The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering


by Paul Sagar    
1:56 pm - January 18th 2011

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The sheer scale and breadth of the present government’s pre-election lying and post-election u-turning is quite something to behold.

Let’s trot through the big ones, that we actually know about.

1. The stupendous Lib Dem betrayal on tuition fees. From categorical pledges to oppose all fee rises, to backing a lifting of the cap to £9,000 a year. Quite spectacular, and utterly impossible to hide.

2. Further down the list and marginally less egregious: Cameron denouncing as “Labour lies” any suggestion that the Tories would restrict bus passes for the elderly, cut the Winter Fuel allowance, or get rid of the pension credit. After promising to protect all these things on national television, the Coalition has done the exact opposite.

3. There’s also the general category of systematic dishonesty about the NHS. The Tories explicitly promised not to touch “frontline services” and to protect the NHS before the election. They are now instigating massive back-door changes. Changes described by “seriously concerned” leading healthcare experts as “unnecessary risks” which are “damaging” and “potentially disastrous”.

4. Less enormous (but by no means less important) lies that may have escaped your attention include: pledges from Cameron and Clegg to end child detention for those seeking asylum in Britain which have been totally reneged on, and the recent joke of the departure of Control Orders by the front door and their immediate return via the side window.

5. Oh, and the emergence of a video showing Cameron claiming he wouldn’t cut EMAs. And pledges to protect school funding from cuts, but instead playing jiggery-pokery with the accounts to disguise reduced funding beneath the veneer of a hollowed-out pupil premium.

6. And Tory promises to protect child benefit.

7. And the building of a massive snooping database both Liberals and Conservatives promised they wouldn’t pursue.

I’m sure there’s plenty more.

I’m not going to bore you with some sop that it Pains Me Dearly to see such dishonesty and untruth in our political class. Politicians lie (often by unavoidable necessity), and being a Tory/Tory-lite Coalition, this bunch lied even more than usual in order to get their paws on power.

What concerns me, however, is the sheer scale and audacity of the Coalition’s reneging on earlier promises. I know the standard line is that none of this is done joyfully, but is the necessary price to pay for “Labour’s deficit”. (Or even more ludicrously, that this is all the outcome of “coalition policy” produced by party compromise, thus wholly divorced from any pre-election pledges.) But fewer and fewer ordinary voters will believe this (if any still do), and such justification will increasingly have traction only with the already-converted.

The real problem is that systematic large-scale dishonesty in politics is corrosive. The present government’s flagrant disregard for its own promises threatens to undermine even the minimal levels of trust Britons place in their political system. If this goes too far, there’s the very real risk that lying and dishonesty will become normalised. And that spells trouble.

Because if voters conclude that all politicians are lying mendacious bastards who just say one thing and do the other, then it eventually becomes acceptable for politicians to be lying mendacious bastards who just say one thing and do the other. As voters become disillusioned and resigned, all political sides play the same dirty game because only suckers remain honest. It’s a downward trajectory from there. And where do you end up? Well, basically, you end up in Italy. Which is not a good place to be.

So whilst I’m not surprised that Nick and Dave are presiding over a pack of lies dealt by a pack of liars, I do wish they would lie a little less – or at least, a little less obviously.

Thanks to Guy and Paul for helping to assemble and source the compilation of lies in under 30 minutes.

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About the author
Paul Sagar is a post-graduate student at the University of London and blogs at Bad Conscience.
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Reader comments


Don’t forget VAT! There’s that wonderful picture with Clegg standing in front of it. And Tories said they had “absolutely no plans” to raise it, which I always thought was a nebulous formula allowing for a u-turn, but certainly dishonest even if it escapes being an outright lie.

7. And the building of a massive snooping database both Liberals and Conservatives promised they wouldn’t pursue.

It is wrong for politicians to deceive people, but I think we are obliged to keep the ‘Intercept Modernisation Programme’ (is this Unspeak?) because of the EU’s Data Retention Directive (itself pushed through by the-then Home Secretary Charles Clarke).

sorry, by “it” of course I mean the billboard claiming Tories would raise VAT.

Interesting you say this -
“Because if voters conclude that all politicians are lying mendacious bastards who just say one thing and do the other, then it eventually becomes acceptable for politicians to be lying mendacious bastards who just say one thing and do the other.”

