UK Election 2015

Monday, 25 May 2015

TME TO CAN CAM'S EUROCON

Good to see that leadership candidates now accept  what I've been saying for months: that Labour should have proposed a referendum on the EU Late but good. Now however we can't just throw our votes behind Cameron who isn't negotiating seriously,who's putting forward only trivial demands and who,come the vote,will be saying we should stay in and relying on fear to get folk to vote to stay

Saying the EU is wonderful is not policy. Labour must now say what we want out of re-negotiation, particularly over lower contributions which presently are a sizeable part of our growing balance of payments deficit

Having set out what reforms are necessary to make the EU work for Britain and announced that our vote is conditional on the necessary changes which would allow us to undercut the SNP it's time to look again at our reasons for staying in the EU most of which are such fairy tales that they only demonstrate how little we understand the dynamics of growth and economics .Here's a sample:-
1)The EU preserves peace in Europe Balls Tony Blair had to get the U.S. To act on Kosovo cos the EU wouldn't. Look what a mess it's made by interfering in Ukraine NATO preserves peace. The EU provokes bitter arguments
2)Three million jobs are threatened if we leave .Balls again  We have a huge deficit in trade we the EU .If it were stopped they'd suffer more than us. So it won't be
3)Negotiating as a group enhances B ritain's power. Even more balls  The EU negotiating position is always diluted to the needs of the many. In the TITP negotiations the French got culture and media omitted.We can't get the NHS excluded 
4)If we attack them they'll harden against us. Childish twaddle
5)The benefits of membership outweigh the costs. Absolutely wrong. We have a sizeablettrade deficit,pay over the odds lose much of our fish,pay more for. Their overpriced food we can't control immigration. What are the benefits? When and where  do we see them?
6)Better to belong to a bigger market. Mini balls when that market ha been turned into the high unemployment low growth black spot of the advanced world by the folly of the Euro which will never work but does manage to keep the German exchange rate down so that they can  take our markets. 
7)Britain gains access to a larger market :we' still have it if we left as we have to the American. In any case it' easier to supply and even dominate as small market from a large one than vice versa and we've been duly penetrated.
8) Harmonisation helps trade : but the tax fiddles offered by Luxembourg and Ireland allow firms making their profts in Britain to dodge their taxes here 
9) Britain is European. You could have fooled me. We've always looked to the wider world and the Commonwealth whose kith and kin we are now excluding to let in more Eastern Europeans 
10) Better to be part of a larger block. Even bigger balls.Advantage lies with smaller nations who can determine their own priorities, navigate their own course and don't have to dilute it for fuckwits. Britain can get better deals on its own
So it goes on. The arguments for membership are either fairy tales or myths propagated by idealists who want unity but don't understand simple economics

The basic question remains. Do we need to belong to this old hat and over regulated expansive bureaucratic monolith dedicated to an ever closer union we don't want just because the vested interests want to stay and we're scared they'll retaliate if we leave Do we? EU might. I don't.


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Labour's in danger of getting it wrong again


 We're in danger of getting it all wrong. Again. Good leader candidates but no one outstanding in the way Blair was or Smith before him. No clear ideas on policy. No understanding of that awkward entity the British people.

So run the party through a commission for a year to put candidates thru their paces.Understand why we lost : cos we were never going to win against a one term government. Then realise that people don't particularly want change. They just want to get.on with their lives and be better off.

The Brits don't particularly like each other and they hate scroungers so they're not as worried as U.S. About injustices to the poor. They love rising house prices because the majority are owners.They believe in piggy bank economics don,t understand Keynes and think austerity is good for other people.

