Start the Week 29 May 2023
11 hours ago
I am not a sheep, I have my own mind
I have had enough of being told what and how to think
Whilst we are still allowed the remnants of free speech,
I will speak out.
I also reserve the right to discuss less controversial matters should I feel the urge.
"Martin McGuinness is to lead an international peace mission to Iraq this summer with the goal of forging an agreement between its feuding factions."
"David Smith, an elderly disabled man of 78, has been left with rubbish piling up at his home in my home town of Croydon.
It seems that is just "too dangerous" for binmen to collect it?
Does he have a dangerous dog?
Does he threaten them with a shotgun?
The bin men have to climb the four steps to the house to collect it.....
A Croydon Council spokesman said:
"Several health and safety issues have been identified by the council's contractor with regard refuse collection in a number of roads.
The council is currently investigating alternative methods of collection and the affected residents will be notified.""
"As an ex-policewoman, Julie Pickford thought she knew how to deal with rowdy teenagers.
So when she politely asked a boy to stop throwing popcorn at other passengers on a tram she was confident he and the rest of his gang would behave.
Nothing could have prepared her for the shocking and violent attack that followed.
Without warning, one girl stood up and punched her in the face and then a mob of up to 30 teenagers joined in, punching her and stamping on her.
Mrs Pickford, 47, a mother-of-two who has a judo black belt, was powerless to stop the attack and briefly blacked out.
With blood streaming from her injuries and £50 stolen from her handbag, she was thrown off the tram at the next stop in Sale, Greater Manchester.
She was taken to hospital with a suspected fracture to her eye socket, a badly-cut mouth and severe bruising and grazes. Mrs Pickford, who runs a commercial property firm, was discharged the next day but went back to hospital after she began passing blood because of suspected kidney damage....
"They were a pack of animals," she said.
"I'm a fit and healthy woman. Had it been someone a bit older it could have been
another Garry Newlove."
"A FORMER Mayor of Hebden Royd has been arrested on suspicion of child porn offences.
Stewart Brown, 59, was a Labour candidate for the Elland ward in next month's council elections.
But he has now been suspended from the Labour Party.
Officers from the West Yorkshire Police Child Protection Unit arrested Mr Brown on Tuesday. He was questioned by detectives before he was bailed, pending further investigation."
"1) The Mayoral ballot paper is pink. You can vote for your first choice candidate and also vote for a second choice candidate.
* You do not need to cast a vote for a second choice candidate, but not making a second choice does not improve the chances of your first choice. Your second choice vote gives you the chance of still having a say if your first choice candidate is eliminated.
* If you cast your first and second choice votes for the same candidate, then the second choice will not be counted
* If you only cast a second choice vote and not a first choice vote, your second choice vote will not count."
"Humphrey Lyttleton is OK., he said. Thank God, I said, something beside remains."
"Samantha has to go now as she’s off to meet her Italian gentleman friend who’s taking her out for an ice-cream. She says she likes to spend the evening licking the nuts off a large Neapolitan"
"After tasting the meat pies, Samantha said she liked Mr Dewhurst’s beef in ale; although she preferred his tongue in cider"
"The ICM survey for the News of the World suggests 131 Labour MPs would be ejected from the Commons in favour of their Conservative challengers.
The findings point to a 9% swing from Labour to the Tories, giving Mr Cameron a 64-seat majority.
But another poll by ICM, for The Sunday Telegraph, puts the Tories on 39% nationally, 10 points ahead of Labour on 29% and the Lib Dems on 20%.
It suggests a shortening lead for the Conservatives, who had an 18-point lead in a survey by the same organisation last week."
""The funding package for Crossrail does not require a fare increase.
"It is the fares generated by Crossrail that do that."
"But in emails seen by the BBC, the fare rises were included in Transport for London's (TfL) business plan, which had been signed off by the mayor.
Mr Livingstone explained that TfL wanted the price rises but that he reconsidered and revised the plan."
"Muslim Scholars in Algeria say a government ban on pictures of veiled women in passport photographs runs counter to Sharia law."