Labour promised not to introduce tuition fees. Their lies, Brown’s fudges are so many you couldn’t list them in a single article. So maybe you are right. People EXPECT this from politicians because they are used to it after 13 years of Labour.

You write on liberal conspiracy – I am assuming you are a Lib Dem supporter. What is the alternative?

Look at the bigger picture – the coalition has atleast introduced these reforms within a few months. Schools will be up and running soon, and the NHS reforms have been in trial already even under Labour. Labour has no solution – their only answer is to spend even more taxpayers’ money, and I am afraid I am sick of that. Three cheers for the coalition, and well done, Lib Dems, for their contribution. I sincerely hope they last the whole term.

“If this goes too far, there’s the very real risk that lying and dishonesty will become normalised.” Surely it’s become normalised already? What I find particularly laughable is the twisted efforts by Lib Dems to argue that they are in fact delivering on their election pledges, thus plunging into a new depth of deceit. Being able to lie must now be a prerequisite to be a successful MP. “A little less obviously?” – I think the reverse is taking place: subtle ways of being dishonest have been rejected in favour of blatant methods.

Oh, cancellation of the Building Schools for the Future programme as well. Warnings about that were denounced as more “Labour lies” before the election.

Generally there is a concern trust in politicians is so low that the only time politicians are likely to be believed is when they accuse other politicians of lying (even when they are telling the truth).

10 points for anyone who understood what I was trying to say in that last sentence.

7. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

You’re labouring under an irrelevant reality based paradigm.

There are no ‘u turns’ – truth, lies, its all the same to the political class.

Yay, Vote Labour! 1997-2010 wasn’t enough, let’s let Labour back in again!

War in Iran? Check!

ID cards back? Check!

Huge deficit and spiralling debt? You betcha!

Racist rhetoric from the likes of Jack Straw? Of course!

Vote Labour – For A Brighter Tomorrow

Last week they resurrected Labour’s media campaign to tell us how to blow our noses.

Today we have minimum pricing on alcohol, a measure directly aimed at making life more miserable for the poorest in society.

So despite protestations to the contrary, it looks like nanny statism is alive and well under Cameron.

They just can’t help themselves.

Let me just list some points about this article and the accuracy of the various points it makes:

1. Twisting the truth, the cap is going up to £6k not £9k
2. They’re raising the age at which these are paid to match retirement age – not quite the same thing as “scrapping” them
4. Downright lies. Child detention has been scrapped, there were no children in detention over christmas and by May the practice will have been ended completely.
5. EMAs are going to be replaced, not removed completely (that said, I do not support this decision)
6. Yes, it’s such a terrible crime, stopping the wealthy from receiving child benefit which they don’t actually need.

So, out of seven items, only two and a half were correct. Well done, Mr Sagar, you’re as big a liar as the tories.

re; 2.

Really? When did the government scrap bus passes or the winter fuel allowance? Must have missed those announcements…..

oh no, just looked….they’re still there.

re 3.

How exactly is an NHS reform that moves money out of the back office onto the frontline a U-turn on a committment to do just that?

As for the LibDem so-called “great betrayal”. … what we’ve ended up with is a graduate tax in all but name. What do Labour propose? A graduate tax. So what’s your beef?

The big U turn worth noting is Labour’s. In their last budget they planned for 20 per cent cuts in departmental spending across the board. Now they’re opposing 19 per cent cuts. Call that consistency?

And off the top of my head, here are some lies from Labour:

1. Weapons of mass destruction and the 45 minute claim. Need I say more?
2. An ethical foreign policy. Well, if you ignore Iraq that still leaves complicity in rendition flights and the sale of weapons to violent dictators.
3. No top up fees.
4. We will not increase tuition fees.
5. A promise to introduce an elected house of lords
6. A promise to introduce electoral reform.
7. “Final salary pensions are secure” 400 of them collapsed between 97 and 05, yet it was left up to the Coalition being the ones who finally decided to compensate Equitable Life pension holders

It’s not just dishonest to accuse the coalition of breaking promises, it’s downright silly.

The coalition made no promises before the election. It didn’t even exist before the election.

As it is the LDs and Tories are making a pretty good fist of compromising and negotiating their way into an effective government.

And thank goodness! Can you imagine what a mess we’d be in had we faced another five years of the comrades frantically trying to borrow their way out of debt?

Ok,

we really need to get beyond party political points of liar liar pants on fire. As has been hinted at, all the parties lie, break promises and exaggerate. There are good reasons to do so: stating unconfortable things you believe to be true is not a good strategy for getting elected (spending needs to be cut, immigration is good for the country, pigou taxes are good things, carbon emissions need to be cut, etc). All parties hold some viewpoints that they would rather not say in public, and some decisions that are unpopular are without a doubt essential. Just as there are some things that parties do for reasons of vested interests which they claim they have to do for the national interest. The reason parties lie is because it works, and because it rarely costs them (they always have the defence of “everybody else does it” as illustrated nicely here).

It’s largely down to the political culture we’ve let ourselves get into; whereby the media routinely lie, and attack those willing to state uncomfortable truths, and those interested in policy and politics also tend to end up supporting a party and thus contribute to the dysfunctional nature of the political culture by attacking their opponents for doing things they do themselves, and being unable to adopt a more balanced approach.

Furthermore, as it’s a coalition, there are of course going to be changes to actual manifestos (not that manifesto’s are the main reason people choose to vote a certain way anyway), as compromises are going to need to be made and concessions made by each party. Plus, sometimes legislation needs to be changed from initial manifesto thoughts (once you put something out for consultation, it is pointless to ignore the results) to reflect changes that may have occured.

Rather than shout “liar liar” at the coalition, I think the strategy more likely to succeed in changing policy is going to be more based upon explaining and arguing why policy X is a bad idea, not pointing out that policy X was ruled out prior to an election.

Actually, after thinking about it a bit, I suppose I should be grateful to Mr Sagar. After all, if it weren’t for him reminding me what so many people in the Labour party are actually like then I might have actually been tempted to seriously consider Labour as an alternative. But now I’m reassured that, no matter how bad the Lib Dems get under Clegg, Labour will always be worse. Thanks Paul!

There’s always the “greenest government ever” can of worms too.

17. Polittiscribe

You forgot the promise not to introduce tuition fees, and the doing away of the 10p tax band that wouldn’t hurt the poorest, and the end of boom and bust, and the assurance that the credit crunch would not lead to recession and the assurance that the war in Iraq was legal… and all the others.

If this goes too far, there’s the very real risk that lying and dishonesty will become normalised.

Oh, mercy!

To those complaining about Labour dishonesty, I’d note that the points you mention are garnered from 13 years, whereas the points in this article (and those I’ve added) are from about half a year. I think the level of dishonesty we’ve seen with this government is unprecedented.

But even as a Labour member and former Organiser, I do think Labour paved the way for the dishonesty we’re seeing now. Although Labour at times made tortured attempts to avoid technically lying (tuition fees a case in point, saying they wouldn’t introduce them in a particular parliament then delaying the implementation so it started in the next parliament), in doing so the leadership of the party spared their own consciences while forgetting that no-one else cared about the letter of the manifesto commitment – it was the spirit of it that counted.

Labour’s approach to spin was very much “what do we need to do to be able to say x or y and be technically truthful” but in concentrating on the letter of the law and not the spirit of it we lowered the expectations of the electorate and the current coalition government was able to get away with complete lies.

Oh we must not call them U turns, they are The New Politics.

If we criticise obvious idiocies we are told by Cameron ‘to grow up’.

To those complaining about Labour dishonesty, I’d note that the points you mention are garnered from 13 years, whereas the points in this article (and those I’ve added) are from about half a year.

Also, the fact that Labour were a bunch of mendacious bastards does not necessarily preclude this lot being a bunch of mendacious bastards too. Really, if the best you can come up with is “the other side did it too”, then what the fuck is it all for? Are you just a bunch of tribal arseholes with no discernible principles at all whose only concern is getting one over on “the other side”?

Fuckers to the left of me, bastards to the right…

A feeble, propagandist article, to which posters @12 and @13 make sound replies. Assembled, apparently, “in under 30 minutes”, and I’m afraid it shows.

You can accuse the coalition of U-turns only by reference to the post-election coalition agreement, not by reference to the constituent parties’ pre-election manifestos.

If we ever end up with PR, and I hope we never do, coalition government will be a permanent feature of our political life – and we will have to get used to judging coalitions by their founding documents, not by the individual manifestos of the parties in coalition.

Just imagine a Lab-Lib coalition in the future…you’d want to judge it by its founding agreement, surely…? No? Then you have double-standards, and that brings politics into disrepute as much as anything.

If a coalition’s founding document bears little relation to the manifestos of the compnent parts of the coalition, the coalition has no democratic legitimacy: in no way can the Government be said to represent the people. This may be inevitable when there is a coalition government, but then the coalition will need to gain that legitimacy by avoiding the pushing through of policies in a hurry and by carefully explaining and gaining support for its policies.

This govt has adopted the G W Bush / Karl Rove style of politics. Everything is the opposite of what they claim. Under Bush he passed the “clear sky” policy ; which you might be surprised to know gave polluters the freedom to pollute the skies with impunity. Or the “healthy forests” policy, which you might be surprise to learn gave logging companies the rights to cut down most forests. I won’t bother to bring up all the lies about Iraq, and weapons of mass destruction, and bringing democracy to Iraq. They ran him out of down before he got the chance to “save social security.”

In this strange parallel universe, everything they say means the opposite. “I have no plans to raise VAT” means “I can’t wait to raise VAT.” “I am going to be tough on the bankers” means “I can’t wait to hand over more billions of tax payers money to bail out my city mates.” “I love the NHS” means “I can’t wait to destroy it”

And the thing is, the more lies the better, because the public can’t keep up with so much dishonesty. More lies , and bigger lies, and they get away with it. Leo Strauss at his best.

No one voted for a Coalition Government and no one voted for a bunch of Politicians that think because it is a Coalition that makes it alright to lie, make things up as it goes along and push in policies no one knew about or wanted.

If people had of known that the United Kingdom was going to be subjected to this level of deceit and in my opinion ( Abuse ) from both David Cameron and Nick Clegg I suspect the last General Election would have had a completely different outcome but sadly we have all been lied to and conned.

This so called Coalition was born from the Diabolical Mess of the last election and is just like a Forced/Fixed Marriage that is doomed to misery. David Cameron and Nick Clegg want the outside world to think that all is well within so that they can selfishly hang onto power, when in fact the cracks are starting to appear within the Government ( family ) with Vince Cable and others openly and privately making the unhappiness be known by their recent comments that have been recently publicized in the news.

This Coalition has been forced upon the United Kingdoms citizens and is turning out to be a Brutal, Arrogant, Uncaring, Lying so called Coalition that has no shame with inflicting the nation with misery because they can do anything because a Coalition was not on the Ballot Sheet !

Guess what : I know many, many, many people that refuse to recognise this so called Coalition, myself included.

Dunc/20: Given that we’re encouraged to consider politics as a choice between the lesser of two evils, “they haven’t lied quite as much” is presumably the political equivalent of a glowing recommendation.

But absolutely, the assumption implicit in the “they did it too” that no-one criticising the coalition’s lies has also criticised the previous government’s lies – and in fact, everyone criticising the coalition’s lies approved of Labour’s lies – is extremely unpleasant.

paul ilc/21: You can accuse the coalition of U-turns only by reference to the post-election coalition agreement, not by reference to the constituent parties’ pre-election manifestos.

That depends. If something was in both parties’ original manifestos, then I think they can be criticised for not doing it, coalition agreement or not. (Though, in that case, it would be very surprising if it didn’t make the coalition agreement too)

Similarly, if either the coalition agreement or current policy stated something that was neither a direct copy of the manifesto position of one of the parties nor plausibly “between” the manifesto positions of the two parties – i.e. it was outside the range set by the original two manifestos – then again I think there can be fair criticism.

So, for instance, the AV referendum is a compromise between the Conservative position of FPTP and the Lib Dem position of STV. If we were instead being told that the government intended to abolish elections, this would not be either an original or compromise position, but something new altogether, and would be fairly criticised, despite its appearance in the coalition agreement under “electoral reform”.

Or, for instance, both Lib Dems and Tories campaigned on not raising VAT, so the compromise position is to not raise VAT. Raising VAT is outside the compromise range, and so can be criticised. (I don’t recall it being in the coalition agreement, either, for that matter)

cim @25: very well put – you have articulated very clearly what I was trying to say. Thank you.

Unbelievable.

So according to the moronic tory fuck trolls this govt can do anything they want because they did not exist before the last election.. They can start building concentration camps ,and fill them with anyone they like. They can order the police to walk down the streets machine gunning down members of the public and it is all just fine because,……and I quote the moron Alf…….

