THE inadequacies of politicians are often more obvious than their merits. Despite being elected three times on the trot, Tony Blair appears destined to be more criticised than praised.
The man made mistakes, but a predominantly Tory-supporting media has succeeded in persuading many that there was nothing positive. Propaganda has largely overtaken reality. Issues about questionable wars dominate to this day while recent economic disasters are apparently the fault of ‘the last Labour government’.
Labour were far from perfect and with unelectable Gordon Brown as their last leader any chance of retaining power was a forlorn hope.
However, to saddle them with the catastrophic failure of world banking’s practices is a bit rich. How Labour ‘succeeded’ in bringing about the Ireland and Greek financial crises is a mystery while the mighty USA and even the illustrious Germany aren’t exactly devoid of financial woes.
Now we have the new politics of a Coalition with all the answers before taking power, a different set of answers once in power and two supposedly different political outlooks marketing themselves as saviours.
As the weeks have passed this strange attempt to stage manage acceptance has repeatedly resulted in poorly prepared, questionable remedies for the country’s woes.
Soundbite pronouncements turn sour as closer analysis reveals fundamental flaws. The removal of child benefit from higher rate tax payers – but not couples jointly earning up to £80,000 – increased hours requirements to qualify for working credits and dramatic conditions for so called social housing are among them.
Equally, the promised £140 state pension now transpires into only applying to new pensioners from 2015, so potentially 30 more years of the much maligned pension credit bureaucracy and current pensioners being conned. Which comedians are writing this script?
I must be missing something in respect of folk in social housing who, apparently, will have to cough up significantly more to rent. Of course, they can get out of this by the option of buying property ... with what?
In the meantime, David Cameron uses public money to employ a personal photographer plus a personal assistant for his wife.
The Coalition government can only be truly assessed at some point in the future. However, inadequacy and dogma may well make a poor situation even worse. In the meantime, the Tories will achieve their long held goal of dismantling much of the welfare state while the Lib Dem stooges will wrestle their dilemma of playing a poor second fiddle. As each day passes it’s becoming obvious our coalition government has a serious lack of understanding on many things.
SHORT are the memories of our Labour-supporting friends like Daisy Feldman who wrote in the Examiner on November 20 complaining about Government cuts.
Remember the present Labour opposition is made up of most of the same MPs who drove the Great British Car into the mother of all car-crashes.
It is only six months ago that Labour refused to rule out increasing VAT and refused to say how they would repair the huge damage their massive profligacy has caused.
It is not much longer ago that the hapless Gordon Brown decreed ‘the end of boom and bust’.
Though having said that, he seems to have had more foresight than he has been credited for – nowadays we only seem to have bust.
Labour has started to refer again to Mrs Thatcher. They should not forget that it was Mrs Thatcher’s government that took us out of the ERM, the forerunner of the Euro, without which UK plc would today be a similar case to Eire.
Whingeing about real or imagined happenings of the past is solving nothing.
It’s time Labour put its back to the national wheel and stopped being a sulky loser.
‘Prison camp’ park
UNLESS the railings surrounding Greenhead Park are to be electrified and covered in barbed wire it will be very hard to stop people getting into the park at night if that’s what they want to do.
All parks should have community police patrolling so those of us who try to enjoy the surroundings can be left in peace.
The amount of money being spent on alterations should make the park look something special, but the fear is that damage will still take place late at night.
Most local parks are a shadow of their former selves and once were a credit to our town.
So many are now being protected by railings, especially round bowling greens, that the former open spaces are now no-go areas.
Cost of railings
WITH regard to your correspondent Manjit Singh (‘Ring Fenced Cash’, November 18), it’s a fair point about keeping the cost of home care down – but he is incorrect about the Greenhead Park railings.
The cost of the railings would have been considerably less if it had been a fence instead of mild steel.
The original cast iron railings were removed for the Second World War needs.
These would have been replicated but for the high costs involved, ideally two metres high, not 1½.
Ironically, if two metre cast iron railings had been approved, Manjit’s £1m estimate would have been about right. Then the total cost would have been about £750,000.
Yes, it is only a park and when they excavated the lake they hoped to find gold but alas only found clay. There will be no entrance fee into the park though someone on our cash-strapped council might be considering it.
This is a £5.4m regeneration plan funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Kirklees Council. Kirklees’ contribution mostly covers the 10-year maintenance plan once the works are complete. Railings and gates will go some way to making a safer, secure park.
Money for large loan
THE previous Labour government proposed to loan £80m to Forgemasters of Sheffield.
This loan would have secured jobs and made Forgemasters a leading world player in nuclear power technology.
Along comes the Coalition Government and Mr Nick Clegg says that the loan is stopped because it is unaffordable.
Now we are told by money experts that when the Irish government asks the European Union for a bailout to sort out theirs and its banking system’s debts that Britain will be loaning somewhere in the region of £7bn.
It seems strange that a loan of £80m is unaffordable when £7bn is easily forthcoming.
What’s in a name
I FIND it difficult to understand how anyone could justify overnight accommodation in Manchester on council business.
Discounting that particular concern, the other issue is that of the job titles of the various people involved in this questionable use of public money. Barry Gibson (Examiner, November 17) defended one of the officers in his column.
He may be quite correct in what he says. I would not know the value or contribution of this person, however I equally I have no comprehension of what this person does. The job title of this and other officers involved is utter drivel.
It may well be that their expertise, ability and contribution is such that the 30 minutes travel time saved by staying in a hotel is an absolute bargain for Kirklees. However, the people funding it would struggle to know from the position title.
Many years ago in the USA I was given a small card called a Buzz Word Generator the size of a credit card. It listed and randomly mixed 200 different buzz words popular at the time and typically your response sounded informed and knowledgeable.
They were, of course, complete nonsense but I can’t help but wonder if someone in Kirklees is using one. If people could understand the titles they may be less suspicious of the value of the work and responsibility involved.
P G Sanderson
IT seems that Strictly Come Dancing has become a virtual travel programme.
For some reason, in the annoying reality TV idiom, almost every contestant seems to perceive themselves to be on an amazing, awesome or incredible ‘journey’.
Ann Widdecombe is the exception. She seems to be simply out to enjoy herself in retirement. When recently questioned about her ‘journey’ she aptly said: “For goodness sake, its just dancing!’’
LORD Young is somewhat of a rarity – a Tory politician that tells it as it is.
He has shown how much contempt the moneyed classes have for us at the other end of the spectrum.
Timing is everything
THE reaction to Lord Young’s speech regarding well-off Britain has proved the point that the timing of a speech can be of more significance than its contents.
Had Lord Young made this speech four years from now with a General Election on the horizon it would have been welcomed across the Tory ranks. On the other hand, had he made his speech in April of this year just prior to the General Election he would have been fleeing from a Tory lynching party.
J T Pinder
Thanks to nurses
MAY I praise the nurses who happened to be in the audience when my husband collapsed during the Haydn Wood Festival concert on November 6.
My family and I were extremely grateful for their assistance and also the attention given by the staff and ambulance service.
Thanks to all of you.