Looks like Tories just might be about to self distruct

After four years the chickens are coming home to roost.  The Tories went into the last election trying to convince everyone that they were a reformed party – a party for the environment, a caring, compassionate conservatism.  They failed to convince the electorate, did not get a majority and did not win the election. (They have not won a general election for more than 20 years). However, with the support of the Lib Dems, the Tories ditched their manifesto promises and implemented a set of catastrophic policies that are doing lasting damage to our country.   Most of those policies were not in their manifesto, are not based on evidence or reasoned debate, have no electoral mandate and are based on simple minded, delusional, right wing ideology supported by a media prepared to disseminate lies and propaganda .   Those policies are now falling apart and we see the nasty party for what it is.

In particular, Lynton Crosby’s influence was always going to be poisonous and the articles below give a flavour of the effect of his influence.

David Cameron clearly stands for nothing apart from winning the next election- he has no vision and no morals – a PR man and nothing else.

Reality always trumps ideology and you can’t fool all the people all the time, so things were bound to start going wrong but with Lynton Crosby in the background the fall out might be quite spectacular.


UPDATE 28th August:  The Tories’ attempt to out ukip UKIP was always going to fail:

Net migration to UK soars to 243,000:

Douglas Carswell defects to UKIP:




Snubbed ministers to ‘rough up’ PM:

David Cameron will LOSE election blasts Ken Clarke after Tory spin doctors ‘attempted to silence him’:

No 10 lied to BBC to keep me off-air, says Ken Clarke:

And also see: You won’t hear the Chancellor boasting about the biggest drop in living standards since the war:

Chasing the Ukip vote could kill the Conservative Party, claims Tory moderniser, Lord (Daniel) Finkelstein:



When Lynton Crosby was first appointed, our local MP, John Glen, tweeted the message below.  I wonder if John is regretting his enthusiasm yet.

John Glen Lynton Crosby










Is John Glen MP still enthusiastic about Lynton Crosby?:


John Glen MP: It’s time to take party politics out of the food bank debate

John Glen, MP for Salisbury, has received some favourable comments for his call to take party politics out of the food bank debate (See Guardian article here and his own Conservative Home article here.  But this damascene conversion to the virtues of evidence based, rational, non partisan debate is pretty galling given his own party’s track record. 

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Disgraced ex Cabinet Minister, Liam Fox, speaks at Salisbury Literary Club Dinner (Salisbury Literary Political Dining Club)

Its a funny old world. The Tories are always keen to condemn those who take advantage of the tax payer except when it is one of their own that is doing the ripping off.  So let’s not forget that the Liam Fox invited as guest and speaker by the Salisbury Literary Club / Salisbury Literary Dining Club (which I assume is a local Salisbury Conservative Party fund raising group) is also the same disgraced Liam Fox, ex Defence Minister, who had to resign to avoid further investigation into his abuse of the tax payer’s trust.

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This is what happens when a political party dumps its morals in favour of cheap votes and ideology

Alois Dvorzac, an 84-year-old Canadian with Alzheimer’s died in handcuffs while detained at Harmondsworth detention centre, run by the private, US company, GEO.

Here is the Channel4 account of this appalling story:

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Atrocious Daily Mail reporting incites a junior Doctor to respond

After reading this in the Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2580846/Accountant-fights-life-trainee-doctor-tried-unblock-windpipe-like-drain-tore-4cm-hole-it.html … junior doctor @JennyMHughes sent a response to the journalist (Emma Innes). You wont find it in the comment sections of the Daily Mail so I have reproduced it here:

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“It’s not racist to be concerned about immigration”: The straw man argument of those with a guilty conscience.

xenophobic headlines


Recently David Cameron has revived an often repeated “straw man” argument in which he states that it is not racist to be concerned about immigration.  Our own MP for Salisbury, John Glen, in a recent article in the Salisbury Journal, said “Neither do I believe it is racist or xenophobic to want to see limited resources allocated fairly to those who make a contribution in this country”.  John Glen, View from the Commons, Salisbury Journal 17th Jan. This straw man argument is meant to distract us from the reality (and perhaps their own guilty consciences?).

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John Glen MP: “No Alternative to Universal Credit”

I was disappointed to see John Glen use his “View from the Commons”: No Alternative to Universal Credit” 27th Feb Salisbury Journal, to respond to the chorus of criticism from church leaders about government welfare reform without actually addressing any of the issues raised.

The reality is that no one objects to welfare reform or the principle of universal credit. No one disagrees that an effective tax rate of 84% for hardworking low wage earners is criminal and, although much of the justification for the benefits cap is based on misinformation, no one disagrees that the underlying issue – channeling tax payers’ money to landlords charging unaffordable rents because of a catastrophic lack of affordable housing – is anything but unfair to ordinary people.  

The reality is that Mr. Glen needs to address the actual criticisms i.e. that the implementation of benefits reform has not just involved bureaucratic failures but has included indiscriminate cuts and punitive sanctions. These and other cuts to local authority spending are causing real hardship to ordinary people who have done all the right things but find themselves at a time of rising living costs and decreasing income unable to make ends meet.

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Two questions for Salisbury MP John Glen concerning the government’s misuse of benefits and poverty statistics

Listening to Britain’s Churches – Salisbury
Conservative Christian Fellowship
Friday, 21 February 2014 from 18:30 to 21:00 (GMT)
Fisherton Street, United Kingdom
(Panel includes Salisbury MP, John Glen and Wiltshire councillor for Salisbury St Francis and Stratford, Mary Douglas.)

The Conservative Christian Fellowship are holding a ‘Question Time style’ event in Salisbury this Friday – here are some suggestions for possible questions:

Two questions for John Glen MP:

  1. Do you agree with the grave concerns about Government misuse of benefit statistics expressed by an alliance of churches representing Christians from England, Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland.   Please see their letter to Mr Cameron here: http://www.scribd.com/fullscreen/146264932?access_key=key-1p73vebysw54vko13cvp&allow_share=true&escape=false&view_mode=scroll
  2. Do you agree with four major British Churches that  David Cameron is factually wrong and misleading on poverty. Please see a summary of their comments here: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20188

Continue reading “Two questions for Salisbury MP John Glen concerning the government’s misuse of benefits and poverty statistics”

Matt Ridley: “Do people mind more about inequality than poverty?” (So what if somebody else has a yacht?)

In a new article:  “Do people mind more about inequality than poverty?”  Matt Ridley has used public misperceptions of poverty and undoubted reductions in global poverty to obfuscate and trivialise the very real issue of growing inequality within nations.  In the article Ridley totally ignores concerns about the excessive concentration of wealth in an increasingly powerful global elite.

Ridley points out that public perceptions of poverty and inequality are unreliable but this is not earth shattering news – evidence abounds that the “British public is wrong about nearly everything” or “Perceptions are not reality

Evidence does show that there has been a decrease in global poverty and a small decrease in global inequality. These improvements are obviously good news and should indeed be publicised.  We need to ensure that these improvements continue and at a faster rate.  However, small changes to extreme poverty and inequality still leave unacceptable levels of extreme poverty and inequality.  Furthermore, looking at global figures it is easy to hide realities like:

“Almost half of the world’s wealth is now owned by just one percent of the population, and seven out of ten people live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years. The World Economic Forum [1] has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, impacting social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.

This massive concentration of economic resources in the hands of fewer people presents a real threat to inclusive political and economic systems, and compounds other inequalities – such as those between women and men. Left unchecked, political institutions are undermined and governments overwhelmingly serve the interests of economic elites – to the detriment of ordinary people.” [2]

This, below, is Ridley’s  concluding (penultimate) paragraph  (his final paragraph is bunkum – check it out for your self):

“None of this is meant to imply that people are wrong to resent inequality in income or wealth, or be bothered about the winner-take-all features of executive pay in recent decades. Indeed, my point is rather the reverse: to try to understand why it is that people mind so much today, when in many ways inequality is so much less acute, and absolute poverty so much less prevalent, than it was in, say, 1900 or 1950.  Now that starvation and squalor are mostly avoidable, so what if somebody else has a yacht?”

This is, at best, disingenuous. In the first sentence Ridley says that he doesn’t want to imply that people are wrong to resent inequality and yet in the following sentence he does just that – does he think we are all stupid? The final sentence starts with nonsense and finishes with a straw man.  The issue is not resentment or envy of the successful local entrepreneur who owns a yacht for sailing with friends and family, this is just a Ridley obfuscation. The real issue is the power that a £75 million super yacht’s owner has to influence or control the democratic checks and balances that protect us, however imperfectly, from rule by plutocracy. It is the fact that Global inequality is about power, not just wealth or yachts, that Ridley, no doubt deliberately, manages to brush under the carpet.


The graph below shows how the improvement in the global distribution of income is mainly due to rising incomes in the emerging economies like China.  At the same time ordinary people in Europe and the US have seen their incomes stagnate or decrease.   The winners have been those in the emerging economies that have been able and lucky enough to benefit from their country’s growth and a very small global elite. The losers are the very poorest (e.g. in sub-Saharan Africa) and the working / middle  classes of the developed nations.

income growth












The issue here  is not about talented or hard-working individuals being able to afford to own a yacht. It is about a small elite, less than 1% of the population, who are so excessively wealthy that they can exploit their resulting power to disrupt the normal political, democratic and regulatory processes for their own benefit and to the detriment of ordinary people.  This gross inequality of power is a major risk to human progress, impacting on social stability within countries and threatening security on a global scale.

Coincidentally, Matt Ridley (5th Viscount Ridley), with a family estate of Blagdon Hall, near Cramlington, Northumberland just happens to be a hereditary member of the 1%:

Source  for graph  – Branko Milanovic: 

[1]  Global Risks 2014 (World Economic Forum): http://reports.weforum.org/global-risks-2014/executive-summary/

[2]  Working for the Few – Political capture and economic inequality (Oxfam):  http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality

The Rise of Inequality, Branko Milanovic (IMF):  http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/fandd/2011/09/Milanovic.htm

The richest 85 people on the globe – who between them control as much wealth as the poorest half of the global population put together – could squeeze onto a single double-decker: http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jan/20/oxfam-85-richest-people-half-of-the-world

Global inequality is about power, not just wealth:  http://newint.org/blog/2014/01/27/inequality-power-wealth-davos/

U.N. sounds alarm on worsening global income disparities (Reuters): http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/29/us-global-economy-un-idUSBREA0S1FD20140129

Capitalism vs. Democracy:  http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/29/opinion/capitalism-vs-democracy.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

Why Income Inequality Is Here to Stay by Branko Milanovic: http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/01/why-income-inequality-is-here/

Winners of Globalization: The Rich and The Chinese Middle Class. Losers: The American Middle Class, Branko Milanovic:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/branko-milanovic/winners-of-globalization-_b_4603454.html

“British public wrong about nearly everything” or “Perceptions are not reality”: http://www.reasonandreality.org/?p=2887

Matt Ridley – failed banker and rightwing neolibertarian: http://www.reasonandreality.org/?p=1468