Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Those unfunded pensions.

The state employs, give or take, after Gordon Brown's lunatic handling of the economy about half the people in the workforce. Many of these people are on unfunded final salary pension schemes. What people who want to suggest that "we're broke" do, is add the net present value of some 20m public sector pension liabilties and tack that onto the National debt. Then they add the banks (at an effective value of the assetts of Zero) and suggest that we're much, much worse than any other country in the world.

Now what I am about to say is not to defend Gordon Brown's idiocy. He took the Deficit to 12% of GDP, and that is utterly unsustainable and probably criminal. But even at this rate, given Japan's example, we could keep going for a several years before the shit hit the fan. When a quarter of Government spending is borrowed, you do not need to make stuff up to make it appear that we're in a mess. The fact is that the UK started the Noughties with the lowest share of public debt as a proportion of GDP in the developed world. Because of Browns tax rises since 1997, and sticking to Tory spending plans, he took Debt:GDP from a creditable 43% to an excellent 30% by 2000.

Since then, he's spent with the care and concern of a man urinating after 13 pints. That is not in dispute. The speed at which the debt is increasing is the issue. Not its absolute size, which for the UK remains lower as a percentage of GDP than Germany (though we will overtake them soon) France, Italy, the USA and the outlier on the list, which does not have a AAA rating, Japan.

I digress. People with an axe to grind often whack a number they claim is the unfunded public pension liability, and another "the cost of the bail out". Both are meaningless.

The banks are financial assets on which the state is likely to make a return. They certainly are not going to lose everything they invested. To add that to the debt makes no sense at all. Unfunded pensions are more complicated.

Why are pensions unfunded? For the simple reason that a manager of a pension pot of the scale nessesary to fund the civil service superannuation scheme would wield more power than the Chancellor, and probably more power than that of the Prime-Minister too.

So the 'liabilities' have become just another ongoing cost of employing existing civil servants. To add a net present value (what's the discount rate going to be? how are you forecasting indexation?) is to apply a meaningless number to a problem that isn't there. There is no rating, the cost doesn't go up or down with the country's Credit rating. It is not ever going to be called in one go. It is an annual cost built into budget forecasts. No country in the world puts a value on the unfunded pension liabilties of public sector workers, nor does any country "fund" such a scheme (except Norway, but they're a special case with options not open to the rest of the world). Public sector pensions are paid everywhere out of General taxation. My guess is in the event of a severe budgetary crisis, it will be the welfare junkies who can work who will feel the pinch, not the pensioners, who can't.

To whack it onto the national debt just demonstrates ignorance. There are major problems with the state's finances. Public sector pensions just aren't one of them.

Of course if you wanted funded pensions, the only way to do it would be to have personal pensions for everyone and ban final salary schemes. But that would simply add another burden to the Generation that's already paying off Gordon Brown's legacy. That of course is an issue for another post.



Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Protest in Parliament Square.

There's a bit of talk around the place about whether protesters should be cleared from Parliament square. Iain Dale thinks they should be. And predictably Old Holborn thinks they shouldn't be.

The Libertarian in me hates any state (by this, I mean specifically the police) activity which arrests anybody who isn't causing anyone harm. However, the right to protest does not include the right to set up a squatters' camp opposite parliament. The right to protest does not include a right to erect shelter on land which does not belong to you, for which you're not paying for the right to use. So Brian Haw has been arrested again. And I am heartily sick of the sight of him, and have been for a while.

Whilst I would never deny him, or anyone else the right to protest, I feel is is within the rights of the state to deny him the right to erect a tent or more permanent structure on land he doesn't own. Limit idiots who want to call the Iraq war "illegal" (it wasn't) to a sandwich board and placard each, and see how long their protest lasts if they're exposed to the weather.

Because there are other people who might want to protest in Parliament square occasionally, which is a bit difficult if the Socialist Worker (I recognise that font anywhere) has monopolised the entire frontage of the south side of the lawn in perpetuity. Perhaps the police have been heavy handed, but British fair play and all that. Brian, you've had your say, now fuck off.



