Category Archives: in parliament

This News of the World scandal

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telephone exchange

There’s something not quite right about it

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“Oh come off it. This is starting to get silly,” writes Boris Johnson in his article this week for The Daily Telegraph.

Starting with the Royal Family, then Gordon Brown and a few ‘celebrities’, the News of the World telephone-hacking scandal has spread, we are told, to hundreds — to the extent that no self-respecting celebrity wants to be thought of as not having been bugged by the ‘gentlemen of the Screws’.

Continue reading This News of the World scandal

Where next for climate change ?

Prof. Hal W. Lewis
resigns from the American Physical Society
Resignation letter cites fraud across the field
picture of Hal Lewis

… the global warming scam, with the (literally) trillions of dollars driving it, … has corrupted so many scientists …  It is the greatest and most successful pseudo­scientific fraud I have seen in my long life as a physicist.  …

As regular visitors to these pages over recent months will know, it is rare for Pericles to say anything in a vehement tone.

To-day’s subject however is so important — to the well-being not only of residents of the British Isles but also to those in the far flung corners of the Earth, many of whom will have no access to a computer, many of whom will be largely illiterate — that he departs from his usual conciliatory demeanour.

To-day Pericles urges you to read Prof. Hal Lewis’s letter of resig­nation from the American Physical Society — an organization once thought of as amongst the greatest bodies (if not indeed the greatest) in the field of physics.

Prof. Lewis’s letter is set out in full at Pericles’s own site, together with his commentary.

Ed Miliband : same school ; different road

Ed (left) and David Miliband

Labour’s new leader looks like being under the thumb of the unions — harking back to the bad old days of the 1970s, says Boris Johnson.

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It is an unsettling fact that I went to the same school as the party leader.  Indeed, there are some people who have taken to complaining about this coincidence.  They say it is unacceptable in the 21st century that so much political power should be concentrated in the old boys of one educational establishment.  It is a sign, they say, that the country has failed to move on.

Both of us went to the same institution of ancient rituals and gorgeous brickwork, ideally situated by one of the nation’s most famous waterways and blessed with lush green spaces nearby.  It is a forcing-house of talent, where the offspring of privilege acquire that patina of good manners, the ever so slightly infuriating habit of putting people at their ease, together with that sense of entitlement that propels them to the top and marks them out ever after as Old Primroseans.

Continue reading Ed Miliband : same school ; different road

Quotes of the week …

… ending 25th. September 2010

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As he accepted the leadership of the British Labour Party at its annual conference Ed Miliband said —

“I get it and I understand the need to change.  I need to unify the party and I will.”

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Continue reading Quotes of the week …

Boris Johnson to run for Mayor in 2012

To-day’s announcement by Boris Johnson of his intention to seek a second term as Mayor of London will be welcomed by many Londoners and come as a huge relief to the current leaders of the Conservative Party.  A recent discussion of the question “Should Boris return to Parliament ?” prompts a well-wisher to offer —

Some Suggestions

Background

For some time a popular, although little organized, movement has been proposing the adoption of Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, as leader of Conserv­atism in the u.k.  Let us first consider the reality of the situation.

David Cameron, smilingSome years ago David Cameron, either off his own bat or at Mr. Johnson’s suggestion, stood for election to leadership of the Conserv­ative Party (c.p.) ;  his period as leader of H.M. Opposition was reasonably successful and, as 2009 drew to a close with a general election just six months away, the c.p. looked set to take power, after thirteen years, by a margin that brought to mind the days of Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s.

Mr. Cameron however, although enjoying general popularity, espoused many ideas decisively unpopular not only with swing voters but even with the core supporters of the c.p. :  most of all the subjugation of the British parliament to the profligate and unaccountable European Union (e.u.) and — in line with the vast majority of the scientifically illiterate body politic — the supranational anthropogenic-global-warming fraud.

On May 7, when the votes had been counted, the consequences were clear :  as the electorate had come to realize just how close these critical policies of the c.p. were to those of not only the Liberal-Democrats but even the retiring Labour administration, the vital marginal support the c.p. had enjoyed at the turn of the year had evaporated

The beneficiaries ?  The U.K. Independence Party ;  perhaps the British National Party ;  in all likelihood, however, the greatest winner of the lost ballots was the ‘none of the above’ party.  I suspect even the Liberal-Democrats benefited from the fact that there was nothing to choose between them and the c.p. in the two most important matters before the British people.  (“The Conservatives are no different from the Liberals :  might as well let the Liberals have a go.  They can’t do any worse, can they ?”)

