The Aged P

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You must be having a laugh, Mr Milliband…..

posted by david in UK Politics and have Comments Off on You must be having a laugh, Mr Milliband…..

Charities Need New Angles To Maintain Their Staff’s Comfortable Lifestyle As Donations Fall…

Whoops…..a tear jerking, guilt inducing campaign about child poverty in the UK that recently blasted forth from the hallowed temples of the charity Save The Children (STC) has backfired in spectacular fashion.

Breathlessly trumpeted by the BBC the STC core message was brazenly blatant – there are all these children living in poverty in the UK and the government needs to pay more to their families in benefits. Therefore the cuts in government spending introduced by the coalition not only need to be abandoned but reversed – otherwise lots of children will starve….

Oh dear – grab a tissue, reach for that credit card and send a generous donation to STC…..then contact the media and your MP demanding an immediate increase in the welfare budget.

Except – all is not as it seems in the world of charity campaigns.

The statistics are a tad dodgy

The gut wrenching video used actors

Justin Forsyth, the boss of STC, was a Labour spin doctor for Gordon Brown whose policy of throwing money at low income families did nothing to resolve the problem – and before then he was Tony Blair’s Special Adviser on poverty, climate change and trade. So hardly a political neutral…..

Forsyth, who earns £162,000 per annum as Save The Children’s CEO, is very much one of those people identified by UKIP’s Nigel Farage as our new ruling class. Before his job with the Blair/Brown Labour government he spent thirteen years working for Oxfam. He is therefore a classic product of the charity/campaign industry with little or no experience of wealth creation.

Make no mistake about it, there are a lot of people who now earn their living by working for charities and the salaries, especially at the upper levels, are the gateway to an extremely comfortable lifestyle. But the recession has forced these charities into an unseemly competition for a shrinking market so, like toothpaste manufacturers or lager brewers they need to indulge in a little re-branding to attract attention, something which can catch the eye on a slow news day…

Hence STC came up with the idea of starving UK children – it’s a new angle on an old idea. Of course some could say they have their heart in the right place and this old cynic might grant them that. But I can’t help thinking that it also has a lot to do with keeping Mr Forsyth and his STC colleagues in the style to which they have been accustomed…

After all, the CEO’s £162,000 has to come from somewhere…..

posted by david in Charities and have Comments Off on Charities Need New Angles To Maintain Their Staff’s Comfortable Lifestyle As Donations Fall…

Having Successfully Destroyed John Major In The Years Leading Up To 1997 Is The Daily Telegraph Beginning To Have Regrets?

A belated and timely reassessment of John Major’s premiership from Peter Oborne at the Daily Telegraph.

His administration has enjoyed a terrible reputation and remains associated with sleaze, incompetence, drift and weakness. But as time has passed this verdict has started to look unfair. History may yet be much kinder to John Major than many would have thought.

Yet a closer look at the facts (those oh so inconvenient nuggets of truth that undermine the seductive charm of wishful thinking) Major’s government had a good record of solid achievement in Northern Ireland, public service reform, education and pensions. The benefits of the Maastricht monetary union opt out, though widely derided at the time by the great and the good from the left have kept us out of the current Euro quicksand. Above all, after the (admittedly self inflicted) trauma of Black Wednesday in 1992, within five years the economy had been turned around.

By 1997 employment was rising, growth stable, and the deficit was well under control, meaning that Gordon Brown as chancellor inherited the most benign economic scenario for any British government of the last century. The situation was so fundamentally strong that it took three successive Labour administrations to wreck it.

But at the time, as Oborne guiltily admits, he and his fellow journalists waged an unrelenting campaign of contemptuous denigration against Major.

Yet during the later stages of his premiership, Major was treated with almost universal, vicious derision. Calumny after calumny was heaped upon him, and though this campaign of laceration was led in Parliament by Blair’s brilliant New Labour opposition, the newspapers were all too happy to join in.

His humble origins were viciously mocked. His ordinary, untheatrical bank manager demeanour was constantly compared unfavourably with the flashy showmanship of Tony Blair’s car salesman – and the charge was orchestrated, not so much from the natural enemies of the right at the BBC and Guardian but from that so called bastion of conservatism at the Daily Telegraph. Day in, day out vicious barbs were penned by the likes of Simon Heffer and Boris Johnson (yes, that Boris) deliberately aimed at undermining Major and preparing the way for their chosen messiah….Michael Portillo….

Don’t laugh – the saviour of the Tories was going to be a shallow, etch-a-sketch glamour boy, a trimmer who played to whichever gallery was making the most noise. Somehow (only the gods know why) the Telegraph fell madly in love with Portillo and so successfully tarnished Major’s reputation that in 1997 Labour swept back to power with a massive majority of parliamentary seats. Hundreds of Tories failed to win their constituencies – including (to the laughter of the gods) Portillo, the Telegraph’s “man of destiny”

By the way, this month, twenty years ago, saw the last Tory victory in a General Election. Against the prophesies of the pundits and the prognostications of the pollsters John Major was returned to Downing Street.

Right up to the BBC exit polls, it was assumed that Neil Kinnock’s Labour would win. But John Major, always underestimated by a sneering metropolitan media class, triumphed against the odds.
He won more votes – 14 million – than any other British prime minister has ever done. In popular terms, the margin of victory was immense. No less than 42 per cent of the voters came out for Major, 34 per cent for Kinnock. But the bias of the British electoral system hit the Conservatives hard.
Had Labour enjoyed that 8 per cent lead in the popular vote, it would have secured a parliamentary majority of more than 100. Unlucky Major ended up with a majority of just 21, which was whittled away over the coming years until his government ended in ignominy and defeat

That’s right – the disdained John Major managed to achieve something that has eluded David Cameron (AKA Michael Portillo Mk II)….a decisive Tory victory in terms of popular voter support…

…and, partially thanks to the Daily Telegraph it might possibly be the last…..

posted by david in UK Politics and have Comments Off on Having Successfully Destroyed John Major In The Years Leading Up To 1997 Is The Daily Telegraph Beginning To Have Regrets?

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