0 thoughts on “Total Politics: vote for your top 10 blogs

  1. If there’s a gong for ‘duplicity’, it’s as good as won.
    Say one thing pre-election and another, once you’ve obtained power.

    A gong for ‘bad taste’ must be yours too for your stance on assessing incapacity.

    You must be hot favourite for the award of ‘soundbite when it suits me’ for your interpretation of the ‘new politics’ and how you can flex this to apply to explaining away your positive spin on the ‘coalition’, then chastising the mini Camden council election the day after- and Haringey council the month after that too.

    How about a gong for most ‘self-satisfied blog’? Congratulating yourself on the Orange award when everyone else is worried sick about the budget?

    Should be a clean sweep!

  2. A particular favourite was when she claimed to have single handedly saved the Whittington Hospital!!!

    And as for the duplicity- just check through the archive on these blogs when you get a minute. The venom directed to the Tories pre-the election, and the propping up of the SAME policies following it is startling!

    So, yes Adam & Julie, I would ‘second’ your nominations!

  3. Oh Nick you’re soooo last millennium! Do try to be more flexible and creative in your thinking, like Lynne!
    It doesn’t matter what she said back then, before the election thingy!
    The coalition is the new politics where everything the leaders say is sensible and necessary and we all have to suffer a bit!
    So stop your whining!
    How about making a positive contribution for a change and coming up with some ways to save money!
    Surely there must be an old people’s home near you that could be shut, or a school that could have bigger classes, or a library that could be run by volunteers?
    Come on, stop moaning and get your thinking cap on, stop being so negative! What are you, some kind of communist?
    Watch out or you will come under suspicion for being anti-government and you know what that means!

  4. I am an avid reader of blogs and read as many as I can in one day. I do choose a representative sample from all parties. I am interested in the different perspectives and want to learn what is going on in people’s lives and minds. You do provide insight into your world Lynne and I enjoy reading what you are doing, however now you are a Minster I would really love to know what is going on with regard to the Equality Act and what you will be doing not just for Haringey but the rest of the country.

  5. Dear Mr Bubblebath,

    I think it’s a bit too strong to say that the “Lib Dems are helping to sow the seeds of fascism.” That said, I think there are sinister moves that we should be wary of.

    Yesterday it was being said by Tory members of the Government that removing 50 MPs from the House of Commons would make an annual saving of £12 million. The reduction in the number of MPs is no doubt considered by them as a desirable element of the electoral reforms demanded by the LibDems. Now, it might be that there are good reasons for reducing the number of MPs at Westminster, but if this is thought to be the case then let’s hear the arguments for and against. The fact that it would save £12 million is simply a smokescreen. Compare this with the estimated £2 billion each year considered worthwhile for introducing “democracy” to Iraq! But at a time when the public is still angry at the MPs expenses and now that drastic cuts are being imposed, then £12 million sounds like a lot of money. But if this is nothing more than an attack on the structure of our democracy then it is nothing more than a very cheap and dangerous trick.

  6. Is there an amnesia award? Here’s something Lynne must have conveniently forgotten she wrote in April this year just before changing sides and agreeing to work for Theresa May and the Tories:

    “The problem with what Grayling said – apart from the substance itself – is that it reveals (just as Cameron’s stuttering performance when being interviewed on gay issues demonstrated) that the Tory Party in its heart still doesn’t believe in equality.

    You hear it in the Chamber. During the Equality Bill, I was speaking about the need for protection under the law for those with gender identity issues. From the Tory backbenches I could hear the cries of ‘filthy perverts’.”

  7. Too right Helen!
    Here’s an excerpt from her blog in April 2010

    “And yet – the Tories seem to think that acting like children who have had a toy taken away by stamping their feet in a mammoth tantrum against the young upstart (Clegg) – will help them. All they really do is demonstrate ever more clearly that they are yesterday’s political party and not fit to govern.”

    Two weeks and a cabinet post later………!

    We could split the difference and call it the ‘Never trust a politician award’ ?

  8. But take this one from March 1st for the Amnesia award!!

    “Only on Sunday David, trust me, Cameron was telling his Party conference that it was his patriotic duty to save the country from a Labour Government and that the new Tory slogan was ‘Vote for Change’.
    Two days later – his ‘patriotism’ has been blown out of the water as it clearly doesn’t extend very far – so long as the Tory coffers are filling. And as for ‘change’ – protecting Tory friends in the City or elsewhere has long been stock in trade for the Tories.
    I am just astonished that this has been left to run for so long and that Cameron protected Ashcroft for so long. What on earth does that say about Cameron and his honesty? Quite a lot I think.”

