U-turns inspire little confidence in Cameron

I don’t quite understand anyone who praises the latest U-turn by our government, saying it shows that the coalition are listening to voters.

I would much rather have a government that actually knows what it is doing, and has confidence in itself. One that is able to deliver a Budget that is thought-through enough that the things it contains can come into fruition.

Not one that is so hapless and unsure of its own ability that it is willing to drop policies all over the place at the whim of an opinion poll or a few angry journalists. David Cameron’s PR background is showing through more and more, with evidence stacking up that all he really cares about is opinion polls, not what is best for this country in the long-term.

Even those who are natural supporters of the government are beginning to realise just how serious and damaging this behaviour is.

Fraser Nelson, editor of the Spectator, says in his latest Telegraph blog that the sense of mission is draining away in Downing Street. “I gather that even Mr Cameron has started to wonder where his Government is going, and has been asking aides what his legacy will be,” he writes.

He later adds why this is particularly worrying: “Each U-turn may be trivial in itself, but there is a cumulative effect. They serve to devalue the word of the Prime Minister and, worse, the credibility of the Chancellor.”

So I for one am not happy about the latest U-turn, on this occasion delaying the rise on fuel duty. The majority of the public do not have available to them the insight to research and other key data and analysis that the government does. And if the government genuinely believed this policy was for the best for this country then it should have stuck to it, no matter how unpopular that decision may have been.

Of course, the other possibility is that there was not the meticulous planning behind this policy that there should have been before it was announced. And then subsequent research found that it wasn’t such a good idea after all.

Clearly, both of these situations are far from ideal, and I would hope for a lot better from a government – the supposed leaders of our country.

By Sophie Hudson


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