I blogged last week first on Monday Cameron is losing it , then on Tuesday Yes, Dave IS losing it ! about how David Cameron appeared to be having a big wobble in his election campaign (and I also remember saying that William Hague’s words on Andrew Marr’s programme would come back to haunt him “He does not wobble. He’s not a man who wobbles. And nor do the rest of us sitting around him.”)
So was it a wobble – or the fore-runner of things to come ?
Well it seems DC and the Tories just can’t help walking into trouble – this morning a new inept poster campaign : Cameron launches “Never voted Tory before” campaign which the Tories are so convinced will be a devastating win for them, that they’re making it difficult for anyone to get access to high-res images of the posters.( No running scared there then eh ? ). I guess someone over at www.mydavidcameron.com will sort that out. ( I’ve never voted Tory… )
Just how badly can they run an election campaign ? Do they never learn ? Well I hope not – this is another absolute gift to Labour.
And then adding stupidity to incompetence we also get the announcement that David Cameron wants to give all public employees the right to set up co-operatives to run the services. Well this didn’t go down well last time Divi Dave (see this Facebook group Is Divi Dave the poshest pioneer ? – set up in 2007) and it won’t this time. If you want to find out about co-operatives David, I suggest you join The Co-operative Party.
All this flailing around wildly throwing “killer” blows against the Labour Party, does sort of remind me of that other titanic struggle – the Rumble in the Jungle. Younger readers may not recall that this was a boxing match between Muhammed Ali, and the younger, supposedly more powerful George Foreman who rained in blow after blow against Ali – before Ali moved his hands from his face – somewhere around Round 7 – to announce “You’re not hurting me !”, and then proceeded to knock out the exhausted Foreman out in Round 8.
The technique became known as Rope-a-Dope .
No prizes for guessing who I think the Dope is here !
Jelly on a plate, Jelly on a plate, wibble wobble, wibble wobble, Jelly on a plate
I wake to the news of the Conservative party’s latest blunder BBC News – Tories criticised over teenage pregnancy figure error
In a nutshell, the Tories have published a 20 page report, which contains a statistic for teenage pregnancy in the 10 most deprived areas of Britain. The figure is based on Government statistics showing 54 pregnancies per 1000 people.
This is expressed as a per-centage : 54%
To those of us lucky enough to have had a state education, and not learned our Mathematics at Eton, it’s clear that this should be 5.4%
A mere error with a decimal point says a Conservative spokesman
“It makes no difference at all to the conclusions of a wide-ranging report which shows that Labour have consistently let down the poorest in Britain.”
Well it really should Mr Cameron !
As it stands the publication makes a claim that there has been an 800% rise in teenage pregnancies in those areas; when in fact – according to the figures on which they have based their maths, and presumably accept, there has been a fall of 10%.
I really should make a huge difference.
This will be covered all over the net today so I’m not going to spend time dissecting this.
It does remind me though of the Tories’ propensity for shooting themselves in the foot whenever they get the opportunity to make political headway. Long may it last.
I just hope they don’t get the chance to make this kind of error in Government.
That’s why I’m voting Labour !
It’s perhaps predictable that there are those who are cynical of the emotion showed recently in television interviews by Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Alistair Campbell.
So predictable that it strikes me, that any politician who would ever fake such emotion for the cameras – as has been suggested – for instance here Who believes blubbing Brown? – would be ridiculously foolhardy.
Well they might be, but I think all of three of them have more savvy than that.
Of Cameron & Brown I say this – both have lost children, and seeing one’s children die before you do is something that no parent should need to endure – it is a dreadful experience, and they both have my every sympathy, no matter what their politics.
As Headteacher of a special school I cater for some of the most disabled children in our society. Many of them have reduced life expectancy.
I’ve not seem many deaths of children in my time in special schools – but I’ve seen a few too many. It’s always hard to handle, however disabled the child, and however well prepared that child’s family may be.
I’ve also had the responsibility on one occasion of telling a Mother that her Son was dead. It was a powerful experience, and I’m glad that I was able to fulfil that responsibility effectively. I’m not sure that I’d be able to conceal my emotions were I to be interviewed on television about it.
So Gordon & David have my respect on this matter. Their emotion merely demonstrates their humanity.
It would be easier to round on Alistair Campbell – he hasn’t had such a bereavement. He has however been involved at the highest levels with those taking the hardest decisions of all – to take a nation to war. Knowing that those decisions will result in many parents suffering the fate of seeing their children die before they do, but not knowing whether the action will result in fewer of them suffering that fate than would have been the case had another course of action been chosen.
