Friday, 13 July 2007

The Poliblogs 13th July 2007

Talking to the taxman in a hotel room
Quite a funny thing the spending on hotels and travel amonsgt Goevrnment departments. When the Chancellor was asked how much his department and its executive agenices spent on hotels last year his answer was revealing.
Dizzy Thinks

Lib Dems propose lowest rate of income tax since last Liberal government
Ming Campbell has today announced the Lib Dems would cut income tax by 4p in the pound, to 16p, the lowest rate of income tax since the 1916 Asquith government. The full party press release - with further details of the proposals, and comments from both Ming and Lib Dem shadow Chancellor Vince Cable - is on Ming’s website here.
Lib Dem Voice

Taxing bads
What's the Big Idea?" people often ask politicians. Well, today sees the launch of one very Big Idea - we can have income tax cuts if we pay more in green taxes on driving and flying. This morning the Lib Dems published plans which they claim can take the basic rate of income tax to its lowest level since 1916. They are not alone in this thinking though.

Nick Robinson

Mrs. Draper Serves a Mugging For Breakfast

What on earth got into Kate Garroway this morning?! The unexceptionable clothes horse that blandly wafts me through my coffee (after my run and Porridge ) , was attacking poor defenceless David Cameron like a rabid hound . Again and again she interrupted him , not when he was waffling which he rarely does , but when he was reasonably trying to give his view of her altogether silly questions.
Islington Newmania

Royal Mail - closed for business
I had a wry smile on my face today hearing that the workers at Royal Mail are having their second days national strike. I am so pleased I am not in the Communications team having to deal with all this.
Tory Radio

All bets are off
Gordon Brown's U-turn on supercasinos has cheated one of the country's most deprived areas out of a vital regeneration project.
Paul Horrocks

Dear law
Changing legislation costs money and government ministries seem hopeless at calculating the costs and benefits.
David Hencke

Who has most to lose next Thursday?
Do Labour need to do more than just hold on?
By an accident of timing the fieldwork for both ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian and the Communicate Research survey for the Independent is due to start a week tomorrow when, no doubt, the results of the Sedgefield and Ealing Southall by elections will be dominating the news.
Political betting

'Boris v Norris' would put London Tories on the map
The search for the Conservative Mayoral candidate has been a tortuous affair. First came the postponement of the primary process and then the whole Greg Dyke affair. Both events undermined the many good candidates in the race. Monday sees nominations close. It is an enormous shame that Nick Boles won't be one of the nominees. Illness has forced him out of the race and I renew my best wishes to him for a full and speedy recovery. I hope the policy ideas that he was working on will find their way into the hands of our candidates. In Policy Exchange he built an impressive new centre right think tank - Britain's third largest - and I'm sure he had plenty of policy ideas for benefiting Londoners.
Conservative Home

Constitutional Reform
Gordon Brown has proposed a number of constitutional reforms, many of which are to be welcomed. Here are my suggestions for a thorough reworking of the constitution. This is just 'blue skies' thinking here with no reference to political realities of today. Given that, what would others alter about our mythically great constitution?
Labour Home

£23 billion of government over-runs
Based on analysis of official records for 300 public sector projects completed since 2005 or ongoing, the Taxpayer's Alliance have calculated a running total of £23 billion in cost overruns. I make that £75 million per project and close to a grand per household. A most horrendous case is a freaking Art Gallery in Sandwell which is £30 million over budget!
Prague Tory

Should the UK have weekend elections?
As part of the package of constitutional changes unveiled by Gordon Brown recently, possibly moving the day of general elections received a cameo appearance. It has been the convention for decades now that UK elections are held on Thursdays, although this is not laid down by statute.
Political Betting

Tintin and the Congo
There is something of a kerfluffle in the UK over the publication of Tintin and the Congo: the Commission for Racial Equality is somewhat upset over the 1930's depictions of the inhabitants of the country as grinning picanninies. I can see their point too, although wouldn't go so far as to advocate book banning, either forced or voluntary.
Tim Worstall

No more cakes and ale
Politicians are in the most hypocritical position to moralise about smoking and drinking. Let the people be their own judge.
Edward Pearce

What's the point of being told the terrorist beast is on the prowl if we don't know when or where it will strike?
Every now and then, when the authorities fear that we may be becoming complacent, they try to rattle us again about the terrorist threat. That is what they are doing at the moment, both here and in the US; but, as usual, they offer little or no evidence to support their alarmist prophesies.
Alexander Chancellor

Bombers read the arts pages
Before blaming foreign policy for all terrorism, cultural stars should reflect on their own role
Mark Lawson

Islamabad or Islamagood?
As it turns out, this wasn’t a lie. Two sectors of downtown were closed and so a new debate on where to stay started. As Doug tried to convince Heath that maybe there was another sector of Islamabad we could stay in, gun shots cracked. The driver ducked and started his engine. Clearly he was not interested in hanging around debating anymore, and neither were we shouting: “Rawalpindi” as he drove.

So now we’re staying in Rawalpindi. Despite our first impressions of Islamabad involving gunfire, we’ve actually discovered that this is one of those extraordinarily safe cities (and remember the shots were not headed towards us, although nerve racking, we were in no danger thanks to the huge police cordon around the mosque). Whislt they may have terrorist problems (far less than those in London at the moment), almost every Pakistani brings up the subject of extremists. It appears that they both loathe the extremists and loathe the reputation it has given Pakistan and the Muslim religion.
Tuxedo Travels

No comments: