Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

He’s at it again: Lansley has form on pauses that aren’t anything of the sort

Saturday, November 9th, 2013

Remember the Health and Social Care Bill listening exercise, anyone? When former Health Secretary Andrew Lansley ran into difficulties with his Dick Dastardly NHS plans, he called a reflective pause, just long enough to do bugger all, whilst the media conveniently forgot what he was up to in privatising our NHS. Jeremy Hunt may have finished the job, but Lansley’s listening exercise masterstroke was enough to buy off the fretting ranks of Lib Dems, and get the job done without too great a rebellion, and without any significant concessions.

Fast forward to 2013 and Lansley is mired once again in a dog’s dinner of a Bill, this time one ostensibly designed to deal with the lobbying sleaze crisis in Parliament, but which seems to actually do very little to upset the interests of the big money corrupting our politics. Business lobbyists have unsurprisingly avoided any significant changes, whilst 38 Degrees and Hope Not Hate are being thumped for daring to think about the government’s failings. And unions have been included too, mainly because it seems they haven’t been punished much of late.

Tired Old Memes Against The Health And Social Care Bill

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

What I Do

Ireland: How not to run from a train

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Englische WitzeWhen I lived in Germany, I bought this slim volume of side-by-side translations of English jokes, explaining them and their underlying principles to curious Germans. The main lessons I think were that the English were fond of puns and mean to the Irish. This piece of comedy Eirophobia in particular stuck with me…

An Irishman was working on the railroad when he heard a train coming along the track he was fixing. In panic, he jumped up and started sprinting down the track as fast as he could go, but he’d only managed a hundred yards when it caught up and ran him over. When he came to in hospital, the foreman asked him “Paddy, why didn’t you just run up the side of the track?”, to which he replied “Don’t be silly. If I couldn’t beat it on the level, what chance would I have had going uphill?”

Political correctness luckily means Irish jokes are now less vogueish than when I was a yoof, so how surprised was I to see the self same joke in today’s Guardian? (more…)

That coalition website strategy in full

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Herewith HMG’s bold master plan to fully seize the opportunities offered by new technology in government, whilst simultaneously heavily reducing actual websites, staff and cash. In one stroke this policy shall put an end to waste, open up brave new possibilities, and compeltely eliminate confusion. (more…)

Parliament flashmob: the rolled up newspaper is mightier than the pen

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

Quick & dirty vid of today’s flashmob at in Westminster, in protest at our favourite media barons’ attempts to swing the election to suit themselves, and get themselves out of the mess a hung parliament might land them in.

Nice to see so many people there (including from Avaaz, 38Degrees, and Liberal Conspiracy), and a chance to meet some new faces, and get thumped by them with a roll of paper. If you weren’t there, don’t forget the 38degrees petition.

Election 2010: It’s the Sun wot spun it

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010


Parliament flashmob today. Check the Facebook event page for more info.

Are you in London this lunchtime? Then I guess I’ll see you at a location soon to be divulged for a newspaper swordfight. The coverage from the partisan press has been pretty shameful this time round – Clegg and Brown have had the same dumping on that Kinnock faced, as Murdoch scrabbles to make sure he’s backed the winning side in the election. (more…)

Tory family policy jumps the shark

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010


Still smarting that we’re not considered wholesome enough for a Cameron marriage tax break – my wife earns a few hundred quid too much – I was cheered a bit to see Sunder Katwala’s recent post on Next Left. It looks like we’re in good company. (more…)

I’d vote for that. Tom Watson’s digital pledges

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Tom Watson MP is using his blog and to work up a kind of digital manifesto – getting down in black and white a set of principles that will guide his decision making if the voters choose to return him to Parliament at the election. After a very credible, and creditable, stance in the run up to the passing of the Digital Economy Bill, he’s made a pretty good stab at it too. Check out his blog to see the discussion around his draft list.

He hits one of my bugbears fairly squarely: “I will support all measures to bring non-personal public data into the public domain“. I think a pretty important point on this one is that it should be freely available. It may sound obvious, but that’s not what’s happened in some recent attempts to open up data. (more…)

Cash, Gordon?

Tuesday, March 16th, 2010

Cash, Gordon?

I haven’t been a member of a Labour affiliated union for nearly ten years now – my current union don’t even have a political fund, let alone one that affiliates to Labour, but something really irks me about the latest Tory billboard – criticising Labour for taking union money (no, the one above is my take on it, not the original, which you can see here). (more…)

Unacceptable in the 80’s

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Satirical genius from Political Scrapbook, based on the Tories’ current poster campaign. This deserves to win the internet for today, tomorrow, and much of this week!