Saturday 1st December 2007

11:35 pm

Why do the BBC publish the running order for Match of the Day if they them ignore it ?

Gravatar I discovered something on the BBCi teletext service this evening that I thought was a fantastic idea. The BBC now publish the running order of matches on Match of the Day. The only problem is that of the Premiership matches listed, only one (yes, that is ONE ) game was actually shown in the order stated. Coming soon from the BBC sports department - The chocolate teapot.
11:23 pm


Gravatar So many important goals seem to be surrounded in was he / wasn’t he offside controversy. Joe Cole’s winner for Chelsea today for example. Simple solution - get rid of the offside rule completely. Maybe trial games without the offside rule in the Carling Cup next season and see how it goes.
10:38 pm

Blog and be happy

Gravatar I don’t know what it is exactly, but there is a certain comfort which I derive from writing this blog. Sometimes it’s something obvious, like putting my side of a political story rather than what someone else has said in the papers. But a lot of the time, in the more personal posts, blogging is as good as talking to someone, without running the risk of boring them to death. I know that sounds hugely self-involved. And I am also aware that it is a scientifically proven fact that 99.8% of the entire “blogosphere” consists of nothing but wails of ...
9:54 pm

Sky poll: Leadership contest still wide open

Gravatar Here's what Iain Dale wrote earlier but it was quickly withdrawn as it was embargoed until 22:00. I received it indirectly on condition of the embargo, so here it is now. The poll has a margin of error of +/-5%: Sky have just sent me the following press release about their poll, which will feature on Sunday with Adam Boulton tomorrow morning at 10am. The Liberal Democrat leadership contest is
9:08 pm

Team Huhne in denial?

Gravatar So, the Liberal Democrat leadership contest is still wide open is it? Not sure I entirely agree with that, but what the heck, if some people want to continue deluding themselves, who am I to argue with them. However, it is worth reminding ourselves of those figures just one more time: Nick Clegg: 56% Chris Huhne: 44% So, should Nick Clegg supporters be confident? Yes, and they have every reason to be. Why? The vast majority of members who will vote, normally do so very soon after their ballot paper arrives. For reference, 72% of members voted last time, that ...
8:52 pm

Bordering on the Ridiculous

Gravatar A Parliamentary answer this week revealed that there has been a dramatic increase in the smuggling of guns and drugs at a time when the number of Customs officers involved in anti-smuggling work in th...
8:42 pm

Great start to West End Christmas Week!

Gravatar A brilliant launch earlier today of the West End Christmas Week on a cold, windy but thankfully dry Magdalen Green! A large turnout of local residents and a great start to Christmas Week. Here's a few photos: Depute Lord Provost Joe Morrow opens Christmas Week from the Bandstand! Some of the assembled crowd! A really good turnout! Dundee University Brass! LoadsaWimminSinging! The Depute Provost plants a tree on the Green!
8:39 pm

Cameron’s Shaky Knowledge of Foreign Affairs On Show in Washington

Gravatar Cameron’s mistake could not have been mere slip of the tongue, as, whilst speaking about the need to stop redrawing ‘lines on a map’ he placed parts of Moldova and Georgia within the Russian Federation. During his visit to Washington last week, David Cameron visited the Brookings Institution to give a speech on the Balkans. Brookings, an [...]
7:38 pm

More bias against fathers ?

Gravatar My wife bought my son some socks last week. As you can see they say 'I luv mum'. When I asked her why she didn't buy a pair saying 'I luv dad', she said they didnt sell any saying that ! And yes, I know I am being silly.
7:23 pm

YouGov leadership poll: half of those yet to vote are undecided

Gravatar Clegg: 43% Huhne: 33% Undecided: 24% Voted so far: 52% Margin of error: +/- 3.8% Notes: The 56-44 lead for Clegg already reported is based on excluding the don’t knows. This is the usual method for calculating headline figures, though with such a high level of undecideds in this case the raw figures should also be looked at to understand the [...]
7:15 pm

Plastic bags

Gravatar Supermarkets want us all to do some marketing for them by carrying around plastic bags emblazoned with their logos. In the past I always felt a bit embarrassed about carrying a bag from one chain in a rival store. But now I've decided to stop using one-trip carrier bags, for all the obvious environmental reasons. Of course, the main supermarkets all realise that attitudes...
6:52 pm


