Friday, November 10, 2006

Tories are no laughing matter

Nice to see the Cambridge Evening News trying to redeem itself by slating the Tory leader who paid a flying visit to Cambridge yesterday. First of all it rips into his face;

Evening News headline today"CONSERVATIVE leader David Cameron may want to be taken seriously as a politician - but he has the face of a comic, new research has shown. Unlike either Tony Blair or Gordon Brown, David Cameron has the kind of features that make people laugh, according to experts.

"In this respect he shares the same qualities as comic stars Ricky Gervais and Jimmy Carr. Like them, he has the round, wide face, large eyes and soft, feminine appearance that is said to be perfect for comedy."

Before revealing that they found him less than amusing on his 'solutions' for the NHS "Addressing hospital staff during his 30- minute stay... He said: "What we need to do is give the health service greater independence. There is such reorganisation and changes in the NHS, hospitals are completely confused about what it is they are doing.

"For a long time the NHS has been used as a political football. Yes, we should decide how much money goes into the health service but then we should stand back and let it be spent on a clinical basis..."

When asked if that meant extra cash for Cambridgeshire health services he reiterated his ideal of an independent NHS free from political control...

Geoff Heathcock, chairman of Cambridgeshire County Council's health scrutiny committee, said..."What will making the NHS independent do for Hinchingbrooke? We have got a lot of problems with health in Cambridgeshire, and unless Mr Cameron is suggesting privatisation, investment needs to be funded through long-term taxation.
"With his party history, and there are still elements calling for tax cuts, I have no confidence he will do that."

Cameron - all mouth, no trousersAnd that seems to be the crux of the matter - whilst the Tory leader is doing a good job of looking fresh, confident and modern when compared to the frayed and beaten Blair there just isn't any substance there to address real problems.

Going sledging at the north pole proves nothing apart from the fact that he likes outdoor sports, and making fine speeches about NHS independence (which incidently is the same rhetoric Blair and co use for foundation hospitals and city academies) doesn't address the fact that the NHS has a very serious debt problem brought on by years of privatisation and mismanagement.

YouGov (sign up here) recently asked me whether Cameron was doing a good job as Tory leader - and I said yes he is, although there was no box to tick to say I was very unhappy about it. He is doing a good job making the Tories appear more respectable and even electable - but the problem is he is still a Tory and falls back on Tory solutions like cutting down immigration or tax breaks for the rich.

Whilst Cameron might make a suitable successor to Blair for the establishment the one thing he can't offer is a real alternative to war, the free market, and good old fashioned racism.

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