They do want to be better of so they'll vote for hope but paradoxical the Tories in their panic offered more than us while we did our best to kill it and we're so ashamed of Brown we allowed all the blame to be dumped on him and made nothing of the fact that the Tories had killed the recovery he was generating

They're hardly socialist but recognise that capitalism cheats,bankers are overpaid bastards landlords charge.too.much rent and that the utilities are.run by greedy crooks so they didn't mind the policies that got us labelled anti-business .It was just that they weren't a coherent critique and didn't cancel the image of economic incompetence

So it's not back to Blair but to Crosland to develop policies which will generate growth and betterment and a surplus to spend on the NHS the sole state system they love

Don't be fooled. We're neither an aspirational  nation nor a collection of nervous altruists but a collection of tired,rather selfish nervous but dutiful dopes who want a quiet life and are too timid to do anything but cling to nurse in tough times.They're not particularly happy with the government but are all too easily scared .They haven't believed Cameron but the mini recovery and the promise of better times ahead  persuaded them into giving him another chance.When he fails to deliver on that as he will they'll come back to us but only if we offer them hope and a return to the growth they've been led to expect and always got up to 2010 rather than a load of aspirational codswallop and kindness to business soap.


So don't junk the policies to make way for a lot of touchy hopey aspirational stuff, keep pointing out that the government's politicise won't work can't work and that the nation is being made weaker.Offer hope and project the economic policies necessary to get it and we'll win. Just a little later than we'd hoped.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

The EU is a problem for Labour too.



It's pretty clear that the decision to hold a referendum on EU membership poses big problems for Cameron. He did it to undercut UKIP  and hoped to repeat Harold Wilson's confidence trick of 1975 but things have changed since then. 

There's more opposition to Membership. The EU which looked successful  then is a mess now thanks to the Euro which will never work.The structures have hardened and become less flexible. Labour didn't get any real changes in its re negotiation Cameron will get less so he's not going to be able to say "I've pulled it's teeth. Let's stay in".He'll still say it of course but it won't carry any conviction.

So what should Labour say? Up to now we've said only that it's a wonderful institution and we mustn't frighten business by thinking of leaving.Total rubbish of course but the kind of rubbish we can't talk in the run up to the next referendum. Now can we do as we did in the Scots referendum and just become lame accomplices of the Tories.

So we should make our own demands in the re-negotiation to show we're not just Junker's poodle. Most essential is a reduction in our payments. The budget contribution alone is now £11 billion net and that for a nation in heavy balance of trade difficulties. Add to that the use of the CAP as a regional policy from which we benefit least of all because out agriculture is so small. Why should we have to buy their dear food when we can get it so much more cheaply elsewhere ? Then the CFP gives them too much of our rich fish stocks and U.S. To few powers of enforcement.So demand the 12 mile limit all wound, better quotas in the fifty mile and the right of hot pursuit. Finally we're going to have to rebuild our manufacturing base in the face of intense competition from them .So we need the ability to pay state aids and investment grants to industry and to operate a regional policy to subsidise regional labour.

Finally we need the ability to tax profits generated in Britain so that the firms making them make their contribution to our public services. We can't do this as long as must of the tax fiddles which corporations use to dodge their taxes are sanctioned by the EU.Ireland's 17% corporation tax hurts us as does the double Irish fiddle  sanctioned by the Republic. Luxembourg helps firms to avoid British taxes and we should ask how many of the businesses preaching the benefits of staying in the EU are using those benefits to fiddle their tax obligations to this country Do tell. All this can only be stopped by European measures .We need to have these as part of the renegotiation 

The essential point, always ignored is that we are in a heavy trade deficit,particularly in manufactures with the EU..That means that the business lobby for the EU is mostly importers  not exporters and that the talk of threatening three million jobs is utter rubbish since more of their jobs than ours are threatened if trade is restricted. (Which it won't be)

Labour must recognise that most of its voters want out and most of its members feel an unease about such an unequal relationship . It's only our naive leaders who view the Euro monster with such vacuous enthusiasm  that their policy towards it has become hear no evil speak no evil of the club which charges us so much to ruin us.

We can't argue for power to be transferred down to the people in political matters but insist that it be taken for further away to Europe in other matters.Put the national interest first in these negotiations and use them to increase the power of a Labour government to help ourselves Our approach shouldn't be to say how much we love this job gobbler  on wheels as it was in the election.

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It's depressing to see how quickly British politics have returned to normal after the brief revival of hope in the election.. The government is already embarking on another set of its prejudiced enormities and defending them with the usual lies while Labour whines but offers no alternative and the press tells a disbelieving nation how wonderful things are going when they're not.

Tory policy is reverse socialism: Keynes for the upper classes neo Liberalism for the rest.so we pour  out huge socialist subsidies to landlords  to low paying gradgrind employers and to landowners and estate agents but cut spending on welfare,benefits and local government  to allow tax cuts to the subsidised classes.It makes no sense but it's what  we bovine Brits voted for and just in case we get too fed up of it the government will now revive the aborted 2011 redistribution to give themselves 20 more seats.

That's how Tory government works.It may work better for the few than the many but the many can always be conned by the press into accepting anything.

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Wednesday is the world premier of the greatest film ever shot in Grimsby. "Great Grimsby" is screened for a waiting world at the Parkway Cinema in Cleethorpes with an all star attendance  and an all star cast of Grimsby greats. Don't miss it.





Saturday, 16 May 2015

Message to Labour attack government, not each other-


Being perfectionists keen to build a better world Labour has a dreadful propensity to blame itself when things go wrong. Now having just lost an election we hope to win instead of hounding the government for its  inevitable failure to keep promises it made in desperation, attempting the impossible on Europe and positing everything on an economic recovery which is petering we've decided to fall apart fighting in lumps about our own failings, our leadership and our mistakes in the election. At a time like this post mortems are as useful  as a dose of clap.  

Daft! Victory as a hundred claimants, defeat a thousand blamers but the Tories won badly not  big in a contest which favoured them anyway because one term governments usually get a second chance  We did some daft things like the Ed stone(which should be sold to raise money for the party)and the commitment not to deal with the SNP but then so did the Tories;it's only human.The real reasons for our defeat were three  and the only one which was our fault was due to a lack of confidence in ourselves rather than a policy failure.

First the Tories managed to create a fear of a weak Labour government in hock to the SNP.Not our fault. Second they successfully distorted our record and we let them by creating a myth that the last Labour government was overspending. Those Labour fools who're now endorsing this should remember that Osborne endorsed our spending proposals up to 2008, that the big borrowing was to save the banks and that thanks to Brown's stimulus the economy was growing faster in
Labour"s last quarter than it is now.Osborne's foolish austerity killed all that. Third reason was that we offered neither hope not nationalist enthusiasm  in our anxiety to be business friendly

Two of these reasons for defeat were our fault. We should have rebutted the Tory distortions because they undermined confidence in us but we hardly rebutted it because we were ashamed of Gordon Brown and committed balancing the budget- which is a folly because budgets should be in deficit and borrowing high in recession to boost demand and operate the multiplier. Why didn't we? The second failure was even more disastrous Instead of offering growth explaining how we'd get it by stimulating demand, investing in infrastructure and boosting manufacturing we just offered more of the same, in austerity lite, so electors might think,why take the risk? They did.

Now all that's history except that its all getting distorted in the debate between modernisers (who want to take us back to 1997) and the "business friendly" (who want to move us further to the right and the baffled unhappy rank and file. Why argue ourselves. An electorate which opted to cling to nurse is now going to get more of the austerity it doesn't particularly like. The government  has top deliver on tax cuts and the recovery is slowing but government has no idea how to boost it because it was produced by low interest rates, high house prices and  375 billion of quantitative easing . Most EU countries are now growing faster, exports are failing the pound over valued and productivity low. A 5% deficit in public revenues and a 6% deficit in trade won't be cured easily.

Then there's the other problem the Euro referendum. Cam hopes to bring it forward. What is Labour to do ? Leaders want to support what will be the government position ;vote to stay in With the same effect as our support for the government in the Scottish referendum.No use pretending the EU is the greatest thing since spliced lederhosen. A Labour government will face problems with it: it costs too  much, it prevents the rebuilding of English fishing, the CAP hurts us and it will inhibit regional policy and aid for industry to help re balance the economy. Spell them out and demand that the government negotiate for them too. They won't get anything But then Cam won't get his own demands either and it stops us becoming little Sir Echo again.

A government with a majority of only 12 can't last. Many voted for it uneasily. Its promises are predicated on a growth it won't get. People gave it the benefit of the doubt but the doubt is very strong More austerity will boost it not satisfy. The sensible response is to harry the life out of it. Not squabble among ourselves. Masochism is a psychological condition Not a  strategy for victory .           


  

Monday, 11 May 2015

Last Post

Monday 11 May

CLEARING UP AFTER THE PARTY

Now the result no one expected has to be set in concrete. Had the Tories expected to win they wouldn't have made so many commitments to spending and tax cuts. Had we expected to lose so badly we'd never have been so cautious. Now both parties can change their clothes and be what they are.

But what are they? Cameron is free to be his own man but even he doesn't seem to know that is after his chameleon years,Osborne is free to do what will be his worst and Boris is free to run the bike shed. Not much talent among the rest because the loss of the Libs has deprived them of talent  Sahid Javid the fitness fanatic in charge of flabby British industry. How blessed the paradise to come.

When government launches onto a sea of troubles with policies that are entirely inappropriate as this one is the best thing opposition can do is shut up and harry the bastards. Naturally Labour has done the opposite. Ed who should have stayed on to preside over change has rushed to resign and a policy debate which should be held over the years has begin already. Total folly which enables a collection of creeps to claim that they knew all along we were on the wrong track with the wrong leader though they omitted to tell us at the time.

Some say we must move to the centre ground  without saying where that is or what it means. Normally it's the long yellow streak in the middle of the road but in a sinking ship it must be the plimsoll line which is now below the water line. Others say we must be more business friendly. I doubt whether any party could have been more business friendly than we were as we set out to show ourselves cautious, respectable deficit-reducing rate-cutting protectors of a nervous business community from the terror of an EU referendum.Yet they stil hated us and clamoured for the Tories because British business is fairly stupid more concerned for tax cuts for their executives than growth and demand.  Business always does better under Labour because we make its customers better off but threaten its perks, privileges and fiddles.

Other canards which will be flown against us more regularly than drones on ISIS are avoid ideology.We did. Speak to the aspirational.We did, as the party of education jobs, expansion and renewal of local government services. Do more for traditional Labour voters attracted to UKIP- Some truth here because we were so Europe friendly but on the other hand we offered jobs apprenticeships more housing and rent controls.

The fact is we were beaten by fear : fear that we'd be dependent on the SNP, fear of the borrowing we'd done to save the banks and fear of economic inexperience and at the last minutes shy Tories who'd not liked to admit that they were going to vote for such a call our incompetent government decided to give it the benefit of the doubt. They'll soon be sorry and the tide will turn our way as they realise their mistake.Then Labour's policies will become relevant and a real alternative to more cuts, dearer housing, stalling growth and the burdens of debt on ordinary people.They were to early and the electorate too nervous to carry us to power in 2015

So wait before junking everything. Wait before choosing a new leader. Harry a government with no majority set to fail and don't rush into another rolling row.  Here Endeth the lesson.

Lapin will leap on. But less frequently.


Saturday, 9 May 2015

I was wrong

OK (or rather not) I got it wrong. So did the polls, the pundits and the nation which will love to regret the day when frightened by Tory created fear of Scots, of Miliband, of Labour, it decided to cling to nurse and do what it usually does : give a first term government another chance no matter how badly they've done.

Now everything depends on Cameron. Hitherto a weak leader bending into whatever policies and positions his party pushed him and doing brilliant PR for every neo liberal  folly Osborne forced on him. Now he's the master but he's no longer got the Liberals as coalition partners to protect him. So will he lead his party away from austerity and cuts  and towards community and fairness or will he be pushed by the resurgent right into theologies of revenge and more neo liberal follies.?

First signs are bad. Reviving the failed redistribution to rig the electoral system to the Tories,"English votes for English rhubarb"and talk of benefit cuts  which will become more painful as the economy slows. Now he has to show whether he's the liberal one nation Tory he set out to be or just a PR man for anything. 

