Apr 06

This we’ll make work pay is in one sense an honourable aim. However in reality it is a specious attempt at mere electioneering. Even someone as vain as Osborne or as shallow as Alexander would know that the methods of achieving this are self defeating.

  1. Cut Benefits: These are low and will just put more pressure on extended families and Social Services.
  2. Subsidising Wages or forcing people to work: This is just a further encouragement to the zombie economy as work for standing around in a shop is valued as taking up a profession or joining a new vibrant company.
  3. These so called new jobs add nothing to the country’s GDP so far – more people employed and even with QE etc it’s still flatlining.
  4. Forcing people into work lowers wages of those at the bottom – why should I employ you when the state will give me free workers? This again lowers demand and tax return to no benefit to GDP.
  5. Putting more and more people in unproductive low paid jobs is hardly going to fund growth or debt repayment the UK needs.
  6. Essentially it’s become an ‘end around’ the minimum wage with people supplied to business for nothing at a cost to the rest of us working for pennies an hour.

It seems merely a cynical ploy for votes from a deviant stupid self important middle class fed on stories of scroungers and benefit fraudsters. Who’d be stupid enough to fall for that? All 3 main parties support an inherently bullying model for the unemployed, low paid and unfortunate which says little for them and the idiots who will vote for any of them. They scream morality but have no value system. They are happy to condemn millions of people and hide behind rhetoric.

Rhetoric drives policy in the UK no matter how much misery it causes.

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Jan 04

Ed Balls did nothing to improve my view of him or Labour as more than clever idiots who come up with slogans and then policy based on matching a nice sounding slogan. Of course every slogan must have the word Tough in it to appeal to morons.

Ed Balls has come up with “Tough but Fair” Work and Welfare Reform. The policies to come later. The policy they can let us know is essentially Tory Workfare with minimum wage. No details on how this will not undermine wages at the bottom, is not paid slavery, subsidises bad employers or even how it will work. Most especially there is no clear goal stated just a slogan about a perceived but loosely specified problem.

Since Ballsy is fond of opportunistically caricaturing Keynes maybe they will dig holes and then fill them in. Or maybe they will build camps for Immigrants but with Kindergartens for the children this time. Camps for people rude on Twitter and those who mock Mr Balls not compliant in the whole PFI and Bank fraud because he was too stupid to spot it.

However you sift it it’s slogan led policies with no specific goals/problems/ethos. When they do have a policy it is Tory Lite. Like increasing tuition fees to 6000 not 9000.

Tory and Labour is really Same Direction Different Speed Same ruinous Economics.

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Apr 05

The least affected group by the budget is the old Age Pensioner. The most affected the working family with children denied the tax credits. Who did Labour represent after the budget? Why of course the one with the best simpleton rhetoric, “Granny Tax”.

It seems they’re still choosing rhetoric over representing people.

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Aug 17

The middle classes can be proud of their boy Cameron. The Magistrates are pressing the low hanging fruits stupid enough to confess to incidental pilfering after the sacking of shops. Those who have received goods stolen even with no value have been sent down. Continue reading »

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Jul 17

What is the best Govt we’ve had in my 46 year lifetime? Best 4 years of Chancellor and Prime Minister? The time when the economy was put on a path of stable growth for years after? The Govt the bequeath good finances to an incoming Govt? Continue reading »

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Jun 15

As with torture real depravity is not even bad compared to a footballer’s errant dick in popular culture. Thus in politics being indelicate is far worse than ordering multiple drone strikes knowing you will kill more civilians than any other group.  Continue reading »

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Sep 02

John Rentoul in The Independent does not try to rationalise why Blair is hated. Instead he gives a great insight into why Liberal people dislike Blair and those who act like him. A series of smears of your opponents and then a crude summary of what he thinks is what they think and why. The classic anti intellectualism that reached its nadir under Brown. I assume like Blair playing with Prescott Rentoul’s just trying to get a rise as it’s all he has left (there you see I did it myself spoke for him with a nasty explanation of why he does things).

Rentoul basically accuses people of not listening to reason whilst seemingly smearing and trying to infuriate readers. However I thought I’d answer why I have a low view of Blair.

Truth be told in the devalued world of the internet I guess I am a hater although my distaste for Blair is nothing compared to the genuine visceral hatred I have for Gordon Brown. Brown a man, but not in the John Wayne sense, whose every utterance and action is aimed at self aggrandisment and whose lack of intellect and morality are so stunning it’s beyond my credulity that he was ever allowed to ascend to the leadership. I would not even try to rationalise my distaste for Brown save to say I am grateful we are not in the Euro and now go away and not be heard of again.

However there is a point here deep in our subconscious a dislike so great that you will not listen to a word someone says needs to be addressed. It amounts to prejudice or bigotry at that point. On Blair I think I can justify my view but maybe there is something that defies argument and explanation (Another flaw in Rentoul’s argument if people’s dislike defies argument then it defies explanation! The content that spews forth is a rationalisation not an explanation but then expecting nuance from a Blairite is silly of course).

So to Blair. Why do people like me who consider themselves Liberal (even if we are not in cliques as Rentoul  smears) have such odium for the man who brought us 13 years of non Tory Govt.

  • Liar! Never really phased me. The Foreign Secretary said that the Weapons of Mass Destruction were a myth so anyone fooled was probably wanting to be lied to – after all Robin Cook would know better than anyone else as Foreign Secretary. I pretty much accept the Jack Straw view that it was baloney but we did not see much downside in the war.

    Anyone who had read the news on Iraq over the years would have known the country would have struggled to organise a Barbecue after the Gulf War and sanctions bit. If Parliament wanted the WMD fig leaf don’t blame Blair blame yourselves.The problem is that people dislike liars and politicians have opted instead for the incompetence defence – see MI5 and MI6 claiming they did not know the US tortured even though it was clear when they junked the Geneva Convention in the same bin as the post invasion plan of Iraq and was announced in the media and on Channel 4 news. More on this later.Sadly Blair does seem to want to rationalise it and after 58 excuses and rationalisations settled on how proud he was to get rid of a dictator like Saddam, said the main who kissed the souls of Gadaffi’s shoes.

  • Corruption. It’s become accepted and a part of every day Govt under Labour – I am not talking about financial graft here. Like roping in the nasty little spook Scarlett to the so called Dodgy Dossier and then promoting him it showed a preference for fawning subservience and broken men who would do their bidding over anyone else.This was repeated with Sir Ian Blair who made a victim of himself in someone else’s murder. He was then wheeled out as required to support even more ludicrous draconian nut case policies.
    It was this aspect of the wars that needled me.The military also were paid off. Their incompetence and waste in procurement brushed under the carpet. Indeed the Govt took the hit over Helicopters for Afghanistan from the clowns who’d wasted more than enough money to provide them. The laughable scenario where we bought helicopters and tried to penny pinch on the software rendering them unusable.
  • Incompetence. This became the New Labour ethos. No one lied they just knew nothing. MI5 even this year as it’s revealed Blair and Straw actively had a hand in determining the rendition and “interrogation” of British subjects denies it knew anything about it. MI5 denies it read newspapers or watched Channel 4 news. No one turned marginal intelligence into the 45 minute claim it was a lack of responsibility and ignorance. Every failure was greeted with a I do not know.Blair and Campbell preferred to waste resources on an inquiry which no one believed to prove he had produced a load of crap without lying just by being foolish!
    PFI ruinously expensive and we are paying for 30 years, thanks.
    How hard was it to ensure under no circumstances that we did not torture and beat people to death in Iraq? Especially given the preferred explanation of why we were there, to free them from torture and murder. Indeed all we do is spend masses of money buying people off, denying and pretending it did not happen.
    Most successes were stroke of the pen and delivered by legislation never by management. Minimum wage.
  • Death Toll. If I had a critique of the under rated Major Govt who laid the platform for Brown’s moronic economic management in this decade it was this why did they not clean the hospitals? Yet we had Milburn’s red alert, foundation status etc etc legislation and more legislation, PFI, NHS Direct,  etc, Yet why did C-Diff and MRSA stay a slaughter of thousands of people up to when in 2007 Alan Johnson the new Health Secretary said it was unacceptable – not sure he did much about it either! The seemingly pointless shift to Foundation Hospitals in some regions alone is said to have killed 100s. Talk to doctors and it’s the dirty secret.
  • Rhetoric Led. They understood the media hence you have one Baby ‘P’ or Bulger and everone is sacrificed to be seen to be doing something. However as noted you kill 100s in the health service and it’s not an ongoing story just a day of embarrassment.One came to wonder at the nadir under Brown if policy was someone would come up with a line of rhetoric then develop policy from that without an inkling of goals, problems to be solved or strategy (Tough on Crime being so obvious I will use it anyway!). Just pass rafts of legislation and bore interviewers you have acted.
  • Achievement Not Important. The aim of policy as the grim Asylum policies of the last few years was the generation of facts to show ‘that policy was working’. Anyone who has ever worked corporately can tell you what happens when there is a focus on numbers they move in the right direction – in the US all crime reduction miracles happen except murder as you cannot re-classify murder albeit Blair and Brown probably could.To reduce Asylum numbers and increase deportations the Home Office decided to go after and lock up families – rather ignoring the demographic reasons for immigrants! Thus the Coalition had a nice open goal of no longer detaining children.
  • Internment. Possible the most fascist and illiberal policy I can think of any Western Govt contemplating was 90 day internment. It smears the entire Labour party who seriously contemplated it. As Ministers and advisors it taints for me all the serious leadership candidates. The sad fact is no one has been held for 28 days even.There are only three reasons for wanting this on the statute books. One some sinister scenario none of us can comprehend or want to and they do not want to explain to us why they want to hold people in limbo for 90 days. Two that it was manifest incompetence and they had no idea what they wanted. Three rhetoric led they assumed a frightened population who are not strong on individual liberty would want it and decided to play the tough on crime Joker. None of these reflect on more than the fascistic bent of those coming up with the Policy.
  • Other Illiberality. Up and beyond a mere fault. CCTV does not solve or crucially prevent much crime but we can say we are doing something – people do not have number plates visible at all times sadly. ID Cards, where are your papers mein herr.

I could go on but the theme is this an obsession with perception not achievement. Of nothing being beyond the Pale if they thought they could sell it. So one could argue in a roundabout way Rentoul is right to say people resent winning elections. However that is not true. I think it was with the Tories still so unpopular they could barely scrape power in 2010 after 13 years of expensive incompetence that Labour had an amazing opportunity. The finances of the Clarke/Major years had begun to pay off the manifest incompetence and economic mismanagement of the Thatcher years. Yet what did they achieve that is lasting? That they achieved little but did it in an insulting stupid and illiberal manner I cannot see as anything to praise. The wars just add to their reputation of incompetence and led by tomorrow’s headlines.

I actually owe a great debt to Blair and Brown. Whilst I will never match the complex sophistry of self serving rationalisation nor the social intelligence of Blair I certainly have lost an inferiority I once felt of people with better grammar and Oxbridge education. That they should have bent their intelligence to polarising anti intellectualism shows what you cannot learn in education and the cloistered confines of The Law and The Labour Party.

In the end it’s the base Sun reader anti intellectualism that did peak under Brown when Alan Johnson 19 years a Postman had nothing to say on the Postal dispute and decided to mock science in the Commons. However the dye was cast.

Blair is a great Prime Minister in the way these things are measured but like Thatcher longevity is not the same as good or even competent. I’d take Major over them tomorrow and the next day.

Sadly their best policy may have been treating addicts with drugs to help the natural fall in crime. For some reason they never trumpeted this as its not one that makes for good rhetoric and would require nuance and explanation.

Contrary to Rentoul’s analysis for this liberal Iraq actually stands out in a positive sense. I believe the Straw position it was done in the national interest and that was to stay allied to the US. It was not done to sell Labour. It is a measure of the missed opportunity that a war conducted with such poverty of thought for Post Invasion Iraq did not cost them an election win in 2005.

They would have won 3 elections doing more good.

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Aug 03

Nothing earth shattering in the “Five Days that Changed Britain” documentary just that a lot of people were slow to see what amazingly this website fore saw immediately after the election and especially after Cameron came out and proposed a deal.

The documentary did highlight one thing that stills dogs politics. Labour were utterly incompetent. Despite having no chance to win the election for several weeks they had not prepared for a Coalition agreement. Even if they had got 20 more seats they would have been unprepared and unable to negotiate. This is a sign of what I have felt for a decade that Labour could produce rhetoric, legislation that evolved from rhetoric but there was no understanding. No thought. No analysis. No insight. No preparation. Worse that they had no insight into the damage they have done in the first 9 years of the new century. That they do not feel a need to change. They may write new slogans on placards but an emphasis again on slogans not content and analysis.

The worrying thing is that the dynamics of a coalition and  the cuts could lead to a seemingly unreconstructed Labour Party back into power. Whilst I cannot support the threatened cuts which seem too far it is surely worse that this party obsessed with just throwing one liners at problems and having no real depth gets back. The damage such self justifying incompetence and authoritarianism could do in another 5 years from a position of debt and lower growth is unthinkable.

If Labour cannot prepare for something in their own interests then who with any insight could suggest putting them in power even if one agrees with more with their shallow placard statements.

Oh and those who felt Brown  left with dignity were wrong. He like a petty child took his ball home with him rather than fulfill his constitutional duty. From pompous prig to self regarding self important clown in 13 years.

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Jul 01

Ken Clarke signaled the end, or hopefully the end, of the lunacy of one liner policy for the whole criminal justice system. That Prison does not work for all. That  short sentences for non violent or first offenders merely creates criminals and disrupts families. It’s pretty obvious.

Michael Howard’s sentence was fine in that burglars and many serial criminals are best locked up and for as long as is reasonable. However people who don’t pay maintenance and other social crimes really is 3 months inside not just self defeating?

Labour of course broke out the reactionary ‘soft on crime’. The party who effectively reduced beating a woman half to death to a caution to keep prison population down and ended up sending people home early from sentence to clear space for the result of their ignorant one liner rhetoric based policy are once again infantile and weak.

Labour have already reduced the purpose of this parliament not to come up with an agenda for Govt but a series of statements and pledges to get re-elected. We have Public Spending cuts far deeper than is strictly necessary even for stated Tory Policy and an opposition in Labour who refuse or cannot see their own failings. Who have no agenda beyond election.

Labour manage the great trick of opposing everything and nothing at the same time.

Basically if you voted Labour last time I have no idea what you voted for and why. Do you?

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Jun 29

It’s clear that the ideology of Cameron and Osborne is encapsulated in their “it makes no sense to borrow off China to pay for Chinese goods”. The depth of the austerity budget and the willingness to sacrifice short term growth comes from this. Britain is 2nd only to Japan in per capita debt when private and public finances are considered.

Therefore the growth envisaged by Darling and the Labour party is really just more debt as we do not produce goods to make the difference.

The real caveats I have are:-

  1. Is there any evidence that running up private debt and balance of payments deficits hampers the economy? Is there ever a reckoning?
  2. Secondly replacing one unsustainable model with a new one is fine if your new model could work.  Even optimistic fans of private capital will  wonder if the vast sums of the cuts will be filled by wealth created by the private sector in a small time frame like a 5 year Parliament.

I do think that encouraging growth as Labour claims it would have done, yeah right, and not putting up VAT is fine except they have not explained how that will help medium term. Are they saying just continuing to rack up debt the UK is fine? That it will not succumb to Japanese style deflation eventually?

I tend to agree with the Conservatives here as they at least highlight a problem. Darling and co act like we are in a perfectly good position and a country as deeply in debt can just keep spending and growing on debt alone. Whilst Darling’s plan to close the Govt deficit was credible he seems to have no statement on how Britain will pay its way.

It does seem ones position on the need for cuts is determined by one’s view of one’s self. I read little analysis with the more leftist crying about growth with the usual patronising of the poor. The right  taking almost child like glee at the cuts like a Scot in a pub watching the England Germany game.

Cameron and Osborne have raised the question of the long term sustainability of the UK economy one hopes Labour provide their own answer rather than a series of yaa boo patronisation of the unemployed and poor. Especially if they were to win an election a some years time as without the answer we would effectively be endorsing more Brownian Buffoon economics where you spend money without any attempt to raise money through taxes.

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