#Corbyn found #Farage bathing one day & stole his clothes, but only for #Labour to wear them ironically?

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Corbynism is not the future, it is the future refusing to be born

1964, 11 years before the EU referendum of 1975, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”

All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  One need not strain one’s imagination to hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.

One never, in one’s wildest dreams, expected to hear a Labour leader use the same language.  Certainly not one like Corbyn, whose fans claim he is the true Socialist Messiah.

ukip’s forebears, dear Cult of Corbyn members, were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to any one particular class.

Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  Anti-semitism is today rife amongst some of Corbyn’s most committed supporters.  One might go so far as to say that it is a defining trait for some of them.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

Bevan once asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory.  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.  Alf was not liberal in outlook.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  Labour under Corbyn is asking the working age poor to vote it into office so it may expand the middle class welfare state at their expense.

The Liberal Democrats went into the 2017 General Election committed to reversing all of the £9bn of Social Security cuts over which IDS resigned.

Labour only committed to reversing £2bn of the cuts, leaving the benefits cap and benefits freeze in place, because, Emily Thornberry said, it could not afford to do more.  Although it could commit without any caveats to the Pensions Triple Lock.

Labour only committed at most £500m for Sure Start.  Not enough money to fully reverse the savage Tory cuts since 2010.  Although it could find the money to commit £10bn plus to deliver universal free university tuition for students mostly from middle and higher income families.

Incidentally, if you are on a low income in our society you are more likely to be from a background other than the white middle class (the group illustrated in Momentum’s recent home video).

You are more likely to be from an ethnic minority background.  Warm words at an anti-racism rally and posing for pictures with Weyman Bennett are no substitute for real action to address the disadvantage someone faces, simply because of their family tree.

And posing with a man with a reputation like that of Bennett casts doubt on your commitment, Corbyn, to helping the most disadvantaged group in our society, women (whatever their sex, their age, their disability, their gender, their race, their geographical locality, their circumstances, their background and their class), realise their full potential.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with people who think LGBT folk have no right to live, because of being LGBT is no way to flaunt your liberal credentials.

How many of those, Corbyn, whose take on LGBT rights you endorse by standing on a platform with them, come anywhere near the view ISIS has of the disabled?  They murder children with Down’s Syndrome for being born with that condition.

How many of those extremists, with whom you make common cause, Corbyn, are opposed to democracy; equal rights for all; the right of Israel to exist and so on …

956706

Let me see, BAME, LGBT, women, the disabled, the poor and the working class, BAME as well as white.  Do they not, Corbyn, make up the group with whom you, uniquely, claim to relate?  Are they not en masse a large enough group out of whom to build an General Election winning majority?

There was a time when Labour was behind in coming forward to call out racism.

There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”

It is a moot point whether Foot would have wholly approved of Labour’s General Election 2015 Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would have accepted that Labour had moved on.

Has Labour moved on though?

Laying out the case for leaving the single market, Corbyn used language we have rarely heard from him, blaming immigration for harming the lives of British workers.  The Labour leader said that after leaving the EU, there would still be European workers in Britain and vice versa. He added, “What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

Did Corbyn ever tell his ex girlfriend’s mother, Diane Abbott’s mom, that she had in some way damaged the pay and conditions of indigenous workers when she came to the UK to work in the NHS?  That was an argument used by, amongst others, trades unionists back in the 1960s.  They worked then with the CBI to attempt to prevent a Race Relations Act going on the statute book that would address discrimination in the jobs and housing market.  The first Act of that kind having failed to address either subject.  Roy Jenkins on becoming Home Secretary (boo, hiss from the seats of the committed socialist ABC1s now dominating Labour’s membership) put that right.

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?  Corbyn, born into a similar class background as Farage, has decided to do the other thing, the easy thing and blow the silent dog whistle that Griffiths bequeathed to Farage.

How about we try taking Gandhi’s advice about hating the sin, but not the sinner, and thereby try to change attitudes and not reinforce them?

Incidentally, Alf Garnett, through seeing people as individuals not as a mass of the other, mellowed over time …

Smethwick 1964

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.

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#Corbyn & The Return of Alf Garnett Or If You Don’t Want a Bulgarian For a Neighbour Vote #Labour?

Standard

Corbynism is not the future, it is the future refusing to be born

1964, 11 years before the EU referendum of 1975, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”

All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  One need not strain one’s imagination to hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.

One never, in one’s wildest dreams, expected to hear a Labour leader use the same language.  Certainly not one like Corbyn, whose fans claim he is the true Socialist Messiah.

ukip’s forebears, dear Cult of Corbyn members, were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to any one particular class.

Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  Anti-semitism is today rife amongst some of Corbyn’s most committed supporters.  One might go so far as to say that it is a defining trait for some of them.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

Bevan once asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory.  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.  Alf was not liberal in outlook.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  Labour under Corbyn is asking the working age poor to vote it into office so it may expand the middle class welfare state at their expense.

The Liberal Democrats went into the 2017 General Election committed to reversing all of the £9bn of Social Security cuts over which IDS resigned.

Labour only committed to reversing £2bn of the cuts, leaving the benefits cap and benefits freeze in place, because, Emily Thornberry said, it could not afford to do more.  Although it could commit without any caveats to the Pensions Triple Lock.

Labour only committed at most £500m for Sure Start.  Not enough money to fully reverse the savage Tory cuts since 2010.  Although it could find the money to commit £10bn plus to deliver universal free university tuition for students mostly from middle and higher income families.

Incidentally, if you are on a low income in our society you are more likely to be from a background other than the white middle class (the group illustrated in Momentum’s recent home video).

You are more likely to be from an ethnic minority background.  Warm words at an anti-racism rally and posing for pictures with Weyman Bennett are no substitute for real action to address the disadvantage someone faces, simply because of their family tree.

And posing with a man with a reputation like that of Bennett casts doubt on your commitment, Corbyn, to helping the most disadvantaged group in our society, women (whatever their sex, their age, their disability, their gender, their race, their geographical locality, their circumstances, their background and their class), realise their full potential.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with people who think LGBT folk have no right to live, because of being LGBT is no way to flaunt your liberal credentials.

How many of those, Corbyn, whose take on LGBT rights you endorse by standing on a platform with them, come anywhere near the view ISIS has of the disabled?  They murder children with Down’s Syndrome for being born with that condition.

How many of those extremists, with whom you make common cause, Corbyn, are opposed to democracy; equal rights for all; the right of Israel to exist and so on …

956706

Let me see, BAME, LGBT, women, the disabled, the poor and the working class, BAME as well as white.  Do they not, Corbyn, make up the group with whom you, uniquely, claim to relate?  Are they not en masse a large enough group out of whom to build an General Election winning majority?

There was a time when Labour was behind in coming forward to call out racism.

There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”

It is a moot point whether Foot would have wholly approved of Labour’s General Election 2015 Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would have accepted that Labour had moved on.

Has Labour moved on though?

Laying out the case for leaving the single market, Corbyn used language we have rarely heard from him, blaming immigration for harming the lives of British workers.  The Labour leader said that after leaving the EU, there would still be European workers in Britain and vice versa. He added, “What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

Did Corbyn ever tell his ex girlfriend’s mother, Diane Abbott’s mom, that she had in some way damaged the pay and conditions of indigenous workers when she came to the UK to work in the NHS?  That was an argument used by, amongst others, trades unionists back in the 1960s.  They worked then with the CBI to attempt to prevent a Race Relations Act going on the statute book that would address discrimination in the jobs and housing market.  The first Act of that kind having failed to address either subject.  Roy Jenkins on becoming Home Secretary (boo, hiss from the seats of the committed socialist ABC1s now dominating Labour’s membership) put that right.

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?  Corbyn, born into a similar class background as Farage, has decided to do the other thing, the easy thing and blow the silent dog whistle that Griffiths bequeathed to Farage.

How about we try taking Gandhi’s advice about hating the sin, but not the sinner, and thereby try to change attitudes and not reinforce them?

Incidentally, Alf Garnett, through seeing people as individuals not as a mass of the other, mellowed over time …

Smethwick 1964

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.

#Corbyn & The Return of Alf Garnett Or If You Don’t Want a Bulgarian For a Neighbour Vote #Labour?

Standard

Corbynism is not the future, it is the future refusing to be born

1964, 11 years before the EU referendum of 1975, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”

All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  One need not strain one’s imagination to hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.

One never, in one’s wildest dreams, expected to hear a Labour leader use the same language.  Certainly not one like Corbyn, whose fans claim he is the true Socialist Messiah.

ukip’s forebears, dear Cult of Corbyn members, were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to any one particular class.

Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  Anti-semitism is today rife amongst some of Corbyn’s most committed supporters.  One might go so far as to say that it is a defining trait for some of them.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

Bevan once asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory.  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.  Alf was not liberal in outlook.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  Labour under Corbyn is asking the working age poor to vote it into office so it may expand the middle class welfare state at their expense.

The Liberal Democrats went into the 2017 General Election committed to reversing all of the £9bn of Social Security cuts over which IDS resigned.

Labour only committed to reversing £2bn of the cuts, leaving the benefits cap and benefits freeze in place, because, Emily Thornberry said, it could not afford to do more.  Although it could commit without any caveats to the Pensions Triple Lock.

Labour only committed at most £500m for Sure Start.  Not enough money to fully reverse the savage Tory cuts since 2010.  Although it could find the money to commit £10bn plus to deliver universal free university tuition for students mostly from middle and higher income families.

Incidentally, if you are on a low income in our society you are more likely to be from a background other than the white middle class (the group illustrated in Momentum’s recent home video).

You are more likely to be from an ethnic minority background.  Warm words at an anti-racism rally and posing for pictures with Weyman Bennett are no substitute for real action to address the disadvantage someone faces, simply because of their family tree.

And posing with a man with a reputation like that of Bennett casts doubt on your commitment, Corbyn, to helping the most disadvantaged group in our society, women (whatever their sex, their age, their disability, their gender, their race, their geographical locality, their circumstances, their background and their class), realise their full potential.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with people who think LGBT folk have no right to live, because of being LGBT is no way to flaunt your liberal credentials.

How many of those, Corbyn, whose take on LGBT rights you endorse by standing on a platform with them, come anywhere near the view ISIS has of the disabled?  They murder children with Down’s Syndrome for being born with that condition.

How many of those extremists, with whom you make common cause, Corbyn, are opposed to democracy; equal rights for all; the right of Israel to exist and so on …

956706

Let me see, BAME, LGBT, women, the disabled, the poor and the working class, BAME as well as white.  Do they not, Corbyn, make up the group with whom you, uniquely, claim to relate?  Are they not en masse a large enough group out of whom to build an General Election winning majority?

There was a time when Labour was behind in coming forward to call out racism.

There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”

It is a moot point whether Foot would have wholly approved of Labour’s General Election 2015 Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would have accepted that Labour had moved on.

Has Labour moved on though?

Laying out the case for leaving the single market, Corbyn used language we have rarely heard from him, blaming immigration for harming the lives of British workers.  The Labour leader said that after leaving the EU, there would still be European workers in Britain and vice versa. He added, “What there wouldn’t be is the wholesale importation of underpaid workers from central Europe in order to destroy conditions, particularly in the construction industry.”

Did Corbyn ever tell his ex girlfriend’s mother, Diane Abbott’s mom, that she had in some way damaged the pay and conditions of indigenous workers when she came to the UK to work in the NHS?  That was an argument used by, amongst others, trades unionists back in the 1960s.  They worked then with the CBI to attempt to prevent a Race Relations Act going on the statute book that would address discrimination in the jobs and housing market.  The first Act of that kind having failed to address either subject.  Roy Jenkins on becoming Home Secretary (boo, hiss from the seats of the committed socialist ABC1s now dominating Labour’s membership) put that right.

