Category Archives: Conservatives

The Laws of New Politics (have a decent excuse and fudge the numbers)

So David Laws, architect of the Orange Book movement, believer in economic prudence and smaller state spending, and vociferous critic of those who abuse the expenses system, is having a week off work as punishment for claiming £56,000 dishonestly from the state on expenses.

Many of you may have recalled that I blogged on this last year when it became clear that Laws had indeed dishonestly claimed expenses. In my blog I called for him to go, and was greeted by Coalitionistas insisting he should stay. Though all the facts were there, they insisted there was no wrong doing.

What’s become clear in last 24 hours is that there has indeed been wrong-doing, and as a result David Laws has been punished by the parliamentary authorities. This was followed by Laws’ statement to the house where he admitted his wrong-doing and accepted full responsibility for his ‘mistakes’, though whether deception is a mistake is questionable. Regardless, Laws’ guilt is without question, he has been found to be dishonest and has admitted it.

My question is, does this cover the full extent of his wrong-doing?

Laws has claimed that he set up his finances in order to maintain his privacy. Any fool knows that anything you want kept private you keep off the books. However, I’m just not buying that argument anyway, the more I learn about this incident the more convinced I am that Laws has much more of a case to answer, as do those who conducted the investigation.

One of the primary defences of Laws is that he would have spent £30k more had he correctly claimed for his Yeovil home. However, this uses the mortgage repayments AFTER he had re-mortgaged his house in order to ‘gift’ his partner £99,000 in order to purchase a house, the same house Laws moved into and paid rent way over market value (as accepted by Laws) on the taxpayer’s tab. Talk about fudging the numbers.

What would that figure have been if Laws had not re-mortgaged in order to pay for the London property.

Regardless, does it sound to anyone else a lot like this was essentially a house that Laws truly shared with his partner but that he kept his name off the deeds to cook the books?

Laws wasn’t just paying his partner who he was staying with. Keeping his property down in Yeovil, he was able to build asset wealth within his relationship on the back of the taxpayer. Now I know a lot of MPs build asset wealth on expenses, the rights and wrongs are for another time, but don’t tell us that this is in any way the ‘honourable’ thing to do.

Does anyone actually believe that the deeds wouldn’t be changed once Laws had left politics? Or that financial reparations would not have been made were the couple to split? Let’s just think about the figure, £99,000.

This is the age-old trick of putting stuff in your partner’s name. It is a fiddle.

Also, the time-line doesn’t support his story. The rules changed in 2006 to prevent MPs renting from partners. According to the report by the Standards & Privileges committee, Laws re-mortgaged his Yeovil home in 2007 in order to buy the London property. Surely this was the point when they moved into the property, thereby giving him a perfectly reasonable juncture in order to change his stated 2nd home without raising any suspicion?

None of this adds up to supporting his reasoning for his deception, which is why I’m also keen to see a tax accountant’s evaluation of Laws’ finances, were there any ‘tax efficiencies’ of him working it this way? I think it’s already pretty clear that the £30k figure that he could have claimed doesn’t factor in his remortgaging, but I want to know if there are any tax burdens he has avoided or loopholes exploited.

He has already admitted his dishonesty so we need to see cold, hard proof that the taxpayer did indeed get a better deal (laughable as a defence anyway), because frankly I have a strong suspicion that if we looked at the couple’s finances over all, this is not the case.

I keep coming back to this point on twitter, but how would a benefit claimant be treated if they pulled off something even a 10th as dodgy?

I want to see Laws investigated and punished properly. This doesn’t mean jail, just because I’m a proper pinko liberal who hates the prospect of people going to jail (rather than a libertarian squatting in a formerly Liberal party). No, I can’t call for someone to be jailed, but Laws should be kicked out of politics for his dishonesty.

For it is here that UK politics is getting it wrong. The public see a man who fraudulently helped his partner pay off a mortgage, paid builders and phones bills by claiming £56,000 in expenses he shouldn’t be claiming, they see this man being given a punishment of a week off work, they see the entire Westminster establishment and political hacks telling them that this is an ‘honourable’ man. This is what Westminster calls an honourable man? How on earth are the public supposed to react to that?

