Saturday, February 28, 2009

Save High Street From Tumbleweed Blight

Empty shops blight the High Street as a decade of false boom and debt-fuelled prosperity takes its toll in a spiral of recession depression. But shoppers don't have to struggle in ghost towns, if a short-sighted government and greedy councils get to grips with the tumbleweed blight. 

Take stroll down any High Street and the sad, squalid picture is the same. Boarded up shops, a sea of 'for lease' signs, posters advertising endless sales. All an easy target for vandalism and decay.

Nowhere is this more keenly felt than in the traditional High Streets of the market towns and inner city shopping communities. And the problem is set to get worse.

A new survey from the the Local Government Association (LGA) says four out of five councils in England have reported an increase in empty premises as the recession bites and is calling for action to halt the spread of "ghost towns". 

The solutions can be found in the root causes of the problem. 

For a decade council were quite happy for High Streets to be taken over by the big chains which rode on the back of a borrowing binge and expanded their empire and  the local family run business went to the wall. 

Fast food joints sprung up everywhere as a nation was sucked in by crap food Britain. The New Labour sandwich of all style and no substance was born.

An estimated 88 million extra square feet of retail space has mushroomed over the past decade. 

Massive supermarkets saw a chance to boost the profits and set up cute little mini-supermarkets up and down the High Streets.  Cheap imports from China exploded into competing retail outlets all selling leisurewear and a whole raft of womenswear shops. Just how many coffee shops and mobile phone shops can a High Street take and need? 

And who's to blame for the expansion? Not the shopper who goes with the flow but the very councils who are now bleating to save the impending ghost towns. 

Local shops, family run business were squeezed out by a massive hike in local business rates as councils saw a chance to make a fast buck, pushing up business rates as the big chain shops moved in  and family run businesses were booted  off the High Street.

The days of the candlestick maker are long gone but they were soon to be followed by the butcher and the baker. 

Local, often family run businesses which had survived and made a living on the High Street for years are the key to  getting the High Street back on it feet again. 

And it's a problem peculiar to the British Isles and rarely seen on continental Europe where local businesses have been protected and allowed to flourish partly because of traditional daily market shopping habits and partly because local mayors have a vested interest in keeping local shops truly local.

Now the call has gone out to make more creative use of the "dead spaces" with empty shops transformed into 'social amenities'. It's not local arty farty amenities that are needed. It's shops. 

It's not as if there are not enough entrepreneurial souls willing to give it a go. But at the moment they are forced to shiver in their thermals and sell from handcarts in windy street markets and car parks up and down the country. 

It is help with those costs that's needed and that means lower rents from the landlords and lower business rates from the local council.

It also means a cut in VAT from 15% to 5% on the refurbishment of empty shops to encourage new businesses.

Councils need to take the lead to stop our High Streets sliding into decline but only if the model of local shops run by local people for the local community is followed. 

Subsidised local shops run by the local community for the local community may sound all pie in the sky. But all that is required is a massive change in a government mindset. 

At the moment ministers are  still burying their  heads in the sand as the tumbleweed takes root and grows all around them. 


Friday, February 27, 2009

Obama Backs Down On Iraq Troop Pledge

Obama loving liberal Americans have been sent in a tizz as the shine starts to fade on their Chosen One and his election pledge to withdraw troops from Iraq has turned out to be a damp squib. War-mongering Bush is being replaced by Obama and his shameful wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. That leaves a bitter taste for those taken in by the hype. 

Over here, C4 News, the BBC and Guardian must be having kittens trying to justify the watered down turnaround. No doubt they'll swallow the line from the White House spin.

Obama has announced the withdrawal of some US troops in Iraq by August 2010, leaving a massive army of around 50,000 Marines and soldiers out of the 142,000 troops at present occupying the country and calling the shots. 

The occupation army will stay in Iraq after that date to "advise Iraqi forces and protect American interests." They will remain until December 31, 2011, the date on which the Bush administration had already agreed to withdraw all troops under a pact with Iraq.

And that sits very uneasy with Obama's election promise that he would completely pull out troops within 16 months of taking the job.

Democrats are not happy that the troop withdrawal is being watered down. Even speaker Nancy Pelosi said 50,000 troops seemed too many for a residual force and needed to be justified.

Yet in the crazy world of Obama hype and doublespeak, the Republicans are lovin' it and McCain is Obama's new best friend. 

Here our own foreign secretary, David Miliband, who has been visiting Iraq, said he found a "real yearning... for Iraqis to run their own affairs, to make their own mistakes but also to make their own progress". 

For once the Orange Party completely agrees with this overgrown schoolboy.

Iraq is being kept under the thumb by a multi billion pound private army of security 'consultants' and massive US bribes to militia groups to switch sides in return for the Yankee dollar. 

50,000 is a hell of a lot of US troops to be fighting an illegal war in a country desperately wanting to make a start on its own destiny, regardless of the fractious in-fighting that's bound to happen as Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds align, realign and square up to each other. 

Earlier this month, Obama ordered  up to 17,000 extra US troops to Afghanistan to support a new surge in that bloody, hopeless and unwinnable war. That's all starting to sound suspiciously like the despised foreign policies of the Bush years. 

Obama has now taken ownership of these wars. Afghanistan is his new Vietnam.

Here the government never had the guts to stand up to Bush and Blair will be forever branded as his poodle. 

As the timetable in Iraq and Afghanistan continues to be dictated by the White House, it's looking increasingly likely Brown will just become the poodle in Obama's wars. But just because Obama thinks it's right, doesn't make it right.

The dreadful lessons and legacies of that Bush and Blair partnership are set to repeat themselves, unless Brown can stop himself firmly embroiling this country in shameful US foreign policy.


Pension Hypocrites Bash The Bank Robbers

Bashing bank robbers is the latest sport whipped up by spinning ministers in the vain hope voters take their eye off the ball of the monstrous bank losses, bail-outs and disastrous economic mess. They nearly got away with it, until the cunning plan backfired. 

It's clear ministers knew all about the rancid Sir Fred pension pot deal but that didn't stop croquet-loving two Jags Prescott wading in with his two penneth and spinning for England. What a bunch of hypocrites. 

Only a fool would fail to notice the massive losses posted by Brown's banks after billions of pounds of taxpayers cash disappeared down a black hole and IOUs mount up. The losses and massive bail-outs get bigger by the day. Taxpayers are screaming enough is enough. Scenting blood, the spinners thought they were onto a winner. 

Former RBS chief fat cat, Fred the Shred Goodwin, drew gasps of disbelief and outrage when it was revealed he was drawing a pension of £690,000 a year, at the tender age of 50, in a pension pot worth £16m. 

Nice work if you can get it and Brown's City pals certainly can. But weasel words from the chancellor and his Munster looking minister cut no ice with voters. 

Tear up the contract, call his bluff sure but the Orange Party suspected treasury ministers had something to hide as the full extent of how much they knew about Sir Fred's pension pay-off was revealed. 

But that didn't stop former deputy prime minister, turned born-again working class hero, turned political blogger, John Prescott trying to keep the pot boiling. "Stop paying him and let him sue in court," shouted Prezza, landing a punch on Sir Fred on the BBC's Today programme. 

Deflect uncomfortable truths is all part of politics but in this case the pot is a little black and so is the kettle. It's all a bit rich and a bit late coming from the incompetent deputy PM who was only brought into Blair's government as an old Labour sop and New Labour prop to push through the Common Purpose agenda. 

Time and again Prescott was rewarded for failure, holding on to his pension perks, fat salary and two grace-and-favour homes while playing the odd game of croquet at Dorneywood while stripped of his departmental responsibilities. 

Prescott famously lost his department after his affair with diary secretary Tracey Temple became public but was allowed to keep his £133,000-a-year salary and perks such as Dorneywood and his flat at Admiralty House.

Ring any bells? Sir Fred is only the latest in a long line of bank robbers bailed out by the taxpayer who can retire on the proceeds of their greed and make a sharp exit from the City with a huge reward for incompetence.

Only the other week Brown promised a crack-down on bonuses. But the fat cats have already escaped from the City zoo with their pension pots.

Former HBOS chief executive Sir James Crosby walked away with a pension worth £10.4m. His side-kick Peter Cummings who oversaw £109 billion of loans leading to the HBOS crash, retires with £5.2m. Crosby's successor at the bank, Andy Hornby left with a pension pot of £2m.

And that's only scratching the surface of the City. The Orange Party could start on the government lackeys in the mish-mash of quangos and bonus-riddled top civil servants who get away with fat pensions and bonuses without a by-your leave but feels a headache coming on just thinking about it.

The real scandal is the greed-driven RBS loss of £24 billion posted yesterday after a monumental taxpayer bail-out and Lloyds £10.8 billion loss today which was bailed out last October by the taxpayer.

Bashing the bankers over bonuses was good fun while it lasted but ministers are just looking around for scapegoats for their own incompetence with Lord Myners now the latest target.  

At the centre is a deluded prime minister and his useless chancellor who are clearly floundering around and way out of their depth, leaving voters numb with the pain of a Laurel and Hardy couple flannelling away looking for someone, anyone, other than themselves to blame. 

Maybe the Supreme Leader will reassure voters that he feels their pain? For the moment the Orange Party has to suffer the useless snake-oil from the spinning medicine men, hoping one day the real pain will go away.

Picture: Enjoying the good life. Prescott takes time off from running the country (BBC)


Thursday, February 26, 2009

1/3M Urge Obama Comes Clean Over Citizenship

A third of a million people are urging US authorities to investigate Obama's eligibility to be president, as demands grow to come clean over his citizenship and birth. Now two US soldiers in Iraq have spoken out, questioning his authority as commander-in-chief. 

Questions over Obama's citizenship and doubts over his birth certificate have swirled around since before the US elections and refuse to go away. 

Now a petition with more than 293,200 signatures is growing longer by the day, openly challenging Obama's eligibility to be president and raising fundamental constitutional and legal issues. 

A second US soldier in Iraq has joined the challenge to Obama's eligibility to be commander-in-chief, following US soldier, 1st Lt. Scott Easterling, who called president Obama an "impostor" and has agreed to be a plaintiff in a lawsuit over the issue highlighted by WorldNetDaily.

Obama "has absolutely refused to provide to the American public his original birth certificate, as well as other documents which may prove or disprove his eligibility," Easterling told WorldNetDaily. "In fact, he has fought every attempt made by concerned citizens in their effort to force him to do so." 

The second soldier asked that he be given no "unnecessary publicity," although his name eventually would become public when a case is filed. 

Both men are highlighted by WorldNetDaily which is also organising the latest petition to be passed on to US authorities, amid concerns a "constitutional crisis" could be looming over the issue of Obama's citizenship. 

The petition is in addition to more than 60,000 separate letters delivered to the US Supreme Court, encouraging justices to review claims about Obama's ineligibility.

Clearly some of this could be party political sour grapes and skulduggery or a dislike of Obama, rather than concern over legal and constitutional issues. Nevertheless the numbers are large enough to merit serious consideration by the US authorities and courts.

The Orange Party first highlighted doubts and questions over Obama's citizenship and eligibility to run for president back in August, as a huge internet campaign began to gain momentum in the run up to the US elections and legal challenges started to sweep across the States. 

But with a bigger wave of Obamamania sweeping the country, it became clear such issues were destined to be swept under the carpet as part of unprecidented campaign of media manipulation.

Many have raised questions about Obama's qualifications to be US president, because of the secrecy over his birth certificate and the requirement for presidents be "natural-born" US citizens.

Defend Our Freedom Foundation is working on a series of legal cases seeking to uncover Obama's birth records and other documents that would reveal whether he meets the requirements of the US Constitution.

Obama seems to have waltzed through the inauguration and swearing-in ceremonies without proving he was born in America as he claims. 

The issue of Obama's citizenship was first highlighted by the Orange Party, when US bloggers revealed an alleged copy of Obama's birth certificate, posted by his campaign team on the internet showing his birth place as Hawaii, was a fake

Later revelations centred on Obama's Indonesian school record which, as Barack Soetoro, showed Indonesian citizenship.

Multiple legal challenges to Obama's status as a 'natural born citizen' have been made in the US courts. Obama has always maintained he was born in Hawaii to support his claim for US citizenship and representatives for Obama have called such ineligibility claims "garbage".

But some of the lawsuits question whether he was actually born in Hawaii, as he insists. 

Some challenges focus on Obama's citizenship through his father, a Kenyan subject to UK jurisdiction at the time of his birth, thus making him a dual citizen. The cases contend the Constitution excluded dual citizens from qualifying as 'natural born'.

Obama's half-sister, Maya Soetoro, has named two different Hawaii hospitals where Obama could have been born, fuelling the speculation. 

The central issue is, if a Hawaii birth certificate exists, as his administration has continually stated, why hasn't Obama simply ordered the original paper vault copy to be made available to settle the rumours?

