Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Is Cruddas as bad as Conway?

A tough question here.

The Mail on Sunday stirred the pot this week by pointing out that Cruddas claims for a second house near central London (in Notting Hill).

Last year his claim for Additional Costs Allowance was close to the maximum (looking at the claims over the past few years, here it would appear that they vary along the same lines as interest rates and were lower before).

Derek Conway claims slightly more in total - and has done so in most of the past few years - not only for the London pad, but also for travel expenses. Of course, the main difference would seem to be that while Conway employs his wife and son (and the son is supposed to be working on a degree at the other end of the country), no-one has yet accused Cruddas of that.

This does shake my confidence in Cruddas a little. However, the fact that he sends his kids to a Catholic school does not particularly (I knew he was a Catholic, and that he supported faith-based schools which I may disagree with him on, but he is open and honest about it).

At the end of it, the fact that Cruddas is representing himself as more of a 'Party' candidate than as just another minister tied to New Labour is an advantage.

The advert on the right stays. For now.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Noses in the trough

Derek Conway, Tory MP for Old Bexley and Sidcup, has been in a spot of bother over employing his son, Frederick, at a rate of £981 a month (equivalent to about £11750 pa). That may not be much of an issue normally, as it's not as if plenty of MPs have their family on the payroll. However, Master Conway is currently a full time student in Newcastle, which one would think precludes having a concurrent full time job in London(and we tax payers are paying for both of these occupations, by the way).

Not only that, but: Mrs Conway is being paid £3271 a month (equiv. £39250 pa); Derek himself claims the maximum allowance for a second home in Central London (£21,632 pa) despite representing a constituency a few miles away from Westminster; he also claimed £4072 for car mileage in 2005/6, enough for over 500 round trips between his constituency and the Commons.

There are a few MPs who have to claim large amounts if they live at the other end of the country, and it's not totally unreasonable to employ a family member if you can prove that they are being paid at a rate related to their effort, but I think this is a case of one totally taking the mickey.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Blogroll Maintenance

It's been a long time since I last cleared out my links, and still none need removing due to being broken or to moribund sites. However, it is time to add some, so I chose the blogs that I visit most often. There's even a Tory there (clearly marked, in case you blunder in by accident), although he's quite a reasonable Tory.

There are also a few 'Eustonistas', like Norman Geras, Oliver Kamm and the PooterGeek who all end up next to each other due to the magic of the alphabet. I may disagree with them on some things, but they are worth reading.

I've also nailed my colours to the mast regarding the Deputy Leader election. Go Jon!

Unite Against Fascism

I've just got back from a meeting in Town, which was called to try and set up a local Unite Against Fascism organisation.

There were people from as far afield as Billingshurst and Caterham, with Horley and Horsham represented, as well as quite a few from Crawley, it was decided that it was best to set up a single group for the whole area, rather than to try small ones in each place. It may be that in time there are enough people involved to establish more local groups, but for now it seems best to work together.

Additionally, it wasn't all Labour Party members. While there were some, there were also people from Respect/SWP and some who didn't appear to be involved in any particular party. We know that Conservatives have delivered UAF leaflets in Crawley before. The intention is to avoid any political party being overly dominant and for the campaign to be as broad as possible.

The next step is to set things up properly, and to that end it is hoped that a proper AGM can be set up soon to agree who does what and how it is organised (the fun of writing constitutions!), and decide what are the priorities.

I turned up a bit late, but the meeting was late starting because people got delayed by the trains. While idling outside it was noticed that a couple of people were taking photographs of us. One of the people they may have snapped was just an ordinary bloke who wanted to know what was going on, and left when it became clear that people were being asked to join something. I suspect that our pics are destined to appear on 'Redwatch' or something like that. Seeing as the local radio controlled car group were meeting at the same place, they may just have been rival RC'ers, but I think that's unlikely. I wonder if any of them will have been snapped at the same time?

When approached, the men wandered to a distance, although there was no threat to them. Perhaps they might have liked to chat, but maybe not.

[edit - Parental Advisory on the comments, as it seems that they may not have wanted to chat, but are happy to abuse people on the internet]

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I ran in a cross country relay race this evening, and managed a not totally awful time for 13 minutes and 27 seconds over 1.6 miles.

