Author Topic: The Coalition Government  (Read 68174 times)

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stuey Online
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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1380 : June 11, 2014, 05:13:29 PM »


'Dumb People Shouldn't Be Able To Vote,' Former Tory Councillor Clare George-Hilley Says

A Tory who saw Labour win her old council seat has hit out at "dumb" voters who "shouldn't be able to vote".

Clare George-Hilley, who stood down from her seat in Croydon, south London, was involved in the Conservative Party campaign to keep it blue, but it lost to Labour.

She took to social media to berate voters for being ungrateful, adding she felt "let down" by them.

In a Facebook post that appeared on the Political Scrapbook blog, she wrote: "Feel very let down by people we have served for 8 years. We built them a new leisure centre, spent millions improving parks & roads and they vote for the opposition.

“If people are so dumb that they don’t know the difference between a general or local election then they shouldn’t be able to vote.”

The Facebook post appears to have now been deleted.

She also posted to Twitter: "After 8 yrs of delivering low council tax, building your leisure centre and improving your parks, residents of #Waddon #Croydon vote #Labour."

The Huffington Post UK contacted George-Hilley for comment and she directed us to a reader comment she posted on Political Scrapbook.

There, she said the site's piece was "sloppy", adding: "If you checked the statement of nominations then you would be aware that I did not re-stand for election and I believe that people should know the difference between the local & euro elections before voting."

She also moved to defend her comments on Twitter after the blog post was published.

She denied saying "dumb" people should not be allowed to vote - but did not elaborate as to how what she actually said did not amount to this.

Hilley previously appared on the BBC reality show Castaway, when she was the second to be eliminated in the 2007 series.



http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/05/28/former-tory-councillor-blames-dumb-voters_n_5402385.html?1401273934


F***ing slut.

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1381 : June 24, 2014, 02:03:03 PM »
Cameron apologises over Andy Coulson appointment

Prime Minister David Cameron has apologised for employing Andy Coulson as his director of communications.

"I am extremely sorry I employed him. It was the wrong decision," he said.

"I gave someone a second chance and it turned out to be a bad decision."

Former News of the World editor Coulson has been found guilty at the Old Bailey of conspiring to hack phones.

Mr Cameron appointed Coulson as his director of communications in 2007.

He took him into Downing Street in the same role after becoming PM in 2010.

Coulson resigned from No 10 in 2011 amid the row over phone hacking.

It was stopping him giving the "110%" he needed to in the job, Coulson said.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-27998411

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1382 : June 27, 2014, 05:40:47 PM »
Ex-Cameron aide Patrick Rock charged over abuse images

A former senior adviser to the prime minister has been charged by police over child abuse images.

Patrick Rock was arrested at his home in London in February after Downing Street officials contacted officers.

The 63-year-old was questioned by investigators from the newly formed National Crime Agency.

Mr Rock was deputy head of David Cameron's policy unit at the time of his arrest and they have known each other since the late 1990s.

They worked together as special advisers.

In a statement, the National Crime Agency described Mr Rock as a "Whitehall adviser". It said he had been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 3 July.

He has been charged with three counts of making indecent photographs of children and of possession of 59 indecent images of children.

The images have been assessed by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) officers and CPS lawyers as meeting the definition of level C - the lowest category.

Judith Reed, a senior lawyer with the CPS organised crime division, said: "The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

"We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

"May I remind all concerned that Mr Rock has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Police searched offices and computers in Downing Street as part of their investigation.

The arrest was not made public until details were published in a newspaper three weeks later.

Mr Rock failed to win a seat in Parliament on three separate occasions in the late 1970s and early 1980s.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28054433

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1383 : July 03, 2014, 04:55:25 PM »
Tory summer party: bottle of bubbly signed by Thatcher fetched £45,000

Tory leader of Commons Andrew Lansley taunted over auction prize by Labour shadow as No 10 refuses to release guest list

A bottle of champagne signed by Margaret Thatcher was auctioned off for £45,000 at the Conservative party's secretive summer fundraising party on Wednesday night, where businessmen, financiers and lobbyists rubbed shoulders with cabinet ministers.

