Wednesday, 29 September 2010
Conservative Home are carrying a story on a perceived Ed Miliband's £1,373 tax bombshell. It states;
'Tonight Matt Hancock has returned to the attack, accusing the new Labour leader of needing £35bn of tax rises to meet his plans.
* £35bn of tax rises means £1,373 per household...
* Equivalent to 7p on Income tax or VAT of 25% or £1.59 on every litre of petrol.'
This is based on what Ed Miliband stated while running for the Labour leadership using both the governments deficit reducing measures that he opposes and the spending promises he made. But to be honest I think this no basis for a Labour government policy.
Yes They may be more likely to increase taxes and cut less. But they also plan to do this over a longer period. I thinks its fair to argue that Labour would have to tax more but not coming up with some superficial figure.
Matt Hancock MP really has no idea what Ed Miliband and Labour will plan to do in government, this is just scare tactics. This is the sort of rubbish that turns people off from politics and I wish parties and MP's would leave this rubbish to the newspapers.
Monday, 27 September 2010
Bentham, who died soon after co-founding the college in 1826, is venerated as "the godfather of UCL" for his "advocacy for the poor and of human rights" — and it is customary for students in their graduation gowns to be photographed here by proud parents.
But were Bentham alive today, one shudders at what he'd make of the Scrooge-like actions of the university's head, Professor Grant, and the escalating row over the poverty wages he pays to campus cleaners.
The UCL Living Wage Campaign, a coalition of cleaners, students, alumni and academic staff formed two years ago, has demanded that contract cleaners at UCL get paid the living wage of £7.85 an hour — the threshold needed to survive in London — instead of the minimum wage of £5.80 an hour.
But Professor Grant, 63, the second-highest paid university head in the country, whose remuneration of £404,000 last year comfortably exceeded the heads of Oxford (£327,000) and Cambridge (£246,000), has rebuffed them.'
I am constantly disgusted by the way we treat cleaners in this country. Cleaning should be an important job, but when it comes to cleaning we try our best to get this service down to the bare bones.
Saturday, 25 September 2010
I'm pleased for Ed Miliband, for Labour, for progressive politics and maybe even for AV as Miliband is known to be a supporter.
Yes most MP's and members voted for David Miliband but I very much doubt Labour are split down the middle as some TV media have already speculated. Yes 10% of union members voted and this added to a 3rd of the vote. That is shockly unfair on the party members that are not also unions members (Who get a lesser vote due to numbers). The last round was David Miliband 49.35% (17.81% MPs and MEPs, 18.14% members, 13.40% unions), Ed Miliband 50.65% (15.52% MPs and MEPs, 15.1% members, 19.92% unions).
Just like all the speculation around the Liberal Democrats or the coalition the media are hunting for difference. I'm a big fan of different views in parties and I don't see why at this point it should be a problem for Labour. Labour will unite around their candidate. I do not wish them to have the number of leader changes the Conservatives or the Liberal Democrats had while Tony Blair was in power. It's not that fun.
Full round of results are;
* Round 1: David Miliband 37.78%, Ed Miliband 34.33% Diane Abbott eliminated
* Round 2: David Miliband 38.89%, Ed Miliband 37.47%. Andy Burnham eliminated
* Round 3: David Miliband 42.72%, Ed Miliband 41.26%, Ed Balls eliminated
* Round 4: David Miliband 49.35%, Ed Miliband 50.65%. Ed Miliband wins.
All that said I do hope Ed Miliband does not choose Ed Balls to be his shadow chancellor. I don't think that would be a popular move among the public.
Todays link is to Stephen Liberal Jounal who uses MArk Reckons Tweet to explain that theres Six Votes In It: Ed Miliband's Margin of Victory.
Friday, 24 September 2010
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Please pop over their from 10.30pm today.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
One problem of course is the cabinet collective responsibility and individual ministerial responsibility conventions. The former requires that cabinet ministers must publicly support government policy, even if they disagreed with it in private cabinet meetings. Ministers who wish to openly disagree with government policy must resign. This of course is difficult when everyone knows your position through party policy.
"The coalition agreement, of course, involves give and take. I expect George Osborne to take more millions of the low-paid out of income tax even though he is a Conservative minister implementing a Liberal Democrat pledge. And George Osborne expects me to deliver our agreement on nuclear power, which is that there is an important place for new nuclear stations in our energy mix as long as there is no public subsidy. A deal is a deal, and I will deliver. I'm fed up with the stand-off between renewable and nuclear which means we have neither – we will have both. We will have low carbon energy, and security of supply."
So this is how Lib Dem ministers have to handle policy that is agreed in the coalition, but may not agree with fully. However Lib Dem back benchers can express Lib Dem policy which may not agree with coalition policy. I think we could temporary redesign our party for a coalition. One idea I have is to put Lib Dem backbench MP's in mirrored major ministeral positions, i.e. a mini shadow cabinet only for the major offices. The mini shadow cabinet don't have to criticise the ministers personally but the could put forward Lib Dem policy verse coalition policy. A voice of the Lib Dems to clearly separate coalition policy from Lib Dem and Tory policy. Maybe the Tories could do this too?
I think the puplic are getting used to a coalition and the longer it stays in place the more people will accept that a given coalition can survive. But we also need to demonstrate to the public that the coalition is made up of two very different parties.
If I was this blogger, I would be more worried about the reasons why this hatch is required. Sometimes I do wonder what kind of world we are living in. Of course this is the same world where boys are dressed up as women and then sexually abused in the name of tradition, see dancing boys of Afghanistan.
Monday, 20 September 2010
Friday, 17 September 2010
Thursday, 16 September 2010
David Dimbleby chairs as the five candidates - Diane Abbott, Ed Balls, Andy Burnham, David Miliband and Ed Miliband.
Starts at 10.30pm ready for BBC Question Time at 10.35pm
UPDATE: We have our first taker, a very new Labour blogger Ingoratio. His first two posts are Why it’s time we got excited about the Big Society and Principles and how to get around them. Welcome to the Blogosphere.
Speaker/Artist(s) Info: Rt Hon Chris Huhne MP, Energy Minister, leads the discussion including a speaker from the Conservative Environmental
Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Tuesday, 14 September 2010
Thank you for your letter dated 9 July to Chris Huhne and your comments on DAB Radios and climate change. I have been asked to reply and apologise for the lengthy delay in doing so.
This government is committed to making the urgent decisions needed on energy and climate change. The Prime Minister has publicly stated that he wants to make this the greenest government ever'. Climate change is the biggest challenge we face, and the time we have to address it is short. But it also represents a real opportunity to drive forward innovation, job creation and competitiveness, supporting the UK economy while playing our full part in tackling global climate change.
You may wish to keep an eye on our website (www.decc.gov.uk) which is regularly updated with policy developments.
It also contains details of our open consultations to which you are welcome to contribute your views. The latest and most comprehensive expression on the Government's agenda, is set out in the Annual Energy Statement, which our Secretary of State, Chris Huhne, presented to Parliament on 27 July, details of which can be found at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/contentlcms/whatwedo/uksupply/aes/aes.aspx
I hope that you find this helpful.
DECC Correspondence Unit
As you can see Matt Valentine totally ignored the contents of the letters, so one of our members has sent the letter below in reply to Matt. I think it speaks for itself;
DAB Radio and Climate Change Action Contradictions
Thank you for your letter, dated August 2010, replying to mine with the above heading, which was addressed to Chris Huhne MP, and dated 9th July.
I must say that I am very disappointed that you have made no attempt whatsoever to answer any of my questions, or to discuss any of the points that I made about adverse effects on climate change in my letter. Nothing you have said alters my conviction that this DAB radio conversion was the last government's response to pressures from the businesses and industries that are involved and that will benefit hugely from it. Nor does it ease my serious doubt that any adverse impacts on climate change were even remotely considered by that previous government.
