Saturday, October 01, 2005

Cooing, heckling and the blue-rinse brigade

The past week has been rather eventful. There have been many stories in the news, almost all worthy of comment here. However, one cannot talk about everything, so I have to be selective. Below are a few events that gave me pause for thought.

Walter Wolgang, an 82 year old leftie, was thrown out of a meeting at the Labour Party Conference in Brighton. His crime was that he had dared to heckle the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, who was making some mealy-mouthed comment about the British Army being in Iraq to restore democracy. Wolfgang was manhandled out of the hall by two heavies, and then, when he tried to get back in, he was prevented from doing so by the Police who applied anti-terror legislation to achieve that effect.
My comment: this event has confirmed my suspicions about the potential for abuse of anti-terror legislation, and we should resist any attempt by the Government to extend the existing laws.

A hospital has advised its visitors not to coo at, or touch, any babies in the vicinity, on the basis that this infringes their human rights.
My comment: I agree with the ban on touching babies. I think it is rude to touch someone's baby without being invited to do so. As to the cooing, that may be taking things too far. Speaking about babies, though, I could do with a ban on them touching strangers in public. How many times have I been on a train and had a baby wipe its grubby paws all over my clothes, to the amusement of its mother? The worst part is that everybody expects you to grin and bear it. Note to mothers: that aint cute, get your baby to stop it!

The electoral college of the Conservative Party has rejected proposals to amend the rules regarding the Party leadership election. This means that the old rules remain in place, and that all Party members still have a vote in choosing the next leader.
My comment: This is a good thing, because, if the proposals had been voted through, the Party membership would have been disenfranchised. The leader would have been chosen by the MPs only. Given that the Party has very little Parliamentary representation in the North of England, and only one or two seats in Scotland, that would have meant that those constituencies would have had no say in choosing the leader. Yet it is precisely from such areas that we need to hear. The Constituency chairmen and volunteers in those places are much better informed about what the Conservatives need to do to reconnect with the electorate. This is especially the case in marginal seats. Far from producing an unsuitable leader, we can trust the membership this time around to listen to all the candidates and make a decision for the good of the country. More about this in a coming blog.
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