Friday 18 June 2010


We got an idea of what the austerity drive will mean for the first time yesterday as the coalition Government signalled billions of pounds of cuts to hospitals, libraries, leisure projects and roads.

Free swimming for the over-60s and under-16s is to be abolished. A Stonehenge visitor centre is not to go ahead saving £25 million. The £7 billion programme to replace the fleet of Sea King search-and-rescue helicopters is suspended. More than £1 billion for the young unemployed is to be cut and an £80 million loan to Sheffield Forgemasters cancelled. A long-planned hospital in Stockton-on-Tees will not be built.

So there you go in the same week that we are squabbling about who should go to a garden party with the Queen, £1 billion to help young people into work is being cut. That begs the question how is the coalition going to get jobs for all these people and get them off JSA?

Danny Alexander (late of the Scotland Office) detailed an unheralded announcement to the Commons. He said that the Treasury was cutting 12 projects worth £2 billion and suspending a dozen more worth £8.5 billion. In addition, he said that he had found a £1 billion hole in the public finances, where Labour had committed the Government to programmes financed by non-existent under spending, which brought the total necessary savings to £11.5 billion.

Yesterday’s cuts are but a foretaste of what will follow next week when George Osborne will use his Budget to announce by how many tens of billions he intends to reduce spending.

Mr Alexander’s axe fell three times on Sheffield, potentially costing the constituency of Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, more than £100 million. Along with the Forgemasters loan, which had been intended to support the nuclear industry, a £13 million industrial park was cancelled and £12 million plans to modernise the city’s shopping centre suspended. So nuclear power stations and weapons yes; ancillary investment for the nuclear industry no. That should make for safe new power stations or are we going to buy that all in from Iran or North Korea?

Well there you go as usual its garden parties and royal junkets yes; help for unemployed young people no. Hundreds of new Lords yes; new hospitals no. Nuclear weapons that we will never use yes: search and rescue helicopters no.

If this is only a drop in the ocean to what we can expect next week and then you add in tax hikes as well I would not be surprise if the legendary patience of the British people snapped rather like it did over the poll tax and civil disobedience was the result.


  1. I noted Munguin, that the Libdums did the announcing.

    Wee Danny and Big Nick later announced some cuts.

    So they have it sorted. If anyone is going to be unpopular, it's the poor old silly Liberals. They are announcing cuts that they would normally fight tooth and nail against.

    There used to be some advantage in having a top Cabinet member as your MP.... Nick Clegg seems to disprove that.

  2. Well if you've got a load of patsys handy why not use them?

  3. It's the only thing worth laughin aboot these days Mr Munguin, watchin thae wee Liberal Democrats daein aw the Tories' dirty work fer them.

    Mind, we never elected this government. We didnae vote Tory, an' we didnae vote Liberal Democrat. They better keep that in mind as they cut oor services tae the bone.

  4. Here that taks me back. D'ye mind when ye used tae steam aw the stamps aff yer envelopes, an' sent them aff tae tae the Sally Army, or the Wummins Institute tae help feed puir weans in Africa?

    Ah did the same wi ma milk bottle taps, till ah found oot ye could decorate yer hat wi them.

  5. Into the firing line with the lib/Dem cannon fodder (wankers) meanwhile back in the Tory HQ bunker cameron schemes to leave them in no mans land....

  6. Pablo:

    Gracias por su comentario. He tenido una mirada, porque gozo el mirar de estampillas. Es muy bueno pero hablo muy poco español.

  7. Sophia: That's just it. We didn't vote for them. We know we have to make cuts, but as you say, they should keep in mind the fact that we didn't vote for that....

  8. And tell me Niko... what, apart from trying to distance themselves from Blair and Brown, have any of the potential leaders of your lot said about these cuts, and the fact that we still have money for the rich to have their traditional frolicks?

    Opposition???? nah, they're too busy trying to outsmart each other ... and some of your lot are more interested in the fact that the Queen might have to be in the same garden as some right wing nut case, than that the garden party that they may both be at will cost hundreds of thousands to stage... money that could have been used for hoospitals and care homes.

  9. where's the gorgon ?June 18, 2010 11:55 pm

    All these cuts are from Labours scorched earth policy of spend spend spend before being kicked out of office. I think the gorgon should be brought to book for sanctioning all this spending when he knew we couldn't pay for it. It's lovely not having to listen to him every day but does anyone know where he is ?

  10. Tris: right wing nutcase? That's no way to talk of her husband!

  11. Gorgon: it is great not to have to switch off the TV whenever Brown comes on, but now we have to avoid Cameron's smug tones instead. So what you gain on the swings you lose on the roundabouts. Only clearly on this roundabout we are going to be losing an awful lot indeed.

    The Tories are happy to scrap another generation of young people so that we can all bask in the warm glow of nuclear weapons, royal garden parties and a House of Lords so full to bursting with the useless troughers they will have to kip on the floor.

    I noticed that the Queen sanctioned her brood to show no ostentation so that they could be seen to do their bit in the Dunkirk spirit. And then promptly trotted off to ladies day at Ascot in an open horse drawn carriage at the head of a royal procession including herself, prince Philip, princess Anne, princess Beatrice and princess Eugenie. No ostentation there then!

  12. I'm seriously concerned as to how Prince Andrew will get to his golf-course if helicopters are grounded.

    Tris, impressed by your linguistic abilities. Do you do Gaelic as well, a charaid?

  13. Incidentally, nice photo of the riot police raiding an HMV store in North Britain to prevent them selling ABE tee-shirts.

  14. It is a weird yin tae me that the Libs are such mugs as tae be huckled intae announcin o the keech stuff. Though they musta hud some savvy put apparently no. I'll be mos def surprised if they gain any seats at the nixt Westminster election.

    Shame we huffty stick wir independence eggs in the SNP basket cos they balloons do the cause nae use whatsoever. I hear dark tales of the civil service turning very anti SNP due to Salmond's exttreme arrogance, aloofness and bloated self importance. He's no a very down wi the people sorta guy. Wish Jacko McConnell hundae jumped ship tae Labour aw they years ago. Bit o a politico but a decent gadge.

    But i digress - think i'll post on this on ma ain blog, time tae get political again.

    I'd cut oot the cuts and ramp up income tax til aw the troughers hud tae flog off thir ain faimly silver. I may have made that point afore. It's my current obsession. A good dose o Euro Communism what this sick nation needs right noo. Nationalise the air!

  15. Yes Tris I was very much impressed as well. But it saved me making fool of myself by answering our Argentine friend and saying I can't speak Spanish. So thanks!

  16. Brownlie: maybe he can bounce! Lord Ffoulkes can doubtless recommend where he can get a royal space hopper.

  17. Thank Naldo, we all have our pet obsessions. I'm wondering how the Lib Dems will do at the Holyrood elections in less than a year and whether they will have the cheek to go into coalition with Labour north of the border. Anything can happen in politics you know.

    I think it is George Laird (CHRGU) that is floating the idea that Gordon Brown might stand as a MSP in the same election. If that can happen anything can.

  18. Brownlie : Munguin

    Merci de vos gentils mots.... Uhhhhh. Yeah, don't get too impressed. My French and Spanish are "plein de fautes".

    To my eternal shame Brownlie, I have no Gaelic. I love it, love hearing it spoken, or sung and wish I did speak it. I tried a “teach yourself” course once, but it was too difficult. There seemed to be little rhyme or reason to either the pronunciation or the grammar.... I used to listen to the news every night and picked up odd words, but, alas.... I picked up only a few words... “good evening”, “good night”, and “and” which I wouldn’t begin to try to spell!

  19. Oh and I suspect, Brownlie, if helecopters are grounded HRH will simply have his un-grounded....

  20. Naldo: I met Jack a couple of times when he was FM, and I have to admit he was an ace bloke. Seriously there was no side to him when he was dealing with people. I tend to ignore all the crap that surrounds these people. I don't believe in encouraging them to think that because we elected them to do a job for four years, they should get above themselves, so I called him Jack and he called me Tris and we talked about getting teens back to work.

    All this "yes first minister" nonsense just iencourages self importance.

    There are a few good Labour blokes. If only we could get them away from Labour, which really seem to be dross in Edinburgh. It would be an plan!

    What do you think of Nicola?