From listening to some ministers prior to the Conservative Party Conference and, confirmed by the Prime Minister’s own conference speech, it appears that the party has spotted “something rotten in the State of Conmark”.
This “something” has not been noticed, it would seem, during the past eight years when people’s lives have been offered up on the altar of forced Austerity. However, over the past week, all that is rotten has been sniffed out just in time for conference.
This was convenient, as it enabled the faithful to declare publicly that they have not sacrificed people’s lives and futures at all. Rather, they have the people at heart in this yet-to-be-created land of “Opportunity”.
Before we sweep what is rotten under the carpet and participate in the pretence that serious harm has not been inflicted on this country, it is important to reflect on the damage wreaked on people’s lives when those in power deliberately manipulate the fall-out of a Wall Street crash to ensure that it is Main Street who pays the price.
A short-term and measured degree of Austerity was needed as a response to the financial crash in 2008.
However, for this single economic option to have been employed for eight years suggests either it served a cynical ideological purpose or there is no one in Government with any understanding of economics...or both. The stage was set in 2010 in terms of who the victims of the financial crash would be. The crash was a convenient instrument to put into operation a plan ingrained in Conmark’s thinking – the slogan, “We are all in it together”, both satisfied English stoicism and paved the way for unrelenting budget cuts. Let us recall just a handful of the political interventions that contributed to the rottenness:
n Thousands of public servants lost their jobs and were either pushed into unemployment or forced to take casual work and lowly-paid jobs;
n A bedroom tax that created chaos because no one at Government level had planned its roll-out and effects;
n Lack of investment in the infrastructure of the country - roads in a state of gridlock, while the railway network has become a laughing stock;
n Universal Credit has caused chaos;
n Public money siphoned off to support private enterprises and profiteering in education;
n Flagrant disregard for the role of Local Government;
n A glib approach to housing;
n A referendum, promised by the previous Prime Minister in an attempt to control his uncontrollable back-benches, has seen this country’s wealth standing slide and this is before we leave the EU.
The Prime Minister’s conference speech was framed within the context of the great contributions and sacrifices made by previous generations. It is a tragedy that those hard-won rights which had once been the privilege of the few have been snuffed out by the very people who have had the audacity to use them and their sacrifices to enjoy applause at the conference. I am largely apolitical.However, I recognise a rotten smell when it is under my nose.
B Kelly via email
Traffic sign is clear enough
I refer to the letter from Howard Morgan (LP Letters: Millions to be spent ... nothing will change, October 5).
Look on the brighter side, Mr Morgan.
1. I think most people would say that things are markedly better on the A6, now that the Broughton Bypass is open. I know I would, on my frequent travels from Preston to the Garstang area.
2. In my opinion, Preston City Council/Lancashire County Council makes traffic instructions quite clear to anybody who properly observes, as distinct from following behaviour previously learned, or worse, just ignoring signs because it does not suit them.
Vide: The LP photograph of the BUS ONLY lane, which is clear enough I say. Yet still we’ve had cars in that lane, thus causing the installation of cameras to stop it.
There is the same wheeze in the Fulwood Asda’s car park by selfish drivers using the bus lane to exit.
(This is much like Fishergate. I KNOW most who were caught saw the sign but quite intentionally ignored it because it didn’t suit them and hang everyone else. Those who genuinely didn’t see the signs should have had their driving licence rescinded forthwith).
3. It’s true that improvements tend to move the traffic jams from one place to another. We could cure this if we concreted over everywhere –let the private car intrude everywhere –no trees, no greenery and endless traffic filth past your own doorstep. Is that what we all want then?
Prison was right decision
Should we have any sympathy with the three anti-fracking activists jailed for a so-called peaceful protest?
Answer – absolutely not!
Theirs was nothing more than a cruel and calculated publicity stunt that caused misery to road users, local residents and businesses.
They were fully aware that if they had wanted to escape a prison sentence then all they had to do was to end their vigil on top of a lorry within six hours .
But no, in the words of the judge, they deliberately “criminally disrupted” people’s lives for 99 hours – costing taxpayers thousands in policing costs.
It was their choice – plain and simple – and prison was the right decision.
May needs to walk the walk
No one said it would be easy - and the continuing Brexit negotiations show that it is far from so.
But we voted to leave the EU and leave we must and not just in name but in reality. We have to be able to make our own rules, control immigration and establish our own free trade agreements.
The EU has obviously not been keen to help with this as giving us a good deal could be seen as an encouragement for other member states to head for the door. But now Brussels is offering us a Canada +++ deal and we should be biting their hand off. Theresa May’s so-called Chequers deal is not the right solution and she must ditch it even if it does mean losing face.
A Canada-style deal does still leave the problem of the Irish border but it is not insuperable, especially with the aid of current technology. Mrs May talks the talk about Brexit meaning Brexit and she really has to walk the walk and follow the Referendum mandate.
North West MEP
UK Independence Party