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Happy anniversary

Nick Robinson | 12:40 UK time, Wednesday, 11 May 2011

There were touching messages today from one partner to another on their first anniversary:

Nick: We don't like cutting but the Tories do.

David: There's only one party you can trust on the NHS.

Brings a warm glow to your heart, doesn't it?

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    None of them can be trusted they both tell you what they think you want to here

  • Comment number 2.

    LibDems should never have signed up to the agreement they did - very poor negotiating given 23% of the vote. The Tories need to recognise that 36% of the vote and a minority of seats does not provide a mandate for the more right-wing of their tendencies. SNP showed how minority administration can work when its clear that a formal coalition can't - they now reap the benefit up in Scotland with an overwhelming mandate. Using the LDs as cover, the Tories may be able to stand still at present, but by trampling all over the LibDems they've handed Labour votes and seats on a plate. I think secretly Cameron and the Tories will be hoping Scotland is independent by 2015 (with some of the madder ones probably hoping to ditch Wales and maybe Northern Ireland too!).

  • Comment number 3.

    'There's only one party you can trust on the NHS'

    Sorry, I'm struggling with that one David. Surely not the one who promised no more top down reorganisations and have embarked on the biggest for fifty years.

  • Comment number 4.

    Yes I noticed that too. The lib dems are an irrelevance.

  • Comment number 5.

    And then there will be the issue that could split the Coalition with grim finality: the growing call from an emboldened Tory right for an in/out referendum on the EU. But, as I've noted in this post:

    http://zelo.tv/lqoLMY

    those folks who think that, now they've seen off AV, that they can see off the EU, should be careful what they wish for.

  • Comment number 6.

    Surely Cameron made a mistake when he said that?

  • Comment number 7.

    Strange entry. Is this a Tweet or a blog?
    confused.com

  • Comment number 8.

    A slip from the PM on the NHS or a deliberate attempt to stir up some trouble? Either way, Cleggers and the LD's will not appreciate it.

  • Comment number 9.

    PMQs: thought Ed nailed Cameron on the NHS today... but then spoilt it with a clunky joke or two.
    (Twitter mode)

  • Comment number 10.

    "David: There's only one party you can trust on the NHS."

    ...and Osama Bin Laden was Jewish!!

    ...I have never heard such Tosh!!

  • Comment number 11.

    TBG@9 - agree twasnt LoL (is that

  • Comment number 12.

    Can't understand David Cameron saying the tories are the 'only party to be trusted' on the NHS unless he was doing some sort of stand-up routine. In which case, nice one.

  • Comment number 13.

    And may there be many more of them!

    And by the look of the articles appearing in the left wing press there are indeed going to be many more anniversaries for the colaition and the tories in particular in government...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/may/10/labour-survival-fight-ed-miliband

    oops...

  • Comment number 14.

    What cutting, spending is rising. It seems the Lib/Dems don't even know what is happening in their own Coalition.

    Both parties better get used to the idea of starting to cut, because the economy is stagnant. Whilst the state remains as big as it is, growth will not return. The recovery in the private sector is beginning to slow. Even the financial sector, which is normally extremely productive is showing weakness.

    The NHS is the least of this Coalitions problems, as it is obvious the reforms will be watered down and the health service in the UK will just decline. There is a saying "never put off to tomorrow, what you can do today". Successive Governments don't seem to follow that idea, all the problems are being put off for future generations to pay for and it is a massive mistake.

    Miliband makes me laugh, he really does, he says the Coalition are cutting too quickly, there is in fact only 2 billion difference between Darlings plan and the Coalition. Neither plan is adequate in the cutting stakes.


  • Comment number 15.

    Mr.Clegg signed up to Mr.Cameron`s deficit reduction programme.He now complans because the going is getting tough.Mervyn King has just revised growth forecasts down and predicts inflation rising to 5%.Unfortunately much of the interest on UK debt is index linked so there`s no get out there.

    Deficitis is a drag on growth as cuts and expectations of cuts remove purchasing power and demand from the UK economy.As with much else,Mr.Clegg had a radically different programme, close to Labour, before he agreed to go into coalition.It`s clear he was not intellectually persauded by either his own or Tory policy prior to the election,we can only assume that his understanding of economics was as shallow as his convictions on EMA,university funding and the NHS.

    He may disfigure the Tory front bench with grimaces as much as he likes,even smile at Mr.Miliband`s jokes,it won`t save him. Like most narcissists he can`t recognize his situation is terminal.But it`s deficitis which will finally do for him along with the rest of his rotten crew.

  • Comment number 16.

    Blame 9

    Ed nailed nothing today, the mans a complete clot. The only one nailed today at PMQs was Ed Balls, when he was made to look foolish over claiming the American model of spending was the one Britain should follow. America is making cuts. Balls didn't even has the good sense to look embarrassed.


  • Comment number 17.

    Not sure what happened at 11 above - serves me right for trying to tweet, will now leave that to the more youthful.

    There is some good news on NHS for Cameron - an ex Tory mayor GP has come out in support of his plans. Who'd have thought it?

  • Comment number 18.

    Fairly certain it was a slip by DC. I don't think he would be deliberately provoking Clegg.

    Bit of a non story if thats the case.

  • Comment number 19.

    TheGingerF 11

    Oh yes Ginger from Scotland, who loves and knows English politics better than Scottish, never come across that before. So you agree with blame do you, well your fellow Countrymen did not, Miliband got a trouncing in Scotland, or have the drums not reached Edinburgh yet.

  • Comment number 20.

    Just to complete my day, I see Southern 123 is on here today.

    Southern123 193 from previous blog

    I don't believe, my assumptions as you put it, are wide of the mark. I have read your posts and they are classic, claim to be a Conservative but are really Labour.

