Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Labour Increase Membership Amongst 15 to 27 Year-Olds

Amid all the gloom, despondency and plotting of senior Cabinet Ministers there is some good news for Gordon Brown and his beleaguered party. According to THIS report in the Daily Telegraph it is continuing "to attract new members every week - in fact there has been a 15% increase in the number of 15 to 27-year-olds joining the party."

Good news, you might think! Young people getting involved in politics just like those members of the Tooting Popular Front all those years ago.

But today the main story is that the Labour Party is very close to being financially insolvent and possibly about to become bankrupt. During last year's Labour deputy leadership contest, Jon Cruddas, a left-wing candidate, said that the party was facing oblivion because of the collapse in its rank-and-file membership. The figures for 2007 seem to bear this out. "Labour membership has fallen to the lowest level in the party's 108-year history."

All those stories about the Labour Party going into political oblivion may be over-egged but it certainly doesn't have the money to put where its mouth is. A fitting epitaph?

Monday, July 28, 2008

Labour Says: "We're Done For - Let's Tax Some Nasty Capitalists"

Is it just me or is the only thing that the rump of the Labour Party can think of doing when the chips are down is to introduce a windfall tax on some giant multi-national companies?

Their latest target is the energy companies who have made "obscene" profits on the back of the rise in oil and gas prices. The usual left-wing nutters have been out in force today saying that it is wrong that these companies should be allowed to make these enormous amounts of money for their "privileged" shareholders - never mind that so many happen to be mainly pension funds and small individual shareholders - just the sort of people who we need to save for the long-term to provide the funding for future pensions and prosperity.

According to these socialist economic illiterates the money should be used by the government to invest in energy conservation schemes. Given that the chief promulgators of this very short-sighted proposal appear to be trade union leaders - many of whom attended the Warwick II Labour Party/Union policy development conference this weekend - perhaps this is where Harriet Harman's suggestion on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday that "one million green collar jobs can be created" came from?

This is the politics of La-La land and shows that many on the Left are both economically and intellectually still living in a 1970s world where it was the workers against the capitalists (ie the Tories). Don't they realise that if there is not some very major capital investment in the "real" energy infrastructure of this country (not bloody pointless wind farms) the lights will be going out in more ways than one?

Where do these unionised pygmies think all this money is going to come from?

  • The government? (The government does not have any money except that which it raises in taxation. How much more tax do they want us to pay as a percentage of GDP?

  • The energy companies? (If they are not able to make sufficient profits to allow them to invest in replacing and developing new sources of energy and generating capacity they will not do it - at least not at anything like the rate that is required - and, being global companies, could easily go elsewhere.)

In simple terms - and it needs to be simple so these Labour neanderthals can understand it - if the Government decides to implement these windfall taxes then the energy companies will be less likely to make the investments that we so desperately need. (NB: As usual John Redwood has put the point much more succinctly!)

If Brown thinks he can save his own neck and that of the Labour Party by going through with this, then we will all be doomed to a very miserable existence in the future.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Labour Minister Says "It's Maggie Wot Lost It For Us!"

No, I don't mean Margaret Curran, the fifth choice candidate, admittedly, but experienced and relatively capable MSP who stood as the Labour Party candidate for Glasgow East. She did the best job should could with the very limited political capital inherited from the previous MP David Marshall who retired on "health grounds".

But it turns out that it's actually all Margaret Thatcher's fault. Why am I not surprised given the Labour Party's propensity to re-write the history of the 1980s and still deny the favourable economic legacy they were left by the Conservatives in the 1990s?

That much vaunted, but economically illiterate, Labour blogger Tom Harris MP, Minister for Transport has been writing in the New Statesman about what caused his party's rout by the SNP in this particular by-election. True to form, as a loyal and unreconstructable Labour 'droid he has put his finger on the 'real' reason why a 13,500 majority at the last general election in 2005 was over turned with a 22.5% swing.

" ....there’s no doubt that the SNP played a clever card by publicising the government’s apparent willingness to grant Baroness Thatcher a state funeral; memories are long in Glasgow and she remains a hate figure without rival for almost everyone over the age of 35."

So Maggie Thatcher won it for the SNP. That's the reason why the Labour Party lost its third safest seat in Scotland (and its 25th safest seat in Great Britain). You couldn't make it up! But Tom did. What an arse!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Feed The Children - It'll Be A Vote Winner - Won't It?

That other bastion of Labour support within the Fourth Estate , the Daily Mirror, has given us advance news of the next "historic" Warwick agreement that will see the Labour Party ensure the Trade Unions continue to bankroll them and avoid literal and actual bankruptcy.

