Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper – Boundary Commission


The best thing Yvette can do is stop forcing houses on the South and let the market work, so that people seek cheaper accommodation in places like West Yorkshire

Head oop North and save the golden couple’s marriage

It is a tough time for Ed and Yvette, the nearest thing the Government has to a golden couple. You remember who I mean. He is Ed Balls, the Chancellor’s jut-chinned henchman; she is Yvette Cooper, the elfin housing minister who reduces the Tories opposite to pathetic simpering croons.

They are the kind of dynastic union that Hollywood used to produce – the closest the Yorkshire Parliamentary Labour Party has yet come to Bogart and Bacall. Apart from the ghastly, bossy, high-taxing politics they both espouse, they are as charming and fortunate a pair as you could hope to meet in Westminster. But now their union – this marriage of minds and hearts – has been struck by tragedy.


In a touching gesture, the Labour high command gave them exactly what they wanted: not matching pillow cases, not his ‘n’ hers electric toothbrushes; no, they were given two lovely safe Labour seats, side by side, his in Normanton and hers in Pontefract, and across the land all piously assented. Those whom the Labour fixers had put together, groaned the congregation, let no man put asunder; and no man dared, until the Boundary Commission came along.

These grim mathematicians have worked out that West Yorkshire’s population is declining by comparison with other parts of the country. The place does not need 23 MPs. It can manage quite happily with 22, and Ed Balls has been wiped off the map.

Now you might have thought that this was the kind of well-deserved reverse he would take in his stride. Being a man of supreme confidence, and, indeed, balls, you would have thought that Ed would dust himself down and take himself off to some other part of the country, whence to join his wife in Parliament.

But the funny thing is that Ed is making a terrific fuss, and together with Yvette and two other Labour MPs he is taking the Boundary Commission to court, to preserve Normanton and his right to sit in a seat adjacent to his wife.

Should we wish him well in this hugely romantic gesture? Should we support the two Ballses’ bid to continue their dominion of West Yorkshire? I think not.

In fact this legal action has all the makings of a serious scandal. As is well known, Labour already has far more seats than it deserves.

Partly this is because people not unreasonably flee from seats represented by Labour MPs to seats represented by Tories, so the population of many Labour-held areas is actually going down at a time of strong population growth. The population of Scotland is expected to fall by

10 per cent over the next 35 years; the North-East is expected to lose two per cent, and the same kind of attrition can be seen in the Labour heartlands of Merseyside and Hull.

And yet the allocation of seats has notoriously failed to match the changing demography, so that Labour tends to have loads of small seats (Hackney South and Shoreditch has 57,204 electors, compared with 103,480 for the Tory Isle of Wight), and Tory MPs need about 4,000 more votes to get to Westminster than Labour MPs.

That was why the Boundary Commission sucked its teeth when it came to the Balls family stitch-up in Yorkshire, and decided, in the name of democracy, that one Balls must be dropped. How can Ed, a man of dignity and principle, even think of contesting this essential revision? The answer, I fear, is that he is being encouraged by his mentor, Gordon Brown.

This court case could go on for month after month. In fact, it might go on for so long that – do you know what – they might just find they could not get it through before the next election if, as is quite possible, Gordon decides to call a snap one immediately on taking over.

That would mean the whole Boundary Commission redesign would have to be postponed, and without a boundary review Gordon Brown’s beleaguered Labour government might save as many as 20 gerrymandered seats, and with the polls the way they are, 20 seats could make all the difference.

It is a beautiful little plot, and it is outrageous. Much as we sympathise with Ed and Yvette, we cannot tolerate this kind of jiggery-pokery. So let me suggest an alternative means by which Ed could save his seat. He should turn to his wife – no, not to ask her to give up her seat to a man – but to look at the effects of her policies on the demography of England.

The other day I was using a borrowed car and a demented German satnav took me out of Manchester. We went through Stockport and Stalybridge and at a place called Tintwistle we picked up the A628 and suddenly the road was flying over the moors, the Pennines, and I had a sensation of driving over the vast spine of England, and I thought, stone me, look at all this room.

Look at the light and the space. There were huge great fells and dells, or possibly dales, wuthering into the distance, and tiny underpopulated villages nestling under shoulders of purplish scree, and I thought how amazing it was that there should be such splendid vacancy only minutes from Manchester’s dilapidated suburbs, and how incredible that Yvette Cooper was bullying the South-East to accept an intolerable 34,000 more houses per year for the next 20 years, turning the Home Counties into a great roundabouted megalopolis.

Why, when there is so much room oop North? Why, when whole Victorian terraces are being destroyed in Liverpool and elsewhere? Why is the Government collaborating in this terrible flight from North to South? Is it just that it sees the South as the motor of the economy and wants to maximise tax revenue? It is madness.

The best thing Yvette can do is stop forcing houses on the South and let the market work, so that people seek cheaper accommodation in places like West Yorkshire. She would stop the South-East turning into Mexico City, and she might find that enough people went up North to justify the existence of her husband’s constituency.

309 thoughts on “Ed Balls and Yvette Cooper – Boundary Commission”

  1. The best thing that Boz has done for ages. A good point and less burbling than usual. I have worried for a long time that there would be some ruse to avert the damage of boundary changes and this is indeed scandalous.

    On the housing issue in the Borough I share with the blond one Islington I have been writing in the local press for ages attacking King Kens loathsome plan to crow bar 11600 new houses( 50 % social ) into the second most crowded authority , behind kens beloved Lambeth . In St Albans Harpenden they are squealing that the 3 % Socila housing ceiling is being broken . We have 50% and 70% of that on benefits. There have been riots and ….. well you can imagine the conditions
    The 13000 waiting list is always held top be the pressing problem. Of course were social housing as easily available in Hertfordshire and elsewhere the problem would of course disappear .
    Naturally Hertfordshire would take up pitch forks at the idea their pleasant schools should be under this sort of pressure and so it will never happen . the argument ultimately is then that inner London area s are so bad already a bit worse won`t matter .

    With housing Boris`s idea that we relocate to the fells is typically one of his silly but true ideas. Regional authorities like the GLA hide the fact that what is always called a local problem is in fact a structural UK problem of the politically possible in a given area . the local problem is caused by the subsidies that prevent markets working and until the complaint that `I`ve lived my whole life and they won`t give me house` is seen for the absurd presumption it is we cannot expect the housing problem to be solved .

    As the inelastic housing market is the real cause of supply side problems endemic in the economy and about to rear their heads again I would like to see the Conservatuive Party take this on. I fear such a job takes a commited and principled politician . I need say no more …. Forget it

    Soz for spelling busy at work

    ( and look out for my Mayoral application… vote for me)

  2. Warning! Rant mode on.

    The housing problem will only be solved when politicians start admitting that this country is grossly over-populated. But no-one dare speak this truth anymore dare they?
    We are now officially at 62 million, and the quality of life in the UK is deteriorating every year because of it. Many decades ago in the famous ‘Blueprint for Survival’ pamphlet, the Friends of the Earth advocated a maximum of 40 million for the UK to provide a decent quality of life. We are not ants, or any other sort of creature with a hive mentality that is suited to living in these atrocious conditions. Human beings deserve better.
    And before someone states that providing incentives to have fewer children will result in a so-called ‘demographic problem’, then yes, it will for a couple of generations or so. In any case it is not insurmountable and your great-grandchildren will thank you for it.

    And I haven’t even touched on the other environmental benefits a lower population will provide!

    Rant mode off!

  3. Brilliant article.

    It really is indicative of Labour’s attitude to England, and indeed the south-east, that such injustice is permitted to take place. The worrying situation which we increasingly find ourselves in seems to grow weekly, and pretty much every example of electoral corruption has been recorded against the Labour Party, at least once, in a shockingly short amount of time.

    Thank God for the voice of reason that is our beloved Bozza. How is it that no-one else seems to pick up on this kind of thing? It is rare-to-never that one sees the truth of “New” Labour reported in the popular press like this. I really do hope that people begin to take note.

    Just how long before Blair appoints himself FΓΌhrer?

  4. Rubbish. The country is not over populated there is ample space to house everyone if the market was allowed to operate. There are large areas where house price free fall is as much of a problem as house ( or rather land ) inflation in say London.. See my comments for real reasons Labour over crowd already crowded areas

    Also the birth rate has nothing to do with it UK resident are having about 1.7 children on average at wider generational gaps than replacement requires . In fact without social changes whereby more houses per person are per person required and net migration the population would be imploding like Italy for example ( There are significant exceptions to this trend at low top no income levels )

    The increase in the population you imagine is based on population figures notoriously difficult to extrapolate (as we have recently seen with the govts. 15000 Poles becoming 600,000) but with net migration ,( see migration watch ) the real issues are African not EU and Uk migration outwards . We are living through a period of unprecedented change to the make up of populations but overall growth is the least of the problems

    Are you aware thought that in raising the subject of to many people you are talking about immigration not birth-rate this does not sound so friendly as perhaps you intended

    .I am highly dubious that population growth in itself is a major factor in worsening the environment. Certain types of population growth however are .The influx of cheap skilled Labour with its benefits to business is both environmentally detrimental and socially difficult in the short term . Managed capitalism overall has an infinitely better record than State economies on the environmental responsibility and this is to do with the legal system and openness required for such a free market …However slash and burn big business so beloved of the `New` left have are aalmost as bad as the smelliest of Soviet power stations

    New Labour has made it a lost impossible to create organic growth and don`t I know how. The FSA and the vast switch of tax resources have cut of grass roots business and as Labour must have economic growth they are forced to bend over for big existing concerns . Hence planning restrictions are waived , trading laws flouted and immense social damage done by sucking cheap Labour whenever big business needs it . here is your environmental damage

    Addressing the environment is to do with understanding the type of growth and amount we can sustain not numbers of people. The continued state induced crisis in the housing market is one of the reasons it is so hard for this country to sustain the right sort of moderate growth

    Evcen if you don`t agree with this you must agree that talking ala cameron about `ishhoos` is pointless humbug without including growth rates taxes and ….reality ,in the sound bite .

    Look out for Mayoral application .

  5. Help . I forgot to say I was replying to Chris not Boris .
    His `Warning! Rant mode on.`
    is incorrect as I try to argue . Boris stuff is really excellent as I have also said

  6. Chris Morriss is spot on – and I have a modest proposal for how we achieve a lower population in the UK. First, anyone with more than two children is made to hand them over to the authorities (this will only work when Boris is in power, of course). Then, we sell those surplus children to European countries with falling populations. Et voila, as they say across the channel, two birds, one stone, that kind of thing. I look forward to at least a knighthood from the next Johnson government, though I’d prefer a peerage.

  7. A modest proposal worthy of Swift himself! (I’m sure selling the unwanted runts of a litter is much better than eating them).

    BTW,please assume ‘smilies’ before, during and after this particular response πŸ™‚

  8. I believe that actual children being born dropped below replacement levels some time ago as fewer women are having babies at all so this line of argument is a red herring. The population growth is due to immigration.

    Further, it would appear that the horrific plans to cover much of London with high density (higher than good practice specifies) poor quality shoe-box flats with no increase in support networks like water supplies, healthcare and schooling is more down to profits for property speculators than any actual logic.
    It’s all about the money and this is why it will be so hard to fight.

    We are suffering terribly from this problem in Bermondsey and it appears the local planning office has either been neutralised somehow or is collectively being paid off as all the usual controls over hight of blocks, density of housing and protection of the area have been abandoned.

  9. Why ,Yar Hough,( oh I get it you did Swift for O level ) and Chris Morris are you still talking about birthrates when i have clearly shown it to be irrelevant to UK population growth
    `birth rate has nothing to do with it UK resident are having about 1.7 children on average at wider generational gaps than replacement requires . In fact without social changes whereby more houses per person are per person required(iro housing problem)and net migration the population would be imploding like Italy for example ( There are significant exceptions to this trend at low to no income levels )`

    I have the distinct feeling I am whatever the opposite of out of my depth is here .Or to boring to bother with , Either way its a bit pointless and I think I `ll go and worry some other sheep.

    No ,… its no good pleading

  10. Can I suggest to the poster calling himself ‘PaulNewman’ that he does some simple maths, and calculates how many generations it will take (based on the figure of 1.7 children per couple) for the UK population to drop to the suggested 40 million that would provide the required quality of life. It’s a lot longer period than you might imagine, and the UK will have suffered its long-awaited environmental crisis well before that time.

  11. Chris
    Thats a lot more complicated than you suggest .For example we are in an age `bump` that will level out .We have just broken 60,000,000 in the UK and iterating 85% for what its worth would take about 45 years depending on your generation span . Given factors like age bump about 40 years .You expect Armageddon when ?
    You would be down to about 22,000,000 in a century and at Medieval levels in another century

    None of this will happen and in any case I do not accept a direct link between population absolutely and enviroment.( see post )

    THALIA is on the right track absolutely .I could say plenty about the GLA and the London Plans malign role in this but as everyone hates me I `ll slink of for more sulking. You`ll miss me when I `m gone and if anyone pleads I `ll just take it as an insult ………

  12. Yes, let’s move north, Boris, me duck. I will relocate to Yorkshire, and you can go to Liverpool. An excellent home for old Etonian conservative candidates with a penchant for sprinkling regional insults around. I look forward to seeing you at next year’s Mersey Regatta.

  13. To PaulNewman: I don’t hate you(!) I just think that you and many others are in a state of denial in that you don’t see that overpopulation is the dominant cause of all our environmental concerns.

  14. ‘The best thing Yvette can do is stop forcing houses on the South and let the market work, so that people seek cheaper accommodation in places like West Yorkshire.’ (Boris)

    I’m not sure that this is what happens in ‘the market’, you see

    a) all the best jobs are down South
    b) all the migrant workers, bums and crooks refuse to leave the South

    People just seem to convert old housing stock into either smaller and smaller flats, or shove beds in the communal rooms and rent them out on a shared basis.

    I’ve seen some pretty dire examples in London myself. Lovely old Kensington town houses are being converted into ‘hostels’ where migrant construction workers, polish bar staff, dole wellers and petty criminals live eight to a room, sharing one bathroom between about twenty.

    The South-East, and London especially attracts immigrants like a magnet, as well as young British graduates. These people all need somewhere to stay and invariably those on reasonable pay (say over Β£15,000) share housing, those on less all share rooms. Renting a studio flat in Zone 1 now costs about Β£200 per week. In order to buy anything worth having down there people would have to borrow at least 6 times the average salary – and that’s in commuting distance from the centre of the capital, not in it.

    The main problems with housing are

    a) it is grossly overvalued
    b) people who own property love this fact
    c) more people come to the country than leave every year
    d) there are hundreds of thousands of people who are not allowed to be here living here
    e) they are not building enough new housing

    You see the problem with ‘the market’ is that the pound is strong and every bugger from Prague to Sydney wants to come here and earn it, and the market allows them to do so. They all congregate in London, so smart people who own central London property rent it to them and move their family further out towards the green belt. This pushes up demand for housing at the edge of the home counties and the young there become priced out of the market. then they build more houses to address the shortfall, but still more people want housing than we are building.

    I’ve spoken to young Aussie’s, Polish folk, Saffers and Kiwi’s in London, here to earn our sterling, and asked them why they don’t move north where housing is cheaper. The fact is Boris they don’t want to, they want to stay in London in their cosy ex-pat communities.

    The other point I’d make is that the government can’t do anything about ‘the market’ they’ve been letting bankers run the economy for the past 9 years. They simply done what is good for banks in my view, lower interest rates, create as much equity as possible and go on a huge lending spree.

    In my view the only thing that would sort out the housing problem is

    a) keepng on building
    b) some serious inflation

    As for Ed Ball throwing his toys out of the pram about the boundary thing – that sucks – if they do call an election whilst that is going on make sure you guys smear him good.

  15. It’s quite shocking to me how this boundary issue is being ignored, even by the Tory press! Labour’s advantage over all the other parties, not just the Tories, is an affront to democracy and their attempt to delay even a modest reform just shows the depths to which they’ll sink.

    Well done for bringing it up Boris, please do what you can to ensure the rest of the media picks up the story.

  16. ‘It’s quite shocking to me how this boundary issue is being ignored, even by the Tory press’ (Kevin O’Reilly)

    One would hope that it will be big news if and when it goes to court, but don’t bet on it. In fact you would think that the sheer fact that it is actually big news would stop Balls from proceeding, it’s a worrying development.

    I’ve seen first hand in local government how much labour and their army of lefties care for democracy, it’s all about keeping the tories out at any cost and proceeding with whatever barmy idea John Prescotts’ lot has had, regardless what the public, or opposition councillors, think of it.

    They are bullies basically, the most disturbing bit is they actually believe they are doing us all a favour.

  17. Why, when there is so much room oop North? Why, when whole Victorian terraces are being destroyed in Liverpool and elsewhere? Why is the Government collaborating in this terrible flight from North to South? Is it just that it sees the South as the motor of the economy and wants to maximise tax revenue? It is madness.
    (Boris)

    Excellent article, Boris. There must be surely be some legal process to ensure that the Balls/Cooper case can’t disrupt the urgently required boundary revision? It would be monstrous were this to happen.

    You neglected to mention one other very worrying consequence of NuLab’s headlong rush to cram and overcrowd the South of England with housing development. The effect on employment in the South.

    In encouraging UK’s constant stream of migrant workers to settle in the South East – by focussing housing development here – Nulab are distorting the South’s employment market and subjecting it to unsustainable pressures. In my experience as a recruitment consultant, there is insufficient employment for the job seekers we have now.

    One factor recruiters notice is that many of our new intake of migrant workers are unskilled people who come from countries where they have had to work, almost inhumanly hard, in order to survive. They prove to be excellent workers when they arrive here.

    However, these recent migrant workers have become so renowned for their hard work that are now sought after as job candidates by UK companies, in preference to UK’s indigenous workers, including those migrants and their second generation offspring, who have lived here for some years or, in the case of second generation workers, were born here.

    Month after month, the number of job vacancies diminish and recruiters have to turn away applicants for whom there is little or no work. Yet, month after month, my consultancy registers a constant stream of new arrivals.

    One other example of the effect of this is the drastic reduction of seasonal work available for students. For years, my consultancy regularly provided temporary work for around 20 students during their holidays. This year we had the same number of student applicants, yet a substantially reduced number of vacancies for holiday workers to offer them. Our clients employed just two students, 10% of the number they normally require.

    As you have stated, Boris, this is madness indeed

  18. Actually people are leaving London, and indeed the UK, in droves. It’s just not making that much difference. For a variety of reasons.

  19. Auntie Flo

    `You neglected to mention one other very worrying consequence of NuLab’s headlong rush to cram and overcrowd the South of England with housing development. The effect on employment in the South.
    In encouraging UK’s constant stream of migrant workers to settle in the South East – by focussing housing development here – Nulab are distorting the South’s employment market and subjecting it to unsustainable pressures. In my experience as a recruitment consultant, there is insufficient employment for the job seekers we have now. `

    EU migrants are currently not eligible for social housing or benefits and Migration watch have argued that the press are commenting in code on the real migration problem that is African and Asian. Migration outwards is also at alarming levels for those of us who worry about social coherence ( Per Ruth kelly)To me its seems unlikely that the legal position of these guest workers is sustainable but we must hope the relative position of the Polish economy floats up to solve the problem. This is possible but far less so for the new batch of EU migrants coming our way
    Business is almost universally in favour of cheap skilled labour for obvious reasons and the Labour Party being addicted to growth and yet averse to small business have ironically become the most irresponsible of capitalists on their behalf.

    To put this in a voter context it is likely that the only thing holding down inflation (rising fast even when disguised) is this bearing down on Labour costs . This defers larger interest rate rises than we are already due and is therefore an electoral necessity for Labour . Unemployment is actually rising and this just about discernible through the mists of misleading measures invented over the last ten years. Everything points to a structural injury to the supply side of the economy with both indicators rising fast and I fear the 40 to 45% shift to state managed expenditure has been a slow but sure poison.

    Brilliant stuff Flo I`m sorry that I can only waffle in response to you factual detail.

  20. I am horrified to discover that I actually agree with Steven.

    The housing market goes where the jobs are. I don’t think Boris would be very effective living oop north when his job is doown south; everyone else is in the same situation.

    And yes, you are grossly overpopulated. 65 million people in an island that size? *shudders*

  21. Boris’s job (I presume you have the parliamentary one in mind) is at Westminster, along with MPs from Liverpool, Tyne & Wear, Scunthorpe, Glasgow and all sorts of exotic places outside the capital. They all manage to live and work in the north in their constituencies and work in the south at Westminster. In order to manage this they are given very generous allowances (of which the member for Henley happily takes the full monty while complaining that it’s not enough). Boris, therefore, is not a good example of someone who needs to live where the work is – he could easily bugger off up north or west (shame he didn’t get Clywd, I always thought)or wherever, and still pull in his nice salary (and fat expenses, of course.

  22. Boris gets a large wad of cash for writing a weekly column for the Torygraph – but he could make that stuff up if he was living in Timbuctoo or somewhere even more unlikely, such as Ottawa. I don’t call that work… His real job is as an MP, for which he is well rewarded – and most British MPs put in a lot of work in their constituencies, including, rumour has it, the MP for Henley.

  23. On the subject of housing and its role in the economythe Telegraph today has another excellent piece by Andrew Gimson . the key insight is , I think, the following. I have thought for a long time that the operation of the housing market was the Sun in the political solar system and while oher subjects are sexier , none are as important

    `( Servicing Mortgage debt). That is why the extra taxes and regulations imposed by Mr Brown have had a less immediately disastrous effect than free-market economists have predicted. British workers are not free.`

    JAQ . I see you said you liked Norman Tebbit . I`m suprised and interested, I went to hear him speak recently , not because I agree with him ( I don`t much) but for the sheer quality of the man as a moral thinker and human being . He did not let me down . Harrangued by a young un invited Muslim he patiently explained his views and showed great aplomb subjected to an ignorant aggressive attack from a fascist thug. Given his history and recent events I can`t rememeber when I have felt so inspired
    and all it took was good humour reasonableness and unfaltering honesty.

    I do hope David C is hiding similiar qualities. Thus far they are well hidden

  24. Luke said:

    Boris gets a large wad of cash for writing a weekly column…for the Torygraph. His real job is as an MP for Henley, for which he is well rewarded – and most British MP’s put in a lot of work in their constituencies, including. rumour has it, the MP for Henley.

    I think you are setting up a false dichotomy between Boris’s job as an MP and his job as a journalist.

    If only my MP – a government Minister – would explain his views to his constituents as frequently and openly as Boris does. If only he would set out his postion with Boris’s honesty and clarity.

    Instead, my MP shrouds his his rare, whispered, mutterings in a mist of spin as thick and impenetrable as the autonomic, post mortem gasps of a, soon to be, rigor-morticed, corpse.

    Those fortunate enough to be Boris’s constituents should thank their lucky stars – how I wish that Boris, or anyone with half his honesty, was my MP.

  25. We have, at the last count, five senses. Or six if you’re a clairvoyant.

    I wonder how many of them are missing in those who deny that immigration is the root cause of excessive population growth and overcrowding.

    No, I’m not being nasty to immigrants nor am I saying there isn’t enough room on our little island if everyone was distributed evenly. But life ain’t like that. Immigrant groups have a habit of forming population clusters, usually in the south-east, and particularly in London where the action is.

    As several of you have pointed out, this leads to serious overcrowing with people living 10 or more to a room – making a mockery of all the habitation regs imposed by the very same people who have allowed this situation to arise.

    It beats me how anyone can live in London with a job flipping burgers, as many low-skilled people end up doing. Unless, of course, they spread the painful cost of housing by living like battery hens. Or simply scrape along on benefits and rebates.

    And if you still don’t believe the damage caused by the migration/cluster effect, read on:

    There are substantial numbers of refugees and asylum seekers within the PCT. For many, the health system is unfamiliar so they may have difficulty registering with a GP. Language can be a barrier to getting access to services: we have interpreting services to help out.

    There are large numbers of migrants, who suffer higher incidences of certain infectious diseases, such as TB and HIV, reflecting incidence in their country of origin. The mobility of travellers can make it more difficult to assess, monitor and meet their health needs using conventional systems.

    Who is making these outrageously racist statements? The National Front? BNP? No, Ealing NHS Primary Care Trust.

  26. FLo – There’s no false dichotomy between being a journalist and being a politician: it’s a real one. For example, look what happened when your hero tried to straddle the position of editor of a right-wing mag slagging off the Liverpudlians and that of a member of the Shadow Cabinet. It just didn’t work and the journalist in that case bowed down to the politician. It was in fact dishonest of him to pretend he could be an objective working journalist when that patently wasn’t the case. The stuff he does now for the Torygraph is opinion-piece guff, not the output of a working journalist. In other words, he has the freedom to bang on about anything he feels like, rather than doing on the day reporting… Most MPs work full time at their jobs – some are allowed to grandstand on the side in the newspapers and make plenty of cash doing it. Being a celebrity MP is a rare – and very profitable – little earner.
    And I would also reiterate my earlier point in this thread, that the MP for Henley should tread vary warily when talking about the marital arrangements of other people… even if they are called Balls (yes, Boris saw there’s something funny in that name, the old wit…)

  27. Jealous are you, Luke?

    Think on this: The electorate of Henley vote for him in large numbers (majority 12,793), the Torygraph take his stuff because they want it, and people read it because they like it.

    It’s called being successful. Presumably you prefer the whingeing, unpopular, ineffective, freeloading control freaks known as New Labour.

    Stop being such a pompous ass.

  28. Luke , aren`t you getting a bit over excited about a rather minor issue ? I can certainly thing of vastly more important ways in which the position of MP`s is compromised. It’s a mistake to assume this has got worse though . Gladstone `s share dealings were fabulously remunerate as a result of his foreign policy (see` the money nexus` )
    I can however report that Boris is the president of our association . Understandably he can’t spend a lot of effort on the embattled local scene but he is generous with his time , supportive and loved by all.

  29. Oh Dear Boris, this is rather too much.

    first of all, you want to redevlop all this “room” up north. why, of course, we’ve destroyed all the natural beauty of the south east by building on it, so we’ll move north, make sure they don’t have any nice landscapes anymore.

    secondly, you obviously want everyone to move north, why, that’s a wonderful idea Boris, but as any fule no, all the new industry development, all the new major “National” developments are in the South East. I do hope that you are monitoring the status of the new “Super Casino”, and making sure it has the option of being built in the “North” where you want everyone to move, rather than being rubber stamped into the white elephant known as the Millennium Trashcan.

