Tuesday, February 28, 2006

In an interesting post about political party loyalties, Notes From a Small Bedroom writes about people having a sort of tribal loyalty to their political party. I certainly feel that way about Labour. Not to Blair, nor to his hand-picked Cabinet, but to the Party. It is the only political party with organic links to the organised working class in the trade union movement. As someone who has spent his life in industrial relations and trade unions, those are my roots. The analogy you make with football teams is a good one. Some people do switch from Manchester United, to Chelsea, to Liverpool, to whatever team is winning. Those who support one team, and are wedded to that team through history, family, culture and tradition, don’t do that and they have contempt for the ‘glory hunters’ who do.

In that sense, most political activists I would guess are attached to their party by tradition, through their families, their background, their culture… their class! I know it probably doesn’t make sense to those that don’t have those ties, in the same way the average non-football supporter doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about.

In supporting your party in this way there is, of course, always the danger of blind loyalty, my party right or wrong. Or as Notes From a Small Bedroom puts it, the “essentially bizarre idea that you can campaign against bad policies, but should still support the party proposing them, because your party winning outweighs all other considerations.” Personally, I don’t feel that way. I have no difficulty criticising a Labour Government if I think it is doing something wrong, and I have done so over a number of years. I opposed Wilson on support for LBJ in Vietnam, Callaghan for the Commonwealth Immigration Act (the forerunner of much of the pernicious immigration legislation we have suffered since) and the Blair Government for over reliance on Tory economic policy, particularly the PFI which seems the economics of the madhouse, Iraq and ID cards. Needless to say I opposed Thatcher a bloody site more over virtually every breath she took.

However, I have to weigh those feelings against the good I think a Labour Government has done. I won’t list them here, it will just sound like another Gordon Brown promo. Some people say, well, you are all to blame because your Party, left or right, still allows Blair to get away with it. Well, that brings to mind the old joke about Thatcher. I blame the police. There’s two on the front door of No. 10, and two on the back door, and still she gets out! Getting rid of a party Leader who has won three consecutive general Elections is not like clicking your fingers and saying ‘go’. It is virtually impossible, but I think the reason he’s going voluntarily is that he knows he has pushed it too far… much too far in my humble opinion.

Anyway, the problem, which doesn’t seem to be being addressed by POWER is that of Prime Ministerial patronage. The power, passed down from the Monarch to the Prime Minister which allows the PM to choose the Executive, appoint the judiciary and clergy and Lords. By giving complete control to the Prime Minister the appointment of the Cabinet, Ministers, Junior Ministers and the Whips as well as other important Select Committee appointments, the Prime Minister virtually controls the ruling party… and thereby, the House of Commons. We need democracy, not an elected Monarch, whichever team of fans wins the day.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Today sees the publication of the Power Report, claiming to be the biggest ever investigation into democracy in Britain. I haven't had a chance to look at it properly yet, but one thing stood out like a sore thumb. Apart from a former 'member of Hastings Young Persons Council' and the 'Chairman of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes' the members of the Commission seem to be lacking in any experience of, ermm, how can I put this nicely..... democracy!
Liberty Central is up and running. I've got an immediate aversion to anything which smells of coalition, and I despise anything which considers coalition with Tories, whatever their views on civil liberties. I'm almost as averse to Lib Dems... and come to that there are a hell of a lot of Labour people I've got reservations about. But as one of Liberty Central's inspirations, and the bloke who appears to have done the most work, is Unity from TalkPolitics, it deserves a chance. Only a chance mind... the moment they start returning to that anti-Labour crap some of the started, they are dead in the water, doomed to be splitters and will be for ever cast asunder.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

The Dublin Riot!

This picture was taken on Saturday during the Dublin riots.

Did someone not tell the youth with the scarf in the foreground that these riots had nothing to do with Dion!

Tory resigns after child pornography allegations

Iain Dale really should learn not to stand in his greenhouse and throw bricks at his neighbours. Obviously not content with rubbishing Neil Kinnock for "saying we should scrap the mile and adopt kilometres instead" when it later turns out former Tory Deputy Leader, Lord Howe was also in there with Kinnock, he has now turned on LibDem Councillor Isabelle Campbell following allegations of drunken behaviour. Of course, as we know from Lord Archer and Jonathan Aitken, the Tories are whiter than white on matters of public behaviour. Apparently the Tory Leader of Dartford Borough Council in Kent who "always took a keen interest in youth affairs" has had to resign because "he wants to concentrate on other things".

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Statement on Ken Livingstone chair of Unite Against Fascism

The Chair of Unite Against Fascism Ken Livingstone has a record of three
decades of opposition to racism, fascism and anti-Semitism. Millions of
Londoners have twice chosen Ken Livingstone as their Mayor, because of his
proven record on opposing injustice, racism, fascism and promoting equality.
His suspension from office for four weeks by a un elected body flies in the
face of democracy.
We are proud that he is our chair and will continue to be so.

Friday, February 24, 2006

Scrap the Standards Board

I have had my own run in recently which resulted in a ludicrous reference to the Standards Board. As it happens the Standards Board realised that it was an entirely frivilous complaint and it proved to be, as I forecast, a ridiculous waste of public money. Now the Standatds Board have taken this decision in respect of Ken Livingstone which must surely hasten their own demise. How a bunch of unelected officials can suspend from office someone elected to run one of the World's biggest cities is beyond me.

Iain Dale is a sucker for punishment. Not content with Ken giving the Tories two trouncings in a row, the masochistic Mr Dale wants a third punch on the nose. As if the news on Ian's new best friend Comical Cami wasn't bad enough!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Surely we've got to be preggmatic about this?
Over five million people at work in the UK regularly do unpaid overtime, giving their employers £23 billion of free work every year. If you're one, why not take some time to reflect on how well (or badly) you're balancing your life?

Tomorrow (Friday 24th) is Work Your Proper Hours Day. Ask your employers to publicise it on their Intranet (don't hold your breath though).
An interesting analysis of the US fatalities in Iraq compared with the same stage of the war in Vietnam at lies.com. Regrettably there is no comparison for dead Vietnamese and Iraqi citizens.

Prince Charles - 'political dissident'

On the same subject... From a letter in The Guardian
"No chance of Prince Charles being dissident enough to be a republican, I suppose?"
Colin Burke

See also, on the same letters page, the cutting observation about.... the Oxford Revolutionary Socialist Society

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

It is almost a mantra: no-one with power gives up that power voluntarily. Whether we are talking about Emperors, Kings, Governments or local councils, if you expect them to 'give away their powers' you've probably got a long wait. You can point to some examples I'm sure (devolution?) but beware of those who talk the talk of 'devolving power' to communities or neighbourhoods... it usually just masks further centralisation. So, when David Miliband makes 'a keynote speech' about 'localism' ... be sceptical. As I have said before, David and Ed Miliband's dad, a fine old Marxist, wrote a book called 'Parliamentary Socialism' with the central thesis that Labour would always sell out and would never deliver socialism. His sons are engaged in proving the old man was right.

Simon Jenkins in The Guardian casts a sceptical eye over Miliband's New Localism. The one thing Miliband and his colleagues never mention is democracy. They are horrified by voting.... Miliband is unable to list a single power to be given to elected councillors. His benefaction is to unspecified volunteers who are "below the radar" of democracy yet who deserve something called 'more control', writes Jenkins. Miliband's Leader is worse though: Blair is equally off the Miliband message. He regards local democracy as akin to avian flu. To him "community school" is a term of abuse. He yearns to release education from the clutches of local councils and give it to churches, tycoons and his own regulators.

Within the wider labour movement, the Tectonic Plates are beginning to rumble. The Blairites have already done what they can to emaculate local government. The latest proposed education reforms are seen as an attack on LEA's and a step too far. The parliamentary backbenchers have picked up the noises. Miliband's new localism, combined with Sir Michael Lyons' anticipated proposals for local government are designed to castrate local authorities. But the wider movement knows we fight General Elections with the troops honed on local elections. Get rid of your local elections, you become like the current Provisional IRA; an army without any troops.

Perhaps then the Blairites (or will it the be the Milibandies by then) can embark on the final solution. Get together with the Lib Dems, introduce state funding of political parties, fight elections on TV, and ditch those inconvenient trade unions altogether. Some bloody localism, eh?

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Ming Campbell is dead in the water! He has just been given the kiss of death! Either that or Hemming is so confident Ming is going to win he has decided now is the time to start sucking up.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Yesterday, prior to sitting through the yawnathon that was Aston Villa's inept performance against Manchester City (who for 94 minutes couldn't hit a cows arse with a banjo) I read 'Guards' by Ken Bruen. (Ignore the Amazon review by 'A reader from Slagelse' - it tells you more about the Danish than 1,000 Islamaphobic cartoons). What a cracking book! Bruen's central character is a dipso former Garda in Galway who stumbles his way through 300 pages either totally pissed or preparing to get pissed. How have I missed these books before? Here's a flavour.

I'm getting a bit pissed off with student lib dem supporters who say the sort of thing Doctor Vee said: "I’d far rather vote for the Conservatives than Labour at the moment. In fact, for the forseeable future. If it leads to a Conservative government, so what?" If you follow the link he gives to MatGB, he writes: "In 1997, I wanted Blair to win. New Labour appeared to be a refreshing alternative to a Conservative govt that had been in office too long and lost its way." Lost its way!!!!! Just exactly when did it do that; before of after Thatcher sent baton wielding thugs into the Yorkshire coalfields or to Murdoch's Wapping printworks? I'll condemn Blair for sucking up to George W Bush (and a lot more besides), but Thatcher sent Paul Channon to sit on Saddam's white sofa to try to flog him weaponary after they knew he had practised genocide against his own people. Of course, she was not beyong sipping tea in china cups with murderers and torturers like Pinochet, but hey, perhaps she had 'lost her way' by then. Where did these people learn their social history? Smash Hits? Do they think the Thatcher years were all New Romantics and David Bowie? Last year I wrote a post which pointed out that in 1979 some small Trotskyite sects used to wander around advising people to vote for Thatcher’s Tories in the General Election. The Labour Party under Jim Callaghan had “sold out the working class” betrayed the trade unions and danced to the monetarist tunes of the IMF. Murdoch’s Sun newspaper reached the same conclusion (albeit not, as you can imagine, for the same reasons), and come the election, Thatcher swept into Downing Street. Bloody good strategy that turned out to be! If you want Lib Dems... ask people to vote for them. They opposed the war (until it started, then they supported it) argued for increased taxation to fund public services (even though Labour invested more than they had promised) and wanted to drive us unthinkingly into a federal Europe and the single currency (although they became strangely silent on that as time passed). But to argue for the return of the Tories in the hope that they have 'found their way again'.... you must be barking! Say what you will about the SWP and Respect, at least they have class politics... not the politics of the classroom.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Clearly a man who can't tell his Arth from his Elwen.
It is estimated that women who are subjected to domestic abuse suffer around 35 incidents before they report it to someone. If, that is, they live long enough. Another excellent post by the World Weary Detective.
Birmingham Tory/Lib Dem Council in leak scandal.
Why do supermarkets stock so many brussels sprouts? I am the only person I know who loves them. This is painful.
People who have been following this blog over the last couple of years will know that we have been waging war with a company called Blue Chip Casinos for the last three years. For those who don't know...start here! Blue Chip submitted a planning application to convert a pub in a residential street in my Ward into an all-night gambling den decked out to look like some ridiculous ocean liner.

Local residents objected to the plans and the Planning Committee threw the proposal out on the grounds of unreasonable noise and nuisance to local people. Undeterred, Blue Chip appealed to the Planning Inspectorate, and after a three-day public inquiry, the Planning Inspectorate upheld the Planning Committee’s decision.

We thought that would be the end of it, and they would go away and leave the residents in peace. Oh no! Blue Chip submitted modified plans which erected some bloody awful ‘sheds’ at the back, directly facing people’s homes, to act as ‘an acoustic barrier’. Planning Committee kicked this in to touch as well, this time with the rider that the sheds themselves were ugly. Back came Blue Chip again, this time with ‘litter gathering’ shrubs on the street facing part of the sheds. Once again, Planning Committee threw out the plans and confirmed quite clearly that they still didn’t think an all-night casino in a residential street was appropriate… with or without tarted-up sheds.

So, now, with only three days before their deadline to appeal expired, Blue Chip are back for a fifth bite of the cherry with another appeal to the Planning Inspectorate. For three years this odious company have subjected residents to a process of mental torture. But for the fifth time in three years the residents are preparing to resist them. With the assistance of the excellent Planning Aid, we are drawing up the battle lines. Unfortunately the Planning Inspectorate has chosen to deal with this latest appeal behind closed doors on the basis of an exchange of papers, leaving local people suspicious that the Inspectorate don’t want to stab them in the front.

The fight goes on.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

"Public-funded art is for everyone, not just some stupid vicars." ... or Mullahs presumably. 'Christian Voice is outside, praying for our souls ... '

Last year I went to see the African Soul Rebels tour with the excellent Tinariwen and Rachid Taha, Algeria's answer to Joe Strummer. Next week I'm off to see African Soul Rebels II with another Algerian star Souad Massi and the creators of last year's best album, Amadou and Mariam. The tour starts in Manchester tomorrow... get to one of the shows if you can, (sold out in London, I'm afraid) if it's as good as last year it should guarantee a great night out.
The new Blog Code box which appears in the sidebar is a cracking idea. It allows bloggers (and others) to rate blogs on the basis of a short questionnaire, and then it matches that blog with others reviewed. It the allows readers of your weblog to discover other weblogs similar to yours in terms of style, content and delivery. One interesting thing for me was that two of the blogs I read most, Occupied Country and The Whole Wide World of Fat Buddha appear as the best match for each other. I once jokingly speculated that Steve at Occupied Country and Pete at Fat Buddha were the same person... the plot thickens.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Sometimes as a councillor you have to give people bad news. There benefit has been stopped, you cannot get their repair done immediately, you are unable to get a move for a single parent with 3 kids in a third floor flat who has been waiting for three years on the housing list. But it doesn't begin to compare with this. There are some jobs I just could not do. This is one of them.

The Raid. The state doesn't always come round quite so compassionately. Every raid like this in Belfast in the 1970's led to a few more recruits to the paramiltaries.

I am once again reminded (this time by the Black Country Villain) of the power of Johnny Cash's Hurt. Like or loath country music, this video, made whilst Cash was dying, has to be one of the best ever made.
As Birmingham City plunge towards relegation it is rumoured their shirt sponsorship may have to be changed. If it is true, they could try these sponsors who appear to have been so successful to date - all their shirts have sold out!

Monday, February 13, 2006

The woeful Conservative administration which rules Birmingham City Council (at the behest of their Lib Dem puppies) are making a real pigs ear of things. That is not the opinion of some ultra lefty in the Socialist Worker... that is the view of the ultra Conservative Birmingham Post, and the former director of the business orientated organisation, Birmingham Forward. "I have said on several occasions that this administration has proved derelict in its duty to lead the city.... the coalition is ill equipped to govern and my comments are not about political ideology." Don't sit on the fence, son, say what you mean.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

The Rewards of Failure

Someone was twittering on the radio this morning whilst I was delivering leaflets in the rain (pause for sympathy) about the Blair's hanging on in Downing Street to enable them to pay the oversized mortgage Tone has taken out on his new London home. Surely if he took a leaf out of William Hague's book, Blair would soon realise his big mistake has been giving the Tories a pasting in three consecutive General Elections. He would pay the lot off in a few months after he finished being Prime Minister just by tramping around the lecture circuit cracking a few jokes. According to the radio correspondent, the boy Hague charges aound £10,000 per speech... and the irritating little twerp makes scores of them every year. Also, for being a complete and utter flop as Tory Party Leader, the News of the Screws pays him £200,000 a year so he can tell us all how he did it! Ok... Blair's never going to do as well on the comedy club circuit as the runt Hague. Let's face it, he makes you laugh when you look at him, but ten grand for a few gags by a man who basked in the glory of being called a foetus.... unbelievable! For a full list of Cameron's bag carrier's 'earnings on the side' whilst he was supposed to be representing his constituents.... read here.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

John Prescott on David Cameron, the man with a coat of many colours, "They might call themselves compassionate and caring, but we know different. They can change the label any time they like but it is the same old poison in the bottle." Via Skuds

Chicken Yoghurt on the same theme
, but somewhat funnier than Prescott: "The new Tory leader sheds his principles like, well, a power-starved politician shedding his principles, and sets about systematically alienating his party while u-turning on a sixpence, and the media are all like, "wow, look at him go!", forgetting that Blair did it all before 12 years ago."

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just one of the rather tasteless items on sale at the Lib Dem Shop. Straight up!

Thursday, February 09, 2006

In addition to this blog I have got a Councillors' website provided by Sandwell Council under the Councillor Info project. However, one of the problems with this site is I am not allowed to make 'political' comments. Why? Surely as politicians, that is the business we are in. It is a bit like Tesco having a website, but saying they are not permitted to put anything about food on it. The people that should really be jumping up and down screaming about this are the opposition groups. Their silence on political matters is almost an implicit statement that they have got nothing they disagree with the Council on. Certainly, as far as our majority opposition Tory Group are concerned, that is an easy conclusion to jump to. A quick glance at the Tory Leader's website reveals her two fellow councillors are two members who have departed from the Council ages ago, so not much chance of any politics or other content there then.

But why shouldn't Councillors' Websites be allowed to discuss political issues?
An interesting article by Vince Cable in today's Guardian about the two views of David Cameron. I like the turn of phrase where he considers whether Cameron is the same old Tory Nasty behind a smiley face. "If that is all that is involved, we can relax. In due course, the feint to the centre will be followed by a familiar lunge to the right: with talk of swamping by immigrants, European conspiracies, and the evils of taxation. The Mail and Telegraph will crack the whip. Open-neck shirts and recreational drugs will go the way of William Hague's baseball cap, and we'll be back on familiar terrain."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

This piece of crap is on Iain Dale's blogsite today. So, you get the message. Demonstrators... Muslims.... must be on the dole, obviously. I wonder if the same sort of message appeared when the Countryside Alliance had their demonstrations about their right to inflict cruelty on animals. Of course it wasn't, because the reality is, as I and many other Labour bloggers have been pointing out, if you scratch the surface of the new smarmy Cameron revolution, underneath the same old reactionary Tories are lurking. They may try to give the impression that it is only a few 'Old Tory' Tebbits who don't agree with Smarmy's New Model Tories, but deep in the heart, the Colonel Blimps are still there.

Just to show that buried deep in the Labour Party there are still socialist hearts beating, Tony Benn "happy in a blaze of autumn sunshine" writes about the values passed down to him by his radical Liberal father.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

It is 50 years since the Ed Sullivan Show in the US took the decision to only film Elvis Presley from the waist upwards to avoid the morals of the nation's youth from being corrupted by his pelvic movements. It is 40 years since the Rolling Stones were made to change the words of to 'Let's Spend the Night Together' to 'Let's Spend Some Time Together' in case the original words drove a generation of Southern Baptist Girls into spending lustful nights with boys who were not planning to spread the gospel. And still today, in the 21st Century, in a land which produces grisly 'shoot 'em up' X-Box nasties and Playstation games about running people down in the street with souped up stolen vehicles, the Texas Taliban are censoring the lyrics of the Rolling Stones. The notion that a bunch of old age pensioners singing iffy lyrics (“You make a dead man come” - how ironic is that when sung by a bloke with a free bus pass) is going to corrupt the moral compass of the nation's youth settling down to watch a bunch of blokes bashing seven bells out of each other tells me they've got their priorities wrong somewhere.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Where is Chantelle? (via New Links)


Regular readers may be aware of the fuss which broke out recently in these parts about comments I lightheartedly made about a neighbouring Metropolitan Borough. The Leader of that Council pompously made much play of the fact that if I didn't apologise he was "going to report me to The Standards Board of England and Wales". Just to keep you up to date, I have received a letter from the Standards Board. Their verdict? As predicted... no case to answer. Thanks to all those, particularly my constituents, who sent messages of support. I will try to get round to writing to you.
Whilst I detest almost everything the Conservative Party stand for, I do think we should embrace David Cameron’s ‘Democracy Taskforce’ brief to "consider the use by ministers of the power of the royal prerogative" with open arms. If Ken Clarke’s taskforce can come forward with some positive conclusions to take away the power of the monarch, including the powers of the monarch that are currently exercised on her behalf by the Prime Minister, we should grab the opportunity with both hands. The powers vested in the Monarch in the Palace and the monarch in Downing Street, whether they be the power of patronage or the power to wage war on behalf of the country, are remnants of a medieval system of Government and have no place in a democracy. When Clarke finishes this part of the task, we can push on to complete the job by freeing up the Windsors and their assorted hangers-on, take them off the payroll, and allow them to get a proper job and get on with their lives as they please.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

The boy done good. Same age as Rooney, and scored in the Youth Cup Final when we beat Rooney's Everton, Luke Moore's star is in the ascendancy
Now, who says Tories don't have a sense of humour? (actually, I do most of the time). Former Tory Parliamentary candidate Iain Dale has done a rating of the Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet, giving marks out of 10 for voter appeal. In Iain's opinion the Tory Shadow Cabinet, only a couple of months into the Cameron era, already outscore the Cabinet in terms of voter appeal. But of course, Iain was just being mischievous. I mean, how in hell could you give David Davis 8 out of 10 for voter appeal (unless you were part of the Davis for Leader campaign like Iain), or Theresa May 7 out of 10 (I wouldn't give her one, someone comments rather spitefully). But... the giveaway, that proves Iain is just trying to wind people up, is revealed when he gives the boy Hague 9 out of 10 for voter appeal. Given that Blair gets only 8 out of 10 for winning three consecutive landslides... and in 2001 Hague managed to drive away a million more voters than even John Major had managed to attract in 1997... what exactly has Hague done since 2001 to so startlingly increase his voter appeal, other than stay resolutely out of the public eye? All of which convinces me that the more people see of clowns like William Hague, the more they will realise that Cameron's formula is, as cooks in the merchant navy used to say, the same old shit, different sauce.

Friday, February 03, 2006

I was listening to the Five Live ‘phone in this morning on the way to work. A fatal thing to do because it gets me so angry. Two out of three callers on the line about the ‘anti-Muslim’ cartoons were complaining about Muslims wanting to convert this country to Islam. But surely… that is what these people do? Not all of them, but the most committed of them. It is no different to the pairs of Jehovah’s we get knocking the door flogging The Watchtower. No different to all those Catholic missionaries spreading the word of their Lord to the developing world. No different from my mate Dave who urges people to come along and listen to him preaching at the local Methodist Church. No different to the Socialist Worker sellers pushing their message and flogging their papers at the bottom of the ramp at New Street station.

I repeat… that is what they do. I don’t buy the Socialist Worker… I don’t buy The Watchtower… and I haven’t heard Dave’s sermons (other than in the pub after branch meetings). Don’t get excited by these things, as Frankie Says… Relax!

I, as promised, have absolutely nothing to say about this.
The Guardian today carries two interesting pieces. Neil Bentley from the CBI tells us that PFI is the saviour of the NHS and makes a snide reference to Professor Allyson Pollock receiving funding from UNISON. His remarks, entirely unconnected, of course, from where the CBI get their funding, include this wonderful passage: “Millions of people have been able to benefit from the state-of-the-art facilities PFI hospitals offer.” Perhaps what Bentley is more happy about though, is the notion that “A few people have benefited by Millions from the state-of-the-art facilities PFI hospitals offer.” The other article is by Polly Toynbee who welcomes the government’s (latest) NHS reform which will, “… drag the cash and attention from the Green Wing glamour of hospitals towards communities and surgeries where the old, the frail, the depressed and those with never-ending chronic conditions use most NHS care.” Oh well, only another thirty years to pay on a “state-of-the-art facility” whose time has already come and gone.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

"David Cameron is rated more favourably than any of his three immediate predecessors two months or so after each had been elected leader." Iain Dale reports this as 'good news for the Tories'. So, let us get this straight, David Cameron has a greater popularity rating than Michael Howard... Ian Duncan Smith... and William Hague, a couple of months after each one of them was elected. Crumbs of comfort indeed. Unfortunately for David (or 'Dave' as Iain has taken to calling him) he won't actually be standing against those three-time losers in the proper polls. Of course, not all Tories have Iain's enthusiasm for 'Dave', and some are downright hostile already... The Cameroonies may hope that The Right has nowhere to go but that's not true. Some may go to UKIP. Some (hopefully very few) may even be tempted by nationalist parties. Much more likely is that many will sit on their hands and stay away from the polling booths.
Genocide in Slow Motion "In Darfur genocide is taking place in slow motion, and there is vast documentary proof of the atrocities.... it's appalling that the publishing industry manages to respond more quickly to genocide than the UN and world leaders do." There is more... very much more, over at the excellent Sudan Watch, where the situation is described as 'The war on terrorism that most Americans don't know about.'

"Perhaps that is why so many supporters love Robbie Fowler - because, more than anything, he is a fan. It's just a pity the bastard isn't a City fan." Bitter, twisted, you bet!