Tag Archives: Gordon Brown

My thoughts after general elections


Who can recall this message to the Nation from Ice Queen Theresa May:

Congratulations to those who refuse to vote and think everything will remain the same or continue to think that politicians are the same you have played right to the conservatives hands. Well done. In return the Conservatives continues to stuck two fingers at you and say thanks for the low turn out. Now you will have the following to consider of more of the continuation of the same of the Conservatives who just don’t care:

Brexit divided the country and will continue to be more of the same. I want to see the Nasty Party deliver a Brexit which put jobs, the economy and living standards first. Many EU citizens have made their Homes in UK. For the first time in modern history, the political and corporate elite who have ruled the UK for decades are edging dangerously close to being removed by the people.

After seven years of a Conservative Government, the majority of people in the UK are worse off. The poor have got poorer and those in the middle are increasingly finding it difficult.

Wages have stood still, while people in work have seen job security and working decline. Small businesses are struggling and cuts in welfare have hit working families who rely on tax credits, while many of those on benefits have been unfairly targeted and sanctioned.

Throughout the UK has been hit particularly hard by local government funding. This has put a squeeze on what can all city councils can deliver for local residents. Rent in the private sector are raising. Homelessness is increasing rapidly across all councils.

Anyone who works in the National Health Service or uses it as a patient, knows how stretched it is. It is harder to get a GP appointment and hospital waiting lists have risen. Meanwhile, £4.6bn in Tory cuts has created a crisis in social care.

The Conservatives are determined and eventually privatise state education. Forcing all schools to become academies bringing back grammar schools and selection and wasting vast sums on so called ‘Free Schools’ are part of their plans to end universal education for all which has existed for over 70 years.

Under the Tories the number of people on zero hour contracts has increased to nearly one million. These jobs give no security to employees and their families often leaving them at the mercy of unscrupulous employers. If re-elected the Tories will continue to destroy the rights which workers have painstakingly won over many years. House building has fallen to its lowest peacetime level since the 1920s. There are 200,000 fewer homeowners than 2010.

The Tory ideologically dislike public services because they believe that everything is run better in the private sector. They consistently undermine our public servants, whether they be nurses, teachers, local government workers, police, or member of the emergency services. They have capped public sector pay at a derisory 1% and yet they have no problem about hospitals buying in agency staff at much higher rates of pay.

Conservative Government under May would completely jeopardise both their domestic and international plans which have been in full effect since the Thatcher era.What has happened in Manchester and London is truly horrific and who’s responsible for it will probably remain unclear for many years to come.

One thing is for certain though, that this has come at an unbelievably ideal time for those in power and over the next five weeks the media will now be entirely focused on this terrorist attack and not the disastrous Conservative party campaign that was losing support daily. It will be entirely focused on using this attack as further proof of why we need a ‘strong and stable’ leader and not a man of peace with ‘terrorist links’. It will be focused on the need to get behind the party that will take the fight to the Islamic state and not the party who want to reduce military action in the Middle East. It will be used as proof of why we need to invest in nuclear weapons instead of social care.

Ultimately it will be used to further divide and conquer society and to try and stop the current progressive left uprising in its tracks. Don’t let this tragic loss of innocent life be used as a campaign tool for the people who inflict so much misery on the world. We need to double up our efforts and remind people of exactly why we need a government committed to equality and peace, not warmongering and western imperialism because the lives of people both here and overseas are depending on it more than ever. !

Are we beginning to see the first main signs of the Brexit recession? May likes us to assume there will rainbows everywhere and stardust will fall as rain by leaving the EU. Yet back in reality the economy is hardly ticking over, inflation is up and set to go higher! Peoples living standards are falling and wages for most are stagnate and below the rate of inflation. And when you take out the con of counting zero hour contracts as people in paid work unemployment is likely to be rising not falling.

May clearly is out of her depth with the EU negotiations, she stamped her feet and the EU just said, well you want to leave so its by our terms not yours. Of course May has no answer but to threaten to make us ridiculously poor and use World Trade Organisation rules. It’s a bit like saying if you do not give me all what I want, I will dump my car or van in the water, so there!

You can see the EU just yawning when they have to listen to Mays demands. And yet she makes out she needs a landslide to give her the ability to negotiate with the EU!!! Well Newsflash the EU have already said it makes not a jot of difference how many Tory MP’s there are when it comes to the negotiations!

Labour is now judged in two polls to be 5% and 8% behind respectively. That is an astonishing closing of the polling. Corbyn’s personal rating has improved significantly. All this is part of the mosaic of evidence that indicates Labour has conducted a far better campaign. Our policies are popular. The Tories’ are failed and uncosted. Everything they touch turns to dust. If Labour can deny May the landslide she craves we have done OK. If we stop her improving her number of seats, she is in trouble. If we deny her a majority, she is in crisis. That we are even talking about restricting her or even winning this election is evidence of a remarkable sea change. Nobody in the Labour Party should now be sowing disunity. We have a leader who is repairing our reputation after two demoralising election defeats and he is doing it on an inspirational and popular programme. This is an appeal, if you want to drive out this reactionary and weak government, join us out on the doorstep. When we talk face to face with the public we can correct the media lies. All out for the next two weeks. If you abstain, you will regret it.

The Tories are not being honest with people. Michael Portillo said David Cameron told him if people knew what he intended to do with the NHS he would not be elected because the British are wedded to the NHS. This is what David Cameron said in 2006.

“But when your family relies on the NHS all the time – day after day, night after night – you really know just how precious it is.  I know the problems. Turning up at A&E and the children’s one is closed. Waiting for the doctor when you’re desperate with worry. Waiting for the scan that is so desperately need. It can be incredibly frustrating. But more often than not, it is an inspiration – thanks to the people who work in the NHS. The nurses who do everything to make you comfortable. The doctors who desperately want to get to the truth. And the army of support staff who get forgotten so often but who make such a difference to all of us. For me, it’s not a question of saying the NHS is ‘safe in my hands’. My family is so often in the hands of the NHS. And I want them to be safe there.

Tony Blair once explained his priority in three words: education, education, education. I like to think I can do it in three letters. “NHS.” Who would have thought Tony Blair would use PFI on our the NHS to build more hospitals which was first used by a Conservative government to tender to the private contractors to rid the in house cleaning and catering services and then close Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Hospitals to sell off the lands to the highest bidders. Whilst those closures took place The then Conservatives introduced a bill Care into Community which opened the floodgate of increase demands in various communities which was not ready to accommodate the likes of support in the communities for mental health and learning disabilities.

It’s been alleged that this General Elections cost around £143 million an increase of 16% from £123 million it budgeted for the 2015 general elections. The price tag reflects the scale of operation to staff tens of thousands of polling stations, process millions of votes and distribution of candidates’ mailings. The EU Referendum was similar.

All the political parties uses the oldest trick in the world it’s more like a textbook example of this is, leaking documents to catch the attention of the press, social media, and bloggers to test the political climate then the party in concern will obviously will reply with textbook answers it’s like playing a game of(Chinese whispers). Voters are like marmite when it comes to voting patterns as they seek what political parties best represent them with their bread and butter issues and yes some may want jam or marmalade on their bread to etc.

Conservatives are famous for using the mantras that Labour is funded by the trade unions and Strong and Stable Leadership.

No doubt that Conservatives seem to forget that Labour born out of trade union movement which I’m proud to belong to a party for the many and not for the few. Labour believes by the strength of our common endeavour we achieve more than we can achieve alone, so as to create for each of us the means to realise our true potential and for all of us a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many not the few where rights we enjoy reflect the duties we owe, and where we live together, freely, in a spirit of solidarity, tolerance and respect.

Can’t help but to have a little dig at the Conservatives they claim to be the party of working class, it’s more like the party for the fatcats. In a nutshell it’s who is best at producing the best spin and who can donate more to the Conservative coffers as they don’t really care about working class, small businesses, homelessness or public services. If Theresa May lost the elections this would pave the way for the kiss of death(Boris Johnson) in waiting to become the new leader of the Conservative Party.  We are living in intriguing times post Snap General Elections was announced this was to cause the maximum effect just so the Conservatives receive a majority to railroad through the so-called Brexit negotiations in parliament and with the EU leaders by saying the people have spoken with one voice in Britain and so stick that up your pipe and smoke it.

I make no apologies by saying this elections was unwanted, unnecessary and opportunistic. The government had a working majority and nearly all votes in the commons by more than 30. There is no appetite among the population for a third national poll in two years. They were given a mandate in the referendum in June and they should carry it out. At the end of the negotiations process the deal should be voted upon in parliament and then put to the people through a general election or referendum.

Theresa May’s cynical decision is an attempt to eliminate dissent and to gain a larger majority in order to please the hard-right Tory agenda of dismantling the NHS, breaking up state education and undermining and selling off public facilities, while at the same time giving more tax cuts to the richest people. If this happens then inequality will rise even more dramatically and more and more people will rightly say that system is rigged against them.

All the political parties will have beaten their war drums to get their activists out on the doorsteps to promote their political parties who their candidate(s) are best to represent your area and of course it’s up to the voters to decide whether they will put their x on the ballot-box. The battle-lines had been drawn between the three main political parties this reminds me of a Chinese drama entitled Three Kingdoms where three kingdoms are at war with each other (Labour, Conservatives, and Libdems) who will best kingdom to serve the nation and the only way they can win is by using the best spin and which political parties has the best manifesto. Sadly there is only one winner which maybe or not be your choice of party that you voted in.

If any political party members are honest with themselves they will receive some negative views from various voters which include non-voters on the doorsteps then something needs changing to win over voters.  Like I mentioned in my previous article https://gordonlyew.wordpress.com/2017/05/08/my-thoughts-on-local-and-metro-mayoral-election-results/ I’m not preaching to the converted why they should vote Labour it’s the unconverted and undecided which include nonvoters that we all need to convince to vote Labour. I’m not for one moment indicating that Labour policies were rubbish if anything it’s policies which many would concur.

