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David T Breaker
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The level and degree of swearing has in recent years gone off of the scale and I agree that it is far too much. The use of strong language on television has grown particularly bad. Whereas once any programme on before a certain time would be fronted by a warning about strong language it now seems to be the norm. I'm not suggesting series such as The Sopranos or The Wire be toned down as in those cases the context allows it, but in some programmes it's ludicrous. It's not only swearing but also other coarse and crude language which seems to be endemic now, comedians being the worst offenders by far. Even genuinely funny comedians such as Michael McIntyre and Rhod Gilburt go into language that's totally uncalled for, not befitting their main act, and surely narrowing their audience.
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2010 on I don't like the f word at CentreRight
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Of course charities can take up possitions on issues and it is none of the State's business, as some comments have said, but I don't think Alex was suggesting legislation. I think rather the article was a more general note questioning the wisdom of charitable organisations taking up political possitions, particularly ones outside their remit (as in the Salvation Army case) or likely to alienate a large section of their potential donor pool. I would never donate to Oxfam, for example, because of their advertising budget for campaigns against free trade. In the US there is I believe more public awareness of the difference between charities that focus on doing good and those that focus on campaigning, lobbying and politics. We need to start being more aware of this here, and perhaps here legislation could help (maybe deny charitable status to any organisation spending over 10% on admin and lobbying).
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I have to take a different line and instead commend DC for ditching the awful Blair-era outriders and light jumping motorcade. Good for him! We are not living in a Tom Clancey novel or Iraq. Less than a year after 9/11 The Queen travelled down the Mall with Prince Phillip in an open top car as part of her Golden Jubilee - if she can do it, why not the PM? The Queen of course has even been shot at whilst riding in a parade but still continues. Did Margaret Thatcher have outriders during the IRA bombing campaign which, unlike Al Qaeda, targetted her and her close allies personally. Did the menacing message after the Brighton Bomb that "you have been lucky once but will have to be lucky always" make her cower behind bodyguards twice her size and travel in motorcades? No. Churchill in the War also was a huge target but carried on walking the bomb damaged streets, as did the King, and both stayed in London. In all of our years we have lost just one PM to the assasins. Hopefully we shall never lose another, but let us not become paranoid. Motorcades just aren't British. If we start living in fear and changing our ways then we are letting the terrorists win.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2010 on Take the outriders, Prime Minister at CentreRight
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Caroline, I studied there, and am not insulting or "slagging off" the University of Essex as an institution. I am saying that architecture wise it's a disaster zone - which was the general concensus when I was there.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2010 on Optimists vs Pessimists at CentreRight
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The University of Essex has many strengths, architectural beauty is not one of them.
Toggle Commented Apr 16, 2010 on Optimists vs Pessimists at CentreRight
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If council officials don't take elected councillors seriously because of what they wear and so fail to do their job then they are to blame, not the councillor, and should be dismissed. Your comment about business is interesting. Increasingly the upper ranks are dressing down - the boss doesn't need to wear a suit and tie, he's the boss, leaving the suit and tie to middle managers trying to impress. Councillors should dress down.
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You are very probably right. Councillors in suit and tie often look self-important, indeed most of the pro-suit comments on this thread cite the importance of the office as reason for the formality. This formality however puts most people off - they do not see the office as that important.
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Should councillors wear jeans? Of course they should, absolutely yes, providing they want to wear jeans. The same applies to Bermuda shorts, t-shirts, wooly jumpers, gorilla costumes, anything really. I really couldn't care what my councillor wears. In fact I'd rather councillors dress normally than decide their role is so important that they must wear a suit. If council officials cannot respect someone not wearing a suit and tie then they are not fit for their role and should be dismissed. I want councillors who will run my council well; they demonstrate that through their words and actions, not their ability to wrap a piece of silk around their necks or their sartorial choices.
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These posters are brilliant, exactly what we need at the moment. I agree that they are negative, and that we will need a possitive message, but Labour has been let off the hook on these issues too much so it's neccessary to remind voters of these things before setting out an alternative vision. I'm particularly glad to see the one stating "National Debt" rather than "deficit". As I said about the previous "We can't go on like this..." posters, no one understands the term "deficit" but "National Debt" they do very much! They also keep it simple - one message per billboard, where the other had three - and is well designed to be seen by passing motorists, again unlike the last one. Well done M&C. As for spoofing, MyDavidcameron has announced an end to it's billboard spoofing, so that's them out of it. By featuring Brown's image the spoofs created can only be either anti-Brown or sycophantical Labour ones.
Toggle Commented Mar 28, 2010 on Tories launch anti-Brown posters at thetorydiary
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The big argument against this is - as Iain stated - the fact that our time zone is a huge part of our competitive advantage. The further forward we move the clocks, the harder it becomes to do business with the US and Far East. If anything I would move our clocks backwards, to place us more equidistant time wise between the US and EU. With globalisation and in particular the internet, video conferencing and augmented reality, geographical location is increasingly irrelevant. Time and language are more so. As M suggested, it would make far more sense to change the time you get up if you want to live by Continental time. The level of road deaths could be cut by changing school hours, which could be done on a local level. As for tourism, I don't see how the time affects that.
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Very well put, Graeme. I have never understood the concept of "hate crimes" being an identified seperate category of crime which is considered more serious than other technically identical crimes; aren't all physical crimes "hate crimes"? Murder is murder, assault is assault, whether perpetrated on the grounds of race, sexuality, religion, age, class, wealth, accent, choice of football team... The Left's desire to perpetuate identity politics has simply replaced class warfare with group warfare, deeming us all "victims" with grievances which they can "solve" through legislation. The truth is we are all individuals and should be treat as such, but that rather undermines the concept of Labour's client state.
Toggle Commented Mar 23, 2010 on No Poofs at CentreRight
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I like the idea of the bus adverts, but I think they need to be like billboards and carry more of a message. We need to tell people why they should vote Conservative - better schools, less red tape, stop the debt etc - otherwise it just isn't noticed. I also wonder why neither bus adverts mention their websites, the website should be mentioned on everything! The long domain name won't help.
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Boris Island isn't quite that "crack-brained" as it first sounds, but I must admit my support for it in principle has been drifting of late, though I still favour it to continued use of LHR. Gatwic could be an option, but I don't know enough about the site to make any fair comment. My concerns about CPO would still remain. High speed rail is not the vote losing issue that the author claims, providing it is designed well. The HS1 route for example closely follows motorways and main roads throughout really, and no one takes any notice of it now, which would make it a good advert for future routes. Perhaps HS2 could go to Glasgow where there are 2 airports and 4 runways?
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The use of CPO for the third runway is totally unacceptable, and the argument of "necessity is the argument of tyrants, the creed of slaves." If the Conservatives are to stand for anything then it must be for individuals and their property rights. An Englishman's home is his castle.
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A few from my blog - http://www.davidbreaker.com/?p=678 "British jobs for British workers" "1.3m NI numbers for foreign workers" "No more boom and bust" "I said no more Tory boom and bust" Look out this afternoon for an online poster generator and our version of MyDavidCameron - http://www.mybillboard.net
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Fears of abuse may condemn you to suffering, change the law and abuse will condemn others to die. The law must protect all life, not only those lives a CPS official subjectively views as sufficiently enjoyable. One abuse is too many and you cannot eliminate that risk. Do you really think no one is pressured into killing themselves where euthanasia is legal, through direct pressure, deliberate neglect, psychological and physical abuse, feeling a burden, or because it's what others do? I'm fairly certain you could make a person suicidal. Protecting vulnerable life trumps protecting the right to suicide.
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You can tweet links to websites, articles, videos... The 140 tweet is just a hook.
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They aren't reading the overtly political ones such as @Conservatives but they are reading ones which offer something else - either news (@10DowningStreet) or celebrity (@StephenFry) or interest (@SarahBrown).
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My main problem with these proposals is that the report seems to view high speed rail's primary purpose as transporting passengers. Railways have never historically made profits through focussing on passengers, with very few exceptions, as the real money lies in freight. Building a network around transporting primarily passengers will simply make the operation less economical, and I say that both as a railway enthusiast and supporter of high speed rail. What is needed is a high speed network shadowing the major motorways used for cargo haulage, with roll-on roll-off interchanges at the major motorway junctions, so that a lorry can drive onto a train outside Birmingham or Glasgow and not be seen on the Tarmac until Calais! Passenger services should be secondary. The report also bases its views on the assumption that Heathrow is a permenant and ever expanding option, which due to its location it should not be and indeed cannot realistically be.
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I don't think making them listen to any length of debate would make any difference, MPs are already following party lines almost all the time that they may as well vote by proxy. The problem is MPs don't want to be MPs but instead want ministerial careers and the Whips and party leaderships control this. If we want proper legislators we need to separate the legislature and the executive so that MPs aren't trying to please anyone but their electorate.
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If you switch on BBC Parliament you'll see that they rarely turn up for debates anyway, and if you look up Theyworkforyou.com you'll see the rate of voting against party line is negligable. I can't see how electronic voting could make things any worse than it already is. Indeed electronic voting could increase independence from the Whips as voting against party line via laptop would be less uncomfortable than lining up like sheep with the "enemy side"! With e-voting all MPs could be required to vote, ending the situation where Whips convince those planning to rebel to instead abstain by being in their constituency that day!
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In no way am I advocating lazy MPs and fewer hours work, simply more normal hours. And nowhere did I suggest having MPs who are not working in the national interest.
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As a "disabled person" I've got mixed views on this. Whilst I understand the desire to get a broader range of experience into politics I do not think pigeon holing people and throwing money at them is a good idea and unintentionally could sound patronising. It would be far better to "headhunt" suitable candidates, and provide support through the usual party channels, rather than use taxpayers' money channeled through "disability charities" who will often have their own agenda. A lot of disabled people, myself included, do not have anything to do with these charities. If you ask me the two roadblocks are (1) campaigning and (2) the hours. The first the Parties could solve themselves by offering support, and the second needs reform of Parliament to introduce more normal hours, electronic division voting as used by MSPs, and a return to focussing on legislation rather than being uber-councillors. The second I believe also explains why we get fewer female MPs, as the job in its present morphed form doesn't suit everyone.
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Wouldn't it make sense just to send a letter to every member in the borough listing the wards needing candidates and asking if they'd be interested. I've never seen or heard of such a letter and have no idea how candidates are selected here.
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