Saturday, 22 August 2009

Cameron sees drink problem for himself

In writing this blog I try to read what other bloggers have to say but obviously time constrains one from perusing too many other blogs. One frequent port of call for me though is 'Boulton & Co', the political blog from Sky News in which Mr Boulton and his chums comment on matters of moment. I don't have 'Sky' on my TV nor do I intend to in the future but this blog on the net is always concise and very readable. This recent entry by Cheryl Smith was one I found particularly interesting: she is reporting on a visit by David Cameron to Hull in which he is shown some of the booze taken off the streets by the police and is told just how incredibly cheap it was to buy when you think of normal pub prices. In her piece Cheryl includes a 'WebCameron' video in which the Tory leader gives his reactions to what he saw and what he thinks might be done about the anti social drinking problem. To be clear about this: I'm not trying to cast aspersions on Hull - I'm quite sure that it is typical of many many other places!

Back in 2007 I had remarked about the occasions when Tory MP Ann Widdecombe had confronted the likes of hoodies and prostitutes, the results of which were shown in TV documentaries. To me it is so important for MPs to get away from Westminster and get an understanding of the real world. Now whether Cameron could come up with workable solutions to the malaise he saw is arguable but he is at least aware of this sort of problem. A couple of asides here - Ann Widdecombe is retiring to Devon as she is standing down as an MP in her Kent constituency come the next General Election (I should put retiring in inverted commas perhaps as it seems that she will stay very active and, I understand, she is writing a novel). The other point is that prospective Tory candidate for Totnes, GP Sarah Wollaston, has a particular interest in confronting the anti-social drinking thing.

I'm not attaching myself to any political party here (I am a floating voter) but have to point out that when the opinion polls are very much in your favour then you are going to be much more motivated to look at the problems at the sharp end and maybe propose radical policies as a result. Compare that with an incumbent government, tired and in power for too long. I well remember the fag end of the last Tory government when John Major said he was "fizzing with ideas" - total nonsense, he was deluding himself and the public in my opinion. In 1997 it was time for a change and the same viewpoint will surely appertain at the next election.

One final point about D Cameron: he has come from a privileged background and has never been beset by financial worries so far as one can tell. In the old days one would have perhaps expected a Conservative MP of his type to be cut off if you will from the sort of lives of the ordinary man or woman in the street. But he does seem to take the trouble to meet the average sort of person and should be congratulated on that at least.

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