Andrew Lansley, the Conservative leader of the House of Commons, laughed on Thursday as he was taunted over the luxury auction prize by his Labour shadow, Angela Eagle, who said the Tories were living in a "parallel universe".

Lansley, a guest at Wednesday night's party, said the bottle was "not bought for drinking purposes" but because it was signed by the former prime minister. He said there was no prohibition on social events for political parties and revealed David Cameron had focused his speech to donors and supporters on the increasing likelihood of a Conservative victory at next year's general election.

Downing Street has refused to release the guest list for this year's bash at the private Hurlingham members' club in Fulham, west London, but the gleaming Rolls-Royces and Jaguars streaming through the gates gave a hint of the wealthy passengers heading inside.

Tory ministers including Michael Gove, Nicky Morgan, Matthew Hancock and David Gauke arrived on foot but would not say which donors they would be hosting at their tables. Two of the biggest donors, Sir Michael Hintze and James Lupton, who have each given more than £1m, were spotted on their way in.

But most guests entered in cars with shaded windows, with some hiding their faces behind their invitations. The dress code was "glamorous" but, unlike last year, invitees were not instructed to avoid black tie.

Cameron is facing calls to be more transparent about those invited to the party following revelations by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that the 2013 event attracted bankers, businesspeople and lobbyists jointly worth more than £11bn. His spokesman said there was no need to publish a list as the prime minister was not on "official business".

"Cameron is trying to buy his way to power," said Jon Ashworth, the shadow Cabinet Office minister. "We will be demanding to know who is whispering in his ear at the Hurlingham club."

Last year, when 449 attendees sat at tables costing up to £12,000 each, £1.1m in party donations were registered with the Electoral Commission. At the tables were 73 financiers, 47 retail and property tycoons, 10 oil, gas and mining millionaires and 19 people working in public affairs and PR.

Campaigners for political transparency said the event was "a straight-up case of cash-for-access".

At prime minister's questions on Wednesday, Cameron was challenged by Labour MP Kerry McCarthy to reveal what was discussed between defence secretary Philip Hammond and Lord Clanwilliam, a public affairs executive employed by the government of Bahrain, who shared a table last year.

He refused and instead attacked Labour's reliance on finance from trade unions. "The Labour party just has to get one trade union to write one cheque for £14m," he said.

A Tory spokesman said of the summer party: "All donations to the Conservative party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with Electoral Commission rules."

Darren Hughes, deputy chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said the revelations were "the latest demonstration of why we need a new, more transparent system for funding political parties".

He added: "Every time we get an insight into how parties raise money, it further cements the impression that our democracy is for sale.

"Earlier this year we found that three-quarters of the public believe big money has too much influence on political parties, and 61% believe the party funding system is corrupt. Revelations like this are only going to push those numbers in one direction."

Alexandra Runswick, director of Unlock Democracy, an all-party campaign for constitutional reform, said: "The public feels our politics is for sale and that politicians listen to donors and lobbyists, but not voters. The big problem is this isn't shocking any more. Voters have started to see this as part of the political process and it shouldn't be.

"With an event like this dinner, they can fund much of a general election campaign in one evening. It is much harder to get thousands of smaller donations from the public. Labour is at fault, too, and also hosts fundraising events where you have to pay for a ticket, and who is sitting at the table is not declared."

Tamasin Cave, director of Spinwatch, which campaigns for greater transparency in lobbying, said the summer parties were "a straight-up case of cash-for-access. Buying a seat at a minister's table provides these bankers, foreign businessmen and lobbyists with an opportunity to discuss their concerns, whether it's taxes, regulation or policy".


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/03/tory-fundraising-party-bottle-champagne-thatcher-auction?CMP=twt_gu

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1384 : July 03, 2014, 05:32:52 PM »
Tory summer party: bottle of bubbly signed by Thatcher fetched £45,000

Tory leader of Commons Andrew Lansley taunted over auction prize by Labour shadow as No 10 refuses to release guest list

A bottle of champagne signed by Margaret Thatcher was auctioned off for £45,000 at the Conservative party's secretive summer fundraising party on Wednesday night, where businessmen, financiers and lobbyists rubbed shoulders with cabinet ministers.

Andrew Lansley, the Conservative leader of the House of Commons, laughed on Thursday as he was taunted over the luxury auction prize by his Labour shadow, Angela Eagle, who said the Tories were living in a "parallel universe".

Lansley, a guest at Wednesday night's party, said the bottle was "not bought for drinking purposes" but because it was signed by the former prime minister. He said there was no prohibition on social events for political parties and revealed David Cameron had focused his speech to donors and supporters on the increasing likelihood of a Conservative victory at next year's general election.

Downing Street has refused to release the guest list for this year's bash at the private Hurlingham members' club in Fulham, west London, but the gleaming Rolls-Royces and Jaguars streaming through the gates gave a hint of the wealthy passengers heading inside.

Tory ministers including Michael Gove, Nicky Morgan, Matthew Hancock and David Gauke arrived on foot but would not say which donors they would be hosting at their tables. Two of the biggest donors, Sir Michael Hintze and James Lupton, who have each given more than £1m, were spotted on their way in.

But most guests entered in cars with shaded windows, with some hiding their faces behind their invitations. The dress code was "glamorous" but, unlike last year, invitees were not instructed to avoid black tie.

Cameron is facing calls to be more transparent about those invited to the party following revelations by the Guardian and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism that the 2013 event attracted bankers, businesspeople and lobbyists jointly worth more than £11bn. His spokesman said there was no need to publish a list as the prime minister was not on "official business".

"Cameron is trying to buy his way to power," said Jon Ashworth, the shadow Cabinet Office minister. "We will be demanding to know who is whispering in his ear at the Hurlingham club."

Last year, when 449 attendees sat at tables costing up to £12,000 each, £1.1m in party donations were registered with the Electoral Commission. At the tables were 73 financiers, 47 retail and property tycoons, 10 oil, gas and mining millionaires and 19 people working in public affairs and PR.

Campaigners for political transparency said the event was "a straight-up case of cash-for-access".

At prime minister's questions on Wednesday, Cameron was challenged by Labour MP Kerry McCarthy to reveal what was discussed between defence secretary Philip Hammond and Lord Clanwilliam, a public affairs executive employed by the government of Bahrain, who shared a table last year.

He refused and instead attacked Labour's reliance on finance from trade unions. "The Labour party just has to get one trade union to write one cheque for £14m," he said.

A Tory spokesman said of the summer party: "All donations to the Conservative party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with Electoral Commission rules."

Darren Hughes, deputy chief executive of the Electoral Reform Society, said the revelations were "the latest demonstration of why we need a new, more transparent system for funding political parties".

He added: "Every time we get an insight into how parties raise money, it further cements the impression that our democracy is for sale.

"Earlier this year we found that three-quarters of the public believe big money has too much influence on political parties, and 61% believe the party funding system is corrupt. Revelations like this are only going to push those numbers in one direction."

Alexandra Runswick, director of Unlock Democracy, an all-party campaign for constitutional reform, said: "The public feels our politics is for sale and that politicians listen to donors and lobbyists, but not voters. The big problem is this isn't shocking any more. Voters have started to see this as part of the political process and it shouldn't be.

"With an event like this dinner, they can fund much of a general election campaign in one evening. It is much harder to get thousands of smaller donations from the public. Labour is at fault, too, and also hosts fundraising events where you have to pay for a ticket, and who is sitting at the table is not declared."

