Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Is it just me, or did I detect a general feeling of glee, happiness and general well being amongst the great British public over the weekend at the news that  4 Bankers and 8 Sun Journalists had been arrested in police swoops on their homes facing allegations of either tax evasion or bribery!

It's not that we are fickle, or that we really wish them any ill, it's just gratifying in some pleasing way that these people acting as representatives of their own kind were finally getting their comeuppance.

Having personally been on the receiving end of  News International's attack dogs in the past, I can't even begin to feel sorry for them, and I feel that they should know that I am only writing this in the public interest, and that it would be far better if they told me their side of the story rather than leaving it to press to report it warts and all.

Likewise with the poor Bankers, lets have a bit more transparency from these troubled souls, after all the banks are only too keen to tell us it would be far better for us all if we let them know in advance of any difficulties we are having with our personal finances, so please don't wait for us to contact you, get in touch, talk to us, tell us why on such huge salaries you felt the need to evade income tax by stashing money away in offshore accounts. I mean I can almost understand why you didn't want to put it into a British bank at the moment, after all who trusts them?

Back to Fleet Street, or Wapping as it now is, Sun editor Trevor Kavanaugh is busy berating the local plod for "Stasi" like tactics, using his red topped rag to tell all that still had a stomach to listen, that his staff had been subject to a "Witch Hunt" and complained about their privacy being invaded at their homes, poor old soldiers! At least they will now also taste their 15 minutes of fame or infamy!

I am not sure what the collective noun is for a bunch of corrupt, seedy, greedy and unscrupulous Bankers and Red Top Hacks is?

But I am guessing they would be a brood, after all I can't remember a time when so many chickens were coming home to roost!


  1. "I am not sure what the collective noun is for a bunch of corrupt, seedy, greedy and unscrupulous Bankers and Red Top Hacks is?"

    I wanted to add politicians to this list but that include you, shall I say, Lib Dems, Tories and some New Labour?


  2. If you wish Gary, but as the Labour Party expelled me 5 years ago it might seem a touch dated

  3. Thats why I included new labour Tony, I think you were a bit to good for them!

    I am actually a labour supporter, I could't bare Blair, really liked Brown, and was totally shocked when there was a labour candidate for the last bash, the only time I have not voted.

    All the best


  4. Thanks Gary, I think you are among a growing number of disillusioned voters who are crying out for someone to either grab the Labour Party by its collar and make it relevant or give us something new to take on the vested interests of the Oxbridge Crew crew which currently runs the Country in the interests of the greedy.

  5. Sorry to interupt the 'love in' guys but you make me laugh Gary - you couldnt stand Tony Blair (who won 3 General Elections and led the introduction of such reforms as the NMW) but like Gordon Brown (who never won an election and bottled out of calling an election) but claim to be a Labour supporter!

    Always open to something new Tony but the last General Election in Northampton South showed what people wanted. There is always next time I suppose .....

  6. CWF, perhaps you could stand? Although it would mean coming out of the closet? As to people getting what they wanted, the only thing the last General Election taught us was the danger of Live TV debates in focusing too much attention on the main parties. I was happy to be one of a small number of Independents who held their deposit and in coming 4th to the big three, but I somehow think that Joe Public is now less happy with the result?

  7. You couldn't even gain ground on a pathetic sleaze ball opportunist like Varnsverry (now there's an individual who uses a party). So there's a long way to go for the Independents unless they show that there is absolutely no affiliation, (if even sympathetic) to the old cronies.

  8. That's a bit strong Anonymous! The big parties will always beat the Independents because yes they have the machine but also because that's what people want.

    The only criticism I have of Tony Clarke was the self dilusion shared on this website before the election that he could somehow challenge for a seat. Blaming that sunstantial loss on the TV debates is misguided to say the least. A far as I can recall there were no TV debates during the NBC elections which didnt go to well for the weird and wonderful Independents either.

