Monthly Archives: September 2013

Who is right over our economy coalition vs Labour or UKIP

The reason why many are seeking the answers to the question I posted is simple the three main political parties make certain claims in regards to our economy and they don’t seem to be listening to the public who lives in the real world which sends out confusing messages which they urgently need to clarify if they want voters to vote for a political party to be in government.

George Osborne states that the economy is turning a corner which he alleges that plan A is working and there is no place for plan B and the long-term unemployed will have to undertake work placements in return for their benefits, under changes being unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne. From April, people who are jobless after being on the work programme will face three options, including community work, or face losing benefits.

15883In the yellow corner Danny Alexander and followed by Vince Cable claims the economy is a dark tunnel which he was being unpopular in the LibDems camp during their conference which has split.

“Conference, it’s great to have you here in Scotland. In Glasgow or, as we like to call it in Inverness, ‘the deep south.’

This great city has many claims to fame: its industrial heritage, culture, football, it’s even the home of the new Doctor Who. So, let take me you back in time. It’s spring 2010. We’re in the depths of the economic storm. Greeks rioting on our TV screens.

Labour had dug a gigantic hole of debt – the bankers had pushed us in. We were forecast to have the largest deficit in the EU. The polls had closed; we were in the uncharted waters of a hung Parliament. Action was needed. And as a Party, we stepped up.

Colleagues, just think if we’d acted differently. A minority government. Weak. Unstable. Unable to take decisions. And at the mercy of factions and extremists.

We would likely have seen another General Election within months.

A toxic mix of political and economic uncertainty. The hardships inflicted on other economies could so easily have happened here.

Yes, it has been tough, but those nightmare scenarios did not happen. They did not happen for one reason only.

Because of us. The Liberal Democrats. Because of our decision to ensure we had a stable government with a strong Liberal voice,

Able to act decisively. We didn’t duck the challenge.

We rose to it. There were plenty of people who didn’t think we were up to it. When I first became the Chief Secretary, there were even some people who questioned my, how should I put this, my employment record.

Clearly they hadn’t looked closely enough at my CV. You see, as a teenager I worked in the Tomdoun hotel in Glengarry. I washed plates in the kitchen, I polished pint glasses in the bar, I even cleaned the toilets. I basically spent most of my teenage years cleaning up other peoples’ mess. Perfect work experience for an aspiring Chief Secretary.

But with every step towards economic recovery we take, the party that caused the mess, the Labour Party, become even less credible.

Ed Balls bet the house on a failing economy. He banked on a double dip that never happened. He predicted a triple dip that never came.

And now even his closest colleagues admit he is a busted flush.

The Labour Party has opposed every single decision we’ve made.

That was until Ed Balls declared that the Labour party would adopt a new found “iron discipline” in public spending.

In fact, so strong is that commitment that the two Eds have managed to limit themselves to a meagre £45bn of extra spending commitments. To be fair, once you’ve left the next generation with a debt of £828bn to pay off. Rising at the rate of £3 billion a week,

Without any plan to deal with it, what’s another £45bn between friends? They derailed the economy. And if they had the chance, they’d do it all over again. The last thing Britain needs is a Labour majority. Conference, I was going to read you a list of barmy right wing Tory ideas that we’ve stopped in government.

But it’s so long I don’t have time, and after Nick’s appearance yesterday, I’m worried about Justine McGuiness cutting me off.

But I can’t resist just two. Two Tory ideas that put jobs at risk.

First, some Tories believe that the best way to help businesses hire someone is to make it easier to fire someone.

They believe that people that work hard, do their job day in day out,

Let’s call them ‘strivers’. Should be allowed to be fired at the will of the employer. Well conference, let me tell you this – it will never happen. Not while there are Liberal Democrats around the Cabinet table.

And then there’s Europe. For many Conservatives, the EU is the bogeyman responsible for every wrong. But for 3.5m people in Britain, it’s the reason they have a job. That’s 3.5m jobs that some Tories want to put at risk by leaving the European Union.

They should know, you can’t win the global race, unless you’re part of a strong team.

The last thing Britain needs is a Conservative majority. But the Conservatives aren’t the only ones wanting to break up a union, whatever the costs.

As a Scot, I believe that being part of the United Kingdom offers Scotland huge advantages in the 21st century. I believe the best choice is for us to stick with a family of nations in which we have thrived and prospered. To grow together, not break apart.

In the end, nationalism is all about building barriers between peoples, whatever the cost. Liberalism is about knocking those barriers down.

Today’s National Institute report shows that with Scotland as part of the UK, interest rates are lower and taxes are lower. That’s the value of the United Kingdom.

Another credible, independent, factual analysis that backs the case for our United Kingdom. So our job, from now until the day of the referendum, is to prove that “Better Together” isn’t just a slogan. It’s the truth. Tens of thousands of jobs in Scotland depend on us winning that fight. For the sake of our country, our children, and our grandchildren, we cannot, must not and will not lose.

We’ve seen the economy through its darkest hour, by ensuring that the Coalition’s economic plan is pragmatic. When the eurozone crisis was raging. When our growth forecasts were going backwards

Siren voices on the right called for us to respond by cutting further and faster. It was the Liberal Democrats who ensured the coalition remained anchored in the centre ground.

There is still a long way to go, but our stronger economy in a fairer society is beginning to take shape. We are rebuilding an economy that is sustainable, balanced and resilient. And we are making progress. Activity in the manufacturing sector has reached a two-and-a-half-year high, in construction a five-year high and in the services industry a six-year high.

Business confidence is at its highest level in six years. British businesses have created an extra 1.4m jobs in the private sector, supported by the decisions this Government has taken.

We have the lowest number of people claiming unemployment benefit in four years. A record number of women in work. A higher rate of employment than the US.

The highest number of people in work. Ever. Labour’s failure to regulate the banks meant that they had to spend billions of pounds of your money to bail them out. We’re fixing the banks and the economy is on the mend. So last night following advice from the Treasury we decided to start to get your money back.

The first sale of Lloyds’ shares, at above the price Labour paid, is an important milestone. And in future sales we will look for ways in which the British public to get involved. Because we are mending the economy, the tax payer is at last getting their money back.

The recovery is under way. Much more needs to be done to secure it.

And we won’t flinch from our task. Anyone who claims the better economic news is all down to the Conservatives is just plain wrong. The decisions we have implemented in government, decisions you have taken in this hall. The brighter future that lies ahead – it’s only there because of us. And we should shout it from the rooftops.

We still have work to do to finish the job. That’s not a task than can be entrusted to either of the other two parties. I say to the British people, if you want that job finished right – with balance, fairness, and resolve – you need the Liberal Democrats to do it.

We’ve taken tough decisions to get the deficit under control. And, yes, there will be more in the next Parliament. It will be another five years shaped by the necessity of fiscal restraint. But by the middle of the next Parliament we will have eliminated the structural deficit.

That doesn’t mean the country can then go back to bad old habits. There’s no spending bonanza round the corner. Our nation’s debt will need to be reduced. It wouldn’t be fair to pass it on to future generations. The pressures of an ageing and growing population will have to be paid for. Conference, when those difficult decisions need to be made, the British people now know that they can trust the Liberal Democrats to make them.

We’ve delivered long-held commitments too. This year, for the first time, the UK will deliver our long-held commitment to spend 0.7% of our nation’s wealth on international aid. Making a real difference to lives all over the world. Four weeks ago I met a young girl who told me how much she was enjoying school, and about her ambition to be a lawyer. Nothing extraordinary about that, you might think, but I met this girl in Kabul.

She is one of around 2m Afghan girls who, thanks to the bravery of our armed forces and our international aid commitment, is now attending school on a regular basis. I also had the privilege of meeting an extraordinary group of serving men and women in our armed forces in Helmand, whose skill and bravery is making that change possible.

So, I hope you will join me in paying tribute to our armed forces in Afghanistan and across the rest of the world. As we look to the next Parliament, the tax policy we agreed yesterday puts us in a strong position to tackle the remaining deficit fairly. By committing to raise taxes on the very wealthy, through the mansion tax, through restricting pension tax relief, through increasing capital gains tax rates further, Liberal Democrats will ensure that those who have the most will continue to contribute the most.

These taxes on the very wealthy will be one of our central promises for the next Parliament. Making sure they can’t avoid their taxes is a job we are getting on with right now.

Benjamin Franklin said: “Nothing is certain except death and taxes.

And a conference announcement from Danny Alexander on tax avoidance”.

Ok, maybe he didn’t say that last bit. But conference, I make no apology for going after tax dodgers. Thanks to our efforts, by 2015 we will be clawing back an extra £10bn a year.

New investment, new specialist units, new tax rules announced from this podium are now closing the net on the immoral minority who believe paying the proper amount of tax just isn’t for them. But we must do more. We are cutting corporation tax to encourage firms to invest, not to give the wealthy a way to avoid the 45p tax rate.

So when the vast majority of people in an industry are finding ways to exploit that difference, and that industry is the preserve of the very wealthy, I have no hesitation in acting. So I can announce today that following a brief consultation we will be closing the loophole that allows private equity shareholders to siphon money out of their firms while dodging the intended income tax.

And it’s why I can also announce that we will also be closing the loophole that allows partners in partnership firms to structure their staff arrangements so that they avoid paying the correct amount of income tax. It’s wrong, it’s unfair, and it’s got to stop and with Liberal Democrats in government, it will.

Conference, the pressures on household budgets in this country are real. Liberal Democrats are doing all we can to help. We have introduced 15 hours of free childcare for all three- and four-year-olds, and this month introduced it for the poorest 40% of two-year-olds too.

Next year we will legislate for tax free childcare worth £1,200 for every eligible child. Unlike tax breaks for marriage, that’s a fair way to help families. We have frozen council tax for every year of this Parliament. Our triple lock is protecting the value of the basic state pension.

We have scrapped Labour’s fuel duty rises. So thanks to us petrol is now 13p a litre cheaper than it would have been. 18p a litre if you live on a remote island. Saving every business and family in the country money. And helping literally to keep the wheels of the economy turning. But there is more to be done.

In January we will launch the next phase of Help to Buy. Too many young people aspiring to get on in life are stuck. They earn enough to repay a mortgage, but don’t have the funds for a large deposit. It is right that the government should step in to help them. And it is also right that we need to build more homes, including affordable homes.

Over the last decade rents have risen twice as fast as wages, stretching family budgets. But some landlords still failed to pay the right tax due on the rents they receive. I’m talking about landlords who own more than one property, who rent to students, people with holiday lets and those who let houses in multiple occupations.

And it adds up to a staggering £500m owing to the taxman. And we want it back. So we’re launching a campaign with a simple message for the rogue minority of landlords. Pay up or face the consequences.

In my three-and-a-half years in the Treasury, tackling avoidance has been one of my obsessions. But my true passion has been delivering our tax promise to Britain’s working people.

It was Mr Gladstone, whose portrait hangs on the wall of my office, who said; “The idea of abolishing Income Tax is highly attractive.”

Now, conference, we don’t go that far. But we have abolished it for nearly 3m low income workers.

What’s more, we have given 25m working people the biggest tax cut in a generation. This would have been a big deal in times of plenty.

To have achieved it now, in these difficult times is extraordinary. Practical help for millions of working people – Liberal Democrats, we made it happen. And conference, yesterday, we committed to cutting the tax paid by ordinary workers even further.

So you don’t pay any income tax until you earn more than a full time salary on the minimum wage. £700 a year back in the pockets of 25m working people – that’s our record of action. Our promise of more – another £500 off your tax bill, if you put the Liberal Democrats back in government next time.

Conference, Liberal Democrats in Government has already helped businesses create more than 1m jobs, and now we’re working to help them to create a million more. That’s why this April, every business and charity will have their National Insurance cut through our £2,000 Employment Allowance. That’s enough money for a small business to employ four adults.

Or 10 18-20-year-olds on the National Minimum Wage. Without paying any employer national insurance at all. Real, tangible help for every small business in the country. At its heart, the next general election will be about who the British public trust to deliver a stronger economy. And who they trust to deliver a fairer society.

Because the benefits of a stronger economy must be shared. Shared in every corner of the United Kingdom. Shared across all the people of Britain. ‘The economy’ is not some abstract concept. It’s about people. It’s about their jobs, their aspirations and their hopes.

Only the Liberal Democrats can deliver a stronger economy in a fairer society so that everyone can get on in life. The last thing Britain needs is a Labour or Conservative majority. Labour can’t be trusted with the economy. The Tories can’t be trusted to create a fair society.

So if you’re looking for work and want a Government that will help you, if you have a job, but want security in your job, if you want to expand your business and employ more people, then there is one party that is on your side, The Liberal Democrats.

4dbf1d75-f7e7-49e4-89f2-33ace2ea0341-620x372While in the red corner Ed Balls has been consistent with his statement that the economy is flatlining and there is a need for a plan B.

Conference, we meet here in Brighton with the General Election now just nineteen months away.

Determined to defeat this out of touch Tory-led Government. Knowing that we have more work to do to win back the trust of the British people.

And fully aware that no party since the 1920s has gone from losing office to a working majority at the next general election.

So Conference, this is our task. To show we are ready for the great challenges we will face on spending control and the deficit.

To set out Labour’s alternative plan to create jobs, make work pay and tackle the rising cost of living.

And to secure a mandate to build a One Nation Britain: A strong recovery that is built to last.

An economy that works for the many and not just a few at the top.

Conference, not just for the few, but for all working families in every part of Britain.

And Conference, three and a half years after the General Election defeat, we have learned from that experience and our time in government. And where we got things wrong – on immigration control, bank regulation and the 10p tax rate – the next Labour government will be different from the last.

And where change is needed in our party, we will reconnect with our members and working people across the country.

But Conference, let us also be proud of what the last Labour government achieved.

The national minimum wage. Our schools and hospitals rebuilt.

NHS waiting times down from 18 months to 18 weeks. More apprenticeships.

Bank of England independence. Not joining the Euro. One million more small businesses.

Crime down. Child poverty down. And 3,500 Sure Start children’s centres – one of the most important reforms any Labour government has ever delivered.

And Conference, replacing the Tory abomination that was Section 28 with civil partnerships.

Paving the way for a landmark reform, something which would not have happened without Labour votes in Parliament, the progressive triumph of gay marriage.

And Conference, as we look forward to the General Election to come, determined to win a Labour majority, I want you all to know:

As the Labour and Co-operative MP for Morley & Outwood – majority just one thousand, one hundred and one – the seat David Cameron needed to win to get a Tory majority in 2010 and, because of our hard work and determination, the seat he failed to win… Conference, I am up for the battle to come.

And as Chair of our Economic Policy Commission, I know this whole party is up for the battle to come. And Conference, please join me in thanking my co-Chair, Margaret Beckett, for her continuing hard work and service to this party not just over the past year but over four decades in Parliament.

And Conference, as a proud member of the Unite and Unison trade unions, I know this whole movement is up for the battle to come.

So in the coming months let us lay the foundations for the General Election.

Selecting the best Parliamentary Candidates we have ever had, with more women candidates in key seats than ever before.

Winning council seats and by-elections up and down the country with the toughest and best generation of local government leaders we have ever had.

Winning more seats in the European elections. And let us end the stain on our country’s reputation by kicking the BNP out of the European Parliament.

And Conference, in next September’s Scottish referendum.

With Alistair Darling, Johann Lamont and Margaret Curran now showing so powerfully that the arguments for separation are falling apart.

With Alex Salmond in a state of total confusion on the single most important economic decision a country can take – which currency to have: first he wanted the Euro – saying sterling was a “millstone around our neck” and now he wants independence but to keep the pound all the same.

Let us win the argument that we are Better Together in next year’s Scottish referendum.

Demonstrating, as Carwyn Jones and Welsh Labour have done so brilliantly, that it is our Labour values of co-operation, solidarity and social justice that best secure our union.

And Conference, it is Labour whose leader is facing up to the need for reform in our party and in our country.

Leading from the front – on phone-hacking, banking reform, putting the crisis of the ‘squeezed middle’ on the political agenda before anyone else.

And who on Syria had the courage to stand up and say that if the case was sound and the United Nations was properly engaged, Labour would support military action, but that Labour would not support a gung-ho Prime Minister, putting decision before evidence in a reckless dash to conflict.

Conference, Ed was right – and he prevailed. My friend, our leader, Britain’s next Prime Minister, Ed Miliband.

And Conference, when David Cameron and William Hague now have the nerve to go round saying that Parliament’s refusal to be bounced into military action in Syria has ‘diminished’ Britain, let us reply: no Labour government will ever stand aside when terrible atrocities are committed and international law is broken.

But Conference, we know what has diminished Britain.

Flouncing out of a European summit, leaving Britain isolated and without influence. That’s what has diminished Britain.

Absurdly comparing Britain to Greece and choking off business confidence and our recovery as a result. That’s what has diminished Britain.

Stigmatising the unemployed and the low paid and calling them shirkers, driving vans round out streets telling immigrants to ‘go home’, attacking our police and teachers and social workers, peddling the lie that ‘Britain is broken’. That’s what has diminished Britain.

Conference, we know who diminishes Britain.

David Cameron has diminished Britain. Conference, we all remember what David Cameron and George Osborne said three years ago on the economy.

They claimed in 2010 that faster tax rises and deeper spending cuts would secure the economic recovery and make it stronger…

They said their plan would make people better off and get the deficit down.

And on every test they set themselves, this Prime Minister and Chancellor have failed.

They didn’t secure the recovery, they choked it off – as we warned – and flatlined our economy for three wasted and damaging years.

They claimed living standards would rise – but they’ve fallen year on year.

They made the number one test of their economic credibility keeping the triple A credit rating – but on their watch Britain has been downgraded, not once but twice.

They promised to balance the books in 2015 – but the deficit is now set to be over £90 billion.

And now after three wasted years, David Cameron and George Osborne now try to claim their plan has worked after all.

Worked? It may have worked for a privileged few at the top, but for the million young people trapped out of work, this Tory plan isn’t working.

For millions of ordinary families, worried about how to make ends meet when wages are falling, and prices are going up.

For the young couples struggling to get on the housing ladder because the chronic shortage of homes is forcing up prices.

For ordinary working families – the aspirational majority – who work hard, pay their taxes, who want to get on and not just get by, but who are working harder for less as the cost of living keeps on rising.

This Tory plan isn’t working.

And for the 400,000 disabled adults forced to pay the Government’s perverse and deeply unfair bedroom tax, this Tory plan has failed them absolutely. And that is why in our first Budget the next Labour government will repeal the bedroom tax.

So when David Cameron and George Osborne say that everything that is happening in the economy is down to them.

Let us remind them:

Prices rising faster than wages for 38 out of the 39 months since David Cameron entered Downing Street.

3 years of flatlining. The slowest recovery for over 100 years. A million young people out of work. Welfare spending soaring. More borrowing to pay for their economic failure.

That is their economic record. And we will not let them forget it.

I say to David Cameron and George Osborne: you can’t just air-brush away three wasted years, you can’t just air-brush away your economic failure.

And as for their claim that “we’re all in this together’, we don’t hear that line much anymore.

Conference, with the deficit still high and ordinary families struggling with a cost of living crisis, how can it be right or fair for David Cameron and George Osborne to have chosen this year to give the richest people in the country, earning over £150,000 a year, a £3 billion tax cut?

And isn’t it now clear whose side David Cameron and George Osborne are really on?

Cutting taxes for hedge funds. Trying to bribe working people to give up their rights. Country suppers at Chequers for Tory party fund-raising.

Protecting the privileges of the few, while the many work hard and don’t see the benefit.

For all their claims to be modernisers, with Cameron and Osborne, it’s not been “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” it’s “Who Wants to Help a Millionaire?”

Not “phone a friend”, but “cut taxes for your friends.” Not “50-50” but “winner takes all”.

Conference, isn’t it about time they “asked the audience”?

Because we know the truth. The country knows the truth.

David Cameron and George Osborne. For the few, not the many.

More of the same, from the same old Tories.

Conference, after three years of stagnation, it’s good news that our economy has finally started to grow again.

It was growing three years ago before they choked it off.

So don’t listen to the Tory propaganda that says Labour doesn’t want the economy to grow.

What nonsense. Because when the economy is in recession we know which communities lose out. When unemployment becomes entrenched, we know which constituencies suffer most. When the cost of living is rising, we know which families are hardest hit.

We know that three years of flat lining – far longer than any of us expected – have caused long-term damage: businesses bankrupt, investment and capacity lost, long-term unemployment entrenched.

And now even as growth finally returns, with prices still rising faster than wages, with business investment still weak, with unemployment still rising in half the country, with bank lending to business still falling, we can’t be satisfied.

For millions of families this is no recovery at all.

And when around the world emerging markets are jittery, China is slowing, oil prices are rising and the Eurozone is still stuck with chronic low growth, I say this is no time for complacency, to sit back with fingers crossed.

And that is why we have urged George Osborne to act to secure a strong recovery.

Because what Britain needs is strong enough growth so that we can catch up the ground we have lost and so that everyone can feel the benefit.

Not a recovery that only works for some, not early hikes in interest and mortgage rates as a weak British economy hits the inflationary buffers, but a recovery that works for all and is built to last.

That is why, along with voices from the Bank of England and the IMF, we are right to be concerned that the Government is boosting housing demand – with a taxpayer mortgage guarantee on houses of up to £600,000 – while doing nothing about the supply of housing which has fallen to its lowest level since the 1920s.

George, it’s basic economics. If you push up housing demand, but don’t act to boost housing supply, all that happens is that you push house prices up and up. And the end result is that the very people your policy should be helping – young first time buyers – will find it even harder to get on the housing ladder.

And Conference, I have to ask, when we need to secure stronger growth and invest for the future, how can it make sense for George Osborne to be planning to cut infrastructure investment in 2015?

That is why we have consistently said, it is why the IMF have said, bring forward £10billion of infrastructure investment right now, build 400,000 affordable houses over the next two years, create half a million jobs and thousands of apprenticeships. That is the way to secure an economy that works for all and is built to last.

But Conference, we can’t rely on George Osborne to do the right thing.

And we stand to inherit a very difficult situation.

After three wasted years of lost growth, far from balancing the books, in 2015 there is now set to be a deficit of over £90 billion.

David Cameron and George Osborne’s failure on the economy has led to their failure to get the deficit down, and it will be up to the next Labour government to finish the job.

And I need to be straight with this Conference and the country about what that means.

The government’s day to day spending totals for 2015/16 will have to be our starting point. Any changes to the current spending plans for that year will be fully funded and set out in advance in our manifesto. There will be no more borrowing for day to day spending. And we will set out tough fiscal rules – to balance the current budget and get the national debt on a downward path.

Of course Labour will always make different choices.

We will combine iron discipline on spending control with a fairer approach to deficit reduction.

And with our zero-based review – a review of every pound spent by government from the bottom up – Rachel Reeves and my Shadow Cabinet colleagues have begun the work of identifying savings so that we can switch resources to Labour’s priorities.

But we won’t be able to reverse all the spending cuts and tax rises the Tories have pushed through.

And we will have to govern with less money around. The next Labour government will have to make cuts too. Because while jobs and growth are vital to getting the deficit down – something this government has never understood – they cannot magic the whole deficit away at a stroke.

So delivering our Labour goals will be harder than at any time in living memory.

But it can be done – if we get people back to work and strengthen our economy, cut out waste and focus relentlessly on our priorities, and make sure difficult choices are not ducked, but are rooted in our values, in fairness and in common sense.

So Conference, at a time when the public services that pensioners rely on are under such pressure, we cannot continue paying the winter fuel allowance to the richest five per cent of pensioners.

We won’t be able to reverse the Government’s cuts to child benefit for the highest earners.

We will keep the benefits cap, but make sure it properly reflects local housing costs.

We will have a cap on structural social security spending.

And yes, over the long-term, as our population ages, there will need to be increases in the retirement age.

But a fairer approach to deficit reduction means we will also crack down on tax avoidance , scrap the shares for rights scheme and reverse the tax cut for hedge funds.

And we will insist that all the proceeds from the sale of our stakes in Lloyds and RBS are used not for a one-off pre-election tax giveaway – but instead every penny of profit used to repay the national debt.

Conference, fiscal responsibility in the national interest.

And with our zero-based review, we will make different choices.

So we will ask: can we improve care and save money, as Andy Burnham has proposed, by pooling health and social care as a single service, with a single budget and joint management?

And Conference, we will repeal the damaging and costly Tory privatisation of the NHS.

And we will ask: does it really make sense to have separate costly management and bureaucracy for so many separate government departments, agencies, fire services and police forces?

And Conference, we won’t pay for new free schools in areas where there are excess school places, while parents in other areas are struggling to get their children into a local school,

And on infrastructure, we need more long-term investment – and we will assess the case for capital investment as we prepare our Manifesto – but we must also set the right priorities and get value for money.

Conference, we support investment in better transport links for the future. And we continue to back the idea of a new North-South rail link.

But under this government the High Speed 2 project has been totally mismanaged and the costs have shot up to £50 billion.

David Cameron and George Osborne have made clear they will go full steam ahead with this project – no matter how much the costs spiral up and up. They seem willing to put their own pride and vanity above best value for money for the taxpayer.

Labour will not take this irresponsible approach. So let me be clear, in tough times – when there is less money around and a big deficit to get down – there will be no blank cheque from me as a Labour Chancellor for this project or for any project.

Because the question is – not just whether a new High Speed line is a good idea or a bad idea, but whether it is the best way to spend £50 billion for the future of our country.

And Conference, in tough times it’s even more important that all our policies and commitments are properly costed and funded.

The British people rightly want to know that the sums add up.

So we will go one step further and ask the independent Office for Budget Responsibility – the watchdog set up by this government – to independently audit the costings of every individual spending and tax measure in Labour’s manifesto at the next election.

This is the first time a Shadow Chancellor – the first time any political party in Britain – has ever said it wants this kind of independent audit.

It’s a radical change from what’s gone before, but the right thing to do to help restore trust in politics.

Conference, you know we need economic responsibility and fiscal rigour.

And we can’t write all the details of our first Budget today – when we don’t know the state of the economy and public finances that we will inherit.

But after three wasted years of Tory failure, people are rightly now asking what will Labour do differently.

So now, with nineteen months to go to the election, this week is the right time to begin setting out Labour ‘s alternative.

Conference, as Liam Byrne has said, Labour won’t stand aside when there are almost one million young people out of work, and when long-term unemployment is so high.

And we know we can’t make our economy grow more strongly, get the costs of welfare down and deal with the deficit if we are squandering the talents of so many

So building on the success of Labour’s Future Jobs Fund – so short-sightedly scrapped by this government – we will introduce a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee for young people and the long-term unemployed.

We will fund this by a repeat of the tax on bank bonuses and by restricting pension tax relief for the very highest earners to the same rate as the average taxpayer.

And we will work with employers to make sure there will be a paid job for all young people out of work for more than 12 months and adults out of work for two years or more, which people will have to take up or lose benefits.

That is welfare reform that works. Matching rights with responsibilities.

Getting young people into work and ending the scourge of long-term unemployment once and for all.

Conference, when people get into work they should always be better off – it should always pay more to be in work than on benefits.

So we must do more to make work pay.

The national minimum wage is one of Labour’s proudest achievements. It was opposed by the Tories every step of the way.

Even now some Conservatives say the minimum wage should be suspended. And its value has fallen by 5 per cent in real terms since 2010.

So Labour must now fight to protect and strengthen the national minimum wage.

Increasing the fines for those who exploit workers. Strengthening the national minimum wage, restoring its value and catching up the ground lost over the last three years.

And encouraging employers to go further and pay the Living Wage.

And Conference, to move Labour on from the past and put Labour where it should always be – on the side of working people – we will introduce a lower 10p starting rate of tax.

Conference, a tax cut for 25 million hard-working people on middle and lower incomes.

And we will pay for it by introducing a mansion tax on properties worth over £2m, introduced in a fair way, so that foreign investors who buy up property in London to make a profit will finally pay a proper tax contribution to our country.

But for many families high child care costs are a real problem and can mean that it doesn’t even add up to go to work.

Childcare is a vital part of our economic infrastructure that, alongside family support and flexible working, should give parents the choice to stay at home with their children when they are very small and to balance work and family as they grow older.

So to make work pay for families, we must act.

Stephen Twigg set out yesterday how we will guarantee childcare available for all primary school children from 8am to 6pm.

But we need to do more for families with nursery age children too.

Conference, after the financial crisis, it is right that the banks make a greater contribution.

And here is how we can.

