Lord Ashcroft, the world's leading "Boy's Own" historian, has today offered his intellectually irrefutable argument as to how the Tories will win the next general election. The Peer who has lately taken to describing himself as "an historian" on the basis of his Higher National Diploma in Business Studies from the Mid-Essex Technical College, argues that the Tories will win because of a "a tangible improvement in the economy" and because the electorate will come to love their "firm but humane welfare reform(s)". Drawing on his considerable knowledge of political history after his detailed study of how some people win medals, he has concluded that "overall the current Government is broadly competent." Despite this view from Planet Tory, few even in the Tory party itself would agree with the intellectually challenged tax avoider as Labour surges to an eleven point lead over them and Jonathan Luff, a senior Downing Street aide, announces he is leaving the government in order to take up a job with more integrity at the loan shark company Wonga. We asked Lord Ashcroft why he would choose to believe that a government with such a woeful record of competence and one that is universally hated by everyone with two working brain cells could possibly win the next election; "The Tory party is the best political party that money can buy," he told our reporter. "I know because I've been buying it for years.
The Housing Minister Mark Prisk, the one in the picture with a hard hat labelled MP for Moronic Prick, has been credited today with a new branch of Tory mathematics. According to Mr.Prisk; "The most recent official statistics published by the Valuation Office Agency in August 2012 show that median private sector rents across England rose by 0.9% in the year to June 2012, compared to a rise in RPI inflation of 2.8% over the same period. Rents have thus fallen in real terms." In other words the cost of an item or service falls in real terms if compared to the inflation rate instead of earnings. So, if your rent goes up because some greedy landlord wants to stuff his pockets with more of your cash while your wages remain the same you will be better off because other prices have risen at an even faster rate. We asked a leading Tory mathematcian from Oxford University to explain; "We believe that Mr. Prisk has made a major contribution to the unification of Voodoo Economics and Tory Quantum Economics. This theory has now conclusively proven that poor people become ever more financially better off the more money that is taken from them, while wealthy people become financially worse off the more money they get. This explains the spooky phenomenum of higher taxes on rich people returning less money, while tax cuts for them costs nothing. It also goes a long way in explaining why rich people have to be rewarded to make them work harder while poor people have to be punished. To finally prove the veracity of Mr.Prisk's outstanding contribution we plan to collide two poor people at CERN at the speed of light to see if we can see the Osborne Boson and prove the existence of the Osborne Field. This, we believe, is what gives bankers and politicians the illusion of having integrity while robbing the rest of the population."
Democracy, like all forms of government, has limits. No one has an absolute right to do what they want and so absolute freedom has to be curtailed by law. These laws are made by those we vote into power to represent us and they are expected to frame laws that are both fair and acceptable to the majority. So much for the theory - the reality, as we are coming to know to our cost, is very different. In Greece that reality has made a mockery of the democratic process as that unhappy country is forced to destroy itself by outsiders whose only aim is to protect their money. Today a Greek journalist, Kostas Vaxevanis, has been arrested for daring to publish a list of rich and influential Greek businessmen and politicians who are avoiding paying their taxes. He has been arrested for an invasion of privacy while the influential businessmen and politicans are innocent of any crime. They are only innocent, of course, because the laws of Greece have been framed by those same influential businessmen and politicians. In Britain we would not go so far and tax avoiders are regularly "outed" by the press. Unfortunately our laws, too, are framed by the wealthy and influential and tax avoiders are likewise regarded as innocent of any crime. Worse yet our government regularly takes "donations" from rich supporters who hope, often with good cause, that they can "influence" the framing of our laws. So the question we have to ask ourselves is this - how can our elected representatives represent us when they are being paid to represent someone else? Democracy? It would be a good idea.
Lister Hospital in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, is run by a private company, Carillion, which is in fact a construction company that knows nothing about healthcare but knows everything about cutting overheads, grabbing as much cash as it can and avoiding tax. So far this hospital - essentially a private business masquerading under the title of the "NHS" - has killed two people and blinded another six. In addition the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group has also revealed that there have been "21 serious incidents of both a clinical and patient information governance nature", not to mention the 8,500 patient records that they have carelessly mislaid. A spokesman for the hospital, Dr Mark O'Flynn, has described the deaths as "unfortunate" but has so far failed to explain why two people should die after routine proceadures. Of course the answer is glaringly obvious. Staff numbers and quality have been cut by Carillion to reduce overheads so that they can divert taxpayers money from healthcare and into their very deep pockets. This is the essence of privatisation of the NHS - a gratuitous diversion of our money into the hands of greedy company executives and shareholders for the sake of a Tory ideology that claims that private companies will always be more "efficient". Of course the Tories are right, private companies will always be more efficient at stealing taxpayers money than nationalised services. These people have been killed - murdered if you will - by the likes of Andrew Lansley, Jeremy Hunt and David Cameron out of the oldest motive in the world - greed.
The Daily Express has long been known as a right-wing Tory rag, but the fact that it is run by the certifiably insane has been a closely guarded secret - until now that is. Overcome by the miracle of positive economic news under Cameron's incompetent and unintelligent government, the newspaper has today gone collectively nuts. According to Martyn Brown the figures not only represent "the country’s best performance for five years" they also prove that Britain had "the strongest major economy on the planet between July and September." Now at last, Brown announces, Britain can "go it alone" and "unshackle itself from the EU’s economic corpse." "Latest forecasts from the International Monetary Fund," he breathlessly informs us, "suggest Britain will be the strongest economy in Europe next year." So, after 70 years of steady economic decline, three months in 2012 under the genius of David Cameron and George Osborne have proven to be a miraculous turning point in Britain's history. Now we can re-establish the British Empire, once again "rule the waves" and give Johnnie Foreigner a jolly good thrashing. It's almost too good to be true. Of course the fact that the IMF has actually been warning Britain that too much austerity will damage our long-term economic interests and would laugh itself silly at the idea that Britain will be "the strongest economy in Europe next year" is neither here nor there. The most important thing is that Germany, the United States, China, Brazil and Japan are shaking in their economic boots at a resurgent Britain set to re-conquer the world. "Rule Britania, Britania rules the waves.........."
Jeremy Hunt, speaking to the National Children and Adult Services conference in Eastbourne on Thursday, has made an offer to local authorities that he feels they just can't refuse. Having taken up Andrew Lansley's crusade to make the NHS into a privatised cash cow for the already wealthy, he is now suggesting that the colonisation of public services should be extended into all areas of social care and that local government should be allowed to "invest" and cash in on this as well. It's a juicy deal and one that is rapidly becoming even juicier as Health Authorities up and down the country cut their overheads by sacking staff at a rate of knots. Rotherham Hospital has already announced cuts to its staff of 20% by the next election while the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust is planning to shed 500 front-line jobs and 20% of its inpatient beds during the same period. Many more Doctors, nurses and anciliary staff are planning to leave the NHS, the Health Unions have discovered, as morale plummets and pay is frozen year after year. Nor should potential "investors" worry too much about a return on their money, despite the fact that the flagship privatisation of Hinchingbrooke Hospital has led to record-breaking financial loses. In keeping with the new capitalism Circle Health will still glum £2 million out of the hospital while the debts will be picked up by the taxpayer. For wealthy "investors" the NHS will be a gold-plated piggy bank, a "tails we win, heads the taxpayer loses" deal guaranteed to find support amongst the greedy everywhere. In terms of the political support for this act of daylight robbery the reason is all too obvious - simply study the picture above.
Yesterday the Cameron government was grinning like a collective Cheshire cat when the economic figures suggested that Britain was coming out of recession. However, like that ficticious feline, the grin is the only substantial part of this dire collection of spivs and conmen. The truth is that Britain's economic performance, when the shrinkage of the last two-and-a-half years is taken into account, is doing no better than flatlining. When it comes to pay, the Tories have also been falling over each other to explain why the minimum wage for teenagers is to be frozen yet again. As you might expect it is the usual one of the minimum wage "preventing" companies from employing young people despite the "fact" that business is picking up and, presumably, profits are increasing. Nor does this explain the claim by Cameron at the Tory conference that more than a million people have been recruited by a resurgent private sector. This figure is actually less impressive when the 158,000 who are on Government-
sponsored training and employment schemes are taken into account, not to mention the 196,000 workers transferred wholesale from the public to the private sector in the higher education sector or the 300,000 jobs created while Labour was still in power. Cameron's impressive "one million" thus becomes a far less impressive and completely insignificant 346,000 while the loss of 628,000 jobs in the public sector puts it into perspective. "One swallow does not a summer make," the old saying goes any more than a collection of dubious statistics, empty promises and flimsy alibis make a recovery.
For nearly three years now we've been bombarded with excuses by Cameron and Osborne as they have desperately sought to explain away Britain's lamentable economic performance. "The winters have been too cold", "the summers too hot", "there's not enough rain", "there's too much rain", "there are too many bank holidays", "it's all the fault of Europe", "workers have too many rights" and "it's Labour wot done it." Now suddenly, as tentative figures suggest that the recession might have abated between July and September, the bounce afforded by the Olympics is "of little significance". Basking in the warmth of positive growth for the first time since they came to power, they are now falling over themselves to give the credit for this to their insane economic policies. This reporter can hardly wait to see what excuse they come up with when we enter a triple-dip recession.
Lord Bichard, another Tory peer who has never done a real days work in his life, has called for old age pensioners to be forced into unpaid work so that he and his rich mates can have yet another tax cut. Having spent a lifetime in the Civil Service and avoiding a real job, Lord Bichard was rewarded by his fellow state scroungers with a seat in the House of Lords and a gong to impress his mates at his London club. Pensioners should be made to look after even older pensioners, the smug, self-satisfied benefit scrounger suggested, so that the government could divest itself of the responsibility and reward itself for doing nothing whatsoever. "Are there ways in which we could use incentives to encourage older people, if not to be in full time work, to be making a contribution?," he asked a parliamentary committee investigating a way to make themselves even richer than they are now. The answer, of course, is that there are certain sections of our society who are freeloading off the rest of us and who have no intention of contributing to our society. Unfortunately many of them are politicians and far, far too many of them sit in the House of Lords. The "News in Shorts" would like to propose a scheme whereby Peers should be given a low-visibility donkey jacket, a shovel and a bucket of tar and sent wandering up the M1 at night to fill in potholes. Now that would be an efficient use of resources.
The BBC have aired a documentary tonight that makes it absolutely clear that Scotland has now become a police state at the behest of a foreign national. Donald Trump has turned a beautiful area of Aberdeenshire's coastline and an area of world scientific interest into a building site and has been allowed to recruit the local police as his personal bully boys. Local residents are being harassed and threatened in their own homes, their water has been cut off as well as their electricity and their land has been treated as if it is already owned by Donald Trump. They have been sent bills by the builders for the erection of fences to block their view and make their lives miserable and mounds of earth now surround their houses so that Trump, who describes the properties as "slums", doesn't have to look at them. A BBC film crew making the documentary has been assaulted by the police and arrested for no legal reason and then publicly ridiculed and insulted by Trump himself. And all this so that Donald Trump can build a golf course on the basis that the world hasn't got enough of them already. It is clear that the Scottish government has a good case for allowing its citizens to be treated in this way - money. In this regard Alex Salmond has shown the Scottish people what to expect in the future - their own, home-grown version of the Tory party, complete with attendant corruption and a police force whose chief function is to be the SNP's own Sturmabteilung. Scotland should be ashamed of itself.
The Tory party has always been like Lord Byron - mad, bad and dangerous to know. Just how bad they were in the 1980's is only now beginning to emerge in the wake of the findings over the Hillsborough disaster. The realisation that the Thatcher government coluded with the police to hide what really happened there has led to a closer look at the entire period and, in particular, the violence that accompanied the miner's strikes. Evidence is beginning to emerge that the police deliberately ambushed striking miners and provoked violent confrontations to add credence to the Tory propaganda against them. This was followed, as it was after Hillsborough, by industrial-scale doctoring of the evidence and wholesale perjury by the police. The charge that the police were merely "Maggie's Boot Boys" is now beginning to look more and more accurate and puts the whole Thatcher administration into a very sinister light. Her period in power is now beginning to look less like a government and more like a right-wing coup d'etat. Cameron seems to have similar ambitions but, unlike Thatcher, is more afflicted with Tory madness than Tory badness. Where she was steely-eyed, Cameron is cowardly, where she was a master tactician, Cameron is incompetent and where she had all the instincts of a dictator, Cameron is simply stupid. Which is why, as the "Telegraph" reported today, he is reeling from crisis to crisis and is plainly out of his depth. Cameron would dearly love to be like Thatcher but suffers from a lack of any ability to be so. Unfortunately Tory failure, incompetence and lack of any discernable talent for government is completely indistinguishable from Tory success - both are disasterous for Britain,
David Cameron, who despite his expensive education is probably the least intelligent Prime Minister we've ever had, has called for an "intelligent" approach to law and order. This approach, it seems, is urgently needed for two reasons - there are 15,000 fewer policemen than there were three years ago and the Tories have already wasted so much money destroying the British economy that there is little left to fund real law and order. So far his "initiative" seems to consist entirely of sentencing those who supply firearms to criminals to life imprisonment and electing police commisioners in order to give local worthies, without much in the way of qualifications, a job that will pay oodles of money without their having to do very much. Of course, when Cameron and his rich Tory pals talk about crime they only mean that kind of crime committed by poor people. The crimes of the rich - bankers who destroy the world's economy, finance companies who offer "payday loans" at exorbitant rates, MP's who fiddle their expenses and companies who refuse to pay tax - are already being handled "intelligently", or, as most of us would understand it, ignored. It is a strange fact of life that those who vote Tory will often offer two reasons for their bizzare choice - the Tories are "tough on crime" and are the champions of business. Yet, whenever they slither back into government, crime goes through the roof and a recession is never far behind.
