Whoever said Labour has no policies: Prepare to be embarrassed!

Michael Meacher MP has proposed that Labour make the end of austerity its flagship policy. Don't get too excited - Labour has to get into office first, and we've no idea how bad the Conservative-led Coalition will wreck the systems of government before May 2015.

The end of austerity should be Labour’s flagship policy, according to Michael Meacher MP. Don’t get too excited – Labour has to get into office first, and we’ve no idea how bad the Conservative-led Coalition will wreck the systems of government before May 2015.

This is turning into a very bad weekend to be a Conservative.

The Nasty Party has lost control of 10 councils, with hundreds of councillors unseated. Its claims about people on benefits are falling flat when faced with the facts. It has fallen foul of UK and EU law with its fake psychometric test, which turned out to have been stolen from the USA. Its claim that Labour has no policies has proved to be utterly unfounded.

… What was that last one again?

Yes, you must have heard at least one Tory on telly, rabidly barking that Labour can’t criticise the Coalition if it doesn’t have any policies of its own. Those people were not telling the truth – even though they probably thought they were (poor deluded fools).

I am indebted to Michael Meacher MP, for posting information on the following in his own blog. He lists Labour promises, as revealed to date – and it’s quite a long list. Much – or indeed all – of it may have also appeared in an article on the Green Benches site, I believe. So let’s see…

Labour has already promised to:

  • Repeal the Health and Social Care Act (otherwise known as the NHS privatisation Act)
  • Build 125,000+ homes
  • Regulate private rents
  • Promote a Living Wage for public sector workers and shame the private sector into following that lead
  • Offer a minimum 33-40 per cent cut in tuition fees
  • Limit rail fare increases to one per cent
  • Reimpose the 50p rate of income tax for the super-rich
  • Impose a mansion tax on the rich
  • Repeat the bankers’ bonus tax
  • Reverse the bedroom tax
  • Scrap Workfare and replace it with a ‘compulsory’ Jobs Guarantee (I’m not too keen on this one but it’s been promised)
  • Offer a VAT cut or a ‘temporary’ VAT holiday
  • Implement the High Pay Commission report in its entirety
  • Scrap Ofgem and bring in proper energy price regulation
  • Break up the banks and set up a National Investment Bank, and
  • Support mining communities and clean coal technology.

In his article, Mr Meacher suggests that Labour needs to go further, with a really strong hook on which to hang all these policies. He suggests the following:

We will end austerity.

Yes, I thought that might stun you. Let’s have it again:

We will end austerity.

Now that you’ve had time to get used to the idea, I hope you’re applauding as much as I was when I read the article. Why not end austerity? The squeeze on public spending and services that David Cameron and his Boy Chancellor imposed in 2010 has not worked at all. There is now no basis for it – I wrote to Mr Osborne, requesting information on the other foundations of the policy after it was revealed that his main justification contained a huge error, and he has not replied, so clearly he has nothing to say. Its loss will be unlamented and can’t come soon enough.

There’s more in the article so I invite you to visit Mr Meacher’s site and read it yourself.

As for Mr Cameron… he’s a survivor but he’s starting to look tired and the number of his own party members who are stabbing him in the back is growing – Lord Tebbit has stuck his own knife in (again) during a BBC interview.

I wouldn’t bet any money that Cameron will still be PM by the end of the year.

127 thoughts on “Whoever said Labour has no policies: Prepare to be embarrassed!

  1. murray

    Reads very much like a wish list to me,hopefully it will not affect me,because when the time comes for implementation of any of it,Scotland will have Independence and freedom from any westminster policies!!!

    1. Mike Sivier

      They’re previously-announced policy commitments, apart from the part about ending austerity, which is clearly flagged as something Mr Meacher wants Labour to announce.

    2. jake church

      Well said and i hope above hope we are free by then to get away from the English, most who despise us and call us welfare junkies living off their taxes (moronic clowns)……………

      1. Mike Sivier

        As an Englishman (living in Wales) I’d like to disassociate myself from that comment about English despising you as a nation – I presume you’re Scottish and the reference to freedom is about the referendum. I don’t, and I don’t know anybody who does.

      2. hugosmum70

        excuse me. im English and i certainly do not despise you or anyone else living in other parts of the ,for the present, BRITISH isles. and im certain the majority of us ENGLISHER’S feel the same way., we too are referred to as welfare junkies, skivers,lazy etc. just as you are. so stop this divisionary talk.we ARE all in it together.like it or not. just not in it with some, headed by the poisoned tongues of those in Westminster and those they have persuaded to think the same as them, who make all the rest of us and our lives a misery one way or another.its not the ENGLISH who are doing this, its a certain clan of posh boys brought up to hate anyone who has no money. or not as much as they have is more to the point..

      3. jim

        I think it’s a similar case to the fallacy that many english people beleive that the germans are as obsessed with the 1966 world cup as we are- they’re not, they couldn’t care less- their main rivals are holland. Similarly, the scottish constantly harp on about the fact that the english think they’re all scroungers and stealing our money, no english person I know thinks this- you hava population across your entire country of less than london- unless you were all living in mansions and eating cavier niblets 24/7 there’s no way you can make a significant dent in the Uk purse, there arn’t enough of you.