In the last financial year, the banks paid a staggering £2.7bn less in overall tax than they did in 2010.

Over the last two years the government’s bank levy has raised £1.6 billion less than even they said it would.

At a time when resources are tight and families are under pressure that cannot be right.

So I can announce today, the next Labour government will increase the bank levy rate to raise an extra £800m a year.

And we will use the money, for families where all parents are in work, to increase free childcare places for 3 and 4 years olds from 15 hours to 25 hours a week.

For the first time, parents will be able to work part-time without having to worry about the cost of childcare.

Making work pay. Tackling the cost of living crisis. A radical transformation in the provision of childcare in our country.

And we need a radical transformation in our economy too.

Because in the twenty-first century, the companies and countries that will succeed will be those who can exploit the huge opportunities the new digital age and the era of big data are bringing – in high-value manufacturing, digital media, education and medical technology.

And the question is whether we will seize this opportunity or squander it?

Because we and British business know we have no future trying to undercut emerging market economies like India, China and Brazil on cost and wages.

And that is why so many companies look at this Government’s record on industrial policy with increasing dismay:

The RDAs abolished.The Heseltine growth review neutered.

The Business Bank a damp squib. Apprenticeships for young people falling.

Energy policy in chaos. Borrowing powers for the Green Investment Bank postponed.

And on infrastructure, dither, delay and inaction.

Conference, we cannot succeed as a country with this ‘race to the bottom’, deregulation, laissez-faire and old-style ‘trickle-down economics’.

It’s a narrow and defeatist vision. Doomed to fail. And we have seen it fail before.

Just look at the British car industry in the 1970s and 1980s. Trying to compete on cost. Cutting back on innovation, quality and skills. Plagued by terrible industrial relations.

And now look at the renaissance of Jaguar Land Rover – creating thousands more jobs and exporting round the world.

Not by cutting corners, but based on world-class, long-term investment in innovation, skills and supply-chains.

Chuka Umunna and I are determined to learn from this success. And I can announce that Mike Wright, Executive Director at Jaguar Land Rover, will now lead a review for us on how we can help strengthen our manufacturing supply-chains and deliver the skills and innovation Britain needs to succeed.

Following Sir George Cox’s review on short-termism, we will change takeover rules, and corporate incentives and reform our tax system to stop short-term asset-stripping and support long-term investment.

And why not use any revenues from the planned increase in the licence fees for the mobile phone spectrum, expected to be over £1billion in the next parliament, to capitalise the British Investment Bank so that, region by region, we can get small and growing businesses the finance they need to grow and create jobs?

And Conference, we will set up an the independent Infrastructure Commission, as recommended to us by the Chair of the Olympic Delivery Authority, Sir John Armitt, to end dither and delay in infrastructure planning.

We will legislate for a statutory banking code of conduct and demand real reform and cultural change from the banks.

We will legislate for a decarbonisation target for 2030 and unlock billions of pounds in new investment in renewables, nuclear and clean gas and coal technology.

And we will give the Green Investment Bank the borrowing powers it needs to do its job.

Conference, that is what the next Labour government will do.

So Conference, even in difficult times, even as we face a huge deficit, we will rise to the challenge and build an economy that works for the many and not just a few at the top.

And we know it can be done. Because we have done it before.

Conference, we are not the first Labour generation to face a huge deficit and the need for spending restraint and a country crying out for change.

We are not the first generation to be awed by the scale of what needs to be done to transform our country.

And as we prepare for the 2015 General Election, to be held in the seventieth anniversary year of the end of the second world war, let us take our inspiration from the great reforming Labour government of 1945.

That past Labour generation faced huge economic and fiscal challenges. But they did not flinch. And they built lasting change: new homes for returning heroes, a universal welfare state, and a National Health Service which, sixty-five years on, is still a beacon of British values, Labour values – for all and not just a privileged few.

So Conference let us not be the Labour generation that flinched in the face of hardship.

Let us show we will not duck the great challenges we will face on spending and the deficit.

And let us build an economy that works for all working families in every part of Britain.

So in the coming weeks and months, when people ask what would a Labour government do, let’s go out and tell them:

Jobs for young people guaranteed. Expanding free childcare. A British Investment Bank. Infrastructure delivered. Green investment unlocked.

The deficit down fairly. Tax cuts for millions – not millionaires. Reforming our banks. The minimum wage raised. Our NHS saved.

Tackling tax avoidance. Rail fares capped. The bedroom tax scrapped. Building the homes we need.

This what a Labour government could do. Let us together make it happen.

helmerposterUKIP economy spokesperson Roger Helmer

In a speech which was given to party members in London, the UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) energy spokesman Roger Helmer is set to label those rallying against the controversial extraction technique as “eco-freaks” and say they are killing off “the greatest new economic opportunity for our country in our lifetimes”.

This comes just days after former government Chief Scientific Advisor Sir David King said that fracking could have many environmental consequences which were not worth risking for shale gas. He added that the latter would only ever be a backup energy source.

The heated debates over fracking and the use of shale gas have come to the boil in recent weeks, with Prime Minister David Cameron claiming that it is a long-term solution that will lower the energy bills of British consumers. Helmer, however, will concede at the party conference that this may not be the case.

Protests against fracking have been common in recent times, with energy company Cuadrilla being targeted in for carrying out exploratory drilling in West Sussex.

Speaking of those who have opposed fracking, Helmer will tell the party conference in London: “I have absolutely no sympathy for the rent-a-mob protesters, the swampies and the Occupy Movement and the anti-capitalists and eco-freaks who have sought to hijack the Balcombe protest.”

Helmer is a climate change sceptic, who says he has no time for the hysteria surrounding the belief that the burning of fossil fuels is driving the change in the climate.

Helmer is also expected to go further, and will tell the conference that there is little truth behind the “scare stories” linked to fracking.

In terms of renewable energy, Helmer will also dismiss the use of wind farms to generate electricity, describing the offshore technology as a “non-solution to a non-problem.”

UKIP is also proposing that tax revenue from shale gas extraction should be used to invest in a sovereign wealth fund that will secure long-term benefits for the UK.

photo (1)In the blue corner George Osborne with his usual mantra I don’t care what the many say I take the view “We’re all in it together” I love money, money stance.

After reflecting on George Osborne full conference speech I have to stay he does not have a clue what the many want but instead panders to the right-wing press and to the fat cats donors urging them to return to the conservatives as some may recall some have cross over to UKIP which is hurting the Conservatives as they broadcast live on the media.

There is no doubt those who are on long-term benefits needs to be motivated and encouraged to help them to find full-time employment but to force them to do community work if they refuse they will face sanctions on their benefits.

Already sanctions have already started and why are many not surprised by this action. Granted those are far fewer that face sanctions but the reality is there are some do not want to work but the Marjory wants to work  and are taking some form of action of retraining which the conservatives fail to mention that they have cut the funding to the bare bones.

See full speech enclosed:

funny-george-orborne-crying-memeAt every Party Conference since the election, as we have gathered, the question for us, the question for me, the question for our country, has been: ‘is your economic plan working?’. They’re not asking that question now.

The deficit down by a third. Exports doubled to China. Taxpayers’ money back from the banks, not going in. 1.4 million new jobs created by businesses. 1,000 new jobs announced in this city today. Our plan is working.

We held our nerve in the face of huge pressure. Now Britain is turning a corner. That is down to the resolve and to the sacrifice of the people of this country. And for that support we owe the British people a huge heartfelt thank you. Thanks to you: Britain is on the right track.

So now families, working hard to get on, anxious about the future, are asking these questions: Can we make the recovery last? And will I feel it in my pocket?

My approach has always been to be straight with people. So let me answer these questions directly.

‘Yes’, we can make the recovery a lasting one. But it won’t happen by itself. Many risks remain. We have to deal with our debts and see our plan through. And ‘Yes’, if the recovery is sustained then families will start to feel better off. Because what matters most for living standards are jobs, and low mortgage rates, and lower taxes. But family finances will not be transformed overnight. Because Britain was made much poorer by the crash. That is what happens when you get a catastrophic failure of economic policy of the kind we saw under Labour. When no-one prepares in the boom for the bust. When banks get bailed out. And when government budgets spiral out of control. We are never going to let that happen to our country again.

I share none of the pessimism I saw from the Leader of the Opposition last week. For him the global free market equates to a race to the bottom with the gains being shared among a smaller and smaller group of people. That is essentially the argument Karl Marx made in Das Kapital. It is what socialists have always believed. But the irony is this: It is socialism that always brings it about. And it is the historic work of this Party to put that right. Because attempts to fix prices and confiscate wealth crush endeavour and blunt aspiration. And the people who suffer are not the rich, but the hundreds of thousands put out of work. The millions made poorer. The generation whose hopes are blighted. It is working people who always pay the price when the economy is ruined. That is what Labour did to the workers. And the British people are never going to let them forget it.

By contrast, I’m an optimist about the world. I am a believer in freedom and free markets. I see the global economy growing. I see hundreds of millions of people in places like India and China leaving grinding poverty to join it. That is something to celebrate.

It doesn’t have to be a threat to this country. It is a huge opportunity. But we have to understand that the wealth of nations depends on some basic truths. Jobs are only created when people build businesses that are successful and can expand. Exports only happen if those businesses are making things that others in the world want to buy. Investment only flows if your country is a more attractive place to do business than other countries. The wealth this creates can be spread widely across the nation.

But only when every child gets a good education; when each adult has the incentive to work; and every family gets to keep more of what they earn. To achieve all this you need to get the fundamentals right: economic stability, sound public finances, safe banks, excellent schools & colleges, competitive taxes, amazing science, welfare that works.

There’s no short cut to any of these things. Just the hard graft of putting right what went so badly wrong and forging a new attitude in this country that says: We are not afraid of the future because we intend to shape it.

So there’s no feeling at this Conference of a task completed or a victory won. We know it’s not over. Until we’ve fixed the addiction to debt that got this country into this mess in the first place. It’s not over. Until we can help hardworking people to own a home, to save, to start a business. It’s not over. Until we’ve helped the long term unemployed condemned to a life on the dole. It’s not over. Until there is real faith that our childrens’ lives will be better than our own. It is not over. This battle to turn Britain around – it is not even close to being over.

We are going to finish what we have started. What I offer is a serious plan for a grown-up country. An economic plan for hardworking people. That will create jobs. Keep mortgage rates low. Let people keep more of their income – tax free. It is the only route to better living standards. For without a credible economic plan, you simply don’t have a living standards plan. We understand that there can be no recovery for all – if there is no recovery at all.

The events in Italy and deadlock in Washington this week are a stark reminder that the debt crisis is not over. And yet the last fortnight has shown there’s no serious plan coming from any other party. The Liberal Democrats at their Conference were jostling for position. I have to tell you today, that Nick Clegg has informed us of his intention to form a new coalition. For the first time, he’s intending to create a full working relationship with Vince Cable. Mind you, at their conference Vince Cable did do something that was undeniably Tory. If I’d been there, I wouldn’t have turned up to the Lib Dem economic debate either. But at least they had an economic debate.

Labour’s economic announcements amounted to: Declaring war on enterprise; a tax rise on business; and an apprenticeship policy that turned out to be illegal.

And then there was the energy announcement that completely unraveled. Any politician would love to tell you that they can wave a magic wand and freeze your energy bill. Everyone wants cheaper energy. So we’re legislating to put everyone on the cheapest tariff.

But I’ll tell you what happens when you draw up policy on the back of a fag packet. Companies would just jack up their prices before the freeze so in the short term, prices go up. And companies would not invest in this country and build the power stations we need – so in the long term, prices go up.

So that’s Labour’s offer: Get hammered with high prices now. Get hammered with high prices later. Higher energy prices for all. But don’t worry, there’s a phony freeze on prices in between. How should I put it? Britain can do better than that. But perhaps with all this talk of blackouts we’ve been a bit unfair on Ed Miliband’s leadership. We used to think: lights on, but nobody’s home. It turns out we were only half right.

I remember when we were in opposition and we made uncosted commitments and unworkable promises to abolish things like student fees. We felt good at Conferences like these. Then we lost elections. David Cameron got us to face the truth about the way we had come to be seen. He forced us to be credible.To reach out to all parts of society.Last week, Labour didn’t do that. They retreated to the left.

Ed Miliband told delegates he could make all our problems disappear.That he could send everyone a cheque in the post.But it isn’t based on truth. More borrowing and more debt remains their economic policy.

But they no longer dare talk to the British people about it.Instead, they’d much rather just talk about the cost of living. As if the cost of living was somehow detached from the performance of the economy. Well you ask the citizens of Greece what happens to living standards when the economy fails. You ask someone with a mortgage what happens to their living standards when mortgage rates go up. Just a 1 percent rise means an extra £1000 on the average mortgage bill.

You ask the citizens of this country what would be an absolute disaster for living standards. They’ll tell you. Higher borrowing. Higher welfare costs. Higher taxes. Meaning: Higher mortgage rates, and higher unemployment.

These aren’t the solution to lower living standards. They are the cause of lower living standards. And this country is paying a very high price for that lesson.

If you want to know the consequences of an Ed Miliband premiership, just look at the plan of the man who knows him best: His brother. David Miliband. One: leave Parliament. Two: leave politics. Three: leave the country. Four: dedicate your life to International Rescue. David and Ed Miliband. The greatest sibling rivalry since the Bible. Cain and not very Abel.

Our own rescue mission for the British economy is far from complete. People know the difference between a quick fix con and a credible economic argument. Here’s our serious plan for a grown-up countr:

First, sound money. The bedrock of any sustained recovery and improved living standards is economic stability. That is what the hard work and sacrifice of the last three years has all been about. In that time we have brought the deficit down by a third. And the British public know that whoever is elected will face some very hard choices. Let me tell you the principles I bring to that task. Our country’s problem is not that it taxes too little. It is that its government spends too much.

So while no responsible Chancellor ever rules out tax changes, I think it can be done by reducing spending and capping welfare, not by raising taxes. That’s my plan.

And surely the lesson of the last decade is that it’s not enough to clean up the mess after it’s happened?You’ve got to take action before it happens. It should be obvious to anyone that in the years running up to the crash this country should have been running a budget surplus. That’s what we mean when we say they didn’t fix the roof when the sun was shining.

