Friday, April 24, 2009

Second Best

Second Best, that's what we get when we fiddle with the election system.

After the fifth count using the wishy-washy sandals and cardigan voting system(STV) at the Aboyne, Deeside and Donside By-Election and despite beating her opponent by over 170 votes in a "normal" first past the post vote Jo Pick came second to Rosemary Bruce.

So instead of getting the best candidate we have now elected a councillor who is on more peoples second most OK person list. This voting system is of course a Lib Dem preference and now we see why. Anything that can produce this sort of result is surely a travesty of true democracy.

Unfortunately for us, accepting second best, has become what we expect in this nation.

I do hope that Rosemary can juggle her family life, Office Manager job (As hubbies 30k Diary Secretary) and the work of a Councillor,, or will being a Councillor be second best to helping her hubbie.

Call me a sore Scottish Tory but this sort of result is a joke. Second Best democracy at work. Maybe Dr David Starkey had a point when he called us a

"Feeble little nation. The Scots and the Welsh are typical small nations with a romantic 19th century-style nationalism."
Full result here. Makes interesting reading. Note the lack of any Labour candidates, even the BNP put up a candidate.

Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside by-election result announced - Donside Today

Welcome Home

Jamie and Ben
After six months we can rest a little easier now as my Brother-in-law has been in Afghanistan. Each and every time there has been bad news in Afghanistan over the past 6 months it has been a fraught time in the house as we wait to here what has happened.

Tomorrow we will welcome him back to RM Condor in Arbroath, but sadly not nine of his friends and colleagues who gave their lives serving our country. In addition there are a number of others who have been injured, some seriously, who we should not forget however hard this government tries to hide the true facts of the cost to our forces of the war in Afghanistan.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Tayside and Central | Marines return from Afghanistan

Gurkha Justice Campaign

Please sign here.

Gurkhas are fighting for Justice. They want the same terms and conditions as their UK and commonwealth counterparts.

Britain has had no greater friends than the Gurkhas. They have served all across the world in the defence of our Country for nearly 200 years. Over 45,000 died in the two World Wars as part of the British Army. They are still fighting in the British Army today.

You may have seen in the media that the Gurkhas have been fighting in Parliament and the Courts. Step by step, things are getting better - but there is a long way to go.

The Government decision of 25th April 2009 on Gurkha settlement rights is yet another huge betrayal of the Gurkhas who have served our country.

Only a tiny fraction of the Gurkhas who retired before 1997 will win settlement rights under the new policy. A Gurkha will have to have served 20 years or more or won one of a handful of medals: the big majority of Gurkhas served for 15 years under standard army policy.

You can read the full details of the Government's decision online.

Gurkha Justice Campaign

Please Gordon just Resign

Please sign this. If only so we don't get anymore cringe making videos like this one.

Petition to: resign. |

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Budget Quote of the Day

They are not married to prudence. Indeed, the Prime Minister — the former Chancellor — divorced her many years ago. They are now holding a drink and drugs party on the poor lady’s grave, inviting everyone to come along and spend as much borrowed money as possible
John Redwood taunts Mr Brown over his claims of economic prudence

It must be bad for Gordon.

Things must be bad for Gordon when the local rag, the Press and Journal, has a story like this in the paper. As Nicola Barry says

Apologies have to be spontaneous to be worth anything. The successful apology requires empathy, the strength to admit fault, failure and weakness. The real success of an apology lies in its delivery. So many people say “Sorry” thenfollow it with “Actually, you see . . .”, which is not a real apology but along, rambling justification for whatever you did or said.

Famously the P&J was supposed to be so parochial that it reported the Titanic sinking as "North East Man dies at Sea.

The Fourth Estate really is waking up to Gordon Brown. Maybe this will be McBride's lasting legacy.

For our politicians, sorry really is the hardest word - Press & Journal

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Rosemary Bruce - Office Manager

I see our prospective Liberal Democrat Councillor Rosemary Bruce in the Aboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside by-election advertises herself as an Office Manager.

She is currently an office manager, but has previously worked in both training and hotel management
Strange. I thought she was the Diary Secretary for her Husband, Malcolm Bruce M.P. , at a cost of about £28,500 to us, the general public.

West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine Liberal Democrats

The IMF's damning verdict

Via the Coffee House we have this story about just what the IMF thinks about the state of our economy. So Gordon's story of us being best placed to comeout of this recession is revealed as just more bunkum from this truly awful Prime Minister. From the devastaing story I have this:

The IMF also suggests (p xiii) that a further $250bn of capital will be needed for UK banks. Don't expect to see any of this in the Budget - this is the truth that dare not speak its name. It is airbrushed out, there will be small print in tomorrow's Budget saying "excluding financial interventions". As the IMF makes crystal clear, this is anything but a footnote. The £190 bn figure is for what is described by the IMF report (p45) as "net costs of direct support to banks, expected eventual costs of guarantees; and costs, net of recoveries, of central bank liquidity provision." When all is done and dusted, flogged and floated, the UK banking crisis will go down in history as the biggest fiscal disaster in peacetime history. And the Brown-Balls tripartite bank regulation system will go down as perhaps the biggest single calamity in modern UK economic history
Meanwhile across at the centre of Gordon's nest of trickery what are they doing, no, not working out a way fix all these problem, oh no, they are trying to blow a smokescreen over all the bad news by concentrating on MP's expenses.

Now whilst this is a worthy endeavour, it is really nothing for Gordon Brown to get involved in. This is something that Parliament must sort out itself, and not something that Gordon should be deciding on.

However what we do get out out of this is one of the strangest ever performances by a Politician I have ever seen. The video shown below is just downright strange. As the erstwhile Dr Crippen says:
I have in the past been chided for speculating about the Prime Minister's mental capacity but this odd concatenation of "la belle indifference" bordering on anosodiaphoria with inappropriate smiles, and the odd dyskinetic gesticulations does make one wonder if he is playing from a full deck of cards. Maybe the video was released without his permission.
When I first watched this, I start to laugh, but then I realised this is the person who is supposedly running our country. I didn't laugh for long. Nick "Toenails" Robinson of the BBC has this to say on his blog about Gordon's decision to do this.

At first, Gordon Brown insisted that the question of how to reform MPs' expenses was a matter for Parliament not for him or the government.

Indeed, when proposals very similar to those he's outlined today were defeated in the Commons, he missed the vote and many of his colleagues backed the status quo.

Later, he called for an enquiry to report after the election.

Then, under pressure, he brought forward the timetable but rejected calls for him and other party leaders to lead the way to reform.

The anger generated by the home secretary's claim for the cost of an adult movie watched by her husband seems finally to have convinced Mr Brown that - fairly or not - he was getting the blame for a system that the public regards with anger and contempt.

Proposing reform and getting it agreed is, of course, a very different matter and will require many, many MPs - and not just the prime minister himself - to perform a U-turn.

The IMF's damning verdict | Coffee House

Monday, April 20, 2009

How Gordon Brown will beat the Recession

According to the Telegraph:

The Prime Minister is due to be immortalised on the animated sitcom alongside its main characters – schoolboys Eric Cartman, Kyle Broflovski, Stan Marsh, and Kenny McCormick. In the episode to be aired later this year, Mr Brown becomes part of an international plot to steal money from aliens in a bid to solve the global recession.
Next week nailing jelly to the ceiling.

Gordon Brown to appear on South Park - Telegraph