Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Thanks but no thanks

This morning I received an e-mail from David Cameron a.k.a. the Boy-King of the Conservative Party. No, really. It was addressed to me and began with the words "Dear Helen". To be honest, I was not aware of having ever met the man or even seen in him during my perambulations through Parliament, let alone of being on first-name terms. But, apparently, we know each other far better than I had realized.

The e-mail was nothing less than an invitation. Yes, indeed, I am being invited to join the government of Britain. Well, you could have knocked me down with a feather. Had someone put my name forward to become a Commissioner? Will I get the same salary and perks as the sitting ones do? What will Mr Barroso say about it all? These were the first questions that flitted through my mind.

Answer was there none in the e-mail and, rather rudely, no way of RSVPing to the invitation. After all, how does the Boy-King know that we all want to accept it? There should be a way of being able to respond. Well, of course, there will be on May 6 but, like the long-suffering heroine of Matt's cartoon, I feel the date is moving further and further away.

Anyway, this is what the e-mail actually said:
Next month, you'll get to choose a new government. But don't just choose it, be a part of it. I mean it. We've got big problems in this country and the truth is politicians can't do everything on their own. We need your energy, your ideas, your passion to get this country moving.

That's why this email is an invitation to you to join the government of Britain. It might not be embossed on a thick white card, but it's still heartfelt. If we win this election, we're going to give you more control over your life, more power to make a difference to your neighbourhood, more opportunities to change our country for the better.

Just imagine: a country working together to dig ourselves out of this debt and get our economy moving. A country working together to protect our NHS and improve it for all of us. A country working together to mend our broken society. A country working together to make politics and politicians work better.

So come on then Helen, get involved. The more people join, the stronger the force for change will be. I want millions to be inspired and mobilised to play their part - and that movement starts here. So please, spread the word. I'm asking you to send this invitation on to just three friends, workmates or family members. Get them involved too. Extend the invitation. Together we can build the future.
I think I might have coped with that ridiculous jolly hockeysticks call if the whole missive did not remind me so forcibly of the Young Pioneers.

Let me make it quite clear: this country has had a system in which some, later more and later still all people could get involved in government for some centuries. The Cameroonies did not invent the idea of elections, of local government, of political representatives. We elect a House of Commons for them to legislate and hold the Executive to account. They do neither. Jumping up and down and hallooing for people to get involved in the great movement is no substitute for the fact that our politicians do not carry out their tasks or for the fact that our real government is in Brussels (and a fat lot the Boy-King intends to do about that).

I have no desire to be part of a movement that is organized by a political party, much less if that party is in government. Been there, done that and my parents made enormous efforts to save me from that in the future. I have no desire to protect the NHS and the only way to make it better is to release it from the dead hand of the state not by inviting us all to become part of that state.

Finally, let me point out again: a Big Society that appears to consist of lots of jolly volunteers, compulsorily gathered together by the state should be no part of a Conservative Party's thinking. Leave that sort of thing to the socialists like Barack Obama, whom the Boy-King appears to be imitating both in style and, for want of a better word, substance.

Meanwhile, what of the real government in Brussels?


  1. "Had someone put my name forward to become a Commissioner?" Wonderfully droll Helen. By the way, do you warm to UKIP more than Richard who appears a bit hostile towards them?

  2. The Conservative Manifesto claims:
    * We want to restore national control over those parts of social and employment legislation which have proved most damaging to our businesses and public services. For instance the application of the Working Time Directive on the NHS;
    * Labour claimed to have obtained an opt-out from the Charter of Fundamental Rights, but were forced to admit it was just a ‘clarification’. We want to upgrade this to a full opt-out so that it cannot be used by EU judges to re-interpret EU law affecting the UK; and
    * We want broader protection against EU judges extending their control over Britain’s criminal justice system and we want to ensure that only British authorities can initiate criminal investigations in Britain.

    I hope during the debates somebody will ask how they are going to achieve this. Without a stick behind their backs, why should the EU agree to any of this? And the rebate should be restored anyway as the CAP has not been reformed. No mention of that. With Ken Clarke in the government I do not believe there is any appetite for any of this. They are just empty 'aspirations'. It is not just Cameron I blame though; it is the entire parliamentary party who are towing the line. It is not the bland manifesto that worries me, but rather the impression I get that the majority of the party actually believes in this watered down version of Obama-style socialism you refer to.

  3. Every now and then I ask various Conservatives how they are going to achieve all these promises. We then go through the discussion of them saying we are more likely to do so than Labour and me asking over and over again exactly which institutions and methods they are going to use. I then list all the institutions and ask which ones they are going to use. They then retreat to consult their little handbook since they have not heard of any of them.

  4. "......... It is not just Cameron I blame though; it is the entire parliamentary party who are towing the line.........."
    A party which is a tad beyond the pail, Archimedes?........................8-((

  5. I too got one of those letters, additionally though it asked me for money. I did e-mail him with questions that were not addressed in his letter and received a reply. Just one problem, it did not answer the questions.
    And no, I do not know anyone called Dave.