Monday, 7 June 2010

Robbing Peter and Paul - maybe even Mary.

The British way of life will have to change, David Cameron will warn today as he readies the country for the biggest cuts in government spending since the Second World War.
Using some of his strongest language yet, the Prime Minister will give warning that the cuts will affect every person in the country and the effects will last for decades to come.
Clegg, the Able to Dave's Cain has said that the cuts will only be implemented by public support - "The Liberal Democrat leader will use a speech to the Institute for Public Policy Research to argue that a new government could be ''torn to pieces'' if it tries to ''ram through'' spending cuts without wider public consent.
According to advance extracts of the speech, he will argue that the scale of the cuts needed to tackle the deficit is so great, it will be essential to engage the public in the process. His agenda for electoral reform is obviously set to include turkeys voting for Christmas. This public involvement is a bit of a red herring. The PM will be advised by his Department for Two Faced Conduct that by voting Tory on something tucked away on page 32 of an incredibly boring Manifest that we have given carte blanch to pain and suffering.
I foresee that this makee-learnee Government will come to be seen as being to fiscal policy what BP is to the environment. We are looking to increase the take from taxes and to reduce the spend by Government. Business will b looking for concessions and pump-priming but the likelihood is that the State employees who process such matters will have gone in the name of efficiency. Increasing the unemployed total will kill tax income from them and load benefits - even if the system is improved. And who will organise the review and check the outcomes? "Sorry Minister - we made him redundant last month"
This "cuts will affect every person in the country" is another falsehood. We have about a million ghosts in the machine - people here totally without authority or reliable record. The scale of this problem was illustrated in a TV report last night on the work of the Border Agency and Immigration staff. The likelihood of detection is so high that quite impressive results come from hanging about outside rail stations. Anyone who gets the hots on seeing them is asked the brutally frank question "Are you entitled to be in this country?" It works. A raid on a farm found 17 illegals in a work force of twenty; a fair number cheerfully admitted they came into the UK seated on the rear axle of a HGV. We were informed that most of the 17 had been released from custody whilst their deportations were checked and organised. Guess what - they had disappeared back into the dark brown economy. An example where slavish acceptance of procedures designed for far more serious offences defeated good work by others. Money spent without good and positive results. Money wasted. This situation ascertained from a brief torch light shone into a dark corner and is not a Nation-wide procedure. I will only willingly accept my forthcoming burden when I see positive signs that everyone physically here pays for that privilege. Pigs are being fitted with flying helmets as I write.
Doubtless, that level of engagement will require additional staff over and above current levels. More people will be needed to check that I pay my share and am not drawing down from the bank account set up with a dodgy identity in Bahrain when I was rich(er). So - not so much a saving in Government salaries as a cost for re-location and training.
Regeneration of, and increasing the contribution of the private sector, will entail planning consents and controls. Whilst Prescott's vision of building multi-storey car parks in the middle of Emmerdale has been dropped, work spaces will ned to be built. But, what is that cloud on the horizon? "The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) notes that one of the biggest challenges for the planning system is how to cope with the big increase in the number of residential applications that are coming forward to meet the commitment to build 3 million new homes by 2020. Managing proposals to ensure that what gets built makes a positive contribution to the local area, in accordance with national policies, requires a big increase in the skills capacity of planning departments."
And all the while, remember, errors exist to blame others. We have heard Boy Dave (ed note - now he is PM, perhaps we should call him Boss Dave?)say he had no idea how bad was the economical situation that he inherited. This is of course par the course when it comes to new Governments. It does not say much for the abilities of his research staff that they could not do their sums or pay of the whistle-blowers but it means that much of the Manifesto is based upon false premise. These far reaching changes, every person, lasting decades stuff - are these plans based upon the wrong information or a situation that a less than efficient section has cobbled together from tea leaves and crystal balls in a very short period of time? Do the new cabinet meetings really look like this?

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