Sunday 27 September 2009

A pity Brown is miserly only with the truth

Who said "I was brought up in a family where I was taught not to attack people personally. I think it is a mistake if politics degenerate in that way"? Clue: the same person who hired and rehired Damien McBride, and repeatedly refused to sack him (until he had no other choice).

Who said, again and again, "the choice is between Labour investment and Tory cuts", and decried David Cameron as "Mr 10%"? Clue: the same person whose own Treasury was secretly planning 10% cuts.

Who kept using the word "prudence" in every sentence in his budgets? Clue: the same person who has splurged billions of taxpayers' money on public sector pay increases, non-jobs and scandalously expensive PFI schemes.

Who now is - most ludicrously of all - suddenly proclaiming himself the friend of the "squeezed middle class"? Clue: he has spent 11 years squeezing the middle classes - especially "middle England", for whom he seems to have a visceral contempt.

What word can best describe such a person? Clue: four letters, beginning with "L".

Sunday 20 September 2009

Lady Scotland must resign

Was Lady Scotland's employment of her Tongan servant knowingly illegal? No, I am sure not. Should she resign? Yes.
Why should she resign? NOT because she inadvertently broke the letter of a law whilst acting reasonably and in good faith - but because she was a key player in this Government's deliberate imposition of (perhaps unreasonably) onerous requirements on ANYONE employing an immigrant. When this legislation was going through, small business representatives said that the strict requirements to check and copy all paperwork etc. were unnecessarily burdensome, and would be difficult for small businesses or individuals to comply with in practice. Lady Scotland's - the Government's - reply was clear: the onus was on the employer, they must comply and the mere burden of compliance was not an excuse. Ignorance of the detail of the law was not, of course, an excuse. Acting reasonably in good faith was not an excuse.
So the Government can take one of two honourable courses - (a) admit that such legislation imposed an unreasonable burden on individuals and small businesses, and amend it accordingly, OR (b) maintain their stance, and take the appropriate action against Lady Scotland, who must also, of course, resign.
What they cannot in honour do is maintain the strict rules for the rest of us with no excuses allowed, but excuse Lady Scotland. That is untenable. That is dishonest. That is wrong.

Monday 14 September 2009

Parliament is useless - and we all pay the price

It would be funny - if it wasn't so tragic, wasteful and stupid. The sight of Sir Roger Singleton, chairman of the ludicrous new "Independent Safeguarding Authority" (ISA), faced with the storm of protest about the ridiculous new "vetting and barring" of everyone having anything to do with kids, plaintively asking on Channel 4 news where the critics were when all this went through parliament three years ago.
Poor, naive Sir Roger! Did you really think that your ISA had been very carefully thought through by a wise, scrutinising Parliament, weighing carefully the pros and cons? And did you really think that you would have the full support of the man responsible in government?
I'm afraid that's Balls. Ed: he has - of course - dumped you like a hot brick now the reality of these proposals has become widely known. You are now - like David Kelly - "chaff", a fall guy. Mr Balls may have been all smiles last time you met - now you won't see him for back-pedalling.
The legislation - needless to say - was a half-baked proposal rammed through a supine Parliament by an incompetent Government. It is typical: intrusive, illiberal, expensive, bureaucratic - yet totally ineffective, passed only so the Government could be seen to be "doing something" after Soham.
The appalling crass idiocy of our Goverment, and the total uselessness of our Parliament, is almost unbelievable. I despair.