Sunday, 6 March 2011

Be careful where you stand

Not really a post today, more of a montage of unfortunate Poli-pictures.

An undecided grey voter

That’s me, with two weeks and a bit to the election I am still undecided who to give my X to. 

I haven’t even had the pleasure of telling the canvassers to bugger off because there haven’t been any, the three main contenders are difficult to distinguish between, and they all seem to have the same policies with a few variations on a theme. 

Do I want cuts in public spending, or will I settle for tax increases, can I live with higher costs for food, fuel, gas, electric and water, do I need an NHS that is still overburdened with pen pushers? 

I used the Telegraph’s How should I vote calculator and it came out to UKIP, but I have doubts that they will be able to take enough seats to make a difference, I have considered an independent candidate but there aren’t any standing in my town, unless you call the Monster Raving Loony guy a “candidate”. 

So at the moment I am stuffed, I don’t have a clue what to do, who to vote for or if I should bother to vote at all because it seems that it may make no difference at all who gets in. 

Decisions, decisions. 



Try this it will make you feel better.




Old farts in the driving seat


Being an old fart myself I think have the right to use the above headline.

There is some “interesting” research from the De Montfort University who predict that four out of 10 potential voters will be older than 55.

A "grey majority" is expected to turn out to vote in more than 300 constituencies, including 94 marginal seats in England, Scotland and Wales,

Age UK says that politicians need to show more commitment to older voters.


Snag is that a lot of “grey voters” such as myself do not have a clue who to vote for, there doesn’t seem to be any difference between the parties that are liable to get elected.

They all have the same policies but with slightly different ways of screwing us, I think the main ‘bugbear’ is the provision of care for old farts.

After working for 50 years and paying National Insurance the Government(s) wants us to stump up again so that we can have a decent drop of the Summer Wine.


This doesn’t seem right, they say that there will be more older people than there are young before long, and the problem with that is?

People of my generation have been brought up in the main to respect others, to work hard and look forward to a well earned retirement, but it seems that it is not to be that way; it seems that we are to be forced to retire later, and have the privilege of paying for it twice, if we become ill.


The pre-election “Governments” tell us that savings need to be made, mainly because of the mind numbingly stupid decisions by said pre-election “governments”, OK, let’s pull out of Afghanistan-billions saved, and out of the EU-hundreds of billions saved and let’s get rid of all the illegal immigrants-millions saved.


The Politicians need to listen, and to act on our needs, isn’t that what a Government is for?



How to chose who to vote for

Vote match


From the Telegraph.


Vote Match is a guide which helps you determine your preference for the 2010 UK General Election by matching your views on the issues most important to you with each political party's policies.

Start by selecting which UK nation you live in, and then answer the 30 statements by clicking on agree, disagree, open-minded or skip (if you want to ignore the statement entirely).

The issues - select which areas of policy matter the most to you - and which ones matter the least

The parties - select which parties you would be prepared to vote for (at least three).

Results - the results screen will reveal which party you agree with most, and other parties will follow in descending order. You can look at the responses from each party in more detail by clicking on their name.

Vote Match is intended as a guide only and is not intended to give you definitive answers on which way you should vote. We encourage you to look into the parties' policies in more detail and provide you with some pointers in the results section.

Four things to know about Vote Match:

• The aim of the tool is to raise awareness about the policy differences between political parties standing in an election and encourage people to vote.

• The statements are devised by an independent academic panel based in the politics department of Goldsmiths University of London.

• The political parties themselves fill out the answers to the statements.

• The project is politically neutral and has an Advisory Board chaired by Sam Younger, former chair of the Electoral Commission.

Vote Match is an Unlock Democracy project in association with:, Goldsmiths: University College London and the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust.


You can access Vote Match Here; or rather you can’t because the page doesn’t load, but there is a picture at the top of the post so that you can see....... what you can't see.


Just like the Political parties, it doesn’t work.



Where has everthing gone?

Been a while since I posted on the Politico blog, RL and other things to blame.

I took a stroll around the Castle neighbourhood and town today, and the news is not good.

I am going to go into old fart mode here, ten years ago there was:


A “proper” paper shop.

A “proper” sweet shop

A chemist

A green grocer

A post office

Five pubs

All these amenities were within ten minutes walk of the Castle.

Today there are;-Two Pubs, and a “multi-store”/”convenience store, that’s it, bugger all else.


So I drove down the town and parked on the road after paying the road toll which I have paid many times over with my council tax. And I walked around what used to be a vibrant, busy Victorian “shopping centre”, and is now a deserted “modern mall”. There is a thing called the ‘Wellington Centre’ which was expanded with ‘The Galleries”, the Wellington centre now consists of a few shops-Boots, W H Smith (with integral “main Post Office”), Argos, Superdrug, Peacocks, New Look, Millets a Chinese Medicine do dah and assorted phone shops.

The new super duper Galleries is empty,  WTF is going on? There is a project next to Tesco, just out of town to provide a Morrisons (bit of competition) a cinema (of which there were three and now there are none) and assorted cafe’s and restaurants (much needed), but the “Galleries” management is trying to stop it because they want all the trade in their expensive boring empty “centre”.

So who is to blame? The Gov, the Council, the “Management” or Uncle Tom Cobbly?

Personally I would go for the first three because “Uncle Tom” doesn’t exist, between them they have managed to cock up the economy, the town and the Castle neighbourhood, between them they have managed to take away the heart of my dear old town and replace it with a stone, and in doing so have made life worse for all who abide here, and used to enjoy the basic right to shop in a place that had a decent spread of emporiums.

Now it seems that no one goes to the town anymore, and it has become a place ruled by estate agents, fast food vendors, bars and bugger all else, I certainly won’t be using the “new” Aldershot town centre any more and sadly it seems that thousands of others have the same attitude.



Too little too late

Unemployed workers over the age of 50 will receive help to find jobs from a new, £10 million government programme.

It seems that the Dept of WitlessPillocks (DWP) and Work and Pensions secretary, Yvette Cooper (whoever she may be) have decided that the time has come to target the unemployed over fifties for “specialist help and retraining” because they are “too important to the economy to be abandoned to long-term unemployment or early retirement.” And are going to spend £10 million for them to have the chance of more help, and the choice of when to retire.”

Yeah right, funny that this spiffing idea has vomited forth from the “Gov” just before the election, funny that the “grey vote” is a fairly substantial proportion of the electorate, funny that suddenly after more than a decade “they” have decided that the over fifties are a priority.

Funny that.....well it isn’t funny it’s a bloody insult.



Double the CouncilTax-1.4 million visited bt bailiffs


Thanks to labour’s knobhead policy of inflation plus council tax rises there were 1.4 million households visited by bailiffs last year because of arrears.

Local councils in their kindness applied for more than three million court summonses, the number of families being pursued has risen by more than sixty percent over the past decade as council tax bills have risen sharply.

Local councils are thought to be turning more quickly to the courts to recover unpaid bills.

Caroline Spelman, the shadow secretary for communities and local government, said: “Thanks to Gordon Brown forcing council tax to double, a record number of families are now struggling to make ends meet.

"Three million households suffer the trauma of going to court due to council tax. One and a half million people now face a menacing town hall bailiff knocking at their door.

Oxfordshire magistrates issued 27,277 such orders last year and Liverpool Magistrates issued 62,608 orders.

In total, 3,121,089 orders were issued across England and Wales during the 2008-09 financial year – a rise of 700,000 in just three years.

The orders led to 1.4 million households being visited by bailiffs – a 69 percent rise since 1997.

More than 1,500 people were made bankrupt last year as a result of council tax debts.

The sharp rise in people getting into financial difficulty with their council tax bills follows big increases in the levy over the past decade.

The bill for an average home has more than doubled from £688 in 1997 to £1,414 this year.

In 2004, John Prescott, the then deputy prime minister, issued official guidance urging councils to make more use of bailiffs.

Bailiffs currently only have a right of “peaceful entry” for council tax debts and therefore can only enter people’s homes if invited.

However, legislation has been introduced which would allow bailiffs to break in – although the laws have not yet been formally introduced. But, fears are growing that bailiffs will be granted these powers in future.

The Government says it has acted recently to cap council tax rises and keep bills down.


Thanks Tone and Gord, why is it that Council tax has soared with the house prices (plus inflation plus) and now that the prices have fallen bugger all is done to reduce them.

And don’t spout about the recession and the need to raise money, the Gov had plenty of money before the crash and pissed it away on quangos, consultants and expenses, leaving the poor sod in the street to fund Labour’s balls ups.

Let’s have a revaluation of houses at today’s prices and then start again.



Quango bango

  The Gov has sneaked the news under the radar with the MP expenses “thing” taking precedence that spending on quangos, the controversial arms-length public bodies which control huge swathes of spending on areas like health and education, increased by a quarter over the last three years, from £37billion to £46.5billion

The figures were released without fanfare on the Cabinet Office's website last night.

A Cabinet Office report showed that spending on the quangos, or executive “non-departmental public bodies”, rose by £3.5 billion - or 7 per cent - to £46.5billion last year.

The latest figures mean that spending on the organisations has now increased by £10billion or 25 per cent over the past three years.

Of the £46.5billion, £38.4billion was funded directly by Government, with the remainder coming from a combination of fees, charges, levies and National Lottery and European Union funding.

The number of the public bodies fell from 827 to 790 between 2008 and 2009, but staff employed by the executive bodies increased from 92,500 to 110,000 people.

The figures, from the Cabinet Office’s Public Bodies, excludes executive agencies, public corporations, non-ministerial departments and many of the local and regional quangos created by Labour.

According to research by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, which campaigns against wasteful spending of public money, there were 1,152 quangos in the UK in 2008, costing the taxpayer £90 billion.

A spokesman for the alliance said: “The Government evidently felt this was a good day to bury the bad news about our bloated quango state.

"Despite all the rhetoric, these unaccountable bureaucrats continue to spend a huge amount of taxpayers’ money without any need to answer to the people.

“We could save billions by scrapping many of these bodies, and cutting down or amalgamating many others. It is time taxpayers’ were given control of how their own taxes are spent.”

Quangos cost the UK just £21.4billion in 1997/98, a year after Labour came to power promising a "bonfire of the quangos".


YE GODS! why do we have a government when all their work is farmed out to these money pits.


Yes there should be a “bonfire” and 600 plus MPs should be on it.




Fiscal responsibility-no choice


The name's Osborne: george osborne

The Guardian runs a piece this morning on George Osborne and his plans for an audit of the country's finances so that he can “begin the process of cutting public spending”, sounds good doesn’t it, and it makes George look as if he is on top of the game and is being pre-emptive and responsible.

The truth is that he has no choice; the ‘Fiscal Responsibility Act’ forces him to get his finger out and do his job.

Summary of the Bill

The Bill imposes a statutory duty on the Treasury to meet specific targets for the reduction of government borrowing and debt. The Government believes that this legislation demonstrates its commitment to ensuring the sustainability of the public finances.  The Bill gives Parliament a greater role in fiscal policy.

Key areas

The Bill requires the Treasury to make sure that:

  • Government borrowing in each financial year between 2010/11 and 2015/16 is lower than the previous year, measured as a percentage of GDP
  • Government borrowing in 2013/14 is no more than half its 2009/10 level. A draft statutory instrument made under the Bill requires borrowing to be no more than 5.5 per cent of GDP in 2013/14
  • Government debt is lower in 2015/16 than in 2014/15, measured as a percentage of GDP
The Bill also requires the Treasury to report to Parliament in the Budget and in Pre-Budget Reports and to provide an explanation if the targets are missed.

So don’t get sucked in by the “Newlyweds” they have no choice, the only choice they do have is what they are going to do about taxes, indirect and direct, how much they are going to punish us for the politicians lack of control and foresight regarding the Economy.