  30. PaulD – calm down. I know we’re not meant to criticise your pin-up blond, but there’s no need to get nasty. In Henley, you could put a blue rosette on an Amazonian tree frog and it would get elected. BJ, of course, wasn’t as successful in his earlier attempt at garnering the popular vote in 1997, so your evidence is a bit shaky on that score. He writes for the Torygraph. Do you think the circulation would plummet if he stopped writing for it? You should also be aware that just because someone doesn’t think your man’s the bee’s knees that doesn’t make her a New Labour blah,blah etc et). In effect, you’ve simply resorted to name calling; and that says far more about you than cash ever can…

  31. Paul New man – I’m not accusing BJ of wrongdoing. This began when I queried raincoaster’s comment about Boris being tied to his work in the south of England; Auntie Flo (ah, a lovely name) then took exception about what s/he saw as a ‘false dichotomy’ over the separation between his work as a journalist and as a politician; and so on. I’m not comparing him to Gladstone, heaven forbid (though Gladdy was a serious politician, at least), nor to Jeff Archer, Jonathan Aitken or anyone else. He’s a one-off, a diamond geezer, they broke the mould when he wuz born, cor luv a duck – but how much time does he spend at your meetings – really spend? How much time does he spend on this blog (ok, it’s not a blog, I know, it’s a fanzine)?

  32. OK Luke, I take back “ass”. Pompous remains.

    By all means criticise Boris’s politics but what gives you the right to dictate how he conducts his constituency affairs? The good burghers of Henley are smart enough to know what they’re voting for.

    As for blue rosettes on Amazonian tree frogs, that is pretty disingenuous stuff. I could show you any number of constituencies where a Patagonian mountain goat with a red rosette would get elected.

  33. Luke none of the opinions implicit in your reply were actually expressed by me and its all still there, Refer.

    I `m not entirely sure what you are grumbling about , if anything and as it was never interesting I`d rather dispute your condescending estimate of this blog .
    The range of comment on this Blog is vastly more like the country than any other I can think of.The sort of vaccuous Inky fingered quibbling you (perhaps)prefer has been boring me and everyone lese for a long time.
    As for fanzines I would guess from your adolescent prose-style you would be far better placed than me to judge .

  34. PaulD: you keep shifting the argument, but it won’t wash – there may be all sorts of Patagonian goats and Labour on te go, but we’re not talking about them, we’re talking about Boris – and the point still stands. His huge majority in Henley is no indication of how universally popular he is. As to the name-calling bit, that also stands – you’re letting the side down by being like this, and it’s something you wouldn’t find me resorting to no matter how juvenile the other Paul (N) thinks my prose style is, so cut it out you moron…

    PaulN: “I can certainly thing of vastly more important ways in which the position of MP`s is compromised. It’s a mistake to assume this has got worse though .” This implies that I was suggesting there’s something wrong about making money on the side as an MP, which I wasn’t. I was merely commenting that journalism is no longer his primary job – being an MP is, and the same goes for the rest of them. And he should still be careful about dishing out his own juvenile sniggers about Balls (tee-hee, Boris, what a funny name) and his marital set-up…

  35. Wish I’d the time to reply properly now, but I’m on a quick break from my, currently, soul destroying job of telling hopeful applicants for work that their government has left no work in the South’s pot for them.

    So, Just a quick question to Luke 4:23. Are you a doctor, Luke or is the ‘physician heal thyself reference a more cryptic one?

  36. Sorry to go off topic, but I can’t ignore what I’ve read in the Guardian this morning.

    No, no, NO, the LSE must not allow our grossly incompetent, warmongering PM to establish a Tony Blair School of Government on its premises, as his platform for tours of the lucrative American lecture circuit and his, so called, legacy.

    The only place Blair’s legacy should be established is the International Criminal Court, along with Bush, for their joint war crimes in Iraq.

  37. Flo – no, it’s more of a recommendation to those who pontificate on our behalf; a close relation of St John 7, in that respect, especially with reference to the article in question

  38. P.S. Flo – I agree with your last comment entirely, except I’d like to see them joined in the dock by all those timeservers, lickspittles and jackanapes in Parliament who voted for the war… including the ones who’re now trying to worm out of responsibility for what they did and go along with the hue and cry…

  39. Am I alone in thinking Luke has a wire loose?

    …you keep shifting the argument, but it won’t wash – there may be all sorts of Patagonian goats and Labour on te go, but we’re not talking about them, we’re talking about Boris – and the point still stands.

    Forgive me, old thing, but it was you who raised Amazonian tree frogs, not me. I was answering your point. It’s called sticking to the subject.

    On the other matter, if I say you’re a Smelly Poo, that’s name-calling. But when I call New Labour “whingeing, unpopular, ineffective, freeloading control freaks” I’m using a mixture of adjectives and figures of speech whose meaning is quite clear to most people. I freely admit it wasn’t very imaginative, but name-calling it ain’t.

    Are you a woman? You should know better.

  40. FLO and LUKE -I agree that the Conservative position of supporting the war but `claiming` they were mislead by Blair is very weak even if `factually` true . As a Conservative I cringe at its mention but at the time I was in favour of the Invasion.

    On what basis do you feel the evil of the war is so clear
    1 Because wars are bad ? Well yes but presumably you would approve of resistance to Hitler for example.
    2 Because the West were unable to predict that Iraquis could not be dissuaded from killing eachother in great numbers.( A good deal less than Sadaam but still .)
    3 Because we have endangered ourselves( like Spain whose foreign policy was in effect set by Terrorists)
    4 Because you are concerned about the Soveriegnty of the genocidal Sadaam Bathist State ?

    I think I would like us out now but not for moral so much as economic and strategic reasons . I feel it would have been unwise not to back the US ( our only meaningful ally)

    LUKE I rescind the baloney about your exciting virile prose style . How pompous

  41. FLO and LUKE -I agree that the Conservative position of supporting the war but `claiming` they were mislead by Blair is very weak even if `factually` true . As a Conservative I cringe at its mention but at the time I was in favour of the Invasion.

    On what basis do you feel the evil of the war is so clear
    1 Because wars are bad ? Well yes but presumably you would approve of resistance to Hitler for example.
    2 Because the West were unable to predict that Iraquis could not be dissuaded from killing eachother in great numbers.( A good deal less than Sadaam but still .)
    3 Because we have endangered ourselves( like Spain whose foreign policy was in effect set by Terrorists)
    4 Because you are concerned about the Soveriegnty of the genocidal Sadaam Bathist State ?

    I think I would like us out now but not for moral so much as economic and strategic reasons . I feel it would have been unwise not to back the US ( our only meaningful ally)

    LUKE I rescind the baloney about your exciting virile prose style . How pompous

  42. PaulD – forgive me, but you’re obviously a mullah short of a jihad. I raised the tree frog idea; you countered with the Patagonia goat example, which was merely a distraction from the real issue – the tree frog (let’s call him Boris, shall we?. Do you actually understand how this kind of thing works?
    And secondly, apart from calling me a pompous ass (retracted in part, I know) you also accused me of being New Labour. Now you can string together as many adjectives as you like about them, but don’t make the false assumption that because I don’t agree with you on the Blond Beast, I must be New Labour – that’s a name-calling too far. Old boy. As for my gender, you just watch yourself, you cheeky thang.

  43. PaulN – I love war and war’s alarms (you know who wrote that, of course), what self-respecting, red-blooded, Tory-voting man – or woman – doesn’t. But still, all we are saying is give peace a chance – and so let’s string up Blair, Bush and all those scurvy knaves in parliament who lusted after this particular bloodbath

  44. ‘so we’ll move north, make sure they don’t have any nice landscapes anymore’ (AJ)

    I didn’t really get the bit about building housing on the Pennines either, perhaps the weather was good when Boris drove over the ‘spine’ of the nation, but the journey usually involves aquaplaning from Manchester to Leeds at 50mph. I can’t see many people wanting to move to West Yorkshire either, it rains about 300 days a year in Huddersfield.

    ‘The only place Blair’s legacy should be established is the International Criminal Court’ (Auntie Flo)

    This point just highlights how weak Blair really is. He goes along with the US neo-con policy of regime change, but unlike the US signs up the the International Criminal Court endangering our soliders to frivilous prosecutions.

    ‘I think I would like us out now but not for moral so much as economic and strategic reasons’ (Paul Newman)

    Thankfully you’re not in charge of middle east strategy Paul. If the UK and US pull out now the whole country will descend into civil war. Iran, who want an Islamic Shiite state in Iraq, and Syria, who want a Sunni Baathist state will be left fighting a war by proxy with each other. We’d be left in the ridiculous situation of trying to get the Baathists back into power in order to stop a ‘super-Iran’ forming, much to the annoyance of Israel, who would be left in a horrible situation, surrounded by hostile waring factions and nations. The whole thing could conceivably cumilate in Israel saying ‘right, thanks very much for leaving us in this mess, we’re going to sort ot out ourselves now that you guys have skinned out – and bang – they nuke Irans enrichment facilties then go on a bombing spree from Damascus to Teheran.

  45. Steven, what proof do you have that they’ll be any more successful at nation-building than they have been at getting rid of the Taliban in Afghanistan? “Mission Accomplished” just had its third anniversary: how’s that going, then?

    And for the record, there are fewer journalism opportunities AND constituencies up north, which was sort of the point of Boris’ article, even if he didn’t quite get that far.

  46. Steve L -I did not suggest the US left which is their decision and as , for obvious reasons they quite prepared to go in alone with or without the fiction of UN approval, it would be their responsibility. I would ask a simple question.
    What does the UK taxpayer get out of it . Security .. No more that any other country.
    US approval ? We’ve done our bit, Trade ? Trade outside the EU is so inhibited as to make such an objective confusing ? So what , for the UK is the point ? Tell me anyone and don`t imagine we are important enough to be a world policeman . Not since Suez. Please explain

    Also why is it that people who attend public school carry so many youthful preoccupations into adulthood .Playing at 19th century Foreign Affairs Minister and toy soldiers generally .Steve you are typically someone who would struggle to explain the domestic housing market and yet can unravel years ahead in the Middle East. Nonsense .

    I said above

    `I have thought for a long time that the operation of the housing market was the Sun in the political solar system and while oher subjects are sexier , none are as important`

    I was right wasn`t I but you can`t wait to get your soldiers out of the box.

  47. Luke-War and War`s alarms , sounds like Shakespeare to me , Henry V ?Enlighten me.

    Another Public schoolboy still obsessed with toy soliers I suspect

  48. ‘What does the UK taxpayer get out of it’ (Paul Newman)

    Defence contracts off the Saudis and the USA.

    You’ve got a real bee in your bonnet about ‘public schoolboys’ haven’t you Paul. Whats the matter, not a cricket fan?

  49. Luke4:23 said:

    …I’d like to see them joined in the dock by all those timeservers, lickspittles and jackanapes in Parliament who voted for the war… including the ones who’re now trying to worm out of responsibility for what they did and go along with the hue and cry…

    I feel it’s too harsh to punish those who voted for the invasion of Iraq simply because they were the victims of Bush and Blair’s deception. Blair’s lies – that he had evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that these could be armed to attack in 45 minutes were designed to totally mislead, confuse and terrify Parliament and the majority into obedience – and that’s exactly the effect these lies had.

    However, all of those who knew that Blair was lying or who helped him construct or sustain these lies deserve to be in the dock with him alright.

  50. paulnewman said:

    FLO and LUKE -I agree that the Conservative position of supporting the war but `claiming` they were mislead by Blair is very weak even if `factually` true . As a Conservative I cringe at its mention but at the time I was in favour of the Invasion.

    Well said, Paul! Though I do believe that the Conservative and Labour MPs who voted for the invasion of Iraq, and the public who supported Blair in this, only did so because they genuinely believed Blair’s lies.

    Blair was then a hugely powerful manipulator, I remember all too well how cleverly he tried to smear those of us who protested against the invasion, suggesting that we were deluded, cowards and dangerous lunatics. I remember wondering for a time if the majority were right and Stop The War protestors were wrong. With hindsight, it’s easy to see that Blair was lying, it wasn’t so easy at the time.

  51. You all think you are so clever you don’t know him at all

    The truth of me
    Is like the pea
    Beneath the mattress
    On which you fat rests

    (You are leonine golden beast
    You are leonine as a Feast)

    My pea soul known
    Like a big stone
    You bottom hunts me
    Can`t get comfy

    ( You are leonine mighty beast
    You are leonine as a feast)

    My hidden place
    My warm soft space
    Your hands explore
    I`ll hide no more

    Fingers ; pea
    Boris ; me
    No more ! , no more..
    Thrown to the floor

    ( you are leonine my cruel beast
    You are leonine as a feast)

    It is enough to know you felt
    That far beneath you my pea dwelt
    Now crush me with your heavy paw
    We touched
    Its gone

    I`ll live no more

    But weep for me my golden beast
    I was the pea , the very least
    That lay below you when you came
    Roared ,and threw back all your mane

    You are leonine tender beast
    you are

    Leonine

    As
    A feast

    I love you Boris and I think when you discussed boundary changes it was code for you to say you loved me…. [Ed: sorry but the last sentence was inappropriately scary…]

  52. Paging Melissa…

    Seriously, it’s not the mushiness that gets me; it’s the almost perfect awfulness of the poetry. Is this what they used to break Noriega? [Ed: yup – zapped the worst off raincoaster – very true]

  53. Steven L . When I was little we lived next to Eton . My father was a gardener and the young bucks used to cuff him and humiliate him. Its been years of therapy …..

    We are there for defence contracts are we? And how many dead British soldiers per dollar of contract would you say was an acceptable ratio ? Will you be explaining this to the parents ..

    ……….Or agreeing with me its time we got out.I think the words you are looking for are `You are right Paul whats the quickest time frame politically possible `

    Bloody hell who is the nut case . Like a feast ?

  54. Woops, sorry!

    I said…all of those who knew that Blair was lying or who helped him construct or sustain these lies deserve to be in the dock with him alright.

    However, I meant…all those who knew Blair was lying =and= who helped him construct or sustain these lies deserve to be in the dock with him alright.

  55. Thalia said:

    “Forget Me N” has left Mushy far behind and is well into Stalkerville.
    Very worrying.

    My thoughts too.

    Forget Me Not, please get some counselling, your poem is not about love, its about control and anger

  56. Steven_L said:

    ‘What does the UK taxpayer get out of it’ (Paul Newman)

    Defence contracts off the Saudis and the USA.

    Sounds as though you’re condoning this – or am I misreading you?

  57. “I shall impersonate a man. His name is Alonso Quijana, a country squire no longer young. Being retired, he has much time for books. He studies them from morn till night and often through the night and morn again, and all he reads oppresses him; fills him with indignation at man’s murderous ways toward man. He ponders the problem of how to make better a world where evil brings profit and virtue none at all; where fraud and deceit are mingled with truth and sincerity. He broods and broods until finally he lays down the melancholy burden of sanity and conceives the strangest project ever imagined—to become a knight-errant, and sally forth into the world in search of adventures; to mount a crusade; to raise up the weak and those in need. No longer will he be plain Alonso Quijana, but a dauntless knight known as Don Quixote de La Mancha!”

    It’s better with the music.

  58. Flo – they were victims of self-deception. Michael Howard went on record before last year’s election as saying that he would have sent the troops into Irag even if he’d known there were no WMDs – check his appearance on the BBC’s Question Time for details. Don’t fool yourself into thinking those poor little Opposition MPs are all just innocent babes in the wood: they’re up to their necks in it too… and can’t simply weasel out if now by proclamations of Damascan revelations…

  59. Just got to this one. I have no idea who Ed and Yvette are, but I’m quite prepared to believe they’re trying to cook the boundary commission books to suit their own ends. They’re politicians, after all. I seem to remember exactly the same sort of thing happening under Thatcher, only that time it was the Labour Party that suffered from changing boundaries.

    But that’s not why I dropped in to comment. My real reason for being here is to thank Boris for bringing a smile to my face on a grey Saturday morning, with his touching faith in the ‘market’ and its ability to right all wrongs.

    Honestly, it’s so sweet and childlike, I almost want to go ‘aaaaaah’, and give him a motherly hug.

    (I won’t, of course, actually be doing that.)

  60. The whole issue of North/South and “overpopulation” is bedevilled by NOT applying market forces. National pay rates are applied in most public services – health, bureaucracy, education and so forth. National scales are used in matters of taxation such as business rates and council tax. The use of a mile of M6 motorway in Cumbria costs the same as the use of a mile of the M25 near Heathrow.

    All these centrally decided prices, which have no exposure to market forces, distort people’s decisions about where to live and work.

    And anyone who thinks that the South East is overcrowded should take a balloon ride over, for example, south Surrey and West Sussex. There’s a lot of land doing very little except breeding ponies and providing swimming pools with a nice backdrop.

  61. LUKE-`Flo – they were victims of self-deception. Michael Howard went on record before last year’s election as saying that he would have sent the troops into Irag even if he’d known there were no `

    Didn`t know that about Michael Howard which ties it up nicely

    LUKE AGAIN -exactly what I meant by saying the Conservative line was weak even though factually correct ( in that they were lied to )I also approved of supporting the US and believed UN resolutions and actual current WMD capability to be not especially important. This was the true Conservative position.

    On the other hand the fact that Blair did lie gives the Conservatives the opportunity to have their cake and eat it which he richly deserves. Would Michael Howard have mislead the nation . I don`t think so ..I hope not .

    I have previously argued that we have done enough and there is no longer any reason for our troops to be in the region . Time frames for withdrawal might reasonably be set and if David Cameron just once said something even implying a policy instead of being a slimy snakeoil salesman it might be possible to vote for him with on a peg on your nose . I detest the way he uses Thatcher `distancing` to suck up to Liberals

    ANYONE AT ALL- WIFE PREGNANT AGAIN THIS AM AT LAST CANT TELL ANYONE . HOORAH

  62. Bob Doney said:

    And anyone who thinks that the South East is overcrowded should take a balloon ride over, for example, south Surrey and West Sussex. There’s a lot of land doing very little except breeding ponies and providing swimming pools with a nice backdrop.

    Sorry, Bob, such anectodotal distortions and smear tactics are too reminscent of Blairite and NuLab spin to be anywhere near reality, so I checked, and the official version of reality from wikipedia. The real position, divested of Nulab distortion, is actually far more scandalous than the following. However, the following will do as an indication of what rubbish your claim is and to confirm there is far more countryside up north and in the Midlands (your neck of the woods?) while the South is undeniably overcrowded by comparison, see the following:

    Population density of UK counties

    Surrey 631
    Hertfordshire 631
    North Somerset 505
    Essex 378
    Kent 375
    Nottinghamshire 359
    Isle of Wight 349
    Hampshire 336
    Cheshire 324
    Bedfordshire 320
    Worcestershire 308
    Staffordshire 308
    Buckinghamshire 306
    Leicestershire 293
    Derbyshire 288
    East Sussex 287
    Northamptonshire 266
    Warwickshire 256
    Oxfordshire 232
    Durham 221
    Gloucestershire 213
    West Berkshire 205
    North Lincolnshire 183
    Cambridgeshire 181
    Suffolk 176
    Dorset 154
    Norfolk 148
    Somerset 144
    Cornwall 141
    Wiltshire 133
    East Yorkshire 130
    Lincolnshire 109
    Devon 107
    Shropshire 89
    Rutland 88
    Herefordshire 81
    Cumbria 71
    North Yorkshire 71
    Northumberland 61

    List of counties and unitary districts of England by population density From Wikipedia…Data calculated from the Chambers Super-Mini Book of Facts, 2003 data; some data taken directly from Wikipedia

  63. PaulNewman said:

    ANYONE AT ALL- WIFE PREGNANT AGAIN THIS AM AT LAST CANT TELL ANYONE . HOORAH

    Congratulations, Paul! That’s brillant news for you

  64. Paul Newman said:

    Time frames for withdrawal might reasonably be set and if David Cameron just once said something even implying a policy instead of being a slimy snakeoil salesman it might be possible to vote for him with on a peg on your nose . I detest the way he uses Thatcher `distancing` to suck up to Liberals

    However, no congrats for this.

    Cameron is ahead in the latest – 13-14 Sept – YouGov Poll again, he still beats Blair and Gordon Brown by miles and that’s precisely because he is not a snake oil salesman but a more genuine bloke who HAS to find some middle ground between Liberals like me and old Conservatives like you in order to get elected.

    Don’t care what you say, Paul, Cameron is 100% more trustworthy than Blair & Brown & NuLab – if for no other reason than he comes out on the street to talk us lot out here where NuLab detest us and run a mile from anyone who isn’t NuLab rentacrowd.

    You aren’t seriously going to put NuLab back in power by wasting your vote on anyone but Cameron, are you? If you do, serve you bloody well right for the resultant misery and don’t come whining here about the consequences afterwards.

    Also, why are you having a go at Liberals again, (ex-Liberal supporter in my case) just when I thought you were beginning to recognise we’re human?

  65. ‘When I was little we lived next to Eton . My father was a gardener and the young bucks used to cuff him and humiliate him’ (paul newman)

    So by this logic every ‘young buck’ who went to public school deserves to be a subject of your ridicule?

  66. Yvette Cooper’s a wee Scots lassie, isn’t she?
    Part of the wee Scots’ Mafia.

    Little wonder, therefore, that she and her husband demand elitist priviledges – even if these require an erosion of democracy and justice in respect of c 50 million others in order to sustain their undemocratic priviledges.

  67. STEVEN

    Paul said

    ‘When I was little we lived next to Eton . My father was a gardener and the young bucks used to cuff him and humiliate him’ (paul newman)
    STEVEN replied
    So by this logic every ‘young buck’ who went to public school deserves to be a subject of your ridicule?

    1 Is it really possible to take that seriously `The young bucks used to cuff him `!! we had a gardener silly
    2 Do you imagine I am likely to fall into your trap which
    is as well hidden as an elepant at the teatable.

    Not all Etonians no

  68. Ok, Ok, Calm down,

    I went to a reasonably good state school in Northumberland (and no Boris we don’t want all you Southerners moving here either).

    If your Dad thought public schoolkids can dish it out thank goodness he stayed donw Dachet way. We gave 2 of our teachers nervous breakdowns.

  69. FLO SAID
    You aren’t seriously going to put NuLab back in power by wasting your vote on anyone but Cameron, are you? If you do, serve you bloody well right for the resultant misery and don’t come whining here about the consequences afterwards.
    PAUL REPLIED
    No I am not I am a highly active Conservative campaigner.I am well aware of the popularity of David Cameron.
    How can I explain ? When Gordon Brown timed an interview about his dead child to assist his leadership bid I felt sick.
    David Cameron however began this new low in public life however and I cannot bear to repeat his own exploitative use of domestic tragedy.

    However I told myself he probably hates doing it himself and winners must do what it takes in the trivialised world we are in . I also have problems on tax , style, Europe, …etc. but he is still the least worst by a long way.

    In short you are right I was being silly which I gather i am due to be warned about ( I am FORGET ME NOT and have been rumbled sorry)

    I have absolutely nothing against Liberals . Socially I probably prefer them and as a I live in islington I `d be pretty lonely otherwise.

    What a nice Liberal person you are

    see…..

  70. STEVEN

    Went to Direct Grant school on a council scholarship myself . Now there was a good idea……..Graham Greene had a good word `Calmality` you seem to have it. Good for you

  71. Is anyone interested in a change of sunject given todays coverage of the papal gaff. I love housing issues myself.
    POPE V ISLAM FREE SPEECH IS NOT THE ISSUE
    Islam is a complex and differentiated religion worldwide and I`d like to limit my comments to the UK community. In this community there is , we are told , a moderate Pakistani majority who are badly misrepresented by Saudi extremists or Wahabi Muslims. I am sceptical .Surveys of Muslim attitudes do not reflect this view .The British Coucil of Muslims have threatened us with racist bombing attacks (in effect) unless , like Spain we allow terrorists to conduct our foreign policy .This does nothing to reassure me .
    So is there really a `dove` Muslim we must endlessly placate . Are moderates ,tacit supporters , at least like Sinn Fein Irish Catholics are for the IRA or would that be to tar dog owners with the same brush as animal rights assassins. My feeling is that option a is by far the closest comparison and the attitude of international embarrassment Ken Livingstone to each is a good guide.
    Another problem is the minority of well educated `incidental` Muslims who claim authority but in reality know nothing about the workings of the Muslim community .No more than Salman Rushdie did. My wife, (who is black) , is often obliged to throw things at the Television whenever Dianne Abbot speaks on her behalf .The extent to which such assumptions go unquestioned is remarkable if you are looking for it .

    Free speech is not the point, there is little point to free speech at all unless deeper concepts like rightnes and truth are the foundations for the whole ricketty tower of babel. ( Naturally a media invertebrate like Ian Dale will find this incomprehensible)

    Allow me to explain. The Pope is saying my religion , my culture, my values, are qualitively better than yours . He has succinctly explained why and I find it utterly convincing ( without going on to conclude Catholicism is the best of all possible beliefs )
    In other words he is attacking cultural relativism the cancer we have not irradiated from discourse since its outbreak in the 60s. Those who s support `Free Speech` only when it is used in the context of a game or entertainment are , in the end , useless

  72. ‘a moderate Pakistani majority who are badly misrepresented by Saudi extremists or Wahabi Muslims’ (Paul Newman)

    I don’t think that’s right, I thought Wahhabi’s were hardcore Sunni’s and Pakistani’s were a mixture of Sunnis and Shiites.

    Then you have ‘Muslim aethiests’, i.e. they don’t actually believe in God and they don’t particularly want to submit to the will of Allah, but have to in varying degrees depending on how their families view Islam and how dependent they are on their families.

    My problem with Islam is that a lot of Muslims

    a) Can’t get it through their thick skulls we don’t all want to submit to the will of Allah and that we are entitled to make that choice

    b) Think their religion is superior to everyone elses. Some of them think it’s perfectly alright for a Christian to convert to Islam but if a Muslim wants to denouce Islam as a pile of crap or convert to another religion then they are harrassed or disowned as they have ‘dishonoured’ their family.

    I’d like to see a politican say that it’s perfectly OK to denounce Islam and say what you want about the Prophet in the UK, and that anyone who harrasses you for doing it is committing an offence under the Protection from Harrassment Act 1997.

    Of course everyone is scared of Islam, even the Pope ended up apologising.

  73. Apologies to every Catholic reading this, I have no wish to offend you.

    To nail my colours to the mast, I am very religious, I have a strong belief in God, yet I don’t belong to a church or specific religion because of general disatisfaction with institionalised religions.

    My view of the Pope is that he’s a stonking hypocrite. It is an absurd contradiction for this vain, priviledged, Armani clad, old man to preach to anyone. How can he preach for an end to poverty while he luxuriates in the proceeds of donations from, often poverty sticken, people and of Vatican investments in none too ethical big business?

    How dare he condemn irrational, religious fundamentalist violence in any form, while he, the Pope, is kept in luxury by his own irrational, fundamentalist religion – one which is notorious for its own forms of violence? I don’t even need to use the questionable IRA example or Catholicism’s history of religious persecution. The dire consequences of rigid rules on celibacy of the priesthood which, as we’ve seen, encourage those with seriously perverse religio-sexual inclinations to become priests is one such form of violence I’m thnking of. The ban on birth control is another.

    I view the Pope as more concerned with sustaining his own religion’s position – and his own power and priviledge within that religion – than with telling the truth about anything.

    If he was seriously concerned with the truth and religious faith, the Pope would abandon his luxury life style and would, like Ghandi, set out to be a living example of religious tolerance. He could then preach anti-violence views with a much broader perspective, encompassing the widespread violence carried out in the name of so many institutionalised religions across the world – his own included. Then Muslims might be prepared to listen to him.

