Archive for February, 2010

…Being the conclusion of Minette Marrin’s superb analysis in her eponymous Sunday Times column. To me, one of the best quotes, among many others, is this:

The kind of bullying of which Brown is suspected is entirely different. It is the uncontrolled raging of a desperate man, driven in his frustration and misery to lash out randomly at anyone nearby.

If that doesn’t perfectly illustrate Gordon Brown’s deeply flawed, even dangerous, character, then I’m a socialist.

So please have a glance at the article, when you have a moment. It’s wonderfully incisive, and serves further to nourish truth rather than smokescreen spin, and burn away Labour’s increasingly delusional, insulting, deviant mythologising about the worst prime minister ever inflicted on our country.

Just for good measure (though, I trust, not to oversell the appeal), here’s another little gem of Marrin’s insider wisdom:

…the prime minister is without a doubt the strangest, most emotionally dysfunctional person I have met. We were together at a dinner once and I felt that his inability to behave remotely normally was almost pitiful.

Five more years, remember. If you don’t vote intelligently, then you get five more years of this damaged oddball. As Hamlet and a fair few Yorkshiremen would say: think on’t.

Frailty, thy name is Brown!

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Fraser Nelson, who finally appears to have twigged that another five years of Labour would probably be a Bad Thing, has posted on Brown’s latest nonsense address to the Welsh Labourists. In it, Brown seems to be suggesting that Wales has never had it so good than under Labour, citing the creation of 100,000 phantom jobs and talking, laughably, about his own family’s ‘poverty’, though he has to go back eighty-odd years to his grandparent’s generation to find at least the suggestion of it. Nelson gives the lie very effectively to this complacent, vacuous claptrap, and to Brown’s murky Welsh job creation figures.

Gordon Brown does not have much of a personal “backstory” but he does talk about his family. When he’s feeling guilty about something, he mentions his father. But today, speaking to the Welsh Labour Party, he again talks about a figure we heard about a few days ago: his grandfather.

“Like so many here I come from a family whose grandfather went without work during much of the 1930s. A grandfather whose small savings gave his son, my father, the chance of an education, the first in our family to go to university. And the lesson of those days is that even in the worst of times families helped each other, supported each other, came to the aid of each other through thousands of acts of friendship caring and support. And that reveals the most important lesson of all; that it’s not markets that create morals: morals spring from the compassion of our hearts”

Given how utterly unremarkable it is to have grandparents who had a tough time in the 1930s, one can only presume that Brown’s aim is to contrast this with Cameron’s grandparents. But playing the “poor family background” card really is pushing it. As a Church of Scotland minister, Brown’s father was in a position to give his family a very comfortable life. Brown simply does not have a poverty song to sing.

Most strikingly, Brown tries to tell Wales how good they’ve had it under Labour with 100,000 more jobs. But, as nationally, how many of these were imported? Surely matters is to what extent economic growth helped those on benefits in Wales. In its case, not very much – as the below graph shows (data from DWP)

On the one hand – the 1930s – I can confirm that Nelson is absolutely right. My great grandfather on my dad’s side was a timber salesman in Cumbria. During the Depression, he could only afford to send one of his two sons to university. My grandfather, being the youngest, drew the short straw. Fortunately for him, however, he excelled in school and managed to win a place with the Civil Service, where he enjoyed a long and pretty illustrious career. The only hand-up he’d ever had was a decent education in a selective school. I wonder how he would have fared in Brown’s Britain. Mickey Mouse GCSEs followed by Mickey Mouse A-levels followed by – well – followed by nothing. Britain has the highest levels of youth unemployment in Europe (see chart left).

Which brings us to Brown’s second laughable claim, this time about Welsh jobs and how ‘good’ life is in Wales thanks to his largesse with taxpayers’ money. The graph to which Nelson refers tells us all we need to know (see above). In terms of benefit dependency, things have only got worse in Wales. Nelson is also right about Brown’s pie in the sky jobs figures. If they have been created, then they’ve been imported. While their numbers have certainly thinned over the past 12 months, and while I am very pleased to count some of them as friends, including my next door neighbours, the fact is that the torrent of Polish immigration to my own town sucked up any spare, low-paid jobs. Mind you, the real reason for this is, if the Poles I know are anything to go on, that they have a powerful work ethic entirely absent from the psychology of your average, undereducated young Welsh man or woman, and this syndrome is repeated throughout Britain.

Poles depend on work in the same way that a large portion of Welsh men and women depend on benefits. Brown and his ilk depend on the latter’s votes – and straightforward lies – to maintain power, so the likelihood is that he will want to keep it that way, however morally bankrupt the arrangement clearly is.

So it’s certainly time for change in Wales and while I am an ardent Conservative, I am also a realist. The Tories aren’t part of the political landscape in this part of the world. They aren’t even on the radar. So I will be voting Plaid Cymru in the general election. A tactical vote, I freely admit, but not a wasted one if it helps to kick out Labour from government, and Brown out of Number 10. I am also a bit of a fan of Elfyn Llwyd, who is one of the most impressive figures in Welsh (and Westminster) politics. And I’m a fan of Plaid generally, even if I can never agree with one or two of their policies concerning the future of the Principality.

The point is, all the people I’ve spoken to over the past year in this part of Carmarthenshire appear to have reached a similar conclusion. They’re all ready to send Brown a powerful message about just how ‘good’ they think it’s been under his trainwreck regime, and, in many cases, how totally betrayed they feel.

About time.

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He was wasting away from prostate cancer in a Scottish prison hospital, so the Scottish government, in a shady deal involving the Foreign Office, Lord Mandelson of Sleaze and flatulent nutcase Gadaffi’s son, released the only convicted Lockerbie bomber on ‘compassionate’ grounds. He had an absolute maximum of three months to live, after all, said a couple of hired quacks. The poor man would have become an ex-bomber by the end of October 2009, so we were told (and didn’t believe). Sorry to quote myself, but this was me back in November (three months after the Megrahi release):

Al-Megrahi: the convicted Lockerbie bomber might still not be dead as all the Labour stooge doctors and this Labour government ghoulishly promised everyone he would be (he’s a full five days overdue now), but he’s still about to come back and haunt at least one of them. Yes, you guessed it, the King of Sleaze himself, Lord Mandelson of Tripoli.

Now we learn from a number of sources that six months on, Megrahi is not only still alive and free, but he’s actually recovering – and free. Clearly, something is amiss. Instead, however, of branding this whole, stinking affair a web of deceit motivated by a Big Oil deal and reaching right up to the highest levels of the British government, let’s just praise the Libyan Health Service. Megrahi’s almost miraculous cure in the capable hands of Libyan doctors offers pretty conclusive proof that Libyan health care is comfortably the best in the world.

Toby Young, however, is rightly livid about the whole, grubby, insulting episode, just as everyone else should be. He also argues – and I think this is very important – that Megrahi’s conviction was absolutely safe, according to a relative of a victim who understandably took a very close interest in the trial.

Given the fact that Megrahi is a convicted terrorist, and given that thanks to these legendary Libyan healthcare professionals, he’s now on the road to recovery, isn’t it nearly time for him to be put right back in jail? We could even settle for a Libyan jail.

I suspect that that wasn’t part of Mandy’s backroom sweetener BP deal, however, so I won’t be holding my breath.

Truly sickening.

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Labourists of all kinds – and the MSM, who are just gagging for the drama of a close run thing – seize on polls with tiresome haste that superficially show some kind of a contraction in the Tory lead. Immediately, after one of these polls is published, you get the usual, desperate crap from the schizoid left media about how they can win (and deserve to win, astonishingly) another five years of incoherent Labour vandalism, and the usual, desperate crap from the schitzoid right media that still can’t work out whether David Cameron is a ‘good Tory’ or not. It’s all just terribly sad – and terribly inaccurate.

Thankfully, though, we have Mike Smithson, who actually takes a genuine interest in how these polls work (because there’s his reputation and real money at stake) – and has become, consequently, comfortably the most trustworthy source of wisdom on most things psephological around, especially when it comes to what can be succinctly put as the ‘fudge factor’. Most polls are inaccurate, misleading fudges, given their reliance on generally untested, and/or deliberate bias-generating methodologies.

