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Return of the soapbox

Nick Robinson | 11:38 UK time, Tuesday, 21 July 2009

I've seen the future. One minute, I was interviewing the leader of Her Majesty's Opposition in jacket and tie; the next, "Dave" - now in rolled-up short sleeves - had discarded his neck gear and clambered on top of what looked suspiciously like John Major's soapbox.

David Cameron and John Major speaking from soapboxesWe are, I'm told, going to see much more of the soapbox that was produced in Norwich yesterday.

We will also, I believe, have to get used to speeches attacking Gordon Brown for "treating people like fools" - on the election that never was, public spending and helicopters for Afghanistan.

This theme is one reason that David Cameron can seem, to many of his colleagues, so stubborn about abandoning previous pledges, whether cutting inheritance tax or ring-fencing spending on international aid. He's under pressure from some in the party to junk them both.

According to Tories who have spoken to "Dave", he is obsessed with not "looking like another Blair" and all of this is about proving that he is a leader the public can trust.


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  • Comment number 1.

    Seems fair enough. Go for it Dave, we need you!

  • Comment number 2.

    And your point is? David Cameron is not afraid of meeting the people - he has been going around the country for ages holding open meetings.

    It is a good thing that Cameron wants to stick to his pledges. But it has nothing to do with the point that Gordon Brown takes the British people for fools. Brown comes out with palpable nonsense time after time. That is quite different from reneging on his promises - e.g. to hvae a referendum on the EU Constitution (now the Lisbon Treaty) and not to increase the top rate of income tax.

  • Comment number 3.

    Gosh, do you think that the election campaign will have politicians hurling mud at each other! Whatever next?

    No mention of the BBC rehabilitation of the reptilian McBride either.

    Maybe the soapbox belongs to Sarkozy - his stature has diminished of late.

  • Comment number 4.

    Nice to see a politician meeting real people in the real world. Gordon Brown will never do this as he doesn't live in the real world, he lives in the socialist utopia in his head.

  • Comment number 5.

    Well done Dave!

    I went to a meeting some moths ago at which the 'star turn' was one Gordon Brown. Billed as an opportunity for Mr Brown to listen it was amazing he heard anything at all considering the protective bubble around him in the name of 'security'.

  • Comment number 6.

    By comparison, Brown has not been seen within 100 miles of Norwich. Scared to associate himself with another disaster, one suspects.

  • Comment number 7.

    Strange intuition:
    Dave's a more trustworthy man
    On a pedestal

  • Comment number 8.

    Hi "Nick" (or should that be "Nicholas").

    Will you be referring to Gordon Brown as "Gord" or "Gordy" from now on?

    See you in the pub.

  • Comment number 9.

    Given that Government statistics now tell us that the national debt is equivalent to £16000 for every man woman and child in the UK, that we have been living in an unreal world of Labour spending waste, anything but Labour must be good.

  • Comment number 10.

    So you've seen the future .... an inadvertant slip perhaps, but lets hope you have, come on Gordy (or should that be Mandy?) name the day !!!

    Having read your artilce several times, I'm still not really sure what point you are actually trying to make.

    By the way, have you seen the national debt figures out today, and the drop in tax revenue, and the treasury not having its accounts OK-ed by the NAO ? Just thought they might have some political significance......

  • Comment number 11.

    Although I commend the sentiment, I think all policy should be constantly under review with the sands of the economic landscape shifting as rapidly as they are these days.

    I think inheritance tax is a problem that needs to be fixed, whatever else is going on, since it is largely an internal mater as to how we adjust out tax take/needs. But international aid is a purely external issue that needs to be adjusted based on what we can afford at any given point in time and right now that's not a lot.

    PS Fixing IR35 is a top priority in my book too. It is a disgraceful piece of tax legislation that takes "stealth" tax to a new low, more akin to "sneak" tax.

  • Comment number 12.

    Well he IS a man you can trust. I know that for a fact.

  • Comment number 13.

    On a day when government debt has broken all records, tax receipts are in desperate decline and the Labour party insists that there will be no cuts, you choose to mock the style of the leader of the opposition.
    When will you focus on the real issues? The actual government's own figures simply do not add up and yet this is your story.
    I am disgusted at the bias of the BBC. You, like the PM, are treating us like fools.

  • Comment number 14.

    I'd like to see Gordon Brown try it - people would be pelting him with rotten vegetables given an opportunity like this! Brown will never face the voters in this way. He's a coward and that's why all his public appearances are micro-managed.

  • Comment number 15.

    And I pay for this tripe through my TV license?

    This would be an example of the "left of centre thinking" as espoused by Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC drama, then?

    No thoughts on £799b of total government debt, £13b in the last month, slipping out on the last day of sitting of auditors questioning the accounts of two other government departments - the Treasury and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)? Odd that

    Call an election (pleeeease)

  • Comment number 16.

