This Leigh team remind me of Don Revie's Leeds United team. A team that can play some fantastic stuff but who are cynical and push the boundaries of niggly play to unsettle and wind up the opposition. Respected for their achievements but not admired for them. Being a bad loser is one thing but being a graceless winner is even worse.
You do know that saving £12bn by end of 2018 could be achieved without actually cutting any benefits from their current level ?
Government spending/budget forecasts adjust the amounts for inflation, and their plan isn't to cut £12bn from the current amount but to cut it from the forecasted cost. It is pure scaremongering when people suggest otherwise.
At a current welfare cost of ~£230bn an arbitrary inflationary rate of 1.5% per year would increase the cost to £241bn by 2018. You could therefore achieve an £11bn saving by freezing benefits at their current level.
I don't get all this fuss about the HRA, its a mountain out of a molehill. Does anyone seriously believe that the UK would not uphold people's true human rights (as opposed to some of the more spurious ones dreamed up by opportunistic lawyers) ? No matter which legal guise it is under, people in this country will still be afforded the same fundamental rights no matter who is in government and to suggest otherwise is, quite frankly, completely bonkers.
Labour's biggest problem is their apparent failure to understand that the vast majority of people are neither rich nor poor, and it is the people in the middle that decide elections. Their rhetoric about "the working man" or "working families" always seems to suggest to me that to be a "working man" you must wear overalls and do a manual job, when there are many people who would describe themselves as ordinary working class people who work in offices or in service industries. They too have aspirations to own a home, drive a nice car, have foreign holidays etc. Blair got it, but he became complacent. If Labour really want to change then they need to understand why the millions of working class people on middle incomes see them as being so unappealing.
Reality check time: The majority government won 36.9% of the vote on a 65% turnout. That gives them power under our quirky electoral system, but it does mean there are A LOT of people - a majority, in fact - who DID NOT vote for them and will therefore disagree, often quite strongly, with what they do and any 'mandate' they attempt to claim for it.
That's the thing about democracy. It doesn't just stop after an election.
I'm sure if Labour had won with 36.9% of the vote, those who oppose them wouldn't have just shut up and let them get on with it. Would you, John.
Can you name one UK majority government in modern times that has attracted more than 50% of the vote ? All majority governments have had less people voting for them than against them, that's the way it is. Even the landslide victories of Thatcher in 1979 and Blair in 1997 only gave them 43% of the votes cast. If you are going to start applying those sort of criteria then, factually, no post-war UK government has ever had a mandate from the people.
If that's the way he feels why doesn't he just ###### off to UKIP and have done with it?
That's exactly the attitude that has brought the Labour party to where they are. Instead of addressing issues, however uncomfortable, it is easier to pretend they don't exist and ridicule those who raise them.
Take immigration as an example. Those who are most at risk from influx of eastern Europeans aren't those in cosy office based jobs. It is the cleaners, the labourers, the retail assistants that they pose an economic threat to. In other words your traditional Labour voter. Yet the Labour party seems unwilling or unable to face their concerns head on.
I don't get it... it's OK for the Tories to shack up with the Lib Dems but not for Labour to do so with the SNP? Labour have fallen right into the daft trap set by the Tories about the SNP where they now can't do a SNP deal. Also, given the Tories' genuine lack of credibility north of the border, surely they have absolutely no remit to be criticising parties that don't represent constituent countries wihtin the UK. Even then, thinking back, there have been a few times, especially the 1992-1997 Tory government, where the Tories have relied on the NI MPs to get their votes through Parliament, that was OK though.
The thing you aren't getting is that the SNP would actually prefer a Tory government, they just can't admit it publicly. Forget the short term issue of this election and consider the long game. Another period of Tory government will strengthen the SNP's hand in their aim for Scottish independence as they know that it will lead to more resentment north of the border and the "yes" vote will grow. Anyone who thinks Sturgeon and Salmond won't want that situation is deluded. They have an ultimate single aim and if it means some short term pain to get there then they'll accept that gladly. Of course they'll make the right noises publicly about the Tories, austerity etc but Miliband has already bluntly said there would be no further Scottish referendum under Labour and that makes him the real enemy of the SNP.
I, for once, agree with you. It is possible to move to a more socialist regime without being completely senseless. Where the old style Soviet went wrong was making everyone equal by making them equally poor.
You see, what they fail to grasp is the concept of human nature. You could take all the money in the UK tomorrow and divide it equally between the population and guess what - in a couple of years some people would be richer and some would be poor again by way of the choices they make, what they do with the money and the opportunities that they take. So you'd have an inequality again. Then what ?