Sunday, 31 May 2009

Andrew Marr - the one man weaker than Gordon Brown

Today's Andrew Marr Show was as bad as it gets.

He is no longer a serious interviewer or journalist. Week after week, the "BBC flagship political programme" is used by politicians as a megaphone to get their point across with almost no direction, challlenge or scrutiny from Marr.

Labour have made quite a big thing recently about trying to deflect the MPs expenses scandal onto how the BBC spend their money (e.g. Foulkes attacking Maitlis), and whether this, or Gordon Brown's thinly veiled threat to the Beeb on this morning's show has any influence on how they report and 'deal with' politicians is up for debate...but Andrew Marr is slowly becoming the one person in politics looking weaker than Gordon Brown.

At least ten times Andrew Marr would try to follow the typical route of questioning...

He gives an example of incompetence, or fraud, or double standard, then follows it up with a question to be answered on this topic. But, yet again, as soon as he mentions 'the bad thing', Gordon Brown - on at least TEN occassions - interrupted with "Hold on, hold on" and went on a two-minute sound-byte filled speech where he has no question t answer, thus giving the interviewee a free reign on anything he wants to say on the topic.

When Marr does try, after a long gospel reading according to Gordon, to put in some framing of a question, or to query anything that has been said, Brown just talked over him. And by the time Brown had finished his lecture, Marr moved onto the next topic for supposed 'questioning', and we would go threough the same process. Brown didn't answer a single question this morning and he only received about three. Fair play to Brown, he's hanging on for dear life, but for Andrew Marr, if he watches a recording of the show, must be embarrassed by what he sees.

Whether it's Government ministers, the PM, Leader of the Opposition or Shadow Cabinet members, Marr has lost any sort of authority over his programme and it's content. If Brown/Cameron can just talk over him and avoid any scrutiny, then Marr is proving to be a weak link in the BBC's poitical team. Andrew Neil poses more threat to ministers avoiding an answer.

At a time like this, an interview with Marr was exactly what Gordon Brown needed...a 15 minute slot on BBC1 where he can preach to the land why he is worthy of office.

Unfortunately, Andrew Marr has got to either go, or search very hard for his political testicles.

Why Labour (UK) are unelectable...from Friday 5th June

Ed Balls as Chancellor.

'Nuff said.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

Why Scottish Labour are unelectable (part 1 of many)

It is this sort of nonsense that makes Labour unelectable these days.

First Minister knew about another escaped prisoner from Castle Huntly. First Minister didn't include this new addition to the figures he used at FMQs. Therefore, Labour decree

Alex Salmond "deliberately mislead the Scottish Parliament".

If by not making public the most recent case, as per police advice, Salmond was indeed misleading Parliament. However, if he ignored police advice and decided to announce this at FMQs he would, in the police's opinion, have made it harder for the escapee to be captured.


When it comes to law and order, whether you're SNP, Labour or UKIP, you listen to the police advice. When it comes to community safety regarding an escaped prisoner, you listen to police advice.

Labour, however, would rather have a chance to attack Salmond than see what sensible Governance is all about.

It's all about Politics and Governance. Labour would rather play politics while Salmond is doing what any sensible party in Government would do...the right thing.

Totally unelectable.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Why I won't be voting in the General Election

Frank Skinner has written an excellent piece in the Times on voting in general elections and the problems with modern politics. Is definitely bang on and worth a read, here.

With a blog entitled Political Dissuasion, it's not that surprising, but if there was a general election tomorrow, I'd probably not vote.

After reading Doctorvee's latest post, I thought quite hard on the issue and realised that I am no better off if I do - the country isn't, democracy isn't, so why is it a problem not to vote?

"People died for the right to vote"...Shut up. People died supporting racism, doesn't mean I should become a racist.

Not as a result of the expenses scandal (though it firmed my view), but I have always been strongly against the power political parties have over our democracy. These are groups of people out to better their own ends, and do not act in the public interest most of the time. Their priority is their party and as our political system is embedded in a party-based junta. By voting for the one that is the lesser of all ills would be me condoning this form of politics. Ideally, I would vote for the Greens, or Jury Team, but as these candidates will never succeed in the election, there is no point in voting for them.

