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Osborne calls for action

Nick Robinson | 14:30 UK time, Friday, 9 January 2009

"We need action and action now".

So said the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne in a speech today designed to counter Labour's repeated assertion that the Conservatives are the "do nothing" party.

The action that should be taken, he argues, should focus on monetary policy (measures to get the banks lending again), not fiscal policy (cuts in taxes and higher spending).George Osborne

To make his case he seizes on the criticisms of the government's VAT cut from the bosses of Next and M&S. Pointing out that Alistair Darling promised that "by encouraging spending, [the VAT cut] will help stimulate growth", Osborne says "Now it has been in place for more than a month I think the country is entitled to ask: what spending and what growth?" A tad cheeky since no policy known to man can turn recession into growth in the space of a few weeks, as Norman Lamont argued only yesterday.

Osborne goes on to state that the government's policies haven't merely been ineffective, they have been counter-productive as "they have alarmed the public about our soaring national debt, alerted them to the tax rises needed to pay for it if Labour is re-elected, and so undermined confidence in the future"

So what is the Tory alternative ? Action, says Osborne, in three areas:
- revising the terms of the bank recapitalisation;
- introducing a National Loan Guarantee Scheme;
- new liquidity support from the Bank of England for new business lending.

Expect a counter-blast from Gordon Brown next week when he meets the head of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and will no doubt hail Obama's plan for a massive fiscal stimulus. The Prime Minister will later fly to Berlin to meet Angela Merkel - who by then is expected to have abandoned her doubts about a stimulus package and announced one worth almost £50 billion.

Osborne's pre-emptive reply today is that they can afford it whereas we can't. His hope is that he can turn the political debate this year from one on whether government should act into one on how they should act.

Comments

Page 1 of 6

  • Comment number 1.

    I get it now. You are not a journalist, you are a commentator.

  • Comment number 2.

    He doesn't need to revise terms, he needs to get a grip on the banks, but it's all hot air as he's not in a position to get a real say. By the time he is, he'd do better thinking of a dustcart to haul away the wreckage, not more tinkering - he obviously doesn't understand nothing but nothing's going to get this one round the corner now. Even if Labour resigned tonight, by the time an election is held and a government formed, things will have hit the wall - it actually becomes an act of responsibility for Labour to go all the way with this one now, in the hopes the least-worst scenarios are right and there's a light at the start of next year.
    As it is, this is simply more of the same. We've been right thus far across on RP's blog, and we can see we're headed for ten years of Japanese-style pain at best.

  • Comment number 3.

    Nick,

    I love your line:

    "...no policy known to man can turn recession into growth in the space of a few weeks".

    True, but a discount sure can turn around sales quickly enough. Except it didn't happen. And if the 2.5% cut in VAT did not increase sales, then it is fairly obvious that it won't grow the economy either.

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 4.

    Has the Nickmeister changed his spots? There isn't much Nude Labour propaganda here.

  • Comment number 5.

    Nick,

    at last, where have you been?!

    Glad to see you acknowledge that business has scotched the VAT cut as a waste of time and money. But why stop there, Lord Digby Jones (late a Business Minister of this parish) and Frank Field MP have also expressed the same opinion.

    Why not a thread on what a monumental waste of our money it was, that it was never going to work, and suggestions for more useful alternatives?

  • Comment number 6.

    Dear Nick

    First it was a ripple, then a breeze, up to a squal then a storm, and the after math is a quag mire of silt with Gord on his prayer mat facing West
    "THE YANKS ARENT COMING GORD,"
    and sinking fast he says,
    Tony all is forgiven GET ME OUT OF HERE.

  • Comment number 7.

    More rubbish from Robinson.

    Not one critical piece from the labour spokesman regarding any of their (failed) policies.

    1 statement from the Tories..........

  • Comment number 8.

    I love the bit about 'Collapse' Osbourne criticising the Govt. for 'alarming the public'.

    Lovely to hear too that he wants the Govt., ie taxpayer, to revise down the rate of return it should get from bailing out UK banks- the greedy lot whose actions made taxpayer intervention necessary.

    We are charging them 12%, Barclays is paying the oil moguls 14%, Georgie, in case you didn't know. Given what we've taken on, 12% is more than fair. Not so long ago, Osbo himself was prepared to let the UK banks go under rather than intervene. Changed his tune a tad now, hasn't he?

    How can Osbo argue that the VAT cut is not working when we don't actually know how much it is costing? If people are spending 20% more than they otherwise would have, we taxpayers may even be in profit from it. Some retailers, notably John Lewis, hardly a name you'd expect to benefit from a consumer slowdown, have reported large increases in Xmas / New Year spending.

    It's a bit early to say if the bank recapitalisations, rate cuts and VAT cut are working.

    They're surely doing more to help than allowing the banks to fail last September, and not doing much else, would have, Georgie! .

  • Comment number 9.

    Well done George.
    Exactly right. It needed to be said.
    Opposition doing its job.
    Well done again...

    To be fair, I'll give Labour credit for doing some things right, but that certainly doesn't mean I think they've got everything right during this crisis. Far from it in fact...

    Labour are quite wrong to claim that they're the only party capable of getting us out of this mess.

    It is typical of the arrogance that is espoused by whoever is in power at the time there's a crisis. Labour are doing it now. If the Tories were in power, I expect we'd hear them same sort of arguments from them...

    Oh how I long for something different to the brand of power politics that we've been stuck with for the last few decades...

  • Comment number 10.

    Just an idea ok.

    Instead of the Government giving our money to the banks, why not ask how much you owe in debt give you that amount then you give it to the banks you owe money to.

    So if you owe around 12k Gordon gives you the 12k you then pay the banks, credit cards etc off. They get their money you have no debt and are free to start spending without going into debt.

    Now I'm not saving this what to do its just a idea that might have worked as nothing seems to be working now.

    Please can some say if this a good idea or not.

  • Comment number 11.

    Stimuli packages are only there to try to convince the voters that government can do somethimg about this downturn.

    It keeps hope alive until they realise that nothing now can stop this turning into a very nasty depression.

    Putting off the really bad news until it becomes blindingly obvious.
    It's a bit like waiting for that threatened nuclear attack during the cold war. At least the government tried to prepare us for that.

    It's something everyone is going to have to try to live with warts and all.

    There is no world wide solution. each country is fighting for its own economy's survival.

    No point in asking the conservatives what they would do.

    It's not that they're a do nothing party it's because they are not in power to do anything but watch as Brown takes the country deeper and deeper into the mire.





  • Comment number 12.

