Warning: include() [function.include]: http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/sau/public_html/blog/archives/000856.php on line 178

Warning: include(http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/inc/banner_print.inc) [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/sau/public_html/blog/archives/000856.php on line 178

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening 'http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/inc/banner_print.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/sau/public_html/blog/archives/000856.php on line 178

Warning: include() [function.include]: http:// wrapper is disabled in the server configuration by allow_url_include=0 in /home/sau/public_html/blog/archives/000856.php on line 182

Warning: include(http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/inc/banner.inc) [function.include]: failed to open stream: no suitable wrapper could be found in /home/sau/public_html/blog/archives/000856.php on line 182

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening 'http://www.socialaffairsunit.org.uk/blog/inc/banner.inc' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php:/usr/local/lib/php') in /home/sau/public_html/blog/archives/000856.php on line 182
March 29, 2006

Trust is the defining issue of politics today, argues Watlington: To win the next election David Cameron must prove to the British public that he can be trusted - He has not yet done so

Posted by Watlington

Trust is the defining issue of politics today, argues Watlington. To win the next election David Cameron must prove to the British public that he can be trusted. He has not yet done so. The views expressed in this article are those of the author, not those of the Social Affairs Unit, its Trustees, Advisors or Director.

What is the defining issue in domestic politics today? What can be more significant than the Iraq war, debates on education, the future of our hospitals and more besides. The answer must be Trust.

The biggest failing of this Labour Government has been the decline of trust in politics and politicians. The public having been fed up with Tory sleaze stories, voted for New Labour in the hope that politics would be cleaned up. But as Peter Oborne showed in his book The Rise of Political Lying, the Blair Administration has been steeped in deceit, propaganda and sleaze since its very inception.

What is the result of all this? Ever declining voter turnout, ever increasing disenchantment with the political classes and a huge lack of trust between the governed and the government. It does not matter what legislation is proposed as people no longer believe it will make a difference and no longer have faith in the statistics and salesmanship of politicians.

The recent "Loans for Peerages" affair far from benefits the Conservatives. It merely serves to confirm in the eyes of the public that all politicians are up to their eyes in muck and that there is no difference between anyone. The collusion by the major political parties to bring in state funding as a solution will be held in disdain by hard pressed taxpayers struggling to make ends meet.

Herein lies the root of the criticism of David Cameron.

Critics of his efforts thus far have focused on policy shifts and modernisation. But Mr Cameron has had a huge mandate from his party and is entitled to change the direction of the party as he sees fit and wait for his judgement from the electorate. These critics are missing the point.

Mr Cameron's greatest weakness thus far is that he has not yet demonstrated why he should be trusted. Is he just another immensely slick and capable politician? Is he just another politician on the make? What makes him different from all other politicians?

The public are perfectly reasonable. They do not expect new policies in a matter of months. They do want to be sure however that their political leaders are decent and can be trusted. Thus far Mr Cameron has ably shown his decency and affability but has not really done anything to show he can be trusted. Mr Cameron needs to explain why he is doing what he is doing, set out what motivates him and explain why he is a Conservative.

He needs to do more also to bring the party activists on side and remove any suspicions they might have. In short Mr Cameron must become an anti-politician politician, showing people that he is on their side without making rash promises or setting out a technocratic timetable for action as to when policies will be implemented.

People don't necessarily want great heroes and they don't expect the earth, but they do want go to bed at night feeling that the country is the hands of a good man. Mr Cameron has that opportunity.

To read more by Watlington, see Watlington.


Comments Notice
This comments facility is the property of the Social Affairs Unit.
We reserve the right to edit, amend or remove comments for legal reasons, policy reasons or any other reasons we judge fit.

By posting comments here you accept and acknowledge the Social Affairs Unit's absolute and unfettered right to edit your comments as set out above.
Comments

It seems that in order to win an election, especially as a young and unproven leader of a party that has been out of power for some time now, Mr Cameron needs to demonstrate that he offers something different than the status quo, and something better. So far he appears to have abandoned any aspiration for the former, which precludes any chance of the latter.

We can still hope that there is some hitherto unknown but shared defective gene in Labour politicians, and like lemmings they will all fling themselves over a cliff somewhere.

Posted by: s masty at March 30, 2006 04:49 AM
•••

It's very difficult for those of a traditional Tory cast of mind to trust Mr Cameron. let alone the uncommitted voter. His ready and thinly justified changes on housing, schooling and immigration seem like the actions of a political chancer - there's no intellectual underpinning, no Michael Joseph he.

Posted by: John Coles at March 30, 2006 08:22 AM
•••

It's very difficult for those of a traditional Tory cast of mind to trust Mr Cameron. let alone the uncommitted voter. His ready and thinly justified changes on housing, schooling and immigration seem like the actions of a political chancer - there's no intellectual underpinning, no Michael Joseph he.

Posted by: John Coles at March 30, 2006 08:23 AM
•••

He claims his values are based on 'trusting people' and 'supporting institutions' without differentiation.

We teach children not to trust strangers. Cameron's values are not grown up.

We suffer from the abandonment of responsibility across government. Cameron offers no respite. People want someone who will speak and act on their values. Carol Thatcher?

Posted by: Henry Curteis at March 30, 2006 05:53 PM
•••
Post a comment








Anti-spambot Turing code







Creative Commons License
Except where otherwise noted, this site is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

The Social Affairs Unit's weblog Privacy Statement