"But those of us who maintain our long-held judgments about Mr Brown's utter incapacity for office need no more trouble ourselves with wondering what will humiliate him next than we need to study tide and weather charts to determine the moment when the incoming waves will breach the walls of a sandcastle. The castle is made of sand: it will yield. Gordon Brown is a vacuum: he will implode.
The implosion, however, will be ugly. Mr Brown is unlikely to go quietly. He may be mad but he's quite used to being mad, he's been mad for a long time, he doesn't see it, and on some ghastly level the prognosis is stable."
"The family of a drowned teenager stormed out of court yesterday when his killers were jailed for only five-and-a-half years.
Shane Owoo, 16, was frogmarched to a pool for a "punishment swim" by two men in their twenties who accused him of stealing a bicycle.
He was forced into the flooded clay pit while his attackers, who were described as behaving like vigilantes, beat him with sticks and stones until he drowned.
Judge Peter Coulson at Birmingham Crown Court described the crime as "the worst kind of bullying" and "horrific" but there was uproar when it emerged that Christopher Lewis, 22, and Marvin Walker, 21, will be free in only two years....
Lewis and Walker - who faced a maximum life sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter - will be released on licence at the half-way point in their sentence.
But time served on remand since their arrest in October will be deducted from that term, meaning they will be free by June 2010."
"Gordon has already become, in less than a year, as pitiable a captive of his backbench critics as ever John Major was. Despite a healthy majority in the mid-60s, where Major's was down to single figures, he now has approximately a six times greater chance of winning gymnastics gold in Beijing on the asymmetric bars than of getting his nonsensical 42-day detention period on to the statute book. From this day forth Gordon is a legislative quadriplegic, paralysed from the neck down and reliant on uncaring backbench carers for the most basic of his parliamentary needs."
"Details of where Brown went, whom he saw and what he said were not released."
"Down through the history of Christianity, already-strained relations deteriorated further, even giving birth in many cases to anti-Jewish attitudes, which throughout history have led to deplorable acts of violence. Even if the most recent, loathsome experience of the Shoah was perpetrated in the name of an anti-Christian ideology, which tried to strike the Christian faith at its Abrahamic roots in the people of Israel, it cannot be denied that a certain insufficient resistance to this atrocity on the part of Christians can be explained by an inherited anti-Judaism present in the hearts of not a few Christians."
"Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e. killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61/ 3:112], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people’s wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness. . . . Only a minority of the Jews keep their word [Koranic citations here]. . . . All Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not."
"Deep down, those vicious criminals, by wiping out this people, wanted to kill the God who called Abraham, who spoke on Sinai and laid down principles to serve as a guide for mankind, principles that are eternally valid."
"Suppose that the series has some criticism or shows some of the Jews' traits, this doesn't necessitate an uproar. . . . The accusation of antisemitism was invented by the Jews as a means to pressure Arabs and Muslims to implement their schemes in the Arab and Muslim countries, so don't pay attention to them."
"Thus it is unimaginable that Cardinal Ratzinger, 20 years prior to being elected Pope Benedict, could have written a 700-page treatise detailing and rationalizing the most virulent anti-Jewish motifs extant in Christian theology, and then continued to extol these motifs unashamedly while pope. Sadly, what is unimaginable in Christendom has not only occurred, but passes virtually without recognition, in the Islamic world."
"Liberal Democrat mayoral candidate Brian Paddick has warned his rivals he will not be endorsing either - in the battle for voters' second preferences.
Labour's Ken Livingstone said he shared "90%" of policies with the Lib Dems and once urged Labour voters to back a Lib Dem MP in a marginal seat in 2001.
But Mr Paddick, who polls place third, said it was a "naked attempt" to get his second preference votes.
Tory Boris Johnson said he did not want to be BNP voters' second preference."
"The support of Business Secretary John Hutton for a campaign for better tips for waiters has prompted an irritated response from Sky News staffer Kris Jepson.
Mr Hutton told Sky News this is "an important issue" and that "we should support" waiters and waitresses.
Says Kris: "It's a pity he didn't feel this way when I used to serve him and his children dinner at the Fisherman's Arms Hotel in Baycliff, Cumbria. He ate at the establishment several times during my stint there as waiter and NEVER tipped us!""
"The case has not been made out for that extension and I can't personally support it."
"The "green levy" on motorists announced in Alistair Darling's first Budget will double car tax revenue to £4 billion but reduce vehicle emissions by less than one per cent, Treasury figures have showed."
"Justine Greening, a shadow Treasury minister who obtained the figures, said last night: "This is a massive tax hike which will have virtually no impact on the environment.
"Despite their claims, the Government don't expect this move to change behaviour at all - it is just another eco-stealth tax of the worst kind.""
"In cold print, his defence of the "tense pence" (sic) looks very odd. "Everybody now agrees the 10p rate is not the best way of tackling poverty," he said as though correcting yet another Tory blunder. Later, he denounced the Tories for having opposed the introduction of the 10p band. But as he'd opposed it himself last year (to the point of abolishing it) his backbenchers became confused. Were the Tories right? Was their leader a Tory himself?"
"a Metropolitan police authority report has revealed that said security presence cost a whopping £750,000. And while it’s not Londonist’s style to bluster about taxpayer’s money and wotnot, according to Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, the very same Chinese torch escorts that Ken Livingstone chided as "thugs" and denied association with afterwards, were actually authorised as part of a Greater London Authority agreement with Chinese officials.
The MPA report makes it quite clear, in direct contradiction to what Livingstone has told us, that the Chinese security guards were part of the legal contract between the GLA and the Chinese authorities.
For the Mayor to say he knew nothing about it - and would not have allowed it - is simply not true. "
"Gordon Brown looked freer at PMQs than I have ever seen him as he fiercely defended his anti-poverty credentials and attacked the Tories for their cheek in daring to take him on on this territory."
"Israel has allowed fuel to be delivered to Gaza's power plant, averting the possibility that it would be forced to shut down within hours.
Palestinian officials had warned that the plant would run out of fuel on Wednesday, plunging large areas of Gaza into darkness.
The resumption of supplies followed mediation by the European Union.
Israel is restricting fuel supplies to Gaza in an attempt to halt rocket attacks by Palestinian militants.
Human rights organisations denounce the policy as an illegal collective punishment, but Israel insists that its actions are legitimate.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called the cutting of fuel supplies punitive and unacceptable. "
"Fuel supplies have been more sporadic that usual recently due to attacks by militants on the Nahal Oz depot through which they pass."
"How it works is this: first, they count all the first-preference votes. Every candidate bar the top two (almost certainly Boris and Ken) is eliminated. Then they look at the second preferences of those who voted (for) the... eliminated candidates. Any for Ken are added on to Ken's first-round total; any for Boris are added on to his first-round total. Second preferences for any other candidate are ignored.
That means two things, neither widely understood. To begin with, there is no point at all in giving anyone except Boris or Ken your second preference. Second preferences for Sian, Brian or the others (favoured by 67 per cent of Londoners for their second pref in today's poll) are a waste of time.
And Point B is this: if you vote for Brian, or Sian, or one of the other lesser parties as your first choice, and Boris or Ken as your second, it is your second choice vote that will count, not your first.
Across London, there does seem to be a substantial desire to kick the Mayor. But Livingstone activists' road to victory may be to claim that you can somehow satisfy that desire, and "register a protest", by giving someone else your first preference, and Ken only your second.
In practice, a second preference vote for Ken or Boris is worth precisely the same to them as a first preference vote. The only way to register a protest against either man is not to vote for them, first or second. (There is, incidentally, no obligation to cast a second-preference vote.)
In a tight race, second preferences could be really important. So it's vital that people don't cast them without fully understanding what they're doing."
"There was a fixed smile on Tony Blair's face as he sat through Gordon Brown's final Budget in the House of Commons last year.
The then prime minister had been given the customary 48 hours' notice of his Chancellor's intentions but he had not been told how Mr Brown would present the Government's tax and spending plans to Parliament and the country.
When he heard his anointed successor announcing with a dramatic flourish at the end of his speech a cut in the basic rate of income tax (a cut which was to be paid for by the abolition of the 10p rate that had been slipped out earlier) his grin froze in horror.
He returned to Downing Street, complaining that the Budget was a disaster that "played into all the worst perceptions of Gordon".
Mr Brown, Mr Blair told colleagues, was trying to pull the wool over people's eyes by giving the impression that his Budget was a tax-cutting package when it was not. The whole thing would, he predicted, soon unravel."
"And here's what puzzles me. Why do they continue to do this? Is is because they're too thick to realize what the public think of them? Or is that they know but have become so corrupted by power that they just don't care? Or is that that they do know and do care, but just have no idea how to behave differently?"
"Sir, Ed Balls’s extraordinary interview with you (April 18) is most revealing and provokes a response.
His injunctions about the “indulgent nonsense” of “private briefings against the Labour leader” certainly come from one who is well acquainted with this kind of activity. Such things do discredit politics and take us back to the days of faction and party-within-a-party that were so damaging in the 1980s. As he says, we’ve seen it over this parliamentary recess, as I know to my cost from the totally false briefing (to which he refers) that I am considering running as a “stalking horse” against Gordon Brown. I hope that he’ll do what he can to stamp it out.
His references to “disappointment” resonate. It’s certainly true that many Labour MPs, including myself, are disappointed by policy decisions such as the abolition of the 10p tax rate, the over-bureaucratic and insensitive nature of the post office closure programme, and the problems arising from lack of preparation for a Northern Rock-style economic challenge. These all stem from Treasury positions with which he is very familiar. It’s also true that many, including myself, are disappointed with many aspects of his education policies, of which the most serious is the absence of a coherent and focused reform strategy for the 14-19 curriculum, along the lines of Mike Tomlinson’s proposals.
As far as his remarks about “falling for false prophets” are concerned, I would advise him to examine himself and his own role. He should stop attacking others anonymously or in code and look to his own performance and record.
Rt Hon Charles Clarke MP "
"The 15 mega-tonne bomb was a thousand times more powerful than the one dropped on Hiroshima in Japan in WWII.
It vapourised three islands, raised water temperatures to 55,000 degrees, shook islands 200km away and left a crater 2km wide and 73m deep."
"The final answer, frankly, is the vigorous use of State power to coerce and repress. It may be my Presbyterian background, but I firmly believe that repression can be a great, civilising instrument for good. Stamp hard on certain 'natural' beliefs for long enough and you can almost kill them off."
"The report into the police shooting of Charles de Menezes is now two months overdue. As the Standard reports today, it’s being sat on because of “political sensitivities” surrounding the race for London Mayor – i.e. it could damage Met Commissioner Sir Ian Blair and, by extension, his great supporter Ken Livingstone."
"Monastery raids by the Chinese security forces and re-education sessions by "work teams" continue to be met with resistance by Tibetan monks, nuns and laypeople across the Tibetan plateau. Violent responses against the steadfast Tibetans also continue to be reported."
"The police seized audiovisual disks and pictures of the Dalai Lama, Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the source, who has wide contacts among Tibetans, quoted relatives of the monks as saying.
They took away four fifths of the monastery's inhabitants -- around 200 people -- and dozens more lay locals, some of whom had tried to prevent police from detaining the monks."
"Since the beginning of April, nearly all the nuns of Shar Bhumpa nunnery in Lhasa have been arrested, leaving only seven of the 60 nuns who had studied there. One of the nuns, Tsering Lhathog was beaten and tortured, suffering a serious head injury before her release to Jang Ga-shang Hospital."
"former abbot Alag Khatso-tsang, aged 80, from Rongpo Monastery, who tried to calm down the situation was badly beaten and injured by the Chinese army. Furthermore, about 140 people including the monks and lay people alike were detained, and the monastery has been kept under tight vigilance and no one is allowed to move in or out of the monastery."
"...the abolition of the 10p tax rate was down to Mr Brown.
In his last Budget as Chancellor it was Gordon Brown who wanted to make a dramatic gesture of cutting 2p off the main rate of income tax.
It was Mr Prudence who decided to pay for it by abolishing the 10p starting rate, meaning many low-paid workers forking out more rather than less.
Labour governments should not be in the business of taxing the poor more.
It is made worse when the rich are left to exploit tax loopholes to evade what they should pay.
