Tuesday, October 02, 2007

A risky pledge

David Davis, the Conservative Shadow Home Secretary today pledged that immagration would be "substantially lower" under a Conservative Government.

A risky pledge to make as it's not easily controlled and difficult to quantify. Therefore not easy to prove it has been met or is being achieved.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Jenga block for Olympic village

The designs have been released for public consultation of the proposed Olympic Village.

The landmark tower block looks like someone has started a game of Jenga!

Why do Councils make being rediculed so easy?

In the South West we have Bath and North East Somerset which is a unitary authority and soon Wiltshite Councty Council will become a unitary authority.

Now the acronym for Bath is BANES and Wilshire County Council has just decided to drop the County part when it becomes a UA, given it the acronym WC.

So we've got the pains and the toilets for Councils.

Election on the way

Gordon Brown is "just getting on with the job." Ministers are staying on message and refusing to talk about it. No one will rule out an election. The prep work has all been done.

General Election shortly it is then.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Clouding the issue

Ming Campbell, leader of the Liberal Democrats has called for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union instead of a referendum on the new EU treaty.

He argues,

"If there is to be a referendum it shouldn't be restricted to a comparatively minor treaty. It must be a decision about the EU as a whole”.

What complete nonsense. For starters the treaty Campbell refers to can hardly be described as minor. Minor would be legislation being passed by Europe, which is already under their remit. A new treaty involves a further loss of British sovereignty to Europe.

By holding a referendum on British membership you immediately limit the option for those who believe being in Europe from an economic viewpoint is a good thing. Those people would have to vote yes to allow that to continue, even if they believed further powers for Europe from a political stance is a bad thing.

There have been calls for a referendum on this treaty due to the further political powers it gives to Europe, not because of Britain’s membership of the EU. Therefore the only way a true opinion of the British people’s views on Europe’s increase in political power can be gained, is to hold a referendum solely on this treaty.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

O the irony!!

Tom Watson, one of the MPs behind the failed coup of Tony Blair when he was Prime Minister has been given a job by Gordon Brown in the whips office, which is responsible for ensuring Labour MPs toe the party line.

It seems Gordon Brown does have a sense of humour!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

2007 General Election

A number of rumours have been flying around recently regarding Gordon Brown making an announcement on Tuesday for a General Election. These rumours have been denied today by Douglas Alexander, Labour’s election coordinator.

Alexander has ruled out an election announcement in the next 6 days, but refused to rule out a General Election taking place in 2007.

This could of course be a continuation of the ‘wind up the Tories’ policy Labour is currently undertaking but I wouldn’t be surprised if a General Election is called within the next fortnight.

Watch this space as they say.....

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How many fireman does it take to rescue a duck?

Apparently the answer is three fire engines and a rescue boat. This is deemed to not be a waste of resources as there were "no more important calls at the time" a spokeswoman said. Had a more important call come in the fireman would have left the scene.

One of the fire engines made a 35 mile journey to attend the scene, so had a call come in, it would potentially be 35 miles away. It's all a matter of priorities the spokeswoman added. It appears ducks are very high up that priority list, judging by the amount of resources attributed to it.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ming Campbell "over promoted"

Linda Jack, a Lib Dem party policy committee member has got it spot on when she says Ming Campbell has been “over promoted”. Ming was a good Foreign Affairs spokesman, probably one of the best in the Commons, but that hasn’t transferred when he became leader.

What’s interesting is Vince Cable’s response.

“Vincent Cable rejected the criticism and said the party was not in a "dissimilar" position to the position it had been in recent years.”

Well then clearly the party hasn’t moved forward in that time and Charles Kennedy the leader during that period is no longer the leader. It doesn’t really say much for Ming and his future.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Part fixing Britain's "broken society"

David Cameron is aiming to fix Britain’s broken society which in reality is a very difficult thing for the Conservatives to do.

Following the divisive row over Grammar Schools the party went through recently it’s no wonder Cameron is looking to avert any further fallout with the Conservative right over the suggestion of local lotteries for school places.

Iain Duncan Smith’s social justice committee is due to report soon spelling out the use of local lotteries. However the Tory leader has had to block the idea due to potential fallout with parts of his party.

Cameron has to leave out some of the suggestions to fix Britain’s broken society in order to avoid leading the broken Conservatives.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Reforms laid out for the shelf?

