December 07, 2005

An anti-hachet job from Al Guardian

I said that I thought that the honeymoon from the socialist press would be over for Cameron as soon as he was Conservative leader, Jonathan Freedland of Al Guardian has just confirmed it.
The honeymoon's over - or at least it should be.

In one of his best lines, used before, he faulted Labour's top-down habits while simultaneously taking on the great she-elephant herself, declaring: "There is such a thing as society, it's just not the same thing as the state."
Good line, it sums up the liberal philosophy really quite well. In fact it seems very much like something Perry de Havilland would say:
Society is something emergent that occurs when people interact with each other, you cannot point at it and you cannot owe it anything. When any politician says the word 'society', you can be damn sure what he really means is 'the state'.
, but with rather less words.

Mr Freedland goes on to talk about Cameron's record,
In four years in the Commons he has voted against every extra investment in schools, hospitals and the police. He voted against the increase in national insurance that went on the NHS. He wants to abolish the New Deal and undo Britain's adherence to the European social chapter, the document that ensures a variety of rights and protections for British workers.
This piece is obviously supposed be making Cameron look like a monster. But for me if anything this is improving him in my eyes. He is starting to look less and less like Tony Mk II, all spin and no substance, and more like someone that actually believes in something. And better than that what he believes in is liberty. But it gets better.
Most striking, given his own circumstances, he voted against giving parents of young or disabled children the right to request flexible working.
Bloody hell, he believes in something. They kept that rather quiet during the leadership race! Now that is surprising, as it appears that Mr Cameron really does believe in the small state, it isn't just a front. He opposed something that would have been of great benefit to him personally because of a deeper respect for his principles.

Like Mr Harding Mr Freedland notes that Cameron likes education vouchers and the patients passport, and like Mr Harding he seems to think that people that use there own money to go private in either of these fields are somehow exempt from tax. Rather than what is the actual case, that they are paying for these services twice because they think that the private option is of that much better quality. Mr Freedland notes that his small state credentials could provide some tactical ammunition to Gordon Brown as Brown will probably lie and say that he wants to cut spending
That will allow the chancellor to use the same tactic against Cameron that destroyed each of his predecessors. Which services will be cut? Which school playground won't be renovated, which hospital ward will be shut?
Of course he has actually said that he simply wants to slow the growth of the wealth consuming sector to less than that of the wealth creating sector. Hopefully the way that, according to Mr Harding,
This guy makes Blair look a novice when it comes to spin
will come in useful there. Mr Freedland concludes
Will it work? That much is a test for the whole electorate. We will have to weigh Brown's record against Cameron's panache - and choose. What really matters most in politics, style or substance? We are about to find out.
From his own words it looks like they do not have to choose. Cameron has both.


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