Thursday 6th December 2007

11:36 pm

No to Kentucky Fried Chicken

Gravatar Some of us were pretty unhappy with the application from KFC to open a takeaway in Hook Parade. The proposal was to use the premises occupied by the beauty salon, plus the empty shop next door. There were lots of objections from people living in the flats above and nearby. The Council turned the application down. KFC appealed against the decision and I'm very pleased to...
11:26 pm

Day 2527: Teddy Teacher is Freed

Gravatar Sunday: Mind you, having said all that about BAD Councillors from the Labour and the Conservatories, I should take a moment to say WELL DONE to the two PEERS from the Labour and the Conservatories who managed to get Ms Gillian Gibbons out of gaol and subsequently out of Sudan.
11:21 pm

Questions asked about the birth of Nick’s campaign

Gravatar Now, I don’t suggest letting a Tory with an axe to grind in any way influence the leadership election, but Dizzy has been doing some digging around the register of members interests, and has some interesting questions about Lib Dem supporter Neil Sherlock. I link to this solely because I know there are some people who are a little bit uncomfortable with the influence Mr Sherlock apparently has with the Westminster party. I stress I do not know Neil, I’ve never met him, and I’m not well placed to comment personally. PS I’ve switched comments off on this post, as ...
11:16 pm

Non event Question Time

Gravatar you do have to wonder at some of the guests the BBC chooses for Question Time. Tonight's was rendered almost a complete waste of time by having only one elected MP on the panel (Ken Clarke) after Douglas Alexander, brother of embattled Scottish Labour Leader Wendy Alexander pulled out. There was a Daily Mail journalist (almost certainly a Tory) and author I have never heard of (I know, it probably shows my ignorance) an American and someone else I have never heard of who is apparently the Labour leader in the Lords. No Lib Dem, no Labour MP and a ...
11:13 pm

George Galloway, Respect and the overseas donation

Gravatar And now, some variety. It’s a donation story and it doesn’t feature Labour. Over to the East London Advertiser: A NEW crisis has engulfed MP George Galloway’s troubled Respect party after it emerged this week that the Electoral Commission has been called in over a suspected unlawful foreign donation. The election watchdog is probing a $10,000 cheque from [...]
10:32 pm

A Man, A Plan, A Canoe: Panama!!

Gravatar The Canoe Man hails from Seaton Carew, a small and relatively pretty town just south of Hartlepool. The last time I was in Seaton Carew was on polling day for the Hartlepool by-election, when I spent a long time knocking on doors knocking on doors telling Lib Dem supporters that Jody Dunn really could win, and persuading Conservative supporters to go and vote UKIP. This would all have been great fun if I hadn't had blisters the size of Darlington and been absolutely, bone-crunchingly knackered. I was supposed to be assisting Shaun Roberts, who was running the committee room, but ...
9:58 pm

Abrahams episode - has Gordon Brown actually done something right?

Gravatar I blogged yesterday about Nick Robinson asking "Cash for what?" about the Abrahams case. Today's front page story in the Guardian ("Labour helped Abrahams set up secret cash transfers") leads me to conclude further that the Abrahams story is heading for the long legal grass, involving a bit of a 40 winks for the public. It seems Gordon Brown was a bit premature in declaring the third-party
9:57 pm

The flight of the bumblebee and the numptee Huckabee

Gravatar I am beginning to go off Mike Huckabee if, indeed, I was ever on him. He is quoted today as saying "It's scientifically impossible for the bumblebee to fly, But the bumblebee, being unaware of these scientific facts, flies anyway." That is, sadly, a whole hundredweight of steaming kangaroo dung. In 1934 some scientists couldn't work out how a bumblebee could fly. Since then, scientists have
9:57 pm

Thank goodness for Gloucestershire Farsi speakers

Gravatar It appears that we should thank Gloucestershire Farsi speakers for nudging George W Bush out of the idea of invading Iran. Background Cheltenham GCHQ - Gloucestershire - Farsi speakers translated Iranian air traffic which, at least partially, led to George W laying off the Iran-invasion idea, at least for the time-being. Apparently we have more Farsi speakers working in our intelligence
9:56 pm

Hot News: Ringo Starr did not appear in a black and white classic western film a year before he was born!

