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Archive for the ‘David Cameron’ Category

Huh? Wha?

In David Cameron, Nick Clegg, the conservatives, the lib-dems on May 19, 2010 at 21:41

We’re watching SkyNews. They seem to think George Osborne is Chancellor, now.  Was there an election?

Oh, yes!  There was!

We went into hibernation, focusing our considerable attention on Twitter for the duration – mainly because nobody reads this blog, and because we’re not so self-important to think anybody would want to, anyway.

But, it does seem that a breath of fresh air has swept through Whitehall. The Cameron-Clegg coalition actually does appear to show promise – and not just promise that is carefully engineered to appear hopeful.  We think it actually is hopeful, and reasonably so.

It does seem to go beyond spin.  We asked Paul Waugh of the Evening Standard whether he thought the CamClegg relationship reflected chemistry or tension. Waugh replied almost immediately – chemistry.

As we await the emergency budget – on June 22 – and watch as CamClegg continue to fulfill the hopes and dreams of a nation battered by intrusive, incompetent and arbitrary government, we do so with a sense of expectation, and hope.

“Britain is once again open for business” were the closing remarks from the Chancellor, this evening.  It implies, of course, that Britain was closed for business.  Indeed, it was.

Following the massive fiscal cockups of the Labour regime for the past 13 years, and the consequences that will be felt from those for years to come, let’s hope George can pull off a hat-trick.

If any government could do it, based on the momentum they appear to be continuing to build, this one can.  Boo to Nanny.  Go team.

p.s. We know the blog header needs to be changed, now.

Dave hits a homer

In David Cameron, the conservatives on April 27, 2010 at 21:19

We’re not the sort of people that use profanity in public all that often, but today it seems quite appropriate.

Dave’s speech today, on ‘mending our broken society’ was a fuckin’ home run.  Way to go, Dave.  Keep it moving, now.

(Apart from the Barak Obama bit. No, we don’t hate him because he’s black, or because he’s American. We hate him because he duped an entire country out of realising he’s basically an idiot.  Though perhaps that in itself is worthy of compliment.)

Here it is, in its entirety:

Brooke Kinsella is here today because one night, nearly two years ago now, her brother Ben had his life taken from him in the most violent and tragic way.

Just a few months before his death, Ben had written a creative writing piece for his English GCSE, imagining what it would be like to be killed by a knife.

With Brooke’s permission, I’m going to read some of it out.

“Everything feels cold. Numbness persists. As I stare up at my killer-to-be he feels not the slightest measure of remorse at what he has just committed. Instead his dark smile sickens me in ways I couldn’t imagine.”

It is heartbreaking beyond belief that while out celebrating the end of those GCSEs, Ben’s vision of his own death became true.

Ben Kinsella has been added to a long list of victims who are now household names.

Rhys Jones. Gary Newlove. Sukhwinder Singh. Damilola Taylor. Jimmy Mizen.

And there’s a name you might not know.

Sofyen Belamouadden.

He was the boy who was chased into Victoria Station by a gang of school children and stabbed in front of crowds of commuters.

Just think about that.

It was about twenty past five in the afternoon, when people were making their way home, thinking about where they’d go out that night or what they’d have for dinner – when a boy lay bleeding and dying on the floor of the busy station.

Let me say that again: this happened at rush hour.

And he was a boy – not a youth, not a thug, not a faceless member of a gang – but a boy who loved playing football with Acton Garden Village Youth Sunday league team,  who had talent and a future until that day in Victoria Station.

In the week after his death some flowers appeared there on the floor of the station, some lovely bright yellow daffodils that someone had laid there, but the bustle of the station soon swallowed up the shock of what had happened.

And that’s why I’m here – and why Brooke is here – today.

There’s a danger that we as a society can slowly become immune to events like this.

Each time the shock is a little bit slighter, a little bit quicker to pass.

And as our sensitivity gets coarsened, we get a step further away from what it is to be civilised.

So I think it is time to be honest about what has been happening in our country.

There has always been violence.

There has always been evil.

But there is something about the frequency of these crimes – the depravity of these crimes, that betrays a deep and fundamental problem in Britain today.

As I have argued for many years now, these acts of murder and abuse are just the most violent and horrific expressions of what I have called the broken society.

I know I’ve been criticised for saying our society is broken and I know I will be again.

But I am saying this as I see it.

When you see schools that have metal detectors at their entrance.

When you see fire engines called out on a hoax only to be pelted with bricks.

When you see people with disabilities abused on the streets because they are in a wheelchair.

When you see people take their lives because they’ve become so overwhelmed by out-of-control debt and they can’t bear to tell their family.

When you see addicts whose only daily event is the queue to get some methadone to take the edge off life for a little bit.

When you see those who have never worked, who have no shape to their day or structure to their life and the grim grind of hopelessness is there in their eyes, your inner voice says – something is fundamentally not right here.

Something is broken. Society is broken.

The broken society is not one thing alone.

It is not just the crime.

It is a whole stew of violence, anti-social behaviour, debt, addiction, family breakdown, educational failure, poverty and despair.

This is life – or the backdrop of life – for millions of people in this country.

So how should we respond?

The first response – the human response – is to feel unutterably sad at so much waste.

Wasted hopes. Wasted potential. Wasted lives.

But sadness and anger aren’t going to change anything on their own.

Mending the broken society needs head as well as heart.

It requires us to have an understanding of what has gone wrong as well as a clear approach to putting things right.

MY ARGUMENT

And my argument today is this.

We have arrived at this point in our society for a number of reasons, many completely divorced from politics and what government does.

But I am certain that government is a big part of the problem – its size has now reached a point where it is actually making our social problems worse.

That’s because by trying to do too much, it has drained the lifeblood of a strong society – personal and social responsibility.

And the biggest victims are those at the bottom, who suffer most when crime rises and educational standards fall.

They are the victims of state failure. They are the victims of big government.

There is, I believe, only one way out of this national crisis – and that is what I have called the Big Society.

A society where we see social responsibility, not state control, as the principal driving force for social progress.

A society where we come together, and work together, to solve problems.

A society where we remember every day that we’re all in this together.

And today, I want to make the case for the values that should drive the creation of the Big Society – and the policy agenda that flows from those values.

It requires, I believe, drawing on the deepest values of Conservatism, giving power to people not the state, strengthening families, encouraging responsibility, common sense and rigour, and applying these values to the key aims of improving the lives of people in our country – especially the very poorest.

Progressive ends. Conservative means.

That’s the guiding philosophy of any future Conservative government.

I want to explain why this particular combination – progressive and conservative – is the way to tackle the problems that have defeated policymakers for decades.

The approach we offer is profoundly different to what any government has done before.

It ranges from the more conventional means such as improving policing and schooling, to the politically more difficult things like supporting families and backing commitment.

I believe we have the right weapons in our armoury to be the ones who finally confront social breakdown – and start winning the battle.

And today, I want to set out the key elements of this pioneering approach – the progressive conservative approach – to mending our broken society and building the Big Society.

BIG GOVERNMENT

The process of mending our broken society must begin with an understanding of what has gone wrong.

There are the concrete characteristics of our broken society – the violent crime, teenage pregnancy, drug and alcohol addiction, family breakdown, debt, worklessness, inequality – which have been bad for decades.

And there is the less tangible feeling, that we have been slowly losing the value of responsibility in our society…

…a sense that more and more people are less concerned about their responsibility to themselves, their duty to their family, their obligation to their community.

This is something we can trace back to cultural changes and shocks that have been going on for decades at least.

So I’m not going to pretend that the broken society was born under this Labour government.

But I do believe that, after thirteen years, it is reasonable for us to evaluate Labour’s effectiveness in dealing with our biggest social problems.

Because the evidence – as well as our instincts – shows that our social problems are getting worse, not better.

The poorest are getting poorer.

Social mobility has stalled.

Teenage pregnancy is the worst in Western Europe.

Levels of family breakdown are some of the highest in Europe.

Violent against the person has risen since Labour came to power.

Drug offences are up seventy percent.

There are now 10,000 incidents of anti-social behaviour every day.

And one in six children now grow up in a home where no one works.

These are astonishing statistics.

And what makes them more astonishing is that, for the past decade, the state has been hyperactive in its attempts to deal with these problems.

It has pumped record amounts of money in, passed record numbers of laws, and collected and stored record amounts of information about its citizens in its growing number of databases.

But the interesting thing is not simply that the state has failed – more, it’s why the state has failed.

I believe part of the reason is because the state – monolithic, inhuman, clumsy, distant – more often than not only treats the symptoms of our social problems, not their causes.

So for instance, its main response to rising severe poverty is more and more redistribution, with means-tested benefits and tax credits, and its main response to crime is passing another law or criminal justice act.

Let me make clear: we will keep tax credits.

But this approach, in which big government deals only with symptoms of our social problems, is nearing the limits of its effectiveness – to put it mildly.

It is time to ask some searching questions.

How many more tax credits do we keep funding before we finally ask ourselves: just what is keeping people in poverty?

How many more laws do we pass before finally we ask ourselves: just why is it that people are turning to crime?

And there’s another, connected, reason why the state is making things worse, not better.

As it has continued to expand, becoming bigger, more dictatorial, more intrusive, it has taken away from people the belief and desire to do things for themselves, for their families and for their neighbours.

So there is less expectation to work, to use your discretion and judgement, to engage with your local community, to keep your neighbourhood clean, to respect other people and their property.

Today, the state is ever present: either doing things for you, or telling you how to do them, or making sure you’re doing it their way.

We see this starkly when it comes to the fight against crime.

Police performance indicators were introduced as a means of measuring the effectiveness of different police forces.

They take into account things like the number of crimes each force detects and clears up, and bonuses can be awarded accordingly.

It sounds like a good idea.

But in reality, it completely undermines the discretion of each and every officer, encouraging them to pursue those cases that will get easy convictions, to classify as crimes things that they previously would have dealt with informally, and, most substantively, to ignore those offences where it will be difficult to get a conviction – like a lot of anti-social behaviour cases.

It is the law of unintended consequences, one we see time and again from Labour’s approach to our public services – in schools, in hospitals, in social services.

Indeed, right across our national life people’s instinct to do the right and responsible thing is neutered or even discouraged by big government.

Some parents are better off if they live apart rather than live together.

Head teachers who want to restore discipline in the classroom are overruled.

Local residents who want to get involved with their local community, giving young children something to do in their holidays, have to go through the rigmarole of vetting and inspection.

This is the moral failure of Labour’s big government approach.

When our police officers, those who are there to protect us, are encouraged to steer clear of the most difficult cases, when parents can be rewarded for splitting up, when professionals are told to follow rules rather than do what they think is best, when the kind-hearted are discouraged from doing good in their community, is it any wonder our society is broken?

PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATISM

We need to move from big government to the Big Society – a society with personal and collective responsibility right at its heart.

To set off on this new course, we will be guided by the philosophy of progressive conservatism.

Progressive – because if the Big Society exists for any reason, it must be to help the most disadvantaged in our country and seek to create a more united and equal place for us all.

But Conservative too – because we need to draw upon historic values of conservatism, discipline, responsibility, a deep faith in mankind and womankind, a respect for traditional institutions, such as family, church, community and country, and an appreciation of the limitations of the state.

Progressive conservatism is a modern philosophy that is right for an age in which debate is being widened and power is being diffused.

That is why it is such a powerful idea, one that should be unleashed to tackle our biggest problems.

It is an idea whose time has come.

And it reflects age-old truths.

In fact, it was perhaps the most famous liberal politician in British history, William Gladstone, who best summed up what I believe a government should do.

‘It is the duty of government to make it difficult for people to do wrong, easy to do right,’ he said.

Gladstone was, of course, a classic liberal.

But he also understood the power of traditional values.

And in these 19 words, he perfectly defined the ideal for government.

One that frees up people to do good, but is not scared to confront them when they are bad.

PEOPLE POWER

So how are we going to do it?

The defining characteristic of the modern Conservative approach is found in the phrase power to the people.

This is not just a slogan.

It is a radical blueprint for redrawing society based on a belief that the best ideas come from the ground up, not the top down.

On a faith that people can come together to make life better.

And on the simple idea that we must give innovators and the idealists the opportunity to deal with our most pressing problems.

So we will improve state schools by inviting in anyone with the ideals and inspiration to create a new school so that every child has the chance of a good education.

We will invite charities, church groups, businesses and social entrepreneurs into our public services to crack the dependency culture and get people off drugs and welfare and into work.

And when it comes to fighting crime, who do you think is best placed to make our streets safe?

