Wednesday, 31 March 2010
Mr S informs us on his website (so it must be true) that he is going to Australia and New Zealand for some months once he receives his 65K payout. Another source tells me he is going to spend some time in Sydney as the guest of former Reading councillor and chair of Reading Labour Party Mike Price, who left Reading in 2000 and fled to Australia ahead of a scandal that threatened to engulf him and those close to him. Picture the scene - a cosy chat over the Price dinner table, spliffs smouldering in the ashtray, reminiscing about the dear dead days beyond recall. The headlines in the Reading Evening Post, and, er, the headlines in the Reading Evening Post. These we have loved.
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
update: tickets for her concert in Strasbourg on 25th May sold out in 20 minutes this morning - at 95 euros a pop.
Monday, 29 March 2010
Oh and he can't be bothered to pay his car tax either. Cllr Hartley not Rabbi Solomons.
Anne may have a better legal case against the Labour Party than I had. She was deselected following a vote of no confidence, at a meeting packed with those working against her, with no opportunity for the wider party membership to vote. I was told by the national party when I was fighting this same situation that such a vote, which was being campaigned for by the then chair of Reading Labour Party, Andrew Pegg of 9 Eastern Avenue Reading, would not be tolerated. A deselection would have to be the result of a ballot of the whole party membership. Which it was. The chair of Reading Labour Party in 2004, Stuart Singleton-White, the fraudster's friend, spent a lot of time canvassing the party membership in support of a deselection, telling members "If you can't vote for Tony Page, stay away". Singleton-White was rewarded for this by the Reading Labour leadership with a lucrative position on the board of Reading Buses.
Cllr Willis is right to point up what Reading Labour Party are capable of. He doesn't mention the leadership's use of hired thugs to beat up a Conservative candidate outside a mosque or its corrupt misuse of council funds and facilities to support its electoral effort, or its use of council funds and vehicles to promote the election of Martin Salter in 2001 and 2005. He doesn't need to. These things are well known, and as the electorate of Katesgrove showed, attract widespread public disgust.
In the name of God, go.
Saturday, 27 March 2010
At election time I am always interested, not in the Westminster village or equivalent, but in what other media do. In 2001, after the UK election, I went to Australia for a four-week visit (a private one) and they were in election campaign there. The Labor (their spelling) leader in opposition was Kim Beazley. Australia has a Labor government now. Anyway, Kim B was featured in a women's magazine in an article titled "The Women Who Love Kim Beazley" which I thought was great campaigning, and that all political leaders campaigning for election should try to place that kind of story. It was the kind of article women would show their husbands. I remember talking to Alastair Campbell about it later. There was another piece about Kim, in a men's magazine mainly about large pieces of DIY equipment and garden machinery, which Australian men seem to love, but with irony (there is a chain of shops selling things like lawnmowers and leaf blowers and power saws called "A Man's Toyshop") but I digress. It is important to reach people who do not read articles about politics. Then the response is real.
The latest edition of UK Marie-Claire has an article about an award called "Empowering Women", associated with survival of domestic violence and linked to Women's Aid, of which Sarah Brown is one of the judges. I do not suppose the Kevin Maguires of this world think stuff like this is important, because it is only GIRLS who suffer domestic violence. But I am glad Sarah Brown is doing this. And the truths about domestic violence are several. The utterly vast majority of it is perpetrated by men upon women. But women do perpetrate it upon men - I have seen it myself. And the man's reaction I witnessed was exactly as a woman's reaction usually is when hit - I know from personal experience. There is a significant level of concern about domestic violence within lesbian couples. And gay male couples do not seem to understand it as a concept. So - the diversity of humanity.
Sarah Brown, I think you are good news. I am sorry you and Gordon lost a child, I lost one too but your loss was worse than mine. I am sorry your second son has cystic fibrosis and I hope all concerned can help him to stay well. I am sure you know Sarah, but it is not generally known, that boys who survive past puberty with cystic fibrosis (and most do these days) are infertile. The condition means that effectively you are born with a vasectomy. I know this from a former constituent who had cystic fibrosis and had survived into his 40s (two sisters had died in their teens), and not unreasonably wanted a family.
In these days when it is very unusual to lose a child, both the party leaders hoping to be Prime Minster have had that experience. It is something which is not supposed to happen. My father died young, before both his parents, and they were never the same again. But he made it to adulthood - obviously.
Let's try to have this UK election with a little less ugliness and a little more humanity, hein?
Friday, 26 March 2010
Does the Minister agree that the hon. Member for Reading, West, should not be playing cheap politics with anglers in this country?
And so say all of us.
Thursday, 25 March 2010
You do know I made this up, don't you readers?
Wednesday, 24 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
update: Daisy is polite though:
Thanks for pointing out the typo on our blog - I've now corrected it.Best wishes
Cllr Daisy BensonLiberal Democrat CouncillorRedlands ward
Saturday, 20 March 2010
Friday, 19 March 2010
Mr. Jenkin: Order!
