Rule number 89:
Rule number 89:
Dear Conservative Future candidates up for internal youth party elections.
Why haven’t I seen a single one of you condemn the burning in effigy by the St Andrews branch of your youth party, of the President of the United States, our closest ally and friend?
Why haven’t I seen a single one of you disown the same society which burnt in effigy Nelson Mandela?
Why have I not seen a single solitary statement, press release or even a tweet from a member running for office saying that they find toasting racial apartheid abhorrent?
I’ve looked for comment in news reports. I’ve sought a press release on your website. I’ve scoured twitter and facebook. There is nothing, except candidates tweeting their endorsements.
I am not a Tory. Indeed I used to run your rivals in the Lib Dems. If I had been in post and one of our branches had toasted racism and burnt our ally on a bonfire I would have suspended the branch and referred the matter for immediate disciplinary action and said as much.
I don’t know why the radio silence is occurring. However. I do wish it would cease. You’re running for election to represent your party and young people in general. Do you think this sort of thing is normal?
Racism of this nature – and the vilification of Nelson Mandela, is the reason Norman Tebbit – that well know bastion of Liberalism – shut your forerunners down in the 80′s.
Your silence in this matter speaks volumes.
For the last 4 weeks I have been growing a moustache. It is pathetic. It looks like I never learnt how to shave. It scares small children. I hate it. I want it gone.
It’s in aid of Movember – a tash growing contest to raise the profile of mens health and raise money for prostate and testicular cancer charities. It’s not a fashion statement, it’s an abomination, but I don’t mind looking ridiculous for charity. (Never again though)
My effort is pathetic but do feel the impulse to donate to my page which can be found here:
I have, at time of writing, only raised a measly tenner – I’m looking forward to shaving it off but I am willing to go for the ultimate humiliation. Waxing.
If you good people of the internet donate at least £500 (and not a penny less) I will have it waxed off and videotape it for evidence.
Urgh, whose idea was it to have a 3 day recess?
The Monday after the recess before is always gravity compelling. Gone are the Jeans and T- Shirts, long lunch breaks and dance music in the office, back are the Suits, lunches at the desk and rolling news coverage on the Telly. I even got in for 9am, which is, um, rare.
The banality of it all was further underlined by a fire alarm. At first I was excited: *I could live tweet a fire in Parliament! It’s probably just toast though, still we can laugh at the MP whose life skills haven’t progressed to the point where they can’t avoid burning bread*
Then I got outside and realised all the catering staff had brought coffee with them, which meant it was almost certainly just a fire test. 30 minutes later the announcement came “Thank you for participating in our fire test”
For gods sake, I’ve taken 30 minutes out of my day to stand in the cold and be drill bait.
It’s not even 11am yet, Ed Balls was on the Today program and is on the front cover of Total Politics, I have 50 unread emails and Sally Bercow has done an interview where she mentions her vibrator, which is, well, awkward…
Someone pass the coffee, the gin and the intravenous syringe of morphine to the eye and give me some god damn good news…
Rule number 11:
Everyone in the village loves a good grilling, be it a steak or James Murdoch, who’s Culture Media and Sports select committee hearing left Westminster at a standstill this morning.
The printers went silent, the post went unopened, MP’s stopped coming up with silly ideas (This only usually happens during PMQ’s and General Elections) and Sky and BBC news were in a ratings war for the literally tens of hacks, researchers and members who don’t already either love the BBC or have a private sector bent.
Of course we’ve all already made up our mind about hack/news/omni gate. Murdoch and News international are guilty as hell. The Met are cronies and Labour and the Tories lapped it up for a good headline every so often in amongst the shagging stories, footballers revelations and fluffy animal narratives of the former leading Sunday Tabloid paper.
Its all so grubby. Murdoch has had the political elite of this country dancing on strings to his agenda on Human Rights, immigration and any other political issue which takes his fancy like a demented puppet master for a quarter of a century, which is why Tom Watsons lampooning of James Murdoch as a mafia boss is so brilliant, if you’ve ever watched the Godfather. Which of course you have. Right?
Murdoch has been breaking laws right around the world to further the family business, cajoling, intimidating and blackmailing the subjects of its stories has been News Corp best practice since year dot, the family business has been (allegedly) bribing police with spa breaks and dinners, as well as actual buckets of cold hard cash. The way its lent its support to Labour or the Tories over the decades, as long as they toe its editorial line is nothing short of a protection racquet. Voraciously backing one and attempting to destroy the other in smash and run editorials.
Even the way the cover up has been conducted in the face of police and parliamentary scrutiny bears all the hallmarks of the Sicilian Mafia trials right down to only one or two members of the ‘family’ aka as the Royal correspondent doing any time.
Yes. I reckon Watson might have landed his lampoon bang on the money. The question is, can the DCMS Committee or the ‘under new management’ Met bring Murdoch and his cronies to account? I doubt it personally, but it has been an unusual year.
For various reasons I’m already going to go and burn for all eternity in hell, so I have no qualms at all in saying I certainly will not be voting for Ken Livingstone on either preference in the London Mayoral election.
