January 31, 2009
The recent elections in Iraq are yet another indication that the country is moving on from its violent, sectarian driven past and moving towards becoming a beacon of Arab democracy. Up to 15 million Iraqis were eligible to cast votes in the elections for regional government which are being held across the country, with more than 14,000 candidates competing for just 440 seats!
This was the first nationwide vote in four years and is widely seen as a test of stability before a general election due later this year. The vote was almost entirely peaceful with just a few reports of violence, despite Al Qaeda threats. After a slow start to voting, the pace picked up and there was a “holiday atmosphere” among voters walking to the polling stations. Lubna Naji, a Baghdad medical student, told the BBC that “people here are so excited by the feeling that their vote can make a difference.” The turnout was reported to be high even in Sunni areas and due to the strong turnout voting had to be extended by one hour.
Sunni turnout was expecting to be above 60% compared to less than 2% in 2005 election when they boycotted the election. This resulted in the Shia and Kurdish parties taking control of parliament and the resentment that was to spill over into sectarian violence. The fact that so many Sunnis took part in the vote shows how far Iraq has come since “the surge” began, Iraqis can see a future for themselves and their country now.
Barack Obama hailed the poll as an “important step forward” for Iraqi self-determination. “I congratulate the people of Iraq on holding significant provincial elections today,” he said in a statement. Well that’s all well and good Mr President but if it were up to you these people would not be expressing their democratic rights to shape the future of their country now would they. No if it was up to you they would be still ruled by a brutal dictator, who gassed and tortured his own people. Yet another reason why the war was the right thing to do. Try telling the jubilant people of Iraq that the war was wrong, yes there were mistakes and tragedies, but out of it all came freedom and liberty. This will be Bush’s legacy a fitting tribute to a man who made difficult decisions to help free the world of tyranny.
January 30, 2009
It might be hard to cast your mind back to the summer of 2007 when Brown was ridding high in the opinion polls, the sun was still shinning, people had jobs, and no one had heard of a thing called “the credit crunch.” It was during this time that Brown announced his GOAT’s (Government Of All the Talents) most of these have by now gone (rats abandoning the sinking ship) leaving poor Quentin almost on his own. Brown also announced a series of special advisers such as Alan Greenspan, Bill Gates and others. He wheeled these men out now and again for photo opportunities, and to show us what a world statesman he was.
Well now it seems that the latter of these “special advisors” has just delivered another bombshell straight into the Brown bunker. Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said today that in his opinion it could take as much as FOUR YEARS for economies in trouble (i.e. ours) to return to positive growth!
He said that the upturn would need to be driven by innovations in science and technology. It’s a pity then that University science and technology departments across the country have been closing down courses or shutting their departments in record numbers over the last ten years because of a serious lack of funding. Why did the government waste our money creating non-jobs for an overreaching, bloated state, instead of investing in our future by funding science education and technologies that could now be helping us to deal with the recession?
But why should we listen to Bill Gates, it’s not like he’s the wealthiest man in the world who played a major part in revolutionising the way we live our lives and creating wealth and jobs for millions of people across the globe. Obviously Brown knows best, after all he says we are best placed to deal with is recession, and we will emerge faster and stronger than any other leading economy. Somehow I doubt it.
January 30, 2009
It has by all recognition not been a good week for the embattled “great leader.” This was a week which saw the government’s majority slashed to just 18, which resulted in Andy Slaughter a PPS resigning from the government, and the IMF report stating that the UK will be the worst performing economy in 2009 with projected negative growth of 2.8 and a debt that will take TWENTY YEARS to pay off. As if all this wasn’t bad enough there were also rumours that “the one” (Obama) may not come to London for the G20 conference, shock horror!
All this seems to have been too much for Brown who was claimed to be “tearful and dewy eyed” by Labour MPs. The PM broke down as he called the Labour rebels into his Commons office one by one and pleaded with them to back the Government. According to one MP who voted with the Tories on Heathrow the PM said “if we lose this vote it will de-stabilise the Government and de-stabilise the markets.” Mind you this was a bit of an improvement from the press conference he gave on Monday when it was claimed by some that he “wet himself,” there is no substantial evidence for this but the fact this rumour is spreading shows how far confidence in the PM has fallen.
It may not be surprising, that the PM is breaking down as the wheels begin to come off the engine of state. The pressure on him is enormous, but I can’t help but feel that he brought it on himself. If he had not gone round claiming he had “ended boom and bust” and that he had “saved the world” he might not have found himself in such a position as the second banking crisis hits.
I genuinely believe that in Brown’s head he has constructed an alternative reality which he passionately believes to be the truth. If he were to admit to the rest of us even the tiniest doubt about what he is doing it might just tip him over the edge. That is why Downing Street said this week that Brown was right and the IMF was wrong, and why Brown continues to fob off Cameron at PMQs. How long will it be I wonder before we are forced to beg the IMF for a loan and the PM will be wheeled off in a straight jacket?
January 29, 2009
My recent lack of blogging was in part due to a visit to London to attend two excellent events held by UCL and KCL Conservative associations. The first event was at UCL where the guest speaker was Michael Howard MP. He gave quite an informative yet candid speech about the party now and when he was leader and gave his opinion on the economic crisis. He then went on to answer questions from the floor on a wide range of topics which were on the whole well answered with personal opinion as opposed to the official party line. I guess he can be more opinionated given that he will be stepping down as an MP at the next election, but I hope he will add valuable experience in the Lords, particularly on the issues surrounding law and order. It must never be forgotten that crime fell by 18% in real terms when he was Home Secretary a record this government could never hope to achieve.
The second event was at King’s and was attended by Lord Tebbit who gave a lengthy and detailed speech concerning the political process. He described the increasingly worrying growth of voter apathy and how people were becoming disengaged from politics. He said it was because there was no longer “open, honest and vigorous debate” as there was when he was in government. People are now feeling left out because as the two parties rush to the centre they had abandoned those towards the edge. That in his opinion is why voter turn out is at its lowest since 1945 and why people increasingly don’t vote or vote for minor parties such as UKIP, the BNP and Respect.
Lord Tebbit then answered the audience’s questions often giving very detailed and expansive answers with his personal trade mark beliefs. To shake things up a bit he even asked the audience a series of questions! He then stayed and chatted to those who attended for nearly an hour, a true gentleman and one of the party’s all time greats. My thanks go to the Presidents of both UCL and KCL Conservative associations for organising these two very successful events.
January 29, 2009
I must apologise for the lack of blogging recently. Deadlines and events have conspired against me but normal service will resume later today. There will be some posts on recent CF events and a quick run down of PMQs, the Heathrow debate and the IMF report, so do check back here later today.
January 25, 2009
A ComRes poll for tomorrows Independent will no doubt add to Browns increasing troubles. It shows that his party’s share is down to 28%, which is the first time it has dropped below 30% in any poll from any organisation since the banking crisis began in September. When combined with the other recent polls, all showing Conservative double digit leads we are now returning to comfortable majority leads.
These numbers will be even more disheartening for Labour considering they come from the same pollsters that only seven weeks ago had them just one point behind the Conservatives.
January 25, 2009
As recent events have shown you need to be careful what you post online, especially on sites like Facebook. Online security is essential and you have to be weary of who your friends are. Iain Dale has posted that a Daily Mirror journalist called Carla Jones has been trying to befriend Tories in the hopes of uncovering another scandal like the Matt Lewis debacle that occurred earlier this month.
In that case Matt and the two others were wrong to do what they did, but when the media got hold of the story it became blown out of proportion. It seems the media will do anything to write a “Tory scandal” story with a by line of “they are just the same old nasty party.”
This incident reminds me of last year when that other Mirror journalist tried to infiltrate CCHQ, but luckily she was discovered before could get inside and cause all sorts of damage. It seems the tabloid media will stop at nothing, and stoop to any level to bring the party down. You might say if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear, but this is an invasion of privacy obtained through deceptive means, which in my eyes is little short of criminal.