Saturday, May 30, 2009

Dithering Mandy Drives Car Workers Nuts

Wheeler-dealing dithering over the future of Vauxhall has left anxious workers facing the bread-line as Mandelson's grandstanding petty politics makes a mockery of protecting jobs while UK manufacturing is left to go to the wall. 

Mandelson and Brown are caught in a mess of their own making as workers and trade union leaders at the threatened car plants round on the government while the odd couple posed for pictures for the Downing Street album (above)

Waving his Chamberlain scrap of "peace for time" paper, show-business secretary Mandelson was "optimistic that Vauxhall can be saved", in a deal to rescue GM's European businesses. But here's the rub: "Of course it will involve change, there is excess capacity." Translating NewLabour double speak that means your job is on the line, mate. 

UK plants in Ellesmere Port and Luton have already been cut back to the bone. There's no slack left. Even a fool can see that one of the plants will have to go as new owners take a pan-European take on the future and follow the money trail of Berlin backed loans. 

While Mandy fannied around, Germany got in quick sewing up the deal to protect its workers and the crucial manufacturing which is at the heart of the German economy.

But try that here? No fear. What is it with a so-called 'Labour' government which props up big business and puts people at the bottom of the heap? 

A so-called 'Labour' government which cannot bear to bring itself to use the dreaded N-word even for a short-term fix.

At the heart is Mandelson, scheming and spinning around with his eye on the fat chance of votes and elections. More happy to swan around with airy fairy notions of trade while others EU countries run rings around him. 

Happy to swan around sticking the words skills and enterprise in front of everything as a smokescreen for jobs cuts.

Content to sell-off Royal Mail when the 'Network Mail' solution is staring him in the face with a not for profit state-owned company until the good times roll again. 

Content to let the once proud car industry go to the wall and with it thousands of jobs which hides the pain and suffering beneath. Jobs mean people struggling to make ends meet, feeding mouths and feeding mortgages, while Mandy lords it up in political La-La Land.

Germany has agreed a deal with Canadian car parts maker Magna to take over most of GM Europe, which owns Vauxhall and Germany-based Opel backed by a Russian bank and Russian truck-maker GAZ.

With about half of GM Europe's 50,000 workers employed in Germany that makes sense but what about the 5,500 jobs here in the UK and the thousands in the supply chains?

For the government Vauxhall could not have come at a worse time and one would have thought they'd pull out all the stops. After all, Euro elections are around the corner and everyone's thoroughly pissed off with EU states who say one thing and then merrily look after their own lot behind this country's back. And those green shoots of recovery won't look to good when word gets round that Luton has to close down. 

But even Mandy's dalliance with Russian billionaire Ivor Loadasmoneyski cut no ice as Magna's Russian backers found it easier to do business with the German government rather than a piddling little plotting politician in a weak-kneed excuse for a government. 

UK car manufacturing is in the doldrums. Who can afford to buy a new car or be forced to take out another crippling loan in the middle of economic recession depression? But saving one UK car industry with a few billion quid is a drop in the ocean to the obscene amount of cash pumped in to prop up the banks and New Labour's greedy pals in the city.

What's a few billion when tens of billions are being squandered on a useless NHS computer and a bloody, wasteful war in Afghanistan. 

Spend a few bob, buy up the plants and protect the jobs. Stick a Union Flag badge on the front, sell them cheap and screw the competition. Mothball and short-time working sure but keep the plants ticking over and use this as an opportunity to begin the much-needed training and apprenticeship schemes for when eventually the country is back on its feet. 

Subsidising car manufacturing and the workers is cheaper and more dignified than forcing poor down trodden souls to look for none existent jobs and handed a dole cheque at the end of the week while manufacturing plants are left to rot. That's what the rest of the world is doing anyway albeit covertly.

The country is left with another missed opportunity for beleaguered Brown and his spinning business secretary and the workers at Luton and Ellesmere Port are left with a very uncertain future. 

Picture: Brown and Mandelson make the most of their Downing Street photo opportunity while they can


By-Election Bypass For House Of Conmans

The final nail in the coffin of democracy is being driven home as a growing band of rotten MPs refuse to quit now and force crucial bye bye by-elections in the House of Conmans. 

It's thirteenth times lucky for moneybags Morley as the squalid MPs' expenses scandal exposes a political elite making a mockery of democracy. 

Bent on feathering their own nest at the expense of the people, the once sacred democratic process is being cast aside for greed and power.

MPs may be dropping like flies but they are not dropping beleaguered Brown in it with a by-election nor dropping on their knees to the will of the people who want the crooks and spivs driven out of Westminster. 

A squalid deal has been struck. They will be "forced to quit", decide to "stand down" or daintily "step down" at the next election, keeping their ill-gotten gains and sailing off into the wild blue yonder with a fat pay off, leaving a tattered democracy in their wake. 

Wind back just a few years and any MP caught out in a major scandal, sleaze or downright criminal behaviour would be out on their ears, forcing a by-election to clear the air. 

The game is to hold on until that general election but that will not assuage public anger and disgust. A general election is then, this is now, particularly if Brown or his successor try to cling on to power until the very bitter end.

Disgraced speaker Martin was the exception, forced to quit because he'd ruffled the feathers of the political class against the 'will of parliament'. The 'will of the people' didn't get a look in and nor will it with no general election on the immediate horizon.

All political parties seem to have signed up to the sham. At £70,000 a pop, by-elections don't come cheap and with the public mood against MPs, the outcomes are hard to predict with so-called "independents" masquerading behind powerful political backers throwing spanners in the works.

MPs can be booted out. The honourable member can do the honourable thing. Local parties can pull the rug with no confidence. Political leaders can withdraw the whip. The result is the same. Without the Party comfy cushion, the shamed MP is forced to quit now. 

Downing Street has found it's own spinning way out of the disgrace as bunkered Brown comes out of hiding with the bare-faced cheek to take up valuable space in the Sun, with a blatant hypocritical hyperbole exploiting the scandal for all its worth. 

Promising to "clean up politics" while trying to clean up the votes has a hollow ring to it. Suffering its worst ever poll rating ahead of next week's Euro elections, Murdoch's sister paper The Times tells it as it is: "Britain's Got Browned Off".

And that on the day after one of his shamed former New Labour ministers became the 13th MP to announce that he would "stand down" - at the next election. Brown's bleatings mean diddly squat to voters who can see through the sham. 

Elliot Morley's disgrace was to claim £16,000 for a mortgage that didn't exist. The Telegraph also alleged he rented out a London flat designated as his main residence to another New Labour MP.

But the Orange Party isn't singling out ex-teacher Morley just because he's a one of the despised breed who  took the Blair shilling and became a hard-line supporter of the regime while feathering his own nest - though it helps. He's just part of the crate of bad apples rotting and festering way. 

MPs who broke the law by claiming for non-existent mortgages should be prosecuted, says Cameron, once again leading the way for belated Brown to follow. 

Morley's case brings into sharp focus the Supreme Leader's tough-talking weasly-worded response - describing allegations against Morley as "serious" but not serious enough apparently for allegations of fraud to merit being tested in the courts never mind the court of public opinion.  

As the Orange Party has made clear before, MPs are tripping the light fantastic stepping down or standing down with a fat parachute payoff and pension pot without a by-your-leave or bye bye by-election. And that sticks in the throats of the long suffering, hard-up public. 

Sure the last thing beleaguered Brown needs now is another by-election. He's more bent on looking for the invisible green shoots of recovery to bolster his doomed position, focusing on a vote 'winner' of the economy and trying to capture the hearts and minds of Sun readers. 

But there's something very rotten about a democratic system whereby angry and disgusted voters are being forced to put up with the charade of MPs as guilty as sin, sitting it out and sitting pretty until a general election. 

By-election? What by-election? After greedy bankers left the banks in ruins and fled with a fat pay-off, now it's the turn of the political elite to feather their own nest and look after their own kind. 

Voters, the people who pay their wages and prop up their lavish lifestyles, won't get a look in leaving people of Luton South spitting out "That's Life". 

Come general election time it may well have all blown away as the fag-end government hopes but it will not be forgotten. 

Top graphic: Private Eye


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Which Troughing Totty Should Be On Top?

Under fire fiddling New Labour MP, 'Dry Rot' Moran, is to quit in shame at the next election. A Tory totty is daintily stepping down with a helping  hand from Dave. Shurley shome mishtake? Should that all be the other way round? 

Angry voters have been caught in the middle of a squalid game of party political point scoring as the spinners work out a crafty way of duping the public in the MPs' expenses stakes.

Two MPs, Tory Julie Kirkbride and New Labour's Margaret Moran, have announced they will both quit at the next election over the expenses scandal. But who came first the chick or the rotten egg?

On a good day to bury bad news, New Labour was in like a shot with a quickie and the discredited Tory was followed hard on the heels by a like-for-like New Labour scalp.

The Orange Party suspects a little game of party politicking here. Voters are no fools. They've been hoodwinked but can see through the sham.

"Stepping or standing down" is a Carry On Regardless, keeping their ill-gotten gains until handed a handsome parachute pay-off package and gold-plated pension pot on a plate, all funded by the hard-up taxpayer.

Stepping down or staying on. Either way it is not putting bunkered Brown on the spot with an immediate by-election. 

The media is faced with a battle of the headlines. Whose name do you put first? What picture do you use? An open and honest Moran and shifty Kirkbride or vice versa? Brown's BBC has a glum and shifty Kirkbride and smiley Moran (opposite). Natch. 

Disposable Moran has been under fire with her card marked for a long time after it was disclosed she claimed £22,500 for treating dry rot at her partner's home in Southampton, 100 miles from both her constituency and Westminster.

Kirkbride has been in the middle of witch-hunt since it was disclosed she and her husband had been claiming the second home allowance for mortgage interest payments on two properties - one in London and one in the Midlands.

It gets mighty hot in the under fire kitchen. You pays your money and takes your choice but the Orange Party cannot help feel the frenzy over Kirkbride was reaching fever pitch while Moran was shielded and left to languish in luxury.

MPs may be quitting like flies but none of them are of such a political significance they would rock a Party boat and threaten to sink it.

Tough-talking weasel-worded Brown shammed it up as New Labour bit-players in the MPs' expenses scandal were shunted into the long grass and given the 'Star Chamber' treatment. 

Meanwhile cabinet cronies are being let off Scot-free for fiddling the taxman by putting accountants on expenses and scamming second homes fiddles. 

How can the public trust a prime minister who on the one hand pledges to "clean up politics" and that MPs who had misbehaved would be dealt with and with the other hand plays for time and backs up his cabinet cronies? 

The whole expenses scandal has left a nasty taste in the mouth whether it's claiming for lavish expenses or a corrupt second homes flipping fiddle.  

The Orange Party only hopes the Telegraph hasn't run out of scandal steam just yet and the full horror of the 'spouse' scam is exposed. Employing partners and children by MPs to boost the family coffers is at best a dodgy practice if no one else got a look in for the plum job.

How many are hired without so much as a job interview to feather the family nest? Keeping it all in the family without any competition kinda goes against employment law for public servants and EU directives. Hattie will not be happy. 

And who's up to her neck in that racket? As well as claiming for his porn videos and an iPhone, two homes secretary Smith's hubby is employed as her parliamentary adviser on a salary of £40,000 a year.

Voters are fed up with a cat and mouse game of brinkmanship and the charade of bit-players forced to bite the dust. The only way to clear out the stables and remove the rotten stench is through a general election now, stupid. 

Only the MPs and their hangers on who have the most to lose are bleating and clinging on to a nice little earner and cushy little number, unwittingly paid for by the taxpayer. Real people forced to scrape a living in the real world want a real election.

Top picture: Private Eye. Mid top picture: BBC News. Mid bottom picture: Mail


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Can Cameron Convince He's The Man Who Can?

Ahead of the curve, Mr Fix-It is turning his sights on some serious people politics to break the stranglehold of government and Downing Street in the wake of MPs' scandalous expenses. Will this herald a new era of politics or is Mr Ambition doing a Blair and Obama, making election promises for the sake of the sound bites, peddling his personality disguised as people power? 

Voters disgust over MPs' expenses has left a bitter taste. Parliament has prostituted itself to a New Labour ruling class. A bunch of crooks and spivs in a fag-end government have been exposed clutching at straws and in denial in a desperate bid to cling on to power to the bitter end. 

All parties are falling over themselves to be the big reformer and Cameron is setting the pace. 

The Tory leader has been way ahead leading the way, dealing with the rotting mess, dealing with the scandal, tapping into the public mood with measures which chime with voters and grasping the agenda back from the grubby paws of Downing Street.

Dave is billed as 'the man who can' but at heart he remains Mr Ambition. The public was disgusted by the moat and duck house but clearing out Tory grandees and Thatcher old guard from Cameron's conservatives suits him down to the ground. 

