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Eddie Mair | 07:21 UK time, Thursday, 8 April 2010

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You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

Perhaps you have a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

The PM team will meet in a real glass box at 11am. Why not be part of the meeting by sharing your thoughts in this virtual glass box? We don't really look in after 11am so please be prompt!

Comments

  • 1. At 08:12am on 08 Apr 2010, Sindy wrote:



    "One of David Cameron's independent efficiency experts who identified the £12bn spending savings an incoming Conservative government could make this year chairs a private healthcare firm that openly admits it will benefit from NHS spending cutbacks.

    "Sir Peter Gershon chairs General Healthcare Group, the largest private sector health firm in the UK. The Conservatives have relied on Gershon's analysis of efficiency savings to enable them to promise scrapping most of the government's planned national insurance increase – a move that has left Labour flatfooted at the outset of the election campaign."

    Isn't this just the kind of thing that's brought parliament into ill-repute?

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  • 2. At 08:36am on 08 Apr 2010, Galahad wrote:

    The 'business leaders' who are signatories of letters complaining about the proposed marginal increase in NI contributions are spoken about by the media as if they were independent experts on the topic.
    They are not. They are lobbyists.
    The same lobby which produced scare stories prior to the introduction of workplace Health and Safety in the 1970s and the minimum wage in the 1990s. Both of these initiatives, they wrongly argued, would lead to significant job losses.
    I would welcome daily discussions with Tim Harford on the likely actual effects on the economy of all of the proposals of each of the parties.

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  • 3. At 08:43am on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    I'm interested in how much the BBC pays its presenters and others who appear on programmes. The election has just started. No, I'm not 'fed up already' of the coverage but I am fed up listening to Danny Finkelstein who is all over the place like a cheap suit. How much of my license fee is going to him? Why aren't we reminded every time he appears of his political allegiances?

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  • 4. At 08:50am on 08 Apr 2010, Galahad wrote:

    Yet again, on last night's Question Time, it was argued that there are conflicts between the right to follow one's religion and the right not to be discriminated against on the basis of one's sexuality.
    There is no conflict.
    The right to follow a religion does NOT confer the right to impose your religious precepts upon me.
    If your God is against homosexuality, contraception, termination of pregnancy, drinking alcohol or exposing my hair or face in public then this results in rules which YOU are supposed to follow. You are not allowed to 'universalise' those rules and insist that they apply to me as well.
    Unfortunately a lot of religious people appear to be confused about this, assuming that everybody should be subject to THEIR God's rules. It is not your place to police MY actions on behalf of YOUR God - just follow his rules yourself, and leave me out of it.

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  • 5. At 08:50am on 08 Apr 2010, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The 6 billion that the Tories will withdraw from the economy this year seems to be causing the so-called economics experts more problems than it should.

    If you make 6 billion of cuts and use the saved money to retire some of Mervyn's 200 billion of governement debt that he bought with Quantitatively Diseasing money, then you've taken 6 billion of 'high powered' money out of the economy.

    Because it's high powered the banks have to shut down their monetary base by 6 billion. (Cos it's not a bank to bank transfer, it's money LEAVING the banking system) Whatever agreed paltry loans they've made to companies using that base would have to be called in. This 6 billion credit crunch will have a multiplying effect throughout the economy.

    That's this year, straight away, according to the Tories. It's not till next year that not implementing NI increases comes in, which will have the effect of refusing ordinary people health care for them, their young and their old. Instead the money will go into the pockets of the rentier class in the form of profits.

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  • 6. At 08:55am on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Will John Humphrys be as carping and interupting with "Dave" Cameron, or will Cameron be given a soft interview by Sarah Montague or Evan Davis.

    Please can someone on behalf of the voters get the same promise as they have made about NI from the Tories regarding VAT.
    For those youngsters here who assume VAT was always here:
    1) VAT was introduced by the Tories when they took us into the European Union. This was set at 8%.
    2) The Tories won the 1979 election promising to reduce Tax. They reduced income tax for the rich and to pay for it Thatcher increased VAT to 15%.
    3) Since the VAT hike in 1979 the Tories extended the range and increased the rate to 17.5%.
    4) The Tories introduced VAT at 17.5% on domestic energy, I think they pretended it was a "green tax".

    The Tories always use weazel words regarding tax and especially VAT they say things like "we have no plans" or "we see no need to increase the current level" or "we will make eficiency savings".

    So without a guaranteed promise from the Tories regarding VAT I predict that within a few months the Tories will put up VAT to 20% and extend the range.

    Increases in VAT will affect M&S and other shops more than the proposed NI increase. Cutting capital projects by swingeing government cuts will damage the building industry more than increasing NI by 1%.

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  • 7. At 09:04am on 08 Apr 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Although I've thoroughly enjoyed listening to some of PM's archived interviews, would it be too late to have a look back at PM through the eyes of one of the previous presenters?

    I'd love to hear Valerie Singleton reminisce.

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  • 8. At 09:05am on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    Too right Looternite!

    Rose and his mates have seen dramatic increases in their personal wealth under Gordon Brown as their businesses have thrived. How long do you thin we'll wait for them to THANK him for engendering the economic climate that allowed them to prosper?

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  • 9. At 09:05am on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    2. Galahad

    My thoughts exactly. Indeed there are many other examples.

    My Mum remembers how the Tories fought tooth and nail against the formation of the NHS.
    There have always been similar objections to virtually all reforms that make our life today civilised. What ever the plan the Tories always say "Costs too much" or "Not needed" or when all else fails "Not British".

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  • 10. At 09:08am on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    7. jonnie
    "I'd love to hear Valerie Singleton reminisce."

    Is that a euphemism? :-)

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  • 11. At 09:11am on 08 Apr 2010, william warren wrote:

    Well I for one will not be listening to the news between now and the election + at least a week.No discussion programs;no newspapers;no Glass Box.
    I have just reclaimed my life.

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  • 12. At 09:19am on 08 Apr 2010, Sindy wrote:


    Looternite: for completeness, VAT replaced Purchase Tax and Selective Employment Tax. Lots of exciting info here:

    http://www.politics.co.uk/briefings-guides/issue-briefs/economy-and-finance/value-added-tax-$366603.htm

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  • 13. At 09:22am on 08 Apr 2010, Tim wrote:

    Would you please ask your guests what their parties plan to do about prison sentences? If someone commits an offence which the court think is serious enough for a six month prison sentence for example (the maximum available in the magistrates' court), firstly an early guilty plea invariably merits a one-third discount. As they walk through the prison gates the resulting four-month prison sentence is automatically halved (the second half being served on licence). Further, the prison governor can and often does halve the 2 month sentence, releasing the prisoner after 30 days to serve the remaining 30 days on a tag-enforced curfew at home. Time spent on remand is also deducted. Thus a maximum 180-day prison sentence from the magistrates' court often results in only 30 days being actually served and sometimes fewer than that. Until recently prison governors had further discretion to deduct up to a further 18 days when their prison was full. Prisoners given shorter sentences are sometimes released on arrival at the prison. This is not justice for the victim and society - is it?

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  • 14. At 09:28am on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    4. Galahad
    My thoughts as well.

    I have been saying since the late 60s when the arguments were about abortion or legalising homosexuality.
    As I said then and (I don't believe it still over 40years) and I say now "No religious woman will be forced to have atermination also no religious man will be forced to be gay".
    As I keep repeating,religion is a belief it aint genetic.

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  • 15. At 09:33am on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    12 sid
    Thanks for the link.

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  • 16. At 09:41am on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    By the way anybody here know what has happened to Lucien Desgai.
    I don't remember seeing any posts from him for some time.

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  • 17. At 09:46am on 08 Apr 2010, Sindy wrote:


    He's on the beach ...

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  • 18. At 09:48am on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    ... eating candy floss.

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  • 19. At 09:48am on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    "The Tories always use weazel words regarding tax "

    And Labour haven't? Now what happened to that 10p tax rate?

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  • 20. At 09:58am on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Looternite (6) - Your points are well made. Moreover, increasing VAT affects everyone, regardless of what Stuart Rose said this morning, because there is little choice when it comes to having the things you need. VAT has no regard for income level, and therefore hits the poor hardest. Increasing National Insurance isn't ideal, but as it is linked to earnings (i.e. you pay a percentage according to how much you earn), its effect is incremental. Thus, the lower paid pay less, the better paid pay more. With VAT, an additional 2.5 per cent on the cost of items ignores entirely the ability of the individual to pay the additional cost.

    Another point, which perhaps gets ignored in all this hype, is that pensioners do not pay National Insurance, and they will therefore not be hit by any increase, whilst if VAT is increased, they tend to be the group on whom it impacts greatest.

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  • 21. At 10:01am on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    News on the Debt Relief Bill which will gladden the hearts of many. I received the following message last night from a group supporting the Bill.

    Success as the Debt Relief Bill passes Commons!

    Today history was made when the Government pushed the Debt Relief Bill forward as part of their ‘wash-up' package of legislation before the General Election, and all major parties supported its passage.

    All we need is for the Bill to pass through the House of Lords afternoon and then it will be law. This is a massive accomplishment and it is almost unheard of for a Private Member's Bill to be passed as part of the wash up.


    Well done, everybody!

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  • 22. At 10:05am on 08 Apr 2010, Sindy wrote:


    Mr Shouty Man - "what happened to that 10p tax rate?" - they abolished it. Didn't you think they had?

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  • 23. At 10:05am on 08 Apr 2010, darkdesign wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 10:05am on 08 Apr 2010, Sindy wrote:


    Big Sis @ 21 - hear hear!

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  • 25. At 10:10am on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    20.

    But its a tax on jobs, do you really believe that a tax on jobs is what we need right now?

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  • 26. At 10:20am on 08 Apr 2010, TJS wrote:

    Here's a novel idea - how about some news in a news program ?
    I don't think election coverage constitutes news somehow, unless of course you might like to ask a pertinent question for once, like, say, why are there so many unelected ministers in the cabinet ?
    Please can we have some "news"....

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  • 27. At 10:20am on 08 Apr 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    21 - Big Sister may I add my cheers and quote Ian Pearson from yesterday's Hansard too?

    I congratulate my hon. Friend the Member for Denton and Reddish (Andrew Gwynne) on his Bill, which is likely to be very effective in providing relief to developing countries and in ensuring that they are not exposed in future to what is frequently called vulture fund activity.

    I pay great tribute to my hon. Friend the Member for Northampton, North (Ms Keeble), who is a long-standing champion of the world's poorest countries. She is a strong and very effective campaigning voice when it comes to helping the world's poorest, and indeed standing up for the rights of her constituents. I am glad that she has been able to take the measure forward.


    See Mr Sawyer, some snowballs do make it through Hell!

    Let's hope it doesn't get scuppered in the other place.

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  • 28. At 10:22am on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    25 - Frankly, I don't think anyone wants more taxes, either now or ever - but UK Plc needs to tackle the deficit somehow. The real discussion, therefore, should revolve around which is the lesser of any evil when it comes to increasing taxes - and that, I'm afraid, is inevitable.

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  • 29. At 10:27am on 08 Apr 2010, darkdesign wrote:

    Sorry to bang on about this, but it's a good demonstration of the failure of our parliamentarians to pay even the slightest attention to the people. Statistics on the Digital Economy Bill vote and the public campaign:

    http://debillitated.heroku.com/

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  • 30. At 10:33am on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    28.

    "The real discussion, therefore, should revolve around which is the lesser of any evil when it comes to increasing taxes "

    Or cutting spending, under Brown our economy has been sovietised, where some areas are more dependent on state spending than was achieved under communist regimes, and this was before the crash. Now the state is consuming 52% of national wealth, that level of wealth consumption by the state is guaranteed to give us a sluggish poorly preforming economy, with the result that as it won't be wealth creating, nor jon creating, the tax revenue will be reduced, and so in the long term the level of public services will have to be cut. So we have a choice, we either deal with the deficit now, get the state off wealth creators backs, or carry on with Brown's sovietised economy and end up with poorer services in the long term.

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  • 31. At 10:39am on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    'Sovietised'? - Well, there's clearly no point in trying to discuss anything with somebody who comes out with such inflammatory language.

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  • 32. At 10:47am on 08 Apr 2010, Ellis P Otter wrote:

    And elsewhere, could we have a bit on Medvedev and Obama meeting in in the Czech Republic today.

    As well as the nuclear weapons agreement, I'd like to know their thoughts and words on the situation in Kyrgyzstan and the potential for escalation.

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  • 33. At 10:54am on 08 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 16, Try The Beach.

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  • 34. At 11:04am on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 35. At 11:20am on 08 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    DC1 26, PM is not a news program. It is news and comment. Or the Eddie Mair Show.....when he deigns to show up.

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  • 36. At 11:22am on 08 Apr 2010, Thunderbird wrote:

    Looternite (6)

    When I started work at 17 in 1982, earning a massive £64 a week, I was taxed at 33%, the tories did reduce this and I was not, at the time classed as "the rich". (and still not)

    The point that David Cam need to answer is his reversal on the pledge to give us a referendum on the European treaty.

