What would Clement do?

A Labour blog that witters on about Clement Attlee. Hurrah for The Major!

Archive for the tag “Gits in Government”

ONLY ONE JOHNSON…

Yes, sad but true, there is only ONE Boris Johnson.

To read the recent press coverage, some Tories, and possibly all Westminster hacks wish there were at least two, possibly three, with at least one in the House of Commons. One for City Hall, one to annoy Cameron, and one for “the ladies”. (Maybe another to make sure that the press is suitably gagged when any mention of his extra marital affairs and resulting possible offspring come up…)

Johnson has clearly been putting it about since the Olympics, parking his tanks on Davids lawn, getting the cheers whilst Hamface gets the boos, ignoring the debt he owes to previous incumbents and Governments for his good fortune, fudging figures and avoiding a scandal over provision for the London Fire Service. And it is working…

Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson (OE, Oxon) is the most popular politician in the country. 

There are some signs that this may be a cause for alarm for his own dear leader, yet before we rub our hands with glee, let us stop to think for a moment. Johnson is popular with the public for a number of reasons, and a skilful media operation is one of them. Not being in Parliament, and therefore not being really in the Coalition helps. So far in his career, Mr Johnson has had no significant national responsibility, save being in the Shadow Cabinet, which means he spent his time, at best, say “well would never do that…”. He even managed to get sacked from the front bench then.

So far in his career, Johnson has presented himself as something he isn’t. For example, although he has an Eton/Oxbridge background, and drops a classics reference at the drop of a microphone, he simply is not as posh as he would like us all to believe. Like many from the old “upper-lower middle class” (copyright Mr E.A. Blair), he spent much of his school and Varsity days aping the supposed manners of Waughs’ “Brideshead” set. His anachronistic language, his cultivated scruffiness, his shambling gait are all very much part of his mid-eighties “young fogey” image.

The BoJo & HamCam rivalry continues…

In his job as Mayor of London, he has been the cynics very epitome of a politician, in that he has so far been able to distance himself from both Central Government policies, and his own policies when they are unpopular, yet claim credit for anything and everything perceived as good that happens within his jurisdiction. He has, since being elected in 2008, been notably ruthless in his disposal of deputy Mayors, as long as he can evade any blame.

As of this week, fourteen letters have been received by the Tory 1922 committee to open nominations for a leadership election. Though hugely short of the forty-six letters needed, this comes less than three years into Camerons’ premiership, and within weeks of Tory part conference. Clearly there are concerns throughout the true blue mob that possibly they need someone less chillaxed in charge, someone other than The Hamfaced Crimson Tide…

I hate to agree with John Major, but last Sunday he did say one thing that fans of the Johnson forget – he is not an MP, and therefore cannot become Leader. True enough, a safe seat may be found, someone convinced to stand down, a by-election could be won, yet the history of Tory Leadership elections shows that it is never the original favourite who wins, as Heath, Heseltine, and David Davis know to their chagrin.

Personally, I think that he may prefer the job of Mayor, where you can ultimately cash-in with your Telegraph column, then blame central Government for any mess. Should ever stand for/become Leader of the Tories, I relish the challenge, because I doubt that his image would withstand the full force of public and media scrutiny that he would inevitably attract. He simply would not be able to keep his past indiscretions from becoming front page news.I also do not think that Johnsons’ right wing instincts actually chime with the general public. True enough, they finds him amusing, much in the same way that Jeremy Clarkson once was, but for a rightwing humorist, he is certainly no PJ O’Rourke, and as Clarkson knows to his cost, it only takes one slip to taint your brand…

So for me, the current shenanigans say more about Cameron and his weakness than they do about the popularity of Johnson.

MESSAGE TO GIDEON – ITS YOUR ECONOMICS, STUPID!

So today Britain is officially back in recession. This is no time for shallow politicking, people have no confidence that things will get better any time soon, and millions of us are frantically chasing work. Somehow we manage to have the Olympics, a housing crisis, a major infrastructure deficit and STILL the construction sector leads the way for economic downturn.

It is time for Gideon and Dave to admit what many of us have known for some time, that Plan A is not working, that the cuts have been too far and too fast, whilst tax reductions for the super rich were simply not appropriate at this time. This Coalition is making the ordinary people of the UK pay for an economic crisis caused by unregulated finance and thirty three years of monetarist dogma. The very rich men who agreed to come together in May 2010 to restore the nation’s finances have now proved not to be the economic geniuses that they claimed to be. They pretty much look like a bunch of shysters on the make.

In Scotland, News Internationals First Minister plays fast and loose with the essential economic truth, namely that Scotland’s economy is too tied to that of Wales and England to have any chance of independent recovery. His fictional “Arc of prosperity” disappeared when Iceland and Ireland went bust, yet he is content to take the odd pot shot at the rest of us, whilst the public works north of the border are still largely funded from Whitehall. For all his bumptiousness, at least it gives us a ready made argument against the Growth Deniers – publicly funded projects can save jobs and keep mopey flowing into an economy, austerity has now been proved to do the opposite.

By contrast Ed M and Ed B (or Wallace and Gromit) are looking more credible each day. At PMQs today Ed pretty much wiped the floor with Cameron, and Balls has been slowly destroying Whyborns economic credibility for months now. It seems that Gordon Brown was right back in 2010 – it really wasn’t time for a bunch of novices.

 

KEN4LONDON – A QUESTION OF PRIORITIES

Now in the past, I have been public about my attitude towards towards Ken Livingstone, Labours’ candidate for Mayor of London.  I voted for Oona King, and have stated several times that although I respect Mr Livingstone’s many accomplishments for London since 1981, it was time for someone else.

In an open and democratic election process, involving both party and trades union members (making it by farther widest selection electorate of ANY candidate), Livingstone was chosen by the London Labour Party as our candidate, fair and square. Having had our say, those who didn’t vote for him should have then got on with organising a Labour victory against this terrible government, Boris Johnson and his awful City Hall cronies. Most of have, although some, generally on the right of the party have decided that they would prefer to carry-on the infighting in public. Lets forget about vainglorious businessmen for a moment, as they are really the least of our worries. After all, whoever wins on May 3rd, Alan Sugar will still be rich.

The important issues of this election – the economy, housing, transport, and a fair deal for Londoners will only be successfully dealt with if Labour wins control of London. That means voting for ALL Labour candidates, no exceptions.

Victory for Boris Johnson in London strengthens the Tories in Whitehall as well as City Hall. It consolidates David Cameron’s position as Leader of his party, and gives the right evermore confidence in their attacks on our living standards.

Victory for Boris Johnson weakens Labour nationally – it would wrongly be taken as a signal for more idiotic sniping at Ed Miliband, just as we are developing a decent poll ratings.

I appeal to all Labour supporters and members in London – do not let Johnson, Malthouse and their cronies back in.

On May 3rd, vote Labour, vote Ken Livingstone. Let Johnson get on with what he does best – looking after himself.

 

…NEWS FROM SOMEWHERE…

By: Our Staff Liar –

In a shock outburst this week, a fictitious source close to Nick Clegg announced that he was “unavailable” for comment, for discussion, or indeed for anything other than helping Samantha Cameron around the house.

Sources close to the Prime Monster’s other partner mentioned “doing the ironing, cleaning the bathroom, oh, and we need more Hobnobs.” as a fair summation of Mr Cleggs’ enhanced role.

Meanwhile, fibbers close to Danny Alexander, the Scottish Annoyance at The Treasury declared  him to be “pleased” on being declared “More annoying than Alex Salmond” by a leading made-up focus group…*

In other party of my imagination, Chris Huhne has been spotted doing a merry jig to the demise of Silvio Berlusconi. This long awaited retirement places the dull Huhne at last in the top ten of Western Europes’ leading political philanderers, ahead of that bearded LibDem who likes Eastern European assistants for their brains. ” For years everyone thought I was the dull one” said Huhne, “Well now I’m the dull one who left his wife by text.”

* One source from the group was quoted – “Its not that he’s Scottish, or that he’s ginger, its because he is Danny Alexander – he just stands there, two feet behind George Osborne with a slight smirk on his pasty face.” Said the anonymous Mr Kennedy.

 

A BUDGET FOR WHO???

This weeks’ Budget, courtesy of the 14th Earl of Whyborne, has been lauded to the skies by the hard of understanding…

…Or as I like to think of them, Monetarists. The lack of imagination, and of any long-term goals other than dismantling the NHS, do not give me any confidence in Gideons’ old Maths Tutor. Then again, what should we expect from a man who dodges £1.6 million in tax whilst telling the rest of us to “pull together”?

Lets just examine a few measures here, for the sake of general interest…

  1. “The Sun Says Yippee! – 1p off fuel duty!” Yes, and there will be a rise of 5p in 2012.
  2. Tobacco duty up by 2% above inflation. Giving a welcome shot in the arm to the smuggling industry.
  3. An increase in Premiums Tax means that the cost of insurance rises – just as the Government wants us to take out private health insurance.
  4. A three year freeze in Child Benefit – so thats a decrease in light of inflation.
  5. The tax on Beer now exceeds £1.00 per pint. Britain’s vibrant Pub and Brewing industries salute you – not.
  6. National Insurance up 1% for us, but not for Employers.
  7. Personal Tax allowance up by £50 per month in April 2012. With the rises in the cost of living over the last twelve months, let alone the next year, this will at best give you £5 extra a month in your pocket.
  8. Council Tax frozen or reduced in EVERY English Council – regardless of the real needs of those communities.
  9. A return of the Enterprise Zone. Thatchers great sticking-plaster of the 1980s, that made little long-term difference to the areas blighted by her recession of the early 1980s. Anyone off to see Liverpool Garden Festival?

For this budget to work, the UK economy has to grow by around three percent each year until at least 2015. This is quite a lot, if we look at our history over he last forty years. It could happen, as the worldwide economy is tenuously starting to revive. Yet massive public spending cuts and redundancies will cost the exchequer dear, and reduce income from taxation – it could lead us into another recession, rather than digging us out of one.

And there is another point. Gideon and his gofer Danny Alexander have done precious little to curb the outrageous levels of  speculation in The City, nor have they come up with the kind of regulation needed to prevent, or at least limit the kind of crash we saw in 2008.

Long term, our economy is seriously unbalanced – with finance far too prevalent, and industry seen as a poor relation. Yet if we look at Germany, a country that actually still makes things and sells them, their recession is ending rather quicker than ours. This Budget does nothing to address this imbalance, nor do the Coalition partners seek to do so. Unsurprising really, when you think of all the ex-City men in the Cabinet…

 

So thats why I urge you all to march on Saturday for an alternative to this ill-considered schoolboy essay masquerading as a Budget.

Big Society for who???

Ham Face, in  todays Observer defends his wonderful “Big Society” thingy ( as its known at Conservative Central Office), and it would be no surprise that I, in line with the majority of Her Majesties’ subjects, am pretty cynical about this. All new Governments come out with some kind of big idea, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Anyone remember “The Third Way”?

It is important to understand and refute just what this means, and just how much of this is cover for massive cuts.

First of all, lets look at the supposed bedrock of this idea, voluntary organisations. As an ex Sea Scout who grew up in the wonderful county of Suffolk, I am more than happy for the voluntary sector to do what it does well. All around this nation, every day of the week, hundreds of thousands of us spend our time serving our communities – providing support for the vulnerable, raising funds,running youth organisations, and conserving our common heritage. These people should be saluted and cherished for all they do, and no doubt many of us could do more. They do this for any number of reasons, some moral, or religious, or just because they believe in helping their fellows. I very much doubt however, that there will be any charity that will volunteer to run the 17 public toilets to be closed in Manchester City Centre, nor to clean up the filth consequently left behind.