The growing rebellion among Labour MPs over the abolition of the 10p rate is the most dangerous yet of Mr Brown's short reign.
The Prime Minister must accept his responsibility. He must reverse an ill-thought out and unfair tax policy."
"Four more ministerial aides have joined protests at the abolition of the 10p tax rate.
The four junior government members have called on Gordon Brown to help 5.3 million low-paid workers who have lost out as a result of the changes....
The four parliamentary private secretaries to have called for more help for those affected by the reforms on the 10p band are David Anderson, Jeff Ennis, Celia Barlow and David Kidney. None has threatened to resign over the issue.
Mr Ennis, aide to Cabinet Office minister Ed Miliband, told the Evening Standard: "The die is cast on the 10p rate but we have to listen to what people tell us and in future redress the balance."
Mr Anderson, aide to higher education minister Bill Rammell, told the Standard: "We should not be making poor people poorer and at the same time giving people extra money through inheritance tax."
But he said he would not threaten to resign over the issue.
Celia Barlow, aide to science minister Ian Pearson, said in a statement she was not planning to resign her position.
But she added: "I have, however, written to the prime minister and the Chancellor to express my concern over the effects that the abolition of the 10p tax rate will have on some of my constituents.
"I have also forwarded them copies of constituents' letters and e-mails that I have received detailing the effects of the abolition."
Mr Kidney, aide to junior transport minister Rosie Winterton, has also written to the prime minister about the abolition of the lowest tax band.
He said it was his job as a constituency MP to raise matters of concern with ministers."
"There are many places where MPs meet guests in the House of Commons. Some are private, some not so.
Over the last few months I have noticed Charles Clarke hosting numerous cups of tea and coffee with numerous Labour MPs and Peers.
Charles Clarke is no fool, he is known as a very shrewd Parliamentary operator.
The first day I noticed his prolific tea drinking it was as though MPs were playing musical chairs .The seat next to him had hardly gone cold before another one arrived. I remember thinking in my Wind in the Willows way, “mmm, what’s occurring”? He was so obviously networking with a sense of urgency.
Gordon Brown had only just been elected leader, he hadn’t yet had a chance to warm his seat up.
As I said, the man is no fool; he could probably see the writing on the wall a long time before anyone else.
Question is, is he a stalking horse for someone else, or is his eye on the main game?"
"Israel launches attack on GazaMaybe things are more balanced if one looks at more items:
An Israeli air strike on the Gaza Strip has reportedly killed nine Palestinians.
16 Apr 2008"
"Israel's Gaza policy criticised
The UN has criticised Israel's policy of trying to isolate Hamas by restricting food and fuel supplies in Gaza.
15 Apr 2008"
"Israel's Gaza policy criticised
The UN has criticised Israel's policy of trying to isolate Hamas by restricting food and fuel supplies in Gaza.
15 Apr 2008"
"Israel's African migrant woes
Israel's government is struggling to cope with an influx of migrants, who have entered the country illegally.
"Israel restricts Gaza fuel
Israeli authorities have launched air strikes in Gaza after a rocket attack killed Israeli civilians on Wednesday.
and bizarrely "Current Affairs highlights
On Panorama, Robert Hall reports from inside Haut de la Garenne as Jersey's children's homes begin to give up their secrets. Gerry Northam investigates how girls, as young as 12, are being groomed for prostitution by gangs on the streets of Britain.
"US in new Mid-East peace bid
Condoleezza Rice has begun a visit to Israel to try to add fresh impetus to the Middle East peace process.
"Cooking in the Danger Zone: Israel and the Palestinian Territories
Food writer Stefan Gates travels to Israel and the West Bank he discovers that the conflict between Jews and Arabs is rooted in land but expressed in food - and often the lack of it.
"Mambo creator 'Cachao' dies
Cuban-born jazz musician Israel Cachao Lopez, credited with inventing the mambo, has died aged 89.
"US support for Israel security
US Vice-President Dick Cheney addressed the issue of security as he began talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
"Medical tourism in Israel
Israel is the latest country advertising its healthcare services to 'medical tourists' who don't want to wait for treatment.
"Abbas hits out at Israel
Palestinian president accuses Israel of waging a campaign of 'ethnic cleansing' in East Jerusalem.
Your Personality is Somewhat Rare (ISFP)
Your personality type is caring, peaceful, artistic, and calm.
Only about 7% of all people have your personality, including 8% of all women and 6% of all men
You are Introverted, Sensing, Feeling, and Perceiving.
"Riyadh, 18 April (AKI) - A 23 year old girl, forced to marry at ten in Saudi Arabia was ordered to pay the equivalent of 16,750 euros to obtain a divorce from his husband, according to Saudi daily al-Watan.
The girl, deemed as a 'rebel' by a judge in the capital, Riyadh, was forced to marry a 67-year-old man due to her family's economic problems, in exchange for a dowry of 100,000 Saudi riyals (16,750 euros).
According to the judge, the girl does not have any grounds for divorce, but if she wants to divorce the husband, she must return the dowry given to the family 13 years ago.
The father of the girl, regrets having married her daughter so young, saying "I made a mistake by forcing my daughter to marry. If she wants to re-marry, it will be her decision who to do it with."
The father of the 23-year-old woman also pleaded for help in order to collect the 100,000 riyal dowry that must be returned.
"I ask those who have the possibility to help my daughter to find the money needed to return the dowry. I cannot help her because our family does not have the economic means," concluded the father."
"I only do this job to help people"So said Gordon Brown during his visit to the US. Presumably he means PFI specialist companies, human rights lawyers, Labour appointed heads of quangos,large firms of City accountants etc., because he can't seriously mean the average taxpayer.
"My concern every day is what's happening for the person looking for their first home, what's happening to the mortgage payer.
"That's why I'm in politics. It's about people's lives, it's about people's hopes."
"Will you stop all this nonsense about it being different from the constitution, because it is plainly the same in substance, and explain why it is better not to have a referendum but have it decided in parliament. You are getting into trouble because of the deviousness and, at times, ridiculousness, of the arguments you are using."
"The different structure of the Reform Treaty (i.e. amendments to the current EC and EU Treaties) as compared to the Constitutional Treaty means that the two treaties will look quite different. However, the content, as proposed in the draft mandate is largely the same."
"The government did promise a referendum on the now defunct constitutional treaty; and, rhetoric and legal form aside, the Lisbon document is substantially the same as that rejected by the electorates of France and the Netherlands."
"Every provision of the Constitutional Treaty, apart from the flags, mottos and anthems, is to be found in the new Treaty. We think that they are fundamentally the same."
"I think that we should have a referendum because we promised one... but actually if you had a referendum it would be disastrous for the Labour Party because you would lose... Everyone knows that the Treaty is the same as the Constitution."
"“Allah will remove all the kufr [disbelief] from the earth, and how? With dua [prayers] or with some books? No my dear Muslim brothers with jihad for the sake of Allah...So we are terrorists, terrify the enemies of Allah.”
Brooks said anybody who sought “dignity outside of shariah [Islamic law]” would be “humiliated.”"
"we condemn the killing of all innocent people wherever they are" or "Those who seek to deliberately kill or maim innocent people are the enemies of us all..."
"When we say innocent people we mean Muslims, as far as non-Muslims are concerned they have not accepted Islam and as far as we are concerned that is a crime against God... As far as Muslims are concerned, you are innocent if you are a Muslim, then you are innocent in the eyes of God. If you are a non-Muslim then you are guilty of not believing in God"
"I must have hatred to anything that is not Islam"
"we haven’t killed the innocents, not in
Baghdad, nor in Morocco, nor in Algeria, nor anywhere else. And if there is any innocent who was killed in the Mujahideen’s operations, then it was either an unintentional error, or out of necessity as in cases of al-Tatarrus [taking of human shields by the enemy]... we are confronting the enemies of the Muslim Ummah and targeting them, and it may be the case that during this, an innocent might fall unintentionally or unavoidably, and the Mujahideen have warned repeatedly the Muslims in general that they are in a war with the senior criminals – the Americans and Jews and their allies and agents – and that they must keep away from the places where these enemies gather."