They couldn’t do more to damage public trust in politics if they tried. The public see this as dirty politics, and it’s dealing with the likes of Laws in an appropriate fashion that would draw a line under the expenses scandal and begin to heal public perceptions of British politics, not daft referendums on voting systems no-one wants.

Let’s not forget the deceit, Laws was one of the most vociferous attackers of those involved in the expenses scandal, he made great gestures to prove he was better than Labour & the Tories. His tub-thumping has now been proven to be demonstrably not true, and Laws is now a major part of the chip-chip-chipping away at public trust in politics.

So in order to restore trust Laws must face a proper investigation, we must see his books, and he must be properly punished. Punishment should mean an end of a political career, or at very least a recall for his constituents. Indeed, thus far the CPS seem to be operating in a partisan fashion, surely the CPS need to take a look at this case, with Laws having admitted his wrong-doing, to see if he has charges to answer.

The political establishment needs to stop toadying around Laws, Labour (if you can call Frank Field that), Tories and Lib Dems need to stop making excuses and start looking at the facts and start condemning Laws. I’ve yet to see a Coalitionista condemn Laws yet, are we to believe that they all universally buy the privacy gambit, or is this tribal politics at its worst? So I call on Tories and Lib Dems reading this to open their minds and make an assessment based on the facts.

And finally, serious questions have to be asked of those responsible for the investigation. Why weren’t they looking at:

– The timeline that gave Laws the opportunity to maintain his privacy
– The £99,000 gift essentially making it Laws’ property in all but name
– The claim that Laws overpaid rent based on incompetence rather than greed

Finally, what kind of investigation accepts someone’s excuse that they wanted to protect their privacy, seemingly without any further digging.

This whole episode has left a very sour taste in the mouths of many, and whilst I’m sure the Coalition want this swept under the carpet so they can get their prodigal son back on the front-line, it’s clear that there’s no way this should be ‘case-closed’. Even my amateurish digging has thrown up a number of serious questions that need answering, what would a thorough investigation by those skilled throw up?

In order to save politics from complete indifference, or worse, total distrust, we need to see Laws and those like him who would abuse our system be properly investigated and handed appropriate punishments. The question is, is Westminster ‘New Politics’ enough to do it?

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Filed under Activists, AV, Campaign, ConDems, Conservatives, David Laws, Election, Expenses, FibDems, Hompophobia, Labour, Lib Dems, Liberals, Libertarians

Here’s some fresh ideas for you…

Over the weekend EdM made a speech to the National Policy Forum that created some excitement.

There was some good stuff in there, I particularly liked the (admittedly non-committed) noises that there should never be a Labour election again where members cast multiple votes. I hope it does become a firm committment because my long-term membership of the party is 100% dependent on it.

During his speech, EdM stated that we’d enter a period of policy review lasting 2 years in which Labour and the public could get involved in shaping the party of the future, even voting in our leadership elections (possibly the worst idea I’ve ever heard).

At the same time he launched his #freshideas website, where people can register to get involved. The site includes a video from EdM talking about why he’s doing this, and allows punters to register their details.

The copy reads:

Everyone knows the country needs fresh ideas for the future. Fresh ideas for our communities, fresh ideas for making Britain the best place to be, and fresh ideas for how we do things in politics. Make your voice heard, sign up and share your fresh ideas.

And that’s it.

Firstly, it doesn’t set out a process of engagement. It doesn’t tell us whether there’ll be meetings, web forums, how our ideas will be discussed. It tells us nothing and I can only imagine that this is either because they don’t know, or because this is a fresh data capture exercise. Either way, reaction I have seen has been very poor indeed. It’s a fairly basic rule of consumer engagement that the consumer understands what they’re getting themselves into, this looks nothing more than a holding message and I think it’s pretty damaging. Saying we need to find new ideas is one thing, but you have to set out your strategy for finding them – without it there is a strong risk you’ll look rudderless and with some of the criticism that has been flying around I think this was massively ill-advised.

So my confidence isn’t exactly 100%, this is further compounded by he fact that, having signed up I didn’t even receive an acknowledgement. Guys, this is basic stuff and it’s not acceptable. If you don’t even acknowledge the sign up how on earth will people have confidence that their ideas will be listened to. You need to fix this right now, and I’m prepared to offer my help and advice to the party gratis to turn it around.

However, then there’s the bigger problem, the one that really worries me. This process is going to take 2 years. We’re not exactly putting up a strong opposition at the moment, during the leadership we had some heavyweights putting it into the Tories and our polling improved. EdB was particularly effective at fighting the Tory/Lib Dems on the economy which is still a major battleground. However, we can’t put up an opposition if we don’t put forward an alternative vision. On cuts, on fees, on nearly everything mostly we’re saying ‘the same, but a bit nicer and a bit slower’.

(Don’t even get me started on Housing Benefit – if Labour support city destroying cut in Housing Benefit then #stay will be opposing them as well.)

And now, as we look for a vision over 2 years the risk is we’re effectively resigning our duties as an opposition. It could make good strategic sense, wait for the Tories and Lib Dems to make a mess of things and flow with the public mood, identifying movements that gain traction and take our vision organically.

Unfortunately there are risks of this holding position. Firstly, if Labour aren’t fighting the government you can bet your arse there’ll opportunists who will. And when a society is suffering, as ours is going to, it’s always the extremists who benefit. Without an effective Labour opposition the likes of the BNP will be gleefully stepping in to fill the void. As Labour councils are forced to make cuts they don’t want to make, they can’t argue that these aren’t ‘their cuts’ if the PLP aren’t on the telly and in the newspapers putting forward an alternative. The extremists will benefit and other parties will benefit, the only people who won’t benefit are the poor who are being punished brutally.

The other risk of Labour waiting to see which movements emerge is this; why should they work with Labour? These movements are going to come alive without them, often in the face of Labour policy so there’s a serious risk that Labour will miss the boat.

What I’ve seen since the speech is not a buzz of excitement but a real sense of disappointment and frustration. What’s worse than someone not listening is someone telling you they’re listening but acting like they’re not.

So EdM if you want my fresh ideas come read this blog, I’ll be sharing thoughts on what 21st Century Labour should be and policy ideas. Or better, invite me for a cuppa or a pint and a chat. Engagement is a two-way street, and as a party Labour has to learn that it needs to engage its membership in ways that are relevant to them. Our members are skilled, passionate individuals but in a world of diminishing party memberships Labour better learn that member frustrations will turn into cancelled Direct Debits.

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Filed under Activists, Campaign, ConDems, Conservatives, Ed Balls, Ed Miliband, Election, FibDems, Labour, Lib Dems

Stay… What Action Can We Take On Housing Benefit

With the Conservative & Lib Dems in full flow, it’s difficult to know which battles to pick, where to fight, what are the red lines. They’ve cancelled contracts to build schools, they’re engaging in blatant gerrymandering, they’re attacking local government budgets, they’re handing schools over to religious groups who are in favour of segregation (and Toby Young), they’re decimating workers’ right (2 years before you have any anyone?). Even the only saving grace is proven to be complete thin air, they’re doing nothing to improve civil liberties aside from cancelling ID cards which weren’t going to happen anyway (farming child detention to foreign ‘reintegration camps’, tracing e-mails etc.) and now they’re going to force the unemployed to do manual labour, community work, probably the job they’ve been fired from in their slash and burn libertarian for beginners economic rampage.  This government is so extreme even Thatcher’s eyes would water (if she had tear ducts), with the help of the Lib Dems the very worst of the Tory party is finally getting its way, it’s like One Nation is a term applied only to the lyrics of Funkadelic in Dave, Gideon & Nick world.  This government is going to war on everything that normal people worked and fought for over the last hundred odd years, and like in any war you make your first strike massive, devastating, overpowering, you strike multiple targets, you overwhelm your opponents and you make sure you leave your mark forever.

This is shock & awe politics.

Shock & awe politics on steroids by a generation of millionaires who have never had to work a day and take their inspiration from the stereotype asset strippers that previously existed only in the screenplays of satirists.

My lovely readers (or more likely, lovely reader who has stumbled here by accident), I’m afraid it is up to us.  But what can we do?  With so much going on how can we possible make a difference?

You know red lines, things like tuition fees used to be to the Lib Dems? I believe that each of us must pick our red line, pick our cause and make that our own fight. However, we must stick to it.

I have a red line. I have something that I cannot simply sit by and watch and I want to do something about it, I need to do something about it.

Before I discuss this red line, I need to contextualise why it’s so important to me.  I love London, a city I have lived and worked in all my adult life. I love its vibrancy, I love how people mix, how people of all religions, creeds, colours, beliefs live side by side, I love how my beloved Arsenal can be so geographically close to Sp*rs yet retain their reputation as the purveyors of beautiful football, I love how much music there is here, how so many movements have come from London’s streets and London’s colleges, I love how I can walk to and from work each day and walk through so many different cities in one, and I love how rich and poor live side by side.

For me, this last point, that the average London street like mine places millionaires next to some of London’s poorest families is something that helps London be all of those great things above, the mixing of financial backgrounds is a key factor in London’s vibrancy.

With the disgraceful cuts in Housing Benefit, the Tory/Lib Dem alliance wants to attack this way of life, this fundamental of London’s spirit, this fact that has been true of this city for hundreds of years.  They don’t believe the poor should participate in a city which truly is one of the capitals of the world. The refrain you will hear is  “Why should poor people live in London if other working people can’t afford to”?

Do you know why? Exactly because people can’t afford to. Property poverty in London is a huge problem. My humble one bedroom in zone 2 costs over half of the average wage before tax, and that’s without council tax, bills etc. How the hell can a family afford to live here? To have a 2, 3 or 4 bedroom house needed for their roost. No, those who state that the poor shouldn’t live in London if they can’t afford it think not of how an affordable social housing solution could not only solve this problem but also give jobs to those working in the building trade.  It’s the kind of hateful self-interest that you see when people state we shouldn’t give aid to foreign states ‘COS WEVE GOT R OWN PROBLUMS’.

They’re happy for London to be out of reach for all normal families because it is for them. But I am not. I can afford it here, I am one of the lucky ones, but I don’t want to live in a London devoid of children from working class familes. I don’t want to live in a London full only of professional couples and flats used by the super-rich for a few days each year.

It’s not as though everyday families can afford to move to the countryside. These families will end up in a tiny strip of the southeast’s suburbia and the north (as outlined here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2010/nov/08/housing-benefit-north-south-divide ) leaving London a sterile city, a playground populated by the rich whilst ‘the help’ is bussed in from miles away to do the dirty jobs (they won’t get the train as transport poverty is on the up, what with 30% fare increases). It’s also simply not the case that this cap will depress rental prices and normalise the lettings market as the Tory & Lib Dem buddies will tell you because landlords are already refusing to take tenants on Housing Benefit as I noted when I was moving earlier this year and as Glenda Jackson points out here:   http://www.24dash.com/news/housing/2010-11-03-Housing-benefit-cap-wont-lead-to-surge-in-homelessness-insists-welfare-minister

No, this change in housing benefit is an attack on London’s soul.

The Tory’s and Lib Dems will tell you this is an attack on the workshy, but only something like 1 in 8 HB claimants is unemployed (and I simply don’t accept the rhetoric that the unemployed are workshy). It is an attack on those who don’t have enough money, it is social cleansing and Clegg gets angry about those words being used because they ring true.

And I can’t sit here and take it. Much as it doesn’t effect me directly it affects my city, my community, and I must do something.

So this blog is a call to action for anyone who like me, cannot let this one happen.  I don’t know what to do, but I have got an idea.  We need to make this policy unworkable. We need to make sure that everyone realises that this is an attack on every day families.  We need to make sure that landlords put the Conservatives under pressure. We need to take action.

My idea is that we need to organise to help families to stay in their homes, to pay what they can afford but simply refuse to leave their homes. We need to stand with them when the bailiffs arrive, we need to make sure that each time they try to evict a family that there are cameras to record this social cleansing as it happens.  We need to organise so this flood of refugees from London doesn’t go unnoticed. That this social cleansing is not made easy, that it’s made every bit as hard as actioning this type of hideous policy should be.

We need to make sure that people understand that this is children being ripped from their schools, from their friends, just because their parents have the audacity to be in a low paid job. We need to make sure that people realise that extended families will be separated, that  grandparents who raise so many of our children these days, will be living halfway across the country once the 2 generations below them have been forced away.

We need to help people stay in their homes, and if they can’t stay we need to make moving them on as painful as can be imagined for the government, for landlords and for bailiffs.

