Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Lost his fanboys/fangirls



Some of the most vocal supporters for Nick Clegg during the Lib-Dem election campaign were students. Many lib-dem constituencies have universities, and this was reflectd by Clegg visiting many uni's and having lots of snaps taken of him standing alongside students and holding his famous pledge to oppose any tuition fee rise.

We know now that Clegg was doing nothing more than electioneering. It's shameful that he was so good as to actually fool so many people. I mean, there's a big difference between Blair making promises in  1997 and not fulfilling all of them, and Clegg's down right lying.
Honestly, we've come to expect misery from the tories, but from a party that champions it's progressive attitude and policies, the self-proclaimed saviours of Britain and British politics... it's kind of sad to see how they really weren't any different. Had it been the case that I was in a liberal-tory marginal, I would have voted Lib-dem, which is what Lord Adonis advocated late in the election campaign, and that means it hurts for me too.

The only good thing to arise from this is that students seem to be finding their voice again. Since the shameful lack of action on  the trade union front, students appear to be 'leading the fight' as the guardian puts it.
This is all well and good, if overstated, but students alone isn't enough. Student action needs to increase, and increase by a lot, alongside trade union activity and the population in general.
If we don't act now, then they'll get away with this mutilation of Labour efforts, and I'm not just talking the last 13 years, I'm talking universal benefits, social care, work and pensions. The whole shebang. They're leaving no prisoners.
They're not operating inside of a mandate. The tories didn't achieve a majority. In 1997, Labour's victory was a clear mandate, and the 2001 election was a mandate to 'keep up the good work'. The reduction in seats in 2005 can be  largely attributed to the Iraq war and the handling of the whole thing. The point is that neither Cameron nor Clegg came even close to achieving that kind of mandate, so they're acting on ideology (well, the tories are... God knows what drives the 'Liberal' Democrats... either a misguided sense of 'What's best' or more likely power starved) and that's just wrong. The tories are nothing more than the largest minority.
So you're not a student? Why does that mean you can't protest? If we all looked at things from a selfish perspective society would get nowhere, we'd still have the death penalty, corporal punishment in schools, no NHS...the list goes on. the tuition fee battle has taken on the persona of the entire fight against cuts, we need to recognise this. If they win here, they could very well steam roll their way through opposition to other cuts and hikes. If you oppose any aspect of the ConDem coalition government and it's policies, then you need to back the students. I'll barely be affected by the tuition rise, but that doesn't mean I think everyone after me should have to be paying off their fees till they're fifty.

Back the students.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

No Pasaran

'No Pasaran' has been re-adopted by Anti-Fascists such as UAF
So, I don't usually post such blatant socialist 'propaganda' ...But when I'm blogging about anti-fascism, then I have every right to.
I don't know if any of you saw the videos or news footage of the recent EDL rally in Leicester, but since I live there, I bore witness. I saw their taunting, their rally cries of racist fascism, Nazi-like salutes.... But I also saw communities come together to fight this. Unite Against Fascism, who recently re-envisaged 'No Pasaran' using it in response to the growth of 'English Nationalism' better known as 'Fascists'. People of all religions and colours came together against the EDL en mass to protect themselves as well as places like mosques.
The EDL were violent, and aggressive. Just google it, better yet, search for videos. It really is disgusting what they were like.

With these spending cuts hitting the poorer and working class hardest, to the point of wiping out some local economies and mass unemployment, and the growth in support for nationalism.... I think it's about time Unions gathered, and reorganised to hold strong against a government intent on destroying the working class and a group of (mainly) working class out to institute hatred and fascism. We all need to take a lead out of the international brigades' book and make a bid to combat these Europe wide cuts and Europe wide growth of nationalism - although the EDL has had little success expanding overseas.

No Pasaran.To cuts. To Fascists.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Comprehensive (but totally ignorant) Spending Review

George Osborne announced the Comprehensive Spending Review yesterday, on top of earlier cuts.
So yesterday, at 12:30 on the dot, began the most devastating cuts (when added to the previous announced cuts) in post-war times. Not since the 1930's have cuts of this scale been made, the devastating results of which will become abundantly clear soon enough.

This 'slash and burn' approach is not the way to run a government. I was under the (perhaps false) impression that our government exists to represent the people and facilitate the needs of the nation by providing services and funding to it's people. It's a brief description, yes, but the no matter how you phrase it, the principal stays the same; Our government is supposed to help, and not hinder, the people both collectively AND individually. It's wrong then, in this view, to simply destroy the lives and livelihoods of individuals and families for 'the greater good'. I'd go as far as to say that there is no circumstance where 'the greater good' can be fully justified. Then again, I'm a leftist, so I would say that. In this case though, the greater good is the idea that if unemployment has to exceed 10% for a few years to reduce the deficit, then so be it.
I already made a brief point in my last post about the national debt and the deficit, and I while do agree that some cuts do need to be implemented to reduce the deficit and eventually get rid of it (over a period of time) I do not think this should be at the cost of millions of people's lives.

£7 billion was slashed from welfare, making it a total of £18 billion from welfare since they entered office on the fateful day of the formation of the coalition, the selling of the Liberal soul. That's not even melodrama. When you promise to cut tuition fees, and raise the support of hundreds of thousands of students up and down the country, then go ahead and double it and in some cases triple it, then actually - thatcounts as selling your soul to the Tory devil.
You can't scale back the welfare state to this degree, then cut 490,000 public sector jobs. You cut from one angle or the other. This pincer motion will result in mass unemployment, mass homelessness and mass general unrest up and down the United Kingdom.

Let me spell it out. Public sector workers already took a pay cut in the form of a pay freeze (inflation devaluing their pay means essentially they're taking a cut in real terms) cutting money to pension schemes whilst the pension age rises (probably up to 70 by the time I'm ready to retire, grim future) and then slashing 490,000 public sector workers, means something, yes something, WILL HAPPEN IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR TOO. Think of all the areas in the private sector that rely, in some way or another, on the public sector. If you're cutting 490,000 public sector workers, then maybe 300,000 (or possibly a lot more) will be cut in the private sector. The cuts made to other departments will result in similar knock on effects, like the department which handles housing, the housing budget has been slashed by over 60%... that's a huge cut!Especially in a time where theres already a housing shortage. Now, with that kind of budget cut, less houses will be built (an estimated 300,000). Less houses being built means less construction contracts and less money going to the construction industry. Which will result in job losses, numbered at around 280,000.
Add that to the expected 100,000 job losses as local councils make mass lay-offs due to funding shortages now.
That's now 1.17 million people added to the unemployment pool.

But again, we have to add to those numbers, this time with mass redundancies made in retail, financing and core industries. Supermarkets and fast food stores will cut staff without batting an eye when they notice their profit margins dropping rapidly as people now relying on state benefits (which have been slashed) find themselves scrimping and scraping (and possibly homeless). As a result of further decline in demand, core industries like steel will again find large scale redundancies, leading to yet more unemployed. The finance sector won't get by either, lack of consumer confidence and general lack of money means they'll be bitten by the cuts bug too. As tuition fees sky rocket, there'll be less young people in higher education, so that's an influx of young people jobless and with inadequate qualifications.

Now, I'm certainly no expert, but you tell me - how is this beneficial?

Friday, 15 October 2010

National debt? Deficit? End of Britian as we know it? Grow up.

Borrowing only became 'a problem' during the global banking crisis in 2008.

The deficit and national debt aren't anything to even bat an eye over.
They're not a problem. I'm deadly serious. We don't even need to make cuts, that whole idea is, frankly, bullshit, but as per usual the mainstream tabloid media has sided with the fat cats in Whitehall.

It's not an issues because simply; we can grow our way out of this.
We could switch to the euro as well, that would only help considering how strongly the euro is bouncing back, and if the UK took it up we'd be in an even better situation as that can only serve to strengthen the euro. Arab oil is going to be traded in euro's, not dollars anymore.

