Thursday, December 12, 2013

Conservative Councillors Association

We understand that there is a proposal that the CCA changes its status and becomes fully integrated into the Conservative Party as a "quasi-subsidiary".   Effectively that would mean that the CCA would cease to be a members association and would be deemed to be part of the Party.
The CCA's accounts would be consolidated into Conservative Central Office accounts.   Quasi-subsidiaries are entities over which Conservative Central Office has control and beneficial ownership.
We are told that there is to be a consultation with CCA members on this proposal but so far no one seems to have been consulted.   What is going on?

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Power of recall

The sooner the voters get the power to recall their MP the sooner we will move to a better politics. Good luck to Zac Goldsmith

Monday, November 11, 2013

COPOV Forum 7th December

The next COPOV Forum will be on the 7th December.   For details see "Events" on right.
See the WW2 Film "The Battle for Monte Natale" followed by discussion on remembrance.
Mulled wine and mince pies included in lunch!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Conservative Coalition

There is a strong possibility that there will be a hung parliament after the next General Election.   In such circumstances the Conservative Party could enter into a Coalition Agreement with another Party.
Should the Leader of the Conservative Party enter into a Coalition Agreement with another Party this must be endorsed by secret ballot at a meeting of the Parliamentary Party and by secret ballot at a Special General Meeting of Conservative Party members to which every Party member is invited.
  The Leader of the Conservative Party could and should give an undertaking to do this now.   In view of the catastrophic decline in membership of the Conservative Party it is essential to give Party members some rights in order to reverse the decline and as an incentive to join and remain members of the Party.  

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Decline and Fall of the Conservative Party

The following article was published on the Our Kingdom web site on 16th August 2013

