Daily Archives: 19 March 2007

Islington Tories – even their Guacamole is Blue

Normally, the Islington Tribune is the Lib Dem bashing paper of choice, but the innate nuttiness of Islington’s Conservative-inclined inhabitants means that every so often they just can’t help making themselves look stupid.

Firstly, there is dear old Boris, calling for “Sharia law for bike thieves“. We must assume that this is meant in jest, but his equivocation about his famous apology to Liverpudlians might be of interest to those of you of a Merseyside bent:

“Islington is one of the few places in the country that I’ve not yet insulted.

“It was the people of Liverpool who got very upset – or rather some journalists who wound them all up.”

But we don’t need to rely on old Boris to make the Tories look stupid in North London. The local Tories have hit out at the council’s £3m investment plan to reduce Islington’s carbon footprint as a “symbolic stunt“. So far, so much politics. But then they have to go and take it that little bit further:

The party’s chairwoman, Margaret Reese, launched her attack on Tuesday at Highbury Corner, opposite a derelict site believed to be owned by Network Rail.

She said: “Labour’s nuclear-free zone was a meaningless symbolic stunt 20 years ago and so is this one about climate change.

“The difference is that the ruling Lib Dems are spending £3 million of our cash.

“It is not for councils to tackle global warming by spending council tax. It’s something governments do internationally.

“Meanwhile, we have these appalling eyesores – like this one at Highbury Corner – which make the borough look like a Third World site. This is the first bit of Islington that a lot of people see and I’m ashamed of it.”

Tim Newark, local historian and former Highbury Conservative candidate, argued that the council is spending money on a “fashionable theory”.

He added: “We have no real scientific proof that links rising carbon emissions and pollution with climate change. Indeed, recently scientists have been arguing that the theory is a lot of hot air.

“In fact, from 1945 to the early 1970s, when carbon was actually rising because of the post-war boom, global temperatures went down.”

Say what you like about Islington Lib Dems, they’ve done a lot to crack down on anti-social behaviour and crime, with measurable results. When it comes to the environment, the local Tories can’t even be consistent, with Margaret Reese calling for it to be tackled globally – presumably ignoring inconvenient global agreements like LA21 – and Tim Newark claiming it’s all a myth anyway. Do you think they bother to actually agree on a party line, or do they just switch their brains onto ‘vent bile mode’ and let rip?

How does dear Margaret think international agreements get implemented? Does she think a few people just have to sign their name on a piece of paper in New York and global warming will simply vanish? And since when is Tim Newark, an historian, a world authority on climate change? One can’t help but get the impression that the sum total of his knowledge is watching that Channel 4 documentary a couple of weeks ago.

What dissent there is on climate change is miniscule compared to the widespread consensus amongst scientists worldwide. In fact, the only people who seem to be going out of their way to cast aspersions about climate change at the moment are Tories. Cf Iain Dale. It’s beginning to resemble a concerted attempt to undermine Cameron himself, something which appears to have not escaped his attention.

It doesn’t bode well for when Cameron has to start announcing some actual policies.

Synod Members Bash their Bishops!

Ahh, you’ve got to laugh:

Forty-two members of the General Synod of the Church of England have issued the challenge to their national leaders as the Government considers a fully elected second chamber, and whether the 26 bishops of the state church should keep their exclusive places on the coveted red benches.

In a letter signed by lay members of the Church’s ruling body, the bishops were told that the arguments for retaining the unique privileges enjoyed by the Church of England in the upper house would be severely negated unless the bishops, enblock, turned up to vote against the introduction of the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation Regulations) 2007 when debated by the Lords on Wednesday.

So, in short, if they don’t all vote to entrench homophobia (which, given their attendance records, is very unlikely), then there’s no point to them. Some of us might argue that if they do vote in such a way, the case for kicking the Bishops out of the Lords speaks for itself.

The SNP: the choice of all trade union bashing evangelical homophobes

Do you think, when Alex Salmond explained that he was against the Union, Brian Souter thought he meant something else?

I suspect the SNP have made a bad mistake here; they’ve just aligned themselves with one of the most toxic figures in British business today. The gloves can start to come off now.

UPDATE: PinkNews coverage. Quoth Peter Tatchell:

“The SNP would never accept a donation from an avowed racist, so why are they accepting funding from a man who is clearly homophobic?” commented Peter Tatchell, of gay pressure group OutRage!

“Accepting this tainted money is an outrageous insult to every gay person in Scotland and to everyone who loves and respects human rights.”