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Friday, 27 February 2015

Keeping Labour on the back foot

As C@W posted yesterday, Devo-Manc is a superb tactic from Osborne to wrong-foot Labour. The tenet at the core of Labour's existence is central Statism; command and control of the nation from Westminster and Whitehall, with metropolitan micro-management of every aspect of the economy to achieve an enforced equality of outcome across the nation. Oh how they hate any devolution of power! Labour can never, ever, be a party of Localism; the idea is antithetical to the party's very being. It will lose them every seat they have in Scotland, and as Osborne is finding, can make deep inroads into the Labour vote in the North. George, with his new haircut, is shedding the haunted look of a furtive Onanist and is growing into a Mandelson. 

But, Scotland apart, don't mistake Osborne's moves for Localism. Devolving Spend without also devolving Tax isn't worth a pitcher of warm spit. The powers of England's Cantons to set, collect and spend at least half the tax burden are yet distant; 95% of UK taxes are still determined and collected centrally, only 5% of Council Tax, capped centrally, is set locally. In Switzerland, the central government only levies about a third of total taxation; the other two-thirds is charged by the Cantons and municipalities. So a target of 50% in the UK is really quite conservative. And is nowhere in Osborne's plans.    


Sackerson said...

It's about devolving blame and complaints as cuts bite deeper. And watch for what happens to the chief exec's pay, bonuses and perks - and the resulting superboosted pension when he/she resigns because the circle can't be squared.

Osborne still looks to me like one of Batman's foes.

Anonymous said...

This will be an interesting horse to watch. It may run well and make (save) a great deal of money for Britain. On the other hand, as Sackerson suggests, the lure of the honeypot may be too much for senior management to avoid. Don't forget, Manchester has been looney-leftie for donkey's years.

On the plus side, the one thing it might well cure is the "silo" mentality of social care. This silo mentality is what wastes so much money and delivers such poor care. Think Shoesmith! Break down the silos and you get joined up care which costs soooo much less to deliver and it also delivers vastly improved patient care; a great example of which is such a structure can stop elderly people clogging up A&E and can tell the difference between "chronic and acute" care.

There is much to commend the idea but the jury isn't even out; it has yet to be assembled on the execution of this plan.

Coney Island

Nick Drew said...

he's still a furtive onanist

Anonymous said...

Isn't this falling into the trap of EU regionalisation?

NW is one of the 9. Labour tried to get the NE interested, but fortunately failed.

Dave - Atlantic Region UK

Anoneumouse said...

FFS, this is all about the Tory scam of European Union regionalision by stealth. Devo Wales, Devo South East, Devo North West, Devo North East, Devo etc....

Sackerson said...

Well reminded, Anonymous.

John M said...

I have to say it's a bit of a shame that all this "trust the people" stuff doesn't seem to go as far as giving us plebs the vote on EUrope we were promised, but I suppose we should be grateful for whatever scraps fall from the table.

Dick the Prick said...

It's clearly bullshit but the stats on prevention rather than cure are pretty compelling and we've all enjoyed the new Health & Wellbeing Committees that have sprung up in local gov in theory to allign with CCGs, well - I guess it was gonna happen sooner or later. There's been mention of Northern Ireland having done this for years so to assess its empirical value would probably start there. But that's just the boring life expectancy rubbish.

Politically, however, it does seem to have been a blinder. I work in the NHS after working for the Tories and it scares the absolute begeezus out of me how little accountability or even responsibility there is - it's just totally random managers. Now i'll happily take pot shots at elected representatives - I think all of us in this Parish take that as read - but much rather that than arbitrary, anonymous, myopic, selfish career minded bullshit merchants that are beyond all scrutiny. The NHS has £110 billion and counting and if anyone can name their CCG CEO i'll buy them a choc-ice.

There was a 2nd reading of a health bill this afternoon trying to get the health ombudsman - the final arbiter for complaints in the NHS(!) to report in 12 months or less. Ya know - at least if we get Cllrs running the show then at least they'll get pissed up and shout at some of these NHS managers and at know their names.

Worth a crack - if not just for larks!