“ The coalition made no promises before the election. It didn’t even exist before the election.”

Brownshirts the lot of them.

@10 Jamie: “As for the LibDem so-called “great betrayal”. … what we’ve ended up with is a graduate tax in all but name. What do Labour propose? A graduate tax.”

It is a “graduate tax” and a very clever one. A traditional graduation tax would have only applied to UK tax payers. Those who pay tax outside the UK (potentially any non-UK EU student qualified to attend England and Wales HE) could have a free education. Note also that the payment threshold has been increased substantially, allowing graduates the opportunity to get on with life. The lowest earning do not have to pay back their loan after a finite period.

That policy was not in the LibDem manifesto, but it makes a lot more sense than the one that is in there. And it is a bloody sight more fair than a traditional graduate tax.

So there is a lesson for policy makers in the future. Write your manifesto so that it might work in a coalition arrangement (with give and take) and reflect economic reality. Grants for all was a pre-2008 policy, and should have been binned immediately afterwards. (There is a more sophisticated argument that parties should not commit themselves to policy that is not in the philosophical core; commitments should be drawn directly from a party’s “What we stand for” statement; after which, parties might state ambitions and ideals that are less fundamental.)

What all these lies and U Turns add up to is simple: the government does not have a mandate to do anything it is proposing to do. It is an illegitimate government and we should be seeking to chuck it out and hold new elections.

@29

Did you say the same when Labour won 22% of the electorate’s support in 2005?

No?

You, sir, are a hypocrite.

sally @27

“this govt can do anything they want because they did not exist before the last election.. They can start building concentration camps ,and fill them with anyone they like. They can order the police to walk down the streets machine gunning down members of the public”

Your foam-flecked post requires a Straw Man Alert. Of course, they could not do such things: we have the rule of law. So mentioning such possibilities only generates more heat than light. Moreover, as far as U-turns are concerned, the Coalition government is largely (see cim @25) to be judged by the terms of its founding agreement, though obviously the coalition’s policies can be criticised on technical, political and moral grounds.

@22 Guano: “If a coalition’s founding document bears little relation to the manifestos of the compnent parts of the coalition, the coalition has no democratic legitimacy”

There are identifiable elements from both parties in the coalition founding document. Paul Sagar questions some LibDem influences (effective or not?) but we have yet to see white papers or changes to government orders on civil liberty issues. It is about nine months so I require some change soon.

“in no way can the Government be said to represent the people”

Few first past the post elections deliver that anyway. How many governments have the backing of 50% of voters? As I commented elsewhere, it is time to move on. Party manifestoes must reflect what can be achieved in a non-majority scenario; many local government politicians have moved on.

sally is the enemy of free speech.

35. Anon E Mouse

As long as Ed Miliband leads Labour the party will never ever be elected to power in this country. Why would anyone vote for a man who’s not done a single days work in his life and became a tax avoiding property millionaire via his disloyal father.

The Labour Party in government were a bunch of bloodthirsty warmongering liars who sucked up to the Republicans in the US and big business in the UK.

No wonder Obama wanted nothing to do with the terminally useless Gordon Brown – neither did the British public. (Or the Labour Party in fairness to them)

All this article serves to highlight is how bad the last government were.

As a Lib Dem voter now I say “Well done – keep it up”….

36. Anon E Mouse

@29 Briar

Go ahead. Try and chuck them out via an election and Labour will go bust in the first 16 hours – the party is bankrupt.

The Tories would just win an outright majority – who in their right sense of mind would vote for the Miliband the Son Of Brown?

He can’t even speak clearly to me – does he have a cold?

And with John Prescott running the books – you remember him – the croquet playing “socialist” what hope is there.

Things are serious for the Labour Party Briar. Please do not make them worse with idiotic ideas like snap elections. Get a grip man…

37. Anon E Mouse

sally – You really come across as a New Labour lickspittle. Stop ignoring me. I’ve asked you six times now after your rudeness elsewhere.

Why are you ignoring me? Too frit? You seem to be all fired up at dishing out your crazy views no one else shares…

Come on then; you seem to be avoiding the truth whilst insulting everyone else for not sharing your inconsistent views.

You see I think you are your ilk are one of the reasons people fell out with Labour – too much hypocrisy and lying and smearing about other people.

