Saturday, 25 April 2015

Letter 153: Dear Dave and Nick, here's an invitation to a Private View

'Dear Dave and Nick,
The general election is fast approaching and I for one am mighty pleased it's just around the corner. Since 2010 I've written over 150 letters to you about the social impact of your government's policies, because too often it's seemed as if you've been driven by ideology and Party interest rather than the needs of society and ordinary voters. 
 As it’s so easy for people to forget what has happened between one election day and the next, I have copied every letter I've sent to you, in order that they can be exhibited before polling day. I've made a website featuring them, which has been viewed over 83,000 times, but now I think it's time to actually display them all in one place; a timeline of letters may help jog all our memories now that you, dear politicians, are offering sweeteners and making unrealistic promises.
The exhibition will run for a week, from Saturday 2nd - Friday 8th May 2015 (11am - 6pm) in our gallery at Blank Studios, 108 North St and I'd like to invite you to attend a Private View on Sunday 3rd May, between 3pm and 6pm. I realise you're probably quite busy, but I do hope you'll be able to come and join us. I look forward to hearing from you.

With very best wishes, etc'

Friday, 24 April 2015

Letter 152: Dave is stupid to keep us in the dark on £30 billion spending cuts

'Dear Dave,
Do you think voters are stupid? 13 days away from the general election and are you wasting time on English votes for English laws? Do you not understand that people are fed up that so close to polling day  and you are still keeping us in the dark on the real issues? The IFS has clearly said that future Tory plans are based on "substantial and almost entirely unspecified spending cuts and tax increases" and could involve "further real cuts to unprotected departments of around £30 billion". Let's not forget too, that last month, Sir Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office accused you of having no idea of the impact of the cuts in your FIRST term. 

Why would anyone vote for you in May 2015 if you're not even honest enough to admit where you've decided to impose harsher spending cuts? 

Yours etc'

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Letter 151: Manifestos, money trees and Right to Buy

'Dear Dave,
Manifesto week, eugh! Am I glad to see the back of it. Never have so many trees been sacrificed for so little returnDon't you just hate it when politicians make unfunded promises? 
 I've delayed getting in touch as I was holding out for clear idea of where all the money is coming from for your lovely election promises (evidently, the track record just isn't enough to reassure most of us or you'd be polling higher). Worryingly, George failed to enlighten us 15 times chatting to Andrew Marr; you chose to absent yourself from the election debate on tv on Thursday and then gave nothing away yourself in that animated and tetchy interview, again on the Marr Show. So, money tree or projected growth it is. And like my drawing, both appear too sketchy to be taken seriously.
By the way while we are on election promises, why complain that people think you're the Party of the rich if you announce plans that benefit high earners disproportionately? Raising the inheritance tax threshold on family homes to £1,000,000 may please your core voters but won't do anything for your reputation with the rest of us. Nor will extending Right to Buy. Announcing a plan to sell off much needed housing stock at huge discount in the run up to an election looks like the work of a spiv, especially when home ownership has nothing to do with sorting out the UK's chronic housing crisis in the first place . According to the IFS, extending Right to Buy will actually contribute to higher rents, homelessness and a higher Housing Benefit bill. Almost as embarrassing to read as the letter recently leaked (and written in 2013) by your Housing Minister Kris Hopkins, to Tessa Munt. In it he admitted that, "Any increase to the discount available under the (right to buy) would only be possible through upfront central government subsidy, potentially incurring a higher liability for the public purse". You'd have been told that was a risk before including the policy in your manifesto, surely?

Yours etc'

Friday, 10 April 2015

Letter 150: Concerned about the NHS? Doctors advise using your vote to make it better.

'Dear Dave,

These days the NHS is never far from the news and sadly, for all the wrong reasons. Back in January this year, Rob Galloway wrote about his concerns and now this week, over 140 leading health professionals contact The Guardian to outline with damning clarity how your Coalition government has failed to keep it's NHS pledges, underfunding the service, leaving it more fragmented and less able to perform it's role than at any time in NHS history.
And what does your NHS protector, Jeremy Hunt do? Does hake a deep breath and face up to the mess your top down reorganisation has produced? No. Instead, he tries to cobble together a lame countering letter in an attempt to spin away the fact that your government's policies have undermined and weakened our National Health Service. And you wonder why we don't trust you with it?  

Yours, etc'

Thursday, 9 April 2015

Letter 149: How low can Dave go to distract voters from the real issues?

'Dear Dave, 
Election time or not, you've got to have standards you know. Comments like Michael Fallon's on Ed Miliband and Trident pollute the political process and smack of desperation in your camp. How about trying to win with truth and reasoned argument - the polls will love you for it and god knows the electorate deserve better campaigning than you're currently offering. Mind you, is the reasoning in Central Office that while we're all thinking about your backstabbing myth, at least voters will be distracted from non-doms and news out today that NHS hospital waiting times are the worst in seven years? I have to tell you, it hasn't worked.

Yours etc,'

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Letter 148: How to buy a meeting with a Minister

'Dear Dave,

Hooray! Today is the last PMQs before you break for the general election campaign trail. There must be a tremendous sense of relief throughout the House and probably a real end of term atmosphere, a little like you see in schools. Why not break with the Punch and Judy tradition then and do as teachers up and down the land do when their charges have been working too hard? Why not show a film as a little treat? The one I'd recommend to you all is a new release "Dispatches: How to Buy a Meeting With A Minister" And the beauty of it is, it's really educational.

Yours, etc'

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Letter 147: From redbox to ballot box, everyday the Tories fail to talk about the economy is a wasted day.

'Dear Dave,
Forty five days to go 'til election day and since last Wednesday I've been thinking a great deal about the Budget, described by many as George's most politically motivated to date. The bribes and jibes were predictable enough, so weren't of particular interest. What was of more consequence though (and which has been so difficult to find), is evidence of your Chancellor's competent consistent management of the economy. He does however, deserve some credit. Let us count the ways...
Since 2010 we've had the weakest economic recovery in the last two hundred years and there's no doubt at all George most certainly had a hand in thatHe inherited a debt of £760 billion from that pesky Labour Party in 2010 and by 2014, George managed to reduce it to £1,260 billion - and all without having a financial crisis of his own to play with. Awe-inspiring.
Child poverty down? Inequality down? Not quite. Georg's self-deceit is as remarkable as the number of people living in poverty in the UK today (of which there are about 13 million, half of those in working families). Shout loud, shout proud that the UK is second only to Estonia in the European fuel poverty league.
Should he congratulate himself privately on his economic triumphs of a 59% rise in working people claiming housing benefit, or 1.4 million people on zero hours contracts, or even on the astounding million using foodbanks ? Probably not. He's too busy defending the "unprecedented" cuts he still intends to impose if re-elected.
Just a moment... check with Lynton and see if you're still focussing your election strategy on the economy. After all, George wants us to judge him on his record and as Anthony Hilton of The Evening Standard said recently:
"It takes nerve for a political party to ask the country to re-elect it on the basis of its economic competence, when it knows perfectly well that the majority of people it is asking to vote have become worse off under its rule"

Yours, etc'