Monday, October 19, 2009

Bribing the Marginals


Just seen this tweet from Labour MP Parmjit Dhanda.

I suspect there will be a lot of such announcements in Labour marginals over the next six months. It's called electoral bribery. I seem to remember the Major government doing a lot of this sort of thing in its final year. It didn't work then and it won't work now.

Do feel free to submit other examples.

45 comments:

Anonymous said...

This has an older name - "Bread and circuses" and dates back to Roman times.

Silent Hunter said...

And how much is his cut?

He is a "Labour" MP after all.

trevorsden said...

No, my comment is on this ...

Browns bonkers speech on climate change -

Amazingly the man (who really is 'Mann'), whose experiments people like Brown rely on, actually used upside down data to get at his crazy projections.
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/10/17/iq-test-which-of-these-is-not-upside-down/#more-11784

Lets be clear - Brown has never got anything right in his entire life - and now we know he relies on upside down data to scare us all into voting for him.

DMC said...

Im not surprised, every government of all stripes does it.

It never works but yet you can never tell a government not to do it.

I do think there is a wider point here and if Iain could draw attention to it abit more i would be very grateful.

We now have governments basing handouts on loyalty not need- Why is this damaging? because it leads to middle class welfare which inturn leads to greater government spending and higher taxation.

If the government focused on cutting taxation and spending, i think that would do more to help people then dishing out money to programmes for which nobody needs/wants just so they can pick up a few seats.

Left Libertarian said...

Oh so you don't welcome the extra investment this LABOUR government has brought in to improve transport infrastructure. But then again Iain, I don't seem to remember anything you have welcomed from the Brown government since its inception when Blair left.

My advice is a simple one - stop trying to find holes in things....

Anonymous said...

Sea Shanty Irish here: back when I was a kid in West Virginia, you could always count on county road crews working overtime paying the county roads just before Election Day. And putting down new gravel down on the back roads.

Now as Iain rightly notes, this is NOT an infallible strategy. BUT without it you risk vote collapse. Because it's about the bare minium that even your own supporters will rightly demand, in order to even consider voting for the ancien regime.

But my memories are of simple mountain folk. NOT the sophisticates of London and the Home Counties.

Reckon that in ancient Greece, there was a sharp uptick in city services. Also abundance of good deeds by distinguished citizens . . . whom might otherwise be prime candidates for well-deserved ostracism!

Anonymous said...

This type of announcement from Labour is no different from Lord Ashcroft ploughing money in the campaign funds of would MP's in marginal seats for the Conservative Party.

JonyGee said...

The electorate are so ungrateful !!

Anonymous said...

Iain why are you becoming so silly about things.

We were not all born with a silver spoon in our mouths

Anonymous said...

So its from the labour government is it , so what happens to the thousands of pounds I pay in tax then.

Labour Scum

Irene said...

And where is the money coming from this time?

Tone Made Me Do It - he's a bad influence said...

Why more individual voters don't vote tactically to make ALL Westminster constituencies marginal seats has always been beyond me.

Save England.
PR NOW!

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous, Michael Savage of The Independent just made a similar point on Twitter. I shake my head in despair. Can you (and he) not tell the difference between using taxpayers money and a private individual donating money to a political cause. You have an excuse. He doesn't. He's supposed to be a political journalist.

Anonymous said...

"Roll out the pork barrel, we'll have a barrel of fun..."

DMC said...

I always laugh, I wonder if Labour win the next election and start rolling back spending will these Labour hacks prclaim on twitter "CONFIRNED:LABOUR GOVT CUT BACK SERVICES LIKE THERES NO TOMORROW!

Anonymous said...

Iain why didn't you study politics at university?

Diplomat said...

Iain I like your blog but you need to write more about foreign affairs issues... There is hardly a mention of foreign affairs on your blog.

DavidBean said...

How nice of the Labour Government to go out and raise £7.7m for public transport in Gloucester!

Wait, what's that you say? They just put it on the nation,s credit card, just like everything else?

Bastards!

Anonymous said...

Iain at times I don't think you understand politics

Cynic said...

This could help pay off the national debt. Just think of the things Gordon can sell:

Ban on Breast Feeding 'on Health Grounds'say £100m from Baby Food Firms?

Ban on all cars doing more than 30mpg
- say £2bn from the oil companies

New policy on 'let's bomb Iran' - £1bn from Arms manufacturers

Iain Dale said...

Diplomat, grant me the option of writing what I damn well like on my own blog, please!

Why didn't I study politics at university? Probably because I studied German. What a daft question.

Left Libertarian said...

Why are you still against the minimum wage?

Anonymous said...

I understand that the PM will announce tomorrow that all marginal seats will be entitled to £20k per month to spend on "Biscuits For The People". Mr Brown will not, however, dosclose what sort of biscuits will be supplied. A Labour insider tells me that the team in No 10 are working 24/7 to come up with the correct type of biscuit that is both PC and that Brown can pronounce correctly.

Hawkeye said...

Left Libertarian said: "so you don't welcome the extra investment this LABOUR government has brought in to improve transport infrastructure"

So then Left Libertarian, is it your contention that this money simply will not be wasted like most other Labour projects?

That WOULD be a first! It is more than likely that this is just another "announcement" of something that will never happen like so many other Brown announcements. Gordon is a master of recycling. The money keeps getting promised over and over and over.

You might fall for this guff, don't expect the rest of us to swallow it.

Iain Dale said...

Left Libertarian, Please do point to anywhere where I have expressed that viewpoint.

Left Libertarian said...

For the record you did say that you are against Educational Maintenance Allowances & you supported a party that said minimum wages will push unemployment up. Did you not support the Conservatives when they argued against the minimum wage?

Anonymous said...

What has studying German got to do with politics? - Iain, did you not study Politics because you know that its not your strongest subject and you don't understand complex political issues....

DespairingLiberal said...

At least in the US, the pork barrel really exists and those marginal States really get some new cash. Here all those announcements generally turn out to be rehashes of a promise to, er, investigate the possibility of, er, bringing the investment back to the relevant committee to review if, er, some cash promised in 2018/19 can, er, be brought forward to 2016/17. Hmmm. You get the idea. I feel confident that the Gloucester "link money" will fall into the same dubious category.

As for the difference between money from M'lud Ashcroft and the taxpayer, the former is tax-free at source, whereas the latter is taxed from all of us. So in the former case, tax money that should have been spent here in the UK on hospitals and schools is actually being spent on Conservative campaigning.

It all brings a warm glow to one's wintry heart.

Alberta said...

Iain, you must recognise that the minimum wage was a great achievement by this Labour government. I cannot believe that the Conservative party was against it! Its shocking.

True Left said...

Iain, while the Tories want to reward the highest income earners with their silly tax breaks I will continue to vote Labour. Labour has always looked out for people like me.... I just hope the Tories will not wreck the country as much as last time if they get back in... But the chance of that happening is another thing.

True Left said...

I will always vote Labour because its was the Labour government that created the National Health Service and it also gave it much needed investment....

Anonymous said...

Why did you want to study German at university?

Ria said...

I think the minimum wage was Labour's greatest achievement....

Socialist Experiment said...

I tell you why I voted Labour during the last election and why I intend to do so again....
Its because this government will always have a policy of making the economy serve the people, and not the people serve the economy.

VOTE LABOUR!

Anonymous said...

How about £8 million from the HCA to Norwich CC - and not a single penny of it to be spent on housing! - it will pay for a skate park, war memorial refurb, ad countless other unfunded promises from the city council.

Egalitarian said...

I like Labour, I really do... But there is one thing I would like to see happen... BUILD MORE COUNCIL HOUSES and renationalize the commanding heights of the economy...

I want to see a massive programme of re-nationalization and public ownership.

Also I want to see every child in this country given a free laptop to help improve their learning.

One thing I would like to see though is the our Ports renationalized and dockers given jobs for life. I cannot believe you were against that.

Mr Gee said...

I want to see all public utilities renationalised for the public good.

Anonymous said...

All I think about when you accuse Labour of something is you trying to deflect attention from the fact that the Tories stand for massive cuts to public services which will devastate the country.

Parsons said...

I think that we should give every child in this country a free laptop and let the bankers and their bonuses pay for it... Because I think it will benefit society more by us doing that then it would letting bankers keep their bonuses.

DMC said...

True Left can i just say that is a silly reason to vote Labour.

Because they created the NHS in 1948? Jaysus ok they created it- fantastic but it was 60 years ago. Thats like Iain saying hes voting Tory because Churchill won the war.

Also Clement Attlee was an effective PM who in 6 years transformed the UK and Brown is somebody who in just three has managed to mess it up.

Also Bevan would not be seen dead in the modern Labour party.

Hawkeye said...

Anonmymous said: "Why did you want to study German at university?"

So he can record his very own "Downfall" video in German with highly irreverent mistranslations in the subtitles.

:-O

Anonymous said...

I want to see the commanding heights of the economy renationalized and a massive programme of council house building in Bracknell. So no, I didn't vote for you in the primary because I don't think you are for those policy commitments are you Iain.

The only thing I can think of which you are absolutely 100% for is tax cuts to millionaires.

bewick said...

clearly a lot of "merchant bankers" posting here today

Henrik Kiertzner said...

Is it just me or are there a lot of Labour flacks and trolls appearing here as "anonymous"?

Quite apart from the pork-barrel aspects of this, two things to bear in mind:

a. Practically speaking, Gloucester Quays was a huge investment which is dying on its arse. Half the retail units remain unfilled. The target demographic is most certainly not inner-city Gloucester, a place which has been pretty badly ravaged by the recession already.

b. The sitting Labour MP can feel the Conservative candidate, a nice bloke called Richard, breathing down his neck. Richard actually uprooted his family and moved into the constituency when selected and has been extremely active. What was previously a fairly safe seat is now firmly marginal, one can't help wondering whether there might be some sort of relationship between investment and marginality here.

The Half-Blood Welshman said...

OK, just 2 questions for Mr. Dhanda:

1) Why, when the Waterwells park and ride bus from St. Mary de Crypt goes through the Quays and across the High Orchard Bridge do we need this £7.7 million to enhance the transport links?

2) Why, when the Quays is less than half a mile from the city centre, can we overweight lardbuckets not simply walk it? I already do that up into the city from St. Oswald's - which is both longer and steeper! (And incidentally, the Jobcentre is near the Quays as well - not that it's any use - so there's already plenty of pedestrian traffic around).

£7.7 million up the Swannee to finance a link we don't need in order for Mr. Dhanda to save his seat. How amusing I don't think.