Thursday, 26 September 2013

Very Red Ed

Very Red Ed

Ed Miliband’s hour long Labour party conference speech saw the public execution of New Labour, and although I would not say it is a return to old Labour, but the left are very much in charge of the Labour party now.  It was a good speech no doubt about that he was confident and he is starting to fill Labours policy vacuum with radical ideas, however it was defiantly not a speech of a one nation politician, and it defiantly showed that New Labour is no longer influential at the top of the Labour party.

Two of Ed’s most scary policies were the freeze on energy prices and a Soviet style land grab policy, which was defiantly not a policy of a party which claims to be a one nation party.  The energy price freeze is illogical as the country is facing an energy shortage, fracking is probably the best way to reduce the energy prices however Labour don’t seem to support it.  Energy analysts have warned that the policy could lead to blackouts so it is only providing people false hope it is also likely to drive away investment in the energy sector from the UK costing both jobs and money as well as damaging the economy.   Moving onto Ed’s most repulsive policy that if you have land and chose not to build on it councils have to power to force you to sell it not only is this policy totally unfair it is expected to destroy the UK’s countryside as towns and cities continue to expand. 

To conclude not every policy Ed mentioned was mad like the two above for example providing the elderly with handrails to help them in and out of their home to save the NHS money on treating injuries cause by falling.  And although his land grab policy is totally bonkers it shows Labour are looking seriously at ways of solving the current housing crisis even if their current policy is mad.  However Ed failed to address the economy welfare cuts, and I think the Conservative party will be pleased with Ed’s speech as it shows a party who is not yet ready to govern.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Can the Coalition last past 2015

Can the Coalition last past 2015

Before 2010 a coalition was a very rare and special thing in UK politics only really seen in the world wars, but as the 2015 election creeps closer it is likely, there will be another coalition. The current coalition is a strained affair and Lib Dems and Conservatives genuinely seem to dislike each other, and if it was not for Nick Clegg, it is not farfetched to say that the coalition would have broken down.  And although pressure on the governing party leaders has lessened of late due to positive economic news it seems the Lib Dems still are not keen on continuing the coalition beyond 2015.

A poll of Lib Dem members found that they still are willing to be in a coalition after 2015 but not with the Conservatives, 39% are in favour of a Lib Lab coalition while only 15% would welcome the idea of another Con Dem coalition.  Those numbers taken alongside Nick Clegg claiming the party would “die in a trench” over the Mansion tax policy makes a Con Dem coalition look increasingly unlikely. 

It is not just the Lib Dems who are cool on the idea of renewing the coalition after 2015, Conservative back benchers have been very upset about some of the Lib Dems policies.  And some have said they will not support another coalition government.  The coalition has also seen many Conservative party members fleeing to UKIP and the Conservative membership drop to below 100,000.  The Coalition deal is sapping the moral of both parties which has lead David Cameron to say he will allow his MP’s to vote on a future coalition deal rather than just spring it on them like he did in 2010.  It is fair to say no party has a real appetite to continue the coalition but if the 2015 produces another hung parliament then it might be the only way for the UK to have a stable government.  

Friday, 6 September 2013

Only competent leadership can solve Labour's funding crisis

Only competent leadership can solve Labour's funding crisis

Ed Miliband has made a very brave stand against the Unions since the Falkirk debacle, but he is now starting to feel the consequences of his actions.  The GMB Union has cut its funding to the Labour party from £1.5 million to a much smaller £150,000, the union has taken this action due to Ed Miliband’s proposed changes to the Labour parties relationship with the Unions.  Many in the Labour party support Ed Miliband’s reforms as do Conservatives like myself, however it looks like Labours balance sheet will suffer if the reforms go ahead.

Since this revelation about the state of Labours finances the big issue of taxpayers funding political parties has raised its ugly head again.  This should only even be looked at if the party system reaches the breach of extinction and I don’t believe losing the Labour party will be the of our democracy nor do I believe there is any good reason the Labour party should go bankrupt.  Under Tony Blair the Labour party reached out to big business and individual donors both big and small and had great success.  There is no reason Labour can’t do this again they just need a better vision and better leadership.

Labour have so far failed to blame themselves for their current financial problems when it is 100% their own fault.  They need to really on more than just trade unions if they intend to survive but so far their only response has been to say that if they get into power they will cap individual donations at £5000.  In other words they don’t like the fact that the Conservatives can attract the support of wealthy individuals while they currently can’t, also it is worth noting this would not affect trade union donations.  If Labour fail to move with the times and can’t reconnect with people like they did under Tony Blair, but sadly for Labour Ed Miliband is no Tony Blair.  And if they continue along the lines of a £5000 cap on individual donations they will struggle to secure their financial future and surely a party of one nation should easily be able to drum up enough financial support to avoid going bankrupt.

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Conservative economic policy finally paying dividend

Conservative economic policy finally paying dividend

It has been a good summer for the Conservative party and a very good summer for George Osborne, finally the Economy is moving in the right direction.  The 2012 budget was an absolute shambles and pressure was building not just on the Chancellor but also the government, but since the latest budget there has been a steady stream of good news for the Government.

We have recently seen the number of houses with nobody in work drop to a record low, which shows some success from the governments controversial welfare reforms.  More good news came today when the UK service sector grew at the fastest rate for 6 years, and we are expecting to see growth in the manufacturing sector as well.  Also recent growth in the EU has been driven by the UK and a recent revision of economic growth numbers has shown that the UK did not just avoid a triple dip recession we actually avoided a double dip recession.

A final piece of good news for the government is that today Ed Balls wrote a piece for the Guardian in which even he has finally admitted the economy is moving in the right direction.  He did not give any credit to Conservative economic policy though, however it is fair to say it is more likely that the growth in the economy was due to Conservative policy than Labour policy.  In fact the recent good news about the economy has once again illustrated Labours own lack of economic policies.  

Monday, 2 September 2013

Cameron can’t justify a second vote on Syria…. Yet.

Cameron can’t justify a second vote on Syria….  Yet.

The Prime Minister is facing mounting pressure from senior political figures such as former Home Secretary and Conservative Party leader Michael Howard, former Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind and the former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown.  Even Boris Johnson has got in on the act saying there could be a second vote on military intervention in Syria.  Even Labour are starting to increase the pressure on the Prime Minister as Labour MP’s are starting to say they would support a second vote.  And as the Prime Minister knows many Conservative rebels and Labour MP’s voted against the government because they thought the Prime Minister was acting over Syria to soon before all the information was in.  So it is actually likely the government would win a second vote over Syria and this would please David Cameron because he has made it quite clear he would like to intervene in Syria to send a message that the use of chemical weapons will not be tolerated.

As much as David Cameron probably wants another vote over Syria he must wait, calling another vote so soon after losing the last one will damage David Cameron.  After all, he did say he would respect the will of Parliament, calling another vote so soon after the last one with no new compelling evidence, would not be seen as respecting the will of Parliament.  In fact the only way a second vote could be justified is if something new happens on the ground in Syria something like another chemical weapons attack.  The Prime Minister must be aware he is not respecting the authority of Parliament is he asks the same question to Parliament again and again until he gets the result he wants.

A final reason not to call a second vote over Syria, is that the idea of intervening in Syria is unpopular and on the whole people were happy to see Parliament vote not to intervene.  A second vote will only damage the Prime Minister, if he loses which is unlikely his position would be so badly weakened I think he would be forced to resign.  If he wins his reputation amongst the voting public will be damaged, not only because he went against his word when he said he would respect the will of Parliament but also because he would have committed the UK to unpopular military action, arguably not an outright war but unpopular nevertheless.  For me calling a second vote over Syria without new compelling evidence would be a lose lose situation for the Prime Minister.