That’s a hard cross to bear, and again I feel that he’s entitled to become emotional.
All things considered I’d be far more likely to vote for any of these three, tears or not, than for any of the spiteful nihilists who continually run them down.
BONUS : My title is taken from the Hon. Robert Nesta Marley OM’s ‘Cry to Me’ – listen here on Youtube :
Hot on the heels of yesterday’s so called ‘withering’ attack (perhaps withered might be more apt) on Gordon Brown over MPs’ expenses (see my post yesterday : Cameron is losing it ) today the top Tory launches a poster campaign (OK these days poster campaigns tend to just get wheeled round on the side of a lorry for a while – but they get a lot of press coverage).
Just feast your eyes on this :
It’s difficult to count all the ways in which this so spectacularly fails to hit home. Let me try though :
1. Health Secretary Andy Burnham has categorically denied any plan to introduce such a tax :
“The Guardian’s story suggests a £20,000 flat levy and I am not currently considering that as a lead option for reform,” he said.
“That figure was used in the green paper last year, but I do not believe a flat levy of that kind would be the right way to go. So I can say to you very categorically today that is not what we are considering.”
(Source : Brown’s ‘death tax’ denied )
2. He denied it after the Guardian article which he refers to (Inheritance levy to fund social care being considered by ministers) but before the poster was unveiled – The Tories knew it was a lie before it even hit the streets - so they’ll be accused of lying, and also not knowing what the Government’s plans are.
3. The Conservatives are in no position to draw attention to plans on inheritance tax. My post in November Just who would benefit from Cameron’s Tax cuts ? drew attention to Labour’s position re. the Conservatives’ plans pointing out that only those with estates of more than £700,000 would benefit from those plans.
4. Not only does drawing attention to Inheritance Tax reveal the unfairness of their own plans, it also reminds the public of one of David Cameron’s more spectacular trashings in PMQ’s by Gordon Brown – when GB came out with the taunt that
‘Cameron and Osborne “will know by name” almost all of the people who will benefit from these measures – and adding “Is this what the Conservatives mean when they say ‘we’re all in this together?’
5. The poster comes on the back of the Tories’ previous disastrous own goal poster which showed an airbrushed David Cameron, and launched a whole cottage industry of edited versions of the poster – it’s hardly likely to suffer a better fate – replacing as it does, the smooth forehead of David Cameron with the smooth stone slab of a grave stone. Will it be a good swap we wonder ? – I’d imagine there’ll be alternative versions of this on the net before midnight – perhaps here : http://www.mydavidcameron.com/ . Expect Zombies !
6. The phrase “death tax” is lifted straight out of the vocabulary of right wing American politicians – and specifically conjures up the ‘Death Panels’ talked of by right wing American politician Sarah Palin – a figure of ridicule in the UK. The expression was used in attacks on President Barack Obama’s plans to introduce universal health care in the USA, and alongside criticism of the UK’s National Health Service – this serves to remind the UK public, not just of the opposition by some Tories to the very idea of the NHS – but specifically of the maverick extremist Daniel Hannan, who claimed that the NHS was a “60 Year Mistake” on American TV , who stands by his pronouncements, and who has not been reprimanded in any way by David Cameron, despite his claims to support the NHS. ( See my post Daniel Hannan’s outpourings on the NHS – Will Cameron slap him down ? ) – raising fears of both the Tories’ lack of commitment to the NHS, and David Cameron’s inability to control the lunatic fringe (or is it the mainstream ?) of his party.
The whole Daniel Hannan episode of course sparked the massive #WeLoveTheNHS Twitter campaign, massively embarassing for the Conservatives, and which perhaps can be seen as a turning point in the fortunes of Gordon Brown’s government.
7. And finally … It’s just not all that funny. Surely they can do better than this.
So once again I say that David Cameron is losing it – losing the plot, losing the argument – and increasingly he’s losing the election campaign.
When David Cameron was selected as leader of the Conservative Party it worried me a little. I knew a little about him, and found him to be relatively sensible, and feared that he’d be quite appealing to a wide range of voters – a real threat to Labour.
It’s interesting to think back to those times, and the more recent times when the Conservatives have been riding high in the opinion polls, lulling themselves into ever more confidence of a resounding election victory. Interesting because on the evidence of his current performances he appears to be losing his grip, and losing the election.
