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Read my lips

Nick Robinson | 19:56 UK time, Tuesday, 4 May 2010

"You can read my lips. That is a promise from my heart."

Thus David Cameron sought tonight to reassure voters that he would "look after... the elderly, frail, poor and needy" and protect pensioners' benefits, having condemned what he says are Gordon Brown's lies.

It's an unfortunate phrase given its history. George Bush Sr was the first to say "read my lips". The rest of the sentence was "no new taxes". It helped him win the presidency in 1988. He went on to raise taxes to reduce the deficit and "read my lips" became shorthand for broken political promises.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 2.

    Nick

    Does this blog close on election day?

  • Comment number 3.

    Speaking of reading lips did Hain say vote for someone else or not, for Lib Dems who might be tempted to listen to Mr Hain's alleged cries for votes you might be interested in one of His books, Proportional Misrepresentation: The case against PR.

  • Comment number 4.

    Nick you say 'It's an unfortunate phrase given its history. George Bush Sr was the first to say "read my lips" '

    But lets's not forget David Blunkett!

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2005/sep/26/schools.labour

  • Comment number 5.

    174. At 7:49pm on 04 May 2010, sagamix wrote:
    kevin @ 144

    "The day gay people stop going on and on about gay rights is the day that with a bit of luck, people can just be treated as people. I am sick to death of every minority going complaining all the time."

    This post neatly confirms my perception (and fears) at 161. You can take comfort in being far from alone in how you feel; but I rather hope you don't.

    You are misrepresenting what I am saying

    People should be treated as people

    Whether they are gay or not should make no difference

    Yet ANY excuse we get the full treatment of ANY story with the full on Gay lobbying movement

    I am just saying it doesn't help, and if gay people want to be treated like everyone else, quite rightly too, then occasionally they must be told to shut up like everybody else

    Or is it not equality that is wanted?

    If it is, then stop calling everything that isn't liked homophobic

    It does not help

  • Comment number 6.

    Thus David Cameron sought tonight to reassure voters that he would "look after... the elderly, frail, poor and needy"
    -----------------------------
    possibly the funniest and also the most depraved statement ever from a conservative politician.
    especially when you consider those millions on low incomes already suffering as a result of the world recession and camerons inheritance tax policy to give tax breaks to the wealthiest families in the uk.
    quite sickening really

  • Comment number 7.

    Your point is?

  • Comment number 8.

    Something that Brown and Clegg would be unlikely to say is "Read my manifesto"

    They both broke their 2005 manifesto pledges on holding a referendum on the European constitutional treaty.

    The Labour and Lib Dem manifestos will be consigned to the recycling bin of history.

    Or maybe nominated for the Man Booker Prize for fiction.

  • Comment number 9.

    My guess is in reality for the old that Cameroon 'protecting pensioners' benefits' will cut the scope of the winter heating allowance maybe to those to those who get the income guarantee, the bus pass will be restricted to the area each of the Transport Authorities, and may require a fare payment, the ten pound bonus will go, and richer pensioners will may have to pay some prescription charges and maybe the 75 year check up will go (and GPs salaries be cut)

    The benefits will exist but on a reduced scale.

  • Comment number 10.

    My post confirms nothing you rose, sagamix, and to suggest it does is utterly obscene

    I want people to be treated equally, and have raised this [previously when racism was discussed

    To try and infer I am some sort of closet homophobe (irony is free) is wrong, and insulting

    Perhaps you could withdraw this hinted smear?

    For the record I couldn't care less if someone is gay/straight/bi as long as they respect me

    People are worth no more, and are worth no less, whichever of the 3 groups I mention



  • Comment number 11.

    Dunno about 'Read my lips' Reading the party manifestos should tell people all they need to know.
    Unfortunately they don't!

  • Comment number 12.

    I think it is likely that Cameron`s intention to look after our vulnerable citizens is genuine.However,as Shaw remarked,the road to hell is paved with good intentions.The confusion over economic policy which has pursued team Cameron up to and including the campaign continues.

    My own view will be familiar to the minority who read and digest my posts,it is the orthodox Keynesian position that to cut in a crisis risks the very outcome you most feared:-falling employment,output and revenues leading to a sovereign debt crisis.

    Immediate cuts impinge on an issue which has not been raised through the election.Stalking the Scottish conservative party is the ghost of Thatcherism,the butchery of Scots heavy industry and community degradation.

    Cameron is on record saying that in Scotland,Northern Ireland and Northern England, the state sector is too big and will be reduced.This policy,superimposed on smouldering Scottish resentment over rule from Whitehall and previous conservatise governments, will ignite a passion for independence which could easily lead to the break-up of the union.

    In Northern Ireland, by siding with the Unionists, he has abandoned a long tradition of impartiality,he is seen to take sides in the multifaceted dispute between Unionists and Republicans.

    So he may be a one-nation Tory,if he`s not careful there will only be one nation to be a tory in.

  • Comment number 13.

    Dodgy Dave knows he's lying to the electorate and this is his little arrogant way of letting us know too. The guy should just bow out of the race and let a real leader take the reins in Gordon Brown. At times of crisis we don't need a PRETENDER in the top job.

  • Comment number 14.

    kevin,

    "You missed it, I was too subtle"

    Well that's a first. Your 144 previous wasn't so subtle, was it? Real "white van man" chuntering, that was.

    But okay, fair enough - C2 is you then. A win's a win, I suppose. I think 19 bigger than that.

    As for Cameron's "promise" to protect the less well off, let's hope he lives up to it. I'm doubtful, I have to say. Doesn't look very trustworthy, does he?

  • Comment number 15.

    A man walks into a hotel and asks if he can inspect a room before he will decide to stay the night. He leaves £100 as a deposit and goes upstairs.
    The owner takes the £100 and takes it to the bakery to pay his bill.
    The Baker takes the £100 to the off licence to pay his drinks bill.
    The off licence owner takes the £100 to his solicitor to pay his legal costs in obtaining the licence
    The Solicitor takes the £100 to the hotel owner to pay his bill.
    The Hotel owner places the £100 on the counter just as the man comes down from inspecting the room. The man says he does not want the room picks up his £100 and leaves.

    Nobody has sold anything but everybody is now out of debt.

    Can I have the job of chancellor please?

  • Comment number 16.


    I am depressed by the lack of anything meaningful to say from the lips of the BBCs chief politcal correspondant.

    The election has failed to illuminate either the true state of the fabric of British society or the guts of what any of the major political parties intend to do about it.

    The lack of substance, rather than been subject to incisive inquiry, has been aided and abetted by Nick and his ilk. The suggestion has been that not spelling out where the axe will fall is reasonable behaviour during an election campaign.

    I am hear to say for one I dont concsider this obfuscation of the true scale of cutbacks to come "reasonable behaviour". It leaves me bereft of an ability to determine who I want to run my country. None of the available leadership teams seems capable of running a large business let alone a country.

    To Nick in summary do your job, stop "hyberbolising" and hack through the bluster and obfuscation of the candidates to meat of the issues.

    To the three main parties from this floating voter, get real with me, I am a grown adult I can take some hard truths if they come with believable solutions.

  • Comment number 17.

    This comment has been referred for further consideration. Explain.

  • Comment number 18.

    David Cameron is a man you can trust to keep his promises unlike the last two Prime Ministers we have had.

  • Comment number 19.


    You have used the words "Cameron" and "broken political promises" in one short post. I would suggest that this unfairly links the two phrases in the mind of the reader.

    Are you planning on taking a swipe at all party leaders this close to election day or only Cameron? I think we should be told.

  • Comment number 20.

    Manifestos and - by implication - any promises/pledges made during the run up to an election, are not legally binding.
    Combine this with the stage managed settings for the various rallies and the media generated X factor style of presenting the leaders, and the whole campaign gets reduced to a farce.

    Are we really any more knowledgeable about what the parties have in store for us once election fever has died down?

    I think not.

  • Comment number 21.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 22.

    #5 KevinB

    Kevin - do you think gay people can be cured by prayer as a certain Tory candidate thinks?

    Do you think Chris Grayling is wrong to say that people who own B&B's should have the right to refuse gay couples?

    Do you not think a Tory candidate saying homosexuality is 'abnormal' is rather worrying?

    How about the fact that the Tories have an atrocious voting record on issues of gay rights? David Cameron himself voted against the repeal of section 28.

    Don't take it from me - check out the website of Stonewall for the voting record of Tories on gay issues.

    http://www.stonewall.org.uk/what_we_do/parliamentary/general_election_2010/3870.asp

    In general it is a pretty appalling record.

    Plastic Cameron has made some progress but the Tories have a long way to go to be the 'modern' party he claims it is.

  • Comment number 23.

    Where's George Osborne hiding?

  • Comment number 24.

    andy,

    "If you were as clever as you think you are, you would have had an impact by now. Maybe the answer is.....well....you're not as clever as you think you are?"

    Yes I suppose that is possible. Not a thought I want to entertain though, if you don't mind. Undermines my sense of self. You don't want to undermine my sense of self do you, Andy?

    So what's your view on the new socialist David Cameron? Does this lurch left ring true to you? Or is it more likely that, if they get in, it will be a case of same old tories?

  • Comment number 25.

    All have made these kind of vauge statements and not one has provided specifics, so no matter what they do if elected they can say people didn't understand what they meant or that they are doing what they meant and only the cycnics are complaining.
    No honesty and no specifics........it is all like a mystery bag at a carnival...can't look inside until you have bought it.

  • Comment number 26.

    Nick,

    I don't believe a word Cameron says anyway - whether he says 'read my lips' or not.

    He is clearly only saying whatever he can to try and win power at any cost.

    Worse than that though is the likes of George Osborne, William Hague, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove would be our Chancellor, Foreign Secretary, Culture Secretary and Education Secretary.

    They are all unreformed arch-Thatcherites who believe that all you have to do is privatise things to make them better. They are also all career politicians who have known nothing but the Tory party from a young age.

    When people vote for Tory they need to remember they are also voting for these extremists to have power over the most powerful positions in the country.

  • Comment number 27.

    It's hard to believe this election is happening under such difficult conditions.

    Gordon Brown had suspended the "Tory Boom and Bust" approach, hadn't he?

    So why are we so bust as a country?

    If you save a bit when things go right, it can help when stuff goes wrong. I thought that was the the underlying philosophy of Keynes.

    NOT just "borrow in both the good and bad times".

    Brown and Mandelson keep wittering on about "investment in UK future technologies". So which ones will diliver?

    Windmills? I understand that 180 odd widmill blades have fallen off in a recent history. OK. I guess that they may be found quickly on the UK mainland. But who is going to pay for the bits that fall off way out at seas?

    Just sad that all this stuff has been stufffed up.

    Stand up and take a bow, Blair and Brown and the mass of politicians who think that "ideas" make any sense at all, if you can't actually DELIVER.

    I'd vote for anybody who promised to cut down on the rate of legislation. Whether it came from a Westminster or Brussels source.

    I have no idea how many laws I cold be breaking when I walk to the shops or go out for a "banking opportunity".

    Anybody else out there who actually understands which of the 3,000 new rules we have broken since 1997?????

    Anybody out there who could identify any PM who actually KNOWS exactly what laws have been passed that add 3,000 plus offences to our civic society since 1997?

    Goodness knows, I tried to be a lawful citizen.

    But how can anybody work out how to live, when legislation and regulation rains down with so little examination.

    We waste a huge amount because Ministries create QANGOs, so Ministers cannot be held to account, because it's another body that actually spends the tax-income. So a new body is set up, a massive amount of tax-take gets channelled into an organisation with abosultely NO electoral legitimacy.

    So, when stuff gets screwed up, Ministers are no longer expected to take responsibility and resign, because all the problems belong to the arms-length QANGO.

    Remember Ed Balls and the examination results failure? Not me, Guv. Those blokes out there got it wrong. But he was responsible for placing a particular organisation in place. And refused to accept that warnings could possible be true.

    How many Ministers have resigned because they were complete failures?

