Saw a few posts similar to this on BUCF blog (i.e. clips from youtube) and so I couldn’t resist (plus it gives you a very useful insight into Tory HQ).
Based upon the assumption that less of a blog means more comments:
So much for a “Cast-iron gaurantee”. And sorry I couldn’t resist with cartoon.
By Max Ramsay
As seen recently in the news, PM Gordan Brown, has vowed economic upturn by the end of the fourth financial quatre and this year and while yes there has been another quatre of contraction, this was only minor (0.4%). Consequently, there is an upbeat mood in the financial sector, unemployment growth is slowing and businesses are regaining their losses. Essentially, economic recovery is on its way.
However, let me ask a “What if?” question. What if in the sudden collapse of the banks last October had Brown, Darling, the Cabinet and the Labour government had taken a different choice? What if they had done what the Conservatives had been arguing only a fortnight later? A second great depression, waves upon wave of mass redundancy with unemployment reaching 3 million within a matter of months and the British people watching their money flow down the drain along with bankrupt banks.
This could have come to pass. A re-run of the mid-1930s.
Many Tories though like to forget about the first 10 days of that financial freefall. The days in which Cameron, leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party, supported the emergency bail-out of the banks from a Labour government. However, originally enough, Cameron on the 10th day of the crisis played his favourite game, “flip-flopping”, at this critical moment in British Politics, Cameron (who had been sidlelined by Brown’s jetting to different EU and US leaders to organise an international bail-out to help stabilize the crisis) called the wrong shot.
But why do that? He obviously knew that it was the right decision to support the package, as he himself did for a brief period, along with the fact that every other major political party and government in the world was following suit. Ultimatley, we will never quite know Cameron’s change of direction (again). But what we do know is that the decisions that were made by the Labour government, were the right ones, while not saving Britain from recession (as this was evidantly impossible) they clearly reduced its damaging effects and has helped Britain weather this financial storm.
By Max Ramsay, BULS member
In my book if you are contracted to work you get paid for the work carried out. Now, if adverse weather legitimately prevents the worker from doing their job, they should still get paid.
I am now back in the deep and desolate South, which means a return to one of my childhood pass-times: Local Tory MP Watch. This month my dad got a letter from said Local Tory MP, setting out ways in which our Labour government and local Lib Dem council have failed us. Amongst the travesties were prominently featured on this letter were Labour’s plans to increase tax on fuel inefficient cars, and the failure of the Lib Dems to scrap a parking scheme designed to switch people onto public transport.
Vote blue, oppose all pro-green measures? Hmmm not so catchy is it?
Nick Robinson has just reported on News 24 that Geoge Osbourne was unable to deny that he had held discussions with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska about how a donation could effectively be made to the Conservative Party.
His rivals have already started calling for accountability, one saying “It will dismay a lot of people that his early statements about hardly knowing Oleg Deripaska now turn out to be completely untrue. What on earth is going on here? We need a full disclosure of all his interests.” Oh no, hold on, that’s Tory Shadow Business Secretary Alan Duncan trying to score some political points in referring to Peter Mandelson.
A Secretary of State for Business courting the attention of a foreign businessman is one thing, but the sheer hypocrisy of criticising it in public whilst doing it in private is quite another…
One of the very first posts ever to appear on this now highly-successful blog was my rebuttal of some spurious spin being spouted by BULS’s good friend Praguetory, and the-then Chairman of the-then BUCF.
Well, almost 2 years later, my good comrade Tom Miller drew my attention to this post, which knocks on the head some of the myths being pedalled by our friends who believe everything they read in the Hate Mail.
So compared to the Tories (and our continental neighbours), taxes are actually rather low under Labour. Shall we move on to the rest of Daniel’s list?
A BULS badge (which gives free entry to most Labour events) will go to anyone who can critique any of Daniel’s economic measures under Labour against a similar period under the Tories.
I stole this headline from the Family Planning Association because it says it all. Regular readers may have noticed I get rather angry about the Human Embryology Bill. I am utterly delighted to see it pass another hurdle tonight, but I am still apprehensive about tomorrows vote on the abortion limit.
