Cameron demonstrates his contempt for people power yet again

According to the Barclay Brother Beano, Cast Iron Dave is set to announce that residents’ rights to mount legal challenges to controversial development projects will be severely restricted.

Having been briefed on what is coming, the Torygraph’s James Kirkup goes on to explain:

‘Mr Cameron will argue that the rules are being abused to frustrate economically vital developments and will say a “massive growth industry” of seeking judicial reviews of planning decisions has been fuelled by solicitors and campaign groups.

‘Many applicants are guilty of “time-wasting” and bringing “hopeless cases” simply to waste developers’ time, the Prime Minister will say. He will outline a number of changes the Government wants to make, including shortening the three-month time limit on applying for a review.

‘Charges for an application will rise “so people think twice about time-wasting.” The number of possible appeals against decisions will also be cut from four to two.’

The Boiling Frog hasn’t wasted any time showing up Cameron’s forthcoming comments for what they are… yet another flip flop from a Prime Minister without a single principled bone in his body.  There is another more serious issue here concerning the widening gulf between the pledges politicians make to the people in order to try to win an election, and the reality once they have taken office.  Consider these quotes and compare them with what Kirkup says Cameron plans to say:

We have a coherent programme to fix our broken politics and drag our democracy into the post-bureaucratic age. It involves a massive, sweeping, radical redistribution of power – from the political elite to the man and woman in the street.

[...] Conservatives start with an instinctive desire to give people more power and control over their lives.
- David Cameron, ‘Giving power back to the people’ speech on 25 June 2009

and

You can see the nature of the change we want in the phrase itself…

…literally going from a bureaucratic world, where the old methods like regulation, laws and diktats allow elites in Westminster to control other people’s lives…

…to a post-bureaucratic world, where instead of government telling people what to do or forcing them to do it…

…people themselves have far more power and control over their lives…

…and where we achieve change by trying to influence people by going with the grain of human nature.

So it’s about giving power to people.

And it’s about showing an understanding of people, in how we make policy and design government and public services.
- David Cameron, ‘From central power to people power’ speech on 22 February 2010

Cameron can do this and is doing this because of the complete absence of accountability to the electorate. None of the talk of people power ever results in the political class handing back any of the power they have snatched.

The more that power is centralised the less democratic the country becomes. While Cameron talks a good game on people power, the core of his being is authoritarian and paternalist, always striving to marginalise the views of the very people he and his ilk are supposed to listen to and represent.  This has to stop.  Real change is required and the developing grassroots Harrogate Agenda campaign is working to achieve it.

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9 Responses to “Cameron demonstrates his contempt for people power yet again”


  1. 1 Andy Baxter 19/11/2012 at 9:45 am

    This is excatly the kind of stuff that I argue in my Strategy papers that needs to be documented and referenced for easy quick retrieval to be used to counter any and all such rhetoric that will spot forth from the mouths of the politicos as our movement advances.

    We have to use example after example after example of these kinds of empty words followed by contempt of local people to illustrate again and again the depth of the problem for people who sense the frustration but are not able to see just how deep it goes; only then will ownership be deep of The Harrogate Agenda as people see there is an alternative way.

  2. 2 TheBoilingFrog 19/11/2012 at 10:45 am

    Thanks for the link as always AM, and spot on post. Interesting as well that no comments are allowed on that Telegraph piece

  3. 3 Autonomous Mind 19/11/2012 at 11:04 am

    It would be interesting to know the Barclay Brother Beano’s editorial policy on comments. Seems very arbitrary.

  4. 4 Andrew Duffin 19/11/2012 at 2:32 pm

    “residents’ rights to mount legal challenges to controversial development projects will be severely restricted.”

    Why do I immediately think of stupid pointless sodding windmills when I read this?

  5. 5 james higham 19/11/2012 at 2:52 pm

    Well said – his time is coming, AM.

  6. 6 Bill Wagstick 19/11/2012 at 6:26 pm

    David Cameron, CBI speech, spherical objects

    On 24 February 2005, the UK ratified the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters i.e. The Aarhus Convention

  7. 7 Joe Public 19/11/2012 at 6:47 pm

    Politicians, and, Political Manifestos should be subject to the Advertising Standards Authority regulations.

  8. 8 Richy 20/11/2012 at 12:38 pm

    Just in time so we in Wales can be over run with turbines, none of us want them, local councils don’t get to decide on them( due to their imaginary output figures) yet some tw@ no one elected gets to tell us that’s what you are having.

  9. 9 Robert of Ottawa 22/11/2012 at 12:26 am

    Cameron is not a Conservative. He is a member of the ruling elite, along with those awful Libs and those supposedly red brothers.

    They don’t give a fig about anything other than their own dinner parties.

    “Let them eat Bullshit” is their battle-cry.


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