Friday, 17 November 2017

Tories "Building the Future" but with not Enough Actual Building.....

The Tories have launched a new slogan, "Building a Britain Fit for the Future", except my understanding is there isn't going to be any actual building.

Yet another wishy-washy mish-mash of rehashed, already launched policies, packaged up into something to talk about during next week's budget. Financial incentives, planning changes, but nothing concrete (if you'll excuse the pun). You can have that one for free, shadow Chancellor.

Labour need to be prepared to counter-strike and knock down each of the Tory's proposal. That means credible and detailed homework from the left to be able to deflate every one of the pumped up policies from the Conservatives.

It would also be nice if Labour put a few shots across the bows of the Tories beforehand, signalling intent to really sink their teeth into the Tories unless there are radical, substantial, new proposals to sort out the housing crisis. Tinkering at the edges or rehashing old news will. not. do.

Hopefully with a few well-placed broadsides from Labour, the Tories can be persuaded against presenting a PR campaign as a budget and get them to produce an actual policy with real targets, a real budget and demonstrable progress against those targets.

What Labour cannot do is just trot out the same old anti-Tory plattitudes, the ones that turn voters off and do nothing to change Tory policy. They have to give detailed and credible opposition and strip the veneer from the Tory plans so the voters can see the lack of detail underneath.

But given the superficiality of politics at the moment, I doubt I'll see any of the above actually happen.

One of those times you really wish you were an MP and able to give such superficial people a slap. (before it gets banned) ;-)

Back here I outlined my thoughts on housing and how the crisis should be managed. Government managed housing stock, outside the remit of local authorities needs to be started. Local authorities we all know are corrupt, with contracts going to friends that had surprisingly well-informed tenders. keeping it central (for once) seems to be the preferred option. From the planning perspective national government involvement means it's easier to quote national interest and make the planning stage eaisier. There are plenty of laws the government can invoke to build new housing, or they can quite quickly release old MOD land for building if necessary.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Bashing the Poor: The Death of Altruism in Government

When did it become fashionable for Governments to bash the poor? It seems with every new policy that the poorest in society are most adversely affected.

Plastic bag tax, insurance premuim tax, all have a disproportionate affect on the poorest in society.

Mimimum wage created a race to the bottom, only surpassed by zero hours contracts (a construct created soley to bypass minimum wage legislation).

Those on minimum wage still have to pay tax. You'd think that those on the lowest pay would be free from tax, but they still have to pay.

In work benefits like tax credits means even the lowest paid workers without kids have to subsidise the wages of everyone else with kids through the taxation system.

The squeeze on the benefits system in general, from re-assessment of disabilities, the bedroom tax, to PIPs (which is supposed to "save" or take away billions in benefits)

Now the ostensibly socialist (although authoritarian might be a better word) SNP have successfully fought to bring in minimum pricing for alcohol, the "save" the poor from themselves. I wonder if the bars in the Scottish Parliament are exempt? Hopefully not, MSPs are not exactly the poorest in society are they? That would be rather hypocritical wouldn't it?

Policies initiated by successive governments that purported to be helping the poor. Well done there guys! Not exactly redistribution of "wealth" if the non-wealthy are the ones paying more, is it?

Every time a government tries to help the poor in whatever guise it comes, you can be rest assured that government is no friend of the poor and the policy will do exactly the opposite of what the government says is the object.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Parliamentary Vote on Brexit:Here we Go Again

Aparrently the Remain camp have earned a victory in Parliament and forced the government to u-turn over allowing MPs to vote on the Brexit deal.

The thing is, it's nothing of the sort. the remain camp may think it is, but it isn't.

It's not like Parliament can force the government back to the negotiating table to negotiate better terms. Those will be the best terms we could get.

It's take 'em or leave 'em folks.

The only option MPs will have will either accept whatever deal has been negotiated, or to refuse the deal on the table and exit the EU without one.

It's not as if MPs can force us back into the EU. There will be no "Refuse the deal, stay in the EU" option on the table.

The people have spoken, we want Brexit. However that comes about. If MPs force us into accepting a bad deal, then heads will roll.

If they force Parliament into accepting a bad deal with the idea of forcing the public to consider staying in, heads will roll.

The public have rejected the EU. The elite need to stop plotting against the public or there will be trouble. Big trouble.