Saturday, June 24, 2006

 

Oak Trees, Dolphins and Torches-a Logo for the 21st Century

In many third world countries, where illiteracy is common, voters may only recognise their party from its symbol on the ballot paper. The way educational standards are declining in mainland Britain, this may be soon be the case here.

Could this be the real reason that the PR deities have decided that the 'Freedom Torch' is no longer an appropriate logo for the Conservative Party?

The torch was first dreamt up by a Mrs Thatcher and represents the lighting of the path of liberty against the scourge of socialism. Some have thought it an ice cream cone.

However, it now seems that this type of rhetorical cold war symbolism is no longer the Conservative way. The virtues enshrined by the torch still hold sway; many are opposed the rebranding but its asscoiation with Thatcherism means that, come the party conference in October, a new symbol will have been chosen.

The most popular symbol so far, at least on conservativehome.co.uk, is the oak tree. Other ideas which have been touted include a dolphin, based on Sarah Cameron's tattoo, and a retro edition of the torch.

Personally, I would favour a rebranding of the torch, perhaps incorporating a Union Flag design. I'm no designer or PR guru however and it's not as if anyone is going to ask me anyway.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

 

Losing our bottle?

The other night, after having a few drinks with friends, I decided that, instead of getting two buses, I would go for a little walk then get the one bus. During the day, you would think nothing of this but at night, even in the summer when it is light, you may feel a tad intimidated.

As I got to the end of Everton Road, without passing a single person, I turned the corner and on my left, in a little park, were about twenty youths, many of them wearing the compulsory hoodie. Now, for once, I was dressed quite respectably and realising that this may make me some sort of a target for this collective of underage drinkers, I went to cross the road.

No sooner had I done so than a beer bottle fizzed over my head and landed in the road in front of me. This had happened to me before and led to me getting a bit of a kicking so, naturally, I upped my pace a bit. I got round the corner and felt safe again. I then wondered what on earth I was doing running away from a bunch of kids?

Has it really got that bad in the inner cities that a grown man would run away from children no older than 15? Apparently so. I'm reliably informed that in my grandparents' day such behaviour would have led to me walking over and slapping the little so and so round the ear. I envisage that, had I have followed that course of action, I may have wound up with stab injuries.

In Sunday's Sunday Telegraph Frank Fuerdi argued that societies norms and values have altered; meaning that it is unacceptable for people to interfere when something is obviously wrong. Human rights laws, the fear of being branded a paedophile and the fear of violence all contribute to ensuring that we keep ourselves to ourselves.

Teachers constantly complain that children shout about their rights when asked to perform the most basic tasks. My girlfriend has recently started a work placement in a school. Despite the fact that she is only 20 years old, she claims that the atmosphere in the school is nothing like she remembers.

In his excellent book, Ghosts of Spain, Giles Tremlett tells the story of a Spanish man who, whilst living in England, ruffled a child's hair and pinched another's cheek. Someone called the police over such innocent actions. Whilst perhaps not illustrating my point exactly, it is clear that in our culture, physical contact with a child, even if they are misbehaving, is seen as sinister.

Young Tom Grant, who saw something despicable when a man was assaulting his ex-girlfriend on a train, stepped in and paid with his life. The papers are full of stories like this from time to time.

Have we, as a nation, lost our collective bottle or have dictats from Brussels ensured that we are frightened to act for the common good? Or has our society grown so violent that we have reason to be scared?

I think I combination of these factors is at play but the most important one is fear. To make this society better, we need to lose our fear; of being prosecuted and of being killed. Only government action, unfortunately, can reverse our fear.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

 

BBC cleared of systematic bias

A panel reported last week that BBC was not deliberately biased in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The panel was set up by BBC governors who were worried about accusations of bias towards Palestinians. They did conclude however, that despite there being no institutional bias, some reporters occasional fell into the trap of supporting the underdog.

British Board of Film Classification chief Sir Quentin Thomas claimed that there were "occasional lapses by individuals". He also recommended that, where it applies, the BBC should use the word 'terrorist in future.

The BBC had banned its reporters from using the word, believing that it was "a barrier to understanding"

The BBC has long been accused of bias towards the Palestinians. In the past a journalist reporting on Yasser Arafat's funeral was seen to have tears in her eyes whilst Orla Guerin's report on a teenage suicide bomber hit out at the Israeli army who published photographs of the incident.

 

I hate the department for work and pensions

My hatred of jobcentres grows stronger by the day.

Last week, still not having got myself a decent job only to find four staff members standing outside. One of them was holding a placard. It appears they were having a strike. I walked over the road, my head full of things I would like to shout at these idiots. I kept my cool and trudged home, angry that these people, who actually had jobs, had stood in the way of me getting one.

Out of all the jobcentres in the country only four percent were shut. Surprise, surprise all Liverpool's were included in this percentage. Will it ever end?

I finally got onto jobseeker direct and got them to send a form out for a job. They sent me two A4 pages explaining what would happen to my details that they had stored, an information brochure and details of the job. There was no form.

I phoned up on Monday to get one sent out but, as they post everything second class, it still hasn't arrived. I will probably miss the deadline now.

Friday, May 05, 2006

 

Conservatives gain over 40 per cent of seats...


...but still fail to breakthrough in northern cities

The story of the Conservative triumph in the local elections is widespread by now. A glorious vindication of Cameron and the new (or should that be old, pre-Thatcher) Toryism it has been.

The lack of any progress what so ever in the Manchester, Newcastle and Liverpool is worrying however. Every ward was contested in Liverpool and little movement was seen. The Lib-Dems lost three seats, which Labour gained and the greens held their one. The Liberals, campaigning with a "stop demolishing, start renovation" manifesto, maintained their three.

For what it is worth I actually liked their idea. The idea that you don't have to bulldoze every home in sight in order to give someone a better standard of living was quite unique and if I had have been a candidate I would have stood on this as well. The Conservatives should turn this into a core issue. If we were big on this at national level, I'm sure we would be able to capitalise on it in the next local elections.

David Cameron has already been to the Welsh streets to talk to the residents who, not suprisingly, didn't want their houses demolished. Prescott was there shortly before, grinning and imagining the cardboard houses he is going to build to replace them.

Bring it on.

 

Sinn Fein sell items for organisation they have nothing to do with!

It has emerged that the Sinn Fein online shop is continuing to sell goods featuring paramilitary images and guns.

The party faced controversy in 2003 after it began to sell a t-shirt featuring the legendary sniper at work roadsign.

A quick glance at the www.sinnfeinbookshop.com website reveals that the sinister merchandise "hasn't gone away you know".

One T-shirt, which bears the logo "IRA-undefeated army" claims to be "tribute to the men and women who led the struggle against British occupation of Ireland". It clearly features images of hooded IRA men with guns at the ready.

A poster, bearing an image of a terrorist with his AK-47 at the ready, is also for sale.

All items are priced in Euro's and in US dollars.

 

FAIR aim to present hunger strikers "in their true light"

Members of Northern Ireland victim's group FAIR (families Acting for Innocent Relatives)have released a booklet explaining the backgrounds of the hunger strikers

The booklet, released today to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the death of the most notorious hunger striker, Bobby Sands, attempts to challenge the claims made by republicans about the men who starved themselves to death in 1981.

Willie Frazer, who heads the group, claims that the Republican version of events neglects to mention why the men were in prison in the first place.

"Bobby Sands was caught in a car with a gun shortly after an IRA attack on a furniture shop. Raymond McCreesh surrendered after trying to attack British soldiers" he said.

FAIR are based in south Armagh, an area which was notorious for its violence during the troubles. Many unionists believe that the systematic killings of protestants in the area was part of a deliberate attempt to ethnically cleanse the border region.

 

No posting...

Internet access is a bit hit and miss at the minute, sorry to my legions of devoted fans.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

 

Vote blue, go green

The local election race is hotting up now and the Conservatives have actually come up with something positive.

So folks, remember-the best councils in Britain for recycling and conservation are Conservative controlled.


 

PSNI foil dissident plot


The police came under sustained attack in Lurgan, Co Armagh last night as youths rioted following the discovery of explosives and bomb making equipment.

The find was made in a breaker’s yard in the nationalist Kilwilkee area of the town. It is believed that the components for a car bomb and 250lb of explosive were discovered. Four men, aged between 22 and 46, were arrested under the Terrorist Act, in relation to the cache

Superintendent Alan Todd linked the find to dissident republican paramilitaries and said a bomb attack would have been imminent.

"Material of this sort is by its very nature unstable and, therefore, people preparing these things do so with the intent to use it as soon as possible," he said

The Continuity IRA has been active in the area in the past, though it is not known whether the four men arrested have been previously known to police.

Police officers came under sporadic attack as they tried to remove evidence. Gas cylinders at the yard were deliberately set on fire by rioters, causing danger to local residents. The Lisburn to Portadown railway service was cancelled as the line runs straight through the estate.

Local politicians were united in their condemnation of the plot with both the SDLP’s Delores Kelly and UUP assembly member Samuel Gardiner praising the police for what Mr Gardiner called an “excellent piece of work by the PSNI”.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

 

Now for some important news...


There is finally someone in Tom Cruise's life who is more of a child than he is.

"You're a jerk"

 

New Labour, New propaganda



Labour, in their enduring quest to be masters of propaganda have launched a new campaign entitled "Dave the Chameleon".

No prizes for guessing that that it is aimed at David Cameron. It seeks to highlight the Tory leader's apparent tendency to "flip-flop" and change his colours. It only really serves to make Labour look desperate, scared and a tad stupid. The whole idea was first thought up by John Prescott. It's been seized upon, despite the fact that the idea is not even that good.

The website claims that "David Cameron flip-flops from one policy position to another". This apparently means "that he is not a credible or an authentic voice of change". Underneath he is just another Tory.

It's a very simple idea; Cameron described himself as a liberal Conservative in the Fife by-election campaign. New Labour take this to mean that he meant liberal with a big 'L'. Therefore he is yellow. Apparently Cameron promotes himself as the heir to Blair. He's never actually said this. That doesn't matter-he is red. But alas, Cameron told Telegraph readers that "I am a Conservative to the core of my being". He is blue, which is just plain bad. The Downing Street propagandists have simplified the nature of Conservatism. Of course it is possible to be considerate to the environment, socially liberal and a Conservative. It just helps to keep the public believing that Conservatives are all milk snatchers, gay bashers and racists, which is the aim of the campaign.

Only time will prove that the campaign has no merit. When Cameron starts to churn out new types of policy, the message, that the Tories are just the same old bunch, will be proved wrong.


 

Sixty-eight percent favour monarchy


68 percent of Britons favour the idea of constitutional monarchy, it has emerged

Only 13 percent of us would prefer Britain to become a republic.

The poll, published by ITN in the week of the Queen's 80th birthday, surveyed 1,500 participants on their attitudes to the Monarchy. Respondents also chose the Queen as their favourite member of the royal family.

Her Majesty polled 26 percent whilst Prince Charles could only manage 4 percent. Charles' wife, Camilla, could only manage 1 percent. There was good news for Prince William however; he is the second most popular royal, with 21 percent choosing him.

The news that over two thirds of Britons still favour the Monarchy is certain to anger Republicans, who favour an elected head of state and have increasingly seen themselves as a majority.

It recently emerged that, contrary to popular belief, the average citizen only pays around 70p for the upkeep of the Monarchy each year.

Monday, April 17, 2006

 

Six killed in Tel Aviv bombing


A suicide bomber has killed six people in an attack in Tel Aviv

The bomb went off close to the city's main bus station, at a falafal shop. A further thirty people were injured in the attack.

It is the second time in four months that the bus station has been targeted. The area was the scene of a blast on January 19th, when around thirty people were injured.

"It was a huge explosion. It was an unbelievable sight," Yossi Bar, a taxi driver, told Israel Radio.

The attack has been claimed by two Islamic groups, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic Jihad. The former is linked to the Fatah movement to which the Palestinian President Mahmood Abbas belongs. Abbas has condemmed the bombing, which came in the middle of the Jewish festival of Passover, when the streets were crowded.

An Hamas spokesman declared that the bombing was an "act of self defence".

Sami Abu Zuhri said "The Israeli occupation bears responsibility for the continuation of its aggression. Our people are in a state of self-defence and they have every right to use all means to defend themselves."

Israeli politicians are certain to use the attitude of Hamas, who now govern the Palestinian areas, as evidence of the unviabilty of dealing with terrorists.

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