    Hewitt? For agreeing a deal with GPs that costs a fortune and allowed GPs to give up a small part of a future income in order to avoid an out-of-hours commitment.

    Who was the bloke handling the UK's finances? Gordon Brown.

    He could have stepped in, slapped Hewitt, got tough and said that the arrangement would be a disaster. He didn't. But it HAS been a disaster.

    Fairly typical of a government that equates "Spending" with "Delivery".

    There have definitely been significant changes in the UK since 1997.

    Some potentially good (as long as there was enough real money available to support it).
    Some really bad (like not having the money, but borrowing and spending like a drunk with somebody's else credit card in a bar).

    I've never worked out whether Blair actually realised that Brown planned to attack private sector pension funds and make a compelte mess of the regulation of finance houses.

    So which bit of a "New Labour" 13 year agenda actually worked?

    Anybody taken the trouble to check the "balance of trade" numbers?

    It was positive when Gordon took control.

    Anybody out there who believes that the UK has a positive balance of trade situation?

    Hasn't happened since 1997. Why not?

    Tired.

    It's sick.

    I just find it odd that anybody could believe that voting for Labour - and hence Brown - can be justified.
    The guy has destroyed private company pensions.
    Told finance organisations that he would have a "light touch regulation" system.

    Then failed to make sure that regulation actually worked.

    Which of course it didn't.

    So why would anybody believe him?

    Tired.

  • Comment number 28.

    14

    It was nothing of the sort

    In fact I have said so above, with lots of mistyping as I was so angry

    Perhaps you can retract your accusations?

  • Comment number 29.

    Saga Previous 89

    Your final call C21. Whatever happens it's been a pleasure reading your posts and sharing this election with you and others on this site (exception Chris Londons comment).

    I started at C14 and will stick. A bit boring which is why I will never be considered a Clear Thinking Progressive.

    I have however perfected my latest Rory Bremner immpression. For this have to imagine Paul Newman circa 1965 with a little dried egg over the eyes around the ears and under the chin.

  • Comment number 30.

    VOR

    I suggest you read my post on the previous blog 174 and the three on here

    You should then be able to answer your questions quite easily

  • Comment number 31.

    What is really going to happen when people actually get into the polling booth is still the great unknown.

    What have we learnt during the past four weeks?

    Labour's leader apparently doesn't think much of his core voters.
    The Tory leader wants us to pay taxes but go and do it ourselves.
    The Lib/Dem leader seems to make up policy 'on the hoof'

    Even on this blog we have had hundreds - nay thousands - of postings from learned and erudite bloggers. But what have they told us?

    That some believe we must vote Labour because of their outstanding record.
    That some believe we must not vote Labour because of their appalling record.

    That some believe we must vote Tory because only they are capable of sorting out the Labour mess.
    That some believe we must not vote Tory because they will undo all the good work done by Labour.
    That some believe we must vote Lib/Dem because it will bring a change to the voting system that is long overdue.
    That some believe we must not vote Lib/Dem because PR will condemn us to years of 'hung' Parliaments.

    And what are we to make of the first time teenage voter like the one I described yesterday. He's voting for Nick not the Lib/Dems.
    What is he going to do when he goes into the booth and finds that Nick Clegg isn't actually listed on his ballot paper?

    Is the previously stalwart, but perhaps now wavering, Tory or Labour supporter really going to put his dobie mark in the opposition's square?

    Who knows. What I do feel certain about however, is that the pollsters may just have got it wrong this time.

  • Comment number 32.

    26

    VOR

    Wrote

    They are all unreformed arch-Thatcherites who believe that all you have to do is privatise things to make them better

    Well, we can't privatise the deficit or the debt

  • Comment number 33.

    15. At 8:46pm on 04 May 2010, John wrote:

    ........The owner takes the £100 and takes it to the bakery to pay his bill......

    ************************

    A £100 bakers bill!!!

    At least we now know who ate all the pies! LOL

  • Comment number 34.

    sagamix 14

    'As for Cameron's "promise" to protect the less well off, let's hope he lives up to it. I'm doubtful, I have to say. Doesn't look very trustworthy, does he?'

    It's easy to protect the poor of one generation if, Like Gordon Brown, your willing to rob future generations to pay for it. David Cameron will do his best in a very difficult position if he is given the chance. He deserves to be.

  • Comment number 35.

    What a beautful phrase - 'a promise from my heart'. I rather think that Mr Cameron means it.
    I know that we must be sceptical of most politicians, they inhabit such a strange world (and I am pleased that I did not 'fall' for Mr Blair's charm) - but I think that Mr Cameron may turn out to be a very good PM, if he gets the job.
    As for the rest of the Newslog:- We may be sure that there will be new taxes - whichever Party wins on Thursday. The country is in massive debt.

  • Comment number 36.

    Just a passing thought, what does the Queen think of all this ? Well probably nothing as she seems to have failed to notice that Gordon is actually PM. According to the royal dot gov dot uk website, she has seen 10 successive PM's for audience every Tuesday, and of those it lists one 'Tony Blair' as 1997-present ! There's confidence in your Government !

  • Comment number 37.

    It would be very comforting to wake up in an England which had a political system so constructed that we English did not ever have to take on trust 'read my lips' from any politician.

    Too much bad political water has passed under the bridge of England for any politician to ever be able to utter such a phrase now and be believed.

    There is still time for the people of England to do something really different and maybe they will.

  • Comment number 38.

    lefty10 6

    ' those millions on low incomes already suffering as a result of the world recession'

    Suffering as a result of New Labour incompetence lefty10. Don't really blame you for being in denial though lefty. It pretty much a trait of lefties to be in permanent denial so get used to it.

  • Comment number 39.

    #20 Zydeco

    "Manifestos and - by implication - any promises/pledges made during the run up to an election, are not legally binding."

    It's true that manifesto pledges are not legally binding - in the sense that a government cannot be sued for failing to keep its promises. But if we are looking at constitutional changes, this is an area that in urgent need of reform.

    If someone promises you something in order to persuade you to give them a job, then deliberately breaks that promise, they should lose their job.

    To make manifesto pledges to win votes, but then break those pledges, amounts to an electoral fraud.

