Should Boris Johnson succeed Cameron as prime minister?

28/06/2016

Since David Cameron resigned as prime minister after the Brexit vote, Boris Johnson is one of the favourites to replace him.  Some people say “Not Boris!  He’s a liar!”  And indeed he is a bullshitter of great renown.  Here are some of his lies:

“As Mayor of London he promised to totally eradicate rough sleeping by 2012; it doubled under his leadership. His 2008 manifesto promised there would be manned ticket offices at every station; he closed all of London’s ticket offices. He aimed to reduce transport fares; they increased by 4.2 per cent.”

But why should this disqualify him?  All politicians are liars (I think… name one high-ranking politician who has never lied and I will accuse you of fibbing…)

I can think of other reasons why he shouldn’t be prime minister.  If he does turn out to be a serious contender, I might list some of these to you.  But for now: stop flapping!

 

Gove: "You're a liar, Boris!" Johnson: "Aren't we all...?"

Gove: “You’re a liar, Boris!”
Johnson: “Aren’t we all…?”

free web stat


Freepost address for the Conservative Party

10/02/2016

If you want to contact the Conservative Party about anything, but didn’t want to buy a stamp for the letter (maybe because you don’t earn a living wage, or your benefits have been sanctioned…), fear not!  On Facebook I found a Freepost address so you can send mail to the Tories without worrying about the cost of postage.  You still have to provide writing paper and envelope yourself… but every little bit helps, doesn’t it?

The address is:

Freepost RTHS-TLXL-XKXK
The Conservative Party
4 Matthew Parker Street
LONDON
SW1H 9HQ

I haven’t actually tried it myself, as I only just discovered it.  I think it would be great if anyone who writes to the address reports the success or failure of their attempt; so if the Freepost no longer works I can edit this blog post accordingly.  Similarly, if anyone knows of other Freepost addresses, or 0800 phone numbers so we can call them for free, I’ll gladly add them to this post.  Information sets us free.  And there’s something extra satisfying about sending an actual letter through the post rather than emails, don’t you think?

Please don’t use this address to send the government any offensive or hate mail.  That would possibly be a crime, and in no way do I encourage you to do so!  Thanks.

cameron-face-palm

Send the prime minister a letter today!  I’m sure Dave is looking forward to a robust conversation with the British electorate!


The draft “snooper’s charter” does not protect people’s privacy says Commons intelligence committee

09/02/2016

The intelligence and security committee, set up by prime minister David Cameron to scrutinise new investigatory law, has said that home secretary Theresa May’s draft “snooper’s charter” bill “fails to cover all the intrusive spying powers of the security agencies and lacks clarity in its privacy protections.”

The unexpectedly critical intervention by the intelligence and security committee comes just days before a key scrutiny committee of MPs and peers is to deliver its verdict on the draft legislation aimed at regulating the surveillance powers of the security agencies.

Central to the committee’s complaint is the fact that privacy is an add-on to the bill, rather than being an integral backbone of the proposed legislation.

The ISC said in its report that it supported the government’s intention to provide greater transparency around the security services’ intrusive powers in the aftermath of the Edward Snowden mass surveillance disclosures.

“It is nevertheless disappointing that the draft bill does not cover all the agencies’ intrusive capabilities – as the committee recommended last year,” said Dominic Grieve, former Conservative attorney general and chair of the committee.

The committee had expected to find that privacy would form an integral part of the bill, around which the legislation would be built.  But instead it seems that privacy concerns are an afterthought, and the legislation is not at all transparent in this regard.

“Given the background to the draft bill and the public concern over the allegations made by Edward Snowden in 2013, it is surprising that the protection of people’s privacy – which is enshrined in other legislation – does not feature more prominently,” said the committee, which also proposed three amendments to the bill:

  • On “equipment interference” or computer hacking powers, the ISC said the bill only covered the use of these powers to gather intelligence and did not regulate their use for attack purposes.
  • On “bulk personal datasets” – data bought or obtained from other bodies – it said these included personal information about a large number of individuals that was sufficiently intrusive to require a specific warrant. The bill’s provision for “class bulk dataset warrants” should therefore be deleted.
  • On “communications data”, it said the government’s approach was inconsistent and confusing and clear safeguards needed to be set out on the face of the bill.

“We consider these changes necessary if the government is to bring forward legislation which provides the security and intelligence agencies with the investigatory powers they require, while protecting our privacy through robust safeguards and controls,” Dominic Grieve said.

I believe that any future legislation should ensure that proper warrants from judges are required before investigators can begin retrieving personal data.  There may be occasions when urgency demands authorization from the home secretary; but in general permission should be sought from a judge, not a politician; and there should be real evidence to prove that intrusion into privacy is needed.  This seems to me a no-brainer: just as the police need a warrant before they can search private premises, so investigators should need a warrant before rooting through an individual’s private data and communications.

It seems that the government wants enshrined in law the illegal powers the intelligence and security services were found to use thanks to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden’s revelations.  For instance, GCHQ, with its TEMPORA program, has been sifting through the private communications that pass through the underwater cables between Britain and the USA.  Such bulk collection of data should not be allowed.  If the security services believe that an individual is communicating data about unlawful plots, they should present a judge with their evidence and the judge can then decide if data collection is called for. The idea of allowing Theresa May to micro-manage cases is ludicrous: she is not in a position to make judgement calls of this nature while also carrying out her other duties.  The result of the proposed bill would be the home secretary signing off on cases she knows nothing about: basically giving the police and intelligence and security agencies a blank cheque.

Invasion of privacy is a serious matter, and a citizen’s right to privacy should be breached only if there is a good reason.  A judge would be better placed to make this call than a politician in London who has neither the time nor resources to check each case on its merits.  When agencies are given carte blanche to do whatever they want, history indicates that they go too far.  They need to be reigned in.

 

giffgaff1

CLICK ON STEWIE FOR AMAZING MOBILE DEALS!!

 


UK To Scrap Human Rights Shock Horror!!

26/05/2015

Okay, prime minister David Cameron isn’t planning to scrap human rights in Britain (I hope).  The plan, which was (i’m told) in the Conservative election manifesto, is to dilute Britain’s obligations under the Convention on Human Rights, in particular to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights, and to create a British Court of Human Rights to enforce whatever rights the government decides all humans deserve (which, to judge from the Conservatives’ record, doesn’t seem too appealing).

But he is apparently facing a backbench rebellion over the issue and even ministerial resignations.  The former International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, said he was “extremely sceptical” about proposals:

“I have clear views about the importance of international justice, which we need to expand, and Britain pulling out of the European Court will send all the wrong signals on the British commitment to expanding human rights around the world”

The SNP, which is now the third biggest party in Parliament, said it had begun sounding out lawyers on the Tory benches about uniting to defeat Mr Cameron’s plans.  Labour and the Liberal Democrats are also expected to oppose attempts to repeal the Act, and as Mr Cameron’s majority is just 12, any rebellion will leave him vulnerable to defeat even if he gets the support of the Democratic Unionist Party.

The well-known scum-bag and new Justice Secretary, Michael Gove, has been charged with drafting a new Bill of Rights to replace the Human Rights Act.  If the British Bill of Rights waters down Britain’s obligations under the present European Convention opf Human Rights, at least one minister has said he’ll resign.  And the Conservative former Attorney-General Dominic Grieve said: “A Bill of Rights that places us outside the European Convention on Human Rights would be reputationally disastrous for this country and would have very serious consequences for the survival of the Convention.”  So the plans threaten not only British citizens but all of the European Convention’s members.

Congratulations are due to Cameron for out-Faraging Nigel Farage – in a desperate ploy to win back disgruntled Tories who’d decided to vote Ukip instead, he has managed to become the most right-wing politician since Mussolini, or Nero.  Good one Dave!  Perhaps, as a finale, you could FOAD?


“Gay Mountain” and “Ukip Shipping Forecast” – well, they made me chuckle anyway!

14/02/2014

Everyone must know by now how homophobic Russia is – not just in general street culture, but also in how the police “investigate” cases of homophobic violence, and in Russia’s “homosexual propaganda” laws that mean any gay teacher thinking of coming out had better think again if he/she doesn’t want to be a target for dog-shit throwing idiots or even losing his/her job!

