Archive for May 2010

Another game of croquet your Lardship?

John Prescott’s phoney class war has taken another bizarre twist with the announcement that he has accepted a peerage.

Prezza made a BBC documentary recently all about his class war and in 2005 he even slagged off Tony Bliar’s school “reforms” because they weren’t working class enough.  Yet as Deputy Prime Minister he was on a salary of £134k – more than 9 times the current minimum wage of around £14.5k – and had two grace and favour homes paid for by the taxpayer and a flat paid for by a union as well as his taxpayer-funded constituency home.  And then there were his two armoured, chauffeur-driven Jags that he used to do the shopping and drive his wife up the road so her hair didn’t get blown about.

Like all class warriors that have had a stint lording it over the proles (excuse the pun), Prescott is a millionaire with a hefty ministerial pension which will keep him in the manner to which he has become accustomed and as a member of the House of Lords he’ll be paid £335.50 for every day he hauls his sweaty, pampered arse into the House of Lords.

I can’t decide whether the thought of an unelected millionaire Lord Prescott fighting his phoney class war against other unelected millionaire Lords, all appointed under one of the systems he’s supposedly devoted his life to opposing, could be best described as ironic or hypocritical.  I’m thinking probably both.

This is a local mascot for local people

The Fortean Times merrily pointed out this morning on Twitter that the Olympic mascots “appear to be Cyclops-eyed, pincer-handed aliens“.

He may not be Prime Minister any more but we just can’t get away from El Gordo.

Anyway, what about those mascots, eh?  Very shiny, and bit angry looking and just a little bit phallic (in-keeping with the theme set by the Lisa Simpson blowjob logo).  But I can forgive their inadequacies somewhat because one of them is names after my home town.

I grew up in Much Wenlock and quite frankly the town makes very little of the fact that the modern Olympics probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for Dr William Penny Brookes and his Wenlock Olympian Games.  Having the mascot named after the town might just be the kick up the arse they need to start making the effort to capitalise on the Olympic connection.

That said, the town council did ask the International Olympic Committee for permission a few years ago to put the Olympic rings logo on the signs at the entrance to the town but they were turned down.  Now might be an opportune moment to ask again.

The organisers of the London Olympics reckon they can raise £15m peddling Wenlock and Mandeville tat.  I’m not convinced they’re going to make much money out of merchandising although they do bear more than a passing resemblance to Crazy Bones which might earn them a few quid from special editions.

Unsurprisingly, the mascots have already been extensively photoshopped.  The chav one is my favourite.

Well, that’s about all you can expect on the great white Olympic elephant from me.  Waste of money and no English team, what is there to interest me other than the connection with the town I grew up in?  Oh, and if anyone wants a guided tour of Wenlock from a local, I’m available for a small fee. 😉

Pakistan launches Facebook rival

Facebook fans in Pakistan will no doubt be pleased to learn that a home-grown rival to Facebook has been released following the site being banned in the country …


ConDem Campaign for Absolute Power

So one of the first acts of our new EU regional administrators is to introduce fixed term parliaments.

I support fixed term parliaments – I even have a button for the campaign for fixed term parliaments in the sidebar of this blog – but I can’t bring myself to support the ConDem coalition’s proposal.

There is nothing at all wrong with a 5 year fixed term parliament and I wholeheartedly agree with it.  Stopping the British Prime Minister of the day from calling an election when it is politically expedient rather than when it is good for the country is a fantastic idea.

What is wrong, though, is the requirement for 55% of British MPs to pass a vote of no confidence to bring about a dissolution of parliament and subsequent election.  To be honest, in a fixed term parliament, the current rule of 50% +1 MP to pass a vote of no confidence would no longer be acceptable.  Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas so the party in power should have no say in a vote of no confidence.  If they have the support of parliament then they should be able to survive a vote of no confidence.

I would prefer to see a 5 year fixed term parliament with a requirement for 75% of opposition MPs required to force a dissolution of parliament.  It needs to be a high figure to prevent spurious attempt to depose the party in power but not so high that the opposition has to be virtually unanimous in their opposition of the ruling party making it almost impossible to depose them.

This 55% rule will keep ConDem coalition in power for as long as they want it and certainly most parties that form a government through an outright majority.  The extra 5% is 4 MPs – hardly an insurmountable target.

Cameron’s campaign for absolute power has to be stopped.

Hung Parliament, tens of millions of votes ignored

Well, it looks like people didn’t use their vote wisely after all.

The expected anti-LibLabCon backlash didn’t materialise with people voting for the LibLabCon coalition.  The Leaders “Debates” shown on Sky, ITV and the BBC successfully deflected attention from the local candidates and onto the party leaders even though only a few thousand of us could vote for them and the anti-hung parliament propaganda in Tory newspapers scared a lot of people into so-called “tactical” voting.

The BBCs partiality in this election needs to be investigated and steps taken to ensure that the privileged and powerful few aren’t given an unfair advantage over the already disadvantaged smaller parties.

And when the Tory media complains about the fact that Gordon Brown is still Prime Minister despite losing by 2m votes and 50-odd seats, they have only themselves to blame for interfering in the election.  If they’d left people to get on with voting for who they wanted instead of peddling propaganda about a hung parliament the result could have been very different.  If they’d stuck to slagging off Liebour and the Limp Dims instead of telling lies about a hung parliament they wouldn’t have motivated the LibLab voters.