The ever reliable Labour toady Kevin Maguire says: "Union leaders have dropped a demand for the return of secondary industrial action in a deal being thrashed out ahead of Labour's National Policy Forum in Warwick this weekend. I believe they've instead secured a Labour Party commitment to issues that strike a chord with millions of workers - so should be vote winners - including greater flexible working, improved training and, I hope, free school meals for all primary kids."

But he then goes on to say: "Secondary action I back in principle but it's an explosive issue for the Tories and right wing rag(sic) (and is admittedly low on the list of concerns of most workers)....The hypocrisy was incredible when British right-wingers applauded South African dockers for (correctly) refusing to unload Chinese arms destined for Zimbabwe. The action would have been unlawful in the UK where political and secondary disruption is banned. Here the dockers might have been sacked and their union fined."

So, what does he want? Free food for all primary school children or the right to close down the workplaces of other workers in the cause of a dispute in which they are not involved? The hypocrisy is incredible! But then what would you expect from this bankrupt and desperate Labour Party?

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Jacqui Smith To Be Dumped At Next Election - Oh Dear!

If we read the runes after the latest local council elections in Jacqui Smith's constituency of Redditch, Worcestershire then she will be a gonna at the next general election.

The local Herald newspaper reports that the Conservative candidate Juliet Brunner won in the county's Arrow Valley East division (which has more than a quarter of the constituency's electorate) with a swing of 14.2% since the last shire contest which took place on the same day as the 2005 General Election. A shift of just 3.4% since then would be enough to unseat Ms Smith. A small boundary change is expected to make her even more vulnerable.

Those other high profile Labour Cabinet ministers with marginal seats are also looking very vulnerable - no wonder that Alistair Darling who is on a wafer thin majority himself in his Edinburgh seat has been prepared to show he is not afraid of telling the truth about the economy. It might just save his own neck so that he can remain as an MP in a much smaller Labour Party when they start their next 20 years in opposition.

But as for Jacqui - she'll be back to teaching economics, which is probably a good thing, because she's been bloody useless as Home Secretary. Not that I want to stab her in the back, you understand - I'd rather do it to her front! And what a front! (Oh dear, I've let myself down - I'll get my coat.)

We're Doomed, I Tell You - Doomed!

Well, at Least Alistair Darling has the guts to admit it - unlike the other denizens of the deep mire that Labour has got us into. In THIS piece in the Times today "Prophet of economic gloom, Alistair Darling, is set for a summer in his bunker" he says :"The downturn in the economy could last for years rather than months."

Now will all the silly people in the Labour Party stop spouting that all is well and that "fundamentals of the economy are sound" and other such tosh about "sustainability".

Oh, and by the way, the latest opinion poll by ComRes (reported by UK Polling Report) in tomorrow's Independent on Sunday shows the Conservatives on 45%, Labour 24% and the LibDems on 16%. This is the lowest level for Labour ever recorded by this particular polling company.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Is This The Shape Of Things To Come From The Grieviously Wounded Labour Left?

This Steve Bell cartoon appeared in the Guardian earlier this week along with the headline:

"Home secretary blames media for confusion over knife criminals' visits to victims in A&E"

One of the last bastions of a doomed Labour Party appears to be using the so-called "race card". What will they accuse the Tories of next - eating your babies?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Another Cock And Balls Up Story From Labour

As "Blinky" Balls again shows his propensity to live up to his name we hear that he has refused to apologise over the latest exam marking fiasco. "So what?" you might ask!

The Daily Telegraph reports HERE that "Teenagers who have not yet passed A-Levels have been employed to mark SATs exam papers... The disclosure, made by the Labour chairman of the House of Commons Schools Committee, piled more pressure on Ed Balls, the Schools Secretary, over the Government's handling of the SATs system. But he has now refused to apologise for the debacle and blamed the company hired to mark test papers..."

My 11 year-old came home from his school today with the news that the SATs papers had been returned late and then the teachers found that the maths and literacy papers had not been marked in accordance with the agreed guidelines and contained a variety of errors. They have been sent back to Educational Testing Services, the US-based company that holds a £154 million five-year Government contract for the work to run the marking system by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority.

The school has already been forced to send out annual reports on pupil performance in advance of the SATs results because the law demands them to give parents two weeks to comment on them before the end of term. What a shambles!

Just another example of Labour incompetence and its failure to take responsibility for it's abysmal handling of virtually anything that it runs on our behalf. How can we trust them to run a whelk stall let alone the country? "Useless" is an understatement.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

It's Official: It's PC To Vote Conservative!

