Thursday, 30 April 2009

Sex / War - women hold the power

Now this is one way to keep politicians in check.

Kenyan women's groups are protesting against infighting between political parties and leaders, and are also hoping their actions will lead to greater unity, thus avoiding a repeat of violence in 2007.

And how are these women's groups protesting...?

They are, nationwide, withholding sex from their men. They're even going to pay prostitutes not to sleep with the men. Well, that's certainly going to make them think about it.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

The Tories' biggest problem is themselves

The odds on the Tories winning the election are at 1-2. Pretty much a dead-cert.

On current polling, the Conservative Party are predicted to have a majority of between 40-70 seats. Not bad after 3 election defeats, so Mr Cameron et al must be feeling (quietly) pretty good about themselves.

However, one thing is niggling me about the next election result...few people will be that happy about it. Tony Blair was a once in a generation politician and Prime Minister. People were big, big fans of Tony Blair, as much as of the Labour Party.

But nobody is "a big David Cameron fan", and certainly not a "big Gordon Brown/Nick Clegg fan".

As much as it's a shoe-in that Cameron will be Prime Minister (as long as Brown is around), should it not be a more comfortable margin of victory? There is no clamour for Cameron, just a clamour for Brown to go, or at least stop what he's doing.
Nobody is pining for Cameron's policies, nobody is pointing to the Tory direction saying "that is the way we need to go".

It's still within the margin of error that a hung-parliament could be our next and considering the shambles of Brown and the Labour Party, shouldn't an opposition be further ahead? Think of what Cameron is up against...
- Brown openly bottling it about calling an election
- Despite never being elected as PM
- Not giving a referendum on the Constitution/Treaty
- The Iron Chancellor's policies creating most of the financial mess Britain is in
- The debt we are about to take on
- Smeargate
- Open disunity among the Labour Party
- Breaking manifesto pledges
- A party where Harriet Harman is important!!!
- An embarrassing u-turn/failure on MP's expenses
- Continuing the push for ID cards
- and so on...

When you are up against all this and your lead in the polls is less than assured, then surely you have to ask why?

It is because we do not believe David Cameron is 'the next big thing'. After the way Blair swept in and the whole Obama thing, maybe I'm expecting too much, but when/if Cameron becomes the next PM, the country will be relieved, not pleased. There will be no parties, no wave of national unity or a sense of hope in the new direction a new party of Government will bring. There will, instead, be folk saying "phew, thank god that's over".

People will be voting against a present Government, as opposed to voting for a new one. And it is this that should make Cameron worried. Labour, despite all their mischief, misdemeanour and misdirection, are still commanding the votes of swathes of the UK, and only a small change at the top stands in their way of being relevant again. Whether this is before or after the next election, Cameron should be wary either way.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Splitting the arrow on Princes Street

I'm not exactly, 'a keen archer', but I'm pretty excited about the Archery World Cup being held in Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh.

Can't think of a better setting, with two big banks either side, and with it being a free event, I imagine a huge crowd being drawn, especially if the weather holds out in September. This could be a very, very good advert for both Edinburgh and Scotland, with an estimated TV audience of 250million.

Random, indeed, but still exciting! Bravo to EventScotland, Edinburgh City Council and anyone else who was invloved in this!

An inconvenient truth - the flu end of the world

I HAVE THE FLU!!! (pause for sympathy...)

So do some people in Israel, some in New Zealand, some in Airdrie.

However, I'm not panicking.

Like Bird Flu, the media has gone on the "humanity at risk" approach. Journalists are talking about "waves of the disease being transmitted". Gordon Brown is trying to look important by not only arranging a COBRA meeting (aka "just a meeting in a different room"), but by triumphantly announcing "I will be attending the COBRA meeting".

"Waves of the disease"? Really? That's a bit over-the-top.

Normal flu kills people. Swine Flu kills people. Sars was going to kill millions.
Somehow, I don't see this being anything we even remember in a month's time.

We have the flu. It's the worldwide equivalent of "there's a bug going about". That's it!

Monday, 27 April 2009

My friends in high places...

If whoever at Westminster, that has spent three hours reading my various posts asking politicians to tackle unemployment properly, would like to use my ideas, please feel free.

***Exclusive - Lord West Placed The Bet***

It's all a question of language...

Lord Brown: "I have never placed a bet at all while a minister ever on a political issue".
The crucial words here are "at all while a minister". Why put that in Lord West? Why throw that in?

The bet was made after Brown became Prime Minister - 28 June 2007

Lord West became a minister - 1 August 2007.

That leaves a 34 day gap where Brown was bouncing, the odds were high and Lord Brown was not a minister...

You say "I have never placed a bet on Labour losing the election" but can you confirm if you placed a bet that the Conservatives would win one, or that Labour would win in coalition? You do not rule out placing a bet, you just rule out that specific bet.

It's all about the language of the bet placed and the language West is using. Somehow, I think Lord West has been caught out. Somehow, I think Lord West placed a bet at 66-1 between 28/6/07 and 01/8/07. What say you, m'lord?

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Labour's very own Dan Hannan?

So an unnamed minister placed a bet at 66-1 that Gordon Brown would not win the next election.

I am shocked. Not that a Labour Government Minister placed such a bet, but for two other remarkable reasons...

1) shocked that any bookie offered 66-1, regardless of the 'Brown bounce', and
2) shocked that Labour actually have someone with foresight, forward thinking, realism and a keen eye for a good way to spend money, make money and not waste it.

Would the 'unnamed minister' please step forward and lay claim to the Labour leadership, and as a result, the country...

Thursday, 23 April 2009

The Jobs Budget - a personal account

It was billed as a 'Budget for Jobs'.
But for me, and no doubt many others in my situation, it'll turn out to be a 'Budget4Jobs', because that's how many I'll be doing.

I am a graduate, with management experience, top notch references and a winning smile.
Since redundancy in September 2008, I have been unable to secure permanent employment.

So how does the budget make it any easier for me to score a job? It doesn't.
If I was 25 or under, I would know that by September at the latest, I would have a job (as the Government will guarantee one to any under 25 who's been out of work for 12 months), but as I'm not, that doesn't help.
Job Centre Plus will receive £1.7bn, but, with no disrespect to anyone, the jobs that are advertised (and successfully obtained) through Job Centre are not the sort of jobs that I could, should and can be doing. Yes, I could do various jobs at the minimum wage, but morale and confidence are crucial parts of tackling recession and consumer confidence.
So what has the Government done for graduates who believe, rightly, that they should be earning at least something around the average salary? Nothing.

Are my employment prospects any better thanks to Darling and Co? No.

So thanks Labour. Once more, policy that won't make a difference.

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Debt, debt, debt.

National debt will be 79% of GDP by 2013/14?

WOW! We're ****ed.

We are already so far in debt, if we were a football club, we'd be docked points as the administrators knocked down our doors.

So to continue spending, continue borrowing, throwing our money around, literally throwing it in every (political) direction and not to cut anything (e.g. quangos, trident?) is scaring the cr@p out of Political Dissuasion. Al I can hear as I type is "investment", "new funding", "do more", "additional", "increase in...". Christ, this is bad!

And, the car scrappage scheme WILL happen. Lost it, they've lost it. He's just claimed we are a "confident Britain". I hope there's a net at the bottom of the cliff we've just been pushed off!

Nick Clegg...Impressive?

Er, yes!

Hate to say it, as I would be performing a massive u-turn, but Clegg's been pretty strong recently, saying the right things and for once looked pretty good at PMQs today.

There. I said it.

Budget/PMQs - Brown stuck in the past

"If we're going to have a Prime Minister that cannot accept the facts, we're not going to make any progress" David Cameron.

Gordon Brown then goes on to talk about the situation in the early 90s.

Cameron - Progress
Brown - Anything from 1997 and before.

Anyone remember when Labour kept saying "forward, not back"?

Budget - Cigarettes and Alcohol

For the first time in (my) living memory, a Budget is due and I haven't heard a single mention of fuel duty, alcohol taxation and increased cigarette prices.

Do you reckon they've kept this quiet as all the £billions deficit is going to be paid off by smokers?