If there were a roomful of undecided voters both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn turns up into the room the undecided voters were put on the spot with a random question who do they feel safe to run the country and say if they all indicated  they will feel safe with Theresa May then there is cause for concern. In a nutshell it’s no good talking amongst ourselves and not listening to the voters as they will feel undervalued and less likely to return to Labour if we continue to ignoring them. That has now been eradicated. 

I’m very glad that the former Labour leader, Gordon Brown was incessantly vilified. His way of speaking was mocked. His efforts to offset the banking crisis created by casino style speculators in the city suddenly turned into blaming Labour for overspending on public services to create the deficit. Similarly, Ed Miliband was reviled as not being a ‘patriot’, for being unable to eat a bacon sandwich gracefully, for being too left-wing and lacking the qualities a ‘leader’ needs. The media had no interest in Labour’s policies. Now, in 2017, it is the same as it ever was. Unless Labour offers a right-wing, Tory agenda it will be constantly attacked as not fit to run the country. The ruling elite the establishment wants their Tory party in charge.

Gordon Brown is correct to say that Theresa May is “waging a war against the poor” and risks leaving the country more divided than at any time in 50 years. Poverty levels were set to eclipse those last seen in the early 1990s. “No Tory prime minister ever should be given a free hand”

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2017-39906815

I’m glad that Tom Watson has is sing the almost sing from the hymn book  in what I’ve been saying about a Maggie Thatcher Style majority by urged voters to back their local Labour MP in order to avoid Ice Queen Theresa May gaining a  landslide that would make it difficult to hold the Conservatives to account.  Labour’s deputy leader said the party had a “mountain to climb” over the four weeks until the general election and was lagging behind in the polls with all income groups, including working class voters.

See details below:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/may/12/tom-watson-labour-jeremy-corbyn-determined-to-stop-thatcher-style-tory-landslide

This to my followers who does not have clue who is Maggie Thatcher see enclosed bio:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Thatcher

Who will be having a White Christmas this year


How many of will be dreaming of a White Christmas this year under this dreaded coalition have a listen to this YouTube then tell me?

My Christmas and New Year’s messages to both David Cameron, George Osborne, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage is if you both care about poverty then take visit your nearest Foodbanks in your area as you will find a great examples of the massive disfunction at the heart of modern capitalism you need look no further than food production and distribution. Remember its the people power that votes you into office and the poeple power call calling on UKIP, LibDems and David Cameron All Must Go if you can deliver the goods.

#CameronMustGoNew research reveals that more than four million tons of food is being wasted by supermarkets and farmers every year — 40 per cent of the total. Meanwhile one million people now use food banks across Britain to ensure their families are able to eat one basic hot meal per day.

The government’s welfare reforms, including benefit sanctions and the hated Bedroom Tax, are a central factor in the explosion in the numbers of impoverished people turning to charity food banks.

A Sheffield University researcher Hannah Lambie-Mumford says the rise in demand for charity food is a clear signal “of the inadequacy of both social security provision and the processes by which it is delivered.”

Her report warns that as social security safety nets become weaker, there is a danger that charity food could become an integral part of welfare provision, or even a replacement for state-funded emergency welfare schemes.

Food price inflation in Britain is amongst the highest in Europe. The political Establishment are all singing from the same song sheet that austerity is here to stay and will be a permanent feature for a decade.

We used to talk about people falling through the welfare safety net. It seems that modern Britain is about to see that safety net itself removed.

Nigel-Farage-and-Nick-Clegg-The Lib Dems will duck a chance to end the Bedroom Tax – despite “opposing” it.

Nick Clegg’s party is refusing to back a Labour motion in the House of Commons that would axe the hated policy once and for all.

The Deputy PM announced in July his party would no longer support the tax after the Department for Work and Pensions found 300,000 victims are in rent arrears and only 4.5% have moved to smaller homes.

David Cameron will break his promise to reduce red tape for businesses by the end of this Parliament, according to an independent think tank.

A study by Reform reveals his ministers have cut away £1.2 billion worth of regulation since 2010, but added an extra £4.3 billion, and its authors say this increase of £3.1 billion is a conservative estimate.

The study also claims the government mistakenly counted as its biggest deregulatory success a decision by the Department for Work and Pensions to change the way that private pension providers account for inflation. Both the Conservative Party and the Liberal Democrats pledged to tackle regulation in their 2010 manifestos.

This comes as Tory ministers struggle to meet their pledge to cut net migration to the tens of thousands by next May, which experts have said is effectively “dead and buried”.

In 2011, the Prime Minister wrote an open letter to Cabinet ministers promising to lead the “first government in modern history to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation rather than increasing it”.

The report praises the Coalition’s efforts in trying to meet this challenge, but says it has ultimately been unsuccessful.

Its authors recommend the next Government sticks to a one-in, one-out rule whereby every extra £1 of new regulation must be offset by at least £1 of deregulation.

But a spokesman for the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) rejected the claim in the report.

He said: “Across government we’ve led a relentless battle to ease the burden on business as part of our long term economic plan to help Britain succeed.

“Our efforts to cut domestic red-tape has been independently verified and received external scrutiny from the Regulatory Policy Committee. They have confirmed that by getting rid of pointless rules we’ve delivered a net saving to business of well over £1.5 billion a year.

“But we don’t want to stop there. We’re demanding every small business is exempt from new EU regulations and that every new law affecting business faces a tough competitiveness test.

“We are ramping up our pro-enterprise campaign in the EU to make sure that policy helps not hinders business -and we’re already seeing results.”

I’m under the strong impression that this coalition is failing the nation with their empty promises by helping the poorest out of poverty. I do recall a saying from relatives as a wee lad growing up they use to drill into me that a promise is a comfort to a fool. With this in mind this has been instilled into me until my adulthood which I have passed down to my children.

car1What I’m about to mention I make no apologies for causing a uproar with the establishment as they look after the few whilst the low, lower, disabled, and middle incomes has to pick up the crumbs of the table of the few just to make ends by turning to Foodbanks or loan sharks. The establishment may not like to read or hear those words but until the class war ends there will be continued poverty in communities as some people may have lost their incomes or had their benefits has been suspended due sanctions imposed by Department of Works and Pensions for a number of reasons as those who knows it, feels it. They are in an ideal position to speak out as they face it day in and out whilst this government is very much out of touch with people as they are more into their Westminister bubble than what they really care about their voters. That’s putting it mildly.

Food-banks-graph-20155Since the formation of this coalition we all have witnessed cuts in Public Services which is moving towards the Jaws of Doom, we will not recognize it in the next 10-25 on how Public Services was once was which also includes our welfare system. The sooner we recognize that Local Government will have changed drastically and most of the services we are all accustom to will have been contracted out to the private sector as this coalition wants to introduce the American system which in some case has not really benefited in America as the poor will not be able to afford to pay which is what the Conservatives, Libdems and UKIP wants to happen.

briownThis leads me to say that one of the best chancellor that we ever had was a person called Gordon Brown like him or loathe him history will judge him as a person who did more to tried to eradicate child poverty and dealing with the world banking crisis, introducing SureStart, National Minimum Wage, family friendly policies, Human Right Act, not joining the EU unless they met the five Criteria and the cheek of this coalition continues to play the blame game which has gone far beyond a scratch record. How many will have noticed that the coalition refuses to put the five economic tests were the criteria defined by the UK treasury under Gordon Brown that were to be used to assess the UK’s readiness to join the Economic and Monetary Union of the European Union (EMU), and so adopt the euro as its official currency. In principle, these tests were distinct from any political decision to join.

The five tests were as follows:

Are business cycles and economic structures compatible so that we and others could live comfortably with euro interest rates on a permanent basis?

If problems emerge is there sufficient flexibility to deal with them?

Would joining EMU create better conditions for firms making long-term decisions to invest in Britain?

What impact would entry into EMU have on the competitive position of the UK’s financial services industry, particularly the City‘s wholesale markets?

In summary, will joining EMU promote higher growth, stability and a lasting increase in jobs?

In addition to these self-imposed criteria, the UK would also have to meet the European Union‘s economic convergence criteria (“Maastricht criteria”) before being allowed to adopt the euro. One criterion is two years’ membership of ERM II, of which the UK is currently not a member. Under the Maastricht Treaty, the UK is not obliged to adopt the euro.

As the Brown government was voted out of office in the 2010 United Kingdom general election, the tests are no longer government policy.

The five tests were designed in 1997 by former British Labour Party Chancellor Gordon Brown and his then special adviser Ed Balls, allegedly in the back of a taxi while Brown was in the United States. Despite this uncertain pedigree, the International Monetary Fund deemed them to be “broadly consistent with the economic considerations that are relevant for assessing entry into a monetary union.”

The UK Treasury is responsible for assessing the tests. It first did so in October 1997, when it was decided that the UK economy was neither sufficiently converged with that of the rest of the EU, nor sufficiently flexible, to justify a recommendation of membership at that time. The government pledged to reassess the tests early in the next Parliament (which began in June 2001), and published a revised assessment of the five tests in June 2003. This assessment ran to around 250 pages and was backed up by eighteen supporting studies, on subjects such as housing, labour market flexibility, and the euro area’s monetary and fiscal frameworks.

The conclusions were broadly similar; the Treasury argued that:

  1. There had been significant progress on convergence since 1997, but there remained some significant structural differences, such as in the housing market.
  2. While UK flexibility had improved, they could not be confident that it is sufficient.
  3. Euro membership would increase investment, but only if convergenceand flexibility were sufficient.
  4. The City of London, Britain’s financial centre, would benefit from Eurozone membership.
  5. Growth, stability and employment would increase as a result of euro membership, but only if convergence and flexibility were sufficient.

On the basis of this assessment, the government ruled out UK membership of the euro for the duration of the 2001 Parliament. Since Labour was re-elected in 2005, the debate on theEuropean Constitution and subsequent Treaty of Lisbon upstaged that on the euro. Gordon Brown, in his first press conference as British Prime Minister (2007), ruled out membership for the foreseeable future, saying that the decision not to join had been right for Britain and for Europe. However, in late 2008, Jose Manuel Barroso (the European Commission President) stated differently; that UK leaders were seriously considering the switch amidst the financial crisis. Brown later denied this.

One of the underlying issues that stand in the way of monetary union is the structural difference between the UK housing market and those of many continental European countries. Although home ownership in Britain is near the European average, variable rate mortgages are more common, making the retail price index in Britain more influenced by interest rate changes. Nor am I’m begrudging the few or the many people who started from rags to riches which is a great story in itself but the reality is how many had the opportunity to do so.

ed-milibanWhen I listen to Ed Milibands recent speech in Gateshead on the deflect it gave me a sense of purpose and helps to ensure that we have to do our part to ensure that we have a Labour Government in place in 2015.

I enclosed two  copies of Ed Miliband’s speech for all to read:

Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in a speech on the deficit, said:

My speech today is about the deficit.

Its place in our priorities.

How a Labour government would deal with it.

And how we would do so consistent with our values.

Eight days ago in the Autumn Statement, it became clear what the Tory plan for the country is.

They promised to clear the deficit in this Parliament and they have failed.

Now they say they want to run a big surplus by the end of the next Parliament.

And their plan is to return spending on public services to a share last seen in the 1930s: a time before there was a National Health Service and when young people left school at 14.

There is only one 35 per cent strategy in British politics today: the Tory plan for cutting back the state to that share of national income.

They have been exposed by the Autumn Statement for who they really are.

Not compassionate Conservatives at all.

But extreme, ideological and committed to a dramatic shrinking of the state, whatever the consequences.

They are doing it not because they have to do it but because they want to do it.

That is not our programme.

That will never be our programme.

And I do not believe it is the programme the British people want.

But the British people do want to know our approach.

And today I want to set it out.

We start from believing that this country needs a long-term plan to make the country work for working people again, not just for a privileged few at the top.

Now, some people have argued the deficit simply doesn’t matter to that mission and should not be our concern.

That’s wrong.

It matters.

Because unless there is a strategy for dealing with the deficit, it will be harmful to our economic stability.

And it is working people who will end up paying the price in the economic instability that is created.

Dealing with our debts is also necessary for funding our public services.

Higher debt interests payment squeeze out money for those services and for investment in the long-term potential of our country.

So there is no path to growth and prosperity for working people which does not tackle the deficit.

But what we need is a balanced approach, which deals with our debts, but does so sensibly.

Today, I want to lay out the principles of our alternative.

Not a shadow Budget, but a sense of how we will approach these issues in government.

This is the central contrast between our approach and the Conservatives’:

We will deal with our debts but we will never return to the 1930s.

We won’t take risks with our public finances but we won’t take risks either with our public services, our National Health Service.

Our tough and balanced approach will balance the books through an economy based on high wages and high skills, common sense spending reductions and fair choices on tax.

Their unbalanced approach of 1930s public spending and unfunded tax cuts will put at risk our National Health Service, undermine our economic future and threaten working families.

Today I want to lay out the five principles which underpin my approach, principles which learn from the experience of the last five years and indeed our time in government.

Our first principle is that we will set a credible and sensible goal for dealing with our debts.

This starts with getting the national debt falling as a proportion of national income as soon as possible within the next Parliament.

This is essential if we are to prevent debt interest payments mounting up.

And we will also have a surplus on the current budget so that revenues more than cover day to day spending, again as soon as possible in the next Parliament.

This draws the right distinction between current and capital spending.

Productive investment in our infrastructure should be seen differently from day to day spending because it often has a greater economic return.

Indeed, the history of our country has been a failure to invest in our infrastructure and our economic foundations, which are so important for competitiveness, growth and tax revenues.

Our rule is right for two reasons.

Because it targets the right aim and it does not set an arbitrary date.

There is a lesson from this Parliament about the huge uncertainty there is around deficit reduction.

The easy thing is for politicians to claim great certainty when there is not.

The right thing to do is to set a clear objective with a realistic destination – balancing the books and the debt falling as soon as possible in the next Parliament – and this is what we have done.

Nothing does more to undermine credibility than setting an objective and failing to meet it.

So this is our destination for fiscal policy in the next Parliament.

The Tory destination is different.
By setting an objective of an overall surplus, they are driving their scale of spending reductions.

The second principle is that a successful deficit reduction strategy depends upon reform of our economy.

That is the biggest lesson of the failures of this government.

For some time, I have heard people claim that our economic argument around the cost of living crisis has been missing the main economic challenge, of tackling the deficit.

But the facts are now in: it turns out that tackling the cost of living crisis is in fact essential for tackling the deficit.

This has become crystal clear since 2010.

For the first three years of the Parliament, we saw little or no growth in the economy.

And as a result the government spectacularly failed in their deficit reduction strategy.

Now, finally, growth has resumed, but what became clear in the Autumn Statement is that the character of growth is such that they are still failing.

Two thirds of people moving into work are paid less than the living wage.

That is bad for families.

But it has also totally undermined the government’s deficit plan.

Last week, the Office of Budget Responsibility confirmed that income tax and national insurance receipts are £43 billion a year lower than forecast in 2010.

Sixty percent of the drop in tax receipts in the last year is because of weaker wage growth.

And it is set to get worse as wage growth has been revised down until 2017.

And we see the failure in social security too.

This is the government of the bedroom tax and the strivers’ tax.

But yet they are failing to meet their promises on social security spending.

Not because they are generous.

But because of their failing economic strategy.

Welfare spending is higher than expected because of economic and social failure.
Exactly the same pattern as we saw under the Tories in the 1980s.

This time, higher tax credit bills and higher housing benefit bills subsidising a low wage economy.

They attack the sick and disabled, the low paid and the poor and still raise the bills of sickness, low pay and poverty.

That is why it must be a principle of deficit reduction that we have a different economic strategy building a higher wage, higher skill economy, not the low wage, low skill economy we have.

Putting our young people back to work will improve tax revenues and cut the social security bill.

Raising the minimum wage will do the same.

So will dealing with the scandal of zero-hours contracts and ensuring people have more regular hours.

And reforming the banks, transforming vocational education, a revolution in apprenticeships, helping nurture the businesses of tomorrow: all are part of building the economy we need to both deliver for working people and pay down the deficit.

This is the modern agenda for both successful businesses and social justice.

And there is a lesson for Labour here.

The last Labour government increased spending year on year, using the proceeds of economic growth to make our country fairer.

That option will not be available to us.

And nor would it deal with the root causes of an economy that does not work for working people.

Higher spending is not the answer to the long-term economic crisis that we have identified.

Unless we fundamentally reshape our economy, we will only ever be able to compensate people for unfairness and inequality.

That is why our agenda for creating social justice is about big reform not big spending.

And because the Tories do not have this plan they cannot meet their deficit reduction objectives.

Our third principle is that Britain needs common sense spending reductions, not slash and burn.

And we have already set out ways in which we can save money.

An end to the winter fuel allowance for the wealthiest pensioners.

Capping child benefit rises at 1 per cent a year in 2016/17 as part of meeting a welfare cap.

Abolishing police commissioner elections and merging police procurement services to save money.

Selling off unwanted government assets.

And our zero-based review of every pound spent by government will be coming forward with reports for savings across Whitehall and the public sector between now and the election.

Of course, the reality is that much of the detailed work about spending reductions can only take place when we have the full resources of government at our disposal.

But I want to be clear about what the backdrop will be for a Labour government.

We have said previously we will raise extra resources for our NHS and protect our commitments to international development.

And our manifesto will also spell out a very limited number of other areas which will have spending protected.

Outside those areas and departments, we’ve already said that for the first year of the next government most departmental budgets will fall.

But it won’t just be for the first year.

Outside protected areas, for other departments, there will be cuts in spending.

And we should plan on it being for every year until the current budget is in balance.

And yesterday, as our zero-based review continues, Ed Balls wrote to our shadow cabinet colleagues spelling this out.

But this cannot be simply about chipping away at departmental budgets.

We must take the opportunity to do what no government has properly done: reshape public services so that they deliver better for people, doing more for social justice with less.

Here we should take inspiration from what Labour local government has been able to do and give them the chance to do more.

We will devolve unprecedented levels of spending from Whitehall to local people over a whole range of areas, including transport, skills and back to work programmes.

Local government leaders rightly want control over these budgets.

They know those budgets will be smaller than what is spent at the moment.

But they know they will make better decisions because they are local decisions that suit local needs.

And just as we need to spend money better by giving power to local people, so too by breaking down the old bureaucracies.

For example, our agenda for whole person care, integrating physical health, mental health and social care, is the way to afford world-class 21st century health care when we face such difficult times.

Helping people stay out of hospital and get the care they need at home.

And there must be a new emphasis on prevention: from tackling childhood obesity and better public health to GP access.

This is a clear message from Labour that we are planning for a world of falling budgets but we will change the way government works so that we can better deliver on our values.

And, as I said, reforms like this are what Labour in local government has done over these past years.

Labour councils all-round the country have shown even in very tough times that they can still improve services.

And today the report of our zero-based review into local government is showing how we can make further savings of £500 million.

These changes are necessary to balance the books.

The Tory 35 per cent strategy is not.

Their strategy would mean overall cuts of an unprecedented scale.

The equivalent of more than the whole budget for schools.

Or three times more than the entire budget for social care.

Or nearly half of the budget for our NHS.

I want the British people to know what this really means: it is a recipe for the disintegration of our public services.

And, also, for a permanent cost of living crisis because we won’t be investing in the skills, infrastructure and education we need for good quality jobs.

We already know from this Parliament what that means: a low wage, low skill economy, falling tax revenues and higher social security bills.

So we know what the result will be: the Tories might be able to deliver the cuts they have promised, but they won’t be able to cut the deficit as they promised.

Our fourth principle is that we should ensure that those with the broadest shoulders bear the greatest burden so that we can meet our mission of a country that works for working people.

This government famously claimed that we were all in it together.

The reality has been completely the opposite.

This year, they have asked families with children to contribute five times more to deficit reduction than the banks.

And now for the future, theirs is the only deficit reduction plan in history which seems to involve asking the wealthy to pay nothing more.

Indeed they have refused to deny that they would cut the 45p top rate of tax for the highest earners still further.

We will make different choices.

So we will levy a Mansion Tax on the most expensive homes over £2 million and clamp down on tax avoidance to help fund the NHS.

We will have a tax on bankers’ bonuses to help fund a programme to put young people back to work.

We will close boardroom tax loopholes to abolish the bedroom tax.

We will not go ahead with a further cut in Corporation tax so we can instead cut business rates for small firms.

And we will reverse the millionaires’ tax cut and ensure that those with incomes over £150,000 pay the 50p tax rate to contribute to deficit reduction.

And we will also need to do a lot more to tackle one of the biggest scandals in our country: tax avoidance by some multinational firms.

This is what I mean by fairer, different choices so we can build a fairer, more equal country.

Some of the wealthiest in our society, who often have the loudest voices, will vociferously complain about some of these measures, including the Mansion Tax.

But it is right and fair for the country.

In these hard times, we are determined to do everything we can to protect everyday taxpayers from bearing an increased burden and to do all we can to protect public services.

And those who have done best, under this government and indeed under the last, must pay their fair share.

We want successful entrepreneurs and those who do well to be rewarded.

But we must pull together as a society not drift apart and we cannot do that if deficit reduction is simply on the backs of everyday people.

Our fifth principle is that this party will only make new commitments that are credible, costed and funded, not unfunded promises.

I understand why some people want us to make manifesto proposals funded by additional borrowing.

But while there is a deficit to be cleared it would be wrong to do that.

This is an essential test of credibility.

I said earlier there was huge uncertainty about the deficit because of economic circumstances and on the basis of recent experience.

That makes it all the more important that parties do not spray around unfunded commitments they cannot keep.

It is why we will only make commitments in our manifesto that are properly funded.

Not commitments that depend on extra borrowing.

That’s why we’ve explained how we will pay for every policy that we’ve put forward: costed, credible and funded.

And what a contrast with our opponents: the Conservative Party has pledged to make tax cuts when they have absolutely no idea how they will fund them.

Tax cuts that will cost over £7 billion a year at the end of the Parliament.

And even more, £16 billion a year, if they happen earlier in the Parliament.

The Tories cannot say how they would fund their tax cuts skewed to help the wealthiest.

This is not responsible and not right.

And the British people should be in no doubt what the Tory promise means: they will pay the price for tax cuts one way or another.

They will pay the price in higher VAT or even bigger cuts to public services.

And it says it all about the Tories’ priorities and ours.

Their priority is unfunded tax cuts.

My priority is to save our National Health Service.

So these are the principles of deficit reduction a Labour government will follow:

Balancing the current budget and debt falling, not destroying productive investment.

An economic strategy to bring the deficit down, not drive it up.
Sensible reductions in spending, not slash and burn of our public services.

The wealthiest bearing the biggest burden, not everyday people.

And fully funded commitments, without additional borrowing, not unfunded tax cuts that put our NHS at risk.

So I can announce our first pledge of the general election campaign:

We will build a strong economic foundation and balance the books.

We will cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS.

And none of our manifesto commitments will require additional borrowing.

These are my clear commitments to the British people.

This is now a fight for the soul of our country.

It is a fight about who we want to be.

And how we want to live together.

The Tory vision is clear: a country that works only for the wealthy few, with public spending back to 1930s levels and unfunded tax cuts put before the NHS.

My vision is different: a country and an economy that works for everyday people, a balanced plan to clear the deficit and secure the future of our NHS.

That is the choice I will now go out and fight for.

That is the choice the country faces.

Ends

It is great to be here in Great Yarmouth.

And it is great to be here with Lara Norris, our brilliant parliamentary candidate.

She calls herself a “Mum on a mission”.

And Lara, I am proud to support you.

Now we have people here today from different backgrounds, different parties, including people who aren’t Labour.

That’s because we’re trying to do politics in a different way and this is mainly your chance to ask me questions.

But I want to say a few words at the start about how I want to change the country.

Above all, how we make Britain a country that works for everyday people again, and not just a privileged few, the richest in our country.

And today, I want to talk about how our approach to immigration fits into this.

I know how big an issue this is in Great Yarmouth.

So on this issue, let me say something about me, something about Labour and something about the changes I will bring. 

I am the son of immigrants, parents who came here as refugees fleeing from the Nazis.

I am incredibly grateful and proud that Britain enabled my parents to build a home here and have a family.

They worked hard and made their contribution to this country.

And I am proud of the contribution that immigrants of all origins, races and faiths have made to Britain over the years. 

But for that contribution to benefit all our citizens and not just some, immigration has got to be properly managed and there have to be the right rules in place. 

That’s why I have been determined to change Labour’s approach to immigration since we lost the General Election in 2010. 

When people worry about the real impact immigration has, this Labour Party will always respond to those concerns, not dismiss them.

It isn’t prejudiced to worry about immigration, it is understandable.

So let me say how we will act to address peoples’ concerns.

People want there to be control of immigration. 

And I agree. 

That means strengthening our borders, with proper entry and exit checks.

And we will introduce those checks.

It means longer controls when new countries enter the European Union: we got it wrong in the past and we’ve learnt from it.

And my point today is also that control doesn’t stop at the borders.

It is also about fair rules when people get here. 

Fair rules means people integrating into communities and learning English. 

It’s what my parents did.

Fair rules means that entitlement to benefits needs to be earned. 

You should contribute before you claim.

So when people come here they won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years. 

But it isn’t just the benefits system that needs to be fair. 

I think for too long, we’ve ignored what’s been happening at work: to people’s jobs and wages.

We know that so many workplaces are so far from being fair today. 

And that is especially true in some workplaces with a large number of workers who have come from overseas.

There are truly shocking stories of people in Britain today having their wages stolen and having to live in the most appalling conditions: exploited because they come here from abroad.

When people can be exploited for low wages or endangered at work, it drags the whole system down, undercutting the pay and conditions of local workers.

We must end the epidemic of exploitation.

We must stop people’s living standards being undermined by scandalous undercutting.

And we have a plan to do it. 

We will increase the fines for firms who avoid the National Minimum Wage. 

We will stop agency contracts being used to undercut permanent staff. 

We will ban recruitment agencies from hiring only from abroad.

And today, I am announcing that the next Labour government will go further still: 

We are serving notice on employers who bring workers here under duress or on false terms and pay them significantly lower wages, with worse terms and conditions. 

We will make it a criminal offence to undercut pay or conditions by exploiting migrant workers.

Only Labour has a plan to deal with all this.

Today we are announcing our pledge on immigration for what a Labour government will do:

We will control immigration with fair rules.

People who come here won’t be able to claim benefits for at least two years.

And we will make it illegal for employers to undercut wages by exploiting workers.

This is what I promise to do.

What I won’t do is make false promises to you.

David Cameron promised that immigration would be cut to the “tens of thousands”.

People may have heard on the news recently that he’s broken that promise.

Net migration is now in fact higher than it was in 2010.

We won’t make false promises and we won’t offer you false solutions either.

Like leaving the European Union.

I just don’t think that’s the right thing to do.

Great Yarmouth has always relied on trade. 

I’ve got to tell you, I believe leaving the EU would be a disaster for jobs, business and families here.

Instead of false promises or false solutions, we will seek to offer clear, credible and concrete solutions which help build a country that works for you.

And what we are doing on immigration is part of a plan for working people.

Dealing with our debts, but never slashing and burning public services.

A sensible approach on immigration, not false promises or false solutions.

Putting the NHS first, not privatising it.

Doing right by the next generation, not destroying the promise of a better future for our young people.

And tackling the cost-of-living crisis, with a higher minimum wage, freezing energy bills and creating good jobs.

I am fighting at this election for a Britain that works for you and your family.

I believe that we can make it happen. 

And I look forward to doing it together. 

 

 

 

 

David Miliband was on right track trade union reform


ed-miliband-david-miliband-12096473To all my followers I would like to clear the air which has caused many divisions during and after the leadership challenge to succeed Gordon Brown. Let me begin with that this article is NOT about which of the Milibands would have made the best leader of the Labour Party. Instead of going on the doorstep on Sunday 14 July I decided to stay in with the family to watch some telly instead of going doorknocking with my Labour family which I have to say many of them said it’s about time you did Gordon.

Chineese New Year004I had a rare discussion with David Miliband before he stood down as Member of Parliament at an event interestingly it was in regards to trade union link with Labour. Whilst in his deep thoughts he mentioned what many of us in the trade union movement was thinking in the same lines that its been great for the trade unions as they help to pave the way for the National Minimum Wage, SureStart, and Health and Safety, securing more funding NHS to name a few.

He mentioned that he was glad to see UNISON had long argued for trade union reform with GMB supporting the changes hence union 21at Century via TUC had been transformed the way how the trade unions engaged with its members and UNISON was the first trade union to introduced a opt in to Labour. Lets not forget that union has two funds general and political. Members can opt to be in both or they can choose to be in between funds.

I believe I’m right in saying that UNISON is the only union to have this system in place whilst the other trade unions just have one political fund. I’m sure that some of my followers will correct me if I’m wrong.

Blow me over when I was watching Andrew Marr Show on 14 July 2013 this was the very subject that David Miliband briefly touched on. Three years on after this discussion never in my wildest dreams did I thought this would pave the way for the trade union reform from Ed Miliband setting the challenge to both the trade unions and the coalition to put a spending cap on political donations.

I concur that Ed Miliband has changed the course of debate in parliament which caught out David Cameron and his cronies which he has them on the run. The underline tone from David Miliband is spread the message to our core voters let’s give the Conservatives and Libdems a bloody nose at the ballot box in 2014-15 European, Local and  General Elections. Now that I have got this off my chest I call on all Labour Party members and supporters to enjoy your summer with your families and the campaign will begin with a vengeance after all the party conferences be warned Conservatives and Liberal Democrats

ids2face1Today benefit cap comes into force from age 16-64 can receive has begun rolling out across the UK.

