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Cameron’s bad day: with more ‘victories’ like this, he’s sunk

david cameronAny objective person watching the Cameron-Miliband TV duel (although it was faux because Cameron was too frit to submit himself to a direct face-to-face contest with Miliband) could be in no doubt that Miliband won. Unlike Cameron, he didn’t get flustered or rattled, and he projected himself more strongly both in personality and on policies. So bang goes one of the only two factors that the Tories count on to win this election.

The other, the economy, didn’t survive Cameron’s mauling by Paxman: how could he claim that the government’s economic policy was working when he’d been forced to borrow an extra £500bn beyond what he planned, and the deficit was still stuck at nearly £100bn and was no longer coming down because Osborne had imposed semi-permanent austerity which reduced government tax receipts? Not the best way for the Tories to start the election campaign. But another incident on the same day worked out even worse for Cameron.

A dirty little trick had been planned by the Tories to send the Speaker, John Bercow, packing at the start of the new Parliament. Cameron waited till the final hours of this Parliament to plot , unbeknown to the rest of us, a wheeze to change the method of election of the Speaker in the new Parliament. Cameron even abandoned a campaign visit to Coventry to rush back for the vote, showing his eagerness to unseat Bercow (a fellow Tory) at any costs. But the vote turned into a Tory disaster: Cameron lost by 228 votes to 202, with 23 of his own MPs voting against him. His squalid, nauseous, little plot boomeranged to hit him in the face.

This is not only about settling scores. Cameron and Gove (now Tory chief whip) have both been called to order a number of times for abusing the rules of the House of Commons, and this was to be the moment of revenge. But the affront to the Commons, and to the British people, goes deeper than that. The reason that Cameron, Gove and a majority of Tory MPs were so keen to do away with Bercow was that he regularly challenged ministers, defended the rights of back-benchers, and pushed a programme for reform of the Commons which is so urgently needed. In other words he was a threat to Executive power in the Commons, and instead of seeing what he stood for as a very necessary extension of accountability, Cameron & co saw it as an unwelcome intrusion into their own power. Given their overweening arrogance and their self-ascribed right to rule, this was insufferable. This is a marker of what Cameron and his acolytes are really like, and it will haunt them throughout this election campaign.

2 Comments

  1. A B Aziz says:

    Breathtaking arrogance of the Tories there for all to see.

  2. David Pavett says:

    I wish I knew what Michael Meacher bases his analysis on. It seems to me that his particular line in rhetoric provides an open goal for the Tories. For example he says that “…the deficit was still stuck at nearly £100bn and was no longer coming down because Osborne had imposed semi-permanent austerity …”. The ONS/OBR seem to indicate otherwise. Maybe that data is incorrect but can it be simply assumed that the rest of us know what Michael Meacher is basing his view on?

    It seems that even on Left Futures we have entered the silly season of pre-election politics. I would really appreciate it if people making claims those referred to above would at least give a link to supporting evidence. Or are we expected to accept that it is so because (1) we want it to be so or (2) because Michael Meacher says that it is so?

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