Dear Tories, Go Fuck Yourselves.

If I had voted Tory at the last general election, as I most certainly did not, now is about the time I’d be starting to feel really fucking stupid.

They’ve barely been in charge for 5 minutes, yet they’ve managed to abandon all the policies, promises and pledges that might vaguely have appealed to me, or at least to the traditional conservative.

As if that’s not depressing enough, they rub our faces in it by being as good as their word on the most hideous, interfering, statist articles of Social Democratic endarkenment that they’d promised us.

Take Mr Andrew Lansley, who got a brief mention the other day.

In February, Obo wrote a post about one of Lansley’s proposals, and he tackled the subject with his usual uncompromising aplomb.

Hannan and Carswell are regarded as utter fucking lunatics by the Tory leadership, who prefer to have policies like this instead:

Andrew Lansley, the Shadow Health Secretary, has launched the Conservative Party’s new green paper on public health – A Healthier Nation.
The Green Paper outlines how we will tackle Britain’s public health crisis by completely overhauling Labour’s failing system of dealing with public health.

Okaaaaayyyy …

Much greater responsibility for tackling problems like obesity, drug use and teenage pregnancy will be devolved to communities on a new payment-by results basis, with extra rewards for improving the public health of the poorest. In spending their dedicated public health budgets, communities will be obliged to partner with local bodies, like schools, businesses, councils and GPs.

I’m sorry, Mr Lansley, but just chucking the word "devolved" in there doesn’t fucking mean shit, you mendacious cunt. And what’s with this "partnering" cockwaffle? Obliged? So if my local trust doesn’t want to "partner", fuck them anyway? How is that "devolution", you lying fuck?

There will be a new focus on innovative strategies, with national campaigns harnessing the latest behaviour change research and delivered by providers who are paid by results. We will provide prizes for ‘open source’ suggestions for successful new public health strategies.

No. No. No. Just fucking NO!

And as assuredly as anything ‘good’ has been abandoned, everything ‘bad’ is being pursued with relish, and to the letter.

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Schools, employers, the food and drink industry and communities themselves are being urged to do their bit to make the nation healthier.

Ministers said they wanted to unlock the potential of all sections of society in setting out their plans.

Projects being promoted include everything from bike training in schools to voluntary cuts in salt and fat content by food manufacturers.

I’m sorry? What? I seem to recall the last 10 years have been marked by schools forcing kids to have ‘healthy’ school meals, intruding into packed-lunch items in search of contraband calories, by the drinks industry being forced to adopt “Drink Aware” bollocks and food manufacturers ruining every damned item of food they’ve sold by replacing all the fat, salt and sugar with sawdust and grubs.

And as if companies don’t already do enough interfering and hectoring of their staff?

But no, it’s not enough. Andrew Lansley thinks there’s still some way to go. Still some potential to be unlocked. Because we’re not absolutely fucking miserable and downtrodden yet, so there must be pockets of joy, fun and indulgence that have remained beyond the reach of the bully-state.

Good job the Big Society is here to make sure that everyone is equally, and irrevocably miserable.

Isn’t this just the most New Labour thing you ever heard? Heir to Blair indeed.

If you voted for this, you’re a fucking idiot and I wouldn’t piss on you if you were on fire.

AJ

UPDATE: TimDog (in the comments below, the filthy linkwhore) has written a very good piece on this.

Non-stories, gubbins and gibberish.

There’s practically nothing else about at the moment, so I’ll summarise.

The Hague thing. A non-story about him sharing a hotel room with his special advisor, who is a bloke. Salacious nonsense obscuring the only legitimate question, which is whether Hague misused public funds in any way.

On-going denormalisation of smokers in the rented property market. A non-story based on a poorly interpreted marketing survey. Most landlords are pragmatic in my experience, and the ones that aren’t don’t remain landlords for very long.

It’s remains to be seen whether or not the matter of #metgate is a non-story or not.

Not so much a non-story as a ‘well, what a surprise’ story, in which a front company for Tesco buys up a town centre, allows it to become run down, then along comes Tesco offering to ‘do the town a favour’ by building a massive Tesco store in its place.

