Friday, September 18, 2009

Amazon book 170 local jobs...

Things looking up on the jobs front

Vote Labour or the fox gets it...

Cameron pledge to reinstate hunting with dogs.

Private Eye focus on Lincs Leader's expense claims...

Today's Private Eye has revelations about the expenses claimed by Tory Leader of Lincolnshire County Council who apparently booked into the Intercontinental Hotel on London's Park Lane and expected us us council taxpayers to pick up the tab.

Looking forward to Councillor Martin Hill's explanation, as he made his name when in Opposition as a rottweiller who went through the Council's accounts with a fine toothcomb looking for half a chance to attack any spending by the then Labour-LibDem administration as 'extravagant'.

Wonder what the Taxpayers Alliance would say about his stay at the Intercontinental?

No doubt the Private Eye story is embarrassing for Cllr Hill, particuylarly if the local media actually follow it up.

Of course, it's not exactly in the same league as Martin's Conservative predessessor 'Honest' Jim Speechley, who you may recall, went to prison convicted of abuse of public office...

PS - sorry, no link to the Private Eye story as don't put their articles online...

You'll have to buy one!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Hit and run driver shouts 'sorry'...

Local police are appealing for information after an 11-year-old boy was run over yesterday by a woman in a car who shouted 'Sorry' but then drove off.

The incident happened at about 5pm Wednesday, on the zebra crossing near the Tesco supermarket, in Godsey Lane, Market Deeping.

The car that hit the boy is thought to be a black Ford driven by a woman in her 40s with dark hair. The boy was left with injuries to his face, ankle and knee. The woman shouted 'Sorry' out of her window before driving off.

Anyone with any information on the vehicle or driver is urged to contact Stamford Police Station (01780) 752222, quoting incident number 271 of September 16.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cameron panders to Euro-extremists...again!

David Cameron today caved in to Tory hard-right - again. Yesterday, Lord Norman Tebbit urged the Conservative Leader to promise a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty if he were to win the next General Election - even if it were already ratified by all 27 members including UK.

Instead of telling Tebbit and the Euro-extremists get on their bikes, David Cameron gave them exactly what they want: he made clear that a Conservative Government would hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty - even if it were already ratified by the rest of Europe.

The Irish people vote on the Lisbon Treaty next month - three days before the Conservative Confererence. If the Irish vote 'yes', it is expected that the Treaty will be ratified before the UK General Election.

At his monthly press conference today, David Cameron said:
...the Conservative party will be absolutely clear that we want to have that referendum, we want to recommend a no vote in that referendum, we want to withdraw the British articles of ratification as a result of a no vote in that referendum and change Europe in that way. That is our position and the Irish referendum doesn’t change that.

A retrospective referendum held in UK after all 27 countries in the EU had ratified the treaty would cause chaos - and I suspect instability which would damage our economic recovery.

I believe the only way the treaty could be renegotiated once it was ratified would be to repudiate an international treaty and to renegotiate Britain’s entire relationship with the EU - exactly what the Euro-extremists want of course.

Sad that David Cameron seems to think that pandering to the hard-right in his own party is more important than jobs and the wider British interest.

His latest cave-in to the hard-right follows Cameron's recent promotion of Dan Hannan to a plum job - just days after describing him as 'eccentic' after he blasted the NHS as 'a 60 year mistake' on American telly.

A couple of months ago, under pressure from the Euro-nuts, David Cameron pulled his MEPs out of the centre-right EPP party of Merkle and Sarkozi to get into bed with a rag-bag of no-hopers.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Marathon Eddie's fantastic achievement...

I've often contemplated attempting to run a marathon, but never quite got around to it...ran a few half marathons when I was younger, enjoyed the experience but gave up with a niggling knee injury and decided that I wasn't made for running...

So huge admiration to comedian Eddie Izzard who hopes to arrive in Trafalgar Square today after completing not one, but 43 marathons in just 52 days - followed by an ice-cream van handing out free cornets - and all for charity.

Before he started is marathon - or rather his 43 marathons - Eddie had never run more than five miles in a go, and only trained for five weeks!

Good to see part of his motivation was to celebrate our country hosting the Olympics in 2012.

Pure Quality Eddie!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Lincolnshire show how the Tories would run the country...

What was David Cameron's side-kick wee Georgie Osborne thinking of when he said a future Conservative government could learn lessons from Tory councils like Lincolnshire...?

Was it Lincolnshire Tories record of running the only education authority in the country to spend millions of public money to send selected children to public school - by top-slicing the budget of every state school in the county...?

Or was it the cavalier way Lincolnshire Tories trebled home care charges for some of Lincolnshire's most vulnerable people - from £40 to an staggering £120 a week in one hike - (a saga on which I posted on HERE and HERE...?

Maybe it was the back-of-a-fag-packet scheme to close all infant schools that showed what Lincolnshire Conservatives really feel about 'choice' despite their rhetoric...?

Surely wee Georgie wasn't thinking about the way Lincolnshire Tories' forced through the biggest council tax demand for policing in the county - an eye-watering 78.9 per cent that had to be capped by the Labour Government with a welcome rebate for every council tax payer...?

Ironically, wee Georgie was talking in his speech about value for money when he highlighted Lincolnshire as a flagship to follow...

Wonder if he realises that Lincolnshire Tories insisted on hiking up council tax bills this year - voting down Labour's sensible plan for a council tax freeze...(despite his promise that Conservatives would deliver a freeze on council tax).

No, wee-Georgie was talking about Lincolnshire's record on public-private partnerships. While I believe private firms might sometimes deliver a better job than local councils, in eight years as a county councillor in Lincolnshire, I was far from impressed with the way county services were run by private companies.

I believe the system wee Georgie was so impressed with was brought in by former Tory Leader of the county council, Jim Speechley...

Wee Georgie will remember Jim well...Speechley of course was sent to jail for corruption.

So now we know how the Tories would run the country if we were ever daft enough to give them a chance...

Same old Tories, or what...?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Hope fades for Englands Ladies...

Trying to follow the European Ladies final on my blackberry on train home from London. Not bad for a technophobe eh?? But with England 6-2 down to Germany, time is running out

Blow for Tory 'flagship' accused of racism and sexual discrimination...

So George Osborne thinks the Tories should learn lessons on how to run the country from Conservative-run local councils...

In his speech today, wee Georgie cites Tory Wandsworth in London as a flagship authority whose example should be followed.

Just 24-hours earlier, a leading councillor in Wandsworth tore up her Conservative membership card, quit the party and accused the Conservative Council Leader, his deputy and others of

"years of (sexual) discrimination, racism and belittling"

Same old Tories, eh?

England Expects...

Get De Beers In screams this morning's Sun in a classic currant bun splash after England's stylish entry last night into the World Cup Finals in South Africa next summer.

I'm by no means an expert or a football fanatic. But I am a patriot - so was disappointed only to catch the last five minutes of the game on ITV.

Unfortunately, the Croatia clash at the fabulous new Wembley stadium overlapped with a meeting of the Trustees of United Charities of Deeping St James at the DSJ Institute which didn't finish until 9.30...

England's 5-1 victory which propelled England to the finals had the headline writers working overtime. The Mirror cleverly went for: Bok of the Net.

I rather like the Sun's simple online version: 3 Lions off on Safari...

Good Luck to England's Ladies team today who could top the lads' performance by becoming European Champions if they beat Germany in Helsinki.

The Ladies European final is on BBC 2 from 5pm, but there's an early evening meeting of the parish council's youth committee, so looks like I'll be catching up with the highlights later.

And of course, I'm looking forward to tomorrow's crop of post Ladies Final headlines...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Hannan's so eccentric, he's now on Cameron's side...

The Tory MEP who claimed on American TV that the NHS has been a 60 year mistake was dismissed by David Cameron as an eccentric.

So eccentric in fact that Mr Cameron has rewarded the hard-right Hannan with a plum job in the Conservative team!

After Hannan told Americans last month that 'I wouldn't wish the NHS on anyone', commentators on this side of the pond were split on whether he was a lonely eccentric maverick as Cameron would have us believe, or the voice of many on the extreme right of Cameron's Conservative Party.

Andrew Grice in the Independent suggested that Cameron could control Hannan if he were a loose cannon but concluded: unfortunately for Cameron, he is not.

Telegraph sage Jame Kirkup proved less accurate!

Under the headline Cameron chooses Obama over Hannan, Kirkup asserted Hannan was not popular with the Tory Leadership.

Hannan was later said to anger Cameron even further, by pouring praise on Enoch 'rivers of blood' Powell.

Mr Cameron was clearly angry that Dan Hannan had let the cat out of the bag that the Tories still hate the NHS and tried to kid us on that Hannan didn't speak for the Tory Party.

Well, he does now!

Same old eccentric Tories, eh?

Monday, September 07, 2009

Breathtaking Tory double standards exposed...

The Tory frontbencher campaigning to stop people building in their back gardens is trying to defend plans for an extra room - in her own back garden!

Last week Caroline Spelman was arrogantly telling Tory councils to block plans for housing schemes as long as Gordon Brown was in Downing Street.

She apparently wants to stop 'garden grabbing developers' by making it more difficult for people to build in their own back garden - but only of course after she's built her new garden room!

Same old Tories, eh?

Friday, September 04, 2009

Top Tory tells councils to block housing plans...

With breathtaking arrogance, David Cameron's team have urged Tory councils like our own at South Kesteven to block the building of new homes while Gordon Brown is in Downing Street.

I first saw this story in a local paper, the Enfield Independent a couple of days ago.

The story claimed to expose a letter apparently sent by Caroline Spelman advising councils to stall major home projects until they win power!

I could hardly believe that a party that aspires to govern could actually use political dogma to prevent councils getting people off housing waiting lists, so thought I'd check out the facts before posting.

Under the headline Tory Leaders told to delay property developments, the reputable Local Government Chronicle confirms that the letter was in fact sent by Ms Spelman:

It seems the Mirror has also been checking out the story before saying today that the arrogant letter shows the tories are not fit to govern.

Same old Tories, eh?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hannan at it again...

The Tory who attacked the NHS on American TV is at it again...

Now Conservative MEP Dan Hannan - who helped Cameron's Tories break their alliance with the EPP and instead join a ragbag of right-wing nutters - has admitted that he wants to get Britain out of Europe.

As Labour’s Denis MacShane MP says:

The dangerous thing for Britain is that far from being a lone, dissenting voice, Daniel Hannan increasingly seems to be setting the agenda for David Cameron - particularly when it comes to Europe.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

MPs expenses back in the news...

Stewart Jackson, the Peterborough MP who claimed £66,000 for his second home and was forced to pay back money he took for his swimming pool, is back in the news over expenses.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Tory plan to scrap the Minimum Wage...

Sad to hear on BBC radio last night about a Tory plan to scrap one of Labour's greatest achievements - the successful establishment of a national minimum wage.

When Labour brought in the UK's first national floor under wages a dozen years ago, the Tory front bench fought it tooth and nail.

It took a historic all-night session of Parliament for the Blair Government to get the legislation through the House of Commons to protect millions of low-paid workers exploitation by unscrupulous employers.

Since then, the National Minimum Wage has steadily risen, lifting millions out of poverty pay.

A minimum wage was one of the headline demands of the founders of the Labour Party almost a century earlier. It was an idea even supported by Winston Churchill - but of course opposed by today's hard-right Conservatives.

I well remember one Peter Bone bragging to the 1995 Tory Party Conference that he paid his travel agency staff a paltry 87 pence an hour and that if a minimum wage would mean they wouldn't have a job at all.

And I recall being sickened to the core by the thunderous applause Mr Bone received for his speech from the Tory faithful.

Mr Bone was supporting the official Tory line that Labour's minimum wage would destroy a million jobs. Like much Tory doctrine, that proved to be total nonsense of course.

Today, Mr Bone is Tory MP for Wellingborough in Northamptonshire - and he's still fighting the minimum wage.

Even the main employers organisation, the CBI, now accepts the success of the National Minimum Wage.

Last night BBC Radio Four focused their series 'Where did it all go right?' on the National Minimum Wage. The CBI spokesperson put the Minimum Wage in perspective with the following words:

With 12 years good experience, just as the National Minimum wage has been successful for the Labour Party, it has also been successful for the Labour movement and has not cost jobs. I don't see any appetite to withdraw the Minimum wage...

But it wasn't difficult for the BBC to find the old guard of Cameron's Conservative Party calling for the National Minimum Wage to be scrapped, as a luxury that cannot be afforded, particularly in a recession.

My personal view is that the Minimum Wage is one of the most positive changes for good brought in by Labour. It's needed more in a recession even than in the good times.

The charge to wreck the Minimum Wage is being led by Christopher Chope, Conservative MP for Christchurch, whose previous claim to fame is that he gave us the Poll Tax (and supported by Peter Bone).

Mr Chope is known as Chope the Chopper.

Mr Bone was named by The Daily Mirror as 'the meanest boss in Britain.'

Same old Tories, eh?