Friday, 11 June 2010

Polite Notice

My non virtual life has preoccupied me and now I'm starting a new job, which will consume a lot of my time. Blogging has/will be casual. My apologies.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

New New Next Labour

So the five candidates have been chosen for the Labour Leadership. I'm glad Diane Abbott has a place in the debate, as at least there is some representation for the left of the party and it's backbenches. If Labour is to rebuild itself the debate needs to go beyond populist announcements or distancing themselves from the party's failures. As so far they've said nothing new. They have not yet re-shaped their politics to changed circumstances.

It's a sad representation of our politics though that most of the candidates are career politicians. It's a worrying trend as what do they really know about struggling to meet the bills, what it's like to wait on the NHS, getting on the property ladder? New New Labour sounds like much of the same. Which is disappointing, as who will speak for the little guy if not what many consider the "peoples Party"?

On a related note - Fingers crossed for Ed Ball's winning, there's hours of entrainment to be had.

Labour shows its Balls.
Balls bounces in polls.

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Parliament Open For Business

You've got to love the state opening of parliament, a lot of sitting around in robes, horses and bling. It doesn't detract from greatness of the houses of parliament though, whenever I walk around the South Bank, I look across at parliament and I feel truly humbled by it, it's history is always on display. Today's state opening in all it's glory, is as always, pompous, ostentatious and the Queen never looks happy about the whole thing. But I love it.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Coalition So Far

Though I've been following the Con-Lib coalition progress to date, I've been reluctant to post on it so far, as they're just words being said and promises being made. Parliament isn't up and running yet. That for me is the real test of this government, will they use parliament effectively or will they use it like the conveyor belt it became under the previous government.

I've been impressed so far by Hague setting up an inquiry into whether Britain has been complicit in torture. Also by the fact that even though he is a rabid Eurosceptic, the government are taking a pragmatic approach to the EU. Just how Eurosceptic they would be was a concern, as regardless of your views on the EU, a lot of jobs depend on it and it's never a good idea to bait your neighbours.

I really enjoyed Nick Clegg's speech on political reform earlier in the week.

I'm a liberal. My starting point is always optimism about people.The view that most people, most of the time, will make the right decisions for themselves and their families. That you know better than I do about how to run your life, your community, the services you use. So this government is going to trust people.

Wonderful, wouldn't that be nice? One piece of reform that has got peoples back's up is the 55% rule. This is with regard to introducing fixed term parliaments, it gives parliament the ability to dissolve before that time. I'm not sure myself why that would be a problem, given a vote of confidence still stands and it makes sense to have an emergency stop button for the coalition. Most of the debate I've seen with regard to this, has centred around not changing something just because it's always been done that way. Could be just Conservatives being conservative?

I'm looking forward to hearing what the Queens speech says this Tuesday and I'll be watching with interest this new parliament starting.

On An Unrelated Note

How wonderful is this sunshine? In that great instinctive British tradition, passed down through the generations, on the first sighting of a cloudless sun filled sky, I rushed outside in shorts and a skimpy top. Then giving no thought to using sunscreen, I stayed in the sun uncomfortably long. I look like crispy bacon, almost as crispy as the barbarque food I enjoyed.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weather!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Queen Parting Gift To Brown

Brown's parting gift from the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh: signed photographs of the royal couple in leather frames bought from Smythson, the Mayfair store that employs Samantha Cameron as its creative director.
I wonder if her Majesty was dabbling in a little politics there. Surely not, it must just be one of those coincidences in life.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

New Labour Leadership Contest Underway

So the spectacle of the Labour Party electing a new leader starts. First up is David "Banana Man" Miliband, he hopes the leadership contest would be "open, warm, generous, comradely". Indeed, I'm sure that's what it will be David.

Gordon Brown Has Gone - Cameron Next PM

So Britain has a Lib - Con government and David Cameron as Prime Minster. I've held off posting as I wanted to see the terms of this coalition before writing about it, as they say the devil is in the detail.

Reading through it, I'm quite surprised by how much the Tories have compromised, though a few obligatory and traditional Tory policies. It is a fair balance between the two manifestos. I'm certainly very happy with the civil liberties section, would be happier still, if David Davies was Home Secretary rather than Theresa May, yet I feel fairly comfortable that any illiberal views she may have, won't be supported by this coalition. Most surprising though is how amicable it all seems, perhaps I've gotten too used to seeing politicians squabbling like children.

Yet does this deal mark more than the first between the two parties, does it mark the decline of the Labour Party? If they do pull this off, the Tories could shed the nasty party image, they could move out of the shadow of Thatcher, the Lib Dems will have time in office and a higher profile from that. So where does that leave Labour?

As I watched 13 years of New Labour draw to a close yesterday, I felt a mix of feelings - relief, joyful, happy, elated and a little shocked. Yet I do feel a sense of apprehension about what lays in front of us. I'm certainly not over joyed with Cameron as PM, yet I hope the sting of a Tory government will be damped by the Lib Dems. Only time will time however just who's interest they have and really what kind of government they are. Watching Clegg's speech today though, I admit, a smile crept across my face and a sense of hope I haven't felt about politics in a long time surfaced, just a little though.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

And So We Wait . . . ..