    Me? I know my place so won't be standing. I have a business to run in the town, I'm no Alan Sugar but am doing my best in these tough economic times (no violins please)and am doing ok. Perhaps a lesson there for others?????

  9. I appreciate your views, even those I disagree with, but I still feel that the UK political scene is in meltdown, your both right people are not voting Independent, but if you look a lot closer they are not voting for anyone. General Election aside, which is treated like a big brother eviction, the general public have switched off and shipped out. So instead of telling me what I am doing wrong or defending the status quo, I would really appreciate a view as to how the future will pan out for political parties over say the 25 years?

  10. The election of a Police Commissioner is a good example of the smoke and mirrors game that the 'professionals' in politics play.Ken Clarke on Question Time urges more independent candidates and fewer old party hacks.What he fails to mention is the £5000 deposit and the cost of say 400,000 leaflets.So only the Alan Sugars, the retired Chief Constables or the main parties can manage to be candidates.
    The Labour Party once again have shown their willing acceptance of the status quo-it's as if they have already done a deal with the tories-we'll take a few Northern seats,you can have the rest, just as Labour MP's accept that whatever happens there will always be a bunch of them in safe urban or Northern seats.
    Cynical bastards-and another good reason for hoping that Alex Salmond and the SNP win,with only one tory left ,a handful of mealy mouthed Lib-Dems, the days of the Labour hegemony in Scotland are numbered too!
    Who says Independents can't win?

  11. You make me laugh Mr Dickie - who says Independents can't win? In Northampton? Well there is the electorate at the last General and Local Elections for starters .....

    Next 25 years Tony? The same as the last 25 years. Voting levels go up when people see Leaders they are stirred by (Thatcher, Blair) and go down when there is a void of that Leadership (Major, Brown, Cameron, Miliband) and for me that is what it is all about. Leadership.

    Interestingly I was always a John Dickie fan. I always found that people voted for him even if they didnt like him. What they did like was a man of strong and passionate views that was consistant in those views (sorry Tony that changed for you when you left Labour)and on a local level we are missing that. Another reason why people dont vote.

    Therefore more Leaders and less followers (yes you Mr Clegg), from whichever party and the voters will come.

    It is what history shows us.

  12. CWF if only local government was like it was 25 years ago! as for strong leaders you have a point, but strong leaders have to have their own minds and sometimes be prepared to tell their party they are wrong, in the present political climate no party member who stood up for what they believed in could ever go on to lead his or her party as they would be outcast way before as a rebel. BTW I didn't leave the Labour Party, they expelled me, for daring to have an opinion. History is being written all the time and I am not too sure that your "same again" theory will hold much water? Oh and Independent can win, I won in 2007 and in 2009 in case you had forgotten and only a changed boundary and an upsurge in the Labour vote denied me in 2011. 2013? who knows, I just wish I had more company!

  13. CWM
    So the cult of leadership is what history shows us? Explain then how a charismatic wartime leader like Churchill W . was slung out on his big fat Tory ear by the British people in favour of a mild mannered little man with a squeaky voice called Attlee?
    It wasn't leadership but ideas!
    All the 'leaders' you quoted both winners and losers came from the similar spectrum of political opportunism.The Blair/Brown axis merely modified the free market strategies of Thatcher/Major.
    As Bob Dylan famously sung "We liook for leaders but get gamblers instead!"
    For most of my life too many leaders have been waving the red flag to oppose the red flag(ironically it was Mao who said that).
    Yet I believe somewhere there is the faint heartbeat of a socialist society trying to emerge worldwide.
    As yet I'm not sure what form that will take, it may emerge from single issue battles that are raging everywhere,it may emerge from the inchoate and confused anti-capitalist movement that is appearing on the streets worldwide.Who knows the Greek people may emerge as the standard bearers of an anti-capitalist world movement(they could of course turn to a nationalist fascist ideology instead!) Or there could indeed be a growing co-operative socialist consciousness emerging in the use of new technologies where workers can speak directly to workers worldwide without the distorting prism of bastards like Murdoch.
    I remain resolutely optimistic (maybe pathetically is a better word) that people can collectively change history and that leaders are merely direction finders!