    In supporting or resisting new legislation, any MP who does not vote in accordance with their manifesto should instantly face the sack. No waiting for the next election. You break your promise, out you go! Right away! Furthermore, MPs guilty of breaking a manifesto pledge should be barred from holding public office for life and forced to repay all their salary. Harsh, but effective. This might focus their minds a little bit and remind them they were elected by the people to do a specific job, not whatever they feel like on the day.

  • Comment number 40.

    mr naughty @ 29

    "Whatever happens it's been a pleasure reading your posts and sharing this election with you and others on this site"

    Likewise.

    Take care and may the force be with you.

  • Comment number 41.

    C21, C14 ? Is this the lefties being unduly pessimistic so they can paint a good result for Cameron as being failure. I'd settle for Tories being the largest party which would require them to get a substantially larger share of the vote than Labour. Either way Cameron has done everything he can and done it well.

  • Comment number 42.

    I'm not so sure I believe anything which any of the three main party leaders say in the lead up to this election, at this point they all seem willing to say anything to win our vote. I recently looked at the website vote for policies.org and I believe that a voting system set up in this way would be a better way of determining actual public opinion, whereby we could vote for policies rather than parties and the party with our view points most closely matched, was the party for which our vote was cast. I've come to this conclusion as the vast majority of the people i've spoken to in the lead up to this election don't research party policies at all and simply choose a party based on pre conceived ideas about that party. I believe that a system like this with essentially "blind voting" would provide a more accurate indiciation of public opinion.

  • Comment number 43.

    MaxG

    'Where's George Osborne hiding?'

    Max, did you hear about the leaders debates. You know, the debates where the leaders of the 3 main parties had a little questions and answers session. You might have heard of them. Well, he appeared immediately after all 3 of these to tell the media how well David Cameron had done.



  • Comment number 44.

    27 Fairly

    Good to hear from you. Did GB ask you to write his resignation speech?
    If so, you done a half decent job.

    Seems a long way since 1997 and a sincere lack of resignations along the way. Not at least altogether surprising though, if Blair didn't resign over something as serious as Iraq, why should any other Ministers resign over something as trival as loss of data on computer discs.

    Will the next parliament be any better? probably not. When any politician says read my lips we know it's probably a lie and when he says "I'm a pretty honest kind of Guy" run for the hills.

    Whatever happens you've always got the lawn to "decorate/mow" and those fond memories of the beautiful West Country.

    I prepared some hanging baskets this evening - Hope they turn out nice.



  • Comment number 45.

    Slightly off topic, and some may argue a bit ahead of myself, but what would happen to the promises made in a manifesto if there is a hung parliament. Does the Salisbury Convention hold true to both of the coalition parties' manifesto promises or does it only work for the manifesto pledges of the bigger party in a coalition?

  • Comment number 46.

    23. At 8:55pm on 04 May 2010, MaxG wrote:
    Where's George Osborne hiding?

    ==========================

    He's in Corfu on a yacht with Mandelson?

    Lest we forget that people are voting for a change aren't they?

  • Comment number 47.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 48.

    kevin @ 28

    You know yourself best, Kevin. If you're now telling me that you're rock solid on minority rights (as currently encoded in our anti discrimination laws), then I'm going to believe you. I like to believe people; it's my nature and my preference.

  • Comment number 49.

    I guess you have decided not withdraw your slur Sagamix

    Shame, in both senses

  • Comment number 50.

    I have to say that it does rather seem sometimes as if the whole political class is arraigned against us, the people.

    By this I mean that I have read recently via various media outlets that somehow it is OUR fault that the country is up to its ears in debt.

    As if we, the people, 'wanted it all' and that Government just simply provided the means, via fiscal devices such as 'easy money', low interest rates and so on.

    When I read some of this stuff in Saturdays Times (Matthew Parris) I nearly choked on my Shreddies.

    Excuse me but very brief history lesson, in 1997 the national debt was around £320Bn, by 2001 Brown had reduced it to just under £300Bn and today it is the £300Bn + £160Bn (bailing out the banks) + £400Bn (for whatever Brown spent that on in the last decade) = £860bn today.

    Nowhere in that lot is any spending by us, the people but we are expected to don a hair-shirt to help pay it down along, probably, with a heavy dose of inflation to wash the debt away.

    In the private sector, there was excessive house price inflation over the past decade, but Government could have controlled that via the FSA but again I don't exactly see how the people are to blame if banks and Building Societies provided money on ridiculous earnings ratios.

    According to the IFS, none of the three mainstream parties have been remotely honest about how this 'structural debt' is to be reduced over the next few years so if you want honesty in your politics in England, then you'll have to look elsewhere.

  • Comment number 51.

    40. At 9:48pm on 04 May 2010, sagamix wrote:

    ...Take care and may the force be with you.........

    ***************************8

    In view of the date of this post, shouldn't that read ' May the Fourth' be with you? :-)

  • Comment number 52.

    48

    Thank you

    If you look at the points I make, they are valid

  • Comment number 53.

    The George Bush Sr quote about "read my lips" has been widely misunderstood, because of a terrible punctuation disaster.

    In answer to some journalist's question about whether he would do his best to keep taxes low, his answer was actually "Read my lips: no. New taxes!"

  • Comment number 54.

    Nick

    became shorthand for broken political promises.

    =================================================

    On the face of it after the Labour RRU manic panic on your last blog this looks like buckling under pressure.

    Makes me think that Mandy sent the boys round.

    To compare the 2 blogs though

    Labour stage manage with patsy questions so Brown can handle them.

    Cameron goes out and faces the electorate whatever comes and uses a few familiar words.

  • Comment number 55.

    Even before this election is over, there are some very bad omens brewing for the people of England.

    For example, the infamous UU's (Ulster Unionists) will probably return 11 MP's to Westminster and having already transferred some £17M per annum in taxes from the people of SE England to NI, a UU spokesman hinted that there would certainly be no 'cuts' in NI as the price of their support.

