Saturday, April 19, 2008

Bit Late For Tears

Is it just me or is the spectacle of a series of Labour Ministers not quite resigning over a policy that they were cheering about on its announcement over a year ago faintly ridiculous and unedifying?

In the last budget that he delivered, Gordon Brown announced a headline 'tax cut' to great cheers from the Labour benches. Cutting the headline rate by 2p was paid for by scrapping the 10p tax bracket payable on the first £2,230 of taxable earnings. Of course commentators saw further than the back-slapping backbenchers, understanding that this would have a disproportionate effect on the less well-off. 5.3 million families will be affected by this change that has just come into effect with one in five families being worse off by anything up to £464 each year. Gordon explained it away as simplifying the tax system, despite the fact that he had introduced this extra tax bracket himself a few years before.

Smug Labour MPs looking forward to an autumn election have turned into a cynical bunch of politicians staring at the abyss. Seventy of these people have signed an Early Day Motion objecting to the move, some junior ministers have taken the commanding step that must make their constituents proud, of writing to the Prime Minister. Angela Smith, PPS to Yvette Cooper, resigned, spoke to Gordon who interrupted his photoshoot with the various presidential
hopefuls in the US and promptly caught the bottling bug explaining that 'resigning her position was not envisaged.' I love hate to say "I told you so!"

We are standing on the edge of an economic precipice. Trust Gordon Brown to want to push us forward. See you at the bottom.


Useless Tories said...

If anyone wishes to vote for a candidate who genuinely... his own man (unlike Boris).

...has effective policies (unlike Boris). prepared to stand up to Brussels' taking money and legislative power away from the capital (unlike Boris).

...has not gagged by his party leader (unlike Boris).

...wishes to stand up for Londoners and save taxpayer's money (unlike Boris).

...has not been having his campaign run on soundbites by his team of spin doctors and media managers (unlike Boris)

Then take a look at the following link:

Vote UKIP on May 1st!!!
Gerrard Batten for London Mayor!!!

Scully said...

Now Mr Tories, there's a whole load of posts on this blog about the London Election. This isn't one of them. Nonetheless I am interested in who you will be giving your second preference vote to since it is somewhat unlikely that despite your best efforts, UKIP will get through to the final run-off.

Cllr Barry Russell said...


I think it is a fair bet that you have a better chance against Steve O'connell than Gerald has against Boris or Ken!!

Good luck on May 1 I no doubt will see you out and about.


(Whenever I hear of "Gerald" I cannot help remembering the talking Gorilla on 'Not The Nine O'Clock News' - A very unfortunate link I know you will agree!)

Cllr David Pickles said...

Barry - it's GERARD not GERALD. Can't the Tories even get a name right?

Scully said...

I'm not aware that it is Tory policy to get the UKIP Mayoral candidate's name wrong. The only concerted change of name is for the present incumbent, Ken Leavingsoon.

Any back on topic, what do you think about these Labour Ministers who are messing around by in announcing that they are so appalled by Brown's treatment of the poor that they won't be resigning (surely that should be would be resigning, Ed.)

Cllr David Pickles said...

Paul - I agree wholeheartedly. It's a disgusting state of affairs cutting out the 10p band, then parading a "tax cut" from 22p to
20p. Firstly it has cut tax relief on those of us paying into private pensions, secondly it has cut the value of councillors allowances if it is one's only income (in my case it is), and thirdly it beggars belief that this has come from a "Labour" government who Livingstone now conveniently represents. Perhaps he will have a change of heart at the last minute and go "independent" again! You couldn't make it up.

For what it's worth, I think Boris will win easily, and I'm hoping that those who vote for him ensure a right-of-centre presence by giving Gerard their second preference vote. I of course will be giving Gerard my first vote as a member of UKIP.

Stranger things have happened but a tory-UKIP alliance in London wouldn't be such a bad thing.

Scully said...

Interesting theory, but my understanding is that you're targeting the wrong election. As far as I am aware only the second preferences of the candidates that do not make it into the final run off are counted. Thus if, as expected Boris and Ken are the final two, then their supporters' second preferences would not affect anything.

I'm not as confident as you in thinking that Boris will win easily, instead believing that it will be close, with Boris edging it if people translate their obvious enthusiasm for change, into a trip to the polling station.

Scully said...


You are right that the tax change beggars belief. The 2007 budget that was supposed to be Gordon Brown's final gift to the people has unravelled in spectacular fashion. I cannot remember a time when the government's own members have clamoured for so many reversals. The fracas around the withdrawal of the ten pence tax band comes hot on the heels of changes to Capital Gains Taxes that failed to attract any support from business and the treatment of non-doms. What next?

Cllr Barry Russell said...


What an appalling error on my part!

I have written to Gerald apologising unreservedly.

I note that Mr Batten's website now refers to him as 'Gerard'. I think this is a wise move.



Cllr Barry Russell said...


On a more serous note. A Unison representative has just been interviewed on a news item. This is a very powerful union that is traditionally strongly behind the current government. The interviewee was very unambiguous in his contemnation of the abolition of the 10% tax band.

If we are moving in to a period of economic slowdaown with a sharp correction in house prices (which I think we are), then the lower paid will be particularly badly effected.


(David I am concerned to hear that your councillors allowance is now your only income. Are you no longer dancing at Spermint Rhino?)

Cllr David Pickles said...

Barry - no I dance at SPEARMINT Rhino - not SPERMINT Rhino!

Has that anything to do with the spunk I have shown over the years? LOL!

Cllr David Pickles said...

On a serious note - I have asked whoever "Scullduggery watch" is on his/her website/blog who he/she actually is, and was greeted with a verbal attack telling me it was "none of my business".

Now, I have no love left for the Tories, as it was my choice to leave that party (although politically the Tories left me and not them), to join UKIP, but I do expect to be accorded the respect that a councillor earns when discussing things on blogs.

I have asked "scullduggery watch" if he/she would kindly at least reveal some clues to his/her identity and have been met with a blank. Is there anyone out there who can assist?

I would fully expect whoever it is (who claims to be a full and current member of the tory party) to be reading this blog also, so therefore I would expect some sort of reply here in due course.

David said...

There was an instance at a school lately when the teacher asked the class what their fathers did for a living. Young James responded "My dad works at Spearmint Rhino as a dancer, if he gets lucky he gets to perform favours for the clients"
"Is that true?" the teacher asked
"Not really" James said "He is really one of Gordon Browns financial team but is too ashamed to admit it"

scotty said...

Thats a good one david, made me chuckle.

Councillor Pickles you say you "do expect to be accorded the respect that a councillor earns when discussing things on blogs" but sometimes your comments are more than a little rude and insulting on this blog.

Before you go off on one, this is not an attack on you just an observation would you accept that criticism?

cllr david pickles said...

scotty - of course! There's nothing like a good old ding dong!

scotty nugent said...

I like a ding dong myself but surely its could be read as hypocritical to condemn others for something we do ourself.Do you agree, councillor?

cllr david pickles said...

In what respect Mr Nugent? Everybody is guilty of being a hypocrite from time to time - none more so than politicans.

Unfortunately some are more guilty than others.