    Is this really the best one can now expect from the political correspondent of the BBC?

    Just how low have this bloated newlabour propoganda machine sunk during the last twelve years?

    Is all that we have left in the wreckage of a once outstanding and independent BBC, this apology for journalism?

    How deep into the heart of the BBC have Mandleson and Campbell sunk their claws in their efforts to fudge the numbers and massage the message?

    Well the numbers are now laid bare for all to see; everything is worse than we've ever had before - fastest rising unemployment, budget deficit, national debt, bank bankruptcies, child poverty, income inequality, falling educational standards... you name it the numbers are the worst we've ever seen. If ever there was a disproof of the argument that we needed more government spending it is the past twelve years and the BBC appear to be an integral part of the problem.

    Soapbox? The BBC needs to get off its high horse.

  • Comment number 17.

    Actually, I'm quite looking foreward to speeches attacking Gordon Brown for just about anything he has done since New Labour formed a government in 1997. Your use of the pejorative "we'll have to get used to" suggests you are not. Does that seem balanced to you?

    Also, you say he seems stubborn to many but is only under pressure from some. Which is it? No chance you could actually name any names, I suppose?

    With the NAO qualifying the accounts of five government departments yesterday, is this really the best you can do?

  • Comment number 18.

    "11. At 12:21pm on 21 Jul 2009, chris911t wrote:

    PS Fixing IR35 is a top priority in my book too. It is a disgraceful piece of tax legislation that takes "stealth" tax to a new low, more akin to "sneak" tax."

    Which side of the IR35 are u one?
    a) The goverments, that it is a bad solution and ALL small companies use dividends to avoid paying NI and TAX and should be taxed as if they were paying income tax.

    b) Small companies that belive paying investors dividends are ligitmate and that IR35 is a stealth tax, massive red tape burden, and that husband and wife companies where they both invested in a company should equally shair the profits even if one partners only contrubution is an initial investment and to handle the household allowing the other to work every hour under the sun.

    Dispite the goverment prefering option a) their woman minister and divorce courts time and time again declare that wives looking after the household contrubute massivily to small companies and as shch are entitled to half the projected earnings in divorce cases.

  • Comment number 19.

    6. At 12:09pm on 21 Jul 2009, jrperry wrote:
    By comparison, Brown has not been seen within 100 miles of Norwich. Scared to associate himself with another disaster, one suspects.


    I see it as proof that everyone in the world (apart from possibly Gordon) knows the labour party leader is a complete liablity.

    The only reason they don't replace him is because they know labour can't win the next election, so no-one wants the job.

    Further proof that party politicians don't give 2 hoots whats best for the country - party fisrt,career second, country last.

  • Comment number 20.

    @ flamepatricia, post #12;

    "Well he IS a man you can trust. I know that for a fact."

    Umm... no. He's a politician.

    Almost as funny as those who continually defend Labour's abysmal performance thus far - as if there were some way of coming back from the mess they are in now - are those who are actually loony enough to believe that anything's gonna change under the Conservatives. Or anybody else, for that matter.

    You'll just be sat here listening to the same lies; the same spin; the same U-turns on election promises. Only difference is, it'll be a different group of people doing the talking.

    Once again, then; David Cameron is NOT a "man you can trust". He's a politician.

    Please either learn the difference... or stay at home on polling day.

  • Comment number 21.

    Anotheroldboy: The point is to spin the virtue - 'I keep my promises' into a vice. Why: because it's a Conservative virtue. The BBC bias at work. Keep vigilant - not long now...

  • Comment number 22.

    An awful lot of people are busting a gut to see Brown, Darling, Harperson, et al, appear in their local town square on their soapbox to try to persuade the electorate to vote for them.

    But, on the other hand, I think they fear they may never actually get to talk. They'd be lynched long before they could open their mouths.

    That's why they all only appear in schools in front of poor, little children. Oh, an by the way, do they also have to have a Children's Protection Register check by the school before they enter the premises and have contact with, possibly, my children?

    Thought not. One law for them, another for everyone else.

  • Comment number 23.

    Is this your attempt at making fun of DC, Nick?

    So what if he wants to get on his soapbox? At least he has the guts to go and meet the people and not hide in London like Brown has.

    The unfortunate thing is, as you very deliberately pointed out, it is all very reminiscent of a certain previous Tory PM and look what happened to him! I would put money on the word 'sleaze' being dragged up soon!

    We need to get rid of Brown and his useless government, but we also need some coherent policies from DC instead of the usual rhetoric!

  • Comment number 24.

    Nick - or should that be "Nick"

    What's with the qutation marks round "Dave" ?

    Is this the best topic you could come up with on the day we have it confirmed that a load of "bad news" stories, covering very significant issues, was deliberately batched and delayed to be put out on the day the Parliament breaks for its long summer holiday?

