Friday, August 13, 2010

Pass The Buck.

Here is the Tories latest attempt to push the blame for "the deepest cuts of modern times" on to the Labour Party.

Of course, it was the Tories - backed by the Liberal Democrats - who decided to do the equivalent of paying off your mortgage in five years rather than twenty five, so their charge is an utterly false one. All parties agree that the deficit must be reduced, but the Tories - always keen to slash public services which they do not believe in - were the ones who decided that the cuts must be savage and are now desperately trying to assign the blame for that to the Labour party.

To that end they are desperately releasing what they claim are examples of Labour's "culture of excess".

Among the expenses revealed was £1,673 to a company called Stress Angels, which offers massages, acupressure, Indian head massage and reflexology.

Significant amounts were spent on improving the mental faculties of employees – £3,450 went on a session with Improwise, whose techniques include using a live jazz quartet to demonstrate different skills, and £1,000 to Illumine, a company which helps workers improve their practical skills.

Then there was £626 on a trip to a nature reserve in Nottingham and £539 on an awayday to Blackpool Pleasure Beach. Accommodation at a hotel – the Rubens, opposite Buckingham Palace – cost £17,000. Another £3,670 went to Halfords cycle shop.

Quite what one is supposed to feel about these piddling little amounts of money is simply beyond me. Perhaps Pickles hopes that this will generate another expenses scandal and fatally damage brand Labour. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were him.

The outrage people will feel will come in October, when the Con-Dem coalition finally reveal just what these cuts are going to look like.

They are carefully attempting, even as early as today, to make their savagery the result of thirteen years of Labour. But I don't think that is going to wash.

These are Tory cuts carried out with the backing of the Liberal Democrats. It was both of those parties who decided to cut the deficit by spending cuts which outweighed tax increases by a ratio of 77% spending cuts to 23% tax increases.

This was their decision. They have decided to reduce the deficit by making the poorest members of our society pay the largest and most painful price. For example, most of us will contribute by paying an extra 2.5% Vat on certain items when shopping. Other than that, I seriously can't think of another way that the government is asking the majority of us making a decent wage to contribute.

But, for those at the lower end of the wages scale, there is going to be Armageddon. That decision easily fits in with Tory thinking. So, this is not a response to a deficit, this is a decision to use that deficit to push through Tory ideology.

People will see that for what it is.

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