Court case possibilities

It is entirely possible that court cases concerning two people and the same scenario could end up with differing pleas from each. That is, one may plead guilty, the other may plead not guilty. Of course, it is also entirely possible that both plead guilty or both plead not guilty.

Different pleas are entirely possible. Such a situation might have some influence on the other case…or vice versa. Such are the parameters of possibility.


The toughness of a cross country runner

A teacher of my acquaintance made an interesting observation as we watched the Southern Inter-Counties schools cross country races at the superb Basildon Sporting Village today. He said that cross country running is an unglamourous sport for a youngster, especially as it is normally done on one’s lonesome, without a team around one. You have a bad race, and then you just have to pick yourself up and try again. It’s very character building.

Miliband goes all Thatcher

Full marks to Ed Miliband. He had a good Prime Minister’s Questions this week.

One of the reasons he did so well is that he took a leaf out of Margaret Thatcher’s book. He lowered the tone of his voice. Gone was the shrill shouting of recent weeks. Instead we had a calm, firm low tone. And he slowed down his delivery, making it very de-li-ber-ate. As a result he sounded a lot more effective.

First on executive pay, and then on the NHS, Miliband did well against the PM. For me, his line of the week was this one on top pay:

he says that the class war against the bankers is going to be led by him and his Cabinet of millionaires. I do not think it is going to wash, frankly.

On the NHS reforms, he also started a very good chorus of “against the bill” from his own backbenchers, as he read out a list of professional and other bodies who are…..all together now….”AGAINST THE BILL”.

David Cameron got into trouble with the speaker for accusing Miliband of “hypocrisy”, which was deemed “not parliamentary” and had to be withdrawn.

Doughnut of the week
There is a little piece of business which takes place when backbenchers ask questions. More often than not, they are surrounded by like-minded MPs. It is interesting to observe the supportive nods and noises from these “doughnuts”. As Esther McVey (Con) asked a question, I thought Eleanor Laing won the prize for adoring look of the week.

The Tory whips managed to rack up five Tory questions about the £26,000 benefit cap, with two additional Prime MInisterial mentions and a further question from the DUP.

The Labour whips managed to get in a few mentions of the contrast between the government’s ‘lax’ treatment of high earning executives and its treatment of hard-working families. In fact, “working” scores heavily in this Wordle cloud (right) of this week’s PMQs. Indeed, “I think it is right to support working people” is the sentence of the week, according to Wordle.

LibDem questions
Tom Brake asked about the future of the Epsom, St Helier and Sutton hospitals.

Juilan Huppert asked if the Prime Minister would go “further and faster” on the increase of the income tax threshold to £10,000, pointing out that the measure was on the front page of the last Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Quoting the tragic case of a constituent, Greg Mulholland asked whether drivers’ licences will be withdrawn as a bail condition in death by dangerous driving cases involving alleged serious breaches of the alcohol limit.

Influence of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party drops off

In the New York Times, Michael D Shear reports that the influence of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party has waned during the US Republican Presidential primaries:

In October, Sarah Palin announced that she would not run for president in 2012, ending the media frenzy around her potential candidacy even as she vowed to remain politically active and influential.

“I will continue driving the discussion for freedom and free markets,” she wrote in an e-mail to her supporters.

Just over three months later her attempts to wield influence in the presidential campaign the way she did during the 2010 midterm elections have largely fizzled.

…Over the last two weeks,, Ms. Palin has urged voters in South Carolina and Florida to vote for Newt Gingrich as a way of striking back against the Republican establishment in Washington and against liberals.

Despite a stunning win in South Carolina, Gingrich was way behind Romney in Florida.

You can read the full article here.