Cameron Speech Was Clever, Emotional And Impressive

But He Fails My Test On Europe, Climate Change, NHS and Tax

One Failure Might Be Negotiable, But 4 Means “Thumbs Down”

I won’t be voting for a party that is afraid to stand up for solid, Conservative principles. Lucky old UKIP, I say.

    I’ve been agonising over whether to swallow my principles and vote Tory at the next general election. Yes, I know that a vote for UKIP or some other minor party is really a waste, but I find it difficult to reconcile my urge to see Gordon Brown and the Labour Party humiliated to such a degree that not only will they be crushed at the polls, they will do so badly as to prevent them returning to mis-govern us for at least another generation, with my unwillingness to stomach some of the worst, hand-wringingly wet, counter-productive drivel on offer from Tory party leader David Cameron.

    Cameron started off on the wrong foot four years ago with me when on his first interview with the Today programme, he talked about how he wanted to detoxify the Tory brand. “Brand! The Tory party is not a brand,” I shouted at the radio. After a year of this I quit the party, but that still doesn’t mean that I can’t vote Conservative at the next election, even though I voted UKIP in the Europeans.

    So I paid close attention to Cameron’s speech to the Tories in Manchester. Yes, it was a splendid, powerful, erudite speech in many ways. I loved his taunting of Labour with the cry that the Tories will have to solve Britain’s poverty problem. I was moved by his words about his poor son Ivan. His views on the need for a smaller state impressed me. I was entranced by his closing peroration about the sort of country Britain could be, shorn of the incompetent, arrogant clip-board Nazis of Labour.

    But there were major reasons why Cameron’s speech left me less than impressed. Firstly, his few words on global warming reminded me that he has fallen totally for the case presented by warmers like Zac Goldsmith that human activity is killing the planet. If he can’t be bothered to brief himself on something so important, why should I trust him on other things? The Tories will impose taxes on us in the name of climate change that will destroy our economy, and have no impact on the weather.

    Secondly, his words on Europe were disappointing, and left me with the impression that Cameron always weighs his words for impact, while making sure he is not committed to something that might be a bit difficult. So he railed against the Labour party for denying us the referendum on the Lisbon treaty, but balked at doing something about it that might cause trouble. He should have simply said that Britain’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty by a Parliamentary vote fell short of the promise made to the British people at the last general election, so is therefore legally and politically invalid. Britain can only ratify Lisbon by a vote by the people in a referendum, and he should have announced his intention to do that as soon as he wins the general election.

    Thirdly, his views on the National Health Service leave me cold, although I realise that this is a difficult issue for the Tories because of the Labour lying machine, which is more interested in grandstanding for votes, than seeking the best way to deliver health care to the British. Cameron has milked the fact that he has been a serial user of the NHS, and can’t wait to tell us how much he loves it. But I want to hear at least hints of reform intentions, so that this failing, monolithic, Stalinist edifice can be pointed in a new direction.

    Some of the speeches at the conference were interesting. Shadow education’s Michael Gove was very impressive with his ideas about education vouchers and how he will set the system free with parents licensed to set up new schools without interference from socialist bureaucracies. Unfortunately, the Tories denial of the efficacy of grammar schools in liberating working class children was another reason I quit the party.

    George Osborne made the best of a difficult speech on how the Tories will tackle the massive deficit. But his refusal to accept that low taxes might spur the economy to recovery and eventually provide higher revenues to tame the deficit, was annoying, although I gather from rumours in the current Spectator magazine that there is a tax-cutting agenda being worked on in the background.

    The most crass moment came from Chris Gayling, and it wasn’t his gaffe over the appointment of General Sir Richard Dannatt. Grayling’s claim that putting higher taxes on alcohol would solve the problem of drunken violence, made him sound like some 50s Scandinavian Sandelista. Please, Grayling, don’t make the rest of us pay more for something which won’t change behaviour anyway. And can you think of anything that is less Tory than this idea?

    But it was William Hague who finally made my mind up for me. Now Hague has been a big favourite of mine. He is very funny, speaks superbly well, and used to have an agreeable, right of centre view of the world. Hague has been lobotomised though. Listening to his performance on BBC Radio 4’s Any Questions Hague had been stripped of personality so as not to frighten the horses. He didn’t even dare criticise the ridiculous award of the Nobel Peace Prize to U.S. President Barack Obama. (I found out this morning that the nominations for the award closed in February, which meant that Obama had been in office for less then 3 weeks when he was given the award). Hague also followed the feeble party line on climate change.

    I won’t be voting for a party that is afraid to stand up for solid, Conservative principles. Lucky old UKIP, I say.

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