Andrew Allison

Archive for December, 2007|Monthly archive page

Happy New Year!

In Uncategorized on December 31, 2007 at 6:24 pm

It’s New Year’s Eve and the bins have been overflowing since Christmas Day. Why the bin men needed an extra two days off, I don’t know!

Before I wish you all a Happy New Year, Steve Green decided to tag me on Christmas Eve with a meme asking me for eight wishes for 2008. So here goes:

1. The Conservative Party to go from strength to strength.

2. The government to finally scrap the proposed ID cards. (Plenty of hard campaigning there for all of us).

3. The government to increase defence spending and give our troops the pay, conditions and equipment they deserve.

4. Durham County Cricket Club to win the County Championship.

5. The cost of fuel to go down.

6. To be settled back home and the memory of flooding to be well and truly behind us.

7. To become a councillor. (That’s a dream my fairy godmother couldn’t grant me!)

8. To be a happy, healthy family.

All that remains is for me to thank everyone for reading and contributing to my blog over the last year and I hope to see you all – and more readers – doing the same in 2008. Have a very Happy New Year!

What next for Pakistan

In Uncategorized on December 28, 2007 at 9:46 pm

I didn’t think I would be writing again in this blog this year, however the recent events in Pakistan have made me put ‘pen to paper.’

Pakistan has a long history of bloodshed since its formation in 1947. Democracy has never flourished there. If the military take a dislike to the elected government of the day, a predictable coup d’etat takes place and then we are back to square one. Although it seems Benazir Bhutto was not killed by the Pakistani authorities, what is happening there at the moment is history repeating itself. The main difference now – as opposed to previous times – is that Pakistan is now a nuclear power and a linchpin state in George Bush’s war on terror. Never before has Pakistan been so important to the West.

President Musharraf will now have to react in a way that is seen to be correct for all sides, which is impossible. There are elections due on January 8 which should take place, but with calls for those elections to be boycotted, he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. Being stuck between a rock and a hard place doesn’t begin to tell the story.

Just how much unrest and bloodshed there will be cannot be predicted, however Britain and the US are already overstretched and with possible action needed in Iran and Iraq still remaining volatile, military action in Pakistan is not an option.

Benazir Bhutto’s assassination in a tragic event in the already troubled history of Pakistan. Another chance to take the democratic route has hit the buffers. Another chance to move from the past and move the Pakistani economy forward has gone. There will be other chances, but this one was the best chance there has been in years. We can only hope another one is around the corner.

Signing off for 2007 (probably)

In Uncategorized on December 23, 2007 at 8:38 pm

I was writing a post last night about my grandmother. It would have been her 97th birthday yesterday. I didn’t get the chance to finish what I was writing, nor have I had the chance today either. Life is simply too busy at the moment.

I think this will be the last post I will do this year. There is too much wrapping to do; so many people to see and a house that needs to be ready to move back in to at the beginning of January. Becky and I are completely knackered, and there is still a hell of a long way to go.

It has been a very eventful year for me. I fought an election campaign; lost – but helped get a few councillors elected. Just after the election, Becky and I got together. Then came the floods! Since then we have hardly had any time to spare. We are both looking forward to a less stressful 2008.

I will take this opportunity to wish all readers and very Happy Christmas and a Prosperous and Peaceful New Year.

A Christmas Tale

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2007 at 4:41 pm

Steve Green at Daily Referendum has this little ditty on his blog. You’ll laugh.

A return to the 70s?

In Uncategorized on December 19, 2007 at 1:22 pm

The government bail out of Northern Rock is costing taxpayers £1800 each. It could well be nationalised

Bin Men in Hull are unhappy about their pay and conditions, and may possibly take industrial action.

Bin Men on strike and nationalisation; doesn’t this remind you of Labour many years ago?

Nick Clegg

In LibDems, Nick Clegg on December 19, 2007 at 1:08 pm

After a bitter election campaign, the Liberal Democrats have elected their leader. It would be churlish of me not to congratulate Nick Clegg, however, to say he has an uphill task ahead of him is an understatement.

Anyone who is interested in politics will know what a divided party they are. Clegg’s narrow margin of victory will publicise this to the electorate, although I don’t think there are many who are interested who the LibDem leader is.

Compare his narrow victory to the convincing margin David Cameron achieved two years ago. He has only got this far because the Conservative Party were willing to get behind a leader. I don’t see this happening to the LibDems.

They are a party who is always willing to deal in untruths and backstabbing in local politics, so it does not surprise me that they have let their facade down and have revealed their true colours on the national stage.

Unless Clegg can do something about his own personal image – hardly anyone knows who he is – the Conservatives and Labour will continue to squeeze his party further.

Post Office Closures – a local story

In post offices on December 14, 2007 at 11:49 pm

I want to tell you a story about Martin Bailey-Dalton. He is the postmaster at Grovehill Road Post Office in Beverley. Him, his wife and four-year-old daughter moved to Beverley just over three months ago from Hampshire. Not long after he bought the business the Royal Mail decided to close the post office, leaving him with a £175,000 mortgage, a property to sell and the fear that even after compensation is paid, he will not even come close to breaking even.

In properties all around the area there are signs in windows protesting against the closure. No one wants it. No one wants to trek in to Beverley town centre to join the long queues at the main post office. This is the human side of post office closures and before anyone thinks of petitioning the prime minister on the Downing Street website, 1500 local residents have already signed a petition against the closure and their calls have been greeted by deaf ears.

These closures will deeply affect the lives of hundreds of thousands of people around the country. The elderly will no longer be able to access services without travelling. A hub of the local community will be taken away and the silence from the government is deafening.

Hull Floods Bill highest in the country

In Uncategorized on December 14, 2007 at 11:30 pm

The Audit Commission have revealed that the floods bill for Hull City Council will be £51.43m; the highest in the country. The council will have to find £36.51m of that bill.

One of the reasons the bill is so high is that the council has had to fork out around £10m to repair council homes affected by the flooding.

Meanwhile the government bails out Northern Rock with billions of pounds worth of taxpayers’ money, but will not even come close to paying the bill facing the council tax payers of Hull: £36.51m is peanuts in comparison. I have had the misfortune of being flooded; my insurance bill will increase dramatically and now I will have to pay more council tax and possibly face a reduction in council services.

Thank you Mr Brown for all your help, but then you know already that the voters in this city will misguidedly elect three Labour MPs at the next election. We really have been pissed on from a great height.

US Politics

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2007 at 8:56 pm

One of the many things about American politics that fascinates me, is the way you can hear two men ‘slug it out’ on a televised debate; hurl insults and general vitriol at each other and then discover they are both members of the same party.

After the debate – if you want to call it a debate – between Mitt Romney and Mike Huckabee, I am convinced that neither of them are fit to become President of the United States. With all the problems that beset America at the moment, they think it’s worth spending time attacking each others’ religious views. Huckabee is an ordained Baptist minister and Romney is a Mormon and the former suggested that Mormons believe that Jesus and the devil are brothers.

The level of debate in the UK is not very high at times, but at least it hasn’t sunk that low.

EU Treaty

In Uncategorized on December 13, 2007 at 8:50 pm

Brown turns up late and signs the treaty. Now it’s gloves off time. The British people are demanding they have their say in a referendum and nothing short of that will do.

That’s all.