Archive for the ‘Blogroll’ Category
What gives them the right?
Apologies for the lack of posts during this past week, it’s been a busy time at work and domestic disaster has struck too, not much has been going on in South Tyneside other than the production of posters invoking us to vote for Little Mix on ITV’s X Factor, however it has been another week dominated by the Eurozone debt crisis. Having seen Papandreou and Berlusconi removed from their premierships and replaced by Eurotechnocrats without so much as a referendum or a general election it is worrying to witness that the combined might of Germany and France appears to have negated the very principles of democracy and freedom that the Common Market was originally envisaged to protect. The Commission and the Council have already set their faces against the holding of referenda and have warned that any member state which fancies leaving the Eurozone would of necessity have to leave the EU too, it must have struck the Greek population as astonishing when Merkel and Sarkozy summoned Papandreou to a meeting to explain his idea of allowing the Greek people a say in the matter! Hence we now see governments headed by a former ECB banker and a former Commissioner. Similarly the Irish people must be feeling rather shocked that their latest budget proposals were forwarded to all member states before ending up in front of the German Bundestag!
Just what is it about these EU empire builders that makes them feel they can stamp their authority over people in a manner almost as heinous as some Arab states? I tend to agree with Gavin Hewitt, the questions need to be asked:
Perhaps the clearest definition of democracy was contained in the American Declaration of Independence in 1776. “Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”
In Europe “the consent of the governed” is in danger of going missing. When George Papandreou suggested putting the EU bailout to a referendum in Greece, France’s President Sarkozy, in a conversation with President Obama, had the Greek leader down as a madman, suffering from depression.
At the heart of the European project lies a suspicion of the people. It is often said that the European Union has been built in spite of the people, and not with the people. Those who argue the people’s case are dismissed as “populists”. It is the easy Brussels put-down.
Recently when a reporter challenged the perks of the EU commissioners his question was dismissed as “populist”. To question immigration policy even at a time of shocking youth unemployment is to risk the tag “populist”.
As we move inexorably towards a common European government with an elected President, we have to wonder just how much involvement will be granted to we “the people” in these processes. We also need to question just why our own political leaders in the UK are signed up to this club, and I refer equally to Cameron, Clegg, and Miliband. One has the distinct feeling that the Frankfurt Group, and possibly even the Bildergurg Group have already set out the agenda which our leaders are assigned to blindly follow. Oh for a party leader who has the “bottle” to call not for the renegotiating of certain powers from the EU, but the withdrawal of British membership, I realise that 50% of our exports go to the EU area, yet I cannot envisage that changing dramatically if we were no longer part of the club.
I am staunchly Eurosceptic, I no longer believe that the Common Market or EEC that we originally joined exists any longer, I have a great deal of sympathy with UKIP on this one issue, unfortunately they are popularly seen as a single issue party, whether or not they have any relevance to local politics in South Tyneside remains to be seen – for now we must await the first uttering of David Potts.
Better off out!
May I also recommend this excellent article by Dan Hannan, a true Conservative.
Please excuse me, I must now attend to my washing machine which will need either repair or replacement, the smoke emanating from its innards is smelling as awful as the Euro political project .
Thanks to Shane Greer for passing this one along (and very good it is too)
Alastair Campbell, Ann Widdecombe, Lynne Featherstone, Nadine Dorries, Peter Tatchell, Anne Diamond, Dermot Murnaghan, Nigel Farage, Guido Fawkes, Tory Bear, Shane Greer, and a few others (please fill in the blanks) are all in it.
Incidentally, just who are Guido and Tory Bear dancing with?
The big question, as I watch this in South Shields following some more door stepping, is will it waken folks from their slumbers? The expenses scandal still hangs over people like a cloud of volcanic ash, interest in this election is high amongst the political classes, but on the streets of the Rekendyke ward this morning it was not registering on the Richter Scale of seismic activity.
Iain Dale has the full list
So what’s new?
I’m grateful to David Skelton the Prospective Conservative Candidate for North Durham for pointing out the patently obvious, Labour doesn’t care for those in it’s heartlands, places like the north east where Labour MPs have to expend little effort in being re-elected time after time.
