Friday, April 28, 2006

I can't stop watching this...

This is quite funny. It is a Belgian TV chat-show interview with a man who was castrated by mistake during an operation. The man's wife is sitting next to him. The entire conversation is in Flemish, but this does not matter.

Click below, and make sure you have sound turned on.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dave the Chameleon 2

Very funny...

England Expects: March 2006

England Expects: March 2006

hmm...I wonder if I can go into the 'not making shoes business' and therefore qualify for some subsidy for keeping Spanish shoe makers in business?

Dave the Chameleon

From Question Time last night....

Question Time – Osborne argues distinction between ‘Dave the Chameleon’ and UKIP ‘fruitcakes’

Thu, 20 Apr 06 | Adfero Report - Broadcast

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has dismissed suggestions that the Conservative Party are just as likely as the Labour Party to use negative campaigning to attack other political parties.

The Conservatives have attacked the Labour Party over negative campaigning after the Labour Party, in their first local election broadcast before the local elections in May, decided to brand Tory party leader David Cameron as a chameleon. Although, the Conservative leader himself made disparaging comments recently on a radio phone-in that the UK Independence party were ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly’.

Speaking on BBC One’s ‘Question Time’, Mr Osborne responded to the chameleon comments: ‘I thought it was a pretty significant moment. Here is a government that’s been in office for nine years, that keeps telling us and is desperate to tell us “don’t worry we haven’t run out of ideas and we’ve got lots of things we want to do in the future”, and here is their big change- they’ve got their party political broadcast… and they choose to do a negative attack on the new leader of the Conservative Party.’

He observed: ‘This is a party by the way [Labour] who came to office saying “I will never ever use negative advertising ever again” and that’s what’s happened nine years later.’

‘They’ve got nothing to say for themselves’, he remarked.

However, when suggestions were made by a members of the audience that the chameleon slur was not dissimilar to David Cameron’s suggestions that the UKIP were ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly’, Mr Osborne stressed: ‘There is a difference between a radio interview and designing a party political broadcast because this is all part of a Labour strategy.’

Commenting on Mr Cameron’s comments, he said: ‘The fascinating thing about that was the reaction of the UK Independence Party, which I promise you said “We don’t mind being called fruitcakes or loonies, but we object to being called closet racists” .’

‘Then the founder of the party, a guy called Alan Sked, came out and said “actually he was right to say that about us” ‘, Mr Osborne added

Odd thing is, Dr Sked isn't a member of UKIP. Guess which party he is a member of.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Cameron, the Tory Party, hypocrisy and nepotism

After the childish Mr Cameron threw his toys out of the pram by calling UKIP "racists" I thought I would write to his office and ask for either a jusitification or an apology.

My letter to him:

Mr Cameron,

I am writing to request from you an apology for the unfounded slur you made on the UK Independence Party, it's supporters and voters. Indeed, as a former member of the Conservative Party I know of many of your elected officials and long time members who have voted UKIP and who, therefore, come under the umbrella of your accusation.

I had the pleasure of your company one evening at a dinner at Royal Holloway College where we were sitting next to each other: I trust then that my company did not lead you to believe that I was a racist.

Politics is made interesting and lively by people sharing different views, and debating those views. My opinion that the UK would be better off outside of the EU, where we could experience a proper democracy, sensible legislation and our own trade and development policy is one shared by many, and does not make me a racist. Nor does my view that those of us living in the South East who would prefer not to have an extra 1.5m homes built, essentially in our back gardens, make me a fruitcake: particularly given that with the current hose pipe ban, car washing and manicured lawns in Surrey is made very difficult.

You must be aware by now of how answering the question of why you think UKIP are a bunch of racists with the jealous and spiteful mutterings and lies of Dr Alan Sked is not taken seriously by anyone. I await your reply with interest and hope,

Yours etc,

'his' reply to me:

Many thanks for your email to David Cameron about his recent comments regarding UKIP - I'm replying on his behalf.

I must apologise for the delay in replying to your email - I'm sure you can understand that we've been completely inundated with correspondence since David took over as Leader.

I can appreciate your views, however, a number of people have made allegations about UKIP’s links to the far right. David Cameron was simply reflecting that fact when he was pressed about his opinion of UKIP.

You might be interested to know that Ashok Viswanathan of Operation Black Vote has said: ‘There’s no doubt that when you talk about the UKIP they’re wolves in sheeps clothing… We know that a number of candidates who have stood for UKIP have BNP links – there’s no question there are links’. He suggested UKIP had been spreading ‘hate and bigotry’, adding: ‘It’s not just about anti-Europe. It’s anti-black, it’s anti-minority, anti-migrants, anti-asylum seekers. And we should be very clear about that when we vote on June 10th’ (Black Information Link, 9 June 2004).
The Commission for Racial Equality in Wales has also stated that during the European Elections in 2004, ‘we received many complaints from members of the public about election materials issued for both the BNP and UKIP’ (Annual Report, Commission for Racial Equality in Wales, 2004).

