The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'UK Politics' Category

28 February
Comments Off on It’s A Bit Rich For Nigel Farage To Dump On Paul Nuttall’s Failure To Win Stoke

It’s A Bit Rich For Nigel Farage To Dump On Paul Nuttall’s Failure To Win Stoke

It’s now clear that Paul Nuttall made a mistake in allowing himself to be hyped into the Stoke by election, partly by the media and also by Farage/Banks. (Remember that Nigel has never had the cojones to be a candidate in a by election) Paul  should have brushed off the “frit” nonsense and let a local face stand – the result would then have been seen in a different light. At present May is riding a Brexit wave because she is not perceived as a con man like Cameron…which is why the Tories did well in Stoke. What everyone seems to conveniently forget is that Nigel lost at Thanet in 2015 for a similar reason – Tories were nervous about the possibility of a Miliband/Sturgeon majority in the Commons so UKIP were not able to siphon off those crucial votes and Nigel lost by a much larger margin than John Bickley did in the Heywood by election in 2014

Paul’s task is to rebuild the party from the mess left by two years of civil war so that it is ready for the next opportunity. Political energy should be concentrated on the target areas and educating the electorate, using the 2015 manifesto as a framework for policy. Selling this should be a collegiate task using as many voices as possible. This was a disappointment not a defeat. Hysterical overstatements should be avoided. Additionally it should be recalled that Nigel has tried to become an MP several times and always failed  so his implied criticism of Paul was not only untimely but also a tad laughable……..

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02 February
Comments Off on We’re Leaving The EU And Britain’s Best Days Are Yet To Come……

We’re Leaving The EU And Britain’s Best Days Are Yet To Come……

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DAVID Davis has vowed that Britain’s “best days are yet to come” as he laid out the Government’s White Paper on Brexit.

The Brexit Secretary told MPs this afternoon said that our vote to leave the EU was a “vote of confidence in the UK’s ability to succeed”.

 

The train out of the EU has now left the station with the Remoaners still sobbing in the last carriage while casting a wistful eye towards the massed ranks of faceless EU bureaucrats still gloweringon the platform.

Of course the Guardian/BBC EUphiles will still maintain their doomsday chorus of sniping and sneering but, Gina Miller notwithstanding, our destination of an independent Britain where we and we alone decide on our laws is coming nearer

BREXIT DAY WILL BE MARCH 9  

Theresa May has set a target date of launching the formal Brexit process on March 9.

The Government is pushing its EU Bill through Parliament by March 7, which would allow the Prime Minister to trigger Article 50 at a summit of European leaders on March 9 and 10.

Ministers told the House of Lords yesterday that it hopes to have the European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill approved by March 7.

The following day – March 8 – is the Budget, before Mrs May travels to Brussels for the long-awaited Brexit showdown with her EU counterparts.

The PM has promised to trigger Article 50, the formal mechanism for quitting the EU, by the end of March.

 We’re on our way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

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24 November
Comments Off on No Need For A New Pro EU, LibDem Green Platform, Mr Blair – The BBC Is Already Doing It

No Need For A New Pro EU, LibDem Green Platform, Mr Blair – The BBC Is Already Doing It

According to Guido Tony Blair has finally grasped that a return to front line politics is a definite no no

 I can’t come into front-line politics. There’s just too much hostility, and also there are elements of the media who would literally move to destroy mode if I tried to do that

But he is still convinced he has his finger on the pulse of the British people

Blair says there are millions of “politically homeless” people in Britain

You don’t have to be a genius, of course, to realise his idea of the politically homeless does not refer to the Sunderlands and Dudleys and those millions of other working class voters who used the referendum to give a V sign to all the great and the good.

Clearly he means people like him – pro EU, metropolitan, internationally minded, virtue signaling and well salaried members of the chattering classes….Blairite, Lib Dem and oh so Green

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So he intends to work behind the scenes, using his wealth and contacts to help  build a platform for these folk to exchange ideas and share a vision and comfort each other through the post referendum, post Trump dark days

Problem is there already exists a ready made platform for such people that is also run by them – and it’s taxpayer funded…

The BBC……

 

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08 September
Comments Off on Diane James Was Very Briefly UKIP Leader

Diane James Was Very Briefly UKIP Leader

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Plenty of coverage of the Labour leadership contest in the media – but very little about the UKIP leadership election – which Peter Preston at the Guardian finds rather odd considering

Ukip scored 3,881,099 votes in the 2015 general election. More than the Lib Dems and SNP put together. Its current poll rating, even leaderless in the lee of Theresa, mostly hovers in the 14% region. Last June, at Brexit time, it was five or six points higher than that. Without Ukip, Remain would have won. Editorialists talked obsessively, post-referendum, about the disaffected white legions of the north and Midlands in revolt against London’s elite. Yet where is that newfound extra-metropolitan fascination when Ukip makes its own top choices?

Of course this could be down to the fact that our media gurus, permanently ensconced in their North London bubble have little understanding and even less sympathy with the party and its supporters. Maybe they assume (or hope) that, with Nigel Farage slipping into the background and Brexit won, UKIP will just go away

John Harris, also in the Guardian, has a word of caution for his fellow hacks…

At which point, a few corrective thoughts. First, whatever the state of Ukip’s internal affairs, the state of politics in both Europe and the US suggests that as economies and societies continue to fragment, and the mainstream seems to have no clear answers, the new rightwing populism is going be with us for some time to come.

Second, given that the referendum happened only two months ago, it is worth at least briefly reflecting on the part Ukip played in the outcome. With a solitary MP and a flimsy activist base, it still played a huge role in embedding the connection between most of Britain’s ills and the EU, and thereby carrying its cause from the margins of politics to its very centre. Here is an example of postmodern politics from which people on the left would do well to learn. Moreover, the people responsible are hardly likely to simply disappear.

Which is why it is absolutely essential for the future of UKIP that the next leader should be Diane James. She is the only candidate who has a national media profile, who comes across as cool, calm and collected whenever she is on TV or radio but is also rock solid on core UKIP values – and tough enough to bring some order and discipline into the organisational mess that currently fractures the party (and infuriates the grassroots….)

Remember the Eastleigh by-election when the media were shocked that UKIP came so close to winning A LIB Dem seat that Cameron had hoped to bag for the Tories?

There was a time when Ukip candidates were noted for their flakiness and eccentricity, but James, a healthcare executive and a councillor in Surrey, has come over as mainstream and professional. The Guardian’s John Harris said she was a smart, apparently unflappable operator who you might easily mistake for an A-list Tory candidate

Diane James certainly made an impression on me. For quite a while I had found myself in sympathy with UKIP on many issues but the quality of its leadership cadre before 2013 left much to be desired. Diane changed my perception of the party. As a new member I attended the 2013 party conference and discovered that quite a few other new faces felt the same way. Talking now to ordinary members it appears to me that at the grassroots level she remains very popular.

However there is some evidence that amongst the old guard, the pre 2010 folk, she is perceived by some as “not quite one of us”, rather aloof and unwilling to socialise. Some of these are keyboard warriors who, I suspect, preferred the old days of obscurity and isolation when they could play out their fantasies of worldwide conspiracies far away from the media spotlight.

If you want to go back to those times then Diane James is not your candidate. But if you want UKIP to tack on another 2/3m votes to the 4m of 2015 – and thus break into parliament – then she is the leader who can do it.

UPDATE..21/11/16

So what do I know….lol….it wasn’t to be. Pity.

“At a high profile public event in Cambridge last week, I was asked why I had not completed the process to become Leader of UKIP? I had little option, but to give the truthful response that, although nominated Leader by popular vote in the membership, I found that I had no support within the executive and thus no ability to carry forward the policies on which I had campaigned.

“My decision to retire from the election process and not complete it was very difficult personally and professionally, given that UKIP has dominated my life and all my efforts for over 5 years. In recent weeks, my relationship with the Party has been increasingly difficult and | feel it is now time to move on. | wish the Party well for the future under new leadership.”

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14 May
Comments Off on Farage Can Win EU TV Debate – But He Needs To Ditch BreitbartUK’s Raheem Kassam.

Farage Can Win EU TV Debate – But He Needs To Ditch BreitbartUK’s Raheem Kassam.

Whoops!!!  Iain Dale for the naughty step….

He pours scorn on the temper tantrum being thrown by the Vote Leave camp because ITV have invited UKIP leader Nigel Farage to oppose David Cameron in their set piece EU Referendum debate. He also has the audacity to suggest Farage would do better than Boris or Gove…

It’s not as if Nigel Farage isn’t a good media performer or doesn’t know the arguments. In fact, I’d say he’s a far better performer in debates than either Boris Johnson or Michael Gove would necessarily be.

Naturally this goes against the grain of the currently accepted narrative that Marmite Nige turns off as many people as he turns on. How could he possibly cope against the smooth as silk double glazing salesman that is Dave?

But hark back to 2010. Dave’s failure to achieve an overall majority and his need to swallow the bitter pill of a coalition with the Lib Dems is often put down to his failure to outsmart Nick Clegg in a TV debate. Clegg became the SuperDebateMan and the bruised Dave steered clear of repeating the format in 2015.

Yet who was it who crushed SuperDebateMan Clegg in two widely broadcast debates on the EU just two years ago?

That’s right – Marmite Nige…

Nigel Farage triumphed in the second television debate on Europe by a clear-cut 69% to 31%, an instant poll showed, suggesting that a more emotional but often overscripted Nick Clegg failed to convince viewers that Ukip is selling the British people a “dangerous con” and a “fantasy”.

The Guardian/ICM findings after the BBC2 debate were almost exactly matched by a separate YouGov poll for the Sun, showing that in a sometimes brutal debate, with both men accusing the other of lying, it was the Ukip leader who came out ahead by an even bigger margin than a week earlier.

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Yet a year later in a TV match up with SNP, PC and Greens he didn’t do well at all. He scored a pathetic own goal by linking health tourism with Aids and became very bad tempered with the audience. This was not the confident operator of the Clegg Debates or a score of BBCQT appearances where he had overcome hostile audiences with a good grasp of facts and a sense of humour.

Some blamed campaign exhaustion. Others sensed ill health. But many squarely placed the blame on Nigel’s campaign guru and right hand man at the time, BreitbartUK editor Raheem Kassam who, it has been claimed, advised Farage to go “shock and awe”. With Kassam’s guidance Farage not only was marginalised in the 2015 TV debate but he also failed to win a constituency that had earlier appeared to be “in the bag” for UKIP.

So, yes, Iain Dale, Farage is a good media performer. There’s no reason why he couldn’t do a  Clegg on Cameron as well – but only if the loose cannon that is Raheem Kassam is locked firmly in a box for the duration.

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01 March
Comments Off on Nailing The Pro EU “Leap In The Dark” Lie

Nailing The Pro EU “Leap In The Dark” Lie

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An ice cold bucket of cold water from Roger Helmer MEP over the claim by government minister and former George Osborne bagman Matthew Hancock MP that Brexit would be a “leap in the dark” and lead to a decade of uncertainty – so therefore there is really no safe and sensible alternative to being shackled to the zombie EU.

The alternative to being in the EU is not being in the EU. And far from being a mystery, it is in fact the current state of a hundred-plus countries around the world – most of whom are doing rather better, in economic terms, than the declining and dysfunctional EU.  It is the state that Britain was in for centuries before we joined the “Common Market” less than half a century ago.   I don’t think that many Canadians or Australians or Singaporeans wake up in the morning scared to death because their countries are independent and not in the EU.  

For the benefit of Mr. Hancock, let me set out the parameters of Britain post-Brexit.  We shall have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU, and contrary to the government’s scare story, that will involve negotiation not “with 27 member-states” but with just one interlocutor – the EU itself. 

But imagine a worst case, where we failed to negotiate an FTA. Then, as Matt Hancock knows perfectly well (or ought to know), the default position is simply the WTO rules.   Arm’s-length trading on a WTO basis would be less advantageous that an FTA – but not much.  For example, the duties payable on our exports to the EU under the Common External Tariff would be less than half our current net contributions to the EU budget. Dozens of countries around the world trade perfectly well with the EU on WTO terms. The three largest external suppliers into the EU are China, Russia and the USA. None of these has an FTA with the EU, but they trade with it very successfully nonetheless.

Simples….

 

 

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05 January
Comments Off on “It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances”….At last – a judge with common sense..

“It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances”….At last – a judge with common sense..

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Evangelical Protestant preacher Pastor James McConnell from Belfast is, unlike many 21st century public figures, not a man given to nuance. Such a character, naturally, fits awkwardly with the modern state which increasingly seeks to discourage vigorous and robust debate. Hand in hand with the legions of the easily offended who patrol social media to hunt out and silence anyone who upsets their sensibilities our political and judicial masters are happy to enact and enforce laws to metaphorically cut out the tongues of those refuse to avoid giving “offence”

Thus Pastor McConnell, as a result of a sermon he preached to his congregation in May 2014 that was also streamed over the internet was charged with improper use of a public electronic communications network and causing a grossly offensive message to be sent by means of a public electronic communications network.

The state sought to punish him for making this statement.

‘Today we see powerful evidence that more and more Muslims are putting the Koran’s hatred of Christians and Jews alike into practice. ‘Now people say there are good Muslims in Britain, that may be so but I don’t trust them. Enoch Powell was right and he lost his career because of it. ‘Enoch Powell was a prophet and he told us that blood would flow in the streets and it has happened.

‘Fifteen years ago Britain was concerned of IRA cells, right throughout the nation they done a deal with the IRA because they were frightened of being bombed. Today a new evil has arisen. There are cells of Muslims right throughout Britain. Can I hear an Amen?

‘Right throughout Britain and this nation is going to enter a great tribulation and a great trial. To judge by some of what I have heard in the past few months you would think that Islam was a little more than a variation of Christianity and Judaism, not so. 

‘Islam’s ideas about God about humanity, about salvation are vastly different from the teaching of the Holy Scriptures. Islam is heathen, Islam is satanic, Islam is a doctrine spawned in hell.’ 

Words, claimed the prosecution, deliberately designed to offend Muslims.

Not so, said the Pastor.

no way I was out to hurt them – I wouldn’t hurt a hair on their head. But what I am against is their theology and what they believe in.

But, from the moment he was charged he remained defiant and said that he would not stop preaching the Christian gospel even if the price was finding himself behind bars.

Certainly there were expectations that the state’s aim of shutting him away in a cell would come to pass in this age of tender feelings. But a miracle happened – or rather an equally unexpected manifestation – a justice with common sense in the person of District Judge Liam McNally.

‘The courts need to be very careful not to criminalise speech which, however contemptible, is no more than offensive. ‘It is not the task of the criminal law to censor offensive utterances. ‘Accordingly I find Pastor McConnell not guilty of both charges.’

I rejoiced at that judgement. I might or might not agree with the Pastor on what he said. But I would be outside the courthouse clapping the verdict. Not because I supported his sermon – but because I supported his right to preach it. Just as I would be perfectly entitled to then stand up on a soapbox and rip into everything he said.

It is incredibly illiberal for the state to police hatred. Hatred might not be big or clever, but it’s only an emotion. And officialdom has no business telling us what we may feel — or think, or say, or write. Allowing the state to monitor belief represents a brutal reversal of the Enlightenment itself. John Locke, in his Letter Concerning Toleration (1689), set the tone for the Enlightenment as an attempt to ‘settle the bounds’ between the business of government and the business of morality. ‘The business of laws is not to provide for the truth of opinions, but for the safety and security of every particular man’s goods and person’, he wrote. That ideal is now turned on its head. Across Europe, governments ‘provide for the truth of opinions’, and in the process they silence those they don’t like and patronise the rest of us, reducing us to imbeciles incapable of working out what is right and wrong, and of speaking out against the wrong.

A small but significant victory in the fightback against a censorship being imposed by those who consider themselves morally superior to the rest of us. But we must resist the temptation to sheathe our swords.

There will be many more Pastor McConnells to defend…..

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04 January
Comments Off on I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK………

I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK………

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A savage cri de coeur from “Lady Magdalene”  in the comments below a typical piece of political boiler plate penned by resident Telegraph hack Tim Stanley bloviating about “politics in 2015”. He’s on the usual DT “polyfilla” duty – filling up a few square inches in a slow news week but Lady Magdalene’s riposte is a searing indictment of  the political class and the parasitic media leeching from its gorged flesh.

Will there ever be a day of reckoning?

 The modern UK The Establishment and their lackeys in the mainstream political parties created did not have the consent of the British people.

If challenged (not that the media will EVER really do that) they would claim they had a mandate for the following:

  1. Membership of the EU 2. Post WW2 immigration (ie up to Blair’s election) 3. Uncontrollable mass immigration (post Blair) 4. Devolution, which ignored the majority English population 5. Multi-culturalism

They would claim a mandate because they won a General Election in which the electorate, pre EEC, were offered two very similar parties. And post EU were offered a “choice” of two virtually identical ones. FPTP prevented anything else and if, by an electoral freak it did, there was always the House of Donors and Cronies to ensure that nothing significant changed.

Our so-called “representative democracy” is nothing of the sort. It doesn’t represent the wishes of the people. It legitimises the wishes of The Establishment.

Well now the serfs are revolting ….. at least, a significant percentage of them are.

Cameron got a majority based on 24% – less than a quarter – of the electorate. 75% rejected what The Establishment was offering.

And it’s going to get better (or worse) depending on your point of view.

Because a sizeable proportion have rejected what The Establishment wants for their country and they’re going to continue doing it..

I simply cannnot understand why ANYONE would want their supposedly democratic country to be governed by an unelected, unaccountable cabal of utterly corrupt and incompetent foreign bureaucrats ….. or the likes of Merkel, Hollande and other foreign politicians.

I want my country back. That’s all I’ve been voting for for 15 years now, and if we lose the EU Referendum, it’s all I’ll be voting for for the rest of my life.

I REJECT the UK The Establishment has created. I wasn’t asked. I didn’t want it. And nothing is going to change that.

Amen to that, say I……..

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12 November
Comments Off on Tax Boss Really Shocked By Suggestion That Taxpayers Should Receive Good Customer Service

Tax Boss Really Shocked By Suggestion That Taxpayers Should Receive Good Customer Service

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Lin Homer, Chief Executive of HMRC since 2012, is back in the news. It appears that we, her employers, are being unreasonable in expecting good customer service.

The boss of crisis-hit HMRC has urged taxpayers to contact them online rather than by phone to avoid huge waits.

Lin Homer apologised for her department’s ‘poor service’, but said she would respond failures by telling people to go online instead of boosting the number of call centre staff so people can get through by telephone.

It follows the admission that just half of calls to HM Revenue & Customs were answered between April and June, with some having to wait three quarters of an hour.

But then since 2005 Mrs Homer has frequently been accused of alleged incompetence in a variety of taxpayer funded roles

Chief Executive of Birmingham City Council 2002-2005

In 2005, Homer was criticised by the Election Commissioner for failings in her role as returning officer during a postal vote-rigging scandal in Birmingham in 2005

The petitioners also accused the city’s returning officer and chief executive Lin Homer of failing to discharge her duties in accordance with electoral law.

Judge Mawrey said that Ms Homer “threw the rule book out of the window” to deal with overwhelming numbers of postal vote application forms received.

He also  said fraud in the city ‘would have disgraced a banana republic’. He described Mrs Homer’s decision to allow postal ballot papers to be transported to the count in shopping bags as ‘the direst folly’.