Labour, despite having presided over the most disastrous phase of British history since the Civil War, managed to turn its own vote out ;  despite their strenuous efforts, c.p. workers — under the burden of the product they were having to sell — could not match their opponents’ performance.

Continue reading Boris Johnson to run for Mayor in 2012

Cameron is PM

Leader of the Conservative Party David Cameron is the Prime Minister

 

Ministers announced here

First Cabinet appointments in the Cameron-Clegg Cabinet here 

See photos of Dave’s first days in Downing Street via flickr

Keep up to date with all the Cabinet and Ministerial appointments on the Number 10 website including the Cabinet appointments list

Boris Johnson is delighted at the news and felt that the public would:  “want to hear what these guys are going to do to sort out the country .. it’s a robust and interesting new specimen.”

With cat-like tread the revenue we steal

[The Chorus of Labour M.P.s]
With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;
Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal.
Of the truth
    We never speak a word ;
And Sterling’s fall
    can be distinctly heard.

[The Chorus of Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
Taxi ! Tara !

[Labour M.P.s]
So stealthily the tax-men creep
    While all across the country sleep.

Come, friends
    who used to be
Leaders of the nation
    (At a higher station),
Let’s add mendacity
    To our daylight robbery.

Gold reserves
    There used to be :
Backing for the nation ;
    Protection from inflation.
Gordon sold the lot, you seeee ;
    Now we’re up a royal gum tree.

[Geoff Samuel]
Tell them you’re a show-off
    — For so can you deny it.

Were I a keen observer …
    But no, I’m just a git !
There are some catches
    In our dark prince’s sleaze ;
Take our files
    And be sure to shred them, please !

[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
[Labour M.P.s]
With catlike tread
[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara !
[Labour M.P.s]
    The price of bread

With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;
Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal.
Of the truth
    We never speak a word ;
And Sterling’s fall
    can be distinctly heard.

[Lobbyists]
Taxi ! Tara ! &c.

[Labour M.P.s]
Come, friends
    who used to be
Leaders of the nation
    (At a higher station),
Let’s add mendaciteeee
    To our daylight robberee.

With catlike tread
    The revenue we steal ;

Influence ped
    d-ling is our new deal !

My thanks again to the
University of Iowa Summer Opera
ΠΞ

The Budget Song 2010

To keep up with a small Dungeekin tradition here is a specially commissioned little Budget Song for you all.  Enjoy.

Ronan Keating ‘When you say nothing at all’

You can keep up with Dungeekin via his inimitable tweets @dungeekin

It’s amazing how you can still try to be smart,
Thanks to you our economy’s fallen apart,
This Budget Day you have done it again,
Talked a lot but you don’t say a thing,

Continue reading The Budget Song 2010

David Willetts MP responds to Boris and baby boomers

This is not an attack on the baby-boomer generation;  it is instead an appeal to the better nature of the boomers – an appeal to Edmund Burke’s understanding that a nation is “a partnership not only between those who are living, but between those who are living, those who are dead, and those who are to be born”

One of the highlights of my political career was when Boris Johnson put me on his list of ideal dinner party companions (a great opportunity to meet Aristotle and Scarlett Johansson), so I recognise that behind his brilliantly effervescent articles there is often a deep wisdom too. I paid careful attention, therefore, when on Monday he challenged the argument in my new book, The Pinch. My book argues that the baby boomers have ended up doing very well for ourselves but that we are dumping too heavy a burden on the generations after us.

Boris is ideally positioned to make the case for the baby boomers, roughly those born between 1945 and 1965. Our baby boom had two peaks. The first came in 1947 – those were the teenagers who shrieked for the Beatles and promenaded up Carnaby Street in their bellbottoms. The second peak, when we had more than a million born in one year, came in 1964 – those are the boomers whose formative years were framed by punk rock and the poll tax protests. Somehow I do not quite see Boris participating in those social movements but demographically he is at their epicentre. He was born in summer 1964, the very quarter when we had more babies born than in any other three months in the past 60 years.

Boris celebrates the extraordinary technological advances of the baby boomers. I do not deny this achievement and indeed recognise in the book that human creativity and enterprise can continue to raise living standards. But that leaves open a host of questions. Take his example of perhaps the greatest single benefit of this advance: the improvement in life expectancy. That is marvellous. But it has very different effects on different generations because of, for example, contracts to pay people pensions after a fixed chronological age. It makes those promises far more valuable than expected for those people who already have them and makes employers very reluctant to be caught out making such promises again. I estimate therefore that over half the nation’s pensions wealth belongs to the baby boomers. They are doing much better than those generations coming before or after.

Continue reading David Willetts MP responds to Boris and baby boomers