Saturday, July 16, 2011

2008 archive (Aug-Sept)

Merger with the Ulster Unionists - Some Questions and points for David Cameron
(1) We are delighted that you want to expand membership of the Party in every part of the United Kingdom.
(2) Does the Ulster Unionist Party genuinely wish to become absorbed into the Conservative Party? Can we be sure there is no hidden agenda? Images as             seen from London may be viewed very differently in Northern Ireland.
                    (3)In some constituencies the current Conservative membership could be swamped by former Ulster Unionists.   It is wise to remember a trickle can be absorbed and is                                 advantageous to both elements, but a flood can change the nature of the host to the detriment of both.   This needs to be handled with great care, as one knows                                 from the experience of merging constituency associations.
                    (4) Should a significant number of Ulster Unionists (many are socialists or possible DUP members) not wish to join the Conservative Party what will happen to that rump?                                 Could they set up as a New Ulster Unionist Party?
(5) New members wishing to join the Conservative Party should have to complete individual membership forms which should contain the clause "I am not a            member of another political party." There should be no bulk merging of names. This could be done by sending individual membership forms to the             Ulster Unionists on 1st January 2009 with an invitation to join the Conservative Party.
     Incidentally the Party’s web site application forms should include the above clause also.
(6) It is vital that the untainted and non-sectarian image of the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland be preserved, since we are open to members from             any other party, or none. There is clearly concern that the Party’s image could be tarnished by the history of sectarian baggage associated with the              Ulster Unionist Party. (David Trimble’s televised jig with Ian Paisley after the Orange Parade in Garvaghy Road is still remembered, as is his attacks              on the Conservative candidate (a female Catholic) at the time of his by-election in Upper Bann.) We must not lose our cross community appeal.
                    (7) It has been intimated that Sir Reg Empey and Jim Nicholson are to be given a standing ovation at the Party Conference. In our view that would be unwise at this point                                  in time.
                    (8) We warmly welcome the presence of Stephen Gilbert in Northern Ireland, with his professional talent and expertise and feel that if this were applied to the Party in                                  Northern Ireland for a relatively short period, very significant results could be achieved.
                    (9) The merged Party should be called The Conservative Party.
Finally, this issue is so important that before any conclusions to the talks are announced, it would be very helpful if the Leader addressed a meeting of all the Conservative Party members in Northern Ireland. This would be highly beneficial for the Party and would keep Party members on board. It would be a great tragedy if we lost the goodwill of Conservatives in Northern Ireland who have stuck with the Party through thick and thin over the last 20 years.
The Alternative Party Conference
Last week we said the Conservative Party Conference is dying.   As one COPOV member said "Your comments about Conference are spot on.   Years ago, nobody would even have suggested having a fringe meeting during conference hours.  All has now changed, for the worse".   We are delighted that an alternative is now on offer- a fringe meeting lasting two days.   If the hierarchy of the Party do not get the message this sends, the Conference deserves to die.
All events in the Kingston Lecture Theatre, Austin Court, Birmingham unless otherwise stated.
The Canal-side Coffee Lounge adjoining the Kingston Theatre will be serving complimentary tea and coffee
throughout both days. Complimentary newspapers, free wi-fi access, an interviewing area and a giant
widescreen TV showing conference coverage etc. will make this the ideal place to relax and meet friends. There
will be a TaxPayers’ Alliance / Global Vision stand and a History Man bookstall, together with opportunities to
meet Douglas Carswell MPMatthew ElliottDaniel Hannan MEPRoger Helmer MEPRuth Lea and Rupert
Matthews, the History Man.
DAY ONE Monday 29th September 2008
8.00 a.m. – The Big Bad Breakfast
Complimentary bacon and sausage butties with tea or coffee. Canal-Side Coffee Lounge, adjoining the Kingston
10.00 a.m. – Freedom beyond the EU
The Freedom Association presents a panel discussion on the free trade alternatives to the European Union.
