Arthurian Legend

"Once back here I got to thinking - 'how do I get out of this?' Perhaps the really haunting spectre is that I would have to turn my back on the lake, and the prospect of the sword." Alan Clark, Diaries - 19th May 1999

Monday, 14 May 2007

Fiona Mactaggart...

...was, according to her biography on Wikipedia, the General Secretary of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants from 1982-87.

Good job then, since over a hundred have just landed on her constituency doorstep in Slough.

Even Channel 4 news this evening had an "interview" with one of them who was being put on at council tax payers' expense in a local B&B. When asked where the money was coming from she replied, "Social"!

Mactaggart polled over 17,000 votes at the 2005 General Election, with the second-placed Conservative candidate falling well short with under 10,000.

Wonder how many this little event will cost her?

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Quote of the Day (May 2007 edition)

“[Pupils] will be able to hydrate during the learning experience”

So said Alan McMurdo, headteacher of the Thomas Deacon city academy school to be opened in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, in Autumn 2007...the school for 2,200 pupils that does not have a playground.

Central planning, management speak, New Labour.

Doncha just love it?

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Local election rubbish

Tim Hames makes a good point in today's Times:-

"this wheelie bin revolt helped to boost Tory numbers. It does, nonetheless, raise the question as to whether the theme of “vote blue, go green” will be a winner for David Cameron in the longer term."

An even bigger problem is that, as Richard North on the EU Referendum blog repeatedly points out, the moves towards fortnightly collections are in direct response to the ever-increasing cost of such collections, thanks to the EU's Waste Framework Directive. This is estimated to cost the UK around £10-£12 billion extra in terms of landfill taxes, the building of recycling facilities, and EU fines for failing to comply in time with the EU's recycling targets.

The Conservatives now taking control of more and more councils will be virtually powerless to negate the effects of these bigger systemic problems. The only hope is that they will be able to find effeciency gains elsewhere that can offset the costs of the effects of the Waste Framework Directive. In some places, they may be able to. But in many they probably won't. Which means that the more the Conservatives win now, the bigger the likely future loss will be when "local Conservative goverment" is unable to deal with this problem effectively.

Since this Directive was inspired by waste management solutions in countries very different from the UK, it is a clear example of how local government has now been all but emasculated not only by Westminster but by Brussels, itself beyond the control of Westminster and the British electorate of any description or configuration.

That is why for the moment, whilst the local election results may be a harbinger of forthcoming Conservative victory in the next General Election, the practical consequences that will flow from a change of administration at the local level will be much less than any main political party will care to admit.

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Postal vote fraud in Birmingham

The BBC is reporting that the request for postal vote in two Birmingham city wards have dropped since the last election by up to 80%.

The wards mentioned are Bordsley Green and Aston.

The councillors who won the seats in those wards are:-

Bordsley Green

AZIZ, ABDUL [Independent]

Yet from listening to Radio 4's Today programme this morning you would never have known it was largely Labour and Lib Dem councillors who benefitted.

Draw your own conclusions.