Tag Archive | "cabinet ministers"

Who is running the country?

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Who is running the country?


It is not lost on me that, at a time when our country is in economic meltdown, our soldiers are dying on the front line, unemployment is rising at a phenomenal rate and businesses are going bust every day, our government is just not interested – Note: I have excluded ‘Swine Flu’ because this is just a convenient distraction for our government.

Instead, they are intent on squabbling like spoilt school children. Little wonder we are in such a mess, each and every one of them should be ashamed. Headlines no longer deal with the issues that concern the public, instead they are dedicated to those within the Labour party that seek to criticise or defend New Labour and/or Gordon Brown. Whilst I am all for the discredited New Labour machine going into self-destruct mode, I am concerned that it is happening whilst they are still in government, it is akin to sending a text message on your mobile phone, whilst travelling at over 100 mph on the motorway.

It is clear to me, that only now, have Labour diehards realised that their social experiment has been a failure, both in terms of policy and implementation. Instead of bickering, they should call a general election for the sake of the country and let the people decide who is fit to get us through this mess. But no, they couldn’t give a toss, they choose to fight each other rather than concentrate on what they were elected to do…run the country. Their selfishness clearly knows no bounds.

To save the party arguing the toss for the next 12 months as they desperately and unashamedly hang onto power, let me explain why they failed, in simple terms, that even children can comprehend. Now I will not get into the detail of whether or not the policies were right because this is neither the time, nor the place. However, the failure can be simply put, it is not about the plan, it is all about the implementation. New Labour came up with a vision, a plan for the United Kingdom and instead of placing the very best people in charge of these plans, they resorted to cronyism. The decision on who would be responsible for implementation of New Labour’s grand vision was determined on reward, not merit.

Government is not the place for ‘on the job’ training. Take for example Jacqui Smith, how can a background in teaching economics at a high school qualify her for the position of Home Secretary? Or Alan Johnson, before entering parliament, he was a postman and then a full-time union official, so how is this going to help him run one of the 3rd largest employer in the world, the National Health Service? David Miliband is now Foreign Secretary, yet before entering parliament, he was a researcher for the Institute for Public Policy Research. How does this qualify him as the best person to represent our interests on the world stage? Even the Chinese questioned Ed Miliband over his “qualifications” to lecture them on climate change, his response was that as a politician, he was in effect, charged with selling the concept.

Take Gordon Brown for example. Some may think that he had some sort of financial background, an accountant perhaps, or a financial analyst. But no, this man who was to become our Chancellor of 10 years, had no such qualifications, little wonder that he lead us into the biggest economic crisis in 60 years. Gordon Brown was a Rector of the University of Edinburgh, after that, he was employed as a lecturer in Politics at the Glasgow College of Technology. From 1980, until he was elected a member of parliament, he was a journalist at Scottish Television, later becoming an editor for current affairs at the same television station.

As for Tony Blair, his background prior to becoming an MP is so scant, it is not worth mentioning, so I won’t. Little wonder then that this government of ,very little talent, has had to spend £billions on consultants throughout their term of office. 

It never ceases to amaze me how, in politics, ministers are offered position not based on merit, but based on loyalty. If the private sector were to resort to such cronyism, it would fail miserably, instead, with a few exceptions, the private sector employ the best people for the job, based on experience, knowledge and ability. No so ministers. If those in the private sector fail, they are fired and replaced with someone else that can do the job. Not so ministers, they are normally forgiven, occasionally moved, but rarely sent to the backbenches.

The internal squabbling of New Labour is lamentable, but it is also dangerous. The public are not stupid, they can work out that if the party, including government ministers are fighting amongst themselves, then they are not fighting for us. If the party had any sense of self-respect, they would admit that they had lost the plot, lacked any direction and had demonstrably failed the British public and in doing so, offer the people of this country the opportunity to decide on their future as well as our own. They won’t of course, because now, more than at any time in our history, MP’s of all parties are in denial of the fact that they are elected to serve, not rule. And chief amongst this philosophy and belief are members of the Labour party.

Posted in Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems | Comments (11)

Disreputable MP’s and their expenses

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Disreputable MP’s and their expenses


Much has been written about MP’s and their expenses over the past few weeks and little wonder given we expect our elected representatives to always act in the best interests of their constituents, the public at large and above all, with the utmost integrity. Yet, each time an MP has been exposed as maximising their expense allowances, we are informed that the claim has either been an error, or more often has been claimed in “accordance with the rules” and “fully declared”.

I have already stated in previous posts that I am not suggesting that any MP or Minister has acted in a corrupt manner and without evidence to the contrary, I stand by that statement. However, what is clear to me is that it is the the expense allowance programme is corrupt, given it facilitates and even encourages members of parliament to maximise their claims with little or no scrutiny as part of their ‘rewards package’. My prior statement notwithstanding, it is MP’s that are the sole arbiters on the expense system they benefit from, because only they can vote to introduce change. Therefore, it is a bit rich when they are so defensive because the public has the temerity and audacity to find these claims objectionable and excessive, even though we have never been consulted…instead we just expected to foot the bill. Bollocks!

I believe that the only reason Gordon Brown and his cronies are recommending a review of the expense allowances is because they want and expect the committee to suggest that salaries are increased to compensate for the loss of some or all of the current allowances. This is not and never will be acceptable to the public. It is right that MP’s should be reimbursed for out of pocket expenses, that have been incurred wholly and exclusively in the course of their parliamentary duties, but that is it. Anything else would be an abuse. MP’s know what the salary and benefits are before they stand, if they don’t like the package, then they must step aside, there will be no shortage of people clamouring for their seats.

In the past, the basis or motivation for new laws was invariably where the majority of people found something objectionable, offensive or wrong. It is clear to me that the overwhelming majority of people in this country consider the MP expense allowances to be far too generous, self-serving and open to abuse. Therefore, all MP’s have a duty to the public to outlaw such acts, even if it is detrimental to their own interests. A failure to do this is a failure of their duty and obligation to the public. It does not need a committee to determine what is wrong with the expense allowance scheme, public opinion has already made that clear, MP’s must act decisively and NOW, for if they don’t the trust in our Parliamentary system of representation will be irreparably damaged. Trust has already been damaged.

The people of this country have had to put up with interfering Ministers and MP’s introducing a raft of new legislation designed exclusive and comprehensively to erode our liberty, right to privacy and long held freedoms, whilst they (the MP’s) are, for the most part exempted from the same laws. They have lost all sense of reality and completely removed themselves from society.

Over the past 11 years we have seen legislation brought in to protect foxes, whilst having to accept the broken Manifesto promise of a vote on the Lisbon Treaty. We have seen public sector final salary pension schemes protected and enhanced whilst those in the private sector were raided to the tune of £10bn per year. We have seen Ministers living in grace and favour homes, whilst renting out their taxpayer funded London home, meanwhile other hardworking people have had their homes repossessed. We have seen countless examples of MP’s going on free taxpayer junkets with their entourage, whilst many people will be lucky to afford a weekend in Blackpool. The hypocrisy of our current batch of MP’s knows no bounds, but it has got to stop. Our system of parliamentary democracy goes back hundreds of years, but more damage has been done to it by this current group of MP’s than at any time since it started. Members of Parliament must hang their heads in shame, hand back our money, can the expense allowance scheme and agree not to stand for elected office again. Then there may be a small chance that the damage to our democratic process and, the necessary trust in accountable members of parliament, may be rectified in our lifetimes. It is the least we would expect from decent individuals, but then again, few of our current batch of MP’s could be described as decent!

SPREAD THE WORD:

A Conservative MP is seeking a second reading for a new Bill, titled ‘Exercise of Reasonable Discretion’. If passed into law, this will allow every public servant, including MP, civil servants, local government officers, the police etc., a legal defence of ‘reasonable discretion’ in any civil or criminal case brought about as a consequence of their actions. All they would have to prove, is that they acted in good faith, this as anyone in the know will understand, is a catch-all defence.

In essence, it could allow MP’s to argue that they made certain decisions, such as going to war, based on advice where they were required to use reasonable discretion, officials entering into multi-million pound contracts which are subsequently cancelled or overrun, will also be able to claim that they exercised reasonable discretion. It is effectively a get out of jail free card for any public servant. Effectively removing accountability and increasing risk, because of course, if there is no effective punishment, there is no need to be careful. We should all shout as loud as we can to ensure that this type of legislation never sees the light of day.

Posted in Civil Liberties, Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems | Comments (2)

Darling Expense Claim: They are all at it!

