Are the unions a bigger threat to the Lib Dems than Ashcroft was?

A Guardian headline today reads, Unions focus on Lib Dem seats in battle to save jobs. The story makes clear how trade unions will mobilise their resources to fight the budget cuts unveiled this by George Osborne’s comprehensive spending review — and in particular focus on Lib Dems:

The campaign is expected to focus on constituencies held by Liberal Democrat MPs who, unions believe, will be vulnerable to local pressure as many of the people who supported them did not vote for cuts on the scale revealed this week.

Nowt wrong with unions mobilising to protect their members’ interests: that, after all, is their function. But it’s clear what the potential threat to Lib Dem MPs is…

While in the first instance, the unions will be mobilising to protect the jobs and services likely to be lost as the Coalition cuts the deficit, the networks established in the process are likely to be put to political use at local elections in the lead-up to the general election.

Combine that with Unite’s deep pockets, and Lib Dem MPs have reason to be nervous that the electoral assault will be much tougher even than that launched by the Tories’ Lord Ashcroft against incumbent Lib Dem MPs last May.

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  • Grammar Police 22nd Oct '10 - 9:49am

    ‘cos that would be a good thing to do – wouldn’t it. Given that the people in second place in most Lib Dem seats are the Tories, *if* the Unions could run effective campaigns (and that’s a big if) then there would be more Tory MPs in Parliament.

  • All the more reason to make sure the reforms on funding of parties including controls to stop the unions abusing their members funds.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 9:52am

    SMcG, how are they abusing their members funds?.

  • Richard Hill 22nd Oct '10 - 10:05am

    Typical union tactics, try and find a group they can do it to and bully them. Some things never seem to change.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 10:07am

    Righto Steve , so campaiging against 490,000 job losses makes you look stupid because you don’t know where the 490,000 job losses are going to be. Im sorry Steve comments like this are pricelss, and then you have the cheek to call the Unions selfish and foolish for having the cheek to stand up for 490,000 people who are about to lose their jobs.

  • I wonder also if it will be as effective as they think. The majority of `switchers` consider the CSR to have been inevitable even if they don’t approve of bits of it. Labour haven’t come up with costed plans to oppose it. It’s imperative that Lib Dems developing the strong narrative to attract these people showing that in these situations they are the `underdog`. If people feel that you are doing your best to balance the books and sort out Labour’s economic mess they will vote for the underdog. Nothing gets up a Centrist voter’s back more than shrill bullying from either Ashcroft or the Unions.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 10:10am

    Richard and your coalition government are different in which way ?. Pick on the poorest in society because public opinion is that the’y’re all scroungers and hammer them under the spending review.

  • sorry – I seem to have come to a Tory party blog by mistake

    I really now start to think the LD are as contemptible as your party leadership.

    To think I voted for this party twice – you are as tribalist as the Labour party you profess to despise but now from the right!

  • how , precisely, are lib dem MPs now going to support their constituents, both in the public and private sector,
    who are facing imminent job losses as a result of coalition cuts? (1,500 job losses announced this am in Somerst council)
    To whom do they show their loyalty- a devastated constituent family facing financial ruin- or the two faced clegg?

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 10:20am

    bazsc, All the anti Union rhetoric i see on ldv, reminds me of a conversation i had with a tory councillor once. I was speaking to them about Unions as im quite active in my Union, when i made a comment about voting for the Lib Dems in an election, bascially at the time to keep the Tories out because of how anti union the Tory party were. He warned me that if that was the case i certainly shouldn’t be as they hate Trade Unions a damn sight more than the Tories do. I laughed at him at the time and as time went on i actually voted for the Lib Dems in three more different elections , not tactially but because i agreed with many of their policies. A few years on i have to admit that the Tory Councillor was right and i do think the Lib Dems have a major issue with people being represented by trade unions.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 10:21am

    Adam, and when did they oppose all cuts ?

  • Richard Hill 22nd Oct '10 - 10:24am

    There is a difference between doing what has to be done, no matter how unpleasant, and bullying. I have seen it so many times in my life I am not fooled anymore.

  • The problem is that with Osborne making noises about possibly passing legislation to criminalise certain strikes the Unions were always going to start to use their members to fight on a political battlefield.
    And they will not be short of volunteers as the job losses start to bite.
    Add to that the students who will make it their mission in life to attack Liberal Democrats in marginals after the fees farce, and things on the ground will start to look very ugly for the coming campaigns next year.

    Winning AV is looking more and more like a forlorn hope when the battle might be for survival.

  • Richard Hill 22nd Oct '10 - 10:28am

    If it is not bullying then why just pick on the Lib-dems. Why not pick on the whole coalition and the policy in general

  • I just wonder now if the LD party is now becoming far more libertarian rather than liberal with the activist base dominated by the right-wing ‘freedom lovers’. From what I see when I speak to activists there has always been this type of person there who in some ways were to the ‘right’ of the Tories – although I thing it is difficult to judge between right/left in this context.

    Are there any left-leaning activists left? and will they still be there come 2015?

  • Foregone Conclusion 22nd Oct '10 - 10:28am

    Unite specifically is heavily involved in sponsoring Labour Students, whose Freshers’ Fair material was plastered with Unite logos. Nothing wrong with that – but it does show that the trade unions are playing a more active part in the Labour Party, showing greater independence from the party machine in putting money into things they want to do rather than placidly writing cheques. We should take this very seriously.

  • @ Richard Hill, they are picking on the whole coalition and policy in general, but staunch Tories voted for and hoped for, cuts like these. Lib Dems went into the election opposed to cuts like these, so it’s fair to suggest that some of their supporters will be turned off by the cuts and more likely to switch support.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 10:37am

    Adam, it is not the job of trade unions to come up with alternatives but i do believe they stated that they accepted cuts needed to happen but as your leader Clegg was also saying before the election that cutting too early and too deeply would be a mistake. Their job is to represent the people that belong to their Unions which is exactly what their doing.

    Richard, you may feel you’re being bullied but many of the people that voted for you (me included) believe we were lied to when we were told what your party stood for hence the targetting of the lib dems now. People always knew what the Tories stood for ie anti working class so people who voted for them will not be swayed whereas your shower promised to help the working class and have betrayed many of your voters.

  • @ Steve Cooke, considering that Unison were protesting about the cuts in the early months of this year, before the election and whilst we still had a Labour government, I find it odd that you’re only now questioning their campaign.

  • Foregone Conclusion 22nd Oct '10 - 10:40am


    “I just wonder now if the LD party is now becoming far more libertarian rather than liberal with the activist base dominated by the right-wing ‘freedom lovers’.”

