Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Suffragette City

I suppose I better post this before both Labour and Tory parties post their lies, or the city status bid supporting Reading Post puts their obvious pro-bid anti-Lib Dem slant on it.

The Tory and Labour yelps of outrage were predictable (so predictable in fact that I'd scripted them!) but it is a fact that they never asked us to back the bid... just assumed that we would. Usual arrogance. And if they'd bothered looking through my posts on getReading dating back many years, they'd know my opinion of wasting money on city status anyway.

Instead of facts we got pure hogwash about American companies looking for cities to invest in. Poor old Bracknell. They must really be annoyed that HP decamped from Reading and moved there. Tories and Laboiur have never allowed a good fact to get in the way of a poor argument.

This will be the third bid. When banging one's head against a brick wall for the umpteenth time, isn't it common sense to stop.

So here you go, my notes for my speech for the Full Council (26th Jan 2010) item on city status:

It's clear from their fixation earlier with spending council tax payers' money on criminal record bureaux checks that aren't needed that Labour are still prepared to waste council tax money on unecessary things.

We've been told that this will not cost anything, but it allocates council officers' time to it which could be better spent doing council business. That is not a zero cost.

I also note that the motion calls for the setting up of yet another board. What's up? We have the Civic Board which is now going way beyond what it was set up to do with IT being added to it. There's been mention of a board to look after the Abbey ruins. Now they want a board to investigate City status.

Is the administration admitting it is completely incapable of making a political decision any more. What ever happened to the good old days when the Labour party would decide what was best for the town and impose it on everyone. It's like watching frightened bunnies in the headlights.

Unless the bid is accompanied by a land grab of Calcot, Woodley and Lower Early it is worthless. We'd have a City unable to run its own transport system without begging South Oxfordshire, Wokingham and West Berks to play ball.

We are apparently the capital of the Thames Valley. We are told that we have world class compaines such as Microsoft and Oracle who have mmade their homes here.

Except Oracle is in Wokingham.

Microsoft is in the Maidenhead constituency.

And they seem to have settled in the area without the carrot of City status.

Would being a city have kept the town centre free from ice? We couldn't even keep the main bus routes open. That would be embarrassing for a city. I'd suggest that if businesses have £60,000 to play with that there are far more meaningful ways of spending it to benefit the town. Perhaps some salt and grit bins?

And if it's about Civic pride, then shame on you for not having pride in what we have.

Lib Dems have been accussed of having a lack of ambition. Untrue. Our ambition is to see the bankrupt party that has been ruunning this place for the last 23 years kicked out of office. This just demonstrates that they have run out of steam and are only left with gimmicks.

We are also accussed of a lack of vision  form the Tories. We have a clear vision, To stop the Tory charlatans from slipping comfortably into Labour's slippers and carrying on business as usual. Look through the record people. The Tory - Labour love in has characterised council meetings for the last two years.

Only one party actually seem to understand that its not about vain-glorious efforts of self-agrandisement, it's about what we can do for the town and what we can do for the people of the town.

Running Reading isn't about poncey titles and wearing fancy dress at the mayor making ceremony. It's about doing the best for the residents. The people who pay their council tax and simply ask for the council to provide value for money services.

The City of Reading will make absolutely no difference to people in their ordinary life.

In fact they only thing I can think being called a city will do is help poets complete their rhymes.

I'll be very pleased to blog that voters should not worry about whether to vote Labour or Tory at the next election as there's obviously there's not much difference. Maybe they should should form a joint administration of national unity?

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Air Brushed from History

Perhaps inspired by my previous correspondant, I've received yet more scurrilous communications suggesting that the reason David Cameron called off his staged Reading West stooge-fueled question and answer session was because he couldn't face being relegated to being only the second lead story in the local papers.

Why? My other reader suggests it is because Reading West has now finally got a credible and well liked candidate willing to stand up for people and who has a proven track record over many years as a local advocate.

So congratulations to Daisy Benson who is now the undisputed successor to Martin Salter for anyone in Reading West who wants to cast their vote for a hard working and popular local person whose party puts people first by their need not the size of their potential inheritance tax bill. Even more importantly if she says in public that she is against Post Office closures you are guarenteed that she wouldn't vote to close them and hope no-one notices.

The choice is now very simple for people in Reading West. Elect a hard working local politician who can demonstrate a real record of action helping people across the political spectrum or a Conservative who receives campaign funding from multi-millionaires, private education colleges and landed gentry.

Yet probably even more shocking, is that this reveals that I seem to have doubled my readership, so thank you both for your tweets and emails.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Non-Question Time

I am indebted to my reader for revealing the true reason why David Cameron chickened out of visiting Reading. Not only was he worried that the swooning of so many elderly spinsters who make up the heart and soul of the blue rinse brigade in such treacherous conditions (treachery in the Labour Party that is) would result in so many broken brittle bones that his promise that he would ring fence NHS budgets was in danger of being blown out of the water, but more concerning was that the top secret venue of his clandestine Town Centre meeting with a pre-vetted audience of wooden protuberances had been exposed.

I personally find the humour of my correspondant rather childish... but I did have a snigger!

Disappointed attendees are invited by Reading West Tories to still put their questions by visiting: or as the web site is also called "You couldn't make it up if you tried"

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Meat Free Mondays is Murder

I've got a lot of time for people who are vegetarians. It's a principled statement of self-belief that gets unjustifiable ridicule from some. But I have very little time for their sanctimonious organisations.

The latest hare-brained scheme is Meat Free Monday. You know you are on dodgy ground when you are backed by Sir Paul McCartney (so no suprise to find that that Linda McCartney Foods are corporate sponsors, eh!) and you know you're totally screwed when Zac Goldsmith signs up, perhaps seeing support for the unspeakable in full pursuit after the uneatable as doing his bit for the vegetarian cause.

And like the balloon boy fiasco, the media have again shown themselves incapable of performing simple mathematics and have simply presented yet another press release as news.

Production costs in CO2 for beef is 13,300g CO2/Kg. Chicken is 3,500 CO2/Kg. If one person gives up beef one day a week and replaces it with chicken the net effect is greater than a chicken eater going vegetarian for a day. To have the message with the biggest effect, the campaign should in fact be encouraging a mostly beef free diet, By side-stepping the most effective option it is shown up as nothing more than slactivism. In fact, if Meat Free Monday Ltd. really wanted to reduce emissions their public stance the message from the campaign has got to be 'Kill more chickens to save the planet'. Is that what they want?

Except that is not really the idea is it. It's simply a change in tactics. Co-opting the green agenda to the cause was the obvious next move with the majority of people carrying on chomping their sausages despite knowing what goes into them like never before. You see, with Jamie Oliver and BBC Three slaughtering animals on television and showing them being made into food and eaten before a TV dinner audience, the McCartney idea that glass-walled slaughter-houses would turn the nation vegetarian hasn't worked. In fact the programmes made me buy more free range rather than stop.

As I said, I have a lot of respect for people who personally choose to be vegetarians but whether it's religion, politics or whether to scoff a bacon sarnie, people simply do not like having things stuffed down their throats by pressure groups, especially when in this case the message simply does not add up.

Who's a Big Snow It All?

Poor Tories. They get upset at the slightest things. But before throwing their toys out of the pram, perhaps they should tell their candidates and supporters to stop anonymously emailing us.

A little free internet consultancy advice. Working out who exactly has been sending offensive "anonymous" comments to us is not as difficult as some rather amateurish Tories think!