Thursday, November 27, 2008

One-star Lincolnshire chases glory...

On the day it was revealed that one of the most horrific ever cases of child sexual abuse took place here in Lincolnshire, you could be forgiven for thinking that social services bosses would have something better to do than chase glory...

The unspeakable in Lincolnshire...

Totally unspeakable...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recession can be good for you says Top Tory...

A senior member of David Cameron's Conservative team says "recession can be good for you" as anyone who loses their job will be able to spend more time with their family!

Andrew Lansley's offensive comments, made on an official Conservative Party website, are revealed on the Recess Monkey blog.

As the Monkey says, Lansley has let the cat out of the Tory bag and provided proof if it were ever needed that David Cameron's Conservatives are happy to sit back, do nothing and leave people to sink or swim in the current economic downturn - in contrast to Gordon Brown's action now to help pensioners, families and businesses emerge from the downturn quicker and stronger.

Don't try the link provided by Recess Monkey as it appears that Dave's team have attempted to destroy the evidence by airbrushing out Lansley's entire article from their official website.

At least it's being reported by the London Standard.

Another schoolboy error from Team Cameron.

UPDATE: The Telegraph is reporting that Mr Lansley, who is Cameron's health spokesman, has been forced to apologise for his rather ill-judged remarks...

UPDATE 2: The Guardian points out, it was only a week ago that Conservative Deputy Party Chairman John Maples was forced to apologise after he said that the recession "must be allowed to take its course".

As Work and Pensions Minister James Purnell says, Mr Maples may regret his remarks, but doing nothing is exactly what the Conservatives would do under Cameron/Osborne...

Well, if nothing else, the dividing lines are now crystal clear: Do Something to save jobs and help families, businesses and pensioners with Gordon Brown or Do Nothing under David Cameron.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Shares soar to record rise...

Shares have recorded their biggest ever one-day rise. The FTSE has just closed up almost ten per cent on this morning's opening - partly due to the City welcoming measures announced by the Chancellor today to help small businesses, families and pensioners through the current tough economic times.

Lincs Police and The Bill...

The BBC reports that Lincolnshire Police spends £900 a day on translation services...

Friday, November 21, 2008

BBC go over the top...and I'm right behind them!

Thanks to Brynley for pointing out that the BBC link I posted about 'sixty migrant workers arrested' in a Holbeach leek field in fact only refers to 'eight arrests'...

I wondered what Brynley's point was - until I revisted the BBC link and to my horror, saw that it had been amended. Rather than delete the original post, I thought it best to explain what I think has happened...

I picked up reports of 60 arrests from the BBC front page and judged it to be a significant 'local' story worth a mention on my blog...

It seems that a few minutes after I posted, the BBC updated their link, downgrading their earlier story of 60 arrests to just eight!

Looks like even eight may be more than double the actual number...

The Spalding Guardian says there were just three arrests...

Should I cancel my licence fee...?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mass arrest of migrant workers in South Lincs

Sixty men and women of all ages - all thought to be from Eastern Europe - were arrested while picking leeks in a Holbeach field today in one of the biggest ever operations in the UK to target the illegal trade of people trafficking across international borders.

I hope the authorities are able to nail those who organise and rake in the profits of this evil trade.


Latest poll shows Labour closing the gap on the Tories to just three points. According to Mori, Cameron's Conservatives are down five over the past month, while Labour are up seven.

Bring it on...

Monday, November 17, 2008

Easy pickings in the Deepings...

Too many Deepings people are leaving easy pickings for burglars by failing to lock up before going to bed.

Since September almost one 'break-in' a week has been reported in Market Deeping and St James, prompting a warning from local police to lock up at night and take valuables to bed.

In most cases, police say the burglars entered homes through unlocked doors, helping themselves to goodies like i-pods, mobile phones and wallets.

Not so much 'break-ins' as 'walk-ins'...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Kilroy wasn't here...

It seems no-one at the European Parliament will miss Robert Kilroy Silk while he attempts to relaunch his failed TV career tonight on the nonsense that is 'I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here'.

His 'colleagues' from across the political divide agree he's so rarely in Brussels that another few weeks absence won't make much difference.

Kilroy's promised big changes when he was elected as a UKIP MEP to represent the good folk of the East Midlands in the Euro-Parliament in a blaze of self-made glory almost four years ago, but it's proved to be all bluster.

I've only met Kilroy once and it was an unpleasant experience. Our paths crossed in Northampton on the night the votes in the Euro election were counted. As he brushed past us ordinary people - and a queue of MPs and MEPs standing patiently in line to gain entry to the count - he demonstrated all his legendary rudeness and arrogance.

Of course, Kilroy soon fell out with UKIP when his coup to become its Leader collapsed in farce. So he formed his own party and looked around for a target seat to launch his bid to return to Westminster.

He picked on Erewash in Derbyshire, but Kilroy badly misjudged sitting MP Liz Blackman. I know Liz and in contrast to Kilroy, she is one of the quietest, and most hard-working parliamentarians anyone could ever wish to meet.

Liz sensibly let Kilroy grab the headlines while she continued doing what she does best - working hard for her constituents.

Far from beating Liz, she actually increased her majority and Kilroy was suitably humiliated. For me, the Erewash result was the sweetest of the night.

Let's hope Kilroy doesn't choke on his wombat

Monday, November 10, 2008

Friday, November 07, 2008

Good news travels fast...

Flew up from Miami yesterday for a day in Washington before flying home tonight and just seen the headline in the Washington Post celebrating Labour's by-election win in Glenrothes (sorry can't link on this hotel computer...)

So that's two excellent election results this week...

Both well deserved, I'd say!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President Obama says ''Yes We Can..."

Great acceptance speech from President Elect Barack Obama after his landslide win evoking memories of Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" oration.

I found it interesting that Obama used the story of a 106-year-old woman who voted in this election amd questioned what might be possible in the next 106 years...

Here in Miami on Sunday, among the lines in the pouring rain waiting to vote was a 102-year-old woman determined to vote for the first time.

Seniors for Obama!

The election results in Florida were wafer-close for several hours but the State was finally called for Obama.

I was privileged to be invited to the Obama Victory Party in Miami Beach to watch the results come in - and celebrate. The atmosphere was electric and highly emotional, with activists screaming with delight as updates from each state were reporterd - results augmented by frequent announcements from the stage by enthusiatic local campaigners about Florida victory followed by Florida victory.

Miami polls closed at 7pm - three hours earlier than in British General Elections - and it was clear early on that this was indeed going to be the historic night on a scale I never dream possible: yes, bigger even than John Fitzgerald Kennedy's win almost half a century ago, and bigger than the more recent Clinton push.

Astonishing that John McCain knew he had lost early and made his speech accepting defeat by 11.30pm.

It was a gracious loser's speech offering congratulations to President Obama, which attracted polite applause as the footage was relayed live to massive screens on either side of the stars and stripes backdrop to a partisan Democrat audience in Miami.

President Obama was able to start his acceptance speech before midnight - almost, if not entirely without precedent.

He paid tribute to the service to country by his opponent, who was tortured as a prisoner in the Vietnam War.

The Obama effect has rocked America and created a movement, rather than simply winning an election.

Expectations and hope for improvements are massive.

So. After the most costly, lengthy, most gruelling campaign which tested the candidates to the limit, America has chosen it's Leader.

Tomorrow the real work starts.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Live from the White House...

Quick blog from the White House...No, not the one in Washington, but Sky TV's US Election set in Miami, where a few colleagues are doing a quick interview.

Very grand on the waterfront, and a huge contrast from the deprivation of just a few blocks away from the skyscrapers and the glamour of Miami Beach.

I've knocked a lot of doors over the years, but never seen poverty like I saw this morning in an African-American area called Overtown, Miami.

Tiny one room dark apartments of the like I've never seen anywhere in Britain.

Quite shocking.

In Britain, we take the NHS for granted. The people I met this morning have no health care - which is why Barack Obama wants health care for all Americans - a plan opposed by the Republicans who try to use the policy to demonstrated that Obama is really a 'socialist'!!

Sunday, on the last day of early voting, we watched people wait patiently in line and in torrential rain for eight hours in Liberty City, Miami, and helped hand out water and cookies.

What was amazing was that they stood in line for eight hours, determined to exercise their democratic right.

While it was good to see the huge turnout, voting in a democracy should surely not be made so difficult.

Only a few hours before we know whether it will be McCain or Obama in the White House...

Whoever wins, there is a huge expectation of delivery.

More later hopefully...

Monday, November 03, 2008

Champ by a whisker...and Chump on a turkey-shoot

Totally missed Lewis Hamilton's historic victory in becoming the youngest ever world motor racing champion at the age of just 23 - in only his second F1 season...

No-one seemed very bothered about motor racing here in Little Haiti, Miami: despite flicking the channels on the telly on a mini-bus on which we were based for the day, I couldn't find a trace of anything remotely F1.

Plenty of Sunday programmes hosted by cammed-up geeks demonstrating how to gun down turkeys with high-powered rifles and even one showing how to sit in a tree and wait for a passing deer to kill.

Which reminds me of my favourite election button badge to date, which takes a pop at gun-toting Sarah Palin.

It's picture of a moose with the words: Alaskan Wildlife for Obama.


Apart from that, an incredible day on the campaign trail...of which more when I've caught up on a few zeds...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Go Lewis...

With Massa on pole and Lewis only fourth, it's all to play for in Brazil...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

From Glenrothes to Miami...

Sorry it's been too quiet here. Been busy up in Scotland having a look at the Glenrothes by election, but couldn't resist getting over to America to soak up the the last 72 hours in the race for the most powerful office on earth...

At the start of the Glenrothes campaign, the bookies were offering 1-4 against a Labour win, but with the shine coming off the SNP and Gordon Brown bouncing back over his handling of the world economic crisis, Labour are fighting hard for every vote.

With only five days of campaigning in Fife left, I feel the gap closing fast - Labour's candidate Lindsay Roy is a solid, well respected local head teacher, not a failed politician.

Meanwhile, the SNP have shown arrogance in selecting the Leader of Fife Council as their candidate - after he personally pushed through a pacakage of cuts and increases to home care charges from four pounds a week to eleven pounds an hour.

In addition, the SNP's nonsense about an independent Scotland joining a non existent so-called 'Arc of Prosperity' has been exposed as nonsense following the meltdown of the Icelandic economy - and the bailout of the Royal Bank of Scotland and Halifax Bank of Scotland by the UK Government, proving that the UK is stronger together and would be weaker apart.

Glenrothes really could go down to the wire.

Over here in the States, it looks just possible that Barack Obama could win big and become the first black President - just been watched TV coverage of Republican John McCain's rallying call in Virginia, and it has to be said, he looks his age, and very tired. His last roll of the dice seems to be a direct attempt to label Obama 'socialist'and 'hard left'.

Desperate times.

Eight years ago, I went to the swing state of Ohio and saw the Democrats fail to win, four years ago I managed to get to Philadelphia, only to see George Dubya re-elected.

This time, I'm in the sunshine state of Miami, hoping to see history made on Tuesday with a win for Barack Obama.

Will keep you posted...