Saturday, June 09, 2007

Regional Development Agencies and GOs

John McDonnell has been asking some interesting questions about how management of various European Funds is being transferred out of Government Offices in the regions in the case of ERDF* programmes from GOs to RDAs under the auspices of Yvette Cooper at DfCLG and in the case of ESF* from GOs to DWP under the auspices of James Plaskitt with an operational transfer date of 1 October 2007 (in the case of ERDF).

Both GOs and RDAs have raised some issues down the years about accountability, as have the somethingly unelected Shadow Regional Assemblies that meet - in the shadows naturally - from time to time. Presumably many of the key staff who have been wrestling with these European Structural Funds will be asked to transfer or be seconded and may even remain at the same desks as they do so.

I think John McDonnell is wise to keep an eye on this. Somebody needs to. Apart from the terms and condition of the workers - and these regimes make for thankless and difficult work - there is a huge issue for me about how the voluntary sector will access the tapering funds over the next ten years. This has been tough and may be getting still tougher.

*TECHNICAL NOTES: European Regional Development Fund is essentially for capital projects though some revenue costs associated with them are also funded. European Social Funds largely fund job training, development and employability. Both Funds are complex with national, regional and local plans and pots of money; varying intervention rates; and ever changing rules and guidance.

ESF is particularly onerous. Bringing in co-financing where the whole funding package and not just the EU money is secured all at once seems to have worked particularly well for the larger players as have most of the other changes.

Because of the accession of Central European Countries the money for UK regions is tapering as less regions are less hard done by compared to EU averages.

Apology to Charles Glover: Sorry I'm 24h Late

Yesterday a rather tardy "response" arrived to something I posted three weeks ago about Lib Dem play acting and fibbing here. It appears at first to be a complete non-sequitor but here goes:

Charles Glover says:
I'd like to refer you to (b) and (c) above and also your promise below to make corrections:
"I rarely delete comments and will generally carry corrections and observations prominently on request. This time, and every time, it's personal." - Chris Paul (on the left bar of your blog).
Chris, you have repeatedly made an erroneous assertion the John Leech paid for leaflets using taxpayers money which were delivered outside of his constituency.
This is categorically untrue, and therefore you have no evidence to support it. The leaflets you have received (and for clarity for other readers you do not live in Manchester Withington Constituency) were not paid for by the tax payer, but instead paid for from other funds.I would therefore respectfully request you both to withdraw such comments, and prominently display that withdrawal.

This is in fact referring to these comments:

Anonymous said...
Should be called gloves off, and that should be Mcr Labour. The Lib dems are lying and fibbing and cheating all over Manchester. Despise the electorate too.

19 May, 2007 22:25
Chris Paul said...
Yes, one member at a branch where we had nominally lost a seat, or they had held depending on how you look at it; asked whether they (the Lib Dems) are allowed to lie, cheat and steal. On the lying there really is little to be done. And on the cheating and stealing there seems little hope of the Electoral Commission ever doing anything about overspending and the rest of it.

I suppose we need (a) some longer range campaigning about Lib Dem dishonesty; and
(b) to campaign for a rule under which repetition of statements proved false (e.g. Christie hoax, bin hoax) is an offence and leaflets get pulped and both candidates and agents personally fined for an electoral offence at the highest permitted level (i.e. £5000 for each offence, each); and (c) where a reasonable person believes a party is using tax payers money to campaign (vide Leech's parliamentary report) or going outside their area there are robust fines and other penalties e.g. candidates getting disqualified, MPs having to pay back tax money AND pay all other contesting parties the same amount to produce extra print.

Statement (a) is not contested by Cllr Charles Glover who must now be hoping to drop his previous nicknames, albeit affectionately awarded, like "Failed of Failsworth" (where local people kicked the lazy blighter out as he said he was two tired and also spent much of his time in Rotterdam instead of in Oldham), and "Lazy Glover" (ditto) and "Carpetbagger" (as he is one).

Perhaps after this request he will simply become known as "Gobby of Gorton", "Gorton Gobby" or "Gobby Glover", though he is still of course a lazy failure, failing as I recall to make his very first meeting of Full Council. Because he was tired then as well I understand.

