Gavin Maclure's Musings

My take on politics locally, nationally and internationally


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Ed Miliband’s political rhetoric soars into a socialist nirvana

Labour leader Ed Miliband

Labour leader Ed Miliband acknowledges the applause after his Brighton conference keynote speech today

Remember where you were today. It will go down in history as the day the catastrophe that is the communist green policy agenda came home to roost.

Ed Miliband, the slippery, amoral, socialist snake he is, has secured a very strong political point in his Labour conference speech this afternoon in stating he will freeze energy prices for 20 months if Labour wins the next General Election. This will resonate across the country.

But let’s take a step back: it was Mr E. Miliband who has CAUSED your HIGH energy prices. nPower, EDL, Scottish Power, British Gas et al have pushed your electricity and gas prices up to pay for the investment in renewable energy the Government has forced them to do as a result of Labour’s Energy Act of Parliament 2008. The big six UK energy firms by law must pump billions of pounds into wind farms, solar, carbon capture and storage etc and funnily enough they need to be compensated to keep their profits sky high and continue paying handsome bonuses to the boss class. So what do they do? They come for you and one after another in short succession they put your bills up at least once a year, thus an average energy bill now stands at £1,200. Thanks Ed.

Your energy bills are the greatest outgoing after your mortgage or rent because of green policies implemented by the last Labour government to ward off unproven anthropogenic global warming in a time when global temperatures are actually going DOWN. However, don’t think for one moment Ed Miliband has had a change of heart and is having a McBridge-esque moment of contrition. He still very much believes in make-believe anthropogenic global warming as it fits very nicely with his closet Marxist views on capitalism, whispered into his ear every night when he was growing up, by his father the academic and publicly declared Marxist Ralph Miliband.

So potential prime minister Miliband and his sidekick Ed Balls, if they get into power, will still force energy firms to keep investing in wind turbines that don’t turn and have to be switched off when it is too windy but they will also force the energy providers to freeze your bills for 20 months. Hold on. Someone with a ‘U’ in Mathematics GCSE knows that this doesn’t calculate and in all seriousness it will probably switch off the lights à la 1970s style!

There is another way: repeal the Energy Act 2008. That’s not happening anytime soon, mate. Don’t forget we’ve got a social democrat in Downing Street with a big enough trust fund not to have to worry about the bill from British Gas when it drops on the sheepskin rug. David Cameron has done nothing to reduce energy prices in his three and half years in office and has encouraged them to rise by appointing Liberal Democrat Ed Davey (another Ed!) to the Energy and Climate Change (ha!) Whitehall department and by kowtowing to the EU directives which are forcing our coal and gas fired power stations to close down with no equivalent replacements. New nuclear power stations aren’t even off the drawing table!

So the electorate now has a choice on how to get their gas and electricity bill down between the socialist and deluded rhetoric of Ed Miliband and the deafening silence of David Cameron. Yep, no choice at all – neither are fit for purpose.

The thing is Ed Miliband isn’t stupid and he has dovetailed his energy prices policy (despite being entirely flawed) into a general critique on the Coalition Government’s handling of the economy and he has a point when he said in Brighton today:

“Too many of the jobs we’re creating in this country are just too low paid, too many of the gains in our economy are just scooped up by the privileged few, including those big bonuses, and too often you are left being charged over the odds.

“They used to say ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’. Now the rising tide just seems to lift yachts.”

It is living standards which the next election will be fought on and frankly it doesn’t matter if Miliband’s rhetoric doesn’t match any inkling of what is possible in reality. People hear about a recovery in the economy but feel nothing has changed for them since 2010 – and in fact has got worse. Outside of the boss class, wages are offensively low. Even professional couples just have enough cash to carry them through from one end of the month to the other. This feeling is what matters to voters and Miliband knows which buttons to press.

It’s the economy stupid. You’re not wrong, Bill.

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Conservative Party membership halves under David Cameron

Slump: Tory membership has halved since David Cameron became leader

Slump: Tory membership has halved since David Cameron became leader

Tory Activists’ website ConservativeHome has been waging a campaign over the summer for Conservative HQ to release their membership figures after it was rumoured they had dipped below 100,000.

After several weeks, Conservative Chairmen Grant Shapps and Lord Feldman capitulated and released figures showing membership stands at 134,000.

This is half the number of members who voted in the Cameron-Davis leadership contest for the Tory Party back in 2005 when membership stood at 253,600. Where has everyone gone?

A fair few will have died such are the perils of keeping up membership numbers in local Conservative Associations up and down the country but the vast majority have just decided not to renew their membership. There has been no scientific analysis of why over a hundred thousand members have deserted the Tory grassroots but the upsurge in membership in UKIP and the collapse of the Conservative vote in the English County Elections in May provides some clue.

Natural Tories, me included, have never been a fan of the Coalition Government. But for every three Conservative Party members, two voted for David Cameron in the 2005 leadership contest, so we can deduce from the massive drop in total membership that many supporters of the Conservative leader eight years ago have now left the party (and not all for the next life!). For the record, I am still a member of the Conservative Party although somewhat disaffected as regular readers will have gathered.

It is not surprising membership has fallen off a cliff. Many of the base gave Mr Cameron the benefit of the doubt whilst he was Opposition leader as he tried to “detoxify” the Conservative Party by embracing hoodies and hugging huskies. But things started to unravel during the 2010 General Election when instead of talking tough on welfare and uncontrolled immigration as ways of tackling the economic mess Labour were leaving the country, windfarms and the Big Society were on the Conservative leader’s lips. It was no wonder we lost the General Election. But to jump into bed with a man who will say anything for power, Nick Clegg, was the ultimate kick in the teeth to Conservatives up and down this land. The membership knew when Cameron formed the Coalition many real Tory policies were buried and predictably metropolitan elite policies on gay marriage and wind farms became prevalent. And to add salt to the wounds the Prime Minister’s Eton chums went round trashing local associations and calling them “swivel-eyed loons”.

The upshot is David Cameron has made it even more difficult for the Conservative Party to ever win a General Election. With a membership below 140,000 the troops on the ground required to win the party a majority in Westminster just don’t exist. It didn’t have to be like this. Yes, David Cameron did not win a majority but he could have formed a minority Government and gone to the country again in the Autumn and by changing the message to one which reflected Britain in 2010 rather than in 2005, a different result could have been achieved. Now the worse of both worlds exist: the Conservative electorate worries if the Tory Party stands for their values anymore and even if they do, Mr Cameron hasn’t got the ground troops to go and tell them.

Tragic.


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Coalition Government deems all parents unfit to feed their kids

All infants between 5 and 7 will now get free school meals

All infants between 5 and 7 will now get free school meals at a cost of £600m to the taxpayer

Yes, that’s right, Nanny has determined every parent in the country can no longer be trusted to feed little Johnny so the State will just have to do it herself. Oh, but you’re paying for it. If you pay taxes that is.

So we now have, thanks to Matron Clegg, the perverse policy of providing free meals to the sons and daughters of millionaires paid for out of the taxes of a 16 year-old earning the minimum wage stacking shelves at Tesco’s. That just about sums up this Coalition Conservative-Lib Dem Government doesn’t it? We’re on the side of hardworking people. Give me a break. You are taxing us until the pips squeak (hat-tip Denis Healy)! The deficit is already £120bn – it’s just about to get larger which will mean more higher taxes in the future to pay it off. Cheers Nick and Dave!

We now have a situation where people who decided to have children – no one forced them – are now receiving MORE money from taxpayers who do not have children. These same taxpayers are likely to be children of the baby boomer generation: they cannot afford to have children as they are taxed to the hilt in professional jobs which thirty years ago would have paid a handsome wage but now just about get the person from one end of the month to the other. And then we have the baby boomers themselves who have done very well – thank you – from being born at the right time in the right place and are sitting pretty on gold plated final salary pension schemes. But let’s not forget these same gold plated pensions are topped up with the taxes of their children who are compelled by law to pay their heating, TV licences and public transport costs.

I think I am entitled to be a little peeved…

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UPDATE (1): The Lib Dem Deputy Leader is against free school meals for those who can afford them: http://order-order.com/2013/09/18/libdem-deputy-leader-opposes-free-school-meals-policy/

UPDATE (2): Boris has spoken – he’s against free school dinners where parents can afford them. The London Mayor told Guido: “I tell you, it would be very easy to say, I think.. I think that it’s real you know errr I, what I think is there should be compulsion to eat the school meal, but I am in no means against getting parents who can pay for to pay for it.” Hat-tip to Guido.