06 December 2005

What does David Cameron actually think?

Tory Blair? All Spin? Fraud?

Well thanks to his Guardian column that continued for 3 years we can pin him down on past issues and get an idea on where David Cameron stands on policy.

The Iraq War: David Cameron was in favour and voted for the war;

"Consider the consequences, at this late stage, if the no vote actually carried the day. The US-UK alliance, which has been at the heart of Nato and the key to peace in the post war world, would be shaken, if not broken. In terms of the UK, we would have let down our strongest ally and friend. In terms of the US, any chance of the administration following a multilateralist approach in the future would be virtually at an end.

In Iraq, Saddam would celebrate a great victory. He would have completed his aim of dividing those who stood against him and in favour of his disarmament.

Finally, the UN and the concept of international law would suffer. Instead of talking about world order, we would face world disorder. This may seem ironic if war goes ahead without a second resolution. But the second resolution died at the hands of French intransigence. And just consider the message that would be sent out if, at 10 minutes to midnight, we actually took the Clare Short approach."

So, if you disliked Blair mainly because of his decision on the Iraq War. Remember that David Cameron made exactly the same decision and backed the war. He justified it by saying we can't let George Bush down. David Cameron also supports Student Top-Up Fees, Foundation Hospitals and Private Finance Initiatives.

On Europe: David Cameron wants to pull out of the Centre-Right, European Peoples's Party and join with the minor extreme right fascist parties and those that want to leave the EU altogether.

Here Cameron is even more Eurosceptic than IDS or David Davis, which gives the lie to his claim of being a moderate. Opposition parties that remain extreme on the Europe issue remain opposition parties. Whatever the EU's failings, we all know our economy has prospered under it and leaving would be a disaster.

On Tax: David Cameron is enthusiastically supporting George Osborne's comical look into Flat Taxes.

It takes little examination to see that the middle class wouldn't stomach the level of taxation needed to maintain public services under a flat tax. It is obvious the right wing like the idea because it would inevitably mean massive cuts in public spending. Even the Tory originator of the flat tax idea thinks it is too regressive and politically suicidal. This is the most regressive tax idea the Tories have ever had for tax. So much for moderate all inclusive policies eh?

Untainted by Tory past?

David Cameron was Norman Lamont's policy advisor and speech writer in the run up to the Black Wednesday disaster that in one day, transferred billions of taxpayers' money into George Soros pocket. Also involved in Treasury's policy decisions that led to the Pension mis-selling scandal.

On Health

David Cameron was author of 2005 Conservative Manifesto that wanted to introduce vouchers to help the middle class pay for private health using tax payers money.

On Education

see Health above. David Cameron wanted vouchers for education to help the middle class pay for private education using tax payers money.

Lobby fodder?

David Cameron never rebels against his party. Has voted against Foundation Hospitals and Student top-up fees despite being in favour.

Potentially corrupt?

Has registered over 25 personal donations this year from individuals and companies including Lord Harris (the evangelist carpet millionaire) and Lord Sainsbury.

On Social Justice

David Cameron wants support for traditional marriage rather than children. Sounds like the old Tory prejudice against single mothers dies hard.

On Fox Hunting: David Cameron is passionately in favour.

David Cameron loves to kill foxes with hounds and also any 'game' animal he can shoot

On House of Lords Reform

David Cameron voted against elected House of Lords

On Asylum and Immigration.

Agreed with Michael Howard on a quota and 'fantasy island' for asylum applications. Wants a strict limit on immigration.

Human Rights

Wants to reverse Human Rights legislation.

On Privilege

"It is a great privilege to lead..." He should know all about privilege because he went to Eton and this has meant his whole life has been privileged.

Finally, David Cameron on the Tory Governments' record

"an academic study is showing that the suicide rate tends to rise during Tory governments. No, seriously. According to the study, if Labour had ruled uninterrupted this century, 35,000 fewer people would have died."

Conclusion

None of this sounds that modern and compassionate to me. Don't be deceived by this Tory fraud. This guy makes Blair look a novice when it comes to spin.

17 comments:

  1. That's the next Prime Minister you're talking about, Neil. Have some respect.

    Or are your lot running scared already?

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  2. Even Cameron is talking about 10 years time, so I wouldn't hold your breath. Just because you have picked someone young who isn't as obvious an imbecile as his predecessors, don't think you have already won.

    It is going to be interesting tomorrow to see how Cameron plays it. If he brings the Tories towards the Centre ground, that is to be welcomed, though I'm pretty doubtful about that.

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  3. Why that Andrew chap is talking about Cameron being the next PM when he blogs that Davis should've won and that Cameron is part of the "horrific centrist, low-risk, no-sell, substance-free politics that has infected our party in recent years" is rather beyond me ...

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  4. Everyone says Cameron is copying Blair, Horseshit, He's copying Bushpigs 2000 campaign, Since then the words 'Compassionate conservative' make me shit my pants, That and that alone will probably make me Vote New Labour next time, I hope God's in a Forgiving mood that day.

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  5. Cameron will not get in next time, the built in biases of the FPTP boundries will see to that. Shame, almost nothing could be worse than 10 more years of New Labour authoritarianism.

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  6. "almost nothing could be worse than 10 more years of New Labour authoritarianism."

    Oh yes it could: 10 years of Old Labour authoritarianism. Don't think we would have a country left.

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  7. Anon, you make the same good point that Jonathan Freedland does in yesterday's Guardian; 'Don't be fooled, he's as bad as Bush.

    George Bush campaigned as a 'compassionate conservative'.
    He talked of 'no child left behind.
    He surrounded himself with ethnic minorities and young people in his photo shoots.

    Cameron is doing exactly the same. It is spin of the highest order, 'turbo blairism' if you like.

    The point I'm making is don't be fooled by his image, look at the actual policy record of this guy. He is another George Bush.

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  8. Neil
    His likeness to Bush runs deeper than Freedland says, All the Signs are there, Cameron has surrounded himself with people who lick his boots (That would be the so-called Notting hill set) so did Bush, Cameron spoke yesterday of groups outside Government recieving Taxpayer cash to do things like helping fight poverty, Bush did this and it has been a huge con to put money in the hands of Right wing nuts, Bush has thrown bone after bone to ultra Right wing politicians to get their support, Notice how the 25 MP strong 'Cornerstone Conservative' Group have been silent lately? Because they know as well as Cameron that if Cameron wins the next election his Majority would be around 30 at most, Meaning he'll need the votes of the Nut brigade to pass his bills, He will need to give them something to get their support and what he'll give them is shit like section 28.
    Labour seem blind to all these warning signs and the country will suffer if they don't get of their arse and show some fight, Cameron is dangerous, Everyone needs to know that.

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  9. I'm not sure about this Old Labour authoritarianism. The Old Labour people I know (e.g., Tim Stanley, who stood in Sevenoaks) and the ones I've talked to (Ian Gibson MP, Clare Short MP) seem much more sound on civil liberties than the New Labour ones like Andy Burnham MP.

    When I was at the Labour conference this year, I ran into the son of that old man of 101 who was in the papers a few months ago when he quit the Labour Party after decades of membership on the grounds that it wasn't the party he joined any more. His son nodded vigorously in agreement with the assertion that New Labour was not the centre-right party it is commonly accused of being, but a far right party instead.

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  10. Martin, Old Labour politicians are too close to the unions for my liking.

    The unions do a great amount of good work but in the end they are just selfish organisations that look after their own workers.

    This is fair enough, but I want to look after ALL workers and only governments can truly do that.

    For example I couldn't support fireworkers unions when they were pushing for salaries around £30,000 p.a.

    The fact there are thousands of people already queueing up to be fireworkers suggests their salary is high enough. I'm more concerned about people working for the minimum wage, like careworkers or those at McDonanalds than people already being amongst the best paid in the country.

    To call New Labour a far right party is a little ridiculous, don't you think? If New Labaour are far right, what does that make the Tories?

    Anon, I think you are right, Labour does have to work a lot harder to expose what the Tories are about now they are going to hide their policies behind this 'compassionate conservative' image.

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  11. Dunno why unions are thought of as inherently left-wing. Law-abiding unions should be sticking up for their members' interests, whether that leads them to adopt left-wing or right-wing policies. They should certainly be sticking up for their own members and not the members of some other union, or non-members of any union, etc. The sad thing is this generally tends to lead them to cut deals with employers that hurt the unemployed, and the shareholders, if any.

    I see your concern is not with the big industrial unions, but with the little people. Be thankful that we indeed have a minimum wage, not like the vampire corporatist hellhole that is Sweden.

    I don't think calling New Labour "far right" is any more ridiculous than calling them "centre-right". New Labour is not centre-right. On economics, it's a centrist, nearly-corporatist run-of-the-mill European Christian Democrat party. Not what people thought they were voting for, but there you go. On education it's very corporatist, wanting to recognise church groups as providers of state-funded education. You do not get any more Christian Democratic a policy than church-run state schools, not even the German church tax. That's hard-core corporatism, coming to a council district near you.

    I think it's unfair to describe New Labour as anything other than Far Right on immigration, asylum, civil liberties, anti-terrorism. Cabinet ministers proposing to toast the suicide of criminals is just beyond the pale. These people want to confiscate the assets of people who've committed no crime, undermine the distinction between the judiciary and the executive, transfer quasi-judicial powers to the police and the civil service, cut the cost of state-sponsored racial discrimination, enforce norms of sexual morality beyond their traditional confines, make Opus Dei sympathisers Privy Councillors, lock people up without charge for months, indemnify the security services and police against prosecution for co-operating with paramilitary terrorists, co-opt the police force into lobbying parliamentarians, and pander to the racial prejudices of the working class. Even the Bush administration only manages about half of these.

    I concede that I've always been touchy about the links between corporatism (in its strict sense of state recognition of interest / professional / industrial / religious / ethnic groups) and fascism in its earlier syndicalist form, and between the proponents of welfarism and nationalism on the other hand. Here's a link to David Goodhart's piece on "identity" and welfarism. Goodhart is someone New Labour takes seriously. Read that piece, think about it, and then think about why I keep baiting ID card proponents with "why do all the racists agree with you?".

    Basically, New Labour is centrist on economics and education, and far right on other policies. Given the state of the public finances, there's going to be no difference between a Labour and a Tory administration after the next election, in terms of economic policy, so it comes down to which party you trust not to abuse a parliamentary majority, and New Labour has deservedly lost everybody's trust

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  12. "Dunno why unions are thought of as inherently left-wing."

    I never said they were, I said they are selfish organisations that look after their member's interests. Some of them do good work for democracy (like sponsoring your meeting the other night) and some of them are counter-productive to fairness (like the fireworkers union pushing to be in the top ten percent of earners.

    "Be thankful that we indeed have a minimum wage"

    Thank New Labour for the minimun wage and the mandatory holidays and reducing child and pensioner poverty by a third, with the aim of eliminating it all together by 2020. These are pretty strange policies for a party of the right to implement, don't you think?

    What about the New Deal and their record on gay rights and race relations legislation? What about the extra investment in public services and their increase in foreign aid and debt relief? Isn't this all progress that wouldn't have happened under the Tories?

    What about signing up to Human Rights legislation?

    The Tories, who are the party you seem to 'trust' and the only likely alternative government if we vote New Labour out like you suggest, fought tooth and nail to stop the minimum wage and all these other measures.

    "New Labour as anything other than Far Right on immigration, asylum, civil liberties, anti-terrorism."

    It wasn't Labour that were running subtle racist billboard advertising at the last election. Unfortunately Labour has been dragged to the right on these issues by the media.

    Would you prefer the Tories had won the last election and there was a quota on asylum seekers?

    Of course there is a difference between Labour and the Tories, that is a ridiculous statement. You are comparing Labour with perfection, but you are forgetting that the Tories are much worse. You might not mind whether its a Labour or Tory Government, but those on the minimum wage or poor pensioners who now have winter fuel payments and top-up payments and free bus travel, most certainly would mind. It might not sound much to you.

    I've seen the Goodhart article before. It is racist nonsense as far as I'm concerned. To say that Goodhart represents the Labour Party is rubbish.

    Prospect magazine lies firmly on the right of New Labour, let alone the right of the Labour party. This government is effectively a coalition between 'new' and 'old' Labour.

    One of the reasons I want PR, is to free up the 'old' Labour Left from the New Labour stranglehold.

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  13. "I never said [unions were inherently left-wing]". And I never said you said that. I was holding it up as a common misconception, unattributed to any individual.

    "These are pretty strange policies for a party of the right to implement, don't you think?"

    Depends how one defines right-wing. I don't think economic rationalism, laisser-faire, and anti-egalitarianism always go hand in hand. But of course, your whole point is one of the straw men which characterise your entire approach to debate. I didn't, unless I am very much mistaken, say New Labour was right-wing on economics. I thought I went out of my way to clarify my belief that they're a centrist party on economics.

    "What about the New Deal and their record on gay rights and race relations legislation?"

    The New Deal is pretty corporatist. If I understand it correctly, it concerns involving private companies in the delivery of government employment policies, and subsidises from public funds the provision of low-wage jobs by the for-profit commercial sector.

