Conservative Manifesto

In the next two weeks when my postal vote arrives, I will find it very hard to vote Conservative. Why?

On 26th March David Cameron said: “Treating people with dignity and security in their old age after a full working life is one of the most important things we can do as a country and that’s why I’ve been so clear that pensioner benefits like the free TV licences, the free prescriptions, the Winter Fuel Payments - they will continue for everybody! I think it should be your right and I think we need to make that very clear.”

Yesterday, declaring he was proud to be British, he presented the Conservative Manifesto.

That Manifesto says: “We will maintain all the current pensioner benefits including Winter Fuel Payments, free bus passes, free prescriptions and TV licences for the next Parliament, while implementing the "temperature test" for Winter Fuel Payment, so that expats in hot countries no longer receive it.”

After thirteen winters living in France I absolutely know I do not live in a ‘hot’ country!

I absolutely know an outside winter temperature of 7.0°C is far from being ‘hot’!

I absolutely know an outside temperature of 7.0°C signals the need for heat in our home!

I absolutely know an average winter temperature of 7.0°C across 151 days means heat every day!

To allow the words: “…. while implementing the ‘temperature test’ for Winter Fuel Payment, so that expats in hot countries no longer receive it” to appear in the Manifesto, David Cameron has displayed a degree of hypocrisy and weakness - he has given in to the con man, Iain Duncan Smith!

Iain Duncan Smith absolutely knows he ‘fiddled’ the average winter temperature for France to push it up artificially from 4.9°C to 7.0°C.

Iain Duncan Smith declared that to be ‘hot’ when he absolutely knows that really is ‘cold’!

Iain Duncan Smith has conned Parliament, and now he has conned David Cameron, into accepting that 7.0°C makes France, and Spain and Greece, into ‘hot’ countries.

And, he has done all of that without a debate and without a vote!

93,000 households, which equates to 180,000 British Pensioners, have had their Winter Fuel Payment removed for evermore because of an incredibly flawed ‘temperature test’!

In the same Manifesto David Cameron has pledged: “We will introduce votes for life, scrapping the rule that bars British citizens who have lived abroad for more than 15 years from voting.”

That could be one of the biggest boosts for registration in the next five days!

Hi David, An interesting article but sadly flawed.

The "millionaire %age" argument is designed to trap the unthinking in a "knee-jerk" reaction and is thus a poor premise to use as the bedrock of such a complex proposition.

Reality is always more complex than we first believe.

OK Martin but Chicago economics and the neocons have a lot to answer for . Can you be offensive to an economic movement? I doubt it.

Hi David, the best account I have found of the financial crisis is Fool's Gold ( written by someone who was actually part of the fabric at the time. It does get technical but not unreasonably so and it is necessary to understand the various instruments to understand how the crisis developed. Not many pages for Gordon Brown but he is definitely there and took an important role in encouraging the madness to shift from Wall Street to the City. So we can agree, I hope, that Gordon Brown didn't cause the "crash". But there are two aspects to 2008 - collateralised debt obligations in their many forms and UK national debt. Gordon Brown was the custodian of Britain's poor economic state at the time of the "crash" - the "black hole" was already £73 billion. He was running a structural deficit of 5.2% at the time of his demise and the national cupboard was bare.

On another note, your illiberal use of the term "Neocon Economics" in this context is provocative and offensive. To quote Strauss " “Because man is by nature evil… He therefore must be dominated.”. How do you justify applying this definition to the current government?

Hard to forget Brown's gold sale, but at that time there wasn't much left to sell and he needed cash to keep the country running. You will also recall that Thatcher had already sold the "family silver" in the form of the utilities, in a collosal con trick, selling the people what they already owned. It could be argued that it was Thatcher who caused all the subsequent problems, by encouraging people to see value in trading pieces of paper instead of doing honest work, making things that are useful. A notable example was the building societies that were allowed to become banks and were able to gamble with investors' money instead of putting it back into bricks and mortar.

But I believe that there is a fundamental disparity between politics and economics. The economic cycle averages 7 years of feast followed by 7 years of famine, but governments only last four years. In order to have a chance of re-election, governments try to find short-term answers to long-term problems. Unsurprisingly, the result is often chaotic.

I'm not really a political animal and economics are way above my head but I tend to agree with you especially when I think back to a couple of Brown catastrophes first the gold sell-off in the 2000s which if I recall lost the country about £15 billion because of that premature sale and secondly the scandalous story of the NHS computerised system (Centaur) which became a white elephant when it finally had to be scrapped a couple of years back reportedly losing the country another £20 odd billion !

I dont lack any "understanding" but if people can not discuss in a mature manner when someone has a different point of view they shouldn't be on a forum..I do not know anyone who blames Brown for the global crash, but it was his profligate mismanagement of the economy that left the UK in a worse position than most other countries to deal with the situation..

This thread seems to have been caught up in the fever of election. John Locke ; what you seem to lack is the understanding that many have an almost visceral reaction to the Neocon economics which the UK appears to defer to. The link I posted simply reiterated what most people already know but don't believe. The financial crisis was not of Labour's making except that Blair/Brown favoured light touch regulation. They shouldn't have done this but the Tory's would have done the same. The bank/casinos persisted in selling Mickey Mouse bonds against mortgages that other institutions had issued, after all a bank's chief assets are not what it has in its safe but what it has in debt. Unfortunately the value of the property mortgaged and thus the instruments issued against that debt were utterly worthless.

Maybe Gordon Brown should have allowed big banks to fail. At what cost? The other guy on this thread seems to have disappeared. But then he's a revisionist or rather a believer in a revisionist press.

Dear Catherine I hope this is more acceptable. Frankly thanks to the incompetence of Cameron and wee Gideon I fear we may all be off to Hell in a handcart.


I think "Moderated" is the word you were looking for John!

i am pleased this is one who suffered from a combined "attack" I am now very reluctant to join in conversations..

Agree Martyn - it's always a difficult one to call.

All I / we can promise is that we will make sure people adhere to the politeness rule. If you do notice any posts that fall into this section ** and the "I'm right regardless so I can say whatever I like" brigade ** - perhaps you could give myself, James or one of the admins a heads up using the SUPPORT ticket.

Obviously this goes for anyone else too who reads anything and finds it less than dinner party polite!

A timely reminder, Catherine. Not for the first time I shut down an SFN thread vowing never to return to SFN but I'm back 3 days later. This site, and particularly posts from people such as Brian, Andrew, and Vero, are of incalculable value to ex-pats and potential ex-pats. BUT. All the time you have unsubstantiated allegations of dishonesty and fraud presented as fact you will have members that will not behave. I'm not offering any solution just saying if you have "dinner party" rules and enforce them the problem will diminish, and the "I'm right regardless so I can say whatever I like" brigade might even start to present opinions as just that - opinions. I feel particularly sorry for the lawyer who pointed out that a "statement of law" was demonstrably untrue who then had his credentials called into question. His only mistake was assuming it's possible to argue with someone who says "fraud" when the evidence quite clearly hasn't been subject to due process. There are just too many other, personal, agendas here to expect a sensible discussion on some topics. WFA is important and the issue deserves to be aired among ex-pats. But it also deserves proper reporting of the facts. I'm just saying.

As I recall from my history lessons, "No taxation without representation" was the rallying cry of the American revolution.

As an expat of some years (but still a vote in theory I wish!) I still do pay UK taxes (considerable), have investments in the UK, my executors will pay considerable IHT in the UK when I die (I don't wish!), would send my daughter to a UK school if I could afford it out of income, do benefit from my UK career in thet I get healthcare in France paid by my NHS contributions), have sons in the UK, did serve in admittedly only the reserve forces, think I should be as able as French citizen or USA citizen to vote in my home country

totally one blames the government for the financial crisis was the previous policies of Brown borrowing during a boom that left the UK unable to deal with the consequences ..

Labour didn't drive the economy over a cliff.

Thanks for that input Jane :-)

Paul, I think you mean boorish.