Friday, 31 December 2010
Thursday, 30 December 2010
2. Lib dems will lose a number of seats in the South West but will gain others ending up with about the same number of MP's (63). < Well I was kind of right. Lib Dems lost 3 seats in the South West. but despite increasing their vote by 1% managed to lose 5 seats overall.
3. The Tories will win the next general election with a very small majority. <Wrong, 36 short of a majority.
4. England will lose on penalties in the Simi final of the World Cup.<ha ha ha, why did I bother, see my blog Fundamental change required for English.
5. A premiership football club will go into administration. <Portsmouth, almost. I'm going to put this on into 2011. Its got to happen sooner, surely.
6. A major Conservative blogger will stop blogging after the general election. <Well in the end there was plenty, not least Iain Dale. It took some a why. A better prediction would of been a made on the Libertarian blogger front.
7. A singer from one of Simon Cowells shows will be number one again for Christmas. <step forward Matt Cardle, winner of the Xfactor.
8. The general election will be in May. < Not a shock really.
9. The new Doctor Who actor, Matt Smith will help Doctor Who become even more popular than it was with David Tennant. <It appears I was wrong, see here.
10.Bracknell Town centre will still not have the new town centre it so needs. <Well a dead cert. I will keep this prediction to, I can't see it ever happening.
Friday, 24 December 2010
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
If you want to really get peoples back up (of those that hate the Tories atleast) while at the same time dismissing the Lib Dem influence, then this is probably the best line of attack.
Could this be Ed's cleverest move?
Thursday, 16 December 2010
I suspect that Bob Ainsworth has not u-turned but always believed that legalising drugs was the only way to control it. Now he is out of office he feels that he can put the case publicly (a public u-turn maybe). This to after Professor David Nutt lost his job as a scientific adviser to the government.
I suspect no government will actually legailise any drugs (even cannabis) because of the high political risk. It would be brave of any government to go down the road of legalisation, just imagine the papers. Althought it's a road that I would agree with.
Well done Bob.
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
Monday, 13 December 2010
Wednesday, 8 December 2010
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
I dont blame BBC's panorama or the british press. FIFA were never going to give this bid to England. FIFA want to spread the word of football. It's precisely because England already have the infrastructure that we were never going to win this bid, no matter how technically good it is.
It's also right that someone exposes the corruption at the heart of FIFA. After all it is amazing that this organisation, gets exceptions from tax and is protected from corruption in Switzerland. Bribery would not break Swiss anti-corruption laws because non-profit sporting entities are exempt from such legislation.
So lets give up on this, we are never going to win. I doesn't matter who we send for the 2026 world cup bid. We can't win and we won't win so lets stop wasting our time and instead expose more corruption at the heart of FIFA. The press no longer have to be concerned about winning anymore bids.
Thursday, 2 December 2010
Reading lanches it's new fleet hybrid buses - Hybrid buses to hit the streets - Bracknells has had green buses for quite a few years now. Thanks to Courtney Coaches pure plant oil powered buses.
Bungalows to remain after plan defeated
Cllr Kirsten’s kicking when it comes to Olympic facts
Tough targets for police amid cuts - 'Bracknell police will aim for the new targets despite Thames Valley Police’s plan to make almost £50 million of savings by 2015'.
Reading Tory blogger Pieman writes 'Corruption cannot be allowed to infiltrate that state at any cost'
John Redwood wokingham MP writes about 'The Euro and the state of EU banks'
Liberal Burblings has a picture of The inside of Vince Cable’s head.
Blog Política has MP for Bracknell Phillip Lee’s Response to Education Reform Enquiry
National Link (Links of the day)
The Contented Lib Dem blogs - Out of touch protestors...and Guardian, Red Ed, Lisa Nandy, CiF, etc.
Mark Pack has some more details from Reading MP Rob Wilson book 5 Days to Power: could there have been a Lab-Lib Dem deal?
Bloggers 4 UKIP have A New Exercise in Democracy? EU Can't Be Serious
Oleuanna - asks Have you stopped cringing yet? This guy is kidding right? Look at what we have BECOME?? here
And this makes my video of the week;
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Saturday, 27 November 2010
Protests happen in London everyday but don't make the news. What we want to know is whether the riot on Wednesday has actually managed to further the students' cause by drawing more attention to it, or has it hindered it?
I was heartened to see students on the streets, yes other protest are not covered but this was a big protest (close to 50,000 people). I was beginning to wonder if the British people had lost the will to protest. Brit's don't do enough of this type of activism. It's good to see some passion, much of it in a light hearted protest.
Unfortunately I think the few people who hijacked the protest at Conservative HQ have distracted the news away from the student cause. If this was at the weekend I would of gone myself. Although I would say to the students. Don't let the fees put you of. You can still afford to go.
Thursday, 25 November 2010
Monday, 22 November 2010
Sunday, 21 November 2010
See 'Naked scanners': Lobbyists join the war on terror
A point that the above article does not touch on is how safe are these boby scanners. They use a short but very high dose of exposure to X-ray's. See AFP's 'Naked' scanners at US airports may be dangerous: scientists. I do hope the rush to get these machine in use at airports has not exposed people to a high dose of x-rays as well as exposing their civil liberties.
Saturday, 20 November 2010
Politicians should be careful how they express themselves but we the public want them to speak candidly or truthly. However when they do they are forced to resign. How is this supposed to help politics in this country if the politicans can't talk in public about any subject without such scrutiny or reflection of the context.
This is why political interviews are so lame these days. They can's express themselves. This means that they become aloof and can't answer question directly for fear of being quoted out on context, leading to the sack. Interviews these days are more like a game then an insight into the subject at hand.
Only a very few politicans can get away with using language that is accepted as their way, like say Vince Cable or Boris Johnson and even they avoid questions.
Ed Miliband also took some time of paternity leave to put the knife further into lord Young. But Ed should be careful because this just encourages the Tories to do the same back when someone from Labour speaks out of turn. And they will someone always does.
It is interesting how David Cameron has acted so quickly over the his photographer and website producer and Lord Young but has still done nothing about media advisor Andy Coulson who was editor of the News of the World during their illegal phone hacking operation.
So anyone fancy becoming a politican then?
Check out the Lord Young fact check here
Wednesday, 17 November 2010
The danger with this charge is the usual freedom of speech after all this information is already out there in the public domain. For example the BBC has a list of who voted for the war. But I doubt the BBC will be prosecuted or Old Holborn who posted a list today.
It appears you have to be increasingly careful. While I suspect Bilal added some vile words encouraging these MP's to be attacked. This ruling could continue to effect free speech on the internet as the recent Paul Chambers twitter trial has shown. Be careful out there because at this rate I don't beable to post anything on this blog.
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Sunday, 14 November 2010
Saturday, 13 November 2010
The headline should really read 'A small group of Lib Dems planned to abandon the fees pledge'. This is because the same Lib Dems who were part of the negotiation team are the same Lib Dems who knew what was in the negociation document. So it's really they who planned to abandon the pledge. The rest of us had no idea.
Nick Clegg did try to get the Liberal Democrats to drop this policy and he failed. Because the Liberal Democrats are a democratic party it meant that he didn't have that much control over policy and has to accept some polices voted on by the party members.
As I said in A pledge is a pledge. End of . There is not much defence to a pledge. To pictures of you standing infront of a pledge, when knowing that the two parties you may have to negociate with both support tuition fees and won't pull back on it. Knowing times are hard and this would not be affordable. This was the big error. Perhaps the biggest error Clegg and the negociation team made. For a group of people so clever it is quite shocking that they didn't back away some MP's including themselves from this pledge.
It is right in a first past the post election system for the rest of the party to remain ignorant of the negociation document because you have to fight for a government not for a coalition. However I think now we have had a recent coaltion perhaps we should release some details of our priorities for negociation before the next election so atleast people will understand the difference between negotiable policy and non negotiable policy. I still feel that the Lib Dems where caught between a rock and a hard place after the electorate cast their vote.
I would also add that perhaps a policy to scrap tuition fees was not as fair as it first seems. Me and my brother did not go to university but my mum still paid through her taxes for others to go to uni. This doesn't seem fair. So I think it is more fair for graduates to pay something torwards their university education. The new system is like a back door graduate tax. It is a progressive system. The main problem with it is the cost or rather the cuts to higher education. I agree with some cuts because I don't think the state should pay the full cost but its the high level of cuts that have made the new system so expensive.
It's worth listening to Stephen Nolan on last night show with Rob Wilson MP who wrote the book where this detail is revealed. Iain Dale, Mehdi Hasan, Dr Evan Harris and Helen Duffett discussing this topic from about 1.45 hours in. click here.
Friday, 12 November 2010
The British Library is doing some research into the way pronunciations of words are changing and have noted that under 35's pronounce certain words in different ways to older people indicating that language is changing.
Here are some news stories to give some background - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11640951 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-11642588
With a lot of words there is no right and wrong but that doesn't stop some pronunciations really annoying us.
What we want to know this week is what people's pet hates about the way others speak are? For example, does it make you cringe when someone pronounces the word 'schedule' 'skedule', to the letter 'h' 'haitch'?
Or do you think it really doesn't matter and people should lighten up a bit?
The only thing that really bothers me is when people end every sentence with a raised emphasis on the end making the sentence sound like a question.
It also bothers me when people judge others as being less than themselves based on their use of language.
Tuesday, 9 November 2010
Slough Town Hall could become new school
Recycling collection goes weekly - In wokingham.
MP pledge to villager's - MP Phillip Lee lends his support to the campaign against 3,500 homes, Should be an interesting meeting for him with the Tory council. See my blog Crowthorne and Binfield housing rebels
and Get Bracknell 'Plea to look again at housing plan rejected'.
Taxi drivers fight for cap on licences - Personally I support them in this, there are a lot of drivers and it must be hard to make a living. If the level is right then perhaps they could charge less as turnover would be higher.
Jane is the one finds that Labour in Reading "wrong" says its Facebook administrator, I blogged about this in 'Former Reading MP threatened with Facebook block from local Labour.
Cllr John Ennis finds Willis's stealth tax designed to rake in £150.000 plus a year.
Tony Jones thinks that Reading Lib Dem Councilor Daisy's Dilemma: Back Bayes And Sacrifice Epps? - Personally I think Tony has forgotten a major factor which is hard work. Daisy Benson works very hard as do the other Reading Lib Dem councillors, I believe this will stand them in good stead. They don't need a campaign as they are on the doorstep all the time anyway. Doing case work and looking after the interests of the area.
Green Reading in Woolas Hypocrisy has some examples in Reading of how dirty local campaigns can get. Personally I really hate this type of politics. The sooner this Woolas ruling washes through all parties the better for all of us.
Liberal Burblings asks Question: When does a $10 million trip cost $2 billion? Answer: When Fox News is involved
National Link (Links of the day)
Labour Blogger Moments of Clarity asks Should we consider not standing in Oldham East and Saddleworth this time? - It would be interesting to have a two way by-election but I still prefer a 3 way one myself.
Caron's Musings asks How the US Republicans get it so, so wrong.
Gudio Fawkes has a video showing that Coulson Could Learn a Thing or Two
Left Foot Forward reports that the Public unaware of just how much those at the very top are pai.
And finally this weeks entertainment is provided by my chance to indulge myself in a political music video. This week it's The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy with their tale of California Uber Alles, enjoy;
Monday, 8 November 2010
As a decentralising Liberal I very much like the idea of a power shift from government" to local experts like for example. Paying charities by results for the number of reformed prisoners if they bring down reoffending rates. These are good ideas because it is people on the ground in the area who deal with the day to day issues and they know how to help individuals and in turn the greater good rather than inflexible central government targets.
The website itself is unusually clear for a government website. I like the way you choose your subject at the top, click on 'show' and the get a start and end date and the status progress on a number of points within the plan. I hope people do use it. It certainly opens up government because no one wants to flick through pages of PDF's on government legislation when just trying to find out simple points and progress (apart from political geeks of course).
Although the website is subject to spin despite it's title and of course we the British public are very cynical about new government ideas. I still think this is a nice idea. Although I do understand the majority of people probably won't be interested or even know of its existence.
Sunday, 7 November 2010
Friday, 5 November 2010
Thursday, 4 November 2010
I'm actually disgusted that David Cameron is employing his filmmaker who produced the 'WebCameron' videos and his personal photographer in government. During a time when hundred's of thousand's will lose their jobs in government, Cameron finds a role for them, totally disgusting. Frankly the explanation that they could replace many departments individual photographers and save money is total rubbish. Why not redeploy those in government already instead.
To me it is simple, it looks like they could have been promised a roll in government and received one. Do we know how much they are being paid for these rolls? Are they being paid more than before? Did they take on the original jobs on a promise of getting rolls in government? This raises many questions. Frankly it makes me feel sick!
While I'm on this subject, I still can't believe that David Cameron is still employing Andy Coulson, It seems inconceivable that he didn't know about the phone tapping. Is Coulson really worth holding on to? I hope Tom Watson MP can keep the pressure up on Cameron see 'Letter to David Cameron regarding Andy Coulson'.
I would of been physically sick if it wasn't for Vince Cable ordering Ofcom to investigate News Corporation's plan to take full control of BSkyB. I'm very concerned that Sky News could turn into Fox news and thats apart from the power Murdochs media already have. I'm now expecting a full assault by the Murdoch press on Cable.
Now excuse me as I need a lie down.
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Julian Glover over at comment is free on the Guardian has 'Ten top Tips for the Liberal Democrats'. 10 points I totally agree with.
Point 4 is also one I never considered before. 'Join forces with Labour in Scotland next May. A Lab-Lib Dem coalition in Holyrood would prove that pluralism runs more than one way. Lib Dems aren't Tories in disguise', what a good idea, I hope there is enough votes to get a coalition in Holyrood.
Thank you for contacting Catherine regarding the vote last week in the European parliament on the revision of the pregnant workers directive. Catherine forwarded me this email and asked me to respond on her behalf and also pass on her good wishes. She hopes to be getting down to Bracknell soon. If you have any questions for Catherine in future it is best to contact her via email@example.com rather than her cix account, which she is phasing out and doesn't check as regularly.
Catherine did not support the amendments you refer to. Her Liberal Democrat colleague in the European parliament Liz Lynne MEP tabled amendments to the proposals by the European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee, calling for full pay to be taken out of the report. This directive was always intended, quite rightly, to provide minimum standards to protect pregnant workers and women who are breastfeeding, but some of the amendments in the report went further and did not take into account the different traditions of Member States. For example, some countries have maternity leave, some have paternity leave as well, and some have parental leave. This leave is paid in totally different ways and at different rates – some from the social security systems, some from businesses and some are a mixture.
Whilst Catherine supports the original purpose of the directive, her view is that we can only really impose minimum standards at EU level and it should be for Member States to go beyond this if they wish. This legislation is intended as Health and Safety legislation for women at work.
Catherine is, as you are, concerned about the enormous costs associated with the proposed changes and was pleased that a second, more detailed impact assessment was carried out in to the Women's Rights Committee's amendments which between now and 2030 would cost some €121 billion. As I said before, the extension of maternity leave could cost the UK €3 billion (£2.5 billion) each year. This is a staggering amount at a time when we have to stabilise the economy and deficit after years of mismanagement and waste by the Labour Government.
The amendments as voted through by MEPs last week could have a significant effect on businesses and particularly small businesses that are struggling to fight the effects of the recession.
This is still the first step in a long negotiation process and now the text will go to the Council of Ministers for their consideration. I believe that the UK's coalition government will not approve these proposals as it would have a negative impact not only on the UK but other Member States also.
Thank you once again for contacting Catherine and I hope this response has been of use to you.
Office of Catherine Bearder MEP
Monday, 1 November 2010
Saturday, 30 October 2010
I don't have a problem with the government collecting some of this money and these funds being redistributed. But I do think that council's should be able to keep more of the rates collected and to vary the price so that they can keep rates down in certain areas or charge more to those business that can afford them. This would allow small business and independent shops to find their way back into our town centres and high streets rather than the endless charity shops and council should charge more for out of town retail parks.
Friday, 29 October 2010
Here it is.
Political compass is a very interesting web site, it is of course not perfect but its measure of how parties have moved from the left to the right over the years to get to the so called centre ground is revealing. I guess they have just moved with the voters while leaving some left leaning voters behind. Perhaps the Centre ground is not oddly enough in the centre.
And the UK Parties in 2010;
I am very pleased to see the headline in the Standard 'Tories rebel over housing numbers'. Not least because I worry that the Conservatives have such a large majority that they can do whatever they want without significant opposition. So I'm pleased some councillors from the same party have stood up against them.
The rebels are Bracknell Forest Mayor Jim Leake and Bracknell Town Mayor Chas Baily, Councillors Tony Virgo, Robert McLean. Well done to all for asking questions of the majority Conservative group.
This is because of the planned housing in Binfield and the TRL site Crowthorne. I personally don't have a problem with the redevelopments of Broadmoor Hospital or Amen Corner because I do recognise that these areas to have scope for development and some housing is needed. But I can not understand why there is a plan to build at the Blue Mountain golf course (a popular course and venue) and at the TRL (as I can see this causing traffic problems and taking more green space). This bearing in mind that the Parks and Jeanette Park developments are still building homes.
Crowthorne Village Action Group can be found here;
There will be exhibitions in Crowthorne Baptist Church on November 23rd, 10am to 1pm, November 27th, from 10am to 1pm and in the Morgan Centre December 2, from 6pm to 9pm. The Binfield exhibitions will be at Binfield Parish Council offices November 17th from 6pm to 9pm, November 18 from 2pm to 5pm and November 20, from 9am to 1pm.
