Friday, April 30, 2010

Lib Dem’s Horrifying Planning Hopes Revealed

Stalingrad housing and a poll tax on wheels are part of a triple whammy of unwanted policies proposed by a senior Lib Dem less than a week before election time.

The News has the news of Lib Dem City Councillor Alan Baker’s call for more ‘garden grabbing’ and high rise developments in the city as well as congestion charging for traffic.

Cllr Baker is retiring as the head of the planning committee – and not too soon. Of course, it was the Lib Dems who approved the notoriously ugly Leisure Centre, deeming it suitable and in character for an historic university city...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Zeichner's Basil Fawlty Campaign

This is taken from Conservative Home and the Cambridge candidate Old Holborn...

Labour candidate who gave Nazi salute now smears Gillian Duffy

Last month I introduced you to Daniel Zeichner, the Labour candidate for Cambridge, who gave a Nazi salute at the Cambridge Union as he smeared Conservative allies in Europe.

Now the Old Holborn blog has exposed that Zeichner entered the fray over Gordon Brown's attack on 65-year-old Gillian Duffy yesterday by defending the Prime Minister's description of her as "bigoted".

Zeichner firstly used his Twitter feed to comment on the story when he tweeted:
"these eastern European what are coming in, where are they flocking from?" - either she's bigoted or she has a very poor grasp of geography

Later, in response to a comment from Old Holborn, he tweeted again:

I deeply regret that the BNP have been successful in making xenophobic attitudes like hers popularly acceptable

Presumably he thought he was being helpful to his leader, but Zeichner's Twitter account has now mysteriously been deleted (although Old Holborn has screengrabs of the offending tweets).

Jonathan Isaby

"Erasing David" II

"Erasing David" premiere at the Arts Picturehouse, 38-39 St AndrewsStreet, Cambridge, at 8.30pm:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

'Erasing David'

Tomorow ERASING DAVID will be launched at 25 cinemas across the country. The screening will be followed by a live debate between David Bond (Director), Michael Nyman (Composer), David Davis MP, Phil Booth (NO2ID) and Shami Chakrabarti (Liberty).

ERASING DAVID is a feature documentary about privacy and surveillance in the
UK. Director David Bond went on the run for a month and hired the best two
private investigators in the UK to track him down using his personal data. The
film is a riveting exposé of our digital age that plays like a Hitchcockian
thriller – both chilling and very funny.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A14 Clogged

It does not count as real 'news' as it happens so regularly. However we should have had the upgrading by now and we should take account of those who oppose the widening of this national road artery (yes, the city’s Lib Dems and their Green mini-me’s).

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tory Boost Stifled by Cambridge News

Today’s Cambridge News carries an opinion poll – its own online one – showing the Conservatives as the most popular party with local voters. Yet for the second time, the previous being a report on a meeting with businesses, the News quotes the Liberal Democrats as the party of choice for its the 'Over to You'/Vox Pop interviewees.

Come on you lot, get your reporting straight. If you want to be a Lib Dem biased paper then say so. A fair fight is all that is asked for....

Conservative 29.8%
Liberal Democrat 21.3%
Green 14.9%
Labour 11.1%
UKIP 4.8%

Others/Not Voting 14.9%

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Raise a Glass to John's Memory

"In the long run, the aggregate of decisions of individual businessmen, exercising individual judgment in a free economy, even if often mistaken, is less likely to do harm than the centralised decisions of a government, and certainly the harm is likely to be counteracted faster."

Today is the birthday of John Cowperthwaite, the former Financial Secretary for Hong Kong and a great Conservative – or Liberal in the good, Victorian sense rather than the left-wing PC mockery of Gladstone we have today.

His record? A 50 per cent rise in real wages, and a two-thirds fall in the number of households in acute poverty. Exports rose by 14 per cent a year, as Hong Kong evolved from a trading post to a major regional hub

His role in bringing about the Hong Kong economic miracle?

"I did very little. All I did was to try to prevent some of the things that might undo it."

