Saturday, 29 May 2010

Sanctimonious Laws

So David Laws has done the honourabloe thing and resigned over his expenses claim for rent he paid to his partner.  Why the hell did he think it was acceptable in the first place - on any level it was totally inappropriate and even immoral.

There will be much written on the many politcal blogs and in the Sunday papers tomorrow.

It's sickening to read some of Laws sanctimonious comments on his website about how he was cleared in the expenses investigations.  I wonder why he didn't come clean then or at least try to clarify the rules.
David Laws website

Monday, 24 May 2010

Cameron vs 1922 Committee

Cameron blinks first and backs down.

Assessment of The Coalition's last few days - leak and weak.

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Coalition confusion

Only one week into The Coalition and there is confusion and disarray already over their Afghanistan policy.  It seems that Liam Fox, William Hague and Andrew Mitchell couldn't get their act together and agree what they wanted to say.

Fox was really quite disparaging about the country saying he wanted troops out as soon as possible and referring to Afganistan as a "broken 13th century country" and was clealry not intrested in helping the Afghan people to create a stable society.

Fox's comments were at odds with Hague and Mitchell who both saw a wider role helping to build a "functioning state" with a proper coherent British approach.

A bit of retreating later saw them trying to demostrate that you couldn't get a Rizla between them - but I betyou can.

Also under fire is Theresa May over her policing policy.  In a letter to The Observer, police authority chiefs voice outright hostility to the proposals for directly elected police commissioners.  They argue that the plans for sweeping reform of the service will make the country's streets less safe.

A major area of concern is that elected people running local police services have a "politically motivated agenda" and will be chasing votes instead of criminals.

Several major policing organisations are pushing for crisis talks with the Home Secretary.  So come on Mrs May listen to the people who know what they are talking about.

Perhaps we will see another change of mind by Theresa May.

Friday, 21 May 2010

May's U-Turn

So Theresa May has changed her mind on some gay rights issues.  She has been persuaded by the arguements and now agrees that gay couples should be allowed to jointly adopt.

There is no doubt that Mrs May has a poor voting record on LGBT issues.  Mrs May voted against equalising the age of consent, the repeal of Section 28, against gay couples jointly adopting and against lesbian IVF rights. She failed to attend Parliament for the vote for gender recognition or for the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations (which she has responsibility for administering) that outlaws discrimination on the basis of sexuality for the provision of goods and services including adoption. She did vote for civil partnerships.

Almost 70,000 people have joined a Facebook group calling on prime minister David Cameron to sack Mrs May as minister for equality. Mrs May has indicated she is well aware of the group.

So is this a genuine change of heart or is it Political convenience.  I know what I believe - only time will tell.  But Mrs May - we will be watching you!

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Ed Balls to Declare Tomorrow

Ed Balls (Morley & Outwood) will announce tomorrow tht he is joining the race to be the next leader of the Labour Party.

More ConDem Peers to be created

According to reports in The Metro today the new coalition government could create 172 peers to ensure some controversial laws get through parliament.

The Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have promised to reform the upper house but, in the meantime, they want a second chamber which reflects their share of the vote secured in the election, according to their agreement papers.  This would imply an increase from 186 to 263 in Tory numbers in the House of Lords and a boost in Lib Dem places from 72 to 167 - a total of 172 new peers.

Labour and Greens in Leeds Council power agreement

According to reports it seems that Leeds City council is about to come under Labour rule again as they Labour Group are have agreed to form a minority administration with Green Party councillors. This will replace the disastrous (in my humble opinion) Tory / Lib Dem coalition which has been supported by the rag bag group of Morley Borough Independents.

Here is the report from The Guardian online:-

Leeds council is set for new political rulers after the Leeds Labour group reached an agreement with the two-strong Green Party to form a minority adminstration, it has been announced.

After more than a week of tense negotiations, the Green's husband and wife team of David and Ann Blackburn have agreed a deal with Labour which will see them vote with the Labour group at key times, such as the budget, council AGM and votes of no confidence.

Labour has today written to the chief executive announcing that they intend to form a minority administration, supported by the Greens, which will see them take back control of the council from the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition that has run it for the past six years.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of the Labour Group, said:

"I am delighted to announce that, following successful negotiations with the Green Group to secure their support on key issues, I have today advised Paul Rogerson, chief executive of Leeds council, that the Labour Group intends to take control of the council.

"At the recent local elections, the Labour Group gained four seats, making it overwhelmingly the largest political group. I believe it is our duty to take responsibility for the council on that basis.

"This is not a formal coalition, but we and the Green Group share several key aspirations for this city, and in particular, we look forward to working with them very closely on environmental issues."

Wakefield said this afternoon that he hoped the agreement would be formally ratified at the council AGM next Thursday, although there may yet be a challenge from the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Details of the deal between Labour and the Greens will be revealed next week.

The agreement essentially gives the Labour and Greens control of the council by just one seat. However, if any of the Labour or Green councillors failed to attend next week's council AGM, they would not have enough votes to get council control.

No overall control from one party

Labour gained four seats in Leeds at the local elections 12 days ago - but the results left the council still under no overall control from any single political party.

Labour have 48 seats - two short of the 50 needed to take power. The Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Morley Borough Independent coalition, which has controlled the council since 2004 has 49 seats, leaving the two-strong Green Party in a position to take Labour into a position of control by voting with them on key issues.

The Labour-Green control is also dependent on Leeds's lord mayor exercising his right to vote at the council's AGM - this year the lord mayor is Labour's Jim McKenna. Traditionally the lord mayor does not take part in the voting, although legally there's nothing to say he can't.

Wakefield added:

"We are under no illusions that the year ahead will be a tough one, with difficult and sometimes painful decisions to be made in the face of massive cuts proposed by the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition.

"Our aim is to protect public services making sure the elderly, the young and the vulnerable get the care and support they need.

"Working with our partners, our priority now is to get people back into meaningful work through training and apprenticeships to ensure that everyone gets a fair chance to benefit from Leeds' success as the regional capital.

"In this context we will not forget that transport is a key issue for the city and the region, especially with regard to the New Generation Transport (NGT) proposals."