His analysis of Polly Toynbee’s shifting positions over her support (or lack of) for Gordon Brown’s lamentable government exposes the sheer lack of empathy for those who put them into Parliament, their motives may well have been honourable at the time they sought our support but they never ever rock the boat or vote against their own governing party despite the glaringly obvious fact that no Labour post war government has ever left the economy in a better position than when it arrived in office. Labour always run out of other people’s money to spend and north east MPs appear unable to check their own executive when the constituencies they represent start to bear the brunt of their economic mismanagement.
Having noted Polly’s commentary of the unfair distribution of growth (whenever there was some) under Labour, Dave opines:
Labour have betrayed ordinary, working class people. They have betrayed anybody who dares to aspire. That is why so many people in North Durham, who have put their faith in the Labour Party for so long, are ready to vote for real change at the next election.
North Durham will not be the only north east constituency that is offered real change at the next election, and before people start to be brainwashed with the age old retorts that the Tories are only interested in class, riches, helping the more affluent etc., consider this question “How many Conservative members or financial supporters in Jarrow or South Shields (the two South Tyneside constituencies) are from the landed gentry, are millionaires, or were born in an apparent position of privelege?”
For a start, most of them have perfectly normal Geordie accents, and are as ordinary as you or I. It’s not where you are from that counts, but where you want to go to.
So consider Polly’s points (you may as well, she rarely makes such telling good ones);
“on Labour’s watch, class has become more rigid, destiny for most babies is decided at birth, and the incomes of rich and poor families have drawn further apart.”
“Growth in his [Gordon Brown's] time was profoundly unfairly shared – over half the population saw virtually no growth at all; GDP per capita is a fraudulent measure that disguises how almost all growth went to the top 10%, and most to the top 1%… Middle Britain did badly however hard they worked and “played by the rules”. Whose rules?… Brown cannot admit the monumental error he and Ed Balls made in their economic policies because there are some mistakes just too big to apologise for.”
You won’t be committing a major crime or betraying your roots by having the brass nerve to vote for change, nor will it harm the Labour Party too much in the north east to be given a bloodied nose, In Karen Allen (South Shields) and Jeff Milburn (Jarrow), the Conservative Party has found two very good local candidates with strong local backgrounds to offer a real alternative to the stale policies of heartless Labour, who have just about pre-announced another council tax rise in South Tyneside for us next year. Having totally screwed the national economy after thirteen years of spend and borrow, now it’s time to once again screw the people at the bottom of the pile, it’s this total arrogance which irks most, the feeling that come what may the daft buggers will still vote Labour.
It doesn’t have to be this way.
If you bump into me in King Street, South Shields over the weekend stood behind a tripod with my camera mounted on it, seemingly taking an age over taking my pictures, it could be because of a number of reasons:
- I want to take bracketed shots in batches of three to make HDR images of the Christmas lights.
- I want to wait until the wind dies down because with longish exposures I don’t want the bulbs to move about and look blurred in the final image.
- I want to make sure that I get at least six “keepers”, so working on the principle that only 10% of most shots are good ones, I will take at least sixty.
- Busy shoppers always get in the frame when you least expect them too.
- Some seeker of fame from South Shields will believe that they’ll get themselves in the Gazette if they stand in the way, (funny how they think that a tripod is the sign of professional activity).
- I want to test the effectiveness of South Shields’ best Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in defending us against an evil terrorist plot to blow up the Christmas Tree “down at the lights” it is after all in far better nick than that scrappy little bush down the road in Sacriston.
Seriously, just when is someone going to give these Blunkett Bobbies some effective training and let them know that real terrorists are hardly going to spend their time doing everything possible to stand out like a sore thumb, and that a real terrorist is more likely to use the camera on a pay as you go throw away phone rather than a huge “look at me” digital SLR. However with only 13% of real police spending time on the streets some parts of the country are left with little choice other than to deal with the poorly trained PCSO.
Cue Alan Johnson, your time to stand up and be counted and try to do something about this nonsense before you return to the anonymity of opposition!
Woosh woosh, and it was gone!
This is how it looked, (in all it’s glory two years ago) beautiful eh? No, not quite, but at least it’s something to remember it with.
Then some folks in South Shields get all excited, upset, and a bit loopy that part of their “heritage” has disappeared, “heritage” indeed, it illustrates the depth of historical knowledge in Whiteleas and the ability of it’s Labour councillors to go a bit overboard over a piece of rotting metal.