    If he is reminded that when in power, it is normal to ignore the voters but it is rare for an opposition to do the same before getting the keys to number 10.

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  • 37. At 11:37am on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    36.

    Cameron's response to the Labour voting in Lisbon was weak, but could he have given the country a referendum when the treaty had already been put on the statute books? At least the Conservatives did try to give us a referendum and we would have had it if the Libdems had honoured their manifesto commitment to have a referendum instead of sitting on their hands.

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  • 38. At 12:09pm on 08 Apr 2010, eddiemair wrote:

    7: She did just that for us on our 35th birthday.

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  • 39. At 12:15pm on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    But, Eddie, it was so memorable that perhaps Jonnie would like her to do it again? ;o)

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  • 40. At 12:18pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    IMOORE @25 "But its a tax on jobs..."

    Is it really?
    Let's try using our brains and thinking more deeply than the Tories want us to: if it's a tax on jobs, why don't we just get rid of it altogether and have no NI.
    Then we'll have millions more jobs - right?
    Er... no. THINK about it.

    I WANT to pay more tax. I work in the private sector. I am comfortably well-off: partly because of my hard work and partly because I have been supported by and benefitted personally from the NHS, the education system and many other public services. Meanwhile, as a taxpayer, I have subsidised private health care, private schools and private banking for the Welfare-Dependent Upper Classes. I want to give back more to the old, the poor and the REAL Wealth-Creating (i.e. Working) Class.

    Funny how all the folk who moan about taxes on their wealth actually have wealth in the first place. Why can't they have the decency to say THANKS for being able to live in a society that helped them achieve it. Bunch of moaning whingers imho! :)

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  • 41. At 1:02pm on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Oh dear! I just heard the 'dulcet tones' of Michael Caine speaking on behalf of Mr. Cameron.

    Not a lot of people know that!

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  • 42. At 1:38pm on 08 Apr 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 43. At 1:43pm on 08 Apr 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    BTW - Of course, we know that irrespective of who wins the election it will never happen, but do we know what Cameron's Lads' Army is intended to do?

    How will it differ from the Scouts, for example? And have the red tops coined a better pseudonym for it yet?

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  • 44. At 1:49pm on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    40.

    Well there are good arguments to simplify the tax system, something Gordon Brown has turned into a Heath-Robinson mess as we see with Tolleys Yellow tax handbook, where Brown's taxes have added some 4,000 pages taking it from 4000+ pages to 9,000+ pages, so it would simplify matters if we consolidated NI into Income tax and Corporation tax.

    But as to your desire to pay more tax, tell me which country has economically flourished by taxing everybody till the pips squeaked?

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  • 45. At 1:52pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 1:55pm on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    6. "Will John Humphrys be as carping and interupting with "Dave" Cameron, or will Cameron be given a soft interview by Sarah Montague or Evan Davis."

    I suppose the Conservatives will say join the club, for its usually the case where the BBC listens in respectful silence to Labour politicians spout their bit, but with Conservative MP's you have got the definition of a split second, between a Conservative politician beginning to say something and a BBC presenter interrupting them.

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  • 47. At 2:05pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    44 IMOORE
    Paying a fair membership fee to belong to a civilised society is not the same as 'making the pips squeak'.

    46 IMOORE (again!)
    Do you have properly researched evidence for that comment? I ask because I have recently been testing exactly that question and can assure you that I have found quite different results. Suggested methodology available if you are prepared to put in the hard work to test your assertion by evidence rather than anecdote.

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  • 48. At 2:07pm on 08 Apr 2010, peterthelawyer wrote:

    on the day on which brown announced the election, while listening to the 8 o'clock news on radio 4 i expected 3 banal comments - one from each of the three party leaders.

    while i got my three sound bites, of the 3 minute slot nearly a minute was given over to what i would best describe as a rant by mandelson about the personal qualities of cameron (or more precisely the lack of them)

    is this balanced broadcasting?

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  • 49. At 2:16pm on 08 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    BS 41, Old age and senility.

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  • 50. At 2:18pm on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    40: Your posting is so uplifting - Thank you for making my day! It seems so rare that we meet people who appreciate their good fortune and want to help the less advantaged.

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  • 51. At 2:23pm on 08 Apr 2010, jonnie wrote:

    38 - 39

    I remember it actually,

    Perhaps the lovely Joan Bakewell then? - and perhaps a stance from the other side of the glass from Amanda and the team on working with Eddie?

    Mmmm - too tabloid I suspect

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  • 52. At 2:24pm on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    50.

    All people paying tax to help the less advantaged, it starts from the first penny you pay in tax, its not the latest bits Labour are adding on. But it has to be questioned if our taxes are really helping the less advantaged or feeding an expensive monstrous bureaucracy.

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  • 53. At 2:26pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    50.
    Thank you, Big Sister - you've made MY day.
    Whenever I try to post those views on message boards, I am usually attacked by the hard-of-thinking who just can't seem to conceive of a way of looking at the world that doesn't start from arrogant self-regard.
    Or, as Emerson said "People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."

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  • 54. At 2:27pm on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Moderation is very slow today, isn't it?

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  • 55. At 2:49pm on 08 Apr 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    Galahad (4) "homosexuality, contraception, termination of pregnancy, drinking alcohol or exposing my hair or face in public"
    Doubt if I'd like you to do most of those things in my home, so I'll gladly leave you out of it.

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  • 56. At 2:51pm on 08 Apr 2010, vainly_here wrote:

    Big Sister (41) Not many people would want to know that. (I claim this as the title of my autobiography.)

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  • 57. At 2:58pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    Trying my earlier post again - with a clean-up so as not to offend house rules:
    Does anyone else find David Cameron's language somewhat aggressive and misogynistically sexualised?
    Last week's "gagging for it" struck me as a strange choice as did his earlier use of the four-letter T word. And a few other examples I don't want to write.

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  • 58. At 3:07pm on 08 Apr 2010, Galahad wrote:

    55 Hi VH
    Thank you. The politeness which my mother taught me as a child would stop me doing most of these things in your home, so you have nothing to fear.
    My point is that (provided I obey the laws of the land) nobody has any right to try to prevent me doing them in my own home, or (when running a business) to refuse to accept my custom on the basis that I may do some or all of them.
    Errr...you don't run a B&B, do you?

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  • 59. At 3:08pm on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    44. IMOORE
    Er... now let me see Sweden, Denmark and France, spring to mind straight away. No doubt there are other high tax countries doing better than us.

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  • 60. At 3:11pm on 08 Apr 2010, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    42. At 1:38pm on 08 Apr 2010, you wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.


    Arf! Highly efficient moderation there.

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  • 61. At 3:34pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    49 davmcn:
    I suspect you are correct - have a look at this - very funny.
    "....on a number of occasions he referred to the Conservative party as "the government"...."
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8609379.stm

    Or - perhaps he thinks Dave is a Noo Labour person?

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  • 62. At 4:14pm on 08 Apr 2010, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    What's Caine doing with Cameron. I can't be confused between Quattros and Coopers this close to 6 May. 'Fire up the Mini'?

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  • 63. At 4:17pm on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    59.

    Sweeden's government spending as a proportion of GDP is 52.5%

    http://www.heritage.org/index/country/Sweden

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  • 64. At 4:26pm on 08 Apr 2010, jonnie wrote:

    55. Vyle,

    As the owner of a Hotel, Guesthouse I'd be happy with any of those things - perhaps a reservation about the termination of pregnancy.

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  • 65. At 4:27pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    63 Blimey, IMOORE, you are absolutely correct - we really need to significantly increase government spending before we are nearly as enlightened as the Swedes!

    However, The Heritage Foundation may have a slight bias being "a research and educational institution—a think tank—whose mission is to formulate and promote conservative public policies based on the principles of free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense."

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  • 66. At 4:41pm on 08 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    G 4, After reading VH 55, I had to go back and read your 4 to see what hair you were exposing in public. Had to do with seeing the words 'public' and 'hair' in proximity.

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  • 67. At 4:45pm on 08 Apr 2010, IMOORE wrote:

    65 what another 0.5%?

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  • 68. At 4:45pm on 08 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    David, be careful - you know what the mods did when I mentioned the word 'bucket' on another thread - they'll be taking you down for your 66! ;o)

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  • 69. At 4:58pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    67 IMOORE
    According to your mates at the "Heritage" thingy, the comparable number for UK is 44% - so to get as good as Sweden on their data would require us to increase spending by (52-44)/44 per cent = approx 18% (assuming no relative changes in GDP between us and Sweden).

