Monday 10th July 2017, 8.05am (day 2,146)
Sums it up for me, in at least two different ways.
The Conservative Party Conference continues to provide a rich seam. I’m almost sorry I’m not going in tomorrow. Some fundamentalists wield biblical slogans, others manifestos and soundbites. But they’re all basically the same: they lay blame for the world’s problems on anything and everything other than themselves.
35,000 people marched in Manchester yesterday against the policies of the government. PM David Cameron said, bluntly, in the Manchester Evening News today: ‘You are all wrong’. This presumably means, he thinks he is right.
OK, let us look at just one salient story for a moment. On 14th March 2007, the incumbent Labour-led government voted on whether or not to spend at least (that’s ‘at least’ – it will inevitably rise) £20billion on upgrading the UK’s Trident nuclear missile system: something that has never been used, and probably never will be. At this point the government’s majority was 62. 85 Labour MPs voted against the plan. Therefore, had the Opposition done what it does as a matter of course with most other votes, and opposed it, it would not have gone through, and that £20bn would not now be on the public spending bill.
However, virtually every Tory MP voted for the proposal. This £20bn of public spending (no mention of public-private partnerships here) has been specifically said by Mr Cameron to be ‘ring fenced’ and not open to being cut.
All this is fact, a matter of public record. Therefore, the only conclusion to draw is that the Conservative party, and the Liberal Democrats who are the pimps in this particular transaction, are actually not all that interested in cutting government spending per se. Rather, it shows that they are far keener to redirect money which could go on education, welfare, health and other things that citizens might actually directly benefit from, and spend it on bombs.
And I bet the citizens of Manchester are paying to police the party conference, too: despite facing local government public spending cuts as big as any in the country. Paying for the privilege of having a chunk of their city centre turned into a fortress. Inclusive government? Democracy? Yeah, we’ve heard of it. Christ, I’m pissed off.