Category Archives: election

THE DEFICIT MYTH – We’re STILL underperforming the #EU ……..#GE2015

THE DEFICIT has been a constant in our ears ever since someone at Conservative HQ discovered that because the GDP was exceptionally low in 2010, THE DEFICIT was a high percentage of it.

In fact, it was about 10%.

Gradually, because the GDP has increased, THE DEFICIT has gradually become a lower percentage of the GDP.

It is now of the order of 5%……..or as Messrs Cameron and Osborne prefer: “We have HALVED the deficit!”.

Yes…from 10% to 5%.

The graph above shows that as far as THE DEFICIT is concerned, the United Kingdom continues to UNDERPERFORM the European Union.

(If you click on the “EXPLORE DATA” link on the above graph, you will land on the official Eurostat page where you can add other countries to the graph for comparison and have as much fun with statistics as our Coalition Government did!)

Which political party is IN TOUCH with the people?

prez2

Many years ago, I was asked to chair a Citibank meeting during which the CEO and directors would meet the staff and answer pre-submitted questions. The whole event was started off by the Chief Executive delivering a “Where We Are Now/Where We Would Like To Be” presentation.

In the manner of all Chief Executives with an accountancy background, there were upward-sloping graphs, slides entitled “Return on Equity”, “Return on Income”, a lot about Profit, Expense Overruns, Assets, Take-over Plans etc. After about 15 slides of numbers, there was a final slide which, for some reason, senior management invariably feels obliged to roll out….It is the one about “Our MOST valuable asset…..OUR PEOPLE!”

I believe that it is meant to reassure staff how important they are to the business but having attended many meetings where the CEO only referred to staff as “FTEs” (Full Time Equivalents), that final slide seemed like a bit of an afterthought. ” HR needs an incremental FTE next year.”  (In fact, his slides had been prepared by a team of Actuaries and Accountants, so inevitably there had been a slide showing how our FTEs needed to grow in order to deliver some very bullish business plans.)

Then we came to the Q&As. The ones which had been chosen were primarily about the business and its future. As the answers had been rehearsed by various  members of the Board, the session went very smoothly and appeared to end on a high.

The CEO turned to me and whisphered ” Before we wrap this up, Richard……let’s take some more questions from the floor…” 

I replied “No Paul….Just say a few words of thanks and let them loose on the sausage rolls…..”

The CEO nodded and stood up and addressed to 200-strong audience ” Does anyone have any more questions….Anything you like…….!”

I assume that no-one heard my “Oh, fuck!” as the benignly-smiling Chief Executive waited….

A gnarled hand at the back of the hall went up. It was Harry. He was past retirement age but we’d kept him on as office Postie. He was an old-school Union man who hated all management and their “queer” ways.

Paul the CEO knew Harry because everyone knew Harry, so he was extremely proud to be able to use a first name and demonstrate to everyone what a lovable caring boss he really was. “Yes, Harry….What’s your question?”

“Thank you, Paul,” said Harry “Are you aware that there are no plasters in the fourth floor First Aid Box. I’ve been telling Personnel for ages but they just don’t seem to care…..Not only that…but it’s contrary to Section C of the..blah, blah, blah…..”

“Oh , fuck,” I repeated into my notes.

The smile never left Paul’s face as he turned to me and said in a very loud voice “Richard….Why wasn’t I briefed about this? “

Needless to say, the meeting deteriorated as the staff, emboldened by troublemaker Harry started to ask the REAL questions. The meeting ended with an exhausted Board, an newly-liberated staff and a CEO who wanted me to meet him in his office the following morning.

The Coalition government has made the same mistake as Paul the CEO.

It has spent the last five years telling the voter about its achievements. It has bombarded the voter with statistics. It has told us that there is a “plan”. It has told us that there is a Deficit and that it has to be paid off…….and apart from a very short period last week, when there appeared to be a sudden realisation that it was not making contact with the people, it continues to spout figures and intentions.

As Harry showed the Citibank management, ordinary people are not interested in the Big Picture. What they are interested in though, is enough money in their pockets to deliver self-respect , good health, food and shelter for themselves and their family, freedom from worry and where appropriate, a job which can deliver a future as well as provide their present.

There is only ONE additional concept which every voter supports and which does not affect themselves directly. It is the thought that all vulnerable members of society are respected and catered-for.

