Friday, October 17, 2008

Spluttering: Cameron 'Starts' the Conservative Fightback

Iain Dale thinks that it's a case Cameron Starts the Conservative Fightback with a speech to Bloombergians. Tosh! Horlicks!

Cameron is a snake-oil merchant.

Let's hone in on the blame game shall we? Did Cam explain how globally the Conservatives - as USA (for much of the time, if not entirely the last 20 months), Germany, Italy, France, Japan etc - are in the same damned global mess? And with less answers than Team GB.

If he cannot do that he might as well stay home. Trying to palm off blame on Brown will clearly not wash if Tories elsewhere have actually fared worse.

And Cam certainly needs to have some answers of his own. Perhaps he should make a study of the car park at Tonbridge BR? I certainly agree with commenters at Iain's who suggest that GOO should be sacked. He really ought to be history. He's useless.


Cassilis said...

I'm not going into bat for GOO - never rated him and agree he should be dropped.

But partisan interests aside there are questions for Brown here. Tory taunts can be dismissed for reasons of sincerity (they invented PFI, are anti-regulation etc.) but that’s a tactical reason why it’s not an immediate political danger to Brown, it doesn’t remotely answer any of the questions.

If the current crisis is a global many-fathered beast with multiple causes then so was the unprecedented growth & stability which proceeded it and Brown has to forgoe his oft-claimed credit for that if he also wants to escape a share of the blame for what’s happening now. Clinging to credit for the strong decade beforehand but then disavowing all responsibilty for what follows isn’t a sustainable position.

What's more all the rises in living standards, many-fold increases in public spending, huge school & hospital building programmes, spending aimed at addressing inequality and social justice - the financial foundations on which all of that is built are the same foundations which Brown now describes as flawed or irresponsible.

Brown’s defining political legacy was always said to be delivering a sound economy AND investing those huge sums in public services, squaring a circle small-state Conservatives always said couldn’t be squared. The events of recent weeks strengthen their case and weaken his surely…?

Chris Paul said...

Fair enough Liam. You make some good points. Will return in detail if I get the chance. Perhaps Brown would be better off saying something like:

"Governments the world over need to look at the last decade and beyond and consider if we might have done things differently."

"We must take collective responsibility - globally - as this happened on all our watches. Conservative, Liberal, Social Democrat, Communist, whatever, we all find ourselves in the same boat."

"But I must say I'm glad that Britain has the ideas and the energy and the optimism to get us all out of these unprecedented problems. And in the meantime, unlike some nations and the Tory past, we have also had phenomenal growth in the quality and quantity of education, health and so on in the public sector."

Cameron ought to be able to point to Conservative or small-state governments that have behaved the way his lot would be expected to have behaved and say "that's why they've escaped, and that's why we can say Brown's wrong".

But he cannot. And the roots of deregulation etc are of course older and deeper anyway. In some areas there has been some rowing back from Tory free and easy hasn't there?

And finally for now ... if we're all in the same boat to a very large extent AND we in GB have enjoyed unprecedented investment in good stuff - unlike world Tories - perhaps we have squared the circle as you put it. Not perfect, but better than the Tory experience?

Bit of a rushed head empty rather than a reasoned response, sorry. Perhaps later.

Chris Paul said...

PS On the growth and stability decade ... have the UK not fared better than most western economies in consistent growth and increasing prosperity? OK, no claim to the full benignity of the decade, but certainly a reasonable claim to the moments when it's gone better here than in comparators?