The scale of the problem
1. Cowardice. Whose bright idea was it to ban Nigel Farage from speaking at the Tory conference in Manchester? And what kind of signal does this send out to all those waverers in the party wondering whether or not to transfer the allegiances to UKIP?
“We’re so concerned that Nigel Farage might tell you stuff that you want to hear that we’ve decided not to let you hear it.”
2. Spinelessness. Remember all that talk about the importance of localism? Remember all those principled-sounding statements we’ve had from the likes of John Hayes and Eric Pickles that in future if communities don’t want wind turbines imposed on them then they won’t have to? Well, it seems all that has gone by the board. No doubt under combined pressure from all the energy companies (whose beneficiaries range from the deputy prime minister’s wife to the prime minister’s father in law) and the ideological greens at DECC, Cameron’s faux-conservatives have caved yet again. I’m told by planning experts that Eric Pickles’s vaunted amendments will make not the blindest bit of difference to communities trying to fight wind turbines. So this betrayal of their natural constituency in the shires will help the Conservatives how, exactly?
3. Dishonesty. Immigration, the Conservatives have twigged, is a key issue to many voters. Hence those crass, ugly billboards. Hence scary Immigration Minister Mark Harper’s tough-sounding statements about how the Coalition is really on top of the problem. Except as Andrew Gilligan revealed in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph it’s all a nonsense. Our statistics on immigration are so unreliable as to be meaningless. I don’t know about you but I don’t like being taken for a fool by a party angling for my vote.
4. Cynicism. Much sense has been talked by those who understand the internet – among them, Mic Wright and Willard Foxton, both of this parish – about the illiberalism and counterproductivity of Cameron’s grandstanding crusade against all manner of online pornography. If it makes no sense, why is he doing it? Why out of a cynical attempt to win the approval of the leftist harpies at MumsNet, of course. Sorry but I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that government policy should be based on high principle and sound evidence, not on cheap, cynical bids to appeal to socialistic control freaks outside your natural constituency. But then, Dave does think of himself as the “heir to Blair” doesn’t he?
5. Incompetence. Do you know what, though? I think I could still forgive the Tories all of the above if they’d at least managed to do the one thing Tories are always supposed to be good at: undoing the economic mess created by the previous socialist administration.
But this “economic recovery” we’re allegedly experiencing is, like “green jobs”, a chimera. Liam Halligan doesn’t believe in it.
And no, this isn’t just a cyclical thing or a world-economy thing. It’s a direct consequence of Cameron’s and Osborne’s failure to acknowledge the scale of the problem and deal with it.
The framework required to support meaningful growth is simply not there. We are still spending beyond our means, the national debt is still ruinous, we still have a massive balance of trade deficit, and the government seems in no hurry to do anything about it. A wrecking ball should have been taken to New Labour’s policies by now, given that they’re largely responsible for the mess we’re in. Instead, David Cameron is like a man who’s been put in charge of the family Christmas and doesn’t want to upset the old’uns by changing too much. Apart from walnuts in the sprouts and a new board game for after dinner, it’s the same as it ever was.
- Don’t expect the BBC to tell you, but Ukip is on the march
- Nigel Farage – the only politician who dares say what we’re thinking
- Unless the Conservatives come clean about the energy mess they created, they will never deserve our vote
- Should Morrissey join Ukip?
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