38 Degrees Off Course

If you fancy a laugh, mention the left-wing astro-turfing operation 38 Degrees to a government MP, or their staff. Their email list encourages people to spam MPs with the same email over and over again on whatever issue is bugging the left at that moment. One MP has seemingly had enough of  it. Stephen Phillips, a QC turned MP, decided to take a look at the “independent legal advice” that 38 Degrees are currently pushing around, concerning the NHS bill. His damning reply is well worth a read in full:

Funnily enough there hasn’t been a reply from 38 Degrees to the accusation they are misrepresenting legal advice in order to fit their agenda…

Downing Street's iSpAd BlackBerry Security Flaw

BlackBerry is in the news as the “weaponised” encrypted communications system of choice for politicised riot organisers, there is talk that the police and MI5 have called in GCHQ boffins to crack the encrytion on the BlackBerry RIM data network.  On the other side over in Downing Street they also use BlackBerrys. After the last government was blighted by missing laptops, data and even honey trapped phones, Downing Street think they have come up with a solution to protect the BlackBerrys of top aides.

Everyone has to carry around not only their government communications network issued BlackBerry phone, but a BlackBerry Smart Card Reader too, with another SIM card in it. If the two are separated by more than ten metres or so, the Blackberry stops working. So if a pickpocket stole the BlackBerry, it would be useless. Carrying two units in your pockets is of course a little cumbersome and inconvenient. Unfortunately from a security point of view, the wonks and spinners have taken to just sello-taping the two of them back to back…

Guido Debates MP Over E-Petitions

Hat-tip: Liar Politicians

The Petition Goes Live

Head over to DirectGov to make your voice heard

UPDATE: Great, the site is down:

The could have done some stress testing…

People Power: Yes We Can

As soon as the government’s e-Petitions website goes live later today we will email the thousands of people who have already registered to support the restoration of the death penalty.

We petition the government to review all treaties and international commitments which may inhibit the ability of Parliament to restore capital punishment. Following this review, the Ministry of Justice should map out the necessary legislative steps which will be required to restore the death penalty for the murder of children and police officers when killed in the line of duty.

The findings of the review and the necessary substantive legislation to be presented to House of Commons for debate no later than 12 months after this petition passes the acceptance threshold.

To register your support, and receive a reminder as soon as the official site goes live, fill out the form below:

Milly Murderer's Cruel Compensation Call

There is justifiable outrage at the fact that Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield is in line for £30,000 compensation deal after a minor assault by another prisoner. The Mirror have gone big on the story, reporting that the 6ft, 18 stone former bouncer got nothing more than a slap. If only there was something we could Restore that would put an end to absurdities like this. As the Dowler family requested on the day Bellfield went down…

Thirty-Seconds on Twitter Tosh

Fledgling lobbyists Westminster Public Affairs got a good little PR hit over the weekend with their “MPs spend 1000 hours a year on Twitter research”. However given that most of the 275 engaging members use it to do little more than link back to their websites and announce a visit to a local fête, the numbers are a little deceiving. 1,000 hours a year works out at about thirty-seconds per tweeting member. Hardly a digital revolution quite yet.

It’s clear though that  select few members are spending far longer of our time and money musing away online. We all know Tom Harris’s zingers and Denis Macshane’s historical howlers must take far longer than a minute to craft…

Popular Support for the Restore Justice Campaign

Pollster Anthony Wells has reviewed the polling evidence, all of which shows popular support for the death penalty everywhere in Britain, except in parliament.

A lot of readers are asking why the e-petition specifies child killers and cop killers. The reasons are two-fold, in the case of child killers some crimes are so abhorrent that society demands more than protection, it wants retribution. Myra Hindley and Ian Brady’s 13 minute tape of them sexually torturing 10 year-old Lesley Ann Downey, with the child’s endless screams and pleas for her mother, truly shocked a nation. Hindley and Brady tortured and killed five children for sexual kicks. Even after half-a-century of pampered imprisonment they proved beyond rehabilitation. In cases like theirs, where there is no doubt of guilt and after due process of the law, justice should not prevent retribution. Retribution is missing from the criminal justice system.

The Soham murderer, Ian Huntley and Milly Dowler’s killer Levi Bellfield, a serial killer, would both under this proposed legislation pay for their crimes with their own life. That is the wish of many victim’s families, in the words of Gemma Dowler they want “a life for a life”. So do the public…

When the public are asked about the death penalty the results have consistently shown a majority in favour, when they are asked specifically about child killers, the numbers change dramatically with a range of polls showing two-thirds to three-quarters in in favour. On this issue there is definitely a clear regressive majority in Britain.

It is a similar picture for cop killers, the public understands that the police put themselves in harm’s way on their behalf every day. If a criminal in the course of committing a crime kills a police officer it is invariably deliberate. Having the death penalty for cop killers will make criminals fear the consequences and give extra legislative protection to the police beyond a stab vest. Once again the public shows a two-thirds majority in favour of the death penalty for cop killers. Not because their lives are worth more than ours, it is because the police daily risk their lives to protect our lives.

The third common objection is that Britain is bound by treaties that prevent us implementing the death penalty. Some claim that the ECHR prevents us, actually the Covenant itself specifically exempts “a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law”, it is later protocols which were added on that prohibit the death penalty. The protocols can be of course de-ratified or Britain can withdraw from the ECHR. The e-petition calls on the Ministry of Justice to first review international commitments and prepare a legislative escape path before bringing forward substantive legislation. This is what a free and sovereign nation of laws does if parliament wishes to change course. 

The “Restore Justice” campaign website will be up and running by the end of the week, thousands have registered to support the campaign already. You can too, here.

Quote of the Day

Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights says…

“Everyone’s right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.”

MPs Back Campaign for Death Penalty Vote


The Sun
reports on the launch of our campaign to get a vote on restoring the death penalty. Thousands have already signed up online to support the campaign which we aim to officially launch next week.

Tory MP Philip Davies said: “It’s something where once again the public are a long way ahead of the politicians. I’d go further and restore it for all murderers.”

Fellow Conservative MP Priti Patel, backs the death penalty “It’s about time the public had a greater say on the issues that we debate. I’m not surprised that this issue has been raised. We need strong deterrents to make people think twice about the crimes they commit.”

Isle of Wight MP Andrew Turner says “Congratulations on your campaign. If there is anything else a humble back-bencher can do to help…”  There is, sign-up to support the campaign which launches next week:

UPDATE: David Nuttall, MP for Bury North and Chris Kelly, MP for Dudley South are the latest MPs to come out for restoring the death penalty.

Government Launches e-Petitions Website Guido Submits "Restoration of Capital Punishment" Petition

As promised:

We petition the government to review all treaties and international commitments which may inhibit the ability of Parliament to restore capital punishment. Following this review, the Ministry of Justice should map out the necessary legislative steps which will be required to restore the death penalty for the murder of children and police officers when killed in the line of duty.

The findings of the review and the necessary substantive legislation to be presented to House of Commons for debate no later than 12 months after this petition passes the acceptance threshold.

One of the problems with our modern unrepresentative democracy is that it is disconnected from the voters. Despite focus groups, polling and intense marketing to voters, politicians are still unable to engage successfully with voters.

There are a number of issues where the political class refuses to carry out the wishes of the people. All polls show that there is majority support for capital punishment, yet there is no majority for it in parliament. It is not even an issue for parliamentarians even though the incidence of homicide is higher now than it was before the abolition of hanging. Now that the government has launched an e-petitions site, Guido will put all the resources at his command into a campaign for a vote on the restoration of capital punishment for child and cop killers. Even if we don’t win the vote on the floor of the House, we shall at least see which MPs believe salus populi suprema est lex, and those that put the welfare of child killers above the wider community. Let them be counted.

Guido intends to launch a campaign website at the end of next week, if you want to help the campaign, in any way, use the contact form below. If 100,000 voters sign the petition we have a chance of getting real justice for the next Baby P…

Too Many Tweets Make a Beeboid

Today is Twitter’s fifth birthday, and what would we do without it? Last night’s Ask Ed Miliband was another unmitigated PR success. We learnt that Ed likes cheese and onion crisps and is a virgin. But it’s not all fun and games online, especially if you work at the BBC.

Beeboids have had their Twitter wings clipped with vast rules and regulations on what they can and cannot tweet. The BBC Social Media Guide published today states:

“You are not discouraged from doing any of this, but as a BBC member of staff – and especially as someone who works in News – there are particular considerations to bear in mind. They can all be summarised as: ‘Don’t do anything stupid'”

That may prove tricky for some, but it doesn’t stop there:

“You shouldn’t state your political preferences or say anything that compromises your impartiality. Don’t sound off about things in an openly partisan way. Don’t be seduced by the informality of social media into bringing the BBC into disrepute. Don’t criticise your colleagues. Don’t reveal confidential BBC information. Don’t surreptitiously sanitise Wikipedia pages about the BBC.”

Guido was wondering why Nick and Laura weren’t playing yesterday. 

Ask Ed II


Remember how much fun we had last time with Ed Miliband’s Twitter engagement plans? If you click above you’ll be able to ask Ed Miliband a direct question live on Twitter. Again.

