Kirkcaldy used to be a prosperous town. The birth place of Adam Smith was once a booming hub of industrial Fife. Then Gordon took over as the town’s MP. His SNP opponent highlights just how bad things have become:
“The claimant count unemployment rate in Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath is now higher than the Fife average, which in turn, is higher than the Scottish average. The four wards in Fife with the highest rates of unemployment (Smeaton, Valley, Ballingry and Sinclairtown) are all in Gordon Brown’s constituency. And all four have unemployment rates nearly three times the Scottish average.”
Elsewhere in the constituency things are also looking bleak: “Some 9835 Fifers were claiming job seeker’s benefit last month — which is 4.4% of the population and 2263 more than at the same time in November 2008.”
A staggering 45% of Gordon’s constituents are either on the dole or paid from the public purse.
There is a lot of speculation, most of it horrified, that Rod Liddle is being lined up to take over the editorship of the Indy by Lebedev. Back in May last year Guido advanced two ideas to save the Indy. The first was abandon the loss making print edition and go all digital. The second was to seize the
glaring broadsheet market positioning gap … by shifting from an editorial stance that reluctantly backs the LibDems towards enthusiastically backing Cameron’s liberal conservativism. With the Telegraph floundering editorially the Indy is never going to capture the ground held by the Guardianistas. The Times is probably going to row in behind Cameron with a heavy dose of skepticism from Murdoch. The Indy should therefore enthusiastically embrace the socially liberal Notting Hill Cameroons, in all their weed tolerating, groovy green glory. Become the modernised news brand that Cameroons are not embarrassed to be supported by…
Rod Liddle is not the man to do that Mr Lebedev. If you are looking for an editor to move the Indy from the Guardian dominated liberal-left space to the market opportunity on the liberal-right, there is one perfect candidate available. The Indy could become the Cameroon’s house-paper with the inside track on the next government if the editor was Matthew d’Ancona. Go for it…
Former Labour General Secretary Peter Watt was in charge when Gordon bottled having an election. Over six pages the Mail on Sunday runs extracts from Peter Watt’s devastating inside account of the madness in the heart of Downing Street:
- Mr Brown’s Cabinet ally Douglas Alexander said the PM’s inner circle wanted an early Election partly because even they didn’t like him – and they feared the British public would soon form the same view.
- The day Mr Brown called off the 2007 Election, denying he had ever intended to hold one, Labour chiefs had a fleet of limousines circling Parliament Square ready to take Ministers on the campaign trail, and had 1.5million leaflets ready to be posted. Brown brazenly lied about the planned election to an incredulous press conference.
- No. 10 is ‘completely dysfunctional’ under Mr Brown, who runs the country ‘by making it up as he goes along’.
- After witnessing Brown behave bizarrely at a dinner, Watt’s wife told him “he’s bonkers”.
Guido had lunch with a former senior Downing Street adviser, who when Guido asked him directly did he “think Brown was bonkers?” went into a long soliloquy about the different Freudian personality types. He concluded, in a matter of fact way, that Brown was a narcissistic, manic depressive. There is lots more of this to come out about Brown…
Pre Order copies: “Inside Out“.
Darling has to be given some credit for stating what should be axiomatic “Many departments will have less money in the next few years.. [The cuts] are utterly totally non-negotiable.’ £57 billion in cuts is going to mean that “the next spending review will be the toughest we have had for 20 years”. For months now the kamikaze economics advocated by Balls and Brown has been terrifying, they seemed set on destroying the economy to advance their factional interest over the national interest. Will Balls and Brown stick to the Mandelson-Darling line?
Peter Mandelson’s speech on Wednesday was overshadowed by events, parts of it sounded more right-wing than anything Cameron has said in years:
The 1980s saw the timely privatization of industries that were long overdue for return to the commercial sector. Industrial relations underwent a sea change. The quality of management in our best firms improved, and with it, corporate profitability.
First and foremost we need to foster a new climate for enterprise in Britain. There is no substitute for this – no substitute for the drive and ambition that it brings … it is the single most important engine of economic progress. The recovery cannot be driven by consumer debt or public spending. It will be driven by private sector investment and private enterprise.
Enterprise and reward go hand in hand. Much as it shocked many of my friends when I said I was comfortable with people making themselves “filthy rich”, in the context I was speaking I was simply stating a simple truth: that enterprise and effort should be rewarded. It sets goals to spur people and brings gains to us all … there is never a case for punitive taxation. There is never a case for rates of tax that remove the incentive to self-improvement or to build a business.
Mandelson sounded positively Thatcherite. Can you imagine Cameron delivering a speech written by Steve Hilton which sounded like that? Cameron’s opening speech of the year promised a new high-speed rail network and the creation of 100,000 apprenticeships. Dave sounded more like Gordon Brown than Maggie.