EVEN the most ardent supporter would have to admit that the government and Prime Minister have been through a difficult time over the last few weeks.
Was this due to some dynamic new policies from the Labour opposition? Absolutely not.
Sadly, it has to be admitted it has been of the government’s own making.
Poor presentation, inadequate explanation, ineptitude, ill-judgement, politically insensitive are all words that could justifiably be levelled at its performance recently.
It should always be remembered, however, that this is a coalition government and the Liberal Democrat part of it is, at best, unreliable, and at worst, treacherous, frequently seeking to undermine the Conservative majority. So how did the problems begin?
Initially, there was the proposal to re-define marriage to include same-sex couples. Of all the pressing matters the government has to attend to, this must rank as one of the least among the electorate.
In my view, matters took a turn for the worse for the Prime Minister and government following this proposal.
So we had the cash for access scandal, the debacle in the budget, the handling of the possible fuel strike and then the Culture Secretary affair. The advantage the Conservatives had in the poll ratings has evaporated.
Can the government recover? If it takes the right actions and for the following reasons I think it possibly will.
The idea to re-define marriage must be kicked into the long grass. Legislation needs making to provide a block for online pornography available to children, deal with bureaucratic red tape stifling businesses and proper cuts in public spending (not the mere shaves at present) need to be made.
More quangos must be abolished, no more loans to the IMF to prop up the failing Eurozone, plans prepared for when the Euro implodes, banks to substantially increase lending to small and medium businesses, public spending savings used to reduce taxes and boost spending on infrastructure.
These are some of the measures needed to get the economy moving and growing again.
Our biggest export market, Europe, is in ever increasing recession so an urgent, vigorous and concerted sales drive needs to be made into the emerging Latin America, near and Middle Eastern, Oriental and Antipodean markets.
Britain needs to get making more goods again and take back much of the manufacturing base that has been sacrificed since the 1960s.
That’s where the jobs for the future lies with less emphasis on academic, legal and financial professions.
All the opposition can do is attempt to criticise and decry.
It offers no alternatives or would-be solutions. Reason? It has not got any and Ed Miliband is no match for David Cameron at Prime Minister Questions.
To sum up, I think and hope there is every chance the Prime Minister and government will recover its position as the economic situation, albeit slowly (there is no quick fix) improves. There is no credible opposition and no realistic alternative.
The Prime Minister, however, needs to face down the clamour from Lib Dems and forge ahead with policies the nation would approve of and support – for example the repeal of Labour’s Human Rights and Equalities Acts, the establishment of a Bill of Rights, a statue ensuring parliament laws are sovereign and cannot be overruled or interfered with by an unelected European court and a thorough overhaul and culling of Health and Safety Regulations.
Castle Hill memories
WITH reference to Len Sandford’s letter regarding Castle Hill’s history, I can also remember these times clearly.
Everything was run on gas and there was no running water. The water was pumped up from a well outside the pub and in winter when the pump froze up we had to throw a bucket down the well.
I also cannot understand why people who have destroyed a great local landmark can be considered for permission to build another.
The landmark is lost forever. This was my home and playground for many years. Yes, Francis Fowler was my father and we lived there from 1954 until 1964 when Harry Bassett took over.
A meal with a view
MY advice to Len Sandford (Mailbag, May 8) is that if you decide to visit Castle Hill when the new hotel is built that you take a clothes peg to attach to your nose!
I could well be in there enjoying a meal with a glass of wine or a pint overlooking such a wonderful view, taking full advantage of those kitchens.
Let’s be free thinking
WITH reference to Ian Brooke, John Langford and Anarchist Individualist (Mailbag, May 10) concerning a dawning of political impotence and the nonchoice of choosing politicians to ‘serve’ us.
Brilliant and articulate letters of freethinkers who care very much for their communities – a refreshing change from entrenched political non-thinking drivel repeating the same old party line.
Think wider, very wide, a time when politicians have long since been replaced by a social website, real people making choices that affect them.
Making real choices that politicians could only dream of making.
Sure you would need safeguards and so on but issues would be scrutinised by a mass of self-correcting articulate thinkers instead of a self-serving career politician.
The will is out there to legalise commonsense in this country.
Free thinking is what we do well in this country, but politics tend to rule us because people refuse to think for themselves, instead resorting to the same old rhetoric and to celebrate our right to ‘choose’ our destiny with a cross on a piece of paper
Whitehall won’t listen
NICK Clegg’s call for government to give priority to manufacturing is a laudable and an honourable task, but unfortunately it will not work.
The reason? Government and especially ‘Whitehall’ does not listen to anyone else but themselves.
In the Blair years I together with 40 of the world’s leading minds that included eight Nobel Laureates advised the Department of Trade and Industry on competitiveness, innovation (the most important commodity that we have as a country) and the founding of the NESTA.
This worldwide eminent group advised in 1997 and 1998 that the UK should adopt an economic strategy based upon ‘high-tech export driven manufacturing’.
Exactly what Mr Clegg is saying today, but 15 years later. Therefore, I can tell Mr Clegg from this experience that senior civil servants do not listen and just do as they wish to do.
It’s just another exercise to them but the future ramifications for the people of the UK is immense.
The problem, as it will be today, is that the so-called ‘20-something whiz-kids’ in Whitehall had no a clue up to assistant director level.
They were supposedly the best from Oxford and Cambridge but what they lacked most of all was business experience and the ways of the world.
Only theory came out of their heads, for that is all they had to offer.
You may ask why are these assistant directors so important?
The answer is that they are the highest ‘doers’ in Whitehall and it is their analysis and reports that ministers base their decisions on.
What did the Nobel Laureates and the other leading minds make of all this?
They simply said at the end of the two years that they had been wasting their time.
Therefore, my advice to Mr Clegg is to get real advisers advising government and not the Whitehall elite who think they know best but clearly the last decade and a half has proved they do not.
Only then may he get somewhere, but if he keeps the status quo in Whitehall it will lead him and thus the country to nowhere and possible ruin again.
Our young deserve a great deal better for these unseen senior civil servants are constantly dabbling with their futures and will get it so terribly wrong again.
Therefore, I say to Mr Clegg, use your intelligence and sort out Whitehall for that is where a great deal of the nation’s dire problems emanate in reality.
Dr David Hill, Golcar
Chief Executive, World Innovation Foundation