Pensioners knock the wheels off Cameron’s wagon

David Icke's website  took a particularly strong view of Cameron's performance.

David Icke’s website took a characteristically strong view of Cameron’s performance.

Late last night (Tuesday), this writer was surprised to read a tweet from arch-Tory Andrew Neil, asking, “Does anybody feel that wheels are falling off Tory campaign?”

Perhaps Mr Neil had seen David Cameron’s performance at an Age UK meeting yesterday, where pensioners – widely believed to be the Conservative Party’s most loyal and likely supporters – did everything but climb onto the stage and physically rip the comedy prime minister apart.

If they are representative of all the UK’s senior citizens, then yes – not only have the wheels fallen off Cameron’s cart but the horse has bolted.

Arriving late, Cameron explained himself by saying he had just taken his 175th cabinet meeting. This display of pride at his longevity in-post impressed nobody – let’s face it, the man was facing a crowd whose defining feature is longevity. Perhaps Cameron himself was impressed by his (non-)achievement. If so, one has to wonder why; one of his first acts as prime minister was to fix the length of the current Parliament.

It was at the questions that he really fell to pieces. The first was about his diabolical treatment of the National Health Service – on which many elderly people must rely, of course. Why was it falling apart? Cameron’s claim that there was an army of carers, plus more doctors* and nurses, was met with a succinct reply from several areas: “Rubbish!”

“The NHS needs more money,” shouted a member of the audience, while another shouted: “You promised free prescriptions… we want the NHS how it used to be.”

Following on from this, Cameron tried to tell these experts on the subject that his government had protected health and social care budgets. Big mistake – as some pointed out loudly: “The social care budget has been slashed.”

Here’s The Guardian‘s coverage of the next question: “‘I am 91 …’ Dave began to applaud enthusiastically, remembering that a good TV chat show host always likes to give an old person a clap for having stayed alive so long. He quickly stopped once he realised no one else had joined in and started stroking his chin instead. In that moment, no one had ever cared more or listened harder than Dave.”

Moving on, Cameron told the tough crowd he would not have a Cabinet member responsible for the elderly: “I don’t want you to blame other people. I want you to blame me.” The response? “We are. We do.

“It’s a dream come true that I am able to ask you a question,” said a member of the audience. “Then you’ve got very low standards!” was the instant response from the others.

Challenged on his arrogant suggestion that he would not serve a third term (when he hasn’t even won a second and only got into his first by the back door), Cameron began, “What I did in my kitchen…” and was drowned out by the laughter of people who have lived long enough to have done the kinds of things in their kitchens that only feature in Cameron’s buddy George Osborne’s dreams.

“Some people have said I have been too generous to old people.” – “Not us.”

“I hope I can count on your support for a future Conservative government.” – “Not a chance.”

*It takes seven years to train a doctor; any new arrivals on wards during Cameron’s time as PM would have been initiated under the previous Labour government.

Afterwards, Asima Rentulla told ITV News: “The NHS is not protected. We rely on the NHS. The NHS is ours.”

And Graham Curtis said: “The social care budget is being slashed and slashed and slashed and the National Health Service is having to backfill what’s happening there… He was being very disingenuous.”

It was a situation that Cameron couldn’t control. The opinion polls might put his Tories close to Labour and the right-wing press might be praising him to the heavens, but there’s no way to hide the honest reaction of the public when they finally get a chance to confront the man who has caused so much unnecessary misery.

On this performance, Cameron’s days in politics – let alone in office – are numbered.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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  1. M de Mowbray March 25, 2015 at 12:26 pm - Reply

    What a LIAR: he claims he is looking after the health service, but is actually destroying it with privatisation. Again, the gulf between his words and his deeds is extreme. Just what you would expect from a particularly slimy PR Man!

  2. TomMagenta March 25, 2015 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    I couldn’t help but grin broadly when reading this.

    You could even say I “purred at the result” of the conference. ;)

  3. itsalllies994 March 25, 2015 at 2:04 pm - Reply

    That just made my day! Thanks Mike! :)
    Cameron has also got a fight on his hands with Clive Peedell of the National Health Action party already campaigning on the ground.
    The NHA published an independent poll which showed that people trust doctors more than politicians.

  4. Florence March 25, 2015 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    I’m so glad that the conference members accurately reflected what the over-60 age group are really like. Diverse, canny, intelligent, honest about what matters to them, too long in the tooth to go playing hide & seek with political dissembling, and most of all, clearly, our votes are NOT FOR SALE! Yeh! Go silver surfers……

    Call-me-Dave was lucky he wasn’t put on the naughty step. We can only hope that this revolt turns into his personal naughty step, sitting outside No. 10 as the removal van is packed. I think that even then he would still be deluded that it was anything that he was responsible for.

  5. loobitzh March 25, 2015 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    I laughed out loud, very loudly, still chuckling.

    Just wish there was a video of the proceedings or an audio recording….

    Would definitely go Viral………..

    I would imagine Chameleon Cameron might be wishing the campaigning was over. especially if he finds himself in the firing line of sensible down to earth people….

    Olduns who’ve lived real lives and had to struggle tend not to pull their punches…

    Straight talking with no BS……
    Just what we would like (don’t make me laugh) from our politicians…..

    • Mike Sivier March 25, 2015 at 4:51 pm - Reply

      I looked at a few videos put out by newspapers, but I thought they focused too heavily on Cameron and not enough on his audience.

      • Joan Edington March 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm - Reply

        Yes, I watched some of this too and it was obvious he was losing badly. I did so want to hear what the audience had said but the mics were never taken off Cameron. Thanks for the article revealing all. Chortle! Maybe this will stop all the younger folks blaming us for the Tories.

  6. annak53 March 25, 2015 at 3:13 pm - Reply

    Yes, it was a delight to watch. Hopefully, the tide is turning and people are beginning to wake up to the Tories’ lies and hypocrisy.

    How he has the audacity to say they’ve been generous to old people beggars belief.

    He’s obviously forgotten that they stole our State Pensions from under our noses.

    • Chris March 25, 2015 at 11:26 pm - Reply

      Anne delivered her petition to UK parliament on Tuesday 24 March, after a surge in signatures reaching 55,000 signatures.

      I will invite her to my petition on 38 Degrees that is the biggest con in UK history that is the flat rate state pension, that is more about the abolition or vastly less not more state pension, for all those with retirement ages on and after 6 April 2016.

      See why under my petition, in my WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT, section, at:

      If Ed Miliband wants my vote, then Labour must revoke Pension Bills 2010-2014 (flat rate state pension) and pay a decent state pension to all, without the raised retirement age.

      I have not even heard back from Ed Miliband’s office about the fact that

      – Equitable Life pensioners

      have only received one quarter of their compensation,
      and the government is holding the other three quarters.

      A lot of Additional Voluntary Contributions to council work pensions were invested in those by councils for their staff.

      The raised retirement age means over 60s get hit by

      – end of Pension Credit,

      – Universal Credit that will mean permanent sanctions by Hardship Payments becoming recoverable loans not benefit, by direct deductions from future benefit or wages by court orders.

      – Sanctions to working poor (half of the over 60s) for failing to move from part time to full time hours.

      – UC will absorb housing benefit, so sanctions mean nil rent money, nil food money, even to people older than 66. UC denies state pension payout to men even up to 73 or even 76, because the wife is hit by the raised retirement age from 60 to 66.

      – A lot of women especially will get nil state pension for life from the flat rate state pension, with retirement age on and after 6 April 2016.

      Bear in mind that of the 16 million who did not vote in 2010, 9 million were women.

      Only about 8 million voted in 2010.

      In 2014 about 8 million were not registered to vote, 4 million of them young 16-25 and around 2 million disabled losing benefits and pension credit and housing benefit just the same as all ages.

  7. Samuel Miller (@Hephaestus7) March 25, 2015 at 3:32 pm - Reply

    Granny power (or Raging Grannies) started as a movement in Canada about 24 years ago. Governments have learned not to anger pensioners; they’re a political force, especially in an aging, and increasingly infirm, population.

  8. Nick March 25, 2015 at 4:26 pm - Reply

    David Cameron lacks integrity so there is no need for anyone to believe in what he says and anyone doing so is just playing the fool

    And that has been a long term problem in the uk with many people just playing the fool

    The public need to stop playing the fool and just vote for a person of honesty and integrity it’s very simple this is not Einstein as keep getting this wrong kills not only in the uk but the wider world

  9. jaypot2012 March 25, 2015 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    I nearly pee’d myself laughing when I watched it on YouTube – his face was a picture that only an idiot could paint :)

    • loobitzh March 25, 2015 at 5:22 pm - Reply

      Watched on YouTube??? can you supply the link? Pleeeeeese

  10. casalealex March 25, 2015 at 4:38 pm - Reply

    I believe the audience were unbelievably restrained, but were brushed aside by Dodgy Dave trying to dodge questions.

    I was peed off the way he took over the meeting. And, as usual not answering the question!

    He was disrespectful to the audience. Taking over the show and using his hands to ‘calm’ them down, or shut them up/ And then deciding who could ask questions and who could not. I think he was very rude, and the audience were fully aware of his discomfort.

  11. thelovelywibblywobblyoldlady March 25, 2015 at 5:02 pm - Reply

    I think the pensioners know what’s coming … that dodgy Dave and his ilk want to slash pensioner benefits. It’s good that these folk let him know that he won’t ride roughshod over them like he has the ill, vulnerable and disabled…. tick tock tory boys!

  12. Gazz March 25, 2015 at 5:58 pm - Reply

    Maybe the Pensiones got a sneak peek at :


    A new vision for older workers: retain, retrain, recruit. [Work to death more like]

    Dr Ros Altmann’s findings and recommendations for improving the working lives of Britain’s over 50s.

    Johnny Void lays it our quite well:

  13. Michele Witchy Eve March 26, 2015 at 7:48 pm - Reply

    Not only the ignoble performance by Cameron, but wasn’t this his first appearance in front of real, non-hand-picked-by-the-PR-mob people in, oh, how long has it been now?

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