Posts Tagged ‘Iain Dale’

West Ham to save Olympic Legacy?

January 19, 2010

As readers may already know (because I have plugged it a few times before), I was the only Conservative candidate at the 2005 General Election to oppose London’s bid for the Olympic Games.  Since we were successful in the bid, I have maintained I really want it to be a success.  I have also maintained throughout – in agreement with the biggest advocates at the time of the bid – the Olympics should be judged on Legacy.  This could manifest itself in terms of more people participating in sport but there is also the question of facilities and what happens afterwards – just look at most Cities that have hosted the games to see where things have fallen down before.

I listed to an interesting interview on TalkSport this morning with one of the new owners of West Ham, David Gold.  A great interview and I would be very optimistic were I a hammers fan as Messrs Gold & Sullivan had such a great record at Birmingham.  But one of the things that stood out was the ambition to take the Olympic stadium, maintaining the 80,000 capacity with the clear aim of becoming ‘The Peoples Club’ and charging a quid for kids and £3 for OAPs.  It sounds very exciting and I will watch this with interest.

My view remains that the best way to deliver on legacy in relation to the Olympic Stadium is through football.  I will watch this one with interest.  Wonder what the West Ham supporter, and my favourite blogger, Iain Dale, thinks?

Lib Dem Conference

September 21, 2009

I have been watching some of the highlights so far.  I do have respect for any politician that admits the obvious, namely that some extremely serious choices (including reductions) are required.  Not my problem but I think that Mssrs Clegg & Cable will have a tough time with much of their membership, particularly its membership that are on the left of the party.

But:

  1. Why the blue background on their stage – hmm, let me think about that one?
  2. I have discovered that Floella Benjamin is a Lib Dem supporter.  She was brilliant on kids tv.

I have told many a Labour voter that my parents are Labour and my favourite people.  Should I be telling Lib Dem supporters that Floella Benjamin is a Lib Dem supporter and still my favourite kids tv presenter?

Vince Cable’s proposals – referred to some as the ‘Mansion Tax‘ – are not going down well it would appear.

I am, and always have been, impressed at the level of audience participation at Lib Dem Conferences!

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.

I have never smoked but…

May 31, 2008

I read an article on the BBC website earlier today with the latest on the battle against Smoking.  Iain Dale posts an interesting take on this.  I agree with some of what he is saying.

Had I been elected at the 2005 General Election, I would not have voted to ban smoking in so called public places.  Do not get me wrong, I have never liked cigarettes and I do not miss having to go in the shower after a couple of pints in the pub.  I would also hate the idea of my children ever smoking when they are older.

This latest attempt does not convince me that this will deter people from smoking.  As one person said on the BBC earlier today, some smokers may buy packs of 10 so that they can reduce their intake.

More generally, I have always worried about the disproportionate impact that this has on working class and lower income communites.  This can be seen by the damage that the ban has had on pubs, especially ones that are landlocked and cannot increase their footprint in way that they can accommodate smokers and still comply with the law.  Bingo Halls across the country are really struggling, in part as a result of that ban.  The politician who spoke the most sense on this subject for me was Dr John Reid MP.

The Archbishop and Sharia Law

February 8, 2008

I read what was said by the Archbishop of Canterbury yesterday.  I have also read various comments about his remarks, including those from Iain Dale.  I could not find anyone who supported his remarks but I will keep looking.

I know that my fellow Welshman is a highly intelligent man.  Surely, he must have known that his remarks would be very controversial!