Cameron’s hollow endorsement

the-plan-carswell-hannan-jpgWhat this cover photo – of Douglas Carswell and Dan Hannan’s “The Plan” – does not show is the clear endorsement David Cameron offered to Carswell ahead of the election. It was printed on the back cover, and related to the earlier pamphlet on which the book was based.

The Plan itself consists of some modest reforms to Britain’s health, education and political systems to make them accountable to the public and to restore the kind of incentives many would think are common sense. Today, upon jumping ship to UKIP the betrayed Carswell said Cameron, contrary to his endorsement, was not serious about change:

He told reporters he did not believe Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron was “serious about the change we need”.

He said the decision to jump ship from the Conservatives had given him “sleepless nights” but he wanted to see “fundamental change in British politics” and UKIP – a party he believed belonged to its members rather than a “little clique” of political insiders – could deliver it

That Cameron is insincere is not news, what is news is that UKIP may have it’s first representation in Westminster before May, and by this time next year we might see a party represented by Nigel Farage and Douglas Carswell holding the balance of power against a Tory party led by Boris Johnson. For all their faults, that would be a massive step forward compared to the current bunch.

UPDATED: A bucksome elf has provided a view of the back cover:


Simon Gibbs

Simon is a London based IT contractor and the proprietor of Libertarian Home. Working with logic and cause-and-effect each day he was naturally attracted to nerdy libertarianism and later to the benevolent logic of Objectivism. Find him on Google+ 


  30 comments for “Cameron’s hollow endorsement

  1. katabasis1
    Aug 28, 2014 at 11:42 am

    Things have just got very interesting. I’ve never seen UK politics so unsettled in my lifetime.

  2. Tim Carpenter
    Aug 28, 2014 at 12:43 pm

    He is doing the honourable thing.

    How many other MPs would risk their cosy privileges?

  3. Richard Carey
    Aug 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    I hope he wins the by-election.

  4. Zach Cope
    Aug 28, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    Was he at risk of losing his job/seat at the next election? Is this a smart pre emptive gamble to keep his job as an MP or was his majority (12,000?) likely to be enough?

  5. Aug 28, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    He’s made a principled decision that sets an example for the many others who have considered/are considering doing the same. This is what will destroy the Tory Party, who have become the enemy of the right.

  6. Aug 28, 2014 at 7:26 pm

    Tory maverick joins what I just learned today is called Nigel’s “People’s Army”. [I have a different take here, ] What a reassuringly liberal phrase that is. Honestly, I don’t think there’s anything that can’t be improved by sticking “People’s” in front of it. People’s army, People’s republic, People’s princess, People’s Libertarian Home…

    • Richard Carey
      Aug 29, 2014 at 7:58 am

      I like to think of you as the People’s Rocco 🙂

      • Aug 29, 2014 at 8:43 am

        That’s what it says on my business card! xD

  7. Paul Marks
    Aug 28, 2014 at 9:17 pm

    Well there is no mention of any of this at the Clacton Air Show last week……. (just me being light hearted for once).

    Clearly Mr Carswell does not believe Mr Cameron’s promises on the European Union or other matters. The logical response of Mr Cameron would be to provide evidence that his promises can be trusted – however politics is not know for logical action.

    By the way Rocco has a point about the word “People’s” (it sets my teeth on edge). He also has a point that politicians (including both Mr Cameron and Mr Farage) do not know much about monetary policy. They were taught Keynes and Friedman at university (as alternatives) and both are wrong.

  8. Right-Wing Hippy
    Aug 28, 2014 at 11:34 pm

    So far Hannan & Carswell’s proudest achievements* are the elected police chiefs (PCCs), now working wonders in Rotherham.

    Alex Salmond on the other hand, now there’s a guy who knows what democracy is for.

    *Also achieving the feat of having me “spoil” a ballot for the first time. The first of many.

  9. Julie near Chicago
    Aug 29, 2014 at 4:48 am

    I hope this isn’t O.T., and of course I’m merely a kibbitzer at you folks’ show, but we are wrestling with the same problems here, as I’m sure everyone knows. So, for what it’s worth….

    I understand about localism and all, but how come the same people who either turn ghostly white and run like gazelles or else turn purple and vent steam from their ears at the faintest hint of “will of the majority”/”majority rule” are 101% with the lefties that what’s wanted is Direct Democracy, except that the lefties like to call it “participatory democracy”?

