David Cameron is not having a good 24 hours. First he made an uncharacteristic gaffe by telling the BBC he would not seek a third term as prime minister. Then he got heckled by a crowd of elderly people at an Age UK rally. How different this is from his usual fabricated photo-op lecturing groups of tame workers forced by their Tory backing bosses to listen to his patronising drivel. Here he was in front of real people who were at an age where they will not be patronised.
Cameron was pleading with the Age UK audience to allow him to answer questions from the media after he spoken about health and pensioner benefits. As members of the audience shouted “no”, the prime minister pleaded for them to agree a deal in which he would take two questions from the media. The prime minister had a mildly hostile reception after he arrived a few minutes late for the conference at the Queen Elizabeth Conference Centre in central London. In his initial speech, he was relaxed, and even spoke of his political epitaph.
“I have got to be honest with you,” Cameron said. “I don’t want my political epitaph to read that I just balanced the books and cleared up the mess I inherited. I am here today because I want a different kind of Britain.”
But he was heckled as he spoke of how the government injected an extra £2bn into the NHS in the autumn statement in December to help ensure that hospitals were less reliant on agency staff. The prime minister was heckled when he defended the right of nurses to work for agencies in response to a question about the way in which NHS staff move to agencies to increase their wages.
In scenes reminiscent – but nowhere near as bad – of when Tony Blair was slow-clapped by the Women’s Institute in 2000, Cameron was jeered by the audience when he brought up his government’s record on the NHS:
There were shouts of ‘rubbish’, ‘that’s not true’ and ‘you cut social care’ as he insisted his administration had kept a promise to increase NHS funding – and would do so again if re-elected. PA reports the older voters – a group that David Cameron and other politicians have gone out of their way to court for reasons that should be clear from the chart above – also upset some OAPs in the audience for “his rejection of calls for a cabinet minister for older people and other topics”. The prime minister was the only major party leader who attended the rally, so we don’t know if Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband would have had the same treatment.
David Cameron’s sell-by date is appears to have passed. He’s got nothing to offer but more of the same – swingeing cuts, cuts and more cuts which will poison all our lives, further persecution of sick/disabled people, further dismantling of the NHS and more get richer quicker schemes for his mates. Get rid of him on May 7th, no doubt like before he’ll get another “brilliant job” in PR without the inconvenience of an interview?
Watch the Prime Minister get heckled as he tries to answer questions on the NHS during Age UK’s General Election Rally: