Search This Blog

27 June 2009

Death of a Superstar

So farewell to Wacko Jacko

How we marvelled at his skin.

Was it black or was it white?

(Very unlike his kith and kin).

Love or hate him, we all know his

Dance routines were far from shoddy.

And he was racial integration

Inside one multi-coloured body.

25 June 2009

John Bercow speech to become Speaker

Since he is opposed by most of his own (Conservative) Party that indicates to me that he's probably going to be OK!

New Commons Speaker Tory MP John Bercow thanks MPs

I believe that John Bercow (even though opposed by most of his own Conservative Party) will make a much better fist of this job than his predecessor Michael Martin (who was forced to resign after presiding over the long-running MPs' expenses and allowances scandal, not to mention trying to use the courts to exempt MPs from the Freedom of Information Act).

24 June 2009

New Speaker of the House of Commons

Just when we were slowly being conned into believing that the Conservative Party had ceased to be "The Nasty Party" the shits have come out of the woodwork again following the overwhelming election of the excellent John Bercow MP (left) as Speaker of the House of Commons.

There are rumbles and rumours that most of the Conservative MPs were firmly against the election of this particular Conservative MP as the new Speaker. Worse still they are already talking about a campaign to remove him if and when (though they say "when") they have a Parliamentary majority after the next General Election.

So what is their problem? Well, Bercow used to have quite right-wing views when he was first elected to Parliament for the Conservative Party, but over the years he has moderated his views considerably, to the extent that his colleagues think he would be more suited as a Member of the Labour Party.

They are now miffed that his election to the (non-party-political) post of Speaker, soundly beating the nine other candidates, could only have been achieved by the combined efforts of the Labour and Liberal Democrat MPs who rightly saw him as a committed reformer.

It is disgusting that the Conservatives cannot bring themselves to accept the results of a free, secret, and cross-party vote for the most important post in the House of Commons.

Recently I have been wearing rose-tinted glasses when looking at David Cameron and his team, but (1) their opposition to reform of our electoral system, and (2) this latest show of bad feeling against John Bercow have restored my eyesight to its former state.

22 June 2009

Speaker of the House of Commons

Continuing my theme of Electoral Reform, today, as a result of the enforced resignation of Michael Martin as Speaker of the House of Commons, the House is electing a new Speaker by secret ballot.

Not only is the secret ballot for this Post a new and welcome innovation to the proceedings of the House, but I am struck by the fact that the successful candidate must received more than 50% of the votes cast. At the time of writing this has already led to the initiation of a second ballot, as the candidate with the largest number of votes (John Bercow) nevertheless did not achieve the 50% rule.

Is it asking too much for the voting system used in our General Elections to be reformed in a similar way? Why should our MPs be elected even when they command well less than 50% support just because their votes might have beaten the next highest by a few votes?

10 June 2009

Electoral Reform & the Conservative Party

Having almost reached a point where I might have considered voting Conservative at the next General Election I read in today's papers that they are opposed to reform of the voting system.

So long as they are content with MPs being elected on a minority vote I shall not support the Conservative Party, since it cannot claim to be democratic. "First-past-the-post" has served both them and the Labour Party well over the years, and I see the Conservatives' opposition to change as being entirely self-serving. I am not asking for full-blown PR with Party Lists. A simple one MP per constituency is fine, so long he or she represents more than 50% of the vote. We all know there are ways of achieving this.

Conservatives .. please wake up to the basic idea of democracy.

This makes me angry when politicians are supposedly wondering why people are disenchanted with politics.

09 June 2009

BNP - Bigots and Nutters Party

A lady in the north west of England was interviewed in the street yesterday and asked how she voted at last week's European Elections. She said, "BNP - I'm ashamed to say". It was a protest vote.

My own region (Yorkshire & Humber) returned one BNP Member of the European Parliament, making a total of two from the UK.

Only 34% of the electorate bothered to vote, and only 6% of those voted BNP. So this Party actually represents about 2% of the population eligible to vote. It's good to put them into a proper perspective.

I loathe the BNP in all its manifestations, and have nothing but contempt for all those who support them with their politics of fear and hate.

The Government has a lot to answer for in making a complete hash of their immigration policies which have encouraged the bigots to inflame feelings.

A feeling that illegal immigration is out of control masks the fact that some immigration is (and has always been) socially and economically beneficial to the UK, and also blurs the distinction between legal immigrants and asylum seekers.

Unless Labour, Tory and Liberal Democrat politicians get to grips with this, then the BNP will pick up votes.

We have to be encouraged by the fact that 98% of British people aren't falling for their particular brand of garbage. Some say we should just laugh at them. I'm trying, but it's difficult.