Wednesday, 25 February 2015

If only Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett had had the figures at her finger tips

The Green Party proposed to spend £5 Billion on affordable housing for rent - that would be paid for by ending tax relief for buy to let and other landlords.

2013 figures from Her Majestys Customs and Revenue (HMCR) show that private landlords claim £5.31 billion a year in mortgage interest and other financial costs and £7 billion in other tax deductible cost including repairs, letting fees and insurance. So the green party could have got another £7 billion ! 

At the moment the Governments spends less than £1 billion a year on the affordable homes programme.

Typically Natalie was interviewed by a right-wing radio presenter who had no ideas about the figures either.

Who could imagine that the Government hands out £22 billion a year in Housing Benefit (largely to private landlords) and a further £12 billion in tax reliefs to private landlords yet spends such a piddling sum on houses for rent and most of them are at 80% market rent and not what used to be called affordable rents.

Monday, 23 February 2015

Power Trip - a decade of policy plots and spin by Damian McBride

Published in 2103 by Gordon Browns former 'spin doctor'  I am reminded of the phrase the banality of evil, in this case the banality of the reality of power.

Perhaps the most disappoint revelation in the book is page 307, chapter 41, "too many mistakes"
in which it say that upon becoming Prime Minister Gordon Brown planned to call a general election on the policies of: "abolition of tuition fees and big cuts in inheritance tax and stamp duty, and a major constitutional reform programme covering the House of Lords, the voting system, war powers and MP's outside income."   As his poll rating bounced anyway and the plans were dropped.

The death of Robin Cook who apparently would have been Browns choice for Chancellor and/or Deputy Prime Minister is also surely a major blow to progressive pluralist politics. Cook who had achieved so much with the Cook-McClennan agreement would surely have driven forward a change to the voting system and a Lib Dem/Labour coalition. 

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

all together now - the abc of the Beatles songs and albums

by David Rowley -is there anything else to say about the songs of the Beatles ? David Rowley has already written one book "Beatles for Sale" in 2002, but he has started afresh with a new account dismissing his old book as naive.  A jolly good light read for anyone who has ever listened to the Beatles.