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Well, mebbe

Those that are not going bankrupt know that they face the prospect of closing almost all their services bar social care, emergency housing and (maybe) refuse collection.

This is a desperately sorry situation, created entirely by Cameron and Osborne and their utterly unnecessary policy of austerity, for which Cameron has now been rewarded with a peerage and high office, whilst Osborne produces a podcast with his best friend, Ed Balls, who happens to be married to the person who aspires to be Labour Home Secretary.

Some of them at least are going bust because they borrowed money to invest it.

Which isn’t a great signal for Spud’s plans to borrow all our pensions and invest them, is it?

17 thoughts on “Well, mebbe”

  1. Why is it that every government spending chart I see shows expenditure increasing, amidst the backdrop of pantshitters like Spud claiming “austerity”?

  2. The definition of austerity by the hard of thinking is “Not as much money as I’d like to be spent” even if that’s more than the country can afford. Of course, affordability is relative – there is lots of money that could be used if only we stole it from the “rich”.

    The NHS being the canonical example – it’s only good at killing babies because we haven’t offered up every penny we have in worship.

  3. The neoliberal attack on the power of government to transform lives can be seen in the collapse of local government in the UK

    Anyone using the term ‘neoliberal’ without quote marks you can take as read is a bad faith actor.

    A century ago, local councils were at the heart of transformational change in the UK. They were the primary providers of:

    Local transport
    Social housing
    Gas, in some places
    Clean water and sewers
    Public health

    In other words, they were at the forefront of the transformation of society, often using locally subscribed capital to fund local development via bond issues that turned the savings of local people into the future that they desired for themselves and others.

    The fact it was a century ago (rare for Murphy to go back that far) tells you all you need to know. A combination of government centralization after the Second World War and the proliferation of quangoes in the 80s and beyond mean government has been hollowed out. If I were him I’d be careful what he wishes for as almost all his funding comes from the ‘Third Sector’ bodies which have stepped into the vacuum.

    I’d say my council’s primary priorities were:

    – Environmentalism
    – Diversity
    – Posturing on international issues

    I do wish they’d focus more on more substantial stuff but that isn’t the case.

    And now? They have been reduced to rumps of service that live under perpetual threat of further cuts, utterly dependent for funding on central government that is intent on denying it to them.

    True statement to some degree but he forgets the reason for this is the likes of him insisting that ‘different’ coverage in any aspect is ‘unfair’ and demanding Central government act to remediate it. Besides which surely more money can simply be printed? Just set up a commercial bank in each of these authorities and it can just create money to pay for everything? Where’s the catch?

  4. Its becoming increasingly apparent that the UK government can’t ‘do’ anything. 70+ years of increasing regulation of everything has reached a point where if you follow all the rules you can’t actually achieve any practical aims. And bureaucrats delight in making sure that anything State employees do is compliant with everything and a bit more, and also that any contractors engaged do likewise. Hence why the amount of money spent on the Public sector rises inexorably, as do the number of Public employees, yet less and less gets done. You cannot comply with all the legislation and still achieve practical aims in a reasonable timescale at a decent cost.

    If farming complied with all the rules its supposed to you’d all have a ration of half a loaf of bread and one mouldy turnip per day. The only reason we manage to get stuff done is by ignoring vast swathes of it. And as small businesses working on our own out in the wilds of the countryside we (by and large) get away with it. Its the only way we can survive.

  5. Some of them at least are going bust because they borrowed money to invest it.

    Local government gambling tax payer money needs to be a serious crime.

    It should be impossible for councils to go bankrupt. They know their income for a year (local taxes and national subsidy) – just don’t spend more than that. I suspect there were fewer financial problems when things were run by the county clerk. These “CEOs” earning more than the prime minister are just vermin.

  6. “Those that are not going bankrupt know that they face the prospect of closing almost all their services bar social care, emergency housing and (maybe) refuse collection.”

