Tuesday, 16 June 2009
10 - Sir George Young - A likely winner but lacks any spark and seems to set himself out only because he came so close and lost last time round.
9 - Ann Widdecombe - The popular choice down the Dog n' Duck but her voice sends a shiver down my spine, plus she only wants the job for a year.
8 - Sir Michael Lord - Who? Has potential but again lacks zeal.
7 - Parmjit Dhanda - Complete outsider and probably a no hoper but he is engaging and at least seems to understand the need for reform. But appears to be in support of 'fixing' selections in favour of women and ethnic minorities.
6 - Margaret Beckett - I have always had a lot of time for Margaret but she has very little chance in this race and offered little fresh perspective.
5 - Sir Patrick Cormack - Has the presence to be speaker but again seems to favour the status quo and would act as a traditionalist if elected.
4 - Sir Alan Haselhurst - Experienced and has a track record of being a moderate Tory, i would imagine that he would have the support of the whole house but was caught up in the expenses row.
3 - Richard Shepherd - The local choice, he is the MP for near by Aldridge-Brownhills, has the past of bit of a Tory rebel, speaks with authority but again is a little short on radicalism.
2 - John Bercow - The Labour choice, but can he carry the Tories with him? Seems a little unreliable but at least he seems to be taking the right approach to the job i.e great change is needed
1 - Sir Alan Beith - Has experience and a track record of radicalism. He will have support from across the house. whilst I suspect Bercow will win I think that would be a mistake given Beith's record and his knowledge of the Commons. Much as it pains me to support a Liberal he is at least a man of integrity who 'gets' the problems facing our most important national institution.
Thursday, 11 June 2009
UPDATE: It's ok everyone relax i've found the new site
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Tuesday, 9 June 2009
I feel i should apologise for being absent for the last month or so but work has kept me busy and to be honest I wasn't sure were to begin with blogging about recent events.
At least in Birmingham we remain a fascist free zone. I have never felt so miserable watching election night, not only did the Uk elect its first BNP MEPs but Labour managed to come second in Wales! Second in Wales for god's sake! Almost more worrying was the collapse of support for Labour across vast swathes of Southern England from Cornwall to Kent.
But tomorrow is another day, Brown is still PM and I welcome Bradshaw, Ainsworth and Kinnock into the cabinet all of whom I admire. Labour has no choice but to unite and support the PM as we enter a crucial year not only for GB but also for the Labour Party.
I, like many others have been disgusted by the likes of Purnell, Blears and Caroline Flint, they are cowards and can't even organise a coup. They have no support in the mainstream party and deserve to sat on the backbenches. I have a wee feeling that Cameron has still not sealed the deal with the British public, it is one thing to want Brown out but quite another to want Cameron in.
And perhaps worst of all we have to put up with Twenty20 cricket!
Monday, 20 April 2009
1 - The 10p Tax
2 - Colin Powell addressing the UN, the moment it became clear that the Iraq war was a farce
3 - The deaths of Mo Mowlam and Robin Cook
4 - This McBride-Draper affair
5 - Any time Blair and Bush appeared together
6 - Northern Rock
7 - Browns 'six tests' for euro entry
8 - Clarke & Milburn launching 2010 vision
9 - Hutton Inquiry
10 - The 2004 European Elections
1 -That sunny day in 1997
2- Minimum Wage being passed into law
3- John Prescott punching an idiot farmer
4- The military intervention in Sierra Leone
5- Brown becoming PM
6- 'Good Friday'
7- G20 - Brown as he should have been
8- The Southall by-election
9- Iain Duncan-Smith's quiet man speech
10- Winning the 2012 Olympics
Friday, 3 April 2009
Plan's outlined this week for the new Birmingham Central Library point to a massive improvement. For those who don't know Birmingham our current library is a disgrace, a bloated concret block with little natural light and architecture that would make a multi-story car park look impressive. It is ,in short, a hellish dump.
The new building appears at first glace to be a massive contrast bold, innovative but this time with windows!!! It should look decent in its suggested position so at last the people of Birmingham will get the library they deserve. So in, a rare fit of political fairness, I must congratulate the Tory Council leadership for being ambitious and creative.
Wednesday, 1 April 2009
Whilst getting them to London is an achievement in itself, nothing less than the fate of his government hangs on the outcome. Only big changes to the international financial system, which are explainable to the economic illiterate majority will bring him any measure of victory anything less be viewed as a failure. Success would give Brown the chance to reshuffle his cabinet with a view to a possible Autumn election, failure and we may as well all give up now.
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
Meanwhile in the Czech Republic the government of Mirek Topolanek has lost a vote of no confidence and will be forced to resign. This may not sound like big news, but given that the Czech Republic is currently holding the presidency of the EU a collapsing government could have a serious impact as the EU struggles to deal with the impact of the global recession and the increasing assertive Russian Bear.
Monday, 23 March 2009
Friday, 20 March 2009
Wednesday, 18 March 2009
No better still lets just sit on our Papal backside and lecture journalists instead.
