Cameron: Wrong, wrong, wrong!

Wrong

It surely takes a special kind of skill to get yourself painted into three different corners at the same time, yet that is what David Cameron seems to have achieved.  He’s on the wrong side of policy and public opinion on HS2; on immigration and open borders; and on energy prices.

On immigration and energy, he’s scrabbling to catch up with the curve.

He’s seen the opinion polls on immigration.  85% of respondents say we should not open our borders to a new wave of impoverished immigrants from Romania and Bulgaria in four weeks’ time.  One of his own government minsters Kris Hopkins (all credit to him) has called for us simply to leave the current barriers in place. Ineffective as they are, they’re surely better than nothing.  And now immigration is going up.

UKIP has staked out a clear position on immigration (and in case any Guardian reader has strayed onto this site by mistake, UKIP policy is based not on nationalism, ethnicity, or religion – or xenophobia.  It’s based on two criteria: numbers and skills).  If we were in power today, we’d be saying to Brussels: “Look guys.  We’re sorry about this.  We know that previous British governments signed up to the treaties, which include free movement of people.  But we have what amounts to a national emergency, and fierce public opposition, and we just can’t do it.  We know that you will probably bring a case against us in the ECJ.  But we’re telling you now that we won’t obey any ruling or injunction that goes against our national interests.  And we certainly won’t accept any penalty, or pay any fine”.

And by the way, we’d have said the same thing about the EU’s Large Combustion Plant Directive (LCPD).  Sorry, but we can’t close those coal-fired power stations, because we need them.

If we were in power tomorrow, we’d be taking Britain out of the EU altogether, so the free movement rules and the LCPD would not apply.

On energy, Cameron has been unnerved by the popular reaction to Miliband’s price freeze pledge.  Of course the Labour pledge is economically illiterate, and it would do more harm than good.  It would immediately block the new energy investment we desperately need to keep the lights on.  But Cameron is caught like a rabbit in the headlights by the public reaction.

Cameron has been complicit in the dishonest and damaging effort by all three of the old parties to try to blame energy companies for the politicians’ own decisions.  It’s government decisions driving up costs – the Climate Change Act; the obsession with ineffectual and expensive renewables; the refusal to keep coal power stations open, or to choose cheap American coal over expensive Russian gas; the dilatory approach to shale gas exploration.

So now he’s running around like a headless chicken and fiddling at the margin with green subsidies and taxes. Not good enough, Dave.  We need, in your phrase to “cut the green c**p”, and focus on grown-up technologies like coal, gas and nuclear, not playground renewables.

And then there’s HS2.  Recent studies show that as few as 21% of the public want the wretched thing, while 68% are opposed, or at least think the decision should be delayed while other options are considered. As I’ve often said, the question isn’t “Is it worth spending £50 billion on HS2?” (although I suspect the answer would be NO).  The question should be “If we have £50 billion to spend on transport infrastructure, is HS2 the best way to spend it?”.  And here the answer is clearly NO.  We need more airport capacity in the South East (which will benefit the whole national economy, not just the South East).  We need up-grades on roads and on existing railways.  These would deliver much more bang for our buck, if less opportunity for posturing by Transport Ministers.

On HS2, more and more of Dave’s own back-benchers are lining up to condemn it, and public opinion is implacably hostile – especially in some of those heartland Conservative constituencies in the Chilterns.  Never mind Dave.  If you’re determined to leave your natural supporters with no option but to vote UKIP, we shan’t complain.

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22 Responses to Cameron: Wrong, wrong, wrong!

  1. A very useful “Know your enemy” piece. A sad, bitter old man’s simplistic mini list of the hot buttons that will appeal to the prejudices of the people (or some of them). No depth, no balance little knowledge and full of bile. I’m sure that it will go down well among the aging grumps in the home counties golf clubs who are at the core of UKIP’s “support”. Fortunately most of us will shrug our shoulders and reflect that people like Mr Helmer do not speak for the young, the thoughtful, the fair-minded and those who see through this appeal to our baser nature. Footnote in history time.

    • NeilMc says:

      Think you’ll find that the Young UKIP movement is the fastest growing youth movement in the UK and if you were to actually check out the facts rather than relying on bigotry, attend a Farage meeting with maybe a thousand in attendance, the age group is much younger than the mainly old people at Tory or Labour meetings.

      Also check out the results of elections in the north, where previous Labour voters are supporting UKIP who are receiving 20-30%.

      Or you could just keep your fingers in your ears and stick with your prejudice.

      • catalanbrian says:

        Firstly it is easy to be the “fastest growing” anything if you start off with a low base, and secondly I wonder how many Farage meetings with “maybe a thousand in attendance” have there been? Perhaps you could enlighten me.

    • catalanbrian says:

      Paddy: you are right right right!

      • NeilMc says:

        You avoid the success in the north as it doesn’t fit with your closed attitude. Your mind is made up, don’t bother you with the facts.

  2. Anne says:

    The High Speed Train.

    Today we were told of things that are new
    We are at last to have the H.S 2,
    No matter the cost of this new Train,
    Money for this will be found once again.
    Bridges are crumbling, they are so old,
    Disasters waiting as my tale unfolds,
    Motorways closed as repairs are done,
    ‘Tis the HS2 where the money has gone.

    Our roads are neglected and have been for years,
    Many are the ‘pot-holes’ that cause many tears,
    For money is needed for the High Speed Train,
    Never for Roads to have money again.
    People’s homes that stand in the way,
    Will be demolished, for those folks have no say.
    All to save those thirty minutes of travel,
    But there is more as my tales unravel.

    Lights not lit in the dark of night,
    To save more money, yet it isn’t right
    For in the dimness it is hard to see,
    The hazards that are waiting for you and me.
    Hard shoulders on Motorways into use have come,
    No widening of motorways will now ever be done,
    Maybe nothing on our roads will e’re be the same
    But Hey! We are to have the High Speed Train.

    The cost from each house-hold, so we are told
    Will be a thousand pounds whether young or old,
    Yet perhaps none of us can afford to pay,
    But we have never yet been allowed a say.
    Not one High Speed train into Birmingham City,
    Time saved on the Journey, will be lost, ‘tis a pity
    The half-hour saved will be needed however,
    Through another mode of travel, not so clever.

    Whose great idea was this big spend on Trains?
    That many people travel on just now and again?
    Our Politicians never said the words to me or you,
    That our sovereign Government have to obey the EU?

  3. NeilMc says:

    You appear to be talking about democracy here Roger. Are you seriously expecting a British politician, who is paid for by the British tax payer, to actually do what the people want and to act in the best interests of the British people.

    I fear you will be waiting rather a long time, or at least until UKIP can turn spectacular election second places and polling results into real wins. Then and only then will our ruling elite actually start to act in our best interests and then only for as long as necessary to lance the UKIP boil, before returning to business as usual.

    • Jane Davies says:

      Here in Canada the talk on todays’ news is that MP’s forget the constituents who voted for them and ignore their issues in order to toe the party line, nothing new in that I hear you say, but for it to become a news item, it is. We even have MP”s standing up in parliament reading answers to questions from a script sent out from the PMO! We all know Stephen Harper is a control freak but this would be laughable if it wasn’t so serious.

      When did representing the voters become a thing of the past? Nobody it seems is standing in the corner of the regular taxpaying public and for the life of me I cannot understand why the great British public are not taking to the streets to protest at this useless bunch of well off public schoolboys who are ruining the country and who do nothing but look after their millionaire buds. I’m disgusted at how they treat the ordinary folk with contempt. I’m still proud to be British but only because of how it used to be, not the way it is becoming. And seriously what are they thinking….wanting to spend £50 BILLION on a train that would save just thirty minutes? Why is that not being protested about in the streets? Still what’s £50 billion it’s only taxpayers money and it’s a never ending supply…just up the taxes of the poor suckers for the next 50 years and then some.

  4. neilfutureboy says:

    The difficulty is finding any subject on which the LabConDem cartel is right. Perhaps, now, on not bombing Syria.

  5. Martin Dixon says:

    But you for get Roger, HS2 is not for the people, it is for the elite. Politicians and bureaucrats and Captains of Industry who can claim the doubtless extortionate fares on expenses, so we will be paying forever. As for improving the roads that we all use every day, forget it. Roads are for the little people.

    • Mike Spilligan says:

      I can’t imagine that the Captains of Industry will have much use for HS2. When most important meetings are taking place they don’t rely on “iffy” transport/weather matters to save them half an hour or less – or they fly by private jet a day earlier. If of lesser importance they will increasingly use teleconferencing. It will be mainly used by public servants on “essential” journeys, booking the costs to the taxpayers, again. If the main objective (and I know that has varied with the wind direction) is to improve business prospects in the Midlands, the North-West and Scotland, then many studies of both road and rail transport (here and on the Continent) have shown that the benefit goes mainly to the existing superior location.

  6. fjpickett says:

    Can’t disagree with a word. Depressing, isn’t it..?

  7. Adrian Hey says:

    Quite right too. It’s amazing that the leader of the “sensible party” (that’s what the Tories always were to me) can be so consistently wrong on every major issue. I mean every single one FFS! Maybe he should start paying less attention to his “one woman focus group”. Meanwhile they’re still seriously considering utterly trivial annoyances like plain ciggy packages!

    Is it any wonder that so many have left the Tories to join UKIP?

  8. Arthur King says:

    To say we have porous borders is ridiculous. How can 22 miles of sea be porous?
    Porous is a dam wall seeping, leaking slowly. Immigrants coming into this country are not seeping in, the government has thrown a bloody great pump over the dam wall and slinging all their energy into keeping it going full bore 24hr a day.

  9. Ray Spalding says:

    Roger
    More power to your elbow. Generally in agreement with your own and correspondents views as above I would like to add the following;
    1) Energy – Windfarms: money to Siemens (Thus Germany and landowners (Tory posh boys favourites); so:
    a) Get energy right to power railway projects already approved (Paddington to Swansea: Bedford to Midlands etc). Fund from money saved by no HS2 (No to Cameron’s panic treaty with China to bring them in, also on Nuclear power)
    b) Spend rest of savings on improving roads/motorways (e.g. Motorway box around Lincolnshire
    (A15 Lincoln to M180, extend M180 East over A180 & branch to A 160, providing work, & better facilities for Grimsby/Immingham docks to expand and cope with UKIP policy on North Sea fishing
    c) Pick up current policies regarding community transport, re – instate local authority operated road transport (Trams, Trolleybuses & Buses: Buses last due to increasing cost of imported oil
    Thus reducing demand for road usage (Park & Ride more efficient for large towns & solves arguments about parking & charges in town centres) Trolleybuses & Trams, when power available quicker, bulk carriers, segregated from other traffic, low accident rate low environmental pollution
    d) Generate Electricity locally,thus saving costs of transmission by Grid & losses in carriage, by clean burn incinerators, solving many landfill issues, home produced coal (jobs for miners: Doncaster, East Midlands,Wales Kent Leicestershire coalfields) NO imported gas, consider reverting to Town gas and producing smokeless coke & other fuels, with bitumen spin off for roads
    e) Nationwide campaign to reduce power wastage (empty buildings, roads etc lit all night) and spend money on improved Policing to combat the inevitable initial increase in crime
    f) All new buildings to have solar panels to reduce demand on National supplies
    g) Priority investigations & building water generated power (Severn bore, new Thames barrage (& river crossing to relieve Dartford) & serve new London Airport (in or near Thames: Kent or Essex)
    perhaps even Menai straits for Anglesey/North Wales, possibly also Merseyside, South Lancashire
    h) All British built & operated Nuclear power stations

  10. Chris says:

    Listening to David Cameron, George Osborne, Ed Milliband and others, shows to me that Parliament is full of vacuous, convictionless politicians, who will say or do anything, to stay or get into power.

    They raise energy prices by voting for the Climate Change Act of 2008, enact a carbon price floor, and then blame the energy companies for price increases!!!

    Heathrow, our only hub airport, is full at 99% capacity. Business is going to Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam. But Cameron voted against expansion, so as to win or keep votes around the airport and under the flight path. An expansion that would be paid by the airport owner and not the government.

    The Tories are going to get a lesson in their broken promises and unpopular policies next year in the 2014 EU elections.

  11. Anne says:

    I hope those in our Houses of Parliament wake up soon enough to realise that the people of this Country are so angry at continuing to PAY towards two full Houses of Parliament that can no longer GOVERN this Country ‘according to Law’. Those are the three words each MP says at the end of the solemn Oaths they make before they may take their seats in that House of Commons even though the British people have voted for them. “ACCORDING TO LAW” and that law is part of our very own Long standing Common law Constitution, that makes very clear, “…all usurped and foreign power and authority…may forever be clearly extinguished, and never used or obeyed in this realm. …no foreign prince, person, prelate, state, or potentate…shall at any time after the last day of this session of Parliament, use, enjoy or exercise any manner of power, jurisdiction, superiority, authority, preeminence or privilege…within this realm, but that henceforth the same shall be clearly abolished out of this realm, for ever.” So, will they wake up soon or will this Country become just REGIONS of the EU that Mr Cameron has already set up ready for the Committee of the REGIONS?

  12. Stephen says:

    Very well said Anne.

  13. I have just been looking at the support figures. Labour is way ahead. The conservatives are training very badly. UKIP is on the rise and is about equal with the Conservatives. Lib Dems – way down and sinking.
    What Mr Cameron has done – again – is to bring the Conservative Party and the conservatives with it into a disaster. In 2015 we face total annihilation unless either he turns the party completely round or else UKIP becomes the real opposition. Me, I do not see either happening in eighteen months.
    Does anyone?
    And then the electricity suddenly went off….

  14. Harold says:

    Well I see you are still in denial Roger.
    Our coal fired power stations are knackered as is most of our electricity system, so cheap coal from America won’t help.
    (Gas fired power stations are cheaper to build and run also less poliuting.)
    Climate change IS happening.
    You just look foolish denying it.

    Whatever electricity source we turn to, it will be expensive.to convert to electricity.
    The price of fossil fuel will continue to rise,, renewable energy will always be free.

    Why don’t you leave such things to people with knowledge instead of telling people what you think they want to hear?

  15. barrymx5 says:

    Thank you Roger. You are of course spot on. Your attendance at our Ukip Dinner last Saturday in Evercreech, Somerset went down very well. Thank you for speaking sense and educating.

  16. catalanbrian says:

    Neil Mc..Presumably you are not bothering me with the facts because you are unable to provide any.

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