The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

08 October
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UK Telegraph Hack Forced To Go To The Seaside To Listen To Clacton’s UKIP Supporters….Ugggghhhh..

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The top brass at the Telegraph obviously felt that they were publishing too many positive reports and comments about UKIP so they rang up their ace travel hack Tom Rowley and ordered him to get up to Clacton and write a bit of a sneer piece about the natives (y’know, mocking their ignorance and parochialism) to undermine UKIP’s candidate Douglas Carswell in the forthcoming by election.

“…after all, Tom, they’re not real people over there. Unlike we clever Telegraph types they don’t live in Somerset rectories or go to dinner parties in Notting Hill…normally we wouldn’t bother with such a bunch of losers…but with all this UKIP/Farage/Carswell nonsense they do seem to be getting ideas above their station. David says that Samantha is telling him he needs to be a bit tougher on them as she’s damned if a crowd of has beens and pensioners from a crumbling seaside town will edge her out of Downing Street….without all that publicity how can she market those bags?…..Anyway, Tory HQ is putting the squeeze on us so if you want more of those gigs in New York, Austria or Barbados you’ll get to the Essex coast pronto – or you might end up in Monrovia reporting on cut price hotels next to hospitals…don’t worry, we won’t allow any comments, they only come from the readers and what the hell do they know..”

Naturally Tom rushed to Clacton

Eileen Mattacks, at least, was hearing all the right things. Across the road from a shop selling all manner of mobility scooters, the elderly voter embraced Mr. Carswell. “For years I voted Conservative but I don’t think they’ve done the job properly,” she said. Despite her Huguenot surname, she, too, is concerned about immigration. “We are only a small island,” she said. “And we’ve got too many here.”

“Well done, Tom – you hit all the right buttons…just the sort of copy the Telegraph wants. Mrs. Mattacks just doesn’t realise that here in London we simply couldn’t survive without cheap baristas, nannies, builders and gardeners from the outside world…why, I don’t expect she even knows what a barista is…”

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04 October
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Mark Reckless – A Man Of Honour

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At the weekend I joined up with over fifty UKIP members who popped into Rochester to do a leaflet drop for Mark Reckless who resigned as the local MP a few days ago because he had left the Tory Party and joined UKIP. Being a man of honour he felt he needed to seek the permission of Rochester’s voters  to either endorse or reject him under his new colours so he has provoked a by-election. He didn’t have to do so – over the last few years several MPs have crossed the floor to other parties and refused to budge from Westminster.

Not so Mr Reckless – and it’s a brave move. Rochester has been fairly low down on the UKIP target list so it will be a tough fight (though early signs are promising for UKIP). Furthermore both David Cameron and Boris Johnson (perhaps regressing to their Bullingdon Club coarseness) went quite public with disparaging remarks more suited to midnight at a freshers ball than the halls of political discourse.

I came across a local gentleman who appeared to stand foursquare behind Cameron on this matter. He returned our leaflet accusing Mr Reckless of being a “traitor” to the Conservative Party. I pointed out that, since he was submitting himself to the will of the electors of Rochester there could be no accusation of treason since, in a democracy, there exists a loyalty that must always overide any party subscription – loyalty to one’s own fellow citizens.

That is why I went down to Rochester  – to support a brave and honest politician….a rare breed in our current political climate, I fear.

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14 May
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Tory Pundits Ecstatic As Conservatives Flatline Yet Ignore UKIP Surge

The pundits at the Telegraph and Spectator went into overdrive with the latest Guardian/ICM poll and the changes since last month. Reading between the lines (and remember that Brogan and Hardman especially have a hot line to Tory HQ) the Tories are quietly confident that it’s all in the bag, all part of the master plan that will see them coasting to victory in 2015

Support for Labour drops six points as Tories take lead in latest ICM poll. Labour support falls to 31%, Conservatives rise one point to 33%, Lib Dems are up one on 13% and Ukip rises four to 15%

Only one problem – Tory support has virtually stayed the same, as has the Lib Dems. One party. Labour, shows a decline greater than the margin of error.  One party shows an improvement greater than the margin of error – UKIP.

Wonder where those UKIP votes are coming from?

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24 June
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Westminster Village Partying Like It’s 1788 or 1916?

Benedict Brogan, one of the best informed political commentators in the Westminster village, penned a piece in The Daily Telegraph on Cameron’s forthcoming cabinet reshuffle. One respondent , peter63, though admiring Brogan, wondered just how detached he and his colleagues across the media from the world outside the village…

 

for a certain kind of Titanic-watcher, I suppose there is some interest in seeing which way the deckchairs are rearranged before ship up-ends and goes down.

Nobody at the Telegraph seems to have an inkling of the watershed change in the public mood (at least, as that mood is outside London).

There is a new mindset in so much of the nation.   What IS fascinating is to observe how little this is perceived among the DT journalists – all of them highly talented and well educated persons.

It explains to me how the courts of France or Russia could in the last months of their ancien régimes have really no proper idea of what was to overtake them.

 

 

Worth a thought….

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02 May
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Cameron’s Last Minute EU Referendum Hint…Is It Really “My lips make promises but I have the heart of a whore”?

“My lips make promises but I have the heart of a whore”

Meet David Cameron

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There are indications that UKIP, whose supporters were once characterised by David Cameron as “fruitcakes and loonies” might do well in today’s local elections at the expense of Cameron’s Conservative Party.

On the day before these elections Cameron has hinted that there might be a possibility that in certain circumstances there could be a chance that the promise of an in/out referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU would be enshrined by legislation

In an interview, Mr Cameron said the Conservatives needed to “demonstrate absolutely that we are serious about this referendum”.

Is this the action of a man you can trust?

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25 April
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“Let’s Face It, Chaps, This UKIP Business Is All A Bit Of A Fantasy…..I Say, Could You Pass Me An Olive?”

One of those clever young chaps at The UK Spectator has poured some cold water over speculation that UKIP could do well, even win, should a by election be held at in the Portsmouth South constituency of beleaguered Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock.
Young Mr Jones points out that the Portsmouth South demographics indicate a younger population and, as we all know, only old people, hankering over a Britain that never really existed, support UKIP.

But we can expect the average Portsmouth South voter to be at least slightly younger — and therefore less likely to vote Ukip — than the average Eastleigh voter.

Moreover the Lib Dems are deeply entrenched locally, as they were in Eastleigh

And, like in Eastleigh, the Liberal Democrats dominate at a local government level — they hold 17 of the 18 City Council seats in the constituency (the Tories have one).

Therefore, he implies, let’s stop fantasising over UKIP and get down to good old fashioned traditional three way party politics…..it’s all a bit of a fairy story.

What he conveniently ignores, of course, is that the Lib Dems only won Eastleigh through the rather dubious organising of postal votes. On the day real time voters went massively UKIP because, during the actual campaign, voters were impressed by the party’s actual messaging (as distinct from the usual media inspired caricature) and the quality of the UKIP candidate.

Eastleigh has given the party a tremendous boost by proving that voting purple no longer a Raving Monster Loony Party moment. The media has begun to take the party a little more seriously, Nigel Farage’s Common Sense tour has played to packed halls and the national polls has shown UKIP pushing ahead of the Lib Dems.

This is not to say that the party would win in Portsmouth but the fact that a high tory outlet like the Spectator is engaging in a little agitprop shows that Cameron & Co are worried..

And so they should be…..membership is growing fast and a lot of these are from the younger demographic. Moreover they are not all disillusioned former Conservative voters. Some are from other parties and a number are people who were previously apolitical and who see the party as giving a voice to ordinary folk outside the metropolitan cultural elite.

