Coffee House

David Cameron denies bickering with Nick Clegg

4 January 2013

Nick Clegg made clear before Christmas that he wants gory, open and honest government; today the Prime Minister was equally clear that he doesn’t. Asked this morning on Radio 5Live about whether he was happy with the Lib Dem desire for greater differentiation between the parties, the Prime Minister replied:

‘I think that both parties will succeed if the Coalition succeeds, Nick Clegg and I work well together, and actually there are huge challenges facing this country. We have got to pay down the deficit, re-balance the economy and we have got to improve standards in our schools.

‘We don’t spend our time in private bickering with each other, we work on the major problems facing our country and I would contrast that with the Labour Party who I don’t think is focused on the main problem facing Britain which is paying down our deficit and getting growth in the public sector.’

What’s strange about this is that while it’s fair enough if Cameron wants to retain a veneer of unity over the policymaking process, rather than the sausage machine approach favoured by Clegg, he seems less bothered about the rather gory way in which his own party conducts itself. Even if it is true that he doesn’t bicker that much with the Deputy Prime Minister, Cameron and the whips allow loud dissent from the backbenches without even trying to calm MPs down with flattery and attention. And then every so often he gets a little grumpy with popular backbenchers like Jesse Norman in full view of other MPs. My suspicion is that many MPs feel they’ll never be part of the hallowed Inner Circle, and so feel less troubled about bickering in public. That sort of gory government isn’t very helpful, either.

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  • barbie

    Well Brown and Blair said they were not arguing, but looks could kill. We all know with hindsight they did not get on. We can assume these two don’t really see eye to eye. Who would agree with Clegg????

  • WIlliam Blakes Ghost

    and I would contrast that with the Labour Party who I don’t think is
    focused on the main problem facing Britain which is paying down our
    deficit and getting growth in the public sector.’

    Yep Dave and George have been so successful that they are increasing the debt of every many woman and child in this country to the tune of £10,000 over this government. Thats the sort of ‘focus on the main problem’ we can do without!

  • Colonel Mustard

    His language is becoming extraordinary. Does he really mean growth in the public sector? He is supposed to be a PR man but his message is increasingly incoherent and/or mixed.

  • LB

    We have got to pay down the deficit, re-balance the economy and we have got to improve standards in our schools.


    How the f*** do you pay down a deficit?

    The idiot doesn’t know the difference between debt, borrowing or an overspend.

    Deficit/surplus. The difference between spending and tax. You can’t pay it down.

    Borrowing is not the same as debt. You can have lots of debts that aren’t borrowing.

    For example, the government has hidden 5 trillion off the books for pensions. It’s a debt. It’s not borrowing. That’s on top of the 1.1 trillion of debt.

    • Noa

      But even his profound ignorance is exceeded by the economic illiterates at the BBC who purport to interview him.

      A fawning ignorant media and a lying idiot conspire to provide us with the government we deserve.

      • LB

        The BBC knows better. I’m on my 5th complaint upheld about the deficit = debt issue.

        They choose not to address it. see bottom of page 4.

        The state is making people destitute.

        • Noa

          Regrettably, the idea of a BBC interviewer quizzing a politician in detail on the totality of public liabilities, pensions or otherwise is akin to asking us to imagine sheep throwing hand grenades at rabbits.
          Amusing but ultimately, fanciful.

          • LB

            I know.

            Now look at the consequences.

            1. The borrowing gets bigger
            2. The debt gets bigger.

            Then it goes all Greek. There’s no fairy godfather like Germany to bail the UK out.

            What are people going to do when the state can’t pay welfare, disability, state pension, civil service pensions, ….

            That’s the direct consequence. The debts won’t be paid in full.

            Since most are reliant on the state because the state took their money in return for a promise, [and then spent the cash] they will be destitute.

            I see no other way.

            • Noa

              Quite so LB.
              It is not just the UK, but western civilisation that is in a debt death spiral. The questions are; who collapses first, how and when. In one sense we might actually praise the West’s politicians for deferring Judgment Day, if the inevitable consequence of that deferral was not to result in ever greater catastrophe.

              • Dimoto

                Ha-ha, you criticise the BBC, then parrot the same negative, defeatist, “managing decline”, garbage yourself, with such obvious smug satisfaction. Are you also a product of our duffest university – Oxford ?

                • Noa

                  Smug satisfaction? Hardly. What is your point? Other than to be abusive? And your evidence to any contrary view is…?

              • TomTom

                As was said by Oswald Spengler in 1918 in “Decline of The West” and by Gottfried Feder… must read more……………

              • LB

                So my question is what you can do about it on a personal level.

                Bar exposing them, I don’t think there is a hope in hell of getting them to do anything different. Even if and MP was caught rodgering a sheep on children’s TV, in a safe seat they won’t go. It’s like the expenses. They are all at it, they won’t go collectively either.