It looks like UKIP’s hopes are all pinned on Nigel Farage.  The result has been pretty disappointing nationwide for UKIP but it looks like a lot of deposits have been retained and UKIP have beaten the BNP in almost every seat contested.

In Telford, David Wright managed to cling on to his seat with a reduced majority of about 1k, reduced from 5k.  Denis Allen got almost 2.5k votes, keeping his deposit and effectively depriving the Tories of a victory.  That was certainly the general consensus anyway – the Tories were fuming with us and the Liebour lot were shaking our hands blinking away the tears in their eyes, thanking us for seeing the Tories off!

In the Wrekin constituency, Mark Pritchard increased his 500 majority to 9k.  Malcolm Hurst for UKIP got 2,050 votes and missed the 5% needed to keep his deposit by about 350 votes.

As I type, there are over 2m more votes for the Tories than there are for Liebour and a difference of 47 seats.  There are 1.6m votes between the Limp Dims and Liebour but the difference in seats is 189.  The electoral system is fundamentally wrong and needs changing.  Under proportional representation, based on current vote share with 43 seats left to declare, the seat allocation for the main parties should be something like:

  • Con: 235
  • Lab: 185
  • Lib: 149
  • UKIP: 20
  • BNP: 12
  • SNP: 11
  • Green: 6

Tens of millions of votes will be ignored no matter what the outcome is because we still have this medieval first past the post electoral system.

Use your vote wisely

The polling stations have been open for 20 minutes now and today is probably a once in a lifetime chance to change the face of English politics forever.

For too long, English politics has been about the same tired old parties – the dishonest Conservatives, the illiberal and economically illiterate Labour Party and the weak and ineffectual Lib Dems.  We’ve seen our country bankrupted and sold to the EU and our trust abused by thieving politicians.  Today we have a chance to break the stranglehold the corrupt LibLabCon have over our country and change the way it is governed.

It might not seem like it with the media’s obsession over Brown, Cameron and Clegg and the exclusive “Leaders Debates” but today we are voting for an MP, not a Prime Minister.  If you listen to the LibLabCon and cast a so-called “tactical” vote then you’ve cast a wasted vote.  If you vote for somebody you don’t want to try and stop someone else you don’t want from winning then all you’re going to get is someone you don’t want representing you for the next 5 years.

You know that feeling you get when you’re choosing a new mobile phone?  You look at all the features and read the reviews and think “Can I live with this phone for the next 12-18 months until I’m due my next upgrade?”.  That’s the feeling you should be getting when you look at your ballot paper multiplied by a thousand.  The person you vote for today (if he or she wins) is going to represent you in Westminster for up to 5 years.

Forget about the Leaders debates – unless you live in Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, Witney, Sheffield Hallam or Bangladesh, you’re not voting for any of them.  Forget about a hung parliament – a hung parliament is healthy for democracy, it’s only the megalomaniac party leaders that have anything to lose from a hung parliament.  Forget about the “big picture”, it’ll look after itself.

There is no such thing as a wasted vote, us it wisely.

Election Prediction

The election is almost upon us and it’s time for a prediction I think: Nick Clegg will be Prime Minister.

Now, don’t get any silly ideas about the Lib Dems winning the election because they won’t.  The Tories will win the election with most seats but they won’t have a working majority and Cameron would rather go without than share power.  The newspaper ads and constant talk about how terrible a hung parliament would be confirm that Cameron is out for absolute power and nothing less.

There will be no shortage of offers to form a coalition with Cast Iron Dave but they will be rebuffed.  The party faithful will be told that it’s better to let a LibLab coalition limp along for a few months before collapsing and then the Tories can romp home to victory in a snap election.  Most of them will fall for it of course and those that don’t will accept it for the greater good.

So that just leaves the Lib Dems and Labour.  The Lib Dems will come second on Thursday, relegating Labour to third place.  Clegg will want a coalition of the left which rules out the Tories and whilst the SNP and Plaid will make gains at the election (the former more so than the latter) they won’t have enough lobby fodder for Clegg to see off the Tories so it will be a LibLab coalition with Clegg as Prime Minister.

Whether El Gordo will manage to cling on as leader after the election remains to be seen.  Mandelson is already leader in all but name and I expect him to take over the reins from El Gordo at some point after the election.  Clegg says he won’t work with Brown but once he smells victory he’ll soon change his tune.

And what about the non-LibLabCon/celtic nationalists?  Well, UKIP will come out with a handful of MPs – I think between three and five.  The BNP will retain some deposits but they won’t win and seats.  The English Democrats will spring a few surprises but won’t win any seats.  The Greens will come worryingly close to winning a seat but won’t quite make it.

Another May Day, another day of terrorism

Is it really 12 months since the mayhem and violence of last years May Day?

You’ll be pleased to know that the left still haven’t lost their appetite for mindless violence and this years May Day is shaping up to be just as vicious and riotous as previous years.

In Nepal, the Maoists who have terrorised their way into the government through civil war are on the streets again with yet another list of demands. As is so often the case with the far left, they know that nobody would ever vote for their socialist extremism so they have to turn to violence to get their own way.

In Macau and Hong Kong, left wing terrorists have been fighting with riot police and in the North Caucasus region of Russia, a bomb has injured 21 people and killed a 104 year old world war two veteran.

Protesters in Greece opposed to the harsh austerity budget imposed by the European Empire have been rioting in a couple of major cities whilst Germany has seen rioting in Hamburg and Berlin.