One of the other competitors was recently at the World Cross Country Championships in Kenya. Unsurprisingly, he was the fastest on the course. I'm glad that I managed to go round in slightly less than double his time of 7:17

But I am a bit creamed.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss

I still haven't changed my mind about Ming's demands for a new election, despite the fact that there will be no ballot for the leadership of the Labour Party. In fact, I was most likely going to vote for John McDonnell if he had the 45 nominations, but he couldn't do it, and that he failed to convince more than a couple of dozen MPs that there should be a contest with him in it goes against me.

However much I would have liked to put my X down, I have to say that I didn't actually want McDonnell to win. In fact, what I wanted was a convincing victory for Brown, with a more than insignificant Left vote.

We can't have that, but the outcome is pretty much the same.

So now the battle moves to the Deputy Leadership. Apparently, some left wingers are saying that they will no longer back Cruddas because he nominated Brown.

Which of the other 5 candidates didn't then?

Cruddas seems to me to be the best chance for a 'member-led' renewal of the Party. He's not a Campaign Group socialist, and neither am I. He's been fairly loyal to the Government, but I think that he's hit on some key areas where it has not fulfilled the promise of 1997 (even my hopes were a bit higher than the outcome, and I was not gooey-eyed just because we had a landslide).

Hain is saying similar things, but I don't know why I just can't trust the guy. Is it because he's a former Liberal (and they don't like him much any more)? Is it his manner? I don't know.

Benn is not his father, so is not some great white hope of the Left, he just made the nominations, and he'd be better in the cabinet. I reckon that the Deputy should replace the bogus 'Chairman' and be in the Cabinet as a democratically elected link with the Party at large. Benn's abilities lie elsewhere, I feel.

Johnson is a Brownite, and we already have a Brownite as a dead cert for the leadership. Laura Moffatt is a PPS for him, and I expect she nominated him. He seems ok, but I think he comes across as too similar to John Prescott - with the credentials in terms of background, but will be loyal to the leadership to the point of madness.

Blears is the right wing candidate. Why would I vote for a Blairite, when we're just seeing the back of the man himself.

Harman just keeps telling us we have to vote for a woman, well, just because. I'm no misogynist dinosaur, but I don't think that it's right to say that jobs have to be determined on the basis of gender. Her one 'big idea' this week - the 'Department of the Family' - is just another example of gesture politics. Besides, now that Blears is standing, you don't have to vote for Harman to vote for a woman, do you?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Overheard at the count

Now we can get the tenants back

From a senior local Tory, when they knew that they had a concrete majority on the Borough Council.

Now, I heard this second (or even third) hand. But I trust my source, and I think that the quote is entirely likely from the person I was told it came from.

Still, it matters more what they do than what they say. So, what will the Tories do for the tenants?

Friday, May 11, 2007

County Grammar (ok... Primary)

This morning I was driving Ms Danivon to a hospital appointment (at Crawley Hospital, which is still there by the way) and we noticed someone filming a group of people walking up West Green Drive.

As I drove out of the Hospital, I stopped to let the same people cross the drive, and saw that it was a cameraman, a woman who looked like a reporter and another woman with about half a dozen kids, clearly on their way to school.

Later I see what it was all about. It seems that my old school, West Green Primary, has a bit of a problem. It has 7 year groups and 6 classrooms. Surely the geniuses that run WSCC Education Department might have noticed a slight flaw in that, when they reconfigured the schools in Crawley a few years ago?

When I was there as a pupil, West Green was a large Primary school, which attracted pupils from Broadfield, and had two buildings, one for the Infants (ages 5-7) and one for the Juniors (8-11). However, in 1985 the visionaries at County Hall decided to change the age at which children moved up to new schools, and at the same time closed the Junior school. What remained was the 6-room First School (5-8). The other side was transferred to Crawley College (now part of 'Central Sussex College'). I went back there for some evening classes about 5 years ago - in the same room that I spent my 3rd year with Mr Whitehead - which was a bit spooky. Back in 1985, I spent a year at Ifield Middle School (9-12) marking time before I could go to a proper Comprehensive.

