David Cameron

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“...I want us to be the first Government in modern history to leave office having reduced the overall burden of regulation, rather than increasing it."

David Cameron, The Red Tape Challenge (Apr.2011)

Cameron's Cronies

Around David Cameron there are a group of special advisers with connections to both fossil fuel interests, and the public relations companies who front those interests on their behalf. For example, consider the Prime Minister's special adviser (SPAD) on energy:

  • His first energy and climate change SPAD was Ben Moxham ref, who had been a vice president of Riverstone – the energy finance company which bought out a large portion of Cuadrilla, Britain's leading “fracking” company.
  • May 2013: Ben Moxham was succeeded by Tara Singh ref, a lobbyist with Centrica – who, shortly after her appointment, in addition to their other unconventional gas interests, also took a financial stake in Cuadrilla.

On the basis of these appointments, it would appear that one of the requirements of being the Prime Minister's special adviser on energy and climate requires that the person's corporate alma mater must have a stake in Britain's leading fracking company. Other ministers also have closer links to the industry. George Osborne's father-in-law is Lord Howell, former energy minister in the Thatcher government, recently retired minister at the Foreign Office where he promoted British energy interests, and wrote the then Foreign Secretary William Hague's speeches on energy policy. More importantly, Lord Howell has extensive links to all sectors of the energy industry through his presidency of the British Institute for Energy Economics, and connections with other energy policy interests – such his chairmanship of the Windsor Energy Group, which specifically advertises itself as a body which, “bridges between the public and the private sectors”. more ref, p.37


David Cameron's Legacy

#PulledPork #Hameron

The Daily Mail published Lord Ashcroft's (unauthorized) biography of David Cameron, which alleged that, at Oxford, he took drugs (hey, we've all been young), listened to Supertramp (listen, we've all been young) and (remember we've all once been young) put his penis in the mouth of a severed pig's head while someone took a photo, as some sort of initiation into the Piers Gaveston Dining Club. Satire is dead; you could not make this up.[1]

Fracking

  • Jul.14.2013: Now Cameron aide Lynton Crosby’s links to fracking industry are explored. David Cameron came under renewed pressure to sack his party’s elections adviser Lynton Crosby on Sunday night as environmental activists expressed concern about his links to the fracking industry. Mr Crosby’s lobbying firm, Crosby Textor, represents the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association (APPEA), an oil and gas lobby group campaigning aggressively for fracking. APPEA's chief operating officer, Stedman Ellis, has made headlines in recent months for his outspoken criticism of anti-fracking campaigners. APPEA's members include Dart Energy, the company behind coal-bed methane extraction in Scotland, which holds a fracking licence. George Osborne announced tax breaks for the oil and gas industry just weeks after Mr Crosby’s appointment as a Conservative adviser was announced. The moves follow the disclosure that Mr Crosby’s company is employed by the tobacco giant Philip Morris. Questions have been asked about his role in the decision to shelve govt plans to require tobacco products to be sold in plain packaging.(more...) Emily Dugan, Nigel Morris, The Independent.

NHS

  • Jun.09.2012: Right-Wingers Speak With Forked Tongue: Tory NHS lies and what REALLY lies behind them. In the run-up to GE-2010, David Cameron made an emphatic promise: "NO top-down re-organisation of the NHS!" This statement played a key role in the Tories out-performing Labour at the polls. The ramming-through of the Health and Social Care Bill into law showed that Cameron’s promise wasn’t worth the breath he used to say it. But the Tories' treatment of the NHS is a veritable roll-call of lies, broken promises and hidden agendas. This Bill was first proposed in Jan.2011; that means that the preparation of the bill was begun as soon as the Tories took office in May.2010, if not before. This is not a case of Cameron getting into power and then finding out that a change was necessary – he knew, when he made his campaign promise of no more top-down reorganisation, that the Tories were going to conduct, from the top down, the biggest attack on the NHS in its history. In other words, he lied. (...) The new Act expressly ends the Health Secretary’s duty to provide or secure health services to the UK people. Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude, in a speech to right-wing 'policy think-tank' Policy Exchange said that the Conservatives' aim was to not just to privatise the NHS but to eradicate all public services! Chris Skidmore took part in "Should we abolish the NHS?" discussion hosted by the Institute of Economic Affairs. (more lies...) The SkwawkBox.

Fiscal Policy

  • Feb.15.2011: Almost everyone condemns naked short selling. But not the British Treasury. The refusal to back a ban on naked short selling, despite the risk to the economy, exposes the cynicism of the Conservatives. Almost everyone condemns naked (aka uncovered) short selling and wants it banned because of the huge risks it presents to the economy. It has been prohibited in the US, Japan, Hong Kong, Australia and Brazil: none of which are renowned for draconian regulation. There's one group frantically seeking to protect naked shorting and strangle the directive: the British Treasury, and Conservative MEPs acting on its instructions. At a committee meeting in the European parliament last week, Tory MEP Syed Kamall inveighed against the ban ... To understand its position, you must first understand that the govt is not managing the economy for the people of this nation. It is managing it for a tiny transnational elite. To the people inside the gates, who fund the Conservative party, who own our politics, the media and the banks, the rest of us are an inconvenience, to be bribed, threatened or fooled. That is why Tony Blair succeeded where his Labour predecessors failed. {{{website}}}.

Conflicts of Interest

  • Apr.07.2016: David Cameron admits he did have a profitable stake in father's offshore investment fund. (Video) But sold it for around £30,000 before he became Prime Minister. The admission comes five days after the Panama Papers leak. They revealed that Cameron's father ran a fund under the name "Blairmore Holdings", set up in the 1980s, and run from the Bahamas. Downing Street issued a series of statements denying the PM currently benefited from offshore funds, or stood to do so in the future. Number 10 said Mr and Mrs Cameron bought their holding in Apr.1997 for £12,497 and sold it in Jan.2010 for £31,500. The Independent, Ashley Cowburn, Charlie Cooper

Privatisation

  • Feb.18.2016: Cameron’s prison reform: privatisation and asset stripping? What exactly will the British govt's plans look like in practice? Despite countless reports from the Chief Inspector of Prisons, it has taken more than 5 years for Mr Cameron to admit that British prisons are a national disgrace. Behind the seemingly benevolent rhetoric, the proposed reforms are about the privatisation and expansion of criminal justice. They also replicate a number of themes present across the public sector. The first is the sell-off of state assets and public land. The second theme is that of deregulation. The planned prison-building programme and roll out of GPS tagging is primarily about increasing capacity within criminal justice against a backdrop of a decaying welfare state and drastic cuts to local services. These reforms will repeat many old mistakes, while adding some new ones. Mr Cameron’s seemingly progressive rhetoric is little more than a sugar-coating to what is likely to be a very toxic pill. openDemocracy, Will McMahon Rebecca Roberts
  • Apr.02.2014: David Cameron Claims Labour Manifesto Pledged To Privatise Royal Mail, It Didn't. Cameron made the comments after being accused by Ed Miliband of having taken the Royal Mail and "flogged it off to his friends in the City" in a sale that lost the taxpayer money. "The taxpayer... got £1.4 bn less for this valuable asset than it is worth today," he said. "A third of the shares were sold to just 16 city investors. And get this - there was a gentleman's agreement those city investors wouldn't sell the shares. What happened? Within weeks half of those shares had been sold and they made a killing worth hundreds of millions of pounds. In other words, mates rates to your friends in the city." HuffPost News, '
  • Mar.19.2012: Privatised roads to get country moving again. Britain's major roads could be privatised and a new generation of motorways funded by tolls under plans to be announced by David Cameron. (Linkback Department for Transport) The Telegraph, Robert Winnett
  • Mar.19.2012: Cameron to fill hole in nation's finances by privatising roads. Firms will be paid to maintain network – and tolls could be round the corner. The Independent, Nigel Morris, Rob Hastings
  • Feb.22.2011: David Cameron: Pro-Privatisation fanatic. David Cameron has said the govt will set out plans to allow private and voluntary groups to run almost every kind of public service. He said there would be a new "presumption" that private companies, charities and voluntary groups could run public services. General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress Brendan Barber accused Mr Cameron of pursuing a "naked right-wing agenda" that would take the country back to the most divisive years of the 1980s. Neil Clark's blog, Neil Clark
  • Feb.20.2011: How we will release the grip of state control. A new White Paper will decentralise public services and replace targets with common sense. The idea at the heart of this – the Big Society – is about rebuilding responsibility and giving people more control over their lives. We will soon publish a White Paper setting out our approach to public service reform. We all know the damage caused by centrally controlled public services. The most important is the principle of diversity. We will create a new presumption – backed up by new rights for public service users and a new system of independent adjudication – that public services should be open to a range of providers competing to offer a better service. The Telegraph, David Cameron

Tax Havens

  • Oct.31.2013: Secret owners of 'shell' companies to be made public. A list of the owners of "shell" companies where firms keep money offshore to avoid tax will be published to discourage tax evasion, David Cameron has announced. Shadow treasury minister Shabana Mahmood welcomed the announcement of the public register but accused the govt of failing to close tax loopholes and said it should be "doing more to open up tax havens". But the British Chambers of Commerce warned that the register could add to the burden of red tape for some companies. BBC News.

The EU

  • Feb.01.2016: Cameron’s EU deal negotiations: the key questions answered. Cameron wants changes in four areas: limiting in-work benefits for EU citizens working in Britain, stronger protection for countries outside the eurozone, a target to cut EU red tape, and more power for national parliaments to stop unwanted EU laws. Jennifer Rankin, The Guardian.
  • Mar.15.2014: David Cameron: my seven targets for a new EU. David Cameron sets out the 7 major changes he wants to make to the European Union to stop Britain being "sucked into a United States of Europe". 1. New controls to stop "vast migrations" across the continent when new countries join the EU; 2. Tighter immigration rules to ensure that migrants come to Britain to work, not as tourists planning to cash in on "free benefits"; 3. A new power for groups of national parliaments to work together to block unwanted European legislation; 4. Businesses to be freed from red tape and "excessive interference" from Brussels, and given access to new markets through "turbo charging" free trade deals with America and Asia; 5. British police and courts liberated from "unnecessary interference" from the European Court of Human Rights; 6. More power "flowing away" from Brussels to Britain and other member states, rather than increasingly centralising laws in the EU; 7. Abolishing the principle of "ever closer union" among EU member states, which Mr Cameron says is "not right for Britain". Tim Ross, The Telegraph.

Red Tape Challenge

See main article: Red Tape Initiative
  • Mar.21.2018: Of red tape and Brexit red herrings in the war between business and the environment. We shouldn’t be demonising regulations that are there to protect our future, as “red tape”. Part 2 of a 3- part series. David Cameron and his Conservative-led coalition government launched the Red Tape Challenge in April 2011. The government said it was “challenging the public to help cut unnecessary regulations.” The real aim, it seems, was to confirm the Tory reputation as being good for business, and the idea the economy could be jolted back into life through a few cuts here and a restructure or two there. It also reinforced the story that regulation, or bureaucracy, was the scourge of British life. Brendan Montague, openDemocracy.

Articles

  • Mar.31.2018: Pledge to recruit more diverse civil servants is quietly shelved. Ministers have quietly abandoned an attempt to open up the public sector and drop restricted recruitment practices after an intervention by Sir Jeremy Heywood, the head of the civil service. Successive business secretaries including the incumbent, Greg Clark, have been sitting on the results of a consultation on expanding public sector appointments, which was promised in the 2015 Tory manifesto and endorsed by David Cameron. The consultation closed on Apr.15.2016, and the govt is yet to respond. This is one of the 1,661 consultations set up by the Tories since taking office in 2015. Sajid Javid, the business secretary in Jan.2016, said: "Restricted recruitment in the public sector is the last closed shop and it’s time it was brought into the 21st century. Everyone should have the opportunity to apply for these good and well-paid jobs". Paul Morgan-bentley, Sam Coates, The Times.
  • Feb.14.2018: Iraqi refugee says he ran ‘factory’ for false claims against British soldiers. An Iraqi refugee has admitted operated a “claims factory” that led to lawyers putting forward hundreds of false abuse allegations against British forces ... to win compensation from the Ministry of Defence. The Times, Jonathan Ames, Frances Gibb

2017

  • Jul.14.2017: Our briefing on regulation cited in parliamentary debate. Yesterday in the House of Lords, Baroness Andrews cited the research in a debate on deregulation in public services and health and safety (link). Last year we published research by Professor Steve Tombs of The Open University on the lack of effective regulation of pollution, food safety and workplace health and safety standards. Baroness Andrews also referred to the David Cameron's pledge in 2012 to 'kill off the health and safety culture for good' and his claim that health and safety was an albatross around the neck of business. She also quoted remarks by the former special adviser, Giles Wilkes, on the then govt's 'Red Tape Challenge': "In 4 years … Steve Hilton and his Red Tape Challenge provided more moments of exquisite satirical lunacy than any other..." Tax Justice Network.

2016

  • Oct.03.2016: Iain Dale’s 100 most influential people on the Right. Former Prime Minister. Having been in the top two of this list ever since its inception in 2007 our panel found it very difficult to place Cameron this year, for obvious reasons. So we copped out and placed him half way down. He would have been higher if he’d stayed in Parliament, but it seems clear that he won’t be participating in active politics and will instead concentrate on writing his memoirs. Conservative Home, Iain Dale
  • Jul.31.2016: Cameron’s ‘cronies’ honours list leads to calls for overhaul of system. Outcry follows leak showing David Cameron has applied to reward Tory donors and senior remain campaign figures David Cameron placed 13 Tories in the House of Lords through his controversial resignation honours list. One of the most controversial knighthoods named on the list is proposed for Ian Taylor, an oil executive who gave almost £1m to the Conservatives#Donations and Funding in the past 18 months and helped fund the campaigns against Scottish independence and in favour of the EU. Andrew Cook, an engineering businessman who donated the use of a private jet to Cameron before the 2010 election and donated about £250,000 to the Remain campaign, is similarly in line for a knighthood. According to the leak, Cameron recommended awards for more than 20 Downing Street advisers and staff and knighthoods for the pro-EU cabinet ministers Philip Hammond, Michael Fallon, Patrick McLoughlin and David Lidington. George Osborne, Cameron’s closest political friend, who lost his job as chancellor after helping run the unsuccessful remain campaign, was put forward to become a companion of honour. There was also criticism over a proposed CBE for Will Straw, the chief executive of the failed cross-party pro-EU campaign, who is the son of the former home secretary Jack Straw and a former Labour parliamentary candidate. It is said to include proposed OBEs for the Downing Street aide Isabel Spearman, a former PR for a luxury handbag designer who assisted Samantha Cameron with her diary, official parties and outfits for engagements, and for Osborne’s aide Thea Rogers, an ex-BBC producer. The list, leaked to the Sunday Times in an unprecedented breach of secrecy, comes on top of a separate slate of those recommended for peerages, which is tipped to include two longstanding former aides, Gabby Bertin and Liz Sugg. Rowena Mason, The Guardian.
  • Jul.14.2016: Chunky Mark Asks What Cameron’s Legacy Will Be. The Chunky One concludes that it’ll be Cameron inserting his private member into the mouth of a dead pig. Beastrabban\'s Weblog.
  • Jul.14.2016: David Cameron moves into new home in leafy Holland Park - without the £8,000 rent per week. David Cameron and his family have moved into a £16 million house owned by a close friend who was given a knighthood amid accusations of cronyism. Mr Cameron, his wife Samantha and their children are living temporarily in a 7-bedroom, 6-bathroom house in Holland Park owned by Sir Alan Parker and his wife Lady Jane Parker. Sir Alan was knighted for services to business, charitable giving and philanthropy in the New Year’s Honours, prompting a row over cronyism. Mr Cameron and Sir Alan holidayed together in South Africa in 2008; the ex-prime minister also attended Sir Alan’s wedding in 2007 and was guest of honour at the businessman’s 50th birthday party the year before. The Telegraph , Isabelle Fraser
  • Feb.24.2016: So much for principles! The PM accuses Boris of self-interest. But what of the top Tories who once flaunted their anti-EU views but now put their careers first? Almost without exception, Mr Cameron and his ministers crawled their way up the greasy poll by pretending to be Eurosceptic. This was certainly the case with the Prime Minister himself. When he stood for the nomination in his safe seat at Witney 15 years ago, he courted, and was helped by, the Eurosceptics. Whenever asked about Europe, he highlighted his doubts and alarm about the direction it was taking. (more...) Daily Mail Online, Peter Oborne
  • Jan.27.2016: Cameron too close to Google, say critics, after £130m tax deal. David Cameron has been accused of getting too close to Google amid growing anger over the govt’s £130m tax deal, which has been criticised for being too lenient towards the tech giant. Former cabinet minister Vince Cable, media mogul Rupert Murdoch and former chair of the Commons public accounts committee Margaret Hodge all voiced concerns. Cable, the Lib Dem former business secretary, said Google had a “great deal of influence” in No 10 under the coalition and that Google’s billionaire executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, in particular enjoyed good links with Downing Street. Downing Street said Cameron and George Osborne had nothing to do with the agreement struck by HM Revenue and Customs last week to force Google to hand over £130m in underpaid taxes. Murdoch wrote "Google has cleverly planted dozens of their people in White House, Downing St, other governments. Most brilliant new lobbying effort yet". MPs raised concerns about extensive links between No.10 and Google executives, including Cameron’s appointment of Schmidt to his exclusive business advisory board until July last year. Cameron is also a personal friend of Rachel Whetstone, a former Tory aide who was Google’s PR chief until last year and is married to Cameron’s former chief strategist Steve Hilton. There is another link through Tim Chatwin, who moved straight from being Cameron’s head of strategic communications to a role as senior director of communications at Google in 2012. Lady Joanna Shields, who was ennobled by Cameron last year and made internet security minister, is a former managing director at Google as well as many other tech companies. Downing Street could not say whether Cameron had ever discussed Google’s tax affairs with any company executives and insisted most of the tech firm’s 25 meetings with ministers were about issues such as internet security. Anna Soubry, a business minister, inflamed criticism of the govt by telling the BBC's World at One: “It doesn’t sound like an awful lot of money, of course it doesn’t. It would be silly to say otherwise. But if it is within the rules ...” Caroline Flint, a member of the Commons public acccunts committee, called for Cameron to look at asking companies to publish their tax returns, which was rebuffed by the govt. Eva Joly, a French MEP and vice-chair of the European parliament’s special committee on tax rulings, said she wanted Osborne to answer questions about the “very bad deal”. Peter Barron, Google’s head of communications and public affairs, publicly defended the deal for the first time, saying criticism had not taken into account how international tax law works. Rowena Mason, Rajeev Syal, The Guardian.
  • Jan.22.2016: Cameron vows to end ‘industry’ of claims against armed forces. David Cameron today pledged to work with the National Security Council to end what he called the ‘hounding’ of service personnel by claimant lawyers. In a statement this morning, Cameron (pictured) said it was ‘clear there is now an industry trying to profit from spurious claims lodged against our brave servicemen and women who fought in Iraq’. {tag: MoD} Law Society Gazette, John Hyde
  • Jan.12.2016: Tories vote down law requiring landlords make their homes fit for human habitation. Labour MP Teresa Pearce's amendment to the Housing and Planning Bill 2016, which would place a duty on landlords to ensure that their properties are fit for habitation when let and remain fit during the course of the tenancy, was defeated by 312 votes to 219. Marcus Jones said the govt believed that homes should be fit for human habitation, but did not want to pass a new law that would explicitly require it. Other ministers claimed the proposal would impose "unnecessary regulation" on landlords, and that it would push up rents. David Cameron, himself a landlord, was one of those who voted "No". The Independent, Jon Stone

