Quentin Davies, the Stamford and Spalding MP, has defected to Labour. At first, I was surprised, shocked and angry - in that order - as I considered him to be loyal and intelligent. How wrong I was! I have just seen a post of Iain Dale's blog which exposes Davies as liar and hypocrite. Further research led Hunter to visit They Work For You, a website which lists MPs' voting record in Parliament. The old duffer opposes ID cards, foundation hospitals, student top-up fees, the ban on fox-hunting and gay rights - all, of course, flagship Labour policies.
His performance as an MP is poor. He only spoke in 18 debates last year, asked just 9 questions to ministers and takes 2-3 weeks to respond to constituents' letters - all well below average amongst MPs. Too busy, no doubt, lining his pocket at The Chartered Institute of Taxation.
David Cameron has brilliantly responded to Davies' resignation letter. Click here to read David's response. Meow!
Norfolk Blogger has charged me to name five blogs which make me think:
In order of preference:
1. Croydonian. This is an highly-intellectual blog, which always leads me to think - and think hard. Not for the fait-hearted!
2. Ellee Seymour. Ellee normally writes a post and then requests feedback. You can't help but think. She come across as a very 'sensible' woman, if not slightly conservative. You can't imagine her in high-heels.
3. Archbishop Cranmer. Cranmer is a complete mystery, but a very good and thought-provoking one on all matters political and spiritual.
4. Norfolk Blogger. Nich is, in my view, a real Liberal. He ought to be in the Conservatives! Always worth a read - perhaps he should be my number one?
5. Lynne Featherstone. Lynne's blog is beautifully written and generally offer solutions from the Left. Although I rarely agree with her, she makes her case and does it well.
Not tagging anyone as I've already been bitten once for doing so...
James has just had some excellent news in - he's officially a doctor having passed all three of his last exams. We're over the moon. Five years of studying has come to an end and now the money will start to flow in. Yay!
Despite a well-organised campaign by Trots, Dim Lebs and some Labour councillors to Keep Fortismere Comprehensive ,the governors of Fortismere School have opted out of Haringey's grubby little hands to persue "Foundation Status" by September 1. The school is now free! How could anyone have been satisfied with Haringey's dreadful record on education? Poor results, poor discipline and low morale and political (Socialist) dogma are the hallmarks of Haringey schools.
Hunter believes that teachers, governors and parents should run schoos based on local needs, not politicians from tin-pot town halls. Three cheers for Fortismere. Let’s hope other schools in our borough follow Fortismere’s excellent lead.
Haringey has a new councillor - Cllr. Emma Wilson - according to the Council's website. It should, of course, be Labour's Emma Jones! There's a Wilson on the Council, but guess what? It's a Him and he's a Dim Leb. Typical, they can't even get the names and parties of their own councillors’ right! Gideon, a friend and Labour Chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny committee, is pictured with a carer, as part of National Carers’ Week, wearing JEANS. Gid, mate, please dress smartly when you're representing the Council. Save your jeans for your karaoke sessions down at the Lordship.
635,679 babies were born in the UK in 2006 and 194,000 abortions were carried out. That's 23.3% of all pregnancies which end in abortion. As you can tell from the headline, Hunter is pro-life. Always has been. But even "pro-choice" enthusiasts must surely be shocked at the news that 1 in 4 babies are terminated (up by 4% since 2005)? The question Iain Dale poses, is what to do about it? Hunter accepts that it would be very difficult, although not impossible, to 'turn back the clock', so Hunter would like to make the following suggestions which may not be universally accepted by fellow pro-lifers:
1. Introduce better sex education - kicking off in primary schools. Hard-hitting facts about sex, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancies be introduced to children as young as 10;
2. The relaxation of the rules and regulations governing the pill and condoms to youngsters. Give them out at secondary schools;
3. For all schools to provide a member of staff with whom children can speak freely and seek help with complete privacy and confidentiality;
4. Introduce compulsory counselling and a two-week 'cooling off' period for all women seeking an abortion;
5. Cut the upper abortion limit from 24 to 14/12 weeks and bring it in line with the European average.
6. To better monitor abortions carried out in the 'private sector' (abotions carried out in private can be far worse than those on the NHS - some clinics perform abortions right up to birth);
7. Properly define under what circumstances a woman may have a termination under English and Welsh law;
8. Keep the status quo in Northern Ireland (where abortion is still illegal - a policy which unites all the churches and political parties).
