Pandora: Cameron's swinging plans on spending

Click to follow
The Independent Online

David Cameron has been at pains to talk tough of late when it's come to his party's future spending plans.

Only this week he proudly declared: "I can't think of an opposition leader in British politics in the last 30, 40 years, who actually said, very frankly to the electorate before an election, we are going to cut public spending."

Now the Tory leader has been prodded with an unhelpful reminder of yesteryear, courtesy of an article he penned for The Guardian back in 2002 when he was residing very much on the other side of the economic fence. "After the recession of 1989 to 1992 we had to raise taxes because the budget deficit reached dangerous proportions," explained Dave at the time, before movingly adding: "The alternative of slashing spending and cutting benefits would have been inhuman."

Opponents over at website Labourlist have been keen to highlight Cameron's contrasting sentiments of old, as well as raising fresh doubts over the efficiency of Gordon Brown's backroom staff in the process. "They make a good read, and I can't believe Labour HQ haven't picked up on them," remarks the website's Alex Ross.

Public spending isn't the only issue where the politician has drastically changed tack since his days as a promising backbencher. Referring to Brown in the same article, he generously wrote: "I agree that he is a figure of colossal power and intellect; his presence in the Commons and command of the chamber are indeed awesome."

Ms Madeley gets ready to party

Having seen their camera-friendly daughter eagerly embrace the media spotlight, TV sofa veterans Richard and Judy would be wise to brace themselves for more eventful times ahead.

Chloe Madeley, who has already enjoyed enthusiastic tabloid coverage in recent months, suggests she's ready to up the ante. "I look at people like Peaches Geldof and Kimberly Stewart who have made a career and a fortune for themselves in a short space of time," she says. "It makes me think that maybe I should become more of a party girl."

A real buzz around Damon

While no doubt accustomed to the hazards of celebrity, Matt Damon may be concerned to hear that doubts are being raised about his credentials.

His Wikipedia entry includes reference to his honorary membership of the British Beekeepers' Association, following a talk he apparently gave in 2005.

Not so, according to association spokesman Ivor Davies, who has no recollection of such an event. "I have been able to check our register and Matt Damon is not on it," he insists. Surely this confusion has to be resolved.

Rusbridger in a spin

Things may be fraught at Guardian Media Group, but I see editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger is finding time to launch a second career. Hot on the heels of reports that he is actively looking at closing the country's oldest newspaper, The Observer, it seems Rusbridger is to present a 12-part series on Classic FM.

Fox returns the tip

What does Liam Fox think about Shadow Cabinet colleague Michael Gove surprisingly tipping him as a future Tory leader this week? With Gove having been long considered a paid-up member of David Cameron's inner-circle, his comments have unofficially met with a hostile response in the Fox camp. "Games are being played," growls a friend of the Shadow Defence Secretary.