Dear Chief Secretary to the Treasury,
I'm afraid to tell you there's no money left.
Signed, Liam Byrne

(Outgoing Labour Chief Secretary to the Treasury. May 2010)

Saturday, 13 June 2009

Politicans and promises.

Mrs Rigby followed the trail from the Coffee House to a Bagehot's piece in the Economist
here where he writes about the working relationship between Brown and Mandelson. Quite a few more comments have been left in Coffee House, so Mrs R thinks it's worth looking at both sites.

The article started Mrs R thinking about Mandelson and Brown, stuff from history too, hence this somewhat contorted ramble.

Mrs R admits she isn't a fan of Mandelson, she isn't sure he trusts him with the power he has acquired, and isn't entirely sure he's actually working for Britain's best interests because he seems to be selling off what's left in our increasingly empty cupboard as quickly as possible - and seems to be trying to do it without anybody noticing, and to people who might not, in future, do what's best for this country. Think of that truck company for example, the one owned by a Russian chap that's just closed its' doors and made loads of people redundant.

Sometimes it's hard for mere mortals like Mrs Rigby to know what's going on. She sometimes wonders if people like Brown and Mandelson intend to confuse her, so she can't make a fuss - and if she did they'd tell her she was being silly, having senior moments or something equally trite.

Mrs R remembers reading that the Royal Mail sell-off was on hold, she thought it was to satisfy the unions and Labour rebels who don't like the idea. That was on 8th June, but on 11th June they say it's going ahead!

Did Mandelson really say we want to join the Euro? It says so here in the Express, and those who've left comments aren't exactly delighted. It's completely the opposite from what he said last year! Mrs R doesn't want to join the Euro, even though it's a bit of a chore to change money for a holiday. She's more than happy with her pounds and pennies, but she doesn't for a moment imagine anybody wants her opinion, least of all Mandeson!

Mrs Rigby fondly remembers the days when she voted for people, some of whom went off to Parliament to run this country. Those were the days when the Parliamentarians who sat on committees had a mandate from the electorate. Those were the times when MPs seemed to try to do their best for everybody, not just for those who voted for them. Those were the times when they weren't vindictive and petty-minded towards constituencies that elected an opposition MP - because they knew there were people from their own political party in every part of the country, even though in some areas they were in a minority.

She remembers when the Lords stayed in the Lords and did whatever did there in their worn out tweeds - when they used their wisdom gained from age, experience and a jolly good education to act as a last line of defence for us plebs, protecting us to some extent from silly, ill-conceived legislation. Recently though, and very suddenly, it's all turned topsy turvy and Mr Brown has seemed to merge the two Houses. Maybe that'll be how he "modernises" the Lords in the end, removing their power by absorption!

Anyhow, it looks as if Mandelson-the-unelected says we should go into the Euro, he says the Royal Mail sell-off will go ahead. Because he hasn't been elected Mrs R wonders who told him it's a good idea, and who has told him that these things are good for the country. She knows his ideas can't be challenged in Parliament because he isn't allowed to go and speak in there - because he hasn't been elected. So, he'll carry on making his decisions behind closed doors, in private rooms, in committees comprising even more politically sympathetic and unelected Lords - none of whom are answerable to the electorate. Neat trick really, it vaguely reminds Mrs R of the Gavestons and Despensers, and the power they and their chums had all those years ago!

We're getting conditioned to empty promises. We're getting used to hearing them say one thing - to keep us happy - and then change their minds. It's a bit like children promising to be good so they can get some sweeties. Once they've had the sweets they forget their promise, and the sugar fix makes them hyperactively revolting!

Mrs Rigby remembers an important little promise, made in an election manifesto, that there would be a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution. But, instead of getting one our Prime Minister went over there, managed to turn up late and signed it on our behalf when he thought nobody else was looking.

Mrs R. was deeply ashamed that day, to be represented by somebody who couldn't be bothered to keep to a schedule, even though it was to do something she didn't want to happen. Mrs R thinks Mr Brown has never fully understood that he represents everybody in this country, including those who didn't vote for him.

Mrs Rigby is looking forward to the next election. She's fairly confident there will be one within the next twelve months, although there have been times when she's been worried that, somehow, they'd mess things up so much that they could avoid it altogether. Elections are the only time Mrs R and her family and friends are allowed to have their say in what happens to their country so she just hopes, and prays, that whoever gets into power remembers to keep their electoral promises, and remembers to take some sharp scissors to the puppet master's strings.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009


This little item in the Telegraph caught Mrs Rigby's eye :-

Britain's Famous Cemeteries

The listing is limited, by necessity, to just ten cemeteries and churchyards.

Mrs R thinks it's worth noting that most big towns have at least one municipal cemetery. Many were established early in Victoria's reign when,
due to shifting populations, churchyards became overcrowded.

Many of these cemeteries are now closed for new burials and have become, over the years, havens for wildlife.

A question of racism ...

Asked by Al Jahom
If voting BNP makes you a racist, will the Labour party be prepared to welcome back voters who abandoned them for the BNP?
Hmm, certainly makes you think, doesn't it?

Monday, 8 June 2009

Political Betting

Political Betting can currently be found here >

The site is having ongoing access problems, noted first towards the end of last week when they announced this :-
Problems accessing main site
For some reason many are having a problem getting through to the main site. Instead of the latest page you get a cached page from April.
To get round this please use this URL
If it doesn't work first time then try again.
Many thanks.
Using the IP link still works, it's a fallback if all else fails.

Mr Brown's Monday.

Environment Minister Jane Kennedy refused to swear oath of allegiance to Gordon Brown and has been forced to resign.

This comes after Caroline Flint's resignation, after Sally Keeble likened Mr Brown to Michael Foot and after Bridget Prentice's announcement. It comes after
Margaret Beckett was sacked. It comes after Lord Falconer's suggestion that Labour could do with a new leader, and after Mandelson was appointed First Secretary of State and thus Deputy Leader of the Labour Party. It comes after Mandy's little freudian slip on the Andrew Marr Show. It comes after last week's cabinet resignations.

It also comes after yesterday's Euro election results, which were a disaster for Labour.

The Labour Party, the party currently holding a majority in the House of Commons, the party that is in charge of this country, only managed to gain 15.8% of votes cast. This means that 84.2% voted against Labour.

Thanks to Proportional Representation Labour only lost 6 seats - there were gains for the Tories, UKIP, Lib Dems and the BNP.

According to Conservative Home Labour was voted into fifth place in :-

West Worcestershire, Surrey Heath, Mole Valley, Maidstone, Melton Blaby, Test Valley, Royal Borough of Kingston, Lewes, Rutland, MendipTonbridge and Malling, Ribble Valley, New Forest, Banstead, Isle of Wight, Eastbourne, Guildford, Derbyshire Dales, S Staffordshire, W.Worcestershire, Wokingham, Canterbury, Torbay, Epping Forest, North Norfolk, West Dorset, Ashford, Elmbridge, East Herts, Richmond on Thames.
Labour came fifth overall in the South East, so Dan Hannan won his bet with Guido.

There is no Labour MEP representing South West England, where Labour polled only 8,483 votes.

The Please-go petition now has 66,671 signatures. Another, less well publicised, petition calling for a General Election has 5,895 supporters.

In last week's local government elections
Labour came third in the mayoral ­election in Hartlepool, which saw the re-election of a former football mascot. Stuart Drummond, who first stood as H'Angus the Monkey, the former Hartlepool United mascot, as a joke, won his third term as mayor with a majority of more than 800 votes.
Labour also came in third in the Doncaster mayoral contest, which was won by Peter Davies of the English Democrats.
In the St Ives ward of Cambridgeshire county council, Labour came sixth behind two Conservatives, two Liberal Democrats and Lord Toby Jug of the Official Monster Raving Loony party.
On Saturday the Prime Minister was booed by Normandy Veterans, brave survivors of a bloody conflict to regain democracy and freedom in Europe. He then renamed Omaha Beach. The Labour Party's response was a hurriedly contrived photo shoot on Sunday, to present an illusion of popularity.

Mr Brown's has decided that he will carry on; he will continue as Prime Minister. He says he has a duty to do so. Mrs Rigby sometimes wonders if Mr Brown perhaps he sees himself as omnipotent, she wonders if perhaps he has been persuaded that the position of Prime Minister is his birthright.

Mrs R doesn't know what the Unions think of the current situation - they are remarkably quiet. Mrs R doesn't know what the PLP thinks of all this - there is a meeting this evening.

Mrs Rigby knows Mr Brown is not listening to powerful people within the Labour Party, he is not listening to the newspapers or the electorate - she is convinced he knows he is not listening to "the people". She also believes that, deep inside, he knows what he should do - and that is to call a General Election, but he is scared because it might well lead to the death of the Labour Party whilst he is its' leader.

She thinks Mr Brown will continue to listen to his unelected advisors and will continue to gather around him a group of obedient MPs and other unelected individuals who will meet in private rooms to make decisions on behalf of the country, and then present those decisions to Parliament - without allowing debate.

Such is democracy!

Saturday, 6 June 2009


The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.
G. K. Chesterton
On 5th June 1944 thousands of men left the shores of south coast of England to take part in the D-Day landings.

An invasion fleet drawn from 8 navies and comprising 6,938 vessels made its way across the Channel, including 4,100 landing craft carrying about 156,000 soldiers. 11,590 aircraft supported the landings, including the 1,000 gliders that dropped parachutists behind enemy lines to secure bridges and river crossings.

The soldiers were from Britain and the smaller Commonwealth Countries. They were from Canada, Australia, America, New Zealand - some of these men came from countries not directly affected by the war in Europe, yet they willingly offered their lives for us.

From within Europe men who had escaped from Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and the Free French were trying to get home. The Resistance movement helped smooth the way.

These men were fighting for peace in Europe, attempting to end the tyranny and bloodshed caused by the authoritarian arrogance and bloodlust of one man - Adolf Hitler. Britain (including Malta) was, at that time, the last European bastion of democracy and freedom, the only country not subjugated by the cruel, racist, Nazi National Socialist regime.

On D-Day about 10,000 men were wounded, approximately 2,500 men from the Allied Forces lost their lives. Some lie in carefully tended graves in the 27 War Cemeteries in Normandy, others were lost at sea.

Their families will never forget their personal sacrifice.

As a country, and individually, we should never forget that these men died to ensure those who came after them - us - were granted freedom, and peace in Europe.

Today's freedoms were not gained easily, they were hard-earned, earned by spilling blood. Men of our fathers, our grandfathers and earlier generations died on foreign soil so that we would be free of authoritarian dictators. They fought, and died, so that those who came after them would be free to live their lives without fear and without repression.

Those of us who have grown up since WW2 should cherish that freedom, not treat it lightly or carelessly. We should use our freedom wisely, we should care for and nurture it.

More from G.K. Chesterton - "The Secret People" Written, I think, in 1911.

They have given us into the hand of new unhappy lords,
Lords without anger or honour, who dare not carry their swords.

They fight by shuffling papers; they have bright dead alien eyes;

They look at our labour and laughter as a tired man looks at flies.

And the load of their loveless pity is worse than the ancient wrongs,

Their doors are shut in the evening; and they know no songs.

We hear men speaking for us of new laws strong and sweet,
Yet is there no man speaketh as we speak in the street.

It may be we shall rise the last as Frenchmen rose the first,

Our wrath come after Russia's wrath and our wrath be the worst.

It may be we are meant to mark with our riot and our rest

God's scorn for all men governing. It may be beer is best.

But we are the people of England; and we have not spoken yet.

Smile at us, pay us, pass us. But do not quite forget.
We must hope, and pray, that the unhappy, paper shuffling, recently elevated lords, remember past sacrifices and take great care not give away our freedoms with the flick of a pen.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Who's he gonna call?

So, who will Mr Brown choose to call up for the important Cabinet roles?

Mrs Rigby notes that John Hutton has resigned from his post of Defence Secretary, and is also reported on the BBC that he is "stepping down" as an MP.

ith the earlier losses of Hazel Blears, Jacqui Smith and James Purnell's little bombshell last night, he has fewer MPs with sufficient experience to choose from.

The country cannot afford to have kiddies in control, there is too much at stake - there can be no denying that the place is in a bit of a mess and we are rapidly becoming the comedy act on the world stage.

Mrs R wonders if superglue was used to ensure that Darling remained Chancellor.

Alan Johnson has accepted the role of Home Secretary - a poisoned chalice if ever there was one. If he succumbs to the curse it will, surely, scupper any chances he may have had of being leader of the party - perhaps intentionally - and could mean the eventual contest will be between Harman and Balls. Now, that would be interesting.

Mrs R wonders if Brown will be forced to merge some departments, and perhaps give even more power to Lord Mandy the unelected.

Interesting times, it would be far more interesting if there was a general election, which we so surely deserve at this time of government meltdown.

Mr Brown is disappointed.

The BBC reports the following :-

A Downing Street spokesman said: "The prime minister is disappointed by the resignation of James Purnell, of which he was informed shortly before 10pm."

He said Mr Brown's focus over coming days would be "restructuring the government on the big challenges facing the country for the future", tackling the global economic downturn, trust in Parliament and reforming public services.

"He will continue to give his undivided attention to addressing these great challenges facing our country and putting the interests of the British people first and foremost," he said.
Nothing new there then!

Isn't it time we got some sort of action instead of more of the same-old, same-old, tired, worn out words.

Thursday, 4 June 2009

UK's debt increases by £10.6 billion

Just spotted on Letters from a Tory.

On the 23rd May 2009, the Government put in place a new Statutory Instrument (in effect, a law that doesn’t need Parliamentary approval) that altered the Industrial Development Act of 1982

We are going to have to borrow a record £175 billion a year to balance the books and national debt is going to double, yet Gordon Brown is just burning our money for the fun of it

In the last few days alone, our national liabilities have increased by £10.6 billion. Gordon Brown has crippled this country for years to come
Please read today's Letter (addressed to Hazel Blears), it's here.

It's all very unsettling, and desperately worrying for the future.

Mrs R isn't at all pleased with the way this government appears to be deliberately removing any chance this country may have of a decent future, and doing it without parliamentary discussion because legislation put onto the statute books using Statutory Instruments.

For a few years Mrs R has had a bee in her bonnet about government's use of SIs to push through almost secret laws, her family told her she was bonkers.

Seems not.

Make your vote count!

Mrs Rigby encourages anybody who may be reading her blog to get down to the Polling Station and vote.


* Because it is a right, and a responsibility, to do so.

* If you don't put a big X in a box alongside a name, or Political Party, how can you complain about the result?

* Failing to vote could result in the election of somebody, or some political party, you personally detest.

* Failing to vote will mean you will have left it to others to decide, other people who could be bothered to use a few minutes of their time putting an X on a ballot paper. These people may think differently from you, they may have different priorities - would you be happy with their choice of elected representative?

Mrs Rigby firmly believes that her one vote could make all the difference.

Mrs R doesn't see the point in
spoiling ballot papers, because once all the votes have been counted one man or woman will end up sitting in a chair, being paid a wage out of public money, and making decisions that affect people's lives. They will, in the case of MEPs, be there for the next five years and none will have been elected by those who spoil their ballot papers.

In Britain it wasn't until 1918 that all men over the age of 21 became eligible to vote and it was another ten years, in 1928, before women were given the same right - that of having a say in the election of MPs and local councillors, which has been extended to the selection of MEPs.

Mrs Rigby thinks that everybody should use their vote wisely. She thinks they should choose an individual and a political party whose manifesto matches what they, personally, hope for. It means taking some time to do a bit of reading, picking at the facts and figures to find out what they mean, but it's worth it in the end.

Voting as your grandparents or parents did, or voting the same as them-next-door, isn't making an informed decision - it's going along with the crowd or being a sheep, and people are not sheep, people are individuals with their own separate needs, wants and aspirations.

So, get out there and vote - before the Polling Station closes at 10:00 pm.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Disorder in the House and a threat of suspension ...

Mrs Rigby notes this, from PMQ today :

Mr. Speaker: Order. Remember that there is a danger of the House being suspended if people continue to shout. That is the danger, and there will be no Prime Minister’s Question Time. [Interruption.] That goes for both sides of the House.
Wondering, obliquely, what would be the reaction if he tried this on a group of noisy yoof who were making a nuisance of themselves near his home ...

Letter to Gordon. and Hazel's brooch

The Times has a copy of the letter that's apparently being circulated amongst Labour MPs. This is what it says.

“Dear Gordon. Over the last 12 years in government, and before, you have made an enormous contribution to this country and to the Labour Party, and this is widely acknowledged.
“However, we are writing now because we believe that, in the current political situation, you can best serve the Labour Party and the country by stepping down as party leader and Prime Minister and so allowing the party to find a new leader to take us into the next General Election.”

Now this could easily be a trap, designed solely to find out who is "loyal" to the Prime Minister and who isn't.

It could be a genuine, time will tell, because it was reported on Sky News that details will be made public once there are greater than 50 signatories.

Separately, it was interesting to note that

The brooch [Hazel Blears] chose to wear as her resignation became public attracted much attention - it sported the message "rocking the boat".
Interesting times indeed.

Eastenders Muslim to kiss Christian.

There are many newspaper reports surrounding an upcoming "plot" in Eastenders for a Muslim man, called Syed Masood (played by Marc Elliot) to become emotionally entangled with an openly gay man called Christian Clarke (played by John Partridge).

Now the
Rigby family doesn't watch Eastenders, so isn't aware of the characters but their names made her think twice - for just a moment, hence the blog title.

It's reported that the story is intended to shock, but also to represent real life in this country where almost any sexual preferences are accepted as being personal choice. Actually, Mrs R can't imagine that there are no gay Muslims, even though there are passages in the Koran forbidding homosexuality, in the same way as there are gay Christians, with passages in the Bible offering just the same condemnation.

Mrs R thinks wonders if, maybe, this storyline will encourage a bit of tolerance, openness and debate, but she also worries that it may cause tensions because it's reported that a spokesman for the Muslim Public Affairs Committee isn't happy about this storyline because of the high levels of Islamophobia and
EastEnders really lost an opportunity to present a normal friendly Muslim character to the British public
We'll have to wait and see what happens, only time will tell.

Did Bob Ainsworth forget the RAF?

It is reported that
Government ministers were under fire today after failing to welcome home RAF crews returning at the end of 18 years of operations in Iraq.

Armed Forces Minister Bob Ainsworth had been expected to attend a ceremony at RAF Marham, near King’s Lynn, Norfolk, to mark the conclusion of one of the RAF’s longest deployments.

The Ministry of Defence said earlier this week that Mr Ainsworth would be at Marham to see the return of the last six Tornado fighters stationed in the Gulf.

But Mr Ainsworth did not appear, and base officials said he had been unable to come because of a debate at Westminster.
Mrs Rigby has checked Hansard for today, she cannot find Mrs Ainsworth's name mentioned in any of the debates, so she thinks it looks as if he forgot his responsibilities and somebody had to make excuses on his behalf.

The article says
The RAF has lost 27 crew members between 1991 and 2009 - most killed following the invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Sad, isn't it, and a sign of the times that Government Ministers can so conveniently forget those who have been laying their lives on the line for this country, and who have done so following a decision made by this particular government.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Coronation Queen Elizabeth II - 2nd June 1953.

On this day, 2nd June, 1953 a young Elizabeth Alexandra Mary became Queen.

She made a lot of promises that day, which can be read here. Mrs Rigby thinks she's kept her promises pretty well.

She is
the longest serving British Monarch.

Mrs Rigby thinks it's sad that there is so little, if anything, in the media today to celebrate the Queen's accession to the throne 56 years ago, maybe it's because the anniversary hasn't got a zero at the end - 60th, for example, when she will be 87 years old.

Instead MSM is running stories detailing public squabbling about who should pay the bills to keep the Royal buildings in good repair and whose fault it wasn't that the Queen was not invited, as Head of State and an ex-servicewoman, to attend the D-Day commemorations on 6th June.

Mrs Rigby thinks the Queen is being ill-served by our current government, members of which are too busy looking after themselves, spending a fortune doing up "government" properties (and their own), funding the Olympics and ID-cards and finding ways of avoiding complying with court judgements. They are too busy to take a moment to think of the one person who has more sense of duty in her little finger than they will ever have.

Elizabeth didn't choose to become Queen. MPs - each and every one of them - chose to become politicians.

Andrew Marr listened to Gordon Brown.

Mrs Rigby didn't watch the Andrew Marr/Gordon Brown interview but she read a few reports and found the transcript here - The Andrew Marr Show

The transcript doesn't show the body language, it doesn't fully show the interruptions and, of course, it doesn't show the intonation either. It doesn't need to, the words are enough to get Mrs R into a flap. She could write pages, but will be strict with herself.

She noticed that Mr Brown used those
little comparisons again, imitating St Francis. He said

Where there is wrongdoing, it will be exposed.
Where people need to be punished, they will be punished.
Where repayment needs to be made, it will be made.
Mrs R doesn't believe him one little bit. These are empty words.

He was, of course, talking about MP expenses. If he believes he's punished wrongdoers then he must have done it in secret because Hazel Blears is still there, Jacqui Smith is still there, Alistair Darling is still there and so are Balls/Cooper, three-house Hoon and the rest of the sleazy crew.

Punishment doesn't happen outside government either. Criminals are wandering the streets knowing they're untouchable because they're too nasty or too minority-group to be challenged. It's the normally law-abiding, ordinary folk who feel the wrath of this government's target-driven agenda.

He said :

In a free society, open information and open society is the key to a proper democracy being accountable. I've always supported that.
As Old Holborn pointed out last week, Labour policies have ensured that we are now listed 5th in the world's "Most Electronic Police States", with China, North Korea, Belarus and Russia pipping us to the post. Even the BBC has articles saying UK is sliding unwittingly into a Police State. Ex-MI5 people say the same, so it must be pretty bad.

Mrs R certainly doesn't feel any safer knowing her every move is being monitored and recorded. She wasn't in the least reassured to count at least 7 CCTV cameras pointing at the railway ticket queue at Gatwick Airport. She didn't feel less at risk whilst having to stand in front of a camera after checking in for a flight, nor when she had to take off her shoes and walk barefoot on filthy carpets - she just felt vulnerable, that she was being monitored, checked and recorded for no particular reason other than because they said so. This sort of thing makes the hairs on the back of Mrs R's neck prickle. It's creepy, and it isn't nice to be presumed capable of doing something nasty.

Mrs R can't imagine the people whose planning objections have been rejected, and who have been threatened with prosecution for making racist statements, believe they live in a democracy - where all views are taken into account.

Mrs Rigby doesn't believe the mother who is facing prosecution for trying to get her child into a good school thinks she lives in either an "open society" or a "proper democracy".
Mrs R wonders if Mr Brown knows what those word means.

As for "open information" - he was joking, surely!

Is this the same "open information", enabled by Freedom of Information legislation, from which government exempted itself - whilst at the same time writing new laws that pass onto the statute books tucked away in Statutory Instruments instead of being subjected to the proper scrutiny of Parliamentary debate?

This is a government of list makers, of data collectors and bean counters. Mrs R doesn't think much of the information is of use to anybody other than a statistician, there is too much of it and it's held in too many separate places. But, the law enforcers will be able to use it to instantly punish wrongdoing. Ordinary people can't say, "Sorry, it was a mistake, I messed up," as can MPs with their financial claims.

Ordinary people will soon need to :-
* fill in lengthy forms to be able to travel to the Isle of Wight;
* hand over their most personal and intimate information to an un-named individual before being allowed to leave the country to travel overseas;
* have to pay a fixed penalty fine and provide personal details to a badge-wearing park keeper who didn't like the way they took a picture of some trees, because kids might be playing somewhere nearby.

Thanks to this government ordinary people can be found guilty, and summarily punished, on the say-so of a single individual and without benefit of judge and jury.

Mr Brown mentioned political reform.

Mrs R would welcome political reform - reform that ensures that those who make the laws are not allowed to set themselves above the law.

Mr Brown says he was,

brought up in a household where integrity and telling the truth and doing everything honestly was what really mattered.
Well, gosh! So were both Mr and Mrs Rigby, and so have the Rigby children. Look where it's got them!

Never-been-in-trouble Mr Rigby Junior has, for the privilege of working hard, been given a lovely set of undergraduate loans that will total at least £21,000, plus interest, after three years - not allowing for books, stationary, travel costs etc..

This wonderfully benevolent government will soon let the English Universities charge even more,
just in time for Junior Miss Rigby to pay the bills - whilst students in Scotland will continue to get free higher education. It seems remarkably like academic apartheid and conditioning that personal debt is normal.

Everything the Rigby family touches is taxed, and taxed at least once, but with little to show for it.
* The road outside Rigby house is potholed, but the council won't look at them without being sent exact measurements.
* We Rigbys have never had a new car, so won't hand in our old bangers.
* Draughty old Rigby house doesn't qualify for cheap insulation, so the Rigbys wear thick jumpers and feel guilty for failing to conserve energy.
* Rigby's recycle, but their rubbish will be weighed in case there's too much.
* Rigby's council taxes are used elsewhere in the country (read here and here) where wage-earners are apparently less well-off.
* Rigby children (just the two) have never been eligible for any state support to help them with schooling/uniform/books/transport.
* Senior Rigbys' pension provision is terrifyingly low, but there'll be no chance of them borrowing their way out of trouble, and printing money for private use is illegal.

We Rigbys have been honest, have shown integrity.

Mr Brown refers to his "Presbyterian Conscience."

Blair found God after he'd resigned, and after carelessly shredding his expenses receipts. He does God so well that he has his own Faith Foundation, and reckons he can advise the Pope how to sort out Roman Catholicism.

Derek Draper was recently reported as being a practicing Christian. Pah! He didn't have much morality when he was manipulating words to make it look as if he'd attended a top university, nor when he was playing around with nasty emails.

In Mrs R's experience no God likes their religion being used as a smokescreen.

For these people, including Mr Brown, to have so conveniently found religion, and Christianity, at a time when ordinary British people are losing their jobs for offering up a prayer or wearing a crucifix is, she thinks a little bizarre and amazingly convenient timing which will perhaps help endear them to our more Catholic neighbours in Europe - which is where they may be looking for their next job.

Mrs R is, sadly, a cynic.

Monday, 1 June 2009

Al Jalom's compares MP expenses by party.

Discovered via Dick Puddlecote, Mrs Rigby was interested to read the end result of Al Jalom's weekend endeavours.

He has done some number magic with the expenses claimed by the "Top Hundred Troughers". Mrs R thinks it's worth reading.

Here's an extract or two :
Of the top 100 Commons troughers,
  • 62% are Labour MPs (against 54.1% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 21% are Conservative MPs (against 29.9% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 15% are Lib Dem MPs (against 9.8% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 2% are other (against 6.2% of 646 parliamentarians) (% figure corrected)

  • Labour MPs are the biggest troughers taking 55.8% of allowances paid, while having 55.1% of MPs in the mix here.
  • Conservative, while still in the same league are the least trougherous, taking 29.5% of allowances, amongst 30.4% of MPs in the mix here.
  • This means Tory MPs cost, on average, about £5500 less than Labour MPs, and almost £9000 less than Lib Dems.

Of the top 50 troughing MPs

  • 33 are Labour MPs (66% against 54.1% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 10 are Conservative MPs (20% against 29.9% of 646 parliamentarians)
  • 7 are Lib Dem MPs (14% against 9.8% of 646 parliamentarians)
There is other mathematical and statistical wizardry, and Al Jalom says he might revisit the data and work out some more.

Interesting stuff, don't you think?

Iain Dale & Hopi Sen - Live election results broadcasts 5th and 7th June

Mrs Rigby doesn't for a moment imagine she's a political blogger, she just has a few things to say. She has however she read that Iain Dale is asking people to advertise this
. :-

She decided that every little bit helps but is bloggerly challenged and can't manage to get it to fit into the side bar, so is uploading it as part of an ordinary blog post.

The image should be linked to Iain's post here

His message today (not quite the same) says
As you may know, on Friday and Sunday I will be hosting two marathon election results programmes on, with Hopi Sen as my co-host.

Obviously we'd like to let as many people as possible know that these programmes are happening, especially because the BBC is not doing a live results programme for the county council elections on Friday, and only a three hour programme on Sunday.

And if you'd like to help us on the day by providing us with news from counts, gossip or comment that would be great. We want to make this the first meaningful election programme staffed entirely by citizen journalists.

We’re interested in receiving as much information, results and gossip from you as possible throughout the course of the day. You may be at a count, or have picked up some into from friends and colleagues, or even from blogs and websites. We want it all fed into us in our live election studio. You can do this in a variety of ways.

If you want to appear live on the programme call 01243 556161. Obviously we can only take one call at a time so you may have to wait a bit, but don’t give up!


Dial up . We can take Skype calls, and also Skye chat messages.


You can use my twitter name @iaindale, and it will appear on my Tweetdeck app, or you can use the hashtag #electionstudio. The hashtag is probably best.
Mrs Rigby can't understand why BBC isn't broadcasting live, these are really important elections. But she doesn't understand a lot of things the BBC does these days.