In the offhand manner common amongst those who see themselves as upper class, Andrew Mitchell's use of the word "pleb" has taken the lid off what is fundamentally wrong with Britain. Class in this country is used to hide a multitude of institutionalised abuses of what the British like to pretend is a meritocratic democracy. Chief amongst those who worship the unthinking class divisions in our society are politicians. They take it as read that they should travel first class, especially when the mode of transport is generally of a poor standard, because travelling with the rest of us would undermine their dignity. They pretend this is not so, citing such concerns as security or the need to work without being distracted by the rowdy hoi pollei. But even when they are insulated from the common people in private transport they insist on getting only the best. Thus Ed Milliband sees nothing incongruous about turning up to a TUC-led demonstration in a Rolls Royce. Nor does he see anything incongruous in regarding public spending cuts as something that should be shouldered only by the poorer members of society. Class is the very foundation of austerity, falling unequally on those with less, while prosperity is the sole prserve of the already wealthy. A grandson of Sir Winston Churchill Rupert Soames, talking on the BBC news channel today, summed up Britain's class distinctions when he said, in all seriousness, that going to Eton and an Oxbridge university bequeaths no advantage if you have no real ability. His own chosen area of business in engineering he freely admits was considered to be "eccentric" by his peers who mainly entered the banking industry - and we all know how well the banking industry has been run. Rupert Soames runs a very successful business building and renting out generators but he didn't get where he is through taking an apprenticeship and working his way up from the shop floor. He is where he is because of his privileged background not despite it. In a fairer world in which people are judged by their actual abillity rather than the imagined ability that a privileged background bestows, would someone like George Osborne be Chancellor of the Exchequer or David Cameron be Prime Minister? Of course it hasn't always been like this. After the end of World War II Britain did enter a brief period when merit trumped privilege. But it didn't last long and now a new generation of privileged nonentities have managed to use their wealth and social contacts to hijack the state once again and, using the world financial crisis that they created as cover, are determined to turn back the clock.
Lord Tebbitt, the embalmed corpse of the old Thatcherite Tory party, has savaged David Cameron in the "Guardian" today and told him to get a grip. This attack was apparently prompted by the resignation of Andrew Mitchell, but not because Tebbitt was disgusted by what Mitchell did and said. No, his beef is that Cameron has failed to hide the basic partisanship of the Tory party and has failed to obscure their selfish objectives. He proudly listed the "toffs" that have always dominated the Tory party and roundly criticised Cameron for failing to disguise what that means for the rest of us - the plebs. However, what Norman Tebbitt seems to misunderstand is the present context. While it is true that "toffs" have always dominated the Tory party and have always worked for their own selfish and greedy ends, what has changed is the revelation, in the wake of the financial crisis, that the Tory party is far more interested in defending the privileges of the wealthy than they are in protecting the interests of the country as a whole. They always were, of course, but they can no longer hide it from the electorate. Cameron is being criticised not because he's incompetent but because he's failed to hide the truth from the public and fluffed his primary task of creating believable spin. Tebbitt has always been the consumate snake oil salesman and is simply aghast that the present leader is not as good at this as he and Margaret Thatcher once were.
As the Tory party reels from the shock disclosure by Andrew Mitchell as to how they regard the rest of us, they also seem compelled to line up in order to underline the message. George Osborne, for instance, seems completely unconcerned that he is willing to spend £180 of taxpayers money to avoid sitting with the plebs on a train. The latest suicidally stupid Tory to get in on the act is Mark Hoban, the Employment Minister, who is urging the uenemployed to “roll up their sleeves” and get a job. The fact that the Tory party has done its absolute level best to make sure that there are no jobs to get doesn't bother him at all. Nor does the fact that taking money from the unemployed, as he will begin to do from tomorrow, will not create a single job but, instead, will simply add to the sum total of human misery that the Tories are inflicting on the country so they and their rich pals don't have to pay tax. The reason that Mr.Hoban can be both so stupid and so lacking in empathy is easy to understand. He has spent his entire working life in the finance industry where ineptitude is par for the course and is positively encouraged while fraud is considered to be the pinacle of achievement. In 2011 he was happy to secretly meet with banking lobbyists intent on watering down the controls that the Vickers Report was urging to stop banks from taking insane risks with our money. He neither understands what it is like to be unemployed nor does he care. He is only concerned with making sure that bankers can continue to defraud the rest of us, while the problems of the plebs remains eternally beyond the scope of his limited imagination. For him it is axiomatic that the rich have to be rewarded to make them productive while the plebs have to be punished because that self-serving philosophy is the foundation of all Tory philosophy.
David Cameron has spent the last five days dodging questions about undisclosed texts he sent to Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson. Dismissed as "irrelevant" by Cameron's lawyers when it came the to Leveson Inquiry, it would seem that they must be a little more than that. So what might they reveal? An "inappropriate" relationship with Rebekah? Information that Cameron fed to News International that should have been kept confidential? Evidence that there was colusion between the three in order to pervert the course of justice? Or, perhaps, the collected innane comments by three people without a clue about anything of a substantive nature? Whatever they are it seems certain that Cameron would be embarrased at the very least if they were to be made public. From past experience of the inner workings of the Tory mind, revealed by the likes of Andrew Mitchell during unguarded moments, they probably reveal the contempt that Cameron feels for the "plebs" and his total disregard for the nation. Fortunately he's about to get a graphic reminder that the "plebs" far outnuber the privilged and out of touch as thousands of protestors converge on London today. The Tory reaction to this tells us all we need to know about them. While Mark Serwotka, leader of the Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, has made it clear that the demostration is about austerity in general, a senior Tory spokesman replied that, "It is disappointing that some unions insist on pushing for irresponsible and futile strike action which benefits no-one. As we have said time and again, pension talks will not be reopened and nothing further will be achieved through strike action." The Tories, then, are deliberately missing the point and trying to blame the unions for a strike that isn't actually taking place. The problem, as always, is that the Tories see resistance to their present-day idiotic and damaging economic policies and immediately reach for their copy of "How to Solve the Problems of the 1980's" by Margaret Thatcher.
The Tory plan to turn healthcare in Britain into a minority interest by making it too expensive for most of us to access has gathered pace since Andrew Lansley was replaced by the even bigger crook Jeremy Hunt and so has the cost. Now expected to cost the taxpayer upwards of £1.6 billion, the "reforms" will eventually mean that those same taxpayers will have to pay through the nose for even basic healthcare while more expensive proceadures will be reserved only for the wealthy. The process, it appears, has already begun with GP's being told to put 1 in every 100 of their patients on a "death list." These will be people who doctors believe might die in the next 12 months and, naturally, many of these will drawn from those people that the Tories consider to be surplus to requirement - the elderly poor. These people will be pressured into signing a living will which will give doctors and hospitals the right to withdraw life-preserving treatment if the patient becomes incapacitated. The matter, at least for the Tory party, has become urgent because of baby-boomers who are now fast approaching old age. "This is a bad situation, which is going to get worse unless we act now," new guidance to doctors states. What it fails to say, of course, is that fast-tracking people into an early grave is expected the save the government £1 billion a year and will go a long way towards funding yet more tax cuts for the Tories and their rich mates.
While Britain is facing the worst economic and social crisis for nearly a century, while the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, while corporations steal money from both customers and taxpayers alike, while children can't get enough to eat and old age pensioners face a freezing winter unable to afford the cost of heating their homes, what are our MP's doing? Last week they were busy discussing whether they should award themselves a 40% wage increase. This week they are busy trying to hide their latest scam from the public on the grounds of "national security." So what is their latest scam? It goes like this. An MP buys a very expensive London house as a "second home" to live in while performing his duties in Parliament. The mortgage on this is paid by the taxpayer, even though, once its paid for, the MP gets to keep it and any profit he or she can make out of it when its finally sold. Unfair enough, you might think - but it gets better, at least if you're an MP. Once bought it can then be rented out, the profit from this pocketed and another house can be bought using taxpayers money to build up the MP's property portfolio. But two MP's acting together can, it seems, go one better - renting out their houses to each other paid for - you've guessed it - by the taxpayer and effectively getting the public purse to pay for their property portfolio twice. Of course this would be obvious if MP's had to publish their addresses and who their landlords are - so they've blocked this by citing "security" concerns. You can see their point. Not only would we then know which MP's are exploiting this loophole, we would also know where they live and where we can find them when an angry public start throwing hangmen's nooses over lamposts.
The answer to this question appears to be twofold - when David Cameron announces one on the spur of the moment and when it impacts on the Tories best pals. The PM's announcement yesterday, after coming under pressure over energy profiteering from Labour, was a case in point. "We are preparing legislation," he grandly announced, "to force energy companies to offer their customers the best tariffs." If the Tories were preparing such legislation then it seems to be news to them and, as the opposition has rightly pointed out, Cameron's statement actually makes no sense whatsoever. If true then its begs the first of many questions such as "What about the Tories much-vaunted faith in competition?" If all energy companies are forced to offer their customers the best possible price doesn't that mean that they must all charge the same tariff? Then there's the question of how the Tory-led government, not noted for either their intelligence or competence, will know what "the best price" actually is. The energy companies were left bemused since they seem to have no idea how such a policy could work while no discussions with the government seem to have taken place. The Department of Energy were quick to distance itself from the so-called policy denying suggestions that companies would be forced to move customers onto cheaper tariffs. They were left having to lamely explain that customers should "shop around" for the best deals. The government was left, in turn, with only one argument and that centred on the jungle of misleading information and hundreds of different tariffs that the energy companies use to baffle their customers. This, however, is not popular in the Tory party since it means that some of their best and most wealthy donators will no longer be able to steal money from a bewildered public and then pass some of the proceeds on to them.
The man pictured above is Alec Robertson who was, until today, the Tory leader of Cornwall Council. He lost his position after being ousted by his colleagues for attempting to steal £300 million of publicly owned assets and then selling them at knock-down prices to his rich mates. He had planned to privatise the libraries, benefits, the Council payroll and, of course, healthcare. Other Tory-led councils in London, Somerset and Suffolk, are running into similar problems as local people are waking up to what the Tory programme of theft in broad daylight actually means. Privatisation means higher prices with less service, as the railways and energy companies prove beyond all shadow of a doubt. Privatisation means less in tax revenues as companies are allowed to hide their profits and dodge tax year after year. Privatisation means lower wages as companies tear up contracts of employment at will and take workers rights away with impunity. And, most damning of all, is the fact that the Tory idea of privatisation only includes the privatisation of profits, while losses continue to be the responsibility of the taxpayer. This is not capitalism, it is simply the principles of socialism being applied exclusively to the wealthy while the poor are being exposed to the full rigours of the "market." It is unfair, unjust and, as the collapse in demand in this country amply demonstrates, plain stupid.
The coalition government has become rather fond of claiming that they have brought down the deficit and that their austerity programme is working. The truth is that this is an outright lie. Britain's national debt is rising faster than any other European country. In five years the Labour government borrowed £319 billion. In the two-and-a-half years since the coalition came to power they have managed to borrow £465 billion - a stagering increase by a factor of three. If this is not shocking enough the way that money is being used, or rather abused, is even more disturbing. The number of homeless families being accomodated in Bed and Breakfast establishments has increased by 44%, the number of people receiving emergency food aid from charities has doubled, many teachers are now buying food for their pupils even as the number of breakfast clubs declines at an alarming rate and the number of young people now out of work has risen by a frightening 168%. That is the cost of the Tory-led assault on the ordinary people of this country while things are set to get worse as benefit cuts begin to bite and energy and food prices rocket upwards. And what are our MP's talking about as the Tories pursue the hopeless goal of lowering spending to fund tax cuts for the rich? The proposal that their pay should increase by over 40% to "compensate" them for a potential loss in their pension rights. Compensated? They should all be beaten with sticks.
The bad news is that cuts to housing benefits means that many poorer people in the country will be faced with a choice between paying council taxes they can't afford or buying food for their families. The good news is that councils are resigned to the fact that chasing poor people for money they haven't got is a waste of time. Just another day, then, in Toryworld. While slashing benefits and throwing thousands of public sector workers out of their jobs has merely flattened demand and made the recession worse, this latest piece of Tory stupidity has merely turned "savings" into debts elsewhere. To illustrate how stupid the Tories are they are now contemplating giving councils upwards of £100 million in "transitional relief" to prevent them from going bankrupt. All they have to figure out now is how they're going to find the other £400 million that will be needed. Something has to give and that something will have to be local services. So we can all look forward to rubbish piling up in the streets as councils cut back on dustbin collections, while rats will flourish as they also cut back on pest control. More libraries will close, more day centres for the elderly, more leisure centres. By the time of the next general election the Tories are confident that they will have turned our towns and cities into the disease-ridden cesspits they were during the Middle Ages. Way to go fellers!
The "Guardian" published a graph today based on figures from the IMF that illustrates the Tory plan for Britain and it makes for a grim picture. Their intention is to shrink the British state until it is on a par with present day Greece. The Greeks are being forced into poverty and hoplessness by outside forces that have little sympathy for the suffering this is causing. Here in Britain we are being forced into poverty and hoplessness by our own government - people who are supposed to work for us and are certainly paid rather well out of taxpayers money. Andrew Mitchell let the cat out of the bag when he told a policeman that he was only a "f**king pleb" who "should know his f**king place." The message of these figures is that the Tories think that everyone in this country is a "f**king pleb" who should know his or her "f**king place." The Tories do not own this country - whatever they might think - we do and it is up to us, not them, to decide what sort of future we want for our children. If you want a country based on dog-eat-dog selfishness in which only the wealthy have access to healthcare, education and life chances then the Tories are the party for you. But have no illusions, you are probably a "pleb" and will not be invited to share the goodies that they want you to believe could be yours. Someone once said that the trouble with the United States is that everyone votes as if they're temporarily embarassed millionaires. Don't fall for the same propaganda and turn what was once a fairly decent country into warzone of all against all.
As part of his campaign to raise his own personal prejudice against the unemployed to the level of a political philosophy, Ian Duncan Smith wants a legal ban on them spending their money on such things as booze and fags. This, of course, makes the assumption that the unemployed, many of them thrown out of work by the Tories themselves, are all feckless scroungers whose selfishness knows no bounds. It also assumes that, as a group, the unemployed are different and simply don't deserve the freedom of choice that the rest of the population enjoy. "“There are people who are using benefits to fund a habit and children are going hungry," IDS slyly suggests in a blatant attempt to shift the blame for starving children in this country from himself to the victims of his vile policies. His bigotry is brought into sharper focus when the privileges that he and his fellow MP's get are taken into consideration. While the unemployed are being faced with a choice between a packet of cigarettes or a tin of beans, MP's are faced with a choice between a risotto of pea and broad bean with Golden Cross goat’s cheese or a roasted half spring chicken with stuffing for less than £3.00, while their cigarettes, cigars and booze can be bought without the taxes that the rest of us have to pay. Why? Because such items are subsidised by the taxpayer to the tune of a cool £5.8 million per year. That is nearly £10,000 a year for each and every MP - in addition to their basic salary of £65,738 - £175 per week, or three times what a single unemployed man or woman get in benefits to pay for everything. When it comes to scrounging IDS and his mates leave the unemployed in their dust.
George Osborne has been doing great deal of thinking since he was booed at the Paralympics and was faced by the stoney hostility of his own party at the Tory conference in Birmingham. Having reflected on his sudden lack of popularity he has come to the conclusion that it might have something to do with the disaster that he calls the British economy. Once he had reached that conclusion the next step was all too plain - he would simply have to learn something about economics over the weekend. Turning to his copy of "Being the Chancellor of the Exchequer for Dummies" he made the amazing discovery that economic problems are a world-wide phenomenum and are not, after all, entirely the fault of the Labour party. He quickly identified the most dangerous threat facing the world economy - an economic dowturn in either Europe, the US, the emerging economies or, heaven forbid, all three. Such economic downturns would be the consequence of a lack of demand in any or perhaps all of these areas. Armed now with an understanding of the role that demand plays in both national and the world economy, he then came to his startling conclusion. It was all the fault of other countries who are deflating their economies through a self-defeating programme of austerity. At the IMF he placed his insight at the disposal of Johnnie Foreigner; "In general, western countries face a sink or swim question which the prime minister posed or, as he also put it, do or decline," he told them, adding, "In UK we are doing rather than declining. We are confronting our problems and the reforms that are required and tackling our debts." In other words he was saying that what they are doing is undermining the world economy because of their austerity programmes, while what he is doing bolstering the British economy through a programme of austerity. Confused? So is George Osborne.
As ususal this winter the energy companies have joined together to put the price of gas and electricity up this winter in order to steal yet more money from us. They are citing the usual suspects - wholesale energy price rises, which never deliver a cheaper supply when they go down and investment, which seems to consist almost entirely of energy executives stuffing huge wads of cash into their own pockets. Meanwhile new figures show quite clearly that the privatised railways are also stuffing public cash into their pockets as subsidies to them far outstrip anything that was paid to the nationsalised network. Indeed the only state-run railway still in existence, the east coast line, is operating with a fraction of the subsidy paid to most private train companies. Privatisation, instead of giving us lower prices by being more efficient, has simply diverted public money into private hands for no good reason. The promised "efficiencies" and lower prices have never materialised and, instead, the public has had to watch as our money is simply stolen by executives and shareholders. Yet, despite this, the Tories are eager to expand privatisation into areas that Margaret Thatcher only dreamed of - the NHS, schools, the police and the benefit system. Their reasons for doing so are quite clear. They have noted the billions of pounds that are involved in these public services and are scheming to stuff those billions into their pockets and those of their rich pals. Essentially they are stealing the state for their own private advantage in an outrageous act of daylight robbery that is nothing short of treasonous.
Jonathan Adair Turner, Baron Turner of Ecchinswell and the man tipped to be the next governor of the Bank of England, has broken ranks to point out the essential insanity of Tory economic policy. Their idiotic obsession with deflating the economy in order to protect the interest rate on money they have no intention of borrowing is, Lord Turner pointed out, self-defeating and promises to leave Britian in the economic doldrums for decades. Nor has the policy of quantitative easing had any effect, other than padding bankers wallets, as far as the economy is concerned. The present economic crisis, he admitted "arose from poor supervision, from bad rules and structures, from dangerous cultures - and the errors were made by regulators, economists, central bankers and public policy makers, as well as bankers themselves." Not the poor, disabled and unemployed then. Of course this is fine as far as it goes, but Lord Turner is still apparently only half awake since the question that follows on naturally is "What are we going to do about it?" The neoliberal experiment in shovelling money from the poor to the rich has run its course and the lack of demand it has caused in the world economy has proven to be the utter disaster anyone with a brain knew that it would. As Lord Turner ruefully admitted, the economic catastrophe of 2008 was not "a bolt from the blue" - it was entirely predictable and was only allowed to happen because of the insane greed of the banks and financial institutions and the sheer lack of intelligence displayed by our leaders.
We expect the Tories to peddle myths - such nonsense as the nation's economy being like a household budget, taxing the rich returns less money, wokers's rights damage the economy, British workers are lazy, pensions are too expensive to maintain, rich people are "wealth creators." Essentially these are parables, simple stories for the simple-minded. Today David Cameron stepped beyond the limits of such fairy tales and instead decided that lies and evasions were the way forward. So here are a list of the lies and evasions contained in his speech today; 1) He is "profoundly grateful" for all the armed forces have done in Afghanistan - so grateful he's having thousands of them sacked; 2) What is "up" in the NHS? "The number of doctors, the number of dentists, the number of midwives, the number of operations." - Note the absence of any mention of nurses, down by 6,000 since he seized power; 3) "I vetoed that EU treaty." - No he didn't, he simply refused to sign it and the rest of Europe carried on without us; 4)"No-one is owed a living." - Other than MP's, the Royal Family and bankers; 5) "We need an economy that creates good jobs....And confidence that it’s worth investing." - Which is why he threw hundreds of thousands out of work, brought down wages and took demand out of the economy; 6) "Labour’s plan to borrow more...would squander the sacrifices we’ve already made." - Instead of borrowing more to pay for the sacrifices that ordinary people are being forced to accept; 7) "We promised that those with the broadest shoulders would bear the biggest burden." - Which is why the rich got a tax reduction while the poor, the unemployed and the disabled had their incomes slashed; 8) Labour "busted our banks." - No the banks busted our banks; 9) "More of our children live in households where nobody works than almost any other nation in Europe." - Try telling the Greeks and Spanish that. Of course Cameron's speech wasn't really intended for ordinary people - it was nothing more than an alibi to assuage whatever is left of the Tory conscience and, as such, was a resounding success.
The Tory party would like to apologise for the inconvenience, but austerity is here to stay if Britain wants to maintain its position as a global superpower. "Britain may not be in the future what it has been in the past," Cameron will tell the conference today. "We are in a global race," he will warn us though, with the IMF telling us that continuing with George Osborne's suicidal economic policy is plain stupid, Cameron's message seems to be that this is little more than a race to the bottom. The world has changed, Hague told the BBC and, because of that, the Tories have decided to remain completely unchanged. Basically he was telling us that there is no choice but to impoverish the majority of the country in order to preserve an elite who are our only hope. But not to worry for, as Ian Duncan Smith told us on Monday with a poker face; "If we care for our country we must care for all our people, for they are our country. That is why our reforms must improve the chances for the very least of us." Essentially, then, the Tory policy consists entirely of stealing from the poor to preserve the rich and then offering warm words to hide their motives from the electorate. As an Orwellian attempt at "Newspeak" this is all pretty weak and amatuerish, but the fact that it should exist at all is a warning for the rest of us. The Tories have long claimed to have a monopoly over our past - eager to tell us simplistic stories about the glories of our imperial heritage - but they are now trying to claim a monopoly on the future - even more eager to tell us simplistic stories about the terrible fate that awaits us if we vote Labour or even have the temerity to protest. The truth is that there is an alternative, but that doesn't include a future for the Tory party - which is why they don't want anyone talking about it.
David Cameron has girded his loins at the Tory Conference today and done what Tories always do when things are going badly - closed his eyes, put his fingers in his ears and shouted "La, la, la" as loudly as possible to drown out the truth. The country is going through a "slow and difficult healing process" he assured us all today in all seriousness, as the Tories valiantly "rebalance the economy." There are, he claimed, "positive signs" that the economy is reviving and that his government is "on the right track." Unfortunately as he stood before his fellow morons in the Tory party and prayed that spin could drown out the truth, others were pointing out that his claims were complete garbage. The world outlook, the IMF admitted today, is dire as governments across the world embrace "austerity" and wontonly destroy their own economies. And none are more wonton than the Tories, it would appear, as the IMF slashed its predictions for the British economy from slight growth next year of 0.2% to a contraction of 0.4%. Cameron also claimed, during his speech, that Britain's deficit had been "the biggest anywhere in the developed world" - an ouright lie, as even a cursory look at the figures will show. Still, that aside, Cameron went on to claim that the Tories had succeeded in slashing the deficit despite the fact that it actually continues to baloon at an unprecedented pace, while industrial output is the only thing the Tories have managed to reduce. Britain is not "on the right track", the country is not "healing" and there are no "positive signs" while the disconnection between the truth and Tory claims demonstrate the extent of their delusional state. The Tories have always been somewhat unhinged, but they are now criminally insane. Perhaps its time to lock them up.
George Osborne, the world's leading economic ignoramus, revealed his vision for Britain today to a hushed crowd of Tories even more stupid than he is. Apart from the usual message of making the poor and vulnerable pick up the bill for the rich and irrationally greedy and the misleading picture of the feckless unemployed breeding like rabbits, we now have the real Faustian bargain of workers giving away all their rights in return for shares. "You too can become a bloated capitalist with all the benefits that tax dodging bestows," Osborne is suggesting to what he hopes is a gullible electorate. One moments thought, however, will explode this preposterous idea. Already existing shareholders have been howling for years about how hedge funds have all but destroyed the market in shares, while company executives have been too busy filling their own bank accounts to care about dividends for small independent investors. All too often shares in companies are barely worth the effort. But, if a worker was foolish enough to give away his employment rights in return for shares, what could he expect as his end of the bargain? No training, no right of redress if his boss takes a dislike to him and no redundancy payments if he's found to be surplus to requirements. Still, if he does find himself made redundant he can cash in his shares can't he? Well yes, but it is usually the case that a business that cannot afford staff is usually in trouble and that, of course, means that the value of its shares is likely to tumble. So, no redundancy money and precious little from selling his shares as he and his fellow redundant workers desperately try to unload them on a market that doesn't want them. Not much of a bargain after all. The electorate should consider one thing before accepting anything from the Tories - when you sup with the Devil you need a long spoon.
Nick Clegg, the most outwitted bungler in British politics and too dumb too walk and chew gum at the same time, has agreed to a £10 billion cut in welfare in return for a "promise" that the rich will be targetted next. Sniggering behind their hands now that Cameron has ruled out any means by which the rich can be taxed more, the Tories have greeted this enthusiastically and are already rehearsing their excuses for betraying Clegg at the first opportunity. Meanwhile Ian Duncan Smith has given his gracious permission to persecute the disabled and unemployed even more after Cameron gave the go ahead for his universal benefit hobby horse which will be stupendously expensive and unlikely to work. So, once again, the poor will pay up today while the rich will pay up sometime never. The CBI, rubbing their hands together in glee, have taken this opportunity to outline their plans to steal yet more publicly-owned assets by privatising the roads and making us all pay twice for using them. "We can't believe our luck," a CBI spokesman told our reporter. "Not only have we managed to get a Tory government in power through the back door but the recession that they've manufactured gives us the perfect excuse for a crime spree carried out in broad daylight. And no taxes! Oooh, its a dream come true!"
