Norfolk Blogger (aka Nich Starling) has tagged me to do a 'meme' on my 8 wishes for 2008. Here goes:
1. For Ken Livingstone to be kicked out of Office by somebody, anybody...
2. For Haringey Council to tell property developers Grainger to go take a run and jump (this would save Tottenham's historic Ward's Corner)
3. For the Conservative Party in the European Parliament to stay with our friends in the EPP
4. For Nich Starling to say something nice about David Cameron
5. For ConservativeHome to introduce registration to weed out UKIP-supporting trolls
6. For the Darzi Health Review to be binned (this would save A&E departments across London)
7. For Tony Blair to make a substantial donation to a pro-Life charity (as a penance for his anti-Life voting record in Parliament)
8. For Dr. James to say "yes" and take me up the aisle!
I now tag The Darkerside of Bridget Jones, Suz, Cllr. Matt Davies, Cllr. Alan Dobbie, Patrick Cusworth and Neil Woollcott
Tony Blair spent his entire parliamentary career doing everything to, sometimes rightly, undermine the Catholic Church's teachings. A few days ago, he was welcomed with open arms by arch-hypocrite, sorry, Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor (who is known, even amongst fellow Catholics, not to be the sharpest tool in the box) into Rome.
Blair, along with the likes of Miss Primarolo and Ms Harman, consistently fought attempts to lower the abortion limit. Indeed, he fought to make it easier, i.e. up to birth. Tony Blair, whom we have become to know and hate, believes a fox's life is more sacred than a child's. If the Catholic Church doesn't believe in fighting for the right to live, it doesn't believe in anything at all. The Church hasn't changed. But has Blair?
Will he now admit to be wrong on this specific issue? If so, has he asked for forgiveness?
Hunter feels the Catholic Church was right to welcome Blair - if he admitted to voting the wrong way on Life issues and was genuine about it. Somehow, I suspect Blair is *not* repentant at all. Shame on Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, the man who went out of his way to cover up child sex abuse cases involving Catholic clergy, for allowing this man into their community.
Did anyone note how a special service was held at Archbishop's House, Westminster, for Blair and how he was allowed to discuss the issue with the Pope himself? Hunter thought the Catholic Church believed in equality amongst men? How many 'normal' people are offered an audience with the Pope and personally received at Archbishop House? Perhaps Cardinal Murphy-O'Connor only lavishes such special treatment on abortionists like Blair?
And asArchbishop Cranmer notes, why hijack the Lord's birthday to announce his conversion?
Hunter, this year, will be attending Midnight Mass at a local high Anglican church. The Catholic Church's behaviour is hypocritical - and it stinks. What next? A special collection for Marie Stopes? Blair and Cormac Murphy-O'Connor are welcome to each other!
Hunter would like to wish all readers a very happy and holy Christmas and urges them to remember that God gave his only Son, Jesus, by a Virgin Birth over two thousand years ago, to liberate us from sin. Even if you do not make it to church this year, do something kind and in the Christian spirit: donate to or help a charity, say 'hello' to your neighbours, especially if they are on their own and, as God does, forgive those who have said or done something to upset you.
Above, Hunter's Christmas tree - decorated beautifully by Dr. James, an atheist and secularist.
Hunter has been involved in literally hundreds of by-elections since becoming active in politics (some thirteen years ago), so Hunter's used to seeing dodgy Lib Dem bar charts claiming it's a "two-horse race" between X and them and Y "Can't win here". To be fair, they are usually based on past *election* results - be they local, Parliamentary or GLA-based.
Hackney Lib Dems, though, have reached a new low. On Thursday (20/12) there is a council by-election in Springfield Ward, following the resignation of the Conservatives' Eric Ollerenshaw. Just look at the results for the last set of elections, held in May 2006:
Coffer, Felicity Rebecca Liberal Democrats 198
Donovan, Dennis Arthur Liberal Democrats 188
Goldman, Monty Communist Party of Britain 113
Goulbourne, Hugh Ian Labour 531
Landau, Jacob Conservative 836
Leonelli, Herbert Green 264
Mulready, Nora Labour 538
O'Brien, Christopher Liberal Democrats 163
Ollerenshaw, Eric Conservative 794
Osaigbovo, Florence Labour 503
Shaikh, Shuja Conservative 724
The Fib Dems are clearly fourth, right? In this election, you guessed it, they are claiming it's a two-horse race between Conservatives and Lib Dems and that Labour can't win here. They base this absurd claim on the fact that Stamford Hill has twelve *councillors*, of which nine are Conservative and three are Lib Dems. Yes, but what does that prove? They are still fourth in this ward, no? Labour are, rightly so, furious with them. Hackney, as everyone knows, is a rotten Labour borough and it's the Conservatives who take on - and beat - Labour in Stamford Hill, not the Fib Dems!
