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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted -  11/01/2009  :  06:04
New Year, new topic. If you want to see the old one do a forum search for same title but 2008.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk
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Tizer
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5150 Posts
Posted - 27/05/2009 : 16:58
Where's Frank when you need him

    Where's Frank Wilks when you need him?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/05/2009 : 06:43
Everything about that recruiting poster is from another age. Clear and confident, concise and well designed and oh for the days when we actually had a string of coastguard stations.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/05/2009 : 06:58
Report this morning that Sir Stuart Bell, a member of the Parliamentary Commission, says that Speaker Martin was 'leant on' by 'senior political figures' to take the request for information about expenses to appeal. Harriet Harman denies this etc. This is one of the problems, wheels within wheels, the web of intrigue and machinations that make 'autonomous' bodies inside Parliament unworkable. As has been noted many times before, more like a gentleman's club than a modern administration with efficient checks and balances. The measures being taken by party leaders against individual members suffer from the same syndrome. They are internal, partial and not transparent. This is why we have a police force and judiciary who are supposed to be insulated from influence, although one sometimes wonders about them as well!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
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Posted - 29/05/2009 : 12:46
" Everything about that recruiting poster is from another age."...Yes, and there is no spin!


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 30/05/2009 : 05:52

To see this story with its related links on the guardian.co.uk site, go to http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/may/29/letters

Marginal worth of Ashcroft money
Friday May 29 2009
The Guardian


My friend Jack Straw is looking for good ideas for the reform of parliament (Party leaders agree to talks, 27 May). I have long believed that tax exiles should not be allowed to bankroll UK political parties. Unfortunately, Jack disagrees. For the past two years a tsunami of Ashcroft money - from the Belize-based Tory donor Michael Ashcroft - has engulfed my Pendle constituency. The Lib Dem peer Tony Greaves, a constituent of mine, estimates that the Conservatives are on course to spend £250,000 here. My Commons amendment to the political parties and elections bill was signed by 216 MPs and would have closed the Ashcroft loophole, but it was not taken because of procedural fancy footwork.

I asked Dale Campbell Savours to table my amendments in the Lords and they have now been fully aired and debated. They will be voted on at the Lords report stage in mid-June, before the bill returns to the Commons. I am writing to all Labour peers asking them to support Dale and to defy the Labour whip. I want them to send the amended bill back to MPs where, Jack permitting, we can debate and vote on the matter.
Gordon Prentice MP
Lab, Pendle  

If Nick Clegg wants to impose a £50,000 cap on individual donations to political parties (Comment, 28 May), why did he allow the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in my Streatham seat to spend more than £100,000 of his own money on promoting himself last year, outspending me, using the MPs’ communication allowance, by 10 to one, and my Labour successor, Chuka Umunna, by 13 to one?
Keith Hill MP
Lab, Streatham

Copyright Guardian Newspapers Limited 2009

Is this democracy? Could it be that Gordon Prentice is not being supported by the party because he is not a Godron yes-man?

Spotted in private Eye:

‘The person who has really pissed off the old Speaker’s thugs is Labour MP Gordon Prentice (Pendle) who was the first to stickin the knife in the chamber on the day before (Speaker Martin’s) resignation. Mr Prentice collaborated with Tory backbencher Douglas Varswell (Harwich) and shortly before the two men attcaked Martin in front of a crowded chamber thay were seen to be in deep discussion with one another in the corridor just behind the Speaker’s chair. Perhaps they were dicussing the pressure and abuse they were encountering for organising a motion of no confidence in Martin.

Prentice sits for a Lancashire seat but he is a Scot educated in Glasgow. This wrecked the Whip’s absurd case that all the criticism of Martin was being got up by English public school toffs. The voters of Pandle may recognise Mr Prentice’s courage but if he manages to hold on to the marginal seat it will not be thanks to any help from the Brownite party.

When Betty Boothroyd stood down as Speaker in 2000, the same Gordon Prentice organised hustings for the large number of candidates for the Speakership. The one person who refused to take part? Mick Martin. If he had been exposed to examination in front of MPs at this point he might have betrayed his inability to string a sentence together.

Speakers, by custom, have to be dragged to the chair, a symbol of the reluctance they are meant to show. Yet Martin had long been campaigning for the job. How can we be sure of that? The morning after Martin and his Glaswegian machine politics had won him the Speakership Martin came across Prentice in the Commons tea room. “Ah Mr Hustings” he said sarcastically. “This is where I held my hustings.” pointing to the tea room tables.

[It’s worth noting that Martin was proposed and seconded by Lord Snape (One of the Peers investigated by the Sunday Times) and Ann Keen (since noted as one of the most notorious expense claimers in the Commons) ]

Gordon Prentice is my constituency MP and it makes me so angry that a good honest MP who acts on principle even if it means opposing the party line is hogtied by the worst aspects of this ‘Gentlemen’s Club’.

