Tories at half-time: cruel and inept, with worse to come | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian

Whilst I shall not be buying Polly Toynbee book, her article published as a Guardian blog is well worth a read. Check it out!

via Tories at half-time: cruel and inept, with worse to come | Polly Toynbee | Comment is free | The Guardian.

Readers of this blog will know that I am not a Labour Party supporter but I am able to identify with much of the analysis provided by Polly Toynbee. I think that David Cameron’s government has been a complete shambles, lacking in vision, strategy and execution. This should be the time for strong counter-attack from the Labour opposition but sadly their leadership does not seem to have the answers.

Any thoughts?

8 responses

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  5. John, would you be deeply offended if I were to suggest the opposite. More should be done at a more local level. The reasoning is simple. The greater the distance between a situation and a decision maker the lower the chances of the right decision being taken and the costs of making wrong decisions far outweigh any savings to scale. Furthermore, local conditions vary hugely plus the greater the scale of a decision, the greater the risk of damage being huge.

    To compare our problems with those of China is not, I suggest, helpful (although I am sure Alf will correct me if I am wrong there) but I do agree that we need more focus. Being a believer in local decisions, I would return to the situation where local authorities could do their own thing regarding housing with the ability to borrow as required and meet local needs. I could, go on.

    • Rodney, I agree with you that more needs to be done at the local level and there is a case for further supply-side reform. However, to kick start the economy requires urgent, massive, demand-side intervention, in my view. In this latter regard, some of China’s interventions provide a good example vision, strategy and execution – although I accept that China’s context is very different.

  6. Sad as it is for me to say it I find myself agreeing with the ineptitude part of what Polly Toynbee is saying.

    I say that as a Daily Telegraph reader since the age of 11 and a Conservative in philosophy since age 8 and as a Conservative voter since I was legally able to vote.

    I attend enough networking meetings and breakfast meetings, meet the buyer events and UKTI meetings to know that even in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire where I live and operate, the banks are failing to lend and that the official employment figures are completely bogus.

    We have a national shortage of 10.5 million houses yet within 2.5 miles of my house there are serried ranks of taxis outside Letchworth station and at least half of the drivers were once builders.
    This is the situation up and down the country yet under the present system we have 4.5 million illegal immigrants plus 250,000 new ones coming in legitimately every year.This is against a background of 16.5 million people out of work, including 6 million not counted who neither work officially or claim dole (the economically inactive), 2.5 million on incapacity benefit, 2.5 million officially unemployed,1.25 million NEETS(Not in Education, Employment or Training), 1 million in workfare or training program including “work experience” with people like Poundland who expect people to work for nothing and the rest including people who have been made redundant but are in receipt of severance pay(not counted), people forced off the register for not “actively seeking work (not counted), people who have registered small companies or re-registered companies who are operating as freelancers or interim managers (counted as creating new jobs with each new registration at Companies House, regardless of whether they are working or not).

    Whilst all this is going on the Government’s borrowing has increased yet they have done nothing to cut public expenditure.

    The obvious places to start are by reducing the number of local authorities, police authorities and fire commands to 12 for England and eliminating District Councils, Borough Councils and all the surplus Chief Executives, Chief Constables and Fire Chiefs.

    Local services should be outsourced to the private sector and procurement streamlined as per Sir Philip Green,s recommendations–Anything left should be subsumed into the enlarged county unitary authorities using a G-Biz tool.

    Then we need to freeze immigration and take steps through co-operation with other countries to reduce the UK population down to 35 million people in fairly short order.

    This needs to incorporate a solution for getting the numbers of Adult Social Care recipients without relatives transferred to warm countries where they can be looked after at affordable cost and reducing the weight of and re-enabling the rest wherever possible.

    The Coalition has done nothing to create export led growth (the number of multilingual export sales people needs to quadruple), nothing to create inward investment through linking growth to infrastructure bonds and citizenship, nothing to improve the competitiveness of the tax system so that billions stay offshore and nothing to foster enterprise or really force our state education system up from its 47th position to where it needs to be.

    China with a province of 100 million very poor people has decided that to leave them to their fate would be cruel and unfair so what they propose to do with them is relocate them all to more prosperous areas of the country which will be a massive undertaking. Our response to such problems in this country and the response of Ed Miliband’s moribund opposition is to pretend they do not exist and ignore the ones who inconveniently pop into view.

    The City of London has now been eclipsed by New York, will lose out if the EC has its way and is losing billions in wealth management funds as smart investors take themselves and their money to Singapore and Hong Kong.

    Peter Stringfellow who wrote an article about tax evasion and how to make us competitive again has it right and so does Boris Johnson, but the present Coalition and the opposition are a useless shower headed up by a man who needs to be put on his dog sled and dispatched to the UN where he can do no more harm here.

    • John, many thanks for sharing your detailed views here. I would certainly support most of your argument although we might differ a bit in the detail. The point is from your detailed summary it is possible to develop a vision, strategy and approach for execution. Sadly, I fear that the next election will see negative campaigning on an unprecedented scale, like in the US recently.

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