Thursday, 28 May 2009

Told You So

You can't defy the markets, Ms Kirkbride.

As I predicted here.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009


Now I am pro-EU, albeit after hefty reform, but this is just mad:

Monday, 25 May 2009

And They're Off...

Now if this isn't a first whiff of grapeshot in the race for the title post GB then I'm a banana: Alan Johnson calls for voting reform.

Standby for Harman, Straw, Milliband et al to all start spinning their platform shortly.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

McKay and Kirkbride

I am told by close colleagues who know him well, that Andrew McKay is a good bloke. Honourable. Sensible. Solid. Would have been a good minister etc. So the logic goes that it is sad that he has been forced out.

Good men sometimes make mistakes. Fleecing the taxpayer, as he and his wife have been, was wrong and clearly a mistake.

Thus he had to go and that was clear days ago. He just took too long working it did Cameron.

Kirkbride will go shortly as well. It's just inevitable. If you are wrong, you are wrong. It is as simple as that, however nice you are.

Suppression of Free Speech

Despite the fact that Poor Old Nadine Dorries still clearly doesn't get it (as posted here yesterday) and that she is a lightweight who said some loopy things on her blog, it is outrageous that the Barclay Brothers have managed to get her blog taken down.

I thought we lived in a free and fair democracy?

I thought we had a right to free speech?

I thought you could say or write anything about anybody, accepting that they may sue you for libel or slander?

WTF is going on? How an earth can a newspaper and/or its owners (get the irony) stop free speech? Someone please explain this to me.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Poor Nadine

Ahh, diddums. Poor Nadine Dorries MP is worried about the mental health of MPs who are under "unbearable pressure" from the media. Hear it here on R4.

1. No one asked them to stand for Parliament. If you can't take the pressure...

2. Unbelievable hypocrisy. MPs love inflicting pressure on others all the time.

2. They are in the media spotlight because...they have been caught stealing or misusing taxpayers' cash.

3. Tough shit. She may be top Tory totty but she, like that absolute asshole Anthony Steen - the poster boy of arrogant entitlement - still just doesn't seem to get it.


Friday, 22 May 2009

Democratic Freedom

Two stories have caught my eye today.

First, the ongoing saga about the racist bigot Nick Griffin attending a Buckingham Palace garden party and, second, the news that the police have constructed a national network of cameras and computers which automatically log car number plates and which will be in place within months.

What links the two, you ask?

Let's deal with the police first. This constant demand for more surveillance is seductive but wrong. Seductive because every policeman, lawyer and Nulab politician can recite facts and examples as to how many more crimes they could solve if we could just watch people more. Wrong because we have tipped over the balance of what is reasonable interference in our day-to-day lives by the forces of the state.

As I blogged a few days ago in relation to euthanasia, we must always make laws for the 99% not the 1%. I am sure we could catch just about all criminals if we took DNA samples of the entire population and watched everyone all the time, but that is clearly unacceptable. And so is establishing a national network to spy on the perfectly legal 99% of us. This could only happen in illiberal Nulab Britain, where democratic freedom is expendable.

Now, should BNP politicians be allowed to take tea at the Palace? Simple answer: yes. I hate the BNP and their racist, thuggish bigotry. But we live in the cradle of democracy. And democracy can sometimes be uncomfortable because those people with abhorrent views are allowed to express them. And, despite the fact that I hate them, I would fight for their right for them to hold and express those horrible views. It's called democracy and liberal fascists like Nulab just don't get it.

Democracy is a fragile thing, one that the current Nulab Government has been doing its best to destroy for some time. Take democracy for granted at your peril. As we can see, it can be easily be eroded.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

US Budget Cuts Explained

Can some clever dude work this out for the UK please...

Hat tip - Donal Blaney

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Impressionable Elites

(Not going to talk about MPs, expenses, the Speaker or any of that shit for a while...hopefully).

A good book I read recently, given to me by a colleague, is called Microtrends: The Small Forces Behind Today's Big Changes by Mark Penn. Penn is a Lefty political strategist who has worked for both Bill and Hilary Clinton. Don't let that put you off. It's an interesting book.

Penn highlights a number of small, often low key, trends that have emerged over recent years which give us a clue about where society is now and where it's headed. My particular favourite is what he calls 'impressionable elites'. Let me explain.

All his polling in recent years has demonstrated an intriguing and paradoxical trend. The higher a person is up the educational scale, the more lightweight their political views and interests. The lower down the educational scale people are, the more inquiring and focused their political views and interests are.