Politicians issuing diktats in Westminster, civil servants pushing pens in Whitehall, or communities who know where the cars are broken into, the street lighting doesn’t work, the drunken fights break out and the local gangs gather?

That’s why we will give local people much greater control over local policing, with elected police commissioners and beat meetings to discuss local priorities and to raise local issues.

And we won’t stop there – we will go further and faster in building the Big Society.

Let’s give new powers to people to keep local pubs open, stop post offices from closing, to run their local parks, to help decide on planning decisions that affect their lives, to spend the profits from developments on local playgrounds and youth facilities.

Let’s give people the chance to take control of their lives and of their communities – and help make life better.

In almost every area, we will bypass the politicians and bureaucrats in Whitehall and hand control directly over to individuals, to communities and to local civic institutions.

With government giving them the support and power they need, they will help mend our broken society and build the Big Society in its place.

RESPONSIBILITY

This return of power to the people will be complemented by the second method through which Conservative means will deliver progressive ends – an emphasis on responsibility.

Personal responsibility. Social responsibility.

The right balance between liberalism and conservatism.

Trusting the individual, but demanding a commitment to society in return.

This will be the core of every policy: if it encourages irresponsibility we shouldn’t do it and if it encourages responsibility we should do it.

So we will say to head teachers – you do what you think is right to impose discipline and order in your school.

But parents will be free to judge you on your results.

We will say to those on welfare – if you can work we will do everything possible to help you get a job.

But refuse to work and we will cut your dole.

We will say to criminals – if you commit a crime you won’t get early release because if you commit a crime you should be properly punished.

But we will do everything we can to help you stop reoffending.

And we will say to the young – spend two months on National Citizen Service, working and living with people from different parts of society, and you will emerge a better and stronger person.

Above all, we will be the most family-friendly Government you’ve ever seen in this country, because I believe that the family is the crucible of responsibility.

Strong families lead to strong societies. It’s as simple as that.

So whether it is flexible work, flexible paternity and maternity leave, Sure Start or recognising marriage in the tax system, we are on the side of the family.

But in return, our plans also include giving parents greater legal responsibility for the actions of their children if they commit anti-social behaviour.

We are going to do all that we can to support every family – and every kind of family.

After all, show me the boy smashing up a bus stop, and I’ll show you a boy who feels worthless.

And show me an inmate doing time for a violent crime, and I’ll show you the man who never knew the love of his father.

So many of our biggest problems start and end with the family – and there can be little progress until we recognise this.

COMMON SENSE AND RIGOUR

But as well as people power and encouraging responsibility, we need something else.

We need to bring some Conservative common sense and rigour to our social problems.

Such simple words to use, but all too absent from our politics in recent years.

Common sense and rigour are part of our core beliefs as Conservatives.

And we’re going to bring them to government.

So we will cut back the bureaucracy imposed on the police, and free our officers to provide the sort of high visibility, zero-tolerance, beat-based policing that communities really want.

We will untangle the giant knot of health and safety rules and regulations which prevent so many people from engaging with their local community or volunteering to help children.

And we will insist on rigour at the heart of the curriculum in our schools.

No longer will so many children leave primary school unable to read and write, or leave secondary school with no sense of our island story. And no longer will we put up with an exam system that tests credibility rather than pupils.

Indeed, what sort of country have we become in which authors are not allowed to go into our schools and inspire children with a love of books without first going through criminal vetting?

And let me tell you something else:

I never again want to hear of a hospital that is so obsessed with meeting government targets that it allows patients to go unwashed and unfed.

And this approach, based upon common sense and rigour, must start at the top – with the way politicians spend taxpayers’ money.

This year Labour are spending more on debt interest than on our schools. That makes no sense whatsoever.

So we need to act fast to cut our debts – to protect our frontline services.

There is nothing progressive about piling taxes like the jobs tax on working people and firms trying to keep their heads above water.

There is nothing progressive about putting people out of work.

For every pound wasted on a public sector fat cat, a bloated quango, a computer programme that never works, that is a pound less to spend on our schools, our hospitals, our police forces and our social services.

So we won’t wait to slice out the waste.

If we win the election on May 6, we will start rooting it out on May 7.

CONCLUSION

So this, in a nutshell, is how we will set out to rebuild the broken society.

Harnessing the strength of conservative values to the power of progressive ideals.

