The ‘Dunce of Downing Street’ can no longer rely on lies

140402dunce

For someone who was educated at Eton and Oxford, it seems strange that David Cameron never learns his lesson.

Today in Prime Minister’s Questions he got on the wrong side of an argument on the Coalition government’s botched sale of the Royal Mail and committed every MP’s cardinal offence: He knowingly lied to Parliament.

Ed Miliband had caught him out with a question about share prices, pointing out that Royal Mail shares had been sold far too cheaply. Referring to Cameron, he described the Prime Minister as “not so much the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’, more the ‘Dunce of Downing Street’.

Cameron hotly denied that his government had bungled the sale, and in response to Miliband’s claim that nobody had wanted it, he told Parliament that Labour had planned to do the same. “It’s in their manifesto!” he ejaculated.

It isn’t.

I have a copy of Labour’s 2010 manifesto on my computer, so I was able to check it immediately and found no mention of any such sell-off. Cameron was inaccurate.

Not only that, but unless the memory cheats, this is not the first time Cameron has made such a claim. His advisors would certainly have informed him of any inaccuracies, so any repetition is a conscious decision. Cameron was lying.

This blog has covered the offence known as Contempt of Parliament in considerable detail before (mostly in relation to serial offender Iain Duncan Smith). By rights, anybody misleading Parliament who does not apologise and put the record straight should be expelled from the House. The current government seems to be ignoring this (for obvious reasons).

Labour’s Jon Ashworth raised a point of order after PMQs, demanding that Cameron return to the Commons to correct himself. Fat chance.

A spokesperson insisted that the language in the Labour manifesto was “similar” to a 2009 plan by Lord Mandelson to sell off 30 per cent of the Royal Mail and prepare the remainder for modernisation.

This means nothing. If it isn’t in the manifesto, Cameron can’t claim that it is.

But then, Cameron seems very confused about manifesto pledges. He once claimed that Andrew Lansley’s reorganisation of the NHS in England had been a part of the Conservative Party’s 2010 manifesto, for example – despite having himself ordered that nobody should mention it in the run-up to that year’s election, in case it put voters off supporting the Tories.

I leave you with Martin Rowson’s cartoon on the Royal Mail sale, for Tribune magazine.

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14 thoughts on “The ‘Dunce of Downing Street’ can no longer rely on lies

  1. Martin Kroupa

    Royal Mail had been owned by the state (I understand by people of GB) before its privatization. When privatized the top bureaucrats grabbed the money for its sale and the people got nothing. As such it’s a fraud.

  2. Hrothgir

    My personal favourite of the many lies of Call Me Dave – “Obviously, what we have done is to exempt disabled people who need an extra room.”

  3. jaypot2012

    He publicly lied as well as this is always televised or on the radio. I know he’s publicly lied since birth, same as IDS and co. however, he should now apologise and mean it, or be in contempt of parliament!

  4. Joan Edington

    I saw that bit today. Milliband missed out on what could have been a stop to Cameron’s attrocious performance refusing to answer questions (no change there then) about the city investors sell-off of their shares. Milliband looked at Ed Balls rather bemusedly instead, as if he didn’t know if it was in the Labour manifesto or not.

  5. beastrabban

    Reblogged this on Beastrabban’s Weblog and commented:
    Yet another case where the Tories have been caught lying to parliament. Usually the liar is IDS, whose underwear, if the old rhyme was true, would have combusted long ago. This time the offender is Cameron himself, who told parliament that Labour included the privatisation of the Royal Mail in their election manifesto. This is a government that is serially incapable of speaking the truth, led by a prime minister so crooked that, pace Hunter S. Thompson’s description of Nixon, he has to screw his pants on in the morning.

  6. Barry Davies

    “It’s in their manifesto!” he ejaculated. Gave me a terrible feeling that something being in the labour manifesto could give him a sexual thrill.

  7. samspruce

    Strange and informative as well as educational that Cameron’s knee-jerk reaction to criticism that “nobody had wanted it” was to say it was Labours idea. “Hey – you just robbed that bank.” “It was his idea!” F***wit.

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