March 2014

Write to your MP?

The Prince and the Pauper, unequal treatment for those who would complain

Boots ahoy!Boots ahoy!
Despite what the press would have us think most people are normally ambivalent about the House of Windsor. When, for example, Prince Charles paid a visit to the Somerset Levels in flood the MSM followed him around as if this visit was very important. After all here was a man who has opinions on just about everything, not least 'climate change'. However, this boots in water moment might have been for the press and assorted public servants a moment to treasure but in reality was simply a circus. Charles thinks he knows best and thinks knows enough to be taken seriously and he's not above using his position to write to the government. True we can all do that but not with the same expectation.

But now after nine years of trying by the Guardian it looks like letters sent by Charles to government ministers and officials will be made public. The attorney general, Dominic Grieve, had blocked their publication despite a court action clearing the way for this. As we see all sorts of silly reasons why these letters should not be made public have been put forward. It is bad enough to suffer the distortions of a representative democracy but allowing Charles to influence in a way not open to all is totally wrong. The MSM gives far too much attention to this man and not enough to attempts to bring forward direct democracy.

in

Tony Benn

Nationalised treasure and man of conviction

Tony Benn,  1925 -  2014Tony Benn, 1925 - 2014
A decent chap? Probably, but a clever politician? That's not so clear. The death of Tony Benn has brought forth fulsome praise for him as a man and a character. Those with long memories will recall when he joined a cause he became the cause. An ideal radio and TV performer Benn never travelled without his pipe or a ready quip, the press loved both. Benn was not our first national treasure but was in a perverse way 'nationalised' very early on in his political career. It was in this form that he took up the cause of opposing European integration. As Helen Szamuely points out he was on the losing side in 1975. It would be wrong to make out he alone was responsible for the defeat but he was very active. So on the one hand he gets praised for his energy but on the other was too easily seduced by the media and his part of it.

And so to Tony Benn's consistent and ideologically pure euroscepticism that began long before the word was invented. There can be no doubt about its sincerity or that he was motivated to a great extent by a love for Parliament and parliamentary democracy. He was also motivated by a fear that, once in the EEC, Britain would never become the socialist country he wanted it to be.

Do they understand?

But then do you!

Gemma Worrell   Gemma Worrell
Poor Ms Worrall. She is the fragrant 20 year old from Blackpool who has become famous for her tweet -

Why is our president Barraco Barner getting involved with Russia, scary.

In her defence it should be said that Obama became the 44th President of America in 2009 when Worrall was 15 years old. As for the comment 'our president', well the BBC has, all those years, treated Obama as if he is the Messiah so perhaps her mistake is understandable. Which leads us on to the flatulent Nick Clegg. He is older than Worrall but politically just as ignorant. And try as he did with his speech at the LibDem conference the possibility is the Worrall Tweet will be read by more people than attendees at his conference. This despite the BBC trying to present his words as important.

The Spectator reported on the Worrall story and it got over 170 comments from readers. By contrast the reports about Clegg scored 36, 234, and 6. Now you would have thought the politician would have fared better than that. And there was a less than favourable reaction to Clegg from the Guardian too.

Seeing is believing

The view from No10, a spin doctor speaks

Does TV ever lie?Does TV ever lie?

Some years ago David Cameron worked for Carlton TV as Director of Corporate Affairs. Perhaps it was here he honed his skills as a spin doctor. For, make no mistake, our PM is a master of the art. Thanks to the efforts of Paul Homewood who sent a Freedom of Information request to Downing Street we learn a great deal. Homewood runs a blog called - NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT , and had noted that during PMQs David Cameron stated:

I agree with you that we are seeing more abnormal weather events. Colleagues across the House can argue about whether that is linked to climate change or not. I very much suspect that it is.


Homewood asked - Please advise:

1) What evidence the PM has that "abnormal events are increasing"
2) What evidence he has that the recent bad weather is in any way "abnormal"

A reply from Nicholas Howard of the Cabinet Office stated -

The Act provides access to recorded information. In this case the quote you have provided makes it clear this is a visual observation - “we are seeing”.

Indeed we are Mr Howard! Our suspicions are being confirmed and your boss will be looking for another job soon!