Saturday, May 09, 2009


Cameron’s Call For Change – Throw Out Those Tories!

Did you notice David Cameron’s election pitch this week? He called for “a message of change,” “a vote for change” and, just in case you missed the message, “it is time for change.” And, for once, Mr Cameron is quite right. We should throw out the party in power at next month’s elections – the ones who’ve let us down, who’ve not delivered, who are smug and arrogant and need sweeping away.

That’s the Conservative Party, who hold 19 of the 27 county councils up for election, and who are defending the largest number of MEPs going into the Euro-elections. Or is that not what he meant?

I want to throw out the Labour Party when it comes to the next General Election. But this isn’t it. Mr Cameron wants us to imagine we’re voting in that election, rather than have to defend his party’s record of slashing services and bad administration at local level and of splits and increasing irrelevance in Europe. Of course, for Mr Cameron this is a “change” election anyway – he’s marching his troops out of the biggest group in the European Parliament, where they’re in the mainstream of conservatives and have some influence, to a tiny group of racists, homophobes and other frothing extremists that no-one else will touch with a barge pole. Again, it’s no wonder he’s pretending to fight a completely different election, is it?

Look, I know that Mr Cameron’s used to ‘Let’s pretend’ politics – ‘Let’s pretend to have policies,’ ‘Let’s pretend we know where the money’s coming from,’ ‘Let’s pretend my party of unreconstructed Thatcherites and bigots are as fluffy and metrosexual as I am’ – but you can’t just pretend this is a different election. Because local councils and the European Parliament aren’t pretend levels of government – they have real powers, and make a real difference to people’s lives. So how about pretending we live in a democracy, and voting for constructive proposals, rather than pretending that elections for real things are made-up referendums?

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Very well said! You're on a roll.
Absolutely right, Alex. I was going to make a similar point earlier this week, but never got round to it. Cameron, and Nigel Farage from UKIP, is also pretending that this set of elections will somehow sweep Brown out of Downing Street, which is just fantasy. I just hope that our own campaign does actually focus on what's actually at stake in these elections. As I've pointed out on my own blog, though, our first PEB didn't say anything of any relevance to this particular set of elections.
Finally getting round to some replies via Richard's computer, while that's connecting to the Internet…

Thanks again, Paul, and to thanks Alex for the weekly gong nomination!

Thank you, Bernard, and I suspected someone would raise that ;-) At least Nick's first broadcast had positive proposals, and wasn't just saying 'let's pretend this has nothing to do with us and is only about that nasty Mr Brown'. I was very pleased, though, that last week's rather better broadcast focused on a local council's actions and on Europe. Even better, it did something I don't remember us doing in a PPB before – rather than just blandly picking out things we think people will like, Nick deliberately raised issues on Europe and crime that plenty of people will disagree with.

The only problem with it was that, in the middle of the expenses row, I doubt a single voter gave it any attention – right message, wrong timing…
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