Last week I wrote the following post:
David Cameron - Wake up! there is a war on you know.
The first paragraph of the BBC News 24's article on John Redwood's proposal to save £14bn by cutting Red Tape reads: Tory leader David Cameron is looking at plans to cut £14bn in red tape and regulation for UK businesses. Sounds good so far? Unfortunately the article goes on to rubbish the proposal with comments from Labour Cabinet Minister Andy Burnham, Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable and a spokesman for the TUC. They even said the Confederation of British Industry only cautiously welcomed the proposals.
This is strange. I'm sure that these are good proposals. We are as a nation constantly complaining of Red Tape, ridiculous health and safety regimes and I'm damn sure we would like to see the back of the poorly thought out HIPs scheme. The proposal also said it would look into the working time regulations. Why then, are these proposals being portrayed as something that would be bad for the country? We could save businesses £14bn and cut through all that rubbish that infuriates us and complicates our work.
The answer is that Labour are making a better job of manipulating the media. The Conservatives have had several opportunities to criticise Labour since Brown came into power, but they have failed to drive the criticism home. Floods, Foot and Mouth, and employing very unfriendly medical professionals who were turned down in Australia for not meeting the required standard. Brown has made massive cock-ups in the past: pensions and gold sales are two beauties. The man should be unpopular with the public but according to the media he is turning into some kind of people's hero.
We need to stop playing the nice guy and use the media to its full potential. I don't mean spin and I don't mean dirty tricks, there is no need when Labour are already handing us all the ammunition we need. It's time to attack. We have missed some real opportunities to make the public realise how poor Labour are at running this country. If an October election is called, it's going to be touch and go whether we can make the public realise that a Conservative government is the best and only option. We cannot afford to let Labour off the hook anymore.
A few days earlier I wrote this:
ID Cards or Hospitals - Take your pick.
Five firms are going to be selected to provide the computer equipment and deal with the issuing of the proposed ID Cards. For one thing this scheme is going to cost £5.3bn and I think I would prefer to see my local hospital not shut down to save money. The thing about my hospital (Haslar) is it is also the last military hospital in this country and I'm not too sure, but with our servicemen and women being flown home with horrific injuries, I think It could be quite handy. Oh and by the way, the buses that used to run from my town to the hospital that we now have to use have been scrapped to - yes you guessed it - save money.
The other thing about the scheme, is that seeing as this is all about security, why are five firms going to be involved in supplying the ID Card system? How much access will each of these firms have to the information held on the cards and how is the security of that information going to be protected by the government? Surely one firm with one total solution would be easier to regulate and monitor by the government.
One more thing is that I am not at all happy that this card is going to be a European ID Card and that foreign governments will have access to the information contained on my card. A lot of people do not want the ID Card and a lot do want it. But given the choice between ID Cards or your A&E or Maternity unit staying open, which would you choose?
£5.3bn and counting. You just know it's going to be more.
Having returned from his holiday, David Cameron has at last started a decent attack on Labour policy and we should now see an end to the unfathomable Brown bounce. David said: "They want to see their district general hospital improved and people simply do not understand why maternity units and accident and emergency units are being shut down - when actually accident and emergency admissions are actually up and births are up."
On the fight against crime, Mr Cameron said lawbreakers should face: "tough penalties" but that punishment was "not enough". He went on to say: "We are not going to deal with anarchy in the UK unless you actually strengthen families and communities in the UK." And that the tax and benefit system should encourage families: "to come together and stay together rather than driving people apart". David pointed out that all the problems now facing the country can be traced back to Gordon Brown "sitting at his desk in Number 11 Downing St as chancellor".
It's a start, let's keep the momentum up.