      4. Terry Kelly.

        Jake Church.
        It sounds like the English might well hate someone like you Jake but so would everyone not just the English.

      5. carolanne clay

        no ,dont class all english as bigotted fools please! only toffee nosed tories stigmatise people and implement hat amongst the people,race against race workers against benefit clamants,abled against the disbabled,thisis to detract our attention from what they are up to.

      6. Gracie

        I’m English and I don’t hate the Scots, Welsh or Irish and I do not know anyone who does. Don’t tar us with the Tory posh boy brush, we dislike them as much as you. As for being independent, I wouldn’t hold your breath, it looks like you are in the minority again!

      7. angelauk

        I don’t know where Scots get the idea that the English all hate them. I have never, ever met anyone who hates the Scotch, now the Welsh…just joking. Just like the person above, I truly have never known anyone who hates Scots, quite the contrary in my experience. On the other hand I have read a lot of Scots comment on posts like this that they hate the English, and from your comments I imagine a lot of people hate you, and would whether you were Scottish, English or Irish!

      8. Halo_Blue

        What an ignorant comment. I’m from England, living in Scotland and consider myself British. BTW – only 30% support the yes vote with 50% supporting the no vote at the moment.

    1. john

      ok signed It, but following on from your blogg, concerned that Labour has not come out against privatisation of the Royal Mail, and as you blogg covers mid Wales in which rural areas will be impacted upon the most. would have thought you would be pushing for a farther debate in the Welsh and National parliments

  2. guy fawkes

    I’m sorry mike but any money raised from mansion tax or income tax on the rich it seems is going to be spent on the government lackeys in the public sector and I for one would like to see a reduction in local government and also a reduction in the Health and social services who are interfering lying busy bodies most of them, who constantly write exaggerated damning reports on people that are clearly not true and when they are exposed for their lies there is no regulation other than self regulation which uphold’s lies even in the face of evidence to the contrary.
    Labour is as self serving as tory or any other party. Let’s see an end to lying, crony ridden party politics.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I’d like to see some evidence to support your first assertion. Regarding the rest – I have a few Labour policy documents awaiting my comment and I’ll bear your words in mind when I do.

      Have you signed my anti-corruption petition?

    2. Hardworking Ta

      Guy Fawkes I am a public sector ‘lackey’! I am a TA in a primary school on my third year of wage freeze! I work damn hard and care about the kids! I would invite you to spend a month in my shoes! See if you can still pay your bills and run a house on what I earn, then complain about how mansion tax or income tax for the super rich would be spent!

      1. Mike Sivier

        I respect what you’re saying here but I think it’s worth bearing in mind that the only people who benefit from your difference with Guy Fawkes are those who froze your wages in the first place.
        We’ve all got grievances with the current government and the system that has produced it. Let’s concentrate on what we have in common and put our energy into dealing with the people who are really doing the damage.

      2. Beryl Desmond

        Hey, dont shoot the messenger, this guy is not responsible for your wage freeze, the conservative government is.
        This guy is trying to get a petition so that the rich fat cats of westminster cant make themselves fatter and richer on privatising the NHS.
        Personally i would like a step further to see how many have already got fatter on privatisation of our energy and other uitilities, and our rail, and now our post!!

    3. john

      Lackies? so dustmen, carers for old and young alike, teachers and other public service workers are lackies?
      so if we follow Guy views we will see increased failing of care homes, recycling falling, increased class sizes.
      instead of moaning about public service perhaps we should look at improvement and stop attacking front line staff.

    1. hugosmum70

      as far as i remember. it was Ed Milliband himself when in either Warwickshire or Worcestershire. cant remember which, that said he would repeal the bedroom tax. I remember phoning my daughter for verification that i had heard aright on that video.and she verified it.

      1. Beryl Desmond

        Unfortunately Ed is not in the media enough, but there again the whole of the British media and our newspapers are owned by three big corporations
        Never believe the media.

      2. hugosmum70

        Christ all bloody mighty……….. no one hides behind me, im a mere woman who knows nothing other than what life has thrown at me and mine and still throwing at us. but i have compassion for all those these cuts are affecting. i didn’t spend 5 years of my life as a volunteer including doing courses so i could help those on benefits to get what was rightfully theirs if i was uncaring……. volunteering……. not getting paid….not even bus fares or lunch money.

        .thanks mike for your support. and if you fawkes didn’t come across as a Tory then i might have come down on your side. but i am my own person with my own views and i am now and always for recognising if someones been a hero /heroine no matter whether male/female .in the forces or out of them nurse or soldier (and dont forget the QARNC and RN NURSING CORPS (FORGET ITS NAME AT THE MO). out in the thick of it always no matter where the fighting is. if soldiers can get medals so should they get accolades too.

  3. hugosmum70

    have signed Mike……………..

    i see nothing there to end the ATOS/DWP victimisation of those who are ill/disabled.
    and this “Scrap Workfare and replace it with a ‘compulsory’ Jobs Guarantee ” ….will people get paid for doing these jobs and a living wage at that?
    and personally, although it doesn’t affect me, i think all those who have lost a dear one as a result of these austerity measures now in place, whether through stress and heart attacks etc or stress and suicide…should be compensated. wont bring their loved ones back i know but would show someone cares about what happened.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I think that the compensation you suggest should be both personal, coming from the ministers who enacted the policy, and also corporate, from Atos and Unum. None of it should come from the taxpayer.

      1. Mike Sivier

        The Conservatives involved Unum in the early 1990s, and Unum brought in another company which was taken over by Atos. I could be wrong, but I think that all happened before Labour took over in1997. Would have to check my prior articles and references to be sure.
        The initial fault lies with Peter Lilley (Conservative). Labour were at fault for sticking with what had been going on – and will remain at fault for as long as Liam Byrne remains at Work and Pensions. He’s more Tory than most Tories, in my opinion.

      1. hugosmum70

        dont forget Beryl, there have been lots of rumours going round saying that those in power have been stopping the papers from printing certain things. a news blackout. so possibly things to do with what milliband has said at times has been blocked. who knows?

  4. Robin Castley

    Do you honestly believe the Labour party will honour even a quarter of those policies? I would love to believe it but history tells me otherwise. Good work on the financial interest petition BTW, that should be a common sense measure.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Thanks for the kind words about the petition.

      I would like to believe Michael Meacher because, having seen him speak and vote in Parliament, I believe he is a man of his word.

      Having said that, I see no harm in publicising these pledges far and wide because, the more people know about them, the more people will demand that they are followed if Labour is returned to office in 2015.

      1. Robin Castley

        Excellent logic. I can’t argue with that. Given Blair and the Daily Fail hostility I’ll give him some leg room and publicise these pledges.

    2. hugosmum70

      i love history. but throughout it there have been good lessons to learn and bad lessons to learn/ one of the bad ones is this…………. Tony Blair /Gordon Brown … john major/maggie thatcher. ALL made mistakes during their reins. as did countless other historical figures even good queen Bess. but that was them and it was then. we have a new labour leader with completely different ideas. hes from a normal home .his parents were immigrants. his family know what its like to be poor. he has a heart (which is more than can be said for those in power at present). no one knows how good or bad a leader he will be once hes in power. but he is not new labour or neo whatever.he seems to me to have the principles of what labour used to stand for. the people. the workers. those with no job, those with bad health and those with little or no money. i say he needs to be given the chance to show what he can do. he talks sense. he talks as if he really cares. he sounds sincere. Cameron is a leech that got in to the PMs seat simply on the back of the lib dems. that in itself was the first sign of what was to come. .

      1. john

        totally agree hugosmum, my main concern is there is no reconnection with the true labour voters, there are concerns about employment, which impacts on concerns about imagration. and as a lover of history I remember the influx of ex empire imagrants, the majority ended up in low paid jobs.
        all the arguements against them coming in failed as we had in those days full employment.
        so if we look at employment now (and right employment not P/T or agency) then the arguments will also fail.
        not sure but is there the same arguements in Germany who has more people employed?

  5. guy fawkes

    By the next election the bedroom tax will probably not apply to anyone who cannot afford to pay for it now because they will have been moved to smaller dwellings or evicted if not saddled with a load of debt.

    1. Derek Robinson

      There is not enough places to move to so they will be either on the street or in debt.
      No reason Labour can’t help with either scenario is there.

    2. Debbie Crampton

      true on that one…they will be no one left in homes cos most will be evicted…wen they evict alot of people where they gonna put them like all if not most of hostels will also be full,then wat…also with this benefit cap is gonna see alot of people on the streets aswell…by the time another government takes over im sorry but it will be too late the mess the torys will leave behind will be too great an it will take the new ones much longer than expected to clean it up.they shudnt have been allowed to even go this far…iv no faith in any government no more an i wont be the only one….false promises every time an we as people are gullible enough to believe in them every time,now after this mess up i think lot of people r gonna be thinking very differently now…

      1. Mike Sivier

        Trouble is, as someone once said, no matter who you vote for, the government gets in… You know there will be a government after an election, no matter how few people vote IN that election. I think people are thinking very differently too – but they way they’re thinking is, “I need to get a grip on this somehow,” or “How can I change what’s going on?” The way to do it is GET INVOLVED, of course.
        I’m a member of Labour but I’m not happy with everything that Labour is doing. What’s the solution? For me, it’s to try to influence the policies Labour puts forward and try to make sure the candidate in my part of the UK is someone who agrees with the policies I want – to a greater degree than with anything else (you can never get full agreement with another person on anything that isn’t extremely simply – try it).
        Walk away and you leave the system open to the abusers who are causing the problems you and I both see taking place right now.

