Apr 222017
 

May continue to cut public sector salaries year on year.

May continue to pillage the public services we all use to pay for the bankers mistakes.

May continue to make tax cuts for the rich.

May continue to cut welfare payments to the poorest families in our society causing a huge increase in child poverty.

May continue to stumble and fumble around during the Brexit negotiations in all likelihood resulting in a poor deal for Britain.

May continue to antagonise the non-English countries of the union increasing the likelihood of a break-up.

May continue to add powers to the secret policemen until we’re living in a police state (hint: it’s not that far off).

Time to look past May to June and choosing anyone other than May.

Feb 052013
 

So we’ve seen in the last few minutes that as expected a whole bunch of Tories have voted against the proposal to legalise gay marriage. Frankly nobody expected the “hang ’em high and whip ’em” branch of the Tories to vote for gay marriage.

Of course the media and the anti-Tories are gleefully announcing that the Tories are split down the middle and that this might just be the beginning of the end. Of what I’m not sure.

Much as I would like to see the Tories self-destruct, it is very unlikely to happen. This was a free vote – where MPs were encouraged to vote with the conscience rather than according to the party whip. Whilst it is entirely possible that a party who wants to get something through that will be unpopular with their own members, will resort to a free vote, it is a move to be encouraged.

After all, it would be nice to see MPs always voting with their conscience!

Nov 062012
 

Today came the news that Nadine Dorries (a Tory MP) is being suspended as a Tory (not an MP) for appearing on the reality TV show called “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here”.

Now I’m hardly the most ardent Tory supporter in the country – in fact I can’t stand them, and a quick look indicates that I’m even less likely to like Nadine’s favourite hobby horses. But I believe all this fuss is a little over the top, and perhaps there is a certain amount of snobbishness getting involved here. To a certain extent this is understandable, as the reality show in question is hardly in the calibre of “Question Time” or some other serious current affairs programme.

And there is the concern of who will do her job, when she’s off in Australia getting filmed doing ridiculous stuff on camera.

But we do not know that Nadine hasn’t already or plans to make suitable arrangements to ensure that any urgent demands by her constituents are met in some way or another. And what about all the other part-time MPs? Is Nadine the only MP who has ever taken time off from her duties to do something else? Let’s not have double standards here.

And similarly, there have been plenty of MPs on TV shows of one kind or another. Is it just the type of show that is of concern here? Are other politicians concerned that an MP appearing on this show will bring politicians into disrepute?

If so, I have news for those other politicians – politicians have such a poor reputation that this appearance on a reality show is likely to improve their reputation. And I’m not a fan of the show in question.

Nov 042012
 

Those sneaky Tories have announced plans to limit child related benefits so that families with large numbers of children would only get benefits for the first two. With this, they have implied that “out there” is a large population of benefit scroungers who make tons of cash by simply breeding like rabbits.

And of course when you put it that way, it sounds like a great idea. Why should those in work pay for the comfort of those too lazy to do anything other than breed like rabbits?

Except those benefits are for the children involved. It is always worth remembering that any benefit cuts in this area will have a negative effect on the children involved. Or do the Tories plan to take into care any “surplus” children by force?

And even if there were a large number of benefit scroungers benefiting from the “generous” child related benefits, they are almost certainly far outnumbered by those who are not scroungers, but need benefits for genuine reasons.

What about the carpenter who whilst he earns a reasonable wage to support himself, his wife, and a single child, suddenly finds himself the father of sextuplets ?

What about the house husband whose wife previously earned big money as a hot-shot barrister, had 6 children over a number of years and who suddenly finds himself along with those six children after his wife is killed in a road accident ?

Or the single mother who works hard at a cleaning job, but finds it hard looking after her three children that her feckless husband left her with ?

The Tories have come up with a scheme to punish the poor, and yet have sold it in such a way as to get those poor to support it. What you could call a masterpiece of Machiavellian politics.

 

Jun 022012
 

Apparently the government has announced plans to stop charging council tax for those who live in so-called “granny annexes”. The opposition has quite rightly pointed out that this is an interesting position to take as there has long been a council tax exemption for those living in granny annexes who are over 65, or who are impaired in various other ways.

For those not familiar with granny annexes – and this may come as a surprise to many Tories, but not everyone is familiar with the concept – if you have a large enough house, it is possible to set aside part of it as a separate dwelling. Usually to give some member of the family some level of independent living – traditionally used for a live-in grandparent. Thus the term “granny annex”.

It may come as a bit of a surprise to many Tories, but most ordinary hard-working families live in homes where space is at a premium. Indeed having the spare space to create an annex could be a definition of “wealthy”. Or in other words, Tories have come up with a nifty way of giving a tax cut to the wealthy whilst trying (and failing) to sound like they are helping ordinary people.

Or to put it another way, why are we giving council tax exceptions to grannies and disabled people? If someone over the age of 65 lives in their own flat they have to pay council tax, but if they live in an annex in their family’s home, they don’t. I’m not against the idea that those who are somewhat constrained in their income should get some sort of discount on their council tax, but getting a discount because you have rich relatives?

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