Saturday, November 28, 2009

Top Tory says Cameron's team not up to the job...

Who says David Cameron's team couldn't run the proverbial piss-up in a brewery, let alone run the country...?

Er, one of the Conservative Leader's best mates, Stephen Greenhalgh, right-wing Leader of the flagship Tory Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham...

Same old, eh?

Former MP Helen Clark wins appeal against conviction...

Former Peterborough MP Helen Clark behaved 'shamefully' in a city hotel, but not criminally, an appeal judge has ruled.

As I posted at the time of her conviction, I guess you could still see the video of the incident if you want to judge for yourself. It was mysteriously leaked to utube - and then pulled following representations from Helen.

But I'm sure it's out there somewhere.

Memories of the Moscow-St Pete journey...

Shocking to hear of the apparent bomb attack on the Moscow-St. Petersburg train last night which has left more than two dozen passengers dead.

The news sparked memories of a journey I made on the same line some years ago. I had the privilege of travelling the Moscow-St Pete sleeper with a party of Americans and a couple of Russians - and can testify that it is one of the world's great journeys.

As we boarded our carriage at the Moscow 'Vauxhall' - or station - early on a Friday evening, ina burly guard handed us each a dinner box and as well as the tinned caviar, I recall it contained toothbrush, soap and other goodies and we settled down to demolish a bottle of the finest Vodka (which had cost all of £2) and put the world to rights as we pulled out of the Russian capital.

I believe the ticket cost 25 American dollars, including the box of goodies - somewhat better value than the £87 my journey from Peterborough to London cost yesterday!

We woke at breakfast the next morning as the train pulled into St Pete - the wonderful city built by Peter the Great and known as Venice of the North.

I believe the ticket for the entire journey cost 25 American dollars - including the box of goodies - somewhat better value than the £87 that my journey from Peterborough to King's Cross cost yesterday...

Hope normal service is resumed soon.

By the way, I was reliably informed that Vauxhall (said with a Russian accent) has been the word for railway station in Russia ever since Victorian times when a Russian engineer visiting one of London's rail stations to see how to build a railway asked a local what they called the station...

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tornado hits East Mids...

After the 'once in a millenium' floods in the north-west over the weekend, a tornado hits the East Midlands...

Damage report on BBC

Tory wolf in sheep's clothing...?

Had to laugh when I heard 'Cameron's Caring Conservatives' on yesterday's BBC Politics Show promising to improve rights to a fairer split of money and property when non-married couple split up.

So who's trying to persuade us this time that the Tories are no longer the nasty party...?

Stand up Peter Bone, Conservative MP for Wellingborough, Northants.

Surely not the same Peter Bone who bragged to the 1995 Tory Party Conference that he only paid staff in his travel agency a paltry 87-pence-an-hour...

His attempt to ridicule Labour's plan for the first ever national minium wage earned rapturous applause from the Tory rank and file - and the label 'meannest boss in Britain' from the media.

Yes, the very same Mr Bone...

The Tories fought tooth and nail to prevent Labour's national minium wage which put the first ever floor under wages in Britain.

They claimed it would destroy a million fact a million more people are in work after the minimum wage was brought in.

Despite a Tory rearguard action to scrap the minimum wage led by people like Peter Bone, last month it was raised to £5.80 an hour.

Isn't that more than six times the sweat-shop wages Mr Bone paid his staff...?

It's another example of the two faces of Cameron's Conservatives - the face of change and the real one...

I know which one I believe.

How about you?

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cameron's spin can't hide the Conservative's Nasty Face...

Anyone who thinks there is not two faces to the Conservatives under David Cameron should read this. There's the face David Cameron wants you to believe - and there's the hidden face which shows that at grassroots the Tories are still the Nasty Party.

Lincs headteacher named as Mistress of Tory MP...

Governors at a south Lincs School have jumped to the defence of their head teacher after she was named by a national newspaper as the former Mistress of Conservative MP David Curry who has been caught up in the parliamentary expenses scandal.

Parents of children at Bourne Abbey Church of England school must have choked over their cornflakes when they saw the photo of head teacher Cherry Edwards splashed across the front page of this morning'sDaily Telegraph.

The Lincs Free Press website was quick off the mark to follow up the story - and publish a strong defence of Miss Edwards by the school's Governing body.

The Daily Telegraph alleged Tory MP David Curry claimed nearly £30,000 for a second home that his French born wife had barred him from using after discovering he had an affair with the Bourne head teacher.

Mr Curry, former Conservative agriculture minister, was appointed only a few weeks ago as chairman of the all-powerful standards and privileges committee.

His job was to police Commons expense claims and make judgements on his parliamentary colleagues.

It's all a huge embarrassment for David Cameron to see his 'expenses policeman' forced to step down pending an inquiry into his own expenses so soon after his appointment.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Can you name the few...?

The madness of David Cameron's top priority to give £200,000 to the richest 3,000 people in the country by cutting inheritance tax was highlighted this afternoon by Gordon Brown when he said so few people would benefit that some Tory MPs would personally know almost every one of them by name.

Mr Brown ridiculed the Tory plan which would widen the gap between rich and poor.
He said an estate of £1 million would benefit by £120,000. An estate of £1.5 million by £320,000 and an estate of £2 million by £520,000.

He described it was "the most regressive policy you can imagine where 99% of the benefit goes to the richest few in our country. The typical constituency will have only five people who benefit."

"The biggest group of beneficiaries are in one area of the country, Kensington and Chelsea, which of course includes Notting Hill...(er, home to David Cameron and George Osborne)...

The House erupted when Mr Brown added: "This must be the only tax change in history when the people proposing it, the leader of the opposition and the shadow chancellor, will know by name almost all of the potential beneficiaries..."

Female top gun is from Stamford...

When I first posted in May on the first female Red Arrow pilot, I knew Flt Lt Kirsty Moore was from Lincolnshire, but didn't know if she hailed from our part of the county...

Now the Stamford Mercury has revealed that the top gun is a former pupil of Stamford High School...

So which sensible measures will the Tories vote against...?

Just back from two weeks holiday in Kenya, no internet, no telly, no papers!

First news I hear on arrival back in UK is Tory Michael Gove complaining that the list of bills in the Queen's Speech - the Government's legislative programme is political and designed to ensure Labour wins the next General Election...

Politicians being political...? Heaven forbid!

After hearing the Speech live, I'm interested to see which bills Mr Gove and the Tories actually object too...

Will they vote against new measures announced to crack down on bankers’ pay in the Financial Services Bill...?

Most sensible people are rightly angry at the way bankers who almost brought down our economy have now been rewarded for their poor decisions with fat cat bonuses.

Will the Tories be mad enough to vote against Labour's new measures to ban cluster munitions - or will they vote to continue the horror these weapons can cause.

Labour led the way in banning landmines, and for my money, banning cluster bombs is the next sensible move on this front.

Maybe the Tories will vote against the new measures on green energy which are needed to cut carbon emissions and encourage new, greener forms of energy...

Tories in the Lords have already threatened to block Labour's measures on fuel poverty announced in the Energy Bill to help pensioners and families struggling on low incomes.