This is one smart kid on the block sure but we've been there before. Is the heir to Blair showing his true colours? 

No one can hold a candle to past master Blair. But Cameron is proving to be every inch a smart apprentice. 

Flying high on the back of scandal and sleaze, the device, used so effectively by Blair and Obama, is simple. Contact and convince. Capture the public mood. Say what the public want to hear. He who wins over the hearts and minds wins the votes. 

In the US, Obama's election promises have been blown out of the water because they were just that - electioneering promises. Now Americans are getting an uneasy, queasy feeling of being betrayed by a man they put the hopes and dreams and trust in with blind faith.

Cameron can work the crowds but the Orange Party would not tar Dave with the same broad brush as Blair and his new US counterpart. Cameron is in it for the pleasure and the passion of the politics. Both Blair and Obama were in it to win it for themselves. 

Today in the Guardian the Tory leader promises to deliver a "radical redistribution of power from Westminster" in response to voter disgust over MPs' expenses. From "the political elite to the man and woman in the street". Few would disagree with such fine words but actions speak louder. 

At the heart of the rhetoric though is the one issue which New Labour has either failed to grasp or it is not in its interest to do so. 

And that is the power and influence of the government in general and Downing Street in particular on the working of parliament and the State. 

For New Labour, its government is the State, with parliament playing second fiddle to a premiership turning into a presidency. 

Among Cameron's proposals is a plan to curb the powers of Number 10. A strange position for any future prime minister to crave for less power rather than more. 

Introducing fixed-term parliaments, ending the right of Downing Street to control the timing of general elections is welcome. That gets to the heart of the Supreme Leader’s stubborn refusal to bow to the will of the people and go to the country.

But of all the measures, the Orange Party would single out the limiting of the royal prerogative which allows a prime minister, in the name of the monarch, to make major decisions without the backing of parliament.

That device was used by Blair with full, devastating and scandalous effect as he moved towards his president style of government - from keeping it in his back-pocket to satisfy his taste for war, to throwing out displaced islanders of Diego Garcia to create a secret Gitmo, to using it to promote his spin doctor Campbell and side step and override the civil service. 

Publishing the expenses claims of all public servants earning more than £150,000 is another thorny issue which has to be addressed. Why must it be  left to the dogged determination of Private Eye to expose the expenses scandals of Sir John Bourn at the National Audit Office?

In one fell swoop Cameron has managed to switch the agenda away from the airy fairy PR referendum electoral reform mumbo jumbo revealed by New Labour leader-in-waiting Johnson, in Murdoch's  The Times. That not only fell on voters deaf ears but hasn't a cat in hells chance of being implemented in the next generation parliament. 

The Orange Party wants to believe Cameron won't just turn into another Blair or Obama promising the earth and delivering nothing. Mr Ambition sure but he is finding that golden bullet of trust and leadership and has honest anger and a passion for politics on his side. 

Moreover Cameron seems to be protecting himself from the temptation of using the Downing Street machine to tighten a grip on power even before he's elected. That iron grip has been the hallmark of a discredited New Labour brand and that's a healthy start. 

But Dave should play down the "people power" bit. Don't start down the path of the People's this and the People's that. The people have seen through that sham. They've been there before with Blair and now Obama. You cannot fool even some of the people some of the time with all that the Man of the People hype. 

The general election when it finally comes will herald a new dawn in politics. It has to for the sake of democracy.  A trusted straight politician who for once actually delivers on their promises, a pretty straight kinda guy who is just that would make a refreshing change.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Rotting Cabinet Chokes On Its Own Greed

Bad apples in the cabinet have been caught out troughing and fiddling at the taxpayers expense in another scandalous abuse of public money. But are there signs of remorse and doing the honourable thing? Are there heck.

Laying bare a greedy cabinet rotten to the core, beleaguered Brown's "smearing" side-kick Balls tried it on with a claim for Remembrance poppy wreaths and nine cabinet cronies used taxpayers cash to pay for accountants to fiddle their expenses.

On a day when they should hang their heads in shame, the smug and arrogant bunch of spivs and crooks grandstand with the smokescreen of electoral reform and bunkered Brown brings chaos to the country, refusing calls from the people for an early election. 

