Speaking at the Conservatives Spring Conference the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles disclosed some of the Lib Dem policies which he has blocked:

Our custard coloured chums are proud to have blocked some things we’ve wanted to do. Stopping us binning Labour’s gold-plated Human Rights rules, making it harder to deport foreign criminals.

Well, I’ve a little list of yellow ideas I’ve looked at and rejected.

  • New sales taxes.
  • New parking taxes.
  • Higher council taxes on single people.
  • New hotel taxes.
  • New bin taxes.
  • Council tax on students.
  • Conservatory taxes.
  • Higher council tax bands.
  • Higher parking fines.

But natually rather more of his speech was dvoted to attacking the Labour Party and the reponse of Labour councils to spending cuts:

Lazy Labour councils go for the easy option: Cutting the frontline, and then waving a bleeding stump with one arm, and the Red Flag with the other.

Councils have financial rewards for building homes, backing business and getting people off the dole:

Conservative councils have embraced these.

Labour councils have sat on their hands, done nothing and then complain when others get more funding.

They are subsidy junkies, addicted to their daily Whitehall fix, claiming no-one wants to invest or come to their area.

Labour run their own towns and cities down, whilst Conservatives champion theirs.

Mr Pickles criticsed Labour-run Tameside council which “spends taxpayers’ money on translating into 140 different languages. Even its binmen offer a translation service. This doesn’t help people integrate into our society.”

There was the following intriguing reference about he council which he did not name:

I have recently been passed secret emails from the GMB trade unions.

The union barons are instructing Labour councillors on how to vote on any planning application for Amazon warehouses, all because Amazon hasn’t surrendered to the union’s demands.

A wholly inappropriate interference in the planning system.

There was also a passage about Wales:

Outside Tower Hamlets, there’s another part of the world where they have shut the door on openness.

A place where there is no transparency agenda.

Where bloggers who try to film council meetings get handcuffed and arrested by the police.

It’s not Putin’s Russia.

It’s on the map. Look left, far left… to Labour-run Wales.

That’s what a Labour Government would look like.

In Wales, Labour offer more weak leadership and the same failed old ideas.

The Welsh economy has suffered as a result.

House building is up a third in England, but falling in Wales.

Labour have hit the housing market with red tape, adding up to thousands to the cost of building a new home.

They’ve cut the Right to Buy.

They botched Help to Buy.

House builders are upping their ladders and moving across to England.

Council tax is going through the roof.

Welsh bills are soaring by twice the rate of inflation.

There is no council tax freeze.

There is no democratic right for local taxpayers to veto high rises.

From April, council tax bills in Cardiff will be £180 a year more than a Band D home in Chelsea.

And what do you get for it?

The OECD say schools in Wales are the worst in the United Kingdom.

They’re plummeting down international league tables.

Services are worse.

It’s official Labour policy in Wales to move to monthly bin collections.

In the NHS, waiting times are shockingly high.

Dying patients are deprived of cancer drugs they would get in England.

And don’t expect a Labour Government under Ed Miliband to be any different.

The Welsh warning will be repeated again and again. It is hard for Ed Miliband to produce a credible answer. It is hard for him to deny the failings of the Labour-run Welsh Government. Yet he is too weak to repudiate them.