    Nothing wrong with loving freedom – all liberals do – but I see your point. All I can say is that our online presence does seem somewhat to the right of, say, Conference or my Local Party (although there are different questions about how representative Conference is). I certainly find the hostility towards the unions from some quarters worrying – as liberals, we should welcome self-organisation in the workplace as an expression of people’s individual freedoms to form together in the pursuit of a common goal, and as an alternative to an overbureaucratic and overreaching state apparatus. We might not always welcome individual industrial actions, or the general politics of some of the trade union movement, but we can’t lose sight of the fact that they are a net positive for society.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 10:41am

    Adam , i notice on the link you provided it clearly states ‘experts who will set out the alternative’ so i can only assume they are setting out an alternative surely ?.

  • Foregone Conclusion

    Thank you for your post – I am not here to attack the party. I still have a view that the LD as represented by the ‘left’ of your party represents the best way to get the type of country I would like to see – possibly drawing on some of the positive things that the Labour party has as well.

    This is why it frustrates me so much that the current situation will destroy this and we will be left with Labour/Tory. The AV referendum is already lost I think and the party will really need to see how it will be able to come back from that. It may be another 10-15 years before we see the reform that is desperately needed

    I also agree with your point on ‘freedom’ – there is a difference to me between what I consider freedom and the libertarians who seem to want a free-for-all

  • Grammar Police wrote –
    ‘cos that would be a good thing to do – wouldn’t it. Given that the people in second place in most Lib Dem seats are the Tories, *if* the Unions could run effective campaigns (and that’s a big if) then there would be more Tory MPs in Parliament.

    And what difference would that make in the eyes of the Unions, as far as they are concerned Lib and Con are one in the same atm

  • @Adam Bell
    “However, I think Steve’s point was that in the absence of a different fully costed solution to reducing the deficit, opposing job losses for the sake of opposing job losses will look like special interest groups fighting their corner rather than unions presenting an alternative. ”

    Since when do families facing very real hardship (poverty) and potentially losing their homes form a “special interest group”. I would say it is more accurate to describe them as the unacceptable face of the consequences of these cuts. If you are one of the people who do not lose their job over the course of this “experiment” then it is easy to see no problem with the cuts as a whole.

    I am no longer a member of a trade union as I am self employed but I fully support the rights of workers to become a member of a trade union. I also recognize that there are good and bad trade union leaders.

    From the reports I have seen in the media over the past few months I have come to the conclusion that to group all the unions together as one voice is an over simplification. Some trade union leaders accept that there have to be cuts. The anger felt by some trade union members is to the depth and speed of the cuts proposed and their targeting of the least well off and vulnerable in society.

    Surely the trade unions have every right to canvass against Lib Dems. I cannot see how the Tories will gain significant seats in constituences where the Tories came second to a Lib Dem candidate. Given the aquiescence of the Lib Dem leadership thus far in the coalition one cannot rule out the dripping tap effect of the Lib Dems being marginalised politically for decades to come.

    The silence from the Lib Dem side of the coalition to stand up for the most vulnerable in society is a shame on the party and one that will be punished by the electorate in the future, trade union members or not.

    For the record, I despise the Tories. I remember very well through bitter experience the harm they did in the eighties to vast swathes of industrial England. Some of these areas are ghost towns still, miserable…

    The sight of the Tory backbenchers waving their order papers and shouting “more,more” at the end of George Osborne’s speech to the House made my blood boil. To make matters worse there at the front were Clegg and Co nodding and back slapping Osborne. This is the memory I will take with me to the Polling Station at the next General Election.

  • The Unions are no longer just fighting for the right of their workers, they are fighting for the well-being and security of the disabled and vulnerable.
    I consider myself firmly on the left of the party and have supported the LDs all my adult life having never voted any other party, I’ve argued the party position on many occasion (not much recently granted)
    But I’m also disabled and with the details of the spending review just becoming clear I am also faced with the prospect of losing my home.
    I didn’t sleep much last night and have been close to tears many times so please forgive me if I no longer support the Party and cheer on the Unions

    nige (ex LD)

  • Short memories of some (left/Labour) folks here – makes me smile. A week is along time in Politics & all this talk about Lib Dems are now right wing – are finished – all left leaning Liberals have left, is all nonsense.
    As a person very likely to lose their job (I work for a Quango) & my wife who works for the local Council (again possibly to lose her job) & two sons who look likely to face University debts in the next few years, I’m proberbly effected more than the majority of the public.Despite this I still feel if the Lib Dems are protecting those in most need as best they can against the Tories (and Labour who after 10 years of plenty left behind the poorest ). If it means the wipe out at the next election – so be it – I’m in the Lib Dems & politics to help the people first, even if it means ‘damage’ to my Party.

    A final note – just to put things into context – The Lib Dems & Coalition have NOT (& hopefully will never) send our country into an illegal war – where thousands of innocent ordinary people have been killed . But perhaps this doesnt count for anything in some peoples mind – but it does in mine.

    Love & Peace.

  • @Adam

    “They haven’t presented an alternative; this is merely oppositionalism”

    Labour had their Manifesto at the start of the election, which recognised the needs for cuts and said it would 1/2 the deficit over 4 years, Just not as deep or as quickly as the Tories.

    Liberals had their Manifesto and also agreed on the same lines as Labour, that there where need for cuts, Just not as Deep or as fast as the Tories.

    Then The Tories had their Policies, and we all know what they were going to be.

    Now if you take all the people who voted for Liberal and labour (Not inc the other minor parties) 53% voted for the deficit to be halved over 5 Years

    Compared to 36% who voted Tories who where in favour of there savage cuts, to the poor, vulnerable and welfare state.

    The fact that the 23% of the Public who voted Liberal Democrats and feel Betrayed by your Party seems to be totally going over the head of most Lib Dems.

    The fact is, We now have a ConDem coalition Government.

    It is pointless to keep basing your arguments on ” Labour have presented no Alternative”

    It is not now Labours Place to present Policies, alternative to the Cuts.

    There is no election for Labour to present it’s policies to and for the Public to Vote for an alternative.

    So Liberals demands from labour are pointless

    We are stuck with this coalition and the policies and the cuts that are being forced upon us. (Which more then half the Electorate. voted against)

    End this Coalition and let the public go to the polls again, and we will see labours alternative to this government.

    The thing is, what will happen to the Liberal Vote ( My opinion is, the quicker they pull out of this coalition, the more they will salvage)

    With great Power, comes Responsibility. With Responsibility comes Respect

    There is a message in there somewhere I am sure

  • We didn’t support Iraq but Cameron and the Conservatives most certainly did and helped in Blair and Bush’s despicable warmongering. I wish I shared your optimism that Nick wouldn’t go along with Cameron (like Blair went along with Bush) if an Iran or Gaza situation exploded, but sadly if the truth be told, I don’t.
    The continuing pointless carnage in Afghanistan is also not anything to be particularly proud of.
    Nor is Osborne’s attack on welfare in the cuts.

  • @Greenfield
    It looks like your post and mine are at odds (posted at the same time), do you really feel that the “Lib Dems are protecting those in most need”?
    I really hope that you do not become really “in need” to test that assertion as I personally would not want anyone to go through what I have nor to what I have to look forward to.

    nige (ex LD)

  • Grammar Police 22nd Oct '10 - 11:57am

    @ Nige – close members of my family are also disabled too, but I’m actually vaguely positive about the CSR. Obviously I’ll keep an eye on how things play out, but I’m pleased to see education spending going up, science spending being protected, an increase in personal allowance – but the big prize is a complete reform of the crappy tax credits system, where families earning £50K plus get money back from the taxpayer. Not to mention the 40+ page forms to claim for each element. If we can only fund that change by scapping child benefit for those on higher rate tax, well, I’m happy with that. All parties backed cuts. Does anyone honestly believe things would be better if Labour were doing this? The Lib Dem policy was always non-dogmatic (compared to the other two) – and if you looked there was stuff from both Clegg and Cable in March and April saying that cuts may need to be brought in sooner.

    I’m not sure about your personal circumstances obviously , so I’m not sure what change in the CSR affect your house – I hope it works out for you.

    The Government’s third highest element of spending is interest on borrowing. More than the entire education budget. We should be able to spend that money on something else, and at the moment we can’t – and I know which party plays the larger role in why that’s the case.

    The big unions are Labour through and through (I speak as a union member and former activist, although of the unaffiliated NUJ) – they do feel they are acting both for their members and society as a whole, but in their eyes this is by promoting the Labour party.

    As another poster said, why aren’t they concentrating on the coalition as a whole; well that’s probably short termism at the expense of long term strategy. They don’t care if they put the country through a majority Tory Govt if it means they can return to two party government where they bankroll one of the parties.

  • Grammar Police 22nd Oct '10 - 12:04pm

    @ Matt, I’m not sure it’s necessarily anyone’s place to assert what the 23% of people who voted Liberal Democrat voted for.

    You say:

    “It is not now Labours Place to present Policies, alternative to the Cuts.
    There is no election for Labour to present it’s policies to and for the Public to Vote for an alternative.
    So Liberals demands from labour are pointless”

    Er, it is the job of opposition parties to present alternatives. Indeed, the polls suggest that the majority of people believe Labour needs to change: 59% of people agree that Labour has “seriously lost touch with ordinary working people”; 70% agree that “Labour need to make major changes to their policies and beliefs to be fit for government again” (including half of all Labour voters); 61% agree that “Labour still haven’t faced up to the damage they did to the British economy” and half agree that “If Labour returned to government they would put the country into even more debt”.
    It is in Labour’s interest to change.

    “We are stuck with this coalition and the policies and the cuts that are being forced upon us.”
    Yes, these cuts certainly have been forced upon us. Perhaps if Brown hadn’t been so keen to cement his position as Prime Minister post 2007 we’d all be in a better state now.

  • I think the biggest threat to our future is the picture of Nick Clegg patting the back of George Osbourne after the CSR speech. Either that or Danny Alexander pouring him a glass of water.

    Our party is being destroyed from the top: we lost a seat to Labour in Oxford East (one of our target seats, or it used to be) by an utter landslide last night. Getting 22% of the vote in a seat we had held.

    The Unions are pushing at an open door and this wretched coalition will set us back years.

  • “And unions are a special interest group, just like bankers.”

    kinell, if I ever needed reminding just how far Right you lot are lurching this is it. why don’t you start posting up links to the TaxPayers Alliance – they’re liberals of a kind too aren’t they?

  • @gramma Police you also forget that the latest polls of polls have Liberal Democrats trailing for the first time in decades on just 10%

    It also have Conservatives on 41% and Labour on 39%

    That would suggest to me that those people who deflected from Labour to Liberals at the last election are reverting back to Labour.

    Surly this suggests that the public are unhappy and do not support this Coalition, are not in Favour of the cuts being so deep and quick (Although Acknowledges needs for cuts)

    I have said before that I strongly believe the only reason Conservatives agreed to the coalition, is because over time they believed they would be able to smash the Liberal Democrat support, And at a time of their choosing, when they think they have done enough Damage, they will pull out of the coalition and hope they can win an election with a Majority Government.

    It is clear from the Polls that the Conservatives are not losing “much” support. This is because people who Voted Conservatives are mainly tribal and have always been in support of the Cuts and hitting the poor.

    But for Liberal Democrats, they are taking a massive hit by dropping down to 10%.

    It is clear that amongst Liberal Democrat voters, they clearly blame the Liberal Democrat for these cuts being so deep and regressive.

    Why would Tories get blamed for attacking the poor and vulnerable? That has been the Tory way for decades. The Public are well aware of this and have long memories, and it’s the kind of policies the public expect if they where to get a Tory Government.

    The Purpose of coalition in most peoples eyes was that, if there was a hung parliament. There would be the opportunity for Liberal Democrats to form a Coalition Government and if it was a

    Lib/Lab Coalition, then Liberal Democrats would be able to keep Labour under control and bring some balance to politics (which we desperately needed)


    If it was a ConDem coalition. the Liberal Democrats would bring Fairness to Government and prevent Tory Fat cats from assaulting the poor and vulnerable and lining the pockets of themselves and their friends at the expense of other’s.

    Liberal Democrats are FAILING to do that, hence the reason for getting blamed for the cuts and taking hits in the poll’s

    The Party has played into the hands of the Tories. Hook line and sinker!

    On a personal note, I would rather see the coalition end and we go to the polls again. I would even hope that
    there was a chance of a Lib/Lab coalition. Anything but this

  • @Adam

    “The likely ability of the Government to finance the debt changed over the course of the election in the wake of the Greek crisis, and so did our position. It’s certainly the case that this should have been made clear during the campaign – that was an error on Clegg’s part.”

    Instead of repeating the dribble that Conservatives have forced Clegg, Alexander and Cable into Repeating.

    Maybe you would like to explain your views on why the “Greek Crisis” changed our position.

    It is Ignorance to take someone else’s excuses on face value, It is far more respected if someone presents an argument based on their own opinion

  • Unions are made up of ordinary working people; their ‘vested interests’ are no more than a fare wage for work done in conditions that are safe. I am proud that, as a Unite member, my union is campaigning for me. I am disgusted that LD’s could condemn this and it seems, with the latest poll, I am not the only one.

  • Oh dear the pretendy Lib Dems are out in force today. You know the ones who say ‘I was a committed Lib Dem until you got in power but now (spookily) I’m voting Labour.’

    Let’s be quite clear before these people trying to rewrite what the Lib Dems actually said get their way. The Lib Dems never agreed with Labour about the timing and depth of the cuts. Neither did they accept the cut now regardless line of the Tories. What Vince Cable stated was that significant spending cuts needed to be introduced – bigger then Labour were proposing and that they should be introduced as soon as practically possible – based on the best evidence available at the time. He has clearly stated that the sovereign debt crisis was worse than he feared and that the recovery was stronger, so he now accepts the cuts were necessary in this financial year. It’s called evidence based policy making – something severely lacking from most of the so called ‘spurned Lib Dems’ on here.

    A quote for all the Labourites on here (and their Trotskyite malingering friends in the unions):

    “There will be cuts, and there would have been if we had been in government. Some of them will be painful, and would have been if we were in government. I won’t oppose every cut.” Author? New Labour leader Ed Miliband.

    So for all Labour loyalists/so-called ex-Lib Dems on here which cuts will you ‘not oppose’?

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 1:44pm

    Adam , firstly i havent got to provide you with anything , but if in the link you provided they have experts setting out alternatives then there must be an alternative mustn’t there ?. As for stating its easy to set an alternative but harder to implement , i couldn’t agree more but as the Unions are not in power so can’t implement their alternative , im not sure what your point is. They did at the TUC congress agree there should be cuts but they shouldn’t be too quick or too deep. Now considering thats what your party campaigned on during the election i’m surprised you have a problem with that. But as ive said its not the job of the trade unions to come up with an alternative , their job is to protect their members which is exactly what they’re doing.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 1:54pm

    Oh and Adam , your analogy that trade unions are the same as bankers really does show me that you have no understanding of what the trade union movement is about. I think that Tory councillor that warned me about the lib dems view on trade unions is looking more and more spot on with each piece you post. So much so that i will be writing to my union asking for my political levy to start up again , something i stopped paying when i voted for you lot.

  • Philinlancs 22nd Oct '10 - 1:55pm

    @Adam Bell

    Union members have families and if the cuts threaten to harm those families the you can hardly be surprised at the reaction from those same trade union members.

    There is an alternative to the level and timetable of cuts proposed by the coalition and this is the main thrust of Labour opposition arguments and therefore the stance of the trade unions. The cuts are a grand experiment, even Osborne admits he is not sure of the outcome.

    Governments saying they will reform welfare makes good headlines. Actually doing so and in a fair manner is what makes such an endeavour extremely difficult to say the least. The last Labour government came to power with the intention of reforming welfare but found it virtually impossible once you get into the detail of actually making reforms possible.

    Hitting the most vulnerable is not reform, not in my eyes. It is obscene and the tactics of a heartless privileged few at the heart of government to play to the backbenches. Yes, tackle the long term problem of joblessness but there needs to be a coherent and supportive plan of action for this to bear fruit. There needs to be jobs for these people to do in the first instance…

    I would not be against offering the unemployed a chance to earn their benefits whilst at the same time learning useful and much needed skills. If you force young people on benefits into poverty it is obvious they will turn to crime to get money (I grew up in Preston in the early eighties where this happened and was repeated in all the high unemployment areas of the UK). How much will it cost to keep these people in prison. You could pay repeat offenders £20,000 a year to be good boys and it will still be cheaper than prison…

    Matt, I did not get elected on b+++sh+t and broken promises for which I have had to apologise in the last 24 hrs What I will say is that I do see the need for welfare reform but it’s not my job to come up with proposals as I am not the government. When I think the government are doing something I think is flawed (ill thought out) and unjust (hits the most vulnerable) I will put forward my view and say it is wrong, especially if I was misled before the election via the Lib Dem manifesto.

  • @ dan the sensible cuts won’t be opposed, anyone who has ever worked in the public sector knows that savings can be made, they also know you can make them without getting rid of 490,000 jobs and the Unions aren’t just complaining about those job losses, they’re pointing out the inevitable fallout for the private sector too.

    We need growth, these cuts will hamper it.

  • I have today resigned my membership of Unite. I had already opted out of the Political Fund (if you are a Lib Dem trade union member – make sure you do this), but I no longer want to support an organisation that clearly hates my party.

  • @dan

    There are many cuts that I support, along with Increases to tax

    I think it would have been right to increases NI by 1% after all it National Insurance (Not Tax) that is supposed to fund the NHS and the welfare state.

    And with an Ageing Population, Advances and Costs in medicine, Risks to Jobs due to recession and Unemployment. It is right that people contribute more towards National Insurance as the dependency on them grows.

    I also support a rise in VAT to 20% and would like to see exemption removed from
    Betting and gaming
    Lottery ticket sales
    Printing, postage, publications – books, magazines and newspapers

    I would support scrapping of Trident

    I would like to see banks pay more, as the city has to take some responsibility for this mess, And we are still propping up the banks

    I would like to see banks being forced to make Monthly repayments back to the Treasury including Interest @ rate of the BOE rate of 0.5%

    I would also like to see a bank Levy of 0.5% rather than the Dismal 0.04% that has been proposed and would like to see that rate tracks the BOE rate (would encourage Interest rates to be kept low then for everyone)

    I would Cut Child Benefit for Households with a COMBINED Income over £60k

    I would cut Winter Fuel Payments for pensioners who are no longer Living in the UK or has Savings over £100k

    I would cut Bus Passes for pensioners with Savings over 100k

    I would make it Law that ANY COMPANY who operates a business in the UK has to pay Corporation Tax (claiming to run Business from Monaco, and being exempt would no longer be possible).

    Those Tax increases and savings alone would prevent other departments from being cut so deeply.

  • “I have today resigned my membership of Unite. I had already opted out of the Political Fund (if you are a Lib Dem trade union member – make sure you do this), but I no longer want to support an organisation that clearly hates my party.”

    This is really constuctive – well done! I bet the Blue half of the coalition are enjoying the Lib Dems’ newly discovered antipathy towards unions. You are getting dragged further Right by the day.

  • Thanks for that Matt

    It is interesting that there are other options to the deep cuts.

    Even if you believe that reducing the deficit drastically now is necessary it is clear that there is a right wing ideology about the way it has been done.

    Nothing has been done to look at how the top 30% or so contribute at least the same, but ideally more, than the bottom 30%. This could only be done via taxation etc.

    The cuts were not the only option in town but it is the one taken by the Tories with the disgraceful support of Clegg and Alexander – they could at least have tried to look a bit sheepish. I reserve judgement on all the other MPs as they seem to have disappeared or lost their tongues

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 2:16pm

    Stuart, what do you really expect ?, if you was one the 490,000 that stands to lose their jobs through this cost cutting exercise would you not want no demand that your Union does something about it ?.

  • @Tom P – My decision to resign from Unite is driven purely by their desire to attack, undermine and unseat Lib Dem MPs and the vitriol coming from their leaders. Actions have consequences.

  • @Richard

    Is what the Coalition doing to the poorest, sickest and most unrepresented in society not bullying?

    Why is that sort of bullying ok and the sort that you are claiming not?

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 2:20pm

    Stuart, you’re spot on when you say Actions have consequences. When your party sided with the Tories in their right wing policies of attacking the poor and working class, they were always going to face the consequences of their actions.

  • @vince thurnell: What exactly do you propose as an alternative? Taxpayers are paying more every hour just on the interest on our mountain of debt than it costs to build a brand new primary school. Think about that.

  • If some of the comments on here are representative of how Labour people approach economics then I now fully understand why Labour governments always collapse in financial ruin.

  • I forgot another thing I would support

    For Military Aircraft to be Built in the UK which supports the BRITISH ECONOMY rather than the American Strike Fighter Which props up the American Economy.

    It’s about time we started standing up to The Americans as well, who are also Dictated to by the Murdoch Empire, The same way the Tory party is Writhe with his corruption

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 2:26pm

    Stuart, im not a member of parliament and do not have all the answers but i’ll ask you again if you was one of the 490,000 that are about to lose their jobs would you expect your Union to fight those job losses or just shrug their shoulders and accept it. I think what i am seeing on this site is that people really don’t understand that those 490,000 job losses means 490,000 families having their futures taken away from them, their not just numbers they are real peoples lives.

  • @ Stuart – All 3 parties accept that the best course is to grow the economy out of deficit, and pay down the debt with the taxes and revenues economic recovery and growth bring in. The debate is about the level of cuts in addition to growth.. (in all cases growth is to be the main driver of deficit reduction)… The Tories say £81bn, Labour said £44bn, the Liberals also said the plan was the halve the deficit over this Parliament before the election, suggesting that the position was similar the Labour.

    It’s only when the Tories offered them jobs that the Liberals became deep-cuts merchants.

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 2:29pm

    Stuart, the thing is , those Labour people as you put it , were mainly Lib Dem voters at the last election and personally i havent decided who i will vote for at the next election although ive ruled two parties out.

  • Stuart

    I have made some proposals above, and so has Matt.

    The principle behind mind is we use unearned income tax as a starting point. Inheritance tax currently raises 3.6bn or so – how about targeting a take of 7bn. Also capital gains tax on house sales tapering upwards on the profit (a reverse stamp duty). How about a mansion tax?

    These are just some ideas – not particularly palatable but then so is cutting the spending on the disabled

  • I am amazed that so many are focussed on discussing whether the cuts are fair, appropriate , or even vaguely acceptable. These cuts are a response to an economic situation that was not brought about by public spending, was not created by the general public , and is not the responsibility of the poorest ,weakest and most easily abused sections of society. Yet , many seem able to blithely expect the poorer sections of society to bear the brunt of paying for it.

    The current world economic climate, and remember our own situation is merely a facet of that , is the ressult of incompetence, over extension , greed , and severe miscalculation on the part of very rich people trying to get an awful lot richer.

    Yet masses of people seem to think that the Bitish portion mess world capitalism has inflicted on iteslf needs to be paid for by the general public on the lowest salaries, despite the fact those causing it could make a massive difference if their income tax took responsibility for their actions and incompetence.

    Could we please recall that Camerons cuts will be benefitting large numbers of his very wealthy pals , merely by virtue of the fact their mess will be cleaned up by others..

    This is what I will remember the LD leadership doing…aiding Cameron to , in effect , impose a surtax on us all to cover the debts incurred by operating in a system contrrolled by incompetent rich business men chasing bigger bucks.

    And pleasee…do not insult your own intelligence by regarding me as a communist. I would not qualify as a decent socialist these days.
    I would have been very curious as to how fast the problem might have been solved via a relatively low percent hike in income tax… That way those causing the worst of the situation would have paid for it, many others would have contributed amounts they could well afford, and the rest would have been more appropriately ,proportionally , burdened. Odd how making cuts that will not really impact on wealthy voters always seems to be the number one choice in Tory circles…
    and apparently libdem leadership circles.

    and when will politicians recognise that the last thing to stimulate an economy is the removal of jobs.
    how long before we see government aided schemes to allow private multinationals to hire people with the public picking up the wages bill , on the pretext it is creating jobs.?

  • paul barker 22nd Oct '10 - 2:56pm

    The crucial point is that TUs arent legitimate interest groups, they are component parts of The Labour Movement. The TUC, The Co-op Bank & The Labour Party are all part of the same thing. The situation has many parallels with that in China or Cuba. We can never have an independent TU movement in Britain until the link with the Labour Party is broken.
    The good thing, in the short run, is that the TUS are not very popular, if we make enough fuss this move could backfire on Labour.
    In the long run Labour are dying, a Party with an aging & declining membership, riddled with splits & burdened with massive debts.

  • Philinlancs 22nd Oct '10 - 2:56pm


    “how long before we see government aided schemes to allow private multinationals to hire people with the public picking up the wages bill , on the pretext it is creating jobs.?”

    Already been happening for years in the NW, it’s called the defence industry…

    Totally agree with your points too

  • @will

    Here Here

    I am sick and tired of hearing from the so Called top 36 British Businesses who support Osborne’s Cuts.

    People need to see these statements for what they are.

    These so called Businessman are the Friends of the Tory Fat cats who are ripping off this nation (Again)

    They are coming from the Mouths of People who run Multi Billion £ Companies and yet avoid paying Billions in Uk Taxes by using various Tax avoidance measures Incl (Corporation tax)

    And those who do pay corporation tax including the Banks, where treated to reductions. The savings the banks will make in corporation tax far out weigh what they will pay in the pathetic 0.04% Bank Levy

    Of course the top 36 businesses are going to support Mr Osborne, for want of a better phrase “there all in it together”

    People Rant and say we cant hit the banks and the big businesses as we will drive them out of the u.k

    What a load of Drivvle, For the amount of money they make from the uk, there is no way they would take their buisness elsewhere.

    And besides, Shouldn’t the United Kingdom be an Inspiration for other countries? And show the Bankers and other Big Corporations that. “The Government runs the Countries and Not the Markets, And the Government is EMPLOYED by the Public, to do a job that we elect them for”

  • vince thurnell 22nd Oct '10 - 3:10pm

    Paul, strange that those unpopular Unions still have just under 7million members then isnt it which i would i believe makes them a damn site more popular than your party is at the moment.

  • Philinlancs 22nd Oct '10 - 3:12pm

    @Paul Barker

    “The TUC, The Co-op Bank & The Labour Party are all part of the same thing. The situation has many parallels with that in China or Cuba”

    Elaborate please…

  • @Paul Barker

    “The TUC, The Co-op Bank & The Labour Party are all part of the same thing. The situation has many parallels with that in China or Cuba

    The same could be said for the Tories, Top 36 British Businesses who support Osborne’s, Lord Ashcroft and The Right Wing Media that is mostly controlled by the Murdoch Empire, Which strangely the Liberal Democrats (who have always despised and been against) have so comfortably jumped into bed with as well.

  • paul barker

    Are you really a Liberal Democrat – you seem to be talking like a Tory

    The Labour Party in not dying – the party most at risk at the moment is yours. I really hope that it will get its identity back and rethinks its strategy after this chastening experience.

    The holy grail of electoral reform will be lost for 10-15 years because of the unpopularity of the party now so you really do need to define what your values are

    Being on the left I would like to see a liberal left party like I though the LIbs Dems were

  • I may not be an activist or a member of the liberal democrats but as a recent lib dem voter i feel i can write something on here.

    I remember the 1980’s and the decline of this area ( Haverstock Ward, Kentish Town) into a place of crime,poverty and hopelessness( caused by balaning the books on the backs of the poor and vulnerable), I do not want to see that return (tbh I fear it, as I’m 20yrs older). In the last 10 years this area has improved so much that sometimes living here 20 years ago seems like a bad dream. I can say that much of the improvements in the area have been down to the hard work of community policing the local community and of the the 3 local councillors in this area (all lib dems) who I happened to vote for in local elections and for the national party in the last 2 GE’s.

    We all understand that the deficit needs to be reduced but the big questions are How Fast? How Deep? and How Fair should the cuts be?

    If we do this by disenfranchising the poor and vulnerable from society then we are no better than our Victorian ancestors and tbh I for one do not want to go back to time when life was brutal for the ‘underserving and deserving poor’. Imo someone has to be a loud voice for the vulnerable and poor atm, all the political parties seem to be unable/unwilling to have any interest in us until they want our ‘votes’ or when they need to ‘balance the books’ . If it’s going to be the Unions that will shout long and hard about the unfairness of the SR then i will support them as everyone else seems to have turned there back on us.

    An example of the meaness and total lack of fairness in one tiny detail of the SR can be seen here

  • @bazsc

    “Are you really a Liberal Democrat – you seem to be talking like a Tory”

    I think just as much as some Liberal Democrats on here who like to judge anyone who is slightly critical of them as being “Labour Trolls”

    They also need to recognise the fact that there will Be Tory Trannies on here Pretending to be Liberals (“with right wing Ideal’s) whose main hope is to damaging the party from within.

    It is in Tories interest to reduce as much support for the Liberal Democrats as possible, so they could plan for a majority government

  • Imo sycophancy is a bigger threat to your party than the unions or ashcroft combinded,it was sycophants who destroyed labour during their time in office and if you are not carefull it will destroy your party too,people want passion in their politicians and not cold heart pragmatism as seen with clegg and alexander.

  • Philinlancs 22nd Oct '10 - 4:33pm



  • The link provided by SP

    Contains a youtube Video that really should be watched by all.

    No matter what political party you aligned to, we all have a responsibility to stop and recognise the impacts that cuts will have on Individuals , rather than basing our opinions on what’s good as a whole.

    It’s all well to have Idealistic views, but that doesn’t always work when it’s broken down to look at Individuals rather than society as a whole.

  • Steve Cooke,

    “I’ve helped mitigate the effects of Labour’s destruction of our economy on myself by cancelling my union membership and saving myself £200 per year.”

    How can you hope to influence the behaviour of your union if you cancel your membership?

    Should you not be in there telling fellow union members that their union should not be wasting members’ money on the Labour Party?

  • @Steve Cooke,

    You might regret leaving your union when Clegg tries to sell you into slavery for the good of the economy.

    ‘Sorry Steve, I didn’t know how bad things were! I’m afraid you’re going to have to be a slave for Goldman Sachs, we’re all in this together remember!’

  • SP – ha ha ha. Yes of course those nasty Lib Dems are fully behind the ‘disenfranchising the poor and vulnerable from society’ and indeed that is why we deliberately did a deal with those nasty thatcherites behind the back of the British electorate because we really really hate the poor and the vulnerable and want them to turn to dust because that way we get to eat more babies washed down with cigars and champagne.

    What rot. This spending review is at least as progressive as anything Labour would have done. Let’s just remind people of their record – illegal wars aside – doubling the rate of tax for the lowest paid, increasing the gap between the rich and poor, an increase in child poverty, introducing tuition fees despite a manifesto commitment not to (and introducing top up fees despite legislating against them), building more prison cells than council houses and leaving a debt of at least £22,400 each for the next generation to pay off. Yep that’s pretty progressive and I can see why left wing Lib Dems must be flocking to them in protest at a government trying its best to get out of the mess they were left in in a way that is as equitable as possible.

    My advice is stop believing the hype and scaremongering. Labour are being utterly outrageous in their behaviour and it is time that they were put under the sort of scrutiny the coalition is for their lies and deception in opposition let alone their utter incompetence in government.

  • @ Dan, you reap what you sow, electoral reform is a dead duck and unless you’re in serious denial, you’ll realise this.

    I can totally understand why people who have put their heart and soul into the party won’t want to see this, but the fact is, the Lib dems are a busted flush.

  • “Labour are being utterly outrageous in their behaviour and it is time that they were put under the sort of scrutiny the coalition is for their lies and deception in opposition let alone their utter incompetence in government”

    More laughable whining – ‘it’s all the fault of nasty Labour, if only they left us alone life would be all beer and skittles and we wouldn’t be plummeting towards single figures in the polls.’ Good luck with that, seeing as you’re in government and they’re not.

  • I think the planned National Demonstration that is being organised for March 2011

    Will have a serious effect on AV.

    A demonstration that takes place 2 months before the local elections, protesting about the cuts, “unfairness” and 490’000 job losses (Some of which would have already been lost) is going to have a massive detrimental effect on the Liberal Democrats at Local Election’s and also on AV.

    Liberal Democrats will be seen as the one’s to blame over their Tory Counterparts, as nobody expects anything different from Tories.

    However they do expect “Fairness” from Liberal Democrats, and “Fairness” is a word that Nick Clegg has used over and over again in his campaign speeches, and most recently in his defence to the CSR.

    I can see the placards and logos now that will carried, scrawled with the Words “Fairness” along with the Job Losses and the cuts to lower income families.

    And if Liberal Democrats need to recognise that this will effect their votes and hopes for AV.

    There is still time to turn things around though, and I think you need to start by getting rid of clegg

  • They’re miffed at the cutting of the £10m Union Modernisation Fund.

  • Dan wrote –
    “Let’s just remind people of their record – illegal wars aside – doubling the rate of tax for the lowest paid, increasing the gap between the rich and poor, an increase in child poverty, introducing tuition fees despite a manifesto commitment not to (and introducing top up fees despite legislating against them), building more prison cells than council houses and leaving a debt of at least £22,400 each for the next generation to pay off”

    So your way of defending the SR is to attack Labour, I’m no fan of Labour but ffs stop being so childish, It’s not Labour who have introduced measures that will make the disabled worse off, it’s not Labour that is taking a huge risk with the economy (and please don’t repeat the mantra that there’s other no choice), it’s not Labour that that is blindly supporting right wing ideology in the very slim hope that the Tories will throw them a bone.
    If the Lib Dems don’t do something pretty damn soon they will be ruined along side the society’s most vulnerable, and needy.

    My advice is to stop believing everything you hear from the Tories and Clegg, look at the details of the SR (such as the change in wording from ‘savings’ to ‘assets’ in regard to ESA amongst others) then consider the overall effect these will have especially when combined with previous other announcements attacking welfare, in other words, just wake up and smell the coffee before it’s too late.

    nige (ex LD)

  • @ Dan

    ” My advice is stop believing the hype and scaremongering. ”

    Actually i make up my own mind from my own life experiences.

    To cut a very long story short I have been my son’s ( who has a ongoing condition) carer for nearly 30 years so I remember what the public services were like in the 1980’s (not good) I have also cared for my dying husband during the late 1990’s when public services were just starting to improve.I have also battled breast cancer in the 2000’s. I did not cause any of those things to happen to me and my family, things happen to people beyond their control.I think from those experiances I have a little understanding of puplic services/state aid/the voluntary sector and how they can affect and benefit the lives of the poor and vulnerable.

    I know from my own experiance that my money is buying less than what it bought a year ago and I have yet again had to tighten my outgoings.How much more will I have to tighten my budget when VAT comes in next year? Fares go up?

    I will continue to rob Peter to pay Paul and somehow try to improve my son’s quality of life. It is often the small things society takes for granted that can be the most important improvement for someone disabled/poor/old/low paid

    I do believe that the deficit must be cut but for me the three questions remain How Fast? How Deep? and How Fair and Honest should the cuts be?

    What I do not accept and will not accept is that finnacial folly of the last few years must be repaid on the backs of the people struggling to make ends meet whether they are on the out of work benefits, disabled, old or low paid. If the Unions are the only people who will shout loud and clear about that then I will support them.

    Whether it was a Conservative,Liberal Democrat or Labour governement or a coalition of any in office atm and it was their SR i would still feel the same.

    This goes beyond politics and is really about humanity and compassion and who we are as a society.

  • vince thurnell 23rd Oct '10 - 1:16pm

    David, they’re not miffed at all they were fully expecting it to go along with the Union learning fund. A fund that went to giving people training at their workplace in a whole raft of vocational skills such as simple things like improving their reading and writing to higher level courses. These courses were set up in partnership with local colleges and were a way of people in the workplace could improve their education whilst not having to travel to their local college and have the courses at a time when people van attend them ie after or before shift work starts. I thought education was at the heart of the Lib Dems policy but it would appear thats only the case if its not run by a Union. It seems your hatred of trade unions is so deep that along with the Tories you are quite happy for people to be refused the chance of improving their education just because the courses are sorted out via the trade unions.

  • @vince thurnell . I was the branch secretary of my UCW branch, and when we became the CWU, I was a unit rep for over 140 members. We don’t hate trades unions or trades uionists – but it seems some trades union leaders and ex Nu Labour spin doctors hate us. It’s not the job of unions to deliver training in the workplace, and what about non-union members? Are you are quite happy for people to be refused the chance of improving their education (paid for by their taxes) just because they are not members of a union?

  • vince thurnell 23rd Oct '10 - 4:04pm

    David, so you’re in the same Union as me and so should know all about the Union learning project, so should know its open to everyone in the workplace not just Union members. I take it you also know that the CWU have had several meetings with Vince Cable over privatisation and hes made it quite clear that hes not interested in anything they say and threw out all of their ideas around how to avoid full privatsiation. As for the it not being the job of Unions to deliver training, its the job of the Union to help in anyway they can their members lives being improved whilst at work and if they’re the only ones deliverying workplace training whats wrong with that. I notice you are an ex branch secretary and unit rep, i think i know why you are no longer a representative. What Branch were you secretary of ?.

  • The reason I’m no longer a rep, is because I left Royal Mail (I never lost an election). I’m not happy with privatisation, I was very involved in ‘Stand by Your Post’ campaign; however all three main parties were all in favour of privatisation. I believe Vince would have given the union a fair hearing, did Labour’s Prince of Darkness listen? The CWU’s ‘BBC type’ status with local (consumer and worker) democratic control was my preferred option. If you know anything of our union’s history. you will know it hasn’t always been progressive – I think it was Alan Johnson who said we used to be a ‘red-neck union’.

  • vince thurnell 23rd Oct '10 - 6:04pm

    David, being a CWU rep for 25 years makes me fully aware of my unions history and as you were involved in the stand by your post campaign but im not sure what this bit about being a progressive union has got to do with anything.

    As for privatisation, theres a big difference between full and part privtaisation as you well know (although i dont agree with either ) and i can assure after speaking to the people that spoke to Cable , he certainly did not give them a fair hearing.
    Anyway back to the subject which was union learning, as i say i am surprised being an ex rep you were not involved in it and still cannot understand how a lib dem, a party that bangs on about education would be opposed to it now ive enlightened you on the fact that it is open to everyone.

  • @ David
    “We don’t hate trades unions or trades uionists – but it seems some trades union leaders and ex Nu Labour spin doctors hate us”

    But you hate the sick and disabled, poor and vulnerable else why the atacks in the budget and SR on us? We have not got the energy to hate yet, too busy worrying ourselves to death but we still have the vote.

  • vince thurnell 23rd Oct '10 - 6:26pm

    Anne, oh be rest assured they hate trade unions as much as they hate all those other sections of society you mention. The reason being is they are the ones that can unite everyone to fight back against these cuts. Get ready for a wave of new anti union laws to go with the laws we already have that give us the most restrictive Labour laws in western Europe.

  • @Anne, Seems Labour hate the poor more. After 13 years of Labour government, this country has higher levels of inequality than it did after 18 years of Conservative governments. There are now 700,000 more people in extreme poverty than when Labour took office, and incredibly more than at any point since records began. These figures remember all came before the credit crunch, deficit and recession, a time of unheralded government wealth. The rich, under Labour, have done very well; of the extra income enjoyed by British households over the Labour years, 40% has accrued to the richest 10%. Peter Mandelson said he was happy with people getting filthy rich. Under Thatcher manufacturing fell from 25.8% of GDP to 22.5%; under Blair it fell from 20.0% to 12.4%, a rate of decline which was almost three times faster.

  • @vince thurnell

    “Get ready for a wave of new anti union laws to go with the laws we already have that give us the most restrictive Labour laws in western Europe.”

    I think your right, This Coalition Government will more than likely rush through new legislation and take away people’s democratic rights.

    They might be able to restrict the Unions ability to Strike, But they will never stop the British Public’s ability to Protest.

    I fear this government is en route to the worst civil unrest ever seen on the streets of London in a Century.

    I know we Brits are famed for stiff upper lip and taking it on the chin and all that, (Were not like the Greeks or the French who will Protest at the drop of the hat) but there is only so much people can take.

    All societies have a tipping point which will crack and turn in to Mayhem, and I think come March 2011 This Government will be in for a shock.
    (And I am not saying that as a good thing either)

  • vince thurnell 23rd Oct '10 - 6:56pm

    David, thanks for that , im sure youve put Annes mind at rest. All those that see their benefits cut shouldn’t now direct their anger at the government because Davids got the stats to prove they are better off now than they were under Labour.

  • Stuart

    If you believe the opnion polls its the British people that hate “your” party. As for the Lib dem MPs they can have no complaints that they are being targeted by the unions who are protecting their members. The trade unions, wonderful voluntary organisations are to be applauded in attempting to protect both their memberships and the general public. If only the Lib Dems stuck to their manifesto!!

    As an aside, my nephew is a radio journalist in Inverness and he as a matter of principle will not say a good word in favour of Danny Alexander in any broadcast and while Alexander has a 8,765 majority that can be overturned but only with a sustained and concentrated attack. This is the future for many Lib dem MPs and they deserve it – they may have forget the people but I can assure you we won’t forget them.

  • @vince thurnell,
    I just wonder where all you morally pure and principled folk have been for the last thirteen years. Funding and cheering the Labour Party it seems, while Labour liberated billionaires, tied up the rest of the country with 3,500 new criminal offences, including provisions that allow the police to declare any demonstration illegal (please note Matt). It allowed the yanks to extradite British citizens without producing evidence of an offence. It almost certainly colluded in kidnapping and torture. The number of prisoners in the UK went up by 41% since Labour took office.
    The Labour government blocked a ceasefire in the Lebanon; sacked Britain’s ambassador to Uzbekistan after he complained that the regime was boiling its prisoners to death (was there a strongly word motion from your CWU branch committee?); . Now there would be £5bn to spend on the sick poor and disabled Vince , if the Labour Party funded by trades unions hadn’t launched an illegal and immoral war in which hundreds of thousands have been killed, maimed, tortured, and made destitute.

  • vince thurnell 24th Oct '10 - 4:59am

    David, but this is sin’t about the Labour party its about the Lib Dems, the party i and many others voted for at the last election

  • It is getting very tiresome, hearing constantly what Labour did or didn’t do.

    At the end of the Day, Labour did many things that where good for this country, on the same note, they did some things that where clearly wrong.

    But Labour are no longer in Government, they are in opposition

    There are choices how this deficit is cut (There are always choices and many different angles) from which you can attack a problem. George Osbourne and his cronies constantly saying “there is no other way” is totally wrong and disingenuous.

    And David “provisions that allow the police to declare any demonstration illegal”

    That maybe so, But do you really think if we have protests on the same scales as the Poll Tax protests, The police will be able to cope?
    people should remember 200,000 anti-poll tax demonstrators flooded the streets of central London.

    Considering the Spending Cuts that are about to hit our police forces, I highly doubt it. And lets not forget that there will probably be ex police officers who have already lost their jobs amongst those protesters.

    It was the 31st March, 1990 When those protests and Riots erupted on the streets of London and by the End of the year, Maggy Thatcher was forced to stand down.

    A Decade later we have another Tory Government, Tory Leader about to make exactly the same mistakes again and hit the poorest in society.

    They clearly have not learnt lessons or consequences of their actions in the Past, and are about to be reminded of the tipping point that this English Public have.

    Only difference is for Cameron, He is hoping that the Liberal Democrats will shield him from most of the distaste.
    (A rather Deluded dream as this will be his political downfall, just as much as Liberals)

  • Nick Clegg said on the BBC Radio Desert Island Discs.

    In response to a question on.

    On his luxury item for the desert island, Mr Clegg said: “I have a confession to make which is I do like the occasional cigarette….

    “I can just imagine as the sun’s going down and you know I’ve got the beard flowing down to my knees and I’m thinking what on earth am I going to, you know, while away the time… puffing away on a cigarette would be quite nice

    I dare say Mr Clegg that you may well get your wish.

    Once you have hit the poorest and most vulnerable people in society, and have fattened your own wallet.
    When there is civil unrest on the streets of Great Britian.
    Lord Ashcroft would be able to set you up with a nice little property with your own private beach, somewhere in Beilze.

    Your Guilty pleasure may look more and more like a reality.

  • Why , oh why , are people insisting on trying to use a comparisons with Labour’s actions as some defence of the LibDems.

    Wake up !

    What the Labour party did and did not do, what they failed to honour in regard to those voting for them , is the reason Labour lost power. They were ousted becuase they failed to retain a majority. There’s a shock ! Now we see a LibDem leadership whom from day 1 seems to have decided that the appropriate way to run a Party is to dump on all who joined it , voted for it , believed in it ,, or were regarding it as a new hope in a political world inhabited by the same sad old con merchants of Tory and New Labour. ( New Labour , what a foul taste that leaves in the mouth. )

    Stop banging on about ‘Labour did this , did that , and didn’t do the other’…so what !. They lost. They lost because their two-faced tory styled policies sent voters stampeding away from their tatty banner. Labour lost because of what they did.
    Look at the polls … The libdems are travelling down hill on a very fast very large calibre bullet.
    Why… They broke faith, lied , and sadly for the LibDems , many of those who voted for the libdems did so as they were sick of that…

    Anyone joining the dots yet ? Labour has learned many of its lessons, just listen to them. They are steering a path towards an image with viable appeal. What are the libdems doing, straddling Dr Strangelove’s (his friends call him Cam ) bomb in some shortlived rite of insane self-glorification that will eventually see the party melt down.

    At the next election , however soon it is, I and many others will not be reasserting ourselves merely as Labour voters. We will be voting Labour to punish a LibDem party deserving of the self-wrought destruction generated by its lies and duplicity.
    How clear can it be said.
    If the LibDems persist in serving the tories, they will be destroyed by tactical voting.
    If we had wanted duplicity and non-elected representation we would have stuck with Brown and New Labour.

  • Let’s play fantasy trade union leadership. Let’s suppose that we are running a trade union. We understand that to win the game, we have to defend our members’ jobs. We can play politics however we like. We just want to win the game. What should our tactics be?

    Well, quite a lot of our competitors seem to go in for blustering. They say that they intend to coerce the State into keeping as many people as possible in employment. Is that smart, we ask ourselves? What sort of message is that sending to the great British public? If it takes coercion to keep these jobs open, doesn’t that suggest that the jobs are not really justified? It sounds a rather counterproductive approach, if you look at it rationally. All you are doing is making your members’ jobs look as if they might be unnecessary – even if that isn’t true.

    So let’s try to think of a better game plan. This politics thing. Who is the weak player? Who is in a bit of turmoil? Whose role is pivotal? Who might shift if we were to lean on them? Why, those Lib Dems, of course!

    We gotta pressurise them guys! Tell them it’s an offer they can’t refuse. Make a deal with our union – let’s call it COSA – or else the Bird of Liberty gets it!

    Smart tactic. Not entirely unreasonable, either. Better get used to it.

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    I of course largely agree with Sandy's comment above. Re what Tristan said - I don't disagree with you that we need to shift Tory voters, as someone who grew...
  • Tom
    Yue He - I echo what others have said. It would be a crying shame if someone thought that they couldn’t be involved in our party or our parliament because of ...
  • Bob Hale
    Keep going Yue He. Your obvious enthusiasm will get you there!...