04 October 2008

What HAVE the Tories got to offer?

Anyone who suffered under the...
meddling socially repressive and economically mean spirited Tory governments of the 80s and 90s will find it hard to ever forgive them, but eh in a spirit that the Daily Mail and Murdoch will never extend to the Labour party, I will try and find some glimmers of light in the inevitable Tory government we all unfortunately face in less than 2 years time.

It is a sad indictment of the inept tribalists that control the Labour party, (that have lumbered us with bumbling Gordon Brown as leader), that Labour supporters are finding solace in being currently ONLY 12 points behind the hopeless Cameron and his witless Thatcherite runt of a party.

So, anyway, here I go with a post looking on the bright side - what Tory policies might actually be any good?

Well, from the Tory conference, came the promise of a £20bn high speed rail link from London to the Midlands and North of England. This is the sort of wild promise that might never be honoured and with Tory tax cuts and service cuts on the horizon, ALL the money for the rail link will have to come out of the current rail budget - so rail services overall could actually get worse. But saying that, this commitment is still important - fast rail could obliterate domestic flights and is a long overdue common sense idea to follow France and others. One thing I love about Britain is being able to get around by train - ask Americans and Australians about the hell (obscured by an endless Hollywood love affair with the car) of long distance bus and car travel.

The Tory leadership have also given a vague promise to oppose the third runway at Heathrow. Whether this means they will reverse any decision by a Labour government is uncertain, but still it does send the right signal (even if the Tories are only doing it to please NIMBYs and elsewhere Tories are arguing for more airports).

If you oppose ID cards then you will be pleased with the Tories stance, but then Labour too opposed them while in opposition. Personally I think some sort of ID card system is inevitable whoever is in power - we have to do something to protect identity - it is the most vulnerable that are suffering at the moment. The vast majority of people are completely honest most of the time, but that does not mean we shouldn't take measures to protect against those few occasions when people are not honest. Our present system of verifying ID is like an honesty box - honesty boxes work well in small rural communities where everyone knows each other, but they wouldn't work in an anonymous superstore. We cannot pretend that mail does not go astray or that all personal info can be constantly protected when over one million workers have regular access to most people's sensitive data and one disk or memory stick can hold the lot. Anyway I digress...

I have no belief that the Tories will be better at improving public sector efficiency, so the service cuts they will make will inevitably mean worse front line service provision and higher charges on the poorest - as Boris Johnson is proving in London as fares and charges rise while services are cut back. Is there a silver lining to this? Well if you know of one let me know. Basically Tory promises on cleaning up politics are laughable for anyone who saw the Dispatches program the other night on their dodgy donations from City spivs and tax evaders. Cameron's morality drive against the poor is the ultimate hypocrisy while the idle rich continue to not pay any tax and fund his party. In the end we can all moan about where Labour has gone wrong but it is the only party that allows its members unvetted speeches at conference - the Tories don't even allow their members a vote. Ok - I've gone all negative but frankly help me out - what have the Tories got to offer?

10 comments:

  1. If you honestly believe, truly, that we as a people need ID cards then you have some very, very dangerous ideas.

    I'm not a dog with a tag around my neck. Go back 50 years, would this idea have been even entertained by Labour or the Tories?

    The government dont want ID cards for the reasons you outline, they want them for power, plain and simple.

    I and thousands of others will see prison before I'm 'barcoded'.

    If the law was functioning properly a mandatory 10 year prison sentence for impersonating anybody would do the trick and solve the problems you mention.

    But its not, so we wont do it. ever.

    Coming from the North East, where they will vote for a monkey wearing a red rosette I'm used to the 'vote for Labour to keep the Tories out' drones.

    News for you; and people like you, there are other parties.

    You are right about the Tories; but I think the people of England need 4 years of honest Dave to really see the whole current system is a joke. People are slowly realising that the 600 plus who are leading us couldn't run a whelk stall and are in it for the money and power.

    Thankfully we will have, for the first time in an age, kowledge of how bad Labour are and we will also have first hand upto date experience of what a shower of shit the Tories are.

    The Tories are New Labour in better suits.

    Hopefully the average person in the street will then wake up, get off his/her arse and do something other than pissing and moaning about how bad it all is.

    Something has to give, we just cant continue like this.

    Shaun

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  2. The vast majority of people are completely honest most of the time, but that does not mean we shouldn't take measures to protect against those few occasions when people are not honest

    By criminalising everyone, just on the off-chance that they might be up to no good? No thank you. It is because of evil ideas like that I no longer support Labour.

    And no, I don't believe that ID Cards are inevitable. The case for them is bullshit. They don't prevent credit card fraud, they don't prevent terrorism, they don't do any of the grandiose things that their sponsors claim for them. What they do do is give even more coecive power to the state to bully and threaten. They are a racist cop's wet dream. But then Labour must now be counted a racist party - look at who Brown has put in charge of immigration policy. Phil Woolas. For anyone who has any doubt about labour's racist agenda, consider the way in which ID Cards are used against ethnic minorities in European countries.

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  3. Three ways in which the Tories look superficially good to me: no to ID cards, yes to a high-speed line, and no to the third runway at Heathrow.

    To my surprise, Osborne specifically mentioned the high-speed line proposal in his interview with Andrew Marr on Sunday, and gave me the impression that he actually believed in it himself (he is a north-west MP) and understood the case for it.

    But, of course, if we are all going to be in financial meltdown, any spending promises must be tentative at best.

    Anyway, as you say, there is no reason why we should believe any promises made now by the Tories, or indeed Labour or any other party.

    Me, I still hope for a hung parliament.

    PZT

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  4. Stephen: ID cards are no more 'criminalising everyone' than having photos on driving licences or putting locks on front doors. It is just making it a bit harder for those who take advantage of the majority. And...this is the bit you don't get, reducing ID fraud actually increases liberty.

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  5. anon: This cynicism just plays into the hands of the right-wing. George W Bush and David Cameron loves it if everyone is scared and distrustful - because then policies don't matter. And if policies don't matter - it doesn't matter if their policies are truly awful and much worse than what the Democrats/Labour are offering. Then we might as well just keep on electing the same old Tories/Republicans.

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  6. PZT: I am not sure a hung parliament will bring what you want - Clegg is positioning the LDs to back the Tories if need be and electoral reform seems even more distant.

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  7. Stephen: ID cards are no more 'criminalising everyone' than having photos on driving licences or putting locks on front doors

    Inappropriate analogies. A driving licence isn't an ID Card. And since when has the government demanded what sort of lock I should put on my front door?

    It is just making it a bit harder for those who take advantage of the majority

    Actually it will make life harder for everyone, especially ethnic minorities. But then you don't give a damn about them.

    And...this is the bit you don't get, reducing ID fraud actually increases liberty

    The government has never explained how ID Cards will reduce 'ID fraud'. The vast majority of 'ID fraud' is credit card fraud and most of that is through unattended transactions over phone or internet which an ID Card will not help with.

    It's crap policy and it will help to lose you the next election. Most Labour supporting columnists understand this and can't see why Labour is doing its best to alienate millions of its natural supporters.

    The Tories were smart enough to scrap the poll tax. Unfortunately Labour is too ideologically committed to its plastic poll tax to abandon it.

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  8. Labour has become a fascist party - literally. Like the PFI schemes, the ID card scheme sees Labour cozying up with the private corporations to fleece ordinary people and violate their rights. Mandelson's return underlines the fact that the Labour government is totally in the pocket of the globalist banking elite.

    The tories won't be any better, but - by God! - they couldn't be worse.

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  9. "George W Bush and David Cameron loves it if everyone is scared and distrustful"

    Unlike "42 days" Labour, for Gods sake. Give up on this one.

    "And...this is the bit you don't get, reducing ID fraud actually increases liberty."

    I have challenged you on this before and yet you continue on your road of fundamental missunderstanding. Making people do things other than stop them harming other people, (ie. laws against bodily harm, etc.), does not increase liberty. Having a policeman follow everyone around would not increase liberty, banning things that do no harm to persons other than the person doing them does not increase liberty. Learn, (a) what liberty is, and (b) how to use the English language, before presenting such tosh again, please.

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  10. Falco: People who argue against CCTV, speed cameras or ID cards on ideological grounds are wrong. Scrapping these things will not enhance anyones liberty. How does extra police directly harm anyone? This is not an argument about civil liberties, it is an argument about who should get away with being anti-social and/or breaking the law. I think laws should apply to all - whereas you think only those who get caught matter and we should not use the best methods to catch the rest.

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