Tuesday 27 April 2010

Hurrah for strong government: We should be the best run country in the world

David Cameron says that Nick Clegg wants to “hold the country to ransom” over his party’s desire for a proportional voting system. This would lead to a “permanent hung parliament” he said.

The Tories seem to be absolutely determined to push the point that ‘strong’ government is the only form of government the UK can have. Without it we would go belly up. I even heard someone say yesterday, when faced with the fact that Germany has coalition government that they are ‘different’.

Different in what way, I thought. ‘Different’ like Mr Winterton pointed out people who travel ‘First’ were? What absolute rubbish.

Strong government can be a good thing, but not at the price of democracy.

Taken to its obvious conclusion ‘strong’ being equated with ‘good’ government implies that the previous regime in Iraq or the current regimes in Saudi Arabia or China are good. After all they do not come much stronger. Do we think of them as being good? We see that they produce a society with little crime; a society which is regimented and orderly. But is it one any of us would care to live in.

In the past, for as long as I can remember we have had ‘strong’ government. Strong in that it the governing party required no partner to command majority in the House of Commons and a large enough majority to pass their legislation without any help. Strong in that they had a whipping system which meant that even if their own members disliked the legislation, disobedience could mean the end of a promising career, the telling of tales to wives and families and disintegration of family life and perhaps disgrace and humiliation.

Strong in that the revising chamber had very limited powers to interfere with government legislation, and strong in that the head of state had only an advisory role in government. I’ve never known a weak government.

This government was often conducted away from the House of Commons. It was frequently conducted with people who had not been elected; in the ‘kitchen cabinet’ of Margaret Thatcher where decisions were well after midnight in Thatcher’s flat. The same thing with Blair and his mates, often nothing to do with people we’d elected.

So ‘Strong’ government has brought us to where exactly?

Well, roughly speaking, from statistics I’ve seen, or my own experience........we had the deepest recession, and came out of it more slowly than the rest of Europe; we have more criminals and recidivism; we go to war more often; we have among the biggest debts as a government and individually; our children can barely speak English never mind compete with foreign kids who learn 2 or 3 languages; our railways are the most expensive and worst in Europe; our health service is in the bottom half of the European tables; our children are amongst the least happy; our pensioners are amongst the poorest; our roads are the most pot holed; our troops are the worst supplied; we have the most old people’s homes; we have the most teenage pregnancies; we have the biggest drug problem; our houses are the smallest and the most expensive; our dental services are the worst; our petrol is the most expensive; we start paying income tax at around the lowest amount. Our cancer rates are horrific and we produce almost NOTHING

Jeez that’s depressing.

It’s not, in short, done much for us all this strong government. Whereas Germany, Canada, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, etc, etc have coalition, balanced parliaments and........... better lives.

Don’t listen to the scare stories about weak government. It’s all lies. You wouldn’t call Angela Merkel weak would you?

Finnish 'Hung' Parliament Building in Helsinki: Nick Clegg who wants PR.


  1. "Hurrah for strong government: We should be the best run country in the world"

    We would be if Labour didn't keep getting elected.


  2. LOL QM. The Tories aren't any better.

  3. Very true, but at least the Tories don't have a record of leaving higher unemployment when they leave office, nor the country up to its eyes in debt with a bloated public sector and an imbalance of payments.
    They're probably the better of two evils.

  4. QM : They leave terrible social unrest. Yes they are stronger on the economy from a business point of view, and I can't remember what the unemployment figures were when Mrs Thatcher took over, but I know that she had horrendous unemployment during her presidency. Major may have got them down as Ken Clarke took over ordering the finances.

    Unemployment was so high that (and people I know worked for the Employment Service as it was at the time) she hid them on the sickness benefits, because that was an unreported figure.

    Quite literally staff were told to try to persuade claimants to go get signed off “on the sick”.

    Sometimes the cost of closing industries (social costs, devastation of communities, crime, drink, drugs, health), is greater than it would be to keep the industry going and subsidising it.

    First Mrs Thatcher wanted to run the country like a household, which she couldn’t because it wasn’t; (not that she would have known because she never actually ran a household), then she wanted to run it like a business and again she couldn’t because it wasn’t (and she’d never run a business either).

    She just never got round to running it like it was a...erm country.

    As for Europe. Well, she talked the talk and swung her stupid handbag about, and said NO NO NO, but she was out of her depth with the clever leaders on the Continent. Her mistake was to genuinely believe that she was better because she was British. She was the one who signed away sovereignty.

    No one would dispute that with a double first from Oxford, (in the days when you really had to know things to get even an ordinary degree from an ordinary university, and without Daddy giving enough money to keep high table in vintage port for 5 years, or bringing a title to the junior common room) that she had brains, but dear oh dear she hadn’t even the smallest modicum of common sense.

    At least in Scotland she left behind her terrible crime, desperation and poverty. She took away what we had had, had always had, and she left wasteland and call centre jobs for lassies. And of course it’s not politically correct to say it, but we needed men’s jobs, not lassies’ jobs. The stupid woman never saw that because she knew nothing about life.

    At the other end she made the country greedy and self serving. She created the breed, or maybe recreated the breed that will do anything for money and she made that alright, creditable, Harry Enfield. Loadsmoney.

    Dean tells me the Tories have changed. But of course, the people who fund them haven’t.

  5. I really believe a hung, or balance parliament is what is needed QM.

    It's not right that Labour could still be the government after the election with the smallest number of votes.

    We need to do something about that.

  6. I can't see a hung parliament being any good when you couldn't get a fag paper between the 3 main parties. All pro the Union, EU, House Of Lords, global warming hoax, more immigration, the BBC, nuclear weapons, staying the course in Afghanistan etc. Basically we would just stay the way we are. Doomed. With an annual deficit of £175Bn and a debt of £1trillion and rising with everyone happy with the status quo.
    Merkel has been very weak in Germany. Dithering over the loan to Greece for fear of upsetting her electors in next months election. This has driven the markets over the edge. Calling time on Greece and giving it 'junk bond' status. This will have a domino effect and lead to the collapse of Portugal, Spain, Italy then us.
    UKIP are the only party with an alternative solution to the problem but like the SNP are being ignored in this election and denied access to the debates.

  7. Strong government has been a disaster for the UK. A strong government agenda is quickly expired leaving that government flailing and tired almost moribund really. It happened to Thatcher/Major and it is now happening to Blair/Brown. A strong Cameron government would quickly run out of an agenda and then resort to tactics to keep itself in power. People generally acknowledge that checks and balances are a good thing in government, indeed that is one of their arguments for keeping an unelected House of Lord, as a check on the Commons. Why not just have all the checks and balances in one place? And make the government accountable for everything it does by having to explain it to its coalition partners and us?

  8. I'm really talking about democracy here.

    I just don’t think we are well served by the ‘strong’ government which, in reality, is simply one person getting their way.

    We had a situation where Mrs Thatcher decided something and all the vegetables agreed for fear of being branded wets and sent back to the back benches, or the NI Office. Then the huge majority she had were whipped, and for fear of no further career progress or disclosure of weird sexual/financial/domestic practices fell in line behind what she and her PPS and Bernard Ingham had decided one night after a good few whiskies, in the flat, possibly with a bit of Dennis thrown in.

    It hasn’t served us well compared with other countries. And you’re right Munguin. They start off on something and are known for being radical... and like Thatcher/Major they have to go on tax cutting, for which they have to raise money by cutting jobs and reducing services and privatizing. They clearly got to the stage where they had privatized everything.

    We now have lousy services which are about making a profit rather than providing a service.

    We needed one, at most two terms of Thatcher, as my mother said at the time, and the same with Blair. Blair was the same. One term of Labour would have done us well, two at the most, but Blair was determined to be prime minister longer than Mrs Thatcher, and in any case the corrupt political system continued to give him large majorities on only thirty something percent of the vote. So he and Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandleson continued to do just what Mrs Thatcher and St Bernard had done.

    Our system allowed elected dictatorship, and if we were the happiest, wealthiest nation in Western Europe instead of being the saddest drunkest, poorest, then I would say fine. As it is, I think it’s time for a change.

  9. Anon:

    Merkel isn’t really dithering. She is responding to the wants and needs of the German people, in a sort of democratic kind of way. She’s putting Germany and the German people first.

    In the last 20 years they were asked to and did take in one nation that had been ruined by communism. 22 million people they took in and integrated into modern Western life. Run down industries, dilapidated infrastructure, hopelessly outdated everything. Fr Merkel was one of the people rescued.

    No other nation except America, could have done it. Certainly none in Europe. It wasn’t done perfectly, but then 22 million refugees overnight? Who could cope with that?.

    Because of the electoral system in Germany Mrs Merkel HAS to listen to the people.

    Now we would NEVER have been asked to save the Greek economy. Apart from the fact that our debts are farther into the future than the Greek ones which are due within weeks, we are in exactly the same position as they are. Actually we are broke. But if we hadn’t been broke and HAD been asked, then there would have been no paying attention to what anyone thought, think about the Iraq war. Brown would have been playing the international statesman. Sorting the world. Sod the Brits: we are simply their means of playing with the big boys.

    UKIP has some good ideas. I don’t really want Scotland to be in the EU, although I accept that we would trade with them even more than England does, and as such would have to follow their regulations. (Apparently even China has had to enact EU regulations in order to tap the massive market.) But they keep on stealing and being sent to prison, or having orange faces, or falling out and leaving and starting new parties and leaving them. They are a bit like the Scottish socialists really. .... They are well intentioned but a bit weird. Of course the main stream parties are the same except they don’t have too many orange faces (Welsh Secretary excluded) and of course the police don’t prosecute them for stealing and on the rare occasions they do, I bet the courts find them not guilty, or there is some law from around 950BC which lets them off.

  10. Anon,
    Germany didn't take in 22million refugees after the fall of the wall. The majority stayed in the former East Germany. Eu funding helped to modernise the East and if you ever visit the area a lot of it is in better shape than Scotland. Fantastic trams and roads and underground systems. Berlin is buzzing and you wouldn't know if you were in the East or West due to our funding improving the place.
    Merkel may have escaped the physical Berlin Wall but she has helped to replace it with the political and economic EU wall. The majority of Germans yearn for a return to the Deutschmark and aren't impressed having to fund the bottomless pit that is the debt of Greece and now Spain. Greek 2yr bonds are now yeilding 20% and rising from 4% a few months ago. Spain will now join the nightmare then it will affect the whole of Europe. Germany's only chance is to refuse any bailouts and return to the mark otherwise it too will fail. Merkel is a brainwashed europhile and is doing more to undermine the West than the old USSR could have ever dreamt of. But like us the Germans won't get a vote on whether they want this nightmare to continue. The New World Order isn't a conspiracy. It's here and your SNP are full supporters of it aswell.

  11. Wan o' yer best posts tris. Ye're fair oan yer high horse th'day. If aw we've had since the war is strong government, then gie me a weak yin please.

    Auld Mrs Thatcher used her strong government tae sell much o' the country aff tae the few who could afford tae buy it. "Tell Sid" so that Sid can buy three cheap shares, watch them double in value, then sell them oan tae some corporate financier wha watches them quadruple in value.

    And the auld besom worked oot how much air ye could pump intae Mr Whippy's ice cream afore it floated oot o' its cornet.

    Ah wonder if her pal auld Mr Broon ever cried her a bigot?

  12. tris

    oops.... anon 12.21 was meant for you : )

  13. LOL... Thanks Sophia.

    I do feel a bit strongly about all the shit we believe because it's all we hear.

    I just wish people would think a bit more before they believe what any politician, including Alex Salmond, tells them or everything they read in the Times or the Mail or the Guardian. These papers have agendas.....

    Margaret was an old bigot as was her ghastly old drunk of a husband.

  14. Anon... LOL... I knew even you wouldn't talk o yourself. :)

    Well of course I didn't mean that they all came over to live in the West and yes of course the Germans got help from the EU and a lot from America. They were after all on the cutting edge of the end of the cold war.

    It might also be true to say that we had consigned these people to a life of horror in the Russian sector, knowing as we did what a monster Stalin was.

    The Poles who fought on our side in the war were also consigned to the murdering bastard that ws uncle Joe.

    “Erm Thanks for helping us out in the war... we really can’t thank you enough. Now you know it was all about saving you people from a murdering nutter old Adolf... and you may see some irony in this, but erm.... we are handing you over to another murdering old nutter... but the good news is that he’s got a good Christian name, named after the step dad of the baby Jesus... so it’s not all bad.”

    Try to see some good in the EU, Anon. It truly is not all bad.

  15. Ye, by the way. I agree. if you had the strongest currency in Europe, and way beyond it too, would YOU want to share it with people like the Greeks, the Spaniards, the Italians (or come to that the Brits, who are in as big a financial mess as the Greeks but the bedt is farther down the line for repayment). Bloody sure I wouldn't have wanted to either.

  16. .... ouch, why do you always see the howler just as you are posting...?

    bedt????? should read debt.

    It's late, I should go to bed (t) LOL.