Monday, April 19, 2010

Labour candidate launches petition to Brown asking him not to introduce Tory policy

Quite what Labour candidate for Blaydon, David Anderson was thinking of when he came up with this idea is not clear, but launching a petition on his website calling on Gordon Brown not to introduce a particular Tory policy strikes me as rather odd.

Mr Anderson has a go at the Tories over what he claims is a policy to "massively put up rents", end secure tenancies and generally eat your babies for breakfast (okay I made the last one up!). I have no idea whether or not this is Tory policy. I'm not in the business of answering for the Tories. Their candidate in Blaydon I expect is quite capable of doing that himself.

What is interesting though is that Mr Anderson's petition is not to David Cameron who is in a significant position to decide which of his party's policies are implemented were he to become Prime Minister. No, Mr Anderson chose to make his petition opposing Tory policies on council housing to Gordon Brown. The petition to Mr Brown goes on to demand "the government reject any proposal [to] change the status of tenants in council and social housing."

The question has to be asked, why petition the Leader of your own party not to introduce the policies of another party? Does Mr Anderson believe Mr Brown is going to bring in these Tory policies? Or was this just a silly attempt to whip up fear (the leaflet posted to council tenants by Mr Anderson has a screaming headline "Be afraid!")

I can just imagine his next petitions. Perhaps he will petition Gordon Brown to reject Nick Clegg's calls not to replace Trident (Mr Anderson voted for replacement of Trident so as someone with a record of backing plans to spend billions on nuclear bombs he may find this petition very attractive.)

Or how about a petition opposing Vince Cable's plans to raise the tax threshhold to £10,000, taking millions of low paid people out of tax? Afterall, Mr Anderson has form on this issue as well - he voted 3 times to double the rate of income tax on low paid people. (By the way, Mr Anderson is calling the tax cut for low paid people a "gimmick". He has however called for an increase in VAT.)

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