Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Miliband’s muddled thinking could cost Labour

Ed’s really dropped the ball these last few weeks hasn’t he? A few weeks ago the man was almost Prime Minister in waiting, now all of sudden he back to the ‘hmmmmm’ section.

The truth is from clarity and a position of strength, Ed and his team appear to have eaten too many Easter Eggs and dozed off.
He has allowed Cameron to dominate the welfare debate, to take the lead and use Thatcher’s death as a promotional tool for the Conservative Party and crucially, got his election strategy in a muddle.

Are Labour simply aiming for the 35 per cent mark in the polls, shoring up their core votes and hope a UKIP/Conservative bun fight hands them the keys to 10 Downing Street?

Or are they truly One Nation Labour, a party which picks up votes from ALL its rivals to command 40 plus per cent of the vote and a commanding House of Commons majority?

The truth of the matter is we don’t know and Miliband’s fight with Tony Blair only served to heighten tensions.

Labour’s relationship with Blair puzzles me, the man won three general elections yet to many he has become the anti-christ.

Over in America, Bill Clinton won two elections for the Democrats, embroiled himself in an almighty sex scandal yet is revered by the party and is now the elder statesman.

Ed has to realise he’s won the internal battle, his brother has gone, he now has to win the war. I am not suggesting for any moment he becomes son of Blair but he needs to reach out to him.

Recognise what Blair did for the party and for the country and move Labour as a whole into the new world he talks of. At the moment only his supporters are coming with him, the Blairites are sulking.
Two more years of that though and Labour can kiss the country goodbye, a united Labour is the only way to destroy the sham marriage that is this coalition Government.

Ed is right not to spill detailed policy when pushed in a silly little interview from Nick Robinson, but the Beeb’s political editor is starting to bark up the right tree. The media’s eyes are on Labour to see what they will offer, it’s time to begin to feed the press pack.

The local elections soon will offer a guide to see how Labour is doing nationally but shouldn’t be taken as a finite view of the party at the moment.

Why? Because Labour were hammered in these elections in 2009 and once on the canvas you have to pick yourself up first before you win the fight....

Monday, 22 April 2013

In praise of Sir Alex – from an Arsenal fan!

I never thought I would blog my admiration for Sir Alex Ferguson because as an Arsenal fan I have rejoiced in not only beating Manchester United to three league titles but beating HIM to three league titles.

But as his side wrapped up their 20th league title and 13th in the last 21 seasons, it’s time for me to put finger to keyboard and express my admiration for Britain’s greatest manager.

Quite simply, this year’s title is an amazing achievement considering the events of May 2012 when, for around two minutes, Fergie and his charges thought they had won the title.....

Then AGUERRRRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO happened and the silverware was popped in a Pickfords van and taken across Manchester.

Lesser clubs would have crumbled, faded from view, not United. Why? Because they have Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm.

Watching the Govan guvnor this season has been to watch a man in need of revenge as coldly and as brutally as possible. How best to silence the Blue lot from across the city? Simple, win the league by as many points as possible!

United have been relentless this season and turned what was only a two horse race (once Chelsea sacked Di Matteo) into a solo charge to the Etihad to take the trophy and restore it to what they believe is its rightful place at Old Trafford.

One man made that happen – Fergie. You get the sense that the morning after City won it, he was already planning how they would get it back and the manner they would do it.

I have been lucky to watch Fergie become the best in the business, from the first title in 1993 to the his 13th in 2013.

Where there was once scorn and at times hatred there is now admiration, to keep a team at the top for so long, for the courage to kick out big names, for the reinvention to keep United where they are, he deserves our respect.

This is a man who kicked out Stam, Beckham, Van Nistelrooy and even Keane using the oldest adage in the game – no one is bigger than the team.

That approach has served him well, ripping up and starting again doesn’t scare Fergie and I often wonder how good he is at chess because the man seems to always think two moves ahead.

What impresses me is the man has the thirst to succeed, to win trophies and put bums on seats that way. How I yearn for that with Arsene Wenger and Arsenal!!

I hope my team applauds the champions on to the pitch on Sunday, they have fought the battles and deserve acceptance onto the field the next time they enter.

All of them except a certain money grabbing Dutchman............

Congratulations to you Sir Alex and to your United team, once again fitting champions of our Premier League.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Thatcher – the conviction politician who divided the nation

I have thought long and hard about writing this because it seems people do lose perspective when reading about the late Baroness Thatcher.

So let me make some points at the very outset, I disagree with a lot of what Thatcher did in this country, I grew up in the 80s and saw how she polarised opinion even then.

Many people my age probably saw their mothers and fathers express strong opinions about Thatcher and refuse to ever vote Conservative as a result.

Although I do read all the manifestos at election time, I haven’t voted Conservative since I was allowed to vote and I suspect a lot of that is deep down I still don’t trust the party.

She divided the nation and the originator of divide and rule politics, pitting poor against rich, unions against bosses and even her own MPs against each other.

Thatcher also brought in the poll tax, something which the Conservatives may still be paying the price for even now.

And in the end, it was she who cost herself the top job in British politics by waging war against people in her own party, she was amazed when they then turned the knife on her!

All that being said, I won’t celebrate her death, buy a silly little song or protest against a woman who ceased to have direct influence on Britain 23 years before her death.

To celebrate any death is vulgar, at the end of the day, whatever your opinion of her, her life has now passed.

The protest song buying is ridiculous, at the end of day we can never complain our music charts are not relevant again when we ourselves abuse the system with stupid little stunts like this.

