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Why Cameron’s Speech on Housing Benefit is Electoral Suicide

David Cameron must have a death wish. He must actively want to lose the next election. Either that or he has completely and utterly misjudged the British people with his mindless and savage attack on young people. He has declared that if the Tories win the next election, he will axe Housing Benefit for everyone under the age of 25. 

What are his reasons? The usual guff about HB costing the taxpayer a “fortune” is being rolled out. And the prime minister also wants to link HB with unemployment and idleness being lifestyle choices. 

HB recipients aren’t the tenants. The landlords are the ones receiving taxpayer’s money. 

Only 1 in 8 HB claimants are unemployed. 

The reason that people have to claim HB is because they are chronically low paid. A bit like tax credits, HB is in fact the Government subsidising the payroll of major companies like Tesco and ASDA. 

Cameron seems to have this weird 1930’s thing going on in his head where young people live with their parents, go to work and then meet someone. They then spend evenings at each others homes toasting marshmallows and playing Bridge with Mater and Pater whilst saving up for their wedding and first home on the tree lined avenue in Ickenham.  

His reality is frightening. Cameron has not once ounce of empathy, or the willingness to understand the lives of the UK people. 

Theresa May referred to the Nasty Party all those years ago, and Cameron did everything he could to try and de toxify the Tory brand, all that hot air about Vote Blue go Green, the husky photos, cycling to work and supporting gay marriage. 

But the problem is Cameron didn’t mean a word of it, and his Party could barely conceal its contempt. 

Now the prime minister is caught on the wire over Europe, Lords reform, gay marriage and a catastrophic bungled budget, he has decided to resort to Tory dog whistle politics. He thinks he can shore up his right wing with rhetoric, as even Clegg isn’t stupid enough to support these measures. 

But where Cameron has gone disastrously wrong is by thinking that dragging policies out of the gutter will win him votes with the public. 

In 2010 Labour were hammered at the polls. It was a total meltdown with the Party only securing a paltry 29% of the vote. Yet despite this Cameron still could not win a majority. The Tory vote only crawled up 3% from 2005 when they were well beaten and seen as too right wing and unelectable. 

Cameron doesn’t understand the British people at all. Thatcher, for all her odious policies was very careful not to alienate or disparage working people. She wanted them to buy in to what she was up to. She gave them heavily subsidised council houses to purchase and gave them the illusion of her being there to counter the establishment and vested privileges via her popular capitalism project. It was all smoke and mirrors of course but the sight of her doing her shopping in 1979, just like the average housewife (in Charles Saatchi’s mind anyway) struck a chord with voters. 

The Poll Tax finally revealed Thatcher’s true colours, and she had been in power so long that she lost touch with the things, which made her appear to be in tune and white van man, her core voter, turned on Maggie and she was out.

This latest bout of horribleness from Cameron will help seal his fate as a one term PM. The voters will see to that but only if Labour present a clear alternative ethos. Liam Byrne is not the right man to do this for us, as he secretly probably agrees with Cameron judging by his record.


About dermotrathbone

Writer and co author "Through Red Lenses". Activist Unite the Union, Save Our NHS Hull. Fan of Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Hull FC, Munster and Ireland Rugby. Views are mine alone and may not reflect the organisations concerned.


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