He Said What!? “Call me Dave” gets down with “working people”

Cameron has been at his pathologically lying best this week. Launching the Tory manifesto, out on the hustings, in interviews … the pledges came thick and fast, glib and superficial, and he kept a straight face throughout it all!

Stung by accusations that his Nasty Party’s hate-filled campaign against Ed Miliband and Labour, orchestrated by Dark Maestro Lynton Crosby, was turning off the electorate Cameron did a perfect 360-degree turn into the land of smarmy sincerity.

He gave us hope!

“At the heart of this manifesto is a simple proposition: We are the party of working people, offering you security at every stage of your life… a brighter, more secure future for you and your family.” (On zero hours, food banks and the bedroom tax?)

“The next five years are about turning the good news in our economy into a good life for you and your family.” (The trickle down begins?)

He waxed poetic!

He’d had a dream (a “Conservative Dream” no less) of creating a country “where a strong economy means good jobs, worthwhile careers and excellent public services like hospitals and schools that are there for you and your family.” (Er, Dave, you already ran public services into the ground … and the worst is yet to come in terms of cuts.)

And he talked tough!

He told the BBC some people did not pay tax “WHO DAMN WELL SHOULD!” and that accusations the Conservatives are “the party of the rich” make him “MORE ANGRY THAN ALMOST ANYTHING ELSE!” (Oh my …)

Tory press gleeful

There are those who were mightily turned on by Cameron’s deceptions, after all the 1% and their enablers are making merry at the trough. Gleeful Tory press front page headlines were all over “the good life”. It was not edifying:

Daily Telegraph Return of the good life; Times I’ll bring the good life back to Britain, Cameron promises; Financial Times Tories break with austerity policies and promise ‘good life’ to voters; Daily Mail Cameron pledges good life for all; Daily Express I’ll bring back the sunshine and the good life.

So there you have it

Forget food banks, the working poor and zero hour contracts, rent and housing crisis, the beggaring of the NHS and mental health and legal aid services. Forget the evil Tory policies that deliberately target the poor and the least able. Forget the bankers’ bonuses and the tax cuts for the rich who are already dodging the taxes they should be paying.

The sun is shining and life is good…innit?

Desperate days require ever more fantastical lies, it would seem.

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Ed Wrong-Foots the Tories on the Economy: Labour’s manifesto lays bare the hollowness of the government’s “long term economic plan”

With the launch of Labour’s manifesto, Ed Miliband has once again taken a bold step and rattled the Tory ranks.

For decades the myth of Tory superiority in managing the country’s finances has endured, with polls consistently showing Conservative governments with higher approval rates than Labour on the economy.

The manifesto addresses this issue head-on. It begins with a “budget responsibility lock” that guarantees funding for every policy, with no additional borrowing, and promises to cut the deficit every year, reduce the national debt and achieve a surplus on the current budget “as soon as possible in the next parliament”.

Mythical fiscal management

The myth of “Tory Good, Labour Bad” at managing the economy has grown under David Cameron and George Osborne as the Tory machine ramped up its mantra that Gordon Brown’s government caused the 2007/2008 global financial crash (aka “The Mess”) in an orgy of borrowing and irresponsible spending. Given the chance, they have reiterated, any Labour government would do the same again.

Never mind the internationally accepted evidence to the contrary – that the crash was caused by the US subprime mortgage crisis, the neglect of governments worldwide in regulating the bankers and the failure of economists to detect the early signs.

Never mind that Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England, has stated categorically that Gordon Brown’s government was not responsible. Or that Labour governments have consistently kept down deficits and borrowing whereas Osborne borrowed more in five years than Labour did in 13.

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Role reversal

In stark contrast to the Labour manifesto with its clearly costed policies, Cameron, Osborne et al. appear to be making up policy on the hoof with no idea as to how said policies would be funded.

For example, on The Andrew Marr Show, Osborne refused at least 15 times to answer the simple question of where a Tory government would find the £8 billion a year he has said would be put into the NHS if they come back into power. This shameless attempt to sway voters was mocked on BBC Daily Politics, where Culture Minister Sajid Javid was asked where the Tories were hiding the money tree.

For the past five years the Tory/LibDem government has been brazenly shifting government services into private hands, taking from the poor and vulnerable to enrich their friends in the 1 per cent, under the guise of an austerity programme that is apparently the cornerstone of its oft quoted but never elucidated “long-term economic plan”.

Employing tactics of obfuscation, outright lies and vicious personal attacks enabled by the right-wing press, bully-boys Cameron, Osborne and their cohorts have succeeded in fooling many of the people for much of the time, while presiding over ever-widening levels of poverty and pain – attacking the jobless, the disabled, the carers, while flip-flopping all over the place to keep right-wing rebels on board.

A leader in waiting

In contrast, as Labour back bencher Michael Meacher points out, Ed has achieved in opposition what no other previous Leader of the Opposition – including Thatcher or Blair – managed to do. That is, changing the course of events in ways hugely important to this country without any direct executive power to do so.

Ed has also promised to tackle tax avoiders and scrap the non-dom tax status, which he has said is part of a discredited belief that “what is good for the rich is always good for Britain”. Cameron, on the other hand, plans to remove inheritance tax from homes worth more than £1 million, which independent economists say would ‘disproportionately’ benefit well-off families and drive up property prices.

Key policies in the Labour manifesto to help ordinary people include:

  • Raising the minimum wage to more than £8 by October 2019 – accelerating increases to guarantee they reach this level before the end of the next Parliament
  • Helping train passengers and commuters with a fully funded fare freeze
  • Supporting the squeezed middle with a firm commitment not to raise the basic or higher rate of income tax, National Insurance or VAT
  • Protecting tax credits in the next parliament, to back working families
  • Introducing a new National Primary Childcare Service to help working parents.

A clear choice

There’s a mountain to climb to shake off the negative perceptions of politics and politicians among the general public. The question, “Why should we trust you?” and the assertion that “all politicians are the same” are commonplace and often used for making mischief.

But Labour and the Tories are plainly not the same.

The choice of who to vote for is a no-brainer.