Coffee House

How Cameron made ministers cry

5 September 2012

David Cameron has always nurtured a deep dislike of reshuffles, and the last week won’t have helped. The result might strengthen the government; but the process was as ghastly as the Prime Minister expected. He sought to be gentlemanly about things, publicising the promoted while granting the demoted privacy. Even so, I understand, three ministers burst into tears in front of him when he was delivering the bad news. Lady Warsi was so cross about being stripped of the party chairmanship that she went home to Yorkshire and carried on negotiations from there.

Some ministers even succeeded in staying put when the Prime Minister would have liked them to move. On Monday afternoon, he asked Iain Duncan Smith to consider switching jobs. His work on welfare reform was done, IDS was told, and his views on rehabilitation could be put to good use in the Justice Department; though as a former leader, he was assured, the choice was his. In another era, a gentle suggestion from a Tory Prime Minister would have carried the status of a Papal Bull. Duncan Smith, however, took some time to consider and then informed Cameron’s chief of staff, Ed Llewellyn, that he’d stay put. Then the Prime Minister phoned up, asking if it would make a difference if he expressed a preference for a shift to Justice. The answer was no.

But looking at the rest of the reshuffle, it is clear that Cameron now has more chance of governing successfully. Over the summer, his confidants say, he realised that he could be a one-term PM. This has created a much-needed sense of urgency in Downing Street. if changes aren’t made, ‘there’s a real prospect that this country could sink’, one No. 10 aide told me.

The reformist zeal can have a slightly ‘year zero’ quality to it. Justine Greening has been removed from Transport and sent to International Development for the offence of agreeing with her party’s manifesto about the prospect of a third runway at Heathrow. There is little sympathy for her in No. 10. ‘She’ll have plenty of time to think about -runways,’ one source told me, ‘as her flight to the next developing country circles the airport yet again.’

Another policy area where Cameron and Osborne are attempting to discard the excesses of Tory modernisation is on climate change. The new Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, has views on global warming which meet with the approval of Lord -Lawson, who has done more than anyone else in this country to challenge the Stern consensus on the issue. A new, grittier approach can be seen at Justice, too. Ken Clarke has been replaced by Chris Grayling, a reformer but one who understands the electorate’s fear of crime, rather than blaming the tabloids for it.

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The real test of the reshuffle, though, will be whether it helps the government in its quest for economic growth. The initial evidence is promising. The promotion of Nick Boles, a determined advocate of planning reform, suggests that the Prime Minister really is up for another fight on the issue. And for good reason. The failures of the planning system threaten not only to impede economic growth, but to endanger the idea of Britain as a property-owning democracy — vital to hopes of a Tory majority. Boles, one of the original Cameroons, has always been acutely conscious of this.

There also appears to be a new willingness in Downing Street to push supply-side economic reforms. Two Tories renowned for a ‘take no prisoners’ approach, Michael Fallon and Matthew Hancock, have been sent to Vince Cable’s Business Department. They might, though, find less resistance than they are expecting. Cable’s main objective is a small business bank — and he knows, I’m told, that he’ll have to offer the Tories real progress on deregulation in return. The coalition remains in trade-off mode.

Perhaps, the most intriguing economic appointment, though, is in Michael Gove’s Department for Education. Liz Truss comes in as a junior minister with a ready-made agenda for deregulating childcare that just needs to be placed in the coalition’s policy microwave. Her ideas could make it profitable for many more women to go back to work. It is a great example of what Tory modernisation should be about: applying right-wing thinking to traditionally left-wing areas. It would also boost the Tories’ chances of wooing women at the next election.

The early promotion of Truss and three other female stars of the 2010 intake is part of Cameron and Osborne’s plan to ensure that there are women ready to serve on the frontline of the next election campaign. The party needs to be represented nationally by more than just southern, public school and Oxbridge chaps. One of the reasons that the Patrick McLoughlin, a former miner, has been moved from Chief Whip to Transport Secretary is that Cameron wants a working-class spokesman for the party.

The other reason was that McLoughlin was fed up with dealing with increasingly regular rebellions. Andrew Mitchell, his successor, has a formidable disciplinary task ahead of him. Over the summer, Cameron told one colleague: ‘My party has gone mad.’ This may be an exaggeration, but the party is undoubtedly more difficult to manage and more questioning of the Prime Minister’s authority. In an effort to break the cycle of rebellion, I understand that MPs will be informed they start afresh after the reshuffle: offences on past votes will be subject to a statute of ¬limitations.