The Deficit, “Since Records Began”, taking MILLIONS(!) out of tax etc are the Accountants’ slides which Paul the CEO bored his audience with.

The United Kingdom desperately needs a government and leadership which resonates with its people and not just with a calculator.

 

 

 

 

Prime MInister ate my Dog!

MIlibandbutty

Ever since Ed Miliband was captured devouring a bacon sandwich with the expression of a psycho eating his own brother’s liver, snappers have been trying to catch David Cameron in a similar predicament. This week, because the canny Dave was photographed tucking into a hotdog with a knife and fork, we have headlines such as “Cameron doesn’t know how to eat a hotdog!” or “Prime Minister ate my dog…with a knife and fork!”.  If lazy journos take the trouble to Google “Cameron eats hotdog”, they will find quite a few examples of DC biting into a Dog the traditional way. Anyone would think that there was an imminent election!

Rifkind Seppuku!

With Malcolm Rifkind (quite unnecessarily) having made the grand gesture of Political Sepukku, the Conservatives will be looking to Labour’s Jack Straw MP for a similarly honourable and pointless act. Jack is already standing down as MP in a month’s time but surely, there must still be something by which he could demonstrate that there is honour in politics. Turning down a peerage would earn a few Brownie points. Mind you, he does appear to be under the misapprehension that members of the House Lords can carry on with impunity and acquire any number of nice little earners…..so THAT’S probably out of the question. Mind you, SHOULD a sudden explosion of avarice and self-ennoblement disqualify him from his hard-earned Baronetcy?

Blue or Red corner?

We are constantly being reminded that that the May General Election, rather than being an ideological battle between the two usual suspects, it is much more open…..but is it?

The main two protagonists have been standing toe-to-toe in the middle of the ring for some months now…but it is is the Blue Corner’s “second” who is twitching on the slab, hoping for a last-minute crumb of absolution from the electorate. The mauve circus continues to be led towards that mythical New (EU-free) Dawn by their gurning ringmaster…hardly spilling a drop as he marches through town…always steering towards the Main Event but aware of the fate which befell the man on the slab. There are the tree-huggers flitting in and out like Noddy’s goblins…but there will always be tree huggers. The REAL Green Controller is staying well out of this Rumble in the Westminster Jungle.

The UK 2015 General Election IS a Beauty Contest but with only two contestants. No matter HOW many votes go to the Mauve Circus, the Man on the Slab or the Green Goblins, it is (and always has been) either the man in the Blue Corner or the Man in the Red Corner who will become Champion.

So which one should our money be on?

Blue Corner

Very light on his feet (No! NOT in that way!), trains hard by performing endless U-turns and making vague promises about the future. Puts on a brave face but beginning to suffer mild stabbing pains between the shoulder blades. He likes to start fights but rarely finishes them (see European Union) but likes to say that everything will improve, if he wins his next fight. His “previous”  as a former speechwriter to John Major (really?) and special adviser to Norman Lamont (in 1993!) does NOT look too good on paper but his shouting skills at the Despatch Box have become legendary…plus he has perfected the art of giving the same answer to every question! For example: “Good afternoon, Dave”  “It would have been a much better afternoon if we didn’t have to clear up the mess..left behind….etc” Invented but unfortunately mislaid The Big Society.

Red Corner

Although youthful, his face looks as if he’s been in many fights but apparently, it’s his natural look. He suffers from the same stabbing pains as the other guy but always gives the impression that he is very thick skinned….as you’d expect from someone who once shafted and humiliated his own brother in public. His general  “look” has been described by some as “weirdo chic”, as has his voice, face and hair. His “previous” is as impressive as his opponent’s…his main claim to fame being a very long-standing association with the Old Charmer himself, Gordon Brown…as an adviser and then as author of his party’s last election manifesto. A 2011 Ipsos Mori poll found him to be less popular that Iain Duncan-Smith when he was Leader of the Opposition.

THIS is going to be very close but my money will be on the Blue Corner……Purely on political guile, leadership qualities, contacts and presentation skills. However, they ARE reasonably well-matched with the main issue for both of them being the quality of the people they have surrounded themselves with.

(Who would YOU rather see across the table from Putin?)