Tamasin Cave, director of Spinwatch, which campaigns for greater transparency in lobbying, said the summer parties were "a straight-up case of cash-for-access. Buying a seat at a minister's table provides these bankers, foreign businessmen and lobbyists with an opportunity to discuss their concerns, whether it's taxes, regulation or policy".


http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jul/03/tory-fundraising-party-bottle-champagne-thatcher-auction?CMP=twt_gu


''Cash for access'' indeed, little wonder they hide their faces.

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1385 : July 03, 2014, 05:45:12 PM »
Ex-Cameron aide Patrick Rock charged over abuse images

A former senior adviser to the prime minister has been charged by police over child abuse images.

Patrick Rock was arrested at his home in London in February after Downing Street officials contacted officers.

The 63-year-old was questioned by investigators from the newly formed National Crime Agency.

Mr Rock was deputy head of David Cameron's policy unit at the time of his arrest and they have known each other since the late 1990s.

They worked together as special advisers.

In a statement, the National Crime Agency described Mr Rock as a "Whitehall adviser". It said he had been bailed to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on 3 July.

He has been charged with three counts of making indecent photographs of children and of possession of 59 indecent images of children.

The images have been assessed by Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) officers and CPS lawyers as meeting the definition of level C - the lowest category.

Judith Reed, a senior lawyer with the CPS organised crime division, said: "The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

"We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.

"May I remind all concerned that Mr Rock has a right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings."

Police searched offices and computers in Downing Street as part of their investigation.

The arrest was not made public until details were published in a newspaper three weeks later.

Mr Rock failed to win a seat in Parliament on three separate occasions in the late 1970s and early 1980s.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-28054433


Bunch of fuckers.
" Aim for the sky and you'll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you'll stay on the floor. " Bill Shankly

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1386 : July 04, 2014, 12:22:52 AM »
The more I read, the more I think anyone voting Tory or Labour at the next election needs a nice stay in a padded cell, based on the last quarter of a century that I've observed of these clowns in power.

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1387 : July 04, 2014, 07:48:32 PM »
The more I read, the more I think anyone voting Tory or Labour at the next election needs a nice stay in a padded cell, based on the last quarter of a century that I've observed of these clowns in power.

Those people are only obsessed with self interest and confrontation so will only vote Labour or Conservative. In today's information society it's even more bizarre and laughable.
" Aim for the sky and you'll reach the ceiling. Aim for the ceiling and you'll stay on the floor. " Bill Shankly

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1388 : July 15, 2014, 05:07:13 PM »
Michael Gove moved to chief whip in cabinet reshuffle

Education Secretary Michael Gove is to become the new chief whip in the most wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle of David Cameron's premiership.

He has been replaced by Treasury minister Nicky Morgan, as Mr Cameron promotes more women into top jobs.

Ken Clarke is among the old guard to have stood down and Foreign Secretary William Hague has moved to a lower profile role as Commons leader.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has taken over at the Foreign Office.

Among the other changes announced:

Lord Hill, Leader of the House of Lords, has been nominated as the UK's next European Commissioner

Liz Truss, a 38-year-old education minister, who entered the Commons in 2010, has been drafted into the cabinet as environment secretary

Business minister Michael Fallon - a veteran frontbencher - is named as the new defence secretary

Sir Bob Kerslake is to step down as head of the civil service in the autumn and will retire as permanent secretary at the communities department

Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, is to take back the role of the head of the civil service - two years after the roles were split

David Jones is sacked as Welsh secretary to be replaced by his deputy Stephen Crabb

David Willetts replaced as universities minister by Greg Clark, who will attend cabinet

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright, a 41-year-old barrister, replaces Dominic Grieve as Attorney General, the government's chief legal officer

Baroness Tina Stowell, a former head of corporate affairs at the BBC, is the new leader of the House of Lords

Two MPs return to government: Mark Harper who quit as immigration minister after admitting employing an illegal immigrant as a cleaner, becomes a work and pensions minister, and Nick Gibb - sacked in a 2012 reshuffle - returns to the education department

The BBC News channel's chief political correspondent Norman Smith said the aim of the reshuffle was to bring in fresh faces and make voters think again about the Conservatives' "male, pale and stale" image.

The number of women in cabinet has gone up from three to five so far, out of a total of 22 ministers in Mr Cameron's top team. Ten women have been promoted so far, across government, with three taking ministerial jobs for the first time.

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has turned down David Cameron's offer of a return to government as a minister in the Foreign Office, saying on his website he preferred to carry on campaigning on immigration and Europe from the backbenches.

But it is Michael Gove's move to chief whip, a behind-the-scenes role in charge of party discipline, announced by Mr Cameron on his Twitter feed, that has caused the most surprise.

Mr Gove has been one of the most radical and at times controversial figures in David Cameron's government, driving through far-reaching changes to the education system such as free schools, exam changes and the extension of the academy programme.

His calls for a return to more traditional teaching methods and exam reforms have brought him into conflict with the unions - his replacement by the relatively unknown Nicky Morgan - seen as having a less confrontational style - may be an attempt to calm things down, said the BBC's Norman Smith.

Downing Street is talking up Mr Gove's new role, which will see him leading the fight against Labour in the general election campaign.

"You should expect to see a great deal of Michael Gove on your TV and radio channels," said the prime minister's official spokesman.

But BBC political editor Nick Robinson said it will be seen by some as a demotion as Mr Gove will no longer be a full cabinet member, just have the right to attend meetings when required.

"He now continues not as a leading Tory figure in his own right but as 'a friend of David and George'," writes Nick Robinson.

"His first job would appear to be to help them win the election. His second to make sure Boris and his old sparring partner Theresa May aren't the next Tory leader."

Nicky Morgan will add responsibility for equalities to her previous brief as minister for women, but business and education minister Nick Boles will be responsible for implementing same sex marriage legislation, which Mrs Morgan voted against on the basis of her Christianity.

The teaching unions have said they are seeking urgent meetings with Nicky Morgan to discuss pay, pensions and professional standards.

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said he was "surprised and shocked" by Mr Gove's departure, telling LBC radio: "I'm a great admirer of the Secretary of State, I think he's been a transformative and radical minister of education."



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28302487

Working theory could be that Cameron is "disposing" of anyone with baggage before the sh*t really hits the fan.

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1389 : July 15, 2014, 07:11:37 PM »
Michael Gove moved to chief whip in cabinet reshuffle

Education Secretary Michael Gove is to become the new chief whip in the most wide-ranging cabinet reshuffle of David Cameron's premiership.

He has been replaced by Treasury minister Nicky Morgan, as Mr Cameron promotes more women into top jobs.

Ken Clarke is among the old guard to have stood down and Foreign Secretary William Hague has moved to a lower profile role as Commons leader.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has taken over at the Foreign Office.

Among the other changes announced:

Lord Hill, Leader of the House of Lords, has been nominated as the UK's next European Commissioner

Liz Truss, a 38-year-old education minister, who entered the Commons in 2010, has been drafted into the cabinet as environment secretary

Business minister Michael Fallon - a veteran frontbencher - is named as the new defence secretary

Sir Bob Kerslake is to step down as head of the civil service in the autumn and will retire as permanent secretary at the communities department

Sir Jeremy Heywood, the cabinet secretary, is to take back the role of the head of the civil service - two years after the roles were split

David Jones is sacked as Welsh secretary to be replaced by his deputy Stephen Crabb

David Willetts replaced as universities minister by Greg Clark, who will attend cabinet

Justice Minister Jeremy Wright, a 41-year-old barrister, replaces Dominic Grieve as Attorney General, the government's chief legal officer

Baroness Tina Stowell, a former head of corporate affairs at the BBC, is the new leader of the House of Lords

Two MPs return to government: Mark Harper who quit as immigration minister after admitting employing an illegal immigrant as a cleaner, becomes a work and pensions minister, and Nick Gibb - sacked in a 2012 reshuffle - returns to the education department

The BBC News channel's chief political correspondent Norman Smith said the aim of the reshuffle was to bring in fresh faces and make voters think again about the Conservatives' "male, pale and stale" image.

The number of women in cabinet has gone up from three to five so far, out of a total of 22 ministers in Mr Cameron's top team. Ten women have been promoted so far, across government, with three taking ministerial jobs for the first time.

Former Defence Secretary Liam Fox has turned down David Cameron's offer of a return to government as a minister in the Foreign Office, saying on his website he preferred to carry on campaigning on immigration and Europe from the backbenches.

But it is Michael Gove's move to chief whip, a behind-the-scenes role in charge of party discipline, announced by Mr Cameron on his Twitter feed, that has caused the most surprise.

Mr Gove has been one of the most radical and at times controversial figures in David Cameron's government, driving through far-reaching changes to the education system such as free schools, exam changes and the extension of the academy programme.

His calls for a return to more traditional teaching methods and exam reforms have brought him into conflict with the unions - his replacement by the relatively unknown Nicky Morgan - seen as having a less confrontational style - may be an attempt to calm things down, said the BBC's Norman Smith.

Downing Street is talking up Mr Gove's new role, which will see him leading the fight against Labour in the general election campaign.

"You should expect to see a great deal of Michael Gove on your TV and radio channels," said the prime minister's official spokesman.

But BBC political editor Nick Robinson said it will be seen by some as a demotion as Mr Gove will no longer be a full cabinet member, just have the right to attend meetings when required.

"He now continues not as a leading Tory figure in his own right but as 'a friend of David and George'," writes Nick Robinson.

"His first job would appear to be to help them win the election. His second to make sure Boris and his old sparring partner Theresa May aren't the next Tory leader."

Nicky Morgan will add responsibility for equalities to her previous brief as minister for women, but business and education minister Nick Boles will be responsible for implementing same sex marriage legislation, which Mrs Morgan voted against on the basis of her Christianity.

The teaching unions have said they are seeking urgent meetings with Nicky Morgan to discuss pay, pensions and professional standards.

Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw said he was "surprised and shocked" by Mr Gove's departure, telling LBC radio: "I'm a great admirer of the Secretary of State, I think he's been a transformative and radical minister of education."



http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-28302487

Working theory could be that Cameron is "disposing" of anyone with baggage before the sh*t really hits the fan.


or he is putting Euro sceptics and women into place. Parliament  shuts down soon then its the conference's then before you know it the Election will be upon us.

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1390 : July 16, 2014, 02:35:57 PM »
I think it's a case of getting Gove away from education where his back of a fag packet ideas have been disastrous PR for the Tories and in many cases against wisdom gained from educational research.

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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1391 : November 12, 2014, 02:17:03 PM »
Why are the Conservatives so incompetent at running the economy?
If that question seems odd to you, you are one of the majority in the UK who think the Conservatives are better at managing the economy than Labour. Why do people think this? My guess is that it is very simple. The financial crisis happened while Labour was in power. This led to the largest recession since the Great Depression.

But surely everyone knows that the financial crisis was a global phenomenon that started in the US? Surely everyone knows that if the Conservatives had been in power there would have been just as little financial regulation, so the impact of the crisis on UK banks would have been much the same?

The problem is that most people do not know this. What they hear is the Conservatives repeating relentlessly that it was all Labour’s fault. In his latest party conference speech Cameron says:

Quote
“A few weeks ago, Ed Balls said that in thirteen years of Government, Labour had made ‘some mistakes’. ‘Some mistakes’. Excuse me? You were the people who left Britain with the biggest peacetime deficit in history…who gave us the deepest recession since the war…who destroyed our pensions system, bust our banking system…who left a million young people out of work, five million on out-of-work benefits – and hundreds of billions of debt. Some mistakes? Labour were just one big mistake.”

