All Mod Cons

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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Monday, December 04, 2006

Nick Hornby Donates to the Conservative Party

The Electoral Commission reports;

But is it the Nick Hornby?

It seems unlikely, I've read all his books and he struck me as being a bit of a lefty.

However Nick Hornby has a disabled son as does David Cameron so it's conceivable they move in the same circles. Also I'm pretty sure I remember Nick Hornby speaking out against the closure of special schools which is something David Cameron has always been very vocal on.

I still think it probably isn't him but I hope it is, it would be great to have him on board.

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What is ConservativeHome Doing?

ConservativeHome claims to be, friendly but critical to David Cameron. However the most recent ConservativeHome survey posed the question.

"OTHER than the Conservative Party, which of the following political parties in Britain is CLOSEST to your views?"

Now I don't know what Tim Montgomerie (who is effectively Mr ConservativeHome) thought he was going to achieve with this question. But whatever it was couldn't have failed to realise that this will inevitably be picked up in the media and be ran as a negative story.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the results had UKIP at the top with 43% and none second on 31%. Those of us who ticked none (me included) were very probably reluctant to contribute to a story that will damage the repositioning of Conservatives as a party naturally in the centre.

The media will need no encouragement to run "Cameron split from Party" and our opponents will doubtless repeat this whenever they want to try and say that we haven't really changed.

I hope Tim isn't sending himself into opposition to the leadership but the evidence of this isn't good.

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Sunday, December 03, 2006

Quote of the day

"If people attack me when I say that, when I say that some of these young people have had no relationships in their life, they've had no love in their life, they've had no-one caring for them, no-one teaching them the difference between right and wrong, if people criticise me for that I say look I'll go on saying that because everybody knows it's true." David Cameron

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Impact Statment

The impact statement made by Adele Eastman the fiance of the murdered Tom ap Rhys Pryce is staggeringly moving. It is reproduced in full here and I recommend that you read it, although it will break your heart.

The sheer awfulness of what she is going through can not be described.

In her statement it is the incomprehension as to why anyone one would do such a thing that I found particularly striking. The statement reads;

"I very much doubt that as children, any of the hopes and aspirations they held for their future included killing a man, and yet here they stand convicted of that heinous crime. What happened along the way for them to become so cruel and hateful towards others, and at such a young age? What a huge waste of life - not just of Tom's but also of their own - years in prison for an Oyster card and a mobile telephone. How, on any level, could it have been worth it for them?"

Clearly it is right that Carty and Brown are going to jail for a very long time. But if that's all politicians can do then that's not enough. We need to try and prevent these things from happening. We need to find out how it is possible for people like Carty and Brown to get so far away from what is acceptable behaviour.

Tony Blair once said that he wanted on be tough on the causes of crime. He hasn't been. When David Cameron made a speech about the causes of crime he was ridiculed by people claiming he wanted to "hug a hoodie". What is is about our political and media culture that doesn't want our politicians to address such an important problem?

There is nothing soft about wanting to prevent wasted lives, there is nothing soft about wanting to prevent potential murderers and potential muggers from becoming murderers and muggers. Next time you feel like making a crack "hug a hoodie" think about the pain that Carty and Brown have caused and ask yourself wouldn't it have been better if we could have stopped this from happening at all .

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