All these lawsuits and challenges would be dropped and the matter cleared up once and for all, if Obama would simply provide the requested official, original, paper documents, supporting his claim of being born in Hawaii.

A wave of state lawsuits challenging Obama's claims to US citizenship swept across the US as the presidential campaign entered its final days. 

Those cases continue in courts across several US states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, California, Chicago and Hawaii, North Carolina, Ohio, Washington state, Georgia and Texas.

Many believe Obama is just a smooth-talking snake-oil salesman who's been propelled to power by a slick Chicago marketing machine, set on raising false hopes and shattering the dreams of millions of decent, honest Americans. 

Now with the Obamashine starting to wear off, the central constitutional issues are becoming increasingly important. 

Obama's eligibility raises fundamental constitutional issues as the Obama camp has steadfastly continued to flannel and fudge on the issue over the election of the most powerful person on the planet. 

Despite the best efforts of the White House and much of the Main stream media, doubts over Obama's citizenship and eligibility as president and commander-in-chief will not go away.

The Orange Party believes these doubts, questions and challenges will continue to linger and fester until the wheels finally start to fall of the Obama bandwagon. 

At which point they'll be used as ammunition as a ground swell of public opinion turns against Obamaland. That's often the American way.


Get A Grip Darling, Taxpayers Are Revolting

Taxpayers and bank jobs will be hit as RBS is shored up in Brown's biggest ever bank bailout, while the former boss trousers a £650,000 a year pension and the company announces the biggest annual loss in UK corporate history. But taxpayers own 70% of the bank, so who's looking after the shop? 

RBS, which was bailed out last year, today announced an eye-watering loss of £24 billion and a shake-up which did not rule out substantial job cuts.

Meanwhile former RBS chief executive, Fred The Shred Goodwin, is already drawing a pension of £650,000 a year, despite being in his prime at 50, in a pension pot worth £16m. Nice work if you can get it and Brown's City pals certainly can. 

Hapless chancellor Darling reckons he only knew about the obscene pension pot after the BBC blew the whistle.

Both Darling and the treasury ministers looked like startled rabbits caught in the headlights and have promise to "look into the legal contracts." 

Darling told the BBC Today programme that when he found out it was very clear he had to go back to RBS to see who agreed this and why they agreed it and whether they have grounds to claw some of it back. Bolting horses and stable doors spring to mind. 

And, in what must take the prize as the understatement of the year, Darling added: "People will find it very difficult to understand how you can get paid £650,000 a year for the rest of your life when you look at the state RBS is in at the moment.

Er, too right. Ministers must have known this when they took over the bank back in October. If they didn't, they should have as they pumped in billions of pounds of taxpayers cash. After all, the pension was, in part, public money. That pension should have been stopped in its tracks then. 

Weasel words from the chancellor cut no ice with voters. Tear up the contract, call his bluff. No one wants their dirty washing hung out in public. You won't see Fred the Shred for dust as he sails off into the wild blue yonder, never mind in court. The Orange Party suspects treasury ministers have something to hide - how much did they know about Sir Fred's pension pay-off? 

Just to rub salt in the wound, the bulk of RBS losses came mainly from its disastrous 2007 takeover of ABN Amro with Goodwin at the helm.

These bank bail-outs are getting bigger by the day. Taxpayers are screaming enough is enough. The Orange Party loves it when the BBC's Robert Peston talks technical. A treasury stooge, sure, but he's a dab hand at the banking science bit: 
"The Treasury has announced that we as taxpayers will provide insurance to Royal Bank against future losses on £325 billion of loans and investments.

"First losses of up to £19.5 billion on those impaired assets will be taken by Royal Bank. But to prevent the losses wrecking the bank, we as taxpayers will be injecting up to £19 billion of new capital into it, in the form of non-voting shares.

"Also, losses greater than £19.5 billion will be born by us - by taxpayers. In a prolonged severe recession, those losses could be substantial.

"What we're getting in return is a £6.5 billion fee - in the form of yet more of these non-voting shares. And RBS has given a legally binding commitment to increase lending by £25 billion in 2009.

"We already own 70% of Royal Bank - and that stake could rise to a maximum of 75% after today's deal with the Treasury. Now the Treasury has announced that we as taxpayers will provide insurance to RBS against future losses on £325 billion of loans and investments."
Lloyds Banking Group is also expected to take part in the scheme, which could see taxpayers guaranteeing up to £600 billion worth of toxic debt as the government continues with its reckless borrowing binge and saddle taxpayers with a burden of debt for decades to come. 

RBS also announced a "sweeping" shake-up of the group's business as it aims to cut costs by £2.5 billion a year.

Translated into English that means job losses. A high price to pay for bank staff and the taxpayers but clearly not as high as the pension pay-off.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Man Of Straw Blocks Iraq's Dirty Secrets

Dirty secrets behind Blair's lies and deceit over the illegal Iraq War could be covered-up behind a wall of secrecy for years to come if justice secretary puppet, Jack Straw, gets his way, after blocking publication of minutes of key cabinet meetings held in the 2003 run-up to the war.

The cabinet meetings expose one of the most shameful episodes of Blair's premiership and now look set to be confined to the 30 years cabinet rule, despite the Information Tribunal stressing that disclosure of the Iraq material would not necessarily set a precedent.

Straw claims the release of the information would do "serious damage" to cabinet government and outweighed public interest needs. The only interest it serves is for those round the cabinet table at the time, including the now prime minister.

The government has built up a wall of secrecy over the release of the cabinet meeting minutes which centre on the attorney general's legal advice on whether the invasion was allowed under international law.  

Tories have backed the cabinet cover-up despite repeatedly calling for a full-scale inquiry into the Iraq war with many people still angry about the deceits and cover-ups. 

But the release of the cabinet minutes would reopen controversy over the then attorney general Lord Goldsmith's legal advice.

On March 17 on the eve of war, Lord Goldsmith's opinion, unequivocally saying military action was legal, was presented to cabinet, MPs and the military and published.

But, after reports that he had changed his mind as the planned invasion approached, the initial lengthy advice given to Blair earlier on 7 March was leaked and published.

That advice raised a number of questions and concerns about the possible legality of military action against Iraq without a second UN resolution and was never shown to the cabinet.

The Orange Party has no doubt. The cabinet minutes should be released as a matter of utmost public interest even if it does mean hanging out some dirty washing in public. Those around the cabinet table who took these decisions should be held to account. 

But it is the dirty secrets of the 'sexed up' dodgy dossier which would prove most damaging and that's still well under wraps

At the end of the day everyone knows Blair was lying through his polished political teeth. And if he could get away with one porky, then Saddam's elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction would be a piece of cake. 

The "sexed-up" dossier, with its now de-bunked '45 minutes weapons of mass destruction' claim, was published in 2002 as parliament returned and Blair needed the dossier to boost his case for the Iraq invasion. 

Intelligence chief, John Scarlett, who was in charge of the dossier, allowed changes to be inserted by Downing Street spin doctor, Alastair Campbell. 

Campbell's Diaries reveal how he reacted furiously to a report by Andrew Gilligan on the BBC Today programme, implying that he had inserted a key claim in the dossier stating weapons could be launched in 45 minutes. 

Ministry of Defence weapons expert, Dr David Kelly, who met Gilligan to discuss the dossier, was found dead in Oxfordshire, following a witch hunt by the government for Gilligan's source.

The Hutton Inquiry whitewash into Kelly's death found that Campbell proposed a number of changes to the dossier before its publication, some of which were accepted.

The cabinet office has yet to lift the lid on that Iraq "sexed-up" dodgy dossier, after the information commissioner's request to release the documents. But after today's cabinet minutes veto by Straw, don't hold your breath. 


Is Mandy's Mail Sell Off Brown's Downfall?

Bulging mailbags of hate-mail await ministers and pay-roll MPs as Mandelson's Royal Mail sell-off plans outrage postal workers and more than 120 backbench Labour MPs. 

Beleaguered Brown faces the biggest backbench rebellion of his premiership, as ministers pass the parcel while their cabinet colleague lords it up over privatisation. 

Mandleson's plans for a sell-off dressed up as 'part-privatisation' has left backbench Labour MPs furious at the betrayal of a central plank of Labour Party policy and manifesto commitment. That's now set to be tossed aside with the privatisation bill craftily introduced in the Lords on Thursday to escape commons wrath and give Brown wriggle-room. 

More than 120 Labour MPs have signed a commons motion calling on the government to scrap the plan which is splitting the Party. But that cuts no ice with Mandelson's cunning plan to begin a New Year fire sale of the last remaining publicly-owned assets, to swell empty treasury coffers.

Adding fuel to the fire was a letter leaked today warning the Royal Mail pension fund was at risk. The leak had Mandy's pawprints all over it, as postal workers gathered for today's Westminster protest. Dirty tricks like that, say the unions, is blackmail. 

