Monday, 26 October 2015

An open letter to my son

An open letter in the Guardian went viral recently with people mostly shocked at the self centred, bordering on narcissistic, attitude of the author. It would be easy to tear in to her, many have already so I'm not doing that. Instead I thought about what I want to say to my son who, at 4 years old, wouldn't fully understand.

Dear Thomas,

I know this year has been confusing with Daddy having to move somewhere else but I want you  to know how proud I am of you. You've started school with more enthusiasm than I ever remember having. Being so young in the year (30th of August baby) I was impressed there was no tears at all. However on your second day to run up the stairs and in without a goodbye hug was a shock, seems Mummy and Daddy were more emotional than you.

I remember holding you just after you were born and feeding your your first bottle. It is a moment that will stay with me forever, you were early and so small but perfect. Unfortunately Daddy got ill and missed a lot of the special moments in that first year but you did sit up for the first time in front of me, thank you for that, I treasure memories like that more than you will realise.

You gave us a scare though. The December after you were born you got bronchitis and you weren't able to clear your throat one night. Luckily Daddy gave you a bog enough slap on the back that it cleared you out but seeing your little lips turn blue scared me more than I can describe.

What's amazed me is how well you take to everything that is new. From moving to your big boy bed and when you needed glasses you have done it all with little fuss. In fact you do it with such excitement you make even something difficult enjoyable.

I know Daddy doesn't always stay patient with you but you are a good boy, if a little cheeky! But being a parent means you take the rough with the smooth and you have had your moments. But the tantrums and tears don't happen often, hopefully me and your Mum are doing something right.

All I want for you in life is to be happy and I will do all I can to make that happen. Just know that even though I can't always be there that I will always love you and nothing in my life is more important.

All my love


Thursday, 10 April 2014

What could be worse than the Maria Miller scandal?

So Maria Miller has finally stepped down/been sacked/whatever over he expenses claims. Now while the committee cleared her something stank about it all. The Leveson mentions, the PPC car crash actions and her lack of cooperation with the investigation. However something far more damaging has happened. Michael Fabricant has been sacked as the party vice chairman.

Most political tweeters know who Fabbers is. Liked by more "enemies" than any other MP on twitter he actually engages with people. Replying to many tweets and enjoying more than his fair share of twanks. Plus his constantly changing array of Fabatars are a wonder to behold. Most of all people respect him for his honest opinion, regardless of the party line Fabbers speaks his mind.

Now, according to the man himself he was sacked for his thoughts on Maria Miller (obviously) and his stance on HS2.
Just in case he deletes it: "Been asked to resign as Vice Chairman, refused, so sacked over HS2 and my views on a recent Cabinet Minister. Still available 4 speeches etc"

Let's cover these issues separately. Maria Miller stepping down was big news, with as much anger about her attitude as her expenses. I have a feeling she was nudged by the top brass to make that decision, either way Fabbers was right when he said "about time". 

But perhaps the bigger issue was HS2. This is a thorny issue for the government, Labour are playing games over it and there will be a back bench rebellion, a loss is on the cards. With his public opposition to it Fabbers upset the leadership.

He has been speaking to people about their concerns and making proposals to amend the route but they have fallen on deaf ears. So in his usual open and honest way he said he was left woth "no choice" but to vote against it. 

So Mr Cameron what kind of party do you want? Would you like more open and honest people like Fabbers? Or do you want to become like ukip, where deviation from the dear leader Farage must be punished?

I know one thing, until Michael Fabricant gets a senior position in the party or government then the Tories have lost my vote. Politics needs more open, honest and charming people like him. 

Supporting someone unpopular is one thing, sacking someone people like is beyond stupid.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

The SNP don't want independence

Nicola Sturgeon was at her blustering best on Daily Politics and refusing to answer questions and also making veiled threats that an independent Scotland wouldn't take it's share of the national debt unless they get the currency union with Sterling. Well as with all SNP interviews she was made to look like a total fool by Andrew Neil.
David Cameron played a blinder when he refused the "devo max" option on the vote, forcing the straight yes or no question. With every passing week the SNP appear like teenagers threatening to leave home. You might think they are gone but they seem to eat your food, drink your drink and come to you whenever anything goes wrong.

If you want independence then you must be independent, that's it, no ifs or buts. Using Sterling with the B of E as lender of last resort is not independent. Equally the rest of the UK population might have something to say about that, after all the Euro currency union has worked so well. Surely we all get a vote on such an arrangement, or do the SNP think it right to dictate to England and Wales? Too much hard earned money flows north of the border as it is, if they want independence then I don't want my pennies insuring a socialist nutters spending.

