Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Can you hear the winds

I hear another Lib Dem, or should I say one of the founders of the old SDP, complaining about what the Institute for Fiscal Studies called the CONDEMs budget as regressive, this despite repeated calls by Clegg and Alexander that the budget was progressive.

Mr Hancock said that he entered politics to make a difference not to punish the poor. Sadly the Lib Dems have voted for an regressive budget and huge spending cuts, these will punish not only the poor, but many low income workers.

I'm not much interested in these pathetic former SDPs hand wringing, they chose their path.

I suspect this will be a growing phenomenon of senior Lib Dems speaking out about the coalition government, whilst voting in the parliamentary lobby with that same government, this is the difference from being an unprincipled political party and a party of government, it's time for the Lib Dems to grow up, they chose government, now live with it.

Sunday, 15 August 2010

A change in language

In the previous weeks the language from the coalition government seems to have reverted to the same old conservative stance.

Last week was the charge of benefits cheats, let's be honest any benefit fraud is wrong and should be punished, but compared to tax evasion and none payment of tax is a smaller problem, so why does the prime minister focus more on alleged benefits cheats?

A common theme since the coalition governments election has been the constant sniping at the public sectors pay and conditions, focusing on a small band that enjoy good employment terms, yet leaving the public with a view the majority of public employees are living off the backs of the tax payer in the age of austerity.

The truth is the financial sector caused the recession and the deficits that resulted in the loss of tax revenues and additional spending to save the economy from a depression, not huge excesses of public sector workers, many of them being low paid.

The ConDems are trying to create a toxic cocktail that gives legitimacy to cutting of benefits for the poorest and worsening of conditions of public servants, with the voters consuming of Cameron's guff and blaming the recipients of Conservative cuts.

The proud boast of a new politics has simply evaporated, the politics of prejudges is back.

The Audit Commission was abolished last week, everyone seems to respects their judgements, hugely disliked by leading Tories, just look at Mendip, they concluded they were failing to deliver value for money and no one knew what they were trying to do, the best way to end this scrutiny is to abolish or privatise this body.

I suspect not too many voters will miss the Audit Commission because they quietly go about their business, but poor performing councils will continue to coast like Mendip. Stories of strange council spending will soon appear in the Tory press, more softening for the October spending review.

Are we to be taken in by this or will we recognise what is happening?

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

It's now all about control

The Town Council has been consulted by Somerset Association of Local Councils on the Coalition governments proposals to cap the parish council rate.

The first thing to be said is as most Parish Councils recess in August it is not a good time to consult with them and expect responses by the end of August, this would lead you to believe that the coalition government are not much interested in parish opinion.

The second even in Mrs Thatcher days she did not think the local councils were made up of tax gorging maniacs. But this coalition government according to cllr Parham need to "control" the spending of local councils, largely by a incomprehensible local referendum proposal.

The Town Council rejected any capping proposal and complained about the timescale for this consultation.

But if the coalition need control of local councils spending, then they'll surely take control, and the parish pump will be controlled by expensive referendums at the costs of services.

Monday, 2 August 2010

AV or not AV

I read in today's Guardian that MPs are concerned at the level of scrutiny the electoral reform bill is being allowed for http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2010/aug/02/mps-denied-enough-time-to-study-electoral-reform-bill

As regular readers will be aware I am a supporter of the Additional Member Voting System, this allows a constituency vote and a Party vote, so total votes and total seats are fairly proportional.

This Alternative Vote system seems to me as not proportional nor fair, with the second place candidate the true beneficiary, so the second choice wins, I want to vote FOR a candidate and a Party and I want my vote to count.

Parliament should allow a referendum on a proportional voting system and any boundary changes should receive the same scrutiny with public inquiry if necessary.

The new coalition government is playing fast and loose with our unwritten constitution, maybe it's time for a written constitution and bill of rights, this to defend our constitutional rights.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

The slide continues

The latest Yougov poll now puts the Lib Dems on 12%, with the Cons on 42% and Labour on 38%.

This poll is unsurprising with the poor performance of Nick Clegg, since the election he has shown poor strategic thinking and now he shows poor political thinking, interestingly the Lib Dem support is now at the levels they were when the Libs sacked Menzies Campbell.

This before the cuts in public services and the increased taxation that will lead to lower growth and higher unemployment.