Rumours; Joining Labour

I can reveal I am in secret talks about joining the Labour Party.

The story about Charles Kennedy was leaked to keep my name out of it.

Published in: on August 22, 2010 at 7:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Labour Leadership

So the harsh system has witlled the nominations down to…5.

At least there is more than 1, last time was a disaster.

So we have 2 Milibands, a Balls and a Burnam. And one Dianne Abbott.

So much for choice, apart from Abbott they are all far to similar.

Where is Alan Johnston, or Alistair Darling to name but two?  These two have credibility lacked by the others, and would have had a chance of uniting the coutry behind them, not just appealing to Labour members. Is this Labours Palin moment?

Experienced Labour Reading ex-pol John Howarth says ‘Andy Burnham brings something different to the contest – he read English at Cambridge’ Oh dear.

So either its who is the most popular, or who the ConDems would least like. But it should be who has a wider appeal. And that might just be Dianne.

Published in: on July 17, 2010 at 4:22 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aloks Maiden Speech

Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker, for the opportunity to make my maiden speech. I start by congratulating my hon. Friends the Members for Sleaford and North Hykeham (Stephen Phillips) and for South Thanet (Laura Sandys) on their excellent and moving maiden speeches.

My constituency of Reading West was created in 1983 and was served from then until 1997 by a Conservative Member, Sir Anthony Durant, who previously represented the Reading North seat between 1974 and 1983. Sir Anthony was an excellent constituency MP, who served the people of Reading with great distinction. In recent months, Sir Anthony has not been in the best of health, and I am sure that hon. Members on both sides of the House will join me in wishing him a speedy recovery. [Hon. Members: “Hear, hear.”]

My immediate predecessor was the Labour Member, Martin Salter, who represented Reading West for 13 years. No one who knows him could ever describe Martin as a shy and retiring individual. He always had and continues to have firm opinions on every political subject. Indeed, during his time as an MP, he sometimes held two opposing firm opinions on the same subject, both delivered with great conviction. A constituent of mine once compared Martin Salter to Marmite by saying, “You either loved him, or you wished that you had never opened the jar to let him out.” Despite our many political rows and differences during the four years that I was a candidate and he was the Member of Parliament, I grew to rather like Martin, but then I must also confess to liking Marmite.

Martin Salter announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election because he wanted to

“move on and do something else with my life while I’ve still got some energy left.”

Martin Salter certainly brought energy to his work on behalf of the people of Reading during his 25 years of public service-first, as a local councillor and then as the Member of Parliament for Reading West. Like Sir Anthony before him, he was a champion of local causes, a dedicated constituency MP, and he stood up for all the people of Reading West. I very much hope to continue in that fine tradition and serve each and every one my constituents to the best of my abilities.

I turn now to my wonderful constituency of Reading West, which stretches from the villages of Theale, Tidmarsh and Pangbourne in the west, to the more urban areas of Coley and Whitley towards the east. I grew up and went to school in Reading, and for me Reading is, quite simply, home. It is a confident and vibrant town full of aspirational and hard-working people. As a settlement, Reading was founded in the 8th century and was listed in the Domesday Book as a growing population centre-much as it is today. Reading abbey was built by Henry I in 1121, where he is also buried.

Although Reading has a long and honourable history, it is now very much a modern place. Originally famous for producing beer, biscuits and bulbs, Reading is now a high-tech and service industry hub and is home to many locally grown businesses, as well as international companies, such as Microsoft, Oracle and Cisco.

Reading also offers culture, with the internationally renowned Reading music festival being held every August. Hon. Members with a liking for contemporary music should know that a few tickets are still available for this year’s festival. The very fine Madejski football stadium is located in my constituency, and I am sure that, before too long, we will see Reading football club return to its rightful place in the premiership.

In their maiden speeches many Members have mentioned great historical figures who are connected with their constituency, but, as I said, Reading is a modern place, so I would like to mention just two of the recent renowned sons and daughters of our great town. Kate Winslet was born and grew up in Reading. Her parents are constituents of mine. We are very proud of Miss Winslet’s Oscar-winning achievements. Locally, Miss Winslet’s mother is also a winner. Last year she was awarded first prize in a local pub’s pickled onion-making competition. Who says Reading cannot match Hollywood’s glamour?

The comedian and actor Mr Ricky Gervais grew up in Whitley, not far from where my parents lived when they first moved to Reading. I do not know Mr Gervais personally, but it is entirely possible that we loitered in the same shopping precinct when we were youngsters. Of course, one of us has now gone on to great things-and the other has become a Member of Parliament.

I am very pleased to be making my maiden speech during this debate on emerging economies, one of the largest of which is India. I know a little of the country. My family hails from India originally; I have advised European companies on doing business there; and some months ago I visited India on a research project and interviewed a range of corporate leaders, civil servants and opinion formers to hear their views on India’s development and economic ambitions. What is absolutely clear is that over the past decade the relationship between emerging economies such as India and China on the one hand, and the industrialised nations in the west on the other, has developed from one of the emerging economies being junior partners to a relationship of equals, with real potential for the likes of China and India to emerge as first among economic equals.

The emerging economies present challenges for us. We have seen some British jobs offshored to low-cost locations. With increasing globalisation and cost pressures on corporates, a certain level of offshoring is here to stay, whether we like it or not. But emerging economies also present a huge opportunity for British companies and jobs in this country. The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, my hon. Friend Mr Browne, talked about statistics. Let me give the House a few on India. We have heard about annual growth rates of 7 to 9%. There is a middle class of around 400 million people and growing. Well over 60% of the population is aged below 35. India is looking to make significant investments in its infrastructure, in pharmaceuticals and health care, IT, green technologies, and food and agriculture, to name just a few sectors ripe for investment and growth. We in Britain have leading companies with significant expertise and know-how in many of these and other sectors.

In Reading, I have met home-grown technology companies that are exporting value-added products across the world. As a Government, we should be doing everything we can to help and encourage our companies to take advantage of the growth markets in the emerging economies. That will in turn help to create value-added and long-term jobs in the United Kingdom.

I was very pleased that the Gracious Speech made mention of developing an enhanced partnership with India. Because of our shared history and the mutual good will and affection between Britain and India, we already have a special relationship on an emotional level. We now need to make sure that we translate that good will and understanding into a special relationship based on trade and commerce to our mutual benefit. If we can do that in a timely manner, it will be to the advantage of British companies and will help safeguard and create jobs in our country which will be vital as we aim to grow and expand the British economy.

Published in: on June 15, 2010 at 10:40 pm  Leave a Comment  


Published in: on May 19, 2010 at 12:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Testing Salter

Does he have some complete idiot running his website?

Please note that as of the dissolution of Parliament on 12th April 2010, Martin Salter ceased to be the Member of Parliament for Reading West, a constituency he has served continuously since 1997.
Mr Salter’s constituency office at 413 Oxford Road, Reading, RG30 1HA will remain fully functional until the General Election on 6th May, dealing with outstanding and residual casework.
Mr Salter can be contacted via his non-Parliamentary email,
Published in: on April 19, 2010 at 4:56 pm  Comments (1)  

Is It Farewell?

Well Salter has finally gone, the election is in full swing, and I have to make a decision. Do I keep on with this blog?

I think I shall keep quiet about my replacement for the moment, the candidates have been ‘debating’ and are in the papers, on the radio, on the web. You can judge them for yourselves.

The fun for me has been poking fun at Salter, he is such a good target. The local papers have been letting him get away with the most outrageous statements, contradicting himself constantly. So someone had to take a swipe.

But I will stay out of the choice of his replacement, for now.

Links to various parties are available on the right.

The local media are:

Hustings BBC Radio Berkshire

And here is my tribute to the ukip poster,

Published in: on April 16, 2010 at 6:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Statuesque Salter

Labour supporters are planning a statue of Salter!

A monument to stupidity perhaps.

Published in: on April 5, 2010 at 12:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

DEFRA Questions Drains, Shootings, Fishing again (last time)

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)

This will be my last appearance at DEFRA questions. Members will be pleased to learn that I shall not be asking about fish, otters or cormorants. The session has, however, been enhanced by the notion of Sunday walk-by shootings in Bogotá. The Minister will be aware of the 10-year campaign that I have waged on behalf of my constituents on the Haddocks estate in Tilehurst for the adoption of their drains by the water companies, as recommended by the excellent Pitt review. Can the Minister assure them that he has managed to secure cross-party agreement for this very necessary measure, so that whoever wins the next election, my constituents can be assured that they will not face the horror of a hike in their bills as a result of the failure to adopt their drains many years ago?

Martin Salter (Reading West, Labour)

The Minister will be aware of the hare-brained plan set out by the last but one Leader of the Opposition to abolish the anglers’ rod licence, which was hinted at again this week by the currentLeader of the Opposition in his Angling Times interview. Based on today’s figure, that would mean stripping £24 million or 70 per cent. from the Environment Agency‘s fishery budget. This means no restocking, dirtier rivers and a bleak future for Britain’s 3 million anglers. Would the Minister confirm the Government’s commitment to retaining the anglers’ rod licence and its income for fisheries work?

Published in: on March 28, 2010 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Who Voted For The Arsonist?

The Liberal leader Nick Clegg has been revealed to be an arsonist, is it cheeky for his followers to take pics  like this?