Gravatar Every so often, it is worth the investment in time involved in reading the Guardian's Corrections and Clarifications column. On Tuesday under the title of "High Noon for Belle Starr", the Guardian printed this beaut: In all of the great cinematic westerns, female characters are paramount. Stagecoach hinges on Ringo Starr's love for the prostitute with the heart of gold; My Darling Clementine
9:41 pm

Congratulations to The Westminster Hour

Gravatar {Appearing on Radio 4's The Westminster Hour with Carolyn Quinn} Bumped into Carolyn Quinn of Westminster Hour fame - and she told me the brilliant news. At a ceremony in London held by the Political Studies Association, The Westminster Hour won an award for being Political Programme of the Year. The Political Studies Association is the professional body for the nation's political scientists. I congratulated her effusively - and she kindly pointed out that I was part of the program. I guess - in a ten minute panel way - that's true. Anyway - I am jolly pleased for them! ...
9:36 pm

Barbara Follett: the denial that reads rather like an admission

Gravatar Crikey, this is bizarre, so let’s take things one by one. 1. Ken Follett (husband of Barbara Follett, Labour MP and Equality Minister) tells Andrew Marr’s Sunday AM program that, “She [Barbara Follett] spends all of her allowances and all of her salary running her office and I actually subsidise it to the tune of at [...]
9:35 pm

For all those who say Russia is no threat

Gravatar The Telegraph reports that three BBC staff were badly beaten by thugs whilst 35,000 of Putin's Brown shirts, NASHI, the youth wing of his political party met in Moscow. Similarly, NASHI has resumed its intimidation of the British Ambassador whilst British firms and interests in Russia have reported an upsurge of intimidation. The goings on in Russia are really disturbing at the moment and are not at all dissimilar to those in German in the very early 1930's with fanatical youth movements, a judiciary who are corrupt or weak, corporate bodies working hand in hand with a political party and ...
9:26 pm

West End Christmas Concert, Lights & Fireworks!

Gravatar We had a super night in the West End tonight with the children's concert involving St Joseph's, Park Place and Blackness Primary Schools and Harris Academy, the Christmas lights switch on and spectacular fireworks display! A huge turnout of residents and here's a few photos from tonight's events! f
9:22 pm

Huhne overtakes Clegg - sort of

Gravatar Look - it’s close, OK? Too close for the difference to be meaningful. And it may not actually be good news for Huhne anyway. But there has been a small but measurable swing to him from Clegg in the attention they’re both receiving among bloggers. The turning point was the Calamity Clegg dossier, which rather underlines the potential downside of this - the mere fact he’s being written about doesn’t guarantee that nice things are being said about him. But didn’t Oscar Wilde once argue that it was better to be notorious than unknown? If you feed both their names ...
9:21 pm

It's political correctness gone mad !

Gravatar Be careful not to mention any country or anyone anywhere in the world for fear these days of being moaned about or called a racist. you do have to wonder a bout these serial complainers who like nothing better than to watch entertainment shows on TV and then phone up to moan about them. I can't be bothered to explain the story in full, but apparently Arlene Phillips, a judge on the BBC's "Strictly Come Dancing" show, made reference to two dancers looking like "poles (as in metal poles) from Poland," and thirty two people phoned up to complain. You ...
9:20 pm

BBC Wales' Politician of the Year Awards

Gravatar At least one person is unhappy at the outcome of BBC Wales' AM PM Politician of the Year Awards. I was shortlisted for Communicator of the Year, an award I won last year. This year the clear and deserved winner of that title was Adam Price MP. The full list of winners is here.
9:10 pm

Food for thought - If the world were a village...

8:56 pm

Meaty Story

Gravatar I noticed this poster the other day on Carthusian Street, North West of the City. It draws together some of the more interesting graffiti (there is a Banksy on the wall a few yards down) with the woes which have beset livestock farmers, and in turn the traders of Smithfield Market, just around the corner. The market itself is currently in peril. A Public Inquiry began last month, to investigate plans for its demolition. I rather hope they decide not to bulldoze its Victorian arcades. The image conflates the recent outbreaks of foot and mouth with the midge-transferred blue tongue ...
8:51 pm

Tory hypocricy ? Why is only stealing when the Tories have their policies nicked by Labour ?

Gravatar The Tories are very quick to point the finger at Labour whenever the Labour party borrows or adopts a policy the Conservative have announced. However, in the numerous cases where the Tories have copied the Lib Dems policies, the Tories are keen as mustard to call it a fresh idea that they have just thought of. Several key proposals which the Conservatives claimed were their own, had actually originally been proposed by the Liberal Democrats. They include: - Charging aviation tax on planes, not passengers (passed by Liberal Democrat conference in 2004) - Taxing non-domiciles (passed by Liberal Democrat conference ...
8:41 pm

By the book

Gravatar It was inevitable I suppose that Carwyn Jones' textbook would be mentioned when he answered questions as Counsel General yesterday and so it came to pass. The book by the way for those of you who are curious is "Constitutional and Administrative Law" by Bradley and Ewing. First up was Eleanor Burnham who asked: 'Having been tickled by your textbook, Counsel General, I wonder whether it tells you how to prioritise your advice on the constitutional custard through which we are all swimming, as was referred to by my colleague, Paul. Does it also tell you how the Westminster Government ...
8:23 pm

Unitary, my dear Blears, unitary...

Gravatar Now, whilst I admit that local government reorganisation is far from the forefront of the minds of most people, it does have a surprisingly broad impact on people's lives. Economies of scale vie for attention against concerns of localism. The new Chipmunk for Communities and Local Government, Hazel Blears, has just rejected the proposed Unitary Authority for Ipswich, noting that she is opposed
7:45 pm

Ricky Hatton vs Floyd Mayweather

Gravatar Are you excited yet?
7:25 pm

Quids In

Gravatar For once, instead of moaning about how much the Government is going to spend in my constituency I can raise a glass and say cheers for this year's local government settlement.   In fact it hasn't...
6:47 pm

Lighting the way

Gravatar Irelands first ‘carbon budget’ has just been announced. By introducing new energy efficiency standards, the traditional light bulb in Ireland will become a thing of the past. When you consider that this one move alone will reduce carbon dioxide emmissions by up to 700,000 tonnes a year just imagine the impact if we all followed suit! Just out of curiousity how many of you have energy efficiency light bulbs in your homes? To read all about Ireland's new Carbon Budget click on this link:
6:36 pm

The database state threatens us all

Gravatar The favourite article of those in government and industry who are seeking to build the database state is: "If you've done nothing wrong, you've nothing to fear." Just what nonsense this is can be seen from a report by Andrew Porter in today's Daily Telegraph: Hundreds of people in police witness protection programmes have been put at risk by the loss of millions of child benefit records, The Daily Telegraph can reveal. The missing data discs are understood to contain both the real names and the new identities of up to 350 people who have had their identities changed after ...
6:27 pm

Keep "denial" in Egypt

Gravatar At the start of the year I quoted with approval an article by Frank Furedi: Disbelief in today’s received wisdom is described as ‘Denial’, which is branded by some as a crime that must be punished. It began with Holocaust denial, before moving on to the denial of other genocides. Then came the condemnation of ‘AIDS denial’, followed by accusations of ‘climate change denial’. This targeting of denial has little to do with the specifics of the highly-charged emotional issues involved in discussions of the Holocaust or AIDS or pollution. Rather, it is driven by a wider mood of intolerance ...
6:25 pm

Forty Two Days

Gravatar The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith has deemed that forty two days should be the new limit placed on the detention without charge of certain criminal suspects*. After first arguing for 90 days, then 56, bumping that up to the much luckier 58 days, it's anybody's guess where 42 has come from, although a source inside Jacqui Smith informs me that her bra size is a whopping 42DD**, and so she could have
6:24 pm

Racist residents? Or guilty gypsies?

Gravatar The all-too-familiar issue of unauthorised gypsy traveller camp sites has reared its ugly head once more in Somerset. About 3 years ago a group of 16 gypsy families moved into a Somerset village and onto a field they purchased from a farmer. About 18 months later, after appealing a planning refusal, they were ordered by the inspectorate to leave within a year. The deadline came and went. Recently they applied once more. Now we are on the second inquiry. This time the lawyer working for the gypsy travellers has tried to halt racially motivated allegations concerning supposed criminal incidents at ...
5:53 pm

Atonal music is bad for your sex life

Gravatar On an Overgrown Path passes on this extract from Joan Peyser's biography of Pierre Boulez: The German psychologist Dr Weisenhutter interviewed the musicians of the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra and found them beset by psychogenic illnesses. The players are impotent. They hate new music. After playing it they cannot engage in sexual activity. This is understandable, for musicians are emotional people and if a musician is not convinced of the validity of what he does, his sexual life is bound to suffer.
5:44 pm

Magna Carta: Did she die in vain?

Gravatar This just in from Reuters: Four 13th century copies of the Magna Carta, considered to be one of the most important documents in the history of democracy, go on public display next week for the first time in nearly 800 years. The four, three of which date from 1217 and one from 1225, are held by Oxford University's Bodleian Library and represent nearly one quarter of the surviving 13th century Magna Carta manuscripts in the world. "These three 1217 charters are a unique historical collection," said librarian Sarah Thomas. "No other institution can boast such a concentration of Magna Cartae."Well ...
5:26 pm

"Green energy": tories rip off more LibDem policies

Gravatar David Cameron has announced some policies aimed at encouraging micro-generation - only 18 months behind policy agreed by Welsh Liberal Democrats, on the initiative of its younger members. Cameron proposes to abolish the grant scheme - but Labour has effectively done this already, by reducing the pool of money and cutting the maximum grant. What neither has done is to provide a means of poorer people, who would benefit most, of finding the money to install micro-generators and solar heating. What is surely needed is a system of soft loans. - Frank Little
5:21 pm

Is Iain Dale really praising a Council which has cut so many services ?

Gravatar It is interesting to note Iain Dale's blog today extolling the virtues of a Tory Council (Hammersmith and Fulham), praising them for cutting council tax by 3% and asking why other councils cannot do this. Perhaps the answer lies with the methods they use in Hammersmith and Fulham. Take, for example, the council's view on community groups that use council buildings. They are, according to Hammersmith and Fulham Council not really that important. After all, they are not businesses, I guess they do not work on the basis of market forces, therefore, there existence and survival is of little concern. ...
5:14 pm

DVLA now owns up to data butterfingers

Gravatar News is just coming in that DVLA has admitted that it sent 1200 personal driver licence details - including name, address and convictions - to the wrong people. If one of the better-run government agencies can make such a slip, then one is more than ever convinced that carelessness with people's personal information is systemic. - Frank Little
4:21 pm

Progress on broadband

Gravatar Some years ago one of the big issues in my postbag was the lack of broadband internet access across the constituency. When telephone exchanges were initially 'broadband-enabled' it tended to be the big centres of population that were upgraded first, which in our area meant the Yate/Sodbury exchange and the Almondsbury exchange which served Aztec West etc. Even towns the size of Thornbury were down the queue. A change of heart at BT led to them launching a scheme whereby people could register their interest in broadband and once an exchange had reached a 'trigger point' of interested local residents ...
4:13 pm

Yeah but! Who are you?

Gravatar The new chairman of Taunton Deane Liberal Democrats is a senior consultant from Musgrove Park Hospital. So, what does it take to become the new Chairman of Taunton Deane Liberal Democrats? On the evidence I have seen so far, a nice suit and a fancy job title! You can read all about David Wrede by following this link..
3:43 pm

The Mighty Who?

Gravatar The Lib Dems are going up (or perhaps down) in the world as for the second week running, we have made it into the celeb-gossip newsletter, Popbitch, not for being so cool this week though: >> The Mighty Who? << Clegg needs populism lesson from Cable Last Sunday, the Tower Arts Centre in Winchester hosted a Lib Dem Leadeship campaign debate between Chris Huhne and Nick Clegg. Martin Tod: “Hi Nick. Welcome to the Tower Arts Centre. The changing room, if you need it, is just down there, as used by the Mighty Boosh.” Nick Clegg: “The Mighty Who?” Ahh, ...
3:22 pm


Gravatar Interested in democracy? Then here is an important date for your diaries. December 18th 2007. Why? Follow this link and find out why!
3:02 pm

Barbara Follett faces questions over finances

Gravatar Oh well, it’s a good thing I included the words “so far” when I wrote this morning that, “Today’s round-up of Labour donation news looks pretty simple so far. Just the one story.” Because here’s the second of the day. It’s about Barbara Follett, whose husband has talked about how he provides over £100,000 per year to [...]
2:47 pm

Odds tightening fast on Huhne

Gravatar On my previous post a few days ago I commented on how little movement there had been on the Betfair markets for Clegg vs Huhne. Well the talk of 'late surge' is now impacting - a bit. Yesterday I followed my own advice on the attractiveness of the Huhne price to hedge my significant exposure on Clegg. This does not mean I think Huhne will win, and I am a strong Cleggite myself, but at 5/1 I could't resist it as it put me safely into a 'Green' market which now means that if Clegg wins I am up but ...
2:14 pm

Detention without charge

Gravatar I would like to share the contents of an email I have just received from Nick Clegg: “I’ve just finished an extensive round of media interviews declaring my staunch opposition to the government’s latest attempt to lock people up without charge for more than 28 days. The government has come up with a complex series of proposals to try and squeeze an extension of pre-charge detention through parliament. Jacqui Smith has claimed that her latest wheeze is a good compromise. I will never compromise on our cherished civil liberties. Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith seem to think they can sweeten ...
2:09 pm

Defending the right to offend

Gravatar The Liberal Democrat tradition of opposing blanket bans is a good one. Who can forget when David Blunkett proposed banning civil servants from membership of the far-right British National party (BNP) it was the Liberal Democrats who denounced the move as "a step down a very, very dangerous path". When smoking was banned from public enclosed spaces it was our own Lembit Opik, Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire, who said: "In a liberal society you have to be careful about what you ban”. If what Lembit said then, still applies now, then surely we should denounce this ban? Or at ...
1:56 pm

What are we going to do about the BBC?

Gravatar Just by watching Newsnight and Today’s Politics Show i wonder whether the BBC has become the CBBC - Conservatives Broadcasting Company. I have made two complaints asking why no Liberal Democrats were featured on either show when they were talking about issues as far-ranging as Economics, Prisons, Small Businesses. They have included Ken Clark as a `wise [...]
1:00 pm

Chris to address national climate change rally

Gravatar {Click for photo credits} Chris (above, examing solar panels) has been asked by leading climate change campaigners to address the Campaign against Climate Change rally, taking place on Saturday. Chris joined Lynne Featherston, Jo Swinson, Ed Davey, Simon Hughes and (I think) Susan Kramer as well as hundreds of Lib Dem members on last year’s march. There is more about the rally here.
12:53 pm

How to spot a drunk

Gravatar Across the land (apart from the bars in the House of Commons and House of Lords) pubs and clubs are going to have undercover policeman looking for drunk people. The Home Office have issued guidelines (thanks to The Publican for giving me details) to help spot drunks. How can police spot a drunk? Police have been told that the aim of the guidelines is “to present such compelling physical
12:47 pm

New Ways of Working

Gravatar Well, I am at my new desk in my new job, and have survived the first morning without my trousers splitting / falling down the stairs etc. An alarming amount of meetings have been arranged on my behalf already, and I have been promised a Blackberry, a gadget I consider to be simultaneously the best and worst thing ever invented for use in the workplace. I am going to have to re-jig the way I balance work and Councillor-ing though, I think, because I can’t seem to access Bury MBC emails remotely from work. Which means my lunchtime casework and ...
12:28 pm

The Season of Good Will

Gravatar Ah, Christmas time. The cheer. The mince pies. The gifts. The snow. Not so happy a time for Labour: The scandals. The political turkeys. The dodgy donations. The rain. Gordon Brown must be looking forward to having some time off, putting his feet up in front of the fire (let’s not wonder which documents he might like [...]
12:15 pm

Liberal Drinks Pledge Success!

Gravatar Despite failing to promote it properly, my Liberal Drinks Pledge has been successful: Still two more weeks to go before the deadline. It would be fantastic if this lead to dozens of Drinks starting up in the New Year. It’s easy-peasy to organise and we can help get your word out. What’s stopping you? Share This
12:04 pm

If you want something done give it to a busy man

Gravatar Last Monday, councillor Brian Prior surprised us all resigning, elegantly, form the post of vice-chairman of the parish council, exactly a month since his election (the previous meeting). To my opinion it is a shame as he was doing the right noises and seems like the right person for the job. It takes a very strong personality to fight the current and keep one’s gowned. We all have experienced it. When joining a new organization (work, family, or politics), we assimilate to a certain degree the way things are done, even if we do not like it. Thus, to an ...
11:39 am

YouTube hustings: Social justice and rights

Gravatar The penultimate question put to the leadership candidates as part of the party’s YouTube hustings was from Stuart Weir from the University of Essex. He asked about social justice and for the candidates’ views on economic, social, environmental and cultural rights. (Previous questions: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.)
11:13 am

Counter-Spin Zone: A Load Of Waffle

Gravatar This is the first of my new ‘counter-spin zone’ posts - something I will be applying more often to Labour and the Tories than the Lib Dems,  but a new escalation of negative campaigning during this Leadership contest again (again!! How many times??) means it’s time to get active. Hopefully for the last time, too. Consider this dragon well and truly stirred.  First up in the Counter-Spin zone is the performance of the two Leadership candidates on Radio 4’s Today programme a few days ago. It was a very quick mini-hustings and, much to the glee of Internet Huhnistas, Nick sounded like ...
11:06 am

Final Leadership Hustings hosted by EMLD in Birmingham

Gravatar The marathon Leadership Hustings reached its climax in Birmingham Hodge Hill last night. It was organised by the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats, and I had the pleasure of chairing the well attended meeting, the majority of whom were from an ethnic minority background. I thought both Nick and Chris looked remarkably well, given the gruelling schedule they've covered in the last month. Tariq Khan, the Birmingham Hodge Hill PPC, in one of the Lib Dems target seats welcomed us to the constituency. Mohammed Shafiq, from Rochdale, and EMLD member, also highlighted the rise in Islamophobia, and how he thought the ...
10:58 am

Promotional adverts for smoking, cigarettes and matches...

Gravatar After my previous post I have been contacted by several people pointing out old wall adverts that can be seen on and around local streets in Camden. This advert for matches and cigarettes is on the end of terrace wall on Messina Avenue as it joins the Kilburn High Road, NW6. Of course the location is the key to this being picked back when and to it's surviving now. The location is highly visible, it's passed every day by thousands, but now of course is there just largely un-noticed. In it's day key advertising location and pre-billboard... The other element ...
10:55 am

Pensioners worse off than in 1950

Gravatar Danny Alexander has got widespread coverage today for his shocking piece of research showing that pensioners are worse off than in 1950. As his news release says: On the day that the Government has announced the level of benefits for next year, the Liberal Democrats have released figures showing that pensioners now receive less than in [...]
10:30 am

New Statesman: Huhne will lead Lib Dem insurgency

Gravatar A fair-minded editorial in The New Statesman praises both Lib Dem leadership contenders, but throws the journal’s endorsement behind Chris Huhne. They say: As they mull over the options on their ballot papers, the 55,000 dedicated members of Britain’s third party could do worse than to heed the following advice: “For the country’s sake, the Liberal Democrats need to get back a sense of anti-Establishment insurgency.”
10:12 am


Gravatar We are well used to some millionaires and multinational corporations exploiting loopholes so as to avoid paying tax, indeed there is a whole industry built around the facilitation of such aims. Her Majesty's Revenue, Customs and Excise has even joined in such practices by selling its offices to an off-shore company and then leasing them back. However, this article in the Guardian is the first sign of a similar attempt by political parties to exploit so-called loopholes in the Political Parties Elections and Referendum Act. They report that Labour officials helped lawyers acting for David Abrahams to draw up complex ...
10:02 am

