Thursday, 28 June 2007

Brown Involved in Political Spin Already, That didn't last long

After claiming to no longer adhere to the Blair doctorate of Political Spin, Brown's Spin Doctors follow in Blair's footsteps as Ed Balls, a key aide to Gordon Brown boasted to a reception that Quentin Davies would not be the last to cross the floor of the House of Commons. Mr Balls, a Treasury minister, sought to panic the Tories into fearing more desertions but the Tories have seen it for what it is, a pathetic attempt to promote Brown's new government which will "cross the political divide," supposedly.

Davies has also jumped on this spouting last night that he is not alone in his views. From the telegraph, "Mr Davies himself told The Daily Telegraph that concerns about Mr Cameron's leadership were "very widely shared" among the party across the country and specifically at West-minster. Speaking on BBC2's Newsnight on Tuesday, he hinted that although there were a "very large number of Conservative MPs" who thought like him, they did not want to go public now"

Perhaps they think if they say it enough it will come true. I doubt it. Davies is a extremely pro European loner who I for one will not miss. Privately, Brownite MPs who were well aware of Mr Davies defection a couple of days ago were admitting that they knew of no other Tory MPs posed to make the leap. This pretty much sums it up.

Labour got a very welcome surprise when Davies defected and are trying to make far more of this than it actually is. Even John Bercow, the Bucking-ham MP who launched a blistering attack on Mr Cameron in the 2005 leadership contest and gave one of the more enthusiastic standing ovations for Tony Blair at the end of Prime Minister's Questions, made clear that he had no intention of jumping ship.

In his first statement as Prime Minister, Mr Brown - who last week controversially offered ministerial jobs to the Liberal Democrats pledged again to reach out across the political divide in the formation of his government.

Sir Menzies Campbell, the Lib Dem leader, insisted there would be no defections from his own parliamentary party.

The short version is Brown, in an effort to promote himself as leader, attempted to poach the other parties' MPs. He was successful with one loner, Davies, and is now attempting to make this defection appear to begin the beginning of many more. So much for ending political spin. New PM same games.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

On Blair's Last Day Met Police Fly Courtney Coventry to London to take Statement In Cash for Honours Scandal

On Blair's last full day in office the Met Police attempted to secretly fly the Beautiful American girl Courtney Coventry into London to take her statement in the Cash for Honours Inquiry.

From the Sun:

"A STUNNING American was flown by cops to Britain yesterday to be quizzed in the cash for honours probe. Californian actress Courtney Coventry, 25, was grilled over her links to Labour’s chief fundraiser Lord Levy. Lord Levy introduced Courtney to Tony Blair and Labour’s high command at a swanky fundraising bash.They were invited for tea at No10 the next day and taken on a tour of the House of Commons and House of Lords where Lord Levy — dubbed Lord Cashpoint — wooed them.

Courtney flew to Heathrow yesterday morning( flights arranged by the met police at the expense of the British taxpayer) from Nice to meet cops investigating allegations peerages were awarded for £14million in cash loans used to fund Labour’s 2005 general election campaign.She was met from her British Airways flight at the arrivals lounge in Terminal 1 and whisked away in an unmarked car.
Courtney, wearing a calf- length emerald green dress with plunging neckline, covered her face when The Sun asked her what help she could be to the police. Her reply was: “No comment”. She was hustled away clutching her Louis Vuitton handbag by a plain clothes woman officer with two uniformed cops in tow.

The actress was driven to the Hilton Hotel in Green Park, around the corner from the chain’s flagship Park Lane Hotel — where she was photographed with Mr Blair three years ago at the gala for rich donors. Later last night, Courtney told The Sun at the hotel: “I have spoken to the police. They flew me in. I cannot say anything else.” Asked if she had been of use to the inquiry, she replied: “That’s up to them to determine.”
The Met refused to discuss her interview yesterday. "There was no intention to cause the Prime Minister any embarrassment on his last day."

The mail apparently was given a different comment by the police. According to the mail the police source said: "We spoke to her in person but we decided she did not have anything of interest to say so she was not formally interviewed. In effect, she was time wasting."

So let me get this correct. The police fly her to London, meet her at Heathrow and give her a police escort and driver to her hotel with no knowledge of what she was going to tell them? From the sound of it they attempted to secretly bring her into the country to formally take her statement and have her out again before anyone was the wiser but it didn't quite work out that way. From the photos in the Sun in seems the press were not only at the airport waiting but also sitting outside her hotel room. Far more likely is that the police panicked when they saw the press as they have done everything in their power to keep the details of the case and witnesses underwraps. It was a nice try but I don't think anyone would believe they had no idea what she was going to say. I would bet money that they knew exactly what she was going to say , had evidence to corroborate it and that it was very damning. Otherwise why go to the trouble and expense to fly her into the country? I am certain that we will find she is interviewed but without the knowledge of the press. If not and the police are giving away free flights and drivers if you call and say I have information on xyz I'm sure there will be a line around the block and a lot of angry taxpayers.

