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This is what “austerity measures” do.

August 18, 2011 5 comments

Nations choose to adopt policies that force their public into austerity.

The number of people unemployed in the UK rose by 38,000 to 2.49 million in the three months to June.

This took the jobless rate from 7.7% to 7.9%,the Office for National Statistics said.

The number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance also rose, by 37,100 in July to 1.56 million, its biggest increase since May 2009.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-14555264

Of course, throwing thousands of public sector workers out of a job and squeezing the ridiculously low welfare benefits of the poorest were always going to lead to more jobs, well maybe if you had swallowed some serious drugs during your economics lessons as a Bullingdon Clubber. After all a riot is acceptable if you can throw the cash back at the place you trashed.

The official figures also showed that between April and June:

  • The youth unemployment rate rose to 20.2%, up from 20% in the quarter to March
  • There were 949,000 16 to 24-year-olds without work, a rise of 15,000
  • The number of unemployed men increased by 18,000 to 1.45 million
  • The level of unemployed women rose by 21,000 to 1.05 million – the highest figure since May 1988
  • The number of employees working part-time because they could not find a full-time job increased by 83,000 to 1.26 million – the highest figure since comparable records began in 1992
  • The unemployment rate remained the highest in the north-east of England, at 10%
  • The south-east of England still had the lowest rate of unemployment, with a rate of 5.8%
  • The unemployment rate in Scotland was unchanged at 7.7%, in Wales it jumped to 8.4%, and in Northern Ireland it crept up to 7.3%
  • Average weekly earnings, including bonuses, were 2.6% higher than a year ago
Just to add to the last point, inflation is nearing 5%.

Meanwhile, in the Countries that decided not to starve their poor, the economy is rebounding very nicely, thank you very much.

Election 2011. Britain doesn’t go to the polls.

There are elections and a referendum taking place across the UK today, as I type 3/4 of an hour remain before polls shut. The referendum is on whether the UK should switch from first past the post to Alternative vote, voters really do not care and as a result polling has been difficult at best.

I’m not for AV, but want it to win because I believe in electoral reform and proportional representation. I won’t lose sleep if the No campaign wins today.

Elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly are being held, as are polls in 279 English councils, there are however no elections in London, so it will be very interesting to see if turnout rises above 30%.

In the constituency of Leicester South, there is a by-election to replace the former MP, Peter Soulsby, who resigned to contest the newly created position of a directly elected Mayor for the City of Leicester. Mayoral contests are also taking place in Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Torbay and Bedford.

Peter Soulsby won the seat from Liberal Democrats. Leicester South and the City election will be worth watching. Soulsby has in the past competed with Lib Dems about who was more anti-Iraq War.

Some lunacy has already gone on.

In Stockport nearly 100 people cast votes now recorded as invalid because wrong ballot papers were delivered to the polling station and in Carmarthenshire (Wales), a polling station was closed for hours after two escaped dogs bit four voters. Stick to the roads, keep clear of the Moors.

Council and Mayoral elections do nothing to change national government, although nearer the end of a Parliament Prime Ministers often used them to judge whether to run a General Election, however a wipeout for the Liberal Democrats may make their “partnership” with Cameron’s Conservatives somewhat more bitter.

My updated predictions – the Conservatives won’t do too badly despite massive cuts to public services because 1) they have their own fall guy, the Liberal Democrats who take the blame and 2) Ed Milliband is not really a shining star. So therefore Milliband and Cameron will have something to crow about and Clegg will be licking some painful sores (especially if the Yes vote loses).

UPDATE Polls have now closed, expect no politician to say how bad it was for democracy as a whole that turnout was abysmal.

Last update before bed: Nick Clegg is going to have a nightmare in his own Constituency, his City, Sheffield, is Lib Dem Controlled with no overall majority, I expect to wake in the morning with at least 12 Lib Dem Councillors defeated. 

The Coalition trolls the internet. Smash my Nimrod.

January 28, 2011 1 comment

Smash Our Stuff was an internet phenomenon that featured a group of Canadian men purchasing a popular product (normally at launch) and destroying it in front of other people who waited for ages to buy it. The site started as “Smash My iPod”, they became so popular that they went on to buy and smash an XBOX 360, a PS3 and a Wii.

The reactions of the crowd, who were waiting patiently in line, often overnight, was often one of shock mixed, in some cases, with anger fuelled by jealousy.  Here they smash a PS3.

Apple sued them because they did not like to see their beloved items get smashed.

Well British taxpayers waited for 10 years to get nine Nimrod MRA4 reconnaissance aircraft. They cost a total of £4billion.

Three of the planes are 90% finished. One is complete and ready to take off.

Now that they are pretty much ready, the British government is smashing them up. Literally. This will cost taxpayers an additional £200 million and the Contractors get to claim all the scrap metal.

So Smash My Stuff – you have been trolled. Fifty hour waits, compared to a wait of 10 years, £400 launch products v £450 million planes that will never “launch”.

(The tax payers have been trolled as well by the Military contractors but no one seems to care)

The Ministry of Defence tries to D-Notice Wikileaks. Err what’s the point?

