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Today’s mental health debate in Parliament really matters; and a footnote on continuing reshuffle cockupery

Posted on 14 September 2012 | 9:09am

Out early-ish today to do breakfast telly (sandwiched between discussions on Kate Middleton’s breasts and Cheryl Cole’s hair) on the Mental Health Discrimination Bill which is getting its second reading in the Commons right now.

One or two people even more Labour tribal than I am got a bit antsy at my expressing support and thanks to a couple of Tories, Gavin Barwell, who introduced this as a private member’s bill, and Sarah Wollaston, who spoke of her own struggles with depression when the Bill was first introduced a few weeks ago.

I would never vote for either of them, and regarding Mr Barwell, he recently became parliamentary aide to Michael Gove, so the good he is doing today is unlikely to be matched by any assistance he gives to an Education Secretary whose slogan for schools seems to be ‘back not forward’.

But fair play to him … He could have picked any number of issues when he came high in the MPs’ ballot, and he went for something I and others involved in the mental health charities have been calling for, so he deserves thanks and support and I am happy to give both.

In some ways, this move is symbolic, but sometimes change comes through symbolic change. No MP has ever been deselected because of having been detained under the Mental Health Act, but the fact that they can be – when no such provision exists for incapacity through physical illness – is a piece of discrimination pure and simple. Likewise if you visit the Mind and Rethink Mental Illness websites you will meet people who have been barred from jury service because they were open about being on medication for a mental health condition. Can you imagine the outcry if a juror was banned because, having volunteered for service, the court decided their bald head indicated they were suffering from cancer?

This Bill will end those two acts of discrimination, and a third concerning company directors. About time too. The signs are it may actually reach the Statute Book, as the government are supporting it. Dennis Stevenson, businessman and peer, and a fellow depressive, can take a lot of the credit for the Parliamentary groundwork, but Mr Barwell must take even more for making this happen.

We have to get to a place where there is parity of understanding and commitment to good treatment for both physical and mental health. We are a long way from that, but this Bill if passed will represent a big step in the right direction which is why Mind, Rethink, the Royal College of Psychiatrists, and Time to Change for which I am an ambassador, are giving it unequivocal support.

… I promise I am not going soft, but whilst I am in ‘not all Tories eat babies all the time’ mode, a word abut sacked energy minister Charles Hendry, and the incoming health team headed by Jeremy Hunt. I spoke at the Energy Event in Birmingham earlier this week and was genuinely taken aback by how much anger there was at Mr Hendry’s departure. He seemed to have achieved the impossible uniting the nuclear lobby, fossil fuels lobby and renewables lobby in saying he understood the brief, listened, and really thought through policy.

Reshuffles are always difficult, but I made the point that David Cameron might have been less tempted to move him, or sack him, had he known in advance that the minister was so highly thought of. I asked for a show of hands on who had heard of his successor, John Hayes. In two sessions attended by several hundred people, five hands went up and I am pretty sure some of them thought I meant the Irish prop forward.

As for Mr Hunt, who let us not forget wanted to remove the NHS section from Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony at the Olympics, there was genuine puzzlement among NHS chief execs I met yesterday. Also I hadn’t realised that apart from the minister in the Lords, Lord Howe, every other health minister was new. It does suggest Mr Cameron is not very good at jigsaws, but excellent at making it up as he goes along.

  • Anonymous

    Mental health is so important. You are absolutely spot on: if you have diabetes, no one tosses you a fruit pastille and either tells you to get on with it or takes a step back in case they catch it.
    Thank you for supporting this bill and for contributing a joke to our #TweeHee twitter campaign to raise funds for Sane, an organisation which does a lot to remove the stigma of mental health issues.

  • reaguns

    “Also I hadn’t realised that apart from the minister in the Lords, Lord Howe, every other health minister was new.”
    I don’t understand what this means, anyone help? Every health minister was new?
    3 cheers for Gove. Hopefully he’ll be the next Tory leader. Shame on you Campbell, Gove is carrying on what Tony Blair had the courage to start. Complacent public services who think they exist for the benefit of their workers rather than the public (the clue’s in “service”) needed reform, education in particular, Blair started it and Gove is carrying it on.
    Cry all you want to, we all know the only reason you attack Gove and Boris Johnson is out of fear, because they can match Ed Miliband for intelligence, and in Gove’s case for principle too, but both can slaughter him on charisma. That wouldn’t be a reason to elect them over him in my book but it is in a lot of people’s and that’s why you are so fearful of them. I notice you lay off Osborne now that he has cooked his own goose, now that everyone agrees he is incompetent. We know your game!

  • Michele

    Anyone thinking a Labour supporter can’t (or even shouldn’t) appreciate anyone with different politics has a simple narrow-minded sectarian prejudice that’s as thick as racism or religious bigotry.

    It’s not always easy, especially if one has LibDem friends (of 20+ yrs standing) that are either now in severe cringe about what has been done to them OR manically defensive like cornered *ats.

    Any team leader (a.k.a. PM) sacking a successful and popular pragmatic team member that doesn’t suffer from the prejudice must be a sectarian bigot themself. Stand up Dave.
    http://www.conservatives.com/People/Members_of_Parliament/Hendry_Charles.aspx
    Axed – not even moved sideways !

    The successor is another departee from Gove’s area (along with Sarah Teather on whom Tricky Nicky seems to have turned his back, can that really all be about her daring to abstain from whipped votes?).
    I’m keen to know whether Tricksy was consulted about the shuffle and do think we should know whether he was part of it or spat upon.

  • Michele

    Some good posts on the ‘backthebill’ site.

    There’s one complaining about CRB checks.
    I’ve posted here before that those checks are also for the sake of someone that might still be recovering but could be contemplating work that could expose them to more users/manipulators/bullies than one meets in the normal day to day.
    There’s a stigma about CRBs that is wrongly-based, the insinuations about their existence is resistance to what’s perceived merely as the suspicion that a recovering person could damage others.
    The actuality is also to avoid their being exposed to bullies themselves (who do or don’t know about their status, most bullies are just all round thugs).

    The problem is with the name.
    I simply cannot understand how it was as clumsily-titled since it checks on history other than criminal.
    How did the name happen under a Govt full of so many elequent people?
    The stigma of the name needs to be removed but the checks have to continue for the prospective worker’s protection MOREso than the people they come in to contact with. It’s the very reason why some social workers have regular compulsory counselling.
    I once did a contract in an SSD/Child Protection – the worst period of my career (with decades back and forth to the third world). I simply could not believe what I heard in our first world community (straight from parents’ and children’s lips), six months was enough for me. Someone with the vocation needs continuing support.

  • reaguns

    Should have commented on the main point – it is indeed encouraging to see this bill hopefully get passed.

  • Michele

    Who’re you including in your ‘we’?
    Speak for yourself, you have no right to claim a ‘we’, not unless you’ve roped in willing fools that you could describe to ‘us’ and not make ‘us’ feel squeamish at the thought of being deemed one of the ‘we’.
    Yukkkkkkky bleughhhhhy spit.

    Gove has NO charisma; Gove is merely able to exploit the 100+ overall majority that Tricky gave Dave instead of allowing a minority Con govt to stand or fall on its actual performance.
    The coalescence had NO mandate.
    Tricky is enabling Gove, he enabled Lansley, he either enabled the shuffle or is keeping quiet about any disquiet re his sacked colleagues, there are so many ways in which Tricky has been bought.

    Tricky debated pre-GE about a willingness to work WITH either of his fellow debaters post-GE.
    That is why some people used protest voting for him (as in voted against either other).
    They voted negatively.

    He did not mention any requirement for Cabinet posts in order to ‘work with’, he played the altruism card and got votes on that basis.
    That stupid PVing was so destructive, its varieties actually LOST 15 sitting LDs their seats and reduced his total HoC membership by 5 seats overall (he won 10 new).

    Crafty Dave eh?
    He rescued a bloke in a pickle that would surely otherwise have been facing protest among his reduced number of MPs.

    Dave knew he did not need to buy the LDs with Cabinet posts, he knew Tricky had stuff to live up to without that.
    But, as an experienced employer of servants he knew how to buy deference.
    The resultant quarters of a million [or more] quids for Tricky and
    certain others of his party that will be MADE, not EARNED, in addition
    to MP pay over 5yrs is what has enabled Tricky et al (but not Ms Teather) to, in turn, enable as much as they have.

    You speak only for yourself, just as I do.
    Stop the pathetic yahboo claims to be leader of the gang (aka pirouetting aka showing off).

  • Michele

    Try new to the dept, new to ministerial-dom, new to being bought, look ’em up or get one of your ‘we’s to 🙂

  • Nick

    It is now becoming apparent that mental health issues such as depression are being seen in the same light as any physical condition.Nobody decides to be depressed just as nobody decides to have the flu !.I remember John Gregory the Aston Villa manager saying ” How can Stan Collymore be depressed when he is earning 20 grand a week” .I may be a little out with the exact figure .I suppose most of the country would have agreed with him at that time.However I suspect such a comment like that today would be met with a lot of anger .

    As for Hunt as Health Secretary .I was amazed at just how Cameron could score such an own goal !!.Hunt is well tarnished with the BSKYB affair.Which he will never be allowed to forget .As for his objection to having the NHS content in the opening ceremony , he again showed bad judgement in allowing his obvious anti NHS feelings be known
    Leave him there I say and lets see how easy a target he will be at the next election when it comes to deciding on who’s hands the NHS is safest in !

  • Anonymous

    It is all a matter of degree, isn’t it, whether, healthwise both physically and psychlogically, if someone is suitable for jury service at that time. Work promotions too.
    But when any health crisis is stable, there should be no discrimination. Take ex-armed forces personnel, who are suffering after effects of both type of injuries, or any other line of work that results in same, there should also be no discrimination if they are fit and well enough at that time. It shouldn’t be a black or white judgement issue.
    And twice I have been called up for jury service, but was during already paid for part-time college courses, so had to explain that I couldn’t possible do it, and was allowed to opt out. They do pick their times.

  • Anonymous

    Recommend politicos watch the Daily Politics new European show, think seems to be an incorporated offshoot (oxymoron?)
    Saw it today, compared the usual smug waffling windbags that the party send to the Daily Politics (and they keep people away from Andrew Neil for good reason) such as Michael Fallon (apologist) and Chris Leslie (vomit), in comparison the German politician they spoke to today was a breath of fresh air. So calm, logical, sincere.
    His name is Martin Schulz and he is a social democrat. We already know the Germans have the best and least insane social democrats (the legendary Gerhard Schroeder among the best politicians this century) but this guy’s honesty amazed me. People like Clegg, Miliband etc skirt round the European issue but this guy was saying “Yes I am a federalist, I believe in political union for Europe.” At least he was honest. The others pretend that is not the plan, at least this guy admitted it is.

  • Anonymous

    Oh my God! This just gets better! Alastair you need to get your labour guys to study this Martin Schulz – he just got the better of an exchange with Andrew Neil, something I have never seen anyone do, not Thatcher, not Murdoch, not Blair, certainly not Cameron.
    Neil “Why, when national governments, regardless whether they be conservative in England, christian democrat in Germany, or socialist in France, when these government are all implenting spending cuts, how can the EU justify a 7% increase in the EU budget?”
    Schulz “Do you know vhy ve hev zis increase?” (I’ll stop doing the accent now lol)
    Neil “Well… you increase the budget every time no matter what!”
    Schulz “Ok this is not an answer to my question so I’ll explain it to you” (Burn!) “We agreed many years ago, including your prime minister Cameron, to increase european responsibilities for climate change, for blah blah (I forget the rest) and only now have we seen the cost of these and we need 7% more to pay for it.”

  • Anonymous

    He also doesn’t believe in free speech, watch how he treats Farage in the Parliament. Now that he’s President of the Parliament he’s coming over all nice guy and he’s anything but! He and Verhofstadt are peas from the same pod and it doesn’t include democracy in there. Their ‘federal’ beast will subsume Britain into the United States of Europe, is that what you want?

  • Anonymous

    Mandelson, Kinnock Mr and Mrs, Blair, Brown, Ashton oh the list of troughers is endless isn’t it M?

    Blinkers off NOW M otherwise you’ll be referred to as yet another bigoted woman…..

  • Dave Simons

    Sheer magnanimity moves me to totally agree with your first paragraph and with Alastair on the same subject. Some of my best friends are stinking Tories!

  • Michele

    Mine supply me with a peg 🙂

  • Michele

    What’s your problem LibDem, you were sucked in and spat upon in May’10 too weren’t you?

    Your anti-EU prejudice is all that inspires your posts – although you’re too daft even to name yourself after fellow EU cynics at either try LOL.

    Those you name are in their present roles armed with expertise and intelligence. Tricksy has neither. He was bought by Dave, treated like the village virgin, used. Okey doke?
    He’s learning fast though isn’t he (viz: how he’s treating Ms Teather)?

    Better advise which ‘Ashton’ you mean if it matters.

  • Michele

    If you’re so against the EU, are you of the same fracturing mind re the UK?

  • Anonymous

    Oh no, I am 100% Eurosceptic, a referendum question for me would not be in or out, it would be whether we destroy the European parliament using the SAS or a cruise missile.
    You can see this man is from the school of thought, generally unfortunately leftist, who believe that a few smart people should tell the rest of us what to do (in this case create a federal europe) rather than ask us what we want to do, in other words “democracy!”
    So my answer to Schulz would be “Hey you are very logical, and you seem very clever and sincere in your belief that we would be better off in a United Europe.” “So ve should hev it?” “No we should have a referendum, and I’ll thank you for your input but vote no.”
    I was just pointing out that in terms of intelligence, debating, logic, sincerity he was way beyond the average labour politician. I think Ed is better now but look at this guy’s interview with Andrew Neil compared to the labour leadership challenger interviews with Neil.