    Anyway, that is an irrelevant point, you did not answer the actual content of the post I sent to you. Don't send derogatory posts to people unless you can address the issues in them.

    BTW Did you know that Sagamix spells embarrassingly wrong as well. It is one of the few words he gets wrong, anything with embarrass in it. Quite a coincidence that don't you think.

  • Comment number 21.

    Yawn. I think a spot of family counselling wouldn't go amiss. However I foresee an acrimonious split followed by much arguing over who gets to stay in the main residence and keeps the kids (sorry, electorate), and who ends up in a bedsit all alone.

    For all our sakes, let's hope the subsequent fallout and blame game, accompanied by much creative accounting over where the money really went and who gets to keep the spoils, doesn't cast a blight over the rest of us.

  • Comment number 22.


    David Cameron

    There's only one party you can trust on the NHS.


    You can get Conservative party trust on the NHS? must be either a lobotomy or a course of mind altering drugs. If you want to trust other parties, you'll have to go private.
  • Comment number 23.

    Sagamix 12

    Well we could always get Skol to introduce his expert witness again, you know the good doctor, to decide.

  • Comment number 24.

    bryhers 15

    Now thats unfair bryhers, I think Nick Cleggs understanding of the economy is about equal with yours.

  • Comment number 25.

    Susan-Croft at #14 is right (and incidentally I have not forgotten you so offensively accused me without a shred of evidence - and despite all the things I have said to the contrary - of being a Labour supporter in the previous string - I look forward to the apology).

    What cuts? Labour spent £600 billion in their last year of office - George Osborne plans to spend £692.7 billion in 2014-15. They should be going much further to sort this mess. Our housing benefit bill (the most wasteful and fraudulent state handout invented) costs more than the Army and Navy combined.

    What a shame the Tories are led by such a vacuous unprincipled luvvie who longs to be Tony Blair.

    (I hope you now accept I am not the hand wringing leftie you portrayed me as S-C. All we need to do now is persuade Rockrobin to stop ending his posts with his silly catchphrases. Thankfully he has resisted the temptation so far today. )

  • Comment number 26.

    Ginger 17

    The Scottish air must be too pure for you, because you are not keeping up. More than one GP has come out in favour of the NHS reforms, quite a few have. Good news for Cameron.

  • Comment number 27.

    Can anybody explain to me what the PCT's and SHA's actually do--apart from shuffle and photocopy paper? I imagine they do something, apart from provide employment for thiose who work in them, but cannot see how it can be much. They are just intermediate layers between the Government who provide the money and the Clinicians who do the work and take the responsibility.

  • Comment number 28.

    Susan@19

    Calm yur jets Susan, the response to TBG was intended as distinctly tongue in cheek and I even mucked that up!

    Now please can you point me to where it says "Scottish people not allowed to comment on UK/English/non-Scottish politics". Clue - the "Croft Approach to Blogging" bestseller doesn't count. have a look on Blether with Brian, other UK folks beginning to join the Scottish debate and very welcome they are too. By the way, Miliband didnt stand in Scotland and Labour still got trounced, as did the Tories and the LibDems, aided in a very small way by my votes for SNP and Greens.

    Now, you've had a go over the last couple of blogs, can we stick to debating issues from now on? I'm more than happy to kiss and make up.

  • Comment number 29.

    Yes I very much agree with the Blog consensus, Ed mullered Mortimax today at PMQs. Kicking myself for missing it but will try and catch it later on the news.

  • Comment number 30.

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

  • Comment number 31.

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

  • Comment number 32.

    Nick: We don't like cutting but the Tories do.

    What I really fear is that by the end of this parfliament and the projected cuts have been made we will have not dented the structural deficit one iota simply because we will have further bailed out Greece, Portugal and Ireland. Cameron's answer's on our liabilities in this area are less than assertive. I am more convinced than ever that this PM is a closet Federalist but pretends to hold right wing views to keep the Tory backbenchers quiet.

    What is scary for all talk of the severity of the cuts is that we have barely begun to scratch the surface of the debt. As pointed out above most of the debt is index linked so the interest paid never mind the rate itself being low will simply soarwhich in turn inflates the debt. It's like a swimming faster and faster just to keep your head above water but you are not going anywhere.

  • Comment number 33.

    'It is one of the few words he gets wrong' - 20

    That's kind, Susan! But do I put them all in the correct order?
  • Comment number 34.

    17. TheGingerF wrote:
    'Not sure what happened at 11 above - serves me right for trying to tweet, will now leave that to the more youthful.'

    Mine was a sad attempt as well, even get the p taken by the kids when I txt.

    Slasher Susan @anything but sweet.
    'Ed nailed nothing today, the mans a complete clot.'

    'fraid he did SS, DC tossed up the 'number of doctors' gaff and Ed tucked it away with aplomb. A clot Ed may be but what does that make Dave? I'm happy to acknowledge a good spontaneous put down. And there was no convincing response to the 'listening exercise' and RC of GPs challenges either.
    I see you're also resorting to Cameroonian tactics @19 by referring to Labour's results in the Scottish elections despite it having no relevance to what we're discussing. I don't think GF is pro the SLP anyway so missed the mark there.

  • Comment number 35.

    I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with Southern. Many of us who have traditionally been Tories are dissatisfied with our party. It shows just how little regard we have for Cameron that despite the catastrophe of the previous government he could not secure a majority.

    It was, for me, a vote against labour rather than a vote for the Tories, it actually caused me physical pain putting my x in the box. Cameron is a bit of a lightweight, and politically no more right wing than Blair was. We are left without a real choice in this country, you have a selection of parties which are off centre by imperceptable margin, and supporters of each braying and indulging in vacuous slanging matches because they are fixated on voting for an ideology which may once have directed their party, but has not in recent memory.

