Features

Five arguments for voting Tory (and one for anything but)

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

2 May 2015

9:00 AM

Andrew Roberts

 Biographer

The Cameron ministry of 2010-15 will go down in history as having made Britain as the most successful economy in the developed world, despite it having inherited a near-bankrupt nation from a Labour party that spent money like a drunken sailor on shore leave. Ordinarily that should be enough to have it returned to power with a huge majority, but we live in gnarled, chippy, egalitarian times. The Prime Minister has overseen a hugely successful Olympics; saved thousands from almost certain death in Benghazi; won referendums on the alternative vote and (for the present at least) Scottish independence; protected 400 free schools and the great Gove education reforms; tried to save thousands from Assad’s poison-gas attacks (and been prevented from doing so by Ed Miliband); held himself in the best traditions of the premiership while somehow retaining his naturalness and sense of humour; given Margaret Thatcher a fittingly splendid funeral; found £1 million to save Hougoumont Farmhouse on the Waterloo battlefield from collapse, and offered the British people their first vote on EU membership for four decades. All the time he looked the part of a national leader who mastered events rather than being mastered by them. He has his hero Harold Macmillan’s unflappability, a quality I suspect we won’t find at No. 10 should Mr Miliband be living there next month. I also admire David Cameron for insisting the countries of Nato all spend at least 2 per cent of GDP on defence; all he has to do in his second ministry is find the money to ensure that Britain does too (without fiddling the figures). If we cashier him for Ed Miliband, I predict buyer’s remorse will set in within six months, and 2010–15 will be seen as a golden age.

Julian Fellowes

 Writer

It is hard for me to understand how people would consider inviting the party that took us into our worst financial crisis since the war back into power. I do not mean to imply that it was all their fault, but when Gordon Brown left Downing Street, we had a debt of £160 billion and unemployment had risen by half a million since he took office. Five years later we have turned the corner, a fact recognised across the world, and two million men and women are back in work. Surely that is an achievement we have to support and allow to continue? I’m not saying Labour has nothing to offer. They have many achievements to be proud of and there may come a time to give them another chance. But right now it is imperative not to leave this crucial job half done and at risk of sliding into reverse. Nobody prospers when the economy is in a mess.

Michael Burleigh

 Historian

I have many reservations about voting for weird people in their forties who harp on about their primary/prep school (Johnson on Marr) or ‘School’ experience in general, suggesting as it does that nothing in their subsequent lives was so vivid, or that only the Etonian gene pool is fit to govern, but the prospect of a Greek-style, Venezuelan-influenced coalition of ‘progressives’ in power for the next five years should surely oblige the dumbest Brit to vote Conservative. This is not the time for self-indulgent division on the right, or for the naked ambition of Johnson (whose inadequacy as a future Tory leader was manifest in that same interview). The coalition has done a pretty good job extracting us from Labour’s hole, so it should finish the job it started. If Cameron loses, then Javid is the man.

Susan Hill


 Writer

I will be voting Conservative because I believe in smaller government. Individual effort and choice linked to personal responsibility. Helping those in need who cannot — not will not — help themselves, and to which the socialist dependency culture is the wrong solution.

The highest educational standards for all, not the few. Socialism betrayed several generations of young people. Only Michael Gove had the courage to grasp that nettle. The grave mistake of plucking him forcibly from the garden when he might have achieved even more was surely Cameron’s alone.

Because I am certain that letting Miliband and Labour in will send us back 20 years and bring us to our knees economically again, just as recovery is under way.

Because we absolutely must keep the SNP out of our affairs. They exist to pay attention to their own. Scotland will become independent within the next five years. That is up to them, but their interference solely for their own ends in the rest of the United Kingdom’s business will present a grave danger.

Any reservations? One. Because William Hague was the best prime minister we never had, and now never can have.

Robin Hanbury-Tenison

 Explorer

Anyone looking at the UK economy dispassionately must see that it makes sense to stick with a government whose proven track record over the last five years is the envy of the world. Economic stability is what matters most at the moment. We do not need political chaos. Let the Conservatives finish the job they alone have the experience and courage to see through.

David Hare

 Playwright

Round here we’re all talking ABC: Anyone But Cameron. A PR man who achieves power promising no top-down reorganisation of the NHS and who then immediately top-down reorganises the NHS doesn’t just disgrace his party. He pollutes politics. A candidate for prime minister who refuses in the course of his campaign to debate with any normal member of the electorate has a yellow streak down his back a mile wide. Who wants to be led by a coward? When I asked a senior Conservative if he could name a single cabinet member who had come out of the last government with their reputation for competence enhanced, he replied, ‘I’ll get back to you on that.’ I’m still waiting. The British public is always up for moral correction — they love to be told how badly they’ve behaved — and history tells us they prefer it from an old Etonian. But if you lived through the disaster that was Alec Douglas Home, it’s depressing to realise that 50 years later office can still be achieved with no other qualification than a sense of entitlement. The obligation of any patriot at this election is, by guile or otherwise, either to unseat or reject their Tory candidate.

el

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Show comments
  • MC73

    When I read Rod Liddle’s piece about how he planned to vote Labour, I thought, can’t agree with you there, but fair enough.

    Reading Hare, I just think ‘you utter twat’. And I’m no fan of Diddy Dave. “Round here, we’re all talking…” – I could scarcely imagine a little world of lefty smugness more claustrophobic than Hare’s ’round here’.

    He couples this with a few pathetic class digs, a lie about the NHS and then a rather sinister exhortation to get rid of the Tories ‘by guile or otherwise’. I trust the Election Commission will be keeping an eye on proceedings in Hare’s constituency.

    • Lord_of_Doom

      What’s the lie about the NHS? Cameron did indeed pledge no top-down reorganisation, and then reorganised it from the top down. You can approve of the way it was done or not (though few people even in the govt actually think it a success). But there’s no getting away from the lie.

      As for what you think of David Hare, what do you think people think of you for using such vile language?

      • cambridgeelephant

        Hare’s the living breathing definition of a cupid stunt who also happens to be his own number one fan. You have to look a long way back to find a second.

        I am no fan of Cameron’s and will vote UKIP. But Hare – publicly spoon fed, National Theatre troll, with a risibly inflated view of his own non existent talent, is a gold plated jerk.

        • Lord_of_Doom

          I notice you don’t reply to my question about the NHS lie – a lie Michael Portillo admitted to when he said “If they’d said what they were going to do with the health service, they’d never have got in.”

          I notice, too, that having been reproved for the use of bad language, you use it again. What a nasty piece of work you must be.

          • darky

            Your question is a false one, since you’ve decided ex ante that Cameron was a liar in respect to anything he does with the NHS, and to justify this in your mind you’ve fabricated a narrative in which any intervention in the NHS whatsoever would be a “top-down reorganisation”. Presumably, because the government is on top.

            But realistically, if you look at the structure of the NHS before and post Cameron’s premiership, it was hardly reorganised at all, much less “top-down” or else. In the private sector we’d call it “tinkering”.

          • Lord_of_Doom

            Oh dear, the half-educated are among us. My question is not a false one (it could be – but isn’t – a mistaken one, but that is another thing). And I suggest you look up ex ante in a proper dictionary.

            The disastrous results of Cameron’s reorganisation are plain to see – which is why the people don’t trust the Tories with the NHS. As Cameron himself said of the Lansley plan, “We’re f*****d”. (Source: Daily Telegraph – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9098662/David-Cameron-and-No-10-are-losing-their-grip-on-the-reins-of-power.html)

            You can call it tinkering if you like – but only because you’ve already proved your not too good with the English language.

          • HJ777

            They did say. I doubt Portillo read the manifesto – he hasn’t been involved in active politics for a longtime.

      • GUBU

        I think Mr MC73 was being unduly kind to Mr Hare.

        That opening sentence – where exactly is ‘round here’, and who are ‘we’? Some leafy enclave of Hamptstead no doubt, where well heeled Guardianistas congregate to berate the rich – no, the other rich people, the bad ones – over carefully selected fair trade guava halves.

        My guess is that normal members of the electorate are pretty thin on ground round Mr Hare’s neck of the woods, and patriotism in the sense that most folk would define it is almost non-existent.

        If he’s looking for someone with an unjustified sense of entitlement, Mr Hare need look no further than the nearest mirror.

      • HJ777

        The Tory NHS plans were clearly stated in their manifesto.

        You call the re-organisation “top down” but in fact it was a re-organisation from the bottom – the idea being to place clinical commissioning far closer to patients.

        • Lord_of_Doom
          • HJ777

            I apologise for being correct.

            Read their manifesto.

            PbR, GP clinical commissioning, etc. – it was all there in black and white and in as much detail as any party puts in their manifesto.

            I don’t agree with Tory NHS policy (I’d be far more radical) but nevertheless, they did what they said they would do.

            I’d be much more interested in hearing your critique of what they did than this constant (and increasingly tedious) claim that they ‘lied’.

          • Lord_of_Doom

            My criticism – and it is that of the great majority in the country – of what the Tories have done to the NHS (which they never wanted set up, and have long wanted to destroy) is that it views health as a business rather than a service. Once you go down that route you’re close to regarding people as no more than economic units. How soon will it be before individuals are deemed worthy of treatment or not? In other words: the Conservative party is now a kind of allotropic reflection of Stalinist Russia.

            You are welcome to be “far more radical” with the NHS. But I doubt you’d get any more of the public on side than the Tories did for their plans.

            Thankfully, a week today, we can begin repealing this monstrous idiocy.

          • HJ777

            Of course, the last Labour government expanded private provision within the NHS much more than this government has. GPs and dentists have always been mainly private providers within the NHS.

            And nearly every European country provides better care than the NHS does (according to the OECD and EHCI) with mixed provision systems which include a much higher level of privately-provided medical care.

            You ask: “How soon will it be before individuals are deemed worthy of treatment or not?”

            That is what the NHS has always done. They make the decision how and whether to treat you. You have no say. They already have your money and they decide what you will get for it.

            It would seem that you put ideology and moral self-righteousness above the interests of patients. Sorry, but I have to differ.

          • Lord_of_Doom

            Who said anything about liking what Labour did to the NHS when they were in office? Sure, they ramped up the spending to something like European norms, but the privatisation stuff was and is disastrous.

            The stats on European health care can be read in numerous ways, as you know, but even if it could be proven that mixed provision and insurance-based schemes were the way to go, the case would still have to be made to the electorate. Good luck trying it. The Tories have never dared.

            As to the NHS deciding whether or not to treat someone, of course lines have always to be drawn. But the point is that those lines must be drawn by doctors adhering to the Hippocratic oath. We all know what oath the Tories subscribe to, and it has nothing to do with the health of the great unwashed.

          • HJ777

            It is hard to take seriously anyone who thinks that medics still swear an oath to Greek gods. They don’t.

            The stats on on European health care are very clear. The NHS performs poorly on most outcome measures. The OECD says the NHS pays its staff very well but we get poorer quality and quantity of medical care for our money – it could hardly be clearer. In Europe, only Greece and Ireland have less efficient systems.

            If you think that state monopolies are best for the people who have to use what they provide, then I presume you think that the Soviet Union fed its people well or that Trabant produced fine, good value cars.

            And no, I don’t agree with your stupid ritual denunciation of Tories.

          • Lord_of_Doom

            It is hard to take seriously anyone who believes that responsible medics don’t think about the hippocratic oath all the time. Sure, the money-grabbers you seem to love might not, but as for the decent majority…

            All stats are very clear. There are also lots of them, and they can’t all be made up to add up to one argument.

            It used to be said that it was the left that cleaved faithfully to monolithic explanations, but it is now the right that does this: only let the market rule and all will be for the best in the best of all possible worlds. Well, we’ve had nigh on four decades of this stuff now – and it ain’t worked.

            The market works well for many things (though not as well as is commonly thought). But to have a market you need a surplus of supply and there is as little chance of that existing in health as there is in, say, the rail network… remember what happened to that after Major’s privatisation?

            It is, of course, your right to believe the Tories have the interests of everyone at heart. But I don’t just believe the opposite – I KNOW it: they have been proving it all my life, all my father’s life, all his father’s, all his…

          • HJ777

            Why would medics think all the time about some oath concerning Greek gods? I doubt many even know what it says. They certainly haven’t sworn it – that is a common myth.

            The market works perfectly well when it comes to medical provision in many other countries. Countries that the OECD and others rank higher than the UK when to comes to medical care…

            It would seem that what you have been proving all your life is that you think that demonising Tories is a substitute for reasoned argument.