    Just as, looking at Blair, it’s easy to understand why Marx said he wasn’t a Marxist, it is not hard to imagine Jesus throwing the Pope out of the temple.

  74. Just catching up…

    Auntie Flo, your reply to Bob Doney was a masterpiece. With a little research you’ve demolished another politics- of-envy bore. Well done, that gal.

  75. I dunno PaulD,

    Northumberland comes bottom of the population density list. Now while I’ll admit there’s room for a few more housing estates most of Northumberland is:

    a) National Park
    b) MOD land
    c) Farmland
    d) Uninhabitable peat bogs

    There is no city in Northumberland so jobs aren’t exactly ten to the dozen either.

    We can’t build on National Park, the MOD need their land and we need to grow food and rear livestock.

    I’ve been to cattle markets in Northumberland and I know for a fact that you Southerners come up here to buy our sheep. You can’t have it both ways.

  76. Flo, having read your Catholic rant, I take back a little bit of my last comment.

    How dare he condemn irrational, religious fundamentalist violence in any form, while he, the Pope, is kept in luxury…

    Politics of envy again, this time surprisingly from you. Of course atrocities have been committed by the IRA in the name of Catholicism (or is that territorialism?) and other frightful persecutions through the ages, but so have they in the name of other religions, including Christianity. It doesn’t mean he condones them, any more than today’s Christian condones the Inquisition.

    Times change. And that’s where the Muslim extremists have got it so dreadfully wrong. What they fail to realise is that many of us sympathise with their beliefs that Mammon (to use a non-Muslim characterisation) is ruling the West. They just can’t sell the idea properly.

  77. Auntie Flo: “Sorry, Bob, such anectodotal distortions and smear tactics are too reminscent of Blairite and NuLab spin to be anywhere near reality, so I checked, and the official version of reality from wikipedia. The real position, divested of Nulab distortion, is actually far more scandalous than the following. However, the following will do as an indication of what rubbish your claim is and to confirm there is far more countryside up north and in the Midlands (your neck of the woods?) while the South is undeniably overcrowded by comparison”

    Thanks for confirming my point. If we accept your figures, in spite of the fact that Surrey shows up top of the density table, there is still plenty of land available for development with no sacrifice of essential agricultural resource (if there is such a thing nowadays). I was talking to a West Sussex farmer recently, and he said his most profitable activities were set-aside and school tours. No messing from market forces there then.

    I’m not sure about your figures, as it happens. Try this reference from Wikipedia (it says 2005 figures):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_districts_by_population_density

    The highest density Surrey borough is Epsom and Ewell – 90th out of 354; and the lowest is Mole Valley (226th).

    I live in Surrey, by the way, and have done for most of my life – so no “envy bore”, eh, Paul D.

    So… there is plenty of room in ALL parts of the UK, but what’s required to encourage people to move back oop North is MORE market forces responding to local supply and demand, not fewer. And that includes vigorous markets in land and a light touch on the planning tiller. Then our kids might be able to afford their own place to live, oop North, dan Saf, or out West- whatever suits them best.

    One note of regret. It’s been only an average week for “ad homines” for me. Firstly, called a “vain, cowardly, ignorant, moral-equivalence moron” by a poster on Stephen Pollard’s blog, and now guilty of “anectodotal distortions and smear tactics too reminscent of Blairite and NuLab spin to be anywhere near reality.” I must be losing my grip.

  78. FLO- Noone would pretend the history of the catholic church was appetising . Two exmaple spring to mind
    1 The accomodation with Hitler ( and Mussolini)
    2 the Genocide in the Low Countries of the Counter reformation. For those who enjoy a bloody tale can I recommend this neglected human catastrophe . You will be staggered by the numbers given that industrial extermintaion was not available. It was achieved by such methods as herding crowds into lakes with their hands tied behind their backs …whole populations

    However nothing is more a historical thancomparing the religious attitude of one age and another and whilst interesting I would mentionanother common modern accusation

    That is that the catholic Church by its pro life stance have spread the AIDS pandemic in Africa . As they would fairly point out the Catholic church would not advocate any sex outside a lifetime marriage and therfore if Catholoicsim had anyhting to with it there would be not AIDS anywhere.

    It was when I heard thisview that I began to be ;less antagonistic to Catholicism

    The Pope has compared the Western Christain tradition ( including its Hellenic strain) favourably with Islam. Two problems

    1 Can you acept that any culture is better than another ( tricky for Liberals )

    2 Can you agree that what Islam added to existing Monotheism was worse than Christs teachuings

  79. Sorry pressed post by accident hence mess.

    I was goping to add .

    To me this seems self evidently correct , but i am more concerned to kick out cultural relativism in general than to especially agree wwith the Pope . I personally do not need his help to see the many superiorities of Western ideas over Islam

  80. Oops, stuffed that up, one more try then it’s up to you:

    For anyone interested, HIGNFY Boris episodes can be found online:
    Part 1 of his first appearance on HIGNFY

    Just type Boris Johnson into the search engine on youtube to get all the other parts.

    PS: will post a serious comment about this article in due course but I have a frisky little Pinot Grigio waiting…

  81. ‘Of course atrocities have been committed by the IRA in the name of Catholicism’ (PaulD)

    The PIRA claimed to be a Marxist organisation Paul, not a catholic one. They aligned with other Marxist freedom fighters/terrorists such as those in Columbia. True their supporters in Northern Ireland were Catholic but they never claimed to be a ‘Catholic’ army.

    ‘Then our kids might be able to afford their own place to live’ (Bob Doney)

    Only building much more housing coupled with inflation (which it look like might be coming in the next few years with the middle east the way it is) will do that, unless your kids want to live in an area full of drug dealers and other scum.

    The thing is, the majority of the electorate own property and inflation leads to higher interest rates because banks hate inflation. That coupled with lots more house building will lead to a drop in property prices which people like to call a ‘bust’ for some reason.

    Property has always risen faster than average earnings but the recent 20%+ a year rises have brought it to the unsustainable point. We either have to become more like France where people don’t own their own homes or see a house price crash. The fact is property rising faster than average earnings is, in a way, unsustainable.

    Can you agree that what Islam added to existing Monotheism was worse than Christs teachings (Paul Newman)

    Jesus said ‘he who is without sin among you let him first cast a stone at her’. (John 8:7) Thus questioning the rigid enforcement of the law of Moses

    Whereas in Islam the Prophet Mohammed [peace be upon him] is said to have ordered the stoning of a woman, once she had weaned her child, her crime was to fall pregnant out of wedlock.

    So in respect of (theoretically) bringing back stoning for adultery then I’d say yes, I prefer the teachings of Jesus to those of The Prophet Mohammed [peace be upon him].

  82. Dear Jaq you star!
    Thank you for that.
    I have been watching HIGNFY on youtube.com and crying into the keyboard with laughter.
    I may get mildly electrocuted but it’s worth it.

  83. Steven_l said

    while I’ll admit there’s room for a few more housing estates most of Northumberland is:

    a) National Park
    b) MOD land
    c) Farmland
    d) Uninhabitable peat bogs

    Suspend reality for a while and imagine that Northumberland voted Lib Dem in 2005. The following week, land grabber Two Jags’ surveyors visit your county and tell you Armageddon’s arrived.

    Your National Park: This was largely a political designation, they tell you, to protect Nulab voting Northerners from the runaway development and overcrowding down South. Nature reserve, Special Scientific Interest, ancient monument, graveyard? Tough, says Prezza, me developer pals are ‘aving ’em.

    Green Belt in the South’s supposed to be sacrosanct, but that only applies to Nulab voting constituencies, they’ve other rules for Tory and Lib Dem traitors.

    Your farmland: Two Jags sucks his teeth and smirks – what do you think we’re building on down South, son? Right, we’re ‘avin’ that too. loovely jubbley!

    Uninhabitable peat bogs: Don’t you believe it, son, we’re building on t’wetlands in Tory voting areas. He smirks again.

    There is no city in Northumberland so jobs aren’t exactly ten to the dozen either. (Steven_l)

    Steven, this is Two Jags you’re talking to, I’ve heard it all before, son. Fact: Northoomberland’s employment rate is now better than t’national average. That’s because of all t’immigration and t’unemployment down South. Oooh, looks bad for you lot of Lib Dems, it does, your immigration rate is way below t’national average too. Loovely jubbley.

    I’ve been to cattle markets in Northumberland and I know for a fact that you Southerners come up here to buy our sheep. You can’t have it both ways. (Steven-l)

    Thing is, our Steven, France is t’EU countryside and farmland now, UK is a designated industrial slum. Once we get ‘t building sites all over your county building 50 houses to an acre, there’ll be loads of construction work. Any road, ah’ved bin talkin’ to recruitment consultants down South and they tell me that Northumberlanders commute South for work. For three days work near London, you can earn enough to pay Northumberland’s miniscule mortgages and council tax with loads left over. Course, they won’t stay miniscule, he smirks.

    That’s exactly what they’ve done to us, Steven. Over 3000 homes have been built in the countryside a mile North of my village and thousands more are under construction there. Now we’ve been told that Two Jags aims to dump another 10,000 homes on farmland less than quarter of a mile South of us. But don’t panic, you’re Nulabs, so Two Jags won’t really ruin your countryside,

  84. PaulD said:

    Auntie Flo, your reply to Bob Doney was a masterpiece. With a little research you’ve demolished another politics- of-envy bore. Well done, that gal…

    Thanks Paul!

    Then PaulD said:

    Flo, having read your Catholic rant, I take back a little bit of my last comment…It’s politics of envy again.

    Gee thanks, Paul.

    However, it isn’t a Catholic rant, its an Armani clad Pope rant.

    Politics of envy….of the Pope? Aw come on…I’d have to give up sex πŸ™‚

  85. ‘Oooh, looks bad for you lot of Lib Dems, it does, your immigration rate is way below t’national average too. Loovely jubbley’ (Auntie Flo’)

    They can’t put loads of immigrants here, fact is we’re just far too racist.

    And besides Lord Percy would never stand by and let 2 Jags build on out national parks! We’d take up our pitch forks and drive his army of unqualified, lobotomised, bureaucrats back below Hadrians wall where they belong.

    Plus, the National Park is too close to the MOD land, they would veto any such ridiculous idea.

  86. Bob Doney said:

    Thanks for confirming my point. If we accept your figures, in spite of the fact that Surrey shows up top of the density table, there is still plenty of land available for development with no sacrifice of essential agricultural resource (if there is such a thing nowadays). I was talking to a West Sussex farmer recently, and he said his most profitable activities were set-aside and school tours. No messing from market forces there then.

    Sorry, Bob, your argument doesn’t work whatever form of logic is applied:

    Corrupt EU’s irrational, ideological, one size fits all logic of the madhouse says we must rationalise all our county’s pop. densities. That means, which ever (low density?) part of the country you live in, you can’t escape – unless, of course, you’re a Nulab voting area. In which case you get off Scot free…Hm, Scot free, interesting expression that…did Nulab invent it? Or, rather, Scot free until the rest of the country go ballistic.

    Non EU – i.e. normal – logic says we cannot go on overcrowding one part of the UK to 19th century levels and to the point where the NHS in that part goes more bankrupt than the rest of the country and we induce massive social, service and other problems – including drought, flooding and heat island climate effects.

    Even Nulab’s off their trolley logic has to comply with ecological forces and energy use controls – sooner rather than later from the look of things.

    As Friends of the Earth’s: Tomorrow’s World: what chance for an eco-egalitarian paradise? argues very compellingly ‘In the UK, for instance, if our population exceeds 59.6 million, we can only claim fair [fuel] shares based on that figure. If, on the other hand, we had reduced to 50 million, we could still claim that bigger share, and therefore have increased each UK citizen’s per capita share.

    **So after 2050, there is no advantage for a country whose population continues to grow’***

    http://66.249.93.104/search?q=cache:fd5WiRG7zCIJ:eco.gn.apc.org/eview/eview16.html+FOE+UK+optimum+population+40+million&hl=en&gl=uk&ct=clnk&cd=2

  87. Steven_L said:

    Of course everyone is scared of Islam, even the Pope ended up apologising.

    Well what do you expect, our Steven? They might damage his Armani shoes

  88. FLO /STEVE L/DONEY

    All very interesting indeed with lots I didn`t know and hadn`t thought of of .Unfortunately there is to much to even atempt to do justice to so I`ll just add a bit .

    I am in islington whereas my father is on the St. Albans /Harpenden Coucil( yes he is as old as Methusela )

    In his authority they were screaming about bursting the 3% Socila Housing Cieling. I have been campaiging against the imposition of 11600 new homes 50% Social into a Borough crammed with 120,000 with 50% Coucil Hosuing (70% on benefits) just behind Lambeth as the COUNTRIES most crowded Borough.( All Socila housing has magically been lumped together as well)
    This is an area where amonth a go an outright riot errupted close to me and was not dispersed until morning. I am talking about pitched battles with the police involving hundreds. No coverage ?

    Why is the new housing needed then going here AND not in comparable brown field sirtes easily avaiable in Hertforshire. You over estimate the space required it is anon isssue with the density we have .Its complicated but to put it simply

    1 Because the availability of Coucil housing creates the illusion of LOCAL need (13000 on waiting list)
    2 Becauseits so bad here it can hardly get noticeably worse
    2Because if they tried it is Hertfordshire there would be a revolution

    This is all about the politically possible and the misuse of pointless regional authorities to blur responsibility

    Of all the regional Authorities the very worst is , of course , the GLA and its Leader Ken Livingstone. You would ne staggered at the planning powers this joke organisation has aquired recently putting decsisions out of the hands of local Coucils.

    Whose big shiny idea by the way was regional Councils , why it was that respected politician Cowboy Boot Presscott also responsible for strategic housing decsisions.

    On a Boris note , he lives near Canonbury Square ( where Evelyn Waugh and his wife ..Evelyn lived)As you might imagine the mouth watering Georgian real estate in that environ is a stark contrast to the real Borough.

    SORRY Went on a bit

    ALSO : Why is it that Ian Dale has rated his site above this one when a quick count up shows this one to be more posted ? We demand to know

  89. paulnewman said:

    FLO-…The Pope has compared the Western Christain tradition ( including its Hellenic strain) favourably with Islam. Two problems

    1 Can you acept that any culture is better than another ( tricky for Liberals ) (Paul)

    Better can mean so many things: superior morally, intellectually, historically, developmentally, environmentally, even simply more sustainable.

    So, I use a Bushmen of the Kalari critria because any ideas I previously held regarding the superiority of one culture over another, or our society were turned upside down when I studied the society of the Bushmen of the Kalahari while I was at college.

    Though at virtually a stone age level of development, this tribe had established a democratic society, with regular meetings where everyone’s voice was heard. They lived in harmony with each other and their environment. War, crime and murder were unknown to them. People with disablities were cared for, not killed off. The elderly were respected. The tribal leader was guided by the primciple of total service to his tribe. There was no corruption.

    Life in the Kalahari was excrutiatingly hard for these people, every day was a struggle for suvival. There were just a few, scrawny animals for them to catch, yet every animal their hunters caught was shared between the whole tribe, each received a scrap of meat with little nutritional value. The value of hunting lay in cementing their social bonds.

    We, in the West, see ourselves as far more sophisticated and as advanced industrial societies, centuries ahead of tribes such as the Bushmen. Yet we’re destroying our own planet in an irrational orgy of, largely meaningless, consumerism, resource and energy wastage. We have out of control crime rates and constant wars. Are we really more advanced than this so called ‘primitive’ tribe? Or could we not learn more from them than they ever could from us?

    2 Can you agree that what Islam added to existing Monotheism was worse than Christs teachings

    Yes, I believe so. However, I would, wouldn’t I? I’m not a Muslim, and to a Muslim the reverse would be true. To the Bushmen of the Kalahari, we’d all be lunatics. So how do we know which society is superior – or that any are?

    In short, I’m saying there are no simple answers to such questions, Paul.
    .

  90. In a previous posting I said:

    That’s exactly what they’ve done to us, Steven. Over 3000 homes have been built in the countryside a mile North of my village and thousands more are under construction there. Now we’ve been told that Two Jags aims to dump another 10,000 homes on farmland less than quarter of a mile South of us. But don’t panic, you’re Nulabs, so Two Jags won’t really ruin your countryside,

    I forgot to add a few points.

    We do not have London standard roads or services here and never will have these. Two Jags says he can’t afford them for us. Our roads are jam packed and our hospital A&E and maternity service are threatened with closure.

    None of this development has taken as much as one person off of our housing list, instead, the numbers on the list have grown.

    So, despite the massive, runaway development here, my daughter and thousands of other locals have almost no chance of renting social housing. The new housing is to bring people into the town – yet this has brought not one identifiable benefit to local people or businesses.

    Unemployment is rising here, redundancies too as many local companies move to cheaper environments overseas.

    These newcomers, some from london who buy homes here, many from overseas who multiple rent buy to let properties, are pushing up house prices here to unaffordable levels for my daughter and many other young locals.

    Our MP promised my district that this development would bring improved quality of life, more affordable housing, more prosperity and better services. It has brought none of those things, it has merely brought misery here.

  91. MY BORIS LIES OVER THE OCEAN.OUR BORIS LIES OVER THE SEA.[PARLIAMENT IN CHORUS TOGETHER AND THE HON,QUEEN LEADING WITH THE HIGH NOTES]BRING BACK… BRING BACK… O! BRING BACK MY BOZ TO ME.Dear Boris what ever your fellow country men might think of you. This is wishing you tops.VIKRMJIT INDIA

  92. FLO .

    Flo, you are a wonder. I do love it when I disagree profoundly and yet like the point. When I come across a fair minded intelligent and good person it is always immediately clear to me that the only obstacle to their complete agreement with me is time

    As I no longer sleep. I have some time

    OF CULTURE……
    Can you accept that any is better than another?
    FLOS ANSWER
    Better can mean so many things: superior morally, intellectually, historically, developmentally, environmentally, even simply more sustainable.
    So, I use a Bushmen of the Kalahari criteria because any ideas I previously held regarding the superiority of one culture over another, or our society were turned upside down when I studied the society of the Bushmen of the Kalahari while I was at college.
    Though at virtually a Stone Age level of development, this tribe had established a democratic society, with regular meetings where everyone’s voice was heard. They lived in harmony with each other and their environment. War, crime and murder were unknown to them. People with disabilities were cared for, not killed off. The elderly were respected. The tribal leader was guided by the principle of total service to his tribe. There was no corruption.
    PAUL`S RESPONSE
    I’ll have to confess that I suspect your lyrical response to these apparently un fallen `silver age` naturals tells us far more about the subjective post Rousseau yearnings of Western Civilisation that the Bushmen themselves. That is why the teeniest of tweak, an earnest BBC voice, some khaki, could tip this into pastiche. The 19th century `Romantic` discovery of the values of the Primitive, a reaction to Enlightenment Rationalism, are all around us today. One example is `Alternative medicine` and the tragic delusion of Cancer Sufferers, for example , that crystals , pulling out the bad spirit , drinking magic water blessed by dilution will help. My own cynicism might extend to the entire notion of a holistic response. You begin to see then how this sort of thinking can migrate from the dream world into the real world with disastrous consequences.
    I cannot prove that you are describing a Western Dream but even if such a society existed your visit to it is in itself an act of Western will.. Your appreciation of it is really a further proof of the superiority of Western values.

    Pausing for a moment from my main argument can I puncture your implication that Primitive Societies are likely to be less environmentally damaging than advanced ones? How attractive is this notion and yet how wrong. In fact desertification and mass extinction have been caused by Stone Age man, it just takes a little longer. Whether Western civilisation will proved to be a `governed ` stable system we cannot know. It is the first civilisation to discover the need for such a balancing mechanism.

    Like many fantasies, the moment the picture moves, it all looks a bit silly. (I `m thinking porn here but I am after all a horrid man) Such a civilisation might for example discover the means to irrigate. Agriculture might develop and so on a written legal system and means of protecting freedoms in a large and complex economic environment would be required and …so unless you are suggesting that only the West `ascends` you are solving nothing .
    War was unknown – They will therefore be unable to defend themselves
    Everyone’s voice was heard- Provided it didn’t suggest they sell their homeland and move to the city I assume

    Or ( and this is important) even allow their children to be educated in the City as such cultural exposure would quite obviously poison the isolation of a rock pool protected by ignorance. You will see how a misguided veneration for any or culture `Society` will have immediate consequences for policy on, say Muslim schools. In practice only by perpetuating ignorance can such `innocence`, if you believe it which I don’t, be maintained

    To be balanced about it yes there certainly are things that have been lost as civilisation has broadly ascended but the simple notion that we go back again is utterly wrong and leads to great evils

    FLO CONTINUES IN BRILLIANT STYLE
    Are we really more advanced than this so called ‘primitive’ tribe? Or could we not learn more from them than they ever could from us?
    PAUL ANSWERS
    Yes,
    No

    FLO SUMS UP HER VIEW WITH A FLOURISH
    Yes, I believe so. However, I would, wouldn’t I? I’m not a Muslim, and to a Muslim the reverse would be true. To the Bushmen of the Kalahari, we’d all be lunatics. So how do we know which society is superior – or that any are?

    In short, I’m saying there are no simple answers to such questions, Paul.

    PAUL FIGHTS BACK
    As CS Lewis says `there are an infinite number of possible answers until you know the truth. Then there is only one `A tribe that believes the sky sits on the treetops are unlikely develop powered flight, the Earth did not become round when it was discovered to be so, nor did the Sun skip form its frantic orbit to the centre when Copernicus commanded it to. I am suggesting that in wishing to be open to new thought you are forgetting the point of the exercise which is establishing truth
    `To the Bushmen of the Kalahari, we’d all be lunatics` you say. Yes but we aren’t.
    PAUL PATRONISES FLO ON THE SUBJECT OF CULTURAL STUDIES AND THE LIBERAL MENACE
    The obvious wrongness of de-contextualsing cultural practices was the innocent 60s beginning of the cancer that is `Cultural relativism ` Flo. This began in the new Sociology and Anthropology departments in red brick Unis. It has since been found to be most congenial to Liberals in that it allows them to conclude that everyone can be right at the same time. Clearly this is an absurd extension of the original insight allowing the following sinister conclusions
    1 Female Circumcision is culturally justified and yet should be treated with `education` without the admission that one culture is superior to the other
    2 Muslim anti-Semitism and militarism is morally less reprehensible than were the West to espouse it (Without the conclusion that the West is morally superior)
    3 South African `tribalism ` was worse than black African tribalism without the admission it was because we expect better …

    Etc. down to the sexism and homophobia of Black lyrics.

    PAUL POUNDS AN ALREADY BEATEN OPPONENT OUT OF SHEER MALICIOUS GLEE

    This Liberal consensus is wrong and must be defeated. Its overwhelming predomination in such bodies as the BBC, the Teaching colleges, Sociology departments Environmental studies and other soft /easy subjects is our first enemy . Until it is defeated Conservatives will continues to constantly feel that only they can see the king has no clothes .

    AND FINALLY

    The pope was right to assert the superiority of the Christian tradition not just for us but absolutely

  93. Auntie Flo – good points about housing; the infrastructure just isnt there. In my parents area (south) they have succesfully campaigned to stop asymum shunting based on this truth but I doubt that method would work for purely commercial builders building homes to sell. Truth is the planning laws are no longer local and have been hijacked by central government.

    You also said – “Politics of envy….of the Pope? Aw come on…I’d have to give up sex :-)” – actually it’s not so bad, although I’m still waiting for the Armani shoes. My friends tell me it’s like being married but without the stress and laundry.

  94. Thalia – so glad you enjoyed the Boz link, it’s good to find a giggle in one’s day I think. See if you like this
    (And to and detractors without a sense of humour – “just give it up, ok”)

    I don’t know why, whenever I watch this video I think of PH – it’s a mystery.

  95. Flo enjoyed that so I tidied it up a bit added a gag or two and I `m putting it on our Association Site ( Might circulate around a few Lib friends as well) Of course I have cheated as you didn`t know you were on Ha ha. ( And no credit for the perfectly awful Forget Me not gag)

    THE LIBERAL DREAM OF CULTURAL RELATIVISM

    FOLLOWING PAPAL REMARKS ON ISLAM

    FLO .( THE LIBERAL) v PAUL NEWMAN ( CONSERVATIVE)

    Flo, you are a wonder. I do love it when I disagree profoundly and yet like the point. When I come across a fair minded intelligent and good person it is always immediately clear to me that the only obstacle to their complete agreement with me is time
    You and I must find the time because together we ar going to build a constituency of agreement large enough to form a governement.

