Friday 1 June 2012

Letter 68: Does Dave need some help distracting us from Leveson?

"Dear Dave,
Hope you don't mind but following the big! splash! news! flash! regarding your Charity Tax U turn (cripes, that's a fourth u turn on this Budget, yes?) in the middle of Jeremy Hunt's evidence to Leveson yesterday, I guessed you might need some help distracting people. I mean, have you seen the papers today? There seems to be pretty damning evidence of bias from your Culture Secretary, despite your vote of confidence.
I'm putting my pasty down and looking around. Let's see... no let's not talk about Strathclyde. And probably not spending either - that story by Fraser Nelson in The Telegraph didn't do you any favours. Oh, here's something: what about Hollande? Have you seen how quickly those socialistes are getting on with making sure the French are all in it together? President Hollande gets my vote, walking the talk with his cost cutting train trips and deciding to stay in his current apartment. More interesting though, is how he has fulfilled his election promise of cutting his government's salary by almost a third in his first cabinet meeting. And - he seems determined to do something very quickly about fat cat pay. Did you know, he has promised to cap the salaries of chief executives at state-owned companies which means that top pay-packages could be slashed or halved? I suppose he believes in setting an example - good for him, he'll be seen as principled, a man of his word.
It makes me wonder if you could do something to show voters in the UK that our politicians "are all in it together" with us. You could even rebuild some trust. After all, the phone hacking/lobbying/BSkyB/too cosy affair really isn't showing UK politics or democracy at it's

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 best. Thinking, thinking, thinking... how about this:
 Why not increase credibility by testing out your policies on MPs? Better still, have a Cabinet pilot group! Want to get doctors to toe the line on pensions? Then undo your platinum protection for your own pensions and increase contributions till you squeak. I know you've found it difficult to sell regional pay to those pesky civil servants, so get MPs to try the system out for the rest of this Parliament and get Nick to feed back if there's a difference to his disposable income (you could even work in that strap line "we cut because we care" somewhere). Want to make housing benefit caps more palatable? Then slash the £174 per night that politicians can claim. Even better, cut back the amount MPs claim for dinner to half the price of a lukewarm pasty and we might be more willing to accept the increasingly reduced eligibility to free school dinners for hungry children in poorer families. 
Finally, as we do need to think a little about ways of promoting growth, if you wanted to make Beecroft's suggestion of relaxing employment laws more palatable, how about you yourself begin to "let people go" a little closer to home, say if it appears blindingly obvious that they have broken the Ministerial Code or claimed for rent they've not paid? 
Best wishes, etc

(P.S Wondering about the bananas? Just go to:
and all will be clear). "


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