I’ve just been eavesdropping on a conversation between @bencooper and @oxfordspring on twitter about the conservative fixation with “Broken Britain”. @oxfordspring wanted him to take another look at this clip http://bit.ly/4Uo8GA of David Cameron in full flow at his party conference.
It is clearly something that @oxfordspring finds exciting and inspiring.
Maybe he is moved at the outpouring of emotion that got a load of conservative party members to their feet, in amazement at their own sudden committment to make life so much better for the poor and needy.
Perhaps it is helpful to @oxfordspring to hear that other people see the same clip and feel something entirely different.
I usually choose to give people the benefit of the doubt, to expect the best of them. I am afraid I can no longer do this with Cameron. I have seen the damage that he is capable of doing here in my own community, where he came in and lept on a passing bandwagon, re-enforcing inaccurate press statements, and set one section of the community against another. I have seen that and have spent the best part of the last 6 months trying to undo the damage he did.
When I see this clip I see a performer and a manipulator, who is here as in so many other cases deliberately bringing complex matters down to daily mail headlines. Creating a misleading effect, not in order to help anyone, but to seek political advantage.
I see someone who is increasingly being found out in the act of putting far more emphasis on the quality of the sound bite, than on the accuracy of any underlying facts.
I see a slight man on a podium playing the figure head his party so desperately want him to be.
And then I see the jelly fish.
The worrying thing is that for David Cameron to stand even the slightest chance of delivering his promises on strenghening communities – something I am prepared to accept he must to some extent believe, then he needs the active support of people like myself.
Just had that horrifying flash back to Margaret Thatcher quoting St Francis on the doorstep of 10 Downing street. Hoping to bring healing and harmony.
We may yet have to face Cameron in Downing street. If he can do this by clearly demonstrating that his policies are better for Britain then good luck to him. If he does it by sleight of hand then the damage he will do to people’s ability to trust politicians will far outweigh anything that the MPs expenses might have done.
I am finding on the doorstep that people are moving on from “expenses” – they have seen that this is at an end, but they still have a distrust of political misbehaviour. The big issue is that they don’t like the point scoring and divisive behaviour. Neither do I. We deserve better!