Beyond Our Ken
The interesting thing about the sudden "Decent Bat-Signal" (thanks to Alex in comments for this phrase) that now is Fuck Ken Time, is that they don't appear to be endorsing any alternative candidate. Why not? A glance at the slate reveals that all the alternatives to Ken are politically ... difficult for the Decents to love:
Throwing mud at the mayor
Recent attacks by journalists on Ken Livingstone have obscured the issues by which he - and his rivals - should be judged
Dispatches on “The Court of Ken”
Like many people, I tuned into the Dispatches investigation of the office of the Mayor of London, or more specifically the way Ken Livingstone has conducted himself and the people he has surrounded himself with. martin_bright_140×140.jpgThe programme was led by Martin Bright, Political Editor of the New Statesman, and opened with Peter Tatchell (whom I know from the Doughty Street days as a very passionate campaigner and generally serious dude) saying:
Nick Clegg must prove we trust the British people on Europe
Whilst the Lib Dems news policy of a referendum on out continued membership of the EU might be inspired, it serves merely to gloss over the fact that we promised a referendum on the EU Constitution, and as has been shown by various reliably sources, the EU reform Treaty is virtually identical to the EU constitution. So shouldn't we support the referendum we promised ? Others I know feel the same way too.
Lisbon Treaty: referendum, please
The Lisbon Treaty, at least to my eyes, looks much like the EU constitution dressed up in the political equivalent of a fur coat and Trinny and Susannah Original Magic Knickers. For the uninitiated, T&S Original Magic Knickers – available from Littlewoods here – promise instantly to transform the larger lady into a svelte beauty who will knock the guys dead as soon as she dons her little black number. But there’s just one snag, girls; a backside the size of a small planet, even when crammed into doubtlessly wonderful elasticated underwear, remains a fat arse.
The dangerous uselessness of 'Euroscepticism'
Here we go again, another festival of pointless calls for a referendum on the EU constitution. The whole thing reminds me of dogs chasing cars. What would they do if they caught them? What would happen if they held a referendum, and everyone voted ‘No’? Well, we already know. Nothing good. Ask the people of France, Ireland and the Netherlands, all of whom at various times have said 'No' to EU plans. They've either been sent back to do it again and come up with the right answer, or they have been ignored. And then what do they do?
None of our business
Liberal-Democrat leader Nick Clegg has declared that he and his party will NOT support a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, the one declared by many to be almost identical with the EU constitution voted down in France and the Netherlands. This is hardly surprising since I remember him on television at the time saying the "no" votes didn't count "because polls have shown that the French and Dutch voters didn't know what they were voting about."
Brown no longer gets the benefit of the doubt
If you had told most people in the Westminster Village a year ago that the economy would hit choppy waters, then most people would have thought that this would actually strengthen Gordon Brown’s electoral position. The logic behind this was that Labour’s advantage on the economic competence question was so deep set that the public would prefer Brown’s experienced hand at the tiller rather than the untested Cameron and Osborne combination.
The rules haven't changed
Change the world: Believe it or not, New Labour is beginning to make sense on terrorism, now Tony Blair has gone
Will it ever get as bad as this for Gordon?
According to a report in the Independent yesterday Gordon Brown is telling friends that the public is being increasingly repelled by PMQs and that the Commons exchanges are now of little use in discussing the issues of the day. He’s reported as saying that “nothing prepares you” for the ferocity of a packed chamber in full cry” and that the weekly event is worse than it has ever been. I’m not so sure. The above short video shows a couple of exchanges between Tony Blair and John Major in the period before the 1997 election when, of course, Blair was asking the questions. The “Weak..Weak..Weak” refrain has become famous and shows Blair at his most aggressive. I do not think that Cameron has yet matched this in his exchanges with Gordon.
Mark Field MP: Northern Rock has been nationalised in all but name
For sure there have been more spectacular banking crises than that which has affected Northern Rock in recent months. The phenomenon of a ‘run on the bank’ was almost commonplace in Victorian times. More recently the collapse of BCCI (1991) and Barings (1995) show that even a highly regulated banking sector is never immune to mismanagement and fraudulent activity.