Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Candid Cameron

Bravo to Alex Ross for digging out the following old quote from David Cameron:

After the recession of 1989 to 1992 we had to raise taxes because the budget deficit reached dangerous proportions. The alternative of slashing spending and cutting benefits would have been inhuman.

A nice contrast with his current policy.

Cameron wrote a series of columns for the Guardian as a backbencher between 2001 and 2003, and while I don’t think there’s anything truly outrageous in them – he’s no fool – there are some that suggest he has long had a cavalier attitude to politics, treating it as a bit of a game.

For instance, he mused about his own “opposition disease”, in which “part of you actually starts wanting things to get worse. …an enthusiastic Tory backbencher like me can hardly wait to switch on the Today programme every morning in order to listen to all the bad news.”

The there were his contributions to a Commons debate on foxhunting:

When John McFall (Dumbarton) gets to his feet I shout "go back to Scotland, you've already banned it." Interrupting Gerald Kaufman during one of his lengthy and over-precise questions to the minister, I heard myself baying "shut up, you pompous prat." I even found myself barracking our very own Ann Widdecombe. As she spoke eloquently about hounds pursuing foxes, I kept interrupting: "yes but what about your cats?"
It was pathetic. And not even particularly amusing.

That last line is a rather glib attempt to eat his cake and have it: first hurl abuse in Parliament, then brag about it in the paper, then pretend to tick yourself off for it. (And it’s fairly lame abuse, the tw*t.)

And there’s a fond reminiscence of his time as a stagehand in the Punch and Judy Show:

Over 11 years ago I was plucked from Conservative central office, sent to No 10 and told to help on John Major's question-time team. I had to scan the papers, work out the likely questions and think of killer facts and snappy one-liners.
Willing Conservative MPs were primed with helpful questions, hostile Labour members rebutted with points about tumbling unemployment figures or quotes from their militant past. It was better than working for a living.

Clearly, he’s grown up a bit since writing all this stuff. But he was 35 at the time, which you’d think ought to be old enough. Oh, and the unemployment figures consistently rose, not tumbled, during the period he mentions.


Tom H said...

I'm sure I remember you digging some of these up yourself a couple of years ago. But you didn't shout "Look at my scoop!", which in retrospect was probably a mistake. Although, since the quotes were hardly a secret when you found them, that might have made you look a bit silly too.

Anonymous said...

Presuming that's a reference to me, the scoop line was meant to be relatively tongue in cheek to be honest. On the other hand it's now in Page 16 of the Independent so it is relatively 'scoopy' if I do say so myself...