Monday, 30 June 2008
It is interesting that both Cancer Research and ASH refer to it as a smoke free law instead of a ban. Liberating rather than oppressive.
Friday, 27 June 2008
In fact, the Tory lead is down six points. Labour are still 18 points behind - but these are silly numbers that are unlikely to be reflected in an election in two years' time.
Tuesday, 24 June 2008
When Black talked about a terrorist attack, he did not mean bombing Iran, something neo-con John Bolton says might happen after the election. Terrorism is what other people do.
In this case the journalist, Rachel Sylvester is aware of the paradox in her own piece:
It is hard to imagine Labour taking orders from its super-rich paymasters - in fact, if the donors did go public with their concerns, their intervention could strengthen Mr Brown's position with MPs and activists who were always suspicious of Mr Blair's alliance with wealth. However, if the party suspects that the donors are reflecting wider public opinion, they could just tip the balance against the Prime Minister.Of course, the super-rich-paymasters don't need to go public - their "friends" can talk to the Times.
Monday, 23 June 2008
that Mr Johnson’s win could result in the departure of many older Caribbean immigrants from the capital. According to Marc Wadsworth, the anti-racism campaigner writing on the internet news site www.the-latest.com, Mr McGrath replied: “Well, let them go if they don’t like it here.”It's easily construed as telling black people to leave but it's very different to answer someone else's suggestion that people might want to leave than to suggest it yourself. Anyone should be free to leave the country if they don't like it.
The Times story has a bit of spin from Boris, attempting to gain the moral high ground:
The Times understands that he was also motivated in part by an intention to show distinct differences between his administration and that of his predecessor, Ken Livingstone.This translates as: Boris invited us to compare his actions in this with Ken Livingstone, who wasn't so good. Meanwhile, on Comment is Free, Tristram Hunt says Boris is doing alright and Ken should get over it.
Friday, 20 June 2008
The BBC also reports the story. Neither mention that Israel has nuclear weapons already.
Wednesday, 18 June 2008
What gets me on this one is Spelman's attempt to spin the "exceptional" investigation as having arisen from her own request:
Spelman said last night: "Having personally referred this matter to the commissioner in the first place, I welcome his decision to look at it further."As the Guardian points out:
After the story broke on BBC2's Newsnight, Spelman, on the advice of Tory leader David Cameron, held a meeting with Lyon and asked him to investigate in a bid to clear her name.
Monday, 16 June 2008
It's hard to know who to believe, although George has a point when he reminds us that Gordon promised last October that troops would be cut in the spring.
The Observer also interpreted George Bush's comments about Brown's plan for a series of meetings on the oil price as critical of Brown:
Bush called it an 'interesting idea', but warned against expectations of any major short-term improvement and made it clear he had no plans to go. 'I'm going to go home and take a look at what it all means and I'll decide who's going to attend on our behalf,' Bush said.
He had already been urging King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to increase production. But he said: 'There's no magic wand. It took us a while to get to where we are. It's going to take us a while to get out of it. And the truth of the matter is that there's either got to be more supply or less demand. And demand doesn't decline overnight' - particularly with 'big consumers of hydrocarbons' such as China 'subsidising their populations'.
There must have been a lot of spin on this as it doesn't look overly critical to me.
Friday, 13 June 2008
Alistair Darling and Caroline Flint have been up to New Labour's old tricks, using spin to bury bad news, . Today, I reveal in Inside Housing that their announcement of “extra” money to show homeowners the government is on their side actually disguises a cut in funding for advice services.Meanwhile, in the New Statesman, my colleague Martin Bright has an interview with the Chancellor:
Alistair Darling was once the safest pair of hands in the government. A year after becoming Chancellor, our political editor, Martin Bright, asks him where it all went wrong
Thursday, 12 June 2008
A Conservative source said that Davis had had only three hours' sleep on Tuesday night and was going through some kind of personal crisis.
Patrick Cockburn says "there is less to the American "concessions" than would first appear" and that Iraqi authority would be nominal.
Monday, 9 June 2008
The report also quotes tories as claiming that the case is a "witchhunt" from a desperate, leftwing BBC.
Sunday, 8 June 2008
Dale makes a good point about declaring interests. But he has completely lost the plot on the Caroline Spelman story, leaping on a evidently cobbled together statement by her nanny saying that she DID do constituency work. A "decent and honest" tory is in trouble so let's defend her.
Isn't it a bit of a worry that, according to Spelman, Tina Haynes was paid to do secretarial work and did her nannying for free? How stupid do these tories think we are?
Gordon Brown's plans to hold terror suspects for 42 days without charge received a late boost yesterday when some of Britain's top police and security officers said the controversial proposals were "workable".But the securocrats apparently "stopped short of offering support", not wanting to be seen to be getting involved in politics, even if that is what they are doing.
The Indy again falls into the classic trap of reporting, without objective knowledge, that "Government whips are confident they will win on Wednesday".
Meanwhile Brown has denied that the 42 day plans are a breach of human rights:
"we have done everything in our power to protect the civil liberties of the individual ... because in Britain liberty is and remains at the centre of our constitutional settlement," he told his MPs.That settles it then
It may be legitimate but it somehow gives the impression that Tesco doesn't want the issue discussed.
The tories have decided that sticking with Spelman on this is the best way to deal with it. I think it insults people's intelligence. Labour MP John Mann has demanded some proof.
The Observer has the comment piece from Johnson that is behind the story. Unfortunately, he doesn't use the word lying. Perhaps there was some deal that that would be how the piece would be spun
Friday, 6 June 2008
The biggest fall was for 4x4s, followed by sports cars which recorded a 14.5 per cent drop, and family cars. However, there was a sharp rise in the sales of so-called "Mini" cars such as smart cars which rose by 120 per cent.Apparently, we should be worried if there are fewer new cars on the road:
While the new car market is being affected by the worsening economic conditions with families facing rising fuel, food and mortgage bills, motoring camapigners said the proposed tax changes had undoubtedly contributed to the fall in sales.The paper claims that there is a growing revolt over the rises but can only stump up a tory spokesperson and the car lobby to attack it.
Wednesday, 4 June 2008
Political appointees placed by the Bush administration into senior positions within Nasa's media headquarters acted to play down and distort accounts given to the public of the research findings of its scientists on global warming, an official investigation has concluded.Spin doctors distorting the findings of the experts? It could never happen here...
Tuesday, 3 June 2008
Meanwhile, the Times says that Gordon Brown is backing away from a threat to resign if he loses (I must have missed that) but at least puts the 42 day issue objectively:
Ms [Jacqui] Smith said after the meeting that she had detected clear movement among MPs towards accepting the proposals.
Monday, 2 June 2008
Quite why the tories would think someone as discredited as Levy to be asset is beyond me.
How deeply David Cameron believes in all this new-look Conservatism is another question. Some suspect that he adopted the strategy as an imaginative way to dig the party out of the hole into which it sank 15 years ago. Perhaps now that the Conservatives have their biggest opinion poll lead for a generation, he has decided he does not need to try the patience of traditional Tories any more. If that is so, Steve Hilton might just as well be living in Silicon Valley.Hilton is said to have studied New Labour very closely. I've just been reading Francis Wheen's "How mumbo jumbo conquered the world" (it didn't), which reminds us how left-wing Tony Blair was - or claimed to be - in the 1980's. Maybe Blair didn't believe all that third way nonsense after all - or maybe he did.