...a blog by Richard Flowers

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Day 4153: Five by Five. Or by ME, actually.


Auntie Caron has come up with one of those Internet Me-me-me-s thingies that you find on the Wibbly Wobbly Web. "If you have a blog," she asks, "what were you writing about this time in previous years?"

Auntie Jennie has already had a go, so I will too.

How things have changed! Five years ago I was very, very young and little and not even recognised as most famousest Blogger of the Year yet! Also the government were VERY unpopular and the economy was in TATTERS. Oh well; not everything changes.
Let's head backwards in time... [vworp... vworp... vworp....]

2011: In the aftermath of losing the AV referendum, some words about the Conservatories' OWN plans for constitutional change: elected police commissioners.

"I mean, our coalition partners couldn't be MONSTROUS HYPOCRITES could they."

(also, some DOCTOR WOO.)

2010: Emotions run high on the forming of the Coalition.
"'…and I for one welcome our new Liberal Deputy Overlord!' Kent Brockman, Springfield News"

(also, some DOCTOR WOO.)

2009: A review of the then-new Star Trek by J J Abrams. And an opportunity for a cute photo of ME in Star Fleet Uniform!

"Red Shirt! That's GOOD isn't it?"

(also, a DOCTOR WOO flashback.)

2008: When Cardinal O'Connor compares ATHEISTS to NAZIS, the Militant Atheist Baby Elephant gets BIBLICAL with a FISKING.

"Wrong, wrong, wrong. And all the more IRONIC because he was SUPPOSEDLY on air to big-up the speech he made to say: why don't we talk to the atheists..."

(also, guess what, some DOCTOR WOO.)

2007: Remember the days when Mr Frown was shiny and new and elected Prime Monster? No, neither do I. A Bill to exempt MPs from Freedom of Information comes up in the House of Commons and too few Liberal Heroes stand up to be counted against the LAB-SERVATIVE Alliance.

"You have to hand it to Mr Frown… and that is exactly what the Labour have done!"

(also... oh, you know the drill by now!)

2006: Whoops, overshot! Argh! Lord Blairimort! Panic! Panic!

1657: Oops, leaned a bit heavily on the go-backwards-forwards-quickly button, there. Now, who is this fragrant METROSEXUAL approaching... Stone Me! It's the Lord Protector! What I need now is a "Republic" tee-shirt and a copy of Mr Conrad's book on the ENglish Civil War. I KNEW those would come in handy!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Day 4147: From Rose Garden to Glorious Make Tractor Factory – How the Coalition Failed


When the Coalition was formed, in the sunshine of Mr Balloon and Cap'n Clegg's Downing St bromance, hopes of genuine renewal were high.

In spite of the economic calamity, we would disassemble Hard Labour's authoritarian apparatus of big government. I.D.iot cards, databases, targets and Whitehall micro-management would go, freeing up funds for frontline services. More freedom, more delivery.

But this week, Mrs the Queen's speech, while not quite as bad as COLD SICK, has gone down like TEPID TEA.

Where did it all go wrong?

I point the fluffy foot of BLAME straight at the Prime Monster and Chancellor.

Of course it's EASY to see how Master Gideon has fluffed this up, with his playing political tactics instead of having a strategic vision.

It started with the AV referendum, when – for entirely selfish, stupid, short-term reasons – the Conservatories decided to put the full weight of all their money into giving the Lib Dems a bloody nose. Selfish because they believe that they can only win an outright majority without a Coalition under the First Pass the Port voting system. But actually STUPID because they are actually TRAPPED in a "coalition" with their right wing NUTTERS. In the long term this makes it HARDER for them to be re-elected, as all the studies show a consistent DECLINE in "two-party" voting making coalitions MORE likely in future. And they will have FEWER options in the Coalition dance if they are chained to the Frothy-Phobics.

A more proportional system would, obviously, see a SMALLER centre-right Conservatory Party and a more substantial showing for a far right UKPnuts. Which looks BAD for the Conservatories in the SHORT TERM. But Hard Labour would probably break up too and we'd see more Greens and proper socialists. (Not to mention a FAIR share of Liberals – 16% of 600 is 96 seats, whereas with 23% we got, er, 57 seats.) In the LONGER TERM, though, this could allow the MODERATE Conservatories to evolve towards the sort of position that Ms Angular Meercat enjoys in Germany, able to form governments through coalitions with a choice of Liberals, UKPnutters or the more Blairite Social Democrats from the former Labour. We've even seen Blue-Green alliances on the Continent.

By averting this possibility, and by mightily fluffing off the Liberal progressive vote, Master Gideon has actually made it more likely that the Conservatories will be FROZEN OUT of power for the Twenty-First Century, by a succession of Labour and Liberal-Labour Coalition governments.

So, good strategy there.

Furthermore, the Conservatories turning their fire on US, and in particular the vicious campaign against Cap'n Clegg personally, meant that the Liberal Democrats had pretty much NO CHOICE but to move to DIFFERENTIATION.

It's unclear how successful this has been for us, but it's obviously undone half a decade of trying to DETOXIFY the Conservatory Brand because now the only policies solely associated with the Conservatories are the NASTY PARTY POLICIES.

This came to a head in the so-called "omnishambles Budget".

For TACTICAL reasons, Master Gideon HAD to cut the 50p rate in this budget if he was going to do it at all. He couldn't possibly do it in the emergency budget when the Coalition came to power; it would have flatly contradicted the whole fiscal consolidation message. Nor could he do it last year, too soon after the Strategic Spending Review. But leaving it until any closer to the election in 2015 would mean that it would still be a live political issue for the election campaign. No, this was the ONLY year he could do it and hope that the fuss would die away before the electorate could punish him for it at a General Election.

That was, obviously, why the Conservatories were GAGGING for this ONE policy in all of their Budget negotiations, and how the Liberal Democrats were able to leverage such a HUGE tax cut for the lower and middle-income earners PLUS the "tycoon tax" tightening of loopholes (which has been so traduced by self-interested millionaires saying how they just can't afford to give to charity without receiving a massive tax bung for the privilege).

For the TACTIC of getting started on cutting taxes for the super-rich, Master Gideon SACRIFICED the STRATEGY of tax fairness.

And wheels came flying off in all directions.

This sort of "government in crisis" narrative has a momentum of its own, as we have seen in the past when Mr Major Minor's government was self-destructing or when Mr Frown's administration was tearing itself apart. Even Mr Miliband's big humiliation in Bradford was not enough to deflect the press from their FEEDING FRENZY for long. Hence we see headlines about hundred-million pound U-Turns and an air of panting anticipation around the latest Leveson revelations in the hope of more red meat to feed the Fleet Street spin machine.

Even potentially good news stories ("New Jobs Created by Deputy Prime Monster's Job Creation Scheme" – actual story) manage to come out painted bad ("Employment scheme may cost up to £200,000 per job" – actual headline). Yes, they MAY cost up to £200,000 a job. OR as LITTLE as £4000 a job. Actually, average costs of the scheme, about the same as Hard Labour schemes cost, with room for some improvement. But who is being "shocked" by these costs? Why it's Hard Labour's Margret Hedgehog. Cynical politics by the Queen Mother of Barking, there, (plus ├ža bleedin' change) but who left the goal open for Hard Labour opportunism? We did!

Under the circumstances, "relaunches" only FUEL the notion that the Government is falling to bits.

What is called for is a profound period of CALM and COMPETENCE, something that the Westminster bubble is ILL-DESIGNED to provide.

(And bringing forward all the "who's in and who's out" hysteria of a reshuffle not only smacks of PANIC but increases the chances of COCK-UP by dropping someone inexperienced into a new job AND giving Sir Humphrey another chance to shovel some dirt past them as they learn the ropes.)

So much for Master Gideon's fluffy foot in this; the REAL culprit is of course the Prime Monster Mr Balloon himself.

I once said that the Coalition had the chance to be the making of Mr Balloon. It's a chance he's tossed away with both hands.

If you don't want to look WEAK, you shouldn't go crawling to your backbenchers begging to kiss fluffy bottom! If you don't want to look OUT OF TOUCH then you can't waste your time caring more about what some CRAZY WOMAN thinks of you than the whole of rest of the country. And if you don't want to look like you're NOT UP TO THE JOB then you don't go whinging to the Daily Hate Mail that you can't get the policies you want!

A STRONG Prime Monster would have used the Liberal Democrats as a BULWARK against the ever-more petulant demands of his right wing. A STRONG Prime Monster could have PUT THEM IN THEIR PLACE.

By BLENDING the policies of Liberals and Conservatories, as we did in the Coalition and the Rose Garden, you can achieve a SYNTHESIS that is greater than the sum of its parts and demonstrates a government VISION that give confidence that we know what we're doing and WHY we're doing it. And better still, the Prime Monster gets to claim credit for EVERYTHING.

INSTEAD, the GAME PLAYING by his Chancer cum Political Grand Vizier, Master Gideon, and Mr Balloon's own COWARDICE has left Government policy looking like it's DIVIDED between wins for the Liberal Democrats and wins for the Tory Right, leaving NO WINS AT ALL for the Prime Monster in the middle.

A CLASSIC example is the "Daft Draft Communications Bill". An opportunity to unite Liberal and Conservatory values by rolling back intrusive RIPA powers, end spy-on-the-citizen local government intrusion and bring back some traditional British justice was SQUANDERED in a rushed attempt to win some Daily-Hate-Mail-friendly headlines by letting the security-fetishists in the Home Office have their head over blocking internet rudery and cracking down on communications between those "potential terrorists and paedos" as the Home Office calls them or, you know, ordinary innocent citizens to you and me.

The Prime Monster needed to be a BRIDGE between Liberal Democrats and Conservatories. Instead we're now seeing "I could be a proper Evil Tory if it we're for those Pesky Lib Dems" type headlines.

Burning your bridges is FOOLISH at the best of times. It's DOUBLE FOOLISH with NOBS ON when you're STANDING ON THE BRIDGE at the time!

You can't say that the Liberal Democrats didn't TRY to make this work. Cap'n Clegg in particular has worked tirelessly to present a common front on most Coalition policies, and taken endless flack for it.

(Because obviously it's TEH FUNNY to call the man a "stooge" for holding to his principles of working together for the best of the country, and "spineless" for sticking to his belief that maybe we all ought to try getting along. At least no one's suggested nailing him to a tree, yet! Why Mr Milipede what are you doing, washing your hands?)

The BEST of this Coalition – a tax cut for millions, the pupil premium, the green investment bank – has all come from the Liberal Democrats. But it's a FAILURE of this Coalition that I can say that. The BEST of the Coalition OUGHT to have come from BOTH Parties together.

So, unless the economy comes good, that's going to make things AWKWARD for the next three years.

Meanwhile, here is Mr Danny Alexander with a musical message for Europe Day (hat tip, Mr Whyte.)


Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Day 4146: Upgraded Underpants


Whenever I hear "exploding underpants"* it's hard not to think of Bojo the Clown, whose re-election as Lord Mayor of London Town has inspired some of the more FRUITY Conservatories to come out fighting for more "traditional" Conservatory policies.

Which is ODD 'cos Bojo's nine-point-plan puts LOTS of emphasis on investment for jobs and growth (points 3, 4, 5, 6 and 8. And probably 7 too. And maybe 9.) and distinctly NONE on cutting immigration "to help the working class (i.e. BNP-voting) poor", 'cos Bojo may be BONKERS but he's not STUPID. He just tries hard to LOOK stupid!

London's economy, the most powerful and only GROWING part of Great Britain, RELIES on immigration and on diversity, on the energy and innovation and culture that comes with everything from Brick Lane to gay-daddies getting married. And Bojo KNOWS that.

The idea that the Coalition Parties each just lost loads of Councillors because the Coalition is not Conservatory ENOUGH is just LAUGHABLE.

Quite apart from anything else, we KNEW when we signed up for this Coalition that it was going to be HORRIBLE, that we'd been handed a CHALICE that was not just POISONED but bought on HIRE PURCHASE with the BAILIFFS on the way round! Of COURSE we were going to get roughed up because it's the Government's JOB to take the BLAME. I've said before that we chose the long and painful but ultimately safer path out of the depression, rather than the wild borrow and gamble approach. But that's not going to make things any easier along the way.

But if you really WANT simplistic analysis, then CLEARLY it's because the Coalition policies are TOO MUCH CONSERVATORY, not too little.

Look, the Liberal Democrats are widely seen as losing votes because we've become TOO CONSERVATORY.

And you can trace the moment that the fluffy bottom fell out of the Conservatories' polling figures to... Master Gideon's top-rate-of-tax-cutting Budget, when suddenly the Conservatories looked TOO CONSERVATORY too!

The unravelling of the Budget was all about the spin that it was a tax cut for the rich paid for by hitting pasties, grannies and charities. And, ironically, conservatories.

For some Conservatories it is time to play the "Personal Incredulity Fallacy". THEY have a personal bug about "gay marriage", or Equal Marriage as we call it in the real world, and House of Lords Club reform so they ASSUME that the voters have a bug about Equal Marriage and House of Lords Club reform.

Rather than, say, Mr Landslide's "ever so popular" NHS reforms or Mr Gove's "widely lauded as uncontroversial" Free Schools or Mr Drunken-Swerve's "not in any way likely to have caused a fuss" slashing of Welfare Payments (the cuts hitting hundreds of thousands of families in the month before polling).

Sadly, imposing your personal fantasies on the electorate will not get you elected.

But never mind that. And let's put to one side the fact that most Conservatory Home readers would almost literally die of horror at the thought of an Alternative Queen. And let's look at those Conservatory Home Alternative Queen's Speech Bills in full:

1. British Bill of Rights Bill

Funny how Conservatory's say "no one is interested in Civil Rights" when it's Equal Marriage and say "nothing could be more vital" when it's their own Little Englander hobby-horse.

It is unbelievably difficult not to smell the XENOPHOBIA all over this one. "We want to send bad people to bad places and we don't care if bad things happen to them even if they turn out not to have been bad people after all, and now nasty foreigners are saying we ought to stick to the list of HUMAN RIGHTS even if it was US that wrote it, wahh!".

Which part of FUNDAMENTAL HUMAN RIGHTS do these people not understand? It can't be FUNDAMENT. And it can't be MENTAL. Cos they've demonstrated plenty of BOTH.

2. Promotion of Competition Bill

a) Water companies to compete on what appears to be a Railtrack basis with the pipes owned by a separate company. Not a recipe for disaster at all, then.

b) More banking competition, including breaking up RBS. Don't swoon; this bit is actually good.

3. Rail Improvements Bill

Scrap HS2 and tackle bottlenecks and reduce overcrowding instead. Tricky one this, as we should really look at the evidence and decide which is the better investment of limited resources. If they could back up their case with some facts, this might be convincing.

(For some reason, also includes high speed broadband roll out – why not in the competition bill?)

4. Make Prison Work Bill

(Are we saying prison DOESN'T work? Are we admitting Mr "Something of the Night" Howard was wrong?)

Solution, basically, export the problem. Repatriate non-British citizens and make 'em serve sentence abroad (assuming we CAN, and that's not a recipe for "foreign murderer/rapist/paedo released early in foreign jail outrage" type headlines) + send mentally ill to social services (who we're sure will cope and that's not a recipe for "loony murderer/rapist/paedo strikes again in not in prison outrage").

5. Fairness to British Taxpayers Bill

(i.e. Hand the Foreigners the Bill Bill)

a) Charge an "entry fee" for foreign road users to cover "wear and tear" of British roads

You can see how this appeals to the "it's not fair" mentality of the little-Englander. And fortunately, as a nation of traders there's no way that a hike in the cost of transporting goods INTO Britain could possibly be passed on to consumers here. Er.

b) Charge an "entry fee" for foreign tourists for entrance to British attractions e.g. museums

Fortunately, Britain has no massive tourist industry that generates important foreign currency income, so adding an extra disincentive to visit Britain will do no harm to the economy there either. Er.

c) Charge foreign people who get sick for use of NHS

Actually this happens already but "enforce" it by putting an statutory obligation on trust Trusts to collect – because they don't "trust" then to collect! Nice. And there's nothing like refusing to treat people with communicable diseases for keeping those epidemics out there in the population.

6. Affordable Energy Bill

Translation: "cut subsidies for generation by more expensive means" means "cut subsidy for green renewables" therefore placing more reliance on imported energy (i.e. LESS affordable energy bills).

Or fracking. Hilariously, injecting water into shale rock to force gas (and earthquakes) out was SO wildly economically UNVIABLE that no one even considered doing it until the price of oil and gas went through the roof.

7. Anti-congestion bill

Make councils let cars drive faster.

8. Double EU referendum bill

OK, now we're getting to the real fun.

Part One: hold a referendum to pre-determine (bind the hands of) the Government's negotiating position in renegotiation of a treaty with the other 26 EU members that is NOT up for grabs.

Part Two: then hold a second referendum to agree to the outcome.

How many ways can this POSSIBLY go wrong?

How do you even HOLD a referendum on a negotiating position? What's the question going to be? "Do you agree that the Prime Monster should go to Europe to demand the Abolishing of the Common Agricultural Policy, the Repeal of the Social Chapter, the Sinking of the Spanish fishing fleet, the Bulldozing of Strasburg, the Introduction of Driving on the Left Continent-wide and the Compulsory Imposition of Dairy Milk as the European Chocolate Standard, but we're willing to cave on all of that so long as you let us measure beer and milk in pints, tick one box Yes or No"?

Are the "Yes" campaign supposed to become the "No" campaign if the negotiations go fluffy-bottom up?

Will ANYONE on the other side of the Channel even take this seriously? Ms Angular Meercat is already telling Greece off for "getting their election wrong".

Note also that the wording pre-supposes that we WILL be repatriating powers, the referendum will just determine what and how much. This is called "begging the question".

9. Education (Choice and Opportunity) Bill

Private companies to provide schools on a fee-paying basis. No chance THAT could be portrayed as "privatising our schools" is there. Oh, because it IS.

And it certainly couldn't be portrayed as turning the clock back FIFTY YEARS. Which to be fair would only make Mr "Boro" Gove's British Empire history lessons TWO decades out of date instead of SEVEN.

Admission by academic achievement (which in no way favours those able to afford tutoring, er).

A "percentage" of profits to be reinvested. So that'll be a percentage lower that 100%, I guess.

No mention of removing Eton and Harrow's status as "charities" though.

10. University Standards Bill

aka The Waahh, Vince Cable got his way over the head of OFFA so we want to abolish it Bill.

11. Double Devolution Bill

Tax-raising powers (and hence blame) to be sent to Scotland. Fair enough. English votes for English laws. Riiiiight.

Funny how Conservatories say "No one is interested in Constitutional Reform" when it's the House of Lords Club and not when it's their own Little Englander hobby-horse.

12. Finance Act (don't we get one of those anyway?)

Putting the "you're 'aving a laff" into the Laffer Curve.

The next budget should "increase" the amount that rich people pay by, er, cutting the top rate of tax from 45% to 40% and cutting the rate of capital gains tax to from 28% to 20%.

Didn't that just work out SO WELL in the Budget. See above. And also your current poll rating (-10% in a month).

Admittedly, it might be that YOU see the need to differentiate from US as much as WE Liberal Democrats want to disassociate ourselves from the nastier ideas that YOU have. In which case, we will keep our tax cuts for the least well off and you are welcome to be the Party of tax cuts for the super-rich. Good luck with that!

13. Trade Union Members' Bill

Further neuter Britain's remaining Trades Unions by requiring 50% turnouts in strike ballots. You know, just about one and a half times the turnout that turned out so 'enthusiastically' to give a 'massive' popular mandate (not a gay-marriage euphemism) to that 'popular new old-style Tory hope' Bojo the Clown.

Oh, and slice off Labour's funding by giving the Unions the "option" of donating the political levy to good causes instead. Why not just have them buy Lottery Tickets?

Next step, what, house arrests for Mark Serwatka and Bob Crow? I know they're ANNOYING but... didn't we used to live in a DEMOCRACY?

14. Electoral Integrity (Yes, We Have None) Bill

Requiring everyone to turn up at the polling station in person – with I.D! – if they want their vote. Like THAT'S not going to deter anybody from voting. Like THAT'S not going to disenfranchise anybody. And what would be the chances that it's easier for the well-heeled to get to the polling station and they're more likely to have passport/driving licence/credit card I.D. to hand. Our democracy is pretty robust and widely trusted as it is.

And it's I.D.iot Cards again. AGAIN! Not content with learning ALL the wrong lessons from the most disgusting Replutocrat malpractices of the US of Americaland, you want to adopt the NEW fluffing LABOUR playbook too!

Examples of voting fraud are shocking BECAUSE they are so few and far between. They need to be tackled, but the way to tackle them is by having council officers CHECK people who want a postal vote by going to MEET them. Whereas this is a rather naked attempt to put people off voting altogether.

And finally...

15. House of Lords Reform (Now We're Really Taking the Piss) Bill

Having based their entire article on the unsupported assertion that we should not at a time of economic woe be considering legislating for reform the House of Lords, they conclude by proposing... legislating to BLOCK reform of the House of Lords, and to waste everyone's time and even more money by prancing naked round the issues yet again, this time with a Royal Commission, like the business of reforming the Lords hasn't been Commissioned to DEATH in the ONE HUNDRED YEARS since we started.

Anyone signing up for this LIED in their 2010 manifesto and should be required to RESIGN their seat IMMEDIATELY.

In conclusion, Popular Conservatoryism is an OXYMORON. By which I mean a member of the Bullingdon Club.

But as the Conservatory Homeboys themselves put it:

"Popular Conservatoryism is pro-poor and broad-based"

By which they mean FAT-ARSED and in favour of MORE poor people.

It's important to remember that the Coalition was supposed to be about finding solutions through GOVERNING.

We CAN'T just pass laws to make problems go away. We don't believe that works! We're not Hard Labour! Their insane machismo of pushing more and more LEGISLATION through the House of Commons like lard through a mangle solved NOTHING (except for a temporary assuaging of Lord Blairimort's addictive craving for a new Press Release every five minutes).

What Mr Dr Vince is doing DAY to DAY in the Department for Business is FAR MORE IMPORTANT than any number of "Willies, look at the size of my waving of, Bill" bills in Mrs the Queen's Speech.

Mr Milipede has some cheek when he says that people want "answers not excuses" from the Coalition.

"Excuses" from Hard Labour for the economic shambles precipitated on their watch so far: the bankers, Europe, the bankers, America, the Tories (don't help them), the bankers, world economic conditions, the bankers, the Crimson Pirate Life Assurance Company, and the bankers.

"Answers" from Hard Labour: ...

But never mind that because we hold ourselves to a higher standard than Mr Opportunist and his Bandwagon of Merry Persons.

Why HAVE we failed to deliver so far? Isn't it because the Conservatories have had us sticking TOO RIGIDLY to the Plan A for Austerity when we SHOULD have been TESTING the outcomes and ADJUSTING as we went? That's EVIDENCE-BASED policy making.

We should look at Cap'n Clegg's schemes to bring forward infrastructure investment and the youth programme, and at Mr Dr Vince's plans for more apprenticeships and support for British winners as the RIGHT way to respond to the deepening crisis.

In short: LESS Conservatory DOGMA; MORE Liberal Democrat FLEXIBLE RESPONSE.

*I know, I know it's a "terrorist atrocity" in the making but, seriously, how can ANYONE think that HUMILIATING THEMSELVES by trying and failing to blow off their rude bits in the cause of murdering a lot of people is going to get them anything but the POINT and LAUGH treatment in any imaginary afterlife they might, well, imagine?

I genuinely think that massive amounts of DERISORY LAUGHTER is a better way to counter these numpties than the sort of massive security overkill that makes them think they're important.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Day 4142: Election Flop – Mr Balloon turns to Porn


Top Secret Government Strategy (for Tories who have yet to get with the programme)

Step 1: Denude Westminster Government of as much power as possible – localise it, federalise it, devolve it, whatever.

Step 2: Install House of Lords Club with enough teeth and mandate to stop future government ever undoing this.

Step 3: Lose 2015 election, see Hard Labour stuck powerless in Whitehall taking the blame for a decade while we get back to what we're GOOD at – running local councils and actually making people's lives BETTER!

Seriously, though, the Liberal Democrats exist to BE IN POWER.

Locally or nationally, if we're going to liberate people from poverty, ignorance and conformity, we've got to be in power. Otherwise, like me, you're just BLOGGING.

And all the evidence shows that where we ARE in power, we deliver the services that people want AND value for money. So that's why it's disappointing when we take a drubbing.

This morning, Mr Paul Cornell, an otherwise noble writer of Doctor Who, tweeted:
"...How addicted are the Lib Dems to power, that they'll ride it until it kills them?"

Which I'm afraid merely serves as a reminder that Labour are TORIES with added SANCTIMONIOUS SELF-RIGHTEOUSNESS.

Hard Labour, of course, are the Party SO "addicted" to power that they installed a lying, warmongering megalomaniac with a god complex as Prime Monster. And then were so GRUBBY to keep their incompetent mitts on the levers of government that they let a cowardly bullying economic-illiterate with known telephone related tantrum issues take over without any input from the people.

(No, don't say you didn't know Lord Blairimort was EVIL – Daddy Alex was warning you of it on election night 1997, and frankly it was OBVIOUS from 1994 when he was willing to use the death of a little boy, Jamie Bulger, for political leverage. And don't say you didn't know Mr Frown wasn't up to the job – there isn't anyone in W1 who didn't hear the slanging matches through the walls of 10 and 11 Downing Street.)

Hard Labour THEMSELVES admit that they have to ask their supporters to wear a CLOTHES PEG to hide the STENCH and vote Labour in spite of it.

THAT'S what REALLY being addicted to power looks like. Liberal Democrats can remain PROUD of their Party's achievements and their Party's candidates!

As a GOOD CHRISTIAN, though, I am sure Mr Cornell is familiar with Matthew 7.5.

Hard Labour and their APOLOGISTS like to remind us that we had a CHOICE to go into power with the TORIES. And this is TRUE – we had a choice of the BLUE Tories or the RED Tories. (And the RED Tories were more interested in taking their ball away and having a leadership contest than attending to the GOOD OF THE COUNTRY.)

They love to GLOAT that entering the Coalition has lost us a third of our support because of our "treason" – as though it might have NOTHING to do with us having to deal with the fallout from what happened ON HARD LABOUR'S WATCH, namely the WORST ECONOMIC COLLAPSE since the Great Depression. (Gosh it's SO BORING that that just hasn't GONE AWAY, isn't it – except in Labour's FANTASY economics.)

As Mr Ed Davey said on the Newsnight Show last night: "It's been Ninety Years since we had any Mid-Tem Blues!" So let's ENJOY 'em while we CAN!

But before Hard Labour's supporters get TOO carried away with their total, brilliant success ((c) the "infamous minister of justice", Jack "Man 'O" Straw, er...), it's worth remembering that TURNOUT in these elections was an APPALLING 32%. (An INDICTMENT of us ALL! Go read Auntie Jennie for more.) So Hard Labour's 39% of the vote is actually only 12% of the POSSIBLE vote – and that's FEWER people turning out to support Mr Milipede than showed up to back Mr Frown when he was annihilated at the last general election.

If anything, this is a massive victory for... our voters not turning up.

(And you know, with a double-dip recession and string of Conservatory cock-up and corruption scandals, who can blame 'em. This is no endorsement of the Coalition, but Labour benefits from our ABSENCE not their own strength.)

Anyway, in an effort to move on from the FLACCID election results, Mr Balloon (do you remember when he was RE-LAUNCH KING? See for example, diaries here, here and here. Old habits die hard, it seems.) is going to a conference to look at PORN.

No! It's not what you think.

Apparently, he wants to make it HARDER for people. (To see it, that is!)

Daddy Alex wants to call this more Conservatory WILLY-WAVING. I give him a very firm stare!

Look, even if backdoor methods of banning things that are legal wasn't stupid, illiberal and very unlikely to work, does he REALLY think that this is going to stop the moderately determined horny teenager getting his – or even her – hands on anything on the Internet?

And THIS is why we need Liberal Democrats in GOVERNMENT. To SAY, "Hang on, Mr Balloon, this is STOOPID!"


May the Fourth Be With You!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Day 4140: Brian Paddick and the Liberal Democrats: A Vote You Can Be PROUD Of


What do you WANT in London?

A single policy of an unaffordable fare-cut bribe OR a shiny new million-pound bus?

Wouldn't you rather have a DELIVERABLE low fares policy AND a plan to turn all of London's buses and taxis ELECTRIC for greener, cleaner air!

Do you want a BRAGGING war over who can put more police on the street?

Wouldn't you rather have an EXPERIENCED leader who PIONEERED techniques rebuilding TRUST between public and police AND who pledges to CUT OUT the HARASSMENT of stop-and-search and END the scandal of the POLICE being WASTED on trivial cannabis arrests!

Do you more of the same old failure to invest in affordable housing (while granting planning permission for huge skyscrapers) OR more of the same old failure to invest in affordable housing (while granting planning permission for huge skyscrapers)?

Wouldn't you rather have a REAL commitment to working London-wide to restart PROPER council house building to replace the lost housing stock coupled with IMAGINATIVE plans to bring empty houses back into use AND finding new living space above shops and businesses.

Wouldn't you rather have a PLAN to make London not just an AFFORDABLE place to live but a BETTER place to live, with pedestrianized zones between Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square, with more spent on the PARKS across London and more SPORTS and more ARTS and MORE TREES everywhere!

Wouldn't you rather have someone who'll give young people have SOMEWHERE OF THEIR OWN to go so they don't have to hang about on the streets so they don't risk falling victim to GANG culture AND who'll invest in education and apprenticeships and advice to see that young people have a FUTURE.

Some people are thinking of voting for Bojo the Clown because they think he is HARMLESS. Or, as the Hitchhiker's Guide might have it, MOSTLY HARMLESS. Well, we can do a LOT BETTER than "harmless".

Some people are thinking of voting for Ken because... er... well, even Hard Labour admit that they're reduced to the old CLOTHES PEG strategy – you've got to vote Ken or else Mr Balloon won't understand that he's got to be punished for not having fixed the economic devastation that Labour wrought yet. Er, or something. Well, we can do a lot better than THAT too!

Some people are even thinking of voting for Jenny Jones because even though they think her policies are WOO they would rather feel WARM and FLUFFY than actually vote for what they want. People with an ACTUAL commitment to green policies (or even Green PARTY policies, which are not ALWAYS the same or as effective), good for you; but people protest-voting Green to spite Cap'n Clegg over tuition fees earn my fluffy contempt. (Pod Delusion, it is YOU I am looking at!)

If you think that the Liberal Democrats don't deliver for you – when the UNFAIR electoral system meant we got FEWER seats in Parliament, we STILL delivered ALL FOUR promises on the front of our manifesto.

If you think that we break our promises – we managed to turn Hard Labour's Student Loans into a Graduate Tax that was FAIRER and MORE GENEROUS than EITHER the Conservatories OR Hard Labour wanted or would have delivered. New graduates now pay LESS each month than they would have done under Hard Labour.

And if you think that we're "traitors" just because we backed the other Party that had the larger number of votes and the larger number of seats and the larger DEMOCRATIC MANDATE rather than support a Party that had just spent thirteen years trampling over EVERYTHING we believe in about CIVIL LIBERTIES and INTERNATIONAL LAW – then you should probably ADMIT you we're going to vote for the AUTHORITARIAN, ECONOMICALLY-ILLITERATE, WARMONGERING CRIMINALS anyway, weren't you.

Who's REALLY on your side these days? Let's look at the EVIDENCE.

Times are tough for everyone, but LOCALLY it's only Liberal Democrat councils that have kept open SURE START schemes and LIBRARIES.: unlike those Conservatory vandals' and Hard Labour hypocrites' councils, not one Lib Dem-run council has closed a library. And NATIONALLY it's the Liberal Democrats who have CUT TAXES for the lowest earners and focussed the PUPIL PREMIUM on a better start for the least well off.

I don't care how much tax Ken's been avoiding; I don't care how much Bojo earns moonlighting for the Tell-lies-o-graph. But THEY care or they wouldn't have tried to keep it HIDDEN from you.

There's a BETTER WAY than that.

Hard Labour and the Conservatories are JUST LIKE EACH OTHER, telling you you must vote for them so that the other feller doesn't get in. Well you know what, you don't have to vote for EITHER of them – vote for the REAL alternative and then NEITHER of the other fellers will get in!

I don't want to vote for a clown OR a caricature.

And I don't have to.

I can vote for Brian Paddick and the Liberal Democrats. And I can be PROUD of it.