So much as I don’t have a clue about how we’re going to organise (PLEASE HELP ME), I do know this, I want to call this action “Stay”. For me it’s about helping people stay, stay in their homes, stay close to their communities and support groups, stay close to their schools, stay in stability, such a core thing in helping people get back on their feet. But it’s also about this, I want London to Stay London.

Who’s with me?

EDIT: To get in touch you can tweet me http://twitter.com/kilburnmat or mail me at matvigour@gmail.com

I’ve been using #STAY as the hashtag to keep a tab on it so feel free to use that too

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Filed under Cameron, ConDems, Conservatives, FibDems, Lib Dems, Scandal, Simon Hughes

I Fought The Laws…

Obviously, it’s imperative for the good of all mankind that I give my opinion on David Laws so I’m going to.

He has to go.

David Laws is in a long-term relationship and renting a room from his partner, this is against the rules, it’s dishonest, and I consider this to be fraudulent even if the law doesn’t agree with me.

£40,000 isn’t a huge amount of money in the grander scheme of things, but helping your partner pay their mortgage at the tax payer’s expense whilst literally millions of Londoners can’t afford to get on the property ladder is not acceptable.

Keeping one’s relationship a secret is no reason for financial dishonesty, and as many have pointed out, if he were claiming benefits he’d now find himself on the wrong side of the law with a fine and a prison sentence: http://benefitfraud.blogspot.com/2010/02/slow-investigation-of-single-person.html .  In his statement, he says that he was motivated by his desire for privacy, not greed, but surely if this was the case he would have simply not claimed? He could certainly afford not to claim.

His position as one of the key protagonists in government cuts is completely untenable, he now has no credibility to ask the British public to tighten their belts, and this level of financial irregularity should mean that he’s never let near any kind of budget again, let alone the giant excel spreadsheet of the UK Government.

What’s worse though, is that this was an MP who campaigned vociferously on a ‘clean politics’ ticket, as part of a Liberal Democrat party that claimed it was ‘different’, was ‘clean’,  and would introduce a ‘new politics’.  Laws himself claimed to be whiter than white, criticized other MPs and then even went on to use the Yoevil Lib Dems’ website to boast about the fact that, unlike other MPs, he had not had to pay back any of his expenses: http://www.yeovil-libdems.org.uk/news/press/1305.htm – a boast he made knowing that it was dishonest, knowing that he was breaking the rules.

Laws has failed the test of honesty, of probity and of transparency, his theft of £40,000 to line his partner’s pockets means he has to go.  If Cameron and Clegg fail to take action this will be a double failure of ‘new politics’, and will quickly take the shine off this coalition.

This brings me on to the ConDems.  It’s been interesting to see how cosy the cheerleaders are for both parties. Tories hacks and bloggers have rushed to Laws’ aid, even having the audacity to brand those criticising Laws as homophobic (in the same week that Grayling was elevated to the Privvy Council and IDS appointed Stroud as an aide). 

It’s the behaviour of the Lib Dem activists that has disappointed me most.  The Liberals bandy words like ‘tribalism’ around on a regular basis, particularly at Labour supporters. Yet I’ve not seen a single Liberal Democrat admit that Laws has done anything wrong.  Their defences of Laws have included the following:

Laws wanted to protect his privacy
I can understand that Laws may not have wanted to reveal details of his relationship to the public, or to some family and friends, and though society has moved on in terms of sexual equality (props to Labour deserved), even I know people who have kept their sexuality from family members.  So I do sympathise. But if you want to keep your partnership private you should keep your partner off the accounts.  You do not help him generate asset wealth by having the tax payer contribute towards his mortgage.

Also, the issue of privacy is one that everyone entering politics must surely consider? One of the reasons that I pause before throwing myself into a high profile political life is because I value my privacy (and because I’m a dislikeable twat).

And then consider the privacy of a benefit claimant? There isn’t a tick box for ‘private’ under living status on any of the benefits forms as far as I know.  The only solution for the plebs that may want to maintain privacy is to simply not claim, which brings me onto…

Laws Had To Do This So He Didn’t Out Himself
I’m absolutely convinced that this is not the case.  Firstly, he could simply have not claimed, he can certainly afford to and this would be the only way out for someone on the breadline living on benefits.  However, there must have been another solution, but none of these solutions would have seen him lining his partner’s pockets with £40,000.

Laws Was Saving Tax Payers Money
This is total and utter bunkum.  Laws was renting a room in Kennington from his partner for £950pcm.  In a 5 minute search I identified entire flats with gardens that were available for less, some of them even look quite nice such as this one: http://www.findaproperty.com/displayprop.aspx?edid=00&salerent=1&pid=721086 . So if this is his ideas of ‘saving money’ then there’s absolutely no way he is competent to hold the purse strings of the nation.

This Wasn’t Laws’ Partner
Well this would insinuate that a homosexual relationship is not equal to a straight one and is frankly offensive.

Economic Stability Depends On It
This ‘get out of jail free’ card has to be nipped in the bud right now.  Economic stability depends on having credible trustworthy people heading up the treasury, Laws’ behaviour has proven that he is neither.  Besides, I thought Vince Cable was the saviour?

And the one that the Liberals are turning to most: Well What About Labour?
So David Laws defrauds the tax payer of tens of thousand of pounds and what do the Liberals do?  Have a moan about Labour MPs.  How does £40,000 stand up next to Jacquie Smith’s £8 that it was claimed was spent by her husband which the Liberals were delirious about?  But their rhetoric has even included attacking the MPs receiving Legal Aid as a response.

What Liberals fail to understand is that many supporters of both Labour and the Conservatives were horrified by the expenses scandal. I was unable to campaign for Labour on principle for MPs that hadn’t even broken the rules, but had claimed second homes allowance even though they were representing London constituencies, and have praised Libs such as Sarah Teather, who didn’t claim second homes, and who even used public transport.  Many of us called for MPs to be deselected and Ministers to stand down.  I have yet to see a single Liberal do this for what is a massive abuse of the system and a breaking of the law.

The lesson the Liberals are going to have to learn is that being in government means being accountable, which is something they’ve had no experience of whilst heckling both sides.  Enjoy that accountability whilst it lasts.

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Filed under Activists, Cameron, ConDems, Conservatives, David Laws, Expenses, FibDems, Labour, Lib Dems, Liberals, Resign, Scandal

Before the election…

I wrote the following just before the election, but computer problems combined with quite a major night out led to me not getting round to posting it.  But here it is now, later than a Stoke City tackle, for you enjoyment.  Pass the Xanax.

————————————————————————————————-

A plea for Votes on Thursday

On Thursday Britain faces a vital choice about the type of society it wants to become in the future, each outcome offers a very different path, nearly every single one has it benefits and it pitfalls and nearly every one would provide some level of progress for our society, apart from one.

And unfortunately guys, we can’t hide from this anymore, we need to talk about this and get it out in the open so I’m just going to say it.  By Friday afternoon David Cameron could be the Prime Minister.

Does that scare the shit out of anyone else?

If David Cameron wins on Thursday we will take one firm step back into the past whilst also taking another firm step towards the worst parts of the US that we laugh about whilst watching Jon Stewart.  We’ll take a step into our own past where merit’s not important in getting ahead, but where you went to school and who your parents are is.  Where breaking a few windows as a teenager (sorry) will lead to criminalisation unless you can buy off the victim, such as an Oxford club owner.  Speaking of which, great idea for inner city gangs, just nick some tuxedos from Moss Bros and go on a rampage under the guise of the Bullingdon Club.

We’ll be heading towards a society where the wealthy need not contribute towards the betterment of society, towards investment in health, schools, education, policing because some nice people will come and do it in their spare time.  Maybe a street-talking priest will stop kids from committing crimes like in some shit-awful episode of The Equaliser.  Maybe a canny group of pensioners will do a nude calendar to raise funds for a rape crisis counselling centre. Maybe parents can club together to pay for vital repairs and for textbooks for schools like they fucking used to the last time this shower of selfish shite-hawks were in power, busy as they were saving a few quid for their buddies.

It’s like the entire policy has been based on some bollock-awful mash-up of 80s series that Cameron watched when he was growing up in between killing animals for fun.  “Maybe, if you have a problem, and you know how you can find them, and you can put up with a bunch of hyper-active socially backward twats doing all they can to constantly try and tell you how unhappy you are without God and that’s the only reason you drink, take drugs, like non-marital sex, like Star Wars too much and enjoy swearing, the Alphacourse-team can help you – if you’re not a dirty hell-bound gay of course”.