Let us never make that same mistake again. Never again should anyone doing my job be so foolish, so deluded, as to believe that they have abolished the age-old cycle of boom and bust. So I can tell you today that when we’ve dealt with Labour’s deficit, we will have a surplus in good times as insurance against difficult times ahead. Provided the recovery is sustained, our goal is to achieve that surplus in the next Parliament. That will bear down on our debts and prepare us for the next rainy day. That is going to require discipline and spending control. For if we want to protect those things we care about, like generous pensions and decent healthcare, and buy the best equipment for the brave men and women who fight in our armed forces, all of us are going to have confront the costs of modern government – and cap working age welfare bills. And only if we properly control public expenditure will we be able to keep lowering taxes for hardworking people in a way that lasts.

I’ve never been for tax cuts that are borrowed. I want low taxes that are paid for. We also want to go on investing in the essential infrastructure of our country – the roads and railways and science and communications that are the backbone of the future economy. So we should commit, alongside running a surplus and capping welfare, to grow our capital spending at least in line with our national income. These principles will form the foundation of our public finance policy and I will set out the details next year.

And for those who ask: Is this necessary? I say: What is the alternative? To run a deficit for ever? To leave our children with our debts? To leave Britain perilously exposed to the next storm that comes? This crisis took us to the brink. If we don’t reduce our debts, the next could push us over. Let us learn from the mistakes that got Britain into this mess. Let us vow: never again This time we’re going to run a surplus. This time we’re going to fix the roof when the sun is shining.

So first, our plan secures sound public finances. Second, it supports the aspirations of hard working people and lets them keep more of the money they earn. We are increasing to £10,000 the amount you can earn before you pay a penny of income tax. That is a real achievement, delivered in budget after budget by a Conservative Chancellor of the Exchequer.

The Liberal Democrats like to point out that during the election David Cameron said he’d love to increase the tax allowance, but warned it’s not easy to afford. You know what? He did say that. And he was right. The difficult thing is not increasing the tax-free allowance. The difficult thing is paying for it. But we’ve done it. The result: an income tax cut for 25 million people. Equivalent to a rise of almost 10 percent in the minimum wage. Real money in peoples’ pockets.

For we are the party of hard working people. And to anyone who questions that I say: Go to the workplaces of Britain, like the huge Morrisons warehouse in Sittingbourne, and meet the fork lift truck drivers there. Go to the Warburton factory near Birmingham. Meet the people who work all hours or meet the night crews repairing the M6. Hardworking people better off because of Conservative tax cuts. These are the people we stand alongside.

And because we’re getting the public finances back under control, we’ve been able to help in other ways too. Freezing council tax. Cutting beer duty. Tax free childcare. And thanks to our Prime Minister, now a one thousand pound married couples allowance too. A Conservative promise made and a Conservative promise more than delivered.

We’ve cut fuel duty. Abolished Labour’s escalator. And I can tell you today that provided we can find the savings to pay for it, I want to freeze fuel duty for the rest of this Parliament. Conservatives don’t just talk about being on the side of hardworking people. We show it day in day out in the policies we deliver. People aspire to keep more of their income – tax free. And many aspire to run their own business and work for themselves. My parents planned carefully, took a risk, and set up a small manufacturing company more than forty years ago.

The company grew. Employed more people. And the life of the family business – the orders won, the first exports, the recessions and recoveries – these were the backdrop of my childhood. I’m hugely proud of my parents – of what my parents achieved. And I’m proud that they’re here in this hall today. You should know this about me:

I will always be on the side of those who use their savings, take a risk, and put everything on the line to set up their own company. Labour increased small business tax. I’ve cut it. Labour were extending business rates to the smallest firms. I’ve exempted them. Now, our new Employment Allowance is going to take a third of all the businesses out of paying national insurance altogether. We Conservatives are nothing if we’re not the party of small business, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.

And we’re the party of home ownership too. I’m the first person to say we must be vigilant about avoiding the mistakes of the past. That’s why I gave powers to the Bank of England to stop dangerous housing bubbles emerging. But too many people are still being denied the dream of owning their own home.

So instead of starting the second phase of Help to Buy next year, we’re starting it next week.

There are some people – many living in the richest parts of London – who say we shouldn’t be doing these things. I have this to say: Take you arguments down the road to Nelson or Colne, where house prices have fallen for the past five years. Take your arguments to Bury, or Morecambe, where young working couples are still living at home with their parents. Take your arguments to our great towns and cities where there are families who have saved for years, earning decent salaries, who can afford the mortgage repayments but can’t possibly afford the deposit being asked by the banks these days.

Take your arguments to those families and say: ‘This policy is not right. You shouldn’t be allowed to get your home.’ I tell you what they’ll say back: ‘It’s alright for you. You’ve got your own home. We’ve been saving for years. What about us?’

I know whose side this Party is on. We are the party of aspiration. The housebuilding party of Macmillan. The party of Thatcher’s right to buy. And now the party of David Cameron’s Help to Buy. We are the party of home ownership and we’re going to let the country know it. We are also going make sure no one is left behind as our economy recovers. Our goal is nothing short of a recovery for all. That’s the third part of our economic plan.

Lectures from the Left on fairness, quite frankly, stick in the throat. Under their government: the richest paid lower tax rates than their cleaners; tax avoidance boomed; inequality increased; youth unemployment doubled; the gap between the north and the south grew; and the number of households where no one worked reached record levels.


Theirs was the unfairest government of them all.

And contrast this with what we have done. And when I say we, I mean we Conservatives. I sit at that Cabinet table and I know who has really put forward the policies that are delivering a fairer society. The pupil premium to support the most disadvantaged children: that was Michael Gove’s idea, front and centre of the last Conservative manifesto.

Our commitment on international aid. Delivered by Andrew Mitchell and Justine Greening. Action on domestic violence – that’s Theresa May The international campaign to get rape recognized as a war crime – led by William Hague. New care standards for the elderly – Jeremy Hunt. The anti avoidance measures in Budget after Budget: the painstaking work of our Conservative Treasury team Greg Clark, David Gauke, Sajid Javid, and Amber Rudd. Powers to the Cities, rights for gay people, the biggest ever rise in the state pension.

All delivered by Conservatives in Government.

And the overhaul of our entire welfare system, making sure work always pays. That’s Iain Duncan Smith’s life’s mission.

These are all achievements of the modern, reformed, Conservative party we have worked so hard to create. But as we change our party and govern our country, there is still more to do. I am part of the generation of Conservatives that came after the great struggles of the 1980s. That government rescued the country from a tail-spin of decline. It laid the foundations of the renewal of cities like Manchester. But we shouldn’t pretend we got everything right.

Old problems were solved. But some new problems emerged. In some parts of the country, worklessness took hold and we didn’t do enough to stop that. And as a local Member of Parliament here, I know that in some parts of the North of England we still have to work hard to overcome the long memories of people who thought we didn’t care.

Labour made that problem of welfare dependency worse. By the time they left office, five million people were on out of work benefits. What a waste of life and talent. A generation of people recycled through the job centres, collecting their dole cheques year in year out, and no one seemed to notice.

And an open-door immigration policy meant those running the economy didn’t care. There was always an uncontrolled supply of low-skilled labour from abroad. Well, never again.

We’ve capped benefits and our work programme is getting people into jobs. We’ve cut immigration by a third. But what about the long term unemployed? Let us pledge here: We will not abandon them, as previous governments did. Today I can tell you about a new approach we’re calling Help to Work. For the first time, all long term unemployed people who are capable of work will be required to do something in return for their benefits, and to help them find work.

They will do useful work putting something back into their community. Making meals for the elderly, clearing up litter, working for a local charity. Others will be made to attend the job centre every working day. And for those with underlying problems, like drug addiction and illiteracy, there will be an intensive regime of support. No one will be ignored or left without help. But no one will get something for nothing. Help to work – and in return work for the dole.

Because a fair welfare system is fair to those who need it and fair to those who pay for it too. Our economic plan. Sound finance. Backing aspiration. No-one left behind. Investing in the future.

At the end of next week, I’m travelling to China. And when you visit a metropolis like Guangzhou or Shenzhen, it’s hard not be awed by the scale of what is happening there, by the ambition and the drive. Some say we shouldn’t even try to compete against China because it’s the sweatshop of the world. But the world is changing. And China is now also a huge market for our exports and a home of innovation and technological advance. This is a huge challenge for our country. But if we get it right, it is the key to our future prosperity.

That is what the debate about living standards is really all about. I don’t want to see other nations pushing the frontiers of science and invention and commerce and explain to my children: that used to be us; that used to be our country. I don’t want to look back and say I was part of a generation that gave up and got poorer as a result. We don’t have to be.

The other day I went to meet the people building a car that will travel at a thousand miles an hour and break the land speed record. And it’s not being built in Boston by some huge American defence company. It’s not being built in Beijing by the Chinese Government. It’s called the Bloodhound. Built in Bristol by British engineers and British apprentices and British companies.

That’s why I say we are in charge of our own destiny.

And here in this great railway hall can you imagine the nation of Isambard Kingdom Brunel being unable to summon the will to join the north and the south with a high speed railway and bring more jobs and prosperity to great cities like this? We will complete this great work of engineering in the best tradition of our country. And should we accept that this nation that mined deep for coal, and took to the cold, stormy seas to search for oil, will turn its back on new sources of energy like shale gas?

No. We absolutely should not. Should we, the country that built the first civil nuclear power station, say: ‘we are never going to build any more – leave it to others?’ Not on my watch.

Should we, the nation of Newton and Crick, here in the city of Rutherford and Turing, should we say:’Let others in the world lead mankind’s scientific endeavour. It’s all too difficult for us?’ No. Let’s mass sequence the human genome, promote genetic research and pioneer the materials of the future like graphene.

Here in Manchester, where the industrial age began, the atom was first split, and the modern computer first built, we’re going to confront that tendency that says: ‘stop the world I want to get off.’

We say: ‘Not for us the comfort of the past’. Ours is the Britain of the future.

Earlier this year, the greatest of our peacetime prime ministers died. I was there in the Cathedral at that emotional farewell. And as I looked at the coffin in front of me, draped in the Union flag, I thought to myself: for what will Margaret Thatcher best be remembered? Her strength? Her conviction? The simple fact she was the first woman prime minister.

Yes, she’ll be remembered for all of those things. But for me, what she really had was: optimism. She refused to accept that Britain was in terminal decline. She believed Britain had a great future. That British people could lead better and more prosperous lives.

And so do we.

Labour motion to parliament to scrap the bedroom tax

photoIn the strongest indication from Deputy Leader Harriet Harman on question Labour has tabled a motion against the dreaded bedroom tax.  I have said that I concur with Harriet Harman on Question Time when she said that voters and critics will have to wait and see what Labour has to say in the manifesto. Followed by Ed Miliband conformation that Labour will scrap the bedroom tax in an exclusive interview which took everybody in the Scrap the Bedroom Tax Campaigners by surprise.

photo (1)Well folks its back on the agenda again the much dreaded talked about bedroom. Both Labour and LibDems have passed motions against the bedroom tax which many Labour activists look forward to see Labour tabled a motion in parliament against the bedroom which will be very intriguing to see if the LibDems will support the motion. After all they claim that they want to get into bed with Labour to form the next government which many Labour will not associate let a lone entertain the idea of a LibLab alliance.

GL01There is no doubt we all know why this coalition dream up this dreaded tax to tax poor and middle-income as the coalition has a knack of using their mantra of its  “Labour fault” for the economy yet they fail to recognize that it was the fault of their rich donors (pals) to the Coalition the record has become very scratched and they have a further cheek to say that “We’re All In It Together”.

3partiesI would urge as very activists and supporters of all the political persuasion against the dreaded bedroom tax to lobby their member of parliament to vote against the bedroom.

If you are not sure who is your MP is then check out this link put in your post code the name of your MP will appear:

Yet on the other side of the coin is the untold stories of tenants are being evicted owing nonpayment of bedroom tax and large shortage of one bedroom properties throughout the UK.

The so-called “bedroom tax” has tipped nearly one in three affected council tenants into rent arrears, campaigners said as they renewed calls for the benefit cut to be scrapped.

Since the reform was introduced in April, 50,000 households in 114 local council areas can no longer afford to pay for their accommodation – 31% of those affected, the False Economy group claimed.

The figures, obtained by the TUC-backed False Economy campaign using freedom of information requests, showed some parts of Britain suffering far more than others.

In Barrow, three-quarters had fallen into arrears, and other areas where the proportion was at least half were Clackmannanshire (67%), Tamworth (52%), South Kesteven (51%) and Rotherham (50%).

A separate study, by the National Housing Federation (NHF), showed a quarter of those in housing association properties affected by the policy had been pushed into rent arrears since the change.

It found that a quarter of tenants affected by the reform in 38 housing associations it questioned had become unable any longer to pay the rent between April and June.

Under the welfare reform, social tenants deemed to have more bedrooms than they need have had their housing benefit reduced, to tackle what the Government calls a “spare room subsidy”.

Ministers say private sector renters do not get spare rooms for free, and argue the change will save around £500 million annually.

It has sparked protests across the country with opponents claiming it is forcing families into poverty and will increase the benefits bill by pushing people into the private sector.

ids-slugThe Department for Work and Pensions dismissed the significance of the findings and defended “a necessary reform to return fairness to housing benefit”.

“It is just wrong to suggest the early stages of the policy – as people start to adjust to the changes – represent long-term trends in any way whatsoever,” a spokesman said.

“We are carefully monitoring the policy nationally ensuring the extra funds to support vulnerable tenants are used well as these changes are introduced.”

“Even after the reform we pay over 80% of most claimants’ housing benefit – but the taxpayer can no longer afford to pay for people to live in properties larger than they need. It is right that people contribute to these costs, just as private renters do.”

But False Economy said the early figures were likely to be on the low side as emergency funds supplied to town halls to ease the burden would quickly dry up and leave more with no help.

Campaign manager Clifford Singer said: “Together with the raft of other benefits cuts the Government has forced through both this year and previously, the bedroom tax is driving tenants and families who were just making ends meet into arrears, and pushing those who were already struggling with the cost of living into a full-blown crisis.

“At a time when the Government is actively trying to stoke a new housing bubble for purely political ends, we have people being punished for the lack of affordable housing and the decades-long failure to invest in social and council housing.

“The worst part is that these figures have been collated while councils’ emergency Discretionary Housing Payments are still available; they are being used up at record speed and when they run out, these figures will only get worse.”

N0629391378724050637ATUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “The bedroom tax is not saving money. Instead it is pushing up rent arrears which will force councils to waste more cash on evictions, debt collection and emergency support for homeless families.

“It says a lot about this Government’s commitment to fairness that they’ve blocked a mansion tax for millionaires but are happy to go ahead with a bedroom tax on disabled and low paid families, no matter how much chaos and misery it causes.”

United Nations special rapporteur on housing Raquel Rolnik has called for a rethink after finding the reform was causing “great stress and anxiety” to “very vulnerable” people.

Her intervention was met with fury by Tory chairman Grant Shapps, who wrote to UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon demanding an apology and an explanation for the “disgraceful” comments.
Liberal Democrat activists voted overwhelmingly at the party’s conference in Glasgow to commit the party to a review of the policy’s impact on vulnerable families .

NHF chief executive David Orr – who will set out his criticisms in a speech to the Federation’s conference later – said: “This is the most damning evidence yet to show that the bedroom tax is pushing thousands of families into a spiralling cycle of debt.

“Housing associations are working flat-out to help their tenants cope with the changes, but they can’t magic one-bedroom houses out of thin air. People are trapped.

“What more proof do politicians need that the bedroom tax is an unfair, ill-planned disaster that is hurting our poorest families? There is no other option but to repeal.”

Shadow work and pensions secretary Liam Byrne said: “The jury is now in.

“David Cameron’s hated ‘bedroom tax’ is pushing a generation into food banks and loan-sharks. This Government seems determined to stand up for a privileged few, but stands idle while hundreds of thousands of our neighbours are pushed into debt from which they may never recover.”

The hidden agenda of Grant Shapps vs Trade Union Affiliations

4131020073Why is it that Grant Shapps fears Ray Collin’s interim report which was instigated by Ed Miliband. One has to speculate if it’s a strong case of all the political parties would have to declare that they will have to clamp down their own big donations from fatcats to their political parties.

I can only imagine that both The Conservatives, LibDems, and funny enough UKIP are all running scared of the prospect that Ed Miliband has them over a double shot-gun to call them bluff. Why else would they put up a fears opposition to the idea of party political reform of donation of a cap limit on it.

6a00d83451b31c69e2017c35947652970b-500wiLet’s not forget that it was the mantra of the Conservatives that quoted that Labour is in the pocket of the trade unions. Somehow the conservatives conveniently left out that the Tories is in the pockets of big business and millionaires who helped to prop the conservatives.

What the trade unions give in donations is small and is in line with the law, monitored and controlled. There is no doubt the headlines if the Tories had their way the headline news in all the Murdock newspapers will be another bust up with Labour and Len McCluskey. Some might believe that Labour Party would be better off with out the trade unions.

FUNERAL+Th_245Tory has only one agenda which Maggie Thatcher could not achieve was to break the trade union link with Labour which she tried but failed as it was the thing that united all the trade union movement until this day. Let’s be very clear their prime concern has always been to further weaken the unions, both the workers from maximizing their share of profits that their labour power produces and to starve Labour of finance.

Save-the-Labour-Union-Link-300x210I would like to put on record that I’m in favor of keeping the trade union links in Labour after all not because I’ve been a party member for 33 years it’s simply because of the historical links with Labour and the achievements the trade unions have brought to the trade union membership such as the national minimum wage, working time directives, labour laws, family friendly policies etc and thanks to a Labour Government who delivered them from 1997-2010.

Let’s be frank if the conservatives and recruitment companies had their way they would more than welcome to get rid of them and bring back the dreaded Victorian laws which many in Labour movement would not like to work under those conditions today’s world.

I have to say that I’m very disappointed by young Miliband actions to hold a conference with the trade union in regards to trade union affiliations which plays into the hands of Tories, Libdems and UKIP.

Labour should not forget its roots of where they are coming from and its up-to the membership to remind the leadership to put pro working class policies before the Murdock press.

keny_main_1382286aIn a very stern warning at Labour Conference on 22 Sept Union leaders have told young Ed Miliband they will retain their voice in the party despite moves to reform their relationship.

Paul Kenny(GMB) which has slashed its funding of the party, said the unions will not bin 100 years of shared history for a “gimmick”.

It’s alleged that LibDems could Split before 2015


Well folks if you have been following the LibDems Conference lately it comes as no surprise that Vince Cable quoted that the coalition could break up before five years is over.

Oh dear me has the Liberal Democrats gone short on memories of lately It’s not just the Tax Payers Alliance who have been left red with rage by Nick Clegg’s plan for free school meals for every four and five-year-old in Britain.

Here is a song worthwhile listening to See link below:

Southwark’s Liberal Democrats are also red-faced, after a old leaflet campaign emerged accusing their Labour counterparts of “bad choices” for spending “millions for free food for the richest kids”.

anood-al-sameraiIn 2012 Cllr Anood Al-Samerai said she saw “no evidence to show that extending free school meals to every child will significantly reduce obesity.”

But the group did a u-turn earlier this month, perhaps after internal murmurings about plans for Clegg’s landmark pledge. Southwark Lib Dems sent out a press release just eight days ago, pledging to keep meals free.

Here’s Cllr Al-Samerai again. “Southwark Liberal Democrats are on the side of local parents who want the best for their children. That’s why we’ve pledged to protect universal free school meals if we win control of the council next year,” she said.

“With this embarrassing u-turn they have given no explanation why they have changed their mind leaving a huge credibility gap in their plans,” the Labour party said in a post on its website.

P9104876Cllr Peter John, Labour leader of Southwark Council, said he welcomed the Lib Dems “damascene conversion to Labour’s policy of free healthy school meals but frankly I don’t believe a word of it”.

“Locally the Lib Dems, are now adopting Labour policies in a desperate attempt to hang on but you cannot go from absolute opposition, to cast iron support overnight and expect to retain any credibility. The Lib Dems offer no alternative, and this desperate attempt to take popular Labour policies as their own shows what a sorry state they are in.”

71px-Simon_Hughes_and_John_Hemming_croppedSouthwark is the constituency of Lib Dem deputy leader Simon Hughes. The local Lib Dems have yet to respond to a request for comment.

Can anybody remind us why the LibDems are supporting the coalition given that they have cut Welfare Benefits let’s begin with:

A year ago, the Very Reverend Dr David Ison was leading Evensong at St Paul’s Cathedral when four women dressed in white chained themselves to the pulpit.

Marking the first anniversary of Occupy London’s eight-month encampment on the steps of the ­Cathedral, they called on the Church to “throw the money changers out of the temple”.

Fast forward a year, and an ­extraordinary thing is happening.

As the second ­anniversary of the Occupy protest at St Paul’s approaches, both sides are working together to highlight the toxic effects of the government’s welfare reforms.

One of the women once chained to the pulpit, Alison Playford, is speaking animatedly to Rev Ison, the Dean of St Paul’s.

“We always knew there was common ground between the Occupy movement and the Church on tackling poverty,” says Rev Ison.

“And we are all agreed that what is happening to people with disabilities has to stop now.”

In Parliament Square, a week on Saturday, September 28, Rev Ison – who only five months ago presided over Margaret Thatcher’s funeral at St Paul’s – will conduct a memorial ceremony for those who have seen their lives ­devastated by the Government “austerity” programme.

Playford, a 31-year-old actress, says: “Our campaign 10,000 Cuts and Counting refers to the 10,600 people who died during or within six weeks of being put through the Atos Work Capability Assessment between January and November 2011.

“For some of these people, the assessment contributed directly to their deaths and, for the rest, they were made to endure the indignity of stressful and humiliating tests during the final weeks of their lives.”

Rev Ison shakes his head. “10,000 people comes from the Department for Work and Pensions’ own figures. And we don’t yet know the figures for 2012-13. It has to stop.”

A joint campaign between St Paul’s, Occupy, Disabled People Against Cuts and the Wow Campaign, 10,000 Cuts and Counting, is a landmark moment in the growing battle against welfare cuts.

At the memorial service, disabled actors will read letters from people detailing their experiences of the Work Capability Assessment – many of them written to Michael Meacher, the Labour MP who has been most outspoken on WCA.

There will also be a carpet of white flowers.

“We want to show the breadth of people speaking out about this,” the Rev Ison says.

“It’s everyone from DPAC to the British Medical Association, which has said that Atos is not fit for purpose.

“We all want to know why people are being put through so much stress and worry.”

Andy Green, 38, from DPAC, says there is no time to waste. “People are suffering and dying every day,” he says.

“Yet the really stupid thing is that welfare spending has gone up, not down under the austerity campaign.”

The morning we met, the Prime Minister had welcomed yet more draconian measures to crack down on benefit fraud – jail sentences of up to 10 years.

“Where are the sentences being given out for defrauding bankers?” Rev Ison asks.

“There is more money being lost by DWP error in unclaimed benefits than by fraud,” Playford says.

“More money is being lost by corporate tax evaders by a football to a pea than by benefit fraud.”

After the memorial service on September 28, a delegation from the gathering will take the “Wow” – or War on Welfare – petition to Downing Street.

Put forward by actress Francesca Martinez, it has so far been signed by 52,000 people and calls for a New Deal for sick and disabled people.

The aim is to reach 100,000 signatures in the next three months – which could trigger a parliamentary debate.

“It’s a huge moment for Wow,” says Jane Bence, one of the campaigners behind the petition. “It’s wonderful to see people coming together from across the spectrum to say, ‘enough is enough’.”

Rev Ison says it is important to show people with disabilities and mental health problems that they aren’t alone.

“We need to show those who feel alone and picked off and despairing that they’re not on their own and there are a lot of people who want to see things change.”

In June last year, the St Paul’s ­occupation ended badly, in violent eviction.

It is a credit to the courage and ­resilience of both sides that they are now working together.

Through recent actions in Friern Barnet where Occupy helped local people re-open their library, and at the Balcombe fracking demos, protesters are finding new, effective ways of working side by side with communities. Meanwhile, as austerity deepens, the Church is finding its voice.

“It’s the role of the Church to build community in an era when people are very individualistic, and that’s what I see happening in the protest movement too,” Rev Ison says. “Caring for people should be right at the top of ­everyone’s agenda.”

He looks up towards the dome of St Paul’s. “We all need to ask ourselves, ‘would we want to be treated like that?’ Most of us will experience disability at some point in our lives. It’s not us and them. It’s us.”

What this happening this must be the worst nightmare somebody wake us all up remember the Libdem backed out of a coalition deal with Labour yet they have the cheek to say that Nick Clegg has said he is ready to work with Ed Miliband in a coalition if the voters install Labour as the largest party at the 2015 general election.

In his closing speech to the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow today, Mr Clegg will appeal to the public to give his party a share of power for another five years, saying they are just getting into their stride in government. “The absolute worst thing to do would be to give the keys to Number 10 to a single party government – Labour or the Conservatives,” he will say.

During a round of media interviews last night, the Deputy Prime Minister sought to kill growing speculation that he is preparing to form a second coalition with the Conservatives in 2015.

Asked if he could comfortably say “Bye bye David Cameron, hello Ed, I will be your deputy now”, he told the BBC: “I’ll tell you why I could, it isn’t about my personal preference, it isn’t about whether this person likes that person more, or whether they get on better with this person … It is about following the instructions, the instructions manual handed to us [by the voters].”

Mr Clegg said: “Of course I would serve in a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition if that is clearly what the British people want and of course that it is possible to assemble [one].”

Asked if Mr Miliband would be a good prime minister, Mr Cameron replied: “I don’t know, it hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think you should judge people until they’ve been able to prove themselves. I personally think that the Labour Party and Ed Miliband himself have assumed that the general election is somehow going to be delivered to them on a plate simply by criticising the Coalition and the difficult decisions we’ve had to make – often unpopular decisions because we’ve had to clean up the mess they’ve left behind.”

He made clear he would not stand down as Liberal Democrat leader if Labour demanded that as the price of forming a coalition. “It’s not for them to hand-pick which individual Liberal Democrats they work with, in the same way as it’s not for me to hand-pick the Labour team,” he said.

In today’s speech, Mr Clegg will stress that he is ready to work with either Labour or the Tories in the national interest. He will say: “I don’t look at Ed Miliband and David Cameron and ask myself who I’d be most comfortable with, as if I was buying a new sofa.”

Mr Clegg will tell his party to “feel proud” of what it has achieved in office since 2010. “This recovery wouldn’t be happening without us. We have made sure the deficit is being cut at the right pace … Three years. We’re not even done yet. Can you imagine what we could do with five more?”

He will claim the sacrifices made by the British people would be put at risk if Labour or the Conservatives governed alone. “Labour would wreck the recovery. The Conservatives would give us the wrong kind of recovery. Only the Lib Dems can finish the job and finish it in a way that is fair,” he will say.

Mr Clegg will tell delegates that the Liberal Democrats have completed their journey from “the comforts of opposition” to a party of government. He will argue: “We’re no one’s little brother. We’re not trying to get back into government to fold into one of the other parties – we want to be there to anchor them to the liberal centre ground… bang in the middle. We’re not here to prop up the two-party system. We’re here to bring it down.”

In an unusually personal speech, the Deputy PM will admit he had a privileged background but insist that the upheavals faced by his parents and grandparents meant he was taught not to “ take things for granted”. He will say: “My Dutch mother had spent much of her childhood in a prisoner of war camp. My dad’s Russian mother had come to England after her family lost everything in the Russian Revolution… We were raised to believe that everyone deserves a chance because everyone’s fortunes can change, often through no fault of their own.”

Mr Clegg will stress that, since entering government, he has spent more time than anything else on improving social mobility through measures such as the pupil premium for disadvantaged children.

Intriguingly Nick Clegg has suffered a major blow as he prepares to put his leadership on the line today, with a poll revealing the deep unease about the direction of the Liberal Democrats among current and former supporters. More current Liberal Democrat supporters – those who would still vote for the party now –  believe the party has changed for the worse since the 2010 election (36 per cent) than think it has got better (20 per cent), according to a YouGov survey.

The survey found that 59 per cent of all those who voted Liberal Democrat at the last election believe the party has got worse in the three years since, with only 9 per cent saying it has got better. The results show Mr Clegg has a mountain to climb as he tries to woo back former supporters who have deserted the party since it joined the Coalition.

In a crunch debate at his party’s conference in Glasgow today, Mr Clegg will make a personal appeal to delegates to stick with the Coalition’s economic strategy and reject calls to depart from the Government’s austerity plans. The left-of-centre Social Liberal Forum (SLF) wants the Coalition to adopt a new “fiscal mandate” and to order the Bank of England to do more to boost growth and jobs. Mr Clegg’s allies claim this amounts to a call for higher public spending.

But his internal critics have accused him of “picking a fight with his own party”, when a compromise on economic policy could have been reached. They claim that Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, who has close links with the SLF, wanted such a deal. Last night Mr Cable was under pressure to back Mr Clegg rather than his natural allies in the increasingly fractious debate. His aides said he supported Mr Clegg’s economic statement but that he believed it could be improved.

Insiders said the crucial vote that follows the debate could be close, but predicted that Mr Clegg would win over wavering delegates by turning it into a “loyalty test”.

Prateek Buch, the SLF’s director, said: “The motion has to go further than current Coalition policy as [we] approach the next election, to demonstrate we are an independent party.”

Mr Clegg on Sunday sought to reassure his critics by promising to set out his “red lines” for possible coalition talks should the 2015 election result in another hung parliament. He suggested that cuts in taxes for the low-paid and higher taxes for the rich would be key Liberal Democrat demands in any potential agreement.

The Deputy Prime Minister said it was too early to spell out the party’s “die in a trench” issues, but they are likely to include a commitment to lifting the personal tax allowance to £12,500, taking all workers on the minimum wage out of income tax. This would build on the party’s flagship promise at the last election to raise the threshold to £10,000, which many Liberal Democrats regard as their proudest achievement in government.

A new tax on the wealthiest people – probably through a “mansion tax” on the owners of £2m-plus properties – will be another central Liberal Democrat commitment. The party is also examining the idea of a tax on the value of land on which houses are built.

Mr Clegg told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “I strongly suspect, given that we have put so much effort and indeed  so much money into making the tax system fairer, tax fairness will of course be one of the signature tunes for the Liberal Democrats.”

He added: “In my view it is going to be more likely than not that in the future you’re going to get more coalitions. It is less likely that you’re going to get these slam-dunk results when one or the other of the two major parties always gets a majority.”

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Labour Uncut blog, shows that a majority (53 per cent) of current Tory supporters believe their party has got better since the last election, with only 11 per cent saying it has got worse. Among Labour supporters, the figures are 46 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

There is some good news in the survey for Mr Clegg. It found that Labour supporters are much more open to a Lib-Lab coalition that includes Mr Clegg than Ed Miliband appears to be. The Labour leader has said it would be difficult to reach a deal with the Liberal Democrats unless they change their leader.

Some 21 per cent of Labour supporters say the party should form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats even if Mr Clegg remains at the helm, while 33 per cent would back a deal only if he is replaced and 36 per cent want no deal with the Liberal Democrats no matter who leads the party. Eight-seven per cent of Labour supporters who want Mr Clegg replaced would allow him to stay on to form a government with Labour if the alternative was another Lib-Con coalition, while just 4 per cent of those people would rather see a repeat of the current Government than do any deal with Mr Clegg. This means that overall, 50 per cent of Labour supporters would back a Miliband-Clegg partnership to prevent another Con-Lib coalition, while 40 per cent would not.

YouGov interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,593 adults between 30 August and 4 September.

Somehow I don’t believe that LibDems would see this happen on the grounds of that it’s to their advantage to remain in the coalition with the Conservatives. If there should be another coalition(god forbid) they want to hang on to power which would not be to Labour advantage nor do I advocate that Labour should go into coalition with the Conservatives either let me make it clear I would like to see a return of a Labour Government instead no ifs or buts.

Sure many Labour activists may have concerns with the party but at least we do our fight inside of the party instead of outside which brings about a healthy debates in which way how Labour can return to government but at the same Labour should not be complacent either. Next year Labour will be fielding candidates for European and Local Elections then in 2915 there will be two elections Local and General Elections which Labour must take the lead some will say that’s being optimistic. For myself I say it is achieved but it will take time.

Five years in opposition is a long time in government on 21 September Labour will be holding its conference and Ed Miliband will have to give an extra ordinary speech to the undecided voters, swingers, and Labour supporters to bring home the message why is Labour is in waiting to be the next government what are Labour alternatives to the economy, welfare, long time unemployment, high youth unemployment, crime prevention, public services, bedroom tax, Europe, HS2, truly affordable social housing, and the list goes on.

In regards to Europe there are many activists wants to know where Labour stands will it offer a referendum to hop in or out. Let’s be clear that Labour did very well in Europe where they did some hard negotiations to ensure Labour policies was enshrine in the European Parliament which benefit UK citizens for this reason many Labour activists including myself will be traveling across the UK to ensure we will get a Labour victory in European elections. For Labour activists who have some spare time on their hands contact your regional office for transport details or general information where your support is needed nearer the time.

We all aware that other political parties will be fielding their candidates but Labour should not take for granted that we will defeat all the parties be-aware of the our foes BNP and UKIP they will be spreading their Far Right Agenda to gain votes from the disillusion voters which Labour must try to win over to stand a chance to win both European and Local Elections in 2014 and again for Local and General Elections in 2015 which is a lot of grounds to cover.

The general feeling that our Labour activists are picking up the mood from the doorsteps is:

1) many on some form of benefits want to see an end to the bedroom tax, job creation, proper training which leads to qualifications which will lead to full time employment.

2) Low and Middle incomes want to see the Living Wages enshrine into law and more family friendly policies reintroduced such as SureStart which benefited those at the point of need.

3) The reintroduction of train to gain to obtain qualifications to stand a chance for full time employment which manufacturing industry recognizes.

4) There are some people who were forced to take redundancies owing to economic changes needs to feel valued and offered encouragement to gain employment and not forgotten by previous and present governments.

I’m sure many more can be done but it takes time. Recently I was on a campaign trail I was in discussion with a person who told me of their predicament. This person ran their own business with two other partners for 23 years and decided to return to collage after losing their job to better themselves to stand a chance to gain some well-earned qualifications to learn new skills only to be informed by three collages that the person was over qualified and the price range was out of reach to the person in concern.

All the person wanted to do was to convert their expertise in management that he or she learned over the years for them to turn it into a qualification which would be of beneficial to any campaniles to employ them.

Since the formation of this coalition many have witnessed first-hand at the amount of cut backs and hardships yet many people who are very low and middle incomes have to queue up at food banks to help make ends meet.  Instead of this coalition offer assistance they constantly are told “We’re all in it together and it’s Labour fault well the record has been worn out with scratches that the many has no confidence with this coalition they want to see a change of government.

Just when it felt safe to walk down the streets Islamophobia is highlighted in the public domain again

Just when it felt safe to walk down the streets Islamophobia is highlighted in the public domain again

Recently I wrote an article entitled Student power prevails over veil ban see link:

gordon-lyew I note with grave concerns that senior Libdem minister in the coalition is playing into the hands of the far right agenda viz EDL and BNP which the coalition has not learn the lessons of the history which they are basically saying we will adopt the French position of banning the veil in public I’m sure is in breach of the Human Rights Act 1998 under articles 9-10 which states:

Article 9 Freedom of thought, conscience and religion

1 Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief, in worship, teaching, practice and observance.

2 Freedom to manifest one’s religion or beliefs shall be subject only to such limitations as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of public safety, for the protection of public order, health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

Article 10 Freedom of expression

1 Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

2 The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.

ay_116214215David Cameron’s official spokesman said he believes “institutions such as schools” should be free to decide their own rules on uniform.

The spokesman ruled out the prospect of legislation on the controversial issue, but said this did not prevent organisations setting dress codes.

“The Prime Minister doesn’t believe Parliament should legislate on what people do and don’t wear on their local high street,” he said.

“Nonetheless, that is not incompatible with institutions having dress codes. Schools are an example but it is for institutions to take those decisions. There are legal frameworks within which all institutions operate.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg also said he did not think the full veil was appropriate for airport security or the classroom; he did not want people in Britain to be told how to dress.

The comments came after Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne called on the Government to consider whether it should step in to protect young women.

Mr Browne said there may be a case to act to protect girls who were too young to decide for themselves whether they wanted to wear the veil or not.

“I think this is a good topic for national debate. People of liberal instincts will have competing notions of how to protect and promote freedom of choice,” he told The Daily Telegraph.

“I am instinctively uneasy about restricting the freedom of individuals to observe the religion of their choice. That would apply to Christian minorities in the Middle East just as much as religious minorities here in Britain.

“But there is genuine debate about whether girls should feel a compulsion to wear a veil when society deems children to be unable to express personal choices about other areas like buying alcohol, smoking or getting married.

“We should be very cautious about imposing religious conformity on a society which has always valued freedom of expression.”

On Monday, a judge in London ruled a Muslim woman standing trial could wear a full-face veil but would have to remove it when she gives evidence.

And last week, Birmingham Metropolitan College was forced to drop a ban on the wearing of full-face veils due to public protests.

The college had originally banned niqabs and burkas from its campuses eight years ago on the grounds that students should be easily identifiable at all times.

But when a 17-year-old prospective student complained to her local newspaper that she was being discriminated against, a campaign sprang up against the ban, attracting 8,000 signatures to an online petition in two days.

After the college’s decision to withdraw it, Downing Street said Mr Cameron would support a ban in his children’s schools, although the decision should rest with the head teacher.

The Prime Minister has been under growing pressure from his own MPs for a rethink on current Department for Education guidelines to protect schools and colleges from being “bullied”.

Tory backbencher Dr Sarah Wollaston, writing in The Daily Telegraph, said the veils were “deeply offensive” and were “making women invisible”, and called for the niqab to be banned in schools and colleges.

Mr Clegg, speaking at the Lib Dem party conference on Monday, said: “I think one of the great things about our country is that … we allow people to express their identity, their faith, the communities to which they belong in the way in which they dress.

“There are some exceptions clearly. I don’t for instance think it is appropriate to have the full veil through security checks at airports.

“I think there is an issue about teachers having the right to address their pupils and their students face-to-face and make face contact.

“But otherwise I really do think it is important that we protect the British principle that as long as people are law-abiding citizens going about their business in a law-abiding fashion, we shouldn’t be telling people what garments of clothing they can wear.”

Let’s not forget that it was David Cameron who said in a speech recently:

David Cameron has said the UK is a Christian country “and we should not be afraid to say so”.

In a speech in Oxford on the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible, the prime minister called for a revival of traditional Christian values to counter Britain’s “moral collapse”.

He said “live and let live” had too often become “do what you please”.

The PM said it was wrong to suggest that standing up for Christianity was “somehow doing down other faiths”.

Describing himself as a “committed” but only “vaguely practising” Christian, the PM admitted he was “full of doubts” about big theological issues.

 ‘Don’t do God’

But he staunchly defended the role of religion in politics and said the Bible in particular was crucial to British values.

“We are a Christian country and we should not be afraid to say so,” he told the audience at Christ Church.

“Let me be clear: I am not in any way saying that to have another faith – or no faith – is somehow wrong.

“I know and fully respect that many people in this country do not have a religion.

“And I am also incredibly proud that Britain is home to many different faith communities, who do so much to make our country stronger.

“But what I am saying is that the Bible has helped to give Britain a set of values and morals which make Britain what it is today.”

Mr Cameron said people often argued that “politicians shouldn’t ‘do God'” – a reference to a comment famously made by former No 10 spin doctor Alistair Campbell when Tony Blair was asked about his religion.

“If by that they mean we shouldn’t try to claim a direct line to God for one particular political party, they could not be more right,” the PM said.

“But we shouldn’t let our caution about that stand in the way of recognising both what our faith communities bring to our country, and also just how incredibly important faith is to so many people in Britain.”

Mr Cameron also said it was “easier for people to believe and practise other faiths when Britain has confidence in its Christian identity”.

“Many people tell me it is much easier to be Jewish or Muslim here in Britain than it is in a secular country like France,” he said.

“Why? Because the tolerance that Christianity demands of our society provides greater space for other religious faiths too.

“And because many of the values of a Christian country are shared by people of all faiths and indeed by people of no faith at all.”

Given what David Cameron has said why the Coalition is pandering to Far Right politics. This will be next on the agenda Sikh, Hindu, Buddha, Roman Catholics, Jews and the list goes on.

4569c6b61ab9c078d6cf2a6e102e3329A recent article by Councillor Waseem Zaffer who summed it up in a nutshell for me when he said:

Fear that Birmingham veils debate may trigger ‘Islamophobia’

Birmingham councillor said genuine debate was needed after Birmingham Metropolitan College dispute.

A senior Birmingham councillor has spoken of his fears that debate over Muslim face veils could spark a rise in Islamophobia.

Coun Waseem Zaffer, chairman of Birmingham City Council’s social cohesion board, pictured, spoke after Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne called for a national debate on whether the state should step in to stop young women having the niqab imposed upon them.

The Liberal Democrat MP said a “genuine debate” was needed on whether young girls could decide to wear the veil without outside pressure.

His intervention followed Birmingham Metropolitan College’s decision to drop a ban on full-face veils amid public protests, after the original policy was exclusively revealed by the Mail.

But Coun Zaffer said the issue had been “blown out of proportion”.

He said: “Probably 0.1 per cent of people in this country wear a niqab.

“To ask for a national debate on something that affects such a small number of people is ridiculous.

“We need a national debate on the bedroom tax and unemployment.

“I fear this will play right into the hands of the far right and lead to a rise in Islamaphobia. We need to nip that in the bud.”

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he did not want to see a state ban on religious clothing, although he agreed full veils were “not appropriate” in the classroom or airport security areas.

Labour Party Conference Week


I’m sure that many of us would like to send our regards and speedy recovery to Tony Benn let’s hope to see him at future Labour Party Conference with his usual firebrand with his long awaited encouragement to delegates and visitors

Why is it important for BAME and chinese communities should unite together to come out and vote Labour they will a make a big difference. Now is the time for Labour to spell out why they are the party that listens to the voters and what will be in the forthcoming manifesto for a return of a strong Labour Government in 2015.

Simon-Woolley-6As much I concur with Simon Woolley from Operation Black Vote (OBV)  at times which we sometime clash with differing of opinions credit is where it is due I have say I endorse what Simon Woolley has to say see his article below:

Simon Woolley recalls his first viewing of the research that could alter the course of the 2015 general election. “I couldn’t believe it,” he says. “I told them to go away and check it again, and then again. No one expected this.”

