Facts About Crime
26 teenagers murdered on London's streets last year. The dignified but heart rending statement by Gary Newlove's widow should shame us all. Because we're the ones who are responsible for her husband's brutal murder outside their own home. It's us who've allowed our rulers to water down the criminal justice system so much that teenage gangs think it's perfectly OK to roam around vandalising cars at will and terrorising whole neighbourhoods.
Walls closing in on Ken?
The London mayoral race is entering a bitter period, with most of the invective being directed at Ken Livingstone. Of course, we shouldn’t be too surprised when the Evening Standard, which has had its run-ins with Livingstone, produces headlines such as "Mayor 'misled public over cash'". But – surprising or not – these headlines will still spoil Livingstone’s reputation with the voting public, and have already lead to condemnation from MPs of all three parties.
A one party state
Daniel Hannan writes a good piece for The Daily Telegraph today, commenting on the shenanigans going on in the EU parliament – ignored entirely by the rest of the media. The headline to his piece for once reflects the content (not always the case), stating baldly: "EU treaty censored by Euro-federalists" with Hannan opening in rhetorical vein.
Will the banks win their case on charges?
The UK banks have finally begun defending a case against the OFT re their allegedly unfair business charges. I am personally quite keen that they win. Effectively what the banks do is rip off people who are stupid. Going overdrawn without a limit - stupid. Writing a cheque that you know will bounce - stupid.
Commons Clerks stymie Lib Dem plans
The Lib Dems are deeply split on the question of whether there should be a referendum on the European Constitution, as they promised in their manifesto. As Fraser explains in this week’s magazine, Ming Campbelll came to a compromise with the pro-referendum forces in the party where the Lib Dems committed themselves to a referendum but not on the constitution, or as we are now meant to call it the Lisbon Treaty, but the whole question of whether or not Britain should stay in the EU.
Carving up the BBC licence fee is dumb
I'm sure there will be quite a few right-wingers out there that will be pleased with news that the £3.4bn the BBC receives from the licence fee may be carved up with commercial operators. Obviously those that say they "believe" in the BBC will think it;s the end of the world and someone somewhere will note how it is caving into profit and the talk of funding right-wing propaganda will probably appear.
My submission to the Home Office for the public consultation on SOCPA
It's finished... and just in time. My submission to the Home Office in response to the Government's consultation document on Sections 132 to 138 of the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 2005 is a slide show in video format and appears below along with the email sent to the Home Office and a full transcript (complete with linky goodness in key places for newbies). In short, the entire submission has been made available to the public. Grab yourself a coffee or a nice hot cup of tea and settle in for a little over 7 minutes of me sharing a few things the Home Office - and you - should be aware of:
Liam Fox's squirming gets a laugh from QT audience
First laugh of Question Time was for Liam Fox's squirming remark that the "half a million undeclared by George Osbourne" is "not the same thing at all" as the Hain imbroglio. "Pot", "Kettle", "black" was mentioned by a subsequent audience member.
Prison doesn't work
Where's the last place on earth you should put an angry young heroin addict who has just stolen from a supermarket to fund their habit? Prison. Prison doesn't work.
The true cost of PFI
I've never been a fan of PFI schemes. They are simply a ruse to allow the government to pass debt off to agencies, councils and other public bodies, at an inflated rate, so that the government does not look like it is getting in to debt.
Can the Tories break the 300 seat ceiling?
The Commons seat spreads - where the serious punters go. Reproduced above are this morning’s commons seats spreads from Sporting Index where you bet on how many seats the main parties are going to get at the next election. They show the Conservatives at almost their highest ever since the general election. There has only been one previous period, in late November, when the mid-point (the average of the BUY and SELL levels) has risen about the 300 mark.
Why won't they just leave us alone? Why is it any business of the government what price supermarkets sell alcohol at? Why? If there was even one good reason, it might be acceptable to even a slight extent. But a good reason for this doesn't exist. At all.
Socialism and fascism: some people really really don't get the difference
For anyone who hasn't seen the latest episode of 'A Daily Show with John Stewart' (I deeply advise you to do so now if you haven't) you will have missed one of those interviews you really just had to see. Jonah Goldberg, author of 'Liberal Fascism: the secret history of the American left from Mussolini to the politics of Meaning', seems to be convinced that American Clintonesque liberalism is fascist. The interview went on for 18 minutes (I think that might be a record) so the editors had to cut it down to a 6 minute production which Jon Stewart admitted was 'as choppy as hell', boy I'd of liked to have seen the rest.