The Wilted Rose

Charting Labour meltdown 2007-2010

The New Labour era is over. But a coalition involving the Liberal Democrats remains unproven.

It appears that we may have a coalition between one of the main parties and the Liberal Democrats. Gordon Brown has resigned, the New Labour era is over, and David Cameron has been invited to the palace to see the Queen to be asked to form a Government.

Labour

Douglas Alexander has said that a coalition which includes the SNP would not be acceptable or tenable. Brown is resigning as Labour leader to enable succession of another leader as Prime Minister. Nick Clegg has negotiated, but it is not clear what the outcome of their discussions were.

It seems, ridiculously and perversely, that Labour’s National Executive Committee (NEC) has blocked the Lab-LibDem Coalition. For what reason? With Labour and the LibDems both left-of-centre, a coalition between them would be incredibly sensible. Yes, they would be a disaster for Britain, but it is coherent. It would be a realignment of the left.

A progressive coalition would be hard to stomach, but it is at least ideologically combatible. Would it split the LibDems? Would it split Labour ? Yes, clearly, in both cases, but that would be worth this goal being achieved.

And yet, such a coalition would have no mandate in England where the Conservatives polled 9,911,062 (39.6%), Labour 7,037,229 (28.1%), the Lib Dems 6,067,303 (24.2%). In terms of seats, C 297, L 191 and LD 43, giving the Tories a big majority of 63 in England.

But now that Brown has resigned, it is the end of New Labour . The end of Labour for now.

Conservatives

David Cameron ‘modernised’ his party, which meant – like Blair – ceded some of its ideological ground and sought to appease the left. Notting Hill Cameronism is not what Conservative voters thought they were voting for, but they voted for it nonetheless – but that may be what they get – indeed, many voters did not vote because they could not stomach Cameronism.

Labour has 26 seats in Wales (on 36.2% of the vote), Conservatives 8 (on 26.1%), Plaid 3 (on 11.3%) and Lib Dems 3 (on 20.1%),while in Scotland Labour won 1,035,528 (42.1%) and 41 seats, Conservatives 412,855 (16.7%) but only 1 seat on just under half the votes in Scotland than Labour got, with the Lib Dems on 465,471 (18.9%) and 11 seats, and the SNP on 491,386 (19.9%) and 6 seats.

Across the UK, in fourth and fifth places respectively, UKIP polled 917,832 (thanks Mr Clarke) and the BNP 563,743 (thanks Labour for nothing) – predominantly in England – but no seats, which they would have got under Proportional Representation, as favoured  by the Liberal Democrats. Both UKIP and the BNP got more votes than SNP or Plaid but do not figure in any negotiations.

It is not clear that a Labour-LibDem coalition would stand in much favour in Scotland or Wales. In Northern Ireland, where I come from, I will not list the vote shares of the parties, but the DUP got 8 seats, Sinn Fein 5, SDLP 3, Independent 1, and Alliance 1, and the Conservatives and Unionists none.

How would such a coalition govern the non-devolved aspects of Scotland, Wales, or Northern Ireland? Surely, a Con-LD coalition would encourage greater devolution – including the all-important tax-raising powers – for the ‘Celtic fringe’? This would stave off the secessionist talk in Scotland, and unrest in Wales and Ulster, especially after what the UKIP-vote-stoking Ken Clarke said that, “In the end you can always do a deal with an Ulsterman, but it’s not the way to run a modern, sophisticated society.”

Cameron could not win the unwinnable election, which says a lot about the modernisation project. Brown has lost the election, and yet (despite the phenomenal gains), Cameron did not win it either, and Clegg’s party lost seats.

Frankly, we did not stomp the streets to support our excellent Conservative candidates, to end up with a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition. But that is what we have.

The alternative, a Labour-LibDem coalition, would be a disaster, but a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition is as yet unproven. Perhaps on this occasion, if not on others, Mr Cameron should have listened to the advice of that great sage from the true heart of our Party Lord Tebbit on not to form a coalition with the LibDems as it would cost them the next General Election, and on avoiding becoming the victim of a winner-takes-all auction led by Mr Clegg.

11 May, 2010 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Tax rises may be necessary”? Not an auspicious start to the new year

We have become accustomed to regular bad news ever since ‘Age of Austerity’ style conference speeches. We need hope, not accountancy speak about cuts, pain, and deficit reduction.

But, while John Redwood has highlighted the need to cut tax on enterprise (I would add to that the working people who need to be incentivised to keep working, or to survive financially in the current climate), Iain Martin has demonstrated how the Conservative leadership doesn’t seem to know what its policies are on tax and is in a ‘tangle’.

I’ve thought long and hard about how to respond to Cameron’s new year speech and statements such as “tax rises may be necessary” from the Abominable Yes-Man* himself, Ken Clarke. Such sentiments are simply an inauspicious start to the new year and it is not what many people like me have been campaigning for when we have been delivering Conservative leaflets.

Since I am not a Tory myself, but a unionist, (the word ‘Tory’ has Irish baggage related to brigands, outlaws and the like), I am befuddled by the fuzzy logic that leads Clarke and the Nothing Hill set to come to the conclusion that tax rises will somehow bring the economy back to its glory days.

But, after all, it was the Europhile wing of the Conservatives that caused Black Wednesday by forcing Maggie to enter the ERM at the wrong rate. It was Lord Lamont, however, who famously sang in the bath that we had extricated ourselves from decades of economic collapse under the ERM and eventually the ECU/Euro that followed.

Never mind the historical precedents about what happens when you listen to Clarke and his ilk, it seems that the leadershipis taking advice from experts such as wealthy bankers and Ken Clarke. They say that accountants would slash and burn, whilst also raising taxes on already hard-pressed electors.

Is that the manifesto that is going to be offered to the country? Surely it is a recipe for a Hung Parliament – and, as much as we would like to see certain MPs with fraudulent expenses hanged, it would not be good for the country.

The Taxpayers’ Alliance had already won the debate on taxes. But along comes a bunch of idiots advising the Conservatives and those lessons are forgotten.

Why prioritise inheritance tax cuts for the wealthy, whilst raising taxes for middle- and lower-income people? Has the 50p tax rate made it acceptable to raise taxes?

What about the Laffer Curve? What about the economic fact that lower taxes stimulate economic growth, entrepreneurship, innovation, job creation and so on?

I do not know why they think tax rises and the age of austerity is going to appeal to the voter who has a difficult time paying the mortgage, raising kids, maybe health worries etc, and that there is no hope? Just more money out of yer pocket to pay the increasing social security and welfare budget?

In these tough economic times, taxes should be slashed – not raised – the lessons of Crewe & Nantwich were that lower taxes appeals to the voter. It is morally and ethically right and it makes life better for everyone.

And, as for the “class war”, well let me just say this. Had David Davis or someone else from a working-class background been Tory leader, he would not have even contemplated raising taxes on working people, while reducing inheritance tax. That says a lot about the state of society, the class divide, and the “Tories.”

We need Labour out, that’s for certain, but the alternative Government needs to get its act together for the sake of our country. Sorry to be so harsh but this needs to be said, and I say this as a warm friend, although one who thinks that a dear ally has somewhat lost its way.

* Clarke is a Yes-Man in the sense of “Yes to Europe”. I could live with it if he was a No-Man.

5 January, 2010 Posted by | politics | , , , , | 1 Comment

Would we be better off with a hung parliament?

I’ve done quite a bit of work leafleting for Conservative candidates in marginal seats. Also, I have delivered leaflets for someone I have known for over 25 years, who goes to my family church and who belongs to my Orange Lodge, Gregory Campbell MP (DUP, East Londonderry), to defend his seat against the highly discredited ‘Trimbleite’ (and now ‘Empeyite’) Ulster Unionist Party. Though, as an excellent MP and without much serious opposition, Gregory will be okay and will hold his seat, particularly with an 8,000 majority. In Northern Ireland the only party for unionists to vote for is the DUP, who I warmly endorse, and I’ve certainly enjoyed tramping the streets of Castlerock and the working-class housing estates of Coleraine delivering leaflets.

Peter Hitchens has recently called for a hung parliament. I don’t agree – I think we need a decisive result, one way or the other, a Conservative or Labour Government. Though I’m not a Tory, but am a unionist, (as I’m fond of saying, it’s the Conservative and Unionist Party), I would rather see a government of the blue persuasion.

But I can understand why many voters are yet unconvinced by the Tories and why the polls are narrowing ever so slightly in Labour’s favour.

But in these tough socio-economic times it would not be right to have a lily-livered, gutless hung parliament, minority government, or coalition-of-convenience delivered by a lily-livered, gutless electorate.

They just can’t make up their mind, being so zombified by the X Factor. Why not have a 90% tax levy on the proceeds that have been accrued by the likes of Cowell et al? Why stop at the bankers? But, in cases of mindnumbing TV, the electorate is as much zombies as the bankers, mortgagers, and mortgagees that caused the economic crisis. Or the equally morally bankrupt people who are destroying society.

So let’s have a clear result. But if you apply game theory to this situation, i.e. the election, people don’t know what way to vote. So it might be chaos, ending in a complete mess, with a BNP gain here and there, Lib Dems holding seats they should lose, etc.

In conclusion, the last thing we need is a hung parliament. Let’s get real, people, and kick Labour out once and for all.

16 December, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

The hidden bank bailout

This blog has been consistent in its criticism of Brown’s bank bailouts.

But at least most were open. We now learn that taxpayers’ money was used to bail out, secretly, the HBOS and Lloyds merger, deceiving shareholders.

Concealment is ok where it is reasonable and outweighs the alternative – the greater of two evils.

But deception is wrong and, like Bliar’s Iraq lies, it is becoming a hallmark of this disgusting Government. Time to call it a day, Mr Brown.

25 November, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , | Leave a comment

Will Brown blow the Tories out of the water? No, he hasn’t the guts to call an election

As a traditional ‘divided loyalties’ Ulster Protestant (a supporter of a mainstream unionist party at home, and of the Conservative & Unionist Party in England), I am rather worried. My dual loyalties mean that one of my parties may do well and the other not so; that’s certainly been the case recently.

But I thought the Conservatives were on track to beat Labour. Now the polls have narrowed, with the latest IPSOS-MORI for the Observer showing only a 6 point lead and the grim prospect of a hung parliament. With UKIP and the ‘vile BNP’ polling well collectively.

So what happened the the twentysomething Conservative lead? I have a hunch that the Clarke effect combined with Lisbon/the EU policy, and the appalling abuses of the expenses system by Tory MPs (most recently the adulterous David Curry, himself a notorious Europhile), and the sudden electorate’s collective misapprehension that the economy’s well again, has led to this scenario.

All’s not rosy in the garden, as Labour’s Wilted rose shows, and it’s time for another festive onslaught re the economy from me.

It’s now the right time for Labour to call an election. They’d probably gain a lead in the polls while the public are distracted by the apparent lull in our economic rendezvous with the inevitable.

Brown would blow the Tories out of the water. But, like Callaghan in the 70s, Brown is blinded by disbelief and a lack of COURAGE, and hasn’t got the guts to call the election that could keep him in the job he plotted for over a decade to grab off Bliar. The ditherer will bottle it again.

Brown’s gutlessness allows traditional Tories, as well as trade unionist, dual-loyalty conservative unionists like me, sleep soundly at night.

23 November, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , | 2 Comments

What is the truth about drugs? Time for action?

Whatever the truth about drugs, the Government has made a mess of the issue. They have let druggies, paedos, and all sorts of criminals roam our streets and cause absolute chaos and it has resulted in a lot of broken lives.

Prof David Nutt (sacked for telling the truth that Brown reclassified cannabis for political reasons) has categorised drugs in such a way that suggests that alcohol is more dangerous than ecstacy, cannabis and other illegal substances. Well, we know already that booze causes a lot of heartbreak and is responsible for some of societies worst ills. But, why when we had the chaos of alcohol-related violence and the deaths caused by its healths effects (a “known known”), did the Government have to take a softer line on certain other drugs, by reclassifying cannabis and turning a blind eye?

Why indeed. But, more importantly, what are they going to do about it? Clearly, we need zero tolerance on drugs – by crushing dealers, locking up and forcibly treating junkies, and by stopping the violence caused on our streets by alcohol (3 strikes and you’re out might just work) – otherwise Britain will continue to descend into lawlessness.

It’s time for less of the political nonsense, by politicians with their hands in the till for all the expenses they can obtain. Whether it’s Jacqui Smith, a complete farce on Question Time this week, or whether it’s McNulty subsidising his parents’ home. (And don’t get me started about the liberal elite – such as the contemptible John Sergeant and his sick joke about Cheryl Gillan’s dogs who have now sadly died.)

It’s time to sort out this mess once and for all. No more political correctness. No more fussing about the so-called human rights of the perpetrators of these vile deeds. No more softly softly. It’s time to take action, right?

31 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , | 4 Comments

Down’s baby murders

As someone not yet fortunate to be a dad, I abhor those who murder their babies in their womb – children that I and many other folks, who have not become parents for various reasons, would happily raise as our own.

Thousands of babies who have Down’s syndrome are being murdered in the in a recent upsurge in Eugenics. Harman may claim to be for equality and against the BNP, but is the Nazi genocide of disabled children something she can stomach supporting?

Some hospitals won’t tell expectant Indian women the gender of their baby because of fears of female Foeticide? So why is it ok to selectively murder disabled babies in the womb?

Who could fail to be moved by Sue Hare on p27 of today’s Telegraph talking about her little boy with Downs as her ‘pride and joy’? How many kids like young Will are snuffed out because of the prejudice and psychosis of their parents and the eugenics abortion doctors who perform these vile acts?

28 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three seminal moments: Race, religion, and war

I experienced three seminal moments in the last 5 days or so.

First was watching Question Time on Thursday evening with a friend and his wife, who are both Muslims. Their discomfort at Griffin was understandable.

Second, as I passed through Birmingham city centre on Sunday, there was a military display of some kind on near the Bull Ring. Some young Pakistanis turned away from walking towards the army display, shaking their heads. A teenage girl wearing a headscarf seemed particularly vexed. As an Ulster Protestant, I have much time for the army. The army is part of being British, but I realised then that something had been robbed from these young British Asians by Blair’s (he ordered it) and Brown’s (he paid for it) disastrous Iraq and Afghan campaigns. They can’t support the army, given our killing of Iraqi and Afghan innocents – the children’s blood being on Labour’s hands. British Asians are true British people and amongst the most hard-working, and they also have solid family values, strong community values, genuine morality (e.g. marriage being a bedrock of family), and high levels of entrepreneurship that we should be proud of.

Third, I watched the classic animated Japanese film “Grave of the Fireflies” for the first time. A story of a young brother and sister trying to survive in Japan during the end of WWII, despite devastating firebombing by the Americans of civilians. It is a very upsetting film, and yet beautifully made, and at the end I must admit that I did cry. Watch it and dare say you are “pro-war”.

We haven’t moved much further beyond the 1945 firebombing of civilians, have we, though? At least we will not repeat the disastrous mistakes of Iraq and Afghanistan by bombing Iranian women and children too; at least I hope we won’t (whatever you think of Ahmadinejad). War, race, and religion may be intertwined but, as an evangelical Christian, I for one cannot support the bombing of innocents that was a central part of the wars on the Afghan and Iraqi people – and nor will I support the same being inflicted upon the Iranians.

27 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Last post?

Don’t worry – it’s not my last post on this blog. What it is, though, is a reflection on the state that the Labour party – ably abetted, it seems, by its mates in the European Union – has left our postal service. What was once the pride of the world is now greatly reduced. The Half-Blood Welshman has an excellent post on the subject, and highlights a point that frontline politicians – from all parties – seem to have missed:

It all boils down to a brutal fact. If we want a postal service that can deliver whatever we want, wherever and whenever we want it, it will have to be funded from general taxation, because such a business will always run at a loss. If we want a truly commercial, profitable service, then we have to accept that it cannot deliver the same extent and level of service as Royal Mail. From that point of view, both Parliament and (to a lesser extent) the unions are shadow-boxing over irrelevant points of structure. At some point in the next five years, the call between these two choices will have to be made. I have to admit I am very glad that I will not have to make it.