  6. guy fawkes

    PS My first assertion was based on the policy to “pay the public sector a living wage and try to shame the private sector to following that lead”.
    The private sector has no shame – so this policy is a sham for those working in the private sector on low pay – high paid private sector are laughing all the way to the bank anyway, don’t need any help from government but will probably get it if running a business.

    1. Derek Robinson

      I think a living wage should be calculated and made law but what amount should it be.
      Could it be implemented in one swoop with the relevant changes in benefits, I doubt it so it makes sense to phase it in. It must be put in law though and kept up to date every single year and be calculated on proper calculated figures from experts and not fiddled calculations based on the latest governments RPI / CPI / bugger all rates of inflation.

  7. louise

    we definitely need to get rid of the tories and shut ukip up at the same time – I always say, action speaks louder than words – and yes I have signed the petition

  8. gra howard

    I still see no sign of repealing the Bedroom Tax.. It doesnt affect me but I am appalled that people are being penalised for having a room that councils and HA gave them. You don’t say to you HA that you would like a 3 or 4 bedroomed place they allocate them to you.

    1. gra howard

      Ed Milliband has repeatedly said that they will wait and see. That isn’t good enough and will probably be too late anyway.

      1. hugosmum70

        that was ages ago. go listen to his recent speeches. or read them. hes not saying anything about wait and see now. hes sick of whats going on too. he cannot promise categorically to repeal all the bad things the condemns have done. he doesn’t know the full extent of them yet. they seem hell bent on doing as much damage as they can before they get kicked out. but ed needs to know hes got a good big solid following that will back him to n thru the polls whenever this might be.so no good giving promises he might not be able to keep. but having said that., he is now saying different on a lot of issues. again watch the video of him in Worcestershire

  9. Janette Morris

    I dont know why people are waiting for 2015 to get this corrupted government out? think its obvious that we all want them out, we have to have knew policys in because no way are we all the unexpected fools that partys think we are, we want our nhs we want our utillities banks transport and anything else governments have sold of 2 public sectors back in public domain! I have come to believe that when anyone takes office they should be made to sign a contract with 30/40 normal people witness from all back grounds that they can never go behind the publics back or vote in parliment without the consent of its people on matters that really concern our country!I I also believe we should have people in parliment who are from different back grounds like teachers cleaners ect to actually know what its like to live in the real world.instead of jumped up snotty classes who have never struggled in life.. there is only a few mps that fit that bill. the rest to me should be sacked and put under scruinty to see how much they have gained of the welfare state.i want my children and when they have children to have a wonderful happy future in what ever jobs they wish 2 do!!! LETS BUILDS A STRONGER SOCIETY BUILD HOUSES BUILD A STRONG INDUSTRIES.LETS CREATE JOBS AND GIVE OUR KIDS GOOD STRONG EDUCATION.LETS BE THE CARING BRITAIN WE SHOULD BE..

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s a good speech right there (spelling mistakes aside). Have YOU ever considered running for political office?
      Your point about having people in Parliament from different backgrounds is one that I wholeheartedly embrace – I was having a conversation quite recently in which I agreed with the other person that nobody should be selected to seek election if their only experience is the Politics, Philosophy and Economics course at Oxford, followed by an internship or a job working for a political party at Westminster – those people simply don’t know what it’s all about.

  10. guy fawkes


    If Ed Milliband is reluctant to give promises he can’t or won’t keep what is the point of voting for him? I’m sure the electorate would like some form of action now such as getting union backing for a national strike in opposition to the bedroom tax or austerity cuts and welfare reform that is affecting people now, 2 years down the line will be 2 years too late.

    1. hugosmum70

      guy fawkes..ed milliband is NOT new labour, he is labour as i said before if you care to look. plus i said he cant …not that he was reluctant to …make promises he doesn’t know if he can keep. he obviously doesn’t want to be accused of lying if the time comes that he finds the Tory’s have destroyed something too much for him to reverse it. how many times have the tory’s etc been accused of lying in the past 2 years eh? no good making promises he cant or doesn’t know if he can keep/ but if you watch his speech in Worcester he IS promising to turn the NHS back…. not to keep it as a privatised concern/ he IS promising to do something about immigration. have you actually listened to the man this week? i have and hes more positive now than hes ever been. and i wish people would stop comparing him to bloody asshole tony Blair and weakling Gordon brown/hes neither of them .

  11. guy fawkes

    PS Ed millibands father was a lecturer and a marxist, it’s a sad day when his offspring didn’t follow in his footsteps, preferring instead centre ground politics, because new labour are most certainly not to the left of anything.

    1. john

      whats the point of having far left views, or even far rights? (thank god most people don’t) when the central ground has moved since thatcher towards the right. Even the welfare state set up by a left of center government is now seen as far left?

      1. hugosmum70

        all this talk of left,right,far left/right. central ground……… ridiculous way to carry on. i know its all political jargon and cant get away from it but its yet another lot of labels that mean what exactly?sounds like someone putting a strip of wallpaper on a wall or hanging a picture or mirror.. little bit to left..too far. bit to Right. no. go back a bit. etcetcetc.

    2. hugosmum70

      guy fawkes… in reply to your comment re what Ed Milliband’s dad did……….. my dad was first a chimney sweep in a family business going back to 1749 (maybe further if i can find one piece of info that so far is missing), then he was a lorry driver at a mill then worked in the garage at the local police station. not one of his 3 kids followed him into any of those jobs (except my sis worked on the machines in a mill for a time).. just because dad did this that or the other. drew/painted hills for example.. whereas i drew churches… it does not mean anymore, that you do the same.so what difference does it make if his father was a lecturer ( might have given ed the incentive to do public speaking as he is doing now… or Marxist? … little kids dont talk politics with their dads. too busy playing. not until they get into their teens,often at college or uni, do they start becoming more aware of the world around them and choose which side they are on. which political figure they want to follow.my dad was astounded when he found out i had voted labour for the first time, about 30+ years ago. “but our family have always voted conservative” he said. they would seeing as they were minor business people for so many years.so it matters even less these days what your parents did/voted for or whatever. people go the way THEY want.

  12. Chris G

    Labour are Good at Making speeches ! and having List or should I say left of the Torie Party in our One Party System . In fact Labout Politicians think when they make a speech the think they’ve so work . and by The Time, if they get in to power Austerity will probably run Its course ! Good with Words Not much else , Tony Tory Blair end Labour , and they became left of the Torie party .

    1. Mike Sivier

      Chris, the Conservatives themselves have said they can’t see austerity ending until at least 2018, more likely 2020 (if I recall correctly). The thing you need to remember is that it prolongs itself – the cuts prevent the economy from working properly, giving the Coalition a perfect excuse to make more cuts. They’re planning to privatise large chunks of the civil service at the moment.
      If Labour wants to end austerity, pump some life back into the system and restore the economy, I’m all for it!

  13. beardybot

    It’s okay to -say- they’re going to end workfare, but when they had the opportunity to get its victims their money back and pin IDS as the criminal he is, they abstained.

    I know the majority listen to whoever shouts the loudest, but for a decent minority, actions speak louder than words, and when they’ve had the opportunity to nail their colours to the mast, they’ve sat back idly.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Michael Meacher voted against the Jobseekers (Back to Work Schemes) Bill. He was one of those who didn’t abstain. That’s one of the reasons I believe his word to be good.

      Actions do speak louder than words. Therefore I suggest you direct your anger over the Jobseeker Bill at Liam Byrne.

  14. ALpha Mach1ne

    My worst fear is that BoJo will take over the tory leadership. The public are fickle +stupid for the most part, they seem to view politics as a distant gameshow that does not interest them. Having BoJo as a player will suddenly ignite their interest in seeing what crazy shit he gets up to. And he is so likeable, he doesn’t even seem like a tory. So, like lambs to the slaughter they will vote him in in the way they support idiots in reality TV right til the last minute because of the drama.

  15. Oora

    Reverse the bedroom tax? Another crappy political party playing weasel word games.

    I’m disabled, live in supported housing, and have the joy of paying bedroom tax to my scumbag council. Money I can’t afford to pay out on this bullsh*t tax so in my future probably lies an eviction notice but, oh look, is it a bird, is it a plane? No, it’s another gobsh*te political party with yet more lies for all us gullible tarts to swallow.

    labour policies, meaningless.

    1. Mike Sivier

      Why is it meaningless?

      Labour has opposed the bedroom tax since it was first dreamed up (which wasn’t that long ago – a back-of-a-fag-packet Tory idea if ever there was one). Your misfortune is entirely at the hands of the Conservative-led Coalition and yet you are choosing to attack Labour. Why do you think they’re playing “weasel word games”? Why do you think they’re lying about opposing the bedroom tax, despite never having said anything whatsoever in support of it?

      Do you have anything to substantiate your opinion? If not, please place your anger where it belongs – with the parties in government.

      1. hugosmum70

        Well said Mike. as ive said countless times before. it makes ME angry that people are condemning Ed Milliband without giving him a chance to prove whether he would do these things or not, or whether he would lie to get votes or not. they are basically saying, on the basis of what other men /women have said/done in the past you are guilty of the same thing. English law doesn’t even do that. you have to be believed to be innocent until proven guilty. i know its bad for people who this and the other austerity measures affects but for Gods sake stop blaming people that are as yet untried. Ed Milliband knows that the first time hes found to have lied about something will be his last chance to make a difference. what would you say Oora if i accused you of say, being a murderer, or a thief? without evidence. same thing. now go calm down, go see CAB and get something done about your situation.
        none of this at the moment affects me directly. but indirectly it does as i am paying council tax for both my kids so they can keep a roof over their heads. bedroom tax doesn’t affect them as one is in private rent. the other in HA 1 bed upstairs flat.what i cant do is help him get a ground floor flat which he desperately needs because others now are being forced into 1 bed places.soon he wont be able to get up the outside steps at all. and i cant get up them myself to go help him. God knows what he will do once i depart this earth.just hope i live long enough to see this lot of power and someone with some bloody sense in their places.

