Tories at War While the Economy Dives

There are times when I feel utterly overwhelmed by the problems that come my way and the difficulty of finding solutions.  This morning was one of those with some actions by Cornwall Council that have caused me (and others) great concern and news that a vulnerable young man is having his benefit axed even though he was until recently in the grip of such severe mental health problems that his mother had to give up work.

The economy has gone into the feared double dip recession – as the Labour Party warned  two years ago – and instead of acknowledging that their policies are not working, the Tories are gleefully dreaming up more cuts, more austerity for the rest of us and possibly even more tax cuts for the well off.  That means that more vulnerable people, low paid workers, disabled and elderly people will pay an even higher price for the banks’ greed.  Presumably, this will be accompanied by even more Lib Dem hand wringing as they sign up and vote for it all.

But some politicians clearly do not get bogged down in these gloomy prospects.  The Tories are having a bunfight over who has the most influence via their bizarre backbench 1922 committee. Apparently it is too dominated by the old guard.  The Guardian has covered it in detail but I particularly thought this bit deserved the unprintable response I uttered through my muesli. It’s about the Tories’ poor poll ratings.

One senior figure says: “There are some who say this is a blip. I don’t buy that. We are not John Major’s government yet. But if we don’t get our act together by the party conference in the autumn we will be in trouble. I think I’ve worked out the problem. In Nos 10 and 11 they are not that bright. They all like to give the impression that they are so much cleverer than us. But they aren’t.”

Doesn’t it just sum it up?  Poll ratings are the biggest issue and the people running the country are not very clever.

Our own MP George Eustice was moved to comment and repeated his assertion about the importance of getting Boris Johnson re-elected next week and then recommended the government spend some time on a ‘well-thought-through plan’ for May and June.

Even worse: poll ratings are the biggest issue, the people running the country are not very clever and they don’t have a plan.

Meanwhile, as the Tories fight each other and the economy dives, real people pay the price.  Talking of plans, how about this one. It doesn’t cover media strategies but perhaps, boys, they are not really the biggest issue here?

  • Repeating the bank bonus tax – and using “the money to build 25,000 affordable homes and guarantee a job for 100,000 young people”
  • Bringing forward long-term investment projects, such as schools, roads and transport, to create jobs
  • Reversing January’s “damaging” VAT rise now for a temporary period
  • Immediate one-year cut in VAT to 5% on home improvements, repairs and maintenance
  • One-year national insurance tax break “for every small firm which takes on extra workers, using the money left over from the government’s failed national insurance rebate for new businesses”


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