Total Politics

I have just attended the launch party of Total Politics, and what a swish event it was. Packed with all the usual suspects from Public Affairs, politics and the media on the 29th floor of Millbank tower, we were plied with champagne and got a chance to see the hard copy of the magazine.

There is a rather good piece on Public Affairs which is worth a read!

Well done chaps!

PS – My wife was asked if she was a Member of Parliament twice!  


A bad day for the party

I have to say that I write this in a personal capacity about a person I came to deal with during my challenge the Chairman sessions with Francis Maude.

The news that James McGrath has handed in his resignation (or essentially been forced to go??) over supposedly racist remarks is absolute nonsense that quite frankly beggars belief.

Lets get this straight. James is no racist – and even after reading his comments they do not strike me as being racist. My own view is that James comes from a very Australian perspective where you perhaps do not have to be so careful with the words that you choose.

Indeed that raises the question of whether that is a society we want to? I would say that we should be able to talk about issues involving different communities without, when hearing perhaps something you don’t agree with, you do not automatically have the race card played.

I have to agree with Iain Dales superb piece where the Conservative Mayor of London is criticised for not standing by James.

It comes at a worrying time when many good people seem to be leaving the party for pastures new. I trust someone in the party will be sure to think about using such a great talent as James McGrath – as if they don’t he will certainly be snapped up if he chooses to move outside of the party.

Update:- A phrase which states"let them go" when referring to people who may not like what Boris Johnson is doing and may choose to leave London and actually using a headline which stated in quotation marks, "go back home" referring to "blacks"  is clearly an appalling piece of journalism. The two phrases have very different meanings. One suggests that if someone doesn’t like London they don’t have to stay. The other suggests that someone is telling a person born in this country to go somewhere else – and is indeed quite offensive.


Total Politics

The launch of the new political magazine "Total Politics" takes place tomorrow night, and I have to say I can’t wait to see a proper copy of the magazine. I know that the team over at Total Politics have put in a huge amount of effort (not sure how much blood sweat and tears were involved) to get the magazine finished.

The Total Politics website has gone live with lots of new features from featuring amongst other things, a blog covering public affairs which yours truly is contributing to.  Why not pay it a visit, and leave a comment or two.

Hopefully I will get chance to speak to Iain at his launc tomorrow – and maybe do a little podcast with him on his hopes for the magzine.


Thoughts on David Davis

I was going to write something on Thursday about the DD resignation, but I thought I’d wait a few days to see how things are playing out. Three days on, it looks like things are developing ok for DD, and once again the mainstream media have been shown to be out of touch with the rest of the nation.

Like many on Thursday, I was bemused by what was going on. However after listening to DD’s speech outside Parliament, I couldn’t help admiring the principles behind his decision as I simply couldn’t see what he was going to gain by making it. The media took its typical reaction with various political reporters spurting out the lines fed to them by the Labour Party, while looking for splits and bust ups within the Tory Party and labelling the whole thing a stunt.

Friday saw the Sun lay into DD which was no real surprise with the famous guardian of British liberties Rupert Murdoch at the helm. He looked to fund a candidate to fight DD after Labour prepared to bottle out.

The weekend saw a change as the Westminster village started to realise that many people regarded DD’s actions as a noble act in defending civil liberties. Sunday has certainly gone DD’s way after a very effective display on the Andrew Marr show which showed up the robotic David Milliband peddling why the British people have no right to express their opinion on the European Treaty in the way the Irish have.

So what’s going on, why has DD done this? Well I can only come to the conclusion that it’s a real genuine belief in Civil Liberties. That this endorsement of DD will ensure the Conservatives become real champions of liberty and it will bounce the leadership in accepting it as the thinking behind all of its policy. If that happens, then DD could go down in history as the man who stopped 1984 becoming a reality.

No No No

When does no mean yes?

Usually in political referenda. The Irish have had the chance many of us here in the UK would like – to say No to the European Constitution (ooops Lisbon Treaty).

But in the usual style of the EU I suspect that won’t be the end of it. They will probably assume that the Irish public can’t possibly have meant to say No, and that they really should have another referendum. Funny how once they say yes there is never another chance to say no.

To listen to what Roger Helmer MEP, and Hon President of the Freedom Association has to say about all this click this link.

davis to push brown further over the edge

So David Davis hgas resigned as Shadow Home Secretary and also has announced his intention to fight a by election. Motives? Perhaps to push Brown further towards that precipice?

The joys of commuting!

Anyone who commutes on one of the old intercity lines may well be able to empathise with this story. You will no doubt be aware that unlike some poor commuters, you can actually reserve a seat on these services. That’s all well and good – until the system goes wrong.

When the train company for whatever reason has failed to put the reservation tickets onto the back of seats it effectively means that all reservations are invalid. This often causes much confusion to those who dont travel regularly who demand a seat when they get on a train one tsop out of London and expect someone to move who may have sat down in Edinburgh in the believe that the seat was free. What happens is that the person demanding their reservation is told by the guard (or is it customer service adviser these days) that unfortunately their reservation isn’t valid – sit anywhere.

That brings me on to day. Myself and my wife board the train as normal and sit in two unsererved seats. We come to teh first station and the carriage fills up. We pull into the second one (the last before London) and ten minutes afterpulling out a man comes demanding the seat I am in.

Now if he had been polite I suspect I would have let him have it. Instead he wasn’t so I let him have it in another way. He demanded the seat because his booking said E 43. I pointed out there were no reservations, but look around you – there are actually plenty of vacant seats – why not sit there.

Oh no – he wanted my seat (I wonder if he just wanted to sit next to my wife?). So Ipointed out after he started being quite aggressive that I was minded not to move. He stomped off sayng he was off to get the guard….. and then proceeded to sulk in the vestibule end all the way into London even though there were plenty of seats.

It turned out that whoever had put the reservation tickets out had placed them all in the wrong seats – so not only were there vacant seats – but his reservation was placed on another seat in the carriage.

My first but probably not last experience of train rage….. Have to say I quite enjoyed it!