Sunday, December 30, 2012

This is the main problem with "austerity"

In an analysis of a Paul Goodman article—which speculates that the next General Election will be won by Ed "Goggle-Eyes" Miliband's Labour Party—Iain Dale presents this opinion on Ed Balls.
Ed Balls has developed into a formidable politician in many ways, but as long as he stays Shadow Chancellor the Tory message of “Would you want to let them do it over again?” remains a very powerful one.

Unfortunately it does not, and here's why: the British people have, largely, not accepted that the Labour government were a total bloody disaster—especially economically.


Quite simply because the British people have not seen any real bad effects from Labour's policies—and those adverse affects that they have experienced they associate with the Tories (or the Coalition).

The majority of the public associate Labour with generous benefits and welfare payments; while those of us who are political anoraks may understand that the price of this largesse is a massive public debt, the vast majority of the public simply don't care.

As far as they are concerned, it doesn't matter that debt repayments are bigger than the education budget; as far as they are concerned, the government runs on magic money that falls from the sky.

The only real warnings about massive debt that the MSM has seen fit to publicise are the riots in Greece—but these are too far away for most people to appreciate that it is even possible for the same to happen here.

And the only pain that people in this country have felt is from the Coalition: as far as the British people are concerned, it is Cameron and his merry men who are raising taxes, slicing benefits and enforcing general cuts.

Because the dire warnings on government debt have failed—from most people's perspective—to materialise into real problems, they feel like they've been hoodwinked.

Increasingly, the Labour government's rule is starting to look like the Golden Years to many and, as such, they are likely to welcome Miliband and his boys back with open arms.

As such, the argument of “Would you want to let them do it over again?” actually cuts very little ice: indeed, the reaction from the majority of people is likely to be "yes, please!"

Furthermore, the Tories have not only utterly failed to make their case for the cuts (such as they are), but they have also reneged on almost all of their promises regarding reductions in regulation: combined with their persecution of corporations, this means that the Coalition do not even have the backing of the business world.

And, needless to say, their about-face regarding the re-instatement of our civil liberties has lost them any possible support from those of a liberal bent—let alone libertarians.

In general, the Coalition are doomed at the next election simply because they have managed to piss off just about every bunch of people in the country. And it is impossible to win a General Election when nobody supports you.

The Coalition have failed to significantly cut the deficit (let alone the debt), they have failed to keep their promises on civil liberties; most significantly, however, they have failed to create a coherent narrative.

And that last is the main reason why they will fail to win the next election.

8am is too early for work

Via Guido, I am as outraged as LBC's Julia Hartley-Brewer is about....
... this remarkable call from Paul, an unemployed man who turned down a job because he didn't want to start at 8am.

Paul has been unemployed for seven years and revealed that he was recently offered a job, but he thought it was unfair that he would have had to start that early.

The call infuriated Julia Hartley-Brewer, who was furious that he was still getting benefits, despite turning down employment.

Paul's mindset is a classic example of the selfish, rights-based idiocy embraced by altogether too many people: his first reasoning is that he shouldn't have to start because "everyone else starts at 9, don't they".

Paul also "doesn't see the point of working for low wages". I have news for you, Paul: almost everyone starts on low wages because, when you start out in work, your lack of experience means that your labour is not worth much.

The point of starting on low wages is that you gain the experience to enable you to move onto steadily higher wages. That is the point, Paul.

Regardless, many people are working in jobs that they don't particularly enjoy for wages that are very far from princely: however, there is absolutely no reason why these people should support the lifestyle of those who simply cannot be arsed.

The mind boggles, it really does...

Well, they would, wouldn't they?

According to three rent-seeking councillors in the north of England, the Tory Coalition cuts "unfairly penalise northern England relative to the South".
The letter was a response to the latest cuts to council budgets announced earlier this month - of 2%, in addition to the reductions of about 28% already forced on authorities.

It was written by Newcastle City Council leader Nick Forbes, Sheffield leader Julie Dore, and Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson.

They believe northern English cities have been hit harder by the coalition government's austerity programme, partly because of the withdrawal of support to deprived areas in place under the previous government.

This is hardly surprising, is it?

And why are the cuts penalising the north of England? Because the cuts are universal across the whole of the country, but the north of England is in receipt of far more government cash than the south.

And why is this?

Because the south is where the wealth is created; it is then stolen from the wealth creators and funnelled up to the Welfare junkies in the north.

So, might I suggest that the good councillors stop their bloody whinging and, instead, throw their weight behind shale gas exploitation?
Thousands of high-skilled engineering jobs could be created in Lancashire by utilising shale gas resources, said the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. The organisation predicted the creation of 1,300 jobs per year over a ten-year drill programme in the county and a total of 4,200 nationwide.

Dr Tim Fox from the institution said it would provide Lancashire with "a much-needed economic boost".

Wouldn't it be nice for the north of England to be at the forefront of another industry revolution: they could start earning their own money again.

Did you miss me?

The thing is, your humble Devil gets the train to work everyday and, inevitably, ends up picking up a copy of the Metro.

OK, it's not the most amazingly incisive newspaper (well, it is free), but it does mean that I am regularly (and with malice aforethought) exposed to news—every, single, working day.

And my little brain cannot cope with the intake of the idiocies that I read without being able to find some kind of outlet.

Now, the caveats that led to my quitting the last time still remain, so I am afraid that those who found the gratuitous swearing of primary import will (probably), be disappointed.

However, that will enable me to prove to my detractors that one can express irritation with something other than curse-words. Most of the time.

Further, your humble Devil has found blogging difficult to sustain for some time (even on topics directly related to work)—so it might be that this resurrection is a mere flash in the pan. We'll just have to see, won't we...

In the meantime, on with the fun...

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