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Thursday, August 30, 2007

STOP BROWN BETRAYING BRITAIN

I prefer a more generalised campaign format than has been used so far - bringing in more issues. They are all connected, of course.

Cameron's campaign title has been widely criticised

'DON'T LET BROWN LET EU DOWN'. Not least on iain dale.

How about something which would work in a street leaflet - and would appeal to Sun readers more?


STOP BROWN BETRAYING BRITAIN

* Immigration out of control
* Taxes through the roof
* Education Standards through floor
* Hospitals closing
* Gangs on streets
* Soldiers ill-equipped at war
* £170 billion wasted on quangos

Enough is enough.
Brown promised you a say in Britain's future
Back Cameron's Campaign For The Referendum on The EU Constitution

Monday, August 27, 2007

Health Concerns

Pleased to see that Conservatives now lead labour on health and the economy in this morning's ICM Poll.

The health concerns are my own and I'm back on a two week hospital programme prior to travelling back to the Philippines. I was doing so well, and it's a little disappointing to have a hiccup. But in the Philippines, where I will be soon I can do better as it is so calm relatively to the environment here in the UK.

Blogging will inevitably become patchy again for a while...but I will try to keep my toe in, as it were. I've had a fun time blogging this summer in the UK since the end of May, and saw my readership rise steadily for three months. The number of profile reads clicked up by 1000 on 'the tap' in 3 months, and maybe the same on www.tapestrytalks.typepad.com, although there isn't a counter. Last year I had about 70 a month (only one blog then) - now around 500 a month or so over the two blogs. Hardly a big deal, but this is only a hobby!

Maybe I'll blog some Philippino politics in the next few months as well as keeping an eye on things back home.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Where Is This Man?

Daily Mirror. Question for you.

Now I might be being presumptious but I believe that you think you are, or claim to a purveyor of news.

Correct? Or are you a front for an espionage organisation, as Iain Dale is rather ludicrously alleging? Where does he get all these ideas from?

If your spies are indeed hanging around in other peoples' lavatories and places like that, have they seen a missing person anywhere? Can you help me, as I'm trying to find one?

I'm a member of the public and I'm concerned by the falling share markets around the world and all the talk about a credit crunch.

What does it all mean?

Gordon Brown is our Prime Minister yes?

Where is he?

Is he frightened by the fallout coming from this financial mess? He's not gone into hiding has he because he's caused this in any way, surely?

If you are too busy collecting dirt on Tories, let me know and I will try others to find the missing Prime Minister. Why not use my idea and make this into a big headline...GORDON'S GONE WALKIES or something. I'll expect my usual fee.

LAVATORIAL OUTBURST

The Daily Mirror is not a newspaper. It's produced for the poor to wipe their arses. It is perfectly legitimate for people who cannot afford loo paper to hate Tories. Tories don't even have to wipe their own. They hire cheap immigrant labour to do it for them.

I think the Mirror needs to infiltrate the Party, and is totally justified in investigating how the other half wipes.

This Emily should have applied to be a toilet cleaner. She'd have got in no trouble, and could have secretly videoed Tories doing their private business. Perfect material for the Editors of The Mirror to peruse on their mobiles, as they jerk off in their coffee break.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Is Gordon Brown Stupid?

I was writing on Politicalbetting two days ago, when my computer switched itself off. It wouldn't restart so it went into dock for a day. The technician swept the disk, found a couple of viruses and a spyware which knew was there (I could hear it working sometimes), but he found no reason he could see as to why it crashed.

It is possible that it was a hacker. I have no extra anti-hacker security devices. These are compex to operate, and would probably cause me more trouble than a competent hacker. So I don't bother.

This is the bit I was writing as it crashed. I copied and pasted Tory Boy's phrase

'One thing Brown isn’t, is stupid'.

I had just keyed 'are you sure about that?' and was about to go on about his record on the economy but that second, I was closed down.

I can imagine a young hacker monitoring blogs, sitting with his instruction sheet. 'If anyone comes in and criticises Gordon Brown, take him out'. If so, he did his job to the letter!

DOUBLE TROUBLE

Hackers again giving trouble on 22nd. Try to post but various menus pop up unrequested so cannot proceed.

Earlier in day, Dizzy found my blog had linked into his in a mysterious fashion. These characters are obviously peed off about something!!

Owen Paterson's Words At John Biffen's Funeral

Sarah has asked me to talk briefly about how I remember John.

I first met him in the 1980s, so many of you will have known him longer than me and we are all aware of his remarkable achievements.

My first impression was how unfailingly courteous he was. Whenever we met he would ask with genuine interest “How is Rose? How are the children?” And “how are the cats?” John was very sound on cats.

His natural politeness was combined with real kindness towards other people. Added to his conscientiousness and capacity for hard work, he was a phenomenally effective local MP. I remember visiting a modest house in Whitchurch during one election campaign. Its front was heavily decorated with John Biffen posters. A friendly lady came to the door and as soon as she heard that I supported John, launched into an immensely detailed description of how he had battled away for many months to get her daughter specialist medical treatment. Like many others who never voted or who were not natural Conservatives, she was determined to vote for him.

His natural diffidence was most clearly on view during elections. In 1987, I spent three weeks driving him around. He made it quite clear on the first day of the campaign that knocking on someone’s door without warning and asking their political views was a gross impertinence. Instead we discussed the weather, the height of the cow parsley which makes it difficult to see down the lanes and that hardy Shropshire perennial, was it the responsibility of the County or the District/Borough Council to cut it?

His innate modesty was also reflected in his refusal to use the loudspeaker at any time as it intruded on the privacy of the electorate. He was also suspicious of technology: I had had a mobile phone fitted in my car – a frightfully exciting innovation at the time – thinking it would keep the campaign team in instant communication with the nerve centre as we hissed down the wet lanes. John flatly refused to use it unless the car was stationary.

His total lack of pomposity could be seen at social or political events. It was inconceivable that he should do anything so brash as “working a room.” Instead, John would always be seen in a corner with a glass of beer chatting to an old friend or two. Yet if anyone wanted a word, he was always available and they knew it.

His dress showed that he was one of the least vain people I have ever met. I am told that Sarah did for a number of amazing old suits and ensured that socks were of the same colour. But he was still proud of an interesting pair of burgundy cords with a slight flair ending two inches above the ankle. These and a shapeless jersey were the clothes I remember him being most at ease in.

