The reporting this weekend is very revealing. A few months before the election Cameron asserted that “secret corporate lobbying was the next big scandal waiting to happen”, but he would run a sleaze-free government. We now know he apoointed 3 weeks ago as Tory party fundraiser a man who made nearly a £1bn fortune from financial spread-betting and who advertised that the Prime Minister would be open for business to anyone who joined the ‘premier league’ by donating £250,000 to the Tory party. Osborne promised in his budget a crackdown on tax avoidance, but 3 days later the Tory co-treasurer is revealed soliciting donations from Liechtenstein, a well-known tax haven, as well as actually illegal under electoral law. Now we learn too that the Tory decision before the election to block a third runway at Heathrow is to be reversed; having won votes before the election protecting communities in west London, Cameron now finds it expedient to succumb to the business lobby (or was this always a well-prepared fix beforehand to gather in votes in advance of the money?).
We were solemnly assured by Cameron before the election that “I’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS”. That was before £20bn cuts to the NHS were announced after the election. We were told there would be no further top-down re-organisations of the NHS, just before by far the biggest ever (clearly prepared in thorough detail by Lansley at the same time as the promise was being made) was suddenly announced just 2 months after the election.
We were led to believe, by the PR stunt of Cameron hugging huskies in the Arctic before the election, that this was going to be ‘the greenest government ever’. Safely after the election it has turned out the brownest ever by crowding out renewables with nuclear, chopping off the solar industry at its knees, aborting the green investment bank, and tearing up the planning laws that protect the countryside.
Is there any pledge, any promise, any commitment which this crew would not have the gall to stuff down the toilet to appease big business and the super-rich? We were told before the election, in the supreme burst of hypocrisy, that we were “all in it together” until after the election the ultra-rich wanted out and to have their 50p tax rate cut at the same time as the poorest quarter of the population could be safely consigned down the pan. As an exercise in shamelessness, this government takes some beating.