So come end of the week the ID cards will be scraped, not holding my breath though.
David Cameron took the keys of Downing Street this evening, ending uncertainty over the country's leadership and ushering in what promises to be a period of austerity for the UK's public sector and its IT suppliers. Gordon Brown stepped down as Prime Minister at around 7.30pm, having submitted his resignation to the Queen at …
This is going to get interesting…start laying bets – who will blink first – Cameron or Clegg, and what tricks will the Labour party be playing in the background? Election about October I think!
As for IT within the public sector, Short term contracts only. However, there should be a quite a few new ones becoming available as the old Labour quangos and interests are shut down in favour of new ones relating to both Conservative AND Lib Dem wants.
yeah, I wanted to pick up on that - but I suppose it is technically correct in the sense that Brown was a leader who had been elected (for some purpose), albeit someone not elected as a leader. Although I suppose he was elected as leader by the Parliamentary Labour Party. Technically.
The problem with the carping about Brown not being elected, and with the so-called Prime Ministerial debates is that we don't actually elect the prime minister. We elect our own local representative, who then has (somewhat) free choice to back whom-ever they choose as PM.
N.B. I'm neither a proponent or oponent of this system.
"The Tories promised to scrap ID cards, the National Identity Register and the Contactpoint DNA database. The LibDems made similar commitments, so the ID card scheme should be an early casualty."
Who, honestly, can believe the party of Law'n'Order to not have a scheme of identifying 'real' citizens? The coalition has 'saved' the NHS but it's expensive to run - how can they ensure that only those who are legally entitled to get treatment receicve it?
It'll be introduced as a one-stop proof of entitlement and used as I.D.
I expect to be nicked for not showing my 'Citizenship' card within a couple of years.
The only winners to this election are the losers, the Tories and Lib-Dems are now doing a Rincewind -- all I can hear is 'Oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit oh shit' 'cos that's where they are.
Probably like a lot of UK citizens, I am not of the opinion that one should have to identify themselves on a regular or routine basis to satisfy the wants of official beurocracy or legislation. According to figures produced by the Passport service last year, there are already some 52 million valid UK passports in circulation and I think it would be fair to say that a majority of UK subjects are in possession of one. Now that the UK ID card and it's attendent National Identity Register is set to be scrapped, I don't think that the new government has to look very far, should it have the need to, to find a new document that would fulfill the same role. For occasional official use and only where strictly neccesary, a Passport would, in my view, be more than adequate to take on the anticipated role of a personal identity card.
Non-EU overseas residents will still have their Biometric Resident Permits issued by our government to prove their legal status and EU citizens will already have their own ID Cards/Passports to do the same. Costing many billions of pounds to produce and roll out, ID cards to me seem like a very expensive hammer to crack a relatively small nut.
"and what tricks will the Labour party be playing in the background?"
They won't be, they are about to rip themselves apart again.
Labour were offered the chance to try and salvage a coalition by Gordon Brown and Sith Lord Mandy, but the rest of the party didn't have the stomach to fight for it.
Before the negotiators had even met, half the back bench had come out saying they should just retire into opposition, and the negotiators knew they had nothing to offer as their party wouldn't accept it.
All the Labour MPs and supporters who were saying they were looking at what was good for the country are talking shite. They didn't have the balls to do what would have been really good for the country and decided to look after themselves and put the party first.
The party will fragment again and it will take a few years to pull itself back together.
I just hope the coalition lasts until the Labour party sorts itself out otherwise we will have a Tory majority government before long.
Floreat Etona → #
That's that then. We're all completely buggered.
I'll get me coat. Not much point staying in this country any more.
Or at least we would be completely buggered and totally fubar'd with another five years of Gordon Brown and Lord Slimeball at the helm.
As for what posh bloke Dave and his new but (not so posh) LibDem chums ultimately plan to go about doing what needs to be done ... remains to be seem. Fun times lie ahead I'm sure!
Some kudos though to Gordon Brown, for stepping down as the not democratically elected (now ex) PM with some level of dignity, not dragged out of No.10 kicking and screaming as some newspapers would've you believe might happen, and probably wanted to see.
We had a bunch of entirely anonymous candidates in our constituency. I am vaguely aware of what the outgoing Labour MP looks like (because she once opened something or other at my kids' school). But in order to have found out what she or the other candidates actually stood for I would have had to go out of my way (and it probably wouldn't have been worth it). Most of them didn't even respond to a set of straightforward questions the local paper sent out to all candidates. Unless you have a famously good or bad candidate most people aren't really voting for their local candidate.
People are influenced to some extent by the leader of the party at the time of the election, and that does give them more legitimacy than Brown, who wasn't even contested when he stood for PM.
...if we vote for our local politicians and the points are added up to make seats and those seats make the ruling party, who elects their leader... what is the point of all this annoying question-and-answer face-off programming and party political dozefests if we aren't supposed to believe we have a say in who *runs* the country?
What would happen, just as an aside, if the party put Cameron as their leader and we voted because we felt the Tories had the answers, or whatever, and then Cameron lost his local constituency at the vote. Can he carry on without, or would he have to step down meaning due to the actions of a fairly small group of people, the party would no longer have the leader that it was selling itself with.
To understand why the party leader is important, look at Thatcher. She was leading the country, taking on the Argies and the Unions, and either dealing with the f*ckups of a past Labour misadministration or creating her own f*ckups (depending on your leaning), and yet nobody actually voted for her to be leading the country? We just voted for a Conservative government and they put her forward as the candidate? What if you liked the Conservatives (generally) but didn't like her (specifically)?
try 1951, if you count coalition governements or 1931 if you only want a single party.
Or if you have any clue about about parlimentary democracies, you'll realise we've never had an elected leader.
I think you'll find Labour have *never* listened to anyone, that's the whole point of being a Marxist/Trotskyist/Stalinist dictatorship - the ruling elite know best, and the proles? Well, they can all just FOAD. Gordie & co were hoping for some kind of 'national emergency' whereby they could just do away with general elections and stay in power forever.
Clegg scraps the mansion tax, Cameron scraps the tax break for millionaires, *both* raise the threshold on *paying* tax, leaving more money in the hands of UK tax payers.
This is starting to look like an *actual* coalition.
Darling reckoned it would cost £40m to cancel the ID cards project. A bargain versus the £10.4Bn estimated over the 10 years (does anybody think that number would go *anywhere* but up?)
Honoring the ECHR ruling on DNA should lower admin costs.
Reviewing *all* big spending projects (and when a traffic light review says "Red" it *means* no moving forward until the issues are resolved) for value for money would seem a good idea. The NHS IT project is an obvious one.
The problem is the Gordon saddled UK PLC with c£110Bn of additional debt. You need to make *big* savings and scrapping a Trident replacement would lop roughly 20% off the top in 1 go. IMHO the terms payed to operators on *all* PFI rojects are remarkably generous (Banks seems quite happy to hand them the cash for the buildings *once* they saw the repayment terms). I think re-negotiating them would save money on the kind of scale needed.
Some solid work should be possible on the Foreign and Defense departments. WTF is the MoD head count as big as the British Army?
Thumbs up for the start of (possibly) something big.
Maybe the reason there is that it isn't _technically_ their fault.
The banking system was bailed out because of a number of dodgy practices. However, the bankers working within that system were doing their jobs, within the rules. If they hadn't been following the rules and making money for the banks that employed them, then they would hav been out of jobs.
The issue is, that the rules themselves (contributed to in part by Gordo) were at fault. Compare and contrast what happened with banks in the UK, and banks in Spain, where rules on lending practices are much stricter. For example, how is Banco Santander doing, compared with Northern Rock?
The people you can probably blame are those at the high level, who put political pressure on our leaders to not legislate against dodgy lending practices for the sake of rapid, profitable, unsustainable growth in the earlier part of this decade. Good luck getting any money out of them.
"the bankers working within that system were doing their jobs, within the rules. "
It wasn't a good enough defence for the MPs who were caught in the expenses scandal, it's not a good enough for the bankers.
They weren't within the rules.
Operating in a grey area that wasn't explicitly forbidden by the rules is not the same thing as being within the rules.
What they were doing was wrong, but they didn't even have the morals to realise it.
"Some solid work should be possible on the Foreign and Defense departments. WTF is the MoD head count as big as the British Army?"
Well several reasons:
1 - because it covers more than just the Army.
2 - because people have to make sure soldiers get paid (amongst other things)
3 - because MOD Civil Servant includes people who deploy to operational theatres
4 - because Options forChange and Frontline First scrapped the support services to the military (cooks and bottlewashers etc) meaning that MOD Civil Servants had to take up the roles. (I might be wrong, but werent they brought in by a Tory government?)
Yes there is fat in the system with the MOD, but its like any other organisation (public or private sector I must add) in that regard.
More importantly do you think the cutbacks will get rid of pointless ex-Staff Officers who earn a tidy sum on top of their pensions to do paperwork or the cooks and cleaners who support the military? (Dont forget to add in that all the senior MOD oxygen thieves are strong supporters of the Tories.....)
One way to make the Armed Forces less costly and reduce Government administrative burden would be to privatise it in the way the Railways were. Do we think thats a good idea?
1. The MoD still has more employees than the Army, Navy and Air Force combined ...
2. A lot of the admin work getting people paid in the Army is done by uniformed soldiers in the AGC, or by the actual payee through JPA Self-Service.
3. But not that many
4. Cooks (chefs, actually) are still uniformed soldiers, and washing - well, that's what privates are for, innit?
I take your point, but I think there's a great deal of fat that can be trimmed from the MoD and devoted to actual D.
(I'm in the Army, btw)
" a hideous mess, and a dangerous accumulation of power" - I don't see how that is. I have been involved with the project. There is a lot of scaremongering about any national database and this one in particular. Next time there is a Baby P in the headlines and the papers are all crying out "why don't public services work together in a coordinated way" we can point to the fact that the database designed to facilitate this was scapped to save costs.
Some of the criticisms levelled against this particular monstrosity can be found on the associated wikipedia page (yes I know that Wikipedia is not a primary source...)
Pay particular attention to the following sentence:
On 27 June 2006, a child protection conference, 'Children: Over Surveilled, Under Protected', held at the London School of Economics, reached the conclusion that the database will do nothing to prevent child abuse, and that it will undermine parents' ability to look after their children.
the database isn't anything to do with solving issues or making things better.
all these initiatives (imho) are about having a process to follow and therefore a process to blame when things go wrong. if no individual is responsible then there can be no individual responsibility.
see Yes Minister: "the offical secrets act isn't thetre to protect secrets, its there to protect officials)
Your 2006 quote predates actual usage of ContactPoint by 3 years. Now, if you go and talk to child care professionals who have been using the system in the real world (and many of whom were very sceptical prior to it being introduced), you'll find most think it an extremely useful tool and they wouldn't want to lose it. Primarily the benefits are in time saving, but there have also been a number of instances of child abuse cases being identified at an early stage when previously they'd have been missed until serious damage had been done.
Any readers involved directly in social services etc who'd be prepared to comment?
"Next time there is a Baby P in the headlines and the papers are all crying out "why don't public services work together in a coordinated way" we can point to the fact that the database designed to facilitate this was scapped to save costs."
But even if the database existed there would still be a Baby P case in the headlines.
Trying to fix the wrong problem isnt a good solution.
....in the "expenses scandal", claiming your tax to clear wisteria from his chimney.
What were you thinking people??? This is like making a peado a headmaster.
It isn't UK PLC, these are peoples lives they are messing with. Its a case of "I'm alright jack". Decent honest hard working people (who are the back bone of the UK) are going to lose jobs, homes and possibly families, whilst the priviledged continue to to enjoy their life styles.
Gone is british pride. Gone is british morality, erroded by greed and selfishness.
Shame on you UK, for shame.
"Welcome to a future of half-baked weak-as-piss coalition governments..."
Like Germany, just look what their coalition governments have done since the war!
Made the country the leading economic power in Europe, lead europe into a common currency, reunified east and west Germany, rode out the worst of the economic crisis and are now propping up most of the poorer Eurozone countries.
Really weak leadership there then.
... because all these strong single-party governments have been so good for democracy, haven't they? Whether here or in the USA, there are few good examples of how single-party politics have done any good for anyone. I'm only going to go back to 1979, but let's just look at the Thatcher governments and the Blair governments here, and Reagan and Bush in the USA. Do you really think that they are good adverts for solid majorities? Reduced civil liberties, wars without popular mandate, economic crises, etc.
Sorry, I don't agree. This is an overdue improvement in UK politics from my point of view.
Yes yes we all know that technically, TECHNICALLY, we elect our local MP and the PM is decided by the governing party and all that.
BUT, I didn't see my local MP on TV debating what "he would do when if was Prime Minister". In fact, i don't even know what my local Conservative MP looks like (I fully realise this is my own fault) but I voted for him anyway because I wanted Cameron in power. The same goes for pretty much everyone who voted, realistically. At the end of the day the candidate is not going to be sticking their neck on the block for any local issues, they are going to do what the party whips tell them to do.
The perception is that we are voting for the person we want to run the country even if we technically vote for our local MP.
Anyway, speaking of immigration (not that we were really) couldn't we have found someone in the UK to write this article? :)
we've got a bigot, fascist, conceited, labour supporter here
sorry i don't have an OED to hand, but:
One who is strongly partial to one's own group, religion, race, or politics and is intolerant of those who differ.
- nail, meet hammer
1. often Fascist An advocate or adherent of fascism.
2. A reactionary or dictatorial person.
a. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.
b. A political philosophy or movement based on or advocating such a system of government.
