Education is a key “issue” for all the parties, many of our Hazel Grove candidates are emphasising it, locally they can’t keep away from Stockport college. Nick Clegg has made it a “Red Line” issue on any future coalition deals.
To begin with reading: I have never known so many leaflets come through the door. I have had two personal letters from David Cameron, several Conservative leaflets, lots of LibDem pseudo-newspapers providing me with no end of macro and micro detail of their achievements. I had never heard of the Tram Train from Marple to Stockport until Lisa Smart told me she was backing it. Also we should be grateful for her decisive intervention into the installation of some new playground equipment in two local parks. As I write , both the Greens and UKIP have got their delivery ants up the hill to push more recyclables through the letterbox.
Moving on to writing: the UKIP candidate in Frome, Somerset had his leaflet marked by a local teacher. They are now denying it was a UKIP leaflet and say it was a malicious opponent distributing it. Whatever, it is still very funny:
What about ‘rithmetic or numeracy? One of the aspects of my series of interviews with the local candidates that most surprised me ( and disappointed me too to be honest ) was the lack of knowledge of the actual figures involved in key parts of our economy. Everyone loves to hold forth on this percentage and that increase but it would appear they don’t know the basics. And these are the candidates. What about the electorate? In 8 days time some 30 million people will post their vote and I would be surprised if 1% or 300,000 have any inkling of the basic numbers.
In round numbers in 2015 we will spend in excess of £740 billion and we receive £670 billion, and that is after significant cuts in spending and considerable growth in receipts. We are still overdrawn annually by some £70 billion and that must be added to the national debt and be financed by interest payments. If you think that is bad , then it worth remembering that in 2010 ( the last year of the Labour government ) receipts were £120 billion less and consequently the “overdraft” was £190 billion.
David Cameron has been recently mocked on Facebook, with this image doing the rounds (probably the work of a spotty 17 year old with a sizeable plumbing fitting inserted in his earlobe.)
Whats wrong with this ? Try some simple multiplication. Lets forget the billions and trillions because that is obviously too confusing. What do you get if you double 9? It’s not 14 is it? It would be 18, so this only works if it read £1.8 Trillion.
So tell me again , just so I understand, why are Labour supporters incapable of simple arithmetic commenting on who is best qualified to run our complex economy?
If you want a basic primer on all this read this link to a document produced by the Office of Budget Responsibility, don’t rely on Facebook for facts.