So, when the County decided to go back into line with the rest of the country, and bring back the Infant/Junior set-up, they were at one point talking about closing West Green completely (not very popular). Instead, they decided to keep it going with a single class per year. This would make a lot of sense, as it means that local children don't have to cross the A23 or the London Road or walk about a mile (or, as is more likely, get driven about). However, it takes until now, a whole five years after the planning process, to realise that there is a room short.

West Sussex County Council - the same people that blamed a bad winter for pot-holes in the roads, just after one of the mildest winters on record!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Why we don't need a General Election after June 27

Ming Campbell thinks that he's right to call for a General Election. He's not, for a variety of reasons.

Firstly, the post of Prime Minister is not an elected office, it is a delegated one. The Monarch appoints the MP who can carry the confidence of Parliament. If we lived in a presidential system, perhaps we could insist upon an election. However, the USA have had presidents leave office and their successors remain in place because they, like most presidential republics, have fixed terms with a system of succession rather than a requirement for a fresh mandate.

Secondly, there is no real precedent. PMs have on occasion stood down as an election is due (Ramsey MacDonald in 1935; Churchill in 1955), although it is far more common that a PM leaves office by being defeated at an election. In the past 100 years, 8 Prime Ministers have left office without triggering or as the result of a General Election:

1908 - Campbell-Bannerman => Asquith
1916 - Asquith => Lloyd George
1937 - Baldwin => Chamberlain
1940 - Chamberlain => Churchill
1957 - Eden => Macmillan
1963 - Macmillan => Douglas-Home
1976 - Wilson => Callaghan
1990 - Thatcher => Major

As you can see, it happens quite a lot, and only two occurrences were during wartime, which would make it difficult to hold new elections. The Douglas-Home ascension was just under a year before the 1964 election (which was about as late as it could have been held). The other new PMs all waited at least a full year before calling an election. One Parliament, (1935-45) had two changes of PM.

Changing hands is no guarantee of failure, either. Asquith and Macmillan retained their posts after the following elections (1910 and 1959 respectively). Lloyd George was on the winning side, albeit in coalition with the Conservatives, in 1918. Major famously held on in 1992. Chamberlain didn't get to fight an election, so less than half of the replacements lost their next elections.

By contrast, when Baldwin took over from Bonar Law in 1923, he insisted on a new election, primarily because he intended to reverse an election pledge on tariffs. After the election the Conservatives were still the largest party, but had lost many seats. Baldwin was defeated in a confidence motion and Ramsey McDonald replaced him at the head of a minority Labour government. Less than a year later, that government fell and Baldwin walked the 1924 election. So, the only time that an election has been called, it was over a specific pledge rather than a simple change in PM, and it led to a year of political chaos. Not a good precedent for the current situation.

Thirdly, and more topically, this is sort of what we voted for two years ago. In the 2005 campaign, Labour started badly, and Blair was distancing himself from Brown. The Conservatives launched a 'Vote Blair, get Brown' campaign, and they were shocked when the polls registered a sudden recovery for Labour. As a result, Blair and Brown chummed up for the rest of the campaign, and Blair promised to stand down at some point. When Labour won the election, it was on the tacit understanding that at some point Blair would make way, and the most likely successor was the Chancellor. While the phrase 'full term' was used, once the genie is out of the bottle and a PM has accepted that they will be going, it is very hard to avoid the pressure to go. It's amazing to me that it has dragged out this long.

So, the change of PM mid-term is not 'wrong' or unusual, and certainly doesn't demand an instant General Election. Not only is it not constitutionally required, but the precedent has already been set. All three governing parties have done it at least twice. More importantly, we voted for it to happen anyway. Just because we have forgotten about things from only 2 years ago, doesn't mean that we have to have a new election.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007


It's been nearly a week, and I thought that I would look at the election results in Crawley in more detail, comparing with 2006 and 2004 (all out).

I am particularly interested in the overall trends, and I won't produce the results for all 39 instances.

I'll start Ward by Ward, and then go over the parties at the end.

2004 - 3 Labour, maj 193/216/275
2006 - Labour, maj 192
2007 - Labour, maj 374
A Safe Labour ward. The Labour vote is holding up or increasing. The Tories are slipping back a little. The Lib Dems are slipping back, and our Mr Khan is plugging away in last place

Broadfield N
2004 - 2 Labour, maj 99/261
2006 - Tory, maj 0
No elections in 2007. New ward in 2004. In theory a safe Labour area, was lost last year after a dead heat and drawing of lots

Broadfield S
2004 - 2 Tory, maj 22/52
2006 - Tory, maj 112
No elections in 2007 New ward in 2004. Surprisingly went Tory in 2004, and they strengthened their position last year, although the main losers in that were the Greens.