The rotten core at the heart of government comes in the latest revelations from the Telegraph with the seedy greedy cabinet back in the firing line with taxpayers forking out for a mind-boggling list of extras as the scandalous cabinet fleeced the public for all it's worth. 

Top of the dung heap is schools secretary Balls, already up to his neck in damaging allegations over triple flipping his second homes with treasury minister wife Cooper. Well shielded by Downing Street, he now faces the damning, damaging allegation that he tried to claim for the cost of two Remembrance Wreaths before his claim was thrown out by the fees office.  

And to top it all, Brown's golden cabinet couple claimed £30,000 for car and train journeys, including £4,100 for their four young children, according to the Mail.

Having a laugh at the taxpayers' expense, nine cabinet members, including hapless Darling had the gall to get their tax advice on the taxpayer, charging the public for accountants to do their personal tax returns. 

While ordinary folk struggle knee-deep in paperwork with self-assessment tax forms, the cabinet bunged the expenses on expenses and sent taxpayers the bill. 

Trying to claim the cost of an accountant to fill in a tax form as a legitimate business expense wouldn't get past the taxman. And that now begs the question - if Darling can't handle his own tax return, how the hell can he cope with the country's finances?

But it's the revelation over miserly Balls and his poppy wreaths which sticks in the throat. Only recently Tory MP James Gray, caused outrage when he was accused of doing the same thing. He faced instant calls for the sack, rightly branded a "copper-bottomed shit". 

But a Tory backbencher is one thing, a top government minister with his eye on the treasury top job, it seems is quite another. 

Bunkered Brown has already branded bleating Blears dodgy claims as "completely unacceptable". Will he now come out of hiding to castigate most of his rotten cabinet? Highly unlikely. If just one greedy fiddling cabinet minister does the honourable thing and quits, the whole rotten pack of corrupt cards collapse. 

MPs are spending another long break at the taxpayers expense counting the cost of their expenses and facing the wrath of voters now desperate for a general election. Left shocked and disgusted wondering if it could really get any worse, today it did.

The chancing chancellor was among nine members of the cabinet who used taxpayer funded expenses to pay for an accountant to complete their personal tax returns, disclosed by the Telegraph.
Darling, along with others including Blears, Hoon and Smith, all claimed for the costs of accountancy advice, using expenses intended to fund their parliamentary and constituency offices.

Most of the cabinet are already up to their neck fiddling expenses and dodgy second homes deals. Only Johnson has a totally clean bill of health. Now several cabinet ministers stand accused of manipulating the expenses system for personal gain by claiming for accountants. That's fraud in anyone's book.  The Taxman and Knacker of the Yard should be on the case.

Other ministers who claimed for personal tax advice include foreign secretary Miliband, environment secretary Benn, work and pensions secretary Purnell, and international development secretary Alexander.

Some secretaries they've turned out to be. Instead of claiming for run of the mill office running costs and stationery, ministers are charging taxpayers for life's little luxuries. 

Taxpayers have been coughing up on media trainers for three members of the cabinet including Brown's deputy Party leader, Harman.

Fancy a free digital camera or camcorder? No problem. Eight ministers, including chief secretary to the treasury, Cooper and Blears bought digital cameras or camcorders using office expenses.

And several ministers were warned by the commons authorities for trying to use parliamentary expenses to fund "overtly political campaigning".

An iPhone for the other half? Not content with taxpayers footing the bill for hubby's penchant for porn, two homes secretary Smith claimed for one for her husband who works as her assistant.

Dithering Brown is under pressure to heed the will of the people and call an early election to clear the air of the rotten stench at Westminster and the disgrace of those MPs up to their necks in sleazy scandal.

But instead of facing up to their crimes, Brown and his cabinet cronies hide away in the bunker of shame, playing for time,  hoping it will all go away. 

Today squeaky clean Blairite prop Johnson threw his hat in the leadership ring, put up as a smokescreen to change the narrative grandstanding grand ideas about electoral reform while trying to wrong foot the Brownites and the Tories with Mandy pulling his strings. 

Corruption at the very heart of government is eating away at itself. The public have had enough. Electoral reform, constitutional reform? Political posturing. That is then, this is now. 

A new government will have a clear mandate from the people to clear up the squalid expenses mess once and for all. Only next time, with the public on its back, the new kids on the block will have to keep their word, instead of making cheap promises on the steps of Number 10.