David Cameron has now been Prime Minister of the UK since May 2010: five and a half years, five New Year messages so far.
In 2010, back when Cameron and Clegg were still pretending to be best mates, they did a joint press conference on 21st December, in which Cameron explained that the snow was a problem inherited from the previous government and Clegg assured the press that coalition meant the next election would be a very polite campaign.
In 2011, David Cameron didn’t bother with Nick Clegg. His New Year message referenced next year’s Olympics and the Diamond Jubilee, but Cameron didn’t forget the little people:
Of course, I know that there will be many people watching this who are worried about what else the year might bring. There are fears about jobs and paying the bills. The search for work has become difficult, particularly for young people. And rising prices have hit household budgets. I get that. We are taking action on both fronts. I know how difficult it will be to get through this.- but I also know that we will.
In 2012, David Cameron’s new year statement for 2013 boldly and frankly blamed the Labour government:
We inherited a welfare system that was frankly out of shape, that paid people not to work. So we made some big changes, and this new year almost half a million more people are in work than last new year. That is real progress.
In 2013, David Cameron’s new year message was that “the plan is working”:
We’re going to keep on doing everything possible to help hardworking people feel financially secure …cutting income taxes and freezing fuel duty. We’ll keep on working even harder to create more jobs, whether that’s through investment in our roads and railways, lower jobs taxes, or more help for Britain’s amazing small businesses. Those who run our small businesses are heroes and heroines, they are the backbone of our economy and we are supporting them every step of the way. We are going to keep on with our vital work on welfare and immigration too. We’ve already capped welfare and cut immigration… …and this year, we’ll carry on building an economy for people who work hard and play by the rules.
In 2014, David Cameron’s new year message was a relentlessly optimistic “the long-term plan is working”:
“It’s because we put in place a long-term plan with some clear values at its heart. Ours must be a country where if you put in, you will get out. Where if you want to work, there are decent jobs. Where if you put the hours in, you keep more of your own money. Where if you’re raising your children the best you can, you can expect they’ll get a proper education. And where if you’re willing to save, you can buy a home of your own. And of course when you retire, you will have dignity and security in old age. Our long-term plan is working.”
“So if you’re one of the many hard-working young people locked out of the housing market, we will deliver the homes that will help lead you to your own front door.
If you’re off school or out of work, trapped in an underworld of addiction, abuse, crime and chaos, we will sweep away state failure and help give you stability.
If your dreams have been dashed simply because of who you are, we will fight discrimination and deliver real opportunity, to help lay your path to success.”
Denise Haddon is 50. She’s an Inclusion Manager in child protection at a primary school in Derby. She was born with a condition that causes her painful problems with the lower part of her body: she can’t walk more than 20 metres without pain, and drives a specially-adapted Motability car.
On 9th December, as part of David Cameron’s assurances that less money will be paid out to people with disabilities, Denise Haddon was told she would lose her motability car on 6th January.
“I was treated like a number not a person and the process seems to be just a way to save money regardless of the effect it has on the person being assessed.
“The stress the DWP and Capita have caused me over this is unbelievable; they just don’t answer any of my emails.
“They only told me on 9th December, this year, that they would be taking my Motability car away from me on 6th January. Since then I’ve been trying to get them to listen to the evidence from my GP and other medical experts about my condition and why I need a car to do my job.”
That’s David Cameron’s New Year message. You’re a number, not a person. What you need, will be taken away from you. You shall be made destitute.
Happy New Year.