Messaging US Progressives: Beware David McCameron

By: LarryS
Published On: 10/27/2008 12:31:47 PM

In the last few months, I've watched with concern as a number of US progressives I met while traveling the country this summer have happily begun to embrace or tolerate UK Conservative leader David Cameron as a sort of British answer to Barack Obama, a young, energetic leader with the credibility to re-establish his country's image at home and abroad. While the nearest thing to the Democratic Party in the UK (Labour) has been through some difficult times lately, it's worth any liberal in America or around the world in general not being taken in by the man who could in less than a year become our next Prime Minister, especially given that:

* In response to the Labour government's attempt to remove barriers to confronting homophobia in British schools, he attacked Tony Blair's for 'moving heaven and earth to allow the promotion of homosexuality in schools' (Witney Gazette, 2000) and voted accordingly in the House of Commons to keep such restrictions in place.

* When the conservatives opposed benefits for workers, he made no attempt to buck the party orthodoxy, instead calling them 'a burden to business' (Staffordshire Post, 1997) and a measure that would merely 'send unemployment back up.'

* On Iraq, which he now admits was 'the biggest foreign policy blunder' of modern times, the Tory leader voted enthusiastically for the conflict when debated, and even in late 2005 and early 2006 was still saying it was 'the right decision to remove Saddam Hussein' and that he was 'fully committed' to the continuation of the war.

*Cameron previously endorsed getting away from what republicans call 'socialised medicine', telling the Guardian newspaper in 2002 that he wanted people get funding for NHS services through 'other sources, such as insurance' and arguing that government should have less of a role in the provision of public health.

*He is on record as stating the need for 'winning the intellectual and cultural battle against capitalism' (2005), the need to 'campaign for capitalism.' And moreover, his party has taken thousands of pounds from speculators and short-sellers that have made the current economic situation more precarious, British businessmen like Paul Ruddock and Michael Hintz that Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond termed little better than 'a bunch of spivs.'

For those who don't find it difficult to see through the 'maverick' image of John McCain, this really is a no-brainer. Let's hope many realise it sooner rather than later.  


Thanks for the view from "across the pond" (Lowell - 10/27/2008 12:36:08 PM)
Excellent diary, recommended.

Cameron reminds me a bit of . . . (JPTERP - 10/27/2008 12:47:57 PM)
a slick Republican.  

Much smoother than Canadian PM Stephen Harper, who seems to be much more like W.

For all of the grief that the U.S. gets for electing W. twice, I worry too that the Brits and Canadians may have to learn some hard lessons as well.  Cameron is basically selling old supply-side GOP economic policies to a new market of unsuspecting political consumers.  Caveat emptor.

He even says he is a... (LarryS - 10/27/2008 12:51:52 PM)
"compassionate conservative". Snigger.