The Decline and Fall of the Conservative Party
John E. Strafford
            When David Cameron became Leader of the Conservative Party in 2005 there were 258,239 members of the Party.   By the beginning of 2010 membership had fallen to 177,000.    In the three years from 2010 to 2012 membership fell a further 44,000 to 133,000.   My own constituency of Beaconsfield has the second highest membership of any Constituency Association in the country.   Its membership in 2012 was 1,363.   This year by 31st May almost 25% of the members had not renewed their subscription to the Party.   On anecdotal evidence this is fairly typical of most Associations.   This means that the total Party membership is now approximately 100,000, so we have lost over 150,000 members since David Cameron became the Leader of the Party.   The loss of 150,000 is a net loss after taking into account new members joining the Party.   Assuming that the Party got say 5,000 new members each year then the loss of members is 190,000.  
            Why has this happened?   What effect will it have and can anything be done to change this disastrous trend?
            Membership of the Party has been in long term decline.   At the end of World War II membership was about 250,000.   As a result of the magnificent efforts of Lord Woolton membership had risen by 1952 to 2.8 million.   Since then decline has been continuous.   By 1979 membership had fallen to 1,350,000 and during the 1980s and 1990s it declined further to 400,000 by 1997.
The Conservative Party suffered a major electoral defeat in the General Election of 1997.   William Hague became Leader and immediately set in train a reorganisation of the Party.   At that time the Party did not even have a constitution.   Initially, he set out a vision of a democratic Party.   He spoke of giving power to the members, but by the time his proposals were finalised his vision had been watered down by the vested interests within the Party.   The Parliamentary Party was determined to retain its power and if possible increase it.   In the end the only concession the voluntary party got was a say in future Leadership elections.   The Party got a constitution.   We were now one Party, but the voluntary part of the Party paid a heavy price.
            Although the Party now had a constitution that constitution cannot be changed without the agreement of an Electoral College consisting of Members of Parliament and the National Convention, which consists mainly of Constituency Chairmen.   In this Electoral College an MP’s vote is worth three times that of a Constituency Chairman.   The real power resides with the Parliamentary Party.   The Chairman and Treasurer of the Party are appointed by the Leader, so are unaccountable to the membership.   There is no Annual General Meeting of members, so there is no formal forum for members to raise questions about the Party’s organisation or policies.      The Annual Accounts of the Party are not tabled for approval at an AGM.    The selection of parliamentary candidates of the Party is controlled centrally.   The Party Board can and does take control of any Constituency Association, which does not toe the line.   The infamous clause 17 of the constitution states: “The Board shall have power to do anything which in its opinion relates to the management and administration of the Party”, and this makes the rest of the constitution meaningless.
            What does a member get from membership of the Conservative Party?   Prior to the Party reforms of 1998 there were a number of reasons to be a member.   There were meetings at area and national level where you could raise issues of policy or organisation.   Social gatherings emphasised the tribal feeling and sense of belonging.   The Party Conference was run by the voluntary party and it had motions for debate.   Votes were taken at the end of the debates and although they were not binding they reflected the views of the members.   Constituency Associations were for all intents and purposes autonomous.   The Party had three distinct sections - the parliamentary party, the voluntary party and the professional organisation.   There were checks and balances in the distribution of power.   All of these were swept away in 1998.
            Are there any longer reasons why one should be a member of the Conservative Party?
            The decline in membership matters.   Of the approximately 100,000 Party members 10% or approximately 10,000 are activists.   Today those activists consist primarily of councillors, their families and friends.   With only 100,000 Party members you can no longer fight a national campaign on the ground.   As the Liberal Democrats have found, you have to target particular seats and put all your resources into them.   This is what the Conservative Party is doing with its 40/40 campaign i.e. they are concentrating on fighting the 40 most marginal seats held by the Conservative Party and the 40 most marginal seats held by other parties.   The problem with this strategy is that it is based on the last General Election and things have changed.
            With the rise of UKIP we are now in an era of four party politics so which seats are marginal?   In Aylesbury, a safe Conservative seat, UKIP picked up 32% of the votes in the local elections in May.   Does that mean that Aylesbury can still be considered safe?   Even if UKIP do not win any seats in the next General Election but do take say 10% of the votes they will have a dramatic effect on the Conservative Party.   A senior member of the Conservative Party forecast the possible loss of 100 seats.
            Next year we have the elections for the European Parliament.   There is a consensus of opinion that UKIP are likely to have the highest vote of any of the political parties.   At this point panic may well set in.   Conservative Associations throughout the country will feel vulnerable.   Safe seats will no longer feel safe.   Mutual aid will be abandoned.   It will be every Association for itself.
            By one of those moments of irony the next General Election will be fought on an Electoral Register drawn up by individual registration rather than household registration.   When this was done in Northern Ireland 10% of the Register disappeared.   The origins of political parties were as Registration Societies.   Their main function was to ensure that their supporters were all registered to vote.   This job will now be resurrected, except that there will not be the Party activists to carry it out.
            The most important factor in the next General Election will be “feet on the ground”   At the margin it is the canvassing and the knocking up that will count most.   For that you need volunteers and the most committed volunteers are members.
            For some years Conservative Central Office has ignored the views of members.   It has treated them with contempt.   This year, in order to increase attendance, non-members have been invited the Party Conference, so what does Central Office do – make it cheaper for a non-member to attend the Conference than for a member.   That illustrates the mindset of the Party hierarchy.   The appointment of Jim Messina (former social media guru to President Obama) as an adviser is an indication that they believe that the way forward is to organise our campaigns as in the United States by gathering up supporters rather than relying on members.   What of course is forgotten is that the Presidential Election in the United States costs approximately $6 Billion.   Support is bought.   Because of the financial restrictions on campaign spending we cannot this.
            So how do we set about increasing our membership?
            It is no good re-launching the institutions that have failed to prevent the decline in membership.   If they have failed before, they will fail again.   What we need now is a radical approach based on participation.   I set out below some of the measures that need to be taken:
·         The Conservative Party constitution should be capable of being altered by the members of the Party on the basis of one member, one vote, if 60%+ vote in favour of change.
·         There should be an Annual General Meeting of the Party to which all members are invited.
·         The Chairman of the Party should be responsible for the Party Organisation.
·         The Chairman and Treasurer of the Party should be elected by the members of the Party.
·         The Chairman of the Party should present an Annual Report on the Party organisation at the Annual General Meeting of the Party for adoption by the members.
·         The Treasurer of the Party should present the Annual Accounts of the Party to the Annual General Meeting for adoption by the members.
·         The Chairman of the Committee on Candidates should be elected by the members of the Party and should present a report on candidate selection at the Annual General Meeting of the Party.
·         The Chairman of the Council of the Conservative Policy Forum should be elected by the members of the Party and should present a report on the workings of the Forum at the Annual General Meeting of the Party.
·         Motions for debate on policy should be allowed at the Party Conference and votes taken on the motions.
·         Clause 17 of the current Party Constitution which gives unqualified power to the Party Board should be deleted.

            These simple changes would give power to the members and provide a check on the power of the Party hierarchy.   Would they be acceptable to Central Office?   I doubt it.   All have been proposed before and Central Office has ignored them, so what can be done?
            There is a nuclear option and that is to put down a motion of no confidence in the Leader at a meeting of the National Convention.   It is inconceivable that the Leader could continue in office were such a motion to be passed.   The motion would have to be supported by a sizeable number of Constituency Chairmen.   Of course the Party Board would try to stop the motion by saying it was not in the best interests of the Conservative Party.   Even if the motion was placed on the Agenda the Officers of the Convention would try to move to next business without it being debated, but if the numbers of supporters was sufficiently high these tactics would fail.
            Without change the Conservative Party is heading towards a disaster.   By the time of the next General Election it will have ceased to exist as a membership organisation.   It is sad for me as a Party member for the last 50 years to have to point this out, but for the country it will be a tragedy.   The centre-right of politics has a majority support of the people of the United Kingdom.   In the Eastleigh by-election the Conservatives and UKIP got 52% of the vote.   A collapse in the Conservative Party may mean that the Labour Party takes office with all the implications that that would mean for the country.   However the Labour party, for different reasons, is also facing a crisis on membership and could face similar decline.   These events have great ramifications for democracy in our country.   The decline of parties will only be beneficial to those sources of private power which want to escape the disciplines of political accountability.
            What has been lacking in the Conservative Party in recent years is a strategic approach to winning.   With the likelihood of a hung parliament it was a mistake not to support the Alternative Vote.   With second preference votes from UKIP it is almost certain that a government would have been formed that was Centre Right in outlook – a better proposition than a coalition with the Lib-Dems.   By messing up House of Lords reform (which was popular with the people) the Conservative Party lost support on boundary changes which would have helped them to win more seats.
            I sometimes think that the Conservative Party has a death wish.   Lack of historical knowledge, lack of experience and lack of strategic thinking mean that the Party is slowly walking into oblivion.   This scenario can be changed, but time is running out.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Why the Conservatives must do a deal with UKIP in the National Interest.

Why The Conservatives Must Do a Deal With UKIP in the National Interest
Cllr. Derek Tipp
After the last General Election the Conservative Party made a monumental decision to govern in a coalition with the Liberal Democrats, a party with which the Conservatives shared little in common. The reason for this was said to be "in the national interest" - to provide stable government in order to tackle the financial crisis facing the country.  Many members reluctantly accepted this decision, as it was at least a better alternative than a Labour-Lib Dem coalition. Now three years on many members are fed up with coalition as they see how much influence the junior partner is having, preventing the Conservatives from doing many of the things they might have done if governing alone.
Now we are facing another crisis. If the opinion polls are right we look like being defeated at the next election. True, we are not a massive way behind Labour, and the Lib Dems look like a spent force, but UKIP, who at the last election were at around 4% are now at around 16%. After the last election pollsters said that UKIP cost the Conservatives at least 30 seats; that figure must be at least trebled, meaning that we cannot win if things are left alone.
If a post election deal can be done with the Lib Dems, then why not a pre-election deal with UKIP, a party with which we have many things in common, indeed many of our own members are defecting to it? I suspect that the answer lies in the beliefs of those currently running the party which are actually much closer to those of the Liberal Democrats than those of UKIP. In this they are very different to those of the bulk of members.
Last Saturday when I attended the MEP selection meeting, the question of a deal with UKIP was one of the key questions that was asked of all the candidates and none were publicly prepared to come out and agree to such a proposition. When I tried to put the case to one of them in a question from the floor I was booed by members in the hall.  And that was in a meeting where euro-scepticism was strong enough that Richard Ashworth, the leader of the Conservatives in the EU parliament failed to win the approval of over 60% of those present. So clearly there is considerable opposition within the grass roots as well as the leadership.
I am in no doubt that we would have to give a good deal to UKIP to gain their trust and support and this is hard to do, but the prize is a potentially strong, right of centre government. The alternative is to see Ed Miliband in power, setting the country in totally the wrong direction with high spending and moving closer to the EU. This is the real stark choice. It is that simple!
It is all very well remaining pure, and holding up our noses at the idea of doing a deal with Mr Farage, but as Francis Maude once said "we are a party of power". I take it that he meant that we must be prepared to make compromises to gain power, and he was right.
Derek Tipp
Conservative Councillor and Deputy Chairman, New Forest East

Friday, May 17, 2013

MEP Selection meetings

The rules for the MEP Selection Meetings for the 2014 European Elections have a clause  saying:

Agreement of 60% of those present at the meeting should be required for re-adoption.
If an MEP is not re-adopted they will have the right to be included in the postal ballot of party members alongside new applicants.

To be a wholly democratic process the existing MEPs should be judged alongside the new applicants so do not vote for an existing MEP and let Party members decide in a ballot of all candidates.   That is the democratic way to do it and it gives the party members the dignity of real choice of all the candidates.

Friday, March 8, 2013

European Parliament - votes of equal value.

The European Parliament is about to make a terrible mistake. Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty the Strasbourg Assembly has had to submit its composition to the Heads of State and Government - which this time is due to be modified in order to integrate Croatian MEPs after their country enters the Union on July 1st.
With each European election it has to reflect - slightly more each time - demographic reality - according to the degressive proportionality principle. This concept, designed for the occasion, guarantees the representation of all of the States, whatever their size, but it also aims to organise progressively the fair representation of all European citizens. Today a Maltese MEP represents 69,352 voters whilst a French MEP represents 883,756, a Luxemburger 87,476 whilst a German represents 826,704 voters. It would be difficult to be more unjust! Moreover it is because of this imbalance that the German Constitutional Court does not recognise the democratic nature of the European Parliament, and in many Member States it is the main reason behind the challenge made to the representativeness of the only european institution elected by direct universal suffrage.

Whilst the Parliament has witnessed an increase in its powers, this situation has to be corrected if it wants finally to assert itself as the voice of the citizens, who think that European integration is too distant and not democratic enough.
However Mssrs Gualtieri et Trzaskowski, the project's rapporteurs, want to put a rule to the vote of their colleagues on 11th March, which is contrary to the treaty. In their opinion the formula "no one loses and no one gains more than one seat" is the only one "likely in the present text - to lead to a majority in Parliament" .... and to vital unanimity in the European Council. And so the grand democratic principles are being rolled back because they are difficult to implement.
The European Union, its institutions and also its Member States, have to stop doing this sort of thing immediately, since it is heading directly towards a trial of legitimacy.
A democratic European Parliament, in other words one that is representative, is necessary now more than ever before if we are to gain citizen support for the European project. And as long as the European leaders confuse compromise with cop-out, dialogue with weak consensus, democratic principles with the facility of gradual opting out, we shall not win back the vital confidence of the populations in the construction of a united Europe.
Let us hope that the Strasbourg Assembly rejects this poor proposal or at least that one head of State rejects this cheap decision. It would comprise the first step towards healing Europe of the sickness which is undermining it.

A British MEP represents approx 600,000 voters.   It is time this undemocratic imbalance was rectified.   The vote of each voter in Europe should have an equal value.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Conservative grassroots

The Conservative grassroots are withering - and the party leadership has no plan to revive them.
By Paul Goodman
Follow Paul on Twitter.
I went to Eastleigh on Wednesday to "add my strength to yours", as Fotherington-Thomas used to say in the Molesworth books, and was given pledge letters to deliver in two areas. There will always be errors in a canvass, but three of the households to which the letters were addressed had UKIP posters in a window, two had Liberal Democrats ones, and a smattering had posted notices saying "No more by-election leaflets, please" (or less polite variants on that theme.)
On my way back to the campaign office, I ran into a Conservative MP who was also a senior member of the campaign team. He said that pledge letters had not necessarily been sent to voters who had been canvassed, but to those who had been identified by Mosaic - the "unique consumer classification based on in-depth demographic data". It's a statement of the obvious that seeking to identify voters through Mosaic is no substitute for having local people on the ground.
As I pointed out in the Daily Telegraph last week, Eastleigh is an extreme example of a problem that has haunted the party for years, and is coming home to roost now we're in government. We are feeling the consequences of the decline of political party membership - in my view, more than Labour, which has the trade unions to fall back on in election campaigns. (They ran an effective 'ground war" in 2010, despite Brown's dire "air war", helping to hold a vital tranche of midlands and northern marginals.)
During the course of this Parliament, Tim Montgomerie and I have been told, during three visits to CCHQ, first, that local Associations were more of a hindrance than a help at the last election; second, that they are indispensable to winning seats (the senior party figure we met told us said that CCHQ was considering presenting awards at the annual conference to Associations with big membership increases) and, third, that local Associations are past their sell-by date as a vote-gathering force, and that local networks of leafletters are more reliable.
I agree that the old-fashioned Association model doesn't work, but this chopping and changing is alarming. More importantly, those local networks don't cut the mustard. Leafletters have their limits. Local activists involved in "social action" - many of those I know and have known are involved in local charities and voluntary groups and clubs - are effectively ambassadors for the party. This is no less true of councillors.
I got a text this morning from a campaigning Conservative MP which reads as follows:
"Eastleigh is not just UKIP but crap party organisation, second-rate officials, and centre not understanding letting grassroots wither. Need mass membership prog and clearout of current officials many of whom have been there for years."
In response to which - and in summary - three points:
·    A poor craftsman blames his tools, so I'm reluctant to lump the blame for Eastleigh on officials. But my source is well-informed about how the party machine now works. As Tim Montgomerie wrote earlier today, we'll return to the subject soon.
·    The party sought to follow the Obama campaign during the Eastleigh contest by building up an Obama-style database of voters. But "boots on the ground" were essential to Obama's campaigning strategy. The Tories had few indigenous ones in Eastleigh.
·    David Cameron has sought to follow Tony Blair by defining himself against his party. ("I am the heir to Blair.") Downing Street isn't slow to point out that he polls ahead of it. But while this may help the Conservatives in the short-term, it is harming them in the long - even in the medium. Boosting your own brand at the expense of your party will - arguably - bring it benefits for as long as it wins general elections. But it didn't win the last one. And Cameron may well not be in Downing Street after the next.

 Response to Paul:
"It was all so predictable. The destruction of the Party's "grass roots" has been going on for some years. As a membership organisation the Conservative Party is in terminal decline. By the time of the General Election it will consist solely of Councillors, their families and friends, and there will be fewer of them than there are today.
If the Party had been a democratic organisation it would have kept in touch with the membership which keeps it in touch with the electorate. It has failed and now the chickens are coming home to roost. How sad that those in power refuse to give up any of their power even if the end result is that they cease to have any power at all". 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

What Cameron should have said

The following letter was published in the Evening Standard on 21st January 2013

In his much delayed speech, Cameron should commit the UK to an in/out referendum to be held on the same day as the next general election.   This gives him almost two-and-a-half years to renegotiate our relationship with Europe which should be ample for the purpose. Since all three parties made promises on a referendum on the EU Constitution which they broke in spirit if not the letter, any date proposed for after the election will not be believed.
Such a bold course is a win-win for the Tories.   Should the commitment to a referendum fail to win parliamentary approval because of Labour and Lib-Dem opposition, Cameron can point to exactly who is preventing the people’s will from being exercised; if it does pass, the electorate will be delighted and he will earn much credit.
Cameron has nothing to fear from the poll itself.   If the people vote No then they will be saying they want our sovereignty and democracy back.  What politician could oppose that?
John Strafford
Campaign for Conservative Democracy

Monday, January 28, 2013

The next Conservative Manifesto

Published on on 27th January

Conservative Policy Forum conference and the next manifesto. Verdict: Keep it snappy.

