This morning in Birmingham Brown eulogised to Labour’s spring conference the utopia he is building, meanwhile Dave has given a more realistic speech to Taffy Tories in Wales.
His speech accepts that voters are going to demand more openness, transparency, honesty and control. As Guido predicted on Thursday, he has returned to his PMQs themes once again. The Cameroons believe there are political dividends to be had in aligning with the anti-politician mood, the call from the 2005 intake of Tory MPs advancing constituency recalls for bad MPs is part of that anti-political agenda.
Cameron’s speech today said “I get it” loud and clear:
Public faith in our political institutions is draining away. According to MORI, the proportion of people trusting politicians to put the needs of the country before the needs of party halved between 1974 and 1999. Trust in Parliament fell from 54% in 1983 to 14% in 2000. Since then it’s got even worse. Our Parliament is scorned. Our parties are shrinking … Let’s be clear what they think of us: “you lie and you spin, you fiddle your expenses and you break your promises.” To describe this disengagement and cynicism as a ‘mood’ is to underestimate both the depth and the intensity of the breakdown in relations between the government and the governed.
So Dave has identified the symptoms, does he know what has caused it?
To do that, we need to understand why this political breakdown has happened. A lot of it is to with behaviour. The behaviour of a minority of individual politicians, in all parties. Behaviour in the House of Commons.
Most of all he blames the government’s culture of spin, the three thousand press officers and the cynicism of politicians who promise what can’t ever be delivered, with the single-minded pursuit of favourable headlines rather than real results in mind. All of which is in the DNA of New Labour.
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Anti-politics is the new politics. You have read it here almost daily for four years. Cameron’s new politics shows promise, his post-bureaucratic agenda is about limiting the state and the unlimiting of society. Those of us who are anti-politics are the majority at election time, if Cameron can convince the non-voting majority that he will walk the walk as well as talk the talk he could win a landslide. We won’t ever vote for the Labour Party, yet why should we vote for the Tories? We are the sceptical and cynical majority who see politicians as a problem, not a solution…