Monday, 30 November 2009
In the name of God, go.
update: Blogger and Labour MP Tom Harris takes a different view, and is in favour of Gary McKinnon being extradited. If Mr Salter now agrees with Mr Harris, and that is why he voted with the government, will he tell us so? Instead of going to ground? Martin? Martin? (sound of tumbleweed)
Saturday, 28 November 2009
Friday, 27 November 2009
Thursday, 26 November 2009
Wednesday, 25 November 2009
Tuesday, 24 November 2009
Saturday, 21 November 2009
appointing Herman Rumpy Pumpy, prime minister of Europe's only failed state, and Baroness Nobody, whom I had never heard of when she was a UK government minister and we were told she supported the saving of Ryeish Green School (she didn't) as les plus grands fromages in Europe is barmy. It reduces accountability and bolsters the positions of Sarko and Angie. which is what they wanted. George Grant posting on The Scoop has it right:
Don’t be fooled. The choice of Herman von Rumpty and Baroness Nobody as EU President and Foreign Minister was a big mistake.
Eurosceptics will doubtless be breathing a sigh of relief that the reviled showman Blair is not to fill the top job after all, and traffic will be spared the need to grind to a halt every time Blairforce One touches down. The choice of two non-entities has at least stemmed the growing influence of the European Superstate... for now.
Yet the ironic truth is that those most concerned about the growing and increasingly unaccountable nature of European politics should have backed Blair all the way. The brazenness with which the EU’s upper-echelons ignore popular opinion is indeed approaching the level of farce. Nobody was asked about the Lisbon Treaty, except the Irish, who had to be asked twice. The same goes for the new EU President, Belgian’s Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy, (technically president of the Council) and his foreign affairs sidekick, Baroness Ashton. The Baroness, Lord Mandelson’s successor as EU Trade Commissioner, does in fact have the dubious honour of never having held elected office in her entire life.
Consequently, the argument goes, the less real power these people have, the better. The truth, however, is that by choosing these backroom characters to represent the EU globally on our behalf, we are only making the EU’s chronic accountability crisis even worse.
One of the EU’s single greatest impediments is that virtually nobody, in Britain at least, understands the first thing about how it operates. Rational debate on the EU is consequently almost impossible because any matter is reduced to Europhiles supporting whatever the proposal happens to be, and Eurosceptics opposing it, regardless of what it actually says. Nowhere was this clearer than with the Lisbon Treaty itself. Had more Eurosceptics bothered to read it they might have found they actually quite liked it precisely because it seeks to address many of the issues that make them so anti-European in the first place.
The appointment of such a high profile and intensely controversial figure as Tony Blair to the presidency would thus have been very healthy. If nothing else, it would have opened up the inner workings of the EU to public interest and thus scrutiny as never before, and that, more than anything else, is exactly what the European Union needs.
The downfall of the new Labour project has not been so much about what new Labour did or did not do in power but the failure of many of its disciples to understand that Stalinism doesn’t work, never did, never will.
Profound insight, hein? Who wrote it?
Friday, 20 November 2009
Reading West MP Martin Salter is to plant a “runway tree” to mark the twinning of the town
which town? Not Reading surely? Mr Salter does not and cannot speak for Reading, and certainly not its town twinning
with Sipson, the village earmarked for destruction if the proposed third runway at Heathrow airport goes ahead.
This month, celebrities, including actress Alison Steadman (”Abigail’s Party” and “Gavin and Stacey”) and the poet-laureate Carol-Ann Duffy, planted an apple orchard at Sipson, one of the villages that face demolition should the third runway go ahead.
So? Oh and poet laureate is not hyphenated
Martin Salter is one of many people who have signed up to become a “plot holder” on the land near Sipson which contains the orchard
plot holder? has he bought a piece of the land then? how much did he pay? who got the money?
as part of a campaign by Greenpeace to disrupt and delay the building of the runway.
that's going to work then. Not. And I speak as, most of the time, a Greenpeace supporter. The words Meaningless and Stunt spring to mind.
Martin Salter said:-
“I remain a staunch opponent of the third Heathrow runway
unlike your own Labour government and a cross-section of the trade union movement, some of which give you money
, and last year organised a cross-party Commons motion against the scheme which I consider an environmental abomination.
so that's all right then. Nothing like speaking or voting in the House or actually doing anything. An Early Day Motion takes about three minutes to table and is a piece of political graffiti.
As a Greenpeace supporter, I am more than happy to be a part owner with 60,000 others of an orchard in West London which is designed to obstruct the building of the runway.
