Saturday, November 22, 2014

The real masters

This opening won't be popular but maybe we should show some sympathy for politicians in the UK?  And just to be even more controversial, also those in the rest of the European Union.

I know they do every single thing possible to reinforce the view of the man on the street that these pols are only in it for themselves and don't care a fig for the common man nor for their own country but...............

The only reason I suggest some sympathy is that it is clear to me, that the real masters are the bureaucrats.  Those usually faceless people who push policies upon their supposed political masters and certainly don't serve their own people or country's needs.

Consider the EU Carbon Emissions policies.  These might have been signed-off by the politicians but the genesis came about because of bureaucrats who push a pseudo-science.  Government funded scientists and those within leftist so called 'think tanks' who are assisted on their lie-generating mission by state-funded media, such as the BBC ( and don't bother suggesting that the BBC isn't state-funded, they get their money from a  UK government law that imposes a tax on all UK television owners) have been pushing this anti-progress policy for years.  Remember when it was called Global Warming?  That name changed to Climate Change when even the scientists couldn't actually produce evidence of any meaningful 'warming' occurring.  Pardon me for a moment but it is somewhat laughable when data is doctored (the so called hockey-stick fiasco) and even then that damned data still doesn't show any global warming!  'It just isn't fair', the pseudos say!

But I digress.  These EU policies do next to nothing to address environmental pollution nor, if you still subscribe to the phoney green policies, to global warming.  The European Union doesn't exist in some kind of hermetically sealed bubble.  The EU can cut carbon emissions to zero but if China and India keep-up their dash for growth, the EU's efforts will count for naught!  China alone burns more than one and a half times  more coal, the biggest producer of so called green house gases, than the US and the EU combined.  A  study from earlier this year, showed that China was completing a 600Mw coal-fired power station every 10 days for the next 10 years!  Think about that when the lights go out in Europe, particularly in the UK, because the EU bureaucrats have set ludicrous limits that impose shutdowns to productive power stations.

The fatuous nonsense surrounding these policies is nevertheless blindly pursued by these bureaucrats who force their political 'masters' to stick to them on the basis that the rest  of Europe demands that we do.  This same argument is used by all of these bureaucrats in the ministries around the European capitals and its circular nature goes unchallenged.

It is not just in the sphere of EU politics that we see the hand of faceless bureaucrats guiding policies.  We see this also in other areas of public life.  Local Government is run by bureaucrats.  Councillors are elected but in most cases these people are are essentially working part-time and so the actual running of Town and County Halls is carried out by these unelected officials.  These people push their ideas of 'what is good for us' and their own financial interests.  How do you think that those gold-plated pensions came about?  Those salaries that were bench-marked against private sector incomes, until the private sector started to turn down?

In Britain, we have a epithet we use for some of these petty officials.  They are called 'jobsworths'.  So called because when such a bureaucrat is faced with unarguable logic that illustrates the idiocy of their imposition of a certain policy, they simply state ' Can't do anything about it.  I wish I could help but it's more than my jobs worth!'

These though are just the public faces.  So many of these real masters operate in the background and 'advise' under the cloak of anonymity.  Watch the TV news when elected politicians  gather.  Always lurking you will see advisers.  Notionally, they are there to assist their political masters - the people that 'we the people' elected to implement policies for 'our betterment - but the reality is that these advisers are there to make sure that the minister stays on message - doesn't go all maverick and makes a deal that hasn't already been agreed between the bureaucrats from the different countries or ministries.  For all of these EU, G7, G8 and G20 meetings or even just bi-lateral ones between countries, the communique is prepared before the meeting and is agreed by the bureaucrats and then the politicians just endorse the outcome and deliver it.  Any politician that has the temerity to question something in such a document is told  ' ah yes minister but if we change that, then the other side will want to change this paragraph or that paragraph and we really want those'.  The same game will be played out on both sides so that by the time that the 'puppets' deliver the message, the bureaucrats can, off-camera, congratulate themselves on another successful summit and tick-off the particular goals on their own agenda that have been achieved.

I think that the disillusionment with Westminster-based politicians that is seen nowadays, is a symptom of a push-back against these bureaucrats.  Politicians from established political parties increasingly find themselves unable to implement policies because they are thwarted by bureaucrats and people then see politicians as being either liars or incompetents.  Given the 'expenses scandal' it doesn't take a great leap to put MPs into the first category  when in reality, the truth is that it is the system, one that is self-perpetuating, that stops politicians doing what they said they would do.

So do you think that maybe we should consider cutting the politicians some slack and understand that the real 'blame' lies with the bureaucrats?  Or should we maybe say that we elect politicians to run things and that includes managing the bureaucrats as well?

It will be interesting, if UKIP do make the breakthrough that they think they will make (I don't believe that they will), to see how they cope when they have more actual interaction with these bureaucrats.

