Why should we shed a tear for a killer?

So we learn that a convicted murder has been put to death, though he tried to kill himself because he was so scared of the lethal injection. This is the same person according to the report who killed Steven Moss, 37, his 11-year-old son Bryan and 15-year-old daughter Kris. I wonder how terrified they were before they were killed.

Sorry but  I have little sympathy. People may object to the death penalty. That is an honourable position to take. They should, however also see that it is just as justifiable to hold views which supports the death penalty. Of course if they believe in democracy maybe they would like the public to have a referendum on the issue, given historically the British public have supported it’s reintroduction. You may think it harsh and inhumane but I would not shed a tear if the likes of the Ian Huntleys of this world faced capital punishment.

Oh – and yes, I have lived in a state that has had the death penalty and still does (unlike many people who comment on the issue). And to be clear, I am fairly consistent. I believe in the right to choose and living wills. How many people are pro choice and anti capital punishment yet can square that circle in their mind.


Letting the people decide

So it appears as though ordinary citizens such as you or I will be getting the chance to table epetitions which if they get 100,000 signatures will be debated in parliament.

Crikey, yet even more erosion of the power of an MP. We can already find more out with an FOI request than is often unearthed by a parliamentary question. Now we can table a petition which if it attracts enough signatures will get debated, something which the pointless system of Early Day Motions which cost the taxpayer £1 million a year, and are only open to MPs cannot guarantee.

However the most radical change has been highlighted by Guido Fawkes, when he writes about the issue of capital punishment. A petition to get the issue debated would easily attract 100,000 signatures. What if the Government commit to offering a referendum if 1 million signatures are collected? For you see, that figure would also be easily reached, and i for one would welcome a referendum on such an issue before holding one on AV.

Do the politicians realise that by letting the people decide, they may get told some answers they may not like? Welcome to an age of people power on issue based campaigning.

And a Merry Christmas to you all

31 years ago the whole year at infant school, went silent and forgot the final line of the nativity play that everyone was meant to say. All except for me who walked forward and said , “And a Merry Christmas to you all”.

31 years later I’d like to express the same sentiments to listeners readers and even those who leave rather annoying comments here on Tory Radio. I hope you had a great year, and a Merry Christmas to you all!

Anti Murdoch rhetoric is rather boring

I really find the anti Murdoch rhetoric rather tedious. Frankly I think Cable opening his mouth will mean News Corp will definitely take over BSKYB, so well done Vince, you’ve probably achieved just what you didn’t want.

But why all this anti Murdoch sentiment. If you own a television you don’t have to watch Sky or either the BBC. Yet you do of course have to fund the BBC. Don’t like Sky? Don’t watch it. Don’t like Murdoch and his papers? Don’t by them.

Frankly I rather like Sky. I think their news coverage is good, and I now have the chance to see far more football matches live than was ever the case with our state broadcaster. Oh but you can’t see live sports without Sky? What? Yes you can.. go and watch an actual football match at the ground like you used to. The benefit now is that you aren’t just left with that choice.

I am not anti the BBC in anyway. Frankly having lived in the states I still think much of its output knocks spots of the guff that comes from some of the US networks, and I also like not having commercial breaks every 5 minutes. One wonders if the same arguments that are being thrown towards Murdoch and Sky could easily be thrown at the BBC.

IPSA doing its best to anger MPs even more?

On this weeks Seven Days Show Iain Dale and I discussed IPSA and whether things were getting any better.

Whilst the public may not have much sympathy for MPs and their expenses problems, it seems as though IPSA are doing as much as possible to annoy MPs and their staff. Reading the letter from IPSA it appears as though they have taken the strange decision to scale back the hours that their helpline is open. Readers will be all too well aware that both MPs and their staff have seemingly found it impossible to speak to IPSA regarding the issue of sorting out the backlog of claims, so surely this move is only going to get worse.

According to one staffer,

“We’re absolutely outraged over here – read the attached letter, page two is what you’re looking for.  So IPSA are now only going to answer the phones for 4 hours a day?!! I need to call IPSA at least once every time I do a claim – the whole system is so ridiculous – so now they’re basically saying that I can only do my IPSA claims between 1 and 5pm.”

It certainly seems as if IPSA are more interested in running a system that suits them, than a system that might just actually work.

Brown, economic vandalism, and hypocrisy

Does Brown have a sense of humour? Clearly he must be taking the p*** when he argues that removing state aid for less off pupis were an act of economic vandalism.Economic vandalism? Economic vandalism? How dare the former Prime Minister who never won an election dare utter those words. Blair wanted a legacy we all know that. However it is Brown who has the clearest legacy of all, that of taking Britain to the brink of bankruptcy, an act of economic vandalism if ever there was one.

An alternative view on prisons from the East Midlands


Ken Clarke has hit the headlines with his recent views on prisons and whether they work or not. Roger Helmer MEP has recorded an exclusive podcast for Tory Radio in which he outlines why as representative for the area in which Ken’s constituency resides, he believes prisons do work.

To listen to the podcast click the play button above.

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Don't be miserable – send a Christmas card

I remember when all the vogue was emailable cards with a message saying that in place of the cost of the card, a donation had been made to charity. Working for Royal Mail, unsurprisingly we continued to send Xmas cards. It would be strange not to wouldn’t it.

Maybe I am old fashioned, but in spite of my love of gadgets, when I come home I am still disappointed if I haven’t got any post. I can get 300 emails a day, but I still like to open a letter. The same is true at Christmas. They are a pain in the backside to do. They seem to cost more and more to post, and I inevitably forget to send them to a few people I should (or indeed send more than one to the same person because I can’t remember who I’ve sent them to) but you can’t beat the feeling when you get a Christmas card.

Good for Bob Russell

I am never going to be the chief cheerleader of the Bob Russell fan club. I think has some barmy ideas, none least how he still thinks Early Day Motions are a good use of parliamentary resources. Today, however I believe he has got it spot on when we learn (from the FT) that he has reported some letters which in essence threatened violence because of the views he has expressed.

On of the major reasons why I would not want to be an MP is people think they have the right to say anything they want, however disrespectful, rude, or indeed threatening it may be, to a Member of Parliament, and indeed to their staff, because of the perception that all politicians and people involved in the political sphere are on the take scum bags. At  the same time many MPs with smaller majorities are afraid to tell a few home truths to people who write in for fear of losing a vote of two.

Iain Dale has recently quit blogging, one of the reasons being given is that he is fed up of the abuse. Yes there is no right to not be offended, but at the same time there is no justification for pure abusive and nasty letters that people think they can send because you are a politician.

Good for Bob for putting a constituent in their place on the Royal Wedding, and good on him for reporting threatening letters. Just don’t table an EDM on it please!

PMQs – 15th December 2010


If you missed PMQs this week you can listen again by clicking the play button above.

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