Thursday, 29 April 2010

'kin 'ell

The Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King, is alleged to have said that whoever makes the cuts needed to bring the UK back on track will be so unpopular that they will be unelectable for a generation. Well, he's right isn't he?

We've had 13 years of profligate spending on 37 ministerial departments, 300 local councils, 900+ quangos, 3 devolved governments and the EU.

There are probably a million people who could disappear from the civil service payroll without affecting teaching, health, the military and any other front-line service.

That would save a bucket-load of tax through not paying for salaries, pensions and other costs, such as failed £12.7bn NHS projects. That tax would be returned to the economy, which can be used to re-employ the million former civil servants to do something useful. Who would then pay tax and spend money, thus perpetuating the cycle. It cannot happen overnight and will be painful for all involved.

However, this will never happen with Brown and Darling in Nos 10 and 11. Cable wouldn't have the guts or the vision to do anything so radical or creative, unless it is presented to him on an abacus.

The Tories could do it though. They are not afraid to be the baddies. They did it for 18 years, set up a very nice economy thank you very much and have watched while it has been systematically dismantled since 1997. Time to let them try again.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

True Colours

A few observations on Gordon Brown’s self-destruction earlier today:

His forced smile whilst listening to the woman, his on-mic remarks about her being a bigot and his botox apology were all more cringeworthy than watching an episode of The Office or Curb Your Enthusiasm.

“I misunderstood what she said” – so now Gordon is deaf as well as blind?

Are we all going to get a doorstep visit from the soon-to-be-former PM, apologising for his two-faced, mendacious treatment of the electorate?

Makes you realise that all those stories earlier in the year about bullying were spot on.

Monday, 26 April 2010

Dr Who and the Tories

No, not the next episode of the long-running (and long in the tooth) sci-fi series - I’m more of a Jon Pertwee/Tom Baker man - but a warning from the previous Dr Who, David Tennant, that a future Conservative government would be bad for the BBC.

The left-leaning Tennant is afraid that the BBC will be broken up and the cash used to fund commercial television. But what Tennant doesn’t understand is that the BBC is as big a waste of public money as any of the other 37 government departments. I have blogged before about the multiple, parallel news broadcasts and endless re-making of programmes that the BBC has already made several times before (usually lavish costume dramas).

The Beeb should not be immune from the cost-cutting that is needed to bring government spending under control. Indeed, I would have thought that the lefties would be delighted that the licence tax, sorry fee, was spread out amongst more recipients.

Now I know the polls are nonsense

A poll announced in today’s Torygraph claims that Gordon Brown, he of the deathbed grimace, has a more trusted smile than his would-be Prime Ministerial challengers.

Now, I am still having trouble with Nick Clegg suddenly being catapulted into the running as leader of the country, based on his performance in the two leaders’ debates (this is an election Britain, not the X-Factor), but I really struggle to fathom how anybody could misconstrue Brown’s rictus frown for anything other than a man with a bad case of constipation.

Then again, if the dimwitted respondents to these polls think that Nick Clegg should be Prime Minister, they will say anything to a pollster to raise a laugh.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Spot the difference

Tory potential Education Secretary and Edmund ("Osmond!!" - say it like Brian Blessed) Blackadder:

Eff All

“A future fair for all”, so says Labour’s alliterative election slogan.

To save everyone from the bother of having to wade through the non-document that is the Labour manifesto, I have a handy cut-out-and-keep summary:

Rebuild our economy: that we single-handedly destroyed through financial neglect and blind devotion to whatever the City did; the rebuilding will be financed by those least responsible for the destruction; those most responsible for the recession will receive bonuses and chairmanships of FTSE-100 companies, or in Geoff Hoon’s case, five grand a day for setting up meetings.

Reform and protect our public services: hire even more workshy layabouts that cannot get jobs in the private sector; pump billions more into making the government bigger and more expensive; and then act surprised when the country wakes up in 2015 to discover we have no other employer but HM Government.

Renew our politics: we’ve had 13 years of power with nothing to show apart from £165bn of debt, £900bn of unfinanced civil service pensions and some free porn for Jacqui Smith’s husband. The only renewal of politics the electorate wants is to see the back of inefficient, corrupt politicians.

At least Brown and Co are preparing for life after politics. As with many of the industries that have been forced to lay off workers who then find jobs in call centres, Gordon has been getting in some practice:

Fair for all? Eff all, more like.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Liberal Conditions

In a speech about the Tories’ potential post-election budget, Nick Clegg appears to have caught the Labour of disease of talking in "could" and "would" language. (For those who don’t know, Nick Clegg is the leader of the Liberal Democrats, a political party with as much chance of governing as my goldfish).

Clegg argues that the Conservatives would need to increase VAT to 20.5%, at a cost of £389 per family per year, to pay for other tax breaks that may (or may not) be introduced. Where the numbers are dreamed up is anybody’s guess, probably from financial genius and former paper-clip counter, Vince Cable.

Actually, increasing VAT is a good idea as it spreads the cost of taxation across all citizens, including those who don't or won’t work. It is also a tax you can choose not to pay, either by abstinence or by purchasing from a country with lower sales tax.

Nice shooting Nick, you got your foot first time.

Mr. Muscle

Another day, another pledge from the government: no increase in the basic rate of income tax. Aye, right, as they say up here. The famous Scottish double positive, which always means a negative.

I seem to remember this pledge from Labour before: now we have new tax rates, increased NI and stagnant personal allowances - all of which equal tax rises in all but name.

I also remember the "pledge" on introducing Proportional Representation in 1997 and the other one about an EU referendum in 2005.

Brown's pledges are similar to that of a popular cleaning product: can be wiped away and leave a nasty, unnatural smell.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

View to a kill

If looks could kill...

Adam Boulton was lucky there wasn't a Nokia handy for Gordo to fling at him.

Ordinary People

So, the man currently known as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has finally done the decent thing and handed in his 30 days notice to Her Maj. And rather than saying how he will turn the country into a safe place to live, with low taxation, efficient public services and a government that can be trusted, he has hit the trail by stating how “ordinary” he is.

He is an ordinary man from an ordinary town. Ok Gordo, if you are ordinary then you will have probably indulged in some of the following: drinking until you vomit, watching naked bodies on telly, driving too fast, staying up all night listening to loud music, taking an illegal substance, not handing in your homework on time, fiddling your expenses.

Apart from the last activity, Brown is far from ordinary: inability to apologise, stubbornness to the point of appearing to be a brick wall, a tendency to hide the truth behind statistics, failure to get on with his fellow MPs, selective view of the past, less than the average number of eyes. If that is ordinary, no wonder we are in a mess.

But I don’t want an ordinary person to lead the country. I want someone with a bit of character, vision, spirit, drive. A cross between Andy McNab, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Branson, with maybe a dash of Joanna Lumley to add sense and balance into the mix.

Brown is the last person to be allowed to run the country again. His brand of ordinariness has run the economy into the ground, saddled us with an immediate £170bn debt and a long term £900bn civil service pension deficit, and he has presided over an administration that has brought the whole business of politics into disrepute via expenses and lobbying scandals.

Time for an extraordinary approach.