Furnace Green
2004 - 2 Tory, maj 155/318
2006 - Tory, maj 547
2007 - 2 Tory, maj 524/568
Tory ward, although was Labour until the late 1990s. Becoming much safer for the Tories now, although the Labour vote is holding, and the others are slipping back. The resignation of Mike Weatherley resulted in an extra seat coming up this year.

Gossops Green
2004 - 2 Tory, maj 33/47
2007 - Tory, maj 150
Marginal in 2004, when the Tories gained it. No real change in positions, Labour slightly down, Tories up a little since 2004, Lib Dems on pretty much the same.

2004 - 3 Labour, maj 96/100/191
2006 - Tory, maj 21
2007 - Tory, maj 59
Marginal. Labour in 2004 by about 100 votes. Last year Tory gain by 21 votes. This year the Tories led by 59 votes. The only real noticeable trend other than that is that the BNP vote is going down

Langley Green
2004 - 3 Labour, maj 268/303/352
2006 - Labour, maj 406
2007 - Labour, maj 148
Safe Labour seat. Bucked the trend last year with an increased majority, only to become much closer this year. The Conservative candidate this year was a Sikh, and reportedly turnout among this group was high.

2004 - 3 Tory, maj 682/744/779
2006 - Tory, maj 1132
2007 - Tory, maj 1215
Safe Tory seat. The Tory vote leapt up last year, and the Lib Dems overtook Labour. This year, Labour beat the Lib Dems to second place.

2004 - 2 LibDem, maj 292/334
2006 - LibDem, maj 276
2007 - LibDem, maj 250
Liberal Democrat haven. Becoming less secure. Labour second, Tories third. The main trends are for the Lib Dems to bleed a few votes, the Tories challenged for second last year (14 votes behind), but have slipped back again. In 2006 a Socialist Labour candidate may have split the Labour vote. Turnout dipped overall this year.

Pound Hill N
2004 - 3 Tory, maj 778/795/831
2006 - Tory, maj 1280
2007 - Tory, maj 1001
Safe Tory. Labour second, and unusually the Lib Dems gained votes this year (perhaps because this time they had a local candidate, not a Seekings standing). The rest of the drop in Tory majority seems to be down to turnout, which makes sense as this was hardly a seat in question.

Pound Hill S and Worth
2004 - 3 Tory, maj 707/760/828
2006 - Tory, maj 1210
2007 - Tory, maj 1072
Safe Tory. Like PH North, the Tories walked it with a slight fall in turnout. The Lib Dems came second in 2006, but this year lost votes. Labour regained second place and were the only gainers.

2004 - 3 Labour, maj 3/50/51
2006 - Tory, maj 198
2007 - Tory, maj 179
Marginal. The Tories won this seat in 2003 by 3 votes, probably helped by the Greens standing. Since 2004, the BNP have overtaken the Greens (but both of their votes are down quite a bit), with the Lib Dems in third. The Labour vote is consistently around 725. The Tories gained about 250 votes in 2006, and slipped back slightly this year.

Three Bridges
2004 - 1 Labour , 1 Tory
2007 - Tory, maj 356
A major Tory gain here. The Labour vote did not fall much, but the smaller parties lost more votes, with the Tories the only gainers. In 2004 the BNP stood and came 6th out of 8 (beating a Green and a Lib Dem). This year the English Democrats stood and narrowly beat the Green.

2004 - 2 Labour, maj 84/87
2007 - Tory, maj 355
Like Three Bridges, a major gain for the Tories. In fact, not only is the majority almost the same, but the Labour vote were exactly the same in both wards this year (549). However, unlike Three Bridges, Labour lost votes and the swing was much greater. In 2004 only the two main parties stood. In 2007 the Greens, Lib Dems and BNP put up candidates. The BNP came third here.

West Green
2004 - 2 Labour, maj 147/274
2006 - Labour, maj 117
Usually safe Labour. Turnout was low last year, and the Tory vote held up. The BNP came third, beating the Lib Dems and an Independent. No election this year.

