Sunday, 31 January 2010

how much longer

will a small group of Guardian-minded individuals insist that theirs is the only possible truth, contrary to all the evidence? On Iraq of course. I recommend this post on Harry's Place, and I also ask readers to think outside their dinner-party Yasmin Alibhai-Brown emotional irrational tosspot arguments and to wonder why they, and their Guardian-reading dinner-party companions, do not wax similarly foam-flecked spittle about the intervention in Kosovo? About which there is no dispute, unlike in respect of the Iraq intervention, that it was illegal under international law? Because they agreed with it? And if so what does that mean for their "Bliar" crap that I am getting bored with deleting from the comments every time I post on this subject?

Oh but silly old us. A Prime Minister who actually knew what he believed in and wanted to do something about it had to be got rid of, and we are left with a dysfunctional ditherer, who has left only David Cameron's failure to convince the public standing between the British people and a Tory landslide. A hung parliament is what is most likely. Thanks Gordon. Thanks Guardian. Don't come crying to me when it's all done.

Oh and diligent readers will know that I almost never make predictions about elections or other contests, despite those on the comments who try to pretend that I do, but I have made one today.

In the name of God, go.

Saturday, 30 January 2010


for those following the live coverage of the latest evidence being given to the Chilcot inquiry (of whom I am not one, having my work to go to in the daytime) I recommend, to protect them from overwhelming waves of nausea induced by the Guardian-reading dictatorship-loving commentariat, this comment series, which even though it is in that LibDem front organisation the Independent, is a good read.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

economy of effort

leads Mr Salter to post an item on his Telegraph blog which is identical in every way to his Westminster Diary. So £150 for something you had already written anyway is good going. The former however invites comments, two of which are as follows:

Martin – it seems that the constituents in your neighbouring constituency didn’t like the homosexual candidate standing in Reading East at the last General Election (incidentally his name is Tony Page and he had 2 convictions for indecency), he lost the seat for Labour which Jane Griffiths had won in 1997 and 2001.

assegai on Jan 27th, 2010 at 9:35 pm
Report comment
assegai, the reading east people didn’t like how Jane was deselected. They also didn’t really warn to Cllr Page, but lots of Lab supporters didn’t vote out of sympathy for Jane. She still blogs about this and other subjects at
Tonys sexuality, ot indeed his criminal record, were not hard to find out about, but it wasn’t an election issues in 2005. One of his leaflets incidentally had him holding a baby standing next to a woman, so most would have thought that was his family.

Nice work Martin, just in case anyone had forgotten. Now remind us just why you are writing this blog again?


except when it comes to Louis V, at whose show he was pictured in Paris, hat-tip The Sartorialist. Go Kanye.

ambulance chasing again

Mr Salter informs us in his Westminster Diary that he had dinner with "Pakistani community leaders" and discussed there the murder of a young woman in Reading, who by her name may originate from that community, though myself I would not rush to make assumptions. He then tells us that he went to visit her family. First question: was she, and are her family, constituents in Reading West? I would love to be told that they are. Second question: (one of those Great Historical Questions To Which The Answer Is No) is it a good idea to go poking around in the grief of a family one of whose members has been murdered?

Mr Salter has form on this, having relentlessly pursued Liz Longhurst, a Reading East resident, when her daughter was murdered, in furtherance of his grubby political game in Reading Labour Party. So perhaps it's force of habit. See an ambulance, chase it, try for a headline. I notice that a man has been charged with the young woman's murder, and that he lives in the Newtown area of east Reading (and Reading East). Just thought I'd mention it.

the rule of law

is a subject close to my heart, and one on which the Filth has an editorial today apparently. Norman Geras posts about it like this, correctly saying that the editorial appears to have been written by some kind of lunatic (the last words in his post are "Rave on") as it says, inter alia, that there is "room for dispute" about the legality of the Iraq war (like, derrh) and concludes by saying that "Blair and Straw" committed a crime. Insane. But if they did, and of course they did not, but if you dear reader think they did, and whenever I mention this subject hordes of people start commenting about "Bliar" and other Guardian-speak nonsense, then all those MPs who voted in Parliament for the action, like me, have committed war crimes too, and all those who abstained, like Martin Salter (although he told everyone he had voted against it) are accessories to war crimes. Excellent. Makes you proud.

barely literate Geordie loser

has posted on his non-blog non-interactive website about what blogging is. As if he would know. Here it is.