Well, what with the Winter Olympic Games being hosted in Sochi, Russia, the UK television Channel 4 has released a wonderful video wishing all athletes the best. Well worth watching…

Which leads me to a second video. Recently the Ukip (former Conservative) councillor David Silvester said the terrible floods ravaging England are divine retribution for Britain’s same-sex marriage laws. Silvester, a Henley-on-Thames councillor who defected to Ukip in protest against the gay marriage laws, said that the country had been “beset by storms” since the passage of the new law on gay marriage because Cameron had acted “arrogantly against the Gospel”.

In a letter to the Henley Standard he wrote: “The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.

“I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage bill.

“But he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so.”

He added: “It is [Cameron’s] fault that large swaths of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods.

“He has arrogantly acted against the Gospel that once made Britain ‘great’ and the lesson surely to be learned is that no man or men, however powerful, can mess with Almighty God with impunity and get away with it for everything a nation does is weighed on the scaled of divine approval or disapproval.”

Now Nicholas Pegg, a South West university graduate has shot to Twitter fame with a comical take on the row over comments. It’s definitely worth checking out:

Ukip actually backed the loon at first, before a saner mind realised that backing Silvester was not doing the party any good. But it’s too late for the right-wing loons to distance themselves from the furore. We all know how Ukip feel on the subject – watch the video, then you’ll know too!

Make_a_donation

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Kids gotta eat, don’t they?

14/02/2013

The ConDem’s “Universal Credit” benefits overhaul is fulla bad, as one might expect of a scheme dreamed up by Cameron and Osborne as a way to kill as many poor people as possible before 2015 (that’s when the next general election is due – and fewer poor people = fewer votes against the Tories). But there is some good that could come from the Universal Benefit plan. As 38 Degrees explained to me in a recent email, the introduction of the new benefits system means the government could easily decide to extend free school meals to all children living in poverty. And there are plenty of impoverished families in Britain: up to 1.2 million kids are missing out on free school meals. And as free school meals are often the only decent meals a kid gets to eat every day, this all adds up to one huge shed-load of malnourished children living here in Britain, one of the richest nations in the world.

Should this sad state of affairs be allowed to continue? Or should our children – our nation’s future – get a proper meal at least once a day? I know what I think. And I really really hope you think the same.

You can help 38 Degree’s campaign to feed our children really simply. And it won’t cost you a penny. All you gotta do is follow this link: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/school-meals. Really, it’s as simple as that. Think of those schoolchildren you see when you’re on your way to work. Chances are, some of them haven’t eaten breakfast and probably won’t get anything to eat when they return from school later. Don’t let children in Britain starve to death. Click the link: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/school-meals

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I wonder how many British children died of malnutrition while you thought about clicking the link?

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


Vote for the tattoo!

10/01/2013

Vladimir-Franz-Czech

Check out this guy! His name is Vladimir Franz, and he is currently running third in the Czech Republic’s presidential election polls. According to the Guardian “Vladimir Franz, an opera composer and painter, is tattooed from head to toe, his face a warrior-like mix of blue, green and red.” And very nice too. I think it’s good to have politicians who aren’t boring grey ciphers. And I’m not alone: again according to the Guardian “he’s not short of admirers in a country where voters are increasingly tired of politicians they say are corrupt and failing to deliver on years of promises, more than two decades after the fall of communism.”

Apparently Franz, a professor at the Prague School of Performing Arts, doesn’t know much about politics or economics, and decided to run only after a group of admirers established a “Franz for President” initiative and begged him to shake up the race as a shock candidate. But now he has a leading economist working with him for free, and volunteer campaign workers. He is not affiliated with any party, and is running on a ticket opposing corruption, promoting education and the Czech Republic’s moral standing.

His tattoos are certainly unusual for a presidential hopeful. But in the past he wouldn’t have been considered strange at all. During a televised debate, a caller compared him to “an exotic creature from Papua New Guinea”, which kind of makes my point. In many cultures in the past, and even in some places today, a challenger without tattoos wouldn’t stand a chance of becoming chief. And tattoos are certainly becoming more and more popular nowadays – just look at all the movie stars and musicians who sport ink.

In fact, Vladimir Franz is reawakening my interesting my interest in politics. Who knows: if David Cameron gets some ink work done,I might even vote for him in 2015!

cameron-dick

Locations of visitors to this page


free web stat


%d bloggers like this: