Wednesday, 7 April 2010

We've got more executive jets than you, boast Tory boys of campaign toys

Its a General Election, not a war. So I hope John Rentoul will be looking out for overheated military metaphors to add to his banned list with which he seeks to "hold back the tide of witless cliche" in campaign 2010.

But I'm struggling to see any sense at all in some over-excited Tory Boys at campaign HQ boasting to The Times about establishing "air superiority" in the campaign over Labour.

"We've got more executive jets than you" is their rather testosterone-fuelled boast, contrasting their fancy campaign toys with Gordon Brown's plan to let the train mostly take the strain.

David Cameron’s campaign will exploit “air superiority” over Gordon Brown, as the Tories use their cash advantage to leave Labour grounded ... With Labour compelled to make a virtue out of the necessity imposed by their relative poverty, the Conservatives said the party had not leased a single aircraft but had booked a number of different ones ... It will be Mr Cameron’s use of executive jets that is likely to become a symbol of the campaigns’ contrasting styles, however.

That's a pretty bad call, isn't it?

Firstly, I am sure their candidate Rory Stewart would caution the Tories that you can't win a war from 20,000 feet; still less a General Election. Despite the Tories' reticience to roll back Labour's popular top rate tax hike, they have probably got a fair share of the executive jet owning classes.

Secondly, it brings back questions about political funding. If William Hague hadn't flown in Michael Ashcroft's private jet quite so often, he might have asked him some slightly more searching questions about his tax status. The Tory response to that is that Cameron isn't using Ashcroft's private plan: he's had lots of friends rich and willing enough to lend him their planes or pay for his flights, giving him many more people to whom he will of course be in no way beholden.

As the Times reports:

Since becoming Leader of the Opposition in December 2005, he has drawn on the support of 19 wealthy donors who have funded more than 160 helicopter and aircraft journeys, according to his entries in the Register of MPs’ Interests ... Those who have funded flights include a steel magnate, a financier, a hedge-fund manager, a philanthropist and a Premier League football director.

And, anyway, David Cameron has now got bags of cash donated to him too so he can pay for the campaign planes at commercial rates. Still, the Angry Middle won't like it. Perhaps boasting about the planes intended as an appeal to aspiration. That might be a bit too 'eighties. It doesn't scream "in touch" rather than "in a world of their own", does it? And whatever happened to General Well-Being? It won't make you happier, Dave.

Thirdly, the huskies won't like it either. So the Tories are at pains to stress that they will be carbon offsetting the excessive flying. Expect environmental groups and LibDems to also point out why believing that taking as many flights as you possibly can and then believing that off-setting is always the answer suggests a very pale shade of green.

As The Times said:

To date, he has clocked up about 25,000 miles. The shortest flight was an eight-mile helicopter ride from Bury to Manchester in April 2008, a journey that is ten miles by road.

But perhaps that two finger salute to the greens is aimed at the Jeremy Clarkson vote and the Tories' climate sceptic base. A tricky balancing act, to be sure.

Instead of laughing at Gordon Brown for mainly letting the train take the strain, perhaps David Cameron would do better to join him.


Silent Hunter said...

Oh dear!

Play the man, NOT the policies eh Sunder.

Sp Labour are 'green' are they? . . .Erm? Third runway at Heathrow ring any bells?

Why don't we look at Labours record in office, you know, what they've actually done.

The biggest BUST in our history despite Gordon Brown saying No More Boom & Bust under Labour.

Education dumbed down to point where we now get semi illiterate University (University FFS!) graduates.

An ILLEGAL WAR - that's a pretty big one isn't it Sunder.

An authoritarian nanny state that spies on its own people and a judicial system that assumes we're all guilty until we can prove our innocence.

Removal of the right to protest without harassment from the Labour Stormtroopers (The Met).

People getting beaten up by the police whilst protesting about Climate Change (There's Labours "green credentials" again) LOL

And then there's the Expenses Scandal.
Whichever way you 'spin' the figures Sunder; it's still shows many (& I mean many) more Labour pigs with their snouts in the trough than Tory pigs, now doesn't it.

Stephen Byres, Geoff Hoon, Patricia Hewitt, Baroness Udin, Baroness Scotland, the list just goes on and on.

So before you start shouting 'foul' at the Tories and Lib Dems, perhaps you should take a look at your own partys record.

Let's face it! . . . it's pretty shameful.

richard.blogger said...

@Silent Hunter

"Play the man, NOT the policies eh Sunder."

LOL! Well since Cameron has hidden his cabinet and his policies and is running a presidential campaign, it is difficult not to play the man, is it? Contrast Cameron's "Vote for me, me, me" speech at County Hall yesterday (not many Witney electors there, eh?) with Brown's "one of the team" speech in front of the cabinet.

You bring up lobbygate. You do realise that the Tory Whips got a tip off and were able to warn the Tories being scammed, including Michael Howard, but could not get to Butterfill in time? Glass houses.

And since you went off topic, chew on this. Cameron's so called "ring fence" is not a guarantee to any NHS hospital. Quite the opposite. Lansley's plan is to create a healthcare market of new private suppliers being handed NHS contracts by his super Quango, the NHS Board. The "ring fence" is merely a guarantee that there will be cash for the expensive profit-making private healthcare providers.

Cameron is a fucking hypocrite, he says that he supporst the NHS, but his policies will privatise it. And he does not have the balls to admit it.