But this whole "bullying" line peddled by the SNP is political. Salmond's rhetoric has always been about English people dictating from an English parliament, stirring up what amounts to racism in the search of votes. That's why he wants to debate David Cameron. Cameron would tear him to shreds in any intellectual debate but every answer would be met with a rabble rousing response. 
"Of course I want independence Geppetto"
I'm actually half Scottish and very proud of that fact. The behavior of some of the yes campaign is disgusting, when, like me, you have always identified yourself as a proud Brit it's actually painful to start supporting the campaign for them to leave the UK. But I do, not like the SNP do but because I feel a bit "you want it, fine, have it, good luck". Then watch as in 20 to 30 years there economy is wrecked and we have to shore up the border because of economic migrants (in my story we are no longer in the EU).

But I don't think the SNP want it. They would much rather keep the hated English money pouring in so they can afford all the free NHS prescriptions and tuition fees they like without having to worry about the financial consequences.

On performances like yesterday's though I fear we are stuck with them,

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Well flood me!

It's all been happening while I have been away.  Sorry for the lack of blogs, I shall explain at some point but in short I have been having a tough time and found myself unable to write or care about anything. But I am back, let us have some fun.

The big news at the moment is the floods, I wouldn't worry, the people who tell you that the world will boil said we would have an arctic winter. It will arrive soon I am sure and we can all go skating in the west country.

There has been some point scoring and mud slinging but i wanted to make some points of my own about some of the contentious issues.

David Cameron's flood visits

Of course he should go, he is the PM after all and has a significant role in the response to these floods. I must also commend him on the silencing of Eric Pickles. Now is not the time for the blame game, now is the time for supporting hard hit areas in the best way possible. A review of who/what policy caused the problem can come when everyone is back in their homes.

Ed Miliband's flood visit

Pointless, totally pointless, and good on Alok Sharma for calling him out on it.

If, as Ed claims, he wants to "work together" why not arrange a meeting with Alok in advance? Surely through the network of Labour party activists & trade union links they could summon up some volunteers to get their hands dirty and help. The same applies to all politicians, unless your actual ministerial job means you need to do something then don't pitch up for a photo op without doing something to help.

Wellies & waterproofs

The fact that Nigel Farage had a dirty set of waders on doesn't make him a "man of the people", christ I don't own a pair of wellies (you try finding a decent, affordable pair in size 14), does that make me out of touch with the common man? As I understand it Farage likes to go fishing, waders explained.


The people affected are blaming the environment agency, the current government or the previous one and they all have a differing case to answer for. But nobody seems to blame the rainfall, the worst in over 100 years. I suspect that even with perfect management of the rivers and flood defences this would have been a flood year.

If you build on a flood plain expect floods from time to time. However the warning signs have been in place with previous floods, the environment agency, which rated it's flood preparation as excellent, has some questions to answer here.

Good luck to all effected by the floods.

Monday, 27 January 2014

Rufus Hound wants you to die in a pool of your own piss

The NHS was in absolute crisis when the coalition came to power. Not that you could talk about it though, Labour had made the NHS a religion, to say anything negative, regardless of its failings, would an act of blasphemy. Mid Staffs was the result of this perfect storm of an above critique monopoly, whistle blowers scared to come out, a government (Labour) hushing up bad news for political reasons and no accountability.

Rufus Hound thinks this is how the NHS should be run, an unaccountable monopoly where it doesn't matter what service people get because they can't afford anything else. What he wants, unless you're rich, you know the kind of person who's family could afford to privately educate their children, if that you die of dehydration in a bed, laying in your own excrement and urine, as long as it's a bed that is untouched by the private sector.

Thing is Rufus thinks that Mid Staffs was caused by a few bad eggs, not a systematic failure of the structure in place.

Of course some of them screw up from time to time – sometimes with tragic results – but that’s because they’re human beings. Fallible human beings. And if you employ over a million of them, (as the NHS does), mistakes will be made. 

He has also proved his lefty credentials by quoting a "fact" without supporting evidence to link it up. Actually it screams of a lift from a "Dr" Eoin Clarke list that he later had to apologise for. 

It’s also the most cost effective health care system in the world. For every pound spent on the NHS, it returns a value of five times that to the economy.

Oh lets not forget the classic "It’s ours, not theirs" comment. Well what about those that support the NHS reforms? I earn less than the national average, hardly a member of the evil rich and I fully support it. 

