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Brown Towns 13 May 2007

Posted by David in Comment, Environment, Labour.
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David Dimbleby is in the Sunday Telegraph with his new book, How We Built Britain. I find it rather alarming that he finds the Lloyd’s Building “a work of genius” as it’s well known as London’s most depressing building to work in (with huge numbers of depression cases), something he just about alludes to with talk of it having “no natural light” but narrowly avoids – as do most supporters of modernism, who can dismiss any evidence of their architectural cult’s never ending failings confidently and callously with unbelievable ease.

But Dimbleby’s biggest mistake is when he says “The modernist architects adopted a rational approach to the problem, studying the way people seemed to lead their lives and designing houses to match, rather than offering the kind of houses people thought they wanted.” Whilst he is right that “it was a mistake”, modernists never designed buildings for the way people actually lead their lives – rather they designed buildings for the way they felt they people should lead their lives. Modernism has a huge, left wing and totalitarian history to it; un-human in scale, unnatural in material, inflexible in design, they are “machines for living in” designed by planners who see people as cogs in the machine (a la Modern Times) rather than human beings. Which leads me to Gordon Brown…

Gordon Brown, stepping out from the shadows, has announced plans for five new carbon neutral towns. Now, after getting over the shock of the term “new towns” – so gloriously epitomised in Milton Keynes and Crawley – we have to ask, where? How can you just build five “new towns”? Apparently brown field sites will be used, but there aren’t that many. Once again, more countryside will be destroyed.

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Gordon Brown And The Deliberately Placed Auto-Que 12 May 2007

Posted by David in Labour.
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Brown Auto-Que

So Comrade Stalin Gordon Brown has thrown his hat into the ring to become next politbureau Labour leader and thus, Prime Minister. He declared himself not interested in style, a badly placed auto-que blocking half his face from the main TV camera seemingly proving this. The BBC gladly pointed this out, “this proves he is more about substance not style” they practically said. But there’s no way the camera man, stage set up team and Gordon Brown himself could have missed it- he put it there on purpose to try to prove his “substance not style” point.

Scottish Conservatives On The Roll 16 April 2007

Posted by David in Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Scotland, Scottish politics, SNP, UKIP.
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Suddenly, and unexpectantly, the Scottish Conservatives are on the roll. Their campaign so far has been nothing short of a miracle. Anabelle Goldie, who for ages seemed boring and dull, turns out to be a quad bike riding, ten pin bowling, former naughty school girl who ouzes charisma, trouncing the other party leaders in debates and interviews. The pledge not to go into coalition has proved highly popular, and the lib dem yellow paint-chart – emphasising a Lib Dem vote is a vote for Labour government – is very innovative (and true).

But the SNP are still far ahead, with Labour making the error of portraying their former Scottish deputy general secretary as an ordinary member of the public. It’s almost as if certain elements in Labour want them to lose, perhaps to derail Brown? They also continue to rely only on negative campaigning and scares of life in an independent Scotland that is inevitable if the SNP win, leaving voters feeling insulted. If they have such low opinion of Scotland’s prospects, they’re hardly the inspired optimists needed, but rather failed has beens believing in an inescapable dependency culture on a national scale.

The SNP, of course, aren’t what’s needed either. They certainly aren’t inspired or optimistic, basing their figures on magic growth, EU cash now heading East and fast depleting North Sea Oil (“It’s Scotland’s oil” they may say, but most of it’s nearer the Shetland Islands actually, time for SINP?). Their campaign is merely a glossy, GQ style sales pitch of Alex Salmond. Slogan: “It’s Time”. Time for what? As yet, we don’t know.

And bubbling under, as with all elections using proportional systems, is a plethora of small parties. There’s UKIP, the “Stop the Growth” Greens, the Scottish Socialists, and the Labour supporting Lib Dems.

So who’ll win? Who knows.

Life On Mars Or Life On Meacher? 11 April 2007

Posted by David in BBC, Labour.
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Last night BBC1’s 1973-fest Life On Mars came to a surreal and strange but in keeping conclusion, where the answer to whether Sam Tyler was “mad, in a coma or back in time” was revealed as any or all of the above. Personally I think it was all a dream while he was in a coma, he recovered, and now he’s died and gone back to it (the dream). But if you’ll be missing your weekly dose of 1973 nostalgia and total surreal strangeness, there’s always Life On Meacher.

The 68 year old left wing disaster area, far worse to watch than any accident, has had an article in The Times and claims to be modern with his blog and glossy leadership campaign website (but curiously lacks a photo on Wikipedia). He calls for equality, spewing out statistics on executives of FTSE 100 companies and the poverty linelike a mildly angered volcano. He wrote in his book, Socialism with a Human Face, that “too many people have second homes or too large homes for their needs.” It’s all very, well, 1973.

