This being the first ever post on the Poliblogs I am fully aware that I will be refining my techniques and sources over time. The more you readers can contribute the better, however.
I am also very pleased to add a link to anyone's site - there are only two conditions. You have to be a political blog and you have to link me back.
So, here goes - the round up of the past few days in the political blogosphere...
Charles Kennedy, Hypocrisy and Consistency
Poor old Charlie Kennedy. He's headline news at the moment for breaking the smoking ban and smoking out of the window of a train to Plymouth. But what's this I hear? Charlie voted for the smoking ban? No, surely not. Yup, HERE's the evidence.
Medical terroristsThe perpetrators of the recent aborted terrorist attacks were, it seems, all doctors and all working for the NHS.
- Harold Shipman was a GP
- Che Guevara was a medical student
- Peter Sutcliffe (the “Yorkshire ripper”) was a lorry driver
- O.J. Simpson was innocent
- Fred West was a patio builder
- James Hanratty was a professional car thief
- Thomas Hamilton (Dunblane) was an ex-scout master
...let us hope that there is not going to be yet another wave of racism in the NHS.
NHS Blog Doctor
Johnson's Once in a Generation NHS Review
New Health Commissar, New NHS Review:
"To prepare for the next spending round an independent review should examine long term NHS needs, over the next twenty years.
In the half-century history of the NHS no such review has ever been carried out. Taking the long-term view means honestly facing the scale of the challenges ahead."
Oh no, sorry, that wasn't Johnson today. That was Brown in 2001, bigging up his... er, "independent" NHS report from my Lord Hapless.
No, Johnson's review is merely "unprecendented" or possibly only "once in a generation", depending on which spin text you read.
Burning Our Money
The Case For Boris
Guido has learned that Boris has been discussing the possibility of running for Mayor since at least January. Boris is concerned that he first has to have the support of his constituency if he is to devote six months to campaigning for the job.
Surely Henley can spare him in the noble quest to finally rid London of Ken?
83% Back Boris for Mayor
Guido's now closed poll of readers scientifically sampled a total of 1060 co-conspirators. A massive 83% backed Boris running.
Boris for Mayor sums up a right Tory conundrum The Conservatives’ search for a mayoral candidate has become London’s longest-running farce. Having attempted to recruit the nonTory Greg Dyke, a former director-general of the BBC, David Cameron has now turned to Boris Johnson, who at least belongs to his party. It is another question whether the Henley MP (an intelligent writer, but whose affected shambling manner is highly convincing) could be taken seriously as the potential boss of one of the world’s great cities.
For Fags SakeInterested to see today that Labour MP Betty Williams has offered to take Harriet Harman into the toilets to show her a few things.
Reassuringly, it's just to see where MPs are apparently currently flouting the smoking ban and nothing more serious.
Gasping For a Fag IIIIn the spirit of sticking two fingers up to Nanny, and doing my best to thwart (now there's a word I haven't used for a while) her evil plans for subjugating us, I believe that I may have come up with a means of circumnavigating the smoking ban.
Nanny Knows Best
Hewitt makes nation smell of crap
I was talking to the Landlady of my Local last night, and she told me that one of the unforeseen consequences of the smoking ban is that there is nothing to cover the smell of refreshed gentlemen's flatulence (she runs a pub catering for a largely male cliantele). On July the first, chaps, hitherto able to parp away, safe in the knowlege that the evidence would be concealed by the smoke wafting from the end of licorice roll-ups are now forced to endure the aroma. As is everyone else.
A very British Dude
Trust me, I'm not TonyI passed up the opportunity to blog on the details of Gordon Brown's constitutional reform proposals this week because I wanted to save it for my weekend columns (for which I get paid!) Anyway here is my preliminary verdict, as published in this morning's Newcastle Journal. Some of it may be of particular interest to readers of Anglospheric tendencies.
The Industry that keeps on giving
Not everything on Picking Losers is about the bad side of government. For example, here is a heart warming tale of giving and kindness from the corporate hospitality boxes at Wimbledon. Spotted this week, lurking behind a bowl of strawberries and through the bubbling fizz of a champagne glass, was a Mr Jim Campbell. Jim who? You may ask. Jim Campbell. Mr Campbell is the civil servant in charge of regulating Britain's oil and gas industry, including responsibility for pollution and oil spills. So what? You may continue to ask. Well, Mr Campbell was the very special guest in an all expenses paid luxury chalet at the All England Lawn Tennis Club of oil giants Chevron. Chevron has stated that the £1000 a head hospitality for Mr Campbell, or Jim as they probably call him, is an annual event – what thoughtful chaps.
Will Livingstone crush the Cuban Ambassador too?Last month, Ken Livingstone said that he would be "quite happy" to crush the car of the American Ambassador with the Ambassador inside over the fact that the US Embassy refuses to pay on the Congestion Charge on the basis that it considers it a tax and so cites diplomatic immunity.
You can bet though that Livingstone will not be saying the same thing about the ambassadors of Cuba, Nigeria, Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Mauritiana, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Tanzania who, between them, have 15.775 outstanding congestion charge fines.
People we know and trust
Alastair Campbell: Why, suddenly, are so many people prepared to believe a man who lies and spins for a living... especially when his immediate livelihood depends on us giving a damn about his book? Won't be buying, won't be reading... won't be linking, sorry (but if you do find your way to his website, check the 'about' page for a pathetic attempt at blogging cred). I will, however, be paraphrasing a fairly recent and most-excellent letter to Viz on the subject of Max Clifford; "If he's such an expert in public relations, why does everyone think he's a cunt?"
The Boy Dave (C): Idiot or What?
The Boy Dave (C) shows an alarming lack of knowledge about the music industry here. Such an alarming lack that I do have to wonder who in hell has been briefing him. If anyone, that is:
David Cameron yesterday offered the music industry a unique deal – cut the glorification of materialism, misogyny and guns in hits and the next Conservative government would back an extension of the copyright on sound recordings from the current 50-year period to 70 years.Tim Worstall
Tom Watson vs Iain Dale: (see both blogs for the full war)
Tom Watson Sinks to the Depths (Again)Am I alone in thinking that Tom Watson's latest post on the Conservative Candidate in Ealing Southall is, well, borderline racist? It's also complete rubbish. He's no raising a canard about Tony Lit's directorships being registered at different addresses. Big ****ing deal. Mine probably are/were too. Ooooh. Big conspiracy. And maybe I may have registered one in the name of Iain Dale and one in the name of Iain Campbell** Dale. Obviously I am a criminal.
Who is Tony Lit?
It remains the case, that there is no Tony Lit registered to vote in either Chiswick or Richmond (and certainly not in Ealing or Southall). It is true that a Surinderpal Singh Lit is registered to vote in Chiswick, just as he was previously in Richmond. Though not in Ealing or Southall. I do not think it unreasonable to have assumed that the man the Conservatives are telling the voters of Ealing Southall is Tony Lit is, in fact, called Tony Lit.
No real rush
I have a confession. I did not rush into work early this morning to read "the diaries". I am not now salivating in anticipation of what Alastair Campbell will reveal. I even found his sparring with John Humphrys a little less than exciting.
A very sad day (for some)
B3TA welcomes in Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown challenge