Cameron Fails To Impress, But A Challenge Looks Worlds Away

cameron2_1732887cHow can Britain pretend to be a democracy and have “Baroness” Warsi in the leadership?

“These (U.S.) women have proved themselves in the world of business and now seek to bring this experience into government. This makes the likes of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg look seriously flaky. Not a proper job between them”

David Cameron did enough in his conference speech to neutralize the debacle over the ending of child benefit for higher tax payers, but his leadership of the Conservative party leaves me desperately looking around for an impressive substitute but finding none.

It is depressing for those like me, who now find no major party has anything sensible to say about economics. In the U.S. there is a burgeoning Tea Party movement trying to force government back into its box, and free Americans to better themselves and boost business. Not here. Cameron has some Conservative-sounding things to say, but he is too timid to tell the truth and urge lower taxes as a way of reinvigorating our economy.

It is truly amazing that George Osborne could have proposed such a shockingly ill-thought through proposal on ending child benefits, which immediately crashed and burned. There was apparently nobody in his inner sanctum who might have said that perhaps including the allowances in individual tax returns might have headed off a storm of aggravation from those who will suffer unfairly. Sure, ending these middle class handouts is an absolute must, and it’s a pity that the whole edifice of child benefit can’t be swept aside. That will have to be done over time. I had been warming to Osborne’s performance over the last months, but this cack-handed idea has reminded me that for years he was saying we could share the proceeds of growth, rather than demanding that Gordon Brown’s unaffordable client state should be throttled before it engulfed us.

Our current politics underlines the shocking lack of democracy in Britain. How could a country that believed in democracy tolerate “Baroness” Warsi in a senior leadership position in the government? She might be a terribly nice women with a feisty and combative style, but what did she ever do to earn her place at the top table, apart from flaunting the unbeatable in Cameron’s eyes combination of being female, brown and Muslim? She’s not even elected for God’s Sake.

Looking at the mid-term election campaigns in the U.S. reminds me that Cameron is happily talking about the coalition lasting for 5 years, with no democratic accounting in the meanwhile. Some of the new American candidates look very impressive. In California there are two women running for governor and senator for the Republican Party. There is former e-Bay CEO Meg Whitman running for Governor, and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina bidding for a Senate seat. These women have proved themselves in the world of business and now seek to bring this experience into government. This makes the likes of Cameron, Miliband and Clegg look seriously flaky. Not a serious job between them. No experience of anything that might bring useful insights into government. And the British still tolerate an unelected second chamber full of old failures. What an embarrassment.

Many of the speeches at the conference were downright depressing. Listening to Oliver Letwin going on about how the green economy will lead to a huge amount of jobs showed he is totally deluded about the science of climate change and energy policy. The Climate Change Act, which commits us to a bankruptcy-inducing amount of expenditure over many years towards a futile goal, would have been junked already by a serious Conservative Party. But of course these idiots voted for it in droves. Cameron in his speech of rat-a-tat achievements over the last 5 months mentioned carbon capture as the way to go. Hasn’t anyone told him this won’t and can’t work and is an expensive blind alley?

Conservative MP Nick Boles said on Radio 4’s Today Programme earlier this week that serious Conservatives all love the National Health Service. This man is typical of the new generation of delusional Conservatives who instead of looking to principles or addressing the question of how to deliver world class health care, simply waste everybody’s time saluting current icons, however useless they may be, without having the courage to tear down institutions which squander public money and let down the poorest. Where are the Tories with the courage to address our problems, rather than pander to ignorance in the hope they might be viewed favourably, careers extended, and limos offered.

No challenge
The sad truth is that there is no one about to challenge Cameron that I can see. David Davis presented a programme on BBC Radio the other day and reminded me that his easy charm and basic smarts might have made a more impressive PM than Cameron. William Hague seems to have settled down to a life of pleasing the leader, although he must be offended by the hand-wringing wetness of the coalition. I’m even coming around to the idea that proportional representation might be the answer to finding a way of changing our politics into something resembling a democracy. At least minority parties can build up support, like UKIP, and gain some leverage in Parliament under this system. If not, we face the future of a stagnating, unresponsive, ill-representative useless democracy. If I come back in a 100 years, I bet the House of Lords will still be there, still full of failed politicians, and five year Parliaments will still be making sure accountability is rare and pain-free for establishment politicians.

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