Well?

You mention fox hunting. Did you know Kate Hoey, the Labour MP, is the Chairman of Countryside Alliance?

This link takes you to her latest comments to the fox hunting supporters:

http://www.countryside-alliance.org.uk/hunting-campaigns/hunting-views/kate-hoey-mp-writes-to-supporters/

And Anne Widdecombe (with the Labour MP Tony Banks) the Tory MP, proposed the very bill that got rid of fox hunting in this country.

So a Tory was responsible for the bill that got rid of fox hunting and a Labour MP is still the head of the fox hunting brigade.

Do you still not know what hypocrisy is sally?

Because when I asked you about the countess toff Harriet Harman, educated at the same school as George Osborne and the fact her husband, Jack Dromey, the union dinosaur, had somehow been elected on her “all women” shortlist you went quiet.

38. Anon E Mouse

@15. Matthew Flanagan

This government got rid of Runway 3 at Heathrow immediately.

That makes them the greenest government ever.

End of…

One of the most damning criticisms of the Thatcherites was their inability to ever change course. The characteristic was arguably their downfall.

In more recent years, “u-turns” on, say, the travesty of New Labour’s drag-us-into-Iraq-using-lies policy would have been very welcome.

Seeing the left so eager to follow the Miliband line that the ability to assess, negotiate and change position a is a _bad_ thing, worries me a great deal.

@37

Not to mention the new home insulation scheme (which I personally will be benefiting from), the new charge per flight rather than per passenger, the carbon capture & storage trial power station, future nuclear power station construction to be unsubsidised by the taxpayer, the Cancun climate deal and the new green investment bank.

Anon E Mouse @34:

“Why would anyone vote for a man who’s not done a single days work in his life and became a tax avoiding property millionaire…”

Unfortunately, that applies not just to Ed Milliband but to most of the frontbenchers in all the major parties.

One of the problems we have in the UK is the professionalisation of politics. Parliament needs to be refreshed with people who have run small businesses, been nurses, clerks, been unemployed for a while or worked on the shop floor for years; and we need fewer political researchers, union administrators, teachers, lecturers, estate agents, PR consultants and lawyers….

“sally” (aka a fat unemployed 50 year old man who gets kicks out of typing “brownshirt” under a female pseudonym) won’t respond to you Anon: “she” can dish it out but “she” can’t take it.

Spend, spend, spend.

Debt? Deficit? What nonsense are you talking about?

Just spend – then let the Tories win so they can reap the unpopularity of trying to pay for all that spending.

That is The New Labour Way.

@25 cim: “Or, for instance, both Lib Dems and Tories campaigned on not raising VAT…”

Or for instance, collective “wisdom” raised its head? Both Tories and LibDems argued their case that particular taxes must be reduced and others deserve to be increased. And after all the heat, it was agreed that VAT was the one that might rise, generating a bit of income, maybe this way or that way, fair or unfair.

One thing to remember is that it is a long time since the UK had a coalition government. And that one (1940-1945) was not by choice. Until summer 2010, nobody regarded it as a serious outcome (exceptions: 1974, and subsequent Lib-Lab pact).

Political wonks back a party because they subscribe to its values; in multi-party systems where coalitions are inevitable, that is what we need voters to do; in post-FPTP or an uncertain FPTP world, we have to campaign on philosophy not cheap gimmick policies.

@ 39. George W. Potter

The Green Investment Bank is only getting £1billion of public funding. One billion might sound a lot of money to you or I, however, in banking terms it is derisory capital for a bank. I understand that they are going to be able to raise additional funding from the market by issuing their own debt instruments so that might make them bigger. The GIB is a good idea but it seems to me to be too small to make much of an impact.

@ 36 Anon E Mouse: “sally – You really come across as a New Labour lickspittle. Stop ignoring me. I’ve asked you six times now after your rudeness elsewhere.”

Please do not become concerned about Sally. Sally’s politics cannot be defined but she is not a New Labour supporter.

Just don’t get wound up. Sally is wound (as in winding thread) up about 14 other people as well as you.

If Sally presents a sensible argument, reply politely. Sally often replies politely. If Sally is rude, ignore and let the moderators sort it out. Should you be still upset, mail Sunny and the mods.

Don’t get into a tizz about stirrers. Most people who comment here are not stirrers.