Because where was Michael Meacher in 1973? Well, in the opposition backbenches to be precise, but by 1975 he was the Under-Secretary for Health and Social Security for the governments of Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan, until their disastrous socialist experiment ended in 1979 election of Margaret Hilda Thatcher.

His period in office saw Britain begging money from the International Monetary Fund, levels of inflation peaking at 24%, and unemployment only kept down by huge state created artificial jobs in low level industry. There was the brain drain, as anyone who could leave, did so. So he has a good record…

Reading his campaign materials, it’s like another World. Are they mad, in a coma, or have they gone back in time?

Blair’s Falklands Support Is All Lies 2 April 2007

Posted by David in Labour.
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Tony Blair now says the Falklands War was the “right thing to do” – it’s what he would have done. Except that second part is a lie. In the 1982 Beaconsfield by-election, Labour candidate Tony Blair said “I want a negotiated settlement and I believe that given the starkness of the military options we need to compromise on certain things.” Comprimise, with fascist dictators? How very 1930s.

He then added: “I don’t think that ultimately the wishes of the Falkland islanders must determine our position.” Isn’t that nice, hey? We don’t care what you want, we know best. How very Labour.

But look at his 1983 election leaflet, which we’ve sourced here, to see yet more opposition to liberating British territory from fascists.

Blair 1983

Opposing the Falklands was Labour policy, and no candidate ever agrees entirely with the manifesto, but if they don’t agree with a policy they don’t use that as a main plank of their campaign. Ken Clarke didn’t use Save the Pound, for example. Blair was an appeaser. Thank God he and his Labour traitors weren’t in power.

Second Preferences Mean Little – Except Sometimes 1 April 2007

Posted by David in Conservatives, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Polls, UKIP.
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 As discussed on ConservativeHome, the YouGov survey for The Daily Telegraph identifies some interesting findings on the second preferences of likely voters for the main political parties.  They are summarised in the graphic. Second Preferences

Some have rushed to suggest large numbers of Tory voters (23%) are leaning left, to the Liberal Democrats. False. The Lib Dems are the second preference of everyone who seriously hates Labour, and wants to stop them. If you can’t vote Conservative, they’re the only credible alternative to seeing Labour win (i.e. they’re the only viable second choice).

I expected a higher share for UKIP than 18%, but their recent problems and near zero chance of winning makes them second choice for all but the most serious Eurosceptics. The BNP rank of 12% surprised me, but I imagine its down to protest voting and their higher chances of winning in certain areas such as London, the Midlands and Yorkshire.

With the Conservatives, the second preference statistics are largely irrelevant as they will contest all seats with a good chance of winning in many. The voters therefore have no need of second preferences and tactical voting. The figures for Labour and Lib Dems are more important however, as becoming the second choice controls tactical voting, and is surely the first stage in full conversion to becoming first choice.

In most Lib Dem seats, the Conservatives are the main opposition. And in many Labour seats with Tory opposition the ratio of how the Lib Dem tactical (i.e. second choice) vote splits is the difference between the seat staying red or turning blue. With Labour still ahead 21% to 16%, Cameron will be keen to keep wooing the Lib Dems without upsetting any more Tories. The Conservatives need Lib Dems to significantly prefer a Cameron government to a Labour one, so as to chose to vote tactically (to stop Labour, and to boot out Lib Dem MPs in favour of Tories under the “Vote Lib MP, Get Lab Gov” principle).

The fact Labour voters split 33% for the Lib Dems and just 9% for the Conservatives is worrying, and suggests there’s few more Labour voters to win over. It also suggests the Lib Dems will do well in the Labour seats they’re currently second in, matching their long running council seat shift from rural to urban. Cameron needs policies to win strivers – the people Margaret Thatcher built her landslides on. Cameron must also target non-voters, which are a large constituency needing a home.

Interesting too is the 30% of Lib Dems and 14% of Labour voters who list Green as their second choice. This is a good opportunity for the Conservatives if they get green enough to win them over. It also gives the possibility of a few Green MPs in places like Brighton.

Brown’s Tax Con is Not a Tax Cut (aka Gordon Brown is Evil Part 2) 22 March 2007

Posted by David in Comment, Conservatives, Labour, Policy.
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I really want to get some journalists and slap them with a wet fish. No, really, I do. They may as well have handed the presses to Gulag Gordon himself. The Sun leads with “Reasons 2p Cheerful” while even the Daily Mail revels in the shock 2p cut in the basic rate of income tax, seemingly not bothering to realise he has grabbed this money elsewhere – mostly from low income earners.

He has cut the basic rate from 22p to 20p BUT doubled the lower rate from 10p to 20p. Low income earners will pay more, higher earners slightly less.

He has cut the basic rate of corporation tax from 30p to 28p BUT increased the lower rate paid by small businesses by 17% to 22p. As an example Tesco will pay an awful lot less, but small local independent shops pay considerably more.

Plus he has whacked up National Insurance and other taxes. The overall tax take is up, and the burden has been shifted from the wealthy to the less well off. What happened to the old leftist slogan “tax the rich, not the poor”? I’ve just come back from Nottingham, but it seems the Sheriff is now in Westminster.

The Conservatives also seemed ill prepared and unable to counter Brown successfully after his shock “2p income tax cut” announcement, which clearly threw them. At first Cameron seemed to support the budget as a tax cutting budget, talking of Brown “sharing the proceeds of growth”, missing the main tax grab from low income earners which could have been valuable electoral and sound bite gold dust for him.

The focus should have been the fact Brown has doubled the lower rate and raised tax on small businesses. Instead a clearly pre-scripted rehearsed rant about Labour being a “listing ship” was the main soundbite on the news. The upside was linking Brown to Blair through “the Blair-Brown years” quote, but a missed opportunity I feel.

Blair’s King Canute Climate Change Act 15 March 2007

Posted by David in Comment, Environment, Labour.
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King Canute strode out towards the sea somewhere along the English coast, arms wide and decried in loud tone “the tide shall not cometh back” – or words to that effect anyway. Shortly later Canute was neck deep in the big blue wet thing known as the sea, presumably red faced had it not been Britain, where the sea never rises above ‘mildly cool’ and the wind is always ‘bracing’.

 

I’ve always felt sorry for Canute, he only did it to prove he was not almighty and powerful to his sycophantic court of yes men, yet this act of modesty has been twisted into one of arrogance, as if Canute really believed – like his court – that he could stop the sea. It might even be all made up, a kind of sneer smear by an author, journalist or tourist board looking to profit out of Canute tourism. I suppose at least his sea had plenty of cod fish stocks, the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy being some 940-ish years away, but that’s little compensation for being wrote into history as a person so arrogant about his powers he tried to stop the tide.

 

But one person I do not feel sorry for is Tony Blair. Tony Blair strode out towards the dispatch box somewhere along the House of Commons, arms wide in irritating hand gestures and decried in trendy vicar like tone “the CO2 emissions shall be cut by 60% by 2050, this be legally binding” – or words to that effect anyway. Whom this act is legally binding upon I don’t know. I don’t think the environment can be taken to court, nor can the entire country, which includes the legal system itself. Blair will be 97 by 2050, and can hardly be responsible for future government failings. But then the government in 2050 can’t be responsible for past government failings can it? And we can’t trial every government minister to have served between 2007 and 2050, can we? And what’s the sentencing guideline?

 

So basically – as Canute was trying to show us – we cannot legislate away CO2, just as we can’t sadly legislate for good weather or for all people to be nice or the tide to stop coming in. The Climate Change Act – like the 20% EU CO2 cutting target and the King Canute Prohibition of Inward Coming Tidal Waters Act 1030AD(ish) – don’t actually achieve anything. They’re just talk, and talk’s cheap.

Ming’s Bad Week 7 March 2007

Posted by David in Labour, Liberal Democrats.
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You really have to feel sorry for Ming Campbell, don’t you? Well no not really, but perhaps we should. The dear old leader clearly has bad advisers, or none. Setting out the coalition terms for Gordon Brown was a huge mistake, given that nobody likes Gordon Brown, especially in those leafy Lib Dem seats of Winchester, Lewes, Richmond, Colchester… You could almost hear the Lib Dem candidates screaming, Victor Meldew like, “I don’t believe it!” Maybe that will be their next slogan.

Another bad move Ming escaped flak from was his gripe on BBC News that he is satirised for his age. “This wouldn’t happen if I was a woman or black,” he said, seated on a park bench somewhere. It wouldn’t, no, but that’s life. Satire is merciless, most politicians find it funny, even buying their Spitting Image puppets and originals of newspaper cartoons. Don’t be so sensitive Ming, you have to be able to laugh at yourself or you end up, well, a Lib Dem…

“Freedom of Choice a Nonsense,” Says Labour Commie 4 March 2007

Posted by David in Education, Labour, Policy, Public Services.
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“It is nonsense that everybody has the right to go to a school that they want,” said David Hawker, Brighton’s director of children, families and schools,” complete nonsense.”

Of course Mr Hawker, I mean, they only pay for them through their taxes… Surely you – their servant – should dictate where they go.

Labour has got to go. Article link.