Gravatar Much of today has been spent doing what I am told is normal for a 26 year old man like myself to be doing on a Saturday - namely stuffing envelopes full of NHS surveys and then sticking labels on them. All these stories of “friends” and “shopping”and “going to see things” are rubbish I’m sure. You know, when I got involved in local politics I expected well oiled political machines staffed by suited party types with hair products and Blackberry’s. It turns out, to my relief I think, that in fact the entire operation is run by a gang ...
6:45 pm

Something for the Weekend: I bet that you look good on the dancefloor

Gravatar It’s the first day of December, so I’m munching on an Advent chocolate (courtesy of the Doctor Who Chistmas & New Year Countdown Calendar) as I welcome you to a leadership election free zone.
6:28 pm

Hand-in-Hand campaigning

Gravatar The main theme of the leadership campaign (and a reason why I think the turnout is low) is because many members who are torn between Clegg and Huhne who would normally not think twice about voting for Huhne are seriously thinking that the Party needs a fresh direction. Their hearts say Huhne but their heads says [...]
5:58 pm

Thoughts on Sigmund Freud

Gravatar Today I took myself off with a good friend to visit the Sigmund Freud museum in North London (where else!). On reflection one thought came to me - what role does new labour play in the political psyche of our country? It seems that we, as a people, have a will to be led by `strong` [...]
5:55 pm

The perils of blogging...

Gravatar It's an old film but very interesting all the same...
5:31 pm

Choice isn't always a good thing

5:28 pm

"Huhne snapping at Clegg's heels according to Sky Poll"

Gravatar That was the title of a posting (screenshot above - still on Google Blog search in truncated form) made an hour ago and now mysteriously AWOL from his site, in which Iain Dale started: The Liberal Democrat leadership contest is still wide open, according to a YouGov poll commissioned exclusively for Sky News.The poll of 678 Lib Dem members finds Nick Clegg ahead with 56% of the vote among all
4:43 pm

Stalin to Mr. Bean

Gravatar The moment everybody is talking about.
4:29 pm

Sky News poll on Liberal Democrat leadership race: results

Gravatar The key figures doing the rounds on the internet* are: Nick Clegg: 56% Chris Huhne: 44% % members voted so far: 48%  * Therefore either true, or not. Take your pick.
3:16 pm

Shape up or ship out!

Gravatar Throughout the leadership contest Nick Clegg’s critics have pointed to the fact that Nick is a showman as though it were a bad thing. I disagree. Jeremy Browne, constituency MP for Taunton Deane could have been speaking about the party when he wrote an interesting and thought provoking article on “Traditional Somerset Life” in the Somerset Gazette this week. The article, also published on his website says that “we cannot turn back the clock and our actions suggest that few of us really want to in any case. What we can and should do is make sure that, as ...
3:02 pm

Miranda Grell: just desserts

Gravatar Despite the occasional slippage, I’ve resisted the temptation to blog much about Miranda Grell’s fall from grace. She is entitled to defend her reputation and mount an appeal, but now that appeal has failed, I thought I’d make a few points myself. Though it appalls me to realise this fact, I’ve been around the block a few times now, so when I read people make extravagant claims that this court case is the thin end of the wedge which will lead to councillors being convicted of making slurs they did not utter left, right and centre, I can only laugh ...
2:56 pm

Leyton ward by-election - will this be the dirtiest fight in years ?

Gravatar The Liberal Democrats in Waltham Forest have a strong track record in local by-elections and during the last administration between 2002 and 2006 we made 2 gains (Forest and William Morris) and had a near miss from an unpromising start (Valley). We then experienced a complete change in Labour's tactics. It started when they implied corrupt practice in Forest by us. I issued them with a put up or shut up notice and they shut up because I knew that we fought a spotless campaign. Labour's campaigns in Forest and William Morris were amateurish, low profile, sloppy and lacking impact. ...
2:51 pm

Blog Update: November

Gravatar Well, I appear to have faltered a little.  Since I stopped blogging about the leadership election, traffic has about halved! I don’t know how much further this blog can grow in it’s current form. Interesting to find out though, isn’t it? Still, I had 1799 unique visitors during November, 4428 visits in total and an average of 149 visits a day. Still not quite worth carrying advertising but it’s more than I ever expected. I passed the 40,000 word mark about a week ago, and I’ve written 117 posts and had over 500 comments. It makes me wonder why I ...
2:34 pm

Lord Bonkers' Diary: Ming and sock suspenders

Gravatar Saturday One of the saddest thing about the fall of my old friend Sir Menzies Campbell was the opprobrium that was heaped upon him for wearing sock suspenders. Our American cousins call them "sock garters", but they are an altogether more substantial proposition than the garters worn by the best sort of Wolf Cub (and, incidentally, by Matthew Taylor when he first entered the Commons). It hardly need be said that I always sport sock suspenders myself. Not only is a gentleman not dressed without them: they can also be used to fire ink pellets to any part of the ...
2:18 pm

Valete Knievel

Gravatar So farewell then Evel Knievel, motorcyle stuntman and long-forgotten (in Britain, at least) 1970s celebrity. My own connection with Knievel is that I attended what was billed as the UK premier of the film Viva Knievel!, in which he starred. This took place at a Bristol hotel during the 1977 British Monopoly Championships at Oldbury-on-Severn nuclear power station. My memory of the event is that it turned out to be one of the worst films ever made, and the comments on IMDB confirm my youthful judgement. But looking at the cast list now it seems absolutely fascinating. Knievel's mechanic is ...
1:47 pm

Party Funding: Anyone got a spare £100,000?

Gravatar I've just been at a fundraising event for Crookham Village Hall. It was a very different event to the Lib Dem Ball on Thursday night. Tickets were £3 each (rather than £150), raffle tickets were 20p each (not £5), one course of soup was served (not three courses), and no wine was on offer (which was definitely a good thing). Exactly how far it will go towards raising the £100,000 needed to secure the Village Hall for community use, I don't know. However, I can be pretty certain that if a wealthy businessman decided to donate £100,000 everyone would think ...
1:37 pm

Marie Louise Gardens - City Council Backs Down!

Gravatar I have just received the news that Manchester City Council will not allow houses to be built in Marie Louise gardens after all - residents and park lovers have lobbied for over eight months to ensure that the green spaces of this park are not lost for ever. It's a really special place - if you get time to visit it - I have been there many times over the years - the best was when assessing play
1:26 pm

Who is the ....

Gravatar Labour member of the City Council who sat through a debate on the regeneration of a particular street in an official council meeting without declaring an interest even though their business would be directly affected by anything taking place here? There may be trouble ahead.......
1:22 pm

Picton progress

Gravatar Just back from a morning helping Lib Dem Councillor Andrew Makinson, who represents Picton ward. he must be one of the hardest working members of the City Council. A good turnout from colleagues. And of course the sunny day helped too.
1:18 pm

West Midlands Regional Executive meeting

Gravatar Earlier this morning I attended the last West Midlands Regional Executive meeting of the year. It was an historic meeting as it was Bryan Lewis' last as Secretary, Bryan has been on the Executive for what feels like an awfully long time (and he would agree), so afterwards we had a little celebration.
1:11 pm

Miranda Grell: The appeal verdict

Gravatar From the Waltham Forest Guardian: The court heard from prosecutor Gareth Branston that Grell had told one prospective voter: "Don't vote for Barry because he's a paedophile. Have you heard about him sleeping with Thai boys? His boyfriend is 16. He's dirty."Subsequently, Mr Smith, who is gay and shared a home with 39-year-old Ching Thian Chubh, with who he had contracted a civil partnership, was verbally abused in the street. It was clear from what was said that his abusers believed him to be a paedophile.Judge Birt and his colleagues took just 20 minutes to dismiss the appeal today. The ...
12:55 pm

More leadership hustings viewing for your delectation

Gravatar Catch 21 - a Westminster-based internet TV station run “by young people for young people” - made a film at the London Liberal Democrat leadership hustings which you can watch over on their website. It includes specially recorded pieces with both Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg about how to get more young people involved in [...]
12:53 pm

Liberal Democrats Recent Polling: The Challenges

Gravatar With the Liberal Democrats modestly climbing the polls from the nightmarish 11% (approx 2.9 million votes in a General Election) to 16% (4.3m), there must be a temptation to imagine that the emergency is now over. I don’t see it that way. 16% still means we have the lowest level of party identification attached to us and we’re still significantly less popular than the government. I’ll say that again: Labour, despite their sleaze and incompetence are still nearly twice as popular. We have a lot of work to do. As I have frequently said, decontaminating the Liberal Democrat brand and ...
12:51 pm

Competence is to Brown is what age was for Ming

Gravatar Over the course of the last month competence has become the big issue for Gordon Brown. Northern Rock, the HMRC ID Fiasco and Dodgy Labour Donations over the last few weeks have tainted the Iron Chancellor as the Cheap Tin Premier, with little control over his party or the government. If Brown can not shift this image [...]
12:41 pm

Bigging up Biggins

12:29 pm

Morrissey on immigration: Heaven knows he's miserable now

Gravatar Morrissey is suing the NME for alleged defamation. The singer was quoted saying, amongst other things: The change in England is so rapid compared to the change in any other country. If you walk through Knightsbridge on any bland day of the week you won’t hear an English accent. You’ll hear every accent under the sun apart from the British accent. I am just gob-smacked that anyone would choose
12:28 pm

Have Tesco got far too big for their boots?

Gravatar Roland and Pauline Hodgson and their daughter Georgina spent £300 during one trip to Tesco. This included a meal worth £20 at the store restaurant. Model customers, you would think. How did Tesco reward them? Extra Clubcard points? A handshake from the store manager? The gift of a Lady Shirley Porter memorial keyfob? Oh no, Tesco sent them a snotty letter telling them they took too long!
12:28 pm

Hurrah for Archbishop Desmond Tutu!

Gravatar It's very old fashioned to say "I would like to associate myself with the views expressed by the last speaker". But, my goodness, I would certainly like to whole-heartedly associated myself with the views expressed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Radio 4's Moral Maze: Archbishop Desmond Tutu has criticised his own church for being "obsessed" with homosexuality. The South African Nobel laureate
11:58 am

Gender balance in blogging

Gravatar There's been an excellent comments discussion on Jo's Jottings' posting: "Campaign for gender balance, Jo Swinson & female bloggers". It's worth reading. Alix on People's Republic of Mortimer has also posted on an allied matter: "Wimminism and the People's Republic".
11:58 am

A quiet victory for justice

Gravatar From Liberal Democrat Voice: Waltham Forest Labour councillor Miranda Grell lost her appeal today over her conviction for falsely smearing her Liberal Democrat opponent in the 2006 elections. ..And to think that Labour initially pledged to help fund her appeal and, indeed, did fund it up until the last moment.
11:51 am

Clergy revolt over women bishops

Gravatar What century do we live in again?
11:51 am


Gravatar The Welsh Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Pontypridd, Councillor Mike Powell, has an interesting letter in this morning's Western Mail. Mike, who is in a strong second place to challenge a 13,000 Labour majority at the next General Election, nearly doubled the Welsh Liberal Democrat vote in that constituency in May and is well positioned to defeat Jane Davidson in 2011. He considers the postponed European selection for our party and asks: If this lack of a female candidate in any of our Welsh Liberal Democrat selection processes is to result in the process being postponed until we have ...
11:10 am

Gloves off for HIV/AIDS

Gravatar Today is World AIDS Day and in this morning’s post, with impeccable timing, a mailing arrived from the Terrence Higgins Trust (THT), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The THT has been fighting discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS and it says it is time to take the gloves off — literally in the case [...]
11:00 am

Now Labour faces accusations of witness nobbling

Gravatar Crikey, it’s hard work keeping up with all these stories at the moment… the latest is from Birmigham where a Labour councillor was already facing a trial over accusations that they lied about their opponent to win the seat (sound familiar?). Today’s twist is that the Crown Prosecution Service has now been called in to [...]
9:36 am

Who are the blogging hierachy?