    Maybe they should have thought of that before pissing our money up the wall on littering the pavements with useless decorative lamp-posts, traffic lights for bicyclists, pelican crossings where you don’t have to press a button because you’ll die of Covid, bicycle lanes, granite paving slabs that’ll “last a century” which they then rip up after 20 years in order to install same, bike sheds, and planters that turn into giant litter bins within six months.

    Oh, and replacing the LED lamp-posts they put in 15 years ago with new LED lamp-posts while the 80-year-old ones in the next street haven’t seen a pot of paint since the ’90s.

    “The fact it was a century ago (rare for Murphy to go back that far) tells you all you need to know. ”

    Well, exactly. Half of those things were rendered useless by nationalisation before some of them were “privatised”.

  7. I filled in my self assessment, so now I’m in a foul mood.

    Paying over £60K a year in income tax with nothing to show for it.

    Candidly, where’s my parade and blowjobs*? And more importantly, what fucking austerity?

    * No thanks, Ritchie.

  8. You might be sympathetic to councils having increased costs dealing with ‘homelessness’. When asylum is granted the now refugee status person has to leave the asylum accommodation paid for out of central government DfID via Home Office and find their own place and often present as homeless and that has to be found from local council funds.
    But if any such councils have been refusing planning permissions, insisting on landlord licensing in the cheap areas adding to their costs, turning down HMO conversions, then feck ’em, they can’t have that excuse.

  9. Bongo – Candidly, I see no reason why we should want people to build houses for asylum seekers.

    Do you want to live near asylum seekers?

  10. More means worse, and more money means worse spent. Or it means corruption, but of course that is unknown in local government in the never-corrupt UK.

  11. Steve

    console yourself with the thought that if you were a Scottish taxpayer, your tax bill would have been higher and next year quite substantially higher with even worse public services.

  12. Steve: «Paying over £60K a year in income tax with nothing to show for it.»

    Don’t say that – it motivates you to indulge us with so much of your time and spoiling us with your every scatological and eschatological thought.

  13. The kind Councillors of Sunderland who don’t live in Sunderland city centre don’t even want asylum seekers housed there in the part of the city furthest from where they live.

    Me, I’d devolve to the individual and community, with government doing the bare minimum of checking identities, ejecting criminals and stamping visas work permitted and NRTPF.

    But if they have to be housed somewhere while waiting for Theresa’s May stupid law on modern slavery to be worked through, then places where a local militia might self-organise seems ideal. Imv of course.

  14. TMB – Thanks for letting me know, I’ll post less often.

    BF – That just makes me want to build a War Wolf and then liberate Scotland by treebucketing the politicians:

    Bongo – From the looks of things, Sunderland made the right call. Remember Florida sent a bunch of asylum seekers to Martha’s Vineyard? I hear Westminster City Council is lovely this time of year. Also, Dave Cameron has a lovely home in the Cotswolds, that’s desperately in need of 20,000 Somalis.

    All the best, chaps. Stay pendantic.

  15. @V_P
    With that list he’s provided, he’s simply lying. A century ago pretty well all of that was private sector. My father (b ’25) always referred to the electric co, gas light & coke co, water co, bus co etc because he never adjusted to they weren’t.

  16. The death of the city centre high street is on your sort Steve, smiles.
    The public vote with their wallets to shop out of town or online, and you swing behind the councillors voting not to delay that with temporary new residents, no grant from the Home Office for that building, and no self-organised local militia to keep people on their toes and the tv crews excited and housed nearby.

    Sunderland has a great new station frontage apparently, more magnificent than Lucy Pinder’s. Just not many passengers using it. Lots of two storey match box housing on the edges of the city. And the HQ of the UK’s biggest company promoting that you get out of the UK completely (Hays Travel fwiw). On you that is.

  17. @Bongo – “, turning down HMO conversions” After the numerous problems we’ve had with HMOs in our street any council who looks critically at any hmo conversion applications and is prepared to monitor those in operation would probably get my vote and most of the street. Call us nimbys, but the drug dealing and public defacation and the commensurate lack of police interest is not a vote winner.

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