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anyone else watching?
it's actually quite entertaining.
But Gordon Brown was making sense, whereas Cameron was doing slightly laughable and desperate political point scoring. Brown came across as calm, controlled and clever, Cameron as a sabre-rattling wannabe.
To go to some boring half-arsed feature about the price of fish.
cue doddering jokes from menzies.
She's the sharpest person in that room.
but his delivery doesn't do him any favours. i'm sure he could have done better than "gordon wants to be PM lolol", though.
He might be old, but he's incisive and a great political mind. Not like Cameron, who was just embarassing, more like an actor shouting away than a serious politician.
although he completely fails to make me take the conservative party seriously, it's always entertaining to watch someone who thoroughly believes their own hype, especially when they have their cronies egging them on.
it's true what you say though, he is full of wind and will stray off at any tangent in order to score cheap points. he likes causing a short-term fuss and this is often misinterpreted as him somehow 'winning' an argument.
i wish the lib dems would get more airtime in general.
They are the sane party.
to not lie much.
which is frankly good enough for me.
the less likely you are to lie about it.
So they still have a few breaths of necessary idealism in them. Also, they're not afraid to stick their necks out on the big decisions. E.g. a transparent tax rise to pay for public service reform and improvement instead of endless deceitful stealth taxes, a sound and meaningful environmental approach, opposition to pre-emptive strike policy, etc.
in Aberystwyth once and he actually said 'once we've been in power for a few years it'll probably be wise to vote us out again before we get too comfortable and cynical' or something equally heroic.
i <3 Lembit.
= my political hero.
I always thought of him as an amiable disaster area.
Almost as much as I despise the British public for embracing his particularly horrible brand of insubstantial neo-Blairism.
He's new, so they are interested, but as he spectacularly fails to stitch together coherent or interesting policy packages over the coming months, the Tory slump will resume.
I guess it just saddens me that people have been willing to declare their love for Cameron simply because he's a) young and b) not Tony Blair, when he has yet to come up with any policies that couldn't have come straight out of the New Labour policy handbook.
In fact, it saddens me that - given the levels of public opposition to the whole New Labour phenomenon - the other parties (Lib Dems included since they elected Campbell) are content to sit and plow the innocuous neo-liberal middle ground. Depressing stuff.
there's nothing on the left, nothing. The Torys seem unable to come to terms with the fact that New Labour has colonised what used to be theirs, and have spent the last ten years wandering around in a daze. It's pathetic, especially considering Blair's arrogance when it comes to pushing through "reform". Remember the 90 days thing? That was sickening.
his newness. fact is they won't need to stitch together any policy packages. he'll win next time cos people are sick of labour. then we'll have 8-12 years of Tory shit and then people will go back to labour again.
you could win an election in this country by promising everyone a bag of sweets if you could convince them it might actually happen.
of throwing out sweets willy nilly, it's about sensible progression through sweets towards a better Britain
sweets can only drive up standards if we create diversity and choice amongst sweets? And promote strategic partnerships between sweets, industry and local communities?
no terrorists get any sweets.
I'm all in favour of sweets.
a true political heavyweight.
is whether they can open a banana or not.
This is the Chancellorâ€™s tenth Budget â€“ he has a particular affinity for number
The truth is that this is a tired budget from a Chancellor who has run out of
steam, treading water, waiting for his next job.
Letâ€™s take a look at his legacy:
Levels of inequality in incomes and wealth worse than under Mrs. Thatcher;
A pensions system in crisis;
A trillion pounds worth of consumer debt;
Complacency on a threatened environment; and
A Treasury which canâ€™t even manage its own tax credits system.
The economy remains, in some key respects, healthy, but there is no room for complacency and no room for ignoring medium and long-term challenges.
As a fellow Scottish radical, let me return to the issue of inequality. The
wealthiest 1% own 23% of assets - higher than 1997 - while the poorest 50% own
only 6% - lower than 1997.
The top 20% of earners pay less of their income in tax than the bottom 20%,
while the tax system remains unfair and vastly overcomplicated.
Why does the Chancellor tinker with the tax system when it is so fundamentally
unfair and requires radical reform?
And every time he tinkers, he adds layer upon layer of complexity â€“ an
incitement to fraud.
The most unfair, regressive tax of all remains the Council Tax.
But the lack of proper reform to Council Tax is not the only failure to act in
the realm of taxation.
Green taxes have fallen as a share of overall taxation under this Government
and the measures that the Chancellor has announced today are little more than a
Simplicity is needed in environmental taxation.
We need a proper system of green economic incentives: incentives that encourage people to change the way they live - and ensure that the polluter pays.
Under this Chancellor, the polluter isnâ€™t paying. The bare fact is that CO2
emissions are higher than they were in 1997, and they are continuing to rise.
The Chancellor prepared the ground well in the pre-Budget Report - conceding
the error of his growth predictions, changing the economic cycle, raising taxes and acknowledging a slowdown in public spending growth.
The Chancellor has put the spending review back to next year and gained a
With the spending plans penciled in at the pre-Budget report, the Government
will be announcing real terms cuts in most departments next year.
And with public spending, despite all the extra investment, itâ€™s still not
reaching the frontline.
Treasury targets have led to NHS Trusts cutting waiting lists at all costs â€“
and cutting care in other areas.
There is a need for tough choices, for spending priorities.
We are committed to them, such as:
Cutting back on DTI industrial subsidies, such as those given to the nuclear power industry;
Arguing the case on the baby bond scheme that the money would be much better
spent on early years education now than a bond in the future; and
Opposing identity cards â€“ and opposing the millions of pounds spent on the
unnecessary and unworkable identity card scheme.
The British people wanted better public services and were willing to pay for
them. What they simply donâ€™t understand is how so much has been spent with so
little to show for it - with operations cancelled, with wards closed and local
hospitals threatened with closure and even nurses being made redundant.
It is clear that politically what is required is to restore trust in fiscal
It could have been achieved by widening the remit of the National Audit Office,
to provide transparent and independent scrutiny of all budget assumptions and
Just as he eventually accepted our advice on the Bank of England I trust that Gordon Brown will take our advice on this too.
There is another issue that we Liberal Democrats have been raising for some
time â€“ the potential hazards of this countryâ€™s rising consumer debt.
Consumer debt is now approaching Â£1.2 trillion â€“ which is practically identical to the gross domestic product for the United Kingdom as a whole.
Consumer debt has driven the Chancellorâ€™s boom â€“ but the legacy for many families could be disaster. Nearly a fifth of family incomes is being used to service debts. This means it is back to the level it was when the economy
crashed under the Tories in the early 1990s.
The immediate signs of stress are clear: rising bankruptcies and rising
The other side of the coin of the rise in personal debt and the decline in
personal savings is the poor recent record of private business investment.
Under current leadership, the CBI has been a great deal more supportive of this Government than in previous years, but I suspect they will react to this Budget more in sadness than anger, to the way in which mindless regulation and
excessive tax complexity are squeezing entrepreneurship out of British business
and this Budget does nothing to change that.
Enlightened British companies understand the need to pay taxes for investment
in education and infrastructure; what they donâ€™t understand is why those taxes
donâ€™t deliver the goods.
This Budget has also failed to deal with another of the most glaring issues before us today â€“ the crisis in pensions.
Last week we learned that the Government would not follow the Ombudsmanâ€™s
recommendations and compensate those who have lost out by believing government
The Ombudsman said the Government had provided information that was 'inaccurate, incomplete, unclear and inconsistentâ€™.
If an independent report had made a similar judgment about the actions of the Tory Government when the Chancellor was in opposition, his wrath would have been wondrous to behold.
There is a broad consensus of agreement around the recent report by Adair Turner on all sides of the House. There is a blueprint for pension reform that is available and should be implemented. It seems to be only the Treasury that stands in the way.
This Budget was an opportunity. In a period of relative stability with low
inflation and stable employment, the Chancellor had an opportunity to show his worth.
He could have tackled the unfair tax system; he could have made the environment a priority; he could have faced up to the pensions crisis; indeed he could have faced up to his responsibilities.
He has declined to do so.
Menzies Campbell MP
Leader of the Liberal Democrats
but it's very well said.
he sent you an e-mail? I bet he got his grandchildren to send it for him.
lol rofl etc
I like Ming Campbell. I wasn't sure about him at first but he seems to have his head on. I never liked Simon Hughes. He seems too much like a career politician.
i'd far rather see someone who has always wanted to be in politics, to make a difference, than someone who has worked in the city for ages making big bucks and eventually got bored.
practical skills-wise, of course, you need a balance.
and i doubt he sent out the email himself, but i'm betting he wrote it.
Mayve even a transcript.
the way it is set out on the page, in tiny paragraphs, implies pauses between speech.
good shit, then!
it means people who act only to further their own political career. ie - don't rock the boat, don't speak out in favour of something if it will cost them votes, or 'political capital'.
and I'd bet any money in the world that Menzies Campbell didn't write that e-mail. It'll have been written by about ten different people and signed off by him, with maybe a few changes from his own pen. But word for word by him. no way.
I've worked in a politician's private office. that's what happens. there have been at least two Parliamentary Questions in the House of Commons to which the official answer was penned by yours truly.
not very important ones, like. but still. it made me realise what a farce it all is.
'careerIST politician' would be a better phrase... but the catchphrase is already going now I guess.
'there have been at least two Parliamentary Questions in the House of Commons to which the official answer was penned by yours truly.'
i am in a reasonable amount of awe. if that's possible. wow!
who did you work for?
I never stopped to consider what 'career politician' meant either.
but it's Menzies sentiments which are supposed to be representative of the LIberal Democrat party. It's better that way, because otherwise you'd have leaders speaking as individuals and not as people representing a certain set of policies and opinions. So I think that side of it is ok.
because, yes, he speaks for the party and not himself.
just making the point that politicians don't physically compose these things themselves.
to tell you that. I think I give a bit too much away on these boards as it is.
once we catch up with you
From what I saw of the leadership contest he was tending towards a message that seemed to have more affintity with the labour backbenchers than lib dems. Maybe he misjudged the mood of the party but I felt he was totally out of sync with where the lib dems were going especially with the 'orange book' brigade gaining power. Which basically cost him a load of votes, a careerist path was taken by all the 'orange book' authors who didn't put up in the leadership contest.
than misjudgement. but i think the heaviness of his loss was extremely unfortunate for the party.
"I love Jack Straw" freak, hollywood (2006) 'david cameron is absolutely shitting on gordon brown', Drowned in Sound, London, UK [Internet] Accessed from < http://www.drownedinsound.com/content/view/716917 > on 23 March 2006.
to mark oaten.
Did you hear that, though?
'Analogue leader in a digital world?'
Worst put down ever!
he can't escape the fact that he's a bit of a jimmy carr-looking dork. still, he's a tryer.