Showing posts from 2012

Harrow drops to sub-zero....

While Labour heads for meltdown....
Where have I been since July? Well - that's for me to know and for you to guess.

Hosepipe ban lifted!

About time too.

A short break....

Phew - I've had a short break. But I am back now. ok a bit tired so it's straight to bed now.

Vive Le Socialism

France's new Socialist president owns three holiday homes in the Riviera resort of Cannes, valued at almost £1 million.

It will reinforce accusations that Hollande is a “gauche caviar”, or “Left-wing caviar” — the Gallic equivalent of a champagne Socialist.

As well as the spacious Paris apartment he shares with Valerie Trierweiler, Mr Hollande owns a palatial villa in Mougins, the hill-top Cannes suburb where artist Pablo Picasso used to live.

It is valued by the Official Journal at 800,000 euros (£642,000), and is just a short drive from Hollande’s two flats close to the promenade in Cannes. They are priced at 230,000 euros (£185,000) and 140,000 euros (£112,000). Mr Hollande has promised to cut his pay by 30 per cent after he is officially sworn in as president next week, but he will still be on 156,000 (£125,000) a year, plus fabulous expenses and other perks.

Vive Le Socialism.

Here comes the Grexit !

Observers have dubbed the possible departure of Greece as the ‘Grexit’.

Greek newspaper Imerisia reported that the government has just £1.2billion left in its coffers – enough to continue for only a few days.

Last night there were also rumours of an unofficial ‘grey market’ in the drachma – the old Greek currency – springing up in anticipation of the exit.

Reminds me of the days when Labour was booted out of government. "Sorry - but there's no money left - we've spent it all".

Transit of Venus

Not to be missed.

Your only chance in this life to see a Transit of Venus across the sun.

June 6th 2012 - the bad news is it'll be over by 5.54am, so get up early and check it out


Use special filters or use the old pinhole camera method or just stay in bed and check it on the web later.

Don't miss it.

Loads of sunshine this saturday. Get the vegi-burgers and diet coke in now. And some ice cream and then invite me round. Never mind about the entertainment - leave that to me.

Would we be allowed to do this here?

55 Cancri E

Light glowing from a "super-Earth" planet beyond our solar system has been detected by Nasa’s Spitzer Telescope.
Experts are hailing the latest discovery as a historic step towards the eventual search for signs of life on other planets.
55 Cancri E is one of five exoplanets orbiting a bright star named 55 Cancri in a solar system lying in the constellation of Cancer (The Crab).

Previously, Spitzer and other telescopes were able to study the planet by observing how the light from 55 Cancri changed as the planet passed in front of the star.

In the new study, Spitzer instead measured how much infrared light came from the planet itself – revealing some of the planet’s major features.
The good news is that 55 Cancri E does not have a hosepipe ban: 55 Cancri E is a water world: A rocky core surrounded by a layer of water in a "supercritical" state where it is both liquid and gas, and topped by a blanket of steam.

A warm welcome to our RAF Typhoons at Northolt.


Well done Boris

Well done Boris - an oasis of responsibility in a sea of socialist irresponsibility.

Like it sunshine

While everyone votes against the Tories for all the cuts and austerity we're currently enduring, it might be a good idea to remember which party got us into this mess in the first place. Vote Labour everybody, this recession isn't harsh enough!

- Kev, Leyton, UK, 3/5/2012 12:25
From Daily Mail Comments

Bojo got the mojo - leading the way to a better London

Live Results from the above url - check it out.

Why Boris Johnson is by far the best choice for Londoners

This is what CityAM said on Boris:

"Above all else, Boris is authentic: he doesn’t pretend to be someone he isn’t. He has also been a relatively good steward of taxpayers’ money; he rightly froze the Mayoral share of council tax over the past three years and wants to cut it by 10 per cent over the next four. He understands that belt-tightening and cutting waste is necessary in the current climate."

Boris heading for Victory

A final poll revealed today shows Boris has increased his lead to six points and is on course to deliver a 53-47 % win.

