The news that David is Cameron is preparing to announce the names of some 20-40 Peers to be added to the Conservative benches in the House of Lords won’t bring the sky down, but is no less disturbing. Weeks after the House of Commons has increased its payroll by 10%, whilst the rest of the public sector is restricted to 1%, we now have a plan to increase the cost at the Lords by some 3%-6%, with all of those appointed coming from the Tory Party or its supporters including a significant number who are financial donors. Meanwhile the Prime Minister has just returned from South East Asia, speaking about International corruption, whilst choosing to shake hands with men who are guilty of using their own political power to increase their own wealth and that of their friends and supporters. While in Singapore he spoke about the Lords “I regret the fact that we didn’t achieve House of Lords reform in the last parliament, but it’s quite clear to me that there’s no point trying that route again,” Of course the reason why the last Government failed was because his Party prevented the reform from being passed. That the Lords appointments look suspiciously like a form of political corruption is surely not hard for Cameron to spot?
Now back from Asia, today one of his tasks will be to Chair a COBRA meeting on Calais and after years of our freight transport system struggling with Operation Stack, using the M20 as a 24 mile long lorry park with nothing apart from a few portaloos to provide facilities, we hear that the MOD is at an “early stage” in its response to the idea that some of its land could be used to find somewhere for these 1000’s of lorries to go while they wait for the channel tunnel to reopen (the closure of the tunnel is a frequent event). Its clear that the MOD has to use its resources effectively, but it is entirely unacceptable for them to delay processes in this or any other case. The MOD is one of the worst offenders when it comes to issues regarding the disposal of publicly owned land which has been mothballed and could be used in an effective manner for other uses. Whilst in his COBRA meeting, no doubt he and other Ministers will wring their hands at how difficult it is to deal with the ‘swarm’ of asylum seekers who have managed to leave their home nations, many of which are under siege from our own bombs or failed International policies. The idea that these people can be helped by the simplistic ideas presented by the MP for Monmouth, David Davies who has been able to infest our broadcast media without any real counter narrative shows how inadequate our political leaders and media are. The challenge for the residents of Calais and their leaders is acute, and painting them as part of a problem that is actually caused by International Politics is stupid. The idea that so many people would swim or row across the Mediterranean simply because of our benefits system is entirely fanciful. Perhaps Mr Cameron had planned for a similar Summer to that of Ed Miliband. However he was elected and now needs to get a grip and stop treating his job as a way of feathering the Tory nest.