All this, combined with his sagacity, his impartiality on local matters and his readiness to work for the good of North Shropshire and the County with all parties made him immensely popular. He was the MP for 35 years, he won 9 general elections on the trot, having won the by- election of 1961. His last majority of 16,211 in 1992 was the largest ever for this seat, yet he never took North Shropshire for granted. Driving to the Association AGM one year, he apologised for not wanting to chat. He was polishing his speech, which he described as “the most important speech of my year.”

He was an extraordinarily fluent speaker. Armed with a few points jotted on a card, his diffidence would fall away, he would almost go into a trance, leaning backwards and slightly sideways, jigging up and down as he got into his stride, he would explain the most complex subjects in the clearest English.

His articles were equally lucid, revealing a great intellect and a strong sense of history. He was exceptionally clever and he read widely. Yet it was typical of John that his maiden speeches in both the Commons and the Lords were made many months after he was introduced, so that he got a feel of each place first. In both Houses, he was respected on all sides for the knowledge and the wisdom that he expressed.

His political beliefs sprang from his deep knowledge of this constituency and county. They were also strongly influenced by Enoch Powell’s Conservatism. When these robust views were not in favour, John turned down offers of advancement.

He then put his brilliant mind to the service of his country, when, as a member of Margaret Thatcher’s inner circle in the 1970s, he helped rethink and develop policies which led to 18 years of Conservative Government and the transformation of Great Britain.

He was enormously respected and liked by both friends and opponents as Leader of the House. He handled the House with a deft touch and with his unique disarming humour. I got a glimpse of this when a meeting arranged with him in the Commons had to be cut short because the Labour Party was upset about some Government announcement. Peter Shore, John’s Shadow, appeared in a state of some agitation. I slipped away, but saw how John was beginning to charm him and reassure him that the Opposition would get their say. There was complete trust between them.

The obituaries made much of the manner in which he left the Government. However, John should have the last word. Soon after Christopher Gill was selected John arranged to meet him at the Mytton and Mermaid for a chat. Bizarrely there was a bikers’ rally going on and surrounded by beery leather-clad bikers, he asked John the real reason for his defenestration from Margaret Thatcher’s Government. In a classic Biffen phrase, John replied with a twinkle, “I just told her on one too many occasions that her slip was showing.”

He was brave and independent-minded, never afraid to part company with the party line if he believed it to be wrong. So he also opposed the wretched Maastricht Treaty, being a staunch believer that the House of Commons should be sovereign.

He had great affection for the House of Commons, telling me once that “it only gets better and better.” He admired people like Dave Nellist, a flame haired Militant whose views were a mile from John’s but who, in a favourite expression, “used the place” by employing every Parliamentary trick to make life miserable for both the Government and Neil Kinnock.

North Shropshire was very lucky to have John as its MP for 35 years. Radio Shropshire was inundated with calls last week. One of their most experienced journalists said to me “They really loved him and they were right.”

Many people owe a lot to John, none more than me. I would never have succeeded him without his help, advice and encouragement.

I would like to pay tribute to Sarah and his stepchildren Nicholas and Lucy, who all made him so happy at home. Sarah’s support contributed enormously to his success. In recent years, knowing that however good the medical expertise, the dialysis treatment could only postpone the inevitable, her unstinting care for him has been an example to us all.

I leave the final word to that little old lady in Whitchurch. “I’ll always support Mr Biffen; he’s a good man.”

21st August 2007 Llanyblodwell

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cameron Dodge Puts Beeb In A Spin

Chief Secretary To The Treasury Andy Burnham demonstrated on Newsnight that he was caught off-guard and had not even read the Redwood review. This could have more significance than only his carelessness. Labour generally were caught off guard, and the BBC in a panic launched accusations at Redwood before he'd even explained what his review had said. There was an extraordinary tension on all the BBC programmes on Redwood's first day out.

Conservatives however were also puzzled when Redwood was launched across all media on a Sunday when as www.dizzythinks.com pointed out on his blog, CCHQ had another policy all set to launch that day, and they knew nothing about Redwood going 'over the top'.

From Dizzythinks - 'It was suggested to me that the first anyone in CCHQ knew about the detail of Redwood's plans was when he was sitting on News 24 yesterday morning. Apparently, the main story for yesterday was supposed to be Damian Green's announcement on forced marriage which found itself relegated on the news agenda. The BBC were apparently going to use it as one of their main political stories for the day but then Redwood's report popped up.'



So it wasn't only Andy Burnham and the BBC caught unawares.

The comment offered by commentators was that within the Conservative Party, this was poor management and lack of coordination by Cameron.

But another explanation would make more sense. Cameron probably deliberately side-stepped CCHQ and launched without notifying them. Why would he do that?

It seems likely that CCHQ has been a bit leaky in the last 18 months, and that Cameron felt the media were being continually tipped off by someone on the inside as to what his next moves were going to be.

The Mirror were trying to place a new mole into CCHQ as revealed on Iain Dale's Diary two days ago. Maybe Labour's last mole has recently been dealt with - I just wonder if it had anything to do with the curious step of removing the last Chairman Francis Maude, who departed like a lamb.

Whatever the explanation, it has been truly wonderful to see Burnham and a whole host of BBC interviewers going off like scalded cats in shock to see John Redwood appearing in their studios. Cameron should by-pass his CCHQ more often.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

How D'Ya Like My Caption Contest Entry?

Guido's friday caption contest was a pic of John Redwood with two terriers perched on his shoulders -

What's your best idea?

I liked my last one -

'Meet my new pups - 'no cash' left. 'lurch' right.

I think that could be John Redwood's new political strapline, using the BBC's favourite 'it's a lurch' put-down, turning it back on Labour.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Street Level Politics Threatens Brown's Majority

The Conservative Party is doing better in the media this week. The Cameron-kicking has paused, and Brown the new demi-God has gone off. Where? NO one seems to know.

Redwood's proposals on tax and economic competitiveness are making a few waves, and the first chinks in Brown's armour are beginning to become apparent. He is no Teflon Tony, more an outright spinner without the charm.

Conservatives are readying to fight in the marginals using the Michael Ashcroft approach which has been successful in the past. The media game of politics is very important, much as it confuses activists who get very frustrated trying to follow what it all adds up to. They just want simple clear messages.

Working the media requires policy feints, play and counter-play. Ashcroft's Constituency level politics doesn't worry about all that. He has demonstrated over and over again that well targeted spending on literature, leaflets and so on can swing elections in marginals for the Conservatives.

Another group, operating on the fringes of politics could be an important factor in the next election. They are rolling out PCC's in 500 Constituencies for the first time, and have no media support at all. They are 100% reliant on activists and leaflets to get their message across. It is a message which has strong appeal to the white working class, and pulls more votes from Labour than Conservative or Lib Dem. They could well lose Gordon Brown the next election, if they continue to make progress. They probably won't win any seats.

