October 5: Most influential Conservatives
his entertaining and outspoken comments and YouTube success,
is the Kent Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan really the tenth
most influential right winger in the country? A maverick, certainly
and a very bright one too.
According to a survey by the
Daily Telegraph, partly put together by the well-known
Kent-based blogger Iain Dale, he is - and that's three places above
I'm not convinced but I suppose it does say something about the
way we consume our politics and political commentary that someone
who has been viewed by nearly 3 million people on YouTube berating
a clearly uncomfortable Gordon Brown is regarded as more
influential than someone who led the country for 11 years.
I was less surprised at the absence of Ann Widdecombe, the
Maidstone and Weald MP, who is standing down at the next
I imagine that it is a reflection of her decision to leave
mainstream politics but there was a time when she would have been
in the top 50 quite easily.
I've often thought that Nigel Farage, the UKIP party leader,
punches above his weight politically and his ranking at 41 in the
list seems justifiable. Biggest shock? Lord Mandelson in at Number
18. With a bullet. Or at least a shark-like grin on his face. And
if he's in it, where's Tony Blair?
As I blogged last week,
KCC is poised to re-enter the slightly less but still turbulent
waters of financial investment after getting its fingers burnt in
Iceland, where it still has £47million tied up in three banks
Councils still waiting over Iceland
But its new Treasury investment strategy will be much more
circumspect and placing money in exotic international climes will
be eschewed in favour of what is regarded as a rather more secure
list of so-called 'counterparties.'
The recommended list is: Abbey National; HSBC; HBOS; the Royal
Bank of Scotland and Barclays. Two others were considered but have
been excluded: Clydesdale and Nationwode
Deposits will be limited to £40million and no deposit will be
for longer than six months to reflect the fact that "there is still
some way to go before financial markets can be said to be operating
in a normal way. There are still huge amounts of toxic loans within
the banking system."
KCC's new "safety first" policy includes a measure to consider
not just the advice of their brokers when assessing whether the
banks are sound enough but a consideration of "other sources of
information" - including financial media stories.
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