Today we’re told by various sources that David Cameron attacks Gordon Brown over expenses MPs , and MPs’ expenses: Labour in ‘headlong’ retreat, says David Cameron, and DAVID CAMERON ATTACKS BROWN OVER ‘HUMILIATING’ EXPENSES CLIMBDOWN
You might be forgiven for thinking that the Tory Leader was on the up, if you just went by the headlines. I think otherwise.
The three Labour MP’s that this story relates to and who are facing prosecution for abuse of expenses – David Chaytor, Elliot Morley and Jim Devine – have all, you might recall, been barred by the Labour Party from standing at the next election as Labour candidates – so the Labour Party had already taken some action against these three.
So what ? I hear the baying mob call – they’re still due to retire with golden handshakes !
Well of course, because there’s this really quaint old fashioned old generation principle built into British law – it’s the principle that says a person is “innocent until proven guilty” – so Labour’s / the Government’s actions in not taking rash actions, without fulfilling a legal burden of prof – actually improve the chances of the law taking its course, and a fair trial for them taking place. It’s what one would expect – and the Government have presumably taken legal advice on this issue.
It would appear that Mr Cameron has taken no such legal advice – shooting his mouth off in condemnation of both Gordon Brown and the alleged offenders. So much so, as to provoke warnings from not just Harriet Harman, the Leader of the Commons, (who lets be honest is part of the Labour Party) :
“He’s got to be very careful what he says or his comments might actually jeopardise the trial and none of us wants to see that happen,”;
but also the Speaker of the Commons John Bercow (who despite what some Tories say, is a Conservative with one of the largest majorities anywhere)
“The House will be aware that charges have been made against three members of the House and that therefore the sub judice rule applies to their cases.
“The matter is therefore before the courts and the House and members would not wish to interfere with the judicial process, risk affecting the fairness of a criminal trial or, furthermore, prevent such a trial taking place.”
I confess that I had visions of Stan Laurel standing up behind David Cameron, and shouting “Why don’t you hang ‘em !” – it would hardly have been a greater presumption of non-innocence.
Dave’s ire seems to be raised by the rumoured intention of the three accused to invoke Parliamentary privilege as a means of avoiding prosecution. Which would be fair enough – if it were any thing other than pure conjecture. Last time I heard though, solicitors were not in the habit of disclosing what their defence tactics would be ahead of a trial. Also, Alan Johnson – speaking on The Andrew Marr programme yesterday – clearly demonstrated that the Government would have no truck with that.
So anything else he’s bothered about ? Well he doesn’t seem to want the Labour Party funding their solicitors – well the Labour party say that the party
“has not and continues to have absolutely no involvement in the legal arrangements of these MPs, who were barred from standing as Labour candidates last year”.
Seems pretty clear cut to me.
Although let’s be honest, I’m a member of a trades union (the NUT) and as such if I were accused of a crime in relation to my work, I’d probably get my legal representation via them. Innocent until proven guilty remember – and that means entitled to legal representation – so providing they’ve paid their subs (stop it !) then maybe they are entitled to help from the party. But they’re not getting it anyway – so what’s Mr Cameron on about ?
It seems that what’s bothering him most is that the timing of Gordon Brown’s announcement that the three would be suspended from parliamentary activities, beat him to the draw with his planned (and widely trailed) speech about the issue.
So now instead of complaining that Gordon hasn’t withdrawn the whip, he’s now complaining that he has. Well which is it Dave ? because if someone is in “full retreat” in the way you want them to go, you’re hardly in a position to moan about it. If it had taken a long time then perhaps he’d have had a point – but no – the decision to prosecute was announced on Friday – the decision to suspend announced on Monday – that’s the next business day. Seems pretty quick off the mark in my book.
Mr Cameron said today that
“We are a new generation – come of age in the modern world of openness and accountability”.
Well he’s not (he was trying to get into Parliament in 1997 ), and neither is his sidekick William Hague, who’s been like an old man since he sucked up to Margaret Thatcher in 1977. William, viewers of the aforementioned Andrew Marr programme may have noticed, failed quite clearly for instance, to come of age in the modern world of openness and accountability when asked about Lord Ashcroft’s tax arrangements.
So – David Cameron – you’re losing it. Today’s bluster was a load of rubbish. I thought you could do better than that.
I read this piece on the Tory Radio blog last night : Labour giving up on being able to form a majority , produced in response to what editor Jonathon Sheppard (I’m assuming it’s him) called a “Labour reaction of glee” to the news that the newly published ComRes Poll in the Sunday Mirror : POLL EXCLUSIVE: David Cameron’s down again , was predicted to lead to a hung parliament, with the Conservatives 5 seats shy of a majority, in the next general election (Predictions from polls are hit & miss affairs by the way – but lots of fun – try Electoral Calculus to have a play around with some figures).
