Largely as a concession to those who have been disappointed by my cessation of regular political blogging (indeed, a couple of folk have been quite indignant about it), I have decided that a weekly digest of short commentaries on both local and national/international matters probably has some merit. Here, then, is the first of these, which will normally appear on Friday evenings...
Missing the Chance
Almost certainly because of the compromises of being in coalition, the Government's so-called 'austerity plan' has missed the chance to fix Britain's economy before the bad times bite, according to Capitalists @ Work. I have a strong feeling that CityUnslicker is right on this, and the graphs and explanation provided at the link indicate what is likely to happen during the next handful of years and why.
Personally, I still think there is a way back from the brink; and much will hang on Chancellor George Osborne's Statement next week to show whether or not the Coalition is now grasping the nettle firmly. Even if they are, it will still be a difficult time ahead, but it could be made at least a little less painful than the scenario pointed to in the linked post.
Alternative Queen's Speech
On the subject of the Coalition, the so-called 'Tory Taliban' has produced a collection of Bills they – as in effect the Conservative backbenchers, or at least a subset thereof – might like to propose if they had been in an overall majority situation. Guido has the full 42 listed in brief, spearheaded by what one might term the 'bones' of the Conservative backbenchers: Peter Bone MP and Philip Hollobone MP. There are two others involved in this exercise, but those two are leading with all of them.
This has got lefties in a real tizz, as they hate the thought of any real alternative to their own worldview coming into the public view, and some of them have spent the day denouncing it and otherwise trying to close down any debate. I prefer to let the electorate see real alternatives, as it is up to them to decide whom to elect and on what basis. As all lefties are at heart totalitarian by nature, that doesn't suit their dictatorial style one little bit; but it will be a lot more interesting – and informative – to find out what the voting public make of it all.
As Guido says at the link, it's essentially sound stuff with one possible exception, although I have slightly more mixed views myself. That, though, is too complex to go into detail in this digest, so I simply mention it in case something comes up requiring my view on some or all of these proposals at some time in the future.
Load of Rubbish
I have in the past day or so encountered a couple of photographs showing rubbish piling up in the streets in Brighton and Hove. Here is a link to one. Apparently this is happening now, though I have no details of that, or why. Interestingly, Labour are using this as an argument to dissuade people from voting for the Green Party – who of course have been running the local council there for a while, and who also have the only Green MP, the ghastly Caroline Lucas.
The irony here is that what might today be going on in one part of the country was in fact a nationwide phenomenon in the Labour government period known as the Winter of Discontent – 1978-1979. We also had power cuts, bodies unburied, and much more back then. I know: I was there!
Although I am pleased that any such repetition of even one aspect of that terrible time is being brought to wider public notice, it is certainly rich of any Labour bod to be using this as a political weapon (especially those who have then gone on to suggest that voting Labour would be better) when their party did far worse damage along the same and other lines within living memory...
It Could Happen
...or, then again, perhaps not. Any report that suggests something 'could' or 'might' happen should immediately be treated with suspicion, as they always turn out to be pushing the author's own agenda, I have found over the years. If it were at all likely, a much more definite statement could (and surely would) be made than could or might, fully backed-up with hard, solid facts.
I have seen so many of these claims, especially from dubious organisations like the fake charities that receive huge amounts of government funding and turn out to be mere lobbying outfits with very well-paid officers and luxuriously fitted out offices. Only this week I came across a photograph showing an expensively Apple-equipped office of one such, for example.
Today's example of the dodgy report, reported in the local press, has obviously been put together by officials at Kent County Council, and pushes the line that welfare reform will result in 'perhaps' a thousand families being moved into Kent from London, placing additional pressures on services in the county.
Well, in case it has escaped those officials' attention, I and many others are aware that people are being placed in Kent, for one purpose or another, all the time. It is one of the reasons we have to keep building all this new housing (though the main reason for that, in the last decade and a half, has been to accommodate Labour's deliberate vast influx of immigrants) – big clue there.
Another has been the asylum seekers specifically – something I ensured (using a ward colleague on the relevant Council committee to set it up) was brought to public attention, resulting in the unfortunate disciplining of a police officer who dared to tell the truth at that meeting.
There are a number of other categories, both adults and children, where significant numbers of movements into Kent from London have been going on for years, both via council (and other) placements and through their own volition. Another few hundred, even if it were to happen (which is by no means certain) will make relatively little difference in practice.