Quite naturally, because of the green claims by both the Prime Minister David Cameron and his Deputy Nick Clegg, and also by the DECC Secretary of State Chris Huhne, I did expect much better from this new Coalition government. Yet, while this DAB radio changeover will have some very obvious links to job creation that you refer to, it most certainly not green jobs that are going to be created by it!
I hereby, once again, accuse the DECC of supporting a policy that is going to waste energy and accelerate climate change, not slow it down.
How can the DECC, possibly justify doing this? Is job creation and supporting the economy always going to win over climate change action?
Please tell me how this is going to save any energy whatsoever, even over the longer term, as compared with the sum total of all the energy that will be consumed in making this changeover, plus all the energy that will be wasted – the energy that was invested in making the analogue radios.
Please tell me how this is going help us play our part to stop global climate change. If you can offer me one shred of evidence or any persuasive argument that will prove me wrong I would be quite pleased to hear from you again.
I would be even more pleased to receive the courtesy of a more detailed reply from the actual gentleman that I took considerable trouble to write to in the first place, rather than have my letter discarded into the "distraction therapy unit" that you appear to be working in. This seems to be incapable of doing much more than issue stock phrases of reassurance to people's letters that the new minister finds too awkward for him to reply to himself.
I shall look at the www.decc.gov.uk website, and I will respond to any open consultations. However, in my experience, these are very often just a black hole into which concerned people take a lot of trouble to pour out their hearts, with their serious concerns and even constructive suggestions - yet where any unwelcome feedback is conveniently lost forever.
Most government consultations seem to me to exist to justify the claim to having had one.
In addition a letter has been send to our local MP Dr Phillip Lee who is Chairman of the All Party Committee on the Environment and is also a member of the Energy and Climate Change Committee. We await his reply to, lets hope he actually reads the letter.
Monday, 13 September 2010
For far too long candidates and parties have told half truths or invented false claims about some candidates by some from all parties. I want to see this stopped.
It's not because Elwyn Watkins is a Liberal Democrat, after all Elwyn may lose a second time. I would support this even if this was a challenge from a Labour PPC to a Lib Dem MP. I believe some get away with too much in politics just like some newspaper reports do during election campaigns.
It is important that truth is defended and lies are exposed.
Todays link is to Nick Thornsby blog has news on a campaign in Oldham thats already started - Are Labour Preparing to Lose in Oldham East & Saddleworth?
Lets not go back to the old days of industrial action. We need to change the economy so that we are not reliant on public sector jobs but have our own industrial and services base. We need to redirect funds to change our economy so we are not reliant on public spending to keep the wheels turning. It is a false economy.
I also wonder why the unions did not support Labour more before the general election. The unions were involved in industrial action that hurt the Labour government and yet they did not defend Labour policy until after they lost the election.
Friday, 10 September 2010
The first is Nigel Farage UKIP MEP who makes his feelings very clear.
The second video has been all over the bloggersphere. Chris Bryant Labour MP puts Kay Burley on SkyNews right when she asks some silly questions.
Thursday, 9 September 2010
The early day motion also calls for alternative sources of affordable credit. This is a must as it is very unfair the that the poorest in Britain pay the highest price for credit in Europe. It is also very important because as Tony Burkson on twitter points out 'Loan sharks exist because of demand' and 'not everyone can go to the bank for a loan.'
Please do join me in sending a letter to your local MP to ask them to sign the early day motion. This can be done very easily at http://action.compassonline.org.uk/page/speakout/EDM660
Wednesday, 8 September 2010
Arrests after demo at atomic weapons base in Berkshire
Work on £400m Reading railway station revamp shuts road - This will improve train services for the whole area.
Fight to defend communities - I'm tempted to join them.
Green light for green belt shops - I support a craft village as the buildings are already there.