  16. guy fawkes

    As I stated earlier in 2 years time (and only if labour were elected) there would be no need for an end to bedroom tax for the poorest in society because they will already have been evicted, only those with enough finances to hold onto their homes will benefit.

    1. hugosmum70

      fawkes..if ever there was a job’s comforter your it.pmsl. its now people should be pulling together to stop any of their family/friends/neighbours having to come to that. are you helping anyone to keep their home?even if its only one person?

  17. Deyika

    I dunno, sounds like a Labour supporter fantasy wish list.

    Not that it may not be true but there are enough examples of more prominent Labour MPs saying that Labour would NOT entirely repeal the Bedroom Tax (never mind opposing it) and enacting a slightly less severe rate of austerity.

    ” Whoever said Labour has no policies: Prepare to be embarrassed!”. Well, if you look on the Labour website itself, I think you’ll find there are no policies. If not there then where?

    Even the Greens have their policies front and centre…

    1. Mike Sivier

      Looks like you don’t want to believe it.

      You have visited Mr Meacher’s own blog and seen the original article, I take it? Written by a Labour MP?

      As both I and he made clear, he wasn’t saying ending austerity is current Labour policy – just that it should be.

      The other 16 are very much public knowledge by now, though. Your comment about the Labour website is something for its webmasters to deal with, not me.

      1. Mike Sivier

        He didn’t say anything at all about the bedroom tax.
        That doesn’t mean Labour isn’t planning to repeal it after the next general election.
        (I should add that Deyika here posted the same message on a couple of threads – can we not have that, please?)

      2. Deyika

        Look Mike, in my opinion, a lot of these responses, and mine too, can just be boiled down to ‘ why doesn’t the Labour leadership just say what it means?’.

        If Labour can say ‘ we’re against the bedroom tax’ why can’t they say ‘we’ll repeal the bedroom tax’ to a straight question?

        I thought the interview, if you heard it, was depressing for anyone looking to Labour for a bit of leadership. Ed Miliband came over like John bloody Major. HIS slogan was ‘One Nation’ too.

        : (

      3. Mike Sivier

        Now THAT is a very useful comment!
        I’ve been asking people in Labour to monitor this column for anything they can use and this is exactly what I meant – you’re frustrated with Labour’s reticence.
        My personal opinion is that the Labour leadership thinks that British politics is moving even further to the right (UKIP’s high vote in the local elections) and doesn’t realise that people are voicing protest against ALL the mainstream political parties – and many would probably come back to Labour if it voiced a concrete, left-wing alternative to the current idiocy. That kind of thinking will only accelerate the fear into becoming a reality.

    2. hugosmum70

      How about this then……….. we all know what scumbags the condems are. soon as they see a loophole in their terrible policies,they close it leaving no one anywhere to turn. they are above the law. they ignore what the law says they can or cant do etc. if Ed were to go public on what he would do .too much, they will do all they can to make it impossible for him to do that which hes said he will do.. the saying keep your friends close and your enemies closer comes to mind. they’ve already done this with some things …and no i cant tell you what things. they’ve done so much its confusing.

  18. Diane Edmonds

    Thanks for the information and I’ve signed and shared the petition. The debates too are interesting. It does read like a dream list and I would love it to become reality, I clearly remember the ‘dream list’ Cameron presented one example being ‘ring-fencing’ the NHS with ‘no top down reorganisation’ there cannot have been a bigger and more blatant lie in political history! That in itself will make voters distrustful of party promises so the fact that you are putting this into the public domain is a good thing.

    However the Labour Party must get these messages ‘out there’. I believe that one of the reasons that UKIP did so well was because they did promulgate their messages successfully and the Labour Party need to learn from this. When I’ve asked direct questions of politicians I don’t get a clear and definite reply for instance ‘we will reinstate the NHS’ means what exactly? Clarity and firm unequivocal messages are needed from the Labour Party. They need to get on to that sooner rather than later too.

    1. Mike Sivier

      The trouble with UKIP, of course, was that they made sure only the messages they thought the public would support actually got out there.

      1. Diane Edmonds

        Yes I agree but the point is they did get the message out effectively. Their posters made me shudder but clearly resonated with many. We all know that there are many thousand disaffected voters and some of those may well have voted, although it’s clear where the majority of votes came from, it is those people who need to be connected with and possibly will be as cuts take effect. Carpe diem!

      2. Mike Sivier

        I agree with you on their effectiveness. I don’t think Labour should be selective with its message, though – that would prompt criticism from the Tories, asking why only some policies were being put out there and not others (which is what they should have done with UKIP but were too busy smearing).
        Of course, UKIP have a very effective mouthpiece in Nigel Farage, because he doesn’t care what people say about him.