Mr. Speaker: Order. I do not need any help from the hon. Gentleman. I have the greatest affection for him, but he should not tell me how to do my job. He is a very able fellow, but I am not sure he would know where to start. What I want to-[Hon. Members: "Ooh!"] I am not sure he would.
and for this, because what is said in the House is without spin:
Mr. Rob Wilson (Reading, East) (Con): On a point of order, Mr. Speaker. On Monday 1 March, the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary visited my Reading, East constituency. Neither contacted me, but the Prime Minister's office did inform the press, the council, the police and the neighbouring Labour MP. I seek your guidance first about whether that lack of courtesy is acceptable.
and for the reply, which shows that despite the spin that Salter got Speaker Bercow his job (he didn't), the debt that Speaker Bercow may or may not feel he owes Salter does not extend to spitting on the conventions of the House:
Mr. Speaker: The hon. Member for Reading, East (Mr. Wilson) raised the subject of the normal courtesy of notifying a Member whose constituency one is visiting on public business. I say to him that I think that it is very desirable that that courtesy should always be observed, and that it is regrettable when it is not.
I have no idea whether Speaker Bercow knew that the PM genuinely thought he was visiting Reading West, because Salter had told him so.
He does now.
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
Robert Wilson: To ask the Prime Minister (1) when he informed the hon.Member for Reading West of his visit to Reading on 1 March 2010; (2) when he informed Reading borough council of his visit to Reading on 1March 2010; (3) when he informed Thames Valley police of his visit toReading on 1 March 2010.
and it is not even Gordon's fault. He was lied to and told his visit was to Reading West. Civil servants don't check these things because it never occurs to them that they would be lied to by an honourable member. All of Gordon's visit was to Reading East as far as I can tell - Nasty Naz put "Reading" on his site, and said nothing about any visit to Reading West; Salter ditto; and the only pictures seen were taken in Reading East; Salter even mentioned the locations, all of them in Reading East. Salter was specifically invited to the event, which the PM could do if he wanted and was legitimate, but the constituency MP was not even informed. Which is not legitimate. After all these years I still get a red mist about this. I can recall that the Modernisation Committee met in Reading in 2004, and when I saw the papers for it a few days before the event I rang the committee clerks and asked if they normally informed the constituency member if the committee was meeting in their constituency, and they said that they did, as a matter of course. I told them that I hadn't received my letter, as the meeting was (inevitably) at the Civic Offices, in Reading East. There was a slight silence, and I received my letter the following day. The meeting took place in Reading at Salter's instigation. When Michael Portillo visited Reading some years ago his office wrote to me as is the normal courtesy, because it was Reading East he was visiting, but when Salter found out (via the Evening Post's regular briefing to him on their forthcoming stories) he arranged a welcoming committee without consulting me, and I heard him shout in Michael Portillo's face, outside the Broad Street Mall (in Reading East) "You're in my constituency!" I apologised later to Michael of course for the juvenile thuggish behaviour he had to experience.
This behaviour is a disgrace. It will stop when Salter is gone, because it is pathological. No other MP does this. No matter what the relations between constituency neighbours are like, and believe you me they are not always good, in whatever party.
But lying to the Prime Minister and placing his own government in an embarrassing position, who could possibly gain by that?
update: here is Gordon's answer. Piss poor.
Gordon Brown (Prime Minister; Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, Labour)
For security reasons, my engagements are announced as and when appropriate.
Monday, 15 March 2010
has died "suddenly and accidentally" at home. I knew Ashok, we were not close personally but we were together on a trip to Botswana I think it was and we had some long chats. I found him personable and good company. He talked about his work before he went into Parliament for Black Sections within the Labour Party and he told me he was against ethnic minority short lists for selection, pointing out that his constituency on Teesside was one of the whitest in the country, but that the party had had no problem selecting him, nor had the Labour vote diminished as a result. I have no idea what kind of accident it was, or what his personal or family situation was, but I am very sorry. We are too close to the general election now for there to be a by-election, but, oh dear. Just wait for the poison mongers to start. They always do. Ashok was only 53.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Saturday, 13 March 2010
- That this House takes note of Command Paper Cm 5769 on Iraq; reaffirms its endorsement of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1441, as expressed in its Resolution of 25th November 2002; supports the Government's continuing efforts in the United Nations to disarm Iraq of its weapons of mass destruction; and calls upon Iraq to recognise this as its final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations.
I’m beginning to realise what a huge job it will be to wind up both my Westminster and constituency offices. All recent correspondents have been sent a standard letter asking what they want me to do with their case files. With over 22,000 individual files in the constituency office alone, we are going to be keeping the shredding company in work for some time to come. I’ve also just rented a storage unit to archive that which is either cherished, not collected, or unshredded so spent the afternoon humping boxes around. Reminded me of my days as a cargo handler at Heathrow.
Friday, 12 March 2010
And I exempt my friends who are sensible people with brains who do read the Guardian from the title of this post.
Thursday, 11 March 2010
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Monday, 8 March 2010
Tilehurst pupil Helen Cole got some help towards her fundraising target from her local MP.
Reading West MP Martin Salter sponsored the Little Heath School student in her quest to fly to Morocco for a trip to North Africa.
