austerity, Barnett formula, bill of rights, change, Conservative, constitution, Craig Cartmell, deregulation, devolution, employment rights, energise, England, English, EU, european convention, European Council, european union, finance, financial, human rights, Human Rights Act, immigration, International Criminal Court, Mike Sivier, mikesivier, neoliberal, privatisation, referendum, repeal, Scotland, Tories, Tory, trade union, vote, Vox Political, West Lothian
Have we all been victims of the greatest confidence trick of the early 21st century?
Let me put a scenario to you:
1. The current government has been slowly putting plans into action to privatise as much of the government as possible, and under the excuse of austerity and the label ‘value for money’ has managed to get rid of a fair chunk:
– Education is increasingly in the hands of mostly unaccountable, private academies.
– The Prison Service is being sold off one prison at a time, and the Probation Service is all but gone.
– The Royal Mail was sold off for a song, a move that benefitted a gang of Tory donors.
– Billions of pounds of NHS contracts are being awarded to private, and often American, healthcare companies.
– The emergency services are next on the list, with Air-Sea Rescue already sold to a private concern.
2. However, there is no way that this programme can be completed within a single term in office. The Tories know that their austerity programme has been exceptionally unpopular, even amongst their core middle class demographic, so it is likely that the 2015 election will be Labour’s to lose rather than the Conservative’s to win.
3. Wales and Scotland are solid opposition territory, and there will be no gains there. So how can the Tories energise the English vote? They need a core policy that will resound at all levels of English society and it cannot be the Health Service as they are busy dismantling that and they would really rather nobody discusses it if possible.
4. The answer is the devolution of powers and the West Lothian question. Now before the Scottish referendum only a few commentators south of the border were discussing the West Lothian question or the Barnet Formula, and only in the context of a victory for the Yes campaign.
5. Immediately after the referendum was won the first words to come out of the Prime Minister’s mouth is that he will hold to his promise to grant Holyrood more powers, but only in conjunction with laying down legislation to effectively ban opposition MPs from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from debating or voting on ‘English matters’. This will be hugely popular with English voters and could deliver the next election to the Tories.
6. This is a major constitutional change that Cameron will try to fast track before May 2015. He is talking about a draft bill to be in place in January 2015.
7. Remember that the referendum was allowed to happen, and to become a binding agreement, by Cameron. He could have simply ignored the SNP’s referendum completely.
7. So was it allowed, or even encouraged, in order to bring this all to pass? Were the ambitions of Alex Salmond and his SNP used as a Trojan Horse? It would explain why Cameron and his cronies only rode in to save the day with promises of more devolved powers at the very last moment.
So what else could Cameron and his Tories achieve in a second term?
a. The repeal of the Human Rights Act to be replaced by a seriously watered down Bill of Rights which shall not hold the government to account. This may also require the UK to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights and thus the European Council and the International Criminal Court.
b. The complete privatisation of all non-core governmental services.
c. The withdrawal of the UK from the EU.
d. Draconian immigration policies and regulations.
e. The deregulation of the financial sector.
f. The removal of all remaining employment rights and the crushing of the last unions.
This neo-liberal agenda would deliver billions of pounds in profits for the mega corporations at the taxpayers’ expense. It would drive down wages and further increase the wealth gap between rich and poor. Services would be seriously reduced in availability and quality as each would be run to maximise profit for the providers’ shareholders.
Welcome to the US of A folks!
What do you think of Craig’s assessment?
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
Join the Vox Political Facebook page.
Buy Vox Political books so we can continue
providing analyses of current events by people, not corporations!
Health Warning: Government! is now available
in either print or eBook format here:
The first collection, Strong Words and Hard Times,
is still available in either print or eBook format here:
Vox Political needs your help!
If you want to support this site
(but don’t want to give your money to advertisers)
you can make a one-off donation here: