Bricks and mortar, continued spending caps and continued reviewing of the benefits system. Contrary to their general depiction, Ed Miliband has presented Labour as realising they cannot continue to be the ‘spending party’ if they were elected, such are the times we’re in. Much to the chagrin of the cost-cutting coalition as well, with Clegg knocking Miliband for apparent hypocrisy, describing Labour of ‘flip-flopping’ the issue - alas the continued degradation of a fine shoe.
The opposition leader said his party would allow councils to negotiate lower rents with landlords to cut housing benefit and free up money for housebuilding; he said people who have paid taxes for longer will get better benefits; and he also criticised the government’s “short-term” approach was failing with the welfare bill costing £20bn more than expected. It seems that the plan is to reverse the general trend of British politics, depicting the Tories as short-term and Labour as the long-term party, though in terms of cuts rather than spending. Whether Miliband’s attempts here work or not, remains to be seen.
The recent BBC Panorama / Telegraph sting on UK politicians willing to lobby for money is still unfolding, with Panorama due to air a programme about it on Thursday 6th June 2013. Prime Minister David Cameron was right to point out in a speech three years ago that lobbying was a scandal waiting to happen and a statutory register of lobbying interests is surely just around the corner now.
Caught up in the latest sting is one of the Conservative MP’s I used to advise, back in 2006, Colonel Patrick Mercer.
The whole incident is a bloody shame. Of all the MPs I ever worked with, Patrick is the most fun – he is a patriot, a star and a good bloke.
Yes, it seems likely that Patrick has made a mistake (just as the anti-Cameron rant was seen as mistake by those of us Conservatives who happen to be rather fond of our PM). As a consequence of this probable mistake Patrick has honourably resigned the Conservative whip and stated that he’ll resign as an MP come the next election. Patrick’s Newark constituency are said to be very upset that they are losing such a brilliant MP and someone so popular with voters (Patrick has turned what used to be a Labour seat into a Conservative seat and won with a stonking majority of 16,000 in 2010).
Conservative MP for Newark Patrick Mercer has resigned from the Conservative Parliamentary Party over a planned BBC Panorama report filed as part of an investigation led by BBC Panorama and the Daily Telegraph, which will allege that Mercer was in fundamental breach of House of Commons Lobbying Rules.
In a statement given to the press outside his office today Mercer said: "Panorama are planning to broadcast a programme alleging that I have broken Parliamentary rules.
‘The Glastonbury of the Mind’ is how Bill Clinton described the Hay Festival and while I would loathe to describe Glastonbury as mindless, the overt selling point of Hay is its intellectualism. Authors, philosophers, poets, ecologists, anthropologists, and some musicians as well, were among the headline acts here as part of the - in fact - two simultaneous festivals occurring in marquess either side of the Britain’s bookshop, Hay-on-Wye on the Welsh-English border (just in Wales, alas it is a British festival). These are the eponymous Hay Festival (the one with Sky Arts and BBC Three and Four popping up everywhere you go) and the Festival of Lights arranged by the Institute of Arts and Ideas, though the two form an organic (and I mean organic) whole of the Hay Festival as it is known to most people.
Gathering greater and greater popularity over the last few years, the festival is now pretty high-profile, foremost in Britain’s cultural calendar, as avid readers and thinkers flock to the Brecon’s for this feast of stimulation for the mind - and not in the Glastonbury way of stimulation. The late May bank holiday weekend sat in the middle of the festival is particularly popular as families on half-term and workers with some rare time off see this more peaceful, meandering festival as the perfect weekend off - not too strenuous, but with plenty of stimulation and entertainment on hand.
Disgraced Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock could be suspended from his position in the Liberal Democrat Party on the grounds of “very serious allegations”, surrounding several homosexual assaults which allegedly took place among MPs.
Written by Chris White
The Right Honourable Member who emphatically denies claims that he raped other male MPs inside Westminster Palace, was arrested over the allegations in 2010 however, at that time the Crown Prosecution Service stated that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.
