I’ve always voted Conservative – but for this?
Dear Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne,
I am a natural Conservative voter who has become very disillusioned with my party over the last 3 years. I realise you are both terribly important people and the you really cannot afford the time to actually think about us mere taxpayers and citizens, which is why you have correspondence units and a phalanx or staff to shield you from the unpleasant realities of the real world. I am rather hoping however, that you read the newspapers. That is why I chose this rather unusual mechanism for trying to remind you that there are real people out there. Call it a desperate and expensive cry for help.
I accept that by the time you arrived in government debt levels were out of control as the governments of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had squandered our hard earned taxes, whilst our Civil Servants in the FSA had allowed our banks to leverage themselves so much, they ran out of money – and all this, after they had effectively, or seemingly, stolen from their customers (both retail via PPI and wholesale via manipulating LIBOR).
Mr Cameron – you promised, very clearly, that you would get rid of the deficit that was ramping up debt levels; that you would get petty government regulations and officials out of our hair so we could once again do good business, hire our youth to give them a future and build savings for a rainy day. To do this we needed our banks operating properly to recirculate money and focus investment and capital into thousands of small businesses to help them grow, produce and sell – ideally, some abroad.
Sadly, however, the deficit remains – and National Debt has continued to balloon, not withstanding rather patronising sound bites about how the ‘structural’ deficit has been eliminated. And you have eliminated none of the petty interference from redundant government that so hinders growth and development. I would have expected, as a minimum, that in the last 3 years you would have:
- Got rid of at least 1 in 4 of all the senior civil servants who earn more than the 2-3 times the national average wage (and that DOES NOT MEAN reclassify them as consultants at greater cost – it means TOTALLY eliminated their costs, direct or indirect, from the public purse). The reminder can work harder for their lavish salaries and index-linked pensions or go also. And yes, by Civil Servants I mean everyone paid more than 50% of their compensation – directly or indirectly – from the public purse.
- Eliminated whole departments of government whose sole function seems to be to ensure that our children never learn that fires burn you and who, never having climbed a ladder for a living themselves, instruct everyone else on how to both place a ladder, operate a hand tool and wear a harness when cleaning windows. They do all this at great cost to the economy and for no real benefit.
- Seriously reviewed our capital expenditure on project whose return does not appear for many years. For example, UNLESS there is AT LEAST 50% UK direct and indirect labour content in big long-term projects like the new rail links, we probably cannot afford them right now. Bolting together foreign-bought trains in a new UK factory is hardly the same. If the steel comes from Germany, the technology from the US and the fixtures from Asia, it is they who benefit in the short term with Keynesian Growth Multipliers – NOT your taxpayers/citizens.
Mr Cameron – let’s have fewer political sound bites and more real action to create jobs; to sort out the Banking System; to curb interfering, wealth-destroying civil servants; and to cut debt and our deficit.
Job Creation: Please let’s cut out this sound bite about the 1 million new jobs you have created. It is offensive to those desperately looking for employment. Unemployment is appalling, youth unemployment is worse, and your policies encouraging unpaid work experience smack of a clever form of slavery.
The Banking System: Mr Osborne, you have done even less than Mr Cameron.
Banks – some of which you now manage (via UKFI) on our behalf – not only effectively, or seemingly, stole from their customers, but also came running to those same customers for help when they ran out of cash. We did not bail them out, and then give them free new loans from OUR central bank, just so they could once again pay themselves massive bonuses. We bailed them out because they should form a critical part of the economy… recycling money back to the small- and medium-sized businesses so they can invest and grow and by doing so, employ our youth and sell products in order to drive GDP and growth multipliers. In exchange for our largesses, and their licence to operate, these banks should be working aggressively to attract inward investment to the UK rather than trying to find new ways to entrap their customers and enlarge their bonuses. In short, they are still failing us miserable which means you, Mr Osborne, have failed us. Might I suggest you actually find out how much, or how little, UKFI owned banks are helping, or indeed hindering, inward investment. Why invest in the UK when frankly the banks and governments are so much more helpful in Germany, Singapore or Malaysia etc. That saddens me as a UK tax payer and citizen.
Civil Servants: My concern, Mr Osborne, is not just with our banks. You rightly passed legislation to abolish the FSA. The sole purpose of the FSA was to protect the citizen of this country from the excesses of its banks. As an organisation, the FSA and its senior staff and officials, failed in this task on nearly every count. To have knighted its prior head is an insult to all those who have suffered, and will continue to suffer, from the FSA’s massive failings. It also pours ridicule on an honours system that rewards someone who presided over such failings. That all the senior managers of the old FSA have not been permanently fired (and not re-hired somewhere else in the Civil Service) , along with the executive and non-executive directors of those banks that needed our financial help – none of whom should be allowed to be directors of public bodies for many years – shows both appalling judgement at the Treasury and contempt for those who will pay the price long after these people collect their inflated and often index-linked pensions. Re-naming the FSA and changing a couple of people does not make a new organisation. The incoming Mr Weatley and Mr Bailey need to feel pressure, the real pressure of a ticking bomb under their feet. We need banks that work for the people and with the people, not against the people and for the compensation pool. This means fewer bureaucrats and lawyers, and more business and brains.
Debt and Deficit: Mr Osborne, you have done little that was expected of you as a Chancellor. The deficit is still with us, national and government debt and liabilities are still rising (however much you try and use sound bites to suggest otherwise) and frankly, the costs of government are still out of control. The question is – are you running the Treasury or are your officials leading you in the direction they choose – a direction that failed us over the prior 10 years? I would suggest the latter.
Finally, no Mr Miliband. This does not mean that you, or indeed Mr Balls, would be likely to do a better job. Your party, in the form of Tony Blair and Gordon Brown got us into this mess by exploding government spending for little positive benefit. There is no reason to suppose that you would do any better.
Yours, very sincerely,
Full name and address supplied.