Someone called Tony Blair has a book out. In it, he reveals that always was, and still is, a complete and utter cunt. Still, with any luck, it will cause enough enmity in the Labour party to keep the wrecking bastards in unelectability hell for a generation or two.

The Director General of the BBC seems to have taken to referring to the present in the past tense. He has ‘has admitted the corporation was guilty of a ‘massive’ Left-wing bias in the past’. As if it’s gone away. Pfffft.

In other news, top fungal blogger Simon Cooke has decided to poke Jack of Kent in the eye over his apparently contradictory definition of his own liberalism.

I’m fast arriving at the conclusion that Jack of Kent is a cult leader & I have little doubt that he’s in the process of setting up a compound for all his faithful believers in deepest Kent. Jack of Koresh more like.

Mr  Cooke has also, in case you missed them previously, written some good stuff on the emergent New Puritans.

More anon, doubtless.

AJ

Thieving Tory Socialist Bastard

Sorry – it’s behind the Times’ paywall, but it deserves mentioning, because it demonstrates that, in Andrew Mitchell, we have a Tory minister who is, in fact, a redistributive socialist.

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After a harrowing trip to meet flood victims in Pakistan, a cabinet minister has called on workers who receive bonuses to donate some of the money to charity.

Errr okay. After 13 years of Labour I’m hideously overtaxed, my pension and other investments have been repeatedly decimated by Gordon Brown’s government. And you think I’ve got spare money to pour into a bottomless pit?

And I’m not even going to bother rehearsing the arguments regarding donating money to Pakistan.*

The Tory socialist goes further.

“There are some companies who require people who are paid bonuses to give some of it away,” Mitchell said. “It is about accepting that we all have a part to play when it comes to giving aid.”

That’s an incredible statement from a Conservative MP, don’t you think?

Let me tell you that I’d play merry fucking hell if my company forced me to give a single penny of my hard earned pay over to any sort of charity. Yes I get a bonus, comprising elements related to personal performance and company performance. It’s not a massive sum, but it’s written into my contract of employment and it was one of the reasons I took the job in the first place.

Oh sure, they run a GiftAid scheme for those who choose to donate. They contract that out to some hokey outfit who have a list of about 40 charities you can give to. I ran through the list and identified that nearly 30 of those were fake charities according accounts filed with the Charities Commission.

What this implies is that I’ve already given involuntarily to those charities via taxes. So naturally I don’t give anything more to them. Not a red cent.

But to be forced to make donations? Fuck. That.

What’s that you say? I’ve already given money to Pakistan? Of course I have. Silly me.

Mitchell has just doubled the government’s contribution to the floods fund to more than £64m — so he can afford to take the moral high ground. However, the British public, while giving generously, are not digging as deep for this natural disaster as they have for others.

My share of that £64 million is already way more than I would be prepared to donate to the cause.

Perhaps my philanthropic aspect will become more prominent when the state stops taking my money with a gun to my head and giving it to causes – that more often than not I disagree with – on my behalf.

AJ

* If you’re quick, there was a surprisingly balanced debate on that matter on Any Questions on Friday night

Cameron: Man of the (tedious pecksniff) people

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Yesterday, Mr Cameron responded to plans by 10 councils in the North West to create a by-law making it illegal to sell alcohol for less than 50p a unit.

He told the Manchester Evening News: "I think the idea of the councils coming together on this is a good one and we will certainly look at it very sympathetically.

"Where there can be local decisions we are very happy for that to happen. It may be that we need to do something to help deliver the localist answer."

"I think if what you’re trying to do is stop supermarkets from selling 20 tins of Stella for a fiver that’s what we’ve got to go after.

Dave, if you can tell me where I can buy 20 ‘tins’ of Stella for £5, do let me know, before they put a stop to it, because I could make a fucking killing.

Cheers,
AJ

Young Tory. Kinda gets it, actually.

This was an interesting and encouraging post from Robert Leitch at Conservative Home.

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Firstly, let’s take heed of the good stuff:

Ultimately, however, our greatest concern should be for our road networks – a quick glance at the relevant statistics is telling. Since 2001 the number of cars on Britain’s roads has risen considerably from 24.6 million to 28.5 million, whilst in 2009 the overall volume of motor vehicle traffic was 313 billion vehicle miles. Surprisingly, perhaps, 90% of all passenger travel takes place on the roads with just 7% by rail and 1% by air. Despite these figures, in 2006-07 (the latest figures available) the UK spent over £5 billion on railways and just £4.8 billion on our roads.

Meanwhile, 70% of adults now hold driving licences and over 80% of our population live in a household with at least one car. Put simply, our lust for cars and driving continues to rise ceaselessly, ensuring that the pressure on Britain’s 245,000 miles of road is set to intensify yet further. Faced with such increasing demand and usage, it is all too apparent that the status quo is simply not sustainable – significant investment is required.

Naturally, at present, any talk of such investment is quite rightly viewed through sceptical eyes. The huge budget deficit and upcoming spending reviews leave little room for expenditure on the scale required. However, to swiftly dismiss the need for investment in our road networks is a dangerous attitude – frankly, we depend upon them more than we seem to realise.

Indeed, even from a financial point of view it is worth noting that road users contribute over £47 billion to HM Treasury each and every year. Sadly only £7 billion of this is re-invested in repairing and improving our roads. Whilst road users provide the Chancellor with 4p per mile they drive, rail passengers actually dent the public purse by 21p per mile of each journey. Clearly, road users pay their way and as such their plight must be taken seriously.

Failure to act and invest in Britain’s roads will not only impose transport misery upon the vast majority of motorists, but it could also affect our social and economic well-being and development too. As the economy begins to stutter back into life, we are in desperate need of a wide-ranging road management strategy for the future. Without any such plan, the volume of traffic will increase yet further cutting capability, diminishing reliability and hindering economic growth. 

After all, we must appreciate that it is not just the individual who suffers from our broken infrastructure but, more importantly, our small and medium size businesses too. Functional transport networks are critical to the economy and, in 2003, the estimated cost of congestion to businesses in London alone was over £5.3 billion. We cannot afford to underestimate the cost of poor investment in our road networks or its impact on our wider economy.

But I need to pull him up on a couple of things.

Firstly, his bloody awful opening paragraph.

As we embark upon the traditional holiday month of August, many of us will be looking forward to getting away for that welcome break. However, whether it be the sunshine beach resort or the quaint countryside cottage that beckons, general relaxation is only likely to begin once we have battled our way through countless roadworks, queues, accidents, delays and service cancellations to reach our destination. If truth be told, getting from A to B has never been more problematic and it is during the holiday seasons that our creaking transport infrastructure is highlighted most vividly.

This is the problem with Young Conservatives. It fair winds me up to be told by a grinning kid that they remember when this was all fields.

It’s like their Dad did their homework for them.

But then, as if to provide evidence that his Dad didn’t do his homework for him, there’s this in his wrap-up:

Labour, as in so many areas, flunked the opportunity to act. This sluggish approach is highlighted by the fact that only Belgium, Italy and Lithuania did less than the UK to improve the capacity of their national motorway systems in Europe between 1996 and 2006. We are already a decade out of date.

Dear chap, Labour did not flunk the opportunity. They didn’t drop the ball, or fail to plan ahead.

When they came into power in 1997, and while sticking to the Tories’ spending plans, John Prescott as Transport Secretary wilfully cancelled or suspended almost every road-building or improvement project.

The Old Labour rump, including Transport Secretary Prescott, were ideologically opposed to any expansion of travel by car. Which explains the proliferation of bus lanes, traffic ‘calming’ measures, speed cameras, fuel taxes and other faux environmental measures. At the same time, they allowed train fares to rise, rise and rise again.

Still, whether or not Leitch got there by the same route as I would have taken, his assessment of the situation and his conclusion are 100% on the money. It pleases me to think there is hope amongst the Ellie Gellard generation of brainwashed kids who were betrayed by the Gramscian education establishment.

Ultimately, a long-term strategic plan of road investment is critically required. Even in these bleak economic times, the Government must commit to reviewing the situation with an open mind, particularly with respect to encouraging private investment into road building, maintenance and management. Our roads have been neglected for too long – it must now be an urgent priority to repair Britain’s woefully blocked transport veins and accelerate them into the 21st century.

Quite.

AJ

The result is in: ConDemFail

16th July:

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My fingers were crossed for a triumph of hope over experience.

Today:

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Theresa May, the Home Secretary, will today announce she plans to sign up to the so-called European Investigation Order (EIO), The Daily Telegraph understands.

That’s it, then. The honeymoon is absolutely 100% over.

Liberties endangered, powers given away to the EU, without a referendum.

Slow hand clap for Cameron and May, everybody.

AJ

Double backflip of the day

Comes from Andrew Lansley. Ready for the dissonance?

Mr Lansley said people needed to take responsibility for their own health.

He warned lecturing people often ended up being counter-productive.

So far so good.

“If we are constantly lecturing people and trying to tell them what to do, we will actually find that we undermine and are counterproductive in the results that we achieve,” said the health secretary, who has pledged to rename the Department of Health the “Department of Public Health”.

Department of Public Health? *sigh*

This is one of those matters on which the Daily Mash speaks the ultimate truth as clearly as it is possible to do.

Professor Henry Brubaker, of the Institute for Studies, said: “Once again the BMA is talking about alcohol being a threat to ‘public’ health as if that’s an actual thing.

“There is ‘my’ health, which is ‘mine’, and ‘your’ health which is ‘yours’, but there is no ‘our’ health. D’you see?

Still, at least he’s slapping that prick Jamie Oliver. Oh.. hold on.

Mr Lansley said the consumption of salty foods could be reduced but none of this would work unless people’s behaviour changed.

I can only suggest he takes the rest of the year off, because he’s raising my blood pressure right now.

If public health exists, then perhaps he should have words with his fellow cabinet members about the radiation risks of new airport scanners. No warning on those, is there?

AJ

House of Tards

No good can come of this:

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The precise details of the controls the Bank is to be given will be detailed fully at a later date.

However, they are likely to include restrictions on the loan-to-value ratios offered to customers. For instance, families could be prevented from taking out a mortgage for anything more than 75 per cent of the value of their home.

Or to put it another way, to take out a mortgage on a £200k property, you need would need to have £50k of equity, or spare cash.

And, in the south-east, where the jobs are, £200k will get you a shady bedsit in a run-down area, and bugger all else. Inside the M25, unless you want to live in a mock-up of Mogadishu, £200k is the BOTTOM RUNG of the housing ladder.

For a family with a couple of kids, looking for a house in the catchment area of a half decent school, they’re unlikely to see much change out of £400k. And they’d need £100k in cash or equity floating around for the deposit.

Who the hell has that?

So, the effect will be to put upward pressure on rental prices. At the same time, downward pressure on house prices will emaciate savings and investment, and diminish the equity that the aforementioned family would need to buy their new £400k house.

Fortunately, the house they want is only worth £350k now, having lost 12.5% of its value, but they still need to find an £88k deposit, as well as pay a fortune in stamp duty. Unfortunately, their £200k place is now only worth £175K and therefore £25k of their potential deposit has evaporated.

Now, this may all be a fuss over nothing. The limit may be set at 90% or 95%. I’ve had a 95% mortgage in the past. Released a bit of equity too, when the value increased. Never went into negative equity, never missed a mortgage payment.

The Telegraph cites Northern Rock as a reason for this proposed move:

The collapse of Northern Rock was widely attributed to its policy of lending customers up to 125 per cent of the value of their homes – despite the inability of many to repay the loans.

Well, duh! Again, it’s a case of a few morons flaunting their stupidity, and teacher makes the whole class sit in detention.

Just because some useless pillock got himself out of his depth, does that mean I, with my gold plated credit rating, should not be able to get a 95% mortgage?

Does it mean that anyone (man, I mean) who loses their property to their partner through a divorce, is practically banished from the housing market until he can raise a small fortune for a deposit?

That’s the boat I’m in as it happens & if these proposals come in, I’ll be locked into a rental market that will be experiencing spiralling rent rises. I’ll be unable to take advantage of falling house prices because, when I’m being taxed up to my bollocks on every penny I earn and every penny I spend, so that public sector pensions can be paid, I’m not going to be able to raise a deposit, even on a bloody good salary.