    Meanwhile canny Alex Salmond will also be extracting at least a pound of flesh from the Westmonster Government and any cuts attempted in Scotland by Westminster will be ruthlessly exploited by Salmond and the SNP in their incremental quest for full Scottish independence.

    Those people of England, who in effect, by voting for either Labour, Lib-Dems or Tories, are voting to maintain the Union, may find it fiscally painful and not an equally shared pain amongst the home countries of the so-called UK.

  • Comment number 56.

    Slightly OT, but continuing a theme from the last (now closed) blog entry about how many of us have actually seen politicians during the campaign, I'm wondering if anyone else has tried emailing any of their parliamentary candidates to ask for their views on anything?

    I figured maybe a parliamentary candidate might reply to emails from voters during an election campaign. Although I had more or less decided to vote LibDem, I was a bit confused by one of the policies in their manifesto, so I emailed my LibDem candidate over the weekend to ask her to clarify.

    Haven't had a response yet. If I don't get one by Thursday, I may change my mind about who to vote for. Seriously, do I really want an MP who thinks that responding to constituents' emails is beneath her?

  • Comment number 57.

    50

    If you want to work it out, look up the relative budgets, as the overspending really kicked in in 2001/2

    From that moment onward, public sector got out of control, and the level of employment started to rise in the public sector, and even now is still rising

    This is not to say the public sector is to blame, it is simply to say that is largely where the debt has grown from

    To be fair to the Lib Dems and Conservatives, the postponing of the full spending review meant it was hard for them to be detailed

    Labour, who postponed the full spending review in a rather cynical move, are quite different

    The IFS put significant blame on the government for this

    Anyway, thought it was worth mentioning

  • Comment number 58.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 59.

    Come off it Jobs (41), failure to manage even a small working majority would be a truly dreadful performance by the tories. Just thinking actually ... C21 yes ... but it has to be an even number, doesn't it? Maybe we say we don't count the speaker.

  • Comment number 60.

    As a staunch Tory suppoprter, I hope all you labour luvvies have your way and Gordon wins the election. He has known from the start of this campaign that he was behind, and probably almost surely need the LibDems to bail him out. Now Camerons policies may to some of you seem unfair, but when Labour win watch the economy go to pieces.
    Infation in Germany is about 1.1% whilst here it is nearer 4%, the markets have stayed steady hoping DC would win with a majority. It is unliely now and the markets will scent blood. Interest rates will ramp, and Labour will not be able to control it. The IMF will be called in, and guess what they will force the Labour Government (greek like) to make big cuts in public services, vat will rise to 22% , cuts in welfare payments and in public sector pay of who is left.
    Every thing might not be as rosey as it seems if Labour win, the pennies will drop with saga and his little mates a little too late.
    THE TORIES MIGHT NOT HAVE ALL THE ANSWERS BUT THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES TO KEEP THE MARKETS AT BAY.

  • Comment number 61.

    This is something that Gordon Brown could not say.... at least he would be lying if he did. For example, the NHS is already looking for cost savings of £30bn - you can't tell me that won't affect frontline services!

  • Comment number 62.

    On a brighter note Saga, I moved my SIPP at 5800 FTSE, so at least I called that right

  • Comment number 63.

    38. jobsagoodin wrote:
    lefty10 6
    ' those millions on low incomes already suffering as a result of the world recession'

    Suffering as a result of New Labour incompetence lefty10. Don't really blame you for being in denial though lefty. It pretty much a trait of lefties to be in permanent denial so get used to it.
    ---------
    maybe your right jobs. i mean im sure you have been suffering financially and look to cameron...the man of the people...and the conservatives....the party for the poor to help you. of course the consevatives a have a long history of looking out for the working class. even cameron himself has been there....he knows what its like to struggle.....
    yawn of the largest of the largest yawns........

  • Comment number 64.

    49 kevin.
    someone can be openly homophobic. or they can say stupid things like violence against gays has been commited by mostly labour voters like andyc555. ( or they can look at conservative history on gay rights (post 160) on last blog and try and soften the facts....perhaps paint a mellow picture of slight misunderstanding...like you did. both unacceptable and equally appaling.

  • Comment number 65.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 66.

    61

    This is nonsense

    £30bn would be 27% of the NHS budget, and nobody is looking at that sort of cost reduction in the NHS

    Utter rubbish

  • Comment number 67.

    36 dave.
    Just a passing thought, what does the Queen think of all this ?
    --------------------
    cameron is the great-great-great-great-great grandson of King William IV and therefore a distant relative of the Queen.

    you can find the evidence of a bloodline between the Queen and "dave of the people" in Debrett's Peerage and Baronetage, the genealogical bible of the upper crust.
    you have to laugh...........

  • Comment number 68.

    kevin @ 52

    "If you look at the points I make, they are valid"

    You have said (repeatedly) that people have a "human right" to discriminate against homosexuals in the name of religious freedom - this is dodgy and ill thought through. I'm happy to accept that your error is one of logic and perception and is thus not necessarily indicative of anti gay prejudice.

  • Comment number 69.

    MaxG@ 23 wrote:
    Where's George Osborne hiding?


    >>


    You haven't been paying attention. I made it clear on a previous thread that his colleagues have locked him in a games cupboard at Eton until after the election. For the good of his party, you understand. Then they'll let him out and the first Mrs Rochester will be chancellor. Be afraid.

  • Comment number 70.

    64

    Or they can just smear people like you are trying to do to me

    Equally appalling

    What gives you the right to smear me?

    Pathetic

    You want equality yet think this gives you the right to call anyone who doesn't agree with homophobic

    THAT is what is appalling

    I try to soften no facts

    I hide from nothing

    Grayling's comments in your view were homophobic, in my view they were not

    So what gives you the right to think you must be correct

    THAT hypocracy and self serving smugness is what I said made me angry

    So don't smear me, just because I don't accept that what you say is correct

    I have a different view, so try being tolerant

    Outrage....that is what I feel now about your cheap, and pathetic smear

    Of all people you should be mindful of that

    So I suggest you withdraw your smear, as it incorrect, distasteful, and extremely disrespectful



  • Comment number 71.

    phew...it looks like all the right wingers have gone off to the late night tea parties. nice to see saga and pdavies on here. the cavalry
    ps. and you nicky....enjoying your posts....keep going

  • Comment number 72.

    fairlyopenmind, your post reads with all the knowledge of someone who has read the Mail or Express for the past month and has decided to show they can regurgitate this Goebbels style propaganda as if it were their own

    In other words it is largely political propaganda. Sadly reading it I can't imagine it was written by anyone with more than a couple of GCSEs or with an original thought.

    Indeed it is so bad I will only ask if you have been in the country the past 2 yrs and know who caused the worldwide banking crisis and who stopped a massive recession by adopting various sensible policies? Somehow I doubt you have much clue about anything to do with senior management or business or why you hopefully still have a job...?
    .
    As to calling yourself 'fairlyopenmind', why call yourself that when you simply repeat far right wing fantasies? Hardly v truthful towards fellow bloggers is it? I'd suggest 'Aavid DailyExpress/Sunreader' would be more truthful...

  • Comment number 73.

    That's pretty damn sharp, Mister Zed! (51) - may it go with you too.

  • Comment number 74.

    Disgusted @ 56 wrote:
    Slightly OT, but continuing a theme from the last (now closed) blog entry about how many of us have actually seen politicians during the campaign, I'm wondering if anyone else has tried emailing any of their parliamentary candidates to ask for their views on anything?


    >>

    I've twice emailed my local MP recently - who happens to be David Cameron - and do you know what I received? Do you know what he deigned to send me in reply to two very considered emails regarding issues of national importance? Can you guess? Actually, two quite long replies. But I'm still not going to vote for him, so there.

  • Comment number 75.

    concerned blue 60

    Savage deflation is the last thing you want to do if you want to reduce the deficit.The Greeks have had it forced on them because they are in the euro and unable to devalue their currency to increase tourism and exports.

    There is a question over whether the scale of cuts demanded of Greece by the Germans are sustainable.Movements in stock markets around the world reflect these doubts.

    This is also the question posed by the division between Labour and Conservative policy over whether to cut this year or next.There is no right answer,it`s a question of judgement in the light of the best available knowledge.Orthodox Keynesian thinking reflects the Labour position,but it could be wrong.If it is correct,then deflation this year would make the deficit worse.

    There are alternative views on the economy,keep cool,remain sceptical.

  • Comment number 76.

    #13 - I always find it fascinating to hear people still believe that the man who created the crisis is the right man to continue managing it. It takes a certain kind of blindness to believe that.

  • Comment number 77.

    I’ve been watching the snooker world championship over the past couple of weeks and the current political spectrum is not unlike a full table of balls. There are an awful lot of reds in the pack and in the middle (and to the right depending on your point of view) a disproportionate quantity of blues, yellows and greens. The minor colours tend to stay in the wasteland of the baulk end of politics. Ethnic minorities again are disproportionate with a single black and brown with the non-heterosexual movement represented by the pink, close to the left of centre.
    The priority right now is to get rid of the reds early on, interspersed with an ethnic minority which reappear for every red so disposed. Some of the reds may tend to get awkward and roll themselves into dark corners, so it may be necessary to temporarily dispose of one of the other candidates. But this is tactical voting, as is defensive positioning of the cue ball behind another candidate of any persuasion so preventing the advantage been taken away from the hard work of the seasoned campaigner.
    Fouls are often called for missing the designated target, but the points deducted rarely have an effect to the overall position. Participants though, have been caught out through money-making scams thereby cheating the paying public.
    During the session, a ball may unexpectedly leave the table, or heaven forbid, cross to the other side. Touching balls, a position reflected in this parliament of fag paper-thin politics, have to be played away if only to align themselves with others in the hope that an alliance will shift the balance of power to left or right. Sometimes this is called ‘distancing oneself’ from an offending group as favoured by Japanese politics during difficult and accusing times.
    As in every frame of snooker, the game usually ends with just the cue ball on the table or, the opposition cannot achieve victory by the remaining points available, which equates to, in this particular game of politics, a hung parliament. Unless of course the cue ball is removed by the referee during the game, as happened in this years’ tournament, in which case a recount will take place. Order gentlemen, order...

  • Comment number 78.

    k @ 62

    "On a brighter note Saga, I moved my SIPP at 5800 FTSE, so at least I called that right"

    Well gee, Kevin, that does cheer me up. Here I am, contemplating the Bad Thing (the return to power of a party I'd thought on the way to a natural extinction) but all is well - your SIPP is performing.

    There's a scene in The Office where Brent tells his staff there's "going to be redundancies". They're livid - some of them rather upset - but he holds his hands up, settles them down, tells them there's also some good news ... "I'm going to be promoted," he grins.

    Every cloud.

  • Comment number 79.

    lefty10 @ 71
    Cavalry or no cavalry, I suspect we'll get our collective asses whooped on Thursday. Polls point to hung parliament but I can't see how the Tories can fail to get a majority. Could be a slim one though. And then all eyes will be on the bulk of Tory MPs who never backed Cameron's repositioning of the party. It's easy for him to keep discipline when he's promising to deliver power; less so once they've got their foot in the door. Although no Cameron fan, I think his broadly liberal views on social issues are for real. But the warty underbelly of the Tory party - as exemplified by many posters on this site - is something to fear. Just be thankful that 13 years of Labour government have changed the terrain for good (in both senses).

  • Comment number 80.

    How will the Tories keep the markets at bay.... they including DC did not manage it over the ERM so why will they manage it now. The Cameroon's lips certainly mouthed his words carefully 'look after' 'protect benefits' may seem to imply but does not mean those concerned will not find less of the care and benefits if he wins the election just that some care will be still around, and the benefits may be reduced but preserved.


  • Comment number 81.

    72

    And the point of this post was.........

    To insult someone else for a change?

    I would imagine you will be in tears on Friday when the wheels have come off the Cleggmobile, and Brown makes his resignation speech

  • Comment number 82.

    Kevin@70

    I don't always follow the ins and outs of your feuds but you seem to spend a lot of time complaining about being smeared and insulted. I'd say about half your posts fall into this category.

