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Keeping a sense of proportion - Croydon style.

The local rag is reporting that the new Conservative administration is having to engage in a bit of balancing of the books, involving : "Cuts in services totalling £16 million, including the loss of the equivalent of nearly 50 full-time jobs, are being presented to Croydon Council leaders on Monday". Most of us would guess that £16m does not exactly equal Year Zero when it comes to a major council, but this is the take from Unison, "Our first reaction is that these cuts are unacceptable" and this from a Labour Councillor, "It's outrageous that in the same week that David Cameron is talking about a new Conservative party nationally, in Croydon we have the same old Tories reaching for the same old measures which result in savage cuts to public services".

Uh-huh. The budget for 2006 gave the council £444,616,000 to play with, so this 'savage cut' amounts to considerably less than 4%. I wonder if the Labour bod would describe a 4% pay increase in similarly colourful terms.

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Anonymous Ellee said... 5:46 pm

Why don't you write a letter to the local rag putting UNISON right, put it in perspective for readers.  



Anonymous Colin said... 6:48 pm

Croydonian,

You might be interested in an article published in the renowed conservative Swiss newspaper "Neue Züricher Zeitung" on 5. September 2006 entitled United Sovjet Republics of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

To my surprise, Oliver Marc Hartwich provides convincing evidence for his thesis that the repudation of GB as a economically more liberal country than those on the continent is a myth. Here some highlights:

Myth # 1: In GB, the state has withdrawn from the economy.

Myth #2: GB is a low-tax country.

Myth #3: The British economy is largely deregulated.

Myth #4: There is nearly full employment in GB.

Myth #5: Economic growth in GB is strong and stable.

In the authors view, GB's repudation as an economically liberal country is a remain of the Thatcher area but facts have considerably changed since Labour took over power and Gordon Brown is going to make things worse.

These politics are unlikely to change because the Tories appear to have similar plans in regard to economy and Islamic terror:

The Conservative Party has not just moved to the left, abandoning Margaret Thatcher and leapfrogging Tony Blair and Gordon Brown on to what David Cameron described as the liberal, progressive mainstream of British politics. No, the Cameron project appears to be far more audacious. He is trying to turn the “new Tories” into an unashamedly statist, high-tax, anti-enterprise party [...] The real danger is not a Tory victory; that remains unlikely. But with Mr Cameron campaigning stridently against “Labour health cuts” and for more “government leadership” in every aspect of British life, how can we expect Gordon Brown to show the necessary self-restraint? From Anatole Kaletsky in The Times, 5 October 2006.

Why should the politicians in Croydon show more self-restraint than the national leaders of the Labour and of the Conservative party?

Moreover, the Conservative party now seems to have the same views as the Left in regard to Islamic terror:

‘We believe it is important to maintain a balanced approach to the issue which does not give precedence to either of the parties to the conflict’ said an email from Cameron’s office written by Alice Sheffield, his sister-in-law.

According to an article by Melanie Philips Astoundingly, the Conservative party was saying that it regarded Israel and Hezbollah as equals in the conflict — and that it would not give precedence to Israel over a force that is committed to its destruction (not to mention the destruction of the west, too).  



Anonymous Andrew Kennedy said... 11:24 pm

And don't forget, Croydonian, that only last May the Conservatives were elected on a clear manifesto pledge to keep Council Tax increases below 4% every year.

By the way... a good friend of mine who now serves in the Conservative Cabinet at Croydon told me that one of the first things he changed upon taking office was the street sweeping arrangements. Did you know that up to May last year, the roads in Labour wards were cleaned weekly, but the wards in the South of Croydon (Tory) were cleaned monthly !  



Blogger Praguetory said... 5:33 am

Colin - Sounds like you're a man to find the "expert commentary" to fit your view.

I will read the Swiss piece and probably agree with the author. The rest is nonsense.

Why would Croydonian be interested in what Kaletsky has to say? Kaletsky is simply an anti-Tory warhorse. He has creeped up to Labour and opposed the Tories on every position they have taken since I can remember. The views of his that you quote are similarly wrong-headed. Sounds like if Brown's balls-up come home to roost it will be Cameron's fault.

I would like to find out UNISON's views on the Labour Party's redundancies and cuts (much more than 4%) and why Croydonian taxpayers can be considered a bottomless pit.

And if you think that Cameron treats Israel and Hezbollah evenly why do you think he was in warmly received at the Conservative Friends Of Israel fringe event at party conference?  



Anonymous Colin said... 4:53 pm

Praguetory,

Thank you for your comments.

I am somewhat surprised to learn that you seem to already know what my view is and what I am thinking even before I know it myself.

I don't have any view on this matter. I simply took the liberty to tell the readers about some interesting information I have found elsewhere, hoping that I would learn more by people reacting to it.

If I understand you correctly, you are saying that Kaletsky is an anti-Tory warhorse and therefore we shouldn't think about the facts presented by him. But what if the facts are correct?

You said "you think that Cameron treats Israel and Hezbollah evenly".

I beg your pardon, Praguetory, but I didn't say that and I don't know if he treats Israel and Hebollah evenly. I simply posted part of Melanie Philips' article for discussion. You are suggesting that he is not doing that. Fine, that's good news. Thank you for the information.

Is my interpretation correct that you believe Cameron would save GB if elected?

I wish I could have your faith in politicians. As far as I understand the mechanism of politics, it's about getting power and keeping it.

And how does a group of politicians get power? They must make all sorts of promises to as many people as possible in order to obtain the majority of votes. Once in power, they immediately start to fulfill their own wishes and the promises are mostly forgotten.

One can do no better than quote H.L. Mencken in this connection: "Politicians seldom if ever get [into public office] by merit alone, at least in democratic states. Sometimes, to be sure, it happens, but only by a kind of miracle. They are chosen normally for quite different reasons, the chief of which is simply their power to impress and enchant the intellectually underprivileged…

In brief, they will divest themselves from their character as sensible, candid and truthful men, and simply become candidates for office, bent only on collaring votes. They will all know by then, even supposing that some of them don’t know it now, that votes are collared under democracy, not by talking sense but by talking nonsense, and they will apply themselves to the job with a hearty yo-heave-ho. Most of them, before the uproar is over, will actually convince themselves. The winner will be whoever promises the most with the least probability of delivering anything."
From Why Bad Men Rule by H.H. Hoppe.

There are some notable exceptions from this rule, e.g. Mrs. Thatcher.

In regard to Cameron, I saw with my own lying eyes on TV that Mrs. Thatcher when asked about the new Tory leader replied that she doesn't know him and that it is not worth knowing him.  



Blogger Praguetory said... 7:35 pm

Colin - I thought we were talking about Croydon council's delivery on promised spending cuts. I don't mind being presented with new "facts" of relevance but

a) can you name one part of Kaletsky's diatribe that is a fact?
b) just because National government has been profligate why should Croydon councillors be so too?
c) you quote Melanie Phillips as gospel. Your words "The Tories seem to have the same views as the left..."

If you can tell me hand-on-heart that you are not grinding an axe, I suppose I will have to take your word for it... anyway these are my last words on the matter, fire another salvo if you must.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 8:23 pm

PT - Colin's definitely one of the good guys. He is a regular over at Cranmer's, and much like me is fond of bringing additional ideas to the table.  



Blogger Praguetory said... 6:49 am

Cheers Croydonian - need to get out more.  



Anonymous Colin said... 11:51 am

It seems not everbody is enjoying discussions. I am sorry for having offended Praguetory by voicing some doubts. May his mind rest in peace.  



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