Monthly Archives: April 2012

Omnishambles, Giddernomics and Ed Miliband

It’s funny how a word (or more accurately a hashtag) sums up the state of a government.
#omnishambles is the summed up consciousness of the performance of this coalition government. The casualties started with David Laws, continued through Liam Fox, Adam Werrity and Andy Coulson to the mess of Jeremy Hunt, Adam smith and Theresa May.
Within 24 months this government has lurched like a drunken sailor through a variety of events, policies and U turns. Failing repeatedly to offer any vision and cohesion of direction.
Welfare reform, cuts, economic failure, riots, student fees, selling off forests the list goes on and on and on.
Omnishambles is a fair description of this ship of fools.
#Giddernomics a second hashtag that has a resonance across the twitterverse. George Osborne has presided over a rather desperate economic performance. All of which he’d like to blame someone else for. His choices have caused this double dip in GDP. A risk that was predicted by Gordon Brown and mocked by the combined right-wing press.

The roots of the problem cannot be laid at his feet but his economic vision isn’t one that is bearing any fruit or is ever likely to. An export led recovery may be a suitable direction but not one that is likely in the current climate. The cuts agenda and deficit reduction follows the neoliberal ideology an ideology that is beginning to look threadbare and unsuccessful.  Perhaps in another time #giddernomiccs would have been more successful but all chancellors have to deal with the environment they inherit and the reality as it is, not that which would be needed for their plans to work.

The tax cut from 50 to 45% is a political blunder that is very difficult to sell to an electorate that feels that we are not ‘all in this together’.  It may indeed be more tax efficient but it is politically damaging.  Even when he gets something right it all goes wrong.

This government is rudderless and David Cameron is #nottheone.  His own party backbenchers have been sceptical since the beginning and Nadine Dorries hit the nail on the head calling them ‘out of touch’ and ‘poshboys’.  He certainly doesn’t have his troubles to seek and I thought the Coulson mess was bad.

And so I come to the last part of the title.

Labour is climbing in the polls but people are just not sure of Ed nor of our economic competence.  The 2 years of  ‘All labour’s fault’ will be hard to shake off and has managed to stymie Ed’s progress against Dave and the Gang.  He lands some blows but no sign of a knockout punch.   Will he grow into the job?  He is growing but will it be enough?  Polls for the South of england indicate a large gap and not in his favour.  The fixed parliament duration has turned out to be a blessing in disguise giving us time to reorganise and Dave and the gang time to implode.

So against a backdrop of economic failure and a leaderless shambles Labour are struggling to forge ahead effectively (incredible but true).  It is beginning to look like the early 90’s where we couldn’t kill off the fag-end of the Thatcher government and the mess of Major.

I, like many, am just not convinced.  Another hung parliament next time?  God I hope not.



Two weeks to go!

It is two weeks from the local elections (in which I am standing as a Labour candidate) and I am increasingly irritated.

No surprises there, as my grumpy title would suggest.

Local elections – the hint is in the title.  In Scotland these are being trumpeted as a stepping stone to independence if the SNP- Alex Salmond for First minister Party- do well.

It is a spin fest of the highest order.  And it will only intensify as the fight for control of councils gets closer.

The local elections should be just that, concerned with the delivery of local services by local candidates.  If only my naive vision of politics was true.  Party literature (all glossy and multi coloured – can’t hide money – from SNP) full of national policies  has flopped like a limp lettuce onto my doormat.  FFS.  What about local issues?

What about local politicians rooted in their communities concerned with things that actually matter?  You know, the fabric of our lives?  Our local environment?  Town centres,Litter, Bins, speed bumps, potholes and dog fouling?

Personally I think it is our (politicians) own fault that the link between local members and local accountability has been lost.  Low turnouts reflect a growing disillusionment with the process and a creeping feeling of ‘what difference does it make?’  We have lost our ability to differentiate the message based on the parliament (or council) being selected.  A laziness of thinking has crept in delivering democratically apathetic responses based on national media.

Alex Salmond is not standing in Fife, so why is he all over the leaflets?  25000 Modern apprenticeships in fife? (nope Scottish figure). Free prescriptions (Fife council policy? nope) none of these has anything to do with Fife Council.  It is the singular lack of achievement by the SNP led coalition (with LD) that has resulted in national campaign style leaflets.

Even we (Labour) are spinning and the votes aren’t cast yet.  They’ll end up with more councillors nationally Johann Lamont was reported as saying.  This would have been called defeatist a short while ago but now it is managing expectations and preventing another SNP massive victory dance.  Personally it pisses me off.

I will be fighting tooth and nail to be elected in my ward to deliver a better standard of performance from Fife council.  The Independence media driven bun fight isn’t until next year (or 2014).  National issues can be aired then.

‘The methods we use must be as pure as the goals we seek.’ MLK – Time we all remembered that.

Chance would be a fine thing.