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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pull up on the hard shoulder, David Cameron, and think again.

This piece of mine appears in The Week/The First Post.

Neil Clark: The toll-roads wheeze is not just a bad idea, it's bad politics - if the PM wants to keep Conservatives on side.

THEY'VE flogged off the Tote, the state-owned bookmaker set up by Winston Churchill in 1928. They've sold the Channel Tunnel rail link to two Canadian pension funds. The NHS faces privatisation in all but name, some police services are to be carried out by private companies, and the Royal Mail, in state hands since its inception in 1516, is to be sold, with the taxpayer left paying for the company's pension fund liabilities.

And still the serial privatisers in the ConDem coalition aren't satisfied.

The most manically pro-privatisation government in British history - one which makes even the Thatcher governments from 1979-90 look positively social democratic - now wants to hand our motorways and 'A' roads over to private companies and foreign-owned investment funds.

You can read the whole article here.


jock mctrousers said...

Slight quibble:

" All of this provides a tremendous opportunity for Labour. If Ed Miliband can ditch Blairism and adopt the more socially conservative but more economically left-wing 'Blue Labour' positions advocated by Professor Maurice Glasman, there could be rich electoral dividends."

I failed to notice the 'economically left-wing' aspect of Glasman's bull. He seems to regard the post-war 'settlement', the NHS etc, welfare etc, as 'a mistake', justifying this with some traditional Tory moral fibre stuff. If this is the best we can hope for from Labour... well, sadly it is, so it's not that this Cameron government is any more pro-privatisation than Thatcher's; it's that they're shooting at an open goal.

David Lindsay said...

I was a proud expellee from the organisation then calling itself New Labour. I have no intention of rejoining, since I shall be voting to re-elect both of my sitting unitary county councilors, one Labour and one Independent, and since I have never voted Labour in a European Election and do not intend to start, due to the extreme federalist position, contrary to his own party’s policy, of the list-topping Labour candidate here in the North East.

But Ed Miliband’s Labour Party, as such, has pointedly declined to endorse the legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples, a change which was specifically ruled out in 2000 by the then Home Secretary, Jack Straw. Expect a Labour free vote. That might deliver enough votes to defeat this proposal, if enough Coalition MPs broke a three-line whip and opposed a Government Bill which was not in either of their manifestos.

Ed Miliband’s Labour Party is also totally opposed to the cutting of incomes outside London and its environs, to the deregulation of Sunday trading, to the devastation of rural communities by letting foreign companies or even foreign states buy up our postal service or our roads, and to Royal Mail privatisation’s severing of the monarchy’s direct link to every address in this Kingdom.

And Ed Miliband’s Labour Party is the only Opposition party capable of winning the 2015 General Election. At that Election, he and it will deserve every support from everyone non-metropolitan, or who believes in traditional marriage, or who wants to keep Sunday special, or who supports family and local community businesses, or who cherishes rural communities and the countryside, or who defends national sovereignty over our economy and our infrastructure, or who values the Queen’s head on our stamps and her crown and initials on our post boxes.

In 1974, Enoch Powell told his supporters to vote Labour because of Europe. This is a 1974 moment.

jack said...

According to this website our national debt is over £1 trillion and growing.

Who do we owes this debt to?

Douglas said...

Generally speaking, I think it's a good thing to have as few intermediary parties as possible between the provider of some good, and the people who pay for that good.

But whenever I say that, some smartaleck says "Oh, and I suppose you want all roads to be toll roads, is that right?" I'm not quite ready to say "Heck yeah!" But it would be worth considering.