Friday, 28 April 2017

Campaigning on the NHS, again

So, in an election where the vast majority of the MP's in the Labour Party do not believe in their leader and they have also decided not have no real position on Brexit - what can Labour do...

They can bloody well campaign to save the NHS!

After all, the Tories are going to close the NHS within 24 hours of getting back into power, all nurses will be fired and your gran euthanased to save money, personally, by Prime Minister May and Jeremy Hunt.

This amazing strategy I fear has had limited electoral success, after all this will be the 3rd election in a row that Labour fight almost solely on the NHS and the third in a row they will lose.

Sadly, there is a lot of collateral damage caused by this strategy.

- First of all it embeds in sections of the public the religion of the NHS.
- Secondly it embeds the idea of constant crisis and need for ever more funding.
- Thirdly it makes any non-Labour party forget about major reforms of any sort as they know this will be used against them in spades for ever after.

Fearing  the tag of the nasty party, the Tories say as little about the NHS as possible in any election, it is their weakest ground. I would not be surprised if Jeremy Hunt was sent on a fact finding mission about the obesity crisis in Pitcairn over the next few weeks.

Actually though, in a parallel universe, this election where the Tories will win at a canter, should be the one where they try to speak some sense for the first time....

1. There is not enough money now that new treatments are available and the population is aging. Also, holding down pay was a temporary solution but won't work ad infinitum.
2. We therefore need to both reduce services and increase funding to ensure a stable Health Service.
3. Non-essential services, even tough choices like IVF, become contributory
4. Stupidity - ie admission to A&E blind drunk or with a sports - also result in a bill (O, let's call it what it is, a Fine).
5. All cancers and serious illness to remain free.
6. Health Insurance to be removed as a taxable benefit, to encourage its use by those that can afford private care anyway.
7. Web based doctors assessments to become standard entry point prior to seeing a GP.

Points 2-7  above would result in massive cost savings, none of them involve any sort of dreaded 'Privatisation' and all I predict will be done in the next 10 years anyway - better to be in the front foot. There is no reason Labour have to win on this topic, after all the health service under them was only better because they threw borrowed money at it for a few years and broke the country.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

PMQ's today shows we need to look for deeper meaning in Corbyn's actions

I don't think the news highlights are going to be good for the Red team. Mr Corbyn went back to his bizarre Margaret from Grantham type questions - all allowing the Prime Minister free hits on Labour.

Why is he trying to lose so badly? Clearly, Corbyn is not trying to win, but what does he have to gain by losing?

Is there some long-term game whereby soft Labour is annihilated at the election allowing for a splinter of Marxist loons to arise in their place - this surely is a long-shot in a two-party system with First Past the Post elections.

However, he is not trying to there must be some logic or reason behind it?

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

Following on

Following on from CU's post below.

 Image result for sir humphrey yes prime minister education

How policy is made.

Sir Humphrey and Prime Minister May are working in her office. Mrs May stops reading her papers for a moment and asks her Cabinet Secretary.

"Sir Humphrey?"

"Hmmm....Yes, Prime Minister." 

"Sir Humphrey. You know that traditionally lefties have really, really bad ideas."

"Yes, Prime Minister." 

"I mean, really, really terrible ones. Prices and incomes controls. Abolishing private education. Selling off the nations gold reserves to the lowest bidder..."

"Yes, Prime Minister." 

"..98% taxation. Offshore wind farms. Ordering two huge aircraft carriers without crews or aircraft to put on them."

"Yes, Prime Minister." 

"Sure start centres. Paying children to go to school. The fuel tax escalator. Home Improvement Packs. Green energy taxes. The Lisbon Treaty."

"Agreed, Prime Minister."

"Signing up to unlimited Eastern European immigration many years before any other European country. The Iraq war. No Win No Fee legal applications. The £12 billion spent on NHS computer system no one used. The assets recovery agency. C4 Wales. Fire Control centres."

"Yes, Prime Minister"

" Child Support act. Tripartite financial regulation Abolition of the 10p tax rate."

""Yes, Prime Minister." 

"£10,000 corporation tax threshold. Taxing pensions.  Making the tax code twice as large as it was in 1997. .."

"I get the idea Prime Minister. A catastrophe of financial blunders and ill thought out political gimmicks."

"Exactly! Well..I was thinking, you know how these ideas are failures."

"Indeed, Prime Minister." 

"And not only don't work, but are ruinously expensive too."

"Very true, Prime Minister." 

"And these ideas quite often have the opposite effect to what was intended."

 "Yes, Prime Minister." 

"And quite often damage the people they were meant to help. And cause misery for many and take many, many years to overturn. Or take further legislation to negate the worst effects of the original daft policy. And quite often any proposed savings end up costing five, ten or twenty times any actual savings made. Tax credits for instance!"

"Tax Credits. Quite so, Prime Minister."

"Well. I was thinking. .. maybe...maybe.."

"Yes, Prime Minister?"

"..Maybe, with my once in a generation, landslide majority..maybe.."

"Yes, Prime Minister?"

"Maybe.. I should adopt a load of polices like those?"

"Yes, Prime Minister."

Monday, 24 April 2017

The Left are wrong - Britain is becoming more Left Wing, not less so

John Redwood, long since a marginalised backbencher, actually
proposes Right Wing policies
Much is made that over 55% of the population at the last election voted for 'Right-Wing' parties such as UKIP and the Conservatives rather than the remaining left-wing parties.

Apparently, according to all lazy political journalism, this makes it hard for a Left-Wing Government ever to gain power again, as the popular consensus is not in their favour.

Currently too, the world (well, twitter!) is full of lefties decrying May as the new Thatcher and some sort of hard-right dictator like President Erdogan of Turkey (see Chuka Umunna etc.).

However, none of this is actually true. The Conservatives have been happy winning elections with Labour policies for years, just as in the early 2000's Tony Blair won elections with Tory policies. After all, smart politicians recognise that it is power that matters, not promises or ideology (which is why Corbyn and co are so utterly abject, having decided that truism is no such thing).

Indeed, we are yet to see the Tory manifesto but I suspect it will be very light on detail given the short-notice and supposed room needed for manoeuvre with Brexit due.

What we have seen is the ludicrous and poorly thought out appropriation of Ed Milliband's price cap on retail energy. A commitment to the triple lock ended, a commitment to reducing immigration neutered, the retaining of the very left-wing policy of foreign aid commitment retained and a hole where tax policy might be.

Where are the Thatcher privatisations? Where is the expansion of the market economy? Where is the reform of public services so desperately needed? Where are the tax cuts for anybody instead of endless tax rises?

In fact, where are the Right Wing policies? Any at all, from any of the parties? UKIP, Brexit apart, are full of Left-wing economic nationalist policies like Le Pen in France - who is also mis-leadingly referred to as a right-wing nationalist.

This move by the Tories to the 'centre' is no such thing, it is part of the steady move to the Left begun by Cameron in 2005 - look how happily George Osborne sits as a member of the metropolitan elite, he was the architect of the Tory strategy for over a decade.

Someone please help me out, who would I vote for if I wanted Market based, capitalist ideas to vote for in the forthcoming General Election?

Sunday, 23 April 2017

From The Front: On The Streets

Rightly or wrongly I get the impression not so many C@W commenters are Party activists.  So here's a first-hand report for you

Quite by coincidence my local party was holding its annual 1-day local government conference this Saturday, so timing rather good for expanding the scope a bit.  There was a big, big turnout - and you had to book your place long before the Announcement of St Teresa - including lots of youngsters, reversing a longstanding trend.  (As mentioned before, recruiting has been way up since the Referendum, including heartening numbers of youth and "BAME".) 

I have to report that morale was exceptionally high.  Everyone said "no complacency: maybe the punters are hacked off, etc etc", but it was all very up-beat.  When you read the anti-leadership bile in Labour Uncut, it is hard to imagine anything comparable in a Labour gathering right now.  We fixed a second, ad hoc meeting for 10:00 am this morning (Sunday) to distribute leaflets for a 100%, whole-constituency delivery in a single day to get the show on the road.  Around 150 folks showed up (for those of you not engaged in local stuff, that is Quite Big: I may post the photos later) and we duly delivered 100% today, it works out at about 200-240 leaflets each: piece of piss on a fine day.

Speaking for Mrs D & meself, out delivering we found several campaign posters already in people's windows (vs virtually none in 2015, when everyone was hull-down for anticipated nastiness), and the folk we encountered in their front gardens were very cheery.  Nothing like Brenda from Bristol or any of that negativist BBC crap.

I realise there will be loads of you for whom the dusty details of doorstep politics are of little interest: but let me tell you, this has the best street-feel for the Tories in our London marginal seat since Boris first took on Ken (and, before that, since the GE of 1983).  Given that everyone is on the alert for complacency - and I'd say Big Lynton Crosby probably has an eye on that, too - this might indeed be an utter rout.