Thursday, August 30, 2007

Cameron's big ideas

Last night on Newsnight the Conservative leader David Cameron was being quizzed on his views and Conservative Party policy. Frankly it was a bit embarrassing to watch, even by the normally very poor performance standards of politicians in interviews. Now I've never been a Tory supporter, but when Cameron was chosen as their new leader it did seem a like a bit of a nice change from the previous couple of leaders (probably not as much of a change as if Kenneth Clarke had got in, but some change at least) with the prospect of a decent opposition party - ok, so Cameron was totally playing the Blair card, but he was trying to sound a bit caring. However, after having a bit of a battering in the last few months, and with Brown actually seeming to be quite popular, he's done the old appeal-to-the-Daily-Mail-reader change of heart by showing he is tough (and Tory) on crime, immigration and family breakdown - there's "anarchy on the streets of the UK" apparently! In the interview he was maintaining that his views have been consistent over his 18-19 months as leader, but even if they've not actually changed that much he's certainly changed emphasis a lot! His talk of having the most disadvantaged people as his main priority were particularly exposed when he was questioned about the Tories insistence on sorting out inheritance tax as a first goal, which would help the middle /upper classes most, so I wont complain, but would be of very little practical help to the poorest families. His talk of having £20 a week of extra benefits for married couples was also quite laughable - as if that's going to be an incentive for people to stay in broken relationships or encourage unmarried couples to wed! Then his talk of the Tories idea for green taxes was just stupid - he complained that under Labour such taxes would be implemented as stealth taxes, but the Conservatives would impose green taxes (e.g. an extra few quid on air travel) by dropping taxes in other areas i.e. you end up paying the same amount of taxes, but it is just shifted in name - is that really a disincentive to flying!?

My main thought was that David needs to do a hell of a lot better, especially if Brown calls a general election in the next couple of months.