Hat tip: Luke Akehurst
Yes, I know you've missed me. Was in Ireland for four days (God, it was cold!) - visiting Dr. James' brother, sister-in-law and twin children in Co. Wicklow. And not a single alcoholic drink passed through Hunter's lips. Since being back in the UK, I've attended endless Christmas events. One was especially enjoyable: that of the Tottenham Civic Society, which met at Bruce Grove's San Marco's restaurant. The food wasn't too bad and the company excellent. A big 'thank you' to Matthew (the Chairman) for asking me to be his guest, and to Joyce (the Secretary) for organising it.
David Schmitz, Lib Dem candidate for Tottenham, was also there and I was delighted to congratulate him in person on becoming a father for the first time. Politically, Hunter's had some good coverage in the local press for picking up on a report by the TaxPayer's Alliance which has exposed Labour Haringey for tripling its spending on spin by 331.2% in just ten years or from £844,000 in 1996/7 to £3,369,000 in 2006/7. Unfortunately, the Journal used a terrible picture of me and the Ham&High swallowed some of Labour's spin in its reporting. On the former, Hunter once had a VERY alcohol lunch in Highgate with an old chum and then, afterwards, decided to have a hair cut on the Archway Road. The result? They shaved all my hair off! The Journal wanted a picture of me the following day...
LabourHome is reporting that Barbara Roche, the former MP for Hornsey & Wood Green, has been shortlisted, along with six others, for the safe Labour seat of Stockton North (somewhere north of Watford).
No doubt, though, Stockton Labour members will be asking her she how she managed to squander a majority of 20,499 from the 1997 General Election to lose by 2,395 in just eight years...
Hunter nevertheless wishes Barbara well. She was a good constituency MP.
Hunter had a lovely day yesterday in Haringey. I started off my hosting a coffee morning for the White Hart Lane branch of Tottenham Conservatives. We raised £70 - and, as they say, every little helps...
In the afternoon I attended a fete at St. Benet Fink's church and bought a wonderful glass fruit bowl and some Christmas cards, sold in aid of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children. As soon as Hunter arrived home, the phone started ringing: it was Ada, one of my members, to say that I had won the main raffle prize - a gigantic M&S hamper!
Then went off to Wood Green for a World Aids Day event outside the library (which, incidentally, does not look like a “bomb shelter” as the local Lib Dem councillor has claimed). There was some music played, a few speeches and a very moving poem from an African lady on living with Hiv. Balloons were released into the air and red ribbons given out to highlight the growing global problem. Our Mayor, Cllr. Sheik Thomson, is a very decent chap, if a little eccentric. He gave a speech which I though was never going to end, but I could listen to him for ages. He could give presidents Chavez and Castro, who make weekly three-hour TV addresses, a run for their money. A buffet and drinks reception was held at the Winkfield Centre, where local people affected by HIV/Aids can drop in for help, advice and to meet people in the same boat.
One of the organisers, Jude, thanked everyone for attending and said he was disappointed that MP David Lammy hadn't bothered to reply to their invitation to attend, let alone show up (Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, later told me later, privately, that she had lost count of the number of times that Lammy had failed to acknowledge or attend invites from local groups). Hunter has utter contempt for Lammy. He's possibly the worst constituency MP anywhere in Britain. He should quit, be de-selected or sacked by the electorate.
Met Lynne Featherstone! Although we had exchanged eye contact in the past, we had never actually spoken to each other. She looked absolutely stunning and ten years younger from when I last saw her. Ah, the wonders of Botox! She was actually quite charming and spoke well by talking about her recent experiences in South Africa, where she met people living with HIV/Aids in her capacity as Lib Dem spokeswomen on International Development. We must have chatted for about twenty minutes and, although she's not my MP, I alerted her to some borough-wide issues/concerns which she has promised to investigate. She appears to be a good egg - when not under the influence of the Humourless Bitch or the Prince of Darkness, Neil Williams and Mark Pack respectively.
Lynne enquired if it was true that I once applied to join the Lib Dems. Yes, I said, it's true. Hunter was - and remains - a liberal. It's just happens the Conservative Party is far more liberal than the Lib Dems, who will ban things at the drop of a hat if they are personally opposed to them. Told her, incidentally, that we Conservative aren’t scared of "Calamity Clegg" which, strangely, brought a smile to her little cherubic face.
Dashed back home to prepare dinner for a few friends, popped out for a quick pint at Catch22 and was in bed by midnight.