Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Bare Faced Liar

Clegg, quoted on Sunday: ‘When I hear people from the Right say all the money should come from poor people . . . I’m saying no, hang on a minute, let’s make sure we do this as fairly as possible.’

What does this poltroon take us for? What, even, does he take his LibDem conference audience for? We all know that this is a bare-faced lie. He has never heard any such thing. No such people exist. He will claim it's all part of political rhetoric, etc, but it's no more than a completely crass and dishonest representation of  'people from the Right'.

He should be forced to apologise, first for blatant dishonesty, and secondly for his grotesque grammar: 'I'm saying'. You are a 45 year old Oxbridge educated man, for heaven's sake, not a teenager trying to sound like a Californian.

What a lightweight. Boris wrote yesterday saying we should save the Cleggster, if only because he delivered us from yet more of the Brown Terror. Clegg did no such thing; as Andrew Lansley admitted a fortnight ago (which some of us had been recommending two and a half years ago):

In normal circumstances, with that election result, there would not have been a coalition. We’d have formed a minority government, put forward a programme, challenged the House to support it or not and after a decent interview – probably a few months – we would have had a general election and would have almost certainly won a majority.

The reason this didn't happen is simple: Cameron's personal ambition, in inverse relationship to his courage.

Monday, 24 September 2012

On Thrasher, Limousines-for-Dictators, Saints and Army Veteran Status

Thrasher Mitchell should be sacked, obviously. He lied about swearing at the police officers and now, whilst denying using 'the words attributed' to him, hasn't told us exactly what he did say. The sin of a Cabinet Minister lying is far greater than the sin of being a short tempered arrogant little twat, and he should go.

Anyone who thinks he will be a loss to this government hasn't been paying attention for the past two years, during which time he has been spending £30m a day of taxpayers' money on fleets of Mercedes for dictators, shopping trips for their wives, and space programmes for India (OK, he will say that it was spent on clean water provision, but by doing so he freed up the cash for the Indian government to build spaceships and plan interplanetary fact-finding missions, etc). £500m a year goes to 'consultants' and £476m to 'climate change'. Oh, and £120m on 'administration' - ie salaries, pensions, offsite meetings, boondoggles, freebies and a little light expenses fraud - the usual stuff.

I think we have every right to suspect that they find it quite hard to spend all this money at all, let alone wisely. The major project for 2012/13 is £58m for the 'St Helena Access Project'. That's £13,631 per inhabitant ('saint') of St Helena for a new airport. Good luck to them, at least they are loyal subjects of Her Majesty. As for the rest, I'm with the gutsy Dambisa Moyo: "Limitless development assistance to African governments has fostered dependency, encouraged corruption and ultimately perpetuated poor governance and poverty."

As for the constant reference in the press to Thrasher's army officer past, this seems overstated. He was commissioned into the Royal Tank Regiment in February 1975, but this commission was 'terminated' in October of the same year, when he appears to have joined the TA. He resigned his TA commission less than 18 months later, when an undergraduate at Cambridge. Frankly, I got more military experience in the Wellington College CCF between 1975 and 1979. Someone wrote a letter to the Telegraph this morning complaining that Mitchell was giving the armed forces a bad name. I really wouldn't worry - spending six months in the RTR as a 19 year old really doesn't count. For the first year of my own commission (as a 19 year old platoon commander on suntanning and cocktail party duty in Hong Kong, since you ask), I was a public liability. Thank heavens for my NCOs and good relations with the Chinese border guards.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Open Goal Missed

How anal does one have to be to look at the British Social Attitudes Survey (just published), having heard about it on the radio whilst shaving at dawn? Very, you might say. Well, Idle has done it so that you don't have to.

The good news, as long as you are not an illegal immigrant dishonestly claiming that your life is threatened by deportation, is that the country is good and fed up with the whole immigration racket - 75% say that it should be reduced (51% say by 'a lot'), though judging by the last couple of years there's a fat chance of that happening.

On the West Lothian question, 65% of people think that Scottish MPs should have no vote on matters affecting only England and Wales. This seems blindingly obvious, and the natural counterbalance to the establishment of the pretendy-wee-parliament in Edinburgh, with its devolved powers. So why hasn't this government dealt with it? It needn't be a complicated or contentious bill, and was not linked to Clegg's abortion of a Lords reform bill, thankfully now as dead a duck that ever quacked no more.

One thing really stands out, though, and reminds us of just how huge, how gaping, how bleeding unmissable the open goal of 2010 was for Cameron. Not only was he up against the most unattractive and disgusting of opponents in Brown, not only had Brown proved dishonest and useless as Prime Minister, not only was Brown ranting at his own natural supporters (Duffy the 'bigot'), but British attitudes to public spending were overwhelmingly in Cameron's favour:

Fig _Key Findings _0.1

For the first time since 1983, less than a third of the electorate supported increased spending year-on-year. Furthermore, this had been an established trend since before the last Labour Parliament of 2005-2010. So why on earth did Cameron and Osbourne cop out quite so spinelessly in 2006/7 with their decision to support Brown's 2008-2011 spending plans? Why the whole 'sharing the proceeds of growth' fiasco?

This seems to me to be the most important element of the charge sheet against Cameron and his lieutenant. Cameron lacked the instinct and courage to oppose as a Conservative, and Osbourne (so often referred to as a clever political strategist) produced a dripping-wet electoral campaign strategy.

Well, you useless cretins, the graph has turned; expect the next election to be a tougher environment, with less public goodwill towards the cause of a balanced budget and reduction in our massive debt.

You blew it, boys.