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Prime Minister Baffled By Cuts. Real Life 'the Thick Of It.' Or Just Thick.

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So this does read like a Daily Mash story, but in not finding the killer joke/exaggeration I'm left trying to delay stupefaction till somebody can point out Monbiot has been at the funny cigarettes again.

In the meantime fill yer boots:

David Cameron Letter Protesting Cuts in Oxfordshire

...Explaining the issue gently, as if to a slow learner, the council leader, Ian Hudspeth, points out that the council has already culled its back-office functions, slashing 40% of its most senior staff and 2,800 jobs in total, with the result that it now spends less on these roles than most other counties. He explains that he has already flogged all the property he can lay hands on, but would like to remind the prime minister that using the income from these sales to pay for the council’s running costs “is neither legal, nor sustainable in the long-term since they are one-off receipts”...

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Spectacular. Particularly the 'why not sell off some land mate?' bit.

Well, its local politics so maybe he should be given the benefit of the doubt - must be down to having acquaintances who are chomping at the bit to get hold of a nice slice of Oxfordshire...

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Well, its local politics so maybe he should be given the benefit of the doubt - must be down to having acquaintances who are chomping at the bit to get hold of a nice slice of Oxfordshire...

That's your idea of the benefit of the doubt!?

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That's your idea of the benefit of the doubt!?

Lol ! - well take your pick 'Nice but Dim' or 'Nasty/Scheming'. Personally I think its worse having a gormless glove-puppet of a Prime Minister - less accountability. Admittedly though, if my cheeky slander was proved true then all hell would break loose.

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Lol ! - well take your pick 'Nice but Dim' or 'Nasty/Scheming'. Personally I think its worse having a gormless glove-puppet of a Prime Minister - less accountability. Admittedly though, if my cheeky slander was proved true then all hell would break loose.

Cameron has been prime minister for five and half years and in the public eye for twice that, but could you honestly say you have any idea what makes him tick?

Osborne likewise. Were it not for Vince Cable would we ever have learned of Osbo's fondness for Wagner and Bayreuth? I think not.

In truth, they're both plausible enough when reading their scripts on television which is presumably why they've lasted as long as they have. Whether they believe or understand a word of what they're saying is largely unimportant, govt policy is made in and by the Treasury.

“Whatever their other admirable qualities, Nick and Danny seemed convinced of Treasury orthodoxy on matters of economic policy. I think they genuinely believed we should accept the Treasury’s received wisdom over deficits and debt as part of the Lib Dem ‘strong economy – fair society’ message. I didn’t agree.

“I was never sure whether the economic thinking of the Treasury originated with officials within that department, seeking to retrieve their credibility after the financial crisis, or with George Osborne and his political advisers.

But it amounted to the same thing. Osborne and the Treasury had effective control over the government machine, with political cover often provided by the quad.

“Since I was considered difficult to sack, I could be bloody-minded. The Treasury was able to intimidate weaker departments, such as culture, media and sport, Defra and justice.

“Some of the greatest pressure came on Iain Duncan Smith at the Department for Work and Pensions, whose poor, disabled, unemployed and otherwise vulnerable clients were seen as easy targets for cuts.

“IDS was a significant figure, and a fundamentally decent man, but he spent much of his time fighting off pubescent advisers and Treasury officials with cruel ideas for saving money.”

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/sep/05/vince-cable-osborne-is-cynical-but-will-be-next-prime-minister

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Cameron has been prime minister for five and half years and in the public eye for twice that, but could you honestly say you have any idea what makes him tick?

Osborne likewise. Were it not for Vince Cable would we ever have learned of Osbo's fondness for Wagner and Bayreuth? I think not.

In truth, they're both plausible enough when reading their scripts on television which is presumably why they've lasted as long as they have. Whether they believe or understand a word of what they're saying is largely unimportant, govt policy is made in and by the Treasury.

My sense of Cameron is that he is something of an empty vessel - as if acting out a role. Osborne I can't make out other than every time I discover a new detail - like your Wagner thing, a bit creepy. Combined its as if they are trying to deliver ''conservatism', in a bit of a superficial idealistic way without a proper grasp of the fundamentals or of the 'real' situation.

I had to read the letter again and I'm still struggling to understand what is going on with them. I can understand he is Prime Minister, a busy bee. He must have researchers/helpers who have gone out and got him the 'facts'. At this level somebody could have simply cocked up. But it goes further, somebody has thought a response through, put together a case. Again, he might have outsourced some of the thinking and the composition but...

