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How long has it been since Labour was deemed the party with no policies and no direction? Now it seems the Conservatives have taken up this undesirable label and applied it to themselves (excuse the choice of words) liberally.
Labour’s stand on energy prices sent the Tories scurrying away to find an answer, after they finally realised that baldly claiming nothing could be done was not going to cut any ice.
When they finally came up with something, their answer was to “Cut the green crap” and reduce the environmental levy on energy firms – a u-turn within a u-turn for the party that once proclaimed to the nation, “Vote Blue – Go Green”.
This week they have also u-turned on cigarette packaging – for a second time within a matter of months. Before the summer, the Conservative vision was to safeguard children from smoking by removing packaging for cigarette packets. Then – after coincidentally hiring fag-company lobbyist Lynton Crosby to run their campaigns for them – they decided that the packaging could stay. Now – in the face of a possibly Lords rebellion – they are reversing their position yet again.
This is the context in which Boy Chancellor George Osborne will make his Autumn Statement – and he has already put himself on a sticky wicket before going in to bat.
Remember David Cameron’s massive error of judgement at the Lord Mayor’s banquet a few weeks ago, when he stood behind a gold-plated lectern that could easily be sold off or melted down to help pay of the interest on his government’s ever-increasing borrowing burden, and said austerity was here to stay?
Gideon was eager to follow in his master’s footsteps, stumping up £10.2 MILLION (including VAT at the 20 per cent level that he imposed on us all in 2010) on new furnishings for his Whitehall HQ, from exclusive designers Panik, Ferrious and Senator. One Treasury insider, according to the Daily Mirror, wondered “why we couldn’t have just bought new furniture from Ikea”.
Good question! It is also one that is especially pertinent after it was revealed that Osborne has been calling for last-minute spending cuts from the Home Office and the departments of Justice, Defence, Business and Work and Pensions (yet again), because he will not be able to fund the £2 billion of giveaways announced during the conference season without them.
These include scrapping a rise in petrol duty of almost 2p per litre, free school meals for pupils aged five-to-seven and rewarding marriage in the tax system.
It seems clear that these measures were all unfunded when they were announced, putting the lie to Conservative claims that they have any kind of plan – and ruining their claim that Osborne’s schoolboy-economist austerity idiocy has done anything to improve the UK economy.
Like him or loathe him, Will Hutton in The Guardian had it right when he wrote: “The recovery is the result of the upward swing of the economic cycle finally asserting itself, aided by policies informed by the opposite of what Osborne purports to believe.”
Hutton went on to state that Osborne decided to “borrow from the Keynesian economic locker… never admitting the scale of the philosophic shift, and then claimed victory”. In other words, Osborne is the biggest hypocrite in Westminster (and that’s a huge achievement, considering the state of them all)!
Result: “The public is misinformed – told that austerity worked and, as importantly, the philosophy behind it works too… Thus the Conservative party can be protected from the awful truth that Thatcherism fails.”
Labour MP Michael Meacher is much more scathing (if such a thing is possible). In a Parliamentary debate, quoted in his blog, he told us: “We do have a recovery of sorts, but one that has been generated in exactly the wrong way. It has been generated by consumer borrowing and an incipient bubble, and it is not — I repeat, not — a real, sustainable recovery.”
In other words, the – as Hutton describes it – “eclectic and spatchcocked Keynesianism” employed by Osborne, while superficially useful in the short-term, will cause immense damage over a longer period because he doesn’t understand it and only used it in desperation.
Both Hutton and Meacher agree that a sustainable recovery can only come from what Meacher describes as “rising investment, increasing productivity, growing wages and healthy exports”, none of which are supported by Osborne’s current behaviour.
And yet, according to the Daily Telegraph, Osborne will fulfil another of this blog’s long-standing prophecies on Thursday by telling us all that “Britain can no longer afford the welfare state”.
From a member of the most profligate snout-in-trough overspenders ever to worm their way into public office and then inflict a harm-the-defenceless agenda on the nation, that will be the biggest lie of all.
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I sometimes wonder why the country can’t buy a couple of hotels in the Westminster area and have MPs live there, no second home, no need for expenses to decorate!
Dave Rowlands said:
I often wonder why they can’t use the same system forced onto JSA claimants (and the upcoming disaster known as UC) and do everything online, virtual meetings would save a fortune in tax payer funded subsidies and would cut down on emissions caused by using their tax funded journeys by road, rail, boat, and air. What’s good for the goose and all that.
I was thinking more of a block of flats that had been scheduled for demolition . . .
Reblogged this on Still Oaks and commented:
Britain can no longer afford the welfare state!
Gideon Oddbourne, king of the house of commons toilet lid sniffing, makes a statement like that, a couple of days after telling the country….. Foreign aid bill to rise by £1BILLION because the economic recovery has been better than expected!!!
Apparently if the economy improves, he has to spend more money on other country’s, while maintaining and increasing the savage cuts, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable in UK society.
“better than expected growth figures mean that when he makes his Autumn Statement on the economy on Thursday, Mr Osborne is facing the prospect of having to increase foreign aid in order to hit the spending threshold.”
That will take our current foreign aid bill to around 12.2 billion pounds!
What would that amount of money have done for the 31 thousand cold related deaths last year, or the ten thousand plus a year dying from this governments austerity measures.
We pay literally with our lives for this totalitarian government so that they can shine their benevolence, on the rest of the world.
Torch and Pitchfork Party anyone?
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Reblogged this on thepositivevoice.
Reblogged this on HUMAN RIGHTS & THE SIEGE OF BRITAIN POLITICAL JOURNAL.
Ha, that’s actually my own pic. I took it on the A38 just outside Plymouth… 😉
Mike Sivier said:
What’s your full name? I’ll do you a picture credit.
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Thanks. It’s Al Reading. I rarely use my name anywhere online these days but I’m sure it’ll be fine on your page. Couldn’t believe it when I saw it, just had to take it as it had me n the missus in fits…