11 April 2010

Crass, cruel and craven

Trenchant critic though he is, Dr Grumble thinks Labour has much to be proud of. They have made mistakes, rather too many. But if you examine what these were you have to conclude that the Conservatives were mostly egging them on. Not that that absolves Labour. But it gives no credit to the Tories either. It has always disappointed Dr Grumble that in recent years there has been so little real questioning from the opposition on the important policies of the day. Prime Minister's questions have become a knock-about routine unworthy of the legislature of even a banana republic. Thorough parliamentary debate is a thing of the past. Could that be why so many mistakes have been made?

Just think of New Labour's most major blunders: Iraq, the NHS internal market, deregulation of the financial sector. Why weren't these madnesses questioned? Where were the Devil's advocates? Had the Tories been in power, what would they have done? Dr Grumble can only conclude that it would have been much the same only worse. Their parliamentary record speaks for itself.

It's too early for the silly season and with an election nearing you might think we might at last be able to glimpse at least a semblance of sense from the major parties. Sadly it seems not to be. Following the charade of the Tories three quid a week to support marriage, a ludicrous proposal if ever there was one, we now have this from New Labour. Just how incompetent can they get?

There's nothing new about this. Does anybody remember the War of Jennifer's Ear?


Fox in sox said...

There is little to choose between labour and tories on privatisation of the health service. The difference is that the Tories will be more reticent of being seen to promote the companies like mrs Hewitts Cinvin feeding on the NHS. And there will be active opposition from the labour party.

So I think that the NHS will be safer with the Tories, paradoxically.

The next government will get unpopular very quickly, through cuts and tax rises. If it's a labour or liblab government it will destroy both parties, with the Tories triumphant in the soon to follow election.

Dr Grumble said...

My analysis is identical, Fox in sox.

Anne Marie said...

Surely the story about targetting patients with cancer can not be true. How would the have access to this information.
It sounds like another non-story like this one:

Dr Aust said...

Anne Marie

I agree. I reckon the Labour party (or rather their spammers) might have targetted the breast cancer leaflet to women only. All the parties work hard at "targetting" mailshot material now. I am in a Lib-Dem marginal and get "personalised" (with my name on) electoral spam from the LibDems and Labour.

Anyway, armed with an electoral register, it would be easy to target the leaflet to houses with only a woman listed on the electoral roll - which might well include a lot of women over 40. So one could easily imagine two women in their 50s living alone in the same street both getting the leaflet, say. And the parties and their spammers probably "cross reference" the electoral roll with other info as well, so if DOB is on any publicly available database that might be factored in too. Or even just what the canvassers have noted via doorstepping you.

The Times article actually says:

"[Mailshot organisation] Tangent claims that it specialises in “highly targeted marketing”.

The cancer cards are part of a wider postal campaign targeting various groups. Others are aimed at parents whose children attend Sure Start centres, pensioners and the owners of small businesses."

Ah, the joys of modern electioneering. I just put the lot straight in the bin.

Dr Grumble said...

Surely the story about targetting patients with cancer cannot be true.

I do agree but it was still a silly idea because it should have been obvious that this would backfire in just the way it has. It was inevitable that frightened women just diagnosed with cancer would receive this semi-targetted leaflet and that that would reflect badly on those who sent it.