Of course, much of the dissent among Tory MPs is down to the fact that this is a coalition, and the reshuffle couldn’t change that. Having appointed ministers to assuage his own party, Cameron needs to make sure that the government does not become deadlocked by the two parties blocking each other’s ¬initiatives.

There is one final niggle: the continuing loss of the Conservative’s party’s intellectual firepower. Nick Herbert, one of the most creative ministers, is following Cameron’s big ideas man Steve Hilton out of government. To lose one bold but temperamental radical may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness. Cameron will need to channel their sense of urgency if he really is to change Britain by 2015.

This is James Forsyth’s column from this week’s Spectator, which is out tomorrow. You can subscribe to The Spectator here.

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Show comments
  • RedMiner

    They could save £6 billion overnight if that semi-idiot IDS wasn’t so keen on the Work Programme. Even Social Market Foundation recognise it produces worse results than if it didn’t exist at all.

  • steve s

    I am new to twitter ….but Cameron has made more than a few ministers cry …he has made millions of ordinary people cry …myself (UN-employed ) my son (disabled) and many more …he should look closer to home …look after the poor people who voted him in not realising they were they were cutting their own throats

  • pauldanon

    They’re supposed to face the wrath of parliament and robustly defend policy yet they weep when sacked. Maybe they weren’t right for the job all along.

  • Sam Boe

    It’s absolutely clear what happened. Cameron is a dreadful racist and sexist and deliberately disriminated against the masses of hugely talented women and ethnics in the Tory party to positively discriminate in favour of the male and the pale. It’s the only explanation! Andyone who disagrees is a racist and sexist too. This must be true because I read in in The Guardian…

  • david

    Thank Goodness Herbert has been given the sack,

    MP formally objects to Adversane North Heath new town

    3 November 2009Arundel
    & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has said that a new town of 4,000
    houses between North Heath and Adversane would devastate the countryside
    and fail to deal with the lack of affordable housing in the villages.
    Herbert was commenting in a formal response to Horsham District
    Council’s Core Strategy document which contains proposals to meet the
    Government’s demand for 13,000 new houses in the district by 2026.
    Herbert said he was “wholly opposed” to the plans and that the area did
    not have the transport infrastructure, schools, health services and
    water supplies to support a new town of 10-12,000 people.
    The MP
    also objected to plans for an expansion of Pulborough, saying that
    significant development should not proceed without the agreement of the
    Parish Council.
    Mr Herbert said that he recognised the need for
    more homes, especially for young

    people who are finding it difficult to
    get a foot on the housing ladder, but that people would rather live
    within their existing network of family and friends in the villages than

    in a new town in the middle of the countryside.
    Mr Herbert
    renewed his pledge that a Conservative government would scrap the
    regional housing targets and regional spatial strategies that are
    driving the house-building plans in West Sussex.
    The proposal to
    build a new town on the greenfield site, most of which falls within the
    parish of West Chiltington, has been the focus of strong opposition from
    local residents, councillors and GPs since the Core Strategy document
    was published in September.
    It has led to the formation of STAND –
    Stop The Adversane North Heath Development – who met with Mr Herbert
    last month and received his strong backing for their campaign.

    I’m sure Boles will soon sort out those NIMBY’s errr 2009 hmmmm of course much easier to protest when the other lot are in!

    Build Build Build, you know it makes sense.

  • AncientMariner

    So Warsi played the race card, the Muslim card and the female card, well it worked didn’t it?

    • dalai guevara

      …and what card did you just play? The formula one card?

  • hydroxide

    Probably James Forsyth’s lack of familiarity with coalition governments shines through, otherwise he couldn’t possibly state that a reshuffle that leads one partner towards more extreme positions “strengthens the government”. A coalition meets at the common ground, so applying more “right wing thinking” will only serve to destabilise the coalition.

    Here’s the deal: democracy, and especially coalitions, is about making compromises to get a majority. A party that is incapable of making compromises but doesn’t have a majority of its own will invariably find itself unable to enact ANY of its ideas.

  • HooksLaw

    The tory part have gone mad. too much listening to the idiots of the telegraph and spectator.

    Who gives a monnkeys about lords reform.? But tories but a longer term agenda at risk because of knee jerk reactions. Millions of jobs being created but everyone is obsessing about growth. When the govt act why, the tory party and the Barclay Bros mouthpiece howl about ‘planning’!

