Conservative Manifesto

April 13, 2010

You can read it here

In short the Conservatives plan:

· to build a new economic model

· to build the Big Society

· to build a political system where people have more power and control over their lives.

Compare it with Labour’s manifesto and its:

· Big State -v-Big Society

· Government meddling-v- Trusting people

· Big debt and Borrowing -v-Prudence and New Economics.


Nick Griffin & Question Time

October 23, 2009

I was unfortunately very disappointed with last nights Question Time and especially the way David Dimbleby chaired the discussion. Everyone knows that the BNP is a racist and vile party. Nick Griffin’s views are equally well known especially those relating to race, immigration and Islam i.e BNP topics. Yet more than three quarters of the show was devoted to these issues with quotes of what Griffin has stated in the past being thrown at him from all sides. Griffin despite being hated by almost all in the audience must have been delighted to have had the chance to say that immigration had been and was still out of control and that Islam was incompatible with western democracy. His message wasn’t to the studio audience but to those living in run down council estates and other deprived areas where such messages are so well received. He had several more open goals and had he not been so nervous and overwhelmed he could have made more of this opportunity to put forward his ideology and get his message across.

The panel discussions should have focused more on current concerns of the population on matters such as the economy, housing, education etc which would have exposed the shallowness of the BNP ideology. The BNP does well when it is criticizing others, highlighting or exposing populist concerns and being entirely negative and blaming a particular group for all society’s ills. Yet it doesn’t do well or win when it has to put forward policies to tackle these concerns or explain them in any detail.

Griffin would have looked even more out of his depth on discussions on education or crime or managing the economy out of the recession. In the end the BBC got its ratings and we didn’t learn anymore than we already knew about the BNP and Nick Griffin, who could have made much more of the oppurtunity afforded to him by the BBC to get his message out but failed to do so.


The End is Nigh

June 3, 2009

Tomorrow is polling day and if Labour is given not only a bloody nose but as expected a knockout blow it seems inevitable that Gordon Brown will quit as PM. Even if the election results aren’t as bad as expected, I believe that by next week Gordon Brown will face a leadership challenge. Brown has no leadership qualities, he reacts to events far too late and constantly dithers and isn’t up to the job of PM – he plotted and connived to become PM and has ruled by fear ever since and has never commanded or deserved any respect.

Through his incompetence he has taken the Labour Party to the brink of electoral annihilation which his MP’s have remarkably only realised now and it is therefore an absolute certainty that MP’s desperate to hold onto their seats at the next election will move to have him ousted. The fear factor has gone and with Cabinet member resignations being announced such as Hazel Blears this morning before the expected reshuffle, so has collective responsibility. With each day the case for a general election grows stronger as Brown’s government grinds to a halt with no policies being implemented, introduced or even being thought of. The Government is in limbo and the PM and his Cabinet unable to effect any change.

Today the Guardian has a damning editorial on the PM calling him to go. It says

The tragedy for Mr Brown and his party is that his chance to change it has gone. Although he still purports to be a radical, he has adopted the caution of an establishment man. He cannot lead a revolution against his own way of doing government, and yet a revolution is necessary. Grandstanding on his claims to good intentions, the prime minister demands the right to carry on, even as the cabinet implodes around him. The home secretary, the chancellor, and perhaps even the foreign secretary may go, and Labour faces its worst defeat in its history on Thursday, but the prime minister does not recognise his direct responsibility for the mayhem.

The truth is that there is no vision from him, no plan, no argument for the future and no support. The public see it. His party sees it. The cabinet must see it too, although they are not yet bold enough to say so. The prime minister demands loyalty, but that has become too much to ask of a party, and a country, that was never given the chance to vote for him…He is not obviously able to lead. He blames others for failures and allows them insufficient credit for successes, as the current dismembering of Alistair Darling’s reputation shows.

The next seven days will be crucial to Britain’s political future. Jacqui Smith’s pre-emptive resignation yesterday was the start of a reshuffle that Mr Brown may be imagining will defend himself from terrible election results. He is heading for the bunker. If Labour holds off now, at perhaps the last moment when a change of leader might be possible, it had better reconcile itself to sticking with its leader to the bitter end. … During the next few days it will become apparent whether Mr Brown still commands sufficient support among his parliamentary colleagues to carry on. If he suspects not, he would win much respect by announcing that he will be standing down, and let his party choose someone who can use its remaining time in power to reform parliament and then fight the election with credibility.