"They did not intend to cause Blair any embarrassment on his last day in office" - Of course they didn't as nobody was supposed to know she was there.

Blair Resigns From Politics - Champagne Anyone?

Blair has not only stood down as Prime Minister he has also resigned as an MP today . Mr Blair went back Trimdon Labour Club for the first time as an ex-prime minister and announced he would also be resigning immediately as an MP. Some were more pleased then others to see Blair on his home ground again. One Trimdon woman made sure she left before he arrived. The mother of three said "He only ever comes here for the publicity, or when there's a crisis down south. They get everyone in who knows him and it looks like he's a man of the people. But the truth is he hardly knows anyone here, and as far as I'm concerned he doesn't do anything for us." Her husband, a 42-year-old joiner, has been a member of the club at Trimdon for more than 15 years. Did he vote Labour? "Labour?" he said. "This is not Labour, it's Tony Blair's Labour"
And Tony Blair's Labour has hopefully come to an end and along with it the years of Labour sleaze and broken promises. Brown has promised change and thus far there have been several resignations and discussions of a much younger cabinet.
Blair may have been PM for a long time but the old saying is true quality over quantity. The quantity is there but the quality was lost long ago.

Brown is Prime Minister

Gordon Brown has today become the UK's prime minister, succeeding Tony Blair.

Before entering 10 Downing Street, Mr Brown said: "This will be a new government with new priorities. And I have been privileged to have been granted the great opportunity to serve my country. And at all times I will be strong in purpose, steadfast in will, resolute in action in the service of what matters to the British people, meeting the concerns and aspirations of our whole country."

We will wait with interest. I dont expect Brown to be any better than Blair but one can hope.

Britain's Regional Flood Defense Committee Told to Prepare For Further Cuts

Tony Blair, in his last day as prime minister, expressed sympathy for the families of the dead and said more money would need to be spent on flood prevention. Interesting considering that last year the Government slashed £15million off spending - and yesterday it emerged Britain's Regional Flood Defence Committee had been told to prepare for further cuts.

A document sent out by the Environment Agency warned local flooding teams not to expect any extra cash from ministers - meaning a cut in real terms.

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat environment spokesman, said: "At a time of storms, droughts and floods, we need more and better maintained flood defences not the cuts in real terms that regional flood defence committees have been asked to make.
"This is another example of the Chancellor failing to grasp the significance of climate change and our need for new defences against natural disasters.

On BBC News tonight the Enviormental Secretary was asked what they are doing or have done to prevent flood damage. Her answer was that councils will be handing out empty sandbags which people can fill up to help with the flooding. EMPTY? I watched this and thought she made a mistake and waited for her to correct herself and say they will be handing out sandbags (ie full of sand) but alas it never happened. Where exactly are the local villagers being affected by the floods going to get sand to fill these up with. I hardly think they have sand stockpiled in the garden shed.

The death toll of the flood reached 5 today with the latest victims being a county court judge and an 11 year old boy. Locals say the government should have done more. however the enviormental secretary said it was the councils job after being agressively questioned on BBC. I guess she subscribes to the philospohy, if in doubt blame someone else.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

NHS Failure with Tragic Results

The NHS is failing and this tragic story in the mail exemplifies the situation.

"A premature baby diagnosed with a collapsed lung died after doctors operated on the wrong side. " The wrong side? How could a mistake like that possibly be made? That is the question being asked however sadly mistakes like this one are not as uncommon as we would like to believe. The cost of this mistake to the family, the loss of a child. The cost to the hospital that made the mistake, a measly 10,000 pounds which is hardly enough of a repercussion to ensure a mistake like this never happens again. Although the US is full of absurd lawsuits over anything one can think of they are right on medical malpractice. No amount can replace a child but 10000 is not nearly enough of a repercussion for the hospital despite them issuing the following statement"Lessons have been learnt from the investigation to minimise the risk of this occurring again."

This tragic short lived baby's life began the way it ended with a complete lack of competent medical care. "Mrs Jackson, 34, from Timperley, Greater Manchester, had spent five weeks in hospital before the birth due to complications with her pregnancy.

She said her son was breathing and kicking when he was born but his condition deteriorated because treatment was delayed by a lack of staff and specialist equipment.
She said staff did not make checks during her 17-hour labour and she was left to give birth alone.

I had to scream for the midwife because she was out of the room and there was no other staff there despite the fact I was about to give birth to a very premature baby.
When Clark was born he was breathing and kicking and showing all the normal signs of life but equipment which could have helped him was not ready. It took the resuscitation team around six minutes to get to him."

This is what Blair has done to our NHS and I am counting the minutes until he leaves. The only problem is I doubt Brown will do any better, although one can hope.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Why Can't Blair Just Go Quietly?

Why can't Blair just leave quietly? Because he is consumed by creating his European Legacy and, as usual, it is at our expense.

Blair surrenders Britain’s to veto EU decisions in 52 other policy areas, including tourism, transport and civil protection. The Conservatives have called for a referendum, with William Hague saying: “the Government have absolutely no democratic mandate to introduce these major changes”.