The thing is we've had this 'cuts' thing for five years now. Its the central plank of policy, controversy, notoriety even. Its central to the short to medium future of the country. The arguments have raged back and forth. Up and down the country the councils and the populations and the newspapers are wailing. How do we do them ? How do we least hurt ? and so on.

It just seems inconceivable. If the article is true this indicates an epic 'fail' of competence, managerial and intellectual Not a one off mistake. Not something that can be accounted for by an 'empty vessel' or even some sort of scheming V.I. I am genuinely baffled by it.

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My sense of Cameron is that he is something of an empty vessel - as if acting out a role. Osborne I can't make out other than every time I discover a new detail - like your Wagner thing, a bit creepy. Combined its as if they are trying to deliver ''conservatism', in a bit of a superficial idealistic way without a proper grasp of the fundamentals or of the 'real' situation.

I had to read the letter again and I'm still struggling to understand what is going on with them. I can understand he is Prime Minister, a busy bee. He must have researchers/helpers who have gone out and got him the 'facts'. At this level somebody could have simply cocked up. But it goes further, somebody has thought a response through, put together a case. Again, he might have outsourced some of the thinking and the composition but...

The thing is we've had this 'cuts' thing for five years now. Its the central plank of policy, controversy, notoriety even. Its central to the short to medium future of the country. The arguments have raged back and forth. Up and down the country the councils and the populations and the newspapers are wailing. How do we do them ? How do we least hurt ? and so on.

It just seems inconceivable. If the article is true this indicates an epic 'fail' of competence, managerial and intellectual Not a one off mistake. Not something that can be accounted for by an 'empty vessel' or even some sort of scheming V.I. I am genuinely baffled by it.

Perhaps it is because Cameron is both a non-starter intellectually, and exists in an entirely cosseted, detached environment isolated from the realities of life and making a living. He has no experience of what it is like for the common people, and lacks the imagination and curiousity to try and find out.

He hasn't a clue.

Perhaps Marie Antoinette is his role model.

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"Cameron is a non-starter intellectually"

Explain his Oxford first?

it's a mystery. Perhaps he is good at rote learning.

Can you explain how someone with a first in PPE can only come up with something as vacuous as the 'Big Society' as his big vision, or write the staggeringly ignorant letter quoted in the OP?

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For sure he will know the exact position. Over the past years he will have been repeatedly informed by councils/countys around the country.

The letters appear to suggest that it's all been a bit unintentional on his part, as if - maybe Osborne is the scapegoat. Maybe like John Major Cameron didn't read stuff that crossed his desk.

Maybe he's leaving earlier than anticipated and he's thinking of his legacy.

The apparent savings plus the massive increase in government debt need some explanation in terms of where has the money gone.

Also now that Cameron has been publicly informed what does he do next - continue or U turn.

Edited by billybong

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Perhaps it is because Cameron is both a non-starter intellectually, and exists in an entirely cosseted, detached environment isolated from the realities of life and making a living. He has no experience of what it is like for the common people, and lacks the imagination and curiousity to try and find out.

He hasn't a clue.

Perhaps Marie Antoinette is his role model.

Well hold on - he is arguing against the cuts. He apparently is pointing out their agonising intolerable consequences. And he is doing so with total legal, economic and ultimately political ignorance.

Not that I feel sorry for him, but you have to start asking is somebody simply out to get our pig-loving 1st class degree PM ?

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Perhaps it is because Cameron is both a non-starter intellectually, and exists in an entirely cosseted, detached environment isolated from the realities of life and making a living. He has no experience of what it is like for the common people, and lacks the imagination and curiousity to try and find out.

He hasn't a clue.

Perhaps Marie Antoinette is his role model.

Time to roll out the cake and guillitines.

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So this does read like a Daily Mash story, but in not finding the killer joke/exaggeration I'm left trying to delay stupefaction till somebody can point out Monbiot has been at the funny cigarettes again.

