George Osborne’s ‘powerhouse’ meme didn’t last long. Further anticipated cuts to local government – which hurt harder in areas based upon public spending than elsewhere – have been supplemented by cuts and/or delays to strategic rail upgrades. It’s almost as if he never meant the rhetoric at all …
100 weeks …
… since the government’s last A&E waiting time target in England was met. Don’t worry – as ever this is a surefire sign of the government’s success in the NHS and an ungrateful nation simply doesn’t know what’s good for it. In the intervening period since the waiting time target was last met, we’ve landed a probe on a rock hurtling through space, won and lost the Ashes, seen a British Wimbledon champion, and witnessed the thawing of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.
The target may never be hit again, particularly if the government’s new direction of travel in the NHS continues. Continued failure to hit targets attracting scathing headlines? Solution? Get rid of the targets, or, as in the case of the child poverty statistics, redefine child poverty …
We’ve never had it so good.
The latest meeting of the leaders of the European Union was addressed by the prime minister when he told the EU chiefs – after dinner – what the basis of the United Kingdom renegotiation would be. Official sources say this took five minutes. That’s the kind of detailed pitch statesman are made famous by.
Once derided by Ken Clarke as being a ‘headbanger’ with regard to the EU, we can now safely put this claim to rest. Headbanging takes effort and that rules out our beloved PM. The lazy, lazy boy.
What about Grexit?
… was only one of the questions fired at me by nine-year-olds from the St Begh’s School newspaper team when they interviewed me this week. In the EU or out? Are you New or old Labour? Who will win the leadership?
Nine years old. They’re nine years old.
Worthy, clichéd and yet true: It was a much better use of much of my time in Westminster.
Progressive centre-ground Labour politics does not come for free.
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