Tuesday, June 21, 2011

GP Commissioning Is Already Creating a Two-Tier System

Exclusive: GPs are already operating in a two-tier NHS with different consortia moving at vastly varying speeds towards the Government’s relaxed deadline for taking on commissioning, a Pulse investigation reveals.
Seven GP consortia – now to be rebranded clinical commissioning groups (CCGs) – are already the de facto commissioning organisations in their areas, having taken on 95% or more of their PCTs’ budgets.
But 57% of consortia have taken on no budgetary responsibility from their PCTs at all, with warnings they have almost no chance of being ready to take on commissioning by the original April 2013 deadline.

The Government last week revealed only CCGs that were ‘ready and willing’ would be authorised to take on full budgetary responsibility from April 2013, as part of a package of concessions on the health bill.

But its claims that most GPs would be on schedule to take over commissioning by 2013 are undermined by our findings, which suggest only those areas that were already active with practice-based commissioning are likely to be ready in time. Of 90 PCTs responding to Freedom of Information Act requests, 38 have devolved at least some portion of their budget to local consortia. Some 14 of these, including NHS Suffolk, NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, and NHS Peterborough, have devolved budgets for prescribing and acute care.
NHS Isle of Wight has handed GPs budgets for first outpatient appointments and follow-ups, prescribing, continuing care, and direct-access diagnostics and imaging. NHS Nottingham City is one of four PCTs to have delegated mental health budgets along with a host of others, including maternity care, elective hospital care, urgent and emergency care, and ambulance and out-of-hours services.
Seven GP consortia now control almost the entire budget, including those in Cumbria, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire, all of which were active in PBC. But 52 areas, including NHS Medway, NHS Leicester City and NHS Plymouth, are yet to devolve any budgets.
Dr Peter Weaving, a GP in Brampton and commissioning locality lead for NHS Cumbria, said: ‘As of April 2011, we have 97% of the budget. It’s taken us three or four years – two to three was optimistic in the extreme. We’re making good progress but it would be disingenuous to say we’ve got it all sorted.’
Dr Nigel Watson, chair of the GPC’s commissioning and service development sub-committee and a GP in the New Forest in Hampshire – where the PCT has yet to pass any budgets to GPs – urged the Government to set an end date for full handover: ‘Quite a lot of consortia will not be ready by April 2013. But there has to be an end point and that’s not been clarified.'
A Department of Health spokesperson said: 'By April 2013, GP practices will be members of either an authorised commissioning consortia, or a “shadow” clinical commissioning group – one that is legally established but operating only in shadow form. This will ensure there is clarity about how different clinical commissioning groups cover the whole country without gaps.
'Were a clinical commissioning group is not able to take on some or all aspects of commissioning, the local arms of the NHS Commissioning Board will commission on its behalf.
'The NHS Commissioning Board will work with the GP practices and other stakeholders in these areas to develop fully operational consortia and hand over commissioning responsibility to them as they become ready, and in doing so, bring to an end the existing two-tier system of commissioning in the NHS.'

Link To: Revealed: How GP Commissioning Is Already Creating a Two-Tier System


The above proves that the government have not been listening and neither have they stopped these reforms, they have just re written them in different language and rebranded them, the government are treating the general public like fools.
The privatisation of the NHS continues at a pace and is already creating a two tier health system.

Sharp Rise In Home Repossessions - Thanks Gideon!

The number of new repossessions in Q1 2011 increased for the first time in a year and was close to a fifth higher than the number recorded in the final three months of 2010, according to the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) first quarter mortgage lending report. This means repossessions have risen by 17%, signalling bad news for families.

 
“Last year  even though we were just out of recession, repossessions fell quarter on quarter but with the economic recovery stalled, government support for families struggling to make their mortgage repayments cut and more and more people having to claim job-seekers’ allowance, repossessions are starting to rise again.

“The government is letting people down on housing - repossessions are up, homelessness is up and rough sleeping is starting to rise again. We’re risking a vicious circle where by cutting too far and too fast - hitting families and costing jobs - we end up with more people on benefits and fewer in work paying taxes making it harder to get the deficit down. People will rightly be asking where is their plan B?”

To Eat or Heat? Cameron U-turns on Fuel Poverty Bill Spells Abject Misery For Poor, Elderly & Disabled


In amongst all this government's broken promises and the many u-turns, is the plight of many elderly people and poorer families who will without a shadow of a doubt find themselves in dire circumstances this winter. It emerged last week  that the Tory-led government have done another u-turn during a committee session scrutinising the current energy bill, when the government's junior minister, Greg Barker, said that the 2016 target "cannot be reached". This u-turn actually came one week after Scottish power announced they were to raise the cost of gas by 19% and electric by  10%!

Scottish power said the increase which would affect 2.4 million households in the UK, would come into effect from 1 August.
Affected customers will see an average daily rise to a dual fuel energy bill of 48p per day.

 This is seriously bad news it will hit the elderly and those people living on low poor incomes and fixed incomes like the disabled and low wage earners. Along with the 2.5% rise in Vat and soaring inflation, food costs are soaring and many elderly and families will be shivering this winter. In some cases it is going to mean a straight choice between eating or heating! many of the people this will affect badly are those that have already had their benefits cut or their wages frozen - a direct consequence of the Tory-led government's actions to reduce the deficit run up by being forced to bail the bankers out.

The Tory government have already announced plans that they are to *CUT* up to £100 OFF of the elderly's Winter Fuel Allowance which a NON means tested benefit which was introduced by the previous Labour government and which has literally proved to be a life saver in terms of allowing pensioners to adequately heat their homes.

The Conservative government are already in the process of "attacking" the benefits of mentally and physically disabled people through their long and rambling sloppy welfare reforms bill, which was read a third time and voted through parliament by the Tories and the Liberal Democrats last week, it now is being considered by the House of Lords.

The Prime Minister, David Cameron, when in opposition said they would not cut pensioners Winter Fuel Allowance, he repeated it many times, in fact he repeated it in one of the leadership debates which were held in the 2010 general election, don't take my word for it see for yourself.

Pure and Simple Lies


As soon as David Cameron managed to get himself installed into government he reneged on that promise and cut pensioners winter fuel allowance.

How is the government expecting the elderly, the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled, the acutely and chronically sick, the unemployed to keep warm this winter when he has reneged on another of his main pledges to end fuel poverty and as a result of this we have Scottish power putting up their gas by a colossal 19% and their electric by 10%.

How are these groups going to manage to heat their homes and cook their meals and keep warm this winter, when they have already taken a cut in their benefits and some already on low pay are experiencing pay freezes? The cost of getting to work by train or bus has soared too.

David Cameron once boasted that his party was " the best prepared opposition ever" and would be what this country needed a strong stable government. This government have turned out to be the opposite, they are weak, divided and sloppy, the Conservative -led government have been forced into at least 35 u-turns and at least 36 broken promises.
They portray themselves as a "listening government", but these problems where they are forced to u-turn, do not just drop out of the sky, out of the blue they are all discussed and debated in cabinet meetings and some have made it to the Green and White paper stages of becoming law. The NHS bill for example was actually voted on TWICE by the Tories AND the Liberal Democrats before the government was forced to do a u-turn because it met a wall of opposition form medical professionals, the Labour party and the general public and other concerned groups and unions such as the BMA, had it not been for this wall of opposition this government both the Tories and the Liberal democrats would have voted the "Liberating the NHS" reform bills through in their entirety, which would have meant that Tory doning private health companies would have got their hands on our NHS, this is what the Tories wanted them it is still what they want and it is still what they are trying to get.

This is not a listening government this is a sloppy incompetent government out of its depth, headed by a prime minister who admits he doesn't see the need to get up very early and gives his ministers a free hand to do what they like and say what they like and the outcome of all this flip-flopping is a weak indecisive government that keeps being forced to change unworkable policies. The only policy they are sticking to is their policies on the economy which are now being heavily criticised by world leading economists.

On a day when the government has just performed another huge u-turn on the Justice reforms I would like to ask the prime minister how the above mentioned groups are going to afford to heat their homes and cook their meals this coming winter, after he reneged on a promise to end fuel poverty?

These people are going to be forced into a position by this government of either "eat or heating", which would David Cameron chosse for his children or elderly mother?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tory MP Philip Davies Rakes It In From Taxpayers While Telling Disabled People they Must Work for Less

Philip Davies
Conservative MP
Shipley
Philip Davies Conservative MP for Shipley.

This is the MP who wants mentally and physically disabled people to treat themselves as second class citizens and offer themselves for employment at less than the lowest rate of the national minimum wage.

The Conservative party came to power after failing to win a majority in the 2010 general election, which technically means that they are an unelected government trying to push through an agenda of cuts and reforms that are causing deep s distress to the mentally and physically disabled, the acutely sick, the chronically sick, the terminally ill, and those recovering from life threatening illnesses. This government are also "attacking" the poor and vulnerable, the elderly, the young, students and women and children are being disproportionately affected. None of what this Tory-led government are doing was in their manifesto and neither was it in the Liberal Democrat manifesto and it was not in the coalition agreement, they are acting like out of control social thugs riding roughshod over people least able to protect themselves and fight back.

The Tories are fostering the belief that every single person who claims benefits is some way a "fraud" or a "welfare scrounger" or is "swinging the lead", what is more in order to get public support on their side to make these swingeing changes in welfare, they are deliberately setting person against person, so much so that disabled people are being physically attacked in the street and verbally abused and generally made to feel worthless and the appalling attitude of Conservative MP Philip Davies has not helped, he said:
“People with a learning disability can’t be as productive in their work as somebody who hasn’t got a disability.”
This is the kind of Tories we have governing our country at present!

Mr Davies wants disabled people to offer themselves for less pay than the national minimum wage to make them less dependent on the taxpayer/state, so it's only fair then that we know just how much of a burden Mr Philip Davies Tory MP is on the taxpayer/state.

First of all a little background on Mr Davies.

He was first elected as an MP at the 2005 general election for the seat of Shipley with a majority of 422 votes, removing the sitting Labour MP.  because he was in a key Tory marginal seat he received donations
toward his successful campaign from Bearwood Corporate Services, a front company set up by the then non-domicile Tory Lord Ashcroft to give out donations to marginal seats such as Davies's. Bearwood has given a total of £5.1 million to the Conservative Party since 2003.

Davies voted against gay and equal rights and has a below average voting record.

"Political Correctness"

Davies is the parliamentary spokesman for the Campaign Against Political Correctness and he has been accused of wasting the Equality and Human Rights Commission's time by sending a stream of correspondence to its Chair, Trevor Phillips, between 2008 and 2009. In this correspondence, he asked questions relating to race and sex discrimination such as: "Is it offensive to black up or not, particularly if you are impersonating a black person?" and "Why it is so offensive to black up your face, as I have never understood this?" Leading some commentators to suggest that he was "lobbying for 'blacking up.'" He also asked whether it was racist for a policeman to refer to a BMW as "black man's wheels" and whether the Metropolitan Black Police Association breaches discrimination law by restricting its membership to black people. Peter Herbert, the chair of the Society of Black Lawyers, said: "This correspondence seems a complete and utter waste of time... he shouldn't be using the Human Rights Commission as basically a source of legal advice."

In March 2007 he voted against the Equality Act (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2007. He also complained, while calling for a Parliamentary debate on "political correctness", about a school production of Romeo and Julian.

He was called a "troglodyte" by then Conservative MP and current Speaker of the House of Commons John Bercow for his opposition to debating the Equalities Bill, the effect of the recession on women and International Women’s Day.

Islam

In October 2006, after an act of vandalism initially alleged to have been perpetrated by Muslims, The Sun quoted Davies as saying "if there’s anybody who should f*** off it’s the Muslims who do this sort of thing." It was later exposed by The Independent, among others, that the incident never involved Muslims and  The Sun was forced to issue an apology four months later. Davies, however, has not apologised for his comments.

In July 2010 Davies argued it would not be beneficial to allow the United Kingdom Youth Parliament to stage a debate in the House of Commons Chamber because it would create a precedent which would mean organisations such as the Muslim Council of Britain would be able to use the House of Commons.

Global poverty

In early 2010, Davies was criticised by the press and religious organisations for using Parliamentary rules to "wreck" the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill, an anti-poverty measure designed to stop "Vulture funds" from buying up the debt of third-word countries in order to aggressively pursue repayments through the international courts. The bill eventually failed because an anonymous Tory shouted "object", allegedly while Conservative frontbenchers covered their mouths to hide their identity. Douglas Alexander, the then development minister, wrote to David Cameron accusing the Conservatives of deliberately scuppering the bill.

Expenses Mr Philip Davies Conservative MP

Davies was first elected in 2005.

2005 - 2006 Total Expenses Claimed  -  £143,582  (inclusive of  £84,124   staff costs)
2006 - 2007 Total Expenses Claimed  -  £148,060  (inclusive of  £87,803   staff costs)
2007 - 2008 Total Expenses Claimed  -  £161,300  (inclusive of  £90,257   staff costs)
2008 - 2009 Total Expenses Claimed  -  £171,258  (inclusive of  £100,599 staff costs)

Grand Total up to 2009 Total Claimed -   £622. 200

I  wonder how many disabled people were in a position to claim well over half a million pounds from the taxpayer over and above their salary? I also wonder who his staff are to be paid such a lot? How many staff does he employ and do they work for less than the national minimum wage?

Davies has filled in approximately 18 surveys in 2010 (Remunerated employment, office, profession etc) and received payment of a total of £1.185 for approximately  5 hours 40 mins work - which is approximately £237 per hour (well above the national minimum wage) Of the £1,185 Davies donated  £375.00 to an unnamed charity.

Received £600 for writing article for Mail on Sunday. Northcliffe House 2 Derry Street, Kensington, London W8  5TT. Hours: 2 hrs. (Registered 29 November 2010).

Overseas visits

Name of donor: Partito Dei Liberisti Ticinesi i Liberisti
Address of donor: c/o Rivo Cortonesi, Via la Prada 12, CH-6929, Gravesano, Italy
Amount of donation (or estimate of the probable value): £1,311.96
Destination of visit: Inter Libertarian Conference, Lugano, Switzerland
Date of visit: 31 March-2 April 2011
Purpose of visit: speaking engagement at conference
Gifts, benefits and hospitality (UK)
Address of donor: 21 Foyle Street, Sunderland, SR1 1LE.
Amount of donation or nature and value if donation in kind: £4,000-£5,000 per year.
Date of receipt of donation: 24 May 2010
Date of acceptance of donation: 1 June 2010
Donor status: company, registration number 03979826
It is the breathtaking arrogance and total hypocrisy of this man who wants disabled people to be treated as 2nd class citizens and work for less than the national minimum wage, while he rakes it in mainly from the tyaxpayers.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Behind The Unemployment Figures

On the face of it a drop of 88.000, any fall in unemployment and the misery it brings people and families is welcome, but this fall continues to defy the logic, so what is behind it?

First of all the fall in headline unemployment was larger than expected because of the number of  young people entering into higher and further education, this is because students mindful of the Tory government's increase in tuition fees have not taken gap years and gone straight into university in an attempt to beat paying the full fees.

There are still 820.000 more people out of work now than there were before the start if the recession.

Unemployment figures are a lagging indicator, which means they lag behind what is really happening in the jobs market and the economy.

George Osborne's Office Budget Responsibility only expected around 20.000 public sector workers/civil service to lose their jobs,  the Office National Statistics has released figures which show that this figure has already reached 143.000 to the end of March 2011. This is a huge difference and one which the Tories are trying desperately to hide.

Largest Cuts So Far

  • Local Authority Redundancies - Minus 88.000
  • Central Government  Redundancies - Minus 37.000
  • Education Redundancies (Teachers/Teaching assistants etc) Minus 24.000
  • NHS Redundancies Nurses etc (Cameron supposed to be protecting this) Minus 10.000
The particularly worrying thing about this is these redundancies are all recorded up until March 2011.
All the cuts and job losses being announced last year have not started to take effect commencing April 2011, so the 143.000 people who have already lost their jobs were before the major job cuts were announced and there are still tens of thousands more public sector workers set to lose their jobs in the near future.

This is why all analysts say that unemployment is going to rise.

Also there is a certain amount of "Treasury trickery" in these figures which I will try to explain.

  1. Many people who have recently lost their jobs cannot claim unemployment benefits because they have redundancy packages which actually bar them from claiming until their savings dips below a certain amount. They are technically unemployed but do not get counted so do not show on the unemployment register.
  2. Workers aged approximately  60 plus who have lost their jobs and who cannot find another job or have no intention of working again and can't claim anything because of savings and pensions. They are unemployed but do not count  so do not show up on any statistics sheet.
  3. The total number of 16 to 24 year olds in full-time education increased by 61,000 on the quarter to reach 3.08m many of these young people would have shown up in the unemployment register as leaving the register, but they have not found jobs they have commenced full-time further or higher education.
  4. The number of people working part-time also rose by 31,000 to 7.95m and is 178.000 more than it was one year ago while those with second jobs remained high at 1.15m, suggesting hundreds of thousands of people are "underemployed". Many of these people although are not in full-time work would have been taken off of the unemployment register as having found work.
  5. Many (I don't have figures) construction workers simply do not claim unemployment benefit although technically unemployed because of the start and stop nature of their work, there are thousands of builders looking for work in a construction industry that is in recession.
  6. The number of those people taking temporary jobs will also skew the real number of those unemployed the number of people said to be in temporary employment has now risen to 1.595.000, this is a huge increase of just under 100.000 in the past 12 months.
So already you can see that the drop unemployment numbers can, actually, largely be attributed to an increase in the number of people going into full-time study, and the number of people working part-time because they could not find a full-time job and also the number of people through redundancy packages and pensions etc who cannot claim so are not registered as unemployed.

As to the claimant count, the figures rose unexpectedly by 19.600  to reach 1.49m. However, the figures are skewed by a change in the way benefits are calculated. The Government is moving thousands of single mothers off income support onto unemployment benefits, known as Jobseeker's Allowance. The switch is causing the number of people on the dole to rise dramatically.

If you were to take out the distortion, from part-time workers and students as well as the change in benefits in the claimant count, what you are left with is  what can be best described as a "flat" employment market.

Whether the private sector can absorb the job losses from the public sector remains unclear however there are still the tens of thousands of redundancies to come from the public sector and civil service – still to take their toll on the labour market and 200.000 to lose their jobs in local authorities.
The estimate came from the GMB union, which said it had received official notifications of 90,000 planned full-time equivalent job losses from half of England’s 152 councils. Total redundancies were likely to be more than doubled when part-time, agency and contract workers were taken into account. Since this announcement it has been announced that even more workers may lose their jobs than expected in local authorities.

The claimant count has risen dramatically from an expected rise of 7000 to an alarming 19.600 in just one month, this is very bad for the Treasury as it means we have to pay an extra 19.600 benefits,part of this would be to top up the part time workers who cannot find full-time jobs.
 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cameron Once Again Deliberately Misleads House of Commons

Over the past year David Cameron has repeatedly mislead the House of Commons over serious issues, I have mentioned many of them on this blog, he seems to do this every week. The astonishing thing is that he is always allowed to get away with it  - why? After all it is duplicitous and fundamentally dishonest. Last week he was rebuked by the Speaker and asked to withdraw a comment which he failed to do and was allowed to get away with doing so.

This week Cameron has mislead the House of Commons on defence.Answering a question from Mike Gapes MP,  Labour Co-Operative, Ilford South, Cameron deliberately mislead the House of Commons, David Cameron said that "at the end of the review we have the 4th highest defence budget for any country in the word" (at approximately 26.16 on the video)
This is simply untrue, the UK is 7th in the world on military spending and not 4th. The UK is 63rd in terms of GDP. Not only did the prime minister totally misunderstand the the question Ed Miliband put to him over 7000 cancer patients losing their £94 per week benefit(6 times he was asked)  and 6 times gave the wrong answer, Cameron also has once again been found to be misleading the House, when is the Speaker of the House, John Bercos going to act to stop the PM deliberately misleading the public in this way?

Arrogant Cameron Sucking Up To Arrogant Greedy Bankers


In the above video Cameron is addressing a rally of bankers, hedge funders and City Financiers. These are the VERY PEOPLE who nearly shoved this country over the edge of a financial precipice, yet here they all are, the greedy smug bastards meeting to take the P*** out of us all with Cameron gushing all over them and leading the way.
Cameron uses the word “great” 4 times in one short opening sentence and then typical of Cameron, he starts off with a bullying arrogant remark about Gordon Brown, obviously referring to the time he misspelled a deceased  soldier’s name when he was writing personally to the family, of course Janes and James are quite easy to confuse, especially if you are partially sighted like Gordon Brown, but Cameron doesn’t allow the feelings of a deceased soldier or a partially sighted man get in the way of him making a sick joke to his mate the City bankers. This was the *real* story behind those headlines, but notably the right wing press failed to mention the sick jokes that Cameron tells when he thinks no one is listening.
Some Cameron quotes from the video
“ first thing is…I’ve been coming to these events for the past 4 years and the first thing I want to say is a really big thank you to all the Conservative supporters in the City circle who’ve helped our party, who’ve helped fund our party, who’ve supported our party right up to now.”
“This party values, understands and will always make sure it looks after the important financial services industry which so many of you work in. I know the Conservative party knows that the financial services industry counts for ten per cent of our GDP, that you provide 17% of the taxes paid in this country, when it comes to business taxes the City and financial services pays over a fifth of the total tax burden, that is a point that we understand and we value. We understand that the City is a world leader and a world leader that we want to go on see leading in our world. There are 250 foreign banks here in the City, a fifth of the funds held by hedge funds are held here in London. You are responsible for   70% of the Euro bond turnover in the entire world, here out of the City of London, we understand that, we value that we will never do anything that puts that at risk. Let me say something else that’s important when we think about financial services, when we think financial services, I don’t just think about people in City trading rooms, dealing rooms or working in our great banks, I also think about the millions of people around our country working in call centres, selling insurance policies, getting giving people financial advice, of course, there are over a 100,000 people  in financial services working in those great financial centres of Edinburgh and Glasgow, of course there are people in financial services in Leeds, in Manchester, in Birmingham. The people that talk about the City and denigrate the City I want to remind them that the financial services industry is one of the most important that we have, it is not just important for London, it’s important for the whole country, it’s important because of the taxes you pay, the jobs you provide and the wealth and the great of this country and the Conservative Party will not forget that important point.”

(Then all the greedy bastards clap, cheer and hear, hear themselves in their City banker voices)  
“It would of course be difficult for me to forget this because of course my father was a Stock Broker,  my grandfather was a Stock Broker,  my great grandfather was a Stock Broker, actually when my father looks at my career choice, he is full of complete bafflement and disappointment that I didn’t follow in his footsteps.  But what I want to say to you all tonight as we have just over 6/7 months before that election, is what I think is going to be absolutely vital for that election. Of course when you go into an election, you have got to have the right slogans, the right policies, you’ve got to have the right team, have the right candidates and I believe that we have got all of those things. When I think of slogans there’s not that much more powerful than “do you really want  another five years of Gordon Brown.”  When I think of the team, I just think that I’ve got people like George Osborne, William Hague, Ken Clarke, who would really make a difference to the government of this country.. When I think of policies I think of all the areas that we have led where Labour have followed, but you know what, much more important than those things, when it comes to an election it’s to have a big argument that you are putting forward about the future of your country. I think the big argument we have is this, over these last 12 years, there has been complete irresponsibility, irresponsibility from government, irresponsibility in terms of government spending and irresponsibility in terms of what we encourage both in our public services and in our society and I think the problem of the government and government spending is the most important of all. I’m told nowadays if you go and see Gordon Brown, you have to give him what is called a “news sandwich” blah blah blah (effluent flowing from Cameron’s mouth) “
Cameron then talks about having the most difficult inheritance of government for 40/50 years, to a room full of bankers and there they all are blaming it on one man Gordon Brown, it is patently absurd. There was a global financial recession and the bankers in this country nearly brought about its collapse, if it were not for Brown and his quick thinking, our banks would have collapsed, just like they did in other countries. (Is that Brown’s fault too? Or is it the fault of greedy bankers?) He then goes on to talk about the deficit to the bankers that had to be bailed out and which actually caused the deficit. These are the people that have screwed the taxpayers and now we learn that we are having to fund the million pound bonuses of these very people Cameron is addressing in his speech.
When Cameron mentions “irresponsible government spending” has he forgotten that until late into 2009 and all during the worse global financial recession for a hundred years that he and George Osborne were pledging to match labour’s spending plans pound for pound?