See their new leaflets here

Thursday, August 16, 2007

BBC Says The Vulcan Will Replace IHT with CGT

Newsnight. Paxo to Crick. 10 minutes ago.

Paxo. Will Osborne abolish IHT?

Crick. Yes. He'll get rid of IHT altogether, replace it with CGT, with exemption for assets owned for ten years or more or the main home.

Pax0. What else did he say?

Crick. Toll roads on roads to our ports. Bicycles on pathements - might not be good electorally. And rubber wheels on trains to increase frequency of trains in rush hour.

Paxo. Will the leadership agree?

Crick. Yes. But Gummer of the Quality of Life review reports in a month, when he will propose new green taxes. Redwood has advised being careful not to tax aviation.

HORSE's MOUTH.

Re the rubber wheels on trains, will the rubber be vulcanized?

What of it?

The key question is 'will the leadership agree?'

The answer is that no one knows what the shadow cabinet will finally decide.

The Beeb started off attacking Redwood for his regulation cuts ideas earlier in the week, and caught a ton of ridicule and criticism for their overreaction to Redwood back out in the open. His suggestions then were also only provisional - to be discussed further.

This time the Beeb pulled right back from outright hostility - after attacking so blatantly last time. They are trying to sound reasoned and intelligent about Tory tax proposals - all of which seemed to give Crick and Paxman serious indigestion. They were all confused. are these legitimate Tory targets or not?

Paxman looked like a bloodhound called off his prey, when he knew he'd had the smell of Tory blood in his nostrils, but got no kill. The Newsnight Tory killing machine is merely biding its time.

EU Quality Marks Kill

I took a leading role in the Save The British hallmark Campaign in 2003. The EU under the Italian Presidency had a big push to abandon national hallmarks on gold jewellery and replace them with an EU marking system. The only way this could have been done was to permit manufacturers to mark their own gold jewellery, and trust them not to cheat.

This last aspect was a bit of a worry, as all over the world where there is not a well run state administered hallmarking system, where the gold content is verified by testing and marking by an authorosed third party, cheating is commonplace. In the US people buy mllions of gold items of jewellery every year which are 'under-carat' without having any idea they are being cheated.

The US trade have formed The Jewellery Vigilance Committee which can do nothing more than try to limit the damage and prevent the truth of this worldwide massive crime against consumers from spoiling their business.

In Europe most countries fortunately have a well established and functioning hallmarking system apart from Germany and Italy, where the same crime is also commonplace. Austria abandoned hallmarking in 2002 trying to curry EU favour and within a year 20% of all the gold items on sale did not have the right gold content.

The EU was keen to push ahead with its own system, despite the knowledge that the crooks would have a field day and honest traders would be marginalised, and it was only through a determined campaign started in Britain by a few dedicated people from the industry that it was stopped - and then only just and at the last minute when all had seemed lost.

The CE Marks

Seeing now that the toys from China which have high levels of lead in their paints, and which have small pieces which can block baby's windpipes and cause instant death, carrying European Safety marks, the famous CE marks, it made me wonder if the same drop in standards has happened across many industries, in the same way that we saw with the attempt by the EU to hand over the gold busines to the crooks, as long as they promoted EU marks.

http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2007/08/elephant-lives.html

I spoke to a Trading Standards Officer a couple of years ago at the time of our campaign to save Hallmarking, and he told me that European Standards were invariably of lower quality than the British ones they replaced. I've heard of stories of European road standards like lorry wheel nuts for example failing , and the number of tyres that take off from trucks each year is nubered in the thousands. The British equivalents which worked well had to be got rid of in favour of EU Standards.

The question is how many people lose their lives every year of all ages, not just children, so that the famous CE mark and others can act as the propaganda for the EUSR? The stories of death and maiming are always kept out of the news, and no statistics are revealed.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Misguided BBC Thinks Business Is Right Wing

Focus on business is only a lurch to the right if you happen to be the BBC or Polly Toynbee. Business is part of society - the part where jobs are created, wages are paid, pensions are funded, goods and services are provided and prices are kept competitive, in short where the quality of life agenda starts.

It is all corners of our society that benfits by £14 billion under Redwood's proposals, not simply those who attend the annual gathering of veterans from the Waffen SS.

Redwood Rebuttal Rattles The Biased Broadcasting Corporation.

Cameron's strategy with Redwood is interesting. Redwood carefully avoided mentioning anything to do with the EUSR (subservient regions). He merely pointed out the waste of resources involved in various programmes, and suggested a review.

The BBC went off like scalded cats giving voice to Labour's shock that Cameron was opening up this new front on Brown as an incompetent manager of the economy.

How did Cameron, supposedly suppressed in fear by the Brown supposed Bounce and all the previous month's intense Cameron-bullying, dare to challenge the assumed authority of the BBC and its satellite the Labour Party?

Redwood seemed quite reasoned and reasonable. Why is helping business save £14 billion of wasted money such a bad idea after all? The BBC OTOH did not. It's as if the BBC don't realise that business is a key component of society, creating jobs, paying wages, providing pensions, goods and services.

The BBC tried hard to provoke Redwood into a eurosceptic statement, (Kwark was saying 'these are eurosceptic proposals aren't they) but he declined the opportunity, saying that he merely wanted these matters to be reviewed, and looked at by the Shadow cabinet.

If the Beeb were to enquire further into Cameron's policy on the EUSR, they will soon enough be introduced to Hague and Kirtkhope's rather hopeless attempt to renegotiate the terms of the EUSR with an alternative treaty. (Subservient Regions)

Cameron's got his bases covered. The BBC don't like it.

What's Cameron's Next Move?

HOW REAL IS THE BROWN BOUNCE?

Gordon Brown's much trumpeted poll lead of 10% is hype. Many analysts see it as nearer 3%, and within that, Brown is facing a number of threats not least a potential rebellion from within his own party over the EUSR Constitution. His Scottish power base too without which Labour has no majority at Westminster is looking vulnerable with SNP support at an all time high. That's before you look at the potential effect of the BNP which is opening up in 500 Constituencies this year, and who took around 10% from labour at Sedgefield.

The Americans see Brown as full-on pro-European, and are happy for Murdoch to be running a big push in his media empire in the UK for a referendum on the EUSR Constition. There is no way that Brown will be hunting an early general election. Until he has resolved many of these issues, let alone Iraq, he is decidedly vulnerable.

