Wednesday, 15 September 2010


Mr Cameron is going to lead a fight back against “vested interests” that say that their particular bit of the world should not suffer cutbacks. Good luck to him.... No, wait, bad luck to him. Why shouldn't people have vested interests? It's their job, their career, their kids' future, their lives.

He is particularly concerned that the police, who have warned of a ‘Christmas for Criminals’, should be put back in their box.

But surely the people who say that if you cut staff you will receive a worse service are not wrong, are they? I mean, it’s just an uncomfortable fact that, if you cut the policing budget, you are likely to have fewer police, working with inferior equipment, which in turn will mean that criminals will be the real winners.

Not long ago Annabel Goldie made it a condition of her support for the government’s budget that there be 1000 more police on the Scottish streets. She said, quite rightly, that the Conservatives had secured an important concession which would make life safer for Scots. What goes up, must come down..... QED.

People (the government tells us) are behind the coalition’s cuts, but no one wants to be a victim. I’ve heard pensioners agree that there must be cuts, but then decrying the possibility that concessionary travel passes or to winter fuel allowances be cut. I heard a woman yesterday deploring the possibility that care homes will have to close and residents sent home to their families. The woman has to work; she can’t have her elderly mother to stay. But she adds she’s very much for the cuts... just not cuts that will hurt her.

Simon Heffer, surely a government supporter, points out that whilst the RAF can be cut, there must be no cuts to the Army and Navy because, he says, the world is looking very dangerous. Well Simon, we’ll just have to take a back seat and not interfere with all the things that are looking so dangerous. It’s not like we are needed. America only wants us so that they don’t look as if they are on their own.

We are all in this together whether we are happy about it, or like me, unhappy. I’m not a banker and I don’t owe a h
alfpenny, not on one single credit card, not on a store card, not on a mortgage, so I consider this crisis to be not any of my doing. So, I’m in it together, without being in it at all. But undoubtedly my library will close, the parks nearby will not be planted with flowers, the grass will be cut less frequently, my bins will be emptied on fewer occasions, the ponds will cover with algae, the roads will not be repaired, and on the few occasions I want a policeman, I will have to do without. I'll have to wait longer in queues, and I'll get even more nonsense when I come into contact with public bodies. And that’s just the start.

C’est la vie.

That the poor will be affected more than the rich goes without saying. It’s unavoidable. A few inconveniences at the top will equate to lives made intolerable at the bottom.

But that’s what you get when you allow a stupid man full reign on the finances because you have a weak and vain prime minister who lacks the courage to challenge his chancellor. That’s what you get when that stupid chancellor wants to go down in history for having beaten boom and bust, as if that were possible, and then demands to be prime minister. That’s what you get when greedy bankers see a chance to do all the things that, if they know anything about economics at all, they know will implode one day. And that’s what you get when you replace these vain, stupid, irresponsible, glory seekers with a group of heartless incompetents who have never known what it was like not to have a couple of million in the bank.

Welcome to Britain. And you wonder why I want independence?


  1. There are several blogs by British policemen who have moved to Canada and Australia which say more or less the same thing - that, on a like for like basis, they police more effectively there with far fewer people employed because they are not nearly so tied up in red tape and political correctness.

    You can bet that the Chief Constables' sinister organisation ACPO will co-ordinate matters to give the biggest fright and inconvenience to the public by cutting front line services and maintaining their back office fiefdoms.

  2. Of course cuts to public services will hit the poor and not the rich. Public services after all are simply a way of providing services to people who otherwise could not afford them in order to make life bearable. The rich by definition will be able to get these things on their own: in private health care, private schooling, then can buy books when they want them and walk in their own gardens rather than go to the park. So it’s the people who have nothing that will suffer the most. So yes, we are in no way or shape in this together.

    I like you don’t owe anything. I did not take part in that huge ocean of credit that inflated the housing market to unsustainable levels, priced ordinary people out. And kept “bust” at bay by everybody fretting about equity and how to realise it and bankers selling products they didn’t understand in a desperate effort to create more of it. I didn’t cash in by buying granny’s council house for a song and selling it on for a fortune when she died, without worrying that I was depriving some poor family of accommodation later on, gentrifying council estates and ghettoising the desperate. So they can count me out of being all in it with them now that it’s all gone pear shaped.

  3. Good morning Mr Spalton

    Welcome to Munguin’s Republic.

    I think that we could get rid some of the red tape. I think that we could have some office staff to do a lot of things that are done by officers at the moment. But I also think that, a bit like the cute, people are happy enough for the red tape to go, the checks and balances and all, as long as it isn’t their son, or daughter.. or them who have just been lifted quite wrongly for something.

    Then it’s “I demand to see the Chief Constable...”

    I do agree that ACPO will try to ensure that the “customer” suffers most. And the excuse for everything that is done wrong, or sloppily will be the cuts.

    But that Home Secretary Tessie May could deal with that. There’s no reason why the Home Office can’t lay down the number of “Command Corridor” people that are allowed in each force.

    In Scotland I’d like to see a merger of the police forces. Why we have all these chief constables and deputies and assistants and assistant deputies who worry about corporate image and colour of uniforms..... I just don’t know.

    Anyway, I hope you’ll come back to MR..... soon!

  4. Yes Munguin.

    I agree. People like you and me didn't get rich, didn't remortgage and remortgage and spend, spend, spend.

    We weren't 'all in it together' when the spending spree was on. I feel agrievesd to be 'all in it together' now that the wheels have fallen off, as anyone with any kind of brain knew they would.

    Wages were increasing by 2-5%. House prices were increasing by 10%+. There had to be an ever deminishing number of available customers!!

    And if you build your economy on credit, it shouldn't be a huge surprise that it all tumbles down one day when people have to start paying it back.

    If interest rates go up now the whole country will fall apart!

  5. "I mean, it’s just an uncomfortable fact that, if you cut the policing budget, you are likely to have fewer police, working with inferior equipment, which in turn will mean that criminals will be the real winners."

    I do not neccessarily agree with you on this point, though the general thrust of your contention, ['why shouldn't people have vested interests?'].

    Specifically regards to police, and law enforcement; I cannot accept the bone of your contention when you say cut the headline police budget and that means fewer men on the beat. After all, you are asking me to accept the principle that there is no room for cuts in police budgets, which won't compromise the numbers on the beat. I think that is a hard one on prove Tris.

    For example, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary have said that £1bn could be saved without reducing police availability. Without reducing police availability.


    So I do not accept your point that reducing the headline police budget will mean less police available. Sorry Tris.

    But I DO agree that there are always some vested interests which people should stand up for, and protect. How we define these however is open to interpretation - and therein lies a problem

  6. I take your point Dean.

    Certainly there are many other things that can be cut... but if we assume that everyone in the police (for example) is doing something, then cutting them (even managers) will reduce, in some way, the quality.

    In reality of course the management will probably NOT be cut, and we will be left with fewer cops on the streets.

    But i agree, you make a good point.

    Cleaners, admin, managers, uniforms, repainting of buildings, repairs to cars, furniture and fitting (including managers' luxuries) could all be cut.

    But will it happen.

    I think for it to happen there will have to be micro management by government, telling them how to implement cuts... and of course that might happen in Scotland it's not likely to happen with a Tory government.

  7. How can we have cuts to the left and cuts to the right and it not effect services in some way? That is illogical Dean! A Tory world is not any different from the real world less is not more. Less is in actual fact less and if you cut police budgets then you will get less policing QED.

    Oh and didn’t David Cameron tell us that service level wont be going back up when things get better? That’s a bit of a laugh seeing as the most recent yougov poll puts him only one point ahead of Labour (40/39) while the Lib Dems have collapsed to 12 points (from 18), it would seem that Cameron and the Tories are being hated already, so he won’t be here to stop services going back to where people want them to be.

  8. Not even a fout month honeymoon. The Tories need to go ask the SNP about political honeymoons ours lasted for three years.

  9. The Torys are the oldest 'Vested interest' in the British nation and i have to confess the most successful.

    and we all have the scars to prove it

    Tris and Munguin............what sad penny pinching lives you must lead Mrs M would be impressed one bit..

    as someone once said to me if your gonna bust bust big the penalty are just the same..

  10. Aye...Life is sad outside the capital Niko, and the high lives you Edinburgers live.

    You have music and dancing and all the temptations of the flesh, whereas in Dundee, we get a cup of tea and bit of shortie on a Saturday night... and we think ourselves lucky!!!!

    You can't run up much in the way of debts on that.

    What does Mrs M say to it all?

  11. Mister MixedPickle; we can;t all be a socialist like you with the ancestral pile in corstorphine complete with belvedere stuffed with second hand gold!

  12. If we're all in it together - why aren't we hearing about the governemnt's pursuit of the many billions lost to public purse via wealthy individuals and businesses and tehir 'avoidance' of tax obligations?

    Tory vested interest is exactly right. From inception throughout their entire evolution. It doesn't matter what else they do, good or bad - the privileged always do better than the rest under the tories.

