Derek Conway should go and now that the subject is in the public domain, let's rifle a few more drawers and turn a few tables over - I want this 'can of worms' to be opened. Cameron still needs to convince me that he's the man who can deliver a massive improvement in standards in public life.
Check out this incredible speech. Full text here.
Prague has an unfortunate reputation for cheap beer and cheap women - personally I would favour red-light tolerance zones well away from the city centre. I don't want to be too hard on this fat, ugly Scottish Socialist - after all we need users of prostitutes like him to come forward if we're going to tackle the menace of international sex trafficking.
Labour's line of argument re donor sleaze is that we're all as bad as each other or more specifically the Tories are as bad as us. I am sure it can look like that if you squint your eyes...
The death of Bobby Fischer raises the canard that very few chess players are successful in other fields. The PayPal founder and facebook investor Peter Thiel is one. He says "Taken too far, chess can become an alternate reality in which one loses sight of the real world, my chess ability was roughly at the limit. Had I become any stronger, there would have been some massive tradeoffs with success in other domains in life." Same goes for blogging methinks. Anyway I like this site and have added it to my links.
The Labour party line on red Ken - Ken may be an unaccountable, fraudulent, dictatorial, ineffective, wheeler-dealing, uncontrollable, criminal, PR-obsessed, Trotskyite, conspiratorial, pro-fanatical, anti-Israeli, revolutionary, anti-semitic, profligate, imperial alcoholic... but he's our unaccountable, fraudulent, dictatorial, ineffective, wheeler-dealing, uncontrollable, criminal, PR-obsessed, Trotskyite, conspiratorial, pro-fanatical, anti-Israeli, revolutionary, anti-semitic, profligate, imperial alcoholic. Hat tip - Luke Akehursts.
Police pay march planned for Wednesday. How did it come to this?
Rhetorical question. How long can a story about a plane not crashing stay in the news? They've done it again.
Off to Nostress restaurant tonight, I'll spend tomorrow demolishing a monastery and then on to a Rubik's cube party, so no updates for a bit.
I think that 2008 has been a boring year for politics so far. Dragging donation declarations out of PHain is not my idea of fun and am I alone in being bored with hearing Labour MPs using the term 'global economic problems'?
Hero of the day is Helen Newlove.
More speculation today over at the Royal Court of Justice on how serious Diana's relationship with Dodi was and other irrelevancies. Why the **** is this garbage clogging up our courts and media?
I rarely have much nice to say about Alex Hilton, so let me seize on this post. Considering he is not a compliance professional he has some good ideas. Speaking of which I'd quite like the job of Labour Treasurer - the last thing they need is a barrister.
Asking fellow Tories what the point of the Lib Dems always raises a laugh, but Nick Clegg takes things to extremes. He appears to excel in making no impact.
Most Labour bloggers aren't bothering to defend Hain, but my understanding is that the Labour party line is that he's a nice bloke. Not the strongest of defences.
Hain's oversight in full.
Apparently Mike Rouse's poligeek meet up is happening. Judging by the latest status updates on my facebook, my life has become a bit skewed towards politics and blogging.
Yesterday's PM press conference was a yawn. I think I did, but I'm not sure whether I watched it all. What I'm finding
I have to take my hat off to Obama's presentational skills. Charisma is the ability to influence people without logic and is political gold. For a politician to convince people to support him/her even if they don't agree with them on policy needs charisma. The reactions in the comments at Iain Dale's testifies to Obama's charisma.
Barack's performances are well-rehearsed, but not many commentators seem to be mentioning how cliched his techniques are. Here's five.
1. Producing appeasing signals
I love the way that Obama uses his hands when he speaks. Even when he is making strong verbal attacks his body language is assertive but never aggressive. Here's an example. Even if you don't remember a word you'll see a calm, collaborative and precise person.
2. Associating with babies
This is a no-brainer. It's not just about looking like a nice guy, but also cutting off attacks.
Don't attack me you might hurt the baby. ;-)
3. The politician's smile.
Hillary v Obama? I'll let you make your minds up on which is the most convincing.
4. Whispering to create an illusion of physical and psychological intimacy.
Barack cleverly related an anecdote that involved whispering in a New Hampshire speech.
5. Make themselves appear popular.
Public adulation is the best and Barack's road to change video succeeds in conveying that message.
A fair amount of Obama's support depends on how he makes me people feel about supporting him. His message of hope, change and healing will get him the Democratic nomination - whether his feel-good message is enough to take him to the White House is less clear.
The Labour Party line is that if a recession comes right-wing commentators will have talked us into it. Regardless of whether economic growth turns negative, a combination of low pay settlements against a background of spiralling energy prices and spiking council taxes persuades me that there will continue to be widespread falls in disposable income in 2008.
Good weekend so far - a few episodes that touched on 'Brand Britain'. The continued reporting of stabbings and shootings is very damaging, but I'll probably do a guest post elsewhere on this theme. My web poll reveals that 'Bottler Brown' is your favourite Gordon nickname, but 'Incapability Brown' isn't far behind. I wish I'd given you the choice of Macavity too, but oh well. New poll to start soon.
I'm not the only Tory in Prague. Tonight I'm celebrating the engagement of my friends Emily and Jim (who was a member when he was in the UK). Later on, I might meet up with 'staunch Tory' Justin for his wife's birthday and tomorrow we're going out on the town with James and his wife. When I first met James and I said I was interested in politics his horrified reaction was 'You're not Labour are you?'. Probably won't be updating the site again until Sunday.
Of course I agree with my favourite police bloggers, PC South West, PC Bloggs and Inspector Gadget on the police pay negotiations.
The main issue is that the agreed rise has not been back-dated - a travesty. The government's position is indefensible. I note the Scots implemented the deal in full and I can't be the only person comparing the police award with MPs' impending pay rise.
What should the Tories do? Pledge to make a one-off bonus payment to plug the missing pay if elected. It would signal our commitment to fair dealing and is not inflationary or even expensive. One question if I join the planned police rallies in Jacqui Smith's constituency and Westminster can I be arrested for impersonating a police officer?
Fancy a game of chess on facebook? - my ID is Dominic Fisher from the West Midlands.
If you're not sure whether you're good enough check through the above game (I was white)
Can we be surprised that Africa's elected leaders morph into military dictators when we sit on our hands in response to Mugabe? Some people don't seem to realise that inaction is a decision and I think the consequences will continue - don't just watch Kenya - keep an eye on Uganda, too. Desperate stuff. I recommend Kenyan Pundit and Joseph Karoki's picture blog.
I'm not very good at predictions, but I did enjoy one in the Telegraph forecasting that Labour would go bankrupt in 2008. Careful reading of the financial statements and Labour's fundraising prospects suggests that the position is indeed precarious.