Tuesday 12 May 2009

Be Brutal, Mr Cameron: Leadership Needed

Cameron is in a bind. He has the look of someone who’d like to do something extremely fitting to the occasion - that is, something rather more drastic than he’s done today - but is constrained by a number of factors:

- he’s personally wealthy, and wide open to a bitter ‘it’s OK for you’;

- if he indulges in a bout of decimation - which, let’s face it, is what’s called for, and they could all be replaced – the Government’s line will be, yes, the really bad cases were the Tory ones who had to be sacked;

- there doesn’t seem to be a truly egregious Tory candidate for a token ritual disemboweling pour encourager les autres (though I could nominate one if asked).

So he may content himself with having been the swiftest and sternest of the party leaders, instead of taking the opportunity to mark himself out as the truly outstanding leader we need.

Because warning off the next generation of MPs from expenses abuse is only the start of the needed reform of the body politic.

There’s still just about time, Mr Cameron. You’ve built up plenty of political capital: invest a little now. Find an adroit way to do something breathtaking. Take remorseless retributive actions that will astonish the Party and the public alike; and make the man in the street say, that’s more like it.

And gain yourself a free hand for further reform (not to mention a bunch of extra Euro-seats). You won’t get many opportunities quite like this.



Houdini said...

While I agree, he has come up with a brilliant answer to make Brown and Labour quiver...lol.

Imagine all those hogging socialist twats thinking they may have to pay back all that loot just before they get the boot? Brown knows he can't come up with anything nearly as reciprocal, and Cameron, even if he goes no further, has shown a touch of genius.

This isn't now about doing the right thing, which would be pointless given it is now too late, but being seen to do the right thing and getting one up on Brown and Labour.

hatfield girl said...

He hasn't finished yet. Nor have the revelations. This afternoon was a brilliant holding operation while he gets a good look at the enemy response. Mr Cameron has begun cleansing the Conservative Parliamentary Party - he will not stop until that is done. But Mr Brown is faced already with the inability to match Cameron's present actions, and Brown has to cleanse not just the PLP but every other New Labour structure whose employees, members, office-holders, have been on the take.

The take is the essence of New Labour's being.

roym said...

H and hg,

arent you coming dangerously close to applauding a bit of rhetoric from Dave without any action being taken? "being seen to do the right thing"? who does that sound like i wonder? did we ever get a look at blair's claims?

seeing as Cameron will be the next chief, he has a duty of care to British democracy. he has to DO what is right now. start as you mean to go on as it were.

anyway, the real farce of the last few days is just who can be quickest to declaring themselves THE MOST SHOCKED! pull the other one.

Nick Drew said...

am broadly with Roy, here. Cameron may indeed have pulled a tactical masterstroke, which is absolutely fine as far as it goes: but I'm looking for something that moves the game to a new level

(a bit like when smoking was banned on the London Underground, the day after the Kings Cross fire. It couldn't have been done at all the day before: it was instantly 100% successful as a long-overdue transformational measure)

but I'm certainly open to the argument that Cameron may have judged this one just right, for both tactical and strategic gain: we watch and wait

Anonymous said...

Is it within the spririt of the rules for someone to be sitting on a capital gain of C£300k after having the tax payer provide him with an interest free mortgage of c300k on his second home since 2001? I find it difficult to see how this differs from claiming for moat expenses when the end result is pretty similar - ie £24k a year of extra untaxed income.

But perhaps "it isn't what you do but the way that you do it" is what leadership is about?

Houdini said...

Cameron may indeed have pulled a tactical masterstroke,Which is exactly the point made, as nothing else, action or otherwise, would be any good as it is too late.

The applause was in his astute tactics, not what he actually did.

tory boys never grow up said...

"Mr Cameron has begun cleansing the Conservative Parliamentary Party - he will not stop until that is done."

I somehow doubt that such a task would ever leave him sufficient time to be Prime Minister given past experience.

What is morally superior taking you £24k a year tax free allowance for moat cleaning or as a mortgage subsidy to fund your speculation on a weekend get away in Cotswold given that both are within the letter of the rules? Discuss - we all know which has been the most profitable.

Remember the whole 2nd homes cam was started in the 1980s as a back handed way of giving MPs unpublicised pay rises - the more politically astute might be asking why all of this is now being made public now.

And no I'm not excusing any of the abuse which is going on - expenses should be just that and £24k for a second home has always been far too much - HMRC would never consider such amount as being reasonable - and there are plenty of other people other than MPs who need 2nd homes. But there also needs to be some sensible thinking about what is the right level of salary - I suspect that there will not be many Tories in the professions or the City who would be attracted by a salary of £68k - even given the geneorus pension. And the sort of mischief they might get up trying to supplement such a salary does not bear thinking about.

Perhaps rather than playing games some rather more serious leadership is needed in order to address the underlying problems - and quite frankly I don't see it from any politicians, my own lot included at present. Stopping the silly claims is only a sticking plaster I'm afraid.

Nick Drew said...

TBNGU, where have you been ?!