    I grow tired of the whole grubby facade. Wake me up when there is someone of substance to vote for.

  • Comment number 36.

    @ 2. At 13:04pm 11th May 2011, TheGingerF wrote: "LibDems should never have signed up to the agreement they did - very poor negotiating given 23% of the vote. The Tories need to recognise that 36% of the vote and a minority of seats does not provide a mandate for the more right-wing of their tendencies."
    -----------------------------------

    Considering that according to independent assessments of both the Liberal Democrat and the Conservative manifestos, the Liberal democrats have got MORE of their manifesto into the coalition agreement than the conservatives have, that would strongly suggest that you are wrong. This is much more of a Liberal government than a conservative one, regardless of BBC or Labour spin.

    You also fail to recognise that at least half of the Liberal democrats were right wing anyway and they still support the current coalition (15% of the electorate voted LibDem at last weeks election which works out at about two thirds of those 23% in 2010).

    That means that of the votes cast at the last general election in 2010, just over half of those votes were for a right wing version of the current governing parties. That would be over 15,200,000 votes out of 29,000,000. (almost a million of that 29,000,000 were for UKIP, so the left wing only won about (13,216,315 votes in total including the left wing Irish, Scottish and Welsh parties, the greens, BNP and other various socialist parties)

    If you take all the votes for both of the coalition partners (left and right) that is 17,563,438 votes. 59.1% of the electorate. Even Tony Blair with biased and gerrymandered seats never got that much support.

    The left are making a big play of the fact that a majority of voters did not vote conservative. This is a tactical mistake, because it also draws attention to the fact that far fewer still voted labour. In fact Gordon Brown got one million fewer votes even than John Major got in that disastrous election defeat for the tories in 1997. Think about that... Brown got A MILLION FEWER than John Major! So by what sorry insanity would Brown have had any mandate to remain as PM? So much for a left wing majority.

    It also draws attention to the fact that Cameron won MORE votes, A bigger share of the vote AND a much bigger lead over second place in 2010, than Tony Blair got in 2005. I cannot remember labour voters complaining about the anti-labour majority stopping Blair from having any mandate to govern.

    If anything, the anti-labour majority is far far bigger than the alleged anti-tory one and stands at 71% (labour only won a pitiful 29% share of the vote in 2010)

    My advice to the left is to stop whilst you are behind.

  • Comment number 37.

    All the Westminster parties were nailed in Scotland,if the economy doesn`t do for the coalition,Scotland will.

    The conventional wisdom is that without the Scots MPs,Labour won`t survive in England.A period of adjustment certainly,but it will redefine itself as a Midlands and Northern party in conflict with the south over jobs,investment and resources.

    The Conservative problem is symbolic and constitutional.As a party they represent the monarchy and the union,uphold them as unifying symbols,but conservatism is toxic north of the Tweed.Mr.Salmond had originally invited Elizabeth R.to be queen of an independent Scotland,he is now muttering her position will be subject to a referendum.

    Mr.Cameron will be blamed if the Crown loses Scotland,but the problem is deeper than personalities,it is structural.With a Tory government,Scotland is not represented at Westminster,at the same time the party has been all but wiped out in Scotland.Now Mr.Clegg is calling his own government Thatcherite.Mr.Salmond doesn`t need to campaign for independence in Scotland,the coalition are doing it for them in England.

    Scotland not the coalition is the big story of the election for all parties.And they won`t see it coming until it happens because they are preoccupied elsewhere.

  • Comment number 38.

    Happy Aniversary - 1 year down, 4 to go - does seem unlikely, with April '11 cuts yet to be felt it is way too ambitious to expect the ConDem marriage to last another four years. In the shortness of time I half expect the Liberals to press the 'nuclear button' a blow the union apart citing ireconcilable differences. An early General Election would solve Mr Clegg's 'strong and muscular' persona of his party, showing him to be nobody's fag, but the British electorate would be able to vote the Liberals to extinction and probably give the Tories a bit of a kicking too. So it will be interesting to see how the Coalition treat each other from now on - harsh deeds or bad breath. It will ultimately depend on the opinion polls, which will probably depict a Tory decline also in vote worthiness as the wage cuts, redundancies, tax hikes and the economy all begin to put real strain on the ConDem marriage.

  • Comment number 39.

    Susan@14
    Better Susan, if a little right-wing for my tastes. But your Darling plan comparison is along the right lines. Post March budget and further poor growth figures means that Osborne best case scenario is going to be maybe £50bn less debt build up over the parliament compared to Labour (out of £1.4tn). Interestingly the Centre for Public Policy for Regions reckons Scotland's deficit has been lower than UK overall since 2005 and will be lower till 2015 (and they're Unionists!). I digress, your other good point is that spending is still increasing, especially in nominal terms. Its like Thatcher/Major all over again who increased public spending in cash terms more year on year than Blair/Brown did. And they increased our debt more on average year on year over their 18 years than Labour in their 13 years. Susan, me and you need to educate more people on this. This pseudo right-wing UK government is a danger to us all. Thank goodness for the SNP up here - you should come, we need a proper right-winger now Bella has gone too.

  • Comment number 40.

    #14 etc Susan-Croft

    To quote someone small and wrinkly, 'hmmm, feisty one you are!'

  • Comment number 41.

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

  • Comment number 42.

    No one is listening to clegg the best thing he can do is disolve the coaition and retire

  • Comment number 43.

    Unlike Mr Cameron, I do not believe that ANY party can be trusted regarding the NHS... or anything else for that matter. They all say whatever they think will garner votes, then cast it all aside to follow their own whims - or worse, those of other parties just to get their paws on power.

    Time for root and branch reform, for a new breed of politician who puts country and citizens before his own self-interest and that of his party, who leaves off meaningless ill-thought-through mouthings and actually builds a coherent argument for what he wants to do, presents it, persuades the electorate and then does what he said he would.

  • Comment number 44.

    24. At 14:43pm 11th May 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:
    bryhers 15

    "Now thats unfair bryhers, I think Nick Cleggs understanding of the economy is about equal with yours."

    You know I regard any criticism from you as a compliment.

    Mr.Clegg doesn`t have a position on the economy,he simply has a position on Mr.Clegg.

  • Comment number 45.

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

  • Comment number 46.

    ...time to worry Nicholas is when they start writing their names in their books - then you know a separation is imminent.

    At the moment they are just playing to the gallery.

  • Comment number 47.

    What becomes more apparent day by day is that Cameron thinks he is running a Tory Government -the LibDems being a minor irritant getting in the way.

    LibDems won't do anything to rock the boat - how else would they ever have got powerful positions leading the country? Never in a million years. They will say black is white and that chalk is cheese if the Tory's say so.

    I think cracks are appearing in the coalition - the wallpaper is covering them up at the moment. Wallpaper ages and cracks to eventually or falls down altogether.

    I think Nick and his LDs are going to be dead in the water once they are no longer part of the coalition - they know that, hence hanging on by the nails.

    I voted for Lib Dems because I liked their ideas, philosophy and stance. I actually thought Nick C was credible pre election last year. I'll never vote for them again. They shoudn't just be a moderating influence, they should have some of their main manifesto policies put in place - not just minor changes to Tory policy.

    Start packing Nick.........

  • Comment number 48.

    25. At 14:49pm 11th May 2011, Southern123 wrote:
    "Susan-Croft at #14 is right (and incidentally I have not forgotten you so offensively accused me without a shred of evidence - and despite all the things I have said to the contrary - of being a Labour supporter in the previous string - I look forward to the apology).

    What cuts? Labour spent £600 billion in their last year of office - George Osborne plans to spend £692.7 billion in 2014-15. They should be going much further to sort this mess. Our housing benefit bill (the most wasteful and fraudulent state handout invented) costs more than the Army and Navy combined.

    What a shame the Tories are led by such a vacuous unprincipled luvvie who longs to be Tony Blair.

    (I hope you now accept I am not the hand wringing leftie you portrayed me as S-C. All we need to do now is persuade Rockrobin to stop ending his posts with his silly catchphrases. Thankfully he has resisted the temptation so far today. )"

    It`s one of those painful paradoxes you will need to get used to that radical right and radical left meet at infinity,they may not share programmes or like the same people but there is a quality of conviction which is seen as revolutionary from the outside.

    Hans Eysenck did some interesting work on the psychological types underlying different political persausions.You belong to what Eysenck called the tough minded part of the political spectrum also associated with extraversion.You are intolerant but pragmatic,wanting to make a difference.While the more tolerant tender minded people who tend to compromise are more introverted and self regarding.Expect to be misunderstood,welcome it because opposition is always the most intense before it crumbles.

    I think you have a lot in common with SC,perhaps that`s why you fight so much.

  • Comment number 49.

    and sagamix...

    If REd's idea of a 'fightback' is to lose on AV, lose Scotland, fail to capture Wales, not unseat a single tory in England and then try to play victim to Cameron's 'Flashman' you have a very sorry labour leader indeed.

    Still her Majesty's Loyal Opposition.

  • Comment number 50.

    #15 Bryhers wrote:
    "Deficitis is a drag on growth as cuts and expectations of cuts remove purchasing power and demand from the UK economy"

    Deficits reduce demand in the medium and long-term because of the need to fund future interest payments. Out-of-control deficits (Ireland, Greece, Portugal) reduce demand as market interest rates rise and private investment is deterred.

    Achieving the appropriate balance between short-term and medium-term considerations is not simple. The coalition government is actually borrowing heavily over the course of this Parliament.

    Transferring resources from some areas of the public sector to the private sector will increase the long-term trend rate of economic growth.

    Cutting public expenditure does not by itself reduce demand if it is accompanied by tax cuts, especially those in favour of lower-paid workers. The coalition's balance between public spending cuts and tax rises may have been correct initially (because tax rises are easier to implement), but in the medium-term it needs to change such that further public expenditure cuts are balanced by income tax cuts.

    "It's not a choice of personal taste. When you are double digits in terms of deficit you need to move very fast, very decisively." Angel Gurria, OECD Secretray-General, March 16, 2011.

  • Comment number 51.

    20. At 14:18pm 11th May 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:
    "BTW Did you know that Sagamix spells embarrassingly wrong as well. It is one of the few words he gets wrong, anything with embarrass in it. Quite a coincidence that don't you think."

    Susan we are essentially on the same side but you do nothing but have a pop at me. Ah well.

    By the way, how strange confusing a typographical error with political persuasion. And when you ask a question as you do at the end of your post it is usual to follow it with a question mark. Pedantry begets pedantry.

    Now let's park all that and argue the substantive issues with all these bleeding heart liberals.

  • Comment number 52.

    purpledogzzz @ 36
    I dont disagree with alternative views of election outcomes and i certainly dont disagree with you that the 2005 UK election result was disproportionate to the underlying votes. UK should move to the Scottish voting system for better, fairer results. I'll pick you up on one point of detail - the LibDem vote was 26% in 2010 council elections which is a better comparison. So they lost over 40% of their voting share, and given Labour's increase from 27% to 37%, its reasonable to suggest mostly to Labour. Whats left in the 15% English LD share? True Liberals probably around half, with the other half thinking about jumping ship either way I would suggest (with no particular science!!). Just as I may look at results through left-tinted glasses, you may well be using your right-tinted ones. One last fact, Labour 37% v Tory 35% in English council elections last week, so no done deal on either side yet. Much, much clearer up here in Scotland for now.

  • Comment number 53.

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

  • Comment number 54.

    7. At 13:23pm 11th May 2011, TheBlameGame wrote:

    "...Strange entry. Is this a Tweet or a blog?..."

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Yes it is a bit strange isn't it? Perhaps NR's still not caught up on his sleep since the recent election night.

    Anniversaries, or any other kind of numerism would appear, in the strict sense, only for the superstitious anyway, and I don't want that sort in government.

  • Comment number 55.

    18. At 14:14pm 11th May 2011, greatHayemaker wrote:
    "Fairly certain it was a slip by DC. I don't think he would be deliberately provoking Clegg.
    Bit of a non story if thats the case."

    Certainly a bit of a non story,but the slip tells you more about the relations within the coalition than any amount of false camaraderie for the cameras.

    At PMQs Mr.Cameron strruggled to contain his inner Flashman after advice from friends and colleagues.His problem is Mr.Miliband gets under his skin. He is not regarded as the PMs equal, but his performance in the Commons frequently punctures the myth of the effortless superiority of the old Etonian.



  • Comment number 56.

    34. At 15:35pm 11th May 2011, TheBlameGame wrote:
    17. TheGingerF wrote:
    'Not sure what happened at 11 above - serves me right for trying to tweet, will now leave that to the more youthful.'

    Mine was a sad attempt as well, even get the p taken by the kids when I txt.

    Slasher Susan @anything but sweet.
    'Ed nailed nothing today, the mans a complete clot.'

    'fraid he did SS, DC tossed up the 'number of doctors' gaff and Ed tucked it away with aplomb.

    ------------

    But a sharp observer (or at least a not dull one) would then note that he criticised waiting lists growing. Are we to assume that the Ed thinks getting more doctors in is a process with a 7 year time lag, but waiting lists are completely unrelated?

    DC of course was no sharper than you, and missed his opportunity to expose this hypocrisy.

  • Comment number 57.

    Southern123 25

    Too late for all that waffle I answered you at 20.

  • Comment number 58.

    Bryhers...

    If your analysis stood up to scrutiny Lady Thatcher would have been wrong to constantly bait Neil Kinnock. She used the same tactics to ruthless effect for six years so I'd pray the nation gets an attack of victim-guilt if I were you otherwise you can count on Miliband being ritually huniliated for some time to come.

    A leader is a leader. He's not supposed to be a pushover, take prisoners or pander to mealy mouthed oppostion splutterings.

  • Comment number 59.

    Bryhers 44

    Poor one that, Bryhers.

  • Comment number 60.

    Bass_Man 40

    The quote came from Sagamix then.

  • Comment number 61.

    If Milliband keeps spraying across the house, Cameron will have to invest in a raincoat, or see if the NHS can find a cure for him; maybe stuffing a sock in his gob would help. He's nearly as sprayific ( now there's a word ) as Roy Hattersley was and almost as effective , it must be something in the Labour diet that causes it.

  • Comment number 62.

    I actually find Ed Milliband quite an attractive personality, and usually pleasant to listen to.

    Since I'm used to being in a minority I expect this means he's doomed.

  • Comment number 63.

    58. At 16:38pm 11th May 2011, rockRobin7 wrote:
    Bryhers...

    "If your analysis stood up to scrutiny Lady Thatcher would have been wrong to constantly bait Neil Kinnock. She used the same tactics to ruthless effect for six years so I'd pray the nation gets an attack of victim-guilt if I were you otherwise you can count on Miliband being ritually huniliated for some time to come.
    A leader is a leader. He's not supposed to be a pushover, take prisoners or pander to mealy mouthed oppostion splutterings."

    I have not observed Mr.Cameron personally,but I am told when he feels threatened by Mr.Miliband he gets red faced and his cheeks puff out like one of those South American bullfrogs.

    Grace under pressure it ain`t.

  • Comment number 64.

    37. bryhers wrote:
    "Mr.Cameron will be blamed if the Crown loses Scotland,but the problem is deeper than personalities,it is structural.With a Tory government,Scotland is not represented at Westminster,at the same time the party has been all but wiped out in Scotland."

    A current theme of yours. Only if they are still in power come the decision from north of the border. You could argue that Labour's collapse in Scotland is more responsible. Or that it's an inevitability in contemporary regional geopolitics. Wales is the odd one out, for the moment, possibly because they are more economically bound to Westminster and the Union?

  • Comment number 65.

    Sagamix 33

    That's kind, Susan! But do I put them all in the correct order?

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Not always Sagamix, especially when you feel passionate about the subject matter.

    However, it is the content of posts which count, and on this you do fail.

    I do like it when the spin begins, it is so entertaining. Sorry I just could not resist. I learn so much.

  • Comment number 66.

    ps to #64
    Although I agree with you, the real driver was the Thatcher years.

  • Comment number 67.

    23. At 14:37pm 11th May 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:

    "Well we could always get Skol to introduce his expert witness again, you know the good doctor, to decide."

    ----------

    ^ Oh Susan, you can't still be reeling from our little exchange in the last blog - can you?

    How about this for balance... we could perhaps trust the opinion of Dr Jonathan Munday, who signed off today's letter to the Torygraph in support of the NHS reforms. Odd that he used exactly the same rhetoric as Cameron ("not revolutionary but an evolution"), almost as though his response was guided by the Tory PR team. Surely not, even though he's a former Tory councillor and mayor? That would be unthinkable.

    Regarding the coalition, I honestly doubt whether they'll make it to the end of this year, let alone the next general election. Could be worrying for Cameron and co., as I'm not sure whether they'd survive an election at the moment - even in spite of Milliband's, shall we say, less than dynamic performance (though he is improving, bless him). I mean, they couldn't even manage a majority over Brown, for goodness sake!

    Remember: where you read "choice" in the NHS, read "competition" (that's my new little footer slogan, a la Robin...).

  • Comment number 68.

    'All we need to do now is persuade Rockrobin to stop ending his posts with his silly catchphrases. Thankfully he has resisted the temptation so far today.' - southern123 @ 25

    Yes, bit of good news that.

    Oh and Robin (49), did you notice that the only areas in England - North London and Oxbridge basically - to vote Yes to AV were the really brainy ones? Mmm.
  • Comment number 69.

    50. At 16:17pm 11th May 2011, johnharris66 wrote:
    #15 Bryhers wrote:
    "Deficitis is a drag on growth as cuts and expectations of cuts remove purchasing power and demand from the UK economy"

    "Deficits reduce demand in the medium and long-term because of the need to fund future interest payments. Out-of-control deficits (Ireland, Greece, Portugal) reduce demand as market interest rates rise and private investment is deterred."

    The fringe economies are a bad example of a debt/deficit reduction strategy.The scale of cuts in expenditure demanded has had the opposite effect in Greece and Ireland.According to the latest figures,Greek government debt is now 150% of GDP and rising.There is talk of default,unless the EU steps in with more loans, and more demands for cuts which are never going to be met.Ireland`s position is not dissimilar,lack of growth means debt and deficit grows as was predicted by some of us.Growth in the UK is predicted to be down from last year.

    Interest payments on UK debt are rising in the UK,partly through sluggish growth,partly because of inflation rising to 5%.(A lot of the debt is index linked)

    The United States with a debt and deficit equivalent to ours has adopted a more pragmatic strategy while the recovery is fragile.Aim to reduce the budget when it is expedient,operate a trial and error policy,adding to expenditure when it is needed,cutting when the recovery is on a surer footing.This is different to the more rigid policies adopted here and across the EU following the financial crisis.

    This may suit the German economy highly geared to the new Asian market after a decade of stagnation.It may not suit us with our bigger public sector and reliance on services.


  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    #60 Susan-Croft

    Sagamix as a Jedi? Now there's an image...

    What about our beloved current crop of politicos as Star Wars characters?

    Eric Pickles has to be Jabba the Hutt.

  • Comment number 72.

    The arguments between the parties on the NHS are illusory. Cameron is going to water them down so much to appease Clegg there will be little difference.

    As I have said before there needs to be a proper discussion without the hysterical point scoring. The NHS should do the basics efficiently through local organisation and we should leave the rest to insurance (cue gasps from the majorioty on this blog). In fact if the Tories had the courage of their convictions as some of us are so desperate for them to do, they should give people tax breaks for looking after themselves - it would soon relieve the pressure on the NHS.

    While they're at it they might try and remember our core Tory principles like backing the family, tackling crime (including zero tolerance to drug use) and addressing education including the return of grammar schools instead of tinkering at the edges. That way we might have less people filling up doctors' surgeries asking to be prescribed pills to make them feel better.

    Still think I am a Labour supporter Susan?

  • Comment number 73.

    GreatHaymaker 35

    I agree also, Cameron is the heir to Blair. It has left traditional Conservative voters with no one really, to vote for. On policy, as I said earlier, there is not much, apart from a few reforms to choose between the parties. Certainly there is nothing the Coalition are doing at the moment which will put the economy back on its feet.

    The question really is, what are the Conservative party as a whole thinking, is the top elite actually in tune with them?. If not it could spell trouble ahead, and not just for the Lib/Dems in this Coalition.

  • Comment number 74.

    sagamix...

    so you are acknowledging that the 'progressive liberal elite' is a minority.

    Times they are a'changing. These are our days and yours are gone.

  • Comment number 75.

    . At 16:53pm 11th May 2011, TheBlameGame wrote:
    37. bryhers wrote:
    "Mr.Cameron will be blamed if the Crown loses Scotland,but the problem is deeper than personalities,it is structural.With a Tory government,Scotland is not represented at Westminster,at the same time the party has been all but wiped out in Scotland."

    "A current theme of yours. Only if they are still in power come the decision from north of the border. You could argue that Labour's collapse in Scotland is more responsible. Or that it's an inevitability in contemporary regional geopolitics. Wales is the odd one out, for the moment, possibly because they are more economically bound to Westminster and the Union."


    It`s probable Mr.Cameron will still be in government because a referendum on independence has been promised before the next election.

    Labour maintained its share of the vote in Scotland,they lost seats because the Tory and Lib-Dem vote went to the SNP.

    It`s a big story with major repercussions.Think of a Scandinavian social democracy on our doorstep and how this will produce rapid diffusion of alternative models of social organization.Would the monarchy survive in its present pomp and exclusiveness? or remain because we are too bored to do anything about it like the Dutch.How would the legitimacy of the English parliament fare when it no longer represented a United Kingdom,but reverts to its pre-Norman state.Will the capital move to Wessex?

  • Comment number 76.

    Skol303 67

    I was just teasing Skol.

    Skol in all honesty, the NHS reforms will be so watered down by the time anything is put into actual policy, it will make no difference to anyone. So the argument between Labour and Coalition on this is just about point scoring. Labour began the reforms, such as they are, and the Coalition have continued from there.

    Soon there will nothing for us on here to disagree about, because the parties are moving so close together in policy.

    I will say though, I do believe Ed Miliband is a poor leader and Labour could be doing much better with someone else. Balls also, is too much associated with Brown to convince the public on economic matters.

  • Comment number 77.

    Actually, when you think about it - it's less about votes, but more about more VAT on everything - thanks to Osborne and Alexander. 20% VAT ON going to and from work - plus 5% VAT on your light and heat. Plus Income tax, Plus National Insurance, plus 5% VAT ON ALL YOUR INSURANCE POLICIES.

  • Comment number 78.

    56. Haye
    But a sharp observer (or at least a not dull one) would then note that he criticised waiting lists growing. Are we to assume that the Ed thinks getting more doctors in is a process with a 7 year time lag, but waiting lists are completely unrelated?
    DC of course was no sharper than you, and missed his opportunity to expose this hypocrisy.

    ----------------------------------------------------------
    No hypocrisy there whatsoever, except in some fantasy land. And of course any reason to doubt that the tories can be responsible for increases in waiting times within a year also belongs in la la land. Next you will be saying the tories have a great record with the NHS and we are all in this together.
    Wouldn’t surprise me.

  • Comment number 79.

    62. At 16:50pm 11th May 2011, johnharris66 wrote:
    I actually find Ed Milliband quite an attractive personality, and usually pleasant to listen to.
    ----------------------------------
    Agreed. Our next PM.


  • Comment number 80.

    'Sagamix as a Jedi? Now there's an image' - Bass @ 71

    Like that notion, like it very much. Rather be a 'Clanger' though - they're sweet. Anyhow, I'd love to join in with all this banter but by the looks of 30 and 70 I'd better not. Re the Blog topic, the Coalition, what a shower. Really they are. Not much longer, surely to goodness.
  • Comment number 81.

    # 79 lefty11

    Being pleasant, an important quality though it may be, is not the defining characteristic of a leader. I don't think that Ed is ready now for the job and I am unconvinced that he could grow into it - I think he lacks authority.

    The more I reflect upon it the more I believe that Labour chose The Wrong Miliband.

  • Comment number 82.

    76. At 17:32pm 11th May 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:

    "Soon there will nothing for us on here to disagree about, because the parties are moving so close together in policy."

    ^ On that we are certainly in agreement, Susan.

    But at least we'll always have Robin to stir up something akin to debate... ;-)

    (Sorry Robin, I feel as though I'm picking on you but your posts are a source of amusement for me. Keep fighting the good fight, comrade!).

  • Comment number 83.

    To all the regular posters here, do you know what is coming?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2011/05/our_next_step_in_news_blogging.html

  • Comment number 84.

    79. At 17:44pm 11th May 2011, lefty11 wrote:

    62. At 16:50pm 11th May 2011, johnharris66 wrote:
    I actually find Ed Milliband quite an attractive personality, and usually pleasant to listen to.
    ----------------------------------
    Agreed. Our next PM.

    ^ I disagree... lovely bloke it seems; sincere and believable. But I just don't see him as PM. Like it or not, politics is a game of personality these days and I don't think Ed quite cuts the proverbial mustard on that front.

    That said, it'd make a pleasant change if that weren't the case. The current 'locker room' banter during PM's QT is becoming very tiresome.

  • Comment number 85.

    robin @ 74

    Robin, I guess I can't blame you but you're getting your 'progressive consensuses' mixed up with your 'left-wing intellectual elites'. The latter are (by the definition of 'elite') a minority but being opinion formers we create the former - the consensus. In the case of AV we failed in that. Ordinary people just refused to listen for some reason. Either couldn't or wouldn't understand. It happens. Personally I don't like the 'elite' tag in any case - it's elitist. I prefer to be thought of as part of the 'Cognescenti', or (let's avoid fancy-dan foreign terms) the 'Compos Menti'.

  • Comment number 86.

    Not so happy for the Lib Dems. Looks like the are going to have a rethink if they are to continue proping up the Tories.

    We knew it would end in tears!!

  • Comment number 87.

    Bryhers @ 75 - not quite I'm afraid.

    SNP took votes from everyone, including considerable amounts from Labour in previous Glasgow and Fife heartlands. It was a big disaster for Labour and could have been even bigger had they not picked up a few disaffected LDs too.

    If you look at the results in more detail, especially constituencies, both Tory and Labour nearly lost a few more seats to SNP - could have been an even more extraordinary result.

  • Comment number 88.

    56. greatHayemaker wrote:
    "But a sharp observer (or at least a not dull one) would then note that he criticised waiting lists growing. Are we to assume that the Ed thinks getting more doctors in is a process with a 7 year time lag, but waiting lists are completely unrelated?
    DC of course was no sharper than you, and missed his opportunity to expose this hypocrisy."

    You are indeed a sharp observer O maker of great Haye.
    However my local doctor's clinic has brought waiting times down without adding more GPs. Very efficient and very good. More than I can say of the local Trust hospital unfortunately.

  • Comment number 89.

    75. bryhers
    "Labour maintained its share of the vote in Scotland,they lost seats because the Tory and Lib-Dem vote went to the SNP."

    Oh come now b, you're sounding like a Labour propagandist. Although even they've given up on that line.

    "It`s a big story with major repercussions."

    No doubt about it. But to be influenced by economics more than anything else I'd think.

  • Comment number 90.

    At the last election, the LibDems won fewer votes than Labour. In the recent council elections, the LibDems got trounced. Yet here we are with the LibDem ministers still sitting in Government, swanning around in their chauffeur-driven limos, telling us they are going to be "more muscular". Such is the unfairness of coalition politics! The tail wagging the dog. Frankly, who cares what Nick Clegg says? LibDems can't be trusted - not even by their own supporters.

    Fixed term parliament? No thanks... call an election!

  • Comment number 91.

    re 14. At 13:55pm 11th May 2011, Susan-Croft wrote:
    "What cutting, spending is rising"

    John Redwood mentioned that too almost a year ago, the BBC interviewer was floored by it and simply didn't understand the facts. Needless to say, since Mr Redwood allowed that fact to come out live on national TV, he seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth as far as the BBC are concerned.

    Cameron knows that the BBC hides the "total spending is actually rising" fact completely from the public and just spout on about "cuts cuts cuts", so if Cameron spent his time trying to correct the BBC/Labour spin by telling people the truth (ie that total spending is actually increasing) then most of the public wouldn't believe him because most people believe the BBC/Labour propaganda.

    I think it's one of those things where the BBC/Labour propaganda is now believed by so many people that it's hard for politicians to speak the truth as they fear they'd be branded liars.

    ie if 60 million people in the uk are indoctrinated into believing the moon is made of cheese, and one person turns round and says "hang on; it's not made of cheese, that'd be impossible." then that one person won't be believed.

    The BBC/Labour propaganda about this is now too large/widespread/believed to be dispelled; facts are more or less irrelevant when you have the BBC/Labour spin machine spouting about cuts 24/7 to a largely ignorant public.

    The only way around it would be to stop the BBC from being publicly funded with immediate effect, and then the government would be allowed to finally tell the truth to the public. But with the BBC doing its thing, there is (sadly) no way that your inconvenient fact is going to become widely known.

  • Comment number 92.

  • Comment number 93.

    Whatever the Lib Dem members and voters think of what is happening their leaders are locked into Cameron's project: to dismantle the health service, make university less affordable, eroding the value of savings by not addresing inflation, allowing unemployment to control wage demands, removing employment rights, using CPI to reduce the value of pensions and similar measures yet to be revealed. Al of these measures are designed to make ordinary working people and the the retired pay for the excesses of the banks and those who borrowed beyond their means to pay it back.

    As for Lib Dem principles well they are being sold like everything else. But the Lib Dems have no alternative but to hang in their and hope they benefit from what Cameron decides. Until Clegg shows some back bone and sticks to the principles he was elected to advocate there is little hope for the party to regain any respect. Its of no consolation to Lib Dem supporters to be told that they are moderating the Tories behind closed doors, any more than it will reassure those on the Tory right to be told by Cameron that such moderation is not happening.

    Cameron is however right that on the NHS there is only one party you can trust, but its not his. Sadly its not the Lib Dems either. While Labour can be trusted on the NHS they failed to manage it properly. Judging by the way the excessively paid hospital managers Labour allowed to be appointed have been preparing to switch to the private health providers that Cameron and Clegg want to create, is it any wonder that these managers failed to improve the management of the NHS to which so many were probably never committed in the first place.

  • Comment number 94.

    Kit Green #83

    I have posted on the Editors blog to register my disapproval of the new format and I
    suggest that all who enjoy this blog do the same.

  • Comment number 95.

    re 83. At 17:57pm 11th May 2011, Kit Green wrote:
    "To all the regular posters here, do you know what is coming?"

    ah; that link's a good one; Mark Mardell's blog, already on the new format, seems to indicate that by default you'll only see the comments which the blog owner has "picked" (which kind of goes against the whole point of a blog)

    so, I guess we should be ready for the default "Nick's Picks" which all say that labour is great, and that all tories are satanic vampires.

    sagamix; I'd assume this'll give your entries a much higher prominence once Nick's on the new format.

  • Comment number 96.

    #94

    Have done so too. I cannot believe that we are being dumbed down in this way.

    I generally support the BBC but this leaves me wondering if anybody there has any idea but what us, their customers/employers, really want.

    I would respectfully request that all those who feel similarly get posting to complain.

  • Comment number 97.

    I just watched the bank of England delivering them a birthday present - a revised economic forecast .....

    Inflation - UP

    Growth - DOWN

    Recovery well and truly floundering. Well done.



    Tories: taking labours mess and making it worse.

  • Comment number 98.

    # 95 labourbankruptedusall

    Nothing against Mark Mardell, but if his new blog is the shape of things to come then this is indeed a backwards step - another blow against licence fee payers having their say.

    In fact, Have Your say is being closed down.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2011/03/comments_and_making_our_covera.html

    It's amazing that such changes are described as 'the next step', as if it is an improvement!

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theeditors/2011/05/our_next_step_in_news_blogging.html

    The BBC keeps asking people to fill in surveys - I wonder, did anyone actually ask for these changes?

  • Comment number 99.

    91. At 18:28pm 11th May 2011, labourbankruptedusall wrote:

    "The only way around it would be to stop the BBC from being publicly funded with immediate effect, and then the government would be allowed to finally tell the truth to the public."

    ----------

    ^ ... or maybe - oh, I dunno - just let Murdoch and the Mirror group filter our news. All that matters is whether people get the right (wing) message, eh?

    What is it with the continued Beeb bashing among right-wingers? I don't remember any of you complaining when the Beeb were equally bashing Blair or Brown.

    Fact is, whichever party is in power should rightly be placed in the spotlight. Spending in the public sector is rising, as you say, but this is because the cuts to the sector are costing Govt more than they expected in the short-term; redundancy payments and organisational wind-down costs, for instance. The "bonfire of quangos" is already costing more than it is supposedly saving, for instance.

    So let's not pretend that this increase in spending is for the public benefit. It's short-term damage limitation, and once the damage is finished it will cease.

    But do I agree with you in that this story is newsworthy, just not in the way you would like.

  • Comment number 100.

    Skol303@82
    Your 'comrade' description of Robin is coming true. He used to quote the Express, then it was the Telegraph, and now its the Guardian. We all know that next its the Socialist Worker and the transformation will be complete (or the mask will have slipped completely).

 

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