Saturday, 5 May 2007

Sucessful Result for David Cameron and the Conservatives

David Cameron's Conservatives have strong hopes of winning the next general election. And they should do after Labour suffered a historic national collapse yesterday. the Chancellor now faces what some say is an insurmountable task to restore a party which has been severely damaged weeks before he is due to take over from Tony Blair.

The Conservatives 40 per cent share of the vote would translate at a general election into a majority of about 20. Cameron is on the right track to victory in the next general election. The British Public have shown they have had their share of the era of Labour sleaze, broken promises and scandals. We are looking for new direction and, after winning over 850 council seats, it is becoming apparent Cameron in the person for the job. With results in from 303 councils, the Tories had won 856 new seats and taken control of another 38 authorities, many in areas which for a decade have been hostile to the Tories.

SNP Victory Over Labour - Embarrassment for Brown

The SNP is victorious. The SNP won a total of 47 of the 129 seats. Labour was just one behind on 46. Britain's political map was reshaped in a dramatic result last night after the Scottish National Party ended Labour's 50-year dominance of Scotland. This is certainly to cast a shadow over Gordon Brown's expected "coronation" as Prime Minister.

Labour took a kicking from voters across Britain in the final electoral verdict on Tony Blair's decade at Number 10. This defeat was highly symbolic for not only Labour but Blair and Brown as well. Mr Brown regards Scotland as his political power base. He had taken a central role in Labour's unsuccessful campaign to halt the nationalist advance.

Labour cabinet ministers, including John Reid, the Home Secretary, and Hazel Blears, the party chairman, gave television and radio interviews however Brown attempted to distance himself from Labour's defeat in Scotland and setbacks in the rest of the UK. Instead Mr Brown issued a press release in which he promised that Labour would "listen and learn" the lessons of its defeat.

SNP leader Alex Salmond said last night that Labour had lost its "divine right" to rule Scotland. "Scotland has changed for good and forever." But it will not be smooth sailing for Salmond as he attempts to put together a coalition that will enable him to become Scotland's First Minister. The SNP's narrow victory threatens uncertainty and potential instability, particularly if Mr Salmond seeks confrontation with a Government led by Mr Brown.

Mr Salmond will need the support of at least two other parties to form a majority government. The most likely candidates are the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. However a rather large stumbling block for the other parties support will be Mr Salmond's commitment to hold a referendum on independence within four years. Yesterday the SNP leader appeared to slightly change his tune on this issue by saying there was scope for "flexibility". Jack McConnell, the Scottish Labour leader and current First Minister, refused to concede defeat last night. He pledged to "keep all options open" and said Labour would be "reflecting" on how best to move forward.

Mr Blair attempted to minimise the repercussions of the worse electoral performance of his premiership. He claimed it provided "a perfectly good springboard to go on and win the next General Election."

David Cameron passed his first big electoral test as the Conservatives won 860 council seats in England and emerged with the strongest showing in local government for almost 30 years.

Blair, Brown and Labour can try to convince themselves that the result was not a disaster. The British people have spoken and Labour's era of sleaze and corruption has passed. As the results show the people are looking for new direction and are ready to send Labour packing. It is a shame that Brown will not have the courage to call a general election when Blair resigns.

Absurd News of the Week - Skulls and Frog Juice

Two stories this week for but they are not for the faint hearted.

Human Skulls in Man's Apartment
In Chicago four human skulls were discovered in a man's apartment, one boiling in a pot of water, but authorities said charges aren't likely.
"It doesn't seem to be anything nefarious at this time," police Lt. Perry Nigro said. The 26-year-old owner of the skulls makes anatomical models for a living and appeared to be using them for medical purposes, Nigro said.
"As weird as it is, it doesn't seem like anything is wrong," Nigro said.
Police searched the apartment after someone who wanted to buy a mannequin in the home visited late Tuesday and saw the skulls on a porch and inside, with one boiling on the stove.
The man left and called police, Nigro said.
The skulls were turned over to the Cook County medical examiner's office, Nigro said.
The skulls' owner told authorities that he imported them legally from China.

Whether this is legal or not it is highly disturbing. If I lived next door I would be moving rather quickly.

Frog Juice instead of Coffee ... somehow I don't think this will catch on here
Frog juice is apparently a beverage revered by some Andean cultures for having the power to cure asthma, bronchitis, sluggishness and a low sex drive. A drink of so-called "Peruvian Viagra" sells for about 90 cents. It is made of three ladles of hot, white bean broth, two generous spoonfuls of honey, raw aloe vera plant and several tablespoons of maca _ an Andean root also believed to boost stamina and sex drive _ into a household blender.Then she drops the frog in.Once strained, the result is a starchy, milkshake-like liquid that stings the throat.At least 50 customers a day ask for steaming beer mugs of frog juice at Gonzalez's countertop-only restaurant in eastern Lima, and many treat the concoction as their morning _ and afternoon _ cup of coffee.Rebeca Borja, a 53-year-old housewife and mother of five, originally from Lima's central highland city of Huancayo, where the beverage is common, said simply: "It gives you power." The only comment I can make on this is how revolting!! Im sure there are better ways to get a boost of energy ie. red bull.

Friday, 4 May 2007

Tony Blair Defiant but Delusional over Election Results on His Way Out

Tony Blair insisted today Labour had "a perfectly good springboard to go on and win the next General Election." Was Blair watching the same results as the rest of us? Labour lost hundreds of English council seats, saw power slip away in the Welsh Assembly and woke to see the fight against the SNP for the Scottish Parliament on a knife-edge. The results set the scene for a close-fought general election between David Cameron and Gordon Brown with Cameron having a very good chance at victory.

Mr Cameron enjoyed a good night. Conservatives got the equivalent to a 41 per cent share of a general election vote which is 14 points ahead of Labour's 27 per cent. If repeated at a general election it would give him an overall majority. He declared: "This is a stunning set of results. We are the one national party speaking up for Britain."

Among the Tory gains were control of 15 councils including Chester, Plymouth, North Warwickshire, Gravesham and Dover, Woking, Waverley and South Ribble.
They became the biggest party in Birmingham City for the first time in 24 years.

Labour chair Hazel Blears admitted: "It's a tough time for us." But she said the "fundamentals" were right to win a fourth term. "Ten years into a third term it was always going to be difficult for us," she went on. "But David Cameron has not made the gains he needed. I don't get the sense that people want to sweep us out." If that is what Blears believes she needs a reality check. The British people of tired of the era of Labour Sleaze. It is just too bad that Brown is to scared that he would not win to call a general election to let the people have their say after Blair resigns . I think Blears would be surprised at how quickly the British people do want to sweep them out.

Labour's Worst Election Performance in 35 Years

The morning after the Chancellor is contemplating the repercussions of the final round of national elections on Mr Blair's watch.

Voters turned their backs on Labour. It is Labour's worst election performance in 35 years papers are reporting. Early projections have given the Conservatives 41 per cent of the national vote, bringing David Cameron within reach of a general election victory. VOTE CAMERON!!! :) ( Getting practice in for the General Election)

By 6am the Conservatives had gained 300 seats, while Labour had lost 151 seats and the Liberal Democrats 106 seats.Labour is still set to record its lowest number of councillors since 1973.

The less than brilliant night triggered calls for a fundamental review of the party's direction. I'm amazed Labour waited this long to review the party's direction. Perhaps they should call a general election and let Cameron (ie. a competent leader) run the Country while Labour contemplates its' "new direction".

Labour Does Not Trust it's Ministers to Speak without Instruction

This from the Guardian ... had a good laugh while reading it :)

A briefing paper prepared by the Labour party for ministers appearing on last night's election programmes admitted in advance that the results were likely to go badly. Cabinet ministers were assiduous in following the official line in the 27-page document, passed to the Guardian, which included advice on what to say when asked about Tony Blair and Gordon Brown's relationship and how to rebut Conservative claims that a general election should be called once the new prime minister takes over.

The first of three "key messages" ministers were briefed to explain reads: "This was always a very tough set of mid-term elections for Labour. However, we fully respect the message the British people is sending us this evening."It offered recommended answers to questions about the party's unpopularity and the handover of power to Mr Brown.

Initially, ministers were told they should say: "Let us wait and see what the results are before engaging in speculation. We will know soon enough."Once the results began to come in, the paper said, ministers should reply: "We are midway through an unprecedented third term. All governments experience mid-term setbacks at the polls. In the end what matters is we have the right policies to take the country forward and take the tough decisions for the long term."

John Reid, the home secretary, duly did so on BBC1's election coverage, telling viewers: "We are in the mid-term of a third term, so it will be tough." He later sang the praises of his colleagues - again echoing the briefing document, which said ministers should defend Mr Blair as "the most successful leader and prime minister Labour has ever had" and Mr Brown as the "most successful chancellor ever".

The document advised that if ministers were put on the spot and asked whether Labour should have a proper contest for the leadership, they should say: "Within the rules any MP can decide to stand, providing they meet the criteria. That's how it works in a democratic party."They were then to add that the "only poll that matters is the next general election", and insist there was no "constitutional requirement" for one before 2010.

They were also briefed in advance on how to tackle David Cameron's Conservatives.

Thanks to the Guardian for giving me a good laugh. I'm sure it is not how the story was intended to be taken but I find it highly amusing that Labour does not trust their own Ministers to speak publicly without precise instruction what to say.

Wales Prediction

In Wales Labour looks likely to lose control of the Welsh assembly.

Labour Sleaze Resonates on Election Night

An election night opinion poll for the BBC Newsnight programme showed that Mr Blair, who broke records for popularity when he became Prime Minister in 1997, was leaving office with Labour’s reputation deeply tarnished.

The Communicate Research poll showed that fewer than one in five (18 per cent) thought the Labour Party could be trusted to keep its promises. Fifty-nine per cent said they saw Labour as “sleazy".

That has to be difficult for Blair to hear despite being true but then again it is probably why he is running off tail between legs and planning to stand down as an MP immediately after he resigns as Prime Minister.

As Blair's wife Cherie reportedly said to friends, ""Now is the time for us to go and make some money." I'm sure that sounds a much better option than facing the music for the broken promises, cash for honours scandal and disastrous election results ,but I think it is a bit pathetic to run away.

As details of Mr Blair's escape plan seeped out, there was surprise among some Labour MPs that he was "deserting" the party.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

Voting Has Now Closed .. We Await the Results

Voting in the Elections has now closed. Labour is expecting heavy losses as the first results are expected around 11:30. Join in my UK Election Live Blog as we find out exactly how embarrassing the results will be for Labour and discuss the impact they will have.

After Blair Announces His Resignation Next Week , Will Also Stand Down as an MP?

Tony Blair is preparing to stand down as an MP after he resigns as Prime Minister, rather than remain in Parliament according to credible reports from Westminister today. The speculation about Mr Blair’s future was triggered by a Press Association report that it had learned Mr Blair was planning to make the announcement on 11 May, a day after he gives a date for leaving Number 10. He has already made clear that he is looking for a life outside politics when he leaves No 10.

Blair is known to want to cash in on his political stature as soon as possible. He has a hefty mortgage on his £3.6 million town house in London, which is being refurbished after the Blairs bought the £800,000 mews house behind it.
Downing Street has thus far denied that Blair will stand down as an MP. Mr Blair’s official spokesman said: “The announcement next week will be solely about the Prime Minister as leader of the Labour Party. He has made no decision whatsoever to stand down as an MP and very firmly remains MP for Sedgefield and proud of it. He is simply going to talk next week about his position as leader of the Labour Party. "

I am the first to support Blair resigning as Prime Minister but to stand down as an MP immediately after shows his true character. Blair is effectively saying, like a child told to give someone else a turn, "if I can't be the leader, I don't want to play." It would be a break with precedent for him to quit as an MP after leaving No 10. His immediate predecessors, including John Major, Margaret Thatcher, James Callaghan and Harold Wilson all remained in the Commons at least until the following general election. Labour MPs predicted he could tour the world lecture circuit, particularly in the United States, write his memoirs and pick up lucrative boardroom directorships. I'm sure these are far more interesting prospects for Mr. Blair than to continue to serve his constituents.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Live Blogging UK Election

I will be live blogging election night. Hope to see you there. I've got the champagne on ice eagerly awaiting a very embarrassing result for labour. The British people have had enough lets hope they vote accordingly.

I've dedicated a blog exclusively for the election. To join in the live blog click the link "UK Election Live Blog".

Blogs that will be live blogging are:
UK Election Live Blog (Conservative)
Iain Dale (Conservative)
Paul Burgin (One of the last Labour supporters out there)
Liberal Democrat Voice

Don't forget to VOTE !!

Blair To Announce His Resignation Next Week

Tony Blair promised yesterday that he would stand down in the next few weeks. He is expected to announce his resignation next Wednesday or Thursday in a last minute attempt to avoid a substantial protest vote against labour in the mid-term elections tomorrow.
Put the champagne on ice ... it's almost time to celebrate, or is it? Blair endorsed Gordon Brown as his successor ending months of speculation as to whether he wanted the Chancellor to take over or would prefer another member of the Cabinet to succeed him. The question is, do we seriously expect Brown to be any better?

