Jeremy Browne expresses unease as Nick Clegg hints at openness to Labour coalition

Somerset County Gazette: MP Jeremy Browne with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during a visit to Taunton Fire Station in May last year. MP Jeremy Browne with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg during a visit to Taunton Fire Station in May last year.

TAUNTON Deane MP Jeremy Browne believes it would be “a mistake” for the LibDem party to actively look at forming another coalition at next year's general election.

His comments come after Deputy Prime Minister and party leader Nick Clegg indicated a willingness to 'team-up' with Labour in a BBC Radio 4 documentary.

Mr Clegg said he believed the Labour party had “changed” and also took a swipe at the Tories, saying they have become “more ideological” and have “returned much more to a lot of their familiar theme tunes.”

However Mr Browne expressed unease at Mr Clegg's position, telling the County Gazette: “I believe the coalition Government is making the difficult but necessary decisions to repair the national economy.

"The deficit is falling, unemployment is falling, and the economy is growing.

“The Liberal Democrats have played a crucial role in the recovery and we should not be ambivalent about our contribution to the success of the government.”

The former Home Office minister, who was removed from the role in October during Mr Clegg's re-shuffle, said he wants the party to put forward its own ideas and stick to its principles.

He added: “It would be a mistake at the general election for the Liberal Democrats to just split the difference between the other two parties.

"Liberalism is not the exact mid-point between socialism and conservatism.

“I want the Liberal Democrats to put forward distinctive ideas for the future of the country and be confident about explaining why they will make a positive difference.”

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6:12pm Thu 20 Feb 14

SomersetBranch.SocialistParty says...

Jeremy Browne makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that the so called 'Labour' Party represent 'socialism'....

Lets examine what New 'Labour' are doing in Birmingham...

Birmingham Labour council 'consults' over £87 million cuts



Birmingham's Labour city council plans another £87 million of cuts in the 2014-15 financial year. As expected its 'consultation' was just an opportunity for the council leader to present a slick presentation with the usual mantra of 'there is nothing else we can do'.

Not one of the contributions from the floor supported the cuts. Damagingly for the council and its notion of handing over whole services to the voluntary sector, a number of volunteers who work in the city's parks categorically stated that they can't do their voluntary work without the help of professional council workers!

The council has abandoned the concept of public service and use as its blueprint the recently opened Harborne Leisure Centre which is council funded but run by the private sector!

No entire service will be closed in the next financial year but no such guarantees could be made for the year after that.

The council leader once again told the assembled audience that they could not pass a 'needs budget' because it would be unlawful and commissioners would be sent in.

But two anti-cuts councillors in Southampton last year proposed a 'legal' needs budget based on initially using reserves and borrowing, and campaigning for the needed funds from central government. So why couldn't Birmingham do the same?

The council leader is misleading the public to hide his political cowardice.

A delegation from the Maypole Youth Centre applauded when I told the council leader he should resign.

There will be a strong anti-cuts challenge in this year's elections including candidates from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition that will raise the profile of the fight against cuts and provide a political alternative to the Labour Party in Birmingham.

TUSC

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation. It involves the RMT transport workers' union, leading members of other trade unions including the PCS, NUT and POA, and socialist groups including the Socialist Party.

www.tusc.org.uk
Jeremy Browne makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that the so called 'Labour' Party represent 'socialism'.... Lets examine what New 'Labour' are doing in Birmingham... Birmingham Labour council 'consults' over £87 million cuts Birmingham's Labour city council plans another £87 million of cuts in the 2014-15 financial year. As expected its 'consultation' was just an opportunity for the council leader to present a slick presentation with the usual mantra of 'there is nothing else we can do'. Not one of the contributions from the floor supported the cuts. Damagingly for the council and its notion of handing over whole services to the voluntary sector, a number of volunteers who work in the city's parks categorically stated that they can't do their voluntary work without the help of professional council workers! The council has abandoned the concept of public service and use as its blueprint the recently opened Harborne Leisure Centre which is council funded but run by the private sector! No entire service will be closed in the next financial year but no such guarantees could be made for the year after that. The council leader once again told the assembled audience that they could not pass a 'needs budget' because it would be unlawful and commissioners would be sent in. But two anti-cuts councillors in Southampton last year proposed a 'legal' needs budget based on initially using reserves and borrowing, and campaigning for the needed funds from central government. So why couldn't Birmingham do the same? The council leader is misleading the public to hide his political cowardice. A delegation from the Maypole Youth Centre applauded when I told the council leader he should resign. There will be a strong anti-cuts challenge in this year's elections including candidates from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition that will raise the profile of the fight against cuts and provide a political alternative to the Labour Party in Birmingham. TUSC The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is an electoral alliance that stands candidates against all cuts and privatisation. It involves the RMT transport workers' union, leading members of other trade unions including the PCS, NUT and POA, and socialist groups including the Socialist Party. www.tusc.org.uk SomersetBranch.SocialistParty
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Thu 20 Feb 14

SomersetBranch.SocialistParty says...

Jeremy Browne makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that the so called 'Labour' Party represent 'socialism'....