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Darling Expense Claim: They are all at it!


Just 24 hours after it emerged that Geoff Hoon was claiming a ‘second home allowance’ for his Derbyshire constituency home, whilst renting out his London pad and living in a taxpayer funded ‘grace and favour home’ it transpires that Alistair Darling is doing something similar. Yet another example of Ministers who are expected to set an example hiding behind the rules of a corrupt expense allowance programme that they get to craft and then vote on!

As I alluded to in my posting yesterday, it appears impossible to find any MP that does not have his or her snout in the trough, they all seem to be at it. At a time of higher taxes for mere mortals, MP’s seem to be protecting their own positions with unjustifiable and very generous tax free expense allowances, that bear no relation to ‘out of pocket’ expenses.

MP’s expense allowances bear absolutely no relation to those in the private sector. For example, most people working in London will travel, at their own expense, to and from work, often leaving in the very early hours and getting home late. I for example, used to leave at 5.00am in the morning and get home at between 8.00 and 9.00pm….everyday for 9 years! My petrol was paid, but I then had to declare this as a benefit in kind. Most people in the private sector will receive an overnight allowance if they are staying in London, a relocation allowance, or a small one-off grant to cover the rental of a small flat etc. Not so for MP’s, they get annual allowances for virtually everything.

How ironic that the very people that bear a good deal of the responsibility for the economic mess we are in should seek to make the taxpayers pay for their mistakes (increased taxes, stealth taxes, bailots etc), whilst feathering their own nests with unjustifiable expense allowance benefits. Why do we all sit here and take it,  whilst these self-serving, pompous hypocrites are sneering at us in that contemptuous way that serving MP’s have got off to an art? Meanwhile, Gordon Brown says he has far more important things to deal with than MP’s expenses, well he has a point, but, if his ministers are milking a corrupt expense allowance programme, how are the public to have, or maintain, any trust in their honesty, integrity and judgement?

MP’s must not be allowed to hide behind the fact that they operated within the rules or that their claims had been “openly declared“. One of their own MP’s referred to the fact there is a “court of public opinion” and indeed there is. Members of Parliament have quite rightly declared open warfare on those that seek to minimise their personal and business tax obligations through complicated offshore tax schemes, many of whom are operating “within the rules”, but failing to contribute in a fair and equitable manner. Yet MP’s are doing exactly the same thing, hiding behind the rules that they set up and voted on, yet expecting everyone else to do their part. It is hypocrisy of the highest order, yet we have not witnessed one apology (other than for mistakes), nor have we seen immediate action to curtail this abuse and worst still, no resignations or signs of embarrassment.

This appalling abuse has got to stop right now, the public are very, very angry and there will be a backlash as soon as that public opinion has been mobilised into action. Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, John Lyon must act, by ordering MP’s and Ministers to repay these unjustifiable allowances, whether or not they were within the rules. Meanwhile MP’s must start to demonstrate that they are ‘in one’ with the people of this country and not the self-serving hypocrites that their action suggest. Little wonder that the electorate is so disengaged from politics and the politicians.

Posted in Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems | Comments (4)

Geoff Hoon: Another snout in the trough

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Geoff Hoon: Another snout in the trough


Has anyone noticed how politicians are becoming more and more cocky when their expense claims are made public? The latest Labour Minister to get caught with his trousers down, metaphorically speaking, is Geoff Hoon. But he doesn’t even have the decency to be embarrassed.

He has reportedly been claiming a second home allowance for his Derbyshire home, whilst renting out his London property and living in a taxpayer funded ‘grace and favour’ property. Hoon, uses the same excuse as his other cabinet colleagues, stating that it is allowed to do this according to the rules governing parliamentary expenses. He then pours scorn on his detractors by claiming he doesn’t believe that he has profited out of the arrangement. Does he really take us all for being so stupid that we would believe such a ludicrous statement?

It is not the politicians that are corrupt, because, as so many have lectured us, it is all within the rules governing expenses. But I defy any of them to state that the system itself is not corrupt and who votes on MP’s salaries, benefits and pensions? Yes, exactly, you don’t have to be corrupt to fleece the public, so long as the system is corrupt and the rules obeyed. When David Cameron says “we are all implicated and we must all find a solution“, you just know they are all at it. Little wonder that the public believe our Members of Parliament are self-serving, inward looking chancers who seek to maximise their personal finances at the expense of (no pun intended) the taxpayer and in their usual contemptuous and arrogant manner.

