Mm, Labour as decentralisers – this would be huge leap of faith in my book

Labour would transfer £30bn of funding from central to local government to “begin reversing a century of centralisation”, Ed Miliband has said. Discussing the plans, Mr Miliband said that they were not about “big spending” but rather “big reform”. Meanwhile, Ed Balls added that the party had “big ideas” about devolution of powers, long-term infrastructure spending and manufacturing. He said Labour wanted to introduce “more devolution of power to our cities and our county regions, more devolution of housing spending, job spend, skills and business support”.

As carried by Yorkshire Post, newspaper and BBC News

This is one of those situations where I hope an opposition party really does mean what it says but history would urge great caution because Labour are by their very socialist nature centralisers of power. But even if the leopard really is contemplating changing its spots will Labour do it via the appalling route of City Region all-powerful Mayors. If so then all we will have is power being decentralised from Westminster only for it be re-centralised at a sub-regional level in the hands of one person.

With thanks to the LGiU for the lead to this story.

Miliband/Balls – Labour’s big cuts in public expenditure start to take shape

Labour plans to end automatic benefits for young jobless

Middle-class parents could be responsible for looking after their children until they are 22 if they cannot find a job, under new plans outlined by the Labour leader Ed Miliband. Under a Labour government, Mr Miliband will end the automatic entitlement to Jobseeker’s Allowance for people aged between 18 and 21. It will be replaced by a means-tested benefit based on parental income. It will also be conditional on young adults taking part in training courses and trying to find work. Mr Miliband’s pledge reflects a recognition of anger among some voters that some people are getting “something for nothing” out of the welfare system. A YouGov poll for the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has found that 78% of people believe that the welfare system is failing to reward people who have worked and contributed to it. Mr Miliband will also back proposals for local councils to be given more control of the housing benefit budget.

Yesterday in the Guardian, Page: 1, 4 The Independent, Page: 8 Independent I, Page: 4

Why you can almost hear the howls of indignation from the Labour Party should this ‘cuts’ proposal have come from the Coalition Government!

Hillsborough and the Sun newspaper – It would be hard to make this up – What on earth did our political leaders think they were doing?


Here is the sad, sad story as carried by the BBC.

Words fail me, they really do


Labour won’t scrap NPPF

The Labour Party has said it will not reform the Coalition Government’s National Planning Policy Framework rules.

Mm, this certainly makes some big speeches on Sefton Council from Labour members look a little out of touch with their own Party does it not!

Labour have become the party that opposes everything the Coalition Government does but then says it will not change anything! Keeping the economic policies, keeping the planning policies, keeping pretty much everything, or so it seems, except of course for the odd lick of paint over a policy here and there to try to make it look a little different when it’s 99% the same.

Left wing rhetoric with right wing policies, an odd combination indeed.

What Ed Miliband has to say about UKIP

This amusing youtube video sums up Labour’s ‘what do we do or say about UKIP’ dilemma. Ed is seemingly afraid to debate with UKIP, he is worried that working class Labour voters will defect to UKIP and is unwilling to challenge this deeply illiberal Party – UKIP I mean in case you were wondering!.

Nick Clegg takes a lot of stick from the right wing press, because he often stops right wing Tories doing mad things in Parliament, but he was the only political leader willing to take on UKIP and he deserves credit for doing what Cameron and Miliband were not prepared to do. Considering that both Cameron and Miliband claim to be in favour of Europe their lack of guts, in ducking an encounter with UKIP, does them little credit.

Labour and regionalism – They can’t trust their own troops!

Regions would get their own minister

The Labour party has announced that nine English regions would get their own Government minister if the party were to win next year’s election. The network of “regional ministers” would form part of Ed Miliband’s drive to devolve power and bridge the north-south divide. They would champion their areas and supervise plans to transfer £20bn to “city regions” over five years to be spent on job-creation, housing and transport. Ministers would be appointed for London; the South-east; South-west; West Midlands; North-east; North-west; Yorkshire and Humber; East Midlands and the Eastern region. Meanwhile, an editorial in the FT calls on Whitehall to give more power to the UK’s cities. The piece argues that Whitehall has too much power over local spending and that larger cities need to have greater control over important areas such as housing, skills and infrastructure.

Well here we have the Party of centralist control seemingly saying it wants to give power away, but it does not take long to realise that what they are really saying is that they will send a Minister to supervise, direct and control things! Another smoke and mirror policy announcement I fear from an ever desperate Mr Miliband seeking attention.

Of course the regions of England need power devolving to them, of course Westminster is too powerful – Liberals have been arguing this for generations. But you don’t decentralise by sending a boss from London to oversee what the ‘plebs’ are up to and keep them on the straight and narrow. Real decentralisation gives power away and trusts people to make decisions that affect them their families and their communities. You trust them to make mistakes as well!

Of course Mr Miliband’s problem is that he does not trust his own Labour troops in the regions of England; give them too much power and the next thing they will be promoting socialist ideals and doing left wing things.

This all highlights Labour’s fundamental problem; a right wing leadership (which at times pretends to be left wing) with a left wing activist and councillor base which most of the time is forced to do right wing things!

With thanks to the LGiU