There is logic here. The 'haves' are not struggling for survival. They are comfortable. Food is on the table aplenty, even if in current economic times it is from Tesco not Waitrose. But the 'have nots' are locked in a perpetual struggle for survival, desperately trying to make ends meet.
What this leads to is higher educated people not worrying so much about the detail of political issues, policies, agendas whereas those lower down the education food chain are absolutely concerned about what their politicians stand for because they are hoping that they will help them get a leg up.

This in turn leads the better educated able to gossip about what their politicians are like, rather than what they stand for. They are more worried about how they dress than what they believe in. Meanwhile, the lower educated segment are absolutely glued to what their politicians say and could not give a toss about the lightweight stuff.

Think this through. Read the dead tree press. It's mostly about style rather than substance. They are more worried about what Michelle Obama is wearing rather than what her husband and Gordy are actually agreeing to in their meeting. Think how dumbed down our media have become in the last 10 years. Think about the decline of the BBC news, or Panorama, or why we now have some irrelevant celeb on BBC Question Time. All this is part of that trend.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

What The Fuck Do I Know?

Well I couldn't have got that more wrong if I'd tried!

So, farewell then Mr Speaker. But what gives? Why resign as an MP as well?

I think Gordy must have pulled the rug from underneath him behind the scenes, in a "you're dead meat, we will give the no confidence motion Parliamentary time, go now so that we can begin to draw a line" sort of way. Hence, Martin thinking..."Hmmmm, how to get my own back. I know. A by-election for Gordy right now will fuck him badly." And indeed it will.

The last by-election was also in Glasgow. Horrible day at the office for Mr Brown, that one. This one will be worse. Either stand by for an SNP whitewash or for an anti-sleaze, independent candidate: Martin Bell, again? Ester Rantzen in Glasgow, I think not? A Scottish business type?

But for Gordy it just gets worse and worse. Think what's coming:

  • HoC official expenses detail release
  • Daily Torygraph and other media outlets pouring over the detail and comparing entries
  • Inspector Knacker arrest of various MPs, followed by rumour and counter rumour for months
  • Euro and local elections horror story
  • New speaker election
  • NEC and local party de-selections
  • Kelly inquiry announcements
  • Glasgow by-election loss
And all this on top of monthly unemployment mounting up. More business failures. Possible IMF help needed. OMG. It just gets worse and worse.

Dishonourable Arrogance

Yesterday was an inglorious day.

Since the early 90s under the Tories, and dramatically since Labour came to power in the late 90s, the days of honourable behaviour in public life have long since ebbed away. Perhaps, Lord Carrington in 1982 was the last set piece occasion when it was evident. All those ghastly Tories during the Major years (Hamilton, Treddinick, Smith etc) and almost every Labourite who has tried to stay in office when it was clearly time to go, have demonstrated this point.

We now have a professional political class who cling to power at all costs. Despite the fact that their position is untenable, that they are openly vilified, that they have been publicly disgraced, that they are ridiculed daily in the media, that public opinion is lined up against them, still they try to cling to power, the trappings of office and, most importantly, the big salary that goes with it.

Even the Great Iain Dale has been caught up in the Westminster madness that is the current febrile atmosphere in the political village. In short, Martin is not going anywhere because:

  • He wants to keep the big salary for another year (ie until the election)
  • Gordy wants Martin around to take the heat and media attention away from him
  • Labour MPs will fight to deny as many Labour scalps as possible to the Daily Torygraph
  • Dave needs to retain as much discredited Labour shit in place as possible to help him at the polls in 2010
  • Tory MPs want to be able to control who the next Speaker will be, which they cannot do until after the next election when they will have a majority
To paraphrase Michael Winner in those ghastly Esure adverts: "Calm down, Dear. It's only a political scandal".

Monday, 18 May 2009

I'm Expensed Out

(I've been missing again. Adjusting to having two small children. It appears to be a bit trickier than anticipated. And quite tiring.)

Anyway, I don't know about you but I am sooooooooooooooooooo fucking bored of the expenses scandal.

  • They wrote the rules for the ease of theft.
  • And then then stole.
  • But it was "within the rules".
  • But not ethical, moral or in some cases legal.
  • The end.
What's not to get. Kind of interesting to watch the thieves dealing with it. Several phases:

Phase 1 - Denial, hoping it will all go away.

