Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring of discontent

Now this is good.

Very good.

The 'Spring of discontent' idea (while lacking the bleak resonance of a winter) is sufficient to remind the electorate of the 1979 economic turmoil and the undeniable fact that, just as night follows day, Labour invariably leave the nation bankrupt and at the mercy of the trade unions.

And it is all coming at the worst possible time for Gordon Brown.

As Bob Crow and the RMT bring the rail network to a standstill by calling out the signal workers, Unite (Labour's paymasters) are intent on ruining the travel arrangements of hundreds of thousands of people as they call out BA's cabin crew.

And all of these people have a vote.

Since Unite are funding Labour's general election campaign, Gordon Brown's hands are tied and his mouth gagged.

The wheel has come full circle: 30 years after Margaret Thatcher stormed to victory to resurrect the 'sick man of Europe' and remind the unions that it is the job of Government to run the country, Labour have put Britain back into intensive care and re-infected the nation with the virus of trade union militancy.

Only six more weeks...

In a speech to be delivered today, David Cameron takes on vested interests:

Since the beginning of the year, we have been setting out the choice at this election.

Five more years of Gordon Brown.

Or change with the Conservatives.

New energy, to get Britain moving.

But change doesn't just happen.

Change isn’t easy.

It's hard because there will always be people who want to preserve the status quo even when it isn’t working in everyone’s interests.

To maintain their privileges.

To maintain their position.

To make sure that the way things work suit them, rather than everyone else.

They're called vested interests, they are the enemies of change and often they will use any means to block progress.

So any politician who thinks they can just sweep in and implement their plans is sorely mistaken.

You can't bring about political change unless you confront those who want to protect the status quo come what may.

Political leadership means standing up for the people – and standing up to those who act against their interests.

What does that mean?

Put simply, you can’t change Britain unless you take on vested interests.


That idea lies behind the progress of our country.

It was only when people stood up to a despotic King that our rights first came enshrined in Magna Carta.

And it was only when Parliament stood up to planters, merchants and ship owners that the slave trade was abolished.

And it’s an idea that is written in the history of our party too.

Peel, took on landowners, repealed the corn laws and brought cheap food to everyone.

Disraeli, took on some of the richest in the land, introduced factory reforms and protected people from exploitation.

And Margaret Thatcher’s government was defined by taking the side of the people against the powerful, the vested interest...

...those whose survival depended on keeping things as they were.

Take her union reforms.

She recognised that as long there was a closed shop and no proper ballots, power would lie with the big union barons.

They would continue to hold governments to ransom, to drag this country down, and to bully their members.

So she took them on.

She broke the stranglehold of the union barons and gave every worker an equal right and equal say.

Vested interests broken - people empowered.

The same is true for council house sales.

Before her reforms, the system predominantly favoured one set of people...

...local authority bureaucrats who controlled huge budgets and wielded huge power because they decided who could live where.

So Margaret Thatcher took them on.

She gave people the right to buy their own homes, invest in their future and take control of their lives.

Vested interests broken - people empowered.

And then there's the denationalisation of industry.

We saw that the growth of state power and state patronage, of state employment and state subsidies, gave massive power to a few people at the centre.

The big bosses, the union leaders, the politicians and civil servants who were in control of multi-million pound industries.

So Margaret Thatcher took them on.

She stripped companies like British Telecom of their monopolies...

...broke up failing monoliths like British Leyland...

...gave people choice, the opportunity to buy shares and created a truly popular capitalism based on enterprise and aspiration.

Vested interests broken - people empowered.

One vested interest after another was taken on and defeated.

Unions were given back to their members.

People were given greater power and control over their lives.

Business was set free to grow and create wealth.

Real change happened.


Compare that to Gordon Brown.

Everyone knows that our public services are too bureaucratic, too badly managed, in urgent need of reform.

But did the Prime Minister allow that reform to happen?

No - because he's too terrified of upsetting the union barons, losing their votes and their money.

So, for instance, Foundation Hospitals were neutered and Academy School freedoms weakened all at the behest of the then Chancellor, Gordon Brown.

The vested interests triumphed and the people lost out.

Powerful lobby groups proposed a third runway at Heathrow that would cause great damage to our environment, but did the Government take them on?

