Labour took the country where they took their party

The more I see of Lord Prescott the more I am starting to like him in his new role. I tell you he looks lots slimmer and seems to be loving campaigning to be treasurer of his party. Maybe I’m going soft in my old age. I know when I was involved in politics in Chesterfield the Tories got on well enough with the very left wing Labour representatives. You knew where you stood, and there was of course he mutual hatred of the Lib… oh enough of that.

In some rather candidd comments JP suggests that the Labour party faces bankruptcy.  Now forgive me, but that is exactly the same situation the same people left the country, yet their leadership contenders seem intent of sticking their heads in the sand and are trying to convince people that oh no, to not make any cuts is the right thing and that spending more is what is required.

Face up to the facts. Labour  took the country to the brink of bankruptcy just as they have taken their party down that same path. Frankly I am not too concerned as to how Labour sort their party out (though what price more Union funding I wonder) but the tough decisions that are going to be forced upon us are down to the mismanagement of the Labour Government, and we should not be afraid to remind people of that time and time again.


What's the point in trying to help the police?

I went to town today to pay some cheques in. On the way to the car I came across the unappealing site of a drunk bloke and his wife balling at him, having a bit of a domestic. I thought, should I call the police – given the station is a minute away – but thought better of it, as my cynical self suspected they wouldn’t be interested.

Our house has a lovely grassed play area opposite an there is a foot path that goes round the estate that cyclists and dog walkers all enjoy. At around 3:00pm down the path comes a 20-30 year olf on his motorbike, no helmet etc etc.

This happened around a week ago just as I got back from London so I called the police to let them know – as it could be a real danger to the toddlers who play there, and frankly if the guy is riding along a footpath with no helmet what are the odds he has insurance, tax etc…

As the guy drives by I have my blackberry in hand and call the local police number who then put me through to the local police station- lets say 3 minutes car journey away. I get thanked and told they won’t send an officer as the guy has gone past. So me the law abiding citizen wanting to do his bit to help the police is effectively being told that because the chap is literally gone 60 seconds ago they won’t do anything.

Now yes I appreciate it isn’t the crime of the century – but a) why should we as law abiding residents put up with such behaviour b) why do the police make a judgement that they cant be bothered to send anyone to at least have a scout round for the guy c) why on earth would I bother reporting such an incident again?

And the final point is the one that annoys me that most. Maybe that’s why “crime” is falling. Lack of action on the part of the police means people like me won’t report such an incident. This really is why I am in favour of elected police commissioners. Nottinghamshire has come bottom of the rankings in terms of policing, and I would just love someone to grab hold of the force and implement a broken windows approach to policing, to send a message that anti social and illegal behaviour should not and will not be tolerated.

If it isn’t don’t for one minute think that criminals dont know that the police cant be bothered to even look at certain crimes. Unfortunately at the moment I am asking myself what is the point in trying to help the police?

Any answers – please??

People have lost the work ethic

The debate about the so called workshy and benefit cheats really hits home with me. My take on it is that some people, in fact thousands or indeed millions have completely lost the  work ethic, and I say this as someone who has a family member who is the beneficiary of benefits, and has been for many years.

My father in law (before I knew him) suffered a brain haemorrhage when he was 19. He suffered another in his 40s, and two years later they diagnosed him with kidney failure and he has now been a dialysis for over 15 yeas and is the longest serving patient in Lincolnshire. He spends 3 days a week in hospital, has had toes amputated, and now had two lots of cancer removed.

Throughout his working life he has been a grafter and has never been shy of a days hard work. That is where my wife gets her work ethic from.It is interesting to compare someone like him, who would have loved nothing more than to be able to continue in employment with some people today who have never worked a day in their life.

Some people would use the excuse that because they were brought up in a single parent family explains why they are on benefits or haven’t ever had a job. Funny – I have always recognised the value in having a job and when I was out of a job got off my backside and realised that I didn’t get one staying in bed until midday, and guess what… my parents got divorced.

It strikes me that part of the problem with regards over generous benefits is that the work ethic needs to be re-instilled into people. It cannot be right that people are better off on benefits than in work, and why doesn’t someone say it. The benefits system in many cases (not all) is over generous which makes having a job not the rational choice. It will be a brave Minister who says we need to cut benefits, but that is what needs to be done to bring back the work ethic.

Latest Seven Days Show podcast online – Episode 36

Episode 36 of the Seven Days Show is now online

Famous last words in podcasting “Lets use the ISDN line”. Outcome – half the Seven Days Show podcast was unusable.

In spite of the technical difficulties, in the show this week we talk about Alan Milburn and his role in Government; whether a GOATS approach actually works; does Cameron like his party; why more love needs to be shown to MPs and activists alike; and how Eric Pickles has been delivering again this time in relation to the Audit Commission.

Next time we will stick to the tried and tested method of recording and leave ISDN to Smashie and Nicey!

To listen to the podcast click the play button above

You can also subscribe to Tory Radio on Itunes here

Paying to shop around

Given the belt tightening that is happening everywhere the Tory Radio household decided to look into what money we are wasting. Currently we have the full Sky package and I was astounded that it now costs around £50 a month. Then we pay around £12.99 for line rental to BT for a landline we really never use, along with around £22 again to BT for a line that at times we get half a MB line speed (and this is on a 10 year old housing estate).

Now the ever pushy BT have tried to tie us in to an Internet contract to save us around £3 a month for that super speed broadband. Hmmm not convinced. So out of interest we call Virgin up. Now BT and therefore any other Internet company can’t offer us any better speed for the Internet as its down a clearly very poor phone line.

So Virgin can install a cable, provided us with TV (granted I will give up the football) give me a landline, give me 10mb broadband for around £50. Sounds like a bargain. But will Sky be cursing BT? For the only reason I am thinking of leaving is because due to the poor line no one can give me quick broadband, therefore Sky are losing me as a customer through no fault of their own. Furthermore in spite of them being able to offer a cheap broadband alternative to BT they admit they cant improve the line speed.

So it does pay to shop around…. and for less money get a better service. Perhaps getting more for less is the way forward with regards the public sector?

A taxing question

A few tweets seem to be doing the rounds that seem to be implying that we shouldn’t look at addressing the issue of benefits cheats as tax fraud is costing £80billion. Sorry – but first of all surely we should address both issues (and of course ask why neither have been addressed by the previous Government).

But lets look at the issue of “tax fraud”. I’m not really sure what it means. Iain Dale quite rightly points out that tax avoidance is what rational people will do and tax evasion is illegal and people should involved should be brought to task. So when the PCS union suggest in a tweet that tax fraud is coasting £80 billion what do they mean?

“Benefit fraud, >>1bn a year. Tax fraud, anything between >>40bn and >>70bn. Priorities? #PCS #nocuts”

Well I along with millions of savers avoid tax. I have an ISA. Are they saying we are being fraudulent? I doubt it! So if they really think fraud is being committed (and I assume they must mean corporates as opposed to individuals given the figures they use) name and shame them. Accuse them of acting fraudulently! That would be interesting wouldn’t it.

Call it obesity, Call it being fat, the solution is simple

Today I read another interesting article on the subject of obesity, this time from Mary Riddell in the Telegraph. We all know that the cost to the NHS from obesity related illness is going to be huge. So much so that the NHS will not be able to cope. But time and time again I read articles about bad food, and we aren’t eating the proper things.

I’m just not sure I’m convinced (he says after tucking in to a nice Sausage McMuffin). For you see there are no “bad” foods. Cheese is not bad. A diet of just cheese is bad. Chips are not bad. Just chips are! Take pineapple. Do you feel virtuous when you have some – it’s one of your five a day don’t you know! Sorry – red light on the traffic light system for excessive natural sugar. So you see, even the seemingly healthiest of foods could be portrayed as “bad”.

What we need to move away is the concept of good and bad food  and look and good and bad lifstyles. I know I put r weight on because I am time poor. When I am busy – getting up at 5:30 and getting back home late I tend to eat more convenience food more regularly (rather than as a treat) and equally as important and often never mentioned, have no time to exercise properly.

What is the outcome? I eat more calories a day than I burn off and my belly gets bigger. It isn’t my genes, it isn’t the fact that I’m big bones it fairly simple. So what is the solution? Changes in lifestyle I’m afraid. Kids getting kicked off the sofa and allowed to play in the fresh air. No TV in kids bedrooms. More competitive sport. For in my book it is not the rise in calories which is the issue so much (as I seem to remember average calorific intake hasn’t risen that drastically over the years) it is the fact that a much more sedentary lifestyle means we just aren’t burning the fat!