Statement (b) is included in the list of those Cllr Glover disputes though he doesn't say why. In the latest 32-ward campaign the Lib Dems did continue to distribute leaflets saying the bin collections would change to weekly when they are not being changed and the Lib Dems know it. And of course John Leech MP has been battered from all sides for his despicable hoax perpetrated on seriously ill and dying hospital patients. Obviously being as these are Lib Dems there are countless other examples of lies, distortions and exaggerations. This sort of campaigning clearly should be stopped. There should be serious fines and penalties and candidates and agents should be disqualified from office or agency in the worst cases. No apology Gobby. You can stick that where the sun don't shine.

Statement (c) is perhaps the most interesting. This could and should be tackled under the existing rules, guidance and protocols and not under the general shift I'm asking for in (a) and (b) where Lib Dems are punished for lying. But my statement (c) has several parts. (C.i) That Manchester Lib Dems use tax payers money to create campaigning print; (C.ii) That this Lib Dem MP is going outside his constituency area, including with the print specified in Ci; and (C.iii) That there should be serious penalties for this behaviour.

As far as I can gather from Gobby Glover's rant he is not contesting that the print is campaigning print. If he were to assert this he'd be in difficulties with both the 2006 example - which had a couple of juicy pictures of himself - or the 2007 one which appeared to have pictures of most of the local government candidates, and pictures of specific Lib Dem campaigning material.

Wherever this is distributed it is against the rules to campaign and to feature party political material in this form of print.

Gobby Glover is also not contesting that the material was distributed outside the boundaries of Mr Leech's constituency. How could he do so? We all know it was, when it was, and exactly where too. This is specifically in areas that are represented by the most excellent Labour MP, Tony Lloyd. Mr Leech also has a record of breaking the rules by touting for casework in Wythenshawe and Sale East constituency and in Gorton constituency. Perhaps some examples will be provided in the comments.

Gobby Glover is also not contesting, as far as I can see, the proposal that there should be proper penalties for this sort of cheating behaviour. Even though he is not contesting my comments that put his man in the wrong on this.

The thing that Gobby Glover is contesting on behalf of McLeech is that tax payers money has been used to pay for campaigning material. Though most reasonable people would agree that both his 2006 and 2007 efforts have been serious campaigning tools featuring candidates. No serious people would pretend that this material hasn't been distributed outside McLeech's constituency. Because that's bang to rights.

The only thing that Gobby Glover seems to be contesting is that stuff illicitly distributed outside the constituency has been paid for by tax payers. He insists that other funds have been used to pay for that small portion of the material.

On this there is a tiny but arguable ray of light for Mr Gobby. That is that the 2007 leaflet had a weaselly statement on it saying it was mostly paid for by taxpayers - already breaking the rules remember as it is highly politicized - but also from other sources. That those other sources are most likely Councillor allowances paid to an absentee councillor (Cllr McLeech) are probably by the by. I mean let's not split hairs here.

However relying on that statement means I am honour bound to rely on the one on the 2006 leaflet which had the same problems i.e. political and out of area but had a different statement on how it was funded. That said it was funded by the tax paper full stop.

So that's a big nought out of ten for Mr Gobby and his friend Mr McLeech. While I'm happy to give your request and your own statement prominence I'm clearly not going to be apologising for my remarks which, relying on your own lack of rebuttal for most and your own P&P for the issue of tax payer funding, are 100% correct.

There are two other assertions I've made on this blog and elsewhere which you may wish to coment on Mr Gobby - or perhaps the organ grinder himself this time - these are (D) That Lib Dems appear to have substantially overspent on the 2005 General Election in Manchester Withington Constituency and (E) That McLeech has taken PAID ADVERTS in Lib Dem campaigning material to subsidise it.

Finally, the real apologies we need are:

1. John Leech should explain and apologise and face the music for overspending in 2005;
2. John Leech should explain and apologise for cheating with campaigning literature paid for by the public purse in 2006 and 2007; and finally
3. John Leech should apologise for his heartless hoax over the Christie Hospital and for all other fibs and hoaxes perpetrated by Manchester Lib Dems

Tony Blair Upstaged: Will Konnie Leave BP First?

