Wednesday 10 September 2014

Effing Cameron resorts to bribery

Another day, another opinion poll. A Survation poll in the Scottish Daily Record puts the ‘No’ camp back in the lead following the shock poll in the Sunday Times which had the ‘Ayes’ ahead.

The latest poll reports 47.6% planning to vote ‘No’, 42.4% voting ‘Yes’ with 10% undecided. Statistically, this is still too close to call but the result will clearly give comfort to the Unionists. Just a few days ago, it looked all over bar the shouting, which reminded Don’t Call Me Dave of the Kinnock Effect. A week ahead of the 1992 General Election, Labour leader Neil Kinnock addressed a rally in Sheffield declaring “We’re alright!” His premature triumphalism is widely regarded as the reason for Labour losing an election they were expected to win. Voters looked into the abyss and didn’t like what they saw. Better the devil you know.

And so it may come to pass in Scotland. But at what price? Prime Minister David Cameron today pleaded with Scots not to use the referendum as an excuse to kick “the effing Tories”. 

In his latest attempt to win the referendum, Cameron has promised a raft of new tax and welfare powers for the Scottish Parliament. But where is his authority to make this offer? Cameron knows that if the Scots vote for independence, his political career is over. In desperation to save his own neck, he now expects English taxpayers to subsidise the Scots even more than they do already. He is bribing the Scots with English money. Perhaps the English are prepared to pay this price to maintain the Union and preserve economic stability. But it would have been nice to have been asked first.

Monday 8 September 2014

Conservatives should say “Aye” to Independence

It is fair to say that Westminster is in full panic mode following the publication of a YouGov opinion poll in the Sunday Times showing that the ‘Yes’ camp have overtaken the ‘No’ camp with less than two weeks until the Scottish referendum.  The headline figures report 51% in favour of independence and 49% against.

These figures should be treated with caution because they exclude the ‘don’t knows’. If they are included, the poll shows 47% in favour of independence, and 45% against. It is therefore too close to call, although the polling evidence suggests that the majority of ‘don’t knows’ are rapidly moving into the ‘Yes’ camp.

Traditionally, Tories support the Union, but there are several reasons why real Conservatives should support independence for Scotland:

1. Real Conservatives believe in reducing the power of the state. This means devolving power to a local level where politicians can more readily be held accountable. Real Conservatives oppose the interference of EU bureaucrats in our daily lives, and it is quite understandable why Scots do not wish to be governed by Whitehall.

2. An independent Scotland makes it harder for Labour to win a majority at Westminster. The Scots do not like Tories very much, and it will be easier for the Conservatives  to win a majority in Parliament once Scottish voters are taken out of the equation.

3. An independent Scotland will force David Cameron out of office allowing a real Conservative to take his place. Cameron says that he will not resign if the Scots vote for independence, but the reality is that the decision will not be his to take.  This was an entirely avoidable situation but, as usual, Cameron ignored advice from people who knew better than him. He cannot seriously expect to survive as leader for breaking up the Union.

4. Real Conservatives want to see a British exit from the pernicious influence of EU. If the Scots vote for independence, it will start an unstoppable movement to escape the clutches of Brussels which none of the main parties will be able to ignore.

If Scotland votes ‘Yes’ it is clear that there will be a period of political and economic instability. Nobody really has any idea what the long term effect of independence will be on the rest of the Union, but it will serve to demonstrate how totally inadequate our current political leadership is. There has been an absence of conviction politics for the last 25 years or so. Instead we have been governed by PR spivs who have no concept of how the real world works. The economic consequences of independence might be severe for the average voter, but it might just be worth it to see the current crop of politicians flounder like headless chickens.

Thursday 29 May 2014

Told you so!

How ironic that in the week when three new Labour councillors take up their seats in Underhill ward, Barnet Football Club chairman Tony Kleanthous announces that he plans to sell the old Underhill stadium.

Lest anyone has forgotten, it was the last Labour Administration, propped up by the LibDems, which secretly approved the sale of Underhill in 2002 for a price of just £10,000. The High Court subsequently ruled that the council had acted unlawfully, and even though the Judge called one of Barnet F.C.’s directors an “unreliable witness”, he was powerless to reverse the decision.

Due to the incompetence of the council’s legal department, errors in the sale contract meant that Mr Kleanthous was free to sell the land after 10 years to whoever he wanted, for whatever price he could get, without have to share one penny with the taxpayers of Barnet.

Mr Kleanthous was forever moaning about the council not supporting the club – something Harrow Council has now discovered for itself.  But this was nothing more than bluster. The sale of Underhill will return a very handsome profit on the purchase price.

For years, Don’t Call Me Dave told anyone who would listen (and a good many who would not) that Mr Kleanthous would find an excuse to sell the land just as soon as the contract allowed him to do so, without having to share the proceeds with the hard pressed taxpayers of Barnet, whose land was sold from under their feet without their knowledge or consent. And, lo, it has come to pass.

This sorry saga is a useful reminder as to why Labour should never be trusted with high office again.

Sunday 25 May 2014

Farewell Mr Tambourgreedy

There has been much rejoicing amongst the left and right following Brian Coleman’s defeat at the hands of the electorate this week. Don’t Call Me Dave admits that he was surprised at the extent of the thrashing Coleman received, but the power of the people should never be underestimated. Coleman had survived many scandals in the past, but clearly assaulting a woman crossed a line which even his most ardent supporters could not condone.

Many years ago, when Brian Coleman was plotting the downfall of the late Victor Lyon, he told DCMD “In order to rebuild, you must first destroy.” The removal of Andreas Tambourides is therefore far more significant than Coleman’s defeat if the Conservatives want to win back the seats they have just lost.

Following the Conservative victory in 2006, the council group was effectively hijacked by the gang of four – Mike Freer, Lynne Hillan, Brian Coleman and Andreas Tambourides as their enforcer. Mike Freer subsequently went off to become a one term MP in Finchley; Lynne Hillan departed for the great council chamber in the sky and Brian Coleman punched his way into the history books. Even after the allowances scandal of 2010, Tambourides trousered bucket loads of taxpayers money for doing bugger all. He claimed tens of thousands of Pounds for legal expenses even though council officers said his claim was excessive (a view shared by a Tory barrister councillor). His greed was matched only by his ego.

Brunswick Park should be a rock solid Conservative ward. In 2006, the Conservatives won with a clear 2,000 majority over Labour. By 2010, the Conservative majority had fallen to 1,500 - but still substantial for a council ward. Following Lynne Hillan’s death in 2012, her seat was lost to Labour in the by-election. The fact that Tambourides has now lost his seat as well, whilst Tory Lisa Rutter held hers, proves that the public have simply had enough of the old guard and their bullying ways.

DCMD does not wish to speak ill of the dead, but Lynne Hillan and her cohorts inflicted serious damage on the Conservative name in Barnet. The Tories have retained power by the skin of their teeth. There can be no doubt that they are now drinking in the last chance saloon. It is time for the local associations to reassert their authority over errant councillors, clear out all the dead wood and start promoting sensible Conservative policies. Councillors (and ex councillors) with their snouts in the trough should be under no illusion that their time has passed.

And as we bid Mr Tambourgreedy a fond farewell, here is a reminder from 2009 of his arrogance and contempt for the rules the rest of us have to live by (if an advert appears, click on the ‘x’ in the top right hand corner to get rid of it).