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

and this is what they said

in a comment on my post which reproduced an email from a correspondent indicating that Mr Salter did not turn up to the Holocaust memorial event in Reading he blogged on the Telegraph site he was attending:

Funny that he seems to be in the Post's photo then! Check your facts, girlie, like a Proper Journalist should.

I have responded in the comments, but I thought I would give readers the opportunity to see this. If it means nothing else, it means that the boys and those who act as their sock puppets either believe or pretend to believe that appearing in His Master's Voice having had your picture taken is the same thing as attending an event.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

moolah trousered

I am getting a little tired of this thread, so will just point out that I am told that the Telegraph pays GBP150 per blog post. Work it out for yourselves.

Monday, 25 January 2010

did he forget to remember?

Mr Salter is new to blogging, so perhaps he can be forgiven for not realising that if you blog about something it kind of stays there, so that if you say you are going to do something and then don't do it, people are going to notice. Someone in a position to know who did and did not attend the Holocaust Memorial Day event in Reading yesterday informs me thus:

In the Telegraph, Salter said he was going fishing on Sunday (yesterday) before attending the Holocaust Memorial Day meeting at the Council in the evening. Well surprise, surprise, he didn’t bother turning up for the meeting. For him to do as he said really would have been a surprise.

And the meeting was in Reading East, his favourite constituency!

Sunday, 24 January 2010

extreme porn

which of course is illegal now. Well, it is not quite as simple as that I think you will find. We will leave aside the sickening ambulance-chasing engaged in by Mr Martin Salter, who saw, and I still would have difficulty in believing anyone could do this if I had not witnessed it myself, an advantage to himself in promoting the deselection of a neighbouring Labour MP (me) by pursuing the mother of a woman who had been murdered. Yes, we will leave the Liz Longhurst issue aside, and I encourage you to read what is posted under this link on the Backlash site, because it is largely factual, so do read it and try to decide what you think.

Yes, disgusting porn websites must be stopped. Because they are the worst thing in the world. So women are stoned to death in quite a lot of places in the world because of Teh Internetz? I think not. Oh sorry those are not white girls, silly old me. And do you think if people really were inspired to murder by their viewing of "extreme porn" websites (and there is no evidence that anyone ever has been) then they would not view those sites if they thought there would be legal penalties for doing so if they were caught? Given that the legal penalties for, er, murder, if you are caught, are actually quite severe? And that people did actually murder other people before Teh Internetz existed?

No. Just no.

Telegraph goes loopy

this is what they had to say to martinsnottheone when he tried to comment on the Salter Telegraph blog. I reproduce it just as it appears there.

The man who said “There is no prospect of my ever blogging. What little I have seen of the blogsphere, it seems to me to be the last refuge for tragic insomniacs who lack social skills.”

So guess what, he has started blogging! You can see it here

Unfortunately they wont let me comment, so much for openness! The editor says ”Let’s just clear something up. You can be as aggressive as you like towards Martin Salter in attacking his views, his record, his party, his support for the Government. What you can’t do is engage in personal abuse of *any* Telege personal dishonesty to him or her. This policy is going to be enforced strictly across the site. Get used to it.

There are specific legal issues relating to the poster called martinsnottheone, who is concealing his/her identity, but is engaged in a long-term personal campaign against Mr Salter which involves making many defamatory statements. We face legal action if we allow this person to use Telegraph blogs as an anonymous platform for this campaign.”
Martin got 3 previous version of this blog deleted, so scared is he of my opinions. So it isn’t a surprise that he is also scared of my comments. The surprise is that the Telegraph are going along with this.
Anyway, if this blog really contains actionablematerial, then why hasn’t Martin asked for its removal?

sleep-deprived? oh yes!

Mr Salter says he has enjoyed his first week as a tragic individual lacking social skills who should get out more, and all the other things he has said about bloggers over the last five or six years. He also says, on his Telegraph blog (search for it yourselves, can't be bothered to link to it) that the "esteemed editor" of that publication has asked him to write the blog - he does not say whether moolah has been trousered, so perhaps it has - and has asked him to be amusing. The comments largely disagree. Here is a sample

I am not sleep deprived but you are a pillock and I claim my £10 from the Barclay Bros.

they have obviously got more money than sense allowing you to toss off in public.

"Sleep-deprived" (my hyphen) refers to whom, think you? It is a reference on the Telegraph blog site to those who Mr Salter says might damage his claimed enjoyment of his new career as a Telegraph columnist.

Iain Dale calls the Salter Telegraph blog "bigotry" and of course he is right.

