Optimism, Mr Cameron? Tell that to your party…

December 30, 2012 1:01 pm

In his New Year Message today, David Cameron says that “We can look to the future with realism and optimism’. That’s a rather unbelievable display of chutzpah, even by Cameron’s lofty standards. Tell that to the families struggling to make ends meet as inflation pushing up the price of essentials whilst wages remain static. Tell that to those desperately trying to find work where there is none, as their benefits are frozen and the Chancellor vilifies them as scroungers. Tell that to the disabled, the poor and the unemployed Mr Cameron.

And tell it to your party too, because they don’t seem all that optimistic for the future either. Take former MP Paul Goodman (now of ConHome), who writes in the Sunday Telegraph today that:

“There are four main reasons why 2013 will be a mere staging-post (and an uneventful one in electoral terms) on a journey towards, in all likelihood, a Labour-led government.”

Goodman’s piece is broadly correct, and the four reasons he gives are compelling (although I don’t share his certainty that the 2015 election is a foregone conclusion). His piece certainly doesn’t feel like it represents the war cry of an optimistic party.

So how about grassroots members? Well only 12% of those who took part in a recent ConHome survey thought that Cameron would be leading a majority Tory government post-2015.

Cameron may want us to be optimistic in 2013, but he can’t make it so just by saying it. Not even for his own supporters…

  • http://twitter.com/gamerchrisadam Chris Woods

    Cameron is out of touch. He talks about a good economic 2013 when the polls, retail and the public all think otherwise.

  • telemachus

    Goodman sees that the heart has gone out of the Tories. The optimism of 2009-2010 has gone with the Osborne triggered double dip. The Europe question is tearing them apart and those with energy are fondly eyeing Ukip. I have no fear they are finished not just for 2015 but for a decade.

  • Monkey_Bach

    Faith can be defined as a firm belief in something for which there is no proof. Cameron has a zealot’s faith in government policy. Draw your own conclusions. Eeek.

  • JoeDM

    He is a weak, left-leaning, wet leader who would probably be more at home with his mate Clegg in the Limp Demoprats.

    The Tories will lose in 2015 because people like me will probably vote UKIP in order to give the Tory wets the kick up the arse they need.

    • Monkey_Bach

      Cameron is the only reason the Conservatives crept back into power after thirteen years in the wilderness, because he fooled the British people into believing that his flavour of Conservatism was nicer, more compassionate and kinder than that of the Thatcherites who proceeded him. Even so, despite the fact that the country was facing the worst economic circumstances for a century and that one of the most unpopular, unelected Prime Ministers of all time, Gordon Brown, was in power the Conservatives still failed to win a majority, because too many people still didn’t trust them, and only got into office as part of a rag, tag and bobtail Coalition with the Liberal Democrats.

      The truth of the matter, JoeDM, is that hardcore Tory voters are diminishing year on year. Even if every dyed-in-the-wool Tory banded together there wouldn’t be enough of them, without the support of politically promiscuous floating voters, to win the Conservative Party a majority; such an event would be doubly unlikely were a right-wing firebrand to replace Cameron as Tory leader and promise to implement all manner of extreme Conservative policies prior to a general election. A leader like that could only ever have minority appeal amongst the British electorate and so would be extremely unlikely to be able to lead the Tories to overall victory, although it might take them over the edge of the political world and off the map forever.

      If I were you (God forbid!) I would definitely vote for UKIP.

      (Splitting right-wing voters into divergent camps is always good for the left.)

      I would be surprised after all that awfulness that has happened and will happen over the next few years if David Cameron wasn’t destined to be remembered as the one-time Tory Prime Minister, who never won a majority, who was beaten in a general election by unremarkable, mild-mannered Ed Miliband, a man Cameron has ceaselessly and cruelly disdained.

      Poetic justice really.


    • robertcp

      Yes, please vote for UKIP.

      Seriously, the right is divided between right-wing Lib Dems, Conservatives and UKIP. Before 1997 nearly all people with similar views would have voted for the Conservative Party, which is why it dominated politics during the twentieth century.

  • Amber_Star

    This time last year, Labour were worried about having Ed Miliband as leader! He’s a total star compared to what’s on offer to the right:
    Cameron, a feckless dilettante & Farange, who likes the EU so much he makes no credible attempt to get elected to Westminster because it would interfere with his enjoyment of Europe.

    • telemachus

      I remain astonished at the way the Europe thing tears the Tories apart.
      It is clear that if we do nothing we will continue to drift away and we should keep well away from the issue and watch them self implode. The current low policy profile and Exocet forages against the enemy is serving us well. You are right that Miliband is a good babysitter for the Balls future.

  • EndOfTrolls

    Where the Spectator trolls hang out

  • Andrew Ellis

    Despite the polls, despite the fact Cameron is not a true Tory, when it gets to 2015, with an improving economy, better schools and welfare starting to come under control, this country will not return a labour government under the appalling Milliband.

  • Quiet_Sceptic

    It’s too early to tell.

    Whichever party won in 2010 was going to be unpopular; cutting services and raising taxes is never a vote winner. The opposition party will naturally be more popular, positioning themselves against any unpopular measures taken and with no compulsion to outline a possibly equally unpopular alternative.

    The crunch will be when Labour has to formulate some policies and face the fiscal constraints which may prevent it from meeting the expectations of supporters. Opposing every cut might be popular but is dangerous if you then have to back-track because you can’t fund the re-instatement, or you frighten voters with concerns about tax increases and deficits.

    • Monkey_Bach

      Welfare reform is one of the biggest things that is going to destroy the Coalition. The “reforms” already legislated for are already beginning to unravel. For example the benefit cap has again been delayed for up to six months in all parts of the country, bar Enfield, Croydon, Haringey and Bromley, because of IT and logistical local authority problems:


      Entrusting a delusional fool like Iain Duncan Smith with comprehensive reform of the UK’s social security system is a decision that will haunt David Cameron to his dying day.

      As time goes on and more cuts and half-baked revisions, in particular Universal Credit, stumble into being and begin to crash and burn the population will wake up to what such changes mean, whom the affect, and just how bad, unfair, unjust, and unworkable they really are. The austerity programme has now been extended to 2018, at the earliest, because Coalition economic policy has failed. If OBR economic forecasts are wrong – and they have been spectacularly and universally incorrect to date! – we now face as a nation the possibility of a triple (or even quadruple) dip recession at worst or fractional economic growth (< 1%) at best. For years and years and years. Cameron's boast about a million private sector jobs having been created since the Coalition came to power is a lie: if you strip out part-time jobs and people who have out of desperation taken a punt and become self-employed the figures look much less rosy.


      People are wising up.

      By the time the next election arrives I reckon a majority of people will have adopted an "Anything must be better than this" mindset and will look to the Labour Party as the only political force able to replace the Coalition in government. Whether this change will make much of a difference to the most disadvantaged and put upon in society is a moot point. I would like to think in the affirmative but with Liam Byrne, Yvette Cooper and Caroline Flint and similar New Labour dross still peopling the cabinet, who can say?


  • trotters1957

    The Tories can’t live with Cameron but they can’t live without him.
    He’s their biggest asset and still relatively popular with the electorate, the problem is the Tories hate him.
    If they had any sense they would get behind him but they don’t have any, so like the left in the 1970′s and 80′s they will keep their ideology all the way to defeat at the next election.

  • aracataca

    These Christmas and New Year messages put out by Cameron surely have to rank as the worst ever put out by a PM. Last week we had quotes from the Bible from a PM not famous for his religious zealotry and delivered with stomach churning patronisation while this week we have had calls for optimism from a PM whose complacency, pomposity and arrogance are now approaching levels hitherto only reached by Chris Patten. At least 40+% of people (me included) think they are going to be worse off this time next year.

    However, I feel that this air of despondency where we all say ‘ God isn’t everything sh*t’ plays into Cameron’s hands. In spite of all the efforts of Cameron & co the NHS remains one of the most efficient and most envied healthcare systems in the world
    ( which is why it doesn’t need huge private involvement so that it can be more ‘efficient’). Similarly, the UK remains the sixth best country in the world in which to be educated. This is the very reason why we don’t need initiatives aimed at separating schools off from the local authority or compulsory Greek & Latin classes in primary schools.Our universities pepper the list of the top 10 in the world -not just Oxford and Cambridge but also places like UCL and Imperial (which is the very reason why we don’t need tripled tuition fees).Despite all their efforts to wreck the economy the UK remains the sixth biggest economy on the planet and London remains the most dynamic and most exciting city in the world ( with the possible exception of New York IMHO). I could go on but shouldn’t our message to Lord Snooty & co be that the UK is a great place to live in despite all your efforts to turn everything to sh*t.

  • billbat

    President Dubya Cameron is in a worse position than Harry Rednapp.

  • billbat

    Will Cameron still be leading the Tories in 2014, let alone 2015?

  • Dave Postles

    My brother has just been taken into the Royal Infirmary by a paramedic team. He was found unconscious with a bottle of alcohol and no doubt has taken pills also. He has recently overdosed on one other occasion. One of the issues on his mind is the introduction of the measures by Donkey Smith, that appalling miscreant who has written this morning in The Daily Telegraph about abuse of the welfare system. I’m glad that Cameron can feel optimistic.


  • News Douglas Alexander calls for “an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza

    Douglas Alexander calls for “an immediate ceasefire” in Gaza

    Violence in Gaza has continued to increase in recent days. The most current stage of fighting in the conflict between Israel and Palestine began 15 days ago and officials say at least  649 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed. International leaders have urged both Hamas and the Israeli government to accept the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, and last week Ed Miliband also encouraged both sides to “return to the negotiating table.” Today, Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary, has released a statement […]

    Read more →
  • News Tom Watson calls on anonymous Shadow Cabinet briefers to resign

    Tom Watson calls on anonymous Shadow Cabinet briefers to resign

    Tom Watson has called on Shadow Cabinet members who anonymously brief their dissatisfaction about the Labour leadership to keep quiet, or follow him to the backbenches. In an interview with the New Statesman, Watson slams negative briefers as “cowardly”, saying: “The frustrating thing is that there have been some shadow cabinet members who have briefed off the record and said some critical things about Ed. That’s the most cowardly thing in the world. If they feel very strongly about things, […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Can people-power curb violent youth gangs?

    Can people-power curb violent youth gangs?

    Violent youth gangs are menacing many of Britain’s inner-urban areas, and there’s evidence the problem is moving to the suburbs and smaller towns. Police statistics show that over the past three years violent gangs in London have committed over 6,600 crimes. That includes 24 murders, 28 attempted murders, 170 incidents involving a gun, and 738 involving a knife. For neighbourhoods affected by high levels of youth-gang activity the danger is clear and present and continues to tear communities apart and […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Further and Higher Education – the keys to boosting our nation’s future

    Further and Higher Education – the keys to boosting our nation’s future

    This post is written by Paul Blomfield and Nic Dakin Education, skills and training transform people’s lives, the prospects of communities, and the future of the economy. In government our task will be to energise Further Education (FE) and Higher Education (HE) to collaborate even more successfully, driving innovation and improving skills. To meet the present and future skills challenges we must see FE and HE as equal partners. For too long our aspirations for vocational qualifications have been too low. […]

    Read more →
  • News Government’s disability benefit system has ‘grave’ flaws, report says

    Government’s disability benefit system has ‘grave’ flaws, report says

    A report produced by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Select Committee has said that the disability benefit system has ‘grave’ flaws and that government should pay sick and disabled people benefits while they appeal against incorrect ‘Fit for Work’ decisions. As it stands, those people who are unable to work due to ill-health or disability receive Employment and Support Allowance (ESA). Under regulation introduced by the coalition, the Work Capability Assessment (WCA) is used to decide who is […]

    Read more →