It never fails to astonish me that some people still seem to regard David Cameron as a successful Prime Minister, despite the fact his Coalition government has proven itself to be one of the most dishonest, divisive and economically illiterate political administrations that the people of Britain have had to suffer for the past twenty-odd years. That is not to suggest for one moment that the previous Labour governments of Blair and Brown were any better, or that a possible Miliband cabinet would be any sort of improvement on the current Coalition, although it might well indicate that the British people have been and will likely continue to be poorly served, if we keep repeating the common mistake of re-electing the same sorts of inexperienced, out-of-touch, professional politicians that Cameron and Miliband represent.
Ordinarily, it might be difficult to keep up with all of the various mistakes, u-turns and fibs that a serving government commits during its four or five year term of office, simply because there are generally so many of them that it's hard to keep track. However, with the advent of the internet and the emergence of the professional political blogger, it is now comparatively easy to remind oneself of the often numerous and various faux pas that the traditional legacy parties commit on an almost regular basis. And despite the fact that some parts of the right wing Tory press continue to refer to the Cameron administration as "competent", the following list of political gaffes, howlers, misrepresentations and outright lies would tend to suggest that for anyone to describe it thus, is not only a travesty, but a tragedy of epic proportions.
Where to start with the extensive litany of political boo-boos that we can directly attribute to Mr Cameron and his Coalition government? Well, clearly there's his employment of Andy Coulson, who Mr Cameron continued to defend, even in the chamber of the house, but who ultimately was found to be a "wrong 'un". Then of course there was his government's top-down reorganisation of the NHS, despite having given his assurance that there would be no such reorganisation in the run-up to the election. Next, there was the unexpected rise in the rate of VAT, once again despite his personal assurance that no such rise was being planned.
In the months before the election Mr Cameron was telling the British public that any future public spending cuts, to help cut the deficit, probably wouldn't be that severe, but once in office introduced some of the most swingeing austerity measures ever introduced by a British Prime Minister. In the early months of his government he promised that anyone caught carrying a knife would likely face an automatic jail term, a policy that was eventually dropped over the course of his tenure in No10. Even though he promised to retain the EMA, the Educational Maintenance Allowance, monies designed to encourage youngsters to remain in full-time education, his administration subsequently dropped the funding, preferring instead to see these same youngsters on low paid work programmes, turned into NEET's, or forced to take on thousands of pounds of Student debts.
Along with his Liberal Democrat deputy, Nick Clegg; and despite any assurances given before the election their joint administration introduced a tripling of tuition fees for those taking on further education courses at university or college. Then of course there was the infamous cast-iron guarantee for a public referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, which Mr Cameron somehow contrived to weasel his way out of, once he had been given the keys to Downing Street, courtesy of Mr Clegg and his Lib Dem MPs. And that's not forgetting of course his government's scrapping of the RAF's Nimrod aircraft, which were broken up, forcing us to rely on other NATO nation's goodwill in order to defend our coastline from enemy submarines and aircraft. And maybe we shouldn't forget the selling off of the Harrier Jump Jets to the Americans, leaving the UK without an effective Fleet Air Arm, (although given that we didn't have a serviceable aircraft carrier anyway; and still don't) that can probably be best described as a relatively moot point.
Quite apart from the numerous policy u-turns, empty promises, gross misrepresentations and blatant lies that David Cameron has committed and uttered, just a few of which are mentioned above, it is perhaps indicative of his character that he shamelessly continues to do so, despite knowing that the truth will find him out. Over the period of the past few weeks he has readily repeated the lie that the UK's economic performance under his government's stewardship has outperformed all other major economies, when in reality a number of other G20 nations, including China, India, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and South Korea have delivered greater increases in their national economic performances than Mr Cameron's Britain. In the House of Commons, where he is protected by parliamentary privilege, he has regularly misled the watching TV audiences and live spectators regarding the opposition's future intentions, including his statement to Mark Reckless MP that UKIP were planning to privatise the NHS, even though he knew this to be untrue.
A bully, a liar, a charlatan and a deceitful personality, why would anyone choose to believe that Mr Cameron displays any semblance of economic competency, when he can't even be bothered to be honest and straightforward with the British electorate? Deliberately sucking money out of the UK economy, whilst at the same time borrowing billions from the international markets to simply give it away to foreign despots and tyrants isn't competency, but criminal incompetence! To publicly promise to deliver change, only then to rescind those promises once you're elected isn't honesty, but sheer unadulterated dishonesty! To publicly promise to protect the most vulnerable in our society; and then renege on those promises once you've got your feet under the desk at Downing Street isn't the mark of a caring Prime Minister, but rather the mark of a deeply unsympathetic individual, who will say, do or promise whatever is necessary to achieve his personal objective of attaining and retaining power!
Just under five years ago Mr Cameron promised much; and despite standing against one of the most unpopular sitting Prime Minister's of the modern age, he still failed to achieve a working parliamentary majority to push forward his party's political agenda. Now, it might well be argued that the Liberal Democrats have blunted what would have almost certainly been an even sharper Conservative knife, which would have inflicted even more severe and deeper economic cuts, but for their political interventions. That's as may be, but it is still hard to get past the fact that electoral promises that were made by both governing parties, many of which were broken, whilst at the same time significant numbers of policies were literally foisted on the British people that have brought about fundamental changes to our society and the way we all live.
So now five years later Mr Cameron is asking us to trust him again, with the assurance that under a Conservative only government things will be better and the level of competence greater. A proven liar wants us to trust him, so that he can cheat us all again? Well, as the old expression goes, fool me one shame on you, fool me twice then shame on me, so if it's all the same I don't think I'll bother!