The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

Part privatising the Royal Mail? Whatever next?

Brussels ‘sleeper’, Lord Mandy of North Greenwich, is doing the EC’s bidding again. A europhile (after the ’83 Labour manifesto, that is), he is now rubbing salt into the wound after the earlier deregulation of UK postal services which allowed private sector vultures to pick off the best postal business.

If these vultures had agreed to take on less profitable post too, neoliberals like I would have accepted the deregulation but thanks to the EC and the post vultures, we all have only one daily delivery and if we are lucky before lunchtime.

Not content with trying to make postmen walk faster (which threatens a strike THIS FRIDAY), a report to Mandy suggests a ‘strategic partnership’ with another (EU, of course) company.

This will be part-privatisation by the back door, though the consummate spinmeister denies it, and will be a complete Labour disaster that will no doubt spark long, lingering strikes that will damage Royal Mail’s reputation even more – and, worse still, demoralise further its hard-working, underpaid and excellent staff.

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16 December, 2008 Posted by | betrayal, Labour, politics, privatisation, privatising, Royal Mail | Leave a comment

One simple way to ease the pain – cut taxes

Mr Boom (Brown) and Mr Bust (Darling) have achieved the recession that their Labour economic policies were always going to deliver – as Merv ‘the Swerve’ and Mr Boom admitted in the last few days. Now, having created a bad situation for the country’s economic and financial position, can they perhaps ease the pain?

Alas, no. Their economic policies have very much been about government intervention – the bank bailouts, nationalisation, the ‘spend our way out of the recession’, and Keynesian (a swear word if ever there were one) spending on public works.

There is one way by which this gutless Government could ease the pain. It is quite simple. They should cut taxes.

But unfortunately that is beyond the leftwing ideologues who run the country. Their socialism has been revealed, as the only way they know how to respond to an economic downturn.

How much longer people in the UK have to suffer from Labour’s policies is anyone’s guess. Tax cuts are the only way to ease the pain, but this lot aren’t going to deliver those.

Will anyone?

23 October, 2008 Posted by | Alistair Darling, Bank of England buffoons, betrayal, economy, Gordon Brown, Labour Party, politics, taxation | 2 Comments

Tax cuts are essential for combating social breakdown

Fraser Nelson, writing in the most recent issue of The Spectator, observed that the Tories are seeking to focus on social policy, rather than the economy. The thinking behind this is that Labour’s opinion poll ratings are already sliding as its record for economic competence has been lost.

However, it would utterly foolish of an incoming Government not to tackle the economic problems that underlie much of the country’s social breakdown.

Tax cuts for lower-income workers, and abandoning the absurd commitment to sticking to Labour’s spending plans, are advocated by Tim Montgomerie in an excellent article in today’s Telegraph. Tim demonstrates again why he should be an MP, if not in 2010 then at least in 2014/15, and a future Cabinet Minister. His proposals should become Conservative policy.

Many public sector low-income workers (e.g. £13k a year), as trade unionist Mark Serowtka rightly pointed out last night on Newsnight, are suffering from rising prices and the impact of Bank of England interest rate policy on their mortgages, and are understandably demanding wage increases – possibly indicating a number of strikes. 

The danger is that high-tax statists could dictate the policy and preclude tax cuts in favour of increased public spending (and, therefore, by implication lower economic growth, real income and living standards), leading to a failure to get out of the economic morass that Brownian policy has created). There’s no point Osborne (or whoever the next Conservative Shadow Chancellor is) becoming another Alistair Darling.

For some of the more stupid Tories, ruling out tax cuts is similar to Blair’s Clause 4 moment on public ownership. However, the key difference is that Labour was wrong supporting public ownership and renationalisation; tax cuts are morally right.

Tax cuts would not only ease the burden on low-income workers, but it would incentivise British people (whatever their ethnic group) who are currently living on benefits to start working.

Creating a new culture of work in areas of ‘worklessness’ or high unemployment can only help to reverse social breakdown. Economic policy, and taxation policy in particular, are inextricably linked with social policy.

Tax cuts could be the incentivising ‘carrot’, that would be more effective than a ‘stick’ approach to forcing people into work.

19 June, 2008 Posted by | betrayal, economy, Gordon Brown, Labour Party, politics, social breakdown, taxation | , , | 1 Comment

Pensioner poverty – a national scandal

In 1997 Labour said it would eradicate child poverty. It set some targets and has failed to make significant progress on this matter.

But what is more galling, in this New Labour world, is the way that older people are treated, neglected and ignored by the Government.  At least children have rights to education, and other services … what rights to older people have in this country? (unless they have been prudent – yes, that former Brownian word – enough to save for ‘a rainy day’).

As Help the Aged remind us, ageism and age discrimination is still prevalent in this country – for example, on the NHS, if you are “too old”, you can be refused treatment, and granted a death sentence (even though Capital Punishment was abolished); that is, if they don’t do you in with morphine first.  Social care is being cut back by many councils as a result of the Brownian mess that is the public finances. The Help the Aged video is sadly true:

But what is a national scandal is the increase in pensioner poverty, a direct result of this Government’s policies.  Barbara Willis-Brown, writing in the Stirrer, highlights how:

Here in Birmingham, we have too many pensioners living in isolation; struggling to survive on a limited income, with prices rocketing around them.

Their cars have gone, so transport and mobility are key issues; many live in fear, locking themselves away as soon as daylight fades; they cannot afford to socialise (cost, transports, perception, fear); rising costs of social care & diminishing services add pressures to the already hard-pressed.

At a time in life when they need the most help, they find there is precious little available.