The case for a new leader has been made stronger by the expenses crisis. Labour needs to enter the next election having reformed parliament. But Mr Brown will never do it. The prime minister was absent from the start of the debate and cautious now he has joined it. His instinct is usually to hesitate, and to establish reviews and commissions

And it concludes with

Labour has a year left before an election; its current leader would waste it. It is time to cut him loose

Cut him loose, call an election and give the public the chance to vote out a tired, stale and useless Labour Government.


Baby P’s Mother Jailed

May 22, 2009

Baby Peter’s mother has been jailed indefinitely and told that she will serve at least five years in jail. The Judge described her as ‘manipulative and self-centred’ with  ‘a calculating side as well as a temper. He added that ‘I reject the suggestion that you were blind to what was happening in that house or that you were naive…Your conduct over the months prevented Peter from being seen by social services. You actively deceived the authorities.’

Her partner was jailed for life and told that he would serve at least ten years for abusing Baby P and the rape of a two-year-old girl.

The sentences have come on the same day as the findings of the second serious case review which concluded that the abuse and death ‘could and should have been prevented’ and that Baby P ‘deserved better from the services that were there to protect him.’ And that ‘the panel deeply regrets the responses of the services were not sufficiently effective in protecting him.’

As I have mentioned previously, the death of Baby P was wholly avoidable. All vulnerable children have to be protected and the systems in place to do so have to be comprehensive. Lets hope we don’t have to discuss any similar cases in the future


May Election Broadcast

May 6, 2009

Karen Matthews Sentenced

January 23, 2009

Karen Mathews and Michael Donovan have been sentenced to eight years in prison after being found guilty of kidnap, the false imprisonment of Shannon Matthews and perverting the course of justice. That should give them both plenty of time to reflect on their outrageously shocking behaviour , especially Karen who has left her daughter traumatised according to the Judge and in need of psychotherapy.


Broken Britain by IDS

December 6, 2008

Following on from my post yesterday on Karen Matthews dysfunctional family life, read this excellent piece on the problems relating to Broken Britain by Iain Duncan Smith. IDS is doing excellent work on identifying why there is social and family breakdown in many areas of Britain through the Centre For Social Justice and how these should be rectified.


Should We Be Surprised at Karen Matthews Behaviour?

December 5, 2008

Karen Matthews was rightly described as pure evil after being convicted for her shocking role in the kidnap of her daughter. Here was a mother of seven children by five different partners concocting a plan to have her daughter drugged and kidnapped so that she could gain financially. Obviously finding a job and working like most people didn’t cross her mind, but a scheme so devious in nature that it is incomprehensible did. Even among cases where family breakdown and social deprivation is prevalent, this surely takes the biscuit.

However, even when Karen Matthews was giving her Oscar winning performances in front of the cameras and pleading in her very thick Yorkshire accent to Shannon to ‘coome hoame’ there were many including myself who weren’t convinced that Karen Matthews was being totally honest. And when I learnt that Karen and her partner were more interested in watching television and bickering over which channels to watch during a visit by an official to talk about Shannon’s disappearance, I was even more convinced that something wasn’t right. Naturally when Karen Matthews was arrested and charged, this did not come as a big surprise.

My reason for this suspicion was not simply a hunch but from having seen at first hand even in the short time I was a councillor, the way dysfunctional families lived and their detachment from reality. In one case where a constituent came for help because her children had been taken away, the version of events according to her and from the limited information I could glean from social services due obviously to legal reasons were so far apart that it was beyond belief. The mother portraying herself as a complete innocent having done nothing wrong and blaming the Local Authority for inexplicably taking away her children but on the other hand very serious allegations of drug taking and child neglect being made against her. So when we learnt at the outset of the number of partners and children Karen Matthews had and her socio-economic background, it was inevitable that people were suspicious.

But when anyone dared to raise concerns about the way Karen Matthews lived, they were accused of being a snob and of being judgmental. One person who I had a conversation with while Shannon was missing blamed the Local Authority, the Government and Society for not doing enough to help people like Karen escape from her lifestyle – exactly the self pity defence that she put forward. Individual responsibility never once cropped up and the fact that people have to in the end make decisions for themselves was almost irrelevant. It was indicative of her lifestyle and priorities when Karen was offered two trolleys of food free from a local supermarket that one was filled to the top with alcohol.

But while there is no excuse or reason to justify Karen Matthews’ behaviour, it can be argued that all the living conditions were in place similar those of the mother of Baby P for an unsavoury incident involving any one of her children to take place – and which eventually did. There was complete family breakdown, multiple partners moving in and out of the home, no stability in the home, high dependency on welfare benefits, poverty of aspiration, no morality in the home and no guidance from elsewhere and little or no pride in the area where they lived or any desire to improve civic society.

If people choose to live such depressingly dysfunctional lives and are allowed to do so, we should not be surprised when they engage in depraved and repugnant behaviour. When I read of the drawing by Shannon showing an explicit sexual scene with ‘Mummy and Mick’ as a caption, it made me and no doubt everyone else who read it gasp at what a child was being exposed to and how that would affect her during adulthood.

When there are no boundaries to appallingly bad behaviour should we be surprised when we see someone like Karen Matthews drug and kidnap her daughter and play out a game with the Police and the whole country where she is a distraught mother searching for her child which she has kidnapped?


Shannon Matthews’ Mum Guilty

December 4, 2008

Karen Matthews and Michael Donovan have been found guilty of kidnap, the false imprisonment of Shannon Matthews and perverting the course of justice.

As I mentioned here, the evidence seemed overwhelming which has sadly turned out to be the case. Another dark day for Dewsbury. More on this later.


Broken Britain II

November 17, 2008

In September 2008, a poll showed that 63% of all those questioned agreed that British Society is broken. Two recent cases shed light on what is happening in parts of the country and how dysfunctional families are living. The first is the trial of Karen Mathews who is charged with kidnapping her own daughter and lying to the Police about it, and the second is the case of Baby P’s guardians who await sentencing for neglecting a child who subsequently died.

Within both families like many others, there was no stability in the home, with a constant stream of partners moving in and out of the family home. Children unfortunate enough to be caught up in this cycle have a biological father who is often absent and several non biological ‘fathers’ who they presumably call by their first names unable to develop any sort of parental relationship. There is often a dependency on drugs and alcohol by the adults and the needs of the children aren’t even recognised, let alone fulfilled.  This inevitably leads to children being neglected and in worst case scenarios abused. The Government is left to pick up the pieces by finding foster homes and dealing with children with psychological problems which remain well until adulthood. Children’s educational attainment suffers and they are unable to break away from the cycle of state dependency and benefits which means that one generation after the next remain in this culture of broken homes and families. There are no aspirations and there is nothing except despondency and despair.

But is there any way out of this? The Government has been fiddling about with tax credits and schemes such as Sure Start with little success despite its claim to the contrary.

The answer according to Iain Duncan Smith MP is straightforward: If you want to save the child, you must save the family – strengthen the family unit and the child’s chances in life increase dramatically.

The Centre for Social Justice which Iain Duncan Smith set up has produced an interim report on changing Family Law aimed at strengthening marriage and reducing family breakdown. This comes behind a stream of other policy initiatives from the Centre for Social Justice, many of which have already been adopted as policy by David Cameron. Iain Duncan Smith argues that:

Today 25 per cent of children in this country live in single parent families and this trend is set to accelerate. These children are three to six times more likely to experience abuse. A recent US study found that children living with a non-biological adult are 50 times more likely to die from afflicted injuries than those living with their biological parents.”

And the Report notes

“This review is working from an underlying assumption that marriage should be supported both in government policy and in the law and that, related to this, fatherlessness (or motherlessness), far more likely when relationships are informal, should be avoided…”

“Marriage also acts as a stabiliser and a signal. Married couples are far less likely to break up than couples who live together without getting married. This is true even when allowance is made for the influence of such factors as income, age and education. The correlation between stability and marriage is strong and widely acknowledged amongst experts.”

Encourage and support marriage, and stabilise the home and family. It’s a simple and effective message that the Government should heed when implementing policies.