Couples and lone parents will now not receive more than £500 a week, while a  £350:00 limit applies to single people.

Key Payments including Jobseeker’s Allowance and child and housing benefit count towards the cap.

securedownloadA third of Britain is effectively off limits to lower income working families because private rents are unaffordable, a new report alleges.

Here comes the bombshell Tories in most marginal seats in Parliament are urging David Cameron to bring in tougher conditions on housing benefit for teenage mothers.

At a time of austerity it has been noted with concern that pay rise for MPs has been branded about which is very annoying to the public at a time when public sector workers have had a pay capped at 1% while people who have to depend on food banks this coalition knows how to get people backs up and the economy is still stagnating.

There are many people have lost their jobs they are forced to downsize their accommodation and move to different parts of the country though no fault of their own. How does this coalition repay the public by telling us about the Big Society and We’re all in it together does not help to put food on our table, pay our bills let alone our mortgage or rent.

photo(1)Intriguingly George Obsorne says that will need to raise taxes to meet deficit reduction targets after the next election.

He was speaking at the Treasury Committee he will be able to cut borrowing through spending cuts alone.

The original plans to cut the deficit with 80% spending cuts and 20% tax rises were only ever “a guide”.

Well I’m still not convinced that the plan A is working as there is still child poverty, unemployment and a shortage of skills in leading industries.

What have we witnessed from the coalition they have involved the Serious Fraud Office to investigate G4S over alleged over charging for tagging criminals in England and Wales the figures seems to be tens of millions of pounds. I call this mismanagement of tax payers’ money.

David-Cameron-NHS-posterThen there is the NHS funding gap in the range of 30 billion pounds. So much for coalition ring fencing which sounds like more cuts will take place to our beloved NHS. I would not be surprised if this coalition will introducing a private health insurance in a nutshell no health insurance, no treatment.

There has been an increase of criminal damages to mosques across the UK. There is a feeling that the police force not doing enough to bring those to justice fast enough.

Whilst there has been some work done but it seems to be a long and hard process which is playing into the hands of racist and fascist organizations who have decided to have marches across the UK to the cause of the EDL and BNP.

nhs-2-stgeorges-2-unisonjan2011-cohseThe coalition may be promoting the controversial practice of fracking for gas because senior figures from that industry sit in the heart of Government, campaigners have warned.

The former BP boss Lord Browne, Centrica chief executive Sam Laidlaw and BG Group director Baroness Hogg have all been accused of the potential for conflicts of interest, as they hold senior advisory roles at a time when the Government is heavily promoting fracking. This involves fracturing tightly packed shale rock with a high-pressure water and chemical mixture to release oil and gas.

Cuadrilla, which is chaired by Lord Browne, is searching for shale gas in Lancashire, but suspended operations there in 2011 after its drilling was found to be the likely cause of tremors in Blackpool.

The Government has signed up to the potential of shale gas after it transformed energy policy in the United States, despite severe criticism from environmentalists.

Last month, George Osborne spoke of “tax and planning changes which will put Britain at the forefront of exploiting shale gas”. A recent report by the British Geological Survey found that the UK could have trillions of cubic feet of the gas in the North-west alone, but critics argue that it would be difficult to extract from deep beneath the ground even with modern drilling techniques.

Anti-fracking campaigners and industry insiders are concerned that major energy-sector figures have roles that gives them access to ministers in Whitehall. Among those said to be worried is a top executive at EDF, who believes that the Government’s new-found commitment to shale has ended up hurting the French group’s negotiations over building a nuclear power plant at Hinkley Point in Somerset.

There are more than 60 “non-executives” (Neds) who sit across Whitehall departments, largely drawn from Britain’s most impressive corporate talent. Their job is to help ministries be run in a more business-like manner, and Lord Browne is the overall lead for this group.

Lord Browne sits within the Cabinet Office. The Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude’s constituency includes Balcombe in West Sussex, another area where Cuadrilla is drilling. On his website, Mr Maude acknowledges that fracking “understandably rang alarm bells” after the tremors in Lancashire, but argues that “shale gas could help significantly by contributing both to improving our security and independence and to keeping prices down”.

Mr Laidlaw has been the lead non-executive at the Department for Transport. Centrica, which owns British Gas, recently bought a one-quarter stake in Cuadrilla’s most promising licence, which is the one in Lancashire.

Baroness Hogg sits in the Treasury, but she is also a non-executive director at BG Group, which has extensive shale gas interests in the US. There is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by any of these advisers.

Elsie Walker, a campaigner with the anti-fracking group Frack Off, said it is easy to argue that there is a “line blurred between the shale-gas lobby and Government”. She added that the Government is “littered” with people who have current or recent ties to the fracking industry.

Ms Walker argued: “It doesn’t take a genius or a cynic to realise that those who stand to make a serious amount of money from the success of a particular industry should be nowhere near those who will be making decisions that will influence the future health of that industry.”

A Government spokesman said: “All non-executive directors declare their interests to their departments to ensure there is no conflict of interest, and departments will make the necessary arrangements to manage any potential conflicts in the normal way. None of the Neds named sit on the board of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and therefore there is no conflict of interest.”

Conflicts of interest?

Lord Browne

The former BP boss is chairman of Cuadrilla, which is exploring for shale gas in Lancashire and West Sussex. He is lead “non-executive” across Government, meaning that he helps recruit other non-executives to Whitehall.

Baroness Hogg

The non-executive for the Treasury sits on the board of BG Group, which has significant shale gas assets in the United States.

Sam Laidlaw

The non-executive to the Transport Department is also chief executive of British Gas owner Centrica, which recently bought a 25 per cent stake in Cuadrilla’s most promising shale gas prospect.

Ben Moxham

A former executive at BP when Lord Browne was at the helm, he followed the peer to Riverstone Holdings, which owns 42 per cent of Cuadrilla. Moxham was energy adviser at No 10 but quit in May.

Lord Howell

George Osborne’s father-in-law is also president of the British Institute of Economics, whose backers include BP and BG Group.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith speaks at last year’s Conservative conference in Birmingham.

Iain Duncan Smith has been touring the studios this morning, rather unpleasantly referring to people “being capped”. The policy which he’s promoting – the benefit cap of £26,000 – is introduced nationally today (after being piloted in Bromley, Croydon, Enfield and Haringey) and is one of the coalition’s most popular. A YouGov [2] poll published in April found that 79 per cent of people, including 71 per cent of Labour voters, support the cap, with just 12 per cent opposed. But while politically astute, the cap may be the most flawed of all of the coalition’s welfare measures. Here are five reasons why.

1. An out-of-work family is never better off than an in-work family

The claim on which the policy rests – that a non-working family can be better off than a working one – is a myth since it takes no account of the benefits that an in-work family can claim to increase their income. For instance, a couple with four children earning £26,000 after tax and with rent and council tax liabilities of £400 a week is entitled to around £15,000 a year in housing benefit and council tax support, £3,146 in child benefit and more than £4,000 in tax credits.

Were the cap based on the average income (as opposed to average earnings) of a working family, it would be set at a significantly higher level of £31,500. The suggestion that the welfare system “rewards” worklessness isn’t true; families are already better off in employment. Thus, the two central arguments for the policy – that it will improve work incentives and end the “unfairness” of out-of-work families receiving more than their in-work equivalents – fall down.

(And it will hit in-work families too)

Incidentally, and contrary to ministers’ rhetoric, the cap will hit in-work as well as out-of-work families. A single person must be working at least 16 hours a week and a couple at least 24 hours a week (with one member working at least 16 hours) to avoid the cap.

2. It will punish large families and increase child poverty

The cap applies regardless of family size, breaking the link between need and benefits. As a result, most out-of-work families with four children and all those with five or more will be pushed into poverty (defined as having an income below 60 per cent of the median income for families of a similar size). Duncan Smith has claimed that “”at] £26,000 a year it’s very difficult to believe that families will be plunged into poverty” but his own department’s figures [3] show that the poverty threshold for a non-working family with four children, at least two of whom are over 14, is £26,566 – £566 above the cap. The government’s Impact Assessment [4] found that 52 per cent of those families affected have four or more children.

By applying the policy retrospectively, the government has chosen to penalise families for having children on the reasonable assumption that existing levels of support would be maintained. While a childless couple who have never worked will be able to claim benefits as before (provided they do not exceed the cap), a large family that falls on hard times will now suffer a dramatic loss of income. It was this that led the House of Lords to vote in favour [5] of an amendment by Church of England bishops to exclude child benefit from the cap (which would halve the number of families affected) but the defeat was subsequently overturned by the government in the Commons.

The DWP has released no official estimate of the likely increase in child poverty but a leaked government analysis [6] suggested around 100,000 would fall below the threshold once the cap is introduced.

3. It will likely cost more than it saves

For all the political attention devoted to it, the cap is expected to save just £110m a year, barely a rounding error in the £201bn benefits bill. But even these savings could be wiped out due to the cost to local authorities of homelessness and housing families in temporary accommodation. As a leaked letter [7] from Eric Pickles’s office to David Cameron stated, the measure “does not take account of the additional costs to local authorities (through homelessness and temporary accommodation). In fact we think it is likely that the policy as it stands will generate a net cost. In addition Local Authorities will have to calculate and administer reduced Housing Benefit to keep within the cap and this will mean both demands on resource and difficult handling locally.”

4. It will increase homelessness and do nothing to address the housing crisis

Most of those who fall foul of the cap do so because of the amount they receive in housing benefit (or, more accurately, landlord subsidy) in order to pay their rent. At £23.8bn, the housing benefit bill, which now accounts for more than a tenth of the welfare budget, is far too high but rather than tackling the root of the problem by building more affordable housing, the government has chosen to punish families unable to afford reasonable accommodation without state support.

The cap will increase homelessness by 40,000 and force councils to relocate families [8] hundreds of miles away, disrupting their children’s education and reducing employment opportunities (by requiring them to live in an area where they have no history of working).