Gordon Brown today has announced a number of constitutional reforms. However he has said his proposals are not a final blue print but a route map.

A route map to where? Well Brown will want to gain as much political capital out of them as possible. These reforms are designed to show Brown isn’t a centralist but willing to give power back, then there will be reviews so we can be told about it all again and finally it will be shelved, never to be heard about again.

Why can't Europe just stay out?

The European commission is informally investigating the high definition DVD market as they are concerned movie studios committing to one format (HD-DVD or Blu-ray) is restricting competition.

Why should it matter if movie studios pick one format over the other? Surely the fact we have two rival formats competing with one another increases competition. Interfering with that will reduce it. Prices of Blu-ray players have already started to fall as they are so much more expensive than HD-DVD players.

Likewise if studios choose to only release movies on one format, that is their decision and they risk losing out by the number of movies they could have sold on both formats. They must of calculated that it is worth while choosing to release in only one format.

Let’s leave them to do battle until a winner (or dominate format) emerges. In the mean time, standard DVD will surfice, until the new format war drives down the price of HD.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

BBC3 Glasto broadcast live?

Watching BBC3's coverage of Glastonbury at the moment, it's got in the corner BBC3 Live. Yet they are showing the Killer's who performed on Saturday night (it's currently Sunday). The fact it's dark on the show and light at the moment is a big give away, even if you didn't know the night of the performance. Glastonbury is in the GMT timezone after all!

Harman has it...

Harriet Harman has won the Labour Deputy Leadership race, beating Alan Johnson by 50.4% to 49.6%.

The Deputy Leader doesn't make a big difference to the Government as it is a party role, but Harman's election victory will alow the Labour Party to present a man and a women when it comes to campaigning. Something that may help to gain those vital women's votes.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Why there can be no Lab - Lib pact

There’s a very simple reason why Gordon Brown’s so called “Government of all the talents” can’t have any members of the Liberal Democrats in it. Ming Campbell would not get a job. It would be a bit embarrassing for the Liberal Democrats if their MPs and Lords were offered jobs in roles more senior to their own leader. Tells the whole story about Ming as leader really.

So even had Lord Ashdown of wanted the Northern Ireland job, he couldn’t take it as it would undermine Ming.

The whole affair is a big mess. Brown now has to face the fact the Lib Dems have rejected his offer. (A sign for after the next General Election?) Whilst Ming has provided more ammunition to those who want him out. Would a Nick Clegg lead Lib Dems have given a different response? They certainly wouldn’t have had the same problem of what to do with their struggling leader.

Update: Have just started reading Dizzy's blog. He makes a very good point about Brown's offering of jobs. "The fact he's offering jobs out to so many people, and, being turned down, makes me wonder whether he is choosing people he knows will say no. He can then at least claim that he tried right?"

Quite clever if Dizzy's theory is correct.

Monday, June 04, 2007

£500'000 for this...

Money well wasted I feel.

Update: It also seems that for the animated version on electronic displays, no one thought about the epileptic consequences.

Monday, May 28, 2007

China's military spending in perspective...

A report by the US Defence Department has reported that China will spend between $85 and $125 billion on its defence in 2007, not the £45 billion the Chinese Government has officially reported. This, the report says, could indicate a shift in China’s military strategy away from a focus on Taiwan to a wider scope.

Of course what the report fails to do, is compare this figure to the US own spending. For the fiscal year starting in October 2007 George Bush has requested $484 billion to spend on defence, a figure which does not include military spending in Afghanistan and Iraq. This is nearly 4 times the $125 billion higher end figure the US estimates for China’s spending.

China has a population of 1,306,313,800 and the US of 299,114,218. Therefore China’s spending per head is $96.69 compared to the US $1618.11. That’s 16.7 times more per head the US spends on defence. I wonder which country we should really be worrying about?

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Cash for honours investigation told to find more...

The Independent today is reporting that the cash for honours enquiry is to be reopened. Despite the articles report suggesting that the Crown Prosecution Service is taking the case very “very seriously”, the fact they have asked the police to “find key pieces of evidence to strengthen the case”, suggests that the vast file of evidence presented to the CPS before was not substantial enough.

The police will no doubt continue with their investigations but are they really likely to find more evidence than they did first time round? Perhaps once Blair has stepped down as Prime Minister they can apply more pressure. But it would appear a prosecution is a long way off yet, if there will even be one.