[personal profile] matgb
So, Boy George did his first budget yesterday, and it was nasty. But I somehow suspect the nastiness was inevitable, and it was a lot less nasty than it would've been if it'd been a Tory-only administration. Labour have decided to spend their political capital attacking the Lib Dem junior partners for the nasty, instead of the senior party, and there's no sign whatsoever from them of what they'd do instead.

I agree, completely, with Sunny on this one, their attacks are misplaced. One of the leadership candidates, currently rated as "second least awful" on my scale, has even set up a tool to email the LD leadership. Because apparently ameliorating the Tories and getting clear committments to help the lowest paid through increased tax credits and personal alloances, while increasing taxes on the wealthy through increased CGT is something we should be ashamed of. So, he wants to recruit former Lib Dems, and wants us to email the leadership. Using his tool, here's what I send:
Dear Mr Clegg and Mr Hughes,

I'm sending this using a tool on Ed Miliband's campaign site, but basically am doing so to offer full support, he wants to recruit former Lib Dem activists who don't like we're in Govt with the Tories.

I don't like it, but it was inevitable. The Budget has a lot of stuff I really dislike in it. But it has a lot of stuff I like, and I'd like to see what Labour would've done differently.

Getting the Tories to accept an increasein CGT and the allowance was brilliant. Having to accept a, hopefully short term, increase in VAT in order to prevent further cuts was probably inevitable.

Labour are out of ideas, and all they want to do is attack us, instead of the Tories who're the senior coalition partner.

Pretty much proves we made the right choice.
Do I like the VAT increase? No. Do I like the cuts in some benefits? No. Do I like that spending cuts were inevitable and would have to happen this year or next regardless of who was in power? No. Do I like that they've ring-fenced the NHS budget so waste there isn't being hit, meaning spending elsewhere will have to fall further? No.

Have Labour said what they would've done instead? No. If the LDs weren't in coalition, would the Tories have even considered raising the personal allowance, increasing tax credits to the lowest incomes, pegging pensions back to earnings, increasing Capital Gains Tax? No.

I've voted Labour in the past. At the next election, odds are very good I'll have a second preference to allocate as well. Dear Labourites, it would be nice to have a choice as to where I'll put my second choice, currently, you're not giving me one. Wake up, FFS.
innerbrat: (go baby go)

Date: 2010-06-23 10:01 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
Hang on, I love your DW layout. Did you hard code the layout or are they DW-available widgets?
innerbrat: (Default)

Date: 2010-06-23 03:54 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] innerbrat
It's the 'share this' I like, but I'm leery about editing styles directly because I have to update with new features. On LJ my entire layout is CSS and I haven;'t done anything with DW.
cesy: "Cesy" - An old-fashioned quill and ink (Default)

Date: 2010-06-24 05:30 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] cesy
I only just noticed the reposting section, and I really love the repost to Dreamwidth button in amongst the others. I also like the search box you've added top right. I'm so glad you're going to make it into an official layout, and I hope they add some of the features into Core2.

Date: 2010-06-23 02:06 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] missedith01
Of course Labour are attacking the Lib Dems. They are the opposition and the Lib Dems are in government. The Lib Dems are an easier mark, because, as HH quite rightly pointed out yesterday, the Tories might bleat about inevitability but they want to do this stuff anyway. One would hope that many Lib Dems are at least feeling the pain of being in office and having to make unpopular decisions.

The fact is, a lot of the budget is nasty and not inevitable. For example, it is nasty and not inevitable to reduce the period of backdating of tax credits from one month to three months. It's especially nasty given the administrative chaos that the Tax Credit Office seems to revel in most of the time. Real people will lose out on money they should have had. It is nasty and not inevitable to punish Jobseeker's Allowance claimants with a 10% reduction in their benefits if they haven't found work after a year. It's especially nasty given that it's very difficult for many people to find a job at the moment, and that JSA is a breadline benefit in the first place. It is nasty and not inevitable to change benefit uprating from the RPI to the CPI. They know that this will mean a drop in the real value of benefits over time as research has shown that the things which the poorest people buy rise in price faster than the CPI. And don't get me started on VAT ... some hope of economic growth recovering if this is the solution.

