Gove hits home
Gordon Brown won't enjoy Michael Gove's 6000 word dissection of his character, but he should read it. It's going to be the set text for the Tory critique of the Brown premiership in the months to come. The Aberdonian one has the brain capacity to match the man from Kirkaldy, which is why he's been assigned by David Cameron to take on the Clunking Fist. Where Mr Brown used plentiful references to great thinkers to bolster his historian's appreciation of British liberty in his speech last week, Mr Gove cited his own exemplars from the past to argue that Mr Brown's is a government "doomed to disappoint", hollow behind a facade of stunts and "empty exercises in manipulation".
They'll Take The High Road. Maybe
Alex Salmond says we should go our separate ways, with Scotland taking the oil. But would Scotland be any better off? According to Tyler's fag packet, a fiscally independent Scotland looks like this (2006-07 figures- for derivation see footnote):
So Much Hot Air
Yesterday, Mr Benn (Hilary of that ilk, clearly a diminutive of Hilarious) delivered himself of a ‘major speech’ on Britain’s Low Carbon Future. Given the fatuous position of the Government we have drawn attention to many times, did he start with an apology for testing our collective patience over the years with infeasible ‘commitments’, followed by a promise to stop the pretence forthwith? No: he proposes to plough on regardless, starting with this:
Trick or Treaty?
It is considered ‘unparliamentary’ to accuse an honourable or right honourable member of the House of Commons of lying or misleading the House, but when the evidence becomes overwhelming, Cranmer thinks it worth inciting the Speaker, not least because his judgement on this issue may well be worth invoking.
The class politics of immigration controls
Two New Labour cabinet ministers have been wrong-footed after there turned out to be 300,000 more foreign nationals working in the UK than official figures had earlier suggested. The total is 1.1m, and not the 800,000 previously reported. Officially, home secretary Jacqui Smith and Peter Hain, her counterpart at the Department of Work and Pensions, are simply waxing apologetic because of the statistical cock-up. And of course, if we are going to have official statistics at all, they should be reliable statistics.
Keep the blue flag flying
David Cameron is riding a wave of Conservative support. But he needs all of his skills to keep the party united on tax and Europe.
Tories and Labour remain united in self interest over party funding
Talks have apparently collapsed ending any hope of a deal on party political funding, meaning that Lord Ashcroft (the former Belize ambassador ???) will remain the Tories major supplier of Tories funds and the unions will continue to bankroll Labour.
Three party politics is (officially) alive and well...
The cry of those would subdue us in recent weeks has been: “who cares?” “what are the Lib Dems for” etc. Radio presenters of phone in shows have asked their audiences “Is the departure of Ming Campbell a suitable juncture for the Lib Dems to curl up and die?” Well, now we have hard statistics with which to round on our detractors and show that far from being cast to the periphery, the public of Britain still believe us to be a significant force in British Politics.
Blair's last reshuffle
More fascinating stuff today from Anthony Seldon's new "Blair Unbound" biography currently being serialised in The Times. Today's excerpt reveals he planned to make Charles Clarke Foreign Secretary in his last big reshuffle in May 2006, but was persuaded against it following Clarke's mishandling of the row over the deportation of foreign prisoners.
Lib Dems recovering in ICM/Guardian poll
ICM’s monthly poll for the Guardian had topline figures, with changes from their last poll for the Sunday Telegraph in mid-October, of CON 40%(-3), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 18%(+4).
ICM finds support for UKIP down to ZERO percent
On June 10th 2004 in the last European elections, UKIP received 2.7 million votes and gained twelve seats in the European Parliament. Their national vote share of just under 17% put them in third place ahead of the Lib Dems and all the talk was of the party doing terrible damage to Michael Howard Conservatives in the ensuing general election. When that vote came, just eleven months later, the party received a paltry 618,000 votes which amounted to less than 2.4% of the national vote. It did not win any Westminster seats although it’s argued that the performances of their candidates in key marginals cost the Tories a clutch of seats.
Working Immigrants And Lazy-Arse Britons
More than half of new jobs created in the last decade have gone to immigrants. I have no problem with the immigrants coming in and working. They are coming here and doing the jobs which are available, helping our economy expand.
But I do have a problem with the millions of Britons who just sit on the dole, rather than taking these jobs for themselves.
Show us your vision, Gordon
Gordon Brown called off an election to show us his vision. It's time he started doing so. When Gordon Brown told Andrew Marr he wouldn't go to the country this year - nor next - in order to renew Labour's mandate to govern, he said:
Why are trains left-wing, and cars conservative?
Here's a brief thought on a question that continues to baffle me. Transport, as it is unexcitingly called, is one of the most important responsibilities of government. Run well, it can make a whole country more civilised and more enjoyable. Visit Switzerland if you want to see what I mean. The Zurich trams are so good, reliable, clean, safe, comfortable and swift that businessmen leave their Mercedes at home. Clean, regular, reasonably-priced trains hurry from everywhere to everywhere punctually and at satisfying speeds. Result, pleasanter, cleaner, more spacious cities and a more unspoiled countryside, happier people, more efficient business, plus a general feeling of sociability, missing where everyone is in a private box.