Friday, 28 September 2012

Letter 85: It's the Mitchell and pleb show....

"Dear Dave,
How long before being the bad news story is too much for a minister? To my reckoning, Andrew Mitchell and "plebgate" have been your bad news for NINE days now. That's bad. No wonder he wants to draw a line under the whole unpleasant affair. But, blaming the media for the story not going away seems very shortsighted. While his apology is welcome, surely he must be able to see that until he is absolutely clear about what he did say, the media must do their job and keep asking for the truth?
It is getting boring though. And you yourself must be worried about that unpleasant impression that your party is being "led by arrogant, rich poncey men with an acute sense of entitlement" sticking, (or so Benedict Brogan said in the Telegraph on 21.09.12). Here's a suggestion that might help to dispel that view; I read it in the Letters page of the Evening Standard on 25.09.12.

"It is extraordinary that Andrew Mitchell has apparently drawn more sustained anger from the Police Federation than Manchester police murder suspect Dale Cregan. Mitchell and the officers should swear an oath on what they said and heard in front of a magistrate, to settle this matter once and for all."

Unless of course there's something to hide?

With best wishes, etc"

(Thanks to Stephen Deane who penned the letter in the Evening Standard)

Friday, 21 September 2012

Letter 84: Tuition fees and apologies; timing is everything...

Dear Nick, 
There's no easy way to say this, but...I saw your party political broadcast apologising for something round tuition fees and the first thing that struck me was: timing is everything. Your battered grassroots might well respond favourably to some careful handling at conference this weekend, but the electorate, they have moved on. Neither forgiving, nor forgetting. After all, two years is a long time to wait for an apology, especially when it appears that both Vince and yourself knew before the election that the pledge with which you garnered students votes was unattainable and therefore dishonest.
The second thing I noticed was you might have a bit of a problem on learning from your mistakes. At the end of your broadcast you said: "...I know we are fighting for the right things, day in, day out too. Rebuilding the Economy to make it strong; changing the tax system to make it fair, defending the vulnerable in these tough times. That's what my party believes in. That's what I believe in. And if we've lost your trust, I hope that's how we can start to win it back" I would think this to be unlikely. You need to wake up and smell the coffee, because this is what your "fighting for the right things" looks like: 

an increase in government borrowing...
ESA slashed, you embracing EBacc...
David Laws pushing for more benefit cuts...
Quantitative Easing benefitting the top 5%...
Cuts to benefits and access to legal aid
Appalling treatment of the disabled by ATOS
Top rate tax cut to 45p...
Rationing of nhs services
Paying down deficit on the backs of the poor...
Child poverty increasing...

Might I ask - can we look forward to another broadcast around conference time next year, apologising for these things as well?
Best wishes, etc"

Monday, 17 September 2012

Letter 83: Breakfast Club versus "old boy's club"

"Dear Dave
Bless us and save us, guv! Has history taught you nothing? Do you not remember "Thatcher, Thatcher, Milk Snatcher"? A terrible moniker, wouldn't you say? But even she wasn't accused of taking the cereal, spoon, bowl, toast and juice to go with it from poorer hungry schoolchildren. Breakfast clubs are vital.
Napoleon Bonaparte famously said that an army marches on it's stomach. If you are the hands on dad that "Webcam" promoted, you'd know that children do too.
You have to make your mind up Dave, either you want to improve education standards or you don't. Have a heart. And if you can't engage your conscience, at least think practically; no-one can concentrate if they're hungry and listless.
With best wishes, etc

P.S. By the way, are MPs still getting that taxpayer meal subsidy we heard about here: ???