No - they gave the runway the green light.

Again, the vested interests triumph and the people lose out.

Look at the government’s failure to ensure either fairness or effective regulation when it comes to powerful interest groups in the City of London.

For years, non-domiciles did not pay their fair share of tax while enjoying the benefits of living in this country, but did the Government do anything meaningful about it?

No - not until the Conservatives first proposed a non-dom levy in 2007.

Taxpayers funded the biggest bank bailout in our history.

And what did the Prime Minister do?

Did he stand up for the taxpayers who had put up £850 billion of their hard-earned money to save the banks?


He refused to even contemplate separating retail banking from the most risky financial activities like proprietary trading.

He refused to bring in stronger regulation by the bank of England.

Once again, under Gordon Brown the vested interests triumph and the people lose out.

And now we see it again with the British Airways strike.

This threatens the future of one of Britain's greatest companies along with thousands of jobs.

But will the Prime Minister come out in support of those people who would cross the picket line?

No - because the Unite union is bankrolling the Labour party.

So the vested interests triumph and the people – including those cabin crew staff who don’t want to go on strike – suffer.

From the BA strike to public sector reform and his approach to the City of London, Gordon Brown has consistently given in to special interest groups and shown that he is unable to deliver the change that the country needs.


That change can only be led by a Conservative government.

Since becoming leader of the Conservative Party, I have rolled up my sleeves and argued for what is right, not what is convenient.

Sometimes that means taking on vested interests.

Some people said don’t do it, don’t rock the boat, don’t pick fights.

I knew our country needed a Parliament it could trust...

...that unless MPs were willing to show they understood the anger of the British people and change their behaviour then our democracy would emerge from the expenses scandal permanently damaged.

So I said to my MPs – before any inquiry did – we must apologise, pay back money, restrict claims and be transparent.

Scrapping Parliamentary subsidies.

Cutting the number of MPs.

Cutting the number of ministerial cars.

Cutting and freezing ministerial pay.

Full transparency over expenses.

Closing the final salary pension scheme.

It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary – because this way Parliament can start to look the British public in the eye and say ‘we’re here to serve you, not ourselves’.

I knew our country needed restraint across government, because frankly we couldn’t afford, and people wouldn’t put up with, fat cats and bureaucrats spending and wasting more and more money with little to show for it.

So I said to the quango chiefs, the town halls, the government departments...

...all the officials that for too long have jealously guarded their budgets...

...that a Conservative government would bring transparency to everything they do.

Publishing every item of central government spending over £25,000 and every item of local council spending over £500.

Publishing every public sector salary over £150,000 and every town hall salary over £60,000.

Cutting the number of quangos.

It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary – because if we open up the whole process of government we’ll make it accountable to the people it serves.

I knew our country needed someone to demand some restraint from the market and stand up to big business...

...pointing out that companies have a real effect on people’s quality of life, a real effect on our culture, so it’s time to take some responsibility.

So yes, I have had battles with entrenched interests, including those in the corporate sector.

Opposing the third runway at Heathrow.

A right for every parent to request flexible working.

Changing advertising rules to stop the premature sexualisation of children.

Taxing banks to fund free financial advice.

It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary – and today I think big business knows it will be criticised when it ducks out of its social responsibilities if we’re elected to government.

And I knew our country needed a modern Conservative Party to apply Conservative methods like encouraging responsibility and strengthening families to the great social problems that after a decade the centre-left have failed to get to grips with.

So I took it on a journey of change.

More women candidates.

More black and minority ethnic candidates.

Social action in our constituencies.

In touch with the modern world and modern issues.

It wasn’t easy, but it was necessary - and now the public has a real choice: a modern, progressive Conservative choice at the next election.

So I believe this all points to one thing: that today, it’s the Conservative Party that has the leadership, the energy, the strength of character to stand up to vested interests and make change happen.


And we’re going to need all that strength in the years to come.

I have no doubt that some of the changes we want to make will mean facing down some really powerful vested interests.

Not all of the policing establishment like our plans to make them more accountable to local people...

...but they need to understand that accountability is the best guarantee for getting the zero-tolerance, beat-based policing that will really cut anti-social behaviour.

Some union barons may use strikes to block progress on cutting the deficit...

...but they have to realise that unless we pull together and deal with our debts then the economy will not recover, more jobs will be lost and things will get worse.

And just take our school reforms.

We say – and we mean – that we will open up the market and allow churches, charities, parents and yes private schools into the state sector to set up new, small, popular and successful state schools.

We say – and we mean – that we want to restore rigour and discipline in the classroom, end dumbing down and the “all must have prizes” mentality throughout the education system.

I know that these things may mean a fight.

A fight with some teaching unions who want things to stay as they are and who oppose the flexibility we want to give to schools.

A fight with the educational establishment who built and backed the consensus on teaching methods that in my view have demonstrably failed.

And, yes, a fight against some local authorities who can find parent power, choice and diversity an uncomfortable blast of fresh air though the system.

People need to know that we both recognise the difficulties in driving change through and are prepared to take the difficult decisions in bringing it about.

And with the Budget this week, this is no time to shy away from confronting some of the biggest vested interests in our country – the banks.

We had the biggest bank bail-out in the world.

We can’t just carry on as if nothing happened.

In America, President Obama has said he will get taxpayers back every cent they put in.

Why should it be any different here?

So I can announce today that a Conservative government will introduce a new bank levy to pay back tax payers for the support they gave and to protect them in the future.

No, it won’t be popular in every part of the City.

But I believe it’s fair and it’s necessary.


This election is about choices.

Yes, choices between different visions and values; plans and policies; aims and ideas.

But there’s also a big choice between two different styles of governing.

We’ve seen Labour’s style.

It’s feeble, it’s weak, it panders to vested interests.

That’s why they have wasted so many of their years in power and delivered so little real change.

The style we offer is different – strong, resolute, taking on those who block progress so we see change through.

From weakness to strength.

From elite power to people power.

From vested interests to the national interest.

That’s the change we offer.


Blogger Gnostic said...

Cameron reminds me of that little Dutch boy who sticks his finger into a hole in the dike to prevent a flood. The problem is, Cameron's finger has been stuffed into the wrong dike and now he's up to his ears in floodwater (Note - nowt to do with AGW!) and it's growing deeper by the second. He deserves to drown so I won't be throwing him a lifeline.

20 March 2010 at 09:55  
Anonymous Whyaxye said...

Vested interests? they would need to be pretty diverse to be able to
prevent the adoption of female and minority ethnic candidates, stop planes flying, bale out banks, and sexualise children. I smell a straw man.

20 March 2010 at 10:03  
Anonymous bluedog said...

Your Grace, if Dave says this he deserves to win. If he doesn't win this time he must try, try and try again. He should also pledge to leave the EU (now a German financial protectorate) and cut taxes once the deficit is controlled and the National Debt reduced.

20 March 2010 at 10:07  
Blogger Archbishop Cranmer said...

Mr Whyaxye,

Does not one 'smell a rat'?

Straw men are hardly detectable to the nose, and were they to be so, the odour would not be unpleasant.

20 March 2010 at 10:11  
Anonymous whyaxye said...

Your Grace,

I find I am able to detect the odour of both, although rats are in my opinion unjustly maligned in this matter. I might however be confused as to the odour in this case. It is not so much the straw - which is bland, mildly pleasant, and innocuous to most noses. I might have detected the whiff of sweat, as of he who labours excessively to construct the man out of straw.

20 March 2010 at 10:18  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

"I have rolled up my sleeves and argued for what is right, not what is convenient."

"Cutting the number of MPs.

Cutting the number of ministerial cars.

Cutting and freezing ministerial pay."

Wow, political bravary of the sort only read about in Homer.

20 March 2010 at 10:21  
Blogger OldSlaughter said...

"I have rolled up my sleeves and argued for what is right, not what is convenient."

"Cutting the number of MPs.

Cutting the number of ministerial cars.

Cutting and freezing ministerial pay."

Wow, political bravary of the sort only read about in Homer.

20 March 2010 at 10:22  
Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Your Grace permit me leave to submit:-…..”We’ve seen Labour’s style.

It’s feeble, it’s weak, it panders to vested interests”….

That’s why we’ve copied it!

Cultural Identity of our towns and cities?