On Thursday, February 25, Mr Salter visited Little Heath School to present Helen with a cheque for £20. She hopes to raise a total of £1,009 in time for her flight at Easter.
The trip is an opportunity to experience the culture of the country as well contributing to Education for All, a global project which aims to provide the opportunity of a college education for girls from rural communities.
Yes, you read that right. Not 250 quid. Not 100 quid. Twenty. From the boat-owning Mr S who is on 65 grand a year plus expenses, he does not pay for his own chocolate. Mr S has always been mean with money, he was once heard (by me) to say that he had paid 150 quid for the suit he was wearing at the time, which was probabll true by the look of tte garment in question, but Mr S was presenting the amount as if it was a lot of money.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Saturday, 6 March 2010
The new fund will support packages of measures such as walking and cycling, better bus services, demand management measures, traffic management and improved street design.
Funding will be awarded via a competitive bidding process but Khan was unable to say how much funding would be in the pot. This won’t be known until after the post-election Comprehensive Spending Review. He said the fund would be top-sliced from the Department’s overall budget.
The demise of TIF had been widely expected ever since the public in Greater Manchester resoundingly rejected the conurbation’s package of congestion charging and public transport investment in a referendum in December 2008. TIF’s end was all but confirmed last November when the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit published a review of urban transport that reframed the urban transport “problem” from TIF’s narrow focus on congestion to a broader set of issues.
The decision to cancel the Sustainable Travel Cities programme is more of a surprise and highlights the financial difficulties facing the Department. Four conurbations (West Midlands, South Yorkshire, Tyne and Wear and Nottingham) were shortlisted last summer for a share of the £29m pot to deliver measures to reduce car use. Two areas had been expected to share the funds.
The future of the Urban Congestion Performance Fund is also to be reviewed.
Khan explained the changes in a speech to an invited audience of local authorities and other stakeholders in London this week.
The Urban Challenge Fund brings Labour and the Conservatives closer together on urban transport policy. The Tories announced plans to replace TIF with a Transport Carbon Reduction Fund last year. In an interview with LTT this week, shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers said her party remained committed to the principle of the fund but – like Khan – she could not say how much funding would be allocated to it.
The most immediate impact of TIF’s demise will be felt in Reading and Cambridgeshire, the two authorities that were furthest advanced in developing TIF investment packages. They will now have to submit bids to the new funding stream, alongside other councils.
Khan this week praised Labour-controlled Reading Borough Council’s (sic) proposed phased approach to demand management beginning with a Low Emission Zone and moving to road pricing only if a congestion threshold is met. “This has helped influence our thinking,” he said.
Reading’s deputy leader, councillor Tony Page, this week told LTT that the DfT’s announcement would delay the council’s plans by “a few months”. But he said Reading would be in a strong position to receive funding from the Urban Challenge Fund.
“We are still in pole position for an early approval,” he said, adding that the DfT had just awarded the council further funding to develop its proposals. “The Government will want Reading and Cambridgeshire, when they catch up with work we have done, to be early approvals,” he said. “This will enable the Government to say to other authorities, ‘Here’s an early approval, this is what we’re willing to back with hard cash’.”
Page said it was too early to say if the new fund would prompt Reading to drop the idea of a congestion charge altogether.
The Department is seeking views by 4 June on how the Urban Challenge Fund should operate.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
A fair wind for the motion, I trust. All present and voting.
Cllr Hartley couldn't even be bothered to pay his car tax while he was a parliamentary candidate, leaving his car to add to the many untaxed cars littering the streets of Newtown, remember.
In the name of God, go.
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
2. Did Gordon Brown and Alan Johnson write to the Reading East MP to inform him of their impending visit to his constituency, or did they, as ministers have regularly in the past, rely on briefing from Mr Salter to the effect that the whole of Reading is his constituency?
update: no they didn't, according to the Reading East MP in His Master's Voice, although Salter was invited to the meeting in Reading East.
3. Why is there no mention of the visit on the websites of Reading Labour, South-East Labour, Nasty Naz or Anneliese at the time of writing, some 24 hours after the visit?
one fraudulent tweet so far, posted by Nasty 24 hours after he said it was.
4. Did anyone from the Labour Party talk to Sky News, who last night had an item about Reading West as a key target seat but in the absence of Labour half-filled the item with quotes from David Cameron?
5. Did Gordon and Alan visit Reading West, if so what did they do there and if not why not?
Monday, 1 March 2010
So. Political party uses volunteer supporters to deliver leaflets. Shock. Who does Reading Labour think should be delivering the Tories' leaflets? The council? Oh sorry, that has already been done. At least Mr Salter told us it had and that "his T&G men" delivered his election leaflets in Reading Borough Council vans.
On the subject of elections, we have the regionals here on 14th and 21st March. And I have no vote in them. Grrr. There was a rally yesterday, with red flags and hammers and sickles. Bring back the old certainties, that's what I say. Bring me Stalin and St. Paul (That's enough. Ed.)
Significant other and I were sorting out some of his old photos last night, and boy did we find some interesting ones.