Monday, February 19, 2007

How to have a legacy and have a position in history.

Well of course everyone HAS a position in history, however small a dot it might be. But I am of course talking about Bliar.
Three things impinged on me this morning.
The first was a survey showing that the South East, East etc contribute INTO the tax pot. As you move North, this progressively diminishes. Thus East Midlands ( net WITHDRAWAL)takes out slightly less than the Midlands, which takes out less than North West, which takes out less than North East etc etc. The two biggest drawers out are Northern Ireland, right at the top - or the bottom - who withdraw something like £3200 pa per person, and Wales, with about £2500. Does this ring some kind of bell? The more you give people the less likely they are to sign up to conservative principles - and it creates a great client base who are not going to shoot themsleves in the foot. I know NI is not split along Tory/NuLabour lines, but to be fair the MPs from NI are irrelevant most of the time in terms of Westminster. So Tony's first legacy is to have created a state which is dependant on handouts rather than enterprise.
The second thing is Bliar's Marr interview - "Under 21s will for the first time be liable to mandatory prison sentences for gun crime" Er excpet it's not true. In 2003 a law was passed which meant over 18s could be mandatorily jailed for possession of a gun. Except, because the time for drafting bills has fallen from 18 months to 6 weeks, and debate in Parliament to nil - and anyway most of it is done on the sofa as orders in council - it means that jailing someone under 21 for this particular problem is effectively unenforceable. And the suspension of the "sus" laws mean all these people are now openly wandering around with guns ,knives and whatnot, with effectively no check on them.
So the second part of Bliar's legacy is a raft of badly drafted, uneforceable laws that will take years to sort out. In all probability, the best option is to repeal whole chunks of it and replace it with properly thought through laws.
Finally, there is a story in the papers today about Oban and its new "Western hub" airport. The local authority has spent millions upgrading Oban's " airport". Except noone wants to fly there. A wonderful metaphor for all the IT programmes, failed infrastructure PFI contracts etc etc. So Bliar's third legacy is going to be billions wasted in non-operational systems, institutions and projects, whilst we also end up with non-functioning armed forces. And, as an add on, massively overtaxed citizens.
Great legacy. Great place in history.


Winchester whisperer said...

The sooner he goes the better. It's amazing that he's been able to dupe the country for so long. I blame it on the Opposition...

kinglear said...

WW - I agree to some extent - except we as a nation voted him in, and now there are so many people utterly dependant on the State, it will be hard to shift them