What does Greenpeace have to do with land ownership?
It is fitting that here in Reading, which is also under the Heathrow flight path, that we mark our support for communities more badly threatened by these plans than ourselves.”
Hang on. I thought the tree was being planted in Sipson, not "here in Reading". Superfluous relative pronoun too. Poor. And who is "we"? I thought Mr Salter was planting this tree on his own? Incoherent.
When and where is this great event taking place then? Breaths are being held.
Thursday, 19 November 2009
Cette locution proverbiale trouve son origine au Moyen Âge. Elle était alors utilisée en référence aux "vilains", dont les altercations finissaient souvent en véritables bagarres. Aujourd'hui, elle fait plutôt allusion au sexe.
I'll leave readers to work it out. Ahem.
But I still think Thierry Henry should have been sent off. And nice Michel who brings our internal mail round feels bad about the result. "C'est dommage", he says.
Hi Rob, I hoping to become a governor at Redlands so I'd be interested to know how you get on.
posted on the site of the man we hope will be elected councillor for Park ward next May. I am not Singleton-White's friend on facebook (quelle surprise!) so cannot read Rob's reply, chiz.
Wednesday, 18 November 2009
I thank you.
Tuesday, 17 November 2009
would claim only the average Reading wage as a salary, and invest the rest in making sure that local constituents get the best possible service from their local MP
Interesting, huh? How would that work then? Would like to know. Raises several questions, hein?
Ian Burrell, who edits The Independent's Media Pages, has a very disturbing blogpost about the ambition of the Press Complaints Commission to regulate blogs. The new chairman of the PCC, Baroness Buscombe, seems to have gone native already and wants her empire to grow ever larger.
She wants to examine the possibility that the PCC's role should be extended to cover the blogosphere, which is becoming an increasing source of breaking news and boasts some of the media's highest-profile commentators, such as the political bloggers Iain Dale and Guido Fawkes. Do readers of such sites, and people mentioned on them, deserve the same rights of redress that the PCC offers in respect of newspapers and their sites?"Some of the bloggers are now creating their own ecosystems which are quite sophisticated," Baroness Buscombe told me. "Is the reader of those blogs assuming that it's news, and is [the blogosphere] the new newspapers? It's a very interesting area and quite challenging."She said that after a review of the governance structures of the PCC, she would want the organisation to "consider" whether it should seek to extend its remit to the blogosphere, a process that would involve discussion with the press industry, the public and bloggers (who would presumably have to volunteer to come beneath the PCC's umbrella).The PCC regulates the press online as well as in print, and its remit also extends to the Sun's radio operation, SunTalk.Blogging, with its tradition of being free and unregulated, sees itself as very different. But is it really?Er, yes it is. We might write the same bollocks as newspaper journalists, but we don't get paid for it, for a start. Many of us do not see ourselves as primarily news outlets, either. I'd estimate that ninety per cent of my content could loosely be described as comment.I see absolutely no need for independently operated blogs to be regulated by the PCC or indeed anyone else. If they want to propose a voluntary system of regulation, fine. But the day they try to mandate it is the day I will give up blogging.Or have I just given them an incentive to do just that?!
Monday, 16 November 2009
So what do you do when you only have a lollipop stick to defend yourself with?
so the lollipop man's stick is a weapon, is it? and do the Alfred Sutton School parents feel safe knowing their children are being shepherded across the road by a man known for violent behaviour who thinks that is what a lollipop stick is for?
Tuesday, 10 November 2009
It is interesting too that these party members (and presumably others too) say it "never occurred" to them that Mr Sarkar was a public schoolboy. Why? Even in Billy Bunter's time Asian boys were allowed into the public schools of England. Asian people, or "Stanis" as Mr Salter has been heard by me to call them on many occasions, are supposed to live on benefits in crumbling houses in Newtown, to know their place and to vote as instructed in selection and election meetings.
Welcome to the 21st century, boys. Ah me, where are the old certainties?
Friday, 6 November 2009
I am in the process of penning a formal question to Denefield School about their alleged employment of Mr Sarkar. I hope the response from the head teacher is as polite and helpful as that of his staff member was on the telephone on Wednesday.
There is a bit of a history with Labour PPCs and employment at Denefield School. Anybody guess what I am referring to?
