Take Me To Your Leader Writer

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...has written more leaders (newspaper editorials) than anyone alive or dead, an honour still to be recognised by the Guiness Book of Records or the Nobel judges. I have produced them for the Daily Mirror, Daily Mail, Sunday Mirror, Today, the Sunday People, the Evening Post (Hemel Hempstead), the Caithness Courier and the Student (Edinburgh). My creed is: Have opinions, Will travel.

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Who are the Trotskyites now?

It seems a long time (more than a quarter of a century, actually) since the Trots were regularly being denounced  and it is something of a political wonder that they have survived into the 21st century.
But when the Tories' backs are to the wall, you can rely on them to haul out the invective against these ultra-left demons.
David Cameron was at it today at PMQs. Asked about the government's workfare scheme, he lashed out at "the Trotskyites" (sic) who, he said, are organising the opposition to it.
It makes a change to have a new target after the beating the bankers have taken. To paraphrase Peter Mandelson: "They have suffered enough."
So who are these Trotskyites attacked so robustly by the prime minister?  Well, they are the people who run Boots. And McDonalds. And Tesco. And dozens of other major retail companies.
I thought they were capitalists but it turns out they are Trots. Presumably Cameron thinks proper business leaders could see that the workfare scheme is a wonderful opportunity for young people to work for nothing in menial jobs with the threat of losing their meagre benefits if they should dare to prefer not to be exploited.
In fact, these companies have been rather swift to respond once they realised what was going on and that they, in turn, were being exploited by the government in an attempt to make a sordid scheme look good and successful.
Can't David Cameron tell the difference between the people who run some of the biggest companies in the country and the rag-tag of the SWP? Apparently not.
Stand by for him to accuse doctors and nurses of being "Trotskyites" for opposing his health bill.

Monday 27 February 2012

Who are the really stupid ones?

Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. They are just so-o-o-o dumb. All those doctors, nurses and other health professionals, including people who ran or run the NHS. Just ignorant, thick and useless.
At least, that is what the government is saying about those who criticise the health bill.
There is a bit of a problem for Cameron and Lansley, though.  Funnily enough, the British public doesn't see it that way.
They don't consider that the people they rely on for medical treatment are stupid. On the contrary, they consider them to be knowledgeable, experienced and caring - caring for their patients and caring for the National Health Service.
So it is hardly surprising that a clear majority of people not only say they trust health professionals more than politicians, but that they believe the health "reforms" are going to be bad for the NHS.
Let me go further. The stupid ones are the politicians who not only think they can get away with changes that will eventually wreck the principles of the health service, but who treat the professionals as idiots.
Apart from alienating just about everyone in the health sector, it reinforces the public's view that politicians are shallow, objectionable thugs who treat all who dare to oppose them with contempt.
Cameron is treading on very thin ice. Hopefully it will crack and he will fall in before the NHS does.

Friday 24 February 2012

Where is the champion of true capitalism?

They just don't get it. Certainly David Cameron doesn't and neither do the media.
No one - apart from a few extremely eccentric extremely old-fashioned extremely left-wing comrades - thinks business is bad. Business creates job and makes money which pays wages and taxes.
But in the past half century a form of "business" has developed which only makes one thing - money for the people involved in it.
Ed Miliband appeared to want to draw the distinction when he talked in his conference speech of "predatory capitalism", The language was too difficult, he didn't explain it and quickly moved away when Cameron ridiculed him.
Now the prime minister has gone out of his way to praise capitalism without drawing attention to the differences between the innovative entrepreneur or small shopkeeper and the fatcats of the City and private equity whose only purpose is to enrich themselves.
Bonuses are a symbol of what has happened. It isn't the Left which is doing down capitalism, it is the people who claim to be its strongest supporters. The greedy few who care nothing for genuine business are the ones undermining capitalism.
Yet where is the politician who can articulate this? Not on the horizon.
Money equals power, so those who want a bit of power feel they have to bow the knee to the obscene money machine. David Cameron is in the best position to champion true capitalism. But either he is scared to or simply doesn't understand. Or both.

Wednesday 22 February 2012

It's an ill wind for the NHS and Cameron

This blog has been delayed for the past couple of weeks due to a technical hitch.  The hitch which is delaying the health bill is hardly technical.
Just what a disaster it is proving for the government can be seen from Prime Minister's Questions. It isn't so much that Ed Miliband is doing well but that David Cameron is clearly floundering.
He flusters and blusters and flails around. He not only doesn't even attempt to answer the questions, it is the ludicrous nature of his replies that is so revealing.
Surely there must be someone around him who can suggest a better line of defence. Unless they have all come to accept there is no defence to these reforms.
There is widespread acceptance that the NHS is currently working rather well. It has its faults and problems but, on the whole, it is far more efficient than it used to be.
The inevitable conclusion the public has drawn is that the changes the Tories want to introduce will make it worse. And, of course, when you have all those health professionals saying precisely that, it can only reinforce the worst fears.
Without this bill, the Tories might just have hoped for a narrow overall majority at the next election. With it, they could well go down to defeat.
That is what a growing number of senior Conservatives dread. In which case, it won't only be Andrew Lansley who will be looking for work.