                So to me its clear you have to save and save lots. Bugger Keynes. The state is spending like mad, which is a Keynsian stimulus of 150 bn a year, and that’s not working. So savings means down the line you have some protection.

                Next, look at what a desperate state will do. It will take any money it can. Pension funds are the major source. Hungary just took all private pensions for the public good. Replaced with a promise. And since that promise was of the type that got them into the mess, expect that to go.

                Next is property. It’s an imoveable asset so its easy to tax. You can’t move it unless its a caravan, and they aren’t appreciating assets. 1% on property. I can hear Clegg now. It’s only 1%. If interest rates are 2%, its 50% on your debt payments. It’s 50% of property prices.

        • TomTom

          Look at Spain – 90% State Pension Fund invested in Government Debt. Ireland the same. USA using the Social Security Fund as a funding arm of the Fed. This is a Psychopathic Elite destroying the Household Wealth and Economic Future of the General Public

          • LB

            In almost all cases, there is no ‘investment’.

            If its invested in government debt, then you get a percentage along with all other ‘investors’.

            In the UK, Gilts get paid, but the state pension will be defaulted on.

            It’s 14 times taxes, and its back end loaded. The really big payments kick in later.

            Since it won’t be paid, consider the consequences when so many were forced to ‘invest’ with the state.

            It’s only 20p in pound compared to what you would have got in the FTSE.

            It’s dire.

  • TomTom

    That headline reveals the full profundity of political office in the UK today

    • Dimoto

      Or the full profundity of Speccie analysis ?

      • TomTom

        Not much difference really – one and the same

  • ToryOAP

    “the main problem facing Britain which is paying down our deficit and getting growth in the public sector”. I suggest we tories would prefer to eliminate the deficit and pay down the debt (so much for a first at Oxford in PPE). And why the f*ck would we want to grow the PUBLIC sector? Reduce surely?

    • TomTom

      He has a First in Politics & Philosophy – I bet he dropped Economics after Prelims

      • Stranger

        I noticed I think it was Shapps on the radio last weekend using this ugly and inappropriate “pay down the deficit” expression.

        I thought PPE did mods.

        Cameron’s A levels per wikipedia were History of Art, History and Economics with Politics. I am surprised he got in.


          Why did he know? Who did his father know?

          • TomTom

            In the days of Entrance Exams he might not have gotten in

            • Julian F

              He went up a year before me and I won my place through the fourth term entrance exam – it was the only way to do so at that stage, as I recall (PS – “got in” rather than “gotten in”, surely?)

        • TomTom

          No PPE does not do Mods it does Prelims

    • Noa

      Maybe it was a Freudian sip, or having repeated them so often he’s may just be muddling his cliches.

      Or as he has actually failed signally to either cut the deficit or public sector growth, he may just have decided to steal the Eds’ thunder.

      In any event his admitted failures should be continually drawn to his attention by the increasingly noisome back bench rabble he haughtily ignores, as he and they hurtle towards oblivion and redundancy in 2015.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    ‘We have got to pay down the deficit’? Is this a deliberate Broonite/Ballsian muddying of the debt/deficit waters? He says it twice.

    • TomTom

      This is a graduate of Brasenose College wgo dropped Economics after Prelims as A-Level “Economics-with-Politics” simply does not provide enough depth. He hasn’t a clue

  • brossen99
    • Noa

      How do you equate a green conspiracy to reduce the population with the continuing UK importation of 4 million fecund and culturally enriching third worlders?

      • brossen99

        Immigration is the cover to hide what’s actually going on with the indigenous population, immigrants can be sent home over time if they won’t submit to virtual slavery. The new immigrants will be wealthy jet set types, you know the type of green trendies who push wind farms etc, its already happening now with the likes of the wealthy Greeks etc moving into London where the benefit cap has freed up higher class housing back onto the market !

        • Noa

          Burnley, Bradford, Birmingham, Leicester, Tower Hamlets …I could go on but I haven’t seen too many wealthy Greeks settling in those parts. And you think that the Pakistanis, Indians and Somalis will consent to be displaced by Russian Oligarchs?

          If only!

          • brossen99

            Of course racism is another red herring to take people of the scent, the Corporate-Nazi stock market parasites are probably at this very moment trying to foment a civil war with the British former working classes against the Muslims but the BNP has been blown out of the water politically !

            • TomTom

              BNP was an MI5 Front organisation set up to keep any effective right-wing parties from emerging as elsewhere in Europe

            • LB

              Nazi – National Socialism. It’s a socialist policy. Same as the BNP. Look at their policies. It’s Labour with racism.

              • brossen99

                Corporate Nazism is based on Financial Apartheid against those on low incomes like the sick, the disabled and the unemployed !

          • TomTom

            They cannot afford the car insurance premia in those postcodes nor the absence of policing and the feeling of circling the wagons……..

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