    Here, at least, Direct Democracy means no intermediary between the voters and the elected. No Electoral College, no Representatives of any sort. Of course, you might as well do this (as a practical matter) at the local level, for a small enough value of “local,” I suppose. Do you want Direct Democracy across the board, or only in townships or boroughs?

    • Paul Marks
      Aug 29, 2014 at 8:07 am

      Well it would bring things out into the open Julie.

      Take the case of “Kettering East” – who should the people vote for (on the local council) if they do not want the authorities to hand lots of money to fund this project?

      Trick question – as how people vote will not prevent the scheme.

      If people were directly involved they would notice things such as this.

      • Julie near Chicago
        Aug 29, 2014 at 9:05 pm

        Thank you, Paul. It is surely a vexatious question, with downsides either way. Richard Epstein argues that local Authority can be every bit as tyrannical as a super-authority (State over township, Federal over both). Lots of examples of this; he is surely right.

        On the other hand, in my particular township (UN-incorporated Naperville) we have successfully resisted incorporation, which comes up as a township referendum on a regular basis. So in this case Direct Democracy appears to work. In which case I’m all for it. But, again, this is highly local, and whereas Naperville counts about pop. 150,000 — including the unincorporated neighborhoods — I would guess our township is at most 10% of that.

        There is also a small unincorporated oasis within a few blocks of the center of downtown. They’ve held out for at least 40 years that I personally can attest to.

        • Paul Marks
          Aug 30, 2014 at 7:18 am

          The point is that is less difficult to leave Julie (voting with the feet).

          But long may that area of town avoid a council. Believe me – I know.

          • Julie near Chicago
            Aug 31, 2014 at 6:32 am

            Well…it’s not so easy if your job is relatively near and it’s not going to be so easy to find another, if you’ve lived there since the town started to grow, if your friends are there or nearby, if your parents or your children are nearby, if you like the peace and quiet (in this particular case, it’s a middle-middle-class neighborhood, probably from late ’60s or early ’70’s, lots of trees, a pleasant spot), if it’s fairly close to the library (first things first!), the supermarket, and the hospital….

            If you’re not too uncomfortable where you are, there are real costs to moving. Also there are people who stay put precisely because their vision of a Better World is one in which, among other things, the City Council can’t, in effect, force you to accept ITS terms of ownership if you want to go on being the “owner.”

            • Paul Marks
              Aug 31, 2014 at 10:08 pm

              Yes Julie – relatively easier does not mean easy. Having a town ruined is still hard – and being told “well moving to another town with less difficulty than moving to another country” does not make it less difficult.

      • Julie near Chicago
        Aug 31, 2014 at 6:43 am

        Paul, I am sure Kettering East is some ghastly project or other. Sure, in a case like that, where the funds would come out of their own pockets, a referendum or “ballot initiative” would certainly be a good idea. That’s how we decide (in our school district, I mean) whether to issue another set of bonds in order to build another school (or “improve” the existing ones). It will be part of the ballot in whatever election is next.

        • Paul Marks
          Aug 31, 2014 at 10:00 pm

          Five thousand houses Julie. Lots of “loans” to the developers to get it done. Plus roads and schools and ……. Thus does England die.

          • Julie near Chicago
            Sep 1, 2014 at 5:53 am

            Yes indeed. I hear and understand perfectly every word, sob, and muffled nuclear explosion. That’s exactly the way it goes here.

            As to the business about voting with your feet, my comment was intended more “for the record” than anything else. :>)

            • Paul Marks
              Sep 1, 2014 at 7:39 am

              Yes lots of talk about the “Growth Agenda” and the new motto on the road signs put up by the County Council is “let yourself grow” (I am not making that up). Everything is full of modernist nonsense – even the signs at the (private – but with lots of corrupting government money going into it recently) park I work at. I am not against change – I am just against changes for the worse.

    • Richard Carey
      Aug 29, 2014 at 8:15 am

      I think Carswell and co. are in favour of direct democracy and localism based on the principle of subsidiarity, i.e., decisions being made at the lowest possible level. This does not, of course, prevent bad decisions being made, but should lead to a greater diversity between different towns and counties, whereby different actions could be compared, rather than imposing one solution across the whole country. At present, local councils have very little autonomy and are mainly just following orders from central government in what they spend money on etc. so part of the Carswell strategy would be giving them back the powers which have been taken from them over the decades. Again, this does not, in itself, prevent the abuse of power or foolish decisions being made, but it may improve accountability and, dare I say it, civic duty.