Head of Immigration Service 2005-2011

She was then chosen by the Home Office to run what was then called the Immigration and Nationality Directorate – this time on £200,000, plus bonuses.

Already in chaos, it was on her watch in 2006 that we learned of the mistaken release of 1,000 foreign criminals. It later emerged some 450,000 asylum cases had not been dealt with but left in boxes at the Home Office. The new UKBA was meant to clear up the mess, and Mrs Homer became its first chief executive, on an astonishing £208,000 a year. But among a fresh run of scandals was the revelation that nearly 400 of the 1,000 foreign prisoners were told they could stay in Britain and dozens remained untraced.

2011 Chief of Dept for Transport

Mrs Homer was the Permanent Secretary at the DfT throughout 2011 when details of the new rail franchise business model were being thrashed out.

She was named by Sir Richard Branson last month as one of a handful of officials at the department whom his Virgin Rail team met during 2011 to voice concerns over the bid process.

Those concerns were ignored, said the rail boss whose warnings proved correct last week when the Government U-turned on its decision to award the lucrative franchise to his rival First Group due to an alleged catastrophic business model error.

The mistake is estimated to cost taxpayers £100million and the DfT has now been labelled “not fit for purpose”.

Her record of apparently gliding through disaster after disaster with immunity has not gone unobserved

Douglas Carswell MP (UKIP) “We seem to be governed by a clique of mandarins who bounce from one highly remunerated job in Whitehall to another and there doesn’t seem to be any proper democratic scrutiny as to whether they’ve done a good job in one role before they get the next one.”

Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TaxPayers’ Alliance  “The public bodies for which Lin Homer has worked all appear to have been plagued by problems and left taxpayers paying the price of failure.

You’ve missed the point, gentlemen. In 21st century Britain if you are in government or politics, unlike almost any other aspect of life, incompetence is rewarded.

After all, it’s only taxpayers money, isn’t it….and at the moment Lin Homer is collecting it….

 

Pic h/t: This Is Money

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05 November
Comments Off on I Couldn’t Care Less About Her Legs – It’s Her Taxpayer Funded £93k Non Job That Concerns Me…

I Couldn’t Care Less About Her Legs – It’s Her Taxpayer Funded £93k Non Job That Concerns Me…

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Wow – such a storm over a woman crossing and uncrossing her legs during a TV interview…

A woman politician has created a storm of anger for describing a new government official as a ‘cocky little £93k madam crossing her legs Sharon Stone-style’. Former mayoress Ruth Price, 56, hit out watching deputy police and crime commissioner Sophie Howe giving a TV interview

Ruth Price’s remarks cause the sort of twitterstorm so beloved of the Daily Mail because itmeans some cheap hack can stay in the office and cut and paste tweets without having to expend any shoeleather. But, oddly enough, nobody seemed to be too bothered about her new job – funded by the taxpayer at a rate of £93,000 per annum.

Ms Howe, 38, was on a programme talking about her new government role as the future generations commissioner for Wales.

Excuse me?

Apparently the role of the Future Generations Commissioner is to make sure ministers’ actions are made with sustainability and the long-term interests of Wales in mind because, apparently “Planning for future generations requires a real capacity for making things happen across a wide range of policy areas, agencies and institutions”

There has been some concern that Ms Howe is a bit of a Labour Party insider and might therefore be unwilling to criticise a Welsh Labour government

She was a Labour political appointee to the role of deputy Police and Crime Commissioner and also previously worked as a Special Advisor to a Minister as well as being a failed Labour parliamentary candidate. In fact, if you look at her biography it is clear that she has followed the classical modern route of working as a political hack since leaving university.

Sounds just the ideal person to take over a taxpayer funded non job paying £93k which will mainly involve shuffling bits of paper, sending out meaningless memos and fancy declarations while sitting on platforms crossing and uncrossing her legs.

Just fancy – we thought the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party was just a figment of someone’s colourful imagination…but then he wasn’t paid from money taken out of our pockets by the government….

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