Rossinisbird has an excellent post on the matter which articulates my thoughts just nicely, I do recommend that you go there and read it.
Err….I don’t see or sense protectionism
I think Guido is tilting at windmills today, he’s seeing things that perhaps are not there, I don’t think this is a case of “British food for British tables”. Protectionism would indeed amount to a non tariff trade barrier but as far as I can see this new Conservative campaign is simply calling for the honest labelling of food in our supermarkets.
If it says “British” then it ought to bloody well be British, not meat imported from Italy, pastry imported from Ireland, starch and wheat from Germany, and the whole lot assembled in Britain. The choice will still be there, I can still buy the cheapest products from Poland, China or Mexico, the big difference being that I will be able to make a better informed choice with clearer more honest labelling. If I wanted to buy British a new labelling system would give me greater confidence.
I’m not sure what Guido is hoping to achieve today.
Labour List officially launches 12th. February
“Dolly” Derek Draper the wife of GMTV lovely Kate Garraway (and Labour spin doctor – yeah that explains Gordon’s slouch on the couch the other morning) is to officially launch NuLabour’s blog for the masses Labour List on 12th. February. Nice name Labour List, it does kind of suggest a large ship of state like the Titanic slowly keeling over and taking many down with her, and on the deck of this Titanic who do we find playing in the band?
- David Lammy (who did so well on Celebrity Mastermind – not!)
- Jag Singh
- Spencer Livermore
- Alan Millburn
- Peter Mandelson (Spinmeister general and Prince of Darkness)
- Ken Livingstone
- Benji Wegg-Prosser
- Piers Morgan
- Derek Dolly Draper
- Charlie Whelan (Brown’s favourite spinner)
- Philip Gould (Brown’s favourite pollster)
- Luke Akehurst (long time Labour pain in the neck blogger)
So as you can see from the line up, (no room for Alex Hylton) it will probably be top down controlled by the party with little or no boat rocking allowed from Labour supporters, either Nu or Old.
I tried to join, it’s sort of broke, the site ended up giving me the name Piers Barrett, how very strange, perhaps that explains why they have chosen a ridiculous sticking plaster as their logo!
Can’t for the life of me see it as being as lively as Conservative Home, and it will probably spell the end of Labour Home, which at times can be a bit of fun but is usually as dull as dishwater. Oh well, I might add it to the blogroll and see if Dolly is willing to reciprocate.
Well at least Labour Party members in South Shields can now add a bit of variety to their internet reading.
Time for some local supporting
Rather than facing the prospect of listening to a potential defeat for Sunderland against Chelsea on the radio, I’ve decided that I’ll follow South Shields Mariners this afternoon as they attempt to get their season back on track against Newcastle Benfield at Filtrona Park.
That should keep Harry happy, but what should please him more is the addition of the old bugger’s blog to my sidebar. (Keep writing that book Harry, but for commercial success take a leaf out of the book of the former MP for Derbyshire South and keep it “racy”)
Match called off because of waterlogged pitch, having to listen to waterlogged Sunderland being mauled by Chelsea, not a good afternoon.
Alex Stubb (best male model this week)
This had me creased and in tears, I found it on a little trip to Mr. Eugenide’s place it’s hilarious!
Alex Stubb is Finlands new Foreign Minister, you must see his website, especially the photo gallery. The only thing missing are the props. Where is the Ikea furniture?
Don’t you wish we had politicians like this in South Shields? (Not)
South Tyneside Council tells a good tale
The good people at South Tyneside Council Press Office continue to impress with their journalistic efforts to put the best possible spin on less than outstanding outcomes. Yesterday they sexed up the report from the Commission for Social Care Inspection which awarded our council a two star rating for adult services. Council Leader Paul Waggott is reported as saying:
“I was very pleased that inspectors have once again given us two stars as it demonstrates that we are continuing to sustain the improvements we have delivered in recent years. It is reassuring to see that the outstanding efforts of the staff involved have once again been recognised.”
I wonder what he means by sustained improvements? For four consecutive years we have been awarded two stars with no more than a promising capacity to improve services.
Heaven knows how they will explain the news when we actually get three stars!