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?  Corbyn, born into a similar class background as Farage, has decided to do the other thing, the easy thing and blow the silent dog whistle that Griffiths bequeathed to Farage.

How about we try taking Gandhi’s advice about hating the sin, but not the sinner, and thereby try to change attitudes and not reinforce them?

Incidentally, Alf Garnett, through seeing people as individuals not as a mass of the other, mellowed over time …

Smethwick 1964

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.

#ukip Promises Fat Cat Farmers They’ll Keep Subsidies On #BREXIT #CopelandByElection #StokeByElection

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BzS7TUHCEAAhhc-When Matthew Goodwin writes Nigel Farage’s biography, I am sure you will, Matthew, perhaps he ought to call it Farage: The Diary of a Foxhunting Man (who liked a tab and a pint down the Stockbroker’s Arms)?

Farage (heading a party of the working man, women need not apply) has been spending a goodly amount of time cosying up to the Country Land and Business Association (formerly the Countryside Landowners’ Association).  Back on July 19th 2014 at Blenheim, Oxfordshire, Farage, a regular Game Fair visitor and shooter, promised that farming subsidies would continue if Britain were to leave the EU.  You know, the money we pay to the EU now that Farage says that, if we were out of the EU, we would use to give the low paid a tax ‘cut’.  You will note, though, that the panel’s response to the shooter’s anti EU stance was not all favourable.  Nice, however, to see that writer and racehorse trainer, Charlie Brooks, has already managed to find (gainful?) employment!

Now, you may be wondering about what Farage’s appearance at a Game Fair has to do with repealing the Hunting Act 2004?  Well, check out this article in the Sunday Express of 28th September 2014.  Yes, Elizabeth Truss (a member of the party of the working class, its trade union that has a bit of a problem with women) thinks devoting Parliamentary time to repealing the Act, if the Tories form the next Government, is more important than other matters which fall within her portfolio.  I am sure her stance is in no way affected by the thought of losing 500,000 votes to ukip.

So we have an organisation devoted to representing the interests of the landed Establishment (a trades union) lobbying two Right wing parties, dominated at the top by members of the Establishment.  And yet, ukip, in particular are the insurgents, the mould breakers, the party of the ‘left behind’, a peasants’ revolt in the making …  The definition of the ‘left behind’ has become very flexible, if it now includes people like country landowners and their neighbours, the peasantry (in the original sense of the word)?

These landowners hardly need ukip’s help to get their points across.  They sought to infiltrate the National Trust and overturn its hunting policy in 1998.  You will note who they did get elected, whose friend he just happened to be and the use of the term ‘political correctness’.  Now take a look at FONT’s slate in 2001.  A number of them, Clarissa Dickson-Wright in particular, ‘forgot’ to mention the reason why they were seeking election.  Ms Dickson-Wright wanted to put her culinary skills at the disposal of the Trust.  All she had to do was volunteer to work in the kitchen at one of the Trust’s properties not go to the trouble of getting elected to its ruling council.  I took particular pleasure in voting against FONT’s slate.  Incidentally, ukipers, the National Trust is more democratic than ukip and a lot more fun (and British) too!

Labour, Matthew Goodwin particularly says, needs to face up to the challenge of ukip.  In this regard, good advice about 200 or so years ago, but today most of us live in urban areas and we have universal suffrage.  It did, however, take from 1949 to 2004 for the will of the people to prevail and a hunting with dogs ban to be enacted.  Matthew is big on ukip addressing the issues of the ‘left behind’ whose interests he, condescendingly and patronisingly, thinks do not extend to matters such as climate change.  Well, Matthew, care to explain the level of support for the Hunting Act to remain in force?  Looks to me like a lot of us (working class boy made good, me), including ukip supporters support the ban.  Our concerns, Matthew, and those of “metropolitan liberals” quite often overlap.  I do wonder if Matthew was spooked by Polly Toynbee during his formative years.  It would certainly explain a lot!

Finally, lest we forget, we are not just talking about allowing people to hunt foxes again, a Christmas card scene, but Bambi’s mother as well.  Let us also not forget the words on a placard (held by a farmer) in a Steve Bell cartoon marking a Countryside Alliance March against the passing of the Hunting Bill, “Give us yer money and eff off our land!”  Well, ukip, just whose side are you really on?  Him and the ruling, rural elite or the rural poor (and the many who support the Hunting Act)?

BzS7Tq-CEAAeCrb

Marxism In A Total Quality Management Setting Part 1 #GE2015 #TQM #Deming #Marx #KarlMarx #WEDeming

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I have been promising for a while now to write up this case study and here goes.

Attendance management is a major issue for businesses, public sector bodies and voluntary and community sector organisations.  However, of the three sectors, the public sector is the one most often put under the media microscope as to the level of its sick absences.  There is usually a comparison with the private sector that is never other than detrimental to the public sector.

Firstly, I challenge the validity of such comparisons on the grounds that such a crude approach is of little or no value to addressing the issue of attendance management, but it does generate excellent ratings and viewing figures.  Secondly, I would contend that the figures for sick absence in the public sector are more likely than not to be more accurate than those for the private sector.  However, even if the absence levels were similar then that would not be a sufficient argument to not look at how matters might be improved.  Incidentally, when next a media outlet runs an attendance management story check to see if their own organisation’s sick absence record is included in the debate.  I would be very surprised to learn if it is.

The Anglo Saxon Business School of Management approach to tackling sickness absence invariably involves a mix of carrots and sticks.  The balance between carrot and stick varying as much with the ethos of the organisation as it does with the effectiveness of the carrots and sticks being dangled and applied.  The best that may be said for many of these approaches is that they are unlikely to increase the level of sick absences.