November 26, 2010 1 comment

Wikileaks has tweeted to say that The Ministry of Defence has issued Defence Advisory Notices to UK news outlets in an attempt to try and silence Wikileaks latest bombshell of information. Their next leak is to be the Communiqués between Diplomats and it is rumoured to include what Politicians on the World stage think of each other.

DA Noties (which were previously called D-Notices) are not legally enforceable but life can be made difficult for an Editor who refuses to comply with them. They are issued by the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee.

The last time a DA Notice was issued was in April 2009 after Bob Quick was stupid enough to leave his car with details of a terror raid on show as he arrived at No 10 Downing Street for a briefing. The briefing was picked by a photographer with a tele-photo lens and went round the World in minutes.

There are five standing DA-Notices:

* DA-Notice 01: Military Operations, Plans & Capabilities
* DA-Notice 02: Nuclear and Non-Nuclear Weapons and Equipment
* DA-Notice 03: Ciphers and Secure Communications
* DA-Notice 04: Sensitive Installations and Home Addresses
* DA-Notice 05: United Kingdom Security & Intelligence Special Services

DA-Notices are not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.

The Committee and the Government have a problem though. This  Committee seems to think our only new sources are the BBC, ITN and the UK newspapers. They forget about the Internet. I have easier access to the New York Times, or even Al-Jazeera than the Times of London. DA Notices are as irrelevant as the Committee.

All the MOD has done is remind tax-payers of a chunk of Government that is ripe for cuts. D-Notices and The the Defence, Press and Broadcasting Advisory Committee should be given their very own notice.

Meet Nick Clegg – the man who makes bad things “progressive”.

November 11, 2010 2 comments

 

 

Cameron and Clegg – an abusive partnership?

I was a semi-supporter of the coalition, although I voted for no-one in the General Election. I looked forward to the end of the database state and the bureaucracy. I was very happy to see New Labour go but I was not happy with the other choices available to me. Nothing has convinced me about the wisdom of my non-choice at the election and not one Party has since convinced me that they are worthy of my vote.

I kind of wanted to believe that the Liberal Democrats were a bit more of a Party than their image of being Labour without the War. I also kind of wanted to believe that the Conservative Party was no longer the nasty party.

The problem with this coalition is that we will never know what the true identities of the two Parties are. What we have now is a Conservative Government able to operate further to the right than it would have on its own due to their Liberal Democrat enablers.

As a direct result of this coalition, Osborne can be as far-right as he wants, without any consideration of consequence. It is after all not the Conservative Party losing popularity. Everything proposed by Osborne is given an orange glow of approval by the ever so compliant and complicit Clegg.

This morning Nick Clegg was explaining why it is fair to stop the benefits of those who refuse to take up jobs for the fair and progressive period of 3 years.

A few days ago we had Nick Clegg explaining why a tripling of student tuition fees was extremely progressive and fairer than say a graduate tax.

Last week Nick Clegg explained why massive cuts to Housing Benefit that effect over 95% of those claiming were fair and progressive.

If George Osborne appeared on television tomorrow eating and killing the second child of all families, Nick Clegg would be on breakfast tv explaining why such a move is progressive and “fair”. After all such an action would help poor families save on childcare.

As the coalition haemorrhages  popularity, it is not the Conservatives losing ground it is the Liberal Democrats.

According to the latest polls, the Liberal Democrats now command only 9% support. Well they hold around 9% of the seats in Parliament and they have always been supporters of proportional representation, so now they have it, by default.

Everyone knows that the Liberal Democrats are the junior partner. They are  still however supposed to be a partner. Partners in a relationship can say no. If  junior can not say no, he is not a partner, he is being abused.

NUS – say goodbye to public support.

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

As the day started, the most amazing thing about the demonstration was that the NUS managed to get upwards of 24,000 students up in the morning to demonstrate against the increase in University fees. Something they didn’t really do between 1997 and 2010.

Then the Trots take over the demonstration and any message that the NUS wanted to deliver to Parliament gets lost amidst all the news of violence and idiocy taking place at Millbank.  Along with any public support for them.

So why did the UK vote Labour out again?

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

While we are waiting for the big axe man to cometh as a result of Osborne’s baby eating agenda to slash his way through public services and burn public sector workers at the stake, some may question just why did they vote for the Con-Dem coalition?

Sam Coates of The Times (£££) has a gentle reminder.

The administrative burdens being placed on Shadow Cabinet members could provoke some mirth among opponents. First, all new policy must be signed off by the relevant shadow secretary of state, and a questionnaire obtained from the Treasury team.

Completed forms must then be handed into the the office of Angela Eagle, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, two weeks in advance of any announcement, and written confirmation of her approval will be given within a week.

The first draft of any full announcement or speech must be handed in to Ms Eagle’s office “no later than” three days before it is made. The final draft must then be sent in 24 hours before delivery.Significant speeches not containing new policy announcements are only subject to a seven-step clearing process and only have to be handed to Ms Eagle two days before the speech is to be delivered. Only then can the Shadow Cabinet member go ahead with the announcement.

Oh yes, that form filling again.