And finally, protests! Two problems , one the woman was Prime Minister in 1990 and has had no direct control on British life since then.

Secondly, some of those protesting over the weekend were not even born when Baroness Thatcher LEFT office!

As I said, did not like the woman, did not like her politics or policies but the fact is I would sooner have her back as Prime Minister than the current PM.

Whether it was right or wrong decision, Thatcher stood by it and that deserves respect. Are you really saying you prefer the u-turning Cameron to the lady who was not for turning?

Secondly, she died as still the only female British Prime Minister in the long history of this little island.

Rather than protest after her demise shouldn’t we look at the reasons why she still held that record two decades after she left office?

She is buried tomorrow, we as a nation should move on.

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Philpott reaction shows how low some have sunk

So Mick Philpott is found guilty of the manslaughter of six of his children and it was all to do with the benefits he was receiving, nothing else, nada, zip, none.

The filth being peddled by some on social media, in politics, on radio and television and in print on blogs such as these shows how vile, abhorrent and hideous some of us have become in ‘Austerity Britain’.

This is not an attack on politicians like Osborne, the only comment I would make to them is in situations like this silence is golden.

But make no bones about it, Mick Philpott didn’t commit manslaughter because of the welfare system in the UK.

He committed that as a final act of pure evil after a string of hideous crimes, some of which have been glossed over in the bid to continue to dismantle our welfare state.

The previous blog made the case for the welfare state to be mended to weed out the abusers like Philpott and not dismantled to penalise those in genuine need.

The truth is we as a society should be horrified at what happened in Victory Road, Derby – not for the welfare claims, but that a vile ogre got away with so much for so long.

Let’s look at the FACTS – this man was married to a woman, who bore his children but Mick had a mistress in the same house who did the same.

Not only that but Philpott boasted about the fact on numerous occasions – where is the condemnation for his treatment of women as let’s face it – meat.

While we are on that subject, Philpott once stabbed an ex 13 times because she left him, why aren’t people in power and influence speaking about this?

One final, sickening, disgraceful and just awful fact – Philpott even wrote a letter saying he and his wife would go to their children’s graves and ‘rape’ each other.

Why oh why won’t we stand up and realise this trial was of a sick, sex-crazed, woman-hating, vile scumbag who stopped at nothing to get what he wanted.

Not even the innocence of six young children, already unfortunate to have been born to such a vulgar man, was enough to stop Philpott.

Remember that if you think about applauding Osborne’s comments, if you buy the Daily Mail, if you read Conservative supporting blogs.

This is not about the welfare state, it’s about a man who used and abused women and stole the lives of children he helped create.

I hope in time our society will realise Philpott should not be held up as the ‘anti-welfare poster boy’.

He needs to be condemned like Huntley, like Shipman and like Hindley and Brady as what he is and they were – cold-blooded killers.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Osborne’s scattergun approach will cost the Tories dear.

George Osborne is right to tackle the welfare system in this country. The Chancellor ought to bE hailed as the first to right a system which has gone so wrong in past 20 years.

BUT he has already messed it up completely and in the process will probably have cost the Tories another decade out of the power.

Why? Because he has bracketed everyone who needs the help of the welfare state as scroungers, ne’er do wells and lazy, feckless residents of ‘Broken Britain’.

The Conservatives think when they utter the line ‘Doing the right thing’ everyone in Britain will nod and think ‘Bravo, it’s time the Government did something’.

But because this Government’s message and way of delivery is so pathetically bad, George Osborne and the Prime Minister come across as out of touch, arrogant, posh boys.

Is the young father, laid off from his job and now competing with 30/40 other people for work a scrounger because he claims jobseekers allowance to provide for his girlfriend/fiancée and their young baby? No, yet in the Conservative view he seemingly is.

What about the woman, left disabled after an accident at work or with crippling arthritis or two knee replacements who claims disability living allowance? Scrounger? Yes if you are Osborne or Cameron.

The welfare system, I believe, is something we can be proud of because I don’t know of another country which helps those people WHO TRULY NEED IT!

And that is where we have gone wrong, all Governments and we the people, we have let once fabulous system be abused by feckless mothers and fathers, lazy men and women and downright liars.

Young lads and girls now grow up in some areas of the UK and make babies as soon as nature allows ‘to get benefits’.

Teenagers sail through life, drop out of school and refuse to work because they know they are guaranteed a benefit as long as they say the right things.

And most criminally, adults use ‘medical’ conditions to avoid work and live off the state. Mental health issues and physiological concerns are all used to avoid work and live off benefits.

THOSE are the people you should target Mr Osborne, THOSE are the true scroungers in life, THOSE are the people who have ‘Broken Britain’.

Instead you pursue a poorly delivered, arrogant and downright vulgar line of attack which brackets the desperate for a job with the cannabis smoking teenage lad with four kids at the age of 18.

I have been tremendously lucky to never need the welfare state, I got an education, I worked in part time jobs before this one which has luckily kept me occupied for almost nine years.

I am not saying this because I am perfect, very far from it. I have just been lucky to have never needed any help from the state.

Not everyone is like me George, hard working people lose their jobs when the economy is as weak as ours is at the moment.

Please don’t add to the mess by branding them scroungers because those sort of people don’t want the state to help – it’s a last resort.

Today’s unemployed person on benefits but desperate for a job is tomorrow’s builder of a new economy.

Ironically, the sort of thought which could keep you out of the job centre come 2015 eh George?