In the present situation, combined with the Coalitions massive cuts in public services, the idea that the voluntary sector, already hard-pressed in hard times, can step in and fill the yawning gaps left by 500,000 workers made redundant is nothing short of criminal. Those of us in work have less time to spare, those of us without have time, but no resources. We should also look at the nature of some of these charities, and the way they are run, and by whom. We have seen in recent years a plethora of faith-based charities and self-help groups – often fundamentalist in nature. I am not talking about The Salvation Army and Christian Aid here, groups with a long history, who spend more time serving than preaching, rather churches such as United Christian Kingdom of God, implicated in Victoria Climbies death, or those of Sikh, Muslim, Hindu or Jewish origin that seek to further different agendas rather than simply a helping hand. A number of these groups have been implicated in extremism and religious intolerance of one kind or another, and, under the policies of successive Governments, have been given cover as “faith and community” groups.

A major plank of The big society, Goveys’ “free” Schools, has already led to the setting-up of Britains’ first creationist school. Do any of us really believe that this is a step forward? Public money given to an organisation that holds The Book of Genesis to be literal truth???

An already fractured education system hardly needs further atomisation along lines of religion, or in the case of Boris Johnsons ex-“Youth Deputy”, race…

True to his corporate roots, Ham Face, the scion of apparently hereditary Stockbrokers, also makes much of the vogue for “Corporate Responsibility” within the private sector, and how this can be harnessed for social good. At best, this means that people already inclined to volunteer have another opportunity to do so on projects that give a friendly face to BAE Systems, City firms, and multinationals. (Even Tobacco companies include this guff in their annual reports these days…)

Would it be too much to ask these “socially responsible” companies to pay their taxes in the UK, rather than Grand Cayman??? Has Gideon Whyborn settled HIS £1.6 million debt to the revenue??? After all, he is the Chancellor…

The truth of the matter is that when it comes to Health, Social Services and Education, it will not be the host of small local charities that will “pick up the slack”, rather it will be a mix of larger religious groups (Catholic Hospitals anyone? Will you miss the Right to Choose?) and inevitably the private sector – so yet again, you and I lose out, whilst Capita and Group Four increase their profits, whilst cutting services and working conditions, all funded from our taxes.

Having tapped into the strong vein of public voluntarism, this Government runs the risk of further destroying our common heritage and social solidarity. An interesting fact reproduced in a number of international survey ranging from Academic to the OECD, is that there is a correlation between the participation on voluntary work and the “Big State” that Cameron, Clegg and their followers routinely deride. It seems that in western nations with higher taxation, and more social democratic economies, more people volunteer for longer periods of time, not less. In more free market economies, the reverse is true.

To this end, I suggest that we all volunteer to go on a march, on 26th of March, organised by that huge voluntary organisation, The TUC, to oppose this Governments cuts package.

Think on, Cameroons.


Boris Johnson and Dirty Tricks (Part 2)…

Just had a quick look at the fansite for BoJo, http://CYBERBORISjohnson.wordpress.com/  and found that Peter Reynolds can be confirmed.

I read the latest post, relating that tweets confirm that Labour supporters would prefer Alistair Campbell to Ken Livingstone – dubious, but interesting nonetheless.

Then, in the middle of her post Angelnstar mentioned Ken and Press TV – followed by the words “homophobic”, “Holocaust denying”, “anti-female” etc, with a clear inference of guilt by association. Make no mistake, these epithets describe the Iranian regime perfectly, they do not, however describe Ken Livingstone.

I left a reply in the following vein (this is not word perfect):

” Interesting that you follow the Boris line in guilt by association, by inferring that Ken Livingstone is a Holocaust denier. as far as I know, Ken has never been a holocaust denier, nor has he been a homophobe, nor a sexist.

