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Ash Faulkner
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Yes exactly Iain, my point is that they should do. The Scottish Parliament does, doesn't it? As for the issue of health and education I'm growing increasingly interested in vouchers, so my solution would probably devolve the powers the Scottish Parliament has to the counties, reform the electoral system within counties (give the power of recall, initiative, etc to make it truly accountable), and create complete independence for schools and hospitals (within regulation), so the state won't be the provider at any level. I pretty much agree with direct-democracy.co.uk Of course an English Parliament would create a new layer of politicians, what else are you going to fill it with?
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Brilliant article by John O'Sullivan on British culture. I completely agree with him, he's spot on.
Toggle Commented Sep 1, 2007 on Saturday 1st September 2007 at ConservativeHome
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I think the reason English nationalism is looked down upon, but Scottish and Welsh is not, is because the English nationalists tend to be skin-headed, scary-looking, baseball-bat wielding individuals. It's also connected to football hooliganism (of course there's hooliganism in every team, but England is the most prominent British one). All of that characterisation is, I think, unfair, but there is a 'Keep England White' force within English nationalism that is absent from its Scottish or Welsh versions. English Votes for English Matters is a bit iffy, and constitutionally messy. I think the answer to the West Lothian Question is to devolve most of the powers held by the Welsh Assembly or possibly the Scottish Parliament to the Counties. Historically we've always been a very localised country, and it's only in recent decades that centralisation has kicked in and caused the so-called nationalisation of responsibility. Subsidiarity (in a non-European sense :P) is a very good thing, and on the Continent is very popular where many things are localised. And of course we need look no further than the United States which has very good form on localism. So I think devolution of power to the counties is right in itself, will deliver more efficient services which respond to the people better and which satisfy them more, will weaken the central state, and will rebalance the WLQ without regionalising Britain or adding another layer of politicians in an English Parliament.
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6958678.stm Interesting, the unions are turning on Labour re: referendum.
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2007 on Wednesday 22nd August 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Jason, what is all this 'if Britain had used PR'? If Britain had a presidential democracy, if Britain had timetabled general elections, if Britain forgot there was an election on... We (thankfully) didn't use PR. The point still stands that Thatcher did not win because the left was divided, she won because the left had failed. Her landslide majorities were certainy ensured by the divided left, but I think Labour had been discredited enough to ensure a Thatcher victory - '83 particularly being in the positive shadow of the Falklands victory.
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I think it is fair to say that Redwood just owned Toynbee.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2007 on Wednesday 15th August 2007 at ConservativeHome
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It's rich for Roy Hattersley to be criticising Boris for buffoonery.
Toggle Commented Aug 13, 2007 on Monday 13th August 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Shaun Bailey is absolutely brilliant. Put this guy in the Home Office, please!
Toggle Commented Aug 12, 2007 on Sunday 12th August 2007 at ConservativeHome
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'3G Conservatism' sounds like opportunism plus social democracy. Conservatism really should be neither of these things. This is a real problem, and it has bugged our distinguished predecessors in equal measure. Just what is conservatism? I really think we've spent too long thinking it is simple classical liberalism. Liberty is important to conservatism, but it surely is not the only thing? I think until we can decide just what conservatism is, we're always going to have trouble deciding what direction to go in - and it's important we have one, we should not simply be reactionary.
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"We have an ICC: why are the Junta members and other Burmese criminals not formed up there?" Precisely because we have an ICC. Multilateralism (which effectively means unilateralism except by the UN) just doesn't work. If you have law, you need an enforcer.
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I agree entirely. The vast majority of politicians sound dull and boring, and are consequently thought of as dispassionate. Those MPs that I can think of with any particular oratory skill are Galloway, Hague, Paisley...and that's all I can really think of. Some people, perhaps most, just aren't naturally outspoken and flamboyant in the way you need to be to be a good orator. I'm not sure I agree about Thatcher as a great orator, to be honest. She got much better as the years went by, but I'd never say she was particularly amazing. She had a very distinctive and quite powerful voice though, which was helpful. I think people must be careful about not waving their arms around *too* much, for fear of becoming almost Hitleresque. But certainly politicians should show more passion in what they say - though as I've said before, passion comes from honesty and conviction, which are two other qualities most are in short supply of these days. What we don't need, though, is pause-for-effect politicians.
