Tories compile a list of their achievements. Ha ha ha.

We never knew: Perhaps Michael Gove is more familiar with the reading matter behind him, but it seems he may even be acquainted with this blog!

We never knew: Perhaps Michael Gove is more familiar with the reading matter behind him, but it seems he may even be acquainted with this blog!

Whoever would have suspected that Michael Gove reads Vox Political?

We come to this conclusion from the reaction of the Education Secretary and Gollum impressionist to Theresa May’s ConservativeHome speech, in which she outlined her belief that the plebs’ human rights should be for the chop, as outlined in our article on Sunday. We may deduce he gets help with some of the longer words.

It seems that, in a meeting of Conservative cabinet members, Gove made it clear that prominent Tories’ efforts to promote themselves as possible leaders (precious) were playing into the hands of the party’s opponents (gollum, gollum).

The article itself has been read by fewer than 10,000 people at the time of writing, but Gove may have enjoyed a rare moment of intelligence and realised that the viral reach has been something in the order of two or three million (and it does this columnist a world of good just to type that).

Of course, other blogs exist as well, and it’s possible that even the mainstream press may have enjoyed some frivolity with the Home Secretary’s attempt to be a social climber (in the face of her own government’s elimination of social mobility of any kind).

The cumulative effect on the public consciousness has been huge.

Gollum’s – sorry, Gove’s – warning presaged a sterner telling-off by the Tory Party’s new general election guru, Lynton Crosby, who warned them all to decide whether they want to be “commentators” or “participants” in the 2015 election.

This gentleman then stuffed his own foot very firmly into his mouth and shot himself in it, such was the enormity of the gaffe that followed.

At his urging, comedy Prime Minister David Cameron unveiled what we are being asked to believe will be the bedrock of the party’s campaigning over the next two years.

Try not to laugh.

It’s worse even than the Liberal Democrats’ silly ‘message script’ that they brought out last December.

It is:

A 10-point checklist of Tory achievements since they came into office in 2010!

Already, I know what you’re thinking.

You’re thinking, “How in Heaven’s name have they managed to come up with as many as 10 achievements?”

Don’t get your hopes up!

It really provides a strong insight into the Tory mind, that they consider some of these disasters to be achievements.

But don’t take our word for it. We’ll take them one at a time so you can have a look for yourself:

1. They have cut the fiscal deficit by a quarter. Nobody actually believes this, though. Any “achievement” on the deficit that is reached via one-off events like the Royal Mail pensions raid is unsustainable. It makes for good PR in the right-wing press but anybody with an ounce of sense will see right through it. Also, most of the savings have been carried out by cutting support for the poorest people in the country while the richest are getting – as the Labour Party has hammered into us with such tedious regularity since last year’s budget statement – a tax cut. And in the background, the national debt continues to rise, as Tory policy dictates it must if they are to justify their continued attack on State structures.

2. They have reduced immigration by a third. That’s right; talented people from foreign countries no longer wish to live and work in the UK because the Conservatives and their policies have made it such an unattractive place.

3. There are one million new private sector jobs. There is also so much wrong with this that it is hard to know where to start. Firstly, 200,000 of those jobs were formerly in the public sector but were re-defined by the Conservatives in order to make up the numbers. Secondly, anyone on Workfare, Mandatory Work Activity or whatever they’re calling it today is automatically defined as being in work, despite the fact that the only pay they receive is their state benefit. Thirdly, the government is, by definition, a public sector organisation and should not, therefore, be trying to claim the credit for the creation of private sector employment; only private sector employers can legitimately do that.

4. They vetoed an EU treaty for the first time. Clearly the Conservatives are hoping enough time has passed for us to forget that David Cameron made the UK and everyone in it look like a bunch of fools in front of the other 26 EU states when he did this, because their reaction was simply to bump us off the negotiating table and sign an accord between themselves. All he did was sideline the UK and harm British interests in Europe.

5. They have cut the EU budget for the first time. Not strictly true as it was Angela Merkel’s influence that led to the budget cut. We may also reasonably ask why this is being hailed as an achievement when the British contribution to that budget is still on the rise and has not been cut.

6. They have promised an in/out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU (if they win the next general election). That’s right – rather than achieve anything useful, like negotiating a new structure for the European Union that benefits all of us, the Conservatives intend to stand at the sidelines, make unreasonable demands, and then pander to their own Euro-sceptics by offering the people only one choice – stay or go. The simple fact is that the UK needs to be a part of the European trading community to survive; the run-up to the referendum means the press will be able to feed a mountain of claptrap to the people in order to influence them into a ‘go’ vote, even though it will put us at a huge disadvantage. But the Tories will have seen off UKIP, which is something they are desperate to do after the Eastleigh by-election. Oh yes, and the referendum is conditional on the Conservatives winning the 2015 election outright. It’s electoral blackmail.

7. They are enacting new laws to place householders on the lowest energy tariff. The problem with this is that energy companies can only provide the low tariffs that are currently available because more people pay the higher, average prices. If they are required by law to put everyone on the lowest possible payment scheme, the price of that scheme will rise. It is economically-illiterate nonsense but it looks good to the uninformed.

8. They have created a single-tier pension scheme. This is the Tory compulsion to make things simpler at work again – because simplifying money matters means the poor will be worse-off. In simple language, then, the vast majority of people who become eligible for their pensions after 2060 will lose out. This is an attack on the young.

9. They are introducing a £75,000 cap on the costs of long-term care. On the face of it, this is good, because 16 per cent of over-65s will benefit. However, the recommendation was for a cap of between £25-50,000 – which would have benefited 37 per cent of over-65s, more than double the number the Tories are actually going to help. Around 120,000 pensioners will lose out every year.

10. They are taking two million people out of tax, with an average £600 cut in bills for 24 million people. This is, of course, before the impact of the Tories’ benefit cuts is factored in. For example, look at Iain Duncan Smith’s decision to freeze benefit increases at one per cent for the next three years, no matter how high inflation rises. This will plunge 200,000 children into poverty. The Children’s Society calculates that a single parent with two children, working on an average wage as a nurse would lose £424 a year by 2015. A couple with three children and one earner, on an average wage as a corporal in the British Army, would lose £552 a year by 2015. Now add in the effect of the benefit cap that will be introduced next month, the bedroom tax, the council tax reduction scheme in England; many people will be refused the Personal Independence Payment and Universal Credit under their new rules, just as many are being refused Employment and Support Allowance now (wrongly). If a cumulative impact assessment was carried out, the effect on those two million people who no longer have to pay Income Tax – not indirect taxes like VAT, road tax, and so on – will be unequivocally negative.

This is not a list of achievements.

It is a list of staggering failures.

Ed Miliband was right to ask, in today’s Prime Minister’s Questions, whether they could organise anything in a brewery.

Instead of a show of pride, the Conservatives should be ashamed.

25 thoughts on “Tories compile a list of their achievements. Ha ha ha.

    1. Chris Tandy

      At least they are similarly running out of ideas to express their loathing of you (and me, and the majority of the 99%!)
      After 2015 we hopefully will have a government that…well…likes us a bit.

      Yep, great post, Mike.

  1. Bill Garnett

    the ability of this coalition to ‘spin’ events to make things seem positive and seemingly justify their narrative will in future years be legendary and no doubt seem farcical and funny…no doubt the source of several black comedies…just now however it’s painful to live through. Equally, just where are the opposition? Surely there is enough nonsense to be challenged, loudly and often.

    1. angelgirl314

      Hi Kittysjones awesome list!!! could I have your permission to email it to my local labour mp Alan Johnson please? he has helped me so much and this may go some way to maybe changing things for the better ( that is what I hope anyway) and if not it can’t hurt!!

      Jo

    1. angelgirl314

      Hi Kittysjones, I have now sent it to Alan, and Mike I hope you don’t mind that I have taken the liberty of mentioning Vox, it is an awesome site in the way you explain issues that everyone can understand!! Although I haven’t fared as badly as so many others under this government, I think they are extremely dangerous and they should be charged with crimes against humanity, I nearly starved to death aged 16yrs under thatchers rule!
      Keep up the great work and please pass on my regards to Mrs Mike.

      1. angelgirl314

        Hi Kitty don’t worry I have already added a link to your equally excellent website thank you for your help, I also put in a note saying to Alan that if they get in again maybe they can make britain great again

        Jo

  2. Chris Tandy

    ‘Con-con the Clown’ would drop his pants, plant a turd on the Woolsack and then claim it to be a golden egg.

  3. j cox

    I’ve just found out that not only has my qualifying retirement age been increased by nearly 4 years but also that anyone born between 1952 & 1953 will not get the full state pension of £144 p/wk, instead 80,000 of us have been fobbed off with £107. How can this be a fair policy?

  4. Mike Sivier

    STOP PRESS!
    The European Parliament has rendered item 5 on the Tories’ ragged little list inaccurate.
    They have voted to block the plan to reduce the EU budget – unless certain conditions are met.
    Oh dear – things aren’t going well for Dodgy Dave and his motley crew!

  5. Keith

    Number 9, Mike – the Tories have also taken Labour’s interest-free deferred payment loan scheme… and put an interest charge on it.

    Great comments on this list of fail.

    1. Fiona

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      “A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on”
      – Winston Churchill

      As a Conservative I have no pleasure in exposing David Cameron’s deficit claims. However, as long as the party continues to talk down the economy via the blame game, confidence will not be given an opportunity to return. For it is an undeniable and inescapable economic fact: without confidence and certainty there can be no real growth.

      Below are the three deficit claims – the mess. The evidence comes from the IMF, OECD, OBR, HM Treasury, ONS and even George Osborne. The claims put into context are:

      CLAIM 1
      The last government left the biggest debt in the developed world.

      After continuously stating the UK had the biggest debt in the world George Osborne admits to the Treasury Select Committee that he did not know the UK had the lowest debt in the G7? Watch: Also, confirmed by the OECD Those who use cash terms (instead of percentages) do so to scare, mislead and give half the story.

      Its common sense, in cash terms a millionaire’s debt would be greater than most people. Therefore, the UK would have a higher debt and deficit than most countries because, we are the sixth largest economy. Hence, its laughable to compare UK’s debt and deficit with Tuvalu’s who only have a GDP/Income of £24 million whilst, the UK’s income is £1.7 Trillion.

      Finally, Labour in 1997 inherited a debt of 42% of GDP. By the start of the global banking crises 2008 the debt had fallen to 35% – a near 22% reduction page 6 ONS Surprisingly, a debt of 42% was not seen as a major problem and yet at 35% the sky was falling down?

      CLAIM 2
      Labour created the biggest deficit in the developed world by overspending.

      Firstly, the much banded about 2010 deficit of over 11% is false. This is the PSNB (total borrowings) and not the actual budget deficit which was -7.7% – OBR Economic and Fiscal Outlook March 2012 page 19 table 1.2

      Secondly, in 1997 Labour inherited a deficit of 3.9% of GDP (not a balanced budget ) and by 2008 it had fallen to 2.1% – a reduction of a near 50% – Impressive! Hence, it’s implausible and ludicrous to claim there was overspending. The deficit was then exacerbated by the global banking crises after 2008. See HM Treasury. Note, the 1994 deficit of near 8% haaaaaah!

      Thirdly, the IMF have also concluded the same. They reveal the UK experienced an increase in the deficit as result of a large loss in output/GDP caused by the global banking crisis and not even as result of the bank bailouts, fiscal stimulus and bringing forward of capital spending. It’s basic economics: when output falls the deficit increases.

      Finally, the large loss in output occurred because the UK like the US have the biggest financial centres and as this was a global banking crises we suffered the most. Hence, the UK had the 2nd highest deficit in the G7 (Not The World) after the US and not as a result of overspending prior to and after 2008- as the IMF concur.

      CLAIM 3
      Our borrowing costs are low because the markets have confidence in George Osborne’s austerity plan and without it the UK will end up like Greece.

      Yes, the markets have confidence in our austerity plan and that’s why PIMCO the worlds largest bond holder have been warning against buying UK debt.

      The real reason why our borrowing costs have fallen and remained low since 2008 is because, savings have increased. As a result, the demand and price for bonds have increased and as there is inverse relationship between the price of bonds and its yield (interest rate) the rates have fallen. Also, the markets expect the economy to remain stagnate. Which means the price for bonds will remain high and hence, our borrowing costs will also remain low.

      Secondly, the UK is considered a safe heaven because, investors are reassured the Bank of England will buy up bonds in an event of any sell off – which increases the price of bonds and reduces the effective rate. Note, how rates fell across the EU recently when the ECB announced its bond buying program. Thirdly, because, we are not in the Euro we can devalue our currency to increase exports. Moreover, UK bonds are attractive because, we haven’t defaulted on its debt for over 300 years.

      David Cameron would like people to believe the markets lend in the same way as retail banks lend to you and I.

      Overall, when the facts and figures are put into context these juvenile deficit narratives and sound bites (“mere words and no evidence”) simply fail to stand up to the actual facts. The deficit myth is the grosses lie ever enforced upon the people and it has been sold by exploiting people’s economic illiteracy.

      So, David Cameron when are you going to apologise?

      Cameron is playing the blame game to depress confidence and growth to justify austerity. Secondly, to use austerity as justification for a smaller state to gain lower taxes. Thirdly, to paint Labour as a party that can not be trusted with the country’s finances again. Therefore, we Conservatives will win a second term because, people vote out of fear. The latter strategy worked the last time in office (18 years) and will work again because, in the end, elections are won and lost on economic credibility. Hence, as people believe Labour created the mess they won’t be trusted again.

      Finally, as the truth is the greatest enemy of the a lie I urge you to share this on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, text and email etc etc. So the truth can be discovered by all. Finally, have no doubt, people have been mislead by the use of the following strategy:

      “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it” Joseph Goebbels

      I thought you might find this interesting… the rats are starting to jump ship!

  6. Paul Hatch (@paul_hatch)

    I see the tories left out the achievement of 75 deaths a week of sick and disabled wrongly classified as fit for work in WCAs. They must see it as an achievement as Cameron is on record as claiming WCAs are working well.

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