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Last minute reshuffle @DHGOVUK announced…

By Editor
March 27th, 2015 at 2:15 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

HAT TIP: Simon Clark

Following on from Wednesday’s post, we were nudged to read an excellent and revealing post over at Simon Clark’s Taking Liberties blog.

the subject of the blog is this tweet…

dedicated DH team

For those of you who don’t know the faces in this picture. From left to right they are …

Andrew Black (civil servant) tobacco programme manager at the Department of Health

Deborah Arnott from ASH

Jane Ellison MP (Conservative) and Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department of Health

Paul Burstow MP (Lib Dem)

Really? When did that re-shuffle happen? Does David Cameron know? Was Jeremy Hunt informed? If we randomly turn up, do we stand a chance of getting a job?

Seriously though….. Surely it is now time for Eric Pickles to sit down with William Shawcross to sort out “charities” that are indivisible from Government departments? Having “charities” that escape all the scrutiny of Government, but are part of the “dedicated team” is surely intolerable?  But that, according to Jane Ellison (current Health Minister), is precisely what we have.

Ps. Not sure when Paul Burstow got promoted to the Department of Health – someone should update his wikipedia entry.

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Lib Dems : All process, but no real plan

By Editor
March 23rd, 2015 at 2:03 pm | No Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

HAT TIP: Dan Hodges has written an interesting article in the Telegraph, identifying that Lib Dem HQ is throwing many Lib Dem seats to the wolves in an effort to “survive” – funneling central money into only those constituencies it deems “winnable”.

The Telegraph article states that hard-headed Lib Dem HQ has ceased funding to a vast raft of seats, employed a US based analytics company to develop a system for micro-targeting key constituencies, and plan to ramp up Nick’s profile massively in the coming weeks. The Lib Dem leader will be “asked to “walk through the flames” one MP apparently warns (not literally, we hope, but who can tell?).

So far so good – although who knows the cost of the US company – in our collective experience they never come cheap. The Lib Dems did need a more rational system to dispersal of the, comparatively, limited money it raises. The old “system” (wide-spread flinging of money across the board) witnessed in previous campaigns was clearly not working. So that is a clear improvement on the past. And putting Nick out front is clearly the right choice. With a lame set of policies he is one of the few assets the party has remaining.

Also to be welcomed is the eventual acknowledgement that the perennial Lib Dem mantra ” It feels good on the doorstep”… is about as reliable as a support bra without the wires.

“A few will try to argue ‘But it feels really good on the doorstep’. We have to explain to them that it may feel like that, but it isn’t like that.”

Shame then, with all this marketing magnificence brought into play, no one thought to spend some time and thought on the actual product. Lame policies, contradictory values and dull assertions that “we are nicer than that lot but more responsible than the other lot” is hardly going to set the world on fire – or win votes for that matter.

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The death of the Focus leaflet

By Editor
March 14th, 2015 at 3:52 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

Voters up and down the land will be overjoyed to discover that Focus leaflets will no longer be a feature of the Lib Dem election campaigns. At least that appears to be what they are saying…?

focus leaflet HAT TIP Carl Minns for spotting this one at Lib Dem Spring Conference in Liverpool earlier today.

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Plain Packs: Let’s get graphic…

By Editor
March 12th, 2015 at 11:58 am | No Comments | Posted in Personal Freedom, Uncategorized

367 parliamentarians (of all colours ) voted in favour of plain packaging yesterday. Be it on their conscience. Let’s look forward. What can we the average punter do?

Well, we can vote them out come May 7th – not just on the issue of plain packaging – but to send a message once and for all that we are frankly fed up with soulless zombies doing what the Whips tell them to do; tired of them playing party politics at our expense; treating adults like children; or worse, disregarding the evidence because “they know best”.

In many cases however that isn’t going to cut it. The ludicrous voting system in this country deprives most of us from expressing our anger at the ballot box, where all too often our vote simply won’t count.

So here is a neat alternative….


Get yourself a cool cigarette case at

The one above [from Smoke-screenz] was featured in a previous article. It was much-admired at a recent Forest event. The case in question was self-designed [you upload your own image to the website and hey presto you have pro choiceyour very own fashion statement]. Cases are made of hard plastic with a hinged flip top.The cases are a perfect snug fit for your cigarette pack, which you just slip inside. When you open the case lid, your pack lid will open with it. Easy access to your cigarettes. Takes seconds to slip out the old pack and replace with a new one. This very short [1 minute] video shows the process from start to finish.

