Friday, August 10, 2007

Those Tory Boy Bloggers on T'Interweb: Done Up Like Kippers

Ministry of Truth has done up Dale and Dizzy like a harmless Porbeagle masquerading as a marauding Great White.

Save Our Airports: From Nice But Dim Tories

The unfashionably out of step, dare I say nice but dim Tory MP for Altrincham and Sale West Graham Brady has given vent to his ideas on high flying capitalism in The Spectator. Iain Dale thinks dear Graham's analysis is brilliant. But it isn't.

The people of Manchester own an airport business worth at least £3 Billion. Ten years ago it wasn't as far as I can recall worth £1 Billion. It provides a good harvest of jobs - directly and indirectly - and is not in the same ownership as competing regional airports.

It has invested most of its profits in capacity building towards even more profit.

It has nonetheless provided a steady stream of cash to Manchester (55%) and each of the nine other local authorities (5% each). And it has also invested heavily in the region's arts, culture, sport and good causes.

Selling the airport or its holdings is not a good idea. Selling it to John Whittaker the car-obsessed boss of out-of-town shopping developer Peel Holdings is even more of a bad idea and he is already making his bids through the papers.

Keep the airport. And get back the buses and the railways too!

Weather in Padstow = warm but somethingly overcast.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Rock Salmon: Newquay's Man Eaten Shark

Tosser and doorman Kevin Keeble claimed to have taken a picture of a Great White Shark off Newquay. He has now admitted this was a prank. He is yet to admit that the picture - taken in South Africa - was not even a Great White. Subeditors have missed the obvious headline above as sharks (Porbeagles) caught in the area last week have made it straight to the plate.

Electoral Commission: Really Must Try Harder

UKIP has beaten the Electoral Commission. I absolutely agree with Iain Dale that this is the right result. A donor presenting more than £600,000 was not on the electoral register by an administrative slip. The whole loan was to be returned in the High Court verdict which has today been overturned.

I repeat: I agree with Iain Dale. This is the right decision. If this man wants to waste his money on backing UKIP let him do it.

The Electoral Commission should start doing their job properly in other areas. For example policing the spending during the live period at elections so that parties do not get away with exceeding these - in some cases by an order of magnitude and more.

This is done in collusion between the warring parties but particularly in by-elections, in marginals and in far fetched attacks that become surprise wins for the party shifting unfeasible amounts of paper.

At Brighton conference 2005 I asked the representatives of the EC whether they carried out the most fundamental analysis of the norms of a general election budget.

How much per leaflet by quality.

How much 'phone time.

How much for temporary offices.

And so on.

Serious anomalies and patterns should then be investigated. There should be proceedings and convictions where appropriate. Guidance should evolve to cover any persistent evasions and shibboleths about what counts and what does not.

Parties should also be required to submit examples of every single print item they produce (or tardily distribute) in the course of the live period.

There should be a clamp down on fibbing. Fibs repeated after they have been identified should attract serious fines - perhaps even enough to allow all other parties to finance an extra leaflet.

And so called parliamentary reports should be tied to a few weeks either side of a particular date which should be suitably distant from known election timings e.g. Euro, LG and parliament/assembly elections.

These are paid for by the tax payer
and so should not have an ounce of party political leverage in them.

Elected reps should not be able to place paid for adverts in their party's literature.

And all individual donations above a certain proportion of someone's wealth or income should require a process of independent legal advice to prevent the exploitation of weakness and the application of duress to supporters.

From a lawyer or an accountant. Yes, this person can afford this amount; yes, their family are in agreement; yes, they understand what they are doing; and yes, it is clear whether the contribution is a gift, a loan or a combination.

More on this when the beach isn't beckoning perhaps.

Laurence Murder: No More Fascist Excuses

The Bournemouth Nationalist (no link from me) said...

A loud of lying scumbag, racist, defamatory tosh about Stephen Laurence. I have removed it. Similar is not welcome here. I'm not going to go to moderation but please no repeats. Stick it on your own blog with your full name and address for service of defamation writs, and incitement charges.

Quoting these excuses for a racist gang murder year after year does nothing for Dave's so called "party" and its so called "mainstream status" but it does speak volumes to the thugs (and bomb makers and would be assassins) in suits reputation that the BNP do enjoy.

James Cleverly commented too suggesting that limiting what you don't agree with is not free speech. That would be fair comment if that's what this was about.

I don't agree with racist killing or illegal defamation and incitement. I do not agree with shouting FIRE with impunity in a crowded place and causing panic, mayhem and even death.

If one looks properly at the rights we enjoy - whether ICHR, ECHR, Bill of Rights, putative Brit constitutions - they include rights which MUST BE BALANCED. Some are sometimes mutually exclusive. Free speech is fettered in this country and it has to be to allow quiet enjoyment, right to life, right to trade and so on. Discuss.

But please no defamation, incitement or general nastiness.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Watergate Bay: Blogging Light and Summery

Like the sea breeze today. Brilliant sunshine yesterday. Rain overnight. Set fair again today.

Stephen and Doreen Laurence: Free Speech?

Over at James Cleverley's Blog a couple of days ago:

At 23:09 on Friday night Anonymous said...
I have spoken to one of Stephen Lawrence's mates... far from being the church going saint made out by the family he was part of a particularly odious inner city black gang who took particular delight in beating other rival gang members to within a minute of their life.
Those who live by the sword...

I hoped that James would remove this remark from a BNP sock puppet. Or at least ridicule it and call it to account?

He has done the latter and encouraged me to use free speech to do likewise. Thing is that much as I believe in and practice free speech I understand that this right must be balanced with other rights and responsibilities.

Free speech does not extend to defamation, it does not extend to shouting "Fire" with a view to starting a panic in a crowded place, and it certainly does not extend to inciting racially-motivated or any other violence.

The comment seemed to do all three really. It defamed Stephen Laurence and his family, it uttered words to cause panic and distress, and it suggested with its last line and ellipsis that "those who live by the sword ..." should die by the sword. Condoning and indeed encouraging killing.

I believe that goes beyond reasonable free speech rights. Anti Nazi League summary of the Laurence case is here.

Guantanamo Bay: Miliband Pops the Question

About bloody time too. Mili asks Condi "Can we have our British residents, breadwinners, family men etc back, please pretty please?"

Monday, August 06, 2007

Boris Johnson: James Cleverly Clogs the Blogs

Councillor Iain Lindley suggested that James Cleverly had got things right on the Doreen Laurence vs Boris Johnson crisis. I'm happy to post a link to the post but I must say that neither James nor Boris is half as clever as they think they are.

Dave-id Cameron looked utterly uncomfortable uttering tart nothings on Foot and Mouth. Like he knew he was losing. Like he also knew he could be having a lot more fun doing something else.

Dave-id will never be PM. Boris will never be Mayor. George will never be Chancellor. Mark my words.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

How to Refuse Gracefully: Anti-Factual

One of the Gweirdo crew has announced a new blog. It seems completely and unashamedly anti-factual and I am certainly not going to link to it.

Boris Johnson: Mayoral Application is a Shambles

Pickled Politics linked to Doreen Laurence reasonably questioning the Boris appeal to most of London's communities. But Iain Dale who will not hear a word against Boris and asks who put Doreen up to it. What a patronising so and so!

The BBC meanwhile have Diane Abbott and Dawn Butler backing Doreen up. This and this are Ken's own response to Boris' obvious lack of suitability, the latter with links including graphic proof of some of his tabloid rattling weaknesses.

Neither Doreen Laurence nor the Abbott and Butler double act have bothered to include Boris' outrageous remarks about cannibals in Papua New Guinea.

This would certainly have supported their case that Bojo is a complete and utter Bozo race-wise, highly unsuitable to greet international visitors to London, and another disaster for toff and fellow Bullingdon Alumnus Cameron in persuading anyone that the Tories are Cuddly and New.

The London paper also link to most pages of Boris' actual application form.

Which is chronic. Where is asks for a very specific account of how much time he would devote Boris writes "quite a bit".

I really do shudder to think what was on the missing page three.

Click the images above to enlarge.