Monthly Archives: November 2006

The Tory Attitude Towards Matters of Ethnic Interest

As any of you who have passed a pleasurable 30 seconds by looking at Morag’s profile will have noticed – Morag’s toes are a lovely shade of brown. Ipso facto so are Morag’s legs, arms and other bits and pieces. Happy with it, wouldn’t have it any other way etcetera; however every now and then you hit a rough patch and you throw your arms up in despair. This week is one of them.

On one hand you have Bob Spink on the other Trevor Philips and I don’t know which is worse. One appears to have the diplomatic skills of an elephant in Liberty’s china department. The other is like a blind man with a club trying to swat a fly.

One of the biggest bones of contention that my Lovely Lefty friends have with me now is ‘How can a self-respecting black person call themselves a Conservative’. *Please be assured that every single person who has said that to me is as white as Jan Leeming. And almost all of my friends who are black (with the exception of 2), are Conservatives.

Well firstly I am a self-respecting person – not a self-respecting Black Person. Secondly, having lived in this country for 14 years now I have not observed behavior from the average Conservative that is particularly more ‘unpleasantly biased on racial matters’ than any other group of people. However it is obvious there is a problem with many people’s perception about ‘The Tory Attitude Towards Matters of Ethnic Interest’. And we’ve got to fix it and soon.

People like Bob Spink don’t make our job any easier. Shouting the odds about ‘political correctness gone mad’ means nothing and just makes you look foolish. Yes Political Correctness has gone mad but Basic Diplomacy 101 hasn’t. If you are a politician you are not a ‘regular person’ – you lose that luxury once you ask people to put a check (not cheque) next to your name.

You lose the right to say whatever you feel like, whenever you feel – tough – it would be nice if it weren’t that way but it is. That means no off-the-cuff snide remarks, no silly emails, no slightly dodgy jokes at public functions. Being a public figure is a job (trust me) – and part of it entails realizing that at any given moment whatever you say or do may be held up to account.

So when someone asks you a question like “Are you saying that a lot more criminals are black than white – or that there are more black people in jail
than white because they are stopped more often?” the correct response is NOT “The former and that’s what people don’t seem to like.”

It is “The former and that is one of the issues we are now hoping to examine/address/do some serious work on”.

If Mr.Spink or anyone else would like to come for lessons in how not to cause offense and exacerbate one of the biggest problems we are facing in the public’s perception of us as a party, please feel free to raise your hand and Miss Morag will be right over.

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Cocaine, Alcohol and our kids – What’s a party to do?

The European Monitoring Centre on Drugs and Drugs Addiction is telling us that Britain is the cocaine capital of Europe. Adults in England and Wales have tripled their use over the past decade. But more worryingly use among 15-24 year olds has quadrupled over the past four years!

Last week we were told that drinking amongst 11-15 year olds has doubled in a decade and that 1/3 of 15-18 year olds regularly set out to ‘get wasted’. The incidence of cirrhosis of the liver, something commonly seen in the older generation (usually men) is now being seen in youngsters and often it’s the females. Young girls are now regularly drinking amounts that would put their fathers under the table.

Is this our business? Hmmmmmm well we can say no it’s not. That you can only be expected to take care of your own children. Keep your own house in order. “What should we do – we can’t legislate for this sort of thing”. I am not a legal expert but I agree and would suspect that we can’t legislate our way into a better way. I would think that there are enough laws – which quite obviously aren’t worth the parchment they’re scrawled on – that aren’t working so maybe it’s time to change tactics.

Why are we using more cocaine than other countries? Why are our youth drinking more than others and more than before? We can no longer ignore these issues because as trite as it sounds – our youth are our future. And don’t be foolhardy enough to think “not our kids they know better/ have more self-control / are too smart to get caught up in any kind of downward spiral” tut-tut, read the discipline logs at some of the best schools in the country and you’ll see where the holes are in your theories.

So as a party what do we do? Luckily there are those who seem to understand the issues facing our youth and are trying to do something about it. If you haven’t yet done so then take a look at the work of Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones down in Devon. Or wade through the thoughts (and ignore the ones that are difficult to swallow) of Camila Batmanghelidjh of KidsCo, who rumour has it is now consulting with Tory Powers That Be on issues involving youth. Even Miss Mindbender herself is willing/planning to come out of the shadows to work on this cause.

Standing up in Parliament banging our collective breasts is all well and good but for the good of the party and the good of the country we also need to start addressing some of these issues in a more-than-cursory fashion. If we don’t we will end up a nation without the collective nous to run ourselves and trust me the addle-brained will want a nanny-state to take care of them. If you want a solid Conservative future we’ve got to start sorting out our young voters-to-be sooner or there will be no later.

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THE REAL DEAL ON PARENTING CLASSES –From One Who Teaches

Several years ago in the guise of what-Morag- sometimes – does-in-the-real-world she was approached by her son’s school to come in and give a few ‘informal chats’ to the parents. These chats were covering subjects from “How to Handle Bullying”, to “How to Prevent Yourself From Hanging Your Children Upside Down When They Drive You Up The Wall and You’ve Run Out of the Merlot”.

The school in question was in one of the most salubrious postcodes in the country with not an ASBO holder in sight. The parents attending were coming from high-powered jobs in the City and Chancery Lane, the BBC and that well-known North London consortium Lollygagging & Lunching. Everyone there was there of their own volition. No one had been forced, there were no prizes, no reward points. There were authors, lawyers, consultants, artists, musicians – all with only one thing in common – they have had brought children into this mad society that we live in. And no it was not a room full of Lefties, in fact very far from it.

One of the things that some of us Conservatives understand or believe is that yes it is about maintaining the status quo, however (and this is a huge however), we are currently so off course that the status quo as we know and love it is nowhere in sight. And until we resurrect it – there isn’t much to conserve.

In the year dot of course people didn’t ‘need’ parenting classes. You were part of a community. Your family was within easy reach if you were working or middle class. You had the same nanny that mummy had if you weren’t. You also attended church. There was WI. Men didn’t have much to do with the rearing of children. Altogether it was a different landscape. Now every single one of those things has changed and parents need help. Their support system has been removed, nothing has been put in its place and more importantly our society is now such that nothing short of spending 24/7 with our children will do – and of course we can’t.

We are all paying for it. This lack of direction of parents. There is not an honest parent out there of any socio-economic background who can hold there hand up and say that (unless their child is in boarding school) at the very least once a week a moment doesn’t go by when they feel “What the hell is the best way to handle this?” If you say you never feel the need for help then you are probably lying.

If you are reading this blog you’ll most likely be in a better position than the parents that this new initiative is aimed at. At the risk of sounding snobby you will most likely be better educated, better connected and have a better idea as to how to deal with issues that arise with your children.

Of course as Conservatives we will automatically say it is none of the government’s business. But look at it this way – we are paying the odds in every way for people not knowing how to raise their children. We can either sit back on our collective ass and let the rot continue OR we can try to do something about it.

Yes Parenting Classes is not the perfect solution, but you know what, until society improves every little bit helps. I watched a programme the other night that said that every £1. spent on counseling young people about alcohol misuse saves the NHS £5. down the road. This is the same idea – let’s spend the £4m now and see if it saves us spending £20m in the future on extra prison places, drug rehab, housing for pregnant teenagers etc.etc.etc….. One of the biggest growth sectors in the helping professions in Yankland nowadays is ‘Parent-Coaching’, maybe this is one of the good ideas we could take from across the pond……..at least until we convince people to start getting married again, going to church and living around the corner from their parents………………

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Prostitution/Politics/Cash for Peerages- the £2,206. solution

I consider myself one of life’s problemsolvers. Bring me a problem and I’m like a Rubik’s cube master (no I do not want to be a Rubik’s cube mistress/person keep all that PC rubbish to yourself – I’m a Rubik’s cube master, anyhow…) clickety-click, clickety-clack and I’ve solved it, from the most complex to the mundane.

However I’m at a bit of a loss about this whole cash-for-peerages thing. We can all climb up as high on our pedestals as we like but let’s face it they’ve always been for sale in one way or another. It’s yet another one of the ways that politics can (when practiced by the ethically-challenged) remind us of prostitution.

Morag used to be acquainted with a few topnotch ladies-of-the-afternoon who plied their trade in Manhattan, Mayfair and the South of France. These young (in the main) ladies (well they knew there way around cutlery and how to get in and out of a limousine with showing anything inappropriate; oh and how to dress for cocktails at Westminster – one of their busiest ports-of-call). They were always quick to explain that they weren’t prostitutes, as they didn’t charge for their services they only accepted cabfare. Just so that you know – the fare for this sort of ride is about $1,000 from one end of Manhattan to the other and from Mayfair to Chelsea about £500.

Cash for peerages………you give me a ‘loan’ and I say thank-you-very-much. I read a book; I go for a walk, I-come -back-and-give-you-a-peerage. Now why would you think those two things were necessarily connected? It’s kind of like you call me up, I come over and have sex with you, you give me cabfare that could take me to John O’Groats and back – are you paying me for sex – of COURSE NOT! Why would anyone think that?

