Sunday, April 28, 2013

Big Man Small Dog

One unusual view of a bride from a thousand feet above the wedding reception at the Oake Golf Club near Taunton.

The South west was bitterly cold yesterday with a strong wind which put a stop to the parachuting at Dunkeswell aerodrome until mid-afternoon, when conditions calmed a little.

Oddly enough, I spotted the wedding reception at four miles, coming over the high ridge to the south of Taunton, not because I could see the Oake golf club but because I could see the Sun reflecting off the bride's white dress.

The news this morning has UKIP's Nigel Farage, suggesting that the Conservative Party is running a clandestine, 'Dirty Tricks' campaign against his County Council candidates, by trawling through the internet and social media sites, looking for damaging material. I might remark that in many cases, 'trawling' would be quite unnecessary as many candidates appear to be revealing their more unorthodox opinions, without any help, as we can see quite plainly on a local basis. If the Conservative Party, of which I am a member, was organised enough and had the resources to mount such a campaign, I for one one would be very surprised indeed.

Stroke and Vote Campaigning with Cllr Chris Wells
I was out briefly canvassing on Friday with Cllrs Robert Burgess, Michael Jarvis and Chris Wells, with help from the MEP Richard Ashworth. One remark that struck me from a passer-by, was that the Chancellor had, after three years, plenty of time to sort-out the deficit and bring employment down. It's not an uncommon opinion locally and I do find that many people remain unable to grasp the sheer size of the financial crisis left by the crash of 2008 and the over-spending and borrowing of the last Labour goverment.

National issues don't really have much place in County elections but people, quite understandably, feel strongly enough to mix the two together and want to protest the new, sudden and far-reaching changes that are impacting their lives..

I will leave you with one thought however, The economy has to grow by at least 2% each year to more than double the average national income over seventy years. That's not happening, it's not going to happen with any Government in the foreseeable future and quite possibly, not in my own remaining lifetime either, given the burden of national debt, worries over sources of energy and the displacement of the global economy towards the far-east. The choice for all of us, voting in any election, nationally or locally, is whether we recognise the new economic reality and slowly attempt to climb out of the abyss we fell into as a nation in 2008. This brings a great deal of pain for many as the welfare state is rationalised to match what we can afford; the new austerity or we can hand back control of the economy to those who put us down the deep hole in the first place?

One side has a plan it's sticking to. The other, mumbles unceasingly about 'Millionaires' and has declared it won't reveal its financial strategy until before the next General Election but the numbers are quite inescapable, much like the law of gravity I pointed out to Labour members in a Council meeting last year. Wishful thinking and humming the 'Internationale' will not reverse the consequences of a collapse in confidence in our model of capitalism, built on impossible levels of government and consumer debt which gave as the illusory prosperity of the last thirty years. Something a little more practical is required and for the moment, paying down our debts is the only option available to keep interest rates low and avoid the consequences of stubborn denial, seen in a crisis-ridden Europe, where France now has three million unemployed under its new socialist government and Spain has a quarter of its workforce now jobless.


Anonymous said...

If all ex politicians were to be taxed on their public speaking fees at 90% then Blair, Brown and Miliband D would not even scratch the surface of our national debt. Meanwhile these architects of this debt carry on as if it was nothing to do with them. Can E. Balls really believe that if he has maxed out the nation's credit card he can just borrow on a new card and so on? There is many an individual who has tried that only to find that each new credit card is harder to come by and interest rates are correspondingly higher, then bailiffs are knocking on the door and county court judgements are being issued. Is this the way Miliband, Balls, Harmen etc. want to take the country?

Astal Avista said...

Still at it! Yes, on last night's news Mr Cameron was still prattling about the 'economy that we inherited'. It is an old tune, played to death. Reeks of 'not be guv, it was the other lot'.
Man up Call Me Dave. MOve on. Accept responsibility. Ooops. You can't. You are a politician and don't know how.

Simon Moores said...

Astal Avista, let's try and address that because in turn, that also reeks of denial!

Imagine for one moment you inherited a country that was broke and drowning in debt that would take several generations to pay. A country with little or no manufacturing industry, floating on the income from the City of London, has exhausted its oil revenues and has a bloated public sector and welfare bill.

What might you try and do in three years to turn it around I wonder and what might your priorities be?

Pay down the debts, keep interest rates low, to avoid home repossession on an unimaginable scale or follow the examples of Spain and France and Portugal and Ireland and Italy?

To quote Labour's Secretary to the Treasury's famous leaving note to George Osborne. "There is no money" and Britain hovers at the edge of an economic abyss that may lie beyond your imagination I suspect.

Anonymous said...

I guess Astal Avista thinks it can all be put right at a stroke. It took thirteen years to get into this mess, why should it be take less time to sort it out. The sad fact is that despite all their good intentions the Labour party seem unable to run an economy. On each occasion they have left office the country has been in a worse financial state than when they took office. An even sadder fact is that they never seem to learn the lessons of the past. Sadder still is the fact that they are in denial with the likes of Mr Balls blustering his way every debate as if it was nothing to do with him and everything went wrong in May 2010. Hopefully his slim majority will disappear in 2015.

Anonymous said...

Just an aside, noticing your tweet earlier touting for business from UKIP surely is a conflict of party loyalty considering the threat they pose from the 'protest' vote at the KCC elections?

Simon Moores said...

I was waiting for such a comment 10:52...!

Firstly it's somewhat tongue in cheek, secondly I have already turned down a request to fly a UKIP banner over Brighton and thirdly.. I've done Labour, Conservative and LibDem in the past, as you will probably see if you look back on this weblog. I have also flown election banners for UKIP before but for some bizarre reason best known to them, they opted for what I might politely describe as the cheapest and most inexperienced option for the flight with Nigel Farage, which came to subsequent grief, for a number of good operational reasons.

I do hope that answers your concerns!?

Anonymous said...

Re UKIP. Perhaps his last pilot supported a different party too, perhaps that's why the flight ended as it did. Or it was an elaborate publicity stunt which got more attention than a banner hauled across the skies.

Simon Moores said...

It's one of the more dangerous jobs in aviation at the best of times, which is possibly why only 4 of us do it in the UK and we are all well over 50..

Justin was an aggressive, much younger operator with only 600 hours flying experience, who did things that nobody else might risk. What he did on that day would have breached several of m=or own written operational safety regulations.

The accident was avoidable (I've had the same emergency happen to me twice) - you can read the AAIB report and the pilot and the passenger were both lucky to escape with their lives, although the pilot was badly burned.

If there was a single blessing, then it's that the military spec Wilga has a pilot's compartment designed to mitigate impact and maintained a level of integrity after the crash. If it had been a Cessna or a Cub, neither is likely to have survived.

It's a risky business and for example, I'm 1,000 hours overdue for an incident on a probability basis, which is why flight safety is taken so seriously at all times.

Anonymous said...

I find your picture a bit sad (in the genuine sense of the word). How different and less happy the outcome might be if it were a wedding party in Afghanistan or Pakistan.

Simon Moores said...

Unsure what you mean by outcome in this sense and what Afghanistan or even Pakistan,has to do with a wedding at a golf club in Taunton unless you mean they don't play much golf in the tribal areas?

My uncle served their with the Gurkhas in 1948. Many years ago he told me that they used to be shooting at each other all week but on Friday's, they would down tools and play cricket as they had for a 100 years before that too!

Anonymous said...

When you're out and about canvassing and people mention the deficit do you ever ask if they can define it, as most people I speak to confuse deficit with national debt and seem unaware that national debt is ever increasing.

As for the solution, long a hard best describes it, as Paddy Ashdown recently put it, the country under successive goverments has overconsumed and under invested for 50 years. Going to take at least as long to sort out.

On that cheerful note, good day.

1 o'clock Rob said...

Well said 9:40am, I am amazed at how many people tell me that they are glad we are paying off the national debt without realising the difference!

Simon you are from a different party to the one I usually vote for but with all our political differences I share similar concerns to your assessment of the future economy!

Anonymous said...

interested by what you said about new media campaigns. i think its time the conservatives got over their fear and start to embrace the new technologies, imho