conservative

Osborne Launches Leadership Bid

Last night at a public school in South England, George Osborne made a speech which is believed to be the beginnings of his campaign to become the new leader of the Conservative party.

After the speech Osborne said…

I hope the speech will serve to remind the party of its ideological roots.

Although it was short, the speech contained many policy directions.

Below is the speech in full…

Further to the speech, Osborne also unveiled this campaign poster…Osborne

John Curtice was available for comment.

Meltdown Men

I suppose the Boris Johnson interview from yesterday was quite interesting viewing, given that he was in all sorts of trouble, particularly towards the end of it.

However, it isn’t earth-shattering stuff. Boris Johnson may or may not want the PM’s job and has told lies in the past. None of that comes as a massive surprise.

In terms of importance it is as nothing compared to a major story about deception and duplicity in the Tory government.

The video that Greenpeace published a few months back is of much greater import and yet gets little by way of publicity.

Some Tories are seen trying to undermine green legislation, wanting to make amendments to the climate change act, reneging on manifesto promises and showing a rather large amount of disdain for Climate Change Minister Ed Davey, who is supposed to be part of the same government.

Despite the fact that the standard sort of villain music has been put behind what is going on, it is a video that definitely deserves more exposure than it is getting, and is definitely more important than the little tragedies of the one big tragedy that is currently Mayor of London…

 

 

 

You Won’t See A Union Jack Here Again

I have just spent a rather unpleasant 7 minutes listen to Ruth Davidson using highly inaccurate figures and talking about a fair and equitable society.

Therefore, in an unusual tactic for me, I have decided to stick a Union Jack on this site for the first time to show her how fair and equitable those unbridled capitalist policies that her party supports have been to the public of the United Kingdom that she would like to keep together…

LINKED-UP GOVERNMENT

With one bold policy the government is hoping to reduce carbon emissions and increase employment prospects for young people.

Soon the government plans to reintroduce link boys to the city of London, with plans to extend the scheme to other parts of the country if a closed-doors study (conducted in London) reveals that anywhere else apart from Oxford, Cambridge and Ascot actually matters.

The scheme is part of a government plan to counterattack accusations that the government has been slashing services in a haphazard manner.

Minister Bob Solete said…

“We have been reducing services to pre-Victorian levels so it only makes sense to provide the kind of employment for young people existed then. We hope this will also provide the kind of prospects that existed for young people in that time.”

The scheme will involve the turning off of a large amount of street lighting in London. This will provide some of the reduction in carbon emissions that the Government hopes to pretend to achieve. The new team of Link Boys will, as in days of yore, carry torches around to show rich people the way to go. The initial fee is expected to remain at the 18th century rate with Link Boys receiving a around a penny for every journey.

There are further plans to extend the scheme so that it more closely reflects the 18th century reality. These are said to include the rich being carried around on Sedan chairs. The government sees this as another possible method of cutting carbon emissions.

AN EXEMPLARY ACTION

A couple of posts ago I posted the excellent poem by Gil Scott-Heron Work For Peace. That piece talks about what we all know – that the military and the finance sectors work together whenever it suits them.

However, at the moment there seems to be an interesting little schism in the UK which could cause Defence Minister Liam Fox to resign. The Government (which is little more than a cheerleader for the financial sector) wants to cut funding to the armed forces and Fox is up in arms about it (pun intended) . The UK currently is the 3rd highest funded army in the world.

Rank↓ ↓ Country↓ Military expenditure, 2009[3]↓ % of GDP, 2008↓
1 United States United States 663,255,000,000 4.3%
2 People's Republic of China China 98,800,000,000 2.0%
3 United Kingdom United Kingdom 69,271,000,000 2.5%
4 France France 67,316,000,000 2.3%
5 Russia Russian Federation 61,000,000,000 3.5%
6 Germany Germany 48,022,000,000 1.3%
7 Japan Japan 46,859,000,000 0.9%
8 Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia 39,257,000,000 8.2%
9 Italy Italy 37,427,000,000 1.7%
10 India India 36,600,000,000 2.6%

The government wants cuts, it says, in order to clear up the mess made by the financial sector (without actually punishing the financial sector for making the mess in the first place of course). However, the army’s position was hinted at by a former general who in one little statement revealed much about the mentality that leads to murderous military ventures in Afghanistan, Iraq and beyond.

In response the proposed cuts, General Sir Richard Dannet a former head of the UK army said this

“I think that if the UK wants a significant role in the world, it has to have some significant means of power projection.”

Power projection. This is of course what gangsters the world over do…if you want to be taken seriously, you occasionally  have to make an example of someone.

Chomsky called this “performing an exemplary action” and it is one of the most convincing real reasons (as opposed to the fake ones like WMD etc) for the invasions still going on and being planned.

Personally, I think that any cuts that inhibit the ability of the UK to “project power on the international stage” aka “bomb people” or “perform an exemplary action” would be a bonus.

Unfortunately I am not sure that we will see this. They still intend to push ahead with new generation nukes etc and I would expect to see a climb down on this with all the predictable “won’t put the nation’s security at risk” type quotes. After that, the government will get quickly back to inflicting death by a thousand cuts on all non-military services in the UK.

ESSENTIAL VIEWING

This documentary, from BBC Alba, is essential viewing for anyone from the UK or Ireland but particularly Scottish people. It is also essential viewing for anyone with an interest in politics in general and constitutional issues.

It catalogues the history of obstacles placed in the way of the Scottish Independence movement over the years by the London government . While some of it will be well-known to some of you, a lot of it will be new I suspect.

The first part is here and the links to the next parts are on the continuation page…

(more…)

SAME ££££, DIFFERENT PR*CK

There is a lot of talk today about the report by the Institute for Fiscal Studies that suggests that the budget of George “the progressively” Osbourne is much more on the regressive side than we might have been led to believe.

From Channel 4 news

The poor are not only paying more than the rich in proportion to their income – the standard statistical definition of being “regressive”. But the poorest groups are paying more from their vastly smaller incomes than almost all the richest groups in cash terms.

Furthermore…

The IFS says its study found that the poorest six tenths of households lost more in cash terms as a result of the Budget measures than wealthier households in all but the richest 10 per cent.

All I am asking here is the same question that I asked here, and that is simply this – why are people so shocked and/or surprised?

You shouldn’t be suprised because this is what the tories ARE. This is what they do and what they have almost always done.

Don’t get me wrong, Labour, particularly New Labour have very often behaved the same way.

The point is that there has been no significant change in the direction of UK economic policy since Thatcher. The devastating reforms she introduced have only been deepened by successive governments and only the presentation and the faces have changed.

DIDN’T TAKE LONG DID IT?

The benefit fraud stuff has been quickly brought out by condem government. Not a surprise but a quick look at some government statistics (admittedly a few years old but I see no reason why the ratios will have changed substantially) should help to put it in context.

Firstly, they are estimating that there is about £5 billion in benefit fraud every year. However, in years gone past there has been an estimated £7 billion in benefits that were due but went unclaimed. Are they going to hunt these people down to give them their money? Doubt it.

Secondly, from various sources here is a list I compiled a couple of years ago when Neo-Labour were doing the same thing: the list is about where most fraud goes on.

  • Corporate tax avoidance: 85
  • Business fraud: 14
  • Government fraud in Whitehall: 5
  • Tobacco smuggling: 3.5
  • VAT fraud on mobile phones: 2.5
  • Total welfare fraud: 0.7bn (this was the governments figure for 2005/6. It is possible that there is another billion or so in overpayments)
  • Jobseekers Allowance fraud: 0.19
  • Bulldozer smuggling: 0.15 (just left in here because it is a rather unexpected one.)
  • Insurance fraud – Association of British Insurers  claimed in 2006 that insurance fraud comes to about £1.5 billion a year.

I am not suggesting two wrongs make a right but I want to ask a few follow-up questions based on this info….

1. Do you think that the government will pursue corporate fraudsters as vigilantly as it will benefit fraudsters?(please consult evidence regarding whether they do or not)

2. If not, why not?

3. Is that now three wrongs?

4. Which of the two things (corporate or benefit fraud) is the bigger example of naked greed?

5. If they are equivalent examples of greed should the criminals then be treated equally?

6. Does this happen?

Cartoon by the pleb