Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Tuesday Open Thread

As I am going into hospital today for a minor op, I'm afraid we will have to have another Open Thread Day (I'll be back tomorrow). So, topics for discussion...

David Cameron steadying the ship on the Today Programme
Should unmarried people who live together have the same rights as married people?
The Gordon Brown and George Bush show...

And if you'd like to see an hour long discussion about my trip to Rwanda on 18 Doughty Street, click HERE.

UPDATE 11pm: Thanks to everyone for their good wishes and emails. I'm back home now and it all went well. I'm off work for two weeks, so expect some obsessive blogging!


Jim said...

Sincerely hope it nothing serious, and look forward to you returning to blogging banter very soon. While I am not a Tory supporter ( many of you may have noticed from previous posts ) this is the best political blog in the arena; speedy recovery Iain, and I hope it’s the NHS !!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hope all goes well mate.

dizzy said...

hope hospital thing goes ok.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I certainly hope they manage to stitch it back on. Good luck.

dizzy said...

Caroline Hunt has posted about the non/married couple thing.

Prodicus said...

I sat bolt upright when I heard Dave put the boot in this morning.

Newmania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Magpie said...

'Giving' cohabiting couples 'rights' sounds very much like a shotgun wedding to me.

The Government wants to see you 'married' even if you decide not to.

So, in a strange way, the Tories are actually the 'anti-marriage party' and... good on them.

Sir-C4' said...

Best of British luck Herr Dale, I hope your op is being done, privately. If people can afford to pay for private medical treatment, then they have a moral obligation to go private and free up NHS resources for those who can't afford to go private.

On a seperate matter, I urged you all to please read my fisking of the infamous Scottish Labour Cllr Terry Kelly, who recently condoned the 9/11 attacks on the USA and rocket attacks on Israel.


Ralph said...

Be well :)

rilly super said...

good luck Iain, old chap

Old BE said...

Hope it's nothing serious - get well soon whatever it is.

Newmania - do you really have to post all of your blog onto Iain's site?!?!?!?!


Anonymous said...

Hope all is okay Iain hurry back.

Stephen Newton said...

If Newmania didn't cut and paste his blogs into the comments here, how would anyone get to read them?

Bartman said...

Hope you don't get the wrong bit cut off or catch mrsa ;-))

Tapestry said...

Hope you have a quick and easy visit to hospital today, Iain. It's never nice, and always great to get out again.

jailhouselawyer said...

I thought any jeweller would be able to cut a gold ring down to size?

sockpuppet said...

best of British, Mr Dale.

I've never liked hospitals, it's the smell. But they've always done alright by me, despite the nay-saying in the tabloids-that-think-they're-not-tabloids.

OBC News said...

Q: Should unmarried people who live together have the same rights as married people?
A: Er, no. If both want the rights but don't want to fork out on a big wedding or make some kind of religious statement, get a civil wedding with no frills. Alternatively, if that commitment is too much, why should property/benefit rights even come into it?

c4', I don't quite understand this thing about moral obligations. You're saying that anyone who can afford private health insurance should take it, i.e. they are morally obliged to opt out of a system they have been paying (arguably more) into throughout adult life? That's just wrong, not to mention the strange implication that everyone would rather go private if only they could. The only reason to 'go private' is if you want to. For myself, having never yet been admitted to hospital but aware that I might be at some point in the future, the NHS is exactly what's needed, especially in an emergency; on what grounds can I be obliged, morally or otherwise, to pay for private health insurance I'm not likely to use?

Gordon Brown said...

As long as it's not the Kent and Sussex, you should be ok.....

Johnny Norfolk said...

Hope you Krankenhouse visit goes ok.

Is David Cameron going with you on the way to his therapy session. ?

The Magpie said...

One more thing:

What if you take a lodger -- how can you prove that you actually didn't have a private relationship with them?

And how many people will try to get out of the trap by claiming their actual partner was just a lodger?

Sir-C4' said...

Free-market private healthcare is always of a better quality and more cost-effective over the long-term than communist state-subsidised healthcare. FACT!

the joker said...