    How does that song go? “What a difference a day makes- twenty four little hours……”- for me though it’s ‘Won’t get fooled again’ !

  9. Dear Blogger of the Millennium Awards judge

    May I put forward an excellent nomination for this prestigious award?


    I am a local MP and have lived in the consti, constit, – sorry you know- area – for all of my life on the Highgate Council (locally known as HighCon) estate. I went to school there initially to a local primary that I talk about a lot and then a private school that I don’t mention at all.

    When I took my diploma from Oxford (Poly) in communication (as you can see I am an expert at this) I decided to enter the world of marketing. Me.

    And I have been very good at it.

    Until around about now.

    My blog is very popular and engenders much entertaining debate none of which come from my own contributions but from a wide readership that looks pretty sassy to me.

    But you don’t want to read that bit.

    If you look at the top right hand bit of my blog you will see a bit called “What they say about me”. And they all say what a truly wonderful human I am. Honestly I think the Noble Peace prize is next on the list.

    Anyway I think I have said enough to help you make up your mind on this and if I go on there is a chance I will directly contradict something I said in an earlier paragraph.

    I imagine this award will be made in the summer. Can you send it to the Spa Bath Hotel in Bermuda do you think? I am flying out there in a few weeks for a six week holiday on my own private jet that I have I think most wittily named Ryness Heir.

    Now come on that must be worth an award?

  10. Dear Lynne Featherstone,

    As someone who was sure I was a left of centre LibDem until your dreadful right of something coalition was formed, I will certainly NOT be voting for you as a blogger or an MP for that matter unless you change.

    If you specifically are looking for accolades then try doing your job properly – broad portfolio that it is.

    One area to look at is the DWP and their very general benefit ‘scroungers’ rhetoric. They’ve launched an attack on the disabled of this country and not a peep from you. Rather than confront your new chums about this attack on the quality of life for the disabled, you simply deflect by having a pop at the council – suggesting what they must do with their much reduced budget (in respect of voluntary organisations who are being left to pick up the pieces of a marginalised and attacked disabled population).

    The following is a document from Macmillan (the cancer charity who operate throughout Haringey) and is entitled ‘FAILED BY THE SYSTEM – Why the Employment and Support Allowance isn’t working for people living with cancer’:

    Click to access FailedByTheSystemReport.pdf

    What awful reading yet you support this attack on the sick and disabled simply because you haven’t spoken out. Even the man who designed the tests has now said it’s obvious that that the tests need to be changed as they’re flawed.

    So, try representing those that voted for you and those discriminated against as your job suggests and the accolades will come flying your way.

    Best regards

  11. Having blogged for seven years + now – and tried to be accessible in terms of what I do as a local MP – I think your comments are harsh. In terms of the post itself – someone asked if I would publicise the poll for favourite blogs that Iain Dale is running.

  12. @ Lynne Featherstone

    Harsh? How harsh do you think it is for the terminally ill and disabled to be caused much stress by not only your Government’s cruel rhetoric but the threat that they may be one of the many mistakes when being re-assessed? Do you know that they won’t just be cut roughly £30 a week, but they’ll also have to queue up for jobs even though they’re ill and potentially give-up their housing.

    Do you actually realise what this does to people and their quality of life – I’m talking about the fear that many are now suffering (I can send you links to cancer charities and MS charities)?

    You should do, because you’re part of this ‘coalition’ lnych mob. All your claims of individual purity are outweighed by your collective cruelty in government.

  13. @ Lynne Featherstone

    I also ask “Harsh”? You have chosen to blog for over 7 years and people who are no, or will in the future, suffer at the hands of this coalition government are expressing their views. What are we supposed to do? Bow down at your feet and say “thank you”? I for one am angry and so it appears are others.

    This coalition government is hell bent on attacking sick and disabled people and dressing it up by saying “we are looking after the most vulnerable”. NO YOU [coalition government] ARE NOT! Yes, as said previously, Gordon Brown introduced ESA but it DOES NOT WORK and it has been PROVEN NOT TO WORK!

    From my point of view, I did not vote for a Tory/Lib Dem Coalition. This is NOT what I wanted. I did not want Nick Clegg as a “nodding head dog” for David Cameron nor Danny Alexander as an equally “nodding head dog” for George Osbourne. I wanted a fair government who looked and cared about people and this is NOT what we are getting.