A mixed year. In the core seats (those to the East of the London-Brighton line), they slipped back, but that is likely to be down to the inevitability of the results. In the seats they won last year, they pretty much held up. In what were thought to be the new 'marginal' seats, they achieved large swings. Whether they would have had the same if the seats had been contested last year, or whether the campaigning of this year also made a difference I can't tell. The only odd trend was the boost to the vote in Langley Green, where I think communal voting came into play.

A bad year, but looking at it, not worse than last year. I am sure that there will be recriminations about Ifield, but there always are (even if they win). In the safe Tory and Labour wards, the general trend was up. In many places the vote held up, but needed to go up to win or hold seats. The main point of collapse was Tilgate. There, the vote was possibly split by other parties. Also, the Tory candidate was a prominent local church member, and had a lot of support from there. Our candidate was not local, and the branch lost key members in the past year (to old age).

Lib Dems
Overall, the trend is down. If it continues, Northgate could possibly come into play in future years. The only place where the vote increased was Pound Hill North, where the candidate was the only local standing.

In 2003 they arrived in force for the first time. The catalyst was the defection of Councillor Malcolm Liles from Labour, in protest at the Iraq war. In 2004 they put up quite a few candidates and achieved reasonably high votes. However, now they can't beat the BNP or the English Democrats, let alone get close to any of the main parties. Most of their candidates are members of Malcolm's family. Lowest poll was 35 in Northgate, highest was 185 in Furnace Green.

Still not to be discounted, their popularity is waning. Where they once got 400 votes, they get 300 or less. Where they stand for the first time, they do better (I think it's the novelty factor), but they aren't getting the over 15% share that they achieved last year. Ifield is their strongest ward, with 309 votes and 3rd place.

English Democrats
Brand new, arrived out of nowhere (or Harrow, it seems), and merely seem to have split the vote. They are made up of ex-UKIPers, which may mean that they stick around, but around here many of the UKIP members either drifted to the BNP or appear to have gone back to they Tory party. Beat the Greens, which seems to be no great challenge.

Far Left
No candidates from the Socialist Labour Party or Respect or any 'Independant Socialists' this year. Their absence may explain better results for Labour in Northgate and Bewbush.

Arshad Khan (officially of the 'Justice Party', but in no way connected to the Brum based party of that name, and a one-man-band in reality) wins the battle of the also-rans, beating Richard Symonds by 5 votes. Daniel Capstick-Bedson got 30 votes, the least of any candidate across the town. I think that Richard Symonds can take comfort from the splitting effect in Ifield, but overall the Independent vote is going down since 2004. I suspect that Khan's increased vote in Bewbush may be a result of absence of Robin Burnham, or the presence of the Lib Dem candidate - who I hear is not a particularly popular gentleman.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Thank Clint!

Fulham 1 - 0 Liverpool

A season rescued at the near death by a super-sub and an opposition who might have been a little preoccupied with an upcoming trip to Athens.

The only way we can go down is for Charlton to win both of their games. The last is away to Liverpool (who may be more careful about playing a low-end team), and they are currently losing at home to Spurs.

[edit 9:55 pm - Charlton lost 2-0. A shame for my mate Toby, but frankly I'd rather them than us]

Crawley Town are in a similar position, although the Conference season is over. The threat there is that the owners don't pay back their debts in time. Last I heard they have until Friday 11 May, but were asking for an extension until the end of May. It would be a real shame for the team to be penalised because of the actions of their owners. However, I still don't know how West Ham got away with no points deduction for the Tevez-Mascherano tranfser shenanigans.
It does mean that I can wind Skuds up next season about how they should be in the Championship....

John Reid won't oppose Brown, but won't serve under him either


I had a reasonable view of Dr Reid until I met him in early 2003. Now he's down there with the Charles Clarkes and Alan Milburns of the world.

Friday, May 04, 2007

oh dear

My contacts tell me that Labour held 2 seats in Crawley (Bewbush and Langley Green). That means losing seats in Ifield, Three Bridges, Southgate and Tilgate, presumably to the Tories. It is unlikely that any other seats changed hands.

That would give the Conservatives control of the council with 22 seats, a majority of 7. Labour would be on 12 and the Liberal Democrats on 3.

