LibCons break election promise - locals' right to appeal missing from the localism bill

Tony Gosling tony at
Mon Jan 24 19:01:54 GMT 2011

Election over Lib/Cons both backtrack on locals right to appeal planning

Torys support it before the election,-says.htm

LibDems suport it before the election

Abandoned, ditched, sidelined

The coalition’s brief record in office consists 
of a litany of broken promises, writes Ian Hernon
by Ian Hernon - Friday, January 21st, 2011

In the interests of fairness and balance, there 
is currently a Westminster-wide search to uncover 
a single promise that the coalition has kept. It is an uphill struggle.

Betrayals of component party manifesto pledges – 
such as the Liberal Democrats on tuition fees and 
the Tories on VAT – are high on the political 
agenda, but in a sordid power-sharing deal, that 
is a price to be paid for the ministerial car.

Less well-documented are the breaches of promises 
made after five days of drama last May which 
produced the coalition agreement, a document 
perceived at the time as showing that David 
Cameron had through the generosity of his heart 
conceded more than he received from Nick Clegg. Some hope.

The agreement commitment to the National Health 
Service looked hollow this week when it fully 
emerged how close their “reforms” boosting market 
forces will come to wrecking one of Britain’s 
most cherished – and globally admired – 
institutions. Ministers have boasted that 140 GP 
consortia have signed up to opt out of primary 
care trust management, a move which will 
undermine future contingency plans nationwide to 
tackle such crises as the current swine flu 
epidemic. The key word in the acronym “NHS” is 
“National” and rowing back on that will lead to a 
fragmented, demoralised service with patients enduring postcode lotteries.

This week also saw growing protests over the 
abolition of educational maintenance allowances 
aimed at helping disadvantaged teenagers stay on 
in education. Cameron declared that the payments 
of up to £30 a week were safe and in September 
thousands of students signed up for sixth forms 
or colleges as a result, only to see the benefit 
scrapped. And now we have seen the outcome of the 
pledge to end obscene bankers’ bonuses.

The nine-month history of the coalition is 
littered with either broken promises or the 
delivery of pledges so watered down as to be 
changed beyond recognition. They promised to end 
the booze loss-leaders on supermarket shelves, 
only to unveil a minimum pricing policy which 
health academics reckon will have virtually no 
effect on the binge drinking culture.

Cameron and George Osborne reneged on their 
commitment to leave child benefit alone and 
unveiled tax breaks which will benefit most 
couples jointly earning £60,000 a year. The 
pledge to grant anonymity to men charged with 
rape – abandoned. The vow to increase the number 
of midwives – ditched. Flexible working for all 
employees – sidelined. The third-party right to 
appeal against major planning developments – 
missing from the localism bill published this week. The list is endless.

Local councils up and down the country were told 
that deficit-busting cuts would be imposed fairly 
and evenly spread. Instead the most disadvantaged 
areas, such as Merseyside, are being hit the 
hardest and the earliest. Front-loading frontline 
cuts over the next two years is clear political 
manipulation as, ministers hope, it will allow 
them to boost spending in the run-up to the next 
general election. The only real consistency the 
Con-Dems have shown is to blame Labour for 
everything, as if the credit crunch, a global 
recession and the greed of bankers was some 
mirage. It is a line that will look increasingly 
pathetic in the months to come.

+44 (0)7786 952037
"Capitalism is institutionalised bribery."

"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic 
poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung
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