Saturday, February 28, 2015


After the meeting I walked back to Archway and got on a 210 'bus to Highgate and along Hampstead Road, getting out at Kenwood House.

As I entered the grounds of the mansion the drab damp day was transformed, so that every element became refined by the exquisite Kenwood aura.  The grey clouds arranged themselves into a subtle grisaille of silver, ash and slate.  The fine rain fell as delicate precipitations that felt like a gentle cool anointing.  The crushed gravel crunched satisfyingly underfoot.  Damp vegetation, normally so uninspired, exuded an aromatic fresh scent.  Among the camellias a precious first bud, blood-red, about to burst.

Entering the house, I had the place to myself apart from the volunteers (who seemed grateful to see someone new).  Although I only wanted to see The Guitar Player, I wandered around the other rooms - upstairs Jacobean portraits, downstairs old masters, the Adam library with a pink ceiling.  It all seemed completely different from my previous visit.

You would expect The Guitar Player to be in a room of its own, with two security guards either side.  But it was just on a wall with lots of other art.  Perhaps English Heritage has become blasé about Vermeers.

To get to the tea shop you had to go back out the front door and then right round the whole house, along the elegant terrace with its stupendous view, and down some steps to the old kitchen area.  Tea in a pot, with a plate loaded with gooey raspberry meringue and a big slice of walnut cake.  Yes, I know this was greedy.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Tangible policies win elections

The difficulty with Ed Miliband's policy on tuition fees announced today is the same with all his policies - it relies on a grasp of abstract ideology.

The difference between £6,000 and £9,000 is an abstract one that most voters will not be able to grasp.

It is the difference between "we will load you with a frightening level of debt" and "we will load you with thirty per cent less debt but you will still be frightened anyway".

Tangible policies win elections.

Not abstract arguments over amounts of money that are not real to most people.

For the record, I think education should be completely free, as many courses as an individual wants, for as long as they want (providing they pass the exams).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

How can I support a party that is not serious about controlling immigration

The immigration figures just announced are absolutely shocking.

Just as shocking is the blasé reaction of the government - oh well, we tried our best, but why not turn your attention to the economy...

As a Conservative this is problematic.

How can I support a party that is not serious about controlling immigration.

However painful it might be, possibly it is necessary to punish the Conservatives even at the risk of Labour creeping back in.

Labour will be a nightmare of course.

But a society with ever-accelerating immigration is also a nightmare (unless you are wealthy and privileged enough to be able to insulate yourself from it).

The rhetoric from the Conservatives on immigration is going to have to get a great deal tougher if they hope to retain my support.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Devastating dismissal of the political class by Sir Peter Tapsall at Prime Minister's Questions.

His scornful condemnation of "obsessive crackpots" covers almost ninety per cent of most wannabe members of parliament.

Journalistic scrutiny of the political class

Daily Politics researchers are on the ball today - within half an hour of Ed Miliband using a quote in Prime Minister's Questions they were able to ascertain it was taken out of context and Andrew Neil was able to challenge a Labour MP live on air about the issue (and you could see she was beginning to panic).

This is journalistic scrutiny of the political class at its best.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Jack Straw was not "within the rules" (even though the rules are so permissive as to be meaningless):

What sort of people do we want as MPs?

Why not the sort of people for whom £65k is a fortune.

“Gross over-development”

The demolition of much of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard’s vaults and of nearby Victorian residential buildings:

Monday, February 23, 2015

A sign of recognition, a request for help, an indication that the interviewer needs to back off?

On Channel 4 News this evening Gary Gibbon interviewed Labour's Jack Straw about the cash-for-access scandal:

When Gary Gibbon asked Jack Straw (6.26 on the film) about his prospects of going into the House of Lords he made a sign that had absolutely no relevance to the subject he was discussing.

Was this just a casual and accidental movement of his hand?

Or was it a sign of recognition, a request for help, an indication that the interviewer needs to back off?

I do not believe in the "illuminati" or any of that rubbish.

I do think old-boys networks operate in Masonic Lodges and their "brotherhood" is extended to helping each other out.

Is it possible that Gary Gibbon is a mason?  Presumably not as the interview was broadcast.  But perhaps Jack Straw was using the Channel 4 News broadcast to make a wider appeal for help from whomever was watching? 

I would like to see a woman interviewer ask Jack Straw tough questions about his prospects in the House of Lords.

And there is this:

And is it not interesting to look at Twitter and see how many people are now saying Dispatches was no big deal - make a note of the names please and perhaps we can try a masonic "taught to be cautious" sting. 

Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind should not be allowed to "pop up" in the House of Lords

Surely it goes without saying that Jack Straw and Malcolm Rifkind should not be allowed to "pop up" in the House of Lords.

Have doubts about the knighthood remaining as well - I thought it could be removed by Royal Warrant?

Malcolm Rifkind's performance on Daily Politics

Not happy with Malcolm Rifkind's performance on Daily Politics this lunchtime.

He came across as arrogant and hectoring and continually pointing to the small print of parliamentary procedures instead of acknowledging the wider issue of morality.

And I cannot see how he can remain Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee.  He has clearly been embarrassed by the current "sting".  How can we be sure that a future "sting" will not be used by a foreign power to blackmail him?

As a humble Conservative foot-soldier, this kind of scandal does not motivate me to work for the return of a Conservative government that will have any input from Malcolm Rifkind.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

John Gray writes about Ed Miliband in the New Statesman

Harsh but true - John Gray writes about Ed Miliband in the New Statesman:

With all the thinking Labourites distancing themselves from Ed Miliband, that only leaves the canvassing drones and the lumpen voting fodder to support the party in this election.  Their fury when they realise they have been taken for granted is going to be immense.  The Labour Party may already have passed the point at which it can reform itself.

Some quotes from John Gray:

He has often expressed admiration for Thatcher’s determination to effect radical change…

…its Scottish bastions crumbling, its support among ethnic minorities weaker, working-class voters in the English north and Wales defecting to Ukip and the Greens posing a mounting challenge on the left that could deny it seats in marginal constituencies…

Miliband is misreading British society in ways not altogether dissimilar to those that hobbled Labour in the 1980s and allowed the Conservatives to rule for nearly two decades.

It’s not that Miliband despises the world that the majority of people inhabit. He just can’t enter into it. This isn’t only his problem, of course.

Labour risks an acute form of the voter alienation that affects all the mainstream parties. It is like other parties in drawing its leaders from a narrow and privileged social stratum..

Contrary to Miliband’s Blairite critics, there is no way forward in trying to re­occupy the middle ground.

The trouble with Miliband is that he cannot speak a language that voters understand. His instinctive bent is towards a type of academic discourse that has zero popular appeal.

…speeches such as the one he gave at the Labour conference in September 2014, a dire threnody to togetherness that could have come straight from Armando Iannucci’s The Thick of It.

Miliband is parroting the delusional consensus of the past few years: the belief that Britain’s long-term future is inevitably in ever closer union with a united Europe.

…it is the Conservatives who are on “the right side of history”.

Ed Miliband’s project amounts to a ragbag of populist measures.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Perhaps the Church of England is becoming UKIP at prayer?

Speaking personally, I am fed up with left wing clerics getting up into pulpits and lecturing us on political correctness and the need for "change".

It's time congregations were able to directly elect their priests, not have a shortlist of two presented and told "you can have this lefty candidate or you can have this extreme lefty candidate".
Quelle surprise!

Syriza has sold out.

Tsipras has betrayed his supporters and done a Ramsay MacDonald.

And suddenly all those lefties who were banging on about how Syriza was the future have gone very quiet and started muttering (digitally) dark warnings that we all know will come to nothing.

The Left is pathetic.

