Friday, 16 December 2011

Thousands of houses planned are due to lack of opposition

The council appear to be making moves to build thousands of house. It's another example who a lack of an opposition has led to too much power to the current Conservative group. You only have yourselves to blame because if the people of Bracknell, Crowthorne and Sandhurst continue to vote for the same councillors from the same party then this is the result. The council can push though whatever plans they want.

 

If you wish to  halt or even reduce the number of houses being planned in our area then perhaps you should join the Northern Arc Action Group http://www.narcag.co.uk/ and sign their petition.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Comment on Clarksons comment

The Bracknell Standard recently asked me about the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson comments on the BBC One show where he said "Public sector workers who took part in the strikes should be shot adding "execute them in front of their families".

 

My reply printed in the paper was as follows;

 

Yes Clarkson should not of said it. But aren't there more important things to complain about. People say things like this all the time but they don't actually mean it. No one is going to shot anyone. 21,000 complaints, please people get a grip.

 

Don't moan that political correctness has gone mad and then phone up and complain when someone does something that is not quite PC.

 

What are your feelings on this subject?

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Bracknell MP doesn't know which train line Bracknell is on

Our Bracknell MP has written in the Bracknell Standard to inform them that he welcomes plans to increase the number of carriages on train services in and out of London Paddington from Reading. Adding that "This is great news for rail passengers in the Bracknell constituency." Actually it's not great news for Bracknell at all.

Thing is the Bracknell line is from Reading to Waterloo not Paddington. It won't make any difference because users in Reading don't use this line for speed (Paddington line is much faster) but because they need to go to Waterloo. The line from Maidenhead where the Bracknell MP lives will have longer carriages however.

The biggest problems in Bracknell are frequency of trains to London (every half an hour) when more are required at both ends of rush hour. And the speed of them because it take an hour to get to London as there are no fast trains offered.

If Phillip Lee used the line from Bracknell rather than Maidenhead (where the Bracknell MP lives and which will have longer carriages) and read the detail of the train proposals perhaps he would realise how little effect this will have on our town as it won't provide an economic benefit to Bracknell directly only act to further demonstrate how Bracknell is missing out.

Read the article here

 

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Do newspapers have blood on their hands?

Yesterday two of the families who had their phones hacked stated that the phone hacking stories had led to a suicide in their respective families.

There is of course no way of proving this 100 percent. But it does seem very plauseable.

The Leveson inquiry has heard from the parents of a schoolgirl murdered by a classmate in 1991 who claim press coverage of her death had contributed to their teenage son's suicide.
Margaret Watson said articles were ill-informed and inaccurate.

Former Blackburn footballer Garry Flitcroft claimed that he was persecuted by the press after he obtained an injunction preventing the Sunday People revealing details of an affair.
He said his children were teased and his father, who suffered from depression, stopped attending his games because of chanting from fans.
Flitcroft added that he believed that had contributed to his father's suicide several years later.

So I'm not sure if there is a direct link. But there is a link. Somewhere along the line the papers could have blood on their hands.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Don’t be fooled by the fuel price escalator debate

The debate and petitions calling for the for planned increases in fuel duty to be scrapped is hiding the real debate, which would otherwise be the subject of decreasing the duty on fuel prices. I suspect the government has kept Labours planned increases in duty simply because the chancellor always intended to not increase the duty but can use this debate to fed of any debate on a decrease in fuel duty.

 

I also remember that Labour did not always increase the price of duty on fuel to be fair to them. But the chancellor wants to use this opportunity to remind people that Labour would of increase the duty (when I suspect they actually wouldn't). It's just a vehicle to attack Labour and defect any tax decrease on fuel.

 

Personally I would very much support a rebate for UK haulier firms as a way of reducing the cost of transport for Britain's struggling lorry drivers and therefore business in general and with a knock on effect of holding of any further increases in food costs.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Some advice for an MP's political career

If the Prime Minster offers you the Home Secretary job. Do not under and circumstances accept it, simply politely decline.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Don't blame the Greeks

I was going to blog on the Greece referendum but events have been moving so fast that every few hours I would of had to of changed my blog.

I can't blame Greek PM George Papandreou for wanting to hold a referendum. It's his attempt to make something happen and to give the people a voice and a democratic choice in a country which has seen so much unrest and anger.

The Greek people never wanted to join the euro and were never given a choice by their political elite. Greece was able to use the power of the euro to borrow cheaply and that they did. But all this was false.

So what now. Would a government of national unity really help. I would be willing to bet it would only prove to the Greek people that the politicians are all the same.

The Greeks are playing for the mistakes of their leaders and for the control and pressure being placed on them by France and Germany for their own ends.

The sooner Greece and leave the euro the better for them because even if they are saved this time. the currency is not right for them or their economy. It never was.

Good luck Greece.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Safest place for a protest is St Pauls

This week I was asked by the Bracknell Standard what I think about the Occupy London Stock Exchange protest at St Paul's Cathedral in London.
 
My Response
 
A democracy should expect protest, and protests should not be comfortable. So I am happy for the protest to camp at St Paul's. I don't see why St Paul's had to close because these protestors are not violent.
 
Of course a better location would be the near a bank but then they would not be as safe from being moved on by the police at one of those locations.
 
So I support the reasons for this protest and I don't have an issue with its location. I don't even mind if the protesters are not there all night, don't see why that matters. what matters is the message, after all I rather suspect Jesus would be on their side and not on the side of the bankers who are protected from capitalism and are yet fundamental to it.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

No more 3 line whips for petitions

Readers of my blog will know that I am not a pro EU member of the Liberal Democrats, I like UKIP believe that the European parliament is not democrat. It's simply to big to be representative of the British people. I love my fellow Europeans and would be happy with a common market etc, but not the every growing power of the European project.

Now that's my position but that's not why I was angry with the EU referendum voting (so angry I considered leaving the party).

I have found myself so angry with the 3 line whip imposed by all 3 main parties in the EU referendum vote that I have been unable to write about it. I could not get a word down without including a number of swear words etc. I have now calmed down.

This weeks vote was a great victory for UKIP. A very cleverly constructed petition which was designed to cause as much trouble as possible for the 3 main parties. And how was it handled by them? Badly that's how!

The Independent MEP Nikki Sinclaire who is a former UKIP member did an excellent job of raising and campaigning on this petition (driving up and down the country to get signatures). Sinclaire handed the petition into Downing Street calling for a public vote.

I was very appalled that the Lib Dems decided that our MP's could not have a free hand, we agree with a referendum after all to finally settle the matter. It pay of been to support the governments position on this and help the Tories out but it did not look good. We are making ourselves out to appear to be just like the rest. You could blame the system, personally I blame the political leaders and their decisions.

Wednesdays Prime ministers questions proved just how close Labour are two the coalition parties on europe. Ed Miliband found a split between Clegg and Cameron (not really a shocker is it) and didn't attack the Tories on their EU split or indeed the Lib Dems. In some ways Labour are more pro EU then the Lib Dems as at least we believe in reform. I'm not so sure Labour do given their record.

Personally I don't have a problem with members of the same party having different views on Europe but thats not taking to account the Conservatives history on the EU.

I really think this and all petitions that parliament decide to vote on should be a free vote. Otherwise what's the point of them. It should be a free discussion, even if the subject is difficult for the party leaders and for those who are members of parties.

More importantly I feel a 3 line whip is anti democratic. We vote for MP's as well as parties. So next time please don't hand UKIP headlines on a plate. No more 3 line whips for petitions please.

 

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

£250 Million for weekly bin collections!

This weeks Bracknell Standard question was "Councils now have the opportunity to return to weekly bin collections after the Government put aside £250 million to help councils go back to the weekly system but councils must sign up for a minimum of five years to receive the money. In Bracknell, council leader Councillor Paul Bettison has not ruled out the possibility but fears it may lead to spiralling costs.

"Would you like to see a return to weekly bin collections, or do you feel the fortnightly collections are okay? The council says statistics show people may not be able to organise themselves for weekly bin collections, do you agree with this?"
 
And my reply;
 
I believe my own local party (Lib Dems) support the idea of a weekly bin collection. However I'm not as keen. I understand that this is a very emotive issue, I myself fall on the bi-Weekly bin collections side of the argument. I don't think its right that the coalition have found £250 million to spend on bins when this could be better spend on many other things should as elderly care or children's services or social housing.
 
Some people also don't believe in recycling and this is a way of forcing them to use it as you need to use that second blue bin thereby ensuring that recycling is done.
 
Then again I don't get so upset about the bin issue as others, I think there are many far more important things to worry about. After all if we only have the bins to worry about then life can't be that bad, can it?
 
 
What do you think?

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

"Twitter Day" A waste of time

Below is my recent answer to Bracknell Standards What does Bracknell think column.
 
This week's question was; Bracknell Forest Council recently held a "Twitter Day" where it's Twitter followers were given regular updates on what the council's staff were doing on a an average day.
 
Do you think it's a good idea to get people more involved and knowledgeable on what the council does?
 
Should local authorities embrace social media as a modern, and free, way of getting information to their residents?
 
and, are you a fan of social media or do you prefer more old-fashioned methods like a council magazine put through the door?
 
My reply;
 
As a member of the political twitterati you may imagine that I think this is a good idea. But actually I think its a waste of time and money. Email is a fair way to communicate with the council, not using up staffs time to post messages on Twitter or Facebook.
 
I have twittered with many a politician but really their number of followers is very low compared to the number of constituents they have. to me it seems a little unfair that just because I'm on twitter and engaged in the political twitter community that I get preferential treatment when talking to MP's.
 
Of course this could be corrected by getting everyone else to join twitter and following me

Friday, 14 October 2011

Oliver Letwin you idiot!

Clearly Oliver left his brains in his office. You don't throw documents into a park bin. No one should, let alone an MP with confidential government documents. What an idiot!

Surely he has access to a shredder, what was he thinking of?

Lets hope Oliver is not put in charge of green policy or recycling as he clearly couldn't careless about waste management.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

England After the Riots Debate

Rt. Hon Michael Gove MP Secretary of State for Education (Conservative)

Michael Gove Surrey Heath's MP needs no introduction. His angry clash with Harriet Harman over the relationship between unemployment and social deprivation was one of the defining media events related to the riots.


Lord Maurice Glasman (Labour)

Maurice Glasman is famous for promoting ideas of "blue Labour" within the Labour Party. These are centred on faith, hearth and heritage or three Fs history, hearth and heritage or three Rs roots, reciprocity, and relationships. His ideas feature a strong aversion to unrestricted market forces.


Tom Brake MP (Liberal Democrat)

Tom Brake clashed with David Davis on Sky Television about the imposition of severe sentences on rioters convicted for petty offenses. He believes that these sentences do not work as a means of preventing repeat offending. His strong interest in the rehabilitation is summed up as restorative justice.


Peter Henley (Our Chairman)

Peter Henley is one of the leading presenters on the BBC's Politics Show.

Please join us for this important, unique event.

7.30pm Friday 21st October Camberley Workingmen's Club Obelisk Way Camberley.
Further information form Murray Rowlands 01276 27367

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Fed up of credit card references for our national debt, here's the solution.

If the national debt is just like a credit card, then why can't we just transfer it at 0 percent interest for 18 months.

Friday, 22 July 2011

I cannot do it any more captain

I know I have written this before. But I simply do not have the time to maintain this blog. I simply cannot react in time to the daily events. Events in my life like having a son and my work life balance have simply taken all my time.
 
Although I do still have plenty to say I do not feel I have the time to say it.
 
So for now I won't be blogging on this site or any other. although your still find me on Twitter.
 
Thank you for your time in reading my words.
 
Over and out.
Dazmando

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Met's Public Affairs office employment policy

Paul Stephenson former Metropolitan Police commissioner stated at the Culture Select Committee today that a quarter of the Mets Public Affairs office are ex-News International. I wonder how these people where employed? I wonder if they were recommend by other staff?
 
I also wonder how many staff worked for other papers? Shame these questions were not also asked so that we could have some prospective on the influence of News international in the Public Affairs office.
 
Of course John Yates former assistant chief constable did send the CV personally for employment of Mr Wallis, so influence did occur there.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

I'm Sorry and the Euro

I simply do not have the time at the moment to blog. I have been very busy and simply cannot find the time to follow politics closely enough or indeed to blog about it.

I have been more concerned about the situation with debt in Europe that the Murdoch scandal. I think this is a time bomb that will soon go off.

I also think it's time for us Lib Dems to put the idea of ever joining the Euro firmly behind us. It's a non starter and we should admit that this currency can't really work for the UK just like it doesn't for so many countries with such different economics and political choices.

Hope to be back sooner rather than later

Dazmando

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Chris Bryant on Rupert Murdoch

Quote of the Day during the News of the World Phone Hacking debate at the House of Commons by Labour MP Chris Bryant on Rupert Murdoch "We have let one man have far too great a sway over our national life. At least Berlusconi lives in Italy"
 
It is nice for the tables to be turned on a former tabloid editor. Many times they have called on individuals to resign from their roles when the case against them is not proven. This is what has been asked of Rebekah Brooks, of the News of the World who was the editor at the time of the alleged hacking of Milly Dowlers phone.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Dr Phillip Lees MP surgeries earns him money on parliamentary time

Have a look at this cutting of the Private Eye (issue 1291).




Double Click the above picture to view.

Are these the kind of surgeries you would expect from your MP?

Should MP's be earning on parliamentary time?

Perhaps it's time to cut the other job. After all it's not as if he's in a safe seat and is worried about staying your MP.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Moving

I am moving this weekend, therefore blogging will be light for a few weeks. Don't worry I will still be living in Bracknell.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

U-turn if you want to. the papers are not for turning

Government consolation appears to consist of listing out some proposals which though controversial to those of the right, but may well be good practical ideas. The next part of the process appears to be listening to right wing newspapers concerns and then not going forward with those proposals.

Is this really a good way of governing, perhaps Cameron should grow some balls and not conceed so much to the british press or is this his master plan to sure but his agenda?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Fake shop forms part of fake high street

Harrow council has been a bit creative and had this fake shop front produced (I wonder how much it cost?) in an attempt to regenerate their high-street.

How long before our high-streets are full of these fake shops (not long if you read the details on the company that do these fake shop fronts http://www.shopjacket.co.uk/news/ ). Nice though it is, it's one better than filling shop windows full of local council paraphernalia.

Of course plenty have complained that our high-streets all look the same. Well here is the solution, if you can't help independent shop makers setup with reduced rates etc, then why not paint them in, problem solved.




Monday, 13 June 2011

Im going to say it, Lansley has been fair

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has had quite a ride with his Health and Social Care Bill. I think given that this is his baby, I believe Andrew Lansley has done a good job of listening and compromising. Hopefully this will result in better legisation and therefore better government.

At least with a coalition the details of disagreements are much more open then internal party disagreement (not that these don't still exist.)

I am of course a typical Lib Dem and I am fully signed up to the changes voted on at the Lib Dem conference (See the Social Liberal Forum details here.) But I also don't think us Lib Dems should drop any gloating or victory signs. At least until the election campaigning starts when all guns can start firing again. After all this is a coalition government and not a Tory or Lib Dem one. Its not a battle, its just a way of developing policy given our different outlooks on the world.

Save Bracknell's South Hill Park arts centre and sign the petition

Please do support South Hill Park arts centre which is losing its grant from the Art Council due to the government cuts. From £216,745 for 2011/12, to £100,000 for 2012/2013 and zero from 2014. see save_south_hill_park_say_protesters
 
This funding helps to pay for events such as the Big Day Out festival, it also helps funds those parts of the arts that do not bring in large amounts of funds to the arts centre.

The petition to keep some of the funding can be found at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/save_our_south_hill_park/

Hopefully this cut won't mean the loss of our arts centre, however I'm sure it will lead to a loss in some of the arts or an increase in ticket prices. I guess we will soon find out.

 

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Subway madness!


A guest post by Dan Haycocks

Firstly, I'd like to thank Daz for allowing me to make a guest post on the Bracknell Blog.  I don't run a blog myself, and I admire the effort and commitment it takes to keep a blog current as Daz and many others do, so having the opportunity to reach a wider audience through his hard work is very much appreciated.

Right, on to the story at hand.  Regular readers might remember me – I'm the amateur film maker/thorn in the side of the elected, who stood in the general election against MP's abusing their expenses, and in particular, our ex local MP who helped himself in royal style.  I've been concentrating on work since then, but something recently caught my eye, so I had to investigate.

Visitors to Bracknell town centre might be delighted to note the new mural that has been painted on the subway between the town centre and Bracknell and Wokingham College.  Much like a visit to Sea World in Florida but without leaving Blighty, residents can enjoy an 'undersea tunnel' of fish, turtles, sharks and rays as they make their way through to the shopping area, and I'm sure the children in our community enjoy it greatly.  What follows calls into question the wisdom of this work, but I want to be clear from the start – I have no objection at all with making our environment a nice place to be – if we have the funds of course.

One thing puzzled me, though – when cuts are being made to social care for the elderly, teaching places for local schools, social support for the vulnerable and many other services that I think most compassionate residents would consider 'essential', is it right that we're spending big money painting subways with such elaborate paint schemes?  So, inevitably, a Freedom of Information request was submitted, to understand what the cost to the taxpayer was.  Here's the initial response: FoI1 LINK

From my observations, it took the company performing the painting about 4 weeks to complete the job, and there were between two and four decorators working at any one time.  I calculated that if it took four people four weeks, and they were paid £500/week each, it would come to around £6,000 in wages, and then some more for the materials and paint – still a silly amount of money to spend, but I thought I must be overestimating.  You can imagine my surprise, then, when the final figure came through - £16,635.  Or, in real terms, a teaching assistant for a year, a community nurse, or perhaps two part time carers for the elderly or vulnerable.  And all for one subway?!

Now, I could do a Victor Meldrew as I did with the Andrew 'Fingers' Mackay episode and have a good rant about the stupidity of this and try and shame the council, but I don't think that would make any difference.  In the cold light of day, it's pretty clear that this funding was allocated to the responsible department, and they were spending their budget, as they're told to, in isolation from other departments.  So I thought to myself, do something positive – get a meeting with the head of the department responsible, explain in simple terms how I understand things to be working with regards to departmental budgets, ask him or her to acknowledge that spending this much decorating a subway while we're reducing the 'essential' public services seems a bit loopy (a polite way of acknowledging the madness), and then ask him or her to join me in making an effort to change the way council funding is controlled.  Clearly, if departmental budgets are the reason that spending this much renovating a subway is OK during times of austerity, then the process has to be changed.  I can't, as a compassionate human, believe anyone would think that having our elderly die alone through lack of resources, children not getting the education they need, or social workers being too busy to save the abused child, is acceptable when £16,635 is spent painting a subway.

I did pass the FoI response to a few friends and asked them to comment.  My good friend Dom suggested alternative ways of achieving a revamped subway, such as allowing the art department in the college to take ownership of it and allow the students to use it as a gallery for their work.  I loved this idea, and it reeks of 'Big Society' so I contacted Lorraine Zutshi, the head of the Arts team at the college.  She informed me that they used to be invited to decorate the subways, but this time round they weren't consulted at all.  She also noted that she'd be delighted to be given the opportunity again, as they have a Community Art element to their syllabus – perfect!

Or perhaps having the long term unemployed engaged to paint them, allowing them to gain work skills, a bit of confidence, the feeling of doing something worthy with their time, and something to add to their CV's.  I also had many people comment that a coat of paint would have sufficed, if indeed the subway painting is that important.  Some also suggested using Community Service to get the job done and get them giving something back to the community.

For me, however, this issue runs deeper.  I do appreciate that this is one small spend the council have made that seems to defy logic – I'm sure there are plenty more, and to be frank, I don't have the time or patience to uncover them all.  But that doesn't matter – the important thing here, in my opinion, is to have the council think about how they organise their budgets, and make sure that this type of spend occurs after those services we all need (rather than those we would like) are funded.  I think most other taxpayers would feel the same – at least my straw poll seems to suggest that's the case.

I therefore made an appointment to meet with Steve Loudoun, the Head of Environment and Public Protection, on Monday 6th June at 3pm.  I took my camera along, and a copy of the memo sent by Bob Neill MP, the Under Secretary of State for the Department for Communities and Local Government, a link to which is here.  In his memo, Bob makes clear that for open, transparent politics, it's perfectly acceptable for local bloggers and citizen journalists to film meetings with council staff, and to publish the film online.  I genuinely had no intention of putting Steve on the spot, so I asked him for permission to film the meeting, which he declined.  I then brought up the memo and he dismissed that straight away too.  When I then asked if we could plan a subsequent meeting where he would be happy to talk to camera, he also refused.  Hmmmm – so much for transparency and open government!  Perhaps I broke the rules by filming him refusing to be filmed, but I did do the right thing and switched it off once it was clear he was not going to agree to be filmed that day.  I wanted to be sure I'd given him every opportunity to decline and meet at a later date if that was his preference, with evidence of the same. 

One other oddity with the brief meeting I had with Steve – he presented me with a response to question 4 of my FoI (FoI2 LINK), after the compliance officer had declared that the data wasn't held by the council and couldn't be provided – why is it one has to insist and be pushy to get answers to FoI requests?  Or are they just routinely dismissing requests as a matter of course, showing more contempt to the residents of the borough?  I think he probably thought he could hand over that answer to question 4, and that was his final word on the matter.  Why are questions so difficult to deal with for public servants?  You can see for yourself that there's nothing in his response to suggest he's thinking of anything outside his own remit.  Oddly enough, he also mentions that 'there is no specific budget to repaint any other underpasses in the current fiscal year', yet the same company are painting the one outside Easthampstead House as I type!  Has he got a grip on his own department?  Who knows….

I don't want to get on the bad side of Steve.  I'm convinced that as a compassionate man, he can, in his heart, see that spending £16,635 on subway decorating is madness when we're cutting essential services, but he's doing what he needs to do to be an effective Head of Environment and Public Protection.   He might have a family, children to feed, the pressures we all have in our daily lives, so maybe he doesn't feel he can make that much difference without risking his position.

However, what he's not doing, along with other departmental heads at his level, is arguing that if the system allows this to happen, then the system must be broken and needs to be fixed.  I wanted to suggest to him that this wasn't a witch hunt, or an embarrassing episode online to shame him into acting, but he refused me that opportunity.  I honestly wanted to find an ally in the management hierarchy at BFBC who I could work alongside to try and change the systems and processes that can allow this to happen, and simply out of what I think is a reasonable, responsible, mature and compassionate need to see the right thing being done with the limited resources the council has, but Steve had decided before I'd even been given the chance to explain that he wasn't going to play ball.

I should know by now – video cameras and those spending tax payers money aren't happy bedfellows, and I can appreciate that he might not want to be 'on the record' with this somewhat controversial FoI response, but then what about open government?  What about accountability?  If Steve is comfortable spending this much money in times of austerity, why isn't he happy to talk about it on camera?  I'm assuming he has nothing to hide?  And lets not forget who actually pays for this – you and me, and Steve if he lives in Bracknell!!

I'm going to send Steve an email, asking him for another meeting, this time on camera.  I'll also send him the memo from Bob Neill in the hope that he'll have a change of heart, and join me in a campaign to redress the processes that can allow this to happen.

I'm also not daft – if Steve isn't happy about talking on camera, then obviously he feels uncomfortable with being accountable and transparent which, as a public servant, is his responsibility, so I'm also planning to write to Bob Neill, and ask him to remind Steve of his obligations.  Anything less than complete openness would be an insult to those who have lost essential services, contempt for the council taxpayer, and ignorance of central government policy.  And I can't believe Steve is naïve to all that!

If you'd like to join me in an effort to turn the big BFBC ship round to serving the community, rather than it's own processes and methods, then please pipe up and drop me an email – the more of us shout about this, the more BFBC can't ignore, dismiss and refuse to engage.  After all, do you feel happy losing your important public services so that you can have fancy subways?  Me neither….


Sunday, 5 June 2011

Dianne Abbott’s racism is embarrassing!

Below is a guest post from Walaa Idris who blogs at http://www.walaaidris.com/blog/












I am black and I am a Conservative and very proud of both. And although at first glance one has nothing to do with the other if we look closely the two are intertwined - have always been in harmony and very much complement one another. Black culture whether African, Caribbean or American is conservative by nature and in my case it’s double because I am half Arab – so being a conservative comes natural to me as it does to most black people and the notion that they can only support socialist ideals and left of centre views is a myth.

The basic values of work hard look after yourself and your own help your community and those who can’t support themselves, give whatever you can from your time and money to those who need it and share your knowledge with the young and those who can utilise it, are all basic black traditions. My ancestors in Africa - where there is still little if any welfare state to fall-back on - employed them for centuries and continue to until today. Slaves too, carried these strong traditions and values with them to the Americas, and today Caribbeans and Africans brought them and continue to practice them in the UK. The strong sense of religion and the Church being the centre of most communities is at the heart of conservative ethos.











So when I read that Dianne Abbott, the first black female MP in the UK has told a young black woman - who after showing her admiration and appreciation to Ms Abbott asked if she can be of any help – to go and work for a white conservative, “You obviously don’t do the black thing, that’s part of being a black conservative”: said Abbott. Initially, I too was mortified at the comment – however, this time around I was not so shocked by Abbott’s callous thoughtless remarks. It’s not the first time nor will it be the last time for us to hear this type of oblivious bigotry from Dianne Abbott. Plus it’s a Labour thing all this ‘divide and rule’ and ‘us and them’ business - it’s what they always resort to when they lose the argument - even though, in this occasion; there was no argument to lose. Nevertheless, the racist Abbott could not believe a young Tory supporter can show her adoration, shower her with praise yet at the same time not share her political believes - because in the Us & Them rulebook everything is cut and dry.

