Thursday, 30 April 2009

Question Time Chat Test

+++EUSA rejects Daily Mail Ban+++

Good news from Edinburgh University Student's Association, the Committee of Management have rejected the ridiculous attempt to ban the Daily Mail from outlets.

Well done to

Stuart MacLennan
. There are still some good people left in the Labour Party and that shouldn't be forgotten. Stuart lead the campaign against the illiebral and naive moves from the deluded executive.


UPDATE 18.33: The vote was 6 in Favour, 9 Against. Six too many.

Brown humiliation goes global.

This was
in Sri Lanka's Daily Mirror:

Gordon Brown suffers humiliating defeat

U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown lost a vote in the Parliament his party controls, over his decision to deny a brigade of Nepalese soldiers residency rights, adding to a week of setbacks. This is the first time a British Prime Minister has lost an opposition day debate in the Commons in 30 years.

The 267 to 246 vote, which is not binding on the government, concerns Gurkhas, British Army veterans who have been fighting for the right to come to Britain. Brown said the right of automatic residence should be restricted to those who quit the service after 1997.

The vote late yesterday came after the prime minister was forced to back down over reform of the system of lawmakers’ expenses, scrap plans for a government database tracking electronic communications and scale back plans to build bigger jails. It underscored Brown’s declining popularity as the recession deepens ahead of a vote he must call by June.

“It is not just that Brown has lost control of the party,” said Mark Wickham-Jones, professor of politics at Bristol University. “It’s that individual members of Parliament are starting to be more assertive in the run-up to the election when they have their own constituencies to consider.”

Brown has a majority of 63, meaning he should be able to win any vote if he maintains party discipline. Yesterday, 27 lawmakers from his Labour Party joined opposition Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in voting for a motion backing the rights of Gurkhas who retired before 1997.

This government is an embarassment. Just go Gordon.
Hat-Tip: TB's good buddy in Sri Lanka Muheed Jeeran.

Is Lord Baldamort crackers too?

It seems that
cappuccino loving
bunker loiterer Liam Bryne is losing it a bit:

Liam Byrne, Cabinet Office Minister
BBC News

Mr Byrne said that we had seen “the smack of firm government” on the expenses issue, arguing that MPs had been galvanised into action on reform as a result of the Prime Minister’s proposals via YouTube last week.

He claimed “we have had the smack of firm government” on expenses reform, saying “Gordon asked the House to focus on it, and the House was galvanised to action”.

He added the government were trying to establish, “a robust cross party consensus about getting change to happen”, and noted that there was consensus on swathes of the Prime Minister’s proposals on reform.

He said that the government were happy to refer issues wherever there was no consensus to Sir Christopher Kelly.

That's not quite what happened now is it? Either he's lying through his teeth or he is completely deluded.

Either way the end is nigh...

What's in store?

in the Mail Telegraph:

"William Hague, we know, presented Sir Peter Ricketts at the Foreign Office with a series of clear requests that left little doubt about what's in store. The head of the diplomatic service was asked to prepare a Bill for a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty that must be ready for publication within days of the Tories taking over"


Crunch time for EUSA

Today at 5.30 a vote will be taking place that could see the farcical attempt to ban the Daily Mail becoming the policy of
Edinburgh University Students Association
. As TB covered at the beginning of the month, there has been widespread outrage and genuine anger and hatred felt toward those in charge of this
attempt to appear cutting edge, which is in fact only sad and pathetic bleating along leftist lines that ohh the Daily Mail is racist. Let's ban it.

Well firstly the Mail isn't racist and their lawyers might have one or two things to say about the official EUSA press release that was put out saying so, but that is beside the point. This is a classic bit of totalitarian liberal fascism. Students at Edinburgh are some of the most intelligent people in this country, yet their student's association feels they should be patronised and made what to think.

If the Daily Mail was withdrawn because it only sold ten or so copies a day, that's one thing, but the fact that the fanfare of quotes and press releases were employed means that, however hard they are trying to spin it now as a business decision, it is not. The spin and lies won't hide the fact that this is a cold and calculated political move in order to attract headlines and column inches.

