A Burt's Eye View

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt continues his occasional series of articles looking at aspects of local life IF IT S not one thing, it s another. I bet my old college friend Tony Blair must wake up some mornings thinking just that. It all seems

North East Bedfordshire MP Alistair Burt continues his occasional series of articles looking at aspects of local life

IF IT'S not one thing, it's another. I bet my old college friend Tony Blair must wake up some mornings thinking just that. It all seems to be going pear-shaped at once.

Take pensioners, bought onside for last year's election with a £200 rebate in the council tax. Definitely not a bribe, we were told. But this year the rebate is gone, and pensioners face an extra £200 bill on top of their inflation-busting council tax, courtesy of Gordon Brown. So pensioners are, rightly, hopping mad.

If you thought this modern, New Labour government understood IT and could be relied upon to modernise processes, well, think again. From tax credits to the farmers' single farm payment scheme, just about every large-scale IT-led initiative has gone wrong, causing delays and worries to families in our area, and, judging by my postbag, real hardship too.


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And who thought Labour would not privatise but save the NHS? Well, forgive my cynicism, but as wards close, consultants are not replaced, and staff sacked, we are left wondering where the money went. Why did the Government turn a blind eye to deficits last year (yes, it's that election thing again) when they needed to drive waiting lists down, but have suddenly made them important this year? Is Gordon Brown running out of our money?

And as for 'purer than pure'? While I do not think our system of financing political parties leaves any of us in a good light, there is more than heavy irony at the queue of secret and less secret rich donors to the party of Keir Hardie and Dennis Skinner, wondering which of their tax haven accounts they should draw the cheque upon in order to become an aristocrat.

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