5. It will encourage family break-up

Duncan Smith talks passionately of his desire to reduce family breakdown but the cap will serve to encourage it. As Simon Hughes has pointed out [9], the measure creates “a financial incentive to be apart” since parents who live separately and divide the residency of their children between them will be able to claim up to £1,000 a week in benefits, while a couple living together will only be able to claim £500.

This Government is cutting the very measures that would ensure not only growth in the short-term, but economic security in the future, too. They are portraying their cuts as eliminating “waste” and “necessary”, when in fact they are seriously jeopardising our future economic prosperity: cuts in funding for Regional Development Agencies; scrapping the Future Jobs Fund, which was a success and supported at least 200,000 people back into work through the recession; withdrawing industrial support, for example.

That is before we even begin to discuss the damning, detrimental economic and social implications of the welfare “reforms” (CUTS), and the Localism Bill (more CUTS), and Legal Aid Bill (even more coordinated and carefully planned Tory CUTS that will serve to keep quiet and hide away evidence of the rising numbers of impoverished, destitute and starving victims of all of the other CUTS and subsequent human rights abuses).

“Who could ever forget the sight of a grotesquely hypocritical David Cameron working himself up into a fit of faux outrage at the fact that the Labour party are mainly funded by the trade unions. There was a man who knows damn well that his own political party is almost entirely funded through vast donations from the wealthy and privileged (many of them “rogues” to put it mildly), ranting on about the fact that the Labour party are funded through small donations from millions of working people.

Cameron knows exactly where the vast majority of Tory donations come from, because he gladly prostitutes himself out to the wealthy like some kind of podgy, shiny faced, middle aged male escort, “having dinner” or “attending drinks receptions” with anyone willing to stump up a few hundred grand in order to attempt to buy some influence.”

Business Secretary Vince Cable is today set to accuse the Tories of being too keen to make further cuts.

The Lib Dem will claim “Conservative politicians seem all too eager” to attack public spending after the next election.

His outspoken attack comes after George Osborne promised to tackle the deficit after the next election through massive cuts alone – without any tax rises.

Experts warned that the Chancellor’s plan may lead to cuts to NHS spending.

But speaking in Manchester today, Mr Cable will say that future cuts could be avoided – if Mr Osborne did more to boost the economy now.

He will say: “Fundamentally, we think that the economy can do much more, and want to leave no stone unturned.

“And if we get it going, then tax revenues rise, unemployment payments fall, and we can avoid the sort of cuts that Conservative Politicians seem all too eager to anticipate.

“That is the vision that Nick and I are trying to push.”

He will add: “But we’re not going to do it just by sitting on our hands.

“The Government needs to take action, because it is clear that matters don’t just improve all by themselves.

“The greatest illustration of this is where the housing crisis and the needs of the community coincide – social housing, or the lack of it.”

The Business Secretary will call for more houses to be built.

He will say “Tory dogma” is stopping a potential boom in new council houses being built – by stopping local authorities borrowing more to invest in social housing.

Mr Cable is expected to add: “The Tories are hiding behind Treasury methodology, saying that more borrowing by councils beyond permitted limits will break the fixed rules.

“So even though freeing up this borrowing space would result in tens of thousands more homes being built, and many times more jobs, they would rather start talking about the cuts they want to make, rather than the houses that we should build.”

Coalitions jaws of doom indicated for local authorities


photoIt’s alleged that austerity will now last until 2020 in UK. The coalition will continue to play the blame game but fail to recognize that it’s happening on their watch to be frank it’s becoming like scratch record and people are catching on to it now. Lets not forget that the chancellors announcement will be in a few weeks time so what will George Osbourne pull out of his hat this time to save his career? Er more of the same. Govt has disproportionately cut funding to councils with the highest mortality rates. How do they expect health inequality gap to close?

photo(1)There is no doubt that councils are suffering from coalition cuts throughout the UK which means councils will have to find alternative means of raising revenues to keep them afloat. Already we have seen council cut backs from a range of services we all enjoy. Sadly this will be the trend for the future like privatising our much like services such as our libraries, social care, leisure and parks to name a few.

Some how this does not help the poorest areas which will suffer the most whilst the most affluent areas will get the cream of the crop I kid you not. There will always be winners and losers no matter whichever political parties wins be it local or general elections. There have been some suggestions that the European Funding may save some of the council services. Me thinks not.

Jaws-of-doom-graph-repres-006Whichever incumbent political party wins the elections they still have to look at other ways to introduce the funding to local authorities for their fair share of the pie. For some reasons I can just imagine the wider picture for the jaws of doom in place and trade unions having a task to changing its way of campaigning to save their members job which is not easy as their members pay their union subs for trade unions to represent them during the good, bad and ugly times whilst they are employed.

Which leads me into saying that the coalition would rather channel all their energy to attack all trade unions with their affiliation to the Labour Party to divert attention away from them over the lobbying scandals which the coalition had three years to sort out.

More can be done to stimulate the economy by creating more jobs and investing more sustainable work programmes to get the long term unemployed as the current system is failing and the unemployed are still fighting with nothing to show for it. the coalition in my opinion won’t stand up to address this by implementing growth, jobs and business at the heart of their core values instead they play into the hand of coalition donors who wants to scrap the minimum wage and invest less into our council services. Just as much as Central Government has stationary duties this also applies to all councils throughout the UK and Wales. To be honest no matter how hard local authorities campaign to have more funding coalition will not cave in but instead are quite happy to use the mantra Big Society and “we’re all in it together”.

Lets see how this affects most services provided by the local authorities like lack of social housing which both previous and present governments still have fail to address. Instead the coalition has giving the free light to what I call to rogue planners which they would not be held accountable. My only hope is if we see a return of a Labour Government that they may reverse some of the planning laws that the coalition made whilst they were in office to allegedly boost growth.

Many people long for improvements in their council services as most have pay their taxes to build more roads, housing, better policing, street lightings, fire, leisure, and care services and schools.

Watching MPs try to get to grips with the internet is usually as embarrassing as watching your dad on the dancefloor. But calls to flog council houses on eBay aren’t just naive – they’re idiotic.

The net offers possibilities never before seen in history to communicate, collaborate and connect from the grass roots right up to the top. So it’s depressing that when asked to look at boosting “digital engagement” MPs can look no higher than buying and selling – and via the tax-dodging likes of Amazon, too.

What on Earth do the MPs even mean? Are they suggesting that council homes should be sold off to the highest bidder rather than to their occupants?

It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the authors of this report have never even switched on a computer themselves. But worse than that, their half-baked proposal is a solution to a problem we don’t have.

There is no crisis of lack of “engagement” with the right-to-buy scheme. There are no masses of council tenants clamouring to be allowed to buy their homes on eBay.

But there is a desperate shortage of housing. There is a crisis of rocketing rents, of damp, crowded, run-down private accommodation, and of exploitation by unscrupulous landlords.

And there are masses of ordinary people crying out for change. Millions of households can’t afford a mortgage amid the house-price bubble. Millions can barely afford the rent.

Millions want a decent, affordable, secure home – the kind which used to be our right until Margaret Thatcher started flogging off the nation’s assets.

“Digital engagement” is a complete irrelevance. What we need are new homes – hundreds of thousands of them.

Not “social housing” nor “affordable housing” nor any of those other fudges, but council homes. Homes built by the public, for the public, and owned by the public.

Thatcher did her best to destroy council housing, but she failed. Now it’s time to rebuild a system that offers the only solution to Britain’s great unaddressed crisis.

We’ve seen strange echoes of the run-up to the 1997 election from the Labour leadership lately.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls tells Newsnight he would maintain Tory Chancellor George Osborne’s spending plans for 2015-16. Then he extols the virtures of “tough fiscal rules” and “big and painful choices” as a way of dealing with the deficit.

Gordon Brown said as much back in the 1990s, in very different economic circumstances. The Labour government that followed decided public spending on infrastructure was best funnelled through private finance initiative (PFI) schemes – which we are all paying for now. Indeed, our grandchildren’s grandchildren will still be paying for these schemes.

Ed Miliband seems to be trying to slip into the same new Labour groove – gaining a perception of “responsibility” in the eyes of the financial press and populist right-wing tabloids.

His Newham speech last week did contain some good points. He correctly pointed out that unemployment was expensive, and that we need more decent jobs on the living wage or more.

He specifically pledged that Labour would invest in council housing as a primary way of dealing with the housing crisis.

But there were also unpleasant deviations down the road. Miliband pandered to the Daily Mail’s obsessions, immigration and social security.

There was no clear undertaking on upholding the right of family reunion being undermined by the current government, with its shocking minimum earnings requirements for a British national who wants to bring non-British national family members here.

There was no challenge to the appalling approach to asylum that the coalition takes.

And there was little progress on the question of social security or benefits cuts, with Miliband echoing Balls in demanding caps on social security spending.

Receiving benefits is not a lifestyle choice. Being forced to rely on social security can happen to anyone if they lose their job or have an accident.

The “reforms” to the system being introduced by Iain Duncan Smith have terrible consequences.

The cap on housing benefit is causing the social cleansing of whole areas of central London and other major cities, as private-sector tenants who need assistance to pay sky-high rents are forced out.

The cut in tax credits means real poverty for many families.

And the bedroom tax is unnecessary and unjust, punishing some of the most vulnerable people in the country as they are told to downsize to unsuitable, and often non-existent, houses. It is causing real misery. One woman has killed herself.

Suicides have also been among the dreadful consequences of the “fit to work” interviews being forced on all people with disabilities.

In the face of Duncan Smith’s assault and the Tory-led “debate” on benefits our response must be robust.

We, the labour movement, believe in a society where everyone is prevented from falling into destitution or homelessness, and where children do not risk growing up in absolute poverty.

The Con-Dem reforms have removed the safety nets that stopped these things from happening.

Tory Britain’s answers to poverty are food banks, rough sleeping and children who come to school hungry and wear hand-me-down clothes from charity shops.