Douglas Carswell MP and Daniel Hannan MEP, authors of the newly published book, The Plan – twelve
months to renew Britain. Chairman: Lindsay Jenkins, Hon. Director of BETTER OFF OUT.
11.15 a.m – What should be in the Conservative European manifesto 2009?
The Freedom Association presents an open discussion featuring Douglas Carswell MPTherese Coffey
(Prospective European Parliamentary Candidate for the South East), Jean-Paul Floru (PEPC for London),
Daniel Hannan MEPRoger Helmer MEPSyed Kamall MEPRupert Matthews (PEPC for the East Midlands),
Stuart Wheeler and Zehra Zaidi (PEPC for the South West).
12.15 p.m. – Book Signing
Douglas Carswell MP and Daniel Hannan MEP will be signing copies of their newly published book, The Plan 
twelve months to renew Britain in the Canal-Side Coffee Lounge, adjoining the Kingston Theatre.
12.30 p.m. – An Audience with the Rt Hon David Davis MP
Total Politics presents broadcaster and blogger Iain Dale in conversation with the former Shadow Home
2.30 p.m. – Freedom and the Internet
The Free Society presents a panel discussion chaired by Iain Dale. Panellists include top bloggers Nadine
Dorries MPPhil Hendren (Dizzy Thinks), Chris Mounsey (Devil’s Kitchen), Paul Staines (Guido Fawkes).
3.00 p.m. – Making the most of your MEP Candidate for Fundraising and Campaigning
Discussion led by Rupert Matthews, Prospective European Parliamentary Candidate for the East Midlands.
Canal-Side Coffee Lounge, adjoining the Kingston Theatre.
4.00 p.m. – You Can’t Do That! The Anti-Social Regulation of Public Space
The Free Society and The Manifesto Club present a discussion chaired by politics lecturer James Panton (St
John's College, Oxford). Speakers include Simon Clark (Freedom Organisation for the Right to Enjoy Smoking
Tobacco) and Suzy Dean (Manifesto Club).
5.30 p.m. – Heffer's Half Hour
The Freedom Association presents the Daily Telegraph's Simon Heffer commenting on the top political issues of
the day and answering questions from the audience. Chairman: Roger Helmer MEP, Chairman of The Freedom
6.15 p.m. – Breaking Free from the Broken Society
The Freedom Association presents a discussion featuring speakers with first hand experience of tackling social
problems, including Simon Marcus of the London Boxing Academy Community Project. Chairman: Philip
Davies MP, Freedom Association Council Member.
7.15 p.m. – Liberty Live! Political Chat Show
The Free Society presents a political chat show starring writer and broadcaster Claire Fox (Institute of Ideas,
Radio 4's The Moral Maze, Claire Fox News) + special guests and live music. Watch this space!
DAY TWO Tuesday 30th September 2008
8.00 a.m. – Another Big Bad Breakfast
Complimentary bacon and sausage butties with tea or coffee. Canal-Side Coffee Lounge, adjoining the Kingston
Theatre. Can you hack it?
10.00 p.m. – Freedom from High Taxes
The Selsdon Group, in partnership with The Freedom Association, presents the Rt, Hon. John Redwood MP,
chairman, Economic Competitiveness Policy Group, and Matthew Elliott, chief executive, TaxPayers’ Alliance.
Chaired by Michael Fallon MP, the senior Conservative member of the Treasury Select Committee and
Chairman of the Treasury Sub-Committee.
12.30 p.m. – Liberal Paternalism and the Nanny State
The Free Society presents a panel discussion chaired by Claire Fox (Institute of Ideas). Speakers include Dr.
Eamonn Butler, Director, Adam Smith Institute; and Brian Monteith, former MSP now Policy Director, The Free
2.30 p.m. – Free Thinking on Climate Change
The Freedom Association presents Caroline Boin, environment programme director at International Policy
Network, Ruth Lea, director of Global Vision and economic adviser to Arbuthnot Banking Group and
Christopher Monckton (Viscount Monckton of Brenchley), former adviser to Margaret Thatcher's policy unit.
Chairman: Roger Helmer MEP, Chairman of The Freedom Association.
4.00 p.m. – “This House Believes that the TV Licence is Incompatible with Individual
The Freedom Association presents a debate with the motion proposed by Alex Deane, barrister, author, former
chief of staff to David Cameron and a World Universities Debating Champion and John Whittingdale OBE MP,
Chairman of the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee and a Freedom Association
Council Member. Chairman: Nigel Hastilow, Regional Director, Institute of Chartered Accountants in England
and Wales.
5.30 p.m. – Cigarettes and Civil Liberties
The smokers' lobby group Forest, in association with Free Spirits, the group for young supporters of The
Freedom Association and BETTER OFF OUT, presents a champagne reception with free booze and live music in
the lounge bar and courtyard. Smokers VERY welcome. (Say NO to the nanny state!)
7.30 p.m. – Tories Got Talent!
Political talent show presented by broadcaster and blogger Iain Dale. Judges include Nadine Dorries MP,
Jonathan Isaby, Editor of the Daily Telegraph Three Line Whip column and Dr. Madsen Pirie (Adam Smith

