Friday, 30 June 2006

Mad Maude really tries my patience

It really is a bit much to go on TV, claim that the Liberals have fought a nasty personal campaign (which they did) that underlines why people are switched off politics, and then make a preposterously stupid statement that switches people off politics.
Apparently, when you lose 12,000 votes in a seat as safe as houses, it means that the voters were telling you to change more.

The Tories have lost 12,000 votes in Bromley in exactly the time that David Cameron and his change crusade has been in operation. Please don't insult our intelligence. The people of Bromley were clearly screaming for the change to stop rather than surge ahead. To claim as much makes you look dim and deceitful. I believe we must change but we must do so openly and honestly.

Look at the results and the real story is spelled out. A mere 2,500 of our loss voted elsewhere, but 9,500 people STAYED AT HOME.

The Lib Dem vote rose by only 1,600 votes. Pathetic. And yet, Maude's pathetic, unintelligent line is allowing Simon Hughes and his revolting party to get away with spinning bullshit all over the media. The was no Lib Dem surge, there was no Tory desertion to the Lib Dems.

Eric Forth was a huge right wing national and local political figure. Bob Neill is clearly an uninspiring replacement and a political badge collector. Bromley themselves failed to pick the right candidate for the job - and the job was to replace Eric.

Conservatives in Bromley are a typical Thatcherite fortress into which David Cameron's new style has not yet broken. They have simply told Cameron that they are not yet convinced. They are precisely the sort of Conservative voter who will only march behind Cameron when the polls consistently show that he is going to deliver power.

I had precisely this sort of rebellion in my local election back in May. At least 50 hard line Tories in the village did not vote. They believe they can stop the change and return us to purist but unpopular politics. They would rather lose than change.

Cameron does have to keep the change moving and prove that we can win without these recalcitrant voters. They need time. They will rejoin the party soon enough.

So from here on Maude, try this:

"The Lib Dems gained nothing. They are the nastiest party in this country by a mile.
"Voters in Bromley have enjoyed the representation of Eric Forth, one of our most energetic and vociferous Parliamentarians, for many years.
"Nearly 10,000 Conservative voters stayed at home yesterday. The clear message to us is that core Thatcherite heartlands are not yet convinced that the changes Cameron is introducing will deliver victory.
"We have seen this sort of behaviour before in the local elections, but we will continue to change because nationally the polls are showing that we are making huge progress.
"Our most loyal supporters are our most ardent critics, but we will win their support as we are winning the support of many, many others."

The Lib Dems get me pretty annoyed but it is our incompetent handling of them that really pisses me off.

Thursday, 29 June 2006

Politics - Lesson One

There are two types of politician and politics and over the past 25 years we have had them demonstrated as beautifully as could be imagined.

The first type is the one which says "This is who and what I am. This is what I stand for and what I will do. Vote for me and I will do it." Margaret Thatcher, most especially in her second and third terms, was the finest exponent of this form of politics and with devastating effect.

The second type is the one that says "I will be who and whatever you want me to be. I stand for what you tell me to stand for. Vote for me and I will do what you want me to do." Tony Blair and New Labour are the epitomy of this form of politics, and I would suggest with equally devatating effect.

The first form is based on confidence, leadership, clear thinking, vision and determination. It derives its mandate from the election result and delivers knowing that some elements of the process will be unpopular but necessary and will leave a lasting acid taste for some people.

The second form is based on popularity and the simple attainment of power for its own sake. Indeed, that's it! It has no leadership, vision or clear thinking. It can't. It is taking its orders on a daily basis and making policy on the basis of monthly ratings. It is being driven by events rather than driving them. It can be, and regularly is, pushed about in pursuit of popularity.

In both forms, things (and people) get broken in the drive to change and make things better, but in the first form they get fixed and improvement is tangible. In the second, the mess is left lying on the floor, like broken toys on Christmas Day.

The first form is almost invariably right of centre and the second is left.

The conclusion - well that's simple really. Time and again the electorate votes for the Government they need and then the one they want. They know the difference. Ten years of Blair has been the Government people wanted - liberal, largely uninterfering in their daily lives, all talk and no action.