    Is the use of “harsh” not just a way of you saying “you are right guys, this coalition stinks. I do not agree with it but hey, I am in a position of power now and I love it”!! i.e. another “nodding dog” and as Harriet Harman so rightly said about Vince Cable a “poodle”!!!!

  14. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t being harsh to you Lynne so I thought I would spend 10 minutes having a quick look through your back catalogue on this blog.

    Let’s ignore for a moment how easy it was for you in the days when the average numer of comments received was…well it was nil wasn’t it?

    Instead let’s ask people if they care to have at look at some of your “views”. I won’t quote from them to save your cringing embarassment but take 2 March 2010 on bankers and Cameron. Take your heart felt pleas on 20 February 2010 about the loss of jobs in Corus and what that meant in personal terms for the people losing their livelihoods with no prospect of anything replacing it. Of course as I have learnt from reading all your later blogs you could not resist making some crass party political points at the same time.

    These are just two examples. There are lots more.

    You are quite simply the most consumate self-publicist I have ever come across. You pedal your local connections remorselessly in a manner that now has you resembling a caricature. You love to drop in plenty of working class credibility – you know the whole Auntie with the curtain shop in Wood Green thing- but you may well be one of the wealthiest people in the cabinet, for all I know in our constituency. I wouldn’t normally berate anyone for having money but you work so hard at pretending that you are in touch with real people- again you know the I never thought someone like me could get into politics, we were sent out to work when we were three thing- that I just can’t listen to you waffle on about overspending and so on.

    Lynne I don’t have a clue what you stand for. I just know that you have got a junior cabinet post, that it is very exciting for you personally and that if you were ever real (and you may have been I have to accept that) you have fallen off the horse.

    I repeat what I said some time ago but I will add a bit.

    You should hang your head in shame about what you have become a part of. But you won’t. Maybe though in the fullness of time when you witness the real misery and poverty you are subscribing to you might.

    Yours in some degree of sorrow.

  15. Lynne, people are being “harsh” because it reflects their anger at your unbelievable lack of principles.
    Saying one thing in opposition and then saying the opposite when you get into power – what could be more undemocratic, enfeebling, and cynical than that?
    You are doing your bit to undermine democracy by your two-faced lying and hypocrisy.
    That is why I say the Lib Dems are helping to sow the seeds of fascism. Because by making people cynical about politicians, those who argue that democracy is no longer relevant get a leg-up.
    Get shot of it now, Lynne, before it’s too late. Resign the whip and speak up for what you believe in.

  16. @ Mr Bubblebath

    Hear, hear – well said !!!

    And, whilst you are at it Lynne, think long and hard about advising your colleagues to resign the whip also and for the Lib Dems to form a backbone and ALL start speaking up for what they [Lib Dems] are supposed to believe in!

  17. @suzy

    You’re spot on.

    Thought the following quote from the architect of this government’s new system might interest you:

    Paul Gregg, Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol, said serious adjustments are necessary before 2.5million incapacity benefit claimants are moved onto the new Employment Support Allowance (ESA) in October.

    In its current form, the system leaves large numbers of failed claimants to languish on jobseeker’s allowance with no prospect of work, he said.

    Reflecting on perceived errors in the process, he told The Times: ‘To go ahead with these problems is not just ridiculous. It is, in fact, scary.’

    All new claimants who would have sought incapacity benefit have had to apply for ESA since October 2008.

    But according to the paper, thousands of vulnerable people with terminal cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and clinical depression had their applications declined and were told to look for work.

    ‘Introducing the ESA system for new claimants in 2008 was effectively a pilot, and all the signals from the pilot are that a lot of adjustments need to be made,’ Professor Gregg said.

    ‘There are serious problems with putting people who failed the test but still have serious health or other issues straight onto jobseeker’s allowance, where there is no special help,’ he added.

    ‘To start moving people who may have been on incapacity benefit for years straight onto jobseeker’s is ridiculous. Before wading into the stock, the system has to be right.’

  18. @ Bob W

    Thanks Bob. I had read it earlier in the week but am glad to see it posted here. Unfortunately it appears that no one in government is listening to Paul Gregg who is a PROFESSOR of Economics – nope that would just be plain silly for government to listen to the man who actually knows what HE IS TALKING ABOUT!