Take the latest MORI poll, for instance (which put the Tories just a handful of points in the lead). This is what Smithson has to say about it:

Just been looking at the detailed dataset from the the Telegraph’s Ipsos-MORI poll that came out late last night and in my view the underlying numbers are nothing like as good for Labour as the five point Tory lead might suggest.

After weighting for standard demographics we find that:

  • 300 of those certain to vote in the sample said they had supported Labour at the last general election. Yet only 236 of everybody in the poll said they planned to vote Labour at the coming election.
  • 229 of those certain to vote in the sample said they had supported the Tories at the last general election yet 274 of everybody in the poll said they planned to vote for the party at the coming election.
  • My simple calculation puts the 2010:2005 ratio for the Tories at 118.7% while with Labour it was 78.7%

    So the MORI’s own numbers suggest that Labour is down more than a fifth on last time while the Tories are up by about a sixth. Given that the split in 2005 was L36.2-C33.2 then the latest poll, if it had had politically balanced sample, would have ended up with a lead a lot bigger than the reported 5%.

    I know that this is me being mischievous and highly selective but it does show the massive challenge phone pollsters face – because of the systemic problem of the over-sampling of Labour past voters.

    Ponder that for a moment, if you will. And then understand why it’s a very good idea to put your money where your instinct is and back if not a Tory landslide (as I have) then a healthy Tory majority.

    Whatever these dodgy polls say about Brown, the fact is that we, the British public, just aren’t that into him – never have been, and never bloody well will be.

    So one other thing I will savour from his total demise on May 6th (I think we can safely say now that that’s when the election will be) is the prospect of the entire MSM and all the major polling houses being made to look like the mugs, charlatans and dinosaurs they really are. They all deserve to go as extinct as Brown come that fine day in early summer, this year.

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    Guy News is starting to get almost as good as The Day Today was. Well, almost. (“Yes, it’s war!”)

    PS: Who thinks Emily Nomates is fitter than Cheryl Cole?

    By popular demand (sort of)…

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    I still don’t believe that the ‘first’ recession has ended yet, however, even if you allow for a brief period of taxpayer stimulated ‘growth’, the next collapse into contraction is only moments away. But don’t take my word for it. That’s according to this Guardian report (yes, Guardian report), citing the talisman trader, Jim Rogers’ predictions.

    Fears of a double-dip recession and a sterling crisis in the run-up to the election were raised last night amid news of collapsing investment in British industry and a warning from one of the world’s leading financiers that the pound could plummet within weeks.

    The pound fell sharply on the foreign exchange markets after a day of grim economic news which saw an admission from RBS that it had missed government targets for business lending, a downgrading of the UK growth prospects by the European commission and a warning from the CBI that consumer spending was likely to remain weak ahead of polling day.

    Sterling, already down by a cent against the dollar following the release of official figures showing capital expenditure plunging by almost a quarter between late 2008 and late 2009, saw its losses doubled after Jim Rogers, the former business partner of speculator George Soros, said sterling was a potential “basket case”.

    The rest of the article hardly makes for happier reading, either, at least if you’re a Brownite, I suppose. If you’re a realist, (like Rogers – and lots of other people), then you’ll know that after Brown bet the Bank of England on spending his way to the winning of, finally, a mandate to ruin govern Britain, there is now nowhere else to go for him, his party and for the entire country but down the debt plughole. Labourists, of course, will be reading the article too, and may be (maybe already have been) convinced that from here on in, with Labour somehow narrowing the gap in a few polls (though they’d be very foolish to trust them), things can only get worse.

    More reason to believe Guido’s mysterious BBC source, then, who said that the election will be called this weekend.

    Bring it on (finally).

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    “Everybody knew that Gordon Brown wasn’t Mary Poppins”, said the truly insightful Abbott on This Week – just a few minutes ago. Let’s check:

    Mary Poppins:

    Gordon “Forces of Hell” Brown’s first cabinet meeting, Westminster, 2007:

    Yup, Diane was right for once. No Mary Poppins he.

    (Did you spot Harriet Harman shrieking her damned political heart out in Brown’s satan metal band, btw?)

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