So should there be any limit on how much banks can lend to borrowers?

Regulatory? No. Common sense and good business practice? Yes.

Common sense tells us that the limit imposed by the latter model should be 100%. It also tells us that instead of killing the housing market, punishing the many for the errors of the few, it’d make far more sense to jail the moron executives who crashed Northern Rock.

But that would be too easy. It’s better to screw over people who have done nothing wrong.

Has Cameron forgotten that Thatcher’s biggest single contribution to social mobility was to enable millions of people to enter the housing market?

AJ

Bin there, turned around, came back again

I previously prodded in the general direction of a story about the counterproductive nature of the currently fashionable bin-fascism.

Tory communities spokesman Caroline Spelman said: ‘Weekly rubbish collections were introduced because of the harm to the environment from fly-tipping and backyard burning. Yet the lessons of the past have been forgotten.

‘Labour’s bin bully policies have slashed back proper bin collections. Now Labour ministers have conspired to cover up the serious threat to public health their policies have caused.’

Via Big Brother Watch today, another of Ms Spelman’s previous quotes was highlighted:

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In the Daily Mail, then Shadow Minister for Local Government, Caroline Spelman, slammed the government saying:

"Labour Ministers are secretly planning to roll out bin taxes across the country after the election if Gordon Brown can cling to power. The Government have already forced through bin tax laws and have been funding the bin technology to collect the taxes."

And speaking to the BBC, she said:

"bin taxes would harm the environment by encouraging fly-tipping and backyard burning"

Fairly unequivocal then…

However yesterday – 20th May 2010 – just 78 days later; Caroline Spelman, now Environment Minister, said:

"It will be up to the local authority to adopt a policy on recycling that works locally."

This leaves the door wide-open for councils to bring in "pay-as-you-throw" schemes. Some of you might think that’s fair enough. But we believe councils should not even be given the opportunity to test the water.

Quite so. We already know what the ‘unintended’ consequences will be.

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My recycling, yesterday.

AJ

George Osborne speaks. Very badly.

I’ve just watched Osborne deliver an address to the CBI (BBC iPlayer, look it up).

He seems to have forgotten that the election is over and that a whole other conversation is necessary where the business community is concerned.

Now to style.

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Whatever merits George Gideon Oliver Osborne may possess, I can safely say one thing:

George Osborne is no orator.

The guy can’t parse a script (or notes) in order to get the tone and meter right. That the meter and emphases were so badly fumbled makes me think it must have been a script.

I wanted to be impressed, but his performance reminded me of myself trying to speak publically, aged 25, with ZERO preparation.

I had two problems back in those days. First was lack of confidence.

Confidence? George, you’ve just won an election. You are the Chancellor of the Exchequer. The pasty new hope. You should be walking into the room with your balls swinging. WTF is wrong?

Second problem was lack of preparation. When I was 25, I didn’t see the need to prepare until I’d fallen on my face a couple of times. Silly really; I’d heard the maxim “Fail to prepare, prepare to fail” many times in my youth.

If I need to deliver someone else’s message, even if it’s my message packaged by someone else, I need to read it and internalise it. George manifestly failed to do this.

Perhaps he deserves a break. He’s been busy.

AJ

Heed my advice or fail

Written in June last year:

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Liability of only slightly smaller proportions than Mad Nadine Dorries…. Or is she the equal-opportunities ginger, so immune?

Today, via Obo.

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So, we’ve had a week before the Tories have revealed themselves to be exactly the same thieving, greedy, duplicitous cunts as Labour. Well … we knew it from the expenses scandal, but iDave must be shitting himself at this little clusterfuck.

And if he’d just accepted the warning from the nannygate scandal and given Spelman the heave-ho at the time, none of this rumbling would be threatening his honeymoon with Nick. I can only assume she knows where the bodies are buried.

Still, you massively-foreheaded cunt, let that be a fucking lesson to you.
Not that you’ll listen.

Do read on and follow the links to Guido’s place here and here.

AJ

UKIP did NOT cost the Tories victory.

