A chance for Tories to rectify past mistakes

By Daily Mail Comment


David Cameron has been dogged throughout his time as Tory leader by three highly questionable decisions he made in a bid to ‘detoxify’ the party brand.

The first was his declaration – reinforced by the installation of a wind turbine on the roof of his house – that his was going to be the ‘greenest government ever’.

Tory backbenchers have since torn their hair out in frustration at the way green levies burden businesses and inflate energy bills for struggling families.

Leadership: Tuesday's cabinet reshuffle has given David Cameron a chance to re-design the Coalition

Leadership: Tuesday's cabinet reshuffle has given David Cameron a chance to re-design the Coalition

Second was the Prime Minister’s ‘hug a hoodie’ speech, which shifted the party alarmingly toward more use of community punishments rather than prison.

Third, and perhaps most contentiously, he promised to increase the budget for international aid to 0.7 per cent of national income – then mulishly clung to this posturing policy even after the great financial crash forced ministers to make deep cuts at home.

Yet, at the end of a week in which Mr Cameron completed his first significant Cabinet reshuffle, there are encouraging signs of change.

Owen Paterson, the new environment secretary, has made clear he is not a fan of wind farms or expensive green energy subsidies. He’ll surely be no slave to a global warming lobby whose orthodoxies are increasingly being challenged.

The new man at justice, Chris Grayling, wants to see more criminals behind bars and, unlike his predecessor Ken Clarke, will have no truck with the cardboard judges at the European Court of Human Rights.

Chris Grayling
Owen Paterson

Change: Chris Grayling (left) is the new Justice Secretary and Owen Paterson (right) has become Environment Secretary

Then there is the appointment of Justine Greening as Secretary of State for International Development.

As we reveal today, Miss Greening is an aid sceptic – believing the country has a duty to achieve more from its aid budget while spending less.

There is every reason to hope she will recognise the madness of the plan to enshrine in law Mr Cameron’s aid commitment and kill the idea stone dead.

Of course, it’s possible Mr Cameron was unaware of all Miss Greening’s views when he hastily redeployed her from transport to the vacant DfID post.

Either way, she, Mr Paterson and Mr Grayling would appear to be just the hard-headed pragmatists their departments – and Britain – so desperately need. Now they must get to work rectifying past mistakes.

Brave: Prince Harry has undertaken a four-month deployment to Afghanistan to fly Apache attack helicopters

Brave: Prince Harry has undertaken a four-month deployment to Afghanistan to fly Apache attack helicopters

Good money after bad

For the umpteenth time in recent months, the BBC was yesterday breathlessly hailing the latest miracle cure for the eurozone’s sovereign debt crisis.

But, as with the previous sticking-plaster bailouts, the European Central Bank’s decision to buy ‘unlimited’ amounts of short-term government debt fails to offer any long-term solution to the fatal flaws inherent within the one-size-fits-all euro.

Rather, as Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann observed, the ECB’s bond-buying scheme is ‘tantamount to financing governments by printing banknotes’.

The day is surely approaching when even the Brussels elite will have to accept that the single currency cannot survive in its current form. In the meantime, they continue to hurl money on the fire.

They’re all heroes

Prince Harry, for all his excellent ambassadorial work, is no stranger to controversy or boorish behaviour, as demonstrated by last month’s naked antics in a Las Vegas hotel suite.

But what has never been in doubt is his determination, since joining the Army, to do his duty on the front line.

His latest four-month deployment to Afghanistan to fly Apache attack helicopters is a reminder of the tremendous sacrifices made by all of Britain’s brave servicemen, royals and ‘other ranks’ alike.


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Oh sure .... he has a cabinet reshuffle & then keeps that R'sole Osborne ....well what a pointless exercise that was.

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Not a chance!He's too arrogant!

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Is Camoron, calling a general election

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Eve at 10.45: It's You Eve! I pressed the button to award you a green 'un and it worked OK! My trouble is not even getting to the starting point, so I don't get arrows of any colour! If this gets posted then it will be third time lucky for this column - and I haven't even commented on it's content! Why do organisations ruin everything when they carry out "improvements"? "If it ain't broke - don't fix it"!

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"Oh for crying out loud, face it DM- the Tories are finished!!!" - Bertie Bottomley True, very true, but also very sad when you consider what the alternatives are. - Mike, Dalian, China, 8/9/2012 5:05 The alternative should be UKIP and what is sad about that it would be the best thing ever for this country

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Mr Cameron knows that we in the UK can leave the E U at any time .So it would appear the he is staying in the E U for his own personal benefits ,and stuff the rest of us .

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@ Boudicca, Guildford. EU/Labour party policy was to split the 'UK' into 12 regions not 7. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and nine regions for the territory formerly known as England. Yes there's divide and conquer but the main target is England rather than the 'UK'. England is a political inconvenience to both the EU and the UK establishment - that's why they attempted to break England into competing regions. The good English folk of the 'North East' were the only people to be consulted and they rejected it utterly. So what we ended up with was the enforced undemocratic balkanisation of England. All for devolving power btw but power in England should be devolved to our ancient county system and decided on by the English people not the UK parliament.

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Bob has highlighted the real problem with Tory, Labour and Liberal, they are just career politicians, there for their own vainglorious purpose as a stepping stone to something else! Look at all the Labour millionaires, they're supposed to be socialists, one has SEVEN homes! Is that helping the poor? They're all in hock to big business and that's why nothing gets done, why they all ignore us and our problems and why there is little difference between them! WHY DO YOU ALL KEEP VOTING FOR MORE OF THE SAME, WHEN IT'S NOT WHAT WE WANT OR THE COUNTRY NEEDS? ATB phil [almost famous] Granger.

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What I don't get is why this coalition is still running. I mean it's clearly a disaster and it seems everyone is worse off. I voted for the Tories but have been massively let down lies , spin and plain stupidness. It's obvious that Cameron is out of touch he comes across as a jumped up rich boy who thinks he has a Devine right to rule. His cabinet are no better. I think we all agree it's a one term government and it's poor showing has gifted Liebour power for years. So all that said why are the Lib Dems still supporting them? None of there voters can be happy in fact they seem in real danger if being destroyed in the poles, so why prop up the Tories, why not seperate yourself and try and repair the damage. Im not and never will be a Lib Dem voter but those that are and those that run the party seem to be content with destruction of there party, happy to sell there beliefs and prop up the worst Tory government in history. Strange old world.

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Dictator Dave has done one massive thing wrong, he has forced us to abide to the EU regulations without our say so. The more he presses the EU forward, the greater the dislike becomes. So without a referendum he should expect a civil riot.

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