This is further evidence, if any more was needed, that MP’s are completely removed from reality. We have Jacqui Smith claiming for two washing machines, whilst everyone else has to make do with one and now, Geoff Hoon benefiting from two taxpayer funded properties, whilst many people are losing their homes as a consequence of this governments poor handling of the economy. If they (Labour Ministers) are too inept to see that this is wrong, then why the hell are they still in Government? No wonder this country is in such a mess with the majority of MP’s more interested in their own purse than the public purse. I am very, very angry and so should everyone else be. It is high time that the public made clear that they cannot and will not tolerate such contempt from the very people that are supposed to be serving and representing us. This Government has introduced more laws than any other administration, restricting our freedoms and liberties and criminalising what had previously be acceptable, whilst at the same time, exempting themselves from the same standards and laws.

You don’t need the ‘Committee on Standards in Public Life’ to determine that this current expense system for MP’s is a rogues charter and corrupt. By referring this issue to the committee, Gordon Brown has merely delayed the outcome. Moreover, it is a virtual certainty, that he and his fellow ministers want the committee to look at the entire rewards system, doubtless so they can propose a phasing out of the current expense system to be replaced by higher salaries. NO WAY! MP’s cannot reward themselves with higher salaries based on the fact that they will be losing money because they are no longer in receipt of benefits received by way of a corrupt system. If MP’s are to be provided with ANY increase, it must be based on results, not rhetoric and empty promises, that way we, the public, can be absolutely certain that they have no chance of getting the extra money, because not one of them has ever delivered what they said they would. Smith, Hoon and McNulty must be required to repay every single penny of their second home allowance back immediately if the public are to retain any confidence in its MP’s. Further, if anyone else has claimed a second home allowance, regardless of party, in similar circumstances, they must also be ordered to reimburse the taxpayer. In addition, MP’s must give up the right to determine their own salaries, pensions and benefits, they have proven that they are not fit to do so, this responsibility must be passed to a committee of elected members of the public.

Posted in Conservatives, Farcical Regulations, General, Labour, Lib Dems | Comments (6)

David Cameron, man of straw or conviction?

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David Cameron, man of straw or conviction?


As the tory party conference beckons and in light of the findings of the Channel 4 news poll, it is time for David Cameron to let us know whether he is a man of straw, or a man of conviction. Something that David Cameron should worry about is the fact that he is seen as a lightweight, although this is not particularly surprising given, he tends to come over as a person once removed from the public, all though it could be worse, because Gordon Brown is completely removed. It is also worthy of note, that those polled did not believe that the conservatives would be any better at running the economy than they were in the 1990’s and… that experience counted for something.

Looking at the past 2 or 3 months, it is not difficult to see why the public would have responded in this way. David Cameron really needs to look closely at his policy advisors, certainly if they are the people suggesting it would be risky or ill-advised to engage. There has been consistent bad news over the past few months and instead of grasping at this opportunity to demonstrate leadership, experience, empathy and conviction, the conservative party, lead by David Cameron have fired potshots from the safety of the shadows. Instead of standing up for the people of this country, they have allowed the Labour Party to stumble on relatively unchallenged, save for a swipes about how badly the Labour party have faired or performed. Nothing specific, nothing we can judge the conservative party by and truly, nothing of any value. A lost opportunity. Although Mr Cameron is not a fan of Margaret Thatcher, he should be reminded that she fought and won, she made a difference, she was a conviction politician. Irrespective of whether or not you agreed with her policies, or the way she went about them, she believed in what she was doing, much the same as other conviction politician’s, such as Nye Bevan, Winston Churchill, Enoch Powell, Tony Benn and so on.

My concern, is that whilst Gordon Brown’s attention has been focused on party issues and the economic woes of this country in terms of his legacy, rather than the affect on the lives of the people in this country. David Cameron has been wrapped up in how he looks in the mirror and the conservative party poll leads. Too frightened to make a move in case his carefully staged managed image should unwravel, or his party’s lead should fall. If he can remember his Latin, David Cameron would do well to consider the Latin proverb, “Fortuna audax iuvat“, fortune favours the brave, in other words, in case those around him don’t understand the meaning, good luck comes to those who are prepared to take chances.

We don’t need the conservative party to tell us that this government has failed, we already know that, we want them to tell us what they would do. Instead, David Cameron, the man of straw claims that he is not fighting an election, so there is no need to outline the conservative party policies until then, because the economic situation might change. Well, Mr Cameron, you have obviously never run a business, imagine the CEO going the the board with that one! He wouldn’t last 5 minutes. Maybe that is the problem, perhaps Cameron is worried that not only will we find that he is in fact a man of straw, but also he is lacking in depth, experience and, above all, conviction?

David Cameron has had a pretty easy ride, both from the media and the other political parties. None of them have really challenged him on why he has not outlined his party policies, conservative values and what they would do to make a real difference to our lives. Well, enough Mr Cameron, the public are getting fed up with the cheap sniping, yes the majority want to end this pain that is New Labour, but not if we end up with a man of straw, so frightened of his own shadow, that he won’t take the fight to the government even when they are on the ropes. David Cameron makes the conservative party look weaker than it did during the Major years, at least then, they were fighting for something, even if it was just their very survival. “Tis better to have fought and lost than to have never fought at all”. There is a latin translation if you prefer Mr Cameron.

From a personal perspective, I would rather have someone that is prepared to make decisions with the risk that they may end up being wrong, rather than one that is so indecisive that he makes no decision at all. So long as the man that made the decision and got it wrong, knows how he came to that decision, then he has every opportunity to learn and grow based on that experience. It is far, far easier to hit a stationery object, than a moving one.

Running government is not disimilar to running a very large business. Now you don’t see the chairman or ceo surrounding themsleves by their school pals or best mates. Why? Because they want, and indeed need, the best people for each role, they need experience and depth, but above all and this is important Mr Cameron, the ceo and chairman must have people that will challenge, question and fight their corner. There is nothing worse in business than being surrounded by people that agree with you, because, very soon, you will believe you can do no wrong. Ask Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, who, for the most part, have surrounded themselves by so called “Blairites” and “Brownites”. Not only does this indicate insecurity, but it also smacks of weak leadership.

The electorate will often, some 18 months before a general election, deliberately go for the main opposition party simply because they want to make clear that they are fed up with the party in government, ignore this at your peril. If David cameron wants to succeed at the next general election, he needs to think seriously about who is in his top team, because from an outsiders persective, they all appear to be old Etonians or former public school boys, this may prove to a be a bigger problem than Mr Cameron thinks, come the time of the election.

There is no better time than the present for David Cameron to prove that he is not a man of straw. The government is on the ropes, Brown is floundering and the country is looking for leadership at a time when we are being run by buffoons, more concerned with losing their seats and lucrative expense accounts, than they are about the people of this country and the state of our economy. If he must, David Cameron could wait until the end of the month and tell us at the tory party conference, but that would be rehearsed, practiced and would not tell the poeple of this country that this possible man of straw can think on his feet.

David Cameron must engage, not just with the public, but with the government. He does an excellent job at Prime Ministers Question time, but he needs to be doing that in the street, in the media and on television. He needs to tell us what the conservative party stands for, what their policies are and why he would make a good prime minister, He must not wait for Gordon Brown to lose the next election, because contrary to what the polls may suggest, David Cameron could find himself having to deal with a hung parliament as the public move towards the LibDems, because they haven’t had enough time to get to know the conservative party.

The public need to know now, what the conservative party stands for, its values, policies and what they would do if we gave them the job of government, that’s right Mr Cameron, it is just like a job interview, and you are currently in the selection stages. Contrary to what David Cameron’s advisors may be saying, about keeping his powder dry, lest he goes down in the polls, he must come out of the shadows, stand up, and be counted now.

Yes, there is a risk that the public may not like his policies or agree with his ideas and of course, the Labour Party and the LibDems may rubbish them, especially if they are bold. But if David Cameron were to tell the public now, he would have up to 18 months to outline what his policies meant, why they would make a positive difference and to adjust, temper or revise them based on feedback. He would have a real opportunity to demonstrate his leadership abilities, not from the perspective of running a party of, for the most part, yes men, but a leader of this great country. It doesn’t matter if the Labour party steals the tories ideas, the public will know wo suggested them first, we are not stupid and in fact, most are a lot more politically savvy than they were 11 years ago.

If David Cameron fails to heed this advice and only tells the country what he and his party stand for in the run up to an election, he is taking a massive risk. He will have very little time to persuade the public and even worse, he and his party will be strangers to the electorate. It will be a hard sell, at least it will if the conservative party is to be bold, have new ideas for a new era and want’s to make a real difference. David Cameron would do well to look at Vince Cable, although he was ousted as leader of the LibDems, he will criticises the government and follows that up with what he would do, short, concise and language that is easy to the ear. I am not an advocat of the LibDem policies, anymore than I am for any other party, I am a floater, but I will say this, you have to admire a man that doesn’t just snipe from the sidelines, but suggests an alternative. You may not agree with him, but one thing he is not, is a man of straw. Mr Cameron, think on!

Posted in Conservatives, General | Comments (0)

A UK recession and economic competence

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A UK recession and economic competence


For the past eleven years we have heard nothing else but, how Gordon Brown was going to put an end to “boom and bust”, how he was an iron chancellor, and how New Labour were beyond reproach in terms of economic competence. How does this correlate with a UK recession that, by all accounts, only those outside government could see coming?

How could so many British people be so naive as to believe that a government that increased taxes and borrowing during a period of significant growth and wealth creation could sustain this? Why did we allow a government to dupe us in terms of its true financial position, with the off-balance sheet PFI initiatives that leave us owing some £170bn, which must be paid off between now and 2032? Government pension deficits of £790bn and so on? All of this on top of the “official” debt figure of a tad under £500bn.

Gordon Brown and his government have been caught out in the lie that has become the legacy of their time in office. They have left this country vulnerable, with high taxes, high debt, long term financial commitment and, above all, lacking leadership. New Labour has become synonymous with spin and its ability to consistently dupe the public and manipulate the press. Inevitably, we will all have to pay for their incompetence. Tony Blair was a prime architect and whilst he may be basking in the fruits of his former position of PM, giving lectures and writing books, he shares responsibility with Gordon Brown. Alistair Darling is just cannot fodder, he knows it, we know it, he is just the fall guy for Gordon Brown.

True leaders show their ability it times of crisis, not the good times and as this government moves from crisis to crisis, relying on a sticking plaster to fix things, it is just going to get worse. True leaders know when their time is up and those with integrity and pride, will step aside and let someone else in. However, there are two large problems here, firstly, a new leader of the Labour Party will not make any difference, given they are clearly a spent force, who have substituted the so called Tory sleaze, with a programme of lies and inept ministers. The second problem is where do we go from here?

David Cameron’s conservative party has still not told us what it is they stand for, what their policies are and what they are about. Yes, Cameron has come up with some quaint new soundbites, such as a ‘broken society’, but so far, it is just rhetoric. This is not backed up by new ideas, proposals, policies or answers. So we still have no idea what they would do if they were in government, so why would the electorate entertain such a party? We could simply be going from the frying pan, into the fire. As for the LibDems, well do we know who they are? Clegg says some sensible things, but this is a party that a year or so ago proposed higher taxes, how many governments have been voted in with a promise of higher taxes? Vince Cable is very knowledgeable, but the party sidelined him, because they felt he was too old, so what does that say about them?

The future does not look so bright! There is no obvious choice, unless Cameron can start to convince us that his party has original ideas and, above all, people that are capable of delivering on them. The main parties have 550 or so MP’s between them, but how many of us could name more than 10 or 20? What does that say about the way the political party’s are run. Even if we can name them, how many would we trust, if any, to lead us through this mess and do we know what they stand for?

As we enter this uncertain time, perhaps it is also a period for reflection, we need to consider whether our political system is truly representative. For example, how many ordinary people have a realistic opportunity to get elected as an MP, if they are not already aligned with one of the principal parties? The Labour and the Conservative party select their candidates based on many things, which often includes, but is not limited to, race, gender and loyalty. Why shouldn’t they advertise to get the best candidate? Yes this is simplistic, but the best ideas often are, surely the electorate is entitled to the best man or woman for the job, not those that are already part of the ‘club’ that is party politics right now?

Over the past 11 years, we have witnessed an obsession with government control, from the 4.2m CCTV cameras, through to the right to detain for up to 42 days without charge. We have been told that we must have ID cards to help protect us from the threat of terrorism, yet the government are trying to include so much biometric data that it is difficult to comprehend the true justification. It is claimed that the UK government and its agencies have more access to our private details than virtually any other country including Russia and China. This obsession with state control is worrying in isolation, but when this is coupled with a dishonest government, self-obsessed ministers, weak members of parliament and a virtually non-existent alternative party, we must start to worry.

