Sunday, February 28, 2010

Those Tory policies

Iain Dale has a speculative post up on the challenges facing David Cameron—although the challenge that he doesn't mention is that Spam needs to convince the country that he's not Labour-lite (slightly better for you, as far as we know, but tastes disgusting).

Anyway, that is all very lovely but what I wanted to focus on is the policies that Iain lists, because they highlight extremely well why the Tories are in the shit (even if it's only as far as political anoraks are concerned).
It is untrue to say that the Conservatives are 'policy light'. There are plenty of individual, eye catching policies which resonate with the electorate. It's just that we seem to have lost sight of what they are. Here's a quick reminder of some of them...
  • Introduction of border police and a cap on immigration

We have a fucking border police, Iain—have you not noticed the jack-booted UK Border Agency guards wandering every airport? And a cap on immigration...? Don't make me fucking laugh.

Look, putting aside my personal beliefs on immigration, none of the above is new, radical or even achievable. A few months ago, we were subject to the unedifying spectacle of Tory, Labour and LibDim representatives all vying to outdo the BNP in the nastiness and draconian nature of their immigration policies—it made me ashamed to be British, frankly. And at least Griffin's policies are based on honest bigotry, rather than mealy-mouthed spite based on political advantage.

And not one of the Big Three's representatives dared to mention that we can do absolutely fuck all about immigration from the EU countries.

For fuck's sake, we don't want minimum wage slaves from Bulgaria—we want highly skilled migrants from the Anglosphere.

Instead, the Warsi, Huhne and Straw regaled us all with how they were going to punish, threaten, lock up and deport those same highly skilled, English-speaking migrants that we actually want in this country.

This is not just the politics of spite: it is the politics of total bloody stupidity.
  • A two year freeze on council tax

I'm sorry... You what?

The Tories keep telling us that they want to devolve power downwards and outwards from Westminster: they believe in "localism" we are told. So just exactly how the fuck can a policy of "localism" be reconciled with dictating to councils how they should raise their money?

The Tories have got a real problem here, you see. Right now, Council Tax only raises about 25% (some £25 billion) of council spending—and yet, according to endless TPA reports, Council Tax is possibly the most loathed way of raising money.

Now, localism isn't going to work whilst central government controls 75% of the funding. But if the government left councils to raise their own cash, the Council Tax would go through the roof. This would be massively unpopular, even if Westminster dropped other taxes substantially to compensate.

The only other realistic option would be to allow councils to collect money through a Local Sales Tax (or some other surcharge)—something that I know Douglas Carswell supports—but any measure like this would be seized upon by Labour and the lefty media alike as "Tories introducing a new tax on hard-working families! Shock, horror!"
  • Abolish ID cards and roll back the big brother state

Well, yes: this is good. But remember how long it took to drag from the Tories a commitment to abolishing the National Identity Register as well as the cards? And, as for other civil liberties issues, we have heard not a peep from Cameron about some of the other disgustingly illiberal laws that NuLabour have passed, which leads me to ask—does David Cameron define civil liberties in the same way that I do?

I'm pretty fucking certain that he does not.
  • Reduce the number of MPs by 10% and cut the cost of politics

Yes, yes: this is all very well—and we could certainly reduce the number of MPs by half, as far as I am concerned—but not only is this posturing (how are you going to reduce the cost of politics?), it's also pretty pointless.

I mean, seriously, the entirety of Westminster costs us something like £0.5 billion a year: yes, that's a fairly big wodge of cash but, in the context of nearly £680 billion of government spending, it's fucking peanuts. And I am more interested in how Cameron is going to reduce that big fucking number, not the tiny number—and the Tories seem to be somewhat vague on this much bigger issue.
  • Allow parents to create their own schools

I have written thousands of words about the Tory Education policy, so I shall summarise. Letting parents run schools is all very well, but it does appear that the Conservatives do not intend to let anyone make a profit from doing so. This is bolstered by the fact that a profit-making company is currently not allowed to run and own a school—and the Tories have shown no desire to change this.

But, worse, the Tories just don't seem to understand why schools should be privatised. The whole point is that schools should compete against one another but this is going to be difficult when a Conservative government will keep tight control not only of the subjects on the curriculum but also how that curriculum is taught, c.f. their ludicrous insistence that everyone must be taught to read using phonics.