    OF CULTURE……
    Can you accept that any is better than another?
    FLO`S IMPASSIONED PLEA FOR HUMILITY
    Better can mean so many things: superior morally, intellectually, historically, developmentally, environmentally, even simply more sustainable.
    So, I use a Bushmen of the Kalahari criteria because any ideas I previously held regarding the superiority of one culture over another, or our society were turned upside down when I studied the society of the Bushmen of the Kalahari while I was at college.
    Though at virtually a Stone Age level of development, this tribe had established a democratic society, with regular meetings where everyone’s voice was heard. They lived in harmony with each other and their environment. War, crime and murder were unknown to them. People with disabilities were cared for, not killed off. The elderly were respected. The tribal leader was guided by the principle of total service to his tribe. There was no corruption.
    PAUL`S RESPONSE
    I’ll have to confess that I suspect your lyrical response to these apparently un fallen `silver age` naturals tells us far more about the subjective post Rousseau yearnings of Western Civilisation that the Bushmen themselves. That is why the teeniest of tweak, an earnest BBC voice, some khaki, could tip this into pastiche. The 19th century `Romantic` discovery of the values of the Primitive, a reaction to Enlightenment Rationalism, are all around us today. One example is `Alternative medicine` and the tragic delusion of Cancer Sufferers, for example , that crystals , pulling out the bad spirit , drinking magic water blessed by dilution will help. My own cynicism might extend to the entire notion of a holistic response. You begin to see then how this sort of thinking can migrate from the dream world into the real world with disastrous consequences.
    I cannot prove that you are describing a Western Dream but even if such a society existed your visit to it is in itself an act of Western will.. Your appreciation of it is really a further proof of the superiority of Western values.
    Pausing for a moment from my main argument can I puncture your implication that Primitive Societies are likely to be less environmentally damaging than advanced ones? How attractive is this notion and yet how wrong. In fact desertification and mass extinction have been caused by Stone Age man, it just takes a little longer. Whether Western civilisation will proved to be a `governed ` stable system we cannot know. It is the first civilisation to discover the need for such a balancing mechanism.
    Like many fantasies it works best as point of motionless perfection. If we allow the picture to move it all looks a bit silly. Such a civilisation might for example discover the means to irrigate. Agriculture might develop and so on a written legal system and means of protecting freedoms in a large and complex economic environment would be required and …so unless you are suggesting that only the West `ascends` you are solving nothing .
    War was unknown – They will therefore be unable to defend themselves
    Everyone’s voice was heard- Provided it didn’t suggest they sell their homeland and move to the city I assume
    Or ( and this is important) even allow their children to be educated in the City as such cultural exposure would quite obviously poison the isolation of a rock pool protected by ignorance. You will see how a misguided veneration for any or culture `Society` will have immediate consequences for policy on, say Muslim schools. In practice only by perpetuating ignorance can such `innocence`, if you believe it which I don’t, be maintained
    To be balanced about it yes there certainly are things that have been lost as civilisation has broadly ascended but the simple notion that we go back again is utterly wrong and leads to great evils

    FLO CONTINUES IN BRILLIANT STYLE
    Are we really more advanced than this so called ‘primitive’ tribe? Or could we not learn more from them than they ever could from us?
    PAUL ANSWERS
    Yes,
    No

    FLO SUMS UP HER VIEW WITH A FLOURISH
    Yes, I believe so.( That Christianity is superior to Islam) However, I would, wouldn’t I? I’m not a Muslim, and to a Muslim the reverse would be true. To the Bushmen of the Kalahari, we’d all be lunatics. So how do we know which society is superior – or that any are?
    In short, I’m saying there are no simple answers to such questions, Paul.
    PAUL FIGHTS BACK
    As CS Lewis says `there are an infinite number of possible answers until you know the truth. Then there is only one `A tribe that believes the sky sits on the treetops are unlikely develop powered flight, the Earth did not become round when it was discovered to be so, nor did the Sun skip form its frantic orbit to the centre when Copernicus commanded it to. I am suggesting that in wishing to be open to new thought you are forgetting the point of the exercise which is establishing truth
    `To the Bushmen of the Kalahari, we’d all be lunatics` you say. Yes but we aren’t.
    PAUL PATRONISES FLO ON THE SUBJECT OF CULTURAL STUDIES AND THE LIBERAL MENACE
    The obvious wrongness of de-contextualsing cultural practices was the innocent 60s beginning of the cancer that is `Cultural relativism ` Flo. This began in the new Sociology and Anthropology departments in red brick Unis. It has since been found to be most congenial to Liberals in that it allows them to conclude that everyone can be right at the same time. Clearly this is an absurd extension of the original insight allowing the following sinister conclusions
    1 Female Circumcision is culturally justified and yet should be treated with `education` without the admission that one culture is superior to the other
    2 Muslim anti-Semitism and militarism is morally less reprehensible than were the West to espouse it (Without the conclusion that the West is morally superior)
    3 Constroversially , that,South African `tribalism ` was worse than black African tribalism without the admission it was because we expect better …( culture , not race of course)
    Etc. down to the sexism and homophobia of Black lyrics. and pertinently the ant-semitism of Isalm
    PAUL POUNDS AN ALREADY BEATEN OPPONENT OUT OF SHEER MALICIOUS GLEE

    This Liberal consensus is wrong and must be defeated. Its overwhelming predomination in such bodies as the BBC, the Teaching colleges, Sociology departments Environmental studies and other soft /easy subjects is our first enemy . Until it is defeated Conservatives will continues to constantly feel that only they can see the king has no clothes .
    PAUL CARELESSLY ADMINISTERS THE COUP DE GRACE
    The Pope was right to assert the superiority of the Christian tradition not just for us but absolutely

    AND HERE IS THE CONSERVATIVE DREAM

    FLO A BEATEN WOMAN REPENTS
    .` I now see you are right and repent all my years of wrong headed Liberal voting your words have inspired me to mend my ways and join the Conservative Party without wishing to fundamentally alter it from within .

    AND THE NIGHTMARE ……………….
    I refute you words and as you party belongs to me now your choice is to get in line or get out.Peace.

  96. Paul Newman said:

    I suspect your lyrical response to these apparently un fallen `silver age` naturals tells us far more about the subjective post Rousseau yearnings of Western Civilisation that the Bushmen themselves..some khaki, could tip this into pastiche…19th century `Romantic` discovery of the values of the Primitive…reaction to Enlightenment Rationalism…One example is `Alternative medicine…the tragic delusion of Cancer Sufferers…crystals , pulling out the bad spirit. My own cynicism might extend to the entire notion of a holistic response. You begin to see then how this sort of thinking can migrate from the dream world into the real world with disastrous consequences.

    desertification and mass extinction have been caused by Stone Age man, it just takes a little longer. Whether Western civilisation will proved to be a `governed ` stable system we cannot know. It is the first civilisation to discover the need for such a balancing mechanism.

    Paul, the Bushmen are not a Romantic creation, I’m not talking about or mistaking them for the nobel savage posited by that arch romantic philosopher, Rousseau – the anti-rationalist reactionary who said ‘Man is born free yet every where found in chains’ so all we need do is reclaim our noble past. That would be impossible, even in a post-nuclear holocaust era.

    The Bush people of the Kalahari are instead a huge and positive encouragement for us post industrial tribes, because if one thing defines these, much persecuted people – who time and again have been pushed to the brink of extinction – it’s their masterful powers of survival and adaptation to punitively harsh and life threatening, environmental change.

    If we learn only thing from the Bush people, it should be to have more faith in the adaptablity and powers of survival of our human species.

    Time and again the Bushmen have been beaten down by their environment and the hostility of other tribes and Western society, yet time and again they’ve united and survived – indeed, some of the Bushmen groups are doing much more than survive and now beating us at our own game – Capitalism.

  97. jaq said:

    Auntie Flo – Truth is the planning laws are no longer local and have been hijacked by central government.

    You also said – “Politics of envy….of the Pope? Aw come on…I’d have to give up sex :-)” – actually it’s not so bad, although I’m still waiting for the Armani shoes. My friends tell me it’s like being married but without the stress and laundry.

    Well said, Jaq, you are so right. Though, thank God, we’re now on the brink of a new era, those greedy b……ds, who have conned us and hijacked our planning laws and just about everything else of ours – including our precious freedom and civil liberties – are heading for one almighty fall.

    We’re taking back our democratic rights from Nulab and the Blairite’s – and every thing they do to try to save their wretched hegemony will only bring their judgement day a little closer.

    I have my bunting and balloons at the ready plus tentative plans for a street and office party lasting about 2-3 days!

    freedoms

  98. Steven_L said:

    They can’t put loads of immigrants here, fact is we’re just far too racist.

    I ‘eard, that, our Paul, so Uncle Two Jags, me and some pals have come to, democratically educate ya like.

    Now, you joost sit still, lad, don’t stroogle like that, lad, you’ll only mek it worse for yoursen. This isn’t going to ‘urt a bit.

    Come on, you lot, ‘oory up, I’ll ‘old his arm while you stick it in ‘im……

    Oooh, look, ‘es comin’ round. There, now you feel better, don’t you, our Paul? Somebody wipe ‘is dribble, its going all over me Armani.

  99. Oooh, look, ‘es comin’ round. There, now you feel better, don’t you, our Paul? Somebody wipe ‘is dribble, its going all over me Armani.

    Oh, you say yer name’s not Paul?

    Right lads, give ‘im another one, ‘es a tough nut this one but we’ll crack ‘im yet…

    Ah, oop, eee’s comin’ round again.

    Now say after Uncle Two Jags: me name is NOT Steven, it’s Paul and I luv Nulab…

  100. Auntie Flo – I’m sure I read somewhere that the die is cast and we can’t now get out of being a European State. I don’t know if this is true and tried to bring it up as a subject on the previous thread – if it is true then it’s the worst news. As P.Eye would say “we should be told”, thing is it’s not funny.

    Hitchens (his little brother) bangs on about voting ‘none of the above’ as the only alternative to 3 parties that seem resigned to losing sovereignty. I’m not sure if this is the answer but I can see no other.

    thoughts anyone?

  101. jaq said:

    Auntie Flo – I’m sure I read somewhere that the die is cast and we can’t now get out of being a European State. I don’t know if this is true and tried to bring it up as a subject on the previous thread – if it is true then it’s the worst news. As P.Eye would say “we should be told”, thing is it’s not funny.

    Oh, we can get out alright, I’m confident about that. Whatever it takes.

    I wonder if the EU will eventually have such a rash of threatened resignations, that, like Nulab now, they’ll be forced to decide to create an appearance of democratisation and may have to accept a lot of memberships on the basis of trade agreements.

    Re: your ‘none of the above’ voting option. I forsee problems with that. First, people died for our right to vote and I fel it’s our moral duty to vote. I also worry that if we don’t use it, we’ll lose it. Second. if it became a widespread practice, it might just give Nulab a 4th term. Anything has to be better than that. I think Cameron might just prove to be an excellent PM, so I’m voting for him to try to give him that chance.

  102. Dear Jaq, I don’t get the PH reference (PH as opposed to Alkaline?) but the video is very funny! I wondered where it was going when it started – same old same old- then it got going. The bit with the super-soaker is hysterical .

    Don’t know how we got from London and the South East being built over without regard for the infrastructure, water supplies or the welfare of anyone who can actually afford to buy one of these overcrowded rabbit hutches – as “affordable” usually means over Β£200,000- to religion but I suppose it’s the Pope.

    Not a big fan usually as I do not like fundamentally misogynist religions, which lets face it is practically all of them, but he did have the guts to make a valid point, but now even he is running like a rabbit in the face of fundamentalist Islam.

    The world is really in trouble with this lot.
    A very interesting article last week pointed out that much of this extremist stuff in recent years has come out of and is funded by, Saudi Arabia, as indeed did almost all of the terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers, and the more liberal Muslims are running too scared of the extremists to do anything.

    It comes down to the basic historical fact that when you actually look at the facts, religion of any sort is terribly bad for people. It accounts for most of the bloodiest wars in history and an awful lot of atrocities, death, torture misery and pain, especially for women as the first and central tenet of virtually every religion under the sun is keep the c**ts barefoot and pregnant, and rape has always been, and is still, a perquisite of war.

    Boiled right down to basics and observable facts, no matter what they may say about spiritual enlightenment, most religions anywhere are all about power for old men, including getting to have sex with young girls (or in some well known instances boys) and lots of money, at the expense of everyone else.

    I have always respected other peoples religions, I have had friends who were Jewish, Muslim, Catholic and all sorts and I left that side of their lives to them and joined them in other social areas. I even wondered sometimes if I was missing something but I never found another persons religion I was totally happy about, especially with the historical female subjugation of almost all of them, so I went my own way.

    With the events in recent years and the rise of the hardcore extremist Islamic terrorist whose basic tenet is the subjugation of the world to their ideals by the sword, especially the women, and the rise of the religious right in America who don’t seem to be that far off the same philosophy, I now think all religions should be discouraged if not outright banned by all sensible people on grounds of Health and Safety.
    I am only party kidding here. If this sort of thing keeps escalating like this we are heading for another dark age and when even Pope Benedict XVI is on the run, and what he actually said to offend the Muslims this time was that the spread of religion through coercion is indefensible (not always historically a view held by the Catholic Church) we have a serious problem here.
    We can’t afford to go round being nice and tolerant of other peoples religious excesses when those excesses involve violence and the threat of violence to all around them. If none of them can play nicely then they should all be banned.

    Well I’ve probably managed to piss off practically everybody with all that but I am a practical person and prefer results to promises in religion as well as politics, and I have come to the above conclusions by looking at the results and not the promises.

    I am going to weed the garden now and spray the Pumpkin Plant with milk to try and stem the Powdery Mildew again before the fundamentalists find out where I live.

  103. Re: Kalhari Bush people and modern medicine, Paul said:

    `Romantic` discovery of the values of the Primitive, a reaction to Enlightenment Rationalism, are all around us today. One example is `Alternative medicine` and the tragic delusion of Cancer Sufferers..crystals , pulling out the bad spirit , drinking magic water…My own cynicism might extend to the entire notion of a holistic response…this sort of thinking can migrate from the dream world into the real world with disastrous consequences… Your appreciation of it [this sort of society] is really a further proof of the superiority of Western values.

    I disagree Paul, the holistic approach to medicine and traditional, natural medicine is a useful part of our modern arsenal against disease. You’re totally ignoring the fact that many, natural substances which were understood and used by our ancestors now form the basis of many modern drugs.

    Here’s one example – from the Bushman’s society πŸ™‚

    Africa’s Bushmen May Get Rich From Diet-Drug Secret
    National Geographic News

    April 16, 2003
    The wheel of fortune could be turning for southern Africa’s San, or Bushmen.

    Sidelined over decades because of their dwindling numbers and ancient way of life, the San have been reduced to a few struggling communities living on the fringes of society. But now their traditional knowledge may be their salvation; they stand to make a lot of money–and gain much respect–from the international marketing of an appetite-suppressant they have been using for thousands of generations.

    The drug named P57 is based on a substance scientists found in the desert plant Hoodia gordinii. The San call the cactus !khoba and have been chewing on it for thousands of years to stave off hunger and thirst during long hunting trips in their parched Kalahari desert home…

    At a small ceremony recently held in the Kalahari desert near the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, which South Africa shares with Botswana, the San and the CSIR made a deal to share royalties earned by commercial sale of the San’s ancient knowledge of the plant.

    The overly nourished millions of people in the developed world spend billions of dollars a year on preparations and remedies to combat obesity. Effective new products that help shed weight are always in high demand.

    Children danced and sang as members of the San community watched their leaders sign the deal. The chairman of the San Council, Petrus Vaalbooi, said, “We are thankful that the traditional knowledge of our forefathers is acknowledged by this important agreement, and that we are making it known to the world. As San leaders we are determined to protect all aspects of our heritage.”

    The landmark deal signed by the San could blaze the trail for indigenous communities elsewhere in the world. Many traditional cultures have ancient knowledge of the healing powers of plants–intellectual property that is often not recognized, let alone protected for commercial gain…

    For the San the agreement could be a defining moment as it could mark a turn for the better in ways other than a financial windfall.

    In terms of the deal, the CSIR will pay the San 8 percent of milestone payments made by its licensee, UK-based Phytopharm, during the drug’s clinical development over the next few years. This could come to more than a million dollars.

    The biggest revenue stream could come from 6 percent royalties the San would receive if and when the drug is marketed by the international drug giant Pfizer, which has in turn been licensed by Phytopharm. Given the international demand for obesity drugs, the market for P57 could run to billions of dollars.

  104. Thalia said:

    It comes down to the basic historical fact that when you actually look at the facts, religion of any sort is terribly bad for people. It accounts for most of the bloodiest wars in history and an awful lot of atrocities, death, torture misery and pain, especially for women as the first and central tenet of virtually every religion under the sun is keep the c**ts barefoot and pregnant, and rape has always been, and is still, a perquisite of war. Boiled right down to basics and observable facts, no matter what they may say about spiritual enlightenment, most religions anywhere are all about power for old men, including getting to have sex with young girls (or in some well known instances boys)

    you might find this interesting – courtesy of raincoaster.

    Also exploring the female perspective on my blog

  105. The biggest revenue stream could come from 6 percent royalties the San would receive if and when the drug is marketed by the international drug giant Pfizer, which has in turn been licensed by Phytopharm. (Auntie Flo)

    That’s the San down the pan then. How long before McDonalds target them as a “revenue stream”?

  106. Dear Jaq,

    Exactly! Always had a lot of time for the Humanists, sensible lot by and large and common sense seems to be what we are massively short on these days.
    Didn’t know you had a blog, shall check it out.
    Cheers.

  107. ‘I have my bunting and balloons at the ready plus tentative plans for a street and office party lasting about 2-3 days!’ (Auntie Flo’)

    Are we all invited? Perhaps that’s why they always have elections on Thursday, you can book the Friday off work in anticipation and go on a 2 day bender, if you get the result you want.

    What I might do is book the Friday off work, hire a car for the long weekend and drive around the shires to see just how many people are partying (if NuLab lose of course).

    Of course it’s more likely most of the nation will be down the pub watching some football match. Damn, just thought, elections are in May, touch-wood I’m still able I’ll be playing cricket on the Saturday and sleeping most of Friday after staying up all night to watch Peter Snow’s swingometer swing.

  108. Steven_L said:

    ‘I have my bunting and balloons at the ready plus tentative plans for a street and office party lasting about 2-3 days!’ (Auntie Flo’)

    Are we all invited? What I might do is book the Friday off work, hire a car for the long weekend and drive around the shires to see just how many people are partying (if NuLab lose of course)….Dan, just thought..sleeping most of Friday after staying up all night to watch Peter Snow’s swingometer swing.

    Of course, everyone’s invited! All of us who have waited so very long for our freedom and some hope again. Most of the South will be buzzing with joy and relief. I just can’t wait. The sleep thing is a problem, like you, I shall be up until dawn, so I’ll put up bunting and ballons in between gaps in the election coverage. I can’t even think of Nulab being returned again, it’s out of the question. I never gamble, but I’ve even put a bet on Cameron to win at the bookies – very poor odds they gave me too.

  109. Has anyone seen the exit polls for Sweden? They’re predicting a narrow win for the centre right opposition. Yes!

  110. THALIA ( but its all FLO`S FAULT ) if to bored to read please flick to PLEA FOR HELP
    THALIA SAID
    Exactly! Always had a lot of time for the Humanists, sensible lot by and large and common sense seems to be what we are massively short on these days.
    Didn’t know you had a blog, shall check it out.
    Cheers.

    PAUL DEVELOPS ALSO WITH REF TO FLO `s fabulous Kalahari insight
    I also rather like the idea (Humanism) I came across it (many years ago) studying George Elliot.
    Why do only trivial things stick? Feuerback was the name of the big humanist cheese I remember and it was to do with supposed Moral evolution over time This was …( god how it comes back ) also part of a humanist scheme placing Shakespeare’s plays in different moral universes ( which works better than it sounds)
    PAUL CONTINUES TO WITTER
    Any way FLO, has been very interesting indeed (I think so anyway) on the subject of the Kalahari bushmen and the possibility that their simplicity could involve a sort of moral advantage … she says it much better.
    Humanists posit a historical progress. God is regarded as the imagined perfect human of the tribe and so religion is there to pull us up to this imagined better us .Thus in any age Religion shows a better path than most can follow. ( This is why she was so affectionate about the Cove E see Clerics Tales a great book )however as the fresh spring for moral progress was exceptional human beings in that time these discoverers would be ahead of formal religion. Maggie Tulliver in Mill on the Floss (don’t mean to patronise …) is such an exceptional instinctively moral person

    PAUL DISAPPEARS INTO OWN FUNDEMENT
    CS Lewis had a rather good thorn to stick in the side of this chronological conceit. He said, yes we have become better at empathising. (Looks like fish will be the next to be granted souls by the Council … forms in triplicate please) but we had also become cowardly and selfish. I think this is good thought provoker myself , my uncles fought in the last war ( my father was much younger) when I meet kindly old chaps and realise what they did I am certain it isn’t all progress .

    YOU ARE NOW OFFICIALLY BORED TO DEATH.
    Went to Buckingham Palace today, wife wanted to see dresses. Amazing need to go back to spend more time on pictures a Rembrandt that grabbed your `soul` (is that ikky yes? No? Yes)… You noticed in contrast to the glittering stage set of the Palace of an old couple caught in moment of slightly grumpy affection. Need to go again

    FINAL ATTEMPT TO EXTINGUISH YOUR LIFE FORCE

    Loved the Don Quixote quote. I wasn’t certain what you meant. Was it a reference to the Forget me not spoof, which went down v badly sorry( Princess and Pea meets Lion Mane …supposed to be perfectly bad). I wondered if it was a sort of oblique reference. If it was it was genius … and tremendous stuff anyway

    PLEA FOR HELP

    Clear need to start own blog which I am arranging to be attached to the Islignton Conservative Site. Incidentally currently features handsome Boris on front page and relatively UN handsome moi a poor second

    I need a good name (and address, what do they mean)

    ANY IDEAS its to be arts , media , music , film , popular culture have a piece in a mag about the X Men ) Don Quixote / Santo Panzer = Cyclops /Wolverine … better than it sounds , I hope

    GOOD NAME

    GOOD ADDRESS

    ANYONE?

    Will now re read all the brilliant stuff you have in . Now totally addicted. Where is IDLEX though? What a brain. Many others to .Vastly better than Ian dale Blog which is actually dispiritingly vulgar (and I am very very vulgar)

  111. JAQ SAID/ SORRY THALIA AGAIN

    all about power for old men, including getting to have sex with young girls ..

    ….Not all bad then . Womens Issues . Are women any good at writing about them or do they see the process of discussion as about reassurrance and not discovery. Therfore womens issues never progress ?

    PLEA FOR HELP NEED GOOD NAME FOR BLOG ON ISLINGTON CON SITE> arts /culture music politics local gossip insults gags blagh blah

    HELP

  112. PaulD said:
    September 15, 2006 06:42 PM | permalink

    I’m beginning to like Luke, even if she does have a couple of dry-soldered joints.

    Is Luke a woman then ?Seemed quite a forceful style .. um well not a woman ?Is this whatv Thalia was on about which ha spuzzled me all day ( Its such a memorable quote)
    `I shall impersonate a man.` His name is Alonso Quijana, a country squire no longer yo……

    Luke doesn`t sound like a woman to me , what does this mean ?

  113. FLO – I apprecaite that you didn` this invent people and I have no doubt there is much to admire about them . None of this in any way effects he main point I was making about the methdological evils of Cultural Relativism It is related politically to multi culturalism but I am much more friendly to the latter .

    In other words I want a community but I do not want lies propogated to obtain it ( as i see it )…ulp that was a bit aggressive..

    On which subject having never posted at all until last week I have been finding my feet a bit and have adopted some positions for fun. New start -Not saying anything from now on I woud`nt say in real life ( which is plenty as those who know me will attest)

    HELP ME WITH BLOG SITE NAME PLEASE

  114. JAQ DID YOU NOTICE THIS. sounds a bit off now I look but this was a real event and thats what happened

    JAQ . I see you said you liked Norman Tebbit . I`m suprised and interested, I went to hear him speak recently , not because I agree with him ( I don`t much) but for the sheer quality of the man as a moral thinker and human being . He did not let me down . Harrangued by a young un invited Muslim he patiently explained his views and showed great aplomb subjected to an ignorant aggressive attack from a fascist thug. Given his history and recent events I can`t rememeber when I have felt so inspired
    and all it took was good humour reasonableness and unfaltering honesty.

    I do hope David C is hiding similiar qualities. Thus far they are well hidden `

    Also going to stop moaning aboput David Cameron. FLO is right , after the 9.11 speech i had a panic that he was actually my enemy and identical to Blair ( like the end of Animal farm , a cartoon waiting to happen) Seeing Buckingham Palace today reminded me of the contempt with which Blair hasteated our Constitution and traditions .I am starting to balance my Libertarian instincts with ssssmall c consevatism on planning ,community and enviroment( although it feels a bit like putting onm knickers …. not that I`d actually know of course)

  115. Luke 4:23 said:
    September 15, 2006 05:33 PM | permalink
    LUKE
    PaulN – I love war and war’s alarms (you know who wrote that, of course.

    No I bloody don`t as i said Henry v( can`t find it ) tell me , and could you clear up this businessof your gender. She? or He? its to wierd .

  116. blog names: ‘Angel Islington’
    ‘Angel’s Islington’
    ‘The Izzie Angel’?
    ‘Izzie Islington’
    ‘Joe Public’

    Re: your bid for Mayor:

    You need to use your key strengths:

    Your blurb says:

    But Mr. Newman is the first to admit that he stands little chance of success.

    You can’t say that. You need to see yourself as a winner and project that image – or failure will become a self fulfilling prophesy.

    Your blurb quotes you saying: “I am just a normal person. I haven’t got any money. If I actually got it, I would have to give up my job and I can’t do that.

    That’s good – honesty and integrity, excellent in the current political climate.

    “They say anybody can joint in this campaign. It seems to me that a normal person can’t. All I thought was that I could stick my nose in and find out what was going out.”

    I don’t know what joint is, can only guess, many others would feel the same and for them this will conjure up an instant negative association – drugs. I’m not saying they’ll assume you do them, just that, in a confusing context, there’s a negative virus in the word.

    The last section is too negative, too loose. You need to come across as dedicated to winning for the ordinary buggers.

  117. Paul,

    That’s so rude. It’s quite clear what gender Luke 4:23 is. Why should she have to clear anything up? Who cares?

    paulnewman said:

    Luke 4:23 said:
    LUKE
    PaulN – I love war and war’s alarms (you know who wrote that, of course.

    No I bloody don`t as i said Henry v( can`t find it ) tell me , and could you clear up this businessof your gender. She? or He? its to wierd .

  118. FLO – still thinking about Kalahari Bushmen but as I know nothing about then ( didn`t stop me before but this is the new me)I will find some more out .
    At Buck Palace today saw a sculpture of a Polar Bear presented to Queen . Some blah about the QUEEEEN going to the Commonwealth…… ( pointless organisations 1 to 10 mag idea GLA in at number 2 , every regional council but at number one it is the European Union … sorry late entry The Shadow Cabinet where the f— are they?)……..to continue .. all over the world spreading something or other .

    I thought of your tribe and the fact I read the other the Innuit are not surving and are down to 25000 having been swindled by the Canadian Government . How sad this simple stone piece looked amongst the opuluence of the Nash setting .

    I may cry .Or I may pretend toi be sensitive to get sex . What ?..what..
    Newman or new man .

  119. Steven_L said:

    Auntie Flo’

    My hot tip is bet on England to win the 1st test match at the gabba starting Nov 23rd, you can get 11/2!

    Get behind me, Satan, I mustn’t gamble any more, I could get addicted to it πŸ™‚

  120. Paul newman said “Are women any good at writing about them or do they see the process of discussion as about reassurrance and not discovery. Therfore womens issues never progress” – hmn, never progress huh? Bit like a mans emotional age. But you left out the other options – sharing the joke with your mates and rather than just going round in circles, asking someone directions.

    Blog name? After those posts? It’s gotta be ‘Verbosus Maximus’

  121. Luke is a woman.Well its the name isn`t it , I just assumed `Luke`.. are`nt you being a teeny bit harsh . How interesting that once you decide you interpret everything differenty . A Necker cube expierience. So sorry if I`ve been ill mannered its not as if we`ve met , that would be an insult.

    OF COURSE IT DOESN`T MATTER
    Conservatives know all about clever ambitious women . I am not clever or ambitious really , does that make me a not very good man ?
    Incidentally I have a female alter ego `Marian` who writes to the local press on matters of antiquarian interest. I find Marian can get away with murder . end of last letter published ( in Gazette now) about snoop hot lines for smokers..Walter raleigh .. don`t ask

    ……The last pitched battle in our borough was probably fought by Queen Boudicca. She may well have besieged the Roman encampment that lies beneath Barnsbury to save her way of life.

    Like many Conservatives I know exactly which woman I would like to ride back on her chariot to save our traditions, both great and small, from these modern invaders.

    Marian Reynolds

    and much as I now feel bad about it the Forget Me Not spoof thing shows I like to don a frock when it suits me ..

    Ah .. thats what I am not doing , saying things which are actually rubbish for effect . NO MORE .

    Jesus so much work to do will have to restrict time at Boz to small peeks . hence trying to tie up and read . Looked at Thalia`s comments on housing , which is ,my main local thing .Yes yes yes and,,, yup . Ticks all the boxes.

