Cameron the Cutter gives us no cause for cheer….
When David Cameron took to the stage it was as Prime Minister and naturally, you expected him to address the nation, instead he addressed the Party faithful with a speech which essentially was an apology for not winning an outright majority and an explanation of the increasingly desperate looking coalition with the Liberal Democrats. Indeed, it’s not hard to imagine Cameron and Clegg adrift on a raft each holding the other tight in desperate fear of a) his own Party (Cameron) or b) his own Party and the electorate (Clegg). However, there were also worrying signs for Labour tonight. Nothing has been forthcoming from the leadership in terms of an official response and while obviously Ed Miliband is still getting his team together and as yet does not even have a Shadow Cabinet that is simply not good enough. Yes there must be a degree of dignified silence but we should note that the Conservatives responded to Ed’s election within moments. Labour’s response thus far has amounted to little more than some comments from Andy Burnham and a brilliant deconstruction of the myriad of lies that spewed forth from Cameron’s mouth by the Labour-supporting Will Straw.
Much of what Cameron said was expected and widely trailed. How somebody can now claim this Coalition’s actions are not ideological is beyond me; Cameron made plenty of hay with his own ideological agenda and linked it directly to the cuts. This is not necessary housekeeping but an ideological attack on ‘statism’ which Cameron claims ‘lost’ the last election. In its place we are going to have the ‘Big Society’ which as it motors on will become one of the most right-wing Conservative constructs in modern times; even out-doing Thatcher. Eric Pickles is not the dark cloud on the horizon (jibes at his weight seem, frankly, in a little bit of bad taste) but it is the menace of Cameron which hangs over Britain.
Of course, the state is still welcome to do some things. Trident will be renewed. I heard this and so did the rest of the world but it seems some Liberal Democrats are hard of hearing. The level of self-delusion one now requires to be a Liberal Democrat truly boggles the mind; its at the level where Cameron says it, Clegg by implication approves it (it was widely reported that he had seen the speech), but still you hear Liberal Democrats saying they will ‘stop it’. How exactly? Or is this the same way in which they ‘stopped’ free-schools? Lib Dem Party conference voted against them too but still the Liberal Democrats in government ushered them through. The harsh reality of what is real awaits in May.
Harsh realities are something this country is going to have to get used too though because Cameron failed to conjure a land of milk and honey and show us a road back to growth. As a leader now his problem is that he will always be cast in this role. Even if all his wildest fantasies were to come true he is not the leader that a strong and confident Britain would choose because he has already been cast as Cameron the Cutter in the public eye. The damage he will do will be greater than Thatcher but the economic conditions allow him to do that in considerably less time and on a considerably wider scale. Now is not the time for Labours voice to be silent or even slightly muffled because when it is we start to lose ground and the vapid lies peddled by Cameron and his crew fill the void. For Britain’s sake that is not something we can allow to happen.