The only video you need to see to understand why people buy what paper

Why does the Left have to rely on hate figures

Maybe I am wrong, but I’ve always thought that some on the left of politics really seem to need to have hate figures on the right. For some, Thatcher may as well have eaten their first born she is hated so much.

When false rumours of her passing have circulated over the internet you could not imagine (or maybe you could) the pleasure expressed at the news. Personally I thought Brown was a poor Prime Minister, and took some appalling decision that damaged the country. Those same feelings are probably shared about Thatcher by those who weren’t fans. Yet will I celebrate if his family or indeed the man himself faces tragedy? No, because he doesn’t invoke such strong feeling of ‘hatred’ and I do use that word intentionally, that some on the left feel towards those on the right.

We see the same views expressed to Murdoch. On a twitter exchange (which isn’t the best forum for reasoned debate) it was put to me that Murdoch was responsible for the Iraq war. No mention of Saddam Hussein then? Of course not, because Murdoch is totally hated. Far be it for me to point out that Maxwell was a rather naughty media baron on the other side of the political divide. Then of course they have Lord Ashcroft. Oh how they hate him. Don’t mention what he does for charity as it wont fit their narrative. Better not tell them he has his own online media empire or they will detest him even more.

Now not everyone on the other side of politics feel this way. I have good friends in the other parties and we can have a robust debate and still like each other. But there does seem to be a significant grouping of those on the left who can see no good in anyone on the right and are far too party political to see anything of virtue across the political divide. You could almost call it politically bigoted.

Do people on the right have such hate figures? I’m not sure they do. Tony Benn has been a darling of those on the left. He was my MP. I fundamentally disagree with much of what he stands for (though agree with his scepticism of the EU, if for different reasons). Is he a hate figure for me? No, I just think he is misguided about much of what he believes. Try as I might I can’t really think of anyone that would fit that bill, and yet they think Tories and those on the right are the nasty ones.

This article first appeared in Dale & Co


What's the point of joining a political party?

I joined the Conservative Party in 1990. I have stood for Parliament twice (granted once was for the Referendum Party in 1997). I joined the party because I  believed in meritocracy – being able to achieve whatever you wanted, not matter where you came from.

I am sure many people from other political persuasions will have joined a political party at one time or another, possibly for similar reasons.

What I have to ask myself now is this. What exactly is the point of joining? I can only speak from the perspective of the Conservative Party, so perhaps members of indeed ex members of other parties can give their views. I am no longer a paid up Conservative member. Why, you may ask? Well that is the $64,000 question. Why would I join?

Firstly, what do you get for your money? The chance to select your local parliamentary candidate? Wait, no, I can do that anyway if primaries are going to be used more and more. Can I cast my vote in a leadership election? Yes, but there is unlikely to be one of those for quite a few years. So what else do I get? Oh wait. If I am a member I am more likely to get asked to donate even more money, or buy raffle tickets or attend functions which as a thirty-something I have little to no interest in. It doesn’t sound that attractive, does it?

Being a party member means you can get involved in politics. Yes, but I can do that quite easily without being pestered to do things I don’t want to do. I am interested in campaigning. I can do that without being a member too.

So the question isn’t why have I not continued with my membership? The question is why should anyone bother at all? Isn’t that the question all political parties have to answer?


Want to understand Murdoch?

Then watch this video of his contemporary, the late Kerry Packer. See what he thinks of business being hindered by legislation, his views on media ownership and even his views on limiting your tax liability.

MPs taking the News International shilling?

So the News of the World is calling it a day. I have to say I didn’t see that coming. What they have done is pretty disgusting – scraping the bottom of the barrel and no one can defend that. What I will defend is the fact that I for one think Murdoch has done some great things. That some people are using what has happened at News of the World to attack Murdoch (were the same so outspoken about what Maxwell did I wonder).

What will annoy me more than anything is if I hear any MP mouthing off about News International, if they were happy enough to take the News International shilling.

MPs from all parties did… see for yourself