Posts Tagged ‘Lib Dems’

Dems who Fib

August 5, 2010

The Local Government Chronicle reports from the recent Local Government Association Conference. LGC reporters overheard Liberal Democrat councillors discussing how to deal with expenditure reductions and suggesting the following tactics to each other:

“Blame it on the previous administration”

“Blame it on the government”

“Don’t call them cuts; call it service transformation!”

I would link to the LGC report but it’s subscribers only. You’ll just have to believe me. Don’t worry, I’m not a Lib Dem and am therefore trustworthy!

The country is being run by Laurel and Hardy!

July 22, 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg declares whilst standing in for his buddy Cameron in PMQs that the War in Iraq was illegal. This pre-empts the Chilcot Inquiry and also embarrasses all his Conservative colleagues who voted for the conflict. No 10 suggests the Deputy PM was speaking in a “personal capacity”. Pathetic!

Then Big Dave himself does a boo boo. Whilst trying to stress the pretty obvious fact that the UK≠US, he declares that Britain was the junior partner to the US when fighting the Nazis in 1940. Yes, 1940! When plucky ol’Blighty resisted the blitzkrieg as many other nations fell. And the Yanks didn’t turn up for another year!

Oxford Tutor Vernon Bogdanor has described his former student David Cameron as one of his “ablest”. Pah!

As Paul Waugh points out, if the Labour Government had made gaffes like these the press would have been absolutely merciless.

Coalition dreams of freedom: the good, the bad, the mad.

July 12, 2010

The Government’s ‘Your Freedom’ website is an easy target for sneering taxin’, appropriatin’, regulatin’, nanny statin’ socialists like myself. The YouTube videos of Nick Clegg getting all excited about his liberation struggle are eminently mockable. But some of the ideas aren’t too bad, so here is a fair-minded selection of three suggestions:

Capital gains tax on wine investment

I propose  that wine investments become subject to the same capital gains and inheritance tax as other investments such as stock portfolios and property. HMRC has apparently dismissed this in the past as wine is considered a wasting asset. With dire stock and property market performances over recent years my investments in those have definitely become wasting assets!

The papers this week are full of news of the remarkable 2009 Bordeaux with cases selling upwards of £13,000 and many prices having doubled in the last few weeks.

Surely there should be a tax on any profitable sale of these investments? it would be easy to administer; if someone sells their investment before drinking and reaps capital gains then tax should be applicable. If they merely buy the wine to drink then they pay nothing.

My children’s school is one of those that has suffered at the hands of the abolition of BSF. I  resent the fact that their education will suffer when there is a huge, additional and fair revenue source just waiting to be tapped.

Heareth endeth my rant!

Allow cycling on pavements

a) We spend money marking and signing cycle lanes on pavements. It would be better to allow cycling on all pavements except in areas where expressly prohibited (e.g. busy city centres, pedestrian areas).

b) Better for the enviroment, more people will cycle when they feel safer and don’t have to be on the road.

c) safer for cyclist (less risk of being hit by car), safer for motorist (reduced need for overtaking)

Allow to carry self protection pepper spray!

Seriously,  I am afraid to walk around, especially at evenings. I scared for my life, my body and simply my Dior handbag which attracts a lot of attention of pick pockets.

Are the Liberal Democrats taking this allegation of anti-Semitism seriously?

May 26, 2010

In yesterday’s debate on the Queen’s Speech, Labour MP Gerald Kaufman (a gent of Jewish extraction) started off his response by slamming the Lib Dems for going into coalition with the Tories. Maintaining this Lib Dem-bashing theme (here here), Sir Gerald accused his Liberal Democrat opponent in the recent election of trying to use anti-Semitism to win votes:

I say something else to the Liberal Democrats: they will have to indulge in some internal house cleaning. Their candidate against me at the general election, Qassim Afzal, went round the constituency to mosques and other places where Muslims gather, telling people to vote against me because I am a Jew. That is what their candidate did. I was told that again and again by Muslim voters. My Muslim voters are possessed of a decency and generosity of spirit utterly alien to the Liberal Democrat candidate in my constituency, because they organised for me as they never had before and voted for me in many thousands.

The incidents that took place in my constituency as part of an anti-Semitic campaign went on and on. One of my constituents, a Muslim, told me how the Liberal Democrat candidate Qassim Afzal came to his house, which had a poster of mine in the window, and said, “You cannot have a poster in your window of a Jew. Take it down.” I told two Liberal Democrat Members before Parliament was dissolved that that was what their candidate in Gorton was doing. They were horrified. They said that they would bring it to the attention of their leadership. I do not know whether they did. I do know that their Liberal Democrat candidate, against the decency and humanity of my Muslim constituents, went on conducting an anti-Semitic campaign right through to polling day.

I say to the Liberal Democrat leader, now the Deputy Prime Minister, that if he did not know about that before, he should have done. His MPs told me that they had told him. He knows about it now. I will wait to see what he does to deal with an overtly anti-Semitic candidate who fought an anti-Semitic, and personally anti-Semitic, election campaign. If the Deputy Prime Minister does not take swift action to deal with that person, I will know that he accepts that anti-Semitism is a run-of-the-mill form of campaigning by Liberal Democrats. [Interruption.] Well, it is up to him. That is what their candidate did, disgusting thousands of Muslims in my constituency. It is up to the Liberal Democrats to decide whether those are acceptable campaigning tactics.

The thing is, Qassim Afzal is not just an ordinary Lib Dem (if such a thing is possible…). He has been a Lib Dem candidate in many previous elections and a Lib Dem councillor. Plus he sits as an elected member on the Federal Executive of the party alongside Clegg, Ed Davey, Jo Swinson and other bigwigs.

His website is quite amusing. He seems quite a, um, character. I couldn’t be bothered to trawl through his 9 page CV to establish if he’d ever been a member of an anti-Semitic organisation. Hopefully the Lib Dems will themselves investigate to see whether such a prominent member of their party engaged in these disgusting anti-Semitic tactics, as Kaufman claims.  

Very disappointed.

April 24, 2010

Billy Bragg, aka the Bard of Barking, has been saying too many nice things about the Lib Dems.

Catch up

April 18, 2010

Have been ridiculously busy with election-madness. Hopefully there’ll be more time to write some posts this week. Anyway, here’s a brief summary of Jako thoughts:

  • There was very little media mentioning of Gideon Osborne humiliating himself at the Tory manifesto launch. A journalist asked Cameron about his commitment to the environment and green taxes. Cameron said a question about green taxes should be answered by the Shadow Chancellor. Said Shadow Chancellor could be seen desperately flicking through the Tory manifesto, with other Shadow Cabinet members passing him notes on what to say. Talk about a total failure to master one’s brief. Pathetic.
  • Labour’s manifesto was nowhere near as radical as I’d have liked. Not much of great excitement to promise voters that a Labour fourth term would bring. Instead we have to talk about all Labour’s previous achievements like tax credits and child trust funds – themselves quite complicated to explain – and emphasise the importance of defending these from Tory/Liberal cuts.
  • Although saying that, we can hardly establish a clear dividing line on investing in public services versus cuts when spending squeezes are already affecting parts of the NHS (hence the very unhelpful argument over the Whittington).
  • Mentioning the Liberals, this poll nonsense is a total fricking disaster for us round here. Awful. A potential calamity. I appreciate that it makes the election more interesting but I really could have done without the hassle! I also wholly reject the idea that Clegg performed especially well at the debate on Thursday. I just think that his job was fundamentally easier in that he could easily capitalise on disillusionment with the two biggest parties.
  • Clegg’s attacks on the “old politics” of the “old parties” is so nauseatingly ahistorical. Let’s not forget that the last time the Liberals formed their own government (1911-1915) they took us into a horrendous bloody war in which nearly a million Brits died. Just like with Iraq, the party with the most number of anti-war MPs was Labour.
  • Harry Potter actor Daniel Radcliffe made us all laugh when he said Nick Clegg was “seriously impressive”. But now we all have to take this…seriously. I can even understand the appeal of the Lib Dems. They talk about equality, which my party does not do enough. And Vince successfully gives the impression of being genuine and competent. He is certainly more inspiring than Darling and infinitely preferable to Osborne. But all I have to then do is remember that a local level they are fairly reactionary and unpleasant and that a lot of their ‘progressive’ sounding arguments aren’t built on solid foundations.
  • I was disgusted to be wearing a Smiths t-shirt on a day when David Cameron once again told the world that he’s a massive Smiths fan.

A good start.

April 6, 2010

The day didn’t actually start particularly well. I was faced with dastardly Liberal Democrats leafleting outside the tube station at ten to eight this morning.

“Oh no!” I thought, “they’ve got momentum! And as everyone knows, politics is all about the mo-men-tum! They’re out leafleting and I barely had time to brush my teeth properly before setting off for work. We’re doomed!

However, reflecting upon the situation on the escalator I thought about how inefficient leafleting Angel tube station is when you’re trying to target Islington South and Finsbury voters. Half the people going there have got off buses from Underground-deprived Hackney.

Therefore, Foxy Bridge was simply wasting lots of paper. Let’s hope for the sake of the planet that people recycle her propaganda.

Melancholy returned at the news that the councillors would have attend a tenants’ association meeting and wouldn’t be able to come canvassing tonight. In fact, it looked like it would just be me and one other comrade. This would not have been momentum-tastic, to say the least.

Yet come 6.30 one of the councillors had decided he could join in the door-knocking, plus we got the MP and people from her office along and another local member unexpectedly turned up. Woop woop!

To top it off, the reception was good. Hardly any self-identifying Liberals (as usual), a handful of Tories, but lots of people remaining loyal to Labour. Some of these folk seemed to be even more dementedly pro-Labour than me! It was great!

Momentum is here and hopefully it’s here to stay. Tomorrow we visit Bevan Street. I will get stroppy with any resident of Bevan Street who does not plan on voting Labour and suggest they move to Thatcher Avenue (or something like that).

Clegg: Blah blah blah.

March 14, 2010

You know that when Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg has been the main story all day on the BBC News website that nothing much has happened in the world.

For Lib Dem activists here in Islington, most of whom are on the left-leaning Social Democrat side of the Lib Dem spectrum, it must have been quite frustrating to hear their party leader’s recent praise for Thatcher.

Although he’s clever enough not to say so, I’d guess that Clegg would be more comfortable in a coalition with Cameron and the Conservatives than with Brown and the Labour Party. But beggars can’t be choosers, eh?

Anyway, I’d like to know how Islington Lib Dems have worked out that I’m not a potential yellow voter. Even though we have never been canvassed, both my flatmates are receiving personally addressed letters from the Lib Dem candidate and yet I receive nada.

Lib Dims – not as stupid as they look?

Time to rip up the autograph.

December 31, 2009

When I was a CLP delegate to Labour conference in 2004 I shook hands with Dear Leader Tone and then later that same day with Billy Bragg (a shake with which I am more pleased).

However, towards the end of the conference, I jokingly remarked to the PPC for my constituency that I hadn’t spent as much time hobnobbing with celebs in Brighton as I thought I was going to. My comrade then said she could rectify this situation immediately and walked off somewhere.

A few minutes later she returned. With a triumphant look upon her face, she thrust into my hand a small card with some squiggly writing on it. It said something along the lines of:

Dear Jako, Love and Kisses, from Floella Benjamin

I gave my sincere thanks to the PPC, but had to then be honest and ask who Floella Benjamin was. I thought she might be some government minister I had not heard of before. Turns out she was an actress and TV presenter. Apparently quite famous, thought obviously not hugely so.

Floella Benjamin was at Labour conference talking about how she supported Labour’s education spending rises. I have not given her much thought since that day in 2004, but I recently came across a very glossy leaflet being distributed by Islington Liberal Democrat in which Floella Benjamin features.

Imagine my (admittedly fairly moderate) level of shock to see that Floella Benjamin is now slamming Labour’s record on education and is instead supporting the Liberals. Another formerly Labour-supporting celeb lost.

Oh well.

Yellow Tories trying to pinch votes off Blue Tories in Islington.

December 18, 2009

My flatmates (but not me!) received a letter recently from a Mr. John Szemerey that was published and promoted by Islington Liberal Democrats.

John Szemerey is someone who readily admits to having spent many years of his life campaigning for the Conservatives in Islington (hardly a productive use of anyone’s time). Apparently he has twice been the Tory parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Islington South and Finsbury. A Conservative man through-and-through, you might think. 

However, John Szemerey says that he is so “desperate to see change in Islington” that he is now supporting the Liberal Democrats. Nevermind that the Lib Dems have been in control of Islington council since 200o! Szemerey clearly thinks that the Labour Party is the principal enemy of both Tories and Liberals.

Let me quote some of this at you:

In Islington South & Finsbury, the Conservatives just can’t win. In fact, a Conservative has not been elected round here for 45 years.

Suggesting that Szemerey’s years of campaigning for the Tories did not do much good.

Just 484 votes separate local campaigner Bridget Fox and Gordon Brown’s Labour Party. Voting Conservative will actually help Gordon Brown and his failed Labour Government hold on.

Comically, Mr. Szemerey seems to think his Tory-sympathising readers must be a bit slow on the uptake. He repeats the above message almost word for word at the end of his letter:

I hope you’ll join me in lending your support to Bridget Fox and the Lib Dems at the next election.

With best wishes,

John Szemerey

P.S The Conservatives can’t win in Islington South & Finsbury. Voting for them will just help Gordon Brown hold on. Only Bridget Fox’s Lib Dems can beat Labour here.

I was always brought up to believe that the postscript was meant to contain additional information to the main body of the letter, but nevermind. Szemerey wants to bang his point through.

This letter basically makes me think that:

a) The local Liberals are terrified of the middle-classes turning to the Conservative Party rather than voting for them.

b) The local Liberals would prefer a Conservative government to a Labour one. Szemerey is essentially saying that the best way to get Cameron into No 10 is to tactically vote Lib Dem in this constituency, and Islington Liberal Democrats are happy to print this.

Shame on these Tories of both the blue and yellow variety! The next time I come across a voter on the doorstep who mistakenly sees the Lib Dems as a left-wing alternative to the Labour Party, I will draw their attention to this letter.