"The EU Should Issue Debt Jointly"

The international economic system is full of stabilizing feedback loops.

If your economy is weak, you will export less, your foreign reserves will fall, your currency will weaken, making your exports more attractive, meaning you export more, pouring money into reserves, strengthening your currency and so on... If your economy is strong, your inflation rises causing higher interest rates, which makes your currency more attractive to foreign reserve holders so it strengthens. This makes your exports less attractive causing exports to fall and so on...

Look at what both these examples rely on: Yes! A freely floating currency and domestic control of interest rates. And look at what is happening to Greece (and is about to happen to Spain). They cannot control their currency, and therefore suffer disproportionately when they have the wrong interest rate and currency level. Of course, in both these countries, and in Greece especially, they've had Socialist Governments for most of the last 40 years, the centre right only managing to win consistently in the 90s. This means a bloated state bureaucracy and rampant government spending. And of course, since Greece joined the Euro in 2002, both the centre Right and Pan Hellenic Socialist movement have had the ability to borrow at a rate subsidised by the mighty German economy.

I TOLD YOU SO

For those of us who ALWAYS regarded the Euro as a stupid thing to recommend for anyone outside the Franco-German-Benelux core, the problems of Greece should stand as a warning to anyone recommending it in the future.

And if you add to the idiocy of removing the automatic stabilizers of currency fluctuation to the idiocy of Socialist government to whom you give the temptation of nearly free money, OF COURSE YOU'RE GOING TO GO BANKRUPT.

Schadenfreude is not pleasant to see, but if the misery the Greeks are feeling now can serve as a warning to Europhiles to prevent them advocating UK ever going into the Euro, I shall indulge in it a bit. And if the queues of Jobless in Greece and Spain lead to unrest, then perhaps that should serve as a warning to the UK electorate. And maybe the British Government will get on with firing the parasites in the public sector (no, not the sainted Nurses 'n Teachers - I'm talking about the worthless box-tickers, the prod-noses, the diversity outreach co-ordinators, the 5-a-day workers, the Quangocrats, the Fake-Charity wallahs) to prevent the same happening here.

Britain is NOT Greece. Our National Debt, measured as a balance outstanding as a percentage of GDP is one of the smallest in the developed world. Though our deficit is large, we are still able to borrow Long-term, and we also have the longest-dated national debt in the OECD. Furthermore, Sterling is a major currency which floats freely. We have time to sort out the catastrophic mess left by our last Lunatic government.

Today a low-grade Bank Clerk called Herbert Van Rumpy-Pumpy or something like that suggested that "EU countries should issue debt jointly". Basically that allows socialist lunatics in Greece to spend even more of German tax-payers money (ie that earned by Germans not yet born) than they do already.

We are NOT in Greece's position in part because of the economic policies of the Thatcher Major years to pay down the National debt (which stood at just 45% of GDP in 1997 and fell to 30% by 2000, as Brown stuck to Tory spending plans), in part because a well-developed financial sector provides a market for all that Government borrowing and in part because we're not in the Euro. A Liberal Conservative Government is fixing it, and the federast Lib-Dems have realised that 'Europe' is a tough sell right now. Remember this; and don't let socialist europhiles ruin it. Again.



Monday, 24 May 2010

Those BA Stirkes

Now the issue as I understand it is that the BA cabin crew are amongst the best remunerated in the industry. BA also flies with the greatest number of Cabin crew per flight. BA wishes to reduce the number of crew per flight (to a figure still some way above the industry average) and cut the pay of new recruits (not existing employees) because it has struggeld to make money in the face of onerous pension liabilities, the economic downturn, the ash cloud and oil-prices. The Union, for some reason, thinks this completely unacceptable, and calls strikes with the potential to bankrupt the company, thus ensuring that UNISON members (and the colateral damage of everyone else at BA) lose their jobs and pension.

This strikes me as so HEROICALLY counterproductive, the only reason I can see for this is the internal politics of the Labour movement. A big strike, and a high profile corporate casualty would strenghten UNITE and Wheelan in the battle to shape the Labour party. BA employees voting for a strike are pawns in someone elses game of chess.