9. Overhaul adoption policies by making it easier to adopt children by getting rid of politically-correct and needless bureaucracy;
10. Support for pregnant women on low-incomes who do meet certain criteria, e.g. work or are in full-time education.
Anything that I've missed out? What would you do to reduce the number of abortions?
It's probably not fashionable in this part of town to say that I'll miss Bernard Manning. Why? Because he made me laugh. He certainly wasn't PC, but I don't think he was a racist or a homophobe. He had the ability to make people laugh, not hate, each other. Indeed, many of his biggest fans were members of the BME communities - or, as he called them, "Bernard Manning Enthusiasts". Why is it that only white middle-class Guardian-readers take offence to jokes that are not directed at them? The po-faced, humourless, meddling and patronising anti-free speech stinkers! God, I HATE them!
Today is Hunter's and Dr. James' anniversary, having met in the Black Cap seven years ago today! As the good doctor says, 'one is given less time for murder!' And a happy anniversary to you, too.
Today is also the birthdays of our two wonderful little guinea pigs, Pippet and Zippy who are two and three respectively, and the 35th birthday of Catriona. Happy birthdays, sweeties!
More and more Labour and Liberal Democrat activists, members and supporters are switching to Cameron's Conservatives. Locally, Hunter was delighted to welcome former Labour councillor and Chief Whip Richard Reynolds into the fold. Our latest recruit is former Lib Dem Councillor Geoffrey Martin of Cannock Chase District Council. A very warm welcome to you, Geoffrey.
These are three main reasons why people are joining us:
1. People are attracted to David Cameron's brand of One-Nation Conservatism. The Conservative Party is once again a compassionate, liberal and forward-looking party situated in the centre ground of British politics.
2. Brown is not 'new' - he's old and stale. He followed the Blair agenda hook, line and sinker. In many respects, he'll be worse than Blair. To an extent, Blair sat on him and stopped him from taxing and spending even more of our cash.
3. If you want a credible alternative to the "Great Clunking Fist", then Cameron is your man. Nobody, not even Lib Dem members, take Ming Campbell seriously. Two-party politics is re-emerging, so a Lib Dem vote is a wasted vote and will let Labour sneak in by the back door. Only the Conservatives can beat Brown and recharge Britain's batteries.
If you're not already a Conservative, it's time for some deep thinking.
Hunter is struggling to keep awake after spending two hours non-stop at the gym today. In case you haven’t been there, the YMCA gym, which is off of Tottenham Court Road, really is fab!
I used muscles I didn't even know I had! From now onwards, it's three times a week (only once, though, with my personal trainer). Hoping to go swimming in the morning at the London Fields Lido before chillin' in Stokey.
Despite feeling exhausted, I've given you three posts and a couple of comments. What more could you possibly want?
I'm off now. Good night!
As Norfolk Blogger observed, an "unholy alliance" of Members of the Scottish Parliament have voted "no" to trident.
Lib Dem, Green, SNP and a couple of far-left Labour MSPs opportunistically voted no to renewal at a time when we live in a very unstable environment. But as Murdo Fraser, Deputy Leader of the Scottish Conservatives at Holyrood, said:
"I wish we lived in a world without nuclear weapons, I wish we lived in a world where they had not been invented, or they could be uninvented. But we don't and none of these things are possible"
Rogue countries, including Russia, remain a threat to our national security.
The vote, though, is meaningless. UK Defence is still a matter for the Westminster Parliament. As long as Scots wish to remain part of the UK, they will have to accept this position.
I guess Scotland's MSPs would have thought twice before voting no if they knew the matter didn't rest with Westminster. Nevertheless, it's a terrible shame that the Lib Dems and SNP found it necessary to play such silly political games over our national sercurity.
