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Cameron uncut – message matters more than money

Posted on 5 April 2010 | 11:04am

As people weigh up the relative experience of the party leaders, it is worth remembering that after Eton and Bullingdon College Oxford, David Cameron’s experience has been as an advisor to Black Wednesday Chancellor Norman Lamont and a spin doctor to a TV station.

I will spare the Tories on here the need to ask ‘who are you to go on about spin doctors’ by pointing out that I am the last person to go on about spin doctors. But DC is not standing to be a government spokesman or strategist. He is standing to be Prime Minister.

But today, amid the latest batch of unfunded, uncosted, incoherent spending promises littered around the media, we see that the spin doctor takes precedence in his mind. Promising some huge sum to recognise marriage in the tax system, he is seemingly of the view that ”the message matters more than the money.’

That neatly encapsulates his whole approach to this campaign now that he has decided that being serious about the deficit is no longer his main economic priority.

The King’s Fund has totally demolished the Tory claims to be able to fund a cancer treatment pledge from money that even under their own plans does not exist until later in the next Parliament, beyond the point at which they say they will spend it.

Watch out in the coming weeks for all manner of spending commitments which they will say can be funded by ‘a portion of the savings they claim they will make by not implementing the planned National Insurance rise.’

When people wonder why Conservative begins with Con, the last few days have shown it. They cannot at one and the same time cut the deficit, protect spending and cut taxes, all by a few efficiency savings once described by DC as a ‘trick.’

The King’s Fund has done for the cancer pledge. Stand by now to watch the marriage tax allowance fall apart too. And when DC pipes up that the message matters more than the money, try telling that to the families who need the recovery to be secured to protect the jobs, living standards and public services on which they depend.

The message is not more important than the money. The economy matters more than anything and day by day the Tories are showing they would put the recovery at risk for the sake of a few catchy tunes to keep their media supporters singing for them.

i did not hear shadow home secretary Chris Grayling on the Today programme, though I hear he was dreadful. Already embroiled in his homophoia row, he too is littering the papers with spending commitments in his law and order area today. I hope they are being costed. I hope every word coming out of every Tory spokesman is being costed.

Because just as their cancer pledge lasted around a day, the rest of this nonsense will not survive the coming weeks. The King’s Fund talked of ‘smoke and mirrors’ wafting around the cancer pledge. Stand by for a lot more of that when the campaign proper kicks off. And stand by for the public seeing through it as quickly as the King’s Fund have.

— buy The Blair Years and raise cash for Labour http;www.alastaircampbell.org/bookshop.php.

  • Guido Fawkes

    As people weigh up the relative experience of media commentators, it is worth remembering that Alastair Campbell is an ex-alcoholic soft porn writer who loyally served pension fraudster and unscrupulous thief Robert Maxwell before going on to draft the dodgy dossier for Tony Blair.

  • james monk

    I can never vote labour on the back of the the last 13 years. I have read some of your archive and find your mud slinging totally uncalled for. It isnt just you, it is all the Ministers currently in Government and the Shadow cabinet. Why dont you lot understand this. After 13 years we have huge unemployment, the NHS in a state, Immigration completely out of control, kids killing each other in stations in broad daylight, prisoners being let out early only to commit more crimes, expenses, cash for influence, and i havent even mentioned the RECESSION. Serioulsy, what have you lot done to stop the huge gambles banks are taking on IRS’s and derivative based products because the FSA sure as hell have done nothing about it. The 18-24 year olds dont give a toss. I am 34 and trying to engage any of my friends in a political conversation is like trying to get blood from a stone. The older generation dont change there vote. Yet all the politicians seem intend on doing is throwing stats around that arent true or are used cleverly to there advantage. The biggest cheers at the budget was for Belize. WTF. What qualifications had Mr Darling got to be in control of the economy by the way.

    Wow, that was a rant. What i am trying to say is, it doesnt matter what you say, what stats you use, what school someone went too, what homophobia comments are being throw around. POLITICIANS ARENT TRUSTED ANYMORE!! The one that has the smallest mediocum of trust and will win. I am afraind Mr Brown has none!!!!!! Cameron, doesnt have mush more but whats the alternative.

    oh and your blog sucks!!!! YOU ARE ONE OF THE PROBLEMS!! as was a that twat Draper.

    Peace

  • Patrick James

    It certainly seems that the Conservative party has now adopted the policy of promising money to all and sundry to win the election. However none of their big handouts seem to be for me 🙁

    I think that people will see through this over the coming weeks.

    The Labour party has been stable and consistent on their plans for the economy and that is what the UK needs now.

    ———————–

    Chris Grayling seems to be remaining as the shadow home secretary despite the views he expressed that he felt B&B’s should be allowed to discriminate against LGBT people.

    As a gay man I find this to be reprehensible, but I am intrigued by Conservative blogger Iain Dale who is a gay man as well, I believe.

    The Guardian blog has reported Iain Dale has said in his blog: “Do I believe that his [Grayling] views, as expressed, will be damaging. Yes I do.”

    So this is the first time that I have seen a high profile LGBT Conservative “acting up” in this way.

    It has been horrendous to watch various LGBT Conservatives act as apologists for the Conservative party’s activities in the European parliament.

    Now one of them, Iain Dale, is wanting action against Grayling.

    I think Iain Dale might be disappointed.

    I have long believed that David Cameron has been conning those LGBT Conservatives. He tells them he is liberal and on their side, but he never seems to actual deliver.

    The right of the Conservative party is far more important to David Cameron than Iain Dale & Co. and the Conservative right will want to keep Grayling.

    The LGBT Conservatives have been utterly dutiful to Dave while his party sh*ts on the rights of LGBT people in Eastern Europe. Will Dave pay them back by ditching Grayling?

    Let’s see…

  • Paul Mills

    I enjoyed Peter Mandelson’s campaign note yesterday, which you drew to my attention on twitter. I noted the similar theme to your blog. This is without doubt the right argument. The Tories are making promises without knowing how to pay for them. It is dishonest and it is economically dangerous. And it suggests they do not understand leadership

  • Ilan Hughes

    Good to see the King’s Fund being so clear and unequivocal. They are a trusted organisation who know rather more about healthcare than Mr Lansley.

  • Holly Chittenden

    It is perfectly clear Grayling is being set up for the chop if the Tories win. Cameron is of the view Michael Gove appeals to the public and will do the job beetter. Sadly out of touch

  • Boudicca

    The desperation’s showing Alistair. Do you really think we need the ‘experience’ of the man who sold off the nation’s gold at rock bottom prices. Who engineered a huge boom, bragging all the time that he had abolished bust … until the sh!t hit the fan in 2008. Who wrecked probably the world’s best private pension system by overtaxing it. Who has been responsible for getting the country into the worst debt EVER. And who is a man regularly told off for being economical with the truth; distorting , having an uncontrollable temper and ‘psychological flaws.’

    I’m in the any Party but Labour camp.

  • Carl Morris

    I am looking forward to the TV debates. A lot of people are undecided. I think the debates might help them decide and for all his faults, I think Gordon Brown’s strengths might well suit the format. Cameron is excellent at the short quote for the news. His Gay Times experience showed that he does not do well under any sort of sustained questioning. Gordon is pretty well used to it by now

  • Tricky Dickie

    Good to see Ed Balls getting a standing ovation at the teachers conference.
    Sky didn’t to cover it but good for the BBC.
    Is Adam Boulton the worst political editor or should that be Nick Robinson?
    Finally Kuenssburg is appallingly biased I think the tory award of reporter of the year was well earned. I am sorry to say her squeeky voice grates on me too.
    Looking forward to the election everything still to play for…..keep up the effort chaps.

  • Graham Jones

    L FOR LIARS
    The tory deception is breathtaking. The Neo-Con-Men know no bounds to their arrogance. Where are the sum’s? – I’m sure even Oik-boy learned to count at school.

    Even the new poster is like play school, this time ‘a pair of boots with words on them’.

    It’s like politics for Sesame Street.