    Major's soapbox rather than major issues?

    You should be less concerned with "Dave's" wish to avoid looking like Blair and more about "Nick" looking like a stooge.

  • Comment number 25.

    Not at all sure what your blog was supposed to add to the political landscape, Nick, but putting "Dave" in quotes and using words like obsessed and stubborn to describe him might lead someone to think that you were biased. Surely not?

    Personally, someone who wants to meet people and talk to them is preferable as a political leader to someone who seems to think that he can make things "be" simply by saying that they "are". A delusional person might think they have the power to fly, Gordon Brown thinks that if he says he can fly, he will be able to.

    And about inheritance tax. The Tories plan to lower it for certain people, worthy of becoming a political talking point as Labour plan to err....lower it for certain people (by the use of the transferable allowance). Not once has such an obvious point been brought up when talking to Labour politicians.

  • Comment number 26.

    @21, taxslave,

    Further to my comments to patricia, above - YOU'RE exactly the sort of person I'm talking about. Keeping promises is a "Conservative Virtue"?!? My God, are you perhaps a teenager? Don't remember the final days of the last Conservative government?

    Well, many of us DO. Which is why we don't trust the Conservatives any more than we do the current bunch of vermin in government.

    Stop blaming the BBC for the fact that everybody knows the Conservatives are liars, and couldn't keep a promise if their very lives depended on it. It's not the BBC's fault; nor any other part of the media. It comes from EXPERIENCE of their policies.

  • Comment number 27.

    Nick, on the day that The National Audit Office said it could not approve the Treasury's accounts due to excessive fraud and errors you choose to write a non story about Cameron on the campaign trail.....why???????

  • Comment number 28.

    News: Labour's candidate in Norwich is hospitalised with swine flu

  • Comment number 29.

    And whilst Dave is climbing on his soap box our Gordo is happily slipping on the soap!

  • Comment number 30.

    I'm pretty sure most of his soap box venues have been well chosen! Finally decades of lies, lies and more lies (e.g. expenses) from every facet of this particular profession have been laid bare by the media. I'm quite sure plenty more to's hoping for a few big scalps. Or at least a dozen or so nervous breakdowns, but wait a minute we'll have to pay for ill health retirement payments! UK Tax Payer Fleeced yet again!

  • Comment number 31.

    Clearly Cameron is unembarrassable in his lust for power. And who are all the unreal people as opposed to the 'real' ones Cameron is conning - we must be told; are they being represented?

  • Comment number 32.

    Is this the best the BBC's Political Correspondent can do after having interviewed the leader of the opposition?? Where is the story here? Where is the report on what he said in the interview? What did Cameron have to say about whatever you interviewed him about?

    Where are the REAL journalists at the BBC?

  • Comment number 33.

    '... all of this is about proving that he is a leader the public can trust.'
    Well he's definitely a leader his political friends can trust i.e. Not kicking them out of his shadow cabinet for being expense junkies but I wouldn't trust him as far as I could throw him.

  • Comment number 34.

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

  • Comment number 35.

    The Conservatives have just perhaps begun to understand how low in the public estimation Members of Parliament have sunk. Campaigning on the platform of "we won't lie to you like the current lot" makes sense.

    As to we believe any of them from whatever party, well, now there's the challenge.

  • Comment number 36.

    Good on you Dave!

  • Comment number 37.

    One reason for the invention of "Dave" is to hide posh Cameron's failure to propose any solution to the World Banking crisis. Which is important because electors' key issue above all else is "The Economy".

    Electors are looking out for our recovery to show up in growing retail sales and in a mild bounce in house prices. If either ever comes!

    So far, Dave's only been able to grab headlines by making controversial remarks about how bad things are. Which is pretty light fare. But where's the beef?

  • Comment number 38.

    Today's FT contains an article (link below) which exposes the truth about Cameron - he is empty and vacuous.

  • Comment number 39.

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

  • Comment number 40.

    At some point this meister of spin and the soundbite is going to have to come clean on his own policy platform.

    If we are to take the conservatives seriously as a potential government then they need grown up policies on the environment, defence, national security, the NHS and so on and so forth, properly costed so that *we* the electorate can make a meaningful decision as to the future course of this *our* nation.

    In the meantime he can feel free to stand on as many boxes as he likes, pissing in the wind about Brown and the cult of personality that so fascinates the political elite and you media parisites who suckle on the fat whore that is the political establishment.

    On issues of substance, I note in a time of crippling financial endebtness the tory party under "The peoples Dave" have committed to a huge tax break for the financally secure in the form of inheritance tax cuts ( How I wonder are these to be afforded ?). Conversely on spending they have stuck the boot into MoD spending with respect to helicopters but those with an actual attention span will note that they have made no commitment whatsoever to fund additional helicopters should they be elected and indeed the implication of their spending plans is an overall reduction in expenditure on our troops of some 10%

    If were a service man I would think long and hard before throwing my support behind such a spending proposal...

