Friday, March 24, 2006

Keighley West by-election

Labour 1,819 (47.37%)
BNP 1,216 (31.42%)
Con 627 (16.20%)
LDem 208 (05.38%)

Lab maj. 603 (15.95%) over BNP

Labour GAIN from BNP

I think that counts as good news; Labour are up by about 600 votes from 2004, the BNP down by about 400. Turnout good for a local by-election.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hypocrisy

While the whole loans row hasn't interested me a great deal (I don't like the secrecy involved, but that's my only real worry, and I'm glad that secret loans won't be allowed anymore) I do find some of the hypocrisy coming from the Tories somewhat amusing. The best bit is this (entirely innacurate) line from some treasurer of their's...

"We don't have patronage to give and we are not in the same position"

Hah, hah, hah.

Time

Not found time for doing the thing on Wilson. Should be up tomorrow.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Harold Wilson

Thirty years ago today (just) Harold Wilson shocked, well, most people, by resigning as P.M.
Some thoughts on that (and the programme on a few hours ago about the plotting against him) will be posted tomorrow.

EDIT: Aha... yes... I do intend to get this up fairly soon though...

Monday, March 06, 2006

A Taskforce Too Far

It seems that every other day Cameron tries to get his mug in the papers by starting up some new "taskforce" headed up by either some over-rated celebrity or a nightmarish ghoul from the Tory past. This time he's got Michael Heseltine to "look into urban problems", something that anyone who knows anything about the horrors he inflicted upon the Docklands must find darkly comical. And to be brutally honest he didn't actually achieve anything in Liverpool; even Thatcher has acknowledged that.

But what's irritated me is the misleading rhetoric used by Cameron himself. This is what he said:

"For too long Conservatives have been seen as the party of the leafy suburbs.

"That's changing. We already run local authorities in urban areas like Trafford, Coventry, Bradford and London"

Now let's deal with this authority by authority.

Trafford

Is in fact a suburban area for the most part. It's true that it does include some inner city areas (right next to Manchester and Salford) but, ahem, the Tories don't actually have any councillers in those wards. The Tory stronghold in Trafford comes from the extremely rich (and extremely leafy) suburbs in the southwest of the borough.

Coventry

A more legitimate case can be made for Coventry; unlike most former MDC's Coventry is actually overwhelmingly urban. O/c the problem is that, technically at least, the Tories don't have overall control of Coventry City Council (they're one counciller short) and it should also be noted that after a year of defacto Tory rule on the council, Labour did very well in the city in the General Election. Go figure.

Bradford

Once again the Tories don't have overall control here; and unlike Coventry they aren't very close to getting it (they run a minority administration). And, to make things worse, Bradford MBC isn't just Bradford itself; it includes suburban areas and commuter towns to the west and also the Keighley area. Not-so-very suprisingly, Labour holds the most seats in the inner core of Bradford itself (and will probably gain more this year; the Tory councillers from those areas (largely nasty community machine politicians of the worst type) have disgraced themselves repeatedly over the past few years; one has recently been convicted of a fatal hit-and-run accident) and, as in Coventry, the Tories did badly here in the General Election (their % of the vote across the Met. District was basically the same as they polled here in the Euro elections. No comment needed).

London

Now this is just bizarre; I had always assumed that Ken Livingstone was currently a member of the Labour party. Perhaps Cameron meant the Greater London Assembly? Which hardly counts as a local authority... and on which they don't actually have a majority on eithr... or the boroughs? Well, the Tories don't actually run many London boroughs with serious urban problems, and in these boroughs the Tories don't (to put it mildly) do very well in the deprived areas.

Now, all of this seems to suggest that either Cameron is a liar, or he's astonishingly ignorant of the country he wants to lead (and worse still; the city that he lives in). Frankly I'm not sure whcih would be worse...

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Christian in "believe in God" shock

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4773124.stm

Why is this even news?

Two points:

1. The reactions of Reg "I'm not milking my son's death for political reasons at all, honest" Keys and that other professional mourner are as media-whorish and as predictabe as expected. Harsh? Me? Yes, but I have as much time for this sort of disgraceful manipulation of death as the voters of Sedgefield (Blair; 24,421, Keys; 4,252)...
2. The mindless, hypocritical bigotry of Evan Harris never ceases to amaze me.