  • In2minds

    ” looking at the rest of the reshuffle, it is clear that Cameron now has more chance of governing successfully”….. then it was my turn, I laughed till I cried!

  • Alan Eastwood

    So Number 10 have said “There is little sympathy for her in No. 10. ‘She’ll have plenty of time to think about -runways,’ one source told me, ‘as her flight to the next developing country circles the airport yet again”
    How on earth can such a statement help in creating loyalty? It shows that Cameron and Osborne are two spoilt brats who are worse than Gordon Brown. Whoever made this ridiculous statement should be kicked out now.
    It certainly makes a total nonsense of your assertion, Mr Forsyth, that ” it is clear that Cameron now has more chance of governing successfully”
    Let us wait and see.

    • Daniel Maris

      No chance. The problems are just beginning. With growth we could buy ourselves out of some of the problems but now they are really stacking up.
      We are going to be 100,000 school places short in London. The pressure on hospitals is increasing -something like 60% of mothers in maternity wards are foreign born in London. The planning system is going to be taken apart.

    • C F Gauss

      I thought she was pushed because she is rational and numerate – unlike Cameron.

  • RoadrunnerNick

    Planning should not be seen as the handmaiden of economic policy; one is stuck with the consequences of poor planning for decades.
    Osborne would be unwise to seek a rematch on his wish for greenfield development after the climbdown a few months back. He had his answer from the public then.

    • SimonToo

      Is Osborne saying “green field” or “green belt”? It seems to be reported as “green belt”, which gets it kicked out of play right away. He really needs the help of some savvy PR guy to get the whole concept floated in emotively positive terms, rather than just wade in waving a green rag at a bull.

  • Coffeehousewall

    If he believes he may be a one-term Prime Minister then why should we think he will actually be concerned about anything important to the real needs of the nation? He will surely be seeking to prepare himself for the next stage in his career and the next division in personal wealth creation.

    I would suggest that we look out for private visits to Tony Blair to pick up tips.

  • Anon

    “Ken Clarke has been replaced by Chris Grayling, a reformer but one who understands the electorate’s fear of crime, rather than blaming the tabloids for it.”

    Would you like the evidence for this?

    • Coffeehousewall

      I am not afraid of crime. I am angry that violent criminals escape punishment, and are commended for being brave, while householders are arrested by the Stasi and treated as criminals.

      • Rohan

        Wahey! Nazi reference already, Godwin’s Law proven again in record time. It’s political correctness gone mad, I tell you!

        • Coffeehousewall

          Sorry. Where is a Nazi reference?

          • Rohan

            True. I confused Stasi with Gestapo. Apologies. I stand by the assertion that it is a hysterical over-simplification, nonetheless. Littlejohneque, dare I say

            • Coffeehousewall

              Well you can stand by your assertion that arresting people for defending themselves is justice being seen to be done. But Cameron has insisted that criminal’s human rights ended at their victim’s door. Clearly he was lying yet again. I don’t think most people would consider it an over-simplification. Indeed I think most people would agree with the victim’s father-in-law who said that his son should have blown the criminal’s heads off rather than aiming at their legs.

              • Rohan

                Oh yes. I forgot about the logical trump card that is ‘most people people think something, therefore it’s credible’. There are, of course, no historical precedents for that particular mode of reasoning’s short-comings. Nor is it a week one text book logical fallacy.
                That’s assuming it’s even accurate. One can spend too much time talking only to those with whom one agrees. I’m not sure my own experience of ‘most people’ has persuaded me that they do generally believe it’s OK to murder a burglar. Especially when you could just immobilize them.

                • Coffeehousewall

                  Do please make your mind up. You just suggested that the police were right to arrest and hold for three days a man who had deliberately fired one shot to wound the criminals breaking into his home in the middle of the night. Now you seem to be suggesting that it is reasonable to immobilise such criminals, in which case it is not reasonable to arrest and hold for three days the victim of a burglary.

                  I don’t know who you spend your time with. You could well be a socialist who believes that the criminals are the real victims. But it is a fact that all the people I know think that the householder was etirely justified in firing a shot, and many believe that fatally shooting someone should not be liable to prosecution.

                  You can read what some of the people who have these opinions say for themselves at www coffeehousewall co uk

                • Rohan

                  I was responding to your assertion that he should have ‘blown their head off’ (presumably with impunity), rather than laying out an ideology. It’s not that I think he necessarily should have shot them in the leg rather than chase them off, more that if that were an option, then it makes killing them indefensible. Why murder when maiming is clearly sufficient.

