Posts Tagged ‘Dan Johnson’

Tackling the Tories’ lies, one by one

06/03/2011, 11:46:19 AM

by Dan Johnson

Yesterday, Sayeeda Warsi listed the Tory-Lib Dem government’s top “achievements”. Labour needs to take them on one by one and expose them for the lies they really are.

“We’ve scrapped the jobs tax”

They haven’t scrapped national insurance. They didn’t impose an increase on employers like Labour would have done, but they increased the employees’ contribution despite their video here asking people what they would spend the additional money on.

“We’re cutting corporation tax”

This, they have done, even on the banks – despite a Labour amendment to keep a higher rate for banks for a few more years.

“We promised we’d protect NHS spending – and we have”

They are not protecting the NHS. The measly increase will not cover the real rising costs due to an aging population. They are going through a wasteful reorganisation that isn’t wanted by patients or doctors.

“A cancer drugs fund”

Money that doesn’t go anywhere near to covering the huge costs involved.

“A regional growth fund”

With significantly less money than regional development agencies and a much narrower focus.

“More loans to small businesses”

The dodgy use of figures continues into government: they are letting the banks off scot-free with no real commitment to lending.

“Tax breaks for new businesses”

Unemployment continues to rise and there is no strategy for growth 10 months into this government’s term.

“We’ve taxed the banks”

Yes, but less than Labour did last year. Which is effectively a tax break for banks.

“Capped immigration”

Sort of. And in a way that the CBI, business leaders and universities say is damaging to the economy.

“Put a block on more power to the EU”

Meaningless legislation that even the Tory backbenchers think doesn’t work.

“50,000 new apprenticeships”

Following on from Labour’s policy, but scrapping EMA and tripling tuition fees.

“200 new academies”

More schools outside of local government’s control, leading to a two-tier system, rather than Labour’s policy of getting the worst schools to improve.

“Cut ministerial pay”

By a tokenistically tiny fraction, saving a tiny amount compared to the costly measures this government is instituting. Still not implemented.

“Blocked a third runway”

A third runway supported by business groups, whose scrapping will push Britain further down in competition with French and Dutch airports.

“No more sofa government, no more spin government”

Nine months of Andy Coulson till their shame won out.

“A national security council”

With few powers and even fewer meetings. COBRA has been shown to work time and again.

“More power to local councils”

Frontloaded cuts and removal of ring-fencing will mean the most vulnerable will suffer the worst.

“Our freedoms restored”

The freedom to have deteriorating public services, run-down schools and hospitals.

Dan Johnson is the Labour party candidate in Stainsby Hill, Thornaby in the local elections this year.

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AV is a quick fix benefitting only politicians. And Lib Dem ones at that.

26/02/2011, 10:30:01 AM

by Dan Johnson

In May of last year, Teesside suffered a shock. It was one the Labour party had warned against, but nonetheless people were taken aback. The people of Redcar, devastated by the closure of a local steelworks, blamed their MP, Vera Baird, and sought solace in the arms of the Lib Dems, and many now regret it.

We are often told that in too many seats votes don’t count, that those seats are “safe”, but events in Redcar show that it simply isn’t true. Who, after the 2005 election, would think Labour would lose this seat?

Who, after the elections in 2001 in Blaenau Gwent, Brent Central or Hornsey and Wood Green would suspect that the next time they went to the polls a Labour MP wouldn’t be returned?

There’s no such thing as a safe seat. In fact, the LibDems have made a Parliamentary party out of proving this at by-elections and general elections alike. (more…)

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