This is where B-grade politicos will tell me "if everyone thinks like that, then of course they won't get in". But seeing as that is the reality and we all do live in the real world, that in the next year, my vote won't make a difference, I don't have much time for that fairy-assed argument.

I cannot vote for one of the main parties as I believe they are what is wrong with our political system - and as they are the ones in control and will continue to be for such a very long time, the problem will continue. Whether I am becoming cynical in my old age, or just facing up to the reality, I don't know, but I do now accept that it is valid not to vote.

Seriously, why should I? Why is there a ridiculous pressure to vote when more than 50% of people don't care? If turnout is high, then politicians can point to the stats and say "Look, we're valid. And what we're doing is valid." But it's not. The results (Bills, Laws etc) are valid, but the politics of it all is so disconnected from the reality of the electorate that...what's the point? For years turnout has decreased and apart from the odd rumble of "ooh, I wonder why", the parties don't care as this plays into their hands.

Good luck to all of you who believe that what you and/or your party is doing is benefitting democracy and our lives. Unfortunately, I'm not convinced and seeing as you and your party have made British democracy impotent to the common voter, I shan't be voting.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Who wants to see Hazel Blears in handcuffs?

Old Holborn has decided that our dodgy MPs must face the music.

Owing to the crimes committed by various MPs of all parties, Old Holborn is organising Citizen's Arrests at Parliament on Monday 1 June 2009 at 9am. Seeing as the police won't do it, it looks like it's up to the public, once again. Here's a list of who the 'perps' are.

And seeing as I am, as it turns out, free on Monday at 9am, I will be joining Old Holborn down there. I get to live out the real-version of my childhood 'Cops and Robbers' adventures.

Personally, I'd love to be the one who captures Hazel Blears, but as she's one of the Borrowers (I mean the little people, I don't mean borrowing our taxes), she'll probbaly be too nimble for my big hands to catch. Ming Campbell's probably more realistic for me.

So if you're free, or if you're not free but you're suitably pissed off with criminals getting away with it, come on down and do your bit for justice, democracy and childhood fantasy.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

The Tories are missing a trick...

I'm not sure if the Tories are standing in front of an open goal and haven't noticed, or if they're standing in front of an open goal and waiting for the keeper to get back on to his line so that they can embarrass him by sending him the wrong way.

So Labour and the Tories are scrambling side-by-side to reach the top of the 'modernising reform' ladder, promising all sorts of ideas from 'power to the people' to electoral reform.

But a large part of the discussion is on the proposal to make parliaments fixed-term - every four years, an election is called. I've not read much fine detail on this idea, but I feel David Cameron is missing a trick. He is in favour of fixed term, but he should also come out and say that if the Prime Minister steps down from his position in the middle of a sitting parliament, there should then be, four years or not, a general election. This would put Gordon Brown on the back foot on the issue. He can either disagree, and be forced to defend his 'lack of modernisation credentials', or he can agree with the policy and have to take the flak of 'but you didn't do it when Blair stepped down - so why do you agree now?'.

This is a Prime Minister without a mandate and it is one of the easier, but effective ways of bashing him round the head. The public do not like this manouvre that Brown slithered through and will remind the electorate of his selfish, power hungry, controlling nature.

So why isn't Cameron going for it as a stipulation of these proposals? Is he waiting for GB to agree to four year fixed terms, and then going to pull the rabbit from the hat? It would have a much greater impact if this was the case, but Brown isn't an idiot and certainly isn't going to lay his head on the block and give Cameron the axe (because Brown would rather die than openly say 'Me and DC agree'), so Cameron should attack on this now, and could really hurt the Prime Minister with it.

Seems like an easy way to go 1-0 up.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009


Well, despite Labour's attempts to limit my chances, I got a job.