I hear that Bercow is waiting for the nod and the iminent General Election is the trigger.
The end of Dave is nigh.
How much fun it all is.
Heh heh heh!
The Joker.

chrisbryantsknickers said...

Hope the piles improve, Iain.

Unmarried couples. Why exactly is the law now presuming that people who live together want to share everything? If they did, wouldn't they get married / civilly partner?

This is going to lead to a legal tangle of people claiming they never intended to share property with a simple excuse "I wanted them to leave the house and they refused"

David Lindsay said...

If a heterosexaul couple wants the rights of a married couple, then it can get married. Simple. In order to acquire those rights, the two parties are always going to have to sign something, and have it witnessed and registered. So why not just get married and be done with it? Seriously, why not?

Old BE said...

What if you take a lodger -- how can you prove that you actually didn't have a private relationship with them?

Good point! Although I suppose you could get round that by having a written lodging agreement. But what happens if you start shagging your lodger?

This idea is a total can of worms.

Old BE said...

If a heterosexaul couple wants the rights of a married couple, then it can get married.

As can a homosexual couple.

Newmania said...

I wonder what gender Iain is going to be after his "minor" op.

The interesting thing about marriage is that even scrupulously allowing for sorting the cataclysmic propensity of unmarried couples to break up in the first five years if a child`s life is multiples of their married opposite numbers. A socilaist would not understand why this should be but then they understand so little of what motivates and socialises people beyond state orders .

That is why we are supporting marriage and that is why blurring the difference between it and other states is returning to the failed social Liberalism that has let loose a new dark age onto the street of the inner Cities .

It is unworkable micro controlling and deeply damaging to a society which is just realising how much we have foolsihly thrown away encouraged by the "Progressive" thinking soi disant .

Sadly I am unable to convince Mrs. N that she has won the lottery of life but she has and I wish this perfect state of bliss on everyone.

Anonymous said...

Nadine isn't going to blog again until sep 1. Going to miss her?
Hope all goes well in hosp. Private or NHS?

Sea Shanty Irish said...


All the best to me favorite Tory! Let us know ASAP how yer mending.

And as fer NEWMANIA:

Yer opening remarks are those of a GUTTERSNIPE.

Yer reminding me today of the yob who takes a crap in his granny's parlour every Christmas . . . just so she'll have some reason to remember him for the new year.

Why people think it's funny to make homophobic or any other bigoted "jokes" is beyond me. And doing so at the expense of a HOST is very bad manners, to say the very least.

Thought you were better than that, Newmania.

Sea Shanty Irish said...

RE: Unmarried couples

Here in the blessed state of WA, this year the legislature passed and the governor signed law establishing CIVIL PARTNERSHIPS for gay & lesbian couples and also for senior citizens.

Theory behind CP for gays is that they can NOT get married under WA state law. While CPs do not provide all the rights of marriage, they do expand protections & privleges with respect to illness, inheritance, etc.

ONE CASE that helped persuade a majority of the legislature to enact CP this spring, was this:

There was a flash flood in Seattle that resulted in massive street flooding in one neighborhood. A woman was trapped in her basement by fast-rising water; by the time emergency services got her out, she was already more than half dead.

When her partner of many years heard got the news at her job, she rushed to the hospital . . . only to be refused admitance to the bedside of her companion. She had to call her partner's relatives in Virginia in order to get their permission for her to be with her dying partner.

I've got plenty of gay and lesbian friends, in WA and many other places. From what I can see, there is NO DIFFERENCE between them and hetrosexual couples when it comes to love, commitment, citizenship, you name it.

Makes me sick that people can be - and are - treated in the manner outlined above. AND it makes me thankful to live in a state where this injustice is being redressed, if not yet totally eliminated.

BTW, the rationale for allowing civil partnerships for older people, is so couples can have some basic legal protections without having to get married. This helps people who are in a relationship but who don't want to upset the feelings (or inheritance rights) of their children by previous marriages. Will be interesting to see how many people actually take this path.

The Magpie said...

Ed quipped: "Although I suppose you could get round that by having a written lodging agreement. But what happens if you start shagging your lodger?"

How is a written agreement going to prove you didn't shag your lodger?

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Strange . . . no one (besides Iain) is mentioning the BUSH-BROWN meeting.

Here are a few impressions of GB's visit from US perspective:

--Brown has reinforced the positive image he made with his first introduction to the mass of the American people, which was his handling of the last terrorist outrage: steady, solid, smart and substantive.

--GB has made it clear that he is pro-American, respectful of the President but NOT looking to be his personal sidekick; as the NYT put it today: "Bush and Brown are Allies If Not Buddies"

--Brown is less popular with Americans than Blair, but mainly because TB is a household word over here (and much more popular than Bush) while Brown is still relatively unknown . . . but the trip has helped the process of closing the gap.

--With those that do know GB (at least a bit) he is less popular with than TB among conservative Republicans (who in my experience ADORED Blair) and more popular with liberal Democrats (despite his continued support for the Iraq War)

--GB's emphasis on AFGHANISTAN as "the front line against terrorism" as well as his "overwatch" message is sending a subtle but clear signal that he and the UK will NOT continue following W blindly down the rathole; which give us hope that W might find the brains to start following GB & UK to find a way out.

--This is very helpful to the congressional Democrats AND the next Democratic nominee for President . . . while not giving the GOP anything they can really complain about . . . at least not without shooting themselves in the foot.

--NOBODY over here who isn't on a think-tank payroll gives diddly-squat about UK domestic politics or situation . . . except for the fact that we know that YOUR economy is better than ours . . . a fact underlined for the upper-middle class by the atrocious exchange rate, which we see as just one more proof of the incompentence of the Cheney Administration as compared to the competence of Blair-Brown.

--Americans continue to envy you Brits for the fact that you have an articulate, impressive Prime Minister, in contrast to the inarticulate bozo we're stuck with for the next 18 months.

NOTE that whatever affection Americans had for W is LONG GONE. One example: a standing joke on the late-night "David Letterman Show" (watched by tens of millions every night on a regular basis)is a running bit called "Great Presidential Speeches" which starts out with clips of FDR ("We have nothing to fear by fear itself") and JFK ("Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country") followed by a clip of W: "Ammh, hemm, er"

unothordox behaviour said...

The move to bring the law into cohabiting arrangements is part of another long-game move by the liberal left.

Up to this point, the LL has helped brake up marriage and pushed women into an increasingly strong position in the workplace (some would say the strongest, as they will come to dominate the professions and have a stanglehold over the most flexible public sector positions).

The upshot is that women increasingly find it hard to procreate and partner-up, as men are slowly realising that only the most calm-headed women are worth bothering with.

This final push now seeks lump sums and property rights for any live-in lover who hangs on for more than two years.

Are they mad? This will backfire as increasingly its the women with the upper hand and its them who will be handing over lump sums and pensions, not the men.

I know a girl in a well-paid high-status job who recently broke up with her long-term, lower status boyfriend - a not untypical situtaion in the south.

She had to pay him off his share in the equity in their house and, dear me, was she pissed off. Even worse, she had paid more into the arrangement from the begining.

I spent quite a long time recently chatting to her about the fact she and her friends were single. Many of them appear on Sarah Beany's 'My single friend' website.

Jobs, flats, company car, gucci and nobody's interested. These new laws will also kill off the now standard co-habitation before marriage.

The upshot is that large swathes of the working population will be living in solitary confinement. Unable to co-habit, unwilling to go straight to marriage and very, very wary of procreation.

Thanks to these laws, men and women with any assets at all will do no more than eye each other warily on blind dates in bars.

The Military Wing Of The BBC said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Military Wing Of The BBC said...

Is it a Wisdom teeth op Iain?

To paraphrase John Smith

When you leader praises you: start worrying.

When s/he says your position is unassailable: start clearing your desk.

When juniors start going for wisdom teeth operations: start betting on a leadership election.

(best of luck)

A big hello to all our readers in Atlanta, Georgia

Sea Shanty Irish said...

OK, just caught David Cameron’s interview on Today

--Schools: emphasis on discipline a positive for rightwing, but not so extreme as to be off-putting to small “c” conservative labourites, libdems, moderates and swing voters; sounded pretty good to me.

--Tories: gave public critics within the party a sharpish kicking, which is also a plus, even (perhaps especially) with the right, who like a salutary flogging from time to time; again, a plus for DC

--Bad polls: list of local council victories not all that persuasive; neither was his “Brown honeymoon argument’; claim that “Cameron’s Conservative” line on Ealing Southall ballot paper was a LOCAL decision wouldn’t convince the village idiot.

--DC future: stressed that he is changing the Tory Party, which is a plus for everyone except wackos; ended interview on a strong but hardly overwelming note.

INTERESTING that DC's only mention of big bad Gordon Brown was to note the PM's popularity.

ALSO NOTICED that DC did NOT attack the Law Council proposal for rights for unmarried couples. And doubt that he will, at least not with much vigor. Why? Because the proposal may have considerable appeal to younger, moderate and potentially floating voters.

Methinks DC'll give ye wackos some other kind o' red (or rather blue) meat to chew on (such as school discipline). . .

Tony said...

Hope all has gone well today and that you are comfortable. Best wishes!

Anonymous said...


Anything to do with hospitals - however minor - scares the life out of me.

I hate them, despite all the good work they do (including giving my dear wife a career.)

So - best of luck and we all hope to see you back here in rude health.

Your anonymous comment policy does have its upsides, but I do miss "Verity."

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

This cohabitation rights thing is ridiculous. Can you imagine the arguments there will be, in the law courts, as to how long people have been together and whether they have actually been cohabiting? A lawyers' picnic.

The great thing about marriage is, it's certain. Either you are lawfully married, or you're not. And marriage (or a civil partnership, for gays) is readily available to any adult couple.

Think again, Law Commission.

Jeremy Jacobs said...

NHS or private?

Iain Dale said...

Mind your own business

Newmania said...

Sea shanty you are a tedious creep aren`t you To be honest I can`t be bothered with your streams of piddle.If you enjoy writing it good luck to you but its of no interest to me .

Aha did he go private ( and why not in addition ot paying taxes)
My guess is ......

"Is it a bird ?

Is it a plane ?




Am I right . Course I am.

Hope all went well

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Still alive then? (But not able to sit down just yet)

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Ali Miraj:

"I believe I have earned my right to fight a safe seat"


Mt Mirage's (sic) website is mysteriously offline right now but Pickled Politics has a chunk of it at


It's all "rights" isn't it? No Ali, you are a tit. That's why you have not been chosen so get used to it. You always will be a tit whether you are a brown tit or a white tit. Just a tit.

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Hey, Iain, must be feeling better to fool with yer Mickey Mouse Fan Club!

So what's yer opinion(s)????

chatterbox said...

Iain, good to see you back posting so quickly after your hospital visit.
Perfectly timed considering how the usual suspects in the press did their utmost to scare the pants of the general population with a doomsday scenario for tomorrow.

Jim said...

In response to query

NHS or Private

Iain Dale said...
Mind your own business

July 31, 2007 11:02 PM


Anonymous said...

Did you go in for a Prince Albert by any chance?

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I think all this speculation on Iain's op is tasteless and intrusive.

So, what's a Prince Albert then? Does it involve bottoms or any naughty bits?

@molesworth_1 said...

i can well understand your appeal for cribs on last night's prep. owing to your well-timed absence in the sick-room.
mr. cameron say that he is disappointed you will not be joining the pioneer-corps.' main summer-camp in kabul, but he hope that you can get that horrid thing you picked up in rwanda snipped-off by nurse before 1st Aug - he think it show pr savvy...
i digress, however. peason hav programd the 'peason-gates steam-brane for prep and xams', and it's preferrred solutions are...

1) a sublime performance. and all boys kno how short a step it is from the sublime to the ridiculous. all awate...

2)no. utter nuCon twaddle.

3) i can only point you to seashantyirish's post @19:37 31.07.07 - it is a view from the scene-of-crime that exactly match our output...peason suspeck he hav hacked our cribs, but i hav my doubts...

hope the next fort. prone on the chaise-longue do not prove to arduous,hem-hem.