There would be ‘no front-line cuts’ said Cameron just before election


9:05 am - October 20th 2010

by Sunder Katwala    


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Our current Prime Minister could hardly have been clearer on the final Sunday of the General Election campaign, speaking to Andrew Marr to make his final week pitch to the British public.

The widely reported promise on which Cameron sought a mandate was very helpfully captured and summarised in a report from Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome, to which we are indebted for our headline: “There’ll be no cuts to frontline services under a Tory government, says Cameron“.

There were certainly commentators and advisers warning David Cameron that trust depended on warning about the spending cuts he was planning to introduce – advising that he needed a ensure one prominent “to camera” moment where he explicitly sought a public mandate for what he planned to do in power, and which could be played back and referred to as the government outlined its proposals.

Instead, what Cameron told Andrew Marr and the nation was that he could make every saving necessary by cutting waste; indeed that he would personally veto any ministerial plans to cut frontline services to reduce the deficit:

What I can tell you is any cabinet minister, if I win the election, who comes to me and says: ‘Here are my plans’ and they involve frontline reductions, they’ll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again.

After 13 years of Labour, there is a lot of wasteful spending, a lot of money that doesn’t reach the frontline.

The quote could be of some use to David Cameron, since he now seems to have amnesia about what he did and did not ask for a mandate for. He told his party conference that “the result may not have been clear-cut when it came to the political parties. But it was clear enough when it came to political ideas”.

The idea of the “high-spending” state had been defeated, Cameron claimed, neglecting to mention that he had neglected to mention this to the electorate at the time.

It is certainly true to say that no party can claim to have been straight about the public finances at the last General Election.

Neither David Cameron – still less Nick Clegg, who vociferously agreed with Labour through the election campaign on the timing, pace and scale of spending cuts – can claim any electoral mandate for the spending cuts they will propose today.

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About the author
Sunder Katwala is a regular contributor to Liberal Conspiracy. He is the director of British Future, a think-tank addressing identity and integration, migration and opportunity. He was formerly secretary-general of the Fabian Society.
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Story Filed Under: Blog ,Economy ,Fight the cuts

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Reader comments


I think it shows they didn’t cost things out before the election.

Gosh – how’s Cameron going to get out of THAT one?

Oh yes – same way the Coalition get out of every promise: ‘Unfortunately, when we saw the books, we realised things were much worse than we thought, so sorry folks, but you can’t hold us to anything we said before the election.’

Genius. Not only is the deficit wholly the result of Labour’s profligacy and not at all the result of that little ‘blip’ in the global economy a couple of years back, but the Coalition parties’ broken promises are *also* wholly the result of Labour’s profligacy and not at all the result of them having deliberately tried to mislead the public into believing, absurdly, that tens of billions of pounds could be cut from departmental budgets without affecting frontline services.

I suppose the country is going to get what it voted for, good and hard.

On this subject we can protest as much as we like but in all fairness to this barmy coalition, they could not possibly have known the true extent of the problem until the books were opened to them, This link tells the true story.

http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/realdebt.pdf

This is reality and we, the people let them get away with it by voting them into power 3 times ! It’s us and the press who are daft.

Problem is of course now labour can be the opposition party, it has to do nothing at all but moan about cuts whether they are right or wrong I’ve no idea.

But not to long ago Brown and Darling where going to do the same cuts, well brown we have to accept he did not know what the hell he was going to do.

Welfare reforms are labours, we know Ms Cooper stated she was looking at child benefits but it would cost to much, in other words she was going to means test.

I do not know whom to believe anymore….

We have certainly reached a position of instability caused by the the state’s involvement in the economic base. But whether it was nu-lab, the tories or lib-dems, the story would have been the same, the system now drives political decisions not the other way round.

7. Chaise Guevara

3

“I suppose the country is going to get what it voted for, good and hard.”

Problem is that the people who voted for it are by and large not the ones who are going to get it, at least until the repurcussions kick in.

@4

The TPA Ted? Really? Honestly, it’s like you’re not even trying…

9. Gaf the Horse

Hey Ted, I wouldn’t bandy around words like “True” in the same sentence as anything involving the “Taxpayers Alliance”.

I see so the Sun will give a better view, boy I think the daily mash would be better.

12. Chaise Guevara

@10

LOL.

You’ve just tried to back up TPA data by linking to an article sourced from TPA data.

@ 12

True but it must have some credibility if the Sun are willing to publish it ? Unless of course some consider the largest circulating newspaper to be for Muppet’s !

Lets not forget, The Sun and Telegraph may be aimed at different audiences but they alone make or break a political party.

As for the rest of our printed media, just a mish-mash of right wing nutters, highly intellectual academic crackpots and remnants of the old loony-left.

Yes I use to work in a factory with 400 blokes, the political views of the Sun were plastered all over the walls.

15. Chaise Guevara

@13 Ted

“True but it must have some credibility if the Sun are willing to publish it ? Unless of course some consider the largest circulating newspaper to be for Muppet’s !”

Well, it is (plus the sport pages obviously), and it’s not a very reliable source. I also notice you’ve downshifted from “this is the true story” (comment 4) to “this must have some credibility (comment 13)”.

The TPA interpret data to suit their agenda, the Sun publishes it because it makes a good story and it can cover its back by sourcing the information.

“Lets not forget, The Sun and Telegraph may be aimed at different audiences but they alone make or break a political party.”

And this is a reason to trust them, is it?

“As for the rest of our printed media, just a mish-mash of right wing nutters, highly intellectual academic crackpots and remnants of the old loony-left.”

Plus the Times, FT, Guardian, Metro and several of the news magazines.

Ted, the ‘debt’ you’re talking about seems mostly to consist of projected rises in pension costs in the future. It’s got nothing to do with paying back money borrowed by Labour or any other former Government. You might as well argue that my ten-year-old son has £1,000,000 of personal debt because that’s the projected future cost of his food, housing etc.

@ 15 C G

Not bad…not bad. Lets see,

The Times, too analytical for ordinary folk like me. I honestly believe they could analyse the contents of a maggots bum as my mate often puts it. Their FT is more like an ‘in-house’ training manual for those in that profession.

Guardian, pseudo academic – more suited to failed teachers and the ‘flip chart’ brigade.

Metro, perfect for boring commuter train journeys into town. Once off the train, bin it and think about work. I did that for 8 years.

Magazines, who has the time to read them ?

@ 16

Yes, think you’re right but we still have to pay it now, later or leave it to the next generation.

18. Chaise Guevara

@ 17

All reasonably fair assessments, but if you’re calling the Guardian “pseudo academic” I get to call the Telegraph “a propoganda leaflet for the rich masquerading as a broadsheet”.

Ted I think you’re lost mate, BBC’s have your say is over on their website.

@ 18 Reluctantly agreed !
@ 19 I will return !

cuts? What cuts?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  2. Dale Cox

    RT @libcon 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB <- the proof of the pudding is in the #spendingreview

  3. Matt Lent

    RT @libcon There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB #csr #spendingreview

  4. Lesley Bruce

    There would be ‘no front-line cuts’ said Cameron just before election | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/e1nUeVT via @libcon

  5. Martin Deane

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  6. socialworkuk

    There would be ‘no front-line cuts’ said Cameron just before election | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eBhYo3y via @libcon

  7. Tudor Evans

    “@libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB” well, there you go…

  8. Steve Jones

    The things people say @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB #CSR #Tories #fail

  9. Ged Robinson

    RT @CouncillorTudor: “@libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB” well, there y …

  10. Juderobinson

    RT @CouncillorTudor: “@libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB” well, there y …

  11. Juderobinson

    RT @CouncillorTudor: “@libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB” well, there y …

  12. Stephen Moss

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  13. Stephen Moss

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  14. Mike Currie

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  15. Elly M

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  16. Frances Weetman

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  17. Pucci Dellanno

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  18. The spending review: key questions and the democratic deficit « Dnmufc's Blog

    […] is exacerbated by the evident lack of any electoral mandate for what is being proposed. I find it very difficult to believe that David Cameron could have […]

  19. The Daily Quail

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  20. Simon HB

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  21. Press Not Sorry

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  22. Mat M

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  23. thabet

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  24. Teresa

    RT @libcon: There would be 'no front-line cuts' said Cameron just before election http://bit.ly/a4vQlB

  25. Maizey R.

    http://liberalconspiracy.org/2010/10/20/there-would-be-no-front-line-cuts-said-cameron-just-before-election/ <David Cameron pre-electon.

  26. Eugene Grant

    Metropolitan Police faces £500m 'cuts challenge' http://t.co/m6L6H6ci > before election, PM promised no front line cuts http://t.co/cxn7xrx3

  27. Tim Murray

    Metropolitan Police faces £500m 'cuts challenge' http://t.co/m6L6H6ci > before election, PM promised no front line cuts http://t.co/cxn7xrx3

  28. ian fielding

    Metropolitan Police faces £500m 'cuts challenge' http://t.co/m6L6H6ci > before election, PM promised no front line cuts http://t.co/cxn7xrx3





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