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A weak case. A war's brutality is not measured by it's time. In any case, the comparison is completely misleading: the World Wars were wars. It took the time it took years to defeat the enemy: in Iraq and Afghanistan, we removed our opponents with relative ease. The problem is keeping it under control, which is entirely different to war. If Greg Hands wanted to extend his World War analogy further, he'd realise that following the war, we occupied Germany for many years. Indeed, there are British troops stationed in Germany even today. To ensure democracy took strength in Germany took longer than we have been in Iraq or Afghanistan. He's confusing the initial war and it's aftermath; in WWII, the war took five to six years, the aftermath took longer. We are not at war with Iraq, we are there on the request of the Iraqi government. Oh, and the Iran-Iraq War was the longest conflict of the twentieth century, I believe.
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Funny article on David Davies here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6243803.stm
Toggle Commented Jul 19, 2007 on Thursday 19th July 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Article Thirteen of the Covenant of Hamas: Initiatives, and so-called peaceful solutions and international conferences, are in contradiction to the principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement. Abusing any part of Palestine is abuse directed against part of religion. Nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its religion. Its members have been fed on that. For the sake of hoisting the banner of Allah over their homeland they fight. "Allah will be prominent, but most people do not know." Now and then the call goes out for the convening of an international conference to look for ways of solving the (Palestinian) question. Some accept, others reject the idea, for this or other reason, with one stipulation or more for consent to convening the conference and participating in it. Knowing the parties constituting the conference, their past and present attitudes towards Moslem problems, the Islamic Resistance Movement does not consider these conferences capable of realising the demands, restoring the rights or doing justice to the oppressed. These conferences are only ways of setting the infidels in the land of the Moslems as arbitrators. When did the infidels do justice to the believers? "But the Jews will not be pleased with thee, neither the Christians, until thou follow their religion; say, The direction of Allah is the true direction. And verily if thou follow their desires, after the knowledge which hath been given thee, thou shalt find no patron or protector against Allah." (The Cow - verse 120). There is no solution for the Palestinian question except through Jihad. Initiatives, proposals and international conferences are all a waste of time and vain endeavors. The Palestinian people know better than to consent to having their future, rights and fate toyed with. As is said in the honourable Hadith: "The people of Syria are Allah's lash in His land. He wreaks His vengeance through them against whomsoever He wishes among His slaves. It is unthinkable that those who are double-faced among them should prosper over the faithful. They will certainly die out of grief and desperation."
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I wonder what the relationship with Cameron will be like. Will we look back on him as the best Conservative Prime Minister of the twenty-first century (;)), or as another in a long line of failures? Or as a medicore premier? What does the future hold.
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"One more thought. Does this make Ted Heath the minger you pulled after a few too many beers who never forgave you for leading her on then running a mile when you saw who her in the cold light of day?" Hahahaha, brilliant. A funny and insightful article. You're right about the challenges of today.
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Cherie to challenge smoking ban: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6229490.stm
Toggle Commented Jun 22, 2007 on Friday 22nd June 2007 at ConservativeHome
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"I seem to remember that Heseltine was behind the helicopters must be built in Europe - his version of Westland - before he flounced out of the cabinet, but he reappeared and was visible during the demise of Maggie; I am informed that Hestletine was the inspiration for the Dome (a fiasco); In my opinion he is a EU fanatic." Dontmakemelaugh, I very much dislike Heseltine...but what the hell has any of that got to do with elected mayors? Talk about ad hominem...
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2007 on Saturday 16th June 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Great speech from Lady Thatcher via radio to Falkland Islanders and the Armed Forces: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6748125.stm Text of speech here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/6747849.stm
Toggle Commented Jun 13, 2007 on Wednesday 13th June 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Jailhouselayer, he really said that? :| :O
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2007 on Tuesday 12th June 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Jailhouselayer, he really said that? :| O
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2007 on Tuesday 12th June 2007 at ConservativeHome
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I've always found it ironic that those who claim to be egalitarians are the ones who always slot people into little social groups. Racism is alive and well - and it always will be as long as people can't look beyond skin colour, as the Labour Party clearly can't.
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"Anthony Steen, Tory MP for Totnes should be deselected if he hasn't already said he's retiring. His comments about "the hanicapped" on the BBC news brought the party into disrepute. He's a silly man !" His constituency is next door to mine. He's very locally popular - he's been the MP for over twenty years. He should not be deselected because of one foolish action. Talk about knee-jerk...
Toggle Commented Jun 2, 2007 on Saturday 2nd June 2007 at ConservativeHome
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Denis is right, as long as we stick to an open-ended commitment to "ever closer union" there will always be internal fiddling going on. Europe needs to define itself at home before it can do so abroad. Gates sounds good, and it seems an interesting conference. Keep up the diary.
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