Ask him about strikes, his brother, or what he said to Murdoch at the summer party. Why not ask him whether he agrees with his guru Maurice Glassman that we need a return to the Tudor social model? Perhaps ask why he is doing this again? Did he lose a bet with Balls?

Ask anything you like. Make it fun. Again.

This Stella is a Bit Off

In somewhat poor taste Labour MP Stella Creasy decided it would be a good idea to try to flog the order paper from Monday’s Libya debate signed by Ed Miliband for a Labour fundraiser. Someone clearly pointed out it was a bit off and it quietly disappeared from her website. Google got it though:

Surely a self-proclaimed social media expert should know the internet lasts forever?

Gloria Gives Chase

Their tension in the House has been noted previously. First it was those passionate gazes held for an extra second across the despatch box in hot and heavy Culture Media and Sport sessions, but it seems Gloria just can’t get enough of Ed Vaizey. While Ed was busy chatting up/to the somewhat hostile MumsNet crowd for their lunchtime web interview, his shadow just couldn’t stay away, wading in with her own questions:

Ed’s reply was short and firm.

ePetitions Will Enhance Democracy

One of the problems with modern representative democracy is that it is disconnected from the voters. Despite focus groups, polling and intense marketing to voters, politicians are still unable to engage successfully with voters.

There are a number of issues where the political class refuses to carry out the wishes of the people. All polls show that there is majority support for capital punishment, yet there is no majority for it in parliament. It is not even an issue for parliamentarians even though the incidence of homicide is higher now than it was before the abolition of hanging. If the e-petitions legislation passes, Guido will put all the resources at his command into a campaign for a vote on the restoration of capital punishment for child and cop killers. Even if we don’t win the vote on the floor of the House, we shall at least see which MPs believe salus populi suprema est lex, and those that put the welfare of child killers above the wider community. Bring it on…

The Year's Interweb War

It was billed as the “internet election”, but almost all are agreed that didn’t really happen. However the social media battle between the three parties did heat up during the television debates and especially with Cleggmania. For all their talk, Labour became the “party of Twitter” for all the wrong reasons, losing a candidate and having an MP cautioned under the Representation of the Peoples Act for innovatively using Twitter to break election law. Facebook is where the most cut through from the Westminster bubble was achieved though:

Social media boffins Famecount have been comparing the state of the parties online over the last year and it seems the Tories came out on top in terms of Youtube, Facebook and Twitter. Despite the fair amount of flak picked up along the way, they spent plenty of cash online. Ed Miliband has some catching up to do, despite his near constant inane Twitter outpourings

Asatoband

Ever wondered how David Miliband miraculously has time to blog while he is out and about sewing up the leadership vote. Well he doesn’t:

A little look at the RSS feed for the blog shows us who the real blogger is…

UPDATE: Jess loyally claims that David writes absolutely everything and it’s just her job to put things up. So what do his speech writers do?

BREAKING : Elliott to Lead No 2 AV CampaignStanding Down From Taxpayers' Alliance

Tomorrow’s Sunday Times will carry the news that Matthew Elliott, founder of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, has been headhunted to run the No-2-AV campaign.

From the beginning of October, Matt Sinclair will take over the day-to-day running of the TaxPayers’ Alliance and Eliott will stand down as CEO to concentrate on the new, yet to be officially launched, campaign.

Assuming the enabling legislation passes in September the campaign will then kick off in earnest to determine the outcome of the May referendum. Pollsters and punters make the No-2-AV side the underdogs, and there was some disquiet that opponents of the Alternative Vote system didn’t seem to be getting their act together.

Elliott has the experience and ability to build a campaigning machine, he set-up the TPA in 2004 and after 5 years it become a fearsome media machine, with 55,000 supporters.

With the pro-AV campaign likely to be run out of Cowley Street, or at least by LibDem proxies, it seems wise to choose someone who is not a Conservative Party figure, not least because he will have to win Labour and union support for the campaign as well as keep some of the more ambivalent Tories onside. The aim is to assemble the strongest, broadest based campaign possible to oppose AV regardless wider of ideological differences.

Elliott took soundings before taking the job and has been assured that, despite the Coalition, Cameron will not be neutral on AV.

iKev Vs. Ken

Oona King’s bandwagon is gathering pace, her campaign team is certainly growing. She has taken on Kevin McKeever, a former Labour PPC, to run her logistics. Back in his student politics days Kevin was lucky to get away scot-free after being accused of deliberately hacking and taking an opponents website off-line in his unsuccessful Durham union president bid.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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