Instead of pontificating from his media perch why doesn’t Jonathan Jones get down to some real journalism and get out and about to find out why so many people are joining UKIP – and what they are doing to bring it closer to the corridors of power…

But then that would take expenditure of shoeleather and chatting with the great unwashed – and that would never do…..might miss a few cocktail parties….

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15 March
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How About That Sarah Wollaston MP For Tory Leader?

Yes, that Sarah Wollaston…Cathy Newman jolted my memory about how she became Tory candidate for Totnes. She leapfrogged over the usual suspects of stodgy councillors and party suits by winning an open primary.

Yes, in those heady days of opposition that was going to be the way forward – by sending a bolt of electric energy into the well spread bottoms of the Tory faithful. No more plump merchant bankers, teenage political “consultants” or well heeled Eton/Oxbridge toffs with a few years work experience as a PR man for Carlton Television

At the public hustings before the vote, she was asked if her political inexperience would stop her throwing a punch in Parliament, and she retorted that this wasn’t what politics was about. She got a spontaneous round of applause.

She’s ruffling Cameron’s feathers by sticking to her principles – and I like the cut of her jib…

1. Anti EU
2. She turned down a low level government job because she didn’t want to be handcuffed
3. She wants NHS supremo Nicholson sacked for his handling of the Mid Staffs tragedy
4. She criticises Cameron for his retreat over minimum alcohol pricing
5. Cameron and his team, she says, are out of touch with ordinary people

(Now personally I never agreed with minimum pricing but I admire her for sticking to her guns)

Above all she has substantial life and work experience outside politics/media – 24 years in fact which is more than you can say for those spotty sixth formers Cameron, Milliband and Clegg combined….and she also annoys quite a few of the grumpy old saloon bar farts who roam the celars of the Telegraph (just read some of the comments at the end of Newman’s piece…lol..

I live in South Devon with my husband Adrian and we have 3 children, all at university.
I was previously a GP, but also spent time as a police forensic examiner for Devon and Cornwall Police helping victims of sexual violence. I was also involved with teaching and training junior doctors and medical students as well as examining for the Royal College of GPs. I was spurred into Politics after David Cameron’s invitation to those with backgrounds outside politics to bring their practical experience to Westminster

Read her blog and her tweets. The lady has more cojones than two hundred Tory suits sweating in a Turkish bath.

Sarah Wollaston for next Tory leader? You know – I quite like the sound of that though I doubt David Cameron would agree..

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23 January
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Never Expected To Say This But Cameron’s EU Speech Was Absolutely Spot On….

There is a time in politics as well as in all things when one must eat one’s words (or some of them) and give credit where it is due. David Cameron’s speech was a good one, carefully crafted to bring out some home truths without sneering at our European partners as a bunch of Johnny Foreigners smelling of garlic and trying to seduce our women and steal our silver. By offering a straightforward in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU in 2017 on the basis of a negotiated repatriation of certain powers he made a bold, and honest, commitment. There are none of the familiar weasel word which politicians conventionally use when making public promises – “almost certainly”, “certain circumstances”, subject to these conditions”.

There are always voices saying “don’t ask the difficult questions.”
But it’s essential for Europe – and for Britain – that we do because there are three major challenges confronting us today.
First, the problems in the Eurozone are driving fundamental change in Europe.
Second, there is a crisis of European competitiveness, as other nations across the world soar ahead. And third, there is a gap between the EU and its citizens which has grown dramatically in recent years. And which represents a lack of democratic accountability and consent that is – yes – felt particularly acutely in Britain.

For once it was Cameron as Thatcher, not Cameron as Blair.

It‘s a canny move. It might well have for the moment shot the UKIP fox, which had been threatening to bite at Tory heels – though I suspect that puttting a bet on predicting Nigel Farage’s political demise would not be the wisest of moves.Indeed one could argue that Cameron’s offer has been forced on him by the impact of Farage And UKIP. However Dave has left Labour in complete disarray. As for the Liberal Democrats, who in 2007 were supporting a referendum, they are busily backpedalling, calling the idea unhelpful.

