The Conservatives bad week….
Is it just me or has it been well, a pretty wretched week for David Cameron’s Conservatives? Two things stick out; firstly Daniel Hannan’s freelance jaunt on American TV slating the NHS which was truly painful to watch as Hannan obligingly slated the idea of universal health care for his FOX TV hosts. It was hard not to think ‘here is the voice of the true Conservative Party’ feted following his You Tube assault on Gordon Brown and now making a complete chump of himself sparking a massive #welovetheNHS campaign across the Twitterverse.
Arguably this has spun both ways for Cameron; embarrassing for his party but a chance for him to slap down the young pretender. Something he duly did in a Conservative Party mailing where he effectively endorsed the Twitter campaign:
“People still care about the issues they care about, and thanks to the internet they can voice their concerns whenever they want. Just look at all the support which the NHS has received on Twitter over the last couple of days. It is a reminder – if one were needed – of how proud we in Britain are of the NHS.
Millions of people are grateful for the care they have received from the NHS – including my own family. One of the wonderful things about living in this country is that the moment you’re injured or fall ill – no matter who you are, where you are from, or how much money you’ve got – you know that the NHS will look after you.”
However, the second thorn in the flesh for Cameron this week is far more serious and potentially damaging for all concerned. Alan Duncan’s ‘tongue in cheek’ comments about MP’s ‘living on rations’ were truly tragic and would have been embarrassing enough but become clearly a sacking offence when they are made by the person in charge is pushing forward the Conservative view on how the expenses system is reformed. Conservative Home readers got the point; 55% wanting Duncan sacked. However, just as Tim Montgomerie was stoical in saying how this proved the grassroots were ‘in-touch’ they went and proved the converse point; Anne Main survived her deselection battle.
How Cameron has dealt with the expenses issue has obviously ruffled alot of feathers and it has to be said his support for Duncan is totally inconsistent with a ‘tough line’. His new friends at The Guardian were on hand to offer some free advice today advising on balance against him enforcing a 25% pay cut on his ministers. The resentment that Cameron is building in his own party may well mean the young pretender we started this post with may well have the last laugh yet…..