The best of 2012

Since the dawn of time human kind has marked the winter solstice. In modern times it is celebrated by bringing out the primeval urge in all of us: the desire to draw up lists. It seems that nearly every magazine and blog site on the internet has compiled a “best of 2012” list. I’ve started to compile the meta-list of lists. In the 2012 list of lists you can find the best films and albums, sporting moments and sporting disasters, the best posh hotels and comfortable toilets as well as worst passwords of 2012.

If you have any other links you think should be added to the list, please send them my way.

All best wishes and Merry Christmas.

A new low as Harriet Baldwin lets the cat out of the bag. The welfare Bill is all about scoring political points over the opposition.

Daily Politics

Thursday, 20 December 2012


Andrew Neil

Harriett Baldwin

AN: The bills wording says it will quote: ‘make provisions relating to the uprating of certain social security benefits and tax credits.’ Should it not really be called George Osborne’s welfare trap for the Labour Party?

HB: I think that would be a very good name for it because actually I want to reassure a lot of your viewers today, I know you have a lot of pensioners watching, I want to reassure them that their pensions next year will actually go up more than inflation at 2.5% because of the triple lock, that is on top of a 5% increase last year…

Upcoming Open Rights Group Event

The Open Rights Group (ORG) are arranging an event on Monday 17 December in response to the proposals of the Communications Data Bill. If you can, please do come along.

Joint Committee released damning report on Communications Data Bill

The Joint Committee’s final report vindicates ORG’s view that the current proposals should be dropped. They label Home Office evidence “fanciful and misleading” and say the Bill pays “insufficient attention to the duty to respect the right to privacy.” However, Theresa May is still refusing to listen, saying there “can be no delay”.

We believe that a fundamental review of digital surveillance is required. However, a review of this nature should not be entrusted to the Home Office; the Committee has shown them to be too insular and secretive to properly consider questions of justice and civil liberties. We want a full public and open consultation.

On Monday 17th December we will be lobbying MPs in Parliament. We want you to join us!

Come along and tell your MPs that the Government must go back to the drawing board:

Jubilee Cafe, Westminster

12pm – 6pm

Monday 17 December

We will be there all day with advice on speaking to your MP as well as having detailed briefings on the CDB on hand.

Can you come along next Monday? If so, please book an appointment with your MP here or by contacting the MP switch desk 020 7219 3000. Calling may well be faster at this time.

If you are willing to attend and have severe difficulty getting transport we are willing to pay rail fares for some on a first come, first served basis. If you are unable to travel to London at this time you can also use our tool to book an appointment with your MP at their constituency office.

Two amazing quotes on gay marriage from Paul Waugh’s morning memo

Here’s an extract from Paul Waugh’s daily email. Is it me or is the reaction of these MPs remarkable?

Last night, Tory MP Stewart Jackson raised the spectre of ‘civil disobedience’ if gay marriage went ahead. He told the Westminster Hour that out gay marriage was not in the party manifesto and said many Tory MPs were worried about the way the legislation could be used with the Human Rights Act and Europe to force churches to do things they didn’t want to do:

“There will be a legal quagmire. The only people who will be happy will be the lawyers, there will probably be an impass between the Lords and the Commons. There may even be civil disobedience. This is a very serious issue for the Prime Minister because I think it is symptomatic of a certain degree of arrogance on his part and a breach of faith, not just many MPs but the view of many Conservative party members and the wider electorate.”


Bob Blackman said over the weekend that Cameron should reintroduce Section 28. Blackman told the BBC: “I still abide by that and feel thats the right way forward, and if teachers are forced to say same-sex relationships are equivalent to heterosexual relationships I’d be very opposed to that.”

If you want to sign up to Paul’s morning memo, you can do so here.