    Are you paranoid? Or is everybody out to get you?

  • Comment number 83.

    70.
    kevin kevin kevin...
    any sensible individual who looks at conservative history on gay inequality...ie..comments made by their party members and the amount of times they have voted against gay legislation...can see its a poor poor show. you decided in your wisdom to create some sort of wishy washy...its wrong but look at their point of view nonesense reply. in my view, homosexuals are as normal as hetrosexuals. in this country we have law that sais any religeuos beliefs on this matter are secondary. simple. and so are the conservatives who vote speak against this. so my comments stand. and you should categorically and unequivocally come out and say that conservative history on these matters is WRONG and UNACCEPTABLE or say that you agree with these conservatives who vote against equality legislation. either... or..... not splinter in bottom fence sitting wishy washy half baked nonsense.

  • Comment number 84.

    #15 - I presume that if the person inspecting the hotel room was a banker, then he would have received his original £100 plus a £10,000 bonus.

  • Comment number 85.


    I dont think the "read my lips" quote is the right one to sum up this election.

    The better american quote is "Its the economy stupid". Will the British electorate march sheep-like to be culled in abatoir as the Tories slaughter the welfare state and roll us back into a victorianesque model of rich benefacttors and religious bigots providing a large part of our social care.

    Alternatively will we wake blinking at the ballot box and in a scene akin to 1992 when we recoiled in horror from the prospect of a kinnock government will we back the devil we know in uncertain economic times ?

    In only 24 hours time we will know.

  • Comment number 86.

    That Cameron said his 'heartfelt' comment and placed his fist across his to his lower stomach and on the opposite side to his heart, is body language that says he knows he is lying...!

    As to his promise why has Nick Robinson repeated Cameron's comment about protecting the poor and disadvantaged when it is according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies patently untrue and economically IMPOSSIBLE.

    Because Cameron has per the IFS Report to find £55bn MORE (the LibDems £30bn and Labour £44bn) EITHER he has to a) raise taxes much more than the LibDems or Labour b)slash essential services or c) increase borrowings and indebtedness FAR FASTER than the LibDems (twice as fast) or Labour (25% more quickly.

    Is it any wonder the Tory Party was referred to a former Party President as the "Nasty Party" and a former Tory Cabinet Minister as the "stupid party."

    Their economics are voodoo economics as woeful as George Bush who promnised compassionate conservatism and simply loaded the US up in debt and gave away massive tax decreass to the super rich justas Cameron is proposing with his tax cuts on the richest 3000 people laziest who inherit!

    Anyone who wants to believe Cameron is showing just how stupid they can be as it is untruthful and his figures simply don't add up!

  • Comment number 87.

    78

    Just letting you know some of us do understand the markets....that's all


  • Comment number 88.

    I HAVE A CONFESSION TO MAKE:

    Sadly, I have come to the conclusion that Nick Clegg cannot mathematically become Prime Minister on Thursday. This is extremely unfortunate (for me personally) having had a fiver on him at 150/1 with Paddy Power last November. But it is totally true. Under a different system, I could have voted for Clegg, but – presently - he simply cannot form a government of his own.

    Therefore, I'm voting tactically in support of – not Gordon Brown – but a Labour government. And this, reluctantly, is for two very simple reasons .... allow the Conservatives to form a government on May 6th, and by sunrise on May 7th you'll be woken by the sound of horses hoofing, horns blowing, hounds baying - and 500 dead foxes littering the British countryside. The Conservative Party is run by the aristocracy (wiki George Gideon Osborne, if you don't believe me), while 'Our Dave' is worth £hundreds of £millions of £pounds from family inheritance.

    I have no desire to be a rich man’s plaything.

    Further, at THIS election, there will be 144 MP's stepping down - mainly in the wake of the expenses scandal last year. This means that there will be no less than 144 NOVICE MP's in parliament by Friday.

    At a time of such fragile economic concern, I do not want a NOVICE government - as well a NOVICE parliament. Two banks have just announced a return to profit last week: this will filter down to the rest of us in due course; house prices will continue to rise as the economy starts to recover. And no, the financial crisis wasn’t all Brown’s fault – let’s be honest - it was a global collapse that started in America, domino-ed around the world, and - as with bird flu or volcanic ash clouds - no country was immune. Labour didn't start it. In fact, although not a natural Labour supporter, I do give them credit for the way they have responded to such an unprecedented situation.

    Therefore, I say this: Keep it in the hands of the experienced. Let's leave The Labour Party in power ONE more time, to allow them time to 'nail' the economic recovery for all our sakes. Electoral change will come - that is inevitable, thanks to the outstanding Mr Clegg. THAT is his victory - but it's all he can win. He's made his point; let's move on. Rest assured, Brown will be ousted - from within his own party – during the next 8 months in any case.

    The clever conclusion is simple: don't resist a Labour win, just to spite them - we all know they've made mistakes. But NOW is not the time to 'get rid' ..... right now, we need them too much.

    Vote tactical in your area on Thursday – go out - make your mark - do the right thing. It really is the ONLY option. And with the prospect of fox-hunting coming back to haunt us, you know what Basil Brush would do, dontcha? Hey? ... ;-)

    *AND THAT CONCLUDES THE CONFESSION*AMEN*

  • Comment number 89.

    Come on Nick, say something original and useful. And not partisan.

  • Comment number 90.

    PD65 @ 79

    "the warty underbelly of the Tory party"

    Sometimes a description breaks away from the pack and makes a name for itself. Not often, but sometimes it happens. I give this one a pretty good chance.

  • Comment number 91.