    These are desperate times. Apart from the financial crisis, we are in the grips of the most terrible government in living memory. Even Chamberlain finally had the brains to resign after he nearly handed us on a plate to Hitler. Osborne has been selected by the Tories to take on a very tough job, and this is no easy task. To get the present government out, he, together with his party, must demonstrate a certain level of capability. He didn't demonstrate this at his recent interview on "Newsnight" with Jeremy Paxman. It is true that Tony McNulty was shown to be the indifferent ignoramus he is. but the voting public may well decide, "Better the devil we know, than the devil we don't". So pull up your socks Osborne, and all the rest of the DC crew!

  • Comment number 13.

    Nick

    I think your last para is wrong - I think Osbourns hope is that the british public aren't so stupid as re-elect these these labour muppets to continue their destruction of the UK.

  • Comment number 14.

    Seems like a very good idea. By the way, the Conservative Party has repeated called for a national loan guarantee scheme over the last few months. Each time it is ignored by Gordon Brown, and then a few days later the tedious and mendacious refrain rings out, the Tories have no policies.

    Everyone now knows that the Bank recapitalisation policy has failed. The principle was fine, but the detail was not. On the one hand, Gordon charged the banks 12% interest for the capital injection and demanded the banks rebuild their balance sheets. On the other, Gordon expected the banks to lend at 2007 levels and reduce the cost of borrowing. This is clearly a self-contradictory policy, and no wonder it failed.

    Since the banks, whatever we may think of them, cannot logically persue both objectives at the same time I conclude that either Gordon is stupid (and I don't think he is) or he wants the recapitalisation to fail so that he has political cover (scapegoat the banks) when an election is called.

  • Comment number 15.

    ...waiting a week and this is all we get?

    read it again everyone - I think you will see it is actually, once again, an attack on tory ideas...

    What's been happening all week?

    No analysis of the worldwind tour, no analysis of McD's Govt funded burger flippin apprenticeship..

    I could carry on...

    Oh never mind!

  • Comment number 16.

    This is hilarious.

    Robinson, Peston and Crick all produce blogs criticising/speculating on the impact of Tory (that'll be the Opposition) policies, while the Government steers the economy down the pan.

    I suppose we're supposed to console ourselves that whilst Brown et al may be clueless, in the BBC's humble opinion, the other lot ain't up to the job either (and by the way, we'll get a better deal on the licence fee with another Labour government).

    Something is definitely going on.

  • Comment number 17.

    10 maggie is gone

    I like it - the more debt you run up the more you receive!
    Can't see the reactionary lot on here liking that principle much, to be honest. However, much better for us to be debt-free than to give it straight to the banks.
    How would you ensure people used it to pay off debt, rather than spend it down the boozer?

    By the way, haven't Sainsburys and John Lewis just announced record sales? Maybe the VAT cut is having an impact - too early to say I think.

  • Comment number 18.

    @8

    MunichMadrid7980 wrote:

    "How can Osbo argue that the VAT cut is not working when we don't actually know how much it is costing?"

    It is costing £12.5bn, and it is not too late to reverse the policy and spend the lion's share of that on something else.

    "If people are spending 20% more than they otherwise would have..."

    They aren't.

    Even with massive discounts, way over and above the 2.5% reduction in VAT, retail sales are through the floor. JLP and JD Sports are exceptions that prove the rule.

    Er - that is why retailers are going bust.

    I think it wholly inadequate for die-hard labour supporters (I have no political allegiances) to deny the truth in favour of sticking doggedly to the party line. How can New Labour hope to convince the public that they are acting in the best interests of the country, when everyone can see more holes in their arguments than a slab of Emmental?

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 19.

    Its funny how the opposition seems to get so much scrutiny here isnt it.

    Shame the government doesnt get the same, in fact they should get more.

    And kingloneranger at 1 is right this is just a commentary, arnt blogs supposed to offer a degree of analyis.

    No wonder we all go off topic.



    Talking of which:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7819843.stm

  • Comment number 20.

    Dear Nick,

    I am so happy you are back and hard at it again. Another great peice of writing, thorough and straight to the point. Three cheers all round..!

    Xxxx
    ps
    Er Nick, any news on the possiblity the GB is about to print very large sums of Her Maj? Any news on the other ountries doing the same? Any news that Mandy is STILL thinking on giving Jagur our money? Any news that is not from your (HP) source?

    (Za)Nu(Improved)Labour bank notes anyone?

  • Comment number 21.

    It really is not worth responding to Nick's blogs anymore...

    We've had tremendous fun in the previous one when left to our devices all week (and dare I say the most responded to blog - the fact it went of topic before #100 is both testament to the poor analysis by the BBC and a sad reflection of ad infinitum, ad nauseum of Nick's blog)

    This is not only appaling, but it is also an usult to the lefties - even they deserve better than this...

    Until Nick can actually come up with anything of any interest, it's hasta la vista for now..

    Must have been a lovely pair of slippers Gordon bought Nick for christmas!!

  • Comment number 22.

    ...sorry, one last thing we 'were' having a good time in the last thread I menat to say - until the point came when the mods decided it was best to cut out a complete chunk of responses and thereby ruining the complete flow of the thread..

    Hey mods - you don't want responses like this? Then please correct your errors.

    Enough of this already - a complete waste of time..

  • Comment number 23.

    I suspect squirestrat has never worked in a fast food chain, or had to live off the low wages such jobs pay.

    I also suspect with his attitude he wouldn't last a week in the job, when he finds out it is a lot damn harder than he imagines.

    Don't criticise what you don't know.
    That also applies to all the other archchair economists with as much macroeconomic expertise as my cat.

  • Comment number 24.

    I too like the line -

    "no policy known to man can turn recession into growth in the space of a few weeks"

    Well Nick the reverse happened quite quickly didn`t it. Brown`s policy of allowing credit to spiral out of control, by burying his head in the sand, sparked a recession so quickly - it has all been quite breathtaking.

    Where is the objective analysis of Brown in all of this? Quite clearly his vat cut was an absolute nonsense and the longer this recession goes on, more and more people are starting to see this Govt for what it is. That is why he and his party are falling behind in the Polls. No mention of that anywhere.

    Osborne`s idea of a loan guarantee scheme seems to me to be the only sensible idea put forward so far by any party. Yet your piece derides Osborne and his ideas. Why?

    I do not note any derision in any of your pieces of Brown and Darling. Not one hint of criticism as to what they have done to bring about this recession.

    Do you not think for once that you could treat us to a middle of the road piece - letting us make our own minds up instead of acting as unofficial cheer leader for Nu Labour.




  • Comment number 25.

    Good to see Nick's back, what took so long?!

    Instead of a VAT cut why not issue a special set of currency (or voucher) that cannot be banked and is only accepted for a limited period of time.

    People would have to spend the voucher in a shop within the next month or so. Shops and businesses could then cash that in at a bank as they are the only ones allowed to do so.

    Workable idea?

    Would inject cash into the economy more directly than a VAT cut and help people to retain a good standard of living during the downturn.

