Monday 26 April 2010

There are alternatives to the cuts that they will bring down on us

There is a very interesting post across at Forfar Loon’s place. The FT has predicted a certain number of cuts that will have to be made to persuade the money markets of the next government’s good faith, and we wouldn’t want to upset the money markets.

Here are some alternative ideas. Clearly I can’t cost them; I don’t have the means, but they would make a big cut. Are they unthinkable? To them, yes. Is cutting pensioners’ benefits unthinkable? To me, yes. What’s the difference? Them and me.

We could take at least a third of the MPs out of the Commons. They have time for other jobs, as many as 10, so clearly they are under employed. If my boss thought that I had time to do 10 part time jobs, and earn far more from them than I do with my “job”, I’d be given a choice.

We can get rid of the House of Lords and sell off all the artwork to the rich. ‘Oh, but it must be kept for the state’, they will moan. So how many of us get to see the artwork in the House of Lords, remind me.

We can sell off the royal palaces bar one. There must be rich people for whom the dream of living in a royal palace would mean more than holding on to a couple of billion pounds. If they keep Windsor Castle, there is plenty of room for all the many and various royals for whom we are obliged to find luxury accommodation.

We can sell Chequers, Chevening, etc. I know, they were le
ft to the state, and where would the politicos entertain? Well, lawyers can find a way round anything if they have a mind to. Goldsmith certainly could, get him on the job. And as for entertaining, there is space in the ex-House of Lords for a dining room to be made over to politicians for such occasions. No need for them to have country estates.

We can slim down the BBC selling off the nonsense bits and retaining that which a state broadcaster needs to retain. People on nearly a million a year at our expense, who believe that taxis are to be treated like chauffer driven cars, building up massive bills of thousands of pounds per day, are nothing more or less than a joke when we are talking about cutting ordinary people’s jobs and benefits.

Scrap id cards. No, it won’t cause a rise in terrorism. Don’t be silly. Whatever the government does that will cost billions, the crooks will be able
to copy within a year, and the government will have to start all over again. You think crooks never heard of biometrics?

Get rid of Trident and don’t replace it. The Generals don’t want it. They have to fight a war on the ground in Afghanistan. They know what they need. Brown, Cameron and Clegg don’t know jack s*** about fighting wars. The nuclear weapon thing is a vanity thing designed to please America and keep these little islands at the top table where they long ago ceased to merit a place. We don’t need them. Germany doesn’t have them and it’s safe; Poland, Italy, Spain, Norway..... and on and on....

Close up all the redundant embassies. I read the other day that we have an Ambassador to the Holy See. What in the same of goodness does he have to do all day with his staff? Apologising for stupid imbeciles in the Foreign Office is not, or at least shouldn’t be, a full time job. Close them down and sell them off. We need embassies in the big and important countries where we do a lot of business and diplomatic work. We do not need them elsewhere. Consulates will do. Remove the massive houses and Rolls Royces from the ones that remain. Sell them. Ambassadors and their staffs are Civil Servants, not royalty.

Empty the cellars of wine in the palaces and government departments. When foreign dignitaries come here it is for business. Of course we need to feed them and feed them well, but the wine could easily be limited and there is no need to be serving stuff that costs hundreds of pounds a bottle.

It’s not 1875. The world has changed.

Pictured: A banquet at Windsor Castle; Chevening, (Miliband's country place); St James's Palace (Home of Princess Beatrice)


  1. "Get rid of Trident and don’t replace it."

    Sorry Tris, but I couldn't disagree more. The M.A.D theory works, mutually assured distruction creates a peace through stalemate. The answer is to not only reniew Trident but to work towards an EU-wide nuclear arsenal. A single EU deterrent- that should be a common goal of future harmonisation.

    That is the best way to keep peace globally, and an EU wide alternative would additionally prove cheaper for us in the UK, as it could be financed by an EU income tax, set by the commission.

    Simples ;)

  2. Dean creates peace you say? Well let’s see since the US has had a nuclear deterrent they have been involved in the following wars: Korea, Vietnam, The Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan and since the UK has had one it has been involved in: Falklands, The Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan. So when is all this peace going to break out then?

  3. Dean, how do you know that MAD works?

    Ah know it seems a daft question, but it seems tae me that, just mibbe, it's actually luck rather than MAD which has left us alive today.

    Or would ye rather see a few mair Cuban crises, takin' the world tae the brink an' back again, tae prove yer point?

    There's a very good reason it was called MAD.

  4. And how come sae many other nations, the world ower, hae managed tae survive intact without their ain independent nuclear 'deterrent'?

  5. I know what you are saying Dean, but that's conventional thought which the big parties want us all to believe, because, if we got rid of the deterrent, which is all but owned by the Americans (except we pay for it) and it's not independent because we could NEVER contemplate using it without permission from the USA...well (long sentence I know) if we got rid of it, we would also give up our seat at the UN Security Council.

    We would be like Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Canada... whatever. Prime Ministers like having their feet under the Whitehouse dinner table. They like parading the world in the shadow of the American President. It’s not just Mr Brown and his pathetic calling the White House to see it they could do a joint Press Conference or a photo opportunity. Blair was a permanent fixture in the Bush White House. A non- nuclear Britain wouldn’t get to do any of that.

    We don’t need it; we can’t use it, we won’t use it; and the enemy know that. While we pay for it the troops fighting the real, the actual war have to buy their own boots.

    We don’t have the money. It’s time to own up. That kind of influence disappeared 60 years ago. We do not run the world. We are not one of the great nations and pretending to be has left us so far behind out continental partners in almost every respect that it is embarrassing.

  6. Sophia: You make good points.... as usual

    We say we have to have nuclear weapons for our protection. They are absolutely vital. We say Iran is not allowed to have nuclear weapons. Why? Is its protection not important? Why would it not need WMDs?

    If we go with the MAD theory, then it may work if you are talking about another democracy, maybe. But why would it work with our most recent (but one) enemy, The USSR – Commonwealth of Nations – Russia, remembering that they are now our allies. Or with China, as David Cameron suggested briefly last week.... who are also now our friends and major trading partner.

    It most certainly wouldn’t work with the people we should really fear at the moment -- the Mujahidin. They don’t care about destruction. If they are destroyed fighting a holy war then they go to Paradise. Because Pakistan has nuclear weapons and the Pakistani government is fragile to say the least, it is not beyond possible that the Taliban or Mujahidin will get their hands on these WMDs.

    We could bomb them back all we like. The perpetrators will be preparing to meet God.

    So what if they decide to bomb Denmark for the cartoon debacle? Would we fire back, at whom? At Pakistan, Afghanistan....? Too late, the wind changed direction and all the radiation has blown over from Denmark anyway.

    Frankly I’d rather have my £100 billion and get something done about these damned pot holes.

  7. Yep Munguin. We have been at war rather a lot. For a so called sophisticated nation, we don't seem to manage the Jaw Jaw too well.

  8. Tris

    I calculated the costing for you and it added up to approximately One hundred and twenty five billion pounds and three pence. £120,000,000,03.

    Not a bad start but whatever government wins the next UK election then they could save even more by cutting out the Scottish office,cut Whitehall by half, cut the amount of civil servants stagnating like manikins in offices all over the country and sell off the BBC to make it more efficient.

  9. Tris

    I have just noticed on your side bar that the SNP has raised its £50,000 for court action against the BBC. Well done to them!

  10. Ah... well I don't need the 3p Allan so you can have that to yourself for all the calculating you did....


  11. Yes Allan. There are a lot of people prepared to pay for a bit of freedom in Scotland. (Or maybe it was English voters who contributed. Let's be honest, more time with Alex is less time listening to the other three!!)

  12. Sophie,

    The cold war vindicated M.A.D, there was no nuclear distruction- and at times like the Cuban crisis someone backed down. Why? Because no one will EVER start a conventional war if it meant extermination of each other. M.A.D overcomes war between the great powers.

    As for hte examples you cite, surely the issue there is that those are not 'great power wars' which, before 1945- was all too common. In Europe we've had the revolutions of 1848, and the Prussian & Italian wars of unification, we've had the Franco-Prussia war, we've had two world wars...not to mention all the warfare that went on before Napoleon!

    Nuclear weaponry and the EU has created peace in Europe, and M.A.D on a wider scale between the global great powers.

    Plus, it is a matter of record, that all of the money utilised for Trident might not be redeployable neccessarily..

  13. Tris.

    I really hope Salmond is on the same platform as the other 3 party leaders but I suspect he would be in the firing line most from the other 3.

  14. Dean.

    "Nuclear weaponry and the EU has created peace in Europe, and M.A.D on a wider scale between the global great powers"

    I don't agree. Cast your mind back to the Vietnam war the Korean war and USSR war in Afghanistan, all wars fought by nuclear powers against a lesser foe but in reality they were all proxy wars between the great powers.

    Nukes don't create peace, they breed contempt as we can see in North Korea and Iran.

    If one country is allowed Nukes then so should every other country.

  15. I suspect you're right Allan. But Alex's adept at fending off three at once....

  16. Dean,

    It would be very small consolation for me if my ass was flying out the window to think that some poor sods in Russia/Iran/China/North Korea/the Isle of Lewis were suffering the same fate while those ordering the carnage would be safe underground.

    Incidentally, Tris, now that I no longer have access to the House of Commons bars you could close them as well.

  17. Incidentally, tris, the selling of the palaces was something I suggested on my blog some time ago - I'm still waiting for Darling to get back to me!

  18. Oh yes Brownlie. Why they need bars to do their jobs I'm not at all certain. It most certainly seems to reflect in the quality of their work.

    If you want a reply from Darling you have to send a SAE. He's not able to flip houses any more and is obliged to find other ways of making cost savings.

  19. Dean, let me put ma knittin' doon...

    Ah'm no professin' tae be ony kind o' expert at this blogpostin' thing, but ah dae ken wan thing. If ye're gaun tae dismiss the examples somebody cites, then wait till they've cited some, ya big numptie!

    Honest, ah was just posittin' that mibbe it was pure luck that saved oor erses durin' the Cuban crisis. Ah ken Kruschev backed doon, an' we were aw gratefu' that he did. But what if he hadnae? The world would've burned BECAUSE o' MAD. The fact we havenae had 'bad luck' an' fried in oor beds is just that - luck.

    Ah couldnae follow yer argument in the second paragraph. Seems tae me ma auld pal Napoleon didnae use nuclear weapons BECAUSE THEY HADNAE BEEN INVENTED!!

    Ah know ye just think ah'm bein' obtuse, but mibbe ye'll just have tae make mair sense, then it'll aw be clear.

    An' dinnae call me Sophie.

  20. It's like all the "absolutes" we have been sold for ever from Tories and Labour who want to hold on to power and to the top table seat.

    Even if there has to be MAS, and I don't say there has, why does one of the most backward countries in Estern Europe have to have it.

    Don't tell me because it's in safe hands with the phone throwing table breaking phsyco we have a prime minister right now.

    It could be because it's in the hands of someone who will do exactly what they are told by the American President. You could never guarantee that with the Germans.


    They are already cutting care for some of the most vulnerable. Life is going to ge harder and harder for "ordinary people" (you know, the ones that travel 'second' on trains... pre Nicky Winterton). How can anyone justify spending £100 billion on this nonsense?

  21. I just noticed, that the headlines in the Times and the Telegraph are both that the parties are lying about how they will deal with the deficit.

    The Liberal Democrats had identified about a quarter of their cuts, the Conservatives less than a fifth and Labour about an eighth, according to the Insitute for Fiscal Studies, and independent think tank.

    So the Liberals are lying 3/4 of the time; the Tories are lying 4/5 of the time and, wouldn't you know old Gordon the phone thrower is tonight's winner at 7/8 of the time.

    Why would you believe them on nuclear weapons?

  22. Sophie,

    The point is that he did back down, and that was because Mutually Assured Distruction means that no one will ever 'fire the first shot' in those circumstances, because the result will be self distruction.

    It works Sophie, and history has proven it.

  23. Dean....eeeeek.

    It's SophiA, not SophiE....

    She did tell you!!!

  24. Ah'm oan tae you now Dean.

    Ah did warn ye, but ye wouldnae listen.

    An' ye've still no convinced me aboot MAD. We were lucky.

  25. LOL @ Sophia... be gentle with him .... he' just a laddie. ;¬)