Azara Blog: The Lib Dems really like pestering the citizens of Cambridge

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Date published: 2010/03/29

The Lib Dems will probably once again win the Cambridge parliamentary seat, if for no other reason than the current MP, David Howarth, managed to keep his nose clean in the expenses scandal. And if mass delivery of leaflets was any indication of victory, then the Lib Dems would win hands down. This past weekend they delivered not one but two leaflets, running to 12 pages in total. So they are concerned about the environment except when it comes to their own wasteful use of paper.

The first, 4 page, leaflet is a "Cambridge Herald". The headline here is about "Britain's unfair tax system", whereby "unfair" they mean that "the very rich pay a lower rate of tax than the poor". Well, that's obviously true, because the very rich have good accountants and because the poor are stuck in a benefits trap. Needless to say, the Lib Dems are not promising to sort this out, and would be incapable of doing anything about either situation. And they also fail to point out that the very rich pay a huge amount of tax, it's just not huge as a percentage of income. But never let reality get in the way of propaganda.

And what is a "fairer system", according to the Lib Dems? It is one where they will try to extort a bit more money from the very rich (via cutting tax breaks on pension contributions) and hand a small amount to everyone else. Needless to say that is not "fairer", it is just redistribution. So all taxes are random and to say that some random shuffle of taxes is allegedly "fairer" is a joke. The Lib Dems are just playing that typical game whereby they are telling the masses that they can have all the services they want and not pay for any of it, because some rich uncle is going to pay for it. And unfortunately all three main political parties are playing the same game. So the country is bankrupt, but not to worry, the rich will gladly bail every one out. Only the rich will not.

The second headline is that "More new homes will be affordable", about the unsuccessful attempt by the developers of Clay Farm to reduce the number of "affordable" homes from the agreed level of 40%. The way new developments are forced to have a large (rather ridiculous) percentage of "affordable" homes (which are not affordable) is currently considered to be a quick fix to the lack of housing supply, but it has done nothing. If the developer cannot make a good profit the developer will not build, and this forced subsidy of almost half the development ends up not costing the developer but the people who buy houses elsewhere on the site. All in all the way housing is planned and built in England is insane, and the Lib Dems have nothing to offer on this score (nor do the other parties).

On the last page there is the headline "Children deserve a fair deal say Lib Dems". They claim that "In Britain, clever children from lower income homes are already significantly behind less able children from wealthier homes by the time they start school". Well, the Lib Dems should know, their leader, Nick Clegg, is a classic nice-but-dim middle class boy who ended up at the extremely posh Westminister School before going to Cambridge (to study Archaeology and Anthropology, not the most serious of subjects). It is not clear how the Lib Dems would change the situation except to possibly throw more money at poor children (however "poor" is arbitrarily defined), as if that will help.

The final headline is "Years of 'savings' in roads budget bite" about the plague of potholes that have hit Cambridge after the hard winter. Needless to say, according to the Lib Dems, it is all the fault of the Tory run county council. Well, this is a bit ironic, given how much the Lib Dems hate drivers, and have spent their entire time running Cambridge city council the last decade trying to screw drivers as much as possible. But really, now that there is an election they have their hankies out and are weeping about potholes.

The second, 8 page, leaflet, is basically a hagiography for Julian Huppert, the Lib Dem candidate for parliament. On the front page is a picture of him with David Howarth and his number one pitch: "Cambridge is my home". Well, hopefully he has more than that to offer the people of Cambridge. On the second page is a pitch by Howarth of how wonderful Huppert is.

On the third page Huppert has an article about the police DNA database and ID cards. Well, he happens to be on the sensible side on this issue, but it's hard to believe that more than a handful of people care about this more than about bread and butter issues.

Then there is a two-page spread in the middle of the leaflet, about "what makes Julian tick", complete with a nauseating photo of him on the Cam when he was a kid (he's a faculty brat). At the bottom there is a small article about how he is opposed to university tuition fees. Well, he can say that knowing full well that the Lib Dems will never be in power and so will never have to figure out how to pay for that promise.

Then, on the next page, we are back to the "fair tax that works for you". Again, the Lib Dems are happy to campaign on the idea that the only "fair" tax is a tax that someone else pays for the services you want. Such is the stupidity of British political life.

Then we find out that "Green technology is the way forward". And about the only thing you can say that Huppert really has going for him, versus the Labour and Tory candidates, is that he is a scientist. We find out that "according to Julian, global warming is the biggest threat facing the world". And yet, when you turn the page over what do we find but that "As a father of three young children, it's no surprise that Nick Clegg cares passionately about education". It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the reason that "global warming is the biggest threat facing the world" is that the planet has six billion people, and it is totally irresponsible of anyone claiming to be concerned about this to have three children. Perhaps Huppert should have a quiet word with Clegg and remind him about the wonders of birth control.

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