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.


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.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

AV debate Reading unbalanced

It turns out the Alternative Vote referendum debate in Reading I advertised on this site wasn't as balances as billed see Mark Reckons blog No2A Balanced Debate.

Is this not false advertising?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Obama fails again

Obama is to restart Guantanamo military commissions after a two year freeze on new military trials for detainees. Perhaps he has to now pander to the right due to the change in the democrats furtunes in the mid term elections.

Still its very disapointing, its just another election promise which he has gone back on. See the Obama Truth o meter.


Monday, 7 March 2011

Local AV Debate

Unfortunately I can't make it but I would like to remind my local readers that there is an AV debate on Tuesday 10th at Irish Centre, 104-108 Chatham St, Reading RG1 7HT see http://avdebates.com/reading/
There has already been a number of Yes to AV stalls in Bracknell and Wokingham including last Saturday (There was also a stall in Reading town centre at the same time), see picture from this saturdays Yes to AV stall in Wokingham.
More Yes 2 AV stalls are planned for Bracknell and Reading.
Watch this space for any updates

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Sky Takeover

Digital spy article Neil: 'Cable made Sky takeover a done deal' warns of the power Murdoch will still be able to hold over Sky News in any handover of the station. This is because he will have a large shareholding and will be providing most of the cash.

I also wonder what's to stop News Corp from starting it's own news station in a few years time.

I guess the only hope from this media empire is the alliance of media groups which are considering legal options including a possible judicial review.

Sky's income is bigger than the BBC and Channel 4 together. It's dangerous to have to much power with one media organisation.

Next time Cable, please don't put your foot in it.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Barnsley Central by-election next time try harder

@DuncanStott of Split Horizons blog, tweeted this today 'During the Oldham East + Saddleworth by-election, I got 13 emails from Lib Dem HQ asking for help. For Barnsley Central I got 0.'
I know we didn't have a cat in hells chance of winning this safe Labour seat, but why didn't we try a bit harder. The turnout was low (36.5%, compared with 56.4% at the last general election) so if we could of got a few more of our voters out and persuaded others to vote for us then perhaps we would of had 500 extra votes. That 500 would of got the Liberal Democrats 4th place. Still a bad result but this would of resulted in better headlines.
Next time even know we can't win we should try harder. Perhaps then we could of avoided today's negative press for our poor result.
Dan Jarvis (Lab) 14,724
Jane Collins (UKIP) 2,953
James Hockney (C) 1,999
Enis Dalton (BNP) 1,463
Tony Devoy (Ind) 1,266
Dominic Carman (LD) 1,012
Kevin Riddiough (Eng Dem) 544
Howling Laud Hope (Loony) 198
Michael Val Davies (Ind) 60

Thursday, 3 March 2011

UKBA quietly announced some changes

Yesterday , the UKBA quietly announced some changes to the tier 2 ICT route and section j (IT worker) minimum salaries for tier 2 general and ICT.
Tier 2 ICT can only be used for graduate level jobs.
The following SOC are no longer considered graduate level:
5242 Telecommunications engineers
3131 IT operations technicians
3132 IT user support technicians
3131 includes system administrators and 3132 includes DBAs.
The following are still allowed:
1136 Information and communication technology managers
2131 IT strategy and planning professionals
2132 Software professionals
Many of the minimum appopriate salaries have been increased in the section j code of practice. They were lower quartile before and it looks like they have gone up to the most recent median values. 
This is a significant change 

Blog & Newsweek: 22 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

This week councillors have been getting into trouble, In slough a councillor has been charged with illegal taxi touting and driving with no insurance in London.

A Lib Dem councillor is accused of making a racist remark about a Labour MP on Twitter has been suspended from his party. He tweeted: "I'm waiting for the Labour guy to claim 'is it because I is black?' as a defense for being a muppet.", personally I worry that we go over the top on tweets. I don't find it that funny but I do think we are overly sensitive. After all we all know its an ally G quote right? I find myself agreeing with Jane on this one, 'what was she thinking of and what did he say'?

Reading list has more on the ongoing disagreements withing the Reading council see my post see my blog Reading Council and Labour party shenanigans with covers this and Reading list blog A house divided is a house to be united.

and another Slough Councillor gets a two-month suspension for being rude.

Local Links

Mark Reckons ask 'Why did I trust David Davis on liberty?' , I also trusted him, how wrong was I. such a shame.

Richard Willis is one a Conservative who will be voting Yes 2 AV see why 'AV or Not AV? – That is the Question!

Gareth Epps won't be standing for the council, I think Reading will miss him , see Why I am not restanding for the Council

National Link (Links of the day)

Split Horizons covers Lies, Lies and More Lies from #No2AV - have you worked out which system I'm voting for yet?

Devils Kitchen asks 'Why don't EU stop posturing?

Walaa Idris has 'Labour and the KKK' as her headline.

Tom Watson LAnour MP asks 'What would happen if Senior Metropolitan police officers had held meetings with media outlets as many times as they had met the News of The World?'

Scarlet Standard thinks 'Compass Is Losing Its Way'  - personally I think its a good idea to open the doors a bit, maybe I will join?