Wednesday, November 12, 2008

PMQs : You Love to Hate

I’m No Longer a Candidate, Get Me Out of Here!

The Guidoisation of politics continues: Brian Paddick is going into the jungle with I’m a Celebrity. He claims
“This is about doing something for fun and showing people that I’m not just a serious politician and a serious former police officer… I think the public when they see me in the jungle are going to see that I’m not some camp, that I’m not some sort of liberal guy who’s got really crazy ideas about everything on the planet including drugs. I think they’re going to see somebody who actually is fairly normal, whatever normal is.”

Nothing to do with him missing the limelight and not having a proper job. Yeah, right.

17 Month Old Child Lived and Died in Fear of Beatings

The killer of baby P was more than 6ft 4ins with broad shoulders, a sadist with a fascination for Nazi memorabilia, he claimed he was “toughening P up for when he was older”, he treated him the same way he trained his dog. When he and the lodger clicked their fingers the child would touch his forehead on the floor in fear of another beating.

From Court reports:

The boyfriend, a knife-obsessed sadist, wore combat gear, collected Nazi military memorabilia including helmets and daggers decorated with swastikas and was always seen with his beloved Rottweiler. He even kept martial arts weapons and a crossbow at the family’s home. Relatives described how as a child he had tortured guinea pigs and particularly frogs, which he would skin alive before breaking their legs.

He had been prosecuted by the RSPCA for torturing animals and faced a police investigation over claims he tortured his own grandmother, allegedly to make her change her will in his favour. The elderly woman died of pneumonia before a decision was taken on whether he should face prosecution, police sources said.

Baby P’s wounds began within weeks of the 32-year-old illiterate odd-job man moving into his mother’s four-bedroom council house in Haringey, North London.

The stepdad also “trained” Baby P to sit on the floor with his head between his legs for half an hour until he clicked his fingers. Police images of the tot’s injuries and stained clothes were shown to jurors.

Prosecuting QC Sally O’Neill told how a family friend revealed the depth of the abuse as the child was used like a punchbag.

She said the stepdad would “pick him up by his throat, punch him and spin him around on the computer chair until he fell off”.

Baby P’s back was broken by being forced over a bent knee or banister, the court heard.

His ears were torn where he had been lifted off the ground and fingernails, fingertips and a toenail were missing. His fingernails were pinched – and possibly ripped by pliers – until they fell off. He had lesions on his scalp — and his lips were ripped.

On Baby P’s final day alive, August 2, police told his mother that they would take no further action over suspicions she had assaulted him.

Medical experts told the trial that Baby P probably received a final, fatal blow that night which stopped him breathing and knocked out a tooth, later found in his stomach.

Is it really right that he faces a maximum sentence of only 14 years?

UPDATE : All the parties in the case were white, in fact the lodger was an NF member. The legal reasons for not reporting the names of the mother and boyfriend are probably that they are facing other charges that might be prejudiced if their names became public.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Baby P : Justice for Prisoners

The verdict is in in the Baby P case. Two men and the mother have been found guilty of allowing or causing the death of a child.

Baby P had head injuries, a broken back, nine fractured ribs, fingernails and a toenail missing, a severe mouth injury, a ripped ear and extensive bruising on his body. He was found dead in his blood spattered cot.

Two men have been convicted of using the 17 month old as a punch bag over an eight month period. The pathologist said the wounds were of the intensity of a car crash.

You know in all truth, if ordinary decent criminals used these two as punch bags and they were to be found dead in a blood spattered cell, Guido would cheer. You can’t take the law into your own hands, but when the law fails to protect innocent children, many people including Guido, will say: justice can be a long time coming.

Blair Bodyguard Fired Gun in Israeli Airport

Haaretz reports that

Tony Blair’s body guard caused a fright on Tuesday when he accidentally fired his handgun at Ben-Gurion International Airport. No one was injured in the incident, which occurred outside the terminal building at around 3:00 P.M. Blair, a former British prime minister, was preparing leave Israel at the time.

Israel Airport Authority security guards and police rushed to the scene after the shot. An initial probe revealed that the incident was due to an error by the bodyguard, a foreign national.

In May, Israeli fighter jets scrambled to intercept an unidentified aircraft suspected to be hostile, only to find out that it carried none other than Blair, a top military official said.

Some might say he always brings trouble to the Middle East…

BBC Reefer Madness

Tax Credit for Breakfast

Dave’s newly announced policy is another welcome help for small businesses, it is not a business subsidy so much as a tax credit, a temporary (only for the duration of the recession) £2,500 tax credit for new created jobs. It will however be restricted to companies that are thinking of expanding, not those thinking of making redundancies. Therein is an example of the trouble with this type of Brown-style micro-tinkering, it is complicated, has loads of qualifications and caveats, requiring small businesses to call their accountant to understand.

This policy idea is, Cameron admitted, more of a think-tank style Pre-Budget Report submission. The Tories like to boast that their policy ideas get nicked by Brown and they get to implement policy by proxy. Gordon has already rejected this one.

So no income tax cut for breakfast, but the Tories were dishing out bacon sarnies as a consolation prize.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Tax Cuts for Breakfast

Tomorrow both Gordon and Dave have scheduled press conferences. Dave is having his at 8.30 in the morning to make sure he gets his announcement out first. Clegg has been jumping up and down all day in broadcast studios saying “look at me, the big boys are copying me”. You wait years for a tax cut promise and then three come at once…

UPDATE : The Tory press conference was originally for 10.00 tomorrow morning. Downing Street shifted Brown’s monthly press conference to 9.30 tomorrow, instead of the usual 12.00. Dave then brought his forward to 8.30. Perhaps Gordon will try and trump himby slipping in some policy changes in his speech tonight at the Lord Mayor’s banquet.

Clegg : “I Like Being a Punk Tax Cutter”

The Fink has generously given space to Clegg on his blog to argue the LibDem case for tax cuts. Which seems fair enough given the argument we have been having has featured Clegg’s proposals quite centrally. Danny has mocked Clegg, claiming tendentiously that that the Tories would reach LibDem levels of popularity if they advocated tax cuts. Clegg has come back all guns blazing:

Danny Finklestein is wrong, and cutting taxes is right, and here are some reasons why: Danny thinks that offering people on low and middle incomes a tax cut is a ‘con’- a short term promise intended to fool voters…. Growth is what we need now. Funded tax cuts help give us that. Without growth there’s no earthly way we’ll be able to balance the books over the economic cycle. Far from being irresponsible, as Danny alleges, tax cuts at a time of recession is the responsible thing to do… Why does Danny think it’s impossible after a decade of spiralling Whitehall spending to find 3% of that money that could be put to a better use? That’s what Gordon Brown says – the Government knows best, and the rest of us are not allowed to question the way he spends our money…. this isn’t about the media. It is about being clear and bold on what is needed at a time of growing economic distress. I may have failed to persuade Danny, but I suspect time will prove me right.

Exactly. Growth is the only way out of recession. Stimulus has to be more than just about monetary policy. Danny’s focus on the politics of a tax cut has blinded him to the economic imperative.

UPDATE : Fink fisks Clegg here. Danny has just emailed to say “drawing a party leader into a bloggers debate between you and me is a signal that Hazel Blears is wrong.”

Committee on Standards in Public Life : Public Has Even Lower Opinion of Politicians

Ms Blears will no doubt somehow attempt to blame Guido, but it is clear that the trend in public opinion is negative towards politicians. Interesting how the figures break down:
Party affiliation: Labour and Liberal Democrat supporters (51% and 49% respectively) were more likely to rate standards as high than Conservative supporters (38%). Conservative supporters were more likely than those with no party affiliation (31%) to rate standards as high.

So it is those of us who don’t vote who trust politicians least. Makes sense. Democracy is about choosing between liars.

Of the politico-media class, tabloid journalists are the least trusted, they are trusted even less than estate agents. That will be down to Kevin “make-it-up” Maguire.

53% don’t trust government ministers or MPs in general. They have only themselves to blame. Stop lying to the public if you want to be trusted.

Full data set here.


Seen Elsewhere

The Douglas Carswell Shock | Tim Stanley
Carswell is a True Moderniser | Charles Moore
Assembling a New World Order | Henry Kissinger
India’s Modi Bypasses Mainstream Media | Index
Bercow on the Knife Edge | Quentin Letts
Welcome to Mississippi | Conservative Women
LibDems Select Hancock Replacement | Blue Guerilla
Carswell Resigning: “Moment Labour Won Election” | Labour Uncut
Why We Need Change | Douglas Carswell
The Howard Roark of Westminster | Guardian
Carswell, the Clacton Cassandra | James Ford


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Douglas Carswell…

“I stab people in the front, not the back.”



Owen Jones says:

We also need Zil lanes.


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