Just as Tony Blair leaves for pastures new, so the journalist who bookended his career, with a sideline as a Mirror page three girl, Konnie Huq is to leave Blue Peter. Big sis Rupa Huq has invited me to join Konnie's new facebook Fan Club. In fact Ms K Huq answers for eight groups, so far. I expect Tone has some too. The Ballad of Ake Green

An amazing story of an urban and rural and everywhere reactionary myth that spreads like wildfire. Jesus Christ wanted for hate crime.

The religious right in the USA standing up for beating gay people to within an inch of their lives, because God is good and says that's cool.

Download a poster for your window.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Tony Blair: Thanks LOL for Wonderful Support

10 Downing Street

Dear Members,

As I leave the leadership of our Party, I wanted to thank you for your wonderful support during these 13 years. Through thick and thin, good and bad, you helped me enormously. I shall never forget it. It was an honour to be leader of this great Party of ours.

Lets win a 4th term!
Thank you.
Tony Blair

Verb in every sentence. Just one two grammatical errors of punctuation. We shall miss him.
UPDATE: Jailhouse remarks that is like a paean to a sofa.

Deputy Dawgs: Simon Mayo's Speed Dating Event

Anyone who is still struggling to decide how to vote could do worse than listen to Simon Mayo's Speed Dating Event from yesterday. The preamble starts at 5 minutes in. The action starts at 8:40 minutes in. Each candidate gets 6:30 on their "date". Simon is joined by Miss Wigan Vicky Goulding, a Green sympathizer and Ged Sweeney, an ex-Member.

The approximate start times are: Jon Cruddas 8:40; Hazel Blears 15:50; (Travel News) Peter Hain 24:20; (News) Alan Johnson 35:10; Hilary Benn 42:40; (Travel) Harriet Harman 51:10.

A bit of a round up after news and sport. (about 70:30)

Ged Sweeney: puts the candidates in two batches: No to Blears Hain Johnson. Winner for him Hilary Benn. Articulate and likeable. Wonders how Hain was ever seen as the favourite.

Miss Wigan - 6. Hilary, a bit bland 5. Alan, also quite bland 4. Hazel passion, 3. Peter?, 2. Honest Jon, 1. Modern Harriet her favourite and Vicky liked being asked a question back.

Listener Dr Walter: Cruddas - "streetsmart and surprisingly articulate"; Blears "autocue performance, passionate"; Hain "uninspiring"; Johnson "sucking up expert"; Benn "on the wireless sounds like Tony"; Harman "reassuring but too many soundbites". His choice Cruddas or Benn.

Iain Dale's Dairy: Gullible's Travails

My friend Iain Dale's tribute site Iain Dale's Dairy carries another shooting-fish-in-barrel "fisk" name of Gullible's Travails.

This time, rather than a decisive surgical intervention in Nadine Dorries' half-baked musings on women's reproductive rights, we have a profound and in-depth surgical expose of Dale's half-baked musings on political editors' reproduction rights. So there's some symmetry there then.

My own short post on the subject of Dale's quixotic quest was met with a sullen and comment from the maestro.

This cannot alas be blogged before the watershed.

Sadly the LOL Art Department are still stalling on the other Dale jester pictures.

But here's one they prepared earlier.

Green Poll: When Will Oil Run Out?

Hamer was pointed by Antonia at Green Derek's Rant. This gentleman is the male component in the "leadership" of a party in which "leadership" is a proscribed word.

Mr Wall (right) has maxxed out on his St John's Wort remedy and written a stark, raving mad post on how Shelagh the 16-year-old anti-war protestor and LP member from round the corner and 83-year-old Walter from Richmond are in fact child murderers.

He is getting a well-deserved roasting in his comments section. Meanwhile his readership have voted overwhelmingly for the world's supply of oil to last for ever. This is a relief as I thought it would be all gone by late November this year. But a vote is a vote. This result will be binding on the world's resources.

