Saturday, December 01, 2007
Mr Brown is doing so well not because he has better policies than his rivals (insofar as his rivals have any), but because he is a better politician than any of them.Today the tune changed to:
You may find this hard to believe, but there will be some people in the Labour Party who will be taking some consolation from the otherwise hideous secret donations scandal. These are not necessarily the small but growing band who realise the mistake they made in giving the job of leader to Gordon Brown, though heaven knows they must be having to have their grins surgically removed.The basis of this argument was that some people in Labour are happy to see Party and Leader implode because this would allow an argument for State funding of political parties to be made. Apart from being nonsense, no politician would swap government for opposition just to get hold of taxpayers money, Heffer's conversion is pretty funny. He has moved smoothly from praise to criticism with no acknowledgement of the failure of his own political judgement. Next thing he'll be saying nice things about David Cameron.
It went down pretty well.
Thursday, November 29, 2007
It was the Thames Gateway Forum dinner last night, and I was fortunate to spend the evening in the company of some rather more intelligent people from Property Week. There were speeches from Boris Johnson and John Prescott and entertainment that included a man with lubricant and a balloon. I won't try to describe that; you really had to be there.
I attended the Thames Gateway forum today to launch the procurement for the Sporting Village. For those that don’t know, the forum is a big exhibition and conference in the Docklands Excel Centre, and the Council had a stand to promote our various regeneration projects. The launch was via a reception held on the stand and the surrounds, and it went very well indeed, with a good attendance and speeches from the great and the good. It compared very favourably with several other similar events at much the same time and this speaks very well to the narrative that we have fashioned for Basildon as a place to invest. That message has certainly got through to government as well, and they announced £30m of funding for Basildon regeneration over the next 3 years, which compares vary favourably to our surrounding local authorities. So, all in all, a very good day for the long term future of Basildon District, and there is also a rumour that Gordon Brown might be coming tomorrow, politics permitting.
You might have thought that as a Conservative I would be gloating over the government’s current predicament, but I am not. It is this sort of thing that brings politics and public service into disrepute and I would much rather that any party advantage from this affair had instead come from the debate on the best future for our nation.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Yesterday in the House of Commons, John Baron MP quizzed Harriet Harman MP, Leader of the House of Commons, about the lost HMRC data and asked for a full debate.
Will the Leader of the House reconsider her decision not to grant a topical debate on the loss of data by the Government? I suggest that little is more topical than the loss of the personal details of 25 million people, especially given the concern it has caused in our constituencies.
Harriet Harman said she would consider this request and let Parliament know by Monday evening.
John said afterwards:
Gordon Brown has blamed a junior official for the loss of 25 million people’s personal banking details. However, it is becoming increasingly evident that high-ranking officials were aware of the 2 disks being sent through the post. This would suggest a systemic failure in data protection, which is a Government responsibility. We need a proper debate to find out the truth.”
What matters now is that the 2 missing disks are recovered and millions of people, including many constituents, can be reassured that their personal details are safe.
Harriet Harman will 'let Parliament know by Monday evening'? Translated this means 'I hope the bloody disks have turned up by then'.