1. Matt Wardman has all you ever needed to know about Mike Rouse.
2. Capitalists AT Work on The Guardian's endorsement of 125% mortgages.
3. Ellee Seymour reveals the violent side of Hackney which explains Jacqui Smith's Ratners moment.
4. Shane Greer thinks Fixed Term Parliaments are "undemocratic". As Captain Mainwaring might say: "stupid boy".
5. Nadine tells of her encounter with a local farmer. Viagra was requested. No bull...
6. Norfolk Blogger questions our £800m aid budget to India.
7. Mike Rouse on the KINDLE, an iPod for books.
8. Danny Finkelstein on Barack Obama's "awesome speech".
9. The FIRST POST writes the speech many politicians would love to give.
10. Kiwiblog on Japanese whaling.
11. Cranmer reckons the Commons debates on the EU Constitution will be a farce.
12. John Redwood tells of his battles with the BBC over Northern Rock nationalisation.
Iain, did you know that every single Tory MP except Ian Taylor has just voted against a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty? They've all voted against a Second Reading for the ratification Bill, which would mean it would be impossible to amend the Bill to add a referendum.
They have done what the public have been denied: voted against ratifying the Treaty. They know that Labour will not allow a referendum. So the only thing they can do to represent the majority of people is to try and stop it being ratified.
I wonder how many Labour and Lib Dem MPs in marginal seats sleep soundly tonight?
Iain, its £800 million, not just £800.
Ahah, you admit that you don't really want a referendum at all. It's a pure deceit on the British people being promoted by the reactionary anti-Europeans. Let us hear no more of this disingenuous call for a referendum; you have shot your own fox.
Thanks for the links.
What are you going on about? The conservatives have said from the beginning that they will push for a referendum and then support the NO vote. Don't you think you are getting a bit desperate?
I think you will find that the party line is to stay in the EU, but not to hand over more power to it.
So by your logic Labour didn't want the social chapter David? After all, they voted against the Maastricht Treaty.
The call for a referendum is not disingenuous. We want one. The opinion polls say that the public want one and that they will reject the treaty if given a chance. If we can't get a referendum because the Speaker gerrymanders the debate (as he did tonight), there is no option but to go for the next best thing and vote the way the public would - to reject the treaty.
Re Ellee Seymour's post:
I was born in Hackney in 1939, on the now notorious Kingsmead Estate.
At ten years of age my family moved out to a new council estate in Essex, along with thousands of other East Enders.
Why the exodus? Ask Atlee. Bomb damage could have been repaired over time. Did we need to build umpteen estates in a ring around London?
Apparently yes. We had our Speers' with their visions of vast state-subsidised housing for proles.
So off we went. Kingsmead Estate, a sturdy thirties construction, remained, but vast areas of Hackney were levelled and tower blocks were built.
With thousands off to Essex, who filled the vacuum?
Cue calypso music and the arrival of HMS Windrush.
I still have fond memories of Hackney in the Forties - a friendly, happy place, where you felt safer in an air raid than you do now, walking down Mare Street.
The place is now a crime-ridden black ghetto. A few brave professionals move into Victoria Park and Stoke newington, but what is to become of Homerton and the Kingsmead Estate?
Until "black community leaders" stop making excuses for their disfunctional families, there is no hope for parity with whites and Asians.
Peter Harrison, either your memory or your research is at fault. The Second Reading of the European Communities (Amendment) Bill, which ratified the Maastricht Treaty, was on 21 May 1992 and the Labour Party front bench did not vote against it. The Shadow Foreign Secretary at the time, Gerald Kaufman, said explicitly "I am not advising my party to vote against the Bill" (Hansard 6ser vol 208 col 522).
Daily referendum, when you're in a hole, stop digging. Politics is about priorities. If your priority in campaigning is to stop the treaty, then your support for a referendum is purely tactical and not sincere. Try a thought experiment: suppose you became convinced that 80% of the British public were going to vote to support the treaty - would you favour a referendum just the same?
But Iain, Capt Mainwaring also said "stupid boy" when Pike was not being stupid at all, but had a viewpoint that had not occurred to Capt Mainwaring.
I don't think fixed-term parliaments are a good idea at all. The most important reason is that they are not compatible with our constitution. There would be a fundamental change in the relationship between the government, the crown and the people. That has been disturbed too much already.
Ellee Seymore starts of well but UTTERLY blows it by launching into the canard of "childhood poverty". That is an insult to the poor.
To paraphrase you re Shane - "Stupid girl"
I'm not an MP or a councillor. I'm a member of the public that is against the treaty so of course I want a referendum, just like the majority of the public. However if the the public were for the treaty I would still want a referendum because it was promised.
And don't give any rubbish about it being different because Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg and their cronies are the only people on the planet that are peddling that crap.
There is a fundamental difference between the Lisbon Treaty which is presented for ratification, and the Constitutional Treaty which is abandoned. The Constitutional Treaty was an attempt to roll up all the existing treaties. The Lisbon Treaty is a simple amending treaty just like Maastricht, Amsterdam and Nice - on none of which we have had referendums. The difference is of significance.
If you don't want to believe me, read the House of Commons Library's neutral summary of the European Communities (Amendment) Bill at page 8: "There is a distinction between the EU Constitution, which repealed and replaced the current EC Treaties, and the Lisbon Treaty, which amends them."
8: "There is a distinction between the EU Constitution, which repealed and replaced the current EC Treaties, and the Lisbon Treaty, which amends them."
And that "distinction" is the title.
I don't care if the Treaty is nothing like the Constitution - it still does not alter the fact that it is giving away Sovereignty to a bunch of unelected, undemocratic, Sociofascistic parasites who see their "career" as the most important thing.
The UK contingent are self-loathing lickspittles. How many "in favour" of the EU Treaty are outside of the Political Classes, QANGOs, State bodies, Civil Service and Unions? Precious few I am certain.
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