Returned Mail

Can you believe it?

The government sent my Census form back to me! In response to question # 4: “Do you have any dependants?”

I replied “YES”:

2.1 million illegal immigrants,

1.1 million crack heads,

4.4 million unemployable people, 

901 thousand people in over 85 prisons, and 

650 idiots in Parliament.  

Apparently, this was NOT an acceptable answer.  

Who the hell did I miss?


PA Pundits - International

By Alan Caruba ~

Bluntly said, the full weight of Tea Party members, their family members and co-workers who go to the polls in November will end Obama’s reign of terror.

I think that 2012 will be known as the year the Tea Party movement changed the future of America away from its entrenched socialist drift to a renewal of the founding principles of the nation. The movement is composed, quite simply, of patriots.

That’s why Mark Meckler and Jenny Beth Martin titled their book, “Tea Party Patriots: The Second American Revolution.” I heartily recommend it if you keeping reading and hearing about the movement but are unfamiliar with its origins and its program of reform.

In 2009 neither of the authors had any idea they would be leading a revolution. Martin was a mother of two who was cleaning houses to make ends meet. Meckler was a northern California…

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Today, 12th May 2012, Madeleine McCann will be celebrating her nineth birthday. Five of these years have been spent away from family, away from siblings, away from her parents. We, they, still dont know where she is and who she will be celerating her birthday with today.

Madeleine has been missing since 3rd May 2007 from Praia de Luz, Portugal.

I accept that we all have opinions on this case but if you are a mummy, a sister, a daughter, a grandmother, I ask you to imagine if this little girl was one of yours.. wouldnt you want her home? I urge you to put any judgements you have aside and remember, there is still a little girl out there who needs to be found. Thats why A Mummys View and Tea&Biscotti have started the #Blogging4Madeleine campaign. This is a call out to all bloggers to get involved…

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EU in Trouble, Dave?

MORNING BRIEFING – By Benedict Brogan (Daily Telegraph

Francois Hollande set out his stall in Berlinlast night, a new pact that will put growth ahead of austerity. It’s his attempt to yank the European economic debate to the left, away from budgetary rigour and towards more stimulus-through-borrowing.

Indeed, Mrs Merkel said that the Greeks had already signed up to rescue programme, adding: “I believe that memorandum must be respected.” Wolfgang Schauble, Germany’s finance minister, however, says that there can be no negotiation.

While Mr Hollande said:“I hope that we can say to the Greeks that Europe is ready to add measures to help growth and support economic activity, so that there is a return to growth in Greece.”

The uncertainty continued to give the markets a beating with European bank shares hammered for a second day running and Italian and Spanish benchmark 10-year bond yields climbed. Read the FT (£) report.

George Osborne has tried to play down the Hollande threat but the Government must answer it. Step forward David Cameron, who will give a major speech on the economy tomorrow to map out the British response to what he says is the defining issue of our time. The choice between austerity and growth is a myth, he will say. If you don’t sort the deficit there won’t be any growth. Hence the Government’s tight fiscal-loose monetary policy (to which you might say that fiscal policy is not tight enough and loose money is the Bank’s doing).

On Monday, Mr Cameron met with business leaders to push the multitude of measures deployed by the Government to oil the economy. No 10 claims they accept the Government is doing the right thing. On the euro, Mr Cameron recognises that Greece presents a clear and present danger to the UK and it is his job to protect us against the blowback of Grexit. You can’t have growth instead of austerity, he will say, and thinking otherwise leads you to the scenes from the streets of Athens. Mr Cameron can see the debate across the Channel shifting, and he wants to head it off before it becomes unstoppable.

A drenching, a lightning strike, and then a collision with Angela Merkel on the red carpet made it an omen-tastic day for Francois Hollande and the euro. Key words from Christine Lagarde suggest the IMF has cut Greece adrift. It may all be an attempt to terrify the Greeks into voting for EU austerity, but surely it’s gone too far now. Expect attention to focus on the how of an exit, and what happens next.