But I can't escape the fact that the first election I've not been able to predict because it looked so close has turned out a total disaster for Labour for all the hopes we had for better and, I believe, for the nation which voted for a future of low wages mean benefits and increased unfairness and inequality.

The exit poll which I first denied made this clear so the question is whether all the polls up to that point were wrong or was there some unexpected and belated move to the Tories  in the last days..

It must be the latter, a belated stiffening of resolve to vote Tory by those either considered unlikely to vote ( and the poll was slightly up) or the fact  that the Tory scare about the Scots finally worked on the weakly committed.It was the Scots wot did us though we also lost support in England cos we didn't offer hope and Ed didn't command  confidence

So unexpectedly habemus papa. No negotiations.All the expensive structures erected on Collage Green can be dismantled. Boris has five years to wait. Forests have been turned into pamphlets in vain. All my prophecies were wrong.Thousands of party workers have tramped the streets in vain

It's fairly normal for a new government to be given a second chance and the Tories offered so many promises that  people might have begun to believe that the policies were working so they  would stop the cuts and offer more in their second term by reverting from grad grind  economics to an older version of one nation Toryism.

They could and they may but that would involve moving Osborne and giving up on his programme of rolling back the state and I doubt whether Cameron has the strength to do that.

In which case the proper policy is to harry the bastards  because there are so many policies which will blow up in their faces. This isn't a real substantial recovery. They can only create one by building houses on a big scale, investing and boosting manufacturing and only the state can do that.

We have a Balance of Payments deficit which amounts to 6% of GDP and a fiscal deficit of about the same level.They'll not get either down without boosting productivity which is lagging .All their promises are predicated in the recovery getting stronger. It's tailing off. They'll not get enough concessions from the EU to offer a new deal so he'll have to commend membership and split his party by so doing. Th  NHS needs more money now. How can he offer it without boosting borrowing?

So the job of the Opposition is to harry the bastards to force them to live up to their promises  not to fall apart and argue among themselves over what Labour should propose. The policy offering in 2015 was OK so there's no use preaching a return to Blairite vacuity but the electorate didn't feel that things were so bad as to justify it. As things get worse they will be. So don't chuck it all overboard and start again because things are going to get harder, not better.

So don't be demoralised by defeat. Wait and attack. The majority is small and will fall apart. Cameron is a chameleon and can be pushed by his fractious party to anything They're festooned with promises they can't fulfil and will burn out before the term is up. All that makes it daft for Labour to change leader and policies now. Ed should have stayed on to let someone else to emerge. He didn't. 

So all I can do is offer to put the plinth of platitudes in my garden and let the wisteria grow on it and suggest that we elect Yvette Cooper. And harry the bastards in the way that they harried us in 1951 and we harried them under John Major. Support will come back to us as people realise what a mistake the result was. They'll lose by-elections and split on Europe so wear them down

In he meantime don't be young, don't be a woman, don't be a northerner, low paid or a Scot..Don't need early hospital treatment or expensive drugs and don't try to get yourself educated or depend on libraries, children's' centres or sports facilities or hope for a mortgage or buying a house. Hibernate. Or get seriously rich.

I must go to bed. I'm exhausted. Socialism is a Sisyphean labour but one from which there's no retirement. 


Thursday, 7 May 2015

The end of one mess and the start of another

Here ends the addled election, the messiest since 1974, and here starts the constitutional mess of making sense of the result as the electorate decides not to decide and gives the problem back to the politicians who're so busy fighting each other they've no idea how to decide anything. Not even their salaries.

The campaign never came alight and certainly didn't grip the nation so instead of doing their job and telling the nation how they proposed to get it out of the mess, the politicians merely attacked each other and warned of dire consequences if the other lot got in while the minor party filled the sky with pie.

Ed Miliband grew in stature while David Cameron shrank and was forced desperately to pump himself up towards the end. Milo at least tried to protect a vision of a better society then spoiled it by proposing a gravestone of platitudes  such as "all teeth regularly brushed" and "babies bottoms regularly wiped" while Cameron concentrated on fear creation "murder, rape and higher taxes" if Labour wins and "Sporran stripping if the SNP supports Labour" if they don't quite make it. 