"I think it's time to re criminalise crime. What I mean by re criminalising crime is taking your experience of crime seriously and not endlessly downgrading things that happen, assaults, thefts of mobile phones, and just calling it anti-social behaviour. This is a crime!"
"A LANK-HAIRED lout shocked David Cameron on a walkabout yesterday – by smearing SNOT on his back."
"with Gordon. I look at the conference Q&A where barely a question from his own Party members went satisfactorily answered. The video link is out there somewhere. Waffle and platitudes around the topics raised.
Whenever there was a crisis for Blair – Gordon was nowhere to be found and a statement came a few days after the fact. We’ve now stumbled from issue, to crisis, to non-issue for almost a year and this guy never makes his argument convincingly.
To put it frankly – someone who has hidden away from difficult conversations with the public and the press has no real right to associate himself with courage.
Someone who contrived relentlessly and remorselessly to oust the most successful leader this party has ever had is in ill a position to expect loyalty.
Someone with the least credible ability to argue a case or policy has no right to call himself leader."
"Global warming is not pushing the robin to extinction. Au contraire: It's expanding the robin's range northward, into places where it's never been seen. Robins are venturing so far north that they've even been sighted in the Inuit territory of northern Canada, where, Sen. John McCain tells us, there isn't even a word for the birds. Yes, even John McCain has feathered his political nest with the robin's expansion. Back in 2004, after a hearing McCain organized as chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, The New York Times' Andrew Revkin noted that he was particularly concerned about the rapid warming of the Arctic. "The Inuit language for 10,000 years never had a word for 'robin,'" McCain lamented, "and now there are robins all over their villages." The BBC even titled a program on arctic warming "No Word for 'Robin': Climate Change in the Canadian Arctic." What a shame! Pretty little birds invading the Arctic, bringing joy with their whoop of spring!"
"It is clear that Labour ministers have intentionally broken Cabinet Office rules in an attempt to create a political smokescreen.
"They are trying to hide the fact that police authorities across the country are now axing the number of police officers, whilst hiking the police levy on council tax bills."
He added: "I fear that this is growing evidence of the politicisation of the civil service under Labour, as ministers desperately try to salvage a sinking election campaign."
"I do not think Mr Brown is dishonest. I think he is blinkered by sociopathy, narrow-minded and inflexible in a way that is bad enough when you are right but fatal when you are wrong.
He also seems to detach himself and his actions from the consequences that are now being played out, notably in the economic arena.
Finally, he is a poor judge of people, having kept in important jobs people who are either incapable or who have the knack of instantly repelling the public. That is why his party now languishes in the polls: it is also why, given the absence of a big idea, the odds are against it reviving enough to win an outright majority at an election."
"he dramatic reversal in his popularity at the end of last year apparently triggered a dip in confidence that has led Mr Brown to appoint, on average, a new adviser every fortnight since the start of the year.
As a result, the annual wage bill for the Prime Minister's special advisers was estimated to have risen by more than £350,000 to £1.75 million - roughly the same as when Mr Blair was at No 10."
"A WOMAN who claimed a bad back made it impossible for her work was employed at the SAME Government department that paid out her benefits.
Twenty-four-year-old Joanne Kirman fraudulently obtained over £9,000 whilst employed at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)....
Prosecuting for the DWP, Warren Spencer said Kirman stated she was incapable of work but it was discovered she was employed 37 hours a week at the DWP national helpline centre in Blackpool.
The court heard it was a £15,000 a year job which Kirman obtained through a disability advisor at the Department of Work and Pensions."
"Without being in any way over dramatic or alarmist my prediction would be, looking back and seeing where we have come from and projecting forward on the present trajectory, that the effects of family breakdown on the life of the nation and ordinary people in this country will, within the next 20 yrs be as marked and as destructive as the affects of global warming. We are experiencing a period of family meltdown whose effects will be as catastrophic as the meltdown of the ice caps. For what is the point of pouring resources into the physical protection of society if its mental health is so damaged and undermined that life for many is so miserably unhappy that it is hardly worth living anyway."
"It is a never ending carnival of human misery. A ceaseless river of human distress."