Phase 2 - Clarify that "it's within the rules" and hope that it will all go away.

Phase 3 - Blame shift: "The Fees Office agreed my expenses", hoping it will all go away.

Phase 4 - Bury head in sand by hiding from the media, hoping that it will all go away.

Phase 5 - Speak to whips/party bosses. Announce you are paying the money back, thereby hoping it will all go away.

Phase 6 - Find someone to blame: step forward Michael 'The Incompetent' Martin, and hope that it will all go away.

Morons at work. This is going to change politics. It's not going to go away. There will be de-selections. There will be more scalps. There will be electoral consequences. Brown will continue to look terribly slow and reactive. Cameron is looking good but needs to keep up the pace.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The Tory Manifesto - Part 3

So having dealt with the big two issues, let's switch to tactics.
In essence, Gordon Brown in 2009 is doing once again what he did in the 2005 Budget. He has put off the necessary action he needs to take until after the forthcoming election. After the Budget in March 2005, the Economist front page said it all.

The same front cover could have been run after this year's Budget. Gordon Brown is being totally dishonest with the electorate. He knows that taxes need to go up and that public spending must be reigned in but he is ignoring these two facts and hoping to distract voters until after the election.

So Dave has an opportunity here. Bearing in mind my previous three Tory Manifesto posts and that there is inevitably going to be some short term bad news, his strategy should be as follows:

First, he should state the obvious - "Gordon Brown has presided over the worst UK financial collapse since the Great Depression. Economies are always cyclical. A recession was always going to happen at some stage. Gordon Brown did not plan for it. He had no plan B. Worse, he spent everything and saved nothing, exposing us to economic meltdown more than most other advanced economies."

Second, he should be honest - "The terrible state we are in will need taxes to rise and public spending cuts, whoever wins the election. Gordon Brown is being dishonest by not telling you this. He is hoping to spin himself back into Downing Street. And then....he will raise taxes and cut spending. That is dishonest and I am not prepared to do that. I am going to tell you the truth, however unpleasant it is."

Third, he should run my long term aspiration/short term pain argument as explained in Tory Manifesto - Part 1.

In short, his strategy should be to show Brown is incompetent and culpable, and then treat the electorate as adults. I believe that the stay-at-home Labs and Lib Dems and the genuine floaters will respond to this, thus giving him a decent majority.

Monday, 11 May 2009

The Tory Manifesto – Part 2

So the next big item is public sector cuts. How to do this and not shore up the NuLab and Lib Dem ‘Tory cuts’ mantra. My plan:

1. Declare that every Government department will from next year cut its budget by 1% each year for the next Parliament. That will make a 5% cut over the Parliamentary term before inflation is taken into consideration. A significant cut and more likely to be nearer 10% when you take inflation into account.

2. However, two departments will be exempt: defence (putting current overstretch aside, you can’t cut defence whilst you are at war) and the NHS – good for the stay-at-home Labs and Lib Dems (see Friday's post).

3. Commit to raising the retirement age to 70 in five years time, thus giving those due to retire time to plan.

4. Furthermore, announce an NHS review to last two years, led by an independent doctor, to see how the NHS needs to change to be more fit for purpose in time for the next election. Also commit to a defence review once we are fully out of Iraq to review the future size and shape of the armed forces, again led by an independent retired general.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

The Tory Manifesto – Part 1

OK, so let’s deal with the biggest issue first: tax rises. If you are Dave, and you need to be seen by Tory voters as a tax cutter, how do you put up taxes and not been seen as a Lefty? Here’s my plan.

First, we will inevitably need to have higher taxes for at least five and maybe even up to 10 years. Why so short a time I hear you ask, when all the doomsayers are saying it will take many years to pay off the huge Brown debt? The doomsayers are purposefully forgetting two things: the huge profit that will be made when the next Government sells off the taxpayer's share of Lloyds Group, RBS etc and that the soon to arrive inflation problem will wipe out a large chunk of the debt.

So I think his best strategy would be to give us proles a longer term, clear explanation of where he wants to end up but then explain the short term pain. So, remembering my Tory manifesto preamble from Friday, how about this?

By 2020, the Tories would aspire to:

1. Using today's comparable numbers, increase the basic income tax allowance to £12k pa (currently around £6.5k), thus in round numbers taking anyone on the minimum wage out of income tax altogether – practical and good for the stay-at-home Labs and Lib Dems (see Friday's post).

2. Aim to reduce top rate income tax down from the Brown promised 50% back to the current 40% rate but with a longer term aspiration to reduce it further to 35% - good for the Tory tribal vote.

3. Scrap inheritance tax altogether – good for everyone, including many stay-at-home Labs and Lib Dems.

With that clear statement of where Dave wants to head, he can then give us the bad news of how tough things are going to be in the interim and get away with it.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

MP Watch

So you will recall that I have been running a rolling list of MPs who are not fit for office. The last version is here.

Well, in light of the forthcoming July receipt publication and, more specifically, The Daily Telegraph's revelations, I simply cannot keep up with all the outrageous behaviour of our illustrious representatives. In fact, I hereby scrap MP Watch and am starting a new scheme:

Find An MP Who Is Not On The Make And Therefore Deserves Re-Election Watch.

All nominations by comment or to

More seriously, for all the revelations, for all the Gordy U-Tube nonsense, for all the crass excuses (think Pickles and think Straw yesterday) and for all the lack of ethics and lack of moral authority ("but it's in the rules"), here are the simple rules that need to be applied:

1. There seems to me to be nothing wrong with the rules I suggested some time ago here. In summary:

a. Cull the number of politicians as we have way too many.
b. Being an MP is a part-time job. Remunerate it as such.
c. Keep the salary as it is.
d. Reduce the secretarial allowance.
e. Do not pay MPs to start a property portfolio. Give them a per diem for any night they have to spend in London. (All this spin about "paying MPs' to turn up", generated by MPs note, is just a smokescreen because MPs do not like this concept as they would take a pay cut).
f. Receipts for everything over £10
g. Annual audits of all MPs expenses by the NAO.

2. MPs need to accept, particularly at this time, that they have got away with being massively overpaid in expenses and pensions etc, and that they now need to take a massive cut. Lead from the front guys.

3. As I have said many times here before, foxes cannot be in charge of the chicken coup. So MPs' remuneration in all its forms needs to be taken away from MPs and handed to an independent body.

4. Any scheme needs to be absolutely transparent, published in full annually and aggressively regulated with a simple punishment if you get it wrong: immediate removal from office and an immediate by-election. Trust me, there would be no fiddling then.

Oh and all this fake outrage at a media exclusive and money being paid for the leak and the police being called in etc, P-L-E-A-S-E. These fuckers have been on the make, been caught, tried to stop the taxpayer finding out, gone to court to try to overturn a decision against their exposure and are only now, belatedly and begrudgingly, releasing some not all of the information.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Tory Manifesto - Preamble

So over the next few days I am writing the Tory manifesto. Well, my version of it anyway. Here goes: the preamble.

In general terms, frankly, it matters little who wins the next election, presumably in June 2010. Why? Well, whoever wins - assuming NuLab actually still has a chance - they are going to have to carry out exactly the same policies: significant tax increases concurrent with massive public sector spending cuts. There simply is no other option. None. Null. Zero.

But Dave's problem is demonstrated by a meeting I had this week with a client of mine. He's a property guy. Big cheese. Rich. Very. Always voted Tory. Good potential as a party donor actually. His view: "Well Cameron will win so he doesn't need my vote. But anyway why would I vote for him? I have no idea what he stands for or what he actually will do once in Government. All I've heard is this soft Left, hug a hoodie, green, global warming crap."

All the good poll results have been because NuLab is in terminal decline and ripping itself apart, not because Dave has laid out anything even slightly compelling. And there is the rub. By being a 'New Conservative', Dave has confused us proles as to what he and his party are now all about.

So his conundrum is this: how to raise taxes but not alienate his trad Tories voters whilst cutting spending and not alienating those he needs either not to turn out for Labour or the Lib Dems or to attract to vote Tory once more. Putting aside for now that he of course also needs some 'blue meat' for his tribal vote, I think he has to target three groups:

1. The 'stay-at-home' Labour voters
2. The 'stay-at-home Lib Dems
3. The genuine floaters

He needs the stay-at-home Labs, now so revolted and embarrassed by their current Government, to be so pissed off they...well...stay at home.

He needs the stay-at-home Lib Dems to feel that (a) Dave may not be so bad after all and (b) to realise that to get rid of Labour they need to...well... stay at home.

And he needs the genuine floaters, also pissed off with NuLab, to at least see something attractive about his agenda and therefore give him the benefit of the doubt.

Until now, Dave's strategy has been to stay tight lipped about future policies, agendas, manifesto commitments etc until an election is imminent so that the desperate NuLab attack dogs have little time to savage him. But the time is fast approaching when Dave needs to say something about what he is all about and what he will do.

Hence, my Tory manifesto....

Thursday, 7 May 2009

British Dude Brilliance

This is a brilliant article which everyone should read -

Right To Die

I continue to be amazed at some attitudes to euthanasia. This comment is stimulated by the following:

1. Well documented euthanasia proponent Dr Philip Nitschke was stopped and questioned by police under the Immigration and Asylum Act after arriving from Australia at the weekend. Dr Nitschke, who runs Exit International, was searched, fingerprinted and formally interviewed after being told his workshops could be in breach of British law (

2. Nitschke held a seminar on euthanasia in Bournemouth this week (

I have written about this subject before here.

Why do I not have a right to choose when I die? Explain to me someone please, why the state should have the right to either criminalise me for choosing to take my life or criminalise others for helping me carry out my wishes? How arrogantly nanny state is that.

And please don't try to defend the "we have to protect the vulnerable" line that all the churchy types and Lefties use. To say that we will not pass a law because a tiny, tiny minority of people may be adversely affected is ridiculous. Follow that logic and you would never pass any law. No law can cover every situation. Let me repeat for the hard of hearing:


I just think that it is an incredibly arrogant intervention in my life and free choice that the state can stop me from choosing when I die if I want to.

WTF were the police doing stopping and interviewing a doctor who had come to this country to give a lecture on a medical issue?


Has anyone noticed the stupid, short London weather bulletin after the local news slot on News at Ten? Am I the only person struggling to understand WTF it is all about?

Peter Cockcroft bounces excitedly in front of a blank screen with no weather map - kind of a traditional visual aid and quite useful for explaining the weather - telling us in very, very brief outline what the weather will be like. He then spends the same amount of time telling us exactly at what time sunrise and sunset will occur. WTF? How does that qualify as a weather forecast?

Our TV tax is paying for that.

Draper Is Dead

Again, sadly not. But he has been ejected from LabourCrap or whatever that shit NuLab corporate blog is called.

Thought: if someone shows terrible judgement, a complete lack of integrity and then loses their job over it, should they ever get a second chance? Dripper caused a huge scandal for NuLab 10 years or so ago and then crawled back to prominence again. So has Mandy. Twice. Will people never learn.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Brown Is Dead

No, calm down. He's not dead yet. But he is absolutely dead politically. The evidence? Well not what all the media are raging about. As ever, they are miles off target.

It's not his various policy U-Turns, every day a new one it seems.

It's not that he had to dump McBride and is considering a Night of the Long Knives cabinet reshuffle.

It's not his restless doomed cabinet, who all are so pathetic that they can't bring themselves to plunge the knife in and so resort to the modern politician's old favourite: the well trailed one remark in an otherwise dull speech or interview, which they can 'clarify' later.

It's not that he and his team are completely out of touch with public sentiment (think Gurkhas).

It's not that he has lost a vote in the House (think Gurkhas).

It's not that all his polling is downhill.

It's not that the recession still has more drip, drip, drip bad news for many months to come.

No. It's U-Tube. Watch it again....

Fact 1 - Gordy is a shit public speaker; no rhythm, no delivery, no projection, no humour, no charisma, no character. Nothing. Null. Zero.

Fact 2 - Gordy has no bedside manner. He has no empathy with his audience. When he speaks, he is alien to you. He is like a nervous junior bank clerk who retreats behind formality when telling you that you can't have a loan.

So who the fuck thought putting him on U-Tube would be a good idea? Even Fatty Prescott is mocking him!

The truth is that anything he says is now openly mocked by his own side and the media. He cannot get a good headline anymore. So the strategy is to bypass the media and go direct to the voters on U-Tube, also hoping to make him look cool and hip and relevant by using yoof media (tip - this doesn't work in a buttoned up suit, duh!).

No, this is an act of incredible desperation. The No 10 Bunker has run out of ideas. They are bereft. They have a totally unmarketable product and are having to think of ludicrous ways to market it.

Gordy is dead. It is almost awful to watch. But so much fun.

I'm Back

Sorry about the radio silence. A combination of (a) a foreign business trip, (b) a laptop that kept breaking whilst on said trip, and much more importantly (c) the arrival of my first two children. Been a bit fraught as you might guess. However, I am now back in the saddle and have sooooo much to rant about. Now, where shall I start?