Don’t trouble yourself with my godless, heathen soul mind – there are advantages to Hell – the parties will be fantastic and you don’t have to pay British Gas an extortionate gas bill every 3 months…
Going back to the pertinent point, however, Mr Livingstone, the 66 year old former mayor of London who compares his opponent to hitler, used to work for the Iranian government , is best mates with Hugo Chavez (who is best mates with, erm, Cuba) and says Tory councillors will burn in hell for wanting to rebuild a council estate – I didn’t realise he had a theological bent but if he was going for the Tory Church of England vote he appears to have muddled up his chatup lines with the satanic verses.
Ken is unelectable, (former) senior members of his team say it, the – “So Labour its even nice when its trying to knife Labour candidates” – Mirror Says it and the polls say it too – Labour are 19 points ahead in London, yet Ken is 7 points behind Boris. The Bottom line is Ken can’t win, nor does he deserve to.
His latest wheez is a policy to cut bus and tube fares by 5% – that’s nice – but when he was last mayor they went up a stonking 46% and before he was ousted in 2008 he planned year on year above inflation rises - he can’t be trusted to deliver fare cuts and he would rip much-needed investment from TFL ahead of the Olympics.
My advice to Labour for some time has been to dump Ken as soon as possible. This is genuine advice, I’m no fan of Boris but Ken would be a disaster, he’s a has been, he’s putting off Lib Dem and Green voters who will decide the second round of voting and he’s dragging politics into disrepute. Get rid for your own good.
Theres plenty of Labour talent in London who could take the reins and give Boris a run for his money – personally, I’d quite like to see David Lammy MP step into the breach from a purely hack point of view, you do understand, but as it stands Paddick will get my first preference and Boris will get my second.
Labour. If you want to win in London, and I expect you do, give centre ground voters something to back which isn’t the greater or lesser gaffe prone fool – or we’re all going to hell in a handcart.
In the meantime Brian Paddick is the only candidate who’s actually taking London seriously – if this Ken farce continues, don’t be too surprised if he comes second on the first ballot…
Rule number 45:
Yesterday the Stop the War Coalition republished your article first published this time last year in the New Statesman.
I’m not sure where to begin with it. Your critique paraphrased is essentially ‘Politicians should not wear poppies because they are evil state cutting bastards and they only do it for show didn’t you know, especially if they’ve ever sent anyone to war.’
My heart sinks when I read articles like this trying to use Remembrance Day to score, in this case, very cheap and factually inaccurate, political points.
There is only one reason I wear a poppy. I do it to honour those who have fought and died in our countries name.
There are plenty of wars I disagree with on a political level. The First World War was a monumentally tragic waste of life over the bruised egos of Europe’s last absolute monarchs. Iraq was a badly thought out and prosecuted war initiated on a lie and the Suez crisis was the last desperate gasp of a defunct imperialist foreign policy.
But when I stand outside the cenotaph on the 11th of November, as I have made a point of doing for the last 4 years, I do so as a simple act of remembrance for those whose lives have been cut short by war. Politics can take a back seat.
This is what I suspect you are missing when people critique your article. Conscientious objection is a valid viewpoint, wearing the white poppy, or no poppy at all is a valid choice but using the act of Remembrance to attack those who do not share your viewpoint simply dishonours the memory of those soldiers for whom the day should be about. It should be beneath you.
The poppy is not a “fig-leaf for the overseas military interests of successive governments”, I imagine that the decision to take your country to war cannot be an easy one and it is personally a decision I would dread to make but I would hope that those who do, do so in the best interests of the country or the defence of others.
You may well disagree with that decision but that does not give you justification to belittle the people who took that decision for honouring those who go out and carry out that mission.
Nor is it hypocritical to wear a poppy and support the premise of a military conflict. War may be the ultimate sign a foreign policy has failed but it is often justifiable.
I would have preferred Gaddafi or Milosevic stand their armies down than intervene in a conflict in order to protect innocent civilians but sometimes a military intervention is the least worst option.
I would prefer to put our men and women in uniform in harm’s way to protect innocent civilians than live with the shame of another Rwanda. The fact that they are willing to do so is the difference between our armed forces and those we send them out to fight. It is for that reason they deserve our respect and our remembrance.
Finally it is undignified to use the memory of those who have died in service of their country as an emotional stick with which to beat the establishment. If you can’t think of a better way to critique what you would term the military industrial complex, make way for someone who can.
All of that said, whilst I respectfully disagree with your article I have much more contempt for those who choose to attack you in the vilest possible terms. Some of the comments you have received have been misogynistic, sexist and abusive in the extreme. I have no idea why people think such terms of abuse are acceptable in this day and age but whilst I completelty disagree with your, frankly misguided, piece, I’d defend your right to say it to the death.
Lest we forget, Remembrance Day is about remembering those who fought and died for our country. Not Politics. I will wear my poppy with pride – I hope you mark Remembrance Day in whichever way you see fit.