David Burbage’s weblog

Politics in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead

Scottish Referendum and all that follows

Posted by davidburbage on September 20, 2014

David Cameron played a blinder at 7am yesterday – finally grasping the West Lothian nettle (thistle?) and declaring that English voters must have parity with Scottish voters. After all, we should end the Barnett formula and allow devolution to take up the slack if the folks up north (or round here) want to spend more of their voters money for them.

The Labour party are going to have to tackle the issue head on – I predicted they would want to long-grass the issue which they have done, but basic common sense dictates that English votes for English laws must be implemented now that Scotland’s MSPs will get even more powers, and can already decide their own policies on health, education and so on.

Where we could do with some constitutional change is to decentralise some more from Whitehall to councils, communities and individuals. That’s where Labour is looking to make the running but we should overtake them by rolling out effective devolution on the back of the Prime Minister’s announcement yesterday.

At Labour and Conservative conferences, South East Strategic Leaders with Localis are promoting a South East manifesto, drawn up in conjunction with the South East England Councils, to ask for devolution to South East authorities, but the principle applies everywhere in England. Time for change.

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The way we were

Posted by davidburbage on August 23, 2014

Anyone wanting to predict the result of the 2015 election might like to take a look at this poll from April 30th 2010, just a week before the national poll.

How times change! This is taken from the excellent Political Betting Blog, a great site, well worth a visit run by Mike Smithson for many years.

election-history

A week later, the country voted 37% (Con), 30% (Lab) and 23.5% (LD).

Posted in Conservative success, General | Leave a Comment »

Feeding into Twitter

Posted by davidburbage on August 14, 2014

Test post eric-pickles

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The beauty of news spin

Posted by davidburbage on August 14, 2014

So the A-level results are out.

Here’s how the major organisations highlighted the news!

beautyofstats

 

BBC run with the negative, Sky with the positive. Mind you, with the grade inflation of recent years might mean that the negative is a positive.

Just a thought 

Posted in BBC | 1 Comment »

Transparency of public meetings

Posted by davidburbage on August 13, 2014

This is a hoot. Elected councillors at all levels shouldn’t hide in public – thanks to Eric there really is nowhere to hide!

We have every ambition to increase the public’s participation in civic society, and is part of our Big Society agenda.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPKXUxQoK4g

This is also a good watch. The point made near the end (about the accuracy of a single recording) is particularly sharp because we’ve been in meetings where the council team haven’t recorded the meeting, and a member of the public has done, we’re then in the position of defending the accuracy of minutes, a month later !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MnHqT7TDKtI&list=UUcIr2DU8kJZEiOQdT5wkoqA

 

Posted in Big Society | Leave a Comment »

Reshuffle

Posted by davidburbage on July 15, 2014

Very pleased to see Liz Truss promoted, but sad to see Owen depart to make space!

 

The reshuffle will invigorate the team more as we go into the election, and I am sure this strengthens our chances of winning outright.

Good also to see Brandon promoted at DCLG, and Eric continues in post as I predicted he would in 2010 (contrary to Labour’s Cllr Dave Wilcox in Cllr magazine, who predicted an early demise for my chum)

Posted in Conservative success, General | Leave a Comment »

Poor BBC electoral production – worse ahead?

Posted by davidburbage on May 21, 2014

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27502569

Here, Jeremy Vine shows (briefly) the supposed result of the 2009 Euro elections, with the Conservatives holding virtually all of England and Wales.

Presumably they can’t manage the PR de Hondt system of regional results? They then even break down the voting into constituency level (as if that matters!) rather than offer us a prediction based on the current polls in terms of the MEP results. Will UKIP get 3 or 4 seats in the South East? How will Labour do in the South West? Which region will the LibDems likely hold onto a seat? These would have been interesting questions…..

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Desperate LibDem literature

Posted by davidburbage on May 17, 2014

It really is bad.

Desperate LibDems have sent through a “fake handwriting” font letter in which they claim that we would put loads of jobs under threat because they “depend” on Europe. It’s almost claiming that by not voting LibDem (who used to want a referendum on Europe, remember?), immediately, nobody can trade with the UK ! Worse than that, they don’t use the 3 million figure (widely discredited and publicly so by Farage vs Clegg) they use the “in our area” number of 420,000. Their standards are dropping, even by their standards.

It would be better if fear-uncertainty-doubt arguments had any basis in reality, but sadly picking a worthless argument and pursuing it to the point of no return is all too true to form (see Free School Meals pledge for a LibDem-gimmick comparison)…

.libdems-ineurope-inwork

Note to LibDems : Norway has 3.4% unemployment, Switzerland has 3.2% unemployment, but in the “heart of Europe” in France, it is 10.2% !

Tell “The reality is that being IN Europe means being IN work” to the Spanish (shocking 26% unemployment), Greeks (shocking 27%), Italians (12.5%) ….

Isn’t Mrs Clegg telling Nick about this stuff :) ?

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Investiture

Posted by davidburbage on April 19, 2014

I was thrilled to attend Windsor Castle on Tuesday for my investiture – receiving the MBE from the Queen in person. We didn’t know that it would be the Queen for sure, but someone pointed out that the Royal Standard was flying and therefore surely Her Majesty was at home!

It was clearly a well rehearsed occasion – from the confiscation of all mobile phones and cameras at the entrance, then being split from the guests, and finally (after chatting to other recipients) lining up in a relatively silent queue prior to entering the chamber. I worried (too much) about what I would say to the Queen, and then it was all over bar the photographs! There was a small opportunity to visit the state chambers, through which I had queued, and then outside into a gloriously sunny April day.

Image

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Labour’s advanced policy for public service improvement

Posted by davidburbage on April 7, 2014

Labour plan to ‘bust open’ Whitehall to ‘working class’

http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26919780

Nice ambition, but it would be more reassuring if they had a plan to run the country better than they did last time !

Dealing with “inputs” neglects “outputs”, just as spending more of other people’s money doesn’t necessarily produce better outcomes for them….

 

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