Or am I being a tin-foil hatted conspiracy lunatic who should spend less time on t'interweb?

Declaration: The writer hopes to fly BA this week.



Friday, 21 May 2010

State Puritainism

I listened to some copper on the Today program this morning. The "Binge-Drinking" moral panic was still there, but instead of demonising pubs, it was all about cheap booze at home or in the park. Whilst I could not support his proposal to raise the age at which you could buy Alcohol in a Supermarket to 21, I noticed he wished to keep the pub drinking age at 18, regarding the social environment of the pub superior to that of the park bench or sofa.

Is this a sign of the state puritainism of the last 13 years rolling back? I don't think I heard anything on 'Today' in favour of pubs before this morning?

Perhaps one day they will learn that British people drink to excess because they always have, and that Britain is an oppressive shithole where everything is either banned or compulsory, and the resultant stress causes us to drink to excess and punch other, equally stressed arseholes. Maybe Britain would become a better place if the petty authoritarian choke-hold was released a little bit.



Thursday, 20 May 2010

On the insanity of banning short selling.

The Germans have mistaken "causing" for "profiting from". There is so much wrong with banning short selling that I don't know where to begin.

First, a little about short selling. It is the practice of selling stock you don't own (selling whilst "short" of the stock) in the hope of buying it back cheaper at some future point. You can either do this "Naked" without owning stock (this is not allowed on most stockmarkets) or you can borrow the stock from someone else for the purpose. On derivative markets you either go long or short depending on which side of the contract you're on.

Most trading strategies (I'll stick to equities, because that's what I know best) involving shorts are "pairs trades" or similar. That is you seek to exploit the difference between two similar, but not identical securities. You go Long (buy), for example Barclays and go Short (sell) RBS. By doing so you hope to profit from the fact that Barclays can still pay its traders enough to stick around, and RBS can't and therefore can't make money.

So... what happens when you ban short selling: all those people wisely hedging out market risk as in the above example are forced to buy the stock they consider crap, and sell the stock they consider good. By denying the prospect of hedging, the market's risk goes up, and the value falls. Basically if you think that banning short selling will prevent "speculators" from "driving the price down", whether it's currency derivatives or equity then you're demonstrating your profound ignorance.

If you're selling the socialist worker, that's fine. When you're running the third largest economy in the world, it's not so good.

So... the Box-heads have succeeded in giving me the buying opportunity I've been waiting for for months. Bravo. And it won't stop whatever it is - euro weakness, banks going bust you thought you were protecting yourself from. If anything, it creates an imbalance and will make likely anything you're trying to avoid.

Don't believe me? look at the charts for the banks around the dates of the 08/09 short selling ban.



Those Tory "Betrayals".

The Government plan to allow the payroll to vote in the 1922 Committee is a matter of Internal Tory governance. Parties are not in the constitution, they're a convenience which allows the first Lord of the Treasury to command sufficient support in the House of Commons to pass the Budget and the Queen's speech. Only Labour, which puts party above country, gets all misty-eyed about its internal affairs.

Nor is the Fixed term parliament a constitutional change. It is an agreement between coalition partners.

So whilst I disagree with the 55% vote needed to secure a dissolution, and the plan to allow ministers to swamp backbenchers in the 1922 Committee disappointing, but not exactly the end of the world. When you consider that the Great repeal bill (a Tory idea, though Nick Clegg seems to be doing all the talking) is still going ahead. This will scrap ID cards, Databases and promises a "bonfire of unnecessary laws which make criminals of ordinary people". In this will be the free vote on Fox-hunting which may not get passed because of the tight parliamentary arithmetic. This is as promised - not as I keep hearing "a Betrayal", and the "Tories bending over for the Lib-Dems".

Fucking get a grip people. We're in coalition Government, not opposition. Labour, who RUINED THE COUNTRY are out of Government. Hosannah in the Highest. Rejoice! Stop focussing on the petty, small and insignificant things which you don't like and have a look at the big picture.

