Friday, 31 December 2010

My predictions for 2011

This years predictions is a little tricky as there is no general election to speculate on (I hope). But lets see how I get on this time.
1. Piersmorgan will win his twitter war with Lord Sugar and gain more followers on twitter. Because of his new job hosting the US talk show on CNN, replacing Larry King.
2.Labour will have more council seats than the Tories after the local elections this year. Gaining from Lib Dems and the Tories.
3.The No's will win the vote on AV - The yes campaign really needs to step up it's game.
4.North Korea will do something crazy, again resulting in loss of life.
5. A premiership football club will go into administration.
6. Ed Miliband will still be Labour leader throughout the year and will lead in the polls all year.
7. No matter what happens to the AV vote. The coalition will stick together.
8. No Lib Dem MP's will walk the floor and join Labour.
9. There will not be a double dip recession in the UK.
10. Again, Bracknell Town centre will still not have the new town centre it so needs

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Killer Lib Dem

Or this may as well be the headline of this Guardian article here on Chris Jefferies who has been arrested but not charged with the murder of Joanna Yeates.
The article is covered in Lib Dems references and quotes because among other things Chris Jefferies was a Lib Dem Activist.
H/T to @kiramadeira for her tweet 'Still really confused by the Lib Dem focus here? Vile RT @guardiannews: Joanna Yeates landlord Chris Jefferies'

My 2010 predictions. How did I do?

Last Year I made my predictions for 2010. Later I will be making my predictions for 2011.
So how did I do;
1. Both the Greens and UKIP will have there first MP's after the election in Caroline Lucas and Nigel Farage. < Really two predictions, one of which was right. I was surprised at how badly Nigel Farage did. I really thought he was a more popular politician. Nigel Farage came 3rd (17.4%) in the end behind John Stevens who ran for Campaign for Democracy (21.4%), No mean feat for Stevens. John Bercow won with 47.3% of the vote.

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

Merry Christmas to all my readers

Thank you for visiting and commenting, I wish you all the best for Christmas and the New year.
See you back here then and enjoy the break from politics.
I will leave you with this Bracknell Igloo taken on 5th January when it also showed heavily.
More detal can be found at deanphotography blog here

Obama and Clegg a compromise too far?

In the US the left, Liberals and indeed the Republican right are all unhappy with Obama over his compromise tax bill which averts tax rises for millions of Americans. This Bill also extends benefits payments for the unemployed.
But I think this shows a Clinton type of compromise (something he had to do as he also had a lack of power in the house).
There are some comparisons I can see between Obama and our very own Nick Clegg when considering compromise and hatred. As opposed to the differences like for example Obama not acting as quickly as the coalition to install their policies and reforms. Perhaps Obama needed a coalition agreement.
So both men are becoming a figure of hate when also being a believer and achiever in compromise. Resulting in hatred of the left because the compromise includes some non left wing policy.
However Obama is not that far away from the average American he has been successfully painted as a sell out by some and a far left raving liberal by others.
I think Obama has started too slowly and has not defended himself well, this has now forced him to compromise. Although I would argue that like Clegg he is doing a fair job of compromise.
It appears to me that when you compromise you will be seen as a sell out. Its a shame as I think this is a good attribute and one that the public have always wished for. Problem with compromise is that it makes you look weak when it is a very brave position.
So if this is a compromise too far, its only because in practice the public don't like compromise as much as we thought they did.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Vince Cable - Empire strikes back

I understand that the Torygraph don't like us Lib Dems. Thats ok, they can join the back of the increasing queue. But why are they going after the Lib Dems in order to destroy the coalition. Do they really want a minority Tory government with no power or another general election that could result in a Labour win or even worse for them a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition.
It's also interesting that papers are increasingly using entrapment and the Telegraph claimed to of published the full details but held the Murdoch story for their own gain as they still wanted Cable to rule on Murdoch after the Ofcom report. The Telegraphs chief executive wrote to Vince Cable along with other newspaper editors and the BBC to ask Cable not to allow the takeover of BSkyB). Now that Jeremy Hunt is in charge of this decision I can see this entrapment back firing for the Telegraph.
Vince Cable with his eclectic wording was always going to become unstuck. He like many Lib Dems are not used to being in government and some are finding it hard to adjust. 
Tim Farron, Liberal Democrat party president tweeted 'congratulations to the Telegraph who've uncovered the shocking truth that Lib Dem ministers have... minds of their own. good work! ' And that's just how I judge this story. Liberal Burblings have an excellent blog on this More Libdem ministers open up to undercover surgery constituents and Carons Musings on Tim Farron in Tim Farron ill not be checking birth
It's also no secret that many Liberal Democrats don't like the Murdoch empire and that empire does not like us. It's not a secret that the coalition is not producing perfect Liberal Democrat policy. I expect there are plenty of Tories that would also be unhappy with some Liberal Democrat policies installed in the coalition agreement.
All politicians who have to make judgements should of course consider the evidence that Ofcom will provide. But MP's cannot be expected to keep their politics out of these decisions. That is why they are elected. In reality if Cable had kept quite I expect he would of looked at the findings and then also applied his own  political views to the judgement. If we expect politicians to make independent judgements then this power should be moved away from the policies and into the had of the regulator. but again that's not why we vote for politicians, we vote for them to have power to make decisions.
Liberal Democrats like to say what they think, that's what we have been used to in opposition. If government means that we can no longer be honest with our constituents then maybe government is not for us. Although I would prefer everyone else to change so that members of other parties can say what they believe (after all we vote for what MP's stand for and believe in) surely this is allowed to effect policy. I would also like the papers to understand that its ok for coalition partners to not agree on everything as this is good for democracy to represent more views.
As I keep on blogging. Soon your MP won't hold surgeries and soon they won't be able to provide any opinion or information to any interviewer or constituent, because that is where we are heading.

Monday, 20 December 2010

A Tory led government

The new instruction from Ed Miliband to call the coalition a 'Tory led government' is a work of genius.
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

Bob Ainsworth says make drugs legal

Bob Ainsworth, who was the Home Office minister under Blair's government said "successive governments approaches had failed, leaving criminal gangs in control".

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

Government's plan B

So the government have a economic plan 'B' in the event of a down turn. Shocking.
Politically of course this gives Labour some extra ammunition. However I have a different prospective on this.
Surely it is sensible to have a plan 'B' and even a plan 'C' so that the government can respond quickly to any economic difficulty. I would question why this is being worked on now and why this plan is not already prepared, just encase.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Ed Miliband is after me

Ed Miliband has asked Lib Dems to help draw up Labour policy. I'm not sure how I can get involved in this. but I am tempted.
I guess this is a political ploy to split the Lib Dems between left and right. This won't be as easy as Ed thinks as many Lib Dems are left and right across a number of issues. Plus I haven't forgotten what Ed said "that he had a plan to make the Lib Dems an endangered species, and then extinct".
Also think its a myth that orange bookers are on the right, they just have a different strategy on how to raise people out of poverty which on the face of it appears more right wing. However if successful the orange book plans could raise higher numbers out of poverty then simply using the benefits system. Of course neither yellow or orange book plans are in full action within the coalition.
I disagree with Ed Miliband on his comments on areas of common interest like social mobility. It is an interest of the Lib Dems of course, using the pupil premium for example to help address this. However I feel under labour some people became stuck in poverty rather than given both carrots and sticks to climb out of poverty. The UK still does not feel socially mobile after having a Labour government for such a long time.
Labour also need to remember that to win over Lib Dems they need to address Labours record on civil liberties and centralisation. Lid Dems are fans of localisation, Liberty and left wing reforms such as prison reform as well as progressive politics.
There is no home for me in Labour but I am always willing to listen. Lets see what they come up with.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Labour not in the News

I have read and heard plenty of comment of the lack of Ed Miliband profile and exposure. I think this is not all down to Ed's leadership. He has taken two weeks paternity leave after all (and so he should). But what I have noticed is the lack of Labour comment and stories in the press in general.
If you do not follow the political programs where Labour are represented but are only a watch/reader or listener of the news reports then your hard pressed to find any Labour representation or comment. I don't think this is down to simply the blank sheet of paper or PR.
I think this is because there is more interest in the coalition. On what effects the coalition, what splits there are on policy between the parties or within the parties. This simply gives less space for Labour.
Time will tell whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for Labour.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Tuition Fees Vote - Get it together

As a Lib Dem I'm perfectly happy with Members of parties not voting with the whips. The rebel in me likes it when MP's don't vote with their own party on principal. So I don't have a problem with Lib Dem MP's voting many different ways on tuition fees.
However this is in no doubt a Lib Dem PR disaster, Lib Dems have never been good at PR and our MP's have not been able to put the case across that this system is similar to a graduate tax. Labour Blogger Scarlet called it a mess and I agree it is a real mess.
What I don't understand is the meeting today on how Lib Dems MP's will vote. Why leave it so late. Why not sort out what we are doing sooner. They don't need the extra detail for that meeting, the MP's know it already.
Lib Dems need to act like a party of government otherwise we will never again be in government.
Take Vince's words for example. Vince Cable need to be a little bit more careful in how he explains things. Vince was explaining that the Lib Dems can abstain not that he would abstain on his own legislation. The media can twist your words if you are not clear Vince.
So please get it together people.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Why do the Russians bother

MI5 have arrested Katia Zatuliveter who is a parliamentary aide to Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock who is a member of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. You can read about it here.
However I wonder why the Russian bother to have so many spies in the UK when so much information is so often leaked. Surely spying for the Russians in the west is being affected by the law of diminishing returns thanks to Wiki leaks and laptops on trains.
In these days of leaks is spying on the West really worth it?

Friday, 3 December 2010

Press now have a free licence to expose corruption at the heart of FIFA

Japan's Fifa executive committee member, Junji Ogura has claimed that England's World Cup bid humiliation was a result of a backlash against the British media. Fifa president Sepp Blatter spoke to members of the executive committee about the "evil of the media" just before the vote.

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

Blog & Newsweek: 21 Bracknell & national politics

I have been too busy this week to blog, however I have been reading the web so here is a selection of issues making headlines during the past few weeks.

Local News

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'.

Local Links

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;