Government Reviewer Opposed ESA Rollout

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Government Reviewer Opposed ESA Rollout

By Sue Marsh, also published here

In 2008, Labour introduced a new out of work sickness benefit, Employment and Support Allowance, to replace the old Incapacity Benefit.

The new system of application and assessments was much tougher, and politicians originally hoped that up to a million people could be moved from the benefit.

However, by 2010, it was clear there were significant flaws in the process. People with mental health and fluctuating conditions were not being fairly treated and successful appeals against “fit for work” decisions soared to 40%.

Professor Harrington was asked to review the new benefit and make recommendations for improving it. As the election took place in 2010, crucially, only new claimants were being assessed. ESA was yet to be rolled out to the more complicated, and often longer term, Incapacity Benefit claimants, though trials were underway in Burnley and Aberdeen.

Most people claim out of work sickness benefits for short periods – perhaps to get through a sports injury, accident or one off surgery – and stop their claims within 2 years. However, this will always leave a few people with serious, life limiting conditions who will need to claim the benefit for longer periods. Over the years, those claims build up, increasing the proportion who need long term support.

When the coalition came to power in May 2010, they immediately announced that they would go ahead and start to reassess those already claiming Incapacity Benefit.

I could never understand this decision. Why would you take a failing benefit and roll it out to almost 2 million of the most vulnerable claimants? Not only that, but at first, just 25,000 people per month were being assessed, but the government constantly increased and increased the numbers until today, nearly 130,000 assessments are carried out every month.

Why? Why would you rush this group through failing assessments, ever faster, when backlogs kept on increasing, tribunals were overturning 40% of decisions that went to appeal and even legally, courts were starting to judge that the test discriminates against certain groups?

Unless of course you don’t want the tests to be fair. If your aim is to remove a million people from the benefit, perhaps it suits you to make sure that as many of those existing claimants don’t face a fair test? Since 2010, the government have repeatedly delayed improvements to ESA. Out of 25 recommendations made by Professor Harrington in his Yr1 Review, almost two thirds have not been fully and successfully implemented. An “Evidence Based Review” using new descriptors designed by mental health charities and those charities representing people with fluctuating conditions was initially rejected, then taken on, but although results were due in June, still, tests use the old descriptors to decide who qualifies for support. *

The government repeatedly claimed that Professor Harrington had supported the national rollout of incapacity benefit claimants

“Professor Harrington went away and made his recommendations to us, which we accepted in full and have implemented. He told me, “I believe the system is in sufficient shape for you to proceed with incapacity benefit reassessment.” We set ourselves a goal to put his recommendations in place, improve the quality of the process and address many of the issues to which hon. Members have referred today by the end of last May, when the assessments in the incapacity benefit reassessment were to start alongside the existing process of assessing ESA new claimants. We did that, and we started.”

1 Feb 2012 : Column 289WH Hansard Chris Grayling
However, Harrington was clearly an intelligent man who had made thoughtful and intelligent suggestions for improving the assessments. I could never understand why he agreed to put the most vulnerable claimants through a failing test.

So I decided to ask him.

It took me a while to track down his email address, but after pulling lots of strings, I was able to ask him outright.

This was Professor Harrington’s reply :

“To your question:

I NEVER—repeat–NEVER agreed to the IB migration. I would have preferred that it be delayed but by the time I said that, the political die had been cast.

I then said that i would review progress of that during my reviews.

The decision was political .

I could not influence it.

IS THAT CRYSTAL CLEAR?

Malcolm”

I’d say it was fairly clear, wouldn’t you?

Ian Duncan-Smith and others took the decision to push nearly 2 million people through a failing test as quickly as they could. Why? Was it so that they could remove as many people as possible from the benefit whether they needed it or not? Surely any failures to improve the test as recommended by Harrington, charities and campaigners couldn’t have been deliberate? Delaying improvements until the IB cohort had been rushed through, the cohort this government and others are convinced are simply “scroungers” and “skivers”?

Instead, as we now see, delays have increased, successful appeals have risen, lives have been lost to the sheer inaccuracy and flawed design of the assessments and the human suffering is now clear for all to see.

To have taken the decision through incompetence is bad enough, but if it was taken deliberately and cynically, I can only hope the responsible ministers will be held to account. Over 200,000 incorrect decisions have since been overturned in law and appeals are taking up to a year to be heard in some areas.

When David Cameron came to power he said :

“The test of a good society is how do you protect the poorest, the most vulnerable, the elderly, the frail.

That’s important in good times, it’s even more important in difficult times. People need to know that if they have me as their Prime Minister and they have a Conservative government, it will be that sort of Prime Minister

Iain Duncan-Smith said :

“I say to those watching today and who are genuinely sick, disabled or are retired. You have nothing to fear.

This government and this party don’t regard caring for the needy as a burden. It is a proud duty to provide financial security to the most vulnerable members of our society and this will not change. This is our contract with the most vulnerable.”

I look forward to them explaining what made them change their minds.

Today, we must be our own media. Please RT on twitter, share on Facebook and help me to make sure that as many people as possible see this news. *Coincidentally, the evidence based review was released yesterday, as I was writing this article.https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/265471/wca-evidence-based-review.pdf

Boris Johnson and ‘Survival of the Fittest’

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The Manners and Morals of High Capitalism

The only two things that were actually surprising about Boris Johnson’s Centre of Policy Research speech were:

i)  That anyone should think that Boris’ avowal of 19th Century Social Darwinism is   surprising because it is patently obvious that his speech also represents the views of Cameron, Osborne, Tory Ministers and much of the wider Conservative Party.

ii)  That Boris would have talked openly about his views in public.

However, Andrew Rawnsley was surprised on both counts:

Where on earth do we start? Let’s begin with his view of what drives human nature in general and capitalist economies in particular. The speech was highly illuminating – not about what really makes society tick, but about what goes on inside the whirling head of mayor Johnson. It is his contention that “greed” and “the spirit of envy” are not vices to be regretted, but virtues to be lauded because they are “a valuable spur to economic activity”. This was not a throwaway line, a light aside, just another one of those provocative Johnsonian sallies designed to wind up lefties and stimulate the erogenous zones of the right wing of the Tory party. It was central to his argument. He hailed greed and envy as emotions to be celebrated because that was at the heart of his contention that inequality is not only inevitable, it is desirable and necessary as an engine of economic growth.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/dec/01/boris-johnsons-views-like-brave-new-world-dystopia

Clearly, Andrew Rawnsley has never heard of Herbert Spencer, 19th century philosopher beloved by the wealthy and powerful American Robber Barons, Carnegie, Rockefeller, Vanderbilt and the rest?

(See below – J. K. Galbraith’s video clip from the 1977 ‘The Age of Uncertainty’ series)

It was Herbert Spencer, not Darwin, who coined the phrase ‘Survival of the Fittest’, drawing parallels between his political classical economic theories and natural selection.

Spencer’s theories of laissez-faire, survival-of-the-fittest and minimal human interference in the processes of natural law had an enduring and even increasing appeal in the social science fields of economics and political science. 20th century thinkers such as Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand expanded on and popularized Spencer’s ideas, while politicians such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher enacted them into law. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herbert_Spencer

‘Laissez-faire, survival-of-the-fittest and minimal human interference’ as advocated by Ayn Rand, is the pedigree of Boris’ incongruous suggestion that the largest cornflakes rise to the top of the shaken packet.

And also his even more controversial assertion:

‘… Johnson mocked the 16% “of our species” with an IQ below 85 as he called for more to be done to help the 2% of the population who have an IQ above 130.’

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/nov/27/boris-johnson-thatcher-greed-good?CMP=twt_gu

(Well, perhaps not so controversial given that those percentages are inherent to the IQ test methodology… but let’s not get bogged down in dissecting Boris’s faulty understanding and ignorance. Let’s go with the implicit message.)

 

American follower John Fiske observed, that Spencer’s ideas were to be found “running like the weft through all the warp” of Victorian thought .. and are clearly still running like a weft through the upper echelons of the Conservative Party.  The silence from Cameron et al immediately following Boris’ speech was deafening.

Essentially, the tenets are those of the American Dream:

i)   Rich people are rich because they have fought their way to the top and are more intelligent.

ii)   Poor people are poor because they have not tried hard enough and are stupid.

iii)   Government and the benefits system prevent the cornflake packet being shaken hard enough.  Hence, the need to remove the ‘safety net’ of the welfare state and shrink the role of government.

(Frankly, I can’t believe that I’m writing this extremely unpleasant garbage which owes nothing to any informed understanding of genetics, cognitive psychology, sociology or economics.)

As a commentators on Cif wrote in response to Boris’speech:

‘They’re not even trying to pretend anymore, are they?

Perhaps that’s a good thing, because it shows that the end is near. Hubris is the best indicator for that…’

‘Spot on, it’s the new eugenics. The conservative hierarchy genuinely believes that there is no further need for social mobility, that the social hierarchy with its grotesque inequalities is some kind of perfect order. The rest of us simply live to serve the new banking aristocracy.’

Boris may well have overestimated the readiness of the UK for his ‘eugenic’ message.  Another putative Tory leader, Sir Keith Josephs, certainly scuppered his chance of being Prime Minister when he attributed the cycle of social deprivation to a combination of the young and poor in a climate of sexual freedom perpetuating a deprived class with little effective hope of self-improvement – adding that “the balance of our human stock is threatened”.

After some days, Cameron and Osborne finally felt the need to distance themselves from the Boris speech but it is noteworthy that their disclaimers were somewhat ambiguous and not entirely inconsistent with Boris’ views …

Asked on his flight to China whether the London mayor spoke for the Conservative party about IQ levels and inequality, the prime minister said: “I let Boris speak for himself. I think it is very important that we make sure we do everything so that we maximise people’s opportunities to make the most of their talents.”

.. which could mean ‘maximise cornflakes’ opportunities’ so that they can greedily and enviously fight their way up the packet unimpeded by big government.

George Osborne similarly distanced himself:

“I wouldn’t have put it like that and I don’t agree with everything he said.”

.. so which bit didn’t you agree with George?

However… How can Cameron and Osborne possibly say that they reject Boris’ philosophical assumptions when we can all see in their policies that they are doing their utmost to create the ruthless laissez–faire society advocated by Hayek, Friedman, Rand, Regan and Thatcher?

Postscript:

It is a bit hazy as to how Boris explains inherited wealth as being the result of individual struggle… Did Cameron, Osborne and the other cabinet millionaires all start at the bottom of the cornflake packet?

The Age of Uncertainty Episode 2 – The Manners and Morals of High Capitalism

The Age of Uncertainty is a 1977 television series about economics, history and politics, co-produced by the BBC, CBC, KCET and OECA, and written and presented by Harvard economist John Kenneth Galbraith.

Galbraith acknowledges the successes of the market system in economics but associated it with instability, inefficiency and social inequity. He advocates government policies and interventions to remedy these perceived faults

The content of the series was determined by Galbraith, with the presentation style directed by his colleagues in the BBC. Galbraith began by writing a series of essays from which the scripts were derived and from these a book by the same name, emerged which in many places goes beyond the material covered in the relevant television episode.

Are politicians really all the same? Whose side are you on?

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Are politicians really all the same? Whose side are you on?

Published previously by Liam R Carr

When you get involved in local politics one thing you hear is “It doesn’t matter who I vote for, you lot (politicians) are all the same”

Right now we can see clear differences in policy between the two parties that has not been seen since Thatcher was in power. Politicians for too long have tried occupy themuddy centre ground. New Labour stuck its flag firmly in the centre and won elections, Lib Dems have fashioned careers out of wriggling into the tiny space between the two main parties, they are still trying it now, claiming that they should be the party in a never ending coalition government because they make the Tories nicer and Labour meaner. Cameron came to power after reforming his Party, into Compassionate Conservatives; how quickly the mask slips.

When times are good the detail of economic policy is something that you can read about in the FT if you are that way inclined. During a recession however, every detail is front page news. The priorities, of both government and opposition, are laid bare.

On health the government are on the side of private healthcare providers. The health and social care act which allows private companies to get a slice of the NHS budget, is one of the few acts that Labour will repeal.

On education the government priority has shifted to academic qualifications in traditional subjects and values memorising facts over skills development. There is a choreographed split between Clegg and Gove on free schools, which not not change the implementation of a policy which Clegg could have voted down had he chosen to oppose it when it came before Parliament.

On welfare the line is less defined, with Labour and Tories alike trying to be “tough on benefits.” The divide however can been seen in the approach; with Labour guaranteeing a job people who are out of work for 2 years. Under Iain Duncan-Smith the DWP are sanctioning more job seekers than ever before. The job-centre stop payments then give the person being sanctioned directions to the local food bank. This is the poor feeding the poor; many donations come from pensioners who have memories long enough to remember a time before the welfare state.

Rising prices and falling wages are the battle lines on which the 2015 general election will be fought. Energy prices are spiralling out of control and David Cameron has persisted in stubbornly staying firmly the side of the big energy companies. A Tory will always say that market forces must to be interfered with, but when the market is rigged it will not sort itself out, only a government can fix it. The public, the Labour Party and even John Major agree that now is the time to act – something needs to be done.

All political parties from Cameron’s Conservatives to Mao’s Communists will claim to be on the side of ‘hard working people’ However decisions like selling the Royal Mail off cheap show how clear it is that the Tories are still a party of rich men, paid for by rich men, implementing policy which protects the interests of rich men. Under the Leadership of Ed Miliband the Labour Party is developing policies that really will benefit the many and not the few.http://liamrcarr.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/which-side-are-you-on.html?

David Cameron’s Lies Exposed!

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David Cameron’s Lies Exposed!

By Gracie Samuels, previously published here

On this page I am going to try and accumulate all Cameron’s lies (I know, I know it is a mammoth task and a dirty job – but someone’s got to do it!) I just hope I don’t run out of space! You can’t leave posts on this page like on the main blog page, however, if you wish me to include a particular lie, or think I may have missed one  please email me on gracie.samuels@hushmail.com  or just leave it in a post on the main page in the latest blog and I’ll transfer it over here. 

David Cameron’s Tory led government is guilty of disinformation, he and his cronies are deliberately misleading the people of this country.

How can we trust and believe a single word that David Cameron utters any more?

Disinformation Defined Deliberately misleading information announced publicly or leaked by a government in order to influence public opinion.

        David Cameron’s Lies Exposed!    

In his address to the Tory party conference Wednesday 10th October 2012, Cameron claimed that his government had created over one million jobs in the private sector, this is a complete lie and a complete fabrication and misrepresentation of the truth.

  • Around 200,000 of that million are straight forward reclassification of people who work in further education and have simply been reclassified from public sector workers to private sector workers.
  • Hundreds of thousands more are part time workers; temporary workers; self employed; under employed.

Cameron, Osborne and Clegg have destroyed more then 500,000 public sector workers (police, nurses, midwives, teachers, teaching assistants, lolly pop ladies, caretakers, elderly care wardens, educational welfare officers, family liaison officers, social workers etc etc) and there is another half a million to follow, and on top of that Osborne has announced another £16bn in cuts, which will greatly impinge not only on the weakest, poorest, disabled and unemployed etc, it will heavily impinge of the staff employed in our vital services, which means disruption of services in YOUR schools – YOUR hospitals – YOUR elderly care – YOUR local public services and YOUR local economy.

Don’t be taken in by Cameron and his lies and deliberate misleading and misrepresentation and do not be fooled, look at every thing he and this lying hideous government say and understand it for exactly what it is – Disinformation.

Disinformation Defined Deliberately misleading information announced publicly or leaked by a government in order to influence public opinion.

       David Cameron’s Lies Exposed!         

 

Wednesday 26th January 2012.

Cameron guilty of telling FOUR LIES in the space of 30 minutes in Prime Minister Question Time in the House of Commons.

Lie 1)…..”there are more people in work now than at the last election”

TRUTH - at that time employment figures from the independent Office for National Statistics show that the number in work has fallen by 26,000 since May 2010.

Total employment for full-time, part-time and temporary workers in May-July 2010 was 29,145,000, but the number fell to 29,119,000 for September-November 2011.
Mr Cameron bluntly denied that the Government’s welfare reforms would slash benefits to disabled children. Answering a question from Labour MP Anne McGuire about cuts to disabled children’s benefits, he told her she was:

Lie 2)…..”just plain Wrong”

TRUTH - Anne McGuire is correct to state that some disabled children’s benefits are being reduced by over £1,300 a year For those who children who do not qualify for the highest rate DLA care component, their entitlement will fall by £26.75 per week. According to page 28 of the Department for Work and Pensions’ impact assessment on the introduction of the new universal credit says the rate paid to disabled children will fall from £53.84 to £26.75 a week.

Lie 3)……When asked by Ed Miliband why so many health care professionals were against the Health & Social Care [Bill] Cameron replied by quoting a doctor in  Ed Miliband’s constituency of Doncaster, using “Doncaster” GP Dr Greg Conner to defend his NHS reforms.

TRUTH - His comments were highly duplicitous as Cameron failed to mention that Dr Conner’s remarks were made when he was chairman of the Doncaster clinical commissioning group – a position he no longer holds, as he left in 2011……………..

Cameron moves on to answer to a “planted question by Conservative MP Paul Maynard, Cameron said;

 Lie 4)……“the real shame… that there are so many millions of children who live in households where nobody works and indeed that number doubled under the previous government”. 

TRUTH - In fact, according to the Office for National Statistics, the number of children living in workless households fell by 372,000 between April-June 1997 and April-June 2010.

       NHS          

April 2010 - When in oppositionand shortly before the 2010 general election Cameron promised:

“no more top down reorganisation of the NHS”

TRUTH- This was a straight and blatant lie! The Tories’ attempt to dismantle the NHS has been a long time in the planning.

Back in 2005 Andrew Lansley made a speech to the NHS Confederation spelling out Conservative priorities for the NHS. These included privatisation, a pro-competition regulator and the delegation of NHS budgets to GPs. The building blocks of the Health and Social Care Bill were there from the very first days of Cameron’s leadership of the Tory party. He knew this, both he and Andrew Lansley had been planning the biggest reforms in the NHS in its 63 year old history.
What we now have is a health service which is a shambolic and incomprehensible mess, with the confusion heightened by the plethora of amendments which were  thrown into the Health & Social Care Bill (now an Act)  in a desperate attempt by the Tories to keep the Lib Dems on board. In fact Cameron and Lansley need not have worried, the Liberal Democrats voted with the government for the destruction and privatisation of the NHS. Now in late 2012 and before the Health & Social Care Act is fully implemented  the NHS is showing serious fault lines of collapse.

September 2010 Cameron said:

Royal Colleges of General Practitioners, Physicians and Nursing “all supported” his health reforms. September, 2010. 

TRUTH - All three oppose the reforms.
JUNE 2011 Cameron said:

“We will not endanger universal coverage — we will make sure it remains a National Health Service.”

TRUTH -  The health service has already begun breaking up into local GP commissioning groups.
Cameron said: 

Reforms were needed as there were 5,000-10,000 needless cancer deaths a year compared to other EU countries.

TRUTH -  The NHS has helped achieve the biggest drop in cancer deaths among 10 leading countries.
March 2011 Cameron said:

“We are not reorganising the bureaucracy of the NHS, we are abolishing bureaucracy”.

TRUTH - The NHS will be saddled with even MORE bureaucracy with hundreds of new bodies set up to replace sacked managers.

Before 2010 general election David Cameron promised 3,000 more midwives

TRUTH - Since the general election, nurses and midwives have been downbanded, working harder for less, and midwives in training have been reduced by 3% a year.

Conservative Manifesto 2010 - Cameron said;

“We will increase health spending every year.” 

TRUTH - A Nuffield Trust study shows a “real terms reduction of at least 0.5% in NHS spending is expected over the next four years”.
Cameron Lying and using Disinformation on NHS
 

Cameron also said that waiting times for operations, out patient appointments have fallen, this is another lie where Cameron is deliberately misleading the public by deliberately misrepresenting the facts, it is the Tories using disinformation – again.

TRUTH - The Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) has condemned NHS trusts in England for changing the criteria for operations, leading to some patients being taken off operation waiting lists.

This is how Cameron is able to claim waiting times are falling when they are not.

Some trusts have “re-categorised” patients as no longer needing surgery.
Without consultation patients initially assessed as needing operations have subsequently been re-categorised as no longer in need of surgery – meaning they effectively vanish from waiting list statistics. This gives a completely false picture of “falling waiting lists”.
Patients are being teargassed without another in person consultation and are then being sent letters and informed they have been removed from the waiting lists.
RCS president Prof Norman Williams says the practice is “outrageous” and “worrying”.
Why would consultant surgeons put hundreds of people on waiting lists for operations they thought they didn’t need?
The government have ordered NHS trust to promote patient rationing, if fewer patients are being referred for surgery then waiting lists will be kept artificially low, this is very worrying for the health of the nation.
Creeping rationing of NHS care in England is making patients suffer unnecessarily, doctors are warning.
People needing knee and hip replacements are having to wait longer in pain for operations, the British Medical Association says.
And relatively minor treatments – such as varicose vein removal – are being scrapped altogether, medics at the BMA’s annual GP conference will say.
In reality waiting times in the NHS overall have risen by 34%
2007 Cameron  said:

“We will save the maternity and A&E units at Chase Farm hospital, London.” 

TRUTH -  Health Secretary announced the units would be downgraded last November and will lose key services.
      Winter Fuel Allowance     

March 23 2010 - David Cameron in Leadership live TV broadcast said that he;

 “would not cut Pensioners Winter Fuel Allowance”.

“You know you are getting letters from the Labour Party that say the Conservatives would cut the winter fuel allowance, would cut the free bus travel …These statements by Labour are quite simply lies. I don’t use the word ‘lie’ very often, but I am using it today because they are lies.” 


TRUTH - In 2011 pensioners aged 60 – 79 had their winter fuel payments cut by £50 and pensioners aged 80 plus had their winter fuel allowance cut by £100.

David Cameron’s Debate Lies 2010
 
David Cameron EU Referendum Lies

2nd May 2010 on the Andrew Marr Show David Cameron said that:

“they [the Tories] were the first party to say that public spending would have to be reduced. We were the first to say that it was an unsustainable path”

TRUTH - No they were not in fact late into 2008 Cameron and Osborne were promising to match the then Labour Government’s spending plans “pound for pound”. It wasn’t until Alistair Darling the then Labour chancellor started talking about “sustainable cuts” to halve the deficit over 4 years to protect the economy that Cameron and Osborne suddenly changed their minds.

May 2nd 2010; Cameron said  that;

 they were the first to talk about a public sector pay freze :

TRUTH - Labour’s then chancellor Alistair Darling had already spoken about the necessity for a future public sector pay freeze in July 2008.

May 2010 - Three days before the election,Cameron said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show

“any cabinet minister … who comes to me and says; ‘Here are my plans’ and they involve frontline reductions, they’ll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again”. 


TRUTH - £81bn in cuts have now rained down on frontline services and now we can expect another £16bn worth of cuts on top of those.

2010 just a month prior to the general election Cameron was asked if VAT would rise.  Cameron said;

 Our plans involve cutting wasteful spending … our plans don’t involve an increase in VAT.


TRUTH - In Osborne’s first ‘emergency’ budget he raised VAT by 2.5% to a massive 20%, which has helped crush demand for goods and helped push the country into the worse and deepest double dip recession since the war.

March 2010 - Two months before the election, Cameron said on universal child benefit:

 “I wouldn’t change child benefit, I wouldn’t means test it, I don’t think that’s a good idea.” 

TRUTH -  Child benefit is to be means tested and those earning £44,000 per year will have their benefit stopped, while those couples claiming benefit can earn £80,000 between them and get to keep all their benefit.

2010 -  In reply to Ed Balls accusation that the Tories would scrap Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) Cameron and Michael Gove said that they:

“will not scrap Educational Maintenance Allowance”

TRUTH - In Osborne’s 2010 spending review it was announced that EMA would be scrapped.

2010 – Tax credits. Cameron promised

” to cut them only for families on £50,000″

TRUTH - the Tories 2011 budget book shows families with an income of just £30,000 will lose all credits.

        DEFENCE        

2010 - Cameron promised a

bigger army for a safer Britain

TRUTH - The army alone is now to lose at least 20,000 soldiers.

2010 - Prior to may general election David Cameron, vehement in his criticism of the then Labour government demanded more Chinook helicopters for operations in Afghanistan. Disgracefully Cameron and then shadow Defence Secretary Liam Fox would accuse the Labour government of being  out of touch and imply that their actions were causing deaths of troops in Afghanisatan. They claimed that the lack of helicopters in Afghanistan was “scandalous” and accused the Labour government of a lack of “commitment and focus” on the issue.

TRUTH - From November 2006, the number of helicopter hours in Afghanistan rose by 137%, providing greater flexibility for commanders planning operations. In December 2009, as part of the new Future Rotary Wing Strategy, the Labour government announced the procurement of 22 new-build Chinook helicopters with the first 10 being delivered in 2012 and 2013, in time to add greater flexibility for operations in Afghanistan. Merlin helicopters were redeployed in Afghanistan and the fleet expanded by 25%. Improvements were made to Sea King helicopters to allow them to operate in Afghanistan, up-rated engines for the entire Lynx Mk8 fleet to enhance operations and greater availability of Chinooks for training to allow for more effective deployment.

Whilst there is a clear recognition that government can always do more to increase capabilities, the last Labour government should be rightly proud of its record.
Prior May 2010 - Cameron & Tory defence hypocrisy. Demanded more helicopters for operations in Afghanistan.
TRUTH - now in government the Tories have cut the order for Chinook helicopters by almost half, and as a result of the delay in placing the order they will be too late to have a real impact in Afghanistan, if the Prime Minister’s withdrawal timetable is to be adhered to. Having demanded more helicopters whilst in Opposition and having welcomed our decision to procure 22 new helicopters, the Tories have performed a huge volte face in government; a theme which is coming to define Cameron’s premiership. It is now emerging that according to things going to plan in Afghanistan “better than expected” troops may be brought home early. While this is desirable, I am minded to think this has more to do with this incompetent government’s cock-up over the Chinook helicopter order than it does anything else!
Of course, the announcement of 14 new Chinook helicopters should be welcomed. However, we should also expose the stunning hypocrisy of the Tories on defence. They spent hours and hours in opposition hammering the government and talking very tough on defence. Now they’re in government, the Tories are proving, yet again, to be very weak indeed. It should also not go unnoticed that for all their fanfare of announcements the Tories are ordering LESS helicopters than the previous Labour government to be delivered at a LATER date!
Cameron and his various Defence Secretaries accused Labour of a;

“defence budget “black hole”

TRUTH - It was the Tories, who left the incoming Labour government in 1997 a smaller defence budget in real terms to the one it inherited in 1979 AND A £28billion black hole which they now like to pretend never happened.
        LAW & ORDER         

2010 Tory Manifesto When in opposition Cameron said;

“under my government anyone who is caught with a knife will face imprisonment”

TRUTH - In 2009, when Cameron promised that a Tory government would jail anyone found with a knife, 27% of those caught were sent to prison. After 2 years of Cameron’s Tory led government that figure has now fallen to just 25%.

May 2010 - A few days before the general election, David Cameron famously promised that “Any Cabinet minister, if we win the election, who comes to me and says;

‘here are my plans and they involve front line reductions’ will be sent back to their department to go away and think again.” 

TRUTH - The official figures show that police numbers in the 43 forces in England and Wales have fallen by 9,625 since the general election and are more than on track to meet reliable estimates that the current round of public spending cuts will lead to a loss of at least 15,000 officers by 2015 and will probably be nearer 16,000 fewer police.
The report, based on detailed investigation of individual forces’ plans, estimates that 16,200 police officers will be cut between 2010 and 2015.
This entirely undoes Labour’s investment between 2000 and 2010 when CRIME FELL by 43%. This government are taking police numbers back to 1997 levels, (the numbers that Tories had previously reduced them to, and when crime had more than doubled under the Tory government).
      ECONOMY        
 
2009/2010 Cameron Accused Labour Government of profligacy
 
TRUTH - The last budget before the financial crisis in 2007 put the structural deficit at just 3% (or 1% if borrowing to invest is stripped out). Most of the debt we have today came from dealing with the crisis, propping up the banks and the economy as tax revenue slumped.
The Tories weren’t denouncing this as reckless at the time, as they can do so easily now. Quite the opposite. They promised to match Labour’s spending pound for pound until late 2008. If Labour are guilty of failing to save for a rainy day then the Tories are guilty of supporting them.
 
May 2010;  Cameron and Osborne accuse Labour of leaving economic mess.
TRUTH - Labour handed the economy over to the Tories in *RECOVERY* and in strengthening growth (it isn’t now, thanks to Cameron, Osborne and Alexander’s mishandling of the economy we are in the deepest longest double dip recession since WW11).
Cameron and Osborne said that the IMF back their plans
TRUTH - The IMF expects the UK economy to shrink by 0.4pc this year, instead of grow by 0.2pc as it expected in July.
2011 House of Commons PMQs when challenged about the mess of the economy by Ed Miliband,  David Cameron said of the economy;

“we are over the worse”

      Clean Up Politics     
Cameron promised to clean up politics
TRUTH - Despite the rhetoric, David Cameron’s promise to clean up the political system is not backed up with meaningful action.
Although both the other main parties have signed up to a statutory register of lobbyists, the Conservatives remain committed to self regulation.
In fact since the election (and before) The Conservative party has been embroiled in several serious financial scandals, which has rendered riddled with sleaze in just 2.5 years.
Peter Cruddas Tory Party Treasurer - Cash For Access Was asking £250,000 for people to meet the Prime Minister, David Cameron.
Grant Shapps Current Co-Conservative Party Chairman  and Minister Without Portfolio (also see above)  Grant Shapps called the deepest double dip recession caused by the Conservative chancellor an “amusement ride” only he said it under one of his alias names as Michael Green and most likely Sebastian Fox too.
 
Baroness Warsi Conservative party Co Chairman was investigated last May over financial irregularities and failing to declare income on property she had rented out. Cameron made a big play of having her investigated by Sir Jeremy Heywood (so he could take the heat of himself and the then Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt) She was subsequently cleared (ha ha no surprises there then) but her days were numbered and she was thrown out in the PMs next cabinet reshuffle.
Michael Fallon Former Conservative Party Deputy Chairman September 2010 – 4 September 2012 Dragged into the Barclays Libor fixing scandal. Fallon “acknowledged that he worked for Libor Brokers Tullett Prebo and was  fully conversant with the sector. But he failed to point out that, for the last year, his son Peter Fallon has been employed as an Investment Banker with Barclays. Fallon was keen to admit that he was a client of Barclay’s, but not so keen to admit that his was employed there. During the expenses scandal, Mr Fallon wrongly claimed £8,300 for the mortgage repayments on his second home.
 
Lord Ashcroft Former deputy Chairman Conservative party: Deprived the British Treasury of over £127 million in a 10 year tax dodge. The current Foreign Secretary, William Hague was said to have known about Ashcroft non dom status after Ashcroft had accepted his Peerage. Ashcroft is one of the biggest donors to the Conservative party and has donated millions of pounds over the years. Ashcroft’s millions were poured into the Tory party key marginals in the 2010 general election. Intense pressure from the Tory government in 2010 forced the BBC to drop its Panorama programme about Ashcroft which concentrated on his business affairs and money stashed away in off-shore tax havens.
Andrew Mitchell Conservative Chief Whip allegedly called police protection officers “fucking plebs” and screamed at them in the street to “know their fucking place” He has been urged to resign by police for his foul outburst in Downing Street but has refused to do so and receives the full backing of David Cameron. Police believe that this means that David Cameron is inferring that the police officers concerned are lying in their reports.
 
Cameron brings back David laws into government after Laws was forced to resign over his fraudulently claiming over £50,000 for housing expenses after just six weeks in government in June 2010.
Keep returning I will add more and keep it updated as new Tory scandals unfold. Don’t forget if you know of any Tory scandals please send them to gracie.samuels@hushmail.com