Congrats to Middlefield

Gravatar Congratulations to Middlefield School in Speke which has the highest value added score for primaries across the City. Value added is a measure which looks at the effect schools have had on their pupils, and at the difference between performance at one level (key stage 1) and at the next level (key stage 2). Middlefield teachers have really made a difference Well done (If you want to read more - there is a story about this in today's Daily Post)
9:22 am


Gravatar Interesting stuff at detailing the many appearances of Mark Prisk MP in Cornwall. I see what the Tories are trying to do here, but I think they're making a mistake. As 'Shadow Minister for Cornwall' Mark can come down and look after the various Tory hopefuls in the County. I met Mark at a lunch hosted by Sarah Newton, Tory PPC for Truro Falmouth. Now, from what I saw at that lunch Sarah has absolutely no personality or presence whatsoever. Do you remember the way the Doonesbury strip once represented a character, I think it was Dan Quayle, as ...
8:57 am

Video: Chris on the need for Freedom Bill to “roll back the government’s incursions in to personal liberties”

Gravatar Chris on civil liberties, detention without trial, and more. This video forms part of the party’s YouTube hustings.
8:29 am

The final Liberal Democrats Leadership Hustings, and a decision!

Gravatar Last night I attended the last hustings in the Liberal Democrats Leadership elections (which was rather odd as I also attended the first). The hustings had been organised by the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats and Birmingham Hodge Hill Liberal Democrats. I am sure both candidates were happy to finally be finishing this mammoth campaign!
7:55 am

Simpler, but worse: latest donations news

Gravatar Today’s round-up of Labour donation news looks pretty simple so far. Just the one story. It’s a bit of an explosive one mind: Labour helped Abrahams set up secret cash transfers Scheme designed by lawyers and party officials to conceal donor’s identity Labour officials helped lawyers acting for David Abrahams to draw up complex covenants that allowed the [...]
2:39 am

A good statistic in a leadership speech

Gravatar A few weeks ago James and I made very general comments about the use of statistics in speeches by the leadership candidates. One of them has recently been using a brilliantly powerful statistic (which I hope I recite here correctly): in Newham a woman will, on average, live 14 years less than a woman in Chelsea. It’s [...]
2:02 am

Leadership result will be 18 December?

Gravatar Contrary to my reference to 17 December, Nick Clegg said at the Lib Dem Lawyers’ Association AGM that the result will be known on 18 December.   The party website is more vague: “the week of 17 December”.  18 December is not a bad date at all.  The internet tells me that it is the day: a. Hannibal defeated [...]
12:13 am

Civic Reception for the Mayor of the Borough of Runnymede

Gravatar It was good to meet with Mayor's and representatives from across Surrey at the Great Foresters Hotel in Egham. The Mayor of Runnymede had a slighty bigger chain than me. but I am only a deputy....!
12:10 am

Nick Cohen: left, right or wrong?

Gravatar Nick Cohen, the Observer’s journalist, has taken to caricature the Left as a fascist cohort supporting militant Islam. I went to his talk at the Café Philo in Hampstead a week ago or so. He started his talk on 'what's left of the left' by expressing his shock and surprise at the support leftwing politicians and intellectuals give to militant Islam. Not sure what is surprising about some
12:01 am

Day 2525: Miranda Grell and Rik Willis: an apology… would be nice

Gravatar Friday: We can all be a bit PARTISAN sometimes when it comes to defending one of our own. But sometimes, it seems, that the Conservatories (blue OR red) go quite a bit BEYOND reasonable doubt and into the land of wilful ignorance when it comes to sticking up for their, shall we say, "less than pure" associates. Let's take a couple of recent cases, where Councillors have been caught bang to rights saying the sort of things they really shouldn't oughta: for the Labour, twice-convicted liar Ms Miranda Grell; and for the (other) Conservatories, white-supremacist supporter Mr Rik Willis. Mr ...

Previous days:

Wednesday 5th December 2007, Tuesday 4th December 2007, Monday 3rd December 2007, Sunday 2nd December 2007, Saturday 1st December 2007, Friday 30th November 2007