London Election results

The Brockley News 24 ticker updates in real time. 

Boris is Mayor again and Labour's decision to select Ken as their candidate cost them the Mayoralty, as it was bound to.

Len Duvall (Labour) has been returned as the London Assembly Constituency Member for Greenwich and Lewisham. 

Brockley's Darren Johnson (Greens) has been elected as a London-wide Assembly Member.

Labour is the biggest party in the Assembly, with 12 Members.

All the results here.

Thanks to @swheat25 who sent us the photo via @brockleycentral

118 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boris won - a decent result. The right candidate won but with just enough interest for the other side to prompt a diversity of opinion for the next 4 years.

I'm personally glad the "keep people in jobs and cut fares" years are over - we need proper improvement, not protectionism.

Whilst he didn't start the bike scheme, I hope that Boris continues to finish it, by putting a bike stand most places within the M25. That's a bigger commitment to green issues than the mungs could ever think up.

Shame about the local results but then you can't have everything.

Onwards, Real Brockley!

James Hawthorne said...

"Shame about the local results but then you can't have everything"

... Not just the local results you should be miffed about mate. I wouldn't call losing over 400 council seats 'having everything'!

Ken ran it closer than a lot of commentators gave him credit. He is and always will be a colossus in the history of this city.

Anonymous said...

Totally. His congestion charge will live on in the wallets of many.

TC said...

Absolutely Ken is History.

Could Labour have won it with David Milliband standing I wonder?

I guess we will never know now.

I am with Lou on his analysis of Liberal voters - on the other thread - I don't know what they expected either from a coalition.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I just don't think the British public understands politics enough to vote well. Giving everyone the vote is a double edged sword...

Michael said...

How can anyone be celebrating after we just elected a bumbling moron to City Hall for another four years? Boris is a walking joke and London will only suffer as a result. Unfortunately for us all, the Evening Standard will selectively report on his so-called 'successes' and leave the ignorant majority to believe he's actually doing a good job.

Anonymous said...

Boris is an excellent mayor - this is democracy in action.

It's great seeing the mungs faces this morning though.

Doris said...

Boris was a disaster for cycling, he halved funding for the London Cycle Network, did nothing about the rise in cycling deaths, abolished the higher congestion charge for Chelsea Tractors etc etc

I guess we have the great cycle superhighways..

Anonymous said...

And Boris cycles everywhere.

Ian on the Hill said...

Usual anonymous troll activity I see.
Ken was a ginat in his day, but that day passed a while back.
Pity we couldn't have fielded Oona King, who is imminently electable.

There was a huge problem, even those I knew who voted Labour (well, that would be everyone I know) said they had to hold their nose while doing it.

The big unresolved problem in part politics is that past Labour supporters still don't have a party they feel good voting for and are, effectively disenfranchised.

Milliband has failed to rejuvenate the party and it's still just an etiolated and wan version of it's pre-New Labour self.

It was virtually forced to field Ken because it no longer has leading figures who look to be anything better than middle managers in good suits who've had charisma and conscience by-passes.

Anonymous said...

Did nothing for cycling deaths? What about taking the entire fleet of bendies off the roads to be replaced by cool green hybrids?

Anyone who uses the phrase "chelsea tractors" immediately loses the argument through their lack of grasp of any sort of issue.

I'll ride my boris bike with glee, thanks.

Ian on the Hill said...

I'd like to say I meant Ken was a giant. A ginat is, of course, a kind of newt.

Monkeyboy said...

John Cruddas needs to be talked into standing.

Looks at the results, London is liberal left. It's more so now than it was during his first term. A different candidate, almost any other, would have walked it. Ken could be arrogant and crass but he faced down central government to get the investment and was proved right about some of their London decisions. Boris made a show of standing up to Dave, it was just that, a show.

So long ken, every time I get on a bus I'll remember it was you that rescued them as a viable way of getting around. Boris, loved you on HIGNFY, embarrassed by you as mayor.

P Horse said...

Where is the graffiti?

I hate that about this area. What a dump.

Anonymous said...

With Ken we'd get a fares cut along with a service cut, a maintenance cut and an increase in Bob Crow. I can see why some would welcome that...

Acolddish said...

I voted for Boris.

I once some years back sat on a board that squandered millions on its directors' pet projects - all of them friends of Ken's.

When I complained about this, I got kicked off the board.

So, Ken, how does it feel? Enjoy the gardening, and watch out for thorns.

Monkeyboy said...

With ken (actually labour) we got the start of a service increase and a massive upgrade programme. Boris will be here as they come on stream as will future mayors. To say either were entirely responsible is misleading, of the two ken had a better grasp of how to run the one portfolio that a mayor has real influence over. Boris cancelled the tram upgrades, introduced a novelty bus, hiked bus fares while giving us smaller busses. Bargain.

Not seen any real difference in eithers relationship with the RMT, they hate everyone equally. Actually the reason why things were less fractious last time is largley to do with the American Tim O'Toole, a brilliant head of LU and a Ken appointment. ken booted out the old LU management almost as soon as he got in. Doesn't really fit the stereotypical image does it?

The head of TfL is the same as was under ken, The "driverless" trains have been bubbling under for a while. Boris didn't invent the concept. He really is all front. But wot a larff!!

Anonymous said...

Would the mungs be calling the New Bus for London a 'Novelty Bus' if it had been introduced by Ken? I mean it's a hybrid, is safer for cyclists, is more "accessible"... seems to bear all their hallmarks which leads me to believe that the so-called free thinking mungs are all about personality and not policy...

Monkeyboy said...

I would, again. Ken had low emission busses before boris. Bendies were accessible, no stairs for a start. In fact most of the buss fleet is accessible. The boris bus is ok if you think London is a theme park and needs a faux route master. It may turn out to be perfectly functional but at that price? Why not just buy an off the shelf bus? Because it's not cute.

Anonymous said...

The Mayor that gets the tube anything close to solutions used in America or France will get my vote. Who's gonna have the balls to do that?

And no "It can't be done" - as it clearly can.

Kolp said...

Give it a rest with this mung nonsense. I didn't support Boris because even as his friends acknowledge, he doesn't do things properly and I want better for London.

I think there is a flaw with the whole mayoral concept. I went for Benita because of her pragmatism and her ability to get things done in a logical and rational way.

The mechanics of politics isn't sexy it's boring, laborious requires attention to detail, otherwise you get the shambles we see with Thereasa May & Qatada, the various tax fiascos. In an age where there aren't big ideas nor true leaders we may as well go for managers.

We will see how Boris manages our city.

Miss L said...

This is not "democracy in action" at all. Only 1 in 6 Londoners eligible to vote did so, and most of those voted for someone other than Boris.

Listening to the speeches last night, it was so glaringly obvious that Boris is full of shit while the others gave credible, moving speeches without resorting to jokes.

Anonymous said...

Most voted for someone other than Boris?

True on the first count - thats why we had an alternative vote. As it stood, Boris had a slightly larger, broader, coalition of support for him than any other candidate did.

Monkeyboy said...

Not "mayor" "mayors" it will take more than one four year term to get to where we need to get too. The jubilee upgrade started three or so terms ago. You have to hope that the various mayors don't tinker too much, although when your spending that much public money it's perfectly reasonable to have a look. Infrastructure projects are both blessed and cursed with political influence.

Anonymous said...

was this the graffiti artist monstris?

Anonymous said...

I see Lewisham and Greenwich Pointless before Profit (except estate agency and cafes) did well in dividing the left again...how wonderfully pointless.

Anonymous said...

Talking of profits, have that lot published accounts for the rents they are collecting and where the money is going.

Anonymous said...

Should they? The new obsession with leaders incomes seems misguided at best.

Anonymous said...

Labour voters do not vote for real policies but for their personal ideals. They also have this crazy idea that the government has endless supply of money that should be spent on them first and then on everybody else ( which by the way is not very nice or socialist). I am also convinced that they would hate to live in real socialisam where there is no such thing as milking wealthy ( as there are no rich) so they would actually have to work, be happy to take what they are given and just shut up.

Anonymous said...

Acolddish said...

I voted for Boris.

I once some years back sat on a board that squandered millions on its directors' pet projects - all of them friends of Ken's.

When I complained about this, I got kicked off the board.

So, Ken, how does it feel? Enjoy the gardening, and watch out for thorns.

Response to Acolddish 13.32

Hey, I think I was on that Board too but seem to remember you were kicked off for being incompetent, like your friend Boris.

Acolddish said...

No,"Response to a colddish", you are an example of what we have all become: cynical snipers. Passing off pretend experiences, while the only contribution to the debate is, actually... nothing-ness. Nothing comes of nothing, Nuncle.

Great contribution.

kay.johnston7 said...

Poor turn-out in Lewisham on the whole, a number of people saying they could not be bothered. So Boris back in - the same man who got rid of the bendy buses, made 800 redundant just before Christmas, then realised in January that he needed 300 more people to work on London transport. Lethargy won't get another Labour candidate for Mayor in a hurry.

Anonymous said...

Getting rid of bendy buses was one of the best things Boris ever did as they were dangerous for cyclists but cancelling the congestion charge zone in the West was my favourite. Who on Earth is Ken Livingstone to introduce congestion charge zone anyway!? A king of London. People should be educated and incentivised and not penalised. A dictatorship! Ken Mao Livingstone!

Brockley Nick said...

God, I'm indifferent between Boris and Ken vintage 2012, but the Boris backers really are boorish dimwits.

Anonymous said...

On what do you base such insightful analysis Nick?

Anonymous said...

Sour grapes

Brockley Nick said...

"On what do you base such insightful analysis Nick?"

On what you say.

Anonymous said...

So the argument is going so well for you that you have just resorted to calling me names!:)

Brockley Nick said...

I'm not arguing with you

Anonymous said...

Acolddish said...

No,"Response to a colddish", you are an example of what we have all become: cynical snipers. Passing off pretend experiences, while the only contribution to the debate is, actually... nothing-ness. Nothing comes of nothing, Nuncle.

Great contribution.
response to Acoldfish

Ahh, just as I as remember you, a sad little Nuncle

Anonymous said...

@Kay Johnston,

Oh really, what nonesense.

Look at the figures for Lewisham, Labour could have put up a carboard cut and it would have won.

Ken & Len Duvall romped home in this borough.

Why the assumption those who stayed at home would all have voted for Ken?

Surely there are Conservaties who don't want any truck with the Lib Dems and likely abstain in local elections as a protest to their leader or vote UKIP?

Monkeyboy said...

"Who was ken to introduce the congeston charge"

The candidate who said he would introduce a congestion charge in his manifesto. People voted for him, He won and introduced the congestion charge.

Am I missing a something?

Anonymous said...

Yes, he actually said he was going to sort out congestion. No mention about the charge. So I voted for him then. He deceived his voters.

Anonymous said...

Ken hinged his whole campaign on a dishonest fare decrease which hardly anyone seemed to really want.

Good on all Brockley Boris voters!

Anonymous said...

So some little lazy lout doesn't agree with the wishes of the majority, so it's graffiti time... with spelling mistake. Says it all really...

Aricana said...

The graffiti sums up how the rest of us feel. It won't be there forever as the fence will come down sooner or later.

Anonymous said...

He doesn't speak for me.

Fight for your right to par-Tay said...

He does for me.... Democracy does not mean agreeing or not voicing your opinion against the majority. You can accept the result but make a noise, it's healthy. Even a bit of graffiti is nothing to hyperventilate about. Show me a country with an obedient population and I'll show you north Korea, or worse. Switzerland.

Anonymous said...

Have the Boris lovers thought about moving out to say Bromley or Bexley to be with their our own kind? They'd fit in so well and be so much happier in suburbia land, with a Tory Council and Assembly Member, why they'd probably even get their own parking place too.

Anonymous said...

What do you mean "with their own kind"? Boris got loads of votes in Lewisham and Greenwich.

I get the feeling that now the faddy years are over, the mungs find themselves up against the wall.

Anonymous said...

What the heck were the 'faddy years'? And proud to be a Mung if that's shorthand for anti-Tory. XX

Welcome to 2012 said...

The guy who calls everyone a mung turns out to be a BNP supporter, so yes, you can wear the term as a badge of pride.

mmmmmmmmmmmung said...

You don't have to be a mung to know Boris is a twat, but it helps.

Anonymous said...

Hurrah, French Mungs get rid of Sarkozy!!

Anonymous said...

Everyone's vote really does count these days doesn't it!

UK, US, France elections all been really tight. One of the council elections earlier in the week had a majority of 1 vote. One extra person who could've been arsed could've swung that the other way! Or maybe two...

Mungs probably wouldn't enjoy real socialism - there'd be no taxing the rich as there'd be no rich to speak of.

Lou Baker said...

One by one the governments responsible for Europe's economic catastrophe are falling. Greece and France have gone today.

Ours went in 2010.

Have those who voted Labour this time forgotten that Miliband and Balls were complicit in inflicting years of recession on this country? They were cheerleaders for Gordon Brown - who, frankly, should be jailed for incompetence.

Mr Cameron, Mr Clegg - carry on trying to get us back on course. The sensible ones among us know you have taken control of the stricken ship United Kingdom and are doing all you can to stop it sinking. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

The economy is doing so well under wise old Osborne who is totally not out of his depth.

Anonymous said...

Anon 16:33. Have Ken lovers thought about selling their now expensive Brockley houses and go living on a council estate so they can fully embrace their socialist ideals?

Lou Baker said...

No Chancellor could have got out this economic disaster unscathed. Labour caused the debt crisis. Ed Balls solution to the debt crisis is to borrow more. Madness.

Credit card maxed? See a loan shark.

The road ahead will not be smooth. But at least we're on the right road.

Anonymous said...

"One by one the governments responsible for Europe's economic catastrophe are falling. Greece and France have gone today."

Yep France voted in sarcozy a few years back, he promised to be more like the uk and US.. He's now been rejected for a man who is promising less austerity and more state intervention, a plan for growth. you may want to check your facts.

Anonymous said...

"credit card maxed" no it isn't, that's economic iliteracy.

Also, I'm sure you were advocating infrastructure investment? What with? Borrowing.

Anonymous said...

...and while I'm here. Yes both candidates got loads of votes everywhere. They are both mainstream parties unlike the swivel eyed BNP. Your point being?

Anonymous said...

There is no much Osbourne can do with a huge debt they inherited in times when global economy is literally melting. It is quite frankly a miracle that they managed to maintain our AAA rating and low interest rates. If you Labour voters think that things would be different if Labour are in power you are delusional. They would keep all the cuts Tory did and would obviously and conveniently blame them for it. The further cuts would also need to be made. However the moment the Labour comes into the power our national debt interest rate would go through the roof as the markets do not believe their ability to pay off the debt(because Labour only believe in spend, spend, spend) so we would instantly found ourselves in Greece's shoes and you lot would be out on the streets protesting against the same Labour government you just elected!

Anonymous said...

Yep, it was a global phenomena. Neocon US, labour UK, deregulated markets. BOTH parties signed up for that so lets not pretend that there was a yawning ideological gap between the two big parties. They both supported the bailout, they both proposed cuts. The speed and depth of cuts is the only variable. Why is there this amnesia about the Tory attitude to the city, hedge funds and light touch regulation? They wanted LESS regulation.

Truth is the whole world went nuts and labour share the blame but the the idea that the Tories wouldn't have ridden the bubble is laughable. A small island off the coast of the European mainland did not sink lehmans.

Anonymous said...

As far as I remember de- regulating markets was Gordon Brown's mastermind. Also in 1997 when Labour came into power UK books were actualy in balance so if Labour did not spend like lunatics during the boom, present government would have more options.

Anonymous said...

Yes, that's my point. Labour followed the consensus at the time. Deregulate, release the dynamism of the city. They did that to show they were "on the side of bussiness" as we're the Tories. Do you really think the toes would have clamped done on the likes of RBS? Thatcherism was all about the market, something sure trickled down but it certainly wasn't golden eggs. We're now paying the financial systems debts, the banks are more socialist than your local chippy.

Anonymous said...

If I'm not mistaken in April 2006 about £20 a year was added to Council Tax bills to help fund the Olympics.

This additional amount was due to be collected for 6 years.

Which means our Council Tax bills should have dropped by £30 from April?

Anonymous said...

Blame wasteful Lewisham for high council tax prices. It's about double what it is in Wandsworth and for what... some wheelie bins? Useless people behind the desk when you need help with something?

Lou Baker said...

@anon

MORE regulation does not mean better regulation.

The problem with extreme lefties is that they believe more is always better. They're wrong.

As are the right wing nutjobs who think less is always best.

There is a happy medium. Labour got it woefully wrong. As did Sarko - a righty - in France.

Labour - specifically Gordon Brown - caused our problems. We must not forget that.

Anonymous said...

I do get what you are saying Anon 22:26. However when they mention the government debt of 1 trillion it is I believe exclusive of the bank debt. It is the monies that Labour splashed like crazy on everything and anything and really not making any lasting improvements. So the bottom line is-I do not trust them for the time being, not the same set of people, not until we are out of the woods. I believe that present Tory government is currently just better bet. As for the banks actually I would not count that as a " real" debt, we are just cash collateralising them while they are re-capitalising just as we speak.

Anonymous said...

response to Anon 21:34

Thanks, but I'm very comfortable here amongst the Mung majority. And I can support my principles of greater equality and social justice without having to up sticks. I just don't think you lot are very happy living around here with your regressive views. So I genuinely suggest you do the right thing and get yourselves off to the Tory suburbs.

Anonymous said...

I am afraid you answer sounds so bourgeois . A living room socialist. How about giving from yourselves to less fortunate, sharing their pain. You know true socialists and revolutionaries start from theirselves first, show by their example. Learn what life is all about - then preach.

Anonymous said...

Lou, your obsessed with the "extreme lefty" bogey man. Gordo and TB were not "extreme left" or old school socialists. They have plenty of blame but stop with the silly labels. Do you set traps for the reds under the beds? Just because some, and there are plenty of perfectly rational econonomists, want to have less austerity and more growth strategies does not make them neo-Stalinists. The Tories were not asking for smarter regulation, they were asking for less, the city was asking for less, Gordon gave them less. He was to blame, the Tories would have done the same, perhaps more. The spending was affordable while the bubble lasted. When Alistair Darling said that things had to change as the situation was massively dangerous GB went nuts! The torys and the the bone headed tabloids asked for his head for talking down the economy. Darling was right.

