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If one of Ed Ball's minions were quizzing the ONS chap about the figures, trying find some bad news for the government, you would be hearing most of this interview.
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So, basically, Osborne was deploying the sort of sleight-of-hand that Brown, Balls & co. had turned into an artform. I don't think they patented it though.
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Why is it that only socialists have access to these magic money trees, and why don't they leave them in situ when they inevitably get booted out of office?
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Christina, you're right of course. The government could, though - if it had the balls - adopt the French approach and leave said directives in the 'in tray' for the duration. Not refusing to implement them, but never actually getting round to doing so either. (Needless to say, though, we'd still be Better Off Out.)
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I'm pleased to see that Cameron seems to be u-turning on his u-turn on this issue. It's a scandal that the Arctic convoy survivors should wait until now to receive the recognition. The same applies to Bomber Command. Not sure how ready Cameron will be to give on that one though - some Guardian readers might get upset.
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The essence of what Kitcat is saying is right - the money on offer is a one-off, it cannot actually sustainably fund a council tax freeze. He reverts to the watermelon Green mindset though by then talking of a 3.5% hike. The point is, though, that if a council wishes to freeze council tax in 2012/13 it will have to cut/save its way to that level and bank the 2.5% 'reward grant' as it would a one-off capital windfall. The government talking of funding another year of council tax freezes is dishonest and reminiscent of the smoke and mirrors of the Labour years. It is, as the opening paragraph correctly states, merely an 'incentive'.
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David Cameron, two years from now: "Well, I kept my word, I did everything possible, but we were blocked by Merkel/Sarkozy/Van Rompuy/Clegg. *shrug* Let's face it, if it wasn't for Gordon Brown ..." Frankly the PM would be more credible on the EU if he said nothing at all. Any utterances now just pour petrol on the fire.
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Another sign of how the LibDems have changed. In earlier times, local referenda would have been embraced by them as another campaigning tool. A shame about the amendment, then, but not about the yellow sc*m losing their way.
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How do you define 'weekly collections'? We have weekly collections of kitchen waste and paper, but fortnightly of other recyclables and general refuse. It is popular - complaints have been very rare - because the 'smelliest' waste is still picked up weekly. Would my council get the extra cash, or is it just rewarding the failures of those councils who messed up? (No pun intended.)
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Another example of robots being employed as council officers instead of human beings with common sense. And then of a house-trained cabinet member defending them. I think the first is a convenient indicator of where to look for next year's cuts. One can but hope the second will be remembered by the voters of LBWF come 2014.
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The issue is not that there isn't a definition of sustainable development, but that the definition is meaningless waffle.
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Not every borough benefits from Crossrail. What advantage is there to the traveller/resident going from Croydon to London Bridge? Or Bromley to Victoria? On the London Plan, I'm sure supporters of regional strategies would argue that those plans have delivered also, based on cherry-picked measures. It's the 'stopped clock' effect. It doesn't change the principle that decision-making should be devolved to the lowest practical level; in London that should be the boroughs or lower.
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How many of the benefits of the reforms will accrue to London though? If regional strategies are going, will that include the Mayor's London Plan? If not, why not? How much say will local people in London have in how the Mayor spends his Community Infrastructure Levy revenue? I understand it's going to be poured into Crossrail, regardless of the fact that it will be raised from all boroughs, whether they benefit from Crossrail or not? Localism for London should not stop at City Hall, even if it is 'our man' in place right now.
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Surely this is the beginning of the end for the Euro*? Please? Though just give me enough warning to bind up my sides so they don't split when it does actually happen. * (and just as pertinently, the opposition to the EU referendum)
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Jul 12, 2011