Tag Archives: UK politics

Daily Headline – 16/04/13

Government hiding true Thatcher funeral costs

Ding Dong the Thatcher witch is deadFrom The Guardian:

The Labour MP John Healey, the former housing minister who boycotted last week’s parliamentary tributes to Thatcher, said military personnel and policing costs were likely to be a large part of the taxpayers’ bill. “The public have a right to see a full account of the costs of the funeral. Any attempt to cover up part of the costs of this funeral is indefensible and likely to be unsustainable.

“This is a state funeral in all but name without the consent of parliament for funding and without the consent of the people. Churchill, who was the only PM over the past 100 years to have a state funeral, unified the country, while Margaret Thatcher divided it.”

George Galloway, the Respect MP, is due to try and force a commons vote to prevent the cancellation of prime minister’s questions to allow MPs to attend the funeral. He told BBC2’s Daily Politics: “We’re spending £10m on the canonisation of this wicked woman, this woman who laid waste to industrial Britain, to the north, to Scotland, to south Wales. We’ve already had the recall of parliament last week, with MPs being paid up to £3,700 to fly back from the Caribbean holiday that they were on and then fly back to start their holiday again, for a totally unnecessary fawning over this woman. And now they want to cancel prime minister’s questions. It’s absurd.”

The scale and the cost to the taxpayer of the funeral has been criticised by public figures including the Bishop of Grantham, Lord Prescott and George Galloway. It has been widely reported that the event will cost £10m. Previous ceremonial funerals have included “opportunity costs”, which would have been incurred anyway if staff were assigned to other operations.

The Queen Mother’s funeral – the last grand ceremonial funeral in Britain – cost £8.16m to the public purse, according the Guardian’s calculations. Policing cost the Metropolitan Police £4.3m of which £2.3m was defined as “opportunity costs”.

UK Greens call for rail renationalisation

From the Green Party of England & Wales:

Green Party of England and WalesGREEN Party leader Natalie Bennett has called for the renationalisation of the nation’s railways, as she backed a campaign to stop rocketing ticket prices forcing people to stay at home – or into cars.

Ms Bennett, who will be taking part in the national Love Trains – Hate High Fares demonstrations this Thursday (Feb 14), said that the Green Party was supporting the campaign to renationalise our railways.

She said: “Privatisation has been disastrous for the rail system. It has failed on every possible criteria.

“One of those is clearly high fares. I’m delighted to support this event, as the cost of tickets has increased shockingly. Prices have increased in many cases by more than three times the cost of living. It’s forcing travellers off the trains, and putting huge strain on household budgets also under pressure from rising food, energy and housing costs.”

Since our rail service was privatised in 1993, some rail journeys, including London to Manchester, the cost of which has risen by 208 per cent, London to Exeter (205 per cent) and London to Cardiff (196 per cent) have increased in price by a rate that dwarfs the increase in the overall cost of living, the Retail Price Index, which has gone up just 66 per cent over the same period.

Rail fares in England were famously the most expensive in Europe – in many cases ten times those elsewhere in the EU for journeys of the same distance – even before the Coalition allowed a further increase in January this year, and Ms Bennett called for an end to the failed privatisation experiment.

She said: “Renationalisation can help bring prices back down and help people get back on the trains. Private companies’ priority is profit, not services, and they are taking huge profits out of the rail system, at the expense of all of us who use them.

“Ticket prices are making it impossible for many to use the trains. It stops families and friends getting together and even stops people taking jobs because the cost of travel is so high.

“Environmentally, it’s vital, too. The Green Party wants to make in all areas of life the environmentally friendly choice the cheapest, simplest and most convenient option. We should work to ensure rail travel is always be cheaper than driving.”

UK; Liberal Democrat collapse splits voters 50/50 left to right

By Leon J Williams

British left-right flagBased on an Eastleigh by-election opinion poll the Lib Dems will lose 16% with Labour gaining 9% and UKIP gaining 9%.

Although we make no mistake in that Labour is of course not ‘left’ that is still part of their image with the UK public.

The full breakdown of the opinion poll is as follows:

CON 34% (-5), LAB 19% (+9%), LDEM 31% (-16), UKIP 13% (+9%)

Of course Eastleigh is/was a firm Lib Dem seat which they now look set to lose and Labour’s national outlook would bring them into power at the next general election.

So although we can dismiss some of this information a Lib Dem voter collapse does look likely in the national picture which will mostly benefit labour but if 50% does go to the right, will the beneficiaries be UKIP or Conservative?

Why Labour?

The electorate, after the Nick Clegg/Lib Dem hopes and betrayal fiasco will largely return to who they voted for before (Labour). This is due to a few reasons such as ‘better the devil you know’, voter apathy and voter tradition.

As I have mentioned before there is really only one genuine ‘left’ party in the UK, the Green Party of England & Wales.
Although their national polls are estimated to increase, we’re only talking about 1%.

Large swathes of the UK electorate have no confidence that genuine change can occur via the ballot which was reinforced with the Lib Dem situation and only really serves to benefit the status quo with Labour and Conservative eternally vying for power.