Thursday, March 29, 2007

A surprisingly good Council Assembly and not so surprising loss to Italy!!

After my negative thoughts on the Council Assembly in the last post I actually quite enjoyed it and it was pretty positive from our side of the fence with good speeches from Chris Page, Evrim Laws,Robert Smeath and Mary Foukes in particular. The great Urban versus Suburban debate was sorted out pragmatically with a compromise between the Govenment and the Council and a move away from any thoughts of a pointless and wasteful Judicial Review which is good!

A couple of things did annoy me on the night:

1. The debate on the Carrib Football team - a great success strory with a deputation of quite inspirational young black men and women asking for funding fro additional changing facilities in the short term until the new facilities are built. The easiest thing in the world for the Council Leader to have done was to say "yes we will fix it" and then discuss with all parties how it would be funded But oh no that is not the way that this Lib Dem/Torty bunch work!! afterwards! Instead we had a pathetic discuyssion about funding and beudgets and that no money (probably no more than £20,000 needed!) could be found anywhere from an £800 Million Organisation and that the responsibility was on the local Community Council.... absolutely pathetic!!!!!!!
In the break the Labour CC Chairs are going to look at each giving an amount to bridge the gap and we will get it done ourselves!!!! Even a Lib Dem Chair and Vice cahir have offered funds!

I know that Kim Humphreys was upset that we spent so long on the item but there was a much bigger principle at stake here really showing up the complete absence of political leadership that exists at present and we thought that it was worth pursuing and I am glad that we did!!!

2. Watching this Administration in action is like watching Militant in the 1980's, completely Stalinist in their approach with a small cabal dictating policy, much less than the 10 Exec members I think?, where motion after motion they will not tolerate anything that even might be indirectly viewed as being critical of the Council, apart from blaming the previous labour Addministrations, or anything that credits the Labour London Mayor or the Labour Government. There were a couple of motions last night which were amended to a point where they were out of order as they totally turned the motions around into slobbering praise for all things Lib Dem!!! I dont know who they think they are kidding with all of this but they cant really believe that behaving the way that they do gives them any credibility inside or outside of the Town Hall.
It is clear from the past few meetings that some Lib Dems have just about had enough with members absenting themselves from the Chamber, or as in the case last night, openly breaking the Whip!! Perhap this Lib Dem Group photo will diminish even further over the next few months??

I returned home at 1am to the news of a 2-0 defeat to Italy in Bari with Toni getting both goals, reports suggest a comprehensive defeat but once again Hibs Scott Brown playing well, I am sure that he will be a regular starter from now on!
We are on top of Group 2 with 12 points along with France and Ukraine but I still fancy World Champions italy to win the group leaving the 3 to fight out the other 1 spot. I think that France are vulnerable so already the Autumn match at Hampden Park between Scotland and Ukraine is looking like the key game so I am hoping for a Shevchenko injury with Chelsea as they are not the same team without him!!! All to play for and Scotland developing into a very good team for the first time since the 1998 World Cup!!

Could not resist this picture of the Steve McLaren Fan Club taken last night in Spain after England's 3-0 victory over Andorra!! He was not happy and walked out of the Press Conference so it looks like the end is drawing near for another England Manager???

Monday, March 26, 2007

Council Assembly and Scotland keep on winning!!!!

Another Council Assembly to look forward to this week with deputations, lots of questions, lots of motions and no decisions!! These meetings really do frustrate me especially with the Lib Dems and Tories absolute arrogance and unwillingness to debate anything unless it is on their terms. They have another motion about the Urban/Suburban issue as it allows them to attack both the Mayor and the Government and deflect attention from the appaulling mess they are making of the Council. The 100 days of change lumbers on past day 50 with ludicrous "fillers" about inspecting an Estate or visiting someone who has just moved ionto a new property!! No suggestions of any significant "root and branch" change within the Housing Department and of course when the 100 days are over it will be back to the sameold same old with lots of posters everywhere saying how brilliant the Administration is!

I recieved my Council tax bill for the year with the booklet inside describing where my money is going which is all well and good but this year the commentary has been "heavily politicised" including a graph of the Mayor's element year on year and other political references which are totally inappropriate but the Lib Dems have never adhered to the policy of being apolitical in Council publications, making use of the weak legislation and enforcement in the area that lets them get away with it!! They have absolutely no morals about this and are at it again!!!!
These publications need to be a straiughtforward commentary without the "Spin" and perhaps there should be two seperate parts from the Council and the Mayor instead of Lib Dem lies being peddled as impaertial Council information?
Another good Scotland win against a very good Georgian team and I had settled for a draw after Boyd's goal was evened out until the late winner by Beattie. I thought that the Hibs player, Scott Brown, changed the game when he came on and was much more aggressive and attack minded.
Now on to Bari to face italy (the World Champions!) . A draw would be a great result but we could take a narrow defeat after the win on Saturday. We clearly have to win all the home games and take what we can away. I dont think that taking points of Italy or France away is impossible for us in our current form!!
Scott Brown changed the game when he came on and will start against italy on Wednesday!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Brown's last Budget and another brilliant one to boot!!!!

Below is Gordon Brown's Statement after his 10th Budget which I think is all that needs to be said on another tremendous Budget from the best Chancllor of the Exchequer that Britain has ever had!
I look forward to him becoming the Prime Minister later this year and taking the Labour Party to a truly historic 4th Term in Government!
To all Tories, Lib Dems and others I say "read it and

Over the ten years I have been Chancellor, the priorities of families across Britain have been my priorities.

Whether by keeping mortgages low, providing the economic stability to deliver record employment and sustained investment in schools, this Government has worked hard to support hard working families.

Living standards have risen, thousands of children and pensioners have been lifted out of poverty and there are over two million more people in work.

So I was determined today to continue to put families at the heart of the Budget with more support for children, for pensioners and for schools.

When Labour came to power in 1997, child benefit was just £11. We've already increased it by over 50 per cent. Today I announced that over the next three years it will go up to £20 a week.

And nine out of ten families also now receive child tax credit, introduced by this Government, to help families with the cost of bringing up children. We are also going to increase this by a further £150 a year.

And to continue our attack on child poverty, the maximum amount of child tax credit will be raised to £75 a week.

These changes will lift another 200,000 children out of poverty.

There's more money for schools as well. Thanks to the hard work of teachers and pupils - and record investment in education - we've seen dramatic improvements in school results over the last decade.

We'll keep increasing investment in schools so that by 2010, spending per pupil will not be the £2,500 a year it was in 1997 but £6,000 a year.

There's more help for pensioners as well as we move, as we have promised, to restore the link between the basic state pension and earnings which was broken by the Tories.

By increasing pensioner tax allowances, we will lift 600,000 pensioners out of tax altogether. We also announced plans to raise the threshold on inheritance tax.

But I also know that families want more action to help reduce pollution and tackle climate change.

So we are making sure that those motorists who drive cleaner cars will pay less in duty while those with the most polluting vehicles pay more.

We are going to give more encouragement and advice as well to families to help them cut energy bills at home.

All this is only possible, of course, because of the strength and stability of our economy.

Under this Government, Britain continues to enjoy the longest sustained period of economic growth in our history.

Unlike the misery - 15 per cent interest rates and three million out of work - caused by the deep recessions of the Tory years, our economy has grown every single year.

And to help business continue to prosper and create jobs, I have cut corporation tax by 2p.

There are already over two million more people in jobs than in 1997 but I want to go further to reward work.

So our economic stability has enabled me to simplify the tax system for families by removing the 10p starting rate of income tax and cutting the basic rate by 2p to just 20p - the lowest basic rate for 75 years.

As a result of the changes announced yesterday, a family with two children earning £27,000 will be £500 a year better off.

That's why I believe today's Budget was a Budget for Britain's future and a Budget for Britain's families.

Yours sincerely,

Gordon Brown

Labour's Chancellor of the Exchequer

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

More Cup Final Images

Simply a gratuitous opportunity to show more images from that amazing day!!!!!
The Evening News have produced a souvenir brochure of the day and these are some of the images which I, and 30,000 Hibs fans who were there on the day wil never forget!!!!!!

Monday, March 19, 2007

WE WON!!!! Hibs 5 Kilmarnock 1

It is the now the morning after and I am waking up to Hibs being CIS Cup Winners after a great day at Hampden yesterady and a stunning 5-1 final score. Over 30,000 Hibs fans went through and survived a snow blizzard and Majorettes early on to see a fantastic game and result!! I especially liked the crowd singalongs to the Proclaimers (obviously!!), the Monkeys, U2, Snow Patrol and even the Frattellis (I think that Chelsea Dagger will become a new Hibs Anthem in memory of the day!)!!
It was an unforgettable day!!! A full Report on the game can be accessed through this link Hibs Vs Kilmarnock
Dad and I got back at 9pm and I am having a recovery day today before returning to London in time for the Council Assembly on Wednesday.
Anyway below are some pictures of the great day:

Captain Jones scores first goal in snow blizzard!

Benji scored twice! Lots of fans wearing fezzes and a few Morroccan Flags on display

Fletcher scores the first of his 2 goals!

Rob Jones recieves the Cup, first for Hibs since 1991 (dad and I were at that one as well!)
Hibs Manager John Collins after final whistle blows!

Benji with the Cup!!

The team on open topped bus travelling along Princes Street later in the evening with crowds of over 100,000 fans lining the streets and inside the ground!!!

Just reflecting with dad the fact that we have been at the 3 Hibs Cup victories in my lifetime. Perhaps a 4th is beckoning in May??? Below a few memories of the previous 2 Cup Wins.

Pat Stanton lifts the League Cup in 1972 aftr a 2-1 vitory against Celtic!!

Alex Miller, Hibs Manager, and Murdo MacLeod,Hibs Captain, after Hibs
2-0 victory over Dunfermline in 1991!