|The PR battle begins
||[Jun. 10th, 2009|02:50 pm]
A double dose of Gordon Brown versus David Cameron today. After Prime Minister’s Questions, Brown made a statement on plans to clean up politics after the MPs’ expenses scandal. It should have been a tricky session for Brown, after surviving (just) the plot by Labour rebels to unseat him. Neatly, Cameron welcomed the fact that he was still there. But Brown, for once, had some good luck today. Andrew Lansley, the shadow Health Secretary, had suggested on BBC Radio 4 this morning that a Tory Government would cut spending in most departments by 10 per cent. Manna from heaven for Brown, who milked it for all it was worth. Cameron goofed at one point by using Labour language about "Tory cuts."
But Cameron had an open goal too. He mocked Brown’s sudden interest in electoral reform – one of the constitutional changes under discussion as part of the Government's drive to "clean up politics." In 12 years in power, the Tory leader said, there hadn't been a squeak from Labour about proportional representation (PR). Now it was going to lose it was looking to change the rules of the game. The Tories oppose PR and Cameron had rehearsed some good lines. The good things about the existing first-past-the-post system was that it enabled the voters to "get rid of a weak, tired and discredited government." But the Tory spending row united Labour MPs behind their leader at a good moment for him.
Cameron 1, Brown 2 (Lansley 1 own goal)
I think both parties have missed the biggest issue in the upcoming election, which is to stop Scotland voting in the English elections.
They wanted devolution. They deserve it. Cut them off and leave them to it. That way Labour will never cling on in such a ridiculous farce.
The biggest issue? Its not even in the minds of most people, let alone a big issue.
2009-06-10 03:32 pm (UTC)
A pound saved is a pound earned
is a maxim oft-quoted in the private sector. Sadly, it is unknown in government and the public sector. By the same token, public spending cuts need not result in public service cuts.
For example, since Gordon Brown became Chancellor, more than £77bn of taxpayers' money has been 'invested' not getting people on benefits back into work. The number of young people not in work, training or education has increased, despite Mr Brown's promise to reduce it. Those NEETS go through the same courses time and again. They drop out of apprenticeship schemes. They fail to turn up at job interviews. And all the while, immigrants with a smattering of English have helped themselves to jobs at a cost to the taxpayer of nil.
Now do you see how is might be possible to cut government departments' spending by 10 per cent without cutting services? Monitor expenditure against results, and when targets are not met, stop throwing good money after bad. Lord Sugar will understand this perfectly well. But he's been hired in the wrong department.
Lansley may well have goofed but even so, it is time some reality started to bite so, a fortuitous foot in gob, as it were. Brown can prattle on as much as he likes but, he has put himself in a very difficult position, Labour Investment turns out to be "Tory Cuts" by another name.
Brown has exposed the whole sham which comes back on his bad management of the economy for the past 12 years. He is right, there will be a choice at the next election: "Who do you want to administer the Cuts, Labour or the Tories ?" Because after today, it is clear that this is what it all comes down to. My personal view is that as Brown and Labour caused the mess, They go and the Tories have a try.
There is one really big saving we could all contribute to, get rid of the "Compensation Culture" that has grown up because whilst it keeps fat cat lawyers in business, it is responsible for likely 95 percent of all the target and clipboard culture which just costs time and money. I saw it at first hand when my 88 year old Mother had a fall whilst in hospital, all the form filling which I suspect was to stop the Trust being sued was ridiculous. She is an old lady, she slipped off a chair - it happens !
Now we know there is going to be pain, even Brown is now owning up to it, all we need to do is work out the fairest way to spread it between us and look to where voluntary work in our communities can help the vulnerable be they young, old or sick.
I think Brown's saying to all of us is
Don't f**k with me, whilst I'm f**king you. Got it!