The stick approach tends to turn sick absence management into a disciplinary matter thereby brigading it with those who take unauthorised leave.  Quite often such an approach increases stress levels for the absentee and their manager.  Consequently, the level of time off work may increase not fall.  Alternatively, those who feel intimidated by the process and so return to work earlier than they should may not only spread infections to co workers, but also need more time off a few days later to fully recover from their own illness.  Stick policies have a tendency to drive up absence and are toughened to address the increased absence and so on.

The carrot approach is harmless although sometimes demeaning.  Gold stars for good attendance.  An end of financial year letter congratulating one for not having a day off sick for the whole year from the District Manager and similar.  A slightly different approach is to be more proactive, for example by arranging lifestyle checks, providing free gym memberships, courses in time and stress management.  Alas, I never seemed to have the time to put the stress avoidance techniques into practice!  Seriously, if you are suffering from sick organisation syndrome then no amount of yoga or massage sessions are going to make you any less prone to illness.

Sick organisation syndrome brings me neatly to the Royal Mail and the approach they adopted to addressing attendance management about 25 years ago.  RM had recently begun to practice Total Quality Management and felt attendance management was an area on which they might usefully deploy the TQM tools and techniques.  The first aspect of the approach is to determine whether or not you have a problem.  If you do, is the problem partially or totally within your control?  A problem caused, for example solely by the weather is unlikely to be controllable and so may only at best be mitigated rather than resolved.  If the problem is within your grasp to address is it a significant one?  Is it worth spending time and effort on addressing it rather than some other aspect of your business or organisation’s operations?

For RM, they felt they had a problem with levels of attendance management, that it was at least partially something they might influence and that it was a significant issue deserving attention as a matter of priority.  Sick absence affected service levels, customer satisfaction and increased the salary bill through recruitment of casual staff to cover absences.  In addition, absences caused more work for those not off sick and so increased the likelihood of them becoming unwell if their workloads were above the normal level for any significant period of time.  Staff morale is (or should be) very  much of a concern, particularly to those whose business is serving members of the public whether they be patients, passengers or customers.  Take note, TQM works as well in the NHS or a Jobcentre as on the shop floor at Jaguar.  I know, I have seen the improvements made through TQM in Jobcentres, I have been told by TQM clinicians about how it is used to improve care on acute wards and I have seen it in action at Jaguar’s Castle Bromwich plant.

RM decided to use one fairly typical postal district as a starting point for further analysis.  They then gathered together all the sick notes for a given time period and divided them up by type of illness or condition.  They then used a Pareto approach where the piles of notes were set alongside each other with the highest pile on the left descending to the lowest pile on the right.  They then worked through the piles removing those outside of their control such as legs broken on holiday, appendectomies etc.  They were then left with two sizeable piles and some much smaller ones.

The first pile was a collection of foot related conditions.  Some of these cases were diagnosed as trench foot.  The largest number of absences was down to delivery workers being unable to get around on foot.  Some years before, RM had provided each member of staff with two good quality pairs of shoes each year with an expectation that they wear them, unless medically advised not to do so.  One day RM hired some management consultants to identify areas where they might ‘save’ money.  They had recommended withdrawing the business provided shoes.  RM  acted on their recommendation and staff wore whatever they felt was suitable and/or could afford.  Most of the foot related absences were traced back to this saving.  A case of a known unknown.  We know we will save money, but not what the real cost, if any of doing so will be.  The consultants had of course collected their fee and were long gone.  Incidentally, TQM is to many management consultants like garlic is to a vampire.

The second pile was injuries incurred by van drivers, in particular those collecting mail from post boxes.  Many of the injuries were shoulder related.  Further investigation revealed drivers were quite often not wearing their seat belts and/or sliding closed the driver side door.  Consequently, when they braked for any reason they ran the risk of injury.

These two categories of condition made up the bulk of the causes of the absences so remedying them would significantly improve attendance management.  Back came the shoes on the same conditions as before.  The collection drivers were told to wear their seat belts and close the doors, but crucially the timings of their rounds were increased, the number of points from which they collected reduced and more drivers and vans provided.  You will note, I trust, that both solutions require actions by management and staff to be effective.  By the way, trades unions like TQM, because an evidence based approach rarely weakens their arguments.  Moreover, discussing data about which both management and trades unions agree helps to makes negotiation generate more light than heat (or so I have been told).

One other aspect of the TQM approach is that it is scalable so absences felt not worth investigating at a District level might well be worth looking into at an individual office level.  For example, Ms X (no names, no pack drill) worked in a Jobcentre and routinely asked for leave at the last minute and quite often had her requests turned down.  She then frequently went sick for the same period for which she had asked to take as leave.  Ms X is certainly the sort of case that would trigger at least an informal warning.  That it did not do so did nothing for the morale of her co workers.  In addition, Ms X’s husband invariably used to ring in to the office saying she was not well and usually told us precisely what day she would be returning to work.  It never seems to have occurred to either of them that sick leave was not an addition to Ms X’s annual leave entitlement.  Ms X used her sick absences to cover half term holidays and so on.

You did not need to adopt a TQM approach to match Ms X’s absences with school holidays.  However, a TQM approach does create a basis on which responses to absences by different individuals may be made on the basis of their personal circumstances and not in line with a one size fits all policy.  A policy approach that invariably increases absence rather than reducing it.  A flexible policy, sensitively, but firmly applied to all those absentees is good for them, their co workers and those for whom they work.

RM’s variation on Ms X was Mr Y who quite often asked for Thursdays off at short notice.  And mostly he was not allowed the time off.  It became apparent through analysing his (self certified) sick notes that he had a tendency to develop 24 hour bugs for those Thursdays he had wanted to take off, but which he was told he had to work.  And the Wednesday evenings before these Thursdays were co-incidentally those days when the football club he supported were playing an away fixture.

