Saturday, 14 February 2015


It's not been a comfortable week for the Conservatives.  HSBC, Stephen Green, tax avoidance, and that "black and white ball" when the obscenely rich gathered to give money to the Tories.  They had a raffle.  On Wednesday I paid a quid for some raffle tickets and won a bottle of cheap plonk.  But the Tories' raffle was nothing like that.  One of the prizes was an "iron man" with Iain Duncan Smith - a long cross-country run.  But as always the Tory deception machine kicked in.  MPs were instructed to deflect every question to an accusation against Ed Miliband and Labour.  The media happily co-operated, the BBC especially so, but it got pretty desperate.  Today came the announcement that a new Tory government will target people who are unable to work because of obesity.  They will have to go on a diet or lose their benefits.  (Hasn't IDS told them that he's got a much simpler way - just sanction them and starve them thin?)  Mark Harper was wheeled out onto the Today programme this morning to explain the idea, and with commendable (and unusual) persistence Mishal Hussein made him talk about tax avoidance as well.  The deception machine went into top gear and Harper trotted out the untruths too fast to be contradicted.
But this was by no means the daftest idea of the week.  The Tories have been muttering for some time about extending right-to-buy to housing association tenants.  Now IDS has come up with the notion of giving their council houses to tenants who've been on benefits but come off for a year.  Now, I could list all the reasons why this is insane.  But the New Statesman has already done it.  And the Mirror points out that an investigation in 2013 found that a third of all the council homes sold off in the Thatcher years are now owned by private landlords.  It's no surprise that this story didn't get much attention from the mainstream press.  It's so barmy it won't happen, even under majority Tory government.
But this scapegoating of people on benefits isn't going away.


  1. I wondered why IDS wants to dabble with the Tories' already-failed housing policy and why the other Tories would be prepared to permit their arch-bodger to do so? Is it a case of trying to disguise the savagery that Gideon would like to inflict on the beneficiaries of 'Welfare hand outs?'

    Then I heard on Radio 4 that the once venerable and ultra respectable Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation is now being called 'Have Some Bent Cash.'

    Is the Aussie Lynton Crosby serious about trying to peddle assorted Tory claptrap to an increasingly sceptical British electorate? He should return to Australia immediately, where the budgie-smuggling Tony Abbott is in desperate need of Crosby.

  2. "Today came the announcement that a new Tory government will target people who are unable to work because of obesity."

    It is not just obese 'scroungers' the Tories are after. It is also alcoholic and drug taking ones also! Of course, this begs the question, where is all the help???

    Andrew Marr did not even come close to asking this when he had a good 15 - 20 mins interviewing the odious Smith. The obese can be possibly persuaded to lose weight via regular-ish exercise and eating less fast foods.

    Drug addicts and alcoholics are a different kettle of fish. Where are the rehab centres? Indeed, we see drug addicts committing crime in severe cases in order to get into rehab! This all due to a shortage of spaces leading to long waiting lists.

    And with this poisonous governments ideological zeal for cutting back on everything, this can only get worse.

    But then, this shows just how desperate Cameron is so close to an election. With other world statesmen and women such as Merkel, Hollande and Obama trying to grapple with the thorny issues of Ukraine and ISIS / ISIL / IS (or whatever they call themselves this week), we have a PM dedicated to the pettiest of divide and rule politics. Truly pathetic!

    1. In relation to helping drug addicts and alcoholics, with the government selling everything off piece by piece, it would be deemed too costly to send people to clinics that are privately funded, hence why it is easier to sideline them instead.

  3. I was standing waiting for a kettle to boil when I heard Cameron on the news speaking about withdrawing benefits from overweight people. I just burst out laughing. Does he really think that attacking fat people who claim benefits is going to distract anybodies attention from the industrialised levels of tax evasion prevalent among Tory supporters?

    The problem is that people have short memories. When the day of the election comes will they remember? Maybe not, however, another five years of "austerity" and I don't see any other scenario except a Greek style election victory for a left-wing party.

  4. I did an unusual (for me) thing this morning by watching IDS lying (as usual) to Andrew Marr. IDS is determined to persuade potential Tory voters that Universal Credit is a brilliant idea.

    Of course, IDS should have been peddling the two TopTory yarns about their 'long term economic plan' and the other one about 'competence over chaos.' Not a bit of it! GiveIDS a soapbox and the only thing he'll do with it is to big himself up.

    Ir was clear that the Pope should be summoned in a hurry so that IDS can instruct His Holiness about evengelism.

  5. More Tory attacks on the unemployed today:

    It is very revealing that since the HSBC scandal which implicated the rich and Tory donors in the non-payment of tax the Tories have gone on the attack and heaped MORE blame on the unemployed.

    Blatant divide and rule tactics. Lets hope the British voting public see it for what it is - a cynical attempt to shift blame for the rising public sector debt from the rich to the poor.

  6. Massive gamble on Tories on Betfair in the last few days. Price collapsed from 6-4 to 4-6. Not sure why. But it does seem they have the election momentum. Staggering really that they can gain so much support at a time of widespread criticism for their lack of action re tax cheats. Maybe it is because people think if they vote Tory they aren't a scrounger/tax cheat/poor (even though they might be). Maybe it gives them a perverse kind of comfort. I just don't get it.

  7. Interesting article analysing IDS's failure to achieve anything like he promised:
    I particularly like the conclusion that "Mr Duncan Smith’s department is in clear breach of commitments it has given, and the sanction is upheld."


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