How will the poor takes lessons on their plight from an Old-Etonian?
A day after Gordon Brown was lecturing us about not wasting food the Times is splashing Cameron’s speech yesterday when he said that some of those “who are poor, fat or addicted to alcohol or drugs have only themselves to blame.”
The report goes on:“In a conscious shift of strategy, the Tory leader said he would not shirk from discussing public morality and claimed that social problems were often the consequence of individualsâ€™ choices. â€œWe talk about people being â€˜at risk of obesityâ€™ instead of talking about people who eat too much and take too little exercise,â€ he said. â€œWe talk about people being at risk of poverty, or social exclusion: itâ€™s as if these things â€” obesity, alcohol abuse, drug addiction â€” are purely external events like a plague or bad weather…â€œOf course, circumstances â€” where you are born, your neighbourhood, your school and the choices your parents make â€” have a huge impact. But social problems are often the consequence of the choices people make.“
Just reading the article you can see this approach appealing to the core Tory vote – but what about others? And Cameron himself is getting onto pretty thin ice when he talks about poverty.
In the hard world of politics there are enough things in the speech for his opponents to latch onto which when separated from the overall theme might not look so defensible.
I just wonder whether the appalling spate of bad news and poor ratings for Brown and Labour has made the Tory leader a bit too confident. Dangerous.