Seriously, this used to be the main focus on days like times have changed!

Budget - the day begins

Rumour has it that the ridiculous £2,000 car scrappage scheme was still not decided upon by 9am this morning!

Poor Alistair. Even the silly little policies that will make dog-all of a difference, even if they tried to trumpet it as a green revolution, are too worrying to be a no-brainer. Imagine the deliberations that will be going on for, oh, I don't know, say...£15bn service buts!

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Solving Unemployment - update

Further to my plan to 'solve unemployment', just an updated thought.

My suggestion is to only allow those who are NOT in full time, permanent employment apply for current vacancies. If a company goes through this process and still doesn't find a suitable candidate, then they can go to an 'open recruitment'. Essentially, giving priority to those most in need of work.

Most people have been this wouldn't work...but the Civil Service has it's very own priority recruitment procedures.

In some (maybe all, I'm not too sure) public sector departments/agencies, the recruitment process goes as follows...
Advertise internally without an external advertisement.
Advertise on a Civil Service personnel only site called CS-vacs (Civil Service Vacancies - essentially a wider, internal recruitment ONLY open to current Civil Servants)
If still unsuccessful at filling the post, the position would then go external, to an open recruitment.

So why can the public sector have this priority 'old boys network', a staggered process that benefits one grouping, when in principle, I want to introduce the same concept - only my concept would benefit those unemployed, desparately in need, as opposed to those already in a job, in the public sector, with disproportionate pensions and benefits. Keeping the gravy train for those who are already feasting on gravy is bad enough.

Look outside the public sector box and this could make a massive difference.

Monday, 20 April 2009


The Budget is set to be announced, highlighting many problems, more expense and detailing how BrowLing have saved Britain.

The 'green shoots of recovery' have been spotted, and it appears a turnaround is not far off. However, unemployment is one area which will be last to be reversed. It is widely estimated that unemployment will continue to rise to 3,250,000 people.
Within twelve months...
House prices may begin to recover, slowly.
Mortgage approvals may increase, slowly.
Share prices will begin to recover, slowly.
Businesses will be able to access credit, and pressure on them will be eased, slowly.
Our massive national debt can then begin to be repaid, very, very slowly.

But unemployment will still rise and it is widely anticipated that this will be the single biggest problem, even after the 'green shoots' begin to flower.

My idea, that I have written to all the relevant ministers and local MPs with, and got no reply whatsoever is


I have written before about how to solve the unemployment crisis, but to little success in spreading my idea. I am no expert in politics, legislation or employment, so I am aware there will be limitations to my proposal, but in principle, it works, and would make a massive, massive dent in the unemployment figures (and, in turn, monies paid out in benefits).
Please read it and help with suggestions as I am struggling to find any crucial and defining arguments against why it would work.

How to solve unemployment - an idea

While my idea wouldn't eradicate unemployment, it would make a massive, positive difference in recession-hit times such as these, helping millions of people and fast-tracking one area of recovery which will lag far behind the rest of the country's 'green shoots'.

The idea...

For a six month period, anyone in full-time permanent employment, would not be able to apply for a new job.
It's as simple as that.

On average, there are 250,000 new job vacancies created each month in the UK. If all of these jobs went to unemployed citizens over a six month period, almost half of the projected unemployed (peaking at 3.25m) would be back in employment, earning, paying taxes, with a higher morale, and NOT receiving benefits.

Any future redundancies, made in these 6 months, would be a far less crippling blow then before, as new redundees(?) would have a far better chance of getting back too work.

The long-term unemployed would also be in a better position, with less excuses, to get back to work.

Some may argue that:
- It's not fair on businesses as they have a limited talent pool to choose from. I strongly believe that the majority of vacancies could be filled with a suitable candidate from those who are unemployed. If a company goes through the recruitment process and after interviewing the candidates, then they would then be allowed to advertise openly to all as they have a valid business case for it. If they do find a suitable candidate...then that's a big win for everyone!

- It's not fair on those currently in jobs who could miss out on opportunities. Sorry to sound socialist, but in the current climate, people should feel lucky they have a job. A six month hiatus will not cripple business or your career prospects, and this proposal, like tax rises, would be one of the effective sacrifices the country has to make to get back on it's feet.

- Those who hate their jobs would be stuck in a situation which is not good for them. I would argue that if it's that bad you would have quit before, so you can put up with it for the next 6 months. If you can't put up with it, if it is really that bad, then you would be quitting regardless, only now you would have a better chance of finding work than you would be without this policy.

- And although we would no doubt have to get it passed some European directive, I'm sure that this would be do-able, if we really put our minds to it!

In addition to this policy, businesses could be encouraged by getting paid some of the money that would otherwise have been spent on unemployment benefit, an incentive scheme.

Stopping those already in a job applying for a new one would be massively beneficial for this country, with very, very few negative consequences. The taxpayer would save money in paying less in benefits. The unemployed, those worst affected by the recession, would be given that helping hand that VAT cuts and mortgage approval schemes do not offer them.

We would be better off as a country, and am yet to find any arguments against this policy which outweigh the benefits, so please feel free to let me know if there are any. This is the type of "tough decision" our country willhave to make over the next few years.

The Smearing Speaker - Michael Martin's now at it!

It seems that those Labour folks just can't stop telling lies!

Michael Martin has accused the Tamil Tiger protestors, demonstrating on Parliament Square today, of using children to stop police getting in about the protestors to monitor the situation.

He claims they are pushing the kids to the front so that the police are unable to force their way through into the middle of the crowds.

However, the police have said this is not the case...hmmm. The police may not have the best press right now, but I'll take their word for it as they are ACTUALLY THERE, rather than the fat man in the chair. More lies, more Labour!

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Salmond trumps Brown

Jenny Hjul in the Times has written an excellent piece on the Salmond/Brown comparison.

Last week saw the SNP conference, and also the first UK Government cabinet meeting to be held in Scotland for 90 years. Hjul highlights, excellently, the problems Brown now has north of the border... and Salmond is the biggest problem for him.

It is summed up beautifully when Hjul writes...
"Salmond’s popularity has little to do with independence, which two-thirds of Scots reject. It is based on his perceived ability to run Scotland differently".

How Labour, as a whole, aren't openly shouting for Brown to go, is beyond me. The desperation of the man, whcih is seeping into the party en masse, is truly worrying, not only for the party, but for the country for 2 more years.

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Got what it takes? Er, not really!

So, Salmond's new slogan for Scotland is...

"We've got what it takes" supported by the Scotland flag, promising to guide Scotland through, and out of, the recession.

Just one problem, before any Nats are thinking about getting tattooed. We've not got what it takes. The SNP doesn't have what it takes, the Scottish Parliament doesn't have what it takes, Scotland dooesn't have what it takes. In fact, by definition, the SNP have been saying for years that we don't...

We don't have the financial powers to see us through, to do it ourselves, to set our own course as Scotland. We are at the mercy of Westminster because, on these matters, we're the UK, not Scotland.

We may have the talent (debatable to some),
We may have the will,
We may have a progressive Parliament,
We may even have consensus from time to time,
And we may have a catchy slogan...
But as Scotty would say..."We just can't do it Captain, we don't have the powerrrrrrr"

So let's not kid ourselves, and let's not have the SNP turning into New Labour, by giving us slogans which do nothing, and mean less ( remember forward, not back?). We're about to have a UK budget (remember Nats, we are still part of that thing) and Scotland will probably take a big financial hit as Brown tries to quash morale in Scotland for independence. We're also about to be whacked, quite hard, with tax increases left, right and centre.

So don't forget, you may have what it takes, but we actually don't.
Westminster's still the daddy, albeit for now, but they are.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Scrapping Policy - Labourstyle

Well, in the true style of Gordon Brown's Government, they come up with a bad idea, that they think can appease a small (but crucially Labour-donating) minority of people, and talk about it so much, and pass the focus from Minister to Prime Minister back to Minister and so on, until no one is any longer paying that much attention, and sneakily get their foolish, typically Labour, policy through with no one calling them on it.

£2,000 to scrap your car, if you buy a new greener one.