The letter, from pension fund trustees, warns the pensions deficit is "significantly larger" than the £5.9 billion in last year's Hooper Review and was likely to rise even higher should the sale not go ahead, with potentially "devastating consequences" for the business.

CWU general secretary, Bill Hayes, branded the letter leaking a scandal and has called the labelling of the proposed Royal Mail sell-off as 'part-privatisation' "laughable". 

The government has proposed taxpayers taking over the pension scheme but only as part of the proposed sell-off package. No matter how Mandy the Mailman tries to spin it, this is a backdoor sell-off with disastrous consequences for jobs

Taxpayers look set to be saddled with Royal Mail's billion pounds pension burden for years to come with some crafty accounting, as the government plans a back door sell-off, putting thousands of jobs at risk. 

The widely leaked Hooper report prepared the ground and softened up the public. Claiming 'inefficiencies' with a remedy of 'radical surgery', it gave the government and Mandelson just the excuse needed for a partial sell-off, once the stumbling block of the massive pension debt was removed with a neat accounting trick. 

With that pension black-hole dumped on the taxpayer, the government could press ahead with a sell-off dressed up as a 'partnership' with private operators and neatly side step any manifesto commitment that this vital public service will not be privatised, making a mockery of a 'universal public service'.

But no matter how it is dressed up, this will lead to switching the huge pension asset and liability to the taxpayers who will get nothing in return, as a vital and strategic public service is prepared to be sold off. But, as postal workers point out, if the government can bail out the banks why not the pension fund. 

What is needed is investment not a half-baked sell-off. If pushed through, the casualties will be the hard working and dedicated postal workers, a raft of large-scale job losses and the loss of a 'Royal' service we have come to rely on over the years. 

But as taxpayers are set to pick up the pensions bill while the Royal Mail's best bits are sold off to yet another foreign owner,  Brown is left having to rely on Tory and LibDem votes to get the bill through parliament.

All that that should sit uneasy with former postman and CWU leader Alan Johnson, now beaming away in the cabinet. But branded an outspoken Blair loyalist and positive enthusiast for privatisation by the Party, backbench MPs cannot count on the vote of a New Labour prop. 

Time and again the myth of privatisation as a cure all for economic ills carried out with so much glee by the so-called 'Labour' government has been exposed as a miserable failure. 

Dave and the Tories have a choice. Land taxpayers with a pension debt burden for years to come, open public services to market forces, alienate and throw away the working vote or block the bill and drive another nail in Brown's coffin? For Brown, having to rely on Tory support, it's a lose-lose situation.

Picture: Tractor Stats (RIP)


Monday, February 23, 2009

Real Spin Behind 'Real Help Now'

The most shameful and blatant party political propaganda has surfaced with the government using taxpayers cash to prop up its discredited economic policies on another of its websites. 

Billed as the 'recovery' website, Brown referred to the launch of  Real Help Now  as the cabinet met for one of its carefully managed and highly controlled 'hide from the people' jollies, this time in Southampton.

The Orange Party first thought this was a joke. One of those silly little sites dreamt up by the Go Forth and Multiply gang. But it's an official site with the Crown logo of HM Government with nowhere to challenge misleading and highly spun statements. 

Needless to say the site has already been given the usual free puff by pals at the BBC: "No 10 confirmed the site's launch, saying the idea behind it was to enable people to find details of all the support it was giving workers, employers and homeowners in one place".

That of course justifies the taxpayers cash as thinly disguised party political propaganda is dressed up as public information.

It's easy to scratch the surface to see what is the real motive behind 'Real Help Now'. It's positively drooling with positive spin.

Full of puffs for the government and its ministers, it includes of course the obligatory Brownspeak message of how it's everyones fault but his own for the economic mess.

The website is being run by the cabinet office, the very place where deep in the bowels lurk the spinners who are clearly out of touch with reality trying to prop up this 'fag-end of a government on the verge of collapse'. 

The Orange Party has in the past flagged up Brown's own personal Downing Street web site as a clear breach of civil service rules and protocols and nothing more than a cheap political propaganda sham at the taxpayer's expense. 

Hard-pressed families struggling with the recession will find it hard to understand how a New Labour government can so freely spend their cash peddling party political propaganda. As election day draws ever closer, 'Real Help Now' really takes the biscuit.