Tag Archives: the cutting edge

THE CUTTING EDGE

THE CUTTING EDGE

6th June 2014

It’s a while since I posted anything. As I have said before, fundamentally there is little to say that I didn’t say some 10, 15 20 years ago. But I will say that little.

GEORGIE OSBORNE

He is posturing and promoting himself for a Conservative leadership contest in due course. I must say I don’t see him as leader. He has an even more boring voice than does David Cameron; also he is equally prone to talking drivel as he demonstrated well enough on a recent TODAY program on BBC Radio 4. Zero points pour le petit garcon.

UKIP – AND WHERE TO NOW ?

UKIP performed well in the European and local elections, as also in the Newark by-election. I am delighted, I support them unreservedly. And yet I ask myself where they go to now.

The coming year, until the next general election will be held, will be the most important period in this party’s history. Yes, they gained quite a momentum, and one cannot ignore them in the media, they are everywhere; but this will subside in the coming weeks.

Their stated aim is to concentrate their efforts, and limited financial resources, on those areas where they did well in the council elections. This is sound strategy. I personally believe they can do a lot better than most commentators suggest, more than they even believe in themselves. I can see them gaining a number of seats in next year’s general election, perhaps as many as 60, but that presupposes a number of things.

First their organisation is very poor, Oh, I know it has improved over the past year and more, but it is still quite simply unprofessional. You cannot afford to be that in today’s politics. They need to get a grip of this and quickly.

Second, the revelations made about Nigel Farage and some councillors and candidates of recent have damaged their appeal. They may pooh pooh this, but I have no doubt that it has. Candidates for councillors simply are not vetted properly, too many former radical members of the BNP have joined UKIP. Further damaging revelations will do UKIP no good at all. Nigel Farage himself will have to be on his ‘best behaviour’, the media and opponents are scrutinising his every move, his every action and utterance.

Most importantly, UKIP has not yet managed to bring to the electorate the third of people, or any significant number among them, who don’t vote. That apart, I read with interest a survey that shows that Farage appeals more to men than women; I can understand that. However, he needs to do something about this, perhaps punt Diane James more, an excellent politician by the way.

I would also point out that one can get too much coverage, whereby the electorate gets rather fed up with hearing about UKIP

The worst thing that has been muted is a pact with the Conservative party. I don’t care in what shape or form this pact can be construed, it is a vote loser. Perhaps Farage believes that tactically it can give him an advantage in certain seats, perhaps he believes former Tories will vote for him, but no, believe me, that idea should not be entertained. Were it to happen UKIP have lost my vote. My loathing for David Cameron is too great, it can never be overcome. We have some interesting political times ahead.

CHILCOTT ENQUIRY

It is extraordinary how the results of this enquiry have not yet been published, all due to Tony Blair not wishing certain private correspondence between him and Bush to be published. Well, perhaps it’s not all down to him, I am certain the US State Department and the Bush family are also putting pressure on our Government. Blair is a criminal, and quite frankly to protect such criminals is obscene. I have little doubt that dirty tricks and blackmail are being employed to keep this under wraps for as long as possible, and at the best to expunge the correspondence that is causing such embarrassment. I hope all will out in due course. It was amusing to see the old liar in the news this evening claiming he had nothing to do with the delay, and that he wanted to see the report published. Of course you do Mr Blair.

NAZI EPHEMERA

Mullocks are probably the leading auctioneers in the UK as far as Nazi ephemera is concerned. It is part of history yes, but I do find it offensive when auctioned alongside Judaica, some of it making pathetic reading. Furthermore, it makes me wonder just how many paintings Hitler did paint; a lot apparently, but to have had them all come up for auction over a considerable period of time was curious. And then there was the etching of Hitler playing chess with Lenin. The auctioneer told me some time ago most of the material came from the descendants of a senior SS officer. I’m not sure whether I buy into that. It is all rather distasteful.

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/money/mullocks-auction-house-claims-art-adolf-hitler-sold-143k-article-1.361151

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/guywalters/100056277/be-very-very-careful-when-you-bid-for-a-hitler/


SPENDING WATCHDOG

Royal mail shares were sold too cheaply. That was blindingly obvious at the time, yet no one raised any serious objections. Why raise this matter now?

FISH, CHIPS AND WINE WITH NICK BOLES AND PRITI PATEL

I went along to this event some weeks ago. The fish and chips were excellent, and the wine potable.

The tory devout were there and after both Priti and Nick had given a speech one had a sort of mini question time. I resisted the temptation to ask awkward question, it is just not worth it.

NIck Boles is MP for the Stamford and Spalding constituency, as also a junior housing minister, or is it foir planning? His guest Priti Patel, is MP for Witham, Essex. Both are very bright people, Priti a particularly good speaker. Nick I found a little ponderous, he tries to be all things to all people, which does not come off, for me at least. Of course, the audience were for the most part older, devout Tories, who had the irritating habit of asking exceedingly boring and inane questions, but I managed to stay awake.

CORRUPTION IN THE METROPOLITAN POLICE

Ever more revelations are coming to light relating tothe Lawrence murder enquiry that took place some time ago. It is not the Met that is corrupt, but a significant number of police officers within it, as I know to my own cost. But then again, this has been known since the 1950s.

THE VANISHING COMMA

Punctuation, or the lack or misuse of it, is often in the news, and so it was with the humble comma recently. It was suggested we can do away with it. What arrant nonsense! Punctuation gives meaning to what is written, and no punctuation mark is arguably more important than the comma. Many good books have been written about punctuation, not just recently, but going back some centuries.

Although very much a layman, I have nevertheless read many thousands of letters of the 17th, 18th, 19th and indeed 20th centuries and have therefore formed my own opinion on the matter. In the 17th and 18th centuries hyphens were used a great deal, usually instead of a comma. They have made a comeback of recent. I use them quite often instead of a comma, or to add something as an afterthought. However, by the end of the 18th century the comma had gained predominance. For me its most important asset is to demonstrate in writing how what you are saying is spoken, that is with pauses.

There were exception to this. You will rarely find a legal document such as a conveyance with any punctuation marks in it, other than full stops, at least not until the latter part of the 19th century. Lawyers realized that a misplaced comma could invalidate a document, or at the best make its meaning ambiguous.

Of course, texting is more than anything responsible for the decline in both spelling and punctuation, but we have to live with that. Nevertheless, let’s stick with the comma and put these dullards who propose its abandonment in their place.

THE CUTTING EDGE

4th July 2013

Will you be voting for this man again? I sure as hell will not. It is extraordinary, but when speaking with friends and acquaintances hitherto staunch Tories, I find it hard to identify but a handful who will vote Conservative in the next election. The majority will vote UKIP. I chatted with an acquaintance recently, a Tory peer, who actually told me he thought the Tory party was finished! That I think is taking it a bit far, but coming from the mouth of one who is a leading member of his party, it demonstrates the disillusionment they all feel for David Cameron.

HOW VERY SAD

It is surprising what extreme poverty can make one adopt desperate measures, or is it?

Chicago – 1948

24th June 2013

DENTISTRY WHEEZE

It was very difficult some years ago to find a National Health Service dentist, nigh impossible. Then for a time dentists were accepting NHS patients. Now the situation has reverted to what it used to be. Indeed, arguably it is even more difficult finding a dentist now, largely due to the increase in potential patients because of continued immigration. Dentists that do provide such treatment are for the most part non-British, and in many instances not well trained nor do they speak English well (see an earlier post). Looking at an NHS site which tells one where NHS dentists can be found locally, I found quite a number. On phoning them all, but all, told me they did not offer such a service. When I referred them to the site, the response was: ‘Ah yes, of course, that is for patients aged under 18’. This tells me that there is a scam going on here. Is this a wheeze for signing up to contracts which will not in the event be honoured?

EDL

I have some sympathy for the English Defense League, as also other groups taking action against Muslims. I say this advisedly, as I would certainly not condone the burning down of mosques, and yet the EDL are the only ones actually doing anything to counteract the spread of Islam in this country, even if only in their own misguided way. Whether what they do is effective remains to be seen.

FORGED POUND COINS

We have a vast quantity of forged £1 coins in circulation in this country. I find them on a regular basis, when bored I go through my change to do so. Not that I’m often bored. The police should leave the counterfeiters alone. After all, they are doing their bit towards quantative easing.

GYPSIES IN PARK LANE

It has gone little reported, but we still have a small illegal encampment of Romanian gypsies in Park Lane, Mayfair, London. What have the authorities done to remover this eyesore? Precisely nothing. These toothless tigers of Westminster City Council and those in Parliament should be ashamed of themselves. I can think of absolutely no reason why this should be permitted.

STOP WATCHING US !

Indeed. A couple of days ago I found a small icon attached to the Mozilla search bar. I clicked on it and found the following. Whilst it is a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree, I still find it somewhat curious that this appeared only the once, not since. Has it been pulled, and if so at whose instigation? I would like to see Google associated with this, but given their track record this is hardly likely to happen. As far as I am concerned, they have been guilty of granting access to security services to their databases. There is also a list of those who support this action, which is quite incongruous, and is worth looking at.

TRENDING RIGHT NOW - SONGWRITING

If you want to be cool and socially mobile, whether you’re young or not so young, then the in thing to do right now, that which is trending, is to become a songwriter. Actually, hang on, this is stretching it a little too far, the thing to do is to call yourself a songwriter. And I just love following the antics of songwriters in the social media, most particularly Facebook. Song writing is somewhat of a misnomer, but let me be charitable.

I have followed the antics of a number of my Facebook friends, and more importantly other, non-friends, but whose profile is public and have come to the following conclusions. The first is, don’t be a musician, be amusical – it helps. Being musical is a no-no. A basic knowledge of programming is desirable. State clearly that you are a writer of music or words, or if you are brave enough, both; that’s all that is needed. Avoid at all costs letting people hear your endeavours, you may lose friends that way.

You then immediately attain a certain kudos, a certain standing within your group of friends, real or imaginary. It gives you access to a clique of similar minded individuals, all equally talentless, whom you can endlessly bore with posts about your latest song writing endeavours. Occasionally, it has to be said, the one or other song can be listened to, and may even get performed on third rate internet radio stations.

SHALOM:

You know who you are.

STOP WATCHING US !

Indeed. A couple of days ago I found a small icon attached to the Mozilla search bar. I clicked on it and found the following. Whilst it is a sentiment with which I wholeheartedly agree, I still find it somewhat curious that this appeared only the once, not since. Has it been pulled, and if so at whose instigation? I would like to see Google associated with this, but given their track record this is hardly likely to happen. As far as I am concerned, they have been guilty of granting access to security services to their databases. There is also a list of those who support this action, which is quite incongruous, and is worth looking at.

9th June 2013

EXOTIC MEATS

At Stamford market a short while ago I discovered an interesting stall that sells meats that are somewhat different. I bought a couple of pies, one made with Zebra, the other with Camel meat. If I come out in stripes, you know I’ve got the hump!

PING PONG DIPLOMACY

After Some 40 years or so Ping Pong Diplomacy has returned. President Obama is meeting the Chinese president Chi Ting Ping and the Foreign Minister Du Hai Pong, two formidable politicians. Of course, Ping Pong Diplomacy was started by former president Richard Nixon, a good old boy of whom I was rather fond. He did much to open up and foster relations with China in the 70s and he initiated the US withdrawal from Vietnam. OK, so he had the Democrats’ office bugged and recorded a good number of telephone conversations, but come on, that’s no big deal. He was ahead of his time, that’s all.  The current president of the USA has authorized American internet companies to gather and supply the security services in that country with information relating to individuals’ emails and telephone conversations. This is totally invidious and unacceptable. Such action will affect not only American citizens, but others around the world. I look forward to hearing to what extent the authorities here cooperated with the USA.

PORTOBELLO ROAD

PARIS JACKSON

I do feel sorry for this poor girl tried, who tried to commit suicide in Paris this week. What a dreadful legacy it must be fore her to be descended from a freak like Michael Jackson.

PRINCE PHILIP

My favourite royal is in hospital again, he of the many wonderful non-PC gaffs, namely Prince Philip. So I have just heard is Nelson Mandela. I think we are being prepared by the media for a couple of departures in a short time.

KEVIN JAMES HOOK (1962 – 2013)

Life is a bitch, as I recall Kev saying on numerous occasions. It sure is, because it has taken Kevin Hook from us at far too early an age. The pic here is from the cover of a single he had out in the early 80s, when I first got to know him. He was a kind, gentle soul, a great musician and a brilliant guitarist, who will be sorely missed by many. He contacted a number of his friends some weeks ago to prepare them for what was likely to happen. That took some guts; yet it still came as a great shock. My thoughts are first and foremost with his family, particularly his daughters, as also with his many friends. I’ll see you in Valhalla matey!

THE CUTTING EDGE

28th June 2010

ARE WE LOSING THE AFGHAN WAR ?

This was a question posed on poor old Jeremy Vine’s program on BBC Radio 2. Once again the BBC are regurgitating old topics. This has been raised again and again over the years, last but not least by me some 7 years ago and since. He had a number of guests on the show whose comments were similarly repetitive.

What I utterly condemn is our politicians’ excuse for being in Afghanistan, that is that we need to be there to fight terrorists for national security purposes, or we will have increased terrorist activity in our country. That is preposterous. It has been the last three Labour administrations who welcomed terrorists and potential terrorists from Afghanistan and Pakistan to our shores, and gave them active support. To top it all we have David Cameron’s glib statement that he ‘hopes’ to have our troops out of the country by 2015. I can imagine Obama will want US troops out of the place sooner, it would certainly be a vote winner in the next US election in just over 2 years time.

From a military perspective it has for some time been a no win situation, tactics and strategy employed being quite wrong. Not solely because of that, but in any event as a prerequisite,  there will have to be a political solution. But what is beginning to concern me more than anything else is that we now see Cameron truly being the heir to Blair. He is beginning to rule by sound-bytes, just as Labour have done all these years, vacuous sound-bytes, with little or no action to back them up.

As far Khasi is concerned, he must be wondering where all this is going to lead to. His thoughts must be concentrated upon the memory of what happened to a predecessor, the Soviet stooge Mohammed Najibullah, who was tortured, castrated and killed, his body being hung from a lamppost. Sweet dreams Mr President.

TORIES 15 – LIB DEMs LOVE

So the opinion poll ratings tell us. That is no surprise, but what goes up tends to come down, so let’s see how Cameron fares in a year or so. I believe the coalition is bursting at the seams. Simon Hughes may well be its nemesis. I have always regarded him as a liberal with ‘Jesuit’ tendencies, a sort of down market Mandelson as far as deviousness is concerned, and of course they share that gay abandon which can manifest itself as being rather spiteful at times. There are those in the Lib Dems who will not be able to resist showing dissent, and the list of those will grow. Labour are at a complete loss as to how to oppose this Government, overall they are floundering. Their only policy, if it can be called that, is to continue to try and drive a wedge between the two coalition partners. What they have to say is so predictable, mainly because they have in fact nothing to say. Ed Millipede in particular comes across as a petty, spiteful little snide, a man of little substance. He should make a good leader of the Labour party.

FOOTBALL

OK, I admit it, I cannot resist voicing an opinion on Football. What do I know about it. I do believe it is blindingly obvious though why the English team did not perform well – it is down to low morale which prevented them playing as a team. I am sure once the team are back we will have exclusives with the press where some of the players air their grievances. Should Capello go? Quite apart from the fact that he is perversely overpaid, I find it a pain listening trying to understand the man, what must it be like for the players? There has to be a communication problem. But we simply do not have enough good players, and thankfully come the next world cup most of the current squad will not be playing.

I hear the French are thinking of re-introducing the guillotine for crimes asuch as those committed by their squad. And what about the Japanese players, what wonderful names. Honda, Matsui…. et al … I should have liked to have seen Kamakazi and Fuji play.

As for Germany, they played well as a team. Thankfully we fight our world wars on football pitches now. And these Frakenstein monsters the press has created – Wayne Rooney, for example. One has to feel sorry for him for being put under such pressure. How can he live up to such expectations.

NOT GOING WELL FOR OBAMA

I fear the path of Obama’s presidency is not going according to plan, his plan that is. The problem with the oil spill, the sacking of McChrystal, then to cap it all – a cap was knocked off the pipe leading from the well.

On the positive side, Obama relaxed rules for Gays to join and out themselves in the US armed forces. I have it on good authority that a Gay battalion is being formed. They will go into battle wearing nothing, unarmed, and with Tulips stuck up their posteriors. They will make love to the Taliban – not war. The war is won after all!

PENSION AGE TO BE RAISED in 2016

Not only a good idea, but absolutely necessary to implement; why not raise it further and more rapidly. We live a great deal longer than when state pensions were first introduced, and work a lot less. The propaganda levelled against this idea by Labour and its acolytes in the unions is ridiculous in the extreme.

JACK STRAW

I thought he had died, but no, I heard him a couple of days ago. He is still in the Commons. He has that ‘I’m waiting for a peerage’ ring to his voice which often happens when senior politicians reach that time of life, a sort of political menopause. They’d better hurry up or there won’t be a House of Lord in the sense that we know it. But then I can imagine they will keep on such titles as an honour to be bought and dispensed.

I well recall the young Jack Straw at the turn of the 60s/70s, standing, or rather balancing on a barricade of desks and chairs made up to block a corridor in what was then the North Western Polytechnic in Kentish Town, London. The students were in revolt against Prof Miller, and Jack Straw as a radical student leader in those days. Whatever happened? It’s quite unimaginable looking at him now.

THE CUTTING EDGE

23rd April 2010

GORDON BROWN – The Weakest link

For what it’s worth, yesterday’s performance by Brown and Cameron was very much better. I say for what it’s worth, because one should not forget that the majority of electors did not view the TV program or indeed listen to it on the radio. It is something for the media to get their teeth into and talk about.

Second, the vast majority of people have decided for whom to vote. Having said that, there is the floating vote and of course those who have not voted before, for any number of reasons.

The next and last debate is to be on the economy. This is Gordon Brown’s weakness, but will the other two identify his weakest link? I doubt it. I was going through some hundreds of press cuttings, accumulated over the past 15 years, taken from a diversity of papers. Labours failings were identified again and again, admitted to by them in most instances. And yet these have conveniently been airbrushed out of Hansard and the archives of the media. Failures in Education, the National Health Service, Unemployment, the Economy and so on. Not to raise these is one of the Tories’ biggest weaknesses. One I say raise these, not to squeal, as Cameron does, but to stick the knife in brown’s back with a smile, a benign demeanour. Look at Mandelson, the consummate artist in this respect. The Tories lack someone of his ability.

The main problem, as far as Cameron is concerned, is that he has not in all his time in opposition addressed the issues which are of concern to the electorate. He is not doing so now in this election campaign. He is hell bent on not putting a foot wrong. Why does he not bring Tony Blair into the debate; it should be done in such a way to unnerve Brown.

VOLCANIC ASH

The mass hysteria generated by the volcanic ash is reminiscent of that occasioned by Swine Flu. A cock-up, another cock-up, as far as this Government is concerned. It won’t do them any good.

One has to sympathize with those people stranded in different parts of the world, unable to get back to the UK, and indeed those here wanting to exit the country. And yet it must have been a great relief for those living near airports and in flight paths. When the issue of further additional runways is raised again there will doubtless be an even greater opposition to these.

Shopping at my local Sainsbury’s I was amused to see so many empty shelves in the produce department. They are still not filled as I write. No courgettes, no mange-touts, fewer Tomatoes etc. The shelves that were empty were filled with local produce such as White Cabbage; and why not. It is perverse that we fly in produce from Kenya, elsewhere in Africa and South America, and particularly flowers. Dutch growers must have been rubbing their hands in glee, although they probably could not fill the extra short term demand. But we can grow most of these vegetables and fruits in this country, be it under glass or in Poly-Tunnels, vide the new Poly-Tunnel complex in Kent. We should have self-sufficiency in being able to feed ourselves in this country. No one mentions the balance of payments nowadays; they are in a bad state.

On the farming program this morning I heard a representative of produce importers state it was for the ‘health’ of the nation that we should be able to import such produce. It is by popular demand, it is the peoples choice. What arrant nonsense. It is to protect his members interests.

GOLDMANN SACHS

They epitomize everything that is wrong with ‘banking’ – and I use the word ‘banking’ loosely.

I welcome the attempt, for that is all it is at present, by the US Government to take action against them. It is long overdue. Of course here action man Brown has jumped on the bandwagon in his criticisms of the company and the suggestion that he too is investigating  whether similar action can be taken here. A Goldmann Sachs employee, or that of any other such organisation, looks after his interests first and foremost.; secondly those of the company for whom he works, after all, they pay his or her bonuses. The interests of the country and wider community do not, for the most part, come into his or her remit. That is unfettered capitalism. What’s wrong with that? Well, a lot actually. I addressed this years ago, in greater detail, there is not much more to be said. It’s all depressingly old hat.

En passant, whatever happened to Brown’s old buddy Gavyn Davies? Formerly of Goldmann Sachs, he went on to become the Chairman of the BBC. He resigned in 2004. I suspect he was savvy enough to realize the Labour Government was imploding and wanted to disassociate himself from it.

PLEADING CLERGY

I am glad to see that one can no longer “plead clergy” to avoid prosecution for child abuse.

TOYOTA

It is fast becoming embarrassing seeing and hearing senior Japanese Toyota executives apologise for their companies purported failings. American car manufacturers must be ecstatic. I wonder how much they helped the situation along.

THE CUTTING EDGE

16th April 2010

PROMISES, PROMISES

All three leaders of the main political parties are making promises, promises and yet more promises. Why? We know most of these promises cannot be kept. And yet they feel they have to be in this Dutch auction to appeal to the electorate. I think this is fundamentally wrong. You must have something to say, preferably disguised as a policy, say it simply and directly, in an appropriate manner.

Brown is shot, he has lost the election, and he knows it. His demeanour tells me so, and others in the Labour movement know it. Blair showing his support some weeks ago was very much a matter of flying a kite. I think that kite crashed ignominiously to the ground. I am sure Blair’s heart is not in being involved with a loser, and a lost cause.  After all, the way he believes in himself is refreshing, in these atheistic days when no one believes in God. And for God to have to endure such distain is not acceptable.

Labours years in power can be expressed by one word, one word only, failure, failure and yet again failure. Gordon Brown personally bears so much of the responsibility for this. To blame the recent economic decline in the USA through sub-prime lending is puerile. One should also bear in mind much of this lending went, often via derivatives, through the London financial market. But no, this was just a catalyst to bring down this house of cards, the mirage the fantasy that Brown created over the years. The man is of course too stupid to realize this. And, as I have stated before, for others now, after the event, to jump on the band wagon and state they presaged this years ago  – when quite simply they did not, is quite perverse, not even dear old Vince Cable had a clue. They all suffer from collective amnesia. What is more, no one, but no one, has yet come up with a precise analysis of why this happened. One or two came close, even George Soros, but none have encapsulated it, although it is blindingly obvious, it was 10 years ago. It was obvious this was going to happen and I wrote to Tory Central Office at the last election to put this to them. Of course, this was ignored, although they did ask me for more of my views.

Nor have the Tories pinned on Brown the responsibility for this fiasco. Some have touched on it, but did not ram it home. Their problem of course is that this should have been done years ago, but no one had a clue of what was about to befall the country. Had they had spoken out they would of course have been accused by Labour of running the country down. Their poll ratings would have fallen, but imagine how they would then have basked in their own self-righteousness. Now they find it difficult to over-criticize Brown, they would be seen to be wise only after the event, these dim-witted people are in a no win situation.

The Tory party conference was reminiscent of one Blair might have held, while the Labour one was sadly retro; but they are all yesterday’s men, other than Nick Clegg, he still has to prove his manhood. I might add that for Cameron to call himself Blair’s heir was a folly four years ago. Why be the heir to a man who was becoming universally disliked by the electorate.

And then this nonsense about a 1% rise in social security payments being too the great detriment of the economy, that it would cost jobs. If companies cannot afford the 1% rise then arguably they should not be in business. But of course the signing of a letter by leading businessmen criticizing the increase, which presumably was well orchestrated, has given the Tories some mileage.

Brown has lost the election, but that does not mean the Tories have won it. As things stood yesterday, the opinion polls notwithstanding, I give the Tories a significant working majority. But much can still go wrong over the coming weeks. UKIP have without doubt a much bigger following, taken largely from disenchanted Tories, but also from Labour ranks. If they had any sense they would advise their supporters to vote tactically. The BNP may also do well in certain areas. If ever there was an election where independents can do well, this is it. But the overall dislike of Gordon Brown will determine tactical voting. I will place my bet on the result 5 – 7 days before the election.

The Great Debate was so great that after half an hour I switched off and went off to something else; I found it incredibly boring. Yes, Nick Clegg came over best, of that there can be little doubt. It won’t win the Lib-Dems the election, and of course there are two more such debates to come, but he scored Brownie points. It will make things difficult for the Tories, and to a lesser extent Labour in a number of seats. As for Gordon brown, he suffered from illusions of adequacy. There was not even one flash of silence that would have made his contribution perfectly delightful. His pitch was as it has ever been, accentuate the positive, deny all that has gone before, it never happened. He is the great saviour of the nation and its economy, never mind that he got the country in the mess it’s in in the first place. It was David Cameron, who was the loser – on this occasion. His make-up people went overboard, I must say. I was convinced at one stage his head had been borrowed from Madam Tussauds, but then I saw his lips move. His voice and speech have improved, I could actually listen to it for half an hour. In the past he tended to sound like a bullfrog on speed.

On balance this debate serves little purpose. Most people have chosen how to vote. If it is to target the floating voter, and to be fair there are a number of those, enough to be worth perusing, then it may have an effect. If to target those who have not voted at all in recent election, I doubt it will not achieve much. The main beneficiaries are the media, who have made this a circus event. I don’t think Cameron was wise to agree to do the debate at all. The other two party leaders had nothing to lose.

PLANES GROUNDED IN THE UK

What a relief the grounding of All the UK’s planes must be to those people living near the airports. Let’s have more of this.

THE DEATH OF DAVID GRAY

The Nigerian doctor, Dr Ubani, charged with the death of David Gray, should never have been employed by the NHS. He received a very lenient sentence. Presumably the NHS obtained his services via a recruitment agency, the worst sort of people to differentiate between a good and a bad doctor. Did they look at his website? I did and my immediate impression was who the hell is this charlatan. But of course, it is the fee payable and the commission probably due to the individual recruiter who found him that is paramount.