  • Comment number 41.

    Seriously, how can anyone trust him? He's just Blair in a Blue tie- it's no wonder he's worried about looking like Blair. Personally I'm scared he's going to be outed as Tony, a la Scooby Doo, when he wins in the next election.

  • Comment number 42.

    To be fair,the publics total mistrust of anything said by Gordon Brown,and Alistair Darling means that "Dave " doesnt need to work too hard.

    I somehow cant see "Gordy" standing on a soapbox unless it involves jetting around the world at tax payers expense,the bill for his G8 photo opportunities was incredible to achieve nothing and tell us some of what we already knew.
    Anyone not attacking this governments record must be being paid not to IMO,as the situation we are in is desperate.

  • Comment number 43.

    Is putting a picture of David Cameron being compared to John Major a good thing?

    To me that seems to come across as a bit bias towards taking the news away from New Labour and trying to get us all to think of David as the next John Major.

    A better contrast would have been putting him next to Tony Blair, because Tony Blair ventured out in to the crowds and met people, he brought with him the ideals and philosophies of New Labour and convinced us all that he and New Labour were the future. Now, I will freely admit that I can't see the future so to say that David is the next Tony is clearly beyond my abilities.

    However, as said by previous people, the contrast really comes down to Gordon Brown and David. One of them likes his little room surrounded by people who claim to like him and who are supposedly his friends against another who mixes with the population and tries to come across as sympathetic and understanding of their needs. I can't comment on whether he does sympathise or understand as I have never met David, the only knowledge I have is what the BBC tells me (there's a great way to form an opinion). I'm sure you know which description belongs to which person.

    Also, at this stage of the political cycle, there's nothing wrong with wanting to review or change things. This country is on a bit of a rollercoaster in terms of politics and economics so looking over things is surely a wise decision and to keep monitoring things closely until the next election is crucial because things will change as New Labour continue with their way of doing things.

    I hope David can prove to be a leader worth trusting because I have no trust in Gordon Brown. All New Labour have done in my eyes is prove that they have dug a nice big hole and down that hole is lots of wasted money combined with all the other unnecessary things New Labour have given us including their lies and deceit. New Labour have proved themselves and people are realising, people have a tendency to notice things and don't remain fools forever. Now let's finish off that hole by throwing New Labour in it.

    Gordon IS NOT the man for the job but I hope David can be, he shows good signs of wanting to be a PM for the people but so did Tony.

    It's time to end this and have an election. I'm no fool, I have had enough of the lies, deceit and betrayal of the people brought by New Labour and the legacy left by Gordon Brown in my eyes is that New Labour CAN'T be trusted as things currently stand. Using good words brought to us by Tony and those of New Labour, the party needs to REFORM & MODERNISE under a leader that is prepared to serve the people and the public interest.

  • Comment number 44.

    David Cameron a man for all seasons.
    Jacket in Winter.
    Shirt sleeves in summer.
    A man of the people; he stands shoulder to shoulder with the people.

    Contrast Gordon Brown.
    He is Brown by name Brown by nature.
    Ushering in another Winter of discontent.
    A cowering cur, in fear of the people.
    Protected by his unelected Imperial Guard.

    If a box of soap is all we need to wash away this Brown stain from our nation then bring on the suds.

  • Comment number 45.

    POST 34 & 39




  • Comment number 46.

    "We will also, I believe, have to get used to speeches attacking Gordon Brown for "treating people like fools" - on the election that never was, public spending and helicopters for Afghanistan."

    It was a pretty sneery little blog, Nick. But guess what, I'm sure that a lot of the citizens believes that Gordo has "treated people like fools".

    - Quite deliberately hammered private pension schemes "because he thought companies would pay higher dividends...". Idiotic.
    - Introduced a Tax Credit system (which I approved in principle) and stuffed up the delivery with rediculous complexity, so it's almost unworkable, and leaks money hand-over-fist.
    - Told us there would be "no more "Tory" boom and bust". Well, I guess that was true. Just a massive Labour bust.
    - Created a tripartite financial oversight system that crashed and burnt.
    - Closed his good eye to blindingly obvious overlending by finance companies to support rocketing housing prices, so he could grab more taxes.
    - Supported voluntary wars, but failed to provide the cash required to equip our troops in the best way possible.
    - Bragged about "his" spending on schools and hospitals, while keeping the PFI investment - NOT government spend - off balance sheet.
    - Oversaw the creation of the "Learning and Skills Council" in 2001, which was packed so full of Learning and Skills that they couldn't even work out how much money they had...
    - Pretended that the Lisbon Treaty isn't the same as the Constitution (although there was never a semi-permanent EU "President" prior to this shambles) and sneaked in to sign up to the deal after all the other leaders had gone home.
    - Introduced a 10p tax band (hurray), then pulled it away while saying "nobody will lose".
    - Insists that an education system that allows 20percent of youngsters to leave with minimal understanding of literacy or numeracy and science courses dumbed down to "general knowledge" in many areas.

    Maddoff went to jail for running a Ponzi scheme. We have billions of commitments (pensions, future PFI repayments, etc, etc, etc) that are entirely unfunded and only paid for by the next bunch of suckers to enter the job market. The difference? Some folk CHOSE to "invest" money with Maddoff. Gordo works in a place where money just turns up because his "clients" have no choice in the matter.

    First lesson that every schoolchild should have drilled into them every day of their lives is that "Government" pays for nothing. WE and the companies we work for pay. Government takes a cut to spread around, then wastes quite a lot, then over-promises and under-delivers, so a bit of what was taken away trickles back down. And, especially under this regime, rules and regulations are made so complicated that even the staff applying them can't work it out.

    Treated like fools? Right.

  • Comment number 47.

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

  • Comment number 48.

    There's a very sneering tone to this piece which is quite objectionable from a supposedly neutral political observer. I read that you are disappointed at some (all?) of the comments you get. Maybe you've stopped reading them- a pity as you might get a flavour of what kind of reaction you're producing. Not from wild eyed ranters but people interested in politics, many of them not aligned to particular parties.

  • Comment number 49.

    28. At 12:52pm on 21 Jul 2009, jrperry wrote:
    News: Labour's candidate in Norwich is hospitalised with swine flu


    The article explains he was feeling unwell and went to hospital. Yet official government advice for us the plebs, is stay at home. Do not go to your GP or your hospital.

    No hypocrisy here then.

  • Comment number 50.

    And what was that news reported today in The Times and The Independent about the government's imploding revenues? (22 billion pounds short on the previous year already!)

  • Comment number 51.

    Watch this and your jaw will drop as the corruption of the Bankers and the Rich is revealed.

    Also consider what has happened over the last 2 years with runs on banks, the devaluation of stocks and the call to WAR.

    Obama wasn't in their payroll and isn't in their pocket and neither is Cameron.

    Can we say the same of Blair and Brown and other 'Builders of Burgers?'

  • Comment number 52.

    "We will also, I believe, have to get used to speeches attacking Gordon Brown for "treating people like fools"".
    We are already used to it because we see it every day from this bankrupt, deceitful government. The list of reports that have come out today at the start of recess for parliament proves this dishonest Labour government treats us as fools. Nuff said!

  • Comment number 53.

    An even plainer example of how unsuited you are to hod your current post, Mr Robinson.

    Comment on real political stories (such as the national debt, the failure of the Government to be clear on Swine Flu advice, the fact that nobody in the Government wants to take on the job of PM becuase it's a temp job at best) instead of making up your own low-level political slurs on someone who at the very least can be bothered to turn up and meet people.

    Yes - slurs. It might not have the viciousness of McBride, but in trying to damage Cameron's reputation, are you not indulging in the same underhanded dirty tricks? What are you hoping to achieve?

    I despair for the BBC, I really do....

  • Comment number 54.

    So Nick gets slated for saying "Dave" is a brilliant manipulator of the media. An utterly devastating "critique". Why are rabid right on here so touchy?

  • Comment number 55.

    John Major managed to get more votes than any PM in history. So, yes mr sneering ZanuLabour, We do remember what happened to him.

    When will the BBC's POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT ask James G Brown why he is running away from the Glasgow NE election. He seems to be waiting for months of pro Liebour filth in the tame media before risking democracy.

    BTB when will all the Scotphobes be banned from posting their racism on the BBC?

  • Comment number 56.

    26 Khrystalar

    Clearly you are the one who struggles to remember the end of the last Conservative government.

    That government ended, simply having run out of steam, a few individual scandals, much blown up in the press and very much exploited by the New Labour propaganda machine, but contrary to what you imply, there were no grand breaches of trust with the public. Even at the very end, John Major himself, and some others in the cabinet as well, were individually popular in the country and regarded as men (and women) of integrity. If you are going to say this is untrue, then let's hear some actual facts! Compare and contrast 1997 with now - even the limited list that Nick gave at the start of the blog - the election that never was, public spending and helicopters for Afghanistan - Labour is now departing in a blaze of dishonour and distrust.

    I have to admit that I am getting a little tired of having to administer necessary history lessons to Labour propagandists, most of whom are simply regurgitating without thought what Labour HQ begs them to post. Note to Labour Troll Central: if you must try invoking history, please do so accurately. Some of us were there, and our memories have not failed us yet!

  • Comment number 57.

    Hey Nick
    How comes when you spent time with Gordy a couple of weeks back we got a report from you of the things that were important to him. Now you spend time with Dave all you can talk about is his rolled up sleeves and a soapbox?
    Come on and at least try to be a bit less one sided.

  • Comment number 58.

    54. At 1:39pm on 21 Jul 2009, peteholly

    In answer to your question:-

    Research has shown that the reason is that the "Looney Left are So Lame"

  • Comment number 59.

    I am FED UP with moderators referring just about ANYONE who dares criticise Robinson- this is a complete non story - a waste of MY money -and a totally slanted biased piece.

    Thank goodness the Tories will be in Govt shortly and an axe can be taken to this so called impartial organisation.

  • Comment number 60.

    #56 JRPerry
    I too remember 1997.
    One party promised an end to sleeze. To be whiter than white. An end to boom and bust. No increase in income tax. All to the tune of "Things can only get better".

    One party has taken us for fools for 12 years and the recent declaration by GB of openess and transparency (I hate that word)just shows that the lies never stop.

    Thats why there is such a huge backlash against this administration.

  • Comment number 61.

    26. At 12:46pm on 21 Jul 2009, Khrystalar wrote:

    Stop blaming the BBC for the fact that everybody knows the Conservatives are liars, and couldn't keep a promise if their very lives depended on it. It's not the BBC's fault; nor any other part of the media. It comes from EXPERIENCE of their policies.


    So what is your experience of New Labours Polices?

    How about that referendum we were promised.
    How about Blairs full term.
    And how about that end to boom and bust.

  • Comment number 62.

    I can remember when we last had a Prime Minister who was not for turning. The recession got worse, unemployment went from one million to three million and British Manufacturing disappeared never to return. Interest rates went up and up and tax cuts went mainly to the richest ten percent of the population. It looks as though we are going to get another dose of the same from Dave, who will never admit to being wrong and adjusting to reality not the monetarist dream world.

  • Comment number 63.

    What's your point Nick?

    How about putting the PM on the stand concerning eaquipment for our brave troops.
    Equipment such as the Boxer vehicle, such as the Pirhana FRES vehicle.
    Both which were armoured combat fighting vehicles specifically designed for rapid troop deployment, both which were cancelled after spending hundreds of millions of pounds on development. (1997-2007).

    I don't care if Dave turned up to my area in shorts and t shirt so long as what he had to say made sense of getting us out of this mess your buddies Brown & Bliar have got us into.

  • Comment number 64.

    59. At 1:51pm on 21 Jul 2009, ronreagan wrote:

    Well Mr President, you could say that when Noob Labour are swept away into the sewer of defeat, it will be 'Bedtime for Bonzo' for Gordon Brown.

  • Comment number 65.

    I am glad to know your voting intentions "Nick" for the next election. Do us all a favour eh, serve your notice and get a job as a Labour spin doctor there's a good chap. You can write all the snide remarks about the Tories in The Guardian. Even better you could have Damien McBride's old job. "Dave" gets on his soapbox, that's like saying "Racing Driver gets in car. Why don't we discuss the near 800 Billion pound debt that the government that you so obviously support has managed to rack up in the name of socialism. No? Didn't think so. I can just imagine tomorrows bog, Ace BBC political Reporter Nick "Robo" Robinson reports that "Dave" says lots of horrible things about "Gordo". Oooooo those nasty nasty Tories.

  • Comment number 66.

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

  • Comment number 67.

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

  • Comment number 68.

    The fall of Labour will be like the fall of baghdad.. the last days as all the votes are counted, each one of the swindling mob that have ruled this country since '97 and who have furnished their own now deeper pockets, will slowly fade into the past. The mess they have left behind is immeasurable and the british people will be left to clean it up and pay back all the money.

    National debt at record low and Gordon Brown in complete denial as mandelson makes him and his mate baron's for his amusement... the man is a quango within a quango within an inflated quango... one that must surely go BANGO!

    The nations awaits patiently for the next general election - may it come swiftly!

  • Comment number 69.

    Incidentally moderation is the removal of altering of posts when alerted to their unsuitability.

    "Premoderation" is in fact approval by censorship.

  • Comment number 70.

    62. billatbasing

    "Interest rates went up and up and tax cuts went mainly to the richest ten percent of the population."

    Wrong again!

    1. Interest rates were lower 1997 than they were when the Conservatives were elected in 1979.

    2. The base rate of income tax was lower in 1997, and personal allowances were higher in real terms, than they were when the Conservatives were elected in 1979.

    I really wish you guys would get your facts right. Your propaganda is based on tripe!

  • Comment number 71.

    billatbasinG# FACE FACTS - Clown has ruined the UK - time to take the flak and PAY for what has been done by Zanuliebour and their cronies - or do u want to live on the never never and Liebour handouts which is where they want u - Clown and Co and their MPs r OK - they will still be raking it in and sending THEIR kids to private schools - WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE.

  • Comment number 72.

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

  • Comment number 73.

    moderated out again no doubt BUT when will someone either in bbc complaints or on the bbc board read this blog or listen to the complaints that Nick Robinson is closer to a New Labour spin doctor than Charlie Whelan ! It must not be allowed to go on - quite disgraceful !

  • Comment number 74.

    I think that when the Tories win the next GE, there will be lots of talk of the "BBC treating us like fools" oh, sorry they talk about that already.

  • Comment number 75.

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

  • Comment number 76.

    Not sure, but to all writing to 'Nick', on recent testimony I rather suspect that once penned and posted, he 'has left the blog'.

  • Comment number 77.

    So, to all the newlabour apologists bleating on about the do nothing tories and their lack of policies; let's hear it from one of your own tribe on his views about the state of newlabour:

    Definitely one of the finest critques in years of the party politics and power combination that Gordon Brown has become so addicted to.

    No policies, no principles, no soap box; just the unabashed lust for power.

    Gordon Brown is like a character from a Greek tragedy, undone by his lust for power and inability to explain his policies to the people. What policies, I hear you ask? Why the policy of remaining in power and out fo touch until the elctiorate finally have their say.

    The booing episode from the veterans on 'Obama' beach was a classic; much smothered by the media at the time.

    Call an election - even his own party don't want him anymore.

  • Comment number 78.

    Soap boxes, thumb screws, Iron Maidens, the rack, ducking stools.
    I am fine with all of these devices of political persuasion.

    If the Politicians float then I look forward to a Bonfire of the Vanities.

  • Comment number 79.

    On the subject of Moderation.

    Mrs Zim pre-moderates all aspects of my life, even those involving soap and boxes.

  • Comment number 80.

    In the UK we elect the party not the (president) leader. "Dave" might be a man you can trust, but the Tories have already proved they're not trustworthy (via the previous 3 terms they were in office). Yes, let's have an election, but let's finally have some real change. Exchanging one set of (proven) sleazy politicians for another does nothing. We'll just have to work our way down the list until we finally find an honest party.
    It's all just the same set of Murdoch (et al)-dictated policies with different faces on the manifestos.
    The public have been taken for fools for over 30 years. Credit Crunch or not, I saw where the money went.

  • Comment number 81.

    #65 Butcher
    I'll have a fiver with you that tomorrows blog will be about "Daves" underpants, or whether he likes peas or not, as that is all that is missing from the trite soapbox jibes.

    Please, if we cannot count on the BBC Political editor to post ablog about important issues such as the level of debt announced today can we start our own debate now?

    Who wants to go first and see how far we get before being moderated for being off topic?

  • Comment number 82.

    "billatbasing wrote:
    It looks as though we are going to get another dose of the same from Dave, who will never admit to being wrong"

    Good grief. A criticism of David Cameron on the basis that he can't admit to being wrong, this on the basis of nothing in particular and in the face of daily evidence from Gordon Brown that he could stand up and would claim he was sat down.

  • Comment number 83.

    I hear that the official Labour candidate may have swine flu

    Did you interview him Nick, what will we do if you have it too?

  • Comment number 84.

    Well done Nick! Only five paragraphs this time! I suppose I should at least credit you with winding up us righties using less prose each time you post.

    Really though, as many other posters have said, on the day when worst ever borrowing figures are presented this is the best you can come up with?

    As I've said before, the BBC hastens its own demise to an early grave with this type of offering. Nick you are capable of SO much more.

  • Comment number 85.

    What a surprise!

    I make a comment criticising this blog, and it gets "moderated".

    If you want to practise censorship, then at least have the guts to call it by that name.

    Since when do we, as licence fee payers, not have the right to express our opinion about this poor quality content you are providing?

  • Comment number 86.

    "Our journalists like Nick are well aware of our commitment to impartial reporting. They're expected to put their own political views to one side when carrying out their work for us. They seek to provide the information which will enable viewers and listeners to make up their own minds; to show the political reality and provide the forum for debate, giving full opportunity for all viewpoints to be heard. Senior editorial staff, the Executive Committee and the BBC Trust keep a close watch on programmes to ensure that standards of impartiality are maintained."

    Judge for yourselves.

  • Comment number 87.

    When he gave an unscripted speech at his party conference David Cameron demonstrated an ability to talk spontaneously so a soapbox is hardly out of place. That's some achievement irrespective of whether one agrees with him or not.

    But surely we keep on coming back to the central issue. The country desperately needs a general election and Nick would spend his time more profitably pursuing the PM as to what's causing the hold-up.

  • Comment number 88.

    Biased - Liebour - Zanuliebour - Clown...

    Bingo! I win Nick Robinson's tory rant blog bingo!

