Posts Tagged 'David Cameron'

Conservative Party Conference Week

As the conference kicks off, the Tories will seek to place an emphasis today on welfare. However the Fourth Estate are not interested. They want blood and gore over Europe. DC’s Faustian pact with the europhobes was always going to backfire but what a time to do so. Cameron needs to stick it to the Neanderthals and say “It is power on my terms, or no power”. The Conservatives will emerge from the May election the strongest party but a hung parliament is in the balance if the Continent is allowed to dictate the discussion.

Tory Banks Policy

Abolish the FSA, Transfer powers to the BofE is the synopsis.

DC introduces Tory Bank Policy White Paper
DC introduces Tory Bank Policy White Paper

There is no doubt that the tripartite system failed. Too many macro decisions fell in the gaps in between and the idea of panic in the air over the three week period was palpable. The idea of a financial policy committee is a good macro decisioning tool and its position within the BofE seems a sensible one.

Overall, the Tory Bank Policy looks stable, however the devil will be in the detail. I would like to see an explanation of what the Treasury’s role in this will be in the future. Outsourcing financial overseeing should not lead to a dereliction of duty by the government of the day.

UKIP fills the gap

With all this talk of Labour’s demise in the European elections and the rise of the BNP, too little attention has been paid to the rise of UKIP. In Nigel Farage, the party has an eloquent individual who gave the best (and most non partisan) assessment of the election results over the last 48 hours. His press conference did not gloat and correctly identified the weaknesses in the Conservative’s position of Europe. The promise of a referendum on the Lisbon treaty has had too many caveats. Whether or not and to what degree the UK stays in the EU, a greater degree of honesty MUST be employed by all parties with the public.
– What proportion of legislation employed per annum originates from the EU?
– What proportion of those EU laws emanate directly from the elected (by the public) officials?
– What do the UK parties intend to do about the wasteful Common Agricultural Policy which:
: pays the farmers of the ‘old’ EU more than that of the new EU?
: is a direct obstacle in each and every free trading round with the rest of the world?
: increases the poverty of the lesser developed world?
Is there any button which the CAP does not press when one is looking for an insiduous use of public money? The CAP is the figurehead of a wasteful system whose few good policies are outweighed by its many unnecessary and poorly thought out ideas. There is not enough space in this blog to express my disgust at the largesse of the many officials.
By perverting the traditional axis of UK politics, UKIP will increase its share of the vote in the general election, votes which could prove crucial in the North West for David Cameron. Mr Cameron need not change into some snarling anti EU-phobe. But what he must do is transplant the ideas he has put forward for the UK to the EU. That of, transparency, the idea that politicians are public servants; and subsidiarity, the idea that decisions will be made at the lowest feasible levels.

Titanic Labour

Not the force of Greek myth but the early 21st century sinking ship. As the rats leave (Jaqui Smith and Hazel Blears at time of writing), it leaves only the inevitably poor showing in the European elections to draw out the plotters. But no one is brave enough to play the part of Brutus or indeed Michael Heseltine.

The truth is that the Labour party are suffering from government ennui, a desire for change regardless of performance. Labour’s performance in recent years has been lamentable: the impoverished response to the banking crisis, the waste (non jobs in the public sector) of money in the good times, the Iraq retreat debacle, failure to assert itself in Europe. But none of these are election winners or losers. The great British public invariably vote in general elections based on the economy, incompetence, or boredom but rarely ideology. The government have handled things better than in the dying days of the Major administration but one cannot help thinking that only a collapse by the Tories will lead to anything but a 1979-esque rout.

The smell of power has quietened the rabid right wing dogs and their howls of immigration, EU, and low taxes. The hope is that David Cameron will use the 12 months as thinking time to develop a true ideology leading to economic sustainable growth, a viableĀ ‘free’ healthcare system, a resuscitation of our morbid education system, and a foreign policy thatĀ puts the UK and its sphere of influence first.

Cameron @ the Open University

“No Revolution” but some tinkering necessary and a return of power to the people through personal responsibility, as well as greater independence to individual MPs and accountability of the Executive was the summary of this speech. It feels strange to hear of a right wing leader using the phrase ‘power to the people’ but it is an indication fo where this country has come in the separation of public servants and the public they are meant to serve.
Cameron encapsulated themes he had gone over prior to the expenses row but wrapped them in relevant themes: expenses, over zealous bodies such as the police and councils, ticking of boxes rather than common sense. The theme of subsidiarity is not a new one, I recall John Major using it in an attempt to dilute some typically all encompassing European initiative. However the desire does appear to be there even allowing for the media froth.
I was pleased to see Mr Cameron return to one of my favourite themes of the number of MPs! A reduction of 10% and an equalisation of population sizes is a very good start. It is ridiculous for the UK, especially given the powers of devolution, to have more MPs than India! Also it is farcical that Na h-Eileanan an Iar has 22,000 voters whilst the Isle of Wight has 110,000 voters. This country’s surface area is not so large nor its transport and communications so backward that there is a need for a 5x disparity in (voting) population sizes.
The messy beast that is proportional representation was explicitly torpedoed. I feel that the resulting LibLab concensus would lead us to the constant political mess that is Israel or Italy.
Unfortunately he did not address the West Lothian question, but that is the elephant in the room. It must be addressed in the first post election Parliament.
Europe was addressed by a promise of a referendum on the Lisbon treaty and a desire to have powers returned. I would have thought DC would play this one down since it’s an easy whip to use against his party by the left.
This was a far reaching speech (and my synopsis does not cover all themes) but it was a SMART response to the country’s questions and frustrations.

nb: SMART: http://www.projectsmart.co.uk/smart-goals.html

Cameron on R4 and R5

An accomplished performance from Cameron obviously mostly about the expenses farce. It’s always uncomfortable dealing with the rants, sometimes rambling, of John Humphreys and of the great British public. He was very quick to respond in a reasonable fashion. Clearly welll coached but I was impressed.
The interview/phone-in moved on to the general election. Cameron pressed again for a July election, an event not seen since 1945 (clearly an extraordinary time) and before that 1902. He also refused to criticise the Speaker. It’s not clear if this is a case of disinterested, uninterested or Machiavellian.

Cameron launches Europe Manifesto

Somewhat dwarfed by the Speaker’s speech, David Cameron launched his manifesto for Europe today. He impressed with the first half of his brief oratory. The euro sceptics of the country have long called out for a representative who is not a europhobe. There is a clear distinction to be made between reform within Europe and leaving the cosy club (but that should always be retained as a possible outcome should change not take place). The direct connection of the rebate to CAP reform is vital if a CAP solution is to be found. It is a collective disgrace that farmers of wealthier nations receive more than farmers of poorer nations in what is supposed to be a club of equality. A commitment to attack the gravy train of the Eurocrats was also welcoming.
The second half of the speech was less inspiring. The call for a general election seems ill timed. The reaction of voters in a general election at this time is very much an unknown. Whilst DC has responded well to the expenses debacle, the Conservative vote is still down in polls and may lead to less seats than expected. In twelve months, DC’s reaction will be seen to be a sign of a man in touch with the nation but general disdain for politicians will have subsided resulting in a withering of the votes for the minor parties ensuring a smoother election result. Mr Cameron’s desire for government is understandable but in this case, patience is a virtue.


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