Cleggy preached sanctimony, damned the government with faint praise and kicked Labour at every opportunity, UKIP  blamed every problem on immigrants most of whom are part time rapists and the greens promised gluten free cheese for every cauliflower while the electorate turned away and went "Awwwwww" about the Royal baby. 

I see no sign of a last minute trend like the shy Tories who emerged in1992 though the Tory vote might strengthen a little if people decide to cling to nurse in uncertain times though it might not because nurse gives every symptom of being mad and plotting still more cuts. Media always exaggerate new trends so the SNP might not win as many Labour seats as predicted while the Libs who deserve to lose the lot will retain more than they should because Liberal MPs dig in so well. The Tories will also benefit from the incumbency factor which gives MPs a 2% advantage in their second election. 

But none of these trends should be strong enough to break the basic deadlock so though I shouldn't risk a call mine would be that Cam will have first shot at forming a government and fail because they've been such obnoxious bastards and then Miliband will make it with SNP support plus the diminished number of Lib Dems  who if they are to be a genuine centre party of government must be prepared to work with both majors and can't be seen to be turning Labour out.

Then we'll have the fun of weeks of negotiations while I and other failures and rejections walk up and down on College Green where huge studios have been erected for the know all to pontificate about what they can't understand and the new Clarions of the People prostrate themselves to get on telly and have their say,  hoping that's it will stand them in good stead in the run up to Election II and possibly III.  Should be fun

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I've already recorded my bit for the Jeremy Vine show on Monday holding up cards like Bob Dylan ("don't follow leaders.Watch your parking meters").What lessons would I give to new MPs?
1)Don't do it 
2 Be independently wealthy or increase pay 
3 Move parliament to York- so much more convenient for Grimsby 
4) Have three year parliaments- much better for keeping in touch with the people
5) Introduce proportional representation. It's the only way of working multi party politics.


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"dunno" is the best I can do  for a prediction.When you've got such a gulf between politicians and people,when the nation is so fed up and doesn't trust any of us and when the only response politicians  make is to blame everything on each other rather than offer guidance to the future you're going to get non elections which neither stimulate nor excite leading to no score draws which can't  produce a clear winner or a firm government. 

Britain has entered a new era of uncertainty, and the age of strong government is over. Leadership by dictat is no longer possible, coalition building and concessions are the only way forward. But will they work when the politicians have no clear idea of what to do except attack each other, the electorate has no respect for them and doesn't realise the scale of the problem and our malign media proclaims the myth  that Britain is still a world leader and a major power when it's a third rate minor power which hasn't the foggiest idea of what role it wants to play.Unhappy Daze.

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Don't worry about a long period of argument and indecision with no party in a position to form a government. New Zealand had six weeks of neutered government , Belgium's had a year and Denmark several months and it's done none of them any harm. 

The media will bang on about the collapse of sterling but that's good for exports.The rich won't leave en masse nor will the banks and if they do it will be easier to tax their British earnings. The multinationals will stay and manufacturing will expand because it's more competitive.

In any case no government at all will be better than the last lot slashing spending and benefits, paring back the state and imposing a painful and unnecessary austerity for  purely ideological reasons. No government is better than misgovernment. It may even end up with  making Boris leader of the Funservative party instead of the sour Neo-Libs and Conmen in charge today. That would be marvellous.



Wednesday, 6 May 2015

DESPERATE MEN IN DESPERATE PLEAS

24 hours to go and both Cleggy and Cameron seem to think they're going to lose. How else can one explain Clegg's claim that no government without the diminished band of Libs can be legitimate and even more amazingly Cameron claiming that if Labour come second in seats taking power with the backing of the SNP would not be a legitimate government.

