Tag Archives: pork barrel

Is this how Johnson plans to win an election – by ‘nudging’ towns into supporting his Brexit?

Strategy: It seems Wakefield wasn’t such a random choice for a Boris Johnson speech. The town is on the Tory list.

Remember the Tory ‘towns fund’, supposedly dedicated to helping areas that have been left behind due to post-industrial decline, austerity and long-term under-investment?

Well, the first 100 communities to benefit from the £3.6 billion fund have been announced – and the Manchester Evening News paper has done research the points to a sinister reason for these choices:

It’s called “pork-barrel politics” – choosing an area to benefit from funding because the government wants to retain it, or win it, at the next election.


94 out of the 100 towns are in Leave-voting areas, mostly in the north or midlands.

The remaining six Remain-leaning towns … are all in marginal Conservative constituencies set to be Liberal Democrat targets, or in the case of Morley and Outwood, a Labour target, having been very narrowly lost by them in 2015.

In fact nearly a quarter of the 100 towns serve some of the most knife-edge seats in the country – those requiring a 1pc swing or even less to move them from Labour to Tory, or vice versa.

Those include … towns … in, or serving, equally perilous Tory seats that the government will need to defend from Jeremy Corbyn.

At least 62 – just under two thirds – of the towns are in, or serve, constituencies with Labour or Tory majorities of under 5,000 votes. In some cases … they have two potential marginals on their doorstep.

There are also at least five towns in seats where UKIP ran the Tories very close in 2015.

To This Writer, it seems to be a ‘nudge’ strategy, pointing out to the wider electorate how they can hope to get support from a future Tory government.

It has been said – in the MEN article, for one, that the Tories need to win 35 seats in areas they have never won before, just to break even.

This list – with the implied bribes for marginal and Leave-voting areas – might indicate some of their targets.

Don’t you agree?

Source: Why Boris Johnson’s choice of ‘left-behind towns’ may have also laid bare his election masterplan – Manchester Evening News

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MPs’ shocking behaviour is par for the course in Cameron’s government

Feeling a bit peaky, David? But the revelations about your Tory friends and Liberal Democrat partners should hardly come as a surprise!

Feeling a bit peaky, David? But the revelations about your Tory friends and Liberal Democrat partners should hardly come as a surprise!

It must have been very difficult for David Cameron, returning from his spectacularly ill-timed holiday in the sun to find that his colleagues had been having a much better time than he has – at home.

It seems that he returned to “crisis talks” at Downing Street, where aides told him of a “sensational love affair” which has potentially significant political implications for him. Apologies for the hyperbolic language involved, but this information comes from the Daily Mail.

The newspaper said it could not disclose the identities of the people involved in these shenanigans, or any details of the relationship, for legal reasons, so the speculation machine has probably gone into overdrive and by the time this reaches your screen, The Sun has probably already disclosed the names of the co-respondents.

For those of us who aren’t that clued-up, it’s great fun to speculate. The paper said they are middle-aged figures, the affair has now concluded, and it does not involve anyone serving in the Cabinet.

Who could it be? Longtime readers of this blog will know that Vox Political has long harboured hopes of a Michael Gove legover crisis – or indeed a Michael leGOVEr crisis (see what we did there?) – but in all honesty this seems unlikely until medical evidence can prove that he is compatible with a human female.

So who, then? Nadine Dorries and Nigel Farage? Peter Bone and a human being? Doubtful. Boris and… Boris and-


It’s probably best not to pursue that line of inquiry. Far more interesting to sit back and wait for the ‘poshed-up’ version of the Jeremy Kyle show, in which all will be revealed.

With the curtains closed, of course – not as the badge of a serial skiver, but simply to avoid the shame of having to admit watching an episode of Kyle.

The worse news is, this wasn’t the only story breaking about government misdeeds. It seems that Cameron’s Liberal Democrat Coalition partners have been playing “pork barrel” politics (yes, it’s the Daily Mail again) by diverting taxpayers’ money into key Liberal Democrat-held constituencies.

We now know that a £2 billion scheme to refurbish roads, pavements and bridges in Nick Clegg’s Sheffield Hallam constituency has been reversed, in a deal with private business that took the project off the government balance sheet. A private finance initiative? We all know that PFI projects don’t turn out well for anyone involved other than the companies, so Clegg may have given himself a shot in the foot, rather than a shot in the arm.

The Mail also reports dodgy dealings by Danny Alexander. Apparently Beaker insisted on extra funds for mountain rescue teams, a VAT cut for ski lifts and the retention of the state subsidy for the Cairngorm Mountain Railway – all in his Highlands constituency.

And Lib Dem Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael (who?) apparently forced the abandonment of plans to cut the coastguard service, affecting his Orkney and Shetland constituency, claiming it was “a Coalition matter”.

So it must have been very difficult indeed for the comedy Prime Minister to return from holiday and learn of such appalling behaviour.

Difficult, but not a surprise.

Let’s face it – it’s little different from the way they behave when he’s at work.