Death of the Conservative Party Conference
The Agenda for this years Conference looks very dull, but the fringe meetings are more numerous and bigger than ever.    The end result is that there will be few people in the Conference Hall.    More fringe meetings are being held whilst the Conference is sitting.
When I first went to Conference it lasted from Tuesday lunch time to Saturday lunch time.   Now it is from 11am Sunday to Wednesday lunch time.   Lunch is now two hours, there are morning and afternoon breaks.   For the first time there are no indications in the Agenda of when ordinary members can participate.   There are no Standing Orders for debate, but if there is no debate I suppose you don't need them.   It has become purely a media presentation.   Sad, we are seeing the death throws of the Conference.   Soon it will be called the Conservative Convention and modelled on the Republican Convention.   Is it any wonder that Party membership is falling even at a time when we are doing so well in the opinion polls?
As Hienrich Haussmann has shown, a single pfennig invested at five per cent compound interest in the year AD 0 would have yielded, by 1990, a volume of gold 134 billion times the weight of the planet.
My Week
September 13th - COPOV meeting at   Abbotts Ann in Hampshire.   Good meeting, nice hall, continuing concern about Europe.
September 11th - meeting of COPOV Management Committee.

As the state advances inexorably further and further into our lives, incessantly nibbling away at our liberty, it shows less and less competence in dealing with the complexity of the real world outside the bureaucrat’s office.   We are witnessing a slow but certain constipation of the primary functions of government because there is now so much regulation.   We, the governed, are entering a surreal world where the more offences the state finds us committing, then the more powers it needs to check up on us and penalise us.   As we react to this intrusion and modify our behaviour into avoidance, the state finds yet more regulation to ensure compliance; and so the ratchet tightens again.   As individuals become more furtive and covert in hiding normal and previously legitimate activity from the state, society as a whole becomes less productive, unhappy, unfulfilled, less vital and less creative.   At the same time it also becomes angrier, more introverted, divided, violent, and spiritually and morally corrupt.   In the end, we all become criminals.   Criminality – real criminality – goes from a relatively rare event to commonplace until finally it becomes almost universal.
Note: This is a prĂ©cis of an article on by   David Eyles about Magna Carta

September 4th

                                                                              Liberty 1.JPG (984363 bytes)
Sir Edward Coke Memorial Lecture at St. Giles Church, Stoke Poges given by Shami  Chakrabarti with Shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve MP, followed by a reception at Stoke Park Club.   The lecture was first class, as was Dominic Grieve's response.   An excellent evening.   Sir Edward Coke lived in Stoke Poges.
In the Case of Prohibitions (1607) a historical English court decision was made that established the supremacy of the courts.   King James I placed himself in the position of judge for a dispute.   When the case went before Edward Coke, the Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas, he overturned the decision of the King and held that cases must only be tried by those with legal training and must be subject to the rule of law.   Coke famously describes the function of judges as being "not to make but to declare the law, according to the golden mete-wand of the law and not by the crooked cord of discretion."   What a hero.
Merger with the Ulster Unionists
Disturbing stories are emerging about the talks with the Ulster Unionists.   A working party met this week.    I hear that it is proposed that a Grand Committee will choose the candidates for the General Election.   There will be three Conservative and two Ulster Unionist candidates.   A Catholic will be chosen for South Belfast.    If this is correct it will be a disgrace.   Religion should not be involved in the selection of candidates, and what about the grass roots members.    Any selection process which does not give them the final say should be totally condemned.
Incidentally as the Hon. President of the South Belfast Conservative Association I would be particularly offended if this is all true.
PS   I gather that there is no way Ulster Unionist MP Sylvia Hermon will take the Conservative Whip.   Not surprising since she has voted with the government 95% of the time she has been in the House of Commons.

Road to Democracy
In an article in The Independent this week by Andrew Buncombe about Pakistan, he wrote about Benazir Bhutto's son Bilawal.    He said " He, like his father, is unelected; they share the chairmanship of the party and hold their positions simply because Benazir named them as her successors.   It is a bit of a joke."   It is easy to condemn these funny foreigners, except that the Chairmen of both the Conservative Party and the Labour Party in the United Kingdom hold their positions because they are simply appointed.   Bit of a joke really!
My Week
Saturday 23 August
Went to the National Theatre to see "Her Naked Skin", a play about the suffragettes.   The play had great potential but got diverted into a lesbian drama.   Sad.    The programme was better than the play for it gave a brief history of the suffragettes.   One of the things which surprised me was how vibrant the South Bank is on a Saturday night.   You could spend an enjoyable evening without spending a penny.   On Saturday there was old time dancing to a big band, miming, acrobatics etc.   All good stuff.
Party Conference (1)
Expected attendance at the Conservative Party Conference - 8,500.   Expected attendance at the Labour Party conference - 15,000.   I wonder if  the reason could be that at the Labour Conference they actually have motions for debate, whereas at the Conservative Conference it is just a media presentation.   Incidentally numbers at the Tory conference will be up, but it is lobbyists and the media which will put up numbers, not Party members.
Party Conference (2)
I hear that it is proposed that Sir Reg Empey and Jim Nicholson MEP are to be given a standing ovation at the Conference.    This is a bit premature.   Let us see how many Ulster Unionists join the Conservative Party before we count our chickens.
In the year 2008, the Lord came unto Noah, who was now living in England,
and said:

Once again, the earth has become wicked and over-populated, and I see the
end of all flesh before me.   Build another Ark and save 2 of every living thing along with a few good

He gave Noah the blueprints, saying: "You have 6 months to build the Ark
before I will start the unending rain for 40 days and 40 nights".

