar Here we go again with journalists being alarmed at the 'reality' of far-reaching alienation among younger British Muslims. Timothy Garton Ash and I are obviously not in contact with the same Muslims, I wonder whether he is in contact with any, in fact. After a meaningless spout on multiculturalism, without explaining what he means by it, he considers the picture of alienated British Muslim youth painted by recent polls. However, he assumes (I'm sure totally unconsciously) the secular Left's ideology as universal. Consequently he includes as evidence of young British Muslims' alienation the fact that they put their religious identity ...
6:11 pm

It looks like Blogger may be fixed

Gravatar For those reading a feed, such as Lib Dem Blogs aggregated, my posts for today have been: Ashamed to be a Labour MP posted at 03.02 Standing in the way of control posted at 11.30 and Andrew Reeves, running the Great North Run 2007 for Belinda posted at 12.05
5:44 pm

Early morning leaflets

Gravatar I was out before nine am this morning delivering leaflets I should have delivered earlier on the way in to the office, when I stumbled across this propped up against a fence, on Nottingham’s ring road, Western Boulevard. I wasn’t sure what it was at first - something industrial looking and a heap of electronics. [...]
5:08 pm

British government timorous in the face of death

Gravatar It is a truth universally acknowledged that the Labour government has no sense of principle or decency. Nevertheless, I am saddened to read that British diplomats have been ordered to torpedo plans in Europe to propose the abolition of the death penalty to the UN General Assembly. That it would have been an example of gesture politics is without doubt. There is no likelihood that the General Assembly, where unanimity is required, would have passed such a motion. The death penalty remains popular in much of the globe; tyrannical regimes use it as the ultimate deterrent against dissent; and ...
4:07 pm

Blogger support

Gravatar Blogs hosted on blogger today have had a multitude of problems: Error message bX-vjhbsj when people try to access them. Atom feeds not working. Intermittently don't seem to be talking to sitemeters. So what facilities have Blogger got to keep people aware of problems. Well there is the Blogger status site: Which is stuck on 24 January. And there is the forum: Where lots of people are asking
3:57 pm

More road signs, more bureacracy, more council expenditure ... One Tory' MP's plan for Britain

Gravatar Andrew Rossindell, that very bastion (I think I've used the right word) of everything that the Tory grassroots thinks the party should be, has come up with a plan. He wants every council to be "mandated" to put up more signs that give the ancient and historic names of places, even if those names are no longer used. Quite why the people of St Albans would want to go to Verulam or why Londinium should appear on road signs, I do not know, but with council expenditure being squeezed more and more, surely there are better things to be spending ...
3:24 pm

Overcrowded Prisons - One Answer?

Gravatar When I was first elected as MP for Northavon, I freely admit that I hadn't spent very long inside prisons. But since being elected I've spent quite a bit of time 'inside' - inside HMP Eastwood Park (women's prison), HMP Leyhill (open prison), and HMP & YOI Ashfield (young offenders) - all ofwhich are in my constituency. So I've had to think quite hard about the role of prisons and how to deal with the present prisons crisis. My view is that prisons are obviously essential for serious and violent criminals, and for those who ...
2:55 pm

Tony Blair: Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Gravatar (This article is by Chrisco) Today's big news is of course the revelation that Tony Blair was questioned last Friday in the 'cash for coronets affair'. It should be noted that Mr. Blair was interviewed as a witness, not a suspect, and the interview did not take place under caution. At the request of the police, news of the interview was kept from the media.
2:52 pm

On the Thames Barrier

Gravatar On Tuesday, Ming Campbell and Chris Huhne visited the Thames Barrier, and I did some filming with Ming about the Government’s failure to adequately fund Britain’s flood defences. The Thames Barrier is an impressive piece of engineering and a marvellous landmark. I have memories of visiting it when I was at school, but this time we [...]
1:50 pm

2007 Bloggies - vote now

Gravatar The 2007 Bloggies voting phase is now on - voting closes tomorrow, so vote now. The marvellous Peter is up for the lifetime achievement award in a very difficult field - against Slashdot and Wil Wheaton amongst others - and will be getting my vote. Nominated in the Best-Kept Secret Weblog category is Woof Woofington, a [...]
1:46 pm

Liam Byrne should be ashamed of himself

Gravatar This is yet another example of the Government's utterly shameful approach to refugees which involves picking on the vulnerable easy targets while doing f*** all about the real abuse of the system. Liam Byrne should hang his head in shame as should anyone who still pays a subscripiton to what used to be a party of principle but has now sold them down the river.
1:30 pm

