Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Soundbites and fury, signifying nothing

Many years ago, when David Cameron became leader of the Tory Party, he wrote that
we must also adopt a new style of politics, with less of the Punch and Judy show that younger voters in particular find so alienating..
So, why did he use his ten minute riposte to the Chancellor's Budget Speech today to attack Gordon Brown with a series of nasty little soundbites? Is it because he isn't capable of playing the ball and prefers to attack the man? Was his promise of a new age of politics more spin than substance? As Bob points out, it is difficult to reply to a Budget Speech, particularly from one so on top of his game, but this was a pretty pisspoor attempt - clearly pre-scripted and designed to produce neat soundbites for the media (in which it will doubtless be successful). Still vacuous, though.

Gordon's speech wasn't bad - he sounded more confident and assured than usual. The remanufacturing of the Iron Chancellor is well underway as his image is being thoroughly refurbished. While he did use it to remind us of the record of the past nine years, he also offered a guide to the next few years of the Labour government.

Rightly, there's more money for education. We need to get fit to deal with the economic realities that face us and we'll need a better educated workforce, so I'm delighted to see the promise to increase state funding per head to equal the per head spending in private schools.

Nothing hugely exciting, but business as usual for the Labour government. Yes, Mr Cameron, we are mortgaging the country's future - but only a tiny bit and we're investing that borrowing in something that offers us huge returns.

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