Archive | September, 2006

The QT

30 Sep

I didn’t get chance to write about this week’s Question Time yesterday as I was out all day, so I’ll write a brief summary today. You can watch it – for the next week at least – here.

The Worst Lady

One of the early questions asked, Should politicians’ spouses be seen and not heard? which was clearly aimed at Cherie Blair’s alleged outburst at the Labour conference during the week. The measured response from the panel had nothing on the contributions to the QT message board, which included Alex from Preston: “Cherie is a pest, and should be treated as such.” Oh…


30 Sep

I have just moved the blogroll to the main template on the frontpage. Links were being ignored on the other page, and it gives me freedom if I need the room on the header.

If you’re not on the roll, and you’d like to exchange links, drop me an email or comment below.

Newark Castle

30 Sep

We had a serious storm yesterday in Newark, and afterwards we took a stroll into town for coffee and to pick up some bits n pieces (we bought some tasty pitted olives, 3-types: stuffed with Feta, garlic, and lemon zest). Anyway, on the way back to the car we crossed the River Trent, and with the sun blazing through after the downpour, I took a few photos of the castle, which looked beautiful. One of which is here on my new photoblog (shot with Sony K800i cell-phone).

Blair’s last act

29 Sep

The Cash for Peerages scandal was the elephant in the room at the Labour conference. Party membership was discussed, and no one pretended Labour’s finances were in any other state than critical. However it is possible that the ongoing investigation into the loans is linked to the real reason Tony Blair remains in office.

Blair has given so much to the Labour Party. No other leader – Thatcher included – has proven so proficient in connecting with the people and delivering electoral success. However Blair has also taken huge risks with Labour’s majority. The decision to go to war in Iraq has been a colossal miscalculation and has besmirched this Labour Government, and damaged its relationship with its supporters. Such has been the exodus of membership; Labour has had to resort to other, somewhat questionable sources of revenue. The so-called Cash for Peerages (or Loans for Honours!) Scandal is inherently linked to the fall in membership, caused principally by the Iraq War. The scandal and the war are two-sides of the same coin.

Blair and his closest aides took moves to nourish the election kitty. It is increasingly clear that they, at the bare minimum, tested the boundaries of the rules over party funding. The ‘Yates of the Yard’ enquiry, which is looking into the scandal, may or not lead to arrests at the highest level. If it did, the cabinet as it stands would be unable to continue.

In a last honourable move, the troubled and tainted Premier is going to see this out. He will not allow a nascent Brown government to be stillborn, killed off by disgrace. Blair will remain, see out the investigation, and if necessary, take the hit himself and resign with his legacy in shreds. Brown, untouched by the scandal, will take the reigns and Labour will survive, its power intact. A last honourable act, from a man so many in the party love to hate.

Jane Ellison wins Battersea

28 Sep

Jane Ellison has won the Tory primary to stand in for the marginal Battersea seat. Not big news I grant you, but it makes me deliriously happy to see that the Tories are still tearing themselves apart over Europe. Ellison is described as the most “left-wing” of the Camerooooons put forward, and her victory has exposed the puss-filled wounds that still exist in the party. Read the comments, here, over on ConHome.

John Reid

28 Sep

It was a great conference speech. He had reasoned arguments, which were brilliantly delivered. Yes, yes, there was some dog-whistle rhetoric about terrorism, but he did outline that there is no clash of civilisations and enforced the mantra that fanaticism and terrorism are not exclusive to Islam. The Tories have no one even half as good as Reid, and they know it.

Standing ovation deserved.

Killers tracks leaked!

28 Sep

As I wrote at the weekend, I’m seriously looking forward to the new album released next week, so imagine my delight when I heard a couple of new tracks had been leaked, here.