It was a depth charge into the waters of contemporary politics, and it resulted from a simple exercise by Woolley’s organisation Operation Black Vote (OBV). It took the information from the census and its up-to–the-moment picture of where Britain’s minorities live – a snapshot measuring the steady but pronounced migration of non-indigenous voters from towns to suburbs and even into rural areas of Britain. It then compared that with the parliamentary boundaries, paying particular attention to those seats designated as marginals, and pinpointed those seats where the slender parliamentary majority is outweighed by a resident minority population now available to vote. What it revealed was that 168 marginal seats are susceptible to the voting whims of a minority electorate.

It’s a window of opportunity in what will undoubtedly be a tight election, says Woolley; a chance to finally force the mainstream parties to pay attention to concerns that might be collectively held by black and Asian voters. The parties thought the same. “Within 48 hours, I had in my diary meetings with senior officials from all three of them.”

High time, says Woolley, for each to explain what they would do about pressing subjects such as equalities legislation, immigration and stop and search. “The stars are aligned for us, but they won’t be for long,” he predicts. “This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Who knows if there will be so many marginals again, or if minorities will be so well placed to impact upon them.”

So will brown skins vote en masse? Not at all, says Woolley. “We are not homogenous, but there are issues that affect us all. Inequality is one; it’s a big one, whether it is a middle manager hitting the glass ceiling or a young person who has never had a job and isn’t likely to get one. We need to galvanise people and we need to hold some feet to the fire. And we’ve got about 18 months to do it.”

It’s a window in which to turn a paper opportunity into an actual one, and the drive began in earnest this week with the arrival from the US of that veteran galvaniser of the minority vote, the Rev Jesse Jackson. An odd couple perhaps, he and the British campaigner take that aspiration to mass meetings in London and Birmingham, Woolley with his research and Jackson with the experience he has gained through the voter-registration activities of his grassroots campaigning organisation, the Rainbow PUSH coalition. “There are parallels with the UK and the US regarding racial disparities and inequalities in unemployment, education, criminal justice at the hands of the police and courts,” says Jackson. “Here we are, 50 years after the march on Washington for jobs and justice and just months after the supreme court struck a major blow to the Voting Rights Act. My visit to the UK is to celebrate, but also to prepare for action.” Success is a million voters registered for 2015.

The research, which took two researchers six months and was validated by Prof Anthony Heath, an expert in minorities and politics at Oxford University, may have been uniformly seized upon but affects different parties in different ways. For all of them it is an opportunity, but for some a threat.

It gives Labour a chance to re-emphasise its historical supremacy over the minority vote. It has 15 minority MPs and attracted the lion’s share of support in 2010. According to the Runnymede Trust, 68% of ethnic minorities voted Labour, compared with 31% of white Britons.

The party will not relinquish that hegemony in a hurry. And yet, speak privately and you find that all is far from tranquil internally. Black and ethnic minority activists have rarely been so despondent, complaining that the party’s efforts to reach out specifically to minority communities and to secure more minority MPs have dissipated.

A particular bugbear is the fact that it has fully embraced the notion of all-female shortlists, but struggles still with the notion of minority-only shortlists. Concern is heightened because the all-women shortlists – while increasing on paper the prospects for some minority activists – don’t appear to be helping minority women to a significant degree. Of 63 contests prior to the 2010 election featuring all-women shortlists, only a smattering of minority women prevailed, such as Shabana Mahmood in Birmingham, Lisa Nandy in Wigan and Valerie Vaz in Walsall. These highly prized openings routinely attract the attention of well-placed activists with benefactors, networks and a telling history in the party; a headstart. This, the aggrieved will tell you, is Labour’s catch- 22: why do many minorities fail to gain a foothold in the party? Because they do not already have a sufficiently secure foothold in the party.

Even high-fliers struggle. Kamaljeet Jandu, the widely known national officer forequality at the GMB union and well regarded chair of Black and Ethnic Minority Labour, recently sought a place on the party’s list for MEP selection in London. He came sixth.

“We were shocked. We thought that if he can’t break through, what chance for the rest of us,” one senior Black Labour activist tells me. “The will to change this has to come from the top. But that is just not happening. We can find people and train people but there are so many institutional barriers in the party. So much is still based on class – it is anything but a meritocracy. There are behind-the-scenes networks that we just can’t permeate. Thirty years ago, Diane Abbott and Bernie Grant and Paul Boateng came through and that seemed to be the start of something revolutionary. But if anything, since then we’ve gone backwards. It seems to me that people are embarrassed to even talk about race.”

Does all this matter for Labour? Yes, but not perhaps to a heart-stopping degree because the party’s hold over minority votes seems decisive in the short term. Class and force of habit trumps racial self-interest. And rare is the disgruntled black wouldbe parliamentarian who would defect. But that won’t always be the situation, warns one hopeful Labour candidate. “As time passes, people become more likely to consider other options. We can’t be so complacent.”

The MP Diane Abbott also warns against complacency. “The black and minority ethnic vote has been very loyal to Labour for a long while, but younger people are more disaffected. Labour needs to be wary of taking the BME vote for granted. The old certainties no longer apply. The party needs a concrete strategy for moving towards more BME MPs and councillors. We just can’t leave it to chance.”

There is some appreciation of what might be required. For all the squalls of her career, in 2010 – in Hackney and Stoke Newington – where more than half of the electorate comes from an ethnic minority – she doubled her majority, taking 55% of the vote on an increased turnout. There are subjects an MP might address that chime with everyone, she says, but also concerns particular to minorities in her constituency. A current example is the rise in air-passenger duty on flights from Britain to the Caribbean. But the keys are credibility and tone. “It is about how you treat BME communities, how you talk about them and how you talk about issues that concern them, such as immigration.”

These are all issues for a Conservative party that certainly can’t feel safe against the backdrop of the OBV research. Traditionally it has survived and thrived as the party of white middle England, but increasingly strategists are factoring in the demographic shift in UK towns and cities. According to the BBC’s Great British Class Survey, one-fifth of the ethnic minority population can now consider itself middle class. Many could and should present as credible recruitment targets for the Tories.

The party has 11 minority MPs now and operates from a position of weakness, confronted by conflicting imperatives and the knowledge that in 2010 it secured just 16% of the minority vote. What to do to secure a majority, or simply stave off a return to the opposition benches? Should it chase minority support and perhaps secure some of those lifeblood marginals identified by OBV, or tack right and solidify its traditional core vote by heading off the threat from Ukip? There is scant chance that it can do both. And in Lynton Crosby, the party’s controversial Australian strategist, they are led by someone who presents as master of the narrow “core vote” campaign. Hence, say observers, the government’s summer concentration on immigration.

This matters between now and 2015, but it matters even more beyond. And it sets up potential conflict with the long-term thoughts of Tory strategists such as Lord Ashcroft and senior figures such as co-chairman Lord Feldman, who observe the wreckage of a US Republican party that is estranged from the growing Hispanic population of 53 million in the US and thus condemned to bit-part status. Mitt Romney projected his party’s antipathy to Hispanic immigration and paid the price come election day, attracting just 27% of the Hispanic vote. A suicidal act of positioning, singled out by Romney himself as a compelling reason for his defeat.

Conservative disdain for Britain’s minorities may have been sustainable in the glory years – think Margaret Thatcher’s reference to those of an “alien culture” and Lord Tebbit’s insulting cricket test. But forward-thinking Tories now recognise that approach as being so last century. They go armed with internal and detailed research undertaken by Ashcroft, who now veers towards the evangelical on the subject of the Tories claiming their share of the minority vote.

Even before the OBV bombshell, the party was trying things. There was a fresh push by figures such as Indian-born vice-chair Alok Sharma to raise the profile of the party in minority communities and challenge the perception that the party is racist. A new campaign pack gave Tory parliamentary candidates advice on how to operate in minority areas. And it has been keen to find even more black and Asian MPs, now there is no A-list of centrally endorsed candidates with which such an outcome can be engineered. The A-list caused David Cameron a good deal of difficulty prior to the 2010 election. Instead, party officials are taking a closer interest in how selections are conducted, trying to ensure minority hopefuls get a fair shake. But even that is perilous. Voicing the aspiration for greater diversity in the party is one thing, engineering it is quite another. It smacks of “identity politics”. For all the possibilities, Tory activists deplore identity politics.

“It’s all a huge challenge for us, although I’m not sure any political party has got it right yet,” explains one senior Tory MP. “We have a few more minority MPs and that’s a good thing – although I do sometimes wish that some of them would be a bit more secure about their ethnicity. They just ape public school manners and so don’t have the impact one would like.”

He sees his party as being on a learning curve, forced to grapple with new complexities. “A lot of it is down to income levels. You take the Ismaili Muslims – a lot of them are professional and have done well for themselves and we can have one kind of conversation with them. But with Pakistani Muslims, Bangladeshi Muslims and Somali Muslims, that’s something different altogether. It is very complicated.”

And, he says, it’s changing. “We are looking at the third and fourth generation now. It’s no use looking to the old man at the mosque to deliver the vote. He can say what he likes, but the younger ones just go away and organise themselves on Facebook. They’re one step ahead. The old thinking just isn’t effective.”

What could be decisive, he says, is shoe leather: door-to-door politics. “A lot of minorities have never seen a Conservative. All they know about us is what they have been told by Labour and the Liberals. We could counteract that. We’ve been trying. But when certain colleagues use certain kinds of language and send immigration vans on to the streets, that certainly doesn’t help.”

At the sharp end of that Tory dilemma sits Mohammed Amin. One of the groups that the Tories most struggle to attract is Muslims and he is deputy chair of the Conservative Muslim Forum. A tough sell. But he says it shouldn’t be. “If you look at the values of a typical Muslim citizen and what they regard as important – family, hard work, being thrifty and education – these are things reflected in Conservative policy. But if a politician says, ‘Our values are the same, you should vote Conservative’, that sounds too patronising. I am recommending that we just talk about our values.”He’s also recommending that Conservative candidates and activists be prudent with their language. “We, like Labour and the Lib Dems, favour a two-state solution. If a candidate goes around saying ‘I am a Zionist’, Muslims say that means you are in favour of settlers grabbing as much Palestinian land as possible.

We should be honest and consistent but use language that is appropriate.”

And no dabbling in identity politics, says Amin. It doesn’t work anyway. “George Galloway fought a brilliant campaign in Bradford. He ignored the community leaders and had a campaign led by Muslim women who persuaded people who had never voted before to vote. We have to do things our way. There should be nothing we say to a Muslim audience that we would not say to a wider audience.”

And the racism millstone? “You’ve got to fess up. Institutional memory is a big issue. People remember the party of Enoch Powell. We say: ‘We’re not racist now. We have a few racists still but the party has changed.’ You can’t change the past but you can change the future.”

So is there the opportunity for the Lib Dems to present as a party that has never been hostile and hasn’t grown complacent? Perhaps. But it too has a bugbear – the absence of a narrative it can sell on the doorstep. It has a smattering of minority councillors and earlier this year – having convened a task force – sought to find distinctive policy positions on minority education and employment. But still it lacks a distinctive philosophy that might draw in a minority vote. Worse still, in coalition, it is tainted by the anti-immigration reputation of the Conservatives.

It’s a problem for Nick Clegg. In 2009, he said that if his party – all white in the Commons – failed to improve that position by 2015 he would seriously consider all-black shortlists. Since then he has gone quiet on the subject and who can say whether he will be willing, or able, to make such changes after 2015. In the meantime, the prize for his party in this regard seems modest – holding on to its 57 MPs, maybe advancing just a little.

Lester Holloway, a Sutton Lib Dem councillor and anti-racism activist is the secretary of Ethnic Minority Lib Dems. He also led the OBV research, so he knows the specifics. “We have got everything to gain and everything to lose, but we need to broaden our appeal to minorities if we are to have a realistic chance of winning target seats from the Conservatives and holding on to about half of the seats that we have now,” he says. Can they do that? “One of the reasons I am here is that I believe in the central philosophies of the party in terms of equality and social justice and that these are key qualities that can appeal to minorities.”

But it’s an uphill climb, he says. They are “playing catchup” with a Clegg-inspired leadership programme to unearth and develop minority MPs. And they may soon erase the embarrassing truth of an all-white corps of MPs in parliament. Two seats, potentially winnable, will be fought by minority Lib Dem candidates: Layla Moran in Oxford and Abingdon and Maajid Nawaz – a founder of the counter-extremism thinktank Quillam – in Hampstead and Kilburn.

There is a strategy, Holloway says, and he presents it as a hopeful one. But what is also needed is a leap of faith. The party, he says, has to unequivocally commit, banishing all concerns that to pursue a minority vote might conflict with the tenets of liberalism. It has no choice in this regard. “Things won’t improve by themselves.”

None of the major parties is as prepared as it might be, and that’s a boon for the industrious Woolley as he prepares to make his demands, aided and guided by Jackson. But can they communicate the possibilities to those who need to hear them? Can they sign up enough new voters to make the effort credible? Can they establish whether enough common points of interest unite enough minorities for them to collectively dictate a view to the politicians? Can they cajole them from the breakfast table to the ballot box? There is no point identifying votes if the people don’t vote. “I’ll be here, there and everywhere, saying: ‘Look, we have never had this sort of leverage. This is more potential power and influence than we have ever had in our entire political history.’ The question is whether and how we use it.”

Anna modeloperas05 800Recently I came across a article Anna Chen a well respected broadcaster and journalist and also known as  Madam Miaow we may differ with some ideas and policies but give her credit where its due as she writes about the Nasty Party AKA the Conservative Party and why they are dangerous should they win the General Elections in 2015 if we all don’t take a stand to come out to vote see insert enclosed:

go-home-500x300Sometimes a government does something so stupid, so nakedly opportunist that the giant pandering is visible from Mars. In their infinite wisdom, the present Tory-dominated coalition has created an image that will sum up the Nasty Party for years to come.

Some genius in the Conservative Party considered it a good idea to dispatch a van around the streets of London emblazoned with a huge yelly placard exhorting “illegal immigrants” to GO HOME OR FACE ARREST. (It is rumoured to be the brainchild of Lynton Crosby, the Australian lobbyist who advises David Cameron on election strategy.)

Never mind that immigrants are probably already aware of whether their status is legal or not, and that they probably can’t even read what’s written if they aren’t. Reminiscent of the worst far right anti-immigrant language of the 1970s, the “racist van” been lampooned across the net as marking the moment Cameron’s cuddly mask slid off. It has been subsequently disowned by the Tories’ Lib Dem partners, and the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is investigating whether it could incite racial hatred.

