Monday, 27 April 2009

Courage on Expenses

I hope that David Cameron, and all Conservative Associations, show courage and integrity when all MPs expenses are published shortly.

Any current Conservative MP that has claimed for things on expenses which he or she should not have should stand down at the next election. If he or she cannot stand in front of his or her employers (taxpayers) and say "this was legitimate, this was fair", then he or she should be de-selected from standing for the next election; if in a shadow ministerial position they should be asked to resign and sacked if they do not.

This would go a long way to restoring respect for politicians, Conservative politicians at least. It will be no good any MPs saying "everyone was at it", any Conservative politician must stand up for the rights of taxpayers to obtain fair value for their confiscated money. If they do not, then they are not Conservatives in any way I understand.

Saturday, 25 April 2009


The most amazing thing about the budget is how even this Labour government showed no interest in reducing expenditure. In the next two years they will borrow more than every Government in the last three hundred years, and yet they are not even interested in basic reductions in expenditure. 

It shows that they have given up hope for the Labour Government and have therefore decided to sacrifice the future financial prosperity of this country. Their actions can onyl make things so much worse for an incoming Conservative government: the cuts that will have to be made will be painful indeed.

There are the cuts that are so obvious and simply must be made: ID cards, cutting down and time-limiting benefits, cutting quangoes and agencies, moving the public sector to the same pensions system as the private sector. But there are going to need to hard cuts for a Tory Government to make; for example, we cannot spend billions on a replacement for Trident in the current situation.

Monday, 20 April 2009

A List

There's an interesting article on ConservativeHome about what has happened to some that joined the Conservative A List. This was one of the worst supposedly modernising ideas to come out of the Conservative party machine. Picking people with the correct mix of background, ethnic diversity, celebrity and so on and then trying to inject them as MPs was and is a truly dreadful idea.

MPs should be rooted in the locality they represent. Being an MP should not be a trail around the country finding an address that gives you a chance to get elected. Being an MP should be a privilege; representing an area of the country where you have your roots in Parliament. I'm not saying MPs need to be born and have lived in their constituency all their lives, but their home, their roots, should be in the general locality, in the area of their constituency. If that limits capable people who want to be MPs from ever becoming MPs because they are limited to some 10 or 20 constituencies so be it.

One of the ways, one of the many ways, to restore trust in politics is have local people representing their localities. They do this at parish, borough and county level and they should at national level too. Tear up the A list: if these individuals are good enough to be MPs, and I have no doubt many of them are, let them stand for where their roots are.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Labour Attack Dogs

The row about Gordon Brown's advisers sending lies about their opponents on email is completely unsurprising. Labour has never recognised that taxpayer's money is extracted  to fund public services rather than party politics. To become a Labour special adviser is to splash around in a political playpen with other massively highly paid attack dogs spinning and dreaming up lies.

There is no justification for any non-elected individual working at my expense to be party political. The Conservatives have had political attack dogs too in the past. They shouldn't. Anybody who I fund from taxes should either be elected (or a direct support employee of someone elected such as an assistant), or they should be impartial. The Civil Service should be utterly, completely and totally impartial. It should be a dismissable offence for anyone in the Civil Service to promote party political opinions. 

The public sector must have higher, not lower, standards with regard to party politics. The Conservatives must clear out this culture. This means no special advisers under the Conservatives. At all. If the next Conservative Government wishes to spin, fine, then the elected politicians can do the spinning.

Labour is building a Civil Service in the spirit of Goebbels. The next Conservative Government must destroy this culture utterly. It can only do so by ending the employment of spinners and special advisers.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Bob Quick

It is right that Bob Quick should no longer be in post. But I don't think he should have resigned over the unfortunate blunder that nearly compromised the recent arrests of suspected terrorists. This was clearly an unfortunate error, but it was a blunder that was clearly not meant.

He should have resigned over the arrest of an MP who was doing the job an MP is meant to do. This was not a blunder; it was a considered action on Quick's part. It was so clearly absurd to suggest that Damian Green MP was engaged in any form of terrorism, or anything that could remotely be construed as contributing to terrorism, that it shows that his judgement was fundamentally flawed. To send in counter-terrorism officers to arrest Green beggared belief.

So, it is right that he has gone: but not for the unconsidered blunder, rather for the considered misjudgement.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Fractured Society

The appalling injuries inflicted on the two young boys by, it appears, two other young boys bring into focus David Cameron's 'broken society'. I think broken is the wrong word: fractured is a better word. The vast majority of people either actively work for the betterment of their community, or at least seek to avoid harming their community, albeit passively. 

But there is a fault line, a fracture, between that majority and a minority that is without a moral compass. The creation of that moral compass demands education, rehabilitation and a refusal by the state to allow individuals to avoid personal responsibility for their own actions and those of their dependents.

The Labour party has failed in all three areas. Children are allowed to leave school without a clear moral code. Criminals, from an early age, are allowed to get away with their actions and, even if locked up, leave prison only to re-enter it in the majority of cases. The benefits system actively (not even passively, but actively) encourages people to a life of dependency.

The next Conservative Government has some tough decisions in all three areas. If it fails to take them - in its first term - it will fail to address the fractured society and it will have failed this country. They can be addressed: but only by confronting the vocal vested interests that see morality as a grey area, criminality as an inevitable consequence of poverty, and taxpayer- funded benefits as a human right.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Gordon Brown Done Well

The primary cause of the recession was poor risk management of private sector debt, but what's keeping us in recession is confidence: confidence to lend, confidence to borrow, and confidence to buy. More than than anything the G20 summit was about restoring confidence so that individuals, and the businesses they work for, start trading with each other again. The announcements at the G20 are somewhat irrelevant, the reason why I think Gordon Brown did well at this summit was because he got the G20 leaders to agree on a confident statement that should help inspire some confidence.

This does not mean that I think anyone should vote for him. He is the most disastrous prime minister of this age, perhaps any age. He bears responsibility for much of the disastrous situation UK PLC is in because of his failed regulation and his delight in public sector debt. He is the window cleaner who comes along and smashes all your windows, but this week, for the first time, he at least did something that I think helps install new some glass and I'll give him some credit for that. But he's still a disaster who should be slung out at the first opportunity.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Caroline Flint, Europe Minister?

It's not an April Fool. Caroline Flint, the Europe Minister in this bizarre Labour Government, has not read the Lisbon Treaty. Let me repeat. In Parliament, publicly, the Europe Minister stated that she has not read a document that passes significant sovereign powers from this country to Europe. This is so utterly staggering that I find it hard to believe. Surely if there is one person in this country who should read this wretched document it is the Europe Minister?

It is now clear why Labour does not want a referendum. They haven't read what they want us to sign up to, they don't expect us to read it, and they don't care about this country enough to bother what's in it. They want it passed for political reasons regardless of what it may say (which of course as they admit they don't actually know).

Why is she still in her job? What does she think her job actually is? How did this women get into Parliament? How did she achieve high office? I'm certainly not speechless but I am completely incredulous that this has not caused an absolutely massive outcry.