Conservative Home ask a question:

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On the face if it, the implication is a valid one. These are seats where the number of UKIP votes is greater than the margin by which a conservative candidate was defeated. The table is from the above Con-Home piece, but updated* by me (red lines) to show one of the flaws in their premise.:

  • Bolton West: Labour 18,329; Conservative 18,235; UKIP 1,901; GREEN 545 
  • Derby North: Labour 14,896; Conservative 14,283; UKIP 829; BNP 2,000
  • Derbyshire NE: Labour 17,948: Conservative 15,503; UKIP 2,636
  • Dorset mid & Poole: Labour 21,100; Conservative 20,831; UKIP 2,109
  • Dudley North: Labour 14,923; Conservative 14,274; UKIP 3,267; BNP 1,899
  • Great Grimsby: Labour 10,777: Conservative 10,063: UKIP 2,043; BNP 1,517
  • Hampstead & Kilburn: Labour 17,332; Conservative 17,290; UKIP 408; GREEN 759;  BNP 328
  • Middlesbrough South: Labour 18,138; Conservative 16,461; UKIP 1,881; BNP 1,576; IND 818
  • Morley (Ed Balls): Labour 18,365; Conservatives 17,264; UKIP 1,506; BNP 3,535
  • Newcastle-Under-Lyme: Labour 16,393; Conservatives 14,841; UKIP 3,491
  • Plymouth Moor View: Labour 15,433; Conservatives 13,845; UKIP 3,188; BNP 1,438 
  • Solihull: Liberal 23,635; Conservatives 23,460; UKIP 1,200; BNP 1,624 
  • Somerton & Frome: Liberal 28,793; Conservatives 26,976; UKIP 1,932
  • Southampton Itchen: Labour 16,326; Conservatives 16,134; UKIP 1,928; GREEN 600
  • St Austell & Newquay: Liberal 20,189; Conservatives 18,877; UKIP 1,757; MEB KER 2,007; BNP 1,022
  • St Ives: Liberal 19,619; Conservatives 17,900; UKIP 2,560; GREEN 1,308; CORNWALL PARTIES 783
  • Telford: Labour 15,977; Conservatives 14,996; UKIP 2,428; BNP 1513
  • Walsall North: Labour 13,385; Conservatives 12,395; UKIP 1,737; BNP 2,930 
  • Walsall South: Labour 16,211; Conservatives 14,456; UKIP 3,449
  • Wells: Liberal 24,560; Conservatives 23,760; UKIP 1,711; BNP 1,004 
  • Wirral South: Labour 16,276; Conservatives 15,745; UKIP 1,274
  • What you’ll notice on the red lines is that other parties also peeled off votes that could make or break one of the dominant candidates. Frequently, the BNP won more votes than UKIP. If it’s fair to assume that UKIP voters are disaffected Tories, then it’s also fair to assume that BNP voters are disaffected working class socialists i.e. former Labour core voters. Greens could be disaffected Lab or Lib voters.

    So UKIP no more ‘cost’ the Tories a majority than the BNP and Greens cost Labour a majority. Which brings me to my second point, and the second reason that UKIP did not steal the Tories’ victory.

    People voted UKIP rather than Tory (as I did) because Cameron let us down over the Lisbon referendum and under him, the party has a pro-EU outlook. If the Tories had offered something of value to an increasingly Eurosceptic public, they could have won a comfortable majority.

    Likewise, if Labour hadn’t been so arrogant and cack-handed over immigration for the last 13 years, they wouldn’t have haemorrhaged votes to the BNP.

    To sum up then: It’s complete and utter cobblers.

    AJ

    * If you’re interested in playing with the numbers, they’re here on the Guardian’s Datablog.

    Painful Nads

    While I’ve not followed all of the travails of Nadine Dorries, I predicted a year ago that she would be a liability to the Tories.

    It seems she came very badly unstuck at a local hustings in her constituency.

    I’m not sure I’d have believed Tim Ireland’s tale were it not for the video evidence:

    … and the other sources that appear to back him up. Here’s a chap who was at the meeting as a constituent.

    Another bloggist & constituent was also there. Here’s a précis.

    The local news picked up on it as well.

