St Peter’s and North Laine: Why the Lib Dems deserve to be humiliated

The Libe Dems are standing Trefor Hunter as its candidate in the St Peter’s and North Laine by-election on July 8th. In the latest Lib Dem ‘Focus’ newsletter that I understand is being distributed around the ward this weekend, Hunter attacks the Greens for failing to deal with congestion and pollution.

As someone who has fought and lost more elections than just about anyone else in Brighton over the last 30 years, Mr Hunter must surely be aware that the Greens have never formed the administration in Brighton and Hove.  In fact, his party’s coalition partner, the Conservative Party, are the administration locally and nationally.  He writes “Decades ago residents elected their first Green Councillor, but what difference has it really made?”.  Actually, quite a lot, and if we achieve a 20mph speed limit in Brighton I for one will be delighted.

The more relevant question is what difference does voting Lib Dem make?  In Brighton and Hove they are an absolute irrelevance.  In Brighton Kemptown and in Hove, they split the anti-Tory vote that saw two Labour candidates defeated and the election of two Conservatives.  Nationally, millions voted tactically or positively for the Lib Dems as a way of voting against the Conservatives.  What happened?  The Lib Dems jumped into bed with the Tories.  The sight of Vince Cable bumbling and stuttering through feeble and half-hearted defences of his party’s total sell-out of his policies, his sound economic analysis and his principled stand on the banks, is pitiful.  Actually it is beneath contempt.

If I had a vote in the St Peter’s and North Laine by-election, would I vote Lib Dem?  Give me an honest Tory any day. At least you know what you can expect from them.  The Lib Dems deserve to be truly humiliated in the by-election and in each test of voter opinion up to and beyond the next general election.

Ask Simon Kirby, Charlotte Vere and Mike Weatherley how the Tories will cut £90 billion in public expenditure

George Osborne’s speech this morning made me cringe – lacking in substance and specifics.  His responses to questions was even worse – jokes about BBC salaries, saying that £1.5 billion “is a lot of money” (The £1.5 billion being the only item that the Tories have confirmed they will cut (from gthe government consultancy and advertising budget).

He said £1.5 billion is indicative of what can be done to cut government expenditure.  He continuously blames Labour for the scale of the savings needed. He says  he will go further that Labour who are committed to reducing the £178 billion deficit by £82 billion, but he won’t say how. 

When asked whether he would go further than £1.5 billion in year 1, he floundered.  He is trying to reassure the banks and credit rating agencies that he has a credible plan in order to protect the UK’s credit rating by saying the Tories will reduce the deficit by 50% in the lifetime of a Conservative Government.

Lots of words but no substance. What is clear is that the Tories will cut by at least £90 billion over a 5 year Tory government.  If it is just 1.5 billion in year 1, there will be cuts of £22 billion year on year. The problem for Cameron and Osborne is that they cannot reveal the savage level of cuts that they are planning.  If they do, they would lose the general election. 

The only conclusion that we can reach is that we should be afraid, very afraid, of a Tory government.

When you meet Tory candidates like Simon Kirby (formerly Radford-Kirby), Charlotte Vere and Mike Weatherley ask them to be open about how their government would cut £90 billion in public expenditure.

Cameron Squirming on that 4 letter word – Eton

I have just sat through an excruitiating interview with David Cameron on the BBC Politics Show,  Where he looked most ill at ease was when Jon Soppel asked him why, on the Conservative Party website, did it mention the schools attended by all Shadow Cabinet members when they attended state schools, but when an individual had attended a private school, the school was not mentioned.

Cameron first did not answer the question, then he said he did not understand it. He finally said that the website would be fixed.  Throughout he said there was no secret as to where he was educated. But even then he did not mention the 4 letter word, E-T-O-N.  (I suspect that when ‘fixing’ the Tory website, the comprehensive schools attended by Hague, Fox, et al will be removed rather than Eton being added). 

Clearly the Tory’s polling must suggest that the party is seen as Tory toffs: Eton, Bullingham Club, double barreled names. Earlier in the week I posted how the Tories were advising their candidates to drop double barreled names.  So Brighton Kemptown candidate, Simon Radford-Kirby is no plain Simon Kirby, failed candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Digby Seaman-Scott, presented himself  as plain Digby Scott.

Brighton Pavilion candidate, Chuck Vere, responded by saying she is simple Charlotte Vere.  (I detect she does not appreciate being constantly referred to by this blog as ‘Chuck’ – I am just trying to help her and the Tories look ordinary, everyday folk). I can confirm that Chuck Vere is not the Vere-Seaman-Digby-Weale-Chirnside-Firth IV of the Royal London Borough of Uppity Class, referred to in an earlier post!  Nor did she go to Eton.  I am sure her impressive website will give a full biography in due course.