"The State stole our children" - more forged documents

Gravatar The linked story in the "Daily Mail" is good news in that the family were reunited. However, it includes the following: Some of Marianne's records, and those of the children, were falsified to make the case against her, according to a report prepared on the family by their London medical negligence lawyers, Leigh Day & Co. These allegations are also being investigated by the police. On dozens
1:15 pm

Making up British values

Gravatar Last March I wrote in Liberal Democrat News: The problem with today’s world is not that terrorists believe in their cause so strongly: it’s that the democracies’ belief in theirs is so weak.In today's Guardian Timothy Garton Ash quotes a 22-year-old Muslim woman from Leeds to similar effect: "The bad thing, and I don't know how we can solve this, is that they [the British] don't really know what their values are. So when they are attacked they kind of seem to be making it up."
1:10 pm

The cost of war

Gravatar The Liberal Democrats today predicted that the bill for the UK's ongoing military operations in Iraq will soon pass £5 billion. Figures obtained from Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram through a Parliamentary question show the costs from the build-up to the 2003 invasion to April 2006 were just over £4 billion. Another £860 million - around £23.5 million a day - has been earmarked for peacekeeping operations in this financial year. Economic spokesman Vince Cable said if spending continued at current levels, the milestone would be reached on April 5. He said the scale of the ...
1:10 pm

Email German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Gravatar Join Oxfam's campaign for trade justice. Visit to send a message to Angela Merkel Right now, the European Union (EU) is putting pressure on 75 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific to accept trade agreements that are unfair. The EU's current proposals for Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) will threaten livelihoods and hopes of millions of workers in some of the world's poorest countries. The negotiations are at a critical stage and now is the time to tell the EU that these trade agreements must focus on poverty reduction and so pressure is ...
1:08 pm

Legislating letterboxes

Gravatar There's a petition on the Number 10 website that's been doing the rounds amongst political activists (aka leaflet deliverers) in the last couple of days about the design of letterboxes. Now if someone has been out delivering leaflets for political parties (or indeed other local community groups) the chances are they have tales of letterboxes that snap on your fingers, letterboxes that don't
12:55 pm

Street surgery, Great North Road

Gravatar Advance notice that my Fortis Green ward colleagues (Cllr Sara Beynon and Cllr Martin Newton) and I will be doing a street surgery on the morning of Saturday March 17th. We do three surgeries a month at the United Reformed Church Hall on Tetherdown, which is a very good location for most of our ward. But we've been aware that we get very few surgery visitors from the Great North Road/Aylmer Road side of the ward, so have decided to try a street surgery there. The plan is to be around Mansfield Heights from 10am-11am (at least, depending ...
12:55 pm

party animals

Gravatar Am I alone in being disappointed yet slightly relieved at the biased underrepresentation of Liberal Democrats in last night's first edition of the new and promising BBC2 drama series?!
12:52 pm

Baby changing facilities at the Emirates

Gravatar Facilities at the Emirates are certainly very inclusive, although I'm fairly sure none of the away fans needed to use the baby changing room last night. It was well guarded by the police - presumably to stop people really frustrated by the tiny toilets and massive queues from going for a wee in there instead. Also below is a picture taken from my seat last night, before the match started.
12:47 pm

Gone swimming

Gravatar Tuesday's debate on the All-Wales smoking ban showed the Assembly at its best in my view. There were contributions from a large number of members, most of whom were well-informed on the issues and had valid views to put across. The highlight however was Carl Sargeant's characterisation of Leanne Wood's amendment which regretted that no exemptions exist to permit smoking in a fully ventilated room in licensed premises where no person works: Carl Sargeant: Today is a red-letter day for Wales, due to this progressive Welsh policy that we are delivering across the Chamber, with cross-party support. I acknowledge ...
12:21 pm

More muddles on Iraq

Gravatar Following on from Ming Campbell's announcement last week to back a firm timetable to withdraw troops from Iraq (which, as an aside, is something he was not in favour of during the Leadership campaign), I've seen and heard quite a lot of negative fuzz around the issue (Iain Dale, as always, picked it up and has followed up since.) The argument against a timetabled withdrawal is one I have made myself in the past. We got the Iraqi nation into this mess, so we should get them out of it. This argument however, relies on the same assumption ...
12:05 pm

Andrew Reeves, running the Great North Run 2007 for Belinda

Gravatar As many will know, Belinda Eyre-Brook the Lib Dem Head of Office/Organiser/Super-agent in Kingston has been ill with cancer for a long period of time. Andrew Reeeves, London Campaigns Officer (formerly of Hornsey & Wood Green, Southwark, Twickenham)will be running the Great North Race on 30th September for Belinda. Andrew is running for two charities, The Royal Marsden and Beating Bowel Cancer
12:00 pm

Speak your mind

Gravatar In true Comic Book Guy mode I proclaimed “bitchiest statement … ever” after reading the FlyBe response to the the new BMI route from Jersey to London Heathrow. I know I’ve been a bit Jersey heavy lately, that will stop soon but I thought it might be fun to share this with you. Flybe statement on BMI’s [...]
11:56 am

Blair Questioned; is Scooter Levy's Number Up?

Gravatar The shock news that Tony Blair was questioned again last Friday has just hit the airwaves. It seems that Yates of the Yard wanted Number 10 to keep schtum about the interview until Insp. Yates had another word in the ear of Lord Scooter Levy. It's clear that Blair himself is not going to face any charges over all this; it also looks like there are not going to be any charges under the 'cash for
11:41 am

Power under Labour

Gravatar The Lib Dem lordships are campaigning across the newspapers at the moment about the nature of power.  True, it falls somewhat short of some tabloid campaigns we've seen of late ("Jade Goody Out Now!" its not) but they are spreading their battalions out across the sheets of the broadsheets. In The Guardian, Anthony Lester sets out a noble and learned case for why the Attorney General should be set free from political machinations.  He shows how from Suez onwards the Government were able to sideline independent legal advice and the mistakes that arose.The Financial Times reports how Lib Dem peers ...
11:30 am

Standing in the way of control

Gravatar Having plugged Hats off to the buskers last week, and seen it rocket to number 1, my plug this week is The Gossip - Standing in the Way of Control You can buy the album here:
11:20 am

Roses in February

Gravatar We've all got stories about the impact of the mild winter. Up until now mine was about the bumblebee I saw a couple of weeks ago on the hebe that was still in flower from last year. But today I caught this rose which has just come into flower in my garden.
10:54 am

A liberal aim

Gravatar A thought just occurred to me - an aim for liberals should be for every person to be able to live independently of the state, without state handouts, without state subsidy of health care or education. How can you be free if you depend on the state for your income, health or education? Rather than aiming [...]
10:33 am

Iraq war: cost set to hit £5 billion

Gravatar The Guardian has the details of the latest calculations put together by the Liberal Democrats. iraq
10:10 am

Warning over discarded syringes

Gravatar Liberal Democrat Councillor, Joyce Benbow, has highlighted the dangers of picking up discarded needles after several incidents relating to drug use in the East Cleveland area. The Council's Environmental Maintenance Team has been alerted to attend several locations in Loftus to remove drugs paraphenalia, while another report gives evidence of a discarded needle found on a play area in the town. Syringes, with evidence of drug use, some found hidden in the brickwork, were discovered in the two blocks of ladies toilets in Loftus, at West Road and Water Lane, at opposite ends of the High Street. ...
10:06 am

Lib Dem recovery continues

Gravatar By common consent, Communicate Research's polls are a volatile and unreliable thing indeed. But since ConservativeHome can run news stories on them, and put them in their Poll of Polls, it allows me to mention that we were up EIGHT PERCENT in this one. CON 34% (-2) LAB 29% (-8) LDEM 21% (+8)It's awfully funny how ConHome only seem to update the Poll of Polls when it's good news for them, isn't it
9:45 am

Slightly Revised Look

Gravatar I've finally got around to updating my blog template on New Blogger and have made some minor modifications so you might notice that the usual campaigning javascript buttons on the side have gone missing. I'll be working to remedy that in a day or so.
9:31 am

Read Me in Chinese - Xuexi Wei Tao

Gravatar Inspired by the example of Mary Reid, the Mayor of Kingston-Upon-Thames and not being one to jump on bandwagons, I've added the option to translate my page into simplified Chinese. A cursory glace suggests that much of what I have written has turned to garbage but there might be some nuggets of wisdom there that our Chinese friends might find interesting and this might make their lives a bit easier. Shame they can't read this in China though....
9:23 am

Road … works

Gravatar Road workers get a lot of bad press, a lot of critisism for doing sod all, taking ages and generally making life difficult for people. Top Gear even dedicated a large part of their first episode back to proving a road COULD be laid in 24 hours instead of 5 days if it was organised properly [...]
9:16 am

Translate into Korean

Gravatar I've just added a 'Translate into Korean' link on the right. It uses the Google Translate system. Be patient - it is rather slow. Now I'd be really grateful if any Korean readers could tell me whether this is a good idea ....
9:15 am

What’s a bean?