Hardly surprising, considering the vans have been sent into those London areas with the highest immigrant population.

The racist van stunt comes hard on the heels of a series of raids on Chinese restaurants from Cornwall to Scotland by UK Border Agency immigration officers imposing fines of £10,000 for each violation. The China Glen restaurant in West Lothian faces a bill for £80,000 for its eight illegal workers and the Sun Wah in Launceston will have to eat £40,000. A bit harsh for two tiny takeaways. Shame we never see the same vigour applied to the bankers and tax avoiders who wrecked the economy,

Chinese caterers have argued in the past that their cuisine requires specialist knowledge or at least a lifetime eating it and that these skills can’t be taught on the hoof to youth more accustomed to burgers and pizzas. However, hard-hearted politicians with eyes on the next election appear unmoved regarding the authenticity of their next chop suey. Raids are due to start all over again in November.

Now that a network of people smugglers run by fiendish Chinese masterminds has been uncovered in France and Spain whose objects of migratory desire are the US and UK Chinese businesses are a primary target for British authorities. This government’s message: if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen and country. Meanwhile, the nation goes steadily prawn crackers.

It is alleged that Labour are on course to in 32 Tory seats at the next general election and claim an outright majority in a new poll which was revealed on Sunday 15 Sept 2013.

A survey of 13,000 voters in the Tories most marginal 40 seats showed support for the nasty party had fallen by 7 per cent.

Harriet-Harman-007Secondly, Many Labour activists including myself  cant help but think that Harriet Harman is on the right track when she said about  the Liberal Democrats will do a lot of talking at their conference in Glasgow this week, so it’s worth remembering the single most important truth about them: Nick Clegg has repeatedly said one thing and then done another. Time after time Nick Clegg has tried to distance himself from the failures of David Cameron’s government but the truth is he has ditched his principles and voted in Parliament with the Tories all the way.

Here’s a top 10:

1. Tuition Fees
Nick Clegg campaigned on a promise to scrap tuition fees if they got into power, and every Liberal Democrat MP pledged to vote against future tuition fee increases. But once in government, Nick Clegg and his MPs voted to treble tuition fees to £9,000,

2. VAT
Nick Clegg campaigned against what he called a “TORY VAT BOMBSHELL” during the election. But it was a bombshell he helped the Tories drop – voting to increase VAT to 20%.

3. Tax Cut for Millionaires
Nick Clegg promised “fairer taxes in tough times”, but he didn’t deliver them. Instead, he backed a Tory cut in the top rate of tax, giving 13,000 millionaires a tax cut worth an average £100,000 while millions are paying more.

4. Living Standards
Nick Clegg says that “thanks to the Liberal Democrats, the government has been helping people get through these difficult times with measures to make life fairer and easier”. The reality is that, with Liberal Democrats in government, things are getting harder – with wages down £1,500 since the election and a million young people out of work.

5. NHS
Nick Clegg and his party backed David Cameron’s top-down NHS reorganisation from the start. It was passed thanks to Lib Dem votes, and they share responsibility for wasting £3billion on a top-down NHS reorganisation while more people wait longer in A&Es and over 5,000 nurses are cut.

6. Mansion Tax
In opposition, the Liberal Democrats said they backed a mansion tax. Even after they went into coalition with the Tories, Nick Clegg said “The Mansion Tax is right, it makes sense and the Liberal Democrats will continue to make the case for it. We’re going to stick to our guns”. Did he stick to his guns? Of course not. When given the chance to stand up for their own principles and vote for a mansion tax, Liberal Democrat MPs voted against it.

7. Constitutional Reform
Nick Clegg said his constitutional reform programme would be “the biggest shake-up of our democracy since the Great Reform Act of 1832“. It wasn’t. He abandoned Lords reform after Conservative MPs refused to back it, and he failed to deliver reform of the voting system.

8. Sure Start
In May 2010, Nick Clegg promised to protect Sure Start and told voters that “Difficult decisions are going to have to be made in public spending, but Sure Start is one of the best things the last government has done and I want all these centres to stay open”. But in Government, the Liberal Democrats have backed cuts to Sure Start – and 558 centres have shut so far.

9. Police
In the Liberal Democrat manifesto, Nick Clegg promised to put 3,000 more police on the beat. But in Government they backed Tory plans to cut more than 15,000 police officers.

10. Special Advisers
In opposition, the Liberal Democrats said that special advisers “are political jobs, and should, therefore, be funded by political parties”. They changed their tune when they got into Government. Nick Clegg alone has sixteen Special Advisers – paid for at the taxpayers’ expense.

So whatever Nick Clegg says this weekend, the truth is the Liberal Democrats have not been a brake on the Tories during their time in Coalition. They have voted for the Government’s policies in Parliament and must be held to account for these decisions.

Oh dear what has Nick Clegg fail to tell his party conference delegates up in Glasgow that Labour activists are against any suggestions from Liberal Democrats to doing a coalition with Labour :

Nick Clegg has suffered a major blow as he prepares to put his leadership on the line today, with a poll revealing the deep unease about the direction of the Liberal Democrats among current and former supporters. More current Liberal Democrat supporters those who would still vote for the party now – believe the party has changed for the worse since the 2010 election (36 per cent) than think it has got better (20 per cent), according to a YouGov survey.

The survey found that 59 per cent of all those who voted Liberal Democrat at the last election believe the party has got worse in the three years since, with only 9 per cent saying it has got better. The results show Mr Clegg has a mountain to climb as he tries to woo back former supporters who have deserted the party since it joined the Coalition.

In a crunch debate at his party’s conference in Glasgow today, Mr Clegg will make a personal appeal to delegates to stick with the Coalition’s economic strategy and reject calls to depart from the Government’s austerity plans. The left-of-centre Social Liberal Forum (SLF) wants the Coalition to adopt a new “fiscal mandate” and to order the Bank of England to do more to boost growth and jobs. Mr Clegg’s allies claim this amounts to a call for higher public spending.

But his internal critics have accused him of “picking a fight with his own party”, when a compromise on economic policy could have been reached. They claim that Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, who has close links with the SLF, wanted such a deal. Last night Mr Cable was under pressure to back Mr Clegg rather than his natural allies in the increasingly fractious debate. His aides said he supported Mr Clegg’s economic statement but that he believed it could be improved.

Insiders said the crucial vote that follows the debate could be close, but predicted that Mr Clegg would win over wavering delegates by turning it into a “loyalty test”.

Prateek Buch, the SLF’s director, said: “The motion has to go further than current

Coalition policy as [we] approach the next election, to demonstrate we are an independent party.”

Mr Clegg on Sunday sought to reassure his critics by promising to set out his “red lines” for possible coalition talks should the 2015 election result in another hung parliament . He suggested that cuts in taxes for the low-paid and higher taxes for the rich would be key Liberal Democrat demands in any potential agreement.

The Deputy Prime Minister said it was too early to spell out the party’s “die in a trench” issues, but they are likely to include a commitment to lifting the personal tax allowance to £12,500, taking all workers on the minimum wage out of income tax. This would build on the party’s flagship promise at the last election to raise the threshold to £10,000, which many Liberal Democrats regard as their proudest achievement in government.

A new tax on the wealthiest people – probably through a “mansion tax” on the owners of £2m-plus properties – will be another central Liberal Democrat commitment. The party is also examining the idea of a tax on the value of land on which houses are built.

Mr Clegg told BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show: “I strongly suspect, given that we have put so much effort and indeed so much money into making the tax system fairer, tax fairness will of course be one of the signature tunes for the Liberal Democrats.”

He added: “In my view it is going to be more likely than not that in the future you’re going to get more coalitions. It is less likely that you’re going to get these slam-dunk results when one or the other of the two major parties always gets a majority.”

The YouGov poll, commissioned by the Labour Uncut blog, shows that a majority (53 percent) of current Tory supporters believe their party has got better since the last election, with only 11 per cent saying it has got worse. Among Labour supporters, the figures are 46 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.

There is some good news in the survey for Mr Clegg. It found that Labour supporters are much more open to a Lib-Lab coalition that includes Mr Clegg than Ed Miliband appears to be. The Labour leader has said it would be difficult to reach a deal with the Liberal Democrats unless they change their leader.

Some 21 per cent of Labour supporters say the party should form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats even if Mr Clegg remains at the helm, while 33 per cent would back a deal only if he is replaced and 36 per cent want no deal with the Liberal Democrats no matter who leads the party. Eight-seven per cent of Labour supporters who want Mr Clegg replaced would allow him to stay on to form a government with Labour if the alternative was another Lib-Con coalition, while just 4 per cent of those people would rather see a repeat of the current Government than do any deal with Mr Clegg. This means that overall, 50 per cent of Labour supporters would back a Miliband-Clegg partnership to prevent another Con-Lib coalition, while 40 per cent would not.

YouGov interviewed a nationally representative sample of 1,593 adults between 30 August and 4 September

POLITICS-Labour-130405_395-4890733I fully concur that Ed Miliband must deliver an extra conference speech to convince the nation why Labour can manage the economy and why it’s the people choice for them to return to Labour or consider a challenge to his leadership.

Many delegates and shadow Cabinet minister has hinted next weekend’s gathering in Brighton could be “make or break” for the Labour leader.

It’s not surprising that a minister in the know has said: “He needs to show he is up to the job. This is the key speech for him because by 2014 it will be too late.

“Battle lines for the election will be drawn and it’ll be too late to recover.”

Yet again I Concur Ed Miliband time has come the honeymoon bubble has burst coming onto three years if he can’t rally our members to convince our supporters what does it says about Labour I would like to see a reshuffle of the Shadow Cabinet that can deliver and not pander to the Murdock press it’s about time for the party to buckle up or hit the road jack comes to mind from many of the party activist .

Len McCluskey, Dave Prentis, Ed Balls and a protestorAll eyes will be focus on the unions who helped propel him to power have made it clear they are willing to cut him adrift unless the party’s fortunes improve.

A party insider said: “They are not looking to throw him under a bus, but if there was an accident they would not cross the road to pick him up.”

nhs_2619016bIntriguingly notice how this allegedly always quote a source added that many would prefer to see Yvette Cooper or Andy Burnham take over.

Mr Miliband is under pressure to shake up the frontbench team to install some “dynamism” to the party.

One MP said many of those around the leader were “too weak” and did not know how to take the fight to the Conservatives.

Another claimed they were treating opposition as “a five-day cricket match rather than a game of football.”

“We need to be more aggressive but too many of my colleagues are acting as if they are still in government,” he said.

The other day I watched Newsnight on regular bases and found it dawn right insulting that a Shadow Cabinet Minister was insulted for no reason other than being on maternity leave.  This is what she had to say in reply:

Rachel-Reeves-MPRachel Reeves mp, the shadow cabinet member, has spoken of her humiliation at being dubbed “boring, snoring” by the editor of Newsnight in a Twitter gaffe following her appearance on the show earlier this week.

In her first interview since the storm over the tweet by Ian Katz on Monday, Reeves said voters would prefer a “chief secretary to the Treasury who can add up the numbers” to someone displaying “a fantastic sense of humour or great wit”. She was also critical of Katz, former deputy editor of the Guardian, who has been editing Newsnight for two weeks. “It’s no way to talk about your guests. If he wants to make a decision that he doesn’t want to discuss issues [like low pay] then that’s fine, but he should just have some common decency,” she said.

The programme on Monday also featured the Arctic Monkeys and former energy secretary Chris Huhne talking about his experience of prison. “Maybe in between such fun and excitement I was a bit boring. But it’s Newsnight. It’s supposed to cover news,” said Reeves, remarking that “the relentless grind of poverty” experienced by ordinary people was “not that exciting”.

But she said she would still go on the programme, “because that’s my job”.

Katz has since apologised to Reeves and the Labour party for what he called an “ill-judged remark”. He had meant to send the tweet in a private direct message but instead it was seen by 26,000 followers and prompted Labour claims that the episode undermined BBC claims to impartiality.

Katz wrote, in conversation with another Twitter user: “Tnks … except for boring snoring rachel reeves. Playout was fun tho, wasn’t it? telly MUCH netter [sic] than snooooozepapers innit.”

The post prompted an apparently sarcastic reply from Reeves, who simply said “thanks …”.

Katz oversaw his first Newsnight programme last week. He succeeded Peter Rippon, who left the programme following the Jimmy Savile crisis.

Reeves said: “Glamorous and exciting are probably not two things you would want from someone in charge of public finances. You want someone who’s steady, who’s serious, who’s responsible – and I hope I tick those boxes. I’m not a pop star or a movie star or a comedian, so I’m going to continue to be serious about the issues, and take them seriously.”

Reeves said her civil servant husband had been furious and she admitted the comment had been preoccupying her. She had has spoken to Katz following his written apology. “I just said obviously I accept your apology, but I told him how I felt. That I felt slightly humiliated and frustrated that this is now going to define my return to politics.

“I think if the biggest thing I have got to worry about is whether Ian Katz thinks I’m boring then I haven’t got many problems, have I?” She said people in her constituency “have had a lot harder things happen to them this week. They’ve had to put something back in the supermarket or worry about whether they can afford for their kids to go on a school trip this week.” Despite just wanting “to forget about it”, Reeves seems resigned to the boring label sticking. “If you Google Rachel Reeves I expect you’ll find lots of references to whether I’m boring or not.”

Students power prevail over veil ban



I’m glad that a well-respected college in the West Midlands has decided to do a u turn on a veil ban which is a welcome change in what I consider that the college failed to enter into a contract with students and if it was taken to court it could be considered in breach of the students human rights under articles 9  and 10 The right to religious beliefs which would have played into the hands of the far right elements such as BNP and EDL. Thank god that it did not go down that road and common sense prevail.

Somehow I don’t think that the college had thought through the process properly which led to a public outcry not just by students but the general public.
25-08-2011humanrightsMy hope is that one day when the college in concern will liaise with the student union to have a idea as the union will be more than happy to assist let’s not forget that one side does not fit all as it comes across as being stereotyping which does not go down well and it will cause a embarrassing situation worse like it did when the Birmingham mail publish the incident coupled by radio interviews.

Granted some people may be disappointed but that’s facts of life everybody has right their human rights regardless of their wellbeing which includes the right to assemble and freedom of expression in a appropriate settings.

I am willing to offer my services to the college for a fee to increase their equal opportunity policy awareness.