Modern cars are not "green", "clean" or "environmentally-friendly".
They may be greener than the old ones but adding "-er" to something doesn't make it what it isn't.

I am richer than my best friend - doesn't make me rich.
Shaun Wright-Philips is taller than an oompa-loompa - doesn't make him tall.
Joseph Fritzel is nicer than Adolf Hitler was - doesn't make him nice!

So, when Gordon Brown, Darling or Mandelson say that by doing this they are helping the environment, they're stretching it a bit. There are cars being produced that can run on hydrogen (which only emit O2 - steam). THAT'S a green car. If the car industry's in a mess, then it's in a mess, and the way it had being going, for many years before the recession, we should not be surprised that they face massive cuts and redundancies. Basically, this policy is just ANOTHER way of giving ANOTHER industry ANOTHER, but this way the Government can avoid the public seeing a big whopping figure (£ ,000,000s) on the front pages and causing ANOTHER panic. For years the car industry has struggled, and it's only going to get worse.

Do we really want to pump £millions into an industry that is just a large scale equivalent of Woolworths? Some lovely memories, cherished brands, a British institution, part of our history BUT LOSING MONEY AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO. With Woolies, the Government were right to let it sink, and unfortunately, the titanic car industry must do the same.

It would result in large scale redundancies, but unless the Government nationalise the car plants, these are going to happen sooner or later. Better to tackle a problem at it's earliest (good advice for mortgage brokers 2 years ago) rather than putting it aside, swallowing money, only for the same scenario to raise it's head now.

The car industry and their unions are MASSIVE financial backers of the Labour Party and that is why they will get help and the Government are sneaking it in through the boot. If we encourage investment (both in industry and the consumers) in real environmentally friendly cars, then you can have my backing, but this policy is just designed to keep the Labour Party cupboards stocked, not about good governance.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Gordon Brown's talks...again

Gordon Brown on the SmearGate nonsense...“Any activity such as this that affects the reputation of our politics is a matter of great regret to me and I am ready to take whatever action is necessary to improve our political system.”

"...I am ready to take whatever action is necessary to..." - JUST SHUT THE F*** UP!

Stop saying "will do whatever is necessary", "must do whatever it takes" and "the necessary action". These are not policies. These are not tactics. These are not confidence-inspiring strategic announcements with which the country can look forward.

After a very brief google search, Gordon Brown has used the phrase "whatever is necessary", not including any other variations, on the following topics...

The Government steadying/saving the banks
The Government tackling unemployment
The Government helping the car industry
To preserve the union against Scottish Independence
To ensure investment in digital technologies
To defend Britain from terrorism
To ensure petrol supplies to petrol stations
The Government getting money back from Icelandic banks
The Government helping out the Eastern European countries
The Government's war in Afghanistan
The Government's war in Iraq

and so on...and so on...

And apart from petrol distribution and Scottish Independence, none of the above are looking like the rosiest of gradens at present (and independence is only being flushed out because he fucked the economy, and in turn, suspiciously sold off the Scottish banks pretty quickly).

We need action, we need a plan and strategy and a thought-process and... just something. Not the same flimsy line, like the G20 saying, "Problem solved, we'll all do whatever is necessary - and go after tax-havens. The recession is defeated". No Gordo, we need "We will do ______ (this is where you insert an actual policy, drive, initiative... like solving the unemployment crisis?).

So shut up, roll up your sleeves, and just f***ing DO SOMETHING. Stop talking about how you're leading us, stop reminding us "as Prime Minister". You call the Tories 'the do nothing party', but bluster is not graft so you are just as guilty as your criticism.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

How to solve unemployment

As I don't have any insider gossip on Draper, Guido, McBride, LabourList, RedRag or anything related to this "gasp" provoking scandal, I thought I'd write something about the more important stuff.

Today children...unemployment. It is not as sexy a topic as SmearGate, I'll grant you, but in the grand scheme of things I'm listing it as more important in the long run than telling some lies, and who told you to tell those lies.

As Political Dissuasion does from time to time, I have a wacky idea that I know has little hope of ever becoming part of an economic recovery plan (like my under-appreciated flat rate of income tax curveball).