What does skin colour have to do with helping out in a constituency or Westminster anyway - one wonders what criteria Dianne Abbott employs when hiring her own staff, or advising constituents …...!

Walaa












My thoughts are that while historically black voters may of been more likely to vote Labour, this perception is changing. That's a good thing as it shows an integration of values in our society.

No longer can you define someone who is Black or Asian as a natural Labour voter or a natural socialist. Just like racists voters don't just vote BNP.

So it is crazy to believe that being black means you can't be a Conservative or a Republican. The people Diane have moved on, perhaps you should to.



Tuesday, 31 May 2011

FIFA corruption is a cultural thing

The ongoing row over allegations of corruption at FIFA and the current election process of current FIFA president Sepp Blatter may seem like a joke to many of us in Britain. But what I have found interesting is how little response to these allegations there has been from outside of the UK. Yes Australia and the USA are not happy about the selection process for the bid winners. But English speaking countries share similar views on corruption to us here in the UK. There is a cultural difference being shown here.

Fact is that while corruption happens in Britain, it is not tolerated or accepted like it is in many other counties. An example of this was the MP's expenses, while in Britain there was a lot of anger over the MP's expenses, many other people in other countries could not see what all the fuss was about. Corruption is part of life in some parts of the world. Football is a world game and therefore reflects this way of doing business. If coruption is cultually acceptable then people at all levels accept their bit of the corruption pie and benefit. While in the UK it tends to be just the people at the top who gain.

Perhaps the only way to change FIFA is to change the way the world works. Not an easy task. However perhaps it's not our FA that will change the way brown envelopes play their part in choosing world cup venues. But perhaps the people who provide FIFA with their funds can make the biggest change. Sponsors have had their money mismanaged and their name association with FIFA harmed who may have the final say.

 

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Blogging will remain light

I am currently moving home and looking after my 6 month old son, this is taking all my time up at the moment. Therefore I have not been able to blog, which is a shame because I would have had plenty to say about recent events.

However I have still been leaving comments on the regular Bracknell Standard column, 'What does Bracknell think?'

So here is a selection;

Library E-Books

Wellington College in Crowthorne announced last week it is planning on removing books from its library and instead giving pupils their own hand-held e-books to read from.Do you think the days of print are now in the past or will there always be a place for a good old paper or hardback in the future? Do you use e-books yourself of are you a fan of the more traditional books?

My reply;

I am a fan of traditional books, but I do believe they will be replaced by electronic books, just as CD and DVD will be and are being replaced by downloadable media.This is not all bad news, (although it is for high street shops) as electronic media is so easy to manage and store.One question thought, are all of Wellington College library books available in electronic form? sure this is not a straight replacement of books.It will be interesting to see if children's books will remain as these are hard to create electronically.

 

Super-Injunction

"After journalist Andrew Marr removed his own super-injunction covering an affair, do you think it is right for the famous and wealthy to be able to cover up news stories about their private lives or do the public have a right to know about the private lives of people in the public eye?"

My Reply;

Injunctions do make me uneasy, although I'm not bothered about personalities and their personal life's. So who was sleeping with who I don't think is in the public interest anyway. However where I do have a real issue with super injunctions is when its used by corporations or individuals to cover up illegal activity.

The best example I can think of is when Trafigura illegally dumped toxic waste instead of processing it in Cote d'Ivoire then used a super injunction to stop MPs discussing this in the house of commons and to stop the media covering the story. Now that I cant agree with.

 

Fare increase for Taxi Drivers

Taxi drivers in Bracknell have asked for their fares to be put up for the first time in three years to meet the rises in fuel costs and insurance.

The cost of a three-mile journey will now cost 80p more, from £6.80 up to £7.60. A 12 mile trip to Reading has risen from £20 to £23.60.

Do you think this is reasonable? Do you use taxis much? and should driving firms receive discounts due to the high cost of fuel?

My Reply:

It can't be denied that cost have gone up for taxi's. I think in view of this it would only be fair for their fees to rise. I use the local taxi's and always find them pleasant and talkative. They have families to and I can't see how we can continue to squeeze them.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Tamil refugee who was accused of faking his hunger strike

It's worth watching last weeks BBC One program See you in Court on BBC Iplayer here
 
It follows A young Tamil refugee fights for his reputation after the Daily Mail and The Sun claimed he faked his lengthy hunger strike by eating burgers. This led to death threats, he went to court to clear his name.
 
It's just another example of newspaper lies.
 

Monday, 16 May 2011

Newspapers don't always tell the truth

Is it not about time the papers were forced to make clearer apologies for telling lies?
 
Listening to BBC This Weeks discussion on law suits and super injunctions it seems amazing that newspapers get away with so much. For example on the eve of the 1992 election, Neil Kinnock had to spend his evening trying to stop a story on him using private healthcare, when he never did. This story was stopped, but if it was published you could imagine Labour unfairly performing even worse at the polls, even thought the story was untrue.
 
Many people believe what they read on the day, and when papers print an apology it's normally so small and deep within the paper that you won't see it is often less relevant.
 
So is it not about time newspapers had to print apologies in the same place as their original story and in the same size font!

Sunday, 8 May 2011

Scotland goes, Conservatives gain

It can't be denied that there were many very amazing results in the May 5th elections.

Two of which were, Conservatives gaining seats when they were expected to lose and the SNP gaining a majority in Hollyrude.

This majority for the Scottish Nationalist will result at some point in a vote for independence. It is well known that the majority of Scots do not want independence at the moment. But let's say over time the SNP manage to persuade the Scottish people to break the union.

Now putting aside the fact that the Conservatives are a unionist party and will be fighting in Scotland for it to remain part of the UK. They can't stop this vote and would have to agree to the democrat result of a referendum.

There are currently 41 Labour, 11 Liberal Democrat MPs, 6 SNP seats and only 1 Conservative seat. If any seats change hands in the next election, they won't be going to the Conservatives. So the maths is simple.

Lose Scotland and the Tories lose 58 opposition seats to their 1. They also lose a more left wing country.

England and Wales could be left with many more Conservative governments. Good job for Labour that Wales are not leaving the UK, just yet.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Ouch!

Bit of a pasting for my party last night nationally.

Now there are only two opposition councillors in the Bracknell Borough council as Labour council leader Jeananne Shillcock lost her seat by 5 votes. Harsh

Results For Bracknell can be viewed here.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Vote for the best candidate at your local elections

Tomorrow is local election day in Bracknell and in many parts of the UK.
 
Please when you vote, do so on local issues and try to choose the best candidate or candidates you can for your borough and town council. It's a big shame when local councillors work hard for you and lose or indeed don't work hard and win based on national issues, which are out of their hands. Please remember that this is a local election and should be about local issues and about the qaulity of the can, this is the best way to get the best possible candidates in our council.
 
Polls are open from 7am to 10pm and you do not need your voting card to vote.
 
Details of your polling station can be found at https://my.bracknell-forest.gov.uk/gov3Apps/PollstationLookup/
 
Details of the Alternative Vote referendum can be found at the Electoral Commission website http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/file/0005/109877/Eng-web.pdf

Saturday, 30 April 2011

AV event Bracknell

I decided not to cover the proceedings. This is because this event was attended by councillors and politicos and not by many undecided voters.

The event at times descended into an argument where each side of the debate were not going to waiver.

As Phillip Lee appears to of believed some of the lies told by the No campaign. This was a shame, although he is a good speaker and made a good case for no.

Fiona McTaggart, Labour MP for Slough did a good and fair job for Yes. She admitted that the system was not perfect and admitted that some of the Yes leaflets where not to her liking. I was impressed with her conviction as a independent minded politician.

But no one won the argument as the audience would attack the various lines of the MP's because they had already made up their minds (me included). You find yourself getting so angry with what you believe to not be the clear truth on an issue that you become yet another voice shouting in the dark.

Still saying that, it was worth while for myself and an enjoyable debate. But perhaps not so worth while for the undecided who attended in lesser numbers.





Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Sony's Bank holiday PR disaster on PSN

The Paystation Network (PSN) has now been down for almost a week, world wide. This effects PS3 PS2 and PSP's plus blue ray updates. Now this would be a disaster for any gaming network at anytime but in the UK bank holiday weekend which would of been for some, a big gaming weekend, its a growing nightmare for Sony.

The PS3 message (Network is down for maintenance), yeah right! Why not just admit it, your have been hacked.

Now I don't have the time to play games anymore but if I did, this would mean no online gaming, no downloadable films, no music videos and no downloadable games. You see PSN is not just about games, its about entertainment. Some games won't even work without an updated online PS3 (I discovered this myself). I imagine Sony have lost millions in lost sales.

But the real issue here for me is that Sony have just released information today that users idenities and more importantly, credit card details have been accessed. Wonderful, so now I have to cancel my credit card. But why not inform their users stright away, they must of known sooner than six days? It could already be to late!

Well done Sony, a total public relations cock up. Good job Xbox isn't free, oh dear I see it's free all bank holiday weekend. Oh dear!

It seems to me that Japanese companies are particularly bad at PR (ok I'm thinking of Toyota here).

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Bracknell #Yes2AV #No2AV debate date reminder

The AV referendum debate between DR Philip Lee, Conservative MP for Bracknell and Fiona McTaggart, Labour MP for Slough will take place at Easthampstead Baptist Church Centre on 28th April this Thursday at 8pm.

Attendance is free. It will be held at South Hill Road in Bracknell RG12 7NS.

I will be there to cover the event, do come and say hello.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Christopher Jefferies suing










Christopher Jefferies (who was arrested for questioning on the murder of Joanne Yeates) is suing a ton of newspapers including the Sun, Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Star.

Quite right too, just have a look at some of the stories about him in my blog Not the nutty professor.

His treatment by some papers was disgusting, simply I think because he seemed a little too different to our press. I wish him luck.


Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Legality of Bracknell Conservative party leaflet

 

From Bracknell Liberal Democrat Press Release;

 

'The Bracknell Liberal Democrats believe the election manifesto leaflet published on behalf of Bracknell Conservative Association breaches election regulations. It by giving the impression that Bracknell Forest Borough Council is supporting the Conservative Party in the forthcoming local elections on 5 May 2011. 

 

Not only is the leaflet entitled 'Bracknell Forest Borough Council' but it also contains  a letter from Paul Bettison as Leader of the Council. During this period of 'purdah' councils are expected to distance themselves from the elections taking place in their areas and to maintain an even-handed and impartial approach to the proceedings. 

 

Campaign publicity material is subject to a number of restrictions under electoral law  and is also subject to the general civil and criminal law relating to published material.' 

 

Oh dear, and this after some Conservative leaflets where acidentally distrubuted with council news letter a few months ago. The above if taken to its full conclusion could lead to the disqualification of every Conservative councillor.
 
I will try to get hold of a copy of the leaflet in the next few days.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Can the Liberal Democrats survive another coalition?

Also posted today on LibDem Voice here as part of Liberal Burblings bloggers takeover.

We already know how hard a coalition is with the Tories. So what would happen if we get another choice of forming a coalition with this Tory party or Ed Miliband’s Labour at the next general election?

At the moment, perhaps the most likely scenario is a coalition with Labour with less Liberal Democrat MPs. On the plus side Ed Milliband will be wanting to put his new ‘radical’ (maybe) mark on Labour’s story in power. Now this is something we can help him with. We have learned a lot from our coalition with the Tories. We will also prove to the electorate that we are not an offshoot of the Tory party, although some Labourites will return to their belief that we are an offshoot of Labour.

In this coalition I believe we will have a job of holding back the authoritarian tendency of the Labour party. We will have to fight that battle as hard as we can. Otherwise we will lose our Liberal distinctiveness in this new coalition. We would also have trouble dealing with poverty. Labour believe in throwing money at the poor while we believe in giving the poor a hand out of the situation rather than making them feel a bit better off.

In a coalition with Labour we would need to avoid Labour not allowing us to implement some of our policies. Labour will believe that Lib Dems have come home to Labour. We will need to remain progressive and ensure Labour are more so (than they are at the moment). There would be just as many challenges in a coalition with Labour as there are with the Tories.

Scenario 2 would be the Tories, again. By now we understand each other, we can work together. The problem is that this will look really bad with the electorate. It will install the idea in many minds that the Liberal Democrats are on the side of the Conservative party. We will give the impression that we are perhaps a right-leaning party rather than a left-leaning one.

The Tories are, of course, more likely to have less MPs than they do now and if this is the same for us then the coalition will be more fragile and open to attacks from the Tory right and unhappy Liberal Democrats. Negotiations would be much easier, as will the working relationship. The danger from a second coalition with the Tories is from the electorate rather than the Tories themselves. If the electorate didn’t understand why the Liberal Democrats are a party of a coalition and what we stand for they certainly won’t after this coalition. Unless….

Unless?

Firstly, let’s understand that we will lose some voters forever especially if we are in a coalition again with the Tories because many Labour voters will find it hard to support us.

So with fewer MPs do we have less power? Well, maybe at first, but as the coalition continues, then no. It all depends on the numbers. If it is still our vote that ensures legislation is passed or not and if we still have MPs in key ministerial positions then we will have almost the same influence as we enjoy now.

What we need to do in any second coalition is remain distinctive, we need to change the system so the Deputy PM or Ministers can have open discussion defining where each party is coming from and make it clear that we, along with our partners have agreed a way forward. We need to demonstrate what difference we have made. We need to be better at communicating and reacting to the test of government.

Thanks to Paul of Liberal Burblings and to Liberal Democrat Voice

Conservatives say yes to AV


Friday, 15 April 2011

STOP SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER!

In the last few weeks I have been blocked on Twitter by someone very much to the right of politics and someone very much to the left. Does this mean I'm to far in the centre?
 
Sometimes I get a bit fed up of politics. I know that people in all parties at the end of the day generally want to help others and believe that they know the best system. In most cases the best way to improving our lot could fall between the different views and involve good ideas from people in all parties.
 
But so often in politics the issue degrades into an argument where no one listens and no one compromises. Your accused of doing something for ideological reasons or your a 'bloody leftie'. Even though I have done it myself while defending us 'Yellow Tories' ,Condems, Libcons or whatever the current name calling tag is. I just get a bit fed up of it now and then. So I need a rest from politics in general.
 
Because it should be ok to have open disagreement in parties and within government, coalition or not. So I'm a bit fed up of the arguments and I have decided to give myself the weekend off to recover from all this political noise.
 
See you next week as I'm turning off until then (TV included)

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Not an impressive Yes to AV broadcast

As a supporter of voting Yes in the AV referendum I was most unimpressed with the pro Alternative Vote film broadcast on Monday. I thought it was not professional and did not explain enough of the reasons why alternative vote is a better system than fFrst Past the Post. An opportunity missed I feel.

Have a look for yourself.



I think there are many better films on You Tube explaining why AV is a better system like this one;




and the system explained here;

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Bracknell Yes to AV , Yes to Fairer votes stall Today

The Yes to the alternative vote campaigners are at the Bracknell bandstand today. Please do pop along and have a chat.

Picture taken from Mondays pro AV banner display.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Jobcentre staff are not robots or battery hens

I don't always agree with unions when they declare a strike. However I believe Jobcentre call centre staff are quite right to kick up a fuss about being monitored so closely.

It's wrong to monitor staff in the way done by job centre management. For example recording how long and often you go to the toilet and how long your call takes when not all calls are simple to deal with. Staff are dealing with people that may have complicated queries and require emotional assistance for there stressful situation of being out of work and needing a job. So the targets set do not allow for the human needs of both customer and provider. People are not battery hens or robots.

Link here to the story at the BBC, which interestingly doesn't appear to cover the real problem which is not having targets in themselves but what those targets are and how unrealistic they are.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

European debt crisis - a film

In view of Portugal's impending bailout, I thought this video seemed quite appropriate.



H/T to Kata_basis on Twitter.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Isn't listening better than a u-turn?

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley announced yesterday that he is to delay the Health and Social Care Bill. Because of the concerned over it expressed by GP's and by Lib Dems at the conference and others. Some believe this is a a u-turn.

However this is what coalition government is all about, compromise and being forced to listen. This government is not run by a few at the top because it has to compromise with the rest of the MP's in two coalition parties and indeed the voting membership of the Liberal Democrats.

Surely a listening exercise is a good thing and I welcome it. I agree with Rosie Cooper Labour MPwho said 'It was time for the government to take a deep breath and have a re-think over its plans".

There is nothing wrong with that, it will in the end produce better policy. So I'm pleased that Andrew Lansley and the coalition is being brave enough to listen to the concerns of the many.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Yes 2 AV should be more careful

So No to AV have accused Yes to AV of air brushing out a black celebrity from their leaflets see here.

This is because black poet Benjamin Zephaniah was not on some pro AV leaflets in some parts of country.

The "Yes to AV" campaign used his picture on literature used in London but featured the actor and time team presenter Tony Robinson in the West country. I'm informed by AV supporter Andrew Emmerson that 'The leaflets were changed to put more local celebrities to local areas, hence why Tony robinson went on West country leaflets'. Yes to AV also state that there are to many celebrities endorsing Yes to AV to have them all on the same leaflet.

This maybe the case and it's clear that Yes to AV is not a racist campaign. However in this day and age perhaps they should of simply included all the celebrities on all the leaflets, even if this meant smaller pictures because in these days of PC politics Yes to AV should really know better.

It's a shame that even a referendum on how we vote for our politicians has to decent in smears and scare stories rather than arguing out the various facts and detail behind AV and FPTP.

Saturday, 2 April 2011

UN workers are not to blame for Koran burning




Clerics in city of Mazar-e Sharif had urged people to protest over last month's burning of a copy of the Koran by small time US pastor Terry Jones after this was shown on TV. Resulting in the murder of 14 people at a UN compound.

Pastor Terry Jones is a total idiot. He has some issues that need to be looked at starting with a good hard look in the mirror. I hope he's happy with himself as he he partly responsible for these deaths.

However why did this crowd think that some unrelated staff at the UN were somehow to blame. Why kill innocent people when they had nothing to do with this foolhardy act.

It's just Stupid. Just stupid. Sometimes I just despair at how people can just follow others direction without any thought as to the actual acts they are doing. get some prospective people and stop and think about what you are about to do.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Bracknell #Yes2AV #NotoAV debate date set

An AV referendum debate between DR Philip Lee, Conservative MP for Bracknell and Fiona McTaggart, Labour MP for Slough will take place at Easthampstead Baptist Church Centre on 28th April on Thursday at 8pm.

Attendance is free and the full address is South Hill Road in Bracknell RG12 7NS.

I will be there to cover the event and hope to see as many of my local readers there as possible.

Monday, 28 March 2011

Local Labour party leaflet

The local Labour party put thought their leaflet recently for the local elections.

Thing is there is not by mention of what they intend to do locally.

I do wish parties who put up local candidates would fight on local issues.




Sure attack the Liberals and Tories for national policy. But remember this is a local election. Surely if your representing the local community you need to say what you intend to do at a local level.