Saturday, April 24, 2010


On the day that the Labour signs went up the Tory ones at the Mill Road junction came down. Signs are lost to drunks, wind and political vandals... usually in that order.

Who's to Blame?

Was it the locally engaged staff or the embassy's officials?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Top Tens Songs of England

The songs featured in Tales from a Draughty Fen are worth a listen on this St George's Day.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Election Campaigning – Up High, Down Low

For the high politics, The Cambridge News features the candidates’ debate (a phrase I associate with the S & G song Mrs Robinson, but that’s another story).

For a worm's-eye view... so far in my part of Perne Road we have had some Conservative literature, as you would expect; two sets of double shotted labour leaflets (one local, one Westminster, both rather too verbose for my liking and not including the Zeichner Cambridge Union salute); a preposterous Lib Dem leaflet (it was labelled Coleridge but contained not a single statement of local policy, just a rubber tree wannabe puff piece); a pamphlet from the Greens (Mr Juniper is squeezing disaffected Labour and the muesli-wing of the Lib Dems, one to watch from the left perspective, especially when the rubber tree wannabe represents the local Establishment); and a purple-faced rant from UKIP (the pub bore).

We have another two weeks to go…

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Banker Bashing Nonsense

The BBC reports the Lib Dem leader wants to split up the banks, "so low-risk retail banking and high-risk investment banking are never mixed up with each other… So the casino banking of the investment world can never again hold your every day savings hostage, can never again hold a gun to the head of the British economy."


Northern Rock Wreck was a retail bank. It was the first to go to the wall. We did not see so much as a failure of regulation but a lack of common sense by a Treasury led by a man who thought he had abolished the economic cycle.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Independent, Not Revolutionary

The UK and the US share a common legal heritage. The value of a detailed, predictable and established body of law is one reason why New York, for example, made the retention of English Common Law one of the foundation clauses of the newly independent state’s constitution on this day in 1777.

Clause 35 of the New York constitution

XXXV. And this convention doth further, in the name and by the authority of the good people of this State, ordain, determine, and declare that such parts of the common law of England, and of the statute law of England and Great Britain, and of the acts of the legislature of the colony of New York, as together did form the law of the said colony on the 19th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and seventy-five, shall be and continue the law of this State, subject to such alterations and provisions as the legislature of this State shall, from time to time, make concerning the same.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tory Local Election Manifesto

The local Conservatives have launched their campaign for a better city... see here for details.

Andrew Bower is the candidate taking on Labour in my home ward of Coleridge.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Addressing the Public Sector

In a personal appeal to public sector workers, David Cameron promises that a Conservative government will:

1. Trust in your professionalism
2. Deliver fairer pay
3. Give you the chance to take over the services you deliver
4. Reward hard work and excellent service
5. Provide a more flexible working life
6. Back you against unfounded action and bureaucratic rules
7. Ask you to help us build the Big Society

You can read the Public Sector Manifesto in full click here.

Celebrity Endorsements

Conservative: Gary Barlow

Labour: Eddie Izzard

Lib Dem: Heather Mills (McCartney)


Friday, April 16, 2010

Late April Fools

While looking for news of the public inquiry into the A14 reported today, I spotted this:

· New rules to help reduce road works
New guidance to make sure that companies who dig up the road replace it properly - reducing the risk of potholes forming - was published today by Transport Minister Sadiq Khan.
01 April 2010 10:32

It must be an April Fools…

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eyjafjallajoekull Glacier

Eyjafjallajoekull? That's not a glacier, it's a keyboard error.

Amnesty’s Difficult Question Time

The Cambridge Amnesty International Branch is co-hosting a hustings for the city’s Parliamentary candidates on 22nd April.

The branch members have a question of their own to answer: Do you support Amnesty International’s relationship with Moazzam Begg and Cageprisoners?

It looks as if the leadership of Amnesty has let a hatred of President Bush and Guantanamo Bay blind it to the use of a Jihadi supporter in the campaign against the detention camp. But the ends never justify the means.