Six months later, the Lord looked down and saw Noah weeping in his yard -
but no Ark.

Noah! He roared, I'm about to start the rain! Where is the Ark?
Forgive me, Lord, begged Noah, 'but things have changed.    I needed a building permit.   I've been arguing with the inspector about the need for a sprinkler system.
My neighbours claim that I've violated the neighbourhood zoning laws by building the Ark in my yard and exceeding the height limitations. We had to go to the
Appeal Board for a decision.

Then the Department of Transportation demanded a bond be posted for the future costs of moving power lines  and other overhead obstructions, to clear the passage for the Ark's move to the sea.   I told them that the sea would be coming to us, but they would hear nothing of it.
Getting the wood was another problem. There's a ban on cutting local trees in order to save the spotted owl. I tried to convince the environmentalists that I needed the wood to save the owls - but no go!

When I started gathering the animals, an animal rights group sued me.   They insisted that I was confining wild animals against their will.   They argued the accommodations were too restrictive, and it was cruel and inhumane to put so many animals in a confined space.
Then the Environmental Agency ruled that I couldn't build the Ark until they'd conducted an impact study on your proposed flood.

I'm still trying to resolve a complaint with the Human Rights Commission on how many minorities I'm supposed to hire for my building crew.

Immigration and Naturalization are checking the green-card status of most of the people who want to work.

The trades unions say I can't use my sons. They insist I have to hire only Union workers with Ark-building experience.

To make matters worse, the HM Customs seized all my assets, claiming I'm trying to leave the country illegally with endangered species.

So, forgive me, Lord, but it would take at least 10 years for me to finish this Ark.

Suddenly the skies cleared, the sun began to shine, and a rainbow stretched
across the sky.  Noah looked up in wonder and asked,   'You mean you're not going to destroy the world?'
'No,' said the Lord.
'This Labour government beat me to it.

Ulster Unionists
Talks are being held with a view to bringing the Ulster Unionists into the Conservative Party.   This could be good for Northern Ireland but the Conservatives should be sensitive to their members in Northern Ireland who have stuck by them through thick and thin over the last twenty years.    There is however one thing we can learn from the Ulster Unionists.    Last year they took the decision that all their Party offices should be elected by their members.   They should demand the same in the Conservative Party as a condition of the merger.   That would be good for the Conservative Party.   I wonder if it would be accpted?
Conservative Party Accounts for 2007
The Balance Sheet of the Party as at 31 December 2007 is looking much more healthy than it has done for some time.   The reason is because of the sale of 32 Smith Square,   but underneath things are not so good.   The Party still has negative assets of £7.75 million.    Its surplus for the year of £1.571 million was after receiving £5.104 million in State funding.   This funding will disappear when we take office in government.
Creditors falling due within one year amount to £16.797 million, yet our total income for the year amounted to £33.509 million, so six months income will go to paying off current debts.
The bureaucracy of Central Office continues to rise at an alarming rate.   Management and Administration expenses have increased from £7.275 million to £9.302 million.   Other Expenditure has gone up from £1.825 million to £3.421 million.   In 2005 other expenditure was £638,000.   What is all this?
Our membership has fallen further to 243,000.   This at a time when it should be going up.  Although there are signs that the Party has given up on membership.   It does not suit the oligarchs in Central Office.
The most dangerous man in Europe.
A proposal by Labour MEP Richard Corbett to give unelected staff of the European Parliament President Hans-Gert Poettering the right to veto all written questions to the European Commission was approved by the European Parliament by 501 votes to 183.   Does it remind you of turkeys voting for Christmas?   This was the same MEP that moved for an increase in the size of the political groups before they can get European funding.   It is quite clear that this man is an opponent of democracy and has got too big for his boots.    Time for him to be brought down to size.
Party Constitution
I hear that the Eastern Region of the Party is being organised like the old Areas.   Add this to the North East, North West and Yorkshire which are also run on a similar basis and we can see that the Party is slowly moving back to a sensible structure.   It is time for Southern Region to do the same.   In fact it is time the current structure of the Party was scrapped and a new one brought in.
My week
Spent the week in the South of France.    Very hot.   Managed to read Anthony Seldon's book Blair Unbound.   This is a definitive book about the Blair administration from 2001 to 2007.   Excellent book.   If you want to understand the Labour Party and why it has so many problems, this is the book to read.   It illustrates the personal pernicious way in which the Labour Party conducts its politics.    It helps you understand why Labour is finished as a Party and will soon implode.   I cannot think of a nastier bunch of self serving people.

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