Osborne does it again, he really does have a total contempt for ‘ordinary’ folk.
George Osborne is to start selling the state’s £32bn stake in Royal Bank of Scotland at a loss, telling a City audience that delay would be bad for the economy, taxpayer and bank.
I know it was Gordon Brown who bought into. RBS and not Gideon, but independent bankers Rothschilds have estimated that if Osborne goes ahead with the sale, at today’s share prices, then he would make a loss of £7.2 Billion on the deal, and this would be good for the economy, taxpayer and bank?
I can see immediately how it would benefit the bank, but a £7.2 Billion loss good for the taxpayer and economy?? In whose world?
Just how many Police Officers, Nurses, Soldiers would £7.2 Billion fund? How many more officers on your beat? How many Police Stations would be saved from closure?
The people have voted, and it seems like they’ve got Camoron for another full term.
I don’t agree with them, but I can see why the Jocks have voted SNP, at least that makes some kind of sense.
The rest of the UK have voted for some strange things
They have voted for a much reduced Police Service with a much hampered ability to respond to our various problems.
They have voted for a much reduced Armed Forces, they are at their lowest strength for decades and getting smaller.
They have voted for an NHS in danger of being dismantled and privatised. Starved of funding, forced to fail, cue private companies riding in to pick up the pieces and rescue them.
They have voted for a shackled Justice system.
They have voted for a slimline Coastguard Service.
They have voted for Probation, Education and Prison Services to be neutered or privatised.
What do all of the above have in common? None of them sell anything. Traditionally they have all been sectors that soak up money without the ability to make a profit. How could they? Until very recently consecutive governments have accepted that fact and whilst there have been minor cuts and Efficiency Drives along the way, it was always accepted that they were sectors that had to have money pumped into them to make them work with no option of getting a profit out at the end. It has always been that way, and I don’t see how it could be any different to that. Oh, hang on,……..Privatisation might help.
They have voted for Bankers Bonuses.
They have voted for Outsourcing
I truly hope that the the great British Public do not find the need for the NHS, do not ever need a Police Officer, I hope their kids are properly educated, I hope they never need a Coastguard etc etc, because the shape of this country has changed irrevocably, and it’s what the country has voted for.
I didn’t, my conscience is clear, but very many did. I have heard it described as selfish voting. Who knows?
I leave you with one last thought, Be very careful what you wish for because you might get it.
A while ago I posed the question – Would you be willing to pay a small amount more each month to help safeguard our Public Services? I posted a short online survey for you to tell me your views, and the results are in.
Shown below are the actual responses received, minus names and email address etc, apart from that untouched.
I’m not certain that the volume of respondents constitutes a statistically significant sample (I’m sure it doesn’t), but most folk who replied would be willing to pay SOMETHING extra on their taxes, NI contributions etc to help keep our Public Services afloat.
Just a shame that the government never thought of asking the question really, they might have got a bigger response.
Would you be willing to pay a small amount more each month to help safeguard our Public Services?
What is the Max amount PER MONTH you would be willing to pay on top of your current taxes?
You can remain anonymous or you can put your name to it, I don’t mind either.
It doesn’t ask your occupation, previous occupation or current employment status and makes no mention of any political parties whatsoever.
Time will tell whether sufficient people respond to make the results meaningful, but if you could spare 2 minutes of your time, at the very least we’ll have some answers to questions that I haven’t actually seen any government ask the population before.
I will leave it open until the day before Election Day and then analyse and publish the results.
Some folk have already taken the survey, some left names, some didn’t. I thank you all.
It doesn’t matter to me, it’s the answers that count.
I must apologise for the language but I really have just about enough of this Government’s Total Bollocks. It’s Bullshit in my humble opinion designed to cover up the most monumental incompetence within government departments and make us, the public, suffer. Austerity? Begone!! I should think Gideon and Call Me Dave fell about pissing themselves when the bankers gifted them that one. Manna from Heaven, just the vehicle they needed, a right Win Double, Dave gets to push through his hatred, sorry, Reform, of the Police, and others, and Gideon gets to soften the blows of some of the more monumental up-cocks of any government in modern history.
A while ago I wrote a series of posts for another blog on the subject of Government Wastage. What I found out staggered me.
I’ll try and bring you the highlights, you do the maths!!
An initiative by the Department of Health in England to move the National Health Service (NHS) in England towards a single, centrally-mandated electronic care record. Eventually things came to a head in 2011.The project to “modernise” the NHS computer systems, replacing them all with a single system that would enable any doctor to access any patient’s records stalled. After a decade, and nearly£12 billion spent, the project was abandoned. £12 billion would pay the salaries of 60,000 nurses (that’s SIXTY THOUSAND, not a typo) for 10 YEARS.
These may not float your boat, but they’re a pet hate of mine. Not Aircraft Carriers per se, we need those, it’s what the government has done with them that winds me up. Once again I don’t blame any particular colour of political party, once again they all seem to be tarred with the same brush, but I do think Dave had a hand in it.
Government routinely makes an appalling mess of things. Some years ago a single edition of The Daily Telegraph reported that a nuclear submarine suffered £5 million of damage after crashing into rocks because trainee commanders covered vital charts with tracing paper; that a government efficiency drive in the Department for Transport to save £112 million was likely to cost £120 million while sending messages to employees in German and denying them annual leave to which they were entitled; that hundreds of thousands of immigrants were excluded from official statistics by a counting system which was so unreliable that it was not possible to know the true population of Britain; and that more than 8,000 patients had died in dirty hospitals after contracting superbugs. And that was just one day’s headlines.
Defence, whose dreadful procurement record – including boots that melt in hot weather, helicopters that won’t fly in the rain, radios that don’t fit into battle tanks, naval frigates with no weapons, aircraft carriers with no fighter jets, and military transport aircraft that can’t fly into war zones – amply justifies Ernest Fitzgerald’s maxim that “there are only two phases of a weapons programme: ‘Too early to tell’ and ‘too late to stop’
In 1995 it was decided that the country needed to buy 8 Chinook Mk3s in 1995 for £259million but they have been kept in storage since they were delivered in 2001.
They were ordered as dedicated special forces helicopters
It has always said the helicopters have not been able to be passed as fit for use because officials negotiating the deal to buy them did not ask for the access code for the software used to fly them and Boeing refused to hand the code over once the mistake was noticed.
But the Times reports the MoD never asked for the code because, under pressure from the Treasury, it told Boeing it planned to install its own software, thinking it could do so more cheaply.”
Now that does sound like the sort of thing a cheapskate arrogant government might say don’t you think? Another example of The Treasury interfering in front-line issues. Sadly though the software didn’t work (quelle surprise) and the 8 Chinooks are no longer hi-tech fighting machines, but are now good old transport aircraft.
A village somewhere must be missing an idiot. Didn’t ask for the software access codes? Can anyone really be that daft?
It’s an old story and that’s why I’ve kept it brief, but it’s another £300-500 million pounds worth of government wastage to add on.
Emperor Dave told us that he was reforming the benefits system. He was going to save the country a small fortune. His grand ideas included linking benefits to wages instead of inflation, a cap on Housing Benefit, adjusting regional benefits to the cost of living and apparently no-one under the age of 25 needs Housing Benefit anyway. All in all he’s looking to save £10 Billion from the Welfare Budget.
It has become apparent that this innovative, flagship project has been hit by an IT glitch, somewhat reminiscent of the NHS farce.
The Independent reports that the scheme has been placed on a Treasury list of projects in crisis. That sounds quitebad to me.
Universal credit has a development budget of £2 Billion. It is supposed to be a paperless on-line IT system for claimants that would bridge the DWP’s data with the Treasury. However, the project is already suffering a £100 Million overrun. There are also concerns that a further £300 Million is being hidden by rising costs reallocated to child support payments.
A reorganisation of the complex IT system, following the departure this month of key senior civil servants in charge of universal credit, could mean an overrun of £500 Million by next spring.
There you are, we’ve just saved the Met’s Budget again.
A confidential Ministry of Defence memo says that corrosion on the UK’s new fleet of hunter-killer submarines was caused by cost-cutting and warns that quality controls have been ignored, the Guardian can reveal.
Written by a senior analyst at the MoD, the memo says the corrosion is a “cause for major concern”, and that the first three Astute class boats are likely to experience “severe problems” in the future.
The £9.75bn fleet was commissioned 15 years ago to become a cornerstone of the UK’s naval attack capability, but a range of design and construction flaws have emerged.
The boat has yet to start formal service, Astute – four years overdue and £2bn over budget – has been surrounded by controversy since it was first commissioned 15 years ago. Is this really acceptable? Do we have to live with such apparent incompetence? What would be the outcome if we behaved as incompetently as that?
A government U-turn over fighter jets for the Royal Navy’s new aircraft carriers cost taxpayers £74m, says the National Audit Office. The decision to scrap an order for jump jets, which was later reversed, had been based on “immature data and flawed assumptions”, it says in a report. Labour says the report “lays bare this government’s incompetence”. But Defence Secretary Philip Hammond says the U-turn will save money in the long run and is backed by the NAO. “Not only did it save £1.2bn; it also means that by 2018, we will have fifth-generation stealth jets flying off the new Queen Elizabeth Class carrier,” says Mr Hammond.
Firstly our old friend Iain Duncan Smith and his Department of Work and Pensions. It seems that they are quite likely to have to scrap their entire IT system for Universal Credit and start again from scratch.
£300 Million wasted. #Austerity? Not in Whitehall apparently.
A review by Universal Credit director general Howard Shiplee will apparently recommend two options for the future of the IT developed so far, which go even further than previous reports have suggested.
Option one would mean scrapping all the work done so far, thereby admitting it is not fit for purpose, and bringing most of the development of new IT systems in-house under the control of the Government Digital Service (GDS).
Option two would involve continuing to use some of the existing IT to support the current Pathfinder pilot projects, but developing new systems for the full roll-out – effectively delaying any decision to throw away all the work completed so far.
Option 1? Option 2? Both of them seem to involve scrapping everything at some point, whatever. The Cabinet Office, which controls GDS, is understood to favour the first option, while the DWP prefers to continue with the current IT for as long as possible. Two branches of the same government with opposing views, where have I heard that before?
The final decision will probably be made later this month by the Ministerial Oversight Group for the troubled welfare reform programme, led by Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Iain Duncan Smith.
Labour’s shadow secretary of state for work and pensions Rachel Reeves wrote to the Prime Minister last week, urging him to “start taking responsibility for this fiasco”. She added: “David Cameron has serious questions to answer about how he has allowed things to get to this stage and how his complacent, incompetent and out-of-touch government has wasted scandalous amounts of money on a half-baked plan IT now can’t deliver.”
Don’t sit on the fence Rachel, what do you really mean?
But if all of the IT were to be scrapped, the NAO report suggests that the final figure for the write-off would be in excess of £300m.
Most of that money has been spent with the four key IT suppliers for the project – HP, IBM, Accenture and BT.
The other piece of disastrous news that caught my eye this week was in relation to my old favourite – Aircraft Carriers.
The cost of two new aircraft carriers being built for the Royal Navy is expected to be almost twice the original estimate, the government is expected to confirm this week.
In the latest budget, the Ministry of Defence is set to estimate the cost of the two ships at £6.2bn.
£6.2 BILLION. What on earth are they doing? How many hospitals, schools, police officers etc etc could be funded by just the difference in cost between that and the original. Six years ago, when the contract was approved, costs were put at £3.65bn
The shadow defence secretary, Labour’s Vernon Coaker, said: “This is the latest in a series of financial fiascos in the MoD under David Cameron. It’s that word fiasco again (see above).
This government seem to be very good at cut cut cut in just about every public sector. We must all pull together, this is a national crisis, a time of severe austerity, and all of these cuts have to be in place before 2015 because we know we don’t stand a snowball’s chance of being re-elected.
Whilst, at the the very same time, they are increasing their salaries, increasing their pensions, and their expenses have almost returned to the excesses of the bad old days. Only a few days ago was there news about how they were claiming for gas and electricity in their second homes, and as one of my Twitter colleagues put it “Why do they need to do that, because if they’re heating their second home they’re not heating their main home, or cooking etc?”
So nothing has really changed since we spoke last. We are most definitely NOT All In It Together and the ConDem government that NOBODY voted for has shown just how arrogant and uncaring they can be.
Trouble is, it’s left me the dilemma, Who the hell do I vote for in 2015?
Answers on a Postcard please, assuming that Royal Mail still exists when you read this.
Since my last, our friends in the media have come to our aid and published this
Government departments have apparently poured £5.1 billion down the drain as the result of mistakes, write-offs and compensation.
The Department of Health, for example, was said to have wasted£761 million – including £49 million to exchange Tamiflu vaccines which were ordered just in case there was an avian flu epidemic, and went out of date
That was just part of the £255 million worth of vaccines that went out of date and had to be thrown away.
Likewise the Department of Health spent £28.5 million to make staff redundant during the reorganisation of the NHS. Yes they have to pay redundancy, and they are spending money to save money, but £28.5 million? Really?
Other payments are hard to put down to anything other than incompetence – including £1.2 million lost to the Department for Education because a school made a payment to the wrong account. WTF??
£11 million lost by the Department for Work and Pension because it overpaid work programme providers.
£1.74 million spent by the Home Office on scheduled flights that it later cancelled. This is not the biggest up-cock but it’s up there amongst my favourites as it involves our dear and sanctimonious friend Cruella and her Department. Pots and Kettles dear.
The Ministry of Defence wasted £4 million on the early withdrawal of the Sea King helicopters, and £7.2 million on a mobile mine detection system that didn’t work.
Boots and Aircraft Carriers that can melt, submarines that leak, Flights never taken or cancelled, Mine Hunting System that plain doesn’t work, Withdrawal of the Sea Kings too soon, Shall We, Shan’t We? Fighter Planes, Let’s just pay this money into the wrong account, the list goes on. If you were a Finance Manager and this on your CV what would the likely outcome be?
So yes, I am cynical, whilst I do believe #Austerity exists, I also believe that it’s a highly convenient hook for this government to hang its hat on and slaughter all those public services in its sights, and we, the Public, don’t know any better, kept in the dark and fed Bullshit – The Mushroom Syndrome.
#CutsHaveConsequences, but not, it seems, for the criminally incompetent Bar Stewards that re wasting BILLIONS of our Taxpayer pounds, spending it like it’s their own, but it’s not, it’s ours.
Tot up the figures above (loosely OK) and tell me how many Cops, Servicemen, Nurses, Doctors etc etc could be retained even if only for a few years more.
Then Call Me Dave and his cohorts can try and convince me where I’ve gone wrong and that it truly is necessary and NOT a Vendetta.
Sorry Mr Shakespeare, but it was quite appropriate and almost right.
According to an article in the Police Federation’s POLICE magazine, morale has hit rock bottom and thousands of cops are thinking of quitting.
“Reforms to pay and working conditions have left thousands of officers saying they are planning to leave the service and not recommend policing as a career, revealed in a survey on morale by the Police Federation.
The poll, which surveyed 32,606 serving officers, found that nearly 5,000 said they were planning to leave the service in the next two years, andhttp://www.policemag.co.uk/editions/nov14_news_morale_plummets.aspx 94 per cent believed morale was either low or very low in the police service.”
I’m sure that this is not news to any of us, it isn’t even new news, dating from November last year, but it occurred to me that our ‘friends’ in the media don’t seem to like reporting on too many similar stories all at once. People might be able to work out what the wicked government is up to if they did.
Teachers are another profession targeted by Camoron’s Army, and getting ready to quit.
I see no evidence that Fire Fighters are leaving in droves in protest against the reforms but there is plenty of evidence that Fire Fighters are being shoved out of their profession as a result of the government’s swingeing, and reckless, cuts across the whole country.
Finally for today, the Marine and Coastguard Agency. I truly don’t know what to make of what’s happening with them. About 50% of Coastguard Stations around the country have either been closed, or marked for closure. Yet the remaining stations are reporting that they are under-manned, at levels lower than previously agreed.
Like the majority of the others, the continuance of an efficient Coastguard Service is essential for public safety, but instead the figures below just go to show one more example of how the government are cynically uncaring of public safety in their headlong rush to be voted “the best economy in Europe”.
So it seems that there is a pattern, once the government have got a Public Service in their sights they either make conditions so unbearable that everyone wants to leave, Instil such a lack of confidence that the end result is the same, or they simply get rid of them. Whichever way you look at the Public Services, particularly the Emergency Variety, are cut to the bone and beyond, and make no mistake, whatever happens in May, this cannot be rectified overnight, it will take years, assuming that the damage has not already gone too far.
Camoron, Osborne, May, Winsor, Mordaunt and all the rest, I HOPE YOU CAN SLEEP AT NIGHT
Don’t have nightmares, you’ve got rid of the people who can keep you safe.
The American President gets to give a State of the Nation speech so, in an Election Year, I thought I’d give it a go.
Unaccustomed as I am to Public Speaking here are the Highlights
Police – Threat levels rising, the threat from International Terrorism is at unprecedented levels and what are we doing about it? At the last count we’ve got rid of nearly 17,000 fully trained and experienced Police Officers and we’re promising to shed more over the next 5 years. An unconfirmed rumour circulating is that Camoron and co want to cull the total down to about 80,000. Can you imagine that? 135,000 a few years ago, down to 80,000, cracking idea.
How many Police Stations or Front Counters have closed across the country? Too many.
The Armed Forces, they’re very important right now. In my humble opinion they deserve the best kit, and basically the best of everything because I’ve always been immensely proud of our fighting heroes, they’re well-trained, do a fantastic job, often in the worst conditions, and are regularly shat upon by successive governments. Having already been decimated to nothing much more than a decent-sized Defence Force rumours abound that they too are to be cut further, to as little as 60,000. Under the Government’s current Army reforms, the number of regular soldiers is already being cut from 102,000 to 82,000, and the number of Territorials is meant to increase to help take up the slack, only it isn’t, they’re actually getting smaller too, not by a huge amount but over 10,000 short of the government’s target of 30,000. At the end of 2014 our Army consisted of 14,080 Officers and 80,101 Other Ranks. Current plans appear to call for an Army of 112,000 by 2020. This would result in a Regular Army strength of 82,000 and a Reserve strength of 30,000. Figures include 2,790 Gurkhas and 1,240 Full Time Reserves. (FTRS).
The National Health Service – despite Camoron’s constant reassurances that the NHS is safe in Tory hands, there appears to be a shortage of approx 20,000+ Doctors and Nurses, whilst the pay of NHS Chief Executives is climbing so much that one of them now earns more than the Prime Minister (allegedly).
Social Care cuts for Local Authorities have resulted in NHS Bed Blocking as Councils no longer have the funding and resources necessary to care for many patients on their discharge from hospital. This results in the patients failing to be discharged even though though there is no medical reason for them to remain and blocking a bed needed by somebody else. Government blames Local Authorities, but in reality it is Government Cuts that have brought this about.
The Fire and Rescue Service. I don’t know what the figures are nationally, but almost every region has seen Fire Stations closed, Fire Engines sold off or scrapped. Jobs lost or at risk this is another example of an area we can’t take risks with.
Her Majesty’s Coastguard Service (or Marine & Coastguard Agency). There’s another Emergency Service that’s been decimated Camoron and Co. I’ve blogged about them numerous times before and I make no apology for including them here. We don’t think about them enough. The one thing I will repeat is this, if you swim in the sea, scuba dive, surf, let your kids on the water on inflatables, take a ferry to France, Ireland or anywhere else for your holidays then you absolutely NEED the Coastguards when this go wrong. According to Ordnance Survey the UK coastline is a smidgen over 11,000 miles long. Other agencies, however, have the coastline as anywhere up to 24,000 miles http://coastguardsos.com/how-long-is-a-piece-of-string/ After Camoron and co have had their way there will be just NINE Coastguard Stations left open.
The new National Maritime Operations Centre plus
Plus a 1 man station in London Port Authority (which so far failed to be manned at least once)
Do you REALLY, HONESTLY think that’s enough? Human lives are at stake daily. How many major incidents at sea have we heard about just since Christmas?
The last one I shall mention today is the Border Force and the monumental cock-up by the Home Office there (remind me someone, who’s in charge of the Home Office? Anyone we know?)
The Home Office has managed to come up with its own version of an IT catastrophe. Having hired Raytheon, a US company, to put in place “e-borders”, a computer system to log every person who crosses the UK border, it now turns out that Britain will not only be without the e-borders system, we will also have to pay more than £220 million for not having it. That’s in addition to the hundreds of millions of pounds that have already been spent on a system that does not work as intended. Thousands of people are slipping into Britain illegally and in-noticed. How many of them are returning Jihadists?
So there we are. The State of the Nation? Comprehensively ‘Cattled’ would be my assessment. In addition to posts lost, both the Police and the Armed Forces are ‘losing’ experienced personnel and replacing them with cheaper, untrained personnel. The loss of experience to this country is staggering, and cannot be replaced or reversed quickly.
Camoron and Co think that it’s all about saving money, well it isn’t. We can’t go on haemorrhaging skills and experience yet still expect our response to assorted threats to remain the same. That doesn’t work. Those that are left behind are disenchanted, having seen their pensions and terms of employment turned on their heads. Work Longer, Pay More, Less Pension seems to be the Mantra these days, unless you’re an MP That is. They claim that the Law does not allow them to decline their over-generous pay and pensions package. Well I’ve got a suggestion for you there Dave; change the bloody law like you did for hundreds of thousands of decent, hard working folk in order to make your unlawful pension reforms lawful. There’s a challenge for you.
I no longer care which party or parties form a government in May, but I do care about TWO things. They should have the good of the country in their hearts and all of their policies should be for the benefit of the country, not themselves or their fat cat business associates.
Are you a retired or serving or otherwise Ex Police Officer? Maybe your career was terminated prematurely by order of the Discipline Panel?
Do you have a story to tell? Do you want that story to be told?
Do you feel that you were unfairly or unlawfully treated by The Job?
Do you honestly believe that they were more concerned about their corporate image than establishing and publishing the facts, the truth?
If you have answered YES to all of the above then this could be just the place for you.
Some of you will already have read an earlier blog, Image Or Loyalty? Who Would Be A Whistleblower?
Now I want to turn things on their head.
The challenge I issued before was for Police Whistleblowers who had enjoyed a positive experience to tell me their stories. I didn’t get a single positive reply, but I did attract a few negative ones.
If you would like your story to be told, or you think that it’s about time that folk were reminded of your story, already told, then maybe I can help you. What I have in mind is a mini-series of Themed Blogs, using the Image Over Integrity theme, plus your story, told by you.
If you would like me to tell your story, or just remind folk of it, then why don’t you email me your story to retiredandangryATyahooDOTcom. Tell me what pseudonym you’d like me to use, roughly whereabouts in the country your Force is located, or maybe you’ll want to use your real name and Force, entirely up to you. I can’t make any promises except that a couple of hundred people might read it, and that your anonymity will be respected, after that who knows?
While we’re at it, why don’t we throw the doors open?
Maybe you’re an ex Serviceman or NHS employee or professional, and you also feel that your employer put Image over Integrity. Let me know if you want, and I will do my very best to accommodate you if at all possible and I don’t get swamped with replies.
Who knows? I’ve never tried this before and it may flop spectacularly, but the offer is there if you want to take it up.
Can we get by with only 5? was my biggest concern.
In 2011, in a speech to NHS staff in London, the Prime Minister admitted there were areas of the reforms that needed to change.
He said: “Hospital doctors and nurses – not just GPs – would now be involved in commissioning, clinical senates would bring together healthcare professionals to oversee the integration of care over wide areas and the health regulator Monitor would have a duty to promote integration.”
Acknowledging widespread concerns about the Health and Social Care Bill, Mr Cameron promised there would be no “selling off” of the NHS, that waiting times would be kept under control and that competition would only be used as a means to improving services. My favourite bit was “I know other governments would announce reforms, and just plough on regardless of the concerns people had for fear of appearing indecisive or worrying about admitting something could be improved…..But this is too important to get wrong”
And at the 2012 Conservative Party Conference we got “Some people said the NHS wasn’t safe in our hands. Well – we knew otherwise. “
Speechless, and that’s only #1.
In 2012 Mr Camoron again made us a promise, that Coastguard Stations would remain open until the new structure came into operation in 2015.
In reality Coastguard Station closures commenced later in 2012
This letter would appear to prove that he cannot keep his promises;
In 2010, the Ministry of Defence was ordered to cut £4.7billion – or 8 per cent – from its budget.
But speaking at the time, Mr Cameron promised ‘year on year real-terms growth in the defence budget in the years beyond 2015’. In 2013 Downing Street was forced to admit spending will not rise until after 2016. Defence Secretary Philip Hammond insisted the promise was only that equipment spending would rise by one per cent a year, but other areas would be cut. This comes on the back of his 2007 promise:- In the wake of Labour defence cuts, a promise to increase the size of the army. The reality of that promise is that no battalions were restored to the Army. In fact, military commanders estimate that up to eight of the existing 36 battalions could be lost as the Army shrinks to 84,000 by 2020 – its smallest size since Victorian times – relying on an enlarged reserve force.
So that’s another broken promise then.
In 2010 a coalition agreement promised to: “Bring forward early legislation to introduce a power of recall, allowing voters to force a by-election where an MP is found to have engaged in serious wrongdoing and having had a petition calling for a by-election signed by 10% of his or her constituents.”
This proposal was subsequently watered down by Camoron last year, apparently to avoid “vexatious” attempts to remove sitting MPs. It has now emerged that the legislation has been dropped altogether and will not appear in this year’s Queen’s speech, the last opportunity for it to do so this parliament. Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith, who has long championed the proposals, said that voters would feel deceived by the government.
In 2010 (before the General Election surprisingly) Camoron said “Any Cabinet minister, if we win the election, who comes to me and says ‘here are my plans and they involve front line reductions’ will be sent back to their department to go away and think again.” Theresa May was insisting that “lower budgets do not mean lower numbers of police officers”.
The breathtaking disingenuousness of these soundbites was exposed when Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary published the first authorised estimate of how the government’s 20% cut in police funding, announced in October’s spending review, would affect police numbers – and in particular how it would affect the front line.
The 16,200 police officers that will be cut between 2010 and 2015 entirely undoes Labour’s investment between 2000 and 2010, taking police numbers back to 1997 levels.
These figures do not take into account my blog in January this year where I revealed that 42% of the 43 Forces in England and Wales are already reporting that their establishment is currently LOWER than their planned March 2015 Target.
So there you have it, 5 pretty major broken promises in my humble opinion. The tragedy of it all is that I could have kept going beyond 5.
Apologies, I first posted this on another site about 6 months ago, but with the fallout from #Plebgate and the really dodgy and unfortunately timed ‘leaking’ of the Operation Tiberius report (a 2002 report that has no business being in the hands of the media, hopefully an investigation into its leaking will follow) it seemed like an appropriate time to revisit it. If you’ve read it before, there’s nothing new. If you haven’t read it before you might find it of some interest.
And so it has started.
In truth it probably started a year or two ago, but various distractions have kept our blinkers in place.
The Crucifixion Cycle
Government slashes the resources of the public body in question. Be it NHS, Armed Forces, Police, Education, Coastguard, Fire Service, Probation…..the list just goes on and on. They have all had their resources slashed to the bone (and possibly deeper) by this failing coalition government in the name of Austerity. Be under NO illusions, more cuts are coming, Gideon says so.
Highlight The Failings
Next Step is to commission a report highlighting the failings of said public body. Policy Exchange (other Think Tanks are widely available) are normally good at issuing reports that seem to support government’s plan of action.
Get the Press to Crucify the Public Body for Their Failings
Certain sectors of the British Press seem only too willing to publish articles, splashed across their front pages, or 1st item on the 10 o’clock news etc, crucifying the public body for their failings. They never seem to mention slashed resources at this stage, just how serious and awful the failings have been, whip up some public backlash, and launch a “heads should roll” theme to move it forward.
Police and NHS are currently suffering at the hands of Stage 3. Whose turn next?
These public bodies can’t be trusted to organise a beer-drinking event in a brewery. Just look at the headlines at Stage 3. I know how to sort this out, we’ll privatise them. We’ve got some Lords with interests in suitable private companies, let’s give them a shot at sorting it all out, perfect solution.