It is a relief that the Green Party in Manchester, though ineffectual and in the case of their one councillor absent, are not involved in such sectarian and sub-Trot diatribes. I shall be keeping an eye on this site.

Big Brother: Emily's Word Was Nigga

Sounds from the accounts of the incident so far that Channel 4 high ups have got it wrong again. Emily trying to be down with the kids while dancing about in the early hours with Charlie. More may emerge.

But a poor attempt at street argot (cf Eminem, Jackie Brown, NWA etc) from a 19-year-old drama student - however annoying she may be - is not in the same ballpark as the culture clash of celebrity big brother. And the Diane programme was over-egged also.

Are Channel 4 trying to make themselves unprivatiseable?

EXCLUSIVE Big Brother House: Emily Parr Ejected for Racially Offensive Language

It's started. Emily Parr (left) was a nasty, manipulative, bitchy, clever clogs of a contestant. Good riddance. But will this development save Shabs (right) as the two were up for eviction?

. . .

At 10am neither C4 News nor BB Microsite (above) were carrying the story. But the BBC had it. The remark was made to Charlie and Nicky not eviction rival Shabs. Shabs is now safe as the vote if off. The eviction was at 3:30 am BST.

Shariah TV: Well No, It's R.E.M. at the Isle of Wight, No it's Shariah TV After All

Shame, I was looking forward to wise interpretations of the Holy Quran and related hadiths.

But I do love R.E.M.

First saw them at the Mandela Building in 1984 or thereabouts, perhaps 1985.

Looking like just a small cog or a prophet in a big wheel of US Guitar Bands - Lone Justice, Long Ryders, Del Fuegos, Gun Club, Beat Farmers and the like that were coming up.

Plus boring old farts like The Byrds and Flaco Jiminez. Really sad to have to see them in little clubs instead of at a stadium. But anyway, after an excellent left field guitar set, Stipe did a cheesy Moon River for an encore. I remember that I thought that "outrageous" and said so. Don't think I could justify that comment then either.

Hey, Shariah TV is back. From the Dome of the Rock. A brilliant, liberal, free discussion among Muslim people. More free of the holy chapter, verse, revelations and anecdotes than the usual UK studio programme (which is pretty liberal) or typical post prayers chat in the mosque.

The Strict Sheik* is cool as ever. But 'Strict'. The crowd though are liberals and/or open conservatives. I throughly recommend this programme.

* Shariah judge in Nazareth.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Dale's Exclusive: How 'Spinning Iain' Played Journalism With Political Editors

Iain Dale's Exclusive speculation about four leading Sunday political journalists has been completely and utterly rebutted by those very journalists. Three out of the four anyway.

GB might I suppose have discovered one hollow vessel Tory stooge, in no small part thanks to Iain.

Iain claimed that these four journalists had been cowed into not getting opposition comments on a Gordon Brown speech. They simply say they were reporting the speech and didn't want or need rent-a-quotes. Which seems very reasonable.

Iain has written an update on his story but is regretably still arguing the toss and trying to tell senior professionals what's their normal working practice, or should be. Regretably he is wrong again.

While his enthusiasm for his "exclusive" is admirable, and he's clearly got a bee in his bonnet about all sorts of people seeking to control their own media, Iain's clearly taking some wild punts.

Guido meanwhile is having it both ways. Quite pleased at the discomfort, yet saying Iain is somehow right. At least Iain Dale didn't do it on Newsnight as the GUFster did.

Transport and General: J-O-N - B-O-Y - T-O - W-I-N

The Guardian's Mr Henley catches some press relators taking the name Jon in vain. Or perhaps not:

Bless the T&G. Its press office's enchanting daily news briefing yesterday contained 11 items, the first letter of each spelling out the stirring slogan JON BOY TO WIN. That nice Mr Cruddas must be so proud.

Seem to recall someone making a rather longer sentence (scroll to "Dismissal" and see above) in this way but the best I've done I think is R-E-D for an early interview with that nice Mick Hucknall for whom Money's Too Tight To Mention was just a silly phase he was going through.

