The Conservatives big black hole – Will they fill it on the backs of the poor? You bet they will

www.theguardian.com/business/2015/apr/23/tories-have-30bn-black-hole-in-spending-plans-says-ifs

What with Labour planning to borrow too much (again) and the Tories planning to cut too much (again) there’s only one progressive place for your vote – the Lib Dems. And if the SNP get their hands on power (and around Ed Miliband’s neck) just think how Labour’s borrowing will spiral even more out of control!

With thanks to my old chum Roy Connell for bringing the Guardian article to my attention.

Labour’s patronising pitch to women – A Guest posting from Jen Robertson

I was pretty patronised by Labour’s now infamous pink bus, until I read the actual article in the Guardian and realised there were far bigger worries on that front than simply the colour of the transport. Such as the fact Labour appear to think women are to be found “around the kitchen table” and has “decided” our priorities are “childcare, social care, domestic violence, equal pay and political representation”. The stereotypical ‘caring’ aspects of politics to match women’s stereotypically ‘caring’ roles within society.

HarrietHarman

I found this particular quote incredibly worrying. Lucy Powell, one of Labour’s general election co-ordinators said that Labour was taking its message to female voters because they wanted to “have a conversation about the kitchen table and around the kitchen table” rather than having an “economy that just reaches the boardroom table”. Because of course a woman’s natural habitat is in the kitchen. It sounds like something a politician from the 1970s would have come out with, let’s put economics into terms the little woman can understand!

This seems to be very much promoting a view of women as mothers and caregivers, and nothing else, who can be found in the kitchen and at the school gates (well neither are where you’ll find me or I imagine many other women, especially in the current economy when being a stay at home mum with time to drop off and pick up your kids from school is a luxury many cannot afford anyway!). The worst of this of course is that women are disadvantaged and under-represented within politics and this kind of approach to the issue simply makes things worse. We wind up laughing at or affronted by a poorly thought through campaign tactic instead of focusing on the aspects of politics that put women off becoming involved (such as a media more interested in what female politicians are wearing than what they’re saying) and the growing apathy and voter turnout that’s not simply evident amongst women but the population at large. We’re not Barbie dolls, our clothes are not more important than our politics, and we don’t need a pink van, we need to seen as equals instead of something ‘other’.

Pollution and Recycling plans to be ditched by EU – Utter maddness!

Air quality and recycling goals at risk

Lib Dem Cllr. Simon Shaw (Birkdale Ward - Sefton Council) promoting recycling

Lib Dem Cllr. Simon Shaw (Birkdale Ward – Sefton Council) promoting recycling

The Guardian claims to have seen leaked documents that show EU plans to tackle air pollution and make countries recycle more of their rubbish are to be scrapped. The paper says that the initiatives at risk are a clean air directive designed to reduce the health impacts from air pollution caused by vehicles, industry and power plants, and a waste directive that would set states the target of recycling 70% of waste by 2030.

The Guardian carried this story recently

Guest Posting – Jen Robertson loves this – John Lydon interview

Nothing like watching an ageing punk make more sense than most people who try to talk about politics. Also nice to see someone being interviewed by someone who doesn’t constantly try to talk over them.

www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/video/2014/oct/15/john-lydon-russell-brand-revolution-video

“Without education you’re going to be the stupid of the future. You’re not voting, you’re not contributing, you’re not even like non-contributing, you’re just demanding that you be ignored and that’s not very smart at all.”

Love it!

Pickles a petty dictator?

In his environmental blog, Damien Carrington suggests Eric Pickles’ embrace of localism only stretches as far local opinions that he shares. Mr Carrington says that repeated interventions by Mr Pickles, overruling local decision making, mark him out “as no more than a petty dictator.” Several examples are given before Mr Carrington warns that people hoping local decisions on fracking will be upheld will not to find an ally in Pickles. “For him, localism is meaningless unless it happens to back his personal prejudices.”

On the The Guardian Web

I can’t help but think that this opinion may well be right because sadly when Eric appears he seems to me to be peddling prejudices rather than coherent policy.

Conservative’s and Youtube

www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/nov/14/conservatives-remove-webcameron-from-youtube

One of the problems that all politicians have to face these days is that what they said a few years ago, that contradicts what they are saying now, can cause embarrassment. It seems it is best to try to delete what was previously said.

The Guardian has the story – see link above.