Thursday, 15 December 2011

Deadly assault weapons

One of the non political organisations I have been involved with since I was 7 is St John Ambulance. I remember one year coming back from a County Camp and I was shocked (Yes Liberal Me - shocked) about some of the things this teenage girls was reading in this magazine all about losing weight and other rubbish. Anyway this girl was reading the agony aunts page 'about ways to lose weight so blokes will like you'  I felt I had no choice but to challenge what she was reading. I did this - she told me that I should be a good agony aunt and for 10 years has peer pressured me into doing something about it - well today I did. I was messing about on the computer - killing time before I set off to go and watch the Luton and I saw this on Yahoo answers - clearly from right wing gun lobby - who asked:

Should everyone be able to conceal carry a weapon?

I could not help myself, you have to stand up to these people. This was my response:- 
The very nature of this question puzzles me. 

Surprisingly, I understand (even though I am from England) America culture on guns, and your ‘right to have them’ under your constitution. The interesting thing here is the word ‘conceal’ the reason for you being allowed to carry arms is I am sure you would agree to ‘protect yourself’. The argument is that if you have a gun then no one will try and shoot you; with that being the case why on earth do you want to hide the fact that you have one! Surly it would be far better for you to show everyone that you have it. Better still you should be forced to walk round with a sandwich board on that has “Armed and Dangerous” on it.

So should you be able to conceal the fact you have a weapon – I say no because the logic of you wanting to do so is so floored you clearly are not of a stable enough to have one.

Further more you have to look at the evidence when Bill Clinton band deadly assault weapons and got them off the street the number of homicides fell dramatically. When George W Bush gave people more rights to use deadly assault weapons the number of homicides went up including the huge number of deaths caused by a weapon owned by them.

The only argument there for people to have guns is that they are stupid and we as a society would be better off if they did carry them as they are likely to end up getting themselves killed and this would mean that all the people that think it is a good idea to carry a gun would die and we would be able to live in a world that is peaceful.

So there you are I am now an agony uncle - I have to admit it is fun

All the ozy's want for Christmas is Leaders

Oh dear.... that is all I can say. 

Back in 1996, when because of my fathers work (he's a Prof. who specialised in Environment change)   we moved to live in Canberra for a year. Living in Canberra you could not escape the politics but at that time there were two leaders, who had two agenda's and two different versions and visions of how to lead Australia into the 21st Centre. These were very different leaders with very different plans - the battle between Keating and Howard was fierce and exciting, but at least both of them were capable. Today as you have gone into the Summer Christmas recess one is left to sit and wonder what went so wrong. Where are the new Bob Hawkes, Dr J Hewson's, Paul Keating and Kevin Rudd's.

Before I continue - I need to preface this to any Australian reading - in the UK the Liberal Democrats the party of which I am an active member and a former councillor and council cabinet member, nearest relative would be the Australian Democrats. The UK Conservatives would be related to the Australian Liberal Party and the ALP would be linked to the UK's New Blair Labour Brand.

Lets start with the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. She was elected Deputy Prime Minister to one of the most sensible forward thinking, internationally respected men Australia has ever seen. Kevin Rudd was a serious man for serious time. "The Kevin 07 campaign" saw the Liberal National Coalition thrown out of office with the Prime Minister (John Howard) losing his own seat. There can be no doubt that Kevin Rudd was a great Labour Leader. Julia pushes Kevin into a u-turn on not to have a carbon tax - despite the fact he won an election on the issue and had already seen off the 2 opposition leader - thrown out by there own party on issues surrounding the environment, that policy, one would have thought that any sensible person would say ride the course - stick to it - its working, but not are Julia. She forced the Prime Minister Rudd into a position which was politically wrong and in principal wrong. Then because of that u-turn the government started to look like it had lost direction and who puts the knife in - that will be are Julia. Because of her the ALP were seen to have lost there way and then she said "Let's kick Kevin out and put me in". In a sign of grand statesmanship Kevin stood aside to prevent there being a split in the ALP and yep she who wielded the knife ended up seizing the crown (probably not the best quote to use as we are not sure where she stands on the issue of the republic - but as a pom I will stay out of that row!!!) - that was when things started to go from bad to worse for the ALP. She calls an unwanted and unneeded election - throws away the ALP majority and ends up doing a scrappy little deal with the independents and greens to keep Tony Abbott the resident nutter out of Lodge. She has changed her position again on the Carbon Tax again, I make that 3 times. She is possible the most annoying politician since world war 2 - "oh no she isn't" I hear you cry in this panto season - and you would be right - have you seen Tony Abbott - talk about nut case, I mean he is the worst political leader since Billy McMahon. He won his leadership on the basis that climate change is a myth. Yes a myth.

One of my earliest memories of when I went to Australia is that my younger brother and sister were held in detention on there first day at school because they didn't have the correct hat to go out and play in the sun - the Primary school they went to - Garran First school was very strict on the issue of sun protection 'No Hat No Play'. A clear sign that Australia back in the mid 1990's had acknowledged the whole in the ozone layer and the effect that had on skin cancer.  I have to say the ozy's were way ahead of the UK on this. But it seems that Tony Abbott opposes the idea of the hole in the ozone layer and climate change in general - is this man mad or just a wirdo. His response to the death of an Australian service man been shot with the comment "shit happens" was not the most frightening bit, the frightening bit was how he handle the journalist afterwards - the mouth opened but no words came out - can you imagine any former Political Leader not been able to speak - I mean this guy is the Leader of the official opposition with 71 seats under his coalition belt compared to the ALP who have 72 seats. There is a very good change this guy could be Prime Minister and I mean he can not articulate his policy's. When under pressure he can't speak - he makes Sarah Palin look slightly normal.

David little bro wins the wooden spoon - for being the most useless Labour leader ever

Unfortunately for Liberals, the coalition has made it very difficult for us to distinguish ourself from the Conservatives - there is no doubt about that. We are seen by some as a merged force with the Tories. What is amazing though is that at a time when the economy is so bad and Calamity Cameron is making such a hash of it, the Leader of the opposition should be doing an awful lot better than he is.
No Labour leader in modern times has had the luxury of only having one target (i.e. the Prime Minister). In pretty much every other parliament in modern times; the Leader of the opposison has had a third force to worry about as well. Not for dear old Ed - he has had one target and its not that he can't shoot straight - he just hasn't shot atall. He has let Cameron off the hook and the real question is why Cameron has not killed him off in a similar way to Tony Blair killing off Iain Duncan Smith, or Thatcher killing off Callahan and then Foot. I wonder if its a political tactic on Cameron side to keep Miliband where he is. As someone who has failed to challenge Cameron on anything atall, one would have thought that the Labour MPs would have lost confidence in him.
But then we remember that the majority Labour MPs actully did not vote for Milliband number 2 in the first place, but his big brother David. Now let me make it clear I don't think David Miliband would set the world on fire, but he would certainly be better than this damp sparkler. Ed just doesn't look the part, He looks uncomfortable out of his depth, He doesn't have any plan, He doesn't have a strategy and is tied down hook line and sinker to the trade union bosses. What the Labour Party needs is someone with a little bit of umph someone who a least could give the prime minister a bloddy nose. Don't get me wrong its not Ed Millibands fault but some people have what it takes and others don't - and Ed doesn't. He reminds me of one of those supply teachers who think there really hard and end up in tears by the end of the day because some 7 year old said something mean to them. As Australian former Labour Prime Minister Paul Keating said "It's like been flogged with warm lettuce." I am not sure about the flogging but Ed performance is so bad that I would challenge any one to come up with a worst Labour leader since Keir Hardie.

Prime Minister's Question time - the last of 2011

As my niece would say "Just shut up - right". A simple but clear message that needs to be said to speaker Bercow. I am actually really fed up with him constantly telling MPs that the public don't like all this shouting. Its just not true - the public actually think politics is boring and a few good one liners thrown across the dispatch box for half an hour is not such a bad thing. The public might say they don't like it, but if they didn't like it they would not watch it. BBC Parliament channel means that the public can choose which bits of parliament they want to watch - and despite being on the air 24 hours a day its only that half an hour that any one actually watches and that's when the duel of PMQs takes place.

Speaker bercow would argue its like when Clinton had his affair with Monica Lewinsky - poll after poll said the public did not want to know any more and was tired of it all. Yet any paper that put an extra bit of news about the affair in -well those newspaper sales went up. The same could be said of Princess Die before she died, the public constantly said they thought she was having a rough time with the tabloids writing about her and did not want any more put in the paper about Diana clearly these were the people who answered that poll shortly before they put on they coat and rushed down the road to the newsagent to pick up the tabloid with the biggest headline and photo of the princess in.

So Mr. Bercow you may represent a constituency next door to mine, but you don't have clue what ordinary people think. We like a little banter across the dispatch box for just half an hour a week.  Please do not drain out the last life of such a British institute. It is also worth a note that in Australia which seems to be the only country that seems to have managed not to be hit with the international financial crisis they have a far more colourful question time in there parliament and they do that EVERY day.

Welcome to my blog

Well I never thought I would be writing this - for the past 15 years or so I have been advising politicians from around the world. My advice has always been to get a website, get on facebook and myspace but stay well clear of the blogosphere. A strange place in a galaxy far far away. People reputations and even there jobs have been ended just over one mistaken blog.
So why have I decided to ignore my own advice and start to blog - well its not because I own my own company and have decided not to sack myself; its really simple - I have had enough of reading other blogs that I do not think accurately reflect my views and feeling of grass root Liberal to current events. So here it is. If you find the blog interesting then great - if not then I suggest that you don't read it and if you are a socialist or right wing nut job and you are offended by some of the views I put up then please let me know - this way I will know that the blog is doing far more good than I had possible imagined. The views that I put up will be mine - they may or may not reflect the views of the party and if that upsets some people then hey - get over it.