It's been a very interesting week, so as it's Sunday I thought I would reflect on whats happened and give you my thoughts on the week that was.
To play the game I want you to respond to my thoughts topic by topic, so without further hesitation let's get on with it.....
The governor of The Bank of England Mervin King this week admitted that our country is now in recession. No shit Sherlock! I say this, we have been in recession since bloody August! To come out and say that we have just gone into a financial down turn gives the impression that we have a long hard road on the way to economic recovery. We should be saying that we have been in recession for nearly six months and we are half way through these hard times and are on the way back up. It's called talking the economy up. We need our Prime Minister, Chancellor and Bank Governor to be positive and not be merchants of doom! Even George Osborne has received a bollocking from his leader for "talking the pound down".
There has been a reduction of 1.5% in the interest rate recently, will this help? Well, it might help the High Street Christmas trade but it is unlikely to have an effect on industry as the government commentators have gone public and said that there will be further cut of 1% in the interest rate in December. So, know buyers of the large companies are now playing a waiting game before signing any contracts to ensure that they get the best deal.
The effect can be seen locally with Bentley, JCB, the demise of Spode, and I feel that there will be other companies that will find it increasingly difficult on the run up to the Christmas shut down. Oh well here's hoping............
I blogged an article on sleaze earlier in the week as I was incensed by the antics of Brown & Cameron during PMQ's this week. I felt that they were wrong to turn this most tragic case into a political debate. Of course there has got to an enquiry into what went wrong at Haringey. The Director of Children and Young Persons Services should have immediately resigned instead of sitting in a press conference informing us of how the social service department had improved and how the last Ofsted inspection had gone well! An innocent child died for Christ sake! This department had over 60 chances to save Baby P, and failed! It now appears that there has been an attempt to silence a whistle blower who wrote to the government to say how poor the performance of the C&YP department was at Haringey! Heads need to roll on this one and I for one have added the name Sharon Shoesmith to those of Gordon Brown and David Cameron as people who should be looking at themselves and asking "would my mother be proud of me" for the way this tragic case has been handled and political gain attempted!
Has nothing been learned from the Victoria Climbie case? It would appear, not! Today it has been revealed that over 80% of children killed or seriously hurt through neglect or abuse were not on England's child protection registers. A confidence giver - I don't think so!
MEP Expelled from Party.
Locally there has been much made of the "payroll vote", the fact that members of the EMB are paid around £17000 to nod through the elected Mayors wishes. That however is paled into insignificance at the news that Den Dover (should be Ben Dover!) Conservative MEP, has been expelled from the party for claiming, wait for it.....£500,000 for "office work" undertaken by his family! What a piss take! Nice work if you can get it! I wonder how much Craig Pond gets from the BNP for being Branch Secretary and public mouth piece, obviously a full time job. However much Craig, on the basis of this case, you are worth much much more!
I joke obviously, as I'm sure that Craig undertakes his work for nothing more than his belief in his parties policies and commitment to the cause. This MEP's would be looking at a court case in any other circumstances. Just goes to show I guess, that there are career politicians, both locally and nationally in it for nothing more than financial gain!
Follow the Leader (if you can!)
This week saw the emergence of a couple of contenders for Council Leader and I for one want to see more come out and state publicly their desire to lead our city. Mike Barnes was the first Labour councillor to confirm his interest and we await confirmation that either Joy Garner or Mark Davis's intentions. One thing is for sure following the articles by the Oracle, that all is not well within the local Labour group. On Thursday the main men came up from the West Midlands to bang a few heads and to try to get the party to heal from within. At the next local elections Labour need to win 15 more seats to take overall control but with all the in fighting and the obvious battle between new and old the local party is about as harmonious as an Alley full of horny Cats!
It looks likely that the new leader will come from an alliance of parties. So, just who are the main contenders?
Roger Ibbs - I quite like our Rog, although he is about as popular as scabies in Trentham. He obviously has no problem in making, and then sticking to, difficult decisions (see the TAG for details!) He could get the support from other councillors and he told me recently that he was unwilling to have any BNP members on his cabinet.
Alan Rigby - I'm ashamed to admit that I took a bit of a dislike to Alan following his appearance on the BBC's Question Time programme but having spoken to him this week it's obvious that he is a thoroughly decent, honest and likable man. He admits to being naive and to putting to much trust in people and I think that makes him somewhat venerable to the "predators"
Alby Walker - No doubt he wants it, he was the first to come out and tell us that. He needs the support of another group and to my mind it would be an unpopular decision among our city if he were to become leader. This is not detracting away from the obvious support for the BNP in our city, I just don't think we need a leader from an extreme party and I don't think that another group would support an alliance with Alby at the helm. Now, Rigby as a leader and Walker as Deputy is a possibility!
Peter Kent Baguley - Won't appreciate his name being in blue! But I tell you what, he is one shrewd cookie. I really like this guy, (I can hear Craig's keyboard warming up now) not because he's a bit to the left, but because he cares passionately for the city and it's people. He is the champion of many causes, especially the elderly and he is one of the most intelligent politicians i have ever met. I think he would get the support from a number of councillors especially the "old Labour" element, the un-aligned and some independents. Pete is my each way bet!
Libdem - Haven't got a scooby doo what this lot stand for and it really annoys me that they don't communicate with the cities electorate and get their message across. Kieran Clarke was asked if he would contribute to our blog and agreed, he has been asked at least 3 times since, to email us an article but as yet we are still waiting! They could be a party that Stoke could embrace but I guess we'll never know because no one can be arsed to make the effort! They as much as anyone are responsible fro the rise in popularity of parties like the BNP because no one can access their manifesto!
Gavin Webb - Libertarian, has been quite controversial but a lot of people say to me that they can see what he is about and he probably says what others think! He is very anti BNP which appeals to me and he has a grasp of the Internet to get his message across (have a look at his website!). He will contribute to our blog and I for one can't wait for him to tell us his thoughts and vision for our city. Gavin might just surprise some people.
Tonight sees the start of "I'm a Celebrity..." so I want to know what character you would like to send into the jungle if you could. I would love to send in Mark Meredith, because he would be like Stokes very own Christopher Biggins and he is very comfortable in a room full of rat's and creepy crawlies.......
Over to you and have a good Sunday..........