The progressive aims of a fair society, opportunity for all, a safer place to live, delivered through the conservative means of giving power back to the people, social responsibility and common sense and rigour.

With a government focused on making life difficult for wrong-doers, and easy for those that want to do right by themselves, their family and their neighbourhood.

Gladstone’s ideal for government. Put into practice by modern, progressive Conservatives.

Only in this way will we liberate people to strengthen their families, rebuild their communities and create a better country.

Only in this way will we start to reclaim our streets from the menace of crime and to ensure all of our schools offer children the same chances in life.

To ensure that our public services serve the public and that our politicians are servants of the people, not their masters.

Inspired by the Big Society, not crushed by the effects of big government.

Based on hope, optimism and faith in each other.

Not rules, regulations and fear of each other.

This is what Barack Obama called the audacity of hope.

Now it is our turn to dare to believe that we can change our world.

Together. All of us.

So let’s do it.”

Telegraph’s friendly fire fuels Clegg campaign

In David Cameron, editorial, ge2010, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg, the conservatives, The Great Debate on April 23, 2010 at 09:55

With great thanks to The Daily Telegraph, Nick Clegg got just the boost in exposure he needed to come very close to clinching the second of the leadership debates in Bristol, last night.

We were left puzzled over why the Telegraph decided to run with the story they did, yesterday, mainly because there really isn’t much of a story there at all.  It was intended to – evidently – depict Clegg as just another one of the boys.  It back-fired though into a massive crash as Clegg looked – once again – more the victim and outsider to traditional ‘jobs-for-the-boys’  politics, surging ahead in many polls following the debate.

The Lib-Dems played the scandal perfectly, not giving it the purchase that was intended by simply brushing it off as nonsense and by not reacting in any substantive way at all, really.  It was a master stroke by the Clegg handlers and an inspired bit of public relations.

What it will mean for the Tories is yet to be seen, with Cameron coming across much stronger last night – though still falling short of the target of ‘knock-out punches’ in the Sky debate.

Dave does seem to be loosening up a bit, but the Tories need to concentrate on letting him be himself as the election looms ever closer.  PR is about taking calculated risks, and so far the Tories seem – with a few exceptions – reluctant to do this, opting instead to stay in the safe, calmer waters of generalization and vagueness.

All is not lost, though, as Cameron has proven himself more than capable of serious political discourse in the past.

We think he needs to 1) stop assuming the electorate to be incapable of grasping complex political concepts, 2) open up all the stops on the console of the Cameron organ – let fly, be passionate, take the risks, 3) hammer away at the Lib-Dems and Labour – concentrate on policy, not personality.  The electorate is much more intelligent and informed than – we think – any of the leaders appear to believe.

Bring it home, Dave.  We know you can do it.  The question is, do you?

Labour “proud of [their] record on civil liberties”

In David Cameron, Europe, ge2010, Gordon Brown, Nick Clegg on April 17, 2010 at 10:02

The government that brought in more than 3600 new criminal laws (that’s about one new law for every day they’ve been in power), put CCTV on every street corner, abused NHS databases for their own gain, and wants to fingerprint our children without our permission now says that they are defenders of civil liberty.

This leaves us with one question: Where is this bizarro planet of which they speak, and how can we destroy it?

Dylan Sharpe, of Big Brother Watch has written an important article outlining where the “Big Three” stand on matters of civil liberties and the surveillance state, which is well worth a read.

Big Brother Watch have also published a manifesto, drawing on their considerable background in the defense of liberty that addresses some points key to upholding civil liberties in the United Kingdom.

It is important, they say, not to be lulled into complacency by either the Tories or the Lib-Dems, simply because of their stand on the bloated Nanny State.

It is a common theme in the fight for liberty, privacy and freedom; but strong words spoken outside Whitehall often get muffled once the party in question finds itself in government with the bread-and-butter issues of economy, schools and health to deal with. The general opposition from the Tories and Lib Dems to large state databases should be praised; but neither party makes any effort to put forward a timetable for their removal or explain, where necessary, what form the replacement system will take.

After the National Identity Register and DNA database, the most intrusive elements of surveillance faced by the British public come from the intercept modernisation programme – the plan to store and monitor our phone calls and emails – and the automatic numberplate recognition (ANPR) camera network – which tracks around 14 million drivers each day. The opposition parties only make fleeting references to the former and no reference to the latter in their manifestos.