Cuts will fuel shortage of housing’ alert
The top local Blogger Mark Reckons is Bowing Out I blogged about this here Mark Reckons is bowing out. Who can blame him.
Koran burning – have people in the US finally started mating with vegetables? - On Liberal Burblings
Green Reading has The car that runs on human waste
National Link (Links of the day)
Bloggerheads has Conservatives and the dangerous games they play
Walaa Idris has The Politics of Politics!
Old Holborn examines Andy Coulson the News of the World and Iain Dales (Coulson's Accusers Can Go to Hell) defence of him in Stop being so naive Iain...
Local Event Reminder
Memory Walk 2010 - Sunday 12th September 2010 organised by the Alzheimer's Society.
Monday, 6 September 2010
But it also appears I have made it into the top 100 The UK's 100 Worst Political Blogs. Oh well swings and roundabouts. Lets hope its because I annoyed someone!
I think it is very wrong to not employ people because of their previous history when nothing has been proven. Problem is this is politics and its nasty and dirty. Perhaps it is better for politicians to not employ the services of controversial figures even if they are good at their
I'm certainly no fan of Andy Coulson or the News of the World and I remain suspicious of his involvement in the phone hacking scandal. But the prove does seem tenuous.
One thing is for certain now that the Metropolitan Police is to examine new evidence, this is further proof that the more you can keep a story in the public eye the more chance the media and supporters of the story have of getting a result and a scalp.
Sunday, 5 September 2010
Of course I would say that Lib Dem policies were practical and great steps have been made to justify the cost of these policies in recent times. But now the Lib Dem's can say look we can handle power. Problem is we also can't say, look we are different as we have not been tainted by power. We can not appear as innocence and separate ourselves from the two bigger parties because we are now part of the same homogenous group of those that have been in government.
Making a case for being different, refreshing and for change will not perhaps be possible. It's going to be very hard to change our way of campaigning now that we have been bloodied by government.
Liberal Democrats have lost their innocence or at least I know I have. Because we are no longer the sandal wearing geeky Liberal but a suit wearing embattled Liberal.
Friday, 3 September 2010
This week's question was - With record A-level results recorded in Bracknell last week and record GCSE results predicted for tomorrow, are exams getting too easy? Also, with more pupils going after fewer university places, should more pupils be encouraged to leave school to pursue a career rather than doing A-levels.
My Answer published in last weeks paper was;
I doubt exams are any easier today, however I suspect teaching maybe targeted much more at passing exams then they used to be. This could partly explain the increased pass rate. We too often knock young people when many young people are hard working and certainly better behaved then I was. Every generation does this.
As someone who didn't go to university I do hold it as a personal regret for missing out on the experience rather then the learning. I felt that, myself and my parents could not afford the cost even back then. I don't feel it's held me back. For that reason I would like to see much more skills learning like the kind of hands on courses which are available at Bracknell and Wokingham college.
Your not a failure if you don't go to university its not for everyone.
Wednesday, 1 September 2010
This type of story where the media and/or bloggers try to out someone for being gay and therefore cheating on their wife because two men share the same room (yep I have done this too, so what? no nothing happened!). Sharing rooms is a good idea, it keeps the cost down.
This just the kind of thing that makes me want to leave politics.
I'm in this game to make a difference and I am happy to disagree and argue out different views. I understand that the vast majority of people who are in politics are there for good reasons. Me may just disagree on how to get there and how to achieve the best results and on our priorities, political beliefs and how to use power. But I am not in this game to slag of people's personalities as with the recent Labour books or examine politicians personal lifes.
Please can we just get on with governing the country and can we critise the government for what they do and not who we think the people in it could or could not be doing in their private lives.
I have had a drink with GuidoFawkes at last years Liberal Democrat conference. Hes a very interesting chap to share some beers with. I just think he has called this one wrong. I would like to see him be big enough to admit this. We wait an see.