This line is repeated by the majority of the UK press. It is hardly ever challenged by reporters in the BBC or other TV media. It has become so pervasive, that even some of my non-macro colleagues repeat elements of it back to me. [1]

So what if we take the financial crisis out of the equation, on the basis that it would have happened whoever had been in power. Here is average UK output per head (GDP per capita) since the 1970s.



I have drawn a trend line at 0.25% per quarter, so we can separate any evaluation into trends and deviations from trends. In terms of trends, there is no obvious difference between administrations. The Conservatives were in power from 1979 to 1997, but the trend rate of growth was not obviously better or worse during this period compared to the 1997 to 2007 period that Labour were in power. Fortunately that broad diagnosis is confirmed by those who look at these things more scientifically. [2]

In terms of deviations from trend, we have the major recessions of the early 1980s and 1990s, and the period since the Great Depression. Now the early 1980s was a global recession following a second oil price shock, where all countries were trying to get inflation down, so in fairness I ought to take that period out of the equation along with the Great Recession. However it should be noted that this period of Conservative administrations started with a radical new macroeconomic policy of targeting the money supply, which in its own terms was a disaster as the targets were never met, and the policy was abandoned after a few years. Hardly a great example of being able to manage the economy.

The 1990 recession was more home grown. It was partly a result of excessive inflation caused by bad fiscal and monetary policy under Conservative chancellor Nigel Lawson, but it was made worse by fixing Sterling to the DM at an overvalued exchange rate. So a pretty clear case of macroeconomic mismanagement under a Conservative administration. Then we have 2010 onwards. Rather than recovering from the recession, income per capita has diverged further away from its pre-crisis trend. Now you might say in mitigation that this disappointing post-recession performance has been global, but the UK has been more disappointing than either Japan or the USA. Although the UK, the US, the Eurozone and Japan suffered a major recession, by 2013 both the US and Japan had exceeded their 2007 level of GDP per capita. Furthermore the recovery in the Euro12 was also more rapid than in the UK, but then fell back following the Eurozone crisis. As a result GDP per capita in both the Eurozone and the UK remains well below 2007 levels. The best that can be said for the UK recovery is that it has been as poor as the Eurozone, without the excuse of a government funding crisis.

Of course there is much more to say about all this, but the point I want to make here is fairly simple. Once we recognise that the financial crisis was a global event, then the three remaining major departures from trend growth happened under Conservative led administrations. In all three cases they can be associated with poor policy decisions taken by those administrations: money supply targets under Thatcher, ERM entry under Major, and austerity under Osborne.

So the idea that the Conservatives are more competent at macroeconomic management is a myth, and if anything the opposite appears to be true. Now I’m not going to discuss here why recent major mistakes seem to happen under Conservative administrations, although that would be an interesting question. Instead I want to focus on why the myth of Labour incompetence persists in mediamacro, and therefore in the minds of most people? There are two obvious explanations. The first is that the media is totally incompetent, and thinks that because the Great Recession happened under Labour, it must all be Labour’s fault. The second is that the media takes its cue from either the right wing press, or from a financial sector that also has clear interests to pursue.

A third explanation I have heard on the few occasions I enter Labour circles is that they are partly to blame, perhaps because they allowed the Conservative narrative about fiscal profligacy to go unchallenged for too long, or because they fail to campaign strongly enough on issues that matter to voters. If you think that, you should read this article by the Australian economist John Quiggin. He says that complaints that the Australian opposition are pursuing a ‘small target’ strategy, focusing on minor differences with the government, rather than confronting the government on the major issues are misplaced. “In reality, some version of the small target strategy is effectively forced on the main opposition party by the way in which our political system and media now operate.”