Unemployment is soaring and is expected to hit 3million. If you speak to the large number of people you know who are currently job-hunting, they will tell you how difficult it is, how many people are applying for each job and how few jobs there are in the first place.

What if, for six months, only those unemployed or not in full-time permanent employment were allowed to apply for jobs? This would reduce the unemployment numbers, relieve jobseeker allowance expenditure, and solve a large part of the gloom surrounding this recession. I know it seems a bit of an odd suggestion, but I feel that the benefits of this would outweigh the negatives by a long way. And as it would only be for, say six months, this would create very little drawback for industry. Yes, some sectors would be allowed, for very specific posts, some exceptions, but only in very rare circumstances. And after going through a full recruitment process, if a company cannot find any candidates at all who are suitable, then, and only then, would they be allowed to 'openly recruit'.

When Gordon Brown highlights how many vacancies there are in the country, it doesn't make a difference to my experience (or hope) of still not being able to find employment. This system would find jobs for those who have suitable experience and skills which would suit the employer.

So employers would have two options, either:

- look at what's out there and if you find someone suitable, you've got an employee you approve of and if that fails then after that, you can open it up to anyone, or,
- hold off for six months and make the appointment then.

Those wanting to move jobs or who hate their jobs will have to make the sacrifice of 'sticking it out' for those six months, part of the national sacrifice we all have to make in these times (which will soon include - higher taxes, less public service expenditure, a return to 17.5% VAT, lower or no pay rises, lower or no bonuses, a crackdown on 'expenses', negative equity for more people, mortage difficulty etc etc etc). Those made redundant would have a much healthier chance of not becoming one of the long-term unemployed, getting back to work and generally creating a stronger, working economy.

The difference this policy would make to people's lives (potentially 3million people!), would be enormous.And all it would take is 6 months to make a huge dent, in a huge problem.


Cameron to abolish Scotland

It doesn't take a genius to read between the lines on this one...

"Cameron to cut the cost of politics by axeing 60 MPs"

And how many MPs does Scotland have?

59. It's pretty basic maths.

So, Cameron is obviously plotting to axe Scotland and one other MP... if I wasDavid Davis, I'd be worried.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

"Political End of the World" Awards

Gordon Brown wants a 'Green New Deal' to save the environment.

This follows the 'Global New Deal' he wants to save the world's economy.
Which in turn follows the 'New Deal', which he wants to save our skills shortage and unemployment figures.

Somehow, like most of politics, it's the same old story with the same no results.

The environment is in a stiffer, more dangerous, more problematic and more ignored recession than any economy has been in history. I am a smug b*st*rd and love being able to say "I told you so", but on this matter, genuinely with the world at stake, I'd rather be wrong.
Wrong that global warming is even more serious than our Governments are letting on and looking at.
And wrong that our Governments won't take the appropriate action until it's far, far too late.
I do believe that my generation is the generation to fix it. I believe that we understand the risk, accept the sacrifices that need to be made, and are willing to do it. The problem is, by the time that my generation is in a position to enact the appropriate changes, in about 20-30 years, it will be too late.
Politicians, political parties, Governments and Leaders of the world are not controlled by 'doing the right thing'. They are concerned with winning elections. They are not concerned with the consequences of 20-30years time, as they will not be around or will be closing in on their twilight. They cannot make decisions now, not that will save the planet but also produce big vote-winning headlines. Politicians control government, government controls policy and policies across the world dictates the world's future. So when politicians only live in the short-term, focussed on the next, nearest win how can we tackle the big issues.
Haven't we just learned this in the financial crisis? Waiting til it crashes around us, then finding the solution afterwards has just proven to us to be the difficult way to do it.
So Gordon cannot claim to be green. Neither can Cameron, to be honest. Pilot schemes across the country, starting in two years? Yet another headline, no hardline.
Gordon cannot claim a Green Budget is about to descend upon Britain when it is happy to expand Heathrow and Stanstead. Governments cannot claim to be green when they bail out car companies without imposing strict, progressive targets towards cleaner methods of transport.

It's all a bit worrying that the Government is still approving coal plants. Coal Plants!! About as dirty a concept as Paris Hilton.

Ask someone who's just found out they have terminal lung cancer...
Do they wish they could go back and stop smoking?
Do they wish they could go back and listen to the hundreds of individual people who said STOP?
Do they wish they could go back and heed the SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE that said, if you keep polluting yourself, you will die?


And in this generation, these days, now, can these people claim...
I didn't know the risks?
Nobody told me?


These are the same arguments that can be levelled against Governments not doing enough on global warming. "Smoking is a mug's game". We are going to end up with the environmental equivalent of lung cancer, terminal lung cancer, a disease that once it gets so far along, we can do nothing about. Do we. as a country, as a world, really want to say "Yeah, we will, one day" until we get to the regret? No. But will we? Yes.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Rife Sexist Politics

There has been a lot of chat and bitching and biting around the issue of All Women Shortlists, with both men and women of the blogosphere pitching their views on either side of the argument.

There have been accusations of sexism and offense and all the usual clammerings of shite that usually appear when there's a chance for some bloggers to look, Oh So PC. But you know what...anyone that says that women are under represented in politics is fucking delusional. I'd rather know that the right decisions are being taken, rather than whatever decision is being taken is being taken proportionally across the sexes/races/social classes/religions etc. Women may not make up the majority of politicians, but they, as women are not under-represented on issues which affect women.

I say this, because I recently found out that the first ever official debate in the House of Commons on Men's Health was held... on 5 March 2009. Yes, that's right, a month ago.

I could waste the next three years of my life totalling up the number of different debates that have taken place on women's health, but I won't, for now I'll use the term “lots”.

Breast cancer, cervical cancer, screening programmes, IVF treatments to name but a few, are some of the “lots” of time and energy and time and politics that have been spent on these issues – worthy issues I'd like to add. But for our Government to have held ONE official debate on the topic of men's health is truly appalling. One example...we could do with more time and money spent on getting men to discuss grabbing their balls and playing 'hunt the lump'.

Would having more women in politics have made this issue more prominent, more 'tackled'? (excuse the pun). No, would it have been less so? I doubt it.

If women think that they are getting a raw deal out of the product that is governance (aka policy), then that is one thing they are right to argue about. But the most recent AWS debate hasn't focussed on this. Instead there have been accusations that men, and men alone, are responsible for “The Holocaust. The Cold War. The collapse of the world’s financial system and the deepest recession for decades.”. Yeah, cos women, 'Blair's Babes' for example, weren't involved in any Afghanistan chat, of course!

In modern politics, polling has more sway than anything over MPs (male or female). Polling takes into account the views of the nation, men and women. Politicians' main priority is getting re-elected, and getting into Government. Pandering to women is a massive part of any party's strategy. No party is going to be elected, or re-elected if they can be labelled as sexist. So whether an MP is male or female, it doesn't matter, because they will vote along the lines that polling dictates, reflecting the voters' wishes. If anyone wants to argue that polling is conducted in a way that benefits men over women, I'd love to hear it – but then again, I've always loved listen to crazy folks.

Here's a couple of examples where women, despite being less in numbers in politics, certainly get the bigger slice of the equality pie...

Domestic abuse – debate on this issue focusses almost entirely on the effect on women. I admit that they are more the victim in this, but pretty much no debate or policy is targeted at helping men.

Custody rights – more than 90% of custody battles result in settlements being made in favour of the mother (just ask Fathers4Justice) usually on the basis that “a mother's bond is closer”.

But on men's health, for there to have been one debate, ever, is truly scandalous, especially compared to the millions of pounds and hours spent on women-only issues. I'm not saying we shoulldn't be paying this money and using our time on these things, but when women want to talk about equality, let's look at it across the board. Just because you're not 50% of those making the decisions, doesn't mean you're being hard done by. In some cases women are, in some cases it's men. I'd be interested to know if men and women agree that the important thing is what is decided, rather than who decides it.

Let's spend less time chasing false equalities like 50:50 splits.

Let's spend more time talking about my nuts.