46. Anon E Mouse

@40 Paul

Agreed. Why didn’t Alan Johnson stand?

He had to be better in the leaders brief than shadow chancellor!

Mickey Mouse “sally – You really come across as a New Labour lickspittle. Stop ignoring me ”

Oh look at the little troll stamping his little feet. He thinks he is important.

If you know anything about me you would know that I am not a New Labour supporter because I don’t like tories, and New Labour is tory.

I particularly hate tories who pretend that they are not tory which is what you do on here. As for answering your idiotic questions , why should I waste my time dealing with a tory?

48. Anon E Mouse

@44 Charlieman

Thanks for the info. Had some beers and I’m cool now.

Apparantly it’s going to cost me more soon. This government, despite the rhetoric, seem to be actually as bad or worse (in different ways) than the last lot!

They certainly don’t seem like a Tory government.

49. Anon E Mouse

sally – And the hypocrisy of Labour?

@43 Richard W: “The Green Investment Bank is only getting £1billion of public funding. One billion might sound a lot of money to you or I, however, in banking terms it is derisory capital for a bank.”

My assumption is that a bank produces a return, so The Green Investment Bank must make money. The majority of green investments (eg mass alternative power) are speculative (loss now, income in the future).

Thus I have to assume that The Green Investment Bank is a folly or a long term gamble. It is not the role of government to undertake long term gambles.

But The Green Investment Bank isn’t a bank. So why give it that name?

It’s a fund, a speculative fund. Call it a fund.

51. Anon E Mouse

sally – The point you keep choosing to ignore is the fact Harriet Harnan is more privileged than any Tory in the Commons. She is part of a countess family FFS.

Do you really not get that? Or Kate Hoey and fox hunting?

You are so New Labour it hurts. George Galloway eats people like you for breakfast. That’s what integrity is sally. If you represent a typical Labour voter, which I suspect you don’t, the party deserves to be out of power.

@ 50: Anon E Mouse

Just stop it. Nothing here to see, just go home.

Fight with me sensibly.

@ 51. Charlieman

Although they have not finalised the details of the structure of the bank. It will be an investment bank with shareholders and with a banking licence. Initially financing is going to be from the proceeds of the sale of public infrastructure. They are obviously planning on the bank investing and making money if as Huhne says they will be able to raise capital by issuing their own bonds. A steady stream of revenue is required to fund bonds. Although, the Treasury will retain a shareholding stake. Majority? The Treasury will want to keep them at arms length as they will not want to count the contingent liabilities. Moreover, they will need to pay banker salaries and all the shit headlines that will attract. I don’t think it makes much difference whether they are called a fund or a bank. But if they have a banking licence they are a bank, albeit not a large enough one.

54. Laughing Gravy

Leaving aside partisan point scoring for a moment, this post raises an interesting issue – or number of issues. What is the standing of a manifesto? Can a Government only do those things that it said it would do in its Manifesto? You might say for which it has a mandate. Conversely, can it not do anything that was not specifically included in its Manifesto? Then, what constitutes a manifesto? Is it only the document itself or is it also the tapestry of pledges, remarks, asides and promises made in public meetings, on radio or TV, in newspaper interviews, in public meetings and so on before an election (and how long before?) Who can make these committments? Only the leaders, the official spokesmen, or Uncle Tom Cobleigh and all? Having been brought up in an era when all the above were treated as broad statements of intent – rather than promises to be kept, I become increasingly puzzled by where we have got to and whether we are not being rather infantile in what we expect Governments to be able to do or not do.

55. the 13th Beatle

why do so many tories hang out on a Left-Leaning blogsite?

Whilst I know we shouldn’t be juvenile and all that, as many people come here for reasoned debate and so on, so I offer my apologies before making this comment, but could I just say that Anon E Mouse and Bourgeois are enemies of non-twatishness (if that is even word, but if it isn’t might we invent it so it is a word that could be used to describe Anon E Mouse and Bourgeois). Just a suggestion really? Rant over…sorry about that.

Don’t know whats worse Tory trolls or smug LibDems.

You know what I don’t understand? I don’t understand why more Tories aren’t pissed off with the compromises the Coalition has made. Presumably you voted for them because you liked the contents of their manifesto, right? Now, back in ’97, when I voted for Labour because I liked parts of their manifesto, I was massively pissed off when they didn’t actually implement them and instead did something completely different, to the extent that I swore I’d never vote for them again (and subsequent events have only strengthened that resolve).

