Monday, October 25, 2010

Police numbers to be cut in Lincs

Police numbers in Lincolnshire are likely to be cut as a result of the draconian ConDem Coalition austerity package.

So what does Tory MP John Hayes for South Holland and the Deepings have to say about that, I wonder.

I distinctly recall him promising MORE police not less in his general election leaflets which dropped on my mat only a few months ago.

Mr Hayes and his gang can't say they didn't know there was a big deficit - after all they campaigned on that very issue to get elected.

And after the election, official figures showed that the deficit was not as big as forecast before the election.

So will Mr Hayes be campaigning against the austerity package which is resulting in his election promises being broken within months...?

Let's hear it Mr Hayes!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Is Construction Company casualty of Coalition Cuts...?

D. A. Green's are a well-respected local construction company which has a record of delivering prestige projects in both the public and private sector.

Or at least they were - until they were forced to call in the receivers this week, throwing 80 people on the dole.

No doubt our MP John Hayes who cheered on the age of austerity in the House of Commons this week will tell the jobless workers we're all in this together.

Friday, October 08, 2010

I have a dream...

Women fill half of posts in Ed Miliband's cabinet - headline from tonight's London Evening Standard.

I have a dream that one day the gender of those in top jobs is not news.

The gender agenda has made leaps and bounds in almost three decades since I became the proud father of two beautiful daughters - now both teachers.

But there's clearly a way still to go...

How to save millions on teacher redundancies and supply teachers...

Lincolnshire County Council spent more than £2 million in redundancy payment for teachers in the past year.

In the same period, the same Conservative-controlled authority also spent £3.5 million to hire supply teachers and agency staff in the county's schools.

Could I suggest some joined-up thinking at county hall that might just save a few million quid of our money...?

Instead of sacking teachers when schools close or merge, would it not be possible to create an internal 'supply team' to fill in for sickness and some of the other inevitable emergencies faced by schools?

They could also be used as a team to assist head teachers in schools which need extra help raising standards...

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Cameron talking Balls...

David Cameron spoke much about 'fairness' in his speech today. Sadly the Prime Minister failed to practice what he preached...

His attempt to ridicule Labour's Ed Balls doesn't stand up to scrutiny and in my humble opinion, was disgracefully unfair.

Judge for yourself.

Here's verbatim what Mr Cameron said about Mr Balls:

"I want to give you an idea of the mentality we're fighting.

"Ed Balls, the man who used to be in charge of education in our country, said one of the dangers of our schools policy was that it would create 'winners'.

"Winners? We can't have that.." said Mr Cameron. He went on: "Anti-aspiration. Anti-success. Anti-parents who just want the best for their children. What an unbelieveable attitude from the Labour generation..."


Tonight, BBC Newsnight asked Central Conservative Office for the source of the PM's attack on Mr Balls.

Newsnight then played the tape of what Mr Balls actually said.

Here's the transcript:

"The danger is there will be some winners but it's dishonest to say their will not be losers as well."

If Mr Cameron thinks his attack is 'fair', isn't our Prime Minister even more out of touch with reality than he demonstrated with the unfairness of scrapping child benefit for families with an income of £44,000 while continuing to pay child benefit to families with an income of £87,000...

What do you think...?

Cameron on the back foot...

First, in the backlash of the child benefits debacle, he was forced to apologise that axing benefits for more than a million families was NOT in the Tory election manifesto.

(In fact, the Tories spent the general election campaign accusing Labour of scurrilous scaremongering after the Tories' secret plans to cut child benefit were exposed).

And secondly today, the Prime Minister was forced to defend his Chief spindoctor, former editor of the News of the World Andy Coulson after more revelations in the phone-hacking scandal.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

It's the 'End of' as Tories go on the run...

Just 24 hours after the ConDem axe fell on more than a million families, Tory Children’s minister Tim Loughton has come up with the understatement of the year...

In the face of the storm and as the Mail splashed today on "Fury of Stay at Home Mums", Mr Loughton admitted that the move 'could be in need of more work...'!!!