“There are few politicians with a responsibility for law and order who have a conviction for arson. Fewer arsonists still run for the leadership of their party. But Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman, is the baby-faced exception that proves the rule.”

“As a 16-year-old exchange student in Germany, he secured a minor criminal conviction for arson after he and a friend “torched two greenhouses of cacti belonging to a professor”. The local newspaper put the story on its front page and young Clegg was given community service. The angry professor asked him, “How would you like it if I killed your cat?”, and Clegg spent a summer looking for replacements for the private collection of Germany’s foremost cactus collector.”

‘Oh, the cactus,’ he says, placing his head in his hands for a moment, then rubbing his face. ‘I just behaved very, very badly. I was on an exchange in Germany and I drank far, far, far too much. I was a teenager. I lost it, really.’
“Lost it? He does seem genuinely agitated. ‘What I mean is I was drunk…’ Yes, he said that. What on? ‘They had this beer brewed in monasteries near Munich. Kloster Andechs. Unbelievably strong. Which clearly I couldn’t take.’
“Clegg was 16 years old, a public schoolboy abroad. So what happened? ‘Yeah… I, erm, I was at a party and I drifted into a greenhouse with a friend, saw it was full of cacti and lit a match to find our way, as there were no lights on. The flame accidentally touched one of the cacti, which glowed rather beautifully.’
Was it an accident, then? He looks at me. Only at first, it seems. ‘We did that to a fair number of the cacti. Not really knowing what we’d done.’
“He doesn’t think it’s so funny now. ‘No, it’s not… I mean, genuinely.It was the leading collection of cacti in Germany.’
The greenhouse belonged to a professor of botany whose life’s work had been to gather and nurture exotic specimens from all over the world. ‘He’d been to the jungles of Brazil and stuff to find these cacti.’
The boys weren’t arrested, because they ran away. ‘We didn’t know what we were doing. We were teenagers, we’d drunk too much – frankly, we did behave appallingly, irresponsibly, criminally. Next morning, one of the organisers of the exchange rang me up and said, “We know you did this.” I came clean.’
Drugs? I’ve always cast a veil over that
“The boys were taken off to see the professor, who was livid, but he was somehow persuaded not to press charges. ‘Instead they created a kind of community punishment for us. Me and the other bloke ended up having to dig communal flower beds in the baking sun. Then I spent the summer with my mum, going round one specialised garden centre after another, trying to replace some of the cacti. Of course they were tiny, and his were all large.’

‘We met some deeply fashionable person who said come to a party, it’ll be fancy dress. We went off and bought outfits [of women] from The Simpsons, huge wigs, thinking it would be really outlandish.’ Big mistake. ‘We jumped into this party to find that, of course, the last thing fashionable people in New York are going to do is make a fool of themselves. All they did was put a little beauty spot on or something. We were these two English idiots. It was immensely embarrassing.’

Maybe then, but it’s funny now. Clegg laughs easily. It’s a useful point of difference, after all. Can you imagine David Cameron in a dress? “

He has also urged the part-privatisation of the Royal Mail and argued that “breaking up the NHS is exactly what you need to do to make it a more responsive service”.

Published in: on March 23, 2010 at 12:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Salter Gives Away Election Date And Causes Rift With Pakistan

In a previous post I quoted Salter saying he would only be an MP for another 2 weeks, either he is resigning or he has just given away the date of the election. He said it on th 17th March.

Two weeks from then would be the 31st March, implying that most commentators would be correct with an election on the 6th may.

Will this mean the end of this blog? Should its name become Aloksnottheone? (Or Nazisnottheone possibly?) Will those parties rush out and reserve the blog names quickly?

Comments please.

In the same speech Salter also named and shamed Pakistan.

“I will not name the embassy because it would probably be inappropriate for me to cause an international incident in my last two weeks as an MP.   If people want to look at my interests in south Asia, they can probably work it out. I was invited to a very salubrious dinner at the high commissioner’s-we all get to go to such things from time to time. I was appalled to walk out of that residence in a palatial part of north London and see that the accommodation of the guy who picked me up-the driver for the high commissioner-was a garage.”

When a Tory challenged him to do so, he later named it as the Pakistan high commission.  How will this go down with the Pakistan community in Reading? Labour have been trying to convince them that they will build them a mosque for free for about 10 years, to bribe them to vote. That may end soon.

On the politics show on last week Salter said people regarded MPs as war criminals, that he liked to think he remained a member of the human race. Well he is partly right, the public regard many MPs as criminals because they are criminals. And there life in power has meant they have lost touch with ordinary people who voted them in. Kick them all out I say.

Published in: on March 21, 2010 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment