Posts Tagged ‘British Politics’

2015 Was Labour’s Annus Horribilis – 2016 Will Be Corbyn’s!

LONDON: Since the General Election of 2015, the Labour Party suffered the worst 8 months of its long and varied history. Most notably; losing Scotland to the SNP and then control of the party to the extreme left. Even in the previous dark days of the early eighties – when militant tendency attempted such a coup – things were never as bad as they are now.

The Labour party have no one else to blame but themselves. It became their Annus Horribilis!

Then, early in the New Year Jeremy Corby was forced into a reshuffle after being humiliated by three senior MPs. Hilary Benn was targeted for the axe, yet survived the long, protracted negotiations by promising to toe the party line. He has lost face in all this and will now be seen as more interested in saving his career than being true to his political beliefs.

 

But worse was to come, as Pat McFadden and Michael Dugher fell victim to Corbyn’s wrath. Simply stating the truth in the Labour party will get you terminated. Several more resignations followed, one on live TV as Stephen Doughty announced to Andrew Neil during the Daily Politics show.

Prime Minister’s Question time was only an hour away when Corbyn heard the devastating news, which explained his dreadful performance and lacklustre delivery.

Whilst tightening his grip over the Shadow front bench, the Labour leader has alienated the rest of the party with his cack-handed degradation of two of the party’s most respected and capable politicians. McFadden and Dugher are likely to build a following of excluded moderate MPs looking to exact revenge and even topple the Corbyn dictatorship. During the coming months another of Corbyn’s detractors; Simon Danczuk will be the focus of much media attention. Having disgraced himself by sending lewd texts to a 17 year old job applicant, he has been suspended from the party whip, much to the joy of Corbyn’s devotees. This is the first test of the new hard left regime that sees an opportunity to recall Danczuk and replace him with their preferred candidate, sending a chill throughout the moderate stream in then party.

With the Labour supporting press building against him, and his detractors briefing anyone who’ll listen, 2016 cannot be anything else but the Labour leaders very own, man-made Annus Horribilis!

Let’s be honest, can any Tory activist, politician or casual supporter name a single successful defining policy during the past five and a half years that can be attributed to David Cameron’s premiership?

We can all agree the economy has improved, jobs, tax revenue and living standards are up, and our budget deficit is down. But none of it can be associated with our PM!

The Nothing Man!

The Nothing Man!

Only one single act of legislation can be associated with the above economic recovery – tax reduction!

Unfortunately for David Cameron, those who understand politics will be well aware the increase in tax thresholds was a bold LibDem policy, not at all considered by a nervous prospective Tory government in May 2010. Amazingly,  that’s where it begins and ends. By making taxes less of a burden,  the unemployed have gone back to work.  The result has been increased tax revenues, investment and deficit pare down. And that’s it ladies and gentlemen, the economic recovery in a nutshell!

Nothing else has contributed, NHS and Overseas aid ring fencing has done nothing to help. The Scottish Referendum yielded nothing, Britain simply knuckled down and got on with it. Immigration hasn’t contributed, the EU has held us back and every other Tory policy,  be it during, or post coalition has been insignificant to say the least.

So where does Cameron go from here? Well, he has promised to go. During those ridiculous kitchen interviews in the run-up to the last election, Mr Cameron insisted he will not contest the 2020 election. His lucky, but un-spectacular Chancellor;  George Osborne is yet another wet Tory in waiting.  Boris is past his sell by date and Teresa May will probably fall, due to the immigration crises she has so significantly failed over.

By 2018 Cameron will be withdrawing from the race, the economy will still be recovering,  be it so slowly, no one will have noticed. The EU referendum will have come and gone, Britain will have voted to stay in and Mr Cameron will slip away without a single reform or creditable policy.

How sad that in today’s political world, doing next to nothing and not actually having a failed economic, or any other kind of policy, will result in a very average Prime Minister recorded in history as a “Nothing Man”!

Leftwing poster-boy Owen Jones has been busy analysing the success of his Marxist cousins in Spain. He’s smitten with Podemos, the ant-austerity, high tax and spend equivalent of Militant Tendency of the 1980’s lead by trade

Syriza and Podremos Leaders United

Syriza and Podemos Leaders United

unionists and thugs.

Jones has a soft spot for the Podemos leader: Pablo Inglesias! He’s particularly impressed by this section of the Spaniards speech;

So if you’re part of Britain’s battered, bruised and demoralised left, you should listen when Iglesias speaks. Last year, he delivered a speech berating the traditional left’s failure to communicate. Leftwing students never spoke to “normal people”, he said, and treated working-class people as though “they were from another planet”, bewildered that they did not respond in the way Marxist textbooks said they should. The enemy, says Iglesias, “wants us small, speaking in a language no one understands, in a minority, hiding behind our traditional symbols”.

Owen Jones Leftwing Activist

Owen Jones Leftwing Activist

Do you get the irony there? Jones is infamous across Twitter for blocking people with opposing views to his own! Yet he’s advising his comrades to get out and talk to “normal people”! – And what’s more, he thinks it’s a good idea!

We can now draw a safe conclusion, if Owen Jones doesn’t listen to his own advice, why the hell should anyone else?

Read Owen’s Ironic article here.

 

On Andrew Neil’s The Sunday Politics, Kenneth Clarke was unchallenged when he said “there was no single issue that Britain can identify that needs looking at” – astonishingly Andrew Neil did not offer the old EU sycophant a single item that Breitbart London have identified here;

On Wednesday this week the Conservative Party’s manifesto promise of an In/Out referendum on membership of the EU became Government policy following its formal announcement in the Queen’s Speech. To date opponents of the plan have alleged that the policy is only half-formed as there is no ‘wishlist’ for renegotiation of membership. Today, however, Business for Britain (BfB) published a list of changes which the Prime Minister and other senior Tories have previously demanded.

The list is supported by a “compendium of quotes” collated by BrB in order to verify each policy statement. A supporting video has also been produced.

Being able to check the Prime Minister’s progress against the list of robust reforms provided by BfB will provide a quantifiable measure of the success or failure of his EU talks. Matthew Elliott, Chief Executive of Business for Britain said:

“The idea that there is no plan for an EU renegotiation is patently absurd. The PM and his Government colleagues have been consistent in calling for a robust new deal with the EU which involves bringing powers back from Brussels and securing “proper, full on” Treaty change.”

10 key changes which senior Tories have flagged up have also been proposed by BrB, namely:

  1. An end to ‘ever closer union’
  2. Cut EU red tape for SMEs and start-ups
  3. Return control over social and employment laws
  4. Protect the City and financial services
  5. Protect the UK from Eurozone meddling
  6. Fast-track international trade deals
  7. Cut the EU budget to save taxpayers’ money
  8. Apply UK transparency laws to the EU
  9. Give member states control over migration
  10. Restore Britain’s right to veto EU laws

Other changes BrB notes members of the Government have called for include:

  • Abolish the Common Agricultural Policy
  • Abolish the European Parliament’s second seat in Strasbourg
  • Cut the number of EU institutions
  • Complete the Single Market
  • Reduce EU control over justice and home affairs
  • Withdraw from the Common Fisheries Policy
  • Withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights

BfB says the reforms it has identified “will be of significant benefit to both British business and the wider competitiveness of the EU” and urges that “with a fresh electoral mandate for the Conservatives, it is vital that these detailed plans to renegotiate Britain’s relationship with the EU are delivered.”

Acknowledging the fact that the Government’s checklist will take time to realise, Elliott counsels caution for those who want to hold the referendum as soon as possible, saying:

“While some will now want to fast-forward to the referendum itself, it is vital that the proper time be given to the renegotiation process to ensure it delivers the changes we need and business wants.”

How Labour Lost The Election in 2015!

It’s only 3 weeks since the Labour party failed to convince the electorate they were ready to be back in government. So much has already been written – by all sides – as to the reasons for their unexpected failure. Some of the analysis has been eloquent and insightful, but much, especially that from the more left-leaning commentators, has been well wide of the mark.

What do they stand for?

What do they stand for?

Here at The Westminster Wing we have been in deep discussion, and to some extent, competition, trying to come up with the most simple, yet precise analysis as to why Labour failed so miserably. This is the result of our group-think in brief.

Since becoming leader of the Labour party, Ed Miliband had always tried to define himself as the righteous envoy of fairness and social justice (whatever that means!) – His soundbites were abundant and lapped up by the broadcast media. – The Bedroom Tax – The Squeezed Middle – The Left-Behind – The Producers Vs The Predators – the list is endless but there were many more long lists, such as the reasons to spend and borrow, the reasons to stop austerity. The list of benefits from immigration etc.

In fact it was Labour’s shortest list that lost them the election in our view, their list of definable policies, where they would take us on the economy, the EU, foreign policy! – They were never able to articulate these policies simply because they didn’t exist. Even when we thought they might be onto something, another MP or shadow minister would simply dismiss it or disown it. Just a month before the election Labour unraveled under scrutiny and with it their dubious credibility on anything.

In short, Labour lost because they spent most of their time telling us what they were against instead of giving us a clear picture of what they would do in government.

If proof were needed, just look at the current leadership contenders struggling to define themselves and their visions for a new-era Labour party – if they can’t do that, what hope can they possibly have of defining the future of the country?

Chancellor George Osborne Set To Turbo-Charge Government Spending Cuts!

Set free of the shackles and restraints placed on him by their Liberal Democrat partners in the last coalition government, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is acting like a caged Canary that suddenly finds the door left wide-open after 5 years of captivity!

A recent Guardian Article  asserts that Osborne is about to bring forward an extra 13bn pounds of departmental savings in addition to the 12bn welfare cuts that were promised but never detailed in the run-up to the 2015 General Election.

These welfare cuts are seriously needed if he is to reduce the deficit to zero before the 2020 election. What’s more, and to be fair to Osborne, the general public were not only informed of these impending cuts to welfare, but they also actually voted for them!

George Osborne means business

George Osborne means business

We have been promised a budget surplus by 2019 and he has to make inroads into the 90bn pound structural deficit as soon as possible. However this extra 13 billion pounds savings plan, to be implemented across all non-ring-fenced departments, has been brought forward and will begin in earnest.

Clearly the left wing parties will be outraged, they are all anti-austerity for various reasons, but mainly for their own self-interest – cutting civil servants and in some cases whole departments deprives the civil service unions of valuable members and subscriptions. But for the general public it means having to pay less income tax of which large chunks go toward paying interest on our national debts of over 1.5 trillion pounds. In their defence, the left argue that the interest charges on that borrowed money is such a low percentage – due to cheap money and Quantitative Easing – it would be better to fund those civil servants and many other projects. But Osborne knows that low-interest rates cannot last forever, he is fixing the roof whilst the sun is shining – we cannot be certain that another crash will not happen in the next 5 years, stock markets are over inflated, cheap money is helping the big corporations to buy back their shares, creating a bubble in share values – Osborne talks often about his “Long-Term Economic Plan” – but it isn’t just rhetoric – he really does have one and these significant cuts are the proof.

In my next article I shall detail George’s alternative plan to wipe-out the deficit and a third of the national debt in one swift sleight of the hand *intriguing yes?  

After a thrilling General Election, the results shocking even the Conservatives, do the Labour Party have a credible replacement?

Finally, 12 days since the resignation of Ed Miliband the roll-call of candidates is complete. The procrastinations of two leadership hopefuls: Chuka Umunna and Tristran Hunt has left just four potential contenders. But, are Yvette Cooper, Mary Creagh, Liz Kendall and Andy Burnham charismatic and intuitive enough to transform a polarised, resentful 20th century political institution into a relevant, mainstream popular brand that was once associated with the phrase “Cool Britannia”?

Do any of these contenders even aspire to attract such a label, or will they be so engaged in the machinations that come with such a demanding role – their inexperience and lack of gravitas will see them descend into the abyss.

Creagh and Kendall are extremely unlikely to go the distance and will almost certainly have to declare for Cooper or Burnham, and there lies the problem. The two remaining candidates have so much baggage they would make Madonna on a world tour look like a backpacker! Burnham is toxic in the eyes of many of the electorate for his shambolic running of the NHS – under his watch there were many avoidable deaths – the Mid-Staffs scandal sticks to Burnham like Liam Byrne’s treasury note, and look how that was used to great effect by Cameron in the short campaign. Burnham – should he become leader, Burnham would quickly come to dread the weekly mauling at PMQs – he would never be able to weaponise the NHS to the same effect as Miliband did. In fact, I would be very surprised if he ever uttered the acronym. That leaves him with a limited attack, especially when you consider he was never seen as a friend of business and finance, so the economy is off topic for him. With Rachel Reeves writing his economic policies they are certain to be weak and muddled. He is unlikely to fare much better on defence, education, homeland security or foreign policy too. In short, he is continuity Miliband in every way.

Labour Leadership Contenders

Where is the real leader?

We now turn our attention to Yvette Cooper, yes the thrusting, ambitious Mrs Balls. Her most notable trait being insincerity. If you don’t believe me, just check-out twitter when she appears on a political discussion program, you’ll see what I mean and fully understand why, as Labour leader, she would contaminate the whole party brand. This would put her majesty’s loyal opposition at a distinct disadvantage from the get-go! On the economy she will be accused of advancing her husbands totally discredited fiscal platitudes. Education would be no better, Mr Balls was schools minister in the last government and that didn’t go too well, Cooper will again be seen as reconstituting Ed Balls’ failed education strategies. Her defence and foreign policy will be associated with Ed Miliband’s disastrous, selfish U-turns on Syria and Lybia.  Ms Cooper was of course shadow home secretary, her tenure has been overshadowed by Teresa May, who has been decisive and strong, especially with the Police Federation, we couldn’t possibly expect that from a Labour Home Secretary.

Without really thinking too strenuously, there is an entire nuclear arsenal available to the Tories should they wish to attack a Labour party led by either of these to candidates. Yet if Kendall or Creagh were to surprise us all and one of them become Labour leader, the credibility factor would take years to build around them, just as it did with Ed Miliband, and of course, there is the danger, just like Miliband, that the public may not like them at all.