Ever since I gave up smoking six years ago I have needed to lose a bit of weight, and more so recently, as when a friend was dying this summer I discovered, rather late in life, the cheering powers of chocolate. I am not however identified as fat, while in the UK at least, and in the US I am identified as slim. I have always had a problem with my ankle joints, which has only really bothered me in the last two or three years, with advancing age and wear and tear, which explains why I have never run a marathon (that's my story anyway) . So, the French health service being what it is (the best in the world, no contest) I got my ankles X-rayed and scanned and checked out by a podologue (podiatrist I think in English, not sure) , who has made me some insoles to correct my posture, which means I can walk further, which is probably good for the weight as well. But I was a little surprised that she weighed me and suggested that my ankles would fare better if they were carrying a little less weight, and that I should go to a dietician and be helped to lose 15 kilos (which is over two stone, Brits, and none of my clothes would fit me any more if I did) . So I have joined a kind of online weight-watchers, and have a programme which says I will lose those 15 kilos by February. We'll see. I do not think I have the courage to tell you what I weigh now (remember I am five foot ten and broad-shouldered) but I will from time to time tell you if I lose (or indeed gain) weight and if so how. If Iain Dale can do it so can I. My current exercise regime is to cycle to work (20 minutes each way, mostly flat) about three times a week, to do two Pilates classes a week (no good for weight loss but fabulous, try it) one gym class most weeks (they run all these at work at lunchtimes, which is normal for French workplaces of any size and makes it easier to do these things regularly) and to swim once a week for about half an hour (in July and August I swim every day but don't do the classes). so not much really. And I don't take any diet pills.
Thursday, 5 November 2009
1. Your website says: Naz is a mathematics teacher at Denefield School in Tilehurst and has been a Secondary school teacher for 8 years. Denefield School's website does indeed list your name in its mathematics department. Are you a class teacher?
2. Do you teach GCSE Mathematics at Denefield?
3. Do you teach A-level Mathematics at Denefield?
4. What size class on average do you teach?
5. How many contact hours a week do you teach?
6. The (very helpful) person who answered the phone at Denefield School yesterday said you were "one of our tutors". A tutor is not a teacher but someone with Qualified Teacher Status who works 1-1 with students, usually for a few hours a week, after school and occasionally in school holidays, as the current advertisement on Denefield School's website for Mathematics and English tutors makes clear. Are you a tutor?
7. If the answer to question 6 is "yes", why did you describe yourself as a teacher on your website?
8. If the answer to question 6 is "no", why did the person at Denefield School describe you as a tutor?
9. When did you start working at Denefield School?
10. Are you still working at Denefield School?
11. If the answer to question 10 is "yes", what job do you do there and what kind of contract do you have?
12. If the answer to question 10 is "no", when did you leave and why?
13. Will Denefield School make a statement on your employment with them?
I think that will do for now. Look forward to hearing from you Naz!
I note that my current MP, Martin Salter, both voted against the Iraq war (saying there was no moral case) and has a clean expenses record.
Oh dear. How they are deceived. No he didn't. He said he had, but he abstained. And he does not have a clean expenses record. He claimed over 40K in four years for a London property he did not have. Still, never let the facts get in the way, etc etc
Wednesday, 4 November 2009
Denefield School is recruiting a maths teacher at present, the closing date was 19th October. They are also looking for a maths tutor.
Tuesday, 3 November 2009
a prize for the first to say where that line comes from and to give me the next line
I was referring though to Mr Salter's "campaign" he puffs here. He says he has been campaigning since 2004 for the Youth Parliament to sit in the Commons Chamber. Maybe, though he doesn't say what he has actually done. Anyway, it is now going to happen, and a jolly good thing too, say I. Mr S. says that not only should they debate in Parliament, but that Parliament should listen. Except that he, er, isn't going to. He won't be there. And far from listening, he is meeting one of the Youth Parliament's leading lights beforehand to tell him or her what to say. Oh dear. How wrong can you get it?
Oh and I have changed my mind. To save you Googling the line, the next one is:
Except to say it isn't worth a damn
Monday, 2 November 2009
I recently attended a Diwali event at the Sikh Temple in Cumberland Road. Admittedly the event was not in the constituency that I hope to represent in Parliament but it brought home to me the multicultural nature of Reading
What is going on? The Labour candidate/MP for Reading West is supposed to spend most of his time in Reading East and do his photocalls there. Not apologise for going there. Mr Sarkar, you are off message. Even the header of your website shows Reading West, unlike Mr Salter's which shows of course Reading East. Now sort yourself out. Oh and "the multicultural nature of Reading" is well represented in Reading West, significantly by the Bajan community - the largest Bajan community outside Barbados, which is why Reading is, er, twinned with Speightstown in Barbados. Mr Salter never had any contact with that community, for reasons best known to him.