The talk of elections, and the pumping out of frothy polling is partly the media running the Brown Bounce narrative, but Brown too finds it concenient to exaggerate the strength of his postion as it keeps dissent down within his own party, works up the media and keeps Conservatives on the back foot to some extent. But Cameron has weathered the worst of these early Brown weeks, and the options for him are suddenly starting to expand, and this week Cameron took a calculated risk by pushing Redwood out into the media.

Redwood is doing well. His release onto the airwaves has startled Labour's media strategists, who imagined that after the drubbing handed out to all previous policies that smacked of euroscepticism, Cameron would have kept Redwood's intelligent policy proposals hidden away from view. Redwood will expose many of Gordon Brown's week areas such as Pensions, Regulation and lack of infrastructural investment...in fact Brown's significant lack of funds after increasing government spending from £375 billion in 2001 to £555 billion a year now.

INSIDE THE CONSERVATIVE PARTY

If Cameron's doing reasonably well or as well as could be expected at this stage, and Brown's position is far weaker than it first appears, it is Cameron's position within his own Party which is still somewhat mysterious.

Ken Clarke holds no surpises and is totally disloyal to Cameron on all European issues. He is an embarrassment and occasionally a real drag, but overall people know what he is all about, find it a bit curious, but don't see him as a major threat to Cameron.

The person who seems to be Cameron's right hand man, fighting the main battle against the EUSR Constitution is Hague. Hague is a puzzle as he always sounds full-on eurosceptic, but a bit like with Brown's bounce in the polls, those who examine the detail of what he is saying find him less than convincing.

IS HAGUE TOO VAGUE?

He either doesn't know what is contained in the Constitution, or he is deliberately acting out a role of non-comprehension. See www.eureferendum.blogspot.co.uk - extract -

'This might even be William Hague's problem. His presentation on the treaty in "plain English" is now up on the Conservative website in which he refers to the proposed permanent president chairing the "Council of Ministers", rather than the European Council. One wonders if, like so many, he does not understand the difference.'

In addition, as explained by Richard North on the EU Referendum site, Hague is pairing up with the europhile Timothy Kirkhope MEP, leader of the Conservative delegation to the EU parliament to resurrect an alternative Treaty, which stands no chance in practice at all of getting through and past the other EU countries. quote from eu referendum -

'Hague's view is that a treaty that handed powers back to member states and made the EU more accountable and democratic would offer "a tremendous opportunity to tackle some of the real problems the EU currently faces".
The trouble is that, although presented as something new, this is simply a rehash of something which Kirkhope produced in 2005 and is about as relevant now as it was then. .'

If Cameron's euroscepticism is genuine and it seems that it is much stronger than it was expected to be, is Cameron well or badly served by William Hague? Hague messed or compromised on the EPP withdrawal. He has a long history of sounding eurosceptic with his rhetoric, while the details of his proposals and his actions are usually far more sympthetic to the obliteration of the nation-states. Hague is probably the same Bildeberger as he was in 2001 when he promised to 'keep the £ for one Parliament' i.e. get rid of it.

Cameron like Thatcher is surrounded at the top of the Party, it seems by a bunch of europhiles who could cause him great difficulty if he tries to put up a real fight against the EUSR Constitution. This is one reason why Cameron's leadership has not been clear cut as to what it is really about. If Hague was not such a 'wet', or if Cameron were to broaden his support base within the Party, it might help Cameron take up a stronger stance.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Few John Biffen Gems

I remember asking him in the 1980s about the shadowing of the D-Mark when Lawson was all for it, and Thatcher was against it. He said he definitely thought Thatcher was right.

Sadly as we know the Europhiles wrecked the golden inheritance.

If she had been able to control Lawson, we would not have got so far into the ERM, and Black Wednesday would never have happened. The whole of British politics might have taken another turn.

John was too intelligent for the bulk of the others, but was not a forceful character. He accepted that in politics the wrong side often wins, and you have to make the best of it. He just smiled his wry smile...He told me last year that he thought Liam Fox would have made a good leader.

The next door farmer stopped me in the road for a chat in years gone by, and as we chatted about John, he said,'the trouble with John Biffen is that he always agrees with you.'!!

Farewell To John Biffen

John was our MP at Oswestry in the '60s. In his bachelor days, my Mum invited him to lunch at our farm many Sundays. He taught me to play cricket on the lawn when I was 6 - a game he loved although he had little skill!

Later on in the mid-70s I lived for a while in his apartment in Vauxhall, from where he biked to the HoC every day (no Lexus behind). He always came back late and left early so I rarely saw him.

Pre-Sarah he led a quiet home life and worked extraordinarily long hours. He then became a very well known figure on the national scene.

He assisted one or two campaigns I ran (mostly frustration with early EU regulations in the 1990's) by forwarding letters to relevant Ministers. As he was in the Cabinet, this carried considerable weight, and we had some successes such as making it much easier for developers of new buildings to get regulators to work together rather than in competition with each other.

If only it was possible to get a John Biffen letter to achieve as much nowadays. It's always impossible now as the reply comes back - 'sorry. the proposal is impossible because of our treaty obligations etc.

John often had a wry smile on his face, and would throw his head back when he laughed. He always asked in detail after everyone.

Despite his illness he still attended the Lords until fairly recently, and was always interested to talk about the latest developments in the Party.

It is a sad day that he is gone as everyone who met him liked him. He always had time for everone else. Shropshire will not be the same without him around, where he and Sarah would attend Point to Point Races and the like.

Sarah should get his autobiography published when she is ready, as people would love to know all about John as a person as well as a politican.

Redwood On Newsnight

Newsnight spin as follows -

PRE INTERVIEW SPINTRO

'John Redwood 'says it's as good as a tax cut''

Regulation is being called the same as Cuts in Tax and Cuts in Spending by Newsnight. (thinks - why cuts in spening?)

Labour see it as a lurch (to the right - but only the word 'lurch' is used). It's the usual Tory Europe and tax cuts stuff.

David Cameron is nowhere to be seen.

INTERVIEW

Kwark to Redwood - what government ever achieved such big cuts in red tape?

Redwood. the target is much bigger than it used to be.

Kwark. Cutting care homes regulation. (said cutting care homes first)

Redwood. More places possible with less regulation - not less.

Kwark. making it easier to make workers redunadant.

Redwood. employers are unwilling to employ. 5.4 million don't have a job.

Kwark. you will scrap most of H & S regulations.

Redwood. No. about 10%. It's expensive and not effective - review required.

Kwark. You're prepared for a fight with Europe as over Working Time Directove. That signals euroscepticism.