LIBDEM conference: Yesterday, our professional (and perpetual) political bridesmaid, the Liberal Democratic Party rejected calls from party members to relax fiscal discipline and spend more. Instead, the Party pledged broad support for the government’s austerity-focussed economic strategy. The Party is assuming that by May 2015, those elusive green shoots will have finally emerged and that they will once again ride into Westminster hanging onto Chancellor Gideon’s (straw) coat tails……………(AUSTERITY? It’s a well-known fact that if you want to make a horse to run faster, you don’t encourage it through a combination of hay and ass-kicking….you pull back on the reins as hard as possible….don’t you?)

Ed and Jim Messina talk

We have been lucky enough to obtain a transcript of a telephone conversation between the leader of Britain’s Labour Party, Ed Miliband and Jim Messina who has been hired by the Conservatives to mastermind their attempt to win the next General Election in May 2015 with (for a change) an overall majority – something that they haven’t achieved for over 20 years! There’s a rumour that although David Cameron has secured Mr Messina’s  talents on behalf of Tory High Command, Messina was also approached by the Labour Party…..possibly even the Leader himself!

Mr Messina masterminded Barack Obama’s second election victory and is therefore regarded as a miracle worker – which is something that the Labour Party is in severe need of. At the time of publication, Ed Miliband is leader of the Labour Party.

Ring Ring

Woman’s voice:  Hello, this is James Messina’s Office.  Marilyn speaking. How may I help you?

Ed Miliband: Hello. This is Ed Miliband speaking. I am calling from England.

Marilyn: Where?

Ed: England. I’d like to speak to Jim please.

Marilyn: England? Is that near London? What was your name again?

Ed: Ed MIliband.

Marilyn: Ted Bilibann?

Ed: No it’s Ed. Ed Miliband. Miliband.

Marilyn: Is Mr Messina expecting your call, Ted?

Ed: No – but I’m the leader of the Labour Party.

Marilyn: The WHAT?

Ed: The Labour Party. Over here, we’re like the Democrats and I’m like Barack Obama..but not…

Marilyn: Not what?

Ed: Er…………….President. I’m not the President of England.

Marilyn: President?……..Who is the President of England if it’s not you, Ted?

(Man’s voice in background : Who is THAT, Mari?)

Marilyn (muffled): Its some guy saying he’s the President of England.

Messina grabs phone

Messina: Hi Dave. Didn’t realise it was you. Mari thought it was that f***ing jerk..er…

Ed: It’s Ed Miliband.

Messina: Yeah! That was the guy! What can we do for you, DC? How’s the gorgeous Sam?

Ed: THIS is Ed Miliband. Is that Jim?

Messina (Muffled) CRAP! er…. Hello Ed. There’s been some misunderstanding……..er Ed. How’s David?

Ed: Which one? They’re both  fine thanks, Jim. I wonder if I can have a word with you

Messina: How did you get this number, Ed?

Ed:  David Cameron had it written on the palm of his hand hand and I remembered it. I saw it when he was practising those funny salutes in the mirror….. in the Stranger’s Bar toilet.

Messina: So, Ed. What do you want?

Ed: We, the Labour Party want to win the next General Election and we wondered whether…..er…..you would consider helping us to achieve our goal.

(Sound of muffled but uncontrollable laughter from Messina. One minute later, he returns to the phone)

Messina: Sorry about that, Ed. I swallowed something  and it went down the wrong way…..

Ed: That’s OK, Jim. I was saying . Would you like to be my election guru and help me to win the next General Election? Please?

Messina : Sorry Ed. I’m very busy at the moment.

Ed: If it’s a question of money…that’s not a problem. I have lots. Well, to be perfectly honest I don’t have the cash but I know some powerful people who do and they say they’ll be able to contribute..er..

Messina: Let me be frank…er….Ed. I have a reputation and don’t normally HAVE to associate with losers.

Ed: So you haven’t signed with the Conservatives then, Jim? (laughs)

Messina: Can I speak frankly, Ed?

Ed: Yes of course, Jim. Fire away…as we say over here!

Messina: Sure you won’t be offended, Ed?

Ed: No Jim. Go ahead. Let me have it! (laughs)

Messina: Ed…you haven’t got a f***ing chance of winning. That is why I’m already working for Dave and the Conservativerers. The Labourite Party is going to get f***ed over if you remain as leader. THAT’s the word on the streets, Ed….Sorry, man….