Libdemologists: Steady the Ship, now Zing for Ming

The Herald has the story. Hot on the heels of the announcement of NOW's Andy Coulson for the Tories, the Lib Dems enter the fray with one Mark Webster, former ITN newsman. The Herald report concludes:

While senior colleagues insist there is "no appetite" for a challenge to the Scot, they realise their party has become becalmed of late - it lost nearly 250 seats in the recent English council elections - they fear its message could get lost altogether in the forthcoming Brown/Cameron battle. Yesterday, Lord McNally, the LibDems' leader in the Lords, admitted the party was "treading water" at the moment. He said with a new Tory leader and a new incoming Labour one, it was difficult for head of third party to "get into the story".

Mark Webster comes from a long line of embalmers and funeral directors. That's a fib. Seemed appropriate. But here's what one of the comments at Herald HQ says:

"First time the LudDims decided to prove Ming's popular touch they did a number of interviews where he explained he was giving up his jag (to be green) by parking it in his garage, approved of efficient lighbulbs, but when asked how many he had said "none". He was a regular watcher of Corrie but the only current character he could name was Bet Lynch.
You can rebrand as much as you want but a silly old duffer is still a silly old duffer."

Hat tip: Fibs Dems' Mission impossible

Nadine Dorries: Superstition Aforethought?

Ministry of Truth has taken apart Nadine Dorries' whimsy and prejudice about abortion and the one true church using facts and arguments.

As Unity says, fisking Nadine is something akin to shooting fish in a barrel. But this is a very patient, determined and extensive piece of work countering a piece of delusional fiction (if I just slip off the fence for a mo).

Nad seems to have no permalinks in place. But her original post is called 'Abortion' and a follow up 'The Cardinal'. Currently 3rd and 2nd on the blog, with the 1st dealing with her, er, silly and clumsy moments. It's hard to believe she has those.

Deputy Dawgs: Political Betting, Turn Up on Turn Out

Political Betting rightly wonders out loud about turn out. But, despite being aware that this is exhaustive not FPTP, they quote a FPTP poll of those committed to vote. The actual betting market is close to the poll, as you might expect.

Turnout and transfers. Turnout and transfers. Turnout and transfers.

It looks to me like this could go to five rounds. I don't think the Hain and Blears transfers will go to one another. They could scatter five ways, then four ways, and then the contest proper. Harman and Cruddas will then have a pretty high mutuality so, if it were around 30, 30, 20, 20 after two eliminations, one of them could leapfrog the leaders.

Political Betting speculates that the turn out will be very low, as there is quite a lot of "who cares?" out there, and that this could favour Cruddas with the edge on keeness of cohorts.

Political Betting: Labour Fourth Win, Democrats Tied

Mike Smithson at Political Betting is now of the opinion that Labour will win an Historic Fourth Term. The bookies have 1-25 seats majority as a 7-1 bet, 11-1 on 26-50, each of which look good value. Bet on 50+ too and you have an all round 10-3 bet on a Labour win. Which is better than 5-4.

Mike also reports Barack Obama drawing almost level with Hillary Clinton despite her rhetoric of invinceability. the polls of polls still show herself ahead but with Gore in BO gets his nose in front for the first time.

West Ham Farrago: Another Point of View

Iain Dale is chuffed that Ken Clarke spares West Ham a debate:

Parliament, he said, should not be debating whether West Ham should have points deducted.

Quite right, the FA and the Premiership should have done it long ago. Too harsh? Well let's use a carrot not a stick and award all clubs who did not fiddle or fib a BONUS FIVE POINTS. That's the way to do it.

Falling Man: 70 Minutes Making of and Preview

Blog Censorship: China, India, and Closer to Home

Un des specials chauds du jour (?Franglais?) is Blog censorship. Here, here, here, here and here for example.

Not really a new phenomenon however. Blogger was accused of being heavy handed almost two years ago and have now gone to a very light touch indeed. Much to the Hitch's delight and their victims' horror.

So this is not always confined to Asia and her developing markets. LOL will be back to this. Meanwhile if any blogger wishes to point LOL at instances of censorship, legal threat, bribe or persuasion please do take a moment to drop me an email or a comment.

Requests for anonymity or sleight of blog will of course be respected.

Car Crash Telly: That Channel 4 Vox Pop 10 Seconds

My mate Barry emails from Manila. He's recently got back from his little "training" trip back to Blighty, including a road race or two and a visit to both The Beech on Beech Road in god's own suburb of Chorlton and to the "Dive" club at the bus station which is the home of an unruly element of Manchester's diving community.

Barry has somehow caught wind of Channel 4 News and my "Parasites" moment on last night's news. Actually from Gaz. But he cannot find it again to spread revolt through the antipodean colonies and Far East markets where he SAPs and Oracles like a good 'un. Between scube-ing at Puerto Galera. This Mindoro resort - just 40 minutes and US$300 (for three) from Manila by seaplane - now has wifi broadband. Barry's dream of working on The Beach (or even The Beech) is nearer than ever.

The programme sections (plural) are here. the first section includes all the talking heads from C4, from the ex-Royal retainer and HM's opposition parties and lasts about 19 minutes. The second section which is seven minutes long has the famous vox pop plus an item with the Falling Man auteur Henry Singer (audio download, tiny at 79 bytes).

The rather serious LOL quote is between 1:43 and 1:53 in.

Here is the unabridged transcript:

I don't really care much about the royal family.
I think they are parasites.
But much as I am a Republican I think that - probably - it would be wrong to show pictures of dead and dying people.

Will stick some screen grabs up and review the assembled company in part 1 soon. After the family lurchers have had a lurch in both directions, a mill round the meadow and a good sniff around.

In short Tory toff Hugo Swires possibly gets to the right answer for quite the wrong and very deferential reasons. He hadn't been "privileged" to see the thing himself.

UPDATE: If you drag the cursor almost to the right on the longer first film you can cut to the chase. It jumps straight to the second.

Norfolk Road Rage: Orange Book vs Blue Lost Boy

So, here we have it. Thrusting Norfolk Blogger has bought himself a lovely new Skoda Golf, while Norfolk Tory 'Lost Boy' Iain Dale has bought his 18th successive Skoda A8. Walt Disney are considering updating their Skoda Beetle franchise. Here's the trailer:

At least it has lovely wild track sound ... instead of Julie Andrews ...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Leadership Letters: Plus No L-U-R-C-H to the Left

Yesterday's Guardian had the good sense to publish letters from both Cllr Luke Akehurst and myself. Less wise is their selection of Mike Allott's "Lurch to the left" nonsense.

Building council houses for example is not a lurch to the left.

Tories and Labour used to vie with each other to build more in a year. 400,000 from us, 400,001 from them. So how is aiming to build 200,000 a lurch to the left?

Respecting trade union rights is not a lurch to the left. Striving for a living wage, fair pensions, less waste, making poverty history? Lurching to the left? I don't think so.

Valuing members and supporters views certainly is not. And nor is trying to avoid future poorly researched, badly implemented and arguably illegal military interventions. That's obvious - left, right and centre.

Of course there are discussions to be had about the best way to deliver our shared aims for improved education and health - and many of us have strong views on the public-private mix. And Trident now, later or never is not settled in the country or the party. Trident's distant cousin nuclear power is of course also moot.

But, tell me this won't you, if increasing private delivery in the health service is NOT a lurch to the right, then how can decreasing that or indeed freezing it represent a lurch to the left?

Two-Facebook: Margaret Hodge has Three Groups

Amazingly there is a Margaret Hodge is Right group. It has nine members. It was created by Madge's political advisor. It has no discussion facility. And it has no "wall" where people can
fly-post comments and news.

Meanwhile 166 people say Sack Margaret Hodge while 27 are immoderate and go further.

On Thursday week there is a by-election in Manchester's Charlestown Ward. Today, after telling Channel 4 that the Royal Family are parasites and that I'm a Republican but that they shouldn't show the dead and dying I had a good chat with Cllr Mark Hackett who loves his ward, and hates fascist haters. The BNP are standing.

Margaret Hodge's barmy statements filtered through The Mail and The Express do not make the job being undertaken by Labour, Searchlight, and the UAF with a little help from the Lib Dems who are running a campaign ... ish ... they do not make it any easier. Cheers Madge.

