The Anonymous Widower

The Electorate Has Changed

Rod Liddle, in a piece in The Sunday Times yesterday started like this.

The British public are not stupid, then. Everybody else, however, is. The politicians, pundits, commentators, psephoologists, me.

He then gives a series of tales of those who got it wrong.

But I think, on the whole the public have thought that the coalition had done a good job in sorting out the mess. So many people, who I would have thought sensible, said to me that they’d wanted a box on the ballot paper for the coalition. Simplistic maybe, but it shows the inherent conservatism (small c) of much of the British public.

The electorate has changed with each generation since mine, being more likely to get a good education and/or go to University. And at University they learn more than their subject. So we’ve probably got the most politically-educated population ever! They also understand about business and economics.

It is also likely that perhaps ninety percent of people in this country, has a close relative, who is well-educated.

Over the last couple of decades, there has been a massive expansion of the self-employed and ideas, and especially ideas disruptive of large monolithic business have proliferated. How many of the children of the so-called working class, are using their brains to earn money, even if as yet it’s not enough?

But many of this educated generation are ambitious and aspire to be rich.

Much of the offerings from politicians didn’t really stand up, but persuasive arguments from nationalists and little-Englanders appealed to some.

But many people looked at the candidates on offer and then voted with their brains rather than their breeding.

I wonder how many life-long Labour supporters, looked at Miliband’s London-centric left-leaning offering, decided it wasn’t for them and voted for someone else.

MacMillan, Wilson, Thatcher and Blair won elections because they gave the people hope that they would have a better life and might even end up well-off by their own efforts.

Miliband’s message to the aspirational for example, was that if you make a fortune by inventing a better mouse-trap, we’ll tax you to the hilt and steal your pension. Well, not quite like that, but he didn’t promise anything worth working hard for.

And to cast everything in stone, was the sort of thing that we might have done at University in the 1960s, to have a laugh in Rag Week.

No wonder Labour lost!

 

May 11, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | 1 Comment

The Heaviest Suicide Note In History

When I first saw the EdStone, I thought Miliband had not only fallen off his trolley, but crashed it in a big way and given himself a serious brain injury.

I have just found this article in the Daily Mail, which has the headline of Do you know where Ed’s stone is? Mail offers reward to person who can tell us where Miliband has hidden ‘heaviest suicide note in history’

Ed Miliband doesn’t have enough common sense to run a whelk stall!

At least the electorate, who on average have a lot more intelligence that Miliband, have consigned him and his leadership of the Labour Party to the dustbin of history.

He may have left the Labour Party in such a state, that no sane and sensible person will ever want to lead it voluntarily.

May 9, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Does Milband Want To Alienate Voters?

Ed Miliband today launched the Labour party’s manifesto in Manchester.

Knowing Liverpool as I do, I can imagine some of the chat in the pubs in that city. And probably in other cities like Birmingham, Leeds and Newcastle. And certainly, London!

Certainly, this Londoner feels it was not a good idea to launch in Manchester and perhaps the only worse place would be Scotland.

I think that the only policy you’d launch in Manchester would be one that is specific to the area. Surely, that way if you launched specific policies all over the country, you’d get the most good coverage.

April 13, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Two ‘eads Are Better Than One!

This is an old phrase, but it certainly doesn’t apply to the two Eds trying to think up Labour Party tax policies.

In this article on the BBC, about the taxing of ‘non-doms’, this is said.

Ed Miliband said the non-dom rules were “indefensible” and axing them would raise “hundreds of millions” in tax.

But shadow chancellor Ed Balls was forced to deny contradicting himself after saying in January that scrapping the rule “would cost Britain money”.

How many people will now take everything they say with an awfully large pinch of salt?

I think it illustrates the first law of politics, which is don’t go into it, if you can’t remember everything you’ve done and said, since you first drew breath.

April 8, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Why Would A Well-Off Person Vote For This Labour Party?

I am 67, single and reasonably comfortably off, but with the exception of my house, pension pot and funds in Zopa, I have no substantial taxable assets. Quite frankly, purchases like expensive cars and art, a second house in the country, buy-to-let investments and vanity purchases like football clubs, just don’t interest me.

My house is probably just below any proposed Mansion Tax limit, but for how long, given the rate of the rise in property values in this area?

Over the years, I’ve acquired a few friends, who are now as financially secure as I am, for the rest of their lives.

What puzzles me, are some of these friends have been serious supporters of the Labour Party in the past. I wonder how many of them, are now less sure in their support, as every day, Miliband and Balls bring in more and more bash-the-rich policies?

The latest policy of abolishing the ‘non-dom’ status as reported on the BBC, may not worry me, but I suspect some of the people I know will be livid. I can think of someone, who is a Project Management professional, who works all the time outside of the UK, which probably gives them an interesting tax problem and being ‘non-dom’ may come into their affairs.

In fact, there are so many high-paid jobs of this type, which because of the Internet and air travel can be done from any reasonable base, so how many of these people would leave if a Labour government took power? In the past C and myself, thought about leaving, if the General Elections of the 1980s and early 1990s had gone the wrong way.

So what is going to be the next crazy bash-the-rich policy floated by this impractical Labour Party?

On the other hand there will be Newtonian reactions.

I think this lurch to the left, will hurt the Labour Party severely in the pocket, as so many of those who supported them in the past, won’t contribute this time.

They will become even more dependent on the Trade Unions for funds.

But I also feel, that anyone, who has a desire to be rich, will think twice about the way they are going to vote!

Luckily for me, what I consider my biggest asset, that has got me out of financial trouble several times in the past; my brain, is untaxable! Unless of course, a government brings in a higher rate of Income Tax for those with a University degree!

April 8, 2015 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

Newtonian Politics

Isaac Newton was a great man of many facets. To me though as an Control Engineer, his most important work is his three laws of motion.

The First Law states that every body continues in its state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line unless acted on by an external force.

In real life it is Newton’s version of the old maxim – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

The Second Law states that the rate of change of mass times velocity in a body is proportional to the force applied.

Basically, in real life this means that the harder you push something the more it moves the way you want it to.

The Third Law states every action on a body has an equal and opposite reaction.

Newton wrote his laws as they applied to mechanical systems, but they also can be applied to people systems in a philosophical way.

If you look at the British economy for the last fifty years, two of the worst times were the Oil Crisis of  1973 and the Banking Crisis of 2008. Massive external forces distorted a British economic system, that was sitting reasonably happily in a state of rest as defined by the First Law. The application of the external force was a superb example of Newton’s Second Law, which caused the economy to move fast in the wrong direction.

In recent years too, the attacks of September 11th, 2001, the Boxing Day tsunami in 2004 and the Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011

In some cases the reaction of politicians the world over to these and other crises only made things worse. If we take September 11th, the United States had the moral high-ground after the atrocities and could have applied sensible policies to make sure that such attacks never happened again. Instead they illustrated Newton’s Third Law brilliantly, by in revenge invading Afghanistan and Iraq, which of course provoked the opposite reaction of Islamic terrorism we now see all over the world. If you poke a hornets nest, you get stung. Or in the case of the September 11th attacks, the rest of the world does.

So how do Newton’s Laws affect British politics and in particular this coming election?

I’ll use two simple examples from London.

The London Fire Brigade has closed ten fire stations in order to save money to help the city recover from the recession of 2008. There have been protests and local objections, but there has not been one story in the past year, of destruction or even death caused by the cuts.

Transport for London over the last couple of years, have swiftly moved totally away from cash-based ticketing to one that relies on contactless cards of one sort or another with the closure of lots of ticket offices. Politicians protested loudly at the announcement but there have not been any stories since about passengers protesting because they couldn’t get home or something similar. In fact the only comment, I’ve had from staff, is one off-duty bus driver, who said he’s convinced attacks on staff have reduced significantly.