Oh and we have not been told whether his office staff helped him with typing, email or in any other way in the production and dispatch of this blog. If they did then that is an abuse of office.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

still waiting

for a blaze of publicity on the Silly Boys and Salter Balls websites for Mr Salter's new blog on the Telegraph site. Anyone? Anyone? (sound of tumbleweed)

Thursday, 21 January 2010


herewith the exchange at Prime Minister's Questions yesterday, let's have the substance not the spin:

Martin Salter (Reading, West) (Lab): On Friday, MPs and councillors of all parties and local military historians will gather to take forward plans to provide a
20 Jan 2010 : Column 301permanent memorial to Trooper Potts, Reading's only recipient of the Victoria cross, which he won at Gallipoli in 1915 in an act of outstanding courage. Will the Prime Minister, to whom I have written on this subject, offer a message of support for our endeavours to mark forever the gallantry of this truly local hero?
The Prime Minister: I agree with my hon. Friend that a permanent memorial would be a great way of expressing not only our debt to the people whom he has mentioned, but our continuing debt to all those who have served our country, including those who have been honoured for doing so with bravery and having demonstrated the greatest of courage. I hope that his proposal can move forward; we will do everything that we can to help it.

if there had been no permanent memorial to Trooper Potts in existence in Reading West then this might have been a good campaign for a constituency MP. But there is. At Brock Barracks. where his regiment was based. Which the Prime Minister was not told. What Mr Salter wants is for this meeting (at the Civic Offices, headquarters of his precious council, in Reading East) to agree to create a new, expensive memorial, in Reading East. Stalker pathology. Nothing is real unless it is in Reading East.

welcome to daily blogging!

another blogpost from Mr Salter! Has he learned to type? Is he getting paid for it? does he write it by hand and give it to his office staff to type and send as I used to see him do? if so how does he justify using taxpayer-funded staff to do work which is part of his moonlighting second job as a Telegraph columnist? and why did he choose the Telegraph? thinking that Labour Party members wouldn't see it? au contraire, Messrs Salter and Howarth have always favoured the Telegraph for the stories they like to plant, which they can then brief to His Master's Voice. anyway, unlike anything the boys put out in Reading, the Telegraph blog is interactive, and not all the comments are kind. One of them says he knows Mr Salter "has not been at the expenses trough". Well we know he has done worse than that, he claimed totally fraudulently something over 40K between 1997 and 2001 for a non-existent London property. But I become churlish I fear. Welcome to blogging, Mr Salter. Have fun with it. I know I do. Glad to see that you have changed your previously expressed view of blogging, which was, as Cllr Willis reminds us, that bloggers are "tragic individuals who should get out more". To say nothing of fulminating on Radio 4 that blogging was "anti-democratic". It's a big politician who can change his mind and not try to hide the fact. Well done.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

welcome to blogging

Mr Salter, only about six years late, and in the Telegraph too! Oh of course that is dead-tree media, which is Proper Democratic Media, not Nasty Anti-Democratic Internetz Thingy. But it is a blog, though of course newspaper blogs are not proper blogs as they have paymasters. Hilariously the editorial blurb describes Mr S as "on the Left of the party", but we do not look to "journalists" for a grasp of reality, now do we? However, even though this is the Telegraph, which is not read by the pro-jihad Jew-hating Labour Party members, who of course read the Guardian, it does have comments. Yes, comments from real live members of the public, who have opinions they would like to share - perhaps Mr Salter has even read some of these opinions. How about this one:

Martin Salter, thank you for showing your childish nature by making up names for nasty people with whom you disagree (he called Hoon and Hewitt "Goon and Spewitt" and pretended that parliamentary colleagues were using these names, when in fact he had made them up, Ed.). Perhaps you’d like to tell us what specific promises you made to the electorate at the last election and then what actions you’ve taken personally since then to achieve them and what your achievements with regards to these promises you’ve managed.

Not exactly the Reading Evening Post, is it Martin? Still happy with your blogging career?

yet again

Mr Salter sloped off home without voting last night, nothing important, only constitutional reform

Monday, 18 January 2010

here's a job for you!

according to the Tory Politico blog, which uses the piece as a reason to say that the Gordon Brown government has no credibility left, as many as 12 Parliamentary Private Secretary jobs (a PPS is an unpaid ministerial aide) remain unfilled, and it lists them. Now Mr Salter has previously served in this role, briefly in 2005, and was sacked from it for facing both ways at once. He also has form on begging for such a job, having written a hilarious letter to the then Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Mandelson asking to be his PPS, marvellously including the phrase "This is the big one". So get your application in, Martin, there might just be a job for you before the curtain falls.