In the meantime fill yer boots:

David Cameron Letter Protesting Cuts in Oxfordshire

..they have to cut everything to pay for the pension provisions of the top tier...who earn twice the salary of the Prime Minister...maybe the reality of this crime will hit the Prime Minister in a 'eureka' moment one day.... :rolleyes:

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..they have to cut everything to pay for the pension provisions of the top tier...who earn twice the salary of the Prime Minister...maybe the reality of this crime will hit the Prime Minister in a 'eureka' moment one day.... :rolleyes:

One wonders why neither DC nor his spokespeople have mentioned high salaries or pension obligations in the correspondence.

As far as I can see, only "back office savings", disposal of property and " joining up local public services" are suggested as means of saving / making money.

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In truth, they're both plausible enough when reading their scripts on television which is presumably why they've lasted as long as they have. Whether they believe or understand a word of what they're saying is largely unimportant, govt policy is made in and by the Treasury.

I've heard a lot that when Osbourne is off script he's useless. They appear to me as just well polished actors. Nothing more.

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My sense of Cameron is that he is something of an empty vessel - as if acting out a role. Osborne I can't make out other than every time I discover a new detail - like your Wagner thing, a bit creepy. Combined its as if they are trying to deliver ''conservatism', in a bit of a superficial idealistic way without a proper grasp of the fundamentals or of the 'real' situation.

I had to read the letter again and I'm still struggling to understand what is going on with them. I can understand he is Prime Minister, a busy bee. He must have researchers/helpers who have gone out and got him the 'facts'. At this level somebody could have simply cocked up. But it goes further, somebody has thought a response through, put together a case. Again, he might have outsourced some of the thinking and the composition but...

The thing is we've had this 'cuts' thing for five years now. Its the central plank of policy, controversy, notoriety even. Its central to the short to medium future of the country. The arguments have raged back and forth. Up and down the country the councils and the populations and the newspapers are wailing. How do we do them ? How do we least hurt ? and so on.

It just seems inconceivable. If the article is true this indicates an epic 'fail' of competence, managerial and intellectual Not a one off mistake. Not something that can be accounted for by an 'empty vessel' or even some sort of scheming V.I. I am genuinely baffled by it.

Funny thing is, if you'd spoken to councils about those "cuts for 5 years" before they happened, it would have been, "no way can these cuts happen".

Dave must of course be wrong. And county councils never spend a penny that isn't needed.

Of course.

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it's a mystery. Perhaps he is good at rote learning.

Can you explain how someone with a first in PPE can only come up with something as vacuous as the 'Big Society' as his big vision, or write the staggeringly ignorant letter quoted in the OP?

Look, if you need help understanding it just contact Sheridan, OK?

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Funny thing is, if you'd spoken to councils about those "cuts for 5 years" before they happened, it would have been, "no way can these cuts happen".

Dave must of course be wrong. And county councils never spend a penny that isn't needed.

Of course.

Another funny * thing is, we're yet to see the impact of the last 5 years cuts.

I imagine that when we do, Cameron and his supporters will blame the results on immigrants, scroungers and lefties.

* If thats the kind of thing you find funny.

Cameron, of course, is wrong.

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It is rank stupidity from Cameron.

My local council has merged three departments with neighbouring councils.

The management team has been slimmed down dramatically and they've lost 30% of staff by combining the teams. This will save £600k a year over the 3 councils - £200k each.

However to get this annual £200k saving they are having to spend significant amounts of money. You can't just merge a council. They all have existing systems, contracts with suppliers, don't cover the same functions in the same departments etc

So all this activity (they've probably spent £100k+ on consultants, legal advice etc), along with reducing the "nice to have" things to zero, has contributed to saving the £1.5m the government told them they'd have to save annually in 2011. The only problem is since 2011 their funding has been cut further and they now need to save £6m a year.

£6m a year is literally impossible for the authority to do and meet the statuary requirements for a local government service. Their total budget is currently about £18m and £10m is spent on staffing with about £8m in capital expenses and outsourced work.

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Well, its local politics so maybe he should be given the benefit of the doubt - must be down to having acquaintances who are chomping at the bit to get hold of a nice slice of Oxfordshire...

most local councils have gone through the same sort of treatment.

be honest, in the space of 5 years or so, have you really noticed any difference?

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They're still spending massive amounts of money on unnecessary roadworks along with the full quota of zig zag lines, multi coloured patches and legions of flashing LED lights for speed limits etc etc etc while big potholes from 2 or more years ago still remain untouched and where clear lines are in fact necessary in dangerous locations they've been allowed to fade away to nothing and they have never bothered to renew them.

Edited by billybong

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