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April 23, 2009

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Kay Tie

"The only thing that matters is building a better, fairer, more sustainable Wales."

And he was me thinking that the civil service is supposed to be apolitical. Silly old me. Well, once the Labour Party are out of office, we can add your job to the bonfire of spads, quangos and the rest of you lot. With a bit of luck, we can winkle out enough of you to eliminate the budget deficit and bring the country back from the brink of bankruptcy.

Paul Flynn

Delighted to hear that Baneswell Boy.That is great news. I look forward to being proved wrong.

Your final paragraph has made my day.

Baneswell boy

"The inbuilt conservatism of officials and the power retentive neurosis of Welsh MPs are formidable obstructions. The institutional inertia of the Civil Service mandarins has passed almost unchanged from Westminster to Cardiff. Davies and Williams write:

'The policy of delivery of profound change to the marginalised is entrusted to officials schooled in the arts of deliberate administrative adjustment, ensuring that that anything remotely radical or ambitious passes through a series of filters that serve, all too frequently to mitigate its impact.’"

This, I'm pleased to say, is changing fast. There is a new breed of civil servant emerging within the Welsh Assembly Government. We're young, clever, socialist, passionate and proud. The only thing that matters is building a better, fairer, more sustainable Wales.

Baneswell boy


Good post.

"Welsh Labour has demonstrated that a practical alternative exists to the policies pursued by New Labour in England. Welsh Labour Grassroots has developed as the thinking conscience of the labour movement in Wales. It will greatly influence the direction of Welsh politics in the advance towards a brave new Wales."

It's such a shame that so many of us in Newport West can only get regional t.v. news from the West Country. We are effectively disenfrancised fron the political process in our own country.

Kay Tie

"The bank of England has created £75bn of money (printed it ) which means that as the recovery comes in interest rates will HAVE to rise to prevent this creating inflation"

Actually, it's worse than that. The Government might seek to keep rates low and let inflation take off (it would deflate the existing debts). But the official interest rate (0.5%) has little bearing on what people and companies (and governments) can borrow at: the people with money won't lend at the official rate any more than people in communist countries exchanged their money at official rates.

The real benchmark is long-dated gilts: it sets the rates for all other debt (the theory being that the Government is less risk than Tesco who are in turn less risky than me or thee). The market sets these rates, and the Government cannot control them (any more than it can control the exchange rate or the FTSE100). When inflation increases, these rates will sky-rocket. It must be so: would you lend money to the Government at below inflation? No!

When inflation goes to 10%, interest rates will be at 11%, 12%, 13%. For sure, your mortgage debt is being eroded by inflation, but suddenly you will have to find the cash to pay four times the mortgage you're currently paying. Good luck with that. Even if you're in a heavily-unionised vital public sector job and manage to get inflation-busting pay rises, that's not going to get you anywhere near enough to pay a quadrupled mortgage.

So be afraid of inflation: be very afraid.

"And then when Darling had a chance to be honest and apply the medicine to all of us he resorts to taxing 2% of the electorate at 50% (65% at marginal rates ) and refusing to cut spending until after the election "

Those on above £150k (the top 1%) currently pay 23% of all income tax, and about 40% of all tax when you add in the indirect taxes (their companies, VAT, etc.). If I were paid that level of salary I would simply stop working full-time and reduce my salary to below the threshold: why should I sweat for 32 out of 48 hours a week for Gordon Brown? I'd rather have less money and be idle. Various left-wing commentators like to label this as "tax evasion". Which tells us all we need to know about the left: in their view we are serfs, and not working for the overseer as hard as possible must be punished.

Tony

Lets just examine the governments economic management ..
Budget deficit to rise to 12.4% if GDP
Jobless now at 6.7%
Between Juky 2007 and March this year Sterlings value has declined by 27%
GDP forcast to decline by 4.1% this year
Public sector debt to rise to 80% of GDP - interest payments alone in this debt are equal to defense and health spending
The bank of England has created £75bn of money (printed it ) which means that as the recovery comes in interest rates will HAVE to rise to prevent this creating inflation (so enjoy the low rates will you can)
And then when Darling had a chance to be honest and apply the medicine to all of us he resorts to taxing 2% of the electorate at 50% (65% at marginal rates ) and refusing to cut spending until after the election
I amm frankly disgusted at the craven nature of what he has done - we needed a brave budget to help us recover , not a refusal to tell the truth and an even more disgusting attempt at party politicing rather than the benefit of the country
I don't want to vote Tory but I don't want 5 more years of this mis-management with the Chuckle Brothers
The Economist calls the budget dishonest - and I think in this case I have to agree

DG

Nice idea, but I don't think GB should be allowed to resign. He made his bed, he can darn well lie in it for a while.

Mark Drakeford - sounds like a very clever guy.

Kay Tie

Well, all of us ought to step up and sign this petition:

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/please-go/

It is very simple: it calls for the Prime Minister to resign. If it garners more signatures than any other petition, how can Gordon Brown refuse to answer? (OK, so we know his answer, of course: getting on with the job, the petition started in America, etc. etc.).

Tony

I think that following the Budget and the continued economic bad news that Welsh Labour will have plenty of time to develop their distinctive policies in opposition
Darling bottled the budget and Labour will pay for that - we are in the mire and he postponed everything possibily for fear of chocking off any recovery but mostly for fear of the electorate
If this keeps up then Labourt will be out of office for another generation - is that the lagacy Brown wants?
If you saw Question Time last night there seemed real anger at the MP's on the panel at their inability to resolve any of this - and yet 12 weeks away in the summer ..nice one on the PR front

valleylad

Nice piece, I have no problem supporting the welsh assembly government. Westminster on the other hand has lost all legitimacy. I'll think about voting labour in a general election after a) An apology for a decade of economic incompetence b) a public acknowledgment that the Iraq war was both illegal and unnecessary c) some evidence of proper labour policies d) the culling of the useless self-serving numpties who populate the front benches.

PaulFlynn

Thank you Patrick. Looking forward to seeing you and your family again soon. I'll be in Swansea tomorrow for the launch.

patrick mcguinness

Excellent post. Greatly looking forward to the reading the book.

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