Oh and thanks to those who commented on my post "it's pathological" about Mr Salter's bizarre behaviour in writing to schools in Reading East. None of your comments have been allowed, because I don't publish hate speech or pornography. But you'd think elected councillors would exercise a little more judgment. It is possible to identify where comments originate, you know.

sentence the war criminal!

to death! which is even further than (most of) the Guardian readers calling for Tony Blair's head on a charger want to go! but it has been done! yes, the arch-criminal responsible for genocide in Iraq has been sentenced to death. Chemical Ali of course, who did you think I meant? On the subject of the fans of Saddam Hussein and his business partners who actually do want the official version of history to be "Tony Blair is a war criminal", I could do no better than Nick Cohen:

“mainstream public opinion has never been interested in offering solidarity to the victims of Ba’athism and Islamism. Instead of talking about what happened to Iraq either before or after the invasion, it has remained stuck in the groove of spring 2003, endlessly scratching the record for a conspiratorial explanation for Britain’s decision to invade.
We are now enduring our fifth Iraq inquiry. Tribunals have called Alastair Campbell so many times he could imitate Sherman McCoy in The Bonfire of the Vanities and declare: “I am a career defendant. I now dress for jail, even though I haven’t been convicted of any crime.” They do not seem to know it but if they hold inquiries until the crack of doom, the war’s opponents will never convict him or the Labour leadership. Their central allegation that the second Iraq war was “illegal” is unsustainable and not only because no competent court has validated it.
I am growing old and grey waiting for John Humphrys or Jon Snow to show a spark of journalistic life and ask Nick Clegg, Philippe Sands and all the rest of them the simple question: “What do you mean by an ‘illegal war’?”
However vigorously they seek to parse UN resolution 1,441, the use of “illegal” demonstrates that Tony Blair’s lawyerly critics believe that the Ba’athist regime, which was guilty of genocide and under UN sanctions, remained Iraq’s legitimate government, entitled by law to treat the country as its private prison.
After the war, not even Saddam’s business partner Jacques Chirac
and former Cllr Sutton's best friend, Ed. went so far as to say that the Ba’athists should have their “illegally” stolen country restored to them. The UN, instead, recognised the occupation and the democratic government that followed and lost some of its bravest workers in the struggle for a freer country.
The inability to accept that a policy they honestly opposed still had moral virtues is producing levels of dementia unusually high even by the standards of British public life.”

or Norman Geras commenting on the above:

The inability to accept that a policy they honestly opposed still had moral virtues is producing levels of dementia unusually high even by the standards of British public life.
Nick Cohen in today's Observer. The dementia is a product precisely of the policy's virtues: too many who opposed it just cannot face the fact that it was the war's supporters who wanted Saddam overthrown whereas they themselves... didn't. Though some of them had reasonable reasons for not wanting it, it torments a proportion of them nonetheless, and so they have to find something worse than bad judgement on the other side - deceit, illegality, apostasy and what have you.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Cameron in Reading

Others have posted about the event itself, and as I was not there and have not been contacted by anyone who was or says they were, I shall confine myself to looking at how the event was treated and reported. Inote by the way that this event, rescheduled from last week, was actually held in Reading West and not in Reading East as the previously scheduled one had been planned to be: perhaps some local political intelligence told Cameron's people that imitating the Salter technique of stalking Reading East was not the best message to give.

His Master's Voice (Reading Evening Post) did not have much to say about it, ending their report like this:

Audience members included Gurkha rights campaigner Peter Beckinsale, Royals chairman Sir John Madejski, Reading East MP Rob Wilson, Conservative prospective Parliamentary candidate for Reading West Alok Sharma and Age Concern members.

Labour Party supporters were outside the meeting before it started, handing out flyers, saying they had not been allowed into the event

I have no idea what Cameron's people's policy was on who got invited, various theories have been suggested, in their place I would have given Nasty Naz pride of place, however I do note the comment on the story from senior councillor Peter Ruhemann, who is clearly distancing himself from those outside the event who said they had not been invited:

I don't know who Alex M is or how he knows who was invited to this Conservative Party meeting, but he is misleading your readers. I did apply, I was invited, but I was unable to go as I have been off sick with a viral infection. I advised the organisers of this but they refused my attempt to pass on my invitation to another Labour Party member who I knew wanted to go. To call this my "deciding not to go" is pure spin and misrepresentation.
Pete Ruhemann 15/01/2010 at 12:50
Two "Labour party supporters" are indeed pictured outside the venue, you can see them on Anneliese Dodds' website, looking rather embarrassed, with placards they don't seem to want the public to see.
I would just wonder why Anneliese agreed to go there, her cast-iron excuse is that it is in Reading West. The utter crassness of two Labour parliamentary candidates picketing an opposition event while there is a Labour government aside, did either of these people actually apply to attend? They have not said they did. I think we should be told.

Anneliese Dodds and Naz Sarkar, Labour Parliamentary candidates for Reading East and West, respectively, tonight challenged David Cameron to a “real debate” in Reading.

This followed a so-called ‘Cameron Direct’ meeting at Reading’s Madjeski Stadium. Both Anneliese and Naz were prevented from entering the event, with the audience comprising a handpicked group of local residents.

Anneliese and Naz had prepared a set of questions for Cameron to respond to (see below)- but they were banned from the event.

Naz said: “It was disappointing not to be able to attend this event to ask David Cameron the questions he needs to answer”.

Anneliese said: “This event would have been better named ‘Cameron select’ than ‘Cameron direct’, given the control exercised over attendees by the organisers.

well, I just reproduce what the two of them have said publicly, for what it is worth.

it's pathological

this stalking in Reading East. A correspondent writes:

This afternoon (Friday 15th January) Martin Salter MP sent an e-mail to the Head of St John's CE (Aided) School, to congratulate her and her staff for their (undoubted) dedication in getting in to open the School during the recent bad weather. .. St John's School is in Orts Road, not in Reading West...

What on earth is going on? St John's School can have no possible interest in what Mr Salter thinks about anything at all, and Mr Salter can have no possible interest in what a church school outside his constituency, which is unlikely to have a single child from Reading West attending it given its location, is doing. So this is a mental disease. Can't be anything else. Be afraid. Anyone who sends an email must expect to have the existence of that email, or indeed its contents, made public at some point, and Mr Salter must know this, so he has a BIG problem. His friends should encourage him to seek help, or he could find that there is a warrant for his arrest.

Friday, 15 January 2010

handbags at dawn

Mr Salter has used one of his brief and rare interventions in the House to make a sharp personal attack on the party members' darling, Harriet Harman (of whom I am quite a fan most of the time too), in saying the following:

Martin Salter (Reading, West) (Lab): The Leader of the House has, certainly until now, enjoyed a justifiable reputation as a parliamentary reformer, but who can doubt that this place is still in need of reforming its arcane and antediluvian procedures and practices? However, with yet another business statement failing to announce time for a debate and a vote on the Wright report, does she not realise that she is, perhaps unfairly, in danger of being portrayed as a roadblock to reform, unless this House gets a specific date and time in the next couple of weeks?
Ms Harman: I thank my hon. Friend for raising the issue of my reputation, but what is important is not my reputation, but the reputation of this House and the fact that we need to make progress to restore public confidence. We have already taken many steps along that road, in sorting out the parliamentary allowance system and reforming how the House does its business, and building on that is very much the next step.

As you can see, Harriet was clearly stung by that attack. Mr Salter has previously trumpeted that when he stands down from Parliament he will be playing a key role in the genral election campaign which is to follow. The above will not have improved his chances of that actually happening, so he will have to, as he does with so many of his utterances, hope that nobody will notice that what he said he would do was not actually what he did.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

pictures from Gaza

drawn by children and intended to illustrate those children's experiences, are included in an exhibition at Reading Central Library, so if you would like to see them, and it seems like a good initiative to me, then hurry, because the exhibition closes on Saturday 14th January. A correspondent points out:

Amongst the captions alongside the pictures is the following quote: "Many children commit suicide in order to join their martyred relatives in Heaven. Others are angry enough to want to punish the enemy before they go."
Post 7/7 do Labour candidates want to be associated with apologists for suicide bombings? Just a thought.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

more beaver than you can shake a stick at

ooh er missus

His Master's Voice published this on 11th January, two days ago, for no discernible reason, given that they used a press release published on Mr Salter's "website" at the very beginning of December, and I commented on it on 8th December, all of which is about five weeks ago. Here it is, for entertainment value:

Martin Salter opposes beaver ‘benefit’January 11, 2010
Angling fan Martin Salter is taking on Natural England and its “ludicrous” plans to re-introduce the beaver to the English countryside.
The Reading West MP, who is also angling spokesman for the Government,
no he isn't, he is liaison person for angling and shooting, he has no government job, despite years of toadying used a Commons debate on fisheries five weeks ago to highlight the new fish passage regulations and proposed new rules governing hydropower schemes which are designed to remove obstructions to fish seeking spawning grounds.
He told Parliament: “On the one hand, we are seeking to ensure that migratory fish can run the rivers and reach the spawning grounds.
“On the other, Natural England talks of reintroducing the beaver, the one creature which, by creating dams, will ensure that all our legislation on fish passes becomes absolutely worthless.”
no it won't, there were fish in England when there were also beavers, in fact beavers, er, eat fish
Natural England and the People’s Trust for Endangered Species says it is “feasible to re-introduce beavers into England with many consequent benefits, not least for beavers to assist with river and floodplain restoration”.
But Mr Salter rubbished the statement
so what did he say then? what cogent arguments did he put forward? call this journalism? shame

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

no snow angel

Mr Salter spoke up in the House yesterday for the work being done at a school in his constituency to ensure that despite the snow it would open for pupils and parents. Now we're getting somewhere, I thought. The school is actually in his constituency rather than in Reading East, where he spends most of his time and does his photocalls, and this is what a good constituency MP should do. His 15-second intervention got about 17 pages of sycophantic coverage in His Master's Voice, but we are all used to that. But when the time came to vote in the House that same evening Mr Salter was absent. Long gone. Not a dereliction of duty on a par with saying he had voted against the Iraq war when in fact he was absent then too, but still... Mr Salter tells us that he goes back to Reading every night. Indeed I believe he does, and always has. But if his home in leafy Tilehurst is such an easy commute then why does he regularly slope off before close of business to catch his train? And none of this answers why he claimed over £40K of taxpayers' money between 1997 and 2001 for a non-existent London property.

the unforgiven

I thought this post on the Scoop blog, following evidence given by the former MoD head John Day to the Chilcot inquiry on the Iraq war - you know, latest in the series, let's keep having inquiries intil we get the answer we want, namely that killing Muslims is just fine and dandy so long as it is brown-skin people who do it, and by the way let's throw acid over girls who go to school - was interesting. The "surge" policy of the then Bush administration turned things around further north in Iraq, better late than never, but in the British zone in the south there seems to have been a failure of will which led to accommodation with extremists and left the Basra population under attack from the Guardian readers' favourite chaps, the jihadists. Was the then government under Tony Blair and then Gordon Brown too much influenced by those lovely Guardian-reading fans of jihad? Hein? I think we should be told.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

not just nasty but...

barely literate, of almost Howarthian proportions, and this from a Winchester educated man! I mean of course Nasty Naz Sarkar, Labour candidate for Reading West, who has posted the following on his (non-interactive) website.

Both Martin Salter MP and I are totally behind Gordon Brown Salter completely failed to express support for Gordon Brown in his media initiative on the subject and believe that Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt’s actions of the last few days are a total distraction.

In the lead up to the election Reading West residents tell me on the doorstep that the biggest issue facing them is the economy. There is a clear difference between how we and the Tories would deal with it.

The Tories measures apostrophe Naz, apostrophe, would deepen the recession and threaten the jobs hard working hyphen Naz, hyphen, people here in Reading. hard-working people what? not just barely literate but incomprehensible too

In particular I am concerned that they would impose harmful cuts on our schools here and possibly axe vital services such as a Sure Start centre or two. or two? how many does he think there are in the constituency? One, last time I looked I would call for them to make the same commitment that Labour has made not to axe and Sure Start centres in this constituency huh? not just a spell check but a barely literate child (who perhaps had attended a Sure Start centre) could correct this but doubt that such a commitment will be forthcoming.

There is no politician at a national level with more experience and ability to help us put in place measures that will tackle the recession and help hard working families through it then Gordon Brown then Gordon Brown what? Then Gordon Brown confessed to a three-way sex romp with Iris Robinson and her toy boy? . And this is why he has got my wholehearted support in the run up to the next election.

Below you can read Martin Salter’s response to Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt.

no do spare us, there might be people in Ulan Bator who have not heard it yet

I don't usually mock the illiterate, but considering the money that has been lavished on this man's educashun and the undoubted fact that he has not had the judgment to get his text checked before publication (or not let Mr Howarth anywhere near it) I am left with no choice. Every time he puts one of these things out Labour lose another 100 votes.

eagle eyed?

those reading the previous post who are well connected (hem hem) may notice that Rhona Brown is someone who, bizarrely, signs emails which apparently emanate from the parliamentary office of Mr Salter, seemingly because he thinks emails are anti-democratic and therefore will not put his name to them. She declares no other source of income and therefore presumably gets a salary from Mr Salter.

