There seems to be a pattern developing with the ConDem government, issuing directives to Secretaries of State to make savings, then reacting with bewildered surprise that this actually has an impact on people, then palming off the blame. There’s definitely a bit too much sticking-of-head-in-sand going on round these ‘ere parts, in fact I think Mr Cameron might do with a little help from Jimmy Cliff.
Jimmy Cliff – I Can See Clearly Now
You there! Environment Secretary!
Stop pissing about and find us some money!
I’m sure this will work, she’s fairly savvy
She’s doing what? Selling off forestry?
Good god, have the people found out? The ones that vote Tory?
They have? Bloody hell, better make up a story.
Ah yes! Too much freedom, too much trust
Reign in those MPs, we really must.
Now, Local Councils, how is that going?
Are they saving services despite slashes in funding?
Hang on, you say they’re closing libraries?
But I told them to cut back on beaurocracy!
No, I don’t know if that can happen realistically
And no, I haven’t been to those places to see
Goodness gracious this will look bad on me
We’ll blame the Labour Councils, call it “motivated politically”
At least the poor kids in schools are ok
I know there’s nothing of theirs, that we’d take away
What’s that expression on your face? A very queer look.
We’re taking away their free milk and books?
This is looking really quite bad
I think I’ll go and put my head back in the sand.
Cameron being “not happy” with the forests being sold off really is quite amazing, as he has rewarded those ministers who make big cuts in their budget with a place the the “Star Chamber” (I’m not entirely sure what this is, but it sounds good, maybe something to do with Planetariums?). In fact, one of those ministers who already gets to go on trips to the Planetarium, for cutting her budget so enthusiastically and for being such a teachers pet in class, is Caroline Spelman, Environment Secretary and the ‘brain’ behind the big sell-off.
The Independent reported on Thursday Cameron’s allies stating;
“We need to stop things being announced before they have been road tested. We need to spot the problems before proposals are in the public domain, not afterwards”
“No one is looking properly at what is coming down the tracks in three of four weeks”
This is concerningly short-sighted, although there is always the possibility that what the ConDems are not anticipating effectively is being rumbled and the public backlash, rather than anything that they actually see as being wrong with the policies themselves. One thing that is enouraging though, is that people power forced the government into a U-turn onto this one, so we can make a difference.
I long for the day that Cameron ‘realises’ what Eric Pickles has done to Local Government budgets and the impact. On that day I have no doubt old Dave will smile happily, stretch his arms up to the beaming sunshine, roll his suit trousers up and walk in the sea with Jimmy Cliff, singing. ….