The problem with David Cameron? Well, there are many, but the one I’ve noted recently is that he promises a lot. He says ‘I’ll change things here, I’ll offer more, I’ll make this work better.’ But he doesn’t actually do things. He doesn’t address the parliament on these matters and work to change. He’s reacting. This week at the Conservative Party conference, he was reacting to UKIP defections by saying he’d scrap work protections and do a few other things out of the UKIP playbook.

In response to the approaching referendum on Scottish independence, he promised to devolve more powers to the Parliament in Edinburgh, among other things.

Reasonable as he often sounds, Cameron uses the tricks of the abuser and 9 year old boy. When he finds himself in trouble, or hears that his partner (Scotland, the right wing of his party) is trying to leave, he promises to do better. I cringe when I hear this kind of thing coming from his mouth because as a world leader, he’s supposed to put this stuff up front. Much as I despise Maggie Thatcher and just about everything she stood for in her leadership of Great Britain, when she had a move to make, she made it. Crushing the unions? She stepped up and got the job done. War with Argentina? Order the ships to be built. Cameron, on the other hand, realises he’s about to be punished and like a guilty child promises to do better.

National elections are getting close and these things seem to work. Did his promises work in Scotland? They might have done so. The matter there might also have had to do with Salmond’s great dearth of any actual plan. Among other things.

Why is this asshole lying to me? He says one thing in public, but can’t be trusted to follow through and secure the deal, or to step up and take responsibility for his vision. My feeling is that he doesn’t actually have one. He got into office because the population didn’t feel New Labour (aka Tory Lite) had anything more to offer. And he’ll retain his position until someone with more than a miliband of charisma comes to the fore from the Left. I vaguely recall when one of the characteristics we looked for in a leader was vision, as opposed to ‘that vision thing’. We still prefer it to the tinned thing that weasels like Mitt Romney offer, but we don’t hear it any more.

Time and again in that conference speech, Cameron says, ‘this is what a conservative government *will* do. At one point, he says he didn’t want a coalition government, that it was forced on him. It wasn’t forced: the Tories didn’t win a majority, therefore, to form a government required a coalition. The LibDems could have gone to Miliband and offered their services. The time of New Labour was over and they knew it. So, everything Cameron says he *will* do is based on whether he can secure a straight-up majority. The fact remains, that all these things he promises, he can negotiate in parliament. He can achieve many of them with the compromise a mature democracy engages in because that’s what mature people do. (Note, of course, that the US House of Representatives returned to nursery school about 5 years ago and there’s no sign the teacher is ready to let them go even to kindergarten.)

He talks about scrapping the travesty that is the zero-hours contract. If he were to put this to parliament tomorrow, he could get a win. Labour thinks they’re lousy as well. I’m pretty sure zero-hours contracts are a gift the Tories gave to business to take away more workers’ rights. Labour would welcome the opportunity to debate and vote. No need to wait for the election.

He addresses global business saying that Britain has ‘rolled out the red carpet…cutting red their tape and cutting their taxes…Now you must pay what you owe.’ Again: Put this to parliament. What a wonderful source of deficit-cutting income – Amazon and Starbucks and Apple paying taxes commensurate with what they earn doing business in the UK. Votes wouldn’t be unanimous, but parliamentarians not owned by big business would happily vote yes.

And again, on the opportunity to raise the income level at which taxpayers owe the top rate of 40%. No need to wait except if it’s a threat.

He also talks about differences in how the Tories and Labour view education, but that’s a matter for another post.