    On your ancient root medicines more to follow which ties up everything I think . Then will cut down to occassional contribution and earn some money . Hell huge pitch this week

  122. paul newman – just caught up on your Norman Tebbitt experience. Yes I rate the Man. Very much so. I loved it when he stood up to Major – ‘Her Majesty’s loyal minister’ was it? And I heard him on R4 recently, wish I’d have been there to share your experience. Norman Tebbitt was one of the best PM’s we never had. And Enoch Powell was another.

  123. FLO

    I don’t know what joint is, can only guess, many others would feel the same and for them this will conjure up an instant negative association – drugs. I’m not saying they’ll assume you do them, just that, in a confusing context, there’s a negative virus in the word.
    `

    To late went in ages ago . It was a sort of local stunt really and do not take self that seriously.Want to get to interview to get name about have smaller ambitions .I`m 42!!! by the way not 46 . That hurt

  124. And Enoch Powell was another.

    Verbosus Maximus . I do think write and type ( for a man) very quickly, have also submitted numerous on Blog here and much else this week . I edit MUCH more if formal or submitted fior publication.

    What I have not done is prepare a pitch for a piling Contractor in Watford . Manyana….
    Norman Tebbit – A very kind funny and truthful man . The best
    `And Enoch Powell was another` you say

    Can`t go with you there JAQ. Only know the Rivers of blood speech. I hate to disagree with you but to me this is rancid vulgar hatemongering and it is the style ,cheap propoganda , as much as the unpleasant sentiments ,up with which I cannot put .

    Sorry . Perhaps there is much more I don`t know

  125. Paul Newman said:

    Like most Consevatives, I know what woman I would like to ride back on her chariot to save our traditions, both great and small, from these modern invaders.

    Marian Reynolds

    and much as I now feel bad about it the Forget Me Not spoof thing shows I like to don a frock when it suits me ..

    Ah .. thats what I am not doing , saying things which are actually rubbish for effect . NO MORE .

    Is this a mid life crisis, Paul?

  126. Right oh nearly all wrapped up . On holistsic medicines several ways to go
    1 Laugh cruelly – Looking forward to your kalahari Hip replacement without anaesthetic are you ?
    2 MRI or mad bloke warbling over smelly herbs sir ? … funny most people don`t say that sir ….oodle oolde oodle
    3Pick to pieces what you actually said … um this is actually not easy so we`ll quickly move on. Interesting stuff.

    More seriously relate own appalling experiences on a branch of Western medecine that 20 years ago was at witch doctor level. One day maybe .

    I don`t think we are disagreeing here apart from emphasis. I wish I `d travelled more . No chance now .

    LADIES AND GENTLEMAN THAT IS THE END OF THE WEEK I BECAME ADDICTED TO BLOGGING.( you haveno idea , I `ve been eveywhere)

    Normality will recommence but will drop in .

    I must say having roved around a fair bit this one is the best by far in every way so congratulations to anyone responsible . I never did get a rapping from Mel (who she?) what a shame sounds fun

    What a totally wierd weekend but a very very good one and Connie is in Sound of Music I `m going on the 5th night , it just doesn`t get any better.

    and by the way you will note thatI gave along and considered response on housing following Boris . It really was one of his very best . Boundary changes fit up scandal also fine fine work .

  127. FLO
    Is this a mid life crisis, Paul?
    PAUL
    Dunno .Have just aquired motorbike (125 Honda, so not Marlon Brando yet) and gave several seconds consideration to `Free The Grecian 2000!`

    Naa..

    Thanks for this Thalia
    Hope to steal much more

    `I shall impersonate a man. His name is Alonso Quijana, a country squire no longer young. Being retired, he has much time for books. He studies them from morn till night and often through the night and morn again, and all he reads oppresses him; fills him with indignation at man’s murderous ways toward man. He ponders the problem of how to make better a world where evil brings profit and virtue none at all; where fraud and deceit are mingled with truth and sincerity. He broods and broods until finally he lays down the melancholy burden of sanity.`

    Not quite but to close for conmfort

  128. Jaq said:
    “Blog name? After those posts? It’s gotta be ‘Verbosus Maximus'”

    My Latin isn’t up to it but I vote for something along the lines of ‘Verbosus Maximus per vere nocens alica’

  129. PaulNewman.

    It’s from the Musical “Man of La Mancha” and is the intro to the title song. It is based on the story of Don Quixote and has never been done very well on stage because they insist on making it sappy and sentimental instead of doing the thing properly. It is one show I have always wanted to design.

    Don Quixote tries to go out and do the decent thing and help people, he is laughed at and attacked. He soldiers on anyway, still trying to help people, then he dies with his relatives telling him he’s mad. However he makes good friends along the way and does change several lives for the better.

    I had been reading the papers, online and off, and this blog (in which your fruitcake “joke” with the psycho poetess rag wasn’t helping and I don’t think this is the place for that sort of thing. The sooner you get your own blog site the better) and this intro from “Man of la Mancha” was exactly how I was feeling.

    If anyone knows where I can upload the track I’ll plug in the record player and post it for you.
    But not right now. It’s very late.

  130. Actually no I won’t. They’ve got it on iTunes. I recommend the Colm Wilkinson version, and you can listen to most of the intro for free.

  131. But sadly they don’t appear to have Carter the Unstoppable Sex Machine’s version of “The Impossible Dream” from the same show.

    It’s just not good enough, I don’t know what they are thinking of.

  132. I’m sure you’re all fans of Dotty Dave’s new logo for the party. Ingham thinks it’s madness, which recalls the words of an earlier Tory satirist, concerned about his own descent into lunacy: “I shall be like that tree; I shall die at the top…”. Words of caution for all of us, but especially for the Blue-Green Party.

  133. Melissa I think your frames are stuffed, or is it me??

    Paul newman – re: Enoch Powell, I think your argument is ad hominem abusive in that you react emotionally to his speech rather than considering what truthful or logical support there might be for it’s content. Feelings are inextricably linked with reaction and we cannot escape them but I think we should learn to suspend emotion and dispassionately consider the logic or reason of a point. This is not always easy to do. But I suggest considering Enoch’s speech again and remember that it finished him and I guess he suspected it would, but he made it anyway.

    Tree logo? Stupid idea and typical Cameron – I dislike him more by the day (sorry Thalia) I thought the torch of freedom was just fine and re-branding is a useless exercise when there is no change to content.

  134. JAQ DEFEND ENOCH POWELL

    JAQ DEFENDS BNP HERO ENOCH POWELL

    both true but which is fair ?

    Enoch Powell, I think your argument is ad hominem abusive in that you react emotionally to his speech rather than considering what truthful or logical support there might be for it’s content. Feelings are inextricably linked with reaction and we cannot escape them but I think we should learn to suspend emotion
    PAUL UNDERMINES JAQ BY UNEXPECTEDLY OUT GIRLYING HER

    No I disagree I do not accept (following Barthe and structuralists ) that any utterance is separately form and content , emotion and argument they are an identity a whole and the thing on the page . I do not accept that Enoch Powell does not intend and invite you to react in exactly the way you say would be misguided . If you are saying had he used other words the meaning is different, can I point out that he didn’t. I like to imagine he would have approved of that logic .
    As a Conservative I feel style and manner is often more important than `content` allowing a difference for a moment . The political statement of the cavalier poets was exclusively made with style for example and more potent for it .
    In this speech the key passage , the one that lost the chance of a place in Heaths cabinet ( lucky man) was this
    ENOCH TEXT
    ‘Eight years ago in a respectable street in Wolverhampton a house was sold to a Negro. Now only one white (a woman old-age pensioner) lives there. This is her story. She lost her husband and both her sons in the war`
    PAUL SUB TEXT
    War ? irrelevant but emotively incendiary .? Do you agree?
    ENOCH TEXT
    `So she turned her seven-roomed house, her only asset, into a boarding house. She worked hard and did well, paid off her mortgage and began to put something by for her old age. Then the immigrants moved in. With growing fear, she saw one house after another taken over.`
    PAUL SUB TEXT
    An image of creeping almost animal stalking an woman in peril . Quite deliberately appealing to the basest emotions and it is absolutely no excuse that he received the letter he received an infinite number
    text
    ENOCH TEXT
    `’The day after the last one left, she was awakened at 7am by two Negroes who wanted to use her ‘phone to contact their employer`
    IMAGERY AND EMOTION
    The suggestion of invasion defilement and, in darkness
    `. When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door.`
    PAUL CLARIFIES INTENTION OF PASSAGE
    The woman is politically raped in other words`
    PAUL GLOATS
    How nice to disagree with a woman arguing style emotion and effect are as important as abstract logic and , jst for once , been on the left. NEW MAN ?
    THROWS A BONE…..
    There is a good counter argument of literary effectiveness George Orwell is the chap for this actually but I hope I have shown the problem at least.
    PAUL CLARIFIES POSITION
    I have no time for racism and will not be any party to it . it entirely undermines the legitimate wish to retain our culture which I wholeheartedly support and often gets me into trouble .
    PAUL ASKS JAQ TO ACCEPT DISAGREEMENT IS HEALTHY AND RE CONFIRMS PERSONNAL LIKING
    BUT JAQ
    If you have some respect for this man then I will trust I have seen to little of his views . This is because of the style and balance of your own `presence` I see no way back from this scabrous barbarity of thought and feeling though and I `m only assuming there is much or which I am ignorant . Safe there

  135. JAQ
    Incidentally I made a short speech from floor making this point to Norman Tebbit about the importance of the language used on this difficult subject. I was flattered beyond belief at his kind attention although he did not fully agree

  136. The reason the website is distorted is that there is a link, posted by Auntie Flo here, that is too long. It’ll have to be edited by someone on the webmaster/mistress side of things.

  137. Dear Jaq, don’t know why you are apologising to me for disliking Mr Cameron I will support your right to like or dislike whomsoever you wish!

    I myself like most of what I’ve heard so far although I always get twitchy when people start talking about “family policies”, but by and large I am cautiously optimistic that the Tory party might be dragged kicking and screaming into the twenty first century after all.
    Which, seeing as the Lib Dems are embarking on a “Lets tax everything even more than it already is, that’ll solve everything” spree without actually explaining how most people are going to be able to afford this new tax burden when they are running horribly into debt under the existing one, or how it’s going to help them, is just as well as the Conservatives are pretty much all that’s left. Which is why I’m here.

    I understand the reasoning behind the re-branding and I think they are right to try and loose the Eighties image. The English Oak is a traditional symbol of strength and quality.
    The design itself is fairly representative of current standards of logo design which, frankly, aren’t at their best right now.

    I personally really like trees and am very proud that at least I managed to save one local London Plane from the maw of Prescotts developers recently, although three others in the Avenue were sadly lost. A splendid historic Avenue of London Planes planted by Ada Salter, see below, but what does the quality of poor peoples urban living enviroment matter to Prescott? (Ooh look I’ve accidentally managed to get back to the topic!)

    No, I am really hoping Cameron will come through on the things he’s talked about so far. There are two huge problems the Tory party have for me.

    1: I’m old enough to remember what happened the last time they got in, which was grim if you weren’t wealthy, didn’t have contacts, were trying to get through a degree course in London on a pound a day and were without steady job prospects owing to having stupidly chosen a career in the Arts.

    2: Any politician trying to get elected is like a 17 year old boy trying to get laid. He’ll say anything he thinks will get the girls knickers off but that doesn’t mean he’ll ever phone her.

    Ooh! Good soundbite! Maybe I can get a job writing for Russell Brand.

    Ada Salter – clean air and social housing pioneer in one of the poorest areas of London.

    Ada Salter was initially a resident at Bermondsey Settlement. She was deeply moved by the condition of people in London, and Bermondsey in particular. With Alfred Salter she made a significant contribution to the life and welfare of the area.She became the first woman councillor (1910) and woman mayor in London and the first Labour mayor in Britain (1922).

    Two of the most visible signs of her work are the trees that populate Bermondsey streets and parks and the housing in the Wilson Grove area. Ada and Alfred Salter saw at first hand the disastrous effects of industrial and domestic pollution. Ada’s championship of tree planting resulted in a major programme of work, and had a significant effect on air quality in the borough.

    The cottages in Emba Street, Wilson Grove and Marigold Street were also the result of the Salter’s efforts (and are now known as ‘Salter Cottages’). Built in 1928 (and designed by Culpin and Borthers) they are one of the first attempts in London to provide municipal housing in “garden village” form.

  138. Paul New Man – re: your amusing retort above – I’ve been ‘out-girlied’ I love it πŸ™‚ That has made my day.

    You “disagree” with:

    Feelings are inextricably linked with reaction and we cannot escape them (jaq)

    and insist that:

    emotion and argument they are an identity a whole

    which is pretty much the same thing (except one is reaction and one action) but I get your point and was never in contention. However, what I was saying wasn’t that Powell wasn’t this or that or the other as a person (I didn’t know the man so can’t say) or that his speech wasn’t emotive, but to consider whether there was a point to be made and whether he made it. I think there was and I believe he made it very effectively as you have shown. The impact is just as potent today as it was then. The validity of that point can be better considered if you set your emotions aside for a moment. But I admit that with some arguments, it’s a bit like seeing someone attractive walk by and NOT checking out their bottom.

  139. Thalia – thankyou and yes I’m confident of your support for freedom and democracy. I was just being polite πŸ™‚ But my concern over the trees thing comes down to this:

    Scotland: did you know that the tree is NOT an oak but a generic tree as oaks don’t grow in the northern reaches of Scotland. So the Conservative party is trying to be all things to all people. I also think that in trying to present themselves as ‘NEW’ (NuLab??) then choosing the symbol of something as unchanging and perennial as a tree is pretty dumb. Trees get chopped down.

    Any politician trying to get elected is like a 17 year old boy trying to get laid. He’ll say anything he thinks will get the girls knickers off but that doesn’t mean he’ll ever phone her.

    Excellent – you’ll be in the Guardian!

  140. When are they going to get rid of that tree-hugging oaf Cameron and make Boris Johnson leader of the party? He’s a man of intellect and vision, and has an outstanding grasp of the issues that really concern ordinary people today. And not to beat around the bush, that means immigration, education, health, and rubbish collection. The sooner he’s running things the sooner we can leave the dangerous left-leaning environmentalist claptrap to the Greens and Lib Dems and get back to the real task in hand – defeating Labour and that posturing cad Blair, and putting the country back on track.

  141. Well I assumed it was a generic tree because what else can you from that fluffy scribble? I was just remarking generally that I think trees are good symbolism in this application.

    Trees do indeed get chopped down, all things can be killed but it doesn’t mean they should be and it’s more a reflection upon the killer than the tree. Maybe you then end up with tree martyrs and people plant a whole load of new trees out of guilt. Or not of course.

    Thank you for the Guardian comment and at the risk of turning into a mutual appreciation society I laughed like a drain at: “But I admit that with some arguments, it’s a bit like seeing someone attractive walk by and NOT checking out their bottom.”

  142. Mr Llewellyn-Masters,

    While not wholly disagreeing with some of what you say, the “dangerous left-leaning environmentalist claptrap” actually does matter to anyone who lives in the environment as we have a small country with heavy pollution issues. For example, you yourself may suffer no ill effects to your lungs from breathing heavily polluted air but many others, including myself from a small child, do and very uncomfortable and restrictive it can get. It is also statistically shortening my life expectancy as it is many others.

    This does NOT mean I am in favour of policies such as Ken Livingstons poverty tax congestion charge fraud or the other ridiculous taxes proposed on cars, but I am heavily in favour of speedy research into reasonably priced replacements for the petrochemical engine. It is perfectly possible to have performance cars on healthier fuels, the political will is simply not there because no one wants to upset the oil companies. Until the oil runs out anyway.

    Camerons stance, as I understand it, to encourage more micro generation of power is much more interesting. I would love to have my own bore hole (My father has one) and give two fingers to the German run profiteering Thames water who want my garden to die so they can maximise their profits with minimal investment while doubling my bills. I would love my own little windmill and say good-bye to rocketing heating bills. The fact that it is better for the air pollution as well is icing on the cake.

  143. As a diversion from the little love affair going on above, may I pose a question following James Llewellyn-Masters? It’s a cheeky one considering who hosts this website.

    What, in all seriousness, is the likelihood of Boris becoming PM? Personal view is that he could be one of the greats. But does he have the ability to attract a broader public who cannot see beyond the “Eton toff”? For those who can, is he happy to remain in the role of court jester?

    So what would Boris need to do to give him more universal appeal in the way Cameron (not to mention Hague) seems to have achieved recently?

  144. I think he’s got huge potential. I don’t think he has to choose between potential PM and Court Jester, I don’t even think he can.
    It could be that for the first time in many long years we get a geniunely interesting person for PM as well as a fairly decent man.
    I don’t see it happening any time soon, but Boris is a survivor.

  145. Boris Johnson may be a jester and a buffoon, as you call him, but at least he sees that hugging a hoodie is a damned joke. As for that absurd man Maude, only the other day he was recommending that we all pee on our compost heaps, as it’s environmentally sound. Personally, I think these chaps are barking mad. And Boris Johnson is anything but that, however he might act.

  146. James Llewellyn-Masters – (no relation to that sexy little celt Baronet Dai Llewellyn by any chance?) Forgive me for that aside, suffice to say I agree totally and glad you popped by, please stick around.

    Thalia I’ve got some stuff (here’s the science) on carbon neutral living but the establishment won’t listen. It’s not research that’s needed so much as action, the technology and info is already there.

    I think Hague does have appeal. And Boris has a “huge potential”? Well, I didn’t that, bit personal but very interesting (+:

  147. ‘But does he have the ability to attract a broader public who cannot see beyond the “Eton toff”?’ (PaulD)

    My dope smoking, Independant reading, dole-welling, liberal flatmate in my final year at uni liked Boris actually. After a few spliffs, a humurous speech on the night before polling day and Boris could probably have secured his vote.

    An ex-trade unionist Blairite I know likes Boris. In fact the only people I’ve met that don’t like Boris are all trots, stalinists or young ‘socialists’ that don’t really have a clue about politics. They just don’t like him because he’s a tory and the trots and stalinists they look up to have taught them to think ‘all tories are evil’.

    Most people I know are indifferent to him and just see him as another politican.

    I think the man has universal appeal in terms of coming across as a likeable guy.

    I don’t think he will ever be leader of the Tory party, let alone PM, because I don’t think they trust him not to make some God-awful blunder the night before the election.

    However, having said that, if the electorate reject Cameron the only options I see for them are to bring back Hague (who I think would make an excellent PM) or elect Boris.

    James,

    As for the ‘hug a hoodie’ thing, I find that if you treat young people wearing hooded tops, standing around on street corners, with respect that they treat you with respect. The man had a point. I’ve walked around London on many a dark night and the worst problem the ‘hoodies’ have ever given me has been wrong directions; something I would have done aged 16.

  148. I don’t think he will ever be leader of the Tory party, let alone PM, because I don’t think they trust him not to make some God-awful blunder the night before the election (Steven L).

    You’ve hit nail on head. Would the Tory establishment ever take the risk with such a loose canon (as some doubtless see him)? The electorate may be ahead of them here; as Thalia says, so many of us are crying out for someone with a bit of character who’s honest, intelligent and not afraid to say what we’re thinking.

    James: I never called Boz a buffoon! A buffoon is an amusing idiot. I’m shocked to note that Wikipedia cites him as a prime example, along with George W and John Prescott, although they have the good grace to say JP “is not held in the same affectionate regard” ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buffoon )

    A jester, perhaps. They were clever people.

    Hague? Yes, him too. The number of people who have Hague as the Tories’ secret weapon surprises me, although it shouldn’t.

    Meanwhile, how about giving Dave a chance?

  149. For once wasn’t meaning any double entendres there Jaq! Never crossed my mind – and I’m going to move swiftly on because now you’ve brought it up several others have just sprung to mind!

    Everyone I know who has seen Boris in action likes him, whether on HIGNFY, and it’s a shame he’s not doing it any more – it’s been frightfully dull lately, or on the football pitch or anywhere else come to that. People who would never vote Tory have said they’d vote for him if he was their MP.

    I think people can get past the Eton Toff thing given a chance as long as Boris continues to demonstrate he isn’t locked in a privileged fishbowl world which, while he has assorted constituents to deal with from all walks of life, shouldn’t be too hard as he is a bright chap with natural feeling and can see what life’s like for other people.

    I read his book “72 Virgins” out of interest and found his minor characters rich and interesting. Most politicians don’t even see the “little” people, let alone try to imagine what their lives are like.

    If he can get this talent across more, tricky while he mostly writes for the Telegraph and Spectator, maybe he will gain more widespread appeal.
    Perhaps what he needs is another column for some more “low rent” paper so he can reach a wider readership.

  150. I have to admit that while up until a few weeks ago I’d have sided with Stephen-L on the Hug-a-Hoodie front, having been mugged recently at the end of my road by one these gentlemen who threatened me with a meat cleaver, I now lean towards James Llewellyn-Masters viewpoint. I’m sure some of them are sweet natured, decent kids who wouldn’t hurt a fly, some of them however aren’t and as the whole thing about the Hoodie look is so you can’t tell them apart – which you realise when you have to give a description to the Police, it’s not illogical if some tarring with the same brush goes on.

  151. PaulD said:

    So what would Boris need to do to give him more universal appeal in the way Cameron (not to mention Hague) seems to have achieved recently.

    Boris is lovely, he’s charismatic and so clever. I do believe he will be PM. However, not yet, it’s not yet his time. It’s Cameron’s.

    If there ever was a post war case of ‘cometh the moment, cometh the man’, this is undoubtedly that moment and David Cameron is most certainly the man.

    Cameron is timeless, yet so clearly a man of his time. As much a product of our politically sceptical age as a reaction against and reformer of it.

    It’s almost as though a modern day Arthur, incensed by the debasement of his people and land, has shouted ‘Enough!’ and risen up to fight the tyrant’s dragon for our freedom one more time.

    But that’s pure romance. An ordinary Arthur this, with no white charger or flashing armour, this 21st century Arthur rides a mountain bike and rocks to an MP3.

    Have you ever noticed how many of humanity’s achievers – often our highest achievers – are outsiders for one reason or another? You can see this in Einstein, Marx, Freud, Churchill, Mandella, the Pilgrim Fathers (and Mothers!), Hawking, Blair and countless others, even in that subhuman wretch, Hitler.

    Marx quite rightly said that many outsiders are propelled towards, what he called greatness, by a yearning to reclaim what they’ve lost. It’s as though some biographical or geographical incongruity, which cuts them off from part of themselves and makes them stand alone on the edge of their society, gives them a unique, critical insight and grasp of what’s wrong with it and what needs to be done to put it right.

    Cameron’s that rare bloke, an establishment outsider. By birthright, he’s steeped in the lost values of the ancien regime: integrity (‘keep it real’), fairness (‘we will share the products of growth’), justice, truth, virtue, duty, service, freedom (we understand that freedom is central to the British way of life, it is a vital part of our history and heritage. We feel it in our bones’), individuality and a quest for spirituality (there’s more to life than money’).

    Unlike Blair and Brown, Cameron’s values aren’t posturing, lies and spin. They’re locked in his bones along with his British yearning for freedom.

    And isn’t some ancient memory of them locked into our bones too? We’ve all read the books, Morte d’Arthur, Robin Hood, Young Lochinvar – no, maybe not that one πŸ™‚

    Perhaps he might have become just another ultra polite, well bred, rich aristocratic type, if he hadn’t been dragged to the other side, our side, by personal tragedy and his fight to transcend it. This puts him up there with the immortals.

    It’s surely this fusion of the ordinaryness, integrity and transcendance of tragedy in Cameron with something quite extraordinary that wins our support. And whatever underlies this fusion, no one else has got it.

  152. Nah, ‘Newmaniac’

    I see ‘You and Yours’ (R4) are on the button with the recent hysteria over childhood.

    OmiGod OmiGod my child watches TV and likes junk food (who doesn’t?). Yep. Let’s go back to the good old days then huh? Bring back black and white TV and rationing. Nope, even further back – let’s send the little monsters back downt’ mines and int’ mill and Boris…. want yer chimney cleaned? Best pop down a housing estate then to save the poor offspring of single mothers from their terrible fate of being spoiled rotten and get the little sods up that chimney.

  153. JAQ . No sorry you are trying to have your cake and eat it there on Enoch Powell and tried to shimmy around my view that Enoch Powells `methods` were the `message` and that no separate `point` exists outside what he actually said .
    This is what he said :
    PAUL CLARIFIES INTENTION OF PASSAGE
    The woman is politically raped by black men in other words`

    I can consider in either calm or fractious mood and reach the same conclusion . Whether or not you `know` him is not relevant . The public character you know as it consists of what he publicly said .
    If you wish to defend this `message` I am somewhat mystified as to why , but I think you are probably trying to make another point I cannot grasp .

    On another blog last week I found to my horror it was infested with BNP activists. I was arguing that just as Dianne Abbot doesn`t to my certain knowledge speak for black women nor do certain moderate Muslims speak for Islam in the UK and pointing out the example of my wife who can’t stand Dianne Abbot . Of course had I realised the company I was in I wouldn’t bother at all and clearly would not offer personal information of this or any sort . Amongst the Latrine wall of filth thrown my way ( actually because they had entirely misunderstood what was a very right wing view of my own) was the following

    `Hopefully, the stick with which you beat your (black, did you not say?) wife is no thicker than your simian thumb. `

    Now to me this crosses a line . I have adopted extreme positions for the fun of defending them and civilisation not weedy civility is what I prefer but there are consequences if you wish to have total free speech ie independence .I am going to write to the Conservative Central Office quoting this and other thuggish BNP views on a `Conservative affiliated site ` and point out the dangers of an association with such material and sympathies. Given the site in question the legal waiver will be of little use as I have also wondered what might happen if the existence of this sort of thing were to find its way into the hands of political opponents of the Conservative party . True the legal position is fairly secure but not the publicity possibilities nor the possibility of the Party deciding it needs a BNP plague like a hole in the head. Obviously the main answer is to vote with your virtual feet but …… well I want to piss them off really .

    You know all what do you think . Is life to short to even waste the time ? Have I taken it to personally ?
    Possibly but real politics is there as well

    My efforts willl only be here in future anyway ~(and my blog ). Oddly I find myself thrust the Cameron way . My wife, who it would be nice if noone racially abused ,as of course I need not say , tells me that I have always been exceedingly naieve about the hate in London.

    Thinking about all this I wonder . Are we not concerned about Islam because it seems such a hating religion at the edges certainly , Do we then fill ourselves with hate or are we actually venting our own sublimated demons under a pretext we would have found somewhere because we want to . I begin to have strange doubts and feel the gravitational pull of the Centre where civilisation is sure and david Cameron , and Boris Johnson sit ,

    Or am I being stupid

  154. ‘I begin to have strange doubts and feel the gravitational pull of the Centre where civilisation is sure and david Cameron , and Boris Johnson sit’ (Paul Newman)

    What makes you think Boris is ‘centre’? The man strikes me as quite right-wing.