In the wake of their utter failure to revive the economy by bleeding it to death the Tories have, once again, taken up their fall-back position of blaming the victims. Those who want only to live a life of luxury on less money per week than most Tories spend on a good lunch will have 20% of their benefits taken off them after being unemployed for 12 months the right-wing think tank The Free Enterprise Group has proposed. Anyone out of work for more than six months will be forced into unpaid labour. This, the Tories have the sheer brass neck to claim, is part of their measures to "boost economic growth." How such measures will do that is anyone's guess, but the Tories have never allowed inconvenient facts get in the way of a good lie. It is also proposed that the first 12 employees of a company should be allowed to dodge tax by claiming to be self-employed and that transport and emergency service workers should be banned from striking by law. Chris Skidmore, Tory MP for Kingswood who co-wrote the proposals, commented; “Now is the time for the Conservative party to be brave. We need bold thinking and ideas that reflect the fact that we are the party that believes people should have the freedom to make the decisions about the things that affect them.” Cheered by such inane comments Geoffrey Wheatcroft writing in the "Guardian" has suggested that the time is right for the Tories to shake off popularism and embrace their aristocratic instincts. The problem with the Tories, it seems, is that they've forgotten the "redeeming virtues of the old aristocracy." They may have but others have not. These "virtues" included arrogance, selfishness, self-satisfaction and the deluded belief that they were a superior race distinct from the rest of Britain. In fact exactly how the Tories see themselves in any case.
Finding it difficult to hide the essential nastiness, incompetence and economic idiocy of the Tory party, David Cameron has dusted off his non-existant EU "veto" once again in order to please the insane right of his party. "If the other 26 nations of the EU negoatiate a budget that tries to make bankers pay for their own mistakes I will take my bat and ball home," he told the BBC today. "I would fully expect the rest of the EU to surrender immediately and do exactly what I tell them. And even if they don't I can pretend that they have and boast in parliament how I brought Johnnie Foreigner to heel. Fortunately the English Channel - note the name I might add - means that no real news ever comes out of Europe and virtually no one in Britain can either speak or understand the barbaric languages they have there." We asked an EU spokesperson for his reaction to this worrying threat; "Britain? Where's that then? Oh, you mean that little island off the coast of France that no one takes any notice of. We couldn't give a toss as to whether Cameron signs the budget or not - though how a refusal to join the rest of Europe constitutes a veto is beyond me. I suppose Cameron thinks that European bankers and various millionaires will immediately up stakes and move to London. I can't imagine why they'd want to - you can't even get a good glass of wine there. I don't see your typical Italian banker swopping Mama's home made pasta for a tin of Heinz spaghetti or a French millionaire abandoning the grapes of the Loire for England's fizzy plonk do you? Britain's cafe society isn't too attractive when you can only enjoy it sheltering under an umbrella."
While David Cameron is desperately trying to hang onto the centre ground by focusing on such nationwide concerns as railway fares in the home counties and capping council tax so that councillors get the blame for a cut in services, George Osborne is making it absolutely plain that this is a government by the rich for the rich. There will be no wealth tax, no tycoon tax, no mansion tax, no property and no land tax. The entire burden of rescuing the banks and protecting the money of the rich is to fall on the disabled, the unemployed and the low paid. His flimsy excuse for this is that ordinary people will soon find "their more modest home has been labelled a mansion." ‘We want to encourage wealth creators and make Britain a place where people want to invest," he has said, blithly ignoring the fact that the rich are more likely to hoard their wealth than create more and investment is at its lowest level since Victoria sat on the throne. Maintaining that a cut in tax for the rich actually returns more money and that raising it again would hit the poor, Osborne seeks to turn the world on its head and believes that spin will always trump cold, hard facts. And, what is more, he is quite willing to frighten the markets by telling all and sundry that we are only waifer-thin better than Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. So the recession is to continue and the British people are to be betrayed over and over again as the Tories indulge their wet dream under cover of "there's no alternative." The sooner this dismal bunch of cold-hearted treasonous villains are turfed out of office the better.
Pressure is growing on David Cameron to do something - anything - to reverse the steady Tory decline in the polls. "We know we have got to turn it around," one Conservative Party official has been quoted as saying. "We're running out of road." According to the right-wing think tank, Policy Exchange, Cameron has failed to "modernise the party" and to turn around its image as the party of the rich and the privileged. Meanwhile a Com Res survey of 166 business men and women has found that they no longer believe that Britain's economic wounds are healing or that the "green shoots of recovery" can be seen. It is difficult to see what Cameron can actually do, however. The Tory party is the party of the rich and the privileged and it has no choice but to keep following the deeply flawed and ultimately damaging economic policy that its insane ideology dictates. Cameron has made a brave stab at it with his comments about the NHS in the "Daily Mail Online" but, at the end of the day, he can only privatise it for the benefit of his rich pals if he privatises it for the benefit his rich pals. No amount of soothing words can hide the reality of his policy any more than pretending that George Osborne knows what he's doing will improve the country's economic outlook. Cameron's problem is that he's tipped his hand and showed the electorate his cards before getting a majority. Having detoxified his party's image before the election he couldn't stop his party from retoxifying itself once it sniffed the chance to indulge its wildest and most nasty little wet dreams. The Tory party is what it always was - nasty, vicious, two-faced and depressingly stupid.
David Cameron always knew that the NHS was a disaster waiting to happen for the Tories. Before the election, when he still thought he might get a straight majority, he decided that the only way was to lie about it. "Don't worry," he told the electorate, "The NHS is safe in our hands. We will ring-fence the NHS budget." Some people were ready to give him the benefit of the doubt - after all didn't he owe so much to the NHS because of his disabled son? After the election, when a majority had eluded him, he seemed to have no choice but to live up to the lies he'd told to get even that far. Then Andrew Lansley started to whisper in his ear; "Let's go for it anyway while we have the chance. It might well cost us the next election but so what? Think about all the money we and our rich mates can glum out of privatisation." Cameron didn't need any more persuading. From then on it was simply a matter of holding onto power long enough to make good a Tory getaway with the loot. So today Cameron has written an excrutiatingly pompous and misleading account of the crime that he and his henchmen have perpetrated against the nation in the "Daily Mail Online". Gushing about the care his son received from the NHS and the birth of his premature daughter, he then claims that he would do nothing to "jeopardise that" and further claims that was why he "point-blank refused to cut the budget of the NHS." Not only a caring father then, but also an heroic figure standing between us and some of his less understanding colleagues. The truth, of course, is less flattering. Hospital budgets have been cut to the extent that many are facing bancruptcy and some 6,000 nurses have now lost their jobs. As the "Telegraph" has reported today, one in five hospitals will soon have to close wards to make ends meet. But, as Cameron would dearly like us to believe, privatisation will cure this and provide a leaner but even better healthcare service. All very comforting untill you take a close look at what has happened to Hinchingbrook Hospital in the five months since it was privatised and given to Circle. Even against the government's own league table Hinchingbrook has fallen 19 places, while patient satisfaction has dropped by 22% and staff morale is at rock bottom. Cameron's soothing words in the "Mail" stand revealed for what they are - propaganda, a sticking plaster for a policy that is failing the public but was, in any case, only designed to line the pockets of the Tories and their fatcat pals.
