The truth about Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats

Advertisements

Dispersal Zone implemented around the Neasden Shopping Centre area

Over the last year and a half, our under-resourced Police have been working hard to with the local Council to tackle anti-social behaviour issues that take place at the Neasden Shopping Centre.

Misbehaviour of schoolchildren, street drinking and the more recent appearance of gangs in the area culminated in Labour Councillors, the police and residents coming together deciding to escalate the response to the situation.

Police will have powers to split groups up in the area identified in the linked map – Neasden dispersal zone

Enforcement will run until the 1st of September 2013.

English: College of North West London
College of North West London (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This to me also highlights the importance of Ward Panel meetings because the decision has been made in collaboration with local residents, the Police and the Council. The next Ward Panel meeting is on Wednesday 6th March 2013 and takes place at the College of North West London (Willesden Campus) at 7pm.

It surprises me that given the importance of this meeting, that in my time as Dudden Hill Councillor, ‘local’ Liberal Democrat Councillor David Clues has NEVER attended a Ward Panel meeting. In fact, I believe he has NEVER met a single member of the local police team.

It is a local scandal that he did not resign his seat in May 2012 so that a by-election could be held at the same time as the Mayoral vote to minimise taxpayer election costs after he moved to Brighton in December 2011.

Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate for Hampstead and Kilburn resigns issuing a puzzling statement

The Willesden and Brent Times on their website are reporting that the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Hampstead and Kilburn seat has stepped down because she has accepted a politically restricted job – LINK

I think this is fair enough and it is a personal decision for her and I can imagine it was one that took lots of thought and consideration. However, I am somewhat puzzled by her resignation statement. The quote reads,

“This has come about because I have been offered a job in government in which I will be working to give the Liberal Democrats a stronger voice within the Coalition in key areas where I have expertise. However, as this job is politically restricted I will not be allowed to continue as a parliamentary candidate.”

How can you accept a politically restricted role and yet make a public statement that you will be using your new job to enhance your Party within Government through being appointed in a politically restricted job?

It just does not make any sense.

Snowy Postcard to Cllr David Clues

While Dudden Hill is covered in snow, I thought I would take this opportunity to remind Liberal Democrat Councillor for the ward about the area he ‘represents’.

grange in snow postcard

 

Above is a picture of the beautiful Grange with St Catherine’s Church in the background covered in snow. David Clues has been living in Brighton since 8th December 2011, over a year now – LINK

Last night, the Liberal Democrat Councillor yet again failed to turn up to the Full Council meeting. However, I understand the difficulties in travelling to Brent from Brighton in this difficult weather. I suppose the Liberal Democrats aren’t the only fluffy substance around that cause the country to grind to a halt.

Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on the Lords’ amendments tells a different story

Much has been made about Sarah Teather’s now public opposition against the Government’s flagship Welfare Reforms. It featured prominently in the Guardian as a lead story over the weekend where she claimed that what the Government, which she was a part of, was immoral and divisive – LINK.

When it came to the vote for the Welfare Reform Bill, the Brent Central MP was a notable absentee. However, her voting record on the amendments from the Lords paints a different picture.

She voted loyally with her Tory Liberal pals on the Welfare Reform Bill Clause 11 about Housing costs – LINK

3B Page 5, line 21, at end insert—

In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this section shall not permit the housing cost element of the universal credit to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 19;

(b) the claimant, or a child or a young person for whom either or both the claimants is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required; or

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant routinely provides foster care placements.

(3B) In subsection (3A), “claimant” means a single claimant or joint claimant.””

Clause 68

26B Page 52, line 36, at end insert—

“( ) In relation to a dwelling of which the landlord is a local housing authority or a registered provider of social housing, and no suitable alternative accommodation (as defined in regulations to be made under this section, and provided by any such provider) is available, regulations under this Welfare Reform Bill 3 section shall not permit the AMHB to be less than the actual amount of the liability in a case where a household has no more than one spare bedroom, and—

(a) the claimant is subject to no work-related requirements in accordance with the provisions of section 11D of the Welfare Reform Act 2007;

(b) the claimant, their partner or a child or a young person for whom the claimant (or their partner) is responsible, is in receipt of disability living allowance, or personal independence payment, or attendance allowance or an increase of disablement pension where constant attendance is required;

(c) the claimant is a war widow or widower; or

(d) the claimant or their partner routinely provides foster care placements.”

Lords Amendment 3B and 26B that was voted down by Sarah Teather

In short, disabled people who have had their properties adapted or live in accessible accommodation face the prospect of being penalised for having an extra room. This will have a detrimental impact on people who have had their own property made accessible for their individual needs and could lead to people having to move and make their new property accessible! In addition, people who are wheelchair users and may need the extra room for storing equipment such as mobility scooters and standing frames also will be adversely affected by this Government’s damaging policy. This Lords amendment on the Welfare Reform Bill, which Sarah Teather voted down would have protected the most vulnerable in our society from what is being called the ‘Bedroom Tax.’

On reading the New Clause 2 on Childcare (Welfare Reform Bill (Programme) (No. 2)) she voted loyally with Government (LINK) She voted with Government on (Programme) (No. 2) Schedule 1 Universal credit: supplementary regulation-making powers (LINK) and also on (Programme) (No. 2) on Financial conditions (LINK)

Sarah Teather may have been absent for the Welfare Reform Bill vote, but her voting record on clauses and amendments tells a different story. To coin a phrase that London Assembly Member Tom Copley used, Teather’s crocodile tears on the Government’s welfare reforms is pure Lib-Demmery at its worst.

Dear America – Go out and vote Obama!

Imagine having a Government that cut too far too fast. Imagine having a Government that overlooks the human cost of a radical deficit reduction programme.

America, learn the lessons from what we are experiencing in the UK and vote Obama. His deficit reduction plan, which is three times slower than the right wing plan being implemented in the UK by the Tories and Liberal Democrats has minimised the impact on ordinary people. They have brought a double dip recession to the UK where as in America, Obama has delivered 32 straight months of growth and a better Health Care system for ordinary people.

Times are hard across the globe in this global economic crisis, but Obama’s plan is working – stick with it, stick with him, FOUR MORE YEARS!

Popular tweet from Labour Party Conference

This tweet that I posted during the Labour Party conference has received 103 retweets and been favourited six times so I thought I would blog it due to popular demand!

 

 

Interesting Articles

I do tend to tweet a lot (follow @Krupesh4Brent!). Now and again, I retweet interesting articles I’ve read on the web. Here are the last 10 [politically relevant] articles I have linked;

  • Cuts will bleed Council reserves dry in 5 years says Senior Tory – LINK – Brent has traditionally had low levels of reserves. That it is why it is financially important that in an era of increased risks to Brent Council, we keep sufficient reserves to cover those risks.
  • Disability rights groups protest at DWP against Paralympics sponsor Atos – LINK – Atos is a French IT company that carry out Work Capability Assessments with disabled people. Unfortunately, the Labour Party is not innocent in all of this as we did as award the original contract to Atos, but pressure to attack benefits from the current Government has exacerbated things. The Coalition has gone even further by naming Atos as a main contractor for carrying assessments for disabled people’s Personal Independence Payment (PIP) entitlement. PIP is the benefit that will replace the Disability Living Allowance (DLA).
  • Mark Ferguson on LabourList on a Lab / Lib Coalition being a non-starter – LINK
  • Save Central Middlesex Hospital’s A&E – LINK – The Brent Labour Party has provided campaign materials for people to join in on the campaign against the current proposal that will permanently close the A&E Department serving the most deprived part of the Borough.
  • Fleet Street Fox’s article on tax and cuts to disabled people – LINK
  • Lib Dem Peer says their Party should consider disposing Nick Clegg – LINK
  • Mark Steel on Atos – LINK
  • Retiring Andrew Strauss may bat for the Conservatives at the next election – LINK – after quitting cricket for good, the ex-England captain is being touted as a future Tory MP.
  • Welsh health survey: One in three take no exercise – LINK – This is an article related to Wales, but it is a trend I am very worried about. The positive effects of regular physical exercise are well documented.
  • Caught Yellow Handed – LINK – I was reminded last week about this document highlighting Lib Dem Hypocrisy through their actions in Parliament and their leaflets and campaign work in their constituencies. Brent Central Lib Dem MP Sarah Teather has a starring role.
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP
ATOS PROTEST BY ECAP (Photo credit: Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty)

A by-election in Dudden Hill imminent?

Dudden Hill Liberal Democrat Councillor David Clues has been living in Brighton since 8th December 2011 LINK

In a show of contempt to the Brent Council Taxpayer, the Liberals look like they will be holding a Council by-election sometime in the next couple of months in Dudden Hill, when they had the choice to hold it on the same day as the London Mayoral elections.

By-election costs come out of the Council’s general fund.

There was a flurry of activity in Dudden Hill today for the first time since May 2010. I was out on the doorstep, as I am every Saturday, when I even spied Sarah Teather. A couple of people living near Gladstone Park have mentioned that they have been canvassed by the Liberals.

Interestingly, I spoke to a Lib Dem activist who had come over from Kensington to help out the Lib Dems in Dudden Hill. He first of all looked surprised and was impressed with seeing a young Councillor. He vented his disappointment at the way in which the Government was handling the economy and that the richest landowners in society had the means to pay off debt with a one off payment rather than targeting welfare and disability benefits. I asked that you can raise that with the MP that is there today. He said I’ve seen her briefly today – but this sort of thing is “too advanced” for her. At which point we exchanged contact details. Says a lot when Lib Dem activists feel more comfortable talking to Labour Councillors than Lib Dem MPs, Councillors and Government Ministers!

This level of activity from the Liberals is unprecedented in my tenure as a local Councillor, which suggests to me that a by-election in Dudden Hill is coming soon.

Tory Liberal failure on the economy – Double-Dip recession

With the news that we are officially in a double-dip recession period LINK it is becoming clearer that the Tory Liberal economic policies are fundamentally flawed. Yes, they inherited a large deficit, but they also inherited a growing economy.

Cutting too far too fast has recklessly damaged the UK’s good prospects of getting our economy moving again. So far, the Tory Liberals have increased unemployment by

  1. Slashing jobs in the public sector on the unsubstantiated claim and risk that jobs will miraculously appear in the private sector to make up for the rise in unemployment in the public sector
  2. Increasing VAT which has an impact on a business’ take home profits, meaning that they have less profit available to employ people and expand
  3. The VAT rise also impacts on consumer spending and disincentivises businesses
  4. Scrapping the Future Jobs Fund which equips young people to be work ready. Indeed the long term impact of this has also been ignored by the Tory Liberals. Even if there is a lack of employment opportunities in the country, it is important that these schemes are invested in so that people are equipped with the skills they need and are work ready for when the economy does recover and there are jobs for people to go into.

Unemployment should never be a price worth paying. The immediate and long-term impact of worklessness is far worse than pursuing an aim to get rid of the deficit in four years. The Tory Liberal Government have made this their priority and ignored the impact that this damaging course has on ordinary people.

The VAT rise also had a detrimental impact on inflation. Naturally, it costs more to buy products because there is more tax paid on spending money. This leaves less disposable income to the individual and what’s more, wages are not going up with inflation. People are being squeezed with higher costs and lower income.

This brings me to my final point on the deficit, which has increased under this Tory Liberal administration – LINK

Growth is a key component to tackle the deficit. Without economic growth, it becomes difficult to address the deficit. This has been the Tory Liberal Coalition’s main failure. There is the issue of the Eurozone crisis that the right wing Government will point to. However, slashing public sector jobs with a front loaded approach and the VAT rise are policies of the Government’s own making.

The Tories are out of touch with ordinary people and their stance on the 50% tax rate at this very moment in time is testament to that. The Liberals aren’t bothered about issues such as employment, jobs, the economy, crime and the NHS – this is proven with how easily they flipped their position on these what I consider core issues. They are far more concerned with the House of Lords and the electoral system and appear more principled on these issues than ones that have a more profound impact on people.