We could have just invested further, and we'd grow our way out. After WW2 and the US war loans, we didn't decided to just pay it off in one go did we? No. We paid over time as our economy grew.
When you have a mortgage, you don't pay it off in a single lump sum do you? No. You pay it off over 25 or 30 years.
Same thing applies. We're risking double dip by cutting left, right and centre. There's no justification to cutting university budgets and raising uni fees. They're already removing universal benefits, the most important British advancement since 1945, they're saying this will actually improve things, I think they should cast their minds back to pre-1945 after means tested benefits came in, and the lower-middle class became worse off than the 'poor'.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Comrade Cable



So I've devoted most of the text on this blog to bashing the tory party (and rightly so), but once again I find myself discussing the Liberal Democrats.

Not sure how many of you caught Vince Cable's speech today, but I was listening to it intently and he said some pretty important things giving some pretty powerful impressions. First up is that Cable placed himself to the far left of the lib-dem party, knowingly, and second is that both the lib-dem and tory leadership let him. He addressed the hall of people as 'comrades', obviously a poke of fun at his critics who cite him as being too far to the left, but what was vitally important was his very blatant criticisms of capitalism and his pointing out that currently 'competition' is only speeding up the crushing of new and small businesses, counter to right wing claims. But his solution is to correct this and make a fairer and 'more free' market, laissez faire, still a liberal economy, and hardly what Labourites and lefty lib-dems were hoping to hear, but then again, lib-dems are prepared to accept it as gospel.

I haven't fallen for it. I'd like to trust Vince Cable, heck I think he's a brilliant man and would love to see him as a labour minister, but even if this really are his own words - the fact that Dave and Gideon are happy for a major minister to blurt out policies and intentions (sometimes) counter to the official line is evidence enough that Cable is being used as a lib-dem 'leftist outlet' of sorts. It keeps enough of the further left lib-dems happy to let the con-dem's continue their work.
As ingenious as it is, it's also damaging. Damaging to the progressive liberal agenda and damaging to Labour's chances of converting leftist lib-dems.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/sep/22/vince-cable-no-marxist

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Buyers Remorse



So it's the Liberal Democrat conference today (Sept. 19th), and it'll be Clegg's big task to lighten the mood, because at best, that's all he can do.
Vince Cable can put on a brave face, talk about 'necessary austerity measures', but as ex-Labour, and a man of the progressive centre-left, Cable will be cringing at every cut passed onto him from Dave and Gideon via Clegg. Lib-Dems are starting to speak out, because sure, they wanted to be in government, but they're realising that as junior partners they have less than a quarter of the power, but taking half the blame. The centrist lib-dem supporters will no doubt be praising their party, as they're not being mentioned in papers alongside the words 'failure' and 'a joke' for once. But the far left of their party (yes, apparently it does exist) are not so easily swayed by smooth talk and are beginning to question the policy of 'sell thine morals, for only good can cometh', and as a result have become the target of leadership candidates and brothers, David and Ed Miliband. David put forward his pledge to win thousands of lib-dem voters in the coming months, which may seem ambitious, but the natural trend so far has been a drifting of support, amongst the general public, away from the government, backed up by the influx of new Labour Party members in the aftermath of our election defeat (some 25,000 last I heard... which means maybe a few thousand more by now?) and the polls constantly showing increased support for the Labour party at the expense of the con-dems.

And considering the Labour Party doesn't even have a leader (although Harriet Harmen has done a fine job filling in) I can see things only getting better. I personally endorse Ed Miliband, but I'd be happy with David or Andy Burnham - all three are equally fit to lead. When the winner of the leadership election is announced on the 25th, they'll be quick to make sure any dissidents fall into line as the party unites behind them. We have no choice, if we don't unite and remain that way until the next election, then we might never recover from the defeat.
But if we can hold up our end, then chances are those floating voters will *fingers crossed* turn to Labour as a viable and proper alternative. The lack of satisfaction that many Liberal Democrats (MP's included) are feeling is leaving them with buyers remorse, which can be only to the detriment of the con-dem coalition. But you have to hand it to them, managing to stay inert and useless this long has to be some sort of record?

Friday, 10 September 2010

Great timing....

So I'm going on holiday for a week before I go to uni... I need the break...
And apparently the only internet available is that pay internet where you by the minute or hour or whatever... and to be frank I'm not paying through the teeth to get internet on holiday... so...

I'll be back in a week, so I'll post then, unless I find a starbucks or something with free wi fi. Really sorry...actually, I'm not that sorry, I'll be on holiday after all...some big political story better not break while I'm on holiday!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Back with a vengeance! (minus the vengeance)

So I've had a little break!I didn't give up on the blog, fear not! But I was in Uni mode... and still am... but I'm gonna start posting again! Which is always good...

I'll get to posting a new article maybe tomorrow...as it's a bit late and I haven't any immediate inspiration.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, 7 August 2010

16 Votes - A chance at real change.

Liam's campaign page on the Battlefront II website.
You may or may not have heard of Channel 4's project called 'Battlefront'.
"Battlefront is an online/on-telly Channel 4 project starring a crew of 14-21-year-olds with big ideas, big hearts and big ambitions. With the help of experienced mentors and a dedicated Battlefront team, Battlefronters turn their issues into fully-fledged campaigns and set off on a journey to achieve something incredible."
(Link to video with further info)

 Well one of the young people competing to be picked as the 12th campaigner is Liam Young, from Lincoln in the UK. His campaign is about lowering the voting age in the UK to 16, and he already boasts the support of David and Ed Miliband as well as both Sarah and Gordon Brown.
Although other campaigns have been launched in the past, Liam is truly committed and has a real chance of finally catapulting the debate into the media and governmental limelight to hopefully pass it into legislation. He has also received the backing of several left leaning blogs, this blog included. I would like all readers to please pledge support for his campaign by visiting this link and pressing the 'Vote' button.

Liam's '16 Votes' campaign logo.
He also has a website at http://www.16votes.org.uk/ as well as an introductory video to his campaign if you want more info.

Finally, to help fund his campaign Liam is having wristbands created, please pledge support by voting for his campaign and then buying one of the wrist bands right here.

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The Ongoing Digital Battle

 
 Continued backlash by civil rights campaign groups 38 Degrees and Open Right Group (ORG) among others towards the Condem's pressing ahead without consultation.

For many of us, the Digital Economy Bill wasn't the end. We had problems before it, and we still have problems... Only more... The bill was a victory for privatisation, big business, restriction.. And a defeat for free speech, human rights, common sense and consumers.
In the digital age it's vital that people recognise the importance of our actions and the regulations we impose because they can and will affect the future of Britain's growing digital based economy and the rights of consumers online. Internet access is quickly becoming a human right, some European countries have already declared it in law.

But what I have a problem with today is the blatant violation of consumer rights and trading standards in that most Internet Service Providers (ISP's) are able to get away with murder time and time again. Ofcom and independent watchdog's have received masses of complaints, and rightly so, as ISP's go unchecked in their deceit. Internet users are, sometimes unknowingly, ridden roughshod over by these internet 'moguls'.
File sharing, often portrayed as a terrible thing by conservative media (the kind where you wouldn't be surprised if they branded the internet as a cancer causing travesty to humanity), is used by so many people for such a range of different reasons. Consumer's aren't told about the ISP's right to tell you anything the hell they like whilst doing something totally different, for example your 'unlimited' bandwidth being capped or receiving speeds less than half of what you're paying for.
I think it's vital that we call for stronger and solid regulations on ISP's, removing these voluntary regulations' and put more control in the hands of the users. The government needs to recognise that the internet plays such a huge role in modern Britain, and the people need to recognise that if we don't act now, the government will without consent and and not necessarily in our favour.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

'Austerity Measures', tighten your belt, stiff upper lip, and the rest of the crap we're fed.


Laugh it up D&G, laugh it up... because we won't let it last forever.

Mr. Osborne has his little mind set on this idea that somehow, the people of Britain elected this government to tear it to shreds.

Gideon talks about these 'austerity measures' as though they are a dose of medicine that Britain has to take, only there's no sugar cube to take the edge off the bitterness. Like taking bitter medicine, I feel a lump in my throat as Gideon strips away another layer of Labour progress with each passing day.
As if he hadn't done enough damage already by squeezing the poorest in the poorest regions by revoking funding from organisations set up to spur economic growth outside the capital and it's tributaries, putting our education in jeopardy by making university education extortionately priced and by cutting money from schemes that gave young people a chance in life - Gideon is now ringing out the towel by 'reviewing over 400 tax reliefs', you know, the ones awarded to people who can barely afford to live as it is.

He justifies his cuts with 'foreign markets' and 'global investors' as well as a ridiculous amount of jargon, and excuse the crudeness, but for Christ's sake Gideon you just don't bloody get it. I'm no economist, but when I talk about Britain and it's economy, I'm talking about it's people, families, jobs. I'm sure that collectively the Tory MPs and their 'chums' could donate enough money to stop the rise in VAT or keep funding to the Future Jobs Fund.
But back on track, he needs to stop talking about his friends the bankers and start telling the truth, that he fully plans to squeeze we common people till we're dry. This absurd idea that raising VAT is in our best interests makes me wonder if he's ever even been into a high-street shop or a supermarket. I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that when things get more expensive, things you wouldn't consider every day necessities, be it by a few pence to a few pounds, I stop buying them.

My personal opinion is that he's a small and cowardly little man. But I'd voice these opinions no matter who took this approach. Of course I understand Labour would have made cuts, but not nearly as rapid as this. Being on the receiving end of the cuts, and knowing they're about to hit me personally, it feels vindictive, vengeful and like he's just trying to 'get back at labour', an approach Labour didn't take in '97 - heck they kept and used policies that were beneficial!

Mr. Osborne needs to take a good hard look in the mirror and think, am I doing this for Tories, or am I doing this for the British people? Because if it is the former, then you should not be in a position of power, and it really is as simple as that.


Thoughts and comments greatly appreciated.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

There is no no.

.

I've just come back from work, it's coming up to 4:30am, but I'm inspired, so I'll write this now.

What's been getting to me lately, through the news and through talking to people in general, is the ignorance and arrogance, people's attitudes, towards equality.
To me, equality is an all embracing word. It's all inclusive, and leaves nobody out. But this is a view apparently not generally accepted as I ignorantly once thought. No, instead equality is a word used when convenient, when it suits people most. Family and friends alike express horrifying levels of intolerance towards what I consider fellow human beings which they speak of as little more than a nuisance, a problem that should be solved.

But there is no scale from one to ten for equality. There is no equality for some, but not others. There is no 'ifs' and 'buts' for equality. There is no 'better people' and 'worse people'. And most importantly there is no 'later', 'in time' or 'what can one person do?'.
Equality is one or ten, you're for it or you're against it. Equality is for everyone, there are no exceptions. Equality is definitive, there are no variations. All humans are equal, this is equality. You cannot defer actively seeking equality, instead help in any way you can, because if we do not act now, then the cause is lost.
If you are against the idea that every single person on earth should and must be equal, then you are prejudiced and intolerant. You're against creating a modern society, you're against a fair and equal future, you're against multiculturalism, you're against individualism, human rights and freedoms both collective and independent. It is 'inhuman' to not support equality for all humans.

Do not be disillusioned into thinking that we are living in enlightened times. The country and indeed the world is filled with inequalities.
I demand equality. No more discrimination and intolerance. Complete equality regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, mental ability, income/wealth, background, location, culture, opinions, health or anything else I may have missed out.

This is only a lot to ask if you don't believe that all of mankind are equal, otherwise, you, like me, believe this should be a given.

On a final note - it is best to remember that separate but equal is not equal. Maybe you should read up on the Us supreme court cases Plessy Vs. Ferguson and then Brown Vs The Board of Education, Topeka, Kansas (as well as the appropriate background reading if you wish) which should you give you a good idea of what I mean.

Monday, 12 July 2010

Schools for the poor.

Tories' plan for school on Saturdays is rejected by ATL Teachers Conference.
What is it with the Tories and their lapdogs we once called 'liberal' democrats?

I honestly can't understand why they are determined to further under-privilege lower income families. If it were up to Michael Gove, I'd have gone to school on Saturdays regardless of my abilities and potential. Because my family is low income, I would have had an extra day a week at school. The ignorant and rich among you are thinking "What's wrong with this? It'll give them the extra time they need", so let me spell it out for you - we don't want to go to school on Saturdays. It really is that simple. And anyone who thinks it's a good idea needs to look back and think 'Would I have wanted to give up my Saturdays when I was young to go to school an extra day?'.

On top of that, I shouldn't have to point out that this is income based segregation. No, I'm not being melodramatic. Sending children and young people to school and extra day because they're poor does is segregating them, and it's a step closer towards and ultimate Tory goal - segregating education along Plessy Vs Fergusen lines, with lesser facilities for the poorer. Maybe that last statement was a little melodramatic, but you understand what I'm saying.

I actually have a solution to the issues raised by Gove; "Children who come from homes where parents don't have the resources to provide additional stretch and cultural experiences could benefit from being in school for longer", and my solution is to not abolish Regional Development Agencies (RDA's). I've said it time and again but it's true, think about it.
Gove wants more of the 'stretch and challenge' that had been an area of focus under Labour, and they want more cultural experiences for young people. How many Condems actually know what RDA's do? Because part of their role is providing just that in the form of projects, residentials, festivals and a whole range of other experiences. To name but one of these - CultuRise. RDA funded. A project that aims to give young people more cultural experiences.
It would seem to me, and possibly anyone who opens their eyes, that abolishing the very thing that's achieving your aims is... self defeating, harmful and most certainly not in the public's and particularly young people's best interests.

Sit, stay, roll over, play dead!


It seems that big business has the Condems neatly wrapped up. 
I've already blogged about the despicable privatisation of education by Michael Gove, but now they've taken another step in that horrible direction in the form of Andrew Lansley's 'reforms'.

One would imagine that when the Condems talk about modernising and making things more efficient that their policies would be a little progressive and forward thinking, but no. Lansley has decided to abolish the Food Standards Agency, a watchdog set up in response to the growing concerns of consumer groups and after the BSE (mad cow disease) crisis which occurred, I should add, under Tory watch after they loosened regulations. I'm sure I don't need to go to much into the whole crisis, but some 150 have been killed by vCJD caused from eating infected meat, with a further 5 cases diagnosed every year (average). The FSA was set up to prevent anything like this happening again, and has been vital to strict regulations in regards to food. I don't think that strict regulation being imposed on the food industry is overly active government, and the FSA have battled with the food industry and helped make what we buy in supermarkets healthier, battling fast food companies and the ingredients they use.
To abolish the FSA for protecting consumers, that's everyone who eats (so, everyone) is groundless and can only been denoted to Lansley and the Condems yet again servicing big businesses and industry. Gove and Lansley have already mastered sit and stay, soon they'll learn play dead.
It worries me that this "government" (and I use that word with a pinch of salt) is managing to get away with this. They take advice from the Taxpayers Alliance, a group that has no relevance and certainly does not represent the tax payers in terms of their make up (upper middle class leadership, and can boast only several thousand members.... not exactly much in comparison to the tens of millions of actual taxpayers) and their vehemently conservative outlook, as well as media moguls like Rupert Murdoch - the Ernst Stavro Blofeld of the media. And when a regulatory body such as Ofcom challenge the relationship between the Tories and Murdoch the Tories turn around and squeeze them, threatening their very existence.
There's a big difference between pluralism and elitism.

I'm of the opinion that a government is there to serve the people, not the other way around. And removing protective watchdogs is NOT in the people's best interest. That's not a matter of opinion, it's fact, plain and simple.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Savage Cuts ignorant of regional needs

 To see the map through Tory eyes, ignore the black shaded regions.

Well, quite turbulent times we're in.
The emergency budget was announced yesterday by Gideon, and to be frank it was ignorant, smoke and mirror, damaging and ideological.

It's quickly becoming the rule of thumb that whatever Dave and Gideon tell you, believe the opposite. Apparently raising up to 20% is a fair thing to do....where as the poorest fifth of the population pay about 12% of their disposable income in VAT while the richest fifth pay about 4%.... so raising the VAT means that poorer people are paying more....that sounds fair right? I mean, after all, this is a 'progressive coalition' in Gideon's own words!

It's becoming a cliche on this blog, but.... it's just the same old Tories. Employers favoured over employees - Employers won't be paying the NI rise...however despite their earlier claim, employees will. How clever of them, only mentioning the employer so as not to draw attention to the issue.

But what worries and angers me the most is the utterly absurd claim that the load bearing for cutting the deficit will be spread evenly across the country. In the North-East 1 in 3 work in the public sector. That's a large figure, consistent with Northern Ireland and Wales. These three regions are also going to be the three to suffer most. Northern Ireland accounts for only 2% of the economy, and the North East only 3%. Cameron can encourage business all he wants, but the North East largely relies on the public sector, and is not an attractive place for investment. On top of this by throwing out Regional Development Agencies (in the North East's case - One North East) he is scrapping the very organisations that have been building and developing the private sector.
Consider this in light of the average full-time salaries in 2008:

Top three:

  • London £46,462
  • South East £32,819
  • East £30,318
Bottom three:
  • Wales £25,677
  • North East £25,551
  • Northern Ireland £25,550
We can see the striking difference there. When you tally up the facts; that these three regions are poorer, receive less funding, have a lower household income, suffer much higher rates of social deprivation, much more reliant on the government and public sector amongst many other things - then we can begin to see why the economic output per person is around 25% less than the UK average. Freezing public sector pay is therefore unfairly hitting the regions most dependant on public sector for jobs.


A £500 million 'super-hospital' in the North that had been in planning for 5 years and on the eve of fruition, was scrapped by Gideon, despite life expectancy and health in the north being again lower than the national average, whilst in London and the South, the wealthiest areas, two such hospitals are going ahead.



These emergency budget was aimed at striking down the poorer, and the more deprived regions. It was aimed at bolstering the private sector where the private sector flourished, and cutting the public sector where it's needed most. The budget is ignorant of regional inequality and indeed will exacerbate the problem, whilst pushing for further inequality in the distribution of wealth, tax breaks for the richer, and sly cuts in services and tax hikes for the poorer. All employers will be better off receiving tax breaks...whilst their workers are paying more and receiving less.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

University for the rich, by the rich, of the rich.


Over the course of 13 years, Labour extended the franchise of higher education to everyone.
They improved the quality of teaching and the quality of Primary Schools, Secondary Schools and Colleges. Opening up higher education by increasing the amount of young people entering Sixth Forms and Colleges with new courses whilst improving old ones. But most importantly, Labour opened up universities.
A university degree opens more doors in life than GCSE's or A Levels, in other words, it permeates class boundaries.

David Willetts has expressed today that university fees will rise Considering the average student debt is £22,000 upon leaving university, David Willetts words that students should consider university fees "more as an obligation to pay higher income tax" than a debt, are completely ignorant and misplaced. It is perfectly clear that Condem don't understand students and student struggles, their mummies and daddies paid for their education so I'm sure it must have been a terrible plight for them.

The "Liberal" Democrats come across as little more than weak, whipped liars. They gained votes among students (the student vote is a core section of their vote) on the promise of no tuition fees, so to then say that not only will it take 6 years (which, I should remind you, is longer than the maximum life of the current government) but that they will simply abstain from voting on the issue and let the Tories raise tuition fees shows a complete betrayal of progressive values. The wishy washy liberals strike again.

As a direct result of Labour's actions, more women are attending university than ever before, outnumbering men. University is now seen as the obvious next step for college students, regardless of race, gender, background or household income, as well as now being a viable option with support available for mature students.

What cannot be ignored is the implications of raising tuition fees. Do the Tories really expect people from lower income families and working class backgrounds to foot the bill for university if it's going to be hiked up? The answer - No, they don't.
And that's the point. Raising tuition fees excludes more and more people from university education. In other words, keeping the poor out and the rich in. Labour turned university into a right, and the Tories are turning it back into a privilege, for the privileged. The Tory party are preparing to oversee a return to an income based class system, re-initiating the cycle that stops people young people from low income families from breaking out of low incomes.

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Electoral Reform


Well, after a late surge, Diane Abbott did receive the 33 necessary nominations to be a leader candidate, largely thanks to the John McDonnall dropping out of the leadership race last minute and urging his supporters to back Abbott (as well as several high profile MP's such as Jack Straw and David Miliband pledging their nomination to Abbott).

However, what I want to talk about is electoral reform.
Yes, in 1997 there was this 'promise' that electoral reform was on the agenda. And yes, some felt betrayed by Blair's lack of action on this. But if we keep looking at what he didn't do, we forget what we can and must do now. The Liberal Democrats have little choice, even if they decided they no longer wanted electoral reform as their heads swell uncontrollably because for once they're not a complete joke, many of their long term supporters want electoral reform, and they want it now. Lib-Dems are still the smallest party, in seats and membership, so they wouldn't dare risk betraying their supporters.

But what I fear is that they'll settle for scraps from the Tories, and there's no evidence to suggest they'll put up any real resistance to savage right wing policies.
AV is scraps.
When I say electoral reform, I mean a real proportional system, and I mean reform in the house of Lords, reform to factor in new forms of participation, reform on representation.
I want reform on spending, so that no longer does spending mean that Scotland and Southern/middle England receive too much money while the likes of the North and Wales receive far too little.

This kind of reform is unheard of in the Tory ranks, and spoken only in whisper from a brave Lib Dem in the Condem coalition government.
Labour needs to stand tall and commit to reform, regardless of the past and regardless of other parties positions. I want to see a Labour led left wing alliance in government, and a proportional system will nurture the conditions to allow other parties to grow, and not to Labour's detriment, but to Lib-Dem and Tory detriment, because the left's main weakness is it's multitude of divisions.

And when the UK embraces electoral and governmental reform, we can stand in the EU and UN knowing that we're a true democracy, and not a military superpower like the US (I say this because the only reason they are a superpower is their missiles and the ease with which their president can launch them at any time).

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Cuts , cuts and cuts! ....same old Tories.

Well, we're just far enough in for the Tories to reveal their actual policies, i.e. not the ones David Cameron talked about.

For those of you who didn't take a look at the budget, it's looking grim. Talk of 'efficiency savings' by lowering public sector jobs equates to freezing employment in the north-East, where 1 in 3 are employed in the public sector. The cuts are harsh and in some cases ruthless (Wales, for example, is already massively underfunded). They say we must all tighten our belts, but cutting regulation in schools is not something parents want to see.

They say something that on the surface sounds good, like they want to give more power back to head teachers, but what they actually do is just take power away from the likes of Ofsted and abolish the General Teaching Council - both of whom keep uniformity in education, trying to keep schools to a good standard. Organisations such as these have been hugely important in Labour's turning education around, for the Tories to now come and unpick Labour's 13 years of hard work.... they can claim they have a mandate to provide change of direction, but not to undo 13 years of progress.

And Academies are the Tories way of cutting state schools without technically cutting education..... The Condem government stated recently (via Michael Gove) that they would not be opposed to the idea of businesses who back the academies making a profit on children's education. This is disgustingly absurd!

After what I said in my last post about how government should not be treated like a business, they are now deciding that children's education is something that can be auctioned off to the highest bidder to try and make money from.

When we talk about investing in children, we didn't mean put them on the stock exchange.

I already disapprove of this privatisation of education ideologically and morally. It is simply wrong, and there are no two ways about it.

So to summarise;
  • Condem making cuts sneakily by disguising them -  Same old Tories.
  • Privatising education as a way of saving money at the cost of children - Same old Tories.
  • Lib-dem ministers whipped by Cameron, or just playing the nodding dog. - Same old Libs.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Government just one big business?



What I see as one of the biggest problems of the right wing and the Conservatives is how they treat government.

Their entire approach feels like it's based on the idea of government as just a large business. That the people of the country are mere commodities to be used 'as efficiently as possible'. Natural resources, foreign policy etc. are all treated as if they are part of this business. And for me this is despicable.
Perhaps the reason the left has traditionally been associated with freedoms, civil liberties and rights is that the left treats government as being the result of the people,. and not the other way around. Democracy isn't those at the top letting 'us at the bottom' in on decision making. Democracy is 'us at the bottom' telling those at the top that actually, we'll rule ourselves thanks.

The idea that a thousand job cuts now will save enough money to create two thousand in three years time is to me completely absurd. Cutting is never good, we all know this. But those thousand people have now lost their jobs, cannot support their families and their only way forward would be to accept much lower paid jobs. What's worse is that under the right wing welfare would be scaled back meaning those one thousand wouldn't receive the support to keep their families afloat - so you've just thrown one thousand people into poverty.
Whether it creates two, three or four thousand more jobs I frankly couldn't give a damn.

People always, always, always come first. This should be at the forefront of every ministers mind. The fact that it isn't, particularly under Gideon and Dave, is a travesty to democracy and representation. We need to remember that trade unions aren't there to slow economic growth, they're there to stop the exploitation of workers. Civil rights activists aren't there to cause a nuisance and political correctness to go 'mad', they're there to give a voice to the silenced minority.

I'm not a fan of Karl Marx in the sense that he focuses far too much on economics. I agree capitalism is the last true evil of our days, the root of most worldly problems, but you cannot assume that politics must follow the route carved out in economics. Instead WE can control the economy; through politics.

This may have been a confusing post, but I'm just trying to say that we have to remember that government is not a business. People are just that, people. They're not a commodity, and can't be treated as such. Government isn't above the people, it is the hand of the people.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Labour Leadership



I have to say, I was favouring Jon Cruddas myself. He seemed like just the right chap to push us leftwards, put a small distance between Labour and Blair, as well as being a candidate who actually had a chance of winning.
But Cruddas announced he isn't going to be standing for leadership and David Miliband has been courting Cruddas' support, which isn't a bad move - Cruddas would have commanded the support of the Trade Unions, and seeing as how they represent 33% of the vote, Davey Miliband would do well to obtain the Trade Union vote.

Out of the main leadership candidates (so I'd say that's frontbenchers like both Milibands and Ed Balls), I find myself favouring David Miliband. I couldn't bring myself to throw my support behind Ed Balls, and of the Milibands, David just seems to be the stronger and more experienced candidate - once Blair's protégé.
And again David stands out on electability. As we've seen from the superficial voters, it matters what you look like, and it matters what front you project, which makes Miliband a viable candidate not just to Labour, but to middle England and the floating voters.

But then Diane Abbott announces her bid for leadership. And you think to yourself  "maybe...maybe she can". We dare to think that maybe Abbott can bring to the Labour leadership exactly what it needs, and maybe she could be that breath of fresh air - Newer Labour? New Older Labour?  Who knows.
But I'm not going to be throwing her a parade just yet. She's up against a lot, and it's not going to be easy.

However, this blog backs Abbot.

Friday, 21 May 2010

http://www.facebook.com/note.php?note_id=395928737366

For those of you with facebook, I strongly suggest giving that a read. It's a note I wrote in response to this rumour The Sun tabloid has been spreading about police banning the wearing of England football shirts and flags.

It doesn't relate to the Labour Party, and is decisively my own aggressive response - therefore I will not be posting its contents on my blog, however should you wish to read it, the link is above.

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Con-demned

"Labour has done nothing for this country, so I support the Con-Dem coalition".

Labour has done so much for this country it's unreal.
I wasn't alive under Thatcher, and only young under Major, but I know perfectly well the state the country was in.

The NHS for example - you could expect to wait over a year for diagnosis, even longer for treatment. Survival rates were horrendous, people literally being treated in hallways.
Now, Labour reformed all of that, 2 week cancer guarantee ring any bells? Cervical cancer campaign? Prostate caner treatment campaign? Testicular Cancer campaign?  Did the massive cancer campaign movement mean nothing? As Cancer awareness grew thanks to government action, so to did cancer survival rates which sky rocketed.
Teenage pregnancies are down. Immigration down. Knife crime down. Down from under Major and Thatchers governments.

Labour bolstered the welfare system. Introduced a minimum wage so huge swathes of people could begin living above the poverty line, as well as boosting state pension so that unlike under the tories, the elderly weren't living in poverty if they didn't have a private pension. Labour introduced affirmative action schemes to stop minority children slipping through the net. They brought in the New Deal that guarantees jobs for 18-24 year olds. GUARANTEES.
More people going to university from more backgrounds than ever before. And now, for the first time, most of those are women.
Labour introduced the  Human Rights Act, so that we actually had the basic human rights like the rest of the developed world. Labour brought peace in Ireland, ending hundreds of years of conflict, when the tories aggravated the situation and induced some of the most horrendous massacres in Irish history.
Labour gave Scotland, Wales and northern Ireland their own parliaments, so that England didn't just tell masses of people to simply take their medicine.
Labour supported families like never before, with schemes such as SureStart which give children a helping hand from day 1.
Labour gave us almost 10 years of unprecedented economic prosperity.

Labour created a golden age of British History. And for now, it's over.
Please, never tell me Labour did nothing.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Well....this is it.

So how long are we giving it? 4 months? 5? An optimistic 6 months?

There will be another election before the end of the year, I think most of us are agreed on that, I know a lot of Labour members expressed this in the immediate aftermath of our election defeat.
From what I've seen, people are actually beginning to realise the merits of Brown as both a Chancellor and a PM, which is undoubtedly the same opinion history will favour.

However what puzzles me most is that the Liberal Democrats appear to be basically handing the reigns over to Cameron....giving his party free votes? What Planet are you on Clegg? You need to keep them rigidly in line with what you say - what did you think party whips were for? It's things like this that remind me why I don't, and never will, vote Liberal Democrat. Some of you might say that the primary role of an MP is to represent their constituency....it's not, we all know this. Their primary role is toeing the party line, not that this is a bad thing, it makes a stronger and more effective government...mind you, the entire system was designed to create strong and effective government...look where we are now...
Also, Cameron keeps saying 'The British public have spoken, they clearly want a Tory government" (well, not those words exactly...I'm paraphrasing) Although some 10.7 million people did vote Tory, another 15.4 million voted Lib Dem and Labour. To me that means the country didn't "clearly" want a slide to the right. Silly memory loss voters....


But anyway, when Cameron decides to call another election, I actually fear for Labour.
Although the hardcore anti-EU Tories will feel disillusioned, and some will vote UKIP, and quite a lot of Liberal Democrats confused as to how their vote to keep the Tories out actually put them in will vote Labour, our campaign will have to be largely grass roots. Grass roots is all well and good...to an extent....but we simply can't match Ashcroft's millions... The Unions won't be able to fund another election...and Cameron is counting on it. Now, my sources tell me Labour membership has actually spiked since the Con-dem alliance came to light, with membership jumping an amazing 1,000 in a single day.

It's members money, yours and mine, that will pay for a real government. a Labour government. By donating to the party, we can secure another 5 years of Labour, another 5 years of support for families, another 5 years of welfare, another 5 years of stability, another 5 years of a real government working hard for real people.

Let's build the next election, pound by pound. Don't doubt this power, Obama raised over 60 million pounds doing this. I'm not expecting that figure, but we can raise millions if we try.

Friday, 7 May 2010

They think it's all over...

Well! What can I say? Quite an eventful 24 hours.

I for one stayed awake until around 7am before retiring for a couple of hours sleep.
It started much better than expected, with neither the tories or the lib dems gaining that early boost they expected. I'm not going to give you a narrative of the night's proceedings, I'm hoping you already know.
And all this Tory talk of the 'moral right' of the conservatives to form a government is complete and utter crap. You don't work on what you think is morally right, you go by what the law says - and our constitution is very clear, that the incumbent PM is given the first chance to form a government. There's no beating around the bush, it's that simple.

Anyway, a run down of what happens next:

David Cameron tries to get a majority. 
  • Allying with the Democratic Unionist Party - gives Cameron 313 seats
  • Allying with the Liberal Democrats (coalition unlikely) - gives Cameron 362 seats


Gordon Brown tries to form a government. Only way this can happen is...
  • Form a Coalition with the Liberal Democrats - gives Brown 315 seats
  • He will still require the support of smaller parties:
          - Social Democratic & Labour Party - gives Brown 318 seats (likely)
          - + Green Party - gives Brown 319 seats (likely)
          - + Alliance Party - gives Brown 320 seats (quite likely)
          - + Plaid Cymru - gives Brown 323 seats (unlikely but possible)
          - (and or) Scottish National Party - gives Brown 329 / 326 seats (unlikely but possible)



So don't be goaded into thinking it's all over. There's still Brown, There's still hope.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Today this could be....

I cast my vote today, along with people across Britain.
But as I did so, I felt the gut wrenching feeling that tomorrow, I could open my eyes to a Tory government.

I'd prefer the role of optimist, and I am hoping beyond any hope that the slip in Liberal Democrat vote recorded in this morning's polls will push onto Labour the votes it needs.
It destroys me inside the sheer ignorance of some voters. They aren't like the superficial voters I wrote about in my last post, no. These voters are what I call 'memory loss voters'.

I call them this because they appear to have forgotten the 18 years of Tory government that proceeded Blair's '97 win. These voters are the worst kind, they were there, they grew up under that government, but have some how magically forgotten what actually happened.
For those who haven't cottoned on to what I mean, I'm talking about things like:

Ireland
It was already in a terrible state when Thatcher took power, but at least attempts were being made by the last Labour government to make peace in Ireland.
That woman stood by and watched as the conflict in Ireland reached it's worse. She stood by as men, women and children were shot down in the street not by the IRA, but by the soldiers she sent over to stop that happening. She sent over veteran soldiers to Ireland and expected somehow these killers would grow a heart and be able to oversee peace talks. No. Wrong.
She refused to even talk to the groups that represented the Irish people, the IRA and Sinn Fein for example. She declared them terrorists and refused to acknowledge that Irish Catholics perhaps had no other choice seeing as how they were completely persecuted.

Cameron - has already stirred up things in Ireland by making a deal extreme protestant groups in Ireland (the kind that sat and watched as it's supporters attacked and killed catholic families) such as the DUP.
Cameron could oversee an end to 13 years of peace in Ireland under Labour, and turn it back into terrorism and bombings.

Mining
Thatcher treated people as commodities. She treated government like a business.
This meant that if she had to cut 1,000 jobs today in order to create 2,000 in 2 years time - she would. And she did. Except she did this on a much larger scale. Try 3 million people. Try North-East England (reliant on coal mining) being ripped apart, as almost everyone lost their jobs, living in poverty.
Of course under Labour we have a strong welfare system to support such a massive job loss...Thatcher hated the welfare system. If you didn't manage to make yourself rich with no help, then you didn't deserve to be given any money. Industry was torn apart, think about all the shipyards and how vital they were to some areas (again, particularly the North-East).

Cameron - has already revealed the biggest cuts in spending will come in the North-East. Suprise suprise.

Memory loss voters cannot possibly fathom what we could be in for.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Beauty Contest

When browsing through news websites I came across this; http://image.guardian.co.uk/sys-files/Guardian/documents/2010/05/01/constituencymarginality.pdf

It's pure gold!

Look at the sets of polls in the bottom right, it asks the participants who they think understands world problems more, then who would be best in a crisis and finally who they believe is more capable.
On each question, Gordon Brown comes out top. An indicator, you would think, of a clear Labour win, because one would assume that in a developed and established western democracy people would actually care about their own futures and that of their family and friends.
But when asked who they 'like more' Gordon loses dramatically to Clegg.

For me, this is concrete evidence of how completely, and utterly ridiculous these 'superficial voters' are. That's what I'm going to call them. After the election, when we find out how many voted, I'll take the average turnout for the general election from the past fifty years and couple it with the anticipated drop in turnout this year (before the leaders debate) and then whatever the percentage above that (it will undoubtedly correlate with the increase in lib-dem votes) I will minus and those voters will hence forth be known as 'Superficial Voters'.

And this, readers, is why sometimes, I am ashamed of being British.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Let's remind ourselves why we fight the good fight

May I remind you all that we had 18 years of a Tory government STEALING money, STEALING people's livelihoods, STEALING rural and northern communities by pushing them into poverty.

The only way to help Britain was to spend spend spend. The money wasn't there to fix everything, because they'd done so much damage. So they spent more. We went into debt because the country needed every penny to make things work again.
People complain about Brown selling our gold, but he was trying to HELP get rid of the debt - they try and do the right thing and people kick off, the hypocrites.

In 18 years they built no new schools, no new hospitals. They let the country shrivel up and die - which is OK as long as their banker buddies are making a shit load isn't it?

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Liberal-Labourcrats

So, as we've seen the Lib-Dem's have received a massive boost in support and critical acclaim from even across seas. Indeed, even yours truly finds himself enticed by their opposition to the Digital Economy Bill and the pledge on reform in the House of Lords. But I'm repelled by their complete lack of policy cohesion and a manifesto of numbers that can't add up.

But what's interesting is that Labour are doing exactly what they need to do: kissing Liberal Democrat arse.
Now of course I want Labour to win the coming election, but like so many I recognise the importance of Labour forming a government rather than winning the election. We know that the more likely scenario is a a hung parliament, and both the Tories as well as Labour are making their alliances with much smaller parties and independents. Clegg's Liberal Democrats were already set to be in a powerful position, but with the first leader debate we see a large swing his way, with many of those first time voters that Cameron has been so keen capture realising that actually, cutting public services and overall spending to the degree the Tories propose isn't something that's in everyone's best interest.
That's right, Nick Clegg has snapped 'the mob' out of it's infatuation with a perfect Tory Britain where
everything is just gosh darn hunky dory. So I applaud him.
But back to the point. Alongside Gordon Brown courting Tory favour last night, Lord Adonis (the transport secretary and ex-liberal democrat) announced he would not tell voters whether to back Labour in Lib Dem-Tory marginals. Some might say it's a little bit like the left-wing consensus in the 1997 election where Liberal Democrats voted Labour purely to unhinge the Tory government. Adonis even went as far as to continually emphasise similarities on key issues such as democratic reform (ie. electoral reform, power of recall and parliamentary reform) as well as tax and how to treat the economy to ensure a swift and safe recovery. During the leaders debate the similarities between Liberal Democrats and Labour was again very astounding.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Leaders Debate Numero Uno!


Well.
I think it's clear that Clegg came out on top.

But this isn't a terrible thing. Let's face it, there's going to a be a hung parliament - and that leaves us with 2 options; another election where almost nobody votes Lib-Dem and we see a clear winner Tory or Labour, OR a coalition government (so that's most likely Lib-Lab).
It felt like Brown was courting the Liberal Democrats from the start. I'm surprised there was no cheesy chat up line in his opening statement 'So Clegg, what's a liberal like you doing in a capitalist market economy like this?' .... *tumble weed*
I honestly felt Brown did his best, and came out second. As the incumbent PM he had the most to lose from the debate and the hardest point to argue, and he laid down down the core principles of the campaign - but more importantly, let's not forget that Gordon is very happy about the Tories campaign posters as they showed him smiling, doing more than any editor had done so he's very pleased the Conservatives and even more with Lord Ashcroft for buying it.
Cameron was weak I thought. He seemed very keen on electioneering, he time and time again repeated himself word for word in responses. People apparently supported Cameron's quota system drastically? I honestly couldn't believe this...mostly because it's the third most ridiculous thing the Tories have said (coming behind 'Broken Britain' and the married couples issue).
Although to 'the mob' (ie. the part of the general public that hears one thing, and interprets it as something else) seemed to think that Mr. Brown did terrible (though I agree Nick Clegg came out on top), anyone with eyes can see he flirted his Scottish arse off. Brown knows that what we're facing is a hung parliament, and he knows he can stay PM if he makes a joint Labour-Liberal Democrat cabinet. Nick pushed back a few advances... but come on, after the mediator handed over the issue of reform over to him Nick blushed, and looked a little caught off guard by such advances.

But this has been massively written about, dozens of bloggers have had a field day dissecting each statement, so I saw little point in analysing each of the question answers here on my blog ( I kind of did that as it went along...although this mostly consisted of 'I'd like you to back up that statement Cameron!' or 'Oh suuure Nick, you say that but really? REALLY?!' As I sometimes get over involved in TV debates...I'm terrible at watching Question Time, I always end up turning on the audience more than anything).

But my conclusion is that polls may give Clegg a temporary boost, but I highly doubt that it will affect to actual polls as much as the panels and 'the mob' seemed to indicate.
I had a half hour long talk with a 'hardcore' floating voter, the minority of the population who a) give a toss and b) know anything of substance about politics. Those kinds of voters are too few and far between though for major politicians to care about - so they fight for the marginals.

We need electoral reform yes? We need a political overhaul yes? Then you can't go Tory, Cameron threw the old "you've had 13 years!" at Brown, but just remember, the Tories had a lot longer, opposed it when Labour goes for it and made no indication they'll support it should they win.
The Liberal Democrats are flawed, it's in their very base code to not actually work... they can't make things add up and they fail to have a single cohesive party, saying one thing on a national level and then another on a local level.
Labour is not just your only real choice, it's also the right choice.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Caught red (or should i say blue) handed.


So the Conservatives have given us their manifesto.
I'm not going to give you a full commentary and examination, as I promise you countless others have at almost every major newspaper (the sun, mirror and daily mail don't count as newspapers - they're what we call b*ll sh*t) in the country.
Now, what I am going to do is do a very very quick bit on some of their statistics.

You know an election has started when politicians produce huge amounts of statistics. It seems David Cameron is no exception.
As you can see in this graph, it appears Labour have failed on their promise to recycle more and we're the laughing stock of Europe with our poor recycling statistics. However they left out a little bit of information...
That there is the original document the Tory party quoted from. They decided that composting doesn't count as recycling, however it is recognised defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).

On top of this, the conservatives also failed to mention their statistics were old statistics. Compared to the new official ones we actually measure up quite well. Total waste cut, waste recycled increased, and waste per head decreased. We're constantly improving when the tories would paint the picture we're failing.
And let's not forget that world wide we measure up very well.

If they're prepared to take things drastically out of context in their manifesto - how can we expect any better if they form a government?

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Same old song and dance

First I need to apologise for having failed to update my blog in almost a week, but truth be told there wasn't that much I could write about that hadn't already been over written about...
However I felt it was time to look at some of the key aspects of Cameron's campaign.

Cameron calls himself a "progressive'', Mr Compassionate Conservative....like George Bush....But the problem is, that by definition a conservative cannot be a progressive. Cameron claims the title "progressive" because he's a master of PR, he knows whenever one party stays in power for an extended amount of time, that it' easy to offer people the one, massively broad concept of 'change'.
Anyone can offer it, but on it's own it's nothing more than a promise of 'anything that you don't already have'.

Cameron's only real claim to being a "progressive" is progressing Thatcher's ideals. On the surface he's a family guy, rides a bike to be kind to the environment, wants equality.
In reality he wants to;
  • Cut SureStart which has helped nearly 500,000 children out of poverty.
  • The bulk of his party don't even acknowledge that humans are causing climate change. 
  • His shadow Home Secretary opposed protection for gay people.

On top of this, how is a return to the failed economic policies of the 1980's progress? How is sink or swim progress? How is cutting public services, cutting benefits and letting unemployment run rampant progress?

He's already pledged to cut 40,000 public services jobs...can anyone say closure of the mines?
Cameron has time and time again opposed the education reforms which have recently (as seen in improved GCSE grades on average) come into fruition. And his opposition to sex education in schools, which was introduced to help combat Cameron's proclaimed 'Broken Britain', seems self defeating in my eyes.


And since it's in the news: it's worth mentioning that the 68 companies backing the Tories over National Insurance (Labour preferring a rise, Tory party opposing it) are often referred to as being over a million employees opposing the rise. It's funny, because I was under the impression that all 68 were lead from the top, and were not worker co-operatives...so how can they claim they represent the views of their employees? I thought that was the job of trade unions and the like...the majority of which throw their support behind the Labour Party and not the Conservatives...funny how things work out isn't it?

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Singleton Tax



So one of the policies Cameron has been keen to implement is his tax on single people.

Now of course, Cameron doesn't phrase it that way, he says it's a tax cut for married couples (of course the Tories don't recognise same sex marriage).
On the surface it may look like the Tories are trying to hold together traditional family values, a nuclear family, but scratch beneath the surface and yet again we see what the effects of such a tax cut would be; giving money to those already better off.

A married couple is already better off, they have two household incomes.
Married couples account for less than 50 percent of the UK population
Most of those getting married are middle and upper classes, as even ex-Tory leader Ian Duncan Smith pointed out.

And what about those who are single through no fault of their own? 
The 3.3 million widowers
The divorcees from violent marriages
What about those people?

The Tories are yet again favouring the already well off.

And do they really think that offering a tax cut will suddenly solve the constant drops in those getting married? All this would encourage is rash and ill thought out marriages for financial benefit - and the end result of that? Divorce.
Another question - what gives any government the right to say that married people are somehow more deserving of tax cuts and single people not? I wonder how many key people, local heroes and community leaders are single. I really can't see the angle they are coming from.

You'll probably be saying ''Well it's a better environment for children, so it's fair to endorse it''. Well then...
Children born and raised within wedlock are NOT guaranteed to have some amazing upbringing. It's a myth.
Children can be brought up within a nuclear style family, but then prove to be unruly, violent and worse.
Having two parents bringing up a child does not mean that child will be ''good''.

The fact that less and less people are deciding to get married at all (falling by between 100,000 and 150,000 each year in recent years since its peak in 1972 ) the Tories show just how outdated they are. Couple this with the flourishing civil partnerships (that's the gay 'equivalent' of the marriage they're not allowed) the Toy party really needs to look at what's right in front of them.

Overly-favour married couples - Marriage swiftly declining
They oppose gay marriage - Partnerships flourishing

When will the Tories make an accurate and up-to-date call?

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Brokeded Britain

So we keep hearing about this ''Broken Britain''.
And by keep hearing, I mean repeated over and over by Tory 'Strategists' (I use the term loosely, after all running back to Saatchi - a strategy? Pff...) of course.

So yes, apparently we're broken. When you see a old woman trying to cross the road during rush hour and the traffic doesn't let up - it's because society is broken.
When passers by don't leap heroically onto the road to help the woman cross - it's because our sense of morality has degraded.
When you skip that red light, because you're in a rush and nobody is crossing - it's because the social impact of having 'hand-outs' has conditioned you into believing that you can do what you want when you want without consequences.

But fear not! David Cameron has a plan!
That's right! That old woman you didn't help across the street? She's gonna bust your ass.
No, but in all seriousness - have you seen the wording used? 'Dormant bank and building society accounts', who makes that decision? 'Payment-by-Results', again, who makes the call? the entire article is laden with phrases that are open to interpretation.