At last the electorate seem to realise that a Conservative government is the most likely outcome of the next general election - at least according to THIS on the Political Betting blog. " These numbers from the five major polling firms are going to move up and down but the overall picture is the same - the Tories are in the 40s and Labour are in the 20s - which suggests a substantial Tory majority after the next election." (Mike Smithson, the editor of the blog, is even buying Conservative seats again after a bit of a wobble last week!)

How far this is because people are fed up with Labour or because they are inspired by the alternative vision being offered by Cameron's Conservatives remains to be seen. Certainly, David Cameron's speech in Glasgow East earlier in the week on the need for individuals to take personal responsibility for their lives is not being treated with the usual general derision in the media. In fact, the reaction is quite the opposite and he is being praised for his courage in going against the years of Labour spin and political correctness.

All this bodes well but there are those members of the commentariat that still like to see Brown and his woeful government as having a snowball in hell's chance of retaining office. Matthew D'Ancona in the Sunday Telegraph , for example, reckons that Gordon Brown is still up for it. To be fair he does ask "...Can this battered, bloodied, remarkable man come back from the lip of the abyss?....".

My response was - "The simple answer, Matthew, is no. I do wonder at times if you really know as much as you think you do about the inner-workings of the Labour inner-circle. You think that Brown is a "remarkable man"? If that means he became the un-elected Prime Minister of the country because he was so brilliant then you are sadly mistaken. He has already shown he does not have the skills, ability and experience to deal with the demands of such a high office. The only remarkable thing about Gordon Brown is that he is an obvious loser - always has been, always will be."

That's telling yoo, Jimmy!

Shock! Horror! LibDem MP Dumped By Cheeky Girl

For the first time in my life I have read a News of the World article. It was a strange experience because I expected to be shocked and horrified. Instead, I am quite pleased that the rather silly LibDem MP Lembit Opik - surely that must be an anagram - has been dumped by one of the Cheeky Girls (I'm not sure which one was supposed to be his fiancee) and has been texting her constantly imploring her to have him back.
But she's a very sensible girl and has told him to sod off. Let's hope everyone follows her lead and tells the bloody pointless LibDems to do the same.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Follow The Money!

There is a blogger called Dirty European Socialist who is exhorting his fellow peanut-brained, mouth-breathers to boycott so-called Tory blogs. To get a measure of how desperate these young things are becoming because they have lost all hope of creating the socialist paradise that have been dreaming about since their acne started to clear up, you should read THIS. It's a hoot!

The bit I liked the best was that the boycott would deprive the Tory bloggers of income from the advertisements on their sites.

I know what I'm going to do - hit on as many Tory blog sites as I can. I hope you will do the same and raise my income from it's current level of.... zero!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Will There Be An Early Election?

Despite the Government making confident noises about the current slow down in the economy being only temporary, they really know, deep down, that we are in for at least two years of pain. However much they try to hide behind "global issues" as if they can do nothing about it we all know that a lot of the problems have been self-inflicted by Brown's wrong-headed - some would say pig-headed - management of the country's finances over the last decade or so.

This piece by Jim Pickard in the FT Westminster blog asks "Why are Labour so confident about the economy" and explains they have buried their heads in the sand. "It’s always the same when I meet Labour MPs, union officials, ministers, other party apparatchiks. They all think the economy will endure a rapid, shallow dip and then recover. How can I put this politely? They are almost certainly wrong. Or, at the least, fantastically over-optimistic......"

Brown has two years - by which time the next general election has to happen - so if he waits that long an election in May 2010 could take place against the gloomiest economic backdrop since 1993.

We all know he is a great ditherer and will put off as long as possible the day of reckoning. But he also has a reputation as a great political strategist. If this is true then he may calculate that it will be safer to go sooner rather than later. Of course, the fact that the Labour Party is as bankrupt as the country would make this a very high risk strategy - one that a lot of Labour MPs with wafer thin majorities might not be too happy to support.

On balance, the odds would seem to be on him playing the long game but I might be persuaded to put a couple of pounds on an early election - even as early as this autumn.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Too Good Not To Share

This little anecdote from Ben Brogan is too good not to share.

"A dour Scotsman with slept-in hair and a reputation for regular towering rages overcomes a massive points deficit by dint of plain grit and relentless application, gradually securing the affections of an English audience along the way, and in the twilight of the day wins through to victory over his flashier opponent. But enough about Andy Murray."

So said a Labour person to me somewhat wistfully earlier, as we discussed the future for Gordon Brown."