Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Conservative manifesto: Cameron pledges to give back power to people.

David Cameron will today launch his manifesto, a manifesto which leaves behind the usual Tory language of "rugged individualism", instead appearing to steal from the language one would normally associate with the Labour party.

"Britain will change for the better when we all elect to take part, to take responsibility – if we all come together," Cameron writes in the foreword. "Collective strength will overpower our problems."
And then there's this:
Plans for public sector co-ops: "Giving public sector workers ownership of the services they deliver is a powerful way to drive efficiency, so we will support co-operatives and mutualisation as a way of transferring public assets and revenue streams to public sector."
Again, and I will have to wait till I've read the thing before I can comment further, but I am struck by the fact that Cameron is concentrating on telling us about the way in which he will govern, rather than tell us what he intends to do once elected.

Brown yesterday revealed Labour's manifesto, offering the voters a stark choice: "the future will be progressive or conservative, but it will not be both".

In an effort to show its commitment to the poor, Labour made a series of pledges, including raising the national minimum wage, currently £5.80 an hour, at least in line with earnings to 2015. At present the minimum wage is linked to prices and the impact on employment, leading to a rise of only 13p this year.

The manifesto also sought to enshrine new rights for parents who want to change the running of their local schools, and new rights for patients seeking treatment on the NHS, including a guarantee of cancer test results within a week and a maximum wait of 18 weeks for specialist treatment. After that, private care would be offered.

On law and order, failing police forces could be taken over by successful neighbouring forces. The public would also be given a chance to have a say in what community sentences offenders would serve.

The manifesto also contained pledges not to raise income tax or national insurance, but was silent on VAT.

Again, one is struck be the fact that Labour are making specific promises about things like the minimum wage, whilst Cameron talks about the style of the government he will lead. Perhaps, when published, his manifesto will deal with specifics, but at the moment he is continuing with the vagueness which has defined his bid for the premiership.

Most UK voters expect Cameron to win, but there is little enthusiasm for such a prospect.

I heard one MP recently describe the situation. He said that, in Britain, there are only two kinds of elections. (1) It is time for change. (2) Keep the other lot out.

The problem about this election is that we are fighting both those battles simultaneously.


daveawayfromhome said...


This sounds suspiciously like a call for privatization of government service, which is a big GOP thing in America. It never saves any money, but does redirect it from good-paying government sector jobs to the pockets of "businessmen" who then pay lower wages to fewer people to do the same job as before.

Kel said...

I see what you mean, Dave. That's probably his plan...

Anyone who has ever seen the change to cleaning services in our hospitals since Thatcher privatised them, knows what a disaster lies down that road.

The amount of people coming down with MRSA since Thatcher did that is astonishing.