Tuesday, 25 November 2008

“Admit you’re a prostitute then prove my boyfriend’s the dad"

You may have worked out from the sudden burst of blogging that I got my speech out of the way today. I'd sat through the statement on employment by James Purnell (actually trying to get called so I could talk about getting to work and bus fares - why is it OK for First Bus to whack up fares when the price of fuel rises, but not reduce them when it drops?) and then suddenly, as my moment in the spotlight grew ever closer, the Chamber started to fill up with Tory MPs. There were hundreds of them; their benches were full. They all seemed very excited. Had they all come to hear me? And why was Boy George on the frontbench? Was this going to be his retaliation for me publishing that photo not once, but twice?
But it turned out they'd been summoned by the whips to mount a show of support for George's call, under an obscure parliamentary procedure, for a debate on the PBR, which he did in a 90 second burst that only the dogs could hear. (David Blunkett's Sadie put her paws over her ears). Then all the Tory MPs stood up and made 'rah, rah' noises, and the people in the public gallery thought it was all very funny, and the Speaker said they could have their debate tomorrow. (For the record, I think he's right). And as quickly as they had all piled in, they all piled out again, leaving me in full command of a nearly empty Chamber.

122 comments:

Fidothedog said...

I thought Blunketts dog Sadie only covered its ears when David was with Kimberley...

timbone said...

Hello Kerry. Loved this blog, that nice uncomplicated humour which I have mentioned previously. I think one can see that 'impishness' in the picture on the Daily Mail site.

As for the actual subject matter, not a lot to say really - sorry, what a let down. I can understand your passion concerning some of the content of shows like Jeremy Kyle, I am not really bothered either way. I don't watch it regularly, just catch the odd snippet when my partner's shift pattern means that she is not working one morning. I suppose if people want to expose their personal lives for a night in a hotel and a few bob to top up their benefit and get a free DNA test thrown in then that is up to them. I had not really thought of any possible consequences to their childrens' social lives, but seeing and hearing some of these parents, I would have thought that was the least of their problems.

I find these shows quite monotonous and predictable, and they are nothing compared to the Jerry Springer shows aired on sat. tv in the late 1990's - now they were entertaining!

pagar said...

It seems utterly tragic to me that any child should be brought up by the sort of parents that appear on the Jeremy Kyle show.

A few questions.

What proportion of the people on the show do you think live on state benefits?

What proportion of the people on the show would you say are immediately employable and what does this say about our education system?

Do you believe that continuing to provide additional benefits to such families to enable them to have further children is in their interests?

Is it in the interests of the children born into such families?

Is it in society's interest?

Honest answers please.

Steven_L said...

I concur, good call Kerry, keep the criminal classes off the box!

As for the absent fathers, how about have a rule whereby they become ineligable for Jobseekers, instead it is paid to the mother? If they get a job, a deduction is made through PAYE.

BECAUSE I'M BLOODY FED UP OF PAYNG FOR THESE PLONKERS!

Bristol Dave said...

I'd prefer they got rid of Jeremy Kyle altogether, it's nothing more than a viewing platform for the lowest dregs of society.

Fred Bloggs said...

Well done Kerry - good call, I feel for the siblings of those poor children too...

I must say though, having watched JK when desperation has hit me... I like his style, the way he kicks the asses of the nomarks that appear on his show warms my heart. Maybe JK should think of a political career instead, get him working for the DWP, that´ll shake em up a bit!

alex24 said...

pagar I dont get it you want Kerry to guess what proportion of the people on the show live on state benefits?

What will that prove?

She won't have that knowledge to hand, so it would only be a guess.

Are you planning to build your argument for Libertarianism on a guestimate?

Kerry said...

One of my main concerns is that the show gives people the completely erroneous impression that its guests represent a true cross-section of the working class. They don't. But it then gives people the licence to dismiss anyone who is unemployed or a single parent or struggling on a low income as good-for-nothing layabouts, scroungers, junkies, slags, etc.

pagar said...

Of course you are correct that working class people are not so. But the unfortunates on that show are not working class- they are from the underclass created by our benefits system.

These people will never be persuaded to take a chance on improving their lot and begin leading meaningful lives until that system is changed.

On the one hand it seems a good idea to help someone who needs it. But you can clearly see from JK that we are not actually helping them lead happy and fulfilled lives.

DaveA said...

Kerry, a fetching photograph in the Daily Mail too. I do not agree with anything you said in the article but it is the subsequent analysis is where we are going to disagree.

At the risk of repeating myself we live in a no shame, no blame society where we are meant to be non judgemental. To give you an example of society's and community peer pressure is drinking and driving. When the law was first out in th 1970s if you were caught and convicted it was considered "bad luck". We have the second safest roads in the world, vast reduction in deaths and now if convicted it is a shaming experience, quite rightly.

These underclass chavs not only feel no shame, they have liberal apologists too, who shower them with benefits. Kerry I am sure your toes are curling as you read. The Labour Party and the Guardianistas have spawned a monster, which we all pay through our taxes and often suffer the result of their occassional criminality.

I took my boy down to a childrens park in Leytonstone and engaged the mother in conversation, while her son played with mine. She was smoking dope,(yes in the playground) had no job, had no intentions of getting one, and was a single parent. After 5 minutes playing, her son started running amok with the other children and starting hitting them. I look forward to be mugged by him in 13 years time.

A Hooray Henry in a posh bar in the West End of London, after button holing him for his manners, called me a chav. I asked him what his definition of a chav was. I replied you are right.

DaveA said...

Sorr I meant to say.

I do not DISAGREE with anything you said in the article but it is the subsequent analysis is where we are going to disagree.

Old Holborn said...

happy voters

Even the feckless undermongs bred and fed by ZanuLabour have had enough

Northern Lights said...

No answer to the other thread then Holborn old son?

Somehow I just KNEW he would come back with an insult/rant rather than an intelligent response.

Kerry said...

Dave A - I know exactly what you're saying - I tend to use as shorthand 'people who slap their kids and swear at them in the street'. Saw one on the way to work this week, who hit her kid (maybe 6 or 7 years olds) round the head and told him to 'shut it' - as far as I could tell, he hadn't done anything wrong.

Government is doing quite a lot to try to tackle this, e.g. Sure Start, parenting schemes, the Families at Risk review... the idea being to try to have some involvement in the kids and parents lives at an early stage so that there is some chance of turning their lives round. Obviously it's very difficult to change human nature, but that doesn't mean we should write these people off, and certainly not their kids.

