Archive for April, 2010

Lest we forget

I thought I would reproduce this in full.


Dear Friend,

As election day gets closer and closer it is vital that the expenses crisis isn’t drowned out in promises and spin. Over the last two years the Sunlight Centre’s largest campaigns and investigations have been into the Smith Institute and former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. With your help we want to remind voters about this in the run up to polling day.

Not many people, and certainly not many of his constituents, know the role that Ed Balls played in the scandal around Gordon Brown’s favourite, think-tank The Smith Institute, and its breach of the charity laws covering party political activity.

Following the Charity Commission investigation initiated by the Sunlight COPs, the board of the charity had to resign. In the year between leaving the Treasury as Brown’s Special Adviser and becoming an MP, Ed Balls was paid close to £89,000 to write two pamphlets for the sham organisation. We want to tell the voters in his constituency of Morley and Outwood about this so the Sunlight Centre will be running an advert highlighting this and his expenses claims throughout the local paper websites in his constituency. We also want to remind Jacqui Smith’s constituents of her role as the “poster girl” of the expenses crisis.

Electoral Laws allow us to spend £500 in each constituency, but we need your help in order to raise these funds. If you could please contribute perhaps £10, £20, or £50 then together we can make sure that these two rotten elements of the last rotten parliament are not returned on election day.

Thank you in advance,

Harry Cole

Media Director
The Sunlight Centre

The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics


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10.04 LTS (Long Term Support release) is out tomorrow.

I will go over to it after my full monthly backup on the 30th of April.



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My new phone arrives today

And, quite honestly, I am excited. Noo, it is certainly not an iPhone. My friend, who is a serious freelance computer professional working with City and West End corporations in London has said that the number of IT departments who have standardised on this phone report many problems.

My phone is the top of the range “HTC Desire” and, right now, I desire it to be delivered soon. It’s coming by UPS and I have checked it is on the van! It uses the Android operating system and, as I use a lot of Google applications for running my newspaper, it is ideal. I have the “HTC Hero” at the moment. This has been terrific with Google Apps, which I will set up and pass over to my wife, and at least I will be able to show her how it works!

It’s ridiculous really, Here I am, at seventy, and can still get excited about a new gadget! The technical specification is below, but don’t bother to read it unless, like me, you are fascinated with new gadgets.


Product Features and Technical Details
Product Features
* 3.7-inch AMOLED display
* 1 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor
* 5 megapixel colour camera
* Social networking including Facebook®, Twitter™, and Flickr™
* Up to 7.2 Mbps download speed
Technical Details
Dimensions (LxWxT) 119 x 60 x 11.9 mm (4.7 x 2.36 x 0.47)
Weight 135 grams (4.76 ounces) with battery
CPU Speed 1 GHz
Power & Battery – Battery type: Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery – Capacity: 1400 mAh
Talk time:- WCDMA: Up to 390 mins -GSM: Up to 400 mins
Standby time: -WCDMA: Up to 360 hours -GSM: Up to 340 hours
Camera -5 megapixel color camera -Face detection capability -Auto focus and flash
Widescreen photo capture
Connectors -3.5 mm stereo audio jack -Standard micro-USB (5-pin micro-USB 2.0)
Sensors -G-Sensor -Digital compass- Proximity sensor -Ambient light sensor
HTC Widgets
Bookmarks, Calendar, Clock, Footprints, Friend Stream, Mail, Messages, Music, News, People, Photo Album, Photo Frame, Search, Settings, Stocks, Twitter, Weather
Downloadable widgets
Social Networking -Facebook™ integration -Friend Stream -Photo sharing on Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter
Video sharing on YouTube™ -HTC Peep for twittering
Recommended Windows System Requirements -Windows® 7, Windows Vista®, or Windows XP
HTC Sync
Special Features
Automatically lowers the ringer volume as soon as the phone is picked up
Mutes the ringer when the phone is flipped face down
Backs up certain data and settings to the microSD card automatically, such as SMS/MMS messages, bookmarks, Wi-Fi passwords, and more
Display 3.7-inch AMOLED touch-sensitive screen with 480 X 800 WVGA resolution
Platform Android™ 2.1 (Éclair) with HTC SenseTM
Storage -ROM: 512 MB -RAM: 576 MB
Expansion slot: -microSD™ memory card (SD 2.0 compatible) -Supports up to 32 GB
Network Bands
Europe: -HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz -GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Asia Pacific: -HSPA/WCDMA: 900/2100 MHz -GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
Internet -3G: -Up to 7.2 Mbps download speed -Up to 2 Mbps upload speed
GPRS: Up to 114 kbps downloading -EDGE: Up to 560 kbps downloading
Wi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g – Tethering
Internet sharing through USB
Bluetooth -Bluetooth® 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
FTP and OPP (object push) for file transfer
Other supported profiles: AVRCP, GAP, GOEP, HFP, HSP, PBAP, SPP, Service Discovery Application Profile
Photos application for viewing photos and videos -Music -FM Radio
Audio supported formats: – Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, .mp3, .wav, .wma -Recording: .amr
Video supported formats: -Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv -Recording: .3gp
Location -Internal GPS antenna -Google Maps -HTC Footprints™

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What a novel idea

This contract with the public in the Cambridge constituency has been signed fby an independent candidate. Would any reader please copy it and broadcast it on your blogs and send it to any political or press contacts. It deserves a full airing.


Constituents Contract

I, Old Holborn, as candidate in the General Election 2010 hereby agree to the following contract with my constituents:

• I will remain a fiercely loyal representative for my constituents. I will not put any party or other interest, before my constituents. If I do, I will resign.

• I will work with any organisation in Scotland, the UK or Europe if it will help the people of my constituency.

• I will never promise what I know I cannot deliver.

• I will endeavour to acknowledge all letters from constituents within 24 hours between Monday and Friday.

• I will endeavour to acknowledge all emails from constituents within 24 hours between Monday and Friday but hopefully sooner.

• I will attend regular advice/consultation sessions which will be widely advertised in the constituency. I will arrange home visits for the elderly, disabled and carers.

• I will never knowingly claim credit for something when the credit is not mine.

• I will tell people my real views, even when I know they will disagree with me.

• I will do my best to keep my website updated every day. I will blog regularly.

• My calendar will be published on my website and kept up to date daily from Monday to Friday.

• I will not claim one penny in expenses that is not absolutely required for me to carry out my job as an MP. If I do not keep this pledge, I will resign.

• I will publish my expenses (if any), in full, monthly or possibly weekly on my website. If I do not keep this pledge, I will resign.

• I will not use any taxpayer funded equipment or office for any other reason that to carry out my duties of MP. If I do not keep this pledge, I will resign.

• I will be a whistleblower against anyone. In this, I will not be anonymous and I will use the press. If I am caught knowing about illegality or sleaze and not whistle blowing, I will resign.

• I will be a full time MP with no jobs outside politics nor will I take any money from anyone for access. If I do work for anyone, it will be in a voluntary capacity which will not infringe on my time as an MP.

Signed Old Holborn 27.4.2010

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What does the Sunday Times Rich List prove?

I have just read that Gordon Brown is rallying his activists with the slogan “Only Labour can deliver fairness to all”.

Well, Gordon has certainly delivered fairness to the top 100 richest people in the UK. They have seen their wealth grow by 30% higher than it has ever risen under the Conservatives.

This isn’t my statement, the 30% is listed as the highest the top 100 richest people have ever seen their wealth multiply since the Rich List started.

So, if you are filthy rich, don’t vote Conservative, vote Labour.


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A picture is worth a thousand words.


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Something needs to be done about the House of Lords.

One amusing thing is, although the Socialists wanted and have, got rid of hereditary peers, they all long to be “Lords” and to sit in the House of Lords.

As I have mentioned before, one of the things I did like about hereditary peers is that a hundred years were short term for them and I have come up with an idea, after discussing possibilities with Richard, a friend of mine, to keep this essence, but to change the name of the House of Lords.

In African tribes we have  “elders” who would be asked to rule on a problem from time to time, and it is a good system and I would like to introduce it to the UK.

The second chamber could be called the House of Elders. There could be one member from each county in England with additional members co-opted depending on their experience pertaining to a problem which may need specialist help from time to time, but the number of “Elders” never to exceed a hundred.

The “elders” from each county to be voted in and none of them to be sponsored by any party or business organisation.

They would have to have been a “fellow” of a Chartered Profession for at least thirty years or been the chief executive of a business of at least a hundred employees for at least twenty years. There should be a minimum age of sixty.

These “elders” would be voted in for a fixed term of two General Elections. However, half would stand at each General Election so that there would be continuity as half would stay and stand at the following General Election. As these would not be political appointees, the two term principle could be acceptable. No “elder” would be allowed to stand a second time in their lifetime. By holding the elections together with General Elections, money would be saved.

The members of the House of Elders would get a fixed allowance of £200 a day. The Internet would be used for “project management” and conferences and no expenses would be paid.

In other words, this would be a vocation for people who have made their money and don’t need the State (read taxpayers) to pay for them.

Elders in African tribes do not get paid at all but do it as a vocation to help their tribe prosper.


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