    Just because HMIC say cuts can be made in a particular way, doesn't mean that they will. Presumably, government will demand savings and police forces will figure out the way they want to do it (for reasons good and/or bad) with minimal government interference presumably; it is unlikely in the extreme that some cuts in frontline numbers will not take place as part of that.

    And the polis better watch as well - they're not too popular just now. Showing their colours (only to threaten to bite the hand that feeds), when such civic unrest might well take place, casts them as mercenary. Policing by consent, hmmm...

    Tea and shortie! You in the Ferry? ;)

  13. Shortbread tris you're welcome we have to do with lots of 'water of life' 40 - 60% to keep us warm in these november nichts. How time flies I only wish the Tories would disappear with the same rapidity.

    Hehe bamboozled the 503 by logging in correctly.

  14. Aye, but that's the Highlands CH.

    You see there's Edinburgh, where they have all that debauchery that Niko seems to thrive on.... and then there's the Highlands, where it's a free for all anything goes (I blame that water of life) and then there's the bit in the middle... where there is shortbread and tea.

    That's where I am. The shortbread and tea belt, as it were.

    Bravo for logging in right... It makes a big difference ....!!!

  15. Ha ha ha ha ha ha Dundee...

    You're the funny one! Tax avoidance ha ha ha ha...

    Oh dear, where's my hankie?

    ...Oh and we have shortie in the Stobbie you know.... just not the petticoat tales!

  16. Putting aside all of the Tory vested interest jokes ... [gotta love the views from the high ground...]

    "I think for it to happen there will have to be micro management by government, telling them how to implement cuts... and of course that might happen in Scotland it's not likely to happen with a Tory government."

    Hmm, well ... I don't know. Isn't there a good argument for government NOT micromanaging cuts across the public sector? The central govt isn't always familiar with the needs/local situation on the shop-floor so-to speak.

  17. "Isn't there a good argument for government NOT micromanaging cuts across the public sector?"

    Which is exactly why there are likely to be front line cuts in policing as part of local forces own determination as to what cuts they will make to meet the new constraints placed upon them.
    So May making hay from the comments of HMIC combined with the con-dem desire to make it look like it'll all be ok should be seen as nothing other the govt setting up its short term talking points.
    Seeing it as some kind of fact coming out from the centre while maintaining that the best knowledge of what to do actually exists at local level strikes me as inconsistent.

    And there's no high ground here.

    Re: Tax 'avoidance', I know: it's funny how it's just not on the radar, isn't it. I'm sure St Vince Cave-in mumbled something about a couple of billion annually (tip o' the iceberg) a wee while back - but I'm sure they've got him back in his box now :)

    I used to live in Stobbie when I was a lad, but there's no petticoats with the skirts that do the rounds there now :(

  18. It seems that a rudderless, leaderless Labour party is doing better against the Tories than one led by Gordon Brown, the party without a leader and surely still reeling from electoral defeat has closed the gap on the Tories to only 1 point. That must say a lot at how bad the Tories are actually doing and what a millstone Gordon Brown really was. If they had ditched GB before the election this suggests that they would have won.

  19. Yes. I think that that's right Dundee.

    The government won't and shouldn't micro manage how the cuts are implemented.

    But that will leave local government, health boards and police to implement the cuts in whatever way they feel inclined to.... including ways that will cause the public to react against them.

    It’s a possibility at least that they will do just that.

    If 20-25% is to come off, then that can’t all be fripperies.

    Interestingly, in teh dentist’s waiting room the other day I saw, in a magazine dated march 2010, that Nick Clegg was calling for thousands more police to be put on the streets. It was, he said, one way of making people feel safer. Thousands fewer will surely make people feel less safe.

    The billions that are lost to the country in tax avoidance were one of Gordon Brown’s priorities when he was shadow finance minister... We’re still waiting for perfectly legal and the slightly dodgy loopholes to be closed. Not to mention the downright illegal tax avoidance that HMRC are too poorly staffed and resourced to work on.

    Aye... we’re officially a red light district.... sheesh.... just the job if you’re looking to catch something nasty.

  20. Well Munguin, they can't say they weren't warned.

    Time after time they were told that Brown was a liability, but none of them had the nerve to dodge the flying Nokias and tell him to GO.

    At least the Tories had Ken Clarke when the dragon had become their liability. And they lived to fight anotehr GE.

    It's a sad tale though that Yougov shows the Tories in such a mess, so soon after the election. And as for the Liberals...

    Bye bye....