The government, and certainly not a Prime Minister on his last legs a week before he leaves office, has no right to make these changes unilaterally. Last time I checked Britain was still a democracy, at least on paper if not in practice.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Back from Holiday

Just returned from holiday (yes I realise I was meant to be back Wed but the beach held me hostage)

Blogpower Awards: Thank you very much for all of your support and votes! Despite all of the whining and tantrums that appeared to go on in my abcense we did extremely well and even took first place in Best Unintentionally Humourous Category as well as 2nd Place in Best Ranter Category, 2nd Place in Best Political Blog, 3rd Place in Best Little Blogger, and 3rd Place in Most Under-rated!

With regard to the suggestions and complaints that this blog supports the BNP have the people making these comments actually bothered to read this blog?

Just to clarify, this blog proudly supports the CONSERVATIVE Party. While I fully respect each and every individual's political views as well as the right to express those views I in NO WAY agree with the BNP and in all honesty believe they are rather "out there."

With that said I would just like to thank all those who voted for UK News and Politics again, it was a remarkable result and quite unexpected.

Absurd News of the Week

US City Imposes New Dress Code

From the Telegraph:
A town council in Louisiana has made it a crime to wear baggy trousers that expose the underwear. Residents of Delcambre in the southern US state face six months in jail or a fine of $500 (£254) if they are caught wearing trousers which show their undergarments.

How exactly are they going to impose this law. If one bends over and their knickers show slightly will they be tossed in jail? I wonder if they realise how ridulous this law is. I am not fond of the look they are banning but this law is a perfect example of making a mountain out of a molehill.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Blogpower Awards- Vote Early and Often!!

I will be out of town from Sat 9 June until Wed 12 June and will be writing posts if (hopefully when) I have any free time. We are still doing well in the Blogpower Awards but need your votes to pull ahead of the current leaders! Thanks for all your support and keep voting! You can vote once per day and the link to the polls can be found HERE

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

NHS has over £500m Surplus But At What Price?

Health Secretary Patricia Hewitt had put her job on the line over getting the health service out of the red. Hewitt now claims success as on paper the NHS has a 510m surplus. The question is how is that possible when only a year ago they had a deficit in excess of 500m?

Are you suspicious yet? Well you have every right to be. This "surplus" came at a heavy price. Over 17,000 jobs have been lost in the last 12 months according to the NHS Information Centre and in the final months of the 2006-07 financial year, operations were delayed by NHS trusts so that they would not appear on the balance sheet. A perfect example of politics taking precedence over health care. What did they tell the people who had most likely been waiting months if not years for their operations? "I'm sorry ma'am but Hewitt has her job on the line therefore we need to reschedule until the next financial year."

The British Medical Association has accused the government of "decimating hospitals". I'm sure Hewitt thinks this is a minor price to pay if it means saving her job.

The above cuts alone however were not enough to rid the NHS of debt.
With the agreement of ministers, NHS chiefs began to build up reserves to cover any shortfall and create a safety net. Approximately ten percent was shaved off the £3.7bn training budget (I guess Hewiit figured the trainees would figure it out on their own eventually) and cuts were also made to public health spending. This gave the health bosses a contingency fund of £450m.
Additionally 1/3 of the extra £5.4bn the NHS was due in 2006-o7 was held back.

Then, in the last weeks of the financial year, millions of pounds were put back into the NHS, helping to create the surplus. Yes Hewitt has created a surplus but at the cost of thousands of jobs, postponed operations, less training for employees, and withholding money which prevented the expansion of services.

Hewitt has done nothing more than fiddle the books. Even with this surplus nearly a fifth of hospitals and PCTs, which are the parts of the health service responsible for care, finished the year in the red.

The government says the public should not be worried about this as the NHS is still getting the money. Tell that to the people who had operations delayed so they wouldn't appear on the 06-07 balance sheet.

Blogpower Awards- Vote Early and Often!!

The voting has begun in the Blogpower Awards and UK News and Politics needs your votes!! Thanks to your support we have been nominated in several categories. Here is the list of categories. If you click on the category it links to each poll. Thank you again to each and every person that nominated UK News and Politics. Now comes the real challenge.

Categories you can Vote for UK News and Politics in :

1 Best Britblog or Column

5 Best Ranter

6 Best Political Blog or Column

10 Best Little Blogger [i.e. under 100 uniques a day]

12 Most Under-rated Blog or Column

20 Most Unintentionally Humorous post

We are very grateful to have been nominated in so many categories but to stay in the running we need your votes!! Thanks again and happy voting :)

Blair and Labour Party Waste Another £750,000

If Blair's £1m farewell tour wasn't enough money wasted, according to Scotland Yard the police probe into the cash-for-honours affair has cost more than £750,000 so far it emerged today. And we wonder why there is a constant lack of funding for schools and health care.

If Blair, Levy etc are found guilty they should be made to foot the bill for the investigation. I don't see why it should come out of taxpayers pockets.