    Todays letter is ‘H’ – ‘H’ is for Health Cuts, Hereditary Peers and Homophobia.

    Apparently, Big Bird wouldn’t take part, because he’s a Lib-Dem.

    I’ll give it till 7 o’clock tonight before there are at least several hundred alternatives online.

    NO JUSTICE
    Where has the British justice system gone? How can a police officer, invetigating illegal activities at News International, be allowed to cover up the extent of the crimes, then leave the force to work for News Internationa?

    If this was Alistair Campbell,Charlie Whelan or Damien McBride it would be front news – first story. But it seems that the police and CPS are contented to allow criminality to go unpunished. Of course, we could never suggest that people had been bought. Could we?

  • Antony

    Read all the comments on your blog. Whilst Grayling was (almost) clever enough to keep his anti-gay views private, Guido does little to hide his opnion of people who have had an addiction to alcohol. However, his ignorance is funnier than the smart comment. There’s no such thing as an ‘ex-alcoholic’. If you want to be smart … be intelligent.

  • Alec

    Alistair – perhaps you could pass on to the Labour HQ a simple fact about Osborne’s NI costings as confirmed by the IFS? Put simply, Osborne has assumed that employers will pass on the 1% NI cut to staff in terms of higher gross wages. This is why his costings assume the cost of the cut will get cheaper over time, as there will be higher wages and therefore higher income tax etc. This means two things;1) The 37 businessmen who rather dimly signed up to this policy should realise that the Tories have assumed their companies won’t gain a single penny from this as their wage bill will rise to replace the NI cut. Therefore any idea that this is a tax on jobs is nonsense, if you believe Osborne’s assumptions. 2) According to Osborne, there won’t be any additional money for NHS cancer care – he has assumed that wages will rise as above. Overall, this leaves something like a £1.5b hole in his finances, plus the £690m he has pledged on the NHS. I’ve been screaming about this issue since last Monday but no one has picked it up. If I’m right, you could destroy Osborne’s credibility overnight, as well as make the boss of M&S look decideley dim.

  • Chris lancashire

    Whatever irresponsible promises the Tories make at least they’re not promising an end to boom and bust as one GB used to proudly boast.

  • Robert Jackson

    Anthony,

    I think you are right about folk who manage to live without alcohol in their lives after a period of heavy dependency. The urge never fully goes away and temptations to drink again are everywhere. It is not easy.

    Guido Fawkes perhaps should understand that getting through the first days, the first weeks, the first months without alcohol are tricky but the significant anniversaries (the months at first then the years) are a source of much pleasure and satisfaction.

    For me each extra year without alcohol is like waking up again on 2nd May 1997.

  • Ben G

    At last the fun begins.
    (but pls keep Kinnock off the Today programme…)

  • Nick

    Alistair Campbell claims that the Kings Fund “demolished” the Tories £200m cancer pledge yesterday, but as any listener to the BBC Five Live phone in on the subject could testify, quite the opposite was true. A terminal cancer sufferer – articulate, non political, and well briefed – came up against John Appelby from the Kings Fund – the epitome of the type of ‘producer ahead of consumer’, public sector type who has so flourished under Labour over the last 13 years. And the cancer patient demolished him, pointing out;

    1. Labour has required the NHS to run a £1.5bn surplus for the last 3 years, destroying the notion that there is no money to pay for vital cancer drugs.
    2. Senior NHS Administrators [aka Labour place-men] sit on the NICE advisory panel.
    3. The NHS has employed 100,000 managers and administrators over the last 13 years -some classic job titles and salaries were cited at this point – making a nonsense of the claim that £6bn in efficiency savings cannot be found.

    The truth is that Labour has used the NHS as nothing more than a cash cow to replace miners and steel workers as their core pay roll vote. Now Labour relies on Smoking Cessation Officers in their place.

    With Labour’s £168 billion deficit, this waste must stop. Its time for change.

  • Charlie

    @Robert Jackson
    “For me each extra year without alcohol is like waking up again on 2nd May 1997.”

    My sympathies are with you. At least those of us who were not taken in by the charlatan have the satisfaction of being proved correct!