Sunday, 31 January 2010
Going in hard would also have the happy outcome of not only rescuing two decent, hardworking, loyal, lifelong taxpayers, but would also solve the Somali pirate problem in short order (ask the Royal Navy).
But our pisspoor government is going to do nothing. Why? Who knows. It could be for any number of scary, mindless, thoughtless, couldn't-give-a-shit socialist reasons. It's possible that class is one of them (the Chandlers are from Tunbridge Wells). That's how evil this government is.
But saved Mr and Mrs Chandler must be, however. Or there will be hell to pay - and Labour better believe it.
Idiot Brown, take heed.
The point is that the poem is as fresh now as it was when it was penned by the great man, in 1890. It's pretty funny, too:
TommyI don't know about you, but I think it's time to put an end to this Afghan thing, either by sending in massive reinforcements and actually paying the necessary price for final victory - in other words, not causing unnecessary death by doing everything on the cheap (one scandal for which Brown should genuinely never be forgiven) - or by bringing our army home. That's the choice Cameron will have to face. Why? Because, to coin a phrase, we can't go on like this.
I went into a public-'ouse to get a pint o' beer,
The publican 'e up an' sez, 'We serve no red-coats 'ere.'
The girls be'ind the bar they laughed and giggled fit to die,
I outs into the street again, an' to myself sez I:
Oh, it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy, go away':
But it's 'Thank you, Mister Atkins,' when the band begins to play -
The band begins to play, my boys, the band begins to play,
Oh, it's 'Thank you, Mister Atkins,' when the band begins to play.
I went into a theatre as sober as could be,
They gave a drunk civilian room, but 'adn't none for me;
They sent me to the gallery or round the music-'alls,
But when it comes to fightin', Lord! they'll shove me in the stalls!
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy, wait outside';
But it's 'Special train for Atkins' when the trooper's on the tide -
The troopship's on the tide, my boys, the troopship's on the tide,
Oh, it's 'Special train for Atkins' when the trooper's on the tide.
Yes, makin' mock o' uniforms that guard you while you sleep
Is cheaper than them uniforms, an' they're starvation cheap;
An' hustlin' drunken soldiers when they're goin' large a bit
Is five times better business than paradin' in full kit.
Then it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Tommy, 'ow's yer soul?'
But it's 'Thin red line of 'eroes' when the drums begin to roll -
The drums begin to roll, my boys, the drums begin to roll,
Oh, it's 'Thin red line of 'eroes when the drums begin to roll.
We aren't no thin red 'eroes, nor we aren't no blackguards too,
But single men in barricks, most remarkable like you;
An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,
Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;
While it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that , an' 'Tommy, fall be'ind,'
But it's 'Please to walk in front, sir,' when there's trouble in the wind -
There's trouble in the wind, my boys, there's trouble in the wind,
Oh, it's 'Please to walk in front, sir,' when there's trouble in the wind.
You talk o' better food for us, an' schools, an' fires, an' all:
We'll wait for extry rations if you treat us rational.
Don't mess about the cook-room slops, but prove it to our face
The Widow's Uniform is not the soldier-man's disgrace.
For it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' 'Chuck him out, the brute!'
But it's 'Saviour of 'is country' when the guns begin to shoot;
An' it's Tommy this, an' Tommy that, an' anything you please;
An' Tommy ain't a bloomin' fool - you bet that Tommy sees!
Me, I would opt for the former and give our armed forces everything they need, and then some. Whatever it takes, Afghanistan, unlike Iraq, is the right war and is a war that we have to win. We must respect our troops properly, therefore, by backing them to the hilt, even if it means making some sacrifices at home in the short term.
One thing is certain, if nothing else, our armed forces deserve much better than Labour, and much, much better than Brown.
Stories of Gordon Brown’s temper are commonplace in Westminster. But they rarely make it into print. This, though, is about to change. The Mail on Sunday reports that Andrew Rawnsley’s follow-up to Servants of the Peoplecontains a string of revelations about Brown’s behaviour. The paper reports that Rawnsley has investigated whether the Prime Minister has hit a senior adviser, pulled a secretary out of her chair because she wasn’t typing fast enough and sworn at aides over the Obama snub. Downing Street is rubbishing these allegations. However, Rawnsley’s record is so good that these stories cannot easily be dismissed, also many journalists have come close to standing them up previously and so will not be inclined to dismiss them out of hand.The Rawnsley book may make Brown’s temper a major election issue—which would be a disaster for Labour. The Sunday Times is reporting that Brown wants to stay on as Labour leader if the Tory majority is less than 20. This news might well prompt some former insiders to conclude that the interests of the Labour party are best served by revealing just how fraught life has been within Brown’s Downing Street.
The man is unfit for general employment, let alone the role of Prime Minister of Great Britain - a position he has never earned, need we be reminded. However, given the kind of law-busting political protection he has always somehow enjoyed, and behind which the real scale of his unpleasant weirdness is still being hidden, I'm not going to hold my breath while waiting for him to be uncovered for the vicious, overrated, lying pile of insecure, egotistical, bullying, incompetent and impotent emptiness that he really is.
Thursday, 28 January 2010
Wednesday, 27 January 2010
But the scale of the damage this time around, of Labour's betrayal of everyone, and in their own terms (it's a government-commissioned report, for heaven's sake) is truly astonishing and can't be escaped even by Labour's liars and spinners. Today's Mail:
The study says that inequality in income has reached the highest level since records began in 1961, and probably since the end of the Second World War. It also concludes that inequality in Britain is among the worst in the developed world, with the highest rate of poverty in western Europe.
It says 'deep seated and systematic differences' remain between the life chances of different social classes and groups. People's class and origins 'shape their life chances from cradle to grave'.The report says there is 'widespread ignorance of the scale of inequality' and warns that many people will find its conclusions 'shocking'.
The Labour response is likely to include new tortures for people who work hard, try to get on in the world, who aspire for themselves and their children.
What we need are policies which raise the sights and motivate the energies of the many. The way to reduce inequality – and to make most people better off – is to encourage and foster, not to regulate and tax in a fit of jealous anger that some have still succeeded.We need an enterprise package to make it easier to set up and run your own business, a small business package so more small businesses can expand and take on more labour, and a shake up of some schools and training Colleges so more obtain worthwhile qualifications.
Tuesday, 26 January 2010
Smart people and people who remember will understand why Clarke won that confrontation hands down. Everyone else won't be certain. They won't know, for example, that Mandelson is one of the most dishonest men ever to have held - been fired from (because of that dishonesty) - held again - and been fired from again (again, because of his habitual dishonesty) - a cabinet post. But nonetheless, despite his desperate record of deceit, he now holds the second highest office in this land - to which he has never been elected. I'm astounded Ken Clarke gave him an audience.
Mandelson is the epitome of (New) Labour - but is, sadly, proof that Labour, even after its monumental lies, failures and inadequacies, are nonetheless still dangerous. Mandelson - and Labour - will stop at nothing to stay in charge of a country that no longer wants them, and an economy that desperately needs them gone.
I think it is the actual Monty Python 'secret weapon' gag, designed
Some Labour-loving, myopic hoon calling himself "Fraser1701" commented on Guido's YouTube channel underneath this upload "I prefer optimism". Well, Fraser, old boy, unless you really are a myopic Labourist hoon, then I imagine you must mean "as opposed to wildly dishonest, outrageously massaged and risibly inaccurate economic predictions that consistently bear no resemblance to reality whatsoever". In which case, I have done you a disservice because you're going to express your preference for optimism by voting out the worst government in this nation's history. And, as we know, the only way to do that is to vote Tory, like it or not.
I suspect, though, that "Fraser1701" did not mean this and that he's really just another pathetic Labour stooge paid to trawl through the sensible and effective anti-government blogs, like Guido's, leaving little rat dropping comments like that one to further some desperate plan to reverse his party's massive - and unstoppable - decline in credibility and popularity.
Earth to Fraser: with Brown in charge, mate, it'll never happen! So keep him right where he is.
...some voters may note that we are still not securely out of the longest and deepest recession since the war and may conclude that the current custodians of the economy can no longer be trusted to finish the job.You think?
The fact that Brown and his cohort of economic nincompoops and ne're-do-wells, whose now-legendary incompetence is only just about trumped by their compulsive mendacity, have managed to bankrupt the country in search of some sort of theoretical, artificially stimulated recovery that, as these figures show with devastating clarity, has utterly failed to materialise will not have gone unnoticed by the general public.
So, toenails, my old china, for "may conclude," read "decided a long time ago," and for "the current custodians of the economy," read "the Brownite, Labourist liars and wreckers," and for "can no longer be trusted to finish the job," read "are going to be lucky to get away with not being hanged en masse from the nearest tree, never mind an election defeat, for the cataclysmic economic harm they've managed to do to Britain, not to mention the desperate harm they've managed to do throughout British society, during their overlong period in office."
This is no time for understatement, you see!
But it is time for a Tory government. And if you read between Robinson's BBC-approved lines, even he knows that most sane people have known that for quite some time.
Saturday, 23 January 2010
So, since Obama spoke British ministers have been in quite a spin. The Chancellor’s office said Britain would not be following the U.S. but Number 10 said, rather nervously, that it is studying the plans.While I very much doubt that Obama was thinking too much about Gordon Brown's political credibility when he decided to get tough with the megabanks (for better or for worse - probably worse since he's got just about everything else wrong since he took over), there can be no doubt whatsoever that Iain Martin is right and this is a disaster for a prime minister who, in his own fevered imagination, believes he - and only he - has the credentials to 'save the world'.
“I think what the president is doing is very much in accordance with the direction we’ve been taking,” said a Number 10 spokesman. But that’s simply not true. Obama’s plans are not in accordance with the direction the British have been taking. A plan to break up the megabanks and inhibit proprietary trading is not at all what the Treasury wants. It wants the UK’s megabanks - RBS, and the Lloyds-HBOS monster it created mid-crisis - to trade their way out of their poor position and into safety so that taxpayer money can be recovered.
The Number 10 spokesman mused some more: “Obviously one of the issues in the banking world is that you have different circumstances in different countries.” Sorry, I thought a co-ordinated global response was supposed to be the priority?To further cloud the issue up popped Lord Myners of the Treasury. He said there is no way Britain will follow the Obama lead on this. But… “I think the important thing is that there is a globally co-ordinated response taking place here.”
Again, no, there isn’t a globally co-ordinated response. I repeat: Obama acted unilaterally on Thursday in making his biggest post-crisis reform proposal.
What there is here is a mess created by a serious breakdown in global policy-making. In a panic after his party’s Senate defeat in Massachusetts this week, Obama has decided he needs to be much tougher than he has been.
And it creates a serious difficulty for the current British government, which wants to appear in line with a president who popular on this side of the Atlantic and is taking on finance. But he is proposing to do what the Treasury and Number 10 do not want to do: he wants to break up the big banks
For the Tories this is a gift. They have advocated G20-wide policies similar to those now promoted by Obama - so they get to be on his side (a boon in Europe) and lined up against big banks the government here won’t break up. No wonder George Osborne sounds delighted this weekend.
Friday, 22 January 2010
Thursday, 21 January 2010
Wednesday, 20 January 2010
DEFICIT REDUCTION WAS BASED ON SALES OF 'BETWEEN THE WARS', ADMITS DARLING
Or this excellent one from the multi-posting Lefty-basher 'stevehill':I similarly am withholding my tax from HRMC until we have a tory government and my money will be spent wisely.unlike these labour tossers pissing it away.
I'll visit you in prison Billy. Maybe.Perhaps there is hope for Britain after all - so long as we all club together now to ensure that Bragg and his ilk never have any influence on the running and the future of our country again!
Starving schools, hospitals, pensioners, benefit claimants etc of funds to make a protest is a particularly infantile form of toy throwing.Most bank staff are on or below the national average wage, their bonuses will be in the order of £1,000 or so, and they depend on this to pay their bills. The bank's assets - which you and I own - are essentially its people. They walk out of the door every night. You seem to accept that you can't veto HSBC or Barclays or Goldman Sachs bonuses. So how do you plan to stop the best people at RBS joining their rivals, causing the bankruptcy of RBS, the loss of 141,000 jobs, and a total write-off of the taxpayers' investment?
No, you're not an anarchist. But you're not being very smart.
Tuesday, 19 January 2010
*It’s high enough, it’s long enough AND IT’S STRAIGHT ENOUGH.
*He’s like a demented ferret up a wee drainpipe.
*He plays like a runaway bullet (description of New Zealand wing Grant Batty).
*He’s like a raging bull with a bad head.
*That one was a bit inebriated – just like one of my golf shots (description of a missed goal kick).
*He kicked that ball like it were 3 pounds o’ haggis.
*Would ye like a Hawick ball, son ? (McLaren offering a friend a mint).
*They’ll be dancing in the streets of Hawick/Selkirk/ tonight???
*His sidestep was marvellous – like a shaft of lightning (description of Welsh wing Gerald Davies).
*The All Blacks that day looked like great prophets of doom.
*I was there (at Twickenham) in 1938 when Scotland won 28-16.
*‘Tweet, tweet, tweet’ – commentary on Scottish full-back Peter Dods’ strange run up to a penalty kick.
*My goodness, that wee ball’s gone so high there’ll be snow on it when it comes down.
*He’s as quick as a trout up a burn.
*Those props are as cunning as a bag o’ weasels.
*A day out of Hawick is a day wasted.
*And it’s a try by Hika the hooker from Ngongotaha (Wales v New Zealand 1980).
*I’m no hod carrier but I’d be laying bricks if he was running at me (description of Jonah Lomu).
*They’ll be simply chuffed to bits down at??.
*I look at Colin Meads and see a great big sheep farmer who carried the ball in his hands as though it was an orange pip.
*I’ve hardly ever had to pay to get in (the best thing in his view about 50 years of commentary at rugby matches).
Just goes to show, some vandalism's a definite improvement. In this case, an enormous one (at least it's not totally witless). As for the Tories with this poster thing, really, what the hell were they thinking?!
There is, of course, some suspicion that this is all part of Brown's 'plan' (if that is what it can be called): bankrupt the country now in order to buy some kind of election victory and then inflate away all the debt regardless of the huge amount of damage that that will do to the prosperity of private citizens, especially those who are wealth creators, self-sufficient (prudent), and savers. It will also impact heavily on home ownership, of course - which is why I suppose there has been all the clamour on the left for a return to council housing recently. All this is naturally a socialist's wet dream - and it is precisely the total basket-case calamity that Thatcher had to confront in 1979.
But if it really is that ruinous old bastard Brown's intention to turn back the clock to the 70s, with low or no growth, high debt, high taxes and high inflation (aka: stagflation), then even someone as self-serving and cynical as he is (beyond any shadow of a doubt) is in for a severe shock. First, it won't work because people are on to him: no amount of attempted vote-buying is going to win him the mandate he has never, ever deserved, particularly if his 'plan' is to catapult Britain thirty-five years into the past, back into the economic dark ages (although some might say he has already done exactly that).
Second, it won't work because of the sheer scale of the crisis. It is unprecedented, relatively speaking, not just in the history of Britain, but the history of any major economic power, in terms of the scale of the exposure to a possible economic tempest. QE, as Fraser Nelson (one of the very few MSM journalists who have been warning us about the inflation crisis following swiftly on from the damp squib that was deflation) has said time and again, is uncharted territory. It's a nuclear option; a highly experimental and untested method of dealing with a crisis the nature of which is most likely not completely understood. It is also a one-shot deal. If, as increasingly seems to be the case, Brown and Darling have, in fact, completely failed to plan for rapidly rising prices (or, rather, a rapidly deteriorating purchasing power parity), then whatever stimulated (fake) recovery they were hoping for will be choked off in short order. The danger of a double dip recession, that little old I (for one) starting talking about last May for heaven's sake, is now not so much a danger as a certainty. But while it's a familiar story so far as Labour is concerned, what is unfamiliar this time, as we roll our eyes muttering 'here we go again,' is that we will be entering the second recession with literally less than nothing left in the kitty. What must follow, regardless of Labour's lies, and thanks to their terrible economic mismanagement across the board, is a rapid fall in the overall standard of living. The rest of the world will not prop us up for much longer - and we have no more bullets in the gun.
Third, Brown's plan to inflate away Britain's debt won't work for the simplest reasons of all - the real-world economic ones. Let us say that by some satanic twist of fate Brown won the election, thus enabling him to continue to get away with QE for a bit longer (and that can be measured in weeks now rather than months), what are the eonomic realities that will hunt him down and expose him for the utter fraud and socialist economic illiterate that he is?
The simplest point is about levels of public spending. (I know you know this but writing it down helps me to get it clear in my own noodle!) As inflation continues to rise and money is worth less (expressed as price and wage hikes), people can buy less, economic activity is hampered because businesses are starved of cash and crippled by ever-increasing pay demands, and, of course, rising interest rates (as the BofE tries desperately to control the collapse) and, following on from that, the social security bill increases as a result of rising unemployment, an increase in income support costs (as more and more people fall into the poverty trap) and, as the spiral gathers pace, the subsequent increase in debt further devaluing the currency - leading to more inflation and even higher interest rates. Nothing personal, you see. It's just how the world works - no matter what your politics!
Point is, do not believe any of the propaganda from any of the politicians, but especially the socialists (many of whom quietly wish this calamity upon the nation for their own, peverse political reasons), because the signs are that these economic realities are already here.
There is nowhere for Brown (fortunately) or us (sadly) to hide any more.
A massive, unprecented, 1% inflation spike in one month is just the start of it. Batten down your financial hatches folks. This is going to be one hell of a storm.
Saturday, 16 January 2010
I suppose it was a kind of tribute to her, in a backhanded sort of way, that she cheesed them all off so royally in her mission to turn this country from a post-colonial, failed socialist backwater into a nation that championed genuine aspiration and indivuality and made a virtue out of wealth-creation and private ownership.(Unfortunately, given the hopeless mess we are in today, she clearly didn't go far enough - but that's another story.) She also shrugged them off - and probably benefited from the kind of image they created of her.
I laughed heartily enough with everyone else at the time, thinking that, with charming youthful naivete, that it was all harmless enough and generally pretty funny. Then along came Major and the attacks evolved into something quite different - and more effective. Instead of being part of some sort of satirical public debate about the direction of the country - with the reds on one side and the 'evil Tories' on the other - all of a sudden you had pure ridicule, day after day after day. Major was a figure of fun, not anger, and not so much because of what he did (in the end, he wasn't such a terrible prime minister), but because of who he was, rightly or wrongly (wrongly). Deep down, people didn't really think he was up to the job, that he lacked charisma and, though nice, was weak. Again, that assessment of him was entirely wrong, but it stuck and the left, in an endless, personalised propaganda campaign, made sure of it. Part of that process of character assassination was the 'satire' of the day which, again, was pretty widespread. It was just one part of the Blair/Mandelson/Campbell plan - a plan that was totally successful, if '97 is anything to go by.
But now we have a prime minister and a government who, in every possible sense, are worse than John Major and his, and so we are forced to ask a question: Where the hell is the satire? There is no equivalent of, say, Spitting Image, savaging Brown and his hapless crew, nourished by a seemingly endless supply of material (I know, I know - they did try a relaunch, but it failed the ratings test horribly - and understandably, given that it was completely limp). I realise there's some political satire about, in Private Eye and so forth, and with the broadsheet cartoonists, but nothing like on the scale of the 'golden age' of the late-60s to the mid-90s.
I suppose there are a number of possible reasons for this. I'll list a couple of them:
- Modern political satire grows out of activism and 'activists' are usually to be found on the left (hardly surprising since they invented the word). Simply put, conservatives don't do satire
- People are not, currently, in the mood for satire of the kind seen in the 1980s. The country's changed and the old, clear dividing lines between parties have become very blurred, to the extent that any satirical narrative is likely either not to hit its target or will be garbled
- It's part of some sort of 'understanding', mainly between the BBC and the left, not to rock the boat when the Labour party is in such dire danger of total defeat.
- There's just no bloody talent around
- What's happening now is beyond satire
At least, that's what I thought until I read this earlier in the Telegraph. Melissa Kite no less, a serious political commentator (and a jolly good one), has decided to try her hand. Here's a taste:
Oh. Dear. Looks like there's still no such thing as 'mainstream conservative political satire'.
"Right!," said Captain Gordon Mainwaring, tapping his baton on the table. “I’m calling to order this emergency crisis meeting of Cobra here in Cabinet Office Briefing Room A. Are you paying attention, Milipike?”
But, Private Milipike had a glazed expression. He was dreaming about the time when he would take over the Labour Defence Volunteers and run the Downing Street platoon as it was meant to be run, with bowls of bananas on every desk and weekly gurning competitions.
“Oh, never mind, you stupid boy. Sergeant Harperson, begin the briefing on salt supplies.”
Sergeant Harperson stepped forward with a click of her designer heels. “Attention! You band of snivelling twerps. You’re useless, the lot of you. I bet you’ve no idea what I’ve had to do this morning? I ironed three shirts while I was on the Today programme…”
“Er, that’ll do Harperson, I think I’d better take it from here. We are currently negotiating an international treaty on salt distribution, lads, so we are better equipped to fight the war on snow.
“Snow has no place in a civilised society. And it is this Labour government that is working to end the age old injustice of snowfall and the deeply unfair practise of ice forming on pavements…”
Milipike’s brother, Private Ed, who was an expert on weather, piped up: “Except in Antarctica, Mr Mainwaring, sir.”
“Yes!” said Private Darling. “Or we’re all doomed!"
Seems like the bloggers are on their own with this one.
Wednesday, 13 January 2010
However, I'm just not going to get into this thing now - I'm too tired and I have to be reasonably compus mentus for toil tomorrow.
I have to say this, though: if there is any advice to offer overpaid, overrated (on the strength of recent outings) "Team Cameron", it's this: STARVE BROWN of his favorite themes. It's not rocket science, after all. In any debate, especially PMQs, starve Brown of his stock answers; starve him of any chance to 'tractor-stat'; starve him of the chance to repeat his delusional narrative. Whatever it takes.
Whatever, indeed, it takes, including taking a few short-term hits. I think in the Rumble in the Jungle it was called 'Rope-a-Dope". If he has the guts and the desire, then Cameron must play the same game as Ali: let Brown, his fairly powerful but pretty dumb opposition, pound and pound away until he's forgotten why he's doing it, is exhausted and is ripe for the real knock-out blow (that nobody likes him, nobody believes him and nobody wants him)- no matter what.
Cameron must let the one-eyed Scots fraud hang himself, even if it means that he experiences a little pain by playing the rational, thoughtful, vulnerable - even sympathetic - professional for a few months.
While the electorate needs a bloody good reason to vote Labour again, all it needs is a small excuse and easy permission to vote Tory. Cameron should be focusing on that.
I just hope that middleweight Cameron has, somewhere, the policy excuse and the will to grant that permission to the people of Britain.
Right now, I have my doubts that he's good for either. The past week has been that bad, hasn't it?
His introduction to this second post was brilliant, I thought:
Well, well. What an introduction to blogging. At first I thought it was quite unlike anything else I’d done in my political life, but after a while I realised that it is really rather like an old-fashioned political public meeting of the kind that has melted away since television took politics away from the grass roots in the constituencies and concentrated it into the TV studios. It is a pity we can’t have real-time heckling (yet?) but blogging has got life and guts.Talk about putting it in a nutshell. He's made a observation that no one else has, as far as I know - that people want to be involved in politics, not just when there happens to be an election about, but all the time. And they always have, but while the MSM (TV and the modern DTP) certainly took politics to the masses, in a sense, it also stripped people of their ability, incentive - and right - to engage directly with their political representatives and servants. New Media is correcting that error and "Norm" has just revealed to me why I blog (I didn't realise, see. I thought it was just because I was angry!).
After thanking commenters on his previous post, he then turns to his main argument:
Then thank you, “michealp”. I think you answered my question: What is it that has changed our society for the worse? In your words, it is “because actions no longer have consequences”. Well, they do perhaps, but they are often perverse. It seems to me that our masters these days are willing to use a carrot and stick approach, but they almost always use the stick on the poor old donkey’s nose and inflict a terrible indignity on the beast with the carrot at its other end.It's a damn good question. I also note that he carefully (loyally) leaves deducing the obvious implications of it up to the reader: it's a pretty damning indictment of Conservative policymakers that this is not right at the very heart of the Tory manifesto, namely, a pledge to stop taxing people who are borderline impoverished, in UK terms, altogether. Another implication here is that he has dismissed Labour, New or Old, as a party capable of helping the poor, shout and jeer however much they like. They brand themselves the party of the poor, and then imprison them in a tax system designed to keep them down and reliant on the dishonest 'benevolence' of the Big State. Labour betrayed people just like Tebbit long ago. We should listen to him.
People are not daft. They do respond to incentives. If you let a burglar go free and jail the householder who defends his home and family by thrashing the burglar, the message is loud and clear and well understood.
And I hate to say it, but only one party leader seems to have grasped that, if you construct a system where unskilled people are worse off by taking a job than by staying on welfare, they remain trapped in poverty – and that is Nick Clegg. Lord knows, Frank Field and Iain Duncan Smith spelled it out in words and figures that only a simpleton could fail to understand, but the two main parties are unwilling to bite on the bullet and commit themseves to raising the income tax threshold from £6,475 to something like £10,000 or £12,000.
It is madness to claim that people so poor that they need welfare payments are at the same time sufficiently well-off to pay income tax. The effect is that people at the bottom of the stack living on benefits who try to get back into work are hit by 20 per cent tax, 11 per cent National Insurance and benefit losses that can add up to amost 100 pence in the pound. It is all very well for the better-off to complain about the disincentive effect of losing 50 per cent of every extra pound they earn, but what about the poor devil at the bottom of the stack who loses 90 per cent?
It neeed not cost that much. There would be a huge saving in benefits if we got those people back into work. We could redeploy all those people shuffling paper and money around the tax and benefit system to some useful work. And it would be easy enough to lower the 40 per cent threshold so that better-off people did not benefit from the increase in the basic rate threshold – so why don’t “the party of the workers” or “the party which believes in incentives” say they’ll do it? Why leave it to the Lib Dems, who are not going to have the power to do it?
All in all, Lord Tebbit's blog seems to promise rich insight and entertainment for us commoners - and some serious and, perhaps, slightly unpalatable food for thought for David Cameron. (He should listen, too!)
Above all, however, the blog will (unintentionally) provide people from all over the political spectrum, but especially from the moderate-right end of it, with a daily reminder of just how formidable a politician Norman Tebbit is, and how much the Conservative party and the country still needs his tuned-in wisdom and his unwavering vision. On the strength of his writing so far, both of these signature Tebbit qualities appear to be undimmed by the years. How lucky we are.
Monday, 11 January 2010
"Creepy" Chris Bryant has inadvertently spilled the beans on the planned date for the General Election. According to tomorrow's Telegraph, Bryant gave the date away in a discussion with foreign affairs officials and academics. It will be on May 6th.
The DT reports:
So that's it then, five more long months of these useless twits before we get to kick them out.
Referring to recent tensions between Britain and countries including Venezuala, Mr Bryant said: “I hope that by the time of the general election on May 6, relations will have improved.”
Ministers have been ordered by No 10 not to discuss the date of the next election, to avoid helping the Conservatives with their planning.
One silver lining is that Chris Bryant, one of life's less lovely people, has form for having a big mouth and will probably be told off for his lapse (or, rather, for 'helping the Conservatives with their planning').
This not the first time Mr Bryant has revealed sensitive Government information ahead of time. In October, he used Twitter, the micro-blogging website, to disclose that he had been appointed to the Europe job at the Foreign Office, several hours before it was announced by Downing Street.
The Foreign Office confirmed that Mr Bryant had used the May 6 date in the briefing.
However, this Foreign Office comment was immediately contradicted by another Labour spokesman, hilariously.
A spokesman said the minister had also said that he did not actually know when Mr Brown would call the poll.So why did Bryant say it then? Talk about shambolic.
Their nicknames are, from right to left: Hateful, Lazy, Soppy, Creepy, Ugly, Crazy and Cock
Overall head of operations will be Cock (aka: Peter Mandelson). Policy chief will be Soppy (Alistair Darling). Director of strategy will be Lazy (Jack Straw). Communications manager will be Ugly (Liam Byrne). Campaign co-ordinator will be Creepy (Chris Bryant). Campaign chair will be Crazy (Harriet Harman). Official tea boy will be Hateful (Ed Balls).
That's just about it. Other Labour dwarfs will no-doubt be given other roles, but I couldn't fit them into the gag. (Shame Hazel Blears isn't still around. Mind you, I'm not sure she even qualifies as a dwarf, does she?)
Anyway, see you at the next "anyone-but-Brown" leadership challenge. It's only a matter of time.
Saturday, 9 January 2010
What a great call, Gordo!
Lame duck Brown: wrong then; wrong now. Wrong about nearly everything. It was with good reason he was dissuaded by Mandelson and Blair in '94 to stand for the leadership. They already knew what a loser he was, so they gave him the British economy to screw around with for a decade instead, until he managed to stage a coup of his own in 2007, after a long-running, deperately divisive and deceitful campaign against his boss, Blair. But if the last three years of his unwanted, undeserved and unearned premiership have proved anything beyond a shadow of a doubt, it's that the man is still a total loser.
If they could be honest with the public for ten seconds, Darling and Mandelson would be the first to agree with that summary, if recent events are anything to go by. That's why, in one, final, desperate throw of the dice before the general election, they've taken over - leaving the loser to his thoughts.
I think it is safe to say now that it won't work. All they've managed to do is to create a paradox. Everyone knows that keeping the loser in place simply means to most people that if they vote Labour, it probably means five more years of Brown. So they won't vote Labour. Game over. If they did get of Brown now, then people would conclude that Labour is utterly divided (we know that anyway, but it would then be 'official'). So they won't vote Labour. Game over. I suppose one could speculate - and I wouldn't put it past them - that there might be some sort of calculation there that in the event of a hung parliament, which is the best they can really hope for barring a miracle, Brown would 'retire' soon after as part of some dodgy deal with the Lib Dems.
But back to now - and, perhaps, reality. The fact is that Darling and Mandelson have stripped Brown of his authority, fearing a total meltdown for Labour had he been permitted to go on lying and spinning - and misleading a wised-up electorate - on the economy while trying to run just another negative, ineffective (remember Crewe?) Brown-Ballsian smear assault on Cameron's Conservatives. Their eyes are on the future, yes. But not the future of Britain, the future of Labour. They've neutered Balls, before he and his fellow left wingers have a chance to mass their forces, to head off a post-defeat bloodbath before it starts. Whatever I might think about Mandelson, he's certainly got game.
However, I don't think people can forgive the depths of his cynicism, the tedious naval-gazing and vanity driving Labour's endless infighting, or with what increasingly looks like a faked coup effectively leaving a technically legitimate Prime Minister with no authority, a prisoner of his own cabinet. In fact, there was a real coup - and it was successful. As I said, unelected Mandelson is now in charge of the UK. As this begins to dawn on people over the next few weeks, I reckon the horribly decayed state of the Labour party, and their attempts to mislead people about this reality, will begin to register in the polls.
So the Tories are dead right: this is all about Labour when it should be about the country. After these events, the country desperately needs to be permitted to grant a fresh mandate to govern - doesn't matter who to - and to do it immediately, preferably with the first thaws.
A point for Labourists to bear in mind? The longer you wait, the angrier people will become, and the bigger your defeat will be. But hey, I know you'll go on burying heads in sand (or snow). Fair enough. But don't say you weren't warned when you're clearing-up the rubble of a total collapse in your popular vote at the general election. I can't wait.
(Thanks to ajs41 for another great clip.)
Some members of the Labour party see their leader as an old boiler they'd rather trade as part of the proposed scrappage scheme
Borrowed from The Guardian.
Guido, while analysing the impact of Darling/Mandelson's outflanking of Brown and neutering of Balls, reaches some very interesting conclusions about the implications for Cameron.
"Peter Mandelson’s speech on Wednesday was overshadowed by events, parts of it sounded more right-wing than anything Cameron has said in years...Mandelson sounded positively Thatcherite. Can you imagine Cameron delivering a speech written by Steve Hilton which souonded like that? Cameron’s opening speech of the year promised a new high-speed rail network and the creation of 100,000 apprenticeships. Dave sounded more like Gordon Brown than Maggie."Ouch!
The fact is that now Brown is a lame duck Prime Minister, and Labour's left wing has effectively been silenced, Cameron has the wriggle room to turn right - at least on the economy. He can keep his guarantee on the NHS (though not without powerful caveats about massive savings through restructuring and the complete abolition of trainwreck IT, PFI disasters, for instance). But he can now launch an all-out assault on Social Security (which last year cost the UK taxpayer £136Bn [it'll be much worse this year - ed]) and public sector employment, especially in local government and NHS (mis)management.
Both of these have spiralled out of control under Labour. In these areas, the areas that really do count when it comes to saving the British economy from collapse, he can now be bold - but he must also be imaginative and make sure the banks are not let off the hook, too. Treasury expenditure has trebled since the bank bailouts and useless Brownite 'stimulus' packages. That can't go on.
The point is, now that the Labour government is being run by a Darling/Mandelson axis, I think Cameron will be bolder - and good luck to him. Maybe it'll get he likes of Fraser Nelson off his back (although I wouldn't hold my breath on that one - Nelson appears to have gone bonkers).
Now we know the price for Brown of Wednesday's attempt to oust him. According to this morning's Times exclusive, Alistair Darling, in cahoots with Mandelson (naturally), has announced to the country, laughably, that we face "the toughest cuts for 20 years if Labour continues in office". Conclusive proof that Brown has lost the policy argument, but not to Darling and co, though, who went along with him for so long, but to the Conservatives. But Brown's lost a lot more besides.
The article says, tellingly:
The remarks suggest a big victory for Mr Darling and Lord Mandelson after the attempt to bring down the Prime Minister. Gordon Brown has apparently been dissuaded by two of his most powerful Cabinet colleagues from adopting a simplistic “investment versus cuts” election campaign associated with his close adviser Ed Balls.Brown is a lame duck now, a prisoner in his own party who must ask permission of his Chancellor and Mandelson before he can do anything. Any speech he makes, any interview he gives and any Cabinet meeting he chairs will have to be given the green light by these two before they happen.
In other words, Operation Hoon was a 90% success; all but the last bridge fell: Brown's forced resignation. Why they didn't go the whole way and get rid of him was initially beyond me. That they kept him on as a puppet PM, as a hollowed-out figurehead, spoke to their bad judgment - and to their cowardice. They're all desperate not to be tainted with almost certain defeat. And then the penny dropped. That's why they kept Brown in place, neutered but responsible, so that he can carry the can and then disappear into US speaker-circuit obscurity. Silly me.
And clear proof of how low Labour has sunk. Pathetic.
And what of the lame duck? Well, Darling's words in particular will sting Brown most:
The next spending review will be the toughest we have had for 20 years . . . to me, cutting the borrowing was never negotiable. Gordon accepts that, he knows that.Game, set and match, Mandelson/Darling. The coup was a success after all. Brown is no longer Prime Minister in anything other than unearned, undeserved title.
A momentous revelation, indeed. Not least because Labour, their depthless, delusional arrogance in thinking the country will stomach this finally emerging in stark relief, have just signed their own general election death warrant.
The one thing people like less than a divided party is a divided party without a real leader. Oh, and Mandelson is Prime Minister now, unofficially. This totally unelected serial liar is in absolute command of Britain for up to six months.