Though he will be leaving in a few weeks anyway, TB will be opting out of membership of the Association if this goes through. Which would be a shame because he quite likes the having that post work pint outside the Library Bar on sunny evening.

Good people:

Diane Abbott (Hackney North & Stoke Newington), Ian Cawsey (Brigg & Goole), Harry Cohen (Leyton & Wanstead), Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North), Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-under-Lyme), Mark Fisher (Stoke-on-Trent Central), Neil Gerrard (Walthamstow), Kate Hoey (Vauxhall), Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North), Joan Humble (Blackpool North & Fleetwood), Glenda Jackson (Hampstead & Highgate), John McDonnell (Hayes & Harlington), Shona McIsaac (Cleethorpes), Andrew Mackinlay (Thurrock), Gordon Marsden (Blackpool South), Bob Marshall-Andrews (Medway), Julie Morgan (Cardiff North), Dr Nick Palmer (Broxtowe), Stephen Pound (Ealing North), Nick Raynsford (Greenwich & Woolwich), Andy Reed (Loughborough), Linda Riordan (Halifax), Alan Simpson (Nottingham South), Andrew Smith (Oxford East), Paul Truswell (Pudsey), Keith Vaz (Leicester East), Mike Wood (Batley & Spen)

TB has had his problems with some of this lot in the past, but yesterday they did

the right thing

On a slightly more cynical point, note the lack of John Cruddas, the "voice of the left". And also expect retaliation from the bunker with stories breaking about Vaz, Pound, Hoey etc in the next few weeks. Just a few weeks ago Pound was on Sky News defending Brown during the McBride/Draper/No10 scandal.

Gordon is losing friends fast.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009


After a ridiculously busy day, it will be nice to put some names to faces at this:

"Blogging Drinks TONIGHT

Just a last minute reminder to anyone interested in the blogging drinks, we're meeting tonight at The Albanach at 7pm.
Wednesday 29th April (TONIGHT!)

The Albanach
Royal Mile

It's being organised by

Malc in the Burgh
, so if you are a Scottish blogger and you fancy a pint, TB will be propping up the bar and trying not to be too mean to the Nats.

What larks.

Totty Watch: Carla Bruni sex tapes

It seems that the French first Lady and reformed man-eater might be about to cause some serious red faces for her pint-sized lover's administration. The Mail is

Hundreds of 'highly intimate' images of the French president's wife and her former lover have been stolen during a burglary.

The photographs and videos of Carla Bruni, who is on an official trip to Spain with Nicolas Sarkozy, date from the 41-year- old's affair with philosopher Raphael Enthoven.

Thieves broke into the Paris flat of his brother, 27-year-old actor Julien Enthoven, where the prints and videos were being kept, and stole them.

Police believe the images could be posted on the web, serving to embarrass Nicolas Sarkozy or be sold for a sizeable sum, thanks to his third wife's status

Anyone fancy throwing £20 into a whip around?

1970s Swine Flu propaganda.

Disco is playing, Labour has broken the country again and now Swine Flu is back:

For someone who wasn't born in the seventies, TB is beginning to get a taste of it.



100 days later...

Generally speaking the first 100 days of a new President setting the political agenda within the US, tends to be defining in terms of what the years in office are going to be like and what developments can be expected. Sadly TB doesn't have the resources of
Adam Boulton
and the backing of Sky to be in Washington to report on the passing of this landmark. Instead he has called upon the services of Daniel Ericsson who is a bit of an expert on all things stateside. He ran the British Republican blog during the American elections and just finished writing his dissertation on Mitt Romney. He is the former Chairman of Exeter University Conservative Future.

100 Days since I was sat bleary eyed at some awful hour of the morning, sighing and wondering vaguely why I’d stayed up to watch a result I was 99% certain was going to happen. A quick sigh that the McCain camp was over, and a quick reflection of “Well, at least it wasn’t Hilary!” I thought that Obama would be the kind of Democrat that I could tolerate (a little like Bill Clinton when he was passing long-term Republican objectives like NAFTA and making progress with the free trade agenda) – his magnificent oratory skills giving him a rare chance to control the political agenda whilst enjoying popular support.


As TB covered, George Osborne noted the death of New Labour earlier this week. Elsewhere in the graveyard however lies another small headstone. It’s not ornate and not many people tend to it but that’s precisely what it wants. If you look at the inscription on the headstone it reads “US Small Government, 1981-2009. I was killed by my big brother!” I’m not sure if the funeral was private, but Reagan would undoubtedly be crying somewhere. Regrettably it is this which I as a classical liberal which I cannot forgive Obama for being complicit in. He started out well – I was pleased with the closure of Guantanamo, as whilst it raised a number of practical points it represented the dark side of the Bush years and the War on Terror – the uncomfortable fact that America’s moral high ground was shaky.

Then however the attention turned to the economy and Obama’s budget. What Obama inherited actually bears a lot of parallels to what Reagan took over in 1981. An economy suffering rapidly as unemployment begins to spiral out of control on one hand whilst inflation remains a concern over the other. A necessity to continue high levels of spending on achieving military objectives, balanced against other needs. It’s the action the two men took which separates them.
Now generally speaking the Government does have to undertake deficit financing (use some money to deal with the immediate problem, then pay it off when times are better to combat a recession.) The smart ones save up to ride out the bad times without too much long term damage, the fools tell themselves and others that they’ve abolished boom and bust and celebrate with the cheque book (now who could that be?) Reagan ran up a sizable deficit but it was mainly unplanned with unfortunate world economic conditions running against him, but he counterbalanced with trimming Government and stopped a bad situation becoming terrible, leading to some great years of growth. Obama has a wild spending spree and expansion of the public sector planned far beyond even the worst predictions of the Reagan possibility, and let us not forget that with Obama, it’s purposeful. Be under no illusion, the Obama plan will lead to recovery in the short(ish) term, but only by sacrificing a heck of a more in the long term. His next planned issue, the American Health Care system does need fixed with its shocking gaps in coverage, but going bankrupt through attempting to push through an ideological approach without the money is a recipe for disaster.

There are precious few times that I’ve felt proud to be a US Republican in the last few years. When the party stood together and attempted to block this budget though, I really was so proud. It may be a fairly dull bunch of numbers at its core, but Obama’s budget represents his first 100 days and a key change in US philosophy. So I ask you to take a quick moment out of your day, and take a moment of silence to mark the tragic passing of Small Government.

If you would like to write a guest post for get in touch.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Strike that.


Keep Right Online
it seems that Jarvis Cocker was misquoted.

Seems he doesn't like the tories or the government.

Sing along with the Common People...

Fantastic news that Jarvis Cocker has endorsed the prospect of a Tory government in an interview with GQ. NME

are reporting

"The former Pulp frontman revealed that he has become disillusioned with Gordon Brown and the Labour party in general in an interview with GQ. "I think his [Gordon Brown's] behaviour just makes a mockery of the whole system," Cocker is quoted as saying in the interview. "A Conservative government is necessary. There is no credible alternative. You can sense an era passing."

Despite saying that he was a life long Labour voter, this isn't the first time that Cocker has been scathing about the Labour Government. When they asked him to campaign for Blair he replied with the brilliant "
Cocaine Socialism
" - a damning attack on Labour's culture of spin and celebrity:

I thought that you were joking
When you said "I want to see you
To discuss your contribution to the future
of our nation's heart and soul
Six o'clock, my place, Whitehall"

Now get down to the gist: "Do you want a line of this?
Are you a (sniff) socialist?"
Just one hit And I feel great
And I support The welfare state

Oh, you must be socialist 'Cos you're always off out on the piss
In your private member's bar Oh yes you are Yer superstar
Well you sing about common people
And the mis-shapes and the misfits
So can you bring them to my party
And get them all to sniff this? And all I'm really saying
Is come on and rock the vote for me. All I'm really saying
Is come on roll up that note for me...

Though he won't be knocking on doors, Cocker is a welcome addition to the fold. TB has been a Pulp fan since as long as he has been into music and is rather pleased Cocker has seen the light.

All together now, "She came from Greece and had a thirst for knowledge..."


+++SU president gets away with it+++

Via the excellent

Young Conservative
blog it seems Nottingham University's notorious President has survived efforts to have him removed from office... TB broke the story a couple of months ago and was then threatened with some very arsey emails from the bureaucrat in charge at Nottingham threatening to sue unless the stories were removed. Seems they had issue with the phrase "beating up" rather than "head butt". Over to TYC:

"Impact, the ‘University of Nottingham Students’ Union’s award-winning magazine’
is reporting
that disgraced Students’ Union president Nsikan Edung has survived a no-confidence vote by a threadbare margin.

Monday night’s vote ended with a majority - 24 - voting in favour of removing Edung, whose position looked increasingly untenable following revelations last month that he bragged on Facebook of “pissing our [SU] money away” and “ruining diplomatic relations” whilst he was meant to be acting as an ambassador the university in China. The trip was funded from the public purse. Whilst only 16 votes were cast in favour of Edung continuing in his role, the two-thirds threshold which would have seen him dismissed was narrowly avoided.

However the lamentable story doesn’t end there, with Impact stating that "on Friday 28th March he was observed to engage in an altercation involving 40 minutes of sustained verbal abuse and then an alleged physical altercation, which is now pending censure”.

Taken in totality this conduct surely begs the question, what does one have to do to be dismissed as Nottingham’s SU president?"


Exclusive: Boris's private army.

Boris Johnson today revealed his new private security guards who have been cloned from the big fella himself:

Those looking to stir up trouble with BJ/DC rift stories better be careful from now on...

Twenty Firsts meme thing.


have tagged TB in this meme question thingy:

First Job

Worked in CCHQ for three months of the summer in 2007.

First Real Job
TB is still a student.. for a few more weeks anyway.

First Role in Politics
Chairman of Edinburgh University Tories

First Car
Ever the green - it was an electric red Jag. TB got it when he was five and was king of the playroom.

First Record
Different Class by Pulp

First Football Match
Ummm Newcastle vs. Wimbledon a long time ago. Think it was a draw.

First Concert
Raging Speedhorn at the Forum Tunbridge Wells aged about 15. Amazing at the time, on reflection utterly dreadful.

First Country Visited
Spain aged about six weeks.

First TV Appearance
QVC - was a bit of a regular on Toy Time when TB was a little bear...

First Political Speech
A passionate defence of the Union in a debate against the SNP a few years ago. The bottle of port really fired things up.

First Girlfriend/Boyfriend
Rebecca. Must have been about ten, our romance bloomed through rehearsals of a school production of Oliver!

First Encounter with a Famous Person
Played Tiny Tim in Scrooge the Musical which starred Anthony Newley when TB was seven.

First Brush With Death
Being born two months early was pretty touch and go. Lets just say TB was blue from day one.

First House/Flat Owned

First Film Seen at a Cinema
Bambi? Don't really remember...

First Time on the Radio
5 Live last Conference.

First Politician I Met
Had dinner with Nigel Farage when he came to speak at Tonbridge School.

First Book I Remember Reading
Can't really remember exactly but Topsy and Tim would be a safe bet.

First Visit to the London Palladium
JOSEPH! Mummy and Nanny Bear took the little bears to see Philip Scofield don the coat. Still know every word.

First Election
Got owned in 2008 running for President of Edinburgh University Students Association. Might have helped if TB has shown any interest at all in student politics before that.

TB tags:
Gareth Keenan
Irfan Ahmed
Yapping Yousif
Mike Rouse

Monday, 27 April 2009

Birthday Bear

Exam done. Candles blown out, cake eaten. Back tomorrow!

Swine Flu.

We're all going to die!

When the going gets tough...

Oh the irony. In a post that actually contains the words "a big fat slap in the face for the ethics of the blogosphere" it emerges that Tom Miller has
turned the comments off
on his blog. He is continuing his, now silent, puppet master Derek Draper's  personally vindictive campaign against
Alex Hilton
because of his involvement in
. So much from good blogging practice. Wasn't accountability pretty high up that list? Without comments a blog is just a foghorn. 
It didn't take long for Gareth to show his true authoritarian colours now did it...

Caption Contest - Birthday edition

"Hello, we're from the government and we're here to help..."

Upping the pace...

Buried next to a

ridiculous story
about how Brown now has to pay his MPs £5000 to get them to vote for his expenses plan, TB spotted this in the Mail:
Seems the campaign is gaining traction... have you signed yet?

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Blogs are the new black...

You may have noticed TB has been lacking in some serious substance recently, and posts rarely longer than forty words this week. Well his finals start tomorrow, his birthday, and thus the blog has suffered. Here's a guest post to keep you all going. TB is turning over the tables to the editors of the new blog

Keep Right Online
, that seeks "to right the wrongs of the past twelve years through informing on right of centre views."

Dear reader, allow me to regale you, with why blogs such as Tory Bear,
Iain Dale
Guido Fawkes
Keep Right Online
are fast becoming the staple of the right, while the left haven't quite gotten the hang of it. Progressive nothing. This is freedom of speech at its greatest.
Over the past year, the prominence of major Conservative bloggers such as
 [Ed. don't forget
, he's fab.]
has given the right a (sorry to sound so clichéed) fresh new voice: one that people actively seek out, and one that is, in fact, so sensational that the mainstream media clamour for the latest breaking stories.

We saw it at Smeargate, we saw it at Crewe and Nantwich, we saw it after the Budget, and we'll see it again and again. Vibrant and energetic, giving way to independent opinions and without the 'party line' mandate, web 2.0 exploitation should be encouraged and fostered as one of THE best marketing tools we have.

That’s not to say it’s simply the medium. The quality of our journos and pseudo-journos is impressive to say the least. The
BUCF blog
Sassy Conservative
The Young Conservative
and more offer both wider scope, but also niche and targeted pieces: and we’re not even close to saturation on this. The average hits on ‘our’ sites are devastating to the soon-to-be opposition. We can only imagine how much money Tory Bear rakes in Google ads - eh, TB?

But be wary, dear blogger, of complacency, and certainly of embarrassment. CF itself is not without its renegades, and in reading these blogs, we offer a self-regulatory solution to our writers. We’d hardly like to see one go the way of
Miller 2.0
, or whatever that hack calls himself nowadays. (Can't wait for Miller: Reloaded.)

Going forward, over the course of the next eighteen months, we need to see a surge in how many people are visiting, debating and discussing views mentioned on these blogs or sharing videos and posts on Facebook/*insert social networking site of choice here*, and thus truly contributing to this 21st century library of opinion. You may not agree with some of the things you read, but, by jove, if you’re not informed or informing others upon your trip on the "series of tubes".

Elections are coming- in a variety of forms. We mustn't lose a grip on what I call the ‘informative scene’. Stoop to their levels, we shall not. The difference between left of centre blogs and our own? Substance. We have it; they don't even come close.

If you would like to write a guest post for Tory Bear get in touch.

Hannan's speech:

Shakespeare, Europe and Labour lies:

Teaching the people of Britain a new vocabulary, one speech at at time.

Tories! Live!

If you didn't make it to Spring Forum either, you can watch it live from 1.30 until 4.30. Speeches from Osborne, Hannan and Cameron all coming up:
Back to the books for TB though.

UPDATE 15.45. Well that was an excellent revision break... Hannan gave a barnstorming speech about Europe and was given the biggest standing ovation of the day so far:
Video to follow.

This is Dan Han speaking II

Ok last post of the day about Hannan, promise. But if you watch one video on YouTube today, check out his address to the Freedom Association fringe meeting last night:

Play Political

Hannan for Congress

It's pretty obvious that Daniel Hannan is a man the party should be listening to. His book "

The Plan
", that he wrote with Douglas Carswell MP, should be in DC's desk draw. His YouTube video has finally got the
TB never had time to do, but it's his profile in America that is truly staggering. Just came across this
hilarious site
Back off America. He's ours.

Don't forget - to meet Daniel Hannan click here.

Horribly busy morning polishing up on Wittgenstein, but TB just had a click through the papers with a cup of coffee...

  • Fraser Nelson wants to know what the plan is Dave in the NOTW.
  • Nigel Lawson slams the Budget in The Telegraph
  • As does ummm Andrew Lloyd Webber in the Mail.
  • The Mail also reports about Gordon's raging at DC and Clegg at the expenses meeting.
  • The Times interviews Dave.
  • Also the Times reports that the criminal Lords get slap on the wrist and no expenses for year. Diddums.
...and finally in true Mail style, check out which buildings did and didn't fly the St George's Cross the other day.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Lib Dem PPC does the right thing.

ConservativeHome is
that Norsheen Bhatti,
Liberal Democrat Campaigner
for Chelsea & Fulham, has joined the Conservatives and it seems she has some pretty
damning things
to say about Nick Clegg...

"When I heard you speak I realised that you as leader and the Liberal Democrats are the not the party I had once believed in and is so very out of touch with everyday life and people in our country.

"It saddens me to say but that day I lost all faith in you and the party and I can no longer continue to be a part of the Liberal Democrat party of today."

Will this be the first of many Lib Dems seeing the light?

This is Dan Han speaking...

TB sadly couldn't make it to Spring Forum, but so it came to be, that at the seventh hour, on the first day, the golden child doth speak:

Rousing stuff apparently.

Yes that's the point...

Remove the word "however" from the last paragraph, and that should be the wording of the manifesto. 
State funded yes, State controlled no.

When does this end?

London Conservative Future have a good little recruitment video out this weekend:

Check out their website

Looking for a summer job?

Dear all,

Liberal Youth have now decided the content of their Freshers campaign, and we're now looking for designers to take on either the whole project, or designers to take on individual campaigns.

Our campaign briefs are as follows:

Debt Busters

Our tuition fees/student debt campaign. It was decided that the campaign will have a Ghostbusters theme/format.

We need a logo for the campaign, which ideally can also go on a t-shirt, along with posters. We also want I.O.U. cards. So "I.O.U. a free education" signed by Gordon Brown.

"Choose the Lib Dems"

After discussing rewriting the "What Lib Dems Believe" (WLDB) leaflet we have that some of you may have seen, we decided we wanted to have a campaign built on the wider idea of why people should join/vote for the Lib Dems.

The campaign will be done in the style of Trainspotting, with posters done in the style of the famous Trainspotting ones. You may have seen the ones we've just done for the budget on Facebook. If not see


We want the WLDB leaflet redone as a business card sized fold-out leaflet, like the Make it Happen leaflets that were produced, but in keeping with the Trainspotting visual design.

"Let's Speak Up"
This will be our campaign on I.D. cards. We'll be re-working the "First they came for the writers, but I didn't speak up because I was not a writer.....and then they came for me. And there was nobody left to speak up for me" to something along the lines of:

"First they came for the airport workers. But I didn't speak up because I was not an airport worker. Then they came for the foreigners. But I didn't speak up because I was not a foreigner......Now they're coming for us. So let's speak up."

This is the one campaign where we're not set on a design, so is the one where you can be most creative.

Please send emails of interest/design ideas to

We will be making a final decision on designers on June 1st at the latest, but will appoint earlier if we find good people!

We are willing to negotiate on pay, but as we have a limited budget would appreciate volunteers or things in kind, e.g. you design for us, we'll do some delivery for you.

Apologies for the long post!

Best wishes,

Elaine Bagshaw
Chair, Liberal Youth

Friday, 24 April 2009

Totty Watch winners - Week 2:

Tory Bear, the Acting Returning Officer for Researcher Totty Watch, hereby gives notice that the percentage of votes given for each candidate at the election of 24th April 2008 was as follows;

Jessie Lever: 19%
Victora Parker: 81%

Jack Colson: 65%
Paul Foote: 35%

And that Victoria Parker and Jack Colson have been duly elected to Westminster's Researcher of the Week.

Prizes are in the post to your MPs office. Get nominating contestants for next week's edition.