All Mod Cons

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Harriet's Blog

Harriet Harman has a blog - it's pod went pop new (she's only posted four times) so I'm sure she is still finding her feet.

However the political nerd inside me did feel compelled to correct her on some factual inaccuracies in her Hillary Clinton post (who incidentally is "to be presented as America’s Margaret Thatcher"according to the Sunday Times). Ms Harman, the current Minister of State for Constitutional Affairs wrote:

"Great news that Hillary Clinton is going for the White House. She’s the first woman Democrat to go for the Presidency. It is certain now, that the Republicans will go for a woman vice-presidential candidate."

I don't think either of those statements are actually accurate are they? I've posted this in her comments.

Hmmmm when you say “She’s the first woman Democrat to go for the Presidency.” that's not quite right is it. Obviously she hasn’t won the nomination yet so what you are saying is that she is the first woman to enter the primaries. Hillary certainly isn’t the first woman to do that.
Carol Moseley Braun was a candidate in 2004 (admittedly dropping out before the Iowa caucuses but Clinton hasn’t got that far yet either) - going further back there are many other examples - including Elenor Roosevelt no less and Ellen McCormack (in 1976) who was sufficiently in contention to qualify for Secret Service protection (according to Wikipedia).

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and your back in the room...

After a longer than intended hiatus my Intenet access is now fixed and I am able to blog again!

Obviously if I had any readers you all stopped checking to see if i had posted weeks ago so it's pretty much back to square on- never mind i guess - so Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Broken Internet

Sadly my home Internet Connection is broken - so until it's fixed probably no more posting - I will resume in the New Year!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Nine Possible Mayors

Not sure about Mike Read it would be difficult for him to escape his minor celeb bufoon image,

Councillor Victoria Borwick

and Councillor Warwick Lightfoot don't get me excited,

Andrew Boff had potential although I'm not sure he's still intending to enter the contest,

Richard Barnes is clearly a serious candidate but lacks the X factor

and "abolish the Mayor" Lee Rotheram is surely only for those who prefer the Conservatives to have a completely antediluvian image.

Winston McKenzie managed to announce his intention to run and in spite being black and the brother of former boxing star Duke - ConservativeHome didn't notice - so maybe needs better PR and as he is a former Veritas member won't be getting my vote.

A further black candidate 69-year-old Councillor Lurline Champagnie might be a touch elderly to present the image we're really looking for.

The candidate that I'm most excited about. The one that I'm most likely to get out there and campaign for. The one that to be honest hasn't really got going yet (but surely will soon) yes it's the surprisingly tall Nick Boles.

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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Quote of the Day

Mmmh another great example of consensus building by the Labour government...
"There is great controversy over the Bill. The Mayor, for one, is unhappy. He is spending £80,000 of taxpayers’ money to tell us so. The assembly is unhappy, the boroughs are unhappy, the residents associations and the amenities societies are unhappy, most London council tax payers are unhappy, clearly the Opposition are not happy, and one or two Labour Members may have questions that they would like to have answered." Jacqi Lait, Greater London Authority Bill 2nd Reading 12/12/06

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The Priority List Cull

Conservativehome, the Daily Mail and indeed Francis Maude on the last Challenge the Chairman podcast agree that the Priority List is about to have some names removed. The candidates that are to be removed are those that are showing insufficient commitment and not applying for enough seats.

This has generally been welcomed even if the glee some of the posters on CH are showing does seem slightly distasteful.

The removal must be done sensitively and carefully. Goodness knows if there is one thing that's going to irritate people more than failing to get on the Priory list then it is being booted off it. So lets hope that;

Conservativehome doesn't publish the names

There will be many and diverse reasons of family and work commitments why A Lister's haven't been able to apply for seats. In the vast majority of cases they will be good reasons and personal ones . The candidates don't need or deserve the blogosphere picking over them

For candidates on the list aren't in the position to apply for seats at the moment so are getting removed that;

When they're circumstances change and they can commit to the list it's made clear they will be able to reapply - without prejudice.

We don't want to lose good potential candidates forever because for instance they have recently suffered a bereavement or launched a business and can't commit for a time. Finally that

The quotas remain the same

The point of the priority list is to get women and BME candidates into a place where they have a fair crack at being selected. If the quotas of these candidates is messed up then further top ups must address it.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Jeremy Paxman - Oh My Newsnight

This is super funny - I'm with Paxman on this one. If I want to see nonsense I know where to find it . But I'm pretty sure I don't want to find it on Newsnight.

DC Reminds Doubting Tories Why He's On Their Side

Stephen Shakespeare of YouGov was on "The Ideas Program" on 18 Doughty Street a couple of weeks ago. He pointed out that while David Cameron has successfully connected with floating voters who switch parties he needed to pay more attention to about 10% of voters who float not between parties but between voting Conservative and not voting at all.

Today's Daily Mail interview and the strong emphasis placed on marriage in welcoming the Social Justice Policy Commission's report can be seen in this context.

Marriage and indeed the whole notion of one family structure being better than another is an area that the Labour Party is too PC to enter. It is an issue however that could motivate the doubting Tory 10 percent without scaring off the floating voters DC has just attracted from the other side. I wouldn't go as far as to call it as a wedge issue like say gay marriage in the States but marriage in the UK could well have a more gentle and just as useful effect as it reminds more traditional Conservatives why this is their movement as well.

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Sunday, December 10, 2006

Quote of the Day

"This week, Friends of the Earth said that the Chancellors' record on climate change had been "woefully inadequate". Will he confirm that carbon emissions are higher than when he took office and that the share of taxes collected by green taxes has fallen? Today's increase in air passenger duty should have replaced other taxes and not added to them. It proves that the right hon. Gentleman is more interested in raising taxes than in cutting pollution." George Osbourne

Bob Piper Race Row Grows

It's fascinating to see how a story like this grows. Now that the BBC and Iain Dale have the story it is likely that it will make it into the newspapers tomorrow. How big it hits will depend on what else is going on.

It's worth asking is the image actually racist? I'd say no. To consider it as such it could only be on the grounds that the Black and White Minstrels are inherently racist and thus to reintroduce them into the our culture in anyway is in some way to encourage racism.

I think thats not true. However what the image does do is still pretty nasty. It's purpose is to accuse David Cameron of the racial sensitivity of say Ron Atkinson - as someone who would both use the N word in an inappropriate context and consider "blacking up" an appropriate way to show being in touch.

It goes without saying this has no foundation in the truth.

It's satire though - they say - a joke - I would have some sympathy if it wasn't for the fact that time and time again others have been driven out of their positions for a lot less. Society has a low tolerance of this sort of thing now as you could say "that joke isn't funny anymore".

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Have you seen this race related ...

... attack on David Cameron on Councillor Bob Piper's blog. Not much to say, it's not funny it's in dubious taste and will almost certainly make it into the mainstream media in the coming days.

Two questions spring to mind will Councillor Bob survive (probably)? And how will Hazel Blears try and justify it?

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Chocolate Orange

Much mocked at the time David Cameron's call for WH Smith to stop asking all customers at the point of purchase whether they would like to buy a half price Chocolate Orange really struck a chord with me .

Putting aside the public health issues of the problems of obesity I am fully behind this because it's so incredibly irritating.

For a time it did appear that Smith's had stopped, although they were flogging different sweets in the same manner. I popped in to buy a paper today and sadly I was offered a half price Chocolate Orange. The first time for ages. I resisted the urge to say to the assistant "No, if i had wanted one I would have brought one to the counter - I have a mind of my own you know" and made do with a simple, no thank you.

Personally I now try and avoid using Smith's and am thinking of getting a badge. Something along the lines, please don't try and sell me sweets I didn't ask for.

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