The Government also doesn't let people just sit back and collect benefits - under JSA and the new Employment Support Allowance (which replaces Incapacity Benefit) people have to show they're looking for work and not turning down offers, and we have just introduced a rule that single parents have to start looking for work when their youngest reaches 12 - which will be reduced to 7 in a few years. The problem is, that some of these people are unemployable - not just because of lack of qualifications, but more because of lack of social skills or any awareness of what is right or proper behaviour. And then you get onto the question of how can you try to make sure their kids turn out a bit better.

Old Holborn said...

Blimey Kerry,

You've really stuck your neck out on that one.

"The problem is, that some of these people are unemployable - not just because of lack of qualifications, but more because of lack of social skills or any awareness of what is right or proper behaviour."

Labour MP calls unemployed unemployable

On it's way to the Sun newsdesk right NOW.
talkback@the-sun.co.uk

I've saved the page by the way, with your comments.

Shirking From Home said...

"The problem is, that some of these people are unemployable - not just because of lack of qualifications, but more because of lack of social skills or any awareness of what is right or proper behaviour."

Hit the nail on the head there.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

What's this Kerry? The unemployed are unemployable? Care to expand on that? Or do you just want to skip to the apology now?

Mitch said...

"
"The problem is, that some of these people are unemployable - not just because of lack of qualifications, but more because of lack of social skills or any awareness of what is right or proper behaviour."

Labour MP calls unemployed unemployable"

ahh foot in mouth syndrome

DC said...

Unemployable - a bit like most MP's then.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Daily Mail have also been emailed I understand

Old Holborn said...

Kerry, how much public money is spent keeping the unemployable in creature comforts?

Steven_L said...

"The Government also doesn't let people just sit back and collect benefits ..." (Kerry)

I'm sorry, this is divorced from reality. A load of paper-shufflers in Whitehall writing reams of policy documents and trapsing around with their laptops delivering PowerPoint presentations rarely changes anything bar the CV of the official concerned.

You're right to point out that some of them are unemployable though. However I disagree it's all down to qualifications, social skills, awareness and behaviour. For many of the it's down to their attitude to life. They think the world owes them a living on a plate.

If they do get their JSA stopped they are allowed to re-apply again. I only know one person who has ever had JSA stopped (as opposed to being sent on the 'New Deal') and he was living in his Dad's house and got it stopped for taking the mickey on his form. If you leave it blank, or 'forget' it they don't stop it in my experience. Most of them don't care, they simply want to get through the queue and the paperwork, both of which are about to get worse!

Maybe there should be a panel of lay volunteers to adjudicate on just who is 'unemployable' instead of the usual 13 week reviews that the civil servants just gloss over and prescribe the appropriate remedy.

For some this might be going to college, some voluntary work or some general coaching in life skills. For others there need to be the ultimate threat of being tossed hungry and homeless onto the scrapheap.

Because at the moment their attitude is 'What are they gonna do about it, they can't make me homeless.'

Northern Lights said...

Old holborn - still not going to answer last night's questions?

Some might think that his silence speaks volumes about his blinkered view of the world.

Old Holborn said...

NL what questions?

I'm a busy man. Ask me again here.

Northern Lights said...

I doubt it...I don't think a life spent blogging counts. But here goes...

You don't want the state to train public sector workers like doctors/teachers/firemen because the private sector can do it cheaper.

You 'despise' corporations - and don't believe that people should work for the financial gain of another.

You'd rather use BUPA - a corporation.

So - in libertarian societies who is left to train and educate essential workers if not the state or private companies?

Your argument is so full of holes it would make a fine cheese.

Ruth Kelly's plaything said...

Kerry - thank you, thank you, thank you! At last - a Labour MP (apart from Messrs Field and Marshall-Andrews) who is prepared to treat us like adults!

As WE all know (but the govt pretends is not so) a large proportion of the unemployed in Brown's Britain are unemployable. From young girls who 'get themselves pregnant' (how exactly does that work?) in order to acquire a taxpayer-funded flat to the 50-year-old layabout with a bad back whose only handicap is a low one at golf, the place is riddled with people who use every device available to dodge the column.

Please keep the truth coming! There's plenty of it - eg how £1.70 VAT off a £100 item will NOT restore Brown's bubble economy; how the NHS is almost criminal in its combination of cost and incompetence; how PFI is the greatest con ever visited by a nasty govt on future generations; how the public schools do far better for our children at similar cost to the state system; and so on...you won't run out of fuel for your campaign. Despite being quite busy, I'm quite happy to volunteer as a free researcher to supply you with plenty more. Do you think one announcement a day would keep the pot boiling nicely? Do let me know. More strength to your elbow, say I!

Council House Tory said...

Old Holborn

Good work. Champagne socialists despise the working class and see us as nothing more than a meal ticket to power and privilege. Their power, their privilege.

Old Holborn said...

Oh my God

How many of your constituents are

"lacking social skills or any awareness of what is right or proper behaviour."?

Bristol Evening Post informed

Custard said...

Unemployable? I wonder why?

I thought the "Education, education, education" mantra spouted by Bliar and his ilk was going to be the rescue of us?

And what has actually happened? The standard of education received by many is quite simply disgraceful. Our pet hamster, Charlie, has a better grasp of English and Maths than most of the dolts that leave school proudly clutching their GCSEs in Humanities, Shoe-lace tying and Youghurt-Knitting.

And yet we seemingly have to rely on these people to fund the £1 Trillion debt we have been lumbered with.

Hopeless.

Northern Lights said...

'mountain out of a molehill' springs to mind

LWTU said...

Of course they're unemployable, they're all too busy doing this instead

http://tinyurl.com/5o7pc2

Whoops forgot, "feral" children created by the benefits state don't exist. My mistake...!

Rick said...

It's your lot that caused the unemployable kerry.

John Pickworth said...

Northern Lights said...

So - in libertarian societies who is left to train and educate essential workers if not the state or private companies?

Well, leaving aside the fact that a lot of essential workers are not as essential as you think... I don't believe you understand what Libertarian's stand for?

Are you perhaps thinking of Anarchists?

Barnsley Nationalist said...

We will have to publicise this one, so all the unemployed people residing in the Barnsley 'Labour controlled' borough know exactly where they stand. Sometimes people need some kind of assurance straight from the horses mouth.

DaveA said...

OldHolborn: I think you are a bit of a Berkshire Hunt writing to the Sun. BTW that is the origin of the word 'burke' and is true cockney rhyming slang. So what we do have is an aknowledgement that there are structural problems in thus country. I recently was unemployed for about 2 months and signed on. I do have a job now. I had to supply bank statements P45s and all sorts of info before I got me £60 a week. Also after a month I was expected to go to an interview to see what effort and progress I had made in that time. So it is not all sitting around scratching your backside.

How do you expect a politician to give an honest or frank reply when you do things like that.

I read your blog and thoroughly enjoy the foul mouthed, changing room language and your piece on Baby P I thought was outstanding. So when you do get an answer with integrity enjoy the moment.

10 further posts without mentioning the........

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

OT - My favourite song lyrics.Ever.

And you may ask yourself
What is that beautiful house?
And you may ask yourself
Where does that highway go?
And you may ask yourself
Am I right? ...am I wrong?
And you may tell yourself
My god!...what have I done?

Old Holborn said...

DaveA

What you fail to understand is how wide an audience I have just given to Kerry's honesty.

Watch. It will not be tolerated. Truth will out. Eventually.

When Kerry states that the unemployed are unemployable, she is correct. When you or I state it, we are merely "the little people". One of the 646 has broken ranks. I intend to make that known.

Old Holborn said...

Elvis

David Byrne is on tour again

Northern Lights said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
marksany said...

There is another reason why there are so many unemployable - there aren't the jobs for them to do. Low paid jobs are a-plenty (picking onions, cockling, car washing) but these do not pay a wage that competes with benefits and why would anyone do those jobs for nothing? Look at the benefit withdrawal rates for the cause of the underclass.

Middle earning jobs in factories, shipyards, engine sheds and mines have disappeared to other countries. Their replacements are call-centres and quangocrats, not jobs the able-bodied working class man is qualified or skilled for.
Don't assume people who don't work can't or won't work. They will if: they can make enough money to make it worth coming off benefits and if the jobs are available that they can do.

Northern Lights said...

I give up - Old Holborn is too preoccupied being the voice of righteous indignation to make even the slightest defence of his laughable worldview.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Northern Lights said...
I give up


Nothing like standing your ground, and that was nothing like standing your ground.

Northern Lights said...

There is a difference between standing one's ground and banging one's head against a brick wall.

westcoast2 said...

"I have two first class degrees in politics "

Buy one get one free?

Old Holborn said...

NL, I'm busy

Stray Taoist said...

NL:

If the system that educated you into two (*gasp*) degrees in Politics can't make you rise above simple trolling, well, I dunno, I guess The State got what it wanted, politics grads with no sense of politics, history or philosophy.

If you have done your homework, you will know that socialism is the greatest evil around. You will have studied how the New Deal was nothing of the sort, that Plato was a misanthropic elitist of the worst sort, that Powell was the greatest Parlementarian ever, that we haven't quiet lost everything Magna Carta gave us, and on and on.

Do grow up. Leave the point scoring to the real politicians, they seem to get off on that. Then go pick up some textbooks not sanctioned by your two (*gasp*) degree courses, and think for yourself a little.

John Pickworth said...


Kerry said...


"Government is doing quite a lot to try to tackle this... "

Arghhhh, I think I see a flaw with your plan.

You don't get it yet, do you? It's your Government's policies that are making these problems worse. Your deep-seated socialist ideology blinds you to certain self-evident and universal truths.

How many billions have been wasted on schemes like the New Deal or Sure Start or a whole raft of other 'tinkering at the edges' initiatives? Wouldn't these huge economic resources have been better spent on creating wealth? You know, the stuff that actually increases people's real living standards, creates the industry and the jobs?

Instead of attempting to raise the kids out of povety (a ludicress and illogical objective) wouldn't it have been better to remove the bars and disincentives to work for their parents?

"And then you get onto the question of how can you try to make sure their kids turn out a bit better."

What! An admission that you've failed with the current generation so its time to try out the same failed ideas on the next crop? You guys are really on another planet aren't you?

I'm shocked Kerry! You clearly haven't a clue what you're doing?

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Y'know Kerry, in a lot of ways you're a lot like the Labour PPC for Skipton and Ripon. Full of your own self-importance, believing your own hype, shallow in the extreme and, at the same time, completely out of your depth. Do yourself a favourself a favour Kerry and quit while your behind.

Old Holborn said...

NL

"in libertarian societies who is left to train and educate essential workers if not the state or private companies"

Individuals

The State didn't educate you. A teacher did. The State won't transplant your heart, a surgeon will. The State won't save your burning house, a fireman will.

Now shut up. If you are average or mediocre then raise your game. Individuals are the only people who ever change anything for the better. Mandela, Ghandi, Luther King.

The State is the enemy of the people, not their friend. As Mandela, Ghandi and Luther King will agree. Stop worshipping it. It HATES you.

Unsworth said...

@ Northern Lights

Since when has academic success indicated any real ability in any field at all? Since when has it indicated even a modicum of commonsense?

And you have two first class degrees? In what, exactly?

Apparently there is an antidote for such afflictions - but it's not available on the NHS, of course.

Northern Lights said...

ha ha - at least it's an answer

Old Holborn said...

If you are are saying that without the State, a teacher cannot exist you are wrong.

2 million years of Human history will tell you that.

Northern Lights said...

I wanted an answer - that's it

Old Holborn said...

Who taught Plato? The Greek state or Socrates? Who taught Aristotle? The Greek state or Plato?

Kerry is merely one of the 646 who think they rule over us. They don't. Like prisoners in a jail, they rule by consent. When they get too uppity or unjust, we will riot. We have done it plenty of times before and sure enough, we will do it again.

Glad to have been of service.

Womble On Tour said...

Meanwhile, we're still awaiting an answer from Kerry as to how many people she thinks in Bristol East are, to use her word, unemployable.

Old Holborn said...

Womble, the editor of the Bristol Evening Post is asking her that right now, my sources tell me.

John Pickworth said...


Northern Lights said...


"No John. I know what libertarians stand for. And anarchists. I have two first class degrees in politics - don't patronise me cos it won't work."

I wasn't patronising you... heaven forbid I'd try such a thing on one with such distinguised learning.

I did ask the question though because many folk do assume Libertarianism means some kind of anarchist free-for-all. Modern Libertarian's believe in collective responsibility, with a subordinate State apparatus to deliver those things that the individual cannot. Principally; defence, a stable society, the rule of law and the management of external affairs etc.

And yes... if private enterprise or communities cannot provide the firemen, doctors or teachers (although we used to manage to do this for ourselves) then there is an obvious role here for the State. I just don't see why this would even be an issue? Libertarian's are not anti-state, they are anti the state trying to do the things we as human beings should be doing for ourselves.

By the way, the next time someone attempts to fulfill your repeated requests for an answer; please show a little respect for the person doing so, there's a good boy.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Daily Mail want to know when Kerry was elected to Parliament. I don't have a clue as I don't waste time on fuckwits. Can anyone help?

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

"I did ask the question though because many folk do assume Libertarianism means some kind of anarchist free-for-all. Modern Libertarian's believe in collective responsibility, with a subordinate State apparatus to deliver those things that the individual cannot. Principally; defence, a stable society, the rule of law and the management of external affairs etc."

Well said Mr Pickworth, I always have trouble expalining myself as both a Conservative and a Libertarian, but that sums it up nicely.

I do like Kerry's little "As Monica says in Friends, "rules are good, rules help control the fun!""

What a fascistic statement.

Old Holborn said...

Elvis
5th May 2005

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/kerry_mccarthy/bristol_east

Old Holborn said...

By the way, I'm a left wing Libertarian. Nice to meet you

John Pickworth said...


Old Holborn said...


"By the way, I'm a left wing Libertarian..."

What!

I thought you were the People's Front of Judea!

;-)

Old Holborn said...

Oh dear, just been invited to speak on the Radio in Bristol next week.

timbone said...

Well Kerry, it is certainly hotting up isn't it. I seem to remember hearing how this was just a little blogsite with a few visitors until July this year. You said something and opened a can of worms, or was it Pandoras Box. Suddenly, hundreds of comments, and people from all over the UK and beyond knew about Kerry McCarthy. Isn't it amazing what it is like to be a politician who lets the man in the street in to their world. Remember I mentioned somewhere else that I had said to someone that every politician should have a blog, and they said that they were too scared. Mind you, I saw one of your colleagues being asked what blogs he had read, and he looked like Homer Simpson having the lie detector explained to him. I am sure that there are many politicians who would not even know how to use a pc if they were left to do it themselves, and understand the internet less than my dad who is nearly 89. Our government in this technological age when you can find out anything at the click of a mouse, and they form opinions and pass legislation on figures presented to them by charities with impressive sounding names.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

Left-wing Libertarian. Conservative Libertarian. Now come on OH, don't confuse the poor dear...

Pete said...

"No John. I know what libertarians stand for. And anarchists. I have two first class degrees in politics

You fucking cock,
What are they worth ? What do they add?

bevanite said...

It strikes me that many of the most opinionated contributors to this blog are loud yet completely cowardly. Kerry says what she means and means what she says, we know who she is and therefore is completely accountable. Some of you e.g.OH, lord Elvis etc. write your vemon as faceless, nameless people with nothing but threatening, prejudice and patronising messages to spread...brave.

swindon_alan said...

Ah...and Bevanite.

You have fully identified yourself as well then.

NAAAAAAT.

Hypocrite.

Lord Elvis of Paisley said...

I would like Bevanite to apologise for insinutating that I have used any phrase that could be consider threatening or prejudiced.

Gandhi said...

Ahem - I think bevanite is either KM or a close colleague/friend. Just click through to the profile...

William Gruff said...

'Bevanite' wrote:

'It strikes me that many of the most opinionated contributors to this blog are loud yet completely cowardly. Kerry says what she means and means what she says, we know who she is and therefore is completely accountable. Some of you e.g.OH, lord Elvis etc. write your vemon (sic) as faceless, nameless people with nothing but threatening (sic), prejudice and patronising messages to spread...brave.'

Though cowards flinch and traitors sneer eh, 'Bevanite'?

Regardless: It will be interesting to see just how many of the 8,621 votes that constitute Miss/Mrs McCarthy's majority are cast for her in the next general election, assuming, of course that The Tartan McReich's Führer, or his thug in chief (the Sepp Dietrich of the Labour Party) Jack Straw, allow one.

John Pickworth said...


bevanite said...


"It strikes me that many of the most opinionated contributors to this blog are loud yet completely cowardly."

And the award for the least self-aware post of the day, goes to...

Bevanite.

Tell you what my friend, get the kid next door to Google my name for you and you'll quickly find my home address, phone and fax numbers. How's that for accountable?

When you can boast the same, come back and lecture the others. Until then... well, keep posting, because you're funny.

donpaskini said...

Well done guys, you managed to get Kerry to make a 'gaffe' and there might be a little bit of news coverage of it tomorrow.

Some people who are out of work don't, at the moment, have the skills or confidence to be able to hold down a job. But with the right kinds of support, this can change, and the government's trying to offer this support to as many people as possible.

That's not to say that they're 'unemployable' as some kind of permanent condition as per Old Holborn's spin on Kerry's comment, but any remotely fair reading of Kerry's comment would (I think) show that 'unemployed are unemployable' is not what she meant.

But if you want people to get involved with politics who are open to discussion with the people and who do blog, then it is pretty counter-productive to run triumphantly to the national newspapers as soon as they write any comment which you think you can spin against them. That's the way most politicians behave, and it turns people off politics. And the result will be an even more remote political elite. Which I'm guessing is not what your aim is?

Possibly an example of how libertarianism makes you stupid: http://sethf.com/essays/major/libstupid.php

pagar said...

Interesting post Don.

Like you, I don't agree with the way Holborn is trying to make an issue of this in the MSM as it is likely to be counter productive in terms of serious open dialogue on a very serious subject. Kerry is to be commended on saying what she did and I would like to continue the debate.

Government is doing quite a lot to try to tackle this, e.g. Sure Start, parenting schemes, the Families at Risk review... the idea being to try to have some involvement in the kids and parents lives at an early stage so that there is some chance of turning their lives round.

But these peoples problems have been caused by Government's involvement in their lives in the first place.They have been given a crap house and a crap amount of money to live on each week. They have beeen told by the Government that they need have no aspirations and as a result they have no self esteem.

Obviously it's very difficult to change human nature, but that doesn't mean we should write these people off, and certainly not their kids.

But human nature is universal. This is human behaviour we are talking about and it is the way these people have responded to the situation they have been put in by the state.

The Government also doesn't let people just sit back and collect benefits - under JSA and the new Employment Support Allowance (which replaces Incapacity Benefit) people have to show they're looking for work and not turning down offers, and we have just introduced a rule that single parents have to start looking for work when their youngest reaches 12 - which will be reduced to 7 in a few years.

Good. This is starting to think along the right lines but it is very much tinkering at the edges. The individuals that make up our underclass are not stupid and have taught each other how to benefit from what is available over many years. And this is rational behaviour. For the long term unemployed there has to be an element of compulsion to work if we are serious about kick starting their lives.

The problem is, that some of these people are unemployable - not just because of lack of qualifications, but more because of lack of social skills or any awareness of what is right or proper behaviour.

And as I said above. What an indictment of our education system.

And then you get onto the question of how can you try to make sure their kids turn out a bit better.

By not interfering in their lives. Once they see that their parents and community are not permitted to live lives of luxurious squalor any longer and that life without a job is pretty tough, they will naturally aspire to make their own lives better. In the kind of world that libertarians advocate, there would be plenty of opportunities for them to do so.

I have spent short periods of my life unemployed and it made me feel worthless. People behave as we see them on the JK show because we have convinced them they are wothless.

The Penguin said...

A mostly excellent debate, but not enough of Kerry keeping up her side by answering the questions asked or refuting the points being made, very reasonably in the main, by the libertarians.

Come on Kerry!!

The Penguin

killemallletgodsortemout said...

If only the other 645 were as honest as Kerry.

I'm sure she is held in the highest esteem by the unemployable unwaged of Bristol.

OH for president!!

Old Holborn said...

William Gruff

Many things I am, a coward I am not

Northern Lights said...

Would have been much braver to walk around without the mask on ;)

Dick Puddlecote said...

"Oh dear, just been invited to speak on the Radio in Bristol next week."

Crikey! I hope they are issuing flak jackets beforehand. ;-)

Old Holborn said...

Frankensteins Monster

Created by Gordon Brown

donpaskini said...

"Once they see that their parents and community are not permitted to live lives of luxurious squalor any longer and that life without a job is pretty tough, they will naturally aspire to make their own lives better. In the kind of world that libertarians advocate, there would be plenty of opportunities for them to do so."

But there is at least one actually example of a country with minimal tax rates, no welfare state to create "dependency", where people have to work or starve and effectively no central state with any power. All things which you guys support, right?

It's called Somalia, and its main source of wealth is piracy.

pagar said...

Don

I complimented you on how interesting your previous post was. This one is just plain stupid.

Libertarians are not arguing for a state without rule of law. That is anarchy.

Mind you at least the Somalis can smoke where they want.....

bevanite said...

If I were running off to newspapers informing them of innocent comments then I would consider it apt to give my identity for fear of hipocrisy. In fact, I don't and would fear some of these contributors knowing my hair coulour let alone where I live or my name...

donpaskini said...

Hi pagar,

Sure, Somalia isn't an ideal libertarian state (Libertopia?) But libertarians here have been arguing that serious social problems are caused exclusively by welfare spending, high tax rates, the excessive size of the state and the fact that people can choose not to work.

There are actual examples from the real world of what happens when there is essentially no welfare spending or taxes, and it isn't that people suddenly 'naturally aspire to make their lives better' (or maybe they do, but the ways in which they express this is through things like piracy).

It's a bit like arguing with people who say that the crimes of the USSR shouldn't be used against communists because the USSR wasn't 'real communism'.

Couple of other points - in the 1970s out of work benefits were, in relative terms, worth much more than they are now. And over the last ten years, out of work benefits have increased in real terms for lone parents and for disabled people - and more lone parents and disabled people have got jobs. So it can't be as simple as the welfare state creating a culture which allows people to live in 'luxurious squalor' rather than working.

But one thing we could probably agree on is that it has got harder, and that it is too hard, to live a decent and fulfilling life and support a family if you are in low paid work, and that reforms to the welfare state ought to address that. We might then disagree on how to go about that, but would that be a good place to start?

Ruth Kelly's plaything said...

donpaskini said... Thu Nov 27, 02:08:00 PM

'..... libertarians here have been arguing that serious social problems are caused exclusively by welfare spending, high tax rates, the excessive size of the state and the fact that people can choose not to work.'
*********************

'Caused exclusively'??? No. Well, not argued by any entry I have read here. But they ARE major contributors, foisted on us by people with no notion of the Law of Unintended Consequences.

To take your technique of opposition by extremes, do you contend that 100% income tax, 100% of income from the State for all, State control of all aspects of life, would create an Utopia? (My worry is that you might answer 'yes', for someone must still believe the Communist Manifesto mantra of 'from each according to his means, to each according to his needs', ie confiscatory taxation and free handouts.)
********************
...and again...

'But one thing we could probably agree on is that it has got harder, and that it is too hard, to live a decent and fulfilling life and support a family if you are in low paid work, and that reforms to the welfare state ought to address that.'
**********************

Of course, it's never been easy to make ends meet on a low income - read Dickens, Hardy, Gaskell Gissing et al. In the bad old days, people cut their coats according to their cloth. Certainly, I had to. But it is now FAR easier than ever before. Fer gawd's sake, guv, what has yer darlin' Gordon been up to for the last decade? Stealing from my pension fund and handing out to the poor via Tax Credits, that's what! Deception and deceit being two trademarks of the man's modus operandi, he contrived to make the application process so complex that few of the putative beneficiaries manage to claim, but that's another point.

Are you not aware that many employers now pay the Min Wage and advise staff to get benefit top-ups, and help them to do so? It's a vast and undeclared subsidy to employers that we hear nothing of. Maybe it calls for a new campaign from Kerry, to demand the abolition of Tax Credit and restoration of tax-relief to pension funds, thus punishing exploitative employers and supporting the would-be self-sufficient in one stroke?

pagar said...

Don

I am not suggesting that all benefits be stopped without putting something in their place. My preference is for some kind of workfare scheme- not to punish but to inspire.

But look at the status quo. Millions languish in the benefits system without any prospect of escaping the golden staightjacket and leading lives of stultifying boredom. They do not aspire to do or to be anything worthwhile.

As a libertarian, I hesitate to tell someone else what I think is good for them- except when they ask me to pay for their lifestyle.
The status quo is not an option.

donpaskini said...

"To take your technique of opposition by extremes, do you contend that 100% income tax, 100% of income from the State for all, State control of all aspects of life, would create an Utopia?"

No, but I do think that, say, Sweden is a better place to live than Somalia or any other country with very low taxes and no welfare state.

"Maybe it calls for a new campaign from Kerry, to demand the abolition of Tax Credit and restoration of tax-relief to pension funds, thus punishing exploitative employers and supporting the would-be self-sufficient in one stroke?"

...which would mean that lots more people would be better off on benefit than in work.

"My preference is for some kind of workfare scheme- not to punish but to inspire."

One significant problem with workfare schemes is that they assume that there will be a steady growth in the number of available jobs. Another problem is that there is no significant evidence that greater use of sanctions leads to more people getting jobs.

"As a libertarian, I hesitate to tell someone else what I think is good for them- except when they ask me to pay for their lifestyle."

But we all pay for each others' lifestyles all the time. My taxes pay for you to be able to drive on the road, your taxes pay for me to be able to see the doctor, our taxes pay for a police force and army to maintain order and for youth activities which reduce levels of crime. And so on and so forth.

I do completely agree that the status quo shouldn't be an option, though. I support the idea of work for everyone who can and support for those who can't. But it is worth noting that the only times when there has been anything close to full employment in Britain has been with vastly greater levels of state intervention in the economy (and 80%+ top rates of tax) than at present.

Roger Thornhill said...

don: "It's a bit like arguing with people who say that the crimes of the USSR shouldn't be used against communists because the USSR wasn't 'real communism'."

Somalia is Anarchy. It is very far from Libertarianism, especially as most Libertarians believe very strongly in the Rule of Law. So Somalia is OUT.

Try Hong Kong. No real democracy, but strong Rule of Law, which is why it is still regarded, despite a lack of universal suffrage, to be freer than the UK.

I should know, I lived there.

When I came back to Blair's Britain after 9 years, I was outraged, in despair and angry at what had happened and what has since happened. All those nutters running their pathetic Soviets in local authorities seemed to have graduated to be in Central Government.

Until they are flushed down the bog, we have no chance, for they HATE aspiration, individuality, wealth creation, independence (from the State) and self-reliance.

alex24 said...

Roger Thornhill.

You sir are a dullard.

Hong Kong - no universal suffrage = freer than the UK.

How does that work?

When you came back to "Blair's Britain" 9 years ago, you found it in the way you did because THE MAJORITY OF THE COUNTRY VOTED FOR BLAIR AND NU LABOUR TO FORM A GOVERNMENT.

And guess what happened in the 9 years since you have been here, they voted for him twice more.

So you really really don't like the situation? Guess what you can do about?

Don't vote Labour! Its a choice everyone in this country has so go ahead.

Their "soviet" policies like a national minimum wage and winter fuel allowances will never satisfy a boorish self-interested simpleton like yourself, who would rather take away people's right to vote than have a government he disliked.

I would recommend you return to Hong Kong, but then I know how you feel about immigrants taking all the jobs

alex24 said...

And by the way. Do you know what is ruining the UK.

Its people like you.

Stupid crybabies who throw their toys out of the pram because live doesn't turn out the way you think it should.

You delude yourself about some mythical time and place when society was perfect and poverty was solved by working harder.

Do you even understand poverty? What is the cause of it and what is the solution?

Is it being lazy. Is every single person on JSA unworthy?

Have you read Thomas Paine properly?

Do you know any George Orwelll books other than 1984?

Why do you waste your time on here, your a grown man, go out and start a charity or something, you'll pay less taxes and you'll be doing something positive.

And stop using straw men in your arguments, its childish

Old Holborn said...

Alex

Only 9 million people voted for New Labour. That other 51 million in this country didn't want new labour.


I don't care what people do with their lives. Just don't tell me what to do or expect me to pay your bills.

alex24 said...

So what should we get rid of universal suffrage like that moron thinks?

At least hes definitely not sounding like an anarchist anymore, fascist methinks.

OH from what you say it sounds like you would like to get down to an argument about the very nature of the social contract. Do you believe in one?

Old Holborn said...

I believe the State should exist to defend our borders and uphold the rule of law.

Everything else is the responsibility of the individual. From emptying your bin to schooling your child.

alex24 said...

who decides what the law is?

Old Holborn said...

The People

Northern Lights said...

OH said: '9 million people voted for New Labour. That other 51 million didn't want new labour.'

Good Lord - OH is a complete simpleton - not all 60 million people are old enough/elibible to vote.

Northern Lights said...

Question for OH - isn't it indicative of the strength of the libertarian argument that almost no one else agrees with it.

Ruth Kelly's plaything said...

alex24 said...
At least hes definitely not sounding like an anarchist anymore, fascist methinks.
*************************

One day I may be able to spare the time to introduce you to the use of the apostrophe, but not now.

Please, despite your ire, make some effort to understand the meaning of the words you spray around with pejorative intent. Lord Old of Holborn (as he will surely become under the enlightened rule of Prime Minister Cameron) cannot possibly be described as fascist. If you are in doubt of this assertion, I shall be glad to supply a brief summary of the characteristics of fascism.

Or, like anyone else, you could just look them up and save me the trouble.

John Pickworth said...


Northern Lights said...


Question for OH - isn't it indicative of the strength of the libertarian argument that almost no one else agrees with it.

You don't get out much do you?

Go and ask some people stood at a bus stop, or in the Pub, in the Park, the chap who came to mend your gas boiler.... read the comments posted to the main stream media's websites.

There is a large and growing disgust for the Nanny State and its intrusions into everyday life. People are crying out for change... and its impossible for anyone not to hear it unless they close their ears to the roar.

Northern Lights said...

Change is one thing - widespread support for libertarianism is another.

Like it or not - most people recognise the need for an interventionist state - to a greater or lesser degree.

What number of people would call themselves libertarians? Compared with Labour? Conservative? Liberal? Green?

John Pickworth said...


Roger Thornhill said...


"... Try Hong Kong. No real democracy, but strong Rule of Law, which is why it is still regarded, despite a lack of universal suffrage, to be freer than the UK."

Actually, street-level democracy runs pretty deeply in Hong Kong but unfortunately the Mainland keeps a fairly tight grip on the top most tier of Government.

I do agree with you though... and its not just in Hong Kong, its an attitude that is prevalent across much of Asia (as I've argued in the past on OH's blog).

I'm not going to deny there are problems in that part of the world but its refreshing to see the 'family' is the principal conduit of welfare for those in need. A consequence of which; is that the young are simply not allowed to lay about all day. A world where children are the product of a stable family not as a means to milk the state. Where education is prized and work is a basic necessity.

Go anywhere in Asia and you'll see a people doing everything they can to improve their own lives... if only were weren't so short-sighted, we'd be doing the same here.

Blogsy said...

You might have pointed out that most Asian societies are extremely statist. Their governments through various informal and, in the case of the PRC, formal mechanisms control and organise large parts of the economy and societal institutions like health and education (on a vastly larger scale than what libertarians protest over here). Your comments about the central role of family, education and a 'can do' attitude are dead on, however.

Northern Lights said...

You agree that more people support the mainstream parties - and therefore some degree of state intervention - than libertarian arguments John?

John Pickworth said...


Northern Lights said...


What number of people would call themselves libertarians? Compared with Labour? Conservative? Liberal? Green?

Why this obsession with labels?

How many communists, trotskyists or socialists etc identify with Labour?

For many, Libertarism is an ideal and while some have condensed around a formal Libertarian Party, others remain within the existing party structures. We can be found within the Conservatives and the Liberals, others amoungst the Greens and UKIP.

There are more of us than you think... and thousands of others that believe as we do but haven't yet taken the steps towards a formal affiliation or identity.

Politics is a tool of persuasion, of negotiation if you will. Libertarianism is a counter position to an overbearing oppressive State. We exist simply because you exist.

Nor is it simply a question of numbers... if it were, you should be worried because you're about to visit the Recruiting Sargent of ID Cards upon the British public.

Northern Lights said...

Libertarians within the Conservatives?

What a ridiculous notion.

You don't see the contradictions there?

John Pickworth said...


Blogsy said...


"You might have pointed out that most Asian societies are extremely statist..."

Indeed, and I have done precisely that in the past. Also, many of their Governments are riddled with corruption, nepotism and mis-management.

Its not perfect and I'm not arguing that we copy these Governments. The only excuse I'll make for them is that these countries are almost all developing nations and their focus will invariably be different to ours.

In one respect though, I do find myself raising a slightly approving eye-brow and that's their tendency for the carrot AND the stick approach. Sadly, we seem to have a Government here that is all too keen to use just the stick.

Again though, I'm not advocating the abolition of the State. I merely assert that its in ALL our interests to encourage each other to do more for ourselves and our communities. We need to start questioning everything the Government does and consider carefully whether it really needs to be doing quite so much in our names?

John Pickworth said...


Northern Lights said...


Libertarians within the Conservatives?

What a ridiculous notion.

You don't see the contradictions there?


None!

Which ones do you see?

Northern Lights said...

Good lord

Look up Conservative, then look up Libertarian, then find the answer.

Roger Thornhill said...

Alex,

Well, you kick off with an ad hominem, so that says alot about the quality of your arguments to follow.

The rating of Hong Kong is not my invention. Go check up on various tables and rankings if you dare.

There is a massive difference between "democracy" and Freedom, which you seem to be unaware of. Freedom is about transparency in the law, equal treatment, property rights, freedom of speech and action, due process. Democracy? That is voting. Once every 5 years and even then the Manifesto is not legally binding and your vote in some areas becomes meaningless. What makes you think I was stupid enough to vote Labour EVEN ONCE?

That does not matter so much if the State leaves people alone, but now it does not and is determined to interfere in our lives and poke its pimply nose in further and further.

Even if a majority did vote, if we have a big State, the closer we come to create a tyranny of the majority, as that Majority dictates how the others MUST live in ever minute detail.

You then go on to make an utterly disingenuous extrapolation by suggesting without basis in fact that I support or suggest that certain people should not have the vote, which is absurd. I skip over another ad hominem, except to note that it seems to be no surprise given the parlous state of your argumentation.

You then go on to assert that I have a problem with "immigrants taking all the jobs".

An attempt to use the tired old "racist" card, eh? Pathetic. You lie, Alex24, for you have NO basis for such an assertion, or actually, such a slur and slander.

I have lived as a foreigner. I have been called such so I know how it feels to be the outsider. I have worked with and managed diverse teams and spent more time socialising with "the locals" as part of their gang than with ex-pats. I managed to do this while not becoming one of those vile "self-loathers" who do their country down or subvert it in an odious display of neediness. So, I have walked about in their shoes.

Well, moving on to your second post...or should we just gloss over that rather embarrasing diatribe full off falsehoods, baseless ad hominem, unfounded references to some mythical strawman and psychological projection laced with a petulance mixed with pomposity?

You clearly dislike the fact that people do not just knuckle under and do what they are told by a bunch of Authoritarians. You appear to think that you have some kind of monopoly over certain "causes" and nobody else is capable of understanding or providing a better way.

Finally, I think I should point out to you that your two outbursts say nothing about me, but a heck of alot about you. None of it to your advantage.

Kerry said...

OH: "Everything else is the responsibility of the individual. From emptying your bin to schooling your child."

Where exactly would people empty their bins?

John Pickworth said...


Northern Lights said...


Look up Conservative, then look up Libertarian, then find the answer.

In a book you mean? Damn, if only I knew someone with two degrees in politics instead of the mere one I have!

Nicely dodged though... I half expected you to produce a list? Maybe there's a Government department that will draw one up for you just so you don't need to be arsed to do it yourself?

As for the question posed: I'm both a Conservative and Libertarian. They are NOT mutually exclusive you might be surprised to learn.

Northern Lights said...

Old Holborn won't answer

He'll just shout more meaningless phrases like '646 MPs' and '60 million people' and '1984'

I still dont think he understands that children can't vote.

Kerry said...

How can you confidently say that all the people who didn't vote didn't want a Labour government? People expected Labour to win in 2005. If they were that bothered, wouldn't they have voted for someone else? I don't think 'not really caring who wins' can be interpreted as support for any of the other parties, which means you can't really count it in the equation at all. Surely?

swindon_alan said...

Kerry, in the world of the Westminster Bubble, you are a true queen.

In the outside world you come across as a complete retard.

Welcome to my world.

John Pickworth said...


Kerry said...


"How can you confidently say that all the people who didn't vote didn't want a Labour government?"

Because if you truly believed that were the case, you'd call an election tomorrow!

The fact is those who wanted a Labour Government placed an 'X' in their box. The rest either voted against you or didn't vote for ANYONE - ie. NOT for Labour.

ONLY 22% of the electorate voted FOR Labour. Leaving 78% who did NOT.

Labour received 9,562,122 votes. (35.3%)*
Tories received 8,772,598 votes. (32.3%)

A difference of just 789,524 votes between the two main parties. More importantly though, 17,548,605 people actually voted for other than a Labour Government.

* The lowest ever share of the popular vote in history.

Kerry, the simple truth of the matter is that this Government is legitimate by the slimmest of electoral whiskers and the current Prime Minister by not even that.

I also hope you've made other arrangements after 2010? People in the know seem confident that Bristol East will be changing hands soon.

alex24 said...

Roger Thornhill,

I cant help myself with all the insults its just you are a prat.

Your original post was so accusatory and unfounded that you deserved ridicule, and then you respond like all you were trying to do was have a grown up conversation about democracy and freedom. Please.

"Freedom is about transparency in the law, equal treatment, property rights, freedom of speech and action, due process."

This is a negative interpretation of freedom which is what Libertarianism is all about. Do you not think someones freedom to act or speak can be hindered by ill health or a lack of education?

I never implied you voted for Labour, its pretty clear you dont.

As for the racist thing. Don't remember calling you that, I think you confounded immigration with racism in your own mind.

And as OH always points out, they are not the same thing. I would be interested to know if you agree with his views on Somalians?

I particularly liked this....
"those vile "self-loathers" who do their country down or subvert it in an odious display of neediness"

Sorry who are they exactly?

Northern Lights said...

John - just checked the latest opinion polls and that last sentence is bang wrong.

I would've thought people would check their facts before making statements like that...

Ruth Kelly's plaything said...

Alex24 wrote:
I cant help myself with all the insults its just you are a prat.

***********************************

Alex, others are trying valiantly to puncture your political certainties and draw your attention to the need for sobriety, precision and logic in argument. I wish them well; they are evidently taking on an uphill struggle.

My altruism towards you, like politics itself, encompasses only the art of the possible. And even here I may be over-reaching myself, but you might prove to be worth the effort. We shall see.

Take your sentence above. From that alone I should conclude that English is not your first language, but that view is contradicted by the fact that you do sometimes (in a way that Neil Kinnock’s windbaggery might approach when hung over and incoherent with rage) manage to string a coherent sentence together.

I’ve tried punctuating that sentence of yours in various ways in order to derive whatever meaning you have successfully concealed within it. This is the least unpromising result:-

‘I can’t help myself with all the insults. It’s just. You are a prat.’

(Another is: ‘I can’t help myself. With all the insults, it’s just. You are a prat’ , which amounts to much the same.)

Here we see a confession of weakness, which is often thought endearing, followed by an acceptance that others’ judgements on you are accurate, but spoiled by ending with a childish insult. Difficult, still, to make out what you are driving at, but a great deal more comprehensible than the original. My suspicion is that you write as you speak, under the mistaken belief that the various modulations and emphases of speech somehow come through and impose sense on your word-flow. Please do recognise that writing is a separate activity from speech and imposes its own disciplines.

I now move to the use of the apostrophe, a punctuation-mark with which you seem uneasy or unfamiliar. (It would be intriguing to know in which sector, and under which political regime, your schooling was conducted.) I did promise to do this in an earlier post and do not want to let you down. I have taken the liberty of correcting your prose above accordingly.

The first thing to grasp is that it is SIMPLE. Get hold of Lynne Truss’s ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ (Profile, 2003) and spend a mere 30 minutes with pp 39-45. That tiny piece of self-help will repair the omissions of a decade or more of inadequate teaching.

If you were taught in a state school, this provides an interesting illustration of the efficacy of the statist approach relative to that of the self-reliant libertarian. You might learn wider lessons from it.

John Pickworth said...


Northern Lights said...


John - just checked the latest opinion polls and that last sentence is bang wrong.

I would've thought people would check their facts before making statements like that...


NL, opinion polls are NOT facts. Although for the purposes of debate and also so that we can all check YOUR facts; I invite you to post your numbers here together with the details of the poll you just checked?

Northern Lights said...

John - www.electoralcalculus.com

It lists the predicted outcome of all 646 constituencies.

While these are not 100% accurate - I would venture that it is more factual than John's baseless opinions

Northern Lights said...

What? No comeback from John?

I knew he was going to look rather stupid when I did in fact have the opinion polls to hand.

Come on then sunshine. You've seen on what basis I made the last post. I'd like to see evidence for:

'People in the know seem confident that Bristol East will be changing hands soon.'

Or was that just another ill thought out comment?

John Pickworth said...


Northern Lights said...


"What? No comeback from John?"

Not immediately, no! I had some work to do after posting this afternoon, and have only just returned home. Is that okay your Highness?


"www.electoralcalculus.com"

Very interesting. Seems the site is for sale! If you're interested I could make some enquiries for you?

As it happens; I've found the site you seem obliquely to be referring to here

While I'd be the first to applaud Martin Baxter for putting his hobby online; I'm not so sure a sitting MP or someone with two (yes, count them) two degrees in politics would be wise to put too much faith in his guesstimates?


"It lists the predicted outcome of all 646 constituencies."

Well quite, but we're only interested in just one; Bristol East.

Currently, Martin is predicting a Labour Hold but with a SUBSTANTIALLY reduced majority of just 2.21% or 900 votes in old money... and a statistical dead-heat at that. A number which is also precariously poised on about 500 people choosing not to give New Labour an old fashioned two fingered salute come election day.

The only way you'd make this a safe seat is with the addition of some padded cushions and a lap belt.


"While these are not 100% accurate..."

I'll say.

Martin poses the following question and answer in his FAQs:

"Will you get all the seats right?"
"No. The predictions are based on the law of averages, but any individual seat could be wrongly predicted."


Law of averages? Oh...kay!


"I knew he was going to look rather stupid when I did in fact have the opinion polls to hand."

Me look stupid? Do I really need point out the irony in this statement?


"Come on then sunshine. You've seen on what basis I made the last post."

Oh, so you can do patronising too? Have you ever thought of standing for elected office? You'd be really good at it. Insulting your opponent's intelligence always goes down well with the voters.


"Or was that just another ill thought out comment?"

Another? Oh please do point out my other one? Seriously, its the only way I'll learn.


So, here we are, back to the 'people in the know', which, quite clearly, you're not one of them NL.

I'm not about to reveal privileged information in a public domain but its likely Victoria Street is giving Kerry similar numbers and cautioning that her seat will be 'robustly targeted' by the opposition parties at the next GE. None of us can 'know' the outcome of course but its no big secret that envious eyes that are watching Bristol East with great interest.