Sunday, January 31, 2010

More Gerrymandering From Labour

Last year Labour set up something called the Strategic Investment Fund to prop up struggling industries. According to the News of the World, 96% of the £521.5 million so far spent by the fund has gone to companies in Labour held constituencies, with LibDem seats getting the remaining 4%.

If this is true, it is surely a huge scandal. Are there really no companies in Tory held constituencies who needed help?

47 comments:

Alex said...

Well 24% is going into wave power and offshore wind, so either your research is crap or there are lots of voters living in the sea.

http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file53157.pdf

MikeyP said...

So why doesn't Dave ask this kind of question in PMQ's rather than the bland rubbish he normally asks?

Unsworth said...

@ Alex

It's probably escaped your notice, but this 'work' on 'wave power' and 'offshore wind' is being carried out on land by humans.

LJB said...

Oh dear Alex,

it says COMPANIES in Labour held constituencies! as in they are HQ'd under a Labour MP. Read a bit closer dear boy (girl?!).

Slagella said...

So Alex 1:11pm, is the money being SPENT offshore?

Events dear boy, events said...

This is old news. Ken Clarke commented on this a week ago when he was interviewed in the Sunday Times and I referred to it on my blog.

Simon Cooke said...

Presumably @Alex those wind and wave power generators are being made by mermaids at the bottom of the ocean?

God you Labour types are so thick - companies receiving grants from your venal government are based in real places, on land! And they're in Labour marginal consituencies...

Perdix said...

Alex 1.11 - are the companies located in the sea?!!

Clive said...

Given the impact on industry of Tory policies through the 80's and 90's, especially in the Labour heartlands, is it any surprise that a lot of the money spent on industry goes to those areas? And as Alex mentions, a quarter of the money is going into wave and offshore wind power generation, and I suspect most of the companies involved in those sectors happen to be in Labour constituencies.

Now you may want to criticise the expenditure on renewables, with at least a modicum of justification, but "Gerryandering" it isn't.

And don't forget the money spent on bailing out the banks. I suspect most of the direct beneficiaries in all likelihood live in Tory held constituencies. I still reckon the fiscal stimulus should have gone into infrastructure projects rather than directly to the banks, but then you'd probably have labeled that as "Gerrymandering" as well?

Paul Halsall said...

Industries tend to be in industrial areas, which tend to vote Labour in any case.

And if poster Alex (above) is right, your figures are off.

How about Labour offer to locate the next power station in Surrey?

AD627 said...

The first scandal is that such a fund was created in the first place.

Government has no business in 'picking winners'.

Richard Manns said...

@ Alex

Unless those power sources are constructed by mermaids and super-intelligent squid, I'll bet you a lot that the INDUSTRIES are based on land.

Fool.

Elby the Beserk said...

They do this all the time. I gather that the out of town cabinet meetings have ALL taken place in marginal constituencies.

Iain - there must be someone you know in the Tory party who can chase this - this is grotesque, theft, corruption you name it.

davidh said...

Presumably Alex the wind and wave power kit is being made on land by companies based in (Labour or LibDem held) constituencies. Or perhaps the Government is pouring the money into the sea or throwing it to the wind, which would of course be in line with their usual attitude to spending.

Gareth said...

Given the massive weight of political opinion and both private and public money already piling into renewable energy, how on Earth could wave and wind energy be considered to be struggling?

Alex, Paul,

Iain's research consists merely of reading a newspaper.

Tony_E said...

'And don't forget the money spent on bailing out the banks. I suspect most of the direct beneficiaries in all likelihood live in Tory held constituencies.' (Clive)

Yes, Tory heartlands like...Newcastle!

Houdini said...

It is a huge scandal, so why isn't Cameron shouting about it at every news station and every news broadcast? He could call a press conference and shout and get agitated about it, but will he?

Nope because Call Me Dave wants to get rid of ya boo politics doesn't he? What a nice guy eh? No majority in Parliament and Labour PR monsters like Mandelson and Campbell pissing all over him, but hey, at least no ya boo eh?

Libertarian said...

@Paul Halsall

Another smartarse tribal answer from someone who knows nothing.

Down here in Tory Folkestone we have had nuclear power stations for 40 years. We want a new one to replace the one closed by the EU large plant directive. Are any of the 18 new ones coming here? No, all in Labour seats.

Sceptical Steve said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Libertarian said...

@clive

er banks like the Royal Bank of SCOTLAND, Bank of SCOTLAND ( a well known hotbed of Toryism) and of course Newcastle's very own Northern Rock.

The only "southern" bank bailed out was a bank that was untouched by the trouble until Brown/Darling forced them to buy HBoS.

Sceptical Steve said...

Clive @1.52

Take your head out of your backside and you'll see you've opened another can of worms. As far as bank bail-outs are concerned, remember Northern Rock, Newcastle (Labour Heartland), HBOS, Edinburgh and Halifax (Labour Heartlands), and RBS Edinburgh (Labour Heartland)?

Paul Halsall said...

@Libertarian

Fair point about Folkstone.

I love the Labour Party, but I love truth more, and I welcome your correction.

Paul Halsall said...

@Scepitalsteve.

Edinburgh as Labour Heartland? You need to check your stats for the past 25 years.

Much of Edinburgh (where I went to Uni, and lived two years after) is fairly conservative.

Thatcherites really had to fight to lose it (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edinburgh_Central_(UK_Parliament_constituency) )

Hairy Arsed Bloke said...

I wonder how much of these funds are being laundered back into Labour party funds by political donations by the recipient companies?

Unsworth said...

Labour has vast form on this:

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23379152-revealed-how-labour-constituencies-got-the-best-healthcare-transport-and-policing.do

Is but a taster....

Conand said...

Of course printing money devalues our currency and therefore potentially helps all exporters. Good times!
However the manufacturing base has halved in size under Labour so there is less to be gained in the short term from this effect. Bad times!

Dick the Prick said...

Bit counter-intutive this and also a little bit mean but good. Means we don't have to later. Oooohh - feel bad now.

The Grim Reaper said...

This is no scandal at all. I thought Tories were traditionally against the state poking its nose into private industry.

Quiet news day, Iain?

Iain Dale said...

Grim Reaper, you really are preposterous. If you cannt see the scandal in this you must be even thicker than your comments normally indicate.

The Grim Reaper said...

MikeyP said "So why doesn't Dave ask this kind of question in PMQ's rather than the bland rubbish he normally asks?"

Because Broon wouldn't answer the question anyway. He'd just go on about "savage Tory cuts" (which are nowhere near savage enough in my opinion) whilst mocking Call Me Dave's particularly airbrushed complexion.

Why not question him instead about his personal contribution to "saving the world", as he put it? These contributions include assaulting a senior government adviser, pulling a secretary out of her chair because she wasn't typing fast enough for his liking, hurling foul-mouthed abuse at aides and junior staff, throwing a mobile phone at a Government chauffeur and so forth...

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain Dale said "Grim Reaper, you really are preposterous. If you cannot see the scandal in this you must be even thicker than your comments normally indicate."

You're very easily upset, aren't you? I'm making a perfectly valid point. Tories are traditionally against the state getting involved in private companies and industry. If they still were, they'd be demanding this fund was shut down, not complaining via yourself that their constituencies are not getting a slice of the pie.

What on earth would Thatcher have made of this confusion?

Iain Dale said...

I am not arguing the fund is a good thing. I am arguing that it is a scandal that 96% of the money in it is going to Labout seats. As far as I am concerned the whole thing should be abolished.

Turnip said...

One Tory blogger's been doing his bit to prop up the Viagra trade, though he says he was hacked...

http://turniptaliban.blogspot.com/2010/01/stiff-opposition-for-yarmouth-tories.html

The Grim Reaper said...

Iain Dale said "I am not arguing the fund is a good thing. I am arguing that it is a scandal that 96% of the money in it is going to Labout seats. As far as I am concerned the whole thing should be abolished."

Looks like we're in complete agreement, then. We must both be thick.

I think I'll have a large glass of red wine now...

Not a sheep said...

4% went to firms in Lib Dem constituencies, Gordon Brown will be spitting tacks, it all should have gone to Labour seats.

Q said...

Alex:

Go to Google Image Search. Put in "facepalm.jpg". That will give you a very good idea of how I felt when I read your post.

rob's uncle said...

The term for this is not ’gerrymander’ [which relates to fixing political boundaries for partisan gain] but: ’‘pork barrel, n. Chiefly U.S.
. . 2. Polit. (orig. U.S.). The state's financial resources regarded as a source of distribution to meet regional expenditure; esp. central funds (in the U.S., chiefly Federal funds) appropriated for local projects designed to please the electorate or legislators and win votes.
. . 1976 H. WILSON Governance of Brit. x. 172 In Westminster, the Government has complete control over expenditure... Thus, in Britain, ‘pork-barrel’ expenditure is ruled out.
1994 Maclean's 13 June 26/1 Power is based on the pork barrel and purchased with patronage.’ [OED]

Newmania said...

Isn’t this pork barrel politics rather than gerry-mandering or am I being a pendant ? Did we ever find out what Paisley got for slipping Lisbon through , remember that ?

forgelindin said...

Of course we should expect more to be in labour constituencies because those constituencies are more frequently industrial, however it seems mad to think that 0% could be conservative, nationalist, or other. I mean I've no idea how you would actually moderate that. Even if you somehow set it up (who? the civil service?) so that grants were given initially to labour areas presumably there is some collaboration, shared project codes for funding...

I mean I'd understand if the money was distributed from certain places....but I just need more info to believe this!

Alex said...

Unsworth said...
"@ Alex
It's probably escaped your notice, but this 'work' on 'wave power' and 'offshore wind' is being carried out on land by humans."

It probably escaped the notice of many readers of my previous post that the UK used to have a wind turbine manufacturing capacity on the Isle of Wight, but that has closed down. All of our components for offshore power now come from overseas and the contracts for constructing them will go to construction and engineering companies from all over the country and elsewhere.

The point about the location being offshore is that capital is supposed to create long term jobs or benefits. Most industrial investment happens to be in Labour constituencies for fairly obvious reasons. The investment that is going into offshore power is not benefitting any particular onshore community and is not creating jobs solely in Labour constituencies

Ben said...

That's not what gerrymandering means.


I'm skeptical as to the NotW's insinuation. If Labour wanted to target their constituencies with extra funding pre-election surely there'd be more effective ways than investing in wind farms, digital infrastructure, and so forth. They're hardly populist measures are they?

Ian said...

They've been at it for years. Look at the constituencies that received LEGI funding 2005/8...

http://www.communities.gov.uk/publications/communities/legibaselinereport

chris said...

Labour do have form on this.

The LSC cock up when they offered colleges money for redevelopment and oversubscribed 8 billion to 2 billion. Reported in telegraph that the colleges that have been successful are in Labour constituencies.

Local Enterprise and Growth Initiative (LEGI) fund - I know someone involved and after competitive bidding from councils, I think all went to Labour constituencies. I know for a fact that locally our tory controlled council was recommended as best bid by Government Office, but a labour controlled council got allocated the money.
What about the union modernisation funds, and local DFID money funding the TUC rather than international aid.

Unsworth said...

@ Alex

Care to put up your sources?

Scan said...

I wish someone would change the boundaries in Wakefield so it only encapsulated the intelligent - I know there'd only be seven of us but it'd help.

chris said...

Alex - the point is that surely some areas (such as tory controlled Birmingham) should receive funding - especially as west midlands is one of worst hit regions in recession, but more likely manchester or liverpool as they have labour mps and councils.

You would have to be almost blind to this to not admit that this is what labour are doing, but it is not just them, other parties do it when in power. Unfortunately they have a complex which means they are on the side of right!

OldSlaughter said...

Huge Scandal?

Tell us again how you miss Tony Blair Iain?

I don't know how you manage to wear these two hats.

Outrage when you can, then the blind eye when it suits.

Of course this is a scandal, there are many from this lot, why? Because they are shameless career politicians.

For your blog/business to be a success you need respect from all sides so some of these scandals get a pass?