The Woolwich attacks and murder of Drummer Lee Rigby has shocked Britain and rightly so. Any attack like this is shocking in its nature and the consequences are abhorrent. For a man to have survived Afghanistan and then to lose his lives in the supposedly peaceful harmony of south London is obviously greatly upsetting for his afflicted family and for the grieving nation.
The difficulty with this grief is that the attack can also become an emotional attack upon our reason and the threat of overreaction is worrying. In any normal circumstance the contents of this tragic affair would be described as a terrible act by an incredibly angry nutter. As it is, the perpetrators were muslims and one of them has been pursued by the secret services before.
There has been a 10th arrest in connection with last Wednesday’s Islamist murder ofFusilier DrummerLee Rigby in Woolwich.
Written by Chris White
The suspect who is a 50 year old male was arrested in Welling on Monday
Police are also currently searching two addresses in Southeast London and one address in South London.
Meanwhile the two Nigerian killers of Lee Rigby, 28 year old Michael Adebolajo and 22 year old Michael Adebowale, remain under arrest in hospital under suspicion of murdering the infantryman.
The Metropolitan Police have said that the two men would not be questioned until they have been discharged from hospital.
The murder on Wednesday has stoked heated debate and controversy throughout the nation, with several questions being raised in high places about the failure of British intelligence services to prevent the attack, after it was revealed that the two killers were already known to the security services.
It was also alleged by an associated of Mr. Adebolajo on Newsnight that MI5 had once approached Mr. Adebolajo with a job offer which he promptly rejected.
In response to the allegation Parliament’s Intelligence & Security Committee said it will investigate the actions of the security services in relation to the incident.
MI5 Chief Andrew Parker has reportedly told the head of the committee Sir Malcolm Rifkin, that the organization “wishes to co-operate fully with the investigations by the committee.”
The committee’s findings will be reported directly to the Prime Minister and then to Parliament. Most of the report will be made public except for redactions omitted on grounds of “national security.”
In an interview with Radio 4’s Today Program Rifkin said that he was “very confident” that the committee would leave no stone unturned saying, “we not only have the power to ask MI5 questions, we can also access all the relevant files, internal papers and any documents that are relevant to this matter.”
Today the Armed Forces Memorial Trust announced that Drummer Rigby's name will be added to the Armed Forces Memorial at the National Memorial Arboretum, saying: "Fusilier Lee Rigby was killed as a result of terrorist action outside Woolwich Barracks in London on May 22nd 2013 and qualifies for inclusion on the Armed Forces Memorial.
His name, along with other members of the UK armed forces who are killed on duty or through terrorist action in 2013, will be engraved in time for the Annual Service of Dedication in mid-2014."
In other developments two London War Memorials, one in honour of British airmen the other in honour of military pack animals and cavalry horses, were defaced with what appeared to be Islamist graffiti.
Only hours after two Nigerian Islamists ambushed and hacked a serving British soldier to death in the streets of Woolwich as he was walking back to the Royal Artillery Barracks yesterday, the BBC made a catastrophic error by inviting on its World News channel one of Britain’s worst Islamist terrorist sympathisers - Asghar Bukhari of the vile MPAC(UK), in the guise of a so-called “expert on extremism”.
Let’s remind ourselves of who Bukhari really is:
In 2006, Bukhari had sent David Irving a £60 cheque and a letter headed with a quote from John Locke, "All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to stand idle”. This was reported in UK paper The Observer as David Irving had made statements in the past supporting Holocaust Denial. Bukhari said that he felt that Irving was, "being smeared for nothing more than being anti-Zionist" and that the "pro-Israeli lobby often accuse people of anti-Semitism. He said he felt that Holocaust denial was wrong, and that he did not know that Irving was a Holocaust denier when he donated money to him.
Bukhari then scrabbled around for support but failed miserably to find any.