Ed: Do you REALLY think so, Jim? Heard anything else, Jim?

Messina: Ed……If I talk for any longer than three minutes, it becomes a consultation and Mari is already typing the invoice….

Ed: Will you accept a cheque from UNITE, Jim?

Messina: ANY United Nations cheque is good enough for me, Ed. I have great respect for Kofi Ananan.

Ed: But he’s ….er…..er….never mind..You were saying…?

Messina: They say that you are like a guy called Kinnock….all wind and p**s, Ed…..

Ed: Neil was a great leader…who says that, Jim?

Messina: Everyone, Ed. THAT and the fact that you have no policies.

Ed: I HAVE! A European Referendum is one. Then there’s our intention to cut down on Social Security benefits. Then….

Messina: Those are Dave’s policies, Ed……..You stole them.

Ed: No, Jim. I thought of them first. Ed and I did.

Messina: You’re confusing me Ed….

Ed: Ed Balls.

Messina: So I’ve heard.

Marilyn (in background): Mr Messina, it’s time for your Orthodontist and Pilates.

Messina: Sorry, Ed. Have to go but the best of luck in the election….although I’m going to have to take you apart between now and then!! No hard feelings, eh?!

Ed: F*** you!

Messina: You too Ed…….Bye!

Wars of the Rosettes: UKIP

It used to be said that one of the biggest corporate lies was “I like a man who speaks his mind!” Nobody likes someone who tells it straight – especially if there’s an element of implied criticism.

When a company director says to an underling “Tell me what you really think about our latest initiative” what should the response be? You honestly believe that it is a crock of shit but you also know that it was the directors “baby”. If you’re wise and familiar with office politics, you tell the director exactly what you know that he wants to hear. On the other hand, if you’re a highly principled idiot, you are likely to tell the truth (your truth). That sort of response can come under the heading of “a novel way to resign”!! It is not worth the risk.

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is a straight-talking man and tells us what we want to hear – but he is obviously no idiot. He tells it straight and his disciples continue to multiply. He has two things which give him a great advantage over other party leaders. Firstly, he has what Boris Johnson has – Charisma….a carefully-cultivated roguish old-school, charm……. and he smiles a lot. Yes…it’s THAT simple!

Of course, he has the added advantage of an Establishment-led Coalition government which gives the perception of being utterly incompetent. The Labour Opposition has no discernible “bite” and is led by yet another charmless product of Planet Politics. The other bit of the Coalition (the small bit) is already in terminal decline – a full two  years before the next general election. For our mate Nige, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel.

Nigel Farage can do or say whatever he damn-well pleases and there’s no-one around with the balls to censure him. He is the enemy of all the other political parties, and coincidentally they are also the voters’ enemy. But more importantly, he is the sworn enemy of the self-serving bureaucratic edifice that is the European Parliament.

His election campaign started not a few weeks ago but leapt into life months ago in Brussels as Farage demanded of Van Rompuy: “Who [the f***] are you…..?” That was the moment when many of us , whether we agreed with his politics or not, fell in love with Uncle Nigel. [The parentheses above and their content are mine!]

There was none of the political correctness which constrains David Cameron.  If pushed, you can imagine Nigel saying “Barroso! you’re a twat!”- not that he would….but he has imprinted his personality on the national psyche so powerfully….that we now believe that he WOULD say what many of us are thinking.

Farage’s other great plus-point is that although he is  the son of a stockbroker and attended Dulwich College, he went to work(!) (as a City commodities broker) at the age of 18. He has exactly the sort of background that the Conservatives would dearly love their leader to have.

So, as Nigel and his disciples march out of the wilderness into the political sunlight and as UKIP  party contributions and sponsorships accelerate, what’s the future for the other parties?

Make no mistake, the Tory Starchamber’s Illuminati are looking very closely at their own Party leadership, as are the Trade Union leaders who set the drumbeat for the Labour party.

In the first instance, we can expect a clumsy lurch to the Right from David Cameron in a desperate attempt to woo back former Conservative supporters and hopefully, the other Miliband bought a return ticket.

Whatever the mid-term future holds, we are in for a very interesting two years.

May 2015 will be upon us very quickly!

Local Elections. VOTE **** !