    Before I head off to listen to Eddie, do you want to do some proper research on your point in 46 above? If so, see my offer in 47. Cheers!

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  • 70. At 5:09pm on 08 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Bs 69, It was just the way I saw it. Poor eyesight. Dirty mind...

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  • 71. At 5:13pm on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Received another piece of Tory propaganda paid for by Cashtoff.
    It says: "Since 1951, Conservatives have never formed a government without winning Luton South. Where you place your vote at this election really matters".

    So that explains why we have so many leaflets and letters coming from the Tories.

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  • 72. At 5:17pm on 08 Apr 2010, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 71, Big day here; two Tory leaflets and a Dib Lem posterboard put up.

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  • 73. At 5:26pm on 08 Apr 2010, Dr Huw S Kruger Gray wrote:

    Dear Sir or Madam,

    I have a potential question for you to pose to those seeking office in the coming General Election:-

    As an ex-pat. British citizen and professional scientist, currently resident in Florida, I was informed recently that I am to be disenfranchised this year, simply because I have been resident over-seas for in excess of fifteen years! I always have kept my British nationality and have held a proxy vote every year, since I was obliged to relocate to the U.S. because of the lamentable absence of suitable potential employment opportunities at home. I always have been more than ready to return home, at any time, were I able to find suitable employment there and at the very least, to return home permanently after retirement (I am 54 years of age), if I can not find work at home.

    So, why now am I to be deprived of my democratic right of expression in my home country, just because I have not been resident there for this seemingly arbitrary fifteen year period?

    I shall look forward to hearing the politicians' response...

    Yours faithfully,

    Dr. Huw S. Kruger Gray.
    >>>--->

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  • 74. At 5:46pm on 08 Apr 2010, Looternite wrote:

    Blimey "Pecker" Parkinson, didn't know he was still with us.

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  • 75. At 5:49pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    74.
    Same Spitting Image persona...another member of the Welfare-Dependent Tofferati

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  • 76. At 5:53pm on 08 Apr 2010, Galahad wrote:

    I hope Cecil Parkinson doesn't rely on the armed services, police, courts, prisons, roads, hospitals, etc., etc..
    If 'his money is his own' he'll need to accept that he's on his own when he's robbed or ill. I wish him luck!

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  • 77. At 5:55pm on 08 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    76.
    Galahad, his old Duchess probably persuaded him "there's no such thing as society".

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  • 78. At 5:56pm on 08 Apr 2010, Galahad wrote:

    66 davmcn, I hope I didn't startle the horses...

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  • 79. At 6:03pm on 08 Apr 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    So the rich kids are going to get a free adventure holiday funded out of the money we spend to prevent another 7/7, when the people who need it won't choose to go on it so what's the point.

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  • 80. At 6:05pm on 08 Apr 2010, Jonathan Morse wrote:

    Parkinson blames our economic mess on Labour but I blame Thatcher-Reagonomics, but then Parky was never a fan of Thatcher whereas Brown is.

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  • 81. At 10:04pm on 08 Apr 2010, jonnie wrote:

    Bucket and hair

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  • 82. At 08:41am on 09 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    So, a soft ride from Evan for Dave-boy.
    Nevertheless, some interesting revelations:
    1. Cameron resists taking responsibility for the hard stuff. All those nasty job cuts are not his - they are defined by 'experts'. So, we can assume Cameron regards himself and his shadow team as lacking expertise. In his world, it is experts who take responsibility / blame and governments are laisser-faire.
    2. He does not understand the numbers - they have been simplified for him into concepts such as "being on a permanently lower pathway".
    3. He really squirms and resists precision. That often happens with people who are a PR creation. No precision on numbers (perhaps he isn't very numerate?) and even no precision on his favourite newspaper.

    An effective attack strategy is clear against Dave: ask him extremely precise questions that require substantive answers; ask him about personal decision-making rather than advice from experts; test his basic arithmetic as often as possible.

    I think the result is predictable.

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  • 83. At 08:56am on 09 Apr 2010, Big Sister wrote:

    Ellis, I was also struck by his response to the question around who was the greatest (man, Conservative, or whatever). It was very childlike and 'learnt'.

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  • 84. At 10:09am on 09 Apr 2010, MoC wrote:

    Yes, you're right, Big Sister - I be he couldn't explain Why? with any depth. It's the supposedly uncontroversial answer too.

    All in all I find it a worrying lack of depth of character and intellect for a putative leader.

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