I'd like to challenge whether or not Britain is in fact 'broken'. What evidence do the Tories actually have?
Teenage pregnancies and knife crime are two Tory favourites;
  • Teenage Pregnancies have gone down and down since the 1970's, being almost half they were then.
  • Knife crime is constantly lowering, lower now than under previous Tory governments.
So yeah, I guess constantly improving must be a sign we're broken....
You go the now famous Glasgow Easterhouse estate, and ask the residence if things are getting worse. Oh wait, people already have; the money being poured into these areas under Labour has benefited so many, creating opportunities such as jobs and better education. A new school has been built in the area alongside a large shopping complex opening up jobs, which combined with education has led to aspirations not just to work there, but to one day manage it.

Before you buy Tory shares, why not actually look at them (No, not the airbrushed for change, I mean their "policies") Which Labour have time and time again exposed as weak and in some cases, plain wrong.

Ok, so multiple people have said they doubted my figures. In fact my figures are deadly accurate backed up by government statistics and in clear view of the public here
Got to the title 'Trends in teenage pregnancy' and you'll see the numbers.

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Daffyd Cameron you bloody fool.....


Ok, so Labour have finally captured the spirit of the 2010 election.

Seeing the online riptide of reversing tory propaganda, the Labour party have made this part of their campaign.
I don't know if you've seen the latest set of Tory posters; They have a huge picture of Gordon Brown then slogans like 'I let 80,000 criminals out early, vote for me'. A sarcastic approach there by M&C Saatchi. Very funny :|

But after seeing MyDavidCameron.com Labour has cottoned on and are giving the Tory party a taste of their own medicine.
But don't think Labour have simply dropped to the Tory level, there is method to their madness! it's part of a promotional grass roots campaign, taking a leaf from MyDavidCameron.com's book.
See here: http://www.labour.org.uk/create-labours-next-campaign (under the title 'The Brief')
Its a good move for the Brown campaign. Making a mockery of the limping Tory campaign.


I picked out my favourite from MyDavidCameron.com in light of the Chancellor debates on channel 4 the other night: Gideon
If you saw it, you'll understand what i mean.

P.S Definitely worth taking a look at this page M&C Saatchi: stuck in a time warp

My attempt at mocking the Tories: Tory Change

Sunday, 28 March 2010

George Osborne, you are the weakest link; Goodbye.

George Osborne is the 'weakest link' in Tory team
As usual, read the article then read my commentary.

I think Labour has done precisely the right thing. If Gordon Brown and his cabinet are pulled into mudslinging, name calling, and poster campaigns with blown up images of Cameron in black and white with dark and dismal foretelling - then they would be fighting a losing battle.

They are choosing to trust the electorate (a very risqué move) and are striking at Tory policies, or rather lack of, to expose them for the phonies they are.
If they can show the electorate that the only real Tory promises are the same ones made 10,20,30,40 and 50 years ago. Their pledge to undermine worker, and lets not forget human, rights (we wouldn't want to forget the lack of human rights in the UK before Blair's labour, and of course Bobby Sands), their pledge to wipe out nationalised industry and the public sector, their pledge to eliminate the safety nets for poorer families and the whole welfare system.

By striking there, Brown shows not only his own integrity and leadership, but more importantly exposes Cameron as little more than a talking puppet.

Thanks for reading, this has been a public service announcement from your local neighbourhood Tory Basher.

CLP Annual Dinner

Ok, so I attended the annual constituent labour party dinner on Friday for my constituency.

I'd never been before so I wasn't sure what exactly to expect. But I realised quite quickly that it's purpose was about boosting morale, raising confidence and solidifying members faith in the party.

Our guest speaker was the Secretary of Work and Pensions, Yvette Cooper, and i was surprised at how ell she spoke. Her speech was funny, engaging and got the key points across without dragging the tone down too much.
I have to say it did reinvigorate me and make me feel more wanting to help the party out.

So yes, thought I'd say that I did enjoy the evening (and the grub was lovely, beef dinner followed by Orange and Lemon Gateau, and a good dinner is always a big plus).

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Tory economy.

George Osborne 2010 Conservative Budget

It was the second short phrase that grabbed my attention immediately:
"The shadow chancellor promised that voters would learn more details about the Conservatives' own plans for the economy before the election."

George Osborne is saying that the Tories may finally reveal some of their elusive policies, this time regarding the economy.
You would have thought that by now, less than 2 months before the election, that the Tories would have actually told someone what their plans are....I mean, I'm beginning to doubt whether even members of their own party know what Conservative policies are.

Without the airbrushing and the "I'm rolling my sleeves up see - I'm one of you!" look, Cameron literally has nothing to offer people of the UK according to his own election strategy.
To top it all off, M&C Saatchi (the company behind the failed 1997 Tory election) are back in the picture for the first time since '97.

If (and only if) they get in, then we will see the real Conservatives - the resurrected Thatcher.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

He stole it!!

"Tory leader warned that Labour had run out of money and run out of ideas, as it copied Conservative policies." (David Cameron Budget Premier League )

Really? Has it really gotten to this? 'He copied me!! That was my idea!!'

Here's me sat thinking that government is supposed to deliver policies that are popular with the electorate...
If only I'd known that it was about keeping David Cameron from getting in a huff!

:|

Seriously, when the Tories start mudslinging (and to be honest, i wouldn't put it past them to fire spit pellets in parliament) you know they're desperate.

'I've never voted Tory before....'

Before you do, or protest and vote Lib Dem, consider this:

Under Tory governments the NHS fell into dire disrepair.

- Waiting lists for diagnosis of illnesses were months long.
- Waiting lists for scans such as MRI were up to a year long.
- Waiting lists for treatment left a 5% chance of people dying whilst waiting, with the lists spanning months for patients requiring important surgery such as a triple bypass.

Under New Labour:

- ALL waiting lists reduced to MERE TENS, most waiting lists being around 20 patients.
- Cheaper as people no longer need to pay 10,000 quid to go private to receive care.
- If someone needs immediate medical attention such as important surgery, this can happen in only a few days.
- Survival rates destroying those under Tories.


Why would any sane person vote Tory? Do you WANT to return to the terrors of Thatcher or the decay of Major?

Britain needs to look forwards, into the future. We don't need David Cameron pulling his sleeves up, slicking his hair back and telling us it's all gonna work itself out.

I started with a Tory campaign quote, and now i'll finish it;
'I've never voted Tory before, and i never will'

You never realise how good you have it until you've lost it. Don't make that mistake.



There's a lot of reasons to vote labour. But i'm not gonna write them all out..would take waaaay too long. So be content that i've given you a push to find out yourselves!

And this is why....

First, read the article.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/feb/22/icm-poll-hung-parliament-tories-labour?showallcomments=true#end-of-comments


Then read this copy&pasted comment from a registered member of the guardian:

GuardianGoon
22 Feb 2010, 8:57PM

As a formerly floating voter, I think what turned me from the Tories was their leaderships' total misrepresentation of the causes of the current recession. Instead of blaming irresponsible lenders and borrowers, casino banking and under-regulated financial markets they chose to blame public spending and calling quite vigorously for cuts in public services.

Now, there may indeed be a need to cut public spending, but public spending had nothing to do with the causes of the recession. The public deficit is a symptom, not the disease. On reform of the financial sector they have shown a lack of policy, and what policy there is has been vague and in some cases desperate (see the 'people's bonus' article.)

And what concerns me most at present is the economy, I am trying to progress in my career and am finding it difficult due to the lack of jobs at present. I don't believe that the Conservative party has a credible program for reforming a system which is ruining our economy, namely the de-regulated financial markets, and their deflection of blame for the crisis onto public spending, combined with their extensive connections to those whose dodgy practices caused the reccession makes me believe that they aren't serious about getting the economy back on it's feet and instead are using the crisis as a means to carry out an ideologically driven transfer of wealth from the state to the private sector.

_________________________________________________________________

He hits the nail on the head.

Blog News

November 2nd
Yup, still going, and hopefully November will be a return to regular blogging as I settle back into things.
As always, feel free to comment, I WILL respond.
________

Thanks, Tom.