Absolutely pathetic.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Damaging effects of migration

More evidence of the damaging effects of migration:

Free movement of people is a crazy and unsustainable ideology.

It is like those American college fraternities on long-haul flights who get up all at once and jump to one side of the plane causing it to lurch violently - it may seem harmless fun to them, but they risk crashing the aircraft.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Today is Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent.

It's a holy day, and the beginning of a profoundly holy season.

What are you giving up?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Labour donor Dale Vince

Channel 4 News interviewed Labour donor Dale Vince:

Mr Vince sounded intensely relaxed about being filthy rich, and told us it was no big deal he could not remember the details of his financial affairs and whether a "loan" from his company to himself was moral or not.  As his company has only one shareholder (Dale Vince) he was lending the money to himself.  To me that seems somewhat "dodgy" although I readily admit I am not a tax expert.
"I am half-sick of shadows".

If you know what I'm saying.

Completely out of touch

I think it is a bit of a cheek that the Bishops are interfering in politics with their "letter":

What mandate do the Bishops have?

Constitutionally, the bishops are appointed by the Crown on the advice of the Prime Minister and thus should have a rough approximation to the political mood of the country at the time they were appointed.

However, for the last thirty years or so they have become a self-perpetuating elite, completely out of touch with their congregations and with ordinary people (a Old Etonian Archbishop!).

Have the Bishops and most of the clergy (I am thinking Giles Fraser) set up the idol of multiculturalism and bowed down before it?

Monday, February 16, 2015

On BBC News 24 this lunchtime Isobel Hardman (Spectator) talked of the "visceral hatred" that exists in Scotland between the SNP and the Labour party and how that made a Coalition at Westminster after the general election extremely unlikely.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

On the Andrew Marr programme on BBC1 this morning Ray Davis from The Kinks was interviewed.

Normally I have an aversion to the 1960s.

But it seems that The Kinks propagated a recerché-nostalgist ideology.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Manspreading by Owen Jones (Guardian) when discussing tax avoidance

Excessive amounts of manspreading by Owen Jones (Guardian) when discussing tax avoidance on Daily Politics this lunchtime:

The manspreading was so intimidating that Toby Young (Spectator) had to close his legs and half-raise his left knee so that his own genitalia were not threatened.

Is this what we are going to experience over the coming days and weeks of the general election campaign?

More about manspreading can be found on the Independent website:

The common consensus on the welfare state

More evidence that large-scale immigration destroys the common consensus on the welfare state:

Could Labour lose a Shadow Chancellor on the eve of a general election?

Did Diane Abbott MP publicly knife Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls live on This Week (BBC1) yesterday?

She said that Ed Miliband had to go on the offensive over tax-dodging Swiss bank accounts because Ed Balls would not touch the issue.

She said that publicly as if she had planned it in advance.

Which makes one wonder what Ed Balls is hiding.

Could the tax-dodging outrage blow up in Labour's face?

Indeed, could Labour lose a Shadow Chancellor on the eve of a general election?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

No mention in this Martin Kettle article about uncontrolled immigration via the "free movement of people" scam:

And yet that is the single most important reason why ordinary people are anti-EU.

Ed Miliband is of course an intellectual

I liked this article in the Spectator by Peter Oborne on Ed Miliband:

Ed Miliband is of course an intellectual, and therefore his philosophy has a consistency and integrity that is lacking in other political leaders (one looks at Nicola Sturgeon and shudders at the shallowness of her mind).

Ed Miliband on his own would be quite refreshing one suspects.

Unfortunately he would come with a lot of baggage and hangers-on, and so much as I despise Murdoch and deplore unthinking support for American foreign policy (which only takes note of American interests, not ours) and want big donors (of all kinds) OUT of politics...

Much as I want all that, a Labour government will not do.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The inspiration for Labour's Women to Women pink van

Did the inspiration for Labour's Women to Women pink van come from the video for Madonna's 2005 music video Sorry

Madonna's van is white on the outside but pink on the inside.

