Six More Years of Tory Rule 152


The raison d’etre of the Tories is to ensure the state runs smoothly in the interest of the 1% of the population who own 70% of the wealth. Blair made sure New Labour had the same objective, the only purpose of the party structures now being as career ladders for the likes of Blair to join the 1%.

The Tories have learnt the lesson of Thatcher, that if you keep 42% of the English happy and feeling economically secure, and advantaged over the rest, then you can stay in power through the first past the post system.  This needs an inflated housing market, a few tax cuts, and a rhetoric identifying and excluding the outsiders, be they immigrants, benefit claimants or other groups.  Osborne has this political truth down to a fine art, as his budget showed.  If you are a middle class family able to spend 10,000 a year on childcare, you can now in effect get 2,000 a year from the government.  It is complex to administer, but most of the families who benefit much will be the kind who have accountants.  Similarly the pensions plan liberalisation will not mean a great deal to the poorest in society, although not wrong in itself.  Meanwhile endless benefit cuts are the lot of the needy.

New Labour are left spluttering on the sidelines because the differences in what it would do are so marginal as to be pointless.  What the country needs is massive state intervention to extract funds from the financial services industry and from those with obscenely accrued capital, and put them in to infrastructure in transport, energy efficiency, renewables, housing and high tech manufacturing, areas in which economic benefits are broadly spread in society including through employment.  There are legitimate areas of debate about how you do that – I favour tax incentivisation, or rather heavy tax disincentivisation of non-productive use of capital, rather than direct state agency, although you would need a mix.

Anyway, there is no radical economic choice of any kind on offer to the electorate, and the Tory/Labour divide is one of  tribal adherence rather than real policy difference.  But for what it is worth, with New Labour only leading in the polls by 4% just a year before the election, all precedent suggests that the Tories will easily recover that within the final year and there will be at least six more years of Tory government.

I do hope that Scots are quite clear-eyed about that before September.  The choice on the ballot is simple: Scottish independence, or Tory rule from South East England for the forseeable future.  The rest is smoke and mirrors.


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152 thoughts on “Six More Years of Tory Rule

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  • Tony M

    Abe Rene: The Scottish vote for independence will happen, sometime this September I believe, I’m not sure of the date, though there are Scottish local council elections as well as some EU charade in May to give Nulab, any hold-out Tories and the creepy Liberal-Tories a foretaste of the impending doom of their parties and their personal political ambitions. The UK that was thought deludedly like you of Miliband that Gordon Brown would introduce a scintilla of socialism into New Labour after Blair scurried out of town and out of the country with his loot and his all too apparent teeth. The Labour party is not what you thought it was and never was, never will be. Democracy requires a plurality of not party-brands, but choices, without which along with a free press, freedom of association, assembly, speech -government by the people for the people etcetera, you have instead a quaint and ruthless but not invulnerable dictatorship. From Scotland’s steady climb to a lofty vantage from the pit Thatcher and her successors cast it into, the chink in the beast’s armour is all too evident, it can be slain, but where is St George or will we have to undaunted tackle it for you? Until then as constituted the soon-to-be extinct UK and then greater economic basket case residual-UK has none of these pre-requisites of democracy, Scotland WILL ever have them at last, no question.

    Sorry to shatter your illusions and hopes, it ain’t going to happen not with this Miliband, that Brown or some other equivalent wretch. If residing outside Scotland I would look for some other truly left party to effect necessary change but for the long term go Green once the current Westminster clique are terminally down and hung out to dry.

  • craig Post author

    Sjb

    But from memory the Lib Dems under Thorpe got about 18%. I don’t think Clegg will get above 12%. Labour could probably get a majority with about 37-38%. Can’t see them getting that.

  • Tony M

    But Fred what is your point exactly, we’ve seen this already, and though the source is suspect I get a feeling engaging with you will be not productive and end in such swear words as would sully my virgin ears. Who firstly do you blame for this: the SNP?

    It’s not just the rich in Edinburgh getting free prescriptions. Are you against universality of free prescriptions, are you suggesting Highland young mothers don’t get free prescriptions, are you desirous of new maternal facilities nearer these locations, with more and more qualified staff. It’s the same everywhere people in the Borders are having to travel to Livingston for cancer surgery, to Edinburgh for chemo or radiotherapy, there are lots of such cases. There’s no doubt health authority regions are too large, but so is the territory to cover. Imagine yourself with a magic wand, making the necessary decisions what would you do to resolve this instead of recycling predictable Hootsmon/Johnston Press probably groundless smears. Do you personally or anyone you know personally know anyone affected, has this actually happened or is predicted to happen if …

    Go on, out with it lad.

    “Looks to me like the SNP is more right wing than the Tories.”
    Ah the old Tartan Tories jibe, wake me up before you go-go, it’s the 80s all over again at Fred’s Place.

  • John Seal

    I will gladly support the lifestyle of the so-called ‘feckless’ population if it means the much larger ‘genuinely needy’ group is being cared for. Past time to once again begin squeezing the rich until the pips squeak.

  • fred

    @Tony M

    It’s simple enough.

    In England, under the Tories, the less well off get free prescriptions, those on benefits, child tax credits etc.

    In Scotland, under the SNP, even the rich get free prescriptions while maternity units have to go without doctors. But not in Edinburgh of course which is why this situation doesn’t bother those in the south of Scotland much. Even less those in the south of England.

    Now if you would like to discuss the issue sensibly I would be happy to oblige and if you want to continue name calling then I’ll quite happily flame you to hell and back.

  • Jives

    But surely a guy who went to the university of Perugia wouldn’t be so poor that he had to fiddle his office expenses?

  • craig Post author

    Fred

    So you are arguing that all benefits should be means tested to make sure that only the rich get them. Well, it is a reasonable argument, but it is not true that everyone who disagrees is a Tory.

    Under the system in England for prescriptions, even if you are a very poor working person and can’t afford it, you still have to pay about 7.50 for each prescription. I pay nearly 40 pounds a month for five prescriptions, every month. The Duke of Westminster also pays just 7.50 for each prescription. How on earth is that better?

    Your hatred of independence appears often to affect your reasoning, which on other subjects is often very good. Are Tory governments in London going to improve the funding of the NHS in the Highlands? As someone who has lived in both Aviemore and Incheswood, I am entitled to say that I understand a suspicion of the Central Belt, but if you honestly believe that Witney and Basildon care more for the Highlands than even Morningside and Bearsden, you are really not thinking straight.

  • Tony M

    Administration of means-tested benefits is an extra cost. The ‘rich’ – by your definition anyone outside the benefits system – though statistics suggest they enjoy far better health, are not immune to illness, indeed ill-health can drop a person down the economic and social scale quicker than anything I can imagine. When a person is ill, pretensions of class should and do drop away, in patients and in medical personnel, though it could be demonstrated middle-class medical professional look with disdain upon their poorer patients, but in serious health crises all patients are equally frail and scared, even the toughest and I dare say wealthier too, they need and should get every help available without prying into their private and financial affairs at such times of need, that is flip-side of universality and it is the better and the only just solution. Relatedly the free bus travel scheme for pensioners should be extended to the trains too.
    Central (Central London!) government – Westminster – have cruelly squeezed Scotland’s spending pool, as they have across the UK -in the interim before independence take the matter of such miserly inadequate allocations, up with your Westminster MP, also consider making a donation to the WRVS and possibly other volunteer organisations who are driving critically ill patients in private cars from home to hospitals and back.

    I sense too you’re trying to enunciate or hint at some bogus anti-Edinburgh ill-feeling, just a glowering look or some crack that you hope to widen between north and south, Highlands and Lowlands, some imagined disparity magnified for devious ends. We’re one Scotland, together and welcoming anyone to join us. Personally I don’t have much time for Edinburgh myself, one day as the dark canyons of smoke-belching buses are being banished from Auld Reekie’s main thouroughfare, I’ll give Edinburgh a second chance to grow in my affection. Scotland’s soul resides in Glasgow, may its London dealt wounds still bitter and raw, one day heal fully and also those brooding frightful wicked nuclear weapons depart from there for all time for dismantling and disposal.

  • Jemand

    “Brian Wilson – now I had a lot of time for him thirty years ago. That was before he became addicted to the dirty cash from the nuclear power industry.”

    I thought he was addicted to cocaine. Still, he was an iconic musician. Don’t hold grudges against the Beach Boys over nuclear politics Craig.

  • Mary

    Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    20 Mar, 2014 – 4:50 pm

    Mary (16h41)

    You don’t actually know what I worry about, so I’ll break my own golden rule and ask you, very politely, to fuck off.

    ~~~

    Why was that foul mouthed comment allowed to stay up?

  • Ba'al Zevul (I Don't Know if I can Keep This Up)

    “….while in the Highlands young mothers have to travel over a hundred miles to give birth because there isn’t enough money left in the health budget to keep their maternity unit staffed.”

    I can think of at least one case where a maternity unit in the Highlands was closed down as part of a project to rationalise several local medical units into a single local hospital. Unfortunately, the new hospital didn’t have a maternity unit, thus forcing mothers to travel to Glasgow. They still do. Salmond was barely a gleam in the SNP eye….this was done under Thatcher.

  • Ba'al Zevul (I Don't Know if I can Keep This Up)

    “Let’s leave him aside if you like, and also the aristocrats in the world of essentially manual/physical work (the oil rig worker, if you like). You mentioned nurses – as examples of workers. Is a junior hospital doctor a worker? Or a GP? How about the manager of your local high street bank or an estate agent? A teacher or a headmaster?”

    You only illustrate the need for redefinition. However, this discussion is not going to be a fruitful one, as we are essentially debating the application of a term which has both a general meaning (they’re all workers in that sense) and a specific attachment to a socialist meme. The latter is outdated, as work patterns have changed since Marx’s time, and I would rather it were dropped, personally, as it obscures perception of the inequities in the current socio-economic system.

    Which – yes – come right down to the value of different types of work. Why does a council bin man, out in all weathers, shifting crap all day, have to be paid a much lower hourly rate than, say, a bank manager? Are his needs any different? Is there some particular hazard I’m not seeing about sitting on your butt all day, refusing people loans? Maybe being a bank manager is a low-status job, and a bank manager is socially isolated, poor fellow?

    (And wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could eliminate all the greedy, trough-swilling MP’s hitching onto the government-industry revolving door, if we just paid the bastards what a bin man gets? We’d get some seriously motivated people, wouldn’t we?)

  • Mary

    O/T but as Cameron was recently avowing whole hearted support for Israel, here goes.

    Setting a Precedent: The Case Against Israel
    Greta Berlin | 17 March 2014

    On March 7, 2014, the Turkish NGO, Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH) joined the referral to the International Criminal Court (ICC), requesting the ICC Prosecutor initiate an investigation into the crimes committed by Israeli commandos and officials into Israel’s raid on Freedom Flotilla I bound for Gaza.

    Eight Turks and one Turkish-American were murdered on the Mavi Marmara, some of them assassinated at close range. Several other pro-Palestinian human rights defenders/passengers were also wounded when Israeli commandos stormed all six boats in the early morning on May 31, 2010.

    Two important proceedings are taking place in Istanbul, 1.a criminal proceeding on March 27 against four Israeli officials (in absentia) who ordered the attack on the Flotilla. Free Gaza board members, Audrey Bomse and Greta Berlin, along with several FG passengers, will attend that proceeding, and 2.a legal conference on the search for justice in both international and domestic forums on March 25.

    Audrey Bomse, attorney for Free Gaza, stated, “These are two very important cases challenging the impunity with which Israel has been able to break international law and commit crimes against humanity and war crimes. We want to do all we can, both from a legal and advocacy standpoint, to try to end this impunity.”

    The Mavi Marmara was flagged and registered in Comoros, an archipelago off the African coast near Madagascar. They can take the case to the ICC, since the country is a signatory to the Rome Statute[s] that created the Court.

    in addition to the Comoros filing, individual victim applications requesting participation in the proceedings have been sent to the ICC from passengers on the flotilla, as well as an organizational application from the Free Gaza movement, whose boats were attacked three prior times; in December 2008, January 2009 and July 2009, establishing a pattern of attacks prior to the flotilla.