It's far from as straightforward as you like to think. The last government was not full of trotskyists, that's a fantasy.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:43

I do not think it is fair to try to lay a part of the blame on Tory's doorstep for the present economic crisis just because last Labour government was more right than usual and because they pursued Tory's idea of less regulation. First of all in 1997 when Labour came into power UK books were in balance thanks to Tory. Tory paid heavy price for bringing the economy in good shape. They did a lot of unpopular things and consequently permanently lost a lot of voters. Less
regulation is good, less admin is good. Efficiency and less bureaucracy is essential to compete in the global
markets. Let's not pretend that financial services are not major income generator for this country. But that was
not a problem. The problem was a bad execution of de-
regulation. De- regulation does not mean getting away
with a murder but getting rid of unnecessary bureaucracy and keeping tags on things that are important. I dare to think that Tory would have done better job of it.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, we'll never know I guess. The shift toward laze fair (or however you spell it) started 30+ years ago. We're living with the consequences, it's a failure of politics. It's not just "evil bankers" (they make money for the bricklayers pension fund) or feckless state (who provide a checks and balances to allow capitalism to work) it was a classic bubble that all sides were afraid to criticise. Why would anyone question the magic money tree. More like Ireland, that what Osbourne wanted, more like Iceland, that's what salmond asked for. Left/right, all we're seduced.

Anonymous said...

...oh, and Iceland are prosecuting people for what amounts to fraud.chow are we doing in the worlds leading financial centre? Bailout, which had to happen but no real sanction for those responsible. A few politicians lost their jobs, some city gus retired. None are in the dock.

LLCJ said...

Gordon Brown freed the City to do as they damn pleased.

This deregulation was also the right wing's wet dream. No one complained when the economy was booming with debt finances in the 00's. Same thing happened in Ireland and USA.

Everyone in charge including Brown, Bank of England, heads of all the top banks etc should have been lined up and shot.

Tamsin said...

Laissez faire for future reference - although fair laze sums it up pretty well too.

Reading the recent comments I thought "Iceland" - shop? Fraud? How one forgets!

Going back to a much earlier question I raised on another thread - local mayoral elections. Someone said that those arguing against in other cities were citing Lewisham as a reason why not. Can I repeat my request for the links on that?

Anonymous said...

Next time there's a boom and we're all doing very nicely thank you, which one of the above posters will lead the charge in stopping it?

Many Brockley Mungos, pre-recession, had 2nd homes they rented out.

Anonymous said...

Next time there's a boom and we're all doing very nicely thank you, which one of the above posters will lead the charge in stopping it?

Many Brockley Mungos, pre-recession, had 2nd homes they rented out.

LLCJ said...

The previous boom was lead by a defective debt driven model. Hopefully this will not happen again in our lifetimes.

The liberal economic policy was a failure. Time for more regulation, more rules more government policy and more laws.

Individuals and banks are just too damn greedy to be trusted again. They fucked up the country and are now sitting pretty with their millions.

L said...

*and yes some Brockley Mungos did very well on the property wave.

Anonymous said...

yes, lots of people did well on the property wave. rich, not so rich, the lucky, ex council tenants. plenty crashed and burned including some of the above. now please leave this to the grown ups.

Jay said...

Learn to type like a grown up first tough guy before you throw insults.

Anonymous said...

response to Anon 0:00

I didn't think I was preaching just making a suggestion to those Tories who plainly find life in liberal Brockley too difficult. Apologies for sounding bourgeois, I'm not. I live by my principles, not just through charity as you suggest but also trying to progress socialist principles and lobbying for changes to Gvt policies.

Anonymous said...

Brockley is about as liberal as Col. Gaddafi - it's just full of dishonest fare.

Brockley Nick said...

That doesn't actually mean anything.

NAT said...

Interesting take on the French and Greek results from Mr.Baker (6th of May 20:29)

The concensual view, (included there is that of The Daily Mail), is that the outcome was a rejection of austerity programmes.

Our correspondant, quite uniquely finds support in these results for the opposite case.

Just quoting from memory didn't Hollande use words to the effect that 'you are voting for two candidates but you can't express an opinion on the most powerful candidate, the markets.'

kolp said...

Siobhan Benita has announced that she will stand as a candidate in the 2016 Mayoral elections.

I hope that with the goodwill the 2012 campaign has generated that she'll make the breakthrough and get proper airtime to advance her ideas for making London even better.

NAT said...

Kolp, if Siobhain had but a Kolp in every Ward....

Anonymous said...

Yes, will you shut up about her?

kolp said...

Yes, she needs a lot more people like me who gave her a first preference vote. Siobhan received 212,000 second preference votes (84k first pref). That is phenomenal based on a 4 month campaign.

I was really hoping she could have taken Paddick. I hope Libs field him again but there's more chance of Labour fielding Ken!

Some fine tuning of policies, and lots of profile raising activities over the next 4 years will hopefully convert a large portion of the 2nd prefs to first.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 7 May 2012 16:10

Tories don't find life in Brockley difficult, just disappointing: because it could be so much better.

Socialist principles have failed and will continue to fail because, fundamentally, they just don't work.

So come and join the Boris revolution.

Lou Baker said...

@NAT

The governments that have fallen - Greece, France, Italy, Spain - are the ones behind the economic catastrophe. They were forced to adopt austerity measures because they screwed up. And of course the public will reject austerity. People recognise that things need to be cut - but most are far too selfish to accept cuts that affect them.

Look at public sector workers here - whining like crazy over perfectly reasonable plans to make them work a bit longer and to contribute slightly more towards their own pensions to compensate for the fact that we're all living longer. Selfishness kicks in and you get months of strikes.

In this country we have not had an 'austerity' general election. We rejected Labour the party that brought us the economic catastrophe before austerity measure were brought in. If the coalition does survive until 2015 we probably won't have an austerity election either as the economy will be growing by then.

So the anti-austerity brigade will have to content themselves with kicking out a few Tory and Lib Dem councillors instead. (Oh, and complaining about pensions, cutting child benefit to the rich, closing loopholes to stop the super-rich avoid tax by donating to charity and capping housing benefit at £2000 per month).

Tamsin said...

I think that on the one hand expecting charities to take up the slack in public spending - Big Society and all that - and on the other making it harder for the super rich to donate millions is a rather mistaken policy. Society at large loses more than it gains.

With unlimited donations the money was still being spent on the public good - so what if it was the donor rather than faceless civil servants deciding just where it should be spent.

Anonymous said...

I hate people who say "brigade" brigade.

Anonymous said...

If the type of austerity being applied was working there wouldn't be a problem. Austerity plus the resurgence of private investment and growth was the deal. We've had essentially zero growth, that's the problem. Both parties were advocating cuts so it's simply not true to say that they were at opposite ends of the spectrum. You keep saying it was all about spending too much, well yes but the money kept on coming from a financial system no one (from any party) challenged. The sub prime collapse in the united states did not happen because of child benefit in Luton. Your argument is distorted by this weird obsession with the public sector as if abolishing the civil service would magically herald a new dawn. The financial system collapsed, that was the single biggest factor. Not public spending. The question is, how do we turn it around. Osbourne was going to wipe the deficit in one term, how's that looking? Please tell us that the credit card is maxed out, you like regurgitating the sound bites fed to the media. Not true of course, the BoE has printed more cash and given it to the banks to lend, how's that going? Theyre hanging onto it to strengthen their balance sheets because they lent too freely, recklessly and possibly criminally. Damn those single mums!

Lou Baker said...

@anon

The Bank of England is independent of government. I agree its quantitative easing programme has failed. Better to print money and give it to taxpayers who'll spend it - stimulating the economy - than to banks who'll save it.

But otherwise your analysis us flawed. The US sub-prime mortgage crisis exposed the problem of people and governments borrowing - (or being leant) - more than they can afford. But it's the same problem everywhere.

And it boils down to expectation. For years we have been able to borrow excessively - which has masked the true cost of living. We've all had a nasty shock and we need to lower our expectations. Our money doesn't go so far, government money doesn't go as far. We need to expect less.

Ed Balls will tell you not to expect less. He'll tell you someone else will pay more. But then he complains about loopholes being closed to prevent the super-wealthy avoiding tax by donating to charity. Incidentally, I couldn't disagree more with Tamsin - who has come out firmly on the side of super wealthy tax avoiders.

If I were Prime Minister (or should I say when?) I would make some different choices. I'd slash the military budget. I'd close down loopholes that companies use to avoid tax. I'd axe free healthcare for smokers - and binge drinkers would be charged for the problems they cause. Prisoners would be set to work.

But I'd also tackle benefits. Council housing would be temporary accommodation for those who need it while they need it. It would not be a place for life. A £2000 per month cap on housing benefit is more than fair. If you have to move, so be it.

Single parents would be provided with fully subsidised childcare from age 3 upwards - but they would be expected to work at least part time to receive this.

Child benefit would be paid in vouchers which could only be spent on authorised products for children. This is to stop it being wasted on booze and fags or the horses.

Work experience would be compulsory for all unemployed under 25's who wish to claim benefit.

Prisoners would serve terms according to attainment rather than just length. In other words a judge could say you're in prison until you pass 3 GCSE's at grade C or above - including English and Maths. Or until
you have trained as a plumber. Etc.