As Gita Sahgal, the former Interim Head of the Gender, Sexuality and Identity Unit, says in her leaving statement:

“I can explain in public debates, both with the leadership and inside the Sections, that adherence to violent jihad even if it indeed rejects the killing of some civilians, is an integral part of a political philosophy that promotes the destruction of human rights generally and contravenes Amnesty International’s specific policies relating to systematic violence and discrimination, particularly against women and minorities.

You may have been told that that debate is not possible in the middle of a crisis. I agree that there is indeed a crisis and that the hardest questions are being posed by Amnesty International’s close human rights allies, particularly in areas where jihad supported by Begg’s associates, is being waged.”

I hope the Cambridge branch will show its support for universal human rights and distance itself from a myopic, hypocritical leadership and the Taliban apologist it has adopted.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

City Unslicker's Top Five Labour Fails

A good blog's view of the Labour launch...

1. Full employment - The manifesto says they will create a million new jobs and so restore full employment. Lots of these in health and education, so they really do mean Government increasing its payroll. Also there are 8 million economically inactiv people of working age. So a million does not cut it. Plus of the last million jobs the economy created, 950,000 went to immigrants. Rating: Delusional.

2. Tough Choices - £38 billion in public sector savings, no real plans beyond £20 billionof where these will come from. So no truth at all in what so ever and no way to judge what cuts they are going to make. Does not compute with point one either. Rating; Deception.

3. Deficit reduction - Well not detail at all, except some laughable tax pledges to keep taxing the rich and not raise basic rates. No mention of fiscal drag, eh? No commitment not to raise VAt despite accusing the Tories of it: Rating: Hugo Chavez populism

4. Bank breaking - The Government will break up the banks in state ownership. Thi is not very good news for the taxpayers as the shareholders are going to flee when they twig that any sales will repay Government whilst overall value is hollowed out. Plus Northern Wreck is to be mutualised, haha, no mention of the toxic books hiding on the Government balance sheet. Rating: incredulous.

5. High tech economy - This is to be done with taxpayers money. After all if there is one thing British Leyland taught us, is that it is the Government that knows best, not that bloke who sold Bebo for millions having started with nothing...naah. Tax breaks or innovation zones which may spur investment are not in favour either, instead it is money for distribution by regional quango's etc to favoured lackeys. Rating: Tractor Production Statistics Generation.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

National Tory Manifesto Launched Today

The choice at this election is between 5 more years of Gordon Brown or a Conservative Government that will:

1 Act now on debt to get the economy moving . Deal with the deficit more quickly than Labour so that mortgage rates stay lower for longer with the Conservatives.

2 Get Britain working by boosting enterprise . Cut corporation tax rates, abolish taxes on the first ten jobs created by new businesses, promote green jobs, and get people off welfare and into work.

3 Make Britain the most family-friendly country in Europe . Freeze council tax and raise the basic state pension, recognise marriage in the tax system and back couples in the benefits system, support young families with extra health visitors, and fight back against crime.

4 Back the NHS . Increase spending on health every year, and make the NHS work for patients not managers.

5 Raise standards in schools . Give teachers the power to restore discipline, and create new smaller schools.

6 Change politics . Reduce the number of MPs, cut Whitehall and quangos by a third, and let taxpayers see where their money is being spent.

Why We Need Open Markets

I was at a briefing by a leading financial advisory firm where it was pointed out that the UKs FTSE 100 companies derive 76% of their income from overseas.

The United States and the UK share the world’s largest foreign direct investment partnership. US investment in the UK reached $399 billion in 2007, while UK direct investment in the US totalled $411 billion.

If the UK were to go down the 'protectionist' route we would be slitting our economic windpipe.

Two Paradoxes

Two things the Left just does not understand:

1. People reach a point when raising tax rates actually reduces the tax amount raised.

Here's a company finally goaded in into going to Switzerland as it will save almost £400m in tax by 2014. Read more.

2. Protectionism, like the proposed Cadbury law, does not work.

British jobs can just as easily be exported by British companies to their own factories in Eastern Europe and Asia. Indeed, Cadbury was doing precisely that - 80% of its business and 85% of its employees were already outside the UK, as were 78% of its shareholders.More fundamentally, changes in company control are part and parcel of the way our hugeley successful market economy works. And there is no serious evidence that Britain loses out from the process overall.The Economist recently published a survey of this evidence. They noted that over the last decade, foreigners have spent $1,000 bn on buying British companies, compared to $750 bn going in the other direction. But foreigners have tended to buy bigger operations, so in terms of numbers of takeovers, we've actually done more than they have (6000 vs 5400).

These are big scary changes. But as the Economist points out, many of the feared foreign takeovers have actually proved immensely beneficial to Britain. The workers from Austin Rover's old clapped out Cowley plant must wake up every morning and give thanks to BMW for rescuing them: they now work in the booming Mini biz, with 80% of their 200,000+ annual production exported. And throughout our economy, we have gained from the rapid importation of best practice from leading global companies - stuff we'd have taken decades to learn otherwise.Labour are now putting all that at risk, They're sending out yet another signal that profit-focused businesses are not welcome here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

List of Local Council Candidates

While the Cambridge City Council website still has a hopeful piece entitled, "Become a candidate" in the real world the candidates have been duly nominated...

All the wards bar Queen Edith's are in the borough of Cambridge parliamentary constituency.



Christopher Brown (Lib Dem), Lara Hillman (Con), George Owers (Lab), Adam Pogonowski (Green).


Ian Kidman (Lab), Stephen Lawrence (Green), Ali Meftah (Con), Timothy Ward (Lib Dem).


John Buckingham (Lab), Warren Clegg (Con), James Kennedy (Green), Simon Kightley (Lib Dem).


Keith Edkins (Lib Dem), Edward MacNaghten (Con), Stuart Newbold (Lab), Ross Pooley (Green).


Andrew Bower (Con), Lewis Herbert (Lab), Valerie Hopkins (Green), Albert Watts (UKIP), Thomas Yates (Lib Dem).


Gerri (OK) Bird (Lab), Dan Cooper (Lab), Matt Ellis (Green), Kevin Francis (Con), Anna Gordon (Cambridge Socialists) Susannah Kerr (Lib Dem), Una McCormack (Con), Peter Pope (Green), Roman Znajek (OK) (Lib Dem).


Matthew Adams (Con), Martin Booth (Cambridge Socialists), Simon Brierley (Lib Dem), Alexandra Collis (Green), Elizabeth Hughes (Lab).


James Boyd (Con), Colin Rosenstiel (Lib Dem), Pam Stacey (Lab), Jack Toye (Green).


Rod Cantrill (Lib Dem), Len Freeman (Lab), Stephen Oliver (Con), James Youd (Green).

PETERSFIELD (two vacancies)

Kevin Blencowe (Lab), Sarah Brown (Lib Dem), Joshua Hordern (Con), Gail Marchant-Daisley (Lab), Shapour Meftah (Con), Shayne Mitchell (Green), Andrea Reiner (Lib Dem), Hywel Sedgwick-Jell (Green Party Second Choice).


Jonathan Goodacre (Lab), Carol Jackson (UKIP), Vincenzo Marino (Con), Jean Swanson (Lib Dem), Brian Westcott (Green).


Hannah Allum (Green), Edward Carlsson Browne (Lab), Paul Saunders (Lib Dem), Jane Slinn (Con), Tom Woodcock (Cambridge Socialists).


Ceri (OK) Galloway (Green), Kenny Latunde-Dada (Lab), Julie Simpole-Clarke (Con), Sheila Stuart (Lib Dem).


Max Boyce (Lib Dem), Anette (OK) Karimi (Con), Jahansha (OK) Karimi (Con), Paul McHugh (Lab), Sarah Peake (Green), Stephen peake (Green Party Second Choice), Mike Sargeant (Lab), Damien Tunnacliffe (Lib Dem).

Two Thoughts

As they say:

Men love women because they are perfect creatures who we adore.
Women love men because chocolate can't mow the lawn.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hey Greens, Switch it Off!