I must stress that the above is not an example of good practice to be slavishly copied by people wanting to reduce the number of sick absences within their organisation.  It is a case study.  A big concern of those who advocate TQM is that people tend to ignore the process by which improvements are made and simply pick the solutions they hope may work for them.  The reason why many management consultants fear TQM is that once you have learnt how to apply the tools and techniques then your need for their services reduces significantly.  You design your own systems and processes to deliver the goods and services that meet the requirements of your service users, customers, patients and passengers.  Moreover, as those requirements change you evolve your systems and processes to address those changes.  TQM accepts, if not embraces the need for continuous process improvement.  The organisation that does not evolve to meet changing customer need dies or at least loses goodwill.

No political party shows much sign of grasping the fact that unless we challenge perceived wisdom, the Anglo Saxon Business Model, then they may make whatever pledges they like, because British management (in whatever sector of the economy) is mostly incapable of making those pledges a reality in a way that will make the electorate feel they have been met.  In particular, both ukip and the Green Party have a touching faith that business as usual (in Whitehall and local government) would deliver their policies effectively and efficiently were they ever to form part of a Government.  Andy Burnham has at least shown signs that he recognises that a TQM approach may be the only way to both shore up the NHS and allow it to develop its services to meet the need of individual patients.

TQM poses a challenge to extremists on both the right and the left.  It says to both groups that a confrontational approach in labour relations is destructive and that an evidence based approach creates common ground between both parties.  It also says that organisations and businesses exist solely to serve their users and customers, because only if they do so will they create value and profits.  It says to many on the right that cuts invariably result in increased costs and to a few on the left that savings may be achieved whilst maintaining and improving service delivery.  Moreover, that savings create headroom within budgets and therefore the answer, in part, to shortages of funding is to make those savings to create that headroom.  Not everything in the public sector may be improved by throwing money at it.

In fact, given the state in which management in both Whitehall and local government are now in, it is unlikely they could make effective use of additional funding until their ability to manage it has been significantly improved.  Those on the left who think the public sector may be turned around on a dime sometimes seem more out of touch with reality than some of ukip’s supporters.  As for the Green Party’s middle class, middle management (quite often salaried public sector) supporters then they strike me as being part of Britain’s management problems rather than the solution to them.  IDS and Universal Credit in practice are what Natalie Bennett and the Basic Income are in theory.  The only difference being that the Green Party is well intentioned.  Note to the Green Party, railways in whatever sector they are should be run in the interests of passengers not the passengers, their workers and the people.  You will see from the above than when RM effectively addressed attendance management they improved customer service and the well being of their staff.

We appear have tried everything else, except an evidence based approach to management.  Time we consigned the Anglo Saxon Business School of Management approach to an industrial heritage museum.  Time we kissed goodbye to the thinking that said Japan was dumping cars at below cost price in the USA, because US car firms could not produce them at the same price and make a profit.  The likes of Toyota could and still do.  Toyota’s big recall a few years back was because they had turned their backs on over half a century of practising TQM.  A senior executive went public, said they had made a mistake and that they were going back to TQM.  Such a statement was a major loss of face.  When US car firms were being ‘dumped’ on their Chief Executive Officers and Presidents had the bare faced cheek to go to Japan (with Bush Senior) to put their case.  Bare faced?  They earnt many times more than their opposite numbers in Japan and yet their companies were not as profitable as those of the competition.  Moreover, their counterparts in Japan only received salaries about 11 or so times as much as their shop floor workers.  In the USA no one would consider themselves valued as a CEO or President, if they were not at least offered more than 11 times as much in salary as their front line staff.

One final point, TQM, because it incorporates a philosophy of Plan, Do, Observe and Act is the closest many of us will ever come to continuous (r)evolution.  Yes, dear reader, TQM is Marxism in a management setting.

Further Reading

William Edwards Deming

Total Quality Management

Total Quality Management (and Ethical Values)

The UK Retail Industry: A Case of (Paying Lip Service to) TQM at Tesco Supermarket?

Five Deming Principles That Help Healthcare Process Improvement

Deming’s Quality Principles: A Health Care Application

Do Doctors Need Deming?

Selected Articles By Dr Deming

The Deming Institute

#ukip Return of Alf Garnett Or If U Want Rumanian For Neighbour, Vote Labour? #GE2015 #RaceForNumber10

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There was another piece of codswallop (and book promotion) from Matthew Goodwin in the Guardian on Monday 15th December.

And here is the prime piece of codswallop:

“In short, since the 1970s there has been a deep and growing divide in the values that separate who we might loosely term pro-Ukip and anti-Ukip voters.  Pro-Ukip voters are instinctively receptive to Farage’s anti-EU, anti-immigration and anti-Westminster message, and comprise between 25% and 30% of the overall electorate.  These are the voters who grew up before Britain joined the EU (so they must be 57 and over at least if they voted in the 1975 referendum), before increased immigration (67 and over, if talking about post Empire Windrush) and in an era when genuinely competing ideological projects existed in politics (over 100 if we are to believe the far left).”

These voters are, I assume, the people for whom Farage speaks when he says he is ambivalent about homosexuality, but understands why older people who grew up before the EU are made uncomfortable by gay people?  There being no LGBTs, visible ethnic minorities, liberals, people on Social Security, lone parents, in fact anyone ukippers rant on about whilst on painkillers in the UK before 1975.  Time Goodwin outed Farage, surely?  We are not talking about the EU here are we?  But instead the 1960s, that decade that Tony Blair and Michael Howard both blamed for all of society’s ills back in the 2005 General Election.  I do not see Farage rolling up for a Magical Mystery Tour either, not unless Sir Cliff is driving the bus.  Back to the 1950s means a repudiation of the social advances of the 1960s.  Advances which were partly in reaction to a stifling, conformist conservative society.

I really have no idea what Goodwin is an expert in and these days I wonder if he does so himself.  In 1964, 11 years before the EU referendum, the West Midlands constituency of Smethwick was the most colour-conscious place in the country, and the scene of a Tory campaign that successfully exploited anti-immigrant sentiment.  The infamous slogan that propelled a Tory into the House of Commons was, “If you want a nigger for a neighbour, vote Labour.”