In tomorrow’s Local Elections, too many United Kingdom voters are going to “dump” their votes. They are going to dump them either by voting  for a fringe party or (hopefully!) for an Independent.

In the United Kingdom, fringe parties (quite rightly) are tolerated but that doesn’t necessarily make them all acceptable. Many are a joke and are meant to be a joke.

Let us have a look at  Local Elections – they tend to be the ones with the lowest voter turnout, yet on a day-to-day basis, we are affected far more by our local politicians that by the Westminster Mob.

Currently, our perception of Members of Parliament has taken a big “hit” and we now regard them as a load of unscrupulous, self-serving, incompetent Muppets and some may say that the same could apply to local Councillors.

There was a time when party politics had nothing to do with local elections. Hopefully, one day, local politics will return to the election of individuals who are best suited to manage and control local issues and budgets. Unfortunately, the local politician, much like his Westminster cousin is a pack animal rather than a free thinker with your interests at heart.

Every Party has individuals that we can all admire, irrespective of our own political affiliation. There are examples of  politicians who are or were good at what they do, but importantly, their skills and abilities have little to do with their political allegiance or Party.

You should not be voting Labour in your local election because , for instance, you have a good Labour MP within your constituency or because you have a shrine to Ed Balls. You should not be voting Conservative because your mum was once photographed with Margaret Thatcher. You should not be voting Lidem because Nick Clegg once shook your hand and you should not be voting UKIP because you heard Nigel calling Van Rompuy a prat in Brussels.

Neither should you be voting for a total unknown of indeterminate political persuasion because he “looks nice” or withhold your vote because you have been upset by the Westminster expenses scandal or by the excesses of a particular Conservative, Liberal or Labour MP.

Try to avoid the “They’re all the same waste of f*****g space!”Syndrome.

At local level, we should all be asking ourselves just one question: “Can this individual be entrusted with the responsibility of representing me effectively in on the Council and will he (or she) have my best interests at heart.”

Forget expenses, forget David Cameron’s leadership issues, forget the fact that the Tory front bench is portrayed as a bunch of “yaboo-sucks-to-you” Toffs, forget Chancellor Gideon’s perceived incompetence, forget Clegg’s silly hair, Miliband’s scary looks or even the fact that Nigel seems like a good bloke.

Vote for a local candidate that you believe will do his best for YOU.

Having said all that, there is far too much political posturing at local level – too many of them fantasise about being at Westminster. Consequently, they attempt to ape their Westminster heroes, so that too much energy is given over to political in-fighting rather than concentrating on the needs of the local voter – but that’s all part of the present game!

Finally, remember that not all Liberal Candidates are vegetarian lecturers and white-collar public-sector workers. Not all Conservatives are barristers, middle-managers and skinheads, not all Labour candidates are teachers, media people or union members and not all UKIP members are ex-BNP nutters or disaffected, deselected or dumped Tories.

At local level, vote for individuals and not (just for the hell of it) for the wrong political party – and certainly don’t bother with the “we need to send a message to Cameron” type vote. Trust me – he will not hear your message

To be on the safe side, find a good solid Independent candidate – just beware that he or she isn’t a main party supporter in temporary disguise!

The Eurocrisis isn’t just Financial.

The Eurozone crisis has managed to morph from a plain old currency crisis to a debt crisis, an economic crisis and now, a full-blown political crisis – although no-one seems to have noticed…….. and it’s not just the Eurozone:

In the United Kingdom, people are making increasingly indiscreet noises about the Prime Minister’s leadership capabilities and the Chancellor’s questionable competence, as the cold hand of political instability makes a (so far) half-hearted grab for No 10. Currently it looks as if there is already a swing to the right. Nigel Farage and UKIP no longer look like a bunch of extremist Right-wing loonies and as they gain respectability and seats, they will pose a genuine threat to the status quo.

Here’s a quick Grand Tour:

Greece’s political problems are well-documented and this is where the recent polarisation of national politics began with the success and increasing support of the right-wing Golden Dawn Party. Greece is on its knees.

In France  there’s the scandal of a Minister and his secret Swiss Bank account with the consequent  investigation of all Ministers – shades of the UK’s MP expenses outrage. President Hollande is keeping a very low profile because , let’s face it….he came to the table without any ideas. His mere presence has allowed Marine le Pen and her Right-wingers to re-emerge blinking into the sunlight, ready to build on her father’s legacy.

Germany’s Bundeskanzlerin Merkel is no longer odds-on to win her autumn election and so, in order to placate her detractors, countries such as Cyprus are being put through the debt-wringer and effectively having to bail themselves out! All in the cause of extra Brownie points for the Merkelator.

Many are anticipating more resignations from within the Cypriot government. Michalis Sarris, the Cypriot finance minister who negotiated Cyprus’s bailout agreement with international creditors has already gone.

Portugal’s Constitutional Court has kicked into touch some of the austerity measures imposed on the country by the Eurozone moneylenders. Now the politicians are wondering about how to plug the fiscal gap and Prime Minister Coelho may resign.

Belgium took 535 days to form a government after its last election and now has a 6-party Cabinet.

Italy is struggling to form a government and will most likely hold another election after President Napolitano comes to the end of his tenure as Head of State on May 15th. Goodness only knows what the reaction of not only the Eurozone but of the Markets would be  should Silvio Berlusconi (again) rise from the dead! Italy’s political scene has become so surreal that  ONE QUARTER of the vote in the recent election went to a protest movement headed-up by Beppe Grillo – a comedian!

Spain’s politicians, including its Prime Minister are mired in corruption scandals – and now there are anti-Royalist demonstrations as a direct result of the king’s daughter being implicated in a government financial rip-off. Mind you, affluent Spaniards have already pulled about $100 billion out of their Spanish bank accounts. They started running early. It’s only a matter of time before the Basques and Catalans start to make their separatist noises.

The difficulty is that one would normally expect the emergence of the Right to be counterbalanced by a strong showing from the political Left. But what Europe has are weak governments , compounded by even weaker oppositions. No European political party in government has over 50% of the vote……. and the less said about the European Union’s politicians, the better! They seem to have elevated ineptitude into an art form.

Currently, Britain’s Left is being driven by Ed Miliband and the New-Old-New-Who-Knows-Who-Cares Labour Party. They earn their salaries through the medium of being critical. They have shown themselves to be totally bereft of a coherent, cohesive strategy and will be directly responsible for the future success of UKIP.

Leadership (or a lack of it) within Germany’s Social Democratic Party will be the main factor which could give Merkel another few years of power. If that happens, the rest of the Eurozone should begin to consider itself as no more than a motley collection of Vassal States……there to do Germany’s bidding. Unless of course, Germany accepts George Soros’ advice and leaves the Euro.

France does not enjoy having a Socialist President and it is right to be sceptical. President Hollande is now totally ignored by Merkel and is doing what he does best – he keeps out of the way as Germany tightens its stranglehold.

Hollande could have been the Eurozone’s great hope but unfortunately is way out of his depth. France now has a negative bond rating  by all three rating services and has lost much of its international respect. It’s precarious banking system is just waiting (like many others) to go “pop!”

The Main Event this year will be Merkel’s re-election so the Eurozone states must not expect any major policy changes until then – and when she wins? More of the same – but without the compassion!

What of Europe’s medium to long-term future? Without some sort of political quantum leap, it will inevitably  descend into a collection of  Third World states but with running water, TV and a banking system totally independent of its economy and probably with its own flag.

Cameron versus Major

At the time, John Major was not considered to be a very dynamic leader, certainly not one judged to be a GREAT Conservative leader. In fact, he was a bit of a joke and was mercilessly brutalised by the media, notably by those pesky Latex satirists, Spitting Image. Remember the Grey Major and his conversations with Norma about peas? Remember the Y-fronts and the safety-pin?

Yet he was a good man, an honest man, a straightforward man, a man from humble beginnings. After all, his father had been a circus performer!

At the time of his surprise 1992 election win – when he defeated the windbag Kinnock, he could have represented a new beginning for the Conservative Party.

Briefly, the Conservatives had been in an egalitarian frame of mind. Meritocracy was still on the menu. No more Alec Douglas-Homes, Macmillans or even Heaths. Had the grocer’s daughter from Grantham  been the catalyst for a less aristocratic and more egalitarian Conservative Party? Had John Major, albeit reluctantly, picked up the baton on behalf of the lower orders?

We tolerated Major. His image, voice and mannerisms were, let’s face it…. grey and boring. Even the revelation that he had been shtupping Edwina Currie would not have made any difference to his image. But we liked him. He was a Man of the People. The Conservatives had turned the corner. No more Eton and Harrow toffs running the show!

Anyone could become a Conservative Prime Minister.

1992….sounds a long time ago, doesn’t it? Well…..that was the LAST TIME that the Conservative Party properly won a general election.

TWENTY ONE YEARS AGO!!

Our current Rulers are keen on numbers and statistics. Let’s have a look at some.

In 1992, under the lame John Major,  the Conservatives won 41.9% of the Vote with 336 seats.

In 2010, under the new dynamic David Cameron, the Conservatives won 36.1% of the vote with 306 seats.

The last (2010) General Election election was less than two years after one of the worst financial crashes in history with the Labour Party under the stewardship of Gordon Brown. He is now widely acknowledged to be one of the worst Prime Ministers in History.

The Conservatives should have won an easy overall majority.

Had the Conservative Party Oberkommando made a fundamental error in relentlessly having pushed forward one of their gilded own towards the inevitability of the top job?

“Riding shotgun” was yet another “hooray”, in the shape of the simpering and credibility-free The Rt Hon George Gideon Oliver Osborne.  His only business, industry or commercial experience had been as a Conservative Central Office speechwriter! Suddenly, “The Unemployable One” was running the world’s seventh largest (and counting) economy!

Dave and Gideon between them have rendered the Conservative Party unelectable. They are going to lose the 2015 General Election and they will take the Libdems down with them.

Since the political assassination of Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Party has shown itself to be lacking int the “Let’s Choose a Leader” department. All you have to do is to look at the array of zombie  Conservative Party leaders who have graced the top job since John Major’s severe and politically terminal bout of “Inter-scapular Neuralgia”.

….and now it seems that both David Cameron and Chancellor Gideon are beginning to feel the odd twinge between the shoulder blades. Neither really deserves it  because they were both encouraged and promoted to well-above their level of incompetence far too early.

Let’s hope that the next time, The Party gets it right.

Eastleigh: a UKIP lesson

Last year, I predicted as follows:  “David Cameron will realise that UKIP is a clear and present danger and will begin the fight-back by the only way possible. He will adopt their policies and reinforce that by continuing to spray copious volumes of testosterone in Brussels.” ( #17 HERE )

In spite of the Conservatives’ best efforts to smear the Liberal Democrats with the ridiculously-timed media Lord Rennard “Gropegate” campaign, the Party has been humiliated in the fifteenth by-election of this lame government. The majority of all the other by-elections since 2010 were straightforward and predictable “Labour Hold” results – this one was different. Very different.

If the insufferably smug UKIP leader Nigel Farage struts any more zingily, he’ll injure himself! But who can blame him? The incompetence, the 19th Century policies, the 18th Century verbal jousting and lack of cogent communication by the other parties has helped UKIP to begin their final climb to Westminster.

Both main parties will dismiss this colossal electoral success by UKIP as a mere mid-term blip…and they will suffer because of their total lack of either proper analysis or strategy. To both main parties but especially the Conservatives, UKIP has been allowed to become (ironically) like the Eurozone – it has flourished into a problem without solution. UKIP is here to say.

The way any government operates is very straightforward. The first half of its term in office is given over to imposing the necessary “bad bits” – the policies which are bound to be unpopular.

The second half of its tenure (especially in the final 12 months leading to a General Election)  is usually distinguished by the giveaways – the “nice bits”. (Tax decreases, new thresholds, share handouts etc).

This time – it will NOT work. It will not work because , in the final analysis – forget policies and promises….we vote for people we like and trust. The present Coalition government (especially the Tories) have no-one particularly likeable to offer and they have certainly “blown” the last vestiges of any pre-election trust that the electorate had in them.

But the REALLY big tactical error that the Conservatives made in Eastleigh was their choice of candidate, Mrs Maria “I say what I think” Hutchings. She was the nearest that the Tories could find to their own ersatz  UKIP candidate.

They thought that they might just fool the electorate…………. and failed.

We’ve already had the traditional “Yes, it’s disappointing but I’m sure that we can win the voters back at the next General Election” announcement from the Prime Minister.

Are you sure about that, Dave?

(BTW – well done Libdems………. and Nick, there’s a difference between “stunning ” and “stunned”!)