Instead of demolishing the Tory welfare myths, Miliband proposes that we cap social security spending.

What this will amount to in practice is very unclear. It is impossible to know how many people are going to be unemployed, rendered homeless or destitute at any given time.

The whole point of the welfare state is that we can offer protection when these things happen unexpectedly.

Labour therefore needs urgently to develop alternatives that excite and motivate people so we can defeat austerity and win the next election.

We might take a leaf out of Civil Service union PCS leader Mark Serwotka’s book. In a recent article he outlined his union’s 10-point plan to boost the economy.

It includes breaking the pay freeze to put more money in the pockets of public-sector workers and increasing the minimum wage to do the same for all workers.

It suggests introducing rent controls to reduce spending on housing benefit and protect tenants, investing in infrastructure to get the economy moving and improve services and maintaining real public ownership of the banks so we can control our own money.

It points out we could save billions at a stroke by cancelling the replacement of the Trident nuclear missile system, and we could collect tax from the very richest people in the country, closing tax loopholes and shutting down tax havens – especially those we’re responsible for such as the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and other British Overseas Territories.

The political lessons of the austerity packages imposed by the European Central Bank (ECB) on southern European countries are harsh.

The once all-conquering Pan-Hellenic Socialist Movement (Pasok) of Greece has all but disappeared from political view as it tries to impose the ECB’s wishes.

The Spanish Socialist Workers Party (PSOE) was heavily defeated at the last election as it attempted to placate the ECB to stay in the euro.

This cowardice in the face of the bankers’ demands has left six million Spaniards without work and three-quarters of the country’s young people searching for work.

No-one can pretend it will be easy to deal with all the problems this government is creating and will lump the nation with long after 2015.

But we can start with something far better than encouraging yet more debate over the alleged waste of the welfare budget and instead focus our attention on the criminal injustices being foisted on modern Britain.

All over the country workers in the public sector are losing their jobs and being replaced by contract workers, or private-sector staff whose wages are lower, working conditions more precarious and job security non-existent.

We must be alert to the deep political agenda which runs through Osborne’s fiscal manoeuvring.

This is a brazen attempt to rejig our society in favour of the richest and most powerful and to permanently disempower the majority and the poor.

It’s a war we have to win.

On June 22 the People’s Assembly will take place in central London. By last week so many people had already registered for it that organisers had to mount a successful (after some obstructionism) appeal to Westminster Council to close the road alongside to erect an overflow marquee.

Anyone who has campaigned against public-spending cuts, for the cancellation of Trident or to protect hospitals and public services will know where the public mood lies.

It’s up to the labour movement to ensure that the alternative is one of a society that prioritises dealing with the blight of inequality, not in following those who would slavishly placate the masters of a system which has caused all our problems in the first place.

Return of Blue Labour


 

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Return of Blue Labour:
Recent events at Progress Conference discussion of Blue Labour rare its head again intriguing to learn from the movers and shakers of Blue Labour yearning for a return of a Labour Govt, are they really in touch with the mood of the country comes to mind?.

Well it depends on the national swings at the time or nearer to the general elections. There are some in the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) would love to see the back of the Shadow Chancellor  Ed Balls as he has passed his sell by date. Little do they know that Ed Balls has much strength left in him to do the job as an incoming chancellor elect under a Labour Government?

 

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Some will continue to say that he was Gordon Brown former advisor and he has served his time in govt, let someone else with new blood take the mantle. On a personal level I can see the backstabbers’ presences are increasing of lately. To sum it up in a nutshell to your face they say yes I will vote for you then behind your back they point the knife with another person to push the blade they call it politics or rather third world politics for you. Those who are close to Ed Miliband could be argued to be sympathetic to Blue Labour which may be good for a healthy debate but beware of Lord Glasman the second prince of darkness in waiting and is the replacement of Lord Peter Mandelson in my opinion.

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Lord Glasman does seem to believe that immigration has been an important cause of the problems in UK. I don’t have a problem of discussing immigration in the positive context as I believe it can lead to a positive outcomes let’s not forget the vast diversity and multiculturalism it has brought to our beloved country as we need immigration to help boost our economy as it brings in investment and creates jobs. However there is a small down side to it a wealthily person can chose where they can live and gain a better prospect of employment whilst a poor person is restricted to where they live and in some cases employment prospect can be slim in some areas and may bring down wages if the person enter into this country with illegally which some recruiting companies depends on if it is not monitored properly. This coalition will have to do more to close the loopholes of the immigration laws introduced by previous and present governments.

 

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It’s not surprising that people who have been waiting on the housing list are sick of other people jumping the queues as they see the alternative way is a protest vote for UKIP as they don’t know what Ed Miband let alone what David Cameron or Nick Clegg stands for as residence pointed out to me on the doorstep. Secondly a child does not have the choice of where they are educated until they reach the age of 18 years old. All of our party members need to be aware whether Blue Labour, New Generation, or One Nation will be in the right direction. We have a choice which one is best for the party or do we reclaim our party then decide which way where the party is heading. I know which one I will stick too. I acknowledge that Blue Labour has mostly academics but too male dominated as do many Think-tank’s. Do they really understand the issues really affecting social housing tenants with their social policy needs in poorer areas in some cases are intentionally being underdeveloped because of lack of truly affordable and rentable housing at the point of need?  Then there is the question how Labour will address sustainable economy and communities given it was the bankers who caused the global down turn throughout the world and the creation of employment. Will Black, Blue, Purple, New Generation or One Nation Labour continue to recognize the trade unions, socialist societies, cooperatives, Fabians, other affiliates and still have them on board our National Executive Committees (NEC).

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Call me a sceptic I have a feeling that unless the infighting stops and let the members start to have a stake in Local Branches and Constituency Labour Party there are still some sitting Member Of Parliament, Councillors will be happy to see local branches and CLP don’t meet instead for our Labour MPs to call meetings bypassing our democratic process to hold them all to account does this have a familiar ring to all of us?.

One Nation Labour still needs more work to be done to convince voters that our party is listening to public concern and action their concerns. Let’s not forget the public perception sees all politicians are lining their pockets. Labour must start producing its manifesto ready for 2014 onwards for the electoral to decide if they want a return of a Labour Government or have a coalition. I’m on the strong opinion if Labour decides another brand name like Black, Purple, or Blue Labour will be apolitical disaster for us as we go door knocking and introducing our party as Blue Labour. Labour must continue to be in the centre ground if it wants to be in government as this a key point. 

What we must share in Labour is a belief that it is our party job to heed the warnings of the voters and help to realize it. The party is already making huge strides in that direction, in light of defeat of election.  Ed Miliband leadership, the Movement for Change, and the efforts to refunding Labour as a organizing movement are all manifestation of it. It would be fatal if we lost sight to internal argument about immigration policy. This is a Time Labour must come together under one umbrella and to decide its agenda which will speak for our nation in a way we have not seen for some time which celebrates a radical aspects of our party tradition.

Lastly if Labour is to gain the lead as a incoming government it must throw out its baggage as nothing is worse than seeing a lot of infighting amongst ministers and party activists. We all should continue to lead by example as this plays into the coalitions hands.

David Miliband Resignation


Chineese New Year004My thoughts on former MP David Miliband Resignation

Just a few weeks ago a group of us from both camps of the Milibands across the region met at a location in Birmingham as we do very month to discuss issues of concerns to all of us. I unwittingly joked to both camps what is the next step if elder brother left British politics and decided to pack his bags with his family to make that bold move to return to the United States and say take up an international job will it be a sad say day for British politics?

As usual the comments were trust you Gordon to come up with something like that. Well the moral of this story is be careful for what you wish for as you never know what will happen as a week in politics is a very long time and only time will tell. Yes I can say it in a light hearted way was my reply as there  may be a possibility that something will take place soon but what I did not anticipate that it would take effect before the end of this month.

I had the opportunity to have met a very canny person like David Miliband at a dinner fund raising event and this how I got to understand him from a socialist organisation called Chinese For Labour. What struck me about him was that he was very adverse in Foreign Affairs a person with a similar background to myself and could take you through the countries that he had visited and spoke with such intellect, and passion true to form I said to him that one day you will be the next PM he laughed it off.

miliband-bros_2127494cAfter Gordon Brown lost the elections in 2010 there were a number of names floating around instantly I knew who I would choose as the next leader but that was never to be as Ed Miliband won. So I come to straight to the point by saying the media would not have let David Miliband off the hook whilst he was a MP as he sat at the back bench he was being accused of sour-grapes towards his brother and damned if he was on the Front Benches as he would been seen as undermining his young brother. Myself and many others acknowledged that he has done a lot to shape the future of Labour Party and I say I am very clear that when former Labour leader Tony Blair stepped down that the word Blairism died with Tony Blair when he left office.

I can recall at another recent event where I saw and met the Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband and I thought that he has the makings of the next PM as his performance at Prime Minister Questions (PMQs) where being to improving. The real test will be who will win the South Shields seat by-elections then County and European Elections which comes before the General Elections 2015. There is an expectation that Labour will win but I say throw caution to the wind for the time being and let’s see the results of the rest of the elections. I call on our entire Labour Party activist to descend to the South Shields By-elections to give their support as we all cannot be complacent when Labour calls for the by-elections. As I write there are some movement from our political adversities are descending down to South Shields.

So folks I now come to another point here is the letter enclosed for your perusal:

Dear

I am writing after a great deal of thought to explain that I have been approached about, and accepted, the post of President and Chief Executive of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global humanitarian aid organisation based in New York that saves lives and protects people around the world. This means that with real sadness I will in due course be resigning my seat as MP for South Shields. I wanted to set out the reasons for this difficult decision.

