Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Power to The People!

I've been in meetings all morning so I have only just had a chance to skimread the Tory manifesto press release. At first glance it seems very exciting, with a real feel of direct democracy. I like the fact that it has a real theme running throughout it, and that's power to the people. It reflects the 'change' slogan well and indicates that David Cameron really does intend to do politics differently.

What do you think?

More later.

PS I will be on 5 Live with Richard Bacon at 3pm to talk about the manifesto, by which time I hope to have read it in a little more detail!


albertmbankment said...

Have the Conservatives started cloning the front bench; and is this a subtle ploy to increase their campaigning coverage? I only ask because a tweet from Matt Chorley, who was attending the launch for the Western Morning News, passed across the politicshome.com page at 11.50 and claims that:

Chris Grayling IS here on 2nd row behind DC. Not going anywhere though, sandwiched between two blonde ladies, each flanked by Ken and Pickles.

Now, they can't "each" be flanked by Ken and Pickles, so there must be two of both of them.

cbwoolley said...

It seems to me that we will have no more roads built, no more railtracks, no more reservoirs, no more wind turbines etc. If power is devolved, what community would ever vote or approve, for example, the high speed rail line going through their houses or local land? On the other hand, what if a local community votes overwhelmingly to live under sharia law, or to bring back capital punishment??

Dippyness. said...

One word. Excellent.

Uncle Marvo said...

I think it's totally and utterly brilliant.

The only thing he doesn't explain is, if he actually doesn't do this, are we allowed to shoot him?

pete-s said...

Richard Bacon: You do associate yourself with some revolting people!

Braveheart said...

I see they've put in a plain cover.

Ashamed of something?

Or is it just that any image the Tories can think of will be spoofed in 0.001 seconds?

tory boys never grow up said...

Perhaps the people might want an answer to the following questions

Since one fifth ot the reduction in the structural deficit is to be by tax increases (in line with international best practice or so they say) - this infers four fifths of the reduction in the structural deficit is to be by spending cuts.

SO could Dave/George tell us by how much they intend to reduce the structural deficit (we are told the bulk - but what does that mean?) so that we can then work out how many billion they propose to cut from public spending.

And while we are waiting - we could perhaps start with a figure of say 8% of GDP.

Michael Heaver said...

Iain, read UKIP's manifesto and then tell me Cameron's vision is really going to change things comparably.

MikeyP said...

I just hope that he is more resolute about these promises than the cast iron guarantee of an EU referendum!

WV "crack", honest!

Right Hon. said...

"very exciting"... I must have read the wrong one then. My first thought was vague, patronising drivel.

Anna said...

I've been vacillating for months, not so much as to whether I'd vote Conservative as whether I could do it with any more conviction than 'best of a bad bunch'.

Today, all those differents strands that have been out there were brought together in one coherent and inspiring manifesto. The launch itself was a team affair which in itself reinforced the idea of government and people as a team. Great stuff, shame most people won't see anything but clips edited by broadcast media with an agenda. Equal shame that 'traditional Tories', among whom I'd always counted myself, continue to undermine Cameron and can't see the bigger picture. I find it genuinely exciting, a modern vision for a modern world which will no longer accept traditional Tory paternalism, while maintaining timeless values in many areas. Incidentally, it is a pensioner who finds these ideas so exciting!

I'm feeling immensely cheerful, and I'll vote with real conviction. And say a prayer that Cameron can pull it off, for the sake of my grandchildren.

Sorry to repost, but I really can't say it any better.

Archimedes said...

"Power to The People"?

It'll never catch on!

Tortoiseshell said...

The UK map in the preamble of the Manifesto has left out Ynys Mon constituency (Isle of Anglesea). Can Wales really trust a party with such a shaky grasp of our geography?

freethinkingeconomist.com said...

I loved the way he thought he had proven that public services would not suffer with 20% less money, because Sainsburys say "where good food costs less".

Yes, that is the man you are campaigning to make Prime Minister - someone who takes his guidance from a supermarket slogan.

Thatsnews said...

David Cameron was criticised for using Warburton's bread and Fullers ales and Morrisons as part of his campaign.

I do our shopping -my wife hates it, I like shopping- and I buy Warburton's bread and Fullers ales from our local Morrisons. So I guess I must be in Dave's demographic, then!

seniorspeaks said...

I don't see how favouring one family structure is smaller government. I don't see how sending health visitors into people's homes is giving them the power to choose how healthy to be. Nor do I see how more mediation for couples who are splitting up is giving them the power to just split up on their own terms.

When the Conservatives ran my local council, the government wasn't smaller. They still insisted that voluntary sector organisations asked people whether they have aids even though it wasn't relevant to the services the organisations were providing.

norman said...

So we do not want people power and we are desperate for Brown Power. These ridiculos comments say something about our mindset and educational system. But then if the kidnapped is held for years he/she will begin to like the kidnapper. These posters hanker after centralised control and big govt with clunking fist. Even the so called liberals now want strong cntral govt ( the kind Brown administers ).Then there are UKIPs. In the final analysis, we seem to deserve Brown!

p smith said...

It is meaningless tripe. Dave has now confirmed that he is to go into an election with no concrete policies for reform. The idea that random bands of citizens can make fundamental reform to health and education or the welfare state is nonsense. Nothing will change apart from one or two new schools in areas where twerps like the Telegraph's Toby Young have no real job to do so can focus their energies on building schools for like minded people who want their kids to learn Latin. If in 5 years time nothing has changed, Dave will simply turn round and say "I told you that it was up to you to turn things round so it's your fault".

The only concrete commitments we have such as those on NI, a reduction in fuel duty, the inheritance tax cut and married tax relief, simply serve to underscore that George and Dave are not serious about reducing the deficit. On each point they had an opporunity to show that unlike the government they were serious about taking the tough decisions necessary. On each one, they bottled it.

If Blair had turned this tripe out in 2005, every Tory under the sun would be laughing at its vacuity today.

The only substantive commitments

jailhouselawyer said...

Battersea Power Station + Tory manifesto = more pollution.

tory boys never grow up said...


You may be in Dave's target demographic - I very much doubt you share his actual demographic.

Uncle Marvo said...


according to the jolly old Sun today, Labours advisor's think you can do it too.

Labour wouldn't listen to them, though.

Perhaps Dave has two ears and one mouth.

Mike Law said...

"Vote for the man who promises least; he'll be the least disappointing." ~ Bernard Baruch:

Apt really as this is more "New Deal" Guff.

macuser_e7 said...

I think cbwoolley asks the right kind of questions.

We'll see how committed Dave is to 'direct democracy' once local people decide to follow policies he disagrees with.

Back in the 80s we had rate-capping and abolition to 'save' people from 'loony Labour councils' they had actually voted into office! The Tory track record on decentralisation and local democracy isn't very promising.

Scan said...

Iain, it' a shame I can't bring myself to vote Tory - I've been toying with it for months but I just can't agree with their foreign policy - but I did think today's speech by Cameron was the best I've seen him give and by a long way; today could be the day that nails it.

titus-aduxas said...

"...the high speed rail line going through their houses or local land?"

Exactly. I'm sure that you'd be upset, if your local council said that your house was to be demolished.
Under Labour, you have no voice. The Tories would give you a voice.

"On the other hand, what if a local community votes overwhelmingly to live under sharia law".

It is subject to national law, not local law.

doctorhuw said...

"The UK map in the preamble of the Manifesto has left out Ynys Mon constituency (Isle of Anglesea). Can Wales really trust a party with such a shaky grasp of our geography?"

Tortoiseshell, hate to be pedantic, but it's spelled "Anglesey." Also should technically take an accent over the "o" to by "Ynys Môn." Seems like they're not the only ones with a limited grasp of geography...

They also missed out the Western Isles for some reason - maybe the abstract nature didn't suit their inclusion.

drdavidlowry said...

In launching the Conservative Party manifesto today, David Cameron stressed several times he wanted to take the people with him as his party offer a positive alternative future compared to Labour. He argued that the Tories would be partner of the 'big society', not its boss" "People power, not state power!" he proclaimed.
The Tory manifesto states bluntly in its security and defence chapter: "We support the decision to renew Britain’s submarine-based nuclear deterrent, based on the Trident missile system."
Three years ago, the Ministry of Defence tried an approach now advocated by David Cameron, and invited public engagement with and comment on its plans to renew Trident.
It published on its web site a summary of comments received which revealed that 99 per cent of submissions had opposed Trident renewal; and that 53 per cent of these "raised concerns over the legality of nuclear weapons/the UK's obligations under the NPT."

The Labour Government and MOD went ahead regardless. Will the Conservatives really respond to people power, or will the Tories assert that "nanny knows best " and stick with £76,000,000,000 Trident, paid for with our taxes?
-Dr David Lowry
former director, European Proliferation Information Centre (EPIC)

Grand_Inquisitor said...

Dave - it's a good start, but why only local referenda? Why not National ones as well? - or, like Brown, are you fearful of the people's judgement on you?

John Moss said...

Wolfie Smith would be proud!

norman said...

Rumour is that Labour has hired hundreds of bloggers up and down the country to hit newspaper and blog websites. I understand as acting as tory -supporting bloggers and posting and acting later as other bloggers rebutting these postings. I can see Draper in action on the Times website with his typical strange statistics and repeated innuendos.

Postal votes is an area that Labour will exploit particualrly in areas like East End, Midlands, Leicestershire, Yorkshire ec.. where there is sizeable ethic population and where the so called elders can deliver bulk Labour crosses.

Cynic said...

Labourlist's last opinion poll analysis snow puts the Tory lead by
6 May at 11% up 1% on yesterday

starfish said...

It does amuse me how the Opposition is required to come up with a fully costed debt reduction programme yet the government have done less, if anything, to specify how they are going to meet their absurd reduce the defict (not debt note ) by half in 4 years

It is easy - I could do it in an afternoon. Mind you, the Labour client state won't like it

hatfield girl said...

'Nothing will change apart from one or two new schools in areas where twerps ... have no real job to do so can focus their energies on building schools for like minded people who want their kids to learn Latin.'

I learned Latin, my husband learned Latin and Greek; our children learned Latin. None of us regret it, it comes in useful every day in the various jobs we all have.

You should try, p.smith, you would like Latin and the pleasures of learning it.

Nick said...

Does anyone think iDave means it, any more than he meant the "cast iron" referendum on Lisbon?

As a "natural" Conservative voter, I was appalled by the retreat on the Lisbon vote, and cannot bring myself to trust anything the party says, likewise for all the other parties too.

ukipwebmaster said...

First the Lib Dems nick our policies and now the Tories follow UKIP on the 'direct democracy' front.

However when you look at this closely it should come with a health warning:
*only applicable where it won't conflict with EU directives.

UKIP have championed binding Swiss style referendums and the Tories aren't offering anything that is remotely close.

p smith said...

@hatfield girl

I also studied latin at school. I was immensely privileged to have done so and I would advocate it being part of the national curriculum. I just don't happen to believe it should be the preserve of pushy middle class parents who can afford the time to club together to form their own schools which we all know will end up being in middle class areas rather than sink estates.

trevorsden said...

Lord Sugar gives Labour £400,000. Lady Sugar will think its worth it.

Mostly Ordinary said...

Sadly I just don't believe it, I've read it and it sounds good. I just don't believe they'll deliver it. So seeing is believing.

trevorsden said...

76 trillion Trident? Why stop at 76?

It would cost about 20 billion to replace Trident. if you want to add in the running costs fine - but spread it over 30 - 40 years.

After taking away the build costs thats about £1.5 billion a year. Not a bad insurance policy.

Not that I am convinced we need to replace out nuclear deterrent with a like for like Trident.

Anna said...

Nick said...

Does anyone think iDave means it, any more than he meant the "cast iron" referendum on Lisbon?

I get fed up with this falsification. Cameron promised a referendum on the Lisbon treaty if it were unratified at the time of an election and if he were to win such an election. It has now been ratified, there has not yet been an election: what on earth do you EXPECT him to do from Opposition?

If he wins the coming election, he can't hold a retrospective referendum on a ratifcation that has already passed into law with a view to 'unratifying' it. Doesn't work that way, as you perfectly well know.

Granted there are things Cameron could do with regard to the EU if he wins the election, but 'unratifying' a treaty isn't one of them.

If you want to vent ire, I suggest you direct it in the proper direction - toward the current government that promised a referendum in its manifesto, was in a position to hold such a referendum, but reneged on its solemn promise.

cynicalHighlander said...

Sorry Iain its political rhetoric nothing else, soundbites and many other descriptions.

Scots 'want an independence vote'

An opinion poll commissioned by BBC Scotland has shown a clear majority (58%) of Scots want a referendum on independence next year.

Whats DC's percentage to allow the people a say in any of these Isles, once anyone is esconced in No10 democracy goes goes out of the window. Talk is cheap and no cheaper than in an election period.

hatfield girl said...

p.smith @6.25pm

The campaign for a secondary school south of the Euston Road, in Camden has been going on for decades. Children there are at the bottom of every secondary admissions list. This isn't what you call middle class parents seeking privilege, it's ordinary families wanting 'a decent chance for the kids'.

Policies that enable communities to set up schools, community schools, Bloomsbury High, should be demanded. Not decried.

norman said...

The worry is that polls are not moving in Cameron's way. This means that either the polls are wrong or the Labour have cleverly manipulated the media so that voters believe plaugue on all parties which suits Labour well.

norman said...

Sorry for the typo, I broke my reading glasses and thr replacement glasses do not work well.