MPs from all parties, including most notably David Cameron and Nadine Dorries, are peddaling downright lies that could change forever the lives of the tiny, tiny proportion of women, many of them vulnerable, in abusive relationships or very young, who seek late term abortions and force them to carry their pregnancies to full term against their will. The most recent and fully comprehensive report on the survival of foetuses before 24 weeks has shown there has been no change in the survival rates of a foetus before 24 weeks in the last ten years. NO CHANGE.
Despite this, Nadine Dorries MP, the woman behind this, insists that the report is a “desperate piece of tosh produced by the pro-choice lobby”. I’m sorry, this report, covering not one but sixteen hospitals over ten years, and based on science, something this woman has no understanding of, is made up? She justifies her claim with the argument “So where has all the money that has been pumped into neo-natal services gone then?” Sweet Jesus. Note she doesn’t allow comments on her website- could she possibly be afraid of being corrected?
I am finding it hard to convey just how angry and sick this woman makes me feel. And David Cameron supports her. When you’re standing at the ballot box at the next election, stop and think how many women they have tried to control. How many children they want to be born into abusive relationships. How many young women they want to have babies forced through their barely developed bodies. How many desperate, terrified women they want to be forced to carry foetuses to full term because of Cameron and Dorries’ selfish, selfish attitudes.
Yes, we have too many abortions. Restricting access is not the answer. Leave these women alone. Respect their choice, one of the hardest they will ever have to make. Respect their rights to live how they want to live. Respect their intelligence by not suggesting they “should have used contraception”, or “shouldn’t have had sex”, or worst of all “should have known sooner”. Women need 24 weeks for a reason. Don’t let these sad deluded people, or the lack of eloquence in this rambling, angry blog, tell you otherwise.
Lobby your MP. Don’t let these people take away women’s rights.
About 10 days ago I listened to Boris criticising Ken for filling his top level administrator posts with Labour stooges. King Boris claimed that he would create a broad-church city hall, making quick decisive appointments, based on experience and delivery not party loyalty. Ok, so he’s appointed 4 top London Tories to 4 top positions.
Is there a record for politicians breaking promises, because I think Boris has smashed it!
From today’s Independent:
Lord Laidlaw, the multimillionaire Tory donor, has pledged a £1m donation to an addiction charity after a Sunday newspaper published lurid claims about his addiction to sex.
The Monaco-based peer admitted his lifelong problem after the News of the World claimed he had held sex parties with prostitutes. In a letter to the newspaper, Lord Laidlaw, who has given more than £3m to the Conservatives and paid £25,000 to Boris Johnson’s mayoral campaign, said he had been “fighting sexual addiction for my whole adult life”. He said he was seeking “expert help” and plans to give £1m to a British addiction charity.
Lord Laidlaw said: “Sexual addiction is comparable to other, better-known addictions such as drug, alcohol and gambling. There is no cure for it and self-help is rarely successful.”
Dawn Butler, a Labour vice-chairman, condemned the peer’s actions.
She said: “If they have any respect for the women of this country, I hope David Cameron and Boris Johnson will return the millions of pounds they have been given by Lord Laidlaw or hand over the money to a charity helping abused women. That would send the right signal that his behaviour is unacceptable.”
I have to say, I’m with Dawn on this one.
The Red Flag is a popular and uplifting song for socialists during hard times. One of BULSinside’s moles has revealed that a certain former chair of Birmingham University Conservative Future and new comrade has returned to his former haunts of Thatcherism.
Having attended a BUCF event with Rt. Hon. Michael Portillo, Joseph Brewer (spotted here in the backrow) commented that it was “a good little event”. It looks like he’s been able to patch up things with his old friends and has been welcomed back with open arms. Either that or he is trying to garner further support in a bid for the Guild Presidency.
Rosalind Ryan writes an interesting article in the Guardian, referring to an interview with young Henry Conway (see right – you know, Derek’s the MP’s lad, the one who did a bit of work for his old man – no not Freddy, he’s the one who has already been exposed and caused Dad to be suspended from his job for a few weeks – Henry is Freddy’s older brother).
Well, according the The Guardian, which cites the interview in the Torygraph, Henry said “I can’t afford to buy a £2,000 suit – at the moment I stick to £500 jackets – but when I can, I will.”
Hmmm – I wonder whether Henry thanked daddy, or the Great British Taxpayer for that matter, when he got his new suit?
(Hilarious) Torygraph article here.
I saw a post on the Tories blog which made me think two things. The first was ‘why do the most frequent readers of the blogs of the Guild of Students political societies appear to be the other side?’. The second one was ‘Is it a singularly Tory habit to think that the heart of your party has always been rubbish?’.
I refer, of course, to Michael Ancram’s recent musings on the soul of the Tory party. He has joined the many Tory MPs, Lords and donors who are questioning David Cameron’s slide into..well…everywhere. He longs for a return to ‘the soul’ of the Tory party which, as we’ve seen recently, appears to mean throwing out all the foreigners, blocking up the channel tunnel and ensuring that the freedom to be poor is once again the birthright of all commoners. It sounds very 92′/deja-vu and this certainly isn’t a new noise from the tops of Tory tree.
Reading the reactions of our Conservative Future friends however (and they are joined by most of the Tory Press), you might think that Mr Ancram, and the many like him, are random right-wing sympathisers who have wondered in from the cold of the 18th century and started attacking the ‘progressive’ shift that Cameron has brought in. Am I alone in noting that all of these people have had, quite recently, rather impressive titles? Ones like ‘Deputy Leader of the Conservative Party 2001-2005′ and ‘Deputy Treasurer of the Conservative Party’ and ‘Shadow Minister for Europe’. These fine gentlemen aren’t ‘marginal’ or ‘bizarre’ as Tory HQ would have us believe – they are the core and future of the party. I know that Conservatives, and I count some of my very close friends as Tories, really do disavow those on the right-wing of their party – I’m sure that most of BUCF do. The fact remains, however, that they are leading the ‘government-in-waiting’ and this scares me.
No Conservative can credibly claim that Cameron is addressing the nation’s problems properly and that they have left the old ways behind. Looking at the past few months of Michael Ancram, Johan Eliasch and Graham Brady, we can all spot the lie. The very best thing that the Tories can do is stop looking surprised and screaming ‘marginalist’ when these people speak out – they are the legacy of the 80s that the Tories need to admit to and address. Every time I see them eating their own young and proclaiming ‘we never liked him anyway’ I feel the vague sense of happiness which reminds me why they have no chance of returning to power.
Someone once said “there are three kinds of lie – lies, damned lies, and statistics,” and I considered this theme at some length in my last blog, highlighting the Tories selective use (or even simple complete creation) of crime figures. Now, although I don’t intend to use all of my articles on this blog to respond to articles by the Tories, it seems they have failed to learn very much from my last piece.
Today’s BUCF blog congratulates the councillor for Edgbaston, Deirdre Alden, for being named one of “three West Midlands Politicians of the Year” on the political news website “The Stirrer.” Clicking on one of the links supplied leads one through to Deirdre Alden’s own site, where Deirdre congratulates herself at great length for being named, apparently alongside Tom Watson MP and John Hemming MP, as “West Midlands Politicians of the Year.”
However, a quick click through to the Stirrer article tells a completely different story, where Deirdre indeed earns a special mention along with three Labour MPs and one Liberal Democrat MP. The only award, however, goes to the Lib Dem MP, John Hemming, for his fight for parents wrongly accused of harming their children – a very deserving campaign, I’m sure. Mr Hemming, in fact, is the only “Politician of the Year,” Deirdre gets “praise where it’s due,” from which she has apparently managed to crown herself.
This does make me wonder whether someone is clutching at straws for political accolades. Not doubting the integrity or editorial judgement of “The Stirrer” for a moment, I do have to wonder whether the prospective parliamentary candidate for Edgbaston is really so desperate to be sitting on the green benches that she needs to make up stories in order to reach the lofty heights of John Hemming. I wish Deirdre all the best in matching Mr Hemming’s unenviable reputation, although I’m thinking that having to proclaim oneself winner of a website award that has not even been given to you, and in this grandiose fashion, might not be behaviour so becoming of a Member of Parliament.
Having said that, I recall being told that the Tory PPC for Edgbaston is a prolific writer of fiction.
John Ritchie is Chair of BULS
In British Parliamentary-style debating, a point made by your opposition, regardless of how outlandish or inaccurate it may be, will stand unless you rebut it. I have some sympathy with this rule, as all too often in political debate, parties will make claims and spout rhetoric in the hope that the opposition won’t check the facts. This is very often the case in political campaigns, and is a method that has been employed by the Liberal Democrats for years. The problem perhaps stems from the need for a political campaign to be constantly on the offensive – it is seen as a weakness to be back-footed by your opponents – you need to have your own material. But the need for a good soundbite is never conducive to the debate that we need in order to hammer out the real issues, and expose the spin.
I have had a number of crime figures thrown at me recently on the BUCF blog which have, directly or otherwise, challenged me to respond, whether due to their selectivity and so misrepresentation, or just complete inaccuracy. Let us start with Iron Mike’s article, where he states:
“violent crime has DOUBLED under this government.”
The British Crime Survey begs to differ with Mike, however. In fact, the data on the Home Office Crime Statistics website appears to indicate a huge fall in violent crime since 1997. Another Labour success, I’d say. Mike goes on to say:
“In particular, with the most serious offence- homicide (murder and manslaughter), the number of crimes that have been committed since 1997 has risen by a quarter”
Let’s go back to the Crime Statistics, which show – wait for it – no change in the number of homicides between 1997/98 and 2005/06. In fact, there is a caveat to the data, stating that the figures for 2005/06 were skewed due to the 52 victims of the London bombings. Discounting these victims, there is a significant decrease in homicides from 1997, but in any case it is difficult to see where any increase could come from, let alone a 25% increase. Perhaps Mike has taken his figures from a better or more independent source than the Home Office – the National Daily Mail Crime Figures, perhaps?
The next gauntlet laid down was from prolific Tory blogger, praguetory, who said:
“John R – here’s a selective figure for you. Throughout the whole of the UK robberies with knives rose by 72% last year.”
Praguetory appears to have gleaned his figures from this BBC article. Rather than peeling off the most convenient figure from the article or simply copying the article’s soundbite verbatim, let’s look at the full range of statistics that accompany the article (I’ve put the party of government in square brackets to assist your analysis of whose policies might be succeeding here):
Violent crime in 1995 4,256,000 [Conservative]
Violent crime 2005/6 2,420,000 [Labour]
Interesting – a 43% decrease in violent crime between the last Tory and current Labour governments.
Violent crime involving knives in 1995 340,480 [Conservative]
Violent crime involving knives 2005/6 169,400 [Labour]
This isn’t going well for the Conservatives – more than a 50% drop in violent crime involving knives! Of course the 72% increase in robberies with knives that was originally referred to accounts for only 17,730 of the total violent crimes committed in 2005/06 – or less than one percent of all violent crimes. Not that impressive in my mind any more – but a good negative headline/soundbite when you need it.
praguetory goes on…
“And it’s not just us Tories having a moan. On a recent return to Brum several non-Tories said to me that they can’t recall there ever being as many shootings and knifings in Birmingham as has been reported as late. Can’t wait for you defence of the government on your rejuvenated blog.”
Well, here it is. The Tories can attempt to slate the government’s law and order policies in blind opposition (and without any of their own), and choose to selectively glean figures to suit the matter in hand. A look at the figures from the British Crime Survey tell the real story. This selective gleaning of figures and misreporting helps to do nothing other than cause a mood of panic amongst the public and create a false perception of a crime problem greater than is actually the case. Very much in the interests of an opposition party to create this impression, but certainly not in the interests of community cohesion – but I suppose the Tories never cared much for that. So yes, there may be a perception of an increase in crime which may well prompt people to say there is a big problem – but I think the reasons for that have less to do with the government and more to do with the Tories and their cronies in the right-wing press.
In your reference to Birmingham, as a candidate in the City Council Elections in Birmingham next year, I can see how council policies have a significant effect on community crime levels, not least in the ward I am fighting to represent. You can criticise the government for national crime trends, but local crime needs to be, to a great extent, the responsibility of the local authority and its policies. In answer to your point, therefore, I suggest you have a think about who was in control of Birmingham City Council a few years ago, when things were apparently better, and who has been in control “of late.”
I’ll let you fill in the square brackets yourself this time… good luck.
John Ritchie is Chair of BULS