The YouGov poll suggests that the plea by Labour campaign chiefs for supporters to “hold their noses” and vote for labour have fallen on deaf ears.

YouGov said: “Londoners like politicians with character and a streak of independence.

“Labour supporters used to find Ken entertaining. Now he simply irritates many of them. That’s why this basically Labour city looks set to re-elect a Tory Mayor.” Almost two thirds of those voters said they were backing Mr Johnson mainly because they disliked Mr Livingstone, while 23 per cent said it was because they liked the Mayor.

On a serious note:


Sit back comfortably and read the extensive user feedback.

Give this all the time it deserves.

With thanks to Amazon.

And on the final straight....its...

Boris with a mighty eight point lead — 54 to 46 according to a ComRes survey.

The poll of 1,024 Londoners found 45% of voters would give Boris their first preference vote, compared with Labour on 36%, Green candidate Jenny Jones was in third place on 6%, while Lib-Dem Brian Paddick fell back to 5%. He is overwhelmingly the most popular candidate for second preference votes.

Mr Watson, the deputy chairman of the Labour party, admitted that Labour voters tell him they are considering voting Tory because they either “like Boris Johnson” or “don’t like Ken”.

Tube Strike?

Mr Johnson said it was his opponent's "union cronies", including RMT leader Bob Crow, who are to blame.

Mr Johnson's spokesman said: "Londoners are under no illusion that these needless strikes have been called by Ken Livingstone's union boss supporters as part of his strategy to be re-elected.

"Having already promoted Bob Crow to the board of Transport for London once, this is (the) risk if Ken Livingstone returns to City Hall, his union cronies running London's transport."

Weather forecast this week.

It's going to rain everyday this week.

Who're you going to trust?

In a poll for The Evening Standard - one in four Londoners said they would most trust Mr Johnson to pay them back if they lent him money, while 18 per cent said Mr Paddick and 17 per cent said Mr Livingstone.
The tax issue has still not gone away for Mr Livingstone as 39 per cent said he had not paid as much tax as he should.

Hose Pipe Ban?

We should have them more often - it's done wonders for rainfall. This way - who needs a hosepipe when it rains everyday - saves me having to water the garden anyway.

Oh no - it's falling apart.

Labour's Mayoral re-election campaign suffered a double blow today after Lord Sugar ruled out voting for Ken - while George Galloway offered his endorsement.

Labour Lord Sugar, who has donated huge sums to the Labour party, slammed Mr Livingstone.

“I don’t care if Ed Miliband is backing Livingstone. I seriously suggest NO ONE votes for Livingstone in the Mayoral elections,” he wrote.

Meanwhile, MP George Galloway threw his weight behind the Labour candidate’s re-election bid.
“He’s a friend of mine ..... insofar as I have influence in some communities in London I’m using it. I am already in East London.”

Private medical care is great - official - Labour

It was revealed by the Labour Mayoral candidate, an opponent of NHS privatisation, earlier this week that he had been having a yearly check-up for a decade with private health-care providers.

You judge

You judge.

Boris in Stanmore


Boris will:

Reverse the decision by the previous Labour government to raise the age for which people were eligible for the Freedom Pass and ensure every Londoner aged 60 has one, from 1st September 2012.
Lobby the suburban rail companies to allow its use before 9.30am.
Protect the roll out of step free stations as part of the Tube upgrade from Ken Livingstone’s plans to take £1.14 billion out of the transport budget.
Give older Londoners a greater voice in neighbourhood policing through new Safer Neighbourhood Boards with substantial increases to Safer Neighbourhood Teams in every ward in Greater London.

But above all, Boris will continue to keep the Mayor’s share of council tax low, which has put an average of £445 back in Londoner’s pockets since he was elected.

Labour will cause TfL to "run out of cash" within three years

Re-produced from

"The Times has seen internal Transport for London (TfL) correspondence that show Ken Livingstone's plan to cut fares will cause TfL to "run out of cash" within three years.
In order to plug the financial gap that taking £1 billion from the investment budget will create, a huge fare increase of 38% over inflation will be needed in 2015.
One senior TfL official, according to The Times, said of Livingstone's plans:
"TfL would run out of cash during 2015. To prevent this happening, and to return to the cash levels our business plan assumes by the end of 2015-16 financial year, it would require across bus, Tube and rail, either: RPI plus 38 per cent increase in January 2015, or RPI plus 12.5 per cent increases in both January 2014 and 2015".
Ken Livingstone has promised twice before he would cut fares allegedly in order to try and get elected and then raised them above inflation.

Tony Travers said the money to fund…

How Labour hid Youth Unemployment figures

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said that at any one time up to 40,000 young people were on a training scheme under Labour so did not show up on claimant count figures, even though they were still unemployed.

Around 1.3 million people were on a training allowance scheme under Labour so they 'disappeared' from the jobless register, added Mr Grayling.

Under the coalition’s work programme, no one disappears from the system because they continue to receive jobseeker’s allowance, said the minister, adding: 'What you see is what you get. That was not the case under the New Deal (Labour’s employment programme).'

Mr Grayling said that because people no longer automatically leave jobseeker’s allowance when they start a work programme, the number of long-term claimants, especially young people, had 'inevitably' risen.

'We’re giving a true picture rather than an artificial one.'

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: 'This Government is doing ev…

Boris for Mayor - again

A YouGov poll shows Mr Johnson has consolidated a lead over Labour. The Mayor is on 53 to his Labour rival’s 47.

Londoners are also calling for every future Mayor to reveal the details of their finances following the “tax dodging” allegations surrounding Labour politicians.

Who has done a better job of running the underground?

See what Channel 4 found out:

Boris comes to Stanmore

The Boris Battlebus hit Stanmore this Sunday 11am. The Mayor met local shop-keepers, drinkers at the local pub, Sainsbury supporters (including me) and members of the public. The incredibly popular Boris left everyone in jubliant mood and we can't wait for Boris to re-visit us.
My camera battery has run out - so once it has recharged I'll upload some photos.

An unreal tear jerker

Labour admitted the party political broadcast that moved Mr Livingstone to tears featured paid Labour party members reading a script.
The Labour candidate’s campaign team said the “political broadcast on behalf of ordinary Londoners” featured party supporters recruited by a top ad agency and paid expenses.
Thanks for the warning – I’ll be sure to give it a miss.

519,276 more reasons to support Boris.

Mayor Johnson has published figures that show in his first 3 years as Mayor he earned £1.3m in taxable income and paid a total of £519,276 in tax.
Mr Livingstone said on BBC Newsnight “I am happy to publish details of everything I’ve earned in the last four years’. But the next day he issued a statement saying he would only offer ‘full disclosure’ if his rivals published their partners’ financial affairs.

It’s a wonderful life.

The Labour Mayoral candidate’s previous expense claims were recently published and contain the following gems:
£256.98for a new pair of shoes
£130.73 for taxi trips (for the dentist)
£629.31 for dinner for 14 at the 2007 Labour Conference
£466.35 for dinner for 2 in – wait for it – Havana !
£334.07 for dinner with the Economic secretary to the Treasury + 2 (Ed Balls?)
£282.38 for dinner with Ed Balls + 1

Happy Easter everyone

Closed for Easter - well maybe not....

Boris stands up for London

Mayor Boris said: “London is the powerhouse of the UK economy and it is time to look at formally recognising that and make sure hard-pressed and hard-working Londoners get the benefit of their contribution” as he unveiled plans for Londoners to keep more of the tax revenue they generate to spend on better public services.
Mr Johnson said he would argue for funding to be allocated “without ring-fencing” so he could have total control over how it was spent.
Asked about his conversation over tax with the Labour candidate yesterday, Mr Johnson said today: “He knows the truth and he knows what he’s saying is nonsense... I think you’re entitled, after you’ve taken the trouble to explain that he’s wrong, to get your message through to that person in a robust way.”
Friends of Mr Johnson today said it is “incredibly rare for Boris to swear in anger”, and that he only does it when people are “sly and underhand”.
Mr Johnson has repeatedly said he has never “used a company to minimise my tax obl…

Boris says it loud and clear for Labour

Mr Livingstone has faced a series of allegations that he avoided at least £50,000 in tax by channelling his media earnings through a private company, Silveta Ltd.
During a radio debate today at LBC Mr Livingstone accused Mr Johnson of using his own private company, Finland Station, to do the same.
Mr Johnson replied: “...I’ve paid income tax. I think it’s pretty reprehensible ... it’s pretty disgraceful to be attacked by Ken Livingstone .....’
Mr Johnson said after: “In relation to my business affairs and tax arrangements, specifically do I have any company or other arrangements constructed to enable me to pay less tax, and do I, as has been claimed ...have the same arrangements as Labour’s Mayoral candidate?
“The answer is simple and unequivocal in both cases. No.”
Mr Johnson’s team today called Mr Livingstone’s comments over the Mayor’s tax arrangements as “shocking” and a “disgrace”. A source close to the Mayor said: “This was a personal, nasty attack. Ken .... knows he is in trou…

Taxpayers Alliance - on the ball

Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, has written to the HRMC demanding an investigation of a donation by Ken to the Labour Party.
“There now appears to be prima facie evidence that Mr Livingstone was channelling untaxed income paid to Silveta Ltd directly to the Labour Party as a political donation-in-kind, which I understand to be a stark breach of HMRC rules,” he wrote.
“I reiterate my belief that the employment of [staff] for Mr Livingstone’s campaign cannot be defined as expenses incurred ‘wholly and exclusively’ for the purposes of Silveta’s trade.”
It was claimed that Ken broke HM Revenue and Customs rules by offsetting the £19,202 donation to the Labour Party made through his private company - Silveta against tax.
HMRC say expenses can be claimed only when “wholly and exclusively” incurred for the commercial purposes of a company.
Mr Livingstone has said that Silveta was formed only to handle personal earnings from media appearances, writing and after-di…


Respect candidate Mr Galloway’s victory in Bradford West was an astonishing reversal for Labour and sparked fresh questions over Mr Miliband’s leadership. At least he had his photo taken eating a Greggs pasty. Mr Galloway, who was expelled from the Labour party in 2003, swept to victory by more than 10,000 votes on a swing of nearly 37 per cent from Labour.

Pie in the mouth?

All this fuss about VAT on pies. I must say, I do like my Greggs pasties. So do Labour it seems - so why don't they say they will reverse the VAT on hot snacks? Obviously because they can't have their pie and eat it !

This made me laugh

4754 – number of days Labour was in power. 31 – number of days it had the 50p income tax rate Then they even abstained on the vote! Nothing like meaning what you say eh? - This certainly wasn't ! (source: Evening Standard)

£50 million roads redesign to ease jams and boost safety

Boris Johnson is to spend £50 million redesigning London’s worst traffic bottlenecks, accident blackspots and dangerous crossings to improve safety and speed journeys. The funding will come from Transport for London’s surface transport budget over the next four years, to bring in wider lanes, new roundabouts and separate right-hand turn lanes at problem roads and junctions. Another reason not to dip into TFL’s coffers for an election bribe !

37% 'fit for work' after assessment

More than one in three people being reassessed for incapacity benefit payments have been found to be fit for work, according to the first set of official statistics released by the Government. Employment minister Chris Grayling said: "These first figures completely justify our decision to reassess all the people on incapacity benefit. To have such a high percentage who are fit for work just emphasises what a complete waste of human lives the current system has been. Figures for the first 141,100 claimants to start the reassessment process showed that 37% of those whose claims had been concluded had been found fit for work, with the rest entitled to employment and support allowance (ESA).

One Out all Out ?

Trade unions have been given £7 million of taxpayers' money for "modernisation" projects including a new computer system for Bob Crow's RMT, it has emerged. MPs attacked the “scandalous waste and abuse” of public funds under the scheme which was put in place by Labour in 2005. Tory MP Priti Patel said abolishing the UMF was “long overdue” as the funding was “a scandalous waste and abuse”. She added: “Political activities of trade unions have clearly been subsidised and other Labour supporting organisations have gained financial benefits.” Fellow Tory MP Dominic Raab said: “Hard-pressed taxpayers will be shocked to learn that Labour threw millions of pounds of their money to subsidise this union boondoggle.” Who funds the Labour Party?

Budget 2012

Announcing the biggest ever rise in the tax-free allowance, an increase of £1,100 which will let people earn up to £9,200 before being taxed, the Chancellor declared: “We are in touching distance of the goal of £10,000 personal allowance that we all share.” George Osborne spared 400,000 middle class families from child benefit cuts in a move today while handing another £3.5 billion in tax cuts to working families. The chancellor said the 50 per cent top tax rate would be dropped to 45p in the pound for those earning over £150,000 from April next year. He countered with a hike in stamp duty on homes worth over £2million from five per cent to seven per cent, while, in another measure personal tax allowances were increased to £9,205, saving individuals £220 each. Mr Osborne told MPs in the Commons: “This Budget supports working families and helps those looking for work. It unashamedly backs business. And it is on the side of aspiration: those who want to do better for themselves and for…

Ken Livingstone's fares cut damned by City

Top City experts delivered a damning verdict on Ken Livingstone's plan to cut fares by seven per cent if he is elected mayor. They claimed Transport for London faces years of financial turmoil and even economic collapse if the cuts go ahead.Ratings agency Moody's, which delivers verdicts on the financial health of organisations, is warning that any fall in TfL revenue could put its credit rating under pressure. Experts warned that could lead to a "downgrade" in its credit rating. Fare cutting could cost £1billion in lost revenue. Check this out -

A mini baby boom means 2,000 more primary schools need to be built within three years to meet the demand, according to Labour

Education secretary Michael Gove accused Labour of hypocrisy, saying: 'For years, they ignored warnings about the baby boom and splurged billions on extravagant secondary school projects instead. When we said there was a problem, they dismissed our calls as nonsense.' Mr Gove claimed Labour cut funding for extra primary school places by 26 per cent, while the coalition has  doubled funding to £800million a year.

Boris Johnson eight points ahead in race for Mayor

Pollsters YouGov, which predicted the result of the 2008 election, said today: "Following a month in which he has faced criticism, there have been significant drops in the public's perceptions of Ken Livingstone."London government expert Tony Travers said revelations of Mr Livingstone's personal tax affairs had damaged his position, adding: "This is fascinating. The same happened in 2008 when Johnson started to pull ahead of Livingstone as election day approached."Perceptions of Ken appear to have been damaged by stories about his tax affairs. After falling behind, Boris has started to make an effort and it appears to be paying off."

Boris Delivers

Boris has delivered 91 per cent of his promises — 98 out of 108 — Mr Johnson challenged his mayoral rival Ken Livingstone to release his own report on his time at City Hall.
Ken - we're all waiting.

Our Ken and Tax

Ken Livingstone, who has attacked tax avoiders as “rich b-------” who should “not be allowed to vote”, has allegedly avoided at least £50,000 in tax by having himself paid through a personal company.

Mr Livingstone, who has called for a top tax rate of 80 per cent, has made attacking “the rich” a key part of his campaign. He has criticised tax avoiders, saying: “These rich b------- just don’t get it… No one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in Parliament, unless they pay their full share of tax.....Cameron’s problem is too many of his team have become super-rich by exploiting every tax fiddle… [We should] sweep away tax scams and everybody should pay tax at the same rate on earnings and other income.”

Mayor Boris for Mayor

Not The Harrow Times is proud to support Boris Johnson for re-election as London Mayor.


Latest News: The Budget just released by Harrow's Labour Administration is described as Slapdash.