I think that Londoners, staff and eventually politicians have realised that although the changes are massive, most have only been affected in a small way, so their reaction to the changes has been proportionately small. Probably the worst affected group are firemen, who’ve been made redundant and I suspect, that London’s booming economy has allowed those who need a new job to get one, as protests have been surprising by their absence.

I think that these two examples illustrate a facet of the British people. We may moan a bit about something we don’t like, but when the new system beds in and it doesn’t effect us too much, we accept it as a sensible policy. On the other hand, if something is manifestly wrong, like the Second Gulf War, we protest until the end.

People may complain about the parties being too similar, but as most politicians are decent reasonable people, who see the bigger picture, the middle way is often chosen by everybody.

In this current election there has been a defining theme, that could determine who is the next Prime Minister.

In the seven-party television debate, Nicola Sturgeon, showed the English a face of Scots, that they don’t like. All of the thoughts from north of the border is worrying the English that any Labour dog, will be wagged by a Scottish Nationalist tail. So will this cause a drop in Labour’s vote in England?

The poll today in The Sunday Times shows that Tory support is hardening. So has Newton’s Third Law taken control?

If Labour is to get the most seats they have got to convince a large number of house-owning working middle-class voters to switch allegiance.

But will these floating votes go for a party that is saying it will use their ISAs and other measures to fund and ease more house building, which will depress the value of their own properties?

Labour policy makers obviously don’t know that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, as many of their policies, as do those of UKIP and the Nationalists, only appeal to a very committed majority. Tony Blair’s strength in the polls, was that he mobilised the non-Labour voters to vote for Nulabor.

David Cameron on the other hand, generally kept out of the squabbles in the seven-party debate, which was a classic stance to give a message compatible with Newton’s First Law.

It is an interesting problem, which will only be solved in the very British way at the ballot box in a few weeks time.

 

April 5, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , , | 1 Comment

You Can Always Rely On Boris For a Good Quote

This article in The Guardian has this quote from Boris Johnson.

Vote Tory and get broadband. Vote Ukip and get Miliband!

Is there another UK politician, who is as good with words as Boris?

April 1, 2015 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

Dinner In The Gherkin

I went to a dinner last night at the top of the Gherkin, that was organised by an event club to which I belong.

The dinner itself was pretty good and the views were superb.

The View From The Gherkin At  Night

The View From The Gherkin At Night

But the club has been recently taken over and the new organiser was showing all the skills that Ed Miliband has shown with the Scottish Labour Party.

I doubt I shall be going to any of their events again.

October 25, 2014 Posted by | Food, World | , , | Leave a comment

Miliband Forgets The Deficit

I suppose strictly speaking, it’s not his deficit, as it was stared by Blair/Brown, but I see Miliband’s omission of the deficit in his conference speech rather worrying.

I certainly wouldn’t vote for any politician, who omits to tell the full picture.

Miliband is certainly second-rate even compared to Gordon Brown, as he has shown in the last few weeks over the \scottish Referendum.

September 24, 2014 Posted by | Finance, World | , , | Leave a comment

Run Miliband Run

This little snippet is on the BBC web page that follows the Scottish Referendum.

Ed Miliband will be speaking on The Andrew Marr Show from the Labour party conference in Manchester. However, the BBC’s political editor in the South of England, Peter Henley, is reporting that the Labour leader has cancelled other BBC interviews.

Peter Henley: Ed Miliband has pulled out of planned BBC interviews tomorrow. They’ve cancelled BBC English Regions, Scotland, NI & Wales.

It looks like he’s running scared. Perhaps, a detailed analysis of who voted Yes and No in the Referendum, has revealed that after next year’s General Election, Labour’s core vote in Scotland, that so annoys the English (I can’t comment about the Welsh and Northern Irish!), will be very much reduced!

September 21, 2014 Posted by | News | , , | Leave a comment