Now a pariah, Bukhari published an audiocast where he stated: "David Irving claimed he was not anti-Semitic and was in fact being attacked by the powerful pro-Israeli lobby; in short, being smeared ... I believed him, it's as simple as that ... I would not have supported anyone who is anti-Semitic."
No-one listened. Bukhari had shown his true colours.
Then, during the Gaza War, Bukhari was busted again when he wrote in a Facebook thread:
"Muslims who fight against the occupation of their lands are 'Mujahadeen' and are blessed by Allah. And any Muslim who fights and dies against Israel and dies is a martyr and will be granted paradise ... There is no greater oppressor on this earth than the Zionists, who murder little children for sport."
The British Centre for Social Cohesion passed his comments onto the UK police.
As a result, MPACUK responded by criticising the Centre for Social Cohesion for "wasting police time by reporting Asghar Bukhari for supposedly contravening the new law banning 'glorification of terrorism'. MPACUK – who actually care about stopping terrorism – expect our taxes to be spent trying to prevent anyone from blowing us up on tube trains (not dealing with politically-motivated malicious reports against media spokespeople from Muslim groups!)"
“It’s a depressing cycle of violence and it’s not going to end anytime soon”, was Bukhari’s pathetic justification for the Islamist hacking of a British soldier to death yesterday.
Confirming that most Muslim youths see themselves as being more loyal to Asian traditions and structures of authority than those which are British or European, Bukhari went on: “Muslim organizations [referred to by the interviewer as mainstream Muslim organizations] have failed to teach young people [young Muslim people] that there is another route for the grievance, the anger, the frustration that they feel about this government’s policies in the Muslim World.”
Then, announcing that more terrorist attacks would follow, Bukhari declared: “Young people are going to take to what they see on the television, they’re going to take to these barbaric attacks!” - Describing their grievances as “justifiable” and calling on the British Government to “admit this direct link” between “this radicalization that’s happening” and “their foreign policy.”
The attack comes as multiple plots by Islamists to assassinate soldiers in the streets of Britain have already been foiled in recent years and on the same day as the attack, immigrant riots continued to rock Sweden for a third day, erupting in a car burning epidemic in centres such as Malmö and Stockholm.
Asghar Bukhari is not representative of Muslims. He is a representative of political Islam which has no place in British politics in the hothead, extremist form personified by Bukhari.
The BBC should be ashamed. When an Islamist extremist atrocity has just occurred on Britain’s streets, Brits at home and abroad do not expect to turn on their televisions and watch a scraggy imp, who is an anti-Semitic Islamist extremist himself, justifying the atrocity.
Whoever was responsible at the BBC for inviting this warped, little devil into their studios should be sacked.
“The UK economy, bloody hell” might the retiring Sir Alex be inclined to say if he had been the manager of government rather than of the far more successful and popular Manchester Utd. Unfortunately Sir Alex’s career successes were mostly restricted to football and the Man Utd organisation, though many may wish someone with his conviction was running the economy rather than the Tory-Lib Dem coalition at the moment.
Alas, this isn’t the case and amid unpopular leadership, the Tories are completely divided on Europe and gay marriage, the Lib Dems are a cumbersome bed-fellow and the economy’s recovery has been even tougher than anticipated. It seems that rather than Ferguson’s Man Utd the UK government is probably more akin to the laughably relegated QPR of the season just passed.
It’s not all bad though. Despite Osborne playing the role of the austerity chancellor/pantomime villain with aplomb, the economy has shown seeds of recovery. We are no longer in recession and a glimmer of light is beginning to seep through a previously obstinate end of the proverbial of tunnel. There has even been some praise from the International Monetary Fund which has said that the UK has gained international praise for its relative economic conviction in what have been unconvincing times around the world.
The ‘79 Group’ was an internal faction within the SNP, named after the year that it was formed.
The group sought to persuade the SNP to take an active leftwing stance, arguing that it would win more support, and were highly critical of the established SNP leaders.