Sunday, October 31, 2010
Centrist British Prime Minister won’t make me a Minister... I’m a white, married, Home Counties Christian, says Tory MP
A new Tory MP has made a scathing attack on David Cameron for promoting women and people from the ethnic minorities over ‘white, Christian, married’ men.
John Glen, the party’s former head of research, said his background effectively ruled him out for a ministerial job under Mr Cameron. He said: ‘I don’t anticipate any early calls to Government. I’m a white, Christian, married bloke from the Home Counties so I probably don’t fit the description of what the leadership wants at the moment.’
The Salisbury MP, one of 147 new Tory MPs elected in May, should on paper be a potential high-flier in the Commons after running the respected Conservative Research Department following the 2005 General Election.
Previous Tory research chiefs who have gone on to top posts include Andrew Lansley, now the Health Secretary, and Chris Patten, who served as Conservative Party Chairman under John Major’s Government.
Mr Glen, 36, also accused Mr Cameron of ‘vetoing’ his bid to be Tory candidate three years ago and complained how he was initially left off the party’s controversial ‘A-list’ of fast-tracked candidates. And the Oxford-educated MP appeared to lash out at new Tory colleagues trying too hard to get noticed and ‘racing around and annoying everyone’.
Mr Glen said: ‘What is important is that you don’t lose your soul along the way. I’d rather be a damn good constituency MP and be known to speak the truth than someone who has got on the ladder too soon and is not experienced or able enough to deal with the pressure. I’ve noticed some colleagues out to make a name for themselves.’
His remarks, in an article for the Commons in-house journal The House Magazine, will revive the rows over Mr Cameron’s determination to rebrand his party by fast-tracking women and ethnic-minority parliamentary candidates over traditional Tory ‘pin-striped’ men prior to May’s General Election.
It led to the famous ‘Turnip Taliban’ revolt when Tories in South-West Norfolk unsuccessfully tried to deselect candidate Liz Truss over her failure to declare an earlier affair with married Tory MP Mark Field.
After the Election, many local activists who resented the ‘A-list’ priority candidates felt vindicated when a number failed to win. Five openly gay candidates were not elected, two of whom – David Gold in Eltham and Mark Coote in Cheltenham – were standing in seats pencilled in by Tory high command as easy wins.
Mr Glen complained that his political career suffered a ‘blow’ when he failed to be included on the first round of A-list candidates.
But even after he got on to a later priority list, he said the Tory leader blocked his bid to be the party’s candidate in Henley in 2008 – the safe seat vacated by Boris Johnson when he became London Mayor. Mr Glen said he was rejected even though his wife-to-be lived in the Oxfordshire town. Mr Glen wrote that ‘to his immense credit, David Cameron later apologised for what happened’.
However, he also complained that after Mr Cameron became party leader in December 2005, his career at Tory HQ ‘started to go wrong’ and that he was not appreciated by Steve Hilton, the new leader’s director of strategy and image guru.
‘I sensed that my days would be numbered, and in my early encounters with Steve Hilton and members of David Cameron’s office, I sensed a lack of esteem for what I could bring to the table,’ he said.
The MP also attacked the decision by close Cameron ally Francis Maude, now a Cabinet Office Minister, to abolish the Conservative Research Department as ‘very short-sighted’.
Last night, a fellow Conservative MP privately accused Mr Glen of ‘sour grapes’, saying that out of more than 100 Ministers in the Coalition, only 19 were women and only ‘a handful’ were from ethnic minorities.
The three-page health and safety form which is paralysing Britain's police
The questionnaire is only three pages long yet nothing illustrates more effectively how health and safety regulations have blighted the emergency services.
Last week, former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner David Gilbertson wrote about the corrosive effect of the ‘risk avoidance’ culture that now takes precedence over public duty. As Mr Gilbertson explained, the problem lies with the RA1, the emergency services’ risk-assessment form which is used to identify potential dangers of any operation.