This is simply because of the EU directive that created a semi-market in the UK postal service. Effectively, they allowed private companies to cream off the handling (but, of course, not the delivery) of the most lucrative and profitable part of the postal market. But your hard-pressed postie, working for the Royal Mail, still has to deliver it.

It is almost Lewis Carroll. In fact, Carroll wasn’t that mad.

Mandelson is supporting the Royal Mail and not the strikers. He is turning on his own people. It is time that folks realise that Labour is not for the working men and women at all; and it is time to sort out this dreadful postal mess, but not by strike-breaking or further exacerbating the conditions of the hard-working posties and their colleagues in sorting offices and elsewhere.

Otherwise, it will be the last post (not from me, but from the Royal Mail).

20 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , | 3 Comments

Labour snouts in troughs as Royal Mail staff strike

Labour MPs are threatening not to repay what they scammed on expenses; some will even sue, they say. Tories will be deselected if they don’t.

Meanwhile, Royal Mail workers will rightly go on strike because of the way the most profitable business has been creamed off by other providers who don’t even deliver the mail.

Mandelson is against the strike, though he forgets why trades unions exist, and why Labour came into being. Not to have snouts in troughs, that’s for sure.

13 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , | Leave a comment

“Wholly, exclusively and necessarily” : Expenses raise their ugly head again

Well, it seems that no sooner are we out of the conference season, than expenses have raised their ugly head again. The conference season – despite Mandelsonian spin, and attempts by Mandy to position himself as the next Labour leader (and rumour has it that he will renounce his peerage so he can be parachuted in to stand for parliament in my local seat of Darlington) – has been an unmitigated disaster for Labour: the Sun switching sides to back the Tories, and the latest opinion polls putting Labour up to 19 points (C 45 , L 26, LD 18 etc) behind the Conservatives.

And now we hear that there are to be about 325 MPs asked to justify or pay back their expenses, which should be

wholly
exclusively and
necessarily

incurred for the purposes of carrying out their duties as an MP.

Indeed, the BBC carries a notorious quote from the Sub-Prime Minister:-

“We’ve got to consign the old discredited system to the dustbin of history, this is part of the process of doing so.

“Sir Thomas Legg will make recommendations, people have the chance to look at what he says.

“And then my advice to people is after the process has gone through in the next few weeks he says you’ve got to repay, let’s get it done, let’s get it sorted out and let’s get it back to a system that people have confidence in.”

It’s the Labour Government that we need to consign to the dustbin of history, and (whatever the recommendations) the British people will in another 9 months have an opportunity to do just that. At least we can sort out poverty, our economy and social breakdown – the socio-economic issues that really matter, that can be resolved by radical conservative policy – rather than listen to more and more sleaze about crooked MPs. It’s time for change, and not more of the same of the discredited third way that amounted to a pocket-lining exercise for career politicians.

BREAKING NEWS – Jacqui Smith to apologise. Why will she not just resign her seat, rather than embarrass the Government and Brown any further ? Good question. But then she is trying to avoid paying back the £116,000. And not to forget that Gordon Brown himself will have to pay back a staggering £12,000.

12 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Lily Woodley’s Sun Moment is worse than Brown’s Woolworths one

One thing that the naturally conservative British people do not like is people messing with well-loved institutions, such as Woolworths or the Sun. Which has dared to turn its back on Labour and support the Conservatives.

Brown bailed out the banks and yet let Woolworths die. His Woolies moment caused Labour to plummet to new depths in December and January opinion polls.

And yet the sight of that dire Labourite Scouser, Tony Woodley, tearing apart a copy of the Sun at the Labour Conference will send shivers down the spine of many people. After all, the Sun has – according to experts – a circulation of 7,733,000. That makes The Sun rather more important politically than the Guardian, Telegraph, and Times put together.

So tearing up a copy of the Sun is a slap in the face for nearly 8 million people, which represents a huge coverage – 15 to 20 per cent – of adults in almost every UK region. Even in Central Scotland, the circulation figures represent 26.3% and its 2million readers in London and 1,615,000 in central England – i.e. the midlands – not to mention many readers in the North – make it rather relevant to marginal seats.

The Sun is the voice (and a key piece of daily reading material) for working-class people across the country. Even folks who have become socially mobile and moved into more leafy estates still cherish the Sun, because it reminds them of their roots, And The Sun says it as it is.

Harman too has attacked the Sun, as she considers it sexist, but then she would say that, wouldn’t she? But it is her politically correct Government that introduced legislation that led to the visit by Ofsted and accusations of criminal behaviour by two policewomen who shared childcare, so that they could hold down their jobs.

It is Labour that helped to destroy Woolworths and many other jobs that were held by women, while bailing out the banks and (highly unionised) car firms, which were primarily men’s jobs. So it’s Labour that is sexist.

At least Tony Woodley is a representative of the white male working-class, but that is a species that is deserting Labour in droves (though clearly he is not). Women, whether working- or middle-class, have had enough of Labour too and, as a committed trade unionist, I would like to point out that Labour has done nothing for the workers and, in fact, has made us worse off, Mr Woodley.

Brown and out. We know what Labour really thinks of the electorate now, by the brute Woodley tearing up the Sun and the mad Harriet’s attacks on this wonderful newspaper.

SATURDAY UPDATE: As I earlier intimated in my tweet, Woodley looked and sounded like Lily Savage’s alter ego, Paul O’Grady. Really. Watch the You Tube clip again.

1 October, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , | Leave a comment

As Brown declares war on teenage parents, the Sun deserts Labour

Well, Brown’s speech was well spun. It may have impressed the Labour delegates, but then anyone desperate or crazy enough to attend the Labour conference would have been impressed. It’s amazing, given that few of Labour’s councillors survived the recent culls by the electorate, that there are any activists left.

In order to try to seize the initiative, Brown launched a number of half-baked policies. The most heartless of these was the proposal to build detention centres to house teenage parents and their babies – clearly a group hated by Labour as much as they hate asylum seekers. However, it only took a young girl from Willenall in Walsall, interviewed on Newsnight yesterday evening, to demolish the absurd and heartless policy.

It is no wonder the Sun says that Labour has lost it given the performance of Brown. On law and order, schools, health, immigration, children, and our troops in Afghanistan and Iraq Labour has failed, and I agree wholeheartedly. Particularly with the Sun’s observation that only the Conservatives can restore our country after 13 years of Labour failure.

In 1992, it was famously said that it was the Sun wot won it. Well, wot we need is for the Sun to win it again so that we get rid of this Government wot has ruined our country. As Brown declares war on teenage parents, the Sun has said what hard-working people across the country are telling pollsters – Labour is washed out, worn out, and time to be thrown out with all the other garbage.

30 September, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , | 1 Comment

‘If I can come back, we can come back’ – Mandy

What a load of pathetic codswallop from Mandy. If he, a thrice disgraced minister, can return, the even more discredited and morally bankrupt Labour party can.

He argued that the Tories are on the wrong side of the argument on the economy. That’s strange, since we are on the same side as the public.

But arrogant Labour thinks it is right, no matter though no more than about twenty per cent , if even that much , will back it…

This is why the Brownian-Mandelsonian shambles must be wiped out asap.

28 September, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , | Leave a comment

Charles Clarke: Go Brown, or Labour ‘hammered’

Things are heating up again for Mr Brown. This time, Charles Clarke – incumbent in the neighbouring seat to Norwich North, which the Tories gained not so long ago – has intervened, bravely, yet again. Mr Clarke has stated that Labour needs Brown to go or else his party will be hammered:

I don’t think Gordon will lead Labour into the next election. I think his own dignity ought to look to that kind of solution.

They say prepare to battle in 2015, make sure the policies and leader are in place.

I understand that, but there will not be a 2015 if we get hammered in 2010. And on current show, we will be.

Mr Clarke, who is on the now pretty much defunct Blairite wing of his party, has long been a critic of Brown. But he should know by know that dignity is not something that the Prime Minister has shown. Labour’s policies have failed. Brown will not step aside; he’s enjoying his power too much, even though it may cost Labour some more seats than Balls or Milipede might lose.

It is time for the country to deliver the verdict of 13 years of failed New Labour and to oust this discredited, disasterous, and undignified Government.

24 September, 2009 Posted by | politics | , , , , , , | Leave a comment