Tuesday, May 06, 2008

The Evening Boris gloats..........

I have it on good authority that depressed Labour Party staff got into work on Saturday to find a huge pile of copies of the Evening Standard - the one proclaiming "Boris is the Mayor" along with a compliments slip from the publisher.

Let's see if they're as happy to be associated with him in a couple of years.....

Saturday, May 03, 2008

10p Tax Misery

It was with some trepidation that I opened my payslip this week, falling as I do into the group of people affected by Gordon Brown's catastrophic abolition of the lowest tax rate, which he himself brought in to almost universal approval in 1999.

It's not like they weren't warned. Ming Campbell told them what a stupid idea it was in his response to the Budget last year. The Tories are now hanging on our coat tails on this one. Surely nobody really believes that Conservatives are actually going to stand up for the lower paid against the rich unless it was for purely opportunistic purposes.

Anyway, at a time when food and fuel bills are soaring, losing money is a complete nightmare for people. At least here in Scotland, we have a Council Tax freeze, but that's not the case south of the border.

This is as ill thought out and perverse a step as the Poll Tax and it should be immediately reversed. Not everyone who has lost out stands to be compensated and those who will won't see any difference until the end of the year. A Liberal Democrat victory in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election might bring some more immediate action from the Government, though..........

Liberal Democrats come second

The Liberal Democrats' leap into second place in the popular vote is mentioned in today's press but such an achievement deserves a bigger spotlight. It's not just a nail in Gordon Brown's coffin - it's spectacular in its own right.

Some of the kinder predictions in the media suggested that we would be doing really well if we lost only 50 seats. Well, we gained 34 nationally and made some amazing gains in Sheffield. Two of my friends were on campaign teams which were responsible for more than a third of our total gains, in Sheffield and South Lakeland. I was very pleased to see Cllr Clive Leal elected in South Lakeland, having done a fair bit of telephone canvassing for him.

The Tories completely failed to live up to their expectations that they would grab back the ground they lost to us in the nineties. They are being feted in the press as victors but we should not forget that behind the smiles and the cuddly green facade, they are still the same pro big business, pro the rich, anti commumity party they were in the days of Thatcher. Interestingly, Nigel Lawson is interviewed in today's Guardian doubting that we need to do anything about climate change.

Labour really do look like a bit of a pathetic rabble. Yvette Cooper was like the proverbial rabbit caught in the headlights on Channel 4 News last night. They're out of ideas, out of touch and seemingly out of energy to do anything about it.

People are still, rightly, dubious about David Cameron and I wouldn't let George Osborne run a bath, let alone the economy. Mind you, I can't really think of any Tory I'd leave in charge of any sort of fiscal policy.

I think the Tories only did so well because they weren't Labour in many places. Where the people were already served well by Liberal Democrat MPs and Councillors, the Tories actually went backwards. Tim Farron, who has a majority of about 250 in Westmorland and Lonsdale, found that Thursday's results showed 21000 Liberal Democrat votes against 13000 Tories. In Chris Huhne's Eastleigh constituency, we even took a seat off the Tories.

I hope that the successes of this week bode well for Elizabeth Shenton in Crewe and Nantwich, which Labour has called with indecent haste, even before the funeral of Gwyneth Dunwoody, one of their best Parliamentarians, for 22 May presumably because they are so scared of being beaten.


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