Luke the Snook: Cocks Yet Another One

Luke congratulates the Socialist Campaign Group on their online hustings. He points out that one of the candidates is AWOL, presumably following an uncontrollable bout of sobbing at his last couple of vicious attacks.

Luke is yet to pick up the mantle of Hazey and make conciliatory noises:

Finally, let me say to all Socialist Campaign Group News readers that we must win the next election, and whether we like it or not, that means staying on the centre ground of politics, winning in the south as well as the traditional Labour areas like mine, and fighting the Tories not each other.

Good to see that Hazel is prepared to lurch to the left like a good un and come over to the centre ground. (Luke: This is a joke).

Channel 4: Car Crash Television

On my way to a meeting about an upcoming Entrepreneurship course I hear a statement from Channel 4 on Radio Five Live. Probably the same as this one. It says they will be retaining the images, that none show dead and dying people and that many of them have already been published.

This was responding to this letter, and this statement and this letter to Clarence House.

All these and more can be found at the Channel 4 Micro-site.

Ho hum. So it seemed Channel 4 had backed off a bit, whatever they may be saying. But on my way back from my meeting I am vox popped by Channel 4 and they say the pictures WILL be used, albeit with some added fuzziness; So what do I think?

Well, I say, I am a republican and I don't give a monkey's about the royal family or Diana or their celebrity. I possibly even suggest they are parasites. Ooo, er. How could I? Quite easily in fact.

But anyway I press on. I say it is interesting how their question differs from the statement read out on the radio. And I say that the same rules should apply to Diana as if the Reporter himself was killed in a road accident. He wouldn't care if it happened to him. He'd be dead and gone. But his family might, even as a widely loathed Channel 4 Car Crash Television Reporter.

UPDATE: Iain Dale has also blogged this. Though his revolution has not been televised.

Luke Akehurst: Smearing and Blearing

Hazel's team have come up with a brilliant new button badge, here modelled by a young Luke (19), before he got cynical.

Hilary Benn?: If She's Not at the Bookies or Down the Pub try The Guardian

Coral the Bookmakers have had a little trouble with remembering who one or two of the Deputy Leadership candidates are:

Iain Dale found a similar transgendering in the early edition of today's Guardian. Meanwhile according to her Facebook group Hilary's clans gathered last night in Trafalgar Square

Monday, June 04, 2007

Exclusive: New Margaret Hodge Petition

Withdraw that silly statement Margaret, or sod off.

USA Democrats: Television Debates

Last night's debate between eight Democratic party hopefuls can be sampled on CNN. Edwards was considered to have had a good night on the stump and may give Clinton and Obama more of a run than expected. Iraq and Saddam and TWOT are one significant battleground.

The three are at it again speaking of Faith and Politics starting at 7pm Eastern Time. Any minute.

Libdemologists and Harmanicas: Digital World Gaffes

Another day and cracks are still appearing and there is still more equality clamour from Lib Dems to boot. The debate has moved on, with just one helpful hint, to the complete lack of 'out' LGBT candidates, as well as BME candidates, and a balance of women in their London Assembly selection.

Lord Tony Greaves has counselled several times that this exchange should be kept in house but he snickers himself at Luke Akehurst's admirably non-partisan story about an email error by the Harriet Harman team. Tom Watson urges others to use the cc list provided in the interests of Jon Cruddas too.

Lord Greaves says:

The follow-up emails are even more amusing. Email is an ever-present disaster waiting to happen. (And let none of us ever forget it - Mike Storey won’t).

LOL counters:
By the way was it email or printed memo that exposed the Manchester Withington members campaigning for John Leech's selection over Yasmin Zalzala because as a black, asian, muslim candidate she could never win OWTTE?

Sunday, June 03, 2007

EXCLUSIVE Middle East: USA Forbid Invasion

Associated Press have just reported that the USA have warned one sovereign nation against "invading" another in the war on terrorism. About time too, you're thinking. Turkey must not "invade" Iraqi Kurdistan. And who better to tell them than the USA? Probably applies to all freedom loving nations in the region?