Politics aside for a moment, Councillor Emma Jones, Hunter's favourite little eco-warrior, ran on Hampstead Heath on June 10 to raise funds for Cancer Reaserch. It's not too late to make a gift. Click here to make an on-line donation. And Dig deep!
Remember the 1980s? When Haringey vied with Islington, Lambeth and Hackney to be the looniest of the Loony Left councils? People thought of Haringey and thought of corruption, fraud, cronyism and, above all, its love of all things politically-correct; "black" and "white" tea was banned for fear of causing offence and nursery school kids, barely out of nappies, were given books asking them "How Would You Feel If Your Daddy Was Gay?"
To be fair, Haringey isn't as blatantly PC as it used to be. That said, they occasionally let their masks slip. See here for one example.
But financial mismanagement and 'favouritism' are still rife across Haringey and its departments. Senior Labour councillors either know what the score is and turn a 'blind eye' or they're kept out of the loop by senior officers of the Council. Hunter thinks it a bit of both, having seen leaked documents from disgruntled and honest Labour Party members disgusted at what is going on.
Taxpayers' money is siphoned off to organisations and events that are run by Labour members, competitive-tendering is by-passed and million pound contracts are awarded to Labour members and their relatives. Flagrant breaches of planning rules and regulations are often ignored - and jobs are given to Labour Party members and to their friends.
Over half of the Council's senior officers are members are the Labour Party, including the previous Head of Electoral Services! How big is the Labour Party's membership these days? c.177k nationally? On that basis, one would expect that no more than 1 in 300 of council employees would be Labour Party members (the UK population is now 60 million). Astonishing, isn't it? It looks like in Haringey it's not a case of what you know, it's WHO you know. And it helps to be in the local Labour Party to know people. Yes, Haringey is still a rotten borough, it's just learnt to manage its public image better than it did in the old days.
Hunter is busy gathering more intelligence and would like to hear from you if you are in the know. Why is Inspector Knacker bothering with Labour's 'Loans for Lordships' scandal nationally? Looks like he'd have far richer pickings if he paid a visit to a few Labour-run rotten boroughs like Haringey.
Hunter has been duly elected Leader of Tottenham Conservatives - unopposed - for another year. Nominations are now closed. Hunter is delighted and humbled to fight the good fight. Tottenham Conservatives are Tottenham's fastest-growing political party and the effective opposition locally.
Hunter has contacted fellow Haringey bloggers to suggest meeting for a glass of wine or two. We have, well, at least two things in common: living in and blogging from Haringey.
Don't know how some on the Left feel about meeting up with a Conservative (some would prefer to meet the great God Zog!) and their whips may be a wee bit worried about such a gathering. Thankfully, Hunter leads his party and is not answerable to any 'whips'.
If you blog in Haringey and I have not dropped you a note, email or send a telepathic message.
Yesterday was a truly exhausting day; Hunter did, along with the Darkerside, 20 lengths in the refurbished London Fields Lido having not swam for over a year. Well worth a visit. So many fit young men splashing around, it was quite difficult to concentrate. Hunter's diet and general fitness regime starts tomorrow. Smaller portions of food, less drinking, swimming at least twice a week and a couple of visits to the gym should do the trick!
The day ended nicely having dined in a fabulous little Turkish restaurant on Broadway Market with the ever-lovely Mr. Croydonian.
Lunched in the Ferry Boat, Tottenham's finest pub, this afternoon with Cllr. Matthew Laban, our GLA candidate, Richard Reynolds, who has just left Labour to join us, Tom Mason, my esteemed Deputy Chairman and the incorrigible Eric Lattimore, a running mate from the '06 elections. By chance, Michael Lavender, the Deputy Leader of Enfield Council, was enjoying a spot of lunch. Thanks, Tom, for the pics. Had to have a nap this afternoon - it was too hot (even to blog!)
Cllr. Nilgun Canver, the beleaguered Labour parliamentary wannabe for Hornsey and Wood Green, has an endorsements page on her website. Hunter is interested to note that the hapless David Lammy endorses Canver to be the Labour candidate with the words "...she has helped me substantially to increase my majority over the years...” Strange, given that Lammy's vote fell by a whopping 9.5% at the last general election. If Lammy thinks that his majority is going UP, then Hunter is happy for Nilgun to carry on with her good work.
Hunter has just spent the last 8 minutes (it is now 08:14) watching Breakfast News on BBC1. After a 'news round up', which lasted for about 6 minutes, two guests were brought in to sit on the sofa. Guess what they talked about? The important G8 Summit? No. Yes, you guessed it, Big Brother. Talk about dumbing down! Get rid of the sofa, bring back Moira and broadcast quality news.
UPDATE: The Beeb has just covered a story on M&S profits. Who should be seen touring an M&S store? A certain Mr. TB. Why waste an opportunity to promote the people's PM?
Anthony Steen has been in the news of late for having used a disabled person's parking bay - despite being as fit as a fiddle. He said there was an "absurd number of handicapped spaces" and national regulations should be changed. Opposition MPs and groups representing the interests of disabled people have seized on these comments, most branding the MP as "arrogant", "pompous", "ignorant" and the like.
Hunters feels that the MP was in the wrong on two counts: the law is the law and he broke it and the word "handicapped" is outdated, negative and offensive. But, to answer his main charge (that there are too many disabled bays), well, he may have a point.
Every time Hunter visits his local Sainsbury's, parking is normally quite a problem yet there are up to a dozen disabled bays sitting there - empty! Some Blue Badge holders appear quite fit, whereas some elderly people who have obvious mobility problems are forced to walk right across a car park to get their weekly shopping. It doesn't seem fair, does it? There needs to be a review of this policy and the entitlement rules for Blue Badges need to be strengthened.
Disabled organisations would be better off calling for better accessibility for buses and trains (and, no, the answer isn't more bendy buses!). Certainly, London's tube stations are dreadful. If you're in a wheelchair and want to use the tube, you can forget it. One organisation that does excellent work in promoting the interest of disabled people is The Leonard Cheshire Trust - perhaps Mr. Steen should contact them – they may learn from each others experiences?
Three Haringey-based Lib Dem activists have been rejected - by their own party. Failed Woodside candidate Ajmal Masroor, the anaemic-looking Cllr. Monica Whyte and the recycled Cllr. Wayne Hoban were all rejected as Greater London Authority members (LAMs) by Lib Dem members. At the last election, not a single constituency in London elected a Lib Dem, but they managed to get 5 people in on the 'top up' system which is done using PR. To be fair, Whyte was ranked 10th - but that's no bloody good if you have trouble in getting just five elected!
The successful Lib Dems are nearly all white, middles class and hail from South West London. This had led to over a hundred comments on the soon to be defunct Lib Dem Voice. Normally, the comments section is reserved for Mark Pack and his dog but these results have started some post-election mud-slinging and cries of "sour grapes". Well worth a read!
The Lib Dems remain the only political party at Westminster without a single BME MP. 40% of Londoners are from the BME communities, yet the London Lib Dems have opted not to select a non-white face for the GLA. Representative of Londoners? Hunter thinks not!
For the hapless Dee Doocey to have secured the 2nd on the list, it tells you something about the Haringey Dim Lebs, doesn't it?
News reaches Hunter that Cllr. Nilgun Canver, a local Labour councillor and MP applicant for Hornsey and Wood Green, has allegedly contacted Dim Lebs to 'get dirt' on Cllr. Catherine West, the front-runner and Labour Group Leader on Islington Council.
Meanwhile, Jan Etienne, another applicant, has been accused of lying about her address. Although she lives in Brent, she has given a Noel Park address as her official residence.
And a certain Tottenham councillor has been slammed by various people in the H&WGCLP for "poking her nose" into the 'process'. I wonder who that could be?
Labour activists are so busy fighting each other they have haven’t had time to update their website - which still lists Barbara Roche as the constituency's MP.
What a shower!