      • Julie near Chicago
        Aug 29, 2014 at 9:29 pm

        Richard, thanks for your reply also. A policy of making decisions locally wherever possible is certainly better than that of one-size-fits-all mandates (Orders!) from some mega-Authority. An obvious early step in this direction would be to return schooling to the locals. Of course, I’m in favor of home-schooling or private schooling, as Mr. & Mrs. Smith choose. (They might choose a combination of both. Or a few families might get together and a hire a teacher for their kids, as in the early days in many parts of the Provinces.)

        This discussion does provide some food for thought. We Napervillians do get to attend City Council meetings and stand up and say what we think (as long as the Council members don’t mind the way the talk is going, of course); but that’s not a vote.

        I still think Direct Democracy at the Federal and probably the State level too is a bad idea; but there does have to be some sort of D.D. at a root level, if the democratic system of picking the government is to exist at all. (Otherwise, the word simply doesnt apply.) Beyond which, I myself am in favor of same in the way you describe it.

        If Direct Democracy at the upper levels of government is not of interest (or under discussion) at the present time, I think my concerns have been addressed. :>)

        • Julie near Chicago
          Aug 30, 2014 at 1:30 am

          I knew there was something else I wanted to mention, with respect to attendance at town meetings, council meetings, in fact any sort of meetings about some issue. I can’t remember where I read this, so it could have been here or at Samizdata, or it could be something David Horowitz or another former lefty said.
          Anyhow, as a purely practical matter: The witness quoted, who was an ex-lefty (though I forget who), said that one way they used to take over outfits, committees, councils, chapters of this party or that club, was to attend the meetings and keep them going by arguing, raising issues, talking talking talking, sometimes until three or four in the morning, so that gradually people would become tired and go on home. Then, when they finally had a more-or-less clear field, they were able to get their own agenda passed.

          • Paul Marks
            Aug 30, 2014 at 7:23 am

            Yes Julie – that is how the left take over student unions (and so on). The solution to all this is simple – “you want to do something DO IT”. People should use their own money (and money they can raise voluntarily) to “help the community” (as they say they want to do). Once money can be taken by force and people can be ordered about….. well the left are in their natural habitat (and they are very likely to take over). This can be seen in an coalition – if a leftist group (no mater how small) is let into a government, they dominate policy (taxation, regulation everything). The “tail wags the dog” – and it is natural that it should (after all the left is in its natural habitat). This is being seen in Germany now – and it even true in Switzerland.

            • Aug 30, 2014 at 4:00 pm

              After just finishing my degree last year and being a member of the student union, some of the tactics that the socialist societies deploy are pretty awful at best and downright intimidating at worst.The head of our Student Union had a portrait of Chairman Mao over his desk…

            • Julie near Chicago
              Aug 31, 2014 at 5:54 am


              “Once money can be taken by force and people can be ordered about….. well the left are in their natural habitat (and they are very likely to take over).”

              This is what some of my favorite people…well…one of them anyway…fails to see.

              ‘…[T]o “help the community”‘

              has to end up badly for some (unless there happens to be unanimous agreement on Project X, which fails often enough even in the micro-community of two that we call “marriage.”

              And this what the Pareto people seem not to get. The question, as always, is, “Who made you the judge of whether I’m better or worse off — according to my preferences?”

              So when this “helping” is done with money taken by coercion (extortion), and even worse, under the excuse “we’ll all be better off” — that is adding insult to injury.

              (And before anybody brings it up, I say again, there is no excuse for this “taxation” except lack of imagination.)

  10. Aug 29, 2014 at 7:32 am

    I am also a bit put off by Douglas’ democracy fetishism but his ideas about choice in public services, quangos, diplomats, health savings accounts, and education are really quite interesting. Oh, and it’s very obvious he’s read Atlas Shrugged.

  11. Paul Marks
    Aug 30, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Mao was the largest scale mass murderer in human history Mr Lee – if you have not read “Mao: The Untold Story” or the history works of Frank Dikotter then please do so).

    The reason I am such a bad tempered old man is that I know these people (like your former Student Union) – underneath their surface charm and “irony” (the sort of thing that makes me want take a belt to their backsides) they are stone-cold-evil.

    And the government gives them your money (for everyone pays tax) to “represent” you.

    if a club has to force people to be members – that club is no good.

    And yes – they know about Mao and the rest (they would do exactly the same – given the chance).

  12. Julie near Chicago
    Sep 1, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    “I am not against change – I am just against changes for the worse.

    Paul, my attitude exactly! :>)))

Comments are closed.