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