Gravatar Although still ‘positively wet behind the ears’ when it comes to blogging, one thing seems abundantly clear to me – a blogging hierachy exists within ‘LibDem Blogs’! Don’t get me wrong I’m not having a pop. A hierachy is a good thing – it gives people like me something to aim for. So, who do I think are the Lib Dem Blogging hierachy? In the short time I have been blogging (one month) I consider the following bloggers to be ‘Top Bloggers’ and therefore worthy of a mention in this posting - Norfolk Blogger, Lindyloo’s Muze, Liberal Burbling (bet that ...
9:15 am

Islington, Camden & Westminster, set up UK's first Drug & Alcohol Court

Gravatar I'm really pleased that Islington, with Camden & Westminster Councils have set up the first Drug and Alcohol Court in the country. It will open in January and will sit at the Inner London Family Proceedings Court. Many of us who have been involved in work with children and families, have been aware for a long time that around two-thirds of all care proceedings take place as a direct result of parental substance abuse. The three councils came together to establish this court which is based on the US model, and will provide support and assessment to families who are ...
9:00 am

Sarah Brown and Reading

Gravatar I see Gordon Brown's wife has called for children to be encouraged to read Clearly this is a very good idea. I am lucky enough to have a complete bookworm of a daughter who loves to read a huge variety of stuff, from books, to newspapers, to blogs. This one is one of her favourites. It's very important to encourage children to read more and play with the Playstation less. However, I think Sarah Brown's efforts could just as easily be concentrated on adult literacy, and particularly those people in the Labour Party who appear to be unable to read ...
8:29 am

Huhne is "campaigning like a rabbit on crack"

Gravatar It's a great line. Unfortunately, Iain Dale thought of it. Never mind. Under the title "Is Clegg heading for a calamity?", Iain writes: Where on earth has Nick Clegg disappeared to? While Chris Huhne has been campaigning around the country like a rabbit on crack, very little has been heard of Nick Clegg for some time. Is his heart in it anymore? ...I reckon the result of this leadership contest
7:50 am

Labour donations saga: round-up of the latest key points

Gravatar 1. Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman (and former Solicitor General, one of the country’s most senior legal posts and responsible amongst other things for giving the government advice on how to keep to the law) has admitted failing to properly declare the financing for her Labour Deputy Leadership campaign. She extended her mortgage to loan [...]
1:27 am

Wow - its December already & Christmas Rant!!!

Gravatar So the Christmas festive period is nearly upon us once again - God help us! After nearly two months surrounded by Christmas stuff at work I'm sick of it - and to top it - I have the Christmas Quiz to host on Sunday evening! Already Morrisons are cutting the prices of the Christmas Stock and there is 3 weeks to go!!! Lets get back to the real meaning of Christmas shall we - being with friends relatives and loved ones - spending time together - and also taking care of those on their own. Well rant over - the ...
12:32 am

House Points: The alternative Lib Dem short-list

Gravatar My House Points column from this week's Liberal Democrat News. Alumni alternatives The air over Westminster is black with chickens coming home to roost. According to the Civil Aviation Authority they are stacked six deep as far away as Kettering. The Labour Party made such play of ‘sleaze’ in the 1990s that it was bound to come back to bite them in the bum one day. Now it has. If you can hear an unfamiliar sound, it is probably John Major laughing his socks off. As events are moving so quickly this week, let’s cross the road from the Palace ...
12:06 am

City Council Meeting - 4 December 2007

Gravatar The agenda for the City Council meeting on Tuesday 4 December 2007 has been published on the Democracy in Birmingham database. Items on the agenda include: the annual report of the Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture - Councillor Ray Hassall (Lib Dem, Perry Barr Ward);the annual report of the Council's Scrutiny arm (presented by my fellow Selly Oak Ward councillor Alistair Dow, Chair of
12:03 am

Do Buy! a Dubai Documentary (Part 1)

Gravatar Earlier I posted on Lib dem voice an article about the difference between laissez faire capitalism and liberalism. This documentary shows perfectly more than anything I have seen so far what pure, laissez faire capitalism is. you can make your own mind up whether you admire it or not and the author has had the curtosy to make it as unbiased as possible. Enjoy
12:03 am

Do Buy! a Dubai Documentary (Part 2)

Gravatar the second part
12:03 am

Do Buy! a Dubai Documentary (Part 3)

Gravatar the third part.

Previous days:

Friday 30th November 2007, Thursday 29th November 2007, Wednesday 28th November 2007, Tuesday 27th November 2007, Monday 26th November 2007, Sunday 25th November 2007