As evidence for that in the UK, just think of Ed Miliband’s last speech, and the media reaction. As I wrote about here, after the speech the left of centre journalist Jon Snow asked Miliband what the greatest issue facing the next British government is. Miliband responded that it is getting the country to work for most working people rather than be stuck with a more unequal country. There it is - inequality - put at centre stage. But all Snow could do was respond that this was the second time Miliband had forgotten to mention the deficit, and proceeded to rant on about this.

When I wrote that post, it was before Cameron’s speech. I suggested that Cameron would fail to mention the productivity slowdown that is a key factor behind the UK’s poor recovery from the recession, but no journalist would bother to even mention this. He didn’t, and I do not remember anyone even noting this failure, even though Labour talk all the time about the decline in living standards that it has produced. In mediamacro, the deficit is all important, but the decline in average living standards not so much. And people wonder why many potential voters are disaffected from mainstream politics.

In a recent post, the US economist Robert Reich berates the Democrats for failing to campaign on falling median wages and the growing inequality that lies behind it. The reason he gives is simple: money buys votes in the US system, which Jeffrey Sachs calls a plutocracy. In the UK Labour has tried to raise the link between inequality and falling real wages, as my example above shows, but the UK media does not appear to want that discussion to take place. I would really like someone who knows the UK media from the inside to explain why.

[1] Isn’t the bit about the deficit just a little bit true? Yes exactly that. Labour’s fiscal policy could have been better, particularly in hindsight, as I detail here. But did it amount to fiscal profligacy - absolutely not. Did it have anything to do with causing the recession - absolutely not. Could a tighter fiscal policy have allowed Labour to do a little more in terms of fiscal stimulus to fight the recession - maybe, but remember that Cameron and Osborne opposed the countercyclical fiscal policy Labour did enact. In what world does that opposition show economic competence?

[2] See, for example, this from John Van Reenen. A less scientific response would be to claim that trend growth was falling under Labour, and that 2007 represented a large macroeconomic boom. You will find many in mediamacro who assert this as a fact, but the evidence just does not support this claim.


Simon Wren-Lewis

stuey Online
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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1392 : December 11, 2014, 06:20:27 PM »
Citizenship checks 'missed past crime'
People with ''very poor immigration histories'' have been granted UK citizenship according to the chief border inspector.
Citizenship was approved without checking applicants criminal records in their home countries, John Vine found.
In one case, official failed to check the records of an asylum seeker who has murdered someone in their home country.
The Home Office said most of the issues were down to ''wrong-headed decisions taken by the previous government''.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-30432832

In these times of worldwide terrorism threatening national security the Tory response is deplorable.
They blame Labour incessantly for anything and everything as a standard excuse for their failure in addressing the issues that confront the country.

« Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 06:38:45 PM by stuey »

stuey Online
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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1393 : January 06, 2015, 06:27:32 AM »
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-30679949

A&E waiting times are at their worst level for a decade.
This in spite of the relentless bullshit by the alliance on the state of the NHS.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-30684326

Meanwhile 50% of the alliance the LibDems have set out plans to plug the NHS funding gap.


You couldn't make it up!!
The Tories while making no credible comment on a public service their policies are dismantling, leave the placation to their partners in crime the LibDems.
In spite of toeing the line to retain a fingertip hold on power Nick Clegg now informs us he would contradict the arrangement if he and his party held office indepenantly.
As stated the Tories make no credible comment.
 

lfc_ynwa Offline
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Re: The Coalition Government
Reply #1394 : January 07, 2015, 03:56:56 PM »
I got to admit, voting in the next election is like voting for the less sh*t party. Literally every party has major faults that really do put me off voting for them.

And this A&E crises is a disgrace that many people could foresee.
Congratulations, you're the 1,000th person to view my post. In order to claim your prize, please click on the "good post" button to the left and type in the prize you want. Now check under your pillow.

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