Some light Christmas reading

A few politics articles for light Christmas reading …

Why are taxpayers spending £60m on a bridge for Joanna Lumley?

The bridge has been sold as a new public right of way by Johnson. In reality it is anything but. TfL’s business case suggests that just 0.03% of all those using the bridge will be people making new trips. The rest will be either tourists or others already on the Southbank.

So who will benefit from this bridge? Well according to the business plan, the biggest benefit of the bridge will be to “residential property values”. Incredibly, they estimate that the bridge will raise local property values by an estimated £84 million.

So excellent news for the tiny number of wealthy property owners in central London. Not so good news for the millions of people struggling to afford the cost of their monthly travelcard to work.

TfL bury Boris bike fare hike under the Christmas tree

Bullingdon Tory idiot Boris Johnson

The cycle hire scheme, perhaps Boris Johnson’s most notable achievement as mayor, has so far been serially underused, with a complex hiring mechanism turning potential users away.

Promised “at no cost to taxpayers” it remains substantially subsidised to the tune of millions of pounds a year.

A poor value-for-money sponsorship deal with Barclays and a complex hiring mechanism, means that it has so far failed to generate anything like enough revenue to cover its costs.

Iain Duncan Smith to meet Universal Credit target in 700 years’ timeImage of IDS Iain Duncan Smith

Ian Duncan Smith promised that more than a million people would be signed up to his universal credit scheme by April 2014, with twelve million signed up by 2017.

However, new figures released today reveal the DWP currently have just 17,850 people on their caseload.

This means that at the current rate of progress, it will take them almost 700 more years to meet their original target of twelve million.

Christmas cannot be captured in fairytale endings, Archbishop warns

[T]he true spirit of Christmas cannot be captured in fairytale endings, the Archbishop of Canterbury will tell the faithful.

Life-size cardboard Ed Miliband cutout ‘held HOSTAGE’ after being ‘stolen’ from County Hall

A statement from Worcestershire County Council read: “We are aware that a life-sized picture has gone missing out of the Labour room within County Hall.

“Staff and elected members are working closely to ensure that it is returned and this situation is concluded.”

The cut-out is the same height as the Labour leader – at 5ft 9in.

It is alleged that prior to its disappearance, some staff members turned the cardboard Ed around so people walking past could only see his backside in the window.

Continue ReadingSome light Christmas reading

Politics news allsorts

Commentary and analysis of recent UK politics events

Related: Over 1,000 cyclists stage die-in protest outside Transport for London HQ

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/12/george-osborne-becomes-first-senior-tory-criticise-boris-johnsons-iq-and-inequality

George Osborne has become the first senior Tory to distance himself from Boris Johnson’s remarks about IQ and inequality.

In a speech this week, the Mayor of London had said noted that 16 per cent of “our species” had an IQ of less than 85, and just two per cent of had an IQ of more than 130. Under such conditions, true equality was never possible, he said: “Indeed, some measure of inequality is essential for the spirit of envy and keeping up with the Joneses that is, like greed, a valuable spur to economic activity.”

On the Andrew Marr Show, Osborne said: “I would not have put it like that. I don’t agree with everything he said. I think there is actually increasingly common agreement across the political spectrum you can’t achieve equality of outcome, but you should be able to achieve equality of opportunity. You should give everyone, wherever they come from, the best chance, and, actually, education is the key to this.”

I know someone who was cycling and ended up in the wheelarch of a London bus. The driver was very sorry and in shock. Luckily she wasn’t physically hurt.

It’s not all bad news. George Osborne’s family has a cute new puppy.

Continue ReadingPolitics news allsorts