Friday, 26 October 2007

The Poliblogs 26 October 2007

Electing independents isn’t the same as electing Lib Dems

Liberal Democrats have a tendency to sympathise with independent election candidates. I think it’s a mixture of the rebellious streak and the community campaigning instincts of Liberal Democrats. But I worry when Liberal Democrats actively support independent candidates either by encouraging them to stand or by standing aside to give them a free run at an election. That is why I am concerned by a posting made by Stewart Arnold on his blog.

Anders Hanson

My Two Cents...on hypocrisy

A few months ago an American shock-jock few of you will have heard of – Don Imus – was fired from his popular nationally syndicated show for describing some black female basketball players as “nappy headed hos”. In the Land of the Free where the First Amendment to the Constitution protects freedom of expression, that freedom of expression to be offensive only extends to certain privileged Americans such as Jesse Jackson, who infamously got away with referring to New York as “Hymie Town”.

Blaney’s Blarney

Jacks Straw's wrong Bill of rights.

Whilst the Conservatives are calling for the Human Rights act to be scrapped, Jack Straw is defending it. Straw says that scrapping the act in favour of a British Bill of Rights would cause delays as people would seek justice in the European courts. But surely the idea of scrapping the act would remove the ability to go to the European courts as we do now. This is the reason for getting rid of the Human Rights Act, it is the European courts in conjunction with the Act that have caused us so much anguish - the Human rights act is hardly ever used for the good of law abiding citizens.

Daily Referendum

Lib Dem calls Tory by mistake and outlines his secret plans

This has to be quite possibly the funniest thing I have read all day. Apparently, a Lib Dem councillor in Hexham called Derek Kennedy (pictured) meant to call his colleague Dougie Watkin but instead called the leader of the Tories on Tynedale Council, Michael Walton and left the following answerphone message.

Dizzy Thinks

Bill of rights? Bring it on

Good news that Gordon Brown wants a bill of rights. But it's one thing to promise, quite another to deliver.

Roger Smith

Bill of Rights should be for everyone

Stuart Weir (Cambridge, Democratic Audit): We should welcome Gordon Brown’s political predicament, for if he is regain the political high ground that he assumed on becoming Prime Minister, he now clearly needs to reassure liberal Britain that our liberties are safe in his hands. The government’s plans for a ‘British’ Bill of Rights have caused concern because it was possible that here was another political issue on which there would be cross-dressing with Cameron’s Tories, on a measure that would distinguish between ‘citizens’ and others in the protection of civil and political rights in the UK.

Our Kingdom

Energy Targets

I may be being ignorant, or naive, but I don't quite get this week's soft-pedaling on the renewable energy target. Not only do we have what most thinking people believe is the huge problem of climate change to deal with, but we also have two inter-related problems that will be looming even if some miracle happens and it turns out the scientists are all wrong, George W Bush is right (which on the track record seems unlikely), and climate change isn't as serious as expected:

Luke’s Blog

YouGov shows the Tory lead is being sustained

..and a boost for Huhne in his bid for the Lib Dem leadership

After the longest period without a national voting intention poll since August 2006 there’s the regular survey from the YouGov panel in the Daily Telegraph this morning which shows no change on the last poll from the firm almost two weeks ago. The headline figures are CON 41% (nc): LAB 38% (nc): LD 11% (nc)

Political Betting

YouGov - Brown now seen as indecisive and ineffective

YouGov’s monthly poll for the Telegraph has topline voting intention figures, with changes from their last poll, of CON 41% (nc), LAB 38% (nc), LDEM 11% (nc). Clearly the figures are exactly the same as their last poll, conducted two and a half weeks ago for the Sunday Times. This is the first poll for almost a fortnight and, after a period of extreme volatility in the polls, it’s makes a change to find things so static. There was potential for the Conservatives to have continued moving head, or for their leads at the start of the month to be have been nothing but a brief recovery on the back of a horrid week for Gordon Brown.

Polling Report

Checking the expenses

In general I am not one who gets excited about the fact that MPs, AMs and MSPs need appropriate support to do the job they are elected for. Often this will require the provision of allowances to employ staff, run offices, to travel to and from the relevant Parliament and to stay away from home when necessary. However, there are grey areas and there are also differences between Parliaments that are difficult to justify.

Peter Black

40 Years On: No Compromise on a Woman’s Right to Choose

As the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Abortion Rights Act approaches, the usual religious suspect have crawled out of the woodwork to denounce women. This can be seen in the form of an “open letter” by Cardinal Cormac Murphy O’Connor and Cardinal Keith O’Brien and the Archbishop of Canterbury’s contention that abortion’s are now “too easy to obtain”.

Shiraz Socialist

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