Iwinstonf uploading an image is too much like hard work then simply buy one ready made. If cats, cricket, or zombies are your thing, they have a case for you. If you support Crystal Palace, the Gunners or Chelsea, they have one. If you want to shout out your patriotism; your support of freedom, or just love cute cuddly bears you are catered for. At £12.95 (inc postage) they cost, at most, the same as a couple of packets of cigarettes. They are superb value [they last forever] and look [and feel] very stylish.

Of course,  these boxes carry no health warnings “from the Government” – but politicians should be careful what they wish for when they start playing politics.

 What are they going to do? …Ban boxes next?




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Plain Packs Roll of Honour

By Editor
March 11th, 2015 at 6:42 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

MPs have today voted by a majority of 254 in favour of plain packaging of tobacco. 367 MPs were in favour with 113 against in the free vote. Here is the full list of those who voted against the Government.

LIB DEMS: Huge congratulations to Jeremy Browne and Simon Hughes (the only 2 Lib Dem MPs that opposed the measure). Inevitably some 37 Lib Dem MPs voted in favour of plain packaging (sigh) and it was particularly disappointing to see Ed Davey, Stephen Lloyd and Danny Alexander amongst those voting in favour of plain packs. David Laws and Norman Lamb appear not to have voted at all. Nick Clegg also missed, or chose not to, vote.

UKIP continue to look like the most liberal party in Westminster. Both Mark Reckless and Douglas Carswell stood up to big nanny.

LABOUR: Three Labour MPs had the courage of their convictions opposing plain packs – Stephen Hepburn, Alan Meale and Gerry Sutcliffe (Bradford South).

DUP: Two of the Democratic Unionist Party MPs voted against. They were Ian Paisley Junior, and Sammy Wilson.

CONSERVATIVE: A very respectable 104 Conservative MPs voted against plain packs. Here’s the list. Good to see so many from the 2010 intake on the list. Bodes well for the future…

Adams, Nigel
Amess, David
Baker, Steve
Baldwin, Harriett
Bebb, Guto
Bellingham, Henry
Bingham, Andrew
Bone, Peter
Bradley, Karen
Brady, Graham
Bray, Angie
Bridgen, Andrew
Burley, Aidan
Burns, Conor
Chope, Christopher
Clarke, Kenneth
Clifton-Brown, Geoffrey
Coffey, Thérèse
Collins, Damian
Davies, David
Davies, Glyn
de Bois, Nick
Dinenage, Caroline
Djanogly, Jonathan
Doyle-Price, Jackie
Drax, Richard
Duddridge, James
Duncan, Alan
Elphicke, Charlie
Evans, Jonathan
Evans, Nigel
Fabricant, Michael
Field, Mark
Fox, Liam
Francois, Mark
Fuller, Richard
Garnier, Edward
Garnier, Mark
Gray, James
Grayling, Chris
Green, Damian
Gummer, Ben
Halfon, Robert
Hands, Greg
Harper, Mark
Harrington, Richard
Hart, Simon
Hayes, John
Heaton-Harris, Chris
Henderson, Gordon
Hendry, Charles
Herbert, Nick
Hollingbery, George
Hollobone, Philip
Howarth, Gerald
Jenkin, Bernard
Johnson, Gareth
Kawczynski, Daniel
Kirby, Simon
Knight, Greg
Kwarteng, Kwasi
Leigh, Edward
Lewis, Julian
Liddell-Grainger, Ian
Macleod, Mary
Main, Anne
McCartney, Karl
McIntosh, Anne
McVey, Esther
Metcalfe, Stephen
Mills, Nigel
Morris, David
Mosley, Stephen
Murray, Sheryll
Neill, Robert
Nuttall, David
Ottaway, Richard
Paice, James
Parish, Neil
Pawsey, Mark
Percy, Andrew
Pincher, Christopher
Prisk, Mark
Redwood, John
Rees-Mogg, Jacob
Robathan, Andrew
Rosindell, Andrew
Skidmore, Chris
Spencer, Mark
Stevenson, John
Stewart, Bob
Stewart, Iain
Sturdy, Julian
Syms, Robert
Truss, Elizabeth
Tyrie, Andrew
Uppal, Paul
Walker, Charles
Wallace, Ben
Watkinson, Angela
Wheeler, Heather
Whittaker, Craig
Whittingdale, John
Wiggin, Bill

UPDATE: Simon Clark has listed the “Conservative” MPs who voted in favour of plain packs.. [click here] Come May 7th, you know what to do…