18 out of 32 in the Shadow Cabinet would benefit from the Tory Inheritance Tax cut

18 of the 32 Conservative frontbenchers would benefit from their own Inheritance Tax cut - truly representative of Britain...

It may not come as a shock to many to discover that the Conservative front bench will, on the whole, benefit from the cut in Inheritance Tax, but the fact that they will benefit to the potential tune of £7 Million will.

According to today’s Daily Mirror calculations, ‘Mr Cameron and shadow chancellor George Osborne are among nine top Tories whose families stand to gain the maximum £520,000 from the change, because their wealth is estimated at more than £2 million.

George Osborne’s plan to cut Inheritance Tax to help the wealthiest people in Britain is a sign that if the Tories get back in to power they will not, as they claim, ‘be in it together’ with the rest of us.  They, and their rich chums, will give themselves such a large financial boost that they won’t need the outside jobs they have at the moment.

Mr Osborne has claimed that the cuts will benefit people who live in former council houses, and once again the Tories are proven to be completely out of touch with reality.

There really is a Tory candidate who takes his nanny to constituency events with him…!

George Osborne may appear out of touch but wait until you hear about Jacob Rees-Mogg

There are two men that epitomise the ‘new’ Conservative party, they are George Osborne and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Now, on the surface, George might seem to be quite a reasonable young chap, well-to-do maybe, but basically a good Cheshire MP.  It may come as a surprise that he recently said that; his inheritance tax cut on properties worth £1m would be enjoyed by people living in ex-council houses. He then said his £20,000 a year private school, St Paul’s, is “incredibly liberal” because “your mother could be the head of a giant corporation, or a solicitor in Kew.”

As Johann Hari says; ‘if you think council houses are worth a million quid and solicitors in Kew are the lowest rung on the social ladder you can imagine.’

But if George appears detached from reality then Jacob is positively divorced from the 21st Century and arguably the 20th!

Jacob, 40, has attended public events with his nanny, who he calls ‘Nanny’ when addressing her. At one event, when challenged over the issue, he said; “If I’ve got a nanny, I’ve got a nanny. And if anybody doesn’t like it – tough!” He then added: “I do wish you wouldn’t keep going on about my nanny. If I had a valet you’d think it was perfectly normal.” 

I really hope the new rules for employing MPs spouses will be extended to MPs nannies!

Now I am a very reasonable chap but does this not strike you as being somebody who is so out of touch with modern society that really he, and his Tory chums, should not be let loose with a modern, progressive democracy?

Johann Hari has written an excellent article, in today’s Independent, on why no one should ever vote Conservative, and I commend it to you.

Cameron could sack Osborne according to the Evening Standard…

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They may look like 'Bullingdon Buddies' here, but Cameron might sack Osborne!

One of the key things that we Liberal Democrats have been hanging on to is that Vince Cable is the most competent, and knowledgeable, of the Shadow Chancellors.

I had always assumed that the ties of The Bullingdon Club had prevented David Cameron considering getting rid of his friend George Osborne.

But, according to today’s Evening Standard he would:

He said: “Absolutely; I’ve done so before with other colleagues and I will do so again. One of the most difficult parts of the job is colleague management.

“And moving people in and out of the shadow cabinet is very difficult, but it absolutely has to be done. You must not dodge it, you must not duck it.”

He continued, citing Osborne’s surprising survival of the yachtgate scandal as, “not because he is a friend, not because we are godfathers to each other’s children, but because he is the right person to do the job”.

The Tory leader added: “I know he knows that, if that was not the case, he would not be there.”

Please Dave, don’t sack him, he may be a total liability but it would cause too much of a fuss and make your party more electable. Ken Clarke would be a terrible replacement.

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Why Ben Bradshaw is right to criticise the BBC over bias…

Ben Bradshaw - right to see bias in BBC

Ben Bradshaw - right to see bias in BBC Today Programme

When politicians complain about media bias it is often right for people to take it with a pinch of salt, especially when they tweet it within a few minutes of the end of the Today programme on Radio 4.

I am great lover of both the station and the programme and find both a bulwark against the gradual progression towards flabby journalism and the uncritical fawning that often surrounds modern celebrity.

So, when I received Ben’s tweet I thought it was a case of ‘methinks he doth protest too much,’ but I was surprised, on listening, that the report and interview were quite superficial and in no way delved into the clear holes in the Tory policy of £7 billion worth of cuts. Forgive me for having a memory; I just don’t trust the Tories to make cuts that will be reasoned and fair to those who can least afford any serious cuts in their income, or their benefits.

As Culture Secretary Ben Bradshaw has a key role in making sure that the media, especially the state owned BBC, maintains a reasoned equilibrium between all the political parties over the next few months.

My concern, on a deeper level, is that journalism, so often these days, is almost entirely interdependent with the political class and the quality of real investigative journalism has diminished. The fact that the Today programme thought the most appropriate commentator on the George Osborne speech was Michael Brown, a former Tory MP,  saying how great he thought it was, appears lazy. Just accepting that the Conservative agenda of cuts should not be challenged, in any way, is presumptuous, and might lead to a Government being elected unchallenged as to its real agenda.

Change is a reaonable agenda for any political party to champion, but we need to know what change would mean, rather than accepting the political and journalistic establishment’s view that the Conservatives can do no wrong at the moment.

Why George Osborne just doesn’t get it…

George Osborne - we're not all in it together

George Osborne - we're not all in it together

‘We’re all in this together,’ claims George Osborne, something I would always be careful not to claim if I was a Tory grandee.

Any sensible person assessing the economic situation in the UK at the moment is aware that there are only two ways out of the debt the UK has built up to survive, and that is to cut services now or to do it more gradually.

Some would say, as Gordon Brown has before, that cuts are not necessary, but even he seems to have now accepted that this is not credible.

The problem I have, on the economy, is whether we should trust George Osborne, Gordon Brown or even Vince Cable. 

The issue I find most irritating is whether he actually understands the dripping irony of his words when he says, ‘we’re all in this together’?

Unlike him, I am not the heir to a multi-million pound (or should it be Euro) inheritance or an Irish baronetcy. Nor did I attend St Paul’s school nor did I join the Bullingdon club whilst at Oxford.  The capacity of George (nee Gideon) to grasp the needs and aspirations of the majority of the British people having had such a privileged upbringing seems questionable at best and laughable at worst.

Today he had the perfect opportunity to abandon the Conservative Party’s commitment  to scrap Inheritance Tax for the wealthiest people in Britain, he didn’t. I wonder why not? It would seem that we clearly aren’t all in it together really.

The Conservatives are speaking the language of the majority but they still speak merely for the minority.