Still, not a permanent one, but a solid six-month contract on good enough money with a view to it becoming permanent. After three months of genuine stress and worry, I got a job.

But, as I predicted, this is no thanks to Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Labour's policy shop. Their measures to tackle the increase in unemployment since this recession bit our asses off seemed specifically designed to push people like me into the dirt and either abandon us, or tell us "tough shit sunshine, your only options now are starting at the bottom with a minimum wage".

Well Gordon, I triumphed in the face of adversity and ever decreasing odds of success.

I can't say I hope for or expect the same for you in the near future. Go f*** yourself!

Friday, 22 May 2009

"State f***ing funding?"

I've been saying it for years. One way or another, we are going to end up paying for political parties. Under the guise of 'cleaning up the system', the next devious manoevre from our politicians is to introduce STATE FUNDING OF POLITICAL PARTIES.

The problem for me, writing in the blogosphere, is that pretty much everyone here is a member of a political party and therefore can see benefits to themselves or their party in this proposal. Party hacks across the board will sing in favour of this because it guarantees a party's future and survival. All the main parties are in debt, and fewer people these days will want to, or be seen to, give money to political parties due to their tarnished reputation. And if it goes ahead it is the most corrupt move in modern politics, and those who agree with state funding for parties are purely selfish party hacks who have no concern for the greater good on this and only want to protect their own/their party's interests.

Taxpayers' money to pay for politics? No.
Taxes are to pay for services, and politics is not a service.
Government? Yes.
MPs? Yes.
Reasonable expenses? Yes.

What would we be paying for from these parties? What benefit would the country get? If the BNP get a seat in Westminster, how would you feel knowing your taxes were going towards their work? If you have been affected by the IRA, how would you feel knowing that your taxes are going towards Sinn Fein?

As I've said, time and time again, there is no valid reason to justify state funding of political parties. But those with the power, those who make the decisions, have a very vested interest.

Please feel free to tell me why you think this is a valid proposal. Please feel free to tell me how this helps democracy more than hinders it. Because I'm not buying it...though I'll end up paying for it.

F***ing thieves.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009


Well, some rare moments of comedy crept into PMQs today.

When asked about the Royal Mail proposals Gordon Brown told the house that...

"The Royal Mail has been losing 5 million letters each year" which half the house took to mean they were lost in the post...a silly choice of words from our Prime Minister.

Then, Nick Clegg got pistol-whipped by the Speaker...and fair play to Mr Martin.

After asking his first question, the Speaker then went on to call the next MP for his question...forgetting that Nick Clegg was of course entitled to his follow up. After loud, long jeering from the house, the Speaker rose and said,
He thought the honourable gentleman had two bits in his question.
"Touche Mr Speaker" was Clegg's reply.

Indeed, quick-witted from the Speaker.

You gotta love 'em!

I've said it again and again, and I'll say it once more...


I'd live to live right next to one, but as I live deep in the city, it's not going to happpen anytime soon. But, the more that are built, the better my chances of ending up living within sight of one. And on that note, I would like to express my delight at this news story about the biggest onshore windfarm in Britain being officially 'switched on'.

Just some of the important figures...

Green energy
140 turbines
Powering 180,000 homes
Jobs in Scotland created

This is all that mattters. I don't need to list more facts, because these are the ones that count.

So well done to ScottishPower Renewables. And with plans to expand and also create one 5times as big offshore, I applaud thee! You wonderful things.

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

BREAKING NEWS - Speaker to resign today

I'm hearing some noises that Michael Martin will resign today/tomorrow.

STV has also picked this up and the BBC will have something shortly.

Priorities please

Yes, the expenses story is a big sticky, juicy one for the media. When there's blood in the air and a scalp (or fifty) on the horizon, then journalists are going to chase that story until the cows come to their main or second home.

But whether it's the mainstream media's fault or ours, one thing for sure is that our priorities are out of whack. The Budget was labelled 'the Unemployment Budget' because unemployment is supposed to be the biggest problem that's going to hit this country throughout the recession.

And last week, it was announced that unemployment had reached 2.2million people, and growing.

Today, after a quick bit of searching, what do we all think the main story is? Not a tough one...expenses. But when unemployment is due to become the biggest social crisis this country has seen in decades, you would expect more coverage.

Today's main UK newspapers...
Stories with the word "expenses" in the headline - (at least) 15.
Stories with the word "unemployment" in the headline - 0.

Yes, there will be talk of unemployment in today's press. But again, having had a quick check, it is only mentioned in the stories about... expenses. Unemployment is no longer an issue to tackle, it is a stick with which to beat those who have claimed extravagant expenses, to shame them in comparison. Will the MSM begin to crucify Parliament (not just the Government) for not tackling the issues and being too focussed on saving their own skins? Will the MSM start running articles shaming the Government and all parties, for not devoting their energies to tackling unemployment, our national debt, repossessions etc? Probably not for a long, long time. This story's far too juicy.

And I could happily make out that the media should take the rap.

But really, Parliament should have agreed, at the very beginning of this mess to do what the Speaker suggested yesterday... stop claiming immediately until we come up with an interim system, all leaders and interested parties to meet in one room and thrash out an agreement. Spend more of your time (which, as we pay for it, our time) on the real issues, becuase we need to be talking about unemployment, the national debt, the REAL stuff that Parliament is supposed to be for...but alas, I'm living in a fantasyland where the media give a shit and politicians are in it for the right reasons, if I think that's going to happpen.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Labour Abandon Gordon Brown

Former Labour MP Lord Soley, has possibly signalled Labour's intentions for the general election next year.

He said on The Daily Politics this morning...

"What I would hope would happen is, when we do have the election, almost certainly early next year...then I think people will, I hope, and indeed I hope the media will, pay more attention to individual candidates than they often do in the past. Very often, general elections are about this leader or that leader..."

So, Labour don't want people to look to Gordon Brown's leadership as an indicator or reason for a decision on who to vote for.

A damning verdict for Gordon Brown.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Bloggers' integrity...

Yes, hold the front page, we're still all banging on about expenses.

I've tried not to, but looks like I'm being forced by expense pressure (as opposed to 'peer' pressure...get it?) into posting my rant about this.

My blog is called POLITICAL DISSUASION. "Why?" some may ask. Well, the last few weeks have highlighted and justified my view on parliamentary politics.

Here's a basic breakdown as to the reason's for my dissuasion...

1) All political parties' main priority is themselves. Parties do not want to win elections to better the country, but to better themselves and their image, lifestyle, status and legacy.
2) MPs join parties because they are the easier way to win a seat, win the cosy salary, the cosy job description and cosy allowances/expenses.
3) Members of parties will represent their party over representing their constituents most of the time. Even on issues MPs strongly disagree with, the party line is more important than democratic representation (I'm looking at Tom Harris' comments in this post).
4) Opposition parties will oppose for opposing's sake, and for no other reason than 'we can't let the other guys look like they're doing good'.
5) Expenses. Not just Westminster, but I have for many years been moaning and moaning about MEP expenses - and that they aren't being scrutinsed with the European elections coming up is beyond me!
6) There is so much good that could be done, so many productive policies, so much progress that we could make as a country if it wasn't for party politics. These things do not happen, do not make to the stage where they benefit people because...
7) Winning is more important than doing the right thing.

Everyone, especially the MPs know that they've been taking the piss. Everyone knows that 'the spirit of the rules' were not being upheld. And what will happen as a result? Nothing. Will Blears lose her seat? No. Will Morans get chucked? No.
Politics has never been a shining example of decency, but whatever was left of it is now being dragged through the mud. They fought to keep these expenses secret. They fought to be able to edit them, once all other avenues failed. They lined their pockets (and their curtains) at our expense and not one of them has the decency to say, yeah, we fucking milked it, we milked it like the cash-cow that it was and by God did those udders pay out in solid gold. We shouldn't have. We'll pay back what was against the spirit of the rules.

Not a chance, because politics isn't about that. It's about winning. It's about winning at the elections, it's about winning in Parliament and it's about winning in the property market.

Will any Tory bloggers really have the balls to say that those Tory MPs found out SHOULDN'T lose their seats or at least, pay the money back?
Will any Labour bloggers do the same for Labour MPs?
Salmond's even been slightly at it, so anyone going for him, demanding a repayment?

So, I challenge the Tory Bears, the Kezia Dugdales, the Yousuf Hamids, the Tom Harris', the SNP Tactical Voters, the Calum Cashleys, anyone who is a member of a party, to be as decent as we want our representatives to be and to hold them to account. As a member of no political party, I have no impact or influence on how YOUR representatives behave in the following few weeks. As a member of a party (a system which I again say ruins our potential as a country but keeps you all that bit coser to getting a cushy job), you are the only ones that can apply any real pressure.

Ask this question of yourself and your party...

"If it was just one political party that turned out to be fiddling the expenses, and it wasn't the one you're a member of...would you be calling for resignation?" YOU KNOW IT'S TRUE. If it was just the SNP MPs, Labour would be screaming it so much that Margaret Curran might have a heart-attack of joy.
If it was just the Tories, Gordon Brown and that tw@t Harman would certainly be calling for heads. Bloggers of every political persuasion would be no different.

But, as members of a party that is designed and aimed towards success for the party and not the country, I won't expect too much from anyone in that position.

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Tory/SNP vortex #2 (Blogosphere)

Why don't Labour have a decent presence in the blogosphere?

Many claim that it is easier to blog, and have a successful 'blogging movement', when you are in opposition. To an extent I agree. The Tories don't have to defend policies which may not do exactly what they say on the tin, as Labour have to. Instead, the Tories can slag off Labour's failures (and even their successes) without having any need (yet) to offer a fully-functioning alternative.

It is much easier to grumble and bitch from the sidelines while the Government get on with the 'running of the country' stuff.

But then you look at the SNP. Certainly, they had a strong blog presence/movement in opposition, but after the crescendo of the election, they are the biggest party, the party of Government, and they're blogging presence swells further. So, Labour's suggestion (that they direct towards the Tories) that blogging is an opposition's toy, doesn't stand up.

Someone made the point that, as the SNP haven't formed a coalition, they can still play the fiery rebellious opposition role they used to, it's just that now they have more power and more platform. By having no formal ties to the other parties, they can still play some of their tactics as they did in opposition. The SNP, and this is not necessarily a bad thing, likes a 'fighting sort of politics'. They like to be pushed down and seen as the underdog and the hard-done-by, as this makes them, their members, and a natural tendency in the Scottish people, push back in the other direction. They can still play the 'everyone's picking on the SNP' card. And the other parties keep playing into their hands.
And as long as the SNP get to play the way they like to, they will always do well. They are in Government, and their blogging powers continue to grow. Labour, in Scotland, barely has a presence. Admittedly, neither do the Tories, but as this is Scotland and the Tories we're talking about, we shouldn't expect much.

The SNP made the transition from Opposition to Government, and for now, honeymoon or not, they have a strong presence. Some say they use bullying tactics throughout this e-world, and they may be right, but having seen very little evidence of this, I'll call it power, not bullying.

Accusations of SNP cyber-bullying, are instead just an example of power by numbers - the will of the many outweigh the will of the few. Online, there is a stronger SNP presence in Scotland than any other party. In England, it is the same for the Tories. Both these parties have made a point of reaching out beyond their grassroots and offering alternatives, ideas and patform for discussion.
Labour keep lurching back to their grassroots...wouldn't be surprised if Clause 4 was brought back as appeasement. Debate and discussion, both within themselves and as an outreach, is behind the SNP and Tory successes. Labour, controlled and terrified in equal measure by unions like Unite, do not have a freedom, or sense of themselves to create their own movement. They need to wait for the unions to tell them in what direction to go.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Gordon - "judge me on results"?

There's always one, isn't there?

So I wonder, who will be the Labour Party's Joey Barton?

Joey plays for Newcastle United, who like Labour, are going down.
Joey got sent off for a vicious challenge, but as they were 2-0 down after 70 minutes, didn't really make a difference.
However, Alan Shearer, the boss, has decided that to deflect attention from the 'going down thing' and his complete failure as a leader to secure anything resmbling a win, by making an example of Joey Barton, calling him a coward and suspanding him until further notice. That's right Shearer, give the porr supporters someone else to blame, somewhere else for all that heat to be directed. They didn't lose because of Joey and they certainly aren't going down because of his sending off.
But that's how Newcastle and the retarded football media will make it look (like Beckham against Argentina).

So, with Labour 'going down' and a boss (brought in halfway through the season without the necessary qualifications - aka an election) who is unable to inspire his team to anything resembling a win, who will Gordon (Shearer) Brown make a scapegoat of? He had the chance to do it to that midget Blears but it's too late. She did all she could to be made the focus of derision, but seemingly Brown kept that one 'in the dressing(down) room'. Harman too was close, but begged ger way round the tv stations to avoid the hairdryer treatment.

Either Brown going to take it on the chin for the next year and say "I'll be judged on results" or he's going to find someone stepping out of line, and put all the failings on that person.

Ed Balls, friend or not, should be watching his back. He's a marked man.

Monday, 4 May 2009

The Tory/SNP vortex

The Conservative Party are not the embodiment of "what Britain wants". They certainly aren't everyone's cup of tea, a large number of voters blindly hate them (e.g Scottish people who still can't get over Thatcher) and would never vote for them regardless of whatever change or policy they announced.

Every political party has a policy which invokes the "I could never vote for them because of..." reaction.
The Conservative Party have quite a few, to be honest. However, with the European elections coming up, I'll focus on the Conservatives policy on Europe.

I am still unconvinced on Britain's involvement with the EU, European Parliament etc. I think we reap a large number of benefits from increased involvement, while also losing control over issues which I feel we shouldn't do. I believe we should be involved, but maybe a less central format would suit us (and all other Europeans) better.

However, I do believe that Britain as a whole is pro-Europe. Sure there are the ridiculous elements like the constitution and pounds/kilos debacle, which we all think are nonsense, but they are to Europe what Lembit Opik is to the Liberal Democrats - just a silly bit that we have to put up with while receiving all the other stuff, the good stuff. I do believe that if Britain was asked, do we keep going with our 'Europe policy' as it is, or do we completely backtrack, pull out and say 'Non!', we'd overwhelmingly say "maintain".

However, the Conservative policy on this (along with various other issues) is at odds with the majority. The Conservative Party, who are due to be our elected Government very soon, have a policy and approach to Europe which we as a nation would not be in favour of. Iain Dale has done a (admittedly not very scientific) poll on voting intentions for the European elections and the Westminster election. The figures say quite a lot...
Tory vote for Euro election - 53%
Tory vote for Westminster - 73%.

Now these numbers may not be representative of the nation and are just a straw poll of bloggers, but they do show a trend that the Tories are less favoured when the topic is Europe.

However, despite this, and it's not as if their views on Europe are particularly secret, they will undoubtedly form the next Government and will probablt get the largest share of MEPs. If the Conservative Party had their ideal, we would be much, much more distanced from almost everything to do with Europe and this would have a massive impact on great swathes of Britain.

"We should be less involved - we should get out"

To me, sounds a bit similar to the ruling party in Scotland.

Yes, I'm saying it. The SNP and the Conservative Party are pretty similar.
The Tories would want more independence, the SNP want independence.
The Tories' views are at odds with the majority of the voters. Same with the SNP.
The Tories are about to become the Party of Government. The Scottish National Pary ARE the Party of Government.

So what do I conclude from this odd post? Two things.

1) The people don't care if they disagree with a political party on the really big issues, as long as they believe that policies they disagree with aren't going to be steamrolled over them onto the statute. It's a game of trust, like the European Constitution, where to quote Nick Clegg, "old fashioned decency" comes into it. Labour, on various occasions, have broken this trust which has hammered nail after nail in their electoral coffin.

2) As long as day-to-day we believe that you are going to be up front, honest, hard working and with the best intentions, the people will give you the benefit of the doubt. I'm yet to be fully convinced about independence, but would I vote for the SNP in the next Scottish Parliament election? I'd say 95% yes. I'm yet to be convinced by Cameron, and don't believe their policies on Europe are necessarily the right way to go, but will I vote Tory? Probably.

Winning an election right now, in the face of Labour disappearing with the Winter months, is pretty easy. The Labour Party have disintegrated and are nowhere near their climax of self-destruction, which I fear is yet to come. Across the UK (no offence Nats), yes, 'working class Glasgow-types' will always vote Labour. 'Posh types' will always vote Tory. But those in the middle are the ones that are their to be won and if successful, they win you election. The SNP knew that. They said "we believe in independence" but also want to make Scotland's hospitals better, our schools better, the bits that people really care about and notice. And that is why, despite their flagship policy being (for now) against the general view, they are still climbing in the polls and gaining approval from all angles and islands of Scotland.

Even with a leader that people are still sceptical about, the Tories, by promising decency, hard-work, honesty and to make progress on the things that matter, are going to walk this election.

They aren't even liked by the majority of people, but these days, politics and government is about 'in the cold light of day, who's going to do an all round better job?'.

The answer, to yet another question, is not Labour.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

The second recession - same old New Labour

The reason we are in this financial mess, is that when things were GOOD, we didn't plan for the days when things would be LESS GOOD. When we all (everyone, not just Government) had loads of money and loads of options for our money, all we did was spend it. Then, we all went out and borrowed more, and spent that. Then, orange girls called 'Raquelle' and 'Donna', who wanted to be like 'Cheryl' would go out and borrow even more, and spend that.

David Cameron, amongst others, has tried to make Brown learn from this lesson - the old adage of fixing the roof while the sun doth shine...

Well, right now the country is in debt.
We KNOW that in 2 years time, the country will be in debt to the tune of hundreds of £billions more, with no guarantee that we will be in any better position than now to pay it off.

Now, neither of these situations could be described as good but surely we have learned that, with hindsight, we should have been doing something, earlier, to tackle the tougher times? No? But instead of tackling 'this second branch of debt culture' now, we are going to wait.

In two years time, our debt levels will be LESS GOOD than they are now. The sun will not be shining. Are we tackling this? Are we beginning to pay it off? No, we are going to spend, spend spend. Same old mistakes. Same old Labour.

Right, time for Andy Marr...

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Dear The Labour Party

Dear The Labour Party,

I am a UK citizen. I intend to vote at the next election. I am not aligned to any political party, so like the majority Britain, my vote is still up for grabs.

Whether you have openly said it or not, you know, I know, my chest of drawers know, that Gordon Brown is not going to win the next election. So either you're going to stick with him and guarantee losing, or you'll force him out, elect a new leader and have the slimmest chance of winning.

We all know that it is the latter option that is going to happen.

Currently, the odds are as follows...
Harriet Harman - 3/1
Alan Johnson - 6/1
David Milliband - 7/1
James Purnell - 8/1
Hazel Blears - 80/1
Cherie Blair - 500/1

On behalf of everyone on this planet, please do not elect Harriet Harman as leader of the Labour Party. To be honest, the ammunition it would give bloggers would be immense, however, this would be too much of a good thing. I'd recommend that Mr A. Johnson. He's one of the few likeables you've got left.

Please. (PD falls to his knees), I'm on my knees, begging. Just anyone but her.

Political Dissuasion (on behalf of the UK)

Friday, 1 May 2009

The weakness of MPs

I am not one for singling out bloggers and picking fights but...

Tom Harris has said something which has irked me.

"As I’ve said on this site before, I believe in the party system. I do not believe that MPs are elected purely for their own personal views; they’re elected because they represent one party or another. Major’s government collapsed when his MPs saw no reason to toe the party line."

I am not going to criticise Tom Harris MP specifically, as I am in no doubt that he is not alone in this view. But I have long believed that political parties are detrimental to the progress of this country, especially in our current situation.

The parties, although giving a simpler 'Party of Government' and 'Opposition Parties' divide, are designed to benefit themselves and their members.

Parties create a divide on issues, not based upon the proposed policy, but based on whether it's a Tory or Labour or Lib Dem proposal. Only very rarely does party politics not get in the way of progress (the Ghurka vote being one). Whips are employed to persuade MPs to vote against their own views, views which they believe would be better for the country, as opposed to the party.

The argument that "they're elected because they represent one party or another" is utter nonsense. Yes, the majority of the time, MPs are elected purely based upon which party they are a member of, however, I do not believe that constituents that vote for, say, a Labour MP a) agree 100% of the time with 100% of Labour's policies and b) expect that MP to vote blindly with 100% of those policies. Indeed, Mr Harris himself hasn't "toed the line" with his party on a range of issues from House of Lords reform to abortion limits. (I also believe that voters vote based on party because of apathy, having become unable to determine which schmuck is less schmucky than the other guy - though this, in particular, is not directed at Tom Harris).

MPs in my idealistic view, are elected to vote for what they think is right and against what they think is wrong. The party shouldn't come into it when it comes to governance and policy for the country - it is politics which creates the problems and parties create these politics.

Parties would rather gain the credit, or avoid the criticism, than do the right thing. Why, for example, are we as a country not going to be paying off our national debt, but instead increasing it, for the two years taking us to after the next election? It is to delay voters feeling the financial pain until after they can react in an election. It is to give people a false economy of how much we earn, how much is spent on public services etc so that Labour can get a few more years in power, as opposed to what is best for the country.

The average person in the UK is not a member of a political party. The avergae person doesn't care or know much about politics and I would confidently guess that in my age group, most people do not know the name or party of their local MP.

Any MP who feels the same as Tom's comments should be embarrassed. To an extent, what he is saying is that "it's not my qualities that I am judged on, it is just because I'm a member of one group or another". To admit that it is not their judgement, but their ability to obey when told what to do, is a shameful indictment of UK politics, and in particular, UK politicians.
To then claim that "in the private sector" we could earn up to £100,000 makes the whole argument hilarious. To be able to do what your told could also, "in the private sector" earn you £5.73/hour, if the only requirement is doing as your told.

"governments fall apart when discipline fails" (Tom Harris)

"discipline fails when the government's direction and intentions are wrong" (Political Dissuasion)

The most dangerous man in Britain

Subrosa raises the point that the British people ought to be concerned by Gordon Brown's inability to face up to the reality of each day in politics. Subrosa's latest post shows an interview with GB where he is clearly in complete denial.

This man cannot accept criticism. He is pathologically unable to register it in his brain. In this video he argues that not only is he not performing "the youtube youturn", but that he should be being lauded with praise for his leadership over second home allowances.

This man is dangerous. If you said that he was defeated on the Ghurka issue, he would find a way to claim that it wasn't a defeat. If you told him he was down in the polls, he would no doubt claim that he questions those figures. And most dangerous of all, even though his fate is sealed, he is still playing politics with our country and its' finances in the (pathetic) hope that he will win the election. Ha!

As someone smarter than I pointed out the other day...

Gordon Brown is borrowing extreme £billions, emersing the country in a lifetime of debt. While other countries use any borrowing to make long-term 'boosts to the economy and infrastructure' (ie investments which will make a long-term difference), Gordon Brown is instead going to spend £700bn on putting this country back in the position that created the problem (mortgages/culture of borrowing). This a dangerous game he is playing, and we will all suffer for years to come as a result.

There is a new definition to 'false economy', and that is New Labour's Britain.