Again and again, the Tories demonstrate that they just don't understand the fundamental principles underpinning their policies: they seem to be casting around for examples that work (which is a good thing) but then implementing them in such a way that one is lead to believe that they don't understand why they work (which is a fucking awful thing).
  • Restore the link between pensions and earnings

What? How? Are the Tories going to interfere in private pensions? Even if this is applied only to the state pension, how the living fuck are they going to pay for this? Have they even thought about it? Because there is no National Insurance fund: pensions are paid out of current earnings (once again, yes, it's a massive £110 billion per annum Ponzi scheme).
  • Repatriate powers from Europe

For fuck's sake...

Yes, this would be lovely. But we have yet to hear what powers Spam is going to repatriate; we also have no idea as to how he intends to repatriate said powers. The other powers in the EU have made it quite clear that they are not amenable to renegotiating any treaties, so how exactly does Spam think that he's going to "repatriate" powers?

I would like to think that he would announce that he is taking back all the powers he wants, stick two fingers up at the fuckers and shout "so fucking sue me, cunts!" but I can't see the Buttered New Potato doing that—can you?
  • Stop Labour's NI rise which is a tax on jobs

Yes, this is a good idea. But what if it's already in place by the time that the Tories get in—will they reduce it when they get in? Or will they just wibble on about how it's a time of crisis in the public finances but, hey, we'll reduce it just as soon as we're running a surplus again...?
  • Cut business taxes to encourage new small business start-ups

Yes, good. By how much? And when? And will it only be reduced on "new small business start-ups"? How new? How small? I vaguely seem to remember slapping this idea at the time that it was released but I can't recall the details right now.
  • Gove [sic] householders more rights to defend themselves against burglars

Yes, I approve of this in theory—but I guarantee that it will be so woven about with caveats that the nett effect will be minimal. And any benefits will probably be challenged under the Human Rights Act, or some such bullshit.
  • Abolition of Inheritance tax for everyone except millionaires

Yeah, fine, whatever. This is just another example of the Tories utterly lacking backbone: Inheritance Tax raises about £4 billion a year which is, in the wider context, less than fuck-all—why not just abolish the tax completely? You'd probably save £4 billion in sacking the thousands of probate officers, for fuck's sake.

So, if these are the Tories "individual, eye catching policies which resonate with the electorate" then, frankly, I can see why the stupid, spineless bastards are only 2% ahead in the polls. This is a lead almost as pathetic as Cameron himself.

We're all fucked.

UPDATE: Obnoxio the Clown analyses—not kindly—the latest Tory announcements on the NHS.
No. No. No. Just fucking NO!

National fucking campaigns are what we fucking have right now with Labour. How the cunting fuck can you be claiming to promote localism with national campaigns, devolution with orders from central government and radicalism when your spurting out the same old tired shit policies that we've seen from Labour for the last fucking decade?
A Conservative Government will work with business to draw up new ‘responsibility deals’ designed to prevent irresponsible activities and extend restrictions on unsuitable marketing to children throughout the media. We will introduce a clearer system of alcohol labelling which allows people to compare the amount they drink with other people, mandate the display of ‘guideline daily amounts’ on food packaging, and encourage restaurants and bars to publish more dietary information for their customers.

Aahhhh ... that will be the new focus on libertarianism from the Cuntservatives: nudging combined with hectoring, nannying and fucking outright bullying, which is completely fucking different from what Labour have been doing for the last 13 years, oh yes.

Let me briefly sum up the policy: more rule by technocrats, more interference in your private life justified by the same old make-up statistics, and more fucking over of anyone or anything who happens to think that all of this shit is none of the government's fucking business.

For a detailed fucking slap of the six latest initiatives from the Conservatives, you could do a lot worse than reading this spirited take-down of the Tory bullshit from UK Libertarian.


ukipwebmaster said...

The ModCons are now just 2% ahead in the polls.

This is why:

Mr A said...

"We're all fucked."

Yep. Like a man sitting in his cell waiting for the sun to come up before he faces a firing squad, I've run the full gamut of emotions. Despair at my impending doom; anger; attempts to persuade myself that it isn't happening; attempts to change something, anything! at all.

