Monday 30 March 2015

First day of the rest of my life

Passing from the dead world to the real world was painless. After a last week of last meetings and last letters in which MPdom slid quietly to a close, the patient awoke on Monday morning full of beans and eager to embark on his new life.If only he could discover what it is.
There's nothing so ex as an ex MP busy dong nothing  working every day trying to find lots of things not to so but the weight of duty has slipped away, along with the guilty feelings of not letting anyone down fulfilling that responsibility attending this meeting and best of all  no need to go to bloody London and back every week. 

It's marvellous.But less so for my brilliant staff who've got to clear up the work of 38 years tackle the problems still coming in even though there's no MP any longer, and unless my successor keeps them in and uses their knowledge and experience to serve Grimsby they're out of work in a town where good jobs are hard to come by.


There are lots of things the parties won't tell you for fear of frightening you but the two biggest things hidden are cuts and borrowing. The Tories will have to make massive cuts in spending to achieve the goals they set in 2010 but put back to 2020 because they failed to reach the. In 2015. But they won't tell you what benefits will have to be cut though both the Office of Budget Responsibility  and the IFS say that they will have to be bigger and harsher than the painful cuts already made.Nor will they tell y ou exactly how much they'll cut  because the total must now be higher given the fact that the fall in tax revenues caused by the first lot of cuts and the increase in spending made necessary by economic misery.

As for Labour they've very sensibly said that the reduction in borrowing they aim to achieve by 2020 won't include borrowing for investment and to rebuild Britain's creeping infrastructure (something which must include public housing for rent) and the IFS estimates that as a £30 billion increase in borrowing. That's not enough in my view but it makes sense to borrow and spend in what is a prolonged recession. Labour doesn't accept this estimate. It should because it's true but more because we should take pride in it. The only way to get the economy moving is to borrow and spend.Why don't we proclaim this and  shout "Let's Grow With Labour"


My successor as MP for Grimsby Melanie Onn  is campaigning  brilliantly and raising more money than even Jack Straw could.I'm delighted that at last Grimsby is getting the money and the attention from the party that it's never had since 1979

But it's overkill. Melanie going to win Grimsby and UKIP isn't going to be the threat it proclaims itself to be. No use fearing bogeymen or women. The key seats to win are the two real marginals surrounding Grimsby, Cleethorpes and Brigg and Goole both of which we held up to 2010 and must win if we're to form a majority government .

To divert money, party workers and regional and trade union support from these two crucial seats to a Grimsby which will stay loyal to Labour is,to coin a phrase, DAFT
Aim to win not to hold.

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