Saturday, 14 August 2010

Self-Servatives Need Not Apply


New logo needed for Tories, see my Facebook Group 'New Tory Logo'

Back in wet North Ken, but still reflecting on how Spain's Partido Popular (right wing opposition) has been ripped to shreds by a series of political scandals that has brought down mayors (murder of predecessor) Councillors (planning backhanders) and presidents of various regions (bribery and corruption, one going down for 15 years), plus dubious party donations from construction companies.

The accused, according to El Pais, 'deny everything, belittle expert findings, and find a group of misfits to blame'. Given also the gradual collapse of Berlusconi's 'Party of Love' - or rather, of financial self-interest - and Nick Clegg's blatant trading of principles for power, and you wonder why any person of integrity would want to enter politics at present.

So, how do we get the 'right people' to come forward? Should we put on their application form: 'Do you agree with the following statement: "I wish to help others, not to help myself" ?'.

Our ConDem government, in true Tory style, punishes the victims of social injustice while rewarding, with tax breaks and other incentives, the businessmen and bankers who have perpetrated it. In the meantime, Cameron's 'Big Society' - called by El Pais 'pompous and entirely free of meaningful detail' - relies on public-spirited citizens to fill the boots of 'redundant' public sector workers. Why would anyone want to join Cameron's volunteer army? Can the job spec state: Self-servatives need not apply?

Friday, 6 August 2010

¿THE END OF RIGHT TO BUY?

Still on hols but have been reading El Pais´ take on the ConDem housing policy that threatens anyone who needs to live in social rented housing for longer than five years. (By the way El Pais also dislikes Cameron.)

So, let´s take an average family living in a two-bed flat in Golborne. Let´s say there are two parents, one working part-time very locally. The two young adults of the family, who have to share a room, are both gainfully occupied, one working in Nu-Line (though their job may be at risk because of the building industry failing) and the other doing an apprenticeship at a local college. Maybe one gets sick and needs treatment. But they might still be considered ´TOO RICH´for social housing.

OF COURSE as there are in theory four people working, they will be able to afford a three-bedroom home near their work and college. It would only cost about 750,000 pounds (no pound signs on Spanish keyboards). Minimum. So they will have to eff off to outer Brent or outer East Ham. No more jobs or training for them.

And what about Right to Buy¿? I haven´t seen any comments on the future of this scheme, which like it or not, kept local families in the community when they could afford to put a bit back in and kept neighbourhoods neighbourly. Whatever will be the future for those who have already exercised their Right to Buy, or who have then sold on the open market, when estates become ´ghettoes of fear and paranoia´as a certain Tory so lovingly considers them¿?

BRILLIANTLY THOUGHT THROUGH AS ALWAYS. Grant Shapps, really has his hand on the um helicopter joystick.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

THOUGHTS FROM VALENCIA REGION

I just can´t keep away from the news, and can´t bear the thought of returning from hols to 700 emails, so while my daughter is giggling on Facebook at the internet cafe I try to keep up to date with events at home and scan my emails for anything urgent.

One of my guilty pleasures when away is reading two day-old Daily Mails (yes, I know), but if I hadn´t I wouldn´t know just how much the paper loathes David Cameron. Brilliant! However, it is evident that they vastly prefer the politics of David Davies and Malcolm (´Rifles´) Rifkind, so if ´call me Dave´ is ever winkled out of Downing Street (which Mrs C hates) we will get someone EVEN WORSE.

Meanwhile the expat scene here in Valencia Region and right down the coast is all gloom and doom. Many retirees are suffering the effects of reductions in pension income, their properties are worth little even if they could sell them, Spain´s recession is deep and wide and innumerable major projects are being frozen for up to four years. So the local British Consulate is setting up a helpline and charity for expats who can no longer manage financially. One option is to send them home! Ads are appearing in local English papers offering static caravan homes, not ideal even if they could afford them. So, NOT a good idea; they would anyway be sent back to work.