 




Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 30/05/2009 : 06:10
Tiz. Spin and weasel words are so pervasive these days and have spread by example to the bottom of the food chain. I wrote a letter to the BET last week asking that the principle of disclosure should be extended to the source of funds used in local political campaigning. The Tory agent replied this week saying that all the money was raised locally in raffles. However, he was careful to qualify this by using the phrase 'formal election expenses'. This is of course the legal cop-out. I have written another letter pointing out that there is a vast difference between 'formal expenses' and pumping thousands into promoting the prospective candidate, the attention seeking Stephenson. You wouldn't believe the flood of glossy literature that is falling through my letter box. I knew about Lord Greave's publicly stated estimate and it is not democratic to buy seats. The really significant fact of course is that Jack Straw spiked an amendment in the House signed by 216 MPs and in the process disadvantaged his own party members. Could it be that the last thing the Godron faction need is more scrutiny of funding and election expenses?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 30/05/2009 : 07:04
The upheaval as General Motors slides into administration. Turns out that the Canadian buyer for Opel and Vauxhall is funded by a Russian bank and there is a connection with Gaz, the Russian car maker. No guarantees for UK plants despite Lord Sleaze saying that he has had 'assurances' and is 'optimistic'. Why do words like sold and river come to mind? Not a lot for the workers at GM's most efficient car plants to cheer about.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 30/05/2009 : 11:10
Actually the Canadian buyer is an Austrian (now a Canadian citizen), as the head of Magna Auto Parts he is a very successful business operator who operated his plants worldwide union free until recently when he signed a contract (no strike contract) at some of his Canadian locations.  The company employees 70,000 worldwide, many in Europe.  The Russian bank will own 35%, GM 35%, employees 10% and Magna 20%.  Magna will have the responsibility of plant operations.  If I were a worker in the UK or Europe at Opel/Vauxhall I would not feel sold down the river, but I would feel a sigh of relief that a deal to keep the company going has been reached and my job secure "for now". 

As for efficient plants GM recently closed the truck plant in Oshawa Ontario, the most efficient plant in North America and maybe beyond, so efficiency is not the sole ingredient of a succesful operation.  Produce the wrong vehicles in the most efficient manner and lose.

Anyway take heart not all that happens in the auto industry is negative.


HERB


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 31/05/2009 : 06:01
The union leaders and workers in Luton and Merseyside ar not quite as sanguine as you Herb. Angela Merkel has supervised the Opel deal, which includes UK operations and has promised that no Opel plants will close. This leaves UK plants as spot ball in the expected retrenchment and the only vague reassurance they have is that Mandelson is a mate of the oligarch who runs Gaz. Remember him and Osborne on the yacht last year?

I learned something more about the funding problem we have in Pendle. There is no requirement for transfers of money from central party offices to constituency parties to be disclosed. This opens the door to undemocratic campaigning and the nearest thing I can recall to this situation is the days which we thought were long gone when Parliamentary seats were bought and sold. Only the rich could hold power. In effect this is what is happening, marginal seats across England are being bought for cash with money originating from off-shore funds controlled by the Tory Party.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 31/05/2009 : 07:05
Stanley if the vauxhall out of merseyside and luton is a good vehicle, meeting the market demands, it will continue.  The union workers are out of choices, you cannot force a company to continue producing unsaleable products because of unions, the choice is unemployment, so sit back and watch the ride.  Stronach ( remember the 20% owner ) is not in this to lose money.  He is looking to entry into the Russian market through this arrangement.  Which UK company stood up to get into this deal?


HERB


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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 31/05/2009 : 07:07
Sorry I meant to add that I was not being sanguine, simply realistic and not just negative!


HERB


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 31/05/2009 : 08:54
Time will tell Herb but one thing you may have missed is that Opel control the UK works, they have said there will be redundancies, the cheapest workers to sack are the British, far cheaper than the German ones. This is what is worrying the Unions and the workers.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 31/05/2009 : 11:51
Herb, with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska already owning some of GM and now providing some of the money for this deal I have to wonder where his money comes from and whether it is all legal. There are some shady dealings among such people in Russia.


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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 31/05/2009 : 17:11
Tizer agreed, maybe they should just get some honest (?) MP's to run the business.  The auto industry is a mess, Canadian workers at GM and Chrysler have recently agreed to a $23 per hour cut in benefits to bring them in line with Honda and Toyota here.  This in itself is an indicator of how far from reality the workers had moved, the unions/workers and management are to blame for the mess, any move to right the ship now has to be welcomed as better than the alternative.  Personally I think we should have let GM and Chrysler go, some one would take over the plants and produce something.  At the Canadian locations, mostly state of the art, all of the infrastructure ( rail lines etc) are in place.  Through all of this Ford seems to be sailing along without bail out $.  If we continue throwing out bail outs where do we stop?  Do the Fosters Arms owners get some of this slush money, the auto parts suppliers, food strores, farmers, transport companies etc. etc.?

cheers


HERB


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 01/06/2009 : 07:10
Bad day for choice in the US if you need a late term abortion. Only consolation is that the police say they have arrested the possible perpetrator.

So sad that Susan Boyle seems to have been sectioned after losing in Britain's Got Talent. This was a problem waiting to happen but didn't stop the makers of the show exploiting her. There was also the little girl that broke down on stage. Am I alone in thinking that there is something dreadfully cynical in exploiting vulnerable people like this for audience ratings and money? 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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