Peter Griffiths, the successful Tory candidate refused to disown the slogan, “I would not condemn any man who said that,” he told the Times during his election campaign.  “I regard it as a manifestation of popular feeling.”  All sounds rather depressingly familiar, does it not?  However, it proves, once again, that Goodwin knows precious little about this country’s economic, political and social history.  He also seems confused if he thinks that the commitment of most political parties to equal opportunities for all is not, in part at least, a matter of ideology (as well as political necessity) and a sign that they are as important to someone living in Smethwick as they are to the stereotypical Islington social liberal.

ukip’s forebears were fascists in the 1930s, fought the suffragettes in the 1900s, burnt industrial machinery in the early 19th Century, persecuted Catholics (sometimes with official approval and even sanction in the two centuries after 1605), massacred 150 Jews in York on March 16th, 1190 at York …  I could go on, but the common link is an inability and/or unwillingness to accept economic, political and social change, combined with various forms of intolerance towards the other.  Moreover, these responses were and are not unique to anyone particular class.  Anti-semitism being quite common amongst the upper class in the 1930s as much as it was amongst the working class followers of Sir Oswald Mosley, 6th Baronet of Ancoats.  As Aneurin Bevan once observed, “Fascism is not in itself a new order of society.  It is the future refusing to be born.”

In one sense, Goodwin is right, we have been here before, because I can hear Farage today saying exactly what Griffiths said to the Times in 1964.  Moreover, Goodwin says, “In short, since the 1970s there has been a deep and growing divide in the values” of voters.  Goodwin, there always has been such a divide and there probably always will be.  Partly because, Goodwin, some of the voters, some of the time, whatever you may think, are stupid.  Bevan asked, “How can wealth persuade poverty to use its political freedom to keep wealth in power?  Here lies the whole art of Conservative politics in the twentieth century.”  Step forward, Alf Garnett, the perfect example of a working class Tory and now ukip supporter?  Alf  arrived on our television screens in 1965, but as a skilled member of the working class he got the vote in 1867, courtesy of Benjamin Disraeli.  Mr Disraeli gave Alf the vote because he was banking on the conservatism of the British working man favouring the Tory Party at election time.

ukip is wealth persuading poverty to keep it in power, because ukip has nothing to say to the left behind that would make their condition any better than it is now.  What intrigues me, Goodwin, is why you seem to think they do and whether your ignorance about the state of the modern labour market, especially the implications of deindustrialisation, is feigned or real.

“Calling out racism where racism exists is important” says Goodwin, “But over the longer term this will not get our society very far.  If it did, then Europe as a whole would not have seen a stubbornly persistent rise of radical right politics over a 30-year period.”  There was a time when it was felt calling out racism was not important, because it was stubborn and persistent.  There was a time when Paul “Foot castigated “the inability of the local (Smethwick) Labour party, corrupted as it was by anti-immigrant sentiment, to hit back in a determined and principled way” against Griffiths and what he stood for.”  It is a moot point whether he would have wholly approved of Labour’s Campaigning Against ukip document, but I think he would accept that Labour has moved on.

By the way, Goodwin, Labour is spelt with a u.  Your Tweet of yesterday referring to blue collar workers suggests you either think this is the 51st State or that (like the libertarians in ukip) that it should be.  Bevan would, though, have recognised Joe the Plumber, the archetypal blue collar worker of the 2008 Presidential Race.  The man who proved voters can be stupid when he told Obama that he, Joe, would be worse off as a result of the candidate’s proposed tax cuts (for middle class voters like Joe).  The same Joe the Plumber who feels his right to bear arms trumps the right of others to life.  Definitely a natural Labour supporter!

The question each generation has to ask itself is do you seek to narrow or bridge gaps within society or, like Farage widen and exploit them for your own political and financial ends?

For those unfamiliar with the events of 1964 in Smethwick and how they resonate in sympathy with the events of today then I think Stuart Jeffries article is a good place to start.  Incidentally, I understand that a variation of the slogan that I have read in a number of places was “… vote Liberal or Labour”.

Other interesting articles:

Looking Back at Race Relations

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Daily Telegraph)

Peter Griffiths – Obituary (Wolverhampton Express and Star)

Neil Hamilton provides a link between then and now.  Griffiths once wrote, “Apartheid, if it could be separated from racialism, could well be an alternative to integration.”  Hamilton did his bit to try and help the apartheid regime of South Africa improve its chances of survival.  One hopes he is equally successful with ukip’s electoral chances!

Mensch Labels #ukip #Labour’s Little Helpers in Bid to Aid #Tories & Damage #SNP #RochesterandStrood

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Britain’s New Political Force Isn’t UKIP – It’s the SNP

“As I write this Douglas Carswell hasn’t yet been elected in Clacton but he will be. He will be UKIP’s second MP (Bob Spink was the first) but first elected MP. But Clacton is a special case; Carswell has a big personal following. I have no time for him whatever and I can only help he has the integrity his friends claim he does. If that is true, he will not remain silent in a party that is racist, sexist and allows the condoning of child abuse, blaming the victims. We’ll see.

The real UKIP test comes in Rochester and Strood, where my friend Mark Reckless defected without the same personal following. I will always like Mark, having known him since we were at the same Oxford college together at the same time (OK OK he’s younger) and ran together on the same slate in the Union (roofing materials cough). But I fear Mark has made the mistake of his life. He is an able barrister and he has been a leading light on the best Select Committee in Parliament at the moment, the Home Affairs Select Committee. But UKIP help Labour and prevent the chance of any EU Referendum at all. I am so sorry that Mark was deceived into going with Farage, and I both hope, fear and believe he will lose his seat. I hope it politically because Ed Miliband must not be helped into power by UKIP voters – there will be no EU referendum and it will be  total disaster. I believe it because I can read the polls and the mood, I think (it’ll be close for sure), and I fear it, because ukip are a party without loyalty or principles. When Mark loses they will blame him, cast aspersions on his work as an MP, toss him to the wind and move on without looking back like they do to any candidate who gets in Nigel’s way.