This must be sweet music to Tory ears – those champions of the “people” Clegg and Milliband boxing themselves into a corner and saying actually we, the great and the good, not the public, should decide these matters.

The fact that political has beens like Mandelson, Clarke and Heseltine are against a referendum is clearly a badge of honour considering that all three were once fervent advocates of joining the Euro. Add the French and President Obama to the mix and it must be drinks all round.

The only voice that matters in all this is the one that emanates from Berlin and Cameron must be pleased that Angela Merkel is not going negative on the idea of having a second look at the power relationship between the EU and member states.

Maybe, just maybe, Dave might have a bit of backbone after all……

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20 December
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Obama Tells UK To Stay In The Inefficient, Corrupt EU….Maybe It Reminds Him Of Chicago…

Hey, folks – President Obama and his team do not like all this stuff happening in Britain about the rise of UKIP and growing support for the UK getting the hell out of the EU.

They don’t like the Eurosceptic signals being given out by a David Cameron who is very worried that many conservative voters outside the Notting Hill metro elite bubble are abandoning his party and shifting to UKIP.

“It is important to state very clearly that a strong UK in a strong Europe is in America’s national interest,” said a senior US administration official. “We recognise national states but see the EU as a force multiplier.”

Well, Mr President, surprisingly enough we feel that serving America’s interests is not the primary function of any UK government. We would dearly love to have a government whose lodestar was always putting the interests of the British people at the top of it’s agenda

Funny isn’t it that an American administration which has consistently failed to pay due regard to our shared political and cultural traditions should be putting pressure on us to stay in the EU for the sake of the USA.

The EU is a bloated bureaucratic monstrosity, inefficient and corrupt

Maybe that’s why Obama loves it so much….after all he did cut his political teeth in Chicago….

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16 April
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Tory Minister Told To Play The Old “Swivel Eyed” Ploy Against UKIP……

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Barker insisted that the Conservatives should not be tempted to adopt a more Eurosceptic stance to win an outright majority at the next election…….we don’t need to follow UKIP into swivel-eyed rhetoric. People expect grown up statesman-like leadership on Europe, and with David Cameron, that is what they get.”

A very smooth (and rich) chap the Energy Minister is said to be a close chum of David Cameron and George Osborne and one of the key figures planning the Tory strategy for the next election. His view is that the Conservatives need to capture the “fertile ground” where 21st century elections will be won.

Mr Barker said the Tories had to attract more voters from ethnic minorities as well as homosexual and lesbians. He said: “Absolutely – it is policy for the whole country.”

Ah yes – that’s “Greg” Barker, who in the past has faced questions about his links to Russian oligarchs and who also had his own starring role in the MP’s expenses scandal.

In December 2006, Mr Barker briefly moved the second home allowance back to Cheyne Row, where he claimed a further £3,492 for his mortgage interest. He also claimed £4,400 in food allowances – 11 months-worth in one go.
He moved house after leaving his wife Celeste in October 2006 following an affair with William Banks-Blaney, an interior designer, but he still claims the house he shares with her and their three children in Peasmarsh, East Sussex, as his main home.

Nice to know that Barker and his friends are still addicted to the myth of the centre ground and pimping the electoral genius of team Cameron/Osborne. Problem is that team Cameron/Osborne were unable to deliver a crushing victory over what was possibly one of the most unpopular and discredited governments of all time even though they were aiming for Barker’s “fertile ground”

As for “Greg” I suspect his “swivel eyed” rhetoric jibe had a slightly personal edge to it for it must be so irritating to see a man he and his pals in the Tory establishment had believed to be consigned to the “dustbin of history” in East Sussex in 2001 leading what was once seen as a “fringe”party (UKIP) which is now gaining considerable momentum in current opinion polls.

Keep on digging that hole you are already in, Greg, just don’t blame anyone else when you find you are stuck in it…..

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