The Plastic Hippo

October 29, 2010

Things that go bump in the night

Filed under: Education,Politics,Rights — theplastichippo @ 12:29 pm

As if we didn’t have enough to be scared of, Halloween is upon us. Forget the urchins banging on the door demanding confectionery with menaces, or the fact that an injury to an on loan defender seals the relegation of Walsall FC. Disregard the deficit, the certainty of an economic depression and the fact that the Chancellor of the Exchequer employs people to ensure he pays the minimum of tax. Ignore that the planet has become so scary that NASA are considering one-way tickets to Mars. Be afraid, be very afraid; Boris Johnson is too left wing for Vince Cable.

Bumbling Boz made the mistake of mentioning that he did not wish to see “Kosovo-style social cleansing” of poor people in inner cities due to the coalition government insisting on the capping of housing benefit. Within hours, after being given a stern talking too, Mr Mayor was back-tracking claiming to have been quoted out of context and Liberal Democrat business secretary, Vince Cable, described the words of Boz as “ludicrously inflammatory”. Vince never went to Eton, but his desire to fag for an old Etonian seems to have been fulfilled and why should he worry anyway? The pension of the former chief economist for Shell will have undoubtedly been boosted by a 50 per cent increase in the profits of the oil company that, allegedly, forced a Nigerian dictatorship to execute human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995. Nice one, Vince, but please put the Mr Muscle back in the cupboard, you are supposed to be the Liberal and Boris is supposed to be the Tory.

If Cable is Van Helsing this Halloween, then the Witch-finder General must surely be local government minister Eric Pickles. The champion of “transparency”, he is the guy who is demanding to see the receipts for anything over 500 quid that Mike Bird and his chums spend on our behalf. At the same time as cutting funding to local authorities, Eric is giving councils the “freedom” to borrow against future revenues to finance capital projects. Given the track record of Walsall council in mismanaging money, he will require a ouija board to contact the dearly departed pots of cash. Indeed, yer big man Pickles is so transparent that after he, or someone senior in his department, slagged off some unfortunate civil servant and then spent tax payers money on legal advice, refused to answer a Freedom of Information request to see the bill. West Bromwich MP Tom Watson, more than a match for Pickles in terms of a pie eating contest judging by the size of him, wants to know if Eric is so transparently ghost-like that he needs to be covered in a sheet if he is to be observed walking through walls.

The ghostly apparition of Little Michael Gove would be advised not to emulate the choice of Harrogate Conservative leader Mike Gardner if he decides to attend a Halloween fancy dress party. He should leave the Hitler costume in the wardrobe and stick to dressing like Dobby the House Elf. Gove`s latest haunting involves awarding a half million pound contract to the New Schools Network to offer “impartial” advice to the New Schools Network. No other bids were sought and the tender was not advertised. Free schools will not work and no amount of Scoobie snacks will tempt Shaggy and Scoobie Doo into that tree-house of horror. The new quango is run by a former familiar of Little Michael. Kerching!

Cobbled together policies on education and welfare reform with no meaningful plan for implementation are the result of a coalition based on a lust for power and the ideology of the dark side. Against the constant, background drone of “fairness” and inherited catastrophe, the absence of a plan is becoming evident. The cut in child benefit to higher earners intended to prove that “we are all in this together” is, according to HMRC, “unenforceable”. This has sent the Treasury into melt-down and we hear talk of form-filling, fines and a sinister new database to force through this nonsense using new bureaucracy that will cost more than any possible savings.

The coalition government tells us that we can no longer afford “wasteful quangos” such as the Youth Justice Board, the Audit Commission and the Health Protection Agency. After cancelling the building of new schools and cutting the education budget, it is discovered that a secret quango has been set up to promote the political ideology of “free” schools that will divide communities along political, ethnic and religious lines. If that isn’t frightening enough, higher education will only be available for the rich.

As policies without a plan continue to unravel, Dark Lord Dave and Nearly Spineless Nick and the other long-legged beasties seem to be making it up as they go along. At Halloween, perhaps the offer of a one-way ticket to Mars is the way forward.

In space, no one can hear you scream.

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