The economy, immigration, and the whole lot of other platforms on which the parties are campaigning are very important.  But, we – like Big Brother Watch – believe that even more important is the insidious encroachment of Labour’s bedroom eyes into our lives.

Govern yourselves accordingly.

Tories promise crackdown on police abuse of civil liberties

In Chris Grayling, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, the conservatives, the labour party on April 15, 2010 at 13:49

Posted via iPhone so don’t write me to bitch about the formatting. 😉

Massive increase in police use of terrorism stop and search

Thu, 15 Apr 2010 11:42:00 GMT

Chris Grayling reacts to new Home Office figures revealing a huge increase in the number of people being stopped and searched by the police as potential terrorists.

Many people, particularly amateur photographers, have said that the Government has allowed the police to misuse counter-terror powers to target innocent tourists and bystanders.

“Gordon Brown and Labour have trampled our civil liberties for far too long”, said Grayling.

“Whether they’re trying to impose ID cards, or allowing hundreds of thousands of innocent people to be stopped and searched under Terrorism powers, they always seem to think the state knows best”.

Figures show:

The number of people stopped and searched increased by 66 per cent between 2007/8 and 2008/9, the most recent year for which figures have been released.
210,000 people were stopped and searched in 2008/9 under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
Yet only nine people were arrested for terrorism offences. That is 0.004 per cent of those who were stopped and searched under Section 44.
There has been a huge increase in the use of the powers in the last few years. In 2006/7, the year after the 7/7 bombings, only 42,800 people were stopped and searched.
“We can’t go on like this”, added Grayling. “Conservatives will end the abuse of stop and search powers as part of a full review of all Labour’s counter-terrorism laws”.

Dave hammers it home

In David Cameron, the conservatives on April 13, 2010 at 07:59

We sat up late last night thinking that what Cameron needed was an “I have a dream” moment.  Our opinion is that his Times article this morning will prove to be a firm foundation for that moment.  Like Martin Luther King, Cameron foresees a day dawning free from the tyranny and corruption of the political class.  A day that removes power from the hands of a cynical select few and places it firmly back into the hands of the many, which is – after all – where it properly belongs.

At every level, we will take power away from politicians and bureaucrats and hand it back to individuals, families and communities. We will use modern technology to empower people, because we are from a generation that is comfortable with openness and accountability. And if we succeed, if we can change the way this country is run and harness the strength of the people, then we really can make things better. For all of us. We can have a better government, with less wasted money and a more contented country.

The world is changing fast. We cannot afford to be stuck in the past, with a government wedded to the failed old ideas of command and control. We have changed our party. Now we want to change the country — with your help.

As we await analysis of the Tory manifesto, today, we are mindful that the days that we – like Aesop – say that “we hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to office” may very well be coming to an end.  At least, we hope so.

Yvette Cooper ignores constituents

In David Cameron, Gordon Brown, the conservatives, the labour party on April 6, 2010 at 08:55

Yvette Cooper, wife of Ed Balls, has been derelict of her duty to the electorate in her West Yorkshire riding, a recent Conservative article shows.

In an article appearing on the Conservative Blue Blog this morning, Nick Pickles, the Tory candidate for the riding had this to say:

In taking on Yvette Cooper in her existing constituency and parts of the seat currently occupied by her husband, Ed Balls, I have been shocked by the apathy towards politics that they have fostered. Life-long Labour voters, not to mention people like me, have seen letters, e-mails and phone calls go unanswered and pleas for help ignored. Their photographs may regularly appear on the pages of the local newspaper, but their detachment from the communities they were elected to serve is all too clear.

Further to her apparent lack of interest in correspondance, Pickles points to things like bridges that don’t lead anywhere and playgrounds littered with dangerous glass, that hasn’t been cleaned up.

The problems aren’t just limited to this constituency, either, says Pickles.

On the doorstep, you hear tales of how people working forty-hours plus weeks live alongside people just as well off on benefits, while others are desperate to work but are penalised by a complex and regressive tax credits regime.

Labour have betrayed the trust of working class people and it is the Conservatives offering a vision of a Britain built on work, responsibility and community.

