Daily Archives: 19 October 2006

Standards Board Apologists

Earlier in the year, I bemoaned the fact that Graham Tope and Simon Hughes were jumping up and down defending the Standards Board’s ruling to suspend Ken Livingstone.

Now that the whole thing has been overturned on appeal, is there any chance we’ll get to hear similar echoes of “justice has been served” from the London Lib Dems? Not a chance.

Oddly, Tuffrey wants to have it both ways, arguing that not only should the case have never been taken up by the board, but that it was all Livingstone’s fault for saying what he said in the first place. I find it breathtaking that not one syllable of criticism is being aimed at the people who submitted the complaint, forcing the issue.

This is very dodgy territory here, as it is coming close to calling for curbs on freedom of speech. I’m not saying that Livingstone is immune from criticism here, far from it. But such criticism should be dealt with in a political forum – like an Assembly, perhaps – not in some quasi-legal forum like the Standards Board.

And I expect to hear clarity, defending freedom of speech unambiguously, from the GLA Lib Dems, not all this dog whistle stuff aimed at the zany end of the Jewish community.

Give Balls the Snip!

Photo of Ed Balls: New Balls PleaseFor some months now, I have been worrying about the fate that is expected to befall that bright, upcoming MP Ed Balls.

Ed, you see, is due to see his constituency wiped out in the next boundary changes. His repeated appeals that he is a Very Important Person and that This Sort Of Thing Doesn’t Happen To People Like Me have fallen on deaf ears. It now looks like he will have to find a new seat if he is to remain an MP after the next General Election.

This presents him with a bit of a problem. You see, the Labour Party is committed to imposing on its most winnable constituencies All Women Shortlists. Ed, however, is not a woman. And of course Labour would never dream of making special dispensation purely on the basis that the person in question is one of Gordon Brown’s bezzie mates. It would be unthinkable. The fact that last time round Ed Balls managed to get a seat next door to his wife, Yvette Cooper, is a pure coincidence and should not raise any eyebrows at all.

I however have come up with a great new plan. If we can’t have Ed in the Commons, what about Edwina? My research tells me it would cost £15,000 for a sex change operation. If we could just get 15,000 people to put in a quid each, all his problems would be solved!

What do you think of this idea? Let me know in the comments, or better yet, spread the word.

UPDATE: I see Guido is promoting this noble campaign. And I’ve now set up a pledgebank page on this, as requested.

CODA (1 December 2014): I just came across this blog post and, looking at it again, would like to apologise for any offence it may have caused. Not to Ed Balls, but I like to think that I’m more aware of trans* issues these days and would not dream of making a crass joke like this these days. I considered taking this down, but considered it to be the cowardly option. So I’m going to leave this here as an occasional reminder to myself to do better.

Stupid is as stupid does

David Cameron’s latest effort to get wit da yoot involves having tea and crumpets with a man who goes by the name of Rhymefest.

Rhymefest, who may or may not be allowed to sleep with Cameron’s wife afterwards, accuses Dave of knowing nothing about rap.

Far be it for me to stick up to Cameron here, but it should be pointed out that this photo demonstrates that Rhymefest knows nothing about the wearing of eye protection. My old science teacher, Mr Marshall, would have had a fit.
Boys In Da Hood
It is of course a matter of some debate as to which of these areas of ignorance is more serious, but I would suggest that knowing about rap isn’t likely to stop you from being stabbed by a 12 year old with a flicknife, while knowing about eye protection is liable to prevent serious blindness when using a lathe.

And they wonder why US industry is in decline.