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    AJ

    Voting intentions

    Bella Gerens thinks declaring one’s voting intention is ‘lame’. But she doesn’t get a vote, so boo yah, septic Doris.

    I live in a very safe Tory seat. In 2005, the voting went something like this:

    Party Polled
    Conservative 55%
    Lib Dem 25%
    Labour 15%
    UKIP 5%

    To be blunt, my vote for or against the Tories won’t make a blind bit of difference.

    Which relieves me of a problem. We have to get Brown out, but I have several serious problems with voting for Cameron & his coterie of hooray crypto-socialists.

    So in the general election, I’ll be voting UKIP, with the aim of beating Labour into 4th place in this seat. UKIP are wrong on the burka ban, but they’re right on Europe and they’re right on the smoking ban.

    That said, if there was an LPUK candidate, I’d vote for them, however ‘pointless’.

    I’ll vote Conservative in the local elections, though, as we have an excellent Tory council who deserve backing.

    Off now to gratuitously burn vast quantities of fuel and terrify numpties.

    AJ

    Is homosexuality normal?

    I ask because of this:

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    I mean, in broad terms, if you have an attribute such as sexuality, and your individual sexuality is one shared only by a minority, you are abnormal in that respect.

    Not, you should note, subnormal.

    I understand that abnormal still has perjorative connotations, but really – how seriously should we take such nuances when English is such a rich and complex language, spoken in variations by people from all over the world?

    So, as a matter of fact, homosexuality is not the normal sexual orientation of people.

    I don’t care about homosexuality – I wouldn’t recommend it (not having tried it), but I wouldn’t condemn it either. None of my business what sort of holes you prefer, bluntly speaking.

    I can see why Mr Lardner came unstuck:

    The former Territorial Army soldier wrote of his support for the controversial "clause 28", which was introduced by the Conservatives under Margaret Thatcher and banned public bodies from promoting homosexuality.

    Last year, David Cameron apologised for Tory efforts to stop the measure being repealed by Labour and his party have since indicated they would consider allowing same-sex marriages, if elected.

    But Mr Lardner wrote: "As your MP I will support the rights of parents and teachers to refuse to have their children taught that homosexuality is ‘normal’ behaviour or an equal lifestyle choice to traditional marriage.

    "I will always support the rights of homosexuals to be treated within concepts of (common sense) equality and respect, and defend their rights to choose to live the way they want in private, but I will not accept that their behaviour is ‘normal’ or encourage children to indulge in it.

    "Toleration and understanding is one thing, but the state promotion of homosexuality is quite another."

    … but all he’s actually saying is that the individual should be free to make judgements of conscience. When it comes to the freedom of schools, it comes down to the same thing as the bigoted B&Bers: Let the market decide.

    If a school has a policy of not teaching about homosexuality, so long as you know it before you enrol your kids, there’s no harm done. You’ve exercised a choice. I doubt a school would stand or fall on this policy, but you’re able to send your kids to an ‘enlightened’ school. Mary & Donald McCatholic also get to send their kids to a school that satisfies their own views, which you may or may not agree with.

    Everyone gets a choice that suits them. One size doesn’t fit all.

    The clause 28 question is an interesting one though, because I honestly don’t think it’d make any difference if same were implemented tomorrow.

    I mean, surely homophobia is now one of the most abnormal views in British society, the preserve of the elderly, the fundamentalists and the sexually insecure?

    So, what it all boils down to is, Mr Lardner has been pole-axed for voicing a truism and defending individual freedom of conscience.

    Which is rather worse than having a few eccentric ideas about gays, if you ask me.

    AJ

    Don’t misunderestimate the intermong, Dave.

    Encore un fail.

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    When I first saw the new Tory poster over at ConHome, the first thing that struck me was that it’d be quite hard for me to produce the above. They made it hard for a repeat of the previous jollity with Tory posters to occur.

    They didn’t make it anywhere near hard enough. Probably no way they could when the intermong is awash with graphic designers and Photoshop experts.

    Enter consummate Tory-hataz, bloggerheads.com.

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    Click for full size & have at it, boys and girls.

    By the way, if you put one up somewhere, you can embed it in comments here using the img tag.

    AJ