    Joe Meadors, one of the survivors of the 1967 Israeli attack on the U.S.S. Liberty states, “I was on board one of the boats attacked by Israeli commandoes that morning. Attending the Mavi Marmara hearings is my way of honoring those killed and wounded on Freedom Flotilla I. That is the same honor that has been denied my shipmates for 46 years.”

    David Schermerhorn, a crewmember on Challenger 1, the Free Gaza boat attacked that morning, adds, “The Turkish Criminal Court shines a bright light on the responsibility of the Israeli commanders for ordering the attack on the Freedom Flotilla. Without such an action, Israeli leaders will continue their illegal and immoral policies. It is time for accountability, and the Turkish Court has taken the opportunity to bring attention to the continuing violations of human rights.”

    To follow the proceedings on March 25 and March 27, join our TWITTER page at https://twitter.com/freegazaorg and our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/FreeGazaBreakTheSiege/.

    We will be reporting live during those two days.
    http://www.freegaza.org/en/home/56-news/1418-setting-a-precedent-the-case-against-israel.html

    ~~

    Craig’s pieces here http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/?s=mavi+marmara refer to the attack and the illegality. The most moving is about his visit to some of those bereaved.
    http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/04/for-cengiz-songur/

  • nevermind

    I’m sure I commented on topic here yesterday. Its very hard to try and find a response when your on topic reply has been binned. That said Tory, NO, all party politics is in decline, so the thread is irrelevant.

    ah well

  • fred

    @Craig

    “Your hatred of independence…”

    What hatred? Since when having a concern for my future and the future of those around me hatred? I know some of those young mothers, I know the families who have to make a 200 mile round trip to visit them.

    Yes I do believe it is wrong to give socialist money to rich people when it is done at the expense of young pregnant mothers. I do believe it is wrong for Salmond to be scoring cheap political points at the expense of the sick and needy.

    I lived through the Thatcher years and I have every reason to hate the Tories but when they come up with a policy I think makes sense I will say so. Blind fanatical political dogma over one political cause is just irrational.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26593005

  • fred

    “I can think of at least one case where a maternity unit in the Highlands was closed down as part of a project to rationalise several local medical units into a single local hospital. Unfortunately, the new hospital didn’t have a maternity unit, thus forcing mothers to travel to Glasgow. They still do. Salmond was barely a gleam in the SNP eye….this was done under Thatcher.”

    Look I remember the days pre-devolution, I remember when in the Highlands we had some of the best healthcare in Britain. I remember when the top consultants from the top teaching hospitals used to come here in semi retirement to take advantage of the golf courses and salmon rivers.

    I know what it is like now. It took them two years of advertising all over Europe to even get a local GP to move here.

  • Ba'al Zevul (I Don't Know if I can Keep This Up)

    “Look I remember the days pre-devolution, I remember when in the Highlands we had some of the best healthcare in Britain.”

    So do I. I remember visiting a guy with a serious brain injury in Raigmore in the 1970’s, whose bed was in the middle of an overcrowded, noisy, not very clean ward. And I remember the local disquiet when it was realised that not only the emergency maternity cases but all maternity cases would have to transfer to Glasgow from anywhere in Argyll. Under bloody Thatcher. It wasn’t all roses. Far from it. Oh, and Craig Dunain(1). Whose ECT consultant once gave me a lift.

    “I remember when the top consultants from the top teaching hospitals used to come here in semi retirement to take advantage of the golf courses and salmon rivers.”

    LOL.

    (1) http://forum.caithness.org/showthread.php?49120-Craig-Dunain-Hospital

  • Ba'al Zevul (I Don't Know if I can Keep This Up)

    “It took them two years of advertising all over Europe to even get a local GP to move here.”

    ‘Here’ being where, specifically?

  • fred

    @Ba’al

    Craig-Dunain was an asylum of the sort closed by Thatcher in the Care in the Community project.

    I live a long way north of there.

