Monday, December 07, 2009

Brown's Up tp His Old Tricks (Again)

Gordon Brown's speech this morning on how he will cut £12 billion from government spending over four years, is already unravelling. Much of it is not new and has been announced before. Take the pledge to "Publish plans for the use of e-auctions by the end of 2010." This is nothing new.

‘The Government is also using innovative procurement tools: E-auctions allow suppliers to bid online for business. Savings, typically 20-25 per cent of the project value, emerge from the price improvements produced by a transparent negotiation, which is instantaneous and electronic, and from simpler processes. OGC sponsored IT e-auctions have saved nearly £16 million on an expenditure of £54 million, involving more than 300 organisations’ (HM Treasury, Transforming government procurement, 2007, p.10).

‘Since September 2005, the Office of the Government Commerce's IT eAuction programme has helped over 40 public sector bodies’ (OGC, Saving Money with IT eAuctions, November 2006).

‘The national health service Purchasing and Supply Agency (PASA) is conducting pilot e-auctions to establish if they will provide best value for money for the NHS and in which areas they are most effective’ (Hansard, 21 January 2004, col. 1356W).

And then there's this pledge. 'By Budget 2010 we will set out specific proposals to reduce the level of ring-fencing for local authorities' and 'we will reduce the number of revenue streams to local government. By Budget 2010, we will set out specific proposals to reduce the level of ring-fencing for local authorities'. We have heard this all before...

'In recent years the Government has significantly strengthened the powers of local authorities to do this - by cutting red tape and ring fencing' (DCLG press release, 2 July 2009).

'Alongside the introduction of the new performance framework (April 2009) all funding being distributed through LAAs will be unringfenced' (DCLG, Strong and prosperous communities, Local Government White Paper, October 2006, p.105)

Yet the proportion of ring-fenced local government revenue expenditure has actually risen from 4 per cent in 1997-98 (Hansard, 12 December 2007, col. 685WA) to 14.6 per cent in 2009-10 (Hansard, 12 March 2009, col. 745W; excludes Direct Schools Grant).

Brown's delivery this morning carried no passion or conviction. He just read out the speech in his normal machine gun fashion. Radio 5 Live, who covered the speech live, couldn't find a single caller to praise Brown. One woman rang in and said
Gordon Brown's speech was a absolute inspiration ... if you live on Planet Brown. I don't. I live in the real world.


Stepney said...

"Reading out the figures in a shrill, rapid voice, he proved to them in detail that they had more oats, more hay, more turnips than they had had in Jones's day, that they worked shorter hours, that their drinking water was of better quality, that they lived longer, that a larger proportion of their young ones survived infancy, and that they had more straw in their stalls and suffered less from fleas."

- George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 9

Anonymous said...

Prudence made a comeback - I don't know if she has been going out with Tiger Woods these last 5 years.

We got the old, 'with a purpose' as well. As if you would do anything for no purpose. Oh its Brown we are talking about.

The only good idea - capping public service pay was a steal from the tories. Unfortunately its only new appointments and the head of the BBC is safe in his 800k salary.

Brown managed to claim vast savings but failed to suggest how many jobs would be lost. Indeed he implied the money would be spent elsewhere and so no cuts at all.


Rearrange these words:

'sell past date by'

Dave H said...

"He just read out the speech in his normal machine gun fashion."

Machine gun isn’t the right metaphor. He’s more like a pump with a defective valve.

What gives me a bad feeling in the pit of my stomach is that events are starting to move in his favour. Has Alistair Campbell brought back some magic?

Plato said...

I thought I was having a Back to the Future moment when I heard about the text message prompts for appts, broadband for everyone and on and on and on...

And just a small observation - if you are functionally illiterate [and therefore more likely to require benefits], how exactly are you going to fill in forms online?

Complete vacuous recycled soundbite nonsense - so no change there then.

talwin said...

If we could in some way detach ourselves from the proceedings of daily life under New Labour, Brown and outpourings such as this most recent one might be genuinely entertaining (in the same way that some things are so car-crash awful they are compulsively mesmerising to behold).

Sadly, the reality is that the destruction meted out by Brown and New Labour have made the country a basket-case, and that means there's little entertainment to be had, probably for a long time.

Tony said...

Now we can see who the real flat earther is. It's this economic saboteur who is wedded to wasteful spending and ever increasing state control, financed by our tax pounds.

You can't believe a word Brown says. Whether it's about policy, the EU, public spending or climate change, he is a liar who can't be trusted.

1001 Saudi nights said...

I watched the speech live on Sky from here is Saudi Arabia. I have to say that I have never heard him come out with such a load of old tosh in my life - and that is something bearing in mind his past record. The £3bn extra he "announced" today will cover the deficit from around midnight on 1st October 2009 until about 4am on the 8th of October 2009 - he is completely clueless - anyone else want to come to saudi & can the last one out cancel the milk & put the cat out please!

View from the Solent said...

3 Million/year (average)? That's less than a rounding error.

Gareth said...

Brown is not Chancellor. Why is he announcing these things?

Eddie said...

"As an example, sending text messages to remind patients about GP appointments could help save up to £600m a year wasted on missed visits."

This is another example of Browns say it and it is done philosophy to cuts.

The saving is not realised unless the health budget is then cut by £600 million.

Is brown proposing this, or just that money can be shuffled from one area of spending in health to another... assuming the stated savings are made of course.

The Purpleline said...

I see Labour have kindly started diverting money into Mental Health a new 10 year NHS tractor plan. Perhaps we all need access to mental institutions because any hoon that votes for Comrade Brown and his left wing criminal cabal will certainly need their head examined.

Cynic said...

Gordon's promises are the fiscal equivalent of Fred West volunteering fro an Anger Management Course

Anonymous said...

Plato and Eddie make good points

Recent news says that 20% of Scotland is functionally illiterate.

And sending a text message or just ringing someone up (as my dentist already does) does not mean that the person with magically turn up.
This is a classic example of Brown thinking something must happen just so and assuming it all falls into place.

Will we have targets for sending texts?

David Lindsay said...

Were the old nationalised industries part of the public sector? If so, then how are the banks not part of it today? Of course they are. Any curb on public sector pay must extend to them as much as to anyone else. And then there are the private contractors whom local authorities and other public bodies are ludicrously compelled to use instead of providing services in house, and who are currently holding to ransom those bodies, which are their licenses to print public money.

By statute, no one at all should be paid more than the Prime Minister, no company should be permitted to pay any of its employees more than ten times what it pays any of its other employees, and the whole public sector (including, of course, the Prime Minister) should function as a single entity for this purpose, with its median wage fixed at the median wage in the private sector.

Where else have the "mobile" bankers to go? Where would take them at the moment? There would be politically serious calls to deny them entry to many countries. Anyway, they are not really "mobile" at all. The ones here are almost always either British or Irish. They only want to live in one of two cities on earth. And they don't want to live in New York in America's current pitchfork mood.

Anonymous said...

Brown blathered about IT, but a Harvard University (thats the one Balls went to after finishing his expensive private education) report says it does not save Hospitals money

PS off topic
The Telegraph points out
"Copenhagen climate summit: 1,200 limos, 140 private planes and caviar wedges

"On a normal day...her firm has twelve vehicles on the road. During the “summit to save the world”, which opens here tomorrow, she will have 200."

"seems that somebody last week looked at the weather report"

Unsworth said...

@ David Lindsay

"They only want to live in one of two cities on earth."

Demonstrable bollocks.

Hong Kong, Dubai, Rio, etc etc etc. They'll go where the money is. You see, the wealthy can insulate themselves very nicely.

It's nothing personal, it's just business. Capice?

Jabba the Cat said...

Usual crock of shit from ZaNuLab. They are putting us in debt by the total amount of this sliver of bullshit every month.

Mulligan said...

I'm no expert but if a doctors surgery has to send out 50 extra texts a day that they don't send now how exactly are they saving money?

Oh hang on, a few days consultancy and a 15 billion super computer to send the texts automatically. sorted