By Paul Goodman
Follow Paul on Twitter
Screen shot 2013-01-27 at 11.50.34What should a manifesto be? Should it be an impressionistic sketch - all ideals, values, and themes, but with little hard policy? Or should be a detailed blueprint - a mass of whirring policy wheels and cogs? This was one of the questions that a panel of Mark Littlewood of the IEA; Paul Maynard, the MP for Blackpool North, and Sean Worth - the former senior Downing Street staffer who's now at Policy Exchange - and I grappled with yesterday. We did so at the invitation and in the company of the Conservative Policy Forum, the Party body charged with helping to draw up the next manifesto, under the charge of Oliver Letwin.
About 80 party activists were there, including Dr Spencer Pitfield, its Director, and Fiona Hodgson, one its two Vice-Chairs and a force behind the CPF's revival. The conference was, I would say, younger, less male and less white than is usually the case at party gatherings. It looked rather southern-flavoured to me - but then again, we were meeting in Bristol. Since the gathering contained a fair sprinkling of councillors, a lot of those present will have knocked on a lot of doors, and thus were well aware of the difference between having a policy that looks good on paper, and having one that will sell on the doorstep. The panel's brief was to lead a discussion on the next Conservative manifesto.
Which requires, at the start, a sense of proportion. In most campaigns, the Government wants to attack the opposition, and vice-versa (as will be the case in 2015). The manifesto's role is thus limited. This is particularly the case for the Government, since the election will partly be about its record as well as about the future. In any event, don't neglect the obvious: most party activists, let alone most voters, don't read manifestos. And a lot of voters wouldn't believe the manifestos if they read them anyway. I can't think of one manifesto pledge that has made a big difference in an election in my lifetime. The Thatcher council house sales programme picked up speed after the 1979 election. The great privatisation programme was merely hinted at that year.John Strafford from Beaconsfield reminded those present that the manifesto of that year - the last in which we came from opposition to government with a majority - was brief, and I think the consensus was: keep it snappy. Those present seemed focused not only on our electoral base - including the social care needs of older people - but also on the northern and marginals. So the merits, for example, of continuing to take people out of tax by raising thresholds versus those of restoring the 10p rate were aired. Some would call it an agenda for strivers. Greg Clark would call it one for ordinary working people. Tim would call it "Conservatism for the little guy". But whatever you call it, that's where the conversation's going.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Green Thing

At the cash register of the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman that she should bring her own shopping bags because plastic bags weren't good for the environment.

The woman apologized and explained, "We didn't have this green thing back in my earlier days."

The cashier responded, "That's our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations. You didn't have the green thing."

She was right -- our generation didn't have the green thing in its day.

Back then, we returned milk bottles, soft drink bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over. So they really were recycling. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But we didn't have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn't have an escalator in every shop and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn't climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks.

But she was right. We didn't have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby's nappies because we didn't have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 220 volts -- wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

But that young lady is right. We didn't have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house -- not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief, not a screen the size of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn't have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the post, we used wrapped up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn't fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn't need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she's right. We didn't have the green thing back then.

We drank water from a tap when we were thirsty instead of demanding a plastic bottle flown in from another country. We accepted that a lot of food was seasonal and didn't expect that to be trucked in or flown thousands of air miles. We actually cooked food that didn't come out of a packet, tin or plastic wrap and we could even wash our own vegetables and chop our own salad.

But we didn't have the green thing back then.

Back then, city people took the tram or a bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mothers into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn't need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn't it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn't have the green thing back then?

Please forward this on to another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smart-ass young person.


Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Your Tax Return

This example shows the importance of accuracy in your tax return. The HMRC has returned the Tax Return to a man in Evesham after he apparently answered one of the questions incorrectly.

In response to the question Do you have anyone dependent on you?,
he wrote:- "2.1 million illegal immigrants, 1.1 million crack-heads,4.4 million unemployable scroungers, 90,000 criminals in over 85 prisons plus 649 self-serving MPs in our Parliament and the entire European Commission".

The HMRC stated that the response he gave was unacceptable.
The man's response back to HMRC was "Who did I miss out?"