  155. Steven_L

    I think Boris will calm down in 10-15 years or so once his hormones go into free fall, by then, I imagine the Conservatives will want a charismatic, mature leader on the centre right and he could be the one.

    Hague will make an excellent member of the cabinet, but I don’t see him ever being able to overcome the effects of Nulab’s and the media’s dirty tricks campaign the last time he was leader. Perhaps I’m wrong, but they demolished his reputation with personal attacks on his appearance, his pub crawls, the pack of blokes he hung around with. Haque didn’t help matters, of course. I think recovering from a demolition job like that to become PM would be extremely difficult.

    Totally agree with you about the hoodies, young people of all types are in and out of my office every day, I’ve never had any problem with them.

  156. paul newman
    OK, I am not really familar with this speech so could you clarify this for me? Did he actually say
    “The woman is politically raped by black men in other words”
    or did he just say
    “When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door.”?
    Because whether he actually said the “political rape” comment or whether it is your own interpretation of the described event I fail to see the logic.
    Also could you clarify what is meant by political rape. It is an effective and dramatic little soundbite I suppose, but fails to convey any sense of what actually occurred. Is it supposed to mean that an actual rape was carried out (or threatened to be carried out) and it was the fault of the current political situation or does it mean that a person had someone elses political views forced upon them or does it mean something else completly? I would really appreciate it if someone could clarify these points for me.

  157. Steven L : Well thats relief ,I would hate to have complete change of personality .

    I have been starting to have doubts about the adeqacy of merely Libertarian views without any balance .If free speech this supposedly vital thing is used to reduce speech to a bestial level itseems to me to be less free than speech within traditional contraints.

    The first signs of fuddyduddynes?

    Anyway have decided life is far to short to bother with pursuing BNP cells about the place , They`ll only go elsewhere.

    have a horrible feeling that I am becoming a very traditional sort of Tory indeed. Its like sinking with relief into a comfortable chair. I feel this is more Boris than the dogmatic Libertarian I thought I was .

    In fact at the moment Boris Johnson fits my requirement for reasonable ness humour and proportionality very well. I think it is a great shame that he may have been to funny to be a PM and as humour is often a sense of the absurdity of disproportion it is ,I feel , one of the vital civilising Conservative values .
    His sort of humour would not be conceivable as a Socialist so it is a political statement and the most distinctive part of his politics . I may think further onnthis and bore you all with som,e historical study of the politics of humour .

    AAAAAAGGHGHHHHHHH!!!!!!

    I see

  158. Blair, Brown, Prescott & co have done democracy a huge favour.

    They have proved beyond doubt that you cannot spin your way into people’s hearts, tax them into changing their habits, regulate them into changing their attitudes, and that the law of unintended consequences will always prevail when decisions are made out of political self-interest with no regard to their their long-term effects.

    It’s why so many of us are gagging for the new generation of Tories – Dave, Boris et al – who seem to understand this instinctively.

    Auntie, you put it beautifully, even if you are a bit soppy on Boz.

  159. K – I was trying to convey why it was that this pivotal speech in right wing politics was as offensive as it was and continues to be . To do this and to respond to JAQ`s request to ignore the emotion I added an imaginitive sub text. I mean it to be there for consideration not as a quote of any sort . I was arguing that the overwhelming message was in the cheap exploititive style , not a supposed hidden meaning you arrive at by subtracting the most noticeable things about the speech

    Also i was trying to say to JAQ , asking us to ignore the emotional impact wouldbe ton respond precisely not in the way the writer intended

    I have a feeling i havce missed JAQ`s point though

    I have fleshed this out abit and this certainly what broke Enoch Powells Career9 although this has been sosmewhat exaggerated , he wssn`t a big chum of Heath and arguably conducted himslef on a vainglorious way .

    JAQ would know better

    ENOCH TEXT
    ‘Eight years ago in a respectable street in Wolverhampton a house was sold to a Negro. Now only one white (a woman old-age pensioner) lives there. This is her story. She lost her husband and both her sons in the war`
    PAUL SUB TEXT
    War ? irrelevant but emotively incendiary .? Do you agree? Frail woman sets up drama
    ENOCH TEXT
    `So she turned her seven-roomed house, her only asset, into a boarding house. She worked hard and did well, paid off her mortgage and began to put something by for her old age. Then the immigrants moved in. With growing fear, she saw one house after another taken over.`
    PAUL SUB TEXT
    An image of creeping almost animal stalking an woman in peril . Quite deliberately appealing to the basest emotions and it is absolutely no excuse that he received the letter he received an infinite number
    text
    ENOCH TEXT
    `’The day after the last one left, she was awakened at 7am by two Negroes who wanted to use her ‘phone to contact their employer`
    Paul SUB TEXT
    The suggestion of invasion defilement and, in darkness
    ENOCH TEXT`.

    When she refused, as she would have refused any stranger at such an hour, she was abused and feared she would have been attacked but for the chain on her door.`
    PAUL CLARIFIES INTENTION OF PASSAGE
    The woman is in danger of rape as in the `home` female symbol /country is invaded by male blackmen and only thin `catch` prevents full penetration

    It is in total an interesting speech and i could easily get the tex out of the web if you want , just google Enoch Powell Rivers of Blood.
    I am rather thinking of finding out more myself.

    To you it mauyseem i am exaggerating but you have to remmeber tha for a Consevative Politician to use language of this sort was stunning so every nuance is amplified . Additionally the anti-semitic is a quite clear influence that i strongly suspect Enoch Powell was aware of

  160. PAUL D – I agree when power becomes the only objective the nothing steers the ship the rudder of principle …ok ok enough with the ships

    This has lead to press driven legislation with the reductio ad absurdem being dangerous dogs law.

    Also in my view it has lead to the creeping increase in the state power and slice of managed expenditure for 40% to 45% ( which is vastly nmore significant than it sounds for reasons I `ll leave for now .. phew! )

    It is my opnion that the ghastly growth of stealth taxes `80 plus` was natural drift of the state much of which began as far back as the THATCHER period

    When Labs make this point though they get it the wrong way round. Thatch had principles and would have grasped that rudder and yanked the bloody thing round . If power is the only motivation then so long as you hide them it can drift on. Tony has not actively wanted this though

    This is why Liberal claims to be a tax reducing party are the usual opportunistic lies ( filling as Janet Daley brilliantly argued to day any hole in the party market)

    Any way what they say doesn`t matter .

    I think it is for reasons like this that the extent to which you can sacrifice principle for power is a concern .The deepest beliefs of the activist soul of the Labour party have been sneered at and betrayed. After that anything is possible

    I am encouraged to see david Camerons mild mood music already causing quite premature panic .I don1t see the Conservative Party allowing a blue rinsed Blair. recently i have begun to realise that isn`t what he is at all

    JAQ – would you accept that in tha case of the policy free Mr. Cameron ( whichj is the right way to be for now)the style and manner of him is exceedingly important

    I am going to have to see some rigour at some point though and I cannot forgive him for isulting Margaret thatch just to be trendy

  161. Boris Johnson and the Political inference of Humour

    Cavalier Poets
    If you think of the contrast with Milton you begin to see why I see these writers as the true source of Boris`s Politics which is ultimately one of romantic Conservative style

    `In fact the common factor that binds the cavaliers together is their use of direct and colloquial language expressive of a highly individual personality, and their enjoyment of the casual, the amateur, the affectionate poem written by the way. They are ‘cavalier’ in the sense, not only of being Royalists (though Waller changed sides twice), but in the sense that they distrust the over-earnest, the too intense`

    A simplification of course but a revealing one nonetheless. I like Paradise lost but there are not a lot of gags.

    On the other hand
    Of Mans First Disobedience, and the Fruit
    Of that Forbidden Tree, whose mortal tast
    Brought Death into the World, and all our woe,
    With loss of Eden, till one greater Man
    Restore us, and regain the blissful Seat,
    Sing Heav’nly Muse

    Then are all English men either Roundheads or Cavaliers. It has often been asked ? What would be the female equivalent ,? No idea

    Which shows men are best

  162. Re: that gravitational pull of the centre. Yesterday I found a very interesting diagram – on YouGov perhaps, or maybe the Guardian’s site – which shows where various political figures stand in relation to the centre ground. An average of the general public’s views is taken as the centre and the politicians are arranged around that.

    What is striking about the diagram is that it shows that Blair has designed himself and his views to exactly fit onto that centre marker, right on top of Joe & Jill Average. Cameron is to the right of Blair, Davies to the right of him and the other Conservatives shown are to the right of Davies.

    Thought I’d saved the diagram but I can’t find it now, if anyone has a link I’d be very grateful for one.

  163. On the “Boris For PM” theme, few things annoyed me more than a leader in the Daily Mirror last year along the lines of (sorry, lost the cutting):

    “Same old tory story. Cameron picks his old Etonian buddies Boris Johnson, Zak Goldsmith and Hugo Swire to impose their posh ways…”

    Can anyone think of a more disparate quartet of rebels within one party? A wonderful bunch of buckaneers – all power to them.

    Of course the stereotypes are created by the Mirror to feed its readers’ preconceptions. The Tories have a big job on their hands overcoming this kind of prejudice.

  164. Newmania said:

    Then are all English men either Roundheads or Cavaliers. It has often been asked ? What would be the female equivalent? No idea

    You forgot to mention one nasty, evil piece of work. I’d like to suggest a modern parallel for him. Old Nolly Cromwell was the Ali Campbell of his day, though he might just as easily have been our Witch Finder General PM, Blair, himself. Old Noll was the 17th century’s spin doctor in chief as well as the vile Lord Protector, so he’s a dead ringer for both of them.

    He claimed to be God fearing and even said, ‘I’m just an ordinary sort of bloke’. One time in Ireland, the ordinary sort of bloke shut 1-2000 Catholics up in a church and had them burned to death while he sat giggling as he watched it all. Then he wrote home saying that he’d banged the Irish on the head, he’d done that alright.

    Old Noll was money and luxury mad, loved nothing more than to hob nob with aristos and marry his daughter/s off to them. One aristo gave him a golden coach and he loved to drive it like the devil with his rich aristo pals inside. One time he jumped onto a horse, setting off his pistol and shot himself in a very sensitive part of the upper leg πŸ™‚

    Campbell will publish his diary when Blair goes. I bet there are a few explosive secrets in there.

  165. PaulD said:

    Of course the stereotypes are created by the Mirror to feed its readers’ preconceptions. The Tories have a big job on their hands overcoming this kind of prejudice.

    Blair, Brown and co seem to be doing quite a good job of dispersing those stereotypes for the Conservatives at present. The Conservatives look positvely angelic beside Nulab these days.

    Good old Two Jags, the more of his wretched corruption and carryings on we see the better the oppostion look beside him.

  166. 1 JAQ and anyone . After dreadful expierience with Bermondsey based BNP cell on another site will no longer be using Paul Newman which Flo at least has seen is not exactly a secret code

    Hope this doesn`t seem silly
    as not concerned about here . I realsise NOW that you cannot know whats out there and any way helps advertise moi ( as locally everyone knows me any way)

    AUNTIE FLO . Diagram , oddly thinking about my own position which seems ot be shifting what struck nmme is that i have sympathies with the Bruges group ( meeting tonight ) so very right in some ways , but also the Tory Reform group , one or two of whom I know . Liberal Conservatives ( well cameron creeps actually but Ilikemthem for all that)

    I wonder if you can really plot anyone on a graph ?

    Where is Idlex ? He is such an excellent thought `well`

    I am reborn as `NEWMANIA`

  167. FLO
    Then are all English men either Roundheads or Cavaliers. It has often been asked ? What would be the female equivalent? No idea

    You forgot to mention one nasty, evil piece of work. I’d like to suggest a modern parallel for him. Old Nolly Cromwell was

    I think you are being a bit a historical in your view of Oliver Cromwell butI agree with your general point .

    On a womans issue thinking aboutwhy woman can`t be Roundheads or Cavaliers. It occurrde to me that Thatch was Roundhead

    JAQ question . In public life are woman additionally hampered because the iconography of public statement is exclusively male . They are obliged to take on male forms merely to communicate ?

  168. The whole voting system has been rigged for years. If you moved the Isle of Wight next to the Western Isle it would automatically get 4 MPs. If you moved it to London it would get 2 MPs.

    Are Scotland’s MPs paid less; after all many of their duties are covered by the Scottish Parliament and they have less continuance?

  169. ALEX
    Are Scotland’s MPs paid less; after all many of their duties are covered by the Scottish Parliament and they have less continuance?

    Oh don`t get me started on the laughable position of the Blair client state . It reminds me of the original piece . Scotland is suffering depopulation for all that English tax payers are swindled by the Barnett formula . hence Labours needf to gerry mander the boundary commission.

    Of course if they stopped making a Latrine of everywhere they are in Power people wouldn`t have to move away in droves as Boris , much more elegantly , points out .

    I think we should go our sperate ways but electorallly it is death for Labour and it would be difficult

    As previously said

    Alex Salmond expressed the view that as independent countries Scotland and England would be far better neighbours and with this happy solution in prospect my ,mind turned to sorting out the detrius of our long partnership . What do we do with the Nationality of Scots residing in England , what about the Oil They think its theirs as independent counties I would expect some hard nosed negotiations? What about the BBC and the Metropolitan Scots so prominent in Law Medicine , Politics and the Media . It looks like a messy divorce to me and imagine what being glued at the hip to your ex wife is going to be like.

    I have an ex wife and the answer is NoooooooooOOOOOOOoooOOOOooooOOooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rain coaster – Are you Australian? Just had an intuition . Hope that isn`t abusive

  170. Why does any conversation with previously PaulNewman now Newmania always come round to him having a go at women?
    Do we have issues?

  171. I would just like to inform everyone that I am the new Paul Newman. Regular readers of his rubbish will be reassured to know that I’m just as bonkers, though I won’t be going on about women in such a disparaging way all the time, as some of the fillies I’ve known are in fact rather bright.

  172. Appropos of nothing except that when image and reality clash ones thoughts must turn to Blair ( and his trendy lap dog on this occassion)

    Non-Football Irony Of Yesterday
    And the award goes to Channel Four for choosing to place adverts for chips, bread with the crusts already removed (handy) and Burger King during the breaks in Jamie’s Return To School Dinners.

    Sums it up I think

  173. THALIA. No thats the last thing I would like anyone to think . Just trying to provoke you a bit in a friendly way.
    Actually I`m quite into womens issues . On holiday I read Men are From Mars and Women are from Venus . I was able to show my spouse that she usually exhibited the faults associated both with Venus and Mars .

    We both agreed that this was a worthwhile excercise( NOT )
    Any way I though we all agreed that levity and seruiosu ness were not mutually exclusive otherwise wither Boris

  174. I would like to protest about NewNewMan’s comment and, for that matter about the Old Newman as well. If you look back to the early days of Boris’s website you’ll find that I am the original Newman, not the New Newman or the Old Newman – I am, I say, Newman ante omnia. Unfortunately I’ve now forgotten what it was I wanted to write, but I’m pretty sure it was something to do with boundaries.

  175. Calm down, Original Newman and NewNewMan. I’ve always found Paul Newman to be perspicacious, to be proprioceptive, to be sphragistic – in short, to be an an interesting correspondent. Leave him alone.

  176. I’d like to inform you that we Oldmans are also pretty smart cookies too, so don’t you Newman boys come the old acid with me. Why, I remember back in ’53 I said to my friend Enoch, “Enoch,” I said, don’t you think it’s getting awfully dark here.” We were in the back room of the Coach and Horses at the time – midwinter, the sun setting early, that kind of thing – and I was hoping he’d ask the barman to put the lights on. But he never did. Instead, a mad look passed across his eyes. “Yes,” he said, “you’re right. It is getting very dark – too dark, in fact,” and he began ranting something or other about bella, horrida bella et Thybrim multo spumantem sanguine cerno. Well, I can tell you, I finished my drink pretty damned fast and got out; and that’s the thing about us Oldmans – we can tell when the wind is in the East.

  177. William McArbour…my foot, that’s you again Newman. Stop this childish multiple personality stuff, Newman. I’m pissed off with it.

  178. PAUL D

    `Same old tory story. Cameron picks his old Etonian buddies Boris Johnson, Zak Goldsmith and Hugo Swire to impose their posh ways…”

    Of which you disapprove and I agree basically on the ones you mention but there is a problem with exclusion from the political process of the middling sort .

    You might have added Nic Boles to the list an chum of DC who again has never had a job and has never even been elected . This gaggle of satellite Conservative“Group` ies or Policy Wonkers ot Think Tankers as the cockneys would say are a problem to the process . Knowing some well I sympathise that withour huge private means they have little choice but to lurk around like bored tenagers until their early thities when they hiope to cadge an easy seat

    These are good intelligent people they are not however representative . This is cross party problem that I have worried about for a long time now

    And lets face it David cameron is exactly this sort of beast.

    Buff Hoones recent ability to turn around in a trice to save his carreer is typical of the problem of the professional politician. This adds to an existing priooblem identified by Niall Ferguson of the alarming ratio between voters and tax payers tending to under reprsent the middling sort as they pay all the tax

    Clearly fabulious wealth ( ZAK) is not the answer and actually I find him a bit of a pain.
    Boris Johnson and others are able to solve it with sheer talent but not exactly dragged up or typical are they ……

    This is one of the reaons that the entire political process itslanguage and assumtions appears on occassion to float free of the Society like bubble of Soap from the bath tub

    When it does so it is similiarly delicate and better answers to access to politics have to found for the tax payer .

    Interestingly the Liberal party are agonising about disproportionate representaion as well . Naturally they want ethnic MPs and a Mayoral candidate .
    Of course the Conservative party are light years ahead as it is not an exclusively Bougeois group and has little prejudice .

    Once again middling normal people are irrelevant except when it comes to working like dogs , both parents and paying for evrything until they drop dead. prior to receiving a pension .

    Clearly the Capital needs someone able to pontificate about this and other structural he cannot effect .
    No worse than what we `ve got anyway

  179. Sorry bit of a mess cleared up if anyone interested
    PAUL D
    `Same old Tory story. Cameron picks his old Etonian buddies Boris Johnson, Zak Goldsmith and Hugo Swire to impose their posh ways…”
    Of which you disapprove and I agree basically on the ones you mention but there is a problem with exclusion from the political process of the middling sort.
    You might have added Nic Boles to the list a chum of DC who again has never had a job and has never even been elected. This gaggle of satellite Conservative“Group` is or Policy Wonkers or Think Tankers as the cockneys would say are a problem to the process . Knowing some well I sympathise that without huge private means they have little choice but to lurk around like bored teenagers until their early thirties when they hope to cadge an easy seat

    These are good intelligent people they are not however representative. This is cross party problem that I have worried about for a long time now
    And let’s face it David Cameron is exactly this sort of beast.
    Buff Hoones recent ability to turn around in a trice to save his career is typical of the problem of the professional politician. This adds to an existing problem identified by Niall Ferguson of the alarming ratio between voters and tax payers tending to under represent the middling sort as they pay all the tax
    Clearly fabulous wealth (ZAK) is not the answer and actually I find him a bit of a pain.
    Boris Johnson and others are able to solve it with sheer talent but not exactly dragged up or typical are they……

    This is one of the reasons that the entire political process its language and assumptions appears on occasion to float free of the Society like bubble of Soap from the bath tub

    When it does so it is similarly delicate and better answers to access to politics have to found for the tax payer.
    Interestingly the Liberal party are agonising about disproportionate representation as well. Naturally they want ethnic MPs and a Mayoral candidate.
    Of course the Conservative party are light years ahead as it is not an exclusively Bourgeois group and has little prejudice.

    Once again middling normal people are irrelevant except when it comes to working like dogs, both parents and paying for everything until they drop dead. Prior to receiving a pension.
    Clearly the Capital needs someone able to pontificate about this and other structural he cannot affect.
    No worse than what we `vet got anyway

  180. Newmania
    “Actually I am quite into womens issues. On holiday I read men are from mars and women are from venus… and was able to show my spouse”-could you get anymore patronising?

  181. Newmania

    K “Actually I am quite into womens issues. On holiday I read men are from mars and women are from venus… and was able to show my spouse”-could you get anymore patronising?

    It was meant to be a joke against myself . No I couldn`t think of anyhting more `patronising`. My jokes generally seem to misfire I may have to give up ….and be serious

    Is this the Boris spirit though ?

  182. Flo – I resent the accusation that I don’t exist. I could easily turn this around – how do I know that you or PaulD or PaulN or Paul Oldman exist? Who are you Flo? Do you really know, Flo?

  183. WILLIAM
    Quite right .
    ALL
    I want to stress I am not adding to this false name thing which I agree with FLO is confusing and stops proper comments. I trust when the perp is discovered they will be made to feel as bad as I did about the Forget me not thing .It was my juvenilia and I regret it. Isn`t there a Mel or something.

    A Ferrari Enzo has justbeen sold on E BAY for Β£612,000 on E BAY breaking the old E BAY RECORD

    Guess what the previosu holder was

    Margaret Thatchers hat at Β£112000

    All of this excting stuff will be in the new BLOG they`r are all taking about … well I am

    No more false names please

  184. FLO

    OI !!! I `ve just realised on the single occassion i can recall when anyone said anything nice about me you assume the only possible explanation is that it was me !!!!

    Heartless Woman

  185. raincoaster – female circumcision? Don’t get me started on the appalling misogynistic religious practices in some countries. India’s been in the news a lot lately. Thank God for England.

    Newmania (I like that) said:

    JAQ question . In public life are woman additionally hampered because the iconography of public statement is exclusively male . They are obliged to take on male forms merely to communicate ?

    To answer this I must first ask you to read this blog post (homework) then we can discuss.

  186. Really rather tired of Newman or whatever’s long winded nonsense so leaving him to it in the hope he’ll get his own site set up and lose interest here. Jaq, everybody, – later.

  187. Quite right, Paul. You stand up for yourself, man, and show that woman (how do I know she’s a woman? Who knows anything any more?) that you’re not going to lie down and be trampled over. It’s the right, dare I say Johnsonian, thing to do.

    PS I am Paul Newman or Newmania fame. Sorry about that, Flo – it’s just a joke.

  188. No – only kidding, Paul. I’m not you. And I must remonstrate with Thalia – Paul is a magnificent contributor to this website. May his presence here continue for many years to come.

  189. Thalia

    Don`t worry , I wouldn`t want to spoil your `space` and incredibly busy anyway .
    Will pop in though

    Oh well , lets hope my real world friends still like me….

    Cheerio

  190. ‘A Ferrari Enzo has justbeen sold on E BAY for Β£612,000 on E BAY breaking the old E BAY RECORD’ (Newmania)

    There’s a new one born every day! Who on Earth would buy a car on ebay, let alone an Italian one?

    Some people just have more money than sense.

  191. Heat

    Handsome wants to show me
    How to make bread

    He daubs in flour dust
    On the kitchen table:
    I (heart shape) U…

    The sun is shining
    Through his thin, white boxer shorts
    And he knows it…

    Our old dog tiptoes past
    His empty water bowl…

    Eliza, 19 Sept 2006, for Boris, the one with the sensual lips…

  192. K,

    Paul Newman, Newmania, William McArbour, Eliza and “forget me not” are the same person. Read down all these posts and see what you think about all this before bestowing forgiveness.

  193. Ah! Reading down all this it all becomes clear!

    Paul Newman /Newmania /William McArbour /Eliza /”Forget Me Not” is a member of the Labour Party trying to waste everybody’s time and make us all look foolish.

    Melissa! Come back from wherever you are and block his IP address.

  194. Jaq,
    the link you gave took me to the hitchens article-is that right?
    I do not believe in positive discrimination nor do I believe in forcing both parents to work (especially when they are really working to pay for being able to work, by the time childcare and transport have been paid for), but this article has really annoyed me-he seemed to forget that one of the greatest leaders of the twentieth century was a woman. What was his point anyway, I do not think even he really knew by the time he finished?
    On the subject of women and religion, have you heard about the recent block of rape reform laws in pakistan?
    (When computer is sorted I will comment more on both of these on your blog, but i do not want to hog the page so will not go into mini-rant mode here).

  195. ‘Paul Newman, Newmania, William McArbour, Eliza and “forget me not” are the same person’ (Thalia)

    And he want’s to be Mayor of London. I don’t know what’s worse, a Mayor that talks to Bin Ladens’ mates ro one that talks to himself?

  196. K – agree completely, let’s take it off page and continue on my blog – click on my name and you’ll see a’womens rights’ post where we can chat. (must get kids to bed though – it’s that time and we’ve all had such fun today it’s going to be difficult – they’ve decided on a bedtime feast in their bedroom so just waiting for endfeast)

  197. I’ve been a keen reader – and a big fan – of this blog for several months, though this is the first time I’ve written in. But I want to say that I hope this idiot Paul Newman or whatever he wants to call himself stops bugging us – and buggering around with the threads. It’s a bore adn he’s a bore. God knows what his game is, but I wish he’d just piss off, if you’ll pardon my French.

  198. Yeah Ossie,

    Don’t be scared now, I’ve been talking gibberish on here for a good few months now, I haven’t had a visit from the heavies.

    Now you’ve introduced yourself we’ll all be offended if you don’t come back and talk to us.

  199. Ossie – I’ve been sweetly flayed and salted by professional critics so worry not dear heart and write in. I’m sure we’d all appreciate a new voice on the blog.

    That’s the thing about Boris – no favourites, just a biiig welcome mat πŸ™‚

  200. Nemania said:

    Boris Johnson and others are able to solve it with sheer talent but not exactly dragged up or typical are they …..This is one of the reaons that the entire political process itslanguage and assumtions appears on occasion to float free of the Society like bubble of Soap from the bath tub…When it does so it is similarly delicate and better answers to access to politics have to found for the tax payer .

    I totally agree with your point about the need for greater access and would add to this the urgent need greater involvement of the public in the decision making process and for greater public accountability. However, you seem to be saying that the background of politicians such as Cameron and Boris means they’re almost too privileged to govern. You also seem to be suggesting that the frequently seen process of detachment of Governments from reality and from us lot out here stems from the atypical backgrounds of Government Ministers. I disagree with these last points.

    In respect of dear old Boris, I think you’ll find that he had a rather more chequered background than you suggest. Your point about the atypical backgrounds of Ministers and your suggested correlation between this factor and the detachment of governments and their policies from reality is surely contradicted by the Nulab experience, and, prior to that, by the Governments of Wilson and Sonny Jim – and even Major.

    In Nulab, we have a hotchpotch of career backgrounds including teaching, social work, the Post Office, retailing, company directors – even a former merchant navy steward. Yet the Nulab government are more elitist and detached from the general public and our views, more locked into their exclusive political bubble, than any government we have ever had.

  201. Steven_L said:

    ‘Paul Newman, Newmania, William McArbour, Eliza and “forget me not” are the same person’ (Thalia)

    And he want’s to be Mayor of London. I don’t know what’s worse, a Mayor that talks to Bin Ladens’ mates ro one that talks to himself?

    Ossie said:

    I’ve been a keen reader – and a big fan – of this blog for several months, though this is the first time I’ve written in. But I want to say that I hope this idiot Paul Newman or whatever he wants to call himself stops bugging us – and buggering around with the threads.

