Poll: Labour Won’t Deliver “Programme British People Want”

How many relaunches is that now? Ed Miliband’s big speech on the economy today is being tipped by sympathetic quarters of the press as showing Labour are serious about reducing the deficit, so at least there’s no chance he will forget to mention it this time. Yet Ed is also going to attack the Tories for planning to cut spending to “1930s levels”, insisting “That is not our programme, that will never be our programme, and I do not believe it is the programme the British people want”. Just one problem: a ComRes poll for ITV out last night shows that this is the “programme the British people want”. 33% support cutting spending to 1930s levels, 26% oppose. Another great relaunch success…

Osborne’s Kwasi NHS Spending Pledge

Kwasi Kwarteng isn’t backing down from his comments splashed in the Indy that NHS spending will have to be cut to clear the deficit:

“My general point was that if you’re going to have a serious debate about deficit reduction, everything has to be on the table. Now I’m not saying we’re going to cut the NHS, what I am saying is that there’s a serious deficit problem and you have to start thinking quite radical things if you are serious about dealing with the deficit. The alternative is to keep borrowing money indefinitely.”

Osborne has just announced £3 billion worth of extra cash for the NHS…

Dave’s Barrister Brother Backed Legal Aid Cuts Strike

As Guido revealed in yesterday’s Sun column, Dave’s barrister brother was sympathetic to Friday’s strike over Government cuts to the legal aid budget that will leave some junior lawyers paid less than the minimum wage. Alexander Cameron’s case was not sitting on the strike day so he did not picket. But a source at his London chambers tells Guido: “He would not have gone to court even if his case had been sitting.”

Environment Agency Massively Over-Staffed
Arguably World’s Most Bloated Quango

ea0prospect

Prospect, the union which represents workers at the Environment Agency, is taking the opportunity of the floods to protest job cuts – “The government must call an immediate moratorium on 1,500 job cuts in the Environment Agency in the light of the flooding that has swept the UK this winter” – as if that would stop the rain. 1,500 job cuts sounds like a lot until you realise that it is only 10% of the bloated workforce.

Bloated? Well it is by international comparisons. Equivalent quangos in the rest of the world are much smaller, the Environment Agency for England alone has more staff than the Canadian, Danish, French, German, Swedish and Austrian equivalents, combined!

Only the US Environmental Protection Agency has more staff, (15,913 versus 11,200) hardly surprising given the US is some eighty times larger than the UK with six times the population. According to a whistle blower, blogging for Inside the Environment Agency“, based on international comparisons it has 9,000 too many and a billion plus budget that should be slashed in half. Some serious Treasury axe wielding required here…

Ed Ballses Up Brillo Interview

Under pressure from Brillo earlier, Balls coughed that he believed “the cuts are deeper than they need to be” for the spending review. Meanwhile spinners were pushing the line that Labour will stick to spending cuts if elected in 2015. Which was even on the rather unfortunate ticker scrolling along the bottom of the screen while Balls was speaking. So these cuts are too deep but Labour will stick to them, eh?

Here is the video:

This is What Austerity Looks Like

The Chancellor has revealed how much the UK will spend in 2015/16: £745 billion. For the first time we have an accurate picture of the widespread devastation that Osborne’s austerity agenda has wrought:

At the next election, the Coalition will be spending £76 billion more than Labour were five years ago.

First Picture of Liam Byrne’s Infamous “No Money” Note

Turns out it was “I’m afraid there is no money”, not “I’m afraid there is no money left”.

If we’re being pedantic…

Via ITV

Rich’s Monday Morning View

20130624-000549.jpg

Patten’s DCMS Anguish

Things must be bad for the increasingly troubled Department for Culture Media and Sport when a loathed Chairman of the BBC has to ride to your defence. Chris Patten told a Press Gallery lunch that the department must not be […]

+ READ MORE +

Witherow Gets Axe Out at Times

Media Guido is hearing of big movements over at the Times. Witherow is, as expected, swinging the axe…

Roland Watson is out as Political Editor – he’s been told to apply for Foreign Editor apparently – a desk getting […]

+ READ MORE +

Dear Chris Leslie…

Poor little Chris Leslie. He’s getting all the tough gigs for Labour’s Shadow Treasury team this week. Yesterday he was forced onto the airwaves to not answer on whether Labour would cut departmental budgets and today he has the pleasure […]

+ READ MORE +

Hammond Surfaces to Defend MoD Bureaucracy

Phillip Hammond popped up for a passive aggressive performance on the Today programme:

“We can look for efficiency savings which everyone should be seeking all the time. If we need to go beyond our efficiency savings, we would need to

[…]

+ READ MORE +



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Quote of the Day

Labour’s Austin Mitchell muses on the campaign:

“What’s the problem? No use pointing at the leader. Too late to change and unnecessary for Miliband is doing well at Question Time. His problem is connecting with the real world. He doesn`t speak people and his protective team of naive kids are playing West Wing rather than letting the leader relate to real people. We could point at the party, shrunk in numbers and enthusiasm because everything, from policy formulation to candidate selection, comes top down rather than bubbling up from below so campaigning becomes the opium of members deprived of any real role, though they`re not even sure what they’re campaigning about, with or for, but its role is marginal.”

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