Outside the marginals

A commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010, 2015 & 2017 elections (and THAT referendum)

Archive for the tag “debt”

Saving, Fridges and Wonga

… more than a quarter of families (26%) are saving nothing each month, and the percentage with no savings cushion has remained static at 17% over the last six months.

It suggests that, while those families who can afford to save are making efforts to put more money away, the situation has shown little sign of improving for those who were already struggling or failing to do so.
Aviva News Website 12 August 2015 : UK: Rising incomes mask growing inequality amongst UK families

So what do these families do if their fridge fails? Read more…

Going in the right direction

Justine Greening has just said (BBC1 Question Time 2 May 2013) that because we have reduced the deficit we are now going in the right direction.

Reducing the deficit means that you are still going in the wrong direction (debt is still increasing) but not as fast! Read more…

Impoverish the poor or soak the rich?

Suppose you want to raise £1M per week? How might you do it? I suspect the two sides of the coalition will have different views. Read more…

Capitalism: you can’t budge it

Last week’s budget was in some ways unsurprising – and we have not seen all the details yet.

Inevitable squeals from Labour that “the electorate did not vote for this” – but they did not “vote for Labour” either; they can watch the Conservative Liberal Coalition do the dirty work to tackle the unspoken issue of the last election – the Debt and the Deficit.  That has interesting consequences for all the political parties. Read more…

The Aftermath III (of ?)

The press today seem to be almost uniformly condemning Gordon Brown and calling for a Conservative Government. I also understand some Sky correspondents are having a melt-down.  They seem to be of the view that 36% of the vote gives a party a near-divine right to rule and anything else is illegitimate. A conservative on the World at One (BBC Radio 4) has just described the Conservatives as “the majority party”; I think someone does not understand even the First Past the Post voting system.  They also seem to be of the view that, because Clegg said during the campaign that it would be sensible in the event of a hung parliament to talk to the largest party, he is committed to rolling over and supporting the Conservatives.

I don’t think Gordon Brown had any choice, but it has given rise to some interesting quirks. I also think that Clegg is in a no-win situation.  Both have to play out their given roles. Read more…

Greece: Crucible of Democracy – a lesson in Responsibility?

Channel 4 News tonight shows unrest in Greece with one protester saying why should she pay? – It should be their leaders for the last 10, 20 years who should pay.

Whilst the scale of the “Greek problem” massively exceeds the wealth of all their leaders for decades, the theory in a democracy is that “the people” elect their leaders and they should, therefore, be responsible for their choice.  Whilst it is possible that the Greeks have had a (geographically) mistaken belief in “La Dolce Vita”, they have also been in an ostrich like conspiracy with their leaders to ignore the flaws in their economic system.

Now their leaders are having to impose policies that were definitely not in any previous manifesto and the pain is severe; arguing about how the pain is distributed (“tax the rich”) will not change the fact that everyone is going to see a very significant drop in their living standards.  Is this the price for ignoring the economic facts of life and “voting with your wallet”?

So, if we have similar levels of debt (although thankfully more long-dated), and none of the parties are telling us the full facts about future taxes and upcoming cuts, how do we take responsibility?

Whatever our result and whatever the permutation of parties that make up the “government side”, it is unlikely that they will have a mandate for what so many experts say they will have to do.  Can we protest with the ferocity of the Greeks?  The Poll Tax riots, The Miners’ Strike, The G8 Riots, all say we can – but it will probably be just as futile, and the pain will hit all of us.

Tomorrow I will get a Conservative MP – no matter what happens, we have had one since 1924.  But I have to accept the result, “take responsibility for my choice”, and take the pain.  I am already feeling sick.

Outside the Campaign

It looks as if we are only experiencing a portion of the election campaign.

The IFS, quoted on the BBC News Website Parties defend spending cut plans 28 April 2010 15:17 shows that none of the parties have come clean on the economy.

Parties' planned cuts and the spending gap

This would seem to me to say that each party has a massive hidden (or at best unspecified) manifesto, and without sight of it we cannot make a responsible choice as to what is best for the country.  So I guess that we will have to vote according to what seems best for our own pockets.

Just as well outside the marginals that our votes don’t count?  In the marginals I suspect the campaigning will be getting very parochial.

What a lousy system and what a mess will be left after the result; possibly a government without a mandate, a whole lot of unaffordable promises and a massive amount of previously concealed spending cuts and tax rises on the way.  Bound to raise confidence in the political system and the honesty of politicians.

But if a politician was honest enough to tell us the truth, what would happen?

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