2. Oppressive, dictatorial control
1. the tenets of a centralized totalitarian and nationalistic government that strictly controls finance, industry, and commerce, practices rigid censorship and racism, and eliminates opposition through secret police.
- seems reasonable
conceited, labour supporter
- self evident i guess.
personally, for the last 13 years I've pretty much thought: "Gone is British pride. Gone is British morality".
with a (more than a) bit of luck we might get some of it back, but i fear it will take decades to undo the damage done to our socirty over the last 20 or so years (see how i don't just blame labour?)
A fair point BUT just because people don't understand (or can't be bothered to understand) the system AS IT IS doesn't make the PM unelected. Any more than John Major was unelected.
You have a nice justification there but it doesn't change the fact that most of the t@$$ers complaining about 'unelected PMs' are basically anti-Brown and nothing else.
P.S. I am not a Labour supporter and I am glad to see the back of Brown but I just like accuract. Sorry.
Where's the screaming in rage icon? Sarah, help me now!
Because you are too lazy to bother looking into your MP, too easily seduced by the media spin doctors into realising you are voting for a party rather than a person, *you* think we should all start saying we voted for the PM.
Its true that less and less (not all, by a LONG shot) MPs are bothering to defend local issues but this is largely because idle bastards cant be arsed finding out who they are and just vote for whatever smarmy git does the best in some pointless TV debate.
The perception may be that when you tick the box with some random persons name on it, you are voting for Cameron but the reality is you arent. Dont get all upset when reality collides with your perception.
Seriously, how hard can it be.
it takes 2 minutes to check out http://www.theyworkforyou.com to see what your MP stands for and how they have voted.
Checked mine out, Angela Smith (Labour) and she's never voted against the party on a single bloody issue.
She backed the war in Iraq, she backed the increased anti terror laws, she backed ID cards etc, etc,etc ad infinitum.
Every thing I disagree with, she supported.
So in 2 mins I knew that I couldn't, in all good conscience, vote for her.
Come guys, it could be worse. You could live in some third world dictatorship where they actually shoot you for things like "I don't like the way you look." Not isolated shootings in a subway, but full scale genocides. You could live in second world nations where the wealth gap isn’t “he has a BMW, a mansion and no debt versus my Peugot, flat and student loans.” In the BRIC countries, (and similar second world nations,) the wealth gap is more like “the wealthy have access to fundamental human rights, such as proper nutrition, clean water, shelter, sanitation and basic health care, where as the poor literally die in their muck in the streets.”
For all the negatives one could heap on the UK, it isn’t as corrupt or unstable as a third world nation, nor is it nearly as wealth-divided or rife with basic inequities and blatant violations of human rights as a second-world nation*. The UK is in many people’s opinions “less” than it was during its “height,” wherever you believe that height to have been. The UK has an Orwellian super-government that frankly would mean I’d be unbelievably reluctant to even visit there. The thing of it is, all is not lost there, not yet, and not for a good long while. The citizens of the UK still have a chance to change things, you have a real say and impact in your government, even if change is slow. Real change takes decades, and this latest government change, while not ideal to many people is in and of itself an indication that the system isn’t completely hopeless.
I am not saying there isn’t room for improvement; I am saying chins up, lads. Keep up the good work, fight the good fight, and be thankful you aren’t as bad off as most of the rest of the poor bastards on this planet.
*(For the purposes of brevity, I appropriated the "three worlds" bit for my own purposes. I string together democratic nations which uphold human rights and at least basic socialism as first world nations (Most the EU, Canada, South Korea, etc.) Third world nations are the obvious ones: nations torn by internal conflict, run by dictator, juntas or other forms of highly unstable government (The Congo, for example.). I lump up-and-coming economic powers such as the BRIC countries, Mexico, etc in with fallen first world nations such as the US, and call them “the second world.” I realise there is no official classification for “the second world,” but my personal classification is one that hasn’t yet begun to truly address the “basic necessities gap” between it’s rich and poor citizens in any meaningful way. Whether the reasoning behind this gap be cultural beliefs (as in the US) a lack of resources and experience (as in the BRIC countries,) or outright incompetence and runaway corruption (as in Mexico,) I don’t make a distinction. The “second world” is one in which there are poor people who through no choice of their own simply aren’t allowed access to their basic human rights.)
Where I live there will only ever be a Tory MP. The constituency borders were drawn up to ensure that. Frankly I don't know why the other parties bother. For there to be any real choice here there should be 4 or 5 Tory MP's standing for the same constituency. We might have a chance of getting rid of the corrupt and the useless then. As it stands a turnip in a blue tie would get in. Democracy, huh!
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