MP's on the Public Accounts Committee have issued a report today on the practice of paying public employees through private companies in order for them to avoid tax. This scam, widespread in the Civil Service, has now been revealed to be similarly widespread at the BBC. The Committe is quite right that this is little better than fraud as those in public employment pretend that they are actually working for a private company and their employers turn a blind eye. However, it must also be said that MP's can hardly take the moral high ground as their expenses continue to be nothing more than a sick joke. They might well pay their taxes through PAYE as public employees but what does that matter when they are allowed to claim back the cost of everything from a can of dog food to a £2 million pound London mansion? They have much in common with higher paid civil servants and BBC "personalities" - all are lazy free-loading scroungers and all of them are content to stand aside as the disabled and the unemployed are villified and punished for being nothing more than unlucky.
The bad news about the NHS just kept rolling in today. First the "Mirror" revealed that Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, is pocketing nearly a million pounds a year made up of his government salary and his various "business" interests. This, presumably, is now set to increase as he receives lucrative bribes from the healthcare sharks circling the NHS. Meanwhile Serco, the private company that took over the NHS's biggest pathology laboratories, have proven to be so inept that they made over 400 clinical errors in 2011 alone while London hospitals were forced to lend them taxpayers money to prevent them from going bust. If this further example of privatised profits and nationalised business debt isn't bad enough, then the latest round of contracts being handed out to private healthcare providers is enough to make your hair stand on end. Almost 400 NHS services, worth a quarter of billion pounds, are being literally given away to private companies with a further three quarters of a billion pounds worth of contracts up for grabs next year. Tonight the BBC televised a programme entitled "Britain's Secret Health Tourists" which outlined how the NHS is being defrauded out of millions by criminals and corrupt healthcare professionals. In one instance the practice manager of the Sparkbrook Health Centre in Birmingham was shown pocketing thousands of pounds to register foreign nationals with a doctor and allow them unfettered access to the NHS. This is disturbing enough, but health minister Anna Soubry's reaction was nothing short of disgraceful. Challenged as to what the government will do about this all she could say was that it is "complicated." The smirk on her face said it all. What does such fraud matter when the NHS is about to be privatised anyway and all the money that was once finding its way into the pockets of criminals and corrupt healthcare professionals will soon be finding its way into the pockets of Tory MP's and their "donators"?
The government, given no choice by the courts, has had to come clean and admit that it completely messed up the bidding for the West Coast Mainline franchise. Leaving aside the fact that this fiasco illustrates the utter folly of having a fragmented transport system designed solely to delivert taxpayers money into the hands of private enterprise, it also demonstrates the total incompetence of this government. Not to worry though - the estimtated financial damamges payable to Virgin, around £40 million, will be paid by the taxpayer as well. So that's all right then. By sheer coincidence £40 million is exactly the same amount of taxpayers money that ATOS will pocket in profits for persecuting disabled Scots. The actual cost to the taxpayer of this pogrom will be in the region of £206 million, but even ATOS has overheads - racks, branding irons and whips etc. The Tories, who like things to be nice and tidy, are impressed by the symetry of the equation - Incompetence + Viciousness = £40 million for Virgin + £40 million for ATOS - and are now excitedly working on other branches of Tory higher mathematics. Arrogance + Viciousness + Dismantled Education System = Compliant Plebs. Arrogance + Viciousness + Recession = Plebs Too Hungry To Object. Arrogance + Viciousness - NHS = No One Left Alive To Vote Labour. But here's one they haven't thought of - Incompetence + Viciousness - Fairness = Head On A Pike.
Yesterday, on his keynote address, Ed Miliband rather cheekily invoked the name of Benjamin Disraeli. Today the name of Robert Peel is to be given an airing. What Ed is trying to get at is obvious - one nation with a government governing for all and not simply those it regards as "important." All very laudible but it suffers from more than a few weaknesses. Not least is the problem of "one nation." What was true in the 19th century is no longer true in the 21st. We are not "one nation". The divide between rich and poor has widened since the end of the 19th century and the culture that sustained a national identity is no longer there. Ed is suggesting that the wealth divide can be repaired and he might be right, but what about the divide in culture? That is fractured beyond retrieval and, short of imposing a standard of "Britishness", can never be reserected. That is the weakness of multiculturism - the clue is in the name. So why is Ed looking back to the 19th century for his inspiration? The answer to that is that the Labour party, indeed all the political parties, are the creation of the 19th century and, in many ways, are about as relevant to modern Britain as the 19th century itself. Shoehorning the present day into a distorted image of the past is not the answer. Modern Britain needs new answers not retreads of the old, otherwise we are heading towards the fate of all fractured societies - conflict and, ultimately, civil war.
Having outlined Tory plans to privatise the entire country Francis Maude is now throwing his toys out of the pram because the Civil Service are refusing to go along with it. To any normal human being this would be entirely understandable since it is completely unreasonable to expect people to cooperate in their own destruction. It is even more unreasonable to expect their cooperation when the government is threatening to put 10% of the entire Civil Service on permanent probabtion. It must also be said that the Civil Service is perhaps a little more patriotic than the Tory party who, lets face it, would sell their own granny for a quid. For Maude, however, such defiance is "completely unacceptable." "We can't have the Civil Service protecting the country against us as we crush ordinary people under the wheels of our greed and ambition," he told our reporter. "It remains true, I admit, that we have to retain the ability to blame the Civil Service when our badly thought out and utterly insane policies are revealed as unworkable, but, like all the other plebs in this country, we have a God-given right to expect the Civil Service to do as they're f**king told. I've heard mutterings about this government being arraigned before the European Court of Human Rights but their fears are entirely groundless. The Tory party lawyers have assured me that we have an airtight argument in the Nuremburg defence - I was only following orders. The Civil Service can plead that they were only following our orders and we can plead that God told us to do it."