The political aim from Sarah Teather will be to pass on as much of the blame as possible to local Councils. Governments get politically slaughtered for making cuts to Departments such as Health where local authorities have less control.
In Brent we have been asked to make £94 million cuts to our budget. Our total budget for the last financial year was in the region of £260 million which should give you an idea of the scale of cuts we’re being forced to make. With around 80% of our funds coming from central Government, any rhetoric that these are cuts that Councils are making is deceptive.
Coalition Minister Sarah Teather has already sent out a propaganda leaflet which targets the Labour Council for making these cuts. But if we don’t make cuts, then administrators come in and make these cuts for us. It’s worth noting that the cuts are more directives from the Government as many are because of Central Government money that was set out for certain schemes being slashed.
In the 1980s, the Thatcher Government made cuts that were designed to pass the buck towards local authorities as much as possible. In addition, Tory Councils were hit less by the cuts in comparison to Labour controlled authorities.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and history repeats itself. Labour controlled Councils are being hit disproportionately by the cuts imposed by the Con Dem Coalition Government.
After a long leadership contest, Ed Miliband was today elected leader of the Labour Party. It must have been difficult for all contenders and hats off to all who have proven that they are all assets to our party.
I for one am glad it is over as it allows for the Leadership candidates and their volunteers and supporters to move on from the contest and concentrate on providing effective opposition and challenging the unfair, unjust and discriminatory actions of this Coalition Government.
Ed Miliband is the change candidate. Untarnished by the Blair vs Brown battles, and a critic of some of Labour’s failings in Government, as well as a supporter of our successes and I fully support him as the new leader of our Party.
Labour’s fiscal stimulus helped make sure that recession didn’t turn into depression and that stimulus meant that people did not lose savings in their bank accounts, or mortgages didn’t collapse along with the banks, which would’ve led to people losing their homes.
Yes, Labour did borrow to help us recover from the crisis and that is why we now face a large public debt. But there is an alternative to paying back that debt. The Labour alternative presented at the last election was to first focus on recovery and pay back 50% of the debt within the next Parliamentary term (4 to 5 years). The Lib Dem / Tory plan is to pay it all off within the same timeframe and starting the cuts now risks economic recovery as the first year following a recession is always fragile. Even Thatcher didn’t make any cuts following first year following the downturn in the 1980s.
Figures from the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies show the difference between the current plans that are due to be implemented by the Coalition Government and the Labour alternative.
At the last full council meeting, Lib Dem group leader Paul Lorber barked on about blaming Labour for the state of the economy, ignoring the role that banks had to play.
But to say Labour is the reason why we’re in this mess is simply wrong… it’s irresponsible bankers that got us into this mess, and they should play a strong part in bearing the brunt of the costs for the role that they played getting us into this mess. While the Lib Dems and Tories are pushing out the message that Labour is to blame, the bankers responsible for the crisis are getting away with it.
Following the Lib Dems’ rebuttal of Sarah Teather’s Education policy yesterday (LINK), the National Union of Teachers has issued a comment on the ePolitix website saying:
“This debate has shown up the conflict between Liberal Democrat and Tory values. The fault line in the coalition government will clearly be on education policies and the importance of a fair education for all.
Academies and Free Schools are Tory policies and stand in direct opposition to previous Liberal Democrat thinking. Before the election we had Sarah Teather, triumphantly saying that the Liberal Democrats provided the only opposition to the academies project; and of the Free Schools programs that it was a shambles;, but where is her opposition now?”
Whoa whoa whoa… let me get this right… Sarah Teather blames the poor state of our school buildings in Brent on the Labour Party’s Building Schools for the Future Scheme? A scheme that would have provided better school buildings and rapidly expanded the amount of children that we could accommodate in our schools.
Her logic totally defies all notions of the phrase common sense – a scheme that would’ve brought more school places to our children that was scrapped by her Government is to blame for the shortage for school places we face in Brent.
Yes, pure political point scoring from Brent Central MP whilst children in the Borough inevitably suffer. In addition, Teather has announced that there will be a new fund available that schools in Brent will be able to apply for, with an announcement due towards the end of the year. This signals a move back to Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme. Except naturally, the Coalition Government will just call it something else so that they can take the credit for it as their own scheme.
In the meantime, the scale of the problem in our school buildings is highlighted by a recent incident at the Copland School where a light fell from the ceiling and hit a child. The delay in reverting back to Labour’s BSF programme is inevitably affecting children now.
In the annual Total Politics Blog Awards 2010, this site has been voted within the top 100 Labour blogs in the country. LabourList topped the Award, of which I am a contributor and is a site where I am profiled LINK
The list is the result of more than 2,200 people who voted in the Total Politics Annual Blog Poll during the second half of July LINK.
I was surprised to be listed as many actively encourage people to vote for their site to the awards. I did no such thing. But I’m happy that people are reading my posts and would like to thank those who voted for my site, whoever you are.