I haven't seen the figures, so it's hard to tell whether it represents a major change from last year. Southgate and Ifield were the scene of losses last year (and a nasty and inaccurate piece of hate mail went out in Ifield just before the election). Three Bridges was a seat in which the result was very close in 2004, and it was a hard ask to hold that seat. Tilgate is very disappointing, but the omens did look bad there yesterday.

Commiserations to the losing Labour candidates. Well done to Chris Cheshire and David Shreeves for their re-elections. Across the town this was a tough campaign, and we always knew that it would be an uphill struggle to hold all seats, let alone make any gains. But the members really pushed as hard as they could.

There are, of course, a few factors which overshadow the elections, some of which are beyond the controll of local councillors (Iraq, Blair, the Hospital). However, we can't escape the fact that the Tories have consolidated power and have the momentum, and that there are local factors as well.

Tory Sleaze

One thing that the post-election drinks provide is a chance to catch up on the gossip.

What I learned today is this:

When the Tories claim that 'Horsham GPs' support their Campaign for Pease Pottage Hospital, they mean that 11 GPs (out of 40) support it. My maths may be a bit hazy (it's been 12 years since I sat that degree), but 27% is not a majority. Given that several of those GPs also work in the same practice as one of the authors of their report, it's an even less impressive endorsement.

Also on the c4pph, one of the authors of their report was Adrian Brown. When I asked Henry Smith who he was, he described his background in general terms. What he omitted to mention was that Mr Brown was sacked from East Surrey Hospital when the finances were going down the tubes a few years back.

Lorraine Matthews was until recently involved in the project to decide whether or not to transfer out Council Housing in Crawley. She was the chair of the Tenants Panel, and there were strong suggestions that she was far more keen on transfer than the average tenant. She will now be working for the Council in a brand new post as 'Community Engagement Manager'. Who created this post? How does it chime with the Tory agenda to cut out 'superfluous' posts at the Town Hall?

Vote Early, Vote Often

At about half past seven, I cast two votes in Southgate. Nothing illegal went on, Ms Danivon had to go away so see her mum, and she arranged for me to have her proxy vote.

After that was along day of leafletting and standing outside the polling station, I am now knackered and totally confused.

The results here are unpredictable. If the Tories gain one single seat, they will regain control of the council. However, I didn't see the swagger from them that they had last year.

The early results suggest that the picture nationally is mixed, but that in some places the Tories have gained at the expense of the Lib Dems more than from Labour. Crawley will not be counting the votes until tomorrow, which means it's a nail-biting time for all candiates over the next twelve hours.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Local Elections 3 May - Don't forget to vote!

(and vote Labour)

In Crawley, it is pretty much a straight contest between Labour and the Tories in all seats (except for Northgate, which is solidly Lib Dem).

Some seats have a BNP candidate, and it is vital that they not get a foothold in Crawley.

The Labour candidates for the Crawley wards this year are:

  • Bewbush:
    Chris CHESHIRE

  • Furnace Green (2 votes): TT *
  • Gossops Green: T
    Chris MULLINS

  • Ifield: *
    John STANLEY

  • Langley Green:
    David SHREEVES

  • Maidenbower: T
    Ron FINCH

  • Northgate:
    Bill WARD

  • Pound Hill Nth: T
    Jasmin SAMSON

  • Pound Hill Sth & Worth: T
    Colin MOFFATT

  • Southgate: *
    Ian IRVINE

  • Three Bridges:
    Daryl ENGLISH

  • Tilgate: *
    Jayne SKUDDER
Where the BNP are standing, I have marked the ward with *. Where the Conservatives currently hold the seat(s), I have marked the ward with a T (for Targetting Tories).

With the Council on a knife edge (Conservatives 1 seat short of a majority), and several close contests, every vote could count. In Southgate, we had results within 3 votes two years running. Crawley has had two elections result in dead heats in the last ten years.

So, if you want to lift the threat of higher charges for tenants (with lower standards of upkeep for council houses), if you want to safeguard local services, if you want to see improvements, then Vote Labour to keep the Tories out.

Best of luck to all of our candidates tomorrow. I will be out and about in Southgate, where we are working to re-elect a hard working councillor Ian Irvine.