Northern Poorhouse – Leading Light Quits

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/northern-powerhouse-champion-lord-oneill-11928524

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

Readers of this blog site will know how sceptical I am about the Northern Powerhouse, or Poorhouse as I call it. I have never felt it was much more than political froth and spin and have been amazed at how Labour politicians have been drawn into it. Was their following of it associated with the previous Northern Way of John Prescott?

Now its leading light (other than George Osborne of course) has quit, what future does it have?

Jeremy Corbyn calls for investment in South East England

www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/sep/03/corbyn-to-pledge-30bn-to-restore-pride-and-prosperity-to-south-east-england

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above

The South East of England is not the first place you think of when you look for areas of the UK that need investment. Indeed, to those of us living outside of the economically overheated South East this call for investment there must lead to a lot of head scratching.

Is there going to be a South East equivalent of the Northern Powerhouse under Jeremy’s proposals? Now don’t get me wrong there are run down parts of the South East particularly former high flying seaside towns but are they any different to such towns across England?

Mersey Gateway Bridge – Progress but no mention of Northern Poorhouse!

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/mersey-gateway-bridge-progress-charted-11742718

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

This is an amazing engineering project and it’s happening in ‘the north’, so show come no one name dropped the Northern Powerhouse in this article? I thought every media outlet had to name drop it or face the wrath of George Osborne. Oh hang on he’s bitten the dust hasn’t he.

BTW is it just me or is the Echo web site struggling? It seems to freeze up all the time – time for an upgrade?

Oh Mr Burnham did you really think the Northern Poorhouse was anything more than spin?

www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/news/liverpool-news/burnham-warns-going-back-northern-11697806

I am not known for my support of Andy Burnham but this piece in the Echo really does make me wonder how he and indeed other Labour worthies ever came to the conclusion that George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse was anything more than party political froth.

Talked about for a handful of years what on earth has been delivered for the ‘North’ that would not have happened anyway? Any medium to large project you can think of has been linked to the Northern Powerhouse in recent times and just about every council policy document you look at name drops it. But that does not mean that things have been achieved because of what some now refer to as the Northern ‘Poorhouse’.

Right wing Labour politicians are clutching at straws by begging for a policy devised by a now ousted Tory Chancellor and that was of little substance to be saved.

Tuition Fees – Labour brought them in – Tories & Lib Dems promised to scrap them!

This is one of those political subjects that truly gets my goat as there has been so much hypocrisy and so many lies told about tuition fees.

When the Labour government introduced them the opposition rightly, in my view, labelled it a tax on learning and they pledged to scrap them. And that was the Tories too, not just Nick Clegg’s Party. See the recent revelations concerning George Osborne’s views on scrapping tuition fees when he was in opposition via the link below:-

www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-trending-36323823

Now it looks like they are likely to increase year on year so another row is breaking out with Labour saying there should not be any increase. You can bet that Corbyn is treading carefully as he won’t want students and their families reminded that tuition fees were originally Labour’s idea to tax learning. And let’s be honest if Labour had not invented this tax it would surely now be pressing for its abolition.

And here’s an odd thing. If you ask folks who was responsible for tuition fees they will probably respond by saying Nick Clegg or the Lib Dems. This is because that infamous and utterly disastrous (for the Lib Dems) retreat from saying they would scrap them is what sticks in the public’s mind. So the Lib Dems are seen by many as being responsible for the fees as well as for breaking their pledge to scrap them when they were actually only responsible for the second sin.

But the reason this troubling subject sticks in my mind is because it illustrates the dishonesty that is at the heart of our party political system and which fuels voters distrust of politics and political parties. Or look at it another way what pledges are being made now which will be reneged on further down the track.

You would have thought that with the advent of 24 hour news and social media that the chances of pledges being forgotten about when the political wind changes would be slim but I bet despite that dodgy pledges are still being made especially by those in opposition.

It is probably fair to say that we don’t really expect our politicians to be honest although in public we usually say we want them to be. And we are pretty good at looking shocked and horrified when an MP does something wrong over his/her expenses claims even though most of us will soon forget about it.

And there’s the rub ‘we will soon forget about it’, because that is what those making dodging pledges are relying on together with the media being too lazy to remind folks of course.

Did the Lib Dems hold back the worst excesses of the Tories?

www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/david-cameron-and-george-osborne-should-not-forget-the-lib-dems-know-where-the-bodies-are-buried-a6952641.html

The Independent has the story on its web site – see link above

I think even the most extreme Coalition hater (I await the rants to start) will concede that the answer to the question is yes especially as those worst Tory excesses are being played out now as there is no brake on the Tory right wing what so ever.

You see you have to try to see past the Clegg hating which for some, after his Tuition Fees U-turn, is all but impossible. To many voters if Nick Clegg said today was Monday they would automatically assume he was lying even if today was indeed Monday! What a legacy Nick has to live with.

But of course this Independent article makes some well informed comments, although it has to be said the electorate actually voted, under our utterly unrepresentative electoral system, for more right wing Tory policies in 2015. Well that was the effect if not really the intention because the Lib Dems were either battered for holding the Tories back or alternatively battered for not holding the Tories back enough. Only our first post the post electoral system (so loved by Tories and Labour) could deliver a new government of the Tory far right when more than 60% of the electorate was seemingly trying to create the opposite.

But to return to the Independent article, I was also taken by this quote from David Laws “The Lib Dem leader thought that a major weakness of both David Cameron and George Osborne was that they had little sympathy with or understanding of people on very low incomes, and were inclined to write them off politically as ‘not our voters’.”

Yes of course it sums up well how many Tories look at those less fortunate in our society but I have also heard Labour folk use a similar turn of phrase when talking about other matters. In other words if you come from a section of society or a place that does not return Labour MP’s/councillors why should we give a stuff about you.

It is of course pure tribalism and both Labour and Tories represent their own tribes and care little and indeed have great hatred for the other tribe. Sadly, UK politics is very much based on such appalling tribalism and that’s why we are in the mess that we are in.

With thanks to my spotter Jen Robertson