Redwood. Your used to seeing politicians triangulating. I've spent 18 months studying how to make us more successful. There is a lot here that needs looking at.

Kwark. Will this be policy. cameron?

Redwood. Osborne likes it. But the whole shadow cabinet will have to deicde.

Kwark. Tomorrow you address pensions final salary schemes?

Redwood. 2/3 of all final salary schemes are closed to new members.

Kwark . the companies don't want to reopen final salary schemes.
in current climate.

Redwood. we're hoping to improve things at the margin, by improving and moving things in a better direction.

Kwark. Tomorrrow's Guardian - Brown spends £39 billion. Flood defences etc. isn't this what you are saying?

Redwood. (Surprised to see this a little but answered well) We want to improve the infrastructure of the country using private money so the government doesn't have to spend.

CUT

What planet is Kwark from?

She says that regulation cuts are spending cuts. I think she lives on the dark side - never met the other side of the argument before...and believes she is facing an alien influence.

Redwood wants rubber wheels on trains. Will that be vulcanized rubber? boom boom.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Gordon Brown's Lead Under 3%

From Political Betting -

Some detailed analysis on ICM polling stats shows that the weighting may be wrong.

If we take the weighted 2005 figures in the ICM table: Con 150 Lab 173 LD 92, and bung in the Others 8.0% from 2005 it gives 2005 vote shares of Con 33.3 Lab 38.4 LD 20.4%. That is overstating Lab by 2.2 points at the expense of the LDs when compared to the actual results. The transfers suggest a small net Conservative gain compared to 2005 and a small net Labour loss, but weighted to the actual result the situation is reversed. According to this table Labour’s lead among serial voters has fallen from around 5% in 2005 to 4.8% now. But Labour’s lead in 2005 was only 3%.

See the thread number 87. Kevin L.

If true the Brown bounce is puny indeed, and nothing like the 10% YouGov unweighted result given in the weekend press.

On top of that, Brown faces the possible collapse of Labour's vote in Scotland, if the SNP continues to outmanoevre Labour. That could cost him up to 40 MPs especially if Conservatives were to vote tactically.

No one knows how much impact the BNP will have as they open up in 500 Constituencies this year. 'Others' are up in all polls since 2005 from 7% to at least 11%. That too could upset Brown's calculations.

It seems most unlikely Brown would risk an election under these circumstances. He will try to ram the Constitution through Parliament as his key number one objective. There too he could be in trouble as 40 or more Labour MPs are saying they are willing to rebel.


http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2007/08/13/good-and-bad-news-for-dave-from-the-icm-detail/

Redwood Gets Media All A-Fluster

Just as NuLab believed they had buried Cameron into an early political grave, yesterday he shocked Gordon's media bully boys by releasing John Redwood into the fray.

How could Cameron who they had spent months bullying for his non-attendance at floods, and his membership of exclusive clubs, dare to do this. Why was he not kneeling down in repentance begging forgiveness for being a Tory from a privileged background - and not only that - a Tory with wait for it, yes some 'right-wing' beliefs.

Redwood's new policy ideas immediately provoked loony-left rants about children being sent up chimneys, slave labour and stories of old ladies being tortured by unscrupulous care-home owners out to extract profits.

Redwood got the Marxist media chorus chanting in full voice just as expected, and what a bunch of dimwits they all seemed.

Their critique was so overdone that hardly a viewer or a listener in the country could not have been impressed with their inability to focus on anything other than name calling and witch-hunt.

The media minnows were driven into a frenzy, evoking well known torturers from the Tory past like William (europhobe) Hague and Michael (immigration) Howard. They trotted out all the labels known to terrify voters that something evil was being planned, which at the very least would involve the maiming for life of half their number, and the cancellation of all subsidised bus tickets for pensioners - the very essence of right-wing politics.

If the media circus under Blair was all a bit creepy. Under Brown they're all going just plain barmy. 57% of the public no longer trust them as it is.

So John, now they're all going nuts about something else today, what exactly was it you were trying to say yesterday? It sounded really intersting to most people, what little the media pemitted them to actually hear.

http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/?p=413



http://www.johnredwoodsdiary.com/?p=413

Gordon Brown's Wars

Reports coming from troops returing to Germany from Iraq say that since Brown has taken over as Prime Minister, the level of political control from 'above' has become over whelming. The generals are not being allowed to deploy their troops around Basra according to the risks they see on the ground. All are being kept 'indoors' to avoid the chance that they might engage with the enemy and incur politically inconvenient casualties.

The effects are two fold. First the force is being kept in place with no purpose and no tasks to carry out which is appalling for the morale of troops, and secondly the effect as usual with politicians interfering is the opposite to that intended. Casualties are mounting not falling. The only way to keep an enemy's head down is aggressive patrolling. If the enemy knows he will not face any risks by attacking you, he will do so more frequently, and that is exactly what is happening.

Gordon Brown's unfortunate interventions in military affairs, and what can only be described as his blatant defeatism, are coming at a time when the Americans are beginning to see positive signs in Iraq. Levels of terrorist attacks are reducing, and the political situation is stabilising as the powerful groups within Iraq come to terms, mostly the Sunni and Shia.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/iraq/article2246581.ece

The Shia stil hold out one hope though. They've seen Blair go, and the change in British on the ground tactics, revealing a chicken attitude in the Brown regime, and their hope of splitting away the British from the Americans is leading them to attempt to kill more British soldiers.

Brown's thoughts are all on readying his party for an election in the autumn. Defeat in Iraq before October would suit his timetable well so he could pull out the troops just before the poll, and have lots of nice soldiers homecoming pictures on the TV.

The only problem is that Brown has become the weak link in the Iraq situation, and could jeopardise the growing confidence of the Americans, just as they feel that they could finally bring the situation under control.

Needless to say, Brown is a figure of hatred in the British Army. No wonder he's trying to ban all blogging from service personnel.

http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article2851504.ece

POST SCRIPT

POST SCRIPT

I heard from a retired army officer. He offered me these opinions. Britain only has 5000 troops in Iraq. But only half that number are fighting troops as half are clerks, bottle washers, mechanics and so on. Of those at any one time, one third will be asleep. One third will be feeding, coming in or going out and doing house-keeping tasks. Only on ethird will actually be available for patrols or action. Thatis about 800 or 900 men at most, which my source claims is an infinitessimally small number to actually achieve anything. His words were 'barking'.

In his opinion Iraq was a bigger strategic mistake than VIetnam, as in Vietnam the Communists were spreading out their influence and there was a political objective. Iraq is more like Hitler's attacking Russia in 1941. He was in the driving seat and didn't need to embark on such a task which he could never win. So were Bush and Blair in strong political positions, which they have ruined.