Benefits abuse?

Penal reform?


Bogus asylum seekers

Human Rights Act reform?

European Community Rips offs – Absence of signed off accounts?

Turkey in the EU?

Defence Budget?


Grammar Schools?

Lothian Question?

Let's give the people something really meaningful eh Chums - something to rellyof Churchillian proportions that will grab the imagination

…...’Cutting the number of ministerial cars...

Yeah way to go! - Be different from Labour - Thinking big Dave.

20 March 2010 at 10:24  
Anonymous len said...

I fear as a country the U K has been emasculated, real change is impossible by whatever party is in power.When it comes to the EU, you are either IN or OUT of the club. The UK cannot remain a sovereign and independent Nation if it stays in under the terms of the Lisbon Treaty. Yet there is a complete lack of political will in the highest places to do anything about this. In this way, our Nation will be subsumed into the fundamentally undemocratic EUSSR which never takes No for an answer, which is so corrupt that it cannot even sign off its own annual accounts, but which harbours delusions of grandeur to strut across the world stage as the manifestation of soft power but hard conniving politics..

20 March 2010 at 10:42  
Blogger Jared Gaites said...

I smell a dog's dinner.

20 March 2010 at 11:30  
Blogger Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Your Grace,

Cameron indeed is showing leadership qualities that are most certainly absent in Brown.

The video showing Cameron talking to the roomful of apprentices was certainly a brave move, with several of the young lads heckling using the very much ingrained anti-Tory rhetoric that seems to flow so easily off the tongue nowadays.

Compare and contrast that with Brown and his PR team where the room would have been carefully selected from a group of Labour activists and supporters, the ethnicity ratio would be significantly high with a couple of babies and kids thrown in for good measure. More importantly, the planted questions would have been rehearsed and the whole incident would have been carefully micromanaged right down to when Brown should activate the rictus grin or not.

When the going gets tough, Macavity pulls the yellow handle and hunkers in the bunker with his cabal of Balls, McBrides and Whelans until the fuss has died down.

However, Cameron, once again, very carefully sidesteps the burning issues which rank high in opinion polls as outlined above by Dreadnaught: Welfare reform, Immigration, EU and the two wars.

I am hoping Cameron still believes by addressing the softer issues he can win on the marginals, whereas as we have seen in the past, if Cameron discusses immigration for instance, the Labour war machine will activate its “sleepers” in the media and generate a whirlwind of “Old Tories are still the nasty racists” as was seen in the past with Michael Howard, despite his foreign born status.

The Tories have the odds stacked against them: the biased in the BBC and media, big corporations and the unions. I am hoping Cameron just wants to get elected first before the unpopular, but necessary for our country’s survival, cullings begin.

He has 30 days to prove that he is simply not Blair Mk II because after then, he will be more unpopular than Gordon, which will be quite an achievement.

Whatever happens over the next 50 days, Cameron is showing promising signs that he is leadership material and I hope, for the sake of our country, he can make those difficult and necessary decisions.

20 March 2010 at 11:42  
Blogger Little Black Sambo said...


20 March 2010 at 11:43  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

A wonderful Blairite speech of studied vagueness, cliches, vacuity, and of course all deeply suspect. It is tailor made for the ignorant and the gullible.

Every time he apes Obama with the word "change" he should add the supremely important rider,namely,
"If the European Union will allow us under the Lisbon Treaty."

All conservatives will remember the great betrayal of trust in DC's broken promise.
If DC cannot be trusted on the all important matter of deciding for ourselves about WHO governs the country (either the EU or exclusively our own elected representatives), then it matters little WHAT policies he may, or may not, be allowed to deliver.

Put simply: No referendum, no trust.

20 March 2010 at 11:54  
Anonymous martin sewell said...

We can easily pick our favourite aspect that was not adequately covered but for heaven's sake your guys, THE ALTERNATIVE IS BROWN.

There is much that is good, practical, and bold in this.

It starts where the people are - always a good starting point, and points in the direction that most of you want to go.

Please tuck your obsessions somewhere safe for the next 6 weeks and give us the start of a possibility that things might get better.

Keep reminding yourselves of all that you have complained about on this blog in recent years, not least the unprecedented assault on the values of Christian Britain and should you be tempted to whinge on, instead of taking the first step back to decency and normality, I suggest you tattoo on the inside of your eyelids the simple legend


20 March 2010 at 12:04  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Martin said twice:
"The alternative (to DC and Conservatives) is Brown"

Not necessarily so Martin. The looming alternative is, as we know, the possibility of a hung Parliament. If so, then whoever is invited by HMQ to form a government and preside as PM is still an open question, and IMO not of primary importance at this stage.
Will a hung Parliament be a good thing? For most of us it will be entirely new territory, but the important thing to grasp is that it will be a mere preamble to the FOLLOWING election in a matter of months or so. That will be the important one.
A hung parliament, under the present circumstances where all three main parties are committed to continued EU control over our lives is surely unacceptable.

A hung Parliament therefore will effect the following:

1. Division of power, albeit on a temporary basis. So depriving any one party from dominance.(depending on your view, a 'good thing')

2. Give full opportunity for a complete realignment of British politics if grasped sufficiently.

3. A breathing space for the electorate to fundamentally reconsider HOW, and by WHOM they wish to be governed.
If that interregnum means the deposing of the Boy King and Brown then that prospect can only be good.

4. It could mean that the all important possibility of an IN/OUT referendum on our EU membership may emerge for serious consideration to lance the EU boil once and for all.
Thus "tactical" voting for minor parties may just be the very best choice the electorate could make in the coming election.
Agreed, all very hypothetical, but still IMO the preferred option.

20 March 2010 at 12:23  
Anonymous graham Wood said...

Typo. Please delete the three words "A hung parliament," before........
..... "under the present circumstances" etc. Sorry, missed it!

To clarify. I am strongly in favour of a hung Parliament this time

20 March 2010 at 12:36  
Anonymous len said...

What a chilling prospect!
The man will have to be dragged out of no 10 even when he`s lost the election.

20 March 2010 at 13:26  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

A word in your shell-like, Your Grace. If you want to drum up support for Cameron, stop publicizing his speeches. ‘From élite power to people power’ is a contemptuous insult from a man who refuses to free us from the EU.

20 March 2010 at 13:33  
Anonymous Happyness Stan said...

To clarify. I am strongly in favour of a hung Parliament this time

20 March 2010 12:36

Wishful thinking, is something that should be avoided.

The exact opposite of what you wish is more likely under a hung parliament.

With all 3 major parties involved there is no requirement for another election EVER, never mind soon.

At this risk of appearing to be a terminally hopeless depressive. IMO there is no result that could possibly result in us becoming free of the EU. Although a majority conservative government would be a start. The vastly enormous powers that are are lined up against this country becoming free from the EU, are at this moment in time totally unbeatable.

Only a genuine grass roots revolution can make this happen. But first the Conservative Party must show their TRUE colours. Which are only a slightly paler shade of RED.

A genuine grass roots, or uncorrupted peasants revolt is something that has not even started to take place, in this entire world of THEIRS since the middle-ages.

We do I hope know what happened to Watt Tyler.

We need the permanent destruction of all political parties, along with the present democratic system.

When the establishment conspired illusion of any form of people power has finally been removed from view. Only then can things have a chance of changing for the better. Freedom may reign in the end, but not before blood has liberally flown down every street in the land.

Until such time it is better to look forward to freedom in a better place then this profoundly EVIL world.

20 March 2010 at 14:03  
Blogger English Viking said...

Any persons voting for any of the 'big three' must be mentally ill.

20 March 2010 at 15:06  
Blogger ukipwebmaster said...

The 'straight talking' choice:

20 March 2010 at 15:39  
Blogger Marie1797 said...

D.C has to have backbone to be able to say NO and stick by it, cunning forethought and a good plan. Maggie had these in abundance. By quietly buying and stockpiling coal from South Africa, America and anywhere she could for a long time before she actually took on the unions as she knew she would have a hard battle. It was worth it to undermine and weaken the union barons. Strikers when they realised what was going on blockaded the roads throwing rocks and spouting venom at her here in South Wales as the laden lorries drove straight through from the docks. I also believe she actually banned people from joining a union too in fact unions were banned completely for a while. Has he got the guts to be as ruthless and as unpopular with the bankers, big business and even the EU in the end? There maybe a little chink of light, the straw might end up nourishing the horse or rotting away if it's the later it will nourish the land for the next crop.

People are still SO disillusioned and disappointed with politicians.
If I were DC I would be going over the footage of each and every interview Boris did before the Mayoral election because a great deal of what he said hit home with a lot of people.

The poster is good and more like it need to cover the country as I feel this will be a vicious battle against that old Hypo McBroon

20 March 2010 at 17:44  
Blogger Johnny Rottenborough said...

I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry ‘Cutting the number of ministerial cars!’

20 March 2010 at 17:54  
Anonymous Oswin said...

English Viking...I fear you may be right. Alas, old habits die hard...even when it is indeed insanity to continue to do so. However, I believe we may be at the cusp of great change; there are deep stirrings within the British psyche. There will be a period of 'thrashing about' where all manner of 'targets' are regarded as 'fair game' before some semblance of focus is achieved. We live in 'interesting' times.

20 March 2010 at 18:21  
Anonymous John Malcolmson said...

//And I knew our country needed a modern Conservative Party to apply Conservative methods like encouraging responsibility and strengthening families to the great social problems that after a decade the centre-left have failed to get to grips with.

So I took it on a journey of change.

More women candidates.

More black and minority ethnic candidates...//

I am not sure I can see the connection between "more women/black and minority ethnic candidates" and "applying Conservative methods like encouraging responsibility and strengthening families to the great social problems...".

Can someone explain it to me please?

20 March 2010 at 19:09  
Anonymous It's faith, stupid said...

Your Grace

It occurs to me that the reason that Tony Blair turned to sound bites and meaningless diatribe was because Labour was basically unelectable.

Does Cameron really need to do the same? He should be standing in front of an open goal with just a tap-in remaining.

I'm afraid I followed ukipwebmaster's link to Lord Pearson's speech. It was a breath of fresh air!

20 March 2010 at 19:37  
Anonymous bluedog said...

John Malcolmson @ 19.09, the women and the blacks are allowed to vote these days. By mentioning them I suspect Dave is encouraging them to think of him when in the privacy of the booth.

On the other hand, you may care to look at a chart of inflation in the UK economy since the introduction of universal sufferage.

Cause and effect?

20 March 2010 at 20:59  
Anonymous Martin Sewell said...


I fear you completely underestimate the dangers of the progressive Left.

You might think, listening today of the passing of a bill to enable Obamcare to advance that a democratic vote had occured. In fact, using an obscure procedural device, one sixth of the US economy will be nationalised against the will of 80% of that country' s population, without EITHER the Congress or Senate having passed the bill which Obama will sign.

This will not be mentioned by the BBC.

Imagine the furore if George Bush had operated in such a fashion.

Nancy Pelosi ( surely the vilest woman politician on the planet) said that if the Legislature threw them out the door, they'd climb in the window, if thrown out the window they' d
break throughthe roof to pass their ruinous plan.

" Democratic deficit" does not quite convey how Progressives operate.

So your idea of a Hung Parliament being a vehical for advancing an agenda of the Right is frankly quaint.

I truly doubt you understand how ruthlessly undemocratic these folk are. Damian McBride is a pussycat compared to the likes of Rahn Emanuel whose methods will inform and encourage the coalition that arises in a Hung Parliament.

They will appear " Centre Left" but the most secular, radical, and well organised ( count the Unite MP caucus) will dominate.

Brown has made it clear, he will not go unless comprehensively driven out. First they will break the economy ( the Market will panic early) then there will be
" no alternative" to massive expansion of the role of the state.

21 March 2010 at 07:12  
Blogger ENGLISHMAN said...

Not a word about the biggest "vested interest"of all,rothchilds,and dave will get his big peice of pie,courtesy of pilgrim/riia/bilderburg/cfr,for selling the little people to thier new masters."manifesto pledges are not subject to legitimate expectations"neither are they worth the paper that they are written on.How can we allow a small cabal of tyrants to deny us any voice in our future,the rights of the people do not belong to any of these yellow/red/blue communists to dispense at thier own pleasure,they belong to US,and very soon it will be demonstrated.

21 March 2010 at 09:24  

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