Lets examine what New 'Labour' are doing in Derbyshire...

Derbyshire: 'Old Labour' cuts hurt just as much

Derbyshire county council's recently elected Labour administration has announced £157 million of cuts over the next three years, attacking the most vulnerable in society.

Consultation over the cuts under the innocuous title of the "Derbyshire Challenge" has been launched with the council leader declaring 'we've got no choice'.

Councils do have a choice - fight or capitulate. Derbyshire is following the route of every other Labour council - abject capitulation.

The irony of many of these Labour councillors last year celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clay Cross council struggle - when councillors held firm against a Tory government - is not lost.

Yet, the majority of Derbyshire's Labour councillors aren't high flying local businesspeople who came to the fore during the Blair years.

Many would class themselves as 'old Labour', mining stock politicians whose parliamentary heroes are the likes of Nye Bevan and Dennis Skinner.

But they have no clue how to fight. That is why Unite union leader Len McCluskey's attempts to 'save' Labour are way too late and forlorn - the supposed left wing in the party is not only forbidden under its structures from mounting an effective opposition, it no longer knows how.

'Finishing the job'

With Ed Balls' announcement that a Labour government will 'finish the job' of big public spending cuts, any Labour council that solely puts the blame on a Tory government is being disingenuous. They will be facing the same pressures from their own party in government.

£12 million is being cut from the adult care budget. This will include closing day care services, introducing a £5 per occasion charge for using transport to and from day-centres and increasing the level at which adults qualify for council care to 'substantial' need.

The amount people will pay for council care will increase from 50% of their Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance to 60%, 75% or 90%.

Funding of housing-related support services which help vulnerable people to set up and maintain a home will be reduced.

Funding for personal budgets will be cut. Funding for voluntary sector care providers is being slashed as well. And, of course, there'll be job losses.

£6 million will be cut from the children and younger adults and £7 million from the economy, environment and transport budgets.

These include withdrawing free public transport and other cutbacks for school students with special educational needs, closing seven children's centres and turning off street lights.

At almost every turn, these cuts punish the underprivileged and ordinary working people the most. At the same time the council is raising council tax by 1.99% (to raise it by 2% they would have to hold a referendum).

This position is ridiculously supported by local trade union leaders who certainly haven't asked their members if, after years of falling pay, they're now happy to pay increased tax.

But it is impossible for this level of cuts to be made without a fightback. Socialist Party members in Derbyshire will be ready to play their roles in that struggle.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Jeremy Browne makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that the so called 'Labour' Party represent 'socialism'.... Lets examine what New 'Labour' are doing in Derbyshire... Derbyshire: 'Old Labour' cuts hurt just as much Derbyshire county council's recently elected Labour administration has announced £157 million of cuts over the next three years, attacking the most vulnerable in society. Consultation over the cuts under the innocuous title of the "Derbyshire Challenge" has been launched with the council leader declaring 'we've got no choice'. Councils do have a choice - fight or capitulate. Derbyshire is following the route of every other Labour council - abject capitulation. The irony of many of these Labour councillors last year celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Clay Cross council struggle - when councillors held firm against a Tory government - is not lost. Yet, the majority of Derbyshire's Labour councillors aren't high flying local businesspeople who came to the fore during the Blair years. Many would class themselves as 'old Labour', mining stock politicians whose parliamentary heroes are the likes of Nye Bevan and Dennis Skinner. But they have no clue how to fight. That is why Unite union leader Len McCluskey's attempts to 'save' Labour are way too late and forlorn - the supposed left wing in the party is not only forbidden under its structures from mounting an effective opposition, it no longer knows how. 'Finishing the job' With Ed Balls' announcement that a Labour government will 'finish the job' of big public spending cuts, any Labour council that solely puts the blame on a Tory government is being disingenuous. They will be facing the same pressures from their own party in government. £12 million is being cut from the adult care budget. This will include closing day care services, introducing a £5 per occasion charge for using transport to and from day-centres and increasing the level at which adults qualify for council care to 'substantial' need. The amount people will pay for council care will increase from 50% of their Attendance Allowance/Disability Living Allowance to 60%, 75% or 90%. Funding of housing-related support services which help vulnerable people to set up and maintain a home will be reduced. Funding for personal budgets will be cut. Funding for voluntary sector care providers is being slashed as well. And, of course, there'll be job losses. £6 million will be cut from the children and younger adults and £7 million from the economy, environment and transport budgets. These include withdrawing free public transport and other cutbacks for school students with special educational needs, closing seven children's centres and turning off street lights. At almost every turn, these cuts punish the underprivileged and ordinary working people the most. At the same time the council is raising council tax by 1.99% (to raise it by 2% they would have to hold a referendum). This position is ridiculously supported by local trade union leaders who certainly haven't asked their members if, after years of falling pay, they're now happy to pay increased tax. But it is impossible for this level of cuts to be made without a fightback. Socialist Party members in Derbyshire will be ready to play their roles in that struggle. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SomersetBranch.SocialistParty
  • Score: 0

6:19pm Thu 20 Feb 14

SomersetBranch.SocialistParty says...

Jeremy Browne makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that the so called 'Labour' Party represent 'socialism'....

Lets examine what New 'Labour' are doing in Swansea...

Not elected to make cuts, but Swansea's Labour councillors press ahead anyway


Cowards flinching and traitors sneering a plenty but not a single principled Labour councillor willing to vote against £26 million of Con-Dem cuts in the coming year and £45 million in the next three years. That tells you everything worth knowing about the full-council budget meeting in Swansea last night.

Labour councillors adopted a number of strategies to hide their embarrassment at being lobbied before the meeting and being asked not to vote for the cuts. Some scurried past as quick as they could, others shouted abuse at us, while some pretended that the council isn't making cuts. By far the most common response was to claim that cuts are 'Con-Dem cuts'. But if Labour councillors vote for Con-Dem cuts then they become their cuts.

Voting for Con-Dem cuts is exactly what they did. Despite every protestation that they weren't elected to make cuts, every Labour councillor did just that.

My trade union, Unison, is calling for Labour councils to raise the council tax by the maximum. Well, Swansea's Labour councillors have done that, raising council tax by 5% and still making millions of pounds of cuts to our members' jobs and services.

Manoeuvres

In the last couple of weeks, in the face of a public outcry, the council has announced suspension of decisions or delay in implementation of some of the most unpopular decisions: scrapping school crossing patrols, closing residential care homes, etc.

However the Medium Term Financial Plan makes it clear that all these measures are still on the agenda. This was spelt out when the finance officer made it clear that if three residential care homes were not shut down then the savings projected would have to be found from elsewhere, even though Labour councillors have been holding up the delay to shutting these homes as an example of how they listened to the people of Swansea.

Nobody in Swansea should be under any illusions; at best, some services have received a limited stay of execution but the overall amount of cuts to jobs and services remains unaltered.

Privatisation

The council budget is peppered with variations on the phrase "alternative delivery model". Behind this seemingly innocuous phrase is hidden the realities of outsourcing. Outsourcing invariably means less job security, poorer pay, harsher terms, and worse working conditions for staff. This inevitably leads to poorer services for those that rely on them.

Swansea's Labour council is also making a liar of Wales' Labour First Minister, Carwyn Jones, who was applauded for pledging at the Wales TUC, last May, that "..there is no room for outsourcing of public services in Wales".

In 2012, people in Swansea elected a majority Labour council because they didn't want Con-Dem cuts. Less than two years later, they're getting Con-Dem cuts and outsourcing at the hands of the same Labour councillors.

For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
Jeremy Browne makes the absolutely ludicrous claim that the so called 'Labour' Party represent 'socialism'.... Lets examine what New 'Labour' are doing in Swansea... Not elected to make cuts, but Swansea's Labour councillors press ahead anyway Cowards flinching and traitors sneering a plenty but not a single principled Labour councillor willing to vote against £26 million of Con-Dem cuts in the coming year and £45 million in the next three years. That tells you everything worth knowing about the full-council budget meeting in Swansea last night. Labour councillors adopted a number of strategies to hide their embarrassment at being lobbied before the meeting and being asked not to vote for the cuts. Some scurried past as quick as they could, others shouted abuse at us, while some pretended that the council isn't making cuts. By far the most common response was to claim that cuts are 'Con-Dem cuts'. But if Labour councillors vote for Con-Dem cuts then they become their cuts. Voting for Con-Dem cuts is exactly what they did. Despite every protestation that they weren't elected to make cuts, every Labour councillor did just that. My trade union, Unison, is calling for Labour councils to raise the council tax by the maximum. Well, Swansea's Labour councillors have done that, raising council tax by 5% and still making millions of pounds of cuts to our members' jobs and services. Manoeuvres In the last couple of weeks, in the face of a public outcry, the council has announced suspension of decisions or delay in implementation of some of the most unpopular decisions: scrapping school crossing patrols, closing residential care homes, etc. However the Medium Term Financial Plan makes it clear that all these measures are still on the agenda. This was spelt out when the finance officer made it clear that if three residential care homes were not shut down then the savings projected would have to be found from elsewhere, even though Labour councillors have been holding up the delay to shutting these homes as an example of how they listened to the people of Swansea. Nobody in Swansea should be under any illusions; at best, some services have received a limited stay of execution but the overall amount of cuts to jobs and services remains unaltered. Privatisation The council budget is peppered with variations on the phrase "alternative delivery model". Behind this seemingly innocuous phrase is hidden the realities of outsourcing. Outsourcing invariably means less job security, poorer pay, harsher terms, and worse working conditions for staff. This inevitably leads to poorer services for those that rely on them. Swansea's Labour council is also making a liar of Wales' Labour First Minister, Carwyn Jones, who was applauded for pledging at the Wales TUC, last May, that "..there is no room for outsourcing of public services in Wales". In 2012, people in Swansea elected a majority Labour council because they didn't want Con-Dem cuts. Less than two years later, they're getting Con-Dem cuts and outsourcing at the hands of the same Labour councillors. For more information, or to join the Socialist Party, visit: www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SomersetBranch.SocialistParty
  • Score: 0

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