So CGT is going to go up. Who Cares? It's a tax on people too mean to pay for advice and entirely voluntary unless you're VERY rich, in which case, you have the option of holding on to your assets or going short (unless you're German). It should be at your marginal rate. Why should capital gains be protected if earned income isn't? If you start up a business, there are reliefs available so it isn't a tax on entrepreneurship. Does any Tory SERIOUSLY disagree with the Liberal plan to raise the Income Tax threshold to £10k? I've argued in favour of it several times. If this means VAT goes up, then so be it. We're broke and all that stuff the Labour party bought on the tick has to be paid for. And that means doing what Maggie did in her first term, and for the same reason: raise taxes because Labour left the cupboard bare.

But it is not all bad news: Home investment packs: gone. Every day, some quango or fake-charity has its funding withdrawn. If they keep saving £1m here and there, eventually they'll start saving real money. Any public-sector employee earning more than the PM will have to justify his salary. This is BEFORE we get to the £6bn of "Tory Cuts" that the election was about, and BEFORE the great repeal bill, which will save more. At the home office, the CPS, a useless, box ticking organisation staffed by incompetent civil servants and failed Lawyers sees some if its powers returned to police Custody sergeants who will have discretion about whether to charge. The devolution of power to local professionals is beginning.

Europe is going to be the bug-bear of every swivel-eyed monomaniac who will squeal "betrayal" every time 'Europe' does something they don't like, such as ... exist. If you think Cameron is going to risk Government over a piffling hedge-fund regulation (which will in any case be watered down), you're a twat. I don't like the limits on Hedge-fund manager remuneration and limits to their activities, but ways will be found around it, it will affect a tiny number of Very rich people and, like all European financial regulation, will promise a lot, and deliver very little. My guess it will achieve the sum total of fuck-all. Osborne would be crazy to use political capital which he will need for more important battles ahead to fail to stop what was a done deal before he got the keys to No. 11.

This Government is committed to reducing the burden of the state on the average punter, and has quietly, without fuss and efficiently let its actions do the talking. We've got so used to endless spin and dissemination, that people who never liked Cameron anyway aren't focusing on what's being DONE.

LibCon coalition government: Not perfect, but infinitely better than Labour.



Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Filthy, Disgusting Perversions

of which some women are capable never ceases to amaze me.



Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Protection on the Left Flank

The Labour party demonstrated its attitude to the Liberal Democrats after the election: They thought that the other left of centre party was theirs for the taking, and any Lib Dem votes could be added to theirs in an 'anti-Tory alliance'. This was true for about a third of Lib Dem voters. Tories make the same mistake with UKIP.

When asked what they wanted to see from the election the voters seemed to indicate that a hung parliament was their favoured option, and that a Lib-Con alliance was what they wanted to see. Whilst I wanted to see a big Tory majority, I am disgustingly satisfied with most of what's come out of the Government since the election. This poses a problem for the Political blogger. I have no-one to rant against. I am reduced to apologising and defending government actions against people that disagree. So If you think you're going to see right-wing firebrand ranting against the CGT raise, you won't. I don't agree with the policy. But as it's (1) Temporary (2) a simplification in that it's a tax at the same rate as income taxation & (3) 'paying for' a rise in the income tax threshold to £10k, I think I can let it slide.

And this is the point of Coalition. If I can be persuaded that some dodgy policies are necessary, at least in the short term, imagine what the Liberal Democrats in Government are doing to the left. As I mentioned above, the Labour party HATE the Tories. But they will not be able to muster the passion in their activists against the EVIL Tories because their fellow-travellers have got into Government too.

Maybe it will force the Labour activist base to reappraise their view of Tories as evil, rich class enemies. Many Labour people assume Tories are naturally authoritarian. We are not. We are only interested in 'the rich'. We are not. We are bigoted. We are not. And perhaps because the Liberal Democrats have seen this, eventually the Labour party will too. In the mean time, the leftist opposition will be blunted by the presence of genuine left wingers, albeit ones who see what needs to be done to fix the country, in Government.

Maybe, just maybe, we'll see gentlemanly politics return to Westminster, and freedom to the country.

Or am I just demonstrating a hopeless optimism?



Monday, 17 May 2010

Britblog Roundup # 270

Is up over at Mr Eugenides' place.

And due to travel commitments, I was unable to link to the last couple of BBRUs: 269 at the Wardman Wire and 268 at Philobiblon.

Any nominations for this weeks' to the usual address: roundup [at] britblog [dot] com. And you're allowed ONE self nomination and please don't include boring party political rants from sitting or former MPs unless they ACTUALLY have something INTERESTING to say (ie not a soundbite we're already heard on the 6-O'Clock news).



Monday, 10 May 2010

The Dude's view of electoral reform.

Let me be clear. I have an idea of a more proportional system. And I am not going to share it with you because you don't care any more about my radical scheme to ensure 'fair votes' than I do about your hair-brained scheme, such as the one in the comments to the last thread about paying MPs according to Majority.

I can be persuaded as to the merits of some form of PR, but only if there is a lot in it for the party I support, which is why I want the Conservatives to do it (anyone who thinks they don't think this way is probably lying to themselves). However I remain a supporter of our Current first past the post system which is not, as everyone seems to believe, broken. Does anyone think a Hung parliament with the Tories as the Largest party does not reflect roughly the will of the electorate? Ergo it ain't broken, so don't fix it.

One of the things the electorate like about are system is the fact that you vote on Thursday and by friday morning the moving vans are in Downing street. By Lunchtime, the new executive head has banged his tabs in to Brenda and we have a new Government. The immediacy of this process is rare in democracies around the world. This time, people are bewildered that Gordon Brown, the man who Lost the election IS STILL THERE. If they can be persuaded that the undignified horse-trading by politicians after the election is THE KEY FEATURE of proportional systems, then perhaps I will admit that perhaps I was too hasty to surrended to the PR bandwagon.

I will say it again. Democracy is NOT an exercise in accurate tribal head-counting, but an opportunity to chuck the rotters out. Under some forms of PR, the political elite can never be kicked out be the electorate under almost any circumstances, because they get to the top of the list. Even a safe seat can be lost if the electorate are pissed off enough like Tatton in 1997.

Anyway... PR is a side show next to the fucking apalling mess the country's in thanks to 13 years of disgusting incompetence and malice by the Labour party. I will examine the proposals which are put before us, and if there is to be a change there had better be a referendum. Whilst we can all think of perfect systems, I'm not interested. Suffice to say AV+ is supported by Brown, and is Therefore wrong (Q.E.D.), and STV is an abomination unto God and smells of poo, so I like neither of the systems on offer. The relative merits of various flavours of PR, like internal politics
of the Labour party are things that interest me not a jot.



Saturday, 8 May 2010

The Electorate have spoken, Damn Them!

Despite polling stations reporting queues at 10pm, with hundreds of voters too stupid or disorganised to vote earlier were denied access to the polls. The Liberal democrat polling surge turned out to be a surge in responses amongst the 39% of the electorate who think a General Election is an episode of X Factor and can't be bothered to find out where their polling station is. My greatest dissapointment of the result was the pathetic turnout, for which the British People should be ashamed. We do not deserve to live in a democracy.

Generally the message is "they're all as bad as each other, innit", and as a result, not voting is seen as in a typically nihilistic and cynical British way, as the correct option. The truth is that we, the lazy, spoon-fed and ignorant electorate have the Government we deserve. 20 years of Labour lies have left the electorate immune to savage assaults on their civil liberties and willfully ignorant of the real differences between the parties. The Lib-Dems and the Tories share a commitment to civil liberties that goes beyond the labour approach of treating everyone equally as a criminal/terrorist/potential paedophile, whilst using group "rights" as a crowbar in their policy of divide and conquer. Both reasonable parties deplore 42-day detention, ID cards, databases and the creation of the British Democratic Republic of omnipresent CCTV and surveillance by council prod-noses and state-sponsored informants. They are not "all as bad as each other" and I will violently assault the next person to make that assertion for it is merely Labour's most pernicious and corrupting lie.

