Tuesday 2 December 2014

Autumn Statement; Are the Tories and Labour working together on it?

Watching the media being generated at the moment around the total non-event that is the Autumn statement it is hard not to believe that finally Labour and the Tories have united for a national coalition.

The contents of the Autumn statement are bordering on non-existent. New roads that have already been announced, £2 billion in spare change for the NHS that is only £1.3 billion really. Flood defence spending allocated, but was announced in the Budget. These are not even worthy of a mention in reality but because we need an Autumn statement have been cobbled together as some sort of 'event.'

What is even weirder for those who can still be bothered to pay attention is that Labour and the Tories have exactly the same policies on everything that is important.

Europe, stay in,
Immigration, shrug shoulders,
Taxes, raise a bit via leaving thresholds under inflation
Deficit, ignore
Debt, increase hugely
Health, spend like billio
Welfare, pretend reform but ignore the Pensions issue
Defence, cut spending
Education, stop reforms

They are literally the same. As for the Lib Dems, well who cares anymore, I doubt even they do.

Yet in the media Labour criticise every Tory cut and the Tories lambast Labour for their economic profligacy. In reality, the debt and deficit position of Osborne is identical to that which would have occurred under Alistair Darling. There is not one iota of difference in the real world.

In fact, bar some educational changes, the Tories have achieved nothing at all that Labour would not have done of any major significance.

This is the real cause of the rise of UKIP, SNP and Greens. Sections of the population are slowly realising the Westminster/Civil service consensus is wrong on many of the major issues that face the Country.

Interestingly, the media have yet to cotton on. Swayed by their Westminster lunches and connections they see small divisions where there are none. They allow the manufactured differences to be perpetuated.

It's a sad state of affairs but I doubt the next election will see the real sea change, not enough people will have braved the change away from their tribal loyalties to recognise the problems. Perhaps the one after that when serious events will have concentrated minds somewhat more.


Duncan Weaver said...

Osborne seems to have become Gordon Brown, boasting of spending increases while hushing up the debt increases. Budgets become set-piece theatrical events for posturing rather than data publishing.

Meanwhile the media are more interested in which town will have a bypass rather than the stability of the public finances and the nation's prosperity.

Steven_L said...

Are you not even considering the possibility that there will be a LAB/CON national government post May 2015?

Think about it, if the lib dems get wiped out, and labour lose nearly all the lab/con marginals they gain in England to the SNP the HoC could be something like:

Lab: 285
Con: 265
SNP: 50
Lib: 20
Others: 30

Will labour really form a coalition with the SNP who will demand the removal of Trident or something else unpaletable?

An unworkable 'rainbow coalition'?

As the bond markets and sterling tanks a national Con/Lab government could become a reality!

Jackart said...

So there has been no cut to discretionary spending then? Sorry, but this post is stupid, ignorant UKIPish twaddle. Cutting deficits is hard. Labour wouldn't have even cut discretionary spending. They certainly wouldn't have raised threshold or cut the top rate of income tax. I could list a dozen areas where the parties differ. But any differences take a long time to take effect.

BrianSJ said...

They worked together for the Better Together campaign in Scotland, which is likely to be the end of Scottish Labour as a force. Labour seem sufficiently stupid to try it again in anti-UKIP coalition, which is likely to be just as disastrous.

CityUnslicker said...

Jackart - easy to say. Which of my points do you think are wrong then?

Of course there are policy differences, but not on the really big stuff that I can see.

In 2010 I was delighted to get rid of Gordon. In 2015 the reality of a Milliband or Cameron government on the really big stuff just wont be that much.

I did no evven mention UKIP in the post...

SL - I do consider this a possibility, but the other parties won't do that well to force it.

Jackart said...

what more do you want? That's deliverable, proportionate, etc...?

Anonymous said...

CU - what do you expect?

a) There is no money for electoral bribes,
b) there are few votes in selling hair shirts; and
c) the parties don't seem too keen to head away from the London bubble and invest in regional concerns

The three things that could differentiate the Tories and Labour are either unavailable, or in the case of c), they're unwilling to bother with, and so in the run-up to an election they're going to look very similar.

It's a great opportunity for UKIP and the Greens to soak up the disgruntled, but otherwise a depressing state of affairs, and one that'll continue until the nations finances are better.

andrew said...

Basically they are all academics

The sort of academics that will argue bitterly over the smallest trivialities.

For ever.

It has been said (about the time of the '10 elections) that the difference between con and lab was basically a rounding error

When the two numbers are truly vast, you don't want to think of the amount, you frame the issue with reference to relevant comparators - and discuss the difference.

This is true from cuts of beef (corner cut being only slightly more than silverside), cars ( bmw vs ford )
etc etc.

- and the deficit.

Why do we expect elected representatives to be any more competent than a cab driver, certainly the cabbies seem to be more polite.

This is the real problem.

Collectively we think they (politicians) are competent so we give them lots of money and power and then they make mistakes and we are shocked and disappointed.

The better answer would be to give them less power - and/or spread power wider.

The state needs to become smaller and closer, and with devolution in the air one of these things may happen.

Timbo614 said...

The LibLabCon similarity on most issues allows UKIP, Greens Etc. To Point at them ALL and say "We won't do what they are doing". We will do "X" unfortunately for LibLabCon a lot of people are choosing "X" because it is there.

Timbo614 said...

Testing incomplete post saving via lazarus

crashing browser now...

[slightly later]

It worked :)

Hope you don't mind C@W chaps ... though it might be useful.

CityUnslicker said...

what is it for Timbo?

Timbo614 said...

@CU I thought it was apparent.

You have composed a beautiful post online in the broswer, something screws up - like google logging you out and then saying "sorry Dave I can't do that". or some other internet based cock-up.

What happens? All your beautiful prose/limericks/rhymes and poems are lost for ever, you have to remember and re-type it.

I just tested this add-on with firefox and ny returning to the page & via an extra window (or maybe a button in other browsers) your beautiful hard work is instantly restored :)

hatfield girl said...

Imagine the scene in Buckingham palace the morning after the general election.

An almost 90-year old head of state picking her way through the wreckage; trying to maintain power relationships in some kind of equilibrium while keeping up appearances for a wholly worn-out political and democratic system. A system peopled by some of the most unattractive and inadequate too.

Who do you send for who can command even a first vote of confidence, never mind instal a democratic, representative, elected government? Even the criteria for such a thing are disputed.

Anonymous said...

@hatfield girl

I know you comment on Italian politics. Are we heading in that direction.

Would you consider Italian politics more honest than the UK now?

Anonymous said...

I don't have any sense of where UK politics are heading, Anon. Or Italian politics for that matter. The European Union lies like a corpse over the politics and, indeed, the lives of most people in Europe. More specifically Europe suffers from:
fiscal strangulation
no funding of government debt
mechanisms leading to divergence not convergence (eg the ECB target inflation at 0.3% rather than 2%)
Germany's trade surplus at 7%
only 1% of European GDP for the EU budget
the Juncker investmen plan a fantasy and a lie - in truth 21 billion maximum, of which 8 were diverted from information technology investment
no monitoring of convergence in labour unit costs, or the share of bad debts in bank balance sheets, or the rate of unemployment.
It goes on and on.
There are 2 EU congenital diseases and one degenerative disease:
premature birth (of the euro)
incomplete not to say mutilated nature of the ECB
the blatent trend towards divergence of the member states rather than convergence for which the structure was predisposed.

And nothing can be done. So every European state is dying under this failure.