OK, so enough sympathising with politicians!  The expression 'grow a pair' comes to mind.  Certainly Margaret Thatcher seems to have been influenced by this and was not as compliant as her bureaucrats thought she should be.  Yes she was forced out and I have no doubt that bureaucrats played their part in her downfall but she pushed through policies that brought Britain back from the brink and set the country on the path to recovery - ok, so there have been slips since but directionally , the country has progressed.  Council house sales were anathema to bureaucrats but Thatcher pushed them against such opposition and huge numbers of British people managed to become part of the property owning class because of her determination.

So the message for politicians is rule on behalf of the people that elect you, don't be ruled by bureaucrats!

Friday, November 21, 2014

For American Blacks and Hispanics

Really though this is for anyone with intelligence, to read.  I don't want to be accused of playing the race card, so early in the game.

Specifically though, as a non-American, I am trying to understand what is the problem with black Americans and Hispanics.

And yes, let's get this out of the way, at the start, I call them blacks.  What's with this calling a certain group of Americans - Afro-Americans?  I don't hear those that migrated to the USA, hundreds of years ago, from Germany, England or Ireland, for example, referred to as Euro-Americans, nor those that migrated from Brazil, Argentina and Chile called South America-Americans!  What do we call migrants from Egypt or Algeria or Tunisia or whites from South Africa or Zimbabwe?  I bet it isn't Afro-Americans!

So what is it with blacks and Hispanics?  Election after election, when they can be bothered to vote, they traipse into the voting booth and vote for the Democrat Party ticket.

Now, I know that the Democrats make all sorts of promises about how they and only they, will help the Afro-American and Hispanic community and that the Republicans cannot be trusted because they are racist and only concerned with helping rich white people but...

This Democrat Party line has been spouted for years and years and, at times, during those years, Democrats have held the levers of power.  They have had Democrat Presidents and Governors and Congress and Mayors and yet still masses of blacks and Hispanics are living on the breadline or below it.

And that's what I don't get.  Someone defined madness as doing the same thing, time after time and expecting different results.  So I have to ask black Americans and Hispanics, how's that voting Democrat thing, working out for you?  Is Detroit really a model garden city and those pictures of years of neglect and decay by successive Democrat-led city administrations, just fabrications of the media and the GOP?  Is black on black crime a real problem or just something spouted by racists?  Are Hispanics really loving the latest Obama-inspired and orchestrated influx of MS13 gang members, into the neighborhood?

How is that liberal thing with abortion working out for blacks?  A black woman is 5 times more likely to have an abortion than a white woman.  Blacks comprise just 13% of the US population and yet account for 37% of all abortions!  Hispanics account for 22% of all abortions.  Ask yourself why the criminally misnamed Planned Parenthood, the largest seller of abortions in America,  have located 80% of their clinics, or as some might call them, murder factories, in minority - that's black and Hispanic, in plain language, neighborhoods.

And now America has a black President and his contribution to the advancement of blacks and Hispanics is to use Executive Action to 'legalise' up to 5 million illegal aliens, currently inside the USA.  That's 5 million people who will be doing one of two things.  Either they will be taking jobs that legal Americans could take or they will be taking welfare that is funded by legal Americans.  Either way, the burden of Obama's Executive Action will fall, very disproportionately upon poor blacks and Hispanics.  Those are jobs that could be taken by blacks and Hispanics, by people that are legally in the USA.  Instead they will go to people whose very first act in the USA, is one that is illegal.

Just how many times does the Democrat Party need to 'stick it to blacks and Hispanics' before they will understand?  Honestly, just how stupid are you (that isn't a competition, by the way) that you would vote, election after election for a party that has complete disregard for blacks and Hispanics?

Here's a quick pop quiz for blacks.  When Obama was running for the presidency, in 2008, didn't you think Yeah, about time, now is the time for the blacks to get some!  Didn't you think that a black man in the White House would have maybe just a little bit more understanding of the plight of poor people and particularly blacks?  Okay, so he went to Harvard and had this Community Organizer thing, going on, but he is black and he is from Chicago (or at least that was where he was living at the time - 'birthers', please don't get into this).  Didn't you, as a black, think, he is one of us  How did that work out?

Truth is, that throughout history, the Democrat Party has abused the privileges granted by blacks and Hispanics, with their votes, and have instead pursued liberal and socialist ideas that have done nothing and will continue to do nothing, to lift people out of poverty.

Just recently we had the fatuous comment from Hillary Clinton that 'business don't create jobs'!  This is a woman who believes that she has a right to be America's first female President.  And of course, she fully expects that blacks and Hispanics will continue to give the Democrats their vote and it won't cost the Democrats a thing.

Are blacks and Hispanics really so stupid that they will continue to vote Democrat?

So you are probably wondering why a white Brit is getting so upset about the almost institutionalized stupidity of American blacks and Hispanics.  Well, I see America as a bastion of freedom and the place of hope for the World.  I know those freedoms have been sorely tested in recent years but if America falls to the Democrat/socialist horde then mankind is lost.  The world needs America to demonstrate that the US Constitution is still valid and so is the American way.  That the socialist 'utopia' is a false dream where abortion and euthanasia are encouraged.  Where race is used by government, as a weapon to divide people.

One of my abiding memories from the TV coverage just after 9/11 was a short of a group of people observing a moment of silence in memory of those that were so brutally murdered.  This image has stayed with me not because of any evocative pictures of the World Trade Centre towers but because it was just a shot of a group of Americans, united in mourning the loss of so many innocents.  The camera panned along the line of these people and there was no segregation of colour or 'race' or, I sensed 'thought'.  They were united, black, Hispanic, white, Asian, male and female just standing and showing respect for their fallen fellow Americans.  That unity is not something that the Democrat Party and the race baiters like Obama and Al Sharpton want.  They want a racially divided country and so far, blacks and Hispanics continue to allow them this.

So blacks and Hispanics, next time you apply for a job and don't get it, don't blame the white person doing the hiring.  Blame Obama and the Democrats for flooding the country with cheap foreign labour.  Blame Obama and the Democrats for opposing job creating opportunities like the Keystone pipeline and then take a look in the mirror and blame the person you see because that person is the real villain of the piece!

I (provocatively) asked earlier how stupid are blacks and Hispanics.  I don't mean to imply that there is some kind of gene that blacks and Hispanics have that makes them stupid or do stupid things like continue to vote for Democrats that betray them and don't deliver.  We are thankfully seeing more and more black and Hispanic Republicans and commentators,  that represent American values and seek to expose the Democrat lies and their socialist agenda but still the mass of blacks and Hispanics look to the Democrats on polling day.  And that is just plain stupid!

Back for a moment to Obama's Executive Action.  Congress needs to act decisively and de-fund this, immediately and the people of America need to clearly tell their congressional representatives that Obama's actions are un-constitutional and un-American.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Osborne Statement leaked

Below is the transcript of the Autumn Statement that Chancellor George Osborne is to deliver to the House of Commons on December 3, 2014.  Given its content, we can expect that there will be changes made to water down many of these but see what you think.

Mr Speaker, fellow members of the Conservative Party and members of Parliament from other parties.  Today, following this speech, I will place in the House of Commons Library a copy of this statement and supporting documentation.

The supporting documentation includes a statement from the independent Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR) which comments on my statement.  As the House will know, the OBR was established by this government to act as an independent reviewer of the economic situation within the United Kingdom and of the government's responses to that situation.  Essentially, to ensure that there is independent scrutiny of government budgetary plans so that we avoid the multiple counting of expenditure and unfunded promises, which could not subsequently be kept, that were so prevalent under the previous government.  Also to comment on taxation and policies that would drag Britain further into debt.  The House will recall that Britain's spiraling debt increases were occurring even before the 2008 global economic crisis.

Before I get too far into this statement, I must declare an interest.

It is customary, in such circumstances that the Rt. Hon. Leader of the Opposition, will respond to this statement.  I declare therefore that though I have made a financial contribution to the 'Save Ed' campaign, I do not expect to receive any favours in return for such largesse.  My donation was in excess of the 2p that the Leader of the Opposition recently allegedly gave to a beggar in Manchester, but I consider my £1 money well spent, if it keeps him and the other Ed sitting opposite and continuing to peddle their Micawberish lines about 'needing to borrow ever more because something will turn-up to sort it out'.

I have news for them.  Something did turn up to sort it out.  It is the Conservative Party.

Before I digress too much a final comment regarding the party opposite.  A friend recently reminded me of the line from the film, Love Story and turned it around to make it relevant to Labour and their economic incompetence.  Labour means never having to say sorry, is how it goes!

So Honourable Members, when you read the statement and hear the comments from those opposite, remember that, Labour means never having to say sorry for how they left this country in 2010.  Labour means never having to say sorry for the deficit that they left the country, for the debt mountain that would grow bigger because of the financial black holes and unfunded spending that they left behind.  In fact the only time that Labour have said sorry, is when they left a note at the Treasury saying ' Sorry, there's no money left!'

Before I get to the statement, just a word about our Coalition partners, the Liberal Democrats.   Some members of that party have indicated that they do not support this statement and will vote against any measures arising from it.  My Right Honourable friend the Prime Minister has suggested that any such dissenting members, who hold ministerial office should consider their position and that is what they are now doing.

Thank you for your patience and now to the statement.

The UK economy is well on the way to recovery.  Indeed it is leading the way, in terms of all economic indicators, among the G7.  As with any patient that has had a serious illness, a relapse is possible, though given that the fundamental underlying economic health issues have been identified and the remedies are known, we can expect a full recovery, over time, so long as we stick to the medicine that has brought us back from the brink.

Sticking with this medical theme, the UK economy was obese and suffering as a consequence.  In 2010, the Body Mass Index, or BMI was very unhealthy.  We were funding a financial/calorific intake that was far in excess of our needs and of what was good for us.  We were getting fatter on other people's money.

For the health of the patient, that had to stop!

