Friday, January 30, 2009

The Congestion Charge Commissioner's website.

The web address for the Transport Commission:

The Commission talks of the £500 million as if it was entirely a government grant. Local taxpayers will have to stump up at least £50 million of this. That is on top of the money that will be charged for tolls - and did you know that the council officers make the assumption that the charge system will make a profit... but if not, local taxpayers would have to pick up the costs for this too.

If the infrastructure was the priority, the government would grant the money with no strings attached.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Five Conservative measures to help victims of the recession.

We will:
  • Abolish income tax on savings for basic rate taxpayers and raise the pensioners' personal allowance by £2,000 to £11,490.
  • Get credit flowing and save jobs with a £50 billion National Loan Guarantee Scheme.
  • Help small businesses with cashflow by delaying VAT bills for six months.
  • Freeze council tax for two years by cutting wasteful Government spending.
  • Get companies hiring again through reducing employment costs for small businesses by cutting National Insurance, and through a tax break for new jobs.
Over the long term we will get the public finances back under control with an Office for Budget Responsibility so no Labour Government can ever bankrupt this country again.

Friday, January 23, 2009

More Shocking Government Database News

All but one government department has no system in place to correct data errors, an investigation has revealed… The education watchdog Ofsted is the only organisation to get a clean bill of health, with major government departments like the Cabinet Office and the Department of Health admitting to no procedure in place,” reports the Public Service news.

The full details can be found at

Richard Normington commented, “This is shocking. We all know that government databases contain mistakes, except for the government itself. Labour ministers have been in office so long that they feel infallible. It is time for change.”

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Obama Inauguration and the English Legacy

This Tuesday, when the new President takes the oath of office, I will be with my wife – a great girl from Colorado – at the US embassy confirming the dual nationality of our 12 week-old son. I will wish America’s next President well on his inauguration day.

The eve of a US Presidential inauguration is a good day to reflect how the USA represents a far better superpower than the others on offer over the last fifty years, or in the next fifty.

National Socialist Germany, the Soviet Union and a totalitarian Communist China are all ghastly alternatives to a country that takes its founding spirit from traditions of English liberty.

Americans refer to the spirit of 1776 and the Declaration of Independence a part of a ‘Revolution’. But in many ways it was the most conservative of revolutions. It was the government in Westminster that provoked a War of Independence by trying to overturn more than a century of self-government with a New Labour-like bout of centralisation combined with a grasping urge to pay off the national debt with unprecedented new taxes. The ends never justified the means: America rebelled.

Unlike French, Soviet or other Left wing revolutionaries, the founding fathers of the USA did not have a ‘year zero’. Interestingly, the new states accepted laws passed by former colonial assemblies and continued to embrace the principles of English Common Law.

The American Constitution froze in place an idealised 18th century mixed constitution. The powers and pomp of the presidency contain many of the things that a constitutional monarch of the age was supposed to maintain. It says a lot of the Americans’ conservatism that they have managed to keep this system going – and helps explain why the United States is perhaps the oldest ‘young’ country in existence.

Like the Liberty Bell, which was cast in London and rung in Philadelphia, American freedom was made in England… even if it had to endure a few cracks on the way.

Richard Normington

Happy Birthday Cambridge University

Cambridge University celebrates 800 years of teaching, learning and world-class research.


This year, more than ever, we need to appreciate the work done by the University and celebrate its achievements.

However, we also need to look to the future. Labour ministers view the institution with undisguised disdain and as a potential plaything for crude social engineering exercises. There is a much-needed review of tuition fees in the offing - but likely to be delayed yet again until after the election.

I believe that in the long-run Cambridge University should be freed progressively from the cold, grim grip of central government. I hope in 800 years time it will still be a hub of academic excellence, where standards of rigour and the frontiers of knowledge continue to be advanced for the benefit of all our society.

Richard Normington

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Change Britain in the New Year

People are looking to the Conservatives for hope in these dark days, and we must be ready to offer it: hard-edged hope, built on a clear-sighted analysis of what has gone wrong and how we can put it right.

This government has lost its moral compass. Where is the morality in asking our children to pay off our debts? Where is the morality in encouraging people who have already borrowed too much to borrow a little more? Where is the morality in trying to reflate the bubble and return the country to the age of irresponsibility that led us to this mess?

It has to end – and the sooner the better. The longer Labour are in, the worse it gets. So let’s make sure we’re ready for an election at any time, and let’s do all we can to make sure that 2009 is the year when change comes to Britain too.