BBC News:MPs have backed government plans to hold a UK-wide referendum on changing the voting system next year. Voters would be asked if they wanted to keep "first past the post" or switch to the "alternative vote", which ranks candidates in order of preference.
With all the problems in this country, with all the terrible things going on, our Government and MPs choose to focus on this. Disgraceful. They really are on a different planet.
ConservativeHome is making sure people are aware of David Cameron's words in his latest interview in the Daily Express:
"I was in the Treasury when we were in the Exchange Rate mechanism, and I said to myself: “Never again should we give up control of our domestic interest rates.” If I am Prime Minister and for as long as I would be Prime Minister, I would never take Britain into the euro, full stop, end of story. We should never have got ourselves into the financial mess that we are in but at least we have the flexibility of our own currency and our own interest rates."
How nice. Too bad he's not willing to make similar declarations to protect any other areas of Britain's national interest and sovereignty.
For once, this won't be about politicians (we're all familiar with their misdeeds), but Harry Redknapp, former Portsmouth manager, now at Tottenham. For a long time, he's been informing us how much he regrets Portsmouth's now fragile state, on the brink of financial ruin and relegation.
But amidst all these regrets, he's also been telling us how he thinks Portsmouth have good enough players to get them out of it all.
This will be players like Defoe, Crouch, Kranjcar, and more recently, Kaboul and Begovic, will it? Seems to me like all their "good players" are going his way.
We all Harry, good manager and a good bloke. But for someone who keeps telling us how much he feels for Pompey and how much he loves the club, he seems more than happy to rape them of all the assets that might, just might, save them.
You would disagree with Cameron perhaps if this was an isolated incident, if this was two particularly evil little boys doing unspeakable things, but it was as regular as a solar eclipse. But over the last few months we've seen a multitude of stories like this about social services getting it wrong and children dying because of either neglect or parental abuse; of children and teenagers going out and seriously hurting or killing fellow human beings.
And no matter how angry we may be with the boys who did this, we must remember that, considering their "toxic" upbringing, they didn't stand a chance. Horrifically, they probably don't know any better. And from the sounds of it, neither did the parents:
The boys' mother, who has seven sons including the two defendants, described to a consultant psychiatrist being subjected to serious violence by their father.
Which surely shows that this a serious long-term problem, as most things seem to be in Britain these days.
You want to see politicking? Take Liam Bryne's response to the speech:
What Mr Cameron appears to be trying to do is seizing on one absolutely horrific crime and almost tarring the people of Doncaster, if not the people of Britain, with the same kind of standards and I think that people will recoil from that."
To me, that is dismissing any valid point David Cameron is making simply because he's a Conservative. And don't get me wrong - this is a long term problem, going back decades, and the Conservatives are probably just as much to blame as Labour or anyone else.
Frankly, we have to accept that some people shouldn't have children. What's the way forward? And is this all a result of the "broken society"? Or are some people innately going to be poor parents? And what do we do about it? I want your views.
Billy Bragg continues to lose grip on reality, now refusing to pay his income tax as a protest:
"I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer .. Alistair Darling, to inform him that I am no longer prepared to fund the excessive bonuses of RBS investment bankers."
Sorry Bragg, the system doesn't work like that. I'm fairly sure a lot of people are unhappy at there being money being poured into a vast, inefficient and wasteful welfare state, but not being pretentious, self-righteous and rich, they can't really afford to withhold their tax in protest.
"A spokesman for the Inland Revenue said: "I've actually got a copy of Talking With the Taxman About Poetry. Maybe he should do a new album called Talking With the Taxman About Spending 18 Months in Jail for Being a Marxist Twat."
A businessman jailed for seriously injuring an intruder thanked the “whole country" today after he was released from jail after having his sentence cut. Munir Hussain, 53, of High Wycombe, was convicted of attacking an armed burglar with a cricket bat, but he was released early after a ruling by the Court of Appeal this morning.
... is linked to this one about low confidence in the ability of the police in Scotland? It's not a direct link, but I would gladly make a bet that you'd find a similar verdict across large areas of England and Wales too. There's a lot of frustration about. And I don't think verbiage like this from the Conservatives is going to sort it out:
Members of the public who step in to stop crimes would be given greater legal protection under Tory proposals. "Have a go heroes" would not be arrested or prosecuted as long as they acted reasonably, said Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling.
That word, "reasonably", surely leaves it open to the same breadth of interpretation that exists with the law as it stands?
No one wants a vigilante nation, but the problem that the Conservatives and everyone else seems to be missing is that the police aren't doing their jobs properly, the judicial system isn't doing its job properly, and the whole system stinks. We could start by sorting out the way modern policing works at the most basic level. Get them out of cars and onto the streets, and get them out of those ridiculous green jackets and into something a bit more traditional and a bit more imposing.
History was made this morning by two empty benches in a room at the high court on the Strand in London as the first criminal trial to be held without a jury in England or Wales in over 400 years opened with Mr Justice Treacy acting as both judge and jury.
I'm more than aware that, as the article reminds us, "[t]rials without juries have been held in Northern Ireland since 1972" and "some Scottish trials are heard before a sheriff", and that trial by jury has been eroded over the last few decades. However, can anyone deny that this is no less than an epoch in modern British history?
And the process of destroying our constitution and lifting the safeguards to our liberties that went with it, that started so long ago now, will continue:
Gordon Brown today gambled on drawing up the most radical election manifesto for years in his bid to beat David Cameron.
... It is likely to mean voting reform and an elected House of Lords being given high billing in the manifesto for a Polling Day on May 6. The decision follows a marathon three-hour political Cabinet discussion at No 10 this morning.
If you're Labour, and you're in trouble, you resort to attacking the constitution. It's just the done thing. Despite the many, many more important things going on around you, you choose to focus on tediously bringing about unnecessary and possibly dangerous reforms. Just so that you appear to have a vision, that you appear to have anything more than a faintest idea of what you're doing.
One just hopes people are intelligent enough to see past it, and that the Conservatives are intelligent enough to offer something just a bit more substantial.