Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally

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Another non-Conservative policy

After thirteen years of Labour, the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition has done some good things: accelerating Tony Blair’s policy on Academies and introducing Free Schools, the Welfare Reform Act (which will be good if implemented) and cutting 50p tax to 45p (should have been 40p) to encourage the enterprise we desperately need.

But David Cameron as Prime Minister is allowing distinctively non-Conservative policies to take centre stage as well. This coupled with rumours he is actually quite happy being in coalition and is not so keen on winning a Tory majority at the next election is starting to leave a bad taste in the mouth. Firstly, we had little bones thrown to the Liberal Democrats at the start of the love-in back in May 2010 with the introduction of wasteful Local Enterprise Partnerships replacing the wasteful Regional Development Agencies then we moved on to bigger fish with the great ‘pause’ over the Health and Social Care Bill which has resulted in a dog’s breakfast of an Act of Parliament, which is not understood by anyone and with the only achievement being to give most of the power to the most incompetent health workers in the NHS: the GPs. 
We have the continuing sop to the chattering classes and the yellow peril that is the gay marriage policy and last week Home Secretary Theresa May was wheeled out to tell us the Coalition was going to stop the poorly paid from being able to afford a can of beer to relax upon an evening.
As Philip Davies MP said on Sky News last Friday, the fact Caroline Lucas from the Green Party is in favour of minimum alcohol pricing should have sent a signal to Mr Cameron the policy was not such a good idea. It will do nothing to stop the louts who can’t think five seconds into the future from “pre-loading” before heading into town to get drunk and have a punch-up in the street. However, it will stop sensible ordinary people on low incomes from enjoying a glass of cheap beer from the supermarket after a hard day’s work.
What on earth has government, one with an allegedly Conservative Prime Minister, got to do with telling people they can’t buy 2 for 1 promotions at the supermarket? It is the policy of the Chinese Communist Party or the former USSR. Ironically, the policy is probably illegal under EU law.
The economy is already in an enough mess without the Coalition trying to make it worse by lowering retail sales. My advice for Cameron and Osborne is to concentrate on reducing public spending and for Theresa May to get tougher with the louts who stop decent people from entering their town centres at night rather than penalising the law abiding and hard-working.

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Non-EU nationals waved into Britain

News has broke today that senior officials at the UK Border Agency (UKBA) told border guards to not bother checking passports of non-EU nationals at the UK border in our seaports and airports.

When anyone enters the UK – British citizens or not – our passports are meant to be ‘scanned’ against databases of known names of those who are a risk or threat to the UK. That is what border guards are doing when they place your passport under the scanner at their post. But it seems this summer somebody, undoubtedly very senior, at the UKBA – without the permission of ministers – ordered border guards not to bother checking non-EU passports and instead just to glance at them and let anybody in. The reason for this given so far were the queues at the border were too long; I at least hope this was the reason and not a left-wing culture in the Home Office that would prefer to continue rubbing the Right’s nose in diversity.

Compare this to entering the United States. Firstly, you can’t even get on the plane in the originating country without telling the US Government in advance you are coming and then you have to tell them the same information you told them before you left in your landing card, and then, typically, you need to wait an hour in an immigration queue before being grilled by a border guard. Now, that is what I call immigration control. It seems the UK Home Office wouldn’t know the meaning of the word ‘control’.

The head of the UKBA, Brodie Clark, has already been suspended, as well as two other senior officials. 
Theresa May needs to get a grip and fast.