Regarding Europe, we want Britain to be a positive participant in the EU, championing liberal values. Britain has an enormous amount to gain through co-operation and free trade in Europe. The EU does much that is worthwhile. It allows people and goods to move freely across Europe. Just as importantly it has brought stability and has helped to entrench democracy in newly free countries.

But the European Union is not working as it should. It does too much and too much of what it does do, it does badly. The EU needs reform, and Britain, one of its leading members, must be at the front pushing for change. We must challenge the culture of the EU - leaving it to focus on its real job: making the single market work properly and championing free trade. Every European country needs to be competitive with the emerging giants such as China and India. Britain needs to be able to operate a highly flexible labour market. British jobs depend on British Governments being able to retain and enhance that labour market flexibility. That is why our priority is must be the return of powers over employment and social regulation.

The EU needs reform in other areas too. The Common Fisheries Policy has not worked well. We can do more to conserve fish stocks through local management and bilateral agreements. Our farmers have already made tremendous efforts to adapt to change in the Common Agricultural Policy, but reform here too must go further.

We believe in an open, flexible Europe. We do not believe in a United States of Europe. That is why we oppose the EU Constitution in principle, and why we must make sure that the federal agenda contained within it is not introduced through the back door. It is best for Britain’s economy if Britain controls its own interest rates, so we rule out ever joining the euro.

Thank you once again for taking the time and trouble to write.

Yours sincerely,

Alice Sheffield

Christopher Booker's notebook, Sunday Telgraph 16th April (hasn't the Telegraph gone all sensible recently!)

David Cameron spells out his new recipe for disaster
'Catch the bus when you can." "Get to know your neighbours better." "Pick up one piece of litter from the street every day." "Don't overfill your kettle." With advice such as this, the leaflet handed to delegates at last weekend's Tory spring conference in Manchester must rank as the most self-parodyingly condescending piece of litter ever produced by a political party.

Last week it became more apparent than ever just what a catastrophic blunder the Tories made in picking David Cameron as their leader. In talking to Tory activists, MPs and councillors, three incidents seem to have confirmed their view that the party has been hijacked by a gang of spoiled children who appear to have no contact with the realities with which the rest of us live.
The first was that toe-curling speech in which Mr Cameron seemed to emphasise that the only policy in which he believes is the "green revolution", typified by his plan to spend three days "watching glaciers dry" in Norway.

The second was his outburst against the "closet racists" of the UK Independence Party (Ukip). When various Ukip supporters wrote asking how Mr Cameron could justify this insulting claim, the reply from his correspondence secretary, Alice Sheffield, was that his view of Ukip had been confirmed by Ashok Viswanathan of "Operation Black Vote".

It then turned out that Miss Sheffield is Mr Cameron's sister-in-law and that Operation Black Vote is a rum outfit indeed for the Tory party to be consorting with: an aggressively propagandist black lobby group, chiefly funded by the European Social Fund, the European Parliament, various Labour councils and Ken Livingstone's "Government of London". If a similar body were to be set up calling itself "Operation White Vote'", it would soon be prosecuted under the Race Relations and Public Order Acts.

The third shock, just when our country is ruled by the most incompetent, corrupt, discredited government in its history, crying out for trenchant opposition on almost every conceivable issue, from the shambles of the NHS and the destruction of our local government, to the selling out of our Armed Forces to political correctness and a cracked dream of European integration, has been the way that Mr Cameron and his gang seem to have decided that their "Not The Conservative Party" must stop trying to be an opposition - the very task for which we taxpayers give them £4 million a year.

"The real problem," as one dismayed senior Tory put it recently, "is that it is going to take two more years before this disaster can be undone. Labour walks the next election, and then we're going to have to start all over again."

Monday, April 10, 2006

I couldn't have put it better myself

Mr Heffer was excellent on Any Questions, and this editorial in the Telegraph marks a much welcomed change in the Torygraph coverage. I had actually stopped reading it, ever since work UKIp did on a story and quotations from Nigel Farage were attributed to Dan Hannan and the Tories. Not cricket, my dear fellows.

Simon Heffer on Saturday
By Simon Heffer
(Filed: 08/04/2006)
Not all the loonies are in UKIP, Dave

You won't believe this - no, really, you won't - but there are people now running the Conservative Party who think it was brilliant of Dave to describe UKIP as "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly". One of them is his own party chairman, Francis Maude, who was clearly on something yesterday morning when, with no regard at all for the truth, he described UKIP as wanting an "all-white Britain". These two "loonies" regard this smear on thousands of decent, harmless and patriotic people as a masterstroke in Dave's desire to
"reposition" the party.

More in sorrow than in anger - I can't take Dave and Francis sufficiently seriously to get angry about them - I feel I must offer some advice. They are repositioning their party in much the same fashion as Senator Ted Kennedy used to reposition cars after a night's boozing. It's all very well abusing your core vote, provided you can find others to vote for you instead: but the UKIP blunder has simply served to remind everyone of Dave's inexperience, stupidity and shallowness, and that is hardly going to help drum up support.

Two years ago, a friend who is also a Tory MP - indeed, who is now a member of Dave's shadow cabinet - asked me to speak at a dinner in his constituency. I delivered a speech about the wickedness of the European constitution, then not the dead duck it is today. It was a month before the European elections. Afterwards, streams of people queued up to tell me the same thing: that, despite being members of the Tory party, they would all be voting UKIP in the euros.

Dave would like to pretend to the contrary, but a sizeable proportion of those activists on whom his candidates will depend to run their election campaigns in 2009 or 2010 are regular UKIP voters. That is because they regard the Tory party's position on Europe as dishonest and unrealistic. They are right to do so.

This does not make them either loonies or fruitcakes, and by no stretch of the imagination does it make them racists, closet or otherwise. And they will this week have heard what their leader said about them, and been horrified. Indeed, their horror has been eloquently expressed on the letters page of this very paper.

The more one thinks about what Dave did, the more idiotic he seems. If he finds UKIP's position so appalling, why is he proposing to shift his own MEPs towards it by withdrawing them from the EPP grouping in the European Parliament? It couldn't be because he needed to say that to win the backing of Right-wing MPs during his election campaign, could it, and that, since he has no principles, it was an easy promise to make?

More stunning even than that, though, is the failure of this man - whose friends are always telling us how clever he is - to apologise for what has universally now been recognised as a damaging and stupid mistake.

With that smug, self-righteous arrogance we have come to expect of a man whose only training for high office was to be a PR spiv, Dave has not only failed to do that, but he has also compounded his offence by attempting to defend himself. The overpaid teenagers who work for him and write his jokes will have told him that this makes him look decisive, resolute and tough. In fact, as older and wiser hands in his own parliamentary party readily concede, it makes him look a little plonker.

Well, Dave, old boy, if you want to continue this strategy of cleaning out your core vote, here are a few more suggestions. Use a keynote speech at your conference this weekend to attack the Women's Institute ("bigots"), the Brigade of Guards ("fascists"), the Salvation Army ("paedophiles"), the Guide Dogs for the Blind Association ("Nazis") and Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother ("crackhead"), just to liven things up a bit. And enjoy your retirement!´

The Times have another excellent article today, about the absence of Europe in Cameron's speech. As they point out:

Any policy without a European element is only half a policy, if that.

The reason? Westminster just 'rubber stamps' the Brussels work, and very little original legislation actually comes from MPs. Mr Cameron, trying to appease his eurosceptic supporters said that the Tories would oppose ID cards and regionalisation. Yet both of these come from Europe. A major area he chose to talk about was the environment, now a competence of the EU, and the Court of Justice has precedence to take countries to court if they do not obey EU envirnoment legislation.

As my friend and Tory councillor put to me 'is he a socialist plant?' because Blue Labout is going a pretty good job of being more unrealistic, more incomeptent and more left wing than new Labour!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Wet behind the ears? What gives you that impression?

Oh Mr Cameron, what have you done? You can't go around accusing your political opponents of being 'racist' because you are bitter they have parked their tanks on your lawns.

We know that you have completely abandoned your traditional spot on the centre right, and are no longer the party of low tax, choice and independence but accusing UKIP of a criminal charge isn't really the right way to react now, is it.

Isn't it somewhat telling that you could not get a single elected official to follow the party line on newsnight last night, which is why you had to wheel out Dr Alan Sked to lead the attack? A bit odd, though, basing your opinion on the words of the man who, when he was leader of UKIP, brought a BNP activist in to be head of research, and was subsequently expelled?

I am sure there are people of dubious opinion in all political parties - indeed the above mentioned Mr Sked is a member of none other than the Conservative Party - but the elected officials and senior officials in UKIP are not racist, nor have they been, and an apology must be forthcoming. Or is Mr Cameron too scared to admit that he is a young, naïve politician who is only used to dealing with a positive image?

It must have been hard for him, I guess, when his plans to only tell the Electoral Commission the names of people who had been funding 'Blue Labour', fell through after UKIP reminded him that the Electoral Commission is subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Did he not know that? Odd, considering he voted for it...

The trouble for him is that UKIP read legislation. We were the party who found the clause in the Treaty Establishing a Consitution for Europe which said that if 20 countries ratified, then the Super State Scheme could press ahead without the others. That was, of course, ridiculed at the time and, as you could have heard on Radio 4 the other week, is now stated as fact.

Politics is becoming such a dire game: the expectations people put on politicians that they are whiter than white (although in the context of this, maybe that phrase will not be allowed?), have no past history, don't do anything wrong, never experimented when they were younger surely rules out in the future any politicians having gone to university? And who wants the governing elite (I use that losely, we all know that about 80% of our laws are made in Brussels) who are tediously dull with no life experience? That is the way I see the new faces of New Labour and Blue Labour going. To quote a friend who text me last night:

'To suggest that I am in touch with the modern Tory party would be missing the point'. And I met him through the Tory Party....