MAY-be not the best choice for Prime Minister

Much to the dismay of many, including people with disabilities and the vulnerable, the British Conservative party has settled its leadership contest. They managed that when of one of the only two remaining candidates withdrew.

Now only Theresa May remains. She is already the party leader and at some point on Wednesday afternoon the UK should have a new prime minister.

theresa may.And, while current Prime Minister David Cameron had said that he would be prepared to continue until September, he now finds he is surplus to requirements- He plans to formally tender his resignation to the Queen after Prime Minister’s Questions on Wednesday.

Then the Queen will send for Mrs May and ask her to form a government. The UK’s second female prime minister will then set about putting together her first cabinet and it will be interesting to see who is IN, who is OUT and who manages to stay put.

So far, in her speeches, Mrs May has portrayed herself as a caring one-nation Conservative who cares about the poor and vulnerable but, before we get too carried away, let’s take a look at her voting record on welfare and benefits.

  • Generally voted for reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms (which opponents describe as the ‘bedroom tax’).

My verdict: UNCARING.

  • Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices.

My verdict: UNCARING.

  • Generally voted against paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability.

My verdict: UNCARING.

  • Generally voted for making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council taxand reducing the amount spent on such support.

My verdict: UNCARING.

  • Generally voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits.

My verdict: UNCARING.

  • Generally voted against spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed.

My verdict: UNCARING.

It seems that Britain has just swapped one uncaring Tory for another.


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Not fit to be benefits minister let alone in charge of the whole government

As is now known worldwide, the UK will have a new prime minister in a couple of months’ time because David Cameron announced that he will be stepping down in light of the referendum result to leave the European Union.

Naturally, there are a few Conservatives with their eyes on the top job but, in my view, none so strange as work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb. He is one of five candidates nominated for the position.

He is totally unfit to hold his current role, which includes responsibility for disability and other benefits, let alone be allowed to occupy 10 Downing Street.

Work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb discloses his plans to the select committee.

Work and pensions secretary Stephen Crabb is one of five candidates to replace David Cameron.

Let’s take a look at his voting record; it is not a pretty story.

On welfare and benefits, Crabb has consistently voted:

  • FOR reducing housing benefit for social tenants deemed to have excess bedrooms, (which the Labour Party describes as the ‘bedroom tax’);
  • AGAINST raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices;
  • AGAINST paying higher benefits over longer periods for those unable to work due to illness or disability;
  • FOR making local councils responsible for helping those in financial need afford their council tax and reducing the amount spent on such support;
  • FOR a reduction in spending on welfare benefits;
  • AGAINST spending public money to create guaranteed jobs for young people who have spent a long time unemployed.

And, if that’s not enough, he has voted:

  • FOR tax cuts for the richest, (specifically, those earning over £150,000), and voted against raising taxes for this income bracket;
  • AGAINST a bankers’ bonus tax, though he has voted for higher taxes on banks;
  • FOR a crackdown on trade unions, backing every restriction on union activities proposed by the government.

A really atrocious record of shame.


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Corbyn unjustly accused of attacking Queen


Jeremy Corbyn is favourite to win Labour leader race.

There is a need to point out that I am not a member or registered supporter of any political party and, as such, feel free to talk about politics without being accused of being biased in any way.

Also, just to add to my independence, I freely admit to having voted in various ways in the past 45 years.

There is an old quote, sometimes attributed to various different politicians but no-one definitely, that says: ‘Any man who is not a socialist at age 20 has no heart. Any man who is still a socialist at age 40 has no head.’

Well, in those 45 years of voting in every single election that came my way, my votes have gone to Liberals (prior to Lib Dem coming into being), Labour, Social Democratic Party, Conservatives, UKIP and Liberal Democrats. I also voted for Plaid Cymru (Party of Wales) on one occasion. A typical floating voter? Maybe, but I voted according to my views at the time and according to the options available. Who got my cross in the box at this year’s general election is irrelevant.

What is proving fascinating at the moment is the fight to become the next leader of the Labour Party. It started off with three ‘sensible’ candidates with one outsider, seemingly a joke left-wing candidate, in the form of Jeremy Corbyn.

Strangely, though, if opinion polls are to be believed – and their record of reliability and accuracy is no better in the UK than in the US – Corbyn is now the front runner. Certainly the bookies agree, making him the odds-on favourite

The other candidates are quite obviously rattled as Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper and Liz Kendall have all attacked the man as well as his policies. He, on the other hand, has steadfastly refused to respond by acting in the same way.

Now, I am not for or against any individual politician but will stand up for fairness and accuracy. That involves me telling the truth, however unpalatable that truth may be to some people. And, in this case, that means pointing out that what Corbyn said about the killing of Osama Bin Laden has been taken out of context; he has been selectively misquoted. Also, he has not attacked the Queen but the way in which the Government uses her royal prerogative.

The first of the latest attacks on him was based on views he expressed in an interview on Iranian TV. During that, he described the killing of Bin Laden as a tragedy. Hence his rivals’ criticism of him. But, you need to understand the entire quote, not just part of it. He actually said that it was a tragedy that the man had been killed instead of being put on trial for his actions.  Sounds a bit different, right? Also, during the same interview, Corbyn described the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers as a tragedy. Yes, he used the same word.

His latest campaign move was to criticise the Royal Prerogative, saying it should be up to parliament to decide. What happened? It brought criticism upon him for attacking the Queen; he has been accused of assaulting the monarchy.

The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege, and immunity, recognised in the UK as the sole prerogative of the Sovereign and the source of many of the executive powers of the British government.

However, although it is known as the Royal Prerogative, the powers are actually handed to the Prime Minister of the day. Indeed, since the 19th century, by convention, the advice of the Prime Minister or the cabinet – who are then accountable to Parliament for the decision – has been required in order for the prerogative to be exercised.

So, unlike the executive powers of the President of the USA, the royal prerogative is not exercised by the Queen alone. She only uses these powers on the advice of her ministers. In the same way that she would never withhold the Royal Assent from any new law passed by parliament.

What Corbyn actually said was: “The royal prerogative should be subject to parliamentary vote and veto if necessary. The Queen hands her powers to the prime minister and he can then exercise them. It’s a very convenient way of bypassing parliament. Also, orders in council are a very convenient way of bypassing parliament.”

Jeremy Corbyn is not attacking the Queen, he is simply trying to ensure that the democratically elected parliament is not bypassed by the Prime Minister in the same way that American Congress can be sidestepped by the President.