No, this return to the past isn’t some cosy night in with Claire Grogan and Stuart Maconie talking about Speak & Spell, this is fucking awful.  Swingeing cuts (where the fuck has ‘swingeing’ come from?) means benefits and jobs being cut.  This means people losing their homes. This means people without food on their table.  This means anger. This means a breakdown of our society.  One thing that Labour has managed is to make it through one of the biggest economic crises in history whilst keeping unemployment at a decent enough level (though awful for all that have lost their jobs) and avoiding social disruption.

Vote Tory on Thursday and it’ll be tatty-bye stability, hello inner city strife like those lovely nights in the 80s. It’s a vote for unemployment, it’s a vote for crime, and it’s a vote for social strife in our cities as this is what always happens under the Conservatives.

Still, at least there’ll be work for you in the countryside of a weekend if you fancy helping out on one of Dave’s friend’s hunts.  Big Society means we’ll see a return to the times when the police would work with community groups like the local hunt to assault and maim trouble makers like hunt protestors.  And besides, there’ll be plenty of work for you if you don’t want a living wage.

And then there’s Cameron’s move to turn Britain into the flyover states.  Who do you think will be running big society?  Normal bods like you or I? No, we’ll be too busy working.  We know who it’ll be, it’ll be busy bodies.  It’ll be right wing conservative Christian groups like Alphacourse and UKGC, the kind of groups who are ploughing cash into the Tories,  groups who influence the  IDS’s Nutter Policy Club, who claim to have influenced over 70 Conservative policies and who openly fund 37 Tory candidates.  It’ll be these homophobes, who want one type of family (not just for them, for everyone) that’ll be providing the Big Society.  It’ll be them arbitrarily choosing who should and should not get help based on their own beliefs, and who of the weakest they think will most likely fall prey to their overtures and sign up for their particular brand of God-squad.  What happens to the unfashionably afflicted? Who will look after the real undesirables?  Who will be running our schools and deciding what our kids should learn about sex or even evolution (oh yes, we’ll be having creationism in many more schools too)? It’ll be the type of fucking nutters that the Tories love rubbing shoulders with in Europe, that’s who.

A vote for Conservative on Thursday is a vote for allowing the weakest in our society to be left to these religious interest groups, it’s a vote for collection pots and leaking roofs, it’s a vote for a step back in time in education (and it’s much better now than it used to be) it’s a vote for those who can look after themselves.

The media’s already seen the future and is going Fox News style as well.  We’re already seeing it. We’re already seeing words like Liberal and Elitist being thrown around like insults whenever someone has the audacity to think that using religion as an excuse for homophobia is a bit, well, awful and cuntish.  We get told we’re an out of touch intelligentsia when we feel that stating ill-informed xenophobic bullshit is actually bigoted.  We may as well get Rush Limbaugh over here now and be done with it; at least he has the stones to say what he actually is.

A vote for Conservative on Thursday is a vote that will finally allow the ‘PC gone mad brigade’-brigade the keys to the engine room.  It’ll see freedom of religion take precedence over freedom from it (only for the nice European faiths of course) because every time we make progress towards a genuinely equal society the Tories fight tooth and nail to prevent it, in order to preserve ‘our’ ‘Christian’ cunting ‘values’.  Don’t believe me just look it up on http://www.mygayvote.com, 74% of Tory MPs voted against the equality act, the small-minded nasty pieces of shit that they are.

I’m genuinely worried about the result on Friday.  I’m genuinely worried that all the (admittedly slow) progress we have made towards a fairer society, a more equal, tolerant and more merit-based nation could literally go down the pan in 5 short years.  I’m worried about millions of unemployed, I’m worried about reactionary attitudes towards crime and the role of poverty in creating criminality seeing crime figures soar back to Thatcherite levels. I’m worried about my beautiful city, a wonderful diverse mixing pot which can so easily become a crucible under the right pressures.  I’m worried about the peace process, and entrepuenership in our country both going down the pan as Dave protects the interests of his chums.

So please, do whatever you can to prevent a Conservative victory, vote tactically if you have to but if you’re reading this and you agree with any of it, please I implore you, you have to vote on Thursday.  And if you don’t agree you’ll be delighted that the Conservatives have managed to secure a special voting privilege on Friday afternoon for Tory voters, just wait at home on Thursday and we’ll send you instructions.

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