Yesterday, Young Dave wrapped up this year’s Tory Party conference with what he no doubt thought was a jolly good sheow of a speech, designed to fire up the faithful and send them back to their constituencies full of fighting spirit, if not of tolerance and understanding towards an increasingly sceptical electorate who are experiencing more and more pain for no noticeable gain.
And one pundit actually thought the speech really was a belter: step forward the odious and flagrantly dishonest Quentin Letts (let’s not), who demonstrated his grovelling subservience towards his legendarily foul mouthed editor, coupled with the impression that he exists in some kind of parallel universe: “Terrific performance ... bloody good speech” enthused Quent the Obsequious.
Sadly, Letts was, as so often, talking out of the back of his neck: the Mail’s “middle-stump Anglican” (for which read “intolerant reactionary shitbag”) was in a minority of one: even Max “Hitler” Hastings, writing in the same paper, told of Cameron’s “half-truths and evasions”. Remember J K Galbraith: “A politician can compromise, get the best bargain he can ... but he cannot be thought to evade” [my emphasis].
And the evasion has not gone down well elsewhere: Dina Rickman at the HuffPo – no closet leftie she – noted that Cameron had been accused of hypocrisy after he invoked the memories of his late father and late disabled son while overseeing significant cuts to disability benefits – the kind of universal Government assistance that he himself claimed for that son.
This will not surprise anyone who knows that Ms Rickman’s article was informed by tireless disability campaigner Sue Marsh, who has listed no fewer than 21 bullet points on her blog to illustrate where the Cameron message of “compassion” diverges from everyday reality. Public perception of disability is at an all time low, despite the successes of the Paralympics.
And Alex Andreou at the Staggers is equally unimpressed, dismantling the rhetoric which holds that it’s OK to be a “doer” or “risk taker” (for which read “rapacious financier who has been bailed out by taxpayers”) and that anyone who protests is part of the “politics of resentment”. He’s also unimpressed by the demonisation of the poor, unemployed, public servants, intellectuals and of course Muslims.
He then points out that the reason more than two and a half million unemployed does not fit into 300,000 vacancies is not a lack of Cameron’s beloved “aspiration”, but straightforward maths. None of the groups in Andreou’s litany of the demonised gets a mention from Letts, which will surprise nobody. All those nasty inconvenient folks cannot be allowed a mention, as they are not the Daily Mail’s kind of people.
But, like Canute, Letts and his editor cannot hold back the reality: Cameron sucked.