There is no sense in kidding ourselves that we have choice or that we live in a democracy, if our choice of ‘elected’ representative is limited to the whim of party leaders. This country was quick to criticise China for primarily limiting their choice to existing members of National Peoples Congress. What is the difference, surely it is only scale?

We need change in this country, we need to review our whole political system and above all, we need to look at the way much of the news media sets the agenda. British Politics expands on this argument.

Posted in Conservatives, General, Labour, Lib Dems | Comments (12)

Gordon Brown you are seriously, seriously deluded

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Gordon Brown you are seriously, seriously deluded


In a recent statement, Gordon Brown said, “We are showing that,unlike previous governments that could not manage a way through these difficulties successfully… we are resilient in the way we are dealing with these problems.” What an arrogant, self-serving and belligerent remark from this man. He is passing judgment on previous government initiatives with the benefit of hindsight, whilst arrogantly assuming that his measures will succeed. Why, because he says so?

This is a prime example of a man that is deluded, one that believes he can do no wrong and one that is undoubtedly surrounded by ‘yes’ men constantly telling him how brilliant he is. Any decent leader will surround himself with people that will challenge him, test him and guide him. This ensures that the ‘leader’ keeps his feet firmly on the ground and does not start to believe his own spin, it is a dangerous cocooned world. Smart people recognise this; clearly some politicians and cabinet ministers do not. But it is the difference between leaders and truly great leaders. Take a look at Gordon Brown’s ‘inner circle’ can you see anyone that is likely to challenge him on policy without being crushed?

If this wasn’t enough, Gordon Brown has, once again said, “There are unique circumstances with the trebling of oil prices. That has not happened previously – and of course with the credit crunch”. In other words, it’s not my fault guv, I have done everything right; it is everyone else that is at fault. If your ministers and advisors don’t have the balls to tell you what you have done wrong, maybe it is left the public?

  • You have hiked our taxes through a series of stealth taxes, to the extent that you have nowhere else to go, you have little or no room for any further tax increases.
  • You have raised £billions in national insurance contributions and then recklessly spent this money on quick fixes rather than long term investments in the health service.
  • You have allowed government departments to squander £billions of taxpayers money on projects that have been curtailed, scrapped or changed.
  • You defied repeated warnings from your own officials in terms of the time bomb you would create by scrapping tax relief on dividends paid into pension schemes. As a consequence of your actions, you have devastated the lives of hundreds of thousands of pensioners and what do we have to show for the estimated £100bn you have scored from their misery? As a result of your meddling, many final salary pension funds have been scrapped….and some companies have had to find £millions to top up the funds.
  • It is estimated that you cost this country close to £2bn when you decided to sell our gold reserves at the wrong time. On this occasion, you ignored the advice of the, Bank of England.  

Whilst the last conservative government may have introduced the Private Finance Initiative (PFI), you made it into a major instrument for the provision of public facilities and services, effectively forcing public bodies to use the PFI model. As a consequence, public bodies are committed to paying a total of £170 billion to contractors in more than 800 PFI schemes up to 2031-2032…not surprisingly; this figure is growing every year.

Of course, we know why you did it, because PFI debt is not usually treated as public borrowing for accounting purposes and therefore doesn’t contribute to the Public Sector Borrowing Requirement (PSBR).  In other words, PFI debt is usually “off balance sheet”, even though the state is ultimately responsible for
repaying it. 

I agree you are resilient, there are not many people that could make so many mistakes, so consistently and still claim to be the leading architect of the success of this country. We have succeeded in spite of you, not because of you and one day the electorate and the newspaper editors will wake up to this fact. If you had been genuinely prudent, we would not have the level of public sector borrowing that we have, we would not be in a position where there in no money in the piggybank to allow us to weather the storm of this current downturn. And, we would not all feel so much pain as a direct consequence of your massive tax take from our current earnings, as well as the reduction in value of our pension funds affecting our retirement plans.

Let me remind you, that £400m was spent on ‘cost control’ for the Olympics, how can you honestly justify that level of expenditure with a straight face? Would a “prudent” chancellor allow expenditure of over £16 million on the creation and upkeep of VIP lounges in Heathrow and Gatwick despite the fact they are not government-owned?

