Confessions of a Political Animal

October 31, 2008

Short hiatus and some updates

I am away this weekend (the picture should be a clue as to where) and today looks busy, so probably no posting this side of Monday. Don’t cry too much, please.

However, I thought it might be worth providing some updates on a few of my earlier posts, just so they don’t feel forgotten (and so in some cases the Animal can say “told you so”).

October 28th Is the Game Afoot? The Animal speculated that a prolonged period of single figure Conservative poll leads over the next couple of months would suggest that the narrative about the next election would change, with a hung parliament maybe becoming a stronger possibility than a stonking Tory majority. We’re a long way off a prolonged period yet, and the latest Yougov poll does show Labour moving out a smidgin, but the Tory lead remains (just) within the psychologically important single figure zone. 

October 27th European Left Watch: Out of Office in Lithuania The Animal reported on the defeat for the parties that formed the Social Democrat-led government in Lithuania by a mixture of (more…)

September 4, 2008

Is this man the greatest threat to local democracy since Thatcher?

Last month Scotland’s First Minister took the, erm, courageous decision to announce on behalf of his nation that the Scottish people hadn’t minded the economic side of Thatcherism ‘so much’ and that it had been the lack of a social conscience to her policies that had so alienated people north of the border.

Apart from the basic political illiteracy of proclaiming such a clear seperation between economic and social policy, this statement amounted to a pretty impressive re-writing of history.

However, in the light of the Programme for Government set out by Salmond’s minority SNP administration this week, the reasoning behind the First Minister’s sudden apologia for the economics of Thatcherism has become a lot more clear. Unfortunately, he won’t be in a position to divorce the social costs of his economic policies quite as easily as he did in his glib statement.

The Abolition of Council Tax Bill that will be introduced during the coming session of the Scottish Parliament will replace the current property-value based council tax with a Scottish local income tax. Now, there is much to be said in favour of significant reforms of local government funding (more…)

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