  • Anonymous

    Sorry Alastair, sport. But what is Eddie Butler, the former Wales national team captain, doing with writing from the Guardian/Observer, when they actually can’t get off they smarmy Islington living arses to report on welsh rugby, let alone scottish and irish varieties? Eddie’s spiel today,
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/blog/2012/sep/15/argentina-rugby-championship-eddie-butler
    Eddie has long time been on my list of ex-sportsman knobs, alongside that Lineker, who both I would trust as far as I could gob to go into battle with, to look after my back. Very untrustworthy self-people, I can see it in their eyes. But if I could get them into bootcamp for six weeks, i would soon knock that out of them.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUc62jD-G0o
    Fecking civies with their free mouths! Never have stuck one up the barrel nor tried nine inches of cold steel stuck on the end of it. Knobs, prize knobs they are Alastair.

  • Anonymous

    …did it again, no clickable pic, so again a vid for Eddie and Gary – stand by your beds, bedblocks at dawn,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUc62jD-G0o

    flipping upgrades

  • Anonymous

    I am of the same mind in that I believe the constituent parts of the EU should get a chance to vote in or out, same for the regions of the UK. Unfortunately I believe people would probably vote to say in the EU, but out of the Euro.

  • Anonymous

    Oops, so it did in the end, apologies for the repeat, and the blood vessel-bulging.
    But the Guardian/Observer does wind me up on rugger reporting, what with nothing reported outside the Guinness Premiership, or whatever it is called these days. Can’t you have a quiet word with them Alastair? A summary few paragraphs will do, crumbs on a table-like.

  • Liberalreform

    reaguns, he’s probably way beyond most of the HoC, he’s a one trick pony and to him no other alternatives are acceptable. Verhoftstadt is similarly impressive but they are frightening to me. At least they have a passion which seems to be missing in the HoC and they seem willing to fight their corner far stronger than our lot!

  • Liberalreform

    I’m not against the EU per se, I’m against the UK ‘disappearing’. I also happen to be against us funding the Brussels lot rather extravagant tax free lifestyles.

    The United Kingdom has existed for rather a long time and at least we all speak English and to a large extent have similar values. If the Scots want to leave the Union that is for them to decide; I don’t happen to agree that they’ll be better off out.

  • Libdem

    ‘Expertise and intelligence’…… nice one M, see I knew you could tell jokes.

    M, you missed out something else I’m ‘inspired’ by, other people’s bigotry and blindness but then again your prejudices might just prevent you from understanding that.

  • Michele

    What’s my bigotry about then Libdem?
    I wasn’t taken in by schmooze in May ’10 despite all those that were, sorry about that 🙂

    I was sickened by all the detail that occurred and piled up during that weekend, you ARE interested in detail and fact aren’t you?

    Clegg lost 15 sitting LibDems their seats.
    He gained 10 new ones theirs.
    That makes a total loss of 5 seats doesn’t it?
    Do you think Clegg would even still be leader of the Lib Dems if he had not been so expensively bribed to join Dave?

    Do you think the latter had any need at all to bribe nick as he did (and as he had none don’t you think it’s understandable GB had no idea what had been going on for so many days and what he had to outdo – and with OUR money)?

    Me? I’m glad GB has some honour and doesn’t feel people should be or should need to be bought.
    Most have got nick sussed now (except those blinded by their obstinacy and who never, ever bother to name an accomplishment and have NO interest in reality).
    WTH difference has Clegg made to what Dave would have done anyway?
    Coalition by all means – as backbenchers, they would then have been able to vote honestly.

    Don’t agree with me? So get real and applaud what has been done to OUR NHS.
    You owe it to yourself.

    • Libdem

      WTH difference has GB made other than bankrupt the country M? Explains some of your bigotry don’t you think old girl?

  • Michele

    The UK disappearing?
    Isn’t that more likely to happen if it comes apart (which you claim each nation should decide for itself rather than for the whole).
    You need to re-click a few of your Lego parts up top.

    We are no more likely to disappear in to the EU (or …. ahem … be subsumed LOL) than any other member.
    Its bankers do not affect us, if they ever do is when we should think of leaving and losing all that custom ….. ermmmmm you did read up about that?

    • Liberalreform

      Did you listen to Barroso? He sees a federation of states and you are old enough to know that that is just one step on their agenda.

      Why won’t you admit that they get more business out of us than we do out of them? There is a trade gap in their favour so, your warped logic is that we’re dependent upon them?

      I guess you’re one of those people who still thinks the euro is a ‘good’ idea for us; you need to try and concentrate a bit harder, maybe it’ll stick next time.

  • Anonymous

    And congrats to the London Taffies in Oxford(!) on their first win in such,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/19563864

    Crackiiiing.

    And furthermore Alastair, the beeb have just put up the highlights of Scarlets, ahem!, cracking win in Connacht in atlantic coast draughty Ireland,
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/19617881

    George North was like a storm there, Sorry, had to be said, a possible headline non Guardian/Observer like…

  • ‘3 cheers for Gove’

    Are you mad? The man is stuck in a time warp. His policies are wrong for our children on so many levels. He wants to take us back to a time when only a tiny elite were educated to fulfill their potential.
    No doubt he’d be prepared to offer a handful of scholarships as a sop to the working class just like we did in the past. The rest of our children, about 75% in fact, won’t be properly provided for.

  • Anonymous

    Furthermore, to Kate fach (following on from previous Alastair blog thread), since you are married to a welshman(!), that I WILL also protect you. Don’t worry if you got your jugs out for the mugs, welsh wimmin have been doing this since 1966, as by here love, so don’t worry about it – it just shows you are human like the rest of us, ‘aving your ‘usband put the suncream round your nips…
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-19537165

    Vid clip for Kate fach, done in Wales, with french and dutch and german boyfriends wanting them to drop their tops, with several foreign sware words from their other halves said, jealously,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT2oDMiekfs

    And by the way Kate, I also like slimline tonics, rather than something that should be in a milking shed, so watch out Wills!

  • Michele

    It’s not all in one-direction though; mental health affects sufferers’ output as well as what is felt inwardly.

    Someone busy tweeting re this blog uses at least 25% of his uploads to make digs about or to AC – either pointing out what he’s not said this very day (regardless that it might have often been said in the past) OR digging about events ten years ago.

  • Liberalreform

    The problem here reaguns is that none of the 3 parties wants a referendum re. in/out. If the euro area wants to become a ‘state’ then whoever is in power will have a difficult choice re the electorate. I doubt if there will ever be a straight in/out choice as it’s major risk to the politicians. Isn’t democracy ‘great’ when we don’t even get to have a choice? It’s like Henry Ford isn’t it….

  • Dan Temple

    Okay another example, this seems to be spreading, the anomalies now create people, this guy didn’t exist 24 hours ago, but now he seems to be a part of the old British Government, a pivotal one at that, a PR guy who aided the last PM, okay the guy to me appears lost in his own self importance, but the point is that he is now a part of history, he actually exists. He comes up on search engines, everything. I am having to adjust to all this, everyone I speak to knows of him. I have to be careful about the digital imprint I leave for you, other things have changed but they are too sensitive, I don’t mind looking like a weirdo but I do mind being an insensitive bastard, the current history is real for everyone else. Please contact me , it feels like you don’t exist anymore, you promised you would be there, now is the time, the fabric of time iteself is changing and it feels like I am the only who can see that, where ever you are, come here!

  • Anonymous

    “my brakes screeched like” a something, you or someone said in your tweets just Alastair.

    Are you having writers block posting a new thread here Alastair? Talk about summer holidays and that sort of stuff, I like to hear more of La France, maybe no doubt others too, otherwise we would not be floating around here otherwise.

    But a vid from who I think it is, Mr B, testing his disc brakes on his developed pushbike here, especially at the end, when he forgets a tee junction coming up, squealing,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ww9FF44VCZ0

  • Anonymous

    Little bastard is flying somewhere, three hours since his last tweet – I reckon he off to see the yanks, shake hands with Clinton and her husband, and no doubt Pres Obama. But I could be wrong, he has simply gone into deepest europe, in the other direction, as like a hammer film, as per Peter Cushing….
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYoYs8fV6f8

    Sure Christopher Lee is in there too, sucking blood, as us european have to at times, to spook such yanks.

  • Anonymous

    Are you doing ok Alastair, sorry for my over-post but I am concerned for you, send feedback. Alastair from planet Earth and things, come in… are you receiving us?

    Please don’t go on a downer, how about this, yes, this, ummmm, ah yes, animals in the wild… no, ummm, I know, no, oh fuck it, this will do, I can only hope,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TXhm6uNNeT8

    Send your concerns to me Alastair, I have broad shoulders, and I have some spare weight available.

    Love son.

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, and english and whatever, since I watched rugger on TG4 in western irish gaelic, and couldn’t understand a ponce what the commentators were on about, apart from Davies, Williams and George North, thought I would post this, a girl that actually lives around there, but welsh, on welsh telly, when she visited home, Catrin,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KasdhyWDR0k

    Was a bollywood dancer, as she says, when she was in India. Well I can understand what she says…..

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, vets, come on now, not the usual beeb, but this,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeLZK5WrLxg

    Have proper others, with vetting was not telly and misty eyed, as your dad experienced Al, I know it. Helped out since young on farms, great uncles that took me by my hand, neighbour farms too, saw the vet sort out twin fresian calves once, both bulls though, to the consternation to the farmer, waste of time he called it, but still had to pay the bill, but the vet gave him cut price, considering.

  • Anonymous

    Hope you are alright Alastair, I do push it, scaring people.

    But may I explain my first day arriving to the RAF? We got off the train at Newark-on-Trent, bus not around, so us welsh lads decided to pop in the pub for two, as you do, came out, and then the RAF bus was there to pick us up for Swinderby.

    Got there, were sent by a Flight Seargent to run between aircraft hangers for about half an hour, in our civvies, and after being head shorn then taken to our blocks, where Corporal Williams between effing and bliming taught us how to iron, yes, press our kit. Which for the first two weeks was an overall.

    Then after that two week process was over, with about four to five hours sleep per night, we advanced to more RAF-like wear, and so the process continued, but made sure by Corporal Williams we didn’t slack, Four week, military field training! A nightmare, running from one end of RAF North Luffingham disused in full NBC kit, with respirator on, asthma godforbidden city it was, to the other. All character building stuff. RAF Regiment rockapes saying FLASH- down – blast over – blast retreat over, now you can get up. And cs gas? What is that, easy peasy, we were taught how to carry on with that laughing gas. But taught the smell of almonds too – ah-ha, biological wotsits, GAS GAS GAS, mask in five to stay alive.

    And so it went on, until pass out day. Wonder what Corporal Williams is up to these days, he was just sound. No doubt he is a prison officer somewhere these days.

  • Anonymous

    Oh good, that is a relief, you are alright. Now this vid above is not saying we will have a cold and snowy winter, from November on. OK, so I am. Sort out your polish plumbers for burst pipes now, people. Sorry for being doom making, but sorry, it is coming, non-inbed.

  • Michele

    It looks from twitter as if he’s just really busy and inconvenienced Ehtch.
    I have the suspicion AC’s about as adept as the majority of us (ie: not very) with IT and having the right dongles or whatsits with him when away from base.
    My son’s about to get something called something like the iPhone5 ……. agggh my head just exploded and my mobile can’t cope with his sound and vision attachments (although the one of the Sooline train at the level crossing was worth getting ….. honkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk)!

    My mobiles a phone, end of.
    I believe it can make a lovely beef casserole for me if I press all the right buttons but I’ve not managed that yet (my own’s pretty splendid anyway) :….. c’est la vie 🙂

    Enjoy your leek casserole !!!

    PS: Our sky today was gobsmacking 🙂

  • Anonymous

    Oh dear, looks like I was in rubbish mode yesterday, again…

  • Anonymous

    Yes, he is very busy man, with many irons in the fire. But it had been four days since a new blog thread, so was wondering.

    And yes, technology is quite an expensive fashion to keep up with, for those so inclined. But those mobile ipads, or whatever they are called, are not bad though, for away from the PC on one’s desk.

  • Michele

    You must explain to us all how much more clever you are than GB and let us know what you think should have been done pet ’08 IF you really ARE qualified to judge him (as opposed to venting your ugly spleen).

    My points are about somebody’s dishonesty, somebody that promised altruism, somebody that should have let the Tories rule with the seats they had, should have voted per Bill either with them as LibDems or against them as LibDems according to their ‘beliefs’ (even those of us that did not vote for him thought he had some. We were wrong).

    He should have had the guts to face his reduced group (ie: 57 i/o 62 seats pre-election) within HoC and found an honest way to stay leader.

    Had that happened perhaps Tricky would have believed that the NHS e-petition, which went massively over 100k signatures in a matter of days, should have caused more debate.

    Had that happened OUR NHS would not now be being providing grease on the chops of lobbyists (some of whom might even have graduated from Andrew Lansley’s wife’s lobbyist training schemes – it’s like a bad novel nobody would believe in innit?).

  • Anonymous

    Right, we’ll never get a true in out referendum. Eventually we’ll be part of the federation and no chance then. “Oh but we need to be part of a bigger bloc in these terrible times.” What happened to alliances?

  • Anonymous

    What I have found with animals, some say domesticated, especially with cattle, spot the king-pin, as coppers with humans are taught, and feed them something appreciative.

    With cattle, say if you are crossing a field, when calves are about, and the mother hen cow charges at you, hold your arms out wide, to make yourself look bigger, and then they will stop. Then go down, grab a large mound of grass with both hands from the floor, and present it to the mother hen cow. And if she doesn’t take it from your hand, to be chomped, put it down on the floor in front of her face, and then you should be ok. Then you should be able to go on your way freely.

  • Liberalreform

    Ah you mean like Tone’s honesty over Lisbon and your hero Gordon avoiding the ‘crush’ to sign.

    I’ll repeat something alluded to above, wake up and smell the coffee M. Have a go at Nick and Dave et al but at least admit it ain’t one sided is it?

  • Michele

    I have never, ever hinted at anything good about the Euro.
    EU vs Euro = totally discrete topics.

    I do not believe we will be forced in to tighter union but do let me know how many stormtroopers you see on your horizon, do you live in panic mode?

    Percentages do not mean the same as monetary value but DO advise who will buy this 57% total of our exports if we pull out of EU.
    DO explain how our manufacturers will have to lower their prices to make our exports more attractive with the import duty all other markets have to pay.
    It’s not remotely likely our EU customers would see our withdrawal as a friendly gesture
    DO explain how we will afford the duty on importing EU goods if we are out of it and its duty-free zone.
    Main export markets:
    European Union 57%
    United States: 15%
    Switzerland: 2%
    China: 2%
    Japan: 2%
    Main source of imports:
    European Union 55%
    USA: 9%
    China: 8%
    Norway: 5%
    Japan:
    How many times do you need to read the same stuff?
    Didn’t you cringe when Tricky’s owner claimed he’d used his veto at EU (butch …. LOL) when all he’d done was abstain.

    You fear UK being ‘subsumed’ while not minding the idea of it being fractured apart from itself. Oh my ……….

  • Michele

    You are ****** if you think ANYone is or ever could be perfect and deemed so by everybody.

    Eeeez not pozzeeble.

    Thing is, which version of not-perfect is the best version, the more honest and the cleverest or just the most obsequious (aka Butch Dave and Tricky Nick). We know your choice, soft toy.

    Winced at Vince having to smear himself in Tricky Nick’s ‘apology’ this evening? Oh Haysoos wept.

  • Anonymous

    When did I say I didn’t mind the UK breaking up? Are you suggesting that the countries within the EU buy from us to do us a favour?
    Cloud cuckoo again hey M…

  • Anonymous

    Eeeez not pozzeeble but you seem to think GB is purfect pet!

    My coffee is beckoning so, carry on daydreaming…..

  • Michele

    Gawd it’s like having to paint by numbers d’oh.

    Let me get it straight please. I quote you :
    ………… “The United Kingdom has existed for rather a long time and at least we
    all speak English and to a large extent have similar values. If the
    Scots want to leave the Union that is for them to decide; I don’t happen
    to agree that they’ll be better off out.”
    I took that to mean you meant JUST them (to do the deciding)……….

    Re your suggestion aboout what I might have been ….. Nope pet, fellow EU members are doing themselves a favour in buying from us what we provide at the quality and price they want and doing so without paying duty on such imports.
    You are against taxes in the EU are you not?
    Duty is a tax (which is why it is collected by HMRC).
    We in our turn are doing ourselves favours if what we buy from them is better than elsewhere and we in turn pay no TAX on those imports.
    Do you really not yet comprehend that?

    Please prove you did.
    We pay duty on EVERYthing else we import that is in dutiable categories except the few things that are exempted because of either ex-Commonwealth or poor nation or hand-crafted status.

  • Michele

    Very thoughtful German economist on Hardtalk last night, his constant interrupter was veery clumsy.

  • Michele

    When have I said GB is perfect pet?
    I’ve often said he is less than, have said he is difficult, have said many people are, have said some of us are capable of taking the rough with the smooth if it’s backed by gobsmacking intelligence and understandable impatience about TWO things mentioned previously.
    I’ve never worked with anyone that was easy and would probably have died of boredom if I had.

    Poor GB eh?
    Didn’t have the nasty mind it would have needed for ANYone to guess how Tricky Nick was being bought.
    Might have even believed the ‘altruism’ ticket Tricky was standing on with ‘….we’ll work with either’.
    Didn’t anticipate the dollops of choc and expensive baubles Dave was offering Tricky during that nice cosy weekend persuading him to give up his youknowwhat-ity.
    LOL.

    Good for Gordon I say.
    Nth time: Had Tricky stuck to his promise of working with BOTH sides he would have erm ….. worked with whichever side he agreed with per Bill, per Dept.
    We would have had a Tory Govt having to also work WITH all sides.

    Don’t get it yet?
    Mind if I say I’m not surprised?
    I don’t think either honesty or numbers are quite your thing are they 🙁

  • Liberalreform

    “Presumption is the Mother of all %#@$-ups”

    What part of the EU needs us more than we need them don’t you understand? Think the Germans will want to stop selling their Mercs and BMWs to us? Think the French will want to stop selling their wine?

    Your tax/duty argument is spurious, it works both ways….

  • Liberalreform

    Watch the next election if Labour don’t have an overall majority; they’ll be after the LibDems like the chancers they are!
    And you’ll be cheering to the rafters at a Labour coalition government…be interesting to see your responses then….HELP!

  • Michele

    Don’t have you down as a fortune-teller – do have you down as a waste of space that does not observe FACTS, just speculates (without accumulating a flipping thing).

  • Michele

    spurious LOL
    You do make me laugh when you go all posh, I .

    Deal with what you are accused of excusing.
    You DID see that Tricky & Co have enabled Lansley turning OUR NHS into his family business haven’t you?
    You DO believe his wife trains lobbyists don’t you?
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/8305506/Wife-of-Health-Secretary-Andrew-Lansley-gave-lobbying-advice.html
    Can you find out how much s/he charges?

  • Anonymous

    Hope Film4 do a hammer special series, as the special series’ they do these days – is it kung fu this week with them?

    Used to enjoy watching the double bills on beeb2 on Saturday nights in my early teens. Quite refreshing it was, before going to bed at about half past one on Sunday morning, dreaming of more skeletons than in a biology classroom hung, or on archaeological digs C4 do these days with Baldrick.

    Are you listening Film4? Early Nov to Xmas period I recommend for scheduling Channel 4. No need to thank me for said Brit advice C4.

  • Anonymous

    BIg big big, local derby going on tonight in my neck of the woods Alastair, 7:05pm KO Beeb2 Wales, available UK online and red button (I believe). But I suppose UK nationally, on the scale of things, could be a storm in a teacup to most, but still it will be good – hard and interesting rugger Alastair,
    http://www.rabodirectpro12.com/matchcentre/14673.php

    And a bit extra, an old vid from beeb Wales Sport, on yours and mine and “almost” everyone else’s friend, Gav Henson when he was then 20, with silver hair(!) and boots, getting red carded for using an advertising hoarding not for advertising as intended, during the times before the welsh regional teams were set up. It was Llanelli vee Swansea then, and fisticuffs city it was then, as no doubt now, just to make it interesting, not that I condone it. But it is good to clear the local cobwebs, you must say, with sport,
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/welsh/9333696.stm

    Quite a funny, but accurate, vid.

    Oh yes Alastair, and anyone else interested, the commentary will be in the Queen’s english. Saturday evening is when S4C show their live game, in sheep…. : )

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, by the way, I am more or less ordering you to watch this match, to expand your sporting mind, since I think you are a little naive what goes on in West Wales, day to day. Even the hardcore torys run scared of us, down by ‘ere.

    Watch it on one of your devices wherever you are Alastair, red button beeb, if a tablet or pad has it.

    Have you had a word with the Guardian/Observer yet butt? Or are they still falling at the feet of that cave called english rugger?

  • Anonymous

    Alastair, by the way, I am more or less ordering you to watch this match, to expand your sporting mind, since I think you are a little naive what goes on in West Wales, day to day. Even the hardcore torys run scared of us, down by ‘ere.

    Watch it on one of your devices wherever you are Alastair, red button beeb, if a tablet or pad has it.

    Have you had a word with the Guardian/Observer yet butt? Or are they still falling at the feet of that cave called english rugger?

  • Michele

    Hope you were up early as opposed to still up H !

    Signed
    Mum-ish

  • Michele

    If you did not mean what I took it to mean with your description of UK staying united or not, explain what you did mean.
    There was no ‘presumption’ to what I understood by your :

    ” If the Scots want to leave the Union that is for them to decide”.

    What else could it mean than JUST them to do the deciding ……… durrrrr

    Cheap hits are JUST cheap but then ….. ho hum.

  • Anonymous

    Wish I didn’t say anything now. A total rubbish game, bad reffed, bad spectacle, bad everything. I feel disgraced.

    What a shower of a match, it was wall to wall crap. Like watching paint dry.

    The ref was an idiot, a welsh idiot. It is as if he wanted all the crowd to walk home early. Crap crap crap match, really arseholes crap. Pissed off I am.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks, will look it up.

  • Anonymous

    Got up early, honest, as this morning. Fiveish. Sheep in the back field/cockerel from down the road/and those pesky blackbirds and robins woke me, again.

    By the way, are you suggesting I am vampireish, bat-like? Well, used to be. Also used to be a werewolf, but I am all right nowwwww-wow-wowww.

    Ok, an old joke. : )

  • Anonymous

    Wish I didn’t say anything now. A total rubbish game, bad reffed, bad spectacle, bad everything. I feel disgraced.

    What a shower of a match, it was wall to wall crap. Like watching paint dry.

    The ref was an idiot, a welsh idiot. It is as if he wanted all the crowd to walk home early. Crap crap crap match, really arseholes crap. Pissed off I am.

    EDIT!!
    SEE! knew we was robbed, bluddy pro Swansea Ospeys welsh reffing officiators Alastair, the c@nts,

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/rugby-union/19697872

    The bastardoes!!

    and bluddy Disqus again, so repost…