There needs to be a system there to help people who really need it. But it must help them. Which is not what happens now. All too often people get trapped in the system. They can't get out of it. That is partly their fault, but mainly the system's fault. I think it needs radical change so it genuinely helps people move on and up. You appear to want it just to fling them a few extra quid every so often.

Tamsin said...

Totally agree on prisoners working (although I probably would not go so far as what I hear about the US system) and being given incentives useful education and vocational qualifications.

Would go further and say that the same could be done with the army when they are in falling down barracks at home. From Roman times the standing army has been used for Civil engineering works by any sensible society. At least soldiers not on active service could be taught building skills (to bring out into employment other than "security services" when they leave the army) and deployed on bringing the barracks, etc. etc. up to scratch rather than the military wringing its hands that they have not the funds to employ external contractors.

Ben said...

Time to bring back Mr Keynes, borrow the money now and build the mass infrastructure needed for tomorrow. This would create thousands of quality jobs and kick start the economy across the country. It worked during the last great depression and god knows we need more roads, rail lines, house, airports, ports, fibre optic lines, renewable power etc etc.

There should be more to a recession budget than slashing benefits and giving tax breaks.

Austerity on its own will not work, there needs to be stimulus other than giving banks cheap money they sit on.

Anonymous said...

Well, actually austerity is working. We are enjoying a low interest rates although we have massive 1 trillion pounds debt. Austerity seems to be what markets want at the moment. And Osbourne is listening. Small deviation in interest rate when you are talking such massive numbers would tip us over the edge.
Once when we start repaying and eventually repay some of the debt the government will be able to borrow again to stimulate growth. So basically borowing is not an optio and Labour leaders blatantly lie when they say so. Bank of England actually lends the money to the banks because it is the only way it can inject money in the system. Printing too much money is not an option as it devalues currency and can lead to hyper- inflation. Making UK attractive for foreign investment is one of the ways to go but currently nobody is investing because it is crisis anywhere. Osbourne did not promise to wipe out 1 billion pound debt in one term that is quite frankly a ridiculous statement. I am hearing this Labour mantra about how they are going to create growth so I checked on their website no mention how ,most likely
from a thin air. Quite frankly this current lot is just a bunch of irresponsible liars and they are seriously offending my intelligence. On the other point I still do not understand why people still want to vote Labour. 13 years in power, yes a lot of people got nice kitchens and being on nice holidays but education is worse that has ever been. National curriculum totaly dumed down, lots of money thrown away on NHS bureaucracy without improvement in healthcare. And worst off all social divide is bigger than it has ever been. We just have to learn how to be more patient.

Brockley Nick said...

"National curriculum totaly dumed down"

Far too much emphasis on literacy these days!

Anonymous said...

If you are referring to the 2 spelling mistakes that was my I- phone spell check. You are right, it was not Labour that did it but technology .

Anonymous said...

just the two mistakes you say?... hmmmm, numeracy seems to also be a problem

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:13 = FAIL

Anonymous said...

There were 2 spelling mistakes in the extract. A typical Labour response: You cannot pick holes in the argument so you pick holes in the language.

Brockley Nick said...

"You cannot pick holes in the argument so you pick holes in the language."

I wasn't trying to pick holes in the argument, I was poking fun at the pomposity of the post. But since you've laid down the challenge...

"We are enjoying a low interest rates... So basically borowing is not an optio and Labour leaders blatantly lie when they say so."

The very fact that interests rates are so low means there is scope to borrow more, if we wish to. I agree that there is not *much* scope to borrow more and I would not argue for much more borrowing. Here's what I would have done differently though:

1. I would not have scrapped Building Schools for the Future. This would have been an investment in education that would have boosted the construction industry all around the country. It was a sluggish construction industry that tipped us into recession recently. That would have meant a little more borrowing in the short term, but not enough to spook the markets, so long as the other austerity measures were adhered to and not as much as they are spooked by the impact of a double-dip recession on our ability to meet targets. It would have made the difference of a fraction of a percentage point of growth - but it's only a fraction of a percentage point by which we've fallen back in to recession. And the psychological difference (on consumer confidence and business investment) between recession and slow growth is not to be underestimated. And speaking of psychology...

2. I would not have banged on about austerity ever since getting in to power. That might make it easier to get away with making cuts but it had a crushing effect on consumer confidence and was monumentally stupid at a time when Govt's role should be to boost consumer confidence.

"Bank of England actually lends the money to the banks because it is the only way it can inject money in the system. Printing too much money is not an option as it devalues currency and can lead to hyper- inflation."

QE is "printing money" and they have been doing it for ages. There is no danger of hyper-inflation.