                • Publius

                  “Why murder when maiming is clearly sufficient.”

                  Why? Because the problem, at least with this particular yob, is then solved once and for all. And the next yob will then think twice.

                • Rohan

                  Right so we murder thieves to prevent them committing more crimes and to put other people off. It would be effective, of course. but disproportionate to the crime and would leave justice in the hand of citizens rather than divesting that responsibility to the experts.
                  Also, effectiveness and prevention are not enough to justify it. Every year, thousand of children die on British roads. Death is far more likely to occur as a result of a collision involving a car travelling over 30 mph. (standard speed limit in built up areas, where there are also more children). It stands to reason, then, that if we summarily executed speeders, then we would save many children’s lives. A noble cause, I would suggest. More so than, even, than prevention of burglary. Speeders know they are breaking the law, the also know that breaking said law shows disregard for the lives the law is there to protect. They have made their decision. Screw their rights, lets prevent them doing it again and scare others from doing it themselves.
                  We don’t do it, of course, because prevention of future crime is not sufficient justification for the taking of life. I think that applies here as well, when property is all that is at state. If we don’t have the death penalty for something how can we justify individuals taking it upon themselves to perform their own executions.
                  That said, your response may well have been tongue in cheek. In which case i apologize for the long winded response.

                • Publius

                  You sound very young, Rohan.

                • Hexhamgeezer

                  I do hope that all householders on hearing burglars in their homes will take the time to refresh themselves with Rohan’s advice before acting.
                  It is, after all, incumbent on them to act lawfully and ‘proportionately’. Burglars should also do so if only to remind themselves that they have absolutely no obligations at all apparently.

                • Nicholas

                  Rohan you sound like a tit. It concerns me that the risk of a burglar being “murdered” by his victim (malice aforethought? Really?) seems to concern you more than the criminal act of burglary perpetrated on the victim, without which the burglar would not be put at risk anyway. Perhaps you should start by checking out the number of burglaries vs the number of burglars that are murdered, before even getting into what burglars do in their burglaries, which includes rape. Hopefully that reflection might gain you a sense of perspective slightly more elevated than that of the deranged idiots responsible for administering justice in this country.

                • Rohan

                  First of all the example being mentioned was specifically about whether someone should have elected to ‘blow someone’s head off’. Given the guy chose to shoot them in the leg, I think it is safe to say that shooting them in the head would also have been a conscious decision, clearly in this case unnecessary, and undertaken not just with knowledge that it may have killed them, but with the intention that it would have done so. I believe that satisfies murder definitions, provided the person with the guns was not in imminent physical danger (given that he had a gun and the other guy didn’t, that strike me as unlikely).
                  I don’t really see why believing it is not person A’s right to kill person B necessarily means that I don’t condemn what person B is doing. Thinking an action is wrong does not entitle you to kill the person doing it. That is not self-defence, it is vigilatism.
                  I don’t know how or why one would measure the immorality of burgling against the immorality of the unnecessary execution of said burglar. If the killing is done in self-defence to prevent rape of or harm to one’s person, then that is obviously different. But we are not talking about self-defence or self-preservation with this example. Shooting the person in leg worked. Killing them would therefore have constituted use of unnecessary force. Unnecessary force that lead to a death no less.
                  What the ratio of dead burglars to burglaries is is irrelevant. If something shouldn’t happen, then it doesn’t matter whether it does happen one in five, or one in five thousand times. The morality of an individual act is not contingent upon the prevalence of other examples of said act.
                  Likewise, not all burglars rape people (rape and theft are different pathologies). Most do not. So shooting one in the head on the off-chance he may rape you when you could simply point a gun at him and suggest he would be well advised not to do so, seems a little excessive. Once again, it seems to be oddly necessary to point out that thinking people should instantly be allowed to kill a burglar that is not attempting to cause them physical harm does not mean I think burglarizing houses is acceptable behavior. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and all those other vapid cliches so popular in tabloids.

      • Michael990

        Indeed, when a judge says, in court ‘It takes a huge amount of courage to burgle somebody’s house’ as one did yesterday, then you realise that we have passed the point of no return.

        • AncientMariner

          What’s the betting that stupid judge can’t be sacked?

        • Ballyup

          Well when somebody can become a drug addict while serving a prison sentence in Britain, you know the point of no return has long since passed. There is no excuse for failure to run our prisons properly. None.