A landlord in Kodikulam, Southern India has come up with the perfect solution to some issues he was having with the local council. He, a gentleman of the higher caste, has bought the president of the council for £2,206. She, a Mrs. Balamani Veeman, is a lady of the lower-caste. Her purchaser, who shall remain nameless, decided it was easier to just buy her, then that way she has to do exactly as she’s told. Pass all the laws that he likes, approve all the deals that he wants – actually quite sensible when you think about it.

Now why don’t we have something like that here………….or maybe we do?

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Was that a yawn Mr.Brown..or are you just arrogant? : The Queen’s Speech

Morag is a huge fan of pomp and circumstance. She usually dresses for the occasion and in extremely sad instances has even been photographed in front of the telly pretending to participate. This happens at royal weddings, state funerals and state ceremonies involving foreign dignitaries, especially the Commonwealth countries, those people are so colourful (Morag is allowed to say that sort of thing;) . Of course today found her in full evening regalia with a plastic pearl tiara waiting for The Queen to dispense her yearly wisdom.

Look we all know that The Queen’s Speech of late is pretty much a rehash of whatever old cobblers the government wants to pretend to be interested in. It’s not her fault, as a friend of mine said today she’s ‘a dutiful monarch’ – it’s her duty to deliver and deliver she does. We also know that whatever it says in the speech it’s not going to make a huge difference in the scheme of anything. However that still doesn’t mean we shouldn’t make the proper effort in matters of dress, decorum and deference. *Note to Labour Mps who think it’s ‘cool’ to lurk about acting with the same social nous as those ASBO holders they have so much to say about. Anti-social is anti-social no matter if your socks come from M&S rather than ASDA. Besides you should be careful, all that staying behind shuffling about might end you up doing a Lord Kinnock and then how silly will you feel………..

I know it seems like I am always picking on Gordon Brown, but really I am not. It’s just that he seems to set himself right in Morag’s sights for one reason or another and yawning during The Queen’s Speech is just as good a reason for a tut-tut as any other. There are a group of ladies out there who swear it’s his bedroom eyes that sometimes close while he is making a speech and more often close whilst others whose points of view don’t particularly interest him are trying to make theirs.

Let’s call a spade a spade here. When I espied him yawning today I don’t think he was tired, I don’t think he was bored – I think the man is arrogant. I think he felt that the ‘This Government’ isn’t worth the parchment it’s scrawled on. Tony is yesterday’s news, whatever it is that Tony thinks is a priority isn’t. I’m The Daddy now….you could almost see him checking his watch – probably wondering if he would make it back in time for Loose Women to check up on his constituency.

Mr.Brown might think he’s The Daddy now but I for one plan on keeping a verrrrrrrrrry close eye on how he distances himself from some of the mess he’s been party to landing us in. And be aware Mr.Brown that both of mine are wide open. And when you least expect it you and I are going to have the ‘financial education of the populace scheme’ conversation…………… There’s an old calypso song “Enjoy yourself, it’s later than you think….those years go by as quickly as a wink…….enjoy yourself” …………see you soon sweetheart……

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It’s NONE OF YOUR DAMN BUSINESS!!!! Keeping your medical records private

Where do we even begin on this one? 250,000 smart cards issued to Mr. All-and-Sundry and Mrs. God-only-knows-who so they can find out what I’ve been treated for, which conditions I suffer from, how old I am and worst of all how much I weigh? I think not………….

Have these people also considered the fact that measures such as this will make a lot of people think twice about receiving treatment for fear of being found out. We already spend millions on people who have postponed seeking treatment until their conditions are so serious that correcting them becomes a more expensive and complicated proposition. What happens when instead of going too late they opt to not go at all? It will cost us and it will cost us big time.

Of all the STUPID ideas that have been mooted re the NHS, this one might win the prize. So get out your pens and papers darlings and repeat after me:
The Secretary of State for Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall Terrace
London SW1A 2NS
(And send the same letter to your GP)
Dear Sir/ Madam
I require you not to begin processing my sensitive personal data to the proposed NHS Summary Care Record on the Spine. It is likely to cause me substantial unwarranted distress because:
1. No ‘sealed envelopes’ yet exist to limit access
2. No online patient system yet exists to correct errors
3. Data uploaded may include genetic, psychological or sexual information
4. It is intended to make my data available to social workers, researchers and commercial firms
5. My consent will not be asked before beginning processing
6. Adequate criminal penalties against abuse do not yet exist
7. Police and other agencies can gain access to a potentially unlimited range of information about me. There is abundant evidence that computer databases – including police, vehicle licensing and banking computers – are routinely penetrated by private investigators on behalf of clients, including media organisations
8. 250,000 smart cards have been issued granting access to the Spine
9. The department threatens to withhold appropriate medical care to objectors
10. Doctors say there is no necessity to design the Spine in this way
For these reasons, among others, I strongly fear that I am in danger of having false or damaging health information fall into the wrong hands. My privacy is being unnecessarily violated.
Yours faithfully,
Ms. Morag Mindbender

If these people thing we’re going to sit still for this one they really do have another thing coming!

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We Don’t Need to Hug Them: The ASBO Culture

Don’t bother going out and hugging a hoodie because things have moved on – Princes William and Harry wear hoodies. Part of the problem is people who are out of touch with current culture are trying to solve problems they have no understanding of.

If you want to learn more about the ASBO-culture take a day off from work and watch a morning of daytime telly. You’ll see them in all their glory parading across our screens. “My Child Won’t Listen To Me and I Don’t Know What to Do” – will be a story about a 32-year-old woman with a 16-year-old daughter who has 2 children by two different fathers. The mother will be tearing her hair extensions out over what to do while explaining that she did the best she could. Yes she used to be on the drink but she hasn’t had a drink in 6 hours now but yet Tiffany still is leaving her with little Shahbootie and Kylie while she goes out clubbing. “My Son Is A Tearaway and My New Boyfriend Says I Have to Choose” will be about a 14 year old with an ASBO, with a drink problem, a substance abuse problem of one sort or another and a mother who spends her money ‘from the Social’ on supporting them.

So what happens when the likes of you and I see these stories? Well it depends on what kind of mood we’re in that day. We might laugh. We might be horrified. We will definitely tut-tut and say “Thank Heavens we’re not like Those People”. And that used to work. Say what you want about the class system at least it protected you from people you didn’t want to be around. If you were working class and you didn’t like toffs, no worries, you wouldn’t come across one. If you were Lord and Lady Flibberty-Gibbett no worries your path would not be crossed by people who were ‘not our sort’. But nowadays in this supposed meritocracy that we live in Tim Whiffington-Smythe can be seen outside Tesco selling The Big Issue and Kevin is just as likely to be seen at Ascot on a corporate away day.

I’m not going to bore you with “when I was a child we made do with a piece of string and a rock as toys” because that’s not true – I made do with a book. I’m not going to tell you that “we didn’t sit around in front of the telly all day like you lot” because I grew up in a country that only had television two hours a day. Initially there were only about 20 televisions in the entire country and my family had one but there is only so much trouble “Tom Jones” and “Bonanza” was going to get you into. And nope I didn’t walk 15 miles to school (frankly didn’t have to walk to school at all). But what I did have to do was have respect. Respect for myself, my family, my school, the society I lived in – you name it and I was taught to have respect for it, and having respect was not optional.

When was the last time you saw a young person getting up to give someone a seat on the bus? Or saw someone step aside and let a stranger through. Count how many times you’ve seen dozens of people walk by and watch a young mother haul a buggy up a flight of stairs on her own. Or an older person struggling with a heavy load. Never mind pregnant women on an overcrowded train. Exactly. How many fingers do you have left over? 8 or 9?

But let’s be totally honest with ourselves – and here is part of the key to this whole ASBO story. When was the last time you saw an adult do any of the above things? Exactly. These young people that we are having these difficulties with are learning this behaviour somewhere? We can blame it on the media, we can blame on a lot of things but let’s face it the rot starts at home.

As a society we used to toe the line because we didn’t wish to bring shame upon ourselves or anyone else who knew or was connected with us. Then we became wardens of the nanny state, left religion and social standards behind – everything was “cool” and now we’re sweeping up the detritus.

So now we should go out and ‘Hug a Hoodie’ – no, I think not. First we need to understand the problem. My son goes to a £12,000 a year school which is necessary because I lock my car door when I drive by the local school and figured if I’m afraid to drive by there why would I send my most prized posession through those portals. A few weeks ago his very swell school had mufti day. These boys are all academic over-achievers with everything to look forward to and I’ve never seen so many hoodies in one place since the last time I watched The Bill.

It’s not about us hugging a hoodie it’s about showing the shiftless, aimless, lacking-in-respect-for-all amongst us how to hug themselves. Now all we need to do is figure out (as a society not as a government) how to go about doing that. Let’s all wish ourselves luck – we’re sure going to need it.

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