      • whs1954

        The problem with this is it is what I call the ‘Andy Burnham mindset’.

        Andy Burnham did an interview with the Spec recently where the interviewer surmised that Burnham would’ve done much the same to the NHS as the coalition had Labour won in 2010, but in Burnham’s mind, a reorganisation carried out by a man in a red rosette was a good Labour reorganisation designed to improve the NHS and save people’s lives, “party of the NHS” and all that; whereas the same reorganisation carried out by a man in a blue rosette was wasteful, unnecessary, “top-down”, privatisation-by-stealth, killing little old ladies and so on.

        I can live with the Tory reorganisation of the NHS. I could have lived with Burnham’s reorganisation of the NHS had he got back in as Health Secretary. What I can’t stand is the nauseating hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

  • fenlandfox

    Good grief,if a multi billion pound deficit,doubling the national debt and an eye watering balance of payments deficit is considered economic competence than I’d hate to see what economic incompetence is.soon find out if milliband wins though!
    This election is yet again a contest of the lesser of two evils,but the gap between the two evils gets narrower each election.

  • Bert

    David Hare sounds so self righteous. Typical lefty.
    No one should be castigated for trying to reorganise or tame the unquenchable appetite of the NHS. Its so expensive it simply can’t be untouchable.
    Most of us like it but like anything “free” it gets abused, by users and providers. Hats off to anyone who tries to make it more efficient.

  • RJ O’Callaghan

    Some very sound reasons to vote Tory there. As for Sir David Hare, there’s something unpalatable about a privately (and Oxbridge) educated playwright having a go at a privately (and Oxbridge) educated politician. Cameron can no more help his background than Sir David can, yet we are expected to regard him as having a sense of “entitlement” that presumably Sir David doesn’t. Doesn’t he know that his profession is just as elitist as politics? This is the kind of hypocrisy we’ve come to expect from the chattering classes.

    • Fried Ch’i

      The above list is hit and miss in many respects.

      The Tories do not want to win Rochester and Strood. A quick google of “Conservative Rochester Strood” will reveal why. No name pops up.

      The Lab Con however do want to win South Thanet. A quick google of “Conservative South Thanet” will reveal why. Craig Mackinlay’s name is everywhere.

    • goodsoldier

      David Hare knows where his bread is buttered and he had better like it. Look what happens financially and professionally to playwrights when they stray from the Left: see David Mamet who wrote this article years ago and has suffered from it: http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-03-11/news/why-i-am-no-longer-a-brain-dead-liberal/

      Douglas Murray understands the difficulty of being both an artist and a UKIP voter. One has to keep it secret. Very sad soviet-like state of affairs.

    • Leftyliesrefuted

      Agree with every word you say, and would only add that Hare’s comment about “the disaster that was Alec Douglas Home” only demonstrates what an utter fool Hare is. Alec Home was one of those rare Prime Ministers – a genuinely modest, self-deprecating and decent man, with a huge dose of commonsense, and who in 1964 came closer than anyone a year earlier would have thought possible to winning a fourth election victory for the Tories. Incidentally, he privately agreed with Enoch Powell’s views on immigration, giving the latter encouragement in a letter on at least one occasion. (But of course, that would be another reason for Hare to hate Home!)

  • TommyCastro

    I notice that the only piece with personal attacks is the Lefty, he also states anyone but…..what a ridiculous notion! He also talks about using any means to ensure his view is upheld. His attitude tells it all about the Loony Left – what a shower.

  • William MacDougall

    The token critic of Cameron wins the day.

  • Peter Stroud

    Got blimey! I guess playwright Hare must have had his Arts Council grant slashed.

  • The Bogle

    David Hare tells us as much about himself as he does about David Cameron and hardly comes across as a sympathetic person but as a sanctimonious one. His comment is one big ego-trip.

  • sir_graphus

    That’s it; vote Tory; continue recovery. Vote Labour/SNP; bankruptcy.

    Also, any vote which makes it more like that Labour win power (including UKIP); bankruptcy.

    Really simple choice.

    • Chingford Man

      Vote Tory, continued gross immigration at 600,000 a year.

      Yeah, really simple choice.

      • Ivan Ewan

        A job for everyone (in the world) who wants one.

      • Roger James Michael Sutherland

        At this point, I’m forced to conclude that some people just do not care about mass-immigration; or at least, they do not care enough to see it as a dealbreaker.

        For them, a superficial “economic recovery” is more important than preventing Britain from being uprooted beyond recognition, as has already happened in numerous urban areas. At least the populations imported here to replace us will be able to enjoy the wonderful propserity brought to these shores by Cameron and his emirate investors.

        If one cares about maintaining the integrity of our nation against the socially revolutionary onslaught of mass-immigration, there is no argument for voting Conservative. They support it unequivocally, and they have no problem with Britain being reduced to a mere province of the European Union. It could not be more simple.

  • HJ777

    Julian Fellowes:

    “… when Gordon Brown left Downing Street, we had a debt of £160 billion”

    If only it had been that small. The deficit was around £160 billion, the debt far higher.

    • Chingford Man

      The debt has been doubled by the Tories.

      • HJ777

        Frankly, given the huge deficit they inherited, it would have increased hugely whoever had been in power.

        We can argue whether the deficit could and should have been cut much faster but the debt still would have increased very markedly while this was being done.

        • RS

          Someone has been very busy at CCHQ rewriting history here:
          Northern Rock went bust because it lent long term and borrowed short term. Its UK mortgage customers were still paying every month. It went bust because the global financial markets were frozen – the credit crunch. The credit crunch was caused by US financial institutions going bust because US mortgage customers weren’t paying. This was because they had borrowed money they could never pay back,because house prices were falling, putting many of the same in negative equity, and in the US you can clear a the mortgage by handing back the keys on a now devalued asset.
          The reckless lending was caused by Greenspan holding down interest rates, government guarantees on loans via Federal Agencies e.g. Fannie Mae and the Affordable Homes Act mandating mortgages be advanced to less well off people.
          Brown and Darling acted decisively and rapidly to recapitalise the other stricken UK banks, earning much praise both in the US and from the IMF. When Hank Paulson belatedly copied the policy of direct equity injections via TARP, the storm finally began to lift.
          Yet Cameron who can’t choose between a debt and deficit and Osbourne who thinks a 5% current account deficit is ‘paying our way in the world’ would have you believe Labour ‘crashed the economy’.
          Has anyone read up on Help to Buy lately?

          • HJ777

            Who mentioned Northern Rock?

            I merely pointed out that, given that the Tory (actually Coalition) government inherited a record peacetime deficit, it was inevitable that debt would increase markedly. The exact extent may have been different under another government, but not the fact.

            You will recall that Brown claimed (during the last election) that his government’s deficit reduction plan would ‘cut the debt in half in four years’ – whereas, in fact, it would have more than doubled it. It appears that he didn’t know the difference between the deficit and the debt.

            The ‘Help to Buy’ scheme was a stupid market intervention. Governments should not interfere in markets.

  • HJ777

    David Hare:

    “Anyone But Cameron. A PR man who achieves power promising no top-down reorganisation of the NHS and who then immediately top-down reorganises the NHS doesn’t just disgrace his party. He pollutes politics.

    I am no big Cameron fan but this is simply untrue. The Conservative manifesto was quite clear about their NHS plans.

    In the sense that the government controls the NHS, then any changes it makes could be considered “top down”, but if you look at the changes that were actually made, they constitute a “bottom up” restructuring with power moved to clinical commissioning groups closer to patients.

    And he has kept his promises on NHS funding (not that I agreed with them).

    Do not forget that a previous Labour government promised no student tuition fees in its manifesto – and then introduced them.

  • Alb Einstein

    Yes let’s all vote for Tories or Labour and watch this country go completely bankrupt. Then we’ll an whinge and complain and act shocked that this was allowed to happen.

  • HJ777

    David Hare:

    “it’s depressing to realise that 50 years later office can still be achieved with no other qualification than a sense of entitlement”

    His qualification was being elected, surely?

    What more qualification does Miliband have, by the way?

  • Chingford Man

    I rather suspect all 5 of your contributors have privileged lives away from all the problems caused by the corrupt political class. To them, Thurrock must seem like another planet.

  • whs1954

    David Hare – you OK, hun?

  • Flintshire Ian

    I appreciate that Labour do power and not ethics – but how can even they possibly defend the idea of forming a government that has to be propped up by nationalists if they are wiped out in Scotland and a minority in England?

  • Gerschwin

    So Hare’s problem is his own jealousy and resentment. What a loser.

    ‘…50 years later office can still be achieved with no other qualification than a sense of entitlement’ – that would be the Miliband brothers then.

  • William_Brown

    What? A ‘playwright’ voting for Labour?…talk about stereotyping. David, mate, I know that’s what you’re supposed to say and think, but, c’mon…really?

  • Mike Barnes

    You’ve selected a bunch of wealthy older people to tell us why they’re voting Tory.

    Why not ask somebody on a zero hours contract how the recovery has gone and why they’re voting Tory? Or find a young working family who are looking forward to having their child benefit or tax credits frozen because they know it’s for the best…

    • Chingford Man

      Would they pay £12 (reduced from the normal £40) to go along to hear Fraser and James at a Spectator election briefing?

    • darky

      If the “young working family” you’re talking about cannot afford to have children, they really shouldn’t have them, instead of landing others with the obligation of financing their offspring’s care, education and whatnot.

    • HJ777

      Given that most people on zero hours contracts say they are very happy with them (in fact a higher dissatisfaction rating than other forms of employment contract), I think they’d have a few choice words to say about Labour’s plans to ban them.

      Anyway, I thought it was Labour who have promised to freeze child benefit?

      • Newton Unthank

        Surely you mean lower dissatisfaction rating?

      • RS

        They aren’t planning to ban them. Their plan is after x weeks employment, employees will have a right to fixed hours, if they want them. If you are lucky enough to work for a hobby, they are probably great, but if you are paying rent or a mortgage every month, then they are totally useless.

  • John Andrews

    I’v just walked down a posh London street of Georgian terrace houses (typical prices £2-3m) looking at the election stickers. It was over half Liberal at one time. Most notable today was the relative absence of window posters, indicating apathy. Out of about 90 houses all I saw were 5 Vote Labour and 3 Vote Green. I’m hoping the others are Shy UKIPers.

    • Chingford Man

      Yes, the absence of Lib Dem “Winning Here” posters where they used to be found is noticeable.

      • John Andrews

        The street I noticed has often had Tory posters in the past too. None this year.

  • John Andrews

    Politicians should tell the truth. They should not be PR men, like Cameron. That’s why Cameron is looking so disconcerted.

  • AverageGuyInTheStreet

    I must admit I was undecided, but now having read this piece I know what to do on the 7th.

    😉

  • Adam Page

    2010-15 a golden age. Have these writers just stepped in from an alternate reality?

    • Newton Unthank

      “Golden” as in “golden shower”.

  • StoryHugh

    I do think David Hare has written some good plays – Plenty for instance. But I am yet to understand why so many arty people who can empathise with human beings are totally unable to think straight or logically and fairly or evaluate evidence. Surely artiness and logic are not incompatible?

  • Raddiy

    This article and the choice of commentators is a perfect example of why the general public feel completely disconnected from the political process.

    Champagne socialists, and sense of entitlement Tories, a group of people who have as much of a connection with the normal public in the street as extra terrestrials. Why on earth does the Spectator think that status quo flunkies and the odd lefty have any more valid or informed opinions, than the average member of the studio audience in Yorkshire last night. What with the months of blather from the party useful i***** seemingly impersonating journalists, we are now subjected to the valueless opinions of their friends and acquaintances.

    I hope after the 8th May the whole journalistic profession takes a sabbatical and asks themselves why they have failed miserably to reach the high ideals and aspirations they probably had at 16 when perhaps the concept of being a journalist, a seeker of the truth was a raw emotion.

  • Fenman

    What a twisted embittered man Hare is. I had no idea he saw the world through such a warped prism. Cameron’s faults are minor in comaparisin with Brown, Balls and Milie junior. Doe she prefer bankruptcy? Better the devil we know who has put 2 million back into work and increase nursing staff by 8,000, while chopping out 18,000 jobsworths in the NHS. Clearly Hare ,like Millie is ideologically incapable of economic literacy.

  • Paddy Quinn

    Loved David Hare’s analysis. I agree that David Cameron’s failing is a moral one-he is basically a coward who does not have the conviction to debate a welterweight politician like Ed.M. Who wants to be led by a scaredy cat?

    • davidshort10

      You’re wrong. He was willing to debate with Ed M., just not with a whole bunch of ‘party leaders’. He retained the dignity of his office by not giving them to puny peole to big themselves up and he was quite right. Before Gordon Brown, we never had this sort of debate.

  • Robert Maxwell

    Julian Fellows is confused between deficit/borrowing and debt.
    The national debt is far greater than £160 billion.
    What’s the current deficit now? £90-£100 billion?

    I’m am not impressed at by the limp-wristed nature of the Coalition’s deficit reduction. The Coalition promised a 100% reduction in five years, instead we’re got a 30% in cash or 50% in terms of GDP.

    Cutting expenditure is only half the solution, revenue needed to be increased, but instead we’ve had tax cuts. A tax cut is all very well and good, but I am quesy about the macro-economic demands arguments. All it is living on the never-never, just a little less never-never than in 2010.

    Get rid of the deficit and then reduce taxation.

    • HJ777

      Actually there were plenty of tax rises in the first year of this government.

      The deficit last fiscal year was £87bn. They done rather better than 30% in cash terms (although, of course, not as well as they planned). The principal reason for this is lower tax revenues than anticipated, despite the early tax rises.

  • Precambrian

    Cameron is a non-conservative.

    There is nothing conservative in;same-sex ‘marriage’, digging the countryside up for the HS2 vanity project, centralising power in Brussels, opening borders to mass immigration, fracking up our water supply, building on green field, exporting jobs and money offshore throught freetrade outsourcing, and favouring big business over small.

    We don’t have a conservative option to vote for. We have a choice regarding who is the lesser muppet – that’s all.

    • RS

      What is free market about taxing and spending £50bn on a railway nobody except politicians want and banning the private sector building a new runway in London that they are willing to fund themselves?

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Just don’t vote for the Paedophile Protection Party. The Party that imported their own voters, some of whom turned out to be child rapists. And I think we all know who the dodgy ones are.

  • kevinlynch1005

    Julian Fellowes is confusing national debt and budget deficit. He also manages to get the deficit number wrong – it was of course closer to £180 bn on the entry into office of the new govt. Would that he paid the same level of attention to historical detail in these basic matters as he did with Downton Abbey!

    • davidshort10

      I’m not sure he did give much attention to historical detail with Downton Abbey. DA seemed to me to be an inferior rip-off of Upstairs, Downstairs which had far more of a genuine feel for the times. Downton had a chauffeur elope with a young aristocrat, a homosexual valet who other staff knew about but tolerated it when in those days they would have been openly disgusted, a feisty socialist schoolteacher who was invited for dinner, and a chummy lord. It whitewashed a way of life that was based on drudgery that bordered on slave labour because Fellowes is a snob in the true sense of the word.

    • RS

      UK Debt to GDP was 54% in 2008 before the financial crisis, far lower than most of the EU as well as the US. The cash deficit/surplus was -4.5% also lower than the US but higher than most of the EU except those that got into trouble.

  • CommonSense Matters

    Gosford Park is fiction – five more years of Tories economic and social plans and it will be fact. No thanks Julian Fellows, because class divide as entertaining as it is in fiction, is societal perdition in reality. David Hare, he’s the future of writing and a much needed spring of reason in an article that is essentially a babbling brook of hogwash.

    https://www.facebook.com/conservatives/photos/pcb.10153087227904279/10153087024784279/?type=1&theater
    Boy child: Why the angry face? Child benefit?
    Girl child: No, I’m here to prove this isn’t a UKIP meeting, when Nige’ is my best mate. He’s sending me and my family on a free boat trip later!

  • goodsoldier

    The U.K. will be so vibrant once poor Africans are free to obtain E.U. passports. Lib/lab/con think all Somalis are like Hirsi-Ali. Knowing a few foreign intellectuals doesn’t count as knowledge. All these wealthy Conservatives think they are being modern and sophisticated because they accept mass immigration and are pro-EU. They really don’t care about the British poor who don’t have the advantage of fortressed lives in luxurious environs. All they care about is cheap labour and their personal financial gain. UKIP rises above the blase rich and considers the British people; Farage has more acuteness and probity than the three leaders even if they lived another 100 years. Patrick O’ Flynn is economically head and shoulders above Osborne, but he doesn’t belong to a gentleman’s club. Why do you all care so much about upholding the Class system when your country is no longer your country? It must be insecurity and the public school mindset of silly snobbery so desperately clung to because of parental neglect. Funny but true.

  • misomiso

    Its such a shame Specie.

    You could have endorsed 10 or so UKIP candidates, and then told every other ukiper to vote Tory, especially in the marginals, but no, George and the other pro Europeans see UKIP as such a threat they must destroy them at all costs.

    UKIP wanted tacit collusion, but the line of Tory Pro Europeans who have destroyed the country were having none of it.

    Never the less, Cameron does diserve a lot of credit for what he has managed to achieve. Such a shame about Europe though.

  • tolpuddle1

    In the words of a 59-year old woman from Exeter:

    “We’re bug***** whoever we vote for.”

    That is the Truth, the whole truth, about this General Election.

    The politicos at The Spectator, NS etc WON’T see this truth.

    The British Establishment in general are cocooned and CAN’T see this truth.

    The Scots – before the onset of their insanity – USED TO see this truth.

    But everyone else can and does.

    Globalisation – hence the return of physical poverty (e.g. food banks), mass-migration (hence collapse of national identity, indeed even of a sense of place), the rise of a new generation who actually believe in globalisation (poor B’s) – has destroyed the UK.

    “There may be trouble ahead” ? No, there will be.

  • StepByStep2004

    That’s not five arguments, that’s one non-argument repeated five times. Cameron’s Conservatives all but scuppered a recovery that was already under way, causing enormous suffering, and they were only saved by a swift, furtive Alistair Darling impersonation. They’re myopic, ideologically driven spivs IMO. http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/may/03/senior-tory-financial-crash-was-purely-a-banking-crisis-not-labour-overspend

  • Roger James Michael Sutherland

    “The Cameron ministry of 2010-15 will go down in history as having made Britain as the most successful economy in the developed world”

    Who writes these hagiographies? Some of us will remember it as a government that betrayed so many of the promises made by both coalition partners to their voters, and took immigration up to higher levels than it was under New Labour (despite pledging to do the opposite). We’ll remember them as a continuation of the cultural revolution. We are also not going to forget their catastrophic intervention in Libya, any more than we’ll forget Blair’s debacle in Iraq.

    These parasites deserve nothing but contempt.

    • RS

      All they have done is re inflate the housing bubble which cheap credit.

  • Dogsnob

    And so children, what can we see here?

    That’s right: four very lucid and down-to-earth analyses of the safe pair of economic hands that we would be fools to let slip; versus one cup-cake, filled to the brim with socialist bile, to whom the main issue to be addressed is the kicking out of toffs (to be replaced by what?)

    So it would seem to be beyond discussion then. And yet everyone of these exhortations has neglected the main issue that has come to be uppermost among the concerns of a vast and growing number of people.

    So, for homework, I want you to find out what that issue is, and on one side of A4, offer your explanation for this glaring omission. (One tip: don’t waste time on the Spectator site because they are at great pains to keep it marginalised)

  • Many men and women will not get a state pension on and from 6 April 2016

    WORK TIL YOU DIE
    and never get a pension.

    See why at end of my petition:
    https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/state-pension-at-60-now

  • RS

    Even the first sentence marks this article as utter rubbish – I’m not sure I have been to this near bankrupt nation that two years after the election spent £9bn hosting the Olympic Games. You would have us believe George was down the back of the sofa looking for cash to pay next months teachers wages. We didn’t even cut public sector pay in cash terms.
    Remember George Osbourne in 2007 pledged to match Labour’s spending plans if they won in the election that never was (2008). He didn’t think they were overspending either. As for saving lives in Benghazi – look at the mess Cameron has left behind, repeating all the mistakes of Blair, war first, then realise you haven’t a clue how to fix the mess you have left behind.

  • RS

    Julian Fellowes – who are these 2m people ‘back in work’. According to the ONS, the population rose 1.8m from 2008-2013, so it is very likely that it also rose by about 2m from 2010-2015. You have also confused debt and deficit, but are in good company, as David Cameron doesn’t know the difference either.

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