Tag Archives: under-25

Cameron’s speech: The false claims of a failing politician

Don't you think he looks old?

Don’t you think he looks old?

Was that really it?

After the barrage of new policy plans from the Labour Party last week, David Cameron’s big revelation, at the end of the most disappointing Conservative conference since – well – the last one, is a hint that the Tories want to take benefits away from anyone under 25 who isn’t in work or education, if they win in 2015?

More repression, then. In a speech that we’re asked to believe is about making the UK a land of opportunity, of aspiration? A “land of hope and Tory”?

Land of hopeless Tories, more like!

Let’s look at those options. Put someone aged between 16 and 25 back into education and you put them into debt (unless they have very rich parents) – we have the Liberal Democrats to thank for that, after they betrayed their own manifesto promise and supported a massive increase in student fees.

Force them into work and its an employer’s market, isn’t it? They can hire or fire under any conditions they like – and the minimum wage will be no problem. You don’t like zero-hours contracts? Too bad – it’s a choice between being listed as employed but unlikely to get any paying work, or losing the pittance you live on anyway. Part-time wages putting you into debt? You’ll be homeless a lot faster without any benefits!

Whatever happens, of course, the benefit bill comes down and fewer people are classed as unemployed.

Just like George Osborne’s plan to put the long-term jobless on indefinite Workfare, this will falsify the employment figures to make it seem the Conservatives have improved the economy when in fact they are making matters worse.

The rest of it was a web of lies and waffle. It has been suggested that Cameron wanted to re-use his speech from last year, rewriting it minimally in the hope that nobody would notice, and that it would be worth finding out if this is true – but that would not get to the heart of the matter, which is that the Conservative Party has completely run out of momentum.

They’re at a dead stop and all they have to support them is falsehood.

Cameron’s speech started with a claim that the Tories are on the side of “hardworking” (it’s hard-working, David – learn some English) people. While he waffled, I had a look at some of the Tory slogans and tried to match some facts to the claims. So we have:

“A tax cut for 25m people” – but they put the cost of living up and wages down so “hardworking” people are worse-off.

“The deficit down by a third” – two years ago. It has been years since they made any notable progress.

“More private sector jobs” – that don’t pay “hardworking” people a bean because they’re part-time or zero-hours. They have also cut the public sector – and given those jobs to people on Workfare.

“Welfare capped” – so poor people are forced towards destitution or suicide

“Crime down” – because police are discouraged from recording crimes against “hardworking” people?

“Immigration down” – because the UK isn’t attractive to “hardworking” foreign people any more.

To these, Cameron added:

“Helping young people buy their own home” – by creating a debt bubble and asking the taxpayer to foot the bill.

“Getting the long-term unemployed back to work” – in order to falsify employment statistics.

“Freezing fuel duty” – and doing nothing about the huge, unjustified, price increases demanded by energy companies.

“Backing marriage” – with less than 20p a day for the poor.

“Creating wealth” – for whom?

“We are clearing up the mess that Labour left” – Labour didn’t leave a mess. Bankers left the mess. Why have the bankers not been cleaned up? Why has Mr Cameron thrown money at them instead?

He referred to the fact that Theresa May (finally managed to have Abu Qatada deported. She wants to get rid of the Human Rights Act, claiming it is necessary if the government is to be able to – among other things – deport suspected terrorists, right? So her action has proved that repealing an Act that protects the rights of British citizens isn’t necessary.

“Who protected spending on the NHS? Not Labour – us.” Wrong. At last count, spending on the NHS under the Conservative-led coalition was down. The plan was to spend £12.7 billion more by May 2015, but by December last year this meant the government needed to find more than £13 billion for this purpose.

He referred to the Mid Staffs hospital scandal as a Labour disaster – look to the Skwawkbox blog for the facts (hint: it’s not as clear-cut as Cameron pretended).

“When the world wanted rights, who wrote Magna Carta?” he said in all hypocrisy. Is he telling us the British people – who demanded those rights in the first place – are now demanding that he divest us of those same rights by repealing the Human Rights Act?

“When they looked for compassion, who led the abolition of slavery?” Fine words from a man whose lieutenant, Iain Duncan Smith, has been working hard to restore slavery for the unemployed, sick and disabled – even going to the lengths of pushing through a retrospective law, after his rules were found to be illegal.

“Whose example of tolerance – of people living together from every nation, every religion, young and old, straight and gay – whose example do they aspire to?” Perhaps someone should point him to his Home Secretary’s advertising vans, which preached intolerance of anyone who wasn’t demonstrably white and British by encourage people on the street to tell anyone else to “go home” in what Owen Jones called the language of knuckle-dragging racists.

His plea for Scotland to remain in the UK must have seemed particularly hypocritical, as the man who has passed more divisive policies than any other Prime Minister, possibly in British history, called for “Our Kingdom – United”.

There was more, much more – and if you have the stomach for it, you can find it here.

The underlying theme was that he wanted to appeal to British citizens to let the Conservatives back into office with a majority government in 2015, so they could “finish the job”.

If we let his party finish the job, we’ll be left with a ruined country, a wrecked system of government, and an elite ruling class laughing all the way to the offshore bank.

I made my opinion clear in a message to the BBC’s ‘live coverage’ page (which of course wasn’t used). I’ll repeat it here:

This speech is really distressing.

Cameron has learned nothing from the last three years, in which his policies have caused suffering to millions of hardworking people.

There is nothing in his words for hardworking people to support.

No growth, no hope, no health…

No future.

Cameron’s benefits bungling could cost you your home

When Mr Cameron’s housing benefits cap takes effect, along with the increased council tax bill for those on benefits, how long will it be before working-class Tories find their representatives have forced them out of their homes?

It’s the kind of ignorance that could kill off the Working-Class Tory.

We all knew David Cameron had his head in the clouds (or where the sun doesn’t shine) when he asked what hard-working people were meant to think when they see individual families getting up to £60,000 of housing benefit. I believe the Conservative Party has yet to provide proof of the claim.

The fact is that a huge amount of new housing benefit claimants are in work themselves – so Mr Cameron’s argument was utterly defeated before he had even uttered a word of it.

Today (Monday) the National Housing Federation has stated that a failure to build new houses has led to an 86 per cent rise in working people claiming housing benefit between May 2009-2012, as rents and mortgages have soared.

An extra 10,000 new claims are being made each month.

The solution is simple; I’ve pointed it out in this very blog, many times – cap rents.

Instead, Mr Cameron said he was capping housing benefit, meaning hard-working families will have to tighten their belts and cut back even further on their other outgoings, just to keep a roof over their heads. They might not be able to afford to heat their home as well as last year (I doubt a working family qualifies for the Winter fuel allowance). They might not be able to eat as well as they did last year, as food prices are rocketing. But don’t worry – their landlords will carry on doing just fine, thank you very much!

(Until the family’s earnings can’t be stretched any further and they are forced out and – because the rent is too high for anyone else, the property becomes vacant and derelict. Landlords: Isn’t it wiser to make rents affordable and at least have some regular income from your property?)

In his speech to the Conservative Party conference, Mr Cameron said: “Because of our welfare cap, no family will be getting more in benefits than the average family earns.”

But it seems the average family doesn’t earn enough to stay off benefits! So what, exactly, was Mr Cameron saying, there? That he’s putting the average British family into an ever-decreasing recursive benefit loop?

The worst nonsense was the choice he said we give our young people today:   “Choice one: Work hard. Go to college. Get a job. Live at home. Save up for a flat […] Or: Don’t get a job. Sign on. Don’t even need to produce a CV when you do sign on. Get housing benefit. Get a flat. And then don’t ever get a job or you’ll lose a load of housing benefit.”

Wrong, wrong, wrong. Since people with jobs are on housing benefit, we already know this was a pile of hooey, but we also know that he’s capping that benefit, so people with jobs are going to lose a load of housing benefit as well!

“And we’re going to look at ending automatic access to housing benefit for people under 25 too.” So, if you’re aged under 25, Mr Cameron is pulling the ground out from beneath your feet, before you’ve even got on your feet!

And let’s not forget the threat of the Localism Act, which will add to the council tax bill payable on your home. If you are in a working family that receives housing benefit, you will most likely be in receipt of council tax benefit as well, and this means even more money will have to come from your tight budget, as of next April.

So here’s my question, for anyone who still thinks they’re a working-class Tory: When all these cuts and new taxes have done their worst to you, and you’ve moved back to live with mum and dad (or gran and grandad) simply to have a (rather overcrowded) roof over your head, and the next election rolls around, are you really going to tell me that you think David Cameron’s Conservative Party is your best choice?