Monthly Archives: February 2012

Shaun Bailey’s charity is no more

After failing to submit accounts on time to the HMRC for the third year in a row, the Tory Party’s A lister, Shaun Bailey has wound up his charity, My Generation.

Political Scrapbook has the story.

Bailey, as you may recall, was the Conservative candidate for Hammersmith.

Nowhere Towers believes that My Generation was nothing more than a political vehicle for Bailey.  In other words, it was just the thing for a budding politician to have on his CV.

The Tories had tried to play the “community organiser” card with Bailey, mimicking the same schtick used by Obama’s supporters in 2008. They thought that it would resonate with voters. It didn’t and the charity has hit the rocks.

The question is, will Bailey remain on the Tory A list or will he be relegated to a lower division? Let’s put it this way, he’s too young for a seat in the House of Lords.

UPDATE:  1/3/12 @1543

I found this article via Political Scrapbook. Apparently Bailey is now ensconced at 10 Downing Street as some sort of yoof and communities advisor.

Bailey told Third Sector he stood down from the position in October and had been appointed as a special adviser to the Prime Minister’s office, where he was advising the government on youth, crime and welfare issues. He said he had been made redundant from MyGeneration in May or June 2011 when a restructure took place, but he had continued to volunteer for the charity.

Check this out, he was “made redundant” from his own charity. That’s a new one… auto-redundancy.  I’ve never that one heard before!

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Filed under Hammersmith & Fulham Tories, London

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 35)

Gilligan hasn’t stopped sockpuppeting and he certainly hasn’t stopped his smearing of Ken Livingstone. In this blog, he paints Ken as an artful tax-dodger. Naturally, his regular readership of cranks, racial purists, weirdos and cultists laps this stuff up. These two comments are pretty typical.

Gilly is beside himself with joy.

Ken has been accused of tax avoidance in the past. In 2000, before first being elected mayor, he channelled his non-parliamentary earnings through a company called Localaction. There, too, he paid corporation tax, rather than income tax, on it. His defence at the time was much the same – he’d paid further amounts in income tax on what he drew out of the company.

Hmm. I wouldn’t mind but his other employer, Boris Johnson, isn’t exactly whiter-than-white – if I can use that hoary auld expression – when it comes to financial matters.  No pun intended. All right, Andy?

I found this on Facebook. Bozza is being interviewed by the BBC’s Steven Sackur. Apparently, writing regular articles for the Daily Telegraph and The Spectator pays chicken-feed. Oh yes, that’s what he said. Nowhere Towers wonders what Emperor Windbag’s tax arrangements are like and whether or not Gilligoon will comment on those at some point. Unlikely.

The worst part of this interview is when Johnson attempts to wriggle out of Sackur’s question by saying “I don’t presume to ask you what you earn from the taxpayer”.  This is typical Bozza: shout down the interviewer or deflect the question.

For most of us, £250,000 is not “chicken-feed” and is a life-changing amount of money. Ah, the rich, they don’t know they’re born.

UPDATE: @ 2304

BBC London News ran an item about this story earlier. Livingstone will wind up his company if he becomes mayor. The BBC also reported that Ken earns around £230,000 a year for his media appearances. Johnson, on the other had, receives a salary of £140,000 per annum as London’s self-styled Emperor, while receiving a further £250, 000 for his Telegraph column and who-knows-what for his other writings. It seems to me Bozza is a bit of a moonlighter when it comes to his day job.

As I finish this, the peevish Gilligan has churned out another blog with pretty much the same theme as the last one. Only this time he manages to squeeze the Oscars into the title. Oh how I larfed.

It must be a slow news day over at Canary Wharf.


Filed under London

Nightmare on King Street (Part 1)

Don’t worry I’ll be real gentle 

As you may have noticed I’ve decided to start a new series. To be honest with you, dear readers, I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it earlier. But if I had started this series earlier, I may well be on my way to Part 90 by now. So why “King Street”? Well, for those of you who don’t know Hammersmith & Fulham, that’s where you’ll find the Town Hall, which is run by a team of Tory slashers. They’re the local government equivalent of a gang of Freddie Kruegers and they’re gonna cut you up.

The Tories are an undemocratic party. I think we can all agree on that – unless, of course, you’re a Tory or one of those UKIPers who still carries a torch for the Conservatives on the sly. I’m willing to bet that Farage and Pearson carry a picture of Thatcher in their wallets.

Naturally there are those Tories who would demand “Well, what about Labour”?  What about them indeed. But I’m talking about Tories here and their track record for creating legislation that limits the means by which people and political parties can oppose them.

I’m also talking about the horror show that is Tory-controlled Hammersmith & Fulham, with its gore fest of cuts and closures dressed up as ‘savings’. It’s a slasher film like no other and it’s happening right now.

