Thursday, 7 November 2013

Tories worried about Cornwall? Why ever would you think that?

I'm not sure whether it is their internal polling, but the Conservatives seem to have decided to become a bit worried about Cornwall. Today saw a media blitz on our area with David Cameron conducting a range of interviews with local journalists and former Deputy Prime Minister Lord (Michael) Heseltine visiting Falmouth.

The Prime Minister got a grilling from Laurence Reed at lunchtime during which he tried to claim that Cornwall was not being hard done by in terms of government funding. He used the term 'spending power' a lot. This is a formula which virtually nobody understands and the definition of which changes every five minutes. Confronted with the facts about how much the council gets, the PM tried to claim that locally we are better off than his are in Oxfordshire.

The PM also tried to claim that Cornwall would benefit from the HS2 rail project. Hmm. He was more right to point out the benefits of the dualling of the A30, but this investment pales in comparison with the £40 billion being spent to make journey times between London and Birmingham half an hour shorter.

He also took personal credit for raising the income tax threshold to £10,000, taking tens of thousand of Cornish workers out of the tax system and giving hundreds of thousands more a £700 tax cut. Of course this was a Lib Dem policy which Mr Cameron claimed at the time of the last election was 'nice, but unaffordable'. In government the Lib Dems forced this to happen - something that would not have happened without us and now something that the PM tried to claim as his personal success.

One snub that the PM seems to have delivered is to his own Tory MP Sarah Newton. Asked by the West Briton about the Conservative hopes for the next election, Mr Cameron said:

"We have some excellent MPs in Cornwall in Sheryll Murray and George Eustice and there are more seats in Cornwall that we would like to have."

But it was Lord Heseltine who really took the biscuit. Explaining his view that Cornwall was much better off than 30 years ago, he said that he knew things were better because the cars were more modern and people had mobile phones...

1 comment:

Antiochian said...

Sarah Newton won't be inviting that pair around again soon....maybe she could consider a new party considering her own people don't seem to acknowledge her...