And two episodes this week illustrate his point. At the inquest into the 7/7 London bombings, in which 52 people died, firefighters were forced to defend their decision not to enter a Tube tunnel until ‘protocols’ had been observed.
And at another inquest in Kettering, Northants, last Thursday, it was revealed that two men drowned in an icy lake as firefighters stood by, unable to help because they had only ‘basic water awareness training’. The fire services have a version of the RA1 form, as do each of the different police forces.
The Metropolitan Police’s RA1 requires officers to assess a checklist of 238 possible hazards before conducting any sort of planned operational activity, such as security at a football match, or any operation that is spontaneous but requires the intervention of a senior officer, such as a bombing or a riot.
The Mail on Sunday has obtained one of these forms, which is not made available under the Metropolitan Police Freedom of Information Publication Scheme. It is an astonishing document which covers every conceivable eventuality – and more.
The potential hazards are divided into 13 categories including the place in which the operation will take place (Access and Place of Work), the means by which officers will travel to their operation (Transport) and even the threat posed by the required uniforms (Work Equipment).The senior officer must tick the relevant boxes, fill out an inventory of ‘risk activities’ (RA2), calculate levels of risk (RA3) and submit their recommendation (RA4) for the assessment to be confirmed and signed.
According to the RA1 form, potential dangers of ‘uncomfortable seating’, ‘slippery surfaces’, ‘sunburn’ and ‘passive smoking’ must all be considered. One senior police officer, who asked not to be named, said: ‘The thing is they have thought of every possible danger you could ever imagine.
‘With uncomfortable seating, for instance, it might be that an officer is on an operation which will require hours of watching and staying in the same place. With sunburn, if you are policing something like the Notting Hill Carnival for 12 hours it could potentially be a problem.
‘There’s nothing they haven’t thought of so the risk of “fluid injection” or “HIV” – which is very real if you are raiding a drug den – is on the same form as “traffic equipment/cones etc”. It’s the same with equipment, if you haven’t got access to the right transport, officers might have to take their riot gear on the bus with them, which is very heavy and could potentially hurt their back.’
Every department in the police force now has a risk assessment advisor. Every operation has a file opened, every file should have an RA1, two, three and four. The forms must be kept for ten years in case of any legal action.
The unnamed officer added: ‘There is an entire department processing the RA1s. Every one has to be signed off by a commander or chief constable. Technically, if you have got bombs going off you should complete these forms before sending your officers in. However, it’s a grey area. The line would be that you must complete one “wherever practicable”.
‘The difficulty is that it’s a question of judgment. Are you likely to save lives without one of the forms being completed? In a situation like that, you would probably not fill in the form and account for your actions in your subsequent report.
‘For instance, if a bomb goes off in the Tube, you would send in your officers but fill in the form before sending in forensics. But the thing with these forms is that it places the onus on the senior officer to fill it out. And if you don’t, you will have to explain why you haven’t.’
If it is deemed that a senior officer has not done enough to identify potential risks they face legal action. In 2003, then Scotland Yard Commissioner Sir John (now Lord) Stevens and his predecessor Lord Condon faced prosecution for alleged breaches of health and safety rules after two incidents in which officers fell through roofs while pursuing suspected burglars. Both were acquitted.
Sixty-Five Years of Circling the Drain: Happy Birthday, UN!
Its founders would be disgusted at the undemocratic cesspool the UN has become
This week, 65 years ago, the United Nations officially came into existence. It has experienced ups and downs, but never has looked to be a greater a failure than it does today. Its founders would be amazed at the Frankenstein creation that now sits on Manhattan’s East River.
The horrors of World War II had led statesmen from countries great and small to devise a council of nations to prevent the worst excesses of international conduct. An admirable ideal, but it has not worked out that way. The world body has built-in flaws which a changing world has made worse.
First: the General Assembly is not a democratic body. Member states represent not people, but governments, many of them squalid dictatorships. As a result, lack of democracy and human rights is no barrier to UN membership and participation.
At its founding this mattered less, since most UN members then (other than the Soviet and Arab blocs) were democracies. But democracies have been a minority within the UN since 1958. The democratic wave in Eastern Europe and Latin America following the Cold War has not only receded in some cases, but was in any case too small to alter this fact.
Second: the UN system is organized into blocs, of which the largest is the so-called Non-Aligned bloc. The policy of this bloc is largely determined by the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference, which includes the 22 member states of the Arab League. Very few of the OIC’s members can be considered functioning democracies. This bloc, and subsets within it, connive to render the UN impotent.
For example: no discussions are held, resolutions passed, or action taken on China’s obliteration of life and culture in Tibet. The UN General Assembly cannot even muster a simple majority merely to condemn the slaughter of Christians and animists in Sudan’s Darfur region.
Third: the Security Council is beholden to the veto power of five very different permanent members. Undoubtedly, this prevents the UN from doing much that’s wicked, but also most that’s decent. The rare occasions on which the UN came to anyone’s rescue — South Korea in 1950 and Kuwait in 1991 — were made possible by a Soviet boycott (never repeated) in one case, and a rare abstention by China in the other.
Otherwise, little else of serious import gets passed — or even discussed. Russia and China shield Iran from serious sanctions over its illegal nuclear weapons program. China and Arab blocking of action over Sudan’s depredations in Darfur, which have killed hundreds of thousands over the past decade, prevents any movement there.
Even when the Security Council decides on something — like disarming Saddam Hussein — action to achieve this aim can still be frustrated by subsequent vetoes.
Other UN bodies, like the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), reflect these adverse conditions. Established in 2006 to replace the corrupt and ineffective Human Rights Commission, the HRC has proved no better, and is arguably worse. Non-democratic African and Asian regimes exercise an unbreakable controlling majority of 26 of its 47 seats. It is these dictatorships that set the Council’s agenda and determine its vote. In four years, the HRC has closed off investigation of the worst human rights abuses in Belarus, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.
In these circumstances, democracies can change the UN only so far. The Reagan administration, for example, pressured the UN through the purse-strings by withholding dues, and withdrew from corrupt bodies like UNESCO. But such efforts need to be sustained when the UN reverts to worst practice. In any event, joining the jackals, as if that could somehow tame their appetites, is worse than useless. It merely lends legitimacy that would have been better denied. The Obama administration took the U.S. into the HRC last year in the declared hope of effecting change. It didn’t. One month after the Obama administration joined the HRC, it terminated investigation into human rights abuses in Congo. In May, Libya joined the HRC. The Obama administration’s objections were simply ignored.
There is another way. The U.S., which provides a quarter of the UN budget, should consider some options. It could hold the UN to performance standards before disbursing funds. It could withdraw from irredeemable bodies like the HRC. It could back a new caucus of democratic nations. It could reallocate funds to external initiatives that actually do some good. But who expects the Obama administration to do any of these things?
Tea party candidates versus Democrat sleazebags
"Those who live in glass houses ...." Comment below by Ann Coulter
With the media sneering about the Tea Party candidates being a bunch of nuts, how about we take a look at some of the Democrats running this year?
We've got Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank, who personally presided over the housing crash after getting that gay prostitution business behind him. Of course, Frank's actions are nothing compared to Republican Senate candidate Rand Paul's alleged participation in a college prank. Now, THERE'S a scandal!
California Sen. Barbara Boxer refuses to say whether a newborn baby is a human life. When Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn., asked her on the Senate floor a few years ago whether she believed a baby born alive has a constitutionally protected a right to live, Boxer was stuck for an answer. Her nonresponsive replies included these:
"I support the Roe v. Wade decision. ...
"I think when you bring your baby home, when your baby is born -- and the baby belongs to your family and has all the rights. ...
"Define 'separation' ...
"You mean the baby has been birthed and is now in its mother's arms? ...
"The baby is born when the baby is born. That is the answer to the question. ...
"I am not answering these questions! I am not answering these questions!"
(Also, I think she said: "Please call me 'senator.'")
That's not Patty Murray-stupid, but it's still pretty stupid. How many late-term abortions are you planning to get, Californians, that it's worth being represented by such a cretinous woman?
Even if you are under the misimpression that Boxer's Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina, is somehow going to outlaw abortion in California, Carly will cut your taxes so much that you'd be able to fly to Sweden for all your abortions and still come out ahead!
Liberals are indignant that Sarah Palin writes speech notes to herself on her hand. This week, Alex Sink, the Democratic candidate for governor in Florida, was slipped a debating point by her makeup artist, texted by a campaign aide in violation of the rules during a debate with her Republican opponent, Rick Scott.
Oh, those thick Tea Party candidates!
Last weekend, Illinois governor Pat Quinn -- Rod Blagojevich's running mate -- stood silently as his supporter, state Sen. Rickey Hendon, blasted Quinn's Republican opponent, Bill Brady, as "idiotic, racist, sexist, homophobic."
Hendon has repeatedly made headlines over the past few years for his inappropriate behavior toward female colleagues. Once -- during a Senate debate -- he asked Sen. Cheryl Axley if her hair was naturally blond and then publicly propositioned her.
Another time, Hendon tackled Rep. Robin L. Kelly, knocking her to the ground after a House-Senate softball game she had come to watch in office attire.
Of the impeccable Brady, Hendon wailed: "If you think that women have no rights whatsoever, except to have his children, vote for Bill Brady. If you think gay and lesbian people need to be locked up and shot in the head, vote for Bill Brady."
Even the Chicago press was shocked by this, calling on Quinn to apologize. Quinn has "renounced" Hendon's remarks, but refused to apologize.
But watch out for the Tea Party candidates! There are some real loose cannons in that bunch.
Also last week, Rep. Ron Klein, Democrat of Florida, hysterically claimed he had been "threatened" by one of the Vietnam Veteran bikers supporting his Republican opponent, Allen West.
The man who had allegedly "threatened" Klein is 60 years old and goes by the terrifying name of ... "Miami Mike." Mike told the Miami Herald that he had simply e-mailed Klein, saying that he deserved to be voted out of office and, in addition, he needed "a good ass-kicking, which I'd be more than happy to do even though I'm a lot older than you."
As Miami Mike said: "A threat? Give me a break. He cannot be scared of what I wrote. If he is, he is just a real baby."
Apparently so. Klein turned Mike's e-mail over to the Capitol police, where they promptly burst out laughing and then ordered framed copies of the e-mail.
Speaking of little girls in pink party dresses, Keith Olbermann has repeatedly claimed that Allen West "disgraced his uniform." Weirdly, he never gives details of how he thinks West did that. (Maybe Olbermann could check on war-zone protocol with fake-Vietnam War veteran Dick Blumenthal, who's running for the Senate from Connecticut by lying about having served in Vietnam.)
As a colonel in Iraq, West was interrogating an Iraqi terrorist who knew about a planned ambush. Unable to get him to talk, West shot a gun near the terrorist's head, whereupon the frightened but unharmed detainee spilled the beans.
Because of that, West's men were able to capture a potential attacker and identify future ambush sites. There were no further attacks on West's men.
As West later told The New York Times, "There are rules and regulations, and there's protecting your soldiers." He said, "I just felt I'd never have to write a letter of condolence home to a 'rule and regulation.'"
When the Army considered court-martialing West, thousands of letters poured in defending West and thanking him for what he had done. Ninety-five members of Congress signed a letter to the secretary of the Army in support of West. No court-martial was ever convened.
Liberals won't say that John Phillip Walker Lindh disgraced his country. Washington Sen. Patty Murray thinks Osama bin Laden is a swell guy for building "day care centers" in Afghanistan. But they say a hero like Allen West "disgraced his uniform" by saving the lives of American soldiers.
Yeah, the Tea Party candidates are a real embarrassment.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.