Balls.Whether the Tories are first or second they will have more difficulties in forming a government than Labour because they've got fewer friends.They might get the Ulster Unionists (that they say would be legitimate however much the have to be given to reverse the settlement) and no doubt the Libs would be keen to carry on their affair however few their numbers and however loudly the Tory bank benchers object but if that doesn't give them some guarantee of the 323 they need to survive a motion of confidence they've had it

Then it's Labour's turn  and if it's numbers are enough with SNP support and possibly Liberals desperate for office with anyone, then they govern and that government is legitimate however loudly the Tories and their press supporters howl and attempt to undermine it. The assumption that only a Tory minority government is legitimate is typical Tory arrogance.The belief that they alone are born to rule. In 1911 Balfour defended the House of Lords on the ground that it had the duty "to ensure that whether in power or in opposition the Tory party shall control the destinies of this empire" Now it's the job of English electors to anyone elected by the Scots.

Put simply: whoever can come to an arrangement to secure 323 votes on confidence and supply is the government. If that's Labour, as it should be then whoever denies its elegantly is treasonous. That may not be Cam. If he can't get a majority he'll be thrown out by a party which has never liked him, but that's not for me to say. 

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One issue has not been discussed in this awful election even though it's the basic one and perhaps the only essential issue. Can we rebuild an economy strong enough to support the standard of living ,the quality of life and the public services an advanced educated society has a right to expect, and to pay the nation's way in the world? 

At present the British economy does neither with the result that everything is being cut or taxes will have to be increased, we're having to sell of every available asset from ccompanies to houses to sustain our credit overseas and everyone is in debt up to the hilt to sustain their standard of living.

Yet not a word is said by our leaders about this horrendous problem in case it frightens people  Instead the argue about paying off national debt, balancing the budget neither of which matters because governments have to borrow in recession and should borrow more to stimulate growth and put people back to work. It's daft to take a simplistic moralistic view of government borrowing as if it was the same as household borrowing. It isn't because government borrowing has a multiplier effect. It puts people back to work building houses. It boosts demand. It means there's more money about to stimulate the economy.  Yet all parties cackle on about borrowing as it if was a sin not a virtue and in so doing pledge themselves to depress the economy even more .

What have the parties to offer. The Tories speak of the March of the Makers but industrial production is now falling the pound is too high for exports and productivity is down. Labour will do more borrowing  for investment but shows no realisation that the pound is too high and that too many companies are  foreign owned to serve the national interest. But will either party tell the electorate the truth?


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

LET'S GET IT OVER WITH!

Only three days to go and it's clear this election should have been brought forward so we can get it over more quickly.The parties have run out of things to say.The newspapers have run out of abuse of Miliband (Edstones apart) and the horrors which will ensure from a Labour government, the electorate is bored and even the candidates have run out of the debating points. They've been deluged with endless repetition which damages the brain.

Yesterday I watched all the regional Question Time on BBC Parliament and was depressed by the quality of the candidates. On programme after programme Tory candidates were chanting the same mantra about the "long term economic plan" or "A strong health service needs a strong economy" 
(Meaning we're not likely to get either) while the Libs countered about"moderating the extremes" and the Greens (who had better candidates) poured out naive impossibilities and UKIP (whose candidates ranged from good to awful)

One thing was clear. They've all been well drilled and can parrot the policies. But they're all just giving the party line. No trace of original thought or their own ideas or any propensity to dissent. The opportunities for dissent will be enormous in a hung parliament but the new chums will be less likely to see them and more inclined to do as they're told by leaders who haven't much idea either.

That means less rebellion more concentration on grinding government down. It's going to be tough but worse for the Tories who'll have more trouble over Europe because they can't define what they want out of a renegotiation and their UKIPer majority won't be satisfied with the conjuring trick Harold Wilson did in 1975. They'll have trouble too over the cuts which are going to be painful if they get back.

A Labour government will be harder work conciliating the SNP, but a Tory one will be messier and more fun to watch as the promises poured out at this election come home to roost..

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Russell Brand calls for an emergency vote for a revolution. Surely it should be 
an emergency non vote for a non- revolution?

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The Editor of the Independent on Sunday hasn't yet accepted my bet that Melanie Onn will win Grimsby by over 2000, she has more faith in the dire prediction of her journalist.