I cannot abide the way Cameron sounds when he speaks, quite apart from the fact that he always sounds as if he is talking down to people that do not possess a brain, but also when Cameron talks, he always sounds as if he is trying to swallow a mouthful of sick and he has the cheek to criticise the way Ed Miliband sounds.
One last thing, you will note that in addressing these bankers, and hedge funders, that he acknowledges that they all support the Conservative party financially and they do, to the tune of millions of pounds between them. I remind people that the hedge funders Cameron mentions, one is called John Nash, remember him? He is the chairman of a company called Care UK, which is a private company that makes most of its money from the NHS. Nash is the same person that donated £22.000 and bankrolled Conservative Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley's personal election campaign when he was a shadow minister in the 2010 general election. John Nash has also donated over £203.000 directly into the Conservative party coffers, he has his Tory fingers in many lucrative government financial pies from the education of the country's children, to the NHS and also owns a company called "The Hedgie". The "Hedgie" is also a founder of the City firm "Sovereign Capital" which runs a string of private healthcare firms. Fellow founder Ryan Robson is another major Tory donor who has given the party £252,429.45. Hedge fund companies and groups of people who bet on banks and banks failing in a recession, they make millions of pound profit out of the misery of people losing their homes, their jobs, their pensions etc.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Surgeon Chucks Cameron, Clegg and Lansley Out Of Hospital Ward

One surgeon who had, had enough of David Cameron turning the NHS into a circus decided he wasn't going to let Cameron use his ward as an act. Cameron, Clegg and Lansley were all thrown out of hospital ward which Cameron's staff had set up for a photo opportunity to re-launch his failed NHS reforms. I guess we can assume that this surgeon doesn't care much for the Tories trying to destroy the NHS. Good for him. It's getting so bad, that Cameron is now ambulance chasing just to get a good photo opportunity.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Tories - Michael Gove - The Telegraph and Ed Balls Stolen Documents

The past week we have had a so-called serious newspaper the Telegraph, better known of course as the "Torygraph" publishing so-called information from letters stolen from the Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls belongings. The real story is not in the old information they are publishing as you would have had to live on Mars not to be aware of the "fractious" relationship between Blair and Brown in 2005, the real story is in who actually stole these papers and leaked them and why leak them now?
Background:

After labour lost the 2010 general election, former Education Secretary, Ed Balls personal papers and belongings were packed up ready to be sent from his old office at the Department of Education to his new office in the House of Commons. This is the last time Mr Balls says he saw those papers.  It is fair to assume that the incoming education secretary, Michael Gove, would be occupying the same desk and office as his predecessor, so those papers would still have been among the personal belongings waiting to be taken to the Commons when Michael Gove took possession of his new office. There is no polite way of saying this, but what happened next appears to be that "someone" actually went through Ed Balls personal belongings and removed those letters and documents and then withheld them until an appropriate time arrived to reveal them. This matter is now being investigated by the Cabinet Secretary, Gus O'Donnell, who is holding an internal inquiry, I have my doubts as to how "independent" of the sitting Tory government this inquiry will be, but before I comment on the "independence" of that I will await the result of that inquiry.

Just over a year later and somehow these documents landed up in the hands of the editor at the Telegraph. Forgetting for a moment that the information they contained is ancient 6 year old history and has not revealed anything that people did not already know, those documents were actually stolen and they were handed to the Telegraph as a result of "theft" and I believe the Telegraph broke the law in handling them and then publishing from them, not least because the documents actually belonged to Ed Balls and one must assume he holds the copyright to them, the Telegraph certainly doesn't and neither does the person who originally stole the documents. As well as the "inquiry" now being held, complaints should also be made to the police and the Parliamentary Standards Commission, because someone broke the law and stole those documents and has then either used them for political gain or financial gain, or both and the Telegraph should be forced to reveal who gave them the documents and if money changed hands, exactly how much and if the Telegraph will not reveal this information then they should be forced to reveal it in a court of law. Whereby the information the Telegraph published turns out to be just the machinations of government ministers planning for the transition of one prime minister to the next, (as one would expect then to do) but that has not stopped the telegraph and the Mail from going completely overboard and totally sensationalising this non-story and the Times even attributed a quote to Lord Prescott that he did not make, totally and purposefully misrepresenting the whole issue, Prescott has demanded an full front page apology in the Times and we all know they deliberately misquoted him as he did not enter any conversation with the journalist at all. That aside, the fact remains that the documents were stolen and theft like this at this level in government cannot, and should not, be tolerated, it is a matter of trust, and trust in politics and politicians is at an all time low, this was not "whistle blowing" it was common theft.

The $60 million question - Why Now?

Either the Telegraph "purchased" these papers last year, or they were purchased or handed to them now, either way, whoever held them has held onto them for a year to be used at a time the holder could either get the "best price or" cause the most political damage, which implies a level of underhand scheming. to get a better idea let's take a look at what happened on the political front last week.

Saturday 4th June - This story appeared in the Guardian newspaper  Is Osborne Losing his grip On the Economy?

Sunday 5th June - The Observer newspaper published a letter from 52 economists detailing why they believe "The Coalitions Spending Plans Simply Don't add Up" claiming that the chancellor's plans were damaging growth and calling on the government and George Osborne to halt the pace and depth of government cuts to allow the fragile UK economy time to recover properly before imposing further austerity measures. Among those economists and professors were economists who had previously backed the chancellor's austerity measures. This was incredibly damaging for George Osborne and the Conservative government.

Monday 6th June - Newly released Retails Sales Figures were shown to be down by 2.1%

Tuesday 7th June -
  1. House prices were shown to have fallen by 4.2% year on year.
  2. Panicking the Tory-led government is so rattled they run to the IMF, which only issues what can be best described as a lukewarm backing for Osborne's plans, but even the IMF reiterates the need  for the first time, suggesting an alternative policy if "the economy experiences a prolonged period of weak growth and high unemployment". Temporary tax cuts, they argue, should be "targeted to investment, low-income households, or job creation". Coming from the right wing IMF who always back policies of  a)  cutting government spending
    b)  privatising everything possible
    c)  outsourcing
    d)  cutting welfare benefits
    e)  reducing taxes on business
    f)  increasing VAT
    g)  increasing charges for previously freely available public services
    h)  reducing health,  education  and other essential public services............And the outcome  of this mantra, often imposed on developing countries as a consequence of IMF loans?  It’s always an economic disaster: Tax Research UK
  3. IMF Downgrade UK growth forecast
  4. The Tory high command sent the hapless lame duck Lib Dem Business Secretary, Vince Cable, to pick a fight with the unions, he ended up being booed, heckled and jeered off of the stage over saying that the government may take away basic human rights of withholding their labour.

Wednesday 8th June -
  1. Moody's downgrade UK growth forecast
  2. Moody's Warn UK over Triple A rating 
  3. BRC Shop Prices Index rose  by 2.3% to further fuel inflation.
Thursday 9th June -
  1. Archbishop Rowan Williams writes a 2 page article for the New Statesman Magazine accusing the Tory-led government of committing the country to radical, long term policies for which no one voted. "The Government Needs To Know How Afraid People Are"
  2. Trade balance Figures show it rose by £7.4 billion.

Friday 10th June - Dire day for the economy to confound a week of bad news.
  1. Manufacturing FELL by 1.5%
  2. Industrial Output FELL by 1.7%
  3. NIESR GDP estimate 0.4%
As you can see this was not a good week for the Tories, the economy is showing real signs of slipping back into a double dip recession, the Tories were taking a pounding on the NHS, policing and the crime and the judiciary and their welfare bill was announced and quickly forgotten by everyone. They were making the news headlines., but not in a good way, so they badly needed something to spin people's attention away fro the Tory failures, where failure is now becoming synonymous with this Tory government.

The low and behold as if by magic someone delivered these papers to the Telegraph, well we can assume that it wasn't "puff the magic dragon", these leaks have undoubtedly come from Michael Gove, or his office or Tory high command, the reason being to divert attention away from the truly awful mess that George Osborne is creating. This will in the end turn ferociously on the Tories because just like their dreadful ill-thought out reforms in the economy, the NHS, welfare, the police, education and the judiciary not enough thought has gone into trying to understand what will happen beyond the leaks!

Next week we will have the new set of unemployment figures who knows what they will contain, whatever they are this economy is in a horrendous state and it is entirely of George Osborne's making, don't forget he was handed an economy in growth which was steadily increasing and consumer confidence good, all the attributes Labour handed over which the chancellor, George Osborne promptly ruined.

This comes at a time when Ed Balls has been found to be 100% correct on the economy and Osborne the Tory chancellor is found seriously wanting. The Tories may have through dirty tricks projected labour into the news, however, ordinary person on the street may just want to take a closer look at Ed Miliband to see what all the fuss is about and all of us who know Ed, will realise that he stands up very well to scrutiny, he is honest, calm, dignified, highly intelligent, more like a prime minister than the arrogant lying bully David Cameron and certainly more statesmanlike, this whole business looks as though it could play very nicely for Ed Miliband and Labour and give him the publicity he needs, giving credence to the saying that "there is no such thing as bad publicity".

The odd thing is that the Telegraph has been acting in a bizarre fashion almost going apoplectic over a really old non-news story, really looks completely out of context and their comments section is going way down market too! While the right wing press have virtual orgasms over this non-story which is six years old and the political pundits all line up to say their pieces to camera on College Green, ordinary people will be going about their lives and taking next to no notice of this, which let's face it only made it into the press in the first place because the Tories needed a diversion and they will be praying that if next week's economic news is just as bad, or even worse, and that their much touted "un-paused" paused NHS reforms fail to pick up support, that they have not shot their bolt too early in going public with their "stolen" documents when they did, perhaps they are having internal arguments on top of the splits and divides and fragments that makes up this Tory Led government about this right now? On top of their extremely bad private polling figures and I have it on good authority that Cameron is extremely worried and agitated about something, I wonder what that could be? Rebekah Brooks oops who said that?

This whole farce is exactly the kind of thing the right wing press did to Gordon Brown and now they are trying to do exactly the same with Ed Miliband.

Let's not forget either that as the Telegraph published from "stolen" documents and if the Tories are found to have passed those stolen documents over to the Telegraph, then this could end up in the hands of the police.

I have just three words for the Tories:............. "Karma...Karma...Karma"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Government Picks Fight With Unions

Vince Cable
Over the last few years the number of days lost through strike action has fallen considerably, the decline in strike action started to steadily decrease when Labour came to power in 1997.
For an idea of how industrial relations have improved with the unions over the past 14 years in 1996 1.303 million working days were lost compared to 2009 when just 445.000 were lost. With the long running BA dispute now settled, that number could fall again. So why now is the Conservative government trying to pick a fight with the unions?

It is hard to believe that when Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who spoke at the  GMB conference in Brighton last Monday, suddenly and for some reason better known to himself decided to deliberately antagonise union delegates, why would he do that?

In comments that were described as inflammatory, he faced a furious backlash  after threatening union leaders with tougher strike laws and was heckled, booed and jeered by angry delegates at the conference.

The right to strike is a fundamental right of any worker in this country to try to meddle with that is only deliberately stoking the fire to produce flames where previously there were none. Without a doubt the unions have come a long way they are a far cry from the way they used to operate and they use strike action as a very very last resort. This can be clearly demonstrated in the long running BA dispute, the only reason the BA strike lasted as long as it did was because of the stupidity and arrogance of one man, Willie Walsh, who thought he could just trash workers and their rights and ride rough shot over them and treat them appallingly, as soon as the idiot in the room was removed from the table, a resolution was found within weeks and peace has broken out with union bosses recommending BA workers accept the revised deal put by BA bosses.

Vince Cable himself said:

“Despite occasional blips, I know that strike levels remain historically low, especially in the private sector. On that basis, and assuming this pattern continues, the case for changing strike law is not compelling."

Having said this why go to a union conference where delegates are worried about workers losing their jobs, having their pay frozen and their fundamental human rights watered down already by the Conservative government and in the current volatile economic climate, would a Liberal Democrat of all people deliberately threaten to erode the rights of workers further by threatening to change the strike law? This was like waving a red flag to a very large and very angry bull.


Mr Cable looked lost, hesitant and lonely stuck up there delivering a speech which he knew would inflame those delegates, I cannot believe that he would purposefully do this.


Later when Number 10 were asked to comment they said they had no plans to change the law, yet Cable's speech would have had to be okayed by former BBC employee Craig Oliver who is now David Cameron's Director of Communications, it is inconceivable that Oliver would not have realised that this would create tensions between the government and the unions, so it begs the question if Vince Cable was forced to include that  part of his speech by David Cameron and George Osborne as some sort of payback for his recent outspoken views during the campaign for the AV referendum? Looking at Mr Cable on that rostrum he looked dejected, isolated, embarrassed and totally humiliated. Take this a little further we have to ask if Nick Clegg was aware of this and if he thought it was a good idea that a senior minister from the Liberal Democrat party, a party that is supposed to promoted people's rights, make such inflammatory comments?


This points to yet more friction behind the scenes of this coalition government which is now beginning to implode from within and fall to pieces in front of our eyes. Yet the right wing press still fail (or refuse) to pick up on this - why?
The Conservative party is in the wrong place on the economy and if this Tory government takes an antagonistic line to the trade union movement it could purposefully increase the risks of real clashes.

Is this some kind of psychological game being played by Cameron and Osborne to try to deliberately antagonise the unions, to try and win the argument of public opinion *before* any disputes take place?

The GMB has threatened a huge civil disobedience campaign if the government tries to change the rules on striking, this response would not be unexpected, there must be a reason why this has been raised now and why they forced Cable to do so.

Are the Tories scared that their measures are going to provoke a serious backlash leading to a 2011 - 2012 "winter of discontent"?
It is strange that this should surface now, when the economy is nose diving and Osborne's plans are coming under heavy fire, even from people who previously supported them and even the IMF support could only be best described a lukewarm.

Was this number 10 spin doctors trying to divert attention away from the trouble the chancellor finds himself in over his measures on the economy, after a disastrous weekend in terms of political news on the economy and the chancellor nowhere to be seen leading to calls asking if he was missing?

Or is this the government trying to get the British public onside because they know their austerity measures are not working, they know already that Osborne's target for clearing the deficit is already missed by at least 18 months, (if it is ever reached at all). More seriously do they know that they are going to introduce yet further extreme austerity measures in a bid to get their failed plan back on target, in time for tax give-aways at the next general election, thus increasing their chances of winning it?

They know this would cause a huge backlash from the unions - watch this space, because I believe this is exactly the modus operandi of the Tory-led government and they are in danger of becoming the idiot in the room!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Less of the Spin George - The UK Economy Is Going Down The Pan and It's Your Fault!


Stung by criticism of being AWOL, missing while the country's economy flounders, the Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, surfaced briefly on this morning's BBC Radio to defend his "measures".

He said:

"We have flexibility built into our plan. But what our plan provides is credibility where there was no credibility, stability where there was no stability, confidence that actually the British economy is getting its act together."
It now appears that the Tory chancellor has no proper defence of his plans which are now widely seen as failing the British people and the British economy, instead he attempts to explain the dire and worsening economy under his watch with meaningless "soundbites" and copious amounts of spin.

Credibility:

  1. How is talking the economy down as Cameron, Osborne and Clegg have repeatedly done, destroying consumer confidence in the process, be deemed a credible manner in which a responsible government would act?
  2. How is blaming Gordon Brown and the Labour government for what was and remains a global financial recession in any way credible and through this shameful politicking place the country at the mercy of an even bigger financial crash than the last one, simply by refusing to learn the lessons?
  3. How can forcing the "Hardest Hit" ,the disabled, the very poor and struggling families to bear the brunt and pay for what the self-serving avaritic, egotistical lying bankers did to this country be in any way shape or form deemed credible?
Flexibility:

What flexibility is George Osborne talking about when he says they have flexibility built into their plan? What flexibility is he talking about when he repeatedly says: "there is no plan B"? Why isn't the chancellor being forced to explain what he means by flexibility? Does he mean flexibility to introduce yet more even harsher austerity measures into the economy when these ones do not work? Just like more and more austerity measures continually being introduced into the economies of Greece, Ireland and Portugal are not working? Does Osborne mean by "flexibility" that he has room to abolish/reduce the "national minimum wage" just like they have done in the Irish economy that George Osborne is on record as saying he so loves? "Look and learn From Across the Irish Sea" "A generation ago it would have seemed ridiculous to go to Ireland for economics lessons - not anymore" By George Osborne.  Does Osborne mean flexibility to remove yet more workers rights from their work places and render them helpless to withstand the attacks and unrealistic demands of ruthless Tory bosses? Flexibility to take away the basic rights of those who voluntarily join a union? Flexibility to be free to lower living standards, govern by fear, chaos and confusion by putting people in fear of losing their jobs, and the unemployed, chronically sick and the disabled kept in fear of losing the paltry benefits they receive from Osborne and Cameron's ever shrinking state and be made to feel like "scroungers" and "malingerers" by their own government and leaving them open to verbal attacks and even physical assaults from people that have been persuaded by Cameron, Osborne and Clegg that every person in receipt of benefit is somehow a scrounger, that people suffering from mental health illnesses are somehow shirkers? Is this what he means by "flexibility", flexible to make all these people unfortunate to find themselves in these positions pay even more by cutting their benefits and forcing them to live in poverty, or worse out on the street with nothing and nowhere to turn to? Flexibility to demonise public sector workers and sack even more of them, as if public sector workers are somehow not human beings with families to support too and to continue to deliberately mislead people about the public sector and perpetually refer to it as the "bloated public sector"? What is Osborne's definition "flexibility"- exactly?

Stability:

How stable (or credible) is it in May 2010, to be handed a stable but fragile economy in recovery with steady and increasing growth, falling unemployment and strong consumer confidence (despite the country going through the worse global financial recession for 100 years) and take all those precious economical factors and smash them to pieces with the Tory ideological sledge hammer and all within a matter of months?
How stable was it of this Tory chancellor to be warned repeatedly by world leading economists that his plans were wrong and would harm the British economy, yet ignored them and went ahead anyway? Now even economists that previous backed Osborne are warning him Coalition Spending Plans Simply Don't Add Up!

Recent economic figures have shown that the government urgently needs to adopt a Plan B for the economy. As economists and academics, we know the breakneck deficit-reduction plan, based largely on spending cuts, is self-defeating even on its own terms. It will probably not manage to close the deficit in the planned time frame and the government's strategy is likely to result in a lot more pain and a lot less gain.
We believe a more effective strategy for sustainable growth would be achieved:
• through a green new deal and a focus on targeted industrial policy.
• by clamping down on tax avoidance and evasion, as well as by raising taxes on those best able to pay
• through real financial reform, job creation, "unsqueezing" the incomes of the majority, the empowerment of workers and a better work-life balance.
These are the foundation of a real alternative and it is time the government adopted it.
Prof Richard Grayson, Goldsmiths, University of London; lan O'Shea, emeritus prof of cultural studies, UEL; Henning Meyer, senior visiting fellow, LSE Global Governance; Howard Reed, director, Landman Economics; Prof Geoffrey M Hodgson, University of Hertfordshire Business School and 47 others (see observer.co.uk/letters)
Professor Jonathan Rutherford Middlesex University

Professor Natalie Fenton, Goldsmiths, University of London

Professor Stefano Harney, Queen Mary, University of London

Andrew Watt, Senior Researcher, European Trade Union Institute

Professor Mariana Mazzucato, (Chair in the Economics of Innovation),
Open University

Professor Gregor Gall, University of Hertfordshire

Prof George Irvin, Univ of London, SOAS

Prof Peter Case, Bristol Business School

Michael Burke, Economic Consultant

Professor Marcus Miller, University of Warwick

Professor Susan Himmelweit, Open University

James Meadway, Senior economist, new economics foundation

Professor Dennis Leech, University of Warwick

Jonathan Glennie, Research Fellow, Overseas Development Institute

Stewart Lansley, Research Fellow, Bristol University

Alan Finlayson, Reader, Dept. of Political and Cultural Studies,
Swansea University

Robin Murray, Senior Visiting Fellow, Global Governance, LSE

Richard Murphy, Director, Tax Research LLP

Prof. Giuseppe Fontana, Leeds University Business School

Pat Devine, University of Manchester

Prof Malcolm Sawyer, University of Leeds

Dr Paul Segal, University of Sussex

Professor Stephen Haseler, Director, Global Policy Institute

Andrew Simms, nef fellow and Green New Deal Group Member

Ruth Potts, Campaign Manager, the Great Transition

Valerie Bryson, Emerita Professor of Politics, University of Huddersfield

Mark Fisher, University of London

Dr Jonathan Perraton, University of Sheffield

Nick Isles, Managing Director of Corporate Agenda

David Purdy, Social economist now retired, formerly Head of the
Department of Applied Social Science, University of Manchester

Dr. Douglas Chalmers, Glasgow Caledonian University

Sheila Dow, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Stirling
Barbara MacLennan, retired academic economist: Universities of York
and Manchester

David Donald, Glasgow Caledonian University

Ismail Erturk, Senior Lecturer in Banking, University of Manchester

Ian Gough, Emeritus Professor, University of Bath

Colin Crouch, University of Warwick

Professor David Marquand, Oxford University

Stuart White, Jesus College, Oxford University

Professor Diane Elson, University of Essex, Chair UK Women's Budget Group

Professor Andy Danford, Bristol Business School

Professor Simon Lilley, Head of University of Leicester School of Management

Professor Stephen Linstead, University of York

Professor Adrian Sinfield, University of Edinburgh

Professor Sir Tony Atkinson, Nuffield College, Oxford

Professor Matthew Watson, University of Warwick

Professor David Bailey, Coventry University Business School

Dr Damian O'Doherty, University of Manchester

Professor Derek Braddon, Emeritus Professor of Economics, University
of the West of England, Bristol

Dr. Olivier Ratle, University of the West of England, Bristol

Professor Alison Pullen, Swansea University

Professor David Knights, Bristol Business School
Dr Gregory Schwartz, University of Bath


It is no surprise to many of us that Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Ed Balls have been proven to be 100% correct on the British economy and that despite all the horrendous global financial recessional odds stacked against them, when Labour handed the economy over to George Osborne it was steady and growing and on the back of that growth government borrowing was forecast to be £42 billion *less*. (£20 bn immediate effect and £22 billion forecast by analysts on future growth predictions), this coupled with George Osborne's record breaking borrowing for April 2011 of £46 billion *more* than Labour would have borrowed, puts Osborne's plans a huge £88 billion adrift and disappearing rapidly down a black hole. The previous labour government have made mistakes and I'll not defend those, but overall they did a lot for this country, they left this country a stronger, more decent caring society than when they found it in 1997 with crumbling schools, decaying hospitals, atrocious health care, escalating crime and 4 million unemployed. They had to steward this country through some really tough economic times and they managed to do this without making people feel cheap, nasty and worthless to society, which has become the trade mark of this present Tory government, in its attacks on the unemployed, the poorest, the disabled, the elderly and the hardest hit.

Cameron and Osborne's political hang-ups about state involvement in the economy, (hang-ups that are shared by Vince cable too) prevent the formation of a coherent policy for  seeing Britain through the worse recession for a 100 years. It's obvious Osborne has no clear plans for growth, when he started his so-called "budget for growth" off by actually LOWERING the growth forecast, a forecast he and the OBR has been forced to lower again and in among all the waffle from the waffling dishonest IMF we see that the IMF's growth forecast long term for the UK is actually lower than Osborne's OBR!  In many industries  in small to medium sized businesses, despite being viable are being turned down for credit or are not asking for loans in the first place, this is because people are unable or reluctant to invest because there is not enough certainty about where government policy is taking us and this in turn is feeding through to the banks. This is in addition to all the toxic debt the banks have hidden in their books, which is preventing banks from lending.

In the IMF's latest report on the UK, Lipsky said the post-crisis repair of the British economy was underway. He noted that weak economic growth and the pick-up in inflation over the last few months had been "unexpected".
"This raises the question whether it is time to adjust macroeconomic policies. The answer is no as the deviations are largely temporary," said Lipsky. "The stability and efficiency of the UK financial system is a global public good due to potential spillovers and thus requires the highest quality of supervision and regulation."
He added that there were "significant" risks to inflation, growth and unemployment. "If they materialise, the policy response will depend on the nature of the shock."

On one hand the IMF are saying Osborne is on the right course, but on the other they say there is "significant risks to inflation, growth and unemployment", what they seem to be doing is trying to have it both ways!  Which doesn't help the situation we are in, however, if the IMF were to trash Osborne's plans, they would of course trigger panic in London's stock market. Although their refusal to actually see the narrative is I feel going to leave the IMF once again with egg all over their chins.

One more thing about the right wing leaning IMF that need a good dose of left wing suppository up their proverbial to try and balance it out, is why should we believe anything they say when the IMF has repeatedly downgraded the UK growth forecast for this year and cut it again on Monday, to 1.5% – down from 2.5% forecast in April 2010.  They never get it right, still what can we expect from them when they support:


Read: The Myth of Record Debt

The writing is not only on the wall for this dreadful criminally feckless Tory Coalition government, but thanks to Osborne and his *inflexibility*, the writing is on the wall for the UK economy too. The only question and problem that should be occupying the minds of most rational, sane people today is how do we dislodge this unelected inept, incompetent,  mandateless Tory government, that is forcing through economical insanity and taking the biggest most reckless and unprecedented gamble with all our futures from power?

The bottom line is that Osborne and his cronies in the right wing press can spin this all they like the proof is there for all to see and it is being felt by countless families, the poor, the needy, the sick, the disabled, the unemployed, up and down this land. The economy is on its way down the pan  through sheer obstinacy or lunacy call it what you will of just three men, Cameron, Osborne and Clegg. Chancellor Osborne refuses to admit he has made huge mistakes with the British economy, see that he has got it wrong and change tack  and that is not financial tenacity, that is just sheer stupidity, the kind of sheer stupidity which  cause suffering, distress and hardship to each and every ordinary person, the kind of sheer stupidity that will rob children of their education and futures and the young of university places. However, the Osbornes, the Camerons, the Cleggs, the Goldsmiths and all the other mega rich toff cronies (who all donate financially to the Tory party) won't suffer though, they'll cause the problem along with all their City  friends in the CBI, the BCC, the bankers, the hedge funders etc etc none of them will suffer that will be reserved just for us, you and I and our precious families, relatives and friends!  How come George Osborne allows his rich City mates, his r=mega rich corporate buddies to get away without paying £25 billion PER YEAR in UNPAID tax?  Companies like Vodafone who owe the Treasury £6 Billion and Osborne has actually waived that bill and told Vodafone they need NOT pay it, YET, Osborne has instructed HRMC inspectors to chase small struggling business owners late paying their tax and threaten them with bailiffs and bankruptcies? Their combined late paying (NOT wont pay) doesn't even tot up to a fraction of what Osborne just allowed Vodafone get away with. Osborne also while chases after benefit fraud which costs the country approximately £650 million, where is the comparison with the £25 billion per year Osborne allows his rich mates to get away with? They are both wrong but if you were chancellor with a deficit that you want to pay down which would you go after first?
a)  cutting government spending
b)  privatising everything possible
c)  outsourcing
d)  cutting welfare benefits
e)  reducing taxes on business
f)  increasing VAT
g)  increasing charges for previously freely available public services
h)  reducing health,  education  and other essential public services

And the outcome  of this mantra, often imposed on developing countries as a consequence of IMF loans?  It’s always an economic disaster:  the fact that the developing world has not made little or no progress in the last 30 years is almost entirely the fault of the IMF imposing such absurdly inappropriate policies on  so many poor states. Tax research UK
However, it should be noted that even the IMF did not appear to have the stomach to fully endorse Osborne's insanity, they could only offer lukewarm sentiments that match their own!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Nick Clegg - Liberal Democrats - Where Now?

After Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats took a merciless hammering in the recent local elections it seems the penny finally dropped and Nick Clegg realised he had become this country's bĂȘte noire, not to be beaten Clegg put a brave face on it mounted his trusty white steed and rode to the rescue of the NHS to save it from Andrew Lansley's hated Liberating the NHS" reforms. Almost immediately he rode into trouble, because there on the horizon just disembarking his no-frills airline "privately frilled" plane was the feared "black knight" in a navy polo T-shirt and dirty crumpled jeans jousting at him with his prime ministerial poking stick, sadly for Nick Clegg it seems that David Cameron has had the same idea of becoming the NHS saviour. However, it would appear that the irony is, although it hasn't quite dawned upon either of them yet that they are both trying to save the NHS from themselves, after  it is thier government that is trying to push through these monstrous reforms!

While they play political football with our NHS it appears that the "Court Jester" Gideon (Osborne) has ran into a "little local difficulty" with the economy. Apparently after Osborne has been playing around with the brakes they have failed and the economy is now on an unavoidable collision course with a brick wall.

The chancellor has suddenly become persona non grata, no one is returning his calls and economists who previously backed him are now lining up to criticise him. It appears they have suddenly realised what many of us have realised from day one, that Osborne is a dolt and should never have been allowed anywhere near this country's economy, his only remedy was an already failed concept of his "mother's" Margaret Thatcher, who never understood economics either. These economists are all now like rats leaving the proverbial sinking ship (in some haste) before they become tarnished with the chancellors failures, no doubt in a year's time they will be all saying that of course they saw this coming all along and it will be extremely hard to find anyone that never saw this coming, and will be equally as hard to find anyone who will admit to voting Tory (or Lib Dem).

However, where does all this leave Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrat party? If this dire economical news is bad for the government, then it is even worse for Clegg. Clegg has pinned his and his party's very survival on Osborne's unprecedented gamble with our economy paying off. Last April Osborne was forced to borrow and unprecedented £46 billion add this to the £42 billion LESS that the previous Labour government were forecasting and we see that Osborne has created a huge £88 billion black hole for us all, so from that alone we can now deduce that at the very least Osborne's target of paying the deficit down inside this parliament will fail, and fail catastrophically. This means in basic terms that there will be no money for tax give-aways come the next election and with that unemployment will be probably be around 3.5 million, interest rates will have risen, inflation will be high, the banks will still not be borrowing, benefits will be cut and wages frozen, bankruptcies and repossessions will have risen dramatically and we will have experienced a double dip recession, which will all affect economical growth.

This and more is something that I have stated before when talking about the chances of the coalition government surviving.

After the local elections the Liberal Democrat party had two options 1) they cut their losses and walk away from the coalition, regrouped and reformed, started to rebuild lost trust and start their long journey back to the political arena. or 2) They stayed and prayed for a miracle with Osborne's economy.

I predicted that if they chose the latter then they are likely to lose everything come the next election, because they are being used as the Tories human shields now, by the time the next election comes around it will be a 100% worse and the Tories and Cameron and Osborne will seek to hide behind them and blame Lib Dem policies for the failure. Of course the Tories will no longer be able to blame labour, because labour have been proved right on the economy, so they will turn their fire at the Lib Dems. To paraphrase "Hell hath no fury like a Tory who looks like they will lose a general election".

I believe the recent events in the economy will have forced the hand of the Liberal Democrats, I think we may see a leadership challenge in the not too distant future, as Lib Dems wake up to the fact that if they stay much longer in this coalition then they are going to lose their party completely.

Of course walking away from the coalition and choosing a new leader now is a gamble, but not as much as an unwinnable gamble as staying on, that way only lays complete destruction, at least this way most Lib Dem MPs may retain their seats, if they wait then they are going to face complete wipe-out at the polls, as people turn on them and blame for the mess and confusion that George Osborne is causing in the economy.

I believe the only way forward for the Liberal Democrats is to walk away from the coalition now and I think it will happen sooner rather than later - I sincerely hope that Ed Miliband is ready to roll!

The Economy Is Going Pear Shape - Where Is The Tory Chancellor?


Last week was dire news for the British economy and the coming week doesn't look like it is going to be much better. People are worried, anxious for their jobs and rent, mortgages, utility bills, fuel bills, food bills are all escalating and the news keeps getting worse. We are entitled to hear why the Conservative government's chancellor, George Osborne's plans are going so badly wrong. In a week where Osborne's favourite country Greece achieved higher growth than the UK, surely we are entitled to hear from some senior figure in the Tory government aren't we?  Especially as "Call me Dave" the British prime minister, is away on his 2nd holiday of the year, in Ibiza, raving away at rave festivals etc and having fun in the sun - while we struggle back home trying to feed and clothe our children and keep a roof over their heads.  "We're All In This Together" right? So where is the chancellor? Is he away on some luxury foreign holiday too, has he gone skiing on some luxury piste somewhere on perhaps he is off somewhere else on a little multi-thousand pound freebie holiday given to him by his rich Tory "doning" banker mate, like he did a couple of months ago? But hang on a "mo" of course silly me "I forgot", isn't Deputy PM, Nick Clegg, supposed to be in charge? Where is he? Hopefully someone has not forgotten to tell him he is in charge of the country again? It's odd though, I thought Clegg would be out explaining, after all wasn't it Clegg who recently told the CBI that it is "the deficit-reduction plan is the glue that binds the coalition together"? I suggest to Mr Clegg, if his words are true then the coalition is in very serious trouble because its plans are seriously coming "unstuck". Sadly for Clegg, the economy was his last small hope of turning his fortunes  his party's fortunes around before the next election. There is no way that Osborne can now hit his deficit-reduction targets, Osborne is actually growing the deficit not decreasing it - oops! It's that "breathtaking arrogance" again Nick, whereby your new mate Dave was "measuring up Downing Street for new curtains" remember? You were wrong there too, it turned out Sam and Dave were measuring up for a new refurbishment and kitchen paid for by £700.000 of taxpayers money hmm to paraphrase, "it could be curtains Nick, but not as you know them"!

May I remind this Tory-led government, especially the Tory Chancellor, George Osborne that last May 2010 after the general election, he was handed the British economy that was in fairly good shape all things considered after coming out of the worse global financial recession for over a hundred years. Growth was steady and increasing, unemployment falling, consumer confidence strong and because of growth government borrowing was predicted to be £20 billion *less* and a forecast to fall a further £22 billion, making a total of £42 billion less government borrowing. Because of George Osborne's policies he has managed to reverse the UK economy and put it into decline and because he has managed to contract growth by 0.5% in Q4 and only manage to grow the economy by 0.5% in Q1, the UK economy is now flat-lining at best and to be economically pedantic it does mean that we actually contracted in Q1 in real terms by around 0.20%. Because of the Osborne's crazy economics he has now forced himself into a position where he had to increase borrowing by £46 billion for April, add this to the £42 billion LESS we would have had to borrow had laboour stayed in power, we can clearly see that Osborne is £88 billion adrift in his economic plans, he has created for himself and this country a black hole worth at the very least £88 billion.

Where is George Osborne? Where is even his Liberal Democrat poodle Danny Alexander to explain all of this? Are they are all in hiding, or perhaps they are all off on holiday abroad in Ibiza raving away with Sam and Dave?  Pitifully all the Treasury managed to do this morning was to put out a very junior Treasury spokesman on Sky News who was so clearly out of her depth, even I felt sorry for the poor woman, she had no solutions, only problems which she (as per instructed - no doubt) ridiculously tried to blame on the previous Labour administration, she could not explain why the chancellor's plans are going so badly wrong, she could not explain why, in today's Observer leading economists who previously backed Osborne are now saying what Labour has been saying all along, that Osborne is cutting too far, too fast and is damaging the UKs fragile economy. Now if Cameron and Osborne had not been so hyperbolic when describing the global financial recession and blaming the world's financial problems on one man (former PM Gordon Brown) and one governing party (Labour) then Osborne could point to events in the global economy now as way of an excuse, like he blamed Japan's tsunami and the British winter weather (er in winter), nevertheless when he eventually emerges from his hiding place and changes from his shorts to his grown up long-trousers, I still expect "Boy George" to try and pin the blame for his own very, very short, shorts comings on Labour, despite Labour handed the economy over to him in fairly good shape. Even the boy's trousers appeared to have had a row with his ankles, because no economist was apparently free to appear on Sky News this morning to defend Osborne, they could only manage to get Vicky Pryce on (yes *that* Vicky Pryce) the same Vicky Pryce that is Environment secretary Chris Huhne's ex wife who reckons that the leading economists who now think George Osborne is harming the economy is, wait for it - "helpful" to him. Yeah of course Vicky, just like you have been helpful to your ex -husband Chris Huhne. Yes this is the same Chris Huhne that is having his expenses investigated and his file sent to the CPS over a speeding fine which his wife "Vicky Pryce" reporting him to the police for, Chris Huhne who managed to spend £46.000 on taxi fairs over the past 6 months! Erm perhaps he was scared of getting "another" speeding ticket?

Back to Mr Osborne who with his buddy "call me Dave", while in opposition with the help of their mates in the right wing press, talked the economy down repeatedly, they tried their best to damage it for their own political reasons, but thanks to the then Labour government policies, Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling, who were able to keep the economy steady and on an even keel and slowly return it to growth despite the horrendous global problems, Cameron and Osborne failed. What was nothing short of pure genius by Brown and Darling to keep the economy afloat and returned to growth went  broadly unacknowledged because of Cameron, Osborne, Rupert Murdoch, Andy Coulson, Rebekah Brooks and all the rest of the right wing muppets. This reprehensible behaviour from these people meant the British people were told a pack of lies day in and day out and when it came to the election they had not been given the truth to make a clear informed decision on who to vote for, which is why this country ended up with an unelected toff as a PM and an unelected dolt  toff for a chancellor and a complete numpty rich boy for a deputy PM and a millionaire toff cabinet that has no idea what it is like to live in the real world. Still many of them don't, they reside in the surreal worlds of the off-shore banking accounts, where they have head offices which no one inhabits yet turns over billions of pounds. Nudge nudge, wink wink, a nudge is as good as wink to a blind bat!

Once Cameron and Osborne came to government, unelected and without a mandate, you would think that they would have stopped talking the economy down, but did they? No not a bit of it, apparently they love self flagellation (must be all that public schoolboy stuff)  they took a private joke (a tradition from the outgoing administration to the incoming one) from the outgoing Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Liam Byrne and repeatedly told the country that we were "broke" or that the country had "maxed out on its credit cards", they said that we were nearly going the way of Greece - bankrupt, they continued to emit these hyperbolic announcements until they actually seriously harmed the UK economy and decimated consumer confidence. "Smart" move Gideon, really "smart" but wouldn't it have been better if at the time you had listened to the advice in phone call from the then "acting" chancellor (in your absence) about EU bailouts of countries in the eurozone? I know this was a bit much to expect you with a 2-1 in History to understand the fundamental economic importance of what Alistair Darling was trying to explain to you, but you could have tried and then later this country would not have been stung  expected to help bail out eurozone countries in trouble instead Cameron and Osborne carried on behaving like they were still in opposition, failing to see that their own announcements would gravely risk our economy, of course the reason they did this was purely selfish and political as it was the start of their plan to win the next election, the reason why they started so soon because they were not confident that the so-called "coalition" government would work or last, in short it was just naked political opportunism built on a foundation of utter lies, innuendos and half truths. the country was not bankrupt, it was nowhere near bankrupt, nowhere remotely near not be able to repay our debt, in fact the economy was growing, unemployment falling, all the factors in place for a strengthening recovery, until the Tories purposefully destroyed it. The Tory government started their administration with a huge lie, one they will now find impossible to wriggle out of, because if we believe the lies of Osborne, Cameron and Clegg, if the economy was as bad as they said it was, now thanks to them it is much. much worse, so why are they not telling us that we are nearly bankrupt now? Where are their stories of bankruptcy and a country on the brink of financial ruin? George Osborne and David Cameron will now be hoisted by their own petards and quite rightly so.

 So to recap:

  • We have university dons telling David Willets, the universities minister, that they have no confidence in him.
  • We have doctors, nurses, managers, labour, the unions and the general public telling Andrew Lansley, the health minister, that they have no confidence in him or the NHS Reforms.
  • We have teachers and headteachers telling Michael Gove the education minister they have no confidence in him or his policies
  • We Have Climate change groups saying they have no confidence in the government who promised to be the "greenest government ever".
  • We have disabled peoples groups the length and breadth of this country telling the DWP minister, Iain Duncan Smith that they have no confidence in him.
  • We have the heads of leading charities in the voluntary sector saying that they have no confidence in this  government.
  • We have the coalition partner Nick Clegg presiding over a party that the electorate has clearly told they have no confidence in.
"Sensing a pattern emerging here? Next we'll be hearing that leading economists have no confidence in Osbourne either - oh wait - that's today's lead story."

George we told you your plans were certifiably insane, not just once, but over and over again and you refused to listen and surprise, surprise you are still refusing to listen, even though anyone with a modicum of sense can see your economic plans are in tatters and because of you the British economy is now "toast".

The British people have no confidence in their unelected government, Cameron, Osborne and Clegg have no mandate to carry out the reforms that they are forcing through parliament - it is time Cameron called a general election, put the truth and facts before the British people and let them decide. This coalition is not working and Osborne has the economy on a collision course with hell - Cameron must now call a general election.

Read More: Osborne's Strategy Is Hurting the UK Recovery
                   Osborne's Plan Isn't Working
                   The Myth of Tory Credibility on the Economy


But "We're All In This Together" Right?