Happy New Year – and what an exciting year we can expect!
First there is the elections – I love elections. It is free show time. Second there is the economy and there is good news there – even I do not believe it will be any worse than 2009, so good news. But the elections are the real show.
Well we can expect a nice show. Every time I try to think beyond that I get depressed, so I am focussing on the show. David prancing around as he, like the rest of us, believes he has it in the bag. Gorden making lots of nice noises but it is too late. The damage is done and besides it is time for change, so bye bye Labour. Catch you next time.
Oh yes, there is that other bloke, Nick something or other. Keeps telling us he is the only real alternative and you know what? I suspect he is right, but that is not enough. He just does not have IT, whatever IT is. And when it comes to IT I fear none of them have IT. They all seem to lack the X factor. Even more worrying is that Simon Cowell has recognised that and is thinking up an X Factor type show with politicians. It would certainly bring some excitement to what must be the dullest set of politicians in the most exciting times.
We do not have the excitement of Obama, Clinton, McCain or even Palin. We do not have the Sarkozys or the Berlusconis or even the seemingly dull but extremely shrewd Merkel. We only have Gordon, David and Nick.
Gordon and David have the sound bites and Nick has even lost those. Nick managed to throw away any potential at the last Lib Dem conference. Sound bites are nice and I am sure they will work well on Twitter, but is Twitter the answer? I still do not understand Tweets and just because Obama seems to have placed Twittering ‘on the map’ does not mean this dull bunch will be able to.
Most concerning is of course what they will do for Enterprise Britain. Well, they will all cost us money. All three have started the process – David has promised us 20% VAT through his sidekicks and is on the way with increased government – an supermarket ombudsman and the accompanying team. It now costs even more if we get caught speeding, not to increase road safety but simply to increase revenue. The banks have increased their margins threefold on the back of the support we gave them. Rest assured that is only the beginning.
Will any of them reduce red tape? Nope! The costs of government will only increase and new and very expensive committees are being launched to investigate how this can be done. Defra published its fourth plan in December – the other three were Better Regulation, Better Business (2008), Cutting Red Tape (2007), and Maximising Outcomes, Minimising Burdens (2006).
So far so bad. The latest report is 76 pages, and I am sure it is rivetting. In the meantime I have completed 3 forms (two for my local Council) which allow me to work with vulnerable adults and to be a governor of school. This year additional regulations come into effect, so more forms.
The elections are going to be fun and we will see one of the biggest changes in MPs in our history. Many because they simply will not get reelected, but many because this is the last time they get a massive payout for leaving. So in the grand tradition of fiddling expenses, they can fill their pockets a last time. The last estimate I read was that it will cost the nation 108 million pounds. Not much compared to bailing out banks.
Happy New Year Enterprise Britain. Enjoy the elections and lets hope I am right about the economy.