Andrew Allison

Archive for December, 2006|Monthly archive page

Gerald Ford dies

In Uncategorized on December 27, 2006 at 7:51 am

I am just about to leave for the airport for a week’s holiday. I switched on to BBC Breakfast news and found out Gerald Ford has died. He can hardly be regarded as one of the greats- indeed he is the only man to become Vice President and then President and never to be elected to either office.

He was briefly VP after the resignation of Spiro Agnew in 1973, who resigned after charges of tax evasion. He was eventually given three years’ probation.

After Nixon resigned, it only took Ford a month to grant the former president a pardon. He announced his decision on a Sunday morning, vainly hoping it would not cause too much of a stirr. That undoubtedly made sure he would never be elected president himself, although after two scandals in a year, it was unlikely anyway the republicans were going to stay in the White House.

The current president has paid tribute to Ford, praising his integrity and common sense. I can’t see where he gets that from. Those days from 1973 – 1980 are days the republican party would rather forget. Good things do come out adversity, however, and if the ’76 election had not gone the way of the Democrats, Ronald Reagan may never have become president.

Having said all of that, I do send his widow, Betty, and his family my condolences.

I will be back to blogging in a week’s time and a Happy New Year to everyone.

What are the seven best things I did this year?

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2006 at 5:30 pm

Just as the turkey is digesting and you are trying to work out how much wine you have consumed – and failed to work that one out – you realise you have been tagged. Wonderful, I thought. So here it is – thanks to Bel – the seven best things I did this year:

1. I started my blog. (I hope you all agree it was a good thing)

2. I got actively involved in political campaigning again.

3. I became a school governor

4. I renewed and strengthened friendships.

5. I visited a friend in the US, twice.

6. I helped my parents move from a large house in to a smaller, warden controlled, flat. This is more for them, as it was the best move they could ever have made. They love it.

7. I can’t think of anything else. Quite frankly, 2006 is a year I would rather forget, for personal reasons. 2007 is going to be much better and I can’t wait!

I know I am duty bound to pass this tag to others, however, I will not compel anyone to do it. If you want to, then post it on your blog and send me a message, and I will read with interest.

British, through and through

In Uncategorized on December 26, 2006 at 5:22 pm
You Belong in the UK

Blimey!
A little proper, a little saucy.
You’re so witty and charming…
No one notices your curry breath

I got this from The ThunderDragon and The Last Ditch.

I’m on holiday

In Uncategorized on December 21, 2006 at 1:07 pm

I’ve finished work now – apart from a friend’s son’s driving test tomorrow morning – and I am about to go and see my parents for Christmas. As they do not have an internet connection, it will be no more blogging for a while.

I briefly return home on Boxing Day and the next day – unless there is fog – I will be flying out to France for a week to stay with some friends.

The Conservative Party is ending the year with a decent lead over Labour, although as we all know, it will have to increase much more. However, a decent lead is a positive and I would rather be David Cameron right now than Tony Blair or Gordon Brown.

May I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

More support for an English Parliament

In English Parliament on December 20, 2006 at 7:08 pm

I’ve have got these quotes from Iain Dale. The support for an English Parliament is growing. Before too long it will be unstoppable. The first quote is from the Speaker of the Welsh Assembly and the second from Frank Field, a Labour MP, whom many of you will know.

Lord Elis-Thomas said: “In England I detect there is a strong feeling that the consequences of devolution for England must now be addressed. I think it is important for those of us who campaigned for devolution in Scotland and Wales to support that. There should be a proper English Parliament, and that could be arranged very easily if the Commons sat on a Tuesday or Wednesday as an English parliament.”

Frank Field said: “I think the danger is that the English voters will see that we are against the English, and as they make up the vast majority of voters and return the vast majority of MPs, it’s not a position to get into if you’re only worried about the politics of it.” He said English voters had to see Labour represented their views adding: “There’s going to be another big sweeping issue that the electorate in England has got a clear view on, and the Labour Party is opposed to it.”

The support is growing every day.

English Parliament

In English Parliament on December 19, 2006 at 10:47 pm

John Redwood has recently started a blog and has made an entry on his thoughts on an English Parliament. Read it here. As there are over 500 elected English MPs, I agree with him.

Life on the Edge

In coastal erosion, East Riding, labour on December 19, 2006 at 9:04 pm

No, I’m not talking about John Prescott’s personal life. This story in the Hull Daily Mail, is about property owners who are about to lose their homes through coastal erosion.

The government has a non-intervention policy when it comes to coastal erosion and therefore the council is not allowed to intervene. So, if you are someone whose home is about to fall in to the sea and of course lose your money in that property, what will the government do for you? Make you pay for its demolition! Yes that’s right, the government who will not allow councils to intervene and try to halt the erosion will make you pay to demolish your own home. And on top of that will not give you a penny in compensation. In East Yorkshire only a few properties are at risk during the next five years, so it hardly going to cost the Treasury a fortune.

This government’s answer to all problems is throw money at it. And if that doesn’t work, throw even more money at it, yet it cannot help people who are about to lose their homes in this way. Call me cynical, but if this was happening in Labour constituencies, do you think there may be a different response?

Blair stands by the special relationship with the US…

In Blair, Bush, Churchill, FDR, Iraq, Reagan, Thatcher on December 19, 2006 at 8:31 pm

And so would I for that matter, but the Chatham House report didn’t say that we should scrap the relationship. It said Blair’s legacy would be the “disaster” of Iraq and his failure to influence the US.

The special relationship initially referred to the friendship between Churchill and FDR and has at times been weak and strong. It was particulary strong between Thatcher and Reagan, where there was a meeting of minds and the two of them regarded themselves as equals. That did not mean the UK supported the US blindly, and vice-versa.

Blair is regarded as Bush’s poodle and for very good reasons. The ‘Yo Blair’ incident earlier this year only reaffirmed what we thought. Having said that, shortly there will be a new president and a new prime minister. How strong the special relationship will be then, will utimately depend on the new incumbents.

We are the most Eurosceptic of them all

In Uncategorized on December 18, 2006 at 8:52 pm

Only 34% of us here in Britain think membership of the EU is a good thing. The most Europhile nation is Ireland. 78% of the Irish think it’s good to be in the EU. Citizens in ten of the member states give the EU an approval rating of 50% or less. If the EU was a country, I think the president or prime minister would be desperately trying to change policies and appeal to the electorate. But as the EU is not a democratic nation state, we all know what will happen as a result of this survey. Nothing at all.

hat-tip: UK Daily Pundit

Drugs

In drugs, East Riding, Hull on December 18, 2006 at 7:48 pm

PraugeTory posted yesterday about the Ipswich murders and you will see a couple of comments from me there too. Read it here.

I was reading the Hull Daily Mail today and on the front page was the excellent news that the police have seized two dairies containing the names and contact details of dozens of suspected drug dealers and users in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire. Read it here.

Drug users need help; it is the drug dealers we have to drive off the streets. So good to see inroads in my part of the world.