  • Rohan

    He picked a homophobic equalities minister, a climate change denying environment minister and a health minister that believes hocus-pocus quackery (or ‘homeopathy’ as the moronic advocates prefer to call it) constitutes legitimate medicine worthy of state funding. This hasn’t made him stronger, just more of an odious anachronism to everyone that isn’t already voting BNP.
    The Tories don’t need more Tories to vote for them. They need more non-bigoted logically/scientifically aware graduates to accept them and consider them a viable possibility on the ballot paper. That reshuffle has annihilated that as a possibility, and as such, Dave has done the country a massive favor by ensuring that the Tories will be nowhere near the next government.

    • fubar_saunders

      Graduates?? So, a graduates vote is worth more than anyone elses? Why specifically graduates? You figure that those who may be seen to be or may formerly have been working class are lost to the left for good, or would never naturally vote for the party?

      As for getting more tories to vote for them, I think you’ll find thats exactly what they need and the converse is also true of Labour. The reason they lost 90 seats in the last GE was not because of an enormous swing to the conservatives, it was because they failed to mobilise their own core vote to vote for 5 more years of Brown.

      And in addition to that, in the GE and since, the BNP has all but imploded, as it has always been wont to do under a conservative government. The BNP and the National Front only raise their heads during Labour administrations. That is the pattern of history, when the core vote realises that the only thing that Labour is interested in about them is raping their vote from them with the least amount of squealing. The conservatives on the other hand, as they end up tracking further left and centerist under Cameron are in real risk of handing Labour the 2015 election on a plate by losing a significant portion of its vote to UKIP. Not enough to guarantee UKIP parliamentary seats, but enough to do damage in key marginals to prevent them keeping hold of what they won in 2010.

      Its a bit different to the pre-scripted paragraph that you’ve typed out….

      • Rohan

        Pre-scripted? How so? One doesn’t need time to draft the appallingly obvious.
        Most people I know who voted Tory at the last election (without being die-hard fans) did so believing that the (front bench of the) party had been cleansed of the nutters and bigots that have been promoted now. man-made climate change is a fact and repression of gays is immoral. These aren’t really issues to many people anymore, and hardly anyone under 35. It’s one thing to argue from a Libertarian standpoint, but if he swings to the social conservative right (as he has done), then they cease to be credible to the undecided. That was my point. This isn’t the 80s and the Daily Mail won’t get him elected.
        Obviously the votes of graduates are worth, quite literally, the same as everyone else. But they are a rapidly expanding demographic and in my experience (and anecdotal evidence seems to be sufficient on comment forums) are far more likely to change their vote. I have no letters after my own name, but I’m yet to meet anyone under 35 who does and thinks the Melanie Griffiths guide to ethics is a credible voting option. Racists and homophobes will vote Tory, but there are no longer enough to get them elected. And the rest of us find their place in parliament too heinous to even consider voting for their party. Ousting Widdicombe was, I had assumed, a step toward making the nasty party credible again. They may as well bring her back

        • sandywinder

          l love the way you say in one post ‘ I forgot about the logical trump card that is ‘most people people think something, therefore it’s credible’ and then in this post say ‘Most people I know who voted Tory at the last election (without being
          die-hard fans) did so believing that the (front bench of the) party had
          been cleansed of the nutters and bigots that have been promoted now.
          man-made climate change is a fact and repression of gays is immoral.
          These aren’t really issues to many people anymore, and hardly anyone
          under 35.’ Personally I believe in man-made warming but it is still only theoretical. And I think it is safe to assume that a great many people still see gay people as if there is something wrong with that kind of sex, including many immigrants. So please try to write in the non-bigoted manner you wish others to write.

          • Rohan

            I was talking about the motivation of a number of people. That is not the same as backing up an idea or argument. I wasn’t saying ‘many people think this, therefore it is correct’, merely ‘many people have done this’. It is indisputable that it was their opinion. The factual accuracy of said opinion was not intended to be derived from their numbers. If you can’t see the difference, then I am not going to take the time here to make it any simpler.
            Regarding homophobia. There are, of course, many small minded bigots. Some, staggeringly, don’t even seem to have adopted this bigotry from bronze-age fairy-tales about invisible sky-pixies. But the fact that they exist doesn’t make having that opinion valid or worthy respect. These ‘great many people’ are, thankfully, a dieing generation. They tend also to lack objectivity, clearly implied by the inability to reason out “just why is other people’s sex lives anything to do with me, and why should I have a right to restrict it”. “That kind of sex” (a phrase that skips straight past coy into cringe-inducing tweeness) is entirely the business of the consenting adults involved and it is frankly extraordinary that people think they should have any say in the lives of others in this way. You don’t need to be John Stuart Mill to see this. I might not like thinking about gay sex. But then don’t like thinking about fat people having sex, ugly people having sex, or old people having sex. That doesn’t mean it should be banned. It just means I won’t think about. It’s not my right to have a problem with what other people do, in so far as it does not harm.
            All this said, It, of course, remains to be inevitably pointed out that criticizing and mocking a prejudice is not the same as being bigoted. It is, as far as I am concerned, rather obvious that saying “homophobes, racists and sexists are bad people because of the ideas they have and the way that they wish to force other to follow their own arbitrary restrictions” is not the same as taking issue with someone because of the ‘kid of sex’ they have (with other people), or indeed the kind of skin colour they have. It remains to be said that homosexuality is more about love, affection, attraction and emotion than it is about mere anal penetration, much as heterosexuality is not merely about ejaculating into vaginas.
            Not sure what immigrants have to do with anything. Obviously many have questionable attitudes to women and gays, due in most part to religious dogma. It obviously depends on the individual immigrant and which part of Immigrantland they come from. To bring it back to the point, though, I don’t think Cameron says anything about immigration any of the other main parties disagree with. They all want to stop it, just as they have all failed to do so. For what it’s worth, I honestly couldn’t care less whether it stops or not.

    • SimonToo

      I take it that you are referring to a massive favor for Labor? You have a remarkable trans-Atlantic passion.

      • Rohan

        Yes it was. I was trying to point-out that the happiness about a rightward swing needs to be weighed against just how unappealing this makes the Tory party to moderates/floating voters wishing only to decide on the economic issues. Not sure how this made me an advocate for criminals or the mouthpiece of the gay community, but never mind.
        I guess the passion comes from an impatience with bad arguments. I read this website as I always expect it to be the intellectual arm or the Right. As such, the prevalence of fallacies depresses and irritates me as it makes it harder to get to the good/logically valid arguments about the issues I want to read around.
        Thankyou for not insulting me instantly, but can I ask what you mean by ‘trans-Atlantic passion’?

    • Hexhamgeezer

      You are a tit.

      Get out from under your duvet, switch off your laptop and engage. Theres a good chap.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    So who were the 3 ministers who burst into tears? I guess, Warsi, Osborne and Cable (you didn’t say they were necessarily tears of disappointment

  • Ian Walker

    Be interesting if, by realising he might be a one-term PM, he ends up being a two-term one after making the right changes.

    He’d better be bloody quick though.

    • telemachus

      Cameron has moved to the right and shown himself a tool of Davis and Gang.
      A noted poster yesterday said
      “Only revolution will change this.”
      He is as usual talking bilge
      This administration is dying on its feet and it is but 2 years until we begin to see vision of a Government of the people for the people
      We will begin to see a health service run in the interests of patients, a welfare system that does not penalise the sick and a government with a loved charismatic chancellor that will actually deliver growth.
      God save the Queen. We will be patient

      • Nicholas

        Still lurking, stalking and harassing I see.

        • telemachus

          purveyer of truth

          • Ian Walker

            but not, apparently, a purveyor of correct spelling

      • Stephen52

        “Much loved Chancellor” – do you mean “I know, I’ll sell all our Gold as cheaply as possible”, Gordon Brown? priceless! (like our Gold).
        “A health service run in the interests of patients” like it was in 13 years of NuLabour pandering to the BMA and the other health unions? Keep taking your medicine pal, clearly delusional.

      • Nicholas

        So what happened from 1997 to 2010? Why didn’t we get all that good stuff about health and welfare then when the money was plentiful and Gordon sold all the gold? It was a f***ing shambles like you, you parasitical twerp.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        tele – you very funny man -me like.

    • George_Arseborne

      Too late for Cameron. Late to realised that he had an economic illiterate handling the economy in a part time role. Brought it the powerful Uncle Ken to see if he could baby sit Boy George. Too late again, because it will take some time to clean George’s mess but then they will be out.

  • Tom

    When you refer to “the Stern consensus” on climate change, I presume you mean “the global scientific consensus subscribed to by every national scientific institution which Stern took as his starting point to demonstrate the economic folly of going for high carbon growth”?

  • aristeides

    “He sought to be gentlemanly about things…” and then decided to give James Forsyth chapter and verse.

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