Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

miss_s_b: (Default)
I should say up front that none of this is confirmed, but this list agrees with what was read out on the BBC. From the Graun's Live Blog comes this list of policy agreements of the coalition:

• £6b in year cuts in non frontline services subject to the advice from the treasury and the bank of england (Tory)
- I think this one was inevitable

• Scrapping of national insurance rises (Tory)
- agreed with this one anyway

• A substantial increase in the personal tax allowance from April 2011 with a focus on low and middle income earners, with a "long term goal" of a £10,000 personal tax allowance. There is no a timetable for this, but there is a promise to make further real term steps each year towards this objective. This is described as a "funded increase". It will be funded by taking the money the Tories had planned to use to increase the employee threshold for national insurance, and by an increase in capital gains tax for non business assets to bring it closer to the level of income tax.
- sad that this is not going to be immediate, but glad it's been adopted.

• Marriage tax allowance. The liberal democrats have agreed to abstain on this, which gives the Tories a "real chance" of getting that through.
- furious about this. Commitment to equality is on the back of the membership card, FFS. We should not be making judgements on relationships.

• Tax relief for higher rate pensioners will not be pursued
• Mansion tax dropped
- sad about these two, but again, see them as inevitable if agreement to be reached with tories.

• Raising the threshold on inheritance tax dropped, described as "unlikely to be achieved in this parliament".
- Hurrah!

• Referendum to bring in some form of alternative vote system. Coalition members will be subject to three-line whip to force the legislation for a referendum through, but they will be free to campaign against the reforms before referendum.
- "some form of alternative vote system"? So STV COULD be inserted. This is better than I was hoping for.

• New pupil premium to be introduced, steering more funding to schools for every child they take from poor homes. Both parties back this policy, but the Lib Dem version attaches more money to it.
- this is amazing.

• Reducing the tax burden on low earners. This could go some way towards the Lib Dem aim of lifting tax threshold to £10,000.
- I hope it does.

• A wholly or mainly elected house of Lords.
- Hmmm. I was always outside of the majority of my party on this anyway. Would rather see fixed term appointments myself.

• More equal constituency sizes
- YAY!

• Fixed term parliaments, including this one. The next general election will be held on the first Thursday of May 2015. Legislation will mean such agreements can only be broken by an enhanced majority of the House of Commons.
- YAY!

• A cap on immigration and an end to child detention immigration controls (the latter was a Lib Dem proposal).
- first half bad, second half good.

• Tory Welfare reform programme to be implemented in full.
- THIS is worrying.

• School reform programme providing all schools are held accountable.
- This also worrying.

• A commitment to maintaining Britain's nuclear deterrent. Renewal of Trident will be scrutinised to ensure value for money. Liberal Democrats will be free to continue the case for alternatives.
* shrug *

• A referendum lock will ensure that any proposal to transfer new powers to the EU must by law be put to a referendum.
- unsurprising, and I agree with this. Anything that big should go to a referendum.

• A great repeal or freedom bill to scrap the ID card scheme and the national identity register and the next generation of biometric passports

• Extending the scope of the Freedom of Information bill to provide greater transparency
- Yes!

* Adopt protections of the Scottish model for the DNA database
- Voted for this myself at conference.

• Protecting trial by jury
- Oh Cthulhu, thank you for this. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, Judge Jack Straw.

• Reviewing libel laws to protect freedom of speech
- YES!!!! I hope that Simon Singh et all have seen this bit.

• Further regulation of CCTV and other items
- YES!

• Measures to boost economy in key areas such as low-carbon industries and investment in infrastructure. A green investment bank, a smart grid, retention of energy performance certificates while scrapping home information packs.
- This, also, is good.

• Lib Dems will be free to maintain their opposition to nuclear power while permitting the government to put forward the national planning statement for ratification by parliament so that new nuclear construction becomes possible.
- Fair enough

Banking reform

• A banking levy will be introduced.
• Bonuses will be tackled.
• A "more competitive banking industry".
• More credit to flow to businesses. The proposals of the respective parties will be looked at before deciding which is the better one.
• An independent commission will be set up to consider Lib Dem proposals to separate retail and investment banking and the Tories' proposals for a quasi separation. An interim report will be published within a year.
• The Bank of England could be given control of macro prudential regulation and oversight of micro prudential regulation under proposals to be put forward.

- All sounds good to me.

I can see why the MPs and Fed Exec were overwhelmingly in favour if this is all true. I would - will, if I can get my shift covered at work on Sunday - vote for this. It's not my dream, but it's close enough. I have spent my life fighting the Tories and what they stand for, and am suspicious that they will deliver on some of the aspects of this, but it's good, grown-up politics, and it's a damn sight better than the last government. Freedom Bill! Libel Reform! Referendum on Voting Reform!

I have more hope now than I did when Cam announced the coalition.
miss_s_b: (Default)
Analytics makes interesting reading this morning... Hello to all my blog's new readers! It feels very strange being part of a party of government. It's not something I thought I would have to get used to anything soon. I think I have an inkling of what Lady Mark's feeling's were when he said I've always been anti-establishment, and now I'm married to it! I mean... I have TOUCHED the Deputy Prime Minister! I wonder if I am now immune from Scrofula...

Having slept on it, my feelings on the policy breakdown pretty much chime with Debi's (also YAY SHE JOINED UP!!!). Cautious optimism is the watchword. I don't trust the Tories, and I worry that science/museums/other stuff I care about will be cut. I'm also worried about welfare reform. But really, to say that we came third in the election, to see so much of our manifesto adopted is amazing.

I've managed to get a shift swap for Sunday (thank you [ profile] burlesque_bunny, you are awesome and I totally owe you one), so hopefully I will be able to attend the special conference. Still waiting on the full details of the coalition agreement, and the details of who has got what job, but I think that's actually less important than the policy. As long as the people in cabinet are competent, that's what matters. Somebody tweeted last night that Vince Cable is going to be Blackadder to Osbourne's Prince Regent, and I think that's aposite (if anyone can remember who, I'd be grateful for a crediting link in the comments, btw) but Huhne in environment, and Clegg as DPM... This is good. Could do with more roles for our women - whither Lynne Featherstone, Jo Swinson and Sarah Teather? - but again, mustn't expect too much.

All in all though?

It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life... and I'm feelin' good.

A Cabinet of Curiosities.

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010 09:23 pm
miss_s_b: (Default)
So, I promised you my views on the cabinet, and here they are. I'm not going to censor myself here, either. We're in coalition with the Tories, but I'm still a Liberal, and I'm going to say what I think. If any Tories have a problem with that... well... Tough. I stand by what I said that who gets what job is not as important as the policy agreements, but it is still important. I've C&Ped the list from the BBC website, here.


Slimy, horrible, lightweight posh boy. Don't like him, don't trust him, but am stuck with him.


Have come to respect him a lot more since he's been leader, even though I supported Huhne in the leadership contest. Having met him and spoken to him, I trust and believe in his Liberalism. He's not faking it, he's the genuine article. I look forward to seeing how he does at PMQs when Cam is away.


I have a grudging respect for Hague. I think the position suits him, and I think he'll do well at it. He has the intellect and the diplomatic skills to carry it off.


I said before the election that I wouldn't trust George Osborne to run a bath, never mind the finances of the country, and I stand by that. He's a canny political operator when it comes to soundbites, but he has the substance and gravitas of a fogbank. Hopefully Laws and Cable will be able to give him some pointers.


I like Theresa May, and not just for her taste in shoes. I think she'll be good at being home sec, and is certainly a better option than some of the other names that were floating around, but I worry that it will be the poisoned chalice it has turned out to be for so many other politicians. I don't want to see her scuppered by the job, I think she deserves better.

On the equalities side, I think she's less suited, but she does carry the faith of the right wing of the Tory party, so can probably do a lot more liberalising than a Lib Dem would be able to get away with before they start kicking up a fuss. Hope she'll have Lynne Featherstone and/or Jo Swinson as juniors in the equalities brief; they've both done sterling work there in the Lib Dems.


Should have been Paddy. Can't stand Liam Fox.


Ken Clarke is one of my favourite Tories and I think he'll do well here. He's from the Liberal wing of the party, and that's what we need at justice after the excesses of Judge Jack Straw.


Not unexpected, and not awful.


Should have been Laws.


Should have been chancellor, but will do very well in this job.


Will quickly become known as the minister for eating the poor. Osborne as chancellor is bad, but he's just incompetent. IDS is dangerous because he's smart, but wrong-headed. This is the one that worries me most.


Huhne will be great at environment, but I do worry about some of the illiberal instincts he has shown of late. We'll see.


This is a big promotion for Laws and he'll rise to it with aplomb. An excellent negotiator, and has experience in investment banking, so will know when the bankers are trying to pull a fast one.


Still have the urge to sing his name to the tune of Donald Where's Yer Troosers.


Don't know much about him, but a Tory ex-miner? Could be interesting.


* shudder *
Bradfordians know Eric Pickles. Putting him in charge of communities is... interesting. Still, he DID run Bradford council, so he has some experience of local government. Let's just hope he has learnt from his bravura performance on Question Time...


Another slimy Tory I'm not keen on.


Don't know much about him either, but he's got to be better than "scrap free museum entry" Hugo Swire.


I respect her straight-talking Yorkshireness, but have total antipathy towards her views. This could be interesting too.

From the rag-tag of others, the only one I really care about is David Willetts as Universities, Science and Skills Minister. The geeks will be watching you, Mr Willetts. And we watch hard.

There aren't many women, are there? And it's all very white and public school. It could have been better, but, rather like the coalition agreement, it could have been so, so, SO much worse. I'm sticking with cautious optimism. One thing that is worrying me, is that the beeb now have an excuse to leave us off Question Time/Any Questions even more than they do already. They can invite a Tory on and no Lib Dem and when we complain, they can say "but we've GOT someone from the government already..." Hey ho. We shall see what transpires.

About This Blog

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.

Charities I support:

The Survivors' Trust - donate here
DogsTrust - donate here
CAB - donate here


Creative Commons License
Miss SB by Jennie Rigg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at

Please note that any and all opinions expressed in this blog are subject to random change at whim my own, and not necessarily representative of my party, or any of the constituent parts thereof (except myself, obviously).

Printed by Dreamwidth Studios, Maryland USA. Promoted by Jennie Rigg, of Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

Most Popular Tags