Councils deserve better.

Saturday, 26 March 2011

What's the alternative? March 26th

Cuts or invest?

Those that propose the alternative to the current cuts is investment are living in cloud Cuckoo land. Where is this investment going to come from? How on earth can the government invest more in the current debt situation?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not totally with the current cuts, I never was and never will be. But if no action was taken then we would end up having our credit rating down graded like Portugal, Greece and Ireland. Therefore the government have to make cuts as well as raise taxes to ensure interest payments remain low.

I'm a supporter of reduced cuts, that's where I agree with Labour.


Labour

It's also shocking just how much bandwagon jumping Ed Miliband and Labour are doing. Just the other day Ed Balls gave an apology for the situation we are in. I don't fully blame Labour I also blame the banks and traders. But Labour admit that they would be cutting, they admit it would be harsh, of course they would be, cuts are hard for those on the end of them. So don't pretend your on the side of everyone at today's protests, because they would be cutting some of their jobs and pensions to.

It's also wrong to use Martin Luther King's words to link into this kind of protest. How dare such an authoritarian party quote the great man of civil rights and therefore liberty. This is really not the same situation. It's not remotely related to Civil Rights, the Suffragettes or Apartheid.


Anarchist protestors

Anarchy is a stateless society, therefore throwing paint at HSBC or Top Shop for not paying enough tax is not anarchy. Paying tax supports the state, hardly anarchy then.

I also want these corporations to pay their taxes but then again I'm not an anarchist.






Picture by www.twitter.com/MsmvLee

Friday, 25 March 2011

Amazing Japanese road repair in 6 days after earthquake

It's simply amazing and surely puts some of our longer road projects into prospective.
First picture is after the earthquake in Japan. The second is after the repair of the road just 6 days after the earthquake damage.


Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Stop Budget pre-release spin

I could discuss the positives and negatives from the budget, but I'm sure all y readers have already looked at the budget details and made their own minds up.
 
I just wish that we didn't know so many details about the budget or any other government announcement before the speech itself.
 
I'm happy for leaks to be made for the right reason, which is to highlight issues with policy or bad government. but I really dislike the spin of releasing drops of information by government.
 
Please can we go back to the good old days of not knowing what is in an announcement until such time as it is announced. I want to know assess government policy at the time and after the speeches not with bits and pieces of information before hand.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Where is the Lib Dem London Mayor Candidate?

London Liberal Democrats really need to pull their finger out on the selection of a new candidate for London Mayor.

Labour have already had their selection process done and dusted between Oona King and Ken Livingstone. Even though Boris delayed his decision we now know he is the Conservative candidate.

So what's taking so long? I read at Lib Dem Voice that this is because the party were focusing on the GLA list of candidates for the London Assembly. But I don't see why this should hold up the candidate selection for Mayor.

In order to have a cat in hells chance against the might of Ken and Boris we need someone out there now. Liberal Democrats do have a competing character in Lembit Opik and I expect Brian Paddick or Susan Kramer to run along with others.

It's a shame but the London Mayor race is as much about personality as it is about policy. It's not to late as personality can also win over an unpopular party but they really needed a head start. Next time we must do better.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Green technologies should reduce environmental accidents

The recent events in Japan just show how dangerous nuclear energy can be when it goes wrong. Personally I am a supporter of using Nuclear if it is not funded by the tax payer to a great extent, but I want this energy to be as safe as possible. 

Britain does not suffer from tsunami or earth quakes but we could suffer from other forms of danger such as a terrorist attached or a simple accident. Nuclear energy accidents always seem much worse then other forms of energy accidents, therefore we need to take a step back and make sure they can be as safe as possible. This is because we can not just reply on green technology only at this point or other forms of power generation because of fuel security. Hopefully one day we can reply on green technologies but until then....
 
It's for this reason that greener forms of energy such as wind farms are more important than ever. But perhaps the best idea is local and domestic generation as well as more efficient energy usage. Which is why its important that money is directed to domestic use and not bigger commercial project, Bigger project should be self funding.

Of course the opposition to nuclear energy by the party I support (the Liberal Democrats and a position I didn't agree with myself at the time) is well know, as is the fact that Chris Huhne has decided that in a coalition that it is right to build new nuclear power stations, if they are not funded by public subsidy, this is a compromise of a coalition government.

 
This delay makes it even more important that the governments (and Liberal Democrat policy) Green Deal works. Domestic generation is a good way to protect yourself from the volatile energy market be that from world events effecting oil and gas prices and supply or doing your bit for climate change.

Even those that don't believe in climate change perhaps can see the worth in generating energy for themselves and saving bill by being more efficient with energy usage. Those that don't want wind farms on their doorstep also wouldn't want a coal fire or nuclear power station in it's place. Energy generation is not pretty, but we all use it and all need it.

So the coalition policy of feed in tariffs at fixed rates as per Lib Dem policy, smart metering, funding for apprenticeships and floor rates for carbon trading all help this aim. the more this can be done the less relient we will be on all forms of big power generation including Nuclear. So perhaps green technologies should reduce environmental accidents as our reliance changes.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Amendments to NHS Health Bill

I fully support DR Evan Harris (former MP Oxford West and Abingdon) on the amendments put forward at the Liberal Democrat conference on the health bill. I watched Evan Harris give details of the amendments and his concerns which are supported by him and Baroness Shirley Williams at Februarys Liberal Democrat South Central regional conference.

The amendments which can be viewed at the social Liberal forum here. I support the cutting of the size of administration and removal of the huge hierarchy such as cutting out some of the levels such as PCT's, but some extra safe guards are required, these amendments would give them;

These amendments include;

• NHS commissioning to be retained as a public function and not given to private companies.

• Spending decisions should not be made in private.

• Annual plans to be done in conjunction with new health and wellbeing boards and GP commissioning boards.

• Private providers should be allowed where there could be an issue of cherry-picking.

• Continued separation of commissioning of services.

• Half the members of the new commissioning consortiums must be be up of local councillors.

Now we wait an see if this has any effect on the proposals or if the fears of my party appear to be toothless.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Blame Bush and Blair for no fly zone

People and an emergent democracy are dying in Libya thanks to Bush and Blairs decision to go into Iraq.

The west and Nato is simply to scared to setup a no fly zone even with support from the region simply because of the Iraq war.

There many only be a few weeks left in which to act.

Perhaps if we never went into Iraq the Iraqi people would of also rebelled along with many of their neighbours.

What a shame for the Libyans, in their hour of need no one comes knocking.