Tuesday 14 April 2015

Fantasy Land

That’s really the only two words I can use to sum up either the Tory or Labour party manifestos.

If you’d rather, ‘In Yer Dreams Mate’ might work as well.

Look at what being offered, count the cost, and note the current account deficit.

There’s no money.

Where will the ability to pay for these pledges come from?

The poor can’t pay, the rich won’t pay (their lobbyists will see to that) and the middle class are about broke.

That leaves another round of demonization followed by sweeping benefit cuts, or cuts to basic services. Either way, it’ll do nothing to halt the swiftly rising tide of need for things like food banks.

This is not my kind of society.

Both parties could pre-identify savings; it’s really not that hard. There is a huge one in Trident for starters. There are two more in a couple of aircraft carriers that this island state, with its four constituent nations, can’t even afford the aircraft for. Sell those ships and put the cash in the coffers, and yes, we’ll take a loss, but then we did vote in the idiots that ordered them in their imperial pretentiousness. However, that loss will be a one-time loss, not an ongoing drain and we as a nation won’t be paying to support America’s military industrial complex rather than our own.

I thought the Greens might offer England’s voters a credible alternative to the big two or UKIP, sadly, policy credibility is conclusively hidden somewhere in ‘Fantasy Land’ for them. What the Greens propose would be economic suicide. It is not that it can’t be done, it just shouldn't be done.

The issue is that England needs a credible alternative home for its popular vote, because right now it really does not have any viable home at all.

Imagine a Green party, or a new English party like the SNP that stood on a simple platform ‘We’re not going to change much, not right away anyway, but we will abolish the House of Lords’. Imagine them communicating that message.

The message would be enhanced by a guarantee of a real constitution, with a constitutional lock that’d guarantee a balanced budget within a decade. Throw in more constitutional locks such as the new upper chamber could only review laws or perhaps block anything the commons passed, however it’d have to be non-aligned and have equal numbers of members from each constituent nation.

Now get back to policies, just keep it simple, and explain that you really can’t give Jo and Josie public any more than what they've already got, because you’ll have to deal with the mess the other idiots left behind, and you’re certainly not going to promise something then renege when you open the treasury doors and find a note saying ‘good luck, enjoy, sorry there’s no money left!’

If you want those fuzzy green policies stuffed in there, clean up inner city air pollution, explain that it’d lower the burden on the NHS due to pollution related health issues, and then propose a phased in assessment based upon how much a vehicle pollutes. If you've got a heavily polluting vehicle you’ll pay yet another tax that’ll support green policies, and that money will go directly to local councils for that reason. Give it a ten year phase in, there’ll not be much objection, most of us will simply plump for low polluting transportation as time passes and escape the penalty.

That’s just one example to demonstrate that things really aren't that difficult to change, given time, the desire to make a positive contribution and the proper approach.

I expect I’d vote for a party proposing that sort of progressive change, especially if it also allowed me to replace my MP mid-term if they weren't serving their constituents, or promised that any MP guilty of violating the law of the land would be subject to triple the normal sentencing guidelines. They should, after all, be held to a higher standard.

It is possible to spend your way out of a recession, but you can’t do it by fulfilling election promises that will increase the current account deficit – it only works if you use the money to put folk to work, generate more taxes, get more competitive and protect the home market in some way. Do that and you can work to a balanced budget and greater wealth for us all. Maybe one day we’ll see a UK wide party and not just a national one propose something along those lines?

Perhaps, but then again there’s a reason this blog’s titled ‘Fantasy Land’.

In the United Kingdom, for as long as it exists, I’d expect it will always be ‘politics as usual’, because a balanced budget won’t make money for the bankers and financial gamblers who sit at the heart of the City of London, and therefore UK government.

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