Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Shit...... Fan....... Popcorn.

Hidden amongst the current political chaos was the news that inflation has just hit 2.9 percent.

The fall of the pound increasing the cost of imports has been a major factor in the rise.

It all feels like being in a Seventies movie, with inept political figures galore and a looming financial crisis.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Mrs May Mortally Wonded

After the election Theresa May could possibly hang on for a few months, but I believe she is mortally wounded. Too much to carry on as PM.

She went to the polls to secure a larger majority, in an effort to secure her Brexit position and silence the chancers with their court cases and the Lords with their overtly remain agenda. An increased majority would have enabled her to stick two finger up at the meddlers and do things her way.

I can understand her frustration, but she failed to understand the mood of the people: fed up of austerity, fed up of the increasing gap between rich an poor, fed up of the shrinking opportunities available to those at the lower end of the social ladder.

When Jeremy Corbyn offered them the moon on a stick, they jumped for it. No matter what the price, they wanted it NEEDED it and they wanted it now. They wanted an easier life, the life they saw their parents and Grandparents have. Free further education, no more debts, all it needed to happen was to turn the screws on the rich a bit more. they couldn't wouldn't pay for it themselves. Syphon a little more cash from the job providers and all will be well.

Where the direction of UK politics lies after this is anyone's guess. Now the youth of the country have woken up to the power of the vote, it looks like the leaning of UK politics will be more leftwards. We are all a bit lefty when we're young: we want everything, want it now and the easier we can get it, the better. Hang the consequences and as long as someone else picks up the tab who cares?

Of course as we grow older, we understand the importance of work, of paying one's own way. We understand there is no free lunch and that the things the older people have, they have earned. We fear for our children and ant to protect them in the future. Make sure they have a better life and opportunities that we had.

The 2017 Spring election will be remembered as a turning point, the time that people embraced short-term

Friday, 9 June 2017

How the Problem of Polarised Politics caused Election Chaos

Well, the election results are in and it's quite clear Theresa May threw away a substantial majority and ended up with a hung Parliament.

When she called the election, it was hers to lose and lose she did, in spectacular fashion.

There are several aeras where she went wrong. First calling the election in the first place, u-turning after saying that she wouldn't call an election. Had the Conservatives laid the groundwork and said beforehand that having an election around the time the Brexit negotiations came to a head would cause problems, and then called it, there would be less of an issue. Issuing a surprise election in an effort to catch Labour on the hop didn't work. All Labour had to do was promise the Earth in return and substantial numbers of voters would sway their way.

The Tories failed to take the Labour policies to task and ask just where the money was coming from. Another mistake from the May team. They had a chance to demolish the Labour manifesto, but instead chose to keep spouting "strong and stable government" with no substance. Chancellor Phillip Hammond was significantly absent from the election, it was his team's job to go through the Labour manifesto and tear it to shreads. Instead Labour got away scott free and were able to promise the Earth with impunity. I just wonder if the mass exodus SpAds from number 10 and number 11 Downing street mortally wounded the Tories in this area. Or manybe it's a good thing for the future that these useless advisors get replaced for people able to plan a bit more.

The third mistake of team May was to alienate the pensioners. Failing to guarantee the triple lock on pensions, or to explain in detail what would replace it. Failing to be clear on tax rises

Being vague and leaving the electorate to trust the Tories is not a viable plan. People do not trust politicians.

If the Tories knew in advance they were calling an election, then they should have had the time to plan and present a fully costed and detailed manifesto. Instead we got wooly words and the famous "clarification" on the dementia tax. With a fully costed and planned manifesto and campaign, there wouldn't have had to be such a clarification, the details would be in black and white.

In the end the Tory manifesto tended to be all stick and no carrot, which lost them the voters that really wanted to vote for "better the devil you know" Theresa as opposed to "Silly Man" Corbyn. Arrogantly pushing voters away like that is not the way to win elections.

So, too many holes, too vague, no planning, no chancellor, u-turns, clarifications all added to the Tory demise. There was a sense that Theresa waas weak and washy, not strong and stable. It's almost as if they had arrogantly convinced themselves they could win the election without putting the effort in. It lost them a 20 point lead in the polls as the people punished them for yet another trip to the polls they thought was not necessary. 

Ironically there was also no counter to the Labour chant that the Tories benefitted the well-off and did nothing for the ordinary person. Back in the days of Cameron and the Eton elite, the Tories had no defence, but they could have countered it easily this time round but failed to. They could have quite easily pointed to the private education of the Labour front benches, but didn't.

As for ploarisation, it seems this election was an election of polar opposites. Young against old, rich against poor, haves against have-nots, Brexiteers against Remainers. I don't think in my lifetime I've ever seen an election so divided not on party lines, but on other lines.

The younth vote surged for Labour, thanks to social media and kids not remembering the catastrophy Blair and Brown's Labour party left us when they promised us everything we ever wanted.

The Pension vote, normally staunch Conservative, crumbled thanks to the badly thought out Tory policies on triple lock and social care funding.

Labour promised the Moon on a stick to everyone without the Tories pointing out that it will be those self-same people paying for said sticky Moon.

The Tories instead of having a backbone and a sense of convition, went into the election sleepwalking, without a clue. It doesn't bode well for the Brexit negotiations.

This is the worst of all results, with the Tories significantly weaked and a Marxist leadership in the Labour party emboldened by their gains.

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Diane Abbott, Home Secreatary

Is a phrase we all need to be fearful of.

Not only can she not do numbers, or find her own way off a stage, but it seems she can't read.

I mean, as Shadow Home Sectratary, then you'd think someone would explain what the job of shadow home secretary entains and maybe, just maybe what reports she needs to read. If she's only up to the Peter and Jane books reading-wise,  then someone would brief her on the salient points of the Harris report.

But no, we have yet another car crash interview.

It's clear she's not fit for the post. Cabinet posts, even shadow ones are not for bluffers and piss-takers. They are serious positions and the person in-post should be on top of their bloody game.

It speaks volumes about the calibre of Jeremy Corbyn that he would employ such an incompetent into a senior post.

Maybe she's suddenly been afflicted with Altzheimers? Maybe that explains why she's suddenly been caught too ill to debate with Amber Rudd on Home Office Affairs. Despite looking as hale and healthy as someone her size can be.

I suppose it could be worse, she could be in charge of the nations health...

Friday, 26 May 2017

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Rock, Meet Hard Place......

Well, all the party manifestos are out into the public domain, so time will be taken to read them and eventually come up with the party I would most likely vote for.

The first thing that strikes me is that the tax take is due to rise, whichever party you vote for.

Labour: 1p on income tax to piss more money onto the raging money-bonfire that is the NHS.

Tory: When you get old we'll claw back your hard-earned assets bar the last £100,000.

As for fiscal prudence (remember Gordon Brown... anyone?) that's all gone out of the window.

Labour want to nationalise everything so their union chums can hold the country to ransom again, but won't say how they fonud the multi-billillion pound buy-up. Except we all know they will have to borrow sqillions to do it all. Money our Grandchildren will be paying back. The borrowing rates will be interesting given the foundations of sand created by quantative easing (or increasing the money supply as it was called in the 70's). Cue rampant inflation.

The Tories want to be a bit more circumspect. They make noises that they won't piss money away, but in the end over the past 5 years the national debt has gone up despite cuts in spending. The problem being the institutional overspending and inefficiency in government spending. Without correcting the holes, the money bucket will never be full, no matter how much you pour into it.

On education, Labour want to scrap tuition fees. High on my priority list with a daughter in university...

The Tories want to bring back Grammar Schools. Despite failing my 11-plus I do see a place for Grammar Schools and streaming the most able. I've only ever seen Comprehensive schools supporting the least able. I see nothing wrong with skimming off the top 20 or 30% into Grammars, supplying special schools for those less able and having schools catering for the vast majority. We need high flyers and we need schools able to cater for those that can't learn.

So despite being an over-50 adult with a natural proclivity to vote Tory, do I vote Labour? I mean, at least they'll push the debt downstream...

I haven't mentioned the other parties. Liberals, UKIP and Greens. Despite all the airtime they get, they are pretty irrelevant in this election. Sorry UKIP!

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Thatcherite legacy is not only the Tories Fault.

It really annoys me that Labour push themselves as the saviour of the NHS amongst other untruths.
That everything is Maggie's fault. Poor saps, they've never got over that woman and now there's another Tory female PM with a huge popularity rating.

Yes the Tories (but under John Major) introduced targets and with it an overburden of administrators to monitor adherence or not to the targets, but Labour did far more damage.

LABOUR'S Tony Blair was one of the most damaging Prime Ministers when it comes to the NHS. Saddling health trusts with expensive PFI deals that they are paying through the nose for, "reforming" GP contracts that just put up GP's salaries without any increase in cover and also allowing GPs to introduce expensive and impersonal out-of-hours services.

He also introduced no-win-no-fee legal access. In itself a great idea, ordinary people have access to legal redress and not worry about the expense. But the actual legacy is one of Ambulance chasers or Agressive lawyers suing everyone for the slightest thing.

Anna Racoon has started a crusade to enlighten people about the huge burgen that litigation has emburdened the NHS with. Out of a budget of £95Bn, £56Bn will be set aside for litigation. A wholly unsustainable situation where more is spend defending the NHS and settling lawsuits than is actually spent on medicine.

One of the big issues is the payments on these lawsuits is based on the victims of NHS procedures is based on the victim receiving further treatment privately, when the actual truth is they continue to receive treatment from the NHS that caused the issue in the first place.

In effect they bank the money and carry on getting free treatment. There is no mechanism to force people to use the money to get private treatment: the NHS doesn't have a mechanism for excluding people from treatment after suing them. There is also no mechanism to charge the person for treatment by the NHS, thereby getting that money back as the NHS treats them. there's no mechanism to get that money back if the victim dies: it becomes part of their estate. When in truth if they die, treatment ends and the reason for the money being provided ends. There is no clause to repatriate the money back to the NHS on their demise. The money is treated like a windfall for the family.

This dovetails into my previous blogs about the NHS spending millions on expensive cancer drugs, just to extend life expectancy by months, where that money can transform the lives of other patients for decades.

Tere needs to be more oversight of WHERE NHS money is being spent and most certainly SHOVELLING MORE MONEY AT THE NHS IS NOT THE SOLUTION.

Targets are not the solution. More targets means employing more staff to measure them: staff that are not employed in the business of care.

There needs to be an intelligent debate about the NHS budget, whether where it is going is delivering the best care for the country.

The media will dumb it down into a Labour/Tory public/private debate, when it really needs to be a more adult and detailed affair. As the people paying the bills, at the end of the day the media owe us a more accourate account of what is going on.