Tag Archives: political point

Sincerity in the face of adversity (Mr Cameron, take note)

Shiny and insincere: Maybe. But Bob Monkhouse spoke from the heart about the loss of his son, something that seems beyond David Cameron's abilities.

Shiny and insincere: Maybe. But Bob Monkhouse spoke from the heart about the loss of his son, something that seems beyond David Cameron’s abilities.

Do you ever have moments when you think you’ve said something the best way you can, and then someone else comes along and does it better? In this case, the words come from an unexpected source – and from beyond the grave.

Last week this blog ran a couple of articles attacking the way David Cameron, in his speech to the Conservative Party conference, used the memory of his late son Ivan to attack the Labour Party’s stance on the National Health Service.

Some readers took exception, and it is to these that the following is addressed.

In a Mail on Sunday interview back in January, Cameron himself expressed his displeasure with people who said he would eventually find a way to take something positive from his loss: “Even though Ivan was very disabled and very ill, it was all just a total shock. We had no idea he was going to suddenly die in the way he did,’ he said.

“But the person who says to you, ‘There’s a silver lining to all this,’ or ‘Some good will come of all this,’ you actually want to thump. It’s the most annoying thing anybody can possibly say.”

It seems Cameron did find a way to make something of his son’s death, though – by attacking Labour. Here’s the Daily Telegraph‘s coverage of this part of his speech last week: “In the most emotional passage of his keynote address, Mr Cameron expressed outrage that Labour was trying to position itself as the party of the NHS and undermine the Conservatives’ record.

“‘They were spreading complete and utter lies – and I just think, how dare you! It was the Labour party that gave us the scandal of Mid-Staffs, elderly people begging for water.’*

“He added: ‘For me this is personal. I know what it’s like to have a sick child in hospital and know that when I get there are people who will care for it like it was their own child.

“’How dare they suggest I would ever put that risk for other people’s children? How dare they frighten those who rely on our National Health Service.'”

In both the remarks quoted above, Mr Cameron’s son hardly gets a mention. He’s there as a device for Cameron to talk about himself or Labour.

This is something that was brought home to Yr Obdt Srvt in the most unexpected place over the weekend, when BBC Four ran a documentary about, of all people, the late Bob Monkhouse.

During his life, Bob gained a reputation for being shiny and insincere – all gloss and no substance. It’s a reputation that may be partly deserved. He also shared two important characteristics with Cameron – he was a Conservative (or at least a Conservative supporter, back in the 1980s), and he had a son with Cerebral Palsy who died young (although considerably older than Cameron’s son).

And there was nothing insincere about Bob when he said this about his son Gary: “I think most parents of a grossly handicapped child will see [it] not as their tragedy, but as their child’s tragedy. And then, as in the case of my son, you begin to learn from the child.

“He was such a – a straight arrow. He was a source of great inspiration to me and, and I think of him every day, and if I grieve – as I do – I grieve not for his death but for his life, which was a very difficult fight for him.”

The difference between Bob’s words and Cameron’s should be clear. If so, then there is nothing to add.

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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Lib Dems Blame Labour For ‘Bedroom Tax’ Misery – Welfare News Service

The Liberal Democrats imposed the Bedroom Tax on local authorities and their social housing tenants - so why are they trying to blame Labour for a mess that they created?

The Liberal Democrats imposed the Bedroom Tax on local authorities and their social housing tenants – so why are they trying to blame Labour for a mess that they created?

Something has just happened that Vox Political predicted more than two years ago. The shock is the identity of the perpetrators.

According to the Welfare News Service, the Liberal Democrats are blaming Labour-controlled councils for inflicting the Bedroom Tax on their residents. That’s right – the Liberal Democrats who, in their entirety as a Parliamentary party, voted to support the Conservative Party in forcing local councils to administrate the hated charge.

“In a blog posted on their national website, the Lib Dems claim that “Labour councils chose to punish their residents to score political points” in a deliberate attempt to scupper the housing policy,” states the WNS blog post.

“What, exactly, the party means when it accuses Labour councils of punishing its own residents is unclear. But the sheer audacity and ignorance shown by the Lib Dems will anger all of those who have experienced financial hardship, lost loved-ones, or who have been forced out of their family home as a result of vicious cuts to vital housing support.”

It continues: “Not a single Lib Dem MP voted against the ‘bedroom tax’ in February [2012].”

The fact is, the Bedroom Tax – like the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (otherwise known as Eric Pickles’ revival of the Poll Tax) – the intention was to force local authorities held by other parties, which were statistically likely to have more voters on social security benefits than the more affluent councils held by the Tories, to enforce these unfair rules on these most vulnerable of citizens. The Conservative – Liberal Democrat government could then blame the party running the authority for bringing it in, diverting any adverse reaction away from themselves – the true instigators.

So who, exactly was trying to score political points, again? Here at Vox Political, the assumption was always that the Conservatives would be the ones pointing the finger.

Instead it’s the Liberal Democrats, and – as is now fairly typical for the Yellow Turncoats – they’ve made a mistake. It would have been better to attack Labour over the previously-mentioned Pickles Poll Tax, about which Vox Political stated on August 23, 2012: “Councils could choose to reduce spending in other areas or increase their revenue through council tax but, as these will affect groups other than current benefit recipients, I think we all know which way our councillors will be pushed. Either way, the local authority will take the blame – or at least, that’s what the Coalition hopes.”

Let’s leave the last words to the WNS: “If the Liberal Democrats had just an ounce of respect for the people whose lives they have thrown into turmoil, they would admit the Bedroom Tax is wrong and work with Labour, and other political parties, to end this disgraceful policy once and for all. Unfortunately it appears as if they are more worried about losing face than the shocking impact of the Bedroom Tax on some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in our society.

“Is it any wonder that so many Scots want out of the UK?”

Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike

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