Labour needs less rhetoric and more policy

 

I have to say I was completely underwhelmed by Ed Miliband’s Labour Party Conference speech on Merseyside.

 

What was I expecting? Well, my first editor always repeated over and over again: “The devil is in the detail.”

 

Rhetoric is not what this country needs now. Job creation and a buoyant economy are at the forefront of people’s minds.

 

Only strong policies that deliver results will give him the prime ministerial air he desperately seeks.

 

Heather Stewart hit the nail on the head in her Guardian piece on big business, entitled: “End fast-buck culture? First, Miliband needs a revolution in business values”

 

She pointed out that Britain’s business model needed to be re-worked and “Miliband will need to translate his rhetoric into a detailed policy programme”.

 

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Tax evaders off the hook?

So British residents’ cash which has been stashed away in Swiss bank accounts will be taxed.

The landmark deal that has been struck could lead to the HMRC enjoying a cash windfall of more than £5bn.

The Financial Times reported that “the agreement, which comes into force in 2013, respects bank secrecy by preserving the anonymity of UK account holders – a key Swiss demand”.

Chris Oates, head of Ernst & Young’s Tax Controversy team, told Reuters the agreement “may tempt Britons to move their money over the Swiss border into Liechtenstein” because “the Liechtenstein Disclosure Agreement only requires a back payment of taxes from 1999-2000 onward, rather than the total value of assets held in Switzerland”.

Is this really leading by example? One rule for taxpayers and another for tax evaders it appears.

Obama’s Re-Election Bid takes a knock

What a difference a day makes.

I know, I know, it’s a cliché but it is actually true in this case.

When I wrote in my last post about the Republican leaders attempts to give President Barack Obama a bloody nose, I should have peered over their shoulders.

If I had stretched a little, I would have seen Standard & Poor hovering behind them.

The move by S&P to drop U.S. government debt from AAA to AA+ has dealt President Obama’s re-election hopes such a hefty blow.

I am sure would-be presidential hopefuls must be rubbing their hands with glee.


Debt Crisis ‘blues’

More economic doom and gloom. Somebody, please wake me up from this nightmare.

I had hoped there would be a decent pause so we could all catch our breath after the Republican leaders did their very best to give President Obama a bloody nose.

Paul Ryan, a congressman from Wisconsin who is chairman of the House Budget Committee, did not pull any punches in his Wall Street Journal article: Where’s Your Budget, Mr. President?

In it, he claimed the president had not “put forward a credible plan to tackle the threat of ever-rising spending and debt”.

He also asserted that “Congress still hasn’t dealt with the drivers of our debt—primarily federal spending on health care”.

I knew there would be an eleventh-hour deal before the Tuesday deadline.

After all, there are scoring political points and scoring political points.

The shenanigans that went on before an agreement was reached were, as one US citizen told Channel 4‘s Sarah Smith, just “stupid”.

Today, The Telegraph reported the FTSE 100 “suffered a 3.43pc fall, its biggest since the height of the banking crisis in March 2009”.

It also revealed that “in the past five days, investors have lost a total of £125bn”.

One can’t but help feel overwhelming powerlessness by what is happening because there isn’t a panacea.

Politicians and financial experts can pontificate all they want but I am yet to hear something that sounds remotely like a concrete plan to get us all out of this mess.

And, of course, it is always the people who do not earn those incredible salaries attached to even more incredible bonuses who suffer.