Afghanistan is more like a potential Vietnam. If you are going to fight, it needs far more resources and the military need to be allowed to fight the war and pursue the enemy to their bases in Pakistan. If we lose, the potentail for the enemy to make further trouble for us is great. Iraq was not an equivalent base for terrorists or even extreme Moslem fundamnentalists. It was simply the wrong target.

As for Brown, my source offered that he kept expremely quiet about Iraq when Blair was pushing his way to the invasion and backing Bush. Brown if anyone could have stopped Blair from making this crucial error, but he probably applied Napoleon's famous dictum - Never Disturb Your Enemy When He's Making A Mistake.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Will Gordon Risk It?

If Gordon does go to the polls in October as many commentators are saying he should, he will stand for election on the basis of no referendum being permitted on The EU(SR -subservient regions) Constitution.

The BBC will play the game with him all the way - but all other media including Murdoch are taking a strong line against the Constitution.

OTHER DOWNSIDE FACTORS

He’s got Scotland to worry about with the SNP surging.

He’s got the BNP to worry about which pull away Labour support. Many polls are putting others at 15% - some only 11% - but enough possibly to take up to maybe 4/5% of previous Labour votes into BNP. They will be highly active in up to 500 Constituencies for the first time.

The polls of people who defintely voted in 2005 do not show Brown winning more votes. In fact he is losing support. His gains are all coming from previous non-voters. How likely are these people to actually vote when it comes to it?

Much of his support are previous Lib Dem. Lib Dem always do better as you get near polling , as they get so much extra media. How reliable is this part of Gordon’s vote?

Interest rates are pushing ever upwards, and government finances are fully stretched. Brown increased public spending from £375 billion to £550 billion since 2001. Inflation is on the march. In the South East, many voters will be feeling the pinch in particular.

The Brown bounce exists in the media where it has been manufactured. Does it actually exist amongst people who will definitely vote? I’m not so sure.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Foot & Mouth Spreads To DEFRA's Delight.

The latest foot and mouth outbreak reported today has come outside the exclusion zone. The Times is alleging sabotage.
here

During the 2001 outbreak the whole FMD execution system became a vast money-making enterprise. When friends of mine were out on the hills walking, an army helicopter flew overhead, and was seen dumping sheep's corpse out trying to spread the disease around.

DEFRA, the Army and contractors were getting huge payoffs.

DEFRA were recently found out in Shrewsbury County Court to be accepting payoffs from big insecticide/agricultural pharmaceutical companies. Reported in Private Eye three weeks ago, a Mr Rawlings found that he could buy volume selling agricultural chemicals much cheaper in Holland and Germany so he began importing them. DEFRA tried to stop him and he brought a case in the Shewsbury County Court to challenge DEFRA.

The upshot of the case in which the judge threatened to call the head of DEFRA as a witness if the truth would not come out, was that DEFRA are receiving 20% payoffs from the big agricultural supply companies for keeping cheaper products off the market. DEFRA were fined £60,000 in this case.

Gordon Brown is plainly unaware of the huge vested interests he is facing as he tries to stop the FMD outbreak. DEFRA staff know that they can make literally millions in illegal payments from contractors if they can keep the outbreak rolling.

The sabotage which The Times and Gordon Brown think is happening is not coming from the Tories!! It's the very people who are sitting in on Brown's Cobra meetings. The Department For The Eliminaion of Farming and Rural Affairs. The payoffs could well be going as high as Brussels is where DEFRA is controlled from.

Why else have they decided not to vaccinate when that is the way that FMD outbreaks can be stopped? Brown has made a terrible mistake in listening to DEFRA. They are a money-making agency that will happily destroy British farming on behalf of Brussels which is committed to ending farming and fishing in Britain. as agreed by Edward Heath in 1973. And they've conned Brown into thinking everything's under control. Here is Gordon talking....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFlO8heSdto

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Conservative Seek Power In Sadness

Conservatives are hungry not for power as an end it itself - but out of a deep dissatisfaction with the appalling mess that Britain is in. G.Brown feeds his bottomless appetite for attention and adulation each day through media coercion. His lust for power for powers sake could not be matched by anyone.

Conservatives in fact don't want power as Michael Brown in The Independent believes.

http://comment.independent.co.uk/commentators/article2846516.ece

We have to have power. It is the only way to bring an end to the progressive destruction of Britain and to fix our broken society. It is a motivation born out of sadness and despair that drives us on, to end the tragedy that Labour has created.

The gruesome stories of violent crime, of social disorder and of broken lives are the thoughts in our hearts as we engage with the powerful and destructive media propaganda machine that NuLab have fashioned.

How can it be a joyful crusade to take power from labour? It is like arriving in a war zone where a crazed militia has control of the battlefield as they carry out acts of barbarity on innocent people. All the sources of news are in such terror of their power that they write and broadcast anything they tell them. And yet the Labour militias have to be defeated.

That's why the Conservative Party is unifiying behind Cameron under heavy fire. We cannot be allowed to fail. There is too much at stake.

Also see George Walden in The Telelgraph on the same topic.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2007/08/09/do0901.xml

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Is Foot & Mouth An Unstoppable Industry?

DEFRA today slaughter a third farm's animals even though they have no reason to suspect they have foot and mouth disease, spending money and destroying the livelihood of a farmer.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6937192.stm

DEFRA continues not to vaccinate despite plenty of vaccine being available.

They are waiting to find out if the disease will spread first. Why?

www.warmwell.com

The reason you vaccinate is to stop the disease dead in its tracks.

Is there high level corruption going on in DEFRA?

There is a foot and mouth industry which sucks up so much money that no doubt they cannot wait to get an outbreak started and whipped up into a major crisis. £8 billion was the cost of the last epidemic. Imagine how many fortunes were made. No doubt the greedy contractors cannot wait to get their hands on another bunch of banknotes. How much payoff might this lot make to someone in authority to delay the start of vaccinating?

The government must act fast to stop this outbreak before it gets going - with the only certain method available - vaccination. Every day they wait makes a wider outbreak more likely.

Gordon Brown is listening to all the wrong people.

He should be vaccinating now, not waiting until more cases break out which would please the top vet apparently Hugh Pennington. From Warmwell - 'Hugh Pennington pops up yet again saying that we'd vaccinate if the outbreak got "out of control" - whereas ring vaccination is precisely what prevents this'

Presumably Gordon Brown has no idea of the risk he is running by delay. And yet all other countries use vaccination now as it is so well developed as a way to halt an outbreak, and the method of creating a vaccinated outer ring, and working inwards has been successfully proven to work everywhere.

