Nov 272014

Minister’s car beset by furious firefighters

HAPLESS Fire Minister Penny Mordaunt had to flee an official fire station opening yesterday when furious firefighters forced her car to turn back.

The Portsmouth MP was set to mingle with London brigade bosses at a cosy tea-and-sandwiches tour of the new £4.9 million West Norwood fire station.

But she reversed at speed after police failed to contain protesters ringing the “state-of-the-art” private finance initiative project.

Dozens of officers and a line of bouncers were deployed outside the building but they were pushed back as Ms Mordaunt’s car approached the gate.

With no hope of moving forward her driver opted to reverse out of the confrontation.

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 Posted by at 4:07 PM
Nov 272014

Dear Mr. Desmond,

I am writing with reference to the headline today in the Daily Express: “‘Hidden’ Migrant Millions”.

The clear implication is that the children of immigrants who are born and raised here are “really” immigrants too. And that the official statistics on immigration hide this from the British public in some way.

I cannot see any quote from Migration Watch to justify the headline that these immigrants are “hidden”, so I assume it was the view of the Daily Express.

I am sure that you are neither responsible for every editorial judgement made by your newspapers nor seek to interfere in headlines like some other proprietors. But can I ask you this: are you happy that the Daily Express is saying that we should consider people such as Prince Charles, Ed Miliband, Boris Johnson and Winston Churchill as migrants “hidden” from the British public by official statistics? And is it correct that the Daily Express is suggesting that the children of Nick Clegg and, for that matter, Nigel Farage are “hidden migrants”? Continue reading »

Nov 272014

As if we needed a definitive sign that the humanitarian-awards industry was out of control, the former prime minister has received a gong from Save the Children

Tony Blair meeting the people at his awards ceremony.
Tony Blair meeting the people at his awards ceremony. 

Did it finally happen? Did the pernicious pretence that is the humanitarian awards industry finally implode last week, at a ceremony to give Tony Blair a “global legacy” gong?

On the one hand, things look promising. Well over 100,000 people have signed a petition asking Save the Children to revoke its award. More sensationally, an internal letter signed by Save the Children staff calls the award “morally reprehensible”, which certainly offers a hint of what life is like on the ground, dealing with the sharp end of Mr Blair’s “global legacy”.

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Nov 272014

Labour have reacted angrily to the news this morning that the rights to run the East Coast Main Line, which is currently run by a public operator, has been won by a consortium of Virgin and Stagecoach.


The franchise has been in public hands with East Coast since 2009, after then operator National Express ran into financial trouble, and has since returned £800 million to the public purse. However, under current rules, East Coast could not bid for the franchise as a public body. Michael Dugher, the Shadow Transport Secretary, has slammed the situation as “absurd”.

He has also taken the opportunity this morning to reaffirm Labour’s pledge to allow public sector operators to bid for franchises when they expire:

“It’s absurd that our own public operator is the only rail company in the world that has been barred from challenging to run its own services, on the ideological grounds that it is British and publicly owned.

“Labour is committed to legislating to allow a not-for-profit public sector operator to take on and challenge train operators on a level playing field, safeguarding taxpayer and passenger interests and putting in place a system that is fit for purpose.” Continue reading »

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