Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Cavalier Cameron: I’ll say what I like and then I’ll do as I see fit

Does anyone else find this a disturbing attitude in a Prime Minister? From the Today programme [about 8’05 in]:

Jim Naughtie: What I’m suggesting is, perhaps, that if the chancellor says something in the run-up to the election campaign – “we will preserve child benefit” – quote, George Osborne – that is changeable...
David Cameron: I don’t think that is fair. Look, what we’re having to do as a government – and frankly, we’ve all made pledges about child benefit, ’cause we all like child benefit... We’ve all made these promises. But in government, you cannot afford to just put off difficult decisions, you have to go through them, and with child benefit we’ve made a difficult decision.

Does he think that being in coalition entitles him to abandon promises so breezily? Does he think that the problems with the public finances give him carte blanche to do anything? Maybe a bit, but I think it’s more that he finds this whole electoral politics business a dreary, distasteful chore that one has to go through in order to get hold of power; that promises and manifestos are vulgar trifles when what really matters is his freedom to exercise his own thoroughly sound judgement.

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