Private companies working within the NHS can do brilliant things and actually increase the services available to us. I had an operation in 2012 and part of the process was an MRI scan that a private company did. They had fitted out an HGV with the scanner and equipment. Parking up at the hospital they see all the minor cases, leaving the hospital scanner for more complex issues, meaning I got seen much sooner. 
Mid Staffs, Hound thinks this is acceptable 
An element of competition can help as well, monopolies don't have to worry about how well they provide a service, not like you have any other choice. Remember the stories of how long it took to get a phone line before it was privatised? Do you want that service in healthcare?

Ultimately I think people will realise that it doesn't matter how universal health care is delivered, as long as it is. But imagine if Rufus was to get what he wanted. At least when his wife died of MRSA from a routine bunion operation he could take comfort in the fact it was in a fully public NHS.

P.S. Worth noting that he just happens to be getting big publicity at the exact same time he needs to sell tickets to a show he is in. A coincidence I am sure.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Lenin quotes and Labour

There's a brilliant article on Backbencher this morning with a selection of Lenin's most chilling quotes. We all know the left love this man, he's a socialist hero.

The quotes make for scary reading on their own but then I noticed something in them. Labour's policies and actions since 1997 seem to match up with some of the quotes.

“Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.”

Ever notice how so many of the young that were educated under Labour are socialist wannabes? Since then the unions have been trying to get propaganda into schools. You might suggest that the unions aren't Labour, under Ed Miliband they most definitely are.

“We can and must write in a language which sows among the masses hate, revulsion, and scorn towards those who disagree with us.”

The left don't just disagree with the right, they froth at the mouth in rage at our mere presence. We don't have different ideologies, we are evil.

“The bourgeoisie is many times stronger than we. To give it the weapon of freedom of the press is to ease the enemy’s cause, to help the class enemy. We do not desire to end in suicide so we will not do this.”
Their conduct over Leverson showed how much they hate a free press.
“A lie told often enough becomes the truth.”
WMD's anyone. Also the lies about immigration they so often told.
“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

Bankers taxes, mansion tax (Lib Dem idea supported by Labour), council tax increases the list goes on.

“One man with a gun can control 100 without one.”

Handgun ban.

“There are no morals in politics; there is only expedience. A scoundrel may be of use because he is a scoundrel.”

Alastair Campbell, Damian McBride, Tom Watson, Len McKluskey, Ed Balls. I could go on but you get the idea.

“It is true that liberty is precious; so precious that it must be carefully rationed.”
Labour gradually eroded our privacy while in power through several new laws.

“He who now talks about the “freedom of the press” goes backward, and halts our headlong course towards socialism.”
Leverson again.

“Treat the Jews and urban inhabitants in the Ukraine with an iron rod, transferring them to the front, not letting them into government agencies (except in an insignificant percentages, in particularly exceptional circumstances).”

To put this another way, how many right wingers work in the public sector? Those who do are almost scared to admit their political leanings.

“We shall not bind ourselves by treaties. We shall not allow ourselves to be entangled by treaties.”

For treaty read manifesto. Labour's last big promise was a say on the EU constitution, they didn't give us it.

“It is necessary -  secretly and urgently to prepare the terror.”

Constant terror alerts, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, the list goes on. Keep them scared to keep them under control.

Scary stuff isn't it. Lets hope they don't get in again.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Lord Rennard, a victim of mob rule

I may be alone in this but I am sat here feeling sorry for Lord Rennard. What he has been accused of is indeed disgusting but as it stands they are merely accusations, nothing more. But that doesn't matter in cases such as this and given the clusterfuck that was the Sally Bercow and the late Lord McAlpine twitter scandal you think people would learn.

But no, people's minds are made up it seems and Lord Rennard was yesterday suspended from his party. This is a disturbing development to me, showing that mob justice can claim someone's head. Lets look over some core facts.
  • The police did not even find enough evidence to pass on a file to the CPS
  • The internal party investigation didn't find him guilty
  • Yesterday he was suspended for not apologising for events that the police and the party didn't take action over or didn't believe happened

Seems stupid doesn't it, imagine it was you and your job. Accused of sexual harassment, police say there isn't enough evidence and HR clear you as well yet pressure from the marketing department means you get fired. You would be fuming wouldn't you, well, that's why Rennard is angry and may sue. Good for him.

For all the people who say "there's no smoke without fire" need to grow up. We live in a society that judges people by "innocent until proven guilty", it's how you would want to be judged, you should apply that to everyone else. At this moment in time Rennard is an innocent man.