It will be interesting to see the results of the election. Blair obviously has his concerns. He fears that disillusioned Labour voters intend to give Labour a "kicking" because they are angry with him over issues such as Iraq. This fear is not without basis. Blair and "new labour" have managed to create an environment in which the voting public are disillusioned, angry and have lost faith in the labour government they, at one point, enthusiastically supported.

Blair began his day of saying farewell with an appearance on GMTV where he said,"I'll make my position clear next week, I'll say something definitive then."

Approximately seven weeks after Mr Blair resigns, an electoral college will be held, almost certainly in London, attended by delegates from unions and other affiliated organisations, constituency Labour parties, MPs and Euro MPs. That timetable would see Mr Blair going to Buckingham Palace formally to resign on Monday July 2, with his successor being invited to form a government by the Queen shortly afterwards.
According to a poll for BBC 2's Newsnight programme last night almost three quarters of voters think there should be a general election when Mr Blair steps down. Those who want an early election include more than half of Labour voters (52 per cent) who took part in the poll.
Mr Brown has rejected calls for an early general election. Of course Brown has rejected calls for an early election as he knows he would not win. The British public are almost as disillusioned with Brown as they are with Blair. If Brown truly wanted to do what is best for the country he would let the voters decide. Unfortunately, Brown would much rather do what is best for Brown.

Absurd News of the Week -The $67 Million Pants

A Washington, D.C., lawyer is suing an area dry cleaning business for losing a pair of his trousers. The business owners claim they have his pants, but he's pressing ahead with his suit. A $10 dry cleaning bill for a pair of trousers has ballooned into a $67 million civil lawsuit. The ABC News Law & Justice Unit has calculated that for $67 million Pearson could buy 84,115 new pairs of pants at the $800 value he placed on the missing trousers in court documents. If you stacked those pants up, they would be taller than eight Mount Everests. If you laid them side by side, they would stretch for 48 miles.

The really worrying part of this article is that the plaintiff is not only a lawyer but also a judge. This man is responsible for ensuring justice. I wouldn't want to be an American in his court, would you?

For the full article visit ABC News

Monday, 30 April 2007

Question of the Week

"Under international laws, the UK does not deport people to regimes where they may face persecution."

Do you agree with Britain's policy that terrorists and criminals (who are not UK citizens) can not be deported to countries where they may face persecution?

For the post relating to this question click below

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Gordon Brown and the £1 Billion "Cover-up"

The Government has been accused of covering up a £1 billion discrepancy in the finances for the London Olympic Games when Britain submitted its bid. The original discrepancy of the £1 billion difference however has now turned into a 6.95 Billion discrepancy with the current estimate mushrooming to 9.35 Billion in March of this year or nearly 4 times the original 2.4 Billion pound estimate.

This latest revelation is highly embarrassing to Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, who is poised to take over as prime minister from Tony Blair. When London submitted its bid, he portrayed himself as gatekeeper for the Games, saying the Government would act as "ultimate guarantor" of their final cost.

Shadow chancellor, George Osborne, accused the Government and Chancellor of "trying to cover their tracks". He said: "These startling revelations raise more questions about Gordon Brown's integrity and competence. It's taxpayers who are going to pay the price."

The most disturbing part is that Ministerial aides were told by accountants two months before the bid's submission, and 10 months before the capital knew it had been chosen to host the Games, that the estimated bill for the Olympics of £3.4 billion was significantly short of the mark.

Brown has attempted in the past months to distance himself from Blair and the various scandals and difficult situations Blair has been involved in. Gordon Brown can not distance himself from this however. It just goes to show that not only Blair, but his entire cabinet, are quite happy to lie to and manipulate the British public. Then ,when caught, they attempt to cover it up or make light of very serious situations. A source in Labour close to Gordon Brown attempts to brush off the entire issue by saying, "The Tories are really scraping the barrel if they are making an issue of this. [George] Osborne should stop playing partisan games with the Olympics."

This "minor" discrepancy of approximately 6.95 Billion pounds may not be an issue to this government, however I'm certain it will be to the taxpayers who will end up footing the bill. This government is doing what it does best, breaking promises, lying to the public and then attempting to cover the entire situation up. If you thought Gordon Brown would be any better than Blair perhaps now is the time to have second thoughts.