Tag Archives: politics

#Piggate has forced Cameron to show his true colours


sb

I’m sitting, right now, in a cafe in Stroud and there’s one thing everyone’s talking about: Pig Gate. Everyone’s having a right old laugh. ‘Have you seen this?” one weary old chap says, holding aloft a newspaper. There’s a huge grin on his face. ‘This is the Cameron thing I was telling you about.”

Okay, so Stroud is a bit leftie, well, a LOT, leftie, but here’s the thing: Cameron is showing his true colours. In the week that has brought us revelations from Lord Ashcroft about his former mate’s past (alleged ‘situations’  with pigs, fox-hunting to name but two ‘events’)

UK Prime MInister David Cameron
UK Prime MInister David Cameron 

it has become apparent – like we needed it pointing out – that David Cameron’s facade is an utter lie. Man of the people? Well, it depends what people we are talking about here, and that’s always been the point. Sure, him and Osborne try to depict themselves as ‘one of us’ but no amount of public pasty eating or meeting refugees on the back foot or smiling with babies is going to convince us folk at the coal face that this Tory government has the foggiest about what it’s like to live life where you have to watch what you spend or, heaven forbid, have consideration – true consideration – for others.

Ironic that all this has come to light right after the down to earth Corbyn became Labour leader last week in what was a true breath of fresh air for UK political life. Look, I’m not saying that those of money and traditional privilege don’t or can’t fathom what life is like for others – there are truly amazing people out there from all walks of life. Yet, David Cameron, it seems, has done little to truly empathise with those from different socio economic groups. Sure, he’s been elected again, but on what grounds? It’s just a matter of time before his facade entire washes out, and the old, life-weary bloke at the table in a Stroud cafe starts smirking again to himself  before dropping off some provisions to the local Foodbank.

Got an opinion? Post your comment below.

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Why Corbyn needs no spin doctors


sbIntroducing Soundbite – a quick column to-go on the daily news and issues.

 

The thing about Jeremy Corbyn is that he’s not a media man. If he were Pepsi he’d be Pepsi lite. Nope, scratch that he’d be an organic, pressed elderflower juice with no added sugars. And, see, that’s what I like about Corbyn, that’s what we all seem to like, those on the red side of the political zone – the fact that this man thinks the meaning of ‘spin doctor’ is someone who cures ailments by twizzing you around until you feel sick.

jeremy-corbyn_3341664b
Jeremy Corbyn – new UK Labour Party leader. A man who needs no media.

So why this morning are the politicos calling for Corbyn to ‘get a media team around him.’ Why? That, like wearing a fleece with heels,  would be a catastrophic error, because it is the sheer fact that he has no media spin team, that Corbyn says what he thinks, is a conviction politician, a man of his word, that he won the Labour leadership in the first place. Tony Benn once said there are weather cocks and sign posts for politicians – Jeremy Corbyn is a solid sign post.

Look, if  you’re one of the doubters, if you don’t believe me, if you think Corbyn is having no effect on the masses at all, then listen to this. I was walking through my home town of Stroud yesterday and overheard a group of 17-year-old lads discussing just why they like Corbyn. They said he was ‘a breath of fresh air’ and that he was worth listening to. Now how often do your hear a bunch of young lads discussing politics on the street? Quite.

Corbyn is no spin doctor. He’s just human, a man of his word, a true political sign post. After all the expense scandals and lip service and downright lies of the past, his fresh approach is  just what we need. He’s a normal bloke – and that’s why we damn well like him.

Got an opinion? Post your comment below.

Gazette column: Time to think positive about were we live

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about where we live and how, if we just think a little more positively about our towns and villages, they might just begin to thrive.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: VAT on NHS car park fees? Immoral

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about NHS car park charges and how the slapping on of additional VAT at a full whack 20% rate is utterley immoral.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Time to sort this public transport mess right out

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about the state of public transport in the UK and how, in the wake of the Cam & Dursley train station parking debacle, if only we had a more integrated transport system, our economy would benefit so much. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: It’s time politicians learnt some manners

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about in-house political squabbling in Nailsworth Town Council and how, if they want out vote – and our respect – it’s high time politicians learnt some manners. Fast. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Hey! Politicians! Constituents are not just for election time

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about the UK local and European elections, and how, when it comes to wanting our vote, the best way to do it is to speak to us all year, not just come sniffing around at election time.

To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Let me know.

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, well, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

How to protest against MPs’ pay rises in 2014…

I wrote a column for the Gloucestershire Gazette about MPs’ pay rises. I was livid. An 11% pay rise proposal when public sector wages are being capped at 1%? That is just plain wrong. So, in December, I wrote a column about it. Here it is for the New Year, below, with a link to the petition you can sign to protest against it. Here’s to a better and more fair 2014…

An increase in MPs’ pay? That’s just daft – The Gloucestershire Gazette – Column – 26th December, 2013

There are times when I do feel daft. You know, those times when you think you understand something, when you believe that everything makes sense, yet actually, the reality is completely the opposite.

Well, welcome to one of these occasions. You see, you may be very aware of MPs and the proposal to increase their pay. This month, it was announced that The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority (Ipsa) wants to raise salaries by £7,600 to £74,000 in 2015. Now, while Prime Minister David Cameron calls it “inappropriate”, and Labour leader Ed Miliband requested talks between the party leaders and Ipsa, here’s the thing: neither of them has signed the paper openly opposing the pay rise. A week after Labour MP John Mann tabled an Early Day Motion demanding the increase to be just 1%, in line with the rest of the public sector, only 10 MPs – and not one Conservative – have put their names to it.

And so here’s where I think I’m daft. You see, I would have thought it was absolutely obvious that an 11% pay rise is a ridiculous idea. We are living in tough times. Winter fuel bills are rocketing. All over Gloucestershire, pensioners are struggling to make ends meet. Teachers from Yate to Cam, and Chipping Sodbury to Berkley are paid peanuts. So, on that basis, how on earth could MPs think it was okay to want an 11% increase? I watched an MP on TV justifying the rise by saying politicians work hard, and that, if we want to attract the right caliber of candidate, then we should pay out. Bobbins. Absolute bobbins. What about the teacher? The policeman? The refuse collector? Aren’t they worth something? Don’t they deserve the best pay, too? In the 2013 budget, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the 1% public sector pay cap would be extended to 2015/16. How on one hand can he do this, yet on the other effectively green light an extra 11% for himself? So much for all being in this together.

But, there is something we can do. We can protest. And we must. Because we are not daft to think this is wrong. You can sign an e-petition on the proposal at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk. You can lobby your MP. Speak to them. Because life must be fair, and an 11% rise when others’ wages are being capped? That’s not fair at all.