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

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


"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 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'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 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:

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.

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;

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.

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.