A Labour peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed, was last night suspended from the party after allegedly offering a £10million bounty for the capture of Barack Obama and George W. Bush.
Labour could have avoided what is now a huge embarrassment if they’d kicked the controversial peer out of the party for one of his previous indiscretions. He was jailed in 2009 for sending texts while driving, shortly before being involved in a fatal collision, and he was heavily criticised in 2010 for campaigning for Lutfur Rahman, against the Labour candidate, in the Tower Hamlets mayoral election campaign.
The latter case is particularly interesting. Rahman was barred by the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee after a series of serious allegations made against him, including electoral fraud and links to an extremist organisation called the Islamic Forum of Europe. Coupled with the fact that, according to Chapter 2, Rule A(4)(b) of the Labour Party Rules, anyone who “supports any candidate who stands against an official Labour candidate…shall automatically be ineligible to be or remain a party member”, it came as some surprise that Ahmed was allowed to remain in the party.
The problem Ed Miliband faced was that he would have had to apply the same treatment to everyone who campaigned for Rahman. Given one of those people was the party’s London mayoral candidate, any firm action was impossible.
Instead, as we’ve seen frequently since, whenever Ken’s said or done something improper, be it insulting Jews or avoiding tax, Miliband remained timidly quiet…
March 16, 2012 Politics Comments Off
We were treated to two howlers from Ed Miliband today. Firstly one of the worst attempts at political humour since that Sarah Teather episode…
And then being unable to determine the gender of a bloke with a beard…
March 8, 2012 Politics Comments Off
Let me introduce you to Right Angle, a great new campaign for lower taxes, led by Robert Halfon MP.
They’re focussing initially on getting the personal allowance increased to £10k sooner rather than later, which is clearly the right priority given the massive boost it would give the country’s lowest-paid. It’s also something which all parties should be able to agree on – the Lib Dems have commendably pushed for it for a long while now, it naturally appeals to low-tax Tories, and even Labour should resist the temptation to oppose for opposition’s sake.
March 1, 2012 Politics Comments Off
Tory-led Hammersmith and Fulham council have produced a video, thanking residents for helping them to cut the council tax by 3.75%. That level of cut (the biggest in the country), whilst protecting frontline services, is a cracking achievement. The video’s a bit uncomfortable to watch, but the point it makes is really significant.
You can read more here.
Asked at Prime Minister’s Questions about Ken Livingstone’s tax avoidance, David Cameron noted:
“Red Ken has been caught red-handed.”
February 27, 2012 Politics Comments Off
A friend just sent me this…
The British Medical Association has weighed in on the new health care proposals.
The Allergists voted to scratch it, but the Dermatologists advised not to make any rash moves.
The Gastroenterologists had a sort of a gut feeling about it, but the neurologists thought the administration had a lot of nerve.
The Obstetricians felt they were all labouring under a misconception. Ophthalmologists considered the idea short-sighted.
Pathologists yelled, “Over my dead body!” while the Paediatricians said, “Oh, grow up!”
The Psychiatrists thought the whole idea was madness, while the Radiologists could see right through it.
The Surgeons were fed up with the cuts and decided to wash their hands of the whole thing.
The ENT specialists didn’t swallow it, and just wouldn’t hear of it. The Pharmacologists thought it was a bitter pill to swallow, and the Plastic Surgeons said, “This puts a whole new face on the matter….”
The Podiatrists thought it was a step forward, but the Urologists were pissed off at the whole idea.
The Anaesthetists thought the whole idea was a gas, but the Cardiologists didn’t have the heart to say no.
In the end, the Proctologists won out, leaving the entire decision up to the arseholes in London.
February 15, 2012 Politics Comments Off
I enjoyed this tweet from Tracey Crouch, MP for Chatham & Aylesford and manager of a girls’ football team…
February 5, 2012 Politics Comments Off
You take leave of your senses and decide to join the Liberal Democrats. The lure of Vince “twinkle-toed economic prophet” Cable and Sarah “jokes” Teather has just become too much to bear, and the prospect of an annual
party conference homage to socks and sandals fills you with vigour. You head excitedly to the page on the Liberal Democrats’ website where you can sign up to become a member, at which point you become instantly racked with doubt. Because there, grinning smugly at you, out campaigning for extra green taxes, is the Huhnester himself…
It’s probably the marketing equivalent of Labour using a photo of a gurning Gordon Brown on their promotional materials…
January 9, 2012 Politics Comments Off
This made me laugh. @AndyBolton on Twitter noted “The Guardian shouldn’t have printed Ed Miliband’s eyes on the fold, I could play with this all day…”
It’s time for my 2012 predictions, which achieve nothing other than giving everyone something to laugh at the inaccuracy of in a year’s time…
12 political predictions for 2012:
1) Boris will beat Ken in May, by a tiny margin.
2) Mitt Romney will win the Republican nomination.
3) Barack Obama will win the US presidential election by a landslide.
4) Nicolas Sarkozy will lose the French presidential election to François Hollande.
5) Ed Miliband will remain Labour leader.
6) Chris Huhne will be sacked from the cabinet.
7) David Laws will re-join the cabinet.
8) Cameron’s expected cabinet reshuffle will be a small one, with Osborne, May, Hague, Clegg, Alexander, Gove and Lansley all keeping their current jobs.
9) David Miliband will join the shadow cabinet.
10) Unemployment will start falling by the end of the year.
11) Britain will not re-enter recession.
12) Greece will leave the Eurozone.
and 12 sporting predictions for 2012:
1) Jessica Ennis will win Olympic Gold.
2) Mo Farah will win Olympic Gold.
3) Paula Radcliffe will win an Olympic medal.
4) Usain Bolt will win four Olympic Gold medals.
5) David Beckham will captain the GB Olympic team.
6) England will reach the semi-finals of the European Championships.
7) Harry Redknapp will replace Fabio Capello as England manager.
8) Manchester City will win the Premier League.
9) Liverpool will qualify for the Champions League.
10) England will win the Six Nations.
11) Andy Murray will win a Grand Slam.
12) Luke Donald will win a major.