    Eyes down for a full house!

  • Comment number 89.

    #62 Bilatbasing
    I can remember when we last had a Prime Minister who was not for turning. The recession got worse, unemployment went from one million to three million and British Manufacturing disappeared never to return. Interest rates went up and up and tax cuts went mainly to the richest ten percent of the population.


    I had hoped that those who simply denounce Thatcher as an evil presence deliberately destroying the working classes would see the similarities in the position she inherited and that that will face the next government - probably Conservative again.

    In 1979 we had an economy on its knees with the Government ingoring the need for cuts in the public sector and supporting state run industries which just weren't financially viable. Labour Governments just aren't strong enough to take the right long term decisions - look at how quickly Brown rolled over to the unions when he tried to increase the public sector pension age as chancellor.

  • Comment number 90.

    Nick, ask Gordon where the UK gold reserves went.
    The disappearance of our gold is a criminal as the US government gold snatch of the early 20th century.

    Has history repeated itself?

    It would seem so.

  • Comment number 91.

    I presume the neck gear he discarded was a tie and not a noose, shame would have loved to kick the box away. Nu compassionate tories get on my wick. Still I suppose I'll just have to go on with other tax payers covering his second home mortgage.

  • Comment number 92.

    26. At 12:46pm on 21 Jul 2009, Khrystalar wrote:


    Khrystalar, while I agree that we should not trust someone unil proven trustworthy, you overstep grossly in your loathing for all politicians.

    You seem to have it in your head that all are dishonest and untrustworthy. Can I put it to you that politicians are, just like other human beings (yourself included) vulnerable to human failings. We should not therefore extend them any greater or lesser level of trust than we would any other human being.

    For most people, this would mean you give them a chance, believe in them with a degree of scepticism until you are proven right or wrong. It does not mean condemning and insulting people who have never had their chance to prove their honesty or dishonesty to you.

    It is you who is being naive if you honestly believe that "all politicians are dishonest".

  • Comment number 93.

    By the way didn't look much like a public meeting to me, just a load of "Nu Compassionate tories" in tory badges, rosettes and T-shirts donuting around him, bet the public was kept way back. Looks like a bit of a stunt.

  • Comment number 94.

    What I find surprising is that the likes of Nick Robinson and that other twit,Andrew Marr,who is just as biased are allow to broadcast their plainly biased views.
    But I have to say you can't only blame them and their editors if they can get away with it.
    The blame rests squarely with the BBC Trust,the team of metropolitan luvvies who are supposed to ensure,on behalf of license payers that all reporting is balanced.
    It will be the Trust that will destroy the BBC and not a bunch of biased reporters.

  • Comment number 95.

    To sell gold may or may not have been a wise decision at the time. It's easy to judge with 20:20 hindsight. But to announce to a free market that you are about to dump a shed load of gold on it in advance is borderline negligent. The basis of the gold market is that there is a relatively limited supply, most of which is locked up in various country's vaults. The relatively small percentage of the total that is actually tradable sets the price. It doesn't take a lot of intelligence to realise what will happen to the price of gold if suddenly there is a relative glut in the market.

  • Comment number 96.

    Good to hear that Cameron intends to bring in some of the experienced 'oldies' into the next cabinet.

    The only promise we will look for is a cabinet of experienced pros who've seen it been there and got the medal. In other words experienced people who will hopefully once again get the country out of the terminal decline it is now in.

    Like Thatcher Cameron will of necessity have to introduce some deeply unpopular measures and like Thatcher he will need some strong and able support behind him.

    What a waste the sacrifices of the Thatcher years have been. We were just getting back on our feet again when yet another Labour government has set us back at least forty years or even more.

  • Comment number 97.

    I was still on "surreal" and wondered where you had all gone !

    Then I find you are all getting hot under collar about a blog of stuff and nonsense about a soapbox

    No that is surreal.

  • Comment number 98.

    Please can everyone stop laying into the bias of this blog, then heading off on astoundingly blinkered commentary.

    All writing on politics will inevitably have some bias. I, personally would like to see both Brown and Cameron flayed alive, they are just different ends of the same faeces stained stick. Frankly, I can list so many people other than this toothsome twosome I would rather see elected! Nick Griffin, Gary Glitter, Kim Jong Il, Satan, Cristiano Ronaldo...

  • Comment number 99.

    OK - so the Labour cadnidate 'possibly' has swine flu - appropriately named? Will this be a reason for annulling the result of the election if/when Labour lose?

    PS Welcome back Zim!

  • Comment number 100.

    6. At 12:09pm on 21 Jul 2009, jrperry wrote:
    By comparison, Brown has not been seen within 100 miles of Norwich. Scared to associate himself with another disaster, one suspects.


    Or rather, Norwich Labour party are scared to be associated with the disaster that is "Jimmy" Gordon Brown.


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