If the politicians and the officials want the disease stopped, it can be stopped with vaccination, but do they have other reasons for allowing it to get going? How else can anyone explain what is happening in this current outbreak?

'Money buys disease', could be the one hazard the politicians haven't taken into account.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Hate Gordon Brown

I've just read the Mirror and seen the most sycophantic puke- making arse-licking brown-nosing piece of jounalism of my whole life. We're all used to 'let's be nasty to David Cameron' narrative, dripped out day after day from total nonentities who believe themselves significant. The longer it goes on, the more it helps Cameron to close Conservative ranks behind him.

But this parallel sycophantic 'Brown's had it tough' nonsense is quite obviously also the required government narrative for all its friends in the media to carry - or face disadvantages. It is quite shocking that Britain now has such a controlled media that we read the same 'isn't he a great PM' bullshit in paper after paper...even in the supposedly educated Guardian.

I am totally shocked and sickened to see it. What a creep it makes him look. I always thought Gordon Brown was an overrated incompetent with a dreadful ego problem. I never dreamed I'd come to hate him. But now he's making Britain even more sickening and embarrassing than Blair ever managed, he's on his way.

Gordon Brown Puts Political Spin Over Epidemiological Substance

The lesson from the 1967 outbreak was that buried animals could not pass on the virus, but that incineration could spread the virus through the air up to 30 miles. (All facts can be confirmed on www.warmwell.com)

So what is Gordon Brown doing? Yes that's right. Incinerating.

The lesson from the 2001 outbreak was not to transport dead animals to incineration or burial sites, but to incinerate (if you have to) quickly where the slaughter takes place.

So what is Gordon Brown doing? Yes that's right. He's transporting the corpses from Surrey to an incineration plant in Somerset. That's so there are no pictures in the media of vast funeral pyres. Spin over substance.

Another lesson from all previous outbreaks was not to allow anyone to travel unnecessarily through the quarantine area.

So what is Gordon Brown doing? Yes that's right. He's allowing ramblers to walk on footpaths across farms near the outbreak, driving the farmers mad with worry and frustration. Spin over substance.

The main lesson from 2001 was that while Holland innoculated in a ring around their infected area, and managed to stop her outbreak in its tracks in two weeks, Britain stuck to a slaughter programme which ended up killing 10 million mostly perfectly healthy farm animals.

Innoculation is a far more economic and effective method of stopping an outbreak. If neccessary all innoculated animals can be slaughtered afterwards to accelerate the reaccreditation of the 'FMD free' status of Britain. But the numbers needing to be slaughtered will be in the hundreds and thousands not the millions or tens of millions as it was in 2001.

So what's Gordon Brown doing? Yes that's right. He's slaughtering and not vaccinating.

As he's not following the lessons learned from the slaughter programmes of the past, Brown should move quickly to vaccination. He's in danger of falling between two stools - and standing in a third one.

SPIN OVER SUBSTANCE

Just to make sure that everyone can tell Gordon's taking all this terribly personally, he has decided without any evidence let alone proof, that Merial are the section of Pirbright responsible for the outbreak. He might be right, but without any evidence to back up the claim, is it very intelligent of him to be putting out any such claims?

Then the really fruitcake stuff is starting to spill out. This is sabotage, claims Gordon and dear old Benn!!!!

Ok some twit in Merial mght have got in the habit of washing out a test-tube and tipping the contents down the sink or something, but for our very own 'genius quality' Prime Minister to be talking openly about sabotage when he hasn't even one scrap of evidence, is totally barking.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article2218183.ece

And he's only been in the job just over a month..........

Monday, August 06, 2007

Eat Better. Live Longer. Save ££££. (Lots of them).

I find the prices in supermarkets for meat shockingly high. Call me old fashioned, out of date and out of touch, but how can they charge so much for such dreadful stuff?

You pull it out of the packing, plonk it in a frying pan to seal the juices with a bit of frying, and within a minute, you find that you're not frying at all, but boiling. The water which appears from nowhere has been added by the processors soaking the meat until it swells up and looks 20% fatter than it really is, and it puts on equivalent weight. They also add red dye to make the meat look fresh. I hate to think what's in the dye. I haven't even tried to find out.

The you need to worry about what chemicals have been used to kill off pests in the animals. Organophosphates are used to kill warble fly in cattle under EU rules, with doses specified by regulation. Many believe that mad cow disease was caused by this.

Some farms are still using polychlorbenzene to kills flies around cattle held in buildings. Both these chemicals are known to cause diseases of the nervous system like Alzheimers and Parkinsons. They kill flies and insects, but unfortunately they're pretty good at killing humans too - just that it takes a lot longer to finish the job.

The supermarket allows you no information at all as to whether the meat has been treated with OP's or PCB's. You are not even allowed to know which country the meat comes from, let alone which farm.

So how about taking a new apporach to buying your beef? Buy from the farm where the animals have lived all their lives, organically fed and treated right without chemicals. Only biologically safe insecticides are used or water curtains etc.

The meat is sold by the farmer himself on the phone in the evening after work, and he charges only £2.65 a pound all in, no artificial colours, no swelling with water. Just as it comes after hanging for 14 days to guarantee great taste.

His website is www.beef-direct.co.uk and his phone number is 01691-690288 Mr David Bevan. I'll let him tell you the rest. I'm prepared to steak! my reputation on recommending him. I had a box from him and we've never had better beef in our lives, and saved a lot of money on supermarket prices into the bargain.

You need a freezer that can handle a reasonable sized box. That's all. Try it.

(No slaughtering permitted currently while movement of animals is banned)

OK Gordon What Do You Know?

Funny how our 75,000 tonnes of beef exports are banned worldwide when we have a FMD outbreak that is infinitessimally small (so far) and yet we import 300,000 tonnes of beef from Brazil where foot and mouth is endemic.

Could Gordon Brown explain to the British people why the last outbreak in 2001 was kept secret for four months? Can he explain why the government alleged that the Cleveland outbreak in pigs was the start of the epidemic, when it knew perfetly well the disease had been running in sheep previously?

Did Gordon Brown approve of this deception taking place ? What did he say about it to anyone at the time - or if not then, what does he say about it now?

Or does he deny that the deception took place?

The evidence that someone knew foot and mouth was 'coming' in 2001 is not in doubt. MAFF (now DEFRA) bought up all the spare railway sleepers in Britain for the incineration of millions of animals before the outbreak was announced. British farmers were made to dip all their footwear when travelling to the USA prior to the outbreak being announced.

