Sunday, October 11, 2009

J'Accuse Dave: "Me Too" Speech Built on Sham and Misdirection

The generally genial Tim Montgomerie of Lord Ashcroft's Conservative Home - who was personally at it with some fairly robust ad hominem and triumphalist tweeting yesterday alongside the @nadinedorriesmp aka #GoNads, @torybear, @toryradio, @theredbox and others - is today claiming that Labour rather than the Cons is the Nasty Party.

Truth is we all have our moments in terms of the cut and thrust. But the Tories, genial and polite or otherwise, are in LOL's view nasty in terms of their social views, economic tenets, world view, and utter unremitting selfishness.

Timbo's arguments look pretty thin. It's as if he been taking logic and evidence lessons from that bastion of good sense and everybody's chum Nadine Dorries MP. Not himself at all. Way off form.

The piece is illustrated with the determinedly non-personality-politics illustration reproduced above and right. Here is my second response, tweaked with web links and the odd extra, building on a bit of a rant from someone rightly pointing out that Cameron's #conman09 speech was all snake oil, smoke and mirrors, feelgood quackery, feelbad misery, and utterly bogus anecdote upon utterly bogus misdirection:

The use of Mr Viv Williams was quite extraordinary. According to this Wales Online report Mr Williams (58) had a note from one doctor grounding him - he had already had THREE HEART ATTACKS to go with the twisted ankle that Cameron hobbled his clunking speech along on:

Last December doctors told him that as a man who has had three mild heart attacks and suffers from blood pressure problems, diabetes, asthma and gout, he should be on sickness benefit.
He said: “I just took that as the norm because I’ve always worked with it and carried on. I didn’t see it as grounds for me to claim disability, but when I saw the doctor he said, ‘You’ve got these things, they’re for life and they’re getting worse’.”

So, er, Mr Charisma, it wasn't the twisted ankle that scuppered his job seeking? Mr Williams actually had FIVE pretty serious limiting health conditions. What a lying, using bastard you are Mr Cameron. And there's a twist:

Weeks later another medic told Mr Williams he was fit to work, before the former businessman mounted an appeal in order to get the full rate of the benefit.
The father-of-three now receives £176 a fortnight in incapacity benefit, but hopes to get this bumped up to the full rate of £230.

So far from being an example of a fit and healthy individual desperate to work but thwarted from doing so it turns out Mr Williams' mission in life at the moment appears to be maxxing his IB, not getting a job.

Strange isn't it that the "sick note" reflecting his three heart attacks, his limiting diabetes and three other conditions, and so on and so forth apparently trumped the "fit note". Conservatives should be ashamed of this kind of sloppy or very likely cynical anecdotery. And why aren't the national Mass Media finding this material and questioning Mr Cameron's judgement, research, gullibility, cynicism and/or honesty?

And don't get me started on the Pilkington/Hardwick immolation story. Cameron's party political use of this tragedy was arguably far worse than wheeling out the terminally confused Mr Williams on the basis of an email. Oh, go on then.

A woolly Barwell Parish Council. Lib Dem ward councillors times three (Barwell ward, Cllr Sandra Franks, Cllr Dr Moore, Cllr David Gould) in Tory run borough council Hinckley and Bosworth who do claim to have helped, this within Tory run County Council (Leicestershire), word document, and this all feeding in to a Tory dominated Police Authority, Chair and Vice Chair are Tories (Byron Rhodes, and Barrie Roper). LPA statement.

Obviously those Lib Dem councillors and that Tory borough and county council and the police force they control have been given powers that could have brought ASBOs and dispersal orders and other instruments to bear. But they did not. They really don't seem to buy into these powers. Follow the links and you may find a letter being written to the odd parent or two. But clearly these Tory politicians, in real life, as opposed to the "me too" Tory sophistry, did not protect Mrs Pilkington and Ms Hardwick.

Obviously all these Tories and Lib Dems have more police at their disposal and also PCSOs, better police infrastructure, and at least some growth in care and support for vulnerable adults. But I am not actually going to be blaming anyone. There has been a thorough enquiry. All concerned need to review their practices and move on.

But I do find it absolutely extraordinary - actually extremely weak and rather callous - that this feelgood charismatic quack Cameron brings up this case, this anecdote to illustrate supposed broken society in a Party Political attack. Don't you?

When we actually know our safety nets are better, more people have been working, there is better childcare, better schools, better health service, there are more police and better powers for those police and for local authorities with the guts and imagination to make use of them.

Guido Fawkes and other supporters of the Tory cause have spent the last couple of years in an extraordinarily nasty serious of personal attacks on Gordon Brown. Disowning this now will not wash. It really has been horrific. Tories who CANNOT win on policy, are playing the man instead. Including yesterday.


Anonymous said...

The Viv Williams information is really interesting.

I fully anticipated that the Pilkington Case would be used by the Conservatives.

They will always be on the lookout for any sensational case that appears to point to "failure of the state".

I call it the Andy Coulson Strategy

We could do with someone compiling a dosier of the worst use of sensational, personal and not entirely truthful stories - with the background material.

The King of Wrong said...

Nice attempt to smear Viv Williams and, by association, David Cameron... shame it shows just how out of touch you are.

Yes, Mr Williams is unwell. He probably shouldn't be running marathons or doing a job involving lots of standing or physical activity. He does have years of experience, though, and sounds like he can do light/office work.

Isn't that better than being paid to stay at home, stuffing his face with pies while watching the Jeremy Kyle show? Or drinking himself to death in his local?

He seems to think so, but has been told that he can't, he has to suck on the state's teet for the rest of his life because he's worthless and incapable of taking responsibility for his own life.

Welcome to New Labour's world.

(As for ASBOs, try asking Neville Chamberlain how useful pieces of paper are...)

Chris Paul said...

Yes Diana, good call.

No, King of Wrong, I am NOT attempting to smear Mr Viv Williams. It is David "Charisma" Cameron who has taken the case of a man with FIVE, count 'em, limiting health conditions, throughly signed off from work and (rightly I think) trying to max his Invalidity support.

He has paid in for 40+ years and deserves a rest. If he can find some sensible light work than yes, why not? But Cameron has attempted to smear the government by stating bold as brass that a healthy man was put on the scrap heap because he had a twisted ankle.

Utter Bullingdon bullshit. Williams is a geezer. Davey is a sleazer.

The King of Wrong said...

Chris: he has been put on the scrap heap, against his will. Whether or not the dole office rejected him because of a limp or because of a doctor's note is something I can't say: I wasn't there, you weren't there, and David Cameron wasn't there. No matter what, he was turned away and is clearly unhappy about it to have written the letter.

I think you'll find that asthma, blood pressure (high, or low) and diabetes can all be controlled quite satisfactorily with drugs. Gout (or similarly arthritis), well, if it flares up it's painful, but doesn't tend to stop people.

Sure, with that list, and at that age, a lot of people would give up. I don't blame them. As you say, after decades of work they deserve a rest if they want it.

However, to be forcibly retired is incredibly traumatic to some personality types (if I were being facetious, I'd describe it as "a work ethic"). It's often a death sentence.

But here we are and the state knows best, so we must obey the state.

Matthew Stiles said...

What is also strange is that surely there is nothing that the dole office can do to stop Mr Williams getting a job. Maybe he wouldn't have received much or any help from the job centre but they can't actually tell potential employers not to employ him can they?

This is a good post from Chris. The speech by Cameron only mentioned the twisted ankle "He'd twisted his ankle and walked in with a limp, so you know what they said? They told him he couldn't register for Job Seeker's Allowance because he wasn't fit to work so he'd have to go on incapacity benefit." Cameron has smeared the staff at the job centre it seems.