Gravatar Everywhere has it’s stereotypical person - in France they wear stripy t-shirts, carry garlick around their neck and ride a bycicle, in Wales they shag sheep and in the North of England they all raise wippets and race pigeons. Jersey is no exception to this, it can’t escape. A Jersey bean (especially one from St Ouen) [...]
8:39 am

Michael Dawson should be Spurs captain

Gravatar The match last night wasn't a great deal of fun - but at least there was a good atmosphere (from the Spurs section at least). And the effort from the lads was excellent. Will post a couple of photos later. It does seem strange that Jol kept saying last season that the Defoe/Keane combination just doesn't work - but tried that anyway, leaving Mido on the bench until it was almost too late. But would prefer to concentrate on the positives. As I said, the atmosphere in our end and the effort were both great. There were also ...
8:34 am

Why a Labour MP is ashamed of his party

Gravatar Austin Mitchell writes in today’s Independent about how a family from his constituency got deported. The whole story adds up to a damning indictment of the way Labour ministers run the system - acting slowing, turning up late and leaving early, leaving key doucments untranslated from Urdu, and more. Mitchell concludes: It leaves a nasty taste. An [...]
8:09 am

Support the teaching of British Sign Language (BSL) in schools

Gravatar A friend has emailed me to say there is a petition on Number 10's website calling for the introduction of the teaching of BSL in all schools. Please support this by following the link below (UK residents only).
7:55 am

Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

Gravatar The embarrassment that is the Carmathen West and South Pembrokeshire Conservative Association continues to make headlines this morning with a former candidate accusing Tory spin doctors of lying about events there. John Jenkins, who was deselected by David Cameron a year ago, only 24 hours after being chosen as the party's Assembly candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has spoken out. He was dismissed following continuing fallout from a row in 2003 when he was forced to quit as the party's candidate for Llanelli after posting self-confessed homophobic comments on a website in which he asserted that all ...
7:42 am

Terminus Est

Gravatar As the Prime Minister is questioned again by Police investigating the Cash for Honours scandal, the reality is finally sinking in with a lot of people, myself included, that a serious crime may have been committed, and that in due course the judiciary may punish those who have committed it accordingly. Are we actually going to see Tony Blair standing trial? Seriously?
7:41 am

Coppell signs Duberry!

Gravatar Apparently Reading manager Steve Coppell has signed Michael Duberry from Stoke. Having already signed two defenders Greg Halford from Colchester (for a club record fee) and Alan Bennett from Cork I had rather hoped that he would sign a striker. But why has he opted for Duberry? As a Leeds fan I can truly say that this guy was a disaster. However, rumour has it that he has been much improved at Stoke this season and given Coppells record in the transfer market I wouldn't bet against him turning out to be a bargain.
7:29 am

Day 2221: All Bets Are Off

Gravatar Tuesday: "There IS no secret second e-mail system at Number Ten. And anyway, we don't have the passwords to use it!" Oh dear, and the Downing Street Spin Machine (washes whites white than white[*]!) was doing so WELL in denying all of the latest allegations about Lord Blairimort and the Robes for Riches scandal. And then the police only go and arrest Lord Levy again! Mr "Mate-of-Dave" Robinson, the BBC's resident ambassador from Sky News, has said that Lord Blairimort was SPITTING TACKS to hear that his partner in crime tennis is back in the ...
3:02 am

Ashamed to be a Labour MP

Gravatar A Labour MP makes representations about a family due to be deported from the UK to "whiz-kid" minister Liam Byrne. The minister "arrived late, looked bored stiff, and left early". At a later meeting the minister "listened coldly", but says he will consider the case. His decision arrives, the day after the family have been handcuffed, dragged to Heathrow, and deported. As Austin Mitchell concludes
12:53 am


Gravatar Need I say more than quote this extract from BBC News: Germany has ordered the arrest of 13 suspected CIA agents over the alleged kidnapping of one of its citizens. Munich prosecutors confirmed that the warrants were linked to the case of Khaled al-Masri, a German national of Lebanese descent. Mr Masri says he was seized in Macedonia, flown to a secret prison in Afghanistan and mistreated there.
12:30 am

Party Off

Gravatar Having worked for Members of Parliament for only a little over a year, and those MPs having been Liberal Democrats, perhaps I’m not best placed to judge how much truth lies behind Party Animals, the first instalment of which was screened last night on BBC2. However, I am going to. It would be clichéd to condemn the programme as embarrassing, trendy toss which only occasionally (and then seemingly only by accident) bore the slightest relation to the reality of life in Parliament. And of course, I do think it is. But of course, it isn’t a documentary; its embarrassing, trendy ...

Previous days:

Wednesday 31st January 2007, Tuesday 30th January 2007, Monday 29th January 2007, Sunday 28th January 2007, Saturday 27th January 2007, Friday 26th January 2007