Wednesday, 24 August 2016

May`s laissez-faire policies and Guardian wrong on need for old Tories

Just because Theresa May stated in her initial speech as prime minister that she was in favour of tackling the acute problems of social mobility and British capitalism, does not mean that the message has to be believed, especially by the Guardian. Your editorial claims that she "sees the value of intervention" and supports an "activist industrial strategy", but her actions suggest otherwise (Nudges and requests will fail: it`s time to force change, 20/08/16). The fact that May has, as Sarah Woolaston says, chosen to put the interests of the advertising industry "ahead of the interests of children" does not augur well for the future, and strongly intimates that laissez-faire policies will continue to dominate, at a time when the situation demands regulation (Theresa May`s climbdown on obesity is her first big error,20/08/16).

"Kenneth Clarke on the Tory side and Margaret Beckett on Labour`s" may well "stand out as veterans these days", but their most recent contributions to political debate do not actually support the argument for more experience "on the green benches of Westminster" (A place for the grey-haired on Westminster`s green benches,22/08/16). Beckett attributed the huge rise in Labour membership, recently, to the desire of young people to join Jeremy Corbyn`s fan-club, whilst Clarke`s sexist analysis of the qualities of female politicians is far more likely to appear on tee-shirts than in the pages of PhD students` political theses!
Your editorial concludes by stating that the likes of George Osborne should stay on, because "they have much to contribute", but most constituents would prefer their MPs totally devoted to representing them in parliament, rather than to amassing obscene amounts of money, by making after-dinner speeches in America.
           The news that the "multibillion-pound industry", which "provides advice on aggressive tax avoidance", could face financial penalties in the future is encouraging , but hardly before time (Tax advisers face heavy fines over avoidance,17/08/16). Can we have assurances that representatives of "the big four accountancy firms" no longer are allowed to sit on treasury tax committees, thereby gaining first hand knowledge of fiscal policy details and regulations to utilise later in their avoidance schemes, something apparently known as regulatory arbitrage?
An end to rewarding these firms constantly with extremely lucrative government contracts, and their partners with peerages, knighthoods and other accolades, would be welcomed also. It is worth remembering that not one of the Big 4 has been investigated about their obviously questionable audits of the banks, prior to the 2008 financial crash; they have been protected by their friends at Westminster for far too long!

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