Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tax and spend: the weather starts to change

This blog by Iain Martin on Three Line Whip is very interesting in the conclusion it reaches that the public's apparent "views on tax and spending are undergoing a transformation and new attitudes are being forged in the furnace of financial crisis". This follows the latest ComRes's poll where they asked those polled how they would vote if the Tories advocated at an election a lower level of public spending than Labour and said "they would try not to raise taxes". Up rockets the Tory lead to 17 points (49-32-11).

I wrote something similar following an Ipsos MORI poll result back in September when the Conservatives breached the 50% barrier for the first time since Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister. "The key point.... is that by adopting a tax cutting agenda, coupled with talk of reducing public spending, he (Nick Clegg, Leader of the LibDems) has opened the door for the Conservatives to speak more openly about their economic programme without being accused of wanting to "slash and burn" the public sector."

"There is a tide in the affairs of men, when taken at the flood, leads on to greater things", to probably misquote the Bard (and split the infinitive)!

Can the Conservatives float the boat of public opinion and take advantage of this rising tide in their favour? Yes they can!

Monday, December 22, 2008

How to defend a wafer thin majority - Labour style

The Daily Telegraph reports that "A certain Richard Timney has taken to writing letters to his local newspaper, the Redditch Advertiser, extolling the virtues of the constituency MP, Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary. Mr Timney's epistolary forays also extend to defending controversial policies such as ID cards and to launching vigorous attacks on the Conservatives. Well, it's a free country and lively political letters are meat and drink to local newspapers.

"It's just that Mr Timney also happens to be not only the Home Secretary's husband, but also her £40,000 a year 'senior researcher/parliamentary assistant'. What a perfect parable of New Labour. It combines jobs for the boys with taxpayer-funded party propaganda, all conducted in a not entirely transparent way. Alastair Campbell would approve."
Couldn't have put it better myself - although I did point out back in July that she is unlikely to get re-elected.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gordon's housing bubble - just more hot air?

OK, the photo may give you a clue but who do you think said this in October 2005?

"We will have the strength and resolution to take the right long-term economic decisions too.
"Why has it been that at every point since 1997 faced with the Asian crisis, the IT collapse, a stock exchange crash, an American recession, last year a house price bubble, this year rising world oil prices, why has it been that at every point since 1997 Britain uniquely has continued to grow?
"In any other decade, a house price bubble would have pushed Britain from boom to bust.
"In any other decade, a doubling of oil prices would have put Britain first in last out and worst hit by a world downturn.
"I tell you, it is because with Bank of England independence, cutting debt, fiscal discipline and the New Deal this Labour government has shown the strength to take the tough long-term decisions, that inflation is low, interest rates are low, growth has been sustained in every year, and we are closer than ever to the goal which drives us forward: the goal of full employment for our generation.
"Labour, the natural party for economic strength in our country today."

This is the man who has told us that he had brought an end to boom and bust. This is the man who told us that the UK was best placed to weather a global economic meltdown. This is the man who has lied to us for the last 12 years about the economic miracle he has claimed to bring about.

The full video can been seen here on the BBC site. The bubble section is about 5 minutes and 20 seconds in. (Warning: the link is a bit wonky but persevere!)

How confident do you feel in his hands now?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Fred tells it like it is!

You have to watch the video clip on Guy Fawkes' blog. It beautifully encapsulates how Brown's government will be seen as the sky falls in on the British economy.

Obama says "yes we can" - as his country's economy falls apart. Brown says "we are best placed to weather the economic storm" - as unemployment heads to record levels.
Who are these people trying to fool? This recession will take years to resolve. There is a lot of pain ahead.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Cameron is no Kinnock

I am sure those of you who are old enough will remember Neil Kinnock's speech to the Labour Party election rally in Sheffield in 1992. Some people are now trying to find parallels with the next general election by saying that David Cameron cannot win against Brown even though the country is in a deep economic crisis.

What they forget is that in 1992 John Major's government had not created such a disastrous recessionary situation as the incompetent Gordon Brown and his failed government has managed to achieve. Even in 1992 the scale of the recession was not anywhere near what is happening in 2008 and which will become even more devastating in 2009 and beyond.

Besides that Neil Kinnock was (and still is) a vacuous wind bag with a very self-satisfied wife which only made him less appealing as a potential Prime Minister.

Brown comes clean!

Amid all the talk about Brown calling a snap election in February we have this exclusive piece from 10 Drowning Street.

It appears that the tactic of accusing the Conservatives of being the "do nothing" party is not working so Labour has decided to take a new line - telling the truth.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

It's the wonder of Woolies!

A simply "wonder"-ful cartoon from Marf on the Political Betting blog. (Click to enlarge)

My advice to parents? If in doubt don't buy one - apart from the fact it comes without batteries, it can only speak in German when you pull its strings!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Time to stop blaming America?

Irwin Steltzer writing in the Daily Telegraph makes some incisive comments on Gordon "Saviour of the World" Brown's assertion that Britain's financial meltdown started in the good old US of A.

".... it remains an incontestable fact that the Prime Minister is pointing a finger at America to conceal his mishandling of the British economy and, lately, the futility of some portions of the stimulus package he has crafted. Gordon Brown's search for a villain might better take him to the nearest mirror than to Washington, DC.

"......Instead of using the good years to pile up surpluses to spend in the lean years, Brown decided that he had conquered the business cycle – no more boom and bust. There is no minute of any meeting to suggest that the American economists and businessmen with whom the Prime Minister was so fond of being photographed tried to persuade him that he had indeed discovered the magic formula that could end business cycles. The hubris was home-grown. Which leaves Brown in the position of being forced to make clear that tax increases are in Britain's future – not a prospect that will encourage spending....."

This is devastating stuff written by a respected economist who has been close to Brown in the past.

Time for some German discipline?

Our old friend Peer Steinbruck, the German finance minister, has added another quote to his earlier "lemming" comment regarding the folly of following Gordon ("Saviour of the World") Brown's financial nostrums:

"Our British friends are now cutting their value-added tax. We have no idea how much of that stores will pass on to customers. Are you really going to buy a DVD player because it now costs £39.10 instead of £39.90? All this will do is raise Britain's debt to a level that will take a whole generation to work off. The same people who would never touch deficit spending are now tossing around billions. The switch from decades of supply-side politics all the way to a crass Keynesianism is breathtaking. When I ask about the origins of the crisis, economists I respect tell me it is the credit-financed growth of recent years and decades. Isn't this the same mistake everyone is suddenly making again, under all the public pressure?"

Isn't it about time we heard this sort of criticism more widely reported in the MSM? Brown's bogus spin is that the Conservatives are the "Do Nothing Party" but there are many people who think that his solution will be disastrous for the country's long-term prospects, will have little or no effect on the length and depth of the recession and, in fact, will probably make it harder to return to growth?

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Brown is awesome!

So this is actually what they say to each other? (Click on photo.)

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

German Finance Minister says Brown is leading Britain over a cliff

Thanks to Paul Waugh in the Evening Standard for this.

When everyone is telling us that Gordon Brown is like Moses leading us to the promised land it's sobering to hear that at least one of his international colleagues takes a contrary view.

Peer Steinbrueck says that the idea of hiking borrowing to pay for a fiscal stimulus is unacceptable..... "Just because all the lemmings have chosen the same path, it doesn't automatically make that path the right one."

No doubt Brown and his cronies will ignore him. But we won't!
UPDATE: Interesting that David Cameron used the same quote when replying to the Queen's speech today.