Monday, 16 August 2010

£100million? How Much?

And it is not even 'their' money! I refer, of course, to Nick Cleggs statement today about the cost of a referendum on AV. I was thinking of posting on this and then came across that of Melanchthon on Conservative Home which says:

"Seriously? (33m 50s on)
How many extra prisons could we have for £100m?  How many extra schools or teachers?  How many extra British-made movies?  How many extra tanks or soldiers?

Okay, okay - one can always do that sort of thing, mocking the use of funds and claiming it would have been better spent somewhere else.  But usually one is spending large sums of money on things that someone is in favour of!  Who is in favour of AV?  Not the Conservatives or Liberal Democrats, who were both explicitly opposed in the run-up to the General Election.  And Labour's so in favour of it that it's going to vote against the AV referendum bill in Parliament.  It's not even as though opinion polls show the voters in favour of it - most of the smart analysis now appears to consider it unwinnable.

We know why there's an AV referendum - it's there because that was the price Nick Clegg required to deliver his party for a formal coalition rather than just the confidence-and-supply agreement he would otherwise have offered (and hence the new General Election later in 2010) - something his own party is now turning vigorously against, but too late (they're probably doomed).

So now we're going to spend £100m on a referendum that almost no-one favours, that exists to further an agreement that most of the Conservative Party didn't want in the first place (polls at the time were clearly in favour of a minority administration) and the Lib Dem Party doesn't want now, at a time of such vigorous austerity that there will certainly be a trade-off between the AV referendum and some material elements of public services spending.

Money well spent... not."
Could not agree more!

Update: Just come across this - now either Nick's got his figures in a twist (like his 30 women - he wished!) or inflation is running at something like 1000 per cent! Oh hang on, I think another 'clarification' is about to be put out by No10!


Woodsy42 said...

Here's an idea Mr W.
Someone must have already suggested it but I have not seen it yet and it needs some serious backing to work.
What about a campaign for all voters to cross out the AV wording of the voting ballot paper and replace it with (for example)'I wish to stay in the EU' and 'I wish to leave the EU' - then adding the cross accordingly?
How many spoilt papers would it need to send the message?

Witterings From Witney said...

Nice idea w42 however......

As you say it would be a spoilt ballot paper and they dont give a tuppeny f..k about them.......

They would just do what they normally do with something they don't like to see - ignore it!

I still think the only way we will crack this problem is a revolution (armed if necessary) with extensive use of lamp posts and hemp or piano wire!