Tuesday, January 23, 2007

How will politics change in 2006


I have been reading How will politics change in 2006 by Nick Assinder BBC News website, Political Correspondent from 1st January 2006 and found that he predicted that:


For Britain's three big party leaders (plus one), 2006 will without doubt be interesting. And, as far as politics is concerned, it will be all about them.


He seem to have got that prediction pretty spot on however I would say that David Cameron's early promise has still not been tested and Nick Assinder seem to be more tolerant of Charles Kennedy then some Liberal Democrat MPs giving him a few months of probation.


Nick Assinder predicted that in the budget Gordon Brown "will be forced to raise taxes, cut spending or increase borrowing, this may present the first real challenge to his reputation and leadership hopes". What we got was Tax rises 4p on wine and 1p on beer in line with inflation, but no increase in Income Tax or VAT. Spending promises from Gordon Brown included raising investment in schools from £5.6bn now to £8bn a year over five years, £600m to fund world-class British athletes, a new national sports foundation with £34m from the government, another £2m for evening sports clubs for young people, £1bn for a new energy and environmental research institute, Child Trust Funds to get an extra £250 or £750 when the children reached seven-years-old, child care vouchers increased to £55 a week, By April next year, to increase the number of community support officers from 6,000 to 16,000 by April 2007, free off-peak national bus travel for pensioners and disabled people from April 2008, £1m for Britons injured in terrorist attacks at home and abroad, £200m to promote international peacekeeping and an extra £800m for the armed forces. Gordon Brown said net borrowing would be £37bn in 2006-07 and £36bn in 2007-08.


On the local council elections Nick Assinder predicts "Labour can expect losses", we saw on 4 May 2006 was the Conservatives gain 11 councils, Labour loose 17 and the Liberal Democrats gain 1.


Nick Assinder also predicted that "the issue of the withdrawal of British troops from Iraq and the developments in that country, will continue to have a direct impact on domestic politics" I'm not sure how wrong or right he was on the issue but one thing we are seeing is the distancing of British policy in Iraq from that of the USA. President Bush recently announced an increase in the number of US troops in Iraq but we hope to start seeing the withdrawal of British troops in Iraq soon.

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