Monday, August 28, 2006

We won a game!

Peter Wilby is an idiot

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Anything you want Guv?

A new YouGov poll hath been released: Con 38%, Lab 31%, LDem 18%. Labour drops 2pts, the other two parties stay as in previous poll.
YouGov's Labour numbers have been quite stable for a while:

32%, 31%, 32%, 32%, 33%, 33%, 31%

Call it a third, give or take headlines.

Not much to worry about then.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I have a bad feeling about this...

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Before anyone has a panic attack or anything...

Figures for all three serious parties from the last few ICM polls (including non ICM/Grauniad ones and the new one)...

Labour: 35, 32, 34, 32, 35, 35, 31
Tories: 35, 34, 38, 37, 36, 39, 40
LDems: 21, 24, 20, 21, 18, 17, 22

The margin of error is around about 3% or maybe 4%.

Think for a minute.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Playing Politics with Terror

It's a sad reflection of politics these days that whenever there's a terrorist attack or an attempted terrorist attack, certain politicians and certain organisations are quick to seize the oppertunity to either further their agenda, or to score cheap political points.

The Association of Chief Police Officers is currently lobbying the Government to grant them new powers of summary justice, alledgedly to deal with people committing acts of petty crime and so on. For reasons that should be obvious, I don't think they would be calling for this in such a public way, if there had not been a terror alert a few days ago.
Essentially they want the ability to punish low level criminals without having to go through the legal system; this seems to me to be clearly wrong, as we all know the police are certainly not infallable and we also all know that certain police officers are not above abusing the powers they have already.
While political reality means that, sadly, the Police probably will get some of what ACPO is asking for, I'm hopeful that it will stop at "some".

Meanwhile, David Cameron has won himself the dubious honour of being the first senior politician to blatently play the recent failed terrorist attacks for political points. This is what he said:

"I do not believe that our government is doing enough to fight Islamist extremists at home or to protect our security."

Does this man have no decency, does this man have no shame? Does he even have any honesty?
As a rather unpleasant terrorist atrocity which could have killed up to 5,000 people has just been stopped, largely due to the efforts of a government which he accuses of not doing enough to protect us, I think the answer to that question is a rather firm NO!

Not that that is at all suprising; what I find interesting is how a highly authoritarian agenda is hidden behind what he says is a "hard nosed defense of liberty"... Cameron throws a few crumbs to the liberal sections of the establishment by saying that he opposes ID cards and 90-day-detentions, while arguing for the use of phone-tap and etc evidence in court.
Let's think about this for a minute; while concerns over ID cards are certainly legitimate (especially over the costs) the idea that they constitute a serious threat to "liberty" is absurd, and while I have stronger concerns over 90-day-detentions, it is very unlikely that they would ever effect more than a handful of people.
The use of phone tap evidence in court, on the other hand, is something that would move us far, far further towards becoming Airstrip One than just about anything that any senior politician has seriously suggested for decades. The use of phone tap evidence collected legitimately is bad enough (and for reasons that should be fairly obvious), but the potential for abuse is just monstrous.
And finally, I couldn't help noticing this rather disturbing little thing he said as well:

"And why has so little been done to use the existing law to deal with the radicalisation that is rife within our shores?"

The blatent fear-mongering here is bad enough (and is the first thing I noticed), but his assertion that somehow the law should be used to "deal with" with radical Islamism seems a little worrying; is he suggesting banning ideologies now? (and if so, what exactly makes radical/reactionary Islam any worse than Nazism, Stalinism or Maoism? And if we, as a society, ban such ideologies, how much of the moral high ground have we lost?). Is he suggesting arresting anyone suspected of teaching/believing in such ideas?
It's possible, and probably quite likely, that he just wants to sound "Tough On Terror" and that the above from him was just a load of meaningless drivel, but I still can't help but find the assertion that someone the best way to prevent people from going into extremist politics is to use the long, crude, arm of the Law.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

CT Primary

I won't bother posting about who won (Lamont) or why or the implications and so on... there's enough of that elsewhere.

More interesting, to me anyway, was the obvious pattern of class voting; Lieberman did best in working class townships (with his best being East Haven; a blue collar suburb of New Haven), while Lamont polled very strongly in affluent and outright rich areas (his best township was Cornwall; a small, well off, town in the northwest of the state, and he polled close to 70% in ultra-rich Greenwich). Most of the bigger cities closely reflected the statewide results, with the exception of Bridgeport which voted for Lieberman.

For an excellent map of the results go HERE

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Reg Keys can't count

During the launch of his new self-important fringe party, Keys apparently claimed that he took "nearly 5,000 votes" in Sedgefield.

For the record, the results of the 2005 General Election in Sedgefield were:

Blair 24,421
Tory 5,972
LDem 4,935
Keys 4,252
Nutter 646
Nutter 253
Nutter 218
Nutter 209
Loony 157
Nutter 103
Nutter 97
Nutter 82
Nutter 68
Nutter 45
Nutter 17

To put these figures in context, let's look at how much each candidate who polled over 1,000 spent during the campaign:

Blair £8,172.98p
Tory £3,467.94p
LDem £854.79p
Keys £11,354.94p

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