  • Comment number 26.

    The conservative party and it's supporters
    should hang their head in shame.

    At a time of such depression, the tories want to play political football, shocking, absolutely disgraceful behaviour.
    The tories oppose helping people
    The tories opposed the banking bail-out
    The tories talked down the pound
    The tories opposed the vat decrease
    the tories opposed the stimulus for business
    The tories are creating the sense of no-confidence in the banks
    The tories opposed the apprenticeship schemes.

    The young novice has no-idea how to deal with a world down-turn, Cameron is no winner, he has used this situation to try and force his way into government, Cameron does not care about people, their jobs and their homes.

    As for Osborne, Paah, squeaky still in his L-plates, on a yacht or just a yolk of a bloke.

  • Comment number 27.

    Of course Gordon wants Angela Merkel to copy his financial stimulus package. When it all goes pear shaped over here, he can blame the germans as well.

    It's about time the Conservatives got their act together, but time will tell as to whether they're up to the job.

  • Comment number 28.

    # 16

    Agreed, the lack of objective analysis is starting to become very obvious when you compare and constrast their views with the comments.

  • Comment number 29.

    @10

    I've wondered that myself. The value of all the "toxic" mortgages in the US was approx $400bn. Yet the bail out was $700bn. Why? Why not just pay of everyone's mortgage and save yourself $200bn? Then everyone would own their own home, and can become "proper" consumers again. Is that just too humane a solution? This also has the advantage of saving the little guy and meaning none of the money can be syphoned off into undeserved bonuses.

    Admittedly this would've turned the government into a glorified TV advertised Loan Company, and the individuals loaned money would end up with higher taxes to pay for it, but that would've happened anyway!

    Seriously, if anyone knows a good reason why the bail out money SHOULDN'T have gone direct to the people who owe money rather than the banks, please let me know. There must be a reason I haven't thought of or they would have done it!

  • Comment number 30.

  • Comment number 31.

    @17

    "the more debt you run up the more you recieve"

    Isn't that what happened with the banks?

  • Comment number 32.

    Derek - please wake up and smell the coffee.

    Most of our politicians are there because the job pays a very lucrative salary with extremely good benefits and gives them a solid gold pension to boot. They can't lose.

    When the majority of the population realise that there is not even a hit of a downturn/recession in Whitehall, perhaps things will change, but until then......

  • Comment number 33.

    #29

    because those people don't deserve to have their mortgages paid off? My mortgage is not toxic debt, why should I watch while someone who can't afford theirs gets it paid off for them?

  • Comment number 34.

    #23

    That is a pathetically weak argument!

    No, I have not had the misfortune to work in McD's thankfully!

    I was fortunate enough however, to attend an apprenticeship - a real one when they were around for 4 years - giving me qualifications that an employer would like to see...

    If you are going to reply, make it a good one little boy!

  • Comment number 35.

    Why in these troubled times are we once again focusing on The Opposition? Hello they're not in power and can do nothing to get us out of this mess. Why not take a good look at Gordon Brown's whistlestop tour around staunch Labour voting areas all paid for by you and I and intended to show that he is listening to ordinary people. Yet more of our money down the drain and for what? The lack of confidence in Government policy displayed by business leaders and reported in The Times this morning is far more important. The Conservative lead is holding at 7 points and is bound to widen as The Recession bites deeper.


  • Comment number 36.

    Dollybarker at it again.

    This lot will be a push over at the general election.

    Call it now

  • Comment number 37.

    Re: PhyrexianReaper @ 29

    "Seriously, if anyone knows a good reason why the bail out money SHOULDN'T have gone direct to the people who owe money rather than the banks, please let me know."

    Would that not just be rewarding the irresponsible consumerism that got them into so much debt in the first place?

  • Comment number 38.

    Re: shellingout @ 32

    Unless you're a minister the salaries are dwarfed by the madness of those at the top in the private sector.

  • Comment number 39.

    "If you are going to reply, make it a good one little boy!"

    Like I said, with your attitude...

    Respect your youngers [and in terms of polite conversational etiquette, betters].

    And no, i'm not going to get involved in the long-winded discussions prevelent on this site [and the internet as a whole], I have more important and interesting things to do.

    Let the bickering recommence...

  • Comment number 40.

    @37

    So instead we've rewarded the bankers whose irresponsible consumerism got us into trouble in the first place

  • Comment number 41.

    Lots of people just don't get it. Attacks on the Tories are not necessarily by implication support for the government.

    At a time of such economic woes with a party that has been in power for more than 11 years, the opposition should be flying. We should be saying, "When Cameron comes ..." not "When Brown goes ....." The fact that this is happening shows that the Tories have not got their act together. We need a change of government but the Pretenders have yet to convince that they are up to the job. They need to be more convincing, consistent and forceful. Or find a new leader.

  • Comment number 42.

    @33

    My intention was that everyone's debt should be paid off and we all start from scratch. Admittedly with higher taxes. Should've made that clear

  • Comment number 43.

    #10, #29

    Quote: Seriously, if anyone knows a good reason why the bail out money SHOULDN'T have gone direct to the people who owe money rather than the banks, please let me know.

    My understanding is that the money was not actually given to the banks, at least not for free. Part (less than 50 billion) was used to buy preference shares in the banks; the money has to be repaid and interest is charged at 12%. The other two, major, components (450 billion) were an extension of a special liquidity scheme, whereby banks can exchange their own non-liquid assets for cash, and guarantees for bank lending, for which a fee is payable. The eventual cost to the taxpayer is difficult to calculate, but the 500 billion quoted by the press is obviously misleading. Buying shares, swapping assets for cash, and providing guarantees is not the banking bailout that I suspect many people imagine it to be.

    This is only a layman's explanation. I wonder why even the quality media rarely take the trouble to explain it.

  • Comment number 44.

    #36

    Robin, the conservative's have a very small lead in the opinion polls, Wow!, the biggest recession for decades and not many have the confidence in the tories.

    Robin that should tell you something( the do nothing party with the do nothing attitude)

    Rantin Rovin Robin, the whole world now rejects conservative ideals, Obama reject Cameron.

    Not long now Robin......................

  • Comment number 45.

    This is a simple plea to you Nick. Please please please can you write something about some Labour policies? It would be the answer to all our problems.

    You see, if you blog about Brown, then you would have to put a picture of him at the top. This would be sufficient to entice me to retreat from my desk, and take a good long run up before planting my size 10 squarely in the gurning chops of the most despicable, arrogant and frankly incompetent buffoon ever to hold office of any kind in this country.

    I cannot believe that I am the only one to feel this way about him, and therefore there would be a long queue of people at PC World tomorrow morning urgently requiring a nice new screen for their computer, or heaven forbid if you got really carried away, perhaps a whole new PC.

    As a luxury item, the new screen would of course be VATable, so not only would PC World's sales figures be through the roof, but Gordon could actually claim that his VAT reduction was working, enticing people to go out and buy luxury goods.

    Naturally, once everyone sees that he was in fact right all along, Gordon will be declared de facto leader of the entire free world, and in order to suck up to the powerful and glorious leader, international credit lines to the UK will magically open up, allowing us to once again borrow as much money as we like from whomever we like, and reinflate our wonderful credit bubble that, by this time next year, will make us all millionaires (Rodney).

    It's in your hands, Nick. Do the right thing.

  • Comment number 46.

    #39

    "Respect your youngers [and in terms of polite conversational etiquette, betters]."

    > - Playground stuff!



    " And no, i'm not going to get involved in the long-winded discussions prevelent on this site [and the internet as a whole]"

    > - OK, bye then!



    "I have more important and interesting things to do."

    > - Me too! Ta ta ;-)

  • Comment number 47.

    "...no policy known to man can turn recession into growth in the space of a few weeks".

    That is really a silly comment. Sounds like a soundbite.

    But - Darling and Brown said that the UK would be out of recession/downturn in the second quarter of this year.

    That's a matter of 26 weeks.

    That's just a few, over a lifetime - or even a mortgage repayment period...

    So budget predictions were based on a rapid resumption of normality/growth.

    Of course, they have now changed their point of view. The recession/downturn could be for a couple of years, rather than quarters.

    So all the "predictions" were proved totally inadequate within a few weeks of their unveiling.

    So they had no idea how long this garbage will continue. So any tax or borrowing forecasts were a waste of time.

    Children, beware.

    Don't expect that your parents will borrow against any value left in their houses to pay for a bloody silly wedding extravaganza.

    Don't understand why that should ever have been considered necessary in the first place, but I guess that all those Sharons and Tracies believed that a wonderful spend was better than a wise investment.

    That was really a Gordon moment.

    Hopefully, to be forgotten.

  • Comment number 48.

    Expect a counter-blast from Gordon Brown next week when he meets the head of the US Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and will no doubt hail Obama's plan for a massive fiscal stimulus

    Finally I can relax! The Great bRuin meets up with key players in the financial circus, including the likes of BenAna Banke and a later excursion to Angelic Mogul. No doubt Mr Bank Haulson will show his face in the US, although his corner has been rather quiet recently.

    One bloated team of ponzi scheme players talks to another, for serious, yet somehow always costly debate!

  • Comment number 49.

    Please - No election

    We need a revolution ~ lies about funding, lies about pensions, lies about spending, lies about Iraq.

    Will a Conservative government put Tony Blair in the dock about lying to the House and the people ? No. Becaue it's all one happy club.

    Put DerekBarker in charge.

  • Comment number 50.

    Brown has peaked in his bubble. If his fiscal stimulus works or if it doesn't, the country are calling for a change.

    If he calls an election now he may just scrape in but only to be booted out at the next.

    Up to you Gordon, choose when you want to go.

    Any criticism of George Osbourne et al is only sour grapes. You know they make sense. They are still ahead in the polls.

    The only problem is, what a hell of a mess they are going to sort out from this lot. Many people think Gordon has come down from Scotland on a mission to destroy this country. Hells teeth.

  • Comment number 51.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 52.

    I, think we need answers to matters such as these; rather than hypothesis about the opposition.

  • Comment number 53.

    What is depressing is that so many people in this inventive and productive country rely on the state.

    Either because they are employed by the state or receive financial life-support from the state.

    So 40percent of the population are reluctant to see "state spending" cut. While a lot of folks have to make money from a hard world, in order to finance that nonsense.

    Surely even derekb can realise that, if you appoint a highly paid executive to direct managers to direct doers to do things that "normal" people do for themselves, it uses a lot of money.

    Brown talks about "do nothing" Tories. Neither Tories or Lib/Dems can DO anything. It's only the government administration that can raise and spend taxes.

    Brown did nothing to regulate UK finance. And boasted about his "light touch regulation".

    The global finanial economy is a mess.

    If Blair and Brown had really understood the basis on which banks were swapping junk, they may just have persuaded the US folks to back off. Did they? Nah.

    Take the tax-cut and spray it. Did the FSA really know what was the basis of banks' "asset value". Nah.

    Too complicated to check that out. Really? A bit of paper saying "I'm worth a billion", with no FSA guy saying "I wonder why it's worth so much?".

    I'd like some evidence of how much Brown has spent on developing new technologies to deliver "green energy". Hard to find.
    Forget the windmill garbage. In a decade or so, we'll have to subsidise companies to pull down those monstrosities that were found to deliver negative cost-benefits.

    Get off the Brown bus, Nick.

    Stick to journalism. Commentators speculate about stuff. We need someone who can simply report what is real.

  • Comment number 54.

    Are we time limited on these comments, or are we monitored in case we get too near the truth?

    I was asking why the Government was paying Civil Servants for non-jobs when my screen went blank.

    Previously I asked why at #26, the question of Osbourne on a certain yacht was raised, but no reference or explanation of Mandleson on the same vessel.

    Other commentors have regularly asked about Mandleson on the yacht but you steadfastly ignore the questions.

    Do you have a script, like those off-shore advisors for certain large companies?

  • Comment number 55.

    44. Barking:


    Don't just guess what people are thinking. Look at the results of What the Nation Thinks:


    http://www.whatthenationthinks.com/UK/default.asp

  • Comment number 56.

    #50

    Thats the problem flamepatricia, the conservatives dont have a plan to deal with the recession.

    Osborne and co, want to turn this recession into a political game of football, kicking the life out of the stimulus plan, with no consideration for the public just to have an early election, dreadful low life stuff!

    You see, the banks are nervous, about the tories do nothing plan, if the win office next year, they will repeal the bank bail out, this is a diliberate act against the public and the banks, shameful, you see the tories dont care about people, they only care about holding office.

    Well! the next to weeks will finally put the nails into the conservative tripe and free us all from their self- greedy crime ridden ways.

  • Comment number 57.

    It won't be Osborne they'll be talking about soon it will be a real heavyweight.

    I heard that Ken Clarke is coming back into the cabinet (sorry I meant shadow cabinet) possibly opposite Mandelson

    That's more like it. Real politics.

    Can't wait.

  • Comment number 58.

    The beauty about the human race is our individualism, the "DOERS" or the "THINKERS" to each their own, hey! dont surpress it?

    The fact the the leader of the new world, Obama see's Cameron as a lite touch, is telling! if you dont have the experience then bow out.

    Some people can tie a good knot, others can tie a good bow, find your comfort zone, dont try and kid the nation that you have a plan?

    fairlyopenmind may like his donkey jacket,
    fair dues, not a bad choice of wear, the moscow mule might even add to the warmth.

    JFK, believed in people, Martin luther king was assassinated by a person, good people, bad people.

    I want the good people to prevail and the bad people to be punished, nothing wrong with that. Is there fairlyopenmind?

  • Comment number 59.

    I think I'm beginning to understand.
    1.If you've got money, spend it.
    2.If you have a debt, you are to be helped.
    So, I've just withdrawn my £300k savings from the bank and paid off both my kids mortgages. Monday I'm off to the Benefits Office as I now qualify for all the payouts known to man.
    I feel better now I've done my bit for the country!

  • Comment number 60.

    23. At 4:19pm on 09 Jan 2009, The_Ridger wrote:
    I suspect squirestrat has never worked in a fast food chain, or had to live off the low wages such jobs pay.

    I also suspect with his attitude he wouldn't last a week in the job, when he finds out it is a lot damn harder than he imagines.

    Don't criticise what you don't know.
    That also applies to all the other archchair economists with as much macroeconomic expertise as my cat.

    ===

    Which University did your cat go to, mine went to the LSE?!

  • Comment number 61.

    After waiting all week for another blog post, Nick, I rather hoped that you might post about moving the cabinet meeting to Liverpool at vast expense.

    That was a pretty interesting story, wasn't it? A completely futile exercise that wastes money at a time when money isn't exactly around in abundance. The whole exercise seems to me as if the government is saying "Yes, we know all you proles have to watch your expenses at the moment, but we are still going to waste loads of your money, BECAUSE WE CAN!"

    In the past, I've never really believed the accusations beloved of some of the contributors here that you are simply another mouthpiece of the Labour spin machine, but now I'm beginning to wonder.

  • Comment number 62.

    25. At 4:19pm on 09 Jan 2009, chrisleopard wrote:
    Good to see Nick's back, what took so long?!

    Instead of a VAT cut why not issue a special set of currency (or voucher) that cannot be banked and is only accepted for a limited period of time.

    People would have to spend the voucher in a shop within the next month or so. Shops and businesses could then cash that in at a bank as they are the only ones allowed to do so.

    Workable idea?

    Would inject cash into the economy more directly than a VAT cut and help people to retain a good standard of living during the downturn.

    ===

    Good idea!

  • Comment number 63.

    37. At 4:49pm on 09 Jan 2009, chrisleopard wrote:
    Re: PhyrexianReaper @ 29

    "Seriously, if anyone knows a good reason why the bail out money SHOULDN'T have gone direct to the people who owe money rather than the banks, please let me know."

    Would that not just be rewarding the irresponsible consumerism that got them into so much debt in the first place?

    ===

    So you don't support the Government's announcements on using our money to provide mortgage help for those struggling against repossession then?

  • Comment number 64.

    If the !2 billion that has been thrown away in the VAT fiasco was not going to any immediate good then it shouldnt have been done.

    The excuse for it was that they the government had to act quickly, well they have and yet again they have got the knee jerk reaction wrong......

  • Comment number 65.

    44. At 5:07pm on 09 Jan 2009, derekbarker wrote:
    #36

    Robin, the conservative's have a very small lead in the opinion polls, Wow!, the biggest recession for decades and not many have the confidence in the tories.


    ===

    It is not a recession, it's a downturn, get back on message, you fool!

  • Comment number 66.

    Dear Nick Robinson,

    Please, please, please STOP REFERRING TO THE RECESSION/FINANCIAL CRISIS/BURSTING BUBBLE AS A 'CREDIT CRUNCH'.

    It's an absurd term to use and I don't know why you insist upon using it.

    Thank you in advance.

    Best regards

    etc, etc, etc

  • Comment number 67.

    Derekbarkingatthemoon

    Nurse says please increase your medication

  • Comment number 68.

    26 Derek

    Thats not a list... this is a list:


    Browns record:

    Increased taxation to record levels

    Increased debt to record levels

    Didnt save anything for a rainy day

    Squandered a over a trillion quid on wasteful initiatives

    Sold our gold at the market low.

    Ruined the best private pension system in the world

    Created the best public sector final salary pension schemes in the world

    Failed to live up to his golden rules.

    Gave away our EU rebate while allowing
    France to keep all their CAP subsidies

    Gave away our ability to opt out of daft EU directives.

    Promised a bonfire of Quangos but then increased their number 10 fold

    Failed to grasp the implications of abolishing the 10p tax rate until it was too late.

    Denied me a vote on the Lisbon treaty.

    Lied about why he didnt call an election

    Didnt move to sort out MPs expenses. didn’t even bother to turn up and vote.

    Presided over too much sleaze to mention.

    Got the budget for the Olympics massively wrong and then even then forgot to add VAT.

    Sabotaged Blairs public sector reforms, that were well over due.

    He does not understand the armed forces and has broken the military covenant.

    Continues to erode civil liberties. 42 days, ID cards and recording my phone calls and emails.

    He promised to deliver renewal and failed miserably. Just reeled out a load of daft ideas like a UK motto and British Day, oh yes and flags flying over public buildings.

    Thought he had abolished boom and bust when all he had really done was increase debt and borrowing to mask it.

    He lies to us with false figures and statistics.

    He re announces the same old initiatives again and again.

    Hes a control freak, a bully, has no charm, bites his nail and picks his nose in parliament and is generally an all round unappealing kinda leader.

    But above all else he brought back Peter Mandleson, a man he detests, disagrees with and never got on with simply because he thought he could help save his skin. Just how principled is that?

    Oh yes and hes a socialist.







    Time for a bloody good clear out.





  • Comment number 69.

    derekbarker wrote:
    #50

    Thats the problem flamepatricia, the conservatives dont have a plan to deal with the recession.

    Osborne and co, want to turn this recession into a political game of football, kicking the life out of the stimulus plan, with no consideration for the public just to have an early election, dreadful low life stuff!

    You see, the banks are nervous, about the tories do nothing plan, if the win office next year, they will repeal the bank bail out, this is a diliberate act against the public and the banks, shameful, you see the tories dont care about people, they only care about holding office.

    Well! the next to weeks will finally put the nails into the conservative tripe and free us all from their self- greedy crime ridden ways.

    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

    Derek

    Did Nick give you a heads up as to when he was going to post this?
    You and the ZaNuLabour Rapid Rebuttal Unit certainly loaded the front of this blog with Anti Conservative bile.

    You’re expecting the next 2 weeks to change your fortunes.
    You think that a lot of rubbing up close to Obama is going to change the minds of people whos prospects are being poured down the drain by headless chicken policies.

    In my view a guarantee given to a bank if it extends credit for working capital for a viable business is extremely sound economic thinking rather than just shovelling money out.

    You of course think the way to sort out the problem is to offer the banks money at 12% interest, force them to lend it at 6% the force the BOE rate down to 1.5%. Then stand on the side line saying we are doing something its all the banks fault they should be lending. Meanwhile in the real world people are losing their jobs businesses & savings. You are now and for some of us have never been fit for Government.
    Tony Blair even now says that the years of growth were all just Luck and not down that fool you call leader.

    Crick Focus on the Tory proposals. Not Labours
    Peston Focus on the Tory proposals. Not Labours
    Robinson Focus on the Tory proposals. Not Labours
    Spot the pattern?

  • Comment number 70.

    Nick,

    Very thin comment, especially since Mandy has been stirring the water about car bail outs

    Not actually sure that you understand either, are you trying to destroy the opposition or talk down the government by ignoring it? If we don't mention it, maybe it'll go away?

    Waited so long for some incisive journalism and we get this.

    2/10 must do better

  • Comment number 71.

    Did you know that the BBC is spending £15 million on setting up a new TV channel, BBC Persia;

    "LONDON (AP) — The BBC said Thursday it will launch a Persian-language TV channel next week that can be seen in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and elsewhere, despite Iranian claims that it will be used to recruit spies.

    BBC Persian TV, to start up on Wednesday, will broadcast news and programs on arts and sports available via cable, satellite and internet providers."

    ===

    You wont find that on the BBC's own website anywhere.

    Is this a good use of licence-fee payers' money?

    TV Licensing - motto "We know where you live!"

  • Comment number 72.

    38 chrisleopard

    ..and how many jobs can you think of where the expense account is three times the amount of the salary? Nope - didn't think so.

  • Comment number 73.



    Seeing as Nick is about as analytical of the current crisis as the kids heading for an day coke and chocolate feast.



    I thought Id post this:



    Its the contract that labour signed with us.

    http://www.labour-party.org.uk/manifestos/1997/1997-labour-manifesto.shtml





    And here are some fairly typical responses from the public.

    http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=p32OC97aNqc



  • Comment number 74.

    @56 Derekdraper

    You irked me so much I seemed to have crossed the mods line!!

    So I will tray again....

    It doesn't matter if the conservatives have a plan, nothing they do will stop or reverse the recession, that will happen in its own good time.

    All that can be done now is accept teh pain and try and limit it, rather than labours theory of throwing money around like a drunken sailor and making it worse.

    The view from lefty la-la land does sound nice though

  • Comment number 75.

    So much for any attempt at scrutiny of the government and its appalling policies by the BBC's Political Editor.

  • Comment number 76.

    Carrots @68,

    As ever, sterling work.

    You may wonder why I don't bother to attack barking derek that often. The truth is that unlike, say the late-but-not-lamented CEH, this nu-labour stooge doesn't even give the impression of intelligence.


  • Comment number 77.

    #68

    This is not a list? ok, then!

    Carrots, some good courses going at night school, you and your fellow bloggers may wish to apply.

    Seriously Carrots, the broonhoon, squirerat,
    and others should consider a re-education programme.

    It's is becoming tedious, your cartel mob is so tedium.

    Sharpen up trolls, your no match!

  • Comment number 78.

    Nick, you say:

    "The action that should be taken, he argues, should focus on monetary policy (measures to get the banks lending again)"

    Part of the problem with very low interest rates is that there is no incentive for the banks to lend money.

    Similarly, low interest rates are also a disincentive for people to deposit money in the banks. And without depositors, the banks have no money to lend.

    Gimmicks with VAT won't help, and neither will aimless fiscal stimuli.

    What is needed now are targeted measures that will help the wheels of industry keep turning. But with more closures, there comes unemployment, which means people buy less goods, which means more closures.....

    Comrade Brown's scorched earth policy is to waste yet more money and plunge us deeper into debt, which will mean higher taxation for years to come.

    Brown's policies are effectively spraying weed killer onto the 'green shoots of recovery'.

  • Comment number 79.

    Nick,

    The Tories are in opposition, there might not be a general election for over a year, so why don't you focus on what the Goverment is going to do to get us out of this mess. Or are you just a puppet for Mandy and Cambell?

  • Comment number 80.

    I get an uneasy feeling that the battle to save the Nation and our money is rather akin to the opening battles of the First World War.

    Let me explain: Generals who have never fought any real battle against deflation and depression marching their men into battle and inevitable slaughter (on both sides).

    The Tories are akin to the French generals and Labour party the British generals. Nominally on the same side but with separate agendas and a fear of cooperating with each other.

    Nobody has any idea how to fight the battle except to surge froward and sacrifice their men in fruitless ill-planned assaults.

    We are the poor soldiers in the trenches marched into battle - lions led by donkeys!

    These men of both sides need to admit they don't have any idea if what they are doing will be beneficial or not!

  • Comment number 81.


    68 carrots

    Great stuff!

  • Comment number 82.

    58. At 6:12pm on 09 Jan 2009, derekbarker wrote:
    "The beauty about the human race is our individualism, the "DOERS" or the "THINKERS" to each their own, hey! dont surpress it?"

    Derek

    I get more crotchety as I get older. As a young guy, I was a bringer-together. Helped me and (I hope) others - at least they said so.

    I have no problem with academic thinkers or practical doers.

    I really like the fact that someone is paid for by us to try and understand the philosophy of the ancient Egyptians and how Islamic scientists laid a platform for current mathematics and much else.

    I just believe that, if governments don't DO it right (correctly, if you want to be grammatically accurate) they aren't worth a stuff.

    Just don't give a stuff whether their good intentions match with my - or others' - hopes. I just like them to execute things with a bit of common sense. That way, we can all be part of a "progress". Whatever party happens to be in power.

    "The fact the the leader of the new world, Obama see's Cameron as a lite touch, is telling! if you dont have the experience then bow out."

    Tell me, pray, what experience did Obama have of being the President of the USA?

    None. You can't have it, before you get there. I like the idea of the guy. He's an intellectual with deep down practical experience. Just wish we'd had a few of those in the UK over my lifetime.

    "Some people can tie a good knot, others can tie a good bow, find your comfort zone, dont try and kid the nation that you have a plan?"

    I have no idea what that means. The Brown/ Darling plan seems to have collapsed already. Cuts in VAT mean nothing on the street, when desperate commercial companies slash prices to try and grab cash-flow.

    If you ask the guy who dug the hole how best to get out of it, you'd expect he'd come out with a few decent ideas.

    Come on, Derek. Brown allowed ( I'd say encouraged) a credit-based boom. Called it "growth".

    If you are a credit addict, you'll vote for Gordon again and again. Or someone who believes that the "state" should pay. For goodness sake, the government is made up of people who could probably have done better in their lives. But, nowadays, believe that we "owe" them our income.

    Why doesn't any education package try to explain to children that the "State" only survives because it takes away money from people who go to work?

