Wednesday 3 October 2007

Conservative cant

Perhaps the ugliest thing about Cameron's Tories is the amount of sanctimonious cant that has been emerging from their front bench over the last week. First we had their culture spokesman demanding Culture Secretary's James Purnell's resignation over an amusing, but utterly trivial, misunderstanding over a publicity shot for a local hospital. Granted it has produced some entertaining follow-ups, but this was no resigning matter. Then we had George Osborne moaning that Labour had dared to cost their back of an envelope calculations for removing incentives to work from the children of the top 6% of wage-earners, and found their figures were hopelessly awry. As Adrian McMenamin has pointed out, such calculations are hardly novel. And as the Treasury has explained, they were accurate. Finally, we have had the smarmy Liam Fox complaining that the Prime Minister has gone to Iraq and deigned to tell the troops that 1,000 of them would be coming home soon, before he told MPs several thousand miles from the frontline. He did so in a week when Prime Ministers traditionally go abroad as (a) parliament is not sitting and (b) he really couldn't be expected to sit at home watching Mr Fox's speech. To imagine that this lot thinks they are ready to run the country.

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