Tag Archives: David Cameron

Turning the tide of waste…

The first cut is the deepest, or at least that’s how the song goes – clearly the coalition haven’t listened to much Rod Stewart (or if we’re being picky Cat Stevens), because the first cuts made to public spending have been a little shallower than we might have expected. It’s great news of course that schemes to create jobs have been cut (as the reality of those schemes is many of the jobs ended up being public sector), it’s superb, and humanising, news that the Ministerial car pool is being shelved, and even better news that the frankly ludicrous child trust fund has been axed.

But amongst the many cuts announced this week you couldn’t help but feel that this was simply a prelude: the ’emergency’ (in all senses of the word) budget being where the sharpness of the axe really will be felt. I applaud the immediate cuts, but I’m mindful that in many cases these were the easy ones – the government has a really messy job ahead of it, because it isn’t just going to be expected to make cuts: it’s going to be expected to change whole sections of society’s outlook away from it being the Government’s core job to provide employment.

You see, the problem with all Labour governments is that they have all historically mixed up private and public sector, it doesn’t matter which one you’re in, so long as you’re working – except that’s economic nonsense: public sector jobs don’t generate wealth or tax revenue. While this is perfectly acceptable for core essential services (security, defence, health and teaching) it’s totally ludicrous anywhere else. Under New Labour the public sector exploded; whole towns and cities where unemployment was traditionally an issue suddenly found themselves awash with work opportunities – all paid for by the tax payer, and all – ultimately – doomed to be unaffordable.

This is the attitude we’re going to have to change, the coalition is going to have to make people understand that jobs created by government don’t raise tax revenue – they’re subsidised jobs paid for by an ever shrinking group of entrepreneurs and business owners and the people who work for them, the people by and large who have smaller pensions, work longer hours, have less holiday and less job security. There is something horrifically unfair about this – Labour perpetuated that it was all for the ‘fairer’ society – but it failed to do this miserably by creating a society where a huge proportion of the jobs were paid for by mugging Peter to pay Paul.

You can browse the Grauniad or any number of local authority websites to find the dredges of this era of profligacy at the private sector’s expense: Community street football advisors, Gypsy & Traveller Liaison Officer, Biodiversity awareness officers, vast numbers of ‘communications’ and ‘pr’ advisors – the list is as bizarre as it is endless; these non-jobs (as highlighted by the TPA) are a fallacy, and it’s going to take a long time to convince people that this society can do without endless state-sponsored jobs, and even longer to convince people that they can (in many cases) create their own wealth, start their own businesses, and most importantly that you can thrive in the private sector if you’re willing to throw away the unaffordable perks of being paid by the public purse.

Laughing at the Euro?

There’s a lot of rather haughty laughing coming from many sectors of British political society at the moment: not least from a vocal group of little-englanders enjoying the Euro’s current difficulties and praising the hinterland of Sterling for ‘saving’ us from the economic woe caused by a lack of initial control in the Euro and the profligacy of almost all of the southern states.

But wait. Let’s take a look at the facts:

UK Exports – Main sources :

  • European Union 57%
  • United States: 15%
  • Switzerland: 2%
  • China: 2%
  • Japan: 2%
UK imports – Main sources :

  • European Union 55%
  • USA: 9%
  • China: 8%
  • Norway: 5%
  • Japan: 3%

Now, using this as an anchor for our perspective, maybe we could have a little sensible debate: clearly it would be entirely inapproriate for Britain to stump the Euro, even though we’re bound in part by the Lisbon Treaty to do so (and indeed have when Alistair Darling put up £6bn hours after the election result). But we have to be reasonable – we are reliant on trade with our European neighbours, and if they’re in trouble then let’s be under no false pretence, we will be too.

Also, let’s not forget that we’re a veritable speck in the economic ocean compared to the Eurozone, let’s look at the markets, we have a ‘critical’ election that decides how UK government spending is going to change and days of uncertainty as coalitions are forged and it’s barely acknowledged on the international markets. The Eurozone sneezes on the other hand and it’s massive percentage knocks day after day: let there be no question – the Eurozone is taken very seriously, and will continue to be taken so.

Of course, this is a major set-back for the Euro, it’s reputation has been damaged by it’s inability to control the states which make it up, and that’s always been my problem with it: huge economies rubbing shoulders with economies that are barely functioning. Powerhouses of export next to countries that live in the economic past struggling to pay the bills with second-rate tourist attractions. It simply never made sense that Greece, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and Malta (to name but a few) were rushed into the Eurozone. The checks and balances that should have been in place were swept away in preference of unchecked growth.

What is needed now is a period of reflection and reform: the Euro needs to be reigned in; countries that are incapable of paying their bills need to get out – and serious questions now need to be asked about the way the Euro is set up: should it be the case that the countries in the Eurozone share a common taxation base, common economic policies, and if so – who will set that up, and will anyone but the major northern european states actually be able to cope with that, both economically and socially?

Athens descended into rioting and flames when it was suggested that people work longer and with less public services: but in Germany and Britain, this has been the acknowledged truth for many years – with interruptions from various unions yes, but generally, we all know that in reality if you’re my age now, then you’re likely to be working until you’re well into your 70s, and after that there won’t be a national pension of any worth to fall back on (if there’s even one at all). Should this cause social panic? Indeed has it? Of course not – yes union’s have screamed and thrown their toys out of their prams, but the bulk of the population simply see it as impetus to provide for one’s own future… a plan which I hasten to add many thought shot to pieces by Brown’s audacious private pension raid.

So where next for the Euro? Well despite Cameron’s position with Chancellor Merkel the other day, I think we’re actually heading for a period where Britain will hold a bit more power in Europe: played right Cameron & Clegg now have a mandate to use our vote in Europe to make real change happen, fiscal responsibility, reform of waste, reform of the CAP and other european problems that (believe it or not) don’t just irritate us here in Britain. We’d have support to demand change, we’d have a platform to place them upon, and we’d have the right timing to make change in Europe happen for the first time since before Maastricht, because if past-precedent is anything to go by, the hardline integrationists will use this as an excuse to push through unified tax and fiscal policy whatever the cost – and a quick fix is not what Europe needs right now.

We need Europe, and Europe needs us – we are still the gateway to the english speaking world for many major corporations. So let’s take this opportunity to stand with our partners in Europe and roll back years and years of profligacy, selfish and excessive regard for individual nation’s interests and the rampant need for expansion at all cost. Let’s put ourselves at the centre of Europe and make it work, not just for it’s own sake, but for ours.

David Cameron, Prime Minister

I’ve waited a long time to say that, a damn it feels good. Well done to David & Samantha, Well done to everyone that took part in the talks, and a huge well done to the grassroots that stuck by the detoxifying of the Conservatives and the new Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition.

I’ve got a tear in my eye.

Cameron is New Prime Minister

It’s the final countdown

We’re now in the final few days before what I consider to be the most important election in my lifetime: the choice is clear – more of the same, a slow slide toward authoritarian big state dragging out society toward economic and social failure, or two very different choices that are at the same time almost the same. You see the problem with the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats is that there’s stuff in both their manifesto’s that I like and dislike in equal measure – It’s going to be a difficult one, but I think the military family history and the entrepreneur in me will keep my vote in the Conservative box: I just hope that Cameron now comes good on his big liberal society promises, and finally answers the parties European issues.

The one thing you can expect, is that this week is going to be dirty – people are going to be spinning and smearing all week: it’s going to be vicious: I think I’ll be down at Haymarket’s Sports Café for live coverage until dawn – either that or stuck in the office with pizza and beer cheering Blinky Balls getting his arse kicked.

On the reshuffle

Musical chairs this morning at CCHQ as Cameron shuffled his team in what many are arguing to be the most significant change since he took the reigns at the last leadership election.

The big news is of course Ken Clarke, an interesting move but a solid one – he’s a heavy hitter with a good grasp of the economy and an excellent style that’ll hopefully be used to the party’s advantage against the snake–tongue of the non–elected business secretary in these most difficult of times for businesses in the UK. Moving Therasa May to shadow work and pensions is a clever move that’ll again use a solid parliamentarian to best effect, as is the move of Eric Pickles to chair. Others (IainGuidoConHome and more) have covered the reshuffle in more detail, so I’m not going to go into any real detail other than to say I’m satisfied that we’re seeing positive action on the front benches.

Of course there are things that still need to be done, but I think they are more organisational than people orientated – it’s clear that CCHQ still needs better news monitoring and quicker reaction from appropriate shadow’s to introduce all of the faces to the public, but with Eric Pickles’ taking the chair I can’t help but think that these back office reforms will be swiftly implemented.

Cranking up the attack

Nice to see that Cameron is spot on with his comments this morning about wanting ‘to shake the prime minister’ about the ‘terrifying’ debt crisis that we’re currently plunging into – he’s really not the only one. It’s also good to see the message of alternative policies coming forward: saving money, not borrowing, support for businesses through tax breaks and deferments; his speech later today will be worth watching.

Radical Conservatism

There is an excellent article in Today’s Observer arguing that the Conservatives are offering far more radical ideas for the future of Britain than many would give them credit for, and that the next few months will see Cameron, and to some extent Brown, being given an opportunity to reshape the political landscape.

End of a long week.

Almost the end week three, of what’s turning out to be an increasingly busy month, busy in good areas and busy in bad – work is busy, which is good, home is busy with impending house moves which is not so good, social life is distinctly un-busy, but there’s really no change from the usual there.

And what a week it’s been; I do look at the state of the UK in more and more of a depressed mood recently, Brown the Bottler and his incompetent cabinet of all the talents has-beens lurches from disaster to utter catastrophe as it appears that they’re going to have to force a nationalisation of Northern Rock to even consider recovering the tax-payer’s cash, nothing could be worse, both for the banks investors, the square mile and the wider economic reputation of Britain. What makes me cringe is the steadfast belief they all seem to have that they’re doing the right thing, seemingly not noticing that personal debt is at an all time high and it’s about all that propping up the economy at the moment as the FTSE tumbled 3% in one day and is now thundering toward 5800 at quite a terrifying pace. – The sooner Brown and his team of liars, cheats, fraudsters and baboons leave power the better, although one would hope that between now and then Cameron gets his team totally sleaze free and starts looking seriously at the possibility of coming to power in the middle of a recession…

The strange thing is as a business owner, speaking to other business owners there’s not a great deal of concern about the threat of recession, people do seem to think it’s going to be localised and that the world at large will carry on while housing and banking take the big hits, I’m yet to be convinced, but I’ve always believed in spreading business risk and keeping overheads down, so with some (and I do hate myself for using this word – I promise I won’t pull an odd look between a grimace and a grin half way through it before thumping my fist on the dispatch box) prudence *shudder*, things should be manageable without too many compromises.

Anyway, that’s quite enough of that: in other news, the new design and content is almost ready, so some time in late February I’m going to be relaunching the site, with new areas for the urbex stuff and a bigger, better blog with more space for all of the advertising/brand comment, plus the political and plain strange stuff. I’m quite excited about it, and you’ll be glad to know there’s a series of video podcasts coming very soon!

Come on Cameron

With the tories leading the polls with their largest lead for as long as most people can remember it would seem a strange time for conservative to complain (or possibly not if you’re Lord Tebbit…) but I’m going to have a whinge as I’m concerned that we’re still seeing more style than substance: the mini-manifesto that came out a few days ago seems to be a step in the right direction, and I can understand entirely why the ‘new’ conservatives don’t want to show their hand quite yet – as I know, as do they; that the moment anything concrete is released labour will steal it and call it their own.

But one of the things that has really got up my nose is the recent meeting with Nelson Mandella; undoubtedly an upstanding man, but what has fucked me off about this is the retraction of the Thatcher line that Mandella was a terrorist, regardless of whether Thatcher was right or wrong it’s not for Cameron to be apologising for past policies and practices of the Conservative party. We should be moving forward, not back-tracking desperately trying to spin the past; the facts are laid out in the past – It can’t, or a least, shouldn’t, be spun.

Mandella stood by his beliefs, and this is entirely admirable but the mess that the ANC have made of South Africa since, and it’s recent lurch toward more ‘extremest’ policies are worrying, not to mention the unforgivable handling of the HIV explosion in the area… So come on Cameron, pull it together, you don’t have to apologise for the parties past fuck-up’s: when was the last time Labour apologised for anything, and let’s face it the list is extensive: Winter of Discontent, Multiple Fuel Crisises, The War in Iraq, Alleged Loans for Peerages, The woeful handling of Foot & Mouth, The unforgivable lack of interest in Britain’s premiership of the EU council, the state of the railways, the state of the NHS, the state of the benefits system… I could go on and on: they’ve not apologised, because they realise that to apologise is not to right the wrongs, but simply to draw attention to them and their lack of action toward them in the first place.

To win and lead well David Cameron’s Conservatives must move forward, they must form labour-killing policies based on realistic achievable goals, they must be whiter than white and greener than green to gain the respect of the people in general and most of all they must shed the link with what has become stereotyped as Thatcherism; because as much as Thatcherism worked and undoubtedly saved this country from 20 years of economic downturn (as Germany has seen) there are people in this country who you’re going to rely on to vote for you who simply won’t hear the arguments for Thatcherism because it’s so deeply ingrained in them that it’s a bad idea that they’re completely immune to reason.