But enough of Labour’s little helpers. Let’s look north, where I think the unnoticed revolution is going on. And it’s not purple – it’s plaid. In fact, it’s tartan.  (Dear Louise, how Scottish is tartan?)

The Scottish Referendum seems like yesterday north of the border and for us in rUK too it was the election of the year. Few nights will ever be as emotional. And yet a London-centric media has taken its eye off the Glasweigan ball. That’s a mistake.

The SNP have packed on tens of thousands of new members – that’s actual paying members who have gone so far as to sign up – imagine the latent support behind these numbers. I read somewhere that it might be a hundred thousand. Labour is in trouble in its Scottish heartlands. Real trouble, not just Holyrood trouble where they are used to getting their arses kicked, but Westminster trouble. John Curtice said they might pick up as many as 26 seats. I think they may also lose one or two to the Tories and LibDems – yes, you heard me correctly. Passions for YES and NO raged immensely, and where the SNP hold Westminster seats in areas that were strongly NO they are vulnerable. Ruth Davidson took back some of her ‘Tartan Tory’ mantle from the so-called Tartan Tories. There’s a long way to go to detoxify the Conservatives in Scotland but she gained wide respect in the IndyRef.

But let’s develop the idea of the SNP storming the Westminster elections. Every seat they gain will be a one for one loss to Labour.  Labour down 26 and the SNP up 26, for a max gain of 32 seats. That would give the SNP parity with the LibDems.

Semi-jokingly I suggested future SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon as Deputy PM under Cameron. There was a lot of kicking the football around on Twitter from SNP members, but let me develop the idea.

I am NOT suggesting that the SNP go into coalition with the Conservatives – it would be toxic for both parties north of the border. Ruth Davidson needs those Unionist votes to start rebuilding in SNP WM areas. And SNP are banned from propping up the Tories, their left-wing support wouldn’t like it.

But I AM suggesting a scenario where Sturgeon can demand a DEAL with an rUK Conservative majority – after all the Referendum itself happened because Alec Salmond and David Cameron made a binding deal. A deal isn’t a coalition and the SNP wouldn’t need to prop up the Tories in this scenario – because devo-max and English votes for English laws would have meant that the SNP was “mainly governing” Scotland via Holyrood, and in rUK, the Tories would no longer need any Scottish votes (or even be able to use them) – on devolved matters for Eng Wales and NI. Cameron would still need other parties like the DUP and probably even the LibDems for comfort, but Sturgeon’s SNP would not be involved.

Scenario goes like this – Tories largest party, no majority. SNP offer a deal whereby Sturgeon becomes Deputy PM as being able to command the second party of United Kingdom government, with or without a WM seat of her own. She need not have one, and she can always take a peerage if she likes, a nice Scottish peerage obviously 🙂. Sturgeon and Cameron horse-trade over devo-max and the financial settlement for Scotland in exchange for immediate, first-order-of-business “English votes for English laws” legislation. EVEL has been long planned by the Tories and has been in the last three Tory manifestos. This constitutional deal done, Sturgeon repairs to Scotland to govern. Ruth Davidson opposes her now on tax, spend and policy as well as Unionism (because we assume the SNP will still aim for full independence).

South of the border Cameron governs with a coalition but one where the Tories can set more favorable terms.

In defence and foreign affairs, areas that all agree would remain United Kingdom competencies, Sturgeon would have the right to be consulted first, to have SNP seats in the ministries and the SNP would have a direct voice at the global table, as the LibDems do now. I cannot frankly imagine that the SNP view would be more left-wing than the LibDem view on either area of policy. In this area, Cameron would have to seek to have Scotland on board respecting the SNP’s primacy in the country.

That, then, is my vision of a revolutionary government – not a coalition, no propping up needed – a government that represented a deal between independent actors, even political opponents, to make constitutional changes that the SNP and Conservatives both believe in for Scotland and also for England.

Labour is the enemy of the SNP when it comes to devo-max or any version of devo-max. The more autonomy Labour allows in Scotland, the greater the demand in England for English votes, which deprives Mili of his Scottish block vote. It says much for Labour’s weakness in England that Ed Miliband thinks he can’t govern England, Wales and Northern Ireland without the votes of Scots MPs on matters that will never affect their constituents. Put another way, Miliband doesn’t want to introduce laws for England he knows English voters will approve of.

Fair play to the 45, they have no objection to English voters getting our own devolution. The SNP don’t vote on English only laws unless it will affect Scotland – that’s to be decided in the initial horse-trading before EVEL passes. Sturgeon would be a conquering heroine in Scotland with the prestige of deputy PM of the UK and the delivery of the best possible deal for Scotland. Rather than ‘propping up’ Cameron or any coalition, she’d follow SNP creed of leaving the sassenachs to sort themselves out. And Labour’s offer to Scotland of tiny changes while chopping England up into already-rejected-in-a-referendum “regional assemblies” would get the contempt it deserved – north and south of the border.

WhoKip? The SNP is the real story this year – and they didn’t quit and go home when they lost that vote. Trust me, the 45 are just warming up.”

Ms Mensch may be many things, some day I really must find out what she really excels in, but political sage is definitely not one, but obviously political fantasist is.

Ms Mensch damns Nicola Sturgeon with faint praise, if she thinks Ms Sturgeon would fall in with Ms Mensch’s flights of fancy.  Flights designed to put the party, Ms Mensch deserted in its hour of need, firmly back in Government for ever more.

