Wednesday 30 March 2011

Incompetence will destroy this government, not Cuts

I know, I've said it 100 times. I've said it since June. It won't be the cuts themselves that destroy this government, it will be the unprecedented incompetence.

It seems astonishing to me that a Conservative Party that spent 13 years in opposition have such poorly thought through policies.

First we saw Gove scrap the Building Schools for the Future fund, finding that, in fact he was breaking contracts left right and centre. This led to a high court Judge ruling that,

"Gove's actions over the scrapping of the Building Schools for the Future (BSF) initiative last year had been "so unfair as to amount to an abuse of power"

Then there are the aircraft carriers that will never carry aircraft.

Then it turns out that Lansley's health reforms could in fact mean that the NHS comes under the jurisdiction of EU competition laws - surely something no Conservative government would ever want?

Yesterday, just as I was hoping to switch off my laptop-slave-driver, a flurry of articles appeared that would surely leave even the most loyal Cameron-flag-waver feeling a little discombobulated?

First, the ONS confirmed that they have lowered growth projections for every year but one of this parliament. They have also raised the unemployment projections and the debt projections for every year until 2015. Effectively, growth will be lower, unemployment and debt will both be higher than projected by 2015 and Gideon has only been in charge for 10 months.

Next, someone posted this astonishing clip of the Baby-Chancellor which shows he hasn't a clue how much revenue the Treasury earns from petrol - literally no idea at all, not even in the right ball park. Please do click on the link - it really is a worry! I can't imagine either Ken Clarke OR Gordon Brown giving such an answer.

Then, Fact Check released this startling analysis on plans to cut Police budgets. After natural wastage and possibly the use of an archaic little loophole to force officers with the most experience and over 30 years service into early retirement, there will still be thousands of posts that need to go. However, it seems that you cannot sack a police officer! Fact Check point out that :

"The problem is that a fully-sworn police officer is technically not an employee of a police force but a servant of the Crown, and as such, cannot be sacked."

The answer? Seems the only way out is to sack back office staff instead and make frontline staff take up the slack answering phones and taking on admin roles. It seems that quite apart from going completely against Cameron's aims to "see police on the streets fighting crime, not stuck behind their desks fighting paper.” It will also lead the coalition into a legal minefield.

But there's more! Fact Check also looked into Gove's 180 Million "bursary" to replace EMAs - a reduction of 380 Million from the original scheme - which is seen across the board as a successful way of keeping disadvantaged young people in education. It found that the IFS take issue with Gove's claims and believe them to be misleading.

Finally, False Economy found that Osborne's plans to reduce a 147 Billion deficit will increased household debt - our debt - by 245 Billion. Effectively, we'll be footing the bill, with eye-watering interest. It seems the Baby-Chancellor will simply shift the debt from the Treasury to our credit cards. 

Cuts don't even take effect until next month and already up to half a million people have taken to the streets in protest. Can you even begin to imagine the fallout as all of these "oversights" kick in at the same time?

Oh yes, and we're going to force 2.2 million sick or disabled people off benefits and into work at a time of rising unemployment; cap housing benefit, potentially displacing 200,000 people; scrap the Independent Living Fund and Time Limit sickness benefits, forcing thousands of the most vulnerable in society into 100% state dependency; slash council budgets by over a quarter, privatise the NHS; close half of all women's refuges; make it illegal to feed the homeless and triple university tuition fees.

I can't watch, really I can't.


  1. Spot on Sue ... fantastic review.... the thing is when nothing makes any sense, like the Big Society, it is usually because there is another agenda.

    If one assumes that the Conservatives do not expect to be re-elected in 2015, then any restraint on their policy aspirations are removed. I am increasingly persuaded of the argument that this government is asset stripping all they can in order to protect big business, the banks and the super-rich like themselves, against the next global banking crisis in 2013/14.

    Amongst the new assets for securitisation are GP commissioning fees, student fees and public pension funds... and of course our private debts.

    As you say "I can't watch, really I can't."

  2. Maybe it is all part of their plot. Confuse us so much with their stupidity that we end up not being able to do anything about it because it's so stupid?

  3. Hellsbells

    Seems to make sense to me .... look up the WTO GATS treaty (Uruguay 95) on Wikipedia ... it spells out the hidden agenda for privatisation of public services which has been underlying government's agenda for over 20y but never put before the public or voted on by the electorate. In fact, signed up to by the unelected EU Commissioners without even MEPs discussing or voting through... I remember their protests!

  4. This document is a good summary of the impact of the GATS treaty ... it is a list of concerns in written questions to Hewitt in 2001. It is clear to see that many of those aspects are now in existence or in prospect.

  5. I tend to agree. Incompetence (and the cover ups) tend to destroy most governments ;) and will no doubt be the downfall of this one. It does however strike me as a little odd that such an incompetent bunch of fools could set up secret police forces and orchestrate an international corporate illuminate to asset strip the country and torture the sick and the poor. Er Paranoia ?


  6. Anonymous

    " such an incompetent bunch of fools" ... I agree bothered me how they could be competent in some areas and not others. Then I realised that they're advisors were all ex- KPMG and McKinseys.

    Not sure about where the secret police force and torture of the sick and the poor fits in ... I certainly haven't mentioned any and I don't think it would be at all necessary .... our media even reports the impact of this government's policies on welfare solely in terms of cheats and scroungers.

    Before dismissing me as paranoid, I believe it would be helpful to you to check out the references that I have suggested... being informed never hurts.

  7. Sue for Prime-minister!!!!

  8. Something in your rsponse on Gats does not quite gel with me Sue, (D), with respect. The EU commissioners cannnot achieve anything without agreement of the Council of Ministers. This can be by majority but unanimity is often required. The date of the developments you describe is during the Blair Government (I cannot easily write 'Labour' government).

    I don't have a problem with private provision, but I do have a problem with private allocation of services....

  9. Howard

    I am sure that your understanding of EU procedures far exceeds mine but I remember that it did not go before the European Parliament because the MEPs were up in arms that they were not included either in the negotiations or a final say. This GATS was negotiated at the Uruguay meeting which extended the previous scope of the agreements ... and whilst I would hate to disagree with you, Blair was elected in 97. The agreements were therefore concluded under Major.

    Having said that Blair implemented many of the measures agreed ... and as you may be aware, I consider New Labour to have been an alternative Conservative Party. Certainly, the policies of the current government are not revolutionary but a more rapid implementation of the previous process of stealth privatisation of public services.

  10. Hi there, off-topic but I think this is important: a woman has won a case against the DWP who turned her down for Incapacity Benefit because her deadly allergy to the chemicals in latex and rubber were supposedly not debilitating and were merely an 'inconvenience'.

    Let's hope ESA and PIP break under the pressure of such legal cases.

  11. Yes, I am sorry about my goof on 95. However we must remember that until recently the MEPs had no powers to speak of except the nuclear option of rejecting the budget. Even now under the federation which is the EU, and strangely the Tories say we must not have, even though that's what we had from the outset, the Council of Ministers decide what may be agreed in such talks.

    This is usually requiring a unanimous decision until, again recently, majorities are acceptable for certain issues.

    If we had a Union (which the EU title claims we have) then the MEPS would decide everything by majority only, not foreign ministers.

    Funny how people get their terminology all mixed up and confuse the **** out of we mere mortals.

  12. Superb!

    Of course they are a bunch of rich boys playing at government. It would be like the Oxford debating society for them, except some of them gave that a miss and concentrated on the Bullingdon and doing what rich boys do.

    They play at government; they are playing at war, dangerously.

    Mrs Thatcher must be spinning in...well, wherever she is. U-Turns are us is a sad legacy for her party. I'm glad she stayed alive long enough to see it happen.

    I see, however, that one of the U-turns was only a right turn. Speleman has been forced to admit that they are in fact selling off 15% of the forests in England (Today's Scottish Daily Telegraph strangely, since our Environment Minister has no intention of selling our forests.) Having told the Commons they got it wrong on this subject (bless her) and promising no further action, it seems that she can sell 15 % off without any legislation. No bugger you guys!!

    Bunch of idiots, playing with our lives. Thank god I’m Scottish and our SNP government has managed to find ways around many of the cuts. Fortunate too that I can move to France if they make such a mess that even Scotland goes bankrupt.

    And talking of Scotland (which returned 0ne (1) Tory MP (who was too thick to make the Secretary of State, George Osborne’s new tax on the oil companies is looking like costing us hundreds of millions of pound of investments and around 40,000 jobs. But he said it wouldn’t have any impact...

    Probably not an impact as far as he’s concerned. Nob!

  13. Howard

    This is a much better link

    Golem XIV - Thoughts: The Free Market and Globalization reconsidered

  14. And don't forget the change in Working Tax Credit Rules that makes almost a quarter of a million families 4 grand a year worse off and means that logically they will be better off on benefits rather than working...

    Or the removal of Domestic Violence services funding that leaves thousands of DV victims and their kids homeless and needing costly temporary accomodation.

    Or the eradication of Legal Aid that means many people will be unable to resolve issues in their life and fall into crisis and become known to agencies at extra cost long term.

    It's as if the Coalition have never heard the word consequence or its meaning has been removed from all their dictionaries. I know nothing about EU laws or complex economics, but I've lived on a tight budget for years and it's given me a much better grasp of value for money than all those millionaires....