All across the country, you find the same apathy from Labour and distrust from the voter.  People are ready for, and badly want, change.  The Tories, says Pickles, are the party to bring trust back to the voters, and action back to Parliament.

These are the values communities across West Yorkshire are built on and why I believe on election night you’ll see a large swathe of Labour’s heartland turning blue.

Grayling under fire, still

In Chris Grayling, David Cameron, editorial, the conservatives on April 5, 2010 at 21:58

Chris Grayling, the shadow home secretary, continues to come under fire in the media over comments he made to an undercover reporter.

The Telegraph is reporting that Conservative support in the gay community has tanked, after Mr. Grayling told an undercover reporter his personal views on the rights of Bed and Breakfast owners.

Chris Grayling, the shadow Home secretary, was under fire at the weekend after it emerged that he had said bed and breakfasts run by Christians should be allowed to turn away gay couples because of their sexuality.

Let’s just step back here for a minute, shall we?

First, we’ve heard the conversation.  Mr. Grayling was quite clear that what he was expressing were his personal opinions on what B&B owners should and should not be allowed to do in the course of carrying out business.  He was clearly not speaking on behalf of the government.  Grayling voted in favour of the legislation that would legally require B&B owners to accept gay people at their door, and has supported gay rights, publicly.

He was speaking as an individual, not as a government official.

Second, the poll in question was put to readers of Pink.co.uk, a website geared toward gay and lesbian people.  Asking the question the website did is no more meaningful than posting a poll on the Labour website asking if readers supported David Cameron, and then declaring a Labour surge based on the results.  This is why we have independent pollsters.

It is not objective, and does not reflect a reasonable sample of subjects.  It is, therefore, meaningless to ominously trot it out in the hope of causing dissent within the Conservative Party and their supporters.

Third, we are talking about a person’s private home.  In the context of the debate, Grayling was not responding to a question about hotels, Pubs, motorway services, or any other public area.

It amounts to cheap shots, from a cheap reporter.  Leave the jabs and gaffes to the people who do it best, and are expected to; bloggers and politicians.

King’s Fund economist calls Tory Cancer Drugs plan “sleight of hand”

In Cancer Drugs, David Cameron, Gordon Brown, key indicators, Taxation, the conservatives, the labour party, The NHS on April 5, 2010 at 15:06

From the Times of London

“It’s a sleight of hand to say the least because the money isn’t there to be saved yet, so the money will have to come out of existing budgets.”

His criticism was seized on by Labour because it goes to the heart of criticisms about Mr Osborne’s plans for national insurance contributions — that they are uncosted and would threaten frontline services.

But wait a minute.  Didn’t the Tories already say they would pay for it by dropping Labour’s planned NI increase?  Besides, most potential savings are academic, right now.  A very odd argument, indeed.

Anyway, haven’t we already seen that NICE isn’t so nice, after all? Wringing hands and twittling fingers is hardly what one would call getting the job done.

Some unusual childhood cancers respond well to medicines designed for other cancers, but patients are denied the drugs on the NHS because they have not been officially approved for their specific condition.

After all, if universal health care is only available to the healthiest in our society, what’s the point in having it anyway?  On Labour’s view, British citizens are effectively participating in nationally assisted suicide.

As the shadow health secretary says, no taxation without representation:

Our view is that paying tax should be the equivalent of having comprehensive health insurance. We should not have these arbitrary exclusions on cost grounds.

Voting Labour means more debt for the country, and a stack of dead bodies courtesy of NICE and the NHS, with Gordon Brown at the hearse wheel.

Cameron will fix “political system mired in sleaze”

In David Cameron, news, the conservatives on April 4, 2010 at 19:18

David Cameron has laid out his credo in the run-up to the general election.

Likely to be called on Tuesday, when Prime Minister Gordon Brown asksQueen Elizabeth to dissolve Parliament, the campaigning was kicked off last week with a Chancellors debate.

In his article for The Saturday Telegraph, titled “My credo for my country”, Mr. Cameron comes flying out of the gates, and quickly outlines his intentions for Great Britain.

…we confront the legacy of Gordon Brown: our economy wracked by debt, our social fabric torn apart and the political system mired in sleaze. It is fortunate that I am an optimist as I survey the devastation and waste caused by his time in power. And I know we have the policies and ambition to get the country moving and to remould it for the age.

You can get the whole story, here.