Over the last 4 1/2 years, we have initiated policies which have begun the slimming down process.  Our economic BMI is still too high but now when we get on the scales we can see improvement and as a nation we know we cannot treat this like some kind of yo-yo diet where we now  backslide and start getting into debt again.  We need to stay the course.

Staying the course is  vital for any healthy diet.  However, a diet needn't be all doom and gloom, not all abstinence and restraint.  Sometime we also need the carrot of a little self-indulgence.

This statement looks to keeping Britain on that healthy diet.  We will slim down the State but will indulge our people along the way.

Firstly, the slimming regime.

In the Budget planned for April 2015, this government will propose removing the so called ring-fence from Education and Health spending.  At a time when all other sectors of the economy are learning that they need to slim down and lose weight, we cannot, as a nation have two vital services that are allowed to gorge while others are on reduced rations.  that is not the British way, that is not the Conservative way.

All government departments, will need to reduce year on year expenditure by 5% in the fiscal year 2015/2016 and a further 5% in each of the succeeding 4 years.

The NHS has been protected from the expenditure reductions that have been required at other government departments but it simply isn't fair that this continues.  I know that the party opposite will scream about the NHS not being safe in Tory hands and so on but the reality is that we are all in this together, we cannot slim-down the body and ignore any large part of that body, we must look at this as a whole.

My colleague the Minister for Health will be advising NHS Trusts on the planned spending budgets  for coming years in a short time.  This advice will include instructions that they should immediately undertake wholesale re-negotiations of all PFI contracts.  And, let us state here and now, we expect these PFI providers to fund the largest part of the reduction in NHS spending.  We will advise NHS Trusts that they will be allowed to go into receivership, bankruptcy, fold or call it what you will but we, the British taxpayer and the Conservative government, will not allow the people to be ripped-off by paying exorbitant fees to private finance organisations.

To be clear on this.  We know that most of these overly generous PFI contracts were signed under previous Labour governments and were considered a 'neat trick' to keep the public finances looking good.  This though isn't about political point scoring.  This party wants to see a healthy NHS not one that is having its very life-blood sucked out by onerous PFI contracts.

To those financiers listening to this, my advice is clear.  Get in touch with your NHS Trust partners and renegotiate the terms of your agreements as a priority.  This issue of overly generous contracts is now on the table and we know we can expect the full support of the 'banker bashing' brigade on the opposite benches, so it isn't going away.

Details on departmental budgets will be placed in the House of Commons Library following their announcement by the respective Ministers but the foregoing outlines the overall direction of where we are heading.

Turning now to taxation.

It will come as no surprise that this party is committed to reducing the tax burden on ordinary people.  The party opposite will bleat about tax cuts for the privileged few and so on, and they may, in their comments,  be yet joined by others.  The reality though, and they absolutely know this, is that government spending isn't funded by the privileged few, by the top earners.  If these people were taxed at 100% it still wouldn't be enough to fund spending.  And that is before we contemplate the huge increases in public spending that will be required to fund the extravagant promises made by the party opposite!  Why they would want to throw away the gains we, as a country, have made in the last 4 1/2 years is simply criminal.  We haven't come through a period of austerity, just so that we can go out on a Labour Party inspired binge!

At the recent Conservative Party conference, we proposed certain measures would be enacted if we were entrusted with power, by the British people, after the May 2015 General Election.  We now believe that we can accelerate some of these proposals.

The April 2015 Budget statement will include proposals to raise the income tax threshold to £12,500 with effect from April 2015 and increase by £500 increments each succeeding fiscal year until it reaches £15,000.  This will lift millions of people out of paying tax, altogether.

The April 2015 Budget statement will include proposals to raise the income tax threshold for the 40% rate from the current level of £41,865 to £45,000 from April 2015 and then by £1,000 increments each succeeding fiscal year until it reaches £50,000.  This will cut the tax bill for millions of so called 'middle earners' .  These people have contributed to putting the UK economy on the road to recovery and it is only right that they should get to keep more of the money that they earn and to be able to spend it as they like, not so that its spending is dictated by some bureaucrat in Westminster or the local town hall.

The April 2015 Budget statement will include proposals to completely lift the burden of so called 'green taxes' from our people and our businesses.  These taxes have crept stealth-like into the fabric of our country and sap the economy.  They force Old-Age Pensioners to sit in unheated homes because they cannot afford to pay high gas or electricity bills which are high because of these taxes that were brought in by the last Labour governments.  These killing taxes must go.

Linked to this, effective midnight, the fuel duty will be reduced by 10p a litre.  I have listened to representatives of the transport industry and of those from rural communities and know that this is the right change to make, to aid our people.

Honourable friends colleagues and Members, these are the headline changes that this Government will be putting before the House.  The full statement, including the comments of the OBR and the current position of the economy will now be placed in the House of Commons Library.

I commend this statement to the House.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Immigration - the real issue

Immigration and the UK's strained relationship with the European Union is a very hot topic at the moment.

It seems to me that UKIP and their supporters are being at best disingenuous and at worst lying.

