Tuesday 24 February 2015


It's hardly surprising that the Daily Telegraph is continuing it's war against Parliament. We don't advertise in them and it's so much easier attacking us than attacking, say HSBC who might withdraw their ads. But two things do amaze me.

One is the gullibility of MPs, particularly the self important ones who've been ministers of Pomposity Flatulence and Fawning. They'd turn away a beggar that approaches them in the street with a request for a quid to buy a cup of tea and tell him to get a job yet when a mysterious sheikh or Chinese  or Indian approaches them with an offer of thousands a day they hold out their hands and offer to start work next day. I'll bet if some entrepreneur approached lowly backbenchers with an offer of jobs at a drive in brothel cleaning the cars they'd all get wash leathers.

Second is the greed of the Parliamentary elite. They've all got jobs and good incomes as MPs but they want more more more preferably in foreign bank accounts for working perhaps a couple of hours a week. It's always excusable for the rules are pretty flexible  but it's all  off putting and certainly damaging to the reputation of  Parliament. Their time is stolen from their constituents. Their greed is all their own.


There's something funny going on with the great Galileo programme which (of course you'll remember) is the EU's very own satellite guidance system to give us a system which the Americans give us for free already. It's running several years behind schedule and the government is reluctant to give away any information about the costs. I asked a series of questions which took five weeks to answer and then only referred me back to an answer given in July 2013 about expenditure from 2014 to 2020

Nothing at all on the question I want answered.  How many millions have we wasted so far? The waste still going on is estimated at 7 billion euros of which we pay "around"12.5%.There was a "launch anomaly" in August last year  and when it's eventually finished one "open service" will be free to the end user. Just like the American system we've been using free for years.

Something smells somewhere. I'll keep digging.

I'm very upset about the Independents use of a joke of mine to indicate a contempt for electors. In a phone interview I gave them my view that about a third of the electorate were fed up with both main parties because their world of rising wages, full employment good benefits and steady growth had been destroyed. Here, I argued was a section Labour had to work hard to win back particularly in one industry towns where the industry had been destroyed. UKIP will win some of these voters while others will abstain but while they make the election less predictable they don't mean UKIP will win Grimsby. It won't .We have a good candidate fighting well and she'll win.

All true. But in  the parting moment to illustrate the point I made a joke about anyone could hold Grimsby for Labour to reinforce my point that UKIP aren't going to.This was a joke. It was clearly made as a joke and belied all the rest of the interview. I said it was a joke not a quote. Yet the interviewer wrote up the joke as the story and  fed it to the candidates who were predictably horrified. This has been damaging and annoying for me It has produced loud abuse on that friendly banter facility Twitter,and creates a quandary.Apologise or not.?

I certainly apologise to Grimsby.My joke can be interpreted as contempt for the electorate and in 38 years of serving Grimsby and its people I've never felt or shown that. Vox populi,Vox dei  so far as I'm concerned. Crosland regarded his constituents as the real Britain,the voice of common sense. So do I. Grimsby has always had good MPs and has a very good Labour candidate now.So it's clearly not true that anyone can defeat UKIP. Grimsby wants and gets the best from Labour and every other party.It needs a Labour victory and a Labour government to stimulate jobs ,grow the economy and restore the damage caused by austerity .It would be unforgivable to endanger that.

I hope I haven't.But I've given up making jokes for Lent and jokes to journalists forever.

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