Is it really just about winning? Will you continue to back “your team”, no matter what they do, as long as they win elections? Does it really just boil down to Red vs Blue?

@53 Richard W: Thanks for that.

As you said, £1 billion isn’t a lot in the scale of things. However, after reading your description, it makes sense to me. The fund is speculative, hence the modest startup capital. If it works, non-government investors will participate; if it fails, it is “only” £1 billion.

Whilst it might meet the criteria for a bank, however, I’ll carry on calling it a fund. Banks lend money to a spectrum of companies, high risk and low risk.

Since coming to power in May 2010 the Coalition Government have announced a number of actions:

Cut the war widows pension by pegging it to CFI.

Cut the injured soldiers pension by pegging it to CFI.

If a war widow remarries or moves in with a partner they will stop her War Widows Pension.

Devalued the veterans pension by changing the link from RPI to CPI therefore removing the pension from the cost of housing.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  2. Liberal Conspiracy

    The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  3. Bethany Lane

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  4. Bethany Lane

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  5. Carl Poffley

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  6. Hannah M

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  7. Press Not Sorry

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  8. Juliet Shaw

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  9. MustBeRead

    At @LibCon @Paul_Sagar lists the Coalition's "breathtaking" U-turns http://j.mp/ifFfss

  10. Simon Grover

    The Coalition: The Top 9 Things They Said They Would Do And Haven't, Or Wouldn't Do And Have http://t.co/wivj6K2 via @libcon

  11. Swamp Thang

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  12. Joanne Platt

    RT @SimonGrover: The Coalition: The Top 9 Things They Said They Would Do And Haven't, Or Wouldn't Do And Have http://t.co/wivj6K2 via @l …

  13. Jane Phillips

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  14. absolutedissent

    RT @libcon The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  15. Chris Keegan

    Lies upon lies rounded off with broken election promises. Are you represented by an MP? Write to them, they're a liar. http://bit.ly/dVhNq0

  16. George Allwell

    The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UAp5OiR

  17. Terence Stokes

    RT @georgeallwell: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/UAp5OiR

  18. Pamela Heywood

    The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering: "The sheer scale and breadth of the present go… http://twurl.nl/dzri23

  19. UNISON East Midlands

    The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://is.gd/gvoDwG

  20. Angus

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  21. L DTUC

    RT @UNISONEastMids: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://is.gd/gvoDwG

  22. Link Loving 18.01.11 « Casper ter Kuile

    [...] Paul Sagar lists the large number of U-turns made so far by the government [...]

  23. Jane Ayres

    RT @libcon The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX < absolutely!!

  24. Daniel Pitt

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  25. Paul Jakma

    LibCon on ConDem broken pre-election promises: http://bit.ly/h1EOJZ

  26. Andy Bold

    RT @pjakma: LibCon on ConDem broken pre-election promises: http://bit.ly/h1EOJZ

  27. Socio Imagination

    The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/fCdG6d

  28. Public University

    The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/fCdG6d

  29. ULivUCU

    RT @public_uni: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/fCdG6d

  30. Chris Johnston

    List of all the Coalition's broken (pre-election) promises – http://ow.ly/3Gjre – worth remembering… via @caspertk

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    RT @imchrisjohnston: List of all the Coalition's broken (pre-election) promises – http://ow.ly/3Gjre – worth remembering… via @caspertk

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    RT @imchrisjohnston: List of all the Coalition's broken (pre-election) promises – http://ow.ly/3Gjre – worth remembering… via @caspertk

  33. The Election Blog

    RT @imchrisjohnston: List of all the Coalition's broken (pre-election) promises – http://ow.ly/3Gjre – worth remembering… via @caspertk

  34. Critical Criticism

    Get dat doe -u judge
    http://j.mp/i7zFXb

  35. Joseph Burnett

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX

  36. Blair’s Heirs « Bad Conscience

    [...] piece was cross-posted at Liberal Conspiracy. Sadly, LibCon is no longer a place for reasoned exchange: the fate of any highly successful blog [...]

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  38. criticalpraxis

    RT @libcon: The sheer scale and breadth of Coalition u-turns is staggering http://bit.ly/hOlFsX





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