The talk is all about EU immigration - people from the EU, particularly from Eastern Europe, flooding the UK.  This then is where the argument starts to fall apart.  These immigrants are flooding the UK and taking low paid jobs and so depriving local people of employment opportunities.  These same immigrants are flooding the UK and sponging off of Welfare because the UK authorities are too soft.

Leaving aside the inherent contradiction in these two statements, let's dissect that for a moment.

These East Europeans take jobs that UK people don't take.  That is probably true to a considerable extent.  Certainly all the figures suggest that these East Europeans are very predominantly in work.  In many cases they are in work which is below what their educational qualifications would suggest as being appropriate but they are in work.  Being in work, they are only eligible for those Welfare benefits that are on offer to all low paid employees - UK citizens and non-UK citizens.  These benefits like Working Tax credits and Child Benefit are a symptom of Labour's Gordon Brown's constant meddling in the UK tax system.  Labour's Brown was/is 'old school' socialism.  The sort that taxes everyone very highly and then the kindly State apparatus gives back to those that can work their way around the claims system.  In this Socialist Utopia, you work for the State and then the State decides how much pocket money you shall have, to live on!

But back to immigrants.  So these EU immigrants do jobs that the local population feel are somehow 'beneath' them.  These though are jobs that society needs to have done.  Office cleaning? Fruit or vegetable picking or packing?  Clearing tables? The need is there and so is the supply of local labour however, the tax and the welfare systems combine to make it not worthwhile for the 'locals' to take these jobs.  The income level achieved on Welfare benefits is such that actually taking a low paid job can cost a claimant a net loss in income.  They and their families can be worse-off by being in work.  This is because of income taxes that disproportionately hit low wage people and 'pound for pound' cuts in benefits based on income coming in.

The changes made by the Coalition, on an admittedly Lib Dem fundamental policy, are addressing the tax side of the equation.  The raising of the threshold at which people start to pay tax, benefits millions of people but particularly the low paid.  The Conservative pledge to build on this policy is very encouraging and worthy of support.

The Coalition policies on Welfare reform, this time Conservative inspired, are also starting to untangle the convoluted benefits system and make it clearer for people and, more importantly, to change the philosophy such that 'work' pays.  That this has been done at a time when the nation has been undertaking a policy of austerity (although lack-lustre in my view) is a credit to the Conservatives and reflects a weeding out of the highly dubious claimant numbers that had grown up over recent years.  A very high percentage of  people that were claiming 'incapacity' benefit decided to drop their claims when they were told that they would need to be medically examined.

Recent reports point to a very positive net contribution to the UK economy from EU immigration.  I know that these people have 'an axe to grind' and so the figures might be a little overblown but no one is questioning  that the position is a net positive and this is after considering the costs associated with this EU immigration - higher NHS, schools and local council services use, etc..

I think though that the use by UKIP of EU immigration is a cloak.  The real target is actually non-EU immigration.  It isn't the pale-faced Poles or Czechs that bother them, so much as the black-faced Africans and Indians and Pakistanis and increasingly, displaced people from the Middle East.  Read the sub-text to the UKIP election campaign for the Police and Crime Commission position in South Yorkshire.  The Labour Party were, rightly, condemned for their negligence, bordering on encouragement of the abuse of up to 1,400 young girls in Rotherham but UKIP didn't fail to point out that the perpetrators were overwhelmingly (exclusively?) Asian men - usually Pakistanis.

All of the TV stories show black faces or swarthy types milling about in Calais and trying to steal away onto trucks.  That is the immigration to which UKIP refers.  It isn't the Bulgarian that flies Ryanair into Stanstead and travels on to London and takes a job cleaning toilets, for minimum wage!

I know I invite vitriol by saying it but how does UKIP's concerns about immigration differ from that of the odious BNP or National Front?

The issue with immigration is that people do want to come to the UK.  Some will come because the Welfare programmes are too easily accessible.  Others will come because the UK economy is growing and there are jobs available which are not being taking by locals.

To significantly reduce the 'Welfare' arrivals, the UK government needs to severely restrict the opportunity to claim benefits - something like, you cannot claim benefits until you have been paying into the system for  for two years.  Oh, and apply that to locals as well - wouldn't want to be discriminatory!

To reduce the numbers of those that come to the UK for work?  Kind of a dilemma.  A strong economy should be a welcomed event, however, in terms of incentivising local's off of Welfare and into work, government needs to continue to get out of the business of subsidising low-paying employers.  Do this by increasing the tax thresholds, indeed accelerate this and combine it with squeezing Welfare benefits out of the tax system (and in the process, simplifying that overly complex beast).

UKIP is cleverly conflating British disenchantment with the EU, with a frankly racist immigration policy.  Don't be fooled!  You wouldn't vote for BNP or the National Front, would you?

Friday, November 7, 2014

After the Mid Terms

Thanks to American voters, Republican Party candidates did very well in the US' Mid Term elections.  That sounds so  good to write that I will say it again.  The Republican Party gave the Democrat Party a thrashing in the Mid Term elections.

And let's be clear - a thrashing is what it was.  Leave aside, for a moment, the exceedingly good results in the Senate and Gubernatorial  races - since these were not nation-wide then they can be said to not be representative of the 'national mood'.  The same cannot be said of the elections for the House of Representatives.  These were conducted across America and, given President Obama's assertion that his policies were 'on the ballot', then there was a very clear repudiation of those policies. I suspect that it wasn't just the overt policies - those that head towards the statute book, I think that it was also the modus operandi employed by the Democrats that was rejected (more on this, shortly).

Americans across the country have seen the left-ward lurch under Obama and, in spite of a fawning and therefore uninformative media, they have rejected that direction and have indicated a desire to move back towards more traditional American values and politics.

That said, I sense that this 're-positioning' should not be considered as permanent.  By this I mean that the American people have been sorely tested by Obama's economic 'recovery' the failings of Obamacare and the various scandals that would have engulfed any other administration but with the compliance of the media, merely 'stained' this one, but I don't think that Republicans have clearly articulated a coherent alternative.  So, .......

When the new Congress convenes in January, they need to hit the ground running.  Republicans cannot be Republicans in name only (RINOs).  Nor can Tea Party adherents be ideological obstructionists.   Both wings of the 'right' need to come together and pursue Republican policies.  And this united front needs to be complied with.  So no sulking and taking your vote away because your too far right of 'right of centre' idea has been rejected by the majority of the Republican movement.  Argue your position and then get behind the decision.  America is not your plaything and can't simply wait on you sulking in your tent, nor will America forgive such petulance.  The 'right' has an opportunity to pursue conservative policies and push that agenda but that doesn't mean pursuing far right or 'Democrat in Republican clothing' policies.  America is in trouble and needs its conservatives to put aside the 'nice to haves' and to focus on the 'have to haves'.  To focus on getting Americans back to work, a strong economy and a strong and respected America.

In short, Republicans need to get on with the job for which they were collectively elected - to 'fix' America.

What does that mean?  Well, let's consider the current state of play.  The Democrats and the President still have a little under two months to push through legislation and then, after January, President Obama has his mighty pen and Executive Orders.  Congress after January is obviously though, not without its own power, not least of which is to defund, defund and defund.

In my view, Mitch McConnell, assuming he is elected as Majority Leader and Speaker John Boehner  need to come out and publicly state that any inflammatory legislation, e.g. an immigration amnesty, that is rushed through before the new Congress sits, will be opposed and, come January, repealing legislation will be passed.  Same applies to any pardons or whitewashes of the various scandals that have surfaced - these abuses of power will be pursued and prosecuted - not to the exclusion of all else, fixing the economy has absolute priority, but for the good of  America's democracy.

During the recent campaign, much was made of the number of bills that are sitting on former Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid's desk.  The number was in excess of 300.   What particularly irked people was that many of these had passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support and some, unanimously so.  Therefore these bills, should now move from the Harry Reid waiting room, through to the floor of the Senate and onwards to votes and Presidential signing.

Next, Obamacare.  All I have heard of it tells me that this is wrong for America.  Certainly it isn't delivering the savings nor the coverage that was touted.  Rather than get into a battle over repealing it - Obama will be most unlikely to sign any such repeal into law - simply defund it.  Or, if it can be fixed (and Republican thinkers, when they apply themselves are very innovative) then proceed with it but, and it is a big one, there can be no exemptions.  Congress cannot pass laws and then exempt itself from the effects of such laws.  That might have worked for pre-revolution French aristocrats but not for 21st Century Americans.

The Senate needs to institute hearings on the scandals that have surfaced (VA administration, Fast and Furious, Benghazi and IRS, spring immediately to mind).  Such hearings have been blocked by Harry Reid and the Democrats because they will clearly be an embarrassment for the Obama administration.  This cannot continue.  And if people like the former IRS head, Lois Lerner, plead the 'fifth' then recognise the fact that she is in contempt of Congress and throw her in jail.  Same for those people who are busily destroying e-mails!

Fundamentally though, the new Republican Congress needs to work on fixing America.  Be very clear, there is a deep disapproval of Congress, by the electorate.  My view is that this is because Americans see Congress as more interested in politicking than in getting something done (and maybe also, 'lining their own pockets' at the same time.

Don't look to the White House for support - it hasn't come in the last six years, it won't come in the next two. A  job title for Community Organizer sounds like it should qualify you to bring people together but we have seen that the former Community Organizer, occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is only concerned with telling the community what to do and doesn't feel the need to listen to the community.

As said earlier, fixing America means putting aside what divides Republicans and focusing on getting the economy re-built.

I am British and I know this about Republicans.  It doesn't matter if they are left of centre-right, centre right or right of centre right or even really right of centre-right, they have common core principles founded on a love of their country and the US Constitution and a belief in conservative values such as small government.  Think of those uniting principles in the coming months and focus on restoring America.  The USA needs this and so does the rest of the right-thinking World.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

UK elections

I know that the UK General Election will not occur until May 2015 but things are starting to heat-up, so let's take a look at the current state of play.

The 'elephant in the room' many would suggest is UKIP (but see below).  I am not so sure.  I can see that UKIP will damage both major parties but perhaps the Conservatives a little more.  Can they though make a breakthrough?  In by-elections, as former MP Louise Mensch has pointed out, they have done well, where the UKIP candidate is a defector.  They won in Clacton and seem to be ahead in Rochester and Strood.  However, will they fare as well when they come-up against a sitting MP with a reasonable majority?  Especially if that MP is Conservative and an overt Euro-sceptic? My sense is that faced with such a choice, people will look beyond UKIP's headline 'out of Europe' and 'no immigration' policies and consider that there isn't much policy meat there.  And, what there is, has a distinctly socialist taste to it.

I accept that there is disillusionment with the main parties but I think that on the day, people will stand in the voting booth, see the Conservative or Labour incumbent and either vote for them or for their opposite number, if the opposite number has a chance of winning.  That is, in Conservative or Labour  seats, where the other of the two main parties were second, the voter will consider switching between those two.  Where there existed a large majority, at the last election, for either party, then they will consider moving their vote to UKIP.  So it is the 'protest vote' in such cases that is movable and not the core.

No doubt UKIP enthusiasts will say I am wrong and that Nigel Farage is 'breaking the mould' of British politics but I just don't see that happening.  The British are very conservative, when it comes down to it.  Those of you with a long memory will recall the same being said about the Social Democratic Party and the so called  'gang of four'  - much was written and said by the political pundits but come the day, people didn't fall in behind their SDP candidates and eventually the party merged or was subsumed, depending on your viewpoint, into the Liberal Party to form the Liberal Democrats.

So UKIP?  Good local MPs like Douglas Carswell will likely hold onto their seat.  Maybe Farage will be elected and maybe also a few others.  One problem that they have though, is that their most well known personalities are elected members of the European Parliament and so if they stand in the UK General Election, then they will be open to accusations around their having their noses firmly stuck into the EU trough or, if they resign and stand, as causing unnecessary expense for the British taxpayer, etc..

The Lib Dems?  Not sure that they are entirely in terminal decline but a post election merger with Labour wouldn't be too outrageous.  Many, some would say most, Lib Dem policies are very socialist.  Indeed, in some areas, the Lib Dems seem to outdo the Labour party in their interventionist, nannying kind of way.  The Lib Dems will suffer badly (and rightly in my view) at the next election and will lose significant numbers of seats, perhaps even, being wiped-out in Scotland.

So to the Conservatives.  They are very trusted on economic matters but there is a strong sense that on the very important issue of the EU, David Cameron cannot entirely be trusted (this indeed is a big part of the reason for the rise of UKIP).  On crime, the Conservatives have a good story to tell.  Similarly so on Welfare, where people see the 'welfare cap' as a good thing, (though still too generous) and other welfare reforms as long overdue, and on Education, where there is a quiet revolution underway - Trojan horse school scandals, notwithstanding.  On defence matters people are  trying to square the idea of defence cuts with an increasing need for military engagements around the globe.  The partnering approach to this is being accepted (grudgingly).  On the environment, there is not much 'clear green water' between any of the parties.  All slavishly follow the highly flawed IPCC reports and the fatuous EU Carbon Emission Targets, though I sense that there is a growing sense of scepticism within Conservative ranks - not least because of the economic costs involved.  You can expect that scepticism to soar if there are power outages during the coming UK winter.

All said and done, I believe that the Conservatives will be the largest party at Westminster after the next General Election.  Though they will likely be short of an overall majority and with a much diminished Lib Dem party, have difficulty in forming a coalition.  Given the passing of the Lib Dems favoured legislation on fixed term parliaments, this will present the UK with a period of political instability!

Which just leaves us with the Labour Party.  Prior to the Scottish Independence Referendum, Labour probably thought that the Conservatives were their main opponents.  Keep banging-on about tax cuts for the rich and so on and Labour would sweep to power.  The way of the UK system certainly favours them.  Notionally, they require just over 35% of the votes to be in Number 10.  However, that is much less certain now.  The SNP, who, in my view, are the real 'elephant in the room' are expected to make very significant gains at the expense of Labour.    To many Scottish voters, they are faced with a choice between a socialist Labour party that represents the whole of the UK and a socialist SNP that puts Scotland's interests, first.  Why would a Scottish socialist vote for Labour?

And that is before you take account of the turmoil in which Labour finds itself, in Scotland.  The Scottish Labour leader, Johann Lamont, has resigned and in the process lambasted Ed Miliband and the London-based Labour elite.  While Ms Lamont has lost a Christmas fraternal greetings card from Ed, she has done Scottish Labour (and the people of Scotland) a great service, with her exposure of Miliband's inadequacies.