For if the Low turnouts of the past few years can be blamed on anything it is this childish attitude. It stems from the New Labour approach in the 1990s to turn a few back-benchers' misdemeanours (for next to the appalling corruption at the heart of Labour, shagging one's secretary in a Chelsea shirt, or 'cash for questions' has an almost comic innocence) into a belief that the entire Conservative Government was corrupt: the lie that started the rot. Rather than excoriating the stupid, corrupt individuals, the reputation of the Tory party and the entire political system was dragged through the mud for Labour's base party political ends. Then the Labour party started to Govern. Cash for policies - the ecclestone affair, purchase of honours, the abuse of the immigration system to import Labour voters to "rub the right's nose in it", the lies, the incompetence, the constitutional vandalism, the fiscal diarrhoea and the slovenly abuse doled out to political opponents both outside and within the party finally destroyed the reputation of the Labour party too. Of course the dashed hopes of 1997 made this a more painful betrayal for the electorate.

Of course, whilst the Labour party destroyed the country, the smearathon on the motives of the Tory party continued to be effective.

They may have been politically successful, but the failure of the New Labour machine to govern effectively was total. Despite the biggest rise in peace-time taxation in history which occurred during one of its longest booms, Labour was running a massive budget deficit even BEFORE the crash of 2008. The achievements with all this money boils down to reduced productivity, overmanning and public sector waste. Of course there have been improvements, it would be hard to spend that much money (that we don't have) and there not be, but the gains are not commensurate with the cost.

It is no wonder the people have turned off politics.

Which meant that when the Tories unveiled the most optimistic, decentralising, yes... Libertarian manifesto (I am ignoring the Daily Hail-courting 'National Service' plans as a silly dog-whistle) I could have hoped for from a mainstream political party, no-one was listening. Because the Labour party had managed to frame the debate around £6bn of "cuts" as a result of not raising tax which is, apparently, "taking money out of the economy". This is economic double-think, and the only reason I can think of that it is taken seriously is that the party spouting this nonsense is ACTUALLY IN GOVERNMENT. Had they been talking this piffle from opposition, they would have been rightly derided: just another advantage of incumbency abused by Labour.

Finally, the the fear-mongering amongst public-sector workers, who thanks to Gordon Brown's decade of fiscal incontinence now make up 50% of the electorate, that the Tories would fire them instantly they won, meant that Labour managed to secure a face-saving and totally undeserved rear-guard defence of seats.

This profoundly negative campaign contrasted with the rather optimistic and naive campaign of the Tories who assumed that the people would take radical policies in Education, taxation, benefits, policing and the Constitution as CHANGE. Cameron relentlessly focused on his policies,though you wouldn't have guessed from the coverage, which focused entirely on personality. They didn't believe in Cameron as an agent of "change" because they've been looking at Cameron for 4 years, which is a long time in X-factor Britain. And, of course because, so the other Labour lie goes, no-one who went to Eton can be trusted to run a Bath because they're evil. Talking about policies is "boring, and they're all the same, and nothing changes, innit". The lesson: in New Labour's Britain, only viciously negative campaigning works. Never, ever mention policy.

Because the Tories, who are "just as bad as Labour, innit", cannot represent "change" another Young public schoolboy of whom the electorate were only dimly aware popped up halfway through the campaign. Nick Clegg did well in the debates and has an interesting set of Policies. The media had decided that Vince Cable, instead of being a self-righteous superannuated socialist, proposing more of the same failed "tax the rich" nonsense, was in-fact something of a Guru. Now they could paint Nick Clegg as "Change" too even though on the manifesto, his offering looked more like "the same old politics" than the Tories'. Under the lib-dems Westminster would become a regional assembly in the EUSSR. He even disagreed with the electorate on the only policy they seem to care about: Immigration.

Never let the facts get in the way of a Media Narrative.

Despite their x-factorisation of politics, the truth is the election debates are the only good thing about this whole sorry campaign. At least they caused the electorate to sit up and take notice to the extent they'd indicate to the pollsters that they'd been paying attention. However the end result was an election in which the people have demonstrated that by Apathy they can be persuaded to accept the hellish Benthamite Panopticon that New Labour's Britain has become, and that If you repeat a lie often enough, the people will accept it. They may tell the Pollsters that they're going to vote for someone, but in reality they can't be arsed because "they're all the same, innit". The lie factory that is all that remains of New Labour has destroyed British democracy to such an extent that even in the midst of a fiscal crisis caused by reckless Government spending for more than a decade, one and a half hot wars and the most unpopular Government since records began, little over half the electorate can be bothered to vote, because they've been persuaded to blame the present crisis on "the banks", and can't be bothered to remember the rest.

So what happens now? Parties will have to work together. Cameron will be PM with Lib-Dem help. Despite my support for First Past the Post, some form of electoral reform is now inevitable, if not now, then as soon as the Left next get their hands on the tiller. I would rather the Tories make something lasting, in tune with what is left of the British constitution. So I hope the Tories get into bed with the Liberal Democrats even at the price of some form of PR, in return for their support in getting a Conservative budget and Queen's speech through and undo some of the Savage assault on civil liberties. I am sure I could be persuaded by multi-member constituencies, so long as they were small enough, and individuals rather than parties remain what you vote for. Counties and equivalent seem the obvious choice for constituencies.

As I write this from a sunny bar in Cyprus, I understand negotiations are ongoing between the Tories and the Lib-dems. Labour cannot be allowed back into Government. That means the Liberal democrats may just get their greatest wish. A Very British Dude reluctantly concedes electoral reform as inevitable, in order that the Tories can start to undo the damage of 13 years of New Labour's national scat-party. A small price to repay for National renewal.

The Tories must seize the opportunity to mitigate the lunacy of some of the PR proposals as the price of shutting the Labour party out of power for a very, very long time. Conceding defeat to a silly proposal because the electorate however nihilistic and ill-informed have been persuaded of its necessity is a price of Democracy. Electoral defeat is not what Brown and Co. deserve; New Labour deserve to be hanged for treason, not let off with pensions. However forgoing bloodthirsty revenge is another price of democracy.

The people have spoken' damn them.

Oh. And for the record, I'm in the 39%, because of an almighty fuck-up by my proxy who might get forgiven, if they're really, really nice to me. This is the first election, local or national since 1997 in which I have failed to vote.



Sunday, 2 May 2010

A Hiatus

Travelgall may be returning from his travels and may be regailing you with more tales of the south seas, but I am departing for sunny climes on an all-expenses paid holiday courtesy of HMG. (Don't worry, I'm not going that far east). I doubt I will have an internet connection, so blogging will be light until my return. I hope you can all cope with the idiocies of the election campaign till then.

I envy all of you who are going to election-night parties, who get to watch Blinky Balls lose his seat and get to enjoy Brown's consecession oration.

I will probably be sunbathing.



Unless, of course this is not an accurate depiction of Military man-management.

I leave you with news that a Great Repeal Bill will form the centrepiece of a Tory administration's first Queen's speech. This is another reason to vote Tory enthusiastically, along with the free schools program, and the plans for radical localisation. That's enough to think that the Conservatives have a plan to roll back the bully-state created by 13 years of the most disastrous Government in British history.

Many people say, quite ignorantly that Cameron is not a Conservative. He is, and a radical one. He and his team have laid out a program which I can heartily endorse. He just needs a mandate to enact it. And in that, Libertarians need to make common cause with conservatives to deliver a Tory government. No Government is perfect, but Cameron's offer is so much better than that of the Labour party, an eye must be on kicking the latter out. And even if you have reservations, voting Tory remains the best option for that end.

Vote Tory. Use a clothes peg, if you must, though you shouldn't need one, but do so even if your motivation is twisting the knife in Brown's gut. I want to come home with a sun-tan AND a majority Conservative government.



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