    My old Mum (now 94) has to pay local council taxes as well as central tax. Why should she pay for a "Climate Change" overseer. Just rowlocks.

    "fairlyopenmind may like his donkey jacket,
    fair dues, not a bad choice of wear, the moscow mule might even add to the warmth."

    Derek, I was there in Moscow, a while ago. Never in a donkey jacket. Saw stuff that would freeze the bits and could never understand how such an advanced people (great mathematicians and chess players and musicians - and really good guys and gals) could screw up so badly.

    Got a compliment from a hard-liner when I said that it didn't really matter what type of political regime was in power, as long as it looked after people.

    That never meant that you should stuff the who create wealth. And they recognised that, when allowed to come to the wicked west. (Funny thing was, that at first, the guys/gals could not believe that every shop in the US or UK actually had stuiff on the shelf. They had to be allowed to dictate where to go, at a moment's notice. To realiase that the nasty world of capitalists made a bit of sense.

    "JFK, believed in people, Martin luther king was assassinated by a person, good people, bad people."

    I know exactly where I was when learning about the slaughter of JFK and Martin Luther King.

    JFK was really charismatic, but said he "had to have a woman a day to keep him going".

    Wow. Human rights? Female liberation? I've got to do this for the President?

    And the hated LBJ actually delivered the rights legislation that helped people in the USA. And poor old LBJ followed through with JFK's Vietnam policy. Good / bad ? Give it a hundred years and then someone will write a book that makes any sort of sense.

    "I want the good people to prevail and the bad people to be punished, nothing wrong with that. Is there fairlyopenmind?"

    Derek, I've posted before that I'd like any banker who knew that he was trading in junk should be prosecuted. Ideally, imprisoned if they really knew that they were dealing with, but thought that Gordon Brown's "regulatory" system wouldn't catch them.

    I'd also like any Government "advisor" (i.e. people we pay for, assuming they have a little sense) who realised that UK banks were getting into the dark and smelly stuff to be hung, drawn and quartered.

    Guess that wouldn't get past the mods.

    So, I'd be quite happy if people who set out to kill someone else was executed.

    That should challenge them...

  • Comment number 83.

    #73

    "an day coke and chocolate feast."

    What is the tripe, what type of tory language is this?

    NIGHT-SCHOOL......Carrots?

  • Comment number 84.

    Nick,

    now lets say that you have a hundred thousand pounds. You are getting say for arguments sake 3 per cent. A person comes to you and says I will give you 4 per cent for your money. Ok you say. The person then takes out a risky investment where he is guaranteed 6 per cent, but he may lose all the money. In fact he does.

    Now if you are stupid enough to lend the money to somebody for that extra percent then you are really are off your head. And you wonder why the banks with money will not lend to banks who are at any risk whatsoever.

    As for people owing money to the Inland Revenue, do you seriously think that a bank will lend money to somebody who will probably go bankrupt as soon as they have paid the IR. No matter what GB and AD may say it is the job of the IR to collect all the money due, if they didn't they may well end-up in jail. It's called pork belly politics.

  • Comment number 85.

    Comment from the OECD:

    All countries that have followed Mr Brown's lead and simply injected taxpayers' money into lenders without dealing with their bad debts risk being forced into serial recapitalisation.

    So much for Gordo saving the world!

    Comments please Nick.

  • Comment number 86.

    "Osborne calls for action"

    By the right...Quick.....laugh,laugh,laugh,laugh


    I luv' the little photo insert...................

    Really do some-people seriously want to vote for this man? squireRat?


    Hello, Balhamu.................are you having fun
    with this lot!

  • Comment number 87.

    #73 Carrots

    Thanks for that, haven't laughed so much in ages.

    Where to start? There are so many gems, but here's just one.

    "Life in our countryside
    Labour recognises the special needs of people who live and work in rural areas. The Conservatives do not. Public services and transport services in rural areas must not be allowed to deteriorate. The Conservatives have tried to privatise the Post Office. We opposed that, in favour of a public Post Office providing a comprehensive service. Conservative plans would mean higher charges for letters and put rural post offices under threat."

    ===

    Labour Party Manifesto, the gift that just keeps on giving!

  • Comment number 88.

    Does Nick Robinson ever have any doubts about Labour's policies?

    The Rob-blogs are invariably negative on any Tory proposals. Surely there is another point of view on most financial matters. Is it BBC policy never to criticise the Government on anything?

    Any faint disquiet or murmurings on Labour
    announcements are always "balanced" by outright scepticsm of opposition comments.

    With this sort of news coverage the Government will have no worries about the next election. Does the BBC think it needs to represent all shades of political opinion or not?

  • Comment number 89.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 90.

    A real BBC Journalist is now on Sky.
    He has a trailer for his program in which he gives a litany of the stupidity of the last few years.
    The trail ends with the comment

    "what would I do if I were the government? Resign".

    Jeff Randall a man from before Hutton and the introduction of the placemen to tie up with the Labour Rebuttal Unit.

    How long can you and other editors go on before we get an answer to why you constantly switch the agenda to the Tory's?

    More and more of us can see through this so what you are actually doing is bringing your whole news department in to disrepute.

    This is the BBC you used to be the bastion of balance respected throughout the world.

  • Comment number 91.

    77. At 7:41pm on 09 Jan 2009, derekbarker wrote:
    #68

    This is not a list? ok, then!

    Carrots, some good courses going at night school, you and your fellow bloggers may wish to apply.

    Seriously Carrots, the broonhoon, squirerat,
    and others should consider a re-education programme.

    It's is becoming tedious, your cartel mob is so tedium.

    Sharpen up trolls, your no match!

    ===

    derekbarkingmad

    While we are down there do you want us to enrol you in an english language course?

    http://www.usingenglish.com/

  • Comment number 92.

    A week-full of nothing from Nick and then another blog about what is an irrelevancy. What the tories would or would not do is irrelevant as they are not in power and so can do NOTHING about the deeper and deeper hole that Labour are getting us into. The reason they are the "do nothing party" is because they are not in power now. They have plenty of policies and these policies also happen to be supported by businesses, banks and industry, but labour will not see sense and steal any of them.

    God, there is a cruel and bitter irony.The ONE time we really NEED the Government to steal tory policies and they completely refuse to do so. It beggars belief!!!

    So given the choice between the do nothing party and the do everything wrong and blame everyone else party, I choose the do nothing party every time.

    (BTW Derek Barker, the do everything wrong and blame everyone else party is labour, in case you hadn't guessed.)

    Nick, you have not written a critical blog about labour or Brown in weeks, despite the fact that Brown has steered this country onto the rocks in most every area that he has interfered in and then labour have either lied about it (faked knife crime statistics) or blamed everyone else (economy) despite the fact that labour have spent nearly the last 12 years pushing their interfering, incompetent and dogmatic nose into far more areas of life than any British government before them. They have employed an army of hundreds of thousands of busy-bodies, quangocrats and pen-pushers specifically to ensure that every part of our lives are touched with new labour magic. And yet, when it all goes wrong, it is NEVER their fault. (yeah right!) Then they employ an expensive team of statisticians to falsify why it is not their fault and why the policy was a roaring success after all.

    On the economy; we are all feeling the utter failure of 12 years of Gordon's incompetence. On health, they spend twice as much on the NHS as the tories did and yet patients are left to slowly and agonisingly starve to death. This, despite doctors and some nurses being paid hundreds of thousands of pounds per year now. On education, standards are falling faster than ever in our schools, (sorry, "places of learning"). Places of learning? political indoctrination centres more like. Where children are being indoctrinated into feeling guilty for the climate changing without being told that climate has ALWAYS changed as change IS the DEFAULT state of climate and has been since the earth first formed any climate at all. Where 'txt' writing is allowed in exams now because the pupils, (sorry, assets of genuine and individual personal value) have not been taught to spell or use grammar correctly because correcting their mistakes may hurt their feelings and negatively affect their self esteem. It matters not that the brightest children that want to work and learn cannot, due to the disruption caused by children that cannot be disciplined by teachers any more. No, they let the brightest and the hard working languish in glorified mediocrity and then they artificially lower the pass rate to help the other lazy and stupid children feel better about themselves. In reality they are guaranteeing a generation of lost opportunity.

    The military are understaffed and overstretched and used and sickeningly abused as political pawns in illegal wars of occupation.

    The Government are pushing their noses and legislating ever more areas of our private and formerly law abiding lives. A desire for privacy is viewed as an admission of "potential terrorist activity" and is immediately thought of as suspicious in the land where it was once said that an Englishman's home is his castle. Now that phrase is seen as a racist declaration of guilt. Now the Government want to keep ALL of our website visits, emails, telephone calls and text messages on a huge database, they want us to provide our ID to buy anything from cheese, to furniture polish to Christmas crackers and woe-betide us if we complain. Yet they do not offer any guarantee of keeping any of this personal and private and sensitive data safe. AT ALL!

    The Government's finances are collapsing and yet they will still spend untold billions on the stupid, unworkable, unreliable, wasteful ID card scheme and the NHS database and the paedophiles kiddy catalogue known as the children's database.

    Nick, this is but a tiny tiny fraction of the hateful way that this disastrous labour government are actively harming each and everyone of us and yet you cannot bring yourself to blog on any of it? WHY NOT NICK???

    My responses to his blog ARE biased, I admit it, but only because there is NO balance at all in this blog of yours Nick, which is in reality pathetic and easily exposed pro labour drivel.

    This lax and blatantly biased blogging is not good enough on a BBC blog Nick.

    It seems, Nick, that your sole aim now is to do your best to find ANY hole in tory policy and attempt to exploit it for labour's benefit.

    Is this why you have taken a full week to come up with an irrelevant article about nothing of consequence in a weak attack on the tories, whilst the UK Plc sinks beneath the waves of Browns egotistical hubris and incompetence?

    Come on Nick, try to examine what the Government are doing, or is the reason that you have written NOTHING about the Government in a couple of weeks because there is NOTHING positive to be written about them?

    Pull your socks up Nick. Your recent standard has been lamentable.

  • Comment number 93.

    Why have you not brought up the wasted billions this government has put into failed PFI schemes. You know, those schemes of which the tax payer will be held responsible for and not these dodgy companies who seem to enjoy spending our money with little or no return. These PFI schemes are not even on the Public Accounts and therefore we have no idea how much of our money is being wasted by these people. You seem hell bent on pointing out Tory policy(or lack of), but very muted on the huge amounts of money wasted by this current administration, which is a shame, seeing that it is this current administration who quietly guided us into this mess!!
    Nice to see your not obviously Tory bashing today, are we seeing a return of real journalism?

  • Comment number 94.

    maxsceptic@76

    "You may wonder why I don't bother to attack barking derek that often. The truth is that unlike, say the late-but-not-lamented CEH, this nu-labour stooge doesn't even give the impression of intelligence.


    I don't wnoder why!. "maxsceptic" the pantomime villain.





  • Comment number 95.

    71 brownisahoon

    Did you know that the BBC is spending ?15 million on setting up a new TV channel, BBC Persia;

    "LONDON (AP) ? The BBC said Thursday it will launch a Persian-language TV channel next week that can be seen in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and elsewhere, despite Iranian claims that it will be used to recruit spies.

    BBC Persian TV, to start up on Wednesday, will broadcast news and programs on arts and sports available via cable, satellite and internet providers."

    ===

    You wont find that on the BBC's own website anywhere.

    Is this a good use of licence-fee payers' money?

    TV Licensing - motto "We know where you live!"


    .................................................

    Haven't these people suffered enough? Now we're inflicting Eastenders and Strictly Dumb Dancing on them. Truly weapons of mass deception. If applied for long enough, it will turn the entire population into soporific zombies. Don't believe it works? Take a look around you! And all courtesy of the British Bulls*it Corporation.

    I wonder if this will be printed.

  • Comment number 96.

    @derekbarker

    Are you allowed sharp objects where you live?

    Bet you're not allowed in the pub.

  • Comment number 97.

    #90-

    Ah, we are talking about a man (Jef Randall) of common sense, a man not politically correct enough for the BBC, great shame.
    Nick you should take a leaf out of this mans book, Jeff Randall is very much his own man not a puppet for the goverment.

  • Comment number 98.

    Good plan by the conservatives, and a good answer to Brown's 'do nothing claim.'

    I do not know why you still refer to Obama, the American economy is totally different to ours and can not be compared like for like. However it does put to bed Browns 'no time for a novice' because the same could be said of Obama as of Cameron.

    I was expecting a report on G. Browns trip up North though and how that went down with the public and the amount it was costing the tax payer, so Im rather disappointed.

    "derekbarker" you are going too far now the posts are becoming insulting and without fair assessment and argument, most are far from correct.

  • Comment number 99.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 100.

    Human nature, thing go a wry and out pops the neanderthal man, blood and a club in hand.

    Osborne with the kill bill attitude, if you cant understand it, just fake it out.

    I've meet some genuine people, who had a real input on others around them, they didn't fake it! they simply liked to help others.

    The new shoe club shuffle from Cameron and co, has a nasty pretence of fake leather, I'm not that kean on imitation, I doubt Blair likes that idea either.

    Science and nature could play a big role, as this world tries to advance.

    Drawin probably thought the chicken came first due to evolution.

    Creationist probably think the egg came first
    due to 5th day of creation and the need for food.

    Take your choice? good egg or bad egg?

 

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