Now I sit here waiting for the election with a feeling of bemused emptiness, because as you said, we are all indeed completely fucked. And there's literally nothing any of us can do.

john in cheshire said...

There is something that we can do, but we all know we won't; namely, civil insurrection. The country effectively declaring war on the labour party and its cohorts.

Roue le Jour said...

One socialist party is a misfortune, two and a half is enemy action.

Seen the exchange rate lately?

DocBud said...

I'm more than happy to be out of it. Kevin Rudd is a complete and utter twat but he's an Aussie and I'm a pom so it doesn't seem to matter so much.

An idea might be to start a "pledge campaign" where people pledge not to vote for Dave unless he promises certain policies. Were I back in the UK (cold chill travels down spine) I don't think I'd vote tory.

John R said...

Dead right.

From a Conservative viewpoint the problem is that CallMeDave isnt actually conservative at all, not even a little bit. What he keeps telling us is that he's not the nasty party, he's not in favour of small government, he's not going to let us vote on Europe, he's not going to cut NHS waste, he's not going to cut taxes generally, he's not going to keep thugs locked up, he's not going to get rid of CCTV cameras or the DNA database or the anti-freedom laws or CRB over-use, he's not going to depoliticise the police, he's not going to let local folk make any meaningful decisions, he's not going to stop the benefits lifestyle, he's not going to reverse the defence run-down, he's not going to sort out the English democratic deficit or the Barnett formula etc etc.

In other words it's BluLieBore or NuLieBore-Lite or whatever you want to call it.....but it's not conservative.

He keeps thinking it's because the voters dont understand him and his policies. But the more he tells us about these magnificent polices, the more the voters believe he really means them, the more they move away. Why wouldn't they? After all, voters arent stupid, if you get the same thing whoever you vote for, then why change the habits of a life time?

So after 13 years of rule by a lying snake-oil salesman and a bullying psycho the lead is now down to 2%.

Well done, Dave.

Frank Davis said...

I never quite understand why we should have fewer MPs. If fewer is better, why is 10% fewer better than 50% fewer? Why not 99% fewer? Why not just have one MP to represent the whole of Britain?

Personally, I'm of the opposite persuasion, and I think we should have more MPs. In fact, I think we should have one each. And keep them on a leash in the garden.

Could someone explain where I've gone wrong?

Jiks said...

Tories - the thing is that this bollocks isn't even helping you at the polls!

I really can't decide if they are stunningly stupid and following some "the more we betray our principles/core vote and promise to continue wreaking the country the more votes we will get" strategy.

Or if they are overly cleverly trying hard to avoid winning the election knowing its a poison chalice.

Either way - as well dooming us to further destruction - they are harming their own long term interest. When voters see them all as different wings of The Party as others have said, why bother voting for any of um?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Reduce the number of MPs by 10% and cut the cost of politics

Yes, yes: this is all very well—and we could certainly reduce the number of MPs by half, as far as I am concerned—but not only is this posturing (how are you going to reduce the cost of politics?), it's also pretty pointless.

Not only prety pointless, but surely this can only be achieved by giving the remeaining M.Ps larger areas to deal with. So, for example, Wirral, instead of having six (?) M.Ps would only have one.

How does THIS fit in with their ideas for more localism? (? was that the word? The origional post can not be seen from the comments form).

Taken to its logical conclussion, you could have a Parlaiment made just of the cabinet, and do away with ALL other M.Ps.

HAY! You could then call it, the Politburo! Captain Queeg Brown wuld be SOOO made up!

Kevin B said...

10% fewer MPs is a start but without a 10% cut in Ministers and a 10% cut in the ministries they run it's pretty useless. And that really is just a start.

MOD, Home Office, Foreign Office, possibly Ministry of Transport but only if it confines itself to major roads, ports and airports, and that's about it really.

Of course, that cuts Dave's patronage power to the bone so there's no chance.

Roger Thornhill said...


that MP is a legislator not a social worker.

The idea should be that your now empowered Kocal Councillor will handle such things currently dealt with by the MPs.

The problem is that the EU now does what the MPs used to do. MPs now do what Councillors used to do. Councillors do what the Council functionaries used to do and yeh Council functionaries now demand to do what we did for ourselves!

Hence the need to get rid of the EU.

Gandhi said...

Somebody tell Sean Gabb, he seems to think they're worth voting for.


Gareth said...

"The Tories have got a real problem here, you see. Right now, Council Tax only raises about 25% (some £25 billion) of council spending—and yet, according to endless TPA reports, Council Tax is possibly the most loathed way of raising money."

You could link income tax or NI revenue to the council a person lives in. If you also made the funding of MPs come from local sources I think the public would become much more interested and animated about politics.

You could localise revenue collection in any number of ways and even then there would be no logical reason to insist each council did it the same way but, as you say, the Tory stance is one of localism in name only. said...

Do not just vote YES YES for all the reasons stated by the SNP and that are on

Forget the media's bullshit and smoke screens.

Think fucking about it, as YES YES vote is only putting the option of Independence on the table.

Which is not a bad thing, because ...

... If Scotland once again is controlled by a Conservative administration that Scotland did not vote for, Scots can expect to be treated with the same lack of respect that we were in the Thatcher years.

GET INVOLVED with spreading these reasons, with discussions, posters and leaflets to the non decided and the blinkered Labour supporters in your community.

The economy of the UK on a whole has failed over the last 3 years with a £24 Billion pound deficit, whilst Scotland's economy has made a £2.3 Billion pound surplus.

Scottish Oil can last for another 30 years at least. It currently generates at least £2300 for every man woman and child living in Scotland. Now massive oil fields have been discovered around the islet of Rockall and Scotland is the closest land mass.

Scotland is Europe's largest producer of green energy and has the potential to supply a quarter of Europe's energy needs.

An Independent Scotland could get manufacturing (the key to successful economies) up and running in Scotland, with its cheap surplus green energy and attract overseas companies to relocate to Scotland in order to use our low cost green energy in exchange for training our eager workforce.

An Independent Scotland could form profitable alliances with Norway with its £259 billion Surplus oil revenues fund.

In an Independent Scotland, Scot's would reclaim the 6,000 miles of Scottish Sea and the Gas fields that Tony Blair and Donald Dewar made English in 1999.

In an Independent Scotland we could dispense with negative deceiptful Unionist Politics.

In an Independent Scotland we could get rid if the nuclear submarines at Faslane that are leaking non treated nuclear waste into the Gareloch. As a Nation we can also block the other nuclear submarines that will arrive from Davenport when Westminster closes it.

In an Independent Scotland every corporate chain will have to build head quarters in Scotland.

Support the SNP as every penny will count in the fight for Scotland's prosperity.

Fight the Westminster controlled Scottish Media who have and will use every tactic they can to rubbish Scottish Independence or the Scottish People right to a referendum by complaining about its unfair coverage.

Sign this petition for Elaine C Smith Scottish Independence Convention

Please do the right thing for Scotland vote YES YES and help the SNP get the reasons behind Independence out to as many Scot's as you can.

Anonymous said...

What the fuck is wrong with teaching reading by using phonics. It's the traditional approach and works. Much better than that flashcard bollocks.

Ian said...

I'd go with a local income tax. The beauty of that is that our country is small enough that you can easily move to areas where the income tax is lower, thus ensuring that tax competition keeps taxes down.

I believe the Hannan/Carswell suggestion is scrap VAT to replace with a local sales tax, seeing as VAT and the amount of money that Whitehall gives to councils is roughly the same.

Anonymous said...

Och aye Jock Mckay !
But how much money gets pumped into your sink estate economy by Englaterre ho ho
Heroin anyone ?
Not to mention the paedo cover up SNP .
Know what I mean chief !

Anonymous said...

This is the same Scotland that would have been bankrupted when RBS imploded if the English hadn't bailed them out? Again.

How much of that English deficit is because we have to bail out the fucking jocks every ten years? That and support the millions of porridge wogs on Incapacity Benefit and Jobseekers Allowance.

Put some SNP candidates up in England mate, and they'd do pretty well. We want shot of you more than you want fucking "independence".... believe me.

Roue le Jour said...

Roger Thornhill,

"... EU now does what the MPs used to do..."

I like that, nice cadence to it. Reminds me of Butcher Bill in Gangs of New York, "an Irishman does for a nickel..."

Roue le Jour said...

The tribe is crossing the countryside and they come to a fork in the road. The road to the right goes up to the hills and the road to the left leads down to the valley. The leader says go left. The prophet says "No no no. The valley might look nicer, but you'll soon be up to your backside in swamps and crocodiles. Over the hills is the way to go."

The tribe talk amongst themselves and decides to go left. Sure enough, they're soon up to their backsides in swamps and crocodiles. Turning their back on their leader, they ask, "Where's that prophet fellow? Get him out here and let's see what he has to say". So they drag the prophet up to the front and look at him expectantly. He smiles nervously and says, "Well, I've been thinking about what you said, and I think you're quite right. Over the hills is the wrong way to go." The tribe look at him open mouthed for a moment and then turn back to the leader. "After you, then."

Vicola said...

"We will introduce a clearer system of alcohol labelling which allows people to compare the amount they drink with other people"

Why on earth would I want to do that? I don't care what anyone else drinks, that's up to them. And I already know anyhow, I drink less than my uncle, who's an alcoholic and more than my aunt, who's a Methodist. I can judge my own booze intake thanks very much. I drink wine, and being a classy bird I drink it from a glass, not straight from the bottle so they coudl print the secret to eternal youth on the label and I probably still wouldn't read it.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Vicola said...

"We will introduce a clearer system of alcohol labelling which allows people to compare the amount they drink with other people"

Why on earth would I want to do that?

Makes it easier to take bets on who will fall over first?

Anonymous said...

The problem with the Tories is that they have an armful of little policies that adds up well nothing.

They just haven't got the guts to take on the big issues.

I posted on Conservative Home yesterday asking why Cameron had promised nothing re-curbing the EU, (really) cutting taxes/spending, snuffing out all the quangos and the thought control they enforce and scrapping the failed NHS.

Needless to say the post was quietly deleted within an hour or two.

I think this attitude sums up why they are languishing in the polls: there is simply no point in electing them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the Devil and all the comments above. However it's not as black and white as 'they're all as bad as eachother' is it?

The Tories will be LESS BAD than Labour. Sometimes you have to be pragmatic. Not voting Tory is cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Please not another 5 years of socialism! At least a weak Tory government would give greater power to some of the more 'libertarian-minded' back benchers.

sconzey said...

Isn't a one-year holiday on corporation tax for start-ups an LPUK policy? ;)

Lola said...

I am a 'small business'. I do not need encouraging in any way. What I need is for the Government to FUCK OFF OUT OF MY WAY AND STOP TAXING THE BEJEESUS OUT OF ME.

Aetius said...

The stunning thing about the clique of Old Etonians and other progressives controlling the Conservative Party is that, despite being desperate for power and having almost zero lead over Labour, they still won't adopt any genuinely popular and vaguely conservative policies.

For example, a referendum on leaving the EU or merely on the Lisbon Treaty would effectively kill UKIP and raise the Tory "lead" several points.

Dumping the whole eco-bullshit of global warming would be popular too at least among non-progressives. The Guardian readers aren't going to vote for Cameron anyway, so why pander to them.

Saying "No" to Uncle Sam on endless wars everywhere would actually appeal to both potential Conservative and progressive voters.

Frankly, almost any sane non-socialist could make a list on the back of an envelope of policies that would be popular enough to get the Conservatives elected with a massive majority.

Dave and Co. can't, for the simple reason they are in essence progressives (i.e. socialists).

Ian E said...

'Please not another 5 years of socialism! At least a weak Tory government would give greater power to some of the more 'libertarian-minded' back benchers.'

Trouble is voting for DC WILL lead to 5 more years of socialism - albeit the 'lite' variety. If UKIP do well, then the next, posibly genuinely Conservative, leader of the Tories may finally represent what the people want. Carswell or Hannan perhaps (please not the, admittedly likeable, clown Boris). In any event, until we deal with the EUrinal, MPs are just another make-work job creation scheme, complete with their own £500,000 nursery.

Furor Teutonicus said...

If UKIP do well, then the next, posibly genuinely Conservative, leader of the Tories may finally represent what the people want.

Then UKIP will loose its voter base, and theConservatives can carry on as blue Labour, having destroyed any opposition they may have had.

Just means UKIP would have to start from scratch again.

Fight to WIN, and win in a way that means the Conservatives become, like the greens and the other bloody poofters, the "Lib dems",or whatever they call themselves this week, ie, totaly irrelavent to British politics ever again.

If you are NOT going to fight to win, then you may as well pack your bags and bugger off to try and change America, or somewhere.

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

You know, this steady erosion of the Tory lead is no bad thing; the realisation that they are losing ground to a complete moron like Gordon ought to concentrate minds in Tory HQ a bit.

The easiest way out of this is to promise radical policies. First off, a referendum on membership of the European Union.

Second, radical reform of social benefits, which will be needed anyway and which will be a hell of a lot easier if the EU has just been told to get lost since a lot of the reforms will be to confine benefits to UK citizens only.

Finally, binding controls on banks and governments to tie down inflation to a set, low level and keep it there.

All this is going to light a fire under voters, scare the pants of Labour and the Lib-Dems, and scupper the BNP and UKIP. It need doing, otherwise we're just going to be marking time until someone with a pair of balls turns up to do the necessary.

Can Call Me Dave do it? I don't know, but he'll have to do something or he'll be looking at a hung parliament...

Gareth said...

Dr Dan Holdsworth said: "You know, this steady erosion of the Tory lead is no bad thing; the realisation that they are losing ground to a complete moron like Gordon ought to concentrate minds in Tory HQ a bit"

I fear in CCHQ it will be interpreted as 'We don't sound Blue Labour enough'. said...

Thanks for the link DK :)

Letters From A Tory said...

It's the localism/council tax one that leaves me in stitches.

How anyone at CCHQ cannot see the shockingly stupid contradiction is beyond me.

Lola said...

Gareth; I fear you're right.

Anonymous said...

The only thing reducing the number of MP's will do is make for an even more powerful Government. A greater percentage of them will be on the ministerial payroll. We'll have less independent minded ones who actually represent people. It's just a shit token gesture.

Atlas Shrugged said...

Devil, you dangerously confuse privatisation with private ownership. They are very often not at all the same thing, especially in practise.

Corporatism is the sworn enemy of libertarianism, not its friend.

It may be a good idea to allow some selected state schools to be as good as given away to multi-nationals. If only to provide a comparison with the state sector.

However what we really need is a system more like the one we had before the state corporatism got its sharply savage blood soaked teeth into the business of eduction, in the first place. The same could and should be said for our hospitals, and health services.

Government can not be trusted with anything at all, never mind health and education. The problem is, neither can big business nor the big money, that has always financed big government.

For it matters not whether the banks control certain systems directly, or indirectly through government borrowing. The owners of the banking system will still control the minds and prospects of our young, who ever is said to actually control them.

It is one thing to keep big business out of the ownership of educational establishments, it is quite another keeping them out of financing and therefore lending, or WORSE granting money to them. As is the case with our top universities, such as Oxford and Cambridge.

As in most things to do with government, the DEVIL is everywhere, but most especially in the detail.

I dont have the time, the experience, or the intellect to draw up the precise details of a as good as perfect education system.

However what I do undoubtedly know for absolutely sure that if there existed a political will to do so, such a wonderful thing could be devised, drawn up and implemented within no more then 3 years. What is more it could be done at a radically reduced net cost, if required.

In fact I am sure in my own mind that such a thing has already been worked out, right down to the finest detail. If for no other reason, so that the establishment can be absolutely certain about exactly what they have no intention of EVER giving us under any circumstances.

neil craig said...

The "cut business taxes" one used to be a cut in corporation tax (the thing that got the Irish economy growing at 7%). This was SNP policy but when they got in all they did was end business rates for very small businesses. The revamp of this promise as only to help "small" businesses could be clearing the ground for the same across the UK.

Cameron's real problem is that after breaking the "cast iron" referendum promise he simply cannot be trusted on any promise.

Granted the Lab/Libs did the same, or worse, since their's were manifesto promises.

Anonymous said...

As pissed off as I am with more taxation (Gormless Brown never met a tax he didn't like) I'm more concern with the control the civil servents, and local councils have in our lives. They used to be afraid of us, now we've got to be afraid of them.

when I leave the house in the morning I feel I've broken the law, I just don't know which one.