    Well said, you two! Not long home from work and I’m reading the threads backwards this evening because some of the crazy stuff earlier today is brain damaging.

    However, I don’t agree that Paul should piss off, he’s a good devil’s advocate at times and does raise some sensible points which others miss. He just needs to take himself in hand and stop this crazy stuff and his sexist remarks.

  202. Thalia said:

    Paul Newman /Newmania /William McArbour /Eliza /”Forget Me Not” is a member of the Labour Party trying to waste everybody’s time and make us all look foolish.

    You may well be right. However, I remember what Cameron said in his speech when he stood for the Party leadership, it was along the lines of, ‘Anyone who wants to heckle, you go ahead, we Conservatives like a good argument, however I’d be grateful if you wouldn’t do it all the way through.’ I feel if Paul, or whoever he is, agrees to stop the mad and disruptive postings, let him stay, let him argue. It’s good practice for challenging Nulab πŸ™‚

    Re: that speech. I’d written Cameron off as just another Blair and wide boy before I watched him make that speech. I was so shocked by what he said. A politician telling the truth – such a breath of fresh air.

  203. Thalia said:

    Keep reading Flo

    I have…oh blimey

    And I’ve changed my mind, Paul, or whoever he is, for whatever reason, is just too disruptive.

  204. Well said, Ossie. The guy’s a bore and a semi-literate one t’boot.

    I probably come across as a bore too but I do try very hard to be short when in boring mode.

    Asleep yet?

  205. Paul Newman /Newmania /William McArbour /Eliza /”Forget Me Not” is a member of the Labour Party trying to waste everybody’s time and make us all look foolish.

    Thalia none of this is true as could easily be established. Certainly don`t want to spoil anyone’s fun but is this vindictiveness and misinformation really necessary . Member if the Labour party ? Hardly , as can also easily be established. Theres no need to be silly or vicious you`ve made your point and it has been taken.

    Best of luck to all of you

  206. Where is Idlex ? He is such an excellent thought `well` (newmania)

    Well, I’ve been thinking about the various new manias that sweep our world.

    Firstly, political mania. In recent weeks, George W Bush has been comparing the threat posed by global terrorism as being equivalent to the war on Nazism, the Cold war, and the American civil war, all rolled into one. He’s now asking the US Congress to authorise the use of torture, in the face of this hideous menace.

    Secondly, religious mania. Last Saturday, Tony Robinson (who else) fronted ‘The Doomsday Plot’, which was a two hour long documentary about American fundamentalist End Timers who believe that the Apocalypse of St John (with a judicious sprinkling of the Book of Daniel) is now unfolding with the impending Rapture, the coming of the AntiChrist, Armageddon, and the End of the World, and the Last Judgment (although I may have got the order wrong). Apparently, in some parts of Africa, this is taken so seriously that people have given up working, and just wait for death.

    Thirdly, scientific mania. In a new book, James Lovelock is now saying that global warming is unstoppable. It’s too late for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, wind farms, and all the rest of it:

      We sit beside a stone hearth as his wife, Sandy, an elegant blonde, sets out scones and tea. James Lovelock fixes his mind’s eye on what’s to come.

      “It’s going too fast,” he says softly. “We will burn.”

      Why is that?

      “Our global furnace is out of control. By 2020, 2025, you will be able to sail a sailboat to the North Pole. The Amazon will become a desert, and the forests of Siberia will burn and release more methane and plagues will return.”

      …Casting 30, 40 years into the future, Lovelock sees sub-Saharan lands becoming uninhabitable. India runs out of water, Bangladesh drowns, China eyes a Siberian land grab, and local warlords fight bloody wars over water and energy.

      Lovelock sees the look on your face and pauses. “Look, this is why it’s a gloomy book,” he says. “Would you care for some more tea?”

    So which do you believe? That Muslim suicide bombers are going to destroy our civilisation? That the Apocalyptic End Times are upon us? Or that we’re all going to fry very soon?

    And there are plenty of other manias, great and small. The oil’s running out. The population bomb. The AIDS pandemic. Obesity. Passive smoking, etc, etc, and so on.

    But whatever happened to Avian ‘Flu? It’s only a few months since news programmes were charting the progress of this menace, as it stalked westwards from China, and grim-faced pundits weighed the likelihood that it would jump the species barrier, and kill us in numbers that would rival the Plague and the Black Death, all rolled into one. Entirely vanished, it seems.

    Human societies, it seems, are regularly gripped by sudden panics. For decades, perhaps even centuries, life goes on as normal, and then complete pandemonium breaks out, and everyone goes crazy. And I’m beginning to think that we live in a new age of pandemonium.

    The solution? Believe none of it. Cancel your newspaper. Turn off the TV. Unplug the computer. And have a large mug of tea.

  207. I am feeling sorry for Paul Newman now-what did he actually say that was that offensive (compared to other peoples comments)? I disagree with some of what he has said and the way he has said it, but I was not really offended as such. Have I actually missed something here? (and I do not mean that in a sarcastic sense-it is a genuine question)

  208. Dear idlex,

    Percy Mayfield circa 1950 (One of Ray Charles favourite songwriters, better Known for “Hit the Road Jack”)

    “Sad and lonely, all the time
    That’s cause I’ve got a worried mind,
    Guess the world is in an uproar
    Tha Danger Zone is everywhere

    Read the papers, watch TV
    You’ll see excatly what is worrying me
    I guess the world is in an uproar
    The danger zone is everywhere

    My love for the world is like always
    Cause the world is part of me
    That’s why I’m afraid, of the progress
    that we’ve made, towards eternity.

    Every morning, noon and night
    you’ll find me hoping everything’s gonna be alright
    I guess the world is in an uproar
    The Danger Zone is everywhere.”

    I’ve only heard the Jools Holland version from the 1990 album “World of his own” but it’s very much to the point.
    Been out partying, off now, good night!

  209. idlex said:

    Well, I’ve been thinking about the various new manias that sweep our world…Firstly, political mania…Secondly, religious mania… Thirdly, scientific mania…

    So which do you believe? That Muslim suicide bombers are going to destroy our civilisation? That the Apocalyptic End Times are upon us? Or that we’re all going to fry very soon?

    Human societies, it seems, are regularly gripped by sudden panics…And I’m beginning to think that we live in a new age of pandemonium.

    The solution? Believe none of it. Cancel your newspaper. Turn off the TV. Unplug the computer. And have a large mug of tea.

    Made to George Orwell’s famous recipe for tea?

    You’ll laugh at this, Idlex. In my mispent youth, I was taught deviancy and crime, by Professor Jock Young. Not as gross as it sounds, since Jock lectures in deviancy and criminology. He’s renowned for his theory of moral panics – which is not a denial of how worrying our ecological and other human challenges are, these do worry me a great deal.

    However, to grossly oversimplify Jock, he says that moral panics are used as forms of social control by manipulative politicians. The media take them up, they grip the public with almost primeval terror, dominate the news and political speeches for ages, make us feel helpless, powerless and hugely threatened, then suddenly they’re gone. Its all ok, we’ve survived the whirlwind – the politicians have sorted it!

    No sooner is it sorted, than politicians and media, with us tagging along behind, all hyperventilating wildly, are off on the trail of another moral panic. The whole process, said Jock, if I recall him correctly, is reminsicent of the reassurance games parents play with babies. Hide and seek, saying bye bye, then bobbing up from beneath the pram, ‘Boo!’ The lesson being that Big Brother, or mum and dad, will always return and always look after the helpless babe. So devious politicians and media exploit fears that are very basic, and almost primeval, in ourselves.

    Doesn’t that have a certain resonance with Blair and Bush? I bet Jock’s having a field day with them.

  210. k said:

    I am feeling sorry for Paul Newman now-what did he actually say that was that offensive (compared to other peoples comments)? I disagree with some of what he has said and the way he has said it, but I was not really offended as such. Have I actually missed something here? (and I do not mean that in a sarcastic sense-it is a genuine question)

    Me too, I feel quite guilty now. Is it possible to check out what he’s said? He could be right, perhaps someone has scapegoated him by posting a lot of this crazy stuff?

  211. So devious politicians and media exploit fears that are very basic, and almost primeval, in ourselves. Doesn’t that have a certain resonance with Blair and Bush? (‘Flo)

    Certainly. It resonates very strongly. Bush does nothing else but exploit fear. It’s pretty much the only card in his hand. And he’s been playing it again in recent weeks.

    Christian fundamentalism (although I increasingly wonder what’s Christian about it) equally exploits primeval fears.

    What bothers me is that everyone seems to be exploiting irrational fears. The medical profession has done it, by getting smoking banned in public places, based on lies that equal any of those told about Iraq’s WMDs and links with Al Qaeda.

    But James Lovelock climbing aboard the doomsday parade rather distressed me. Much as I was rather distressed to see a few months ago Sir David Attenborough made to recant his previous heretical disbelief in global warming, much like Galileo before the Holy Inquisition.

    Perhaps it’s a case of ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’, if you want to get funded. So if the astronautical community, for example, want money for space research, the very best thing they could find would be a small asteroid on collision course with the Earth, demanding immediate multiple rocket launches. In fact, they did exactly this a couple of years ago, finding just such an asteroid, before recalculating its orbital path a month or so later, to reveal that it would sadly miss after all.

    Equally, if you are an underfunded Herefordshire police force, probably the best way to get a bigger cut of government funds would be to discover evidence of an Al Qaeda cell in Leominster, which would require 100 more officers, along with police cars and radios and heavy machine guns, plus holidays in Spain, to effectively suppress.

    It all becomes a game in which whoever can come up with the most pressing and immediate and terrifying threat wins the jackpot.

    Perhaps there might be a TV programme called Would you care for some more tea?, in which contestants vie to scare the wits out of the audience with one or other terrifying and imminent threat to the continued existence of everyday life as we know it, all backed up by Eminent Authorities/ Bible/ Qabbalah/ Astrology/ Science/ What I Heard In The Pub Last Night. I think it would be a hit.

  212. OK – I apologise for being rude about Paul Newman. It’s possibly not all down to him. We seem to have strayed a long way from the original point, it seems to me. This was about New Labour gerrymandering in order to protect its increasingly shaky majority. Well said, Boris (let’s get back to basics, for a start); the snake-oil salesmen and card sharks otherwise known as the government have taken the most outrageous liberties with our bloody liberties, and they must be made to stop. Unfortunately, they have three more years in power (unless Boris wants to take advice from the Thais on how to deal with unpopular prime ministers). People like Boris are our only chance to keep the nefarious goings on of the Labour Party under public scrutiny. He must keep up these merciless jabs in order for the party to deliver the knock out punch come election time. And, whatever the opinion of some contributors to this thread, I think Cameron is shaping up nicely to be the one with his gloved fist in the air, and Brown or Alan Johnson or any one else (it could be Paul Newman for all I know)flat out on the canvas.
    I’m sorry I can’t match the eloquence of you regulars, but I feel incredibly strongly about this.

  213. 1 Ossie
    agree with everything you say except (supposed )lack of `eloquence`. Au contraire. Succinct ,well said and so important I think.
    2 Habeus Corpus under threat from EU today . Now theres an important principle …(eh ?)
    3 IDLEX . Doing a penance for boring everyone but you may rest asurred that long and agonisingly tedious response in my head . Pleasure to hear from you thought provoking as ever .

  214. idlex, thank god you’re back.

    Hopefully we’ll get a new post in a day or so and I won’t have to do the scrolling back and forth thang and can actually read the entries with ease.

  215. “The medical profession has done it, by getting smoking banned in public places, based on lies that equal any of those told about Iraq’s WMDs and links with Al Qaeda.”
    A little OTT, I’d say, given that the lies about WMDs are known and have led to thousands of people – Iraqi civilians, British and American soldiers, the likes of Ken Bigley and so on – dying in Iraq, while the lies about passive smoking or whatever you want to call it, have led to – well, some chaps having to smoke outside the pub or office… Get things in proportion, man, for goodness sake, or else we can’t focus on the real problem – this bloody government and how to get rid it at the earliest possible opportunity…

  216. Unfortunately the “lies” about passive smoking aren’t lies and a lot of people have been damaged by it, usually as children, so get to suffer the effects all their lives.

    Ossie is quite right, the important thing is to unravel the mess made in recent years and try and reinstate our basic freedoms. I am not at all happy about all my data going on all these dodgy databases to be misused by whomever. It’s shocking enought that the DVLA is selling our details to anyone with money.

    The blatant corruption in the government is shocking too.

  217. idlex – haaa missed you honey babes, glad to see you back on form. Please excuse me though, I’m going to have tea πŸ™‚

    PS: idlex don’t you miss your greatest adversary: Mac?? I miss him loads πŸ™

  218. I’m particularly annoyed that the government is prepared to spend millions on keeping troops in Iraq (or wherever) and yet there are no proper, basic, well cooked school meals in every school in this country.

    I’m annoyed that the government spends millions in admin and different schemes trying to get women out to work when actually they are working mostly to allow another woman bring up their small children.

    I’m annoyed that parents get blamed for everything and the best are hamstrung yet the worst are ignored. When it comes to nutrition, this country’s going down the pan.

  219. ….is now unfolding with the impending Rapture, the coming of the AntiChrist, Armageddon, and the End of the World, and the Last Judgment (Idlex)

    The best bit is, the word ‘antichrist’ doesn’t appear in the bible anywhere.

    I even saw a US fundamentalist christian guy on TV trying to say that the EU was the ‘antichrist’.

    But like I say the word just isn’t in the bible, there is the ‘beas’t, the ‘dragon’ and the ‘false prophet’, but no ‘antichrist’ – they made it up!

  220. Boris, Mr Johnson- you really are quite mad. There is a simple reason why Yorkshire requires greater parliamentary representation than the louch, effete, gin-sipping, bottom bothering, Anglican loving flatlands of the South. We are more intelligent than you. It’s simple. Who invented football and the Beatles ? Not some chap from Surrey I’m afraid. You need more of us to guide, assist and generally irritate you with our chippiness and ludicrous self-satisfaction with being what we is. We are also excellent lovers which is why William Hague nabbed the lovely Welsh FFFFFion and you have had to seek solace outside of the marital bed

  221. OSSIE – sorry just can`t resist. Totally agree with you about the spurious nature of health scares to institute greater state control. The arguement from public safety , it must be understood, has no end , and must be balanced with a regard for civil Liberty

    William Pitt ` Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of Tyrants; it is the creed of slave`

    Nice.

  222. Newmania – as far as I can tell, it’s Idlex who’s arguing about the spurious nature of health scares. I was merely pointing out that he should steer clear of moral equivalence, seeing the lies about WMDs as having the same moral weight as the lies (if you believe they’re lies) about passive or secondary smoking. I’m going to stick my neck out, be unfashionable, risk the abuse of clever modern chaps like Idlex and say ‘No – they are NOT the same thing.” I believe this kind of thinking is a slippery slope into a mushy modern mess where every crime is balanced against another crime. If you see that these lies are the same, morally speaking, where does it stop? Is the lie about taking money for peerages at the same level, morally speaking, as the lie about WMDs, or the lie about immigration figures; or, indeed, the lie about the number of illegal immigrants who’ve been found guilty of a crime and are now loose in the country. And so on. It’s an unnerving series of doors opening onto doors that open onto doors that open ad infinitum. It’s effect is to undermine the genuinely serious moral failures, and the result is to distract us from the real task in hand, which is engaging with why Blair and the government have got away with so much. Focus, I can’t emphasise enough, focus on the real lapses; hit them hard on those genuinely weak points, but don’t disperse your energy on catch-all attacks that widen and dissolve like ripples on a pond. Boris, I say, is someone qualified to make such a focused attack. Let’s support him in what’s to come.

  223. I agree with Ossie there. There is quite enough really serious stuff to address about the current government and state of the nation.

  224. We all know that politicans lie, don’t we, but did you see what happened in Hungary when a tape was played of their premier admitting that he lied?

    In public life, once you’ve started digging the hole, you have to keep digging deeper I’m afraid. Tell the truth and you’re done for.

    What would happen if Blair admitted that he had asked Campbell to ‘sex up’ that old students thesis on Iraq’s WMD? What would happen if he admitted ‘Yes, of course we sell peerages, where do you think party funds come from?’

    Would we all protest on the street? When they lie and deny everything we are just hearing what we expect to hear. What would actually happen if they did start telling the plain and simple truth? Could we handle it?

  225. On topic and really interesting article about Prescotts housing in the Telegraph today:

    Β£35,000 each – the cost of Prescott’s demolition dreams
    By Charles Clover, Environment Editor
    (Filed: 20/09/2006)

    Home owners in areas hit by John Prescott’s demolition schemes have lost an average of Β£35,000 on the price of their properties, a report said yesterday.

    That is the “affordability gap” between what they get for their home and what they have to spend to buy another in a new neighbourhood after compulsory purchase, said the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

    The difference is disclosed in official figures provided by the nine Pathfinder schemes in the Midlands and the North for regenerating run-down parts of areas such as Liverpool, Newcastle and Manchester.
    advertisement

    Estate agents said a large component of the gap is the blight the schemes cause.”

    cont.

    Go here for the rest of it:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2006/09/20/nhomes20.xml

  226. OSSIE

    Newmania – as far as I can tell, it’s Idlex who’s arguing about the spurious nature of health scares.

    Right you are I read your quote from him and attributed it to you .I `m not quite sure your reading of the IDLEX point is exactly what he says ? I don`t think he was saying that these things were in fact of equal importance but that they are not . Doesn`t he suggests that for various reasons everything is presented as apocolyptic , when in fact it isn`t .
    Is that right ?If so isn`t he rather on your side ? Perhaps the mighty brained IDLEX would clarify.
    Things are not of equal seriosness for example ,I hope that if someone wants to muder me they will choose to passive smoke me to death .

    On Moral equivalence , absolutely agree and I suspect this emanates from soft subject academia where reasonable cultural relativism has been extended to the proposition that everyone can be right at the same time.

    C S Lewis wrote `there are an infinite number of possible answers to a question until you know which one is right . then there is only one `
    But then he wasn`t much impressed with the modern

    By the way as I am in fact innocent of the accusations of vandalsim don`t see why I shouldn`t post.And will

  227. ‘Home owners in areas hit by John Prescott’s demolition schemes have lost an average of Β£35,000 on the price of their properties’ (Thalia)

    In terms of ways to keep a halt on inflation, without seeing interest rates rise, it’s genius.

    You go knock the poor buggers’ houses down, they have to buy newer, more expensive ones, their mortgage repayments increase, hey presto less money supply!

  228. Ossie . Yes quite right I read you quoting him . Isn’t IDLEX saying that these things are not equivalent though? I hesitate to interpret but I think he suggests that for quite complex reasons we either need or are fed endless apocalypses when there are in fact none or few. If so he would be rather in agreement with you perhaps he would clarify? IDLEX?
    On moral equivalency I also have a dislike of this tendency which like lazy expression flattens everything into meaninglessness

    Things are in general of a more different weight than is supposed. I very much hope that any `would be assassin` chooses to passive smoke me to death rather than any traditional method involving fire arms .

  229. Perhaps there might be a TV programme called Would you care for some more tea?, in which contestants vie to scare the wits out of the audience with one or other terrifying and imminent threat to the continued existence of everyday life as we know it, all backed up by Eminent Authorities/ Bible/ Qabbalah/ Astrology/ Science/ What I Heard In The Pub Last Night. I think it would be a hit.

    I believe this has already been done, idlex, albeit under the innocuous sounding title of televised coverage of Blair’s monthly press conference.

    It’s rumoured that even Blair’s press conference tea cups have coded threats such as, ‘I love Tony…or else’. Also wondrous descriptions of our Anthony such as:

    Saint Anthony. (aka St. Anthony the Abbot.) Renowned for giving away his legacy and becoming a hermit. He went into seclusion and at that time experienced, he claimed, every temptation the devil could devise – including physical wrestling matches with demons and followers of Satan, who took the form of wild beasts, fearsome mythical creatures and, worst of all, Tories. Yet Anthony hardened himself, learned to take continuous punishment and ignore pain.

    A colony of hermits grew up about him, and after 20 years he emerged to rule them in a community, the monks being in solitude except for worship and meals. After a few years he went away to the desert near Thebes, where he lived most of the rest of his long life.

    Halleluiah!

  230. Sorry, idlex, I somehow chopped the attribution off of the first para of my last posting. This should have said,

    idlex said:

    Perhaps there might be a TV programme called Would you care for some more tea?, in which contestants vie to scare the wits out of the audience with one or other terrifying and imminent threat to the continued existence of everyday life as we know it, all backed up by Eminent Authorities/ Bible/ Qabbalah/ Astrology/ Science/ What I Heard In The Pub Last Night. I think it would be a hit.

  231. ‘I hope that if someone wants to murder me they will choose to passive smoke me to death’ (newmania)

    Idlex, Do we accept the challenge? (Steven_L)

    I don’t see the point, since passive smoking doesn’t kill. And I have no wish to kill him anyway.

    Unfortunately the “lies” about passive smoking aren’t lies and a lot of people have been damaged by it, usually as children, so get to suffer the effects all their lives.

    Ossie is quite right, the important thing is to unravel the mess made in recent years and try and reinstate our basic freedoms. (Thalia)

    A Times editorial in November 2005 described the case against passive smoking as ‘lies’, and Dominic Lawson used the same word – ‘lies’ – about the matter in the Independent earlier this year. The plain fact of the matter is that most studies have shown little or no link between passive smoking and fatal illness. Using the few that did find a danger is ‘cherry -picking’, and is exactly what was used to select intelligence that said Iraq had WMDs, and ignore intelligence that it did not, to support a predetermined decision.

    And I regard it as a simple freedom of mine to smoke cigarettes in pubs, just as tobacco has been smoked for centuries in this country. And, out in the wilds of Devon, pretty much my only pleasure in life is to go down to my local pub, and have a pint and a cigarette, along with many others who do the exactly the same. There is a non-smoking bar for those who don’t like it. But as of next year, this simple and harmless pleasure will be completely denied me by a bunch of lying medics and political bullies.

    And if you don’t think that my rights in this respect matter, then don’t be too surprised if I don’t give a damn about your rights either.

    Doesn`t he suggests that for various reasons everything is presented as apocolyptic , when in fact it isn`t . Is that right ? (newmania)

    Yes, that is what I mean.

    Grey areas are repeatedly being rendered black and white. Minor or uncertain dangers are regularly being presented as being major and absolutely certain dangers, and honest disagreement and dissent is dismissed or suppressed in order to create a false unanimity of opinion.

  232. Yes I agree that passive smoking can be dangerous but it is not as dangerous as Labour would like to make out. Alcohol, on the other hand is a lot more dangerous, yet Labour seem to be doing their best to encourage that. Think of it this way, have you ever heard of a car accident caused because the driver had nicotine in his blood or heard of a violent crime committed by someone who had spent the day smoking? I think not. If alcohol was as safe as labour like to make out I fail to see why alcohol consumption is still used as a defense in thousands of trials of violent crime. Of course tackling smoking is trendy and easy so Labour will act, but when it comes to something that is deemed as acceptable by the PC brigade they will turn a blind eye. The end result is a country where the PC brigade will harp on about the need to make smacking your own child a criminal offence, but in the next breath will be condeming anyone who believes in life sentances for child-abusers as far-right thugs. Lets face it Labour have eroded any sense of right and wrong in Britain and replaced it with legal and illegal

  233. Re: smoking, passive or otherwise, well said idlex and Steven!

    As the passive victim of car exhaust fumes and (heavily taxpayer subsidised) aviation emissions which damage our health, planet and dwindling energy resources, I don’t complain. I recognise that we are, almost of all us, guilty of damaging each other’s health and environment, so do strongly object to being stigmatised, criminalised and generally scapegoated for the collective misdemeanours of society.

    I’m one of c 12 million- proud – smokers in UK who deserve a medal for the c 8 billion pounds of extra tax we collectively pay each year. We fund the entire budget of the NHS, yet, as research has shown, make far less demand on the NHS than non-smokers do – because we snuff it younger.

    I don’t smoke near non-smokers, so those who object to me smoking – tough! All of you non-smokers give up your unhealthy, filthy, smelly habits and I’ll give up mine.

  234. idlex, thank god you’re back. (raincoaster)

    What happened? I’ve not been reading the thread the past week or so.

  235. k said:

    Yes I agree that passive smoking can be dangerous but it is not as dangerous as Labour would like to make out. Alcohol, on the other hand is a lot more dangerous, yet Labour seem to be doing their best to encourage that…Lets face it Labour have eroded any sense of right and wrong in Britain and replaced it with legal and illegal.

    Excellent, K! Thank goodness for your still, small voice of reason on this. xxx

  236. K-Yes I agree that passive smoking can be dangerous but it is not as dangerous as Labour would like to make out. Alcohol, on the other hand is a lot more dangerous`

    K -Passive smoking is dangerous in huge quantities yes but no more so than the traces of toxicity that might be found in the air generally. Richard Dawkin`s complained that in court ,being ,obliged to admit there was a `chance` of an impossible event, he was unable to clarify the difference between chance , ,mathematically and chance significantly. There is chance that all my atoms will simultaneously rush through a worm hole and reform next to you . If I were to pull out a lit cigarette in your fabulous Byzantine palace the chance of it hurting you ,is infinitely more .But still not significant against the general background of chances.
    I mention this to de mystify representations of likelihood `Starting point , misleading scale and ad hoc axis are all ways in which normal life can be claimed to be an ongoing crisis. I could quote many examples . I `ll just say speed cameras and growl a bit .
    Why would the state want a crisis without end . Same reason as usual from Hitlers Braun haus fire onwards .It is and has always been the propaganda preparation to an extension of control.. King ken today began his police crack down on cyclists meanwhile habeas corpus is being sold to the EU .
    I feel there is a significant chance that we are right in the sh…!

    ( oh agree on alcohol ! if I had one law it would be zero drink if you drive until 25 the death toll is sickening , avoidable and justifies restriction)

    AND THALIA
    Still Innocent (except of being boring )and feel innocence shines from guilt free contribution .I have nothing to apologise for . Oh happy state.

  237. All of you non-smokers give up your unhealthy, filthy, smelly habits and I’ll give up mine. (‘Flo)

    Welcome to our little smoker’s den. You’ll find me in there, Steven_L, PaulD, and one or two others.

    We don’t all think the same way about other issues, but in this matter we are at one.

    And the truth of the matter is that anti-smokers generally simply don’t like cigarette smoke, and are largely indifferent to the negligible health risks to themselves. I’ve found this out in furious online exchanges with them on other message boards, where almost without exception they say: “It stinks!”

    But once things are banned simply because they are disliked, then the path is open to ban more or less anything and everything. We get along, as you say, through mutual tolerance. Once such tolerance is gone, we cease to get along, and must come into continual conflict with each other about absolutely anything and everything.

  238. Ok case in point-old ladies can be put in prison for non-payment of debt yet a soldier has just got a suspended sentance for downloading child porn! Seems topsy turvy to me

  239. Thank God you’re back, Idlex. You say:
    Grey areas are repeatedly being rendered black and white. Minor or uncertain dangers are regularly being presented as being major and absolutely certain dangers, and honest disagreement and dissent is dismissed or suppressed in order to create a false unanimity of opinion.

    Herein lies the secret of political correctness. The trick is to make a forceful statement like “The welfare of all children is paramount”. Who would dare argue with such a noble pronouncement?

    Along comes a thinking person to challenge the intellectual rigour of that claim. Immediately they are labelled as a paedophile / child beater because they won’t agree to it.

    Call for doubling of budget, more scare stories, more staff, more meetings, more funding to purge society of this menace…

  240. K -I have pondered this as I wandered around the garden where I have to go to smoke.I notice that almost uniquely this subject defeats my ability to have any repsonse except revulsion.Not a lot of use I know but a good question I think

  241. Paul D `Call for doubling of budget, more scare stories, more staff, more meetings, more funding to purge society of this menace…`
    There seems to be a bit of agreement on this. Another problem is the ratchett effect in that it is exceedingly difficult to removelaws budgets staff amd empires once they are in place no matter the silly ad hoc excuse.

    In Iceland they could at one time not have any more laws than could be remembered by the reader/rememberer . Hence if one was agreed on ,another had to be droppedGood idea except if I got the job they would have to drop almost all of them

  242. Passive smoking does kill. I know because it bloody nearly killed me aged 7, aged 8, aged 9 aged 22 and left me in chronic pain with permanent lung damage thanks to my ever loving parents’ 60 a day each habit from before my birth until I was 12 and completely screwed. My early years were spent at hospitals with Doctors telling my mother she and my father shouldn’t smoke in the house and my mother lying to them about it while I was on oxygen. It screwed up my life and my education and left me in chronic pain. Even after bronchial pneumonia and a collapsed lung nearly killed me aged 7 and the six month course of heavy duty steroids permanently stunted my growth my parents didn’t stop smoking. That’s addiction for you. You can rationalise anything. My younger sister also developed asthma and chronic lung problems.

    My parents gave up smoking when I was 12 because it started to affect their health.

    Go ahead, have a good laugh, you are all right Jack it isn’t affecting your health. Yet. Some people are more vulnerable than others. Canary in a coal mine. Too fucking bad for us. Lucky old you.

    You don’t want to know the rest of the story, I can tell. There is plenty of research to back my experiences. The great thing about the anti-smoking laws is it doesn’t stop you smoking, it just stops you smoking around me so at least now I can go out to earn a living as best I can. I have lost good jobs because the smoke from other people I was sharing studios with was crippling me.

    It does not of course prevent anyone smoking around their children and will not prevent what happened to me and my sister happening to your children.

    I believe this thread is about housing.

  243. Yes welfare of children is paramount. So labour discourage fatness, stop many parents videotaping school plays, ban smacking and take children to court for hurling insults at each other. They also encourage anorexia, make child abuse and dangerous driving low risk crimes(and then wonder why parents drive their children to school), allow supermarkets to stock “sexy” underwear for children, refuse to prosecute violent school bullies, punish schools for expelling said violent bullies etc-feel free to add to my list of labours double standards

  244. Thalia,
    Passive smoking does kill, but so do a lot of things in excess. Lets remember humans are not imortal whether they smoke or not.
    I was not saying passive smoking was not dangerous I was pointing out it is not as dangerous as is made out in the popular press. It is also not as dangerous as alcohol, which has destroyed far more lives than passive smoking ever has. Illness from passive smoking also occurs after long term exposure whereas alcohol related deaths and injuries do not require long term exposure to alcohol. remember you had the choice (of sorts-I understand your frustration on this point)to leave jobs where people smoked, you do not get a chance to choose whether or not you will be a victim of a drunk driver.
    Of course smoking around children is wrong, but the banning of smoking in bars will only encourage people to smoke at home and hence around thier children who, unlike the adults in the now smoke free bar, do not have the ability to choose to go elsewhere. I do not smoke and if a bar is too smokey for me I will take my custom elsewhere. if all non-smokers did this bars would soon introduce no-smoking policies of their own accord.

    What is needed is not knee-jerk legislation, but greater education campaigns and incentives to discourage parents smoking around children so other children do not have to suffer as you and your siblings did.

  245. K its only a small point bit isn`t discouraging fatness a good thing? I wish I could discourage mine.
    I `m more interested in what you say about sexualising children.
    To be argumentative (?)haven`t children always copied there mature role models?You obviously feel very strongly and despite rumours to the contrary , I hate being in anyones bad books so please forgive any clumsinessof expression
    I have a small(13month) son and I also worry a lot about the dangers he may face. Then , I know if he is to become any sort of man he has to learn to face them
    Where do you draw that line?

    oooooo yes Google Islington gazette and search post bag top left menu. How to drive your Liberal opponent of 43 up the wall by moi.Called speechless.

  246. In my view the popular press don’t know the half of it.
    I do, I’ve lived it, am living in pain from it, and I’ll probably eventually die from it.
    I, and my sister are in the minority,and lots of people, including the government make lots of money out of tobacco so it’s taken decades for anyone to do anything.
    Frankly I’m very surprised anti-smoking legislation has got to the point it has, I can only deduce that there is now so much evidence they are more worried about being sued by people like me than they are about losing revenue.

    It must be bad.

    Thank you for explaining my choices to me “K”. It’s not like I was there or anything.
    I did not have a choice to leave the jobs, I could not stay there. That is the point. Choice 1: cripple yourself in great pain while all about you are having fun and end up in hospital again for breathing other peoples smoke. Choice 2:go on the dole. Some choice Honey. I did not get to choose whether or not I wanted to live in pain and suffering all my childhood and have my health, education and prospects wrecked, plus the multiple near death experiences, because my parents smoked. How can you possibly call this my choice?

    “greater education campaigns and incentives to discourage parents smoking around children” was what was tried on my parents. They didn’t give a shit.

    It is more dangerous than alcohol. Alcohol mostly only affects the drinker unless they are violent or stupid enough to drive. Smoking affects everyone in the house.

  247. Thalia said:

    Passive smoking does kill. I know because it bloody nearly killed me aged 7, aged 8, aged 9 aged 22 and left me in chronic pain with permanent lung damage thanks to my ever loving parents’ 60 a day each .
    ..Go ahead, have a good laugh, you are all right Jack it isn’t affecting your health. Yet. Some people are more vulnerable than others. Canary in a coal mine. Too fucking bad for us. Lucky old you…I have lost good jobs because the smoke from other people I was sharing studios with was crippling me…It does not of course prevent anyone smoking around their children and will not prevent what happened to me and my sister happening to your children.

    I am so sorry to hear about your health problems caused by your parents’ selfishness, Thalia, however, not all smokers are selfish. I don’t smoke in my office or other public places, or near non-smokers, children or otherwise.

    Even if you maintain that all smokers are selfish and deserve stigmatisation, which I believe to be unreasonable, it is most unreasonable to exclude other forms of polluting, damaging activity from your categorisation of selfishness, which is what you appear to do.

    Drivers and those who fly are selfish, because car exhausts and aviation emissions pollute the air quality of countless numbers of people, considerably deplete our energy resources and damage our environment, our ecology and our planet. I accept that, as I drive, I am selfish. Though as I’ve stopped flying, I am taking some small responsibility for reducing the impact of my personal carbon footprint.

    Do you not drive or fly or engage in any other polluting activity? If you do, then you are also guilty of selfishness.

  248. idlex said:

    Welcome to our little smoker’s den. You’ll find me in there, Steven_L, PaulD, and one or two others.

    We don’t all think the same way about other issues, but in this matter we are at one.

    Thanks, idlex! I’m very pleased to join you. I believe we’ve a right to our smoking den where we harm no one but ourselves. Those who stigmatise us while they continue to tax us to blazes and drive, drink, fly or engage in any of the other polluting, damaging activities – collectively known as human existence – are evading reality.

    As for addictions, even tea and coffee are addictive.

  249. I also am sorry to hear of your condition, Thalia.

    However, I wonder how old you are. In my childhood in the 1950s, I believe something like 80% of the adult population were smokers, and that was also true in my family. Smokers, at that time, could and did smoke almost everywhere. However, I don’t remember any of my friends suffering from the kind of chronic lung damage you describe. Also, I might remark, I don’t remember any of my friends being allergic to anything either.

    But sometime in the late 1970s, when smoking was already in steep decline, I began to notice that more and more children were suffering from asthma and any number of allergies.

    This is, of course, merely my personal experience. But if asthma and allergies have been multiplying in recent decades, it seems to me that smoking is unlikely to be the cause. Instead, it might be the vastly increased traffic on our roads, or any of the various other toxic wastes that pollute our environment, or perhaps something else altogether.

    Smoking is now, it seems, the scapegoat upon which nearly all our modern ills are blamed. This is convenient for the state, in that it allows the victim to be blamed for his own disease. But I rather suspect that when the last smoker is hung, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn sometime in the next decade or two, these various maladies will mysteriously endure, and some new scapegoat will need to be found.

  250. k said:

    Yes welfare of children is paramount. So labour discourage fatness, stop many parents videotaping school plays, ban smacking and take children to court for hurling insults at each other. They also encourage anorexia, make child abuse and dangerous driving low risk crimes…etc-feel free to add to my list of labours double standards

    The list would be the length of War & Peace. Well said, K. I’m as sick of Nulabs double standards as you are. Not least of these, is this business of creating a two tier State, whereby politicians exempt themselves from much of the punitive legislation they foist on us. Why should they be exempt, while in Parliament, from the ban on smoking in public places? Why should they get away with destroying our pension and retirement rights while giving themselves glittering pension pots and retirement deals? What manner of self delusion makes them believe they’ve the right to extensive, bogus expenses and tax avoidance schemes while locking us in regulatory hell?

    Above all else, how dare they conspire to have us watched, spied on, in our cars, on our streets, above our homes and gardens, via our DNA and in virtually every aspect of our existence. There are now even talking cameras, to chastise us, apparently! Roll on the next election, please.

  251. newmania
    I think it is better to encourage healthy eating as opposed to encouraging children to be a particular weight which has cosmetic implications and detracts from the real aim, whih is healthiness. Often a fat person may be healthier than a thin person so it is not a good idea to automatically equate slimness with healthiness. There is no point in being skinny if a child is stuffing their face with chips twice a day and not exercising.

    Thalia
    i am sorry, but alcohol is more dangerous than smoking. You claim that alcohol only hurts other people if the drinker is violent or stupid, but by the same arguement smoking only effects the smoker unless the smoker is selfish.
    Alcohol effects far more than the drinker as any british courtroom can show. And yes your hand may have been forced somewhat, but you still have more choice about where you work than about whether or not you are are the victim of a drink related crime. I quit a job once because I could not stand the smoke, but it was my choice at the end of the day. Nearly all people will have at some point been forced into making a choice because of factors beyond their control. Some people have to refuse jobs because it would mean walking through a bad area on their own in the dark. People with photosensitive-epilepsy cannot work in environments where they might be exposed to strobe lights, reflected light or soemtimes even repeated patterns.

    However, I did not say that you had a choice as a child. In fact I made a point of saying that it is children who suffer most from these new laws simply because they do not have the ability to choose unlike adults.

    I also have to agree with auntie flo that smoking is not the most harmful pollutant. I have dissected the lungs of non-smokers who lived in cities and smokers who lived in the countryside and it is the city dwelling non-smokers who have the greatest amount of damage to their lungs (although smokers are still at greater risk from lung cancer I think). It is frequently the case that a child who reacts badly to smoking would also react badly to city living. But that is not an excuse for people to smoke around children
    Your case is an extreme one, but that was the fault of your parents not all smokers. I do believe in banning smoking in front of children outright, but banning all smoking is discriminating against those who do not harm others, but do help to fund things like the NHS through the tax.

  252. I have dissected the lungs of non-smokers who lived in cities and smokers who lived in the countryside and it is the city dwelling non-smokers who have the greatest amount of damage to their lungs (although smokers are still at greater risk from lung cancer I think).

    How fascinating, k. Are you a coroner or something?

    Perhaps you might tell us what smokers’ lungs actually look like inside? According to almost everything I have been told, they are absolutely black, and half filled with tar. However, I have read elsewhere that they are almost indistinguishable from other lungs. Which is it?

    And I found that “I think” after your statement that smokers were at greater risk of lung cancer rather surprising. Back in the 1960s, it was almost axiomatic that they were.

    My 60s cohort would roll their joints complaining that they had to be made using tobacco, which they regarded as far more dangerous than cannabis. Many of them went on to become regular smokers, and would blame their habit on the tobacco-filled joints they’d smoked in earlier years.

    Given this new generation of smokers, I assumed that in time many of them would contract lung cancer, and that I would be attending funerals of cancer-stricken smokers. But it never happened. I have, it seems, no smoker friends who have died of lung cancer, nor, it seems, even friends of friends. And the only people that I do know who died of lung cancer were both non-smokers, and both of those in relatively recent times.

    But, again, this is simply my extremely limited personal experience.

    But, last year, a little puzzled, I began to do a little bit of online research for raw data on cancer deaths, and turned up a very interesting Swedish study – Cancer Trends During The 20th Century (2002). This appeared to show that the incidence of all cancers had remained roughly stable until about 1945, when it suddenly started rising. And kept on rising. The authors’ conclusion was:

      There is a common environmental stress that
      accelerates several cancer forms such, as colon cancer, lung cancer,
      breast cancer, bladder cancer and malignant melanoma. Every effort
      should be taken to identify and eliminate this stress.

    Again, this is only one study, although the only study I could find that gave me the kind of raw figures I wanted. But, looking at the data presented, I could only agree with the authors’ conclusions.

  253. IDLEX. You childhood in the 50s eh . You will be pleased to know ( I hope) that your virtual self is youthful and vibrant .. I am 42 and imagined myself dealing with a mustard keen young scholar somewhat more up to date than me.

    K all very interesting . you are Queen of social issues in my book.I would like to know some of your sources.How do you know all this ?

    Yes , there are dangers and risks , it is the relative importance of them we have to be clear headed about. Otherwise where do you stop and i think myself thatis always the question

    20MPH limits(now happening over Borough) by schools . YEs I think . Eveywhere .No I think . Policed by ghastly new surveillance technology (All still true)NO!!!. Another problem with lossof freedoms is the technological ability to police them . Data bases have been mentioned but advances in video allied to computers .Scary and happening.Gallileo . I wonder if i am the only one here who knows what this terrifying EU project is . Not arrogance and I `m probably wrong here but it is true that these developments proceed quietly , to quietly.

  254. Please Newmania, can you just read what you write before hitting the ‘post’ button? A quick revision of your ‘stream of consciousness’ style of writing might remove the more gross of your grammatical errors and might even make it possible for some of us to understand whatever it is that you’re on about.
    Or are you a sad example of the standard of education in Islington?

  255. Good to see you smoking addicts are so fuddled that you miss the point – so wrapped up in the habit that you start banging on about not being able to smoke in pubs as if it’s of the same moral order as starting a war on spurious grounds, killing thousands of innocent people in a foreign country and leaving your own soldiers there afterwards in great peril, hoping they’ll somehow deal with the impossible mess you’ve created. You might want to clarify your comments if you don’t mean this, but the way you’re arguing suggests that this is precisely what you feel. Get your heads above the clouds of smoke and you might see what’s going on; droning on like this is, I believe, a distraction from the real issues that we have to hammer home.

  256. Idlex,
    No I am not a coronor, but I have studied anatomy. smokers lungs are normally black, but so are the lungs of city dwellers (you know that black stuff you get on walls in industrial areas sometimes-guess whats in your lungs) so they often look the same as other peoples lungs.
    cancer is a complicated issue and has a genetic basis hence you get some people who smoke sixty a day without any ill effects and other people become ill through passive smoking. There is no getting away from the fact that smoking is very unhealthy and the best thing anyone could do for their health is give up smoking. However lots of things are unhealthy and people have to be treated like adults and allowed to make their own choices. burnt food and heated up extra virgin olive oil are also carcinogens, but the government does not even see fit to warn about them.

    ossie-I am not a smoking addict and do not nor have I ever have smoked and in your tirade against those who you feel are missing the point, you did not mention what you feel the point is.

  257. Ok, completely off topic, but has anyone seen the speech by Omar Brooke, someone just e-mailed me the link to youtube. basiclly this guy is laughing about the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings and the killings of hostages in Iraq. he is also making lots of not-particulary veiled threats against non-muslims and yet I do not think he has been arrested. Ok yes it was a private speech, but plenty of people have been arrested by the police for making private speechs. many of those arrested have had no complaints made against them and the police have had to spend hours investigating whether or not a crime was committed. Another example of double standards! It is also insulting to muslim people not to arrest him as it encourages the idea that he speaks for them when he clearly does not.

  258. K – I’ve been saying what I feel the main point is for the last three e.mails sent to this site: that this banging on about smoking is a distraction from the government’s real weak points. Blair must love it, because it diffuses the focus on his disgraceful record over Iraq, immigration, health and education (I think the word ‘lies’ was bandied about earlier).
    Having said that, I’m chastened (OK, horrified) to see in today’s Telegraph that Boris Johnson now seems to think there’s going to be mass civil disobedience inspired by things like the compulsory use of car seats for children. So the man I’ve pointed out as one of our main hopes for leading this pointed attack on the government is dissolving into irrelevancy as well – and I don’t accept the “it’s an infringment on my freedom to let my child do what he wants in my car” argument – does Boris think it’s a good idea to drive down the motorway without seatbelts on his children, as I noticed he was caught doing the other day? Face it – we’re not going to punch holes in the government on the issue of car seats, sorry Boris – I hate the nanny state and what Brussels is doing to our ancient English laws, but I won’t be rioting in Parliament Square over my child having to sit in a car seat…

  259. Ossie – there will always be one issue “more important” than another (in someone’s opinion).

    The point you miss is Labour’s attitude to smokers is indicative of a state of mind that spills over into so many other policy areas.

    For the record, as a smoker I believe

    1. I shouldn’t annoy other people with the habit.

    2. I shouldn’t smoke in front of children.

    3. Staff should be entitled to a smoke-free workplace, except where they agree to work in pubs.

    4. Pubs, hotels etc should be at liberty to provide a well-ventilated smoking room for customers if they want to.

    The Spanish and French are coming to a sensible compromise on this. Why can’t we? Spain and France once had Franco and Napoleon as dictators. We now have New Labour.

  260. Excellent, Ossie! The wonderfully confused irrationality of your last posting about smokers could not be a more classic example of the primeval responses and and moral panics I referred to in a previous posting,even if it was designed to be so. You’ve fallen into all the traps, false logic and spurious arguments you accuse us smokers here of falling into. Wish I’d time to reply properly – will do later.

  261. Quite frankly, after a hundred comments, virtually every thread on this site devolves into an endless argument about smoking and if you don’t believe me, check the archives.

    One more day till the Torygraph article gets posted here; that’s some relief anyway.

  262. Raincoaster
    Actually the telegraph article has the same basis-the instalation of laws under the guise of protecting us that have little real impact accept on our wallets. This time it is car seats because it is easier for the government to make parents put kids in car seats than tackle dangerous drving(ok this time europe made them but tough they wanted to be part of europe so they can accept the blame). It should not take long before that discussion turns to the banning of smoking.

  263. Chris, I appreciate your constructive criticism which is well deserved. I `m afraid the inadequacies of the educational system here (ultimately down to ultra witch Margaret Hodge) are near the top of my `Don’t get me started list ` so I `I’ll spare you that. Mine was reasonably good education , so the entire blame falls on my head. Worse still,I have a degree in English Literature and understand all to well the ghastly chore of reading James Joyce in his `Stream of Consciousness` phase. More consideration of others is required and as I greatly enjoy the lucidity of you all, I `ll do my best.

    As you have identified I have been fighting the local Liberals here for a while and thinking on your words clarifies a decision, many London parents have to make. The decision to leave. I was most fortunate in obtaining a Council grant to attend St. Albans School years ago… Had I not, there was an excellent grammar and by today’s standards the secondary moderns were fine institutions. With a growing family I will have to use the state schools here and that is not going to happen. This is not snobbery but if I tell you that the Labour party campaigned on the basis of handing the running of our schools to Camden it will give you an idea of the state of things.
    Previously was it THALIA who identified this flight from London? This is the main reason ,and I will be joining the exodus. What a sad comment on the treatment of ordinary people in the Capital. We get the double whammy of Blair and Livingstone and by voting with our feet we leave them the field.
    There have been complaints that original thread has been mislaid, well not by me on this occasion. Flight from Labour controlled areas is exactly why the Conservative party have such a low ratio of seats to votes. This is precisely why Labour are so desperate to avoid the electoral consequences of this “foot ` voting by delaying and fudging the boundary commission’s work. This was, in my opinion one of the very best Boris articles and to me it is like the book with which big brother’s agent catches Winston Smith. It says all the things you have suspected and believed but says it so much better.

    Of the `lucid contributors` K is on great form . Tremendous stuff and with a nice sense of balance.

    Hope you will bear with me

  264. Guys, listen – I don’t care if you all smoke yourselves to death and I don’t care if you do it in pubs, outside pubs, in the privacy of your own home or whatever. But think carefully about your replies – you’re going on about smoking, and I’m trying to get it off that subject. Smoking is just, well, a smokescreen; car seats are just a distraction. Indeed, the numbers are against you. Fewer than half the people of this country smoke; and I’d argue that the ones with kids are terrified about the safety of those kids and aren’t about to storm Parliament in order to win the right not to put them in car seats. The fact is, you’re not going to whip up enormous anti-government feeling over either of these issues. But you are wasting a lot of energy over them, and allowing the big issues to be clouded over…

  265. Ossie, that people are interested in one issue is no reason to conclude that they’re not interested in another. This thread isn’t actually for the discussion of either smoking OR the UK’s descent into futile and immoral wars, so it’s silly of you to take people to task for not staying on your off-topic.

    There are plenty of forums, and plenty of posts right here, that relate to your point. Find them. (I’m only sparing the smokers because I’ve given them this sort of lecture several times).

  266. Quite frankly, after a hundred comments, virtually every thread on this site devolves into an endless argument about smoking and if you don’t believe me, check the archives. (raincoaster)

    What archives?

    And it’s simply not true that virtually every thread devolves into an endless argument about smoking. If you don’t believe me, check the archives.

    If the issue regularly arises, it is simply because there is real social division about the matter, with strong feelings on both sides.

    Such disagreements fuel discussion. Where all are agreed on some matter, there is little or nothing to discuss. If we aren’t all discussing the Iraq war, as Ossie seems to think we should be, it is probably because we mostly agree that it is a foolish, tragic, and quite possibly disastrous enterprise.

    Although, no doubt, someone will promptly disagree.

  267. `If the issue regularly arises, it is simply because there is real social division about the matter, with strong feelings on both sides.`

    Well said that Idlex !It is often the little things that are in there way the most telling .
    I bumbled along for many years feeling alienated from most of my trendy London chums because I am and always have been a main stream Conservative. However I didn`t do anything about it until the Coucil took my parking space away. I would love to tell the story (another time)
    Two years later I would say I am probably the best known activist in the area. As I said to my brother . Isn`t it strange one minute I`m fuming about the Parking scam the next you find yourself thinking `….and while we`re at it what exactly are we doing in Europe because I`ve had enough!!`

    To pretend that `World Peace `matters more than my childrens schools is exactly the sort of humbug and cant I cannot abide . Unfortunately , in my house, I decide on who should run the country and my wife decides where our children will go to school.

    ( Old one I know)

  268. Guys – this thread started out with an apparently juicy attack on the government’s gerrymandering . That’s a serious issue and one I wanted to talk about. I’ve never said we should only talk about the Iraq war of the lies about WMDs, only that it’s absurd to put them on the same level as a ban on smoking in public houses (that was your point, Idlex, not mine). I entered this thread purely because I was fed up with distractions about Paul Newman; and then about the above topic. I know the beauty of these things is that we explore all manner of different avenues, but this thread has been extraordinary for where it’s gone, and half the 300 or so comments have been either very strange, very irrelevant or mischievously and wilfully intent on distracting us from thereal issues. But before you accuse me of being a one-issue man, please read beack over what I’ve been saying… I’ll defend to the death your right to go on about smoking bans, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree that it helps a discussion on boundary commissions or government skulduggery…

  269. It is often the little things that are in there way the most telling. (newmania)

    Particularly if they personally impact upon oneself, as did your lost parking space. Then it all starts getting personal.

    In some ways, it might be said that all discussions are either about private or public matters. To the degree that they are matters of public interest, we generally adopt a detached and even philosophical attitude. And to the degree that they are matters of private concern, we are engaged and enraged.

    Guys – this thread started out with an apparently juicy attack on the government’s gerrymandering. (Ossie)

    These threads are conversational, Ossie. Boris’ role, I sometimes think, is that of a football referee, who hands the ball to one team, and blows the whistle to start the game. What happens after that is anybody’s guess.

    The same is true of ordinary everyday conversation. I’ve never known any conversation end up anywhere near where it started.

  270. You will be pleased to know ( I hope) that your virtual self is youthful and vibrant .. I am 42 and imagined myself dealing with a mustard keen young scholar somewhat more up to date than me. (newmania)

    It may simply be that, as one grows older, one tends to hold more settled opinions, and has perhaps also learned how to express them, and has encountered many differing ones.

    I spent most of my youth in a state of confusion. And, looking back, I think that fairly well describes most of the people I knew. We were all rather confused.

    But, around the age of 30 or so, the mist somehow began to lift a little. I think far more clearly now than I did back then.

    But no way clearly enough, of course.

  271. ‘Although, no doubt, someone will promptly disagree’ (Idlex)

    I disagree! Bush snr and Clintons disasterous policy of bringing Iraq to its knees through 10 years of sanctions and bombing sortie’s left Bush jnr little or no alternative but regime change.

    Iran was becoming too powerful thanks to Putin’s decision to start re-arming the Ayatollahs and put them on a sophisticated nuclear program.

    If we have just left Iraq to rot Iran may have sponsored a shiite uprising. If we had lifted the sanctions Saddam would have been so mad with us after we had spent years bombing him that he would never have come to heel.

    In retrospect Clinton shouldn’t have sanctioned Iraq, he should have armed them again on the proviso that if they attack Israel, Kuwait or Saudi Arabia Baghdad gets severely bombed.

    If Iraq does descend into civil war now who do we support? The Iranian sponsored shiites who want an Islamic theocracy? Or the Syrian sponsored Ba’athist Sunni’s who want separation of church and state?

    We’ll probably end up helping out the Sunni Ba’athists (covertly of course), back to square one, and all the result of 15 years of bad foreign policy, not just the last 3 years.

    Who’s benefitted? Iran and the other gulf states, no-one else.

  272. From the intor – letting the market work does not mean forcing people to move to Yorkshire it means allowing builders to build houses free from most of the bureaucratic restraints that mean we are replacing less than 1% of housing stock annually. House prices are going up because we have prevented the demand side of the supply & demand curve working.

    This is both painful to ordinary people but worse, unnecesarily painful.

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