Saturday, 15 December 2012

Cameron on the wrong side of opinion..{continued.}

So far not a single voice of support for Cameron? That's very worrying.

Well, worrying for him.
In fairness the coalition have pushed for many reforms. Some quite excellent. On welfare and education and parts of local government in particular. But I always said they'd gone a bridge too far. Several bridges too far. He hasn't the team, the talent, the time, the money, the majority or the support to do things properly.

On this question of public and party opinion I think he's drawn a poor conclusion from Mandelson's/Campbell's Blair's diaries and memoirs.

They pushed Labour where it didn't want to go,. reasoning that the policies they pursued would attract more people than they lost, and that those that quit in disgust had nowhere else to go except to the graveyard of the extreme left.

Recent polling has shown that disaffected conservatives are quite happy to move further right, away  from Cameron's liberal centre.

They won't achieve anything much there. But unlike when the communists and Union dinosaurs stood against new labour in elections, UKIP will actually take votes from Conservatives. Enough to ensure a Tory defeat in many of the target seats that they need to win.

AND ... He is still fighting the battle that Blair won. To make the Tories 'the nasty party' by demonising them and portraying them as racist, homophobic, bigoted, mean, old fashioned, boring, eurosceptics, at a time when the country was into eco loving,fair trade, compassionate,European cafe culture neighbourly, handouts, parties , credit card spending and pay rises for all.

The mood in the country is no longer that way. People are less charitable, less caring, less compassionate, less willing to pay high taxes for crappy, expensive government and high fuel, food and services costs. Public are almost, but not quite, ready to see the NHS get a bit of a public clipping. That's how changed things are.
Few are in any mood to give the precious little they can amass for themselves away to anyone else. Especially those that are perceived as doing nothing for it.

Look at the constant outrage over the ring fencing of the foreign aid budget.  This paltry sum attracts little but anger from most sections of UK society. We can read it on the comments here week after week. Its hated, even though it costs us each about only a third of the Licence fee {£52 per year.. well the Department for International Development's bit is..actual foreign aid is about the same as the licence fee for every citizen..Which makes it 3 or 4 times dearer than the licence fee..} and does actually do some good. World Vaccination programs. Disease treatment. Land and property rights. Schooling etc.

But its still despised because a proportion of the money goes to perceived wealthy countries and  that's unfair. Its money being given to rich foreigners or despotic and corrupt rulers.

Instead of ring fencing the aid again recently, Cameron should definitely have said he was going to reduce the budget to , say , 0.4% GNI, and have an impressive set of stats from DfiD of areas where the this money will only be spent. Agriculture. Textbooks. Schools. Vaccination and as many 'caring, compassionate' programs as they can cram into the list.
He then rattles on about ending funding for spaceships, palaces, Swiss bank accounts, and dictatorships.

If he still wants to fund all those things,bunging cash to China to buy our stuff or hoping that in some mineral rich, skills poor African sinkhole, today's Idi Amin will morph into tomorrows Nelson Mandela, he still can. Just take the money from another bit of the FO budget and call it something else.

That way Cameron could mollify some in his party and in the country about having to borrow money  we can't afford, to give to others, who never seem to even benefit from it.

The mood in the country has changed Mr Cameron. It isn't 2005 anymore.
The country, bar the liberati, would be more than happy for you to say , "Sorry..We're all out of cash for aid at the moment..maybe next year."

The nation would love it if you said "New..Romanian and Bulgarian citizens must have special visas. We will have a reciprocal arrangement with them..A sort of visa lite arrangement..Sorry..but we're full up..We took so many last time.."

And just let the Eu kick off. Just allow it to happen. That becomes the front page fight for the red tops.

"The main news again...Maverick Prime minister, David Cameron, ordered Abu Qatda deported to Luxemburg...the cleric arrived there this morning and the UK immediately said if he was returned to their shores he would be subject to arrest and imprisonment without trial. The ECHR cannot now send him back as he would face a breach of his human rights.."

Pick fights that are popular.  As long as you are on the right side of public opinion you'll have support.

And that must be easier than fighting them all the time, surely?


Nick Drew said...

He hasn't the team

Too right. Every time Tim Montgomerie sends round his quiz and asks - which of these worthless individuals would you want to be the next leader of the Party? - the heart sinks. If BoJo is the Great White-haired Hope of the conservatives, I need say no more

One problem with Cameron is that he has this truly world-class 'favourite son-in-law' act which (a) got him where he is (Tory women are archetypal suckers for that)
(b) makes him a very presentable PM - he scrubs up nicely and does those National Apologies so very well

this has meant he didn't have to work very hard at the nitty-gritty

however I think there are signs he can sometimes get it right & sometimes I get mildly optimistic

(mildly optimistic post to follow)

Bill Quango MP said...

I agree. In the role of actually being PM, he is as almost as good as Blair. And after the Brown embarrassment that is a relief.

And I don't believe its all bad. Just much more than should have been expected.

Thud said...

Seems reasonable, and that's the trouble, we seem to be reason free and driven by whims and headlines.

Lord Blagger said...

Even better, for once, tell the truth,

The truth about how all your pension contributions have been pissed away, and now there it 4,700 bn of debt - just for pensions.

So much that it can't be paid.

Then any argument about spending a billion more change. Labour will be tagged for the debts and the welfare that has spent people's retirement.

Give an indication (its an underestimate) of the pensions debts.

Linked to inflation, so no chance of printing to inflate your way out either

Jan said...

You sound more than a little p****d
off Bill and I guess plenty of other Tory MPs feel the same. I don't think it would be much different without the Lib Dems either.

We're back to style over substance an art perfected by T Blair. Tories are crying out for someone to do something more radical a la Thatcher.

I doubt whether the welfare changes would happen without the doggedness of Ian Duncan Smith. He seems to have done more so far than anyone else.

Bill Quango MP said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Quango MP said...

Thud: Spin will win. That's the way these days.

Lord Blagger. Nope! Don't even start to look behind the curtain. Its a nightmare.
in fairness this is the first government in 30 years to even take a look at pensions. They have shed many 100,000s of votes in doing it. And it was only the very first step in the coming pension reforms. Its one of the necessary, yet deeply unpopular things they have done.
My gripe is with the unnecessary, and deeply unpopular things they have done.

Jan: Exasperation rather than pi**ed off. I'm not and never was a Cameron man. And coming in, my hopes weren't high. in fact part of the disappointment is that Cameron held it all together, under great pressure, so well for the first year.

But since then he's tripped up many, many times since then .And the good will has been spent with too little to show for it.

andrew said...

Being a child of Thatcher, the key lesson I learnt was that you should ask yourself whether your money was well spent.

Was my vote well spent on Cameron?


Dick the Prick said...

Chuck in demographics and the lack of boundary changes and it's almost impossible to think how else 2015 will turn out other than a decent Labour majority.

I'm starting to think, assuming Cameron has a brain and wants to retain his job, that he's going to be forced to offer a referendum on the EU. I just can't see any alternative. I guess hiring Crosby is a good start and once the gay marriage thing is over he may be able to get Cammo on message but my local assoc has been decimated by this so it's not so much people switching parties but just not voting at all.

What's so wrong with putting party before country, Labour did it always.

Anonymous said...

He's running out of time and options, and of course constantly hamstrung by the leftwit 'deputy PM' still piping up in hope of a tax-free EU sinecure in Brussels for him and the wee wifey.

By this time the 1st Thatcher administration was squandering North Sea oil tax revenues to paper over the cracks but still needed the 'Falklands Factor' to win the election.

'Call me Dave' Dave has a mish-mash of daft initiatives started but not finished, broken promises on the EU and all the Boy George can offer is '5 more years' of grim, grey grinding austerity.

Talk about fiddling while Rome burns! One term administration for sure with 50+ losses due to UKIP taking votes.

Anonymous said...

Very obvious strategy -

1) Encourage dour Scots to vote independence in 2014 to get shot of their 60 Labour MPs in Westminster.
2) Leave "scorched earth" legacy for incoming Labour in 2015
3) Tories merge with UKIP
4) Await next election (after vote of no-confidence?); with West Lothian question resolved and a right-of-centre manifesto, regain power for generations.


Budgie said...

If you think that UKIP would willingly merge with the Tories, you don't know UKIP.

UKIP = Liberals; Cameron's Tories = paternalistic statism. Liberals used in the classic UK sense not the modern American meaning.

Anonymous said...

They are all scrabbling for the centre ground.

When they arrive there, these devils on a pinhead, they will be supported by tiny minorities.

Even with Union support, Labour are destitute. Tory Party membership has plummeted and the Party relies on donations from big business. The LibDems are a political joke.

So next year they will bring in taxpayer support for the three interested parties.

They will rule forever after in some obscene coalition, leaving politicians to do what they do best; pose, preen and strut around, spouting a lot of hot air to no real purpose.

James Higham said...

Pick fights that are popular. As long as you are on the right side of public opinion you'll have support.

Hardly think that's the issue, Bill. It's that he picks the false side of an argument.