Archive for October, 2008

Single White Group Funding?

October 29, 2008

When I first read this, I had two thoughts.  Was this a tactic to embedd single group further or was this a genuine response to series problems that have arisen in Britain (overwhelmingly caused by New Labour)?

I have a great deal more time for Trevor Phillips than I did for his two predecessors so I will assume the latter (though do not expect him to blame New Labour).

My view is that this response is not the answer to the problems he raises.  It is the colour focussed approach that has contributed towards this mess.  New Labour – and other parts of the establishment – failed to understand that when there is a focus on “groups” some “groups” will be left out and arguably the group that felt most left out by New Labour were thousands of white working class people.  Privately, many Labour activists recognise this.

The answer is to treat everyone with respect and accept that we truly need to move away from such a race obsessed culture.

My view on sex education

October 24, 2008

Talk of this being made compulsory for those children from the age of 5.  There are various articles on this: Guardian, BBC News etc.

I have never been entirely comfortable with sex education and my instincts are that this is a matter for the family.  Many think this naive on the basis that not all families deliver on this with their children.  With reluctance, I can accept this as possibly needing to offer for those 13 or so or more.  I would also add that I have never seen anything – in this country – that shows that more sex education leads to a reduction in teenage pregnancy etc.

In the Guardian it states that by 11, “Teachers should be ready to answer questions about sexual intercourse.”

This does not sound appropriate to me.  I get the impression that most parents are in favour of Sex Education but would share my concerns about this latest move.

Phil Woolas MP

October 24, 2008

Much has been said about his recent comments and the fact that Labour pulled him from Question Time last night.

The truth is that many Labour MPs – particularly sensible ones like Frank Field and ones worried about losing their seats – realise that Labour have cocked things up.  Would it not be refreshing for more of them, particularly ones in prominent positions, to admit this?


October 21, 2008

Some brilliant improvements from Laing!

October 19, 2008

Driving around with my family yesterday when I noticed a big change in my ward.  The land at the rear of some properties in Hatton Green has been overgrown ever since I became a Councillor.  I was thrilled to drive past and see a big change.  I had to drive to Green Man Lane and get out to take a couple of pictures:

I only wish I had a picture of what it looked like before.  I think that residents will be really pleased.

And, the pond in Feltham Park is looking much better and there are even ducks swimming there:

Certainly looking better than it has for a while.  I hope that the improvements will continue but it is clear that the start for Laing and Continental has been really good.

Visit to Beavers last Friday

October 19, 2008

My friend and colleague Lin Davies and I went for a visit last Friday.  Certainly a game of two halves in that it is clear that there has been a lot of brilliant work done in the area e.g. by the Football Foundation at Beavers School & by Laing & Continental Landcapes at Chester Park (very impressed with the quality of grass cutting and lack of litter – wish I had taken pictures).

However, there were clearly a number of serious problems around the shops in Salisbury Road.  These are compounded by the fact that they are on private land.  I hope that there are some solutions and I will be making enquiries shortly.

Outdated look at attainment of young people?

October 19, 2008

Read this earlier today.  I think that response 9 says it all.  It really is not as simple as Mark Easton and Millennium Cohort Study (MCS) are trying to make out.

Iain Dale is backing Obama

October 10, 2008

Here is his justification.

When I first read this, I was surprised but then if he was not going to back Obama, he would have ruled it out sooner.  Never had the pleasure of speaking with him so this is only a guess as opposed to an informed opinion.

I do not understand how a Conservative could support Obama but many from the UK clearly have.

Three or so weeks ago, I was extremely confident about John McCain.  From the moment he got the nomination (like Iain Dale, I wanted Rudy), I took the view that I strongly and bitterly oppose the idea that amnesties on illegal immigration work but I find McCain to be an extremely principled politician who does not hold views in alignment with the latest fashion.  He has a very strong record on fighting Pork Barrel.  The response he received from many farmers in Iowa during the primaries would indicate he will stick to his guns.

In response to some of the things that Iain Dale has said in his blog:

“He has performed poorly in the debates, he is an uninspiring speaker and his vision is as non existent as Gordon Brown’s.”

I do not think even the commentators from the left in the US have claimed that he has performed poorly.

“His policy platform simply doesn’t add up and his foreign policy ideas are as unappealing as many of George Bush’s.”

Iain has a point but McCain will tell it as he sees it.  Something not as common as people in politics may claim.

“McCain has not been a well man. He is 72 years old and has had cancer four times. His whole demeanour indicates that he might well not live through a whole four year term.”

Were I a member of the GOP, this would not enter my mind and I would trust the man!  Clearly the man is a fighter in his personal life as well as in politics where hardly anyone thought that he could win the nomination.

“I have doubts about Obama’s Iraq policy, I have doubts about his big government agenda but I have come to believe that he is what America needs if it is to restore its reputation in the world. He radiates optimism.”

I remember Tony Blair radiating optimism too!

And, in his Telegraph article:

“Like most others, I left profoundly disappointed by his speech, which was pedestrian and devoid of inspiration.”

I think that delivery, principle and honour are far more important that the quality of speeches.
*Some* said similar things about Bob Dole.  I maybe a minority but I think that both the US and those of us on the right missed out on someone who would have been a fantastic President.

“Bob Dole Keeps his word”

I do think that McCain needs to up his game on what is special about this candidacy, just as Bob Dole should have runner harder on the above theme in 1996.  More of the following:

* Record on Pork Barrel
* Strength on Foreign Policy
* It is not excitement and fluent speeches that are required, but in depth knowledge of Congress and Foreign Policy

I am also surprised that there has not been more of the “flip-flop” that was so effective when George Bush stood against John Kerry.

Finally, I accept that the GOP have a lot of rebuilding work to do but surprised so few have commented on the fact that blue collar americans have been deserting the Democrats for quite some time.  Rather similar to the story of New Labour in the UK.

Get the titles of stories in proportion!

October 6, 2008

When I saw the headline – MP backing for ‘Holocaust denier’ – my thoughts were on the lines of…”who on earth is barking mad enough to back such a person and I hope it is not a fellow Conservative.”

When I read the article, I thought that the title was clearly unfair on the MP in question.  My reaction above says it all and I believe many others would have reacted in a similar manner.  The MP was clearly not backing a Holocaust denier.

Labour’s reshuffle

October 6, 2008

Obviously, the return of Peter Mandelson stands out.  It is very easy to be critical of this man, especially considering his role in the rollout of spin in politics.  However, I also recall Michael Portillo once commenting that when Mr Mandelson responded to MP correspondence in his ministerial capacity, it was always clear that he had clearly had an input into the letter’s content, rather than just signing off what Civil Servants had written.

Clearly been a success for New Labour in the past.  Am I worried?  No!