As Bold as a Boris
“Even their logo of an Oak Tree looks like it will be wilting”
On the Sunday Politics Show was the inevitable build up to the Conservative Conference (I wondered if they would have the nerve to travel on First Group or Virgin Rail, actually might not be safe for them) on the BBC, PM Cameron stated fuel prices are 10p lower than they would have been under Labour – for me this set the tone of what was to come, complete nonsense and complete avoidance of ‘our’ reality. I mean what was he talking about fuel has gone up by 30p and more since they came to power. This was quickly followed by Lord Ashcroft (Tory Policy advisor) did a survey just before the conference started and one of the conclusions was that the Conservatives have alienated a large proportion of their supporters – did he really need a survey to tell him this, perhaps he is alienated from the working class and reality. Even the Conservative symbol the Oak tree is looking as if it is in Autumn, perhaps it needs some new green shoots and leaves, needs refreshing as it is definitely withering at the moment.
Cameron and Osborne (the dullest of duo’s) are going after easy targets by wanting another £10 billion in cuts to the welfare budget, even thinking of cutting the housing budget to the under 25’s, I suppose sleeping in alleyways is cheaper for the state! Both go on and on about paying down the deficit, but they avoid the facts that our deficit compared, to this time last year, rose by billions, 21% in real terms. I even made myself sit through Osborne’s speech at the conference, or should that be Osborne’s political obituary:
“Build an economy that works for all” – that would be nice.
“My message remains the same” – really (yawn!).
Then he went on to make jokes about Labour (couldn’t blame him really) but then came out with, “we are all in this together” – your banker friends aren’t, your top FTSE 100 Chief Executives, Directors and Chairpersons aren’t. The same evening as his speech there was a Channel 4 Dispatches programme dedicated to FTSE 100 top bosses pay (who the Conservatives and their coalition partners are not going to tax more – Vince Cable I thought you were different). The Dispatches documentary (Monday 8th October 2012 at 8pm) (http://www.channel4.com/programmes/dispatches/episode-guide/series-111/episode-5) followed the retired boss of Greggs, Sir Michael Darrington on his campaign to lower top bosses pay. In the programme it was revealed that since top bosses pay rises have gone up by an average of 21%, whereas their average employees’ wages have only gone up by 2.8%, and some health and social care professionals & workers have had no pay rise whatsoever in the last 3 years – so we are all in this together are we?
The programme also found out that HSBC boss had been awarded £6 million pay and this did not include bonuses, and Barclays is up there near the top paying some £21 million. This wasn’t as disturbing as finding out the pay packets of these people (we are supposedly in it together with) are so complicated that it takes a skilled accountant to work them out but on average they go like this:
25% of their income is salary
35% of their income is incentives in the form of shares (often worth millions)
40% of their income is cash bonus, which is often converted into shares
The remuneration committees that put these packages together are often on the same pay schemes, so are never going to diminish the schemes in any way. Things are so out of control that a few years ago it use to be that the difference between the top bosses average salary and their average employee’s salary was about 30 times; in many cases it is hundreds of times nowadays and in one case 1000’s of times their average employee’s salary, the disparage does not make me think we are all in this together Mr Osborne.
I have even less faith in the Conservatives when the man they appoint to look at this shocking state of affairs, this salary madness that would make a Premier League Footballer jealous, MR Michael Fallen MP, has himself served on remunerations committees that were responsible for dishing out up to £20 million per year in bonuses – is he really the right person to bring this madness under control? So Mr Osborne I do not think we are all in this together, I recall the saying, “some are more equal than others”, and to turn down a mansion tax is appalling, like they can’t afford it, are you mad or just afraid to upset the privileged few!
And what’s with this new phrase “the Strivers”, supporting those that support themselves, just think about that for a moment. It means if you do your bit the Government will be on your side as long as you don’t want anything!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Even political commentators from both left and right wing agreed the Conservatives are demonstrating an impression of “incompetence relating to policy, functioning and ability to Govern”. Well hell yes, just look at the contracting of the West Coast Mainline as one of many examples, showing a complete inability to manage the Civil Servants and engagement with businesses!
Theresa May then entered the field playing to Conservative core values of old, home owners will be given protection if they use force in the face of dangerous intruders such as burglars (well that’s cool but it already exists, it’s called using reasonable force – don’t you know that Theresa?). Then she went on to say victims will be allowed to choose the punishment for people convicted of committing crimes against them. I think this is a shallow and poorly thought-out, as we have had legal system stretching back to the Magna Carta which allows impartial judges to decide what is a fitting punishment, people who are emotionally involved may not be in the best frame of mind to decide. All this will do is promote vengeance, promote hatred, promote retribution and may even prevent individuals and families being able to come to terms with what has happened, it will not promote healing and to exploit people like this for votes is shameful Theresa May.
Then we were refreshed for a short time with the man of the hour, and Boris received a standing ovation gave a glimmer of hope in all the gloom, and he spoke to show who he really was, a serious guy, funny, but with oodles of charisma, but perhaps less of the clown please, although turning Cameron’s words into a mick-take was genius and Cameron was obviously very uncomfortable looking at the person on stage who will take his job – hopefully.
Why can’t we have more charismatic leaders like Boris, even stuck on a zip line he has charisma and could laugh at himself, he knows how to win people over, he was instrumental in delivering the Games with Lord Coe, Boris is the new Thatcher, although without the Napalm she use to spread liberally to anyone who stood in her way. Boris has proved he can win a traditionally Labour ward in London, winning hearts and minds, and he has oodles of personality to go around. Cameron is the equivalent of John Major, turning Conservative blue to dull grey (yawn!)
This was followed by Cameron being interviewed by the BBC and then Channel 4’s John Snow, and he just looked harassed as he tried to defend the IMF (International Monetary Fund) saying our economy was on the verge of a third dip, as our economy was shrinking by 0.4%, when even the French have positive growth going on. But he defended and defended, rather than just see the facts for what they are, our debt has risen this year not fallen!!!!!!!!!!! And then I nearly choked when Cameron said his Government has delivered, “More help, more care, more tenderness”, yes he actually said “tenderness”!!! Was this delivered by ATOS Mr Cameron, or delivered in the tender way the most vulnerable have had their benefit taken off them, or the tender way you announce you want the vulnerable to bleed another £10 billion and at the same time protect your rich donators by not implementing a “mansion tax”. When the Conservatives can only say that the economy is on track and is “rebalancing” you know we are in trouble, as these are cover up phrases for not wanting to lose face and say honestly, “ok the track we are on is not working, debt is going up, we need to invest now”.
I can’t stand this rhetoric about saving money all the time, when in November we will spend £millions on electing Police Commissioners, who get a minimum of £100,000 a year plus expenses, and no one I know wants this, it will cost millions of pounds – so we can afford this but not benefits for significantly disabled people being targeted by ATOS.
And the worst was left for last, the 7th party conference keynote speech PM Cameron has given, you would have thought he knows this is about energising your followers and winning over your dissenters. So what did we get from him:
- A walk through his upbringing (this has been done at each of the party conferences this year – don’t you think we have some idea about the ‘Leaders’ since every aspect of their lives is paraded through the media – do you really have to use such personal information to try and win votes, is this what it has come to, is this all you have left to offer?)
- “Britain is on the right track” (the one that leads to the cliff and carries on over it & plummeting the country onto jagged economic rocks in a sea of despair of the most vulnerable?)
I actually did stop listening for a bit and drifted off into a world of realism, as the Prime Minister got deeper into fantasy, only to home in on his comment that his was the only Party that have preserved spending in the NHS and not made any cuts. I really do think I am living in an alternative Britain to the PM! I did like the praise that he delivered re the Olympic and Paralympic games but the rest was just unreal. And with this alternative reality the conference season was at last brought to a close, the worst I have ever had the displeasure to partake of.
The Conference was dull, down beat and depressive, the party has changes to make to:
- The economic strategy
- The policy on destroying the welfare state
- The leadership
We have to get people like Boris into Government to turn this ship around before it runs aground and has its’ third recession dip, you are turning this into a film, Carry On Wrecking Our Nation.