This is from Shepherds Bush blog and it remind us of how the opposition is routinely silenced by the Tory diktators of this burgh.  It also reminds us how smears are constructed not, in this case, from myths – which are also constructed – but out of pure lies.

The local partei’s (yes, the misspelling is entirely deliberate) defence, if you call it one, is to claim that the Labour opposition don’t show up to meetings and therefore, aren’t worth £164, 340 a year. This is a very dishonest argument and it’s based entirely on the false premise that the opposition are actually permitted to oppose. Having attended the the Council meeting last January when the Tories voted to close the Sand End Centre, The Irish Centre, Shepherd’s Bush Village Hall and other community spaces, I can testify to the effect that Cllr. Greenhalgh repeatedly became petulant whenever Cllr Cowan demanded answers to his questions.   In a democracy, a question is supposed to be met with an answer, not  a brick wall. This is what happens in dictatorships. Ja?  Has Hammersmith & Fulham now become the template for a future one-party English state?

This is what Cllr. Andrew Johnson said in his blog on the laughably named Residents First.

But recently a worrying trend is starting to develop within Hammersmith & Fulham. For it seems despite pocketing not insignificant sums of money, that senior members of the opposition are not bothering to show up to critical meetings or hold the council to account. Failing, for example, to attend key meetings, such as Cabinet when important decisions are being taken, or even recently by failing to table amendments to the Council’s budget as it was being discussed at scrutiny meetings.

Foghorn Phibbs tried this schtick last year. This time his colleague puts forward what appears prima facie to be a pure economic case but it’s bogus.

Towards the end of the blog there’s a number for your Tory bingo card. Eyes down for a full house!

Often it’s all too easy to criticise without having a credible alternative in place, yet our opposition are not even doing this.

It’s poison. The opposition don’t get to ask questions, let alone criticise Tory policies.

But what do you expect from a local branch of the Conservative Party that has nurtured such talents as Aidan Burley and Donal Blaney? This is a democracy? Get a grip.

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Filed under Hammersmith & Fulham, Hammersmith & Fulham Tories, London

Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 34)

Today, Gilly writes,

Ken this week engraved yet another page in his golden treasury of indefensible outbursts, pronouncing that we should “hang a banker a week.” This one went global – Dutch bankers, for instance, could read about Ken wanting to “hang elke week een bankier op,” just the thing to make them feel like moving their business to London. Ken’s spokesman protested to the FT that he’d made the remark “20 or 30 times” before, perhaps not the most brilliant defence ever mounted….

Quite honestly I think a lot of bankers should hang. Perhaps Kennite thinks that bankers take more risks than those soldiers fighting a capitalist war in Afghanistan and thus they deserve to earn more money. A private earns around £20,000, while a banker earns a handsome 6-figure salary before bonuses. You do the maths and the risk assessment and tell me that something isn’t wrong.

What Kennite has written in today’s Telegraph blogs is some of the laziest stuff that I’ve seen in a long while. If you doubted that Gilligan’s rants mounted to a personal vendetta, then doubt no more.

Gilligoon, who is quite happy to entertain the racists of the EDL, the British Freedom Party and the BNP, deliberately ignores Boris Johnson’s many racist remarks. It’s almost as if, by his silence, he condones the off-the-cuff casual racism of Boris simply because he isn’t Ken.

Last Wednesday Geordie Mark found the time to promote a Boris ‘achievement’.

In accordance with his election promise, Boris’s new open-platform Routemaster hits the streets of Hackney on February 27 for its first day carrying fare-paying passengers (passengers more likely to be paying their fares than on the bendies, anyway.) Bus-spotters will need to set their alarm clocks: the maiden voyage, on route 38 to Victoria, leaves Hackney garage at 6.09am. (TfL’s timekeeping fairy has been in action again – the first day has just been put back from the 20th.)

While Gilligan sings the praises of this replacement to the bendy bus, Boriswatch reminds us that the cost of this new ‘Routemaster’ continue to escalate.

Boriswatch also reminds us of the lies told about the bendy bus, which Bozza claimed had killed many more cyclists than skip lorries.

Apart from the fact that the New Bus For London is *not* a Routemaster, updated or otherwise, TfL is currently committed to nine prototypes, produced at a cost of £11,065,000, and there is no timescale or budget for the model to go into full production.

£11 million has already been spent on this vanity project and I understand that  the the bus’s long-awaited appearance on routes across the capital has been delayed again.

Before I go, one name to remember is Lynton Crosby. He’s Johnson’s campaign manager and an Australian national who is known as the Australian “Karl Rove”.  He runs a political consultancy business with Mark Textor. Here’s their company’s website.

Curiously, Gilly has made no mention of Crosby whom Political Scrapbook has recently accused of running a smear campaign.

Crosby was first hired by Michael Howard to improve the Tory Party image. It failed. Howard was ousted as leader and replaced by Disco Dave Cameron. On that basis the future doesn’t bode well for Crosby or Johnson.

Smears, lies, astroturfing, sockpuppeting and trolling. Expect to see more of those things in the run up to the election.

UPDATE: 20/2/12 @1238

I just had a look at some of the comments on Gilligan’s blog when I found this (You’ll need to click on it to view it properly)

The ironically named “imrankhan” says “Never trust a situationist”. I’d say “never trust someone on Gilligan’s blog who has given himself a Muslim-sounding name but spews forth loads of Islamophobic and racist drivel”. By the way, “imran” also pops up on Dave Hill’s blog to troll.

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Filed under London, London Mayoral election 2012, public transport

Nxtgen – Andrew Lansley Rap

Great stuff from Loughborough’s Nxtgen. This may be over a year old but it’s still relevant.


Filed under Conservative Party, Cuts, Government & politics, Music

Stuff the Jubilee

So 60 years on the throne. It’s enough to give one piles. Carter USM express my republican sentiments in the form of this wonderful tune.

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Benefit cuts fuel abuse towards disabled people

Interesting story in The Guardian that chimes with my blog of 29/1/12.

The government’s focus on alleged fraud and overclaiming to justify cuts in disability benefits has caused an increase in resentment and abuse directed at disabled people, as they find themselves being labelled as scroungers, six of the country’s biggest disability groups have warned.

Some of the charities say they are now regularly contacted by people who have been taunted on the street about supposedly faking their disability and are concerned the climate of suspicion could spill over into violence or other hate crimes.

While the charities speaking out – ScopeMencapLeonard Cheshire Disability, the National Autistic SocietyRoyal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), and Disability Alliance – say inflammatory media coverage has played a role in this, they primarily blame ministers and civil servants for repeatedly highlighting the supposed mass abuse of the disability benefits system, much of which is unfounded.

The same story is taken up by The Independent, which reminds us that,

Last April, employment minister Chris Grayling said the “vast majority” of new claimants for sickness benefits were in fact able to go back to work, after official figures showed three-quarters of applicants for employment and support allowance (ESA) failed to qualify for assistance.

Tom Madders, head of campaigns at the National Autistic Society, told the newspaper: “The Department for Work and Pensions is certainly guilty of helping to drive this media narrative around benefits, portraying those who received benefits as workshy scroungers or abusing a system that’s really easy to cheat.”

I think now would be an appropriate moment to recall how the Nazis saw the disabled.

I found this from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

On August 18, 1939, the Reich Ministry of the Interior circulated a decree compelling all physicians, nurses, and midwives to report newborn infants and children under the age of three who showed signs of severe mental or physical disability. At first only infants and toddlers were incorporated in the effort, but eventually juveniles up to 17 years of age were also killed. Conservative estimates suggest that at least 5,000 physically and mentally disabled children were murdered through starvation or lethal overdose of medication.

The Nazis depicted the disabled as “drains” on the state. We are witnessing exactly the same thing in this country, only this time the The Sun and Daily Express-reading ignoramuses and pathologically tribalist bumpkins of Britain are carrying out violence and abuse on behalf of the state; the very same state that will induce their young to fight a future war with Iran. A war from which many will return physically disabled.

On this issue, there has been nothing but silence on the part of the government.  But given that certain Tories have a fetish for all things Nazi, it wouldn’t surprise me if many of them actually applauded this abuse in private.  If they don’t, then now would be the time to set the record straight.

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Filed under Big Society, Conservative Party, Cuts, Government & politics, Media, Neoliberalism, propaganda

Ron Paul and “Austrian Economics”

Ron Paul, the self-styled libertarian,  has declared that we’re all Austrians now.

It was a particular strain of Austrian economics that helped to create the global economic situation we’re in today and yet, Paul wants more of the same. But his love of “Austrian Economics”  goes far beyond the black and white world of so-called free-market economics.

The variety of Austrian economics that we are most concerned with here is not the Hayekian strain (he digs Hayek too) but the Misean strain as promoted by Lew Rockwell and the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the neo-Confederate think-tank that rationalizes the Civil War as merely an unnecessary “tariff war” and declares the Emancipation Proclamation and all the legislation that stems from it to be an abomination. Paul thinks slaveowners were cheated out of their right to own slaves by the cruel North. He also believes that the Civil Rights Act stripped away a person’s freedom to deny service to someone on the grounds of their skin colour. It’s all about “state’s rights”, see?

There’s a good story from Paul Rosenberg  on the Al-Jazeera site here.

So when Paul talks about Austrian Economics, he does so safe in the knowledge that most Americans have no idea what he’s talking about. Many people find his brand of libertarianism attractive and can’t help but feel drawn to it. That’s understandable.  It’s a little like finding yourself humming along to a catchy pop tune but don’t know the name of the song or the person who is singing it.

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Filed under Economics, laissez faire capitalism, neoliberalism, United States, US Presidential Election 2012