In every job I have done, in and out of Parliament, I have sought to make a difference to the disadvantaged and vulnerable. The IRC does this on a daily basis and a large scale for some of the most desperate people in the world. Its 12 000 staff work in over 40 countries to help millions of people who have been displaced by civil conflict or climate stress and have no place, and in some cases no country, to call home. Its work from Mali to Pakistan to Jordan, as well as in the US, represents the best of humanitarian innovation and ideals. The organisation was founded at the suggestion of Albert Einstein in the 1930s for those fleeing the Nazis, so given my own family history there is an additional personal motivation for me. I feel that in doing this job I will be repaying a personal debt. It is a strong, innovative and inspirational organization, with the potential to change lives and help shape the global conversation about the growing challenge of displaced people around the world. Starting in September, this job brings together my personal story and political life. It represents a new challenge and a new start.

Of course it is very difficult for me to leave Parliament and politics, friends and colleagues. As you know, I see every day the damage this shocking government is doing to our country, and passionately want to see Labour back in power. After the leadership election, I felt I could be most helpful to the party on the front line, in South Shields and around the country, rather than on the front bench in Parliament. I felt this gave Ed the space and at the same time the support he needed to lead the party without distraction. He has done so with real success, leading a united team that has taken the fight to the Tories. I am very pleased and proud that our shared goal of making this a one-term government is achievable.

I have had the extraordinary privilege to represent my constituents in Parliament; to lead major change in schools, local government and environmental policy; and, for three years, to represent our country in the wider world as Foreign Secretary. I will always be committed to social justice in the UK, and I am determined to continue to support the work of Movement for Change, which is already making a difference in communities around the country. I will forever be Labour. But after writing two election manifestoes in 1997 and 2001, and serving as a Minister for eight years, I now have to make a choice about how to give full vent to my ideas and ideals. I hope you will understand that the opportunity to lead the IRC represents a unique chance to put my experience into practice on behalf of some of the least fortunate people on Earth.

It has been a genuine privilege to represent the people of South Shields in Parliament since 2001. The town is justifiably proud of its spirit, achievements, attractions and political history. It is a community I have come to know, respect and admire, and a place where I feel at home. There have been big changes in the last twelve years. When I walk into our new schools and see inspiring teaching and learning, I know what difference a Labour government makes. The reductions in crime have been real and improvements in housing pathbreaking. The vision for renewal of the local economy, despite the recession and its aftermath, holds out great promise for the future. The values and determination of local people have been an inspiration for all of my time as their MP. For Louise and the boys, as well as myself, South Shields and its people will always be a special part of our lives. It has been a home and a safe harbour, where we have made lifelong friendships and put down roots that will endure.

I am grateful for your support over the last decade. I look forward to discussing with you and the party the precise timing of my departure. I am writing to party members today, and will, of course, arrange to hold a meeting to thank them profoundly for their support.

Yours, David

The return of 10p tax rate via mansion tax


 

Ed-Miliband-and-Ed-Balls-006My thoughts of return of 10p tax rate via mansion tax:

Whilst I concur the very policy of the 10p tax helped low paid workers one of Labour tax achievements then only see it scraped by them sent wave of criticism by Labour MPs, trade unions, and low paid workers.

Young Milband was right to say that Labour should not have done it. Let us remember that it happened on his watch with Ed Balls. Now that I have got it off my chest let us all embrace Labour one nation by Ed Miliband as one and stand behind our leader.

Ed Miliband’s call for the 10p rate of income tax to be brought back is noteworthy and welcome on two counts.

It disproves David Cameron’s jibe that there would be nothing new in Miliband’s speech and draws a line beneath Gordon Brown’s disastrous abolition of the 10p band in 2007.

photo(1)Cameron has been allowed too many opportunities to mock Labour criticisms of his bankers’ agenda by pointing out that his chosen path was previously trodden by new Labour.

The gap between rich and poor in Britain today mirrors that of the Victorian era, which demands positive action to reverse this unjust trend.

Miliband’s proposal of a mansion tax on houses valued at over £2 million to pay for the lower starting rate of tax, which should benefit 25 million basic rate taxpayers, is an obvious steal from the Liberal Democrats, but so what?

photo(2)It formed part of Nick Clegg’s bogus pre-election prospectus painting his party as the radical alternative to Labour, but it was never intended as anything more than a vote-catcher.

Cameron was desperate for Liberal Democrat support to form a coalition to oust Labour. He could have been forced to concede a mansion tax to get Clegg and company on board.

Such is the extent of personal wealth owned by Britain’s minted elite, which continues to appreciate at a prodigious rate, that a mansion tax should not be the only wealth tax considered by the Labour leadership.

LFF-Tory-Tombstone-2To hear the Tory Party squealing that a £2 million house isn’t really a lot and that an average dwelling could have reached that level as the result of one or two home improvements simply underlines the reality of two nations living cheek by jowl in this country.

Miliband’s US-influenced terminology of “the squeezed middle” and his adoption of the old Tory slogan of “one-nationism” may grate on the ears, but if the examples he cites to justify his policies remain based on the rough justice dished out to working people, the grating may just be bearable.

Who was the last Labour leader to insist on “putting Labour where it should always have been – on the side of working people?”

Words are, of course, cheap, but statements laying down political priorities and displaying an economic understanding are important.

Miliband noted that the success of the industrial revolution was not the preserve of “the mill owners and the factory bosses” but was driven by “the people, who went down the mines, spun the cotton, built the ships and constructed the bridges.”

Workers are central to economic development and they are entitled to just rewards for their labour, not just wages but decent pensions, benefits and public services.

Miliband acknowledges this, but he and Labour policy review co-coordinator Jon Cruddas refuse to consider any alternative to the one-size-fits-all obsession with continued private ownership of the economy.

Cruddas fantasises about an undefined mystical alternative to the “managerialism of the state … (and) the transactions of the market.”

Miliband, for his part, would somehow “break the stranglehold of the big six energy suppliers” and “stop the train company price rip-offs,” but only public ownership can achieve this. Regulation has proven a paper tiger.

Labour is regaining some of its lost electoral ground but winning the next election outright will require a tidal wave of popular enthusiasm behind policies gripping the public imagination.

We have a Byelections and county elections wishing all our Labour candidates success in wining their seats as the road is long but achievable.

See article below:

A Labour government would seek to re-introduce the 10p starting rate of tax scrapped by Gordon Brown in 2008, Ed Miliband has announced in a speech.

Mr Miliband said it was a “very bad mistake” to get rid of it and the move would send a “clear signal” his party was on the “side of working people”.

The move, worth about £2 a week for people, would be funded by a “mansion tax” on £2m properties, he said.

But No 10 said it was a “stunning admission of economic incompetence”.

The decision to scrap the 10p tax band – announced in the 2007 Budget as part of a package which also saw the basic rate of tax reduced from 22p to 20p – was highly controversial.

Despite measures to compensate those affected, critics said up to 500,000 people were left worse off.

Mr Miliband said the move was “wrong” as the 10p tax rate made a difference to people on low incomes and increased incentives to work.

He said he was “determined to put it right” by reinstating the 10p rate after the next election and urged the government to consider doing it at next month’s Budget, describing it as the “progressive choice”.

‘Fairer taxes’

“We would put right a mistake made by Gordon Brown and the last Labour government,” he said.

“We would use the money raised by a mansion tax to reintroduce a lower 10 pence starting rate of tax, with the size of the band depending on the amount raised. This would benefit 25 million basic rate taxpayers.”

Labour has previously indicated it would only set out tax and spending commitments in the run-up to the next election – scheduled in 2015 – and Mr Miliband made it clear that he would not commit to put any specific policies in its manifesto at this stage.

But Mr Miliband said the 10p pledge would send a clear message about Labour’s commitment “to a fairer tax system and improving the living standards of working people” as well as showing the party is “moving on from the past”.

Shadow chancellor Ed Balls said both he and Ed Miliband had raised objections to the 10p move when they were members of the cabinet at the time.

Asked on the Daily Politics whether it was a firm manifesto commitment, Mr Balls said they could not write their manifesto now, but the changes were something “we want to do… intend to do… plan to do” if the party gets into power after the next election.

The idea of a mansion tax was first proposed by the Lib Dems before the last election although the Conservatives oppose the move and the policy was not adopted by the coalition government.

Mr Balls said there were about 70,000 homes currently worth more than £2m – half of which were second homes – and a tax could raise an estimated £2bn.

He said the detail “had to be got right” but he would be willing to talk to the Lib Dems who he suggested were “still keen” on the idea.

In the speech, Mr Miliband also repeated his support for a temporary cut in VAT to boost economic growth – and called for action on train fares, “unfair” bank charges and capping interest on payday loans.

‘Never so good’

Criticising the government’s economic policy as a “race to the bottom in wages and skills”, he accused the Conservatives and Lib Dems of rewarding those at the top while “squeezing” everyone else.

Speaking in Bedford, where in 1957 Conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan famously said Britons had “never had it so good”, the Labour leader said that falling wages and rising prices mean many now feel “they will never have it so good again”.

“People in Britain are putting in the hours – doing the shifts – as never before. But something has changed in the last few years.

“There’s less chance of promotion, less chance of a pay rise, and at the same time, prices just go up and up and up: petrol for the car, tickets for the train, childcare for the kids, deposits for a first home.

“The ‘squeezed middle’ has never been so squeezed – and it looks like it will be that for years to come.”

He criticised the government’s decision to scrap the 50p tax rate for those earning over £150,000 from April 2013, saying “we can’t succeed as a country just by hoping wealth will trickle down from those at the top to everyone else”.

‘Labour’s mess’

A Downing Street spokesman said Labour’s change of tack on the 10p rate was “a stunning admission of economic incompetence” and the coalition had helped low earners by substantially increasing the personal allowance – the level at which people start to pay tax – to £9,205 in April.

“The losers from Labour’s 10p tax fiasco have become winners under this government,” he said.

He also warned that a mansion tax “would mean government snoopers in every home to revalue your house for council tax, meaning council tax rises for anyone who’s improved their home in the past 20 years”.

Lib Dem Treasury Secretary Danny Alexander said Labour were “late to the party” on the need to reduce the tax burden on the lowest paid.

“After thirteen years in government, the only action Ed Balls took was to raise the amount of tax those on low incomes paid by abolishing the 10p rate. It was the biggest tax mistake they ever made and it has taken them until now to realise their error.”