It is not only in Scotland that Labour is coming apart.  On the economy, their solution of 'what we need is more debt and more borrowing' doesn't resonate.  People know that this is how we got into the mess in the first place.  And they don't forget who was in charge at that time!  On Europe, the charge is that 'Labour don't trust the people' and not agreeing to a referendum, indeed opposing the Conservative backbencher attempts to enshrine one in law, just reinforce the view that Labour are pro-EU.  On immigration, a very hot topic for voters and a vote winner for UKIP, Labour are seen as the architects of the current situation.  The Conservatives don't get off scot-free but immigration is a stick of rock with Labour written all the way through it!

Thinking about that - the  two big UKIP issues - immigration and the EU, see them diametrically opposed to Labour.  So if these are key issues for the electorate, one would expect to see Labour suffering more than the Conservatives.  The latter certainly lean more UKIP's way on these issues.

Back to Ed Miliband.  What a sorry excuse for a party leader.  One who owes his fratricidal elevation to union block votes and who is now in a continual sniping war with the very same union bosses who 'annoited' him and whose unions bankroll his party.

The silent support for Miliband, from his front-bench colleagues is deafening in its absence.  The buffoonish Ed Balls thinks he should be party leader, while ignoring his exceedingly close proximity to the Treasury, when Labour were in power and ruining the economy.  The Labour deputy leader, Harriet Harman, is fixated on pushing a 'feminazi' agenda by wearing slogan shirts in parliament.  When she is not seeing evil intent in every utterance by or action of, a male she must sit, in her quiet moments and ponder how foolish she and her husband, fellow MP Jack Dromey, were to push a Paedophile Information Exchange agenda, when they were on the executive of the National Council for Civil Liberties.  It is a sign of great concern that she would think how foolish they were rather than how wrong.  This alone should be enough to consign her (and him) to the rubbish bin of political history.

So while these Labour heavy-hitters are so otherwise engaged, Ed continues to flounder.  Some people say that politics is about policies and, they are largely right but don't discount the personality factor.   Nick Clegg came out of the 2010 Election debates so much better than Gordon Brown and David Cameron because of his 'niceness'.  Brown was seen as arrogant and less competent than he himself believed, and Cameron's message was delivered in a manner that was perhaps uncaring.

The 2015 General Election debates will see a personally confident Cameron versus a bumbling Miliband.  Miliband's speaking, the nasal and whiny delivery just grates on one.  Whatever message he is trying to put across gets lost in a general annoyance with the delivery!  Farage will do okay, in his matey, ' I might drink in the saloon bar but I am in touch with the views of those in the public bar' approach but I doubt he will have the breadth of subject grasp that will survive scrutiny.  Clegg?  He will be caught between a rock and a hard place - trying to defend the Lib Dems time at the top table and to differentiate.  (Incidentally, a much better analogy that rock and a hard place is 'being between the dog and the tree'!)

The issues?  The economy, immigration, EU and welfare.  Funded tax cuts rather than debt-funded ones will appeal.   I don't think the NHS will loom as large as in previous elections.  Labour will bang on about it but are very susceptible on the fiasco of Labour-run NHS in Wales and the truly shocking incidents at Mid Staffs hospitals and elsewhere.

So a hung parliament in 2015 and a further election later that year or early in 2016, once Labour have a new leader.  Oh and not forgetting a much improved Westminster presence for the SNP.

File this one away and come back and see how accurate I am!!


Friday, October 31, 2014

November 4th

If you are reading this then you are probably one of those people that care to know what is going on in your world.  That's not to say that this blog is the fount of all knowledge, just that it seeks to provide a view which can add to and inform your overall opinion.

So, you care!

Well come Tuesday November 4, caring isn't enough.  You need to get out and vote on Tuesday and to vote the Republican ticket, all the way.  I have posted here just how important these elections are.  At the risk of repeating myself all Republicans need your vote.  Even if they are RINOs, you need to get out and vote Republican.  Even if they are a 'shoo in' you need to get out and vote Republican.  You need to contribute to sending the strongest possible message to Obama and the Democrats that 'enough is enough!'  The votes for Republicans need to be an expression of America's anger with the damage that Obama has wrought on America.  You have no voice in the media, save for Fox News, so get out and vote and get your family to do so, as well.

Patriot Americans need to take back America.  You can't sit on your hands and say, we will take America back in 2016.  Think of what two more years of damage can be done to your great country, in those 24 months.  Think of the allies that will lose patience with a weak USA and seek new partnerships with other countries.  Think of the people that will die because of the failings of Obamacare or the open door policy to illegal immigration and to Ebola-infected countries.  Do you really want your kids or grandkids to suffer two more years of Common Core?  Do you really want more Americans to die, as they did at Benghazi or as a result of Fast and Furious or more Marines to be incarcerated in Mexican jails because America has a President who is more concerned with his back-swing or follow-through or fund-raising rather than with looking out for the interests of America?  Do you really want your priest's or your pastor's sermons to be investigated because they conflict with a politician's ideas on sexual mores?

At the end of the day, it comes down to this.  If you care for America, then vote Republican on Tuesday.  That is the day that 'We the people' say 'enough is enough!'

Please re-tweet this to all right-thinking people.