Thursday, October 05, 2006

Kaletsky on Cameron's speech

In today's Times:

If Michael Foot’s 1983 election manifesto is now remembered as “the longest suicide note in history”, then Mr Cameron’s speech yesterday could be described as the “longest shopping list in history”. And what would inevitably follow if Mr Cameron became prime minister would be the biggest tax demands in history.

Consider just a few of the spending pledges made yesterday by Mr Cameron in a single speech: to lavish on the National Health Service whatever funding is needed and an absolute moratorium on spending cuts or hospital closures; more border controls and policemen; more support for faith schools; more prison building; more drug rehabilitation services; more defence spending, not just on body armour but also on military salaries, pensions and schools; more subsidies for childcare; more money for social workers and occupational therapists; more special schools. My list of the spending commitments in that one speech could go on and on — and I haven’t even started on the previous day’s promises from Mr Osborne, such as subsidising pensions with even more generous tax relief.

It may be objected, of course, that I am taking Mr Cameron too literally. He was not, after all, delivering a budget speech, with concrete policy decisions, but presenting a prospectus, designed to offer the country a broad sense of the Tories’ new aspirations. Yet this was exactly what made the speech — and this week’s entire conference — so alarming. Nowhere was there any sense of priorities, of the limits to government resources. Never did Mr Cameron hint, for example, that somebody would have to pay for such charming notions as a new childcare subsidy that would be paid not only to professional carers but also to grandparents.

There's a lot more - unfortunately I can't excerpt it all! Click the link and read for yourself.


Rehabcourse said...

I recently published an article on drug rehab – here is a quote from it, in case you are interested:

Here are some alternatives you should think of:
Free standing inpatient drug rehab program – short term program for less severe addictions;
Inpatient drug rehab program – rehabilitation unit – for severe mental and physical disabilities;
Inpatient drug rehab program – detoxification unit – in general this program takes place on an outpatient basis, but sometimes withdrawal from either drugs or alcohol presupposes extreme measures to prevent relapse. It is important to help patients to change their old habits, and this may happen only through a longer-term disruption from the environment where everything remembers them of the urge to return to the substance of their addiction;
Long term residential drug rehab program – is important for those who would relapse easily (youth, chronic addicts, patients with more than one diagnosis etc.).

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Mike Rad

snowflake5 said...

Hi Mike - I agree that drug rehabilitation is important - but it costs money. You can't promise money for this (and other worthy causes) and at the same time promise to cut taxes by £21 billion. You simply can't spend the same tax pound twice.

Either Cameron is saying he'll increase spending on drug rehab and other things for effect (i.e. he's lying), or he really believes he can do all these things and cut tax at the same time - which means he's a dunce!