Thursday, 5 March 2009
Sorry to get all partisan but our glorious leader Mike Whitby is clearly not capable of giving the city the leadership it needs or deserves.
Monday, 2 March 2009
Here is an article from Peter Hitchens on the film 'Milk', which was published in the Sunday Mail this week.
"Penn and the tricky truth about gay power
I rather thought the extraordinary film Milk, starring Sean Penn as the American homosexual activist Harvey Milk, would pick up a few Oscars. This is a subject that really gets Hollywood going.
Milk is an interesting movie, though like so many these days it is much too long. It does at least hint at the extraordinarily promiscuous lifestyles of many pre-HIV homosexuals. It also contains a very telling and honest moment where Milk – no slouch at the tricks of politics – proclaims that he is
‘a homosexual with power’, and proceeds to wield it. He was the first of many."
I don't think i have to say too much, other than I find Hitchens a disgrace. Apart from the obvious fact that Harvey Milk was certainly not the first homosexual with power, i would like to also know what other films about gay politicians have been produced by Hollywood as its a subject that "really gets Hollywood going".
I also wonder if this article is another attack in his ongoing battle with blogger Iain Dale, following the last pile of homophobic drivel he published.
The man is a bigoted fool and the Mail should have nothing to do with him.
Friday, 27 February 2009
Monday, 23 February 2009
On the serious side, one of the first things that struck me when i moved to Birmingham a few years ago was the awful standard of its public transport network. Anyone who has been to New Street Station will know what I mean. But it goes further than that, Birmingham needs a metro, tram or trolleybus system, it would bring our city together and make a more exciting city to visit. The city centre has expanded in recent years as both the Jewellery Quarter and Digbeth are now decent places for a night out but they are two miles apart and there is no decent links between them, surely we can have a tram that links the two?
Tuesday, 17 February 2009
Come on Cameron if you really support Local Democracy restore Councillors responsibilities.
Wednesday, 11 February 2009
1 - Avignon In Photos
2 - Paris by Pete
3 - Paris Daily Photo
So thanks to Pete, Eric & Nathalie for making my day a little less grim.
Any more suggestions welcome
Monday, 9 February 2009
England: An easy victory but the team lacks so much pace as to make them look like pensioners on the pitch.
Italy: What were they thinking! I have always had a soft spot for Italy but their lack of strength in depth will always make their task hard especially away from home.
Wales: Looked good and still posses all the elements that won them the grand slam last time round, but injuries to Ryan Jones and Shane Williams will worry fans.
France: A poor result but they showed enough flare to worry Scotland & Wales who will have to travel to Paris.
Ireland: Team of the weekend, they played like the good ol' days with confidence and a great set of running backs but they will need to be on top form in every game to pick up the title.
Scotland: Same old sorry story they try but they just cannot produce for eighty minutes, looked confortable in possession but lacked any bite and defence was easily shredded by Welsh team playing within themselves.
Thursday, 5 February 2009
I find a little perspective helps.
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
Friday, 30 January 2009
Thursday, 29 January 2009
1 - The man Prescott shows us Labour bloggers how it should be done.
2 - The FT questions new boy Ken Clarke's position on Heathrow
3 - French Politics raises some cynical questions on what the current French general strike will achieve.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Thursday, 22 January 2009
I can't help feeling that the normal cinema audience has been fed such light weight crap over the last few years that any film with a touch of magic and depth is seen as a work of genius.
For those who care these are in, my opinion, the ten best films since 2000:
1 - Goodbye Lenin (2003)
2 - The Lives of Others (2006)
3 - The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
4 - Bad Education (2004)
5 - Downfall (2004)
6 - Y tu Mama Tambien (2001)
7 - Hotel Rwanda (2004)
8 - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007)
9 - Last King Of Scotland (2006)
10- Cockles & Muscles (2004)
Just typing that list has made me feel good.
Friday, 16 January 2009
Thursday, 15 January 2009
Wednesday, 14 January 2009
Politically I believe that politics is self correcting, voters will get the outcome they want, so whilst a few extra seats for the Tories might make a minor difference now in the long term it will have little impact on who gets to run the country.
Tuesday, 6 January 2009
Is it .....
A- As president of France?
B - As last year's president of the EU?
C - As just some bloke who likes to get to any international crisis first and make alot of noise before heading back to Paris safe in the knowledge he has achieved sod all?
Friday, 2 January 2009
2 - The BNP will win a seat at the European Parliament
3 - The Liberals and Tories running Birmingham will start to fall out
4 - Aston Villa will qualify for the champions league - but will go out of of the UEFA cup at CSKA Moscow
5 - Sarkozy will become increasingly dominant in the EU
6 - Iceland will hold a referendum on membership of the EU and vote in favour of joining.
7 - Clegg will find himself in troubled waters as Liberals receive a thrashing in the European Parliament elections
8 - A Bill to regulate blogs will be introduced following a series of high profile libel cases.
9 - Sarah Brown will assume an ever increasing public role.
10 - The Pound will regain much of its value and return to around 82p to the Euro.