You cannot abdicate responsibility by blaming Blair for the first 10 years either, because we know that, the Treasury, under your tenure, became the principal originator of government policy, rather than an evaluator of policy. Your personal obsession with micromanagement has lead to the introduction of thousands of targets aimed at directing policy; it also determined exactly each the departments should meet their targets. So when a department was or is failing, it is impossible to tell whether the cause is the policy itself or its implementation. This has made it virtually impossible for the Treasury to judge poor performance. Another tidbit for you, during your tenure, the Treasury was one of the largest spending departments, with a budget of £20bn. Is that prudence?

Let me remind you of some of the things you have achieved. Following your introduction of complicated tax credits, it is estimated that the taxpayer (no not the government, it is our loss, our money) loses £2bn every year through fraud and errors. In spite of your micromanagement, it is estimated that the planned NHS computer system will cost £6bn more than originally planned. 

I could go on, but it would take me weeks to list Gordon Brown’s “achievements”. Far from being a prudent chancellor, I am convinced that in years to come, we will look back at both his chancellorship and his period as prime minister and have a completely different take on this so-called iron chancellor. I am further convinced that we and our children will be spending the next 30 or 40 years paying for the mistakes of this government, the former chancellor, the former prime minister and the current prime minister. Gordon Brown should consider his words carefully, because they will surely come back and haunt him, no doubt at a
time when he is not surrounded by yes men telling him how brilliant he is.

 

 

 

 

Posted in General, Labour | Comments (1)

Have MP’s lost touch with the British people?

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Have MP’s lost touch with the British people?


There are many examples, and I shall name a few in the coming days, of MP’s being completely out of touch with what matters to the British public. The latest instance has to be set by shadow education secretary, Michael Gove.

Yesterday he made a big noise about so called ‘lads mags’, claiming that “Titles such as Nuts and Zoo paint a picture of women as permanently, lasciviously, uncomplicatedly available.” What is this guy on? I don’t intend to argue the case for or against these publications, in a tolerant such as ours, I find it hard to believe that this was all the Conservative MP could find to talk about.

There are many things that may cause families to break up these include losing their homes as a result of negative equity and rising interest rates. Money worries as a consequence of rising fuel prices, food prices, utilities and taxes. Stress in terms of having to work harder, for less money, maybe in fear of redundancy. There are a whole string of reasons, another is perhaps taking their partner for granted, something Michael Gove would do well to consider, because he and his party seem to be taking their poll lead for granted by believeing they know best and taking on a policy of patronising the electorate.

What we should all be asking is where has this guy been for the past 6 months, what does he really think concerns the British public at this time? Now lets think about that… could it be, an impending recession, the credit crunch, rising fuel prices, knife crime, house prices, redundancies? If this is not enough, there are many other serious issues that are of real concern to the electorate, perhaps Michael Gove should get out more, rather than reading Zoo and Nuts!

Every party claims to be “listening” to their public, well who are they listening to, it sure as hell isn’t you or me? Is Michael Gove going to seriously claim that one of his constituents came to see him to claim about lads mags? If he did receive a complaint, maybe someone could remind him about placing things into perspective.

It is high time all MP’s started to talk to the people that put them in office and more importantly, learned to listen. It is also time the Conservative party started to act like a real opposition party, the truth is, they only look good, because the Labour party is so awful. In my opinion, all Michael Gove has done, is to confirm, that it is not just the Government that has lost touch with the voters, but also some MP’s of the official opposition.

David Cameron needs to reign these guys in, before the electorate catch on to the fact MP’s within the his party are as removed from the public as government ministers and labour party MP’s. He should also consider bringing in real people to advise, people with real world experience, or better still, have real people stand as the local Conservative MP, rather than career politicians or local ‘faces’. Now, more than ever before, this country needs MP’s that talk, sound and look like the rest of us. No wonder the electorate feels so disenfranchised.

MP's are NOT in touch with the public mood

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MP's are NOT in touch with the public mood

  • I strongly agree (77%, 37 Votes)
  • I agree (13%, 6 Votes)
  • I am neutral (6%, 3 Votes)
  • I disagree (2%, 1 Votes)
  • I strongly disagree (2%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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Posted in Conservatives, General | Comments (8)

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