Traditionally, there has long been a history of voluntary sector community support, organising trips, outings, hospital visits, befrienders etc.

Yet, due to withdrawal of funding, (Olympics 2012 springs to mind) local support groups have been hammered, as projects simply close down. So, the biggest losers continue to be the elderly – who are also the least able to cope.

As a matter of utmost urgency the government must consider the impact of all these rises on the older population.

The choice between eating and heating the home has been highlighted by Channel 4’s Dispatches already and this holocaust on older people was discussed on this blog. The Government’s inaction on the matter of pension poverty is not only immoral, but also politically inept.  Since the highest turnout at General Elections is amongst over 60s, older people will have their revenge on this despicable Government.

11 June, 2008 Posted by | betrayal, Gordon Brown, Labour Party, older people, politics, poverty, shame | | 1 Comment

Labour makes the “Poverty Trap” worse: it hasn’t been the party of the working class for a long time

As someone whose father worked in a low-income job, I know what effect this has on the family finances.  But people who work in these jobs, when they could just as easily claim the dole or incapacity benefit, are the unsung heroes of the UK today.

Labour’s hatred of these people, who could potentially have been its staunchest supporters (and many of whom probably were in the past), is reprehensible.

Not only has Labour ratcheted up the “Poverty Trap”, where people are better off on benefits than in work, by a variety of measures including the structure of its tax credits system.  But now, as BBC News reports, by abolishing the 10p income tax band, the Government:

penalises childless people in low-paid jobs. The Treasury Select Committee warned the ‘main losers’ could be deprived of as much as £232 a year. Chairman John McFall said they were an ‘unreasonable target’ for the tax simplification measure.

How many more people, whether white British or, in many cases, black and Asian, (and including a lot of women) are going to be forced into worse economic conditions and possibly out of work all together, by this discredited, despicable Government?

On a day on which, for many people, income tax falls from 22p to 20p in the pound – only to be cancelled out by the abolition of the 10p band – I would not even soil the phrase “tax cut” by using it to describe this dishonest policy by Brown and Darling.

What are needed are genuine cuts in taxation for people on low income – whether Single People, Couples without Children, or Families – to incentivise work and also to reward those who actually are working. 

Tax cuts for the rest of us could wait until later, but at least can we stop penalising the people who don’t have to work but do because of a “work ethic”, or because it makes them feel as if there is meaning to their lives, or for whatever motivation.

It is also time to stop the lie that Labour is a Party for the working-class.  It gave up that distinction a long time ago.

7 April, 2008 Posted by | Alistair Darling, betrayal, economy, Gordon Brown, Labour Party, politics, taxation | 5 Comments

You don’t expect baby murderers to ban smacking, do you?

At PMQs the Speaker asked Gordon Brown to use ‘temperate language’.  On this subject I’m afraid I will have to refrain from temperate language.

Yesterday, Brown made a speech about his commitment to liberty, which is a joke given his commitment to increasing the detention limit from 28 days to something like 56 days.  It is a joke, considering his Government’s policies on the liberty of the unborn child.  The liberty to be born.  The right to life.  All thrown aside for the right to a medieval practice that has no place in a civilised country.

Some campaigners, who are often the very same people who support abortion, are furious with the Government for not banning smacking.  I personally could never smack a child, but many parents do; criminalising parents would be asburd.  But do you really expect baby murderers to ban smacking?

The science proves that at 22 and 23 weeks (by the way, around 5 months of pregnancy) babies are not only fully formed, but viable, i.e. they have a chance of survival.  As the brave MP Nadine Dorries points out on her blog, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists study which Dawn Primarolo used to avoid reducing the abortion limit from 24 weeks,

“It failed to mention the Hoekstra study which demonstrates how with good neonatal intervention, 66% of all babies (that is babies born naturally because there may have been medical complications not healthy babies aborted) at 23 weeks live.

“It failed to mention how in the UK at good neonatal units such as UCH London and Hope hospital in Salford, 43% of 23 weekers live.

“Instead it chose to quote a study which averages out births at all hospitals across the UK, which puts the figure at 10 -15%.”

That makes the Labour Government baby murderers (the RCOG are anyway, and they sully the name of doctors), aided and abetted by the likes of Dr Evil Harris MP. 

What exactly happens to a baby (not a foetus, or an embryo, which are dehumanising medical words) when he or she – a potential Ben or Emily – is ripped from the womb?  If not already dead, the baby is murdered by the medical team responsible for the abortion.  We are not here talking about abortion at 5 or 10 weeks, where the baby may look less baby-like though I believe it is equally wrong, but about the killing of a viable baby in the womb (or after being forced from the womb).  Evidence from the US shows that babies feel pain during abortions.

Even Lord Steel, a man who has much blood on his hands for his Private Members Bill to legalise ‘abortion on demand’ in the 60s, is now appalled by the fact that there are around 200,000 abortions per year.  These are due to the social breakdown, and immorality, that has ripped apart the fabric of this country.  Almost 200,000 of our fellow Britons are denied the right to life, so the day after Ms Primarolo’s despicable decision is hardly a day for Brown to make a speech about liberty. 

And, frankly, it would be ludicrous of this Labour Government to ban smacking when it has given the green light to many more murders of babies in the womb who could survive, who are fully formed, but somehow are denied the right to life because they have not yet been born.  Worse still, these murdered little souls will never be able to vote but the babies’ murderous “mothers” do have a vote and that seems to be what the Government is calculating in this decision.  Anyone who cares about the right to babies to life, however, should never vote Labour.

26 October, 2007 Posted by | abortion, betrayal, kids, Labour Party, NHS, politics, shame, social breakdown | 2 Comments