Andrew Bower has a great story this morning for all our Green readers... tell your comrades to stop bossing us about our lifestyles and switch your own lights off at night! See here for more.

It's a great picture, only lacking a 4x4 SUV to top off the hypocrisy chart (although I did see a prominent Lib Dem county councillor hop into one at Cambridge railway station on Monday, "do as I say, not as I do").

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Fast Work from South Cambs

Top marks to South Cambridgeshire's electoral staff for providing the full list of nominated candidates within a short while of nominations closing at noon today. The documents even include the reason why the Labour candidate for Balsham was disqualified: "No Consent to Nomination". Whoops.

As usual, Cambridge City is playing catch-up. So we are waiting...

The Credit Side to Cycling

Richard Taylor has uncovered some shocking figures for government waste, this time on duplicating services for cyclists...

The Department of Transport have spent over seven hundred times as much public money on their project as has been spent on Cyclestreets. Even if we add salaries for CycleStreets’ core team of Simon Nuttall and Martin Lucas-Smith (who don’t work full time on the project) the government website has cost in the order of a hundred times more than independent offering. I am regularly appalled at the poor value which government at all levels gets when it is spending our money; this is a particularly bad example.

See here for more. It is worth the visit.

Anti-social cycling is on the rise

This is the story in today's Cambridge News. It features that very social councillor from Market ward photographed here...

I hope that the parties putting forward candidates for this year's City Council elections will commit themselve to expelling members who bring their groups into disrepute by, for example, impeding emergency vehicles.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

General Election fever has not swept the nation.

I went to place a bet on the Conservatives to win in Cambridge.

“Are they playing City or United?” asked the lady.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

I'm NOT Standing

The Guardian has me as the Tory candidate for Cambridge... makes you rather doubt the rest of its news content, doesn't it?

Prospective parliamentary candidates
General election 2010
Peter Burkinshaw, UK Independence Party
Julian Huppert, Liberal Democrat
Tony Juniper, Green Party
Richard Normington, Conservative
Daniel Zeichner, Labour
* Incumbent MP

Bravo Emmanuel

Emmanuel College's victory over St John's College Oxford in the 2010 final of University Challenge was well deserved and capped an excellent series.
Hard to believe the series was cancelled by the BBC in 1987... as was Dr Who in 1989.
Labour thinks the Tories will take us back to the 1980s, well... let's hear it for the 80s revival, it's great!

Tally Ho!

Looks like the General Election is now on...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Wasting our money to deceive us

Not published by the local paper, but worthy of print :
-----Original Message-----
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 17:54:48 +0000
Dear Sir,

My brother living in Johannesburg often complains to me about a corrupt Government in that country.
I have to tell him that it is the same here. The union Unite, which is currently engaged in trashing travel plans for all of us, has given £11 million pounds to the Labour Party in recent years. That comes from the £18 million pounds given to them by Government for "training".

Despite this largesse, the Labour Party is short of funds. It cannot afford to fight the General Election campaign that must happen in the next three months.So the Government is splashing out on "public service" advertising. The limit for spending by a political party in a General Election is £19 million pounds. In February alone, the Government spent £34 million pounds on "public service" advertising.

Put shortly, your money taken from you in taxes is being used in an attempt to pull the wool over your eyes.

Don't fall for it. It's time for change.

Yours sincerely,

James Strachan

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Marshall Group to Stay in City

This exclusive from the Cambridge News throws yet another spanner into the 'growth agenda' embraced by the Labour government and implemented Labour's 'useful idiots' locally.
Nick Hillman, Andrew Bower and David Willetts visited Marshalls rcently to show support for the company. It was time well spent.

"Sir Michael Marshall, chairman of the Marshall Group, said: “This has been an exhaustive and expensive review process but we needed to be certain any potential relocation would not adversely affect the business, our customers or our employees. That review has now been completed and it is clear that relocation is not a feasible option at this time, but we do not rule out the possibility that circumstances may change again in the future, in which case we would be prepared to reconsider it.”