Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ceredigion Labour candidate

My grandfather was a tool maker in the ship yard in Belfast. He voted Labour all his life so my father told me. I only meet him once (late 1970's) and they lived in a very run down part of Belfast.

My father was a BBC transmitter engineer. He could remember as a child in Belfast going to school without shoes "when times were hard" and granddad was out of work. He voted Labour for most of his life. For the last election of his life, he voted Green.

The Labour party have done many things during their time in government as a party of managerialists to offend me. Putting up a candidate of 20 years old and still a student as the Westminister candidate for Ceredigion must be one of

  • An admission that they should not waste resources in this seat
  • A joke and they will announce a serious candidate later in the campaign.
  • An attempt to insult a region that has not voted Labour in the past
I am sure Richard Boudier is a great chap, full of ideas and ideals, will be mature for his age and impressive compared to his peers. Westminister does need new blood, some integrity and ideas. But is also needs experience, some humility and leadership. It a new map of the world if that is going to come from a 20 year old and I will be happy to redraw mine if it can be proved, rather than just speculated, that a 20 year old can be an effective MP.

No disrespect for Richard himself, it will be a great experience for him, probably life changing, but it is still an insult to the area by the Labour party to put up a candidate of this age who has no experience of the world of work, be that business, public or the voluntary sector. Still, people like George have managed to do OK in politics without ever having a real job (journalist != real job). Is Richard going to be in a position to hold him to account? Only fair to also ask if Luke, Mark or Penri will be able to hold Chancellor George to account when he flies in the face of economic analysis.

Maybe we should have an Ceredigion Economics test which all the candidates should answer and the answers published in the Cambrian News. If you have further suggests for appropriate questions, please add a comment. The more left field the better!

  1. What is a CDO and why are they considered potentially Weapons of Mass Destruction. Extra points for discussing the impact of the CDO on someone living in Llandewi Brefi.
  2. Beyond stopping your neighbors seeing what you get up to in the garden, when might a hedge be appropriate?
  3. What does the gilt yield curve suggest for future inflation?
  4. What is the difference between a Defined Benefit and Defined Contribution pension? Extra points for setting out the implications of each on the UK budget deficit over the next 20 years. Extra, extra points for suggesting policy change in the area of local government which involves DC pensions.
  5. What is leverage, when does it good and when is it dangerous? Extra points for buzz words and what they mean.
  6. What was the 1st use of futures and options? Extra points for creative application of put and call options to sheep farming
  7. What is the current old age pension. What is the current minimum wage?
  8. Where does inflation come from? What does the Monetary Policy Committee do for a job? Extra points for setting out the link between inflation and the cost of going on holiday to Spain
  9. What is an IFA and what reforms do you think are required to this profession (is it ballocks a profession)?
  10. If you don't know the answer to any of the above questions and are able to admit it, where would you go to find out? This question carries 90% of the marks for the test.
Ummm, not economics really. 7 I would get wrong, but have an rough idea, but then I am not a aspiring Westminister candidate. Anyone want to write a social policy, housing, food, health or defense set of questions as a pointless academic exercise which no candidates would dare engage in because it is too concrete.

In paragraph 2 I note that my father had times when he had no shoes to go to school in (would have been the late 1940, early 50's). This for him was his picture of poverty and explained his pathological reaction to my walking around the house when I was a child with no shoes on. Funny how talking as an adult to him in his later years gave this insight.

Back to the original point. No mater what Richard's age, character or experience, he campaigns in the shadow of the legacy of Tony and Gordon, even my Grandfather could not have voted for him.

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