Letters to my sons.

Trying to explain the world to two very small children.

A change of government.

without comments

Dear Boys,

after my last post things have moved on. Gordon Brown resigned and David Cameron become Prime Minister.

The first change of Prime Minister I remember was when Margaret Thatcher came to power in 1979. Mr Robinson, the head teacher at South Parade Middle school, told us in the morning assembly that we now had the first woman Prime Minister in the UK although she wasn’t the first woman Premier in the world as there had been others. I remember the election being called, the front page of the Telegraph had a picture of a calendar showing the date of the election. In those days at home we used to have tea while listening to “P.M.” on Radio 4 and they used to broadcast a lot of the debates in Parliament. I remember something about the Liberal’s not being allowed to use a dispatch box because some MP’s put their feet up and wouldn’t let him past.

Parliament wasn’t televised in those days and as a child I had no idea what it looked like inside. I had this idea that all the MP’s were all in a large hall like the church hall at the Haven Methodist Church, were Grandpa John was the Minister. The church hall had a large set of both brown and blue chairs made from tubular steel. When we had boys brigade in the hall we used to get out blue chairs – the colour of the Boys Brigade uniform and not brown – the colour of the Brownies uniform. In my minds eye the rows of chairs were put out and angry men would stand up and try and shout down the man speaking at the front. The rows neat rows of chairs that would have been put out in the morning but with the all the anger and shouting they would have been higgledy piggledy. I would love get some tapes of parliament from that time so you could hear them – the shouting and the anger. As a young child during the winter, when it was already dark, I found it quite frighting. The shouting was hateful, loud and constant – well the stuff they broadcast anyway.

In the morning we also had Radio 4 on and the time I needed to leave to for school was when the “Yesterday In Parliament” segment started with an “Order Order” from the Speaker. When I eventually did get to see the inside of Parliament with it’s green seats I was very surprised as it looked nothing like the image in my mind. For a start there were benches, not tubular steel chairs covered with cloth and the benches were set out in rows facing each other.

When I listen to you William talk about how you image things work I think about my ideas of parliament and how wrong I was but it was fun to imagine.

Written by Administrator

May 11th, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Posted in Memories,Politics

Malcolm Rifkind espouses fascism?

without comments

Dear boys,

after yesterdays turn of events the Tory press and politicians went into a tizzy as it looked like a deal was about to happen between the Lib Dems and Labour. By the time you are able to read and understand this blog Rupert Murdoch, if there is any justice in the world, will be long dead, but no doubt his influence will still be felt. And yesterday his mouth piece, Sky News, was touting that a deal between the Conservatives – who he supports – had done a deal with the Lib Dems and his favourite – Cameron – was going to become the next Prime Minister. Just a few minutes later Gordon Brown announced that he was going and that Labour and the Lib Dems were in negotiations.

This lead to this bizarre piece of TV:

The Murdoch press simply spat out their dummies and got annoyed.

Other Tories came out and said some quite bizarre things. Malcolm Rifkind then came out and said that the Lib Dems were some how traitors because they were concentrating on electoral form and not the economy and that working together on the economy was in the best interests of the country.

So it is the view of Malcolm Rifkind that economics is more important that extending democracy, in fact we should ignore democracy because economics is more important. There is a word for ignoring democracy and focusing instead on “economics” for “the benefit of the nation”: fascism. It would be much better for the economic good of the country to force people to work for long hours for poverty pay. That way the UK could compete with China. In fact slave labour would allow the UK to become the manufacturing giant of the world. Unlike Malcolm Rifkind I believe that people are more important than market economies and that extending democracy is better than finance.

The latest news coming out is that Labour have thrown in the towel and that David Cameron will become the next Prime Minister but the question remains – as part of a coalition or as a minority.

It will be interesting, if there is a coalition, to see how hard the Lib Dems will work to keep the Tories honest.

Written by Administrator

May 11th, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Politics

Gordon Brown goes!!

without comments

Dear boys,

we still don’t have a new government but things are really hotting up today. The Lib Dems and the Conservative spent all day in talks and it seemed that a deal was possible between the two parties. But things were afoot between the Lib Dems and the Labour Party. The funny thing about this election is that nobody won it and at the same time nobody lost it as the result was a hung parliament. Some have said that because Labour didn’t retain power they must have lost but this is false for two reasons:

  1. No other party won an outright majority.
  2. Just on the percentage of votes cast, combined with the Lib Dems, the two would have over 50% of the votes.

The idea, put about by the Tories, that they “won” the election is laughable. They got 306 seats out of 650, 47% but only received 36.1% of the popular vote. According to the Tories everyone else should just stand aside and allow the Tories to rule for 5 years – meaning that 63.9% of the popular votes cast should be ignored. Claiming that ignoring 63.9% of the population is “the democratic voice of the people” is utter rubbish.

Gorden Brown’s decision to resign today is a master stroke of timing. He had to go at some point but the timing was exquisite – the Murdoch Press was trumpeting that Cameron and the Tories were due to take power via Sky News, that the deal was done and that a new Tory era was due to begin. But, unbeknown to them and behind the scenes, the Lib Dems and Labour were meeting at the highest level – Nick Clegg leader of the Lib Dems met with Gordon Brown. Clegg told him that he could enter a coalition but Brown would have to go. Senior Labour figures had also told Brown he had to go, but when? After a day where the Lib-Con pact looked promising the announcement of his resignation was like a bomb going off.

Brown hates the Tories. If voting reform can be achieved it would mean the end of the Tory party ever having exclusive power again. Brown would have achieved much more by resigning and helping the forming of a Rainbow Alliance than staying on in power and looking desperate to retain his position.

I’m not a fan of the Labour Party and Moron Brown but today he completely out manoeuvred the Tory party and with any luck he has manoeuvred them out of power for the foreseeable future.

Written by Administrator

May 10th, 2010 at 6:07 pm

Posted in Politics

Hung parliament update.

without comments

Dear boys,

still no new government formed so Labour remain in charge of the country. Today the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are meeting to see if they can come to an agreement and from a coalition. I still think that the Lib Dems will go into a coalition with Labour, the SNP and Plaid Cymru and push through voting reform. The Lib Dems want voting reform, it is the only way they can ever be relevant on the national stage in the short to medium term. How many Labour MP’s want electoral reform, how many will accept it to stay in power and how many will reject it is not really known at the moment. So even if a grand anti-Conservative coalition is created, voting reform and an elected upper house is not by any means guaranteed.

Written by Administrator

May 9th, 2010 at 4:36 pm

Posted in Politics

A hung parliament

without comments

Dear boys,

yesterday we had a General Election and for the first time since 1977 there is no overall winner and we have a hung parliament.

A Tory spokesman this morning was claiming that Labour and the Liberal Democrats had lost the election and that the Tories should be allowed to form a government. In essence he is saying that the votes for Labour and and the Lib Dems should be ignored because the Tories got the most votes and the most seats.

Labour have been sucking up to the Lib Dems all night and promised Electoral Reform – something the Lib Dems want. The only problem is, as it stands right now – 09:10 – Labour and the Lib Dems don’t have enough seats to guarantee a majority. That might change when the other 41 seats have been revealed. So today is quite an exciting day and if things pan out the way I would like, when you two come to vote you will be doing so in a more democratic way.

If the Tories do manage to get a majority they have pledged to cut the number of MP’s by 65 and redraw the electoral map, keep the present system of first past the post. The Tories would draw the map in their favour making it almost impossible for other parties to come to the fore and kick them out.

I’ll update this when things become clear.

Written by Administrator

May 7th, 2010 at 8:13 am

Posted in Politics

Pushing off.

without comments

Dear Boys,

well today William you finally learnt to ride your bike on two wheels without any help from me. You were already riding happily without stabilisers but you needed help getting started. But today you learnt how to push off all by yourself.

You needed a little coaxing to try pushing off but your learnt it really quickly. Well done son.

Written by Administrator

May 3rd, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Posted in Misc

On two wheels

without comments

Dear boys,

Today, William, you rode your bike without stabilisers for the first time. I took them off yesterday and you had a few rides up and down the garden with me holding the back of your bike. Yesterday after a few rides up and down the garden you started crying because you couldn’t ride your bike without my help. I understood your frustration at not being able to do something that looks so simple. I asked you if you were able to do sums a few weeks ago and you said “no”. I then explained that you had been taught how to do sums at school and now were very good at it. I also told you that I was not able to ride a bike without stabilisers the first time I tried either and that it took me a few weeks before I was able to do it. At this point you stopped crying, got back on the bike and tried again.

Today I was certain that I could let you go and you would continue without falling off – which you did. I’m not sure when we will get the chance to go to the park so that you can have a proper go at riding on two wheels as tomorrow we are at football all day then on Saturday there is a kids party and then you are going for a sleepover. Maybe we will go on Sunday.

Written by Administrator

April 15th, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Posted in Misc

Back in the Premiership.

without comments

Dear Boys,

So after one single season in the 2nd tier of English football, Newcastle return to the top. William and I went to the game at Peterborough last Saturday and it was a cracking game. Newcastle going behind early on, playing badly for all of the first half before scoring in added on time. The second half was completely different – the Toon scored 2 quick goals and took control of the game before Peterborough came back and got a goal back. Newcastle almost went to sleep at this point and if Peterborough’s strikers had been a little more accurate then they would have taken all three points. But they weren’t – which is why Peterborough have been relegated.

The singing during the whole match was constant and unbelievably loud. Fantastic support from start to finish.

The problem now though is putting together a team that can stay in the Premiership. The team that has won the Championship is not good enough to stay up as the gulf between the first and second tier is huge and gets bigger every year. If Newcastle are not to become a yo-yo team then money needs to be spent.

Having said all that I am chuffed with the way the season has gone. While walking around Sainsbury’s today I just wanted to shout “We’re Newcastle and we’re gonna win the league!” over and over.

Written by Administrator

April 6th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

A long time since my last posts.

without comments

Dear Boys,

It has been a while since my last post. Sorry for that. Loads of stuff has happened and I have invested in some technology that will enable me write more posts more often.

We have a general election coming up and I have some adult themes that I want to share with you. You are too young to understand these posts but by the time you are hopefully they will be old history and not relevant.

Written by Administrator

March 30th, 2010 at 6:30 pm

Posted in About,Misc

Newcastle United relegated.

without comments

Dear Sons,

Today Newcastle United were relegated from the Premiership. 

I’ll write up fully where things went wrong but here are the main points:

  1. Money has continually been taken out of the club instead of being reinvested.
  2. Five managers in one football season.
  3. Denis Wise.

 

Mike Ashley didn’t know what he was doing when he took control, by the time he started to have a clue, it was too late.

Written by Administrator

May 24th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

Posted in Football

Tagged with