The swing to the Conservatives indicates that people are getting ready to vote for the Government they need. It is becoming increasingly difficult to get to the sofa without standing on another broken mess on the floor. It is becoming less and less possible to get through our daily lives without feeling the consequences of a directionless and thoughtless government.

Thatcher is loved and hated in equal measure. She did things and she achieved. There were winners and losers (actually there were only winners. The losers just can't bring themselves to admit that they are better off now despite the hardship they suffered in the process). She made a difference.

Blair is about to realise that he is pretty much universally hated. He did lots, but achieved little and pissed most people off in the process. He will leave office with the state of politics at an all time low, deceit expected in all aspects of government (even the declaration of war), our constitution and institutions lying broken on the floor and our social fabric torn to shreds by a politically correct liberal philosophy that fundamentally misunderstood society.

Its nearly over.

Sign of the Times

England is in the grip of a real crisis of confidence and appears to suffering a gargantuan sense of humour failure.

The Scots don't want you to win the World Cup and quite a number of them have said so when questioned in public. So what??

The rivalry and competition between the English and Scots has been the enduring cement in holding together the most effective and successful political union in history. The products of this rivalry are and have always been most evident on the battlefield. As an ex Army officer, formerly of a Scottish Regiment (kilts and all!), I know well that we excel as a nation because a little healthy competition drives us on to achieve bigger and better things. And yes, I unashamedly derive great satisfaction and pride in the history and achievements of this fabulous nation, especially as I have contributed in a small but direct way myself.

The trouble is that, over the past decade or so, competition has been all but stamped out of our society. It is an embarrassment to beat others, and woe betide if you appear to revel in it when it happens. An entire generation has grown up with no understanding of winning and losing and none of the experience of expressing those emotions. No wonder we fear hooliganism.

I am genuinely a mixture of all our national entities in birth, blood and upbringing. I am as British as they come and I am highly competitive.

I sympathtise with the Scots. They can't stand the thought of the English going on about it for a decade if you win!! They are miserable because the glory days of Souness and Dagleish are long gone. And they are your greatest rivals. They want you to lose.

So England, stop weeping and moaning and stop reading the Race Relations Act to each other and waving writs. Recover your sense of humour, recover your competitive spirit, pride and reputation and bloody well get on and win the thing. That'll shut them up (begrudgingly!).

Thursday, 22 June 2006

3 months just has to be long enough

Forgive me for courting controversy but I must nail my colours to the mast with regard to the debate on abortion.

I am in complete favour of a substantial reduction in the time limits for abortion. I believe 12 weeks is ideal but I would settle for 14 weeks if pressed.

My flexibility will give you some idea of my reasoning. I do believe that abortion should be legal and available to women. I do not believe that the timing of abortion should depend on science's ability to keep premature babies alive.

My position lies in the belief that it is time we presumed a desire for abortions at the earliest opportunity rather than leaving the door open as long as we dare. The statistics actually speak for themselves. Clearly women agree. Afterall 80% of all abortions in this country are sought and performed within 12 weeks of conception.

I simply believe that women should be asked to take the onset of pregnancy with the utmost seriousness. My wife and I have two children. We know that at the moment of realisation your instincts tell you how you feel. It does not take six months to decide if you want to keep it. It takes 6 seconds.

It is beyond my personal belief that a woman can reach 24 weeks without knowing she is pregnant, but I am told it really happens. Surely to God, however, that same woman knew that she had had penetrative unprotected sex. I am sorry to be so gratuitous, but that is my point. You have to notice when a man enters your body and it is at that point that you should take an interest in the physical consequences.

Even on grounds of genetic disease, I see no reason for an extended abortion time limit. When a baby is conceived and wanted, parental love must be unconditional. To place a law on statute that effectively allows parents to reserve judgement on that question undermines the human soul and should not be tolerated.