  14. After those compliments I gave you too Mr Dickie! Please dont misunderstand me. Even Leaders get thrown out for mild mannered weaker men (Churchill/Atlee, Thatcher/Major, Blair/Brown, Dickie/Davies) but look what we get .... people coming back to wanting strong leaders.

    I agree that people collectively change the world. They always need a Leader and when they have one, not only do they make a difference but on the original point, people follow them. Leads us to the setting up of political parties really doesn't it.

    Tony - I dont think the Labour Party chucked you out for daring to have an opinion. They chucked you out because you stood against them at an election.

    You did indeed win two elections and as you say, you didnt win again because people voted for someone else.

    I do appreciate you guys chewing the political fat with a mild mannered member of the public. Former Leader of NBC and former MP -just wish you both would give some credit that it was a political party, however unperfect it is, that you got you there.

  15. got me where exactly? Back to the 1980's? as my leaving the party I think you need to re read this http://tonyclarkeindependent.blogspot.com/2009/02/why.html

  16. That made me laugh Tony - don't really think you can post a link to your own version of events as an objective description of what happened.

    Got you where? Are you suggesting that you would have been elected to NBC all those years ago and then into Westminster without the Labour Party? I need some convincing that the swing you got against (was it Martin Morris?) would have been the same if you had stood as an Independent.

    I do think there is a wider point here. There will always be some exceptions but my experience and beef with this issue is from people who now trumpet the independent cause but forget that their voice is heard because political parties put them in the place to have a voice in the first place.


    1. Dear CWM(aka Labour Party loyalist?)
      Of course we were elected as Labour Party members with the rather clunky party organisation behind us.
      But that was then and this is now.The LP then was a party that had Clause4 and aserious commitment to a socialist alternative.
      Today it is a slightly left leaning centrist party.
      That's not to deny that there are some very fine people in that party fighting hard to restore a socialist vision to the carcass o0f opportunism!
      Parties exist because they have a collective vision and an ideology, it may flake a bit round the edges but there needs to be a common core.
      Tell me CWM what is the common core of 'New' Labour ideology at the moment?
      The best you can say is that they are not as bad as the others.
      Is that enough to give all your energy and commitment to? I did well over 30 years working in the party to achieve electoral success and on the way try and argue for radical solutions.
      I failed!
      read the comments of the current 'leadership'-nationally and locally-and.........

  17. John Dickie I love your honesty and levity. Good for you.

    I thought new Labour was dead? Seriously I think Ed Milliband is trying something else. Time will tell I suppose if thats what people want. I personally dont think he will succeed.

    I'm no loyalist to new Labour but I do know that under Clause 4 the Labour movement won very few if no elections and changed no lives. Clause 4 was removed, new Labour was elected and although being the first to admit its shortcomings, the NMW and massive reductions in child poverty for example followed.

    Not theoretical changes - changes that made a real difference to real people's lives.

    ps - I dont think you totally failed sir. Despite being alone and thought of as quite mad amongst my family I will speak up for a rapid transit system for the rest of my life. That and the Eden style pyraminds would have changed Northampton for good.

  18. An interesting discussion above.

    Something often heard nowadays is the lament: "I didn't leave the Labour Party, the Labour Party left me".

    So what do you gentlemen think of Mr George Galloway's recent electoral triumph in Bradford? Is this a way forward?

  19. George had a terrific victory in Bradford, because he did what he does best, communicate with people on the ground. This is possible ina by election but as we saw in 2010 in a general election the media dominance in coverage for the big three parties dilutes ant independent vote. I of course wish it were not so and or changes but will the press and tv listen?




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