Category Archives: Party Point

Party Point – March 2012

John Clark writes…

First published: March 2012 – Gazette & Herald

‘The one thing we learn from history is that we don’t learn from history’. To illustrate the point I have discovered what looks like a quote from the future. It’s a statement from a committee representing the GPs of the County of Cheshire (pity it wasn’t North Yorkshire).

The legislation before the NHS was the National Insurance act. This Law set up a Continue reading Party Point – March 2012

Party Point – January 2012

John Clark writes…

First published: January 2012 – Gazette & Herald

We were told: ‘No more boom and bust’; ‘the city and bank dealings were good for Britain’. We are told that ‘the rise in cost of raw food materials is one of the main causes of the present level of inflation’. I didn’t believe them then and I don’t believe them now.

Stockmarket fluctuations and swings in the euro crisis all claim to Continue reading Party Point – January 2012

Party Point – December 2011

John Clark writes…

First published: December 2011 – Gazette & Herald

Wealth is created by work, entrepreneurship, raw materials and investment. Mrs. Thatcher, Ronald Reagan and others removed most of the restrictions on the international movement of capital. This removed any democratic influence over capital. As a result the click of a computer mouse has given money complete domination over all the other honest contributors to Continue reading Party Point – December 2011

Party Point – November 2011

John Clark writes…

First published: November 2011 – Gazette & Herald

Nowhere is the contempt for the public by the Westminster political class greater than in the subject of the EU. Nearly two in three (61%) British citizens want a referendum on the EU. At election times or the imposing of yet another EU Treaty, the party in opposition calls for a referendum. When in power the call for a referendum is conveniently forgotten or ignored. When each Treaty comes into force we are Continue reading Party Point – November 2011

Party Point – September 2011

John Clark writes…

First published: September 2011 – Gazette & Herald

Most of the world is on the edge of a financial precipice. The banking tsunami will make every adult in the UK worse off by a £1,000. As part of the solution to this crisis the ConDem government increased VAT to 20%. This solution, which takes about £450 each year from the average family, aggravates the original problem.

It is not doom and gloom for all. The High Pay Commission has shown that in Continue reading Party Point – September 2011

Party Point – August 2011

John Clark writes…

First published: August 2011 – Gazette & Herald

For 30 years British society has moved from being measured by ‘what we do’ to ‘what we have’. All levels of society have been engulfed by this greed driven ‘need’.

Bankers removed £1,000 from every adult in Britain. MPs had the public paying for mortgages and televisions. Our MP helped herself to £984 worth of gardening. Senior members of the press broke the law by Continue reading Party Point – August 2011

Party Point – July 2011

John Clark writes…

First published: July 2011 – Gazette & Herald

What is the collective noun for millionaires? ‘A cabinet’. Sorry about that. Local government has two systems. Ryedale District Council uses the committee system; North Yorkshire County Council uses the cabinet structure.

In the committee approach, as policies or issues arise they are discussed first by Continue reading Party Point – July 2011

Party Point – June 2011

John Clark writes…

First published: June 2011 – Gazette & Herald

In an economy there are two driving forces – money and work. They provide between them our possessions. Without work we would have very little, including services. Imagine building a school, let alone the Olympic Stadium using only barter.

The two resources are treated completely differently. When the money moguls get it wrong we all pay out. Public services are cut in hospitals, the police, schools, road repairs and social services. Meanwhile the bankers’ bonuses, large salaries and massive pensions all continue. There is very little transparency. No-one knows which banks or hedge funds were dependent on which loans or mortgages. There is even less democracy.

On the work side the present ‘crisis’ is with pensions. In the private sector during the 80’s and 90’s pension funds were doing so well that the companies took a ‘pension holiday’. Companies were bought and sold so as to strip out the pension surplus. Money was made at the expense of the workers. There was very little hue and cry. Twenty years later when the pension funds had not grown fast enough companies said they couldn’t afford to continue their scheme. Again the workers lost out.

Historically, public sector pensions were high to compensate for lower wages. It is now alleged that as public sector wages have increased and private sector pensions are reduced there is no need for higher pensions in the public sector. There is a case for:

  • Limiting the top earners pensions
  • Linking pensions to career average earnings.

There is no case for:

  • Giving people a 3% cut in wages at a time when they have their salaries frozen.
  • This money not going into a pension fund. It goes into the government coffers. The long term financial problem is not reduced.
  • Describing an average pension of £4,000 as ‘gold plated’.

Another ‘red’ herring used against the Trade Unions is the low turnout in their strike ballots. Most local councillors would not be elected if there had to be a 50% turnout. Even in Ryedale with a high voting pattern, less than a third of Ryedale District Councillors are elected on a 50% turnout.

When the Trade Unions democratically vote to take strike action they are threatened by Vince Cable with tighter laws. Hotly followed by Danny Alexander (yet another LibDem) unilaterally announcing an increase of the pension age to 66. Running alongside this is the ‘fair deal’ where the public sector outsources services to the private sector. The private company will no longer have to provide an equivalent pension to the public sector. Money and profit wins out again over workers. No wonder there is outrage.

On the money side the present ‘crisis’ is Greece. Who will carry the can for the mess? If the previous banking ‘crisis’ is a guide it will be the vulnerable not the well off.

This attack on workers is led by the Tories, supported by the LibDems and ignored by Labour MP’s. This is likely to be only the beginning of the unrest.


Party Point – May 2011

John Clark writes…

First published: May 2011 – Gazette & Herald

In Local Government opposition is muted. The oft peddled statement that the public don’t want Party Politics means that most councillors allow the controlling group(s) to proceed unhindered. A second weakness is the fig leaf of Scrutiny Committees. Scrutiny implies that Council decisions will be examined, questioned and where appropriate, challenged. In Ryedale and North Yorkshire nothing is Continue reading Party Point – May 2011