    I honestly have to think to work out what is meant by gay rights, though this is because of my problematic relationship with the word "rights" rather than anything specific to issues concerning homosexuals. I don't really know much about the issues, but I assume they relate to personal status provisions of law (marriage, divorce, inheritance), Section 28, and discrimination / vilification issues.

    The civil partnerships thing I'll concede is not a right-wing measure; I don't think refusing to countenance the use of the word "marriage" for homosexual unions is right-wing.

    On Section 28, I have very mixed feelings. It looks like some sort of anti-paedophile grooming law which some right-winger has twisted into an anti-male-homosexual law. The conflation between paedophilia and homosexuality is a particular vice of the right, from Senator Bill Heffernan down. In my home state it's a political football for both sides of Parliament. My school has been dragged through the media for years about this, the archbishop has been forced to resign, the Speaker of Parliament has been forced to resign, the headmaster had to retire early, they've tried to repeal parts of the Bill of Rights 1689, the finally extradicted chaplain has now apparently collapsed in court, and I can't go into too many of the details as the other perpetrators, albeit finally dismissed from teaching at the school, are sadly still alive and South Australia has some of the most ferocious libel laws in the world. I have tried several times to complete this paragraph and how Section 28 might be useful, but it keeps wandering too close to the details of John Mountford's case so I shall shut up.

    I dunno what Labour's record on race relations legislation is, but since I oppose criminal liability for incitement to acts or states of mind which are not themselves criminal, I hold it against them that they have not repealed the relevant section of the Race Relations Act; instead they seem to be extending its odious provisions to protect religions as well.

    "What about the extra investment in public services and their increase in foreign aid and debt relief?"

    The PSBR is simply too high, and went up yesterday when HMG lost that tax ruling against Marks and Spencer. Much of what is being termed investment is actually current expenditure on public sector wages. They should and shall be judged on results in due course, rather than investment itself.

    Once you've got past the spin, this isn't left or right wing, it's just poor macroeconomic management and good political nous. I'd prefer it if the country were run for the benefit of everyone in it, rather than just Labour-voting public sector employees, but acknowledge very firmly the Government's right to do what it's doing.

    The increase in foreign aid and debt relief do look pretty left-wing, I'll grant. I'll concede that "left-wing" in foreign policy terms sadly now is basically coterminous with cosmopolitan utopianism. By cosmopolitanism, I mean putting the global interest before your own country's, a position very difficult to reconcile with democratic control of national governments.

    "Isn't this all progress that wouldn't have happened under the Tories?"

    Well, I'm not sure it is progress, but then again I'm not easily convinced why a thing should be accorded progressive, and why what is accorded progressive should be accorded desirable. Probably wouldn't have happened under the Tories (maybe the civil partnerships stuff might have).

    "What about signing up to Human Rights legislation?"

    Note the wording here, "signing up to legislation". Not "passing legislation giving effect to signing up to treaties". If you think that it's left-wing to restructure the legal system around the claims of individuals as against the state and entrench the claims of individual ownership of property, sometimes the claims of property interests above people's civil liberties, then that's your lookout.

    "The Tories, who are the party you seem to 'trust' and the only likely alternative government if we vote New Labour out like you suggest, fought tooth and nail to stop the minimum wage and all these other measures."

    You overuse scare quotes, BTW.

    Well, it may seem that I trust the Tories, but that's not the only reasonable inference to draw from my writings. As it happens, as someone who could see both sides of the argument on the Iraq War, I regard the Arms to Iraq / Matrix Churchill scandal as probably the most despicable act of any UK government of the last twenty-odd years, and regard the continued presence of Sir Malcolm Rifkind on the Tory frontbench as unacceptable (to say nothing of the granting of a peerage to Nicholas Lyell!).

    On the actual question, I'd prefer a hung House of Commons, if there were any chance that the Lib Dems could constrain themselves from using it as a means to abolish single-member constituencies.

    "It wasn't Labour that were running subtle racist billboard advertising at the last election." - this was in response to the contention that Labour was far-right on some matters. That the Tories may or may not be does not alter what Labour is.

    "Would you prefer the Tories had won the last election and there was a quota on asylum seekers?"

    Dunno - do we "trust" them to keep promises like that? The policy sounds like one I'd have a moral problem with, but I don't know enough about it.

    "You might not mind whether its a Labour or Tory Government, but those on the minimum wage or poor pensioners who now have winter fuel payments and top-up payments and free bus travel, most certainly would mind. It might not sound much to you."

    You really, really have no idea who or what I am or how I think.

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  14. "I didn't, unless I am very much mistaken, say New Labour was right-wing on economics. I thought I went out of my way to clarify my belief that they're a centrist party on economics."

    Are the employment legislation on statutory holidays, minimun wage and signing up to the EU Social Chapter just centrist?

    Whether you think things like tax credits and the New Deal are just subsidies for private companies or not, they still help the poorest sections of society.

    You admit that a lot of Labour's employment legislation is left wing and wouldn't have happened under the Tories, yet you seem unable to give them any credit.

    You also agree that their debt/aid policies and legislation on gay rights is leftwing. You even admit to knowing little or nothing about Labour's impressive history on race relations legislation, yet you persist in calling this government rightwing. I can't understand why you can't bring yourself to criticise section 28 or a quota on immigration, these are rightwing policies that Labour have prevented from happening by keeping the Tories out of office, yet you still want people to vote Labour out.

    "On the actual question, I'd prefer a hung House of Commons"

    Under FPTP, voting for this is playing Russian Roulette. It is impossible to know what will happen. Under PR we would be much more likely to get a 'hung parliament' and coalition government.

    "You really, really have no idea who or what I am or how I think."

    As you are a Green Party supporter who opposes PR and supports section 28, I would think I'm not the only one who's confused.

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  15. "Are the employment legislation on statutory holidays, minimun wage and signing up to the EU Social Chapter just centrist?"

    They're a bit left-wing, I guess, but not very much.

    "Whether you think things like tax credits and the New Deal are just subsidies for private companies or not, they still help the poorest sections of society."

    Well, that's their intention; it's not clear the effect has been as intended, particularly in the case of the New Deal.

    "You admit that a lot of Labour's employment legislation is left wing and wouldn't have happened under the Tories, yet you seem unable to give them any credit."

    .. being left-wing isn't a good thing in itself! It's whether the policy is any good, that matters.

    "You also agree that their debt/aid policies and legislation on gay rights is leftwing."

    I don't think I said their legislation on gay rights was left-wing, unless that's the same as their civil partnerships legislation (which I now understand is not opposed by the Tory party, so I may have been wrong when I said it probably wouldn't have happened).

    "You even admit to knowing little or nothing about Labour's impressive history on race relations legislation, yet you persist in calling this government rightwing."

    Neil, on the occasions when you are demonstrated to be ignorant, I don't rub your nose in it.

    "I can't understand why you can't bring yourself to criticise section 28 or a quota on immigration"

    I said I didn't know enough about immigration to have a view on the matter. That you do not understand why I do not criticise policies of which I am ignorant implies that you think it's reasonable to have considered views about things one does not understand. Whereas I am not one of them and reckon them to be misguided, I appreciate that there are people who go by their gut feelings, and, more disturbingly, people who attempt to evaluate detailed policies on the basis of a few abstract principles, and, sadly, people who evaluate policies on the basis of some sort of primitive associative intuition (which I shall not parody here).

    "these are rightwing policies that Labour have prevented from happening by keeping the Tories out of office, yet you still want people to vote Labour out."

    well, I feel that these policies are outweighed by other factors!

    "As you are a Green Party supporter who opposes PR and supports section 28, I would think I'm not the only one who's confused."

    You leap to yet another conclusion. I do not oppose PR; it would be ideal for the House of Lords.

    You may be confused by someone whose views on politics are not easily pigeonholed, but that's what happens when people make their minds up on each policy separately, and I expect it's not at all unusual.

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  16. "You may be confused by someone whose views on politics are not easily pigeonholed, but that's what happens when people make their minds up on each policy separately, and I expect it's not at all unusual."

    There's making your mind up on each issue, which I entirely understand because I criticise Labour on policies I oppose, AND there is going against the entirety of a party's policies.

    Green Party members must be shocked by your views on FPTP and Section 28. These demonstrate a fundamental difference in philosophy.

    To accuse the Labour Party of being a right-wing party and then admit most of their policies don't fit with this description also seems strange, but what do I know, eh?

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  17. Martin: "unless that's the same as their civil partnerships legislation (which I now understand is not opposed by the Tory party, so I may have been wrong when I said it probably wouldn't have happened)."

    Just want to point out that the civil partnership law most definitely wouldn't have happened under the Tories.

    There is a big difference between not actively opposing something and taking the time to put it into law.

    Are you telling me that the Tories would have gone to the effort of instigating this law that would have upset so many of their members? Absolutely no chance!

    You spend a lot of time echoing the newspapers in finding fault with Labour policies. If you want to be balanced, you need to start giving them some credit for the many many things they get right.

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