David Cameron appears at PMQs today at noon, facing up to inflation and unemployment figures and Labour’s latest attack line using the EU growth figures that show no recession in the eurozone – but only if you don’t bother to look at the breakdown.

The FT (£) analyses the question of the contrast between recessionary UK and barely growing EU. While Liam Fox pops up in the pink pages to say we should learn from Germany on employment law. Although it’s worth noting that Theresa May announced yesterday that she will unwind Harriet Harman’s Equality Act, having bizarrely accepted the ‘socialism in a Bill’ legislation when she first came to office.


In my column today, I discuss Dave’s need for the politics of hate as he loses one of his closest allies Steve Hilton who flies to California this morning, leaving behind an unfinished package of changes to the way Whitehall works.

The Times (£) reports that think tanks could soon be doing the policy development work of the civil service. Frustration with the way the machine got in the way of the revolution he wanted often led Steve to blow his top. As I explain, Ed Llewellyn would call him in periodically to rebuke him for shouting at officials. Steve would complain afterward: “Ed never asks me what they did to make me shout at them”.

Alice Thomson’s column in the Times says the civil service should “welcome” the idea.


Steve is also leaving behind another bombshell. We’ve splashed on a policy paper he presented to Mr Cameron that considered ordering billions of pounds in extra welfare cuts.

Iain Duncan Smith is understood to have given a cautious welcome to the plans. However, he has not costed the proposals and has publicly indicated previously that he does not believe his department should be forced to make disproportionate levels of cuts beyond those required elsewhere.


And it’s all change in Labour’s camp too. Ed Miliband has done his reshuffling. He’s promoting Jon Cruddas to co-ordinate Labour’s policy review, and demoting Liam Byrne. Read the Guardian’s report.


Jeremy Browne is also saying work harder, echoing William Hague who said it first in Sun Telegraph and repeats it in the Guardian today. James Kirkup blogs on Mr Browne’s comments.


But all this won’t distract David Cameron from the 1922 Committee elections today. The last votes will be cast this afternoon and the results should be available this evening.

The Chairman Graham Brady and Treasurer Brian Binley, both traditionalists, have been returned unopposed, but the nominees up for election on the executive are a more interesting mix – many appearing as part of modernising or traditionalist slates. Read Donata Huggins’ blog for more detail.

Mr Binley, 1922’s Treasurer appeared on the Today Programme earlier, saying that it’s a “very grave error indeed” for Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne to have invited members of the modernising 301 Group for drinks with these elections taking place, while Jackie Doyle Price from the 301 Group says the 1922 Committee needs to start reflecting the situation that the party is in.


Labour MP Gavin Shuker lets us know just how glamorous life is as an MP.

“@gavinshuker: Today I am mainly down a sewer”


Latest YouGov/The Sun result: Conservatives 32%, Labour 43%, Lib Dems 8%, UKIP 9%

Overall government approval rating: -37


In The Telegraph

Benedict Brogan: There’s a vital ingredient missing in Downing Street – pure hatred

Sarah Wollaston: A doctors’ strike would betray their patients

Leader: Getting to grips with the nation’s welfare

Leader: Us and them

Best of the rest

Alice Thomson in the Times (£): No 10 is taking on the ‘opposition in residence’

William Hague in the Times (£): Life’s got tougher. We all have to work harder

Simon Jenkins in the Guardian: For Greece – and Europe – the true calamity is to delay exiting the euro

Liam Fox in the Financial Times (£): Britain must learn from Germany


Today: Theresa May addresses Police Federation Annual Conference, Bournemouth

Today: William Hague gives a speech at the CBI dinner on prosperity where the focus will be on how foreign policy is supporting the British Economy

Today: Jack Straw appears before the Leveson Inquiry

Today: Justine Greening gives a speech at the IMO Safety Committee, 4 Albert Embankment, London

Today: Andrew Lansley addresses NICE annual conference

Today: Agriculture Minister Jim Paice is in China for a week-long trade mission, focussing on promoting British food and farming

9am: Andrew Lansley speaks at Reform’s healthcare conference, Clifford Chance, 10 Upper Bank Street, London

9.30am: UK monthly unemployment figures

10.30am: Bank of England inflation report

11.30am: Northern Ireland questions

12pm: David Cameron at Prime Minister’s Question Time

1.30pm: Liam Byrne gives a speech to Demos marking the 70th Anniversary of the Beveridge Report, Boothroyd Room, Portcullis House, London

Grumpy Rumblings (of the formerly untenured)

should be visited on the kids.

This is a sentiment we often see on the internets.

Schools in poor neighborhoods are often terrible.  If the parents cared, they’d homeschool or move. (Because that’s totally an option for single moms on EITC working minimum wage jobs as best they can.)

We shouldn’t improve the quality of school lunches.  If parents cared, they’d be feeding their kids organic meals full of veggies made from scratch every night so one meal a day wouldn’t hurt them.

Personally we suspect a lot of this sentiment is disguised racism.  Who cares about black kids or Hispanic kids.  It’s their fault for being born something other than anglo-saxon.  But maybe not– the internet seems to think just as poorly of rural white parents from West Virginia.

We also suspect it’s a way that middle class folks feel superior.  We’re not like THOSE people.  Our kids will…

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There’s a vital ingredient missing in Downing Street – pure hatred

The Tory leadership does not understand the importance of loathing its enemies

With every week that passes, Gordon Brown’s success in denying the Tories true power becomes apparent. A number of reasons can be adduced to explain his feat – the calculation with which he spread the poison of welfare addiction, the unexploded bombs he left under the carpet, such as the 50p top rate of tax – but the quality that gave Mr Brown his strength, and that Tories must understand if they are ever to stand a chance of returning to government in their own right, was his unrelenting, all-consuming hatred of his enemies.

Put it in those terms, of course, and anyone of any sensibility should recoil. Hate is a destructive emotion, and it is easy to see how our politics have been debased by feelings of such violence. But there is no other way to describe the cold contempt that Mr Brown reserved for those on the Right. Think of the leaders and their lieutenants chatting happily with their counterparts as they process through Central Lobby on the day of the State Opening of Parliament, to hear the Queen’s Speech. For Mr Brown, this was always an occasion of unbearable public hypocrisy: he could barely bring himself to utter a word to his enemies beside him.Steve Hilton

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Law banning insulting language ‘is strangling free speech’

Former shadow home secretary David Davis said Section 5 of the 1986 Public Order Act was having a ”terrible, chilling effect on democracy”.

Polling suggests almost two-thirds of MPs back Mr Davis, according to a campaign which has brought together religious and secular groups along with human rights and minority organisations.

Under the legislation, the use of ”insulting words or behaviour” is outlawed, but opponents say there is too little clarity of what that includes, leading to spurious arrests.

One teenage boy was arrested for holding a ”Scientology is a dangerous cult” placard and a student was held for telling a police officer his horse was ”gay”, they said.

While it was right to protect people against unjust discrimination and the incitement of violence against them, the campaign said, insulting behaviour was open to too much interpretation.

The campaign is using the slogan ”Feel free to insult me”.

Mr Davis said repeal was ”vital to protecting freedom of expression in Britain today”.

Read more….

Ed Miliband’s new policy chief backs a vote on Europe

Jon Cruddas, a Left-wing MP, has promised to use “every opportunity” to press for a vote on EU membership and prevent the issue “festering”.

In a shadow cabinet reshuffle yesterday Mr Cruddas was appointed to lead Labour’s policy review, which will shape its next general election manifesto.

He is one of only a handful of Labour MPs to have backed The People’s Pledge campaign for a referendum on the relationship with Europe. Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has suggested that a referendum “might be an issue whose time comes” in the years ahead.

The Government has promised a referendum in the event of any EU treaty change that cedes further power.

Read more….