And Labour have said what they'd do instead. They would make cuts next year when the benefits of growth would make the cuts less savage. Of course they can't say exactly what would be cut and how, no more than the Tories would before they got elected and had had a chance to look at the books.

Besides, when the local Lib Dems here stop sending me leaflets attacking the Labour party for not forming a coalition and being a little over jubilant beating Labout into third place (it's mentioned three times in the latest missive) I'll get interested in Labour negativity. Dunno when they're going to work out the election is over and they won. :-)

Date: 2010-06-23 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] missedith01
I certainly agree that the LDs will have had a softening effect ... how much we won't know until the detail of the departmental cuts come in - that's when we'll really know the character of the govt, I think.

I have difficulty with this criticism of Lab not going for a coalition. I truly don't think it was because they weren't prepared to negotiate on policy. Brown realised the game was up, and it would be politically impossible to cling on in a coalition of the minor parties. They had to refuse to deal if a coalition involving the biggest party was a possibility. Perhaps the LDs would have prefered a LibDem/Lab coalition; personally I think Clegg preferred the idea of working with Cameron (and I can understand that - Brown beong notoriously difficult to work with ...)

The issue of 13 years ago we've talked about before - I hold my hands up and have nothing to say. But Labour being skullduggerous after 1997 doesn't excuse a single Lib Dem vote for Tory nastiness now. The Lib Dems will need to take a view about what is necessary yet painfull, which they must of course support, and what is Tory vileness being introduced under a coalition fig-leaf. The former makes them look statesmanlike, and I think the freeze on CB comes under this heading - no-one wants it but it's probably the least-worse option. The latter I think will come home to roost - the changes to TC backdating and reduction in JSA I would class here. There isn't anything that can be done, as I understand it ... support for the emergency budget is a requirement of the coalition, but people on the left (in both the labour and liberal traditions) have long memories.

With regard to Lab and the books - sure they know where we are now but they don't know where we'll be in 12-18 months time, that was what I meant.
pmoodie: (Default)

Date: 2010-06-24 08:29 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
it was a lot less nasty than it would've been if it'd been a Tory-only administration.

I suspect this will be the eventual epitaph for this coalition government, but I doubt it will wash with the British people.
pmoodie: (Default)

Date: 2010-06-24 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] pmoodie
Well, a whole bunch of people voted Tory, which is what got us into this mess in the first place. They sure as hell weren't in Scotland!

Date: 2010-06-24 11:58 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] 0ct0pus.livejournal.com
I disagree. The only way of getting this insane budget stopped (and yes, it's "not as bad as it could have been" but that's weasel words and you know it) is for team yellow to vote against it.

PLDP seems to have bought into the "urgent deficit problem" myth - it's not urgent, it is important but it is not the most important problem facing the UK - economic growth is.

And we, the public, are being rolled using the classic Sir Humphrey gambit - we must do something, this is something, therefore we should do this. I'm still wondering about whether we should do something and suspect, at this stage, not.

The PLDP has allied itself with a bizarre religious cult which sacrifices people's lives to a mystic deity known as "Market". And however much of other people's suffering they offer, "Market" demands more.

You could consider what the Labour party is doing as an intervention for a cult member if you like.

Date: 2010-06-24 08:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pmoodie.livejournal.com
it was a lot less nasty than it would've been if it'd been a Tory-only administration

I suspect this will be the eventual epitaph of this coalition government, but I doubt it will wash with the British people.

Date: 2010-06-24 06:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-tourmaline.livejournal.com
Do you think that the extent of the cuts is inevitable and right?

Date: 2010-06-24 06:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-tourmaline.livejournal.com
From the reading I'm doing, I'm struggling to balance the arguments of 'we need to do it to get out from under a crippling burden of debt' with 'it will strangle nascent economic recovery and increase hardship'. I don't know a lot about economics.

I mean, yes re housing, I find that extremely problematic and also stupid. But I actually meant something slightly different, sorry.

Date: 2010-06-24 07:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] star-tourmaline.livejournal.com
That makes sense. I hope you're right.

In general, this government feels very different from a Conservative government would have been. It's not my fantasy, but I think it's probably the best we were going to get.
matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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