David Cameron strikes again, eh? Another week, another ‘deft Tory campaign manoeuvre’-cum-comedy. It’s becoming a little repetitive I must say. This time, at least, it wasn’t a poster that drew my attention. It was a video. Picture the scene. David Cameron delves into the cupboard under his stairs, pulled out the tennis racquets, welly boots, and bits of old wind turbine, cursing under his breath as he looks for his video camera. He knows it’s in there somewhere along with that autocue gadget Michael bought him in Belize a couple of Christmases ago.
At last, under a box full of assorted tupperware, he finds it all and takes it to the spare room to unleash his wisdom on us all. Course, him in his board shorts and birkenstocks in the spare bedroom doesn’t look very Prime ministerial. So he moves some piles of Samantha’s paperwork into shot and puts a map and a Witney newsletter onto the wall. Feeling that’s not quite enough, he strategically places a sign saying “Conservative Campaign Centre” in shot to finish it off. Nobody will wonder why the office would have a sign like that on the wall for no reason. And for the master stroke he puts on shirt, jacket and tie and makes sure the board shorts are out of frame. Samantha helps him load Steve Hilton’s beautifully crafted text onto Michael’s autocue and off he goes.
So what does he say? Well, here is where Cam pulls off quite a feat. He manages in one 4 minute film to say lots of stuff and absolutely bugger all. Impressive, huh? What I mean by that is he covers a lot of topics while at the same time saying nothing at all of any substance. He opens by talking Britain down. We’re all doomed. The recession is a disaster for us all. Unless of course you’re a millionaire. Then he moves on to a graduate in German who can’t find a job. No info on how Team Cameron will get her a job, but not to worry. Relations with the EU are bound to mean a boon for German speakers under a Tory government. Next Dave attacks Gordon Brown’s handling of the recession. The handling of the recession copied by most major countries in the world. Other than Ireland. They agreed with the Tories. Ireland’s bankrupt. Dave then goes on to say the Tories will reduce the deficit by getting more for less. No specifics again. Just take it for granted he’ll get more for less. Again, he compares the national budget to a families housekeeping budget. Then he builds to his punchline. Brown, says Dave, is wrong to
pump government money into big schemes and initiatives
to create jobs and build the economy. “Gordon it’s over”, announces Dave solemnly, while ensuring his Fat Face board shorts aren’t visible. Tories won’t be pumping government money into big schemes and initiatives. Oh no. They’ll be cutting red tape, helping enterprising people pull themselves up by their bootstraps,
and invest in new initiatives like high speed rail.
Hmm. Did you see that? You had to be quick. Blink and you missed it. In just a couple of sentences there, he completely contradicted himself. Brown is wrong to help the economy by investing in big initiatives, so what we’ll do is invest in big initiatives like high speed rail. After that, DC promises to radically reform schools, create 100,000 new apprenticeships per year, give welfare a big shake-up, and make Britain a great place to start a business. At no point does he actually make any mention of how he’s going to do these things. He just hopes people will take him at his word that he can do all these things. It’s a good thing the only people who watch these videos are Cameron supporters and political anoraks bloggers like me.