Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Dave Leads by Chasing Down a Bolted Bandwagon

The man widely tipped as the next Prime Minister has yet again shown his lack of 'leadership' by following Nick Clegg's attack on the Labour publicising Queen's speech that I gave an alternative for yesterday.

Mind you Cameron's posturing is also just that, he says "What we need is radicalism and the Conservatives have proved that we are the only party to possess it."His radicalism is aimed at conquering the recession, social problems and the political system.

However, look at some of that radicalism, on the national debt, they are revisiting the child credit on the highest paid, good so are the Lib Dems. Yet they are also looking to reward the highest paid with perks in inheritance tax. They are looking to freeze public sector pay, the Lib Dems have also promised that for the top end jobs. The conservatives have promised to do so for all but the lowest paid 1 million, that is all the public sector workers paid under £18,000. It may be radical but is hardly improving the lot of social problems, especially for the low paid public servants who have to work in London.

On our broken society Cameron admits that his triumvirate teenage pregnancy, addiction and crime won't be fixed overnight. Strange that he is attacking Labour of bringing things they won't have time to achieve by offering up an alternative that is also unachievable. However, they are saying that any suitably qualified organisation can set up a new school anywhere they wished. Those that mean Ronald McDonald or Disney High Schools, after all those these multinationals have educational programmes within their corporate structure, indeed for that matter so do most multi-nationals.

If these qualified organisations can set up a school anywhere they want, surely won't they be looking for where they may most benefit to the organisation? Surely these will not be set up where the new school is most needed. Yes Cameron then mentions his pupil premium to encourage schools to take on pupils from less advantaged backgrounds, but what if these new schools are getting set up too far away to be of use?

As for Parliamentary reform he says he will cut ministers’ salaries by 5 per cent, scrap the perks and subsidies of parliamentary life, reign in the quango state and give power to local government, communities, families and individuals.

Ok the first is in line with Public Service restructuring the Lib Dems have proposed. But just what does Cameron mean by the perks and subsidies of parliamentary life? How far reaching those that stretch into necessary expenses to ensure that being a Member of Parliament isn't just a job for the well off, as it was in the 19th century? We've already seen that some of their radical reforms will hurt aspirant MPs from less well off situations, potentially losing a level of representative and experience to the House.

Unlike Nick who yesterday gave a number of concrete proposals to make real change is giving power to the people Cameron is (as the Tories have so long) being vague of the specifics. You really must wonder just when anything concrete, and fair, will actually come from the Tories rather than homilies and aspirational words on this.

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