  • Mary

    The excellent John Hilley writes:

    Friday, 21 March 2014

    David Cameron’s ‘benign’ part in the ‘Middle East peace process’ – exchange with the BBC

    How much propaganda can be packed into one seemingly innocuous BBC news comment?

    Here’s a little insight.

    Letter to BBC Complaints
    13 March 2014

    On tonight’s 6 O’Clock News newsreader Sophie Raworth ended her piece on David Cameron’s visit to Israel and the West Bank with the following statement:

    ‘Mr Cameron is keen to rekindle the Middle East peace process.’

    /..
    http://johnhilley.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/david-camerons-benign-part-in-middle.html

  • Terry

    @Craig. Why do you live in Southeast England rather than in Scotland?

    All the ambitious people leave Scotland, unless you count people who’ve got guaranteed incomes relating to their fathers getting them in to the masons.

  • Malcolm S

    The Scottish Parliament has published a petition urging referenda on the status of Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles, to be held a week after the Scottish referendum.

    The petition has received 455 signatures in the first 3 days.

    To sign it, click here:
    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/GettingInvolved/Petitions/islandgroups.

    The options will be:

    1) do you wish your island group to be an independent country?
    2) do you wish your island group to stay in Scotland?

    If the Scottish result was “yes”, there will be a third option:

    3) do you wish your island group to leave Scotland and stay in the remainder of the UK?

    Media coverage:
    Petition for independence in the Western Isles, Shetland and Orkney,
    Shetland and Orkney should get vote on whether to leave Scotland,
    Island referendum petition launched,
    Islands referendum petition launched,
    and Islands to become independent country?.

  • Donald McIntyre

    What’s this rubbish about 6 more years of Tory rule?

    The bookies are predicting Labour to get about 40 more seats than the Tories. (Odds on various outcomes here.

  • Tony M

    What’s this rubbish about 6 more years of Tory rule?

    “The bookies are predicting Labour to get about 40 more seats than the Tories. (Odds on various outcomes here.”

    “New Labour are left spluttering on the sidelines because the differences in what it would do are so marginal as to be pointless.”

    That’s exactly why whatever the outcome, including even a NuLab Majority, there will be six more years of Tory rule. You can have any number of parties, but what you do not have is any choice between them on anything of substance in what they can or will do once or if elected. Labour are hisTory, they’re all Tories now. With the same oligarchs buying and dictating influence and control over each party, all that differs is presentation, a two fishing-line approach to reel the voters in, then bludgeon them all to death on a rock.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!

    Ba’ar Zevul

    “You only illustrate the need for redefinition. However, this discussion is not going to be a fruitful one, as we are essentially debating the application of a term which has both a general meaning (they’re all workers in that sense) and a specific attachment to a socialist meme. The latter is outdated, as work patterns have changed since Marx’s time, and I would rather it were dropped, personally, as it obscures perception of the inequities in the current socio-economic system.”
    _______________________________

    Yes, I was pointing to the difficulty of definition, and therefore of using that term. I raised the point because Mr Goss had used it in a post of his in what I thought was a rather sloppy manner – ie in the second of the two meanings you identify.

    Re your point about relativities, or the value of different types of work: who would decide this and how would they go about it? Well, in the case of public sector workers, I suppose you’d answer “the public authorities” they could pay your dustman x% of a bank manager’s salary, or even match it. Would you recommend that? Because they would have no power over what ther bank manager earns.

  • fred

    “Yes. And C in the C never hit any problems at all, did it?”

    I noticed a distinct downturn on internet forums.

    You seem to be arguing yourself round in circles now.

  • Mary

    Here is one MP the HoC can do without.

    MP Eric Joyce fined over Edinburgh Airport abuse
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-26683975

    He was a strong supporter of BLiar’s war on Iraq of course.

    How Eric Joyce voted on Foreign Policy and Defence
    Voted moderately for use of UK military forces in combat operations overseas
    Voted very strongly for the Iraq war
    Voted very strongly against an investigation into the Iraq war
    Voted very strongly for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system
    Voted moderately for more EU integration
    Voted moderately against a referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU

    http://www.theyworkforyou.com/mp/10685/eric_joyce/falkirk/votes

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