Some commentators such as Jeff Rense of Rense.com jumped to the conclusion that the outbreak was planned and deliberately caused. But what hadn't occurred to him was that the outbreak had already started when the 'preparations' were taking place.

The only politician to go public about the keeping secret of the outbreak for four months was Jeffrey Titford MEP of UKIP. He put out an internal party briefing on the internet, giving the details of the story early in 2001. The media completely blanked the government's deception at the time, and you wonder if the Official Secrets Act was put into effect to notify the media to leave alone. It must have.

The secrecy ensured that the disease had spread far and wide before anything was done. One quarter of Britain's farm animals, most of them totally healthy were then slaughtered. It is too big a story to remain secret. It was then and is still now a deception practised on the British people by their own government, which ended up costing £8 billion in halting the disease and another £8 billion in lost earnings for tourism and leaisure industries.

Any journalist trying to follow this should start by interviewing Jeffrey Titford. And then dig around. There is a big story here which has yet to break, and which should be broken. Bugger the Official Secrets Act.

It is time that the British people were told the truth. The question is - Should Blair have used the Official Secrets Act to cover up his government's disasterous handling of the crisis? And the current Prime Minister Gordon Brown must surely tell us what his views on this are. He was the Chancellor after all, and must have noticed the loss of £16 billion. What did he know?

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Brussles Is Using Foot & Mouth To Destroy British Farming

DEFRA have begun slaughtering not only infected herds but also adjacent perfectly healthy herds just like last time. They are incinerating the carcasses and not burying them which is known to spread the virus (EU rules forbid burial which was the practice in 1967). There is no mention of vaccination which is how FMD is dealt with in the rest of the EU, where outbreaks never spread more than a few miles.

Is this FMD going to be used by Brussels like 2001 to try to destroy as much of British farming as they can? It looks like it.

DEFRA are instructed what measures to take from Brussels. There is nothing Gordon Brown can do about it.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Bloggers Can Help farmers Through Foot & Mouth Epidemic

When foot and mouth broke out in 2001 it was kept secret for months before the public were told. By which time the disease had spread far and wide.

I hope that this time this is genuinely the first incident. Only when the disease crossed from sheep to pigs was it made public last time. A pig farmer up north was accused of catching the disease from imported meat he'd bought as swill from a Chinese restaurant. It was all baloney put out to cover up the fact that many had advised that importing meat from South Africa where the disease is endemic was bound to bring it to Britain. Blair did not want his Mandela PR moment spoiled, so they fabricated the narrative to suit.


I hope they don't create the bloody mess of last time with 6.5 million perfectly healthy animals slaughtered.

Vaccination will contain the disease, but last time it was not permitted to be used. Or at least any farmer that vaccinated and still got the disease in his herd would not receive full compensation, so farmers decided not to vaccinate, causing a far worse outbreak.

The mess and mismanagement was so bad, you could almost have believed it was deliberate. There was no blogosphere in 2001 to tell people about the lies being put out by the media and the government during the last outbreak. This time bloggers can do a lot to stop the government mismanaging the disease and putting the importance of their news narratives above the lives of millions of animals and the livelihood of those who live in the countryside.

Friday, August 03, 2007

ICM Guardian Are Sexing Up The 'Bounce'

Mike Smithson is an intelligent and professional psephologist. This morning on political betting he ties himself nearly into knots trying to find a logical explanation why when more pople are saying that they will vote Conservative in Q2 than did in Q1, yet ICM find that the Conservative share of the vote has fallen 10%.

http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2007/08/03/but-why-are-more-people-saying-they-will-vote-tory/

The evidence Smithson is uncovering should be placed alongside the blatant poll rigging carried out by ICM for which they publicly apologised. They omitted all kinds of key information from a front page poll trying to paint a picture of falling support for Cameron within the Conservative Party.

http://www.typepad.com/t/app/weblog/post?__mode=edit_entry&id=36913720&blog_id=555190

I've been writing here that the Brown Bounce doesn't exist for the reason that ICM polling was not looking properly at the evidence of its own polling. This morning's revelations on PB show yet more of the same. ICM have moved away from a sensible approach to poll analysis to try to manufacture the Brown Bounce.

http://politicalbetting.com/index.php/archives/2007/07/29/does-this-data-make-an-early-election-less-likely/

The only other poll to support ICM's polling was an unweighted YouGOV internet poll, which did not factor in that Labour supporters are far less likely to vote than Conservative. It seems that the Brown Bounce truly does not exist, and never existed in voting reality. There was a flurry of interest in Brown from non-voters but not enough to drive them to the polls.

Given the tenuous nature of the very few polls used to manufacture the Brown Bounce news narrative, it is quite extraordinary how much newsprint and airtime has been given over to in effect con the public. Well actually it's not - as, when you think about it, which news narratives are actually true these days? Any at all?

Mike Smithson provides nearly all the evidence but like the scientist that he is, he doesn't give you the answer to the $60 million dollar question. Has ICM Guardian got involved in distorting data to fit the news narrative, in the same way that Blair and Campbell distorted the intelligence to fit the strategy over Iraq? The answer is that they clearly have. As Andrew Gilligan would say, they've taken the information and 'sexed it up'.

The fact is that Saddam didn't have the WMD. And Brown hasn't bounced. Such is the power of the media to deceive that nearly everyone in Britain believes that he has.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Cameron the Strategist

Every day brings another pinprick story in the media trying to undermine David Cameron's authority.

Cameron does the right thing with all these little nuisances. As with all great strategists, he allows his enemies to attack him. He then holds his fire. He waits til they think they're getting away with it, and they begin to overextend themselves, and then smack, he takes them out with one well-timed thrust of the rapier.

It's like a fly buzzing around you while you're reading. Let the little shit think you're dozing and then take it out with a well-aimed swat.

Ken Clarke should really be dealt with by his own Constituents in Rushcliffe, and deselected for gross disloyalty to the Party - never mind his past illustrious record. Cameron's authority builds as he survives with relative ease these daily pinpricks in the media , and he will one day be ready to knife Ken Clarke. Just let Ken Clarke open his gob once or twice more and make himself a little more vulnerable.

It's the greatest strength of apparently gentle folk like Cameron. Their enemies underestimate them, think they are weak and that they'll be easy meat. Gentleness though does not invariably correspond with weakness.

I am sure that a lot of Cameron's modernising play is done to confuse opponents, and get them to start manoevres against him which he knows he will be able to deal with. It's always far easier to take out opponents who are over-confident. Gordon Brown, are you listening?