In the video Madonna and four very feminist women drive around London stopping at intervals to drag various macho men into the pink interior and sexually humiliate them.

Indeed there seems to be a whole genre of "tricked" pornography where guys are lured (or indeed grabbed) into vans by groups of women ostensibly offering free sex but actually wanting to hurt and humiliate them (sometimes with the assistance of gay collaborators).  I am not willing to post links.  However if you Google tricked+van+blindfolded+hot-hunk you should get some indication of this activity.

Where exactly did the idea for the "pimp my ride" pink bus come from?

In Paul Mason's report on Channel 4 News there was no mention of Lord Green's association with Chuka Umunna:
Wise words from Sir Peter Tapsall.

If there were any justice in the world it would be Sir Peter standing at the Despatch Box answering questions.
Tremendous performance by Dave at Prime Minister's Questions.

A tour de force.

Harriet Harman and her "Women to Women" pink campaign vehicle

I'm afraid Harriet Harman and her "Women to Women" pink campaign van reminds me of the Glamcabs vehicles in Carry On Cabby (1963)

And that is the problem with Labour's approach to equality issues.  They are stuck in the 1960s.  To Harriet Harman the enemy is still Sid James.
There is never going to be integration of migrants while diaspora communities in the United Kingdom are allowed to bring in partners from overseas:
I've never thought much of Stephen Fry:

He's like those television celebrities from the 1970s that became ubiquitous household names and then fell from grace.  And today everyone says "I never liked that guy much".  And "I always thought that guy was a creep".

Well I never liked Stephen Fry much, and have always thought he was creepy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The right way forward

" entirely different geo­political and economic future for the United Kingdom, one that claims to relocate it in the historical trajectory and distinctive values that once made Britain great":

The United Kingdom has never been happy with the Heath vision.

We took a wrong turning in early 1970s and now need to find the right way forward.

It is worth considering how far food prices would fall if we were no longer in the EU.

Monday, February 09, 2015

Out of action today.

It made me feel very guilty.

I had to ring in to the office with an excuse of "dehydration".

Sunday, February 08, 2015

They pointed and laughed at me

And STILL the Labour party fights amongst itself - this time with disgusting snobbery that would make Emily Thornberry blush

Some quotes from Jake Johnstone's letter:

"...the sheer level of disgusting behaviour and ‘jobs for mates’ elitist attitude"

"...they felt it appropriate to stand at the top of the stairs and point and laugh at me. Just to reiterate – they pointed and laughed at me"

"They are members of a party that prides itself on being the party of working people."

"...they’re classist snobs who feel it best to intimidate and mock someone who they deem to be beneath them."

"Their sentiments were made extremely clear when a colleague of mine heard one of them say “As if he works in a fucking restaurant” "

"I just hope that in a few years Labour Students will be unrecognisable from the closed shop which exists at the moment; the one which says you have to know people to even get your foot in the door, and join the cliques to get to where you can make decisions."

Can we have a statement from Len McClusky about this please.

Can we have a statement from Chuka Umunna.

Can we have a demonstration organised by the Centre for Labour and Social Studies.

The psychological costs of migration

On the Andrew Marr programme Andrew Marr talked to Mark Rowley (Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police) about radicalisation of young muslims in the United Kingdom:

Is it really so difficult to understand why this happens?

There seems to be no conception of the psychological costs of migration.

Especially the psychological costs of being born in a diaspora community that is making no attempt to integrate into the mainstream community - indeed, one of the major political parties wants to keep these disapora communities in place as a means of harvesting bloc votes at election times.

If the left (and the Labour party in particular) is constantly telling BAME people that they are victims is it any wonder that people born into those communities form the view that they are victims and they need to strike back against the host society?
If George Osborne wants to bribe potential voters he should make railway season tickets tax deductable.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Slight of hand

Has Ed Miliband given an estimate on how much money will be raised by his attack on tax havens?

How much he intends to spend on the project, how much he intends to raise, and over what period?

I always thought the "hot" money that washes around the world is liquid and can be moved easily.

Is it not likely that if one tax haven is closed down the money will just move on to the next?

I am not defending tax havens.

I am just pointing out that this is not a serious policy, it is not designed to raise serious money, and it is not a substitute for serious policies from the Labour party.

Or does Labour think the electorate are stupid and will be impressed by this slight of hand?

Friday, February 06, 2015

A report from Redcar

Astonishing Daily Politics this lunchtime, including a report from Redcar:

In-fighting, bullying, secret denunciations, mass resignations, evasive Anna Turley, comparisons with North Korea - it was intensely dramatic and at times I watched open-mouthed with disbelief.

The in-fighting in Labour continues

Still the in-fighting in Labour continues - here Damian McBride slags off Shadow Education Secretary Tristram Hunt:

Tristram Hunt fetishises "qualified" teacher status as if it is some kind of gold standard.  What is obvious to almost everyone is that state schools, run by unionised teachers "qualified" to Tristram Hunt's standard, have lamentably failed.  Even Labour refers (in a negative way) to "bog standard" comprehensives.

And if Mr Hunt is so keen on qualified status why is he not championing qualified politicians? 

They could sit an examination on truth-telling; the difference between right and wrong; and the price of basic articles including milk.

Thursday, February 05, 2015

"The ultimate fashion accessory"

Difficult to take seriously this article written by Hugh Muir about BME people and the Conservative Party:

He obviously has no real knowledge of the Conservative Party and has assembled the "facts" in his piece from various media snippets - a cut and paste job.

If he knew Conservative associations and their membership he would know that for the arrival of every BAME person in a local party four or five non-BAME people will leave in protest.  It is no coincidence that the rise of UKIP has taken place at the same time as the "modernisation" of the Tory Party.  Let me be frank with you Mr Muir, there are many ordinary Conservatives, perhaps the majority, who will never accept you.

The reason for this is of your own making Mr Guardian-employed BAME-representing Muir.

People are not stupid.

They know that post-war immigration has occurred against the wishes of the majority in the United Kingdom.  They know that until very recently even to question this was to invite screams of "racist" and accompanied harassment.  They are aware of the disproportionate amounts of resources that have been channelled towards BAME communities in an attempt to buy their bloc votes.

But perhaps you think the opinions of ordinary Conservatives (big C and small c) do not matter?

Perhaps you think the Conservative party is just a franchise owned by Lord Ashcroft and a few other grandees with candidates selected from an "A" list and election campaigns run centrally?

Perhaps you think that the Conservative Party will be forced into a dutch auction with the Labour party in an attempt to "buy" the votes of BAME people?

If that is what you think you are indeed foolish Mr Muir.

If you and the rest of the BAME people had perhaps some degree of self-awareness you would would realise that it is not just the Conservative party that is toxic in BAME eyes, it is the BAME community that is toxic in Conservative eyes.

And until you have made peace with Conservatives (both big C and small c), including a bloody big apology from your community leaders for unwanted immigration, you will never be wholly accepted in the United Kingdom - and without society's complete acceptance BAME people will never be happy.

As for various Conservative big-wigs "reaching out" to minority ethnics, you should see this for the froth and nonsense it is.

I refer you to the episode of Absolutely Fabulous where Edina Monsoon is thrilled to have a mixed-race grandchild because it is "the ultimate fashion accessory".

What is in fashion this week is out of fashion next week. 

The worst of times

With commendable honesty Phil Burton-Cartledge (Labour insider and a lecturer at Derby University) writes about the Labour Party:

"Too many constituency parties have become rotten boroughs beholden to awful cliques of mutual backscratchers. These have been the party to – and occasional victims of – stitch-ups, internal ructions, incompetence and, in some cases, criminality. The key difference between Scotland and the rest is the process is even more accentuated."

"Labour generally and Scottish Labour cannot be fixed before the election."

"For Labour, these are the worst of times..."

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Helen Lewis still wants to call it a draw

Helen Lewis in the New Statesman is using the Saddam Hussein argument ("if I can survive the enemy's onslaught I have in effect won") in describing Labour being level in the opinion polls:

It reminds me of the moment in Monty Python and the Holy Grail when King Arthur cuts the Black Knight to pieces and he pretends its just a flesh wound:

The Tories have cut the arms and legs off Labour and Helen Lewis still wants to call it a draw.

Prime Minister's Questions

There was a moment in Prime Minister's Questions when David Cameron made his "bill somebody" joke (bill somebody supposedly being Labour policy) and the camera switched to the opposition Front Bench and we saw Ed Balls obliged to smile at the cleverness of the gag, even though it was one that made him look stupid.


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Those MPs voting on the genetic manipulation of babies need to be careful

"We can go down slippery slopes quite carefully" idiot Matt Ridley has just said on Daily Politics, discussing the proposal for genetic manipulation of babies (a bill going through the House of Commons):

This will of course ultimately lead to genetic manipulation to avoid baldness, wrong skin colour, freckles etc.

Those MPs voting on the genetic manipulation of babies need to be careful they are not cursed and brought to judgement ("God of might in heaven so bright shall laugh them all to scorn").

With iron rod: as mighty God, all rebels shalt thou bruse: And breake them all: in pieces small, as sherdes the potters use Be wise therfore: ye kinges the more, Receyve ye wisdomes lore: Ye judges strong: of right and wrong, advise you now before The Lorde in feare: your service beare, with dread to him rejoyce: Let rages be: resist not ye, him serue with joyfull voyce The sonne kisse ye: lest wroth he be, lose not the way of rest: For when his ire: is set on fire, who trust in hym be blest. 

Stefano Pessina does know the price of aspirin whereas Ed Miliband almost certainly does not

It may be unwise for the Chief Executive of Boots to get involved in a row with the Labour Party, but it is foolish in the extreme for the Labour Party to get involved in a row with the Chief Executive of Boots:

In terms of trust, the Boots brand is trusted by almost everyone in the United Kingdom whereas the Labour brand is trusted by about 29% (if one is being charitable) - therefore Labour fail on trust.

In terms of knowing about customers and their preferences Boots had several billion interactions with their customers over the past year whereas the Labour Party has an ambition (which one suspects they will fail to achieve) to talk to only 400,000 people in the next 95 days or so - therefore we must acknowledge that the Chief Executive of Boots has a bigger awareness of society (in terms of feedback about personal budgets, aspirations, customer behaviour etc) than the leader of the Labour Party.

Boots is much more than its Chief Executive - it has 55,000 employees, shareholders that include (through holdings by financial institutions) millions of United Kingdom pensioners, a supply chain that employs millions of people in the United Kingdom.

By shouting down Boots the Labour Party is engaged in a fight that can only damage themselves.

If the tax law does not work for ordinary people in this country change the law (and start by targeting real predators such as Amazon).

This yah-boo exchange with the Chief Executive of Boots is unworthy of a major political party, and misses the point that Stefano Pessina does know the price of aspirin whereas Ed Miliband almost certainly does not.

Monday, February 02, 2015

"Confidential" meeting at the Parcel Yard pub in Kings Cross.

I have only just got back.

I had to push through the crowded bar and into the long corridor.  The back rooms seemed endless.  Although recently renovated they had a "distressed" patina. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

This morning it was Tamsin Greig

Everytime I watch the Andrew Marr Show up pops a luvvy act-TOR telling us how left wing their politics are.

This morning it was Tamsin Greig.  She told us she went to a comprehensive but it was not an ordinary ("bog standard" is the Blair term) comprehensive.  It was full of special lovely people all being special and lovely to each other so you see (the implied tone asserted) comprehensive education does work and its only the wicked Tories who make people fail.

It is not good to be nauseated so early on a Sunday.