Leading Article: But what did they say at the election?

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Indy Lifestyle Online
ALL THE views quoted in this column came last week from the mouths of Conservative politicians, Conservative supporters, and Conservative newspapers. No further editorial comment seems necessary.

'Dear Mr Major, DO YOU HAVE A PLAN TO GET US OUT OF THIS BLOODY MESS? . . . With the country plunging ever downwards, we have four serious questions for you, Mr Major: WHAT on earth is going on? WHERE the hell is this once-great country of ours heading? WHEN will you tell us your master plan? DO you even have one? . . . If we carry on like this much longer, inflation won't be a problem . . . because there won't be any shops left . . . All we keep getting at the moment are yesterday's answers to today's problems.' Sun editorial

'The Government, at the moment, is devastating the lives of thousands of people . . . they are just not fit to govern.' John Carlisle, Tory MP for Luton North

'What is the use of sacks of citizen's charters to the millions who want work and who don't know how they can pay the mortgage? This Government is beginning to sound woefully out of touch.' Daily Mail editorial

'It is nothing short of criminal to deny them (the miners) the opportunity to keep their jobs and their futures. For the Government to give such a vicious downward twist to employment prospects at this particular time I regard as reckless and irresponsible as well as unnecessary because I don't think they have done their sums . . . We can't just survive on Kentucky Fried Chicken and playing the money markets.' Winston Churchill, Tory MP for Davyhulme

'If the Treasury continues to do nothing, there won't be much of a traded goods sector left in the UK on which to build a recovery.' John Butcher, Tory MP for Coventry South- West, former Trade and Industry Secretary

'The Chancellor is wrong. The Government is wrong . . . When are they going to be big enough to admit their mistake? . . . Like demented parrots, Ministers cry that the defeat of inflation is paramount. Not so. Getting the economy growing again is paramount.' Daily Express editorial

'The whole thing has been bungled from beginning to end and it is a callous reminder of the way in which people can be thrown out of work when imports of coal are pouring in from elsewhere in the world - and against a background of dubious legality.' William Cash, Tory MP for Stafford

'John Major presides over - you can't say 'leads' by any stretch of the imagination - a bankrupt, clueless, lying, incompetent, complacent, arrogant administration. Major has betrayed everyone - from the Tory voters of Essex to the democratic miners of Notts . . . The game's up, old son. When you find yourself less popular than Arthur Scargill, it's time to go.' Richard Littlejohn, Sun columnist

'Some colleagues are incensed. The scale of these closures, I have to say, is unacceptable. A review is imperative. I am sure there will be a number of answers to the things that concern us - there had better be.' Sir Marcus Fox, Tory MP for Shipley, chairman of the backbench 1922 Committee

'The Tories are a bit rough as a Government. They have lost my support and I wouldn't vote for them next time. I've lost all confidence in them.' Bernard Manning, comedian

'The Government has yet to say or do anything to deserve the attention, far less the respect, of the public.' Daily Telegraph editorial

'It is the most disgusting announcement I have ever heard in my life. It challenges Conservatives like myself . . . as to whether indeed we actually belong to the Conservative Party we thought we belonged to.' John

Armstrong-Holmes, Tory finance spokesman, Nottinghamshire County Council

'My confidence in the Chancellor continuing would be severely shaken if he doesn't begin to give greater priority to getting the economy moving. If he doesn't, I would say he is not the man to be Chancellor.' Sir John Hannam, Tory MP for Exeter

'If a prime minister is to lead, he has to be ahead. He needs a programme for the time before him . . . Mr Major is not ahead. He is struggling to keep up with the onrush of events. He gives no sign of even trying to get ahead . . . He looks weak. He is weak.' Times editorial

'It is long-term economic madness and short-term economic madness.' Elizabeth Peacock, Tory MP for Batley and Spen

'This has been extremely badly handled . . . I remain to be convinced that this was a sensible decision.' John Watts, Tory MP for Slough, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee

'To tell workers on a Wednesday that their jobs will be lost on Monday and that if they complain their redundancy payments could be cut seems to represent the worst possible features of Victorian employers. If the Government continue to show . . . near contempt for people losing their jobs at a time of acute recession, they will simply lose the support and sympathy of the population.' Sir Teddy Taylor, Tory MP for Southend East

'The ship of state is tossing in stormy waters . . . There could be a mutiny.' Dame Jill Knight, Tory MP for Birmingham Edgbaston

'If scepticism comes readily to politicians, it comes especially easy to a Chelsea supporter. After all, I have nearly 30 years behind me of high hopes at the start of the season, fading into disappointment with a string of frustrating results by January.' John Major, in 'We'll Support You Evermore', a collection of essays published by the Child Poverty Action Group

'IS MAJOR A GONER?' Headline in yesterday's Sun

'I think we underestimated the reaction.' Richard Ryder, Chief Whip, in Cabinet last week

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