In his article this week, Boris derides Labour’s ‘alternative’ to bringing the British economy back to a state of fiscal sanity : attacks on Fortnum’s and the Ritz and the setting of bonfires, all to be controlled — as best they can — by 4,500 policemen at tax-payers’ expense. Having paid close attention to Ed Miliband’s speech, he concludes that the ‘alternative’ amounts to “two-thirds of diddly-squat”.
It seems Mr. Miliband compared himself with the suffragettes and, even more sickeningly, Nelson Mandela. Having announced he was ‘friends’ with all assembled and a supporter of the ‘March for the Alternative’, just at the point at which Boris had hoped to hear what that alternative might be … he vanished ! Given that even Labour now accepts that its management of the country’s finances was a disaster and that Alistair Darling, the last Chancellor of the Exchequer, himself was planning about four-fifths of the savings proposed by the new government, we need to know how Labour’s ‘alternative’ would differ ; if Labour will not come clean, its presence at the march and Mr. Miliband’s speech are fraudulent.
Boris speculates on what an ‘honest’ Ed Miliband might have said to the crowd : “Friends, I am generally opposed to cutting too far and too fast. We think we could perhaps get away with significantly smaller cuts !” The crowd would have roared its approval : “No cuts ! No cuts !”
At this point the ‘honest’ Mr. Miliband becomes uneasy, raising his hand in caution : “I didn’t say no cuts, friends. We could maintain market confidence with only 80 per cent. of the cuts. Think of that : we would institute only four-fifths of the evil Tory cuts !”
“Well, what about my job ?” mutters one Equalities-Impact-Assessment Officer. Soon this question is being asked by members of the throng all around Hyde Park ; as the ‘honest’ Mr. Miliband stammers to produce an answer, his voice is overwhelmed by cries of “We’re all essential !” Soon the crowd, no longer listening, has overrun the stage and carried him off in the direction of the Serpentine.
And therein lies the explanation of Mr. Miliband’s reticence, of Labour’s having offered no alternative other than a general expression of the hatred of wealth-creators, especially in the City of London. Mr. Miliband and his financial spokesman, Ed Balls, are happy just to feel an atmosphere of unrest. They will make no mention of what is really required : cuts in taxation (as soon as possible) ; thousands more apprenticeships ; the repeal of politically correct legislation (and the associated administrative burden) ; the cutting of waste ; and investment in infrastructure.
If this hypocritical silence is the best ‘alternative’ Labour can come up with, they will remain in opposition for years.
Boris writes for The Daily Telegraph on Mondays.
3 thoughts on “Now, about this ‘alternative’ …”
I don’t know whether my old chum Matt D’Ancona has ever been incarcerated without charge. I do not suggest that he should be. I merely wonder whether I could briefly enter the woeful testimony of a man who has. There will be many loyal readers of this paper who will be appalled that any of its writers could have had their collars felt, no matter how fleetingly. I want to stress that it is a matter for shame.
All I will say in my defence is that it was very late at night, I was about 19, in exceedingly high spirits, and apart from anything else, m’lud, I was plastered. Some events took place that might charitably be described as high jinks. I remember something to do with a bicycle, and dark deeds involving plastic cones. And letterboxes – though I wish to stress that nothing approaching criminal damage took place. It was all deeply pathetic.
At any rate the party ended up with a number of us crawling on all fours through the hedges of the botanical gardens, and trying to escape some police dogs. We were eventually rounded up and put in Oxford police station, about six to a cell. I didn’t so much mind the cells, with their slashed bunks and ominous smears. What got my goat was the trick the cops tried to pull. At about 4.30am, as the skies were starting to lighten through the bars, a couple of officers came in.
By this stage I am afraid that the Bullingdon Club was very far from the proud phalanx of tailcoated twits that had set out for dinner the night before. Some of us were beginning to whimper for our mothers. Others, half-asleep, groaned the names of their nannies. Some of us were brave enough to lie on the bemerded floor. Others stood up, streaked and dishevelled, and tried to sleep on their feet.
Not the right forum for this maybe but it i want my voice to be heard as this scheme has caused my marriage problems with my wife angry with me that i am telling her we can no longer afford to visit her family inside the zone.
Whilst i understand something needs to be done to reduce pollution and often these decisions are not poplular however i must protest at the fee rate for visiting vehicles to the low emmision zone from Jan 2012 when my van will no longer be compliant.
I have a small business, very small, and use a low mileage ( genuine 61,000) 2000 transit as my only vehicle. I live on the Isle of Wight and already pay prohibitive ferry and diesel costs for business and pleasure trips to the mainland but imagine my horror when receiving the DVLA letter saying my vehicle is no longer welcome in London from 2012 unless i pay £100.
My wife’s family live just inside the zone at Twickenham (which is hardly London anyway) so it now means we can no longer visit them at a £100 a time from 2012.
You crow in your paper work how the mayor has got a deal for van owners to replace the non compliant vans but this deal is only for those inside the M25 and that is of course if you can afford the £11,000 to replace the van. What about those of us outside the zone??
Is it not possible that those outside the zone who make occassional family visits to inside the zone to have a couple of free visits a year so maybe Christmas or Easter family get togethers do not have to be cancelled????
Come on don’t be evil about this if we are allowed in IF WE PAY then surely being allowed in is not the issue it is just about money. I KNOW you are making it an incentive to replace my vehicle but i don’t come to London enough to justify it if i could afford it.
Come on Boris be the man of the people you say you are and listen this is a punitive scheme for those who cannot afford to comply and you are taking away my wife’s ability to see her family!!!
Regards David Wright
I live in London and my Camper is going to be trapped in my road from January 2012. For the first time in my life I will be joining a protest. Against this ill advised money making scheme. Which has nothing to do with emissions as it is based on weight and age of vehicle. No emissions test involved. 6th August Parliament Square.
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