Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Gordon Brown on Youtube

You may have seen that Gordon Brown appeared on Youtube today. Now if that was not bad enough, he also announced his plan to tackle the issue of MP's expenses in the video instead of announcing the proposal in Parliament, who will have to vote on it anyway.

This seems another example of the New Labour media machine showing its contempt for the British Parliament and it also seems that Gordon Brown is trying to score some cheap political points with the general public ahead of the budget day tomorrow, as it is strange that Mr Brown has not paid too much attention to MP's expenses before this video was released...

Anyway here is the video.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Look up 'totalitarianism' in the dictionary and you will see a picture of Jacqui Smith

I was rather expecting this to be the result anyway but today the Director of Public Prosecutions has said that the case against the Conservative MP Damien Green and the Home Office official, who leaked the information about immigration, has been dropped.

I am pleased with this outcome because I believe that it is the job of the political opposition to release information about the government, if they believe that it shows that the government has failed in its tasks. Of course you have to draw the line at releasing documents that could be a threat to national security like intelligence or military matters, afterall it would have been a disaster if Nazi Germany had documents leaked to them about the D-Day landings.

I also believe that the Home Secretary, who defended the police inquiry, acted in a way which puts a nasty totalitarian taste in my mouth because it really does appear that the Home Secretary ordered the arresting of a opposition politician for just doing his job. Jacqui Smith has said that "in the face of sustained leaks, it had been necessary to prevent further sensitive material being made public. I have always been clear that the investigation was the responsibility of the police. My priority and the Home Office priority in this is to make sure that we maintain the protection of some of the most sensitive information in government. That is what we set out to do at the beginning of this".

Okay, if this was sensitive information it would be a good idea to keep it concealed, but the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer has said that the leaked documents were not a threat to national security. I can’t see these documents devastating the allied invasion of Normandy. He also said "It did not relate to military, policing or intelligence matters. It did not expose anyone to a risk of injury or death. Nor, in many respects, was it highly confidential. Much of it was known to others outside the civil service. For example, in the security industry or the Labour Party or Parliament".

So I rather expect that Gordon Brown and Jacqui Smith will have to comment before long on the statement by the Public Prosecutions Service and to explain why they believe that their actions were correct. Damien Green has also released a statement today saying that the that responsibility "lies with ministers all the way up to the Prime Minister". He went on to say "This illustrates a lot about this Government. The first is that they are deeply embarrassed by the failures of their immigration policy. They were legitimate stories that exposed that our borders were not safe and secure. That is the job of the opposition".

So I am glad that it has been proved that Damien Green was only doing his job and acting in the public interest. However while worst things have happened to other arrested politicians in the past, this whole case has lead me to believe more then any other that this government is a ‘soft totalitarian’ one and I hope that they are out of power before they harden in the beautiful sun we have been having lately.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Re-drawing the political map

I read an interesting proposal from the Conservatives today to reduce the number of MP’s in the House of Commons by up to 65, which would also involve a large overhaul of constituency boundaries.

These proposals are in response to the public outcry over the abuses of parliamentary expenses. David Cameron said “All week I've been receiving letters from people saying the same thing - how can MPs claim they're helping people through the recession when so many of them seem to be feathering their own nests?.”

He went on to say “They are right to be angry. We need to sort this out immediately. At a time when families and businesses are being forced to cut back politicians should be asking how they can help bring down the cost of politics across the board. It is taxpayers' money after all.”

At present there are 646 MP’s and this plan would cut that amount to well under 600. I think that reducing the number of MP’s would be a good idea, not only because some members have to stand during the bigger debates, but because I believe that there are currently too many MP’s and cutting down on the amount will save the taxpayers money. According to the Daily Telegraph, this saving would be more than £12 million a year.

I also believe that this is an issue which needs to be looked at because the current boundary system gives the Labour Party an advantage and means that the Conservatives need a double-digit swing to win an overall majority, so I expect that Labour are going to try to resist attempts to change the current political map.

So I hope that these proposals go forward and as Mr Cameron has said "I believe every vote should carry the same weight, which means levelling up the size of constituencies. That would help reduce the number of MPs, save money and give people confidence that their vote really mattered."

Sunday, 5 April 2009

That Ed Balls I, he was dead wrong

I am usually a large critic of the Schools Secretary Ed Balls, but I do support his latest comments about history lessons and that children should study major events in British history, like the World Wars, the Industrial Revolution, the War of the Roses and the like.

As I am also studying for a history degree, I also agree that it is nonsense that pupils should ever learn about Twitter and other social networking websites at the expense of understanding the past in the curriculum for under-11’s. This begs the question, where did this crazy idea come from? Well it appears that it is from a review which was carried out by Sir Jim Rose, former head of inspections at Ofsted and it suggested that schools would be able to drop the Victorians and the Second World War (which I consider is some of this nation’s finest history) so they could have more freedom to decide what periods of history were taught.

But even worst, the plans would allow geography and history to be grouped together under 'human, social and environmental understanding' the latter sounds a bit too much like 'Green Propaganda' for my liking. It would also allow more time to be available to look at new technology and using websites like Wikipedia, I could not think of a worst website to carry out research with!

However even though Ed Balls has said "The idea that primary school children will learn how to use Twitter and about social networking instead of learning about the Victorians and the Tudors is just complete nonsense," it still seems that he has said that one of the school lessons will now be called 'historical, geographical and social understanding' and that teachers will be given the liberty to study two areas in depth. He also said "In addition they will study a minimum of two periods of history in depth as well as learning about the movement and settlement of people in different periods of British history and the effects of economic, technological and scientific developments on the UK and the worldwide overtime."

Sir Jim’s plans will be submitted as part of a final report over the coming weeks and traditional subjects will be grouped under six headings which include understanding English, communication and languages; mathematical understanding; scientific and technological understanding; understanding physical health and wellbeing; and understanding arts and design.

I disagree with these changes as they seem to be making the under 11 curriculum more complex then it needs to be or ought to be. It is good to hear that the Conservative shadow schools minister Nick Gibb is not in favour of this report, saying "We have already questioned the Rose review because it is an approach to education that parents don't want for their children. They want them to have a good introduction to reading, writing, maths and science - just as they want British history and the geography of the world to be taught in full. That is not what Sir Jim was proposing. The comments by Ed Balls blow a hole in the entire review." I hope so.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Daniel Hannan MEP appears on Glenn Beck

I have noticed that the video showing the attack by Daniel Hannan MEP on Gordon Brown when he visited the European Parliament appears to be an internet sensation. As these three minutes are almost as electrifying as the first three minutes during the birth of the universe, I thought I would comment my own response to it.

I think that it has become such a phenomenon, mostly in America but not that much in Britain (most likely because of the BBC) because:

(a) Daniel Hannan is quite unknown and the fact he has come out of nowhere and pretty much said in three minutes what most people think of Gordon Brown’s policies on getting out of the recession makes him seem like an unsung hero of common sense politics.

(b) Because the language he used and the fact that he is very articulate, also must have made people interested in his speech, which I believe seemed more like a member of the public on politician rather then politician on politician.

(c) I can’t give a American perspective, but from a British of point I believe that the Youtube internet channel is bigger in the United States. Therefore after its use during the Obama campaigning, I believe that the country has a developed a ‘taste’ for internet political videos and clips like these will most likely famous as they are spread from user to user.

I have added a video of Daniel Hannan being interviewed on Fox News and I look forward to hearing your comments.