More details can be found at Get Bracknell here
Thursday, 28 October 2010
Wednesday, 27 October 2010
BillBloggs writes another letter.
A letter to Liberal Democrat MEP's Catherine Bearder and Sharon Bowles.
I am appalled!
Here we are in a major recession with major cuts in Government expenditure, half a billion jobs to go in the public sector hence the need to rely on the private sector to create more jobs - and what do the bloom'in EU want to do? Hang another millstone around the necks of both public and private sector employers with increased maternity leave payments!
AND - that is on top of the EU wanting a 6% increase in their budget for which the UK would have to pay nearly a billion pounds a year more towards!
I do hope that neither of you two voted for any of this????!!!!!!
Personally, I would welcome more cuts to child related benefits in the UK, including maternity leave! Why? Because there are 6.8 billion people on this finite planet of ours already.
Many of them in the richer countries are consuming at the rate of 2, some even 3, and a few even at 5 planets! By 2050 there is projected to be 9 -10 billion people on our planet - i.e. 50% more - all of whom will still be seeking to get richer by yet more economic growth - and thus to be able to consume even more limited resources.
Yet, we are also supposed to be cutting CO2 emissions globally by well over 50% by 2050.
Yet, every new human arriving on our planet between now and then will be adding to those emissions...............And those arriving in the wealthier countries, like the UK and the rest of the EU, will consume a lot more and emit a lot more CO2 than those arriving elsewhere.......So, how is this going to work then?
I ask you, arguing from the standpoint of Sustainability and Climate Change alone, should the EU/UK be encouraging childbirth by increasing maternity leave benefits?
Why exactly is it being proposed?
The most common argument I hear in favour is that we need to encourage more children so that they will pay for better pensions for us when we get old That is based on the logic of the madhouse.
They will all grow old and want even better pensions too, so we will need ever more people ad infinitum - which is clearly unsustainable on a finite planet. This is a ponzi scheme.
It is worse than pyramid selling!
When we in the UK are already stressed by an overpopulation problem, caused chiefly by immigration, this argument makes no more sense than to suggest that we need to increase our numbers so that we don't get outnumbered by immigrants!
Perhaps the real reason behind all this is the EU want more new citizens so as to increase their budget still further, and spread their member states national debts upon?!
Arguing from the same standpoint, I would now like to put several questions on child based benefits in general to you;
Should we really be encouraging families in the UK to have more children by offering parents child based benefits that increase with the quantity of their offspring? So, in principal, shouldn't we move towards stopping all child based benefits after the first child?
Clearly this can only be done gradually from where we are now in the UK. The coalition have made a start, thankfully, but have merely scratched the surface! (How many £billions/annum would that save when we finally got there?)
Therefore, apart from helping all parents universally for their first child, it seems to me that (were we able to go back to the beginning again rather than starting from where we are now!) the only absolutely fair, perfectly reasonable and logically sound reason to assist parents financially beyond that is solely on the basis of need. The state should be acting as a taxpayer funded charity organisation, only upon the unexpected loss of employment or unfortunate onset of ill health etc - when and while the parents are struggling to support themselves, let alone more children than their first child. Such assistance should never ever be provided indefinitely except in extreme cases.
Might you agree with this supposition, in principle at least?
I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on these matters!
And a very speedy same day reply from Sharon Bowles MEP Office;
Dear Mr Dowling,
Thank you for your email.
Sharon did not support amendments in the Parliament to the Pregnant Workers Directive which sought to provide 20 weeks full time maternity pay. While she supports moves for increased gender equality and for the safeguarding of pregnant women's rights in the workplace, these amendments are just not financially viable to introduce at this time in the economic recovery.
The implementation in the UK alone is estimated to cost close to £2bn. This is not only very costly for the UK, but to impose this stipulation across the European Union is unfair on those Member States who do not have the budgetary resources to support it.
Further to this, implementing this particular amendment during a time of economic constraint may lead to increased discrimination against women securing jobs as maternity leave packages would cost employers more than ever before. Sharon has met with the Federation of Small Businesses on this matter who estimates each pregnancy will cost employers on average £7000.
Thank you once again for contacting Sharon and I hope this response has been of use to you.
Constituency Office Manager
Office of Sharon Bowles MEP, Liberal Democrat Chair of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee Member of the European Parliament for South East England
Posted on behalf of Bill Bloggs who is a member of thewww.optimumpopulation.org and Green Peace