So stupidity is not a reason to prolong the time limits on abortion; nor is changing your mind; nor is science in any of its forms. That we have to have abortion available to us is sad but a reality to be dealt with. It is bad enough that some children have to put up with some awful parents who do want them, but no child should have to put up with those who really don't.
If my argument has a weakness, it is one of degree. I don't mind killing an indistinguishable collection of cells, but I object most thoroughly to killing a developed and recognisable human being. I would want time limits set to ensure that all abortions are chemical rather than surgical.
The fact of the matter is that no consideration is given in law to the unborn child. The time limit is currently set for the convenience of the mother and yet ironically, in circumstances where the full time limits are used, it is the mother who suffers most grievously.

The killing of the baby is the easy bit. At anything over 18 weeks, a woman must physically deliver the dead baby as part of the abortion process. At anything over 24 weeks, the foetus must be cut up inside the womb and then delivered by the woman piece by piece. It is truly hideous and made me cry when I first discovered it.

Aborting a child must be a truly debilitating and scarring experience for the mother and I am quite certain that in 90% of cases it absolutely is treated with unparalleled seriousness.

We must reduce the time limit to 3 months which is ample time to realise, decide and act. And if, for some genuine reason it is not, then an Appeals process can be implemented to hear the individual case and decide on its merit.

Legal abortion can and should exist, but not at the expense of the presumption of life.

Just look at yourself in the Mirror

Boris Johnson has written well in today's Telegraph regarding trial by tabloid newspaper. Read it here. It reminded me however, of my fury at listening to the Jeremy Vine show a week or so ago as I drove round the M25.

The story under discussion was the failure to prosecute Kate Moss for her alleged drug taking. It was pointed out repeatedly that pictures of someone appearing to take drugs does not constitute evidence sufficient to prosecute.

Caller after caller rang in to condemn the police for not prosecuting anyway, after all "what more evidence do you need. She's guilty. Lock her up." What ever happened to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Bugger that - she hangs about with dope head Doherty, she's a junkie, string her up.

Everyone missed the point.

The pictures were acquired by and published in the Daily Mirror - that bastion of truth and honesty. The time delay between one and the next must have been in the region of 8 - 12 hours. So what did the police do during this time? Why did they not arrest her on suspision and take blood samples?

The police did nothing because they didn't know anything. The Daily Mirror put sales and headlines ahead of law and order. They conspired to withhold evidence and as such should take the entire blame for the failure to bring a successful prosecution.

The police saw the pictures over breakfast like everyone else by which time the subject is clean. All Kate has to do is say nothing, and she gets away with it, no matter how distasteful and objectionable that is to the good people of Radio 2's Vine-world.

I've said enough. Don't scream at the police, don't fume and call for the death penalty and stop insisting that Moss is some sort of role-model to your children. Try telling your children that she is an obsene, conceited, drug taking, bag of skin and bone. You are allowed to guide your own children, you know.

As for the Mirror, well they are making something of a name for themselves as the most irresponsible and arrogant of media outlets. Just ask Piers Morgan!

Wednesday, 21 June 2006

Tired old Tory

David Cameron really riled the Prime Minister at PMQ's today. He poked and prodded on the issue of the Home Office and the PM got angry and very strident in his defence. He knows it's a gaping sore in his administration but he just can't keep his cool and brush the criticism off.

Sadly, all Cameron's good work was lost right at the end, when some tired old moron of a Tory MP (Mackay, I think) stood up and asked the mother of all stupid questions:

"Why has it taken the Prime Minister 9 years to realise that the Home Office needs an overhaul?"

The Prime Minister lost no time in accepting the invitation to turn the question on its head and draw attention to the obvious implication that the Home Office was in a shambolic state when they took it over in 1997. Under pressure he moved quickly to contrast them and us.

Under less pressure and from the comfort of my office chair, I answered the question for Mr Blair more succinctly ("A Tory who finally admits how shambolic things were when we swept you away in '97! Mr Cameron will be so pleased.") and with a number of contemptuous expletives directed at the questioner.

Might I remind any Tory MP's who might drift past this blog post, that PMQ's should be used to humiliate the other side, not your own.

It must be so disheartening to sit amongst such mindless people who have both the right and inclination to open their mouths without permission.

You looked like a complete prat, Mackay, and you undid everything that your Leader had just done. Thank god for the A List and the proper screening of Tory candidates. Perhaps we can prevent such brainlessness in future generations.

Thursday, 15 June 2006

What would Ferguson have said at half time!!?

I consider myself predominantly Scottish when it comes to sport, but unlike many of my compatriotes North of the Border I am supporting England unreservedly. At least, I am trying very hard to support them.

The trouble is they have made me sit through two REALLY dull matches so far and I suddenly found myself wanting T&T to score a goal just to liven things up.

It took us 83 mins to beat them. 83 of the most boring minutes I have lived through. "Slouch" (as we call him) was pretty awful. Please tell me that is not it. Please tell me there is more than that.

Enlgand aren't the only team who have so far failed to turn up to this competition. Brazil, France, Argentina, Italy all look pretty off colour to me.

When our World Class players are on fire, Lampard, Gerrard, Owen, Beckham, Terry, Rooney and Cole are a pleasure to watch. Strike the match, someone.

p.s. English football is more dominant in this World Cup than any other before it, in terms of numbers of players from our national leagues. I understand the Premiership has the highest number of players in Germany of any national league. Is anyone promoting that? Can you find the stats? Sadly not. A wasted opportunity.

Tuesday, 13 June 2006

2 + 2 = 3

Today we have a Cabinet row between the Home Secretary and the Attorney General, over the (woefully soft) sentencing of a paedophile, which exposes the rot at the heart of New Labour.

The Government no longer knows which way is up. Their flagship policy direction has failed. The public are no longer willing to put up with it. Cabinet Ministers start clutching at straws and then attacking each other.

More than anything, it is their weak, ineffective and complacent attitude to the law for which this Government will be remembered most. "Education, Education, Education" and "24hrs to save the NHS" are positively funny compared to "Tough on crime. Tough on the causes of crime".

Blair and his gawping wife have always been wonderfully well endowed with general electability but the sting in their collective tail has been their premeditated assault on our Justice system. Their approach to Government as a whole and justice in particular has been so childishly rebellious.

The Human Rights Act is pernicious. If needed at all, such an Act should only need to exist in emerging democracies. The HRA was never needed in this country because we invented Common Law and there were no Human Rights at risk. The only consequences were correctly predicted at the time - the guilty and the conceited will abuse it and society will suffer.

Law abiding people desperately want someone to stand up and protect them from the explosion of crime and anti social behaviour that hides behind the real legacies of New Labour - Human Rights and political correctness.

The Conservatives must learn quickly that no social policy will ever work until crime and punishment are tackled without compromise and life means life.

Monday, 12 June 2006

Our new baby...

Thimba has arrived and is becoming right at home, thank you very much!

Time to recover, think, oh yes, and work!

I have been remiss in neither posting nor explaining my absence over the past month.

To be honest, I was just a bit exhausted and jaded after my election and needed to recharge. It sounds a bit pathetic but even a local election really takes it out of you, physically and emotionally. I hope I will take it more in my stride in future.

Most importantly, however, I needed to repay some very understanding clients with a bit of work.

Right, that's enough grovelling - put me back in your favourites, add me to your list of Top Ten blogs and lets get on with it.

RPA (Rampant Prescottian Antics)

You may be wondering where I have been and what can possibly have prompted my return.

Big Brother, the World Cup, our failing government? Well, to be fair they will all get their moment of attention in the coming days and weeks, but no it is this little ditty on the BBC news tonight that has really got me riled.

Farmers all across the land are facing bankruptcy because the Government's new Rural Payments Agency can't organise a piss up in a brewery. Now we discover why payments are a year behind schedule. Instead of working night and day to pay farmers, they are all following the new Prescott codes of office conduct and have in fact actually been trying to organise a piss up in brewery and prove us all wrong.

This Government hates the countryside and its occupants and they should hate it back. But don't worry, the woman who designed this fiasco is now designing our exit strategy from Iraq.