Well although I found the tone of the article to be childish and sneering, one does have to ask – why get so excited about the prospect of scraping a near draw ?
I feel that there are two reasons – and I look to the example of Tory ex-Prime Minister John Major for both.
John fought two general elections as Prime Minister. Let’s take the later one – the one where he was defeated – first. Major’s position before and as a result of that election, represents the doomsday scenario for any political party. Unpopular as his government had become, as the election loomed it became more and more difficult to salvage anything for his party. Like an aeroplane in free-fall, there came a point where it was impossible to pull out of the dive, and all that he could do was wait for the crash. When it came it provided Labour with possibly their most staggering victory ever – winning seats in places which had hitherto been considered untouchable.
Back last year at the time of the European elections, that was a scenario being painted by many for Labour – in third place in many areas, losing ground to fringe parties as well as established ones with cabinet ministers bickering in the wings trying to unseat the leader.
There’s another lesson from John Major though – from the 1992 election – which he won.
John Major’s Government was also unpopular then, and he was facing a slick election campaign from Labour’s Prime Minister in waiting Neil Kinnock. Neil Kinnock you may remember even managed to have the celebration before he’d won the election so sure was he of the forthcoming victory
There’s so many things in that short clip that provide echos of today’s situation – the Opposition cheered by the opinion polls, sure that the Government can’t win, but not yet sure that they can – according to the polls – but brimming with confidence, and sure that the Prime Minister is a “Box Office Disaster” to use John Smith’s words.
We know what happened – Kinnock blew the election – or was it the other way round ? I actually felt that John Major won it – he did his homework, he worked hard, and although even most of the Conservative Party didn’t really believe him until the votes were counted, he successfully delivered the goods – much to my own disappointment ( “At least he’s not Margaret Thatcher !” was my dejected thought the morning after ).
So which will it be for Labour ? Major’s 1997 Meltdown, or Major’s 1992 Rope-a-Dope ?
Back last Spring, the harbingers of doom were fairly sure of the Meltdown – but since then things have changed. In council by elections for instance there’s been no big evaporation of the Labour position. Gordon Brown, has become more vociferous and successful in his spoken comments – making Cameron look a charlie in many of the recent PMQ’s for instance.
There’ve also been a few embarrassments for the Tories as well – Cameron’s handling (or lack of handling) of anti-nhs extreme right wingers in his party such as Daniel Hannan has not gone down well publicly.
The traditional Tory press for some reason, also seem to take a delight in having a side-swipe at David Cameron, even whilst trying to rally the troops : see this in the Telegraph earlier this week David Cameron’s Tories are a one-man band that’s playing out of tune
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that there aren’t still big, big difficiculties for Labour – just that the crash landing is not inevitable – we seem to have pulled out of the dive.
Admittedly Labour could have done without Hoon & Hewitt’s shennanigins regarding leadership challenges – but the episode does seem to have galvanised unity within the party – for the time being at any rate.
So this opinion poll shows that yes there could be a hung parliament. Margins of error taken into account it probably also shows that the Tories could have a very small majority, or that their simple majority might be even smaller. When all’s said and done it’s just another poll – and they can be misleading as we know.
It does though, suggest that the total meltdown isn’t happening. Which suggests to me that Gordon Brown’s election may well be more similar to John Major’s more successful campaign in 1992 than to his disaster in 1997.
I think it’s this that the Labour faithful are taking heart with – because the poll hints at lessons from history which show that there is all to fight for in this election and that a Labour majority is by no means out of the question.
When you look at those airbrushed posters of David Cameron smugly looking out at you – who does it remind you of ? Tony Blair ? Margaret Thatcher ? No – for me it’s Neil Kinnock – having his party early – just as Cameron is.
It ain’t over ’til it’s over , and I’m Voting Labour !
The tragedy of a a person being hit by a train in the Harrow & Wealdstone area, thus suspending all trains in and out of Euston Station gives the unexpected silver lining of me being able to resurrect my much neglected blog.
I’m interested today by the Cameron Gift Calculator on the front page of the Labour Party website (the content will doubtless change in coming days). The little gadget there allows you to type in the value of your estate and find out how much you will benefit from the cuts in inheritance tax that David Cameron’s Conservative party are proposing.
Well my house, in South Bedfordshire is worth around £225,000 – I have a mortgage of around £100,000 but this would be more or less paid off with life insurance should I or my wife die.
So how much would – benefit ? – Well I wouldn’t – nothing, zero – I’m not wealthy enough to get a present from Dave.
No surprise perhaps. After all according to the same Labour website neither would 96% of the population. It’s what I should expect no doubt.
But here’s the rub – I’m a Headteacher – a London Headteacher and I earn well above median earnings. In fact my salary of around £78,000 is (according to this July 2009 BBC article : Just what is a big salary? ) not just above average, but puts me in the top 5% of earners – comfortably in fact, with the cut off figure for the 95th centile being £58,917. Yet despite probably being in the top 4% of earners, I’m no where near the 4% of people who’d benefit from these Tory tax proposals.
So in case there’s anyone out there thinking the Tories’ tax cuts would benefit the high earners out there – forget it. It’s old money we’re talking out – people who had the money from the day they were born – or at least the promise of it when Mummy or Daddy popped their clogs.
Lest anyone’s in any doubt – the inheritance tax cuts would not affect anyone with estates of less than £700,000 – and then not massively. But if for example you had an estate worth £5, 000, 000 then you’d stand to benefit by £520,000 (or your heirs would). As if you’d need it !
As Gordon Brown observed in Parliament today, Cameron and Osborne “will know by name” almost all of the people who will benefit from these measures – and adding “Is this what the Conservatives mean when they say ‘we’re all in this together?’
So before you go off and vote Conservative in the general election – ‘just for a change’ – remember what kind of people they are : They are really greedy people who just look out for themselves and their own kind !
UPDATE : PLEASE READ MY COMMENTS POLICY – MY BLOG MY RULES !
I was pleased to see this press release Ed Balls: More support for children with Special Educational Needs from the DCSF which came to me via email from my local authority.
I’ve blogged before on the way that David Cameron seems be cornering the market in the Special Education field (David Cameron’s right to flag up provision for families with disabled children.) and how the Labour party don’t seem to be providing any responses to the suggestions he makes (Still no response to David Cameron on Autism, Disability) .
Ed Balls statement is a welcome reversal of this trend. The part that caught my attention in particular (as Head of a school for children with severe, profound and multiple disabilities) was this :
To ensure pupils had the highest quality teaching in special schools, Ed Balls announced he was commissioning Toby Salt to lead an independent review into the supply of teachers trained to meet the needs of children with Severe Learning Difficulties (SLD) and Profound and Multiple Learning Difficulties (PMLD). He also announced that the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust (SSAT) would be taking forward a £550,000 project to develop special schools as leaders in teaching and learning practice for children with the most complex learning difficulties, meeting a commitment in the 21st century schools system White Paper.
This is welcome news indeed. I wonder how many readers are aware of just how many “special school teachers” for children with learning difficulties have actually received any specialist training to teach children with learning difficulties prior to entering those schools ? Well to give you a clue, there have been no specialist initial teacher training courses since I graduated with a Bachelor of Education in 1989. Many special school teachers have received no award bearing training after qualification either.
(That isn’t all bad news actually – mainstream teachers bring a great deal to special schools – and the shift of emphasis from specialist training of teachers for special schools, has helped facilitate some of the achievements in promoting inclusive practice in the education of children with special educational needs. Few people teaching in the field of Special Educational Needs would consider the situation ideal however)
It’s also clear to me as well that special schools – catering for the most severe disabilities – far from being institutions which promote segregated education, are actually the organisations best placed to provide help, advice and support to colleagues across the spectrum of educational provision, to promote the education of children with special needs in all settings.
Although David Cameron does echo the opinions of many parents in prioritising special schools over mainstream provision for children with special educational needs – he perhaps forgets that the overwhelming majority of children with special educational needs are – and should be – educated in mainstream schools. He is right to emphasise the importance of special schools though in meeting the needs of those with the most severe and complex needs – but does not I feel go far enough to recognise the key role of that special schools, and specialist teachers can play as centres of excellence, spreading good practice, and helping to ensure that the rest of the educational system is better equipped to meet all children’s needs in their own schools.
I’m hopeful that the SSAT project which Ed Balls announces in this release will be a move towards doing just that.
The two initiatives will certainly be led by people recognisable to education professionals – Toby Salt has worked extensively with the National College for School Leadership, and Professor Barry Carpenter is arguably the best known practitioner in Special Education in the UK today. He is known, liked and respected by many in the profession – including myself.
It’s perhaps worth noting that Ed Balls is in a very different position to David Cameron when it comes to making pronouncements about the future of education. David Cameron can effectively shoot whatever pitch he likes in order to garner public support and votes. He may or may not get a chance to implement what he says. He may or may not choose to. Whether he’ll have the funding to do so is also a matter of some conjecture as well.
Mr Balls on the other hand is the incumbent secretary of state. If he makes promises, he’s obliged to carry them out. Yet clearly he may not be in a position to do so – it’s unlikely that any changes requiring government legislation can be implemented before the election – an election which could be lost. Neither can he make rash promises though – it’s an election which could also be won !
So I’m satisfied for the moment with the promises made in this press release, but hope to see the issues surrounding the education of children with special needs, and with disabilities taking a higher priority as we move towards the election. I’m sure David Cameron will do that, but whilst I respect his position regarding these issues, I don’t feel that his party does, and would expect that this would be fertile vote winning ground for the more compassionate, and thoughtful Labour Party.
Only time will tell !
Not had much chance to blog anything last couple of days (busy time at my school – and also getting used to leaving the house at 6.45 again sort of saps your strength at the other end of the day) I had been intending to blog on David Cameron’s July speech regarding Autism (see my earlier blog Still no response to David Cameron on Autism, Disability ),( and hopefully still will) – however he’s had a rather more high profile speech since then: Cameron vows to cut ministers’ pay and end subsidised food and drink so here’s a quicky :
Although I’d have thought that the key point of this speech was rather more about ‘fessing up to the fact that the Tory’s intend to make cuts to public spending; it is interesting that the Guardian (amongst others) have fixed on to his proposals to cut pay for ministers and end subsidies on food and drink.
Clearly it’s an attempt by David Cameron to wring a little support out of the public on the issue of the ‘expenses scandal’. I’m not impressed though. David tells us that : “far from politicians being exempt from the age of austerity, they must show leadership” - ( neatly changing the subject a propos of nothing in the middle of the sentence by the way – but lets not be pedantic. ) With all due respect David Cameron is a man who can don his metaphorical hair shirt and talk about austerity with relative impunity – he is after all, a very wealthy fella !
His comments reminded me though of a man I spoke to several months back when the expenses furore was at it’s height. He was a politican. A local one. A conservative, holding an executive position in a local authority. I don’t particularly share his politics, but he’s a good man – honest and approachable and professional in his approach to dealings with everyone – whether they support him or not. I asked him at one point whether he’d ever considered running for parliament. I was surprised at his answer.
He said he had run for parliament twice, narrowly losing each time, whilst increasing his party’s share of the vote. He was however not intending to do so again. Why ? I wondered. Surely third time lucky would be worth a shot.
He had his reasons though. He explained that he had his own business, and whilst it did not make him rich he felt it made him comfortable. He was not, he said “independently wealthy”, and in the current climate he felt that he could not afford the inevitable pay cut which he would need to take if he entered parliament.
That’s really sad. A Conservative politician with his own successful business who can’t afford to enter parliament. So I wonder whether if David Cameron increases the canteen costs there’ll be many lower paid people – factory workers or nurses for example - going into parliament ?
Or will it be more likely that we’ll reach a stage where the only people who want to go into parliament will be people rich enough to be able to afford it. Old Etonians perhaps – you know, like the ones that make up much David Cameron’s shadow cabinet.
I believe that representing a constituency in parliament should be one of the highest honours and privileges in the land, and that it should be remunerated accordingly with every effort made to facilitate the work of members. Every MP whatever their party has been selected by the people and entrusted with a great responsibility which they should discharge with honour and honesty, but for which they should also be rewarded adequately.
Bottom line – our MP’s must value the voters, but the voters should also value the MPs.
I blogged some months back that David Cameron was making the running on the issue of disability
, an important and potentially vote winning area for all parties, which I have a professional interest in.
I somehow missed however, this speech in July at a Research Autism conference. (and which is now being linked to albeit circuitously via Conservative Home (don’t ask me for the exact link – it’s buried in there somewhere – sorry !)
I’d like to look at this more fully in due course, but at the moment I’d say that it’s a strong speech addressing many of the concerns and worries of families with disabled children, and he deserves credit for that.
He misses the mark subtly though in his suggestions for responses – and I’m disappointed that Labour have not, to my knowledge, spoken up on these issues to demonstrate a still stronger concern for people with disabilities than David Cameron does.
He’s getting an easy ride, on what should be natural Labour territory – good for him – but we can, I hope, do better.
More to follow …