Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Cabinet split after David Cameron abandons alcohol pricing

Cabinet split after David Cameron abandons alcohol pricing 

The Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt indicated that he is in favour of plans for minimum alcohol pricing but the Prime Minister David Cameron made a U-Turn (a new U-Turn of a series of U-Turns). If U-Turns were U-Boots, the Prime Minister would have been sunk a long time ago and some tried to play the card of ‘who seats where’ when they showed other members of the Cabinet that not standing faraway and front-benchers that looked pretty much aloof and disengaged rather supportive of the actions of the Prime Minister.

Let us remember that is, yet again, another division of a divided government of a divided country traveling on a rudderless ship. The so-called ‘common ground’ approach is in reality the absence of any common ground and on the European Front – adding to David Cameron’s ills - came the news that the European Parliament has rejected the budget that was agreed just a few days ago after strenuous negotiations. Let us also remember that David Cameron – a bit like Prime Neville Minister Chamberlain – came back home claiming victory for what was after all a gigantic defeat. The talk about saving money for Britain is a bit of sad joke.

The negotiated EU Budget is no more and this could make George Osborne’s position untenable a few hours before the presentation of the Budget in the House of Commons. The refusal of the European Union Parliament to approve the negotiated EU Budget means that all figures in the national Budget will have to be recalculated because in this case to say that the figures will not add up would be one of the greatest understatements.

Just a few days ago Liam Fox, former Defense Secretary, proposed a public budget freeze for not less than four years and former defenders of budget ring-fencing came out and said that there should not be any more budget ring-fencing and that areas like healthcare - notably the NHS - should be subject to budget cuts like every other area of government expenditure.

If things get out of hand in terms of finances, having to choose between David Cameron's approach and Liam Fox's approach, the grey suits of the Conservative Party, given the chances of the Conservative Party remaining in power for another five years, might decide to cut short David Cameron's reign.  

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