This seems to be an exercise in guilt by association, as reported by Peter Reynolds at http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/

For the record, as a Labour member, I am not a Ken fan, and my views are set out at https://clemthegem.wordpress.com/

Usually, Angelnstar has accepted comments from me on her CYBERBORISjohnson blogsite, and we have had a few good discussions, however this time, my comment did not appear at all – moderation seems a might quicker than usual…

So, Peter, your point is proved

Economy Shrinks – Gideon “Disappointed”

A man doing Chancellor impressions today unveiled that the British economy shrunk by 0.5% in the last three months today.

“I blame the weather” Whined Gideon Osborne, “but on the bright side, as you lot have less money, we in the cabinet are even richer, me especially, as I don’t pay my taxes…”

Having seen the economy slowly growing throughout 2010, the last three months saw a reversal of the trend, as Coalition policies began to bite…

Both Treasury Mandarins and Nick Robinson were declared”Surprised”, as they went to Oxford with George Osborne, and thought he was a good chap.

Danny alexander was unavailable for comment, as he has homework to do.

The outgoing Chairman of the CBI yesterday confused the Chancellor with Jeremy Hunt, as do we all…

Back to the future? Back to the Past?

Ham – Face Cameron set out his NHS “reforms” yesterday, talking in his best statesmanese, and employing all those tricks he learnt as a PR for Carlton TV…

…Little Nicky hid under a rock, and no doubt Simon Hughes shed a little (possibly sincere) tear for the death of the dream of a true radical Liberal aim – universal Healthcare ( copyright Wm. Beveridge).

As I understand it, these changes, that nobody voted for last May, will put control in the hands of your GP. Thus shifting the beaurocracy still further down the line. And of course, GPs have the time to do this, don’t they? Just ask them, oh, hang on, nobody did…

This seems to be a wilful return to the (pre 1947) days of “Dr Finlays Casebook” – a further extension of the postcode lottery in healthcare, and the atomisation of our National Health service. A cynic would say that this will make it easier for private companies to take over.

A cynic would be right.

“We will cut waste, not the NHS” Shrieked the Tory posters last May. “Rubbish” cried both Labour and the Lib Dems. We were both right then, yet the poor, place-seeking Lib Dems are now going to be voting for a change that will lead to the end of universal healthcare, free for all, payed by taxation. Hope they can pay the insurance…


Thanks a bunch, Nick and Dave…

So,they don’t hang around, do they?

Fourth of Jan, and up goes VAT – a tax that egregiously hits the less well off most, whilst down here in the Capital we are supposed to be cheering as the Congestion Charge goes up for Bethnal green, but is axed completely from Kensington and Chelsea. Oh and Gideon, 14th Earl of Whyborn apparently dodged up to ONE POINT SIX MILLION POUNDS of tax.

This Government don’t just take with one hand, they stick two fingers up at us with the other!!!!

(The above is available for use by any Leader of HM Opposition, if they need a line…)

ONE POINT SIX MILLION POUNDS!!!! HE DID NOT PAY IT! !!!HOW WAS THAT IN THE NATIONAL INTEREST???? ITS NOT AS IF HE EARNED IT, IS IT?

Apologies for the shouty bit, but I ask you…

Wonder what fragile Little Nicky makes of that eh? And that bloke off the Werthers Commercials, and the spotty teenager who carries  Gideons bags and opens doors…

Back in the Sixties, with much higher rates of tax, the sainted Terry-Thomas patriotically said the following:

” I’m not dodging tax like all these blighters running off to Guatemala and other ridiculous places, I don’t think their attitude is quite right.”

But then he only played a bounder, didn’t he? What an absolute shower! A bunch of utter stinkers!

Get involved in the campaign to pressure the Artful Dodger at:  http://www.38Degrees.org.uk/

If we all spat at once, we’d drown them…

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