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:
Email to Clegg and Hughes )
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.
There are times when I nearly remove a few blogs from my reading list, but just stop myself. One of them is written by Chris, who lives in Torquay. But sometimes, he comes up with a gem. This is one of them:
In 1992 Tony Blair mounted a daring expedition from Labour's heartlands to capture as much enemy territory as he could. Confronted by a worn out and divided enemy his raid was as successful as it was audacious. He managed to capture vast swaths of formerly Tory territory sweeping all before him like an all conquering Caesar.

Like Caesar Blair was eventually stabbed in the back by those that he had once thought his closest allies, but unlike Caesar the band that he was leading was not safe in their own territory at the time. They where still deep in the enemies native territory and desperately trying to find ways to hold their position.

Labour is now under Blair's rather less able former adjutant have found themselves, un-supplied, surrounded, and cut off from their reserves.
Go read the rest. Seriously. You have to excuse the typos and spelling, the best spell checkers can only help dyslexia so much at times, but the whole post is both spot on and very well observed.

I have, as it happens, been to the Teotoberg site, Arne took myself and [ profile] the_prince there when we stayed on after a tournament he organised, very scary to see how little space the Romans had to try to fight in, one of the best implemented ambushes in military history methinks.
Everyone's favourite insubstantial careerist appears to have made a bit of a cock up:
A personal computer holding sensitive documents relating to defence and extremism has been stolen from Hazel Blears' constituency office in Salford.

The theft may mean the communities secretary has broken rules on the handling of restricted government information, the BBC has learned.
On the one hand, crime, break in, naughty theives, get 'em. On the other, what was she doing leaving a laptop full of confidential data in her constituency office? Oh, wait, smug, complacent, convinced of her own rightness Blears. It didn't occur to her the rules her Govt itself created were there for a fucking reason.

ETA: Oh, what a surprise—it wasn't her fault,t hey were emailed to her by a flunky, and her chief bean counter has taken full responsibility:
Thankfully no damage has been done since the documents sent to her were not classified as secret or top secret. And in any event the computer was password protected ... I take full responsibility for ensuring this is done.
Completely ignored as an issue at PMQs as well FFS.

Via and also.
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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October 2015


Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats.

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