    2. hugosmum70

      hmmm valid points. i was never a believer in unions when i was married as on a couple of occasions my hubby needed their support and got sweet FA. in my younger days,before marriage, i was against striking but mainly (back to the nurses thing) because i couldn’t have walked out and left the patients to their own devices. as Ive got older Ive come to realise their value. but not sure about a general strike. would it not make things even worse for those families already struggling with the cuts etc? or is that something we have to put aside for the good of the majority?not a nice decision to have to make and im glad i dont have to make it.

      1. sibrydionmawr

        Most mainstream trades unions are pretty crap, (not the rank and file membership and many trade union reps) in that they are run and controlled by a highly paid ‘leadership’ that is more often in sympathy with employers than it is with the workers it claims to represent. Not all trades unions are the same, and both the IWW and IWA are trades unions that are run by their memberships in the direct interests of the membership, and neither has paid officials.

        Striking, in the case of people like nurses is always going to be a very difficult case scenario, but also means that nurses have their backs over a barrel. Maybe if the health services were run by healthcare professionals (i.e. people like nurses, porters and doctors etc, instead of managers) themselves we would have the best of both worlds: contented staff and excellent healthcare. I have no doubts that NHS staff do their utmost to deliver the best they can, but they are let down by a system that is overly bureaucratic (and very wasteful) and, like the education sector, too much under the interfering control of politicians.

        A general strike would be a huge undertaking, not least because of the need to consider how to deal with the inevitable hardship it would cause. Therefore it would need to be planned. It would also require an almost complete change of mainstream union leadership, as most of the present shower of mainstream union leaders seem to be craven appeasers.

  19. guy fawkes

    These labour voters here are trying to defend the indefensible i.e. policies they may never stick to if in power and labours reluctance to call on the TUC to put an end to welfare reform and bedroom tax now.

    1. Mike Sivier

      What’s indefensible about these policies? You don’t know that Labour won’t stick to them – you’re just trying to start a narrative of your own in which they won’t, for which you have no evidence.

      It’s good information for the Party to see how people react to new policy, but ultimately self-defeating because you end up living in a world where only the worst possible outcome can seem likely to you. And by ‘you’, I mean you personally – nobody else.

    1. hugosmum70

      me and thousands of others too Ive no doubt Michele. Atos should be sacked. far too much money going to them The way they are going the whole ruddy country will be run by them soon. and the DWP have far too much power (or is that just cos IDS is the one pulling their strings?)

  20. guy fawkes

    Mike sivier

    Given lying politicians past track records I do not think I am the only person that would think that labour would renege on it’s policies, nor do I live in a world where I imagine the worst possible outcomes – I live in a world that is showing the worst possible outcomes of any given election, local, national or international.
    You may be vying for a prominent position in the labour party and your evasion on some of my proposals for the labour party to right things now,shows you will fit in very well no doubt. As an opposition party they are not having much impact on prevailing policies made by the government.

    1. Mike Sivier

      No, I’m not vying for a prominent position in the Labour Party. I’m a member and a blogger, that’s all.
      Have you ever known an opposition party to have a strong impact on government policies? I haven’t.
      Your other point has been covered already.

  21. guy fawkes

    So the TUC issue and the labour party has been covered already? The unions have the power to stand up for the millions of sick and unemployed facing welfare reform and it is doing nothing. You like them are only interested in your point of view not the view of those that are suffering now and who are facing renting or eating, some with all benefits stopped have a choice of neither. I did not hear anything in labour’s proposals regarding sanctions the cruelest cuts of all.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I was responding to a comment that didn’t refer to the TUC issue. If you are going to try to muddy these issues by references back to other topics, you will undermine your own position.
      As for the unions, we’re getting close to the point where there is a demonstration against the government every weekend. We’re likely to get major strikes, certainly from the end of the summer, if the government doesn’t change its attitude. Labour as a party has to oppose this action, because it is dedicated to finding political solutions to disputes. That doesn’t mean Labour MPs don’t support it, though, as a demonstration that changes are vitally necessary, Does that answer your question?

      1. hugosmum70

        the unions are too weak these days. i spoke at length to a UNISON rep. a friend of mine ,asking her the question .how strong are the unions these days. her answer was…not very………..plus the cons in power ,as Ive said before, are hell bent on destroying this nation and do not intend letting anyone stop them. therefore i cant see the unions being able to do much about any of the things that’s happening now. though i could be wrong. who knows whats round the corner. ( and there’s a point, all this wasted time discussing something that’s in the future when no one can know whats coming. i.e. what labour will do. etc.

  22. guy fawkes

    Labour instigated sanctions to jsa under Tony Blair not when the welfare state was implemented.

  23. guy fawkes


    Your right about wasted time discussing the future, we should be looking at what we can do now and when i suggested union power, you the labour voters dismiss it although most of your funding comes from the unions, so now who is being pessimistic. Ms O’Grady of the TUC said we are a democratic organisation and do what our members ballot for, it seems they don’t care enough about those that are suffering the most at the hands of this government to call for a national strike ballot if only to see what the outcome would be.

    I would like to know what opposition parties are paid to do in opposition?

