The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

Yes, fix the economy, but please fix society too

Last summer, moved by the murder of an innocent little kid, 11-year old Rhys Jones in Liverpool, I wrote that it was time for the Government to get a grip on teenage gun crime.  Matt Sinclair hits the nail on the head with his analysis of family breakdown and the rise of teenage pregnancy and illegitimacy.

You only have to read this post to see how completely out of touch with the lives of hard-working families some sections of the ‘third estate’ are (despite many of them working and presumably living in LONDON):

The second area of weakness I would highlight is the current Tory fondness for decrying Britain’s “broken society”.

I cannot bear this phrase – as I don’t believe the country as a whole is suffering from social breakdown, despite screaming headlines proclaiming the contrary – and I imagine many centre-ground voters share my displeasure.

It smacks of a carping Opposition-based approach, not of a party ready to govern what remains one of the greatest nations in the world. Please drop it, Dave.

How is society not broken when an 11-year-old can get shot on a nice middle-class estate in Liverpool, if a 16-year-old gets his throat slit by a thug wielding a glass tray from a bakery, and if an 18-year-old boy who was loved by all who knew him (and who had a bright acting career ahead of him) dies at the hands of a murderer outside a pub in a nice commuter suburb of London?  Yes, Sidcup.

Many centre ground voters are actually tearing their hair out in despair, because of what they see around them.  Try wandering round Lewisham or Lambeth at night, where even “good kids” have started carrying knifes to defend themselves against feral youths.  They are scared, so are their parents, so is most of society.

As always, there is a more credible viewpoint in Simon Heffer’s column, where he links youth crime to welfare dependency and the welfare state, and describes society as “destabilised”.  The lack of a father figure in the home in many cases does not help matters (and, after all, Labour MPs essentially abolished fatherhood last week in a notorious parliamentary vote).  Welfare is much adored by the left, as Heffer explains, because it, ‘gives them a clientele to control. All in all, it is a corrupt, corrupting, demoralising and poisonous concept.’  He goes further and says that:

Why is it that the criminal underclass can carry on as it does? It is because the state pays for it to do so. Why do children grow up feeling they have to kill each other at the slightest provocation? Because the state has removed the need for them to grow up in a coherent family unit, in which such feelings would seldom be fed. Why, when sociologists from Charles Murray onwards have linked single parenthood, social and economic failure and crime, does the state still sponsor so extensively single parenthood as a career option for young women? Because it assists the socialist state’s mission to control and expand a clientele.

A lack of responsibility, spending of £620 billion on welfare (in which Heffer admits even Labour MP Denis MacShane can see opportunities for reductions), youth crime spiralling out of control… 

John Redwood has, as always, brilliantly analysed the current state of taxation and spending and concluded that the Government is ‘dithering’ on the issue.  Where better to start than welfare?

Tax cuts would help enhance people’s quality of life and, yes, it is important (absolutely vital, in fact) to fix the economy.  But one of the ways that both the economy and society could be fixed together is by slashing the welfare bill, handing the savings back to tax-payers and encouraging the workshy recipients to go to work – not the folks who are unable to work due to disability or mental health problems.

it is time to sort out two of the greatest ills that afflict the UK today, social breakdown/teenage crime/welfare AND taxation, at the same time.  Not only can people keep more of the money they earn.  But also families can be supported to stay together.  And people can be encouraged to work, rather than be dependent upon welfare, making something positive of their lives.  And youth crime can be stamped out.


28 May, 2008 Posted by | crime, Gordon Brown, guns, kids, knives, Labour Party, politics, shame, social breakdown, taxation | 2 Comments

Has 24 weeks got anything to do with the collapse of the Labour vote in Crewe?

It is now clear that the Labour vote has collapsed in Crewe, and a large section of it switched to the Conservatives, in a massive 17.6% swing.

A lot has been said about Northern Wreck, the 10p tax rate, and other Labour mistakes.

But a few evenings ago almost the entire parliamentary Labour Party (apart from a few decent Labour MPs, such as Ruth Kelly, MP for another North West constituency, Bolton West, with about a 2,000 majority) voted to maintain the current 24 week limit of abortion.  The timing was ludicrous.

Crewe has a long history of immigration from Irish people to work in the railways, and thus a large Catholic population.  (The most recent Catholic immigrant group, the Poles, were disenfranchised from voting in Crewe, although they can vote in local and European elections.) 

I spoke to a few Catholics in Crewe who were appalled by the abortion vote and were switching from Labour, for the first time, to the Conservatives.   There were no doubt many others, as well as some who did not turn out to vote, for various reasons – but the last straw was the abortion vote.  Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O’Connor has bravely said that Labour must not take the Catholic vote for granted.  Cardinal Murphy-O’Connor is a man that I (yes, I, an Ulster Protestant) admire for his bravery on the abortion issue.

Let’s hope that Labour has lost the Catholic vote for good.  Part of the huge swing from Lab to Con in Crewe is evidence of that.

Tue 27/5/8, 14.43 Update: On her blog, the brave campaigner Nadine Dorries MP – who made a powerful and frank speech about the reality behind abortion – has confirmed that many other people had 24 weeks raised as an issue on the doorstep.  She points out that seats such as Bedford (whose MP Patrick Hall – notional 2005 majority 3,494 – voted to maintain 24 weeks) have large Catholic and Muslim communities. Lesson to Labour MPs: don’t upset what is supposed to be your core vote.

23 May, 2008 Posted by | abortion, Gordon Brown, Labour Party, politics | | 11 Comments

In a nutshell, why Labour has lost the confidence of the country

A superb blog that highlights how family people who voted Labour in the past, out of a once understandable conviction that the Government would deliver for their families, is A Diary of a Mother on the Edge: who points out that:

Since I turned 18 ten years ago I’ve always voted … Anyway, I’ve always voted Labour …

Flip flopping over whether to hold an election (missed an opportunity there Gordy!), and the shambles that was the 10p Tax Band… not exactly impressed me with your decisiveness and leadership Mr Brown. Say what you like about Tony (and I did. at length) he stuck to his guns. When face with opposition on the War in Iraq from so many fronts, Tony Blair stayed true and stuck to what he believed was the Right Thing To Do. That takes enormous strength of character. When GB is faced with opposition, he buckles.

The final thing that has turned me right off Labour was the vote last night. I watched it live on BBC Parl and I nearly wept. The great elected representatives of our nation had the chance to use their voices to speak for the most vulnerable members of our society, the unborn (paraphrasing Ann Widd there) and they chose to ignore them. All but 3 members of our Cabinet voted against lowering the upper limit for abortions to 22 weeks.

What we have now is a ludicrous situation wheredoctors can be terminating the life of a 24 week old fetus while down the corridor another could be fighting to save the life of a premature child born at 24 weeks.

I have a friend who lost a baby at 23 weeks. There’s a picture of that child on her mantlepiece. He is perfect, just so very very tiny. He was lucky that he had his mother, father and sisters to speak up for him. What our Government has done is choose to ignore the cries of thousands of infants whose lives they have just dismissed.

Shame on you Labour.

If this does not sum up why Labour deserves to lose the Crewe & Nantwich by-election and the subsequent general election, I don’t know what does.

21 May, 2008 Posted by | abortion, Gordon Brown, Labour Party, politics | | 4 Comments

Bring back James Whale

It is outrageous that Talksport has sacked James Whale for urging voters to back Boris. 

This would not have happened had he or someone else said ‘vote Ken’, and a lot of broadcasters have basically been suggesting ‘vote Labour’ for years and show political bias, e.g. the BBC worldview.

It may be a breach of the Ofcom rules, but surely Whale could have had just a rap on the knuckles?

He should be reinstated immediately, though he is so good that someone will snap him up elsewhere.

The 20 point Tory lead over Labour and Boris’s win shows that Whale is more in touch than his bosses, but to some democracy doesn’t matter.

It should be Talksport that is sacked, not James Whale.  Talksport, you are the weakest link – goodbye.

6 May, 2008 Posted by | politics | 68 Comments