Friday, 13 August 2010

Ten things that frighten me about the coalition...

Just a quickie from me this week. Traditionally August is a slow news month as MP's take their summer holidays and Whitehall closes down. Not so this year, civil servants are busy preparing for the autumn spending review when the real horror of the coalition cuts will be revealed. We are hearing on an almost daily basis snippets from ministers many of which are quite unbelievable... the end of school milk was even mooted again on Sunday!! What strikes is the arrogant, nonchalant delivery of ministers when they are proposing measures likely to cost many thousands of people their jobs and livelihoods. There are little or no positive proposals which even in a time of austerity is depressing and unnecessary, Cameron's bizarre vision of a Big Society where volunteers are supposed to manage and maintain public services seems to be the only attempt to promote a cohesive and creative Britain.
So in summary and in no particular order, here are my top ten fears and dislikes so far, and yes it was hard restricting it to ten!

  •  Gideon Osborne. How is this man running our economy? I want to cry. 
  • Proposals relating to social housing such as losing homes after 5 years and/or being rehoused in job rich areas. Erm, civil liberties anyone? Anyone getting the feeling that the poor are second class citizens under the Tories? 
  • Every announcement starts with blaming Labour. No doubt this will still be the case as they lead us into record unemployment and a double dip recession?
  • Still no announcements regarding cuts that affect the rich. Banking levy? Pah... 
  • The plan to dismantle the NHS without mandate, consultation or foresight
  • They will create astronomical levels of youth unemployment and have NO Ideas how to curb it
  • No positive action or real plans to grow the private sector, total lack of innnovation or investment  
  • The vilification of civil servants, fearing for their jobs and facing cuts in pensions and redundancy rights as well as pay freezes. Going to work everyday wondering if they'll have jobs in a few months. Utter lack of compassion when making announcements such as closure of Audit Commission, job losses at Ministry of Justice and UK Film Council 
  • Despite the cabinet's personal wealth adding up to more than the total UK arts budget, there are likely to be significant cuts in the arts sector. The disbanding of the UK Film Council without consultation or alternatives is setting a worrying precedent
  • The decimation of great services like Surestart, helping all families to give their children the best start in life.


  1. It is truly shocking and this blog is passionately argued. This government is ideologically driven in the extreme and what is alarming about it is the incompetence of the MPs carrying out these destructive policies. The more blog like this the better - just possibly we can bring this artificial coalition to an abrupt end.

  2. Perfectly summarises exactly how I feel about this hideous govt! This is not what people voted for & with such an ambiguous mandate the extreme nature of their actions truly sopalls me!

  3. The ideology is clear: anyone who has not had the means to accrue a private fortune such that they can be independent from any need for public sector services deserves to be punished for it. This is why there are no apologies, no regrets.

    There is no acknowledgement that these services which have been carefully developed over more than 100 years have helped to create a safer, more secure, healthier, better society - which now stands at threat of becoming dismantled and lost. All this cabinet cares about is wealth preservation amongst the rich - which of course includes the bankers who are at the root of our current economic disarray - and which they are actively trying to disguise. Meanwhile the spin is contantly one of Labour being the causal factor where in fact Brown & Darling saved the economy from total collapse and minimised the recession by re-investment, rather than cuts such as these which are now putting the fundamentals of British society and economy under such threat.

    It is also essential to note that the green shoots of recovery in the spring were actually a more modest prediction than the growth figures for May/June. The Condems actually used their own hypothetical figures when they announced the need for such drastic cuts which were clearly their intention no matter what the actual scenario. That recovery is now dead in the water.

    I will use 2 examples to show the nonsense of this approach : huge redundancies will add to the burden on JSA etc even though the benefits bill is supposed to be reduced; re-possessions will increase and the housng market is always a huge gauge re the state of the economy. This is a contradiction in terms, action and result - which sets us full steam ahead to re-enact the 1930's : an affluent few party on whilst the rest of the country starves.

    The speed of their actions is callous and the lack of consultation and forward planning is frightening - sudden cessation of vital organisations and overburdening of what will be a remaining 'rump' are going to leave our country bereft of essential services and the means of keeping citizens and our national landscape safe. Given the knowledge we have gained over the past century, this is nation suicide without parallel.

  4. Thank you for your incisive blog.The thing that most frightens me is the possible reelection of the coalition in five years,by this time ordinary working people will be on their knees.
    With the aformentiond in mind it may be useful to try and look ahead
    Labour it may be suggested faces a difficult struggle over the next five years as it now appears that it will have to fight two party's both the Orange Book Liberals and the Conservatives. For it is almost certain that the far right Orange Book Liberals will support the Conservatives in future elections.
    The changes to the electoral boundaries,the proposed system of AV and electoral pacts will help both the Conservatives and the Orange Book Liberals to gain more seats thus Labours uphill struggle starts to become a mountain. The answer to Labours dilemma may come in the form of further electoral reform by supporting Full PR. The Open List System will allow every vote to count and may gain massive support from electors who have been disenfranchised for decades under the current system and how have been treated unfairly by boundary changes.
    If Labour were to support the Open list system then this might unbalance the Liberal Democrats and drive a wedge between them and the far Right Orange Book Liberals. Disaffected Liberal Democrats may even join Labour as they realize That a commitment to a PR system if Labour were elected could create a vacuum, with The Orange Book Liberals and Conservatives on the far right and Labour, The Green Party,rebel liberal Democrats and others filling the centre left.
    Clegg may find himself under massive pressure as a proclaimed supporter of PR for he will know that under The Open List system the LibCon coalition would be revealed and vulnerable as a far right group thus it is conceivable that Clegg would find some way to reject PR so as to maintain his cosy relationship with the Tories and the monopoly of power they may gain through boundary change, AV and electoral pacts. Labours best weapon it may be suggested remains the transparency and honesty of a binding Commitment to Full PR should they be elected.