the second one, whose entry is similar, has the same name as a total cow called Liz Shannon, with short hair and a very odd fringe, who used to work (maybe still does) for the PLP, and who was no good as a political officer because she believed whatever the last person told her.

the third one appears to be the same person as the Sadie Smith of the late lamented Sadie's Tavern blog, well written and widely read, still linked to on the right of this page though it is no longer active, who described herself on that blog as working for an MP but was always too professional to say which one or to bring her paid job and her writing together. She stopped writing her blog after apparently having some health problems of quite a serious nature, and not generally being very happy with the state of things in her life. These things are commensurate with what often happens to people who are bullied. I REALLY hope nothing of that sort happened to Sadie Smith, but I have seen it happen several times to people, most of them women, who have been associated politically or professionally with Mr Salter. Also, Mr Salter has a stated public position (stated on BBC radio and elsewhere) that blog writing is to be condemned as an anti-democratic practice, which I heard him say in a voice shaking with rage. The groups Ms Smith does or has done work for, as listed in the register, are mostly connected with work against anti-Semitism, a cause (Jew-hating not work against it) Mr Salter has publicly supported, putting his name to a leaflet distributed in his favourite constituency, Reading East, which called for the destruction of the state of Israel.

So - well, let's hope none of these things are connected. Hein?

in the register

the following is an extract from the current register of interests of MPs' staff, that is people who receive a parliamentary pass from an MP (each MP is entitled to three of these)

SadieSmithMartinSalterPaid by The Parliamentary Committee Against Antisemitism (a charity) to act as clerk to the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism. Receives occasional payments from W4MP website for writing and amending guides. Paid by Messy Media Ltd for contributions to the Westmonster website. Parliamentary Consultant to the Inter-parliamentary Coalition on Combating Antisemitism (conference organisation). Payment received from Total Politics magazine for an article written for that publication (registered January 2009).

Saturday, 9 January 2010

can you do better than this, Mr Murrill?

I won't even fisk this one from His Master's Voice. shame on you Mr Murrill (editor), this has to take the arse-licker award of 2010, and this early in the year too. I have noticed that HMV does not pay much attention to the comments which appear on its stories, sometimes they are racist or libellous and are left in there, but this means that on this "story" someone rightly comments that despite Mr Salter's loud shouting about Gurkhas and hugging of Joanna Lumley he voted "No" to a resolution in Parliament calling for Gurkhas to have the right to stay ini the UK. Spookily I ran into a member of Reading's Nepalese community at Amsterdam Schiphol airport yesterday, she has a keen interest in the Gurkha issue as you might expect, and I will leave our conversation to the imagination to protect her confidence.

Oh and let us hope that Mr Salter's "running around" with Trisha Goddard "in the early 1970s", as he says, went no further than that. Ms Goddard turned 16 on 23 December 1973, which is starting to get out of "early 1970s" territory. Mr Salter began his academic career at Sussex University at the age of 18, in October 1972. At which point he acquired a whole new set of friends, not from the London suburbs. I still know some of them.

Martin Salter's tales of famous friends

By Linda Fort
January 07, 2010

The Reading West MP is dropping plenty of celebrity names in his final annual report before stepping down at the General Election.

The front page features Martin Salter hugging actress Joanna Lumley and a Gurkha.

The second page has him shaking the hand of the Reverend Jesse Jackson.

And the next page features an interview by Trisha Goddard, an old friend from his schooldays.

The TV chat show host – three years his junior – was a pupil at the independent girls’ school Sir William Perkins in Chertsey, Surrey, while Mr Salter went to a grammar school in Egham four miles away.

In the interview, Ms Goddard asks the MP how he got into politics, what he has achieved, about his work in Parliament and what he plans next.

After a long gap, Mr Salter and Ms Goddard recently made contact and renewed their friendship.

Mr Salter said: “Back in the early 70s I used to run around with the same group of people as Trisha and it has been great to pick up the threads of our misspent youth.

“Trisha went into journalism and became well known as a campaigner on mental health issues, whilst I drifted into politics.

“I was really pleased a couple of years ago when Trisha invited Reading mum Liz Longhurst on to her show to promote the campaign we were running against violent internet pornography.

“I am hoping we will be able to do some more work together in the future.”

Mr Salter is also offering to organise farewell meetings in his constituency, if there is a local demand before the general election is called.

He said: “When I announced I was standing down back in February, over 500 of my constituents wrote to me, many of whom asked if I was planning any farewell events.

“People really were most kind and generous in their comments and I thought this would be a nice opportunity for me to visit a number of communities in my constituency to thank them personally for their support and encouragement over the last 13 years.”


update on the below - looks like the Togo team have now pulled out of the contest and three people are dead, very sad.

the Togo football team has been shot at, with the driver of their bus apparently killed and four players hurt. Seems they were not the precise target, and the attack was part of the Cabinda separatist issue in Angola, where the Africa Cup of Nations is being held, as the world's people know. I have never been to Angola, or to Togo either (though I got close to the latter when I was an election observer in Ghana in 2004, in a constituency close to the Togo border). However I have since 2007 had Togolese family, as in that year my niece married a man from Togo and adopted his son - they are expecting a child of their own in May this year. So I have francophone African family members, to whom I send French football magazines and French BD (graphic or comic books) sometimes. Anyone remember how in the apartheid times beefy red-faced men used to appear on television saying "Keep politics out of sport"? They wanted the white-only South African teams to play internationally of course. What has changed? (This is a serious question).

Anyway, Le Monde had an interesting article last week about working girls in South Africa (a great many of whom are from Zimbabwe, now why would they want to leave that country?) and how their earning prospects are expected to be enhanced by the football World Cup in South Africa later this year. One of them said that it was rich white men who were the ones who tried to get away without paying. Hmmm.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

who is sticking the knife into whom?

a reader writes

Salter has attempted to grab kudos over the latest failed coup - releasing the text message of reprimand that he sent to Hoon and Hewitt.
He said that it ill behoved an ex Chief Whip (Hoon) to behave in such a dastardly manner and as for Hewitt, he couldn't see why she was sticking her oar in as she was making a lot of dosh from external jobs (BT) and was standing down anyway.
He ensured that his text message was the first read out by Newsnight.
Of course Gordon has made a total hash of everything - but I would have thought that the fates could have spared him the dubious pleasure of being 'protected' and patronised by the likes of Salter.


Sunday, 3 January 2010

a much photographed man

a reader informs me of this site - I had not seen it myself as there may be people who are less keen on Jane Austen than I am but I have not met them yet. However, I don't know, caption competition or what?

scary, hein?

Little Dog Face, writ, as it were, large

for your delectation, stakeholders of the Carbon Trust!

Saturday, 2 January 2010

little dog face

was the Reading nickname, suitably Brechtian I thought, for someone called Ann Morgan, who is now, it appears, horribly, Stakeholder Manager for the Carbon Trust. And you wonder why you have never heard of the Carbon Trust? You probably never will again. She cites her only job prior to that role as Constituency Manager for Martin Salter MP, a post she held for some six years with no noticeable efficiency or flair. It was her only job, as she was, even more horribly, the squeeze of Cllr Jon Fatboy Hartley for some time, and a such had no housing or living costs, as he lives on rental income from property donated by parents. Very socialist, eh, Cllr Rachman?

Friday, 1 January 2010

a good thing I went back

I am just over half way through a three-week period of home leave, as my employers call it, which so far is thoroughly enjoyable, catching up with friends and family, having had a lovely family Christmas in Mullion, Cornwall (we had three kitchens between us, so cooking the Christmas meal was the least stressful it has ever been, I am spoiled) and now in lovely Cyprus for New Year - December sunshine in Cyprus is the only way a redhead like me can sunbathe safely - and as part of that I was in Reading for a few days before Christmas. We left, by train, on Monday 21st December in heavy snow, and had of course a trouble-free journey west. I was amused to hear Mr Salter defending "My Council, Right Or Wrong" although many of his constituents must have been outraged at Reading council's complacent and negligent attitude to the management of its roads. But what does he care? The council delivers his election leaflets, he has told us many times. Corruption. Where was I? Ah yes. Reading. I picked up a paper copy of the Reading Evening Post, pre-Christmas edition, and what a joy it was. There was a report of the funeral of former mayor of Reading Bob Green, with a large picture of, you guessed it, Mr Salter, and no pictures of Mr Green's family. Perhaps that is what the family wanted. Perhaps. And Mr Green's widow Jill is no pushover, to my personal knowledge. But was it not distasteful to make quite so many phone calls and leave quite so many messages with family members unknown personally to Mr Salter, in Mr Salter's ultimately successful endeavour to be allowed to make a speech at the funeral? Putting pressure on the bereaved at a time of grief? I only ask.

That same edition of His Master's Voice carried a full-page advertisement for, er, the Reading Evening Post, with a big picture of its editor, Kent coalfields secondary modern boy Andy Murrill, who ought not to have had quite such a heavy night before getting his picture taken - a night on the booze gives you a puffy face the next day Andy old man.