  19. I have to say I disagree with many of the criticisms directed at the Lib Dems / coalition, I believe the two parties compliment each other extremely well and make a very good fit. Obviously there are though some significant differences and I have been very critical of policies/attitudes by both parties in the past but I feel the two are cancelling out the more extreme polcies/idea that each one has. Any cuts taking place are the fault of the Labour Party for the most part and their insane spending.

    Some of the criticism of Lynne herself are more valid although I’d say most of you have missed the key concerns about her really.

    My reason for posting is that I’d like to make the point that this article has been up since Monday, pretty shameless leaving this in such a prominent place for so long. It’s not as if there isn’t’ anything going on in need of blogging about in relation to equality issues.

  20. @Harriet

    Do you believe that it’s acceptable to cut the benefits of the seriously ill (terminally ill, people with Parkinsons, MS sufferers, etc) and make them join job queues due to an inadequate test (see above and I can provide further evidence if you’re that disconnected)?

    Is this a moderate policy?

    You claim that it’s all Gordon Brown’s fault (and nothing to do with the banking industry or negative global financial environment). Please expand, I would love to know why it’s ‘all’ Gordon Brown’s fault.

  21. @ Lynne Featherstone.Perhaps the comments are harsh.But ask yourself why.Obviously people are upset and perplexed at the Lib Dems stance on Welfare Cuts.The comments are not dropping of so I presume people are feeling very passionate about the Pre Election promises of a Lib Dem Government and the reality of what they will do once in a position to do something.
    I can only presume you are upset by the comments.But if you are then you will understand how the people that are coming here feel.It should give you empathy to understand the strength of feeling against the Lib Dems.
    The 61 year old shown on TV last night dancing while claiming benefits and not telling the DWP is Propaganda to brow beat real claimants with.Why is it Propaganda.Well if the news is balanced it should also state that according to the Governments own figures the amount of people actually making fraudulent claims for DLA is only .06%.That would put it into perspective.By using DWP tapes to use on TV News programmes shows its Government sponsored Propaganda.
    Who is in Government.The ConDems I believe.You are a part of the ConDems.If you do not speak in support of the people that voted against a Tory Government then you are complicit in the Propaganda.
    There is a old saying.If you don’t like the Heat then get out of the Kitchen.Equates as if you do not want the Lib Dems seen as a Turn Coat party.Start speaking up for those that trusted you.If not you will really be deserted in 2015.Due to Cameron trying to impose a No get out clause to keep him in power till then.
    What’s the next step.Declare himself leader for life due to Joe Public rioting in the street.Well then we would have a Dictatorship.

  22. I was using the term ‘harsh’ in relation to blogging – not the comments on the coalition cuts – where feedback whether harsh or otherwise is completely legit.

  23. Well it doesn’t really matter if you blame Labour or the banks though I’d blame Labour slightly more given they dismissed warnings about the economy and banking sector.

    The fact is that everyone here is blaming the Lib Dems for taking difficult decisions. I don’t doubt that some of the cuts might be a mistake but there’s bound to be pain as occurs after every single time a Labour government spends all the money (a great deal of it wasted I might add)

  24. @ Harriet harms man.The point is its always the poor in society that pay the highest price.We are not Greece we are a wealthy country with 90% of the wealth owned by 10% of the population.And you think that is fair?

  25. Some valid points and at least you’re not one of those who still wants a coalition of losers so I can respect you there. Similalry I agree some fo the cuts might be wrong.

    However, to say that labour wasn’t wasting money is ridiculous though – they always have and always will. It’s what they do. I’m not an expert, but I’d suggest the following for a start:

    ID cards, CCTV
    Needlessly prosecuting and jailing certain people (e.g. fathers who wave at their children)
    Putting people in rented property so expensive you could have built a house for the money
    Pointless Quangos
    Huge salaries for high ranking civil servants (most notable incompetent council leaders)
    Failure to equalise retirement ages
    Expanding the public sector with numerous non jobs or jobs that can be done with far fewer staff
    Far too much use of expensive agency staff and consultants.
    Insane advertising and PR expenditure
    Gold plated public sector pensions
    Failure to put projects out to tender
    Selling off gold and other assets at knock down prices (the gold gaff cost £2 billion for a start).
    Taking the cabinet on trips round the country

    I mean even civil servants were putting their concerns in writing toward the end of the Labour’s time in power. And it’s not just their spending at the time which is an issue, they’ve also sign so many PFI contracts which mean we’ll go on paying well over the odds for hospitals etc for years to come.

    I’m not against the government spending money, it’s the waste which really annoys me