"Making UK attractive for foreign investment is one of the ways to go but currently nobody is investing because it is crisis anywhere."

Yes, making the UK attractive to foreign investment is important. No, it is not true that nobody is investing.

"Osbourne did not promise to wipe out 1 billion pound debt in one term that is quite frankly a ridiculous statement."

No, he didn't, but I think you mean 1 trillion, which is also wrong.

"lots of money thrown away on NHS bureaucracy without improvement in healthcare."

This is a lie. Even the govt's critics recognise that NHS performance improved thanks to the higher spending. The argument is about whether it improved "enough".

"And worst off all social divide is bigger than it has ever been."

Suggest you check out the Middle Ages. Or Victorian England. etc. Income inequality within individual economies has risen pretty much across the board (including places like Germany) over the last 10-20 years, but fallen between countries as countries like China and Brazil have significantly raised standards of living. Up to you to decide whether this trade-off is good or bad.

"We just have to learn how to be more patient."

Indeed, but you also have to learn how to be less myopic. The last govt were guilty of slightly overcooking the economy, the current one of slightly undercooking it. Neither govt is particularly responsible for what has happened, which is largely the result of factors beyond their control. At least the last govt has the excuse that no-one was telling them to change course (the Tories at the time wanted less regulation and the same amount of govt spending) - the current govt has had sensible people tell them not to be so austere since they started.

Anonymous said...

If only the Lib Dems had more backbone...

Ginge would be the first for my death squad.

Anonymous said...

Response to 01:03 8 May 2012
"Tories don't ..... revolution"

Your in-depth analysis of the situation almost won me over... 'it could be so much better' how? And 'Socialist principles don't fundamentally work' - and Capitalist/Conservative ones do? Any examples you'd like to cite?

Anonymous said...

Nick you are so presumptuous and patronising. Yet you do not know anything about me...

Brockley Nick said...

I don't presume anything about you.

Lou Baker said...

@ nick

The current government also has sensible people telling them to stick with the plans.

And Christine Lagarde has more credibility in my book
than Ed Balls.

This time we are barely in recession - and revised figures may even turn out to show we are not in recession at all. Certainly it's not uncommon for adjustments of a few fractions of a percent to be made.

Either way this latest 'recession' will not be deep or protracted - unless there's a major shock from elsewhere, the eurozone for example.

Growth will be slow but steady - and it will be some years until we're back to where we were in 2007.

You and I both work in the private sector. You know the sacrifices that have been made. Years of pay freezes, cut backs, reduced pension contributions. Many workers doing fewer hours so no jobs have to go. At the same time prices for food, fuel, energy have shot up. Industry has proved equal to the task. Workers have adapted and knuckled down - and have been thankful for a job.

In the public sector we have witnessed the opposite. Atrocious, selfish behaviour. Endless strikes over relatively moderate pension reforms. Walkouts over pay deals which dwarf anything in the public sector. Stoppages over the need to cutback. The union leaders - nearly all of them - have been an absolute disgrace. And shame on anyone who supports this self-important bunch of chancers.

I am proud the coalition government is standing up to these toads. I am proud that ignorant backbench whingers from both sides like Simon Hughes and Nadine Dorries are ignored. I am comfortable that the right decisions are being made for our country's future - however difficult those decisions might be for some.

Monkeyboy said...

Notorious communist simon jenkins http://m.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/may/08/osborne-growth-detroit-uk-double-dip?cat=commentisfree&type=article

By the way did a previous anon say that QE was the only way to get money in the economy? That's cobblers.

Ben said...

Mass infrastructure projects! Can't the QE money be funnelled directly into construction, the banks are clearly sitting on it and playing with themselves.

Monkeyboy said...

I think so, that's what people are referring to by a state infrastructure investment bank who's sole job is to look at and lend the money rather than leaving it to shaky banks to decide. Their first responsibility is to their shareholders so why wouldn't they use it primarily to deleverage?

Think the gov were going to look at a green investment bank for this kind I thing? Trouble is they've said austerity is the only answer, direct investment will be a u turn and politically embarasing.

Monstris said...

HAHAHAHAHA - yes Anonymous. It is I - the monstris.

How the hell did you know?

Btw...the Broadway-Marketisation or Stoke-Newingtonification of Brockley is precisely why titheads who vote Tory have even dared cross the river to move in to Brockley.

I'm buggering off to Soho. Or Dalston. Where I can be a cliche in relative liberal peace.

Brockley Nick said...

Tory vote in Brockley Ward (first round): 18.8% (of 3495 votes)

Tory vote in Dalston Ward (first round): 14% (of 2736 votes).

Monstris said...

Oh good god.

There are more places in Dalston/London Fields/Stokie that serve good coffee. Brockley only has Browns. This is important.

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