    1. Mike Sivier

      A national strike is currently being discussed. I seem to recall going over this ground before, if not with you, but you should be able to find that information.
      As for what opposition parties are paid to do – there are plenty of web-based resources explaining the nature and purpose of the different parts of Parliament.

  24. guy fawkes

    Mike Sivier

    My reply above to hugosmum70 is my answer to you regarding the unions getting involved, as for undermining my own position by asking for answers to questions I posed but which you had not answered, all I can say is what position? This clearly is your blog not mine.

  25. guy fawkes

    Thankyou for that MIke sivier I am aware of web based resources of the different parts of parliament the only problem is most like the ombudsmen service are reticent to do anything about rogue councils, housing associations, primary care trusts all of which have their own self regulatory complaints systems which are one sided, made up of panels set against individual complaints and you think we are justly represented in parliament – I think not. The expensive commisions for hutton and now leveson show they are useless.

    1. Mike Sivier

      All you asked was what Her Majesty’s Opposition is paid to do. That information should be readily available at least.
      And please, stop trying to tell me what I think. I already know what I think. Other readers also know what I think because I’ve written 400 articles which detail the progression of my thoughts. What you are pushing on us is your opinion of what I think, perhaps in an attempt to influence other readers… which is a little too close to Conservative adherents’ tactics for comfort.

  26. guy fawkes

    Mike Sivier

    It was earlier that you were telling me how my mind works and how I am in a pessimistic minority of one about labours future policies, it seems you don’t like others doing the same to you, I am too straightforward to be tactical nor would I want to be.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I said you seemed to be behaving in a particular way, which is not the same as telling you how your mind works.
      I wonder also if you’re taking on board what Hugosmum70 is saying about being a Job’s comforter – it’s a Biblical reference to a person who tries to console or help someone and not only fails but ends up making the other feel worse.

  27. hugosmum70

    guy fawkes .. dunno about you being a minority of one and im sure Mike knows there are more like you, but pessimist? i refer you back to MY comment about you being a Job’s comforter. its evident in most of what you say im afraid.

  28. guy fawkes


    I expected you to be in support of a fellow labour voter – a jobs comforter I don’t think so but I am more realistic about what is going in and what is coming out of parliament than either of you.

  29. guy fawkes

    Mike Savier

    I am well aware of most of what is in the bible and what a jobs comforter is. It seems it’s ok for you to criticize YOUR labour party i.e. Lyam Byrne and labours welfare policies and forced labour ones but not for others. Stop hiding behind Hugosmum, I dislike the herd mentality intensely it is a form of bullying rather than democracy, no wonder you prefer parties to independents.

    1. kittysjones

      because they would have lost – lib dems always vote with the tories with few exceptions, and also because labour wanted to secure concessions. One was an independent review into the sanctions and the targets – that’s pretty much the only way a party in opposition can seriously challenge, especially one that is under-represented when it comes to voting on the parliamentary committee. The second was to stop the Tories removing the right for jobseekers to appeal sanction decisions. That’s very important too. I know this because my own MP and several others informed me, including Liam Byrne.

      Hats off to those that voted too, though. It was a difficult situation all round for labour.

      You need to know that neither the Guardian or the Independent would publish Labour’s press releases on this, and chose instead to spread misinformation.

  30. Riche Farrar

    Please sign this then SHARE it across as many media formats as possible

    This is going to take some, i believe more than any other petition so please get this out to everyone you can!!


    Our FB Group – Disabled UK: https://www.facebook.com/groups/Uniteasonedisableduk/490246907710334/?notif_t=group_activity

  31. Nicholas Digby

    It really doesn’t matter where any one is from as long as they respect each other and are kind to life refuse to encourage and propagate warfare against them selves. We all hopefully pay our fair share of tax in one way or another, if those around us don’t and fund other countries or opressive regeimes then where shall it all end? Peace.

  32. Darren

    Such a shame that so many people are drawn into a rigged game, there is only one party running the country, and both Tory and Labour are it’s rottweillers, if they are on public display they are still gofors, and they are playing an excellent game of “good cop, bad cop” while using the tory party to make vicious cuts to the poorest forcing literally thousands to see suicide as an option, before they then use their other party to promise all the opposites, thus maintaining the status quo, they have been duping the public this way for centuries “LITERALLY”. it serves to see just how far they can push society and sadly to reinforce the illusion of choice in the eyes of an economically enslaved and bullied society!, it really is time to wake up.

    1. Diane Edmonds

      I’m beginning to think the same I’ve been waiting for the Labour Party to inform me otherwise but I cannot get any definite commitment from then regarding returning the NHS to Bevan’s ideals. Now they say they will not look after pensioners, most of whom get a raw deal anyway and pay their taxes to boot. Gramsci’s hegemony comes to mind! I’m hoping that the NHS Party has a candidate in my area because there seems very little to choose between the two major parties right now. I’d hoped that the Murdoch debacle would see new and honest policies arise from the mire but to no avail. Tony Benn and his ilk are true Socialists but they are very clearly side-lined. It’s so very disheartening.

Comments are closed.