Ms Mensch, where do you live now? I only ask, but I gather New York is in the Colonies is it not?  Not in the rest of the UK or even the British Empire, despite you asserting that, “The Scottish Referendum seems like yesterday north of the border and for us in rUK …”  I guess living high up in skyscrapers a lot of the time does funny things to the brain.  Can you Louise, see the Home Counties from atop the Empire State Building?  I assume, given your current state of lightheadedness, that you have missed a vital stage out of your scenario:

“A deal isn’t a coalition and the SNP wouldn’t need to prop up the Tories in this scenario – because devo-max and English votes for English laws would have meant that the SNP was “mainly governing” Scotland via Holyrood, and in rUK, the Tories would no longer need any Scottish votes (or even be able to use them) – on devolved matters for Eng Wales and NI. Cameron would still need other parties like the DUP and probably even the LibDems for comfort, but Sturgeon’s SNP would not be involved.”

Ms Mensch, the whole of the House of Commons has to vote in support of legislation in order to get “devo-max and English votes for English laws”.  You are expecting Ms Sturgeon to take the word of a man whom she is about to put into Downing Street that he would follow through in full on these matters?  A man who said the NHS is safe in my hands?  A man who said, read my lips, there will be no top down reform of the NHS!  A man who said, I feel your pain, for I too have claimed DLA …  Have you never heard of once bitten by a rabid dog, next time bring a shot gun?  And be honest Ms Mensch, in which order would Mr Cameron put the legislation?  Devo-max first or English votes for English laws?

Ms Mensch avoids saying what even most people know her proposal means, “Vote SNP, Give Cameron the Keys to Number Ten!”  Ms Mensch thinks that the SNP would be happy to engage in a re-run of 1979 and risk all in the process.  Moreover, that the SNP would acquiesce in an arrangement that leaves Cameron in a position to call the next General Election at a time of his own choosing.

Nicola Sturgeon, a canny party leader if I ever saw one, will have a much better hand of cards in a card game with Labour than with the Tories.  In addition, I cannot see her repeating the events of 1979 when the minority Labour Government was defeated in a vote of no confidence, thereby triggering a General Election.  The SNP went into the lobbies with Mrs Thatcher, then went into the General Election with 11 MPs and came out the other side with only 2 MPs.  The Tory Party remained in power for 18 years and devolution was off the agenda for the same period.  I can well imagine Ms Sturgeon doing her utmost to avoid a similar outcome.  An outcome that would hand the keys of Number 10 to David Cameron, damage the SNP’s future electoral chances in Scottish and Westminster elections and postpone any further chance of more devolution and/or another independence referendum.

I also fail to see why the SNP, however many seats it wins next May, would not support Labour at Westminster after next May, particularly given the plans the party had to develop the Environmental Business Sector in Scotland after Independence.  Ms Mensch may not have noticed that her party has now decided to label all such sound policy as ‘green crap’.  The only party that shares Cameron’s dismissive, reckless view is ukip.  And Ms Mensch conveniently ignores the prospect of her fantasy including a handful of ukip MPs being joined at the hip to the Tory Party.  One more reason for the SNP not to do what Ms Mensch thinks would be in her, sorry, their party’s best interests.

Ms Mensch is, of course, still a Tory after all, albeit one who now lives permanently in the USA and cannot spell centre properly, “Center Righty is US politics blogging from one socially liberal, fiscal conservative point of view”!  Ms Mensch wants to see the fortunes of her party restored across the whole of the United Kingdom, including Scotland.  There is no benefit for the SNP in that happening.  I suspect Ms Sturgeon has three words for Ms Mensch, confidence and supply.  Confidence and supply means no coalition and no supporting legislation to which the SNP is opposed, but it does mean stopping Cameron bringing down the Government whilst continuing to pay the salaries of public servants.  Such an agreement would draw in the Greens and Plaid Cymru, giving all three parties some power without much in the way of responsibility.  Who knows, may be Calamity Clegg, given the second chance of a C & S agreement (Whirling Shirley thought it a sound idea in September 2010) might do the right thing this time?

A minority Labour Government supported, but not unquestioningly, by the Greens, PC, SNP and possibly the Liberal Democrats may just be the re-alignment on the centre and centre left that UK politics needs.  And, before I forget, as everyone else seems to do, the SDLP is not called the Social Democratic and Labour Party for nothing.  The SDLP is Labour’s sister party in Northern Ireland hence that is why Labour does not campaign for seats there.  The SDLP sits with Labour in Opposition and with Labour in Government, but it does not, however, offer its unquestioning support.

When it comes to Northern Ireland and her fantasy, Ms Mensch seems happy to revive the Troubles just to see her party in power.  What concessions does she think the Unionist Parties would want for their support in her scenario?  If anything proves that Ms Mensch has only a superficial understanding of political history then it is her idea that her party by seeking to relive its ‘glorious’, blood soaked Irish adventures would actually make the UK a more harmonious union.  Why do the phrases, same old Tories (Irish outlaws) and divide and rule spring to mind?

One last thing, Ms Mensch, if you had been paying closer attention to the Yes Campaign’s arguments you would have noticed two things, they were not just about the SNP and that Labour does not need its block of Labour MPs to win a majority at Westminster.  For the moment, that prospect is improving as, far from there being a Revolt on the Right in the UK, we now seem to be seeing a Re-alignment on the Right.  Mr Farage is going to give us a PR style General Election, despite your party’s best efforts not to see PR used in General Elections.  After all, was it not you, in your fantasy, who labelled ukip as “Labour’s little helpers”?

I would suggest to Ms Mensch that she spend more time at ground level before blogging further on topics that she only had a rather tenuous grasp of when she was a politics lite, A list Tory MP.  However, I fear that I cannot soar to her heights in order to offer her my bon mots.  I am left to reflect that once upon a time the citizens of New York used to tar and feather Tories, after the citizenry had gained their Independence, of course …

Daily Telegraph Commentator sees opportunity for Tory comeback in Scotland as part of fallout from Referendum vote

Northern Ireland 2010 Election Results

Prime Minister ‘wooing’ Democratic Unionists in case of hung parliament

Cameron plays down ‘wooing’ claims after DUP drinks party