Friday, 3 April 2009

How to flush away the biggest poo

George Foulkes. He's like that jobby that even after three flushes, won't go away - we could pour boiling water on it, hit it with a stick, even ask it nicely, but it just won't go and just keeps stinking out the House. I've never heard a real name that rhymes with "ridiculous wanker", but if you listen closely to the words 'George Foulkes', I can definitely hear a similarity.

Without making much noise about it, Alex Salmond cancelled this week's FMQs owing to the helicopter crash in the North East. He cancelled it, and moved on. He didn't do a Gordon Brown and say 'this is what I've done, and this is why I've done it, and this is why I am wonderfully respectful and this is what I've done' and over-egg the pudding. Apart from people in the blogosphere, who like a chance to sling mud across the e-chamber, the regular people of Scotland won't have noticed that it was cancelled. Whether we like it or not, politics is not popular and most of Scotland couldn't give two hoots about FMQs, because, like PMQs, it makes fuck all difference. Christ, it barely even reaches the Scottish news coverage.

Parties just try and score points, not for the sake of bettering oor wee nation, but as a means of suppressing their inner smugness (SNP), jealousy (Lab), ineptitude (LibDems) or ineffectiveness (Con). Nobody gives a shit - not in the real world.

So George Foulkes, with any excuse to waste oxygen in the name of democracy, comes out and slates Salmond for cancelling it. It's never a good sign when Kezia and Foulkes are attacking from the same hymn sheet, because this is usually the case when Kez realises, "Oh shit, he's having one of his oaf-ish, buffoon days, spouting shit, thinking he's making the world a better place. Better get on the soapbox and try and make some sense of his words to justify it". A thankless task for young Kezia.

In the same way that Georgie likes to bumble nonsense, the Nats (along with everyone else) like to take any chance to shoot him down (and let's face it, there's many a chance). SNP Tactical Voting continues his attack on Labour politicians this week by hitting out at George The Mouth. New blogger, "unashamedly pro-SNP" An Original Idea, gets a solid kick in, taking after most Nats, and normal people, by hitting hard and highlighting a Labour double standard from Foulkes.

But, if we live in a democracy, and pretty much everyone thinks he's an embarrassment (and that includes Labour members), how can we not get rid of him? Surely, somehow, there's a method of flushing away the biggest shit in the parliament? This "Labour attack dog" is just a blinkering idiot who wanders about clueless. He's like Dorothy, just landed in a new world and doesn't understand that no one knows where he came from but he's causing trouble and, in general, life would be better and more peaceful if he just attached a basket to his waist, and spouting his nonsense, hot air-ballooned it out of here and went away. Everywhere he goes, trouble is created, naively thinking that everyone's nice and likes, nope. You spout your crap and Toto Dugdale is sent out to try and make you look like real politician, but to no avail.

We want rid of you, Scotland wants rid of you. You wast our time, our money and our parliament. Cancelling FMQs? Salmond just saved the taxpayer another £100 that you'd have cost us with a stupid shitty question. He saved you embarrassment - well, for now.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

G20 latest - early rumours

Ok, so there's some details sneaking out of the G20 discussions, and for those cynics out there, prepare to to feel justified by your view - the worlld has not, yet been saved.

However, "Big progress has been made" on tax-havens...apparently.

There is supposedly going to be something called "The OECD List" of tax havens. What is this OECD List? Well, as you may think, it's not a policy, it's not an action plan, it is a list of how countries are doing on the topic of tax-havens. Yes, there will be a breakdown of Good, Bad, and Middle with no other mention of how Bad countries willl be treated, or punished, so presumably there will be none.

First of all, this will do nothing to make a difference to the current problems we're facing. It just means everything on tax havens will remain the same but those who want to 'haven their tax', will have a brochure of where to go.

Also, and I've said this before, but why are they focussing on the pointless things such as tax-havens and bankers' bonuses? These things are small fry in the big picture and do not affect the markets and confidence. It may make people feel better, cos when the chips are down, there's nothing people like more than 'bashing the rich', but surely the politics of saying we're doing something to those nasty successful people doesn't make a difference (a real financial one, as opposed to a finding a scapegoat - Fred Goodwin, tax havens - one).

Any further rumours or follow.