The Tories are so out of touch with normal people that they thought their back of a fag packet ruse would get positive headlines for their Conference...

But hitting women and children first is not even popular with their own MPs.

A backbench revolt is already brewing as Tory MPs realise the move squeezes 'middle England' and threatens their survival at the next election. The revolt is likely to be led by David Davis, the MP who callenged David Cameron for the leadership of the Tory Party.

Today, he went on the airways to hightlight the unfairness. He says it cannot be right that a family with a single earner on £44k a year and a partner staying at home to look after the kids loses their child benefit while neighbours with both partners each earning £40k - a total income of £80k - KEEP their child benefit.

LibDem Susan Kramer dismissed suggestions of Coalition unfairness saying "That's the way the tax system works"!!

It's astonishing is how the lackey LibDems support scrapping the principle of universal benefits for children. They sold their principles for a taste of power...

Labour's Yvette Cooper hit the nail on the head when she said cutting child benefit for over a million families gives the lie to the ConDem's justification that deep cuts are needed now to protect the future generation.

The ConDems are making the next generation pay now.

I also heard London Tory MP Mark Field admit earlier today that the ConDems would have a political price to pay to cut child benefits. Her admitted that the £44k threshold would hit many 'ordinary' hard working families in the capital.

Even Tory Children's Minister Tim Loughton told Channel 4 News the move could be in need of more work.

He said: "If there are ways we can look at compensating measures for those genuinely in need, that will be looked at in future budgets."

But the prize for most entertaining piece of telly today has to go to Sky who broadcast Loughton desperately trying to escape the media spotlight who wanted to clarify his thoughts on a rethink.

Fast-trotting through Birming convention centre trailed by a media scrum, he didn't want to take the opportunity to explain what he meant.

Later, when the cameras caught up with him, Mr Loughton said:

I am very happy with the policy that George Osborne announced yesterday. It’s tough, it’s a difficult choice but it’s fair. End of. End of.

And to every other question, Mr Loughton replied: End of. End of.

Question: …does that imply you’re going to try and bring in measures to mitigate this?

Tory Minister: End of. End of.

Question: End of what?

Tory Minister: End of.

And that was the end of

Monday, October 04, 2010

Women and Children first for cuts...

The unfairness of detail in Tory cuts in child benefits shows that while the Conservatives claim to support the family, they haven't got a clue.

Despite promising to keep universal child benefit BEFORE the election, they've come up with a complete dog's breakfast to force families and children to pay for the deficit.

Under the plan announced today, if one parent earns over £44k a year and the other stops at home to raise the kids, the Tories will take all the child benefit away - over £30 a week if they have two kiddies.

But if they put the kids in day-care so and both go out to earn £43k each - a household income of £86k, under the Tory plan the family will keep all child benefits.

Crazy or just Conservative?

Tory heartlands 'pissed off' over latest cuts...?

The Tories are 'pi**ing off' the Conservatives core vote by cutting universal child benefit.

Not my words, but those of a Tory Minister, according to Channel 4's CutsCheck blog fronted by Cathy Newman.

She says CutsCheck is:

'...getting wind of a ministerial revolt over George Osborne’s announcement this afternoon.

One minister told me just now he had four emails from constituents complaining about it within an hour of the chancellor leaving the stage. He said: “We’re p***ing off our core vote.

We’re supposed to be the party of the hard-working family.” He went on to protest that the chancellor had sprung the decision on ministers, and that it appeared to have been hurriedly put together.

A cabinet minister has just told me the cut was a “complete bombshell” – he hadn’t been given any advance warning either....

Tune in to C4 at 7pm!!

UPDATE: Among those urging the ConDems not to make children pay off the deficit today was the Centre for Social Justice.

The think-tank' chief executive described the cuts announced today as a 'dirty' way of paying off the deficit and urged a re-think.

As the BBC reports, the Centre for Social Justice was founded by Iain Duncan Smith, the Conservative's Welfare Minister!!

Swimmer on the run...?

More daft misuse of words from lazy journalists - this time by a BBC sports commentator at the Commonwealth Games in Dehli who should surely no better.

He's just broadcast on Radio4's PM programme that a particular swimmer was so fast that "she has stolen the medal - and I do mean stolen the medal".

How unsporting!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Tory Baroness backs off on allegations of voting fraud...

Conservative chairman Baroness Warsi came out all guns blazing against Labour this week, claiming that voting fraud had cost the Tories three seats at the general election.

But having achieved the headlines, under scrutiny she now appears to be backing off from her allegations.

I hope anyone who abuses our democracy by attempting to deceive voters is prosecuted. And I welcome the fact that some ex-members of the Labour Party - and incidentally, Liberal Democrats too - who were guilty of voting fraud have felt the long arm of the law.

But why Baroness Warsi's attempt to dilute her comments from earlier in the week...?

Could it be that someone has told her the facts: that the worst ever case of electoral fraud prosecuted in this country resulted in SIX guilty people going to prison - for their part in a scam to oust a former Labour Mayor and replace him, by...wait for, a Conservative!

Glasshouses and stones come to mind...

Tory MPs attack LibDems...

A Tory MP says she would 'rather die' than form an election pact with the LibDems - an idea recently floated by Nick Boles, the newly elected Conservative MP for Stamford and Grantham.

It seems Mr Boles' suggestion of the Tories getting even more familiar with their LibDem Coalition partners has gone down like a lead balloon among both Tory grandees - as well as rank and file members of both parties.

Meanwhile, I had to chuckle at Tory MP for Wellingborough Peter Bone was on the Politics Show at lunchtime attacking the LibDems, saying they couldn't be trusted.

Self-confessed right-winger Mr Bone generously said he thought he could trust Labour, but not the LibDems!

Well, with friends like Mr Bone (once dubbed the meannest boss in Britain - after bragging of the poverty wages he paid his staff), who needs enemies...?

Hack puts phone-hacking scandal back in the news...

An interview with a former News of the World journalist to be broadcast on C4's Despatches programme tomorrow night will put more the phone-hacking scandal back in the headlines.

Andy Coulson, now the Prime Minister's chief spin-doctor, resigned as editor of the NotW when one of his journalists went to prison for phone-hacking.

Coulson himself has always denied any knowledge of illegal activities when he was editor.

But The Guardian says that on C4 tomorrow, a senior journo who worked alongside Coulson will claim - albeit anonymously - that Coulson not only knew his reporters used intecepted voicemail messages, but that he was actually involved.

The journalist, said, like Coulson to be a former editor of the paper, claims when Couldon was told of intercepted voicemail messages of public figures, he demanded that he hear the tape or an email transcript to be sure they were authentic.

No doubt as Mr Cameron stands by his man, I'm sure he was hoping the phone-hacking scandal would go away - at least during the week of their Conference.

Not a chance.

It may be a slow-burner, but it seems this one will drip, drip and drip again for some time to come...

Saturday, October 02, 2010

Roll up for your plants...

Plant sale and coffee at DSJ Church Hall this Saturday 10-1 to raise a few bob for next year's DSJ in Bloom effort...all welcome.

Friday, October 01, 2010

Let's hear Cameron's excuses...

New Labour Leader Ed Miliband today demonstrated the nonsense of The Tory Sun's 'Red Ed' label when he urged union leaders to call off a planned broadcast black-out of the Prime Minister's Conservative Conference speech next week.

Everyone should have the opportunity to hear Mr Cameron's words. We all need to know how he can justifies unfair cuts to make pensioners and the low-wage workers pay for the mistakes of the greedy bankers who sent us into world recession.

Catch the bald pot-bellied flasher...

Hope local police catch this offensive flasher quickly so other young girls in our village don't become victims of his abuse.

I remember my anger some 20 years ago when one of my daughters came home after a similar incident - and as a result was forced to explain things that little girls should not have to know.

On that occasion, Deepings police caught the offender.

I hope the latest offender is made to realise that his selfish cheap thrill could lead to long-term damage to innocent lives.

We must protect the innocence of children and allow them to grow up free from abuse.