2015

  • Dec.27.2015: Lynton Crosby knighthood discredits honours system, say Labour MPs. Australian political strategist is reportedly set for place in New Year honours list after running Tories’ 2015 election campaign. Lynton Crosby, the political strategist who ran the Conservatives’ election campaign, is set to get a knighthood in the New Year honours list. Honours for political service were supposed to be banned after Tony Blair took office in 1997, although in practice some MPs continued to receive knighthoods on the grounds that they are being rewarded for their contribution to parliament. Cameron has been a lavish dispenser of patronage – he even included his barber, Raffaele Claudio Carbosiero, in an honours list two years ago “for services to hairdressing” – and he has revived the idea of granting honours to people explicitly for political service. One Conservative source said it might be hard for Labour to complain about the Crosby honour because Spencer Livermore, who ran Ed Miliband’s election campaign, received a peerage in the dissolution honours list, even though he lost the election in May and Crosby won. Andrew Sparrow, The Guardian.
  • Nov.19.2015: David Cameron’s getting a £10m private plane. An aeroplane is to be converted for David Cameron at a cost of up to £10m. The aircraft, dubbed the 'CamJet', will be used by the PM, senior ministers, and possibly some members of the Royal Family. The govt claims the new plane will save £775,000 a year in charter flight charges. Downing Street currently spends £6,700 per flying hour when the PM travels, but they expect that figure to drop to £2,000 with the new jet. Metro, Ashitha Nagesh

2014

2013

  • 2013.12.30: The Cost of Cameron: The 100 worst failures of David Cameron's Govt from May.2010 – Dec.2013, Scribd, @ToryFibs / Eoin Clarke
  • 2012.05.29: Coalition U-Turns. Guido Fawkes ToDo: Go through these and put the info in the right places. Most of them are about the NHS.

2012

2011

  • To research: "NHS Reforms: Cameron is determined to push through his part privatization of the NHS, against the better judgment of the doctors. It is yet another top-down re-organisation of the health service, something he specifically promised not to do in the manifesto."

2010

2006

undated

  • 0000.00.00: The Cost of Cameron: 40+ ways the Tories are wasting £34 billion of your taxes, 40+ Ways that Jeremy Hunt, Michael Gove, George Osborne & Iain Duncan-Smith are wasting £34 billion of your taxes, Scribd, @ToryFibs / Éoin Clarke
  • 0000.00.00: The Cost of Cameron: 100 ways David Cameron betrayed patients, taxpayers & voters on the NHS, Scribd, @ToryFibs / Eoin Clarke

2002

  • Nov.23.2012: Moscow-on-Thames. Britain's Conservatives are rolling out the red carpet for Vladimir Putin's wealthy oligarchs. When Prime Minister David Cameron was still just an opposition leader, he yanked his party out of the dominant center-right voting bloc in the Strasbourg-based Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in favor of joining with Putin’s United Russia along with a few far-right European political parties to vote on recommendations and investigations into human rights, the state of democracy, and the rule of law in member countries. The Conservatives even campaigned to have Mikhail Margelov, a former KGB officer, appointed president of PACE. Despite a promise to cancel this affiliation following the 2008 Russo-Georgian war, during which Cameron traveled to Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, and sounded as hawkish and anti-Kremlin as he ever has, Conservatives continue to caucus with United Russia, probably for the unremarkable reason that both parties are ideologically opposed to pan-European institutions or treaties in the first place. (**more on Cameron in here**) Foreign Policy, Michael Weiss

References

  1. ^ Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named vice-2015.09.21