    79. pdavies65
    i see both you and saga think the tories will get a working majority. im not so sure. when it comes to it i think people are deeply unconvinced by cameron and co. i think it will be very close and easily close enough for a balanced parliment.
    i also see you and bryhers seem to think camerons broadly liberal views on social issues are for real.
    again i disagree. there are many very decent conservative voters and a few decent tory mps. BUT there is still a very sinister and powerfull underbelly in the conservative party. like you say...once cameron is elected...the ugly disloyal rightwing distastefull heads will emerge. the millions of low paid working class will get nothing from the CONS.
    And most importantly....against a background of such disapair and distrust in the political system...i dont think a right wing government voted in by a considerable minority should have controling power in this country. pr is the only way forward now.
    anyway... keep posting...always enjoy your posts :-)

  • Comment number 92.

    lefty

    There is no black and white on these matters

    You smear me by suggesting I am homophobic I am not homophobic, you should withdraw that immediately

    I do not view Grayling's comments as homophobic, you do

    I believe that some MPs voted against lowering the age of consent to 16 for gay men, as they believed that was too low, and therefore they did not support it

    That is a valid opinion, and I reject your smearing of all such voting as if it were homophobic, that is nonsense

    You seem content to cut and paste vast chunks of stored info just smearing people

    I will be voting Conservative, I do not work for the Conservative Party, and do not wish to comment on any voting patterns they have, as it was a free vote, and to be honest, I couldn't care less how people voted

    The laws have changed, which is a good thing, and as I posted earlier, I am not bothered whether someone is gay/straight/bi whatever

    You hate the Tory party anyway, so you are hardly going to be fair in any situation

    If Cameron stopped you from drowning, you would probably rather have died

    I have also said that hetrosexuals and homosexuals should be treated the same

    The law is not as simple as you make out though, and there will be various test cases going forwards where differing human rights collide, not necessarily sexuality cases

    I do not agree with the conservatives who voted against the legislation, although I sympathise on the age of consent, because there were valid arguments put forward at the time on all sides of the debate, and for you to tar all of those who voted against reducing the age of consent as if they were homophobic is pretty spectacular in it's stupidity





  • Comment number 93.

    David Cameron and trust. Not a phrase you associate with a pr man with a history of backing extremist tory party policies and the capacity for great deception and spin.

  • Comment number 94.

    133. At 5:57pm on 04 May 2010, sagamix wrote:
    ghm @ 104

    "But you don't need to."

    I wish I didn't - it's a burden - but I do, I do need to. I have to show the people writing those type of posts that they're in a place they shouldn't be. Campo Bigotto.

    What's your election call anyway? Close to mine (at 89)?


    -------------

    Of course not!

    I have a small sum on a Tory win in the popular vote, a few short of a majority, followed by a Lib/ Lab coalition excluding Brown.

    And hopefully Balls, the dreadful Milliband duo and your favourate Harriet as well, but perhaps I am being too wistful there. I could put up with Darling, Johnson, and even Becket (god help me).

    I would genuinely not be upset to see Clegg in the top spot. As I said, tax break for me if that happens. I just find myself struggling to believe it will work out for the best in the long run if people like me get a tax cut.

    Timeo Danaos et dona ferentes.

  • Comment number 95.

    Great Hayemaker, that the Economist has come out as it has has created a huge response from readers with over 90% saying they have for once got it wrong and most saying they should have supported the LibDem if they are being econonomically responsible.

    Half their team said they should have gone for the LibDems but plumped for the Tories because they are ahead.

    As for someone saying the Tory press is "free", that is Goebbels speak! Each hack is as free to write what he or she wants as a phone call from the proprietors office or the proprietors representative.

    How can one say the British press is free when 85% of it is right wing and simply just panders to rich proprietors personal interests.

    Is that what your relations fought for in the War? To have a press which acts under the EXPLICIT instructions of the right wing candidate's false smears on his opponent?

    Woof woof! On the Tory leader's personal instructions from his office (as revealed by Nick Robinson last week) attack dogs went out and smeared.

    Have you really no interest in the truth or fair play?

    Funny how fairness and fair play seem to be concepts so foreign to Tories on their blogs.

    As for the Institute of Fiscal Studies Report, funny how not one of you can add up or read it, it seems.

    Still waiting for answers, but don't worry I know the Tories don't like to debate and don't REALLY believe in democracy, now do they?

    So what is SO wrong with each person having one vote that counts equally and not throwing away the vast majority of people's votes, and so MUZZLING MOST BRITONS from having a say as much as you?

    I note you still haven't responded to the facts about Hitler and how he came to power thanks to the Conservative Party (and in spite of PR) and was g?uaranteed of power much earleir than under FPTP.

    That is INDEED principally why Hitler would enjoy a good laugh with Cameron and the Tories over your sham democracy which he would have loved to have had!

    Is there a tory who actually believes in real democracy and 'one man one vote and of equal value?' Sadly so far we haven't heard from a single one on here yet! Are you perhaps the first?

  • Comment number 96.

    88


    £163,000,000,000 overpspend in 2010

    £1,400,000,000,000 Debt

    I think people know who to vote for to get rid of Gordon Brown, the economic terrorist he is

  • Comment number 97.

    kevin @ 92

    "there will be various test cases going forwards where differing human rights collide, not necessarily sexuality cases"

    Okay but pls see my 68. No need to defend yourself because I'm not implying anything unsavoury. Just pls consider.

  • Comment number 98.

    91

    Oh come on Lefty, look at it objectively. Cast an objective eye over the underbelly of your own party first.

    Most of us who will vote Tory are, I sincerely believe, deeply liberal at heart. Simply left with no better choice. How would you characterise those who will continue to vote Labour?

  • Comment number 99.

    So here we are. Eve of. Been through a lot together, haven’t we? Ups and downs, side to sides, the good the bad and the ugly. No names. You know who you are. Time to move on soon – time for me to turn my gifts, such as they are, to something else. Got things to do – got to find a girl, settle down, maybe marry and raise a family. Again. The last one got a bit full of themselves but it’ll be different this time. A brood of tiny clear thinking progressives – imagine that. Imagine when they grow up. Be some redistribution of wealth going on then, won’t there? Yes siree. So good luck tomorrow anyway, make